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23 July 2010 @ 10:43 pm
Top Ten Due South episodes  
I was going to post the fic rec post today, but I got sidetracked by RL and now I'm tired, so instead I'm posting my top ten favorite episodes, just because it was mostly finished. The criteria I used for this list is based solely on my personal tastes and which episodes I find myself watching again and again, and trust me, it was damn difficult leaving some episodes out of the top ten. Two-part episodes are counted as one.

#10The Deal  (season one, episode seventeen)

This one had to do battle with Strange Bedfellows for the spot, but won because it has the virtue of not having long, dragging scenes with Stella Kowalski (they talk entirely too much in that episode, which I understand, but since it's Stella, I get bored quickly.) The Deal is wonderful because it gives Ray Vecchio emotional depth. I still get teary-eyed at the part where Zuko's thugs beat Fraser. The opera music is so fitting and Fraser had never been beaten until that episode. The big scene where Ray stands up to Frankie in the gym is my favorite, and holy shit, watching that scene, all I can think is BAMF and that he will later make a convincing Armando Langoustini. Ray reduces Frankie to a scared wimp, and even though he might be killed, he acts like he doesn't give a fuck about what they do to him. I love when he gets back into the car with Fraser. Fraser asks, "how are you?" and Ray says, "scared to death." You couldn't tell, Ray baby. Then there's the funny B-plot of Frannie chasing Fraser, asking him flat out if he wants to have sex (in a church choir! ROFL!) and then running around buying lingerie as Fraser and Ray try to solve a case. Any mix of high drama and crazy humor gets my vote easily.

#9.  Seeing Is Believing (season three, episode five)

This episode is just plain fun and I love comedy. This is the first episode we get where Welsh gets a huge part and integrated into the story, and boy is it fun. I love the writing of this episode, the three contrasting points of view between Welsh, Ray, and Thatcher, and how each of their scenarios are played out by the guest actors. It's here you get to see their true characters, Welsh with his "this world is full of creeps" outlook, Ray with his concocted scenario of a man losing the girl like he lost his wife, and Thatcher with her tale of a woman protecting a younger man. I love the part where it shows her killing the guy and touching Fraser's face, and it's here we understand that Thatcher doesn't really want Fraser; she wants the Mountie, wants her version of Fraser, like the stuff in Frannie's Sword of Desire. There's the entire hypnosis hilarity of Fraser using post-hypnotic suggestion by making Ray and Thatcher nicer, and I love that this is as devious as Fraser gets. Of course we get "I love you Fraser!" "and I you, Ray," which is tons of fun, and I love the showdown at the end with Ray being worried as hell that Fraser will get hurt.

#8.  Some Like It Red (season two, episode twelve)

The infamous cross dressing episode! How do I not include it? It's Fraser in a dress. Do I have to go into details? Well, I can talk about how much I love how they put Fraser in a dress. You and I have both seen plenty of tv shows and movies that have cross dressing hilarity, but Due South does it in the best way possible. Paul Gross makes a terrible woman because of his bone structure and his brawny features. They don't even have his wig match his hair color. But Fraser pulls off a convincing woman because he doesn't do the stereotypical guy-in-a-dress schtick of wobbling in heels, adjusting his boobs all the time, acting ditsy or out of character, or talking in a high, fake voice. No, Fraser can run in high heels, he gets every detail covered, right down to wearing perfume, and his voice is simply his normal voice but at a slightly higher pitch. The only problem he has is with panty hose, because well, they pinch. :) The 'fun' slash of Ray and Fraser dancing and the bickering at the end is priceless: "I just like a woman who is, you know, a woman." "Well that's just picky, Ray." "Don't get all moody."

