Only two episodes left in Season 1 of David Duchovny's Aquarius! Remember last week how I said it looked like Sam Hodiak may have backed off the drinking a bit, and wondered how long that would actually last? Well if you've seen the promos for episode 12, "(Please Let Me Love You And) It Won't Be Wrong" we see that good behavior didn't last long.
We left Hodiak at the end of last week's episode struggling to find a way to help his son Walt, while trying to teach his friend's daughter Emma a lesson. The trial of an alleged cop killer is looming, while Hodiak is also trying to solve the years-old murder of Caroline Beecher. Brian Shafe has earned the trust of a drug dealer, but is he ever going to bust any of them? And of course there's Manson being Manson.
Will Hodiak find himself any closer to the truth after this week's episode? Find out after the jump!
Sam Hodiak suits up for the day. As he digs through his drawer, retrieving his badge and gun, he finds a rosary. He considers it for a moment then continues getting ready.
It's a party atmosphere at the Manson house. Music producer Elliot Hillman is back to record music and shoot film. He's talking Manson up, praising the "world view" he has inspired at the home. He's in a hurry to get shooting, and as he walks away Manson grabs his wrist. Manson slips Hillman's watch off and uses it as a way to encourage the producer to slow down.
Brian Shafe greets Charmain Tully as she walks into the Hollywood police station. Apparently she's been assigned with descaling the coffee pot. Shafe asks her if she can help him with something when she's done with coffee duty. Excited, Charmain abandons the coffee pot to help him out. Shafe wants to know who in the city is using formaldehyde and for what. Charmain has a few ideas and sets off to dig deeper.
Hillman and his crew interview a young woman named Minnie about how she met Manson. Sadie finds Manson and wants to know when it's her turn to speak. Manson confronts her again about what happened with Emma at the police station. Sadie maintains Emma wasn't there when she stopped by. Manson doesn't believe her but Sadie won't budge on her story, so he sends her to find one of the other women to talk to the producers instead.
Shafe is taking notes when a uniformed officer walks a handcuffed woman into the bullpen. She's clearly agitated and says she won't speak to anyone else until she talks to Detective Hodiak. The officer tells her to "keep her hair on" and cuffs her to a chair. Hodiak meets with the woman, who turns out to be Rachel, a dancer from the Peach Pussycat. She's in trouble on a marijuana possession but says she has information that may help Hodiak. She describes watching the bikers, Roy Kovic included, load Jimmy Too's body into the back of a station wagon. Rachel says Lucille Gladner was not there but offers to tell Hodiak everything she knows. Hodiak says he can't do anything with the information right now, but will knock her charges down to a misdemeanor if she writes down everything she told him.
Charmain is back, telling Shafe everything she found about formaldehyde use. Hodiak walks in to share what Rachel told him about Kovic and Jimmy Too. Shafe figures the hearse Kovic had is connected to the formaldehyde smell he noticed in the drugs from last week's episode. Charmain asks what else she can do to help. Hodiak chastises her again about her upcoming testimony but relents and assigns her to find the hearse.
Hodiak walks outside to find Rachel sitting on the stairs of the station. She doesn't have a place to go since Lucille is a partner in hotels in the area. Hodiak ends up taking her to his place. He offers Rachel his bedroom and says he'll sleep on the couch. Are we taking bets on how long that lasts?
It lasts as long as the scene changes! A needle drops on a record player and a song fills the room. Hodiak wakes up to find Rachel doing a seductive dance for him. She joins him on the couch but Hodiak stops her. He tells Rachel she doesn't owe him anything and tries to convince her to go back to bed. Rachel relents but asks if she's going to be okay. Hodiak promises her she will be, then invites her back to the couch. He holds her close and tells her to sleep.
Shafe is all about asking people for help this episode. When Hodiak returns to the station in the morning, Shafe asks him for help on the "Queer Killer" case. Hodiak points out it's Cutler's case but listens anyway. Shafe explains that both closeted movie star Ray Novo and Chris Wagner were killed in a similar fashion. Both men were robbed and tortured before they were killed. Hodiak thinks maybe the killer didn't start out that way, that perhaps he was a robber first. Shafe had a similar thought so he looked into other open violent home invasions in the area. He leaves the huge stack of files for Hodiak to dig through.
It's Katie's turn to be interviewed by the crew at Manson's. She describes wanting to be a nun when she was younger, and how meeting "Charlie" changed her. Hillman looks teary as he listens to her story.
Shafe may have found a case that's related to the other murders. A home invasion went badly and the wife was murdered. The husband survived but was found tied to the headboard and with knife wounds. Hodiak is eager to talk to the survivor until Shafe shares the man's name. It's Francis De Murray, a Superior Court judge.
