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AquariusMainPhotoSix weeks and seven episodes into David Duchovny's Aquarius and the show is really hitting its stride. Fans are getting to know these characters, and even better, getting to know why we should care about them.

In last week's episode Detective Sam Hodiak spent about as much time drinking as he did solving cases. He's under pressure to find Emma Karn as well as his own son Walt. Two kids who really don't want to be found, but for very different reasons. His relationships are a mess and the alcohol really isn't helping any of it. In this week's episode "Cease to Resist" is he any closer to finding his son? Or just getting closer to finding himself waking up in an alley with a hangover? Find out after the jump.








AQU7Pic1aWe open on Manson looking through the phone book, loading his gun. He finds the name he's looking for. Samson Hodiak. At the address listed Manson lurks in the bushes, and sees Hodiak's wife Opal through the window. Cutler walks out the door with his own gun. He's searching the yard when Manson steps behind him and tells him to drop the weapon. Cutler asks Manson who he is, but Manson won't tell him. He orders him to strip and get on his knees. Cutler manages to fight him off but the struggle catches Opal's attention and she calls the cops. Cutler finds himself having to give a statement to his own department. He tells the officer to keep everything under his hat.

Emma and Sadie are at a small market, and Sadie explains that they're looking for Mary. She was the first of Manson's women but she left because she now has a "real job." Sadie tells Emma it's time for Mary to come home. Emma looks less than thrilled at this particular road trip.

Finally, our first look at Hodiak this episode. At the Hollywood Police Station the first thing out of his mouth is a wise crack at the expense of another officer, Jim Whalen. Whalen is working with the FBI tracking anti-war demonstrators. Hodiak asks him for help keeping an eye on Robbie Arthur, a friend of Walt's. Whalen asks what he should be on the lookout for. Hodiak shows him a picture of his son Walt, but says no questions. Officer Charmain Tully approaches with a message, to which Hodiak asks if it's a joke. Charmain says no and that Cutler is already there.

"There" ends up being Paramount Studios where a celebrity, Raymond Novo, was found murdered in a dressing room. Novo's room had a lot of religious iconography and his body was pinned to the wall crucifixion style at the wrists. Hodiak questions Novo's fiance who isn't able to tell him much, just that there was a place Novo kept his important jewelry. A ring is missing, but this definitely doesn't feel like a robbery gone wrong.

Sadie and Emma arrive at Mary's house. Mary is visibly pregnant which Sadie finds exciting. Her whole mission is to convince Mary to come with them. It doesn't take a whole lot for Mary to give in after Sadie explains how much Charlie misses her. Sadie also mentions that Charlie wants Mary to bring the stock or bond that she has. That's when the lightbulb goes off about what Manson really misses, for Mary. Emma is watching the whole thing with jealousy written all over her face.

AQU7Pic2At the police station Hodiak is showing a priest photos of the crime scene, looking to see if there is truly a religious connection to the murders or if it's just a violent coincidence. The priest says it's not the greatest crucifixion, as it were, but doesn't have much more to offer. He does however try to convince Hodiak to come back to church. The priest has known Hodiak since he was a young boy and thinks that Hodiak was a combination of a little too brave and a little too caring. At this point I'll admit that my X-Files radar was tripping all over itself in glee. Something about David Duchovny, a case with religious overtones, and a caring priest took me right out of Aquarius to screaming SCULLLAYYYYY but I digress.  

"Hearts don't change. Guard yours, it's a good one." the priest says as he leaves. Hodiak shows that good heart by once again taking Charmain under his wing. She'd been looking at the crime scene photos while Hodiak walked the priest out. Hodiak offers to let her "dip a toe" into the case. He assigns her to look into the type of nail used to pin Novo to the wall. Charmain is excited to get started when of course Cutler butts in and tells her to get back to filing. Cutler chastises Hodiak for getting Charmain's hopes up about doing real police work and continues to be an all around jerk. Charmain looks crushed but Hodiak signals to her to keep her poker face on.

Cutler has Brian Shafe in his office. He's scolding Shafe for not making much progress in the drug cases. Shafe has an excellent illustration explaining what he sees as progress but Cutler doesn't bite and pulls him off the case.

