Season 2, Episode 2: “Wanted”
Directed by Brett Sullivan
Written by Aubrey Nealon
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “Dead Reckoning” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Wolf and the Bear” – click here
In the Northern Territories, we see Declan Harp (Jason Momoa) doing what it takes to survive, getting through the days. As he guts a caribou, two men sneak up on him with pistols. Men after the bounty on his head. But suddenly, he’s gone. He takes them by surprise. One man has the gun on him, though he has the other in his grip. Not long before one is dead. Declan lets the other live, wounded, so long as he doesn’t tell anybody about his location, and that he never comes back. Until the man lies to him. Then, he dies.
Declan leaves his hosts to go south. It was interesting to watch him there with the little girl, whose presence was like a reminder of the family he could’ve had, as well as a reminder to keep fighting, to persevere against the oppression of the white man.
In James Bay, Benton (Alun Armstrong) is kept in his cell, in the hull of the ship. He vomits away, sick in his gut, his head, even the testicles: “Name a place, it aches.” People say he’ll end up dying, not long left. Commander Everton (Jean-Michel Le Gal) puts a Mr. Darrow (Joel Thomas Hynes) in charge of cleaning up the shit and vomit of the former governor; he’s not happy about it, either.
In Fort James, Grace Emberly (Zoe Boyle) is now Mrs. Chesterfield, married to the Captain (Evan Jonigkeit). He hasn’t yet taken down the bounty on Harp’s head, she isn’t particularly thrilled with their marriage already.
Montreal. We see the other marriage, Elizabeth Carruthers (Katie McGrath) courting business for herself, using new husband Douglas Brown (Allan Hawco) as the face of her business, y’know, so as not to ruffle the feathers of the misogynist men around her in the city/everywhere. Malcolm (Michael Patric) returns, surprised to find his brother in “the clothes of a wealthy man.” He’s come to do his own business with Douglas, who does his best convincing his new wife they can make use of him while he’s in their company. For “the greater good,” says Douglas. We later find out they’re in bed with Mr. Grant and Pond.
With a healing leg, Clenna (Lyla Porter-Follows) is hearing more about what Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle) has planned for her, after Cobbs Pond (Greg Bryk) tortured her. She won’t do anything disgusting, they want her to persuade a potential buyer, the same man after whom Elizabeth is chasing for business, the Marquis.
At a northern outpost, Harp arrives, and everywhere there are people that know his face, know about the bounty. He steps into a tavern, every eye in the place spying him. The man behind the bar sends everybody packing. He’s an old buddy of Harp’s named McTaggart, they have history. He fills his pal in that Benton has set sail in custody already.
Amongst disputed territory, Sokanon (Jessica Matten), Michael Smyth (Landon Liboiron), and Aki (Brendt Thomas Diabo) are setting into motion a new plan. They’ve sneaked onto Hudson’s Bay Company land, pretending to bring in the prisoner, to get the bounty. Sokanon then puts a knife to Michael, distracting the men they’re speaking with as the others steal furs from the back of the tent.
Back at the outpost, Harp and his buddy are having a drink, the former bringing him on into his rebellion. Outside they see a man being whipped at the post. So Harp questions what he did, a black man; nothing, only tried helping with cannon issues. The big man cuts him down. When the slave owner whips him, things get nasty. He lets the guy live, but embarrasses him properly in front of everybody.
In Ft. James, Grace has dinner with her arsehole husband, trying to speak reason to him. The power’s already buckling him into a weak, vile man; not that he was so great to start. He talks about when he “lusted after” a cousin, gross urges in him. Dad found out and branded him with an iron. This deterred him, and eventually desire left him. He speaks of habits changing and temperaments doing the same, trying to bend his reluctant bride to his will. At least he rescinds the bounty on Harp. Although for this he wants to be satisfied physically. She refuses, punching him when he gets too aggressive, but he lets her go free. Before burning up the papers he’d just signed. What a snake!
The confrontation with the slave owner from Virginia puts the redcoats down on Harp at the tavern. The slave, Charleston, decides he wants to stay and help the man who helped him off that post. McTaggart figures they’ll “die in hell fire.” Might as well go out swinging, right? They’re going for the bloody confrontation, no other real way out. The redcoat company men are going to burn the place to the ground when Charleston comes out surrendering. This is the beginning of their fight, Harp takes to the guns, blades, bare hands, whatever he can manage. McTaggart is a bit of a mad bastard, too. Loves to fight.
Darrow gets a thanks from Lord Benton, for helping him survive. We’re also seeing the young lad, Chaulk (Kathryn Wilder), who’s lending a hand to look after the ailing old man, is a young girl; she tosses a bloody rag from her pants into the ocean when no one’s looking. She talks about her mother having died. This is when Benton figures it out for himself, agreeing not to say a word.
Vlad (James Preston Rogers), the massive Siberian bounty hunter, comes upon the man who hosted Harp on his travels. The big guy’s looking for information. I can only hope the Native man doesn’t feel too much loyalty to Harp, simply for the fact I wouldn’t want him to die for no reason.
A solid episode following up from the Season 2 premiere. Lots of stuff poised to happen, a couple new characters in the mix, plenty of intrigue. Loved seeing Joel Thomas Hynes in a role, hopefully he’ll stick around for a few episodes at least (he’s an author from here in Newfoundland; nephew of the late songwriter Ron Hynes).
“The Wolf and the Bear” is next week’s episode.