Welcome back, brave souls who’ve endured my first three rambling diatribes! I see no reason to bore you with much off-topic banter, so let’s launch into Fustercluck, the fourth installment in the new Terriers series.
If you’re new and lost, click on my name at the top of the article and you’ll be linked to previous articles that will bring you up to date, along with other things I’ve written that, due to the quality of content, should not be viewed by anyone.
We open to Hank, sleepless at half past four, trying to catch the rats that he’s been hearing scurrying around in the night and presumably eating all his food. Bummed out with his kill rate of zero, he cruises down to the Old Townhouse Restaurant to meet Britt for breakfast.
Since there’s only about 43 minutes in a TV hour, there’s no time to waste and we immediately meet Josephine Lindus, wife of big-time real estate developer Robert Lindus. Remember him? The boys framed him for a murder that he’d actually committed in the series pilot. He’s still in jail, and Josephine slips our antiheroes a thousand large, saying she’s just paying them to go visit him.
In jail, Britt and Hank get Lindus to cop to arranging the murder of his son’s golf pro, but he maintains his innocence with regard to Mickey’s murder. He also denies any involvement with the thugs in SUVs who attacked the fearsome twosome while whisking Ellie off to safety. He’s scared these guys are after him as well as the boys, and believes they have more than a little to do with more evidence landing in the laps of the prosecution, as well as the sudden decision by his star defense attorney to drop him as a client.
Oh yeah, he needs a favor too – our private dicks are sent on a mission to steal $250,000 he has stashed, as all of his bank accounts have been frozen pending the trial.
Off to the OBPD (I still get a kick out of that) to talk to Gustafson. He seems to think his ingenious sleuthing skills are responsible for nabbing Lindus, no thanks to the tipoff from Hank and Britt. He’s also done nothing to investigate Mickey’s death, which has been ruled an open-and-shut case of a junkie overdose. On their way out, Hank is provided a box of Mickey’s personal affects, as no next of kin has been located (we’re assuming Ellie is staying put after being shipped out to Catalina).
In an emotional episode, Hank examines the contents of the box at home. He discovers a paystub from a security company, for whom Mickey was working as a night watchman at the Montague project. The boys hunt down some of his old friends at a local bar and learn that Mickey took the job after getting the hook-up from Ellie, who was working for/banging Lindus at the time. After seeing something suspicious on the jobsite, he was fired post haste. He then became paranoid, watching his back and attempting to stay out of sight until he showed up dead a couple weeks later.
Paying a visit to the construction site, the boys spy what look to be the mysterious SUV thugs, but it’s not long before the thugs spy them, forcing the duo to make haste away from the scene. They go to visit Mrs. Lindus, who promises to pay them $100,000 to recover the ‘secret parachute’ her husband has stashed in a safe at his office. The problem? The office is locked down, under 24 hour surveillance by the police until Robert’s trial. To sweeten the deal, Josephine promises the name of Mickey’s real killer. They have a day and a half to perform.
After a quick peek at the building, the boys decide the mission is a go. Britt drops Hank off at home and goes to procure supplies for the evening’s mission. He walks in the door to find a bowl sitting out on the table, then hears footsteps in the hall. Pursuing the intruder armed with a frying pan and steak knife, Hank loops around and makes it back to the kitchen just in time to see that mysterious figure jumping up into the attic again.
This is how we meet Stephanie, Hank’s sister both on screen and in real life, and one of the most compelling characters on the show in my eyes. We’ll learn that she’s a technical whiz, holds an engineering degree from MIT, and has a quirky way of speaking very bluntly that’s frequently off-putting to those who don’t know her. Oh yeah, and she’s checked herself out of a voluntary stay at a mental health facility, stopped taking her meds, and has been living with Hank for the past month, hiding in his truck and breaking into his apartment while he was gone before he moved, and living in his attic since he moved into the house a few weeks ago.
Calling on Katie to babysit Steph, the burgling buddies head out on their mission. Hank’s head is still spinning from the revelation that Steph is back with him, and Britt has to repeatedly coax him to focus on the felony they’re looking to commit. How they get the job done, however, is a thing of beauty.
Britt gets into the building, then Hank calls in a distraction to draw the 24 hour security guard from his post. Britt quickly changes the alarm company phone contact on the guard’s computer and bolts for Lindus’ office before the guard returns. He breaks in, but trips the alarm. Smashing the control panel with a hammer, he flees back to the car to wait for Hank. Once the office is secured, the alarm company is called to repair the panel and shut off the shrieking noise. In walks Hank, who puts a new dummy alarm cover on and, telling police he needs the room clear to program the new alarm, locks them out. He quickly uncovers the hidden safe, retrieves the package for Lindus, and makes haste. Outside, Britt points out a black SUV that’s been watching them, remarkably similar to the ones that signal trouble whenever they show up in the series.
The thieves return to Josephine with their booty and are rewarded with the $100,000, as promised. When prompted, Hank also returns a key that was in the package, in exchange for the name of one William Cumin, Mickey’s killer.
Hank tracks Cumin to a cheap apartment he slings heroin out of. Upon learning he’s just a flunkie that was paid off by “the man in the tan suit,” unable even to produce a name, Hank storms off in disgust after Robert Lindus. He grabs Britt, and the two find Lindus bailed out of jail and loading his family into a small plane. They then grab Lindus and the key they’d returned to Josephine earlier, demanding more information on the real reason Mickey is dead.
Lindus takes them to a post office box, where we discover some random papers that seem to make no sense to the boys. Lindus tries to run away at this point, but doesn’t last more than 30 seconds before being hit by a car traveling at considerable speed. Begging not to be taken to the hospital because the police will find out he’s planning to jump bail, Hank and Britt instead take him to Hank’s house, where he begins to explain that the documents they’ve recovered are the results of some scientific study, but drops dead before we really learn anything useful.
The best thing that can happen to you when you’ve got a dead fugitive on your hands ensues: the cops show up. Gustafson informs Hank that Josephine is down at the police station, claiming that he and Britt kidnapped her husband. Searching the house, he seems satisfied that the boys don’t have Lindus, but needs them to come down to the station to file a report. They leave Stephanie alone in the house, admonishing her not to go outside. We fade to black as she pushes aside the empty boxes Britt has hidden Lindus’ body under in the bathtub.