Frontier – Season 2, Episode 5: “Cannonball”

Discover’s Frontier
Season 2, Episode 5: “Cannonball”
Directed by Paul Fox
Written by Kerri MacDonald & Sherry White

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Mutiny” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “Keetom Takooteeoo Maheekun (Return of the Wolf)” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 10.50.39 PMIn disputed territory, Harp (Jason Momoa), Taggart (Jamie Sives), and Charleston (Demetrius Grosse) run into Sokanon (Jessica Matten) with the young native girl. Harp refuses to take the girl, but Sokanon makes it clear: “I need to do this.” In the meantime, Michael (Landon Liboiron) is waiting for him to arrive.
Out on the ship, Chaulk (Kathryn Wilder) lets Lord Benton (Alun Armstrong) know about changes on the ship, seeing as how they’re heading for land. Poor ole Darragh (Joel Thomas Hynes) is alive, just barely. There’s racket up top, men are fighting. Captain Grey (David Schaal) comes down to confront the Lord about the mutiny he’s obviously put into motion. But he’s done in by the old man, stabbed as the rest of the crew arrive to share in the glory. Benton is back in power, and with a ruthless crew of men behind him this time even more than before. Could get ugly, right quick.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 10.53.23 PMGovernor Chesterfield (Evan Jonigkeit) is getting awful serious. However, he doesn’t know that Michael and his gang are right underneath Fort James, as he conducts artillery drills on the cliffs, digging into the root cellar.
In Montreal, Elizabeth Carruthers (Katie McGrath) receives a little visit from Malcolm Brown (Michael Patric). He’d like her to let his brother Douglas (Allan Hawco) out of his obligations with her company. They want to start over, just the Brown brothers doing their business. She refuses, and Douglas isn’t wholly excited about it, either. He feels caught in the middle of it all unfairly, also he doesn’t think starting over with their own company is smart. Malcolm gets far too personal, though. Yet Elizabeth knows how to keep her man occupied; just ask him into the bedroom, put on something sexy. Perhaps their bond might get too close for even the older brother to break.
So, are you not my dog?”
Im not your dog. Im your husband.”
My husband who will heel for me? My husband who will beg for me?”
At Fort James, Harp and the lads are sneaking around. They’re trying to do things without shedding blood. Well, any blood that’s not their own. Taggart cuts himself to make it look like he’s been stabbed. A distraction for a few of the redcoats nearby, so Charleston and Harp can get their hands on a bit of weaponry, some gunpowder. Not long later they meet up with Michael underground.
They get to business lighting the cannon, waiting for the perfect time. And then they punch a hole right through that wall.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.00.21 PMWhen Grace (Zoe Boyle) gets back to her ale house, she finds the place is deteriorating. Seeing as how the Governor turned it into shit after she left. Mary (Breanne Hill) sends her upstairs knowing the Gov is in bed with Imogen (Diana Bentley). So much for those marriage vows. Regardless, Grace brings the letter from her father she forged, to take back what’s rightfully hers. Chesterfield’s shown his adultery, so she could get an annulment of their marriage. We’ll see where this goes. Even though she’s right, she’s playing a dangerous dance with that madman. And it’s right after that Taggart sees the Governor is getting suspicious about something going on around the fort.
Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle) gets a surprise when Elizabeth shows up with papers and the authorities, dragging Cobbs Pond (Greg Bryk) off jail. Although the right hand man isn’t what you’d call worried, not like Grant. Elizabeth is really putting the screws to the rich American. She knows all about Samuel and Cobbs’ relationship.
What does she think of him? “Oh, youre an insignificant man,” she tells him. She sees through his facade: “Im more of a man than youll ever be.” He gets handsy, so she cracks him in the head pretty good. But he overpowers her, starting to strangle her. She’s able to give him another whack and crawl away. Doesn’t get far before he caves her head in with a final blow. Wow. Clenna (Lyla Porter-Follows) even offers to help dispose of the corpse.
Cobbs gets the shit kicked out of him in his prison cell. He tells a story about a boy with “pretty eyes” and a “cruel tongue” who hurt him once. So later on, Cobbs popped his eye out with a spoon for revenge. He takes his beating fairly well, too. A strong, twisted man. Of course his story is a pretence to distracting his attackers before striking back, viciously. He’s on his way to getting out of that cage.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.18.25 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.21.29 PMAt the fort, Chesterfield sees Michael, who’s providing his own distraction to keep the soldiers busy while Harp and the rest do their business. When the Governor gets really suspicious, he realises they’re after the furs and heads to the storehouse. Harp is going to stay behind, keeping the soldiers busy while everyone escapes.
Is Harp going to wind up in the gallows all over again? Right now, him and the new Governor are going to have a face off, that’s for damn sure! The soldiers are no match for our half Native, half Irish warrior. He gets away before the Governor shows up, a nice head start. And none of the soldiers heading after him through the tunnel know what’s waiting for them on the other side: a lit cannon.
While the Natives head out with the pelts alongside Michael, McTaggart and Charleston go back for Harp, winding up at the end of a bunch of soldiers rifles. Underground, Chesterfield’s survived the blast, but he’s absolutely feeling the effects of getting nearly blown to bits. It’s all about to boil over, especially with Harp stuck at the fort.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.30.58 PMAnother great episode in Season 2. Only one more left! Already there’s a Season 3 renewal, that’s great because I don’t want to be waiting, wondering if they’ll be continuing on or if we’re left partway through the overall story.
“Keetom Takooteeoo Maheekun (Return of the Wolf)” is next, finishing an intense and wild season.

