The Duel is the sixteenth episode of Due South's second season.
Storyline: Charles Carver, a convicted arsonist and suspected murderer arrested by Detective Vecchio years ago, is released on parole. He promptly engages in an elaborate mind game with Vecchio who becomes obsessed with tying him to the deaths of three women.
Original Air Date: May 3, 1996
Written by Seth Freeman
Directed by Gilbert Shilton
Synopsis EditWith Constable Benton Fraser tagging along, Detective Raymond Vecchio attends a parole hearing for Charles Carver, whom he arrested on arson charges some years ago. During the hearing, Vecchio insinuates that Carver was involved in the death or disappearance of several women, calling him a "turkey." Despite testimony from the detective and Assistant State's Attorney Madeline Carnes, Carver's parole is granted.
Later in the day, Carnes panics to discover a frozen supermarket turkey in her shower. Vecchio and Fraser - summoned to the neighbourhood by a bogus phone call - investigate and discover a toy bus stuffed into the turkey's innards, representing the Kenwood bus line. Rushing to intercept the bus, Vecchio paints a picture of Carver as a manipulative mind-gamer who formed relationships with wealthy women and then killed them with psychological tactics. He and Fraser have no sooner boarded the bus than it loses braking and acceleration control, having been sabotaged by Carver. Following some hair-raising manoeuvres through the streets of Chicago, the driver manages to ditch the bus in Lake Michigan; while evacuating, Vecchio runs into Laurie Zaylor, a former partner who quit the police force and now rides the Kenwood bus daily. Carver calls Vecchio's cell phone to taunt him about the bus incident; the detective goes to his house to confront him, but a lack of hard evidence obliges him to retreat.
Carver continues using phone calls and toys to mess with Vecchio's head. Meanwhile, Carnes introduces Fraser to Frank Greco, an investigator from the State's Attorney's office who deals with police malfeasance. Fraser withdraws, citing his friendship with Vecchio; a toy boat turns up on the detective's desk, representing a fishing boat owned by his former supervisor, William Kelly. At Kelly's riverside home, they discover the bombed remains of the boat and Kelly himself washed up on the riverbank, leading Vecchio to believe that Carver is seeking revenge on everyone who had a hand in his incarceration. Another clue leads to a park where Vecchio's niece and a number of other children are watching a clown performance; Fraser discovers another bomb hidden in a stroller and disposes of it in the nick of time. Vecchio orders his family out of town, but his younger sister Francesca insists on staying behind, making herself at home in Fraser's apartment.
During an intimate dinner, Fraser detects several signs of an electrical fire on the first floor of his building and moves quickly to extinguish it. As Vecchio becomes more and more adamant about the threat Carver poses, Greco raises serious questions about the evidence the detective used to arrest him (specifically the heel from one of Carver's shoes, found in the debris of the building Carver allegedly burned). Even Vecchio's ex-wife, Angie, is called in to give a statement. Fraser and Vecchio discover that Carver has bugged the detective's car, and planted another toy with the bug - a squashed red-and-white Buick Riviera. Finally Vecchio goes head to head with Greco, who insinuates that he went too far and planted evidence to assure Carver's arrest.
Fraser returns to his apartment to find Diefenbaker missing, and whilst tracking him, falls victim to an ether trap. One more toy shows up on Vecchio's desk: a hearse with a figurine of a Mountie inside. While trying to solve the toy puzzle, Vecchio has an epiphany and rushes to an automobile junkyard, where he finds Fraser and Diefenbaker imprisoned in the shell of a stripped red-and-white Buick Riviera that is destined for the crusher. Trapped in the doomed car, Fraser repeats a casual observation which has led him to conclude that Kelly was the one who planted the evidence. In turn, Vecchio tells Fraser that he has found one of Carver's vanished former companions. Pausing in his operation of the loader, Carver dissents, admitting that Vecchio couldn't have found the woman because he killed her - not realising that the detective has his own listening device, piping the confession to Carnes, Greco, Lieutenant Welsh, and a 20-man SWAT team. Thus incriminated, Carver is sent safely back to prison.
