The penultimate episode of 21 Thunder arrived, and delivered! This episode was all about preparing the players—and viewers—for the upcoming friendly against London, creating lots of tension and setting us up for what I am sure will be a great season finale.
The cold open quickly set the tone for the episode: Nolan ( RJ Fetherstonhaugh) put his father on notice: Declan (Colm Feore) “can go to hell,” Stefan (Stephan Arnaud) and Damien (Lucas Chartier-Dessert) exchanged blows over Marie (Kimberly Laferriere) and Junior (Emmanuel Kabongo) was determined to enlist the expertise of Joseph Bamba (Clauter Alexandre) in order to learn the truth about his brother Gregoire, despite knowing Bamba was once involved with Fatima (Gabrielle Graham). All of this set the stage for further tensions during the remainder of the episode.
On the field and off, players and staff tried to focus on the game but external distractions were at war with that goal. The team needed to move on from the loss of captain and keeper Alex (Andres Joseph) and Nolan was unanimously elected as his replacement. But Coach Rocas (Conrad Pla), hindered by his wife’s departure, officially resigned leaving Christy Cook (Stephanie Bennett) to fill his shoes as head coach. A fortuitous by-product of this promotion? Fix the league’s “woman problem” that was created by Davey’s (Ryan Pierce) misogynistic vlogging. Still, uncertainty had the players on edge, so Christy had the team relieve some of their pressures with a fun match of bubble soccer. Unfortunately, followers of the team were not impressed by this latest turn and lashed out online. Stefan, ever the team philosopher, pointed out, “These people are not fans. They are fanatics. They don’t love the game. They want to own it.”
Meanwhile, the mystery behind the disappearance/death of his brother Gregoire continued to plague Junior. Bamba contacted Junior to advise he thought he found Isaac Boka (Ryan Allen)—the last known contact with Gregoire—and the two set out to confront him. Unfortunately for Junior, and I suppose Boka too, Isaac was found dead of what looked to Junior as suicide. Later we learned things were not as they seemed and by the episode’s end the police tracked down Bamba and took him in for questioning for the murder of one Isaac Boka.
That brought us to Nolan and his attempt to free Emma from any connection to Declan, even association through himself. But Declan, in a calculated and desperate move, contacted Emma on his own and showed her the video of Nolan, effectively making her an accessory to the crime. In order to ensure Emma’s safety, Nolan deliberately pushed Emma further away, denying his love for her, telling her their relationship was all a lie and all but demanded that she attend medical school in Dublin. Without Nolan in her life, Emma is safe from harm. Without Emma in his life, Nolan has nothing to lose. Together they part.
And as I had expected last week, Lara (Eileen Li) did indeed exploit Davey’s financial woes and coerced him to be her coach on the ground during the friendly. She fronted him 50k as a down payment to secure a loss by the Thunder. That left Davey torn with wanting to support Christy as head coach and getting himself out of trouble with the tax man. At any rate, with Nolan wanting to save Emma from Declan, and team owner Ana (Christina Rosato) refusing to investigate Christy’s suspicions about ref Desjardins (Trevor Hayes), it looked like Thunder’s match against London may well be headed for failure.
Not a great deal of actiony action this week but all of the odds and sods dished out created suspense and lots of possibilities for the season’s close.
Hopefully, the finale will address some final questions:
- The obvious: will Thunder beat London?
- Will Nolan’s efforts succeed in protecting Emma from Declan?
- Will Lara’s and Kevin’s canny plan to fix the match work?
- Will Junior—and viewers—ever learn the truth about Gregoire?
How do you think the season will end? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
21 Thunder airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.