Crossing Lines S1 Ep10 "Pilot" Directed By Daniel Percival Writing credits (in alphabetical order) Rachel Anthony Edward Allen Bernero Oliver Hein-Macdonald
Imagine a super team of european cops and a belligerent ex-NYPD detective team up to solve crimes and galavant across Europe. Of course they all have their own little quirks and roles in the group. Carl Hickman(William Fichtner) is the Sherlock of the group. Major Louis Daniel is team leader with a tortured past. Tommy is Irish and hates his family. Anne-Marie San is the spunky young French officer with super memory. Sebastian is the tech guy. And Sienna Pride is British and the odd (wo)man out. There is also a Italian redhead who does something special but just gets lost in the shuffle. They are more X-Men than Justice League, with Donald Sutherland in the role of Professor X.
All of that analogizing makes Crossing Lines sound more interesting than the pilot makes it out to be. The various marketing material show chases, what appears to be bank heists, some solid action adventure kind of stuff that you would find in a TV movie. The two hour, two part, pilot has none of those things. Instead we get the tired trope of ritualistic serial killers, violence with sexual overtones, and a brilliant cop who has plenty of issues. Take away all the lower thirds that say “France”, “Germany” or “Netherlands” you have typical procedural stuff in slightly exotic, but in no way memorable, settings.
There is a distinct lack of artistry or sense of style. Making the two part pilot just drag on and on. The commercial breaks were also not in their normal spots making any sense of momentum fleeting. Even after one of their gets kidnapped nothing is really heightened. The show plays the normal well worn beats to illicit some kind of tension. Never really succeeding in that venture. Lines even kills one of the teammates and I was left unmoved, even after the show had invested time in building a relationship only to snatch it away. It never got me to care in the first place so as the coroner zips the person up it is no different than any other moment of the show. Just one less name and face to remember. Which is for the best because none of the characters are all that memorable at this point.
Pilots are hard to do. You have to explain the premise and get a large amount of exposition out of the way, and then do it all over again in the second episode. On that front Crossing Lines does a decent job. None of the characters really move beyond archetypes but that never happens in episode 1. Even their backgrounds and what the portends to future episodes could be interesting. The meat of this episode was just generic and not in the good sense. Overall this seems like a decently watchable show if you just want something to vegge out to on a Sunday night before beginning another work week. Counting the two part pilot there, 6 episodes are used for two part stories. Those could be interesting and give the right TV movie kind of vibe. Or they could just be long drawn out boring messes like the pilot.
Michael Mazzacane can be found on Twitter @MaZZM and at mazzz.net . In both places he wonders if the Internet will fail GiantBomb and Cards Against Humanity search for the prono shot in their space. Why can’t we have civil discussion on the internet about serious topics. And when/if Much Ado About Nothing will actually play in his area.