Netflix presents Frontier Season 2

Right under your nose

Reviewed by: Alicia Glass
Published on: February 28, 2022

Indians and Spoilers lurk in the woods!

Welcome back to the fur-is-occasionally-murder trade here in Canada and surrounding parts, circa late 1700’s or so. The major trade of Hudson Bay is of course controlled by the conglomerate company Hudson Bay Company, and there’s always jockeying for position among the other lone fur companies. The surrounding Indians of varying tribes are by turns fair and foul, depending upon how they’re treated in turn by these traders always encroaching further into their territories. Here is where we find ourselves, at the mercy of truly cutthroat business competition, for such a thing as furs.

So Declan Harp (Jason Momoa) is still alive, despite the machinations of a whole bunch of powerful men. Benton’s (Alun Armstrong) off on a prison ship bound for London, Chesterfield’s taken his rightful place as Governor of Fort James, and hopefully now it’s business as usual with the HBC. But Grace Emberly (Zoe Boyle), for many complicated reasons, simply won’t let it go and tells Chesterfield she’ll marry him, if he lifts the Fort bounty on Declan Harp’s head. This act sets off a whole bunch of ripple affects, we come to find out, because Chesterfield (Evan Jonigkeit) and his defiant bride begin to take pot shots at each-other before the inks dry on their marriage certificate.

Emberly’s tavern in Fort James is a point of great contention between the feuding couple, mainly due to Grace’s adamant insistence that her place of business is an alehouse and not a whorehouse. When the tavern is abruptly stripped from her and Grace runs off to get her missing fathers letter of authentication, in her absence the place is put under an unabashed whoremaster’s purview, and of course this means new girls need to be brought in immediately. Including girls stolen from nearby Cree Indian nations, which doesn’t sit well with Sokanon when she finds out.

Speaking of Sokanon (Jessica Matten), she’s still doing the bad girl thing with Michael Smyth (Landon Liboiron), the redoubtable Irish thief. They and some fellow Cree have been trawling the HBC trade lines and stealing small pelt shipments, getting bolder and bolder about it. So for many complicated reasons, Michael decides to do some smart thieving and steal the entire large pelt shipment from under the noses of the HBC in Fort James. The plan requires shipment up the river once the pelts are secured, in the form of Sokanon’s former fiancé Wahush (Nathaniel Arcand) and his peoples canoes. The pelts will then be taken to a pre-arranged meeting place, where Elizabeth Carruthers, or a representative of hers, will deliver payment. Easy, right?

Big Liz (Katie McGrath) there, she made another daring play when she freed the more elegant of the Brown brothers from prison, Douglas (Allan Hawco) and married him. She and her black lady business partner Josephette (Karen LeBlanc) are still trying to get Carruthers and Co. going, despite numerous setbacks and that damned Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle) always plotting against her. It’s no surprise that another setback arrives in the form of the mentally unstable other Brown brother, Malcolm (Michael Patric), who comes sniffling round his brothers hem, looking for a handout not rightfully earned.

Grant and his psycho-effeminate lover Cobbs Pond (Greg Bryk), they’re always up to something. So when the idea of taking Clenna Dolan (Lyla Porter-Follows), Michael Smyth’s former little girlfriend from London, and gussying her up to act as bait for a business arrangement with a very interested and hotly contended gentleman. Despite that plan not working out as intended, Clenna proves herself very useful to these underhanded gentlemen, especially when things begin to get really nasty.

The idea of tunneling under the fort and into a storeroom to steal the pelts was a fairly good one, and it should’ve worked. But this giant far-too-determined hulk of a man, called the Siberian (James Preston Rogers) who’s been hunting Declan Harp, or Black Wolf as he insists on calling him, is mixing things up right as everything else is popping off. We can’t be for absolutely sure Wahush and his folk will be there for transport, until we actually make it there with the stolen pelts, and boy, does that require a whole heap of gunfire and bloodshed.

Meanwhile, elsewhere but more or less at the exact same time, Grant’s man Pond has slaughtered his way out of prison and is hurrying home to his master. Grant himself is in a bit of a pickle, yes, he went temporarily completely batshit-insane and killed someone good-dead, and now that needs to be dealt with, too. This part of the new silken cravat world Clenna’s been introduced to is finally something she understands, the blood and death and utter quiet after, and how to clean it up without a trace. But this means the final meeting with the extra-large stolen shipment of pelts right under Fort James’ nose may have a very different outcome.

And way out there still at sea all this time, Benton’s been doing what he does best, which is plot and use people to do his bidding. How the hell such a reprehensible character from the first season of ‘Frontier’ manages this in season two I still don’t quite understand, but hey it works. Benton’s not only up and not sickly anymore, he has an entire ship of men-well, people, to do his bidding, and hey he just made a fly-by visit to Fort James to pick up something very important. Or someone.

They say a great many wars in history were fought over a woman, and the idea of the unpredictable Governor of Fort James Chesterfield and the outlaw Declan Harp and his connections with the Cree nations, who just recently albeit reluctantly agreed to go to war too, teaming up and going headlong after the Hudson Bay Company, is just fantastic. Little unites warriors more than a common enemy, after all. Here’s hoping that means there will be a Season Three of Frontier at some point. We all need more of a scarred and bear-hulking Jason Momoa, growling his way through the wilderness and into our fur-lined hearts.

Catch those crazy fur-traders in your trap, Frontier Season Two is on Netflix now!