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Series: Flashpoint
SRU Team One: (from left) Spike, Wordy, Jules, Ed, Parker, Sam and Lewis
"Connect. Respect. Protect."
SRU motto

A Canadian show made by CTV about a police tactical response team in a nondescript (but clearly Toronto) city. It is co-produced by and also airs on the American network CBS, one of several shows developed as a means of getting around the most recent writers' strike (Canada is outside WGA jurisdiction). The series premiered in 2008, and after five full seasons, the series finale aired in December 2012.

Flashpoint is a show about an elite group of officers within a Canadian metropolitan police force, call the Strategic Response Unit or SRU. They're called in when the situation escalates beyond the ability of ordinary officers to handle, particularly hostage situations, armed criminals and bomb threats. Unlike a show like S.W.A.T., the show isn't about the glamor and gunplay of the unit, but rather the personalities and conflict-resolution skills involved in running a group that has to deal with the tense situations they confront. Team leader Sergeant Greg Parker, along with veteran officer Ed Lane, lead their team in an attempt to make sure that everyone gets home alive — officers, victims, and perpetrators.

A show with a remarkable amount of emotional appeal, character development, and complex webs in each episode.

Not to be confused with the 2011 DC Comics comic or the 2013 animated adaptation of said comic.

This show features examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Jules, due to Amy Jo Johnson's real-life pregnancy.
  • Abuse Mistake: An early episode has a cop beating his wife until her sister takes matters into her own and holds up the husband at gunpoint. While investigating the situation, SRU officers quickly discover that the cop's partners and friends on the force knew, or at least strongly suspected, that the cop was beating his wife, but looked the other way out of misguided respect, writing it off as something else.
  • Abusive Parents: This was assumed with Greg Parker's father and how his ability to negotiate was developed.
  • Accidental Kidnapping: In "Unconditional Love", a crook on the run from a gun deal gone bad hijacks a car from a woman, not realising her baby is in the back seat.
  • Action Girl: Jules is the only female member of S.R.U. Team One, but is temporarily replaced by Donna Sabine, who leaves then Team One to join Team Three when Jules comes back. It's so bad the Women's bathroom just says "Jules". After Lew's death, the S.R.U. finally gets a Women's bathroom when Leah Kerns joins the team. (The 'Jules' sign disappears).
  • Adorkable: Spike
    • And Greg Parker in a more empathetic kind of way.
  • Adult Fear: Several episodes deal with children being abducted and taken hostage.
    • In "The Fortress", the children of her employer coming home early and being threatened by her boyfriend is what caused the Russian nanny to change her mind about robbing her employer.
    • In "Unconditional Love", there was a baby trapped in the room with an armed hostage taker, causing everyone on Team One to worry.
    • The adopted parents of Riley and Becky in "Severed Ties" were frantic with worry when their daughters' birth mother kidnapped them. The youngest one was kidnapped in a playground despite the mother attentively watching her. On top of that, there was a recently paroled sex offender taking photos of little girls on the playground from his car.
    • In "Keep the Peace Part 1", Clark happened to be at city hall when a bomb went off, trapping him in the parking garage. The episode ends as Ed was frantically digging through the debris to find his unresponsive son.
  • The Adventure Continues: The last episode shows us that despite the changes in the team as a result of the Faber incident, Team One will continue to keep the peace.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Just like most military units, law enforcement teams and armed services, nicknames are used more than real names.
    • "Samtastic" for, well, Sam. Only used when he's being extra awesome.
    • "Jules" for Julianna Callaghan, "Spike" for Michelangelo Scarlatti, "Wordy" for Kevin Wordsworth, "Lew" for Lewis Young, "Raf" for Rafik Rousseau (so much so that it's weird to hear any of their real first names, Spike's isn't mentioned for at least a season, Raf's is only used once)
    • "Boss" for Greg Parker. in fact, Leah's corrected real quickly on her first day when she calls him Greg. Ed's the only one who uses Greg and it is rare.
    • In fact, Sam, Leah, and Donna are the only people whose names aren't shortened in some way. S.R.U is lazy when it comes to more than one or two syllables.
    • Parker is the only one who calls Ed "Eddie".
  • The Alcoholic: Parker was previously this, causing his wife and son to leave him. After taking care of a young girl involved in one of his cases, he recovered and has not gone back since.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Invoked by SRU veteran Rangford in "Haunting the Barn," who shows up at the SRU to get an old case file, but ends up barricading himself in the base when his request is refused.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Happens often when the hostage takers try to get a room with only them and their target.
    • In 'A Day in the Life' when Marina Levin is pursued by a former co-worker/subordinate named Oliver. He kills one ex-colleague and dismisses another so he can have Marina alone in the company offices.
    • 'Acceptable Risk' saw Claire Williams corralling members of a pharmaceutical company she felt were responsible for her husband's death. She killed several on her 'hit list', and cornered one final victim before her rampage was brought to an end by Team One.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: In "Unconditional Love", the main subject believes himself to be a serial killer that is about to start killing. Team One eventually pegs him as having a disorder of some kind, but concentrate on bringing him in safely, and leave the proper diagnosis for professionals to do later.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Jules gave Parker a What the Hell, Hero? after he had put himself in danger to protect a girl from one of his previous cases, half the time berating him for going into the situation without calling them and the other half for causing the team to worry.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: What happens to Dean and Clark (Parker and Ed's sons respectively) after they helped the team catch the suspect but disobeyed Parker's orders to stay put in "Lawmen". While dreading the worst, the sons are shocked when their fathers decided to treat them to pizza instead (Ed and Parker specifically tell them not to do it again, though).
  • Artistic License - Geography: Mostly, the series is pretty accurate and uses real Toronto street names in episodes. Sometimes, however, there are screwups, which generally are only apparent to people living in the Greater Toronto Area — although this can just make watching episodes even more fun for locals.
    • In "No Kind Of Life", the SRU are trying to deduce the location of a suspect and Spike has worked out a way to track a transponder that happens to be among the man's possessions. Parker asks a detective if the suspect has ever frequented areas in the northeast part of the city, but promptly specifies the area northeast of Highway 401 and Highway 27, which actually covers the entire northern half of metro Toronto. It gets worse, as a line or two later the detective suggests Brampton, which is a separate city located to the northwest, and then the team finally catch up to the suspect at the Georgian Downs racetrack, which is located over 60 kilometres north of Toronto close to Lake Simcoe.
  • Ascended Extra: The role of Kira, SRU's dispatcher, moves slowly from just the Voice with an Internet Connection to a full-fledged character as the first season progresses. In later seasons, Winnie has replaced Kira as the primary dispatcher in similar fashion.
    • Has expanded to include a paramedic and a second dispatcher as minor/recurring characters in the early third season.
  • Asshole Victim:Often used.
    • "Whatever It Takes", had a basketball coach who ended up being taken hostage by one of his players. He verbally abused his team and encouraged them to physically assault the weaker and/or less-competent players. He didn't really help his case when he kept asking the S.R.U. to shoot the teenage hostage taker.
    • In "Asking For Flowers", the victim is a cop who is abusing his wife. His sister-in-law takes him hostage and he subsequently tries to kill her. He almost got away with it, but the S.R.U was listening when he threatened to kill her and make it look like self defense.
    • The series finale has the assumed bomber, who is killed by the real bomber be a disgraced psychology prof who was a sadist to his students.
  • Axes at School: "Perfect Storm".
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Deconstructed in "Backwards Day", where frustrations of not being able to have a baby damages a couple's relationship, leading the husband to cheat on his wife with an old flame.
    • Inverted in "Collateral Damage", where the death of a baby is the impetus behind the events of the episode.
