A Haunting Episode Highlighted By Great Performances
On an especially cold night in the dead of Canadian winter new mother Bonnie Moreland (Wanda Cannon, with an utter monstrosity of a hairdo) is eerily followed then accosted in a Toronto mall parking lot by a beautiful but very disturbed young woman (the unforgettable Susannah Hoffman) who insists Bonnie's newborn son is in fact her child and not Bonnie's.
Frightened by the disturbing unexpected encounter Bonnie hurriedly drives home. The girl somehow finds her way to the Moreland residence hot on Bonnie's heels and frantically pounds on the front door demanding her child be given back then disappears. After Bonnie's husband (Gerry Mendicino) gets home and hears what happened he looks around outside and makes the grim discovery of the girl's corpse behind their wood-shed.
For me, the way this episode began was both very disturbing but also intriguing. Susannah Hoffman's character comes off as profoundly dangerous - the type of volatile weirdo plagued by drug use and/or psychosis that may very well be found wandering a mall parking lot going off on delusional rants at random strangers. But Hoffman's performance is also consistent with what we later learn about her character.
When Midsouth precinct police Detective Kevin O'Brien (Scott Hylands), his partner Detective Frank Giambone (Jeff Wincott) and their colleague Detective Christine Meadows (Laura Robinson) arrive to investigate the Moreland's lawyer Joseph Dominic (Richard Monette) also mysteriously shows up.
Meadows recognizes Dominic straight away. He is a lawyer who deals exclusively in adoptions and consulted when her sister and brother-in-law were looking to adopt years earlier but his services were too expensive for them. Dominic has a shelter/warehouse full of pregnant girls whose babies are contractually promised to affluent couples and he is making a mint.
This episode stuck in my mind long after I first saw it and it ranks as easily one of the very best episodes in this series. It is not merely the strength of the acting performances by the guest stars but the writing and how it was shot and cut.
Isabelle Mejias (who plays a pregnant girl named Valerie in this) left her screen acting career behind in 1994. I've been regretting it ever since and I don't think I'm the only one. Her scene with Richard Monette (Rest in Peace) is particularly chilling. Monette's intensity in that scene nearly causes the set to collapse but she stays right with him and the characterizations make the narrative hit home.
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