Tag Archives: Burden of Truth

Preview: Burden of Truth goes on a “Witch Hunt”

After a break for the Winter Olympics, Burden of Truth returns with a new episode this week. (Read my feature interview with co-star Sara Thompson here.) I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on tenterhooks wondering what was going to happen next after the last instalment, “Family Ties.” Back then, Joanna discovered she and Luna are sisters and confronted her father over that little tidbit of information.

By episode end, Joanna had served papers to Ben Matheson signalling the case is headed for the courtroom.

Here’s what the CBC has revealed about this week’s instalment:

Anger over the claim against the mill pits the sick girls and their families against employees of the mill who worry that their jobs are on the line. When the local Pastor’s daughter becomes afflicted with the illness, he blames the girls themselves. 

And here are more details after watching the screener for “Witch Hunt,” written by Brad Simpson and Eric Putzer and directed by James Genn.

Trial planning begins
Now that the papers have been served, Joanna and Billy have got a lot of work to do and holes in their case to fill. Thankfully, they have Luna to help. Speaking of Luna, she’s got some big plans not only for herself but her mom. Meanwhile, Billy—who is used to the love and support of his community—feels the scorn of mill workers who don’t like the side he’s taken.

Cracks in the community
There is mounting hysteria in Millwood after the Pastor’s daughter becomes sick, causing the high school principal to make a rash decision affecting a key part of their teenage lives. Adding to the stress felt by everyone is the Pastor, who things sin is behind the sickness rather than poison. That’s always helpful.

The mill hires their own legal team headed by …
… I won’t spoil the surprise.

Burden of Truth airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.





Burden of Truth: Sara Thompson’s primetime character mirrors real life

To really immerse themselves in a role, actors must make a connection with their character. For Sara Thompson, that ended up being easier than she imagined.

The Winnipeg-born Thompson co-stars in CBC’s Burden of Truth as Molly Ross, a high school student and athlete who has her health threatened. Something in her small town of Millwood is making Molly and other girls suffer from seizures. Is it chemicals in the soil placed there by a local steel mill or something else? Lawyers Joanna Hanley (Kristin Kreuk) and Billy Crawford (Peter Mooney) are determined to find out. Meanwhile, Molly is struggling with the realization her promising athletic career is over, something Thompson related to.

“It was so easy to connect with Molly,” Thompson says, on the line from Winnipeg. “Because of her love for sport, it was very similar to my dancing career. I was the same type of person. And at the same age as Molly is I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I suffered from tremors and had to give that part of my life up. It felt like things were crashing down. I had to overcome the same things and it’s crazy how close to home this role is for me and why I fell so hard in love with this character.” In a strange twist, Burden of Truth‘s producers had no clue of Thompson’s history when they cast her. And what she initially thought would be a small role on the legal drama has turned into a major one: Molly has agreed to be the named plaintiff at the top of the case filed against the steel mill.

“They wrote the scripts as we went, so we didn’t really know what was going to happen,” Thompson recalls. “I didn’t really know where Molly was going and, initially, I didn’t think my character was as involved and as important as she is now. Reading a new script was like watching a movie.” The actress—whose next projects are on the big screen in I Still See You alongside Bella Thorne and Nomis with Henry Cavill—teases that things are only going to get more dramatic as Season 1 of Burden of Truth continues to roll out. Relationships will be threatened and Molly has to come to an uncomfortable realization about her future.

“Molly really wanted to break out into sports medicine and she really wanted to stay in that world,” Thompson says. “I think there was always a lot of pressure on Molly to always be the captain and this is the first time in her adult life that she has to really step back and realize ‘This could  kill me.’ And maybe being the leader all the time was too much on her and she was tired of putting her happy face on.” But Molly isn’t going down without a fight. As she was on the soccer field, Molly takes on the role of captain in the courtroom, leading the affected girls in a fight that threatens to tear the town apart.

Thompson, like Molly, is a team player away from the set as well. She’s involved in the Orange Daisy Project, a social action campaign supporting the mental health of young women around the world.

“I think that’s the most important thing when it comes to mental health: to not feel alone,” she says. “Even in the character of Molly. It shows how women can be so powerful when they just let go and lean on each other.”

Burden of Truth airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Featured image courtesy of Cris Montecillo. Burden of Truth image courtesy of CBC.




Preview: Burden of Truth digs deep into “Family Ties”

Well, things have certainly taken a turn on Burden of Truth. After soil samples fingered the local steel mill as the likely culprit when it came to burying canisters of toxic goop under the soccer field, Joanna and Billy were run off the road. Things are getting serious and if they’re not careful, deadly.

As I said last week, I’ve been really impressed with this first season of Burden of Truth. Aside from the storytelling, the drama is slowly being ratcheted up week-to-week, infusing all with a sense of dread. Wednesday’s new episode, “Family Ties,” is the last one before a three-week hiatus during the Winter Olympics. Here’s what the CBC has revealed as an official synopsis:

Convinced that the local steel mill and its owner, Ben Matheson, are responsible for the barrels Joanna and Billy go after him but don’t have enough to make the allegation stick.

And here’s some more information after watching a preview of the episode, written by Shannon Masters and directed by Jordan Canning.

Oh the irony
It’s fascinating to me that Ben Matheson, of Matheson Steel, loathes co-operating with Joanna and Billy despite the fact his own chemicals could be making his daughter, Taylor, sick. What kind of man would put profit over the health of his own child or the children of Millwood? Of course, the growing case is dividing the town between concerned parents and those worried about losing their jobs.

