Guest Blog: Republic of Doyle

Kim Mosher can be found on Twitter and at her blog, kimberleymosher.com.

Kim’s a big fan of the Canadian show Republic of Doyle, and I suggested she blog about it since I celebrate every Canada Day by writing a post about how Steven and Chris is the only Canadian show I watch (and that’s rather infrequently). So here’s Kim!

-Jill

Republic of Doyle, S03E13 “Under Pressure”

I’ve been a Republic of Doyle fan since I heard about the show, mid-way through the first season. I like Canadian-based TV shows, and I think this is one of the best shows Canada’s produced in the last decade. And, a little Newfie charm never hurt anyone, right?

This season has brought back many previously loved characters we met in Seasons 1 and 2. I loved seeing Allan Doyle alongside Russell Crowe in the much talked about season opener and also getting to see how characters like Carl Maher and novelist Garrison Steele are making out. St. John’s is a small town, so it’s logical to think that the Doyle’s old clients/friends/foes will reappear with new troubles from time to time.

If you’ve been keeping up since the start of the third season, Jake has spent the season mending fences with ex-almost-girlfriend Leslie Bennett (they are destined to be together, it’s only a matter of time); Des has been taking on more of a prominent role in the investigations (love his character, he’s hilarious); and, Mal and Rose are managing the homefront as Mal’s daughter Kathleen has suddenly arrived home to the rock, and although the details haven’t been very clear, she seems to have constant men and money troubles. Not to mention she’s not much of a “mother” to her daughter Tinny.

In the last few episodes, Mal’s been working on the side to help an old cop trainee, Sonja, that’s back in town, while Jake takes care of their actual clients. Episode 12 left us with Mal at the scene of a murder committed by Sonja who fled the scene, letting us know that episode 13 would challenge Mal’s innocence. This episode was fast-paced and felt more grittier than some of the other lighter storylines. Even though we’ve watched the Doyle’s flirt with the law many times before, this episode took it closer to the extreme.

Mal’s run from the law while simultaneously trying to solve what’s going on with Sonja so he can clear his name takes the gang to a meet-up that ends up going awry – car chases, gun shots, and a run from the law – resulting in Mal, Des and Jake stealing an armoured car with two guards stuffed in the trunk along with the loot. The loot ends up being gold bars, and while Jake and Mal are figuring out the motive for Sonja to get involved in stealing gold, Des tends to his guard captives, which in true Des fashion ended up looking more like a strange afternoon tea party than a holding of people against their will.

Jake and Mal head off to meet with Sonja, hoping to get her to turn herself in, but in the process they lose sight of Sonja when the cops arrive to nab Jake – they’ve got a warrant for arrest because he was caught on tape in the earlier car steal/chase. Jake gets away with Mal and Rose, but just barely. Meanwhile, one of Des’s guards gets loose and makes a getaway with Jake’s GTO – uh oh.

Viewers know that the GTO is Jake’s pride and joy, so things take a turn as Jake and Des chase down the missing guard and GTO (and the gold too, as Des stashed it in the trunk!). Jake is (hilariously) devastated to find that the car was victim of a run in with a telephone pole. What’s worse, is the car gets towed, so Jake and Des have to steal it back from the impound lot.
Mal and Rose are determined to turn Sonja in so they track her down for a chat. She reveals that she’s got major debts to pay and she’s getting off the island with the gold or else she’ll detonate a bomb that’s planted somewhere in the Doyle’s “world”. Rose’s quick and concealed text to Jake lets them him know what’s up, so they can play cool with Sonja while everyone else scrambles to find the bomb.

The bomb was revealed to be in the Doyle’s office above the Duke, and Jake and Des tackle the disarming. I liked that Jake had tender moments both with Mal prior to the car bomb going off in the cold open, and with Des when they were disarming the bomb in the office. Jake’s character really has grown over three seasons from a daredevil playboy to a more compassionate brother, uncle and son, and I like it.

As things come to a head Jake rushes to meet Mal and Rose, confronting Sonja about the failed bomb attempt. Just as you think things are solved, bam! Jake’s GTO goes up in flames – Sonja had a second bomb planted! Explosions are a popular choice for ROD, so viewers probably weren’t surprised at opening explosion. But, seeing Jakes GTO go up in flames was a shock for me, and a great way to say goodbye to the much loved car. Jake’s visible distress provided a bit of light humour in a tough situation, too.

Jake had a good idea to clear things up with the gold and the guards. The guards are drugged, and sent back to their armoured car along with the gold, with a note that says “We won’t tell if you don’t”. So, when Mal, Rose, and Jake are found at the scene of Jake’s flaming GTO and taken in by the cops, Jake’s charges on the earlier warrant have been dropped. Mal and Rose however, are being booked for murder and accomplice charges.

The episode comes to a dramatic close when Jake figures out Sonja’s travel plans to leave the island, and he confronts her. Sonja’s holding Jake at gunpoint, and Jake tries to get her confession taped on a concealed wire so he can get Mal and Rose’s name cleared. Sonja wasn’t happy to find the wire, and with Des’s help, they disarm Sonja, but not before a shot rings out, landing squarely on Des’s chest. The show closes with a shot of Des struggling with the bullet wound and the cops awaiting an ambulance.

Season 4 is still unconfirmed with the CBC. The show averages an audience of 1.2 million viewers, but with the recent cuts to the budget, primetime programming is at risk. I really hope that ROD is funded for Season 4 – there are so many unanswered questions! Did Sonja get away? What about Rose and Mal? Who is the mysterious father figure that Tinny sees in the photo? Does Christian ever get caught for stealing a bar of gold to pay off Kathleen’s debt to George?

While we wait for the news on the fate of the Republic, catch up with the first two seasons on Netflix.

Favourite moments:

  • The gag with the delay on the car bomb in the cold open
  • Mal’s surprise at Des’s ingenuity when he opens the trunk: Mal, “Why are they still knocked out?” Des, “Oh I gave them a light sedative”
  • Des’s treatment of the guards – pillowcases on their heads, and headphones with specific soundtracks on their ears!
  • Jake: “Des, you’ve gotta look after the guards.” Des, “Totally! It’s feeding time now anyways”.
  • Jake’s reaction to both the GTO crash and then the GTO on fire. Poor guy.
  • Des’s reaction to the news of the GTO on fire: “I can’t believe it. Should I call the auto club or a funeral home or something?”
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About Jill

Pop culture junkie and TV aficionado. I write sharp and snarky TV recaps at www.couchtimewithjill.com
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  1. Pingback: Five things for the week of April 23. « @kmosher

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