On "Without a Trace," there was shut-down Jack Malone. Essentially, he took his subordinate Sam as an emotional hostage.
On "Criminal Minds" Spencer Reid is on the autism spectrum, plus being recovering from drug addiction. Members of the BAU are protective of him.
And, on Dick Wolf's own "Law & Order SVU" there was Elliot Stabler who could only connect to work and partner Olivia Benson, not his family. Benson tried to help him grow into being a husband and father.
The characters on the show seem, at least so far, perfectly normal. There is one atypical agent - a Muslim. But he doesn't seem to be troubled in the usual Wolf-character way.
In addition, as yet there is none of that intense bonding which happens among oddballs in high stress public service jobs.
Every hit show is really about relationships. Not the plot line. That's what the audience cares about. For "Boston Legal," we were riveted by the nuances of what went on between Denny and Alan. Both of them were outlier type characters.
Tonight "FBI" started off in a promising way.
In a courtyard on Wall Street, one after another, people are collapsing. The scene is graphic. A number will die immediately. The rest will struggle for their lives in the hospital. The salad bar in a deli had been sprayed with poison.
Incidentally, years ago, plaintiff lawyer Bill Marler of Marler Clark, which specializes in foodborne diseases, had warned about salad bars. They are sitting ducks for deliberate food contamination. Yet, salad bars still exit.
In public affairs, kglobal partner Gene Grabowski has made it his mission to educate organizations about preventing breakdowns in food safety. Although Grabowski is known as the "crisis guru," he is equally skilled at helping clients' situations from tipping into crisis.
Of course, the audience for "FBI" suspects terrorism in the spraying of poison at the salad bar. And that it is. However, connecting the dots is too linear and happens too quickly.
We aren't engaged the way we are when those in "Criminal Minds" or "Law & Order SVU" chase false leads. Our engagement includes being upset that the detectives are wasting precious time as the miscreants are out there causing more suffering.
Many series have a slow kick-off. "FBI" can pull it together in the coming episodes.
However, there is also the possibility that Wolf can't conjure up the old magic. His recent "Law & Order: True Crimes" has been put on hold. If "FBI" is a miss, then that's yet another setback for CBS.
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