    • Deconstucted again in "We Take Care of Our Own". Jules is pregnant and on her first day of work after Sam and Jules find out, they decide that everything will be fine and no one need to know yet. Cue minor freakouts from both parties during the entire episode, from Sam calling Jules just to check on her and Jules quietly panicking when Sam gets to close to a man wearing a couple of blocks of C-4. They decide to tell the team the next day.
  • Badass Adorable: Riley in "Severed Ties" where she was kidnapped by her birth mother. The younger sister she never knew about was having a severe allergic reaction and when the birth mother was distracted, Riley quietly sneaked away to call the police for help.
  • Badass Bookworm: Spike
    Spike: CJV Electronics. CJV was busted a couple of years ago. They were selling pirated operating systems.
    Sam: How do you know that?
    Spike: I know because I'm a highly-trained officer on the cutting edge of twenty-first century investigation.
    Sam: I thought it was because you're a geek.
    Ed: He's not a geek, okay? He's a geek with combat skills, that's why the ladies love him.
  • Badass Bystander: Deconstructed. Every time an untrained bystander has attempted to be a badass or resolve the situation, it just makes things worse (as an example, Parker could have talked down the hostage takers in "Grounded" had a passenger not tried to be a hero).
    • In fact, the only time this trope is played straight is when the bystander is Ed Lane.
  • Badass Crew: SRU Team One.
  • Badass in Distress: Whenever any of the team gets taken hostage or gets pinned down by heavy fire.
  • Bait-and-Switch Tyrant: Dr. Toth is first introduced as a military psychologist who specialises in breaking teams apart, and really gets under the team's skin with his questioning, but he also practices Brutal Honesty and forces them to confront their issues, diagnosed Woody as having Parkinson's, and is motivated by a genuine desire to ensure that the team is effective and they're doing the right thing. He also makes a personal appeal to Da Chief to keep Sam and Jules on the same team.
    "I like this team. I like your Sergeant. I think you do a good job. The problem is that your Sergeant doesn't trust himself. And that's why I came in."
  • Bald of Awesome: Ed Lane and Greg Parker.
  • Berserk Button: Ed is the team's stoic but if you harm one of his teammates, especially if it's Greg Parker, he will be pissed.
    • For that matter, hurt or endanger any Team One member and you'll have the entire team coming after your blood.
  • Big Brother Instinct: In "He Knows His Brother", the older brother is quite protective of his younger sibling protecting him from their abusive father. His protective instinct even extends to a younger soldier-in-training who was roughed up by one of their training instructors.
    • Ed has been known to show this on occasion to both Jules and Spike.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Lewis Young was the first person of the team to die.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Parker suffers through this in "Keep the Peace Part 2", having taken multiple shots from the bomber.
  • Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: Happens to Donna in her wedding when a shooter hits the groom's best man, causing his blood to splatter on her dress and it ends up all over her hands as she was trying to stop the flow of blood.
  • Book Ends: Greg and Ed talk about "Doing the math on all those 'I'm Fine's'" In the Pilot and Finale.
  • Break the Cutie: Attempted on Tasha Redford, in the first-season episode "Attention Shoppers", but Jules gets to Tasha before she can jump.
  • Broken Pedestal: Happens to Spike and his mentor MacCoy in "No Promises" after Spike finds out the man who taught him and helped him to become a good cop was a snitch for a high-ranking drug gang to pay off his debts when his wife was sick and when his daughter was in drug rehab.
    • Happens to Ed in 'Haunting the Barn'. His mentor, Danny Rangford, has a total breakdown, and even tries to goad Ed into killing him.
    • Finally, to Donna, in 'A New Life', when her ex-partner and mentor from her days as a Vice officer falls off the sobreity wagon, spills his guts to a mob henchman, and then tries to kill Donna's new husband. Donna nearly kills him out of sheer rage before Ed manages to talk her down.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In a rare heroic example, after being shot several times and yet still managing to defuse the bomber's last dirty bomb, Parker takes some time to ramble on barely, since he's been shot at least four times that the suspect's plan was completely undone, and that for all his planning, everything he'd done had been for nothing at all. The suspect's fury, after what he'd done in the episode, was wondrous to behold. Especially when Ed killed him mere moments later.
  • Call Back: After Parker gets shot in "Follow the Leader" and his team waits for him to return from the hospital, Wordy jokes with him that he has to buy the first round of drinks. Spike then quips because Wordy should know, as he has been shot a few times before (in "First in Line" and "Clean Hands").
    • Wordy even lampshades this.
      Wordy: Isn't right, boss.
      Parker: What do you mean?
      Wordy: I'm the one supposed to take the hits.
    • Parker tells Ed how he has hugged a hundred kids but doesn't know what it feels like to hug his own son. A few episodes later, Parker reunites with his son properly for the first time in eight years and one of the first things he does is hug him.
    • Back in season one, Ed tells Sam who had first joined the team that "when you're democratically elected team leader, you get to make autocratic decisions" after he clashed with Ed's orders. In season two, when Leah first joins, she had a minor dispute with Ed about his orders and after, Sam explains to her.
      Leah: Guess that was a mistake?
      Sam: [quoting Ed] When you're the democratically elected team leader, you get to make autocratic decisions.
    • Dr. Toth's interviews in the Season 3 finale callback to previous events, particularly Sam's early days with the team.
    • In Day Game, Ed makes a callback to Raf's first day on the job in "Day In The Life".
  • Canada, Eh? / City with No Name / No Communities Were Harmed: As The Other Wiki explains, the series' makers intentionally don't identify the show's setting even though it's pretty obvious it's Toronto. It slowly breaks down, with landmarks and uniforms being the most visible signs of relaxation in the premise (the CN Tower features prominently in establishing shots of the city), but the city name is still only rarely mentioned, and are frequently of the Genius Bonus and/or Freeze-Frame Bonus variety.
    • Completely averted in the series finale when an aerial shot of Toronto City Hall is labeled "Toronto City Hall".
      • Also in the series finale, a 911 dispatcher requests mutual aid from Peel, York, and Durham municipalities, specifically saying, "get everyone you can to Toronto now."
  • Canucks with Chinooks: Sam was ex-JTF 2 and served in Afghanistan, and a number of subjects are former Canadian Army.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Cle Bennett got to show off his singing skills in the very first episode he's in as a cop.
    • Amy Jo Johnson and Hugh Dillion both have songs in the background of the show, with Jules getting a shout out from a character when her song was used.
  • Catch Phrase: Parker's reminder to "Keep the peace," whenever the SRU starts a mission.
  • Phrase Catcher: Sergeant Daniel Rangford, mentor to Greg and Ed, is the guy who came up with Greg's "Keep the peace" catchphrase.
    • The SRU's motto, frequently repeated: "Connect, respect, protect."
    • Also "I have the solution," meaning a clear shot at the aggressor, not a way to solve a problem. note 
    • Since "Copy that." is basically "Yes.", "I understand.", "I heard you." "I'm doing that." and "I'm on my way." and any other positive response you can think of in S.R.U speak it's used an... uncountable number of times. Don't even try.
    • Sam's fond of telling the others "There's no place I'd rather be." It's even rubbed off on Jules.
    • Also frequently a variation of the line "That's why we get the cool pants," another contagious phrase that began with Sam.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Parker often struggles with this but it gets particularly hard on him in season three and four where he is doubting his ability and judgement to lead the team.
  • Channel Hop: In the United States, Flashpoint will be moving from CBS to ION Television. New episodes will begin airing on October 18, 2011.
  • The Chick: Jules, at least initially. Occasionally lampshaded by Deadpan Snarker Sam, as well as by a brief scene of changing the sign to the womens' washroom (from reading "Jules" to "Women's") after Leah's introduction to the series.