Kovic is on camera at the Manson compound. He's describing how his uncle wanted him to find Jesus but that wasn't for him. Hillman mentions that some of the girls at the compound believe Manson to be like Jesus. Katie interrupts and says she knows Manson is Jesus, because she saw him walk on water. She continues and says there's been a bad energy over the place since Cherry Pop. But when Hillman tries to ask her about Cherry, Katie says they need to go skinny dipping and distracts him.
A man walks into the station, he's been told he needs to look at some photos. Shafe introduces himself to the man and that's when it clicks. He was the bartender at the gay bar where Shafe met Chris. Shafe tries to explain himself, then asks him to make an ID.
Hodiak meets Judge De Murray in an office with the Lieutenant. He explains they may have a lead in his case. He gets up to bring the judge a cup of coffee and leaves the office door open. Shafe is outside with the bartender, who indicates he recognizes the judge from the neighborhood. De Murray apparently could be seen on weekends cruising the neighborhood looking for people to pick up. Hodiak takes this information and goes back to the office. He starts to speak with the judge, implying that he knows about De Murray's actions. De Murray is furious and threatens Hodiak, but the detective doesn't budge. Hodiak tells the judge that whatever he shares, Hodiak will say he learned it elsewhere. He tells De Murray it will all come out anyway and will look worse if the judge doesn't help him. Hodiak says he doesn't care about what the judge is into, only that he thinks the man should avenge his wife's murder. De Murray thinks for a minute and starts to describe the suspect. A Hispanic man in his 20s, with an appendectomy scar. De Murray says he made a joke about it, so the man gave him some scars of his own.
Manson is playing guitar when Hillman approaches, camera rolling. Hillman asks him what happened to Cherry. Manson simply says she was betrayed by the world and leaves it at that.
Hodiak arrives at his apartment to find a party in full swing. Rachel has invited a few friends over. She seems happy to see him until he mentions that he's a cop to her pals. The partiers leave in a hurry. As Hodiak cleans up he tells Rachel he wants her to start acting as smart as she is. The two scheme and try to find a way to get her back to work.
A young officer tries to get Cutler's attention. He's trying to tell him the Captain will be coming by to see the Lieutenant later that afternoon. Cutler ignores the man, but then takes a bottle of whisky into the lieutenant's office. He proceeds to get the man pretty drunk when Captain Dunn walks in. Dunn asks if this is how Hollywood usually does things. Cutler plays dumb and leaves when Dunn tells him to.
Hodiak and Rachel walk into Lucille's office at the Peach Pussycat. Lucille asks Rachel where she's been. Hodiak answers "with me" and plants a heavy kiss on Rachel's lips. He tells Lucille that Rachel is now his girlfriend and that he's going to be keeping an eye on her.
Walt is waiting for Hodiak at his apartment. He wants to know how it went with the reporter. Hodiak tries to explain that the reporter isn't interested yet, but will come around. Opal walks in and says "what if he doesn't?" Walt starts to pack up, frustrated that nothing is happening yet. Opal convinces him to stay, to let Hodiak help him. Walt relents and Hodiak pleads with his son to trust him.
Back at the station a weary Hodiak flips through a folder. There's a message attached to it asking him to contact Louise Mitchell. He whispers "forgive us our trespasses" before closing the folder.
Louise Mitchell answers a knock on her door to find Hodiak on her doorstep. He asks if she ever went by Lois Miller then asks to see her shoulder. She shows him a small tattoo. She then asks "what do you want?" Hodiak pauses for a minute, then says "nothing" and walks away.
From Mitchell's house, Hodiak heads to church. He's sitting in a pew, alone, then bows his head in prayer.
Apparently those prayers lead him to the Karn house. He and Grace are talking when Ken Karn arrives. Hodiak explains that he wants Karn's help getting immunity for Walt. Karn scoffs at first, listing all the things Hodiak has done to him. Hodiak says he's willing to arrange a trade. He tells Karn that he knows about the missing prostitute Caroline Beecher, and the woman who filed the police report. Hodiak tells Karn he thinks Mitchell, who he doesn't name, knows something. Karn asks if Hodiak is so sure why hasn't he done anything? Hodiak says "So I can sell the last shred of my soul to keep my son safe." Hodiak says he won't speak to Mitchell further or do any more investigating. After a few tense moments Karn agrees and says he will call his friend at the DOD. Hodiak sticks out his hand and accepts Karn's lighter, then lights the message with Louise Mitchell's contact information on fire.
Kovic and Manson are talking about Sadie. Manson wants to know if Kovic believes her. Kovic said he tried to push Sadie on what she thought about Emma being gone, but she was evasive. As darkness falls at the Manson house, he finds Sadie by the fire. He asks her again what she did to Emma and accuses her of lying. She tries to tell him that everything she does is for him. Manson hits her and she falls. She wants to know why it's such a bad thing to love him. Manson asks her again what she did to Emma. Sadie taunts him and he hits her again. The confrontation gets even more violent. He headbutts her and accuses her of selling Emma to the man. She gets down on her knees to pray and we realize the film crew has captured the whole thing. Manson spots them and stalks angrily towards the two men. He grabs the camera from the photographer and throws it through a car window saying "movie's over."
