All in all, I rather liked Mountie on the Bounty even though it started badly. I’m sure there are people out there who liked the scenes from the beginning up to (and excluding) the pirate dying on the car, but I have a major problem with them. Please let me get through the (I think justified) flaming, then I’ll go on to praising ! I promise, there’s good stuff in here !
The episode starts off with Paul Gross having an argument with Ray. Don’t I mean *Fraser* ? Nope, it would appear that one, or both, of two things is happening this season : either Paul Gross can’t stay in character, or he’s too comfortable with his role (or maybe all this power has gone to his head...). Whatever it was, I was not convinced that it was *Fraser* trying to figure out how to outwit the bad guys.
Cut to the second argument, this time between Paul and Callum. That had to be one of the poorest scenes I’ve *ever* seen on T.V. There was no lead up to it (ie. the last time we saw our favourite boys they were getting along fine) and I wasn’t even convinced that the actors were acting ! It was obvious that these two men were just acting out a script. And the punch ? Come on ! They could have shot the scene better than that ! And Fraser having an honest to goodness argument with someone ? ‘As if’ !
From there, I thought things could only go downhill. I was pleasantly surprised to see Paul and Callum get back in character (did you see poor Ray’s dejected look when he goes back into the squad room ? He looked so forlorn ! The ‘I can’t believe I just punched my best friend in the face’s going through his mind are almost audible.) and pretty much *stay* in character for the rest of the the first half (I’ll review the second half next week, once I’ve seen it again).
The rest of the first half was brilliant. Frannie crying about Fraser’s transfer (‘Gold. This could have been made into hundreds of wedding bands’). Fraser’s eyeing her breasts and then turning away quickly. Thatcher walking in on Fraser changing, putting on her glasses to get a better look and taking them off really quickly. Fraser’s monologue about the demise of the ‘Robert Mackenzie’. The song ‘Thirty-Two Down on the Robert Mackenzie’ (who says bagpipes can’t be cool ?) Bob Fraser’s best line of *all* time : ‘You need the Yank, son. Swallow the pride.’ Frannie and Ray’s argument about a certain pirate-related phrase, ‘...sliver in their timbers, get it ? !’ And are Turnbull and Francesca reading the same books ? (‘Think about the colour... yellow’ when a few episodes earlier Francesca went to work wearing a yellow shirt because it’s a soothing colour, or something to that effect.)
I could go on for ever. Ray’s trying to excuse himself for being in the wrong room (‘I’ve been drinking and I’m looking for the skull, the front... (there’s a reference to this in part two) I’ll just circumnavigate myself out of here’). Fraser’s leading everyone into song. Fraser initiating Ray to ship food ‘It’s food Ray, good hearty food. Just what we need after a hard day’s work.’ ‘Does it come with instructions ?’ ‘Open mouth, put in.’ Brilliant ! How about the ‘Titanic’ scene with Ray handcuffed to a sinking ship (Paul swears that they filmed this before any knowledge of the ‘Titanic’ scene came out) ? I was riding high until ‘All right, Mr. Instinct’. Hmm... I’ve had a *really* hard time believing that this is something the *real* Fraser would say, but a line from ‘Vault’ makes this quote okay. Does anyone remember how he told Ray he (Ray) *could* have reacted when the robbers came in in ‘Vault’ ? ‘You could have thrown your hands in the air like a baby’.
So, yep, I *liked* Mountie on the Bounty part I. The scene with Bob Fraser outside of the cabin, contradicting everything the captain was saying keeps me in stitches (‘It was a small pocket knife’, with the appropriate hand gestures). How about Fraser pulling a gun on a ‘blind’ guy. That had to be the most Fraserish thing he’s done all season. I was so happy I almost cried !
And who doesn’t love the banter between the Duck Boys ? ! We saw some of it in ‘Asylum’.
The ‘I first came to Chicago’ thing has worn *too* thin, but it was nicely revamped in this episode. And I just adored the scene where Ray roars onto the docks in Sault Ste. Marie and you see the boys run down the dock in almost slow mo’, Fraser holding his tunic under his arm. Two cops out on a mission. T.V. can’t get any better than that !
Mountie on the Bounty, Part Two
Well... Hate to say it, but I only have good things to say about it !
The episode starts brilliantly with a demonstration of the, um, paternal, for lack of a better word, feelings Welsh has for Fraser and Ray. I liked how he told Huey and Dewey he’d put gold in their pants and drop them in the lake ! ‘We have officers out there,’ Welsh says. ‘They might need a lifeline.’ This sets the scene for part two : Welsh will go to all ends to find the Mountie and the detective and bring them home safely.
Cut to Fraser and Ray. Ray ‘left his garage in his other pants’. Fraser, of course, has a tool kit on him. Like the scene in ‘Vault’ where he pulls out a tuning fork, Fraser is always prepared !
Another arguement between Fraser and Ray. I loved how Fraser says ‘Why are you yelling at me ? !’ at the top of his lungs !
However, I wouldn’t give Fraser any credits for his swimming lesson. Sorry, bud, but if you ‘bloom, close, kick him in the head’ you’ll drown before getting anywhere. It’s bloom, kick, close ! But, I think he can be excused since he helped Ray by ‘buddy breathing’ and almost grabbing Ray’s crotch to pull him along (did anyone notice that Ray wears briefs ?)
Then the Duck Boys and their incessant banter that we were given a taste of in ‘Asylum’. They’re just so... natural, together. I could listen to them for hours.
But the guy Francesca interrogates can’t wait for her to shut up ! Boy, does she come through on this one !
Back to Fraser and Ray, the tension is mounting. Fraser gives the (now) famous ‘Ray, my friend, I am about to endanger your life in a wildly bizarre way’, speech giving him a ‘are you satisfied now ?’ look after. Then the implausible, yet wonderful, fire extinguisher scene (‘How do you streamline your head ?’) Who didn’t love ‘That would be gravity ?’ And I’ve noticed this season that Fraser screams whenever he falls into water from a great height (the only place he didn’t, I think, was at the beginning of ‘Burning Down the House’. Then the understatement of the year, from Mr. cool as a cucumber himself : ‘Well, that was exciting, wasn’t it ?’
I have a question ? How did Fraser and Ray disappear so quickly when they got onto the boat and the ‘ghost’ walked by the spot where they were standing ?
Cut to Fraser actually spitting out something he’s tasted. Yeah ! And we discover that Fraser’s hearing isn’t infallible, ‘they’re out of my range’. Then, the ‘two naked seamen’ ! Why did Ray and Fraser take the underwear too ? Another point to ponder, calm, rational Fraser has never been afraid to use his fists. Somehow, that seems to be a contradiction in his character. Wouldn’t he be the type to talk things through before resorting to violence ?
Now, back to the station. ‘With Turnbull one can never tell’. I think Camilla Scott gets some of the best one liners ! Mort... what a great character ! And my favourite line from both parts of MOTB : ‘Shape up, we’re shipping out’.
Now, Ray’s guarding the gold while Fraser tries to convince him that the gold is secondary. That’s a nice change from ‘Vault’ where he would have died to protect people’s life savings !
Now, an interesting question, I think. Why was Thatcher wearing a Stetson in ATQH and a cap with a badge in MOTB ? Just a nitpicky question, but she looks more official in the latter. And she doesn’t have a lanyard.
I guess that the sergeant thinks her recruits are dogs because she told them to heel !
I loved it when infallible Fraser’s leg fell asleep ! Then more paternal lessons, Fraser Sr. telling Fraser to basically give a little, to allow people to be different, not to force his standards on others. Fraser Sr., more than Fraser himself, gives a good view into the Mountie’s head. I loved Fraser’s impatient ‘All right ! We’re lost.’ Then, when he adamantly refuses to follow Ray’s lead, Sr. says ‘Got to trust your partner son, otherwise nothing will go right.’ Wait a minute ! We’re talking about naive, innocent, *trusting* Fraser here ! Further evidence that Fraser isn’t really the man he shows the world.
