Random Passage (2002)

 

 

 

 

Director:     John N. Smith.

Starring:     Colm Meaney (Thomas Hutchings),  Aoife McMahon (Mary "Bundle" Keane),  Deborah Pollitt (Lavinia Andrews),  Daniel Payne (Ned Andrews),  Brenda Devine (Jennie Andrews),  Ruth Lawrence (Hazel Andrews),  Darragh Kelly (Tim Toope),  Mike Daly (Ben Andrews),  Mary-Lynn Bernard (Sarah Vincent),  Michelle Rex (Meg Andrews),  Philip Dinn (Josh Vincent),  Mary Walsh (Mrs. Armstrong),  Andy Jones (Mr. Armstrong),  Des Walsh (Captain Brennan),  Andrew Younghusband (Matt Escott).

TV mini-series. 

refugees from destitution from Ireland and England head for St. John's, Canada, but land up in a little place called Random, Canada

 

 

 

Spoiler Warning: below is a summary of the entire film.

 

Part One.

Ireland, 1805. The landlord has the residents of one of his small houses thrown out by two big men.

The mother tries to grab some food from the soil, but she suddenly drops dead to the ground. Her daughter Mary has to see this.

England, 10 years later. Red-headed Mary Keane mops the floors in an old folks home. She and her friend start dancing around, but their boss stops them saying: "You two are the most insolent pups Iíve ever had here." As punishment, the girls will have to change the bedding on all the beds, which has them working into the night.

A maid named Livinia works in a fancy house and bosses around the other maids. She works for Mrs. Ellsworth.

Coltsford District Workhouse. Mary gets a chance for a new live. A Mrs. Armstrong is going to join her husband in Newfoundland. Her husband made a lot of money in the fish trade. Mrs. Armstrong hires Mary.

Mary sails on a ship for Newfoundland.

A man named Ned Andrews comes home from the sea. Sister Lavinia is one member of the big family. Ned hands out presents to the people in the family. The happy family is interrupted when land Mr. Ellsworth comes into their home saying that Ned is a thief. He says Ned has sold his cod fish to line his own filthy pockets.

Ned says those few cod fish were those he caught on his own time. Ellsworth replies: "None of your time is your own, you stupid man." Someone says they will pay for the fish, but Ellsworth says theyíll do more than tha.  They will be out of his house by the end of the week. He then says he will have Ned hanged. Ellsworth leaves.

Lavinia is flabbergasted at Ned and moans that she was doing so well at her job and the Ellsworths have been so good to her. Now, whatís the family to do?

St. Johnís, Newfoundland. [On the far southeast coast of Newfoundland, which is an island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.] Mrs. Armstrong and Mary arrive in St. Johnís.

Mrs. Ellsworth has spoken to her husband about Lavinia staying on at her job and he agreed. And she has arranged passage on a ship for the rest of her family.

The family has to say goodbye to Lavinia. After they have said their goodbyes, Lavinia surprises her family by saying sheís going with them.

Mary gets a chance to go shopping by herself for the Armstrong family. A soldier in the store buys a piece of chocolate for Mary and himself. A shop-lifter steals something and is caught. So the fellow sees Mary and says he was only getting the crackers for the young lady. Mary takes pity on the man and goes over to him to look at the crackers. She says they arenít the type that she really wanted. That gets the fellow off the hook, although the shop keeper is a bit skeptical of Maryís story.

Later the shop lifter comes over to see Mary at the house. She opens a kitchen window to talk to him. He says his name is Tim Toope. He says he wonít forget what she done for him. He also tells her that when she gets some time, come down to the wharf where he lives. Now Tim has to leave so that the family doesnít catch Mary and him together.

Laviniaís sister-in-law is about to have a baby. The baby dies. The baby is wrapped in canvas and given to Ned. He takes the baby and drops it in the ocean.

Laviniaís family lands at the fishing station at Cape Random. Ned says they are just stopping here until his wife, Hazel, gets on her feet again. Then they will proceed to St. Johnís.

