Private Eyes s3 ep 12

*SPOILERS*

It’s season finale time and you know we’ve been waiting for Shangie to get it together since episode one of season one – are we getting our reward at last? No. No, we most certainly are not. Why would we? We can get old pal William Shatner back and sort HIS love life. We can have yet ANOTHER sub-plot about Shade struggling with Jules’s choices and her sorting HER love life. But Shade and Angie? They appear to be doomed to dance around each other, taking turns to sort-of-accept their feelings – this week, it’s Angie’s go – while everyone around them (and everyone watching) wants to mash their heads together and sort THEIR love life, dammit. How much more can we take?

Hurrumph. As season finales go, this, like the season overall, wasn’t necessarily the Eyes at its peak but it was fine. A mildly entertaining mystery about the cut-slice cut-throat world of cakes and baking, a relatively quick if disappointingly Jimmy-punch-free dispatch for Mr Speedbump (I think. He had better not be back next season) and Angie essentially admitting to herself, if not to Shade, how she feels about him. But just as we were getting somewhere with Angie, along popped the latest distraction for Shade just to put the obligatory spanner in the works: not a new love interest, but a new daughter from an old one, making the Jules plot about birth control not only thematically significant but hugely ironic. If only Shade’s mum or his ex’s had been as responsible as Becca… now, there’s something I never thought I’d type.

Anyway. You know how much I adore Private Eyes so this is not me saying that I’m suddenly over it or any such drastic-ness. Sure, I would have liked more Maz, fewer parenting problems and no Mr Speedbumps, but there have been some fantastic episodes this season nonetheless and the show is such a lovely, warm little haven of niceness that I already miss it and I’ll be delighted when it comes back. However, even I’m getting a little tired of being strung along. Now Shade and Angie both know how they feel, and we know they know, I’m really going to need them to do something about it next season or the danger is that me being a “little tired” may turn into me being full-on exasperated.

Private Eyes s3 ep 11

Ahoy, me hearties. Angie in bed with Speedbumpy McSpeedbumperson was not a promising start to this episode and following up with some nonsense about Jules being a DJ genius didn’t make me any less well-disposed towards it but, mercifully, the Eyes rushed through all that reasonably quickly to get on to the mystery of the week. Not that the mystery of the week really grabbed my attention either: perhaps I was still annoyed at Speedbumpy McSpeedbumperson. Or unimpressed at the prospect of yet another sub-plot about how Jules wants something, Shade’s uneasy about it, Angie or Don talks him round, and Jules gets what she wants in the end.

Either way, even if it left me slightly cold, the main story was fine – mildly amusing, even – involving as it did a pirate-themed dinner cruise, drug smugglers and the answer to where Maz has been for the past few weeks. Welcome back Maz! Although the season finale’s next week so it’s not like we can enjoy him for very long. Still, his return is the second-best thing about the episode, the best being the handful of wistful, squee-able moments threaded through it to make sure we know all is not lost on the Shangie front: the regretful, resigned look in Shade’s eyes when he asked Angie about her relationship with Speedbumpy, the stricken look in hers when Shade announced that there was “nothing more dangerous than a workplace romance”, that type of thing. Sigh. There’s a very obvious “we got one kind of ship this week but not the one we really wanted” joke to be made here somewhere: it really is just as well that Jason Priestley and Cindy Sampson are so good at this sort of quiet, hidden-but-not-really yearning, since it doesn’t look like we’re getting much else on the Shangie front for now. We’ll see what next week brings.

Private Eyes s3 ep 10

*SPOILERS*

Dear Private Eyes,

Are you trolling me?

After last week’s near-miss on the make-out front, I’m very suspicious when this one kicks off with Shade being approached by gorgeous journalist Stefani who seems interested in a lot more than his fascinating career trajectory. Is this Mel mk 2? Are we doing yet another round of romantic speedbumps? But, wait! Turns out Angie, sorry, Angela, is visibly worked up and confused about their pashus interruptus, and Shade, sorry, Matthew, really, really wants to talk to her about it, although he also doesn’t mind talking to the journalist about his fascinating career trajectory in the meantime. You guys! This means….. they’re not just ignoring their feelings (and mine) like they usually do! Does the handholding of the past couple of weeks mean something’s changed? Are these people finally going to talk to each other?! IS THERE GOING TO BE SHANGIE AT LAST?

Well, the answers to those questions are apparently “sort of,” “sort of” and a resounding “no,” because I love these characters and I want them to be happy but they apparently do not feel the same way about me. I mean, things are going reasonably well at first – even Zoe, back in the same room with her boss at last, can tell there’s been a shift in the force – but it starts to go awry when Danica (FFS, Danica, Maz would never) somehow hires our heroes to solve the mystery of a handsome-ish (I would have been markedly more enthusiastic about his admittedly impressive looks if I didn’t want to punch him in the jimmy face) flirty amnesiac with a tattoo of Texas and an interest in more than Angie’s investigative skills.

