Shoot the Messenger closes out Season 1 in thrilling fashion

How was Sam going to clean up this mess?! That’s the question, among others, I had after last Monday’s episode of Shoot the Messenger. It was certainly going to take more than a couple of wet wipes to tidy up the situation after Sam beat Marco DaSilva to death and grabbed the cell phone. And, with Phil Hardcastle arrested, there was no one to help Sam distance himself from the crime.

The “Full Circle” teleplay, written by Jennifer Holness and directed by Sudz Sutherland, did just that, tying up the loose ends that have been dangling since Episode 1.

Things certainly didn’t look good for Daisy and Simon when things started to roll. Sam Charles’ lawyer, Lewis, had slapped The Gazette with an injunction, delaying story they’d been working so hard on. I can’t help but feel co-creators Sutherland and Holness were not only showing how much legwork it takes to uncover a big story like the one created for Shoot the Messenger, but took a swipe at websites that post articles without doing due diligence, all in the name of clicks. (The fact Shoot the Messenger is airing amid fake news reporting is timely as heck.)

It was, as a writer myself, really interesting to observe the way Mary, Daisy, Simon and Marty sussed out how The Gazette could still write a story about Sam Charles without expressly tying him directly to anything they wrote, including Lawson’s parties and the super jail.

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Meanwhile, Lutz was putting small pieces of his own puzzle together, slowly tying Sam Charles to DaSilva’s death and Lawson’s blackmail plans via careful questioning. With the forensic reports in, DaSilva was identified as the one who’d killed Avril, Hassan and Khaalid, clearing Sam of the deeds. But who, Lutz wanted to know, killed DaSilva?

It wasn’t until halfway through the episode—when Nazeem sat down with Lutz and Daisy—that the circumstances surrounding Khaalid were fully realized. Drugs supplied to Lawson’s sex parties led to Avril and her retinue of ladies. Khaalid became involved with Harry and Sam, and Nazeem and Hassan were determined to pull their friend out by using the video to blackmail Sam into letting Khaalid leave. Hassan turned to Daisy for help, believing her story could protect him from harm. With a copy of the film in hand, Lutz had the evidence he needed. Pair that with Sam’s confession to a tearful Chloe, and his career was over. It also meant The Gazette could print the story, making Simon and Daisy’s careers.

But at what cost? Daisy’s sister has disowned her and she’s turned back to cocaine for solace.

Like I said in an earlier review, Shoot the Messenger is not the type of show you watch while checking emails. It deserves your full attention because of all the machinations and subtleties going on. But what a payoff. Stellar performances by Elyse Levesque, Lucas Bryant and Lyriq Bent carried the ball, while Sutherland and Holness’ intricate storytelling took Season 1 over the goal line.

What did you think of Season 1 of Shoot the Messenger? Comment below!

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of 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 hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
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6 thoughts on “Shoot the Messenger closes out Season 1 in thrilling fashion”

  1. Thanks Greg for your thoughtful reviews. I enjoyed reading them on a weekly basis! We learned a lot ourselves given that this is the first season of our very first drama series. I saw all the mistakes but a lot of the love from fans too. And it was nice to read your reviews and see that someone got it! So I am glad you felt there was good payoff and that most of questions are answered. Our main cast were amazing. Elyse Levesque, Lucas Bryant, Lyriq Bent and Alex Kingston. Other actors like Edie, Ari, Hannah, Maurice, Araya, Tony (and so many others) were so terrific in their parts. Our awesome DOP Arthur Cooper, Designer Rupert Lazarus , Costume Designer, Anne Dixon and so many other made us look good! There is a lot to be grateful for and I really am. So in that spirit I thank you!

      1. Thanks Greg. I feel weird commenting on your review, but I found that you really got what we were doing. Jen had a huge task in writing this episode to wrap it all up and she did an expert job IMHO. I thought you got the nuance and have been putting in the work every week. Thanks. This was a huge job done by all cast and crew and I am very proud of the work. Thanks for critiquing Canadian TV. We have some great shows here.

  2. Nazeem was hands down the most underrated character on the show.

    That kid basically tied the entire show together and explained it for anyone (like myself) who was having a bit of trouble figuring out exactly how everybody was connected. What an exciting finale!

    I’ve never seen the actor who plays Nazeem before in any other production but I’m sure I will soon.

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