Discovery Canada’s Frontier
Season 3, Episode 3: “Satanazes”
Directed by TJ Scott
Written by Kerri MacDonald
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “La Fin Du Monde” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “All for All and None for One” – click here
To start this episode, the title – “Satanazes” – refers to a legendary island, once believed to be located on the Atlantic Ocean and depicted on certain 15th-century maps. Also, there’s a quote from Victor Hugo to open things up, right from Les Miserables.
Young Chaulk (Kathryn Wilder) finds herself in the clutches of Declan Harp (Jason Momoa), whose rage is closer and closer to totally consuming him. The girl says she doesn’t know anything other than Lord Benton (Alun Armstrong) is headed for Scotland. Charleston (Demetrius Grosse) has to step in when Declan gets too rough, telling his friend he’s only becoming more like the man he hates. And now, Harp intends to head for Scotland to find Grace (Zoe Boyle).
First they’ll have to commandeer a vessel to sail. McTaggart (Jamie Sives) provides a distraction for them to get onto the shore and find themselves a ship. When they go aboard, they discover someone lurking below deck— “Poseidon‘s radar” and plenty of other self accolades, a man called Fortunato (Michael Raymond-James), who says he’s the captain of the ship. When Chaulk isn’t able to get the thing moving they may have to rely on Fortunato. Curious name, given the Edgar Allan Poe connection in combination with the man’s interest in booze.
Back at the fort, Mary (Breanne Hill) tries not to tell Major Vinnicombe (Paul McGillion) anything about Michael Smyth (Landon Liboiron), whereas Imogen (Diana Bentley) willingly complies, mentioning the Lake Walker tribe and Sokanon (Jessican Matten), too. She doesn’t think it through, because the major threatens her subtly with nasty violence if she won’t keep helping him. Later on, Sokanon comes to speak with Mary in private, looking for help. Except O’Reilly (Stephen Oates) acts on behalf of Imogen, attacking Mary in the night after she leaves the pub, dragging her away into the dark.
Michael’s back on the frontier, alongside Rivard (Paul Fauteux) and Malcolm Brown (Michael Patric), which is a tenuous journey as they all have things to argue about along the way. Their business chat isn’t sunshine and roses, though Malcolm is serious about making things work, and Michael tells him they must go hat in hand to Kamenna (Tantoo Cardinal) because of how things have gone.
On the sea, Charlie’s got a wound, so he’s toughing it out as they sail. In the meantime, the ship needs repairs, and the others have to tend to what they can whenever possible. Fortunato talks about Satanazes, and how it “reaches up from Hades” into the world to find ships to take. On another wave, Grace sits for biscuits and tea with Benton while they have an antagonistic chat. She’s got to dine with him everyday. He’s looking for the next way to reel Harp in— likely why they’re headed for Scotland in the first place.
Cobbs Pond (Greg Bryk) believes it isn’t coincidence both Michael and Malcolm left Montreal together. This sends Clenna (Lyla Porter-Follows) over to see Douglas (Allan Hawco), trying to see if she can suss out the truth. The drunk brother doesn’t fully know what’s going on, and it provides Clenna the opportunity to sow the seeds of distrust between the Browns.
Douglas goes to Josephette (Karen LeBlanc) when he finds the contract drummed up between the Irishman and his brother. He sees it as putting them at war with Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle), and believes it’ll be the end of their business. But the woman reminds him he’s but “a figurehead” for their company in the end.
Michael finally meets with Kamenna, bringing Malcolm to attempt an apology. Then Mjr. Vinnicombe comes upon the camp, there to arrest the Irishman. Kamenna explains “European Law” is not able to be enforced on her land, though the major refuses to accept her deal with the Crown. The Scottish Brown brother isn’t so keen on laying down easily for the Redcoats, attacking Vinnicombe. And just as the major pulls his pistol on the Indigenous woman, he’s gunned down by Michael. Oh, shit. This puts Kamenna in a terrible position.
The paranoia of Cobbs is getting worse. He believes Clenna is stabbing him in the back, though chastises himself as a “jealous old man.” He doesn’t realise the lady is working slyly for him, despite how she presents herself to others. She’s in league with Pond totally, especially seeing as how she feels Michael has drifted away into the pre-capitalist world of fur trading, only concerned with money now, not love or even loyalty.
On the boat, Charlie asks McTaggart to read him a letter— one he’s never opened, from his wife before she died. The Scotsman reads the wife’s words to him. They’re sad words, lamenting how the couple were torn apart, all because of the colour of their skin. The letter makes McTaggart tear up. It’s also a reminder, to all of them there, what truly matters: love. Afterwards, Charlie resigns himself to his coming death. He thanks Declan for helping him. Their bond is one of freedom. Then he asks to be put out of his misery, so Harp smothers him once they say goodbye. When it’s over, Harp begins smudging with sage, blessing his friend’s soul as it ascends to the spiritual plane.
In Scotland, Benton and Grace arrive, taken by carriage back to the lord’s sprawling estate. He’s thrilled, and she’s just going through the motions. He gives her a large room where she can stay. There’s also a familiar face surprised to see her, whom she’s equally surprised to find waiting: her father (Gary Lewis).
“Everybody deserves peace…”
An especially emotional episode at the end. Frontier delivers the goods, on all ends, from the action to the character development and drama. Everything’s so well presented. “All for All and None for One” is next.