Note: Please refer to this post for more details and links to other Due South reviews.
"Due South" (Canada/USA, 1994)
Viewed: late May 2010 and early June 2010
Rating: +1 (Loved It)
- 7: Chicago Holiday: Part 1
Ray investigates the death of a prominent figure of the underworld, while Fraser has to watch over a very reluctant daughter of a Canadian diplomat.
- 8: Chicago Holiday: Part 2
Continuation of the story from episode 7.
- 9: A Cop, a Mountie, and a Baby
Ray and Fraser find a baby in Ray’s car.
- 10: Gift of the Wheelman
A gang of bank robbing Santas are double-crossed by one of their own. Fraser and Ray try to solve the case.
- 11: You Must Remember This
Ray falls in love at first sight with a woman who ran him over. Ray tries to track her down while solving a big criminal case she might be involved in.
- 12: A Hawk and a Handsaw
Fraser admits himself into an asylum to find the answers to a murder case.
- 13: An Eye for an Eye
Fraser encourages the elderly to form a neighbourhood watch after a series of muggings on older people in the area. One of the old men tries to seek justice in his own way.
- Fraser in a BDSM club
Just having him in such an establishment was hilarious *grin*
- Ray’s and Fraser’s dead fathers appear
The 10th episode marks the start of the two of them having visions of their dead fathers giving them silly advice.
- Fraser telling psychiatric doctors how he ended up in Chicago
He tells them truthfully what happened and they are immediately convinced of his insanity *grin* It’s a beautiful scene (and yes, Fraser really was chased by “men in white” in the pilot episode lol).
Gradually, as the series evolved, they started turning the tables - it was no longer Ray who always ended up as the butt of the joke. It turned out that making Fraser look ridiculous and having Ray snark at him worked just as well if not better, so the dynamic between them changed. Fraser lost some of his conventionality as a hero and was being mocked a lot more, Ray stopped being just a standard sidekick and at times his cynical approach to crime turned out to be a much more practical one. The dynamic between them became that of partners rather than hero and sidekick. It helped also that by this time Paul Gross and David Marciano had developed a beautiful chemistry and familiarity with each other.
The two of them began playing the quirks of their characters more earnestly, which made some of the comic situations absurder. The writers had already started going in the same direction and so the scenarios became progressively absurder as well. Finally, in episode 10 they introduced the concept of Fraser and Ray having visions of their dead fathers giving them impractical advice. To me that was the moment when Due South really started establishing its style. I don’t think any other detective series of the time would have gone with a scenario that was quite that far out there. I remember an episode of MacGyver where MacGyver was helping Merlin and King Arthur, but he hit himself in the head beforehand and the whole thing was a dream :] Due South never tried to explain why Fraser and Ray would talk to thin air and see their dead fathers there. This was just established as part of the convention and for me that’s the attitude that made Due South completely unlike any other series.
It’s also around this time that Paul Gross’s approach to playing Fraser changed. The pilot episode had Fraser as a strong, even slightly macho hero. Some of that vibe changed by episode one, but it was still there, just covered up by the comedy. Eventually, Paul Gross did away with it entirely and fully embraced everything that made Fraser awkward, uncomfortable, vulnerable or just plain ridiculous. IMO this was great as I found Fraser a bit stiff in the early episodes and with that change he really came to life.