Tag Archives: Jane Maggs

Bellevue: “How Do I Remember?”

Spoiler alert! Do not read until you’ve watched Episode 5 of Bellevue.

“Paths can take you wildly away from anything you recognize and still bring you back to your door.” —The Riddler

And so we will follow the paths of remembering, and witness the pain that comes with discovery and growth as we gather more information and fit these pieces into the puzzle that is Bellevue this week.

We are now into the second half of the series and this episode, entitled “How Do I Remember?,” opens with Annie (Anna Paquin) reminiscing with The Riddler via her home surveillance system. She intimates that he made her life bearable after she lost her father.  Annie then questions The Riddler about Neil Driver (Andreas Aspergis) and Jed (Neil Napier) and their connection to the case. But I am beginning to wonder, is Annie still in control here? Is The Riddler needing a connection to Annie to reinforce his own sense of self worth and therefore manipulating Annie into this relationship? Or is he involved in the case(s) himself? Is he someone who knows Annie and wants to help? And is Annie falling back into the bad habits of her youth? A final cryptic message coupled with a request by The Riddler: “I dropped the stone but you are not seeing the ripples. Tomorrow at the funeral, wear the watch.”

The town attends Jesse’s (Sadie O’Neil) funeral to remember and celebrate Jesse’s life and it is the youth of Bellevue that are embracing the choices that she made. I was touched by the moment when Bethany (Emilia Hellman) stood up despite her mother’s (Janine Theriault) objections and brought a reluctant Danny (Cameron Roberts) back to the congregation. Unfortunately—or fortunately for the purposes of the investigation—Mr. Driver crashes the funeral and accuses Maggie (Victoria Sanchez) of ruining his daughter.

“You deserve this. The world needs a place to channel its evil, so God provides children to kill and he gives them to parents who deserve the pain. You know what you DID!” Alright already,  what did Maggie do?

Following the funeral, Daisy Ryder (Madison Ferguson) returns to the location where Jesse’s body was discovered and the other youth of Bellevue who were closest to Jesse are also there. It is here they celebrate Jesse’s courage and her life. I have now watched this episode twice and I couldn’t help it, I cried both times. Jane Maggs and her team created such an honest reaction, and completely captured the essence of youthful innocence as these teens cope with their loss. Their grief was palpable. This scene was perfect!

Now, on to the investigation. Annie first questions Jed about his MDMA, more specifically, how he and his employees package the drug. He believes there must be a new dealer in town working to compete with Jed. Further questioning of Danny’s father (Peter Miller) confirms Jed’s suspicions. There is indeed a new head that has sprouted to replace the old, and rumour has it if you have any unpaid debts, bad things will come your way. Doing some routine neighbourhood canvassing, Annie questions Maggie Sweetland’s neighbour Cali (Catherine Kidd).

“Sometimes you poke around, you might not like what you find,” and Cali queries Annie about Eddie’s (Allen Leech) well-being. Further conversations with The Riddler suggest Eddie is the connection between Sandy Driver and Jesse Sweetland’s deaths.

Meanwhile, just as Cali intimated, Eddie is in trouble. It appears his pill addiction and lack of employment have caught up with him and now he is indebted to the new dealer in town. To make good on his debt, Eddie is ordered to put the pressure on someone else who is not paying his dues. Annie’s curiosity is further piqued after chatting with Eddie’s latest “friend,” Briana (Amber Goldfarb), so she searches Eddie’s home, only to find Daisy’s dog frozen in a locked freezer. They need to talk! Annie accuses Eddie of planting the drugs in Jesse’s room, but no, Eddie admits that the drugs were stolen from him after Jesse was killed. And this is how you “get your shit together”? I guess The Riddler is right. Eddie is connected since somebody stole the drugs and planted them in Jesse’s room. But who? And, if The Riddler is correct, how is Eddie then connected to Sandy Driver?

