A show about a group working under the ICC. Looking for serial killers and others that hide by crossing the borders inside the European Union.
Detective Carl Hickman, formerly of the NYPD, was shot in the line of duty; he can no longer use his right hand. He is living in a carnival in Amsterdam, when he is approached by Detective Major Louis Daniel to join a new investigative unit under the International Criminal Court. Major Daniels son was killed by a bomb planted at his house. Michel Dorn is helping Major Daniel set up the new group to spot serial crimes being disguised by crossing the borders between European countries; he is also investigating the murder of Daniels son. He has worked with both Louis Daniel and his wife Rebecca, who prosecuted cases before the ICC previously.
Other team members come in from across the EU. Kommissar Sebastian Berger is a tech genius from Polizei Berlin in Germany; he has a gambling problem. Detective Tommy McConnel, weapons and tactical expert, was raised in an Irish Travellers Camp; his dad put a 10,000 pound bounty on his head when he joined the police. Sergeant Eva Vittoria is a former Mafia princess who is now an anti-Mafia undercover and covert operations specialist. Arabela Seeger is a former member of the Rotterdam PD and "Jill-of-all-trades" policewoman. Detective Sergeant Anne-Marie San (criminal analyst and trafficking specialist) was part of the team until the first episode of the second season, when she left the show, with Arabela replacing her.
The show was dropped by NBC due to poor ratings (2.06 million for the season one finale), but was picked up by Amazon Prime Instant Video for the second season (which debuted on August 15, 2014 in Europe). The second season has since appeared on various file sharing websites and is also available on Netflix.
A third season was recently aired, with the only returning cast members being Donald Sutherland, Tom Wlaschiha and Lara Rossi. To say that fans were... unhappy about this is a massive understatement. The series ultimately concluded with its third season in December of 2015.
Crossing Lines provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: In Tommy's backstory he was part of an Irish Travellers' Camp. When he joined the police, his father put a hit out on him.
- Accidental Aiming Skills: In Season 1, Episode 7: "Animals" - Hickman shoots the gun out of a suspect's hand. Tommy even says "That was pretty impressive, shot the gun right out of his hand." Hickman replies "Yeah, well I was aiming for his head. I told you I'm not left handed." (Hickman's right hand was injured and he cannot use it.)
- Actor Allusion: Hickman swallows his pills with a little shake of his head - exactly what Fichtner did as Agent Mahone.
- Adult Fear: Detective Major Louis Daniel and his wife, Rebecca Daniel, are living this. Louis' backstory and possible motivation for setting up the unit is the murder of his son. The covert side investigation into the boy's death is one of at least two arcs in the first season. He has learned the Russian may have planted the bomb that killed his son. The Russian is also running the crew in the second episode. Turns out the son was not the target - Rebecca was.
- Anyone Can Die: In "Pilot - Part 2" Sienna, one of the cops, is killed, just after the kidnapped Anne-Marie is saved because she disrupts the serial killer's ritual. In the second season opener we find out that Anne-Marie died in a car crash, and in the second season finale Louis is shot and killed. Along with the implication that Eva's body was discovered by Dorn in a hotel room bed.
- Asshole Victim: In the series finale, leaders of an anti-immigrant, antisemitic, anti-EU, antizigan and racist far-right Romanian group are killed. The team makes no secret about their disgust for what they advocate even while trying to find the killer.
- Diplomatic Impunity: Dealt with this in the pilot, as the serial killer was a member of the US diplomatic corps.
- Dirty Cop: One of the foremost sex traffickers in Europe is revealed as a police officer. He even guards a girl who escaped from his henchmen when she's being treated in the hospital.
- Disappeared Dad: Sebastian, through no fault of his own, was one to his son Erik. For the first years of his life, Erik's mother didn't tell Sebastian he existed. When they met again six years after the pair broke up and he grew suspicious about her son's paternity, she admitted he's the father. He's upset, but she tells him it's because he was a gambling addict at the time, nearly making her bankrupt with his debts. So she didn't want him in their son's life, and he understands. After this however he cleans his act up and starts a relationship with his son.
