Discovery Canada’s Frontier
Season 3, Episode 5: “House of the Lord”
Directed by John Vatcher
Written by Chris Roberts
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “All for All and None for One” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 finale, “The Sins of the Father” – click here
A great quote from First Nations author Eden Robinson starts this episode. Particularly great given it’s about the standard definitions of romance, and there are a few romances, albeit mostly broken ones, happening between characters here.
Declan (Jason Momoa) and his pals are staking out Castle Benton. Except they’re going by the word of Chaulk (Kathryn Wilder), who’s been under the thumb of Lord Benton (Alun Armstrong) this entire time. One of the Scotsmen helping gets gunned down, and Harp realises Chaulk has led them into a potential massacre. When they get back to safety, Chaulk tells them how Benton forced her into turning against her friends by threatening Grace’s (Zoe Boyle) life.
Speaking of, Grace has to deal with being paraded around like a “painted doll” by Benton. It’s all a ruse to help paint Chesterfield as the reason for all the trouble lately, getting the old man off the hook. A Lord Fisher is arriving soon to look into things, so Benton has Ms. Emberly go over their story a few times. She requests her father be let go before Fisher comes, though Benton isn’t keen.
Back on the frontier, Cobbs (Greg Bryk) is dealing with Malcolm (Michael Patric) and Michael (Landon Liboiron). He says he’s a “man that controls fate.” That’s not such a bad description, given his penchant for murder. He’s a sly one. And he’s not totally adverse to doing business with this alliance.
Then there’s greasy O’Reilly (Stephen Oates), who everyone is looking for, specifically Vanstone (Paul Ewan Wilson) ad his Redcoats. They can’t find Mr. Brown, and that was right after O’Reilly turned up at their camp. Cobbs heads out to speak with Vanstone, using his homosexual “appetites” to turn the man away from finding the Irishman and the Scotsman in the same place at once.
Sokanon (Jessica Matten) wakes up and finds she’s where Mary (Breanne Hill) got taken after being grabbed by O’Reilly, drawn in by his Indigenous wife Kahwihta (Ellyn Jade). It’s a place for Native women to be stripped of their culture and their religion before they’re turned into Christians and sold off to be raped a.k.a married. The so-called holy men run this place, similar to what would later become residential schools across Canada. Ugly history that’s been around for centuries in this country.
It seems Michael is beginning to realise there’s something not okay about O’Reilly. He meets some of the fella’s men at the pub, where he notices Sokanon’s bow on one of them. He’s distraught, knowing she’d never leave her bow behind. He already senses she’s in trouble. He runs into Kahwihta, too. She says her husband is off doing business for the church, prompting Michael to go after him.
Pond keeps himself close to Vanstone, figuring things out on the frontier. That’s when O’Reilly appears from out of the woods, blaming Smyth for helping Mr. Brown out of captivity. This bastard is devious. Pond does his part to help, because he’s a devious bastard in his own right. They go back to let Malcolm know the tenuous plan as it stands. All the while O’Reilly is picking up bits and pieces of info to use like a snake.
The nuns are over selling off more women to the Puritans. Among them is Sokanon, who’s “not been converted yet.” She’s treated like a commodity by the white men. Of course we see the sickness of those who claim to be full of purity. They’re surprised when Sokanon and Mary take their freedom back brutally.
Lord Winston Fisher (Jay Simpson) gets to Castle Benton, where he’s greeted by Benton and Grace. He’s told the lady can fill him in on how things went with Chesterfield, forcing her into the act they’re prepared for their visitor. Benton takes his chance to further his vendetta against Harp, which includes talking him down nastily as Ms. Emberly is forced to endure it. Fisher then tells the lady her husband, Chesterfield, has been declared dead— the murder’s blamed on Harp, of course. What does she do? Grace takes her chance to become governor at Fort James. She’ll be allowed to do so if she takes a husband, apparently. They’re all interrupted when Chaulk is brought in with a note from the half-Irish, half-Indigenous rebel, setting Benton on edge.
The lord is raging. He’s preparing to do something truly awful, with both Edward (Gary Lewis) and Chaulk in his clutches. What will he do to show off his ugly power? Edward all but spits in his face before getting knifed to death suddenly.
“But I do clean up my own mess, Eddie. At least give me credit for that.”
Michael comes across Sokanon and the women in the woods, returning her bow. She doesn’t need him to help her, seeing how she’s already escaped. But he sees now who he’s been doing business with inadvertently. This doesn’t impress Sokanon, chastising him for being foolish enough to get in bed with a man like O’Reilly. All the same, Michael’s a good guy at heart, he really wants to do good by others, particularly Sokanon.
Harp and his band of Scotsman are moving towards Castle Benton again, finally prepared for a siege. They charge the grounds, drawing men out with a war cry that’s half Portuguese, half Scots. Then, it’s war, as men fight in the near dark, flame lighting their movements. A beautiful, brutal scene of war. Harp, McTaggart (Jamie Sives), and their friends beat back the Redcoats one by one.
What comes next? Harp plans to go alone the rest of the way.
Fantastic chapter of Season 3! What a wild battle scene near the end. Some of the best filmed action on television in 2018— hands down. Totally unique, you don’t see many big choreographed fights like this basically taking place at dusk. Great lead into the finale. “The Sins of the Father” comes next.