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Episode Recap: Republic of Doyle – “Brothers in Arms” (S5E10)

December 13, 2013

Well, that was mostly fun. Also, the “It” thing on TV right now is violence against old men. And unnecessary mid-season cliffhangers, apparently.

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Things get off to an interesting start with tight dress wearing femme fatal Sidney car-jacking Jake’s ride while being pursued by World’s Worst Federal Agent, Jimmy along with likeable straight-man, Wolf. By the way, do people in Newfoundland use the phrase Federal Agent or is that just for the benefit of the as yet non-existent US audience?

Sidney crashes a fundraiser with Jake in tow (later revealed to be a ploy at getting access to retinal scan data) and the episode baddie, Emerson, makes his entrance. Turns out there’s this Robin Hood-esque hacker out there looking to gain access to a government list and Emerson’s also after it. There’s some sexual tension between Jake and Sidney and Jimmy gets stabbed in the bare ass with an epipen.

While Jimmy does get some great laughs (the best: his improvised threat to shoot Jake’s dad) his total lack of competence strains the show’s mostly realistic vibe. He ends up pulling a Short Round, getting himself and Jake locked in a high-security closet together (I can see where the fan fiction forums are going to take this). It turns out to be an opportunity to have some fun with the dynamics between the two characters while revealing a bit more about Jake’s romantic life. The character beats in this episode are the best I’ve seen, blending seamlessly with the narrative, never bogging it down.

Sidney, whose been under the incompetent watch of Des reveals herself to be the master hacker and summons bad guy Emerson, who takes her and Des at gunpoint to break into a government mainframe. Both Sidney and Emerson, a rogue…Federal Agent are after some encrypted file because Skyfall. That’s the McGuffin: a database of…*sigh* Federal Agent identities that Emerson threatens to reveal, compromising national security operations. There’s even some of Dark Knight‘s Joker thrown in when Emerson sticks a grenade in Des’ mouth, but the guy playing the role doesn’t have a tenth of the menace of a Javier Bardem or Heath Ledger and nothing he does ever really comes across as threatening.

Turns out the whole data theft was just a setup to draw out Jimmy in order to settle some revenge score. Jake shows up in the nick of time – unarmed – and avoids sneaking up and bashing Emerson over the head, preferring to patter about, as is his way. Wolf shows up, bad guy gets caught, Sidney is lead away in cuff but not before kissing Jake while Sergeant Bennett looks on. Awwwk-ward.

And then Pappy Doyle gets shot. Spoiler Warning. I guess it’s now obligatory that shows heading into Christmas break need a mid-season cliffhanger. Of course this only works when events or character development leads up to said cliffhanger, so arbitrarily shooting a character for the sake of raising the stakes does nothing for me. And no, don’t try to pass off that brief scene of Mal meeting the guy in the bar as some critical plot point. I actually knew something was up the minute we cut to the office and there was a disturbance in the show’s lighting. What’s that? I though, a blue hue on Mal’s face? Dangers’ afoot! The episode was enjoyable enough on its own without having to tack on violence against old people. That’s sooo last week’s Walking Dead.

What Worked:

  • Well paced, great blend of comedy and action
  • Character threads interwoven into the narrative

What Didn’t Work:

  • Villain lacking in menace
  • Obligatory mid-season cliffhanger

OVERALL GRADE: B+

2 comments

  1. Scott Grimes is on this show?! I’m in.


  2. […] Episode Recap: Republic of Doyle – “Brothers in Arms” Well, that was mostly fun. Also, the “It” thing on TV right now is violence against old men. And unnecessary mid-season cliffhangers, apparently. Continue reading. […]



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