Republic of Doyle: Smash and burn

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How the mighty have fallen. The fallout from Jake’s charges doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon on Republic of Doyle, in fact, things managed to get just a little bit worse in Wednesday’s “Smash Derby.” I’m still getting used to seeing the Doyles down for this long—and while I’m counting down to a happy ending for the season and the series, at this point I’m starting to worry about how bad things will get before that happens.

While last week made it seem like Jake and Leslie were back on track—and her post-burial trauma just a slight blip in their road to everlasting paradise—it looks like the threat of the pair not making it out of the series happily ever after is still hanging over St. John’s. Leslie’s dramatic reversal on wanting space from Jake last week seemed sudden, but I’d kind of been hoping her very brief session with Dr. John Ronan (Aaron Abrams, Hannibal), while not successful in the traditional sense, had at least convinced her she couldn’t get through this without the support of the people she loves. Turns out that was just another case of Jake/Leslie optimism (arguably our bread-and-butter as fans) because Leslie has been avoiding him ever since.

Although, without any of last week’s explanations, Jake was as confused as the rest of us about what the couple’s status was. Then again, we’ve already heard the multitude of reasons Leslie has for reconsidering her relationship with him—and popping up at multiple crime scenes in one day this week didn’t help. Jake seemed to be completely aware that she needs time to recover, but it’s not like Leslie’s really into making it happen. She tried pushing Ronan into getting her back on active duty before she was ready, and while Jake was probably hoping to help his chances by giving her a way back, it didn’t look like either of them knew what was best for her as she stood in that field.

On the one hand I’m really interested in seeing how all this plays out for Leslie. She’s been so committed to her job throughout the series, even if the department and the people in it haven’t reciprocated that devotion, but right now it seems to be making everything that happened to her that much worse—while also standing in her way yet again. I don’t want to see Leslie walk away from the force before this is all over, unless it’s to move onto something bigger and better, but it’s getting harder to see her staying if this keeps up. That’s on top of another downside that I’m starting to spot with the charming Doc John (as I’ve taken to calling the touchy, flirty man) because we may have one final “other man” to get through before this is done—if we get through at all.

On the Doyle side of things, life certainly wasn’t looking up. Jake and Mal have been reduced to taking insurance fraud cases—granted from the fabulously quirky Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)—to try and pay at least some bills while also working as indentured servants for Vic Saul, who had them running what ended up being a bit of a fool’s errand. Given the number of undercover cops to come to the Republic, and the fact that this season is clearly hard at work paying tribute to those greats, I suspect those vaguely ominous comments from Alisha (Carly Pope, The Tomorrow People) mean she’s another one in town to put Saul away for good. And hopefully giving Jake and Mal an out of this mess before Rose catches on.

Which would be doing the pair (and Des) a huge favour since the Doyle matriarch is already at the end of her patience with Sloan and the way the rest of the family keeps trying to help her even as they’ve started missing mortgage payments. And while I’d hate to advocate ever messing with Rose, it would probably be best if they also left out the part where the one good thing Sloan has managed to do since storming the town and destroying everyone’s lives also added one more debt to Jake’s account. If this girl’s going to stay she really needs to start that turnaround soon, because right now I’m firmly on Team Rose with this one. And six seasons in, we all know how it will end if Rose is in charge—not that I’d currently object.

Doyle-isms:

  • Carly Pope and Aaron Abrams starred together as my favourite couple from Young People F*cking, adding a meta-layer to all of Season 6’s reunions.
  • “I now consider bologna a luxury item. How does that even happen?” I don’t know why, but I’d always assumed Des was a bologna man.
  • “Don’t have another heart attack or pee yourself again.” I only remember Mal doing one of the things Jake mentioned. We’ve been robbed.
  • Soothing Sounds From Cape Spear, it’s supposed to make me calm.” Hands up if you want to get your hands on Donny’s favourite album.
  • “A job? With Shady McShades over there?” That’s a strong Newfoundland name, Des.
  • “You’re a cop. What looks illegal about this?” And Des, you’re a private investigator.
  • “Sometimes you’ve got to take karma into your own hands and shoot someone in the face with it.” Wise words, Donny.

Is Leslie headed for a fling with Doc John? Can Alisha help Jake out of his Saul troubles? Do you want to see Rose handle this Sloan issue once and for all? Let us know in the comments below!

Republic of Doyle airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBC.

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