We really loved this episode. It was really funny.
We are only reviewing this because ATQH was reviewed, and as it's a sequel, it should be too. Toaster missed ATQH anyway.
Ok, our favorite bit is when Fraser and Ray are talking to each other, even though they're not with each other. (Can't explain any further, to hard, so to bad). Our other favorite bit is when they're trying to stop the bomb from going off by lowering their heart rates while having an argument. This episode is very unpredictable, which makes it even better and it is very, very, very funny.
PS, they are in a courtroom, wearing a poncho. (It's another long story)
This episode showcased the wonderful chemistry between Vecchio and Fraser. It showed the progress of their friendship over the two seasons. Could you imagine such discussions in the first season? Their relationship began to change after Victoria's Secret, during and after which they had to confront a lot of issues. Contrast the ease and comfort they have with each other in being open with each other in this episode and a first-season episode and you'll see the change. Could you imagine them talking openly about jealousy and their feelings in, say, "The Man Who Knew Too Little?"
I've never seen the new Ray, so I can't make any comparisons. Still, an episode like this is bittersweet because I know the wonderful relationship that kept me watching (and taping) DS is about to end.
On another topic, I loved Thatcher's creative use of semaphore to flatten that obnoxious FBI agent.
ATQH was great, great fun. The musical mounties, the gaseous Frobisher, the ever-interfering Fraser Sr., the grand horseback chase of the ATV, and of course that breath-taking, hat-chopping kiss -- what glorious spectacle! But I was bothered by something, and it wasn't until I saw RWB that I was able to nail it down: the treatment of Ray and Meg in ATQH. Ray's role was minimal at best, his contributions to solving the crisis mostly redundant. And as for Meg, she was portrayed as blatantly incompetent: being kidnapped not once but twice, causing the "death" of Fraser with her ill-timed chop, even mixing up "woman" for "man" (although as Freudian slips go, that one was a doozy). Her only successes (the tattoo-on-the-hip diversion and the hairpin-catching cleavage) involved the use of sex. The feminist in me cringes.
RWB helped set things right -- an episode about justice in more ways than one. This time, Ray and Meg were the ones who made the key moves to foil the Bolt brothers. It was Ray who guessed blue and switched the bonds for the bomb, and it was Meg who zeroed in on the Gambello money as the brothers' real target (and got to punch out a sexist Fed. You go, girl!)
I would have liked the show for those plot points alone, but fortunately there's soooo much more. The "discussion" between Fraser and Ray was brilliant in the way it built on and circumvented the show's recurring use of the "real men don't talk feelings" idea (remembering especially "Bird in the Hand" here). And does PG know his character or what, as both a writer and an actor: the oh-so-slight opening of the eyes in alarm on being asked about his feelings; "But the point of the anecdote is this" (only Fraser would use the word "anecdote" here); the er-um before the word "relieve" when he proposes that the jury might like a break; the great throwaway lines like the judge asking "Are you two joined at the hip?" (YES! I wanted to shout. They are!); and maybe best of all, PG's quintessential Fraser earnestness when he speculates on the cause for his irritating qualities: "I don't know if it's some genetic abnormality, or some flaw in my upbringing, or perhaps some aberrant property in the Tuktoyaktuk water system."
It's a very smart script, one example being its "ticks" motif (the Mountie with the java returning in a couple of ticks, the judge asking "What's with the ticks? Do you two suffer from Tourette's?" LOL!!, the ticks of their hearts and the ticks of the bomb. The use of the Dr. Prescott story was an inspired parallel for Ray's situation, and the battling Bolt brothers working on the same "issues" as Fraser and Ray was marvelously funny. And would it be overanalyzing to equate the red, white, and blue to our red-suited Mounties, our blue-suited cops, and our favorite white wolf?
As a big Ben Fraser/Meg Thatcher fan (love their harmonious names), I have to admit that my love of this episode stems a great deal from their moments together: the wonderful opening discussion of their "contact" (Fraser saying "no" with such resonance when she asks if he's managed to forget their, um, contact), the wonderfully absurd semaphore (green cheese? I fell off my chair!), and of course the repetition of the wonderful Fraser compliment: "Red suits you." This was the point I began to think that maybe Fraser wasn't as clueless about Meg as he seemed to be -- that in fact he was courting her in a delightfully oblique fashion, catching her off guard, lowering her defenses little by little, proving his worth to her with each passing case and each passing compliment. Oh, how I wish the show had continued in that vein, but in Season 3/4 their relationship (IMHO) deteriorated to mostly parody, with only an occasional glimpse of the runaway hearts of Season 2.
But I digress, so let me move on to other favorite moments. Fraser's confession to Ray that he envies his freedom, his emotional and "existential" honesty was a bullseye (and let me veer briefly back to Season 3/4 and say that I really miss that symmetry in the Fraser/Ray partnership: I can't see Fraser admitting any such thing to Ray K, much as I like Ray K). And what a clever use of the clip from Season One's credits for the "history of Fraser and Dief"!
It is a clever episode overall, but it's also one with heart. The tag scene is perhaps one of the best in all of the episodes I've seen. Everything I love about this show is in that closing. Pan from a shot of Dief "the press hound" enjoying his fame to a shot of Inspector Meg standing tall and proud in the red suit that suits her next to the sexist Fed holding his bloody nose -- cut up to Fraser and Ray on the rooftop and enjoy a classic Fraser/Ray exchange ("You know, sometimes you just gotta be a conduit and let the world come to you," Ray philosophizes in satisfaction, and Fraser responds, with just the right off-the-mark agreeability, "OK") and then some wonderfully absurd and wonderfully romantic semaphore (did you see the breath Fraser took before signing "Red suits you"?), and close with some more classic Fraser and Ray: "You're the most irritating man in the world" -- "Define irritating" -- "Look it up, Mr. Encyclopedia" -- "I think you mean Mr. Dictionary, Ray."
Love it. Just love it.