An Invitation to Romance is the eighteenth episode of Due South's first season.
Storyline: Fraser's attempt to deliver a party invitation to a prominent Chicago businessman goes merrily awry when he runs afoul of the businessman's obnoxious fiancée.
Original Air Date: April 6, 1995
Written by Paul Haggis & Deborah Rennard
Directed by George Bloomfield
After lecturing Fraser on the importance of projecting a stronger image of Canada, Inspector Moffat gives him the task of delivering a party invitation to a well-known business magnate. Fraser has barely left the consulate when he saves the life of one Katherine Burns, who is paying more attention to her headphones than to oncoming traffic as she crosses the street. She immediately clobbers him with a fast-talking tirade about throwing unsuspecting pedestrians off their feet, and only after she makes off for the post office does Fraser realise she has taken the letter from him.
He enlists Ray's aid to retrieve the letter from the post office with the help of an obliging postal clerk. Ray is impatient to get home and watch a basketball game, but finds time to tell Fraser that the letter's recipient, Nigel J. Ellis, is the owner of a waste-management corporation who has friends in high places. At Ellis's house, Fraser is surprised to find Katherine - Ellis's fiancée - answering the front door. He is unable to get a word in edgewise to explain that he is trying to hand-deliver the letter. In a comedy of errors, the envious Ellis gets the mistaken impression from Katherine's rapid-fire ramblings that she and Fraser are somehow involved; he comes to the door just after Katherine leaves for her bridal shop, leaving Fraser thinking that she has absconded with the letter again. He gives chase, prompting Ellis to send Perry, his hired gun, after them.
Fraser catches up with Katherine at the marriage registry, where she forces him to pose as her fiancée so that she can obtain the marriage licence. The chase continues on to Katherine's bridal shop, where she upbraids him for being obsessive. When Perry shows up, Fraser is obliged to hide (very poorly) under Katherine's wedding dress so she can smuggle him out of the shop; Perry calls Ellis to give him the bad news. Meanwhile, Ray heads to the consulate to advise Fraser's colleagues that he will be late returning, but when he overhears Moffat boiling over about his tailor's tardiness, he believes Moffat is talking about Fraser instead. Donning Fraser's uniform, he sneaks out of the consulate to pinch-hit for him at the front door.
As Fraser and Katherine continue to try to evade Perry, their cab driver takes them to a honeymoon hotel where Katherine suddenly attempts to seduce Fraser. Ellis shows up and blasts a hole in the door of the suite with a shotgun, inciting Fraser and Katherine to leap out a window into a dumpster. As their fortunes progress, one of Ellis's own garbage trucks arrives to unload the dumpster - whereupon Ellis commandeers it and heads for the dump.
Back at the consulate, Ray is still filling in for Fraser (and being remarkably un-Fraserlike to the arriving party guests) as he tries to figure out where Fraser could possibly be. Diefenbaker spots the garbage truck passing by and gives chase; realising that he's onto it, Ray follows. Ellis arrives at the dump and empties the truck, along with Fraser and Katherine, into a landfill pit. He is just about to shoot both of them when Diefenbaker and Ray intervene, and only after a lengthy gun battle does Katherine manage to talk Ellis out of killing all three of them. But when she drops the bomb that she no longer loves him because of his chronic jealousy, Fraser is obliged to fling his heavily starched hat at Ellis to disarm him. To his amazement, Katherine finds the letter in the garbage; it had been knocked into a wastebasket at Ellis's house earlier that day.
With Ellis no longer able to attend the party at the consulate, Katherine shows up instead. Ray once again fills in for Fraser at the front door - preventing several guests from sneaking dinner rolls out of the party - as Fraser and Katherine dance to the "Sleeping Beauty Waltz."
- Jane Krakowski as Katherine Burns
- Nicholas Campbell as Nigel J. Ellis
- Joseph Ziegler as Inspector Moffat
- Arthi Sambasivan as Jasmine
- Frank Pellegrino as Perry
Memorable Quotes Edit
Benton Fraser: I'll only be a minute.
Ray Vecchio: All right, I'm countin' down, Fraser. One, two, three, four...
Benton Fraser: Technically, that's counting up.
Ray Vecchio: Get the hell outa here! Nine, ten...
Ray Vecchio: Here, gimme that form, I'll sign it. What's his name?
Benton Fraser: N.J. Ellis. Though I'm not sure that would be acceptable.
Ray Vecchio: Nigel J. Ellis?
Benton Fraser: You know him?
Ray Vecchio: Yeah, Ellis Disposal. The guy's dirtier than the garbage he hauls. Toxic spills, illegal dumping - we've tried to nail him, but he's got so many politicians in his pocket he walks with a limp. I can't believe that's the guy you're delivering the invasion plans to!
Inspector Moffat: (watching Ray at the front door in Fraser's uniform) Mental note: send Fraser north for a little R&R. He's been spending a bit too much time with that Chicago policeman.
Ray Vecchio: (to a passer-by) What're you lookin' at? You never seen a Canadian before?
Ray Vecchio: (to Diefenbaker) Now let's think. Where is the most unglamourous, unromantic place you could possibly take a woman?
Diefenbaker sees the garbage truck passing the consulate and runs after it)
Ray Vecchio: Oh, come on! A garbage truck? Not even Fraser's that...HOLD ON, BENNY!
Benton Fraser: Mr. Ellis! I want to assure you that Katherine has been completely faithful to you.
Katherine Burns: Except for the part on the water bed.
Ray Vecchio: Water bed?
Benton Fraser: I was entirely innocent.
Ray Vecchio: Yeah, big shock there.
Benton Fraser: (to Ellis) Unfortunately, if you don't believe this, there's nothing I can say to convince you of it.
Ray Vecchio: What? No Mountie stories? No Inuit tales?
Benton Fraser: He's not going to listen to reason. How many bullets do you have left, Ray?
Ray Vecchio: One. (shoots it skyward) I'm not shooting my car. I blew up the last one for you, and I'm not doing it again.
Benton Fraser: Actually, that wasn't what I had in mind.
Ray Vecchio: Good, 'cause I wasn't gonna do it anyway.
- "Sleeping Beauty Waltz" by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; performed by The Emperor Quartet (Fraser and Katherine's dance)