We are giving a breakdown of the episodes in the back half of RAIN DOGS. Let’s dive in.
Episode # 5 – “Emotional Erection”
We are not sure how much time has passed between episodes, but it looks like Costello (Daisy Mae Cooper) has been getting on with it. At the start of the episode, we learn that she heads back home to Dad & Mom. We have had moments in early episodes that told us that the relationship with her parents, especially Mom had been a bit estranged. So, it must have taken a bit of an effort to go see them. Poor gal seems a bit terrified to step into the house. What happened in her childhood and what brings her back fifteen years later?
And then there is Selby, just miserable hoping that Costello will call him. The row between them happened at Halloween and it now seems to be early spring. Has he been wallowing that long? Poor bloke. When his phone does ring, it is just an old fag who wants a secret rendezvous. There is a scene of them linking up, but his heart isn’t in it to enjoy it. His mother can’t shake him from his funk either. Oh, and Gloria is on the brink of big, but not necessarily good news. She asks Iris, who is helping at the funeral home, to read off the results on a pregnancy test stick. Yes, she is pregnant but is she happy to find out and is it with Paul? Every key player is getting shaken up right about now.
So, Costello’s birth name, we learn is Lisa and her dumbass brother doesn’t even believe it’s her. At one point, talking about her life since leaving, she admits she doesn’t have kids but also admits that she isn’t about to rush off because she has nowhere to go. The family dynamic proves to be the most interesting element of this show. Mom and Lisa have a little chat in Costello’s old room as she glances through a childhood diary. We’re not told anything revelatory, but I guess it is just enough to know that the history of toxic relationships started with her mother. It ends with her leaving in the middle of the night at her mother’s insistence. What was the point of this visit anyway? Well, Costello just needed to get some things off her chest as she purged herself of angst over both Mom and Selby. She shares the news with Gloria and Gloria shares her news as well (and confirms the father is Paul).
The last moments of this episode has Allegra planning for Costello to come to the summer house to get her things. It is there that she sees for herself what disarray Selby is in. He grabs her laptop, which holds all her writings, and keeps it away from her, forcing her into a conversation about not leaving him. She won’t hear of it, and he smashes the laptop to pieces. They are both emotional wrecks as a result and she confides in her weakness that she went to see her mom. They start to cuddle and console each other as psychiatric wardens that Allegra called to come to take him away.
It would have been great to end on that note, but they don’t, they push the episode a bit further by us seeing Costello & Iris moving into a safe house. We learn as the episode finally ends that she is worried about Selby and tries to reach him at the hospital to no avail.
Episode # 6 – “Jesus Loves A Hustler”
Well, it is all still a mess for everyone. Selby is certainly having a miserable time in the mental hospital. We know he had some attitude problems, but I thought he’d just suffer through them. I never thought his mother Allegra would have him admitted. She did and he is seen putting up with a sore lot; one young lady in particular. Gloria is in a difficult spot too. She confides to Costello that she is waffling about getting an abortion. She knows she wants to call it off with Paul, but does she want to have the baby? She is leaning towards not having it, but she had to convince herself of it enough times. Will that be the end result, or will she change her mind?
And Costello & Iris are miserable in the refuge too. We’d call it a “women’s shelter” in the U. S. but regardless it is not a fun place; too many rules, odd co-habitants, and not the best of accommodations. It doesn’t help that Iris is barely talking to her. Costello is focused on making it right though. She helps out at a food bank, but it doesn’t last long because dumpster-diving Richard is a leader there and the gig is just volunteer. She needs to make money. Oddly, one of the refuge girls runs a webcam site for ‘naughty refuge girls’ and that line of work proves right up Costello’s alley sadly.
The back half of the episode has Costello sitting in the abortion clinic with Gloria. It turns you she can’t go through with it because she was too inebriated and thus not in a clear enough state to be allowed to sign the consent forms. Costello & Iris end up out of a home when the refuge is severely damaged by a construction mishap next door. The most positive bit out of it all was Selby getting to tell his doctor that he missed Iris terribly and is bound to make it right if only he was taught how to love properly. We will take that one step towards progress, won’t we?
The last few moments are quite strong. Gloria lets the now-homeless friends hang with her. Costello needs alone time to think, and Gloria takes Iris to dinner. It will be good practice, she says; the abortion is off the tables again. Alone in the old public urinal where she first met Selby after his release from prison, Costello sits in a stall listening to the messages Selby has left and weeps. Is she crying because her life has grown sour or because she misses him? We will have to wait to see.
