Season 1 of David Duchovny’s Aquarius is getting closer to wrapping up, and Sam Hodiak still has a lot of things to resolve. Last week we found the detective on an acid trip courtesy of Charles Manson. Matters improved slightly and he found himself trying to protect a fellow officer and trying to find ways to protect his son. We were also left wondering about the trial of the man who killed several police officers. What about Brian Shafe, will he ever bust anyone through his undercover work? And then there’s the mystery of Ken Karn and Caroline Beecher, and what Louise Mitchell knows. So many questions, so few answers. Will episode 11, “Your Mother Should Know” offer some resolution? Find out after the jump.
Sam Hodiak's father is in the bathroom taking a drag on a joint. His son is clearly not happy about that. Hodiak follows his father into the living room where we find Walt. Three generations of Hodiaks and they're all angry. Hodiak implores Walt to let him help, that whatever Walt wants to do Hodiak will work to keep him out of prison. Walt simply asks "How?"
Marshmallows are being roasted at the Manson house. Manson is waxing poetic on the impending birth of Mary's baby. When Emma points out they have no baby things, Manson says all the baby needs is love. "And diapers," Emma retorts. One of the others calls to Manson. There's a woman there who says she knows him. Manson stands up and takes a long look, then says "Hi Mama."
"It's not about me, it's about the truth" is Walt's answer when Hodiak tells him to give the papers back and negotiate. The Elder Hodiak says Walt should run. Hodiak tries to convince Walt to give the papers to a reporter, anonymously, so they can fight the government that way. The group continues to argue when there's a knock on the door. Opal comes running in to make the family reunion complete. She wants to know how to make things right. Walt is starting to come around to Hodiak's plan and says "maybe."
An awkward Manson and his mother, Kathleen Maddox, talk inside the house. Manson offers her a glass of water and says he doesn't have anything stronger. She tells him she's giving up her vices and laughs when Manson says he's trying to get his music going. When Manson says he doesn't have any money for her, she insults him.
An FBI agent, Sam Berg, shows a cartoon from the Black Panther party that depicts two young black children pointing guns at a police officer drawn to look like a pig. Agent Berg is warning the department about groups like the Black Panthers and wants their help with surveillance. Hodiak is less than amused and enjoys mocking the agent. Shafe walks in looking, as Hodiak puts it, "suitably tense for a Monday." He's tense because Guapo is about to get in a big shipment. Shafe apologizes for not having the time to help with the Louise Mitchell case. Officer Charmain Tully overhears and says she does have the time to help. Hodiak tells her she should be going over her testimony for the trial of the suspected cop killer instead. When Charmain says she's been over her testimony three times, Hodiak reminds her of how tough the opposing lawyer is going to be. She quickly changes her mind and rushes away.
Shafe walks into Guapo's busy shop. Business comes to a hault. Guapo says today is the day and they're going to make a lot of money.
Hodiak answers his phone to find Bunchy on the line. He's reporting a homicide, but wants to make sure it doesn't look like he asked for Hodiak's help. After throwing some sarcasm at him, Hodiak agrees to assist in the case.
When Hodiak arrives at the address he finds it heavily guarded by Black Panthers with guns. Bunchy tells the men to let Hodiak through. The man who was murdered was Arthur Carter, Bunchy's body guard, and the man was alone when he was killed. He was also Bunchy's little brother.
Manson's mother Kathleen is holding court with Mary, Sadie, and Emma. She's telling Mary about how much childbirth hurts; always a nice thing to do to a mother-to-be. Charlie and Mary share how they want to have the baby at the compound, but Kathleen talks about how doctors were able to save Manson when he was born. Emma once again points out that they don't have any baby things and Manson screams at her to solve the problem. Kathleen tries to calm Manson down but the conversation dissolves into an argument about how he was raised by Kathleen's family instead of her.
Guapo shows Shafe the bricks of drugs that will be part of the exchange. Everything is wrapped so it won't be obvious when they make the deal. Shafe tells Guapo it's smart, but you can see by the look on his face he's struggling with how to catch these guys.
Hodiak and another detective gather evidence at the scene of Arthur's murder. He questions Bunchy about who may want to hurt him. Bunchy doesn't want to list all his enemies for "the establishment" but as Hodiak points out, that would be rather convenient for the man who killed his brother.
Emma, Sadie, and Rick break into a large home of a wealthy family. The family has a fancy nursery. Sadie asks how Emma knew all of it would be there, and she mentions she used to babysit for them. As Sadie dashes off to take a bath, Emma looks wistfully at a picture of a father with two young children.
Guapo's shop is in full swing, breaking down drugs into smaller packaging. Shafe leaves to "hit the head" only to find another one of Guapo's employees loading drug bricks into a bowling bag. The man makes eye contact with Shafe but doesn't say anything. Shafe goes back to his spot with Guapo but keeps quiet.
