Cara Gee (Drummer) is Hazel James in BIRDLAND, the story of ex-cop Sheila Hood (Kathleen Munroe), who hides cameras in her home to observe her ornithologist husband’s affair with Hazel’s older sister Merle (Melanie Scrofano). When Merle falls to her death from a bridge and another of her lovers, Ray Starling (Joris Jarsky), is found dead in his own hotel, Hood is pulled into a dark world of corruption, sex and death and her surveillance footage forms the backbone of a police investigation that threatens to incriminate her and destroy her marriage. Directed by Peter Lynch (who Norm Wilner of Toronto’s NOW Magazine once said was “a director fascinated by obsessive outsiders”), BIRDLAND will be released on VOD in both Canada and the US on 26 January (Amazon, Google, Xbox, and iTunes). It will begin showing at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto on 26 January as well. Continue reading →
WYNONNA EARP – Season 1 Episode 8 – SPOILERS
This is a very busy episode. Wynonna is threatened with surgery by a fake doctor, while Haught recovers from her injuries in a real hospital. Doc and Dolls establish a temporary truce for the purpose of rescuing Wynonna. In the course of their investigations they visit an illegal local fight club, where they vent their hostility toward one another through bare-knuckled fisticuffs. Doc wins the fight with Dolls with a right uppercut much like Bob Fitzsimmons’ “solar plexus punch” that was the source of controversy in the famous 1896 heavyweight bout between Bob Fitzsimmons and Tom Sharkey, a fight that was refereed by Wyatt Earp, and of which there are many conflicting accounts. (Earp ruled that Fitzsimmons had struck an illegal blow and stopped the fight. It was an unpopular ruling.)
At the start of the episode, Dr. Reggie (Ryan Belleville) wants to fix Wynonna’s problems whether she wants them fixed or not. He tells Wynonna he is “…pioneering a radical new procedure…to increase certain brain functions and I guess you could say shut down others. Certain areas of emotion cause a patient to be irrational. They can be removed.” He goes on to explain that Wynonna has been a “bad, bad girl” and that he will find the cause and cut it out.
In a similar, but less creepy vein, Dolls (Shamier Anderson) tries to explain to Doc Holliday why he outed him to the folks at Black Badge HQ:
DOC: “if your bosses have no compunction about turning someone into a pin cushion, then how are they better than the demons?”
DOLLS: “Your body is a treasure trove for science. Think about what the military could do with soldiers who didn’t get sick. Didn’t age? It was a decision made for the good of the many.”
DOC: “I get to choose who i share my treasure trove with, not the goddamn government.”
Later, after freeing Wynonna, Doc tells Dolls: “You, sir, are an asshole. But you are not a villain.” In other words, Dolls’ methods are deplorable, but his motives are salutary. Doc gives Dolls a pep talk about ethics and Dolls agrees (with suspicious ease) not to turn Doc over to his superiors for experimentation. Dolls turns in Whiskey Jim, a revenant, instead because his fight club adventure revealed a leak in Dolls’ organization and he needs to find it, by any means necessary.
The episode takes a side trip into graphic horror when Bethany (Sasha Barry), who was apparently killed in a previous episode, is shown to be alive, then accorded a rather gruesome death at the hands of Dr. Reggie, who is not entirely unlike Dolls in that he and his employer use invasive procedures without the subject’s consent.
Since Dolls is not a villain and Reginald is a mere minion, one is left searching for a proper evildoer. That is
soon provided in the person of Jack the Ripper.
“Papers called him the ‘Jack of Knives’ on account of the fact that’s what he called himself in the letters he sent, taunting them. Adept at all manner of blade. Wyatt and me, we made it our mission to hunt him down. We tracked him through the Cumberland Pass, nearly freezing to death, and then I got sick. Real sick. Wyatt never spoke of Jack again, but I know he was the one who haunted him the most.”
—- Doc Holliday
While preparing Wynonna for torture, Jack, the last of the seven-man posse that kidnapped Willa, confirms that Ward Earp (Wynonna’s dad) made a deal of some sort with Bobo del Rey. This has been hinted at for the past couple of episodes, and it makes one wonder about the purpose of the raid on the Earp homestead. If Ward had a deal with Bobo, then why attack? Did Ward go back on his word? And it raises another question: If the heir is killed by The Peacemaker, especially after having made a deal with Bobo, does he or she come back as a revenant?
Just before Wynonna dispatches him with Peacemaker, Jack lays claim to being Jack the Ripper. For Jack to have been the author of the Whitechapel murders would require that Doc and Wyatt encounter him in 1878 or 1879 (when they were in Dodge City) and pursue him a thousand miles to the Cumberland Pass (Gap) where Doc becomes ill, causing them to give up the chase. Jack then travels to England and remains there until at least 1889. Then he returns to the US where he is shot by Wyatt Earp prior to Earp’s death in January, 1929.
In other notable events, a horse appears for the first time in the series. Doc rides it into town after finding Haught’s empty and bloody squad car. (Doc is not at all familiar with the automobile, and that becomes hilariously apparent when he later attempts to use Dolls’ van.) It is revealed that Officer Haught (Katherine Barrell) has a cat, though said cat is not seen. When Sheriff Neadley (Greg Lawson) offers to swing by and feed the animal, Haught tells him that “she really doesn’t like men”.
Joris Jarsky (Whiskey Jim Byers) is Ray Starling, the charismatic owner of a botique hotel, and Melanie Scrofano is his girlfriend Merle in Peter Lynch’s noir-ish mystery BIRDLAND, which describes itself as “a surveillance-themed murder mystery set in the age of Edward Snowden and big oil”. 108 Media have acquired the world sales and North American distribution rights to the film, which should be released later this year. Jarsky was also the crow Munin in LOST GIRL episode 4.9, Destiny’s Child.
Sasha Barry (Bethany) is one of The Garter Girls, a performance art collective from Calgary, Alberta. The eleven-member burlesque troupe has been performing since 2007. The next performance of The Garter Girls will be their Annual May Soiree and Student Showcase, on 28 May at 8pm at the Evergreen Community Spaces – 1709 8th Ave NE, Calgary. The troupe has a YouTube Channel, and is also on Instagram.
Ryan Belleville will be the voice of Dudley in the children’s animated series WINSTON STEINBURGER AND SIR DUDLEY DING DONG, scheduled to broadcast on ABC3 Australia and TELETOON Canada later this year. The show follows Winston Steinburger, his feline best friend Sir Dudley and an uptight alien named Hampton as they explore the galaxy together in a homemade space cruiser. The three square off against bubbling planets, bad-breathed Space-bandits and Pam the Destroyer (a manic tweenie-bopper with a large crush on Winston).