#7  Red, White, or Blue (season two, episode seventeen)

This is pretty much the last good episode before Vecchio leaves, since Flashback is mostly a clip show with a run-of-the-mill plot. This is one of the rare episodes in which Ray is truly mad with Fraser, and really if you look closely, he's not so much mad at Fraser as he is bitter and just wanting a little recognition for the hard work he does. I absolutely adore the fight scene where they're not even in the same location but are talking as if they're both in the same room. Of course it's impossible that they can speak like that, so it just adds more of that craziness that turns my crank. It's interesting because you never feel like their partnership is in jeopardy like you do whenever Kowalski and Fraser fight, because the fights are different. Fraser can't change who he is, and so it's kind of an impasse and Ray letting off steam in this episode. And there's a poncho with a bomb underneath. Oh Due South, marry me.

#6  The Ladies Man (season four, episode five)

A Kowalski-centric episode, and this one is intense. We get to see Ray screw up, even if it was as a rookie, and it makes the ending bittersweet when they solve the case and free Beth Botrelle, but if Ray had not contaminated evidence and read the suicide note instead of handing it to someone else, it would not have happened. Ray cries and Fraser is there to comfort him, and man is it heartbreaking because these are not man-tears. This is snot and embarrassing noises, which I love because I get tired of the single-tear stoic man crying (I'm looking at you, Supernatural.) 

#5 Eclipse (season three, episode two)

This is the episode where he actually get to see Ray Kowalski, not just a dude who's pretending to be Vecchio. If you watching Burning Down the House and think that's who Kowalski is, then you're grossly mistaken. In that episode we see only glimpses of the real Ray Kowalski, like how at the beginning he's hitting on every woman and chatting up everyone in the station, but at the end he's bashful when Fraser asks him to get something to eat with him. In Eclipse we get the whole shebang, starting with Ray in his kitchen getting ready for his personal mission. The focus is on him, and what do we see as we go along? A good cop who has had five citations for bravery. Sounds like he sticks more than just his neck out for others. He's also a great dancer, a good shot (with his glasses on only), and he carries around baggage from his childhood. I also dig the humor in this, especially the grave robbers who give good insight into things. I like how this show flips stereotypes like that. And of course, the overwhelmingly homoerotic "Do you think I'm attractive?" Who asks that of a dude you don't really know? And when the grave robbers add their opinion and the actual woman answers, Ray doesn't want to hear their answers, he wants Fraser's answer. And what does Fraser answer? "Very much so, yes." *flail*

#4 North (season two, episode one)

Fraser and Ray get stuck in the wilderness, chasing down a criminal. Except Fraser has a head injury. This episode is hilarious. I love how kooky Fraser gets ("I hear a nest of furry nightcrawlers!") and how they both are talking to the ghosts of their fathers, who are both urging them to abandon the other. Ray shows how loyal he is by not only sticking by Fraser's side, but at one point actually carrying Fraser over his shoulder. I just about die laughing when they start singing "Glue in My Saddle" and a strange take on "California Dreaming." They work good together, and I love how it all plays out.

#3 Mountie on the Bounty (season three, episodes twelve and thirteen)

I could write an entire essay on these two episodes, but we'll just stick with why I love them: Fraser and Ray fight. And I mean fight. Ray punches Fraser, manages to talk Fraser into punching him back to be even Steven, and they're both thinking of taking transfers and breaking up their partnership. While it was Vecchio letting off steam in Red, White, or Blue and Fraser defending himself, Fraser is just as angry with Ray Kowalski in this episode. He flat out yells at Ray before getting punched ("Well what does that mean you're going to punch me?!) and is snappy the rest of the episodes ("All right Mr. Instinct!" "Don't worry, I'm not excited.") How often do you see Fraser yelling in anger? I love how they can cut through the other, then they do eventually work together and nothing makes me happier than them doing their silent signal thing at the end scene, perfectly in sync. And I feel like standing and clapping when Fraser gets to use a gun ("You are in the dominion of Canada") and Ray throws him that gun. 

