So it is with great regrett that I have to say that Call of the Wild does seem to be the Final Episode.
As a double episode it summarises everything that is excellent about Due South. Starting with the reappearance of the original Ray for the two parter, Leslie Nielsen, and all of the great cast. Locations range from the streets of Chicago to the wonderful wilderness of Fraser's home.
It is a fitting finale to what I consider to be one of the three finest TV shows ever produced (Bab 5 and Twin Peaks being the other two).
The ending of the episode ties everything up in such a manner to strongly suggest that there will not be a fifth season.
For those who have not seen it, it is worth the anticipation.
So long Due South. (Although miracles have been known too happen, from time to time)
As I watched Call of the Wild part 2, I was thinking to myself, "Now what is going to happen? Is Stanley going to die? Will Fraser stay in Canada now that he's there?" I must admit, I cried at parts where I thought Stanley would die, and when Fraser's father left with Fraser's mother. But the part that I found most heart wrenching was when Fraser and Stanley are setting out on their adventure, and knowing that this is the end.
It's hard for me to accept that this wonderful show that made people all over the world laugh, is now over. I will continue watching the reruns of due SOUTH, and pray the miracle of due SOUTH going back into production. But until then, I salute all the fellow Duesers out there.
p.s. A special "Thank you" to Pul Gross, David Marciano, and Callum Keith Rennie for this wonderful series. Godd luck to all of you in the future.
I've been watching DS since the pilot and have thoroughly enjoyed every single episode until season 3. Although there were a few gems in there (such as "Seeing is Believing"), as a whole I thought this season was weaker compared to seasons one and two. This was due to weaker storylines and unconvincing character interaction. Therefore, I anticipated the final episode ever with mixed feelings. Would it stand up to previous high standards? This answer was mainly no.
The first part was good I thought. Fraser and Kowolski finally seemed to mesh properly. There was still tension between Thatcher and Fraser (I love that) but they had also moved on a bit and seemed to have reached some middle ground. Most importantly, the REAL Ray was back! The sceen lit up and the old DS was back the minute he walked on. Also, the story wasn't too bad at all, although they did rely a little too heavily on old material. So what could possibly have gone wrong? Put simply, part two.
I HATED the second part and it made me cringe. There are so many things that irritated me I'm going to stick to the worst offences. Firstly, Vecchio and Stella. There was no chemistry between them. Also, what was that coughing up the bullet thing? - certainly not funny. Secondly, Stan and Fraser going off at the end to find THE HAND??!! The quirky side of this show used to be funny, but now it's become tacky and cheap. Finally, Everyone splitting up at the end. The main strength of DS was that the character interactions were so good and convincing and therefore funny. How can you separate them in the final episode??
I must admit I'm probably biased as I am a Fraser/Thatcher fan. They have chemistry and the comedy that arises from their misunderstandings is funny. The fact that they never spoke again upset me somewhat. The fact that barely any of the characters never even contacted each other irritates me in the extreme. With all due respect Mr Gross, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??!! How can the same man write episodes such as "ATQH" and "RWOB" write this rubbish. There was little continuity and it seemed rough and hurredly put together in order to round things off.
I think I'm going to mentally block out season three and think of the season two finale as the final episode. That had a class that season 3 lacked. This way I can remember DS as a good show that ended well.
I was real happy when the real Ray came back (I never did like the 'fake Ray' much), but then the end came, what a lousy way to end a show.
As I read these, it seems that some viewers may have missed the point with the last episode. We don't often get to have an actual ending to a series. Although we all wanted it to last forever, Paul Gross scored a major victory getting due South back on the air at all, and scored a slightly smaller one in filming a conclusion.
Ben and Ray are not looking for some bony stump hanging out of a snowdrift somewhere! Finding the hand of Franklin is the same as Quixote's tilting at windmills, the same as the knights of the Round Table hunting for the Holy Grail. Daring to attempt the impossible, going out and having the adventure, living the moment so that one has fewer regrets in future--that is what the last show was about. All the characters needed to get on with their lives, and did it in a more or less fantastic fashion. In their own ways, they all got to go for their dreams.
That's the best end of all.
It's sad that this will be the last episode, but what a great way to go out. By the way, if anyone is interested in the song "Northwest Passage", it's performed by Stan Rogers, a great Canadian folk hero who was killed in a plane crash in 1980. His music is still available, in Canada at least.
I find the humour hilarious and I spent the last half hour of this episode in stiches.--when I wasn't having a few tears.
I love the way he educates the Americans becuse they learn so little about Canada in their schools but then I learn new things too.
I am sad Paul Gross is so tired. He does a fabulous job and if he is so inclined to continue the series one day..I'll be there. I hope he'll bring the old Vecchio.
Thank you for the web site.
It was perfect. It was so damn perfect...
Fraser and Kowalski going off on their big adventure to look for the hand of Franklin and the Northwest Passage: it's like Arthur and the Holy Grail story! It's *the* legend of the North, the search for the infamous northern route to Asia which killed countless explorers. It's a chance for Fraser to renew himself with his home and for him to get to know *Kowalski*. It's an opportunity for Kowalski to learn who *he* is away from outside influence. It's just Ben and Stan against the tundra. Oh, wow.
And, something else: if Maggie Mackenzie couldn't make it in Chicago, we are given hope that Stanley Kowalski can make it out in the tundra. Who's to say he won't surface again as his partner's brother-in-law?
Turnbull running for office and getting run over by his bus: that is *so* Turnbull!!!
Francesca and her immaculate conceptions: 'She loved them as though they were her own.' Adoption? 'Immaculate' gives an idea of purity; this woman who has offered herself at least twice on the show is all grown up now, mature, and ready to face the world of motherhood. Beautiful. And she and Fraser have *finally* come to terms with their feelings for one another.
Thatcher bringing down dictators: how many of you have bitched and moaned (myself included) about Thatcher going 'soft' in seasons 3 and 4? Well, our 'old' Thatcher is back full force and is saving the world!
Welsh: he stayed right where he belonged. What more could anyone else have asked for?
Dewey and Huey: they fulfilled their dream. What other fate could one wish on someone than to realise their lifelong ambition?
Ray and Stella: Ray's bullet retired him, so why not go down to his beloved Florida to get a fresh start and a new grip on his life? As for Stella and him together, haven't any of you heard of love at first sight? Stella has shown that she *isn't* cold hearted, that even she has a soft side. It's beautiful. It's kismet. Ray Kowalski became Ray Vecchio so that Ray Vecchio could meet Stella Kowalski and fall in love with her and she with him.
Robert and Caroline Fraser: I can't remember the last time television *really* moved me to tears. Continuing from 'Hunting Season', the character of Bob Fraser is fully fleshed out, with all his faults and qualities and his passionate love for one woman. In a reunion which brought Benton Fraser to tears we saw a ghost right wrongs and go off with the woman he loves. And we saw a man reunited for a moment with his mother. I forgot that I was watching Paul Gross and his wife here. It was all so beautiful, so moving, so *real*.
And we have come full circle from the Pilot. Back to the Territories, to the land that Fraser loves. The only place where he can end this thing that never really started with Thatcher. A realisation of the very different worlds they belong to and their incompatibility. One last, poignant, kiss for a love they always knew was never meant to be.
Quirky dueSouth humour bringing us back to some of our favourite moments. "Great Scott! Turtles!"
It really and truly was perfect and I could have wished for no better end to this magical television series. And Fraser promised us, he'll be back.
When he finds the Hand. And he will. Because Benton Fraser never gives up.
There is so much to like about this two-parter it is hard to know where to start. Perhaps with the humour, which has pervaded the series since its inception and reaches great heights here. Some of it is broad (yes, Frobisher fart jokes abound, and perhaps it is the Australian willingness to relish the earthy as well as the arty that had me laughing at them), some of it parodic (a re-worked St. Crispin's day speech from Henry V is deliriously funny), and some spectacularly Canadian (as when Fraser and Kowalski are trapped down an ice fissure, and Fraser's 4th grade friend drops in to nonchalantly rescue them from certain death. "You boys want out or you okay where you are?") There is that gloriously irreverent self-mocking humour Paul Gross is renowned for ("The real Ray Vecchio.") And, as ever, much of it is the best sort of humour, character based. Fraser grinning as Vecchio and Kowalski spar. "I knew you two would hit it off." Kowalski's celebration atop the mountain defused by Fraser's pedantry. Frannie taking over a briefing session. The quality and number of comic gems in this episode is evidenced by the lengthy COTW section in the Duesers page.