  • Child Soldiers: The neighborhood drug gang in "Lawmen" inducts teenagers into their gang, much to the disgust of the police.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: In "Terrors", Steve, a paramedic Jules was dating, decided to storm into a restaurant when he heard gunshots, despite the fact that Jules, a trained hostage negotiator told him not to go in and wait for the cops. Both he and Jules are taken hostage and he is shot.
    • Also Parker. He takes every injury or death, whether from his team, hostage taker or innocent civilian, hard and often blames himself for not doing a better job.
    • And in one episode, an unarmed Ed Lane chases a would-be assassin.
  • Clear My Name:
    • The young man in "Never Kissed A Girl" is wrongly accused of raping and killing his best friend and wants to be cleared on the crime he never committed. Unfortunately, after being denied to have an appeal, he decides that he had nothing else left to lose and storms the courthouse with a gun, taking a security guard hostage, to find the lawyer who tarnished his name.
    • "Collateral Damage" revolves around a man accused of murdering his infant daughter taking his wife and two doctors hostage. One of the doctor's findings seemed to convince his wife he was responsible, so he wants to get a second opinion so that she'll believe in him again.
  • Cold Sniper: The concept of the series is built around the team trying to avoid falling into the trope.
    • However, of the two main snipers, Ed Lane is closer to this than Sam Braddock and Jules Callaghan, who are definitely more lighthearted and gregarious. At the same time, Ed also has to deal with a lot of the effects of killing people, namely serious P.T.S.D both in the first and fifth seasons.
  • Covert Distress Code: In one episode, Parker is taken hostage but the rest of the cops are unaware of this. He is told to give his team instructions over the radio as normal and direct them away from the hostage taker. He complies but tells his team members to 'stay frosty' his team's code word for a situation like this.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In episode "Perfect Storm", the bullied teen had no intention of killing his bullies. He was only threatening them, so they would feel as humiliated as he did when they begged for mercy.
  • Cool Shades: Ed often sports a pair.
  • Cowboy Cop:
    • Sam Braddock, at least to start off. Donna as well, during her short run, seems to have retained some "whatever it takes" attitude from her undercover vice days, and frequently expresses frustration with the rules.
    • Gil, a cop with a great career until he tried out for the S.R.U, and his answer "Shoot the subject ...right?" to the hypothetical scenario didn't pan out. He wasn't accepted and his life got worse from there.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The show had a forensic psychologist... for about three or four episodes.
  • Cry into Chest: Spike cries as Parker cradles him after Lewis was killed by a bomb. Seen here.
    • Danny Rangford breaks down after Ed talks him down from a suicidal urge; Ed's eyes are suspiciously wet, too, as the two fiercely hug.
    • Donna cries into Ed's shoulder in 'A New Life'. This was following her emotional break after learning of her ex-partner's betrayal. She was also understandably upset, as she thought her new husband was probably not going to live after getting shot two times in the back.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Alluded to with Sam and his experiences in Afghanistan. He doesn't worry about it too much unless he's forced to think about it, but it gives Ed reason to doubt him in "Element of Surprise":
    Sam: You wanna know what happened in Afghanistan, is that it? I was sniping an enemy compound from 1500 meters. The recce was done, and I was cleared to fire. When we went to do the ID, one of them was my buddy Matt. He shouldn't have been there. I was sniping with a .50 cal. All you had to do was ask.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sam.
    • "Nice post-incident reflexes, guys."
  • Death Glare: Ed Lane uses this on a cop who tried to prevent him from warning Parker that the cop investigating their incident has a personal vendetta against Greg.
  • Desperate Object Catch: The detonator to the necklace bomb.
  • Divorce Assets Conflict: Occurs in "Custody" where the father got both kids and it led the mother to kidnap her own children.
  • Domestic Abuse: What set off the events in "Asking for Flowers" where the cop husband was beating his wife and her sister has had enough.
  • Driven to Suicide: After being foiled by the SRU, a number of antagonists are driven to shoot themselves.
  • Dynamic Entry:
    • In "No Promises", while Jules and Sam are chasing a suspect, Ed comes out of nowhere to tackle the suspect and bring him down.
    • Similarly, Leah's return to the series has her ambushing and tackling a fleeing suspect.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Team One has varying degrees of this.
    • Parker was divorced from his wife due to his problems with alcoholism and hadn't seen his estranged son for years. His father was very strict (possibly abusive).
    • Ed has been having problems with his relationship with his wife and son, being more attached to the job than his family. After killing a desperate 18-year-old girl he's been having PTSD flashbacks and daily panic attacks.
    • Sam Braddock revealed in "Acceptable Risk" that he saw his younger sister being hit by a car and killed instantly when he was nine, plus his experience in Afghanistan which included a friendly fire incident.
    • Raf was sexually assaulted by a teacher and his Papa Wolf father was sent to jail for attacking the teacher.
    • Spike had some issues with his sick father who didn't approve of his career choice and struggled with extreme guilt over Lewis's death.
    • Leah lost a friend back when she was a firefighter.
    • Wordy appears to be most normal of the team, being Happily Married with three daughters but season 3 finale reveals that he is developing Parkinson's.
  • Easily Forgiven(ish): Ed learns that the mother of the girl he had to shoot a few episodes ago wants to see him and is totally unprepared when she forgives him. It takes several more episodes before he can forgive himself.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Spike doesn't mention his real first name if he can help it, although Parker calls him by it when he gets cocky. It's Michelangelo.
  • Episode on a Plane: Happened in "Grounded", when a group of armed hijackers took over a plane and forced them to land early.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Drug dealers and gangs are often shown to have family and genuinely care for them, such as the two drug lords who are brothers in "The Good Citizen" and the biker gang having a birthday party for their kids in "Below the Surface".
  • Exact Words: The first rule for negotiation is to never lie to the subject. So anyone negotiating has to be careful what they tell the subject.
  • The Fagin: Pete Joris in "Run to Me" has teenagers doing short cons and bank robberies for him.
  • Fair Cop : SRU Team One and Donna also..
  • Fallen Hero: Happens to SRU veteran Rangford who is regarded as one of the best but ended up having a breakdown over an old case.
    • Bill, Donna's ex-partner/mentor had fallen under the influence of alcohol, insubordination and suspected drug use and incidentally revealed his undercover team's names to the mob when drunk. Who then went to hunt down spouses/loved ones of each team member. The mob tells him that his choices are to let them kill Donna or personally murder her new husband. He gets the husband to trust him, drives him to a warehouse, and shoots him twice in the back. Though the husband survives, Donna almost shoots Bill before breaking down and saying that she hates him.
  • Family Versus Career: Something that Ed consistently faces. Majority of the time, career wins.
  • Fast Roping: Lewis and Jules are introduced practicing this, and fast roping is used from time to time throughout the series.
  • A Father to His Men: Parker to Team One. He cares greatly for each team member, can get fiercely protective over them, sometimes refer to them as "children" and at one point even tells Spike that he loves him like a son.
  • First Name Basis: Only Ed is allowed to call Parker by his first name "Greg". Everyone else calls him "Boss" or "Sarge". When newcomer Leah calls him Greg, she is corrected quickly.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Played with..
  • Foreshadowing: In "He Knows His Brother", as the team was heading into the woods to chase a teenager who had shot his father, Spike tells Lewis that he's uncomfortable in any woods because bad things tend to happen to "his people" in them. (According to Spike, the Romans have horrible luck in wooded terrain.) Later in the episode, Spike gets pelted with an small improvised explosive that temporarily sidelined both him and Lew. He even throws in an "I told you so."
    • In "Day Game", the practice situation with Raf in the beginning of the episode ends with the hostage taker committing suicide after releasing his hostage. Later that day, the team has a situation that ends almost the exact same way.
    • A season one episode has a veteran SRU officer almost lose his mind over an old case long after he retired. In season 4, Ed starts to lose his mind after being forced to kill a teenage girl.
