‘The Listener’ says goodbye to beloved main character in shocking episode
Putting their lives on the line for criminal investigations and medical emergencies are nothing new for the characters on “The Listener” but when a highly contagious virus spreads through St. Luke’s Hospital, the repercussions are deadly.
On Wednesday night’s emotionally-charged episode, titled “Lockdown,” a shocking turn of events leads to the death of a beloved main character.
What begins as a routine day in the E.R. ends up with hazmat suits and widespread panic as a hemorrhagic fever breaks out at St. Luke’s.
Resident doctor Olivia Fawcett (played by Mylène Dinh-Robic) is on the frontlines of treating the patients with the mysterious virus, while Toby Logan (Craig Olejnik) and Sgt. Michelle McCluskey (Lauren Lee Smith) try to track the source.
Identifying the virus and figuring out how to treat it becomes even more dire when Olivia falls ill. Even as her nose starts bleeding and her fever spikes, Olivia continues to treat patients, putting their care first.
But it soon becomes evident that Olivia’s condition is much worse than anyone thought and in a shocking turn of events, she starts crashing and dies on the hospital bed, surrounded by Toby, Oz (Ennis Esmer) and Sandy (Tara Spencer-Nairn).
For Dinh-Robic, who has been part of “The Listener” cast since the beginning, it was a very difficult episode to shoot.
“It was hard because it was the end obviously and I knew it was coming. But there was such an amazing spirit of collaboration on set and people being so sensitive, and Stefan (Pleszczynski), our director, shooting things in a particular order so that my emotional journey through the last episode was actually really respected in terms of the linearity of it,” she says.
“I think Olivia died doing what she loved and she took care of others throughout three seasons and it was only right for her to go out doing just that.”
Although it’s hard to say goodbye to a show she has been part of for three years, Dinh-Robic, who is currently working on her masters in media studies at Concordia and will be next appearing in a French feature film, says she is very grateful for the wonderful experiences she’s had.
“It’s been an amazing journey and I’m a better actor, a better artist. It’s been an amazing family to be a part of.”
While fans may be shocked at the passing of such a well-loved character, executive producer Peter Mohan, who also wrote the episode, says a lot of thought was put into why and how Olivia would die.
“Olivia was a great character and one that worked so well in the show previously but now that Toby’s moved into the police force, we were using her a bit less and didn’t want to just let a character fall away … and we said we should do something to really honour that character and really create an emotional moment that would be explosive for the audience as well to send her off with,” says Mohan.
Mohan agrees with Dinh-Robic that it was a tough episode to shoot but says all of the actors went above and beyond.
“Everybody really brought everything to try to make it as great as episode and as powerful of an episode as possible for her. (Mylène) really brought it but everybody else came around to try and make that sendoff special for all of them.”
Mohan says it was also a difficult episode to shoot because of the subject matter.
“There was a lot of medical tech we had to import and a lot of research we had to go into to try to keep that hemorrhagic fever as realistic a situation as possible.”
What makes the situation even more frightening, says Mohan, is the potential for something like this happening in real life.
“These things are just at the edge of our consciousness all the time. People are still calling for the next great pandemic to hit and we thought what a powerful thing it would be to bring into a hospital, which are places that are so susceptible to this kind of thing.”
Mohan says Olivia will not be forgotten and her death will have an impact on all of the characters.
“It’s not something that’s just a fast hit and we forget about . . . I think fans will be satisfied to see what her passing means to all of the other characters, especially of course to Toby, and Oz, and Sandy. It just touches everybody in the cast, even the cops at the IIB.”
"The Listener" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV. Full episodes are also available online at CTV.ca.