Lets Talk About ‘Bad Blood’

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Paul Sorvino, Anthony LaPaglia, and Kim Coates in Bad Blood. Courtesy of IMDb.

The hit Canadian crime drama show Bad Blood has only picked up in popularity since Netflix added it to its streaming service. The series, which has also been called the Canadian Sopranos, was originally only supposed to be a one-season mini-series. But it did so well on FX Canada and CityTV that it got renewed for a second, and that was just with a Canadian audience. It was filmed primarily in Montreal, QC and Sudbury and Hamilton, ON.

The Canadian Screen Awards have even recognized the show. In 2018, it was nominated for three awards and in 2019, it was nominated for four and won two awards. Kim Coates won for “Best Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role.” Michael Konyves, who wrote nine episodes for the series, won for “Best Writing, Drama Series.”

Here, we present a brief synopsis of Bad Blood, and we’ve also included fans’ thoughts about the series and excitement about what’s coming next.

There will be spoilers from seasons one and two beyond this point.

The first season is based on the 2015 book Business or Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto’s Last War, written by Antonio Nicaso and Peter Edwards. Based on real events about Vito and the Rizzuto crime family in Montreal, Coates plays Declan Gardiner, who is Vito’s (Anthony LaPaglia) right-hand man and confidant. When Vito gets arrested for his part in a 1981 triple murder, Declan steps up to takes over as boss in the family business.

This doesn’t sit well with Vito’s arrogant son Nico Jr. (Brett Donahue), who thinks that he should run things. That makes Declan’s job even harder since he is also supposed to protect Nico Jr. and keep him away from the business.

When Vito finds out that his son has been shot and killed, he blames Declan and turns his back on him, saying he is no longer family. They do eventually work together again to seek revenge, but there is a twist Vito doesn’t expect: it was Declan who killed his son, in an attempt to take over and control the Montreal drug trade for himself.

Season one completed Vito Rizzuto’s story, so when Bad Blood was renewed for a second season, the writers had much more freedom to continue. Season two picks up five years after Vito’s death, and Declan is still running the Montreal drug trade.

Image courtesy of CityTV.com.

In Hamilton, Ontario lives the Cosoleto family, who has control over the drug trade there. When they get an unexpected visit from two members of the head family in Italy, a war between them and Declan soon begins. Teresa (Anna Hopkins) and Christian Langana (Johnny Falcone) want to control both places and start manufacturing and distributing fentanyl. This decision divides the Cosoletos, pitting brother against brother, son against father, and wife against husband.

Looking to take everyone down is the organized crime division of the RCMP. The division is headed up by Nellie (Lisa Berry) who has insider information from Nats Cosoleto’s (Dylan Taylor) wife Val (Melanie Scrofano). Unfortunately, Nats dies in prison, and Val is killed by Domenic Cosoleto (Louis Ferreira) for being a rat. Forced by Declan, Enzo (Daniel Kash) walks into the police station and talks to Nellie about what the Langana twins are up to.

At Rose Sunwind’s (Sharon Taylor) house, where Declan has been staying and keeping a low profile, he and Rose have been growing closer since her nephew died from fentanyl. Staying with Declan is his nephew Reggie (Ryan McDonald), his only living relative. Reggie has no interest in a life of crime; he wants to open a restaurant and for his uncle to be safe and alive.

After Declan kills Christian in a shootout, Teresa and her biker allies sneak onto Rose’s property and take Declan, Rose, and Reggie hostage in a barn. Teresa walks up and kills Reggie — family for family. Walking around him, she shoots Declan in the back, leaving behind a distraught Rose. But while she’s walking to the helicopter to leave, Teresa gets shot and dies. Declan, having been wounded, manages to kill her.

The season ends with Rose getting her life back together, the organized crime division closing down with Nellie going elsewhere. Luca (Franco Lo Presti), free from the damage, is raising his baby nephew. Looking over the city of Montreal is Declan having come out on top, but for how long?

Who else is waiting with fingers crossed for news of the third season of Bad Blood? In the meantime, Nerds and Beyond asked fans for their thoughts on the series. 

Favorite Declan moment:

“Him taking care of the Asian restaurant owner and his son.” @PotatoMTG

“ALL of his scenes!” @sueannbuchanan

“In season 1, when Declan confronts his father Lonnie Gardiner…the intense feelings of that brilliant scene – with glimpses of who Declan is before gangster-life – is absolutely fantastic. Kim Coates and Nicholas Campbell are mesmerizing in their exchanges. Starting with this scene, moving from season 1 to season 2, as more and more of Declan-beyond-the-gangster is revealed and more and more characters are introduced, the Bad Blood story & series defines fascinating and compelling.” @KimCoatesCrew

“Finding out he was behind Vito’s downfall all along.” @Therobbiebailey

“Season 1, when he tells a fellow mobster, ‘I’ll explain restaurant economics to him!’” @danegolf1960

“The reveal of him being the traitor.” Alexander

Whose death surprised you the most?

“Jacques’.” @PotatoMTG

“Reggie’s. Not surprised, but devastating.” @sueannbuchanan

“Bruno Bonsignori’s (Enrico Colantoni) in season 1.” @KimCoatesCrew

“Bruno’s.” @Therobbiebailey

“Reggie’s, the restaurant going forward woulda been good story.” @danegolf1960

“The entire Cosoleto family (mostly because of the amount of them).” Alexander

Favorite thing from season one or two?

“Rose’s inclusion in the plot.” @PotatoMTG

“Declan.” @sueannbuchanan

“The pairing of Declan and Rose Sunwind was an absolute favorite part of the Bad Blood story in season 2. While it was easy to see how & why their partnership came together for business purposes, the dynamics/chemistry between Kim Coates and Sharon Taylor was perfect. Their pairing allowed yet another brilliant glimpse into who Declan is – with feelings / emotions we had not yet seen in the first season.“ @KimCoatesCrew

“DECLAN!” @Therobbiebailey

“The biography lite value of season1, season2 Anna because Anna!” @danegolf1960

“The way that Enzo’s death scene was filmed.” Alexander

You can watch both seasons of Bad Blood on Netflix here. And check out the trailer for season two below.


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By Sarah
As a Ravenclaw and introverted tattooed cat, Sarah enjoys reading, writing, and watching hockey (Go Leafs Go). You can follow Sarah on Twitter at @WyldeFandom
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