Tag Archives: CBC

Bellevue: Dolls and Riddles and Death, Oh MY!

Here we are at the conclusion of Episode 2 of Bellevue—written by Jane Maggs, produced by Diandra Yoselevitz and directed by Adrienne Mitchelland we are left with many questions. But first, here is a rundown of what we know from last week’s premiere episode:

Our story takes place in the mining town of Bellevue, a town that has fallen on hard times. Det. Annie Ryder (Anna Paquin, most recently from True Blood) is a single mom to Daisy (Madison Ferguson).  Daisy’s father, Eddie Roe (Allen Leech of Downton Abbey fame), is still very much a part of their livesseems this couple is the Lucy and Desi of Bellevue. As a child, Annie’s life was forever altered when her father, also a police officer, took his own life following his inability to solve the case of Sandy Driver, a teen brutally murdered in Bellevue. That case is nicely summarized for us by Daisy in a history presentation for school. We also discover that, following her father’s death, Annie received lettersriddles reallyfrom someone posing as her father. This creep essentially stole Annie’s childhood, resulting in a lifetime battling with self-harm, be it a  physical manifestation or emotional. I am very curious to see how the religious metaphors are going to play out in conjunction with childhood innocence and the duality of good versus evil.

A police investigation is launched following the apparent disappearance of Jesse Sweetland (Sadie O’Neil), the town’s star hockey player who rumour has it is reconsidering his gender identity. Annie Ryder is leading the investigation.

With this new case, the creep of Annie’s youth returns, and the riddles begin anew. “When someone else ate, you became full of me. What am I? Find me where there is none.” There is no “original sin” at the old derelict teen party hang-out “Immaculate Conception” church. We head to the old church and discover that perhaps Jesse’s absence has some religious connection. Even conversion therapy is hinted at.

Episode 2 delves deeper into the case. More leads are discovered and we also gain insight into the complexities that are Annie.

First, some clarification may be needed with respect to Immaculate Conception. It is oftentimes confused with the Doctrine of Incarnation, which covers the birth of Jesus. Immaculate Conception refers to Mother Mary’s conception wherein God blessed Mary at the time of her conception, preserving her soul from the stain of original sin and preparing her to carry the Son of God in the future. I have yet to watch any episodes beyond the first two as I write this, but I have a strong feeling this distinction may prove important as we move forward.

At any rate, this episode picks right up with Annie and confirmed bachelor Chief Peter Welland (Shawn Doyle of Frontier) back at Immaculate Conception, to find all of the blood/paint and barbed wire gone. Also missing is “Alfie” the clown, a figurine Annie had left for her father/creep as a child. Annie is now convinced the “asshole that gave me riddles” is back and shares that information with Peter. Peter’s reaction to the discovery the creep left a message on Annie’s rear windshield while Daisy was in the car demonstrates his long-standing loyalty to Annie. What we don’t know yet is why. Peter believes this guy from Annie’s past has nothing to do with Jesse and orders her off the case; he is handling it personally. Annie believes creep is watching her but does not explain the message delivery system fully; creep messes with her mailbox each time he leaves a new message in the forest for Annie.

We rejoin Annie as the search party is convening, providing a nice foil to learn about the various townspeople. Annie speaks with Jesse’s mother Maggie (Victoria Sanchez of 19-2), but when she spots Father Jameson (Joe Cobden) leading a prayer session, Maggie physically attacks him, naming him responsible for her son’s disappearance. Father reveals he has an opinion regarding Jesse’s “sickness.” But who is the one whose soul is troubled here? Later, we discover Maggie has an ongoing physical relationship with the Father and he permits her advances in the sanctuary. Seems the Father is also a proponent of self-mortification; to atone for his own sinful nature.

Mayor Mansfield (Janine Theriault) is trying to keep the town calm in light of the both the state of high unemployment and this disappearance. Seems she is not getting along with her own daughter Bethany (Amelia Hellman) who as it turns out is secretly attracted to Jesse as a female, much to the dismay of her boyfriend, Jacob (Robert Naylor of Cardinal). Annie catches Bethany searching the crime scene for something small that proves to be an Eiffel Tower earring Bethany tore from Jesse’s ear at the time of his disappearance. After speaking with Bethany, Annie returns to her car and discovers a doll in her backseat, dressed to represent the Virgin Mary.

This latest gift leads Annie to question if the Sandy Driver case her father was unable to solve is somehow linked to Jesse’s disappearance. Sandy’s body was found dressed as the Virgin Mary. Inside a tear in the doll’s leg, Annie finds intact fingernails wrapped in plastic, presumably those that were missing from Sandy Driver’s body and never recovered. Note where on a women’s corresponding anatomy this tear exists on the doll. Coincidence??

Police start to put the scene together and question the boys from Jesse’s hockey team. Their line of questioning leads to Jacob admitting to beating Jesse and witnessing Jesse getting into a white pickup truck.

Another message from creep is left for Annie: “What is the thing that travelers pursue. Hard to hunt; hard to view. The nearer you get the faster it runs from you. There you will find a fish out of water.” Travelers reach out for “New Horizons,” the remnants of a psychiatric hospital, established in 1854. The site now houses a small shack, where Annie quickly assumes Sandy Driver was held, and nearby is a small pond where Annie discovers Jesse’s body.

WHEW! That episode had a ton of stuff happening.

A few of the questions remaining: Who is creep? What is the connection between Sandy Driver and Jesse Sweetland? Why is there a connection between Annie and the two cases? What connection does Father Jameson have to Jesse? Will Eddie be able to protect Annie? What is behind Peter’s protective nature over Annie and Daisy, and why is he so emphatic she not investigate the creep/riddler?

