Last season, "Republic of Doyle" left us with plenty of unanswered questions. Will Des survive the gunshot wound to his stomach? Will Tinny pursue a relationship with her biological father, a man who once kidnapped her? How will Jake mourn the loss of his beloved Pontiac GTO, which was last seen blown to smithereens?
Allan Hawco, the showrunner, co-creator and star of "Doyle," promises that the first episode of season 4 will resolve all of the outstanding cliffhangers, and set the show up for an action-packed season full of surprises. This season will be peppered with several notable guest stars, including Erin Karpluk ("Being Erica"), Luis Guzman ("Boogie Nights"), Angus Macfadyen ("Braveheart") and returning characters played by Paul Gross ("Due South") and Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle.
HuffPost TV Canada caught up with Hawco to chat about everything from Jake's stalled love life and his evolution from "boy-man to man-man" to Season 4's mysterious new characters and Doyle's big move to Sunday night.
What can we expect from Season 4?
We obviously left last season in a bit of a cliffhanger. And we've moved to Sundays now, which is a really interesting move and something I'm very excited about. I feel like our old slot was really competitive, a tight night, particularly in our genre in terms of mystery. I feel like Sunday there's an opportunity for us to grow and open to a market of people who may not have had a chance to watch before. I like to take risks every year, to do something to bring the show to another level.
This year, we have a chance to delve deep into more characters, beyond Jake and his world. We did a really cool thing at the end of season 3 where we reveal that Paul Gross, who plays Kevin Crocker, is Tinny's natural father. And neither Tinny nor Crocker knew about this. And of course he's Jake's arch-nemesis, so that's an interesting thing throughout the season.
Great, so we'll be seeing a lot more of Paul Gross in Season 4?
Oh yeah. We'll be seeing him a lot. He kidnapped Tinny in season 2, and he obviously didn't realize he was kidnapping his daughter. We get to watch and see if this will change him, and what Jake's response to all of this is going to be and how that all plays out. Tinny evolves in a big way, too. She's growing up. And so is Jake. It's fun to see Jake make that transition from boy man to man-man. [Laughs]
What's going on with Jake's love life?
It's funny, every year Jake becomes more and more celibate, and more and more infatuated with Leslie. That's part of his maturity. I think it becomes clearer to him that she is truly the one for him. Whether she agrees or not, the jury's out on that! [Laughs]
At the end of season 3 Jake lost his GTO. Is he over that death yet?
Yeah. [Sighs] That was hard. Each season we pick up about six months after we left off, for the most part. He's had enough time to grieve. I promise after Sunday night, after the first episode, you'll get a very good handle on what the fates of our cliffhangers are. The whole thing with Des, whether you like it or not, we take a leap there. We figure out what Jake's going to do about a car, whether he takes the bus for the rest of the season or what. And we have some great guest stars for the first episode, too.
Who's going to be popping up in the first episode?
We have Angus Macfadyen, from "Braveheart." He's been in a million films. He's a really big deal and he's a really cool guy. He plays Jake's uncle from the north of Ireland, along with Jake's cousin. Jake's mom died when he was young, and this is her family.
When does Erin Karpluk appear?
Erin is in the second episode. She ends up getting intertwined in ... there's a strange personal plot with Leslie Bennett throughout the first season that gets all tangled up in a bunch of very dark and fun things. Erin Karpluk's character gets mixed up in all of this stuff, or at least she's on the periphery.
I read that Luis Guzman will also be guest starring...
Luis came to us by way of Brad Peyton. Brad is a Gander boy who went off to seek his fame and fortune and is now a big Hollywood director. I've done this thing where I've called all of the Newfoundlanders home. Brad is a member of that team, and he brought Luis with him. Luis is in episode 11. Not to give too much away, but his character ends up in a situation where there's a pretty intense hostage moment for him and Jake. Things go crazy and haywire. It's very intense and action-packed and exciting.
Luis is so intense in most of his roles. What's he like in real life?
A big sweetheart. My first script meeting with him, Brad and I sat around his kitchen table with him at his apartment in St. John's. He made me an omelet and we talked through some script changes he wanted to make. It was one of the most fun script meetings I've had!
Luis made you an omelet?
Yeah! Luis made me the best omelet I may have ever had! He's just that kind of guy. He's so chill.
Does the relationship between Jake and Malachy [Sean McGinley] evolve at all this season?
Yeah. There's such a wonderful bond between those two. I think there's a really admirable dynamic, there's a lack of sentimentality.
Off-screen, how has your relationship with Sean evolved?
