Review: Endgame

Summer colds are the worst, aren't they? Darling Hubby went to our house in the country last week. Our older son had visited the previous weekend and brought a lovely cold virus with him.

My darling caught it so he spent a miserable week in the country. Instead of working on some of the projects he has started there, he ended up binge watching Netflix and Amazon instead.

He came home yesterday, still sick, so we watched a great series called Endgame (typography in the credits shows it as ENDGAMƎ).

Unfortunately, there are only 13 episodes of this Canadian drama television series that premiered March 14, 2011, on Showcase Television network.

That is really a shame because it's a great premise with each episode being a layered story where nothing is as it appears.

The series premise is that World Chess Champion Arkady Balagan, a genius, uses his analytical skills to solve crimes. Balagan is portrayed beautifully by Shawn Doyle who you may remember as the dirty cop in the movie Frequency.

The series opens 4 months after his fiance was killed by a car bomb. As a result of that incident, he developed agoraphobia and has never left the hotel. Unfortunately, if you're a Chess Grand Master, you must compete to maintain your title as well as keep the income flowing.

With the threat of eviction, he begins doing whatever will get him the cash he needs to continue living in his penthouse suite in a luxury hotel. His only skill though is chess--and his highly analytical brain.

New Twist On Old Cliche

This is a refreshing twist on the sleuth genre. Great stories reminiscent of Leverage, intelligent scripts, great acting, excellent cast of secondary characters--people the Grand Master recruits to do the legwork since he can't go outside.

I particularly loved the characterization of Alcina, the hotel maid, played superbly by Carmen Aguirre, a Vancouver-based actress and writer who was born in Santiago, Chile. Alcina is smart, hard-working, likable, and completely believable.

Takeaway Truth

The bigger mystery of Endgame is why this series was not extended. I'd certainly watch it, and I bet you would too. You can stream Endgame via Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

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