- Everyone Has Standards: Tommy's family are all professional criminals, but they refuse to deal drugs, and are horrified that they not only unwittingly helped other Irish people do this but that the drugs were also poisoned.
- Giant Mook: One of Genovese's thugs is a hulking giant who gives Tommy the beating of his life in the Season 1 finale.
- Grand Finale: "Obscura" concludes the show with a poignant final scene in which the team celebrate their recent victory and Dorn mentioning the past events that happened to the team.
- Hollywood Law: The International Criminal Court does not have any authority to set up a police team akin to the one that's shown in the series, nor does their jurisdiction cover cross-border offenses in the EU.
- Incompatible Orientation: Luke is about to ask Arabela out, but then her girlfriend walks in and they start kissing. He's quite upset because he thought Arabela showed interest in him, though she denies it. Luke actually threatens to quit as a result, but later apologizes to Arabela over his behavior, saying it was because he really cares about her, but also accepts that they'll only be friends.
- Interpol Special Agent: In real life, the International Criminal Court deals with war crimes and genocides committed by governments and quasi-governments. They have no police force of their own, and no interest in crimes committed by individuals, no matter how bloody or horrible. You only have to look at the rows created by the European Arrest Warrant to see how much fury any proposal to implement this show's concept in real life would cause, a fact of which the show's producers are more than aware of, since in every episode the team receives only reluctant assistance from the local police departments.
- The Irish Mob: Tommy's family are Irish Travellers who have their own criminal operation.
- Mixed Ancestry: Arabela Seeger is the child of a Dutchwoman and Nigerian man. The killer (a Russian) in the series finale also has a daughter with her deceased husband, an Angolan.
- No Bisexuals: In one episode a man whose death they're investigating is revealed to have had affairs with men on the side. His wife and everyone else never bring up the possibility that he was bisexual, not gay, despite the long and apparently strong relationship they had otherwise.
- Rape as Backstory: Carine reveals that she was raped while held at knifepoint when she was just seventeen, with her rapist never being caught. However, in her case, she brings it up to show that she's put the trauma behind her by the present.
- Roguish Romani: Tommy and his whole family are Irish Travellers. He's been disowned for becoming a police officer as they're also gangsters.
- Sherlock Scan: Subverted as when Louis sees Carl in the pilot, Carl is detailing the history of a young woman attending the carnival with ease. When Carl has a bout of doubt working his first case with the team, Louis insists Carl is still a top investigator by citing the incident. Carl, however, reveals that he had seen the woman at the carnival numerous times, listening into her talks and that is how he knew all the information, not by a simple look.
- Suicide, Not Murder: In "Enemy of the People" the victim at first appears to have been thrown out a window. It turns out he was blackmailed though, and killed himself to expose the people behind this by making his death appear to be murder, along with insuring his family got the life insurance (as most policies do not pay out for a suicide).
- Sympathetic Murderer: A retired Russian hitwoman serves as one in the series finale, who is targeting leaders of a Romanian far-right group because supporters killed her husband just because he was black.
- Thieves' Cant: Tommy and his brother talk in Travellers' Cant while held in an interrogation room together so that watching police can't understand. London, however, knows it too.
- Time Skip: Six months passes between seasons two and three, between which the team has been dissolved, with most members never to return.
- Translation Convention: Even in private, Europeans speak English to each other when they aren't native English speakers and they share another language. The news in non-Anglophone countries is even in English. Apparently the producers felt subtitles are too difficult for their American audiences.
- Western Terrorists: In "Family Ties", it turns out that an extreme Irish nationalist group is committing some mass poisonings of English civilians by dealing tainted cocaine, and hope this will restart The Troubles.
- Wham Episode: The season two finale. The psychiatrist was in on the whole thing, is a sociopath, and murders Louis by shooting him several times in cold blood. Meanwhile, Eva has discovered her father is still alive and goes missing while looking for him, leaving Dorn to find a huge pool of blood on her bed - with the implication that she has been murdered.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: One suspect claims to Dorn that his people would call him a hero, while in The Hague he's a terrorist. However, Dorn rejects this, retorting that he's just a criminal.