X_Company

Review: Emotional fireworks highlight X Company’s second week

Last week’s first episode of X Company was exactly the edge-of-your-seat drama that fans of co-creators Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern are used to. The duo are able to mix action with engaging characters (and a mean music montage) into tension-filled moments that leave you wanting more.

So, did Wednesday’s second episode, “Trial by Fire,” keep up the pace of last week’s debut? Yes, but in a very different way. Whereas exploding bridges and gunfights were at the centre of the debut, Wednesday’s newest storylines focused more on emotional fireworks than physical (though literal fireworks were featured during Hitler’s birthday celebrations in German-occupied Chartres, France).

Alfred went on his first mission with team and everyone—including him—realized the huge gamble they made by adding him to the team. Sure, he was the man of the hour when it came to the team’s mission off the week—to gain access to codes that would help stop the German bombings of England—but when presented with the rigours of say, parachuting into France and facing a German officer face-to-face—he was woefully unprepared. His panic attack in front of the code officer was equal parts scary and frustrating because I just wanted Alfred to snap out of it and utter the German dialogue he’d been trained to say.

Luckily, Neil was there to save their butts, but it was a harrowing few moments before the officer was dispatched and the situation rigged to look like the man had gotten drunk and taken a fatal fall out of a window while watching the fireworks.

Tom, meanwhile, used his knowledge of propaganda and gift for words to not only avoid killing the French family that saw the team land in their field but to set the record straight on the Germans, who had convinced many of the French that they meant no one harm. Dustin Milligan—who is doing double duty on CBC on X Company and Schitt’s Creek—is pitch perfect as the charming ad man with expertise in the power of words.

“Trial by Fire” was another nail-biter of an episode and, with Alfred agreeing to more missions, is taking its first steps toward one heck of a Season 1 adventure.

Notes and quotes

  • Smart move by CBC to re-air the previous week’s instalment in the hour before a new episode. Not only does it give those who missed it the first time around a chance to tune in, but it really plays up the TV-movie feel the show boasts.
  • I’m hoping the producers continue to use the spinning globe segment to show the team going overseas. It was cool.
  • One little quibble: the team should have been wearing helmets during the parachute jump.
  • Having the piano keys and Aurora both emit the colour blue—the shade that reminds Alfred of home—was a nice touch.
  • Is Harry emerging as the Q of X Company? I sure hope so.

X Company airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from countless programs. Survivor winners, Donald Trump, Jerry Bruckheimer ... he has interviewed (literally) hundreds of TV people over the course of his career. He is a past member of the Television Critics Association.
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4 thoughts on “Review: Emotional fireworks highlight X Company’s second week”

  1. I enjoyed this episode. It was great like last week’s. I even got the husband to watch as he was still on the couch after having watched his shows, Yukon Men and Swamp People.

      1. He likes all those gold shows (I do not) but he usually leaves the room when my shows come on. I’ve gotten him into a few over the years though. Sometimes I make him a deal that I’ll watch an episode of one of his shows if he agrees to watch the first episode of a show I want to see and that’s how I get him into a show. Shows we currently watch together (that we both like) are Teen Wolf, Vikings, The Originals, Vampire Diaries, Heartland and Empire. I can’t get him to watch any shows with only female leads though as he immediately labels it a “chick show” and heads for the hills.

  2. This episode fleshed out Tom’s character more so I hope future episodes go towards Harry and Neil. They’re the most bland out of the main characters right now. And I might be the only one rooting for it but I hope one of the men are LGBT so they can explore how ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ was implemented in Canada.

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