REVIEW: Republic of Doyle - "Hot Package"
Is it just me, or do episodes of Republic of Doyle work better when they start out in the middle of the action? This week’s installment, “Hot Package”, did what a few strong Doyle episodes have done in the past: launch us right into a crazy caper with Doyle & co., and then backtrack a few hours to explain how they got into their current predicament.
Whatever the reason, “Hot Package” found a good rhythm, balancing out character work with story. It wasn’t perfect, but I enjoyed the episode a lot more than last week’s “Head Over Heels”. Read on for my full review!
As I mentioned at the start, we’re thrust into a funny situation at the top of the episode, with Jake and Malachy on the run in Jake’s GTO, covered head to foot in white flour and in the company of a dead body. The cops are soon on top of them, whereupon we zoom back eight hours to a little plot involving a gold cigarette case and a damsel in distress.
Jake has to find the case before a pair of thugs beat him to it, all to impress the latest object of his affection, Marie Booth (Tattiawna Jones). Meanwhile, Malachy and Rose are trying to get their heads around Tinny’s recent reappearance and Jake’s ex-wife Nikki needs a favour from her distracted ex-husband.
These different plot threads were woven together fairly well, considering that any one of the side-narratives might have taken our attention off the main story. It could be because the episode spends a lot of time working its way back to the chaotic opener, and we want to figure out how all the pieces came together for that scene.
Unfortunately, the guest cast here was a letdown. I found Jones’ performance as Marie kind of wooden, and the actor playing Deacon the thug was almost too dim-witted to be believable.
The combined efforts of the lead cast mostly made up for it – though with each week, I’m getting more and more irritated with Leslie Bennett. I came out against her last week, and it bears repeating: can the writers find something else for her to do besides yell and chastise Jake? Even her romance with the mayor last season was more tolerable.
I’d love to see some sort of online debate spring up about which character Des will end up with. Tinny has never been a particularly redeemable character – this was especially true this week when she manipulated Des into getting her that forged document. If the show explores Chandra’s character a bit more, maybe the series can dig into what would happen to Tinny if Des chose Chandra over her.
As for that ending, it had me shaking my head out of a combination of respect and bewilderment. I guess it’s kind of funny that Jake and a certain someone (I’ll refrain from spoilers) would do that again. But it still smacks of a strategy to come up with a million and one reasons to keep Jake and Leslie apart until the very end.
It’s a storytelling approach that was used on Smallville (with a slew of characters) for multiple seasons, and to me, it signals that the writers are afraid to find out what Republic of Doyle would be like without the sexual tension. Personally, I don’t think it would do any harm, but what do I know? I’m just here suffering through Leslie’s pretend anger.
I can’t call “Hot Package” a “great” episode, but it did improve on last episode’s story and secondary characters. “Hot Package” gets three stars out of four.
What did you think of the third episode of Republic of Doyle Season Three? Any guesses on what will happen with the various romances on the show? Got any ideas for how the series could improve? Let me know in the comments down below. If you want to catch up on my past reviews of this season of Doyle, follow these links: