There is a scene in the latest episode of Terriers, titled "Ring-a-Ding-Ding," that could be considered the transcendent scene of the series thus far--the scene that certified Terriers leap from a good show to a great one. Hank, portrayed by the terrific Donal Logue, finds himself consoling the broken-hearted woman who discovered her husband cheated on her, and she's also dying from cancer.
Beth, the woman, tells Hank that her husband will be sorry when he loses her. The pain washes over Hank's face because he, more than anyone else in that moment, can relate to what this woman (Beth) is feeling. The circumstances surrounding the end of Hank's marriage differ from the circumstances of Beth's marriage; however, the emotion and the grief is all too similar for Hank, who earlier in the episode, attended an engagement party for his ex-wife and personally witnessed how happy she is with someone new. Hank is very sorry he lost the love of his life because he was a drunk, he messed up and he has to live without her. He tells Beth only, "yeah, he will."
For the first time since the LOST finale aired on May 23, it became dusty in The Foot, folks. It got a little dusty as Hank consoled Beth, which means that I'm invested in the characters, their relationships, their world and this series. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I must write about the actual episode before I write about how much I like the show.
Last week's episode placed the Lindus/Montague plot on the bench for a little while so the show could return to the exploration of the characters. The last two episodes of Terriers were particularly difficult to write about in an analytical/english major way because of the structure, tone and subject of the episodes--they were straightforward in their neo-noirishness and, heck, Britt barely had any lines last week. I welcome the break from the central arc of the season because Terriers returned to the great characters.
Marriage and its many complexities was the theme of "Ring A Ding-Ding." As mentioned above, Hank attends the engagement party for his ex-wife and her future husband. Hank's had difficulty accepting the impending marriage. He told Gretchen that he still loves her and used Jason's credit cards in an attempt to paint him as a seedy, shady individual. Hank, as I've noted in the past, has plenty of darkness in him; meanwhile, Britt decides to ask Katie to marry him after listening to speech Jason gives. The decision overwhelms Britt but he knows Katie wants marriage, a baby and Britt realizes that he wants that too.
Throughout the episode, Hank gives Britt advice about marriage, that marriage changes a couple, that marriage is, in a word, complex. The case of the week emphasizes the difficulties a marriage creates. In a nutshell, Beth's husband cheated on her. The husband explains to Hank and Britt that he and Beth's love died years ago; however, after a confrontation with the mistress (and the woman who cut her hair for years and, essentially, took all the stories Beth told in the salon to steal her husband), Beth talks about the promise that every couple makes on the day of their marriage: to love each other until death. And she is devastated because he continued to cheat on her as cancer took over her body. Hank probably sees Gretchen in Beth, a woman who gets hurt because her husband couldn't control himself
Surprisingly, Katie experiences more anxiety than Britt. After class, she attends Karaoke night at a bar with her professor and classmates. Eventually, she ends up in bed with her professor. The next morning, she meets with Hank in a diner to confess what she did. Hank's heartbroken for Britt. Hank tells her to forget the experience, that it never happened (he goes a bit Don Draper on her) because Britt will never forgive her if she told him.
Most importantly, Katie tells Hank that she wants everything that Britt is about to ask of her--she wants to be a wife and a mother but she's scared. Something exists inside her that pushes away that life, that makes Katie feel like she doesn't deserve it. All Hank can do is embrace her as she sobs in his arms and ask her to forget.
Other thoughts and notes:
-The Lindus money is being stored away until the Lindus stuff blows over. Britt wants to use his half for the wedding. Hank has already screwed up with Britt's share. I won't be surprised if Hank botches Britt's share again.
-Laura Allen is terrific as Katie. She looked stunning during the bar scenes and she really brought the pain in the final scene.
-Jason the fiance is a nice guy after all. He lied to Gretchen about the credit cards for the sake of Hank, and Hank finally acknowledges that Jason is a good person and makes Gretchen happy. Of course, he doesn't want to lose her to him. Donal Logue was awesome in this episode.
-Steph is awesome. She had the best lines at the party and a great scrabble scene with Jason. The character still reminds me of River, which is okay.
-The scene at the hair salon, with Hank and Paulo, cracked me up. This show is funny too.
-Angela Kang wrote the episode. Billy Gierhart directed it.
-I love this show. I get excited to watch it every week. The writing is outstanding. The characters are terrific, fully developed and engaging. I hope FX decides to renew Terriers for a second season. I also hope people begin watching.
-Executive producer Shawn Ryan linked this on his twitter: http://www.cinemablend.com/television/Terriers-101-Read-This-And-Start-Watching-FX-s-Latest-Must-Watch-Series-27552.html. Read it and watch.
SCREENPLAY OF THE DAY
Terriers--"Pilot"--Written By Ted Griffin
Go ahead and READ the pilot if you aren't in the mood to watch the filmed product.
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK