Mark Watches ‘Terriers’: Episode 10 – Asunder

In the tenth episode of Terriers, I have to say it again: what the hell did this show just become? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Terriers. 

I’m beginning to understand Terriers as a modern, sunny noir, one that’s willing to be funny and weird in the process while still hitting many of the benchmarks for the genre. It’s weird to call this noir when the two leads are literally the last people you’d think of to be the head of these investigations, but that’s precisely why the show works. Their messy lives are part of the storytelling, not a distraction from it.

Let’s talk about messes.

Britt and Katie

Despite that I knew that this couldn’t have lasted long, I really wasn’t ready for how painful and heartbreaking it would be to watch Britt discover the truth. Of course, to add insult to injury, Britt learns of his fianceé’s infidelity at someone else’s wedding. It’s like rubbing salt in the wound! The wedding exacerbates an already awful issue, partially because Britt has no idea why his complaining about the wedding excess would push Katie into an even more uncomfortable place. This isn’t his fault, of course; every step of the way, Britt’s been plunging headlong into a disaster because he’s been lied to. He approaches Katie’s pregnancy with interest and guarded excitement, all without knowing why it’s causing her so much stress.

So it felt like a low blow when Katie told Britt that he wasn’t ready for commitment or marriage, given that she was the one who had cheated, not him. But that’s related to the self-sabotage issues we saw in Katie earlier when she confided in Hank. If anyone’s not ready for marriage, it seems that it’s Katie, who unconsciously and consciously acted to sabotage her own relationship.

There’s still the one big unresolved part of this, too. What is Britt gonna do when he discovers that Hank knew pretty much the whole time and actively compelled Katie not to tell the truth?


I had braced myself for an entire episode focused on Gretchen and Jason’s wedding. Indeed, that’s what “Asunder” seemed like in the first few scenes. I knew it was only a matter of time before Hank found some reason to end up at the wedding hotel, and the spilled drink on Britt’s shirt provided that impetus. I knew it was going to be hard to watch this man consistently make terrible, terrible decisions, too! I KNEW THIS WOULD BE AWKWARD.

Thus, the way Hank stumbled back into the Zeitlin mystery was an incredible surprise, one that transforms the potentially uncomfortable disaster of Hank at his ex-wife’s wedding into… jesus, what do you even call this? A spy thriller? It certainly felt like one! And that’s yet another reason why Terriers is so unique. The fact that we can go from humor to crushing introspection to self-hatred to ONE OF THE MOST TENSE SEQUENCES I’VE EVER SEEN in a single episode is amazing. But it all flows together, too, and that only makes the execution all the more impressive.

So, let’s work through this. We know from Steph (who I miss!!!) that the soil study was bogus. Zeitlin or someone connected to him wanted it to get out. And from what little we see here, Zeitlin has been continuing to snatch up as much vacant and desired property in Ocean Beach as he can. He’s covered his tracks well enough, which is why he’s gotten away with this as long as he has. But the show introduces Laura Ross here, and I already adore her. It would have been easy to write her as a damsel in distress. Yes, Hank and Britt’s tech nerd friends (whose names I don’t remember) help her, but she’s more than capable of doing the job herself. She’s so goddamn bold to Zeitlin’s face, and it’s ridiculously satisfying.

In Zeitlin, we get an antagonist fit for the locale and the tone. In 2016, the kind of re-developing and land grabbing we see in him is still relevant; it actually feels prophetic in a way, doesn’t it? So, on the one hand, he’s believable in a Southern California city like Ocean Beach. Yet he’s also unrepentantly evil, something we don’t see much of in Terriers. Terriers is full of degrees of morality, but Mr. Burke and Zeitlin represent something that almost feels otherworldly within this show. It’s the David vs Goliath trope all over again, which works so well in the long run. Hank and Britt have never been masters a their work, so it ends up feeling rewarding to see them find new ways to go after Zeitlin. He’s also terrifying. Once he started threatening Ross’s mother, I knew he was serious, and I knew he had the means to pull it off.

Over what, though? That’s the mystery. Whatever he’s doing with all that land, it’s worth killing a reporter’s mother over it. BUT WHY?

I’m excited to see more of Ross, and I can’t believe the Zeitlin mystery is back. THIS IS SO EXCITING.

The video for “Asunder” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards.
– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches have been announced here.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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