Republic of Doyle’s Last Ride

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Six years is a long time to get with a Canadian show. And I can’t think of one series to date that has meant as much to me as Republic of Doyle has for the past six years. Without its unabashed love of St. John’s, and by default, Canada, I don’t know that I would have handled a bout of homesickness as well as I did. And it was the series’ weekly guests that introduced me to an array of Canadian talent I knew so little about when the series began and turned me into the fan of Canadian television I am today. It may not have necessarily been a definitive Canadian series in some critics’ eyes, but it was a definitive one for me—and I have been dreading the idea of saying goodbye ever since the announcement came earlier this year.

Which is why I went into “Last Call” Pts. 1 & 2 expecting to fully be in tears by the end—and was more than a little surprised when that wasn’t the case. But I guess with Allan Hawco already dishing on a movie in the works this isn’t exactly the big goodbye moment I’ve been worried about. Instead, the series opted to close on a high note, delivering two of the biggest episodes yet (making last week’s bottle episode even more worthwhile) and suggesting just a tease of a happy ending without having the Doyles close up The Duke for good.

Season 6, with its stunning array of guest stars and slightly different tone (again: see last week’s bottle episode), has been building to a grand finale over the course of the past eight episodes. We’ve been teased with progress on Jake’s case and the investigation into Leslie, but the resolution to both those issues was held for the final ride as Jake and Leslie—apparently reunited for good—teamed up to clean house in St. John’s one last time.

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And while taking down the Chevaliers brought plenty of staple Doyle explosions, outed more than one corrupt politician and—I assume—cleared both Jake and Leslie to carry on P.I.-ing and policing as usual, the real fun was seeing the myriad ways Hawco & Co. paid tribute to the past six years. Greg Malone as Finn has been an old favourite since he sold radios out of a stolen van (although the highlight of his career has to be the fantastically named Great Big She). And Rachel Wilson and Michelle Nolden were back for one more round of Jake’s put upon exes, while Mary Walsh stepped up yet again as the ghost of Mal’s poor decision past. It’s been a great season for familiar faces, but the choice of the ones to include in the finale really tapped into the show’s history.

And for a show that loves a good fistfight or explosion, this week showed off how good the series can be just focusing on the characters I’ve spent six years getting ridiculously attached to. Rose and Des got another one of their perfect, quiet moments when Rose, a veteran of a difficult life, managed to have just the right look for Des as his heart was breaking. And Jake’s face as he had to leave Leslie with Nikki seconds after finding out she was pregnant might just have been some of Hawco’s finest.

Of course, for all that good stuff, Republic of Doyle also had to put me through the wringer one last time as the Chevaliers targeted Des and Mal. Des was already breaking my heart as he dealt with Tinny abruptly ending things, and seeing him try—really try, for once—to fight off the Chevaliers almost had me wishing he’d found someone more his style in the end. And since I’ve never really been able to handle Mal getting hurt I was probably fist pumping as much as Mal’s inner child when he drove off on the bike like the badass he is.

If I were to pick one thing to fault about the finale (aside from questioning whether they should have been driving around downtown St. John’s in the GTO while on the lam) it’s that after six years of if they would or not, I probably would have preferred finally seeing Jake and Leslie walk down the aisle instead of Tinny and Des–who are, admittedly, pretty young. I guess settling for imagining Jake’s face when he found out about the twins will have to do for me too. Oh, and that final shot of Jake and Mal—the two most curmudgeonly best friends I’ve seen on TV—just looking pretty damn pleased with themselves.

Doyle-isms (for the last time!)

  • “I can’t imagine life without Jake. Or you. Or any of you Doyles.” Des said it best.
  • Des: “I loves you.” Jake: “That was extremely awkward, but thank you Des.”
  • Taylor Gossard has become my Movember king. But I’m still not forgiving him for murder.
  • “Can you just hold my hand?” If anything came close to making me crack during the finale, it was this line from Des.
  • Hood: “Just shut up and punch me in the face.” Jake: “This is actually the one time that I don’t want to punch you in the face.”
  • “This is bad for me. I don’t have any pants. Hello, pants.” -Des
  • I also just need to say I totally, totally called Alisha being a cop.
  • “I regret nothing except the consequences for my actions.” –Des
  • “Honestly, I wish this moment would never end.” Me too, Jake. Me too.

Was the finale good for you too? Are you ready to move on from Jake and the Doyles? What’s your favourite Doyle memory? Ours just might have to be the entrance of “Dicksmack” into the broader Canadian lexicon. Share in the comments!