The key word for this week's Republic of Doyle would probably be "in-joke". Granted, ROD has always had its share of jokes that if you're not from Newfoundland would go straight over your head. But seeing Jody Richardson in this episode with one of the poker players telling him to "shut up, you red albino", probably got a laugh from a percentage of Newfoundlanders who remember the band The Thomas Trio and the Red Albino. At one point, they were going to be the next big thing out of Newfoundland until they imploded.
And yes, there is an actual Ziggy Peelgood chip truck in St. John's, who just got a ton of free advertising...assuming they don't have people breaking into their truck looking for drugs all the time now.
So this week's episode we have three stories going on. The first is the quest for the stolen Ziggy Peelgood truck and what, exactly, are Ziggy and Syd up to. Then we have Rose and Mal trying to deal with the increasingly creepy Martin. And then we have Nikki trying to give Jake back the wedding ring, which originally belonged to his mother.
Here's the shocker for you. Both Tinny and Nikki were good in this episode. Nikki was not too crazy. She wanted Jake to have his mother's wedding ring back. Jake wants nothing to do with it, saying it's cursed. However, Nikki feels bad keeping it. That's all actually kind of reasonable. Granted, she appears to be the only doctor working in St. John's, since any time there is a medical problem she's the one doing the treating. So maybe that would explain why she's been so crazy and cranky these last few months. Or perhaps she's upset about the premier yelling at her.
And Tinny, God help me for saying this, but Tinny actually has the two best lines of the evening. And yes, they are finally using her to good effect. Both for the creepy scene at the start with Martin (another in-joke, by the way, was the "Ode to Newfoundland" playing on the TV with the giant 'N' logo - that would be for NTV) and for using her when dealing with kids. She would have worked fine going along with Jake and Des. Except, of course, this episode was all about Des trying to become a detective and Jake showing him some respect. Did anybody not seriously believe we would see that bullet proof vest in action at some point?
I'm not sure we're all the way there yet, but it was still fun watching Des and Jake work off of each other. There wasn't as much Jake and Mal on-screen time in this episode, but that's all right. Jake works better when he has someone to play off of and Des was a surprisingly good match this time.
Meanwhile, over on the Martin-Rose-Mal front, Martin ups the creepy, although really, I think in the annals of scaring the shit out of people waking up in bed, the Godfather with its horse's head wins over Martin leaving a cooked duck. Still, he proved to be very effective at baiting Mal and being one step ahead of him.
And while I am glad it was ultimately Rose who solved her own problem with Martin, it did feel a touch anti-climatic. All that set up and Martin did cave kind of quickly. Although Rose did have him by the short and curlies.
Another thing I liked about the episode was seeing some of the other characters interact with each other. Rose and Nikki going out for a drink. Mal and the constable, well, Sergeant now, having a few discussions. It's nice to see the characters being around each other without Jake being the centre of attention. It shows the writers are getting more comfortable with the cast. It's a good thing to see.
Although, honestly, I never thought I would see a TV show dealing with St. John's rap scene. Fortunately, it was played for laughs. Having seen a gangsta rap act at the Rock House in St. John's a year or so ago, it should be if that's the quality of the acts.
So yeah, considering this was an episode dealing with gangsta rappers and a chip wagon, not too bad at all. A slight anti-climax on the Martin Poole storyline, but just Nikki and Tinny being not so aggravating I want to hurl things at the TV gives this one a huge bump.
And now, the ever popular, best lines of the night:
“You’re acting like the first time I dropped you off at school. Don’t cry this time.” - Mal
"Where’s this going? Two men, alone, in a chip truck in an isolated area..." - Des
"Give it to that guy who buys gold on TV." - Jake on Nikki trying to give him back his mother's wedding ring.
"Bunch of skeets from the Gut tryin’ to be gangsta." - Tinny, who has the second best line of the night.
"I'm Wiggs Dinner." - Wiggs Dinner. God help us all, but that's going to catch on.
"Plenty of perfectly good wives waiting for you back in the Pen." - Mal
"I bet you'd be scared of the bay girls locked up in juvie. Bet they got a healthy appetite for some Wiggs Dinner." - Tinny, for the win.
"Okay its official, I'm aroused." "Really? I don't see anything." - Martin and Rose
"Whaddaya at?" "Nuttin" - Ziggy and Syd, in the middle of a drug/hostage exchange.
"How was jail, fadder?" "Dandy. They’re thinking about naming a wing after you." - Jake and Mal.
"Who hired ya, the chip truck's jealous wife?" - The Sergeant, which, you know, just doesn't have the same ring as The Constable.
So yeah, we're rolling along. And next week we have Victor Garbor, so that could be fun. And certainly, I would think, one of the biggest guest stars they've had on the show so far.
All from "Under Great White Northern Lights" by The White Stripes.