Due South Season 2: finally, some Canada in my Canadian series
OK, so the first season did take advantage that its main character was both a Mountie and a Canadian living in America, but more often than not Fraser was simply portrayed as being basically an eccentric Chicago PD member as opposed to a representative of a foreign police force. This second season remedies that, to a certain extent, by both having more stories where either Fraser's Canadianess or his position at the consulate and in the RCMP were important story concerns, as well as introducing us to other RCMP members working at the consulate, most notably Fraser's new superior Inspector Margaret "Meg" Thatcher.
Meg is an interesting character, completely deadpan and seemingly coldly contemptuous (especially around Fraser), but as the season goes on it becomes clear that she is fascinated by Fraser in all his Dudley Do-Right glory, and more than a little attracted to him. Given that she becomes in this season essentially Fraser's love interest (although it is mostly subtext, as the two of them are so restrained as to make it impossible to express their feelings for one another), I thought it was a little sad that there wasn't any interaction between her and Fraser's Season 1 love interest/stalker Francesca. In fact, I don't believe she and Francesca ever share the screen at any point in the entire season.
Also newly introduced is Turnbull, a Mountie who is just below Fraser on the Consulate totem pole. I liked Turnbull, but he was barely used in the season, which was a real shame. This is because Turnbull is even odder than Fraser, in essence qualifying for Cloudcuckoolander status as someone who seems to be living on a different planet than all of the other characters. As an example, after being ordered to guard a room and not let anyone in or out of a room, his first question is that, if he finds himself inside the room, does that mean he can't exit it? He seemed like a really fun character, but we barely get to see him this season.
As always, the interplay between Fraser and Ray is excellent. Paul Gross and David Marciano play off each other impeccably, and each one makes the other's performance so much better. This season also give us several situations when the relationship is strained to the breaking point, such as episodes where Ray feels that Fraser has betrayed him and the police in general by taking apart cases against a supposed criminal in order to get at the real culprit. Their relationship is the heart of this show, and I was not disappointed by how it played out.
I also liked how multiple characters from the first season, for instance Buck Frobisher and Ian McDonald, return this season. They never feel like fanbait, but interesting opportunities to explore new stories with characters we're already familiar with. It really was nice, and I hope to see reappearances by characters from this season in future seasons.
All in all, I loved this season. "Due South" is easily becoming my favorite cop drama, and I love both Paul Gross and David Marciano. Definitely check this out as soon as you can. Now to find season 3....
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