“Rain Dogs,” tells the story of a British mom struggling to make ends meet. She has to take care of her daughter Iris, who, for a girl her age, is very mature [more on this later]. In fact, it is the mother-daughter relationship that keeps them going amid the worst of hardships. They are basically homeless, and Costello has to constantly figure out ways to take care of herself and Iris. “Rain Dogs” is their story.
Just Another Day
It is daytime in London. A couple of bailiffs are knocking on the door. Costello hasn’t paid her rent, with her arrears now totaling approximately £3,000. She and her daughter Iris are packing to leave. In other words, they are going to be evicted in a few minutes. Costello puts her daughter’s favorite stuffed animal inside her bag while Iris puts on her headphones. This isn’t the first time they have been evicted. Costello opens the door, drops the keys, cusses at the bailiffs, and walks off smartly with her daughter. They are off to a new place.
After spending a full year in prison for an assault, it is the day Florian Selby gets parole. Florian’s cellmate Mason reminds him to put money in his mother’s account. Once Mason gets out, he shall settle the balance. Florian bids him goodbye. Selby returns to his posh home, but his mother, Allegra, is away for a meeting. He finds a note saying the same, along with a bundle of cash. He then rings up Costello.
Costello and Iris arrive at the laundromat, where they also ask the guy to look after their stuff. They will collect it all the next day. The guy is fed up as the duo has done the same thing many times earlier but agrees all the same. They then catch a cab because Costello has to drop Iris off at her school. Costello checks her phone and disconnects his call. She doesn’t have any money for the fare, and that’s okay because she has a plan. She tells Iris to pretend that she is feeling sick. She then asks the driver to stop the car as her daughter is feeling unwell, and as soon as they get out of the cab, they run away in a different direction. The driver is left yelling at them. They arrive at Iris’s school, and before she goes inside, she reminds her mom to “not die” because she needs her. Rather than complaining about the state they are in, Iris always reminds Costello how much she loves her. It is as if everything can be sorted out as long as Iris has her mother around. Meanwhile, Costello keeps on receiving texts from Selby, who wants to meet. But instead of him, she decides to head to her friend Gloria’s place. Unfortunately, Gloria isn’t home, and the door is locked. She finds Gloria’s car inside, which has her phone. There’s no way Costello can contact Gloria, and can only wait for her to return home.
Gloria has been in a deep sleep inside a telephone box on the other side of London. From the looks of it, she was drunk and reached the spot somehow. She is woken up by an old man named Lenny, who recognizes her as Costello’s friend. That’s when Gloria realizes something and searches for her phone. It isn’t on her. He then gives her his coat and takes her for a drink. She is cold. Selby finds Iris at her school and gives her a banknote. She is happy to see him, but he tells her not to tell her mom about it. After this, he leaves with a smile.
Costello is at a store buying food when the lady at the counter, Nikki, a friend, asks her about her eviction. Meanwhile, Costello’s card is declined. She acknowledges Nikki. Brett, the guy in line behind Costello, hears it and offers her a place to stay at his studio apartment. She can check the place out, after which they can talk about the rent and other things. She then arrives at the place where she works as a sex worker to ask her boss Konstantin for her money but is denied as she hadn’t been around the previous week. She leaves. With nowhere to go and no money either, she finally calls Selby for help.
Costello meets Selby in a public restroom where he is already “busy” with an old man. Yes, Selby is gay. After he is done, Costello asks him for some money. Selby gives her some, and the transaction is clearly one-way. There is no question of lending or paying it back. They are, after all, “best friends.” It is during this short yet intense conversation that we find out that Costello has been trying to write a book as well. Before leaving, Costello tells Selby to stay away from Iris and her. This proves that they had a rough past. Selby acknowledges it and walks out.
Costello arrives at Brett’s studio flat to check it out. She finds it serviceable, although she and Iris would basically have to live in a potential cupboard. It is rent-free, and all that she would have to do is some cleaning as a means of payment. Costello is yet to make up her mind and leaves, telling him that she will let him know. After coming out of Brett’s flat, she dials the Homelessness Helpline, but there’s no answer. Iris’s school is over, so she takes her back to Gloria’s but finds that she still hasn’t returned. They are again homeless.
Selby walks into a Chinese bar and decides to try his luck at Mahjong. It seems that he has a “friend” there who has known him for a long time. Selby is rich but alone, and the only way for him to not feel so is to constantly stay distracted.
Night falls on London. It’s past nine. Costello and Iris are resting at the laundromat when they are asked to leave. Both then return to Gloria’s place, and Costello breaks into Gloria’s car. That will be their new room for the night. Iris tells her mom that Selby visited her at school and shows her the banknote. Costello decides to make some more money and returns to Nikki’s store to buy scratch cards. Unfortunately, this plan also fails.
Costello and Iris arrive at Brett’s flat, where Costello puts Iris to sleep in the cupboard. It is then that Brett’s reality comes into view. He just wants Costello to sleep with him. He even gives her a negligee to wear. She puts it on and considers her choices. She then heads inside the cupboard, locks the door behind her, and dials Selby’s number.
‘Rain Dogs’ Episode 1: Ending Explained – Does Selby Come To Costello’s Rescue?
Selby receives a voicemail from Costello about her situation. He immediately leaves, and before Brett can take any action, he knocks on Brett’s door. The moment Brett opens the door, Selby grabs him by the throat, reminding him that what he was doing could cause him harm. A head-butt follows, and Brett is on the floor. Surprisingly, Selby then grabs Costello by the throat, the action being a result of rage propelled by concern. It could have been dangerous for Costello as well as Iris. But they were helpless. Costello slaps Selby, grabs his other arm before he can use it too, and lowers it, reminding him that it could land him back in prison. Selby takes his hand away from her throat, grabs her hand back, holds it in his palms, and kisses it. It’s time to go.
The three people return to the very flat from which the ladies had been evicted. They kick down the door, and Selby gives Costello the three grand she owes as rent. While Iris prepares her bed, Selby puts a tracker on Costello’s phone. Before leaving, Selby reminds them that they are all family. Later on, as the mother and daughter are having a conversation, Costello’s phone buzzes. She has made it 100 days without drinking. Iris tells her that she is proud of her. Costello kisses her on the forehead. The very next moment, repeated knocking is heard on the front door. The police officers are back. But this time, Costello has nothing to be afraid of.
“Rain Dogs” Episode 1 shows just how strong the relationship is between Costello and her daughter Iris. Iris has no complaints about the kind of life she and her mother live. On the other hand, we are yet to understand the equation that Costello and Selby share. They are friends, of course, but there is more to them than meets the eye. We know that Costello has no contact with her family, and Selby would rather be on his own. The future episodes will probably reveal what made things this way.