It was a night of twists and turns for the latest episode of NBC’s “Aquarius” Season 1. The David Duchovny-led cop drama highlighted parental drama as it began to set the stage for the upcoming finale.
The show opened by explaining last week’s big cliffhanger. After spending the entire season looking for his son Walt (Chris Sheffield), who is on the run from the military with highly classified information, Hodiak (Duchovny) brought in his own father for questioning. It turns out Grandpa Hodiak has been the one harboring Walt. It takes some trying but Hodiak is eventually able to convince his son to not become a martyr for his own cause and to anonymously give his information about military misconduct to the newspapers.
Meanwhile, parent’s weekend on “Aquarius” continued back at Charlie Manson’s (Gethin Anthony) compound where his estranged mother, Kathleen Maddox (Dendrie Taylor), had arrived to bring him some good news and some bad news. She informs her son, who has grown to hate her for her lack of involvement in his life growing up, that his grandfather died. However, before he did, he left a big farm in California to Charlie. Kathleen is there to get him to sign the papers for the land so she can sell it and, allegedly, split the cash with him 50/50.
While Manson ponders his decision, Hodiak and the rest of the department are being told the FBI is ramping up its investigation into the Black Panthers. This makes things tricky when Hodiak’s Black Panther informant, Bunchy (Gaius Charles), asks him to investigate the murder of his little brother.
While Bunchy was away at a meeting, his little brother was outside of his home where someone shot him in cold blood. Bunchy and the rest of the Panther’s are convinced that a white person with an agenda is responsible. However, because he knows there’s no way to stop the police from investigating, he’ll settle for making sure a cop he knows is on the case. Just like that, Hodiak is forced to put Walt and the military information on hold while he acts as lead detective on the murder.
He’s quick to sniff out an FBI Informant in the Panthers’ ranks. Bunchy reluctantly gives him access to the group’s membership roster and the list of people that were supposed to be at that meeting but weren’t. He discovers the name Roy Jenkins and brings him in for questioning. Rather than try and interrogate him, Hodiak pretends to be Jenkins’ new point-person in the FBI. The trick works and Jenkins admits to killing the boy so he wouldn’t reveal his secret as an informant. Bunchy is furious and wants to take revenge on him while in prison, but Hodiak advises against it.
With the case closed, he’s free to bring the information to a reporter named Salazar (James Martinez). Fans may remember Salazar from last week’s episode when he essentially blackmailed one of Hodiak’s co-workers to out himself as a Cuban-American. While he didn’t need a lot of confirmed sources for that story, he apparently does with Walt’s -- so he refuses, and Hodiak is now back to square one with his son. That’s when he gets a phone call.
Back at Manson’s compound, he’s feeling frustrated about his mother’s arrival. When Emma (Emma Dumont) begins needling him about how they’ll care for Mary’s baby when it arrives, he freaks out on her and demands she take Sadie (Ambyr Childers) and Rick (Beau Mirchoff) to steal some baby supplies. While they’re conducting the breaking and entering, Emma and Sadie get into a fight over who Manson loves more. When Emma gets the better of her, a jilted Sadie decides to call the cops on her and Rick.
Hodiak arrives at the jail feeling tense and not really in a giving mood. Emma tells him she’s not supposed to be in jail and to please let her out. He, very coldly, refuses and tells her that she has hitched her wagon to Manson, a known criminal. In other words, he revealed that jail is exactly where she belongs right now and leaves her inside to teach her a lesson.
Just when it seemed like things were as dark as they could get, the episode ends with a confrontation between Manson and his mom. Despite her admitting she wasn’t a good mother to him and saying, pretty much, everything he ever wanted to hear, the unstable Manson hits his mom and force-feeds her LSD. Earlier in the episode, Manson was told a group of bikers would be willing to find him some guns if he could get them some girls to play with. With his mother in his bedroom tripping on drugs, he informs the bikers that he’s found them their new woman.
“Aquarius” airs its penultimate episode next Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT.