A Mouthful of Splinters
“A Mouthful of Splinters”
Written by Graham Gordy & Michael D. Fuller
Directed by Greg Yaitanes
Pretending to be one of Mac’s war buddies, Suggs convinces Joni to let him into the Conway house. When Mac stumbles home later that night, he discovers the front door ajar and a bloody message on the bathroom mirror: “I have your wife. Wait for call. Don’t be stupid.” The phone rings and he rushes to pick it up: Suggs wants $20,000 for Joni.
In a panic, Mac calls the number he has for The Broker. The call goes to a car dealership, where an old man named Oldcastle fields phone calls for the network of hitmen. Mac leaves a frantic voicemail, asking for The Broker to get in touch with him immediately.
At a blues club, The Broker gets word that Mac is in distress and heads out with Carl. Meeting in an alleyway, the three men spar. Mac threatens to go to the cops, but The Broker remains unfazed, turning the tables to suggest the evidence could readily stack up against Mac in his wife’s mysterious disappearance. When The Broker starts to walk away, Mac is reduced to begging for help. The Broker relents and offers his aid.
Detective Tommy Olsen encounters Cliff’s little sister, Sandy Williams, at the station. Cliff's toxicology report showed alcohol and drugs in his system so the police have ruled his death an accident. Tommy tries to push back, but his superiors tell him the decision is final.
“You have no idea who your husband is.” – Suggs
Joni is tied up in a small hut on a swampy lake. Her captor Suggs is volatile and reveals to Joni that Mac cheated on her. When Suggs starts to make a move on her, Joni lies and tells him she has her period, and asks to retrieve a tampon from her purse. Disgusted, Suggs lets her go to the bathroom. Joni gets the knife she’d previously stashed in her bag and tucks it under her dress. Suggs reties and gags her when she returns, then takes the motorboat off to the mainland.
“Oh honey, our people don’t die of gunshot wounds. Our people die of alcoholism and heart disease.” - Naomi
Buddy’s mom, Naomi, patches him up after his fight with Joe Don.
Laughing about old times, Buddy suddenly turns serious and confides he doesn’t want to continue to do such violent work. Naomi comforts him and encourages him to leave the hitman line of work if he feels unhappy.
The Broker meets with Moses, who reports Ruth doesn’t appear to know about Arthur’s dopp kit of money. Moses asks for a job that will guarantee he gets paid -- not just an “Easter egg hunt.” The Broker alludes to a past mishap from a previous assignment, adding that if Moses finds the money, they can discuss something new.
“Money is never as big as people think.” – Carl
Courtesy of The Broker, Carl gives Mac $20,000 for Joni’s ransom.
With Suggs gone, Joni works the knife against her binds. Suggs returns to finds her flopped over on the floor and she pounces when he tries to set her upright. The two battle and end up tumbling out the front door into the water. Joni manages to clamber into the motorboat and take off, leaving Suggs behind.
Mac sits at home preparing the money and his weapons for his meeting with Suggs when the phone rings: it’s Joni, who broke into a shop to use the phone. Mac immediately gets in the car to pick her up.
When Mac finally reaches Joni, she’s a wreck of nerves. In the car, she demands that Mac take her home so she can get her stuff. Mac refuses, instead taking her to The Broker’s car dealership. There, Mac meets with Carl, returning the $20,000, minus his “hazard pay.” Mac also swaps his car for one that Suggs won’t recognize before he and Joni peel out of town.