Our ride with David Duchovny's Aquarius comes to a close with the season finale, Episode 13, "Old Ego is a Too Much Thing". We've had two weeks to stew over Sam Hodiak's fate. We left the detective in a bit of a bind. He's drinking too much, fighting with his partner, and we just watched him make a deal with the devil to save his son.
But as we saw at the end of the episode Ken Karn may have gotten the much better end of the deal. A lot hangs in the balance this week. Will Walt be safe? Can Hodiak curb his drinking? Will we see how the cop killer trial works out? And what about Emma? Does her stint in jail open her eyes or does she head back to the Manson family. Find out after the jump.
A bloodied Hal Banyin pours himself a drink at Ken Karn's house. Karn demands to know what happened. Banyin says Karn was there too. Karn says he'd been home on the phone, but that's not what Banyin means. He says he saw Karn at Charlie's two weeks ago. The scene flashes back to Banyin seeing Karn in Manson's bed, telling Manson to leave "the cop" alone. Back in the present, Banyin says Manson gives them both what they need, that he allows them to be what they can't.
Los Angeles, 1959. It's raining and a young Ken Karn is working with Manson to remove a wrapped body from a motel room. A younger Banyin is telling them to be careful. Banyin is clearly drunk and covered in blood like he was in the present day.
Back in the present, Banyin says "Charlie knows, doesn't he?" to Karn. Banyin says Charlie knows about their obsession, what they crave. Karn scoffs, saying he doesn't have an obsession to hurt. He tries to get Banyin to talk about what he did but the man is still stuck in the past. He says seeing Manson in the parking garage before the Nixon fundraiser brought it all back. Manson had let Banyin sleep with Sadie, as someone who could apparently enjoy what Banyin was looking for. But tonight Sadie wasn't around. Manson introduced him to a tiny young woman named Janet. Janet is the woman he killed. Banyin begs Karn for help, and that's when Karn realizes the woman is still at Manson's house.
Emma Karn is still in a jail cell chanting "free, free" to herself. Sam Hodiak appears with breakfast for her, but she ignores him. That's when Grace walks into the picture. She sticks her hand through the bars towards her daughter, and asks how to help Emma. Emma looks at her mother's outstretched hand but says nothing.
Karn and Banyin are back in Manson's house. They creep down the hall to where Banyin left Janet, but when they open the door they find Manson sitting on the bed, guitar in hand. Manson smirks and says "Welcome Home." After the credits, Roy Kovic joins them. Banyin gets angry and asks where the girl is. He starts to shove Manson and Kovic intervenes. Manson taunts the pair and says he's keeping Janet because she's "covered in old Hal."
In the jail cell, Emma says she can't be held much longer unless someone is pressing charges. She asks Hodiak who simply says, "not my case." Emma thanks Grace for emancipating her, and tells her to "thank Daddy as well." Grace asks if she's going back to Manson. She replies, "as fast as I can." Grace says, "no, Emma baby," and Emma cuts her off. She implies that "baby Emma" is the one Grace wants, not the teenager. Emma goes off saying Charlie was freed in jail and says everyone who surrenders to him finds love, "even Daddy." Grace reels a bit at this but then says if she's not the mother Emma wants, Emma is not the child Grace wants. She says, "if you're free then so am I," and leaves. Emma looks surprised and maybe a little resigned as her mother walks away.
A weary Hodiak arrives home to find Walt sitting on his couch. He hands Walt some cash and tells him to find a motel but tell no one where he's going. Hodiak tells him he's found a way out. He asks Walt if he really thinks going to prison will stop a war. Walt says more will come forward if he does, but Hodiak says they'll bury him. He tells Walt he'll bring him an offer and wants to see if his son can live with it. Walt tells Hodiak he's the most stubborn creature on the planet. Hodiak laughs and hugs him, saying they're both behind Walt's mother on the stubborn scale. There's a knock on the door. It's Brian Shafe with a peace offering in the form of a six-pack of beer. Walt realizes he knows Shafe through Robbie, and is surprised to learn Shafe isn't in the "movement" as well. The three men awkwardly drink to "America, whatever that is anymore," as Walt puts it.
Emma's out of jail and back at the Manson house. She's talking with Sadie and telling her she's going to tell Manson what really happened. Sadie doesn't believe that Emma will do such a thing. Emma follows her and asks what she did that Sadie no longer loves her. Sadie finally confesses that it's all just because she wants Manson to love her.
Hodiak is meeting with a man from the DOD. He says they won't go public once they have an agreement. DOD Man says dishonorable discharge is the best they can do, and immunity from prosecution, but only for the documents they've discussed. Hodiak doesn't look pleased but agrees. He asks the man to draw up the agreement. They shake on it, and the man wants to know how he pulled this off. He asks if Hodiak has naughty pictures of someone in the White House. Hodiak just smiles and says, "that would be illegal. I'm a cop."
Back in the bullpen, Shafe asks Hodiak about Judge De Murray, who we met in the last episode. Shafe wonders if the wound the judge saw on the intruder could have been from a knife fight. They're discussing if the perp had a surgical scar while Charmain Tully looks on. Hodiak asks her if they're under surveillance. Shafe jokes that, "she likes us," and Charmain shoots back, "I like your jobs." Hodiak asks her if she's available and Charmain says yes before he can finish the question.
Manson is asking Emma how she got out of jail. She says the charges were dropped but she's glad, because the time in jail helped her see the world through Manson's eyes. As Emma is going on about how they all need to love each other, Mary groans in pain. She's going into labor.
At the Hollywood PD, Shafe and Charmain are looking through case files when Hodiak gets a phone call. It's Walt and he needs to see his dad. He says it's to say goodbye. Walt is sitting in reporter Ruben Salazar's office.
Hodiak walks into the LA Times to find Walt in custody of MPs. Walt went to Salazar and showed him the documents, then made the call to surrender. They're about to take Walt away when Hodiak asks him why. Walt says the soldiers have no idea what kind of war they're fighting, that they need to know what the government is doing. Opal tries to hug him but eventually Hodiak pulls her away from their son and into his arms. Walt looks back a few times as the men lead him away in handcuffs.
Mary is working to deliver her baby as the other women of the Manson house try to help. The baby is turned wrong and Emma screams for them to get Mary to a hospital. The baby is eventually delivered but isn't crying. Manson holds him while Mary screams to see her child. Manson eventually relents and they cry over the stillborn baby.
Emma sits alone in the hallway when Manson approaches. They talk about how it went wrong, that things sometimes are "meant" to go wrong. Manson says one of the things that went wrong was what happened between himself and Karn. But that lead him to Emma and that's something he wouldn't change. They kiss, as an angry Sadie looks on.
We next see Sadie at St. Paul's hospital, dressed in a candy striper's uniform. She's looking in a nursery window at all the crying babies.
Back at Hodiak's apartment, Shafe and the detective are drinking together. Shafe wonders what's next for Walt, but Hodiak just says he doesn't know. He doesn't know anything, he laments. While he takes another drink, Shafe answers the phone. It's Charmain and she's got a lead on the perp from Judge De Murray's murder case. The same suspect they believe killed Chris and a famous actor, Ray Novo. Hodiak finishes yet another drink and then the men leave to check it out.
Hodiak is clearly drunk as he and Shafe arrive at the suspect's home. (I pause here for a minute wondering what the hell Shafe is thinking, taking a drunk-as-a-skunk detective with him) Hodiak takes the back while Shafe busts in the front. As he makes his way through the front of the home Shafe is attacked by the suspect, Richard Terrio, who has a knife. Hodiak gets Terrio to drop the knife and he and Shafe tackle him. As they're handcuffing Terrio, Shafe notes the man is wearing a ring that was missing from the murdered celebrity, Novo. We hear noises from the other room and Hodiak asks if anyone is out there. No response. As they pick up Terrio, he yells for another man. Hodiak hits him and yells, "police, hands in the air." He fires a few warning shots, then shoves Terrio out ahead of him. Terrio is then shot multiple times by a young man waiting in the other room. The man continues shooting until Hodiak tells him to look at who he shot. He says he won't get an ambulance until the shooter drops the gun. Shafe isn't much help because he's got debris in his eye from the shots fired. The shooter drops the gun but tries to attack Hodiak. The two wrestle on the floor until Hodiak snaps the man's neck. Hodiak stands up and looks at the situation, blood on his hands.