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Frontier – Season 2, Episode 4: “Mutiny”

Discover’s Frontier
Season 2, Episode 4: “Mutiny”
Directed by David Frazee
Written by Adriana Maggs

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Wolf and the Bear” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Cannonball” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.40.18 PMIn Montreal, we find Malcolm Brown (Michael Patric) running into Declan Harp (Jason Momoa). The big man needs a buyer for pelts. He wants to get a meeting with Elizabeth Carruthers (Katie McGrath) via Malcolm’s brother, her new husband Douglas (Allan Hawco). Of course he wants a bit of money for the trouble. But he takes Harp, along with Charleston (Demetrius Grosse), to meet the widow. She’s pleasantly surprised. They chat briefly, and she invites him to her place for dinner that evening. While McTaggart (Jamie Sives), Charleston, and Harp plan, there’s always Cobbs Pond (Greg Bryk) lurking, plotting, keeping an eye out out for Mr. Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle).
What a devious business, the fur trade.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.41.18 PMWhat about Michael Smyth (Landon Liboiron) and Sokanon (Jessica Matten)? They’re watching the root cellar, the storehouse. It’s obvious they care for one another, yet the divide between their worlds is always evident, as well. In the meantime, they’re going to talk with Grace Emberly (Zoe Boyle) for more help with their latest plans. Except that Grace isn’t around, she’s in Montreal. There’s nastier stuff about within the fort itself, as women like Imogen (Diana Bentley) have to sell themselves to the awful men there, and Mary (Breanne Hill) is only safe because she tends bar. It’s a hideous situation. One that Sokanon hates to witness.
Out on the ship, Chaulk (Kathryn Wilder) and Lord Benton (Alun Armstrong) hear the vicious whipping of Mr. Darragh (Joel Thomas Hynes) before he’s tossed in a cell, as well. The Lord is getting his brutishness back. I suspect he’ll be staging quite the mutiny soon enough.
At the Carruthers house, Elizabeth and Douglas receive Harp for dinner. The others, including Malcolm, have to eat in another room, of course. Ah, the class divisions even amongst friends and family! What a time. Harp works on establishing a “business relationship” with the widow. The two end up talking alone together, about the fact Declan is known for “hunting men” not beaver. She wants to know about the death of his wife, he briefly speaks of Lord Benton, though without naming him. He’s mostly concerned with everyone who lives “in the shadow of the HBC.” He’s a revolutionary, and she’s impressed enough to want to give him a chance. They’ve struck a deal.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.48.20 PMSokanon is finding it difficult amongst the evil of white men. Young girls and women prostituted for petty coin. A young Native girl at the ale house is unknowingly sold to an officer, she’s attacked in the back room by him. Mary refuses to allow it. She stabs the officer in the neck. When he fights back a bit, she stabs him with another knife in the top of the head. They’ve got quite a crime to cover up. Governor Chesterfield (Evan Jonigkeit) is mostly drowning himself in alcohol, letting whatever happens happen.
On her journey, Grace is with Jean-Marc Rivard (Paul Fauteux). She tells him of her father’s death, a couple years ago. She never went to see him when he requested. Now she’s going to fake that her father is still alive with Rivard’s help, so that she won’t lose everything back home.
Charleston: “White folks are white folks. No offence.”
McTaggart: “None taken. Im Scottish.”
When Grace goes looking for her father’s things, speaking with an innkeeper (Codco alumni Greg Malone), she finds his seal, which ought to help trick people into believing him not dead. There’s also suggestions that Grace didn’t have such a wonderful relationship with dear ole dad.
On the streets, Charleston is taken hostage by Pond when he goes for the gunpowder, letting McTaggart and Harp get away. Uh oh. His “black loyalist” line doesn’t do him any good. On the ship, Chaulk and Benton put together a plan to have the ship turn around, spoiling the water to force a return to land.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.58.10 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-14 at 1.07.46 PMPond is using Charleston as a bargaining chip against Harp. So the big guy goes into the street willingly. He’s not afraid, even with a bounty out on his head. He heads off with Pond and his men, leaving Charleston in the street, McTaggart in an alley. Harp is brought to the town square, thrown in the stocks. Grant shows up gloating, wanting to offer the big man a way out if he gives up information concerning the widow. But you know Harp’s not having that shit: “Youre blocking my view,” he quips from his precarious position.
Can McTaggart get his buddy out? Maybe he and Charleston make a proper team. They acquire a few items necessary for the task of freeing Harp. Then, Vlad (James Preston Rogers), that unkillable Siberian offers to take the big guy to his trial. At the same time, Rivard stumbles onto the scene; he rushes back to tell Grace. McTaggart unlocks Harp, setting into motion quite a bout of chaos, as Charleston waits in the wings with a rifle. Grace gets there just in time with the sealed declaration from Chesterfield concerning the bounty being dropped. BAM! What a woman. Although Harp hates to hear what she’s had to sacrifice personally to get it done.
At Fort James, Sokanon and Michael run into Mary and the young Native girl disposing of the officer’s body. They help get rid of him. Sokanon fears for the girl, wanting to get her back to her people, to be safe. Mary knows this is best. Sad to see here the disconnect between the young girl and her rightful home, taken away to the cities, assigned a dehumanising job, forced to speak English versus Sokanon, a strong warrior for her tribe.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 1.10.40 PMWonderful episode! A favourite of mine so far. Glad they’ve already announced a Season 3. “Cannonball” comes next. Excited to see more action.

Frontier – Season 2, Episode 3: “The Wolf and the Bear”

Discovery’s Frontier
Season 2, Episode 3: “The Wolf and the Bear”
Directed by John Vatcher
Written by Chris Roberts

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Wanted” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Mutiny” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 1.24.36 AMMichael Smyth (Landon Liboiron) and Sokanon (Jessica Matten) have become intimate, which isn’t entirely a surprise, particularly seeing as how she’s gotten fond of him lately more than ever. Partners in bed, partners in crime. And soon, they’re reunited with Declan Harp (Jason Momoa), his lads McTaggart (Jamie Sives) and the freed slave Charleston (Demetrius Grosse) alongside. They’re getting ready to go to war, baby!
On the ship, Lord Benton (Alun Armstrong) is palling around with Chaulk (Kathryn Wilder), the young girl posing as a boy. Likewise, we see Mr. Darrow (Joel Thomas Hynes) stepping up for Chaulk, to the dismay of Commander Everton (Jean-Michel Le Gal). Could be trouble out on the open ocean.
Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 1.28.39 AMLater together, Michael tells Declan what’s been going on, after he went missing for ages and Dimanche left, too. The big man believes his friend and Sokanon “belong together.” But he reminds the young man: “Just remember, shes family.” Michael keeps trying to push his fur thieving onto everybody, but it isn’t big enough an impact to start taking down the Hudson’s Bay Company.
In Fort James, Grace Emberly (Zoe Boyle) is having a real hard time with her husband Governor Chesterfield (Evan Jonigkeit). He’s taking over all her property, all her father’s things. He wants her to “be reasonable” aka fuck him. Our lady’s too strong, she won’t let this slide. Such was the plight of being a woman under the thumb of the patriarchy in the 18th century.
Still hoping to sway the Marquis Beaumont, Cobbs Pond (Greg Bryk) and Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle) are turning Clenna Dolan (Lyla Porter-Follows) into a proper high class lady. She’s up against a rock and a hard place. Either she sways the man, or she’s cut loose with nothing. Hopefully she doesn’t have to do anything disgraceful, she won’t have that shit.
Coin for blood is Bentons way
We can fight them without becoming them, Sokanon.”
Harp’s agreed to do a bit of thieving. Except no small-time job, they’re robbing Fort James: 10,000 pelts. Hmm. I wonder if Grace might prove helpful to her old pal Declan, which could perhaps help with her situation concerning Chesterfield; or, could make it worse, who knows. Just a thought. First, Michael and Declan and their gang have to figure out a solid plan.
Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 1.37.29 AMWhen the lads get going, McTaggart gets shot in the leg from further in the forest. Charleston’s pretty keen on weaponry, sure it’s only one man attacking. He even gets a makeshift tourniquet on his new buddy, before Harp sends them off to their destination, a friend named Jack’s cabin. Then our big bad warrior goes after the man preying on him, Vlad Tetukin (James Preston Rogers), the Siberian bounty hunter. This puts the two men into a man-to-man fight after Harper breaks his gun with a tomahawk. Only the Siberian has other ideas, like tracking the others to the cabin. Oh, damn.
Out on the town in Montreal, Elizabeth Carruthers (Katie McGrath) and husband Douglas Brown (Allan Hawco) run into Cobbs and Clenna, on their way to see the Marquis. Liz is continually plotting, trying to get the upper hand on the fur trade. Although Douglas isn’t happy to see she’s planning on including Clenna in her machinations against Grant’s business. He’s experienced jail for crimes he didn’t commit, he knows the horror. And he’s a man! Imagine what it’d be like for a young Irish girl like Ms. Dolan. Lord almighty.