AQU7Pic3On the Paramount lot, Charmain is looking through props in one of the warehouses. She's approached by a studio lawyer who mistakes her for an actress. He's asking if she'd like to "deal with him" later and Charmain shuts him down in brilliant fashion. "You're a real cop?" He asks, surprised. "Last time I checked". She barks back as she proceeds to kick him out of the crime scene. Officer, I send you a high five. She finds a nail that looks just like the one used to nail Novo to the wall and meets up with Hodiak: the pair decide to question Security. A guard saw Novo drive back onto the lot around 10 p.m. that night. Why was Novo there if he wasn't shooting at that time of night? Hodiak infers that the star was there to party with some girls. The guard, clearly uncomfortable, explains that Novo didn't have any girls with him. Hodiak isn't buying it until the guard says again "there were no girls." and it dawns on Hodiak that Novo was gay.

Novo's fiance talks with Hodiak again and reveals the studio paid her to be Novo's girl. They were best friends but not romantically involved. She tells Hodiak that Novo would bring men back to the studio and that it was an open secret, everyone was paid to be discreet. She tells Sam where Novo would go to pick up men.

Cutler is stomping through the precinct yelling for Charmain because he has to refill his coffee himself. Another officer tells him the gun they found when he tussled with Manson was unregistered and they were only able to get a partial print. Cutler scoffs and says not to worry about it, he's convinced it was some random druggie and that was it. Charmain walks in with his files and Cutler gets snarky and tells her she's off the case, no matter what Hodiak tells her. 

AQU7Pic4A dressed-down Hodiak walks into a gay bar. He moves to talk to the bartender who is not happy to see the detective. Apparently, fifteen years before on New Years Eve, Hodiak and his fellow officers were part of a sting at another bar. Hodiak was undercover and flirted with the bartender before arresting the group. Hodiak tries to apologize but the bartender refuses to help. He says "maybe if you were as cute as you were 15 years ago" leaving Hodiak looking adorably bewildered.

Having struck out there, Hodiak goes to Shafe's house. Shafe is still hurting over the loss of his undercover drug operation but Hodiak says he's got something for him. Shafe is interested until Hodiak says he wants him to be a "chatty - no apologies - flaming, homosexual." Shafe looks like his bad day just got a lot worse.

Manson is asking Roy Kovic to get him some guns, offering up one of his girls in trade for Kovic's assistance. Kovic isn't swayed by the girl but says he needs cash.

Shafe's wife Kristin teases him about his newest assignment before he heads to the bar. When he gets there Shafe looks about as uncomfortable and out of place as one can get. A man named Chris approaches him and congratulates him on his first time out at the club, for taking that first step. 

At the station Hodiak is enjoying teasing Shafe about the assignment because he's still very rattled by the experience. Shafe starts to talk about finding "men doing that with men" offensive and Hodiak wonders why he cares what they do. Before the teasing can continue Shafe gets called into the office of the lieutenant who is now back on duty after collapsing. He tells Shafe to get back on the drug case, that's he's going around Cutler. But he warns Shafe he needs to move more quickly. As Shafe leaves, Charmain comes in with files, soup and meds for the lieutenant. He seems surprised by the attention but Charmain states that she's seen near-death experiences change people. She says she hopes he would be more open now, open to seeing her as she really is. He laughs it off at first and asks Charmain to get him some coffee, but then tells her to bring back the minutes of the last meeting and they'll go through them together. Clearly, the lieutenant doesn't get a moment's peace as Cutler then swoops in to inform the man he's got a call waiting from the commissioner about the Raymond Novo murder.

AQU7Pic5Shafe makes another attempt at the gay bar, sharing the detail about the missing ring with Leo the bartender, who says he'll keep an eye out. Chris, the man from the last visit, comes over to talk with Shafe again. He teases him for still looking so uncomfortable in the bar. He puts a hand on Shafe's shoulder but Shafe startles and pushes him away. Shafe tries to apologize but it's too late. He's just questioning a man who sits next to him when he gets a phone call from Hodiak who tells him he's off the case. The studio has decided they've put too much money into Novo's last film and pressured the mayor and the commissioner to end the case. Shafe says he's getting somewhere but it's too late, the case is closed.

At Opal's house, Cutler is trying to put the moves on but is having a difficult time with it. Opal tells him not to worry and gets out of bed. Cutler sits up and that's when he finds a man's watch sitting on the nightstand. The watch isn't his.

