No, The Good Guys has not been cancelled. Not as of November 30, anyway.
The bad news is it may very well be. We're down to the final two episodes of season one, and things aren't looking so hot. Many sites have given up on the show already and considered it as good as dead (which may be where some of that false cancellation buzz comes from). It's a shame, really, because this whole season has brought us an offbeat, funny way to spend our Friday evenings, shown us that Colin Hanks may be the best 'straight man' in TV comedy, and proven that Bradley Whitford has absolutely no shame.
Need further proof? Well, the show gives us that this week, plus a bonus explosion and a reliable guest star.
The episode opens with Julius being followed by a suspicious vehicle. The car follows him into an alley, and out of it emerges Internal Affairs assistant chief James Guthrie (Sports Night and The West Wing's Joshua Malina), who informs Julius that he's going to take Dan down. True to his word, he's waiting for Dan at his desk when our heroes arrive. Dan tells Jack that Guthrie has had it out for him for several years, as Guthrie produces a file on some explosives smugglers.
Eleven months earlier, Dan and Julius are watching said smugglers. Julius has snitched on them to the cops, and is now looking to Dan to save his behind. This being Dan, his idea is to make the van spontaneously combust - by shooting it with the explosives inside. A huge fireball ensues.
Back in the present day, Jack decides that Dan needs a lawyer, so he goes to the only one he knows: Liz. He asks for her help, only to find out that she's known for weeks that the investigation was on the table. Furthermore, she wants to keep their relationship secret lest Internal Affairs uncover that as well. Needless to say, he is not pleased with any of what she has to say.
Guthrie interrogates Dan, pointing out that explosions are a "recurring motif in many of your investigations." He can prove that Dan botched the case, and as a result, two of the three explosives smugglers go free. Their first order of business? To kill Julius Grant. Dan breaks the news to Julius, not even close to gently, while Jack searches the bar and finds a bomb placed inside a case of alcohol. Unfortunately for the bad guys, the bomb doesn't detonate right away, and our heroes just barely get clear of the bar before it explodes, looking a lot worse for wear.
The boys march Julius into the station and demand police protection for him, but Guthrie will only allow that if he testifies against Dan. Jack hauls back to punch him in the face, except for Ruiz getting in the way and assigning them to investigate shopping cart thefts. Or so it looks - the file actually tells them to meet her in the evidence room in ten minutes. The four of them and Samantha have a meeting to discuss their mutual hatred of Guthrie.
With some help from Samantha, Jack and Dan track down the man who supplied the explosives, while Julius hides out in Jack's apartment. Dan agrees to take him to visit his girlfriend, which means neither of them are there when the two smugglers storm in. Unfortunately, Dan left a note for Jack that says Julius is with him. Taking it as an insult, the two trash Jack's apartment on the way out.
After their day trip, Dan takes Julius to meet with Ruiz, believing he'll be safe with her. He apologizes for the heat that's being brought down on everyone, but she tells him just to find Jack. The partners arrive at the office to find Guthrie searching Dan's desk. He demands both their service weapons, and decides he'll try interrogating Jack next. Jack is not impressed, and gets Guthrie to admit that the bullet casing from the van shooting didn't match either of their service weapons. "I would never throw a fellow police officer under the bus to get ahead," Jack says, but mistakenly lets Guthrie see his phone, which has a picture of him with Liz as the background. Guthrie deduces that Liz and Jack are dating, and storms into Liz's office, throwing it in her face to get the search warrant he wants.
The third of the smugglers (Breaking Bad's Dean Norris) has finally gotten out of prison and decides they should just kill Dan. One of them approaches Samantha as she's leaving the department, box of her belongings in hand after being fired during Guthrie's rampage, and gets her to give up where Dan's trailer is. She comes to see Jack and Dan, and tells them about the guy she ran into, realizing too late that he's not a good guy. "These guys are waiting for you at your place, Dan, to kill you," Jack tells Dan, just before Liz calls him to tell him that Guthrie is also on his way there. Dan is amused, saying that "He's going to have one hell of a surprise waiting for him when he gets there."
Guthrie does get there, and snoops around the trailer, not knowing the bad guys are across the way with a bomb and a sniper rifle, apparently unable to decide on their method of destruction. They, in turn, don't know Jack and Dan are lying in wait. Jack learns that Dan has a second weapon that he used to shoot the van, and Dan flirts with the idea of letting the bad guys kill Guthrie before he changes his mind. His warning is unnecessary as the bad guys start shooting seconds later. Guthrie agrees to do what Dan tells him to do in order to save his own backside. While he draws fire, Jack and Dan sneak up behind the bad guys and take them out - but not before one of them throws the bomb and blows up Dan's beloved trailer, causing him to disintegrate into histrionics.
Guthrie, however, allows Dan off the hook - of course, only for now. Samantha gets her job back, Ruiz gets her office back, and all is well at the Dallas Police Department.
"Cop Killer" is a return to form for The Good Guys after the weakness of "Supercops," and it's a lot more fun. I've been a Joshua Malina fan since he played Jeremy Goodwin on Sports Night, and he plays Guthrie so smarmy and full of himself that it's impossible not to hope he gets blown up; unfortunately, I think he almost may have overplayed it, as the character isn't just hateable, but he grates on the nerves constantly, making me flirt with the idea of muting the show whenever he appeared. At least he redeemed himself in the end.
Colin Hanks continues to be an excellent 'straight man,' and Bradley Whitford is still absolutely shameless (he's willing to start screaming like a girl). The two together are a great pair, and everything else in the episode falls into place around them. Wisely, though, The Good Guys has saved the best for last. Next week's season finale will build off the events of last week's "Supercops" with the returns of Michael Shanks and Carlo Rota, but more importantly, it also brings back the third best actor on the show - Gary Cole as Dan Stark's former partner, Steve Savage. It's going to be one heck of a last punk-busting ride, that's for sure.
Need to catch up with The Good Guys? Full show coverage is available in the The Good Guys category at my official site, DigitalAirwaves.net.
(c)2010 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved.