The masses have NOT flocked to watch Terriers on FX. Five episodes in and the ratings aren't great. I see it now: another great show cancelled while One Tree Hill gets renewed for a 32nd season, or another season of the Kardashians or Jersey Shore goes into production. Low viewership killed Party Down--the funniest American half-hour comedy since Arrested Development. FX is completely in support of Terriers. On network television, executives might gun for a show's death for whatever reason. On cable, the executives respect the show they've spent time and money to produce, market, advertise, etc. Unfortunately, more people need to watch to keep a show alive. Terriers will definitely complete the first season; however, the second season is a question mark.
Terriers continues to get better each and every week. "Manifest Destiny" continued where last week's episode left off. Hank and Britt had Lindus' corpse, Gustafson took heat from his bosses because Lindus was freed, and much more dangerous men wanted the papers Lindus possessed. Hank and Britt needed to find a way out of a few unpleasant situations. Once they freed themselves from immediate danger, the Montague case became much more than Hank anticipated. While he said the case is closed, the man won't let Montague get away with whatever they are dumping. Hank's an anti-hero, yes, but the key word is hero.
This was a Hank episode. Michael Raymond-James barely had any lines. Donal Logue dominated the screen. Britt did most of the physical work, including creating the crash scene, returning to the crash scene to place the papers in Lindus' jacket while Hank came face-to-face with the bad man, Mr. Zeitland and his henchman. And the writers presented a different Hank this week.
The last few episode portrayed Hank Dolworth at his worst--very selfish regardless of the consequences. The behavior led to two deaths. This week, with the threat against the people he loves established by Zeitland, Hank is at a crossroads. If he hands the papers to Montague, personally, he could be kill. If he doesn't, he and Britt will be killed along with everyone they love. In the pilot, Ted Griffin established Hank as a man who protects the people he cares about. Hank became involved in the messy situation because of Mickey. Hank took Lindus on directly in an effort to find the person who murdered his friend. Hank will not behave stupidly. He and Britt return to the crash scene to plant the papers in Lindus' jacket, which allows the company to craft a story in which they plead ignorance to whatever toxins Lindus funded in the development. Hank and Britt, meanwhile, protect themselves and their loved ones from death. It's not the ideal solution for Hank, a man who HATES letting the bad guys get away with crimes. But he had to protect his sister and Gretchen--his ex that he still loves.
The arc came to a temporary conclusion but it will most certainly be revisited by season's end. Steph tells Hank that the papers are bullshit, that cancer wasn't in the ground. Regardless of what Hank says, even he knows the case isn't yet closed.
Rian Johnson directed "Manifest Destiny." Johnson directed the awesome Brick as well as The Brothers Bloom. Terriers in his wheelhouse. Lesley Headland wrote the episode.
And guess what? Hulu is streaming every episode of the series. So watch, get caught up then watch weekly on FX. Terriers is head-to-head with Boardwalk Empire for Best New Show.
SCREENPLAY OF THE DAY
1408--Written By Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK