Coroner: “The Suburbs” Postmortem

CBC
CBC

*** Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Coroner episode “The Suburbs” ***

Just as it seemed like Jenny (Serinda Swan) and Dr. Peterson (Michael Healey) were about to turn the page in their relationship, the book closed for good on the former coroner. In the final moments of this week’s Coroner, Jenny was called to the scene of a new murder and was shocked to find Peterson was the victim of the crime. What happened to him and is it at all connected to Gerald Henry Jones (Rick Roberts), the man that McAvoy (Roger Cross) has been tracking down with the help of Greer (Grace Lynn Kung)? These answers and more are sure to come in next week’s Season 1 finale of the CBC drama series.

But before we go and get ahead of ourselves, there’s plenty that went down in “The Suburbs,” written by Seneca Aaron and Noelle Carbone and directed by Paul Fox, that we want to be sure and discuss. Joining us for this week’s postmortem chat is showrunner Morwyn Brebner and executive producer Adrienne Mitchell. The pair discuss Peterson’s death, why they wanted to build out Mac and Greer’s partnership and tease what other answers may still be to come in the finale. Brebner, who is married in real life to Healey, also discussed the decision to kill off her husband’s on screen persona.

 

The TV Junkies: So let’s jump right to the end, Peterson is dead! I think we’re all learning quickly you love a good cliffhanger! Morwyn, did you feel bad at all about killing off your husband?

Morwyn Brebner: Here’s the thing, I didn’t because it was a good part! I have never gotten so much flack from everyone, and that day, Michael had to lie on that slab for hours. He couldn’t move because he was so covered in fake blood, and my memory from that day is the AD running down the driveway saying ‘Morwyn! Go check on your husband!’ Everyone felt so bad and he went into some kind of meditative fugue state. The general feeling was ‘how could you do this to him?’ The problem is that I didn’t feel bad enough. I thought he was so great though and we loved him in the show. Adrienne, how did you feel about it?

Adrienne Mitchell: I was mad thinking ‘oh, why did they kill him?’ He’s such a great foil to her, but it makes for some great story. He is such an amazing actor, and I loved them reconnecting and seeing a bit of redemption in him. I thought that was a wonderful way to go. We had to make the sacrifice!

CBC
CBC

TTVJ: He hit her was some really harsh truths about herself. What did she maybe realize about herself from that experience that she will take forward with her?

MB: The truth that he was telling her when he says ‘what are you running from? You’re definitely running from something.’ That is true, and she takes it in and realizes there’s something real there that he sees.

AM: We’re going to see some sense of how what he’s saying is going to link up to something that’s been in her subconscious around things that have happened in the past, and how she’s internalized them in the present. That’s going to come out and be something that she contends with in the last episode.

TTVJ: Will we learn the truth about Jenny’s sister in the finale?

AM: Yes!

MB: Watch and see! You’ll learn a truth.

AM: A truth. Yes. [laughs]

TTVJ: We saw McAvoy trying to track Gerald Henry Jones and he crossed paths again with Greer. I really enjoy Greer and Grace Lynn Kung. Why did you want to introduce her and build that dynamic for her and Mac?

MB: That character came up and it was a way of making the case personal because of her connection to it. Then those two were vibing off each other in a really interesting way, and we got so lucky with the casting that she’s so wonderful. We love seeing Mac in the professional when it becomes personal and she was our way of doing it.

AM: We see a dynamic between Mac and Jenny, but this was a nice way to counterpoint that and how he deals with someone else. It’s such an interesting world right now, and what’s interesting about the series is that it’s looking at overburdened systems and people having to come up and take on things. With Jenny, he’s getting there and finding a bond, but he doesn’t really know what her secret and what the personal stuff is just yet. With Greer, he does the research and finds out her personal connection and realizes why she’s so invested. She’s like these amateur people who have these personal investments and try to get inside of things because they feel like the system is failing them. It’s a really interesting place where the series goes to point that out.

I think he also recognizes himself a bit in her because remember in Episode 1 when he deleted those records to give Sneaks a chance. I think that’s the space of the series and how we’re doing all that, so when he maybe when realizes Jenny’s truth there may be a bridge there that wouldn’t have been there without Greer.

MB: It’s also true that there are a lot of amateur sleuths out there that are putting together truths about killers. It’s a real thing right now, and just recently there was an academic woman who came forward about the recent serial killings in Toronto. But those people aren’t professionals and they are vulnerable in a way. I think Greer has a vulnerability that he relates to, and he feels a responsibility towards her, and can’t just let her run with the information she has because he doesn’t want her in danger.

CBC
CBC

TTVJ: So where can we listen to Greer’s podcast detailing the killings of Gerald Henry Jones? [laughs]

AM: In Season 2 we need to do more of those!

MB: Jenny’s Instagram! Greer’s podcast!

TTVJ: I also always appreciate how Mac and Greer are eating things.

MB: They committed to that so much! They are awesome with it and I love that too.

TTVJ: What are the next steps then for the team in tracking Gerald Henry Jones?

AM: He comes back! [laughs]

MB: [laughing]

TTVJ: The evil cackles have returned! Fine, I’ll switch gears to the Coroner men. After all of Liam’s help, even going through with the magic show, has Ross now sort of forgiven him and can they move on?

MB: I think so. They are recognizing each other as fuller people.

AM: There is a great bond between those two and it’s interesting. It’s kind of big brother/younger brother and not father/son. I think that as long as Liam doesn’t present himself as a substitute that’ll make things easier. They can both feed off each other in a way that evolves them further in their lives. It’ll still be fraught, but I think it’s going to be a really interesting relationship to watch.

CBC
CBC

TTVJ: Someone else that I was glad to see back this week was Sabine (Jeananne Goossen). Please tell us that we’ll continue to see more of her relationship with Alison (Tamara Podemski).

MB: We love them together! So fingers crossed for Season 2 and all the evolutions that we can do, but yes, we love them together.

TTVJ: With next week being the finale, is there anything else you wanted to preview about it?

AM: I feel that Episode 8 is very seductive, mysterious and beautiful. It strings together all the layers we’ve been putting together since Episode 1. I think it’ll be a very satisfying and evocative episode that will give a sense of completion, but also a thirst and hunger for more!

MB: Episode 8 has its own mysterious atmosphere and for us, it feels like it brings us full circle back to Episode 1, but also opens up the future. I feel like it’s a beautiful end to the season, and also a beautiful beginning to what we hope will continue.

AM: It’s very emotionally satisfying and I think it’ll be great for binge watching on CBC Gem. There’s imagery that echoes imagery from the first two episodes, and so it’ll be really lovely for people who want to binge and catch up.

MB: For bingeing I think you’ll be able to let yourself feel the show change and fluctuate in a different way.

AM: These characters really have a reality to them where you want to just connect with them and be with them. It’s a testament to the audience that we’re getting and these amazing numbers, especially the live ones. It’s really unusual to be getting such great live numbers, and it’s very exciting.

TTVJ: I do agree the show will be great for bingeing, but I also think there’s a really fun element of you guys leaving us with a cliffhanger that puts us all at the same point for a week. Then everyone is eager to tune in and see what’s happened and we’re all on the same page. Whereas, when I’m watching something on Netflix, I find that my friends and I are all at different points and it’s very hard to discuss the way you can with a weekly show like this.

MB: It’s the anticipation! That is the joy of weekly on-time watching — anticipation and the feeling of suspense. It lives with you through the week and when you come back you’re ready for more.

 

What do you think of this week’s Coroner? Are you ready for more? Add your thoughts below!

Coroner airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CBC and is available on CBC Gem.