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Lance Gross stars in crisis of a TV pilot for 'Crisis'

Actor Lance Gross attends The Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball II at Harman Center for the Arts on January 20, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images

'Crisis' pilot TV episode


Lance Gross is easy on the eyes, but this new show "Crisis" he starred in on Sat., March 22, is not easy on the brain.

Initially the problem is viewers aren't really sure he can pull off being an FBI agent. Similar to Meagan Good in "Deception," the actor may have been labeled as a little too laid-back for the role. Gross' fans have seen him pull off crying scenes in Tyler Perry's "House of Payne" and get frazzled in films, such as "Temptation," but the hard edge of an FBI agent is difficult to pull off. And from the pilot episode, he was still just a little too calm for someone under the circumstances of a new FBI agent named Marcus Finley who is dealing with saving an entire bus full of kidnappings, including the president's kid.

But that wasn't the real crisis in "Crisis." The rest of the show was awful, but oddly awful because there are too many good actors who were forced to do a poor job thanks to unbelievable dialogue and ridiculous action directions.

The "best" worst examples are:

  • Francis Gibson (played by Dermot Mulroney) plans for one of the kidnappers to cut off his finger only to be thrown into a hideout room where he asks for a notebook to scratch this big scheme off of his list. How often do you think criminals write out a detailed kidnapping plan like it's a business proposal -- with pretty photos to match?
  • All of the FBI agents seem too busy to notice Finley jump up from being shot and run off with one of the teenagers, Anton Roth (played by Joshua Erenberg). So somehow this unathletic teenager and newbie FBI agent manage to outrun several other offices, including Flip (played by Brian Letscher) who before then was just hanging out in a police car watching the show? And when Finley yells out from hiding, Flip can't seem to trace his voice.
  • Agent Hurst (played by David Andrews) needs to get rid of his partner Finley. But instead of shooting him where he knows the bulletproof vest isn't located, he shoots him right into it. When was the last time a killer spared someone who could easily ruin his whole plan?
  • Agent Susie Dunn (played by Rachael Taylor) tells her boss FBI Director Olsen (played by Michael Beach) that she and her sister Meg Fitch (played by Gillian Anderson) aren't "on speaking terms." When was the last time your boss reassigned you to a job -- a kidnapping job at that -- because you and one of the people who can help find the suspects are giving each other the silent treatment? Why even bother to explain her family circumstances to the FBI at all when her niece (who is later disclosed as her daughter) is one of the people who has been kidnapped?
  • A crowd full of rich, entitled parents want answers about where their teenagers are. Agent Dunn is warned by Meg that this is a room full of people who are used to being "first in line." But when Agent Dunn is bombarded with questions, she's surprised to see the room grow quiet from Meg holding up her hand. And all the elitist parents followed suit. Holding up a hand to get people to be quiet does work . . . for little girls who want to make campfires, recite the Girl Scout Promise and sell cookies annually. But for worried parents of any economic bracket, that's just not how it happens.
  • The communications gunswoman (played by Kimberly Dooley) goes "Damn, that's right" when Gibson tells the time it'll take before the kidnapping location is available to the government. Why is anyone on this team surprised that Gibson can time a GPS system?
  • Hurst gives Gibson a guilt trip about "What's your little girl going to think about her daddy when he's sitting on death row?" as if somehow Hurst is not included in this plan. If he was that worried about Beth Ann Gibson's (played by Stevie Lynn Jones) opinion, why be involved at all?
  • Agent Finley takes the walkie talkie of Flip (the brother of kidnapper Koz, played by Max Martini) and announces to the kidnappers how he's killed one of their team members. And then comes the lecture about kidnapping children, as if these folks who knew they were taking kids way before Agent Finley told them so are suddenly going to go, "I feel bad. Let's go home and eat Trefoils with the silent, wealthy parents."

Maybe "Crisis" will get better after the pilot episode. Many shows have had a rocky start even though the writing was good and didn't become a hit until the second season (ex. "Scandal"). Other shows had mediocre pilots but went on to be intriguing shows that should be renewed for a second season (ex. "Almost Human"). But "Crisis"? It'd be more surprising if the show makes it through a full first season.

Shamontiel is also The Wire Examiner, and for the gladiators, she's the Scandal Examiner, too.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest TV, book, music and movie reviews; photo galleries; entertainment saving tips and other entries, or subscribe to her National African American Entertainment channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her @BlackHealthNews, and follow this Pinterest board to read her celebrity interviews.

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