Crisis: Did NBC's Kidnapping Drama Grab You?

NBC Crisis Review PollNBC’s Crisis began unfolding this Sunday night — but can this new drama keep your attention captive?

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Disclosure: I’m a sucker for anything Washington, DC.-related. In fact, that’s what nudged me to finally cue up the pilot for a little show called Scandal a little over two years ago, famously sluggish as I am in getting around to midseason screeners. (Good call on checking that one out, Matt!) I mean, I will watch The American President each and every time I come across it on cable.

The crisis at the heart of NBC’s newest Sunday night drama is the hijacking of a school bus carrying the high school-aged kids of D.C.’s elite — including the president’s own son, Kyle; Amber, the daughter of corporate titan Meg Fitch (played by Gillian Anderson); and Beth Ann Gibson, one of two harder-scrabble teens who only got into the lofty Ballard High via scholarship. Equally deflating for Beth Ann is the fact that her horrifically coiffed father, Thomas (Dermot Mulroney), an apparently disgraced former CIA analyst, is among the trip’s chaperones.

At the time of the initial abduction, which was orchestrated in part by a dirty(-ish?) Secret Service honcho, one of the kids, smarty pants Anton, is whisked away to safety by What an Awful First Day I’m Having Secert Service Agent Marcus Finley. While Marcus makes like Rambo/John McClane, drawing one of the baddies into a honey trap, FBI agent Susie Dunn back in Washington wrangles the most powerful PTA in the world, all of whom want answers and action — and one by one will be coerced by the kidnappers into helping abet the master scheme, in the name of protecting their kids. (In the first episode, Anton’s dad is leveraged into sabotaging a government satellite; next week, Meg covertly fulfills a “simple” task, unaware she is playing a part in something more sinister. And at some point, yes, you’ll get Lily Snyder in a bomb vest.)

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The first episode you saw tonight dealt by my count two-and-a-half to three twists: One, Beth Ann’s dad isn’t the complete dork she believes him to be; guy’s got skills, but apparently landed on the wrong side of a CIA scandal back in the day. Two, Mr. Gibson, despite all appearances to the abducted kiddies, is the mastermind of this plan, and I guess was game to give up a pinkie for the cause. What we are to wonder, I assume, is if he has a sinister endgame or himself was leveraged into running this op (but ultimately plans to torpedo it).

And then at hour’s end there was the Susie Dunn reveal — that she is more than just an “aunt” to kidnapped Amber Fitch, she is actually her mother, but had her sister Meg raise the kid for reasons TBA. And likely because of that, the sisters have been estranged, but now must try to work together toward a common good.

Next week, a parent besides Meg gets coerced into doing something sketchy; Finley sadly isn’t exactly regarded a hero for his bravery there with Anton; and the kids start getting anxious about those seemingly getting preferential treatment.

What did you think of Crisis? Will you be tuning in again next week?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Tran 2.0 says:

    I give Crisis an A. Don’t know if the series is going to hold up but depending on how good or bad Crisis is right now, I’m totally hooked every Sunday nights. BTW, Dermot Mulroney’s character is Francis Gibson NOT Thomas ’cause I don’t know why they manage to change the first name.

    • wink says:

      Give it an A? F is possibly too high. The show should be over after the first episode. After the first episode the Secret Service Agent and Anton were rescued. Please tell me, how far can an agent with a gunshot wound and a fat kid run over uneven, wooded terrain? A mile? The entities that rescued these two should have found the others in about one minute flat after rescuing the first two people.

      • Sandy says:

        What are you talking about ? The kids were taken in another truck ! So they could be anywhere right now.

        • w says:

          M-A-Y-B-E. But you still have not answered my question – Do you expect a Secret Service Agent who has been shot and is toting a fat kid to outrun a gunman over uneven wooded terrain? Please tell us that you really can think.

