As the episode begins, we see cheerleaders at a high school football game. Locals in the audience make their picks, before the opposition arrives. The locals talk about a scout being there for Molly Ross (Sara Thompson). The girls get pumped as the game begins. After a penalty, Molly argues with a cheerleader. The cheerleader gives her motivation, but it seems like something is wrong with the cheerleader’s hands. Molly scores for the Bulldogs. The cheerleader, Taylor (Anwen O’Driscoll) has a seizure. After the intro, Joanna Hanley (Kristin Kreuk) speaks to Alan Christie (Benjamin Ayres) about the case.
Jessica gives a rundown of the testimony that he is expected to give. Jessica explains that she doesn’t believe he will lose the Bordoxx opportunity. He tells her that Crawford and Associates believe there is enough credible data to hurt him. Their conversation turns to Billy Crawford (Peter Mooney). Alan admits he cannot believe Joanna is from Millwood. She tells Alan that is the reason her dad is sending him to block the injunction. Joanna and Alan lay out of their case. They believe that it would hurt vaccinations if the injunction is ultimately upheld. Joanna is reminded that Franklin Rose is their primary counsel.
She manages to convince them to switch sides. However, they want Joanna to return to Millwood. David Hanley (Alex Carter) agrees with the arrangement. Afterwards, Joanna speaks to her father about their professions. David offers to call Roy and convince him to send Alan. Joanna doesn’t want that. She promises that she’ll only be gone for a few days. David doesn’t want to send her, but Joanna is adamant about returning home. Before too long, Joanna finds herself back home. She checks into a motel and makes an appointment with Dr. Harper (John B. Lowe). She meets with him moments later. We learn that Joanna hasn’t seen her mother in several years.
Joanna is asked about her stress. She speaks with Harper about the girls and their symptoms. He doesn’t want to give up privileged information. Then, she heads to the local high school. She speaks with Diane Evans (Nicole Correia-Damude). They speak about old times. They speak about Billy Crawford, who tries to stop the clinic to prevent anyone else from getting sick. Diane admits it has bene tough to convince people to accept vaccinations. Diane insists that it has gotten personal now. Soon, Joanna speaks in court against shutting down the clinic. Billy suggests otherwise. Joanna manages to stop the petition. A girl in the audience begins shaking.
Billy threatens Joanna and her client after the hearing. Joanna delivers the good news to Alan. Joanna tells him to draft settlement agreements for the family as quickly as possible. She explains that things might be worse than they initially thought. Joanna explains the agreement to one of the alleged victims. They offer the girl $50k. Joanna manages to convince them to keep lawyers out of it. She does the same with another victim too. Billy confronts her outside. Billy insists that Joanna is robbing them. She tells him that he cannot win this case. He calls her the bad guy. Afterwards, Joanna turns her attention to Ben Matheson (David Lawrence Brown) and Taylor.
Joanna explains the settlement agreement. Ben refuses. He tells her that he doesn’t need the money. She warns him that he may get nothing if it goes to court. She offers him $100k. Ben talks about his wife and daughter. Again, he refuses the settlement. He tells Joanna that she can let herself out. Joanna speaks with Taylor outside. Taylor is convinced that the vaccine had something to do with her problem. Joanna tries to convince her otherwise. Taylor reveals that she has to quit cheerleading. Joanna offers Taylor the $50k. Taylor likes the offer. She signs the paperwork. Diane ridicules her the following day. Joanna admits they’re giving away money to avoid bad press. She also explains that the money will mean little to her client, but a lot to the girls of Millwood.
Diane recommends eating at Lucy’s. She cannot join Joanna. Joanna speaks with the locals about the settlements. They’re not happy with her at all. Molly begins having seizures too. Joanna relays the information back to her team. She speaks with Luna Spence (Star Slade) about Molly and her symptoms. Luna reveals that Molly didn’t get the HPV vaccine. Molly confirms it. Billy arrives moments later. He refuses to believe that she didn’t get the vaccine. Joanna begins looking at other possible causes. Joanna tries to help Billy pinpoint the problem and start his case. Joanna is attacked by some woman. Billy invites Joanna to stay until the swelling goes down. They speak about Billy’s decision to stay in Millwood. Joanna calls Alan and gives him an update.
The call ends. Joanna contemplates calling her dad, but doesn’t. She visits her childhood house. An officer is surprised a Hanley would ever return to Millwood. She runs into Taylor and tells her that there is no more settlement offer. Taylor tells her that she is not even a person. Taylor asks Joanna how she can live with herself. Joanna decides to help Billy get to the source of the problem as the episode ends.
Burden Of Truth Review
All in all, I thought the opener of Burden of Truth was just okay. The acting wasn’t too bad and the story was okay. It was a pretty decent pilot for a CBC show. The Joanna character is definitely complex. It was nice to see that the writers didn’t make everything so perfect. She was gritty and didn’t care to hurt people to get what her client wanted. There is a good chance that romance will blossom between Joanna and Billy in the future. That might be a little cliché.
I also through Joanna getting punched was a little odd. I am sure that will unravel some mystery in the future. The opener was okay. It scores a 7 out of 10.