Double Decker! Doug & Kirill
by Christopher Farris,
How would you rate episode 13 of
Double Decker! Doug & Kirill ?
Yeah, this honestly turned out better than I expected. Double Decker was already doubling down on its unusual story choices last episode, and this finale commits to them even further. The show's tone rounds all the way back to being as irreverent as it was at the start, which is a pretty good look compared to where it's gone since then. If you've had fun with any parts of Double Decker up until now, you'll probably also enjoy this ending.
All the pieces that get set up and knocked down for this ending ride the line between clever and contrived. Cooper activating a self-destruct on the military base is 100% there just to deliver an explosive finish, but almost immediately after that, his plans start falling apart around him and we get to see all the ways that Seven-O actually set him up. It's an interesting way to come back from how our heroes' plans seemed to be imploding last episode, and the explanations they give do make sense in hindsight. There's actually many layers to how they tricked Cooper, with several components being rooted in experiences from previous episodes or even tropey genre staples that have been referenced often in this series (mostly by Kirill). They even work in the first-episode point about their division having to catch Anthem-users in the act before they can arrest them. It's a sign of the show being self-aware, something it seemed to be drifting away from around the time they revealed that Kirill came from space.
That self-aware irreverence helps the tone of this whole thing land. Kirill's narration about escaping a self-destructing compound as the theme song starts playing gives us something to appreciate about that ending, even as it's clear there's no other way this show could have gone out. It's understandable to think that layer of meta-awareness is too clever by half, but it helps that Double Decker was using Kirill to do this kind of thing since the beginning. The other side of that angle comes through Doug, letting Kirill and the other characters define his bare-minimum style of heroism. Doug's been one of the most relatable members of the cast ever since he expressed his distaste for class and poverty (plus he had that line about not having anything to wear if he didn't do laundry that night). His exhausted demeanor helps him consistently feel like the grounded one in all these shenanigans. Seeing how he was still screwing with Kirill even in the midst of their complicated plan to take down Cooper further cements him as the one keeping this silly series from taking itself too seriously. Of course he's saved at the last minute by literally exploding into Kirill's arms as he's dangling from a helicopter.
Everything from the end of that climax is Double Decker happily returning to its cop-show status quo. Zabel pops up again (he's still wearing his little tie over all his bandages!) to kneecap Cooper and mention that it would be cliche if the whole cast survived the finale. Yuri turns out to actually be alive, owing to a truly outlandish series of bait-and-switch twists that I'm impressed were set up so well beforehand. Seven-O gets to remain in operation, and the Nikai space-people are seen after the credits discussing the 144 other super-soldiers they could send after them, which even the narrator exclaims is ‘too many’! To be continued? They've at least given themselves the option if this series turns out to be a success.
I admit that I've struggled to evaluate Double Decker through all its ups and downs. It could be hard to tell when the series was being serious about its themes of classism or how drug use affects societal strata. It was a show that would screw with audiences using tongue-in-cheek genre parody as much as it would play its pathos straight, and it could be difficult to parse exactly what side of the fence it sat on at any given moment. All that came in addition to so many absurd eleventh-hour plot twists. But for what it's worth, I think this finale really worked, because its tone landed closer to the style of the beginning of the series. Double Decker definitely had strong potential back when it started, and while its ambition quickly outstripped its storytelling ability, plunging it into more than a few bad habits, the show always at least seemed sure of itself. This ending succeeds because it trades hard on that raw confidence. It's not the kind of show you should think about too hard, but it does feel pretty good to watch.
Double Decker! Doug & Kirill is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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