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Cherry Pop

'Flashpoint: The Fourth Season'
(Mark Taylor, Hugh Dillon, Amy Jo Johnson, Enrico Colantoni, Michael Cram, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2012 / CBS)

Overview: 'Flashpoint,' here now in its fourth season, is a drama which depicts the emotional journey into the tough, risk-filled lives of a group of cops in the SRU (inspired by Toronto's Emergency Task Force). It's a unique unit that rescues hostages, busts gangs, defuses bombs, climbs the sides of buildings and talks down suicidal teens.

DVD Verdict: Weirdly, from my usually eagle-eye point of view, until this fourth season I never knew, or caught on that 'Flashpoint' was/is a Canadian police TV drama series! Sure some of the accents were undoubtedly Canadian, even the ones doing American accents, but until some of these episodes I'd not been unaware of its actual setting!

Anyhoo, moving on and this short 13 episode fourth season flashes by (no pun intended) quickly if you settle down into it, but at no time does it let its foot of the gas. The tension is taught, the scenes chock full of hold-you-breath situations, their endings never guessable.

As you all should know by now, 'Flashpoint' focuses on a fictional elite tactical unit, called the Strategic Response Unit (SRU), within a Canadian metropolitan police force. The SRU are tasked to resolve extreme situations that regular officers are not trained to handle including hostage-taking, bomb threats and heavily armed criminals.

In the first episode, 'Collatoral Damage,' we get straight into the heart of the action with a court room scene that quickly escalates into two escaped convicts on the run. This episode is a very, very reality-based story and one that will have you with tears in your eyes come the end. In 'Thicker Than Blood,' a bank robbery with misty motives is the lead, but things change very quickly. This is yet another massively emotional episode to have to watch. I dare you not to have tears again for this one too!

In 'No Promises,' after a violent vehicle collison, a hostage situation unfolds, but there's more to who took who than meets the eye. In 'Terror,' on her day off Jules and her EMS male friend witness a shooting in a restaurant and get involved in what the shooter believes is a terrorist plot. In 'I'd Do Anything,' a credit card cloning undercover operation goes wrong and in 'Fault Lines' the entire team is called in for Tactical Evaluations by Dr. Toth. Lots of secrets and fears are brought to the surface for each member, but with the possibility of losing people, they strive to remain a unit under pressure. And, come the end of this mid-season episode, one of the team gets shot seven times on his way to see his new baby girl be born.

In part 2, 'Personal Effects,' that team member survives (of course!), helps calm his wife down enough to have a healthy baby girl, and then goes into his own surgery on his arm and hand re: gun shot nerve damage. In 'Good Cop,' when a cop mistakenly shoots and kills a teenage boy and yet is found innocent, Team One confronts a rioting crowd outside the court house. But one of the crowd seems to have their own personal agenda.

In 'Run, Jamie Run,' a (very) young pro activist against big companies is suddenly given some mis-information and sets out to destroy the person put in his mental cross hairs. In 'Through A Glass Darkly,' a young girl and her mother are kidnapped, but things are definitely not what they seem. In 'The Better Man,' an undercover drugs sting goes badly wrong, Wordy has a big thing to reveal to his unit, and a killing happens towards the end on a bridge that is sad, shocking and unexpected.

In 'A Day In The Life,' it seems Valentine's Day has brought all the freaks out as it's one call after another for the team. And they have a new guy in the unit now in place of the departed Wordy. A rookie with good stats, he shows his rookiness straight off, but seems to fit in very nicely. And in the final episode, the riveting 'Shockwave,' a building is fitted with a massive bomb that tests the mental strength of Spike - all the way down to the wire!

But, and sadly, after 75 episodes, the award-winning show is ending. The news broke a couple of weeks ago that fans will now have to say goodbye to this powerful show ... but not until after Season 5. Which at least means it can go out prepared, scenes filmed that it wants, needs to, all the loose ends tied up neatly for the audience. This is a Widescreen Presentation 1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

The Music of Flashpoint
On The Set of Flashpoint
Sgt. Gregory Parker: A Case Study