Monday, June 23, 2014

The Best 5 'Due South' episodes

Bravo ran out of Flashpoint episodes to re-run, it would seem, because they are re-running Due South.  

So when you're eating dinner and channel surfing and you're like: Where's Flashpoint?You can have Due South instead.

Rachel's Top Five Due South Episodes (note: there were four seasons of Due South; but we only care about the first two )

1.) North  So Benny was shot by Ray (accidentally ) while in pursuit of femme fatale Victoria Metcalf (Haggis and company use a lot of popular tropes) and to make it up to him, Ray escorts Benny to the Canadian wilderness to help re-build his father's exploded cabin.  Instead, their little plane is hi-jacked, Benny is blinded and paralyzed and Ray and Diefenbaker ( the wolf ) have to figure out how to get them out of the wilderness....with Benny still intent on being a good mountie and finding his man.  I mean, obviously, the chemistry between Gross and Marciano is pitch-perfect --- but here it is even more so: especially when it comes to Gross' comic performance as a man a little loopy from a head injury. Probably the best sophomore season starter ever

2.)  Manhunt I love this one. This is just great writing and great Canadian stereotyping and great comedy. This is Leslie Nielsen's first appearance as Sergeant Buck Frobisher, RCMP  and together he and Benny and Ray have to hunt down an old criminal. The moments where Benny and Buck attempt to saddle up outside the Canadian consulate and Buck falls off the horse so they have to take a cab? That's just genius.  Paul Haggis wrote this (obviously).

3.) The Man Who Knew Too Little As a grown-up and a writer I appreciate things that the show did very well.  It inserted cultural stereotypes from both sides of the border, and nodded to each country's history; but it also excelled at characterization.   Big time.  There are so many canonical preferences made that add to this kind of multi-dimensional mythos.  I mean the premise itself is so far fetched; but the characters leap off the page (erm...screen). The show is at its best when it plays on the tenets iconic to the leads.  In this episode, Ray's first love, his 1971 Buick Riviera plays a huge role.   It becomes a kind of pseudo-character. Odd, because it's a car. Benny is commissioned to take prisoner ( and pathological liar) Ian MacDonald across the border to Windsor while Ray wants to high-tail it to a detective's convention in Florida. Unfortunately, Benny needs transportation.  So together, with Diefenbaker, they take Ian on the most monumental cross-border trip ever.... pursued by the Canadian mob and enlisting the help of the most Canuckiest Canucks in the history of Canuckdom.  It's smart and fast.

4.)Bird in the Hand  Benny has the responsibility of keeping his father's killer protected from gun smugglers; but emotions and thoughts for revenge run high. This is a particularly Toronto-y episode: the Waverly Hotel, the Distillery district; but also incorporates the elements that make the show work particularly well: lots of Benny and Ray banter ( in that we-love-each-other-to-death way) and lots of throw back to Benny's relationship with his superman mountie father.  It's also just funny. If it's on, you should watch it. I mean Dean McDermott is an amazing Constable Turnbull.

5.) The Deal  This is the first time that we meet Frankie Zuko: Ray's mafioso nemesis.  I honestly think I had no idea what the Mafia was until I saw this episode as a kid. Informative.  A thief steals money from a church poor box in Zuko's hood ( just your run-of-the-mill Corktown Toronto church in actuality) and Benny and Ray track him down using Benny's Sherlockian sense of deduction and the clue of a: "Bindlestitch!" "Benny, you have got to stop swearing in Eskimo."   I particularly like the Ray-centric episodes and the show does well at balancing the two of them.  When Ray confronts Zuko in the gym during a one-on-one basketball game and beats the crap outta him, I was like: go Ray.

1 comment:

Jennifer Major said...

AHHH!! I love this!!

What about the one where ALL the Mounties on the train/plane? are sinigng and then all pass out at once?