FINALLY tonight we get to see Allen Leech’s talents. Up until now Eddie has been more of a supporting role. All of this time I have been waiting to see Leech let loose and tonight I was not disappointed. If you thought the chemistry was good in the parking lot scene two episodes ago, tonight these two ratchet it up a few notches! Eddie’s character is losing control under the pressure. He wants to change and his past keeps catching up to him. Annie convinces him not to play the enforcer and he speaks to Peter (Shawn Doyle). Eddie admits he owned the drugs. Eddie will testify as to his ownership of the drugs and swears this was a one time thing. Eddie returns to buy some time from Cali, letting her No. 2 beat the crap out of him. This is the dynamic moment for Leech’s character. Up until now, both Eddie and Annie have been stagnant within their complicated relationship. Each are so dependent on each other and yet they are not together. Eddie: “You love me too much the way I am. I don’t want to be the way I am anymore.” Eddie has effectively tossed down the gauntlet. If these two are to have a future together, Annie must change her ways too.

Once more Annie connects with The Riddler. She confesses that she felt his presence back at the burned shed. He confesses in kind, admitting that yes, he was there watching her. She pokes the bear, telling The Riddler that really he knows nothing, deliberately antagonizing him and he also admits he doesn’t know who killed Jesse. The Riddler is no longer a source. Annie wants him out of her life and orders a trace. Annie has been playing The Riddler for intel after all. She rules him no longer relevant to the case. The trace leads Annie to the cemetery where The Riddler has left his phone at the grave of Sandy Driver with the message, “You’re not crazy”.

Despite being in the minority, Annie is still convinced Jed is not guilty of killing Jesse, and returns to speak to Maggie one more time. “You are the only one who knows. My kid was killed because of me. Retribution for what I did to her. It all started with me. Sandy,” says Maggie. But Maggie has taken too many pills and collapses. Maggie is rushed to the hospital.

The episode closes with Annie trying to re-establish a connection with The Riddler: “I was wrong, you do know things.”

This was such a convoluted episode. So many twist and turns. Lots of new information, and new connections that fold back onto earlier events. So who do you think is The Riddler? Who do you think killed Jesse Sweetland? How is Jesse’s death connected to Sandy Driver? Let me know in the comments below!

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

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Bellevue: Producers and stars Anna Paquin and Shawn Doyle talk CBC’s darkest drama

Let’s get this out of the way right now. Bellevue isn’t a feel-good drama. You won’t walk away from it whistling and snapping your fingers. You may very well want to retreat to a corner, curl up and rock slightly. It’s CBC’s darkest drama, akin to fantastic shows from the UK and Netherlands like Hinterland, Shetland, Broadchurch, The Fall and Wallander. And that’s exactly why you should be tuning in.

The eight-part Bellevue, debuting Monday at 9 p.m. on CBC, seems like it should be a traditional whodunit: Det. Annie Ryder (Anna Paquin) is called in to investigate when a teenager goes missing in her small town of Bellevue. She and police chief Peter Welland (Shawn Doyle) dig for clues and uncover plenty of secrets. But the secret teen Jesse Sweetland (Sadie O’Neil) is keeping—that he wants to transition to female—is just the beginning. Annie’s past is fraught with tragedy. Her father killed himself when she was a girl and, soon after, she started receiving mysterious notes signed by him. Now her past is intersecting with the present because notes addressed to her are starting to show up again.

Filmed partly in Thetford Mines, Que., the blackened hills—the area used to be an asbestos mine—night scenes and blue filter exude a sense of dread that crosses the line into the downright scary. Bellevue is a town struggling to survive and not everyone living there is nice.

We spoke to series creators and executive producers Jane Maggs and Adrienne Mitchell, and stars Anna Paquin and Shawn Doyle about Bellevue:

Jane, I understand Bellevue was a little different before you brought it to Adrienne. How was it different?
Jane Maggs: It was a little smaller. There was still a mystery and a disappearance, Annie and her relationship with her family was a very strong part of the series, and a mysterious person from her past that comes back. That was the kernel of the story. What we did with Adrienne was make the world bigger and, in some ways, more relevant. We brought a lot more of the town into it and making it more complex.