Sokanon takes Michael to see a Native man named Wahush, he makes canoes. They’re old friends, these two. Possibly closer than that. Regardless, he’s happy to meet the Irishman. They go with Wahush to where his people stay along the river. We find out more: Sokanon and Wahush were “promised” to each other, before Lord Benton turned up and tore the place apart. The two nearly embrace, alone, though she realises coming to him was a mistake.
Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 1.39.49 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-03 at 1.41.44 AMGrace goes to see Chesterfield, who gives her back a hat belonging to her father. He’s a bit more sweet now, all of a sudden. She’s also suddenly trying to be nicer, even if just for her own sake right now. She wants to try settling into the house with him. There isn’t much choice for her, unfortunately. She tries a bit of snooping while he’s out of the room, looking to find more of her father’s official things, regarding the ale house; Chesterfield doesn’t mince words, he intends on taking anything she owns for himself.
At night on the ship, Darrow talks with Benton. The Lord tells him that Everton has discovered “Chaulks secret.” And so now, he wants Darrow to help conceal the truth. But the Commander supposedly has ideas about what they’re going to do to the young girl. This all sets Darrow on a collision course: will he do what I believe, in order to save the girl? Chaulk looks for him a while after, finding Darrow going to work on the Commander.
In Montreal, Grant receives the Marquis at his grand home, live musicians playing music from Vienna, Clenna there to woo him. We’ll see how well it goes. Meanwhile, across the city, Douglas and Elizabeth rage at one another over the latest hiccups in her quest for domination. He apologises to her for what Grant put him and Malcolm (Michael Patric) up to, sabotaging the furs; he confessed so as not to let Clenna take the fall. He wants to try making it up to his new wife, no matter if Malc is happy. What does the brother do? He goes behind Douglas’ back, right to Mr. Pond. This is right when Liz strolls in to see Grant, the Marquis, revealing the damage of the furs. Cocking things up bad for Grant.
Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 1.55.00 AMHeading further to Jack’s cabin, Charleston and McTaggart find only the Siberian. But through a bit of fuckery, Harp gets his boys out, and blows the place sky high with the bounty hunter inside. Their friend Jack’s been killed, so at least there’s a slice of revenge.
In the meantime, Wahush agrees to help Sokanon and Michael with the robbery at Fort James. However, there’s a reluctance, or a slight sense of competition between him and Michael that won’t quite end just yet.
Chesterfield is gone mad back at the fort. Because Grace is gone. She’s set off to Montreal, to find her father. So the spited governor husband decides to give the ale house away, anyway. Like a right prick. This also puts the women working there in hideous danger.
Oh, and the Siberian? Ain’t dead, dude. Bad motherfucker. He’s beat up, but not dead.
Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 2.11.47 AMWow. This was one of my favourite episodes of the whole series, Season 1 included! Love it. Also really dig that Joel Thomas Hynes is getting more screentime, I hope he’ll stay around. He just won a Governor General Literary Award (Fiction) here in Canada, so he’s not only a Newfoundlander, born and bred – and he’ll be one ’till he diesssss – he is also a big time author to boot.
“Mutiny” comes to us next week. I’m sure that word might involve Mr. Darrow, somehow. Is Benton mounting a comeback strategy? Oh, so exciting, so devious.