The problem for them is that the manager of the fishing station doesnít want the newcomers, even after they tell him that Nedís wife needs treating on solid ground. The man says thereís no room to put the immigrants. A wife tells her tells her husband that they will just have to make room for the newcomers. So the newcomers stay.

Hazel has lost a lot of blood and is not in good health at all. [For the movie, the fishing station was built at Kerleyís Harbour, Newfoundland, northwest of St. Johnís.]

Mary is having trouble with Mr. Andrews, who is constantly sexually harassing her. Mrs. Andrews doesnít like St. Johnís and complains about the weather. And she doesnít like Mary much because the military officers seem to like Mary. Mrs. Andrews wants to be the star and flirt with all the soldiers.

After the officers leave, Mrs. Andrews gives Mary a good scolding: "First, you try to corrupt my husband, and then tonight, my dinner guests." She throws Mary out of the house and into the rain. Luckily she runs into Tim Toope. He tells her to come with him.

Lavinia and her aunt go to talks to the manager, Mr. Hutchins, to give him some money for their staying at the fishing station. Hutchins tells them that they donít have any idea of where they are, do they? He goes on to say that this is a fishing station and thereís only him and the Vincents at this station. There are no general stores here where they can buy any supplies. Moreover, the next nearest place is Pond Island which is a two daysí journey. [Pond Island is on the northeast shore of Newfoundland.] Here they get their food from St. Johnís in exchange for the cod fish they salt.

Then what are the newcomers to do? Hutchins says they will share their food with the new arrivals, but when they run out of food, they will have to starve for the next boat from St. Johnís doesnít come until the spring.

Mary is owed two weeksí wages and Tim figures he will steal that amount from the Andrewsí home. While Tim takes things, Mary pours wine over the tables, furniture and rugs. Mr. Andrews comes downstairs asking whose there? He has a physical confrontation with Tim, who knocks Andrews down. Tim and Mary now make their escape.

Tensions mount at the fishing station as the food starts to dwindle down. Hutchins is seldom in a good mood, but the bad situation makes his attitude toward others even worse.

Mary complains about Timís quarters. She says it stinks in here. Tim tells her to stop complaining. She mentions that Tim killed Mr. Armstrong in the fight at the house. Mary also says the workhouse back home is better than this. Tim replies with time the situation for them will get better. Things just have to cool down a bit.

Tim comes back one day to tell Mary that she is wanted for the murder of Mr. Charles Armstrong. He says she has no choice but to stay here with him. Mary becomes furious with frustration over her situation. Later, Mary and Tim kiss.

Lavinia writes in her diary about how tough things are for them at Cape Random. She writes that Hutchins would have preferred that the Andrews family had died on the passage to Canada.

Mary becomes pregnant.

The snow falls heavily on the fish station. And now the food supplies are extremely low and itís not good quality food. Josh and Thomas are going to walk to Pond Island to see if there the people have more food. Ned says heís going too.

Mary has her baby under tough circumstances. Tim canít stand to watch and leaves Mary by herself.

The three men are about to leave for Pond Island when Joe Vincent spots some seals. The men go hunting for the seals. They bring two small dead seals back with them.

Spring comes and the snows melt. The plants rise up.

Tim wants Mary to go on the boat to England. Tim alienates himself from Mary when he says that the baby belongs to Mary and not him and that she will have to hide the baby on the boat. On the ship a deckhand tries to rape Mary. While sheís wrestling with him, he tells her that the ship is not bound for England, but is going along the Canadian coast.

Mary frees herself and tells the deckhand that if ever he comes into the kitchen again, she will kill him. He lets her go but says that she has 8 more weeks with them on the water.

The ship lands at Random Cove to unload the cargo. At super time Mary asks Hutchins if she can stay at Random Cove, but he, of course, says no. Mary goes outside with her baby. She goes onto the ship.

Joe Vincent comes aboard the ship. He wants to go out to sea. When he sees Mary he asks her not to tell anyone. Mary sees her chance to escape. She puts Joe where she usually sleeps and put the covers way over his head. She tells him not to make a sound until they are out on the ocean.

Lavinia sees Mary come back and hide in one of the shacks. Lavinia doesnít say a thing to anyone about Mary. When Hutchins asks where is Mary, Lavinia says that she went onboard the ship to settle her child down for the night.

Later, when the ship is gone, Lavinia takes Mary and the baby into the warm house where everyone else is sleeping.

In the morning, the Vincents figure out that Joe went as a stow away on the ship. Hutchins is with them. He says he will go see if Joe is somewhere in the area. When he returns to the house, he finds Mary and her baby there. He starts to ball Mary out, but Lavinia shushes Hutchins. Now Hutchins realizes that Nedís wife has just died. That takes the pressure off of Mary.

Mary prepares the body to be laid out. She and Lavinia start to become friends. At the funeral, Lavinia starts singing and the others join in the singing.

Hutchins tells Mary that she must be gone by the end of summer. Mary is a hard worker at the fish station. She also has a big mouth. She objects about the payment system that they all have to work under. They get no cash. They get credit only, and that credit goes back to the company to pay for their supplies. They had a good season, but Thomas says they will still be 15 pounds in debt to the company. In other words, they donít earn anything beyond room and board, and then they still are in debt.

Laviniaís aunt scolds Mary for being ungrateful. Mary is shocked at their subservience, and asks Thomas Hutchins if the company pays for his work? Hutchins wonít answer the question. In a real sense, the people are slaves working for the company and never getting out of debt.

At night Thomas speaks with Lavinia. He recites some poetry to her. She asks him if he ever gets lonely in that shed of his? He says everybody gets lonely.

Mary tells Lavinia that she has decided to have Thomas. She asks Lavinia if she has eyes for Thomas and Lavinia says no. Mary says: "Good."

 

Part Two.

Mary comes to see Hutchins in his cabin. She says sheís just checking-in on him. She asks him if thereís "anything" she could do for him? Thomas thinks sheís talking about sex, but she protests that was not what she was saying. She was thinking she could maybe tidy up his cabin. So Mary leaves the cabin saying if he needs her, he knows where to find her.

Ned is going to build a house for his family. He asks Mary where the kitchen should be? She says what does she care about a house for the Andrews?

Lavinia takes cares of her nieces and nephew. Mary asks Mrs. Vincent to put a love spell on Thomas for her. She says she will see what she can do. Then she sees her son Joe coming back in a small sail boat. And Joe has a dog with him. Everyone is thrilled that Joe has come back.

They have a little celebration for Joeís homecoming and Mary gets high on alcohol. She flirts with Hutchins and that makes him feel a bit uncomfortable. Ned plays the flute and the people start dancing. They are all having fun except for Lavinia. She looks so lonely and a bit jealous about Mary dancing with Thomas.

Some man comes over to Mary while sheís sleeping and has sex with her. She probably figures itís Thomas. The next morning Mary tries to get some sign that Thomas acknowledges their little get together, but Thomas is curt with her as usual. He leaves. Then she looks over at Ned and he is smiling and winking at her. Mary is shocked to learn that she just has sex with Ned, not Thomas.

Ned sits outside by the grave of his wife. Mary comes over to him and says that she has to talk with him. She asks for confirmation that it was he who was with her last night. She gets her confirmation. Mary says to Ned to make sure he tells his wife that it was none of her doing.

Lavinia starts teaching the children their alphabet. Thomas brings her his slate and some chalk so she can better teach school. She is a little shocked at his kindness.

Ned keeps on flirting with Mary and at times she flirts back. Mrs. Vincent tells her that itís Mary who has put a love spell on Ned. Mary says she knows that now. Mrs. Vincent suggests she should go for Ned.

