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Episode Recap: Republic of Doyle – “Young Guns” (S5E08)

November 28, 2013

Hostage Taking Week at CBC concludes with a Doyle episode that gets off to a good start but blows it with a nonsensical reveal

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***SPOILER WARNINGS***

It’s Hostage Taking Week at CBC! At least I think it is, judging by the similarly themed episodes of Crossing Lines and Republic of Doyle. Maybe it’s all part of some greater CBC meta-narrative, setting up a shared universe that runs through all of the Ceeb’s programing with this week’s Doyle/Murdoch Mysteries cross-over just a tease of what’s to come? Next month: Arctic Air discovers Captain Canuck frozen in ice after sixty years!

Never having before seen an episode of Doyle, it was nice to jump in and not be bogged down by continuity or character arcs. Leading man and PI Jake Doyle (with father in tow) is helping his new flame/university security administrator set up the campus security system when two masked gunmen (one of them is a woman, so gunpersons?) burst in, taking the staff hostage while they prep for their heist. Meanwhile, back home Doyle’s protege and sister-banger, Des* is house hunting and some teenager that doesn’t have a bio on the series’ CBC page acts aloof.

Jake, father and girlfriend find themselves separated from the rest of the hostages and start to engineer a rescue operation. Jake ends up getting caught and locked up while father and girlfriend are able to make a call outside to Sergeant Bennett, who is coordinating police operations and doing what I think is supposed to be a master class in how not to negotiate with hostage takers.

Jake hatches a plan, awkwardly mumbling and stammering to the other hostages…I don’t know if this is a reoccurring character trait, but this tick seems at odds with Allan Hawco’s good looks, natural charm and competencies as a PI. While it’s preferable to the bland cipher of other television leads (*cough* Murdoch Mysteries *cough*) if you’re going to do the whole awkward-in-social-situations thing, either go full Gervais or find another quirky character trait**.

Jake et al are able to subdue the male hostage taker (don’t know who this actor is, but it’s a shame he’s just used as a one-off character cause he’s pretty good on screen) while everyone figures out that the robbers are after more than just cash. Using the hostage taker’s masked disguise, Jake is able to free the hostages while Jake’s girlfriend gets herself captured in the most nakedly contrived way of raising the stakes possible, culminating in Jake, girlfriend and remaining badwoman, Amy driving to the airport. Jake’s cover gets blown and he expertly shifts the car into reverse, allowing himself and girlfriend to escape while Amy commandeers what I’m gonna say is a Honda Civic(?) and continues to the airport.

Back on campus, Jake’s dad and the Sergeant find out that the villains’ scheme involved getting access to the building’s 3D scanner to…produce a plastic gun that could then be sold to an arms dealer at the airport?

Q’est que le fuck??? This makes NO sense. Absolutely. None.

Why would anyone in their right mind go to such lengths just to use a 3D printer? I’m pretty sure they establish that Amy is a PhD student who developed schematics as part of her research, meaning that she should already have access to the device. Even if she didn’t, a high end scanner is maybe, say, $10-$20 K…couldn’t she have gotten an advance from the arms dealer to make the prototype? Not to mention that in the real world, plastic guns have already been produced, what’s so special about Amy’s design? Even if Amy is somehow the Tony Stark of plastic guns, why didn’t she just email the buyer the schematics and save everyone the hassle? What value is a single gun for an arms dealer??? What a disappointing reveal for what was up to that point, an enjoyable hour of a competently shot action-adventure brought to life by a cast of likeable characters.

Jake shows up at the airport using his patented playing-by-his-own-rules/lone wolf strategy to route out the arms dealer, subdue Amy and save the day. There’s some lingering sexual tension between him and Sergeant Bennett, the house hunting B-plot that everyone forgot and no one cared about gets wrapped up and the teenager returns to give Jake a Darth Vader moment.

On full display throughout is the CBC’s irritating house style of set lighting. It’s a single camera dramatic series, but it looks like a live-recorded sitcom with uniform lighting through each scene/location and no contrast between key and fill lights. Everything is awash in the same brightness robbing the show of any visual texture, making it all feel stagey, very…CBC.

It’s still better than Agents of SHIELD.

What worked:

  • Well paced, kept me engaged
  • Likeable characters, continuity/character beats don’t overstay their welcome
  • Genuinely interested to see where the story was going…

What Didn’t Work:

  • …Up until the reveal of the nonsensical McGuffin
  • CBC’s disappointing “house style” on full display

OVERALL GRADE: B-

Some parting thoughts:

  • Didn’t it seem odd that Amy didn’t question why her partner suddenly turned mute and stopped taking his mask off? She is supposedly a highly intelligent engineer and yet can’t put two and two together when her partner goes Helen Keller?
  • The “custodian costume” that Amy orders looks suspiciously like navy blue scrubs…Why did she have to order a “custodian costume”? Who makes a custodian costume and why couldn’t the writers have thought of some other device to help Jake locate Amy? It’s a moot point though since she surprises him so why was it even in there? We already knew she was headed to the airport.

*It’s Jake’s sister that Des is banging, not his own.

**Stay away from chronic masturbation though

One comment

  1. […] Episode Recap: Republic of Doyle – “Young Guns” It’s Hostage Taking Week at CBC! At least I think it is, judging by the similarly themed episodes of Crossing Lines and Republic of Doyle. Maybe it’s all part of some greater CBC meta-narrative, setting up a shared universe that runs through all of the Ceeb’s programing with this week’s Doyle/Murdoch Mysteries cross-over just a tease of what’s to come? Next month: Arctic Air discovers Captain Canuck frozen in ice after sixty years! Continue reading. […]



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