COTW also has some stirring action sequences. Steve Di Marco has been one of the best DS directors, and here again the inventiveness that has characterised so much of his work is allowed full rein. Gunplay in a darkened tunnel results in a strobe-like surreality, while the dramatic confrontation between Fraser and Muldoon towards the end of part one takes place not in a standard streetscape but on a slowly revolving ferris wheel. There is an exhilarating sled ride, and parachuting Mounties (accompanied by Dief and the whispery strains of 'O Canada'!), who politely set about arresting their foes. But Di Marco's talent is felt in more sensitive moments too, such as when the camera pans out to reveal how truly stark and isolated is Fraser's version of 'home'.
However, for me it is the writers' handling of the characters that is the highlight of COTW. A good finale indicates a sense of passage, growth and fulfillment, whilst leaving a feeling that the story simply doesn't end there. Prior to the final sign-offs, each character is allowed a chance to reveal how they have changed during the course of the series. Francesca has two lovely scenes with Fraser - one funny ("Female tonnage" - what a great line!) and one bittersweet - which allow her to realise and accept that she has his friendship, something to be valued though not what she sought for so diligently. Thatcher realises that she and Fraser are too diferent to be together, and those of us who recognised the fact from the beginning heaved a huge sigh of relief. But it is in the development of the main three characters that this deep understanding is most apparent and to be applauded.
Vecchio has spent a year as a mafia boss, with absolute power. He returns a changed man. Gone is the obnoxious clown of season one, or the sometimes abrasive-in-defence man of season two. Marciano invests 'Armando Langostini' with a sleazy authority. even his new paunchiness helps him become 'a man with a belly', someone to be respected. This newfound self-assurance is evident at once in the briefing session in Welsh's office, and attracts a strong woman like Stella. Vecchio, one feels, is now a man to be reckoned with. He has found his own inner resources and is well on the way to becoming a whole person.
Which brings us to the work-in-progress, Kowalski. As played by Callum Keith Rennie there has always been as edginess to Stan Kowalski, as though he didn't quite fit into his own skin. And, of course, in a sense he didn't. It was another man's skin he was trying to step about in, and this always left him with an underlying insecurity. In COTW this insecurity comes to the fore. He has come to love Fraser, and the man he is when he's with the Mountie. When it appears he is about to lose that, he loses himself. Their journey through the wilderness together reflects his turmoil. indeed, so truly alone and lonely is he that when it looks as though they are going to die together in the ice crevasse, Kowalski is almost resigned to the fact, perhaps welcoming company in the face of his inner desolation. He needs Fraser far more than Vecchio. For all that the slashfen, in particular, focussed on the relationship between Vecchio and Benny, Kowalski was always the one more likely to seek Fraser out in his off-duty moments. and just as Vecchio grew from a borderline burnt-out cynic through his friendship with Fraser, it is now Kowalski who is looking for his own Self with Fraser's help.
And what of Benton Fraser? He is left where he truly belongs - in the frozen north. To see him free of Chicago was like watching a colt let loose in the paddock, not a trace of dourness left. At last, we hear him admit that he was aware of how out of place he was in the city. He, too, has an inner journey to make in this episode - the relinquishing of his parents. I have shown COTW to several non-DS fans, and each time there hasn't been a dry eye in the house as Benny watches his parents leave him behind. (A Freudian would have a field day with casting of Paul Gross's wife as his mother, but her silent role was beautifully judged.)
Some fans have regretted the splitting up of Vecchio and Fraser, but it is difficult to see how else the series could have ended. Reuniting them as cops would have left Kowalski's loss of identity unresolved. A cheesy group hug and "Let's all be friends together in the 27th" would have been a dreadful cop-out (no pun intended), and to leave Fraser in Chiacgo would have ducked the issue. Sooner or later he would have returned to the wilds of Canada and, slashfen notwithstanding, Vecchio would never have gone up there with him. Paul Gross and Bob Carney grasped the nettle and resolved the storylines in an immensely satisfying way.
A quick comment re the sign-offs. for those who objected to Francesca's story, let me just quote Billy Connolly - "If religion can't take a little knocking now and then, it's in deep trouble." Besides, the best and dirtiest Catholic jokes I know come from a much beloved Catholic priest, who thought the episode "wonderful."
As for the music - I can now confirm that Paul Gross has been nominated for "Best Folksong Sung Whilst Trapped Groin to Groin in an Ice Fissure", a hotly contested award for which I'm sure the nomination will be honour enough. (No doubt Celine Dion will win it. Again.)
COTW is a worthy finish to a superb series. One that was funny without a laughtrack, intellectual without being pretentious, dramatic without undue violence, warm without sentimentality. Millions of fans would like to say 'Thank you kindly, Paul Gross et al," for bringing us the final season, and an elegaic, funny, poignant and mythic ending to the stories we've come to love.
It's not that I disliked "Call of the Wild" -- I was just disappointed. So much of it seemed a half-hearted attempt to replay old glories: another Bolt, more Frobisher farts, even the same moose-hock fare. The new bad guy, Muldoon, was just an outline of a character, when he should have been the ultimate evil Fraser ever faced. The return of Ray V was glossed over in favor of plot, with only a few personal exchanges between him and Fraser, and practically none between him and Francesca. With the exception of the opening scene with Fraser Sr., the campfire scene with Ray K, and the closing scene with Caroline (all of which, I grant, were lovely and poignant -- the best scenes in the whole two hours, I thought), PG seemed to walk through the episode with little of the old Fraser irony and energy.
There were elements I did like -- a lot. I loved the symmetry of this final case. A show that began with Fraser exacting justice for his father's death ends with him exacting justice for his mother's. Nice. And I liked how in the end Ben proved the better Mountie. In a lot of ways, I felt his move to Chicago was his way of trying to step out of his father's shadow (the irony being that Dad "shadowed" him to Chicago). In the North, Ben was Bob "The Perfect Mountie" Fraser's son, but in Chicago the man who didn't last five weeks in Moose Jaw could make his own mark, cast his own shadow -- and make some small contribution (as he tells Meg in "Vault"). By arresting Muldoon and closing the case his father couldn't resolve, Ben could return home, his own man. (I'm not saying this is conscious on his part -- but it is a classic motivation for male coming-of-age stories).
That being said, I wish the show had given more time to Ben's relationship with his mother. (Yeah, yeah, I know it's a "guy" show, a "buddy" tale, but in so many ways the loss of his mother is at the heart of who Fraser is -- and how different he is from the Rays, both of whom have living and loving mothers.) And I really wish the presence of his mother had been tied in with Ben's relationship with the other woman in his life -- Meg. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I admit I was hoping that the Ice Queen would have discovered an affinity for the ice fields of the north (as she found with the music in "Say Amen"), a scene I would love to have been punctuated with Fraser saying something like "White suits you" . . .
But this is a review, not a fanfic, so let me get back to what really happened. According to the tag, Thatcher goes off to play spy, the Duck Boys go off to play comedy, Turnbull goes off to play politics, Ray V goes off to play with Stella Kowalski, Lt. Welsh goes off to play with his toaster and feather dusters behind his desk, and Francesca goes off to play with her immaculate children. My question is: WHO'S CATCHING THE CRIMINALS? It certainly isn't our Fraser, who's busy carrying Ray K across ice fields and over mountains in search of the Hand of Franklin. While I can appreciate the romanticism of such a quest (and MANY thanks to the previous reviewers for pointing out its significance in Canadian culture -- I would have hated to have missed that), I can't help questioning how such an ending serves the integrity of the characters. This desire of Ray K's for adventure popped up out of nowhere, seemingly invented just for the purpose of giving him a reason to go with Fraser. To be honest, I would rather have seen Ray K return to Chicago, where he would have partnered with Ray V, the two of them bonding over crazy Fraser tales and bickering over whose car to take -- Ray's Riviera or Ray's GTO.
And as for Fraser, of course the HR in me wants to see him happily off into the northern sunset with his Ice Queen, but this is a "guy" story so I would happily settle for seeing him off on the trail of some littering fisherman with his deaf wolf, his tall hat, and a bag of pemmican . . .
When Ray Vecchio left the Squad Room to go deep undercover and Ray Kowalski assumed his identity with the Chicago PD, Kowalski did NOT assume Vecchio's place in Fraser's life. Fraser and Kowalski developed a very close friendship of their own. I would even have to say that it was Fraser, rather than Kowalski, who seemed to take on the "Vecchio" role as "big brother." Kowalski expresses his dependence on Fraser several times during this episode; it followed naturally that they would remain "partners" at the end. Perhaps Fraser felt a kinship with Kowalski, having once been the outsider himself, the "new kid on the block." It is gratifying to consider that Vecchio's acceptance of and mentoring to the lonely kid from the great white north supplied Fraser with the ability to assume such a role for Kowalski. Seeing all three of them come together in this episode was rather like seeing Luke Skywalker, his father, and Obi Wan Kenobi together at the end of the "Star Wars" trilogy.
Oh, my! Did my heart bleed for Francesca as she apparently came to realize that Fraser would never be her man. Throughout the series, it was hard not to pull for her in her quest for his affections, but it was always clear that his feelings for her were not passionate, but friendly. Her talk with Thatcher, warning her that she would "kill" him if she took him to Toronto, and the subsequent look of longing on Thatcher's face as she "really look(ed) at him" at Frannie's urging, was moving. It signaled that Thatcher, too, would come to realize that she and Fraser were not on the same path. Knowing her obvious desire for Fraser to remain in her life, it was quite poignant when she tells him that a life in the wilderness is not for her, but "it's obviously where you belong." It was probably the most self-less gesture she had ever made to Fraser, and he was certainly aware of this, as well as being deeply saddened by her decision, as he shows when he hangs his head. Their "good-bye consummation," to the accompaniment of howling wolves and Mounties, was a catharsis of their too-long-suppressed need for each other.
Family has always been very important to Fraser, despite the fact that he has, apparently, never had the family life he craves. Watching him and his (dead) father get to know and appreciate each other over the course of the series was one of my favorite aspects of "dueSouth." In the pilot episode, Fraser was quite upset by the unexpected death/murder of his father. But it was absolutely heartbreaking to see Fraser mourn the second loss of his father after he had learned to forgive the absentee parenting and accept what was best in his father, including the love he felt for his son. I'll never be able to listen to that song ("Holy Tears") again without weeping!
Yet I believe that "dueSouth" was, first and foremost, a comedy. There was an obvious spirit of "let's have fun!" driving the show. For it to be as emotionally involving and moving as it was, in the midst of such zaniness and camp, is a testament to the intelligence and heart of the people behind "dueSouth."
I just wanted to see if my roommate and I were the only ones who noticed the little snaffu in this episode. In one of the last scenes, when Leslie Nielsen was giving that GREAT speach....If you look in the background, there are a bunch of bad guys, dressed in black and tied up with someone standing guard over them...hmmm.
Acually, my roommate noticed it first and had to rewind it for me, as I didnt believe her. I had been laughing so hard during the speach and paying attention to Leslie Neilsen, that I hadn't seen it!
One more comment.....Ray and STELLA?
Northwest Passage by Stan Rogers
Due South is a journey which begins when a Mountie travels to Chicago on the trail of his father's killer, and ends when he returns home to seek the killer of his mother. A perfect symmetry. By the end of Call of the Wild, all the characters, as well as the cast and crew, embark upon another journey - moving on and seeking their own road home. A perfect ending.
This was a show that demanded an epic finale, a fantastical, sublimely heartwarming and emotionally satisfying resolution to the many threads and relationships. Not for Due South a lame and undemanding end with the two Rays cosily partnered at the 27th Precinct. The series deserved - and received - something far more expansive and imaginative.
