Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Review: Republic of Doyle, Ep.5

Eat that scenery, Gordon Pinsent, you glorious bastard. Chew it and then wash it down with some of that bootlegged rum.

Seriously, that scene in the bar with Pinsent chewing away and banging the table with the gun on it, I suspect Hawco and McGinley weren't exactly acting too hard when they had the looks of both terror and astonishment happening at the same time. Sure the Doyles were supposed to be scared of Maurice Becker, but I think the two actors were just kind of laying back a bit and seeing what the hell Pinsent was going to do next. I honestly wonder how much of that was written, and how much was Pinsent improvising.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'll pay good money to watch Gordon Pinsent read the phone book. To see him go completely over the top like this....awesomeness. My only regret was that he wasn't in the episode more. Hopefully they'll bring him back soon.

Ah, but I get ahead of myself. What else was happening with the show?

After a cold open showing off a sizable amount of tits and ass at a strip club, we move to the main plot. There's trouble afoot at the Bishop Cab company. The wife suspects her husband is up to nothing good, believing he might be cheating on her. Jake has his doubts because she's hot. I think the entire scene with them meeting here out by the Marine Lab and target shooting was so that Malachy could get a line in about skeets. But hey, whatever the set-up, it got a laugh.

Jake decides to go undercover at the cab company to see if he can figure out what's going on. And sure enough, there is weirdness. Ned Bishop (played by Mark Critch) is behaving oddly and getting beaten up. Then they photograph him with a hot babe handing over a suspicious package to him.

After a confrontation and a lot of yelling and poking around, it seems dear Ned is engaging in one of St. John's fine, long-standing traditions among its cabbies....selling rum from St. Pierre under the table. Or the back of the cab, as it were. Ned's not terribly bright, however. He's robbed one shipment of rum, plus he stabbed his normal dealer in the back and is dealing with his rival. That's getting Ned a beating, and so are a bunch of his drivers. They can't go to the police about it, so they're in a bit of a bind.

That means a road trip to St. Pierre (after a quick explanation about where and what St. Pierre is) to try and resolve the situation. It's also where they meet Becker, the infamous rum runner, marvelously played by Pinsent. We have a few betrayals and whatnot and Becker ends up the last place he wants to be and the rum continues to safely flow.

As for our other plots, this week it's time for Jake to act insane around Nikki, Des and Tinny do some detective work...badly, while the chemistry tries to spark, Rose gets an ominous postcard and the constable gets a bit pissed with Jake pumping her for information, but not in other ways.

The main story about the rum running wasn't bad, especially when it moved to St. Pierre and we could enjoy Pinsent. But it's also a nice St. John's type of mystery. Rum is smuggled over from St. Pierre all the time and cabbies in town have had the reputation for having a few bottles in the trunk for years. So yeah, that's fun enough. I think it could have been a bit tighter story wise and really, more Gordon Pinsent is always good.

But look, I'm going to keep harping on this, the Jake/Nikki thing isn't working. At all. Not even a little bit. An unfortunate chunk of that show got eaten by that garbage. More of Rose, a scene with Walter, a bit more with the constable, anything would be better. Please tell me the guys have noticed it's not working. There is some hope, at least, at the end of the episode that perhaps they're finally going to move on to other things and maybe give the Jake/Nikki angle a break.

Also, I'm intrigued by the postcard Rose received. It would be nice to see her get some more screen time other than being the magic internet plot device oracle. And hey, she verbally slapped around Tinny this episode, so that was nice.

No Walter (Sean Panting) this episode. I thought for sure we'd see him at the strip club, but oh well.

Again, not a bad episode. And the seven minutes or so of Gordon Pinsent make up for the seven minutes or so of terrible Jake and Nikki scenes. But really, you're not going to have Pinsent every week (sadly), so try not to inflict to much more Jake and Nikki on us, all right?

Best lines of the night:
"What's wrong with him? Nothin'. He's from Gander." (Probably incomprehensible to people not from Newfoundland, funny has hell for the rest of us.)

"Cocky shaggers." (However, you have to say it like Pinsent)

"Hit 'im, don't hold it in -- you'll get ulcers." (the little joke about Jake not being able to go a couple of days without getting punched in the face was fun.)

Last Five
1. Drivin' down to Georgia (live) - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
2. Chocolate (live) - Snow Patrol
3. The forty - Mark Bragg*
4. Harder - David Gray
5. Sleep - The Dandy Warhols


Winston Smith said...

Good review, as always. I'm afraid that I've gone over to the dark side, however. I'm not sure how many others have joined me. But I'm no longer a viewer. Now I'm a fan. While this means that it's getting harder to be objective, because I want the show to succeed, I still see your point about how annoying the Nikki/Jake thing is. I'm not sure if it's the writers, who seem to have real trouble with female roles, or the acting, or simply the personal chemistry; but it's not working. My sense is that even if they had chemistry, the writers are simply devoting way too much time to this side-narrative. Here's hoping that there's more Panting and less Nikki next week. And, yes, that was a killer line. I laughed so hard my whiskey came out my nose.

artificial gripe said...

yeah that bastard

Anonymous said...

Just a question this week. If you are living in Nunavut, how come you said "with them meeting here out by the Marine Lab"?

Anonymous said...


towniebastard said...

Well, I imagine for a moment I forgot I wasn't living in St. John's anymore. It happens from time to time.

Northern Chirp said...

Your blog entries on the show are more entertaining than watching it. Always love reading your blog, Townie ... And congrats on that Nunie....

WJM said...

Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Republic Of Dile I Learned From T. Bastard.

towniebastard said...

Thank you, guys. Very kind. Completely wrong, but very kind.

Perhaps a future episode will have a prominent blogger or critic get murdered and the Doyles will have to figure out who did it.

kiwigirl said...

I just started watching Republic of Doyle and I'm from New Zealand and live in Korea so some of the language is a bit different - great tho. It's really interesting, I never knew Newfoundland and Labrador were places not just dog breeds :)
I've been looking it up on Wiki, seems like a great place with lots of history.
Anyway I'm watching ep. 5 at the moment and the line - Nothing, he's from gander caught my attention so I typed it into google and came here - you say is funny but don't tell us why. Can you explain?

towniebastard said...

Hmmm, all right. How to explain this...

The province has any number of divisions. You can divide by the island and mainland part. You can divide it by Catholic and Protestant. You can divide it by people born there and those who arrived lately from away (CFAs "Come From Aways" or Mainlanders). I always choose to divide it by townies (people born and raised in the capital, St. John's) and bayman (those not born in St. John's, even if they're nowhere near a bay, which is the case with Gander).

So when Doyle goes "Nothing. He's from Gander" that's his very dismissive townie way of saying"He's not from St. John's, therefore he's an idiot." Gander just happens to have been the community they choose to put in there. They could have just as easily used Bonavista, St. Mary's or Corner Brook.

Although having been to Gander several times, it is a bit of a hole, I must say. Then again, I am a townie...;)

They're getting Doyle in Korea? Now that is weird...

kiwigirl said...

Ahh.. now I see that makes sense, after I posted the comment and finished watching the episode it finally dawned on me that Gander must be a place.

Not sure if it has made it to Korea, but I got the DVD set online in NZ. Gotta love online shopping - there are some American shows here but its hard to know when they are on as the guide listings are not in English. It's easier just to watch online or on DVD. Always looking for new shows to keep me entertained.

Thanks for the explaination, I might need some further help on translations (which is half the fun) as the series goes on but at least I know where to come now :)