Shafe is on the phone describing the suspect in the murder of Judge De Murray's wife. The person on the phone hasn't seen the man. Shafe hangs up and walks away from his desk in frustration. Charmain answers the phone. It's Ken Karn looking for Hodiak. On the phone, Karn explains that he can put Hodiak in touch with someone who may be able to help Walt. The man, Charles Halprin, will be in touch tomorrow. While he's listening, Hodiak takes a few swigs from a small liquor bottle. Karn tells him the two men are even now, that they're the same in their hiding of others' mistakes. Karn tells him to have a nice life and hangs up. Hodiak sweeps the two empty bottles into the drawer where they meet several others. Ken flashes back on the night of Caroline Beecher's murder. Grace walks in and says "so it's done." Karn affirms and says "I saved the man you love. You're welcome." The two argue about their relationship but then Grace asks for a fresh start.
In the locker room, Sam pulls another bottle from his locker. He takes a swig and then throws the bottle in frustration. Shafe walks in at the noise and asks Hodiak what's wrong but the detective blows him off. He tries to stumble past Shafe who confronts him about being drunk. Shafe says he's watched him unravel and advises Hodiak to take a breath. They argue until Hodiak strikes Shafe, who punches back. This takes the wind out of Hodiak a little. Shafe says he's done and tells Hodiak "kill yourself for all I care" but then leaves to call a cab for the detective.
Ken Karn pours himself a drink and lights a smoke at home. There's a knock on the door. It's his partner from the law firm Hal Banyin. He's covered in blood. He says "I need your help Ken. It happened again." Startled, Ken pulls Banyin inside and slams the door. And there we end.
Well THAT was interesting. My first thought on ending the episode was that they might want to speak to the promo editors. They set the episode up to seem like a major confrontation between Sam Hodiak and Brian Shafe would happen, when really it only happened in the last few minutes. Most of the fight made up the entire commercial, so watching the scene was way too familiar. My other impression was that I don't buy that Hodiak has been unravelling for a while now. Unless he's much better at hiding his intoxication than he was in the last few minutes of the episode, it seems to me he'd been doing a pretty good job of keeping it together lately. We've seen him a drunk mess many times throughout the season but over the last few episodes he's been very focused on the task at hand. So to bring that back again, and insinuate it's been happening for a while seems off to me.
What does seem true to Hodiak's character was his decision so go all out to save his son. We've talked before about Hodiak's need to be a protector. He plays the father figure very well. We see that again in this episode when he takes Rachel in and concocts a way to keep her safe. I was frustrated that he chose the path he did, but I understand why. He would do anything to keep his son safe, even if it meant compromising himself. I do wonder if he's going to be able to keep his word and leave Ken Karn's prostitute case alone once the pressure is off Walt.
I loved the scene between Hodiak and Karn. The tension was well played and you could see how much it pained Hodiak to have to team up with him. That same pain grew even more while they were on the phone together at the end. Hodiak seemed so defeated and watching Karn relish in taking the detective down a peg was pretty great. I've said before that Hodiak usually does the right thing, even if his methods are less than savory. So to see the torture in him when he had to stop pursuing the truth was heartbreaking.
I do want to know where Emma was through all this. Is she still sitting in the drunk tank lockup in Beverly Hills? Obviously she's not with Manson or her parents so something is going on. I'm assuming she's still sitting in jail, but I did find it odd she wasn't shown at all.
Manson gets more and more frightening as the season goes on. It was interesting to watch him through the eyes of the film crew, and I loved that they caught him being violent in the end. It made my skin crawl to see the producer so enthralled with him at the beginning of the episode, so seeing him caught as the terrible person he is felt a bit satisfying. Though of course we know it will be years before he is caught for his horrifying crimes.
Was anyone else thinking the knock on the door at the Karn's house was going to be Hodiak? I was not expecting the bloodied Banyin at all. I loved that just when Karn thinks he's got a clean slate he's right back in the thick of something terrible again. I'm wondering what it would take for him to say no to the man, to let him figure out his own horrible crime. But I'm pretty sure Karn doesn't have the backbone for that, not with his political career at stake. I'm also worried that despite telling Hodiak the two were even, he may try and rope the detective into helping him cover up this latest murder. I hope that's not the case.
Despite some misgivings, overall I found this to be another great hour of TV. It had a slow burn with some satisfying twists and still leaves me wondering what will happen next. Hodiak is going to have a lot of explaining to do when he sobers up, and I'm hoping he and Shafe patch up the friendship. There are a lot of questions still hanging and only one episode left to wrap things up. The series finale airs in two weeks on August 22.
You can catch Aquarius Saturday nights at 9pm ET on NBC, on NBC.com, on iTunes and On Demand.