The Nine - Pilot Review

The Nine - Pilot
*Spoilers Ahead - you've been warned!

Premieres: Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Time Slot: 10pm (after Lost) on ABC
Stars: Scott Wolf, Kim Raver, Tim Daly, Che McBride, Jessica Collins, Lourdes Benedicto, John Billingsley, Camille Gauty, Owain Yeoman, Dana Davis, Jeffrey Pierce and Tom Verica

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how to best describe the premiere of The Nine and it took me two viewings to realize I just have to bits of plot info and spoil big. I won't do it just yet but in a paragraph or so, I'll point out where to stop reading if you don't want to know major plot points of this fantastic pilot.

The Nine is the story of nine bank robbery hostages, their captors, the lead up, aftermath, and eventually the truth that lies within the 52 hour seige. As I mentioned previously, I had to watch The Nine twice. After first viewing I thought it had potential but after the second viewing I realized that there is a great story, incredible depth and complexity to the characters and an intertwining of stories I really am excited to discover as the season unfolds. It's not epic and confusing like Lost, doesn't have the urgency of Prison Break or 24, but isn't as slow as a procedural... it's a quick paced yet well established drama that gives you the set up and a quick resolution but gives you no information in between allowing for in depth development as the season progresses.

Spoilers Coming but not yet...

The Nine begins with each of The Nine establishing their relationships or status within the storyline. Scott Wolf (Jeremy) is a surgeon dating Jessica Collins (Lizzie) who is a social worker at the same hospital. Tim Daly (Nick) is a supposed recovering Gambling addict back on the job with LAPD and a chip the size of California on his shoulder. Kim Raver (Kathryn) is the ADA to Tom Verica's (Ed) DA and their schtupping each other - which I must say is pretty hot! John Billingsley (Egan Foote - "with an E not at the beginning of the Egan but at the end of FootE") is a suicidal loser in despair. Chi McBride (Malcolm) is the Bank Manager, Dana Davis (Felicia) his teenage daughter; Lourdes Benedicto (Eva) and Camille Gauty (Franny) play bank tellers/sisters, one of which has the hots for regular customer Ed. Oh yeah and there are two bank robbers outside waiting to start this party!

Not too confusing right?

Spoilers Are Here...

Wrong! Let's get to business:

Tim Daly flirts with bank teller Eva; Eva's sister Franny demands they go on a date. Intrusive yes, but it pushes Eva to move on from her recent relationship woes (ex is now a convict, leaving her with child).

Kathryn and Ed are hopping into the sack when she gets a call from her overbearing and needy Mother who claims somone stole a broach from her safety deposit box at the bank. She'd like her ADA daughter to come down and speak with the Bank Manager.

Egan Foote's trying to find any joy in life and is looking for a loan from Bank Manager Malcolm so he can buy a boat. When Malcolm's teenage daughter Felicia shows, Egan heads to the restroom, enters a stall, takes off his coat and pulls out a gun. Felicia heads to the restroom instead of the coffee shop her Father urged her to wait at. Women's room is closed for maintenance so she knocks on the Men's Room door startling Egan Foote who drops his gun into the Tidy-Bowl blue water. He fishes it out hides it in the back of the tank and storms out with a soaking wet blue arm.

Lizzie and Jeremy are on their way to lunch but need to stop off at the ATM for some cash. Lizzie has to tell Jeremy something important and says she'll pay because the ATM line is so long. Ever the God-Complex Surgeon, Jeremy insists on going into the bank instead because she can't pay for lunch on her measly salary.

Lucas Dalton and Randall Reese are in a car out front planning to knock off our fateful Fidelity Republic Bank which all nine hostages are just about to enter.

See it's a long weekend and the bank's closing up. Almost all tellers are gone and a guard watches the door. Lucas and Randall knock into Lizzie, pushing their way into the bank just before Jeremy and Lizzie enter; just barely squeezing by Bank Security. Everyone's in. The door's are locked. First the guard is punched out, then guns are drawn...

52 hours later we discover that one hostage was released earlier (Kathryn's Rich Bitch Mother), the crime scene is a media frenzy and the police are storming the palace. Chaos ensues, Egan Foote takes down a captor, the women defend the other, some are chained and bloody, some are cowering in corners, and one is on the verge of death. The siege is over. These strangers are now on a first names basis forever linked and traumatized by the events of the last 52 hours.

The Good:
The show starts in the middle and ends in the present. We barely get to know these characters lives pre-hostage crisis and we get to know even less of what went down during those 52 hours inside Fidelity Republic. There are glimpses of events inside the bank between hostage and captor but nothing concrete or too revealing. There is a lot of backstory and a lot of character and hostage development to unearth. We do know that many of the Nine came out differently than they went in. New friendships were formed out of stress; one captor seems to be the heavy while the other seems to have redeemed himself somewhat as the women are seen pleading that the police not shoot him. There's talk of "a moment" in the bank that completely changes the lives of Lizzie and Jeremy; it's eluded to but not revealed and I'm dying to know what happened. Scott Wolf's still hot. Jessica Collin's reminds me of a young Joan Allen and that's never a bad thing. Kim Raver's ADA Kathryn is complex and sexy not to mention I've always loved Tom Verica. Billingsley as Egan Foote is the breakout role though, he's just wonderful to watch. Do you remember him from How I Got Into College back in like 1990? God I love that movie. The Captors and The Ending Shot!!! Really, as a whole, the cast is enjoyable with one exception...

The Bad:
Tim Daly can't act to save his life. The Nine would be better off with revolving guest stars in the role of "Nick the Cop"... I'm hoping I warm up to him but seriously, he adds a level of cheesiness to the show that is hard to overcome. Maybe it's the wealth of Lifetime-esque TV Movies in his past or his stale delivery but WOW is he the weak link. Also on the fence is Camille Gauty's Franny. In this case though, I think my annoyance with her is more character driven. Oh and please don't let me forget to mention the blurred and slo-mo aerial shots to denote "action" and a sense of huridness. The show, the story, and the characters are strong enough that we could do without these four or five cheesy transition shots in the beginning of the episode.

Bottom Line:
The Nine is worth watching and like I said, I appreciated it more after a second viewing. Having Lost as a lead in can't hurt the show but I'll be interested to see where we stand once Lost goes on it's late fall hiatus. And hey, any show that's willing to create this big viral marketing campaign is okay by me.

Check out: which will track the clues and information that occurred within the bank and that only The Nine know.


  • Egan's gun in the bathroom has to play a role in what happened during the 52 hours. Did a hostage shoot another hostage?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/10/2006 08:33:00 PM  

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