- Colm Feore as Charles Carver
- Lisa Houle as Madeline Carnes
- Anthony Sherwood as Frank Greco
- Dave Nichols as Van Dyke
- Katayoun Amini as Angie Vecchio
- Christina Rouner as Laurie Zaylor
- Gary McMillan as Vince Corey
- Doug Lennox as Will Kelly
Memorable Quotes Edit
Ray Vecchio: This won't take long. The guy'll tell the parole board he wants out. The arresting officer - that's me - will tell them he's an animal, and then they'll put him back in for another year.
Benton Fraser: Well, if it's a foregone conclusion, why go through the exercise?
Ray Vecchio: Because this is a democracy.
Benton Fraser: I get sent to this neighbourhood by an inauthentic phone call. Coincidentally, you receive a call directing you to a nearby apartment which coincidentally belongs to an Assistant State's Attorney; who attended a parole hearing, during which, coincidentally, you called the prisoner a turkey.
Ray Vecchio: Carver.
Madeline Carnes: So we can arrest him?
Ray Vecchio: For what, assault with poultry?
Ray Vecchio: Will Kelly was...he was the best. Everybody looked up to him. He was like...I don't know, imagine your dad.
Benton Fraser: I understand.
Ray Vecchio: For some reason he thought I could do this job, that I could be really great at it. It's because of him I made detective when I did.
Benton Fraser: I've heard his name mentioned.
Ray Vecchio: They still quote him today. "A good cop is never wet and never hungry." "Interrogation is a contact sport." And "All suspects are guilty of something."
Francesca Vecchio: You know, sometimes I think it would actually be better if married people treated each other like strangers.
Benton Fraser: Well, that may be. But it doesn’t follow, therefore, that strangers would be better off if they treated each other as if they were married.
Francesca Vecchio: (dreamy sigh) I love it when you're logical.
Benton Fraser: You’re pretty much going to like anything I say, aren’t you?
Francesca Vecchio: Anything!
Ray Vecchio: You know, Benny...Puzzles and riddles...I was never good at any of this stuff.
Benton Fraser: What are you saying, Ray? You solve puzzles all the time.
Ray Vecchio: Yeah, not like this, this is like those problems in school, you know? Those logic problems where a train leaves Dayton at 2 p.m. travelling at 60 miles an hour and another train leaves Akron at 1 p.m. travelling at 40 miles an hour, at what time do they intersect? The only answer I could ever come up with is: "I don't care!".
Benton Fraser: It's a fine answer.
Ray Vecchio: Sorry, pal. You shouldn’t have let this one get away.
Charles Carver: I did NOT let her get away.
Ray Vecchio: You should have killed her.
Charles Carver: I did kill her.
Ray Vecchio: (snickering) You don’t know how happy I am to hear you say that.
Charles Carver: Okay, well, you’ve heard it. So what?
Benton Fraser: What if he wasn’t the only one to hear it?
Ray Vecchio: What if Lieutenant Welsh heard it?
(Carver whirls around as Welsh, Carnes, Greco and a response team appear out of nowhere)
Benton Fraser: What if Assistant State’s Attorneys Carnes and Greco heard it? That’s very good, Ray.
Ray Vecchio: You’re not the only one who knows how to plant a bug, Charlie! You really didn’t expect me to play this game by your rules, did you?
Benton Fraser: You knew Carver wanted to hear you panic?
Ray Vecchio: Yeah.
Benton Fraser: So you knew the car was bugged?
Ray Vecchio: Absolutely.
Benton Fraser: Very clever, Ray.
Ray Vecchio: Thank you, Fraser.
Benton Fraser: I just have one question. I'm supposed to meet the trade minister, who's arriving by train from Waukegan tonight. Now if the train is travelling at a hundred kilometres per hour...
Ray Vecchio: Sixty-two miles an hour.
Benton Fraser: Point one four. And if I'm travelling at a hundred kilometres per hour, where would the most likely point for us to intersect be...
Ray Vecchio: Who cares?
Benton Fraser: Fine answer.