Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Foot: Review of Terriers---"Dog and Pony" plus Screenplay of the Day

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="550" caption="Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James"][/caption]

Usually, a TV series' second episode delves deeper into the central character of the show. Terriers' second episode, "Dog & Pony," does exactly that, revealing in more detail the complicated man that is Hank Dalworth. He is a recovering alcoholic who was dishonorably discharged from the OBPD because of his conduct and alcoholism. Hank continues to attend AA meetings. After the assets of Lindus freeze, leaving Hank without money for his down payment on the house he once lived in with his ex-wife, he seems near the edge of drinking again. If not that, he's terribly bothered by the impending marriage of his ex-wife to her fiance. Hank's a man who self-medicates the pain he feels; however, he does not return to drinking this episode.

The sadness and loneliness he experiences in his personal life does not translate to his professional life, or rather, his life as an unlicensed private investigator. The episode opens with he and Britt being questioned about the Lindus case. Everyone thinks Hank and Britt planted Lindus' gun. They did but they refuse to say they did. This refusal incites the rage of Hank's former partner who calls into question Hank's ability to be a cop. So, Hank and Britt take an arrest warrant from the office with a $5,000 dollar reward for finding the Montal--the fugitive.

The case has a few twists and turns. Montal is wanted for a armed robbery of liquor store but he was also a key man in a robbery job at the horse track; however, he's mostly innocent. The case exists to show that Hank remains a great cop even though he isn't paid by the OBPD to be one. The oldest rule in creative writing is show, don't tell. We could've heard Hank's former partner, other members of the force, their lawyer buddy talk about how Hank was the greatest cop they'd ever see before he fell apart. Shawn Ryan and Jed Seidel as well as Ted Griffin, Tim Minear and the rest of the writing staff adhered to the oldest rule in the creative writing rulebook. Interestingly, Hank is doubted by everyone who isn't Britt, Katie and the individuals he helps when he's working a case. Gretchen, the ex-wife, reminds him again and again that he can opt out of the house because she doesn't think he has the money to afford the investment. Of course, he can't afford it but that's not the heart of the issue. Likewise, his former partner and Reynolds warn him to stay clear of Montal after Montal kicked their butts because they think Hank lost his ability.

Hank earns a victory over his old colleagues because he solves the Delmar Window case in 24 hours. The police were stumped by the case for three months. Hank lets Montal walk free and Britt gives him the dog he and Katie bought in the last episode. Hank feels small yet again when he goes to the house to give Gretchen a check for the down payment. He imagines the two are together like old times before reality sets in. She's getting married and he's going to be alone in the biggest reminder about their life together. This won't go well.

Some other thoughts:

-Britt gets a tarot card reading from Montal's girlfriend and she tells him a dark presence is going to mess up his life. Hank's former partner, whose name I again forget, warns Britt that Hank will let him down at some point--intentionally or non-intentionally. Britt thinks the dark presence is his dog but, no, it's not. Personally, I wouldn't trust the girlfriend's reading but the scene foreshadows trouble ahead for Britt and Hank.

-Britt and Katie get Winston, the dog from last week he and Hank took from the laundry lady's ex-boyfriend. Both dogs are great. Winston is a character though. But the other dog was adorable. Dogs are awesome.

-Donal Logue was very good in this episode. Shawn Ryan & Jed Seidel wrote the episode. Clark Johnson directed "Dog and Pony." Johnson's a veteran of Shawn Ryan series. He also directed a few Wire episodes.

-I'm a huge fan of the show so far. The ratings haven't been great so I recommend anyone reading to check it out. You can find episodes on iTunes, OnDemand and Amazon Video OnDemand. Next week episode has gotten terrific reviews. I'm guessing Tim Minear penned it and he always writes quality scripts. Hopefully, he directs too.

The Man Vs. Wild write-up will be posted in a bit.


2002 SUPERMAN draft by J.J. Abrams

Superman fans, see what could've been if they went with Abrams screenplay. Abrams' writing style is awesome.


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.