The Witness is the third episode of Due South 's second season.
Storyline: When a witness in a murder trial changes her testimony on the stand, Ray loses his cool and is jailed for contempt of court. To keep an eye on him and to get to the bottom of the case, Fraser gets himself arrested and imprisoned alongside Ray.
Original Air Date: December 15, 1995
Written by Peter Mohan
Directed by George Bloomfield
Due to Fraser's status as a federal civil servant, Inspector Thatcher's efforts to terminate him are delayed, and he continues with menial duties at the consulate. He attends the trial of Robert Kruger, a man Ray arrested for a robbery-homicide; following Ray's testimony, the key witness, Rosana Torres, is called to the stand. But when she suddenly denies seeing Kruger anywhere near the crime scene, Kruger's lawyer moves for dismissal, and the judge orders Ray to retrieve his case notes to prove that Mrs. Torres is lying. From his desk to the county records storehouse, Ray is utterly unable to find the notebook he needs; under relentless pressure from the judge, Kruger's lawyer, and prosecutor Louise Saint Laurent, he blows his stack and is arrested for contempt of court.
Acting in Ray's absence, Fraser goes to an alley near the drugstore where the robbery-homicide occurred, and he discovers the remnants of a light fixture that may prove Mrs. Torres's perjury. In a conversation with her, Fraser observes her wearing a medal of St. Sebastian - the patron saint of prisoners - and deduces that she is wearing it on behalf of her husband. He identifies her husband as Eddie Torres, a car thief who is in prison awaiting a parole hearing; but he also finds that the only way to get to Torres and protect both him and Ray from Kruger is to get himself into the prison. He makes a comically pathetic attempt to shoplift and has himself arrested by Huey and Gardino, and sets himself up as the prison's "book monitor."
Fraser catches up with Ray and then with Torres, working out that Mrs. Torres perjured herself to protect her husband from being harmed by Kruger. Seeing Fraser and Torres talking, Kruger threatens Torres, who winds up in the infirmary until Fraser and Ray can sneak him out and hide him in the prison's movie room. Kruger infiltrates the infirmary to discover that Torres is missing, and returns to the movie room to instigate an assault on Fraser and Ray. In the ensuing chaos, Kruger holds Fraser, Ray, and Torres at knife point - until a giant inmate named Carl, who has been watching Kruger's despicable behaviour compared with Fraser's courtesy, intervenes and forces Kruger's retreat.
After retrieving his case notebook from Elaine, Ray clears his name; Fraser informs Inspector Thatcher that he prefers his current duty station over a transfer. As she dismisses him, Thatcher is evidently having second thoughts about firing him.
- Lee Purcell as Louise Saint Laurent
- Gordon Pinsent as Robert Fraser
- Sherry Miller as Cmdr. Sherry O'Neill
- Aidan Devine as Kruger
- Silvio Oliviero as Eddie Torres
- Paulina Abarca as Rosana Torres
- Conrad Dunn as Sidarous
- Scott Gibson as Ovitz
- Nicky Guadagni as Judge Shore
- Garry Robbins as Carl
- Frank McAnulty as Fast Eddie
- Garry Robbins (1957-2013), who played the inmate Carl, was the largest man in Canada at 2.26 metres. He would make another appearance in Call of the Wild: Part 1, playing "Big Toe Blake", a driver for hire who ferries Ray Vecchio in his Armando Langoustini persona.
- "Waitin' 4 the Streets" by Tallis Newkirk [album: Join the Ranks] (prison yard scene)
Elaine Besbriss: Thank God you called, Vecchio, because otherwise, I might be enjoying myself right now. Let's define our terms here, "day off." Does that mean anything to you?
Benton Fraser: Towel.
Elaine Besbriss: One day out of two weeks, I ask for a little peace, a little relaxation, a little personal nurturing...
Ray Vecchio: Elaine, you have no life. Stop whining.
Benton Fraser: Conditioner?
Benton Fraser: I can't. I mean, maybe if they were less expensive, or...
Louis Gardino: Than Milk Duds?
Jack Huey: Look, it doesn't matter how much it costs. If you're not going to take them, we're gonna arrest you, got it?
Benton Fraser: That's a good point.
Jack Huey: Fraser, you can do this.
Benton Fraser: (chortling with false confidence) Yeah, I can do this. (walks towards the Milk Duds then suddenly turns back) No, I can't. I can't do this.
Louis Gardino: That's it! (grabs a box of Milk Duds and shoves them in Fraser's jacket pocket)
Jack Huey: There! You're under arrest.
Benton Fraser: (sighing with relief) Ah, thank you kindly. I have the right to remain silent, anything I say can and will be used against me in a court of law...
Ray Vecchio: Right, so we're gonna protect him. You and me, surrounded by nine thousand violent offenders.
Benton Fraser: For God's sakes, Ray, don't blow the situation out of proportion. There's only 8,973 prisoners in here.
Ray Vecchio: And I thought our odds didn't look good.
(Kruger is about to knife Fraser; Carl intervenes and pins him against the wall)
Carl: I don't care for you. You have to understand somethin'. This man has behaved with decency and courtesy, and you've been rude. You've made him feel unwelcome, and that's a shame. 'Cause for what lessens him lessens us all. Do you understand?
(Kruger drops his blade; Carl drops Kruger)
Benton Fraser: Thank you kindly.
Carl: No. Thank *you.* (exits)
Ray Vecchio: Wow. Hey, what book did you give him?