  • Friendly Sniper: Played with the entire team, they are all nice and empathetic people who will kill you if they have to. Please don't make them have to.
    • Sam Braddock is much more outgoing and friendly than Ed Lane, but has no problems being absolutely serious and authoritative when the situation calls for it.
  • Friend to All Children: Played with. Parker is very good with children - even teenagers - and they appear to like and trust him too. But he often has trouble reconnecting with his own son.
  • Genre Savvy: Sometimes used by the hostage-takers. In a recent episode, two men were trapped in a room, with the SRU right outside the door and the house surrounded by police. Knowing they would back down if there was a hostage, one of them took the other hostage and was able to escape.
    • This happened again in another episode. The cops know that both men are criminals, so one of them shoots his partner in the leg to illustrate that he really is willing to kill his accomplice if the cops don't let him get away.
    • In "Lawmen", when cornered by a police sergeant who decided to break the law to get a drug gang demanding to get the bag of guns that they found, Clark (Ed's son) quickly gave him the bag when he was about to hurt Dean (Parker's son). While secretly hiding his cellphone into the bag so their fathers could trace the bag.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: In "Backwards Day", the husband did cheat on his wife, after frustrations of not able to have a baby overwhelmed them. However, he quickly realized that he loved his wife and not his mistress. The mistress, of course, felt differently.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Every member on Team One is very friendly and likeable off the field. They will try to negotiate and talk down the hostage taker first without violence but they will not hesitate to pull the trigger on anyone threatening to hurt a hostage. And if someone threatens a team member...
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Lewis dies after triggering a land mine, the actual event is very distant, out of focus, and obscured by dust clouds and scenery.
  • Gun Accessories: SRU units use a lot of modified guns. They also have attached flashlights, red dot sights and even more additions, not to mention various non-lethal weapons like fire suppressants and smoke grenade launchers. Interestingly enough, though they attach foregrips to their submachine guns, they tend not to use them, instead using the mag well as a grip.
  • Guy In Real Life: The "Laughing Man" robber is so desperate for an emotional connection that he's fooled by a teenage boy with an altered voice. The boy is using his sister's name to trick the vigilante into killing the his stepfather. The stepfather is likewise confused about why this guy is in love with his six-year old.
  • Happily Adopted: The two girls, Becky and Riley, in "Severed Ties" were happily adopted by two separate families, but their birth mother after being released from jail early wanted all three of them to be a family again, resorting to kidnapping to do it.
  • Happily Married: Wordy and Shelley. While they have their rough moments, Ed and Sophie ultimately end up pulling through. Donna and Hank, at least until 'Keep the Peace, pt. 1 when Donna is unfortunately killed in the line of duty.
  • Hard Head: Usually averted— if somebody is knocked unconscious they get medical care immediately. Played straight in the episode Shockwave, in which Sam is knocked out by a bomb blast for about ten minutes. When he awakes, he's apparently completely fine.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Justified. Special Response officers tend to remove their helmets before storming crammed spaces, as they can dangerously impair their vision and movement. The choice of whether to wear helmets or not depends on the needs of the situation, and the judgement of protection versus speed of movement.
  • Heroic BSOD: Several, particularly:
    • Donna Sabine, Jules' temporary replacement, undergoes one after being forced to shoot and kill a customs agent while safeguarding a serial killer. Overlaps with a Shower of Angst.
      • She gets one again when a crime family who she had helped take down years before starts hunting down the spouses/fiances/significant others of her and her old squad. Her new husband, to whom she was married at the start of the same episode, is shot and wounded in a revenge plot. Donna ultimately comes a hairsbreadth away from gunning down her ex-colleague, who turns out to have been responsible via a convoluted blackmail scheme, before the SRU team talks her down.
    • Spike, when fellow team member and friend Lewis Young dies after stepping on a land mine.
      • By extension, everyone on the team breaks down at this point. Ed and Greg are very good at hiding it, but watch Ed's jaw, and watch how Greg comforts Spike. Spike is just the closest and most visible.
    • Sam also, in the second season finale, when a lone deranged ex-soldier inside the Godwin Coliseum (AKA Maple Leaf Gardens), with whom Sam had started to make a connection over their ex-military backgrounds, is shot and killed (by his own design) while holding Spike at gunpoint. Sam subsequently states his desire to leave the team, but Ed and Greg both recommend a support group instead, stating that it's probably overdue.
    • The team as a whole has one following the events of "Broken Peace", after Ed is forced to shoot and kill the 18 year old daughter of the original subject (who had taken her mother hostage) when she draws a handgun, which she had gotten to protect herself from her father, and starts shooting at the subject to try to save her mother. The team spends the evening examining all of the ways that they could have prevented it, each member blaming themselves and each other for how the situation turned out. Ultimately, Raf decides to leave the team, because while the kill shot was justified by SRU protocol, he felt that justice would have been better served if the girl had been allowed to shoot her father. Ed's trauma eats away at him for the rest of the season (despite the girl's mother forgiving him) until he couldn't shoot a subject, went to his therapist and finally confessed how much he was affected: he sees her die every time he looks into his scope, he's been withdrawing from his family, and he's been hiding the panic attacks that he's had every morning since that night.
    • When Raf has to make his first kill shot in "Grounded", Ed and Sam immediately start talking him through what he's going to go through, because they know he's going to have a Heroic BSOD (and shows signs of it immediately).
    • Given that SRU is a life-saving organization, not a life-taking organization (just like real SWAT-like teams), any time a member of the team has to take a kill shot, it affects them badly. This includes Ed, the almost-gruff veteran, who, during the pilot episode, after killing the hostage-taker, has to be talked down and visibly has difficulty for the rest of the season, not just from taking the shot, but because the hostage taker's son ran into the line of fire just as he pulled the trigger - the few seconds it took to learn that he killed the HT instead of the son stayed with him for a long time. That said, the episode also clearly establishes that Ed is disturbed by having to kill anyone, even the HT. And the entirety of "Fit for Duty" deals with the emotional impact of Ed killing a girl a few episodes earlier( "Broken Peace")..
  • Hero of Another Story: There are at least four other teams (apart from Team One) on the S.R.U. roster. Only two of those teams are ever actually given real screen time and identified: Teams 3 and 4. In particular, Team 4 Sergeant "Troy" (never given the honor of a surname) is seen in 'Haunting the Barn' and 'Follow the Leader'. Donna Sabine, after leaving Team 1, is given a prominent role on Team 3 as the team leader. She returns to help her old team in 'Fault Lines/Personal Effects', is heard calling in her team's position in 'The Better Man', and finally in 'Keep the Peace, Pt. I'.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Greg appears to do so in the final episode when he takes multiple shots while defusing the final bomb. However, the final scene takes place after a timeskip of a year and reveals he survived, although forced to retire from active duty.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ed and Parker. Close friends and teammates for many years. Parker knows Ed always has his back and Ed knows he can talk to Parker about anything. Becomes doubly heartwarming when their two sons are developing a friendship like theirs.
    • Also Lewis and Spike. Which becomes a Tear Jerker when Lewis died and Spike still harbored guilt for letting his friend die.
  • Hostage Situation: And how! note 
  • How We Got Here / In Medias Res: Most episodes, start like this, showing the "flashpoint" of whatever situation the SRU is called in to deal with, rewinding to show how they got there, and then resolving the conflict. Started being phased out in Season 3, before it got more common again in Season 4.
    • Inverted in "Fit for duty" (the screen shows black text on a white background, rather than the inverse) with 'One hour later'
  • Human Shield: Happens a fair number of times. SRU doesn't let that stop them, however - there are always plans and ways to deal with this situation.
  • I Am Spartacus: In "Run, Jaime, Run" several of "Jaime D's" fans claim that they're him to act as a distraction for him.
