In the thirteenth and final episode ofÂ Terriers, Britt and Hank set their plan in motion. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to finishÂ Terriers.
Trigger Warning: For mention of pedophilia.
Itâ€™s very common for me (obviously!) that I donâ€™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. Itâ€™s fun to be able to discover what a show is, andÂ TerriersÂ is no exception. Yet a part of that fun came from finally getting to see â€œPilotâ€ andÂ stillÂ not knowing what the show was about.Â TerriersÂ took a few episodes to find its footing. â€œChanging Partnersâ€ was a good hint of what was to come, and â€œManifest Destinyâ€ 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 arenâ€™t getting any more of this.
Damn the TV gods.
The Other Shoe Drops
There was no way that the end of â€œQuid Pro Quoâ€ wouldnâ€™t have a huge affect on the start of â€œHail Mary,â€ but I honestly did not expect Zeitlin to gamble Â with Hankâ€™s fate. I donâ€™t imagine heÂ thoughtÂ 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, Hankâ€™s history â€“ full of the many bad decisions he made this season â€“ paint a portrait of a jealous ex that absolutely had the motivation to murder Jason.
But itÂ wasÂ a gamble because Zeitlin assumed that Hankâ€™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 heÂ doesÂ care about Hank a great deal. Still, this was all an example of the other shoe dropping. ZeitlinÂ knewÂ 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 â€“ bless his heart â€“ 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 thereâ€™s any growth on his part in this show, then it comes in Hankâ€™s willingness to correct the mistakes he makes. Because when he comes for Zeitlin the second time, heâ€™s so much smarter about it. Britt pulls in Ashley for help, who directs them back to Mickeyâ€™s daughter, who directs them to the lining of her fatherâ€™s jacket.
Where Hank finds the evidence he needs. Unfortunately, so does Burke. LOOK, Yâ€™ALL, THAT FIGHT WAS BRUTAL, AND I WAS NOT READY FOR IT. But shit, itâ€™s such aÂ Terriers-esque sequence, and I donâ€™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, thatâ€™s their whole rapport, isnâ€™t it?
Iâ€™ll get back to that in a second.
Itâ€™s so easy to see how there could have been a second season that centered on Cutshaw (OH MY GOD ITâ€™S NEAL MCDONOUGH), but for the sake of the story thatÂ TerriersÂ got to tell, I really want to acknowledge how incredible this takedown is. Like I said before, Zeitlin is a relentless antagonist. Heâ€™s not designed to be sympathetic, and when contrasted with the messy but admirable duo of the Terriers team, heâ€™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. IÂ neededÂ to see Zeitlin afraid. I needed to know that he was utterly destroyed. I donâ€™t know if theÂ TerriersÂ 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 cliffhangerâ€™d in the worst way. For the most part, though, â€œHail Maryâ€ delivered what I needed. Seeing Zeitlinâ€™s fear and humiliation was a treat, but the introduction of Cutshaw andÂ hisÂ destruction? GOOD FUCKING GOD, THIS SHOW, Yâ€™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. Hankâ€™s friends and family are safe. Thereâ€™s still the hint of a story for another season â€“ which I life because itâ€™s about destroying Cutshaw because heâ€™s a disgusting pedophile â€“ but most of the plot threads are tied up.
Except for Britt Pollackâ€™s. Katieâ€™s rejection of him stung, particularly since I did not expect the tables to turn like that. I could tell Britt wasnâ€™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 couldnâ€™t leave Katie behind without some closure. The audience gets closure in a way, too, since we know that Britt and Katie repair whatâ€™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,Â TerriersÂ was always about Britt and Hank. Itâ€™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 theyâ€™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.
Itâ€™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 ofÂ Agent Carter!
The video for â€œHail Maryâ€ can be downloadedÂ here for $0.99.
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