Look, I understand Garrison Steele is supposed to be a deeply annoying character that gets under Jake's skin. That's his whole purpose. The problem is an actor like Victor Garber is that he's a little too good at his job. Other than deeply annoying Jake, I don't really see why the rest of the characters like him. He's rude, arrogant and not nearly as charming as he thinks he is.
That's fine because we know that, Jake knows that, but a lot of very smart people around Jake can't spot that? And I guess that's my problem with this week's episode. Steele is a deeply annoying character. He's in the episode a lot, so it kind of makes it an annoying hour of television. There's a few good moments, and a couple of good lines. But mostly I was just wishing he would go away.
Plus there's no Mal. And there was a brutal tease of a Walter scene. He's there for, what, 20 seconds and gets about four lines of dialogue. This is the thing that baffles me about Walter. When they were doing the trailers for the show online, Walter was featured very prominently. So I figured he was actually be in the show a lot. But he hasn't been. Kind of weird.
Anyway, this week's episode sees Mal off on a secret mission of some sort up to Toronto. No one will tell Jake where he is or what he's up to. Rose and Tinny won't and Des doesn't know, because Mal wouldn't tell him, knowing he would crack. But as a parting gift, he's left Jake an author - Garrison Steele. He wants to follow a real PI in Newfoundland for his next book.
Jake hates him, but Garrison manages to find a way to stick with the case until the end. It involves a cheating wife, an oil find that may or may not be legit, goons and a dead body. So, just another average week in St. John's.
Oh, and the Sgt., formerly the Cst. sings. She's got quite the lovely voice on her, which makes Jake even more deeply smitten with her. She unleashes the pipes just as Nikki is rambling on drunkenly about something to Jake that made me momentarily hit mute. I've discovered the solution to my Nikki hatred and that's the instant she's about to become deeply aggrivating, hit the mute button. You might miss a rare good line or a plot point, but it's still better than throwing the remote at the TV.
This week's Nikki plot point is that she's still pretty crazy, still messed up over Jake and is possibly an alcoholic.
I suspect this is one of these episodes where it's an acquired taste. If you liked Victor Garber's Garrison Steele character, then this week's episode was a hoot for you. If you found him annoying, then this was a very off week. Although I will give props again for the story of the week. Oil scams, cheating wife and murder is a pretty nice mix. Granted, it would have worked much better with Mal there rather than Garrison. Hey, remember when the fun part of this show was watching Mal and Jake solve cases? It's been far too many weeks since we've had that.
Anyway, this week's best lines:
"Newfoundland: the seafood seems passable and you speak something... like... English." - Garrison
"The vehicle is parked up ahead, on his chest." Sgt. Bennett
"Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure he had life insurance." - Jake. I agree with what someone said on Twitter. All Jake needed for that line was to whip off a pair of sunglasses and have The Who kick in afterwords and it would have been perfect.
"They were drilling the same woman. Why not the same oil patch?" - Jake
"Old pubs that smell like urine also have a certain charm...speaking of which, where is my father? - Jake
"So dad, if you’re trying to get on my nerves, it’s working." - Jake
"And Steele came up behind him and pillowcased his head, Gitmo-style." - Des
"He's special...the hero."
"I mean he's special. Mentally retarded."
- Garrison and Jake, for the win. He might have been annoying, but that was expertly delivered.
I think there are only two episodes left in this season. Wow, that went quick. It's been a pretty good start to the show, really. A few hiccups, but it's a rare show that doesn't go through a lot of ups and down its first season. It'll be interested to see what changes they make for the second season.
1. Last chance avenue - Ron Hynes*
2. Gimmie some truth - Jakob Dylan
3. White city - The Pogues
4. Falling down (live) - Tom Waits
5. Monkey gone to heaven - The Pixies