X Company: Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern Talk “One for the Moon”

CBC
CBC

*** Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the X Company episode “One for the Moon” ***

Just like that we’re headed to Poland! After discovering Operation Marigold, the team on X Company now heads off to Poland to try and gain more information on what exactly Obergruppenführer Schmidt (Morten Suurballe) has planned. But first, there were plenty of power struggles, between Faber (Torben Liebrecht) and Sinclair (Hugh Dillon), Faber and the Allied team and the resistance and the Germans to worry about first. It felt like as soon as we met Rigaud he was gone, thanks to Faber, but that provided an opportunity for Neil (Warren Brown) to really step up as he and Harry (Connor Price) found an inventive way to still spread Rigaud’s message.

What should we make of Faber looking into Sinclair’s son? Are things really over between Aurora (Evelyne Brochu) and Alfred (Jack Laskey)? For answers to all our burning questions and to look ahead at what’s still to come, X Company creators Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern joined us once again. The weekly postmortem with the pair breaks down everything that went down in “One for the Moon,” written by Daniel Godwin and directed by Paolo Barzman.

The TV Junkies: So Faber and Sinclair seem to have a real struggle for power happening. What can you preview about Faber’s search for Sinclair’s son?

Stephanie Morgenstern: Faber and Sinclair both acknowledge each other as master players, and you can never feel safe for too long no matter how much you respect and tentatively trust someone. They always have a card, or two, up their sleeves and I think in both cases they genuinely hope they don’t have to deploy that card, but they know the game too well to play it unprotected. Even if they are hoping for the best in their relationship with their counterpart, crossing their fingers that their faith will be justified, it is just not safe to not take precautions. They are both behaving quite wisely and trying to make sure that they have the means to trust their counterpart, but that they know what to do if they are wronged.

Mark Ellis: There is a slow burn to that storyline where Faber is looking into Sinclair’s son that will simmer through the season and at some point probably explode.

TTVJ: Sinclair has once again entrusted Alfred with information that the rest of the team does not know. Will that approach ever backfire on him?

SM: Well it’s always complicated. In some ways it serves Sinclair well in that he and Faber get to construct a plan together that even Alfred is not aware of. He just transmits these messages encrypted so he doesn’t know what Sinclair and Faber are saying to each other, which will pay off later.  But does it work out for the best is another question. It was a good precaution but whether we root for what they are planning together is another matter.

ME: Sinclair is wise because he knows Alfred feels a loyalty to him. Alfred has only become the man he has become because Sinclair dug him out of his sheltered former life. I think asking him to transmit these messages behind the backs of his teammates is a calculated risk he takes because he trusts Alfred to be loyal to him completely.

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CBC

TTVJ: This episode felt like a real turning point for Neil. Why was it so important that he be the one to make the speech?

SM: Neil has been subject to so many very heavy losses recently that we wanted to see that these sacrifices were not in vain, that the courage Miri (Sara Garcia) showed and the courage that Rigaud showed at every stage of his career–whether he was literally fighting in the battlefield or strategizing with General de Gaulle–their sacrifices make no sense if you can’t pick up the flag that they dropped. So he finds a way to unite both of those missions, to be inspired by her song and her courage and also to speak the words in the spirit of Rigaud. He’s also absorbed Rigaud’s message which is the person who carries the flag is not important. What’s important is what it feels like to see that flag raised again, fearless and unvanquished.

ME: The same way that Rigaud is trying to rally France to fight again, so is Rigaud rallying Neil to find his fight too, especially after the loss of Miri and Tom.

SM: What was so beautiful about the way Warren performed that was you could see how intensely personal it was. It was a political message, but at the same time it was very much from his heart and his blood. He’s speaking as a survivor to other people he hopes will survive. Several other characters could have read that speech, but it really was the most powerful coming from him.

TTVJ: Aurora had another run in with Heidi Adler (Madeleine Knight), someone we’re sure we’re about to see more of now that Aurora is headed to Poland. What can we expect from that relationship?

ME: Well it means that we’ll see more of her and in her natural habitat. We will continue to see some sides of her that we admire, but we’ll also get to see the darkness that’s been bred within her as well. She’s never not enjoyable to watch, but what she does is often far from palatable.

TTVJ: With the whole team now heading to Poland, what can you tell us about Operation Marigold and how the team is going to try to stop it?

SM: Every episode takes them a small step closer to discovering what that operation actually is. They only have a very sketched in sense of what they are up against. So we keep getting closer to unraveling that mystery and to learning how it’ll be almost impossible to make a difference and what it’ll take to turn that around. They’ll discover that closer to the end, but there’s a very small window of opportunity that they have to seize.

ME: Right now they know Operation Marigold has something to do with a spike in oil production, but they have no idea how the Germans are going to pull it off. So the next step of their mission is to try and discover what that plan is that has been nurtured by Obergruppenführer Schmidt.

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CBC

TTVJ: Why did Aurora have to be so harsh in respect to shutting things down with Alfred? Why could she not simply just tell him that they must not let their feelings interfere?

ME: That was a really hard scene for the room to write. It’s difficult to find the exact and most cruelest words that she could dish out to Alfred. I think comparing him to Rene was truly the meanest thing she could say. I think she made that choice because she needed him to believe it was coming from her and not a directive from Sinclair. She needed Alfred to buy into it and believe it so they wouldn’t be a risk to each other and their teammates. The only way to do that was to try and convince him that it was truthful was to find the cruelest words.

SM: If she had simply said to Alfred ‘you know Sinclair knows about us and apparently Faber knows about us, so we better just cool it for awhile,’ or ‘Sinclair has to think we’ve broken up so let’s just behave,’ it wouldn’t have been the same. She acknowledges as a professional that if his genuine romantic feelings of love for her have any chance of surviving that conversation then she has failed and the team is at risk. Basically to keep him safe she has to crush that in him, and she can only do that in a way that seems completely truthful.

TTVJ: Well she did that. Man! [laughs]

SM: [laughs] Yes. It also opens them both up, as we’ll see in the episodes that follow, to entanglements–whether they are romantic, strategically romantic or effectively romantic. It sets them back on a course where we just really don’t know what to expect. One of the things we were really looking forward to integrating into this season when we started it was to give Alfred a chance to be happy, against all odds and even briefly. The idea that he might meet someone–Aurora has effectively said ‘we’re done’–so we just wanted to tease what that might be like to be a part of a normal romance.

TTVJ: What can you preview about Episode 304?

ME: The road to Poland is not an easy one. We were really interested in painting a picture of the difference between the Polish and French resistance in a very short, sharp, stark way. That journey helps us understand how much more organized, more tough, more ruthless the Polish freedom fighters are. It also resets the team’s points of familiarity as every system they had in place and everything they worked on has been yanked away from them, and they are left at the mercy of others and having to improvise. That journey is also the first test of Faber’s new loyalty to the Allies. That loyalty is put to the test throughout the season but perhaps no more so than in the next episode.

 

What did you think of the episode and what’s next for the team? Share your thoughts below!

X Company airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBC.

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