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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Cardinal: Poor “Woody”

Before I dig into this episode of Cardinal, I have to ask one question: WHAT THE HELL is up with Delorme (Karine Vanasse)? Seriously!! Who deliberately burns the upholstery in their car with a lit cigarette, even if you do want to vandalize a relationship? Talk about passive aggressive!

OK, I have that off my chest.

We are on Episode 4; halfway through the series and once again our opening shot harkens back to the very first scene of the series. This time, however, the scene is set at night. It is Woody (Gord Rand), our cocksure career thief sitting in the the very same parking lot as John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) did in the first scene of the series. Woody is selecting his next victim based upon their purchases. And who does he spy, but “White Trash Johnny,” a.k.a. Eric (Brendan Fletcher). He follows Eric and Edie (Allie MacDonald) so he can case the neighbourhood and pick the proper time to strike. Now, correct me if I am wrong but earlier in the series, Gran’s (Amanda Smith) house was set in a little subdivision with lots of other houses nearby. Now it appears  her house is isolated amongst the birch trees. I HATE inconsistencies like this!

Anyhow, after much nagging by his wife, Woody agrees to seek respectable employment driving a snow plow for his brother-in-law. But there is a catch, he must give up his wayward habits. However, *Spoiler Alert* if you watched the entire episode, you know Woody never got the chance. Poor Woody.

Meanwhile, Delorme is still set on investigating Cardinal and seeks assistance from Commanda (Glen Gould). Commanda pays a visit to Francis (Lawrence Bayne) to discuss his connection to the poker chips and the money laundering. Francis supplies some of the bills he received from  Cardinal and Commanda, in turn, hands them over to Delorme. She runs the bills and discovers they are fresh from the bank. A dead end.

On the official investigation side of things, Cardinal and Delorme catch a lead. Keith London (Robert Naylor) arrived in Algonquin Bay via the bus depot and they trace his steps to the local bar. The bartender (James Byron) remembers seeing him because Keith got sick after just two beers. Cardinal once again pieces it together and decides it is time to canvass all hospitals, doctor offices, pharmacies and veterinarian clinics; anyone who could potentially carry the meds that made the cocktail in Curry’s toxicology report.

This is where we depart a bit from the novel. It appears writer Aubrey Nealon tucked in a bit extra for the cat and mouse game between Eric and Edie and Cardinal and Delorme. Here, Keith’s parents pay a visit to the department for an interview with Cardinal and Delorme. Sergeant Dyson (Kristen Thomas) arranges a press conference to appeal to the public for further information leading to the whereabouts of Keith London. Cardinal takes a massive  risk and encourages Keith’s mother to speak at the press conference, hoping the killer will get off on the knowledge that he gets to toy with the family of his victim which, in turn, buys the investigators more time.

In the meantime, Eric forces Keith to watch Curry’s snuff film and  Edie worries Keith now knows their secret. Eric suggests that tonight is the night: Edie can leave the little girl behind and once she kills Keith, she can be whoever she wants to be, no one will hurt her ever again. Eric then tosses Keith’s severed finger out into the woods. I have to ask … WHY would you do this? Will his hubris prove a fatal flaw? At any rate, Eric and Edie do happen to catch Cardinal’s news conference and it seems his little trick worked. Edie admits to Keith that he should be happy “because you were going to die tonight.”

On the home-front, Josh (Alden Adair) pays a visit to John; he apparently needs to talk. Knowing Lise was smoking again “Mr. Geology” did some digging around and instead discovered Delorme’s birth control pills hidden in the car. In spite of his initial suspicions that Lise and John are having an affair, he realizes that is not the case. But, in his drunken state he also lets it slip that Delorme’s transfer from Financial is just temporary.

The episode closes with Woody breaking into Gran’s (Amanda Smith) house. He heads to the basement where he makes the grisly discovery. Sadly, he did not arrive soon enough and Edie and Eric catch him in the process of trying to untie Keith. Woody meets his demise at the hands of Eric. I guess he should have listened to his wife.

Remaining questions: Who is in the white Ford SUV following Cardinal? My guess it is Musgrave (David Richmond-Peck), but I honestly don’t know for sure. And, can we officially ditch Josh? After all, he was not in the original text to start with. What is the point of him other than filler to promote the Delorme/Cardinal tension?

This was another strong episode, nicely pieced together despite the many intertwined storylines. The pace is consistent and is slowly mounting as the suspense level grows. Fletcher is entirely convincing as our psychopathic serial killer; I really don’t want to meet him anytime soon after watching this. I know many of you have serious crushes on Billy Campbell, but I am finding myself bored with his character now. I understand this guy has a lot going on in his head but for God’s sake man, emote just a little bit so we know you are human. I just don’t feel Campbell’s full talents were tapped into during this episode. Karine Vanasse on the other hand is fantastic. She is completely believable as a woman with many faces. Brava!

