Previously on Hap and Leonard, ‘The Dive’
Starring: James Purefoy, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jimmi Simpson, Bill Sage, Christina Hendricks, PollyAnna McIntosh, Neil Sandilands, Jeff Pope | Director: Nick Gomez
There are a number of songs written in all manner of styles that forewarn about the misleading tactics of conniving seducers. “Cold As Ice”. “Bad Medicine”. “Maneater”. The one musical masterpiece that is the most apt for H&L’s fourth episode barely misses the 80s by a year. Nonetheless its lyrics have resonated with many lovestruck men over the generations.
Never trust a big butt and a smile.
“Trudy” begins immediately where “The Dive” ended as Howard, Paco and Chub aim their guns at Hap and Leonard and initiate ‘Plan B’. While the doltish trio tear through Leonard’s home, Trudy begins to reminisce about her earliest experiences in joining The Cause while also trying to find her true self.
“Nice girlfriend ya got there. Got more faces like a diamond.”
Many could claim Trudy is a no-good low-down opportunistic killer of lovebirds, but if you look past her blank stare and need to drown a small life, there’s definitely more going on inside her addled mind. Yes, Trudy appears to be unreliable and untrustworthy and a mountain of excuses couldn’t justify her reaction to Hap’s conscientious objection to the Vietnam War. However it’s clear that Trudy is in constant need of stability (in the form of Hap), whilst simultaneously seeking out her purpose in the universe. Not the most compatible of impulses. Credit should be given to her for wanting to change the world for the better. The continual failures of ‘The Cause’ after 20 years has pushed Trudy to her absolute limit. It’s beyond her and Hap now; even beyond her own self-interest. She’s too old and too emotionally frail to start anew.
It’s a shame Trudy resorted to shacking up with a complete fraud who thought salvaging stolen money to pay for kilos of cocaine to fund The Cause was a fantastic idea! Yeah, damn The Man! Put that booger sugar right up his nose… ya jackass.
If one double cross wasn’t enough for the Hapsters (Yeah? No? Fine, back to the drawing board), “Trudy” provides another heaping pile of deception that was decidedly more profound and grievous to all involved. If the idea of a disfigured former terrorist who loved his crossbow more than a newborn didn’t sit right with you dear viewer, then your intuition was spot on. If Howard, Trudy and Chub fell for such a ridiculous plan that Paco (Neil Sandilands) laid out for them, they kind of deserve what’s coming to them. Regrettably, Hap and Leonard remain tethered to the foolhardy opportunists and have the unfortunate experience of meeting the quirky Soldier and his statuesque Angel.
After three episodes, the gang is all together and they do not like each other at all. Their interaction was well worth the wait; Jimmi Simpson and PollyAnna McIntosh hastily injected a rush of dread and unease that H&L unknowingly needed. A pair of rosarians like Collins and Pine were never going to feel threatened by a group of Flower Children. But Soldier and Angel? From the moment the mohawked version of a Patrick Nagel illustration slithered into their presence, everyone (but Paco) immediately knew they were over their heads. And that was before they were acquainted with Soldier.
“I will not allow anything to happen to you.”
The only person who stood up to Soldier’s caustic disposition and racist barbs was poor, wholesome Chub. Since their first day Hap and Leonard entered Howard’s property, it was all too easy to recognize the portly fellow was more of a good egg than all of them. A little simple perhaps, but jovial and eternally optimistic about changing the future for the better.
Jeff Pope was able to imbue a kindness and wonderment that was solely in want by many of the characters, even though they had a tendency to deny that pleasure in their lives. It’s apparent Chub sought to establish a kinship with all of them but the group barely tolerated his presence all season. Howard likely savored the notion of hooking in at least one bona fide member to his lost cause, and Chub delightedly drank the Kool-Aid and asked for seconds. In the end, in spite of their constant rejections, Chub couldn’t let his friends be belittled and insulted. Leonard may have never liked him, but Chub saw good in each of the gang, especially Mr. Pine. He had faith in them, despite knowing they had little concern for his welfare.
Shame they suddenly realized how important he was to their dynamic after he was taken out of equation.
Through Chub’s sudden demise, the tension suddenly rose to lethal levels for the rest of the party. Seeing as the series is named Hap and Leonard, it’s nearly assured those two won’t be touched. Maybe a little bruised and battered by season’s end, sure. Howard and Trudy certainly got on Soldier’s nerves quickly; Jimmi Simpson excels in a special kind of derangement that’s equally worrisome and charming. Soldier obviously isn’t a person you should mess with even on his good day. Yet his magnetic personality and affability is exactly what throws off one’s guard. Just ask those two patrolmen. He’ll turn on a dime solely for his amusement, and given the frigid reception he’s received from the crew, Soldier and Angel wouldn’t find it difficult in the slightest to bust a couple dozen caps into their bodies after picking up the rest of the loot.
Let’s hope Hap and Leonard find a way to outwit a pair of psychotic killers in “War”, next Wednesday at 10/9c on SundanceTV!
Hap and Leonard S1E4