At the Hollywood police station a now bandaged Hodiak is sitting at his desk. Shafe is in the other room speaking with someone else. Cutler is teasing Hodiak, saying he hopes he and Shafe have the same unlikely story. The banter is cut short when the police commissioner walks in. Hodiak and Shafe explain that the men were brothers, but that Richard Terrio is the one they believe killed Judge De Murray's wife as well as Ray Novo. The commissioner asks if both suspects had to die. Shafe says they did. He starts to explain when Hodiak interrupts. He says the answer is no. He says he used Terrio as a decoy, that he wanted him to get shot by whoever was in the house because he didn't want them to get shot. The commissioner simply asks, "the brother." Hodiak again says no. The man didn't have to die, Hodiak wanted him to die. The men sit in silence for a while until the commissioner speaks. Surprisingly he says that both men will receive a medal of valor. The commissioner explains that a trial would have brought out all sorts of nasty details and that these weren't "homo killings" but killings. The men solved the case and that's that. Hodiak and Shafe simply looked stunned.
Hodiak sits on his couch, strumming quietly on his guitar. There's a knock on the door. He tells the person to go away until he realizes it's Grace. He lets her in and pours her a drink. She's offering Hodiak whatever she can do to help but he says he's fine. Grace says she wants to do something right for once. When Hodiak agrees she says, "let's try." She says she's tired of lying about who she loves. Hodiak moves in and they share a sweet kiss.
Shafe is dressed in a suit looking at his medal. He sees Charmain and thanks her for her help in the case. He says he'll bake her one hell of a cake. When Charmain asks what else he needs help with, Shafe asks if she can connect the hearse with Guapo. She's already looked into it and says there's no paper trail. She offers to dress up as a grieving daughter to get a closer look but Shafe shoots her down. She leaves in anger but Shafe convinces her to share the list anyway, and she relents.
Emma is trying to get a grieving Mary to eat, when Sadie walks in with a baby. The women ask where she got the baby, but Manson steps in and says it's a gift from God. Sadie hands Mary the crying baby. Emma looks horrified, and sees the "St. Paul's Hospital" stamp on the baby's blanket.
Hodiak is in the locker room, putting on his dress uniform. Shafe walks in and they joke about the medals. Hodiak then tells the younger officer that he shouldn't do the job the way he does it. He tells him he's doing a good job. Shafe thanks him, but then Hodiak has to joke his way out of things by saying this is as nice as he gets. "Moment past, back to normal" Shafe smiles to himself as Hodiak continues dressing.
Sun is setting over the hills by Ken Karn's home. He's speaking to Hal Banyin on the phone and says they both know what they need to do. While he's talking, Karn is dropping pills in a bottle of liquor.
Manson and Mary are sitting on a bed together, and Manson is able to get her to respond slightly to the baby. He then turns to Sadie and says, "I give you my whole heart," and pulls her in for a kiss. Emma looks on sadly.
Karn loads a very drunk Banyin into a car, saying he will drive. Banyin says they haven't decided about Charlie, but Karn assures him they have. His face looks cold as he says, "It's all decided."
Shafe is speaking with Charmain, who says she has good news. She posed as a grieving sister at a funeral home and was able to find that the license plate on the hearse was a match to the one they got from Rachel at the Peach Pussycat. She's on a pay phone as a group of bikers pull up. That's when Roy Kovic interrupts her. Shafe slams down the phone.
On a hillside high above the city, Karn sits in the car with Banyin. Banyin's passed out. Karn takes out a piece of paper that's a type-written suicide note from Banyin. He pulls out a handgun and holds it in his gloved hand. The scene changes again to the night in 1959 when Karn and Manson are carrying the body of the prostitute, Caroline Beecher, from the hotel. As they drop her in the trunk they realize the woman is still alive. Manson picks up a shovel and tells Karn to take care of it. Young Karn is panicked but Charlie goads him into it. Back in the present day Banyin is starting to come around. He tells Karn whatever he put in his drink wasn't enough. Karn is holding the gun on him and the two men start to fight. As they wrestle the scene flashes between now and 1959 when Karn is hitting Caroline with the shovel. In the present day the gun fires twice and the scene goes quiet.
Shafe arrives at the funeral home and is yelling for Charmain. He doesn't find her, and we see the phone hanging in the booth.
