Flashpoint - Hugh Dillon, Enrico Colantoni

During Flashpoint's third season, the members of the Strategic Response Unit are drawn closer together than ever, something series star Enrico Colantoni says was also true when the cameras weren't rolling.

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"Every show takes a while to find its legs, and where CBS ended the last season, we were really finding our stride," Colantoni tells TVGuide.com. "The camaraderie of the unit — and of us as actors and crew members — was really clicking, so what you're going to see now is much more intense."

Indeed, in Friday's episode (9/8c on CBS), team leader Ed Lane (Hugh Dillon), Sgt. Gregory Parker (Colantoni) and the rest of the SRU are tasked with finding and dismantling a number of bombs set in place all over the city by an eco-terrorist. Ultimately, a member of the team makes a huge sacrifice for his colleagues and the lives of many others.

"For the first time, the action involves us directly," Colantoni says. "There's a real tragedy on the team. Usually, we're out dealing with other people, and just trying to handle a bad situation, but this is much more emotional."

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Colantoni's character, a crisis negotiator, is known for finding non-lethal resolutions in stand-offs. But could that foundation be rattled?

"I'm sure there are times when he gets tired," Colantoni says, noting viewers will see more of Parker out of uniform this season. "I had a Toronto cop come up to me and say, 'Sometimes, all you can do is say please, please put the gun down.' The job drains you, and sometimes, that's all you've got left. But I think he's always focused on doing that job."

That interaction with real-life law enforcers gives Colantoni pride, he says, adding that he took this job partly to honor his brother, who was a 30-year veteran of the Toronto police force. Colantoni says he believes Flashpoint is successful because the cops on the show are still the good guys.

"We don't show the seedy underbelly — the cops are the heroes," Colantoni says. "Surprisingly, there's not a lot of that on American television. We still have the guns and the action of a procedural drama, but we're unique in that way."