UPDATED November 24, 2010
This list is mostly accurate through episode 9, “Pimp Daddy,” and will be updated as more recaps become available
Hank Dolworth – our main character, played by Donal Logue. Think of the Dude, if you added ‘recovering’ to his preferred title of ‘alcoholic.’ Kicked off the police force, he now operates on the fringe of law enforcement society as an unlicensed private dick.
Britt Pollack – ostensibly Hank’s partner, he serves a role more along the lines of a sidekick portrayed by Michael Raymond-James. He’s a late twenties/early thirties rough-hewn gentleman who seems like he’d be very much at home in OB and could even be any one of the guys in my apartment complex, or even me 50 pounds lighter. We learn as the series progresses he comes to his crime-fighting career by way of a stint of burglaries and a layover incarcerated.
Gretchen – Kimberly Quinn is Hank’s ex-wife, whom Hank has an obvious difficulty letting go of. Hank’s boozing finally drove her away, but now that he’s cleaned up it appears to be a day late, dollar short effort, as she’s now engaged to someone else.
Katie – Britt’s girlfriend is played by Laura Allen. Likely the most mature character still a part of Hank’s life, she’s ready to marry and settle down, pursuing a veterinary degree and hoping Britt will acquiesce to her desire to have a child.
Mark Gustafson – usually just Gustafson (Rockmond Dunbar), Hank’s old partner has risen through the ranks of the Ocean Beach Police Department. He’s tasked with keeping his ex-comrade in line and out of trouble, and has an unusual penchant for chewing on plastic cigarette holders as a result of his difficulty giving up the smoking habit.
Robert Lindus – “Ocean Beach’s Favorite Son” is a real estate magnate and decidedly shady character. He’s working on developing the Montague, a massive resort property that ultimately drives a large portion of the drama and mystery driving the storyline. Implicated in the murder of a semi-pro golf instructor formerly in his employ.
Stephanie/Steph Dolworth – Hank’s sister, portrayed by Karina Logue, also Donal’s real-life sister. Brilliant yet quirky, the technical whiz holds a degree from MIT and possesses an ungainly tendency to speak very bluntly, often humorously making others uncomfortable. She suffers from psychotic episodes, is reluctant to take her medication, and bounces in and out of care facilities. At one point lived in Hank’s attic without his knowledge for almost a month.
Smaller Roles, Only Important To One Episode, Now Deceased, Etc.
Adam Fisher – Crazy amnesiac from episode 7. Gains sympathy from Hank, who sees early signs of Steph’s mental illness in him. Loses it when he kidnaps a classmate he fantasizes is his girlfriend, then takes her roommate hostage with a squirt gun.
Anthony Bianco – golf instructor in the employ of Robert Lindus. We never actually meet him, because Lindus has had him killed by the time he comes into the plot in the middle of the first episode. From the boys’ grimace upon finding him decomposing in a lifeguard tower, we gather that he smells pretty bad.
Armand & Miriam Forester – one odd couple. He gets off on thoughts of her cheating on him, gets mad when he finds out she’s been faithful, and kills himself when she cheats for real. Also gave Hank the loan to buy his house from Gretchen. She’s a psychiatrist who ends up marrying one of her patients, regales him with stories of affairs that never happen, and eventually screws Hank.
Ben Zeitlin – lawyer, associate of the man in the tan suit, a.k.a. Mr Burke. Threatens the safety of Katie, Stephanie, and Gretchen, if Hank doesn’t help recover a dirty soil report from the Lindus estate.
Beth and Dale Komack – Couple who are the focus of episode six. She’s dying of cancer, he’s been screwing her hairdresser for the last decade or so and stole one of her family heirloom jewels for a gift to his mistress.
Bradley David Denom – brother of Montel, the thug who beats up Hank and Britt for hassling his girlfriend. He works at the horse track at Del Mar, and helped Montel orchestrate a theft, after which he steals the money and cuts his brother out of the deal.
