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.

Carolyn Potts
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Carolyn Potts

Teacher. Writer. Mom. Masters' Candidate, Faculty of Education, Western University. Studying Pop Culture Media as a Decolonizer of Education Policy and Practice. I also volunteer as a Girl Guide leader in my spare time.
Carolyn Potts
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