Hodiak is giving the rundown of Arthur's murder to the FBI agent we saw earlier. Hodiak asks if the FBI has agents tailing Bunchy but the man plays dumb, thanks Hodiak for the tip, and leaves.
Shafe looks up from his work at Guapo's when he hears screaming. Guapo is beating a man with a pipe for stealing 3 bricks of drugs. When Shafe tries to stop him, Guapo says the next likely suspect is Shafe. Shafe says the product should be easy to find so Guapo sends him to do so.
Kathleen tells Manson she has something for him, something his deceased grandfather left. It's a house and some land. Kathleen has the deed, and says she just needs Manson's signature. They can sell the property and split the money. Manson looks suspicious of his mother's offering.
Arthur's wife speaks with Hodiak at the station. At first, she's not exactly thrilled to be speaking with the detective but does share some information. Arthur believed someone was listening to their phones and going through their mail. Their other brother Gordon was arrested on a gun charge, so Arthur was trying to figure out who was "snitching".
Shafe storms into the home of the man he saw stealing the drugs from Guapo. The man stole the drugs because he wanted to make some quick money to get his girlfriend back from a pimp. Shafe isn't impressed and takes the drugs back to Guapo.
Sadie is still soaking in the tub of the Beverly Hills home. Emma wants her to hurry so they can get the baby things. Sadie says there's no rush, that she'd run through the streets naked if she had to. She then digs into Emma for still wanting to be the center of attention. The two women argue about who is more special to Manson. Emma takes one last pot shot at Sadie then walks back into the nursery. While Emma is loading up baby things, Sadie is downstairs calling the police to report a break-in.
At the Manson house Sadie is telling Charlie that she tried to warn Emma but she wasn't able to. She then says Emma wasn't at the police station when she went by. Manson doesn't seem worried and says Cherry will find her way home. He goes out for a smoke when Roy Kovic pulls up. Kovic says he's trying to get Manson a deal on guns but they're not cheap, and his men could use a new “piece of meat.” Manson smiles and says he could be coming into some money soon.
Shafe walks into the Hollywood police station with the bowling bag full of dope. He drops the bag on Hodiak's desk, who cracks wise about joining Shafe for bowling and then points out the dope smells like formaldehyde. Shafe says he needs Hodiak's help with a murder. The two men walk into the morgue. Shafe takes pictures of various corpses until he finds one he thinks could be a substitute for the man who stole Guapo's drugs.
Later that night Shafe returns to Guapo's with the drugs and a photo of a dead man he claims was selling the drugs. Guapo says he doesn't recognize the guy and wonders how he got the product. Shafe says he doesn't know, but that the guy wasn't much of a talker. And that he won't be doing it again. Shafe offers to show Guapo more pictures but the dealer doesn't need it. He compliments Shafe on being a bad ass. Meanwhile the kid who really stole the drugs is standing behind him and looks amazed at Shafe's abilities.
Hodiak pays a visit to Bunchy and says he doesn't believe he was the target. He asks Bunchy for the role of who was at the Panther meeting compared to who was supposed to be there, so he can see who didn't show. Bunchy is reluctant even when Hodiak explains that he thinks Arthur was waiting to tell Bunchy who the informant was. Bunchy thinks Hodiak is simply going to round up everyone. Hodiak says that's going to happen whether Bunchy helps him or not, but otherwise his brother's murder may go unsolved. Bunchy relents and tells Hodiak he can look at the roles for 5 minutes, but not take notes. Hodiak spots a name, Theo Pinker.
Pinker is hauled into the police station and meets with Hodiak for questioning. Hodiak tells him "it looks to everyone else that you're being questioned about Arthur Carter's murder but we both work for the same person. Agent Sam Berg, FBI". Hodiak convinces Pinker he's his new handler. The men talk and Pinker gives details of the crime. He did shoot Arthur because Arthur knew too much. Hodiak gets up and asks Pinker to write a "case report" about what happened and sign it. Pinker also offers that it was the FBI agent who told him to bring a gun to meet with Arthur. Hodiak smiles and tells Pinker to include that in the case report.
"There's always been something special about you Charlie" says Kathleen to Manson. She asks if he's thought about the deal with the house. Manson tells her to get the papers, that he'll sign them.
Bunchy looks over Pinker, who is still at the station. Hodiak walks in and tells him that Pinker is the snitch, that he wrote a report detailing it all. Bunchy looks distraught, and tells Hodiak about his last moments with his brother. Arthur had been trying to convince Bunchy that the Panthers couldn't just fight, they had to have something to say as well. Bunchy had fired him, telling Arthur he was weak. Hodiak tries to offer some comfort, saying Arthur sounds like a good man.
Ruben Salazar, the Los Angeles Times reporter who outed Latino officer Joe Moran in a previous episode, looks over a file. Hodiak is trying to get him to look into the accusations Walt has made. But Salazar isn't biting. He says someone would have to go on record to authenticate the documents. Hodiak accuses Salazar of simply wanting to cover his own ass. Disgusted, Hodiak takes the information and leaves.
