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The Wild Bunch is the fifteenth episode of Due South's first season.

Storyline: After several days of strange behaviour, Diefenbaker runs wild with a pack of stray dogs and attacks an animal control officer. He is sentenced to death, and it is up to Fraser and Ray to learn the truth behind the attack.

Original Air Date: February 16, 1995

Written by Kathy Slevin and Jeff King

Directed by Richard J. Lewis

Synopsis Edit

Willie Lambert, the pickpocket whom Fraser took under his wing in Free Willie, is preparing for a day of dog-sitting Diefenbaker as Fraser explains to him that the wolf has been behaving oddly of late. Ray arrives to pick Fraser up; since destroying his beloved 1971 Buick Riviera in The Man Who Knew Too Little, he is relegated to driving a clunky old Chevrolet from the city motor pool. After they depart, Willie takes pity on Diefenbaker and lets him out of the apartment. Dief promptly runs off with a pack of stray dogs that have been hanging around Fraser's building, forcing Willie to give chase on foot.

Elsewhere in the neighbourhood, Diefenbaker meets up with a husky named Maggie. When she is captured by an animal control officer named Arnold Benedict - who removes her identification collar and throws it away - Diefenbaker pursues. Seeing him and Willie in pursuit of Benedict's van, Fraser and Ray join the chase and catch up just as Benedict is about to arrest Diefenbaker. In spite of Fraser's attempts to intervene, Benedict is about to make his move when Diefenbaker attacks and bites him on the wrist. He is placed in quarantine at the animal control centre, but Fraser resolves to investigate the matter.

Whilst Fraser and Ray are canvassing the neighbourhood, they meet Maggie's owner, who suspects Diefenbaker of hurting Maggie and other neighbourhood pets; a local transient gives them Maggie's collar, which he has just found in an alley. Fraser represents Diefenbaker in court, but the judge, after hearing of Diefenbaker's history of violence toward criminals and other animals, orders that he be euthanised. Fraser is devastated, but Willie decides to take matters into his own hands. As Ray makes numerous failed attempts to get the court order overturned, Fraser visits Diefenbaker and tries to reassure him that there will be a stay of execution. Alert to Benedict removing Maggie from her quarantine cell, Diefenbaker raises an alarm and attacks Fraser.

After Fraser leaves, Benedict meets up with two men of ill repute who are paying him to steal people's pets to be used as laboratory subjects. They take away Maggie and a few other dogs, shortly after which Willie sneaks into the animal control centre, breaks Diefenbaker out of quarantine and hitches a ride with a trucker. Learning of this, Fraser reluctantly retrieves his father's rifle from his footlocker and sets out to do the deed himself. Concerned by Diefenbaker's behaviour, the trucker drops him and Willie off only a short distance outside Chicago, whereupon Diefenbaker leads Willie on a wild goose chase through the woods. Fraser and Ray track them and come upon a tree from which Diefenbaker has peeled a slice of bark; identifying this as hunting behaviour, Fraser fears that Diefenbaker is reverting to his wild state.

Diefenbaker leads Willie to a remote lab in the middle of a meadow, where Maggie and the other animals are being prepared for experiments. He attacks again and allows Maggie to escape; he then makes a run for it himself just as Fraser and Ray arrive. Benedict gets ready to shoot Diefenbaker, but Ray warns him off as Fraser loads his rifle and takes aim. He hesitates to shoot his beloved wolf just long enough - Maggie runs after Diefenbaker and gets his attention. Realising her identity, Fraser turns his rifle on Benedict and disarms him.

Diefenbaker Puppies Wild Bunch
At last the truth is revealed - Diefenbaker has been behaving strangely because he has mated with Maggie, who is expecting puppies. She gives birth shortly after returning to Chicago, where her owner offers to let Fraser and Diefenbaker visit whenever they like. Ray remarks on the irony of saving Diefenbaker's life so soon after destroying his car, lamenting that it can never be replaced; but at that exact moment, Fraser points out a nearly exact duplicate of Ray's Riviera driving past with a "For Sale" sign in its back window. Galvanised, Ray pursues the car on foot, shouting for the driver to stop.

CastEdit

  • Christopher Babers as Willie Lambert
  • Michael Rhoades as Arnold Benedict
  • Susan Hamann as Jackie Alexander
  • Jack Nicholsen as Caulfield
  • Judah Katz as Judge Sherman

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