Private Eyes s2 ep 18

After a sweet little beginning which stopped just short of shipper-tastic – I mean, would a hug have killed anybody? – the Private Eyes season finale changed tack very quickly, snapping into an unusually hi-tech, high stakes and, er, high volume (the “DON’T TALK, NOT SAFE” bit was awesome) story for what’s normally a happily lo-fi, relaxed way to spend 45 minutes a week, even if they have been pushing the Eyes envelope a little this year. Not that Everett and Shade Investigations will be challenging Ethan Hunt and the IMF to an apocalyptic spycraft-off any time soon, but this tale of heists, hacking and harassment was something of a departure for Private Eyes, and a tad different in tone and consequences from, say, finding a kidnapped octopus.

Perhaps that’s why REDACTED’s story didn’t feel right from the start. I guessed very quickly that she was lying, and what she was lying about, and if Angie and Shade had done their due diligence (or watched a bit more Blindspot) instead of being so kind and trusting they would have as well, but since the absolute joy of this show is precisely that kindness and trust, that wouldn’t have made it much of an episode. Either way, my mounting unease just made things significantly more exciting and, for all the plot might not hold up to too close an examination, I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. The ending was incredibly cruel, but since we’re (thank GOD) getting a third season, and we all know that Shade absolutely is going to get his partner/friend (aka love of his life, amirite?) Angie out of there, I forgive them. Especially since it might lead to that hug I’ve been waiting for. For so long, you guys. SO LONG.

A great season finale then, to round off another charming, cheerful season of a show I can’t get enough of. I’ve liked some episodes better than others, but it’s never mattered: Angie and Shade are a terrific team and I ship them with every ounce of my being, Zoe has turned out to be a delightful, capable sidekick, and I completely and utterly adore Maz. While Jules and Liam are very sweet kids, mind you, I would be fine if I never heard about their trip to Italy ever again, but that’s just me being an old grump. This show has so much heart, it captured mine long ago: I love it to pieces, and I can’t wait for season three.

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Private Eyes s2 ep 17

Everyone has off days, even our beloved Private Eyes. This week’s curiously subdued tale of sabotage of a family brewery is very mystery-by-numbers, which is more than fine when the show puts its usual cheery stamp on things, but that usual cheery stamp seems to have disappeared with the missing Wallace. As well as a lack of surprises, Private Eyes’s usual jauntiness just isn’t there for some reason. The problem isn’t so much that the answer to the mystery is obvious very early on – as our friend Traxy pointed out last week, that’s not unusual in procedural drama series – but that the process of the characters finding it out is somewhat downbeat and not as much fun as usual, although the odd little detail like the Girl on a Bike business and Zoe hammered on the couch do lift things a bit. The Jules sub-plot doesn’t particularly help – Jules is a nice girl, her relationship with Shade is lovely, and Zoe is very sweet to her, but I just don’t care about her love life. At all. The people on this show whose love lives I do care about are adults, namely (1) Shade and Angie, and (2) Maz and Zoe. The latter are already sorted – a shot of Maz might well have livened this episode up – of course, but it looks like the former are going to tease us till the end of the series. Sigh. Shangie are as charming as ever and their last scene is very cute, though, and despite how sad the resolution of the mystery is, the episode does end on a hopeful, even moving note. There’s no such thing as a bad episode of Private Eyes (or at least there hasn’t been so far) so this was never less than perfectly watchable and even reasonably entertaining but – possibly because I put too much faith in this show to distract me from too many other things – it felt like a little bit of a letdown.

Private Eyes s2 ep 16

A quick trip into Becca’s “world of sugar-coated insults” this week, as she summons Shade and Angie to help find her stalker and save her big interview with an inspiring Mayoral candidate. I don’t particularly like Becca – she’s selfish and she can be really mean – but one of the things that’s refreshing about Private Eyes is that, although she’s his ex-wife, Shade is lovely to her anyway. On plenty of shows, their history would mean either all-out warfare between them or some kind of constant angsty back-and-forth about how they can’t be together but they can’t move on either, but there’s no ill-will or big drama here at all: he’s always kind to, supportive and protective of her (as is Don) as a co-parent and member of his family – yet another marker of the show’s fundamental decency, which I may never stop going on about. Anyway, for what it’s worth, this wasn’t my favourite episode, principally because I was disappointed by how the stalker mystery worked out: it started off as pleasingly creepy, but when revealed as an unnecessarily elaborate scheme to achieve something which could easily have been done a different way with a lot less fuss and absolutely no need for police intervention, it lost a lot of its punch. Still, our heroes were as endearing as ever, Shade admitted that “Angie is pretty great” (squee!) although not to her face (sigh), and Maz and Zoe’s delightful sub-plot made up for my disappointment with the main storyline because they are ADORBS.

Private Eyes s2 ep 15

A modern twist on a traditional Rear Window-type theme this week, as a lonely little boy with time and a DRONE on his hands comes to believe his teacher has been murdered by her next door neighbour and hires a very sceptical Shade and Angie to investigate.

