republic_doyle

Review: Republic of Doyle says goodbye

“I wish this day would never end.” Those were Jake Doyle’s final words on Wednesday night. And while I’m sure fans across the country shared his thoughts, it was time to say goodbye.

This most likely isn’t the last that we’ve seen of those folks from St. John’s, Newfoundland–Allan Hawco is hopeful a feature film is in the cards–but this was certainly it for the television series. But rather than it being a final goodbye, this was more of a so long for now. The back-to-back “Judgement Day” and “Last Call” served as a suitable farewell, combining the car chases, catastrophic explosions, fisticuffs and heartfelt moments that have been the mainstay of the veteran drama.

The first 60 minutes, of course, dealt with Jake’s murder trial. After being found guilty of murdering Mayor Clarke, Jake was given 48 hours on the outside before sentencing (that was Republic of Doyle art director and Majumder Manor star Peter Blackie playing the crown prosecutor who wanted Jake kept in jail), and that was just enough time for he and Malachy to be hired by the judge to find out who was blackmailing him. Judge Tizzard suspected his wife, Miranda (Mary Walsh), but evidence seemed to point at a variety of suspects including Alisha, the Chevalier bike gang and a city planner. Alisha became prime suspect No. 1 after Miranda’s bar was blown to smithereens, until it was revealed the mysterious Damon Rhodes (The Border‘s James McGowan) was behind the whole thing and held the key to Jake’s freedom in his hands, literally: a flash drive showing Brogen killing Clarke.

Damon’s plan? Have Jake work for him in prison for three years and the drive’s contents would be revealed and Jake would be set free to work for Damon on the outside. That, of course, wasn’t going to happen, so Jake and his family became targets of the biker gang. The one to feel that the most was poor Des who, already heartbroken because Tinny broke up with him, had his skull cracked by Damon at The Duke. It was nice to see Malachy and Jake get involved in a good old-fashioned donnybrook at The Green Room, though it ended prematurely when Picard arrested Jake.

Leslie, meanwhile, had her hands full with the Inspector Pickard (John Kapelos), and was called to the carpet in front of Internal Affairs for her relationship with the Doyles. But rather than apologize to the panel as the Inspector advised, she was unrepentant and got fired.

The final blow? Leslie was pregnant, a story angle hinted at every time she dreamt of she and he being a family. After busting him out of the interrogation room (with help from Hood and somehow sneaking out of an entire precinct packed with coppers), Leslie and Jake were on the run.

So, what did the last hour, “Last Call,” hold? A manhunt for Jake and Leslie, an unconventional teaming with Alisha, Rhodes going to drastic measures to get Jake on board and an eventual clearing of Jake’s name in the death of Mayor Clarke. It wasn’t an easy task. Not only did Jake resort to swapping out the GTO in favour of a–gasp!–Mustang to keep a low profile, but he had to witness the beatings of Des and Malachy because he wouldn’t work for Rhodes.

After a series of twists, turns and a pants-less Des, Jake had located Clarke’s cell phone, an item which contained not only recordings of agreements the Chevalier gang would run St. John’s but at least one dirty cop who was in on it: Pickard. Leslie discovered the same information, though it was done face-to-face while she spoke to Pickard, leading to a short, bullet-filled foot chase that left him dead and her badly injured and the fate of the baby up in the air.

Rhodes’ final showdown with Jake and Malachy on a gravel road was interrupted by the cops, led by … Alisha. Turns out Vick Saul’s right-hand woman was a federal marshal all along and was more than happy to not only take out Rhodes but help Jake locate a backup flash drive proving his innocence.

Those hoping for a happy ending weren’t disappointed, though Doyle‘s writers came up with a sweet twist. Picking up two years later, Jake and Leslie were already married, had twins with a third on the way. The nuptials everyone had gathered to celebrate were for Tinny and Des. (Who else was glad to see the beloved GTO in the background, festooned with ribbon?) Midway through Wednesday’s finale, Jake mentioned that St. John’s is called The City of Legends. Jake Doyle is certainly that.

Notes and quotes

  • “It’s ironic. All the crap I’ve done over the years and I’m going to be sent to prison for a crime I didn’t even commit.”–Jake
  • “I need to get some air. For my lungs, which may or may not be punctured from a broken heart.”–Des
  • “You’re a good man. And a great son.”–Malachy
  • It was hoot to see Rick Mercer playing the new mayor of St. John’s, though I half expected him to launch into a rant
  • “It would suck to find out you were shagging some biker missus.”–Leslie
  • “What are you doing with my head? You know I can’t handle more than one layer of subtext at a time.”–Des

What did you think of the series finale of Republic of Doyle? Let me know at greg@tv-eh.com, post a comment below to head to @tv_eh on Twitter.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from countless programs. Survivor winners, Donald Trump, Jerry Bruckheimer ... he has interviewed (literally) hundreds of TV people over the course of his career. He is a past member of the Television Critics Association.
Greg David
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