“Steal a quarter of a million dollars for me.”
— Robert Lindus
Sorry for the delay in posting this write-up. Real life got hectic for a while last week. I promise to pick up the pace next week.
In the middle of “Fustercluck,” Hank and Britt rob a safe that once belonged to Lindus but has since been seized by the police. The way the sequence is filmed, it looks as if Britt is going to use his thieving skills to break into the building where the safe is housed and take the contents by himself, with Hank merely acting as the getaway driver. But instead of going directly for the safe, Britt deliberately breaks the alarm panel, setting off the alarm. Hank goes in posing as a security system repairman and makes off with the contents of the safe by tricking the guards on duty into thinking that he’s merely resetting the alarm. It’s a clever ruse that works out well for our two detectives, but it also serves as a metaphor for the episode: nothing is what it seems.
Hank and Britt have been operating under the misconception that Lindus killed Mickey Gosney, which Lindus fervently denies. But now, even in prison, he fears for his safety: dangerous men – the men responsible for Mickey’s death – are after him. Of course, Hank and Britt believe that Lindus is bluffing. Why should they believe the guy whom they framed for murder (a murder that he actually did commit)? Lindus admits to killing Tony Bianco, but he still insists that he had nothing to do with Mickey’s death.
And so, Hank and Britt set off on an increasingly convoluted adventure to retrieve the money that Lindus needs to post bail, which he kept hidden away in a safe along with the key to a mailbox housing blackmail material on the people who killed Mickey. When they finally see the contents of that mailbox, they start to think that contrary to their expectations, maybe Lindus was actually telling the truth. Maybe people want Lindus dead for the same reason they went after Elenore and Mickey.
They don’t get the chance to confirm their suspicions, though. In an attempt to escape from Hank and Britt’s clutches, Lindus runs straight in front of a moving car. The ensuing collision leaves him fatally injured, and suddenly, Hank and Britta have a dead body on their hands.
Meanwhile, Hank discovers that the noises he was hearing in the middle of the night weren’t rats, and he wasn’t misplacing his possessions or forgetting how much he ate due to senility. It turns out that his sister, Steph, was living in the house’s crawlspace the entire time, but she never made her presence known because she didn’t want to bother her brother. One would expect that kind of behaviour from a mental patient, but Steph is far more talented and knowledgeable than she lets on. Later in the episode, Steph repairs Hank’s television, and Hank explains to Katie that Steph graduated summa cum laude from MIT. Steph isn’t the kind of person she seems at first glance.
Whether with a cleverly-executed robbery, an enigmatic sister, or a thickening plot that goes way beyond Lindus, “Fustercluck” shows us that nothing is as it seems in the world of Terriers. Preconceptions will be made and then discarded, and that applies as much to the audience as it does to Hank and Britt.
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