Season 2, Episode 18 (Selfless, Brave, and True)
Well, we finally find out what has happened to Pinocchio! For being an episode centred on him, the writers did a good job of balancing out the other characters’ storylines so that the plot moved along nicely. The only familiar face that has been missing awhile now is Captain Hook. (Disappointing, as I want my eye-candy back, but I digress.) Since the season is close to ending, this episode had the thankless task of setting up the characters and plotlines to head to the finale. Obviously, this meant more questions than answers and introducing new characters instead of concentrating on our favourites. That is the nature of this type of show. After all, with the defeat of Cora comes the necessity of bringing in a new villain to fill the void.
As for the theme of the episode – that redemption is possible for anyone, but that it must come from within, I am glad that this is being explored in a mainstream television show. Sadly, fantasy is one of the few genres wherein one can discuss these themes. A realistic-fiction drama would end up being too preachy or saccharine, while a crime drama generally falls on the cynical end of the scale. Fantasy also allows for the discussion of topics that would be otherwise controversial. Why redemption is controversial is beyond me, but judging from online debates, it seems that there are many people who think certain people are irredeemable, or that certain actions prevent anyone from seeking redemption.
Snow White is still trying to come to terms with the fact that she is now in the position of needing redemption and forgiveness. She had so long been in the right (or at least, assumed that she was in the right — a closer look at her actions in Fairy-tale land might be in order) that needing forgiveness is devastating. She has put herself on a pedestal, fallen off of it, and thinks that she can never get back up on it. She needs for Pinocchio to be redeemed because that would give her hope that she can be redeemed herself. Faith is weird that way.
REPUBLIC OF DOYLE
Season 4, Episode 8 (Multitasking)
The usual format for an episode of a detective show is one dominant mystery to solve, with perhaps a second mystery thrown in as a subplot that may or may not tie into the main story. This episode decided to play with the idea that, in actuality, detectives having lots of cases on their plate at any given time. Just like the rest of us!
Unfortunately, this format did not work so well for an hour-long show. The episode was funny, heartwarming, and action-packed, but it lacked a neat closure because it kept picking up threads and dropping them again. Eventually, a couple of the cases wove together nicely and the latter half of the episode wrapped up neatly. It felt a lot like a busy workday when you never seem to get anywhere and when you finally do, you realise that it is three-thirty and there’s only an hour and a half left of work. I hope that they don’t adopt this format permanently.
Otherwise, the story in this episode was enjoyable and I look forward to seeing the payoff from some of the storylines that they have set up. Just when you think this show is getting predictable, something new happens.
Season 6, Episode 11 (Lovers in a Murderous Time)
Star-crossed lovers across space and time…this episode had all the elements of a classic murder mystery with the added element of the Victorian pre-occupation with mysticism and spiritualism to spice it up. Along with the lovers of the title, our main characters had their relationships tested and displayed. Murdoch finally had enough of Dr. Ogden’s husband refusing to grand her a divorce and confronted him, much to Dr. Ogden’s consternation. Considering that Murdoch is so honourable as not to sleep with Dr. Ogden until they are married, it is no wonder he lost his temper. Dr. Grace and Dr. Ogden get to have some quality “girl-time” as they investigate, with Dr. Grace of course voicing her opinion on Dr. Ogden’s relationship with Murdoch. As much as my own beliefs lean much closer to Murdoch’s than Dr. Grace’s, her opinion is quite sensible. If it is so important to Murdoch and Dr. Ogden to be together, they should be together. Dr. Ogden is already quite a scandalous character in Victorian eyes, while Murdoch is a detective – a step above carpenters and plumbers. I doubt he would lose his job over being in a relationship with a separated-but-still-married woman.
Mental illness is also an issue in this episode, in particular, the quality of the aging mind is explored. An older woman (perhaps in her fifties or sixties) is delusional but seems to know details about a murder that she could not have possibly known unless she was there. The murder in question is that of a gambler who is killed with a pitchfork in the stables of a hotel. Several suspects are brought forward, and Murdoch finds himself with too many people confessing to the same crime.
Finally, kudos to the writers for writing a believable romantic couple consisting of a young, handsome man and an aging (and mentally frail) woman. Viewers were clearly meant to be happy for them, and the episode conveyed their love well. The writers clearly know their audience!
Season 5, Episode 18 (The Wild Rover)
Wait, wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day last week? What with all the Irish stereotypes and all!
The Irish mob isn’t nearly as glamourous as the Italian or Russian mafia in the media. The gangsters hang out in pubs, shoot pool, and drink Guinness. Whereas other mafias are usually portrayed as suave businessmen with a dark side, the Irish mob are a bunch of thugs. On the other hand, they are more relatable and sympathetic.
Detective Ryan got to be the star of the show this week as he shed his squeaky-clean family-man image to go undercover as a gangster, reprising a role that he apparently did seven years earlier. In doing so, he also got to say good-bye to the girl that he had to abandon when he went back to being a cop – whom he hadn’t told his wife about. This plot turned out to be exciting, tear-inducing, and heartwarming. It was refreshing to see the character development and get a break from Castle and Beckett, who were relegated to being the comic-relief duo this week.
Overall, a very well done episode indeed! Time for a pint…oh, wait, that’s Republic of Doyle.