Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Foot: Review of Terriers--Missing Persons (Watch This Show)

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Terriers is like Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. The series continues producing gems on a weekly basis but it is getting very little run support. And by run support, I refer to the poor ratings the show has received. Friends and well-wishers, Terriers is the best show on television. Please watch.

The latest episode of Terriers, titled "Missing Persons," dealt with Hank's sister, Steph. We met Steph as she snuck into the attic after being released from the hospital. Hank told Britt, a few episodes ago, that she is brilliant, exceptional woman when she takes her meds. But things become dicey when she doesn't take her meds. The title "Missing Persons" refers to two characters: Adam Fischer, the character central to the standalone story; however, the title belongs to Steph--a woman who is missing a part of herself because of her mental illness. One day, during college, she disappeared for six days--the beginning of her illness. Steph hallucinates throughout the episode. In the teaser, she asks her mother would she like any ice cream. Hank looks worried that his sister is regressing. Indeed, she hasn't taken her medicine.

Hank leaves her alone for awhile because of a case. Left alone in the house and the neighborhood, Steph goes outside. She sees a little girl swinging on a swingset as she talks to a middle-aged female neighbor. Steph's attention is focused on the little girl. She crosses the street and begins talking to the little girl (her name El). The two play together for the majority of the day. Steph wonders why El's parents take such bad care of their daughter. At home, she asks Hank to talk with the parents about their daughter; however, the case distracts Hank. Steph takes the matter on herself but we find out the little girl wasn't real--she existed entirely in Steph's mind. She causes a brief scene in the neighborhood. Later, in bed, Hank sits by her. Steph wants to get better. She tells Hank that she wants to take care of him because he always took care of her. But she isn't ready, and he needs to let her go for awhile--to get better.

For the second week in the row, Donal Logue conveys his pain and sadness so well that one would have to be made of stone to not feel something. Hank wants his sister to get better. He drives her to an assisted living place, though he continually reminds Steph that he will take care of her. Steph recognizes, and so does Hank, that she needs more than Hank if she wants to heal herself, so Hank lets her go for a little while. And the final shot of the episode tells us everything we need to know about Hank's feelings.

The case-of-the-week, standalone plot, parallels the personal situation with Hank and his sister. Hank and Britt meet a college guy who cannot remember anything about himself, and he feels like he did something bad. Of course, Adam (the college guy) DID do something bad though he wasn't exactly driving his own bus. Adam planned a trip to Cambodia and began taking anti-malaria pills. The pills have a plethora of side-effects including delusion, paranoia and memory loss. The pills and a simple crush led to kidnapping and locking the girl-of-his-infatuation in a closet for two days. Hank and Britt soon find the girl and rescue her. The paranoia sets in and Adam takes his crush's roommate hostage but Hank resolves that crisis rather quickly.

While alone in the room with Adam, Hank tells him that whatever temporary craziness he is experiencing with soon pass. Earlier in the episode, Hank told Britt the kid reminded him of Steph which explained why he wanted to hang around the kid, and make sure he was okay. In the room, Hank takes his frustations out on the kid. He tells Adam to pull it together because he knows his sister cannot pull it together. Hank's frustations are borne from a feeling of helplesness, an ability to fix whatever is broken in his sister's brain.

"Missing Persons" is a terrific episode for the Dolworths. Donal and Karina Logue knocked it out of the park. Hank is becoming one of the great TV characters.

Other thoughts:

-Steph continues to remind me of River Tam from Firefly. Now, Hank reminded me of Simon Tam. The bedroom scene felt like the scene in Serenity when Simon is wounded, and River tells him that he always took care of her. River simply adds, "my turn" before she enters a room full of Reavers and goes to town. Also, the bedroom scene reminded me of the final scene in "Ariel," a scene that ALSO takes place in a bedroom. River asks Simon (who brought her medications) if if it is time to go to sleep again. Simon says, "No, mei mei. It's time to wake up." Intentional or not, I'm enjoying these Firefly reminders.

-Britt gets the spotlight next week. In "Missing Persons," he didn't know what to make of Katie's mood. This story is like a bomb waiting to explode. It's not going to be pretty. Also, Britt took told Hank that he needs to be treated like an actual partner. The frustrations with the various cases and money stuff combined with Katie took its toll on Britt.

-Lots of good banter between Hank and Britt. I enjoyed the brief sidekick exchange the most.

-Jed Seidel wrote the episode, his second of the season. Michael Zinberg directed it.

-Once again, please watch this show.


American Pie--Written By Adam Herz--


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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.