Frontier – Season 2, Episode 1: “Dead Reckoning”

Discovery’s Frontier
Season 2, Episode 1: “Dead Reckoning
Directed by Brad Peyton
Written by Sherry White

* For a recap & review of the Season 1 finale, “The Gallows” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Wanted” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 2.43.54 PMWe start in the Northern Territories, shot in my beautiful home province of Newfoundland and Labrador. On a snowy hilltop is Declan Harp (Jason Momoa), bloodied, injured. Someone comes upon him, an old friend, Jean-Marc Rivard (Paul Fauteux). He sends the man further north in a boat after tending to him a little.
At Fort James, Captain Chesterfield (Evan Jonigkeit) announces there’s a reward of “two thousand pounds” for the head of the rebel Harp.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 2.45.36 PMIn disputed territory, a group of Natives run through the forest. Alongside them is Michael Smyth (Landon Liboiron) and Sokanon (Jessica Matten). Everything’s been changing, none of them knowing where Harp has ended up yet. Michael’s headed to Montreal on trading business, fur to sell.
Back in Fort James, Lord Benton (Alun Armstrong) is suffering in bed, giving orders to Cpt. Chesterfield who isn’t exactly loving his employment. The older man is unimpressed with him. He threatens to send Chesterfield back to London to an even more subordinate position. The younger of the men believes he has much to offer, though Benton compares him unfavourably to a lesser “chimpanzee.” Meanwhile, Grace Emberly (Zoe Boyle) is dealing with her own new life in the changing conditions around Fort James. She and Chesterfield are still working together, but Benton has an iron grip on the place. She advises to talk to the others around there; they aren’t the only ones unhappy. He starts talking to the men, airing his grievances, and others absolutely agree that Benton is a “madman.”
In Montreal, Michael goes to sell his pelts in the marketplace. We also see Elizabeth Carruthers (Katie McGrath) about, trying to do her own dealings in the fur trade. Although she comes up against male resistance, she’s not one to back down. This has Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle) considering his own options behind closed doors after Cobbs Pond (Greg Bryk) brings back the information, spying on Elizabeth. Lord, Pond is creepy. Him and his blood lipstick. Yuck.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 2.58.40 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-19 at 2.53.07 PMIn Fort James, Cpt. Chesterfield has Benton removed as Governor. He asks a Captain Gray to take him into custody. They’ve ousted him, implicating him for the murders he committed. Of course the old man cries foul, but it doesn’t look like things are going to go well for him. All’s proper under the HBC charter. Chesterfield is left as Governor for the time being.
When Declan wakes he’s disoriented. He’s in a tipi, being cared for by a Native man. He gets a bite to eat, warms by the fire. But he’s in a goddamn state, looking horrible. At least he’s still alive, still surviving. Trying to make his way back to friends. Back at the bar in Ft. James, Grace and Rivard realise they have to somehow get word to Harp, to warn him of bounty hunters after him following the reward. Lots of bad lads looking to collect. Like one giant bastard, prison tattoos over his face. He stomps a man’s head in outside the bar for sassing him inside, vicious and bloody.
