This week on Dog & Beth: On The Hunt, Dog, Beth and Leland steer the mobile command center to gritty Clovis, New Mexico, near the Texas border, to come to the aid of Hank Bayless.
Hank has been in the bail bonds industry for 30 years as the proprietor of Hank’s Bail Bonds. His daughter Rebeccah and granddaughter Ruby also write bonds, along with newbie Dawn. Bounty hunters Oscar and Will provide the muscle of the operation. Hank is ready to retire, but he has a guy or two he wants to capture before he turns the business over to the ladies. So he’s called in the Chapmans to help.
The first order of business for Duane, Beth and Leland is a weapons check. Oscar says his primary weapon is his taser gun. Will prefers mace. Leland tells them it’s important to have several types of non-lethal weaponry on them, so they have as many opportunities as possible to bring down their bounties without pulling a gun.
Leland demonstrates a pepper-ball gun, which looks and works like a paintball gun and provides both a chemical and physical deterrent. He also suggests that the men wear special gloves to protect their hands from bites and other damage done during violent scuffles.
Meanwhile, Beth gets to work on the administrative end of the business with Ruby, Rebeccah and Dawn. She discovers that the Baylesses don’t use bond writing software, resulting in an avalanche of paperwork and folders strewn across their desks. Then she learns that they also get all of their bond information off of the booking sheets alone, resulting in some seriously incomplete forms. And finally, she finds out that the ladies have never been on a bounty. Beth tells them you have to be able to catch what you write, like you eat what you catch when you’re fishin’.
The first guy the group is hunting is Marquise Cooper,who was arrested for battery of a household member and has been on the run for 2 months. Will says he knows the guy but hasn’t seen him in over a year. Before everyone heads out, Beth asks the Bayless crew if they have verified the warrant. Seems people can turn themselves in, get bailed back out on a fresh bond and give bounty hunters some serious legal trouble for false arrest if they’re still operating off of the old one.
Dog also informs everyone that once we head out in pursuit of Marquise, we aren’t coming back till we have him in our custody. Then he leads a prayer for the safety of the hunters and the hunted.
Dog is proving himself to be an adept and especially irritating backseat driver — from the passenger seat. Beth says she likes Duane. Dog, not so much. Especially when he gets like this while she’s trying to drive. He grins and barks at her. Leland, Oscar and Will travel together in a separate car.
At the home of Marquise’s aunt, a child answers the door and looks dumbfounded at what stands before her. When the aunt appears behind her, Dog tells her it’s better for Marquise if they get to him before the cops do, but she says she hasn’t seen her nephew and knows little about his whereabouts. But, she tells the hunters, Marquise has a girlfriend who drives a red and white Camaro. We have something to go on.
Beth takes over the discussion and presses her for more information in patented Beth, one-woman-to-another fashion. The woman finally agrees to lead them to a house where Marquise has been known to hang out. The convoy arrives at the house and surrounds it.
Dog bangs on the door and the woman who answers it looks positively thrilled to find a TV star on her doorstep. But, she tells him, Marquise has left hours before. The Camaro, however, is still in the driveway. Dog asks if they can search the house and she reluctantly agrees.
Still outside, Beth notices a red truck pull away and recalls that the girlfriend’s mother drives a red truck. Beth suspects Marquise has managed a getaway. Leland is the first in pursuit of the truck and calls to confirm a pretty unique detail: “Ask her if he has steel balls hanging from the back of the truck.”
Like, those kind of balls. It’s a boy truck, if you know what I mean.
We have an affirmative on the balls.
Everyone heads off to help pursue the manly truck. There are a lot of red trucks in Clovis, but eventually they happen upon the right one. It is headed straight for Beth and Dog, with Leland and the Bayless bounty hunters not far behind it.
And Marquise is caught.
As the bounty hunters drag him to the ground Marquise wails that he is scared to death and professes no clue in the world why they are after him — especially with such a vengeance. Dog hugs his neck and pats him on the head and back and reminds him of his offenses. Then they show him the warrant. Marquise’s current girlfriend says he is gentle as a lamb, which he demonstrates by calling Aunt Jackie on Beth’s phone and telling her he isn’t mad at her from helping bring him in. At least right now. While the cameras are rolling. That’s my bet.
On the way back to Hank’s Bail Bonds, Dog gives Marquise a fatherly talk about never hitting a woman. Marquise thanks him for it.