This is man manna from heaven for Angie, who is desperate to prove to Shade and herself she doesn’t actually have feelings for her partner and, sensing that bickering with him throughout the episode is giving a different impression entirely, is delighted to have a handsome-ish man to help her out with that particular pretence. Hello Dr Ken, mk 2, and oh, yeah, desk, meet my forehead. Thump. But wait (again)! Our heroes are going undercover at a couples, er, sex retreat? (This episode’s a bit racier than usual.) Undercover as a couple! You know what that means – fakeout makeout that’s not so fakeout after all! Except – no, it doesn’t, not this week. This week it means talking about our feelings in not-very-coded language at all in a mad, brilliant scene where Matthew and Angela pretend to talk about buying a sex swing. (Told you it was racier than usual.)

This is all both tremendously SQUEE-worthy and absolutely hilarious, but obviously culminates in Shade going on a second sort-of-date with Stefani, and Angie going on a first very-much-date with Tex. But wait (a third time)! Shade – very gently, because he’s lovely – turns Stefani down and pretends to be baffled as to why. Of course, he’s fooling nobody, least of all Don, who goes some way to redeeming himself for Gumbogate last week with a wry “Yeah, real mystery you got there.” Heh. If only Angie were there to help our hero solve it, instead of taking Mr Speedbump home and ending this episode in the most infuriating, but predictably Angie-ish way possible. ARGH. This was a fantastic episode and maybe the best one of the season so far, but I’m RAGING.

Private Eyes s3 ep 9

In theory, there are any number of things l could be talking about as far as this week’s Private Eyes goes. I mean, I could be noticing that Zoe’s appearances for the past few weeks have been scant, and in separate locations from her co-stars. Or for that matter, I could be speculating as to why we haven’t seen Maz in ages – Danica’s “he’s applying to join a secret taskforce” has to have been a meta joke about him being busy with Team Tat, no? (It made me laugh, anyway.) Or I could be saying something about the actual plot – quite a good one, as it happens, involving martial arts, snake venom and something called the “Iron Palm.” But who can focus on any of that THIS week, of all weeks? No, I’m not talking about the U.K. plunging into constitutional crisis, I’m saying Angie stayed at Shade’s! There was cooking! And coffee! And handholding (again)! And there was 100% about to be Shangie making out (I know you saw them leaning in), if stupid Don hadn’t come back home at just that stupid minute with his stupid gumbo. Don, FFS, man! THERE WAS ABOUT TO BE MAKING OUT! How could you DO this to us?! SQUEE!!!!!!!

Private Eyes s3 ep 8

Hello again to Seth Byrne’s Deputy Eddie Conroy this week. Took me a minute to place him beyond “Haven’s paranormal tv guy”, but then I realised he was also, more pertinently, the floundering new local cop in one of the best Eyes episodes of last season. Well. And here he is again, taking on a significantly bigger role as he seeks Shade and Angie’s help in investigating the murder of an elderly friend, and making it two for two in terms of “best episodes”, if we’re counting. Yes, the worldly-wise, kind and overwhelmingly decent Shade and the enthusiastic, naive and slightly mad Eddie make a charming double act and, working with a smartly-plotted mystery and just a little pathos, they help make “The Conroy Curse” a real delight. Surprisingly, though, they also endure a lot more danger than your standard Private Eyes ep: the boys are in real peril at various points. I mean, intellectually, their fate is never really in doubt, but that river business is scary, which – BONUS – means Angie getting very worried, her and Shade actually holding hands at one point (don’t you think I didn’t notice, Everett, I NOTICED, SQUEE!) and Eddie making Shade acknowledge how he feels about her, even if, as usual, ol’Shadow is too scared to do it to her face. Dude. I loved this episode to bits but Eddie’s right: “Can’t wait forever, you know what I mean?”

Private Eyes s3 ep 7

Becca’s new show – the Eyes’ answer to Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars – is plagued with “accidents” which are being attributed to some kind of supernatural shenanigans, despite very clearly being of far more prosaic origin. Of course, she calls in Shade and Angie, and, of course, poor Shade somehow gets roped into actually taking part in the show but he looks good in a matador dance costume so there’s that. Who’s sabotaging the show? What do they want? Well done to Angie who, between blatantly longing looks at Shade’s paso doble (I see you, girlfriend) and thanks to a little help from Zoe, manages to solve both questions, and well done to Shade for some very nifty footwork in the nick of time. Dude’s dancing is fun (and saves lives!) but, whether it’s because, like Zoe, I was watching this while laid up in bed with a cold and wasn’t really in the right headspace or because the story just isn’t that great, I found the rest of this episode a bit dull.

Private Eyes s3 ep 6

A routine insurance gig turns into the Eyes’ answer to Die Hard this week as Shade stumbles onto a hostage situation inside a household goods company. Of course, Shade won’t leave the hostages, and Angie won’t leave Shade (SQUEE! I mean, that counts as a SQUEE-able moment, doesn’t it? SQUEE!), which means some more perilous than usual – albeit still relatively gentle in comparison to other tv shows – shenanigans involving toasters, hairdryers and Shade apologising for having to punch some daftie in the ribs. It’s all nicely-plotted, funny and somehow, despite the guns, still sweet and low-stakes – I mean, genuine, serious consideration is given at one point to whether the armed men might be after the company’s new slow-cooker design, come on now – which is exactly how I like my Eyes, thank you very much. And bonus: Angie, Shade and Maz all get to showcase their talents and how well they work together, while newbie Ruth gets to be much less annoying than she was when she first showed up. Shame the same can’t be said for Inspector Carson, but we can’t have everything, I guess. What we can have, though, is a very good time for 40ish minutes and a “Best. Partner. Ever.” Yippee ki yay, indeed.