Let me know your theories in the comments below.

Bellevue airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Feature image courtesy of CBC.


Link: Jane Maggs bringing up Bellevue

From Sea and Be Scene:

Link: Jane Maggs bringing up Bellevue
“I was in a writing class and we were asked to modernize a fairy tale and I always loved Rumpelstiltskin (for its dark weirdness) and SOMEHOW it morphed out of that tiny idea. I guess it came from the idea of this person speaking to you and until you figure out who he is – you are weirdly indebted to him. Thinking of how to put that into a modern context was a sort of brain exercise that got some wheels turning.” Continue reading.


Link: Why Bellevue’s small town story resonates with Allen Leech

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Why Bellevue’s small town story resonates with Allen Leech
“I had read the scripts and was really intrigued. It was a fascinating thriller and really different as well. What it deals with in relation to small town Canada resonated with me to small town Ireland, very similar closed communities and I found that really interesting.” Continue reading.


Murdoch Mysteries: “Master Lovecraft” preview and remembering Jordan Christianson

Monday’s newest episode of Murdoch Mysteries is notable for a couple of reasons. First, it brings another real-life historical character into Det. Murdoch’s world as horror writer H.P. Lovecraft (played by Tyler East)—author of favourites like “The Lurking Fear,” “At the Mountains of Madness” and “The Call of Cthulhu”—visits Toronto.

Sadly, “Master Lovecraft” also marks the final complete script written by Jordan Christianson, who passed away earlier this year. (Personally, we’ll miss talking to Jordan about his writing process and his sense of humour.) We spoke to Murdoch showrunner Peter Mitchell about Jordan, what he meant to the series and its writers’ room and got a spoiler-free preview into what fans can expect on Monday night.

Here’s CBC’s official episode description: “The discovery of a young girl’s body and some grotesque sketches leads Murdoch to suspect a gang of death-obsessed teenagers, which includes a young H.P. Lovecraft.”
Do you want to say anything about Jordan and what he meant to you and the show?
Peter Mitchell: Jordan was one of my students at the Canadian Film Centre. I gave him a couple of little jobs but didn’t hire him during my first year at Murdoch Mysteries. I brought he and Simon McNabb on shortly after. I got to watch both of them grow and develop over the four or five years since. He was turning into a mighty fine writer. He was kind of the calm centre of the writers’ room and had a delightful naivete to him that was often just a ruse so that he could basically punk us all the time. He would ask naive questions and take us down a road until we realized we’d been completely had. He learned to be a better writer and was also involved in every sports pool known to man. [Laughs.]
How did he do in the pools?
I think he was always a very close second. I think McNabb always had a close edge on him, but they were pretty much neck-in-neck. If I didn’t watch it, 40 per cent of the writers’ room was he and McNabb trading players.
I read the synopsis for this episode. If Jordan wrote perhaps the funniest episode in ‘Weekend at Murdoch’s,’ this sounds like it could be the darkest.
This is probably the most serious episode that Jordan wrote other than the one where we said goodbye to Dr. Grace. It was telling that both of Jordan’s episodes this year were indeed about death.
It was an interesting genesis. It was a story that we came up with very, very quickly. We came up with it probably in the first two weeks of the writing room getting together. I kind of broke the major elements of it very early and it was sitting there as something that just needed to be complete. We knew we were going to do it and just needed to find a Lovecraft. It was a self-contained episode so we knew it could go anywhere in the schedule. Jordan and I were supposed to co-write it, but I got busier and handed the whole thing off to him and he completed the story with the writers’ room and wrote the script. It was probably one of the scripts that I touched the least. He really nailed it.
How long has Lovecraft been a character you wanted to bring into the show?
We’re sort of drawn to writers of the period and they were often larger than life. Whether it’s Mark Twain or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle … Lovecraft was a little bit young. Obviously, he hadn’t become a full-fledged writer, but he lived in the proximity to Toronto and we were able to create a believable enough fiction to have him up in Toronto. And, as we like to do, one of our characters has influence on a major historical character much like Crabtree did with Lucy Maud Montgomery. Crabtree and Lovecraft’s relationship sort of shapes the emotional centre of it.
It’s illuminating that the dialogues between Crabtree and Lovecraft are probably the most Jordan ever talked about death, both the light and dark side. Lovecraft sees death everywhere and George sees life everywhere.
An image from the episode shows Margaret screaming and Arwen Humphreys tweeted she got her inner scream queen on. Were you on-set when she filmed those scenes?
Yeah, with my earplugs. [Laughs.] She’s a top-notch scream queen.
Anything else you can say about Lovecraft or the death-obsessed teens?
We had to create own sort of goth style that would be appropriate to the period. Working with Alex [Reda], our costume designer we tweaked on the idea to reach back in time for their fashion sense. We took a look at clothing like what Edgar Allan Poe was wearing. It’s kind of a combination of Edgar Allan Poe and Adam Ant. [Laughs.] Our composer listened to a little bit of Depeche Mode and we were off to the races.
I think it’s a really interesting episode. It gives Margaret a lot to play with, which is always nice, and there is a strange love affair between Lovecraft and Margaret. The emotional core is George and Lovecraft. I think Jordan was happy with it.
Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.


Link: X Company: Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern talk “The Hunt”

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: X Company: Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern talk “The Hunt”
“They are at a definite crossroads in their relationship. If we ever had any aspect at all of Heidi that Aurora would admire, for being a person that forges her own destiny and is strong and knows what she wants, this is where we see the darkness that comes under it. The image from the hunt is what triggered this whole season.” Continue reading.