‘I’ve seen tighter sheets in a whorehouse’. What a great line ! I was eating dinner with friends the first time I heard that one, and I’m glad I know the Heimlich manoeuver because I almost had to use it ! Then, ‘This might be your only chance to die for your country. Or at least be maimed or dismembered.’ She would have been a great leader in medieval times !
‘Ahoy, Bounty !’ Fraser then appears on deck. Someone just happened to have a spare uniform ! Then we see Turnbull actually take a stand and someone tells him to ‘piss off’, it would appear that this is a favourite expression on the show because I have heard it in all three seasons.
Fraser Sr. then tries to give his son more advice, leading a very exasperated Fraser to say ‘You’ve never been to sea, Dad !’
I thought Kowalski was the new babe on the show, but that was before I saw Welsh without sleeves. What delectable biceps !
I wonder if Rennie is by any chance related to the actress who played the new recruit. They could be twins !
Romance... the sun setting at noon... Fraser and Thatcher kissing again, as they should. Ahh !
Unfortunately, practicality has to set in. Ray says ‘they have a big metal ship, all we got is a little wooden boat.’
Then a little more romance. ‘You still breathing ?’ ‘You’ve gained weight.’ ‘You too.’
Fraser and Ray are now in the hold of the ship as the tension mounts. A man threatens Fraser with an ax, he reacts a little slowly. Ray is still drinking, but now looking for the commode. Fraser throws a gun. He then informs Wallace that ‘right now, my friend, you are in the Dominion of Canada’, catches a flying gun, and proceeds to fire four shots. Wow, amazing aim !
I enjoyed the slightly dramatic bit after this where Fraser tells Wallace that the place is a graveyard ‘You didn’t think they’d let you get away with it, did you ?’
Then a bit that surprises me. Fraser and Ray are back on the Bounty, discussing their transfers. Fraser said that it would be the ‘logical career’ move. I don’t recall him ever referring to his job in such a manner, it’s like for him, being a Mountie isn’t what he does. It’s who he *is*. His father then teaches him a valuable lesson, and Fraser turns to Ray and bursts out laughing, something we see so rarely.
The third season may have started badly, but I’m all psyched for season four ! Bring on ‘Doctor Longball’ !
I realy liked the episode, I think the guys were due an arguement. Also, damn Paul has a nice singing voice. Callum is also great at being panicked, like when the ship was going down and he was handcuffed to the bar. "Fraser, the boot gun, boot gun!"
There are, of course, many movie references in DS - "Rear Window" in Letting Go, "Strangers on a Train" in Perfect Strangers for example - but transposing an entire scene is mischievous in the extreme (an example of pushing back the boundaries and intelligent playfulness noticed by H in the review of Spy v Spy). They get away with this, but only because of the acknowledgment of what they are doing. Without Kowalski's line, "Does this conversation seem strangely familiar to you?" it would just be a steal. As it is, it's a deliciously witty bit of devilment. So, is it Fraser and Kowalski playing Butch and Sundance, or Gross and Rennie? I'll think about that when I've stopped laughing!
Incidentally, no mention was made of Kowalski not being able to swim before the Riv plunged into the Lake they call Michigan in Burning down the House. But I put that down to their rather more immediate pre-occupation at that moment with the possibility of being burnt to death.
I can't agree that there is no lead-up to the argument. Fraser has made Kowalski jump into the dock from a great height when they didn't have to, as back-up was about to arrive. To Kowalski, this is just another example of Fraser's ability to live up to his title of "the most irritating man in the world" (for which he was nominated by RV in Red, White and Blue). It is fully consistent with their characters, with Kowalski annoyed by Fraser's constant nit-picking and correcting him, and Fraser trying to calm him down but not really understanding why Kowalski is so angry.