  • I Call It "Vera": Spike (the team's demolitions expert) and "Babycakes," his anti-bomb robot.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Ed, reflecting his piercing and calculating personality to deal with the hostage takers accordingly. Donna, roaring at a captive (alleged) serial-killer to "Shut it!!!" when he started whistling in 'Clean Hands'.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Subverted at the end of Day Game, when Ed tries to reassure Greg that "You did what you had to do."
    • Greg always reassures his team about this whenever they have to take a kill shot.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Discussed in "Clean Hands", when some of the team fantasize about harming the prisoner they're protecting. Later invoked while trying to talk down the episode's antagonists, who are fellow law enforcement officers with a personal grudge against the prisoner.
  • Ill Girl: Ill boy in the case of Benji in "Thicker Than Blood".
  • I Never Got Any Letters: In the Season Four episode "Through a Glass Darkly", the estranged mother and grandmother of a hostage discover that they have both been writing letters to each other for years, which were intercepted by the hostage's grandfather.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: In "Through a Glass Darkly", the grandmother said she didn't even know she had a granddaughter but yet knew the granddaughter's name, tipping off Greg and Jules that she knew more than she claimed.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Happens quite often.
    • In "Whatever It Takes", Parker manages to convince the basketball player that life isn't all about sports and that the verbal and physical abuse his Jerk Ass coach did to him and his team was wrong before he tried to jump off the roof of his school.
    • In "Collateral Damage", a flash bomb is used to make Frank flinch, giving Ed time to tackle him and knock the gun away.
    • In "Forget Oblivion", Leah and Sam save a hypernesiac from suffocating himself with carbon dioxide in his garage to save his friend from being used for blackmail and to keep his overly photographic memory from being taken advantage of. He is then promptly kidnapped. From the ambulance.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Sam and the subject in "Clean Hands" briefly engage in this; Sam was special forces, the subject was infantry.
  • In Love with the Gangster's Girl: In "The Better Man", an undercover agent became involved with the drug leader's girlfriend and many of his actions to protect her and bring down the drug gang only led to trouble for himself and Team One.
  • In the Blood: Jules' father was a cop.
    • Also Sam served in the military and his father is a General.
    • Averted with the younger son in "Sons of the Father" who did his best to distance himself from his serial killer father's crimes. But played straight with the older son.
    • Greg's son Dean wants to be a cop.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: In "Lawmen", when Ed asks Dean (Parker's son) how he convinced his father to let him go on an escort ride with the team, Dean says it was because Clark (Ed's son) was interested in going too. Cut to Clark who looked like he never wanted to go in the first place and was bored out of his mind.
    • In "Backwards Day", the husband was telling Ed and Lewis how he regretted cheating on his wife with an old friend while said woman thought differently.
      Josh: That one night was the biggest mistake of my life.
      (cut scene)
      Hannah: It was the night that was always meant to be.
  • It's Personal: The investigator in "Acceptable Risk" made the interrogation on the team much harder and more demanding because of her personal grudge against Parker. Her partner was killed in action while in Parker's team and she wanted to get Parker arrested for poor judgement. It turns out it was her partner's fault, because he hesitated when Parker called Scorpio. note 
    • It didn't start out that way for a security guard who set up a robbery in order to be let back into the police force. When the team responds, it's revealed he was rejected from the SRU by Greg, causing his whole life to spiral out of control and he's been blaming Greg for every minute of it. And he's just as skilled and plenty trigger happy...
    • Parker's judgement can get affected whenever children are involved because he usually ends up thinking about his own estranged son.
  • Jerk Jock: "Perfect Storm" deals with a group of these bullying a classmate and said classmate snapping and bringing a gun to school.
    • "Whatever It Takes" plays with this trope as well, ultimately being traced back to the team's coach.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: A variation occurs in "Aisle 13" where the teenaged hostage taker acted arrogant and tough like he knew what he was doing, but Team One was easily able to see through his insecurities.
  • Like a Son to Me: Greg tells Spike he loves him like a son (in Italian) in the season 4 finale.
  • Like Fathers Like Sons: Dean and Clark, Parker and Ed's sons respectively, are appearing to develop a friendship much like their fathers.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: The premise in "A Day in the Life" where Valentine's Day is regarded by SRU as one of the toughest days of the year for hostage taking. Three cases are shown: a suicidal widower, a woman taking her daughter's manager of a strip club hostage and a recently fired man infatuated with his boss.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Team One makes use of ballistic shields on many occasions, which come in handy whenever more protection is needed.
  • Mama Bear: Inverted by the girl in "Broken Peace" saw her mother being assaulted by her abusive father, leading her to attempt to shoot and kill him.
    • Deconstructed in "Custody". A woman about to lose custody of her children kidnapped them and attempted to go across the border with them. When stopped by the police, she saw them as a threat and brought out a gun intending to shoot anyone who was going to take away her kids.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Donna and her fiance/husband where she is a cop and he is an IT.
  • Mission Control: The SRU's mobile command van.
    • Considering the characters, Spike most often has mission control. Oftentimes he is supported by Parker, or replaced by Jules if he is needed in the field.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: Laura in "Last Dance." Restaurant staff see her slurring her words, bumping into things, breaking a glass, and muttering incoherently to herself in the bathroom. They assume she's high on something. She's actually dying of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (a degenerative brain disorder).
  • Mood Whiplash: After Ed was able to reconcile with his estranged brother and the team was able to crack down on a third of the city's gun supply, all seems good- but as the episode ends, Ed goes home to an empty house after his wife leaves with their son to stay at her mother's house, and Parker warns Ed that things might stay that way.
    • A light moment in an otherwise tense situation, Parker says this as a way to ease his team's worries that Ed was being held hostage in "Never Kissed A Girl".
      Parker: "Okay, he's charming, he's good looking; Ed's going to be fine."
  • Mugging the Monster: Decontructed at the end of Season 3, when Ed, in a hurry to get to his wife, inadvertently gets the attention of a desperate man who points a gun at a uniformed police officer. The problem is that Ed left his sidearm back at the station, resulting in the monster not being very effective at the moment. It ends badly.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Haley's ex-boyfriend in "You Think You Know Someone" had this reaction when he found out that it was Haley who accidentally shot her mother, not Parker and realizing that his well-meaning intentions to get the truth out (including kidnapping and assaulting Parker) ended up hurting Haley.
  • New Meat: Sam.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Plenty of attempts by bystanders to intervene only make things worse.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Averted with Donna and her husband. When he first sees her in action, he tells her how much he admired her for remaining calm and doing her job so well.
    • Also averted with Sam and the way he refers to Jules as a "sniper chick" making it clear this is part of what attracts him to her.
  • Oh, Crap: In "You Think You Know Someone", Parker calmly tells his two kidnappers that they had just kidnapped, assaulted and are now unlawfully detaining a police officer. One of them already knew and didn't care. The other didn't know and began freaking out.
    • Sam's reaction when he asks Jules if she wants breakfast... and sees Greg standing in the living room.
  • One of Our Own: In many real-life cases, hostage-takers won't hesitate to use police as a Human Shield.
    • In one case, Ed went out of his way to involve himself in a situation, even though he was off-duty at the time, in an attempt to get the hostage-taker to let the civilian hostage go.
    • Jules did the same thing when she and her date were off-duty and happened to come across a man taking a restaurant hostage and ended up shooting someone. The date, who also happened to be a paramedic, ran inside to help and Jules followed him, resulting in both of them also being taken hostage.
    • Parker was kidnapped on his way to help Haley, a young girl he looked after from one of his previous cases. In another episode, an ex-cop specifically targeted Parker to get revenge.
    • Sam was also taken hostage once.
    • Spike in both "Behind the Blue Line" and "Blue on Blue."
