Obsequious campaign strategists Jamie and Gwen spend the day in Richmond's hospital, wondering if he's going to live. Eventually Gwen comes clean about rescinding his alibi for the night of the murder, but at least confirms for us that she was telling the truth. Jamie's in no position to get pissed at her about this... Until, at the end of the day, we learn that Richmond is now paralyzed from the waist down. Gwen goes home to wipe his blood off her bra, and Jamie does that intense career-hunger face he always does.
Over at the Larsen's, things are the usual nonstop cavalcade of fun. Aunt Terry moves in to replace the vanished Mitch as the household's "single functioning adult," so the kids spend most of the time blackly hating the bummer that is their lives.
They didn't have very far to take Belko Royce for booking, considering his Jack Ruby act was right outside the station, but that doesn't mean that Belko Royce doesn't go pretty far all on his own. Crazy, I mean. He goes very crazy. Shoot your mom, shoot a public figure, shooting spree inside a police station crazy. After a soft interrogation by Holder, poor old wonderful awful Belko Royce gets a visit from Stan that's pretty heartbreaking, once he realizes that Stan has come to think of him as a sort of rabid animal that's outlived its usefulness, rather than what he really is, which is a three-way cross between The Blind Side, Of Mice & Men, and like the perfect date.
You will not go broke betting on Belko Royce doing the most trainwreck possible thing at any point, of course, so -- just as Holder's connecting another lead on this officially closed case -- you can't be surprised when he takes a hostage in the middle of a police station, and eventually shoots himself in his beautiful face.
Linden... I mean, you know what Linden does. A whole lotta hustle, a lot of yelling into the phone at well-meaning people, some terrible police work, several pieces of gum, and a lot of mixed messages for her former partner and her kid. She follows the faked-photo lead just far enough that she sets off a million bells, she is so freaky around Holder that he instantly knows she's figured the whole thing out, she alienates Jack's dad some more, and then eventually -- once she comprehends that she has kicked the hornet's nest of whatever conspiracy involving higher government and God knows what -- goes into hiding in a motel.
Here's the deal: The faked photos, like Belko's gunplay, were both predicated on bringing Richmond down by any means necessary. Holder thought he was doing the right thing when he got the pics from his former mentor, Gil Sloane, who put him in Homicide in the first place (and within this episode makes Holder a full detective). What's more dubious, however, is where Gil is really coming from, because it is clear that his interests are not connecting up.
Linden has reporter friend Jill call up Gil -- after spending the episode chasing him around in the usual abstruse, off-putting ways -- and congratulate him on providing the photo evidence that got Richmond arrested (and then shot, pretty much). This freaks out Gil enough that he runs to his contact who was actually calling the play... A representative of Richmond's opponent, the incumbent Mayor!
Oh, and of course by this point she has made damn sure she's also under surveillance, because making herself a target comes as easily to Sarah Linden as motherhood comes to people who are not Sarah Linden.
PREVIOUSLY ON THE UNSOLVING
Andy Cohen was the beautiful husband we're all fighting to this day; doesn't change my end goal. Holder procured photo evidence that corroborated the campaign manager/mistress's story that Richmond came back the night of Rosie's death soaking wet -- but the cameras on that toll bridge had