In my view the scene is beautifully played; Kowalski's volatility finally gets the better of him but he is still shocked to the core when he actually punches Fraser and Fraser is as shocked that his friend could do this.
Well, that's the first two minutes. What about the other 88?! There's little to add to the comments by others. All the best episodes centre on the relationship between the two cops and this is no different as, following their argument, Fraser and Kowalski's relationship disintegrates, gradually to be rebuilt on renewed trust and mutual respect. With pirates and gold and ghost ships and toxic waste thrown in for good measure. Magic!
I also have to add I disagree with Marie-Andree, I would give Fraser credit for his ‘quick’ swimming lesson. He explains swimming in terms Kowalski would understand such as a flower and relating the steps to his personality "kick like you were interviewing a suspect", showing us that their partnership extends further into friendship. The actual swimming stroke Fraser taught Kowalski was breast stroke the simplest form of swimming to which "bloom, close, kick him in the head" describes the step perfectly and since he already knew how to tread water he was half way there. It also shows that Kowalski respects and trusts Fraser with his life at this crucial part of the episode considering it is a life or death situation, unlike throughout the rest of the episode where he is constantly questioning Fraser’s words and actions.
I would also like to add I think this season (3rd) is the best yet, it shows us Fraser as a character has evolved. Coming from a isolated life, seen in the ‘Pilot’ episode "Your like your father out there in no mans land there isn’t a better cop in the world, in Chicago they’d eat you alive in minutes", to live in an urban cluttered lifestyle surrounded by friends and of course working with a partner which it seem he hasn’t done before. It shows Fraser has developed not just physically but emotionally and spiritually, as it should. It is seen in this episode with dialog such as"You’ve got to trust your partner, son.", "partnership isn’t easy", "You need the yank." and with Kowalski saying ‘I trust you every single time’, "Just once you trust me" and this he does. By the end of this episode Fraser is able to amitt that logic and instinct don’t always work by themselves.
Speaking of the ‘Pilot’ episode I also think that Fraser had to grow up quicker missing some of his childhood, seen with the dialog between Ray and Fraser "Looking for something you missed", "Yeah", "1969 going back aways, find anything.", Fraser replies "I don’t know". He knows, he missed part of his childhood and of course he missed his father.
A reading his father diary .... "The last time I say Ben he was barely tall enough to reach my belt, when I said goodbye he shook my hand never a tear or complaint, 7 years old and he’s already a stronger man than I’ll ever be."
BUDDY BREATHING! ;D
Wait- I am trying to think of other times he was in Canada and could therefore legally fire a gun. The pilot is the only episode that comes to mind- he did have a rifle then but I don't remember him firing it. Anyway, I'm not too surprised that our favorite Mountie is a crack shot!
The music is wonderful. Several people have already mentioned "The Robert MacKenzie," but I like "Barrett's Privateers," a song so much in the traditional spirit that it's hard to believe it was recently written, even better. (A moment of silence in memory of Stan Rogers, please) And Paul Gross's voice fits it perfectly.
I'm really impressed with the timing of the action sequences, especially the final one. Fraser's "you are in the Dominion of Canada" is a great turnabout: for once we see him enforcing the law on his home ground, so to speak. But I think the thing I like best of all is the partnership between Fraser and Ray. Ray trusts Fraser enough to follow Fraser's far-fetched plan for getting them off the Henry Allen, so it's only right that Fraser follows Ray's instinct for which way to turn the submersible--and it works both times.
Fraser looking out for the environment? .... that has to be something particularly Canadian.
More laughs: The "don't get excited"-scene reminded me strongly of "The Empire Strikes Back" where princess Leia says to Han Solo: "Don't get excited" after their first kiss.
By the way, the cops hid under the cargo roof when they boarded the Wailing Yankee.