Jessica Matten co-stars
I was wondering how long it would be until Jessica Matten appeared on Burden of Truth. The Blackstone and Frontier actress makes an immediate impression as Gerrilyn Spence, Luna’s mom, who isn’t too keen on her daughter’s new job. Undaunted, Luna persists, and we get an important peek into her First Nations background and learn what she and Joanna have in common.

Molly makes a big decision
A fracas outside of the Millwood courthouse leads to a discussion between Molly and Billy, and she decides what to do regarding putting her name at the top of the court filing. But will a sudden gesture by a surprising source derail those plans?

Joanna makes a BIGGER decision
A visitor to Millwood attempts to persuade Joanna to return to Toronto. What happens next turns the entire case—and Joanna’s legal future—on its head.

Burden of Truth airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.




Preview: Burden of Truth swims in “Still Waters”

I was talking to a friend the other day and he told me he was watching Burden of Truth—I had suggested he check it out—and really enjoying it. He and his wife tuned in to the first episode and found it a little slow-moving. He heeded my advice to stick with it until the end. By that time they were hooked. I love hearing stories like that, especially when it comes to shows like Burden of Truth. Let a show breathe and, quite often, you’ll be rewarded.

Last week, Joanne and Billy realized it was the school field, where the girl’s soccer team practiced almost daily, that seemed to be the culprit when it came to the girls’ neurological issues. That, of course, opens a whole new can of worms and expands the lawsuit.

What would this Wednesday’s instalment, “Still Waters,” offer? Here’s the CBC’s official synopsis:

Relying on her esteemed reputation as a partner at CTS, Joanna convinces a hydrologist to come to Millwood to test the soil. With reluctant permission from the local Mayor, Joanna and Billy narrow down their list of suspects to a handful of industrial sites in the community.

And here are more story points we picked up on after watching a screener of the episode written by Lynn Coady and directed by Jordan Canning.

Flashpoint alum guest-stars
Yes, Sergio Di Zio has been in a ton of other stuff but he’ll always be Flashpoint‘s Spike to me. He checks in to Burden of Truth as Dr. Howard Davies the hydrologist Joanna hires to drill and confirm whether the soil in the soccer field really is making people sick and more importantly where the toxin is coming from. And he sports, as you can see, a glorious moustache.

Who will be the face of the class action lawsuit?
With things ramping up and a filing imminent, Joanna and Billy must decide which girl’s name will be at the top of the documents. I wasn’t surprised by who they chose, but it wasn’t an easy decision. Will this person be able to stand up and represent the other girls successfully? We’ll see.

Girl talk
Speaking of the girls, Diane gathers them together for a meeting—a support group—so they open up and bond over the terrible sickness that’s fallen on them. It’s hard enough to fit in during high school without being stared at for twitching.

Joanna and Billy take on a new employee
This came at me out of left field and I totally love it.

Joanna gets some personal information
One of the drilling sites fails to net new information for the case but it does uncover an intriguing piece of Joanna’s past.

Burden of Truth airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.




Preview: Burden of Truth blossoms in Episode 2

The first episode of a new television series is always tough on the creators and viewers. Within just 44 minutes for a drama (and 22 for a comedy) you need to create a world, introduce the characters in it and connect all of it for a new audience.

As I wrote last week, the pilot episode of Burden of Truth did it effortlessly. I immediately cheered for small-town lawyer Billy Crawford (Peter Mooney) when big-city litigator Joanna Hanley (Kristin Kreuk) switched sides and joined him in plotting to take down the big pharmaceutical company she was representing. I felt badly for Luna Spence (Star Slade), the young woman determined to fight the company because its drugs were making her and other girls sick. I enjoyed the community feel of Millwood, rife with secrets and ill-will towards Joanna, who left there when she was 14.

I was excited to see what creator Brad Simpson had in store, especially after CBC sent out this episode synopsis:

Joanna must reckon with questions over her family’s hasty departure when she was a teenager while attempting to convince the locals that she has, in fact, switched sides. After footing the bill for medical testing of the sick girls and running commonalities tests, Joanna suspects that the cause of the illness is an environmental toxin on the High School Athletic Field.

And here are more tidbits to tell you after watching a screener of “The Ties That Bind,” written by Simpson and directed by Jeff Woolnough.

Selkirk looks super
Thanks to stunning work by director of photography David A. Makin, the directors and location folks, Selkirk, Manitoba, is stunning as the fictional Millwood. Those wind turbines, waving crops and sun-touched brick buildings bring a whole new level to the production.

Joanna breaks the news to Alan
Almost lost in the shuffle of last week’s debut was Benjamin Ayres as Alan, Joanna’s boyfriend and co-worker at the firm. “The Ties That Bind” jumps right in with she calling he to drop a bit of a bomb in his lap.

The whole reason Joanna was in Millwood was to combat the claim against the company making drugs. Now that she and Billy dig a little deeper into the evidence, they discover the vaccine may not be the culprit after all.

It’s not all about the big case
Billy may be working with Joanna on the major court case but he’s got a bunch of other situations to deal with. We get a ton of background on what Billy is up to, his standing within the community and the difference between doing legal work out of an office in a skyscraper and on country roads. Meanwhile, Joanna’s phone conversations with her dad don’t go so well … and hint at what drove him to leave Millwood 17 years ago.

Burden of Truth airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.