Due South (1997)

Season 1 Episode 1

Burning Down The House

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Aired Unknown Sep 14, 1997 on CTV
7.8
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Episode Summary

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Burning Down The House
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Fraser returns from his vacation and finds his apartment building burnt down. When he returns to the police station in order to meet his partner, there is somebody else in his place, only nobody else seems to realize that. When a call alerts them that Ray's house is burning, too, Fraser and the new Ray start to investigate.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
    Callum Keith Rennie

    Callum Keith Rennie

    Detective Stanley Raymond Kowalski

    Beau Starr

    Beau Starr

    Harding Welsh

    Camilla Scott

    Camilla Scott

    Constable Margaret Thatcher

    Ramona Milano

    Ramona Milano

    Francesca Vecchio

    Tony Craig

    Tony Craig

    Det. Jack Huey

    Tom Melissis

    Tom Melissis

    Det. Thomas E. Dewey

    George Bloomfield

    George Bloomfield

    Zoltan Motherwell

    Guest Star

    Billy Parrott

    Billy Parrott

    Junior Mountie

    Guest Star

    Neil Dainard

    Neil Dainard

    RCMP Inspector

    Guest Star

    Dean McDermott

    Dean McDermott

    Constable Renfield Turnbull

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (2)

      • This is the third time that Fraser is more or less involved in the destruction of Vecchio's beloved Buick Riviera. His first one was shot at and blown up in the episode The Man Who Knew Too Little, the second one was wired with a car bomb that killed Louis Gardino in Juliet is Bleeding, and now the Buick is again blown up and driven into a Lake Michigan.

      • The opening scenes of this episode mirror the very beginning of the series in the pilot episode of Due South (1994). Both show Benton Fraser in Canada and his pursuit of a criminal. The crimes are rather ludicrous, 1994 it was overfishing, 1997 it is polluting. In both cases he catches the criminal, and receives bad news when he brings them in. In the pilot, he learned about the death of his father, here, he gets a call from Ray Vecchio, indicating that something is wrong and that their partnership comes to an end.

    • QUOTES (15)

      • Benton Fraser: (stopping Ray from parking the burning car) You cannot stop the car.
        Ray Kowalski: Not with you holding onto my leg, I can't.
        Benton Fraser: Wait. It is too dangerous. This is a public thoroughfare. Pedestrians may be afoot.

      • Benton Fraser: (about Dief) He does read lips, so enunciate clearly.
        Ray Kowalski: Get off me exclamation mark!

      • Harding Welsh: (to Fraser) Constable. You've returned. Upon reflection, I imagine that pleases me.

      • Benton Fraser: Sir, I will confess at first I was a little worried that maybe I had a hole in my bag of marbles, so I did an impromptu investigation. I would like to present in evidence... These are the registered fingerprints and these are the fingerprints of the man in question. They do not match. This is an official dental record, and this is a cast I made of the suspect's teeth. And they do not match. The shoe size is also inconsistent, and finally, as you can see, the suspect's nose is fully 7 millimeters smaller than Ray Vecchio's. In conclusion, this man is not Raymond Vecchio.
        Harding Welsh: Constable, you have an uncanny power of observation.

      • Ray Kowalski: Yeah, yeah, ordinarily I would do that but ordinarily I do not have a deaf wolf trying to make intimate with me, Fraser. Besides, I'm trying to shake things up a little bit. Routine is the silent killer.
        Benton Fraser: I thought that was high blood pressure.
        Ray Kowalski: Nah, they changed that.
        Benton Fraser: When?
        Ray Kowalski: You were on vacation...

      • Ray Kowalski: Look, the car's going to blow!
        Benton Fraser: It is not. It is very, very, very rare that a car ever actually explodes. (The car explodes and they continue driving in a burning car.) Mental note: Equip your vehicle with a fire extinguisher.

      • Commander: Let me just go over the details and see if I have them in order here... You were in pursuit of this individual for over six and a half days over roughly, oh, seventeen hundred kilometers of deep wilderness, in pursuit of an individual you suspected was guilty of... ?
        Benton Fraser: Littering, sir.
        Commander: Ah. I was hoping I had read that incorrectly because, you see, in the course of the pursuit of this litterbug you effectively destroyed 3 river boats, 2 light aircraft, 4 ATV and 1 pontoon.
        Benton Fraser: The pontoon was purely accidental, sir.

