Double Decker! Doug & Kirill
by Christopher Farris,
How would you rate episode 14 of
Double Decker! Doug & Kirill ?
Remember the halcyon days when Double Decker was a simple buddy-cop comedy? When it was free from labyrinthine conspiracies and surprising second-sun space-societies? This first bonus episode of the series remembers. Taking place toward the beginning of the show's timeline (about a month after Kirill joined SEVEN-O), it eschews any action, overarching plot, or even semblance of police work to decompress with a slice-of-life affair, showing what the members of the team get up to when they don't have anything to do. The answer turns out to be the same as it is for many of us: they get drunk and ramble about their jobs.
This aspect is most prominent in the first half of the episode, which centers on Kay and the other girls of SEVEN-O discussing the ways they ended up joining the department in the first place. The big joke is that Kay, Max, and Sophie's stories are relatively predictable affairs, followed by Deana's outrageous tale of complex pathos, which turns out to be a big lie anyway. It's the same well of anticlimax that Double Decker drew its humor from regularly, especially in its early days, and it still works decently here. Mostly it's just surprising that the episode can take up so much time with mere meandering conversation, unconcerned with any thoughtful discussion beyond reminding us that this team is composed 100% of giant dorks.
That aspect repeats in the second half, though it increases the interpersonal interactions between the characters, as well as revealing a surprisingly clever narrative device. If you were watching Double Decker specifically for the shipping potential inherent to Doug and Kirill's partnership, then this will be the episode for you. It's practically a ‘slow-burn coffee shop’ fanfic, just swap out the coffee shop for a pub. The extended sequence focusing on Kirill's unrequited feelings towards Doug (feelings of being his patrol partner, obviously) and trying to get him to ‘ask him out’ for drinks plays right into that element, and it's cute and amusing enough, especially in the way it also plays into Kirill's cop-cliche fantasies. Introducing another former co-worker of Doug's and having Kirill get flustered and jealous over the situation makes it even funnier.
This is also where the most clever storytelling conceit of the episode becomes apparent, as we realize we're watching the events of both halves unfolding in parallel. Seeing Doug cross over between the two drinking establishments and hearing parts of conversations with different perspectives puts a neat spin on what would otherwise be a too-simple episode. It's another case where there isn't much deeper meaning to Double Decker's choices, but it makes the episode satisfying to watch in a structural sense.
That's the important thing keeping this episode together, since it's so pointedly low on content otherwise. Kirill's conversation in the second half of the episode about Doug with his old co-worker is noticeably low on development, since the duo's relationship was still set to progress through other events by this point in the series. And Doug's supposed explication to Kirill of how he recommended his partner for the job is simply another exercise to set up one of the show's textbook punchlines (and the same tired ‘Kirill looks like a woman’ gag again). It's somewhat amusing that the show could do a low-key episode like this, and it was probably most appropriate to air it as a bonus episode. Despite the pointed lack of content, it's cleverly constucted and an interesting curiosity for anyone still invested enough in the world of Double Decker to want to return to it.
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