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Hudson And Rex - All in the Litter - Review: Family Complete

Charlie and Rex take a bit of a backseat in this week’s episode, All in the Litter, allowing Joe to drive the investigation. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Charlie (almost as much as Sarah loves Rex), but I also love a solid Joe episode and we just don’t see enough of them.

The episode opens with Charlie all spruced up for a date. His date, who isn’t Sarah like we were all secretly hoping but a woman named Michelle, arrives and meets Rex for the first time. It seems Charlie and Michelle have had a few coffee dates and I think this is a good time to reassure the Charlie/Sarah shippers that him dating is GOOD. He needs to have a rebound or two before he settles down long-term.
Charah/Trulie is endgame, friends.
Michelle sneezes and… oh – she’s allergic to dogs. How sad.

Joe receives a call from his old informant, Karl Buell, asking Joe to meet him and to come alone. By the time Joe arrives, Karl has been shot and is dying. With his final breath he manages to utter a name: Tross. Murder! Intrigue! A Joe ep! I’m here for this!

At the crime scene, Charlie has arrived soon after his failed date. Sarah summarizes what they know so far but gets distracted when she smells his cologne. Same, girl. Same.

“Who’s the lucky lady?”
“Oh you mean, who was the lucky lady because she had a little bit of an issue with my partner.”
They share another of those moments where Charlie is either A) realizing he already has the woman he’s waiting for right in front of him, B) having a stroke, or C) being the world’s most oblivious male. Really hoping it’s A.
Meanwhile his reaction to her subtle flirting throws her a bit and we get flustered Sarah, who takes a second to collect herself after Charlie walks away. Sarah is more aware of her feelings for Charlie than he is of his feelings for her. Because it isn’t clear he shares her feelings, she has a moment of doubt. But it isn’t unrequited, Sarah. Just give him time.

In addition to the b-word that must never be spoken around Rex (bones), we have another: the d-word. Donuts.

After his service in Afghanistan, Karl got mixed up with some drug traffickers, most of whom are now out of the business. Except one. Randy Sher. A foreman down at a container yard, a job that may be a cover for a smuggling operation, Joe also suspected he was responsible for a couple of murders.
Maybe this time charges can be laid.

Joe heads down to the container yard to question Randy about Karl. Randy has an alibi, claiming to be in a business meeting at the time of Karl’s murder. Of course he was.

At the precinct, Sarah and Charlie talk in her lab. Dog fur was found on the victim, and Sarah has matched it to Rex’s.
Joe questions how Rex’s fur could end up in a sealed body bag, and through this Rex sits quietly with Charlie, looking defeated and sad like he knows what he’s being accused of.

“I’m sure one day I’ll find the perfect woman, she’ll walk into my apartment and you know, immediately connect with Rex.”
With Joe taking over the case, Charlie and Rex head home to lay low.
Soon after, Sarah arrives at Charlie’s. While Charlie drapes her jacket over a chair, she greets Rex and it is the. cutest. scene. “Hey, handsome, are you coming to say hi?” she asks Rex as the dog raises his front paws up at her. Sarah and Rex high-five and she tells him, “Oh I love you, I love you.” She receives Rex kisses in response to her words. Hey, Charlie? I think you’ve got that woman you’re looking for right here. Also, you could be the one kissing her, not your dog. Just saying.
Charlie suspects Rex might have a twin and has tracked down the information on Rex’s litter mates. There were four females in his litter, who can be eliminated because their chromosomes would be different. This leaves two brothers: Otto and Bucky.

At the container yard, Randy thinks Joe’s a bit obsessed with him. Joe laughs, but there’s some truth in it. This is the opportunity Joe’s been waiting for to finally put Randy away. This time, he won’t fail. The coffee Joe brought for the workers is actually a ruse to get Randy’s fingerprint/DNA. After Randy discards the cup in front of Joe, Joe retrieves it from the trash and bags it.

Otto has been tracked down. He’s currently at the veterinary hospital, in need of surgery for a tumor. Unfortunately, without a blood transfusion, he can’t have the surgery. With Otto being a rescue, it’s not looking good for Rex’s brother. That is, until Rex and Charlie show up at the vets. Rex sits with Otto while the assistant works on him and Charlie breaks the good news: Rex is Otto’s twin and can provide the blood Otto so desperately needs.
From there, Rex meets his other brother, Bucky, and Charlie meets his owner Larissa. She’s a therapist, and Karl Buell is one of her clients. Knowing now that Bucky and Karl’s paths crossed means Rex is ruled as a doggo of interest.