Lavinia continues to write in her journal looking out at the ocean. Ned and Mary have sex at night in the house under the covers. They kiss. In the morning. Lavinia pours water over the couple without saying a word. The children laugh.

Laviniaís aunt scolds the couple at the dinner table for acting like two dogs. She says the two of them will have to marry, and thatís that. Mary gets offended and says that Jenny Andrews is not going to tell her who she marries.

Later in the day, Lavinia asks Mary if she loves her brother? She also asks Marry who is the father of her little girl? Mary gets angry and tells Lavinia that she doesnít owe her anything, not even a civil word. Then she says no, she doesnít love her brother, but heís a decent man, so she might be in love with him tomorrow, for that. Lavinia just shakes her head in disapproval.

Mary goes over to Ned by the river. He asks her if she is going to push him into the brook? He says he wouldnít mind, as long as she got naked and jumped in with him. She tells Ned: "Marry me, and I might." They kiss. He grabs her up and jumps with her into the water.

Ned comes to see Lavinia at her favorite overlook. She is mad at her brother. She says he lied to her about going to St. Johnís. And now heís with Mary who isnít fit for any man. Of course, Ned seriously disagrees with Lavinia. Heís going to marry Mary.

Thomas comes over to see Lavinia. He knows sheís upset about the coming marriage, and tells her itís the best thing for the two of them. Lavinia sighs and says she just wishes that something nice would happen to her.

Joe and his brother Peter get into an argument and Peter threatens to kill him. Joe says heís too much of a mommaís boy. He puts one of his fingers on a chopping block and says Peter wouldnít have the guts to cut his finger off. So Peter cuts his finger off with the axe. Joe runs in screaming his head off. Mary grabs the finger tip and puts sap on the end of it and sews it back onto Joeís injured finger.

Ned and Mary are getting married today. Everyone gathers around outside. Lavinia is there, but standing off a little bit from the others.

Winter comes again. Lavinia notes that the older children have grown into young men and women. She comments: "Me, I keep waiting and waiting."

Sheep are brought to the fishing station. Maryís daughter Fanny has a mind of her own and wanders off away from the little settlement.

Lavinia asks for a school to be built for the children or to have a room to themselves somewhere. Mary says no, but the men says yes. A school will be built.

A new fellow, Frank Norris, wants to live in the little town. Mary is opposed, but even Thomas welcomes the man.

Mary does a good job of building her own vegetable garden with the help of her young son Henry. Soon she has an excellent vegetable garden. The women find out about it and Aunt Jenny starts scolding Mary for it saying that she betrayed the women. She starts pulling up the garden, and Mary fights with her. Soon the woman probably has a heart attack and falls over.

Jenny is dead. Mary comes to lay out the body, but Lavinia blames Mary for Jennyís death, and she wonít let Mary touch the body. Mary is furious, partly because Ned didnít defend her. She leaves.

Ned also blames Mary and shuns her. Eventually, Mary has to confront Ned and tell him that it wasnít her fault. She wasnít being greedy. All she wanted to do was show the women a better way to make a  vegetable patch and get the Harbor ahead. She says also that she feels like sheís a stranger in this community.

She decides to open up to her husband about her past. And now he opens up to her. He tells her sheíll see that they'll do alright here.

The community builds a big house for Frank Norris and his wife. The women think the house is just a grand affair. Frank and his wife come inside to see the house. The wife says nothing to the women who helped arrange the interior decoration. So the women all walk out of the house, leaving the couple to be alone.

A fellow named Angus now tells Lavinia that he wants to marry her. Lavinia runs away. He catches up with her, but she pushes him down on the ground.

Frank Norris starts working at the fish station. His brother Angus has left the settlement after being rejected by Lavinia. And his wifeís health is too fragile still to work. Mary says in that case Frank will have to give up some of his land to the community to help with the cost of company supplies.

