Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Republic of Doyle, Season 3, episode 3

Well, we all knew going three for three was a bit of a longshot, didn't we?

It wasn't so much a bad episode...there were some good moments. However, it did have several strikes against it, which drops it solidly into the deeply mediocre category.

1. Oh look, the douchebag brother is back.
2. Oh look, the crazy ex-wife who I begged producers to get rid of after season 1 is back.
3. The reason for Tinny still being in town, assuming she's not lying again, is really stupid and awful.
4. The characters have to act beyond stupid to get to some of the funny bits.
5. Way too much going on in this episode. There was, what, four storylines going on at once. Yes, it leant a certain slapstick air to thing, but you could have dropped a storyline or two out of there and things would have worked just fine.

So basically, some clever bits, put together with a mishmash plot featuring the return of some unwanted characters. Not Doyle's finest hour.

I confess to missing the first few minutes due to being on the phone. However, the action pics up quickly after the intro, in which Jakes wakes up deeply hungover and surrounded by pink flamingoes. This leads him to show up at an antique store where he quickly sticks his nose in someone else's business because there is an attractive woman involved. Soon enough, we're off the races (and Jake is off through a plate glass window), trying to find a gold cigarette case and why everyone seems to want it. Including, of course, another murder. I would mock this, but they needed to murder someone this episode to make up for the lack of exploding cars.

In subplot #1, we have Rose being increasingly suspicious as to what Tinny was up to during her time over in Europe.

In subplot #2, we have Jake's ex contacting him to see what suspicious behaviour her new husband, the divorce lawyer, is involved in.

And in subplot #3, which ties into 1 and 2, we have Des being, well, Des. This include the hot med student unfathomably finding him interesting and Tinny being jealous.

Remember a few weeks ago when I said the writers weren't doing Tinny an favours during the first two seasons of the show? They really put the screws to her this episode. Aside from acting like a manipulative bitch most of the episode to both Des and Mal, we then get a piece of crap writing at the end explaining why she didn't leave for London at the end of last season and why she hid from everyone after they came back.

Seriously, it's so bad I almost hope she's lying again, so that the real reason is more interesting than the one given.

So yes, there's lots going on. Christian shows up and continues to be an annoying and uninteresting douchebag. Lesley is still deeply pissed off.

Don't get me wrong, I laughed at parts. And the whole scene involving the dead body, and trying to transport it to the police is funny in a marvelously slapstick kind of way. However, it all hangs on the massive contrivance that Jake, and especially Mal, would be so incredibly stupid as to move a body from a crime scene so that they could transport it to the police station. I mean, that's breath-taking when you think about it. You can only hope the writer is nodding and winking with this scene - "yeah, I know. But just go with it because it's fun" - because the alternative is that he thinks you're as dumb as a pile of rocks.

Even Jake trying to explain things to Lesley after the commercial break feels more like the writers trying to explain to the audience the staggeringly stupid thing they just finished watching. "Hey! It's just Jake being Jake!" Except Mal would have never done that, so it's just awful writing.

By the way, while I still find pissed off Lesley amusing and believable (Jake royally fucked up her life. The only unrealistic thing is that she's still talking to him at all), she really is the world's worst police detective. "She's no Brenda Lee, that's for sure" as Cathy said watching the show, referring to "The Closer".

Then the last two minutes veer into the deep end, with the ex looking like she's sticking around for awhile longer. And then the depressing news that Garrison Steele is returning next week. A character so unlikeable that I'm not sure I can bring myself to watch next week's episode unless someone promises me he's dies horrifically during the show.

sigh Let's just call this mediocre. I have to save some true loathing for next week. And I did laugh at chunks of the show. But clearly a step back from a pretty good start.

Quotes of the Week:

"He's fine, his head absorbed most of the fall." - Mal

"I'm Jake, and this is a senior citizen that I have in my care." - Jake

"I'm trying to prove a point here."
"That you're a dicksmack?" - Mal and Jake. The show's writers are really in love with the word "dicksmack" aren't they?

"I still can't find a Hall & Oates autograph. They're only the best selling duo of all time." - Dez. Ok, I laughed at that because I have a weakness for Hall & Oates.

