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.)
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