Thomas backs Mary and then someone says Thomas had a good idea. Mary gets mad saying it was her idea, not Thomas'. She keeps on about it until her husband has to intervene and tell Mary to stop it. And now Mrs. Vincent faints. Mary just walks out of the work place.

Ned goes after his wife. It looks like sheís preparing a poultice for the woman, but righteously indignant Ned asks her if she's going to help the woman or kill her too? Mary walks out.

Mary takes over the care for Mrs. Vincent. Mary recognizes that the woman has cholera and she knows how to treat it.

Frank Norris comes down with cholera. Mary looks after him. Two girls come down with the disease. Patience says she canít see. Then two of the bigger boys get cholera. Mrs. Vincent gets better, but she loses her husband Josh to the disease. Josh is buried.

Little Henry dies of the disease. Mary says she should have stayed with him and tended to her boy, instead to taking care of the others. Henry is buried.

Frankís wife Ida is mentally ill. She peels off the wallpaper on the walls and cuts the pieces into smaller pieces.

Lavinia wants the men to build a church. Mary says no, but this time instead of being mean to Mary, Lavinia reaches out to her and acknowledges Maryís crucial role in keeping so many of the sick alive.

And now Ned and Mary are back to being quite happy.

 

Part Three.

A bunch of men from Cape Random come back from a big seak hunt. They are greeted by their families who are happy to see them again. Frank is having an affair with one of the young girls, Annie Vincent, even while his wife is still alive. Ida puts molasses in the boots of her husband for revenge.

Fanny is now a young, pretty woman. She walks out in the woods and runs into an Indian. She gives him a bit of her cookie, and he smiles at her.

Thomas brings Lavinia the works of Shakespeare with pictures. Lavinia is very happy to receive the gift.

Ida cuts Annie with a knife.  Annie rruns out of the house calling for help. Frank goes up to his house to see about Ida. Ida, with a broad smile on her face, cleans the knife and then puts it in the silverware drawer. Frank is right there, but she says nothing to him.

Fanny is outside with the Indian again, and Lavinia is at her lookout point. Thomas comes out to see her and scares her a bit. They talk around the subject of marriage in general.

The women go collecting sea gull eggs on a hill. Thomas has gone with them. He tells Lavinia that she has done so much for them. They are interrupted by screams. The women have found some human skeletons among the rocks. They donít know anything about the skeletons.

Music is played and the people dance around the floor. Lavinia goes outside to look out on the water. Thomas comes and joins her. He dances with her on the pier humming a tune while they prance around and laugh.

One of the girls sets out for St. Johnís and a new life. One of the Vincent boys is building a house for himself. He has his eyes on Fanny. He talks with Mary about it a little, and he happens to mention that they are looking for a Mary Keane who is supposed to have killed her master. That worries Mary a bit.

Thomas and Ned see a group of Canadian Indians. They agree not to tell anyone else about the Indians. Later, out on a boat, Ned says that his sister has a real thing for Thomas. He suggests Thomas go up and talk to Lavinia about it. Thomas says itís not the time to talk about the subject.

Fanny is still seeing the Indian fellow in the woods. She hugs him and then kisses him.

Lavinia stares out the window into the dark as does Thomas in his cabin.

Thomas sees Fanny having sex with what he assumes is Ned. He hurries back home and wants to know where Ted and Fanny are. Everyone notices that Thomas is very preoccupied about something. Ned is going to find out whatís the problem. He catches up with Thomas and tells him: "You are damned Ned Andrews." That really upsets Ned.

Peter Vincent now asks Fanny if she would marry him. She tells him no. Mary goes to Fanny to find out whatís going on. Fanny tells asks her whatís the sense of having a house if you donít want to live in it?

Peter packs his things and leaves the fish station.

Lavinia goes to see Thomas. She wants to know whatís going on with him. Thomas still wonít say.

