Mark Watches ‘Terriers’: Episode 13 – Hail Mary

In the thirteenth and final episode of Terriers, Britt and Hank set their plan in motion. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to finish Terriers.

Trigger Warning: For mention of pedophilia.

Holy shit.

It’s very common for me (obviously!) that I don’t know anything about the shows I watch for this site. But every so often, I literally know nothing: not the genre, not the stars, not the tone, zilch. It’s fun to be able to discover what a show is, and Terriers is no exception. Yet a part of that fun came from finally getting to see “Pilot” and still not knowing what the show was about. Terriers took a few episodes to find its footing. “Changing Partners” was a good hint of what was to come, and “Manifest Destiny” gave me a much better sense of the greater story. But these last four episodes have been incredible, and it blows my mind that we aren’t getting any more of this.

Damn the TV gods.

The Other Shoe Drops

There was no way that the end of “Quid Pro Quo” wouldn’t have a huge affect on the start of “Hail Mary,” but I honestly did not expect Zeitlin to gamble  with Hank’s fate. I don’t imagine he thought it was a gamble; it was easy for him to pay those men to confess to murdering Jason and the whistleblower and to have them implicate Hank. Even worse, Hank’s history – full of the many bad decisions he made this season – paint a portrait of a jealous ex that absolutely had the motivation to murder Jason.

But it was a gamble because Zeitlin assumed that Hank’s relationship with the Ocean Beach PD has been entirely ruined. I love that Zeitlin underestimates this part of Hank, especially since it allows Mark to play a role in the finale, one that demonstrates to us that he does care about Hank a great deal. Still, this was all an example of the other shoe dropping. Zeitlin knew he had to take out Hank in order to succeed with his development plan.


I went into this episode expecting Hank to do something reckless and silly in order to get revenge. I really did! Why else would Hank buy a gun? But Mark – bless his heart – steps in to stop Hank from making an irrevocable mistake. However, once Zeitlin went after Hank, I figured that Hank would try to take out Zeitlin again. Thankfully, he adapts. And if there’s any growth on his part in this show, then it comes in Hank’s willingness to correct the mistakes he makes. Because when he comes for Zeitlin the second time, he’s so much smarter about it. Britt pulls in Ashley for help, who directs them back to Mickey’s daughter, who directs them to the lining of her father’s jacket.

Where Hank finds the evidence he needs. Unfortunately, so does Burke. LOOK, Y’ALL, THAT FIGHT WAS BRUTAL, AND I WAS NOT READY FOR IT. But shit, it’s such a Terriers-esque sequence, and I don’t know how else to describe it. Only this show can have Hank nearly die at the hands of someone like Burke, only to have Britt arrive and then he and Hank crack a joke while staring at a dead body. It so perfectly encapsulates the tone and humor of this show. Hell, that’s their whole rapport, isn’t it?

I’ll get back to that in a second.

Mortal Combat

It’s so easy to see how there could have been a second season that centered on Cutshaw (OH MY GOD IT’S NEAL MCDONOUGH), but for the sake of the story that Terriers got to tell, I really want to acknowledge how incredible this takedown is. Like I said before, Zeitlin is a relentless antagonist. He’s not designed to be sympathetic, and when contrasted with the messy but admirable duo of the Terriers team, he’s evil incarnate. So the show works as catharsis. Burke is killed and then disposed of like garbage. WHICH IS WHERE HE BELONGS. How could the show provide catharsis for all the awful things that Zeitlin had done?

Well, having Britt punch him repeatedly in the face was pretty satisfying. But the writers had to shift the power dynamic, ultimately. I needed to see Zeitlin afraid. I needed to know that he was utterly destroyed. I don’t know if the Terriers crew knew they were going to be cancelled, so I admit my expectations took this into account. It was entirely possible that I was about to be cliffhanger’d in the worst way. For the most part, though, “Hail Mary” delivered what I needed. Seeing Zeitlin’s fear and humiliation was a treat, but the introduction of Cutshaw and his destruction? GOOD FUCKING GOD, THIS SHOW, Y’ALL. In a matter of minutes, Hank gets what he wants. Zeitlin will be sacrificed. Cutshaw abandons his plans to pave over Ocean Beach and build an airport. Hank’s friends and family are safe. There’s still the hint of a story for another season – which I life because it’s about destroying Cutshaw because he’s a disgusting pedophile – but most of the plot threads are tied up.


Except for Britt Pollack’s. Katie’s rejection of him stung, particularly since I did not expect the tables to turn like that. I could tell Britt wasn’t going to fight on that because he knew that beating up Gavin was a terrible, awful thing. But the threat of his impending prison sentence was enough to convince him that he couldn’t leave Katie behind without some closure. The audience gets closure in a way, too, since we know that Britt and Katie repair what’s left of their relationship before he leaves. We know that Britt is willing to be a father regardless of the paternity of his son. These things matter!

But in the end, Terriers was always about Britt and Hank. It’s no surprise that the final image is of the two of them pondering whether to head to prison or to Mexico. Their rapport is the core of the show, and seeing them discuss a future where they accept responsibility for the things they’ve done or where they become fugitives. Both realities would be realistic for these characters, you know? And I love that all we hear is a car driving away over the closing credits.

It’s about as good of an ending as I can ask for. Tons of resolution and closure, a great respect for these characters and their journey, and I laughed. What else could I have gotten?

Well, more of the show, of course. Thanks for this, friends. What a surprise it was! Up next: season 2 of Agent Carter!

The video for “Hail Mary” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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