Terriers Review: "Hail Mary"

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The final scene of "Hail Mary" was a wink at the fate of Terriers: In what direction will the show go? Straight to cancellation, as loyal fans of this tremendous series fear? Or might FX surprise us all, take a risk and veer toward a second season renewal?

Unfortunately, the latter option seems unlikely.* But if this was the final episode in Terriers history, at least it featured everything about the show I've grown to love.

(*FX officially canceled Terriers on 12/6/10).

For Sale By Hank

Hank came out a hero, saving Ocean Beach from disappearing in lieu of an airport. But a parade wasn't exactly thrown in his honor.

He's still a man tortured by his past, alone, always one small step away from complete self-destruction. But even in his darkest moments, Hank is also charming, sarcastic, humorous, the kind of layered, interesting main character that few shows on TV feature.

By bringing back Eleanor Gosney and tying in the death of her father to tie the devious plans for the airport, Terriers also proved it's a show that thought and planned ahead. Of all the praise heaped on it by critics - from the chemistry between its leads to its catchy theme song - the series' pacing stands out the most to me.

When we first met Hank and Britt, I was intrigue and entertained, but the stakes felt low on the series premiere.

These were two stubborn, funny private investigators in Southern California that seemed to stumble on cases for which they weren't really prepared. Okay. But where was the real drama? Why should I really care about these friends?

But as the season progressed, we were taken deeper into the lives of both these men. Some episodes played into the larger, ever-changing arc of Lindus and Zeitlin and Laura Ross and whatever was going on with the ongoing land grab. While others served as stand-alone installments, some light, some dark, but all giving us major insight into Hank and Britt.

By the end of this episode, with Britt pouring his heart out to Katie and Hank putting the home he shared with Gretchen up for sale - and with Mark coming through in the clutch, Jason Adler dead, bodies piled up all around - no one who followed Terriers was possibly wondering why they should care any longer.

We're in. We're invested. We've enjoyed a season that has played out like a well-paced movie or novel. Even if we never see Hank and Britt joke around in their truck again, the 13 hours spent watching this show over the last few months won't feel like time wasted. Far from it.

Hail Mary Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (43 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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