Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Review: Republic of Doyle, Ep.6

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

Runner-up quotes:
"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...

Last Five
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


WJM said...

Everyone who thinks TB should make a stop-motion shot-for-shot re-enactment of a Republic of Dile episode with the walruses, say "aye".

Bob Boisvert said...

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
Except I would have guessed that the plane cannot lift off...

Anonymous said...

Indeed best show so far, but people who have never been to Newfoundland must think the sun always shines in St. John's. The weather is almost always sunny...
However the roads did appear wet -- in some shots more than others -- during the chase seen last night.
paul n

towniebastard said...

It did rain in the early part of the episode....I actually jotted a note to myself asking, "is that the first time we've seen rain in the show?"

I think it might have been. Further proof that we're living in an alternate reality St. John's, where there is no insane traffic downtown and it never rains.

Anonymous said...

Rainspotting was tough.

Next contest - has anyone seen the Rooms in a skyline shot yet?

Ed Hollett said...

Funniest part of the episode was watching the car chase and seeing how it made no sense given the streets as they actually are on the ground.

But yes, Craig: the best episode yet. There have been some priceless moments along the way and a nice thread developed that will apparently become the featured line next week.

you are dead on about the one liners too. That's somethig that really stands out. Like the episode about the shiners where the two guys stop to refresh themselves before jake and his dad interogate the, Jake just looks at them and says 'Good now, are ye?" or words to that effect.

It's a throw-away line delivered with ease but it adds a certain flavour to the show. The thing has been getting better as time goes by.

Great reviews, BTW. Your traffic must triple or better.

Melodie said...

Yes, I've never been to St. John's but I know the reputation it has for storms. So I was kind of confused about only ever seeing sunny scenes too. I did actually take note of the rain scene too (Ya, I too think that was the first...). I'm pretty sure people like me could get fooled, but then again, it's always just as easy to go on weathernetwork to see the daily temps and to look on wikipedia to find the climate of the place. (p.s I do see that the characters are always wearing layers

Ok, so there was one scene where (I forget who) said: "You townies". Hmmm...I was like: TOWNIE BASTARD, lol. I like your blog name by the way!

Anonymous said...

The day that the car chase was shot was clear in the morning, and it rained on and off all day. Hence the wet road, dry road thing... The car jump, the uphill chase and the start with the backhoe were all filmed right outside our patio. ... they wrecked the first car to go over the jump. Fun stuff! - Andrew

towniebastard said...

Ed, my traffic certainly spikes up starting Wednesday night and into Thursday, although it's not as high as it was during the first few episodes. Right now it's about 40% higher than the non-Doyle days of the week. During the first episode, it was up 400%. I actually wonder what the numbers are like these days.

Thanks, Melodie. My mother isn't fond of the blog name, especially when she's trying to explain it to friends and customers, but I'm fond of it.

Andrew, I was keeping an eye out for your place during the car chase, actually. And yeah, I imagine St. John's weather makes continunity a bitch, which is why I don't gripe about it. Still, I think the lack of rain the show is kind of funny.