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Review: Mystery lingers in ‘Listener’ finale

There was a definite sense after last week’s episode of The Listener that the finale would have plenty on its hands—the IIB was faced with one stunner of a weekly case while Tia and Oz still had to provide closure to the series’ longest running mystery. While Becker’s storyline offered up a meaty intrigue, things fell a bit short when it came to Toby’s reunion with his mother.

The Rookie Blue fan in me was excited to hear Noam Jenkins would be appearing in the finale as the Becker-thwarting baddie, although his tense posturing quickly tipped me off that we didn’t actually have two dirty cops on our hands, or even one. But the incriminating evidence Griffin (Bruce Gray, All My Children) was able to build up had me wishing this sort of investigation could have gone on for a bigger lead into the finale, especially when Becker had to negotiate how much he trusted his new team with how important it was to protect an old friend. He and Michelle have been getting closer throughout the season, but despite all his talk it wasn’t until this episode that Becker and Toby finally sorted their issues out.

As for Michelle, after the expectation she’d had at the beginning of the season that she would become head of the unit, it was interesting to see how she ran the team once given orders to investigate Becker. Much as I lost most of my respect for Griffin when he dangled that promotion back in her face, at least she finally got her chance to lead before the show wrapped. And I would not have wanted to be Griffin considering her expression after he threatened her family, guaranteeing that however they might stack the evidence against Becker, Michelle wouldn’t just roll over. Of course, with the way things ended Michelle seems to be going a more traditional route by clocking in two months on the road with her family instead of leveraging her big bust—but after four years of high–intensity work, she’s probably earned that vacation. How long she’ll be able to keep herself in vacation mode is another matter entirely.

In fact, even though this has been Toby’s show from the start—he and Oz being our mainstays over the past five years—the finale felt more like it belonged to Michelle, or even Dev and Alex, more than our teal-sporting lead despite the big reveal at the end. What the episode did show us was how far Toby and Michelle have come as a team as he trusted her when she asked him to read Becker (not to mention a few episodes back when she trusted him to read her). Outside the office offered more as Tia, taking advantage of Dev’s open computer, finally found Toby’s missing mother only to be misled into believing she was dead. After all these years, that couldn’t possibly have been the ending, so Maya’s perfectly-timed reappearance in Toby’s life didn’t surprise me as much as it did him.

But instead of offering the answers about why the pair had been split up for so long, or what role The Institute had to play in everything, the two sat down for tea as The Listener rolled to a close—leaving us with some mysteries still unsolved. Given the way the show changed over the years, it’s entirely possible the writers weren’t interested in going there anymore, but without any resolution that half of the conclusion felt more rushed. Even Dev and Alex suddenly and awkwardly admitting their feelings and running off to the dance floor together at least had enough build to it that Alex’s “that took way too long” came from us as much as herself. Then again, in a world where a mind-reading paramedic can end up cracking the nation’s highest-ranking corruption ring, maybe there are only so many answers we can expect.

What did you think of The Listener finale? Let me know in the Comments below!

Tonight: The Listener series finale, Don’t Drive Here, Majumder Manor

Listener

The Listener, CTV – “In Our Midst”
Michelle (Lauren Lee Smith), Toby (Craig Olejnik), and Dev (Rainbow Sun Francks) find themselves in the extremely uncomfortable position of investigating their own boss. On clandestine orders from Judge Samuel Griffin (Bruce Gray, TRADERS) and Deputy Commissioner Earl Bamford (Brian Paul) of the IIB, the team must look into Becker’s (Anthony Lemke) dealings with Curtis Maynard (Noam Jenkins, COVERT AFFAIRS), a disgraced former cop with connections to drug dealing. Also in this gratifying conclusion to the series, secrets from Toby’s past are finally brought to light. An encore presentation of the series finale airs Saturday, Aug. 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Don’t Drive Here, Discovery – Nairobi (season premiere)
Host Andrew Younghusband has a week to learn what it takes to navigate the chaos of the world’s worst places to drive; this week: Nairobi.

Majumder Manor, W Network – season finale