Finally he smacks her on the leg and releases her. What a terrible idea this was, in a long line of Charlotte's terrible. Obviously one of these two is going to be dead by the end of the finale, and while my money's on the one who killed Graciela Rivera, I can't see this ending especially well for her. I'd bet she's regretting not bringing Graciela's head to this meeting right now, in fact. She keeps her eyes locked on the trapeze artists, and the scene ends with a low-angle shot of one of them dropping safely into the net below. The opposite implication for Charlotte's situation is hard to miss. I guess I should be glad they weren't tightrope walkers because that would have been even more on the nose.
Steven Linder is sitting stiffly in the lobby of the El Paso police station when Cross comes into work. "Detective Cross," he calls out, standing up. "Do you remember me?" Who wouldn't remember a man whose every utterance has the potential to summon the spirit of Mel Blanc? Cross takes a few moments, but eventually comes up with his full name. "How are you?" He asks. "Fine," she says suspiciously. "What are you doing here?" Linder says, "Well…my bride is missing." There's a major advantage to having a lead character with Asperger's: scenes with television's usual lack of small talk seem less unnaturally abrupt and more naturally abrupt.
Cut to the all-purpose interview room off the bullpen, where Linder gives Cross the results of his investigation thus far. "[Eva] was working in a factory in Juarez, less than three days ago." Cross asks about Eva's family, of which Linder says there is none. "She's, uh, what you call alone in life," Linder says. "Except for you?" Cross prompts. Which makes me wonder who was worried enough about her to get Linder involved in the first place. After an awkward pause, which between these two awkward characters is more like an Olympic-level awkward-off, Linder confesses, "I misspoke when I called her my bride. She's, uh, more like my intended." Cross reminds him, as though he's forgotten, that he was a "person of interest" in the bridge case, and that she found burned women's clothes at his trailer. "How do I know you didn't take this girl?" Uh, because he's here asking you to help him find her? Instead, he answers, "That's not who I am." Which raises the obvious follow-up question.
In answer, Linder has Cross drive him (in a car from the police motor pool, presumably) all the way out to his trailer in the desert and says, much as he said to Cross and Ruiz lo these many weeks ago, "I help people." Cross recalls that claim from their previous meeting, and Linder elaborates on whom he helps: "Women who are being abused by a violent husband, partner, what have you." Cross asks how they find him, and as he unlocks his trailer door, Linder non-answers, "I've become kind of known for this sort of work." That's what he's known for? Not his unorthodox grooming techniques or his pathological fear of empty buttonholes or for accidentally inventing the term "Ermahgerd"? Cross asks, not entirely approvingly, "You bring them here?" Linder says the place is equipped with medical supplies, food, water, and a safe place to rest, and invites her to look inside. Cross hesitates and then instructs, "Stand back, please." Because how stupid would it be to survive potentially fatal encounters with two killers in one week and then end up stuck inside this kook's trailer like a canned ham?