The running pattern of this show has been uncovering lies, being unable to out right reveal them, and finding a way to deal with that. The big season arc so far was to top the lie with an even bigger lie, and the piece of advice at the end of this week's episode was to pretend the truth doesn't exist.
None of that seems to work out to well for any of the characters, so I'll just go with the truth: this is a good show, maybe very good show, that almost no one is watching. I'm not telling you this in hopes of a turnaround, because the die has been cast. I'm telling you because maybe you'll flip to FX some random night and come along an episode. If you give it 15 seconds, you'll probably just move on. If you give it 10 minutes, you'll probably watch the whole episode, and maybe more. To compare it another new 2010 show on this network, Justified was a lot more simmering okay stuff while waiting for occasional great blasts, while Terriers is more of a pounding of good stuff.
The lead characters, private detectives barely on the right side of the law (and often not), really come across well as actual friends and individuals. The girlfriend of one of the partners is nicely written without the usual relationship cliches. (Though, that may be changing.) And a lot of the supporting characters are interesting. The problem is the lead is Donal Logue, and I think the universe has already decided no one wants to a show staring Donal Logue (they've tried, they've failed.) He's really good here, but he's still Donal Logue.
This episode was about a ring, a ring of a ring, and about four different relationships in various stages of disarray. As usual, Hank Dolworth has a moment of Doing The Right Thing, and everyone gets totally crushed for it. People get around to facing truths, but way too late for anyone's benefit, and everyone goes home a little more broken they started. Fun television!
The first five episodes have a running arc over them; you can watch them separate, but they're better together. This one was a lot more stand alone, and it's a decent place to start. Next week looks the same way too.
In Studio 60's defense, they still had arguably my favourite pilot of all time and the show wasn't intended to be a pilot. Then again, how can you make a show about a sketch comedy show and not intend it to be a comedy? Forget it, back to 30 Rock.