Aquarius rolls on to week three and we check out Episode 4 "Home is Where You're Happy." While all the episodes are now available on demand, we're kicking it old school and reviewing as they air each Thursday night on NBC. Last week we left a terrified Grace Karn who received a phone call from Charles Manson. The madman was playing a recording over the phone of Grace's missing daughter singing. Sam Hodiak and Brian Shafe only have a few more hours to figure out who really killed the owner of a diner, before Hodiak's former partner will charge a man who clearly had nothing to do with the crime. And while they're tracking down the real murderer they're continuing the search for Emma. Does Hodiak get his man? Find out after the jump.
At the Peach Pussycat Lucille the grieving widow is tending bar. She doesn’t have much to say about the murder, just that she and her husband hadn’t shared much in a long time. She pours Hodiak a martini which he considers for a few beats, but doesn’t drink.
Hodiak heads for home where Grace Karn frantically pounds on the door. She tells Hodiak about Manson’s phone call to the house at the end of the last episode, where he plays a recording of Emma singing. Grace says Emma leaving is her fault, because she called her a whore right before she ran away. Hodiak simply comforts her and says they will find the girl.
Hodiak wastes no time in going to Manson’s house. He confronts Manson and demands to know where Emma is. Manson says Emma is no longer there but tries his best to charm the detective. Realizing he’s at a dead end for now Hodiak leaves, but doesn’t go far. He’s watching from across the street. At daybreak Manson gets into the bus and takes off and Hodiak is right behind.
Emma is indeed not there at the Manson house. She and Sadie are still at the home of Music Producer Rue Fisher, where Manson had left them the night before. The women have raided the producer’s fridge and he is not happy about it. He orders Emma and Sadie to leave the house which angers Emma, who insults his prowess in the bedroom as she walks out the door.
Ken Karn is asleep in his office, awoken to the sound of a vacuum cleaner. He moves from sleep to arguing with another man about donating to a Republican political campaign. The man comes through and gives Karn a check. We see Karn back at his desk, check in hand. The check, and his hand are shaking badly.
Back on the Manson stakeout Hodiak has followed him to Rue’s house. Manson has come to pick up “his girls” who have already left. When Rue says he asked them to leave Manson gets extremely angry, and we can see the knife he’s holding behind his back. He grabs Rue, which alarms Hodiak enough that he gets out of the car. But before he can approach the house Manson storms out yelling that Rue should call him if he hears from them. Hodiak is sitting in the car when Cutler contacts him on the radio to yell about letting Mikey the Snitch go. Hodiak reluctantly abandons his tail of Manson and heads for the station.
Shafe brings Mikey a sandwich in the holding cell and tries to convince him to share his alibi. Mikey is in withdrawal from heroin and really doesn’t seem interested in defending himself. He says he’d rather go to prison than tell Shafe where he really was when Artie Gladner was murdered. Shafe tells him that he can help him out with the withdrawal by getting him some heroin from the evidence locker. Mikey resists because he says they guy he was with could crush him.
Out in the bullpen Shafe is trying to convince Cutler to let him take Mikey to meet the other dealer. Cutler as usual is not having it and tries to get Hodiak to back him up. Hodiak grins but declines to help. A uniformed officer comes in to tell him that his wife is at a bar crying and won’t stop. Cutler says he should go to help her but Hodiak says “you should, if you were her husband” and leaves.
At the bar he finds Opal drinking and smoking in a corner. She’s broken up about their son Walt and begs Sam to find him. Opal reveals that she’d overheard Walt calling a friend, a guy named Dave from their pop warner football days. Hodiak gets upset and wants to know what else Opal hasn’t told him. They argue and she says that Hodiak can say whatever he wants to her so long as he finds Walt. As he gets up to leave Hodiak wishes her a happy birthday.
At Dave's house Hodiak repeatedly questions the young man about Walt’s whereabouts with no luck. Hodiak asks Dave why he’s not fighting in the war. Dave is apparently enrolled in Seminary school which Hodiak sees as an excuse. He brings up his own war service and asks if God doesn’t believe in that anymore. Seeing that he’s getting nowhere with Dave, Hodiak leaves in a huff. As the door closes behind him, Walt comes out from wherever he was hiding.
Ken Karn is sitting in a park, drinking. He makes eye contact with another man who asks to share his flask. The man then turns and walks towards a restroom. After looking to make sure no one else is around, Ken follows him and they have a sexual encounter in the bathroom.
Hodiak meets up with Shafe in the locker room. Shafe is second guessing himself about Mikey’s innocence but Hodiak teases him and says fortunately he knows enough about homicide to know that Shafe is on the right track. They go back to the Peach Pussycat to start interviewing the women who work at the club. One of the dancers, Rachel, insists that Artie Gladner was a good man and that they didn’t know about the drugs. She tells Hodiak that one night she’d left her purse at the diner and it got locked in. This trips something in Hodiak’s memory. He drives over to meet with a delivery man Marv. Hodiak is rather enjoying explaining to Marv why he thinks he’s guilty. He pats the man down and takes out his keyring, declaring YAHTZEE! when he finds the diner key. When Artie Gladner was found dead inside the diner, the diner was locked. Marv pulls a box cuter and Hodiak laughs while disarming and handcuffing the guy. Hodiak’s ongoing sarcasm brings me joy.
Shafe is excited that they’ve cracked the case, but at the same time is torn because Mikey was on the verge of taking him to the drug supplier. Hodiak advises that Shafe doesn’t need to tell Mikey he’s off the hook just yet. Hodiak is on the phone when Cutler tells him the lieutenant wants to speak to the two of them about their “break up”. Cutler bangs on the lieutenant’s door and doesn’t get an answer. When he opens the door he finds the man on the floor with a wound on his head. Hodiak rushes in and sees bourbon and what may be poison on the desk.
In a car in an alley Shafe and Mikey are going over the details of meeting with the man who can provide Mikey’s alibi. They move into a metalworks shop, Shafe hiding in the shadows. Mikey tries to get the man to help him and says he’s been picked up for Artie Gladner's murder. The man tells him they already caught someone else for that, and then tells Mikey they "got a problem". He starts to rough Mikey up and Shafe comes in to help him. The man runs when he sees Shafe, and ends up stealing the car they arrived in.
Shafe meets Hodiak back at the station where neither officer is too happy to realize Cutler will be acting lieutenant until the injured one comes back. Hodiak moves into a room where he asks Marv to explain what happened to the murdered Artie Gladner. He asks whose idea it was to kill Artie and Marv says to Hodiak "Yours". We flash back to when Hodiak confronted Artie and wrote on his forehead in the back room. Marv was lurking in the shadows while Artie called someone. Artie was saying he was ready to snitch to Hodiak and get a plane ticket out of town. Marv went to the man who we had just seen as Mikey's alibi. Marv told the man Artie was ready to snitch and was instructed to kill him. The man gave Marv a gun. When he got back to the diner the gun didn't fire and that's when Marv stabbed Artie. When the flashback ends Hodiak continues to smirk at Marv for a while then leaves to type up the report. He hands it to Cutler and congratulates him on catching the right guy and uncovering a drug ring. Even though Hodiak and Shafe had done all the work. Shafe does not look amused. He feels that Artie's murder is their fault. Hodiak, who is munching on some cashews says no, it's his fault. Shafe is broken up about Artie losing his life, saying the man was a person. Hodiak's response is "yeah a person who sells drugs". Shafe is flabergastted by Hodiak's attitude. The older detective simply shrugs and says he can be a tad brusque. He walks away after saying "oh and I forgot to say, you're welcome."
Hodiak makes another trip to the Peach Pussycat to let Lucille Gladner know they solved her husband's murder. He mentions that the murder was drug related and she does about the worst job of feigning surprise I've ever seen. Hodiak says to her "I teach a master class in lying and you flunk." He warns her that though he doesn't "give a rats ass about drugs" if anyone else drops dead near her she's in trouble. Lucille doesn't seem too fearful as Hodiak leaves the club.
Shafe gets an upsetting phone call from his wife and rushes home. He meets his wife and baby in the drive way to find someone has painted a racial slur across their garage door. He's painting over the terrible words when Hodiak pulls up. Hodiak is angry and asks if Shafe knows who did it. Shafe does not, but Hodiak says if they figure out who did it he's got an ax handle in his car. Shafe asks him if he's alright and Hodiak shares that his son in AWOL from the war. Hodiak leaves quickly even though Shafe invites him in. Inside, Shafe calls a former military buddy of his, saying he's looking for information on someone who is AWOL for a friend of his. The buddy isn't there so he passes on the message. He hangs up and looks at his baby daughter, lost in thought.
At the Manson house, Manson is in the yard singing and dropping acid with a group of others. Someone yells "Charlie" and they turn to see Ken Karn standing there with a large rifle. Karn is agitated and blames Charlie for why he has "nowhere to go." Manson says he simply freed the man, and that he is not scared of dying. Emma is watching this unfold from up above. Manson manages to get the gun away from Karn and hugs him, saying "who you are is ok." Karn turns away saying he can't go home. Manson invites him to stay but Karn walks away. That's when he makes eye contact with Emma, who is crying. Manson shakes his head as Karn leaves and says to the group "that acid kicked in yet?"
Karn does go home and finds Grace who tells him to leave. He tells her he found Emma. Grace is angry that he didn't try to bring the girl home. She tells Karn again that he needs to leave, that she will go get Emma with someone she can trust. Karn says he isn't going anywhere, that this is his home. Grace responds "Says who?" and leaves.
Emma is clearly tripping when her mother arrives. At first she's happy to see her mother, but then the trip changes and she becomes very agitated. She picks up the gun her father had held and threatens that she won't go. Hodiak manages to get the gun away and scoops the girl up over his shoulder. They drive away, Emma screaming the whole way. Manson says simply "calm down everyone. She'll be back" but makes no move to help her. And that's where we end.
So far I'm finding I like each episode more than the one before. Though I think the reason this has been my favorite so far was that there seemed to be less Manson screen time. The character is well played but I think because I know Manson's true history it's hard to watch his scenes. I also find Emma a little irritating but I will chalk that up to being twice her age and that my understanding of what it's like to be a confused 16-year-old has dimmed somewhat over time. If the entire episode was just about Hodiak working to solve Artie Gladner's murder I think I would have liked it even more.
Sam Hodiak continues to be awesome. I love this character. He's definitely flawed but works so hard to do what he thinks is right, even if his methods are somewhat lacking. Watching him interact with Brian Shafe continues to be fantastic. The way Hodiak has taken Shafe under his wing, even if the younger officer bristles at it is really fun to watch. And though we've heard that he's a cop of an older generation trying to make sense of this new world, I think he does a better job of it than Cutler. Cutler drives me crazy, which I'm sure he's supposed to. But his sexist attitude and need to make himself look good are infuriating. It's nice to see Hodiak seem to be a little more modern and at least trying to understand. At least it strikes me that he's working on it, even if he is "a tad brusque".
A person I did not expect to feel sympathy for at all was Ken Karn, but after this episode I do. He comes off at first like a caricature. Sleazy politician out looking to get money anyway he can who wants his perfect family for appearance sake. Karn is a shady politician but he's also clearly conflicted about his sexuality. The confrontation between him and Manson towards the end of the episode was intense and sad. I'm really wondering what's going to become of his home life now.
I also really want to know what's going to happen to Walt. And what the heck happened to lieutenant. I want to watch Shafe and Hodiak's friendship grow. I want Shafe and his wife Kristin to be happy and safe somewhere. I want more awesome Hodiak one-liners. I missed seeing Officer Charmain Tully this week. That to me says a lot about the quality of the show. We're just a few episodes in and yet I'm definitely feeling invested in the characters. After the pilot episode I wasn't sure that was going to be the case. I enjoyed the episodes but wasn't sold that this was a must watch for me. I'm definitely feeling that way now.
What lies ahead for Sam Hodiak? You can find out Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on NBC. Or you can check it out at NBC.com, iTunes or On Demand.