Hodiak finds Shafe in the locker room where they talk about the closed murder case. Shafe is really agitated and wants to know why Hodiak isn't bothered by "a bunch of homos". Shafe sees them as deviant and wrong. Hodiak looks a little surprised at Shafe's attitude. He tells him he used to think that what other people would kill and die for was different, but he knows now that it's not. "Love, hate and a side of stupid" covers the bases for most humans. Hodiak sends Shafe home and then proceeds to drink from a bottle he has stashed in his locker.

One last look at the gay bar, we see the man who Shafe had been questioning walking out with Chris. The man has Raymond Novo's missing ring on his finger.

Cutler sees Hodiak packing up to head home. He asks him if he's got the time, and Hodiak realizes he's missing his watch. Cutler hands it to him. Hodiak looks a little guilty as he takes it back, but neither man says anything about it. 

Sadie, Emma and Mary arrive back at the Manson house. Manson begs her for forgiveness. Mary calls him out on his abuse, saying she couldn't chew for a week. Katie comes in to hug Mary and asks if the baby is Manson's. He turns to Emma who states that the baby belongs to all of them. Mary exchanges an uneasy look with her as the group hugs. And that's where we end.


This episode stuck to a formula I really like, that of Hodiak trying to solve a crime that's got nothing to do with Manson. There is some interaction with him, but for the most of the storyline of Emma's disappearance and the rest of the Karn family, he's largely absent and that's just fine with me. I didn't miss Grace Karn at all in this episode. It was great to see Hodiak doing his thing without outside pressure in that search.

I think the priest really summed up Hodiak's character better than I could have hoped to. For all his flaws, Hodiak is a good man at heart and that shines through again and again. After the darker spiral of the last few weeks it seems like he's found his footing again by diving back into the police work. I love seeing him as a mentor to Charmain Tully. She does good work when they let her move beyond the walls of the station, and Hodiak sees that. He's one of few people in the office who actually treats her like a police officer. I do wish the writers would give us a little more of Charmain's back story. I know we're still early in the series and she's not a main character, but of all the side players I find her the most interesting. What made her go into police work? I feel like this character has a lot of potential and I'd much rather learn more about her than Cutler or Grace Karn.

I did find it funny that everyone sort of forgot about Emma this week. It seems like Emma herself felt pretty forgotten too. She's not thrilled with the trip to retrieve Mary and is standoffish, practically pouting at times. She went from one family where she felt ignored and I think it bothers her that she's perhaps not as special to Charlie as she thought. I'm curious to see if that will eventually make her reconsider staying with Manson, if she'll "see the light" eventually, or if it will once again be up to Hodiak to rescue her. 

What did surprise me was Shafe's attitude about homosexuality. Some of the things he was saying to Hodiak in the locker room about being in gay relationships felt awfully similar to the things people used to say about interracial relationships. Hodiak's surprise mirrored my own. It would be pretty easy to fall into the trap of Shafe always being the more progressive character having to school Hodiak on his old fashioned ways, but this seemed like a strange thing for him to be conservative on. I give Grey Damon a lot of credit for his acting, you could just see the discomfort coming off him in waves at times. I'm wondering if this theme will come up again as a growth opportunity for the character, or if this was just a one-off lesson and that will be all. I thought Hodiak's take on things was great, that people are usually motivated by the same things, love first of all.

I also enjoyed that they didn't get their man in this episode. The audience got the resolution of knowing who the killer was, but also the frustration of knowing the murderer got away. We also have no idea what the real motivation was. Was it simply a robbery or something more? As the killer was walking out of the bar with Chris, I was worried that maybe this guy is a serial killer as well. Will the police be investigating another of his crimes? I'm assuming this will be the last we'll hear of this story line, but I'd be more interested in that than more crazy Manson.

Speaking of Manson, I think that's the one issue I'll always have with this show. I know the whole point of the series was to interact with the man but not catch him, in a sort of "what might have been" idea. But I think the other characters and the era are interesting enough without him that he's almost not necessary. Exploring the themes of racism, sexism, drug use and sexuality of the time and how the characters look at the changing world makes for great TV on its own without the creepy psychopath. 

Overall, I'd call this another strong episode. I enjoyed the break in the search for Emma, and Sam Hodiak steals my heart a little more each week. You can catch Aquarius every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. NBC no longer offers the entire series for binge watching online but you can find the new episodes after they air on NBC.com, On Demand and on iTunes.