Thomas finally starts arguing and yelling at Ned and he comes out with the accusation that Ned was having sex with Fanny in the woods. Ned gets so furious at Thomas that he hits him in the face. Thomas throws Ned out an opening in the shed and out onto the water. Ned hits his head on the boat and goes unconscious. Now Thomas has to rush to save him, but Ned has died.

They bury Ned in the graveyard. Mary talks to Ned in his grave. She says she doesnít know if she can go on without him. She asks him to kiss her once more before he goes.

Lavinia comes to see Thomas again. She wants to know what Ned and he talked about just before Nedís death. Thomas yells that he cannot talk about it. Lavinia leaves.

Mary sees that Fanny is now pregnant. Mary says it was Peter and Fanny says it wasnít Peter. Fanny now goes to talk with Thomas who tells her to stop lying because he saw her and Ned having intercourse in the woods. He says Nate is the father of her child.

Fanny takes Thomas into the wood to a shelter where the Indian stays. She tells Thomas that this man is the father of her child. Thomas is really shocked, realizing his terrible mistake that lead to the death of innocent Ned. Thomas says: "Oh, God. No."

Fanny pleads with Thomas to help her with her mother and neighbors so she can be with the Indian. Later, alone, Thomas prays to God to give him the strength to deal with the this terrible situation.

Thomas comes to see Mary and Fanny to talk about the father of Fannyís baby. He says heís the father of the child. Mary doesnít believe him, but then Fanny says the babyís father is Thomas. Now Mary starts in on balling out Thomas. She also blames him for the death of her Ned.

Mary says Thomas will marry Fanny like any decent man would do. "Now get out of my house!"

The next day, Thomas speaks with Lavinia. He says he is the father of Fannyís child and he will marry her. Lavinia is devastated at the news. Thomas leaves and Lavinia starts crying.

Fanny and Thomas are in church getting married. Lavinia has to perform the services. She canít finish it, so one of the young ladies takes over for her. Mary sits in the back. She chases after them saying they can live in her house, but Thomas refuses that offer. He will live in his own cabin as he has always done so.

 

Part Four.

Lavinia tells Thomas if he wishes to speak to her, he must bring his family with him. Peter Vincent returns to the fish station. Peter learns that Fannyís baby is Thomasí baby. He gets so mad that he walks fast down to the pier and pushes Thomas down and is going to start hitting him but two of the men stop him and pull Peter off of Thomas.

One day the Indian Toma just shows up in the settlement down by the beach. The women get very frightened and start screaming for the men. Fanny goes over to talk to Toma. Peter arrives with a log in his hand and strikes Toma on the back of his head. He goes down striking his face on the rocks on the beach. He starts bleeding. He gets away from Peter and runs off, but Peter chases after the Indian. Then Thomas goes after Peter.

Fanny is hysterical and the birth process now starts. The men leave and the women deliver the baby on the rocky beach. Fanny dies in child birthing. Mary is distraught.

Thomas searches the woods for Peter and the Indian. He comes across the dead body of Toma. It seems that Peter must have caught up with the Indian and then beat him to death.

Mary decides to call the baby boy Ned.

Lavinia comes in to talk to Thomas, who says heís leaving for St. Johnís. He says he was an ordained Catholic priest and he wants to go back to that in St. Johnís. Lavinia asks Thomas why didnít he tell her that at the first, so she wouldnít have gone on as she did. Thomas explains itís because he had feelings for her too. Moreover, he killed a man in Ireland. There was a dispute with a landlord and the man pulled out a gun. Thomas took the gun away from the landlord and shot him.

Lavinia tells Thomas that she wants him to stay and start over. She also asks Thomas how is she to be a woman here if Thomas is gone?

Thomas leaves on a ship for St. Johnís along with Joe and Peter. He goes to the church to become an active priest again. He gives his confession. The bishop will write to Rome to see if itís okay that Thomas be reinstated. In the meantime, Thomas can help the build the new Catholic cathedral.

