'Flashpoint' Finale: Sergio Di Zio and the co-creators reflect on the tragedy of Part 1 and the terrorist still at large
In the first half of the “Flashpoint” series finale, Jules and Sam tie the knot and moments later, bombs start exploding all over the city. With the city under siege, Team One scrambles to figure out who this terrorist is and where he’s going to strike next.
And if that wasn’t enough, Ed’s son Clark is trapped in the rubble after City Hall is bombed and Team Three leader Donna Sabine dies in a bomb explosion.
Thank God there’s a part two to the “Flashpoint” series finale.
“We were worried about how we were going to tell the episode in a single hour,” says co-creator Mark Ellis.
“It gave us more elbow room to go into more depth instead of stumbling from one shock and horror into the next,” adds co-creator Stephanie Morgenstern. “We had the time to dig a little deeper into what would make someone make these choices.”
And, they add, having a two-parter gave them enough time to have Team One follow the wrong path – believing the bomber was a disgraced university researcher.
“You think we’ve got him, but then the whole investigation flips in a second,” Morgenstern says.
“Everything changes from the Team’s perspective at the very end of the episode,” Ellis adds.
The ex-professor has explosives strapped to his chest, and as Donna (played by Jessica Steen) realizes they’ve followed the wrong path, the terrorist who is still at large detonates the bomb.
“It’s hard, that scene losing Donna,” Sergio Di Zio, who plays Team One’s bomb expert, Spike. “She gave a killer performance.”
“She stole all our hearts when she came on the show,” he adds. “She’s got this quality that shines a light on everybody around her. We were all still getting to know each other when we were working with her in the second season, and she had this way of making the rest of us bond with each other.”
Though Donna doesn’t make it through to the second part of the finale, Di Zio wants to make sure everyone knows that Steen is doing well. “We would hike regularly in L.A.,” he says (though, he reveals they leave the “cool SRU pants” at home…)
Though it was Donna who took the fall, the creators insist it wasn’t an easy choice to figure out who was going to die. “In the writer’s room, each writer very convincingly had cases for each cast member should be killed,” says Ellis.
“It was hard, sacrificing one of my favourite characters.”
The writers made a difficult choice in killing a team member in Season 2 when Spike’s best friend Lou was killed by a landmine. “A lot of people were upset with us, but the reason we did it was we were saying that it was a job with life and death stakes but we hadn’t shown it, so we thought it was important to show it, even though one of our character’s had to pay for it,” explains Ellis.
The high stakes of this episode had Di Zio worried for Spike: “As we’re leaving the SRU headquarters, Winnie tells Spike to be careful, and I read that in the script and thought, uh oh, things don’t sound good for Spike, but that’s true for everyone.
“Anyone could go.”
The bomber’s still at large leading into the second half of the series finale and Team One doesn’t have a single lead. With Ed’s son Clark trapped under rubble and the city in full blown panic, there are a lot of loose ends.
“It’s terrifying, Di Zio says. “Things like this make you realize how fragile everything is.”
The series finale of “Flashpoint” airs Thursday, December 13 at 10 p.m. ET on CTV. Full episodes are also available online at CTV.ca.
About Lindsay Zier-Vogel
Lindsay Zier-Vogel has been working for CTV.ca since 2008. Lindsay’s highlights include interviewing the famed American choreographer Bill T. Jones and Canadian prima ballerina Karen Kain, as well as covering the Juno Awards. Follow her on Twitter!