Get ready for another mystery story filled with twists, turns, and red herrings, as the second season of Canadian conspiracy crime thriller Departure is set to take off in the US.
Before we get into Season 2, let’s do a quick, spoiler-free catch up.
The first season of Departure stars Emmy® Award winner Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife, Shetland) as crash investigator Kendra Malley, and Academy Awards® winner Christopher Plummer (Beginners, All the Money in the World) as Howard Lawson, a senior manager of the (fictional) Transport Safety and Investigations Bureau (TSIB) and Kendra’s mentor. Although Kendra is on leave following a personal tragedy, Howard is successful in recruiting her to lead the investigation into the disappearance of Flight 716, which vanished over the Atlantic Ocean while en route from New York to London. As the search for survivors and pieces of the wreckage continues, Kendra and her team delve into the backgrounds of the passengers and crew, as well as other aspects of the flight, and they discover much — including a conspiracy to cover up the real reason why the plane went down.
Instead of a commercial passenger flight, Season 2 of Departure — which features Christopher Plummer’s final television performance — centers on Kendra’s investigation into the derailment of a new high-speed train.
The Apollo, created by Jordan Cole, a tech entrepreneur dubbed “the next Elon Musk,” is the first automated high-speed train in North America. While traveling from Toronto to Chicago, the Apollo, whose controls are overseen by an on-board human train operator, crashes into a tanker and derails in a small town in Michigan, killing dozens.
Kendra has been hired by the (fictional) FTSA (presumably Federal Transportation Safety Agency) to lead the investigation into the train’s derailment. Working alongside her are TSIB investigators Theo (Mark Rendall, Dead Still) and Charlotte (Kelly McCormack, Killjoys), as well as the town’s lawman, Sheriff McCullough (Donal Logue, Gotham). Their investigation is complicated by the FBI — namely Special Agent Ellen Hunter (Karen LeBlanc, Ransom), who makes the crash site her crime scene, due to the fact that one of the passengers is a federal prisoner (Jason O’Mara, The Man in the High Castle). And he has now escaped federal custody — and running not just from the feds.
Meanwhile, Diana Bright (Wendy Crewson, Frankie Drake Mysteries), a nationalistic (and apparently xenophobic) politician, is running for governor of Michigan. She campaigned against the Apollo, calling it “dangerous,” with nothing but a “button pusher” at the train’s controls, and especially because its automation takes away jobs from people like the good folks in her home state. Despite the dead and the grieving, she takes the opportunity to exploit the tragedy for political gain.
As Kendra and co, including her former TSIB partner, Dom (Kris Holden-Ried, Lost Girl), explore possible reasons as to why the train derailed when it shouldn’t have (even with the tanker in its path), and look for who was responsible, they realize the puzzle is bigger and has more pieces than they thought — from the inner workings of the train’s automated speed and brake systems, to the range of suspects who had motives for causing the train wreck. The closer Kendra and her team get to learning the truth behind both the crash and the derailment, the more it becomes apparent that, behind all of the death and destruction, someone masterminded the whole complex conspiracy — and had help in pulling it off.
While the show’s second season might not have all of its Ts crossed and Is dotted regarding certain details in the storytelling, Departure is still a terrific series when it comes to its intricate, red-herringed plot. Plus, the fabulous Archie Panjabi and the late, great Christopher Plummer are always worth watching.
The cast of the new season includes Etienne Kellici (Murdoch Mysteries), Charlie Carrick (Reign), Dion Johnstone (Sweet Magnolias), David Hewlett (Stargate: Atlantis), Danny Waugh (Star Trek: Discovery), Cara Ricketts (Street Legal), Jennifer Podemski (Cardinal), Diana Bentley (Channel Zero), Greg Bryk (Frontier), and Florence Ordesh (Dublin Murders).
Departure: Season 2, a Peacock Original series, premieres in the US tomorrow, Thursday, August 5, exclusively on Peacock.
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