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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Cardinal lands in “Catherine’s” arms

If you thought last week’s episode was hectic, the season finale of Cardinal includes just as much important detail. I will do my best to try and cover it all.

Tonight’s episode—written by Aubrey Nealon and directed by Daniel Grou—opens in the aftermath of Eric’s (Brendan Fletcher) death from last week. With any lead as to Keith’s (Robert Naylor) whereabouts dying with Eric, Keith’s family is preparing for the worst possible news: that he is dead and Cardinal (Billy Campbell) is undergoing an internal department debriefing since their assailant died in police pursuit.

Meanwhile, Delorme (Karine Vanasse) is busy tracing the ties between Tammy Lindstrom’s (Fiona Highet) frequent stays at the motel and Cardinal, and the paperwork reveals the connection. Lise tearfully puts John on notice: she is filing her report listing Cardinal as allegedly guilty of corruption in connection with the botched Corbett case from four years ago. Cardinal denies nothing, stating: “You do what you have to do,” but asks she hold off so that he may first speak with Dorothy Pine (Gail Maurice). Delorme agrees to wait until that afternoon, but still something does not add up. Lise meets with Tammy to get her end of the story and Tammy lets slip that she knows about Cardinal’s wife, Catherine (Deborah Hay). Now why would a cop discuss his wife whilst acting undercover?

Back at Gran’s house, Gran (Amanda Smith) is watching the local news where she learns of Eric’s involvement in the local murders. As there is no love lost between Edie (Allie MacDonald) and Gran, Edie takes care of that loose end.

Cardinal himself is also troubled by a loose end … the last remaining piece of the puzzle: the meds. John stops in to visit with Sergeant Dyson (Kristen Thomson) and spots the inventory list from Eric’s van. Included is an empty shopping bag from a local pharmacy. Curious, Cardinal heads to the mall and drops in at Southridge Pharmacy, inquiring if any pharmaceuticals have gone missing. He instructs the pharmacist (Jeff Clark) to recount the triazolam, and sure enough five tablets are missing. The pharmacist names his employee Edie Soames as the culprit.

Edie, it seems, cannot catch a break. She discovers Keith is missing from the trunk of her car. This precipitates a visit to Cardinal’s home. However that goes wrong too. Instead of Cardinal, she is received by Kelly (Alana Bale). Feigning depression, Edie talks her way into Cardinal’s home and then holds Kelly her prisoner until Cardinal arrives.

Cardinal, armed with probable cause, searches Gran’s house. He locates Gran’s body and calls in to headquarters for a full investigative team. Exiting the property, he hears a clanging from the garage and investigates to find KEITH! Keith is still alive and Cardinal rushes him to the hospital.

This leaves one major loose end in the Wendigo Island case: Edie Soames. Dyson orders Cardinal home, where he finds Edie holding his daughter at gunpoint. His own service revolver in the custody of the department, he must somehow save his daughter. Edie shoots Cardinal twice and threatens to take Kelly in retaliation for losing Eric. But Delorme, needing to speak to Cardinal once more before filing her report, shows up in time to take Edie out.

We cut to the hospital room where Cardinal is recovering and Delorme questions him about Catherine’s involvement with the Corbett case. Turns out, Catherine, suffering a psychotic event, attempted to contact her husband, but inadvertently tipped off Corbett’s man and blew Cardinal’s cover. Cardinal has been taking the fall ever since to protect his wife. When confronted with the truth, John admits his guilt for not being there for his wife when she needed him. Delorme then reports to Musgrave (David Richmond-Peck) and clears Cardinal’s name. Both cases are closed with neat little bows.

The final loose end? Josh “Mr. Geology” (Alden Adair) and Lise. Josh made one more attempt to resuscitate his relationship with Lise, but to no avail. Alas, thank goodness, Lise returns home after the case on Cardinal is closed to find he has moved out.