I want to pretend there's a rivalry between us, but he's truly the nicest guy. I went with some of the production team to visit him in the off-season in Galway [Ireland]. We watched his wife, Marie, in a play. We hung out. Any opportunity I get to be alone with Sean is special because he's such a good guy.
Season 4 of "Republic of Doyle" premieres on CBC on Sunday, January 6 at 9 p.m. EST/ PST, and 9:30 p.m. NT.
"Lost Girl" Dominates
"Lost Girl" continues to charm fans both in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maureen-ryan/lost-girl-syfy_b_1249995.html">Canada and abroad</a>. The fantasy show about a sexy succubus (is there any other kind?) finished on a slightly sinister note earlier this year, leaving viewers anxiously wondering what's in store for Season 3 as Bo (Anna Silk) indulges her dark side.
"Flashpoint" Takes A Bow
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/flashpoint-season-5-enrico-colantoni-interview_n_1900894.html">"Flashpoint" wrapped up its fifth and final season</a> in December. The creators of the popular cop show wanted to go out on a high note instead of endlessly milking it for all it's worth. Even the most disappointed fans can appreciate the commitment to creative integrity.
Canada Got Its Own "Bachelor"
After years of loyally watching American beefcakes dole out roses to groups of amorous women vying for their attention, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/news/bachelor-canada/">Canadians finally got their own Bachelor</a> this year in the form of former CFL star Brad Smith, of Hudson, Quebec. He, of course, wound up offering the final rose to Mississauga nurse Bianka. Awww.
"Continuum" Racks Up Numbers
"Continuum" debuted to over 1 million viewers on Showcase. The sci-fi/crime show about a cop from the future shattered records to become Showcase's most-watched premiere ever. No wonder it's already been <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/25/continuum-renewed-for-sec_n_1830325.html">renewed for a second season</a>.
"Bomb Girls" Is Dynamite
So dynamite, in fact, that Global quickly renewed the wartime drama for a second season. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/27/bomb-girls-season-2-rosie-o-donnell-cheryl-hickey_n_2199105.html">Season 2 will feature some fun guest spots</a>, including appearances by Rosie O'Donnell and ET Canada host Cheryl Hickey.
"Degrassi" Pushes Boundaries
"Degrassi" has had some pretty high-profile guest stars over the years, including Kevin Smith and Billy Ray Cyrus. But Chaz Bono just might be the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/15/degrassi-season-12-cast-interview_n_1672085.html">most talked about yet</a>. The activist and "Dancing With The Stars" alum plays himself, and shares a scene with Degrassi's transgender character Adam Torres (Jordan Todosey).
Reality Shows Aplenty
Following the success of Canadian adaptations like "The Bachelor Canada" and "The Real Housewives of Vancouver," CTV and Global announce that they've got <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/news/amazing-race-canada">Canuck versions of "The Amazing Race"</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/06/big-brother-canada-auditions-turnout_n_2082816.html">"Big Brother"</a> in the works for 2013. No more living vicariously through our American neighbours!
"The LA Complex" Cancelled
In spite of its critical acclaim, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/03/the-la-complex-canceled_n_2233208.html">"The LA Complex" was dropped by MuchMusic in Canada and The CW in the States</a>. The promising drama followed a group of struggling Canadian actors trying to make it in Hollywood. Unfortunately, the fickle business portrayed on the show proves to be just as harsh in real life.
"Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil" Done
Space confirmed that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/24/todd-and-the-book-of-pure-evil-cancelled_n_1449838.html">it won't be renewing "Todd & the Book of Pure Evil"</a> for a third season, in spite of the show's status as a cult fave. After fan outcry, rumours emerged that eOne has plans to resurrect it.
"Republic Of Doyle" Maintains
Beloved show "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/10/allan-hawco-republic-of-doyle_n_1194635.html">Republic of Doyle</a>" continues to attract loyal viewers and inspire people to visit beautiful St. John's, Newfoundland. CBC smartly renews it for a fourth season, which is set to premiere in its new Sunday timeslot on January 6.
Get A Life ... time, Canada
Lifetime Canada debuts, enabling Canadians to watch Jennifer Love Hewitt prancing around in revealing clothes on the Lifetime hit "The Client List," and kids pulling off outrageous gags on "Prank My Mom."
Oprah Comes To Canada
Oprah filmed episodes of her new show, "Oprah's Lifeclass," in Toronto. Fans screamed, cried, cheered and even passed out in the presence of the great O, making this our pick for the year's most emotional moment in Canadian television. (If you were there, you'll understand. If you weren't there, words cannot possibly capture how high emotions were running inside the Metro Convention Centre on that very special day.)