British detective and recovering alcoholic Jim Worth is adjusting to the quiet life in the Canadian Rockies after moving from London to the mountain idyll of Little Big Bear with his family – his wife Angela, teenage daughter Anna, and five-year-old son Petey. As the new chief of police, he finds there is little to occupy himself with at work, until North Stream Oil sets up a refinery near the town. Jim struggles to protect his family and the town from the wave of organised crime that follows. When a local doctor who previously launched accusations against the corporation turns up dead, Jim suspects foul play and opens a murder investigation. After Jim’s family suffers a shocking tragedy, dark, dangerous secrets emerge and vengeance arrives in paradise to unleash a very particular kind of hell.
The Worth family is left devastated by the tragedy that has taken place. Racked by guilt at escaping the bullet meant for him, Jim begins a slow, inexorable slide back to the comfort of a whiskey bottle. Fearing the house is no longer safe, he secures Anna in a hotel, and attempts to bury his grief in work by picking the North Stream murder case back up, instinctively believing there is some connection to his own loss. Meanwhile, the perpetrators of the botched assassination choose to stay in Little Big Bear to finish what they started, hiding in plain sight as North Stream refinery workers. However, one member of the group – the erratic Johnny – slips up and provides an unwitting Anna with a piece of evidence that could implicate them all. Whitey, the group’s leader, looks to tie up the loose end.
Utterly consumed by grief, Jim’s anguish becomes too much to bear, and he loses his battle to stay sober. After a night of heavy drinking and blackouts, he returns to the hotel only to find Anna has disappeared. In a narrative that unfolds in a non-sequential order, we slip backwards and forwards through the events of that day. Cutting between carnage on the reserve, a heart-stopping showdown on the edge of a dam, and a grisly scene by the shore of a river, where Whitey holds a bloodied rock in his hands, hell has broken loose in Little Big Bear.
As Whitey’s infatuation with Anna deepens, the family must endure their loved one’s funeral and process their grief and respective guilt over what happened. Despite his conflicted feelings for the police chief’s daughter, Whitey sets in motion a violent plan to ensnare Jim. Meanwhile, Louis Gagnon, head of security at North Stream Oil, gets wind that national media outlets will be printing a story about the oil company bringing organised crime to Little Big Bear. He demands the vice president of stakeholder relations, Elizabeth Bradshaw, spikes the story by leaking details of Jim’s activity during his blackout. Knowing that it’s a story that would utterly destroy the shattered Worth family, Bradshaw faces a moral and professional crisis. Do her job, exert her power and protect the reputation of her employer or protect a family slowly drowning in grief.
With Jim banished from his family home, Angela decides to take the security of her family into her own hands. With his original plan in tatters and completely out of his depth, Whitey’s uncle Frank attempts to take advantage of the oil boom by presenting local bar owner Randy with a business proposal (although the relationship rapidly becomes more than just professional). Meanwhile, with Jim at breaking point and in a constant state of grief-laden inebriation, Whitey and his right-hand man Godswill attempt to take advantage of the situation, and execute a plan designed to lure Worth to certain death. Little does Whitey know that Jim isn’t running the show any more and that his fearless, devious, violent, undercover handle, Jack Devlin, long suppressed by years of sobriety, has finally emerged. And Whitey isn’t the only one who can lay a trap.
Devastated by the consequences of Jim’s swift and violent response to his kidnap attempt, Whitey’s anguish drives him deeper into recklessness. Like his quarry, he is now consumed with rage and grief and utterly out of control. Knowing Angela and Anna are alone, off plan and entirely off the reservation, Whitey heads to the Worth house, armed. However, once again he finds himself on the back foot. Jack’s back and Whitey finally comes face to face with his target for what may be the tensest family dinner in history. Meanwhile, Elizabeth confronts Gagnon regarding his questionable interest in bringing down Jim Worth. Disturbed by his response, Bradshaw begins to look into the background of the enigmatic Quebecois. As she digs deeper, dangerous secrets begin to emerge regarding her employer’s activities in the region, and she realises her position offers her perilously little protection.
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