The premise of the show was set up in the opening scene of the series pilot. In an attempt to connect with the hostage-taker, Matt... More >
The premise of the show was set up in the opening scene of the series pilot. In an attempt to connect with the hostage-taker, Matt Flannery (Ron Livingston), a negotiator for the F.B.I., reveals to him and his colleagues who are listening to his conversation, that he has been sleeping with his partner, Emily Lehman (Rosemarie DeWitt). Their supervisor Cheryl Carrera (Gina Torres) is concerned about how their relationship will affect their jobs. Each episode revolves around the main plot of a hostage situation and the subplot of Matt and Emily's relationship. In the hostage situation, the F.B.I. Crisis Negotiation Unit is typically called upon to deal with the hostage-taker.
The CNU resolves a hostage situation when a corporate executive takes 16 hostages in the company's boardroom. A second crisis involves a domestic situation that results in Matt and Emily questioning a decision they had made during the standoff.