The next day, Beth decides to head back to the office early to give Dawn and Ruby a little tough love about their paperwork skills before the men come in and try to hunt off of a seriously incomplete bond. She piles Ruby and Dawn into her truck for a little lesson in what it’s like to be Oscar and Will.
Meanwhile, Oscar, Will and Leland head off to the firing range for a little firearms training. Will was in the Marines, so Leland’s confident of his skillset, but he wants to see what Oscar can do. They’ve set up a little run-dodge-and-shoot obstacle course, complete with moving targets. Will aces it. Oscar’s a pretty good shot, too. Leland is happy with what he sees.
When the ladies arrive at the address on the bond, Beth instructs Dawn and Ruby to head behind the house so no one can escape out the back door. Dawn looks like she seriously did not sign up for this part of the job and wanders just a few steps, looking nervously back at Beth. “Move it, move it, move it!” Beth commands. Ruby and Dawn are not serious students of move-it. At all.
Beth knocks on the front door, then asks Dawn, who has reappeared, why a housekeeper and babysitter has qualified for a $7,000 bond. Sonny has made contact with a young couple at a side entrance who tell the group that the woman they are searching for was evicted and moved out.
On the way back to the office, Beth tells the ladies that the business won’t last a year if they don’t get their act together — Dawn especially. Dawn starts to sputter excuses and Beth tells her to cut the sniveling and commit to the job, because if her name is on the bond, anything that a bounty hunter does from the information she hands him is her responsibility. Dawn starts to well up. Beth says she’s not trying to get down on the rattled woman, but Dawn needs to understand the seriousness of her job. Dawn says she finally gets it. I wonder if Dawn will quit when the cameras stop rolling.
Then Ruby checks in with Grandpa Hank and tells him that they’re out of leads on the case. Grandpa Hank says to call it a day. “Oh no,” says an incredulous Beth. Ruby gets the two-word message. “Oh no,” she tells Grandpa Hank.
For their next capture, the Chapman crew calls in their ginormous black rolling command center. The fugitive is Quran Wiggins, charged with unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon and on the run for 9 months. Quran also get in a battle with the cop who was trying to arrest him. Beth says they want to be able to use their own cutting edge resources to bring this guy down.
Oscar says that he and Will have had Quran cornered a couple of times, but he always manages to get away. The bad guy has also told the bounty hunters via phone calls that they will never bring him in.
I’m pretty sure today’s not your day, Quran.
Again, we turn to an aunt for information. Oscar says the woman is more straight as a question mark than straight as an arrow, but she’s still probably their best bet for cooperation. Dog and Beth meet with the cops who arrested Quran and gather a decent sampling of his mug shots to distribute.
Via Skype, Agent J helps out with more information that Beth tells Oscar and Will and company that they should have secured themselves. Also, Beth has an awesome hot pink ostrich skin iPad stand that I covet.
Dog says their game plan is to make Quran feel flattered by the amount of attention being put on him — “We’re going to make him famous” — but if that doesn’t work, they’ll make sure everyone in town knows who he is and that they’re looking for him, so he has little chance to escape their notice.
Then everyone heads off to canvas Quran’s neighborhood. They’re pretty hard to miss. Folks gather on the street to meet the Chapmans and see what’s going on. Leland promises dinner with his dad to whoever helps them land their bounty
He gets a couple of takers. One guy offers to talk confidentially, and another girl approaches Oscar with the information that Quran — or Kutti, as he’s known in the neighborhood — has been staying with her friend.
Oscar goes with her to see if the lead pans out, while Leland and Will work with the confidential informant and head for an apartment complex. Oscar’s lead pans out. Everyone else speeds over to help. Dog, Leland, Sonny and Oscar take the front door. Everyone else surrounds.
Like Marquise, Quran seems surprised at all of the hubbub over a misdemeanor. Dog tells him it’s a felony, now that he’s been on the run. Then he dusts Quran off and gives him a pat on the chest. On the ride to the jail, Dog wants to know why such a young, solid guy is turning to guns. Oscar reveals that Quran was once a top-notch running back and Dog urges him to get back into ball. Quran looks confounded by the entire affair.
And with that, Hank Bayless is free to get his retirement on, knowing his final two runners are in custody and his daughter, granddaughter and their staff know what they need to do to modernize his business and make it work.
Next week on Dog and Beth On the Hunt, the Chapmans head to Albuquerque to work with legendary bounty hunter Tony Madrid.
New episodes of Dog and Beth: On The Hunt air Sundays at 8/7CT on CMT.
CMT photos by Andy Batt