          • Stephanie Weissinger11 says:

            Do you believe any of the crap you see on tv reality shows? Com’mon, this is tv…

  2. iMember says:

    Didn’t see it because I was too busy watching a a standout episode of REVENGE. Might catch it sometime if it doesn’t end up cancelled and word of mouth is good.

  3. Babygate says:

    It wasn’t perfect but it was a really good effort. IMO, the weakest player is DeMint Mulroney which surprises me but his performance was truly subpar. Agent Finley is my new crush. Loved him…

  4. Kenny says:

    NBC saved their best shows for midseason

    • tiffanie says:

      I agree I even think crisis is better than the blacklist. Don’t understand anyones thinking that this is not a great show. NBC definitely needs to put pilot on again on another night like they did other shows. The next episodes even look better. By far their best show this year

  5. David4 says:

    It’s average 90s TV movie feel. Nothing horrible, but nothing that should go on for ever.

    • Ram510 says:

      It did have a 90’s feel of an average to less than average movie. At times it made me think of Trauma. Crisis will not last

      • David4 says:

        I agree. This would have worked better as a true miniseries of 5-6 two hour parts. There is just no point to the show because we will never get answers and the characters are horrible and so is the acting.

        However Max Schneider is an amazing singer that played one of the students and is stunningly beautiful to look at.

  6. Robby Horine says:

    I know this is going to sound mean, but to push their bad-guy cred, the kidnappers need to whack a few kids. It would run counter to the notion that domestic terrorists, no matter how evil, would never kill a kid(fact it, domestic or foreign, a terrorist is a terrorist. They only want victory and will do anything to achieve it). Have Max Martini do it. He almost aways seems to play borderline psychos these days.

    • Shemica says:

      I don’t think the bad guy cred is that important. If you kill the kids they would lose their leverage. Unless they just kill the scholarship kid, but it’s no reason to do that.

  7. trf says:

    X-files fan here – no comments on the spray painted red x on the highway early in the episode? Or the closeup of the pair of eyes looking into the light right after the kidnapping (ala Scully’s kidnapping?) – Homeage to the x-files….and the black helicopters near the end?? C’mon people No credit to the writers for throwing these in a Gillian Anderson series?

  8. EJ says:

    I just find Rachel Taylor to be relentlessly uninteresting. One of the reasons 666 Park Avenue didn’t work was because of how bland she was. She epitomizes what Emma Thompson said in a recent interview-a lot of models are getting cast in everything. And Taylor seems like a model trying to get experience as an actor on a TV series.

  9. Frohickey says:

    When Mulder shows up, this show will get rolling!

  10. Blue Sunflower says:


  11. James D says:

    loved it. not the best thing I’ve seen but a very interesting plot, and a decent cast. I’m sorry but Rachel Taylor has the worst American accent i’ve ever heard, it was very distracting, i wish they’d found a way to let her talk in her Australian accent. other than that it’s got enough to keep me interested.

    • Alicia says:

      Apparently you have never heard Anna Torv, I love her, but she is almost worst when she let hers slide on Fringe.

  12. Ligeia says:

    Overall I liked the first episode, but I am wondering how they are going to be able to sustain this plot for the whole season – and beyond. As it stands now, the storyline seems more appropriate for a mini-series. Otherwise, I fear it will take the same path as Revolution, which should have mercifully resolved the story at the end of the first season, rather than being forced to continue to add new characters and increasingly kookie sub-plots.

    • tiffanie says:

      I agree with the revolution thing its become so unbelievable now I cant hardly stand to watch it this show is great though. I don’t understand anyone nitpicking on accent or Rachael Taylor yeah she has bad luck with 3 shows but she ain’t that bad. This show is exciting and more terrorist could do something different for another season. Really good and definite not like a 90″s show

  13. Alicia says:

    This show could be better. The best part was the reveal about dermot Mulroney, but Rachael Taylor sucks sorry! This show has some cliches that I could have done without, but I’ll watch it again to see what happens. I think the show lost some of the it’s credibility when the decided that the teacher/student love them needed to happen. Honestly it’s hard to see James Lafferty as anyone, but Nathan Scott especially since his acting isn’t that great! Overall, the best part is the idea of this even though it seems more like an idea for a TV movie or mini-series.