    • In a more tragic example, in "Haunting the Barn", the subject is a retired SRU Sergeant who established the unit and trained many members, including Greg and Ed, and is suffering from hallucinations and an emotional breakdown.
  • Outlaw Couple: "Last Dance". Greg even refers to the fugitive couple as 'Bonnie and Clyde'.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: In "Day Game", Parker was held at gunpoint by the ex-cop who told him to redirect his team elsewhere. Parker reminds the team to "stay frosty", which immediately alerted the team that he was under duress. Unfortunately, the ex-cop quickly catches on after seeing the team taking different directions than those he has given them.
    • After two nurses were kidnapped and killed after their shifts in "Sons of the Father", all nurses were given a distress code of "Dr Armstrong" to alert authorities that they were being abducted.
  • Overprotective Dad: In "Jumping At Shadows", the father is shown to be Properly Paranoid when his daughter was a witness to a crime and was placed under witness protection, yet the people after her still managed to find her.
  • Papa Wolf: Once Ed Lane had enough suspicion that an investigator was specifically targeting Parker in her investigations about the team, he immediately went to warn Parker, breaking rules to get to him, even death-glaring a cop who tried to stop him.
    • Raf's father attacked a teacher who attempted to sexually assault his son. Unfortunately, it lands him in jail.
  • Parents as People: Ed struggles to be a good husband and father for his family but often puts the team first, causing strain with his wife and son.
    • Also Parker whose alcoholism had caused his wife to divorce him and his son to be estranged from him. Though in recent seasons, he has reconciled with his son.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Seen very briefly but in the season four finale, Dean (Parker's son) appears to get along well with Marina, a woman who showed interest in Parker in the previous episodes. Likewise, it's mentioned that Dean seems to like his stepfather fine.
  • Parenthetical Swearing: In "The Element of Surprise", it's evident that Parker and Naismith don't get along. When the team is getting ready to bust a drug dealer, Naismith gets into the same SUV as Parker, much to Parker's annoyance. He then tells Naismith in polite terms to shove off.
    Parker: "You know, I'm good here. You want to go check if your boys got the outer perimeter secure?"
  • Pet the Dog: Despite having a vendetta against Ed Lane and coldly shooting down a police officer who happened to be there, the Croatian sniper in "Between Heartbeats" owns a cat and makes sure to feed it before he leaves. He also doesn't choose to go the route of Revenge by Proxy when he was easily able to find Lane's son.
    • In "The Good Citizen", when the Vigilante Man was going after drug dealers and holding one of the main drug lords hostage, the drug lord's brother (also a drug lord himself) is offering money and anything, just as long as the vigilante lets his brother go.
  • Police Are Useless: Subverted and averted by the SRU team. But also played straight in certain cases, like in "Jumping At Shadows" where the team finds out the guys after a little girl found her house (which was under Witness Protection) because they bribed a police officer.
    • In "Perfect Storm", one of the targets of the bullied kid is the son of a cop. When the cop thinks that the shooter killed his son, he hunts the kid and guns him down as the situation is winding down. Parker then delivers an epic verbal beatdown, describing exactly how the cop failed in his duty.
  • Pregnant Badass: Jules in season 5.
  • Pregnant Hostage: In 'Aisle 13', one of the robbery-gone-bad hostages reveals to she is pregnant.
    • Earlier, in "Backwards Day", the hostage reveals that she's pregnant, which makes the subject even more unhinged (because the hostage had an affair with her husband).
  • Precision F-Strike / This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Parker, after a tense moment where it looked like the hostage-taker might shoot Ed. Fortunately, the team came in just in time and Ed got to safety. His exact words were "son of a bitch", with emphasis via smacking the table.
  • The Profiler: Doctor Luria, until she was removed from the series. Parker also fulfills this trope with regularity, although pretty much any S.R.U member can contribute something to a profile.
    • Jules seems to be shifting more towards this as the series progresses.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: Many hostage takers attempt this on Team One. Unlike other examples in other media, the most this gets them is the team backing away, and occasionally with their guns lowered. The only people who holster their guns are the negotiators note ; the rest of the SRU keeps the subject and negotiator covered.
    • Inverted in "Haunting the Barn", the only time this actually happens, as Ed disarms himself and removes all his gear, and steps toward the subject, so that he can talk down his mentor, who's suicidal and having an emotional breakdown. His mentor gets even more upset that Ed is doing something he was taught to never do.
  • Put on a Bus: Leah at the beginning of Season 3, Wordy a couple of episodes into Season 4, Raf after the Season 5 premiere.
  • Quitting To Get Married: In 'A New Life', Donna reveals to Ed on the way to her wedding that since she's put in 20 years of service, she's eligible for early retirement. She tells him that after her honeymoon, she'll be taking a package. Eventually averted when we see that she really hasn't quit after all in series finale 'Keep the Peace'. (It is never made clear if Donna actually retired and then returned, or if she simply changed her mind and stayed with the S.R.U. after 'A New Life'.)
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Invoked for Amy Jo Johnson's pregnancy when her character, Jules, is caught in the line of fire.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Wordy has no problem watching girl movies like "Lady in Waiting", because his wife and his daughters watch it all the time and he wants to take every opportunity he can to get to understand them better.
    • Parker wears a pink shirt in the second episode of the series.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Several cases:
    • Quite likely the fate of Irina, the Russian nanny in "The Fortress," who lets hey boyfriend and his gang into the house to rob her employers, then has a change of heart when the kids come early. After her boyfriend takes the kids hostage and threatens to kill them, she tries to fight him off, but he shoots her in the chest. We last see her being wheeled out of the house by paramedics.
    • A later episode has two men working together to kidnap a girl to get her wealthy, estranged, and dementia affected grandmother to pay a ransom, but the mother intervenes and is taken too. The leader orders the other to take the mother and kill her, but he fires into the ground and sets her free. Later, he frees the teenager rather than use her as a hostage, and is killed for his efforts.
  • Red Herring: Season 3 episode 2, "Severed Ties", opens with someone taking pictures of young children at a playground shortly before one of them is kidnapped, and the photographer is quickly identified as a recently paroled sex offender. It's just a coincidence, and one of those pictures helps identify the real kidnapper. He still goes to jail, though.
  • Revenge by Proxy: In "Acceptable Risk", the killer in question was targeting people who she felt betrayed her by accepting hush money after she filed a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company that made a drug that killed her husband. The killer would then cross the Moral Event Horizon by shooting an innocent woman who was shielding her husband. The team shot her before she could.
  • Right Wing Militia Fanatic: In "Follow the Leader", the SRU bust a white supremacist organisation, then have to stage a desperate search when the learn three members have escaped with bombs.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A young woman joins an activist movement and hijacks a riot to use as a distraction in order to get revenge against a cop who killed her best friend.
    • A mob boss's wife attacks the family members of the undercover cops who betrayed them with the accidental help of team's leader, who drunkenly revealed their names to a guy with a friendly attitude and a "pawn-shop cop ring", thinking he was a fellow member of the force
  • Running Gag: A major perk of being in the S.R.U is getting to wear the cool pants.
  • Sacrificial Lion / Land Mine Goes Click: Lewis Young at the start of the back half of the second season. After stepping on a landmine and keeping his foot held down firmly while simultaneously disarming a ''separate'' bomb. As the rest of the team evacuates a college campus around him and tries every angle possible to save him, he calls his family to say goodbye and sacrifices himself by deliberately lifting his foot off of the trigger. Cue team-wide Heroic BSOD.
  • Sadistic Choice: In "One Wrong Move", the team was trying to save Lewis who had stepped on a land mine. However if they let Spike try to disable it, there was a high chance that Spike could die too. No matter what the team does, they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. In the end, Lewis does a Heroic Sacrifice rather than let Spike endanger himself.
