December 2nd, 2010
03:05 PM ET
I think it should be fairly obvious that I want “Terriers” to be renewed for a second (and third and fourth) season. But if last night was the final new episode we’ll ever get, what a way to go.
I know we missed last week’s episode, so let’s do some quick catching up. Hank and Britt seem to have tentatively reconciled their differences, but Britt is facing some serious jail time for his assault on Katie’s classmate.
Hank and reporter Laura Ross think they’ve put the pieces together on the land grab case that’s spanned this whole season. Jason (the new husband of Hank’s ex) gets involved in bringing down the conspiracy, but he ends up dead because of his involvement, with Hank looking ready for some revenge.
That’s where we pick up with last night’s finale. I know I’ve written before about how “Terriers” does a great job of balancing humor with drama. Forget that. Last night was the darkest episode of the season, and with good reason. Hank knows his time is running out. He knows the bad guys are coming after him. And he knows that the people he loves are in danger strictly because they are the people he loves.
Watching Hank distance himself from his loved ones in order to protect them, especially as he fights through the case that he can’t let go of, is the perfect illustration of why this character is so interesting. Hank is wonderfully flawed. His best intentions often end up hurting the people that are closest to him. But he knows how flawed he is, and he can’t stop from trying to uncover the truth, even if it costs him his own life. His doggedness (and no, that’s not a pun on the show’s title) just made me more anxious about what might happen… either to him or because of him.
Thankfully, Hank doesn’t go off the deep end. He does solve the case (with more than a bit of help from Britt and his old partner Mark), even though the motivations behind the conspiracy went through a few twists along the way.
Speaking of, kudos to the show on two counts here: First, it pulled the season together into a single story, tying in characters that go all the way back to the first episode. And second, it respected the intelligence of its audience. We weren’t spoon-fed the information. In fact, we flat out weren’t told a lot of it. We weren’t shown the incriminating photographs, and we also weren't hit over the head with one character acting as the Exposition Fairy.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t spend some time talking about Britt. When I first wrote about “Terriers,” I described this character as a pseudo man-child. That person is gone. The Britt that we see by the end of this episode is someone who wants to take responsibility for what he’s done in order to establish the adult life with Katie that he wants and is ready for.
Well, almost. That last scene leaves us hanging. Will Britt go to prison? Will he take Hank’s offer to escape to Mexico? We don’t know, and if “Terriers” doesn’t get renewed, we never will.
I liked the show’s decision to, at least for now, leave it up to the viewer to decide what kind of characters these guys really are. For me, I like to think that Hank and Britt are still sitting at the stop light contemplating their next move.
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