Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Review: Republic of Doyle, Ep.7

So I'm trying out a new thing....Republic of Doyle fans should be called "Doylies". What do you think? And hey, as one person pointed out to me on Twitter, it's still better than being called Republicans.

Before we get going, congrats on the show for getting picked up for a second season. That is good news. Although I haven't read anywhere how many episodes are in that second season. I think it'll probably be a dozen, but it would be nice to get that confirmed.

Oh, and one more housekeeping matter....look, I have no photos of Allan Hawco shirtless on this blog. So to all the people who keep coming here looking for that, well, sorry. But good luck in your search and all.

So when last we left Jake, just before the Olympics started, things were looking dire. He was going to jail facing murder and obstruction of justice charges, there were two female police officers very pissed off with him, one of whom he happened to be sleeping with.

So naturally, he's sprung before the first commercial break. You know, there are six episodes left in this season. I'm not saying all of them have to be the Trial of Jake Doyle or anything, but I do think one episode with Jake on the inside of Her Majesty's and trying to solve a case would have been entertaining. Watching how he would interact with people he might have helped put in jail, that would be fun. Hell, the two minute negotiation for control of Airport Heights was amusing.

Anyway, after getting out, Jake literally stumbles upon a case in a graveyard as a woman claiming to have amnesia. All of this after Malachy admonishes Jake to stay away from women. Ooops.

So this week's episode is essentially does our mystery client - Annabelle - have amnesia or is she playing at something? She seems to be doing all right for herself, as the clues slowly fall into place. Jake has his suspicions, but as been pretty evident from the start of the series, a pretty face can override his higher brain functions....or what it is he uses to do his thinking.

Meanwhile, Malachy tries to deal with the fact that Rose has a past, and a husband, and handles it about as well as you might think. Rose isn't doing too well with it either, because she's obvious still attracted to the ex, plus she accidentally nearly kills Tinny (oh well, better luck next time).

And, oh yes, there is Nikki being Nikki. Which is to say crazy and yet, deeply boring all at the same time. It was an effort in will not to hit the mute during her scenes.

So yeah, after episode six being so good, this one is about a 30% step down. Why? Well, you knock off 5 points for Tinny being back (she wasn't as annoying and she almost died, so that's good), 20 points for Nikki being there and being completely annoying and a waste of screen time. And then another five points for taking away one of the strong points of the show....the interaction between Jake and Malachy. You had a bit with them at the beginning and a bit at the end. They were very nice scenes, but that was it.

Also, I had two fundamental problems with the main story. The whole "is she amnesiac or playing a game" thing was handled mostly fine. But to get to that set-up there are just two things I don't buy. First, what was Annabelle's plan if there weren't a couple of private detectives who just so happened to stumble upon her at the graveyard at that exact minute?

And secondly, after so forcefully admonishing Jake and his behaviour around beautiful women, is Malachy really going to let Jake going running off with a beautiful amnesiac, especially when they both have their suspicions about what's going on? Even the whole mystery surrounding her felt kind of flat, and I suspect that's because it was just Jake and Annabelle most of the time. No real interaction with Malachy and the Constable is in the background most of the time, although she does get the line of the night.

Although the subplot with Rose is percolating nicely. I've got to say, Nicholas Campbell does make for a charming, yet threatening scumbag. He's no Gordan Pinsent, but there is certainly an air around him that's enjoyable.

And hey, Rose and Malachy almost have sex on screen. I wonder what the people who are griping there's too much sex on the show think of that?

And as for Nikki....honestly, do the producers look at this afterwards, in the editing suite and go "Yes, clearly this is a clever subplot and well worth the precious minutes of air time we have each week to continue with her character." Gah. Just because the show is coming back for a second season, doesn't mean she has to. This stuff is just awful guys. And yes, I'm going to keep ragging on this because hopefully someone will listen to me at some point.

Not as many great quotes as there were a few weeks ago, but we still have a few choice ones.
"How do you know all of this?" "From watching soaps with my nan." - Jake and Des

"Don't mind Des, he's nine-tenths retarded." - Jake

"Nuts? Are you trying to kill me?!" - Tinny (Yes! scream thousands in reply)

"And I'm sorry I almost killed you there." - Rose (making one person, I guess)

"So what brings you to St. John's?" "The cod tongues." - Malachy and Martin

"I got all mixed around in your pretty little streets here." - Jake

"What are you, Spider-Man now?" - Cst. Bennett

So yeah, a bit flat, a few too many plot holes. Not a bad episode, just not up to the lofty heights of episode six, which fired on all cylinders. This one missed gears a few too many times for it to be a truly fun one.

Last Five
1. Smoke baby - Hawksley Workman*
2. Aluminum - The White Stripes
3. The ocean - U2
4. Lovers in Japan - Coldplay
5. Allemande - Keane


Anonymous said...

I saw some episodes when I was in Shanghai (something about seeing Nfld from Asia had me hooked, no matter the plot holes!) and I'm hoping to access some shows from Korea soon!

Hope things are going well!

Winston Smith said...

Here's something odd to chew over: while the writers infused the Druken-inspired episode with humour and farce, they actually played the amnesia story straight. While the former was ripped out of newspaper headlines, the latter was ripped out of the most clichéd of soap opera clichés.

If this keeps up, it's only a matter of time before Nikki falls into a coma and Jake gets stranded on a deserted island, in a sort of Days of Our Lives meets Gilligan's Island remix.

But because I'm a fan, I liked the episode in spite of its flaws. I even found the Nikki-Jake thing almost stomachable, which is a sure sign that I'm losing my critical faculties.

Still, I found it hard to believe that in a town as small as Sin Jawns, Jake hadn't heard of Annabelle's super-duper rich husband. Perhaps it has something to do with the social gulf between the nouveau riche of King Billy Estates and the old money of Circular Road.

The upside of the episode: no CODCO cameos. The downside: Walter McLean was nowhere to be seen. If Cathy Jones is appearing next week, I hope at least to see Sean Panting back.

Anonymous said...

It's implausible that the amnesiac girl could hire the detectives before she knew she had any (access to) money.

That blew major holes in the whole plot.