“They want to pave over Ocean Beach and put in an airport.”
– Laura Ross
As Terriers hurtles towards its final stretch, Britt’s life is in disarray. Now behind bars for beating up Gavin, he’s about to be bailed out by Ben Zeitlin, setting off a battle between him and temptation.
Zeitlin wants Britt to come work for him. On some level, doing so is the easy thing. Right now, Zeitlin has the upper hand. Staying on his good side could be advantageous, especially if Zeitlin’s plans for Ocean Beach come to fruition. As Britt admits to Zeitlin, he has no ties to Ocean Beach and could not care less what happens to the town. So, Zeitlin puts Britt to work almost immediately investigating lawyer Ashley Barrett, whom Zeitlin suspects is the mole in his office who has been feeding information to Laura Ross.
Having just ended his relationship with Katie, Britt feels lost and in need of companionship, especially with Laura supplanting his role as Hank’s confidante. He’s not really seducing Ashley for Zeitlin’s benefit; it’s part of his post-breakup lashing-out. So what if he’s using her? She’s just a prop in a larger game, after all.
The problem is that Britt is, at heart, a nice guy. He can’t just leave Ashley hanging, especially when he realizes that she may actually be in danger. So he tips her off that Zeitlin may be on to her, revealing that his seduction was a front and prompting her to angrily throw him out of her home. (It turns out that Ashley wasn’t actually the mole.)
In the end, though, the one thing that keeps Britt from selling out entirely to Zeitlin is his loyalty to Hank. Britt may not give a damn what happens to Ocean Beach, but he cares very much about his friend and mentor. He’s not going to let Zeitlin ruin the things that Hank cares about. So he goes back to Hank and lets him know what Zeitlin is up to.
Britt’s actions in “Quid Pro Quo” can be contrasted with Councilman Sam Albrecht’s. Albrecht gives the outward appearance of being helpful, even offering to vouch for Britt. Albrecht says that if he can be provided with definitive proof that Zeitlin is up to something shady, then he’ll take action. But by the end of the episode, having been bought out by Zeitlin, he has completely reversed his tune and even has Hank thrown out of his office. Britt initially hemmed and hawed, but in the end, he came through for Hank. By contrast, Albrecht put up a front of being helpful and caring deeply about Ocean Beach’s fate, but he was bought off with relative ease. Britt won his battle with temptation; Albrecht succumbed to it.
Britt’s life is still a mess at the end of “Quid Pro Quo,” but at least he knows where his loyalty lies. With Jason dead and Laura missing, Hank is going to need all the help he can get, and he’s going to need to count on a loyal friend like Britt. And if the final scene of the episode is any indication, he’s also going to be counting on some pretty heavy weaponry.
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