Despite Larissa’s connection, Joe’s instincts still has Randy as his number one suspect.

Rex donates blood to Otto and Charlie’s there with him through it all, stroking him and talking to him. Rex has been such a big part of Charlie’s journey after his divorce, helping him make emotional connections again. Such a good boy (Rex, I mean, although Charlie too).

Through Larissa, Joe learns Tross is actually a nickname for a soldier Karl knew called Trent Ross. In Sarah’s lab, more information comes to light. A piece of paper found at the scene reveals letters and numbers under fluorescent light.
Jesse mentions Trent is now in St John’s, his ship having docked in the harbour, and Joe puts the pieces together. The number is a customs seal number for a container, like the kind in Randy’s container yard.
At the container yard, Charlie uses Rex to sniff through the boxes in the container. At first the boxes reveal only olive oil, but a Charlie and Joe dig deeper they find cellphones hidden beneath.
Randy claims ignorance on how the phones got there, but Joe isn’t buying it for a second. He knows he’s closer to pinning Karl’s death on Randy; Randy may seem unfazed by it all, but he’s starting to sweat.
Sarah shows Joe how the hinges of the container have recently been repainted leading Joe to suspect the door had been swapped out. Right customs seal, but wrong container.
The cellphones are knockoffs and difficult to trace, but this is about more than that. It’s about opium.

Trent arrives at the precinct and, after meeting him, Joe and Sarah suspect he has PTSD. Trent is the key to finding Karl’s murderer, so Joe sends Larissa and Bucky in to talk to him.
Tross’s nickname is darker than it seems. Not only is it his first initial and last name, but it’s also short for albatross. Trent speaks as though an albatross itself is bad luck, and thus making him bad luck to be around (“if a sniper shot somebody, it was always the soldier next to me.”). But it is only the killing of an albatross that brings bad luck. Perhaps there was more to that story edited for time. Trent opens up and implicates Randy in the murder. Randy had threatened Karl’s mom, so he had Trent load two containers onto a ship: one with knock-off phones, one with opium. Hearing Karl was dead, and further threatened by Randy to make sure the opium got through, Trent swapped the container doors to throw the cops off the scent. But they all underestimated Joe and the SJPD.

With the location of the container of opium found, and Joe in need of hard proof to convict Randy, they send Charlie to the container yard, pretending to be Trent. Once there, it is Joe who is the calming presence, as always. With both Joe and Bucky’s help, Trent can focus on the operation: to provide any answers to questions Charlie might have as he poses as Trent.

At first, Charlie answers the questions Randy asks about Karl, and he seems to be gaining Randy’s trust. But this isn’t Randy’s first rodeo, and he’s being cautious. Randy asks Charlie one final question while a container is being moved into place behind Charlie. The noise interferes with the audio and Charlie doesn’t hear the answer. Randy’s suspicions are confirmed and he opens Charlie’s jacket to reveal the wire he’s wearing. With the wire destroyed, and Charlie and Rex both about to be compacted between two containers, Randy feels confident enough to admit to killing Karl.
Bucky hears Rex barking and runs towards the sound. Rex and Charlie meanwhile go in different directions: Rex takes off and finds a way out, while Charlie slips behind a gap in the containers and both are saved from being crushed, though they are separated.
Distracted from his getaway by Rex and Bucky, Randy is arrested by Joe. During the arrest Randy is still smug, telling Joe he destroyed the wire, so Joe’s got nothing on him. But he only destroyed Charlie’s wire – and not the one on Rex.

At the precinct, real donuts are shared around. Even Rex gets half of a donut hole. Trent’s sentence will be light, since he cooperated. Meanwhile Randy is likely to be charged with both drug smuggling and Karl’s murder. Congrats, Joe. Have a donut, you deserve it.

The little family gathering of our favorite SJPD colleagues switches to a scene of another family gathering: of Bucky, Rex, and Otto, who has come through his treatment and is back on his feet. Otto also has more news to celebrate: he’s no longer homeless. Joyce, Karl’s mother, has agreed to adopt the dog.

“I can’t imagine a happier ending.”

Did you spot:
Sherri Davis, Diesel’s trainer, working as the vet assistant?
Terabyte on Jesse’s desk?
The ‘oh my god I think I love her’ look on Charlie’s face when Sarah high-fived Rex?
And the smile he gives Sarah - FOR NO REASON other than the fact he likes her - after Joe announces Randy’s likely conviction. Seriously, what even was that smile? WHY. Charlie, you’re ridiculous.

Episode gif from swallowedabug.tumblr.com/

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