See, it is entirely possible to do a solid, entertaining hour of Doyle without going completely off the rails. I think the difference is that this wasn't a silly episode. It had amusing moments and a few laughs, but the writers didn't chase them so desperately that the ran the plot clear off the rails, which they tend to do.
See, playing it straight can be your friend as well.
As is typical of Doyle, especially this season, we have several plots going on. The main plot involves Des father getting paroled from jail, and then promptly getting kidnapped. So the Doyles have to spring into action and figure out what's going on, if he's actually been kidnapped, and try to prevent Des from acting more of a spaz as always.
In plot #2, A retired RNC officer with a connection to Mal's past has been found murdered. Mal is acting vague in a way that fools absolutely no one (I assume they only thing he's worse at, other than being a father, is playing poker). Lesley knows he's hiding something, which is making her...crankier than normal.
Plot #3, we have Kathleen dealing with a sinister man from her past, along with a blue book and some money she possibly stole. Unsurprisingly, this is the least interesting of the plots. Fortunately it's also the one that gets the least amount of screen time.
The Des father plot actually holds up pretty ok. I like that they show his father his basically just an older version of Des - a geeky guy, who is a bit of a savant when it comes to electronics, a clutz and easily distracted. The difference is that he didn't have the Doyles to rescue him, like they did with Des. And lots of nice moments with each of the cast reacting to Des and his situation. Rose and Mal saying he's a good guy, Jake's mildly stunned reaction in realizing how much Des worships him and a lovely little scene with Rose and Tinny, where Rose essentially smacks down all of Tinny's bluster about how she feels about him.
Tinny, for all my bitching and moaning, can be an interesting character if they can ever figure out what to do with her. This episode she mostly worked.
Plus, there were few plot holes. Yes, it was mind blowingly stupid for the crook to take Des back to the spot where he held his dad, but I'll forgive that.
And, you know, for all the times that Jake gets hit in either the balls or the head, it's pretty well assured that he's sterile and probably should be showing the post-concussion symptoms you would see in a veteran NHL enforcer. But I digress...
The Mal subplot has some intrigue, just because it's nice to go back into his past a bit before he became a PI. The show is nearly three years old now. You can reach back into some of their pasts for story ideas. Rose's...checkered...history is a nice example. I hope they play it a bit straight, however. Lesley knows he's full of shit, so it would be nice to see if the rest of the Doyles quickly figure that out as well and Rose in particular, should be chewing his ass out. So a decent set-up for a story to come.
As for #3, Kathleen's whole point in the show seems to be more annoying than Tinny, thereby making her more sympathetic. If ever there was a time for a tragic death in the family, I'm leaning that way with the character. I imagine it's being all set-up for the season finale.
So yes, a good show. Solid, nice juggling of multiple plots, no boneheaded silliness...I could stand to see more of this.
1. Scott Pilgrim - Plumtree
2. This is our perfect crime - The Von Bondies
3. Cold hands - Brendan Benson
4. Stop the clocks - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
5. Cigarette - Ben Folds Five