So that is it folks! Talk about a roller coaster. But, no worries Cardinal fans, we close out this inaugural season with the news that CTV has renewed Cardinal for TWO more seasons! This is fabulous news! Grou has done a magnificent job with this production. Live tweeting last week, I said, “This is not amazing TV ‘for Canada’, this is amazing TV.” I will hold to that. To think that in six episodes Grou and Nealon were able to pull off so many storylines so seamlessly and beautifully filmed is fantastic. The attention to detail, the consistency between takes, and the chemistry between all of the cast members was superb! Particularly the chemistry between Campbell and Vanasse; initially a tenuous partnership, the bond was truly established tonight!  I also have to give a shout out to music composer Todor Kobokov, whose work was so critical for setting the mood for this series! I cannot wait to see what all of you bring in Season 2!

What have you thought of Season 1 of Cardinal? Comment below!


Link: X Company’s Madeleine Knight says it’s “war” now for Heidi

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: X Company’s Madeleine Knight says it’s “war” now for Heidi
“Heidi is from a generation that grew up in Hitler’s youth programs. She’s one of the generations that is completely and utterly indoctrinated. So for her everything is absolute truth and the way. For her to say these horrible things haphazardly and off the cuff, especially about Jews, they are subhuman and animals to her. It’s horrific, but to her it’s not. It’s a completely different worldview.” Continue reading.


Link: 5×5 With The Hook: Maya Bankovic

From You’ve Been Hooked:

Link: 5×5 With The Hook: Maya Bankovic
“When the conditions on set are right for that I really do feel like a bridge, or a portal or a filter, communicating my experience of the scene to the audience on an energetic level. Visually, this becomes the gaze behind the scene, and especially with handheld or improvised camerawork you infuse the project with your own instincts and your points of interest in a very real way.” Continue reading.


X Company 308: The team’s mission unravels in “Naqam”

Last week’s shocking X Company concluded with Heidi (Madeleine Knight) overhearing Aurora’s (Évelyne Brochu) fraught interlude with Faber (Torben Liebrecht). This week, the team is put in danger as Heidi tries to turn that information to her advantage. Meanwhile, Faber’s  mission faces a threat from an unexpected source.

Here’s our preview of “Naqam,” written by Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern and Julie Puckrin and directed by Amanda Tapping.

“Naqam” is the Hebrew word for avenge
Enough said.

What will Heidi do to Aurora?
The CBC preview shows that Heidi traps Aurora in the basement cell of the Race and Resettlement office—and we promise the ensuing confrontation is everything you hope it will be and more.

Madeleine Knight has proved to be the casting coup of Season 3, and she and Évelyne Brochu hold nothing back in this episode.

Watch your flank 
While the team focuses on Heidi and Aurora, the mission is threatened from another angle.

Alfora forecast

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

Image courtesy of CBC.


Steve Sxwithul’txw’s Tribal Police Files

I recently had the chance to catch up with producer and host of Tribal Police Files, Steve Sxwithul’txw. Debuting Friday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. ET on APTN, the 13-part documentary series explores the challenges faced by officers serving on B.C.’s only tribal police force, in the Lillooet region.

We covered a lot of ground in this brief conversation!

What was your motivation for creating a program about this particular police service team? What do you hope viewers come away with when they watch Tribal Police Files?
Steve Sxwithul’txw: For me, the thought behind Tribal Police Files was brought about a number of years ago from my personal experience as a police officer for eight years in B.C., around four of them with Stl’atl’imx Police Services. I have heard other police services across the country say, ‘No, we are community policing; we are focused on the citizens,’ but really that is not the case. However, these officers in the Lillooet region, they demonstrate the way community policing should really be done. They perform their duties while being culturally sensitive, being very understanding, and being very upfront with the people they police. Most of the people they deal with on a regular basis are people they know on a first-name basis.

But the thing that I really wanted to highlight: that these officers are just regular people. These are everyday people that have a job to do but, as well, they protect the public they want to serve and I think people, in general, have to respect that. They keep people safe, they have families, they have people that love them that they go home to at night. As a viewer, you are going to get attached to these officers and their families because you can see how forthright they are and how honest they are. I think that is something a lot of people in that community and across Canada do not know about police officers in general; they are everyday people with everyday lives.