Burke – only known as Mr. Burke. See the Man in the Tan Suit.
Cody – teenage busboy at Hodad’s. Inadvertently hires a transvestite hooker who chooses to flee with his money instead of providing the purchased services once Michael(a) realizes the kid doesn’t understand that he’s just purchased a heaping helping of trouser snake.
Detective Reynolds – Gustafson’s new partner, witless foil to Hank and Britt. According to Hank, he “couldn’t find his own taint with a GPS,” likely a homage to Jon Stewart’s 2006 assertion that Democrats of the time were “unable to locate their own asses, even when presented with two hands and a special ass map.” We eventually find out he’s a serial rapist whose framing of Hank as an evidence-planter is at least partially responsible for the fall of his marriage.
Doc Johnson – Ice cream vendor at Mission Beach. Used to be a real doctor, but got caught writing himself bogus prescriptions.
Eleanor/Ellie Gozney– Daughter of Mickey (below), mistress of Robert Lindus, tweeker. Lindus attempts to frame her for murder, Hank sends her to Catalina to hide out and clean up.
Jason Adler (real name Volloway) – Gretchen’s new fiancée. Unbeknownst to him, Hank is screwing with his credit and DMV records, and has run a background check, during which he learns Volloway is implicated in a mass string of child molestations in the late 1980s.
Jessica Sampson – Girl who’s kidnapped and hog-tied by Adam Fisher in episode 7. She has a thing for Eastern philosophy and religion. We only meet her once, tied up in a closet.
Josephine Lindus – wife of superdeveloper-slash-murderer Robert. Stands by her man, even as amateur porn starring him and Ellie is played on loop tape on the local news feeds.
Kenny Florio – A ‘john’ who gets off on beating his whores senseless during the act of coitus. Mercifully, we never meet him, as he kills himself before he’s even introduced – but not before he kills Crystal, a close friend of Michaela.
Maggie – Hank and Britt’s lawyer, occasional source of odd jobs through bounty hunting, spying on disability cheats, etc. Opens the show pregnant, is busy giving birth during the one point to date they really need representation.
Man in the Tan Suit – mysterious figure, ostensibly responsible for the murder of Mickey and for silently assisting Hank and Britt in planting evidence to take Lindus down for murder. Is identified in episode 5 as one Mr. Burke, under the employ of Ben Zeitlin, lawyer for the developers of the Montague project.
Michael(a) – transvestite prostitute who steals money from Cody Price, nephew of Hank’s personal trainer who he’s seeing while convalescing from his bullet wound. Actually a kind-hearted soul, she pays Britt to help solve the murder of her boy/girl-friend ‘Crystal.’
Mickey Gozney – Old drinking buddy of Hank’s. Winds up dead of a heroin overdose in episode 1, even though he’s never touched any hard drugs.
Montel – half brother of Bradley. Helps him steal a large sum from Del Mar, gets shot instead of thanked. Kicks the shit out of Hank and Britt when they try to shake down his girlfriend in an attempt to draw him out of hiding and collect a bounty for his arrest.
Paola Alvarez – Hairdresser of Beth Komack, mistress to Dale Komack. Also mother of Dale’s illegitimate daughter, pawner of Beth’s priceless blue diamond, and generally kind of a skank.
Ray Sizick – one of Britt’s old comrades during his breaking and entering days. Gets framed for robbery by Hank and Britt to keep him from forcing Britt to commit burglary, is responsible for getting Britt abducted and taken to Tijuana in order to steal several dozen kilos of cocaine from a Mexican police evidence locker.
Vince Patterson – one of the victims of Jason’s family molestation ring, says Jason didn’t directly assault him but was fully complicit in his parents’ repeated sexual abuse of foster children.
William Cumin – Heroin dealer, paid by the man in the tan suit to shoot Mickey up with an overdose of H while he was drunk. Gets his ass kicked by Hank.