‘Terriers’ – ‘Missing Persons’: My secret identity

Senior Television Writer
10.20.10 51 Comments


As I’ve been saying for the early part of this week, life has gotten in the way of TV reviewing for a little while, so some very brief thoughts on tonight’s superb “Terriers” coming up just as soon as I recite the first eight numbers of the Fibonacci sequence…

On Monday, Fienberg and I had Shawn Ryan as a podcast guest for what wound up being a 45+ minute discussion about the show, Shawn’s different experiences both in doing shows he created versus ones (like this) created by others and in working in cable versus broadcast, and a bunch of other stuff. But the vast majority was about “Terriers,” and even if you don’t usually listen to the podcast, if you’re a fan of the show I highly recommend that segment.

But if you’re just severely allergic to podcasts in general or ours in particular, I will say that we talked a bit about the two most crucial pieces of “Missing Persons.” The first is the art-imitates-life chemistry of Donal and Karina Logue. Not all acting siblings work well together on screen, but the Logues do, making the connection between Hank and Steph so vivid that of course it hurt more when she had the meltdown he was hoping she wouldn’t.

The second is something I wrote about a bit in last week’s review, which is that my patience is usually very thin for episodic stories where the patient/client/victim’s story is an obvious parallel for a problem one of our heroes is enduring, but every time “Terriers” has done it with Hank, it’s worked like gangbusters. A lot of the credit for that goes to Donal Logue, obviously, but also to the fact that the various stories where they’ve done it would work nearly as well even if they didn’t reflect Hank’s life. The amnesia case is a pretty standard private eye trope, going back to the ’30s and ’40s, and as with the adultery case from episode three, the “Terriers” writers did a good job of dressing up the old girl for the 21st century. As with most things about this show, it started off low-key, even funny at times, and then went darker and darker as the hour moved along.

Strong stuff, and nice to have Gustafson so involved in a standalone case, as well as a return of the tech-nerds.

What did everybody else think?

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