[Warning: spoilers for the finale.]
That’s another season of Coroner in the books, and time for more of my chat with Adrienne MItchell. In case you missed it, part one is here.
When we left off, Mitchell was sharing her affection for the cast and creative team, and continues that thread with series star Serinda Swan, who stepped behind the camera this season for her directorial debut. “Serinda hooked into the style of the show and put her own stamp on it. There were some really interesting visual connections that she created that I thought were really great,” Mitchell says.
“She is a really incredible actress and has always put forth everything she can to find all the mysterious corners in the psyche of Jenny. She has found really interesting places to go this season with Jenny’s fears. Jenny has been around a lot of death and has been dealing with death through her death investigations and she comes to some sort of peace around it, in a way that she hasn’t before.”
The Twin Peaks-esque scene in the house was a deep dive into magical realism, directed by Samir Rahem and Mitchell was here for it. “I loved [showrunner] Adriana [Maggs]’s idea of this incredibly strange, hallucinatory space of doing autopsies on Jenny and Peggy’s psyches and Samir’s beautiful directorial take was brilliant and meta. It seems quite fitting for the season and where Jenny is,” she explains.
“The absurdity of doing an autopsy on the psyche is also surreal and wonderful. It’s heart-wrenching because you see Jenny’s realization that the beautiful prayer that she says over the dead comes from her mother.”
“It’s full circle. There’s a kind of empathy for her mother in why she abandoned her and seeing Peggy as a human being and all the pain that’s there around her abandoning Jenny. It’s done in a way that’s not precious. It’s darkly kinetic but poignant at the same time. It’s a beautiful way to end the scene and the season.”
“We have Jenny experiencing a near-death, and then waking up in a kind of enlightened state. And that is to signify her perhaps coming to a kind of peace that she’s never had before. She’s got this beatific smile at the end. She can go into her family with the spirit and energy of that [happy] dream [sequence]. She has a wise mind now to fix her family and move on.”
Looking across the series, Mitchell is most grateful for the people who have come together to make it all happen. “The incredible creative team on this show … all the incredible diverse talent, the writing, the actors, editors, composer, and entire post team, everyone together, we are all filmmakers together exploring this show, which is not a usual formulaic procedural,” she points out.
“It’s a show that has a kind of interesting chemistry or even magic realism element and a character element where personal stories and family dynamics are organic and are not intertwined with cases in any kind of formulaic way. This is something that visionary showrunner Morywn Brebner breathed into the inception of the series and she and I really connected on this approach. Each episode is its own movie and has its own rhythm and pattern.”
“We all danced together as filmmakers on each episode and everyone brought their artistry into it. When that happens, you get an energy that is just beautiful. And that’s what it’s been like [for four years]. To be involved in an experience like that is the major takeaway for me.”
Photos Courtesy of CBC.