Mary takes over Thomasí old role as boss. She even puts the children to work. She tells the people that they are going to have to work extra-hard so they can survive the winter. That brings Lavinia down to protest that the children are not attending school. Mary has it out with Lavinia and Lavinia walks out. She goes to her favorite lookout point with the book of Shakespeareís writings. She gets so mad that she tosses the book into the ocean.

Thomas thinks he sees Lavinia on the streets of St. Johnís, but it turns out to be Emma from Cape Random. They are glad to see each other and they have a meal together. Emma asks howís Fanny, and Thomas has to tell Emma that Fanny is dead.

Lavinia goes into a state of depression and stays in bed a lot of the time. Mary comes to speak with her and to try to get her out of the state sheís in, but Lavinia just tells her to go home. She also says that thereís nothing left for her in Cape Random. Mary leaves.

Before Thomas left for St. Johnís, Lavinia gave him the copy of her diary. Now alone, Thomas reads through the diary.

Thomas goes to see Timothy Toope about a banking matter for the new cathedral. Tim tells Thomas that he has bought up all the property rights to Cape Random.

Mary tries to pull the people out of the church on Sunday, because the waters are just full with fish at this time. The people wonít listen to her, so Mary has go down to the waters and work alone. While she works, she sees a rare sight indeed. Ida Norris comes down to help pull in the fish.

While working on the cathedral, the men drop a load of stone onto a young fellow. He is badly hurt. Thomas has to send for a doctor. The bishop comes and Thomas tells him that they have had four accidents in the last two days. He says that Mr. Drew who provides the stones is charging them twice the rate for the service and the wagons he uses are just not safe. He wants to do something about this, but the bishop says no, he canít. Mrs. Drew is very wealthy and is providing a huge glass stained window for the cathedral that the priests could never afford by themselves.

Frank Norris and Annie still are in a romantic relationship. Ida watches them from her window. But this time, Frank says he canít be with her. Annie cries and runs away.

Joe, Peter, Emma and Thomas have a meal together in the tavern. Emma and Joe are married now. Thomas is giving the fellows the money to pay for their equipment to go on a seal hunt. Joe gets to teasing Peter and when he mentions Fanny, Peter slugs Joe. Thomas has to intervene.

Ida gets all dressed up. Lavinia sees Ida walking down to the beach.  The woman gets in a boat and sets it afire. She lies down in the fire. Annie comforts Frank. She wants to take him up to his house. Mary tells her to go slowly. She calls Meg over to her to escort Frank back to his house.

Lavinia tells Mary that sheís going off to St. Johnís. Mary tries to talk her out of it, but canít.

Thomas continues reading the diary and thinks about Lavinia. There are more accidents at the site of the Cathedral building.

Thomas and Emma go down to the dock to welcome Peter and Joe back home from their seal hunt. A man tells Thomas that there are four dead men aboard the ship. Emma is very fearful. Thomas decides to go aboard the ship, but they bring up the two dead Vincent boys wrapped in canvas and lay them on the dock. They froze to death. Thomas goes to comfort Emma.

Annie has to ask Mary something. Mary says she will approve of Annie marrying Frank, but they must agree to stay on at Cape Random. Annie says they will stay. She is so happy now and runs to find Frank. The couple are ecstatic.

Thomas goes to see Tim Drew (really Timothy Toope) and asks for the money for the two dead men. Tim tells him that the boys died within the first week and, therefore, they did not earn any shares in the take of the voyage. In fact, Tim says the boys owe the firm money for their room and board on the ship. Thomas is furious at Tim. He says Tim is the type of man who, if he could, would steal the clothes from the two dead men and use them to outfit two new crew members. He leaves in disgust with the banker.

Thomas is getting fed up with life in St. Johnís. There is too much concern about money that outweighs any Christian charity for the unfortunate ones. Even the bishop follows the orders of the rich and always kowtows to them.

Thomas confronts the bishop over his materialism and lack of spiritualism. He says he has no feeling or knowledge about the common people. Thomas says: "Two deaths for a stained-glass window. Sounds like a fair deal."  He adds that his life is nothing without honor.

