Everything about Four in the Morning, eh?

Four in the Morning goes out in a blaze of surrealistic glory

CBC ended its eight-episode run of Four in the Morning with the airing of the final two episodes back to back. The first, entitled “Four Christs,” riffs off of The Three Christs of Ypsilanti by Milton Rokeach (Parker hands us this one on a silver platter: William overhears a summary following a very long montage of memories). At any rate, all four of our protagonists are upset with each other, and yet all are feeling entirely blameless. After last week’s big reveal, William (Mazin Elsadig) and Mitzi (Lola Tash) sleeping together, Mitzi admits to William that she was mistaken, Bondurant (Daniel Maslany) and Jamie (Michelle Mylett) did not sleep together.

But, they did, long before Jamie and William got together. Despite his own adulterous guilt, William wallows in his delusional belief that he is the affronted party. The rest of this episode is angst-ridden with a little soupçon of string theory. The episode closes with a long shot on an empty booth at the diner setting the stage for “The Music.”

A few weeks have passed and this final episode begins like the first: in the Patrician Grill, the clock flipping over to 4:00, indicating that we have come full cycle. However, Tatiana Ratowski (Alison Brooks),  the ratty admissions director from Julliard, has come to notify Bondurant he is the worst trumpet player to ever approach her school. To console himself, Bondurant again breaks into Massey Hall and takes centre stage for a final time. Leaving his trumpet at centre stage, he finds a jet pack and rockets off in search of Shangri-La.

But Bondurant has been preyed upon by the backstabbing Ms. Ratowski. Seems she and Rat Man Tom (Micheal Therrault) are guarding a secret about the music program at Julliard.

Meanwhile, William recognizes he is in love with Jamie after-all. In a weak moment, he contemplates suicide and unwittingly shoots himself in the ear.

Mitzi, having had her apology rejected by William, heads to Amadeus’ falafel shop, and asks for the washroom key.

This is where things get weird … or weirder.

Instead of a washroom, the key unlocks a deserted hospital where Mitzi has a miscarriage, giving birth to a pig. Albert the talking pig returns to explain to Mitzi that she is not at fault for all of the disharmony in her friends’ lives.

The season closes with Jamie, Mitzi and William leaving the hospital with baby Margaret whereupon they see Bondurant, a.k.a. a shooting star, blazing across the morning sky.

Four in the Morning has been such a fun little show. The characters, despite their narcissistic tendencies, won me over. There has not been any word yet whether CBC will pick this up for another season. I hope it does. I really enjoy programs that don’t spoon feed you, but rather make you think. But should it not, I am content where the story closed.

What did you think of Season 1? Comment below or @tv_eh.


Four in the Morning: Bandercamp and Hollow Man

Jamie (Michelle Mylett) has a surprise for William (Mazin Elsadig) and she is on a mission to share. William follows in her determined wake as they hustle through an empty bar into the back kitchen.

This is it!

Jamie asks, “Do you trust me?”

William replies, “Absolutely not!”

“Then this is going to be terrifying for you,” and Jamie climbs into a freezer full of water.

Wait! WHAT?

OK, so the freezer is secret passage—part of a network built before the discovery of fluid dynamics—to Dovie’s (Jennifer Dale) backyard pool. It seems Jamie has arranged a party of popular authors, giving William an opportunity to rub some elbows and get feedback on his manuscript. However, like Roman Roman (Richard Zeppieri), the effort has pushed all of Jamie’s insides out, leaving her empty. William, though, is full. Feeling completely alone, Jamie has fallen victim to loving too much.

Meanwhile, Mitzi (Lola Tash) and Bondurant (Daniel Maslany) are visiting Bondurant’s father Orvis (Rod Wilson) in the backwoods of Manitoba and Mitzi hears a startling sound. She sends Bondurant to investigate … his mother Sitari (Cheri Maracle) has come home to roost.

In typical Bondurant fashion, we learn that his parents, in their raven forms, were forced into marriage as punishment for being so selfish as to allow the twin towns of Wendel and Clark to burn to the ground. Apart, his parents are the best parents ever, but together they are poisonous. This proves an uncomfortable reunion for Bondurant and speaking of poison … Bondurant’s parents lace Mitzi’s tea with amobarbital, whereupon Mitzi reveals to all that she slept with William.

So that leaves us with two couples, each on the brink of a breakup.

This surreal little show is one that people either love or hate; there is no in-between. The most frequent complaint is that it is “overacted,” or “takes itself too seriously.” That, though, is exactly the point. You only get out of it what you put into it. If you take a bit of time to unpack these quirky stories, you come away with a lot of great wit.

Four in the Morning airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on CBC.


