This is part two of my look at God in the British TV show The Professionals.
The Rack (Look, the titles repeat too! [This one was used in I Spy.])
Doyle is accused of killing one of two suspects after punching him in the stomach in self-defense. Doyle is put on suspension while the trial takes place, and in typical fashion feels horribly guilty about the man’s death. Bodie arrives at his flat one morning and they have a great conversation which is worth showing in full here:
“Hey, you all right?” Bodie says cheerfully.
“Mm, yeah, hm,” Doyle says, reading a book on the couch.
“I thought you’d be up by now, eh?” He hits Doyle’s shoulder. “Organic food and up early, working out.”
“What for, I said, working out, what for. So I can rupture somebody else’s spleen?”
Bodie is serious in an instant. “That was an accident.”
“Yeah, that’s right, he ran right under my fist.”
“Now look Ray, I was there, right? He came at you, you turned and belted him, I mean it could’ve happened anywhere. Pub brawl, anywhere, could’ve happened to anyone.”
“Well it didn’t happen to anyone did it, it happened to me.” Doyle stares at Bodie.
“He only hit you once.”
“Oh I see, oh well that’s all right then. You mean if I had hit him twice I could’ve killed him twice?” He sits up. “You know what they made of me, don’t you? Do you know what they’ve made of us? Eh?” Notice the emphasis on “us.” This is where Doyle starts to get really emotional. He doesn’t want to be seen as a murderer, but even more importantly he doesn’t want him and Bodie to be seen as murderers. He doesn’t want to get Bodie in trouble, and he doesn’t want to threaten their partnership. “Well it frightens me to death Bodie.”
Bodie stands. “Yeah, well I’ve only come to tell you that Cowley’s got a job for us.”
“Not me, mate, I’m suspended, remember?” Doyle lays back on the couch.
“Yeah, me too,” Bodie says. Doyle looks at him in surprise. “Material witness now, you know. I saw you beat that innocent young man to death.”
“Don’t make jokes Bodie, I’m tellin’ ya, don’t make jokes!”
“Yeah well it’s the only way I can get through isn’t it?” Bodie says, back to being serious, nearly angry. He knows Doyle too well, knows just how to get his attention. “Now come on Ray, the old man needs us. Look. He’s fightin’ for his life out there, I’ve never seen him like this. We owe him one.”
Doyle laughs bitterly. “Listen to him, “we”! What happened to the look after the number one credo then?”
“Yeah, well don’t do as I say, do as I do.”
“Yeah,” Doyle says, not believing him.
“Okay, well I’ll leave you to wallow in your own self-pity, I’ll handle it myself!” Bodie walks away.
“Since when did you ever handle anything on your own?”
“Yeah well since when did you?”
Doyle throws the book across the room and sits with his elbows on his knees. Bodie walks back over and sits on the coffee table across from him so that they are literally knee-to-knee. Doyle looks at him uncertainly, and Bodie looks squarely back at him; cue unspoken communication. Then Bodie gives Doyle one of the best grins I have ever seen, and Doyle reluctantly smiles back. “So why us if we’re both suspended?” he asks.
“Because Parker’s my pigeon.” Bodie pauses, looking seriously at Doyle. “Our pigeon. And he’s dropped outta sight.”
More unspoken communication follows, and Doyle says, “Okay.”
It’s a wonderful scene that shows not just how close the partners are—they are able to point out each other’s flaws and know each other well enough to push each other’s buttons—but how much they trust each other. Doyle knows that ultimately Bodie wants the best for him, and Bodie knows Doyle can be a bit hard on himself. They meet in the middle and reconcile as friends do, with Bodie always there to support Doyle.
Bodie further insists that it wasn’t Doyle’s punch that killed the man, but another punch. Doyle refuses to believe it at first, but gradually admits it might be possible. Leave it to Bodie to prove Doyle innocent and help Doyle believe it, just as God does for us.
After the case, Bodie invites Doyle for a drink, but Doyle declines, saying he’s tired. Bodie goes after him but Cowley says, “No, leave him, Bodie.”
“I suppose he’ll get over it soon,” Bodie says, looking worriedly after Doyle.
“No, never,” Cowley says. “But he’ll learn to come to terms with it.”
It takes Cowley reminding him of beer to snap Bodie out of watching Doyle drive away. His concern for Doyle is obvious.
The Purging of CI5
A few scenes are of particular note here. In this episode, someone is trying to kill off CI5 agents and has already killed a few. Bodie and Doyle, finding a certain Billy who they think took part in the killings, catch him and interrogate him in his apartment. Bodie is positively livid about the deaths of his fellow agents, while Doyle is very calm and more business-like, but both are set on getting justice for their friends, just as God sought justice—albeit merciful justice—for us. These CI5 agents were innocent, however; we are not. Even though we are not innocent, though, God still wants to save us.
Later, when both have checked their car for bombs but are still unsure, Doyle, looking at the ignition key, says, “Well you could always stand across the street.” At Bodie’s silent stare he says, “Well there’s not much point in us both gettin’ blown up, is there?” Bodie clearly thinks this is ridiculous: “Stick it in,” he says, seemingly nonchalant, when moments earlier he was very concerned about Doyle opening the hood. It’s clear that if one of them is in trouble the other one doesn’t want to leave him alone; if they go down at all they’ll go down together. God is the same way with us—never leaving us even in our darkest moments, and going through the darkest moment—death—to save us and prevent us from suffering.