#2 Victoria's Secret (season one, episodes twenty and twenty-two)

Fuck me, this was an amazing two parter. I had to really fight with myself from putting it at number one, but eventually put it at number two because I like more humor in my material. But damn, this is the big Fraser episode. He falls in love with this women with "a darkness inside her" and when you first watch it, you honestly think that she might not be all bad and that she just has people from her past out to get her. But the second part hones in on the fact that she is a psychopath and is freaking evil, pinning everything on Fraser and threatening his friends. Talk about revenge, sheesh. But the real drama is Fraser, who is so in love that it hurts. My heart breaks a thousand times. When he's running to get stolen diamonds to Victoria and the old lady asks him to help her and he, Benton Fraser, actually tells her 'no.' Fraser lighting up candles, hoping that Victoria will come back, even after all she did to him, broken. The last scene where he was going to leave with her, become a fugitive and leave Vecchio in a debt for breaking bail. He would have left, but was stopped by nothing but a bullet in his back. This is heartbreaking, and about as low as you can get. It's no wonder why I love Fraser/Kowalski, because they're both men who were head over heels for someone, had their hearts smashed to bits, and still were in love.

#1 Call of the Wild (season four, episodes twelve and thirteen)

What other episode could possibly go here? It's the ultimate episode. Slashy happy ending, comedy, drama, and BOTH Rays in the same place, interacting with each other. The slash is epic, the story is epic, the whole damn thing is epic. I love the themes of going home, how Fraser loses his father for good and how Ray is lost regarding who he is, and how they solve this by staying together and going on an adventure. I'd go as far as to say that they find home with each other. I could on for ages about every little thing that makes this episode great, but we'd be here all day. All I can say is that it's the perfect ending for this career slasher. My pairing goes off together, the other possible romantic interests for the two boys are scattered elsewhere (Stella and Vecchio marry each other, Frannie has kids with who knows who, and Thatcher go on to be a secret agent woman), and they all live happily ever after.
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Amy: spn: (sam) tearsquarterwhore on July 24th, 2010 10:43 am (UTC)
I just watched The Ladies Man yesterday, and this was spot on:

This is snot and embarrassing noises, which I love because I get tired of the single-tear stoic man crying (I'm looking at you, Supernatural.)

Exactly what I thought when I saw the ending! (Thought Supernatural does have a few good crying scenes, it's like 5 good ones out of 100 bazillion quiet manly ones.)
Big Mama G: blowing my mindbigmamag on July 26th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
And have you noticed that it's usually Sam's crying scenes that are better? Good lord, I think 'Heart' had the best crying scene ever. Well, and of course I have to give credit to AHBL pt 2 and Dean crying. :( I still get all teary-eyed over it.
Oh, so that's puce.: the triomijmeraar on July 25th, 2010 10:45 am (UTC)
In that episode we see only glimpses of the real Ray Kowalski, like how at the beginning he's hitting on every woman and chatting up everyone in the station, but at the end he's bashful when Fraser asks him to get something to eat with him

Oh man, YES. Also, at the start when RayK says 'I don't risk my life for no-one' as Vecchio's house burns down, but at the end he drives the car into the Lake and then steps in front of a bullet.

Yay for top ten! It would take me ages to figure that out. I might have to try, one day.
Big Mama G: fraser/raykbigmamag on July 26th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
It's like he was trying to be who he thought Ray Vecchio was, which sort of makes sense because I'm sure random co-workers would give him tips, not people who really know him like Fraser. :)

I would love to read it! It was pretty hard choosing, but I think I'm mostly satisfied.
(Deleted comment)
Big Mama G: fraser/raykbigmamag on July 26th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
I doubt anyone who had even watched one episode of Due South would think that, even if Ray Vecchio had thugs, he would get them to beat up Fraser. 0_o I'll give the pronoun an antecedent and correct the error, but given the tone of the paragraph, I think it would clear even to non-DS fans that I mean the antagonist, Zuko.

Also I never said Ray wasn't scared, just that he didn't show it to Zuko. Having a scared look on his face when he turns away from Zuko doesn't count.

And yeah, I can see COTW not being that happy an ending for F/V shippers. In fact, it must suck royal ass. I experienced that after reading the last Harry Potter book. The problem with epilogues that tell you what happens in the future is that it can't please everyone and if you don't ship the final pairing, you're screwed. I'm just lucky that in this one case, I finally had my favored pairing get a satisfying ending. Can't say I've had that luck with 95% of the rest of my fandoms. :)