Terriers, “Missing Persons”

For the second straight week, Terriers dips into the standalone pool with a story that intensely mirrors the lives of the lead characters. While last week’s case mirrored Britt and Katie’s relationship, “Missing Persons” focuses on Hank and Steph, to almost the same amount of effectiveness. There is some risk in continuing to go down that road, but thus far, Terriers has nailed it, particularly because of the performances from the actors.

In this week’s episode, Hank and Britt stumble into a case (really, this should happen every week) with an amnesiac, missing college kid, end up finding another one and realize that the original amnesiac is actually a pretty deadly dude. The case isn’t as twisty and turny as the one last week or really any of the cases thus far in the season, but thankfully, there are a number of great moments for Hank and Britt and Hank and Steph along the way that makes the episode completely worthwhile.

As we’ve been kind of waiting for since Gustafson’s comment, Britt is finally starting to feel like he’s not a full member of the partnership. When Hank pushes to continue to keep with the amnesiac guy early in the episode, Britt snaps a bit because he realizes that whenever there is an argument within the partnership, Hank wins. He’s the dominant personality in the relationship, they always do what he wants, always take the cases he wants to take, etc. And although cooler heads prevail and Hank apologizes, I’m not sure if that makes anything better. The series has already established that even if he doesn’t mean to be, Hank can be destructive to the people closest around him, and I don’t think he’s meaning to control the partnership with Britt, that’s just how he is.

And based on how Britt’s relationship with Katie is going, Hank could be in even more trouble moving forward. After sleeping with her professor, Katie is particularly distant with Britt, won’t go out to dinner with him or even look him in the eye. Britt relays this information to Hank and it’s obvious that even though he told her to keep the infidelity a secret, Hank is going to break and tell Britt the truth. It’s going to be a heartbreaking moment, but a glorious one to watch.

More importantly, this episode focuses on the great relationship between Hank and Steph. The episode starts with them enjoying dinner, watching old movies and making fun of their crazy-ass mother, which is just a beautiful moment. Then, all that discussion leads Steph to think their mother is actually there, freezing Hank in the reality of the situation. Steph’s been doing fairly well since Hank found her, but here, things start to unspool. She visits with the neighbors and has a good time, but while Hank’s frustrated and focused on the case, Steph snaps a bit, forces herself into a neighbor’s home and recognizes that the little girl she had so much fun with early in the episode is actually fictitious.

From there, Hank is particularly invested in the case because he sees that the fears the amnesiac kid has are similar to the ones that Steph has. He doesn’t know who he is, why he is the way he is or if he even wants to remember the awful things he’s done. Hank stops him from acting like an idiot so the cops will kill him and the Donal Logue just nails the scene. Hank sees his sister in this kid and although he cannot help his sister in the ways he wants to, he’s damn sure going to help this little punk.

And though he makes good on his promise to help the kid, the realities of the situation with Steph are still there. She makes the mature decision to go back to a home and Hank just can’t take it. He’s a mess, but with his sister around the last few weeks, he’s arguably been less of a mess with her around. She might be legally crazy, but he’s not far behind. Yet again, the final scene is a tearjerker, proving yet again that casting real-life siblings Donal and Karina Logue in these roles was an excellent decision.

This wasn’t the best episode of Terriers, but it’s better than anything else I’ve seen this week. PLEASE WATCH THIS SERIES.

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