  14. Ethel says:

    Is Mark Valley a regular on this show? I have it recorded but caught the last 2 minutes os so when I changed the channel for the news. If he is in it, I will be a faithful watcher.

  15. Dani says:

    The directing was terrible IMO. It made for a lot of awkward scenes in the beginning and took a lot of the emotions that should have been there away. Otherwise the story is good but I found nothing that interests me that much. If NBC would decide to cancel the show right now, I wouldn’t say ‘Oh no the pilot was so good’.
    CRISIS would work perfectly has a TV movie or a six-part mini-series. For anything else, can’t see it right now but who knows what the upcoming weeks will bring. I may watch another episode or two before I decide if I stick with it or not…

  16. Mitchell says:

    I thought that the pilot episode was okay. I will watch the next episode and see how it goes, will definitely give the show a chance before I decide if its worth my time.

  17. Annie says:

    It was *excellent* – much better than many of the premieres of new shows earlier in the season that I’m still watching. Well done. Now, if they can maintain this pace and level of crazy – we’ve all been burned before (“Smash” I’m looking at YOU) – I’m in.

  18. toni says:

    The pilot was ok. Hopefully the acting and directing will get better. I’ll hang in for a few more episodes to see Agent Finley in action!

  19. April says:

    Since this is one of those shows that seems to thrive on twists….I’m calling it right now. Agent Finley is in on it. They set it up to make him look like a hero so he could get inside information on the investigation.

  20. kcc says:

    Gillian Anderson and Lance Gross are the two best things about the show.

  21. Anna says:

    I enjoyed it! I’m intrigued by the backgrounds of these characters, and Gillian Anderson was stunning. NBC has a good duo in Believe and Crisis.

  22. Claire says:

    I’m here for Gillian Anderson. Gave it a C tho

  23. Rob N. says:

    “Honey trap?”

    I don’t think Marcus tried to seduce the guy

  24. Tina B. says:

    I loved it! Could someone please help me out and tell me what happened between Mark Valley and Dermot Mulroney’s characters? I could hardly hear what they were saying, but I think Mark’s character, the best friend threatened Dermot’s character, why? I am hooked on this show.

    • johnhelvete says:

      Mulroney was a CIA analyst, an operation went bad and Valley threw Mulroney’s character under the bus for what happened, which caused Mulroney to lose his job.

  25. Ruh says:

    I agree with others shuld be mini series movie
    To get everyone hooked its both b and c

    • johnhelvete says:

      According to the creator of the show, the story line is resolved at the end of the season and season 2 (if it gets renewed) will have a new story line.

  26. KMG says:

    I really liked it. Didn’t see the twist coming with Dermot Mulroney’s character. The twist with the Secret Service agent who shot his partner being chained up in the command center was a surprise, too. The plot twist about Gilian Anderson’s daughter was a surprise, but not one I care about much. I think whether the blond class president is agent Dunn’s daughter or niece doesn’t make a ton of difference to the plot… either way, her familial love for the character will affect her own character’s judgement and impartiality. BTW, Matt, I think you missed one important point: Mulroney’s character is apparently NOT the mastermind here. The fact that Mark Valley threatened his daughter (and that was apparently the beginning of his strained relationship with her) suggests that he is also being forced to do at least some of this against his will.

    • johnhelvete says:

      Had to go back and watch the scene with Mark Valley again, didn’t catch the line about the sniper. That scene was changed from the original pilot. In the original pilot the daughter was younger and Mulroney’s character received a phone call about the operation that went bad and he was fired because he was the fall guy. The actual version with Valley is more cryptic, but you could view the scene as Valley forcing Mulroney to take blame for the operation, which Mulroney had nothing to do with and if he doesnt Valley will kill the daughter.

