Linden and Holder, moments after figuring out that the Nicole/Ames meeting that led to Rosie's murder was also attended by somebody from the Richmond campaign, are very nearly arrested before a last-minute "enemy of my enemy" deal puts them in cahoots with the Mayor's people. Turns out those magic bones were part of some kind of escalating prank war that ultimately led to the faked photo from Season One, or something, but whatever: The campaign and its folks are the main target of the investigation once again.
How Linden and Holder do detective work throughout this episode is, they sit around in their car and make up wild theories and then act as if their wild theories are correct, and eventually -- because the show is like this -- they turn out to be correct. So they get Roberta to admit that Chief Nicole is an abusive lover and breaker-of-bones, and eventually twist her around into giving them this elevator footage that supposedly didn't exist, which shows who the person is. (Also, it sounds like Roberta wasn't the one that put up the haunted-tree picture, but whatever. I have a theory about that.*)
But first, there's a lot of hilarious red-herring stuff where first you think it's Jamie, then Gwen, then Jamie, then Gwen, then Holder and Linden split up and one of them thinks it's Jamie, and the other one thinks it's Gwen, but then they decide no, it's Gwen and the other thinks it's Jamie, and then they get back together and it's like, "You got your Gwen theory in my Jamie theory! You got your Jamie theory in my Gwen theory!" Forever.
Meanwhile, Mitch is finally back and spreading her motherfucking cheer all over the place. She and Terry have a competition to see who is more of a bitch. Terry wins. Then Mitch and Stan have a competition to see who is the biggest asshole, and Mitch wins that one by a mile. Which just goes to prove what an asshole she is, because she hasn't even killed any people for no reason, which Stan has done dozens of times at this point. Then she and Tommy have a competition to see who's less worthy of forgiveness, or love. That one is a draw.
But just as we're about to find out who will be the new Mayor, Darren gets a call from this crazy-sounding grizzled old prospector from the Gold Rush, who tells him he has a secret to tell Darren. Who the man is, is Ted Wright: The only subject Darren ever makes a speech about, every day, as he goes around making speeches that are just about this one guy. And what his secret is, besides being a boxcar-riding hobo from the Olden Days, is that his grandson Jamie? Has been lying about some shit. Like how he was on the 10th Floor of the Wapi Casino the night Rosie Larsen died. Oh, Jamie. And you were rockin' that sweater vest tonight, too.
Next week: Rosie's killer is revealed! I totally bet you it's Jamie. That's probably what's going to happen. Or Rosie will be looking at a blade of grass or a crayon, like in Electric Company and it will zoom and blur and then suddenly *it's all happening in her very fertile imagination, because Rosie never died, she just has autism.
This is how the posters in the forums explained it to me: A major platform for the incumbent Mayor "Lesley" Adams is developing the Seattle waterfront, because of infrastructure, while Richmond opposes this, because of nature. Michael Ames runs his wife's construction company, which would do the work. Other interested parties included Tom Drexler and Chief Nicole, both of whom wants to do their own stuff on the land and thus offered Richmond their support, even though he technically opposes them because they also want to build on the waterfront.
(And for their part, the Adams Campaign played a good game last year of using Gil's corruption to frame Richmond for Rosie's murder, but that's sort of played out now. Not least because the Polish mobsters are being killed off one by one, due to proximity to Stan Larsen, and Adams-Abani doesn't have a lot of catspaws left -- which is why figuring out Darren's suicide attempt by pressuring Jamie's DA friend was such a coup.)
It's all very compromised and enemy-of-my-enemy, because the election is happening right now. Which, if you think about it, is the best news we've heard yet, because it means that (cross 'em and keep 'em crossed!) the third season will completely redirect all of this shit, because the eventual driving force behind 9 out of 10 twists on this show, if you follow it back, is the Mayoral election, which will be over in next week's finale.
So the plan That Night was about sending Janek's mobster Nowack to plant Indian Bones on Ames's development site, sinking it and interrupting the Mayor's major platform issue, just before today's election. That was the subject of the meeting on the 10th Floor, where it's presumed Rosie was killed for seeing/hearing too much. It was attended by Ames (who we'll see wants to sink his own deal so that he can develop the land without being under his wife's thumb) and by a mysterious third person, the owner of the keycard, whom we'll find out about tonight but would seem to be either Gwen or Jamie -- both of whom have reason to ally with any old bastard in order to sink the Mayor's platform, and the means to make it happen.
So thank you, forum posters sadie e a, SlipperyPete and especially Cardie, for clearing up a two-year mystery that I have found even more mysterious than the Killing itself. Mostly because when you start talking about development and land deals and contracts and things of this nature, my brain completely turns off. Just like trying to remember which Baby Boomer Authority Figure Judge is which, or who owns Bass Industries, or whether Rhaghraraear Tragrayeanraean raped Lyanna Stark or how many people the Stark kids are supposed to be marrying at any given time and what their flags look like or which of the identical very old men is the father of that guy who looks like the singer from The National.