The ostensibly idyllic suburban setting brings up some apparently unresolved issues for Angie, but this is Private Eyes not Peyton Place so it’s nothing remotely traumatic. The mystery itself meanwhile meanders along quite nicely with the charmingly exasperated Maz popping up every now and again (“Thank God it wasn’t carrot!”), and Zoe in the background working on a (not that interesting, admittedly, but at least it doesn’t take up much time) side job for Shade Senior as well. No problem. “The Hills Have Eyes” is not in any way re-inventing the wheel – and lest any horror fans get the wrong idea, it’s about as close in tone to the movie of the same name as Paddington is to Nightmare on Elm Street – but it’s a cute, cosy story with some deft wee twists along the way, and, as usual, a thoroughly good heart at the centre of it – my eyes actually got a little misty at all the happy neighbourly togetherness at the end. Aw. Oh, and bonus: Shade and Angie pretend to be a married couple for a couple of minutes, so there’s that too. SQUEE.

Private Eyes s2 ep 14

“Leroy’s missing!” “Leroy….your colleague?……Boyfriend?” “No! Leroy’s an octopus!”

Of course he is. But more to the point, he’s an exceptionally rare and special octopus, his possible future wife Sally (an octopus celebrity in her own right) is on her way from Oz to join him, and frantic top marine biologist Dr Sila Mazhari desperately needs Shade and Angie to bring him back safe and save the world! Well, OK, not the world. But the species!

To add some extra-personal stakes to all of this, Sila is Maz’s not-so-little-sister and isn’t currently talking to him/ vice versa, Shade keeps accidentally bidding on Bengal tiger puppies and Jules has taken to keeping the Shade house mouse (ew) in a food container which she should now burn (after setting the mouse free somewhere very far from the house, I’m not a monster) while she frets about Italy and Liam some more. None of this will make any sense if you haven’t watched this episode, so you absolutely should. It’s completely delightful, and it’s full of warmth and love. Much like octopuses and their three hearts, as Shade might say. Bless.

Private Eyes s2 ep 13

This show is the highlight of my week.

At the end of a completely unconnected sting operation, Shade accidentally ends up being taken hostage and driving a murder suspect round Toronto in a taxi at gunpoint. As you do. Angie is frantic, Zoe is great, Nolan (boo!) and Maz (yay!) are more than decent, in fairness, but not entirely on board with how Everett Investigations likes to do things, and Shade is just lovely.

Of course, because this is the nicest show on tv – I know we keep saying it, but it’s true – things flip round a bit, the “killer” turns out to be nothing of the sort, and our heroes not only solve the case but turn the poor guy’s life back around as well. Awwww. AND Angie gets to kick some serious ass. YEAH.

I do feel we were cheated out of a proper Shangie hug, mind you. (I know she explained that she was tied up at first, but they cut the rope after that, didn’t they?) That shoulder squeeze did not count. But other than that minor disappointment – I mean, I would really have enjoyed a Shangie hug. Which lasted maybe a beat too long. With them staring intensely at each other for a second just before they were interrupted and pulled apart. Ok, yes, I have thought about this at some length. Er….. anyway, other than that “minor” disappointment, I have no complaints. “A Fare to Remember” (HEE) was funny, sweet, and a bit exciting – a little island of kindness and understanding in a world that sorely needs it. I loved it.

Private Eyes s2 ep 12

*SPOILERS*

Shade, Angie, Mel and Dr Ken are all on a “weird work weekend double date thing” at Shade’s friend Mark’s hotel, with free board and lodging in exchange for Everett Investigations looking into the possibility that Mark’s thoroughly unpleasant husband might be cheating on him. Awkward.

The investigation hasn’t even started yet though when said husband is found dead in his office in the dead of night, with a storm raging outside, the hotel just about cut off and everyone alibi’d up except Mark himself. Awkward squared. Since baby-faced Deputy Conroy is just a little out of his death and Shade isn’t going to let his friend go down without a fight, the “dream team” take charge of the investigation, which means quite a fun, Agatha Christie-lite episode as well as what I might have thought was a nice way to flesh out Mel and Dr Ken a bit more if I didn’t already quite like Mel and absolutely loathe Dr Ken with every fibre of my being. GRRR.

Because Dr Ken is a) an idiot and b) incapable of reading a room, he proposes to Angie yet again, causing utter consternation for both her and Shade, which both of them fail spectacularly to hide. None of this is lost on the significantly brighter, more independent Mel; the chance to observe Shade and Angie in their natural habitat – ie together, working a case – just serves to convince her of what she already knew, and she quietly breaks it off with Shade, while Angie ditches Dr Ken yet again because, well, you know why, you guys. YOU KNOW.

By episode’s end, then, our OTP are not only single again, but sitting together in a lovely romantic hotel in front of a roaring fire, looking very like the last scene in a Hallmark movie, except for the foot or so between them on the sofa. I can’t have been the only person desperately willing them to budge up a little. (SQUEE.) If Shade and Angie are not quite there yet, though, Maz and Zoe are miles out in front. Turns out I was wrong in thinking they were dating on the DL, but no matter; Shangie might not able to organise their own love lives but they do a grand job with their friends’ – sure, Zaz may not have saved the world from nuclear meltdown but they’re adorable nonetheless. As is this show. I love it.