Recap / Due South S 1 E 01 Free Willie

Fraser runs down Willie, a teenaged purse-snatcher, and disarms him—but is surprised when the gun turns out to have been used in a bank robbery. Ray and the other cops think Willie is guilty; Fraser is certain he's innocent. They must keep an eye on Willie to make sure he doesn't run off, and also figure out what happened to the stolen money.


  • Action Girl: The female bank robber who gets the bulk of the screen time.
  • Bank Robbery: Rather than your typical Bank Teller hold up, the robbers go to the offices upstairs and steal an envelope full of valuable Bearer Bonds.
  • Batman Gambit: When Ray is held hostage, Fraser proceeds to politely infuriate the bank robber to get her to turn her gun on him so Ray can disarm her.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The female robber orders Fraser to pick up the Bearer Bonds, and he suggests she doesn't really want him to do that. When she insists, he picks them up, then declares that as a police officer, he is now duty bound to return them to their lawful owners.
  • Call Back: When Fraser explains that the money he just gave someone is Canadian, they reply "Well I'm not!" In the Pilot, Fraser paid for his co-worker's cab fare and replied to the Cabbie's protest that the money was Canadian with "So is she."
  • Face of the Band: There's a whole gang of bank robbers, but if you aren't paying attention, you'd be forgiven for thinking the Action Girl was the only one.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Played for Laughs. Fraser gets shot. In the hat. He can feel the air flowing in through the hole. Ray agrees that they should go back to Fraser's apartment to grab his other hat.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Fraser takes this as a given, and is proven right.
  • Not Me This Time: The available evidence points to Willie, a juvenile with an arrest record, as being one of the robbers. Fraser and Ray both point out how absurd this is, but the police have to follow the evidence until they can find something proving otherwise.
  • Not with the Safety on, You Won't: When Fraser first meets Willie (chasing him down after he stole an old lady's purse), Willie pulls a gun on him, and Fraser calmly talks him down, before citing this trope.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The title of the episode is an allusion to Free Willy.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: Somewhat difficult for Fraser to do, as he doesn't have a gun, and the hostage taker doesn't believe him. Eventually she agrees to him surrendering his knife and removing his belt.
  • Running Gag: Fraser keeps giving money to people who proceed to complain about it being Canadian. Also, everybody pointing out to Fraser how bad his choice of neighborhood is.
  • Street Urchin: Willie is a mild example. He has a home, but he lives with his sister, who is mostly absent. Fraser ends up taking him into his own home instead.
  • Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: Supposedly, even drug dealers are afraid to come into Fraser's neighborhood.
  • Wretched Hive: Fraser's new neighborhood is supposedly so bad that neither cops nor drug dealers are willing to go into it without good reason. Given the tone of the show, it's an Informed Attribute at best.