Mark Watches ‘Terriers’: Episode 3 – Changing Partners

In the third episode of Terriers, what the fuck what the fuck WHAT THE FUCK. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Terriers.

Trigger Warning: For suicide. 



I do enjoy it when a show doesn’t waste time, and “Change Partners” certainly escalates the story for most of the recurring characters. In a rare feat, both the A and B plots of the episode are just as intriguing and engaging as one another. In Britt’s case, the writers address Detective Gustafson’s comment to Britt in “Dog and Pony” about his past. AND WHAT A PAST THAT IS.

I found this all so interesting because of how directly the script addresses the awkward nature of the story. It wasn’t exactly a shocker that Britt was a criminal before he met Katie, but where the show takes that reveal was far more surprising to me. Indeed, I can see how Britt’s secretive nature about what he does with Hank could eat away at the trust in his relationship with his girlfriend. (I don’t think they’re actually married; I must have messed that up in the last review.) So when Ray (played by the lovely Maimiliano Hernández) returns to Britt’s life to insist he take on another job, the situation has all the makings of a disaster. Hank hasn’t exactly been all that helpful when it comes to money, so Britt is desperate. The temptation to do a quick and easy set of jobs to make a quick buck is pretty damn high.

So why doesn’t Britt end up accepting the offer? It’s here that Terriers starts to build a characterization for Britt that’s complicated, and I appreciate that. His love for Katie is undeniable, but love doesn’t pay the bills. Once Ray hangs Britt’s secret about how he met his girlfriend over his head, though, Britt’s conflict morphs. I think he’s a man whose made a lot of bad decisions, but he largely escaped the consequences of those actions. Aside from being arrested, we don’t know that Britt ever saw any jail time or paid for his crimes. Yet this specific problem will have an immediate repercussion from him, and he knows it. There’s no escaping it!

Initially, I thought he devised a method to get rid of Ray that would also prevent Katie from finding out that HE ROBBED HER HOME A WEEK BEFORE HE MET HER AND USED THAT TO MET HER. Which is so many levels of gross, and Britt knows it. However, he actually takes Hank’s advice and tells Katie the truth anyway. God, Hank was so right here: tell the truth because your partner will find the truth out anyway.

I cannot say that I ever would have expected Katie to react as she did. Good fucking god, what a surprise.


It was clear that the Foster case resonated with Hank because it allowed him, for a moment, to entertain the fantasy that he could repair his own marriage. Of course, that’s an absurd thought, but fantasies are often absurd in nature. The case certainly doesn’t start off as one that Hank can relate to. Hell, it was pretty standard, at least until Hank (and the audience) realized that Miriam wasn’t cheating on her husband.

And for what it’s worth, I was impressed that the show largely ignored Britt’s take on this relationship and instead tried to humanize the very real issues that Miriam and Armand were having. In one sense, the cuckold arrangement is played for laughs, but I don’t think it was taken that route once Hank began to explore why Miriam stayed in her marriage and why she went to such lengths to preserve it. How could he not relate to someone who was making possibly disastrous decisions over and over again, all out of the hope that love could last?

Look, I viewed the first two episodes of the show through a specific lens: this is a show about bad decisions. It is, and I don’t think that’s an inaccurate statement. But what constitutes a “bad” decision? In this case, was it a bad decision for Hank to sleep with Miriam? It’s what Armand wanted, and Miriam found happiness in the moment. Hell, even Hank found some joy in that. If no one is hurt, does it count as a “bad” decision?

Unfortunately, everyone gets hurt. Everyone. I’m still in awe at how spectacularly this all falls apart in such a short span of time. Why? Hank’s sloppiness. Armand’s need to control the details. Miriam’s inability to tell her husband the truth. Each of these acts is complicated by other factors, but this episode features a bad decision of monumental proportions. Hank’s angry admission that he slept with Miriam is self-serving. He just wants that bank loan, and he doesn’t think about how his words will affect someone else. When Armand commits suicide, he takes his bad decision a step further: he uses Armand’s suicide note to forge his signature.

It’s all so terribly, horribly fucked up, but somehow, I felt that Hank’s visit to Miriam was the first part. The whole thing is a tragedy, but the way he admits to her that he needed the loan, even if it meant her husband suffered because of it. This is a real low for Hank, one that goes beyond just a “bad” decision that we can shake our heads laugh. Hank did something that forever changed Miriam’s life, and not for the better.

WHO THE FUCK IS LIVING IN HIS ATTIC, BY THE WAY? WHO THE HELL WAS THAT? Let me just end this review by stating that that scene was brilliantly filmed and composed because the show lulls us into thinking we’re getting a sappy, guitar-filled little montage, and NO. IT’S NOT. SOMEONE IS LIVING IN HIS HOUSE.

What the fuck.

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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