The episode of Four in the Morning where they blow up the moon

We begin this episode of Four in the Morning, appropriately entitled Moon, with Jamie (Michelle Mylett) waxing poetic about how fabulous the moon looks whilst William (Mazin Elsadig) is completely indifferent. It makes him feel insignificant. William  hasn’t been reacting to anything at all lately and that is pissing Jamie off. They head into an empty Patrician Grill as the lone patron, Coralie (Shiva Negar), rushes out. She slim jims a car and William and Jamie tag along for a trip to the observatory. It seems a group has gathered to watch the destruction of the moon.

Meanwhile, Bondurant (Daniel Maslany) just cannot catch a break with his trumpet playing. This time, he is called away by William in order to save the moon. Seems our musician Bondurant is also a world-class mechanical engineer. He also suffers from heavy fingers. It is only once a year, when the moon is at perigee, that its gravitational pull balances the heaviness of his fingers, making his trumpet playing c’est magnifique.

But these are just the surface stories. Mitzi (Lola Tash) discovers Bondurant lied about getting into Julliard, and she confesses that she had an abortion … but did she? Jamie and William fight about his lack of emotional engagement and William almost confesses about his time with Mitzi. In the end, William finally reacts, putting Jamie and William back on track and  Bondurant terminates the moon for Mitzi! Yep … Parker had Bondurant blow up the moon! Guess we are significant after all.

As I sat down to watch this episode, I was thinking “OK, here we go again, we have a pattern established … yawn.” But, about halfway through “Moon,” I didn’t have a clue where we were going. Then there was a fabulous bullet time sequence edited with “Che gelida manina,” from La Boheme scoring the scene. This was absolutely perfect for Maslany’s physical theatrical style. Sure it was gimmicky, but it was perfect and I loved it. I also realised I am starting to care about these characters, albeit some more than others.

Let me know what your thoughts are about tonight’s episode in the comments below.

Four in the Morning airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on CBC.


Four in the Morning — The shadow knows…

Well let’s get it out of the way right away; there is a lot of sex happening in Episode 4 of Four in the Morning. Orgasms, mistimed orgasms, fake orgasms and anti-orgasms. Then there are the conversations about the orgasms.

We also have shadows, and it seems Bondurant (Daniel Maslany) is able to read them. Good thing, because Mitzi (Lola Tash) is afflicted with a purple shadow.  Apparently, this means she is conflicted about something, and feels guilty. Well—DUH!—of course, she is! All of this shadow discombobulation means Bondurant and Mitzi are “off,” rather their timing is off, and it is getting worse the more they try (and they try a LOT!).

Meanwhile, Jamie (Michelle Mylett) has been keeping secrets … lots and lots of secrets! For one, she admits to  William (Mazin Elsadig) that she has never achieved an orgasm with him; she has been faking it all along. She also confesses to not one but two previous marriages, (we don’t count the third marriage) and each of those ended with her spouse committing suicide. It seems she is a “sexualcontrarian.” Despite her aphro-dipsomaniacal demands, Jamie can only achieve an orgasm at the precise moment her partner achieves an “anti-orgasm.” Her partners’ desires to see her satisfied drove them all to their ultimate sacrifice. William, determined to satisfy Jamie, fakes an anti-climax. And it seems his approach worked.

Practice appears to be approaching perfect for Bondurant and Mitzi, and whilst honing their timing, these two little lovebirds admit their love for each other. Bondurant invites Mitzi to come home for Thanksgiving, but the whole Julliard and pregnancy things are still not resolved.

I watched this episode twice before finishing the review. At first, I was overcome with all of the sex. Well, I was really thinking, “HOW in the HELL am I going to write about all of the sex while avoiding an R-rating?” So, after a bit of thought, and some self-censoring, I came to  this conclusion: Parker got in a couple more quirky portmanteaus and tossed in another confessional monologue. We can now consider whether or not we should completely sacrifice ourselves for a relationship and forgo our own happiness for that of our partner.

The pattern is now set. We have a rhythm. We know what to expect. Now I hope we can get into some really meaty storytelling. Let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments below.

Four in the Morning airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on CBC.


Comments and queries for the week of September 16

Kids Help Phone Charity auction

The Mr. D package is not allowing me to bid, not sure if something is wrong with the link, but “Bid Now” button not allowing to enter a bid. —D

Thanks so much for the support of this great cause, and for letting me know about the glitch. It’s been fixed! If anyone else is having problems bidding, please email me at the address below.

Four in the Morning

I was going to give this show a go but I forgot to set it to record on my DVR. Now I think I’m just going to let it pass me by. After reading your review I think it’s a show I probably won’t like and I’ve been a lot more fussy when it comes to shows to keep watching these days. There’s just too much TV nowadays. I still have 20 shows I’m behind on. I keep finding myself dropping shows I’m a number of episodes in on like Arrow, Playing House, Bitten, etc., because I realize there’s always another show I want to watch more. —Alicia

APTN’s Wild Archaeology entertains and educates

I am very happy you liked the show so much. Trust me when I say there is much more to see many more place we traveled and learned from all across Canada. —Jacob Pratt


Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.