X Company 301: The spies return in tension-filled chess match “Creon vs. Ixion”

It was disappointing to learn the third season of CBC’s X Company would be its last. But after the World War II spy drama’s taut and nuanced second season, it’s satisfying to know creators Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern are ending the show on their own terms. Wrapping the show after three seasons will spare it from the meandering storylines that often bedevil shows that air four or more seasons, and it will also allow Ellis and Morgenstern to keep the spies’ body count honest.

“You’re not supposed to live a lot of weeks, if you do live,” Ellis tells TV-Eh. “We wanted to be truthful to that history.”

To that end, the team lost smooth-talking American adman Tom (Dustin Milligan) during the disastrous Dieppe invasion last season. His death looms large in the Season 3 premiere, “Creon vs. Ixion,” written by Ellis and Morgenstern, as the remaining team members struggle with grief and search for new reasons to continue fighting. Meanwhile, Sinclair (Hugh Dillon) comes face to face with the Allies’ new prize asset, Franz Faber (Torben Liebrecht), who flipped to the Allied side in the final scene of the Season 2 finale.

Or did he?

Here’s a sneak peek of the episode.

Sinclair vs. Faber
Sit back and enjoy the fireworks between Hugh Dillon and Torben Liebrecht as Sinclair and Faber try to size each other up, playing a high-stakes chess match involving human lives.

“Their scenes together are pretty explosive,” Morgenstern says. “These are two fantastic actors, so different in their performance styles, and so different in their sensibility, but the two of them as actors get along like a house on fire. It was actually quite fun to watch.”

It was apparently great fun for Dillon and Liebrecht, too.

“Hugh said to me, ‘I’ve rediscovered why I love acting so much, acting in scenes with Torben,’” Ellis recalls.

Can Sabine be trusted?
Not only are Faber’s loyalties unclear, Sabine’s intentions are also uncomfortably hazy, now that she’s been told the truth about her husband’s work.

“She becomes a bit of a loose cannon, and she stops following orders and she starts saying exactly what she thinks, and she doesn’t care what people think anymore,” says Morgenstern. “She’s had enough of being a porcelain doll.”

Look for her to seek the help of her father, high-ranking Nazi true-believer Obergruppenführer Ulrich Schmidt (Morten Suurballe).

What happened to Miri?
Still reeling from the loss of Tom, Neil (Warren Brown) and Harry (Connor Price) hit the road in search of Miri (Sara Garcia), who was last seen providing sniper cover from a church tower at Dieppe.

Action Krystina
In Sinclair’s absence, Krystina (Lara Jean Chorostecki) gets to leave Camp X on an important — and personal — mission.

Are Aurora (Evelyne Brochu) and Alfred (Jack Laskey) still a thing? Yes. The problem is the wrong people know it.

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

Images courtesy of CBC.