Craig Olejnik and Lauren Lee Smith in CTV's 'The Listener.' Episode 513 'In Our Midst.' Photo from Bell Media.

Review: Mystery lingers in ‘Listener’ finale

There was a definite sense after last week’s episode of The Listener that the finale would have plenty on its hands—the IIB was faced with one stunner of a weekly case while Tia and Oz still had to provide closure to the series’ longest running mystery. While Becker’s storyline offered up a meaty intrigue, things fell a bit short when it came to Toby’s reunion with his mother.

The Rookie Blue fan in me was excited to hear Noam Jenkins would be appearing in the finale as the Becker-thwarting baddie, although his tense posturing quickly tipped me off that we didn’t actually have two dirty cops on our hands, or even one. But the incriminating evidence Griffin (Bruce Gray, All My Children) was able to build up had me wishing this sort of investigation could have gone on for a bigger lead into the finale, especially when Becker had to negotiate how much he trusted his new team with how important it was to protect an old friend. He and Michelle have been getting closer throughout the season, but despite all his talk it wasn’t until this episode that Becker and Toby finally sorted their issues out.

As for Michelle, after the expectation she’d had at the beginning of the season that she would become head of the unit, it was interesting to see how she ran the team once given orders to investigate Becker. Much as I lost most of my respect for Griffin when he dangled that promotion back in her face, at least she finally got her chance to lead before the show wrapped. And I would not have wanted to be Griffin considering her expression after he threatened her family, guaranteeing that however they might stack the evidence against Becker, Michelle wouldn’t just roll over. Of course, with the way things ended Michelle seems to be going a more traditional route by clocking in two months on the road with her family instead of leveraging her big bust—but after four years of high–intensity work, she’s probably earned that vacation. How long she’ll be able to keep herself in vacation mode is another matter entirely.

In fact, even though this has been Toby’s show from the start—he and Oz being our mainstays over the past five years—the finale felt more like it belonged to Michelle, or even Dev and Alex, more than our teal-sporting lead despite the big reveal at the end. What the episode did show us was how far Toby and Michelle have come as a team as he trusted her when she asked him to read Becker (not to mention a few episodes back when she trusted him to read her). Outside the office offered more as Tia, taking advantage of Dev’s open computer, finally found Toby’s missing mother only to be misled into believing she was dead. After all these years, that couldn’t possibly have been the ending, so Maya’s perfectly-timed reappearance in Toby’s life didn’t surprise me as much as it did him.

But instead of offering the answers about why the pair had been split up for so long, or what role The Institute had to play in everything, the two sat down for tea as The Listener rolled to a close—leaving us with some mysteries still unsolved. Given the way the show changed over the years, it’s entirely possible the writers weren’t interested in going there anymore, but without any resolution that half of the conclusion felt more rushed. Even Dev and Alex suddenly and awkwardly admitting their feelings and running off to the dance floor together at least had enough build to it that Alex’s “that took way too long” came from us as much as herself. Then again, in a world where a mind-reading paramedic can end up cracking the nation’s highest-ranking corruption ring, maybe there are only so many answers we can expect.

What did you think of The Listener finale? Let me know in the Comments below!


6 thoughts on “Review: Mystery lingers in ‘Listener’ finale”

  1. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The main story was exciting and really liked the growth we see from the team. Unfortunately the “Mythology” portion, that was introduced in season one, felt tacked on , rushed and didn’t answer questions like we were lead on. This episode felt a lot more like a season finale than a series finale. But as a whole we can’t really blame the series runners for the last notice cancellation, and they did alright by me with this satisfactory conclusion.

  2. Great review and I love this line: “in a world where a mind-reading paramedic can end up cracking the nation’s highest-ranking corruption ring, maybe there are only so many answers we can expect.”

  3. 3 wasted years (year 2 still had some paranormal elements plus the hospital). Turning what could have been an intriguing genre show into a poorly written procedural, like anyone needs yet another cops & criminals procedural. The only reason to stick around was the personal charm of Ennis and Craig along with the hopeless hope that there’d be a coup in the writing room.

    Mom was hidden away by some benevolent government group?? Toby was too sad about Charlie to even try to find his mom and brother? Has everyone forgotten about the baby brother taken away by mysterious ill-intentioned men?

    They should have embraced both Toby’s uniqueness and the implications to the world (as a good genre show would). Toby helping people in distress as being a paramedic allowed him to do. Not every TV show needs to be about criminals. Toby at a large disaster (natural or not) fighting through all the general distress to locate people who could actually be helped. Other powers were implied in the first 2 seasons: healing, precognition, clairvoyance, maybe toss a little psychometry in there. Have a little fun.

    Where was Toby’s brother? Who were the men in black? Were they collecting paranormals/psionics?

    Continue to be low key with no FX budget if need be. No need to have telekinesis or bigger things if you don’t want. Being big didn’t help Alphas or the Tomorrow People. Good writing, acting and follow-through on their universe as established is what is making Orphan Black a hit.

  4. I am really happy they brought back some of the mystery behind Toby’s past for the finale. I was worried that we would never hear anything more. But, I have to say, it was a bit disappointing. I wanted a bit more—I still have questions. Like you said Eleni: What is the Institute, why did she have to protect Toby? Just a few answers would have been good. But, it was a decent finale. They could only do so much.

  5. Actually, I was very disappointed with the finale, 5 years of shows to get 5 minutes of mom on screen, then all the silly Red herring Star Chamber theme?? Bad…and annoyingly so after 5
    usually good seasons, made in Canada not withstanding…

Comments are closed.