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.

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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 2: “Wanted”

Discover’s Frontier
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
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 11.45.35 PMIn 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.
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 11.53.59 PMIn 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.
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 11.57.32 PMAmongst 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!
Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 12.14.25 AMThe 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.

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.