As expected, the mysterious passenger on the docks that night with Alexi was indeed Michael Ames -- but these latest revelations about Rosie's parentage call the usual presumptions into question, so Linden does some digging. Stan did, in fact, know that Rosie wasn't his biological daughter, but never bothered to find out who her biological father was, which parental behavior Linden finds delightful, because she was raised by an ant colony.
(We find out babydaddy's name, David Rainer, by episode's end -- but that's all. So it's not even a person on the show. Just some dude, some dude that's probably Michael Ames's accountant and sees the same hookers as Tom and went to college with Darren and gets his cars fixed down the street from Larsen's or Babka's or once was photographed getting a haircut next to some dude Terry Marek met one time at a Wienerschnitzel in 1986. Rest assured, Linden and Holder are on the case.)
Mrs. Ames assures them her husband -- while a philandering, abusive creep -- is not Rosie's father (which is less comforting than it might be considering we still have no idea what their deal is, still), only that she was blackmailing him via text about some secret or another. After Holder messes with rapey little Jasper's head about his virginal girlfriend possibly sleeping with his dad, the baby creepster goes off half-cocked on a construction site, but his dad beats him into telling the cops that he was the one that sent the text from her phone, so that lead dries up too.
Darren gets through his first round of interviews by addressing them entirely to Jamie, because they are in gay love with each other and/or he's still post-traumatic and has imprinted on Jamie like a duckling. Up in DC, Gwen randomly remembers getting molested by politicians or something, and comes running back to the campaign so she can help Darren lose the stigma of having killed a girl one time. Jamie is, of course, delighted at her return. Oh, and the election is in a week, also known as the second season finale if you can do mathematics.
Stan spends some time at Rosie's grave, and eventually ends up in a screaming match with Alexi about that time Stan killed his father, but other than that it's a big stare-fest in the Stan department. Terry unhinges herself completely, early in the episode, having clearly developed Glenn Close-type feelings toward Mr. Ames that he does not reciprocate. Man, she is swiftly becoming the worst. She makes Mitch look...
Actually, no. Way up in Even Sadderville, Mitch continues her streak of being totally awesome. Just hanging out with Tina, listening to her obnoxious trashy stories, watching her do ballet and whatever she wants to do. But after pushing a little too hard on the "call your mom" button -- and narrowly avoiding once again the I'm just being nice, I'm not trying to have sex with you situation you get into so often with wounded runaways you pick up on the side of the road -- she wakes up to find horrible Tina has horribly ransacked her shit, emptied her wallet, and vanished again.
By the end, Carlson's got plausible reasons for killing all of Linden's warrants -- right now focusing on Ames's phone records and Casino stuff -- but a spooky moment at a party gives us Ben Abani, the Mayor, mean old Chief Nicole and the Ameses doing a sort of "we are in cahoots" hand-jive that says the story is eventually going to become about land deals after all.
But not before Linden gets her ass murdered, probably. After an episode full of the usual "Don't get too close to this murder of this one girl" and "I've seen what's in your file" stuff everybody hands her all the time because she is a crazy person, Sarah comes home to find a much-recovered Jack, a great grade on a quiz, and ... that spooky picture of the dead trees she's so obsessed with, pinned to the fridge where she did not put it. After a fairly suspenseful few minutes, she gathers up Jack and they spend the night at Holder's house. Which is, in turn, being watched by a mysterious smoking murderer in heavy black gloves.
Next week: Remembering what it's like when Chief Nicole is mean to you, and knowing he comes off like the trashiest casino rat of all time anyway, Linden sends Holder in under cover. Darren continues on the campaign trail, and hopefully Terry boils Jasper. Maybe that will be the Killing for the next five seasons, and it won't even matter if they never get anywhere, because fuck that little shit and his whole grody family. All I know is, it's been a long time since we visited the Casino, but even longer since we had to deal with haunted Indian grave sites, so I'm hoping we get a few of those too.
Mysterious business at the casino. Jasper the rapist. CPS was everywhere up in your business, and Mitch had a Secret Box full of Secrets, including how Stan was not Rosie's birth father. Oh, and Terry made a strange appointment.
TERRY & AMES
Mr. Ames: "Terry, we've been through this. You are not my girlfriend, and I am not leaving my life. What you are is a bad idea."
Terry: "What I hear you saying is that we are very much in love."
Mr. Ames: "I don't know how to be more straightforward with you about this situation. We are not in love, and I will have you murdered."
Terry: "What you're saying is, I think, that I should fake a pregnancy."
Mr. Ames: "I am trying to be patient here, but also scare you off because you're really endangering my situation."
Terry: "I am prepared to go full-on crazy."
Mr. Ames: "I am prepared to physically fight you. Get out of my car."
Linden: "Coworker, talk to all the limo and towncar drivers in the world. And get me Michael Ames's phone records. And I will bother the scary casino people, and also Stan some more."
Stan: "Are you here to be weird about Alexi some more?"
Linden: "Alexi has nothing to do with your daughter's death. I am here on other business."
Stan: "Let me guess, it's some red herring person we've never met before that I will end up accidentally killing."
Linden: "No, Grieving Parent. This is about your semen."
Stan: "Oh man."
Tina: "Hey, death lady. Can I 'chill' in your room for like 'five'?"
Mitch: "Sure! You want to take a shower? I have towels and sadness at the ready."
Tina: "I'm going to need at least twenty minutes before I'm prepared to do it with you."
Mitch: "I don't know how many times I'm going to have to say this, but I am not going to be sleeping with you."
Tina: "So then what's your game?"
Mitch: "Frankly it is almost worse than that. Think of this as a job interview for the position of being my new dead daughter."
Tina: "I am going to need at least twenty-five minutes for that one."
Stan: "We were on a break! She got pregnant, I was cool with it."
Linden: "I approve of you. In my experience, not even biological parents are willing to take care of you, so you are doubly a good dad."