The last few minutes of COTW have attracted disproportionate quantities of both praise and abuse, as much highlighting the individual nature of humour as unfortunately diverting attention from the brilliance of the episode as a whole. It is also testimony to Due South's enduring ability to arouse intense passions - even in its final moments. I too love these characters (as though they were my own) and find no hint of insult in the tag endings. For those nurtured on "The Goons", "Monty Python" and the historically revisionist "BlackAdder", the epilogues are simply part of a grand absurdist tradition, which demands the suspension of disbelief that one step further than some may perhaps be willing to go. In my view, ensuring that all the characters are able to follow their dreams is uplifting, and sending Fraser and RayK off on a quest, riding into the sunset on a tide of hope, with "Northwest Passage" as the backdrop to their adventure, is quite simply inspired. And, although providing a future for the characters, these snapshots indicate no time-scale, leaving the way open for any number for future DS movies.
No need to go into further detail: I agree wholeheartedly with H, whose eloquent comments perfectly echo my feelings for this wonderful finale.
Due South's unique quality has always been its generosity of spirit, its large and warm heart, suffused with Fraser's life-affirming optimism, all the while refusing to take itself too seriously. That's what I love about Due South, and that's what I'll miss.
As William Shakespeare almost wrote:
Hamlet, Prince of Tuktoyaktuk, Act 1, Sc 2
The first part was fine with the return of Ray Vecchio etc although Leslie Neilsen 'farting around' has got to the really, really boring stage. The plot was fairly convincing as far as I could see but the Ray/Benny reunion was a bit of an anticlimax. On the other hand the fight between the two Rays about whose desk it was really set the screen alight.To me there was more electricity here than I had seen in the whole of S3.
Here are two guys - one desperate to retain a false identity , the other to regain his former life, the other equally desparate to retain a life that is not his own. Much, much more could have been made of this encounter. Surely the Frannie/Thatcher scene* where they drool over the Mountie could have been sacrificed to expand upon this. But as is so common in S3/S4 better a cheap laugh than the real drama of VS,LG or JIB. Surely this was written in the knowledge that it would be the last ever episode ? Why not a proper ending ?
* I do realise Paul probably wrote this as a satire on his hunk/himbo image but still........
Full marks to the 'farewell' of Benton Fraser and his parents. This was sensitively handled and a fitting farewell to Gordon Pinsent, after the surprise that Fraser Snr has fathered an illegitimate child . Fraser Snr was treated with respect that was surely due to the other members of the cast who took a pay cut so that the show could continue.
I know Paul Gross is famous for his 'wicked sense of humour' but did he consciously treat his fellow cast members with such disrespect or did he not care about all the show's fans ? Or did the cast members find it a 'hoot' too ? People had campaigned to get this show back on the air , surely they deserved more respect for their favourite characters.
The Duck Boys deserved far more air time than they gotin the series as a whole. Why couldn't the Mountie who used to 'Thank everyone kindly' have given them an ending where they had a successful night club ? Surely that wasn't too much to ask ?
Frannie deserved far more respect. Why couldn't she have married ? Would a wedding have been too expensive to film ? It was a pleasure to watch this character grow in S3/S4. She's one of the main reasons I continued watching. Presumably Ramona now knows how she was written out but she didn't even think her character had been written out at RCW 1998.
I've never warmed to Thatcher but I consider she was totally humiliated during this episode - especially in the nude scene. As for the way she was written out.... My intelligenc is not so much insulted as cowering in a corner wondering whether to put its hand over its eyes to avoid the gratuitous violence or whether to put them over its ears to avoid some really, really awful dialogue.
I do believe Welsh (the other reason I continued to watch the show) would have remained at the Precinct so I think the ending for him is apt.
Stella already knew of Ray Vecchio from DMR. She has also been portrayed as putting her career above her marriage. Therefore it is totally out of character that she goes off to Florida with Ray Vecchio. She would have despised him for beating up a suspect (also DMR). Also in the episodes I have seen there seemed a real possibility that she would have got back with SRK. She certainly still had feeling for him.