Is the Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police team unique from other self-administered policing programs across Canada?
This is an Indigenous Police Service that focuses on specific communities and specific land bases within the interior B.C. land region, so from that perspective yes for sure. The officers are provincial police officers and have powers throughout B.C., but they focus specifically on areas within the Stl’atl’imx Nation. Their style of policing—the way they deal with people—is much different than you would expect from big city police services across Canada and the RCMP. This is just a totally different approach. This is true community policing, which I think people will certainly appreciate when they start watching the show and start identifying with what the officers are trying to accomplish.

Foremost, they are trying to deal with people with respect and dignity, and they are dealing with people that they know. These officers are a part of the community, they are ingrained in community events, and they want to serve their people. That is a really important aspect that we want to highlight with the show.

I think the philosophy in Lillooet is the same with all other First Nations Police Services across Canada. One of the reasons this program came about is quite simple: the surrounding police services were out of touch with the people. They did not know them. The RCMP does not have a great reputation with First Nations across Canada. It never has. And that is one of the reasons I think that this type of policing strategy was developed in the 90s; so that First Nations could reach out and form their own service. This type of programming was seen as something that was culturally sensitive and something that was very responsive to the communities’ needs.

What do you hope other communities that are seeking to improve their own services take from the approaches adopted by the Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police Services?
I would encourage Chiefs and Councils in communities across Canada to think about this as a viable option. It is my understanding that the First Nations Policing Policy will be reviewed by the Trudeau government. Whether that comes true I don’t know, but it does need an update. It has needed an update for the past 15 years and it truly will affect whether people will stand behind First Nations policing. When an update occurs it will change the way you view police officers within your community. Sometimes [community policing] works, sometimes it doesn’t, but if you have a well-balanced board that is receptive to the needs of the officers, you are going to find that you are going to have a very, very successful police service if you decide to go down that road.

For those who watch who are not Indigenous, like myself, what do you hope we take away from Tribal Police Files if we choose to tune in? Why should we tune in?
It is important for the non-Indigenous audience to really try and make an effort to try and understand who we are as people. We are not all drunks, we are not people who have lower education standards, we are not people who continue to suffer in peril. We are people who are struggling to come through one the most tumultuous times in this country’s history. I am waving the flag of residential schools in terms of how it has affected our people in general. I mean, the Indian Act from there on has just turned our lives upside down and we continue to suffer from that.

I think where the non-Indigenous audience comes from is just not knowing the true history and not understanding where we come from. So for people who want to watch our show, yeah you will see some negative interactions with police. But you know what? You are going to see some culture, you are going to see some tradition and you are going to see some elders and you are going to see some youth. You will see a little bit of everything about a people who are trying to find their way in modern Canadian society and we use the police officers as a conduit to that. I think it is a real learning opportunity for our non-Indigenous audience to follow these officers, get to know them over the course of these 13 episodes, and then make your own decision, at the end of season, about what you really think policing is like on reserve.

 I was really struck from a philosophical position, this concept of Bridging. We hear Bridging and Reconciliation. These are the popular catchphrases, and yet as I watched this show, I was struck by the irony that these Indigenous officers are enforcing colonial policy and still approaching their duty, in a manner that is conducive to healing for the people within the communities.
That was something that I struggled with during my eight years as a police officer. You are using the laws of the land that were brought in by the colonial power. You are arresting people and taking people to jail. But in retrospect, ultimately, we are trying to keep people safe. We are trying to protect people on a regular basis so that they are not harming themselves, they are not harming others. And yes, that is right, it is a bridge to a modern-day society off the reserve that is something that our people still struggle with on a daily basis.

To be honest, this involves racism and stereotyping which is very much alive in today’s communities. So in a way, if this show bridges that a little bit, I hope so. And if it brings a broader understanding as to what police officers on reserve have to deal with daily, even better. I am hoping that people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous will come along for the ride with us and feel like we are trying to make a difference in our communities with these police officers.

My thanks to Steve Sxwithul’txw for taking the time to speak with me!

Tribal Police Files debuts Friday, March 3, and can be seen Fridays at 7:30 p.m. ET on APTN.