The Listener – Season 1

I finally caught up with this series. I started watching the show, first two episodes, many months back, but didn’t continue until a few days later. Just a couple of evenings ago I finished watching the entire 1 season of 13 episodes of The Listener. It’s a Canadian drama / cop-detective series with elements of science fiction in it. The show is about Toby Logan played by Craig Olejnik, a paramedic with the ability to read minds, who finds himself consulting with law enforcement to make a change in the world by helping others. His past is sketchy as he does not have much memory of his family and just brief visions of his mother. He was sent to many foster homes before becoming an adult. His close friend and partner is Ozman “Oz” Bey (Ennis Esmer), who usually drives the ambulance. Oz is the comedic relief as well as the sympathetic & lovable sidekick. Lisa Marcos plays Charlie Marks, a young detective who Toby approaches with information and despite an initial mistrust, she becomes his friend and confidant and she learns of his powers. Rounding out the main cast is Mylene Dinh-Robic who portrays the lovely Dr. Fawcett, an on-again-off-again girlfriend of Toby before they become more serious towards mid season. She is the last of the main cast to know about Toby’s abilities.

Until now, Toby has kept his ability to listen to people’s surface thoughts a secret and the only one he has shared it with is his old counsellor and confidant, Dr. Ray Mercer (recurring star Colm Feore), prior to the series’ first episode. As he passes people by on the streets of Toronto with his partner Oz, Toby picks up on strong emotions, which he calls “hits” from people, usually of a desperate nature and tries to help them out. He reaches out to the newest detective in Homicide, Det. Marks who sees him with suspicion. But as Toby’s information and him helping out people bears fruits, she soon becomes an ally and defends him to her boss Det. Sgt. Brian Becker. Toby soon has to confide in Oz about his abilities and although Oz is initially spooked he soon sees the benefits and joins in on Toby’s missions to help others, like a young transgender teen who runs away from BC to live in the streets of Toronto and gets involved in a drugs gang. With Toby helping out and trying to reach out to the teen, Marks is able to put some dangerous pushers and gang members in jail. Toby’s abilities will also help out Oz’s family in finding out an unsolved murder – that was faked – and wins his friend $100,000 so that Oz’s family can save their restaurant. After rescuing a young woman from a fiery car crash, Toby is troubled by visions of her missing son. Clearly traumatized and frightened by her son’s abduction, Toby is unable to get her to share any information. And as his own fears for the child’s well-being increase, he realizes he’s going to have to act quickly to make sense of the mental dissonance that plagues him.

After saving a childhood friend from a burning building, Toby tracks town an arsonist that he believes might be responsible for a series of fires in the city. After meeting a young woman at a nightclub who is later found dead, Toby is considered the prime suspect and must clear his name. After a shooting in Chinatown, he then helps a blind woman solve the murder of her brother, who may have been involved in illegal activity. Toby then connects with a young faith healer whose miraculous gift has put her life in jeopardy. It turns out to be a fake but the girl was convinced by her uncle that she had a gift. Charlie Marks almost gets raped by the serial rapist she is investigating and Toby helps her out and they manage to get him before he can hurt her. Charlie then enlists Toby’s help to to use his telepathic abilities on a traumatized teenager who witnessed the murder of his parents. A patient dies after a hit-and-run, he discovers the man was convicted of embezzling four million dollars and his death wasn’t an accident. Toby’s paramedic skills are questioned when, while trying to save the victim’s life, he disturbs a crime scene. He aso learns that “John Doe” (Gordon Pinsent) an unidentified patient suffering from Alzheimer’s could be linked to his past and that his dead mother may be alive.

As the season ends Toby finds a car that his mother was driving, crashed by the side of a bridge and buried in snow but find the car empty. He is happy that she must be alive but now must search for her all over again with no clues to follow.

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