Review: Frontier Season 1 Episode 3 “Mushkegowuk Esquewu”

Watching this episode I came to the realisation that ‘Frontier’, even beyond its abrupt shocks, wants to be a historical version of Game of Thrones. It’s multi-narrative structure, geographical factions and constant betrayals by characters are all signs of this vision, however, it unfortunately fails miserably in every one. While individually Declan Harp’s plot is at least interesting and aided by beautiful, pristine cinematography, it is not given enough time to feel substantial. Conclusions are rushed and therefore the conflict feels contrived. For example, a man is given a pouch of gold in private and then seconds later shot (by the man who gave him such gold), in view of Harp’s followers. The only reason this transaction occurred before the man was shot was to show the followers that he was working for someone else. There was no reason for the man to be paid, and then shot. It is this sort of inorganic storytelling that dissolves any tension. While ‘Game of Thrones’ can (normally) handle multiple storylines, ‘Frontier’ cannot, and instead the wider narrative has become one convoluted mess. If storylines were given more time to expand and breathe, there would be more depth, but instead discussions of race and ownership are mentioned, but quickly diverted from. 4.7/10

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