Everything about Shoot the Messenger, eh?

Choices are made on Shoot the Messenger

I’m still reeling from that image of Judge Reeves and Orlandio shagging, and the quick recap ahead of Monday’s new episode further burned the picture into my mind. It also caused me to say out loud: what’s next on Shoot the Messenger?

“Careful What you Pray For” began like a gunshot, quickly and unexpectedly, with Khaalif feeling he’d avenged his brother’s death and all debts paid. Not so much, as it turned out. The police had the final say, breaking down the door and sweeping Khaalif and his crew up in a guns and gangs raid.

In the very next scene, Simon was saying goodbye to Cassie. She was off on a week-long business trip and before hopping in the cab uttered a line that is the basis for everything unravelling on Shoot the Messenger: “You always have a choice.”

Simon’s choice seems to be—at this point anyway—whether he’ll let little Simon take command of big Simon and head back into bed with Daisy. That didn’t happen, and perhaps it didn’t because that’s what I expected would occur, and Shoot the Messenger is unique because it doesn’t go with the obvious. Yes, Daisy was having an affair with Lutz and slept with Simon, but she appears to have stopped with the pillow talk; by episode end she and Simon shared a mutual respect. They’re going to need each other’s backs going forward because the video of Sam and Khalid in bed together is going to blow the roof off the story.

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It certainly pushed Judge Reeves and Orlandio to the background, and that was unexpected too. I assumed Reeves and her husband, Glen, were sexual deviants who would do anything to keep their bedroom tastes quiet—going to far as to murdering Khalid to keep it under wraps—but instead we were treated to a scene where they broke down and supporting each other, realizing their careers are likely in the gutter. (Also? I was convinced Mary was going to stifle what Daisy and Simon has uncovered.)

Juxtaposing scenes of grief, shock and resignation were a quiet few moments between Lutz and his son, Noah. Lutz was helping Noah get ready for school and the soccer practice afterwards; it offered a sweet respite from the drama swirling in the other storylines.

Production-wise, I love the camera angles Sudz Sutherland uses, especially during intense, loaded conversations. Everyone is always just off-centre, I imagine to show no one in Shoot the Messenger is being totally honest with the other and are always a little crooked.

Shoot the Messenger airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Shoot the Messenger expands its world in Episode 3

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Shoot the Messenger. When I made an on-location visit during production on Season 1, I learned it was about a rookie news reporter named Daisy who landed a big story. Though Daisy was excited to write it, she needed help and that was where her co-worker, Simon, came into the picture. I also knew a cop named Lutz was having a relationship with Daisy and corruption within levels of government was involved.

But man, Shoot the Messenger is so much more than that, something evident by the time Episode 3 had closed. Daisy got a crash course in just how delicate the information she’s gotten is to some people. It did feel like she was a little blasé about everything last week and she’s certainly been reminded of that after the man from the car followed her into Hassan’s apartment and demanded the cell phone. When Hassan said he didn’t have it, the masked man gunned down Avril. Guess that was the wrong answer.

Much of the episode was spent following Daisy’s descent into an alcohol-induced haze. Prior to that she’d met with Anthony Telpher (Rick Fox), a friend she made in rehab when they were both addicted to cocaine. And though the talk with him seemed to do good, Daisy promptly went back to Chloe’s and drank a bottle of booze while surfing the Internet and seeing the type of kid Khalid used to be. Daisy’s actions not only estranged her from Chloe but Lutz too, especially after he advised he’d be distancing himself from her because she knew the men he was investigating the deaths of.

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And then Shoot the Messenger curved off in another direction that involved Sam Charles being feted for the Prime Minister’s office and Eric Lawson’s involvement with gangs discussed. Lawson has got a stink on him and Phil Hardcastle (Maurice Dean Wint) doesn’t want any of it rubbing off on Sam.

The stink of another sort—sex—was front and centre by episode’s end, as Simon and Daisy discovered Orlandio’s penchant for sleeping with older women. The revelation he bedded Judge Reeves not only takes Daisy’s story into even more dangerous territory but it pretty much guarantees Kevin’s warrant won’t be approved.

Last night’s episode boasted oodles of slow-motion movement set to music and a particularly strong, deeply emotional sequence as Khalid was being prepared for burial. It lends a feature film feel to Shoot the Messenger‘s gritty storylines.

Shoot the Messenger airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.
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Shoot the Messenger weaves a web of danger in Episode 2

Who was driving the black car shadowing Daisy all episode long? That was just one of many questions asked during Episode 2 of Shoot the Messenger on Monday night. By the time the hour had come to a close, the driver stepped out of the vehicle, but only his shoe and leg were shown. I’m guessing hoping we get an answer next week.

Written by Jennifer Holness and Sudz Sutherland, the second instalment furthered the drama introduced last week, as an injured Hassan attempted to lay low and heal, but that wasn’t happening. Meanwhile, violence on the street escalated, as Khaalif sought to avenge Khalid’s murder by targeting a member of a rival gang for the killing. Instead, a young girl was killed in a hail of gunfire and Kevin collared Khaalif for the crime. Pair that with Hassan wanting to meet up with Daisy, and there was a lot going on with that storyline.

I’m quickly realizing that Shoot the Messenger is definitely not the type of series you can just air in the background while reading emails. Not only do the storylines command attention with their intricacies, but the visuals are stunning. Sweeping views of the city at night, a dead girl’s head being slowly pulled out of a congealing pool of blood … you have to watch.

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The characters are becoming more fleshed out and complex too. Kevin is a by-the-book cop in some ways, but his relationship with Daisy causes him to push boundaries, perhaps to the point of putting his gig or life in jeopardy if he’s not careful. Daisy, meanwhile, seems to be using her feminine wiles to get her way; she slept with Simon because—as she said—she was “curious.” Now Simon is conflicted—he is engaged to be married, after all—about his feelings for the rookie reporter.

Squeaky-clean Simon seems headed for some dirt too. In a bid to chat with basketball star Orlandio Spence (Jamaal Magloire) about his relationship with Khalid, Simon made a deal with his cousin, sports agent Greggor (Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson) to leak a document to The Gazette‘s sports reporter pressuring the team to sign Orlandio to a new contract. (As an aside, Robertson may not be an actor, but he’s very good in Shoot the Messenger so far.)

Shoot the Messenger has a lot of balls in the air right now and things threaten to get a little confusing. But I’m enjoying the ride I’m being taken on and am excited to see where it goes.

Shoot the Messenger airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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