Diefenbaker's Day Off is the second episode of Due South's first season.

Original Air Date: September 29, 1994

Storyline: With the help of reporter MacKenzie King, Fraser investigates the worlds of personal injury lawsuits and boxing, and tries to get a wolf license for Diefenbaker.

Written by: Kathy Slevin

Directed by Joe Scanlon


Diefenbaker Apartment Day off
Before leaving for work in the morning, Fraser informs Diefenbaker that he is no longer allowed to run wild and free in the streets of Chicago; he will have to get a licence, which for a wolf is notoriously difficult. After Fraser leaves for the day, Diefenbaker immediately jumps out the window and scampers down the fire escape to obtain a treat from a passing little old lady. Meanwhile Fraser meets a six-year-old girl named Lucy who lives in his building. She claims that her father, Charlie, keeps hurting himself; following him along the street, Fraser narrowly saves him from being hit by a car. Not a minute after Fraser leaves him, Charlie is hit by another car.
Benton Fraser Date Diefenbaker's day off

Fraser takes Charlie to his primary care physician, Dr. Howard, who reassures him that there will be no permanent damage and marvels at Fraser's observation of Charlie's former career as a boxer. While at the clinic, Fraser calls Ray to enlist his aid in getting a licence for Diefenbaker, just before noticing a nurse dropping X-rays out of her blouse. He follows her to the parking lot, where she confronts him with a rapid series of direct questions about Charlie and his involvement with him. After she invites Fraser to dinner and leaves him, it comes to light that she is MacKenzie King, a hotshot reporter with a well-known dislike for local law enforcement, posing as a nurse to investigate a medical insurance scam. 

Snapshot from Deif's Day Off

Diefenbaker returns home just before Fraser, who realises that he doesn't know the name of the strange woman just before he starts getting ready for his dinner date. Meeting MacKenzie at a high-class restaurant, he converses with her about his involvement with Charlie - far less extensive than she thinks - before telling her that he works at the consulate. Disbelieving him, MacKenzie suddenly spills the beans about the insurance scam, leading Fraser to observe several things about her which raise his suspicion that she is a reporter instead of a nurse. MacKenzie leaves in a huff; Fraser returns home, where he overhears Charlie demanding a raise from a man who is paying him to step in front of cars. 

Lucy Diefenbaker's Day Off

Fraser comes to Ray for assistance, and they visit a boxing gymnasium where Charlie's employer works out. In a conversation with the gym's manager, Fraser gleans that he is in on the scam, and that Dr. Howard and the gym staff are about to kill Charlie for talking out of turn. MacKenzie shows up in the back of Ray's car, but before Ray can toss her out, Fraser prevails upon him to intercept Charlie. They reach him just before he meets with a near-fatal encounter with a dump truck, suffering another blow to his head.

Animal Control Officer Ray Vecchio Diefenbaker's Day Off
While Charlie recovers, Ray goes to Howard's office to find it totally cleaned out. At the same time, MacKenzie takes Lucy home to find Howard and his henchmen waiting. Charlie makes a mad dash to the rescue with Fraser close behind; between the two of them, they knock out Howard's goons, but Howard makes off with Lucy and steals an animal control van outside the building. Charlie and Fraser team up again to rescue Lucy; Charlie narrowly escapes being killed when Howard crashes the van into a brick wall. While Ray arrests him, the animal-control officer apprehends Diefenbaker, only for Ray to present him with a brand-new wolf licence (proudly telling Fraser moments later that he forged it with a copying machine).

Though MacKenzie has gotten her scoop, Fraser - and eventually Lucy as well - convince her not to mention Charlie's name.


Memorable QuotesEdit

Benton Fraser: (to Diefenbaker) Oh, I was hoping to be able to spend some time with you this evening, but I have a dinner engagement, with a very nice woman I met in a parking lot. And I can't cancel it because I don't know her phone number...or her name, for that matter. (Diefenbaker continues to stare.) No, it's not what you're thinking. It isn't. And you know something, I - I - I don't appreciate your attitude. You're - you're very judgmental. Just because you were right once does not make you infallible. I am quite capable of handling myself in any situation. I am...I am a Mountie.

MacKenzie King: Wait a say you work at the consulate?
Benton Fraser: Well, yes. That's why I'm paid in Canadian funds. It's an odd governmental regulation...
MacKenzie King: So now you're denying that you work with Charlie?
Benton Fraser: With Charlie? Oh, no, I could never be a professional boxer. I mean, in high school, I -
MacKenzie King: I saw you bring him in! Are you telling me you don't feed patients to the clinic, you're not involved in this million-dollar insurance scam? You're just this straight-arrow, do-gooding Mountie out to help the little guy? Tell me why I find that hard to believe!
Benton Fraser: Well, I understand your skepticism. Appearances can be deceiving. I mean, for example, you're a nurse, and yet you wear extremely high heels to work, which indicates either you haven't been a nurse for very long, or you have remarkable arches. Also the way you hold your wrists suggests you spend many hours at a computer keyboard; and add to that the slight crick in your neck, which indicates extended phone usage; and the minute traces of printer's ink under your three-quarter-inch nails, which, by the way, must make bandaging quite a challenge; and a less trusting person might assume that you weren't a nurse at all. A less trusting person might assume that you worked, say, for a newspaper. But then...appearances can be deceiving.
Ray Vecchio: Now tell me everything you know.

Benton Fraser: And you won't use it against the man in question?
Ray Vecchio: On my word as a transvestite.
Benton Fraser: What's that, Ray?
Ray Vecchio: It's a Chicago thing.
Benton Fraser: Ahh.


  • "American Woman" by the Guess Who (The Greatest of the Guess Who) — available on the Due South soundtrack released in 1996.