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If Greg Berlanti’s DC Entertainment shows (Gloryosky coverage of Arrow, The Flash 2014) are great at one thing, it’s the before-end-credits cliffhangers. This is something Blackstone is also great at. Berlanti’s DC shows have an edge as comic book shows exist for the cliffhanger, yet Blackstone can – in seven episodes of an eight-episode season – claim a stabbing, a car crashing into a semi, and this scene below:
This is after Andy and Daryl Fraser allow oil developer Shale Resources access rights to personal land granted to their father, as a consequence of reducing Blackstone’s size. Blackstone rushes to get to this point in the story. That’s what happens when the show has eight episodes, and four major plotlines – Gail’s addictions, Victor’s attempt to run Blackstone honestly, Andy’s incarceration, Jumbo’s gambling addiction and subsequent bailout by Daryl – to intertwine. Given the season’s length, I think Blackstone is more than adequate in hitting its story beats without much filler. Some of the gimmicks – e.g., dead relatives commenting on the main characters’ actions – ring false, yet the dialogue and acting is among the best currently on Canadian television.

I won’t be surprised if APTN greenlights Blackstone’s fifth season, which is currently in development. Blackstone is a show that generally knows what it’s doing – in this case, using aboriginal news stories as the framework for serialized drama. Does this approach work all the time? No, but it does work, and Blackstone isn’t afraid to kill a character if there’s a sound reason to do so.

While I don’t want to overhype Blackstone, I want to see it go for another season, and earn a second window on a network/program service that will schedule the show properly. Even if the program service is OMNI (which broadcasts Mohawk Girls), I think Blackstone has the tools and the backlog to merit a second window on mainstream Canadian television. If nothing else, Blackstone’s a survivor.

Gloryosky’s coverage of Blackstone is here.

C. Archer
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