‘Terriers’ – ‘Agua Caliente’: Spam, spam, spam, spam…

Senior Television Writer
10.27.10 30 Comments


A review of tonight’s “Terriers” coming up just as soon as I show on the anatomically correct doll where the bad bearded man touched me…

“Partners can be surprising.” -Gustafson

“Terriers” has been on such a roll for the last month-plus that it was inevitable there would be a let-down episode, and “Agua Caliente” fit the bill. It wasn’t a bad episode, but one that felt oddly slight, if such a description can apply to an episode in which Katie was in danger throughout, Britt and Hank spent a lot of time in the company of their former partners, Katie’s adulterous professor got involved in a hostage situation with her and Hank got shot.

Maybe “Agua Caliente” was trying to do too much, or at least that it was focused too much on plot, even in the midst of an episode dealing with partners past and present and Katie’s recent stumble. After the fun “You got served” opening sequence, we had to spend so much time getting from point A to B to D to Q that the episode never got a chance to breathe the way that “Terriers” usually does. It’s a loose, ramshackle kind of show, but here we had to make sure that Britt got kidnapped, Hank and Mark figured out where he was, Britt and Ray got arrested so Britt could steal the coke, Hank and Mark could smuggle Britt back across the border(*), etc., etc., etc.

(*) What, by the way, are the extradition laws between Mexico and the US? Britt is currently wanted for stealing $80,000 worth of cocaine from a Mexican jail. Can that come back to haunt him, or is that over and done with?

Things kept bouncing from plot point to plot point so quickly that there really wasn’t even a sense of danger about Katie. The biggest tension came when the professor showed up at her apartment, at which point I assumed Britt was going to learn the ugly truth in the middle of a life-or-death situation. I’m not saying the show had to go there this soon in the season, but the end result – where all that comes of it is Hank threatening to ruin Owen’s family and professional lives – wasn’t very satisfying.

Similarly, I liked the idea of Hank and Mark working together again, but it didn’t feel like we got very much of it in reality. Either Mark was taking lead because of his badge (including the opportunity to hear Rockmond Dunbar say the phrase “Mi nombre es Detective Gustafson”) or connections, or Hank was running off on his own. There’s obviously still a big story to tell about how Hank betrayed Mark, got kicked off the force, etc., but Mark mainly seemed to be here for the sake of plot rather than an opportunity to show how Hank works with a partner other than Britt.

And I realize that the more I keep writing this review, the more negative I become, so I’m going to stop now. “Agua Caliente” had its moments – Britt carefully walking into the middle of the massacre scene to trade the coke for Prado’s phone, to name one – but couldn’t clear the very high bar set by the last batch of episodes. It happens.

What did everybody else think?

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