  • Screwed by the Network: CBS broadcasted the show in the US but never kept seasons together, instead airing parts at a time and without pause between season. Basically, it was treated as summer filler. ION now has American rights to air the episodes after "Shockwaves," so perhaps they'll air it more evenly.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Councilman Malone's father is revealed to have done this in "Coming To You Live", though for reasons that are not unsympathetic.
  • Security Cling: In their confusion of being surrounded by police, the two children cling onto their mother who lost custody of them to their father and had kidnapped them in "Custody".
  • Series Continuity Error: The age of Wordy's youngest daughter... early in series one, Wordy mentions that youngest daughter Ally doesn't have much hair, but has enough to braid, which makes it sound like she's a young toddler. This is backed up in the episode "Clean Hands" early in season 2, where Wordy tells Donna he wants to "be able to tuck in my baby girl tonight with clean hands." That episode ends with a shot of Wordy and a little girl who looks about three. But in the season 3 finale, Wordy says Ally is only two and a half, which would mean she wouldn't have even been born when season one began.
    • Donna Sabine's policing history varies wildly from 'Clean Hands' to 'A New Life'. She tells Wordy that she worked with Vice for "four years"; undercover for "two". Then she tells Ed on her wedding day that "You know I was a beat cop for eight years; Vice for ten; S.R.U. for two now." This ret-conning allows for Donna to claim that after a twenty-year law enforcement career, she wants to take early retirement and settle into happily wedded bliss.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Both Ed and Jules dress up to act as bodyguards for a VIP and his wife in "Eagle Two", much to the teasing of the team.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: There was a place where several soldiers who were dealing with PTSD could come and stay in "We Take Care of Our Own".
    • Sam has elements of this.
    • Ed deals with PTSD throughout much of Seasons One, Two, and Five.
  • Shock Collar: A girl in "The Planets Aligned", who's been kidnapped for years, has been kept inside a house by use of a shock anklet and being told that if she leaves the house, she'll die.
  • Shout-Out: One of the robber's signs of perpetrating a robbery in the 4th season resembles the one used by the Laughing Man.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Sam. At least early in the first season, he had many "duh" moments, where audience members at home knew more about how to handle a hostage situation than he did, and he's supposed to be a professionalnote . However, he can quote Paradise Lost, and he's a whiz at geometry.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In the beginning of "New Life", as Raf is chasing down a shooter, Donna's wedding ceremony was proceeding while a violin is playing in the background with an occasional more exciting remix added in. It ends with Donna and the groom kissing while the shooter is hit by a car but only the violin is playing.
  • So Proud of You: Parker says to his team in "Acceptable Targets", after a particularly grueling and difficult mission.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Happens between a boss and one of her co-workers in "A Day in the Life". The co-worker had become madly infatuated with the boss sending her emails and leaving gifts at her house. When she gently tried to tell him she wasn't interested and fired him as a result, he returned to the office with a gun so he could propose to her, believing now he had a better chance with her, Completely Missing the Point of said firing.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: A particular sad case in "Planets Aligned" where Penny was kidnapped by a man for eight years and he conditioned her to be scared of the police.
    • One of Greg's negotiating tactics is to invoke a mild form of this in subjects, by building a connection between them and him.
  • The Stoic: Ed.
    • Not So Stoic: When something threatens or hurts his team or family, he gets pissed. "Fit for Duty" is a great example of that.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: A number of subject have done this, usually as a desperate last play. The most tragic case is SRU veteren Daniel Rangford, who suffers an emotional breakdown and takes himself hostage, flipping between this and attempting to invoke Suicide by Cop.
  • Suicide by Cop: Multiple hostage-takers have or may have gone out by this method, with at least one doing so to secure his wife's financial future via the insurance payout after his death. If the team is able to identify that a subject is attempting Suicide by Cop and doesn't otherwise pose a danger, they will not shoot. Unfortunately, the circumstances rarely allow for that (though it has happened at least twice).
  • The Squad: But of course.
  • Taking You with Me: "The Farm": Guy starts a drug rehab facility and is quite normal until one of his patients goes back into the world, relapses, and dies; after that no one leaves (fortunately no one wants to). When he discovers he's dying of cancer he decides the best way to keep his patients safe from the scary world is to kill them (unusually, for a cult story, without their permission).
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Almost every member of Team One has had to do this. Sometimes it works, sometimes the talking distracts the suicidal long enough for an active interruption... and sometimes, no matter what they do, it doesn't work.
    • In "Attention Shoppers", Jules talks down Tasha before she could jump.
  • Team Dad / Team Mom: Greg Parker is the more empathetic leader of Team One, but often consults Team Leader Ed Lane about personnel issues and together they deal with the team. Greg cares for the team more openly than Ed, but Ed definitely keeps an eye out for anything that Greg misses and takes up the slack when Parker is off his game, especially when Spike's father dies and Parker is dealing with his doubts about his objectivity. Greg almost always consults Ed about issues with the team, unless he's trying to protect Ed from the ramifications of knowing (Jules and Sam's relationship) or letting the team member come to terms with a problem, like Wordy adjusting to the fact that he has Parkinson's disease.
  • Through His Stomach: Marina (the woman who Parker had rescued in "A Day in the Life") baked some cupcakes to thank the team, but as Jules pointed out later, those cupcakes were made specifically for Parker to hint at her interest/affection in him.
  • Title Drop: Never mentioned by the characters, but one of the show's producers, Anne Marie La Traverse, said that she hoped the show would take viewers to their "own personal flash point."
    • Nearly every episode has a character say the episode's title.
  • To Absent Friends: Ed Lane actually says this line, verbatim, in the closing minutes of the series finale. He follows it up by raising his bottle of beer, saying: "To Donna and Lou." The remaining members of the team follow suit.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Majority of the time, the team stays lawful as it is their duty as the police to uphold the law and not be judges.
    • In "Follow the Leader", Parker was shot and pinned down by heavy fire but ordered the team to continue finding the bombs. Ed and everyone else blatantly disobeyed him to get him out.
    • Spike and Ed agreed to get rid of the audio drive where it recorded Parker (who was held hostage by a deranged ex-cop) saying he had lied and broken protocol to protect his team. But Parker stopped them, saying there shouldn't be any more secrets.
    • In "Haunting the Barn", Parker earlier toys with keeping Daniel Rangford's breakdown and siege a secret, but ultimately decides to put it on record.
    • Ed lays it out in "Broken Peace": Their job is to enforce the law and follow the rules, which is why he shot and killed the girl who was trying to kill her abusive father to protect her mother.
  • Token Minority: Lewis, Raf, and Winnie the dispatcher.
    • Twofer Token Minority: Leah (African-American female) joins the team after Lewis' death. When Leah leaves due to "family issues" (her family lives in Haiti) African-Canadian rookie Raf takes her place. Leah rejoins the team after Raf decides this job isn't for him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sam's introduction to the team is to, while in street clothes and without stating that he's a cop, walk up to the uniformed and heavily armed team and offer to show Jules (a photo of) his gun, just after they have killed a subject. It's only due to the SRU commander's intervention that he isn't arrested or worse.
    • The people in "Shockwave" who had refused to leave whatever they were doing in the room because it was just a "fire drill". Even when a security guard and Sam in full police gear try to get them to leave and explicitly say it isn't a drill they refuse, resulting in all of them being trapped on the floor when the bomb goes off.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Tasha Redford. (See Break the Cutie above.)
  • True Companions: The whole S.R.U see each other like family.
  • The Un-Hug: In "Planets Aligned", Parker was congratulating Jules on a job well done while Jules wanted to thank Parker for helping her through the negotiation. Parker started trying to shake hands when Jules moved in to hug him, leaving a bit of an awkward moment while they were hugging.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In the pilot episode, Ed, in full police gear and carrying a sniper rifle, steps into a crowded elevator and casually asks someone to push the 10th floor button. The occupants look surprised, then amused.
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: At the start of "Day Game", Raf is trying to negotiate down a subject played by Ed. No matter what he does, Raf can't win (defined as everyone surviving); Ed kills himself in one round, Ed kills Raf another time... at the end of the episode, Raf figures out the solution: There is no solution, it's all about living with the choices you make, and a reminder that you can do everything right and things still come out wrong.
  • UST: Between Sam and Jules.
  • Vigilante Man: "The Good Citizen" deals with a man gunning down drug dealers because his brother had died because of a drug overdose from the same people.
  • Visual Pun: Sam and Ed shoot a few golf balls — with their sniper rifles.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: This happens often.
    • In "First in Line", the father of a dying girl grabbed a cop's gun when his child's donor heart went to a different person because she was at home (on orders from the hospital, to make it even worse), instead of at the hospital when the heart arrived.
    • A father who had just won custody rights for his children found out his children were missing from school. Hence him going to his ex-wife's lawyer and threatening him with a gun.
    • A sister of an abused woman wanted to stop the husband from hurting her sister again kidnapped him and held him at gunpoint.
    • A widow who lost her husband to a rare drug reaction and losing support of people who were bribed/accepted a settlement by the pharmaceutical company to keep it quiet promptly goes to a company's party and began shooting those people.
    • If you haven't figured it out yet, except in very rare cases, the people who SRU have to deal with are rarely clear-cut villains. Which is why the job is so hard on the members of the team.
    • A drug rehabilitation "expert" who honestly (if insanely) wanted to keep his patients safe from the outside world by killing them because he was dying of cancer and he was certain they couldn't survive without him. Ironically if he'd just told them what was up they might have gone along with it.
  • Wham Episode: The first part of the series finale, "Undecided Reality/Keep the Peace part 1", could possibly be considered the whammiest episode of the series. Jules and Sam get married and announce they are expecting. After they disarm a bomb later in the day, they figure out there are not one or two bombs, but in all likelihood - ten. They start going off around the city where everyone has loved ones and Dean and Clark are downtown. Dean and his girlfriend arrive at the station safely, but Clark is missing. They finally believe they've figured out who set the bombs, only to have their suspect subsequently get blown up — with Donna standing right in front of him. The episode ends with Donna's death and an unresponsive Clark buried in rubble in the City Hall parking garage. Whew.
  • What Could Have Been: The Original Pilot Script. included a romantically involved Jules and Ed (!) and a Sam who enjoys knitting (!!!), as well as other (more minor) changes. In an interview given by the series writers, it is also revealed they spent a lot of time working on the characters' romantic lives, and that Donna was initially going to be a negative force and a danger to the team that shook the trust and foundation of the SRU: In the writers' room with Flashpoint.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Rarely do we see the effects of the incident on the people involved, unless those people are the S.R.U.
    • The Russian nanny in "The Fortress" is taken off the scene by paramedics, but we never hear if she lives or dies.
    • The cop that shoots a suspect in "Perfect Storm" is verbally berated by Parker and cuffed by Lane, and then we never hear anything else.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: On his first mission with the SRU, Sam lets a paramedic with a live heart go alone into a live and dangerous hostage situation.
    • Of course, one also wonders why some regular cops didn't go with the medic.
    • Parker also gets one from Lane after exposing himself to an unnecessary level of risk while negotiating with an armed hostage-taker in "Custody".
    • Parker gets another one from Jules after being kidnapped in "You Think You Know Someone" for going on his own to help Haley, a girl he had helped in one of his previous cases, without calling for backup, which nearly resulted in him dying.
      Jules: You've got no right going around giving up your own life, trying to save everybody else's. Not if you don't have to. She's not the only one who needs you.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: the last scene in the series takes place a year after the events of the finale. Sam and Jules have a baby, Sam's now team leader for Team 3 (Ed's job), Ed has been promoted to Sergeant and is running Team 1, Greg's near-fatal injuries in the finale forced him to retire from active duty and he's now an academy instructor, Spike and Winnie are officially a couple and happily dating.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Justified. It is the team's job to ensure that each standoff ends with minimal-to-no casualties, which includes the life of the hostage taker. Lethal force is used only as a last resort. This is what differentiates S.R.U from S.W.A.T teams: S.W.A.T is the "takedown" team, leaving negotiation, profiling and other aspects to other groups, while S.R.U is fully integrated.
    • Deconstructed in "Acceptable Risk", when the investigator interrogating the team demanded to know why Parker didn't give the command to shoot the target when he had the chance. Parker, being the skilled crisis negotiator that he is, wanted to give the target a chance to surrender and prevent any further casualties.
    • In the episode "Haunting The Barn", Ed and Parker point out Daniel Rangford's contributions to S.R.U, pointing out that his efforts to educate on hostage negotiation and psychology changed the team from "straight S.W.A.T" to S.R.U, meaning they don't just shoot 'em, but rather try to talk down suspects and save lives. This is reflected in their name: They are the Strategic Response Unit, taking total control of a situation, rather than just a strictly tactical approach.
    • Deconstructed again in "Broken Peace" when Ed is forced to shoot a girl that has made an impression on the entire team instead of letting her kill her father, the hostage taker. The team runs down the options that they didn't really have because of the life saving protocols of the S.R.U. They couldn't use less lethal force because of the hostage taker's proximity to the target. They couldn't shoot to wound because she was an active shooter and could have continued to fire at the hostage taker. And they definitely could not let a civilian kill a perpetrator who wasn't presently an immediate danger, because they aren't judge and jury. They serve the law. The hostage taker wasn't firing and the girl was (she actually fired two shots already and was lining up for a third), so Ed took the shot.note  Unfortunately, Raf couldn't live with that version of keeping the peace,note  so Leah's back on the team.
    • And Deconstructed in the finale when they realize the bomber is utterly resentful of authority and has a Berserk Button about any form of psychology being used against him since that's what made him go Ax-Crazy. Being cops/negotiators, Greg acknowledges that they represent everything the bomber hates and there's no way they'll be able to do anything except take him down when they find him.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Parker appears to have some fear over heights or flying, as mentioned briefly in "Clean Hands" and "Day Game".
  • Wicked Stepmother: Played with in "Run Jaime Run" where a corporate robber falls in love with a girl online who claimed that her stepfather was abusing her. What the robber didn't know was that the "girl" was actually a teenager boy posing as a girl and wanted his stepfather dead. At worst, the stepfather neglected the stepson.
  • Working with the Ex: Jules and Sam during the time they broke up in season 2. Eventually by season 4, they got back together again.
  • Would Hit a Girl: If she's an active shooter, yes, Ed would shoot a female subject. Doesn't mean that it doesn't affect him.
  • Would Hurt a Child: There were a few hostage takers who wouldn't mind shooting or harming a child.
    • In "Lawmen", one of the first signs that Sergeant Matt was Jumping Off the Slippery Slope was that he was going to hurt Parker's son Dean for finding evidence against him.
  • You Just Told Me: In "Attention Shoppers", the team had caught one of the gang members gunning for Tasha Redford. They knew there were at least two others and wanted the captured gang member to identify some pictures of who else was involved. The gang member's eyes lingered a little longer on one of her friends, alerting Parker.
    • In the series finale, the team believes the bomber placed ten bombs, based on a list of complains they'd found. After five have been detonated/defused, Jules is talking to him on the phone and asks "Where are the other five bombs?" He answers "How did you know there are five?", confirming their theory.
  • You Killed My Father: Inverted. The son of the man who Ed was forced to kill in the pilot episode ("Scorpio") was after Ed in "Between Heartbeats" to avenge his father's death.

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