Craig Olejnik in CTV's 'The Listener.' Episode 512 'An Innocent Man.' Photo from Bell Media.

Review: The Listener goes undercover

There was plenty going down in this week’s The Listener—including a revelation that Toby’s extra-aural abilities might be a family affair—but I don’t think I’d be doing the episode any justice if I started with anything other than the amazing undercover outfits the IIB team pulled off on such short notice. After Dev’s wig and stilted lawyer-speak and Michelle’s turn as a car jacker’s winking goth girlfriend, I really wanted Toby’s stint in the big house to stretch on long enough for the whole team to stop by. Maybe Becker in baggy pants and a sleeveless top, or a matching lawyer outfit for Alex?

Understandably, Toby was less keen on that idea after Vince and McManus decided to get proactive about blocking up a leak that was going to foil Borman’s desperate final attempt at freedom—even if he showed off some impressive fighting skills while deflecting the attack. I was expecting a few more moments with The Incredible Hulk‘s Grant Nickalls as Borman, especially after the buildup about him in the beginning, but I guess since he wasn’t actually the mastermind of the coup, Nicole taking centre stage during the interrogations made more sense.

And I did really enjoy watching Michelle and Becker work together on a case again—in part because while she and Toby are a well-oiled savant team, there’s an extra sense of accomplishment between Becker and Michelle when they suss out a secret on their own, or pull off a sting the old-fashioned way. This season, despite taking on another revamp, has done a great job of giving Toby and everyone else plenty to do—building up to what I hope is going to be a satisfying finale for all the characters.

Because what was really hanging over “An Innocent Man” was the sudden news that this was the second-last episode of The Listener, ever. So even as the case of the week added tension and some undercover twists, a part of me was looking for the first signs of closure that next week’s finale should bring. Namely that Alex was back and she and Dev still haven’t made any progress with their not-so-secret crushes on each other’s brains (and, presumably, faces).

Or more importantly, the resolution over Toby’s history with The Institute and the mysterious whereabouts of a mother he’s not all that interested in finding. I know it’s all coming to a head next Monday, but I was left wishing Tia’s mysterious tip would have led to something more. Instead, it seems like Maya might have the same abilities as Toby but is leading a far less risky lifestyle—or at least one that’s seen her successfully stay one step ahead of ominous cable vans in the years since she and Toby split up.

And that’s putting a lot of pressure on the finale for fans like myself who were expecting The Institute’s resolution to play a much bigger role in the show’s conclusion. It’s looking like Toby’s going to have his hands full with internal problems at the IIB along with whatever revelations Tia and Oz bring—and how exactly he’ll handle the news that both his girlfriend and his best friend went behind his back on this after he told them not to is just one more mystery to add to next week’s pile.

The Listener finale airs next Monday at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

Eleni Armenakis
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Eleni Armenakis

Eleni Armenakis is a die-hard fan of all things Canadian, including television. She spent almost two years as a critic for TV Guide Canada covering some of her favourite CanCon, including Republic of Doyle, Orphan Black and Rookie Blue (plus guilty pleasure Bitten). When not hooked up to the little black box, she can be found freelancing, growing her collection of Canadian music or snacking.
Eleni Armenakis
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