SRK. He also seemed to have feelings for Stella. I don't think it is at all convincing that he would go off with Fraser even if he had considered resigning as a cop.
Ray Vecchio. Well I think it's fairly common knowledge now that David Marciano had suggested that Ray and Benny said 'goodbye' in a phone call as a mirror image of BDTH. For whatever reason that was rejected. So we're supposed to be convinced that Ray Vecchio comes back and doesn't mention his Ma or his car. Further - his sister knows that in six hours time he is going into a very dangerous situation but the only remark she addresses to him is to ask if he has been having 'testerone injectioms'. Then when he is shot saving the Mountie's life for the third time [not at all obvious from the cutting of the scenes] he is at Death's door one minute (according to Frannie) but tells Fraser that it is only a flesh wound. And the super Mountie believes him ? Yet, later on, in the insult to the intelligence that is COTW 2, Ray coughs up a bullet. I may not watch ER but a flesh wound surely means that the bullet has not entered the body.
I'm pleased in a way that Ray Vecchio continues to think that Benton Fraser is his friend, and one worth dying for, but Benton regards him only as an 'ex partner'. Maybe this is a much warmer phrase to a Canadian but to a Brit it suggests something dismissive - as if the character was unimportant to the success of the show. I think it is terrible that by the end of this episode Ray Vecchio has lost the job he loved and has moved away from his family and the city he loves. He has lost everything he cared about.
I think Paul Gross should have shown some acknowledgement that the show would never have returned if it had not been for the 'write in' campaign which was supported by the fans of Ray/Benny and of David Marciano. Also I don't see why Leslie Neilsen got a special billing which he had never had before. I think it is probable that if George Clooney returns to ER he will be treated with far more respect.
Due South was a wonderful, wonderful unique series that did not deserve cancellation. It gave a 'feel good' impression and was optimistic about the good side of human nature. I thik it was Paul who said in an interview that it proved 'Good guys can come first'. I firmly believe that if there had been some sort of 'spin off' marketing strategy (cuddly Diefs, toy Rivs) it would have made enough money to avoid either of its cancellations and would have continued to beat 'X Files' as it did in its first season.
I did wonder whether I should bother posting this review as I know that this episode is seen as perfect in some quarters. However, since viewing this, I have seen the ending of 'Babylon 5' a programme that suffered from the constant threat of cancellation too. I think, if there had to be a final 'voice over' it should have been done with affection. Captain Sheridan said 'goodbye' to his companions in two minutes and thirty seconds in the penultimate episode (in a video to his yet to be born child) and the cast of DS deserved similar respect. 'Flashback' may have its flaws (lack of an interesting plot for one) but it is far truer to the 'buddy buddy' image that Paul Haggis created than COTW which started off so full of promise and ended up so diappointingly.
Paul Haggis created a unique character who saw the good in everyone - why couldn't that have been recreated in the final three minutes . For him to have thanked everone kindly for welcoming him to Chicago would have been a fitting tribute. as Benton Fraser said in the Pilot "It only takes an extra second to be polite".
Not satisfied with demeaning every other character in sight, the powers that be turned Fraser's whole existence as a Mountie into a sham by their depiction of Bob Fraser in this episode. The great and noble man who set such a fine example for his son to follow is shown here to be petty, self-serving, and unmindful of the law, not to mention an unbelievably poor judge of character. His best friend had him murdered, and now another killed his wife... no wonder Benton hasn't got a clue about friendship! (And judging by his appalling treatment of the much-loved character, Ray Vecchio, (among others) in this episode neither does Paul Gross.)
Two times Due South was cancelled, and two times it came back from the dead. Both Letting Go and Flashback (for all its faults) are far superior end episodes to this insulting twaddle. But then again perhaps that was the idea; maybe someone hoped that after this disaster no one would be asking for more Due South. I know I'd certainly be loath to try again... And I'm definitely not the only heartbroken DS fan who feels this way.
First of all, I loved the new Ray but I found it difficult to believe that he would leave the city for the ice regions of Canada. This guy supposedly hated cold so what were the writers thinking.