Later, Bodie runs up to his flat to make a call when he sees a piece of multicolored string under the phone cradle. Alert for bombs, he freezes with one finger on the dial and calls Doyle up on the radio. Doyle automatically grabs his gun and runs up to Bodie’s flat, bursting in the door and flattening himself against the wall in preparation of someone being in the room. No one is there of course; Doyle’s overreacting, but he has reason to overreact, because not only may there be a bomb, Bodie is his partner and friend and he cares about him.
“The phone,” Bodie says.
“Is that all?” Doyle says, but he’s still clearly on alert.
While he unscrews the top of the phone they banter (“You want me to do it?” Doyle asks, and Bodie replies, “I wouldn’t dream of it, mate, go to the pictures, go on.” “No, no, I’ve seen everything that’s on local anyway,” Doyle says) but then get serious when they consider where the trip might be located—“[if] we’re really unlucky, [it’s on] the dial” Doyle says. Notice how he says “we”; Bodie’s fate is as important to Doyle as it is to Bodie. These guys truly love each other as themselves, as Christ says we should and as He loves us.
As Doyle lifts the top off he says with a slight grin to Bodie, “It’s on the dial.” Then he looks serious: “Don’t mess about, do they?”
“I feel like that kid with that finger in the dike,” Bodie says.
“And that’s just what you are, mate, you keep it stuck in there,” Doyle says, smiling a bit again but intent on the wires. As he prepares to cut the end of one he says, “Hold your breath, sunshine,” calling Bodie one of the nicknames they commonly use for each other. Their affectionate banter and more importantly their actions in this scene show just how much they care about each other.
At the end of this episode Bodie ends up with explosives strapped to him, and in a firefight runs away from the scene, not wanting anyone to get hurt. But Doyle runs after him. There’s a bit of yelling, Bodie not wanting Doyle to get near him, but Doyle tackles him and quickly unstraps the explosives and throws them as far away as possible. There’s a possibility the bombs could go off in his face, but he just cares about saving Bodie. Both of them have incredibly selfless love.
Doyle is dating Ann Holly, whose father might be involved with criminals. The problem is, Doyle is possibly thinking of marriage. When Cowley asks him about a “Christmas man” an informant mentioned, Doyle denies knowing anything, but later when questioning a suspect he lets his rage out, yelling “The Christmas man, who is he?”
“What’s got into you Doyle?” Bodie asks later in the car. “. . . Is it this bird or something? It’s not just Benny is it? She not comin’ across?”
“Knock it off.”
Bodie mentions Doyle marrying Ann, and Doyle says he might. When Bodie lets this slip to Cowley, Cowley reminds him that any potential spouses have to be checked out by CI5 before a wedding can take place, and advises that Bodie check out Ann. Bodie doesn’t like the idea, but when he finds out one of their informants who was recently killed was found outside of Ann’s father’s house, he gets concerned.
Doyle is called in by Cowley and informed about Ann’s possible connection to the crime. “I’m not listening to any more of this!” he yells, then turns on Bodie who is sitting quietly staring at the desk. “You. Checking up. Did ya tail us? Did you bug my bedroom?” He speaks most condescendingly and harshly to Bodie as one often does to those closest to them. And indeed, Bodie is the person to whom Doyle is closest. When after looking at the photograph he realizes the possible connection, he says the idea is “ridiculous.”
“Would you leave it at that, Doyle?” Cowley says. “Would you?”
Doyle is adamant Holly is not involved until Bodie says, “There’s something else. The Christmas man. Holly?”
“No! No!” Doyle yells his loudest “no” at Bodie for the reasons seen above. Don’t we often yell most at God, when he is the one we need to turn to? He is the one who knows us the best. “You can believe what you like, I don’t have to listen to it, I don’t have to believe it. I’ll resign!”
Cowley suspends Doyle. Doyle is really mad about this and goes snooping around on his own, only to be found in one of the photographs taken by CI5. Bodie insists on talking to Doyle. “You get in our way,” he says to Doyle, then pauses, as if he doesn’t want to say it, “well you just won’t be allowed to get in our way, all right?” Bodie’s voice cracks in that sentence, shaking just a bit, as if from some extreme emotion.
“You’ll see to that personally, will you?” Doyle says.
Bodie’s eyes are shockingly vulnerable, but they harden quickly. “You think I enjoy doing what I did? Eh? Do you think I get a kick out of it?. . . . Raymond Doyle, the one-man army, super-cop, gonna solve everything where our resources failed, eh? Just get your brains back in your skull, mate, and stop leavin’ ‘em where they’re—”
Doyle nails him squarely in the jaw, knocking him back onto the couch. Bodie looks at him without malice: “That’s better. You feel better now don’t you?” Bodie cares so much about Doyle that he lets him hit him.
“She’s not involved,” Doyle insists.
“I know. You never bothered to ask me though, did you? Listen Ray. I like Ann, okay.” Bodie’s face is very sincere, and somewhat sad. “And I think she’s too good for you, mind.”
Doyle, looking as if he’s fighting back tears, says, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be,” Bodie says. “Look, do me a favor. Start using your intelligence.” He presses Doyle to look into Ann before a warrant is put out for her.
When CI5 finally captures Mr. Holly, Ann accidentally hears them questioning him and is discovered by Doyle, who chases her outside—Cowley has to hold Bodie back again—where Ann ends the relationship. Doyle is devastated, which Bodie can tell by looking out the window. When Cowley tries to stop him he says, “Yeah I know, never come between a man and his woman. What about a man on his own . . .? You got a proverb for that?” With that he finds Doyle, who at first pushes him away, then finally accepts an arm around the shoulder and puts his arm around Bodie’s. Just like God doesn’t leave His people alone and wants what’s best for them, Bodie doesn’t leave Doyle alone and wants what’s best for him.
Part three (yes, I know, I can't help myself) to come next.