The Deal is the seventeenth episode of Due South's first season.
Storyline: Constable Fraser and Detective Vecchio come to the aid of a cobbler who has been forced out of business by Vecchio's old enemy, mob boss Frank Zuko.
Original Air Date: March 30, 1995
Written by Peter Lefcourt
Directed by George Mendeluk
With Ray's encouragement, Fraser joins the church choir at St. Michael's and is promptly mobbed by several women - including Francesca, much to Ray's surprise and chagrin. She asks Fraser if he is interested in sex, but before he can answer, a parishioner screams, "Thief!" The church's poor box has been robbed, and Fraser and Ray's investigation reveals that the thief used an unusual tool to force the lid. Lieutenant Welsh orders Ray to stay on the case at the behest of a "prominent member of the congregation": Frank Zuko, a former classmate of Ray's. After paying Zuko a tense visit, Ray explains their past to Fraser, that he and Zuko used to play basketball together until Zuko beat up one of his friends for losing a game. Zuko has since inherited his father's extortion racket and become a powerful mob boss.Fraser has an epiphany on the poor-box robbery - the tool used to break it open was a bindlestitch, an important tool of a shoemaker's trade. Coming upon an abandoned shoe repair shop in the neighbourhood, he and Ray learn from a neighbouring business owner that the shoemaker went out of business a few months prior. They trace the shoemaker, Joey Paducci, to his hotel, where he makes a run for it until Ray intercepts him and brings him downtown. Ray is clearly affected by Joey's story of Zuko forcing him to pay more than he could afford in "neighbourhood association dues", leading to the loss of his business, his home and his family; he robbed the poor box to take back some of the money that Zuko extorted from him. Shortly afterward, Joey is anonymously bailed out.
Returning to Fraser's apartment, Fraser and Ray find that Zuko has bought him a glut of expensive furniture. Fraser goes to visit Zuko at the gym, and over a basketball game, tries to explain to him that the furniture is a bribery and he cannot accept it. Zuko, however, does not take no for an answer. Fraser and Ray decide that their only option is to smuggle Joey out of town on a bus, but they find that Zuko has already bought off the manager of the bus line and his goonies are waiting for them at the package depot. Joey barely escapes with his life, while Fraser is severely beaten by a group of imported thugs.
Unhappily, Ray recalls Zuko's early days as a schoolyard bully - but decides then and there that he has had enough. He corners Zuko alone at the gym and beats him bloody, ignoring his old enemy's threats, and counter-threatening to tell everyone in the neighbourhood that he has just given Zuko a pounding. Panicked at the thought of his reputation being destroyed, Zuko accepts Ray's terms: in exchange for Ray's silence, he will leave Joey in peace. However, he reminds Ray that he has not guaranteed his safety or Fraser's.
Later that night, Fraser and Ray, at their respective homes, slowly overcome their fears about retaliation from Zuko. Still sore from his beating, Fraser prepares to drop off to sleep - until a scantily clad Francesca suddenly appears at his door, telling him, "Don't be afraid."
- Ramona Milano as Francesca Vecchio
- Jim Bracchitta as Frank Zuko
- Rod Wilson as Joey Paducci
- Shay Duffin as Father Behan
- Louis DiBianco as Charlie
- Sam Coppola as Cabrini
Memorable Quotes Edit
Ray Vecchio: (seeing Francesca entering the church) Oh, God! Sorry, Father.
Father Behan: That is your sister, isn't it?
Ray Vecchio: Uh, yes it is, Father.
Father Behan: Oh, God!
Benton Fraser: (examining the poor box) Given the angle of insertion, I'd say he's probably right-handed.
Ray Vecchio: See, now that is the break that we needed. Let's go nail the right-handed bastard.
Benton Fraser: I'm sure Detective Vecchio shares your concerns, Mr. Zuko. After all, as you just pointed out, this is his neighbourhood, too.
Frank Zuko: Canadian, right?
Benton Fraser: Yes.
Frank Zuko: Well, then you understand. I mean, you come from one of those nice clean cities where they have no graffiti, no garbage on the streets, and the people treat each other with respect. Right?
Benton Fraser: Well, I suppose so, yes. Although it's been my experience that many people live their lives thinking that they're respected, only to discover that they've been merely feared. And fears can be overcome.
Benton Fraser: Bindlestitch!
Ray Vecchio: You know, you've gotta stop swearing in Eskimo.
Benton Fraser: Excuse me. I, ah...oh. I... (realises he's surrounded by mannequins) Ray, maybe you should conduct this interview.
Ray Vecchio: It's moulded plastic, Benny. It's not gonna lunge out at you.
Benton Fraser: What, you mean this? If you think I'm embarrassed, you're sorely mistaken.
Ray Vecchio: Oh, yeah, that's why you're turning the colour of your uniform.
Benton Fraser: Don't be ridiculous. It's just hot in here, that's all.
The story and characters explored in this episode return with season two's Juliet is Bleeding in which we are introduced to Frank Zuko's sister Irene, one of Ray Vecchio's high school flames. Both episodes were written out of David Marciano and Kathy Slevin's efforts to make Ray Vecchio a more credible character. "The best way to describe season one was pugnacious," Marciano stated. "I had reservations about certain aspects of the character right from the start. I thought that no cop of fifteen years would do some of the things Ray did. If he did, he'd be dead. I thought he should be more intelligent, more honest, hipper. But the changes I asked for were not addressed. So that's when I took my stand for the betterment of Ray and that fight continued all the way to episode seventeen, The Deal. Kathy Slevin and I got into it pretty hard and we both broke down. We were both fighting the same fight... Someone had finally heard me and Ray blossomed from there."