As well, Stella and the old Ray together? Come on now they just met for the first time in this very episode, please!
I have really enjoyed this show over the past years and felt that I could finally admit to watching Canadian television to my friends and family. Until call of the wild set me back!
One more thing about the women in Ben's life, well where should I begin.
Victoria has been out of the show for many seasons and Frannie well Fraser finally tells her after four years that he likes her as a friend only. I beleive that Fran deserved a better ending than having 10 kids jumping around her, they could have at least married her to someone.
But what bugs me is how the whole Thatcher/Ben thing ended. Both Camilla Scott and Paul Gross had great chemistry seen over the years but the characters never told eachother how they really felt which in the end more should have been said than having them just kissing.
Oh well, I am rambling on!
Here is to some Due South movies in the near future.
I have watched almost all of the episodes of, Due South. I must say the writers of Due South are great writers. They came up with some great storylines.
I watched part one of Call of the Wild, I really enjoy it a lot. I decided to watch part two, after kinda of putting it off since the last time they showed it. I really didn't want the show to end. Now I like how Fraser and Stanley were on the mountain and how they got off. I also thought that it was good how Sr. Fraser went up to light.
The ending was very different. It didn't quite make tons of sense. Fraser goes with Stanley, come on. I always thought that Fraser and Ray, the real were the truest of friends.
I didn't really like Stanley in the beginning, I grew to like him. Hey come here, they go off on an adventure together (meaning Fraser and Stanley). It doesn't make much sense Stanley almost died on the mountain. Does that say any thing now they are going even farther north on adventure. I really didn't think Stanley was the wilderness type. I can't believe that Thatcher would go undercover to help bring down Dictators. She just doesn't seem her personality would fit that. I really like how Turnbull hit the bus that was so funny. I due miss Due South a lot I wish they would make more. I enjoyed their program! I ending was a little too harsh though they could have a few things change. Over all at whole I love Due South. It is a really great program. To bad it ended though.
BUT WE ALL KNOW ALL THINGS MUST END!
(Good Luck to all the people that made this show happen)
It makes somewhat good sense that Kowalski could go off with Fraser on a big adventure. Kowalski didn't have anything or anyone to return to. Neither did Fraser. They were both alone. Then again, Stella falls for Ray Vecchio and the couple go off together. This was a bit of a stretch. Yeah, right. Stella the cold fish falls for Ray Vecchio?
The episode had proper closure, but could have been written efficiently in one hour's time. Wonderful scenery! Great to see the return of Buck Frobisher for one final time!
There is room for a two hour reunion movie. Hope to see something soon. It's been 3 years!
Hurry up! At least get the episodes on DVD.
It was a wonderful written episode and it was so funny on the one hand and so sad and serious on the other hand, just as we know it from due SOUTH, donīt we?
There were so many scenes, when I just had to laugh out loud and still do it. At some point I also thought RayK would maybe die, but now I think that would have been untypical of the series. When RayK first came to Chicago..aah, to the series I didnīt like him either, but if anyone read my review of "The LAdies Man", he knows that I now think that the partnership Fraser and RayK have was almost better than the one Fraser and the first Ray had and when the first Ray came back, I just didnīt know what to say.
But all has turned out to be good. I now think itīs nice that the writers even got RayV back and that he doesnīt have to work undercover anymore. I think the end of the episode was the best end we could ever have. Somebody asked why Paul Gross couldnīt at least have Huey and Dewey a successful comedy club, but I think it was just typical once again that they were not really successful. Due SOUTH is not like all the other shows on TV where everybody gets a happy or gets either rich or married. Thatcher and Fraser realised that they expect different things of their lives and I found it so cool that Franny gets a lot of children and is a glad mommy, but doesnīt come together with Fraser in the end. It just would not work!
So, I think the end totally fits to the series. CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL SHOW. It really changed my life.TYK, Mr Haggis, Mr King, Mr Bloomfield, Mr Gross, Mr Rennie, Mr Marciano too and of course all of the other cast and crew members.
PS: A special thank to Martha Burns for her small, but very touching role as Caroline Fraser and to Leslie Nielsen of course. I just love them!