Private Eyes s3 ep 5

Having already hosted half the town’s worth of Haven alumni, Private Eyes welcomes Audrey Parker herself this week as Emily Rose plays Angie’s college BFF Cassie, now a big fancy wine specialist for a big fancy auction house with a big fancy problem: a priceless, one-of-a-kind bottle of wine has been stolen just before auction, and Everett and Shade need to find it, tout de suite.

Well. Despite having absolutely zero interest in wine, priceless or otherwise, I somehow ended up absolutely loving this. Yes, I could have done without Jules’s sub-plot – yes, fine, I get it, Italy is tremendous, you’ve been saying that all season, ENOUGH – but it’s a very minor niggle in an otherwise delightful episode. The identity of the thief is, of course, obvious the second we meet them, but the mystery is nicely-plotted and thoroughly entertaining nonetheless. The contrast between Shade’s impressive wine buff tendencies and Angie’s complete lack thereof is a joy, too, and the end of the story is all kinds of unexpectedly lovely and moving. And, best of all, Cassie turns out to be a sensible woman who likes a ship as much as we do, so we finally get some Shangie chat, I want to say “Shangie action” but let’s not go wild – after weeks of not very much in that area at all. I mean, Shade calls Angie (who, btw, this week is looking the most glamorous we’ve seen her outside of undercover ops) “smart, spontaneous and stunning!” Cassie points out the way he looks at her and how he’s Angie’s type too! And Angie is very much not denying how she feels about him! SQUEEEEE!!!

Private Eyes s3 ep 4

Last week, Yorkville. This week, on the official “Private Eyes tour of nice places to go in Ontario,” Angie and Shade are off to picturesque Unionville to help out Riley, former defence lawyer and old client of Angie’s dad’s, who‘s given up the law, opened up a motorcycle repair shop and annoyed the residents of Stars Hollow his neighbours so much that someone is trying very hard to run him out of town. Riley doesn’t help himself much by being a) spectacularly rude to our heroes – dude, you’re the one who called them – and b) less than forthcoming about anything and everything, but it turns out, as ever on Private Eyes, that there’s a decent guy somewhere under all of that, even if he could stand to work a bit harder on showing it. Manners cost nothing, dude. And a Secret Pain isn’t a licence to be a jerk.

Anyway, I was slightly distracted for much of the episode by the palpable vibe between him and Angie – did they date? Are they going to date? It really felt like one or the other had to be true – but the story was perfectly serviceable. Riley’s search for redemption turned out to be quite moving (albeit unpopcult firmly believes that everyone, no matter how repugnant, is entitled to a fair trial and a competent defence, so if he really did tank a trial on purpose, that’s not even remotely cool) and the ending where the community came together while Angie hit the open road was sweet. As far as the sub-plots are concerned, Don’s love life isn’t my top priority and I am (as I’ve said before) always baffled by any chat about the popularity of soup, but he and Shona are an entirely personable couple, and his scenes with Shade are always grounded in affection and warmth. On the negative side, though, there still aren’t enough Shangie shipping opportunities coming up, and I’m not too keen on new cop Danica – it’s very early days, but she could get very annoying very fast. Mind you, I wasn’t too sure about Zoe when she first showed up, either, and she turned out great, so maybe Danica will too. We shall see.

Private Eyes s3 ep 3

Angie’s mum’s secret plastic surgeon boyfriend is sweet, supportive and in big trouble: someone’s hacked into his computer system and is holding his patient files for ransom. What to do? Get Everett and Shade on the case, of course, even if Angie is acutely suspicious of anything or anyone to do with her mum, and Shade is having some parental issues himself, although they happen to be with his (ever so slightly doing my head in this week) offspring as opposed to his mum or dad. “No matter where they come from, parents and kids drive each other crazy” is very much the theme of the episode then, which is fair enough, but the show’s insistence on fitting every aspect of this week’s story and sub-plots into it doesn’t do anyone any favours. You know I love Private Eyes, and I wanted to like this one, but the “parents / kids” thing takes it down a convoluted, torturous route and ties up the case of the week in a way that’s absolutely meant to be heartwarming, but just annoyed me. Dr Rohit is a much nicer person than I am, because I would absolutely have called the police on REDACTED’s ass and REDACTED’s ass would have deserved it.

The story about Angie’s prom dress is great, and I thoroughly enjoyed the very eloquent, very pleased look on Ma Everett’s face when she asks about Angie’s love life and Shade walks in (SQUEE!) but these are small consolations for no Maz, very little Zoe and an ep that never really clicked for me.