Rick's father arrives to pick him up in jail. While his dad yells, Rick tries to convince the man that he's really working undercover. As Rick leaves Emma looks around hopefully, then asks if her father or anyone has come to pick her up. She doesn't get an answer.
Charmain chases down Hodiak at the station, and says she wants to talk to him about Louise Mitchell. Despite the detective telling her to stay out of it, she called schools and found Louise's son. Hodiak takes the file from her, then pulls her in to kiss her cheek and walks away. Charmain stands there grinning. We know the feeling, Officer.
Hodiak sits down at his desk while Shafe talks on the phone. It's Rick on the line. He hangs up and tells Hodiak he won't believe who they have in Beverly Hills lockup.
At lockup Emma spots Hodiak as he walks into the room. She runs to the bars and asks if her mother sent the detective. Grace doesn't know she's there. Emma tries to tell Hodiak she doesn't belong there. Hodiak then lists all the crimes Manson has done time for and reminds her she was picked up for breaking and entering. He tells Emma he knew her mother when she was Emma's age, and that she "wasn't perfect then and she wasn't perfect now." He tells Emma that he knows life is hard, but life in jail in unbearable. And that if she chooses to stay with Manson jail is exactly where she's going to end up. He leaves her to sit with those thoughts for a while.
Cutler and a buddy are laughing about a murder victim they IDd. They show Shafe a picture of a badly decomposed corpse and tell him to check out the "before and after." Shafe looks at the file in horror and realizes the man is Chris, a gay man who tried to befriend him when Shafe went undercover at a gay bar. He says, "I know this guy," then leaves as Cutler continues to laugh, only to end up getting sick in the men's room.
Manson sits on his bed, listening to music. Kathleen walks in to say she's leaving. She tries to leave him a photo of herself and Manson when he was a child. She tells him she's never done right by him because she doesn't know how. She tries to explain why she failed him. As she turns to leave Manson hits her and pins her down on the bed. He screams that he doesn't need her love or money, and then shoves a few hits of acid in her mouth. He walks into the hall and meets Kovic. He says he's got "new meat" to keep Kovic's boys interested. Manson tells Kovic to makes sure everyone gets a turn. He then sits outside the room, a disturbing look on his face. And there we end.
After last week’s episode, which I found to be lacking, I feel like “Your Mother Should Know” picked up the pace again. I loved the focus on something Sam Hodiak does well: protecting people. The episode starts with him working to protect his son and as it continues we see him working hard to help Bunchy as well as looking out for Charmain Tully. For all his faults I keep coming back to believing Hodiak is a good man at heart and is just trying to do what he feels is right. I loved his conversation with Emma as well, and the fact that he didn’t just save her. That probably would have made Grace happy and score him some points there. That he left Emma to figure things out will be more helpful for her in the long run.
Another thing I like about Hodiak is that he does seem to be evolving. You notice that in his treatment of Bunchy. The two men don’t see eye-to-eye on much but there seems to be some respect growing there. The moment at the police station when Hodiak and Bunchy were talking about Arthur was one of my favorites of the episode. That Bunchy was willing to share something that personal and that Hodiak was interested and comforting was really great to watch. I also noticed he didn’t seem to drink at all this episode. I’m hoping Hodiak has turned over a new leaf, but it makes me wonder if that’s just a storyline that was quickly forgotten.
At times I feel like the show does have too many loose ends, characters that come and go so quickly it’s hard to keep track. But in this case, I loved that they brought Chris back, even if his end was horrifying. Shafe’s reaction gave us a lot of insight into his character I think, in that maybe he was reconsidering all the things he’d said about gay people. That perhaps getting to know Chris even a little helped him see a more human side of a group of people he’d been dismissing. I’m also hoping we get some sort of resolution with Shafe and his drug cases soon. I know in the real world undercover work takes a long time, but I’m starting to get as frustrated with the length of the storyline.
And is anyone else hoping Charmain will crack the case of what happened to Caroline Beecher before Hodiak does? I love her resilience and that she continues to push forward when there are so many reasons she could throw in the towel.
Normally I find Manson more annoying than scary but in this episode his treatment of his mother was truly frightening. I hand it to Gethin Anthony for a great performance. He’s always solid but the crazy was definitely more present in this episode, and more believable. At times there was look in his eyes, even when not much was happening, that would have sent me running the other direction had I met this guy in public.
Overall I think this was another solid episode. There’s not much time left in the season to wrap things up, and I do wonder if any of the storylines will carry through to Season 2. I want to see the cop killer trial play out, and I’m dying to know what lies ahead for Walt. And will Emma get it together and get away from the crazy? We’ve got two episodes to go and I’m excited to see what happens. I’m really invested in these characters and I think that says a lot about the quality of the show.
You can catch Aquarius every Saturday at 9pm ET on NBC, on iTunes, NBC.com and On Demand.