Discovery Canada’s Frontier
Season 3, Episode 6: “The Sins of the Father”
Directed by John Vatcher
Written by Rob & Peter Blackie
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, “House of the Lord” – click here
* Will there be a Season 4? Fingers crossed!
Season 3’s finale starts with a quote from Black Elk, calling to the Great Spirit asking to be seen, despite how small and insignificant people may be in the grand scheme of things. We begin right after Declan Harp (Jason Momoa) went on his own towards Castle Benton in the night. He disguises himself to get closer, slipping through some of the remaining Redcoats. Fortunato (Michael Raymond-James) and the others try to fight through the carnage. Not all of them are lucky enough to get out of there alive. But Harp makes it into the castle down below, as Grace (Zoe Boyle) waits nervously, and Lord Benton (Alun Armstrong) prepares to meet his enemy, possibly for the very last time.
Everything for Michael Smyth (Landon Liboiron) is going sideways. He’s trying to explain himself to Sokanon (Jessica Matten), but she doesn’t care what he says. She’s going to kill O’Reilly (Stephen Oates) for selling her Indigenous sisters into slavery, and Michael wants her to wait until they’ve toppled Vanstone (Paul Ewan Wilson). She tells Mr. Smyth plainly: “He is your destruction.”
Speaking of the snake, O’Reilly is arguing with an angry Malcolm Brown (Michael Patric), and Cobbs Pond (Greg Bryk) is right smack dab in the middle of it. They’re waiting for Michael, yet Cobbs and his “demented hard–on” want to take action. Malcolm stresses they have to wait, or else things could get really nasty. He’s at least convinced Pond they need Michael, one way or the other. Meanwhile, O’Reilly is beyond paranoid, wanting to take off with Kahwihta (Ellyn Jade) before everything gets too hot.
Later, Michael gets back to the pub and tells Malcolm what he found out about their new partner. The Scotsman doesn’t care about the Irishman’s “country wife.” Michael doesn’t want to sell his soul for business, and he doesn’t want to betray Sokanon or her people any more than he has at this point. What will he do? Right now the pub’s becoming one hell of a dangerous place, as Sokanon and Mary (Breanne Hill) have arrived before their target leaves. O’Reilly meets his fate when the two women find him in his room, stabbing him to death. Fuck yes! Only thing is, this will cause Michael trouble. At least that rotten piece of shit is dead.
Things are tense between Michael, Cobbs, and Malcolm. They believe the Irishman is deceiving them. He’s kept them on his side for now, only because so much is lost if none of this works out. The other two men are no longer sure of Michael, but he insists there’s a way to keep things going between them and the Lake Walkers. On top of everything, Imogen (Diana Bentley) is blaming “the Black Wolf” and Mr. Smyth for killing O’Reilly, passing the word on through the murdered man’s pals.
Up in Montreal, Clenna Dolan (Lyla Porter-Follows) and Douglas (Allan Hawco) have fallen into each other’s arms and into bed, finding solace in their newly discovered relationship. He asks her to move in with him— both falling in love with her + wanting to keep her away from the dangerous men with whom she’s living/working. It’s then she admits she saw Elizabeth’s corpse after Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle) killed her. She wants to be his “proof” towards justice. Except Grant’s home. Uh oh.
“I will not follow you to a grave, Michael.”
O’Reilly’s Puritan pals have rounded everybody up, from Michael to Sokanon and Mary. Things aren’t going well for any of them. Michael is brought to Vanstone, accused falsely of murder and sentenced to death on the spot. Ah, good ole colonialist justice! Everybody’s looking forward to a nice public execution real soon.
Now that Grant’s home he calls Clenna down to the dirt, which doesn’t sit well with Douglas. This puts the two men in a vicious fight, beating and tossing each other around. But Clenna tries to stop Grant from kicking Douglas to death when she smashes him over the head, leaving both men in terrible shape.
Both Sokanon and Michael are tied to a stake, and Vanstone is about to light them on fire together. The whole thing is put on hold when Kahwihta accuses Vanstone publicly of killing O’Reilly. She tells the men they “must balance the scales” and kill the man— Mr. Pond throws in his help, too. The Puritan men pull the pair down from the stake, replacing them with Vanstone, and the crowd watches him burn alive. This is a symbolic moment for Michael, who sees that the evil men in their world can be dealt with all at once, so long as people come together. Yet he’s a million miles away from everybody, after letting a pursuit for wealth corrupt him.
At Castle Benton, Lord Winston Fisher (Jay Simpson) comes face to face with Harp. He wants to have a talk. He knows everything about “half–breed bastard,” as he and many other Englishman call him. He gets a too too personal, talking about Harp’s family in less than favourable terms. Fisher’s trying to entice Declan, in spite of his antagonistic speech. He claims to offer salvation. He wants the man to testify against Lord Benton, then come back into the fold with the company. If you can’t beat your enemy, put him on the payroll, yeah? Then Fisher tells Declan his son is alive, sold into slavery on a plantation by Benton. It still isn’t enough to make him give up.
“Under such circumstances, it is natural to fear hope.”
In the aftermath, Michael tries to make peace with O’Reilly’s man Mercer. He makes clear “unwilling women” are not to be made into wives anymore. He doesn’t want to live the life he was headed towards, seeing this as a way forward morally. He then announces to the remaining HBC Redcoats things are changing in Fort James. The alliance has officially begun for the Northwest Company. This doesn’t seem to change Sokanon’s mind, afraid of what money and power do to all white men.
Harp and Benton are in the same room once again. The lord rages confidently at his nemesis, making bold claims. Declan stands there outnumbered more than ten times over. He wants to know if his son is alive. Before he gets a response, he cuts Benton’s throat open while Grace, Fisher, and the Redcoats watch on. He’s not taken into custody by Fisher, who gives Harp a “head start” for inadvertently helping him. He and Grace have a brief moment before he’s gone.
This is the best season of Frontier! If Discovery Canada and Netflix don’t do Season 4, we riot. This was intense, full of action, and as always the performances matched the graceful beauty of the landscapes serving as a backdrop to the series. Truly loved every last chapter of this latest outing. GIVE US MORE.
2 thoughts on “Frontier – Season 3, Episode 6: “The Sins of the Father””
Why wasn’t Grace going with Harp??
I would assume Harp doesn’t want to put her in danger. He’ll be a wanted man even worse now that he’s finally killed Benton, so he probably wouldn’t want to put Grace in the way of any more danger— also, I’m not sure if she’d be allowed to go, seeing as how Lord Fisher was there with his men, too.