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 →
THE EXPANSE – Season 2 Episode 13 – SPOILERS
The protomolecule takes The Arboghast apart and floats the bits in the air over Venus, almost certainly killing the people on board. The crew will hang in the yellow clouds, still alive and conscious, until their oxygen runs out or they are cooked by the hot Venusian atmosphere. The ship and its crew will likely be assimilated into whatever is being built on Venus. In the books, the protomolecule is building a ring shaped thing that will enable interstellar travel (which sounds like ET trying to phone home by building a sort of star gate).
Bobbi Draper is fun to watch. She fits right into the role of hero because she doesn’t think of herself as heroic. She’s just doing her job. This time, her job is to rescue Avasarala and the wounded Cotyar. The crew that remains on The Guanshiyin after Mao’s departure doesn’t present much of a challenge to her until she encounters an electrician who threatens to lock her out of the drop ship and stop her from getting to her battle armour. She can’t fight her way through him, so she makes him an ally. It’s a tactic that Holden would do well to learn.
When she returns to attack Mao’s guards from the rear, saving Avasarala in the nick of time, Bobbi tosses the guards around the room like rag dolls with total disregard for Mr. Mao’s antiques. As has been pointed out a couple of times earlier in the series by her Martian elders, second generation Martians have no regard for tradition.
Enroute to Europa and reunited with Naomi, Holden is extremely contrite. Revenge, he has decided, is not the answer. Naomi quizzes him a bit in an attempt to clarify the extent of his reformation, but she is interrupted when the hybrid turns up in the cargo bay. Everyone, including Naomi and Prax, eventually agree they must kill it, but one must wonder why the hybrid decided to hitch a ride off of Ganymede. Was it trying to escape the people who created it? It tore some sort of device (Prax’s display called it a fail safe regulator) from its chest and discarded it in the cargo bay before it was killed. It also pinned Holden against the wall with a heavy container, but refrained from killing him. Why? Also how is Prax’s terminal able to display the anatomy of the hybrid?
Naomi admits to Holden that she went against his orders and preserved the sample of protomolecule that she was supposed to send crashing into the sun. She further admits that when she wasn’t sure she would survive Ganymede, she gave the sample’s co-ordinates to Fred Johnson. (We get to see a delighted Johnson recovering the sample.) Holden accepts all of this with amazing equanimity.
Once the hybrid was dead, it became necessary to assure viewers that Prax’s daughter Mei is still alive. At episode’s end we see her in what appears to be a stasis pod being put into storage at an unknown location. Naren Shankar told Ryan Britt of Inverse Entertainment: “That was a really late addition to the script, and the network essentially prompted that. They wanted to get some sense of what had happened to her. So, what we ended up doing is kinda like what we ended up doing in Season One. The attentive viewer will even tie it back to the very beginning of the season. It’s ending the season, but having this scene keys up for what’s happening next.”
Shankar also promised: “We’ll get a really good idea of what the protomolecule is really trying to do in Season Three.”
What will Holden do, now that his quest to destroy the protomolecule has been abandoned? Will he help Prax look for his daughter? (That device the hybrid abandoned in the cargo bay might be useful in tracking Dr. Strickland.) Will he and Naomi head to Tycho Station and work with Johnson and Drummer? It is worth noting that Holden is still unaware of what’s happening on Venus.
Suggestions for Season Three: First, give the protomolecule a new name, so that people don’t have to keep calling it protomolecule. Second, somehow get Naomi and Bobbi Draper together. Third, add some bright colours to the interior of The Rocinante. The current greys and blues are quite tiresome. Maybe Prax can find some flowering plants that will work in a zero gee environment. It’s not a Martian ship anymore.
Sara Mitich (Gia in four Season One episodes) will be Abbey in ASHES, the story of Liam (played by Jake Raymond), who, after discovering that his parents wanted their ashes scattered at the spot where they first met, sets out with some of his closest friends to explore that place. Kristian Bruun of ORPHAN BLACK is also in the cast, and a trailer is avaiable on YouTube. Shot in southern Ontario, the film will have its premiere at the Milledgeville Film Festival in Milledgeville, Georgia on 28 April.
David Tompa (panicked tech) will be Dr. Karl Neidorf in THE WANTING, a psychological thriller based on a short story by Gin de Mesa and director Yam Laranas, about an American couple (Amanda Crew and Adam Brody) who, after moving into an exclusive New England neighborhood, must struggle to survive a dark presence that seems to want them dead. No release date has yet been announced.
Ruth Chiang (Mao guard #6) will appear as a karaoke singer in NOUS SOMMES LES AUTRES (We Are the Others), a cinematic fable about the disappearance of a prominent architect and the investigation that follows. Director Jean-François Asselin told the Huffington Post: “It is the story of a great architect from Montreal who disappears at the beginning of the film, and whom two characters will try to replace, including Frédéric played by Émile [Proulx-Cloutier], a young architect who is hoping to make a career in the Field and who will be asked to take the place of the disappeared in a contest. There is also Robert Laplante, played by Jean-Michel [Anctil], a claims adjuster who will be led to investigate this disappearance. And it’s Myriam, played by Pascale [Bussières], who is at the heart of it all.” Filmed in Montreal last October, NOUS SOMMES LES AUTRES should be released in Canada later this year.
THE EXPANSE – Season 2 Episode 12 – SPOILERS
Holden goes full Ahab on the escaped hybrid, over the repeated objections of Prax and Alex. Only when Naomi calls for help does he break off his pursuit. Everybody talks tough in this episode, and not much actually happens, but we do learn some things.
Avasarala has not been off-planet for a long time, and does not enjoy space travel. Cotyar once was in military intelligence, and became Chrisjen’s assistant after somehow getting her son killed. Errinwright drinks Scotch. Bobbi Draper is fond of cucumber sandwiches. Earth developed (some years previously) a contact poison to use against Martian soldiers, but it was banned. The poison can be tailored for a specific genetic profile. (This we know because Errinwright uses some of it to kill Korshunov, the leader of the Martian delegation to the peace talks.)
Before he dies, Korshunov (Jeff Seymour) makes the second reference in the show to the inferiority of Martian music (as compared to Earth music). We have heard no music from Mars, so it is impossible to make a judgement on that, but both Draper and Korshunov agree that Martian music is crap. Perhaps musical expression is restricted there, either by the government, or by a general lack of leisure time.
Naomi does a heroic thing. Holden also does a heroic thing (reluctantly). Errinwright thinks he’s being heroic but he’s really just trying to save his ass. The truly amazing thing is that, while life support on Ganymede Station is shutting down, no one is making an effort to rescue those trapped there, despite the fact that the moon is surrounded with orbiting military vessels from Mars and Earth.
For just a brief minute, Naomi sounded a bit like Scotty from the Enterprise (minus the Scottish accent) when she took over repairs on the Weeping Somnambulist.
NAOMI: “What the hell are you doing? That doesn’t go there.”
ENGINEER: “Who the hell are you?”
NAOMI: “Please put those down and step away from the panel.”
ENGINEER: “The hell I will.”
NAOMI: “Station power’s failing. There’s no time for this shit. Move!”
The Martian ship that was destroyed remotely by Errinwright was intended to be the Project Caliban hybrid’s transportation off Ganymede, but in the final frames of the episode we see something (the hybrid?) clinging to one of the external ladders on The Rocinante. Melissa and Naomi are heading for Europa, and so, very possibly, is the hybrid, because The Rocinante is likely to follow them there.
— Julien Coquet (@JulienCoquet) April 17, 2017