Houdini & Doyle: I don't want to ship Houdini and Adelaide, but damn it, I do
Like the premiere, Houdini & Doyle's second episode is a dichotomy of the practical and the occult, thanks to ever-grounded Houdini and his more ethereal-minded cohorts, Doyle and Constable Adelaide Stratton. And it felt rather fitting that the episode explored the idea of skeletons in one's closet, because I have one of my own to confess — I'm starting to ship two of the protagonists.
Go ahead, chide me. I chide me, too. Just last week I was waxing poetic about how much I admired the fact that this fledgling show was shining a light on women's issues throughout history by employing a strong, feminist lead like Adelaide.
I also specifically hoped they wouldn't reduce her to a mere romantic trope.
This week, it would seem, I'm already starting to eat my words. And trust me when I say I don't enjoy admitting as much. For the record, I blame Michael Weston and Rebecca Liddiard, who are both brilliant in their respective roles as Houdini and Adelaide.
It's not as though Houdini is a particularly likable character. He, like his real-life counterpart, is proving to be arrogant and irreverent in equal measure. But Adelaide seems to soften his reserve, and perhaps therein lies the real reason for the appeal of their potential ship — it might mean we get to see more depth from both characters.
I'd really like to see some sort of origin episode or backstory for Adelaide. And now that Adelaide laid bare the fact that Houdini has some sort of complex relationship with his father, I'd obviously be interested to learn more of that as well.
There were a few clunky moments tonight that felt too gimmicky in pointing the characters toward a romantic connection, but the moment at the episode's end when Houdini asked Adelaide to dinner made that familiar ship longing lurch up inside of me.
I tried to shove the damn thing back down; I really did.
But despite my best efforts to suppress it, I still secretly (and now not so secretly) started to think they might be a cute couple.
Would it be weird to say they somehow remind me of Peter Venkman and Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters? I imagine them to have that same sort of smart and sharp, yet at times funny and affectionate, repartee.
But it's so soon to be shipping anyone, right? If the series does move forward in this direction, perhaps it's a sign they don't feel confident in the show's chance of being picked up for a second season and they're trying to up the odds by accelerating what would obviously be a major story arc.
What would be even more enjoyable, though, would be if they play at the relationship much like they play at their crime capers — always leaving a little something to the imagination. Was the young boy in tonight's episode his father reincarnated? You certainly couldn't rule it out.
I think it would be interesting to see Houdini and Adelaide's connection unfold in a similar fashion, where it's largely implied but never actualized or implicit until much later.