So, let's get this out of the way right off the top. Easily the best Republic of Doyle so far. And hey, how about that, no Nikki and Tinny on the screen wasting time being annoying. How about that. Coincidence? Probably not.
Hopefully there is a lesson in this for the producers. "Hey, look, I think that was a really good episode. What did we do right in that one?" asks producer #1. "Well, there was good storyline, nice character development and some great quotes. Oh, yeah, and we didn't waste any time on annoying secondary characters. Hmmmmm."
Anyway, enough harping on that. Onwards to the story this week.
Our story open at the Duke where Jake, Walter and Malachy are well in the bag and arguing whether or not an airplane can take off if it's on a conveyor belt going at the same speed in the opposite direction. Because apparently they missed that episode of Mythbusters (it can, if you're wondering.) Then, from across the bar, Jake spots trouble in the form of an ex....Stacy Layton. The one who got away. Oh yes, and the song "Dreamweaver" is playing when we first see her, which might be a bit annoying except for a bit involving a jukebox that makes it funny.
Next thing we know, Stacy is back into Jake's life in a big way. She suspects her new husband Johnny is up to something, maybe even cheating on her. Despite a warning from Malachy to stay away from her ("Remember that time when you were 13 and she broke up with you and you burned down the Gould's Rec Centre?") Jake gets involved with finding out what Johnny is up to. Including meeting with a mysterious blond at a hotel in St. John's.
(Fun fact: That hotel, for years, had the reputation has being a place if you wanted to go and have a quickie during lunch).
However, there's more up with the blond that Jake knows about. But, that doesn't stop him from telling Stacy, or having her sleep over at his house (no sex, alas. Probably tired out from the romp with the Constable earlier, who was suspicious about him helping out an "old friend"). Johnny arrives and confronts Jake and Stacy about what they're up to. And of course, the constable chooses that moment to come and watch the blow-up happening. Johnny and Stacy storm off. And then Johnny apparently manages to kill himself by driving his car off the cliffs in Middle Cove in front of some very stupid and drunk (on a peach cooler) high school kids from PWC. If you're from St. John's, try very hard not to think about how they managed to make that trip or the number of places closer they could have went to drink.
Stacy is the prime suspect and despite being yelled at by the constable to turn her in once he sees her, he doesn't. However, she thoughtfully put a tracking device on Jake's car (does the RNC have the budget for that kind of thing?). So off she goes with the constable, who interrogates her as much about what she was doing with Jake as she does about possibly murdering her husband.
While the ladies are off having fun Stacy's husband shows up and punches Jake a few times (one suspect Jake is as stunned as he is because of post-concussion syndrome from all the blows to the head). Oh yeah, did we mention Stacy's already married to a guy named Frank already? Seems he's a bigshot in the Montreal mob, Johnny was his right hand man. The blond Johnny was meeting was a RCMP officer trying to turn Johnny into ratting out Frank, before he got all stupid and fell in love with Stacy and robbed the guy.
And Johnny is, of course, not really dead, merely faking, trying to throw Frank and the RCMP of his trail. With Johnny still alive, Stacy is set free.
This all leads to a lovely, fun, and completely non-sensical car chase thrown downtown St. John's (seriously, don't try to retrace that route) while Jake tries to help the lovebirds reunite while avoiding Frank and the police. He succeeds at one, not the other and the whole thing ends with Jake in jail facing a murder charge, plus helping a federal fugitive.
This is why reconnecting with ex's are a bad idea. Something Rose might want to keep in mind, when her husband Dominic DaVinci (alright, Nicholas Campbell) gets paroled early and in a quite intimidating fashion lets it be known that he wants his wife back. Seems, ooops, she never got divorced and kind of forgot to mention it to Malachy. He handles it about as well as you might suspect.
Really, a top notch episode. I do enjoy how things are never quite what the seem in terms of the mystery at the start of the show. "Is my husband cheating?" becomes something much more complicated, which is good. There are a few things to quibble with, such as the less-than-awesome special effects involved with having the car go into the ocean and the return of Greg Malone, even if it was only for a few moments. But they are minor things, the rest of episode was great.
I'd be more optimistic that the show was now gunning it in the right direction, but I notice Nikki is back next week, so I'm reserving judgment.
Especially noteworthy were all of the quotes. Holy cow but they knocked them out of the park this evening. I'm hard up to pick a favourite, but I'll put up my top one and Cathy's. See if you can guess who like which one.
"I will come down on you so hard, so fast, it will knock your clocks back a half-hour." - Sgt. Lang of the RCMP
"I brought you a coffee...I’m keepin' the muffin." - The Constable
"Now that was as good as a concert." - Malachy
"You watch it, Jake, or I'm gonna show you the physics behind a good boot to the arse." - Duke bartender
"Man, I loves a bit o' peach cooler." - Jake
"Back to huffing liquid paper are we?" - Malachy
"I make it a habit of never stealing a young lady's drinking money." - Jake
"Where the hell were you?" "I had to finish my pint." - Jake and Malachy
"For years I thought of you as this one who got away...and I liked it. So I’d like you to stay away." - Jake
"Remember that time when you were 13 and she broke up with you and you burned down the Gould's Rec Centre?" "That was faulty wiring." - Malachy and Jake
"You want to talk about it?" "Maybe when you get out of jail in 10 to 20 years time." - Jake and Malachy
So yeah, not too much to complain about this time. It was a good hour of television. More please...
1. Guided by wire - Neko Case*
2. I'll go crazy (if I don't go crazy tonight) - U2
3. Pale slice of moon - Jenny Gear and the Whiskey Kittens
4. In God's country - U2
5. An American draft dodger in Thunder Bay - Sam Roberts