The imagery in the opening moments of tonight’s episode of Bellevue, despite lasting just a few seconds, makes use of some powerful symbolism. Mother Mary is watching over the town of Bellevue. Then we immediately cut to the crime scene, followed by a close-up of the body bag containing Jesse’s (Sadie O’Neil) remains as it is being zipped up. Provocative? By the end of this episode we we will have more questions than answers so here goes….
Peter (Shawn Doyle) wants to know how Annie (Anna Paquin) found Jesse, so she is compelled to reveal the truth. She shows him both the fake nails and the doll that the Riddler left for her. Once again, Peter is over-the-top pissed with her for getting involved. Annie believes the two cases are somehow connected. She says, “Jessie was at the church where Sandy’s body was found without fingernails, and I am sent fingernails in a doll dressed like Mary, and told to keep quiet or I won’t learn the truth about either of them.” Annie believes this Riddler guy will only communicate with her but to ensure that connection she must keep quiet; they have a bond. Is Peter afraid for Annie or is he trying to scare her? “Tell me you understand you are talking to a killer now…” Determined, she re-establishes the pattern of give and receive just as she did when she was a child. Annie leaves the Riddler a gift: “What I found beyond the horizon.”
Meanwhile, Jesse’s mother, Maggie (Victoria Sanchez), turns to Father Jameson (Joe Cobden) in her time of grief. She has just identified her son’s body. Maggie confesses she has never believed in God until now, but, she believes God only punishes. It appears someone else may share this same belief. Maggie and Father Jameson turn and notice the image of St. Joseph has been desecrated; an image ripe with betrayal. Instead of a father cradling his son lovingly in his arms, it now portrays the image of father stabbing his son in the back.
Some advances in the investigation do occur. The coroner reports Jesse suffered blunt force trauma to the head; this would indicate heat of the moment. Now we know Jesse got into a white pick-up truck, so something must have happened in the truck. Who conveniently owns a white pick-up truck? Coach Tom (Vincent Leclerc) the surrogate father to Jesse who also happens to be completely obsessed with Jesse making it big in hockey.
Annie then receives the first of two messages in this episode, the first again in the form of a riddle. “If a hero falls from glory, where can he relive it?” Everything is starting to point at Tom. He is known for his rage, even encourages his team to fight out their differences as a team building strategy. Annie screens practice video and discovers the relationship between Jesse and Tom changed significantly about a month prior to Jesse’s untimely death.
In the meantime, Daisy (Madison Ferguson) attempts to conduct a séance, motivated by her hope Sandy Driver’s spirit can impart some secret from the grave. And she is caught. “Uncle Peter” brings her home and she is forced to endure stern lectures from both he and her mother. Annie and Eddie (Allen Leech) disagree with how to handle it but Annie prevails: Daisy needs time with her friends. Eddie leaves to take Daisy for her sleepover, but in a huff.
Shortly after, someone parks their truck out front of Annie’s—why can we not run the VIN to identify him?—and Annie takes off into the woods thinking this must be the Riddler. She finds the second message, not in the form of a riddle but still adhering to his theme of dolls. This time it comes in the form of a paper doll chain: “Don’t be Scared.”
Then things get a bit messy. Annie—angry with both Eddie and Peter—heads to the Rattlesnake Bar to blow off some steam and hits on some random guy to make Eddie jealous. Her plan works and they hook up in the parking lot. How Hot Was That Scene? OOOF! Whilst still in their afterglow, Annie spots an old payphone and checks it out. Jesse’s jersey number is scratched into the paint. Jesse was there. Phone records need running down. Eddie again leaves in a pique. Evidently, Annie’s obsessions are a sore spot.
While all of this is going on, Peter returns to the shack at Clear Horizons, setting it on fire and burning the fake fingernails as well. So, are we to believe Peter is behind all the creep stuff? Is he fabricating this facade in an effort to get Annie to depend on him more? What is his motivation to deliberately destroy evidence? Like I said at the top, I feel as though the writers are trying to get us to believe Peter is behind some of the underhanded events but it just feels too early in the story to outright convict him at this point.
The focus then shifts to Coach Tom. Jesse’s boyfriend Danny (Cameron Roberts) reveals Tom took Jesse to a motel and whatever happened that night is what caused Jesse to hate Tom. Peter and Annie visit the hotel and learn that Tom bought a hooker for Jesse, to get him to “man up!” Anne later visits with Tom’s wife, Jackie (Marianne Farley), and she reveals they are not really together. She is aware of Tom’s visits to this hooker. Peter calls Tom down to headquarters and subjects him to Peter and Annie’s good cop/bad cop questioning. They let Tom know that the phone records from the Rattlesnake confirm Tom got a three-minute call at 12:30 a.m. the night Jesse was killed. Tom denies any involvement and Jackie provides his alibi.
With that dead end, Annie revisits the hooker who shares some interesting information about Tom. Not only did he deliberately get himself injured in a traffic accident, ending his career as a hockey player, but he keeps the old sign the city erected in his name. It is hidden in the basement of the arena where he relives his glory through his team and through Jesse. Annie heads there and discovers the sign but someone locks her in. Whoever it is pours gasoline, allowing it to seep under the door.
Remember that image of Joseph stabbing his son in the back that Maggie and Father Jameson discovered in the church? Seems the Riddler wants Annie to tie that image to Coach Tom. Apparently, Tom played Joseph opposite Sandy Driver in the Christmas pageant the year Sandy was brutally murdered. Coincidence?
OK, so back to the gasoline at the door. Annie confesses to whomever is outside that door. She assumes it is the Riddler. She tells him she trusts him but she was hurt and lost after he left her 20 years ago. His response? “Don’t trust the guy with the fire in his eye.” Annie manages to break out of the room and runs to Peter who just happens to be watching his garage burn down. “Goddam, kids” he says.
WHEW!!! Like I said at the top, we are left with more questions than we started with. What is Peter’s story? Can Annie trust him or does she need to heed the Riddler’s warning? Is the Riddler perhaps Sandy Driver’s father Neil ( Andreas Aspergis) who is now off his meds? Did Tom kill Jesse? Is he behind Sandy Driver’s death too? How does the Riddler know all of these details if he is not the killer? So is the Riddler also the killer? I have not got a clue yet myself. But I am having too much fun watching each layer as they are unveiled to me! And I cannot wait to find out what happens next either!
Let me know who you think is behind the killings and who you think the Riddler is in the comments below.
Bellevue airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.