November 18th, 2010
07:20 PM ET
If you’re not watching “Terriers,” the best new show of the fall, check out my reasons why you should be.
If you are watching, let’s (finally) talk about last night’s episode, “Sins of the Past.” Or as I like to call it, “So That’s How We Got Here.”
Quick check of what we learned last night: how Hank and Britt met; how Hank got kicked off the police force; what led to the end of Hank’s marriage; and how Hank let his old partner, Mark, down. Turns out, it’s all tied around a rape case that happened three years ago.
The flashback structure that was used to tell the story worked perfectly. The techniques aren’t revolutionary (as the camera pans past a wall or someone’s head, we transition from present to past), but it was the contrast between Hank then and Hank now that ratcheted up the tension.
Three-years-ago Hank is a good detective, despite his reckless alcoholism and barely-contained hatred for anyone with wealth or power. Present-day Hank is still a good detective who’s recently struggled with maintaining his sobriety. He still hates people with power. I got more and more tense as the story went down its parallel paths. Would Hank lose it again? Would he do irreparable harm to his career or his relationships? Would he fall off the wagon?
The show certainly wants you to think he might. After all, Hank is still focused on the same suspect three years later. Rich-kid Billy Whitman (who is set up as a horrible stereotype; points off for that one) pushes all of Hank’s rage-against-authority buttons, and it doesn’t help that he has a sordid history with Hank’s ex-wife (current wife during the flashbacks). Hank thought Whitman did it. I thought he did it. Turns out, we both missed the obvious clues. The reveal of Det. Reynolds, the guy who replaced Hank as Mark’s partner, completely caught me off guard.
That’s not the only case of mistaken identity in last night’s episode. The Katie-cheats-on-Britt storyline finally came to a boil last week, and this week Britt boiled over. The actors played that opening breakup scene perfectly, and I couldn’t tell you who was suffering more (let’s go with Winston, the dog). But as Britt tortured himself over Katie’s infidelity, I couldn’t help but realize that he was spiraling down that same path as past-Hank, with his heavy drinking and reckless actions culminating in a massive blow-up when he attacked the guy he THOUGHT Katie slept with.
And that’s when the other shoe dropped. Hank is the one who has to tell Britt he has the wrong guy, because Hank knows who the right guy is. He’s known all along, and now Britt knows Hank knows. I’ve been worried about how this would play out since the second Katie told Hank that she cheated on Britt. And if the breakup between Britt and Katie at the start of the episode was tough, the breakup between Britt and Hank at the end is heartbreaking.
There’s just one more episode to go and quite a few loose ends to tie up. I can’t wait.
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