Hi kids! Welcome to our third and much-delayed “Terriers” recap.
The series by now is really starting to take shape, and going forward focuses a little less on character development and more on the weekly plot, making me think my initial classification of the show as a soap opera might’ve been a bit dramatic. As other (professional) critics have decided, this is a show that can be picked up and watched one episode at a time, though the back story tying the series together is what turns the show into something I really want to watch. Some of the best dialogue I can remember seeing on TV and the occasional ‘hey, I hang out there!’ moments don’t hurt either.
There’s quite a bit of ‘this guy’ and ‘that gal’ reference in here, if you’re easily confused or not familiar with the show I suggest you click here for a semi-complete and sometimes-updated cast of characters.
We join the boys outside a tux shop, where Britt is about to go in and lift a wallet for a client of Hank’s. Upon delivery, Hank inspects the contents, jots down a few notes, and sends Britt back in to replace the wallet before it’s owner misses it. We learn a few minutes later that the wallet belongs to Gretchen’s fiancé. Hank endures considerable bitching from his partner once this is discovered.
Hank needs to acquire a mortgage in short order or risk losing out on the chance to buy his old house back from Gretch, as well as his $20,000 deposit, half of which was borrowed from Britt without permission. After being turned down by a few banks, Hank drops Britt off at the Tilted Stick and heads over to the high-rise financial building across the street to talk to another lender. For you locals: yeah, I just said he heads into the high-rise across the street from the Tilt. For some reason there are bamboo skirts lining about half the walls – I haven’t been into any of the north end bars since moving down south and taking on a daddy role a few years ago, so if this has become part of the décor, it’s news to me. That awesome ‘rules’ poster basically telling douche baggers to head on over to Newport is still up, though…albeit on the opposite wall from where I used to see it.
In the bank office, we learn that Hank retired from the OB Police Department (the thought of such an organization still makes me chuckle) one year before he was eligible to retire and collect a pension. We also learn a lot we already knew: that he has no P.I. license, no provable income, and is in general a degenerate completely unqualified for a loan. But he’s pulled aside on his ejection from the loan officer’s office by one Armand Foster, CEO and son of the owner of the bank. Foster agrees to fund Hank’s loan on one condition: provide irrefutable proof his wife is cheating on him.
Meanwhile, back at the Tilt, Britt has encountered a spot of trouble. Masked men waving pistols barge in and collect the patrons’ wallets and cell phones, reminiscent of the opening/closing scene of Pulp Fiction. One nods at Britt as he’s pocketing his wallet, “Long time no see, buddy…”
Hank follows Foster’s wife, Miriam, for a few days, during which we see her have dinner at what’s possibly the first and definitely the last glimpse of Thee Bungalow on cable TV. Mrs. Foster has a few drinks alone, and then goes home alone.
Britt, meanwhile, heads home to find Katie in the company of a gentleman named Ray, Britt’s old friend and partner in crime. Over dinner we learn that Hank caught Britt burglarizing a taco shop a couple years back, but decided to take him under his wing instead of down to the station. So apparently our heroes have been working the private investigator gig for a while. After the meal, Ray tells Britt he has a great opportunity, but needs a top-notch B&E guy as an accomplice. On the grounds that he’s gone straight, Hank’s sidekick declines.
Hank presents the evidence to Mr. Foster, who’s convince d he’s an incompetent, as he has reliable knowledge his wife was with another man during the period Hank had the tail on. After some groveling and considerable begging, Hank earns a few more days on the case.
Meanwhile, Katie receives a visit from Ray on campus at what seems to be an extraordinarily large veterinary college. He asks Katie to have Britt tell a story about how he met her, and suggests she have Britt give him a call.
Back on the tail of Mrs. Foster with sidekick now in tow, Hank gets a call from Gretchen – she has trouble and needs to come see him to discuss. A moment later, Foster confronts what she believes to be her stalker and empties a can of mace on his pupils. Surprisingly, she’s quite apologetic upon learning that her husband has been paying Hank to stalk her, and a bizarre personal story pops out of nowhere.