Thomas realizes he made a mistake. He has a fitful sleep at night. He dreams of Cape Random and Lavinia.

Thomas is going back to Cape Random. Emma is staying in St. Johnís for awhile. Thomas arrives with the two coffins of the Vincent boys.

Thomas talks with Lavinia. He gives her diary back to her. He says the diary helped him see a lot. She says sheís leaving the Cape for St. Johnís. He asks Lavinia for a second chance. And, if she leaves, he will go with her back to St. Johnís. The couple kiss. Later they lay in bed together and Thomas tells her he doesnít know what to do. Lavinia says they will both find out together.

Now here comes Mary to say something to Thomas and Lavinia. She finds them in bed together

Mary tells Thomas that now thereís no room for him in Cape Random. Thomas says that heís not a threat to Mary. Heís not going to want to be the boss as he was before. He and Lavinia are getting married.

Lavinia is so happy now, for once. A small boat from a ship comes to Cape Random. Itís Tim Drew and his assistant banker and Timís wife arriving to check on their property. Tim announces that there will be no more fishing done at Cape Random. They are consolidating all the fishing and salting down to Labrador. Mary steps up and calls Tim Toope a thief. Tim insults Mary as a house maid and a prostitute. Mary threatens to hit Tim, but his wife interveners and asks Mary if there is somewhere she can talk with Mary? Yes. Then the wife gives Tim a dirty look.

Mary tells the wife in Timís presence that Tim was a thief and they had a daughter together. The wife asks Tim where is this daughter now? Sheís dead, says Mary. The wife says thereís nothing there that Mary can use to blackmail them. Mary gets very angry saying that she would never blackmail them.

Mrs. Drew says sheís willing to help Mrs. Andrews. How?, asks Mary.  She offers Mary a chest of her fine dresses. Mary has no use for fancy dresses on Cape Random. Mrs. Drew says that her husband is going to run for office, and she wants Maryís word that she will not embarrass them. Mrs. Drew says she will provide the passage for Mary to go back to England. Maryís not interested in that. So the wife says she will throw in some money for Mary to go back to England.

Now Mary drops the bomb. Tim Toope killed a man named Mr. Armstrong in St. Johnís. Tim says Mary was right there with him and she can go to jail too. Mary says if she canít have her life at Cape Random, then she might as well go to jail. At least, she would have the satisfaction that Tim would be right there in jail with her.

The people are waiting for Mary and Mr. and Mrs. Drew to come back down to the pier. They finally come out and Mr. Drew says that things will continue as they have been at Cape Random. With hard work they know they can make a profit off the fishing and salting and the workers will continue to make a good living for themselves.

And now the visitors will go. They leave. Mary now has Lavinia read out another part of the agreement. Lavinia reads that from now on Mary and her heirs will own the property at Cape Random in perpetuity. Signed by Timothy Drew. The people are now extremely happy.

Mary speaks to Ned at his grave site, and to her deceased children Henry and Fanny Andrews as well. She says to Ned that the land belongs to them in perpetuity.

 

 

Good mini-series that covers a lot of interesting historical events.  Mary Keane, living in poverty in Ireland, gets a chance to go to Newfoundland, Canada as a maid.   Mary jumps at the chance.  A poor family, the Andrews, living in England goes to Canada too, but land up at the fish station at Cape Random, Canada.   Both Mary and the Andrews have to work under terrible and unfair conditions in the New World.  They all have to struggle to stay alive.  Mary lands up in Cape Random, but she is a firebrand and at least complains about the working conditions and tries to make life better for the people at Cape Random.  Life at a small fishing station is a terribly rough one just to stay alive.  Slowly and gradually Mary and others start to make life at Cape Random more acceptable.  The mini-series follows the lives of the several families.  Their worries are made worse because they start losing people to death and the cemetery starts to build up. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

 

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