Cameras are flashing as the police commissioner makes a speech for Hodiak.
Back at the Manson house Mary holds the baby while the group chants. Manson is making a speech about the stillborn baby, then christens the stolen baby Valentine Michael Manson. The scene changes between the Manson house and Hodiak's ceremony, where reporter Ruben Salazar watches. At the ceremony we learn Hodiak's full name is Samson Benedictus Hodiak. (Wow, and we thought Fox William Mulder was interesting…) Grace looks on with pride. As the ceremony ends and people move in to congratulate Hodiak, a man approaches him. He says he's from internal affairs, and that he needs to speak to Hodiak tomorrow, because there was a witness. And there we end.
Raise your hand if you were howling NOOOOOOOOOOOO as credits rolled on this one. I am so glad this show was renewed for a second season. There were WAY too many questions left unanswered for this to have been the end of the series. I think I would have had to call up the creators and nag them until they spilled their secrets.
For starters, YOU CAN'T LEAVE CHARMAIN IN THE LURCH LIKE THAT! From the second I heard those motorcycles pull up you knew there was going to be trouble. Charmain has worked so hard for so little reward through the entire season, and this is how her story could end? Hodiak and Shafe got medals for catching the murderer, but it was Charmain's hard work that found him. And all she gets is a thanks from Shafe. Her legwork on the Guapo case could very well be the thing that blows it open for him in this case as well. It kills me to know that we have to wait to learn what her fate could be.
I loved learning more about Ken Karn's back story. Manson was manipulating him all the way back in 1959, just like he's manipulating Karn's daughter now. All through the season the flashbacks have made it look like Karn was just the accomplice, that he just helped get rid of the body. But now we know it was him who actually killed Caroline Beecher. And it was a violent death too. I'm not sure I would have seen Karn as capable of murder before. When we saw him putting pills in that liquor bottle I was starting to believe he was going to kill himself. But seeing the earlier murder made Karn's attack on Banyin seem much more likely. I'm dying to know what happened in that car after the gun went off.
Another theme of the season is that Emma doesn't learn. I thought being in jail would bring her around a little. We saw glimpses of that when she was hoping to be rescued. But once she had the chance she refused her mother's help. She's had so many warnings that Charlie isn't the dreamboat she thinks he is, but it hasn't made a difference yet. You would think stealing someone else's baby would be a big red flag, but even that doesn't seem to have done the trick, yet. I found the take on the birth of Valentine rather interesting. Mary Brunner and Charles Manson did indeed have a son named Valentine Michael in April, 1968. From what I can tell there's no indication of any baby theft involved and that was creative license on the show creator's part. Creative or not, I'd like to think maybe Emma has a little empathy for the woman whose baby was stolen, and that we'll see some actual character growth from her next season.
I'm definitely not ready to say good-bye to Sam Hodiak just yet. My heart broke for him when Walt was led away in handcuffs. He did everything he could think of to find a way to protect Walt, but in the end it wasn't enough. I think that says a lot about the son he raised. Walt had to do what he felt was right, even if it cost him his freedom. I admire him for that, and his strength of character. Hodiak can be a hard guy to love. I've maintained throughout the season he's a good man at heart. I was horrified when he snapped the shooter's neck at Terrio's place and was starting to second guess my loyalty a bit. We've watched Hodiak make some shady choices but to me that death stepped over the line. I was relieved when he told the truth, even if that truth was swept under the rug. I was proud of him for telling Shafe he was doing a good job. And I'm hoping Shafe's influence is rubbing off on him a bit. Hodiak has been through a lot this season, and I think it's starting to have an impact. Just the fact that he was honest about his less-than-savory police tactics was huge, and I hope he keeps taking steps like that to better himself. And to step away from the booze.
Overall I thought this was a great way to wrap up the season. We've got a lot of cliffhangers to mull over until next season, and that's my favorite place to be. Coming into the season, I wasn't sure if I would be able to see David Duchovny as anyone other than Fox Mulder but his portrayal of Sam Hodiak really won me over. There are some similarities between the two, but Hodiak is his own man and I've really enjoyed getting to know him. The series has so many great characters and I've loved watching the relationships form. We're in for a wait until Season 2, but watch for news about how to get your hands on Season 1 in the coming weeks. We may even have a giveaway to share, so stay tuned!