It seems Armand has fantasies about Miriam cheating on him, and has become so obsessive that he’s forced her to seek out other men. Unwilling to be unfaithful, she’s been going out for several months, drinking alone, and inventing stories to tell about her wild sexual misadventures upon returning home. She’s afraid that Hank and Britt exposing her ruse will ruin the marriage, but still is kind enough to take Hank home, as the temporary blindness from the mace hasn’t worn off.
At home we notice that some of his moving boxes have disappeared, and some things seem to have oddly put themselves away. With Miriam facing the loss of her marriage and Hank the loss of his loan (and house) over the fact that he can’t provide any photos of her cheating, they devise a plan – Britt will pose on camera playing with her naughty parts.
Cut to a shady motel, where Katie has tagged along, partially because she wants to ‘direct’ the action and partly because Ray has broken into her apartment and is really starting to creep her out. After the photo shoot of the fake affair concludes, Britt calls up an old friend to source a gun before a meeting with Ray later that night. He’s motivated not only to end Ray’s harassment, but to keep a secret from Katie about their meeting that Ray seems eager to share.
Hank heads off to show the pictures to Armand, who agrees to have loan docs ready by the next morning. Back at home, Gretchen stops by with fiancé Jason. It turns out the ‘problem’ she needed to see Hank about actually concerns her new man – for some bizarre reason all of his credit cards are racking up bogus charges and he was pulled over earlier and his license seems to have been revoked. He hasn’t had his wallet stolen or given any personal information out lately, how could something like this happen? Hank agrees to investigate the matter further.
The couple leaves, but in short order Miriam is at Hank’s door, with trouble. The evidence of the cheating worked, she says, but too well – now Armand wants to follow her to her next tryst to watch. After agreeing that he’s a complete sicko, Miriam decides that she might as well be cheating. Conveniently being the only male in the room, Hank is accosted in short order.
Meanwhile, Britt is meeting up with Ray in the parking lot of the Appletree, and for some reason it seems like there’s an alley where the flower shack should be, and no one has a problem with the two pounding down malt liquor and openly discussing a planned string of burglaries. Britt agrees to help Ray, and as the two embrace Ray pulls Britt’s gun on him, chiding him for considering attacking an old friend before Britt, chastened, gingerly takes the piece back and departs.
The following day, Hank is back down at the Tilted Stick when it’s robbed again, apparently by the same guy as last week. Instead of acquiescing as Britt did, Hank instead strong-arms the robber, grabbing the gun by the barrel and twisting it from his gloved hands. A masked Britt flees while Hank has the bartender summon the cops to retrieve Ray’s fingerprints off the gun. This should solve the little issue with Ray for the moment.
At the bank, things aren’t so hot for Hank. While he was having a roll in the hay with one Foster, the other was checking the Googles, and discovered photos of Hank and Britt, partners. Miriam confesses that she was lying about cheating on Armand, and he kicks her out of the house, demanding a divorce and denying Hank the loan. Not one to be stopped so easily, Hank pulls the ‘smell my finger’ maneuver out of the junior high playbook and regales Foster with his tale of the previous night, including plenty of detail about birthmarks, proclivities, and pleasures – a particularly disturbing observation about Miriam’s vocal pattern mid-coitus stood out.
That’s enough for Armand, who signs the loan paperwork and, upon Hank’s exit, leaps from a 10th story window onto what’s presumably the 4900 block of Voltaire. Shaken by Foster’s death, Hank visits Miriam and tries to console her, as she feels her honesty was the cause of her husband’s death.
Checking in on Britt and Katie, he comes clean with the big secret Ray’s been alluding to all episode – back in his days as a criminal, he broke into her apartment and stole her TV and stereo. Seeing a picture of her and thinking she was cute, he rifled through her things until he found a paystub from the bar she worked at, and headed in the next week to pick up on the girl he’d just robbed. Keeping with the heavy sexual overtone of the whole episode, her anger lasts about two minutes before devolving into a burglar fantasy role-play.
We close the episode with a sullen Hank, alone in his dark house. Some more of the moving boxes have disappeared, even though we know Hank’s far too busy and/or sloppy to attend to his personal needs. Lying on the couch strumming a guitar, we see a dark figure run from the hall behind him, jump on the kitchen counter, and hop into the attic. Fade to black, and that ‘Gunfight Epiphany’ theme song that’s really starting to grow on me…