So, here we are at the end of the first season of Republic of Doyle. This is a belated review as I was in Florida last week and couldn't see the show. The CBC blocks people from outside of Canada from watching the show on their website. Which I could understand if there were US networks airing the show, but that isn't happening, so why not let people from outside Canada get a taste of the show? Typical short-sightedness.
Also, the CBC's media player does not play well with Firefox on Macs. I tried three times to watch the last episode when I got home and it always locked up about five minutes in. I finally switched to Safari, where it worked, albeit very slowly. Oh, and I think I missed a scene on the video player, because I didn't see the bit where Jake gave the bottle of pills to Sgt. Bennett.
Anyway, back to the finale, which is a much more somber affair than previous episodes. We get an ominous opening, with Mal being rushed through the hospital, with Tinny desperately trying to reach Jake. When Jake finally picked up the phone it's not Tinny, but his brother Christian, who is having a small problem, what with the amnesia and blood all over the place. Jake tracks him down and tells him to call a lawyer and surrender to the police. Christian, being a prat, instead grabs a bag and runs for the hills. Literally, since the house is on top of Signal Hill. And hey, look, snow. Apparently it went from summer to winter awfully quick. Then again, that kind of thing does happen in St. John's. That could be Labour Day weekend for all we know.
So the question is, did Christian murder someone or was he set up by the people he used to work with? Alas, we'll have a long wait on our hands to get that mystery solved. Unlike previous episodes, that's left up in the air. I assume it'll get solved at some point, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if it's not the first episode next season. If Christian being on the run and who murdered the woman he knew from rehab is a subplot for a bit. It's a good plot and I'm glad they didn't try to solve it this episode. There was a lot going on and trying to solve it in the time they had wouldn't have worked, I think.
So yes, the Doyles are having a bad few days. And it's about to get worse because Des is now on the case. What with Mal having heart pains and Jake trying to find out if his brother murdered someone, they're a little too busy trying to figure out what's going on than dealing with clients. That means Des is in charge of trying to find a missing husband with a $1.2 million lottery ticket that his soon to be ex-wife would like a piece of. Of course, the husband is also looking for the ticket, what with him giving it to his best friend to cash in for him, but he's scampered off. Des doesn't have a clue, but fortunately (and I never thought I would have said that in the first few weeks of the show) Tinny shows up, takes charge and solves the case.
The Des/Tinny story is about the only comedic relief in the show. This is a bit of a dark season finale for most of the characters. Yes, there is the nice moment of Mal proposing to Rose, but what with him about to go in for heart surgery. But what with finding out just how far Christian has fallen (Why yes, confessing to your father just how big a scumbag you are while he's hospital for heart problems...you, my friend, are too smooth) and the tension with Sgt. Bennett's handling of the case, well, it wasn't the cheeriest episode of the season.
Still, it was a solid end to the season and certainly a large step up from the massive misfire involving the race horse in the previous episode. My favourite bit was actually the Sgt. Bennett storyline, watching her deal with a tricky murder investigation and with a partner who is a bit more of a scumbag than we were originally led to believe. Her breakdown towards the end of the show was some of Pellerin's best acting of the season. Jesus, but she's come a long was since the first episode. That's a nice little subplot worth cultivating, seeing how Bennett deals with the old boys club at the RNC who might be out to trip her up while claiming to have her best interests at heart. I hope they deal with that more next season.
So yeah, a bit of a downer note to end the season on, but not a bad show overall. And hey, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Nikki. Please let this be it for her. It's an obvious out, let her take it and be done. Don't have anything stupid like Jake rushing off to Toronto to be with her. She never fit as a character and the cast is big enough as it is. They've managed to salvage Tinny as a character, but I think Nikki was just a write off from day one.
Oh, and if I'm not mistaken, that's the first use of a Ron Hynes song in the show. I'd forgotten he'd written "No change in me", what with the Ennis Sisters having the more popular version of the song. Jesus, though, the man's a national treasure. I was wondering when they were going to use one of his songs. I figure they could do an entire episode just featuring his songs and it would work. But if you've got to sing out the season to a song, one of Ron's is a way to go.
I was going to do a recap for the season and what to do for next season, but this post is getting long as it is. That's one for tomorrow, I think. Instead, some of the best lines from the show.
"Heimlich!! Omigodohmigodomigod I killed him, don't tell Jake! Omigod!" - Des, master of keeping calm.
"Take a few more sips of your juice box, and try to focus on not having another heart attack." - Jake
"If there's anything this hospital can do it's heart disease." "Well I guess a diet of salt beef and cabbage is good for something." - Nikki and Jake
"This is all your fault. If you had shovelled the driveway just once like I asked you to this wouldn't have happened." "Oh, and the seven pork chops you shove into your gob every day had nothing to do with it." - Mal and Jake.
1. Train song - Feist and Ben Gibbard
2. In God's country (live) - U2
3. You don't know what love is - The White Stripes*
4. Streets of fire (live) - The New Pornographers
5. Crazy love, Vol II - Paul Simon