An Eye for An Eye is the thirteenth episode of Due South's first season.
Storyline: Fraser organizes a neighbourhood watch among a community of senior citizens, only to discover that one of them has taken up vigilantism to avenge himself on a local thug.
Original Air Date: February 2, 1995
Written by Carla Kettner
Directed by Steve DiMarco
Ray is on edge about being sent to a seniors' centre for the sake of "showing the flag", in the wake of a rash of violent muggings in a public park. When Fraser tells a story from personal experience about the challenges faced by the Inuit, the elderly neighbours decide to form a neighbourhood watch, much to Ray's consternation. However, one of their number, Herb Colling, has decided to take the law into his own hands after being mugged himself. Diefenbaker also suffers from the ministrations of an old woman named Gladys, who insists on dressing him in a sweater and a tam o'shanter and calling him "Corky."
Mrs. Chaffey, another of the neighbours, is nearly attacked by the mugger, a slippery character named Stegg. At the last moment, he is intercepted by Colling, who clobbers him with a baseball bat. Hearing Fraser and Ray responding to Mrs. Chaffey's alarm, Stegg and Colling both hasten off in opposite directions. Mrs. Chaffey recalls few details clearly, obliging Fraser and Ray to track one of their quarries through the snow. They retrieve the offending bat from a recalcitrant little boy, only for Fraser to realise that they have been tracking the wrong man. He deduces that Colling, who enjoys playing chess by himself in the park during the day, has been watching Stegg and waiting for a chance to strike back. Little does he know that Colling has acquired another bat and knocked out two mischievous teenage boys wreaking havoc on a city block.
Returning to the park, Fraser visits Colling; though he has no compelling evidence, he warns Colling about the repercussions of vigilantism all the same. Colling returns home and finds Stegg waiting for him in his apartment. In the ensuing tussle, the neighbours alert Fraser to Stegg's presence, and with their assistance and Diefenbaker's, he runs down Stegg and brings him downtown. Disconcertingly, Colling declines to pick Stegg out of a lineup.
Stegg is released, and on the loose, tries to buy a bus ticket to Philadelphia, only to find that he lacks the cash. He departs to commit one last mugging; in the meantime, Colling buys a gun at a local shop and borrows a coat, scarf, and hat from a friend to disguise himself. Stegg follows him through the park as Fraser and Ray hasten to intercept. Finally, Colling corners Stegg in a pedestrian tunnel in the park, making it clear that he intends to kill him. Fraser, however, steps into Colling's line of fire and cites his attack on the boys as the setting of a standard. At last Colling relents, allowing Ray to move in and arrest Stegg. Colling is sentenced to six months of community service - which he begins by forcing one of the boys he attacked to learn about the neighbourhood's history.
- Carl Gordon as Herb Colling
- Andre Mayers as Stegg
- Clarice Taylor as Mrs. Chaffey
- Arthur French as Irving
- Ardon Bess as Rudy
- Gladys O'Connor as Gladys
- Rummy Bishop as Mr. Rubens
Memorable Quotes Edit
Ray Vecchio: Fraser, these people aren't going lawn bowling. They're trying to survive in an urban hell hole.
Benton Fraser: Well, they can try to survive in it alone, Ray, or they can meet the challenge. But, that's up to them.
Herb Colling: Easy for you to say.
Benton Fraser: Yes, I suppose it is. Now I haven't lived in this neighbourhood as long as you have. Where I come from, the challenges are quite different. There are no drug dealers or pimps, and few thieves to bother with. There is only the environment, and surviving in the face of it is the challenge...of the Inuit.
Benton Fraser: A mother gives birth somewhere out on a glacier field, hundreds of miles from the nearest outpost, and she knows that the odds are stacked against her son even living to see the spring. Disease, or lack of food, the elements. And even if they should survive, and he should grow to be a boy, she knows very well that all he has to do is lose his footing on the smooth surface of a glacier, and that'll be that. In other words, she should know that her son cannot live, so...why should she try? Well, I know this woman. I helped deliver her son. She was weak, and um...undernourished. But the next morning, she stood up, and she picked her child up into her arms, and...and she set out again into the blinding snow. And I think that was the single most courageous act I have ever seen.
Benton Fraser: (Ray is trying to wrest a baseball bat from a little kid) Ray! Ray, please! Children are just like people, only smaller. All you have to do is reason with them. Now, son, that bat is important evidence in a criminal investigation, and we'd be most grateful if you'd cooperate.
Boy: A hundred bucks!
Benton Fraser: I see. Ray?
Ray Vecchio: Okay, kid. Can you spell 'penitentiary'? Let's try it together: P-E-N-...
Boy: Okay, here! (shoves the bat toward Ray)
Benton Fraser: Thank you very kindly for your time, Lieutenant. And as usual, our conversation has been extremely helpful.
Lt. Welsh: I'm so glad, Constable.
Benton Fraser: (holding out an envelope) Also, sir, I think you'll be pleased to know that I've taken the liberty of officially reprimanding myself.
Lt. Welsh: Good, good. Put it in the file with the rest of them. (Ray puts out his hand) Get out of my office!
Ray Vecchio: Uhh, yes, sir.
Ray Vecchio: So you decided to scare the vigilante by destroying the only piece of evidence we have against him?
Benton Fraser: Well, he may try again, Ray. I felt it was worth the risk.
Ray Vecchio: You know, Fraser, it's about time someone told you. It's the little things like this that make them not want you back across the border.
(careening across the park in the Riv)
Benton Fraser: Ray, sapling!
Ray Vecchio: Where?!
Benton Fraser: Twelve o'clock!
Ray Vecchio: (mows it down with the car) Got it!
- "Bone of Contention" by Spirit of the West [album: Faithlift] (Colling's assault on teenagers)
- "Stain" by Salvador Dream [album: UR] (foot chase scene)
- "Push" by Moist [album: Push] (Colling's pursuit of Stegg)