Let me know what you think so far in the comments below.

Cardinal airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.


Link: Women Behind Canadian TV: Tara Armstrong

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Women Behind Canadian TV: Tara Armstrong
“For me, as a woman, I am drawn to stories that have female characters at the heart of the story and all of my projects do. That’s personally what I’m most interested in and want to work on. For the character of Mary, I did want to write a really complex character who is ultimately compassionate, but she also makes really questionable decisions that we don’t always understand. I think it’s important to show female characters in a way that is not straightforward and we don’t always have to like them. The more representations of women, and everything that comes with being a woman, that we can put out there, the more helpful that is for us.” Continue reading. 


Link: Chatting with Heartland’s Jade

From Carol Hansson of Horse Canada:

Link: Chatting with Heartland’s Jade
“When I first came on the show Jade was 16, and just so lost, and had a lot of anger, and confusion about herself and just, no real path. And now in season 10, I mean she is by no means perfect or even close to it, but she has goals, she has a place where she really thrives and belongs (the rodeo), and she has at least one real friend (Georgie).” Continue reading. 


The Nature of Things decodes the fascinating world of body language

I know body language can give you away. The way someone sits, leans, turns their head or fidgets can betray what one really thinks despite what words are said. If a picture can say 1,000 words, what can body language tell you? A heck of a lot more than I first assumed.

That’s what I came away with after watching a screener for “Body Language Decoded.” Broadcast as part of this Thursday’s The Nature of Things, written and directed by Geoff D’Eon and created and produced by Edward Peill, “Body Language Decoded” is a fascinating peek into how our bodies communicate in the most subtle of ways.

The instalment begins with the face and 43 muscles capable of creating thousands of intricate expressions that are hardwired into the brain. Why? Facial expressions were the key component to communication between early humans. Those automatic reactions have served FBI agent Joe Navarro well; he spent 25 years reading body language for the Bureau, earning the nickname “The Spy Catcher.” And while Navarro did read faces in order to gauge what was really going on with someone, he found an unlikely source for reading body language: the feet. Part of the limbic system, our feet and bodies tell the true tale of how we’re reacting to the world and each other.

Knowledge of the limbic system comes into play for Dr. Jillian Glass, who heads to the Santa Monica Pier to do one of my favourite pastimes: people watching. It’s there she can see how a young woman’s body shows her devotion to a man, and how his posture betrays his aloofness. Toes turned towards your mate? There’s a good chance the relationship is solid.

One of the most interesting segments of “Body Language Decoded” spends time covering the art of deception and the physical signs we give off when trying to lie. Footage of former U.S. president Bill Clinton is shown denying relations with Monica Lewinsky, and Nova Scotia mother Penny Boudreau who pleaded for the return of her missing daughter, Karissa. In the former case, lies were effectively told; in the latter, Boudreau was found guilty of murdering Karissa, showcasing how the body can hide or reveal a lie.

The Nature of Things airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of Tell Tale Productions.


X Company 306: The spies must meet “Supply and Demand”

Last week on X Company, the Nazis discovered there are spies in both the Race and Resettlement office and the Polish Resistance. In this week’s new episode, “Supply and Demand,” Aurora (Évelyne Brochu) struggles to maintain her cover as Heidi (Madeleine Knight) searches for the mole. Meanwhile, Sinclair (Hugh Dillon) sends over two new Camp X recruits to help the team uncover more intelligence on Operation Marigold.

Here is our sneak peek.

Into the heart of darkness
This season has already been heavy, and “Supply and Demand” continues the trend, with more than one character forced to make impossible choices for the greater good.

“The closer we get to the heart of the beast, the harder things have to get for our main characters,” episode writer and producer Julie Puckrin tells us.

Aurora continues her dangerous dance with the enemy
When she’s not busy trying to keep her cover, Aurora must work as a cog in the Nazi death machine that is destroying her own people.

“The theme of this season was ‘becoming the enemy,’ and in many ways, Aurora is being tested more and more,” Puckrin says. “How far is she willing to go to become the enemy to defeat the enemy?”

Sabine catches a clue
Sabine’s work with the Women’s League leads to a disturbing discovery that could change her outlook of the war.

Alfred gets a taste of family life
Alfred’s uncover assignment requires him to spend more time with Irena and her family, allowing him to experience a rare moment of normalcy. Is this the kind of life he could have?

Sinclair and Krystina continue to butt heads
But a major revelation is made.

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

Image courtesy of CBC.