  27. Bob Smith says:

    Has a limited-series feel to it, ala Hostages. Not sure where they go after the kiddies have been rescued. Can’t keep them kidnapped for three or four seasons, can they?

  28. david says:

    Very good show (surprisingly). I’m not sure if the premise could make it past a 1 season arc (or if was possibly designed to be a one and done) but overall it was exactly what it should have been. Netflix has kind of ruined me and now I just want to keep binging and watch the next episode!

  29. Wally says:

    I stuck with the whole show despite the urge to turn it off after the kidnap scene. The premise is ridiculous and to get into it you have to totally suspend belief and common sense. The bus (with the Prez’s own kid and dozens of other VIP progeny) drives from DC across the Potomac into Virginia, and yet ends up back north of the city in rural Maryland, with one, count ’em, ONE (1), Secret Service escort vehicle with only 2 agents, one of them a rookie. A winding 2 lane country lane seemingly in the middle of nowhere, and no cellular signal. This whole scenario stretches incredulity to the breaking point. Unless perhaps the agents had only been armed with flintlock muskets. No, my Sunday nights are still free to enjoy The Big Broadcast of old time radio shows on public radio from WAMU FM.

    • Jay says:

      There were two escorts vehicles, they sent one of them up a head to secure the area right before the kidnapping.

  30. kimpie says:

    Crisis feels more like a regurgitated “Missing”, which was a better show. I also felt robbed that they reveal that the girl’s father was involved in the hijacking of the bus. That should have been something that should have been kept secret. And it was way too obvious that when they took the father into the other room and didn’t show his finger or thumb being cut off. FAKE.

    • Sandy says:

      Er, we saw a girl putting the finger in ice. I think we can agree it was definitely cut off ! lol (and it was the pinkie finger)

  31. Sheldon W. says:

    Didn’t we just see this idea (hostages to force criminal behavior in others) on CBS’ Hostage? *Yawn*

  32. dee123 says:

    Gillian Anderson is too good for this crap.

  33. Angy Cox says:

    I give the show a B-, but I give you an A+ for the Lily Snyder reference!

  34. ToHelenBackAgain says:

    “…and one by one *will* be coerced by the kidnappers into helping abet the master scheme, in the name of protecting their kids.”

    You seem awfully sure of this being a continuing format, Mr. Mitovich. Have you seen the entire season? We’re wondering about this very question on IMDb, whether or not it’s a parent-of-the-week, every week, throughout.

  35. Jihn says:

    Crisis would make a great movie. As a series it’s a bust. Too drawn out. They are dealing in hours we are watching in weeks shattered by commercials. Time to stop watching.

  36. Janice says:

    This is so bad and all it does is get worse. 2 and1/2 shows and nothing is accomplished except the main idiot making toast. I shut you off for good.

  37. w says:

    WOW!!! Have never seen episodes like this before. The April 6 episode has a parent donning a “suicide vest” because she “wants to save her kid”!!?? All I can do is ask the writers: Is your habit expensive. Oh, and someone pass a note to the blonde playing the FBI agent – buy a blouse that buttons all the way, you do not have enough boob to flash.

  38. Lisa says:

    I gave it a C. I actually missed the pilot and started in with Eps 3 and 4. I’ll keep watching, but mainly looking for more James Lafferty!

  39. Jykia says:

    I really like this show. An A+ is too high but a B+ is too low. It is really fast paced and it could be touched up abit. I’m not sure why the rating and reviews are so bad.

  40. lovethisshow says:

    i love this show!<3 and i love amber i am really excited what is going to happen.

  41. Pam says:

    I like the show, but am ready for it to end and a new subject to start. Had I known it was continuous I would not have started to watch.

  42. Scott A Babock says:

    Crisis has become tedious. Plot has slowed to crawl with no movement towards an end. Was a fan to begin with, now not so much. Need more Gilian Anderson.

  43. anonemussseasdfasd says:

    Jumped the shark already. First episode OK. Steadily and quickly downhill.