If you haven’t been watching, or binge-watching, the first season of “Aquarius” on NBC, you’re missing out. The third episode of the series debuted Thursday night with all the fun we’ve been hoping to see from the buddy-cop series as well as enough nail-biting tension to keep fans guessing for another week.
The episode, titled “Home Is Where You’re Happy,” opened with Detectives Sam Hodiak (David Duchovny) and Brian Shafe (Grey Damon) still investigating the murder of Art Gladner from last week. In that episode, Hodiak’s partner arrested a guy who looked good for the crime but was really an innocent man -- and one of Shafe’s undercover contacts. While they proved that he wasn’t the murderer, it’s still on them to find out who is.
In the latest episode, Hodiak goes to speak to Gladner's widow, who happens to run the biggest burlesque house in Hollywood. She doesn’t seem too broken up about her husband’s death, which makes Hodiak suspicious. Gladner was a known drug runner and Hodiak believes his widow is going to take over. He questions one of the girls, who tells him that a delivery man named Marvin, who previously worked for Art, once let her into the diner where Art was found dead after hours to retrieve her purse. Since they’re looking for a suspect with a key, Hodiak believes he has found his man.
Meanwhile, Shafe confronts Mike, the tweaker who was arrested for the murder last week, and tries to convince him to fill the big glaring hole in his alibi with the truth. Mike reveals that he was with a higher-level drug dealer that he fears more than police custody.
In a hilarious confrontation, Hodiak arrests Marvin (and breaks his arm in the process), meaning that Mike is free to go. Knowing that Shafe will now lose his lead on the higher-level drug dealer, Hodiak agrees to keep the arrest to himself to buy time. This turns out to be unnecessary as Shafe and Mike fail to apprehend the dealer and Hodiak learns that Marvin was actually working with Mike’s mysterious dealer.
When Hodiak put the fear of police in Gladner in the first episode, he started making calls revealing that he was going to go on the run and give up names in the drug organization in order to cover his escape. Marvin overhears this, tells the violent drug dealer, and the next thing you know there’s a dead snitch on everyone’s hands. With Marvin in custody, the murder is tied up with a nice bow -- except for the violent, murderous heroin dealer who’s still out on the streets.
If you’re thinking this episode had precious little Charles Manson (Gethin Anthony) in it, you’re not wrong. Although Hodiak confronts Manson for the first time early in the episode, after learning he made the threatening phone call to the Karn family, it ultimately leads to nothing. Manson denies seeing Emma Karn (Emma Dumont) and acts crazy, forcing Hodiak to just give him a business card and leave.
It isn’t until the end of the episode, when Ken Karn (Brian F. O’Bryne) visits Manson’s compound with a rifle that he sees Emma among his followers. He reports the news to his wife and she and Hodiak go back to the compound to get her.
Unfortunately, their timing couldn’t be worse as Emma is tripping on acid when they arrive. She is impossible to reason with and the episode ends with Hodiak picking her up and stuffing her in the back seat of his car. The three of them drive away and Manson does nothing to stop them, simply saying: “She’ll be back.”