Team Linden circles Pastor Mike all episode long, trying to figure out exactly how the Shepherd serves his flock. After a fight with Twitch, new couple Bullet and Lyric crash at Pastor Mike's residence, narrowly missing a visit from Linden and a swiftly losing-it Holder. (Whose bro-down with Bullet about taking care of one's lady is directly responsible for putting them there in the first place, ironically enough -- especially considering he was talking to himself more than Bullet anyway.)
One of the kids from Beacon Home alerts the cops -- and Danette -- to some inconsistencies in Mike's story, and the cops realize that he's living under a fake identity. Turns out in his old life, Pastor Mike was arrested for kidnapping a girl who later OD'd. Bullet accidentally warned Mike of their investigation while trying to manipulate him out of a bed, so by the time the cops get a warrant and swarm the house, he and Lyric are long gone. Bullet and Team Linden race to the train station separately, discovering a bloody-backseated rental car that fits with the other kid's story, but no Mike and no Lyric.
Ray Seward accidentally causes strife among the hacks after a blind guess about "somebody" sleeping with Becker's wife lands between the eyes, but in more important news the sound of Ray's gallows being built pushes him over the edge and he finally breaks. Terrified, he garners a certain amount of sympathy from Henderson, but perhaps all these sudden changes of heart will mean nothing and he will just get hung, the end. (Hanged.)
It's a bravura performance, as we've come to expect/already expected from Sarsgaard, but put up against the little bit we know about Pastor Mike, it's very interesting indeed: For a guy this obsessed with saving children, is it really out of the question that his "kidnapping" might not be such a bad thing? Could he, like Ray Seward, be so over fighting a perception of guilt that he chose another way out?
It doesn't explain his wonky whereabouts during Angie Gower's amputation and near-death experience, but if so, kidnapping Sarah Linden in the last seconds of the episode is probably the sanest possible response he could have to this sudden influx of police interest in his doings. (Plus, the parallel with Seward means it's even less of a red herring than usual.) Assuming they both make it out of this little hostage situation alive, it's my guess that his redemption will be something Sarah understands even if the state does not. (The state which, in this episode, we find out has a database of tattoos that is tantamount to a fingerprint database, somehow.)
In personal news, Sarah gets a post-breakup creeping from a suddenly less-adorable Cody, and everybody seems very interested in Holder's style changes of late. When she finally explains -- first to Cody, then to Stephen himself -- that it's happening again and they are transforming into wild animals, she seems a lot more upset about it than Holder (who is exceedingly on edge all day), which we can all agree spells trouble for the entire universe. Oh, and she and Skinner nuzzle like when Dwight Schrute was on Six Feet Under, and he is now convinced that probably Ray Seward did not cut off his hooker wife's head in full view of their son. So that's a plus.
Next Week: Probably Pastor Mike is the Killer of the Killing and after an hour of Holder losing his mind trying to get Linden back from this insane murderer of children and the occasional wife, they are finally reunited and they fall in love and have albino rabbit babies and then it's just three episodes of that, like the strife of babies, before the big two-hour finale of my big gay wedding to Darren Richmond where Bullet is my best man. That's probably how it's gonna go. Or no wait, the opposite of that: An hour of running around to no real purpose, and then Mike is like, "I kidnapped that girl because they were raping her!" but he goes to jail anyway, and is beaten to death for things he did not do, and Linden's like "You win some you lose some meep-morp-morp."
The Pied Piper will sometimes cut your head off, often with vague religious overtones, but all we know about him is that he isn't Ray Seward, who is otherwise occupied: On Death Row for cutting off a head, off which he did not in fact cut. Pastor Mike was very dedicated to Beacon Home, where some children might find refuge and others, sometimes missing fingers, might end up turned away. One child in particular, we still don't know where she is or what she is up to, making this season of The Killing different from previous ones in which the only thing we knew for certain was that Rosie Larsen's ass was dead, dead, dead.
Pastor Mike: "It's terrible how these girls are getting their heads cut off! I provide them with home and safety from that, but only in limited numbers."
Linden: "Can you tell us more about them?"
Pastor Mike: "I try not to pry. Especially the girls, who are just innocent angels."
Linden: "Do you have pictures and in-depth dossiers on them, though?"
Pastor Mike: "Maybe. Maybe that, I do."
Holder: "Why are you so obsessed with helping these kids?"
Pastor Mike: "I guess because I'm a nice guy. Or, like everybody on this show, because I am driven to do so by a fucked up history and a need to solve the world's problems in lieu of my own."
Team Linden: "That does sound very fishy!"
Pastor Mike: "If Angie Gower comes by here I will make sure to call you. Hopefully still with all her fingers she has left."
Rayna, aka "Gay Ray," a.k.a. Tariq from LA Complex, the best show of all time, hides in the shadows. For once, not smoking. Just being afraid because of secrets.
Twitch: "There is a bisexual vibe in here! That's two problems!"
Lyric: "Maybe we did get gay a little bit, but please don't get weird about it."
Bullet: "Probably it stresses you out in part because you are gay for pay."
Twitch: "I cannot possibly deal with y'all tweaking me about that, after my recent rape."
Bullet: "If only I knew about that, we could maybe find some common ground. Instead, though, I am going to steal your girlfriend. Perhaps already I have."
Fisticuffs. Tiny skinny malnourished babies, beating on each other the best they can. Eventually Bullet and Lyric scram, leaving Twitch to what is rapidly becoming one of the sadder lives on this very sad show about very sad lives.