Everything about Shoot the Messenger, eh?

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!

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Shoot the Messenger sprints towards the finale

OK, so I was wrong. Last week, I proposed that Hassan survived his tumble off the Scarborough Bluffs while he tried to escape the mystery man carrying the gun on Shoot the Messenger. Instead, he died and the phone has fallen into someone else’s hands … it was revealed Phil Hardcastle—working at the behest of Lawson—was the guy with the gun and, for now, the phone.

That wasn’t the only big-time revelation uncovered in “Darkness Comes to Light.” Sam, after being confronted by Daisy regarding his relationship with Khaalid and thrown out of his office, admitted the truth to Chloe that he is bisexual. (She did not, it should be noted, end her relationship with Sam and stood by him.) Of course, it only took the length of a cab ride back to the office before Simon was called into Mary’s office and grilled about why Sam’s attorney had called, threatening to sue The Gazette.

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The surprises continued down the line, with Lutz telling Daisy that Hassan was dead, and Daisy relaying to Lutz the contents of the phone video. After all that work and digging for the truth, The Gazette didn’t break the story about Sam and Khaalid; that fell to Ruckus 247, a gossip website. Kudos to Sam for keeping a brave face on after coming out of the bathroom and seeing his staff stare at him. Not only is his secret uncovered but his ascent to the prime minister’s office isn’t happening. Despite Ruckus 247 breaking the Sam-Khaalid video, the official story containing details into the super jail, funnelled cash and other war room notes leading to murder that hasn’t come to light, and Simon, Daisy and Mary put things in high gear to write it all up. A court injunction is keeping the lid on The Gazette for now, but I’m pretty sure it will all come out.

Meanwhile, Ortiz and Lutz squared up with guns and gangs to take aim at Lawson while Sam met with him to discuss the destruction of the cell phone. Throw a former—supposedly crooked cop—twisted cottage parties and Hardcastle’s arrest, and Shoot the Messenger is headed for an explosive season finale next week.

Shoot the Messenger‘s season finale airs next Monday at 9 p.m. on CBC.

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Link: Interview with Shoot the Messenger producers Sudz Sutherland and Jennifer Holness

From Koliah Bourne of Shifter:

Link: Interview with Shoot the Messenger producers Sudz Sutherland and Jennifer Holness
“We are looking at how we can bring humanity to our characters. You know let’s understand why they’re doing this, and also let us understand our own perception, such that when we see these things, what do we think? It probably looks more complicated than the show looks but that’s the kind of thinking that we were doing when we’re creating this.” Continue reading.

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Shoot the Messenger goes boom

The last couple of episodes of Shoot the Messenger have been slow burns as momentum has worked up through dramatic tension to the inevitable explosive finale. Hassan has been trying to control the situation around the cell phone while Daisy, Simon and Lutz have dug for more information on Harry while the noose around Lawson tightened.

Monday’s newest, “News Travels Fast” by Ian Barr and directed by Gary Harvey, set off two explosive charges on the storylines.

In the first, Hassan has apparently tumbled off the Scarborough Bluffs, possibly to his death. After thwarting all attempts Phil Hardcastle has made to this point, it looks like his luck has run out. He’d secured $50,000 from Daisy and a rival newspaper for the video of Khaalid and Sam, but chose to gloat next to the cliffs. It would appear Phil finally found him. But I have my suspicions that Hassan is OK; folks are pulled from the Bluffs by emergency services all the time and Lutz is down on the beach so it makes sense he’ll be all right.

Not so OK? Sam Charles. Daisy tossed a verbal grenade into his lap by outright questioning his relationship with Khaalid. I have no idea how Sam is going to answer it—that will come next week—but I’m sure it will further estrange the Channing sisters. Not that they were doing all that well relationship-wise. Though their birthday dinner with Henry did have a precious few feel-good moments, it was marred by bitterness and old emotions.

And, unfortunately, emotions got the better of Lutz and Daisy, who went from a quick makeout scene in his car following the dead-end that was Harry to slow bout of lovemaking back at his place. I couldn’t help but giggle inappropriately at Harvey’s choice of visuals while Lutz and Daisy romped: tools screwed bugs into Lawson’s office and were inserted into his car. Sometimes, the symbolism is obvious.

Shoot the Messenger airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

 

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Shoot the Messenger gains momentum

Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive!
—”Marmion,” by Walter Scott

Walter Scott’s poem is apt as Monday’s episode of Shoot the Messenger tightened frayed ends of stories and brought everything into focus for Mary, Simon and Daisy. “Strange Bedfellows,” written by Carol Hay (Murdoch Mysteries) intersected with the real-life controversy surrounding the late mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. Like Ford, a video threatened to take down someone in high office; in this case it’s Sam Charles.

Simon uttered the phrase from “Marmion” as he and Daisy went old-school with photos and string, tying the relationships between Judge Reeves, Orlandio, Sam Charles, Glen McAllister, Khaalid and Eric Lawson together into a sordid stew consisting of a super jail, government funds, sex, power, corruption … and a young lad named Harry that Daisy and Lutz were both hot to hunt down.

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Harry and Khaalid, it seems, were a couple and the former went missing the same day the latter was killed. Clearly, there was a connection and Daisy aimed to find it. Thing is, Lutz had sniffed out the same information; the two converged on Harry’s home at the same time and learned (from the gardener) that Harry is in rehab. After driving there, Daisy decided to take Anthony’s advice and told Lutz about her drug-fueled past. He was certainly shocked but didn’t recoil from her. In fact, he was downright understanding and even gave her a peck on the cheek at the hotel. Good on both of them for not sullying their tentative partnership by hopping into bed.

Daisy, Mary and Simon figured out what viewers have already been largely privy to: Sam is standing in the way of Lawson’s super-jail being built and Lawson is feeling the economic squeeze. Everyone wants to get their hands on the Sam-Khaalid video Hassan has, and Hassan wants $50,000 from Daisy to hand the video over to the newspaper.

And though “Strange Bedfellows” didn’t reveal anything as shocking as two weeks ago, it did advance the plot and continue the momentum into Shoot the Messenger‘s final three episodes.

Shoot the Messenger airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

 

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