Thanks to the Superbowl, Once Upon a Time and Republic of Doyle were either repeats or missing in action. The CBC re-aired the season premiere of Republic of Doyle, likely assuming that their viewership would be down because of the game.
Luckily, Monday was back to business as usual – and did not disappoint.
Season 6, Episode 5 (Murdoch Au Naturel)
Strange to think that a century ago, the idea that exercise for health purposes was seen as something in the realm of the radical, associated with the counterculture and crazies. Now, there is a commercial at least once per break (or about four times per episode) reminding us to get outside and be active and to get our kids into healthy recreation outdoors. Every commercial relating to food trumpets how healthy it is, whether or not it has many calories, what vitamins and minerals it has, and whether it can replace something else in your diet and food budget. Plus, there are commercials for pain relief and such that are obviously pushing the message to get out of bed/off the couch. Ironically, were there fewer commercials, we could spend more time off the couch!
Some young boys discover a decomposing corpse that has been dismembered by wild animals. The corpse is found to by lying on land purchased by a commune wherein the inhabitants wear no clothes, practice vegetarianism, and participate in recreational exercise outdoors. This being 1900, the commune is highly frowned upon, but more than the nudity are the social implications that without clothes, humanity can achieve social and gender equality. In the present, this would still seem like a radical idea, but it would be less of a challenge to the order of society. The censor warnings for the episode are done in character, which is quite amusing to watch. Poor prudish Murdoch tries to investigate the murder and question the commune inhabitants without coming across as overly judgemental. Crabtree ends up infiltrating the commune, while Dr. Ogden decides to try out the lifestyle for herself for a change.
Speaking of Dr. Ogden, she needs to prove that she has had an affair so that her husband can divorce her. No matter what ills no-fault divorce has brought into society, it has definitely improved the divorces and subsequent lives of those who wish to end their marriages for whatever reason they want. Many in the past were forced to fake an affair even if one did not exist, and no matter what happened, someone had to take the blame for it. Sometimes it was the injured party that did so – the abused spouse who pretended to have an affair so that they could have a divorce from their abusive or actually adulterous spouse. Whoever pretended to have the affair also lost their reputation and (particularly in the case of women) lost their income, property, and children. They would be lucky if the person that they were pretending to have an affair with actually did want to marry them. Divorce was a terrible risk. In this episode, Dr. Ogden tries to take the blame herself and keep Murdoch’s reputation intact, but he is not comfortable with this. He really does love her and want to marry her. No matter what, their reputations will be ruined. He is willing to go down with her. We will see where this leads.
Season 5, Episode 13 (Recoil)
Revenge – a dish apparently best served cold, although the hot version makes for better entertainment.
It is a difficult predicament that Det. Beckett finds herself in: the current murder case leads directly to Senator Bracken, who was responsible for the deaths of Beckett’s mother, several of her loved ones, and nearly herself. Unfortunately, it appears that Bracken is the victim of an assassination attempt, and the NYPD is charged with protecting him. Beckett ends up leading the task force.
Everyone sees the irony in this. Beckett (and Esposito – and likely Castle and Ryan too) would rather be the ones to shoot the senator, not protect him. While she wants to solve the murder and do her duty, Beckett is certainly in no mood to catch the killer and see him imprisoned.
Certainly, everyone has someone that they dislike, some have those that they hate, for some reason or another. But if we are bound by duty to protect that person, do their past wrongs against us matter? Even if we are not duty-bound, do we tell someone that their shirt is on backwards, or that their skirt is stuck in their pantyhose? While not at the level of life or death, it is still something that we hold over them. In a small way, it gives us power.
This episode sees Senator Bracken lose some of his power to Beckett in a much bigger way than he did in the season premiere. Now he is the one bound to her, and of course he tries to deny it. He still tries to intimidate her. Even Castle is surprised at how the case turns out. If only more police officers were concerned with keeping the moral high ground!