Up in Montreal, Michael’s chased down, someone saying he thieved pelts from them. One of the Red Coats grazes him with a bullet as he runs off. He’s saved by two Native men in the woods, they put arrows in the Reds and take Michael away. Out of the woods, he sees Sokanon come.
You can only break the circles of revenge with forgiveness
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 3.09.28 PMGrace isn’t pleased with the man stomped to death outside her bar. She asks Chesterfield why the place isn’t safer. She makes a bold suggestion: drop the bounty for Harp, she’ll marry the new Governor. A “united front” in their little fort. If the bounty’s gone, the influx of people will slow a bit, at least the really dangerous ones. But, poor Grace. I wouldn’t want to be married to that dude.
At work in Montreal, Clenna Dolan (Lyla Porter-Follows) works away, until she’s discovered by Elizabeth. The woman marvels at the young girl’s beauty, wondering why she’s working away in such a place, but also a bit dismissive of where she came from in a “dirty little rat hole.” She plans on using Clenna to help in her plan for maneuvering around the fur trade. The young girl brings a gift to Mr. Grant from Mrs. Carruthers. In the case she delivers is a decapitated head. Quite a message; it nearly topples Grant. Still, there’s a ways to go before Elizabeth gains the respect of all these stupid, sexist men. Not to mention Clenna’s in trouble when Cobbs gets hold of her, putting her a torture device similar to the rack, twisting her limbs until they break.
In a dark dungeon, Douglas Brown (Allan Hawco) is released. He’s immediately brought to Elizabeth. She’s freed him, needing him as a husband to pretend to run the company in that misogynist world. Still, Douglas won’t accept, at least until the threat of that dungeon is back on the table. He wants access to her money and “certain comforts.” Thus, they’re married on the spot, not even time for him to wash his arse.
Back at Ft. James is another marriage, as well, Chesterfield and Grace signing the appropriate papers to become man and wife. Not much ceremony. Then again, so many women married back then for many reasons. Sadly, Grace finds out very quickly the new Governor is a little reluctant to remove the bounty. Maybe he’s going mad with power, believing he can take what he wants. He makes clear Grace must go to bed with him before the bounty’s revoked.
Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 3.23.16 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-19 at 3.30.36 PMSokanon is discovering she may have to leave Harp behind, as her people suffer while he’s lost someplace else. The men of her tribe hate seeing their girls, raped by white men, while they sit back and do nothing. They want to take action. And further north, Declan slowly readies himself to try getting back, to help in the fight.
On his trek through the woods, Rivard encounters the tattooed Frenchman, the bounty hunter seeking Harp.
Uh oh. Lots of wild shit about to go down! Frontier is fantastic, a full-throttle action series with lots of drama and thrills along the way. Season 2 is looking nice already, so I can’t wait for the next episode.