Matt Flannery and Emily Lehman are the top-ranked negotiators in the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit (CNU). They’re trained to talk their way through volatile situations. They’re experts at knowing what makes other people tick. They’re also lovers … a secret they agreed to keep to themselves, until Matt revealed it to the entire world during a tense hostage standoff.
The public revelation causes friction between Matt, who doesn’t take much seriously and relies on gut instinct, and Emily, an academic who analyzes every move.
Their relationship also gets them into trouble with their boss, Cheryl Carrera, head of the Los Angeles CNU, and raises eyebrows among their CNU colleagues, including intelligence officer Lia Mathers.
While Matt and Emily should be split up for being romantically involved, they’re too valuable as a team. Together, they’re among the best in their field - Cheryl knows it and they know it.
In each episode Matt and Emily tackle much more than hostage crises. The CNU is called in to resolve everything from kidnappings and high-risk suicides to bomb threats, stalking cases and gang violence.
The duo also work with the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), led by irreverent but deadly Frank Perry and his wise-cracking cohort Duff.
When Matt and Emily’s nonviolent approach doesn’t seem to work or takes too long, Frank and his team are always ready to use full force.
Standoff advances the idea that in life and in love, everything is a negotiation.