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Eyewitness - Mother’s Day - Advance Preview

Whether “Eyewitness” is renewed for another season or not, given the anthology set-up, “Mother’s Day” marks the end either way of this story of a small-town cop, the murderer she’s set out to find, and the teenage boys caught in the middle. And I thought the finale did a solid job of wrapping up that tale.

We rejoin Helen right where we left her at the end of last week’s episode – sitting in Ryan’s car, having just sent him into the hospital to protect the boys, and reeling from the realization that this man – whom she’s connected with and confided in – is the killer she’s been searching for this whole time. Without giving too much away about what happens next, Ryan tries to set a trap for Philip and Lukas, but it doesn’t stop the inevitable showdown between him and Helen. There’s also resolutions to the major relationships, both romantic and familial.

Obviously, the tension is ratcheted up in this one, given it’s the finale, Helen knows the killer is Ryan, the boys are in more danger than ever, etc. But “Eyewitness” doesn’t forget that it’s the smaller character beats that, in my opinion, separate it from other similar crime shows so there’s still room for Kamilah to question whether she has what it takes to parent her nephew, or for Lukas’ father to fumble with what he now knows about his son’s sexuality. The show also puts some unexpected turns on the expected plot points, with callbacks to the events of the pilot that I appreciated. And there was good acting throughout, from the usual stalwarts – Julianne Nicholson, Tyler Young, Warren Christie (who, I think, has really stepped it up the last few weeks as Ryan has unraveled) – right on down to the supporting players (Carlyn Burchell (“Bomb Girls”), who plays Philip’s mother, gives a fantastic performance at a pivotal moment for her character).

There’s some contrived plotting for sure. And the coda’s a bit of an off-kilter final note. But overall, it’s a pretty good ending to a pretty good show that I’m pretty glad I got to watch.

Celebrate “Mother’s Day” this Sunday on USA Network. But before then, come share your thoughts on season one of “Eyewitness” – and what you’d want to see in a season two – in the comments section.