Episode # 7 – “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby”
If Costello is going to get her life into some settled sense of normalcy, she’d better hurry up as there are only two episodes left. In this seventh installment, she makes plans to break away from London altogether. She tried that once when she moved into the summer house with Selby, but this time it is just her and Iris with Selby nor Gloria in sight.
Well okay, Gloria tried to help. She was driving the car to take her friends to the refuge in the country. She was driving a bit recklessly for fun and ended up getting pulled over by the police. She failed a breathalyzer, and she was arrested. Costello was almost arrested too for being a public nuisance in the middle of a lonely country road. Just her luck. So, she, Iris, and their belongings plopped like a cow paddy in the middle of a lonely country road. As I said, just her luck.
Selby story arc has him once again with his therapist Kenneth. A good conversation leads us to a solid backstory for Selby. It touches on his lecherous fag life and his father’s suicide. While the two of them play Mah Jong though, Kenneth hits a really deep nerve. He asks Selby how many times he has left Iris now. Selby says he never chooses to leave, he loves her. The response sent him lunging over the table and pouncing on Kenneth, thus possibly hurting his chances of getting out sooner rather than later. Kenneth said, “Yet you sabotage your relationship with her before she has a chance to reject you. It’s what you do.”
That hit the nail on the head. And Costello & Iris get aid from a passing horse cart. She gets settled in a dilapidated country resort and believe it or not, gets a job as a debt collector of all things. She has been on the other side of that situation before so knows how it all works but what do you know, the job doesn’t last the day. Her boss for the day, who she seems to get along with alright is Simon and Iris has a new friend too in a lad named Tennessee. No, she is determined to see to her writing and checking in on Gloria. She was bailed out by her father and her fetus, whom we learn is a girl, is doing alright.
Costello is not though. At the episode’s end, she takes a call from her publisher terminating the book plans because Costello had just dug herself too deep in a hole. All her actions, especially the Battered Bitches website and the online bashes she had taken out on critics of her have tarnished her. Suddenly there is no book to write and just as suddenly she is back to alcohol. In desperation, Iris calls Selby on a smuggled-in phone he has, and she asks him to come help. In desperation, Selby boldly walks out of the hospital.
And that sets up the final episode of RAIN DOGS.
Episode # 8 – “This Is Not an Exit”
Iris has gotten the message out to Selby that they are in Somerset and that her mum is back on the bottle because the book deal is dead.
They are setting up a big dramatic scene for sure, but it is all rather overwrought. Costello feels as if her life is ruined. She has failed Iris over and over, her friends Selby & Gloria, are tangled up with their own issues, and the book she has worked so hard on lost its publisher. Well, hold up, Iris is there through thick and thin, the others are there for you as best they can, and there is more than one publisher out there. But instead, she goes back to booze and self-pity. It just seems that she has been able to keep her head above water and think herself through one crisis after another, so why stop now? But she does, to the point of leaving Iris with a neighbor and combining that booze with drugs. Oh, Costello.
Cut to some of the funniest banter of the series. Cut to a nutjob, a deviant, and a pervert on a road trip to save the day. Selby has put aside his differences with Gloria and his annoyance with Lenny, the bawdy, older gent, to save the day. Iris called Selby to get to Sunset Park as fast as he could; Costello needed him. They had to kick the door down when they got there and force Costello to vomit but they saved her in time. Of course, they would but it was tense moments indeed. But if she just pulled herself up & dusted off and went at life again, this dangerous moment never would have happened. In the end, it got the group together again and that was happiness enough.
Well, as of this posting, there has been no official renewal of a second season. This writer goes back and forth on the idea of whether there really needs to be one. This family is now back together and now complete. They will be there to support each other and move through their lives, rich and famous or not. Who defines ‘family’ anyway?
But there are plot threads that could be realized in a sophomore season. We could see Costello rally one day to become a published author and to see Iris grow. We could see Gloria become a mother and her attempts to be the best at it. We could see Lenny through to his dying day and how the reality of death plays on the characters. And what of Selby? Surely the hospital would be on a manhunt for a runaway patient, right? There is room to explore what happens to them all later in life, or we can settle for the notion that they will be alright as we left them for the ‘family’ is together. We’ll keep you posted.