HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Crossing Lines may be about a group of hotshot crime-busters, but its central figure from the start was Carl Hickman. Once a top cop in New York City, Hickman had suffered quite the fall from grace by the time we were introduced to him. Possessed of the ability to make accurate, on-the-spot deductions like a kind of American Sherlock Holmes, Hickman was forced to let his talents go to waste after he was shot in the hand by an evil child abductor.
The injury didn't just shatter his paw - it shattered his mind and career. He soon found himself hooked on dope to keep the pain at bay, and wound up in Amsterdam, picking up garbage at a carnival to make ends meet. Here, at his lowest ebb, kept alive only by "anger and morphine", Hickman was given a chance to begin again by an old colleague, suave French detective Louis Daniel, who was putting together a team. A very special team.
THE "JUSTICE LEAGUE" OF EUROPE
Louis Daniel had managed to get approval to create a new off-shoot of the International Criminal Court. Going beyond the ICC's traditional remit of tracking down war criminals, this team would specialize in taking down ALL kinds of wrong-doers - just as long as their crimes crossed into two or more countries in Europe.
The team would consist of the best sleuths from different nations and different fields, combining their skills while occasionally rubbing each other up the wrong way. It's not for nothing one of them jokingly compared the team to the superhero "Justice League". But the deadly nature of their work hit home during their very first case, when a member of the team was murdered by a sadistic serial killer.
The team took on a startling variety of cases, ranging from a woman poisoning wealthy men with a radioactive substance, to a group of long-haul truckers running their own lethal version of Fight Club. But there have been a few recurring villains too. One was Phillip Genovese, the smug and sinister abductor who was responsible for Hickman's hand injury.
Hickman never forgave or forgot Genovese, and their paths crossed again in Europe, where Genovese had been orchestrating a lurid child trafficking ring under the cover of a travelling carnival. After playing mind games with Hickman, and attempting to subvert justice even after he was snared, Genovese was finally put behind bars, laying at least some of Hickman's demons to rest.
THE OTHER BIG VILLAIN
If Hickman was haunted by Genovese, fellow team member Louis Daniel had his own arch-enemy in the form of Dimitrov, aka "The Russian". A former soldier turned mobster, Dimitrov was a truly vicious thug known to massacre his own subordinates to throw cops off his path. He was also responsible for a car bombing which claimed the life of Louis Daniel's beloved son.
When Dimitrov was eventually confronted, it was revealed that the real intended victim of the bombing was actually Daniel's lawyer wife Rebecca, for the part she played in prosecuting Dimitrov's brother-in-law for war crimes against the Chechens. Dimitrov himself was warped by conflict, having lost his entire family when Chechen separatists attacked a hospital in Russia. Eventually, Dimitrov's criminal network was smashed by the team.
DEATHS IN THE FAMILY
The end of the last season saw the team hit by two awful events. The first involved a gang of multi-talented expert criminals, a sort of mirror-image flipside of the Crossing Lines team. While trying desperately to shut the gang down, Hickman realised that the beautiful, genius-level prison psychiatrist who'd apparently been taken hostage by the gang was actually in on their whole scheme. Tragically, the crazed psychiatrist managed to shoot Louis Daniel dead before she could be apprehended.
As if that wasn't bad enough, another team member - Italian mafia expert Eva Vittoria - went on a private mission to track down a "ghost" from her past. This was possibly her own father, who had been tied up in underworld activities. We don't know what happened to her for sure, but all the signs are she was lured to a meeting and murdered by mobsters.
Having suffered so much death and trauma, can the ravaged Crossing Lines team possibly now rebuild itself?