Adrienne Mitchell: Together we also probed what it would be like to have the character that was missing be the hockey hero and also struggling with gender identity. I read Jane’s initial pilot while I was on a flight and what Jane brought to it was that these characters were all there and had this authenticity and specificity that leapt off the page and felt real. I read a lot of scripts and don’t often see that kind of sophistication.

Aside from the eerie moments and scariness, Bellevue asks some serious questions about sexual identity and religion.
Jane Maggs: The questions around identity came about because we wanted to explore what it was like to be different in a small town. It’s not the same as being different in a big city. We explore that through Jesse and other people in the town, including Annie herself. As for religion, in Bellevue the church has a bit of an archaic form there. The people have their checklist of values they believe in and live by and those don’t alway line up with what it means to be a good person.

How is Annie viewed by the townspeople? Is she seen as damaged goods after everything she’s been through?
Jane Maggs: It depends on who you ask, but I think to the masses there is an element of damaged goods to her. Everybody knows her history and she grew up there and flailed in front of people. She was wild and made a lot of mistakes in front of people; they have their view of her and it goes back years. I think Peter, her superior, and Eddie [Allen Leech], her partner, have different views of her.

What was it about the scripts that you read that attracted you to Bellevue?
Anna Paquin: The scripts are very, very well-written. Jane is a wonderful writer. They’re complex, rich, smart and detailed and like most things, I was sent a script for the pilot. I read it and was like, ‘Well, what happens next!?’ Literally, over the course of a few hours, I was emailing, asking for the next one and the next one. I got to Episode 4 and there were no more scripts left. Then I asked, ‘OK, when can I meet with these people?!’ [Laughs.] It’s not just that the plot kept me engaged, it’s a very rich and complicated character. She occupies a world that is seemingly a nice, small town. But, like any town, there are dark things that happen. She lives life on the edge and is passionate in a way that is reckless, but it all comes from a very good place.

What about you Shawn?
Shawn Doyle: I wasn’t that interested, to be honest. I’ve played a lot of cops, as you know. With cops, you have to go through all of the procedural stuff because it’s part of the story but it’s only engaging to an actor to a certain extent. But then I read the scripts and they were very good. I had faith in what they told me. The didn’t tell me exactly what was going to happen. And, in fact, once Anna and I started working together, based on our connection they started to extrapolate the storyline based on that and created back story and a way forward based on what they were seeing from us, which was exciting. My character grew very complex and presented an interesting challenge.

What can you say about the relationship between Peter and Annie?
Anna Paquin: Peter was a young cop and sort of mentored by Annie’s dad. As we get further into the mystery surrounding this missing teenager in present-day, there are aspects and elements of the circumstances surrounding the death of my dad that come to light that are challenging to our relationship. He has taken on looking after Annie’s well-being in a bigger sense.

Shawn Doyle: As the story deepens and Annie finds out more, we begin to understand the reasons why I’ve taken such care to take care of her and guide her and become almost a father figure to her. The reasons behind that become more apparent.

Thetford Mines adds another character to this story.
Adrienne Mitchell: It’s an interesting way to depict the dark shadow hanging over the town. It’s a town in transition, they don’t know how they’re going to survive. They are kind of fossilized like the asbestos mountains are. The woods are always moving, and they can be beautiful and fucked up at the same time. Those, visually, are two things playing off each other.

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

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Link: Former Corner Brook resident is the writer of a new CBC TV series

From Gary Kean of The Western Star:

Link: Former Corner Brook resident is the writer of a new CBC TV series
When Jane Maggs finished studying film writing at the Canadian Film Centre in Ontario, she had an idea for a television series.

She also knew she wanted to work with the same folks who had produced “Durham County,” a series on The Movie Network of which she was a big fan. Continue reading.

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