      • Ray Kowalski: You called me Ray.
        Benton Fraser: No I didn't.
        Ray Kowalski: Yeah you did.
        Benton Fraser: No I didn't.
        Ray Kowalski: Yeah you did.
        Benton Fraser: It was a mistake. Come on.
        Ray Kowalski: You know I'm Ray. Don't fight it, Benton buddy.
        Benton Fraser: You are not Ray. You don't even look like him.
        Ray Kowalski: I could have had plastic surgery.
        Benton Fraser: You could also be unhinged.

      • Ray Kowalski: (to Diefenbaker who is licking his face) God! Stop it!
        Benton Fraser: Stop what?
        Ray Kowalski: What he's doing to me, the things he's doing to me!
        Benton Fraser: Could be a sign of affection...
        Ray Kowalski: Or what?
        Benton Fraser: Or a prelude to lunch.

      • Robert Fraser: We have to find somewhere to live.
        Benton Fraser: What do you mean, "we"?
        Robert Fraser: That's a cruel joke, son. I've been thinking about an office. I think I need an office.
        Benton Fraser: What the hell would you do with an office?
        Robert Fraser: Office work, memoirs, catch up on my taxes...
        Benton Fraser: Taxes! You've been dead for two years.
        Robert Fraser: Oh, they find you, son. They find you.

      • Benton Fraser: Geiger was an escaped convict sworn to vengeance on a legendary Mountie who bore an uncanny resemblance to the Canadian actor and comedian, Leslie Nielsen.
        Robert Fraser: Who has yet to receive the Order of Canada.
        Benton Fraser: Long overdue.

      • Ray Kowalski: (when Fraser is about to lick an electric socket) Hey! What are you doing? I don't know where you come from, but I come from this little place called America where we got this big thing called electricity. Word of advice: Your tongue, electricity - not a good mix.
        Benton Fraser: Huh.

      • Benton Fraser: I wasn't aware you could feel heat.
        Robert Fraser: I'm dead, I'm not insensitive.

      • Benton Fraser: (helping Francesca out the window of a burning building) Trust me.
        Francesca Vecchio: You, I trust. It's the landing that I'm not so sure of.

      • Ray Kowalski: It's been weird, but it's been a pleasure.
        Benton Fraser: Likewise. Let's lock our load.
        Ray Kowalski: It's lock and load.
        Benton Fraser: Lock and load. I'm sorry.

    • NOTES (7)

      • One of the fannish efforts to bring the show back was mailing hundreds of rubber ducks to the producers. Maybe inspired by a quote in the season 2 episode The Edge:
        Fraser: Ray, duck.
        (Vecchio ducks and hits the ground.)
        Fraser: Anas platyrhynchos. Very unusual sighting for this time of year.
        Vecchio: Duck. Duck. Duck means duck! Duck doesn't mean duck!
        As a nod to that, plenty of rubber ducks explode around Fraser and Ray when they drive into Lake Michigan. In the later episode Spy vs Spy, random boxes will again be full of rubber ducks. Paul Gross also signed rubber ducks that are occasionally offered on ebay.

      • In 1998, Due South was nominated for 10 Gemini Awards and won three of them. This episode was nominated for three Gemini Awards (1998) and won none of them:
        - Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role: Paul Gross
        - Best Writing in a Dramatic Series: Paul Gross
        - Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series: Gordon Pinsent
        On a show level, there were nominations for Best Dramatic Series, and Best Writing in a Dramatic Series (Paul Gross).

      • Season one and two of this guide were produced in one go and aired over two consecutive years. The DVD releases promote them as the same show as Due South (1994). In the US, all 26 episodes are sold as season 3. In Canada, they are sold as season 3 and 4.

      • During the nine month between Due South (1994) and this season, many of the original sets had been destroyed. That's the main reason that Fraser's apartment building burned down and that he moved into the Consulate, which also moved to a new location.

      • The most prominent casting change in this season is the replacement of David Marciano with Callum Keith Rennie for the role of Ray Vecchio. The initial fan reaction to Rennie was, in part, extremely negative, and his supporters have been a minority in the fan following of the show. The topic, which Ray was better, was so controversial that this period is commonly called Ray Wars. Nowadays, Ray Kowalski fans outnumber fans of the real Ray Vecchio, which some call a strange turnaround of the situation.

      • From this season on, the lead actor Paul Gross was the executive producer and wrote some episodes. It has been criticized that the show consequently suffered in depth and was lighter in tone. Others argue that there are still very dramatic moments.

      • In the documentary Ride Forever, Paul Gross stated that he wasn't sure whether he'd introduce the new Ray Vecchio again in the same way. He called it "weirdly daring" but funny.

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

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