According to Terriers producer Shawn Ryan in an interview from Monday's "Firewall & Iceberg" podcast, the show is "ratings-challenged," and "I've heard from a lot of people who thought it was a reality show about dog fighting..."
"...which it's not." Clearly! If Gawker.TV were to pitch this show to a prospective viewer, we'd probably describe it as a well-executed hybrid of "The Rockford Files" and "Six Feet Under."
For the past few weeks, we've watched Hank Dolworth's sister Steph wriggle her way back into his life and his attic in a honeymoon of clinical insanity. Everyone knows she's crazy, but so far it's been the fun, useful sort of crazy that destroys you at Scrabble with words like "qanat" and spontaneously fixes your microwave. This week, however, Steph's condition took a turn for the disturbing, which was excellently set up by this opening sequence of Donal and Karina Logue acting like the siblings they are in real life:
If you've seen the film "A Beautiful Mind," you know where Steph's condition is heading. Meanwhile, Hank and Britt take the case of an amnesiac college student who is undergoing a similar psychotic transformation thanks to a bad reaction to some anti-malaria meds. In this scene, Hank confronts the confused kid, and we begin to see the effect that Steph's predicament is having on him:
The show makes an excellent point about the codependent relationships that many of us have with sick loved ones in our care: often, it becomes difficult to tell who is taking care of whom. Eventually, Steph finds herself an assisted living center that she thinks she can tolerate, and her story arc ends, for now:
We don't have to tell you again how highly we recommend this show, but if you're a TV nerd, make sure to listen to the Terriers portion of the 10/18 episode of the podcast we linked to above. Shawn Ryan discusses the other shows he's worked on, like The Shield, The Unit, and Lie to Me, and the continuing saga of Terriers reveals a lot of interesting nuggets about the current state of the television industry.