"Jake, don't be so sookie. It only makes you look worse than you are." - Mal

"Jake, did you do this!?"
"Yes, b'ye. I'm always at that." - Lesley to Jake, after a body goes missing from the morgue. Try not to think too hard how two staggeringly inept criminals managed that feat. Or that they managed to drag it back to the bakery without anyone noticing. Or that no one seems to actually work at the bakery. Don't think of those things at all. The writers thank you.

"If you had anything to do with that, I'll hang you from Cabot Tower." Lesley, still having some anger management issues.

Last Five
1. Crying - TV on the Radio
2. Nobody does it better - Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies*
3. Complicated shadow - Elvis Costello
4. Merchants - Idlers
5. Sleep - The Dandy Warhols


Harry Statesider said...

I'm with you. Last night was pretty stupid even by ROD standards. It's getting tougher for me to look past some of the plot issues this show seems to have every week. Such as, how was Jake able to beat the two robbers to the vault after having spent all that time in police custody? And why wouldn't they have just robbed the gold dealer at the time they killed him instead of cutting off his hand in hopes of going back later? Seems like I must have missed something.

There's also issues with the Tinny situation as well. Certainly most guardians prepared to hand a check for ten grand to their teenage child for tuition would make sure that child is enrolled in school. Supposing they didn't, you'd think they'd know in six months if that check never got cashed. I'm also tired of them walking the line between sweet and sociopath with Tinny. It started out with the marijuana thing last year, and the light they made of something as serious as illegal drug trafficking. If she's going to be a scumbag, why not go all the way with it?

Seems like the writing room at ROD is either flat lazy or has just run out of ideas after two seasons. Jake and the ex hooking up AGAIN? Bringing back the author guy AGAIN? Rose's ex coming back AGAIN? I agree, not sure how much more of this I can stomach. We'll just have to hope for the best.

towniebastard said...

And never mind why they didn't just cut the hand off at the morgue rather than stealing the entire body (Canadian Tire sells some very good saws). Or how they managed to walk into an active crime scene with a dead body, in broad daylight.

Yeah, the writing, and the episode, looks worse and worse the more you think about it.

And good point about the check. I think I would have noticed if a $10,000 check wasn't cashed.

This felt very much like a left over from the first season, when they were still trying to figure out what they were doing.

RoblRobl said...

I DID catch the first few minutes of the show which made the action scene toward the end confusing, unless I missed something while flipping back and forth to the Habs game. In the beginning, didn't Jake and Mal just finish loading the body into the trunk when the cops showed up? Wasn't the GTO in the background as the cops got out, guns drawn? In the repeat of the the scene later on, the GTO was last seen squawking down the road, followed by the arrival of the cops minutes later.

Now as far as the cheque not being cashed, I'm pretty sure I saw it was issued by Tinny to Mal to pay him back, not the other way around. If true it makes sense, maybe someone in town with unlimited highspeed could watch the episode online and look for a signature. Out here in the boondocks of Ontario we either have expensive dial-up or pay for every bit of data we exchange. I'll be waiting for a rerun!

Adam Snider said...

Seriously, it's so bad I almost hope she's lying again, so that the real reason is more interesting than the one given.


Also, Des is actually not a bad character when Tinny is out of the picture. Having her back makes two crappy characters.

In the beginning, didn't Jake and Mal just finish loading the body into the trunk when the cops showed up? Wasn't the GTO in the background as the cops got out, guns drawn?

Actually, no, the GTO was missing in both scenes (they used the same footage). It was jarring in the beginning, because I noticed that it was missing and it didn't make sense until we came back to that scene toward the end.

Overall...I did enjoy the episode because it was fun, but my god was it ever stupid. I'm trying not to think too hard about it.

The Mommy said...

The cheque was to Mal, from Christine Doyle. Which I assume is Tinny's real name.

You have to think of it a la duke of hazard or Rockford files. The impossible plots are supposed to make it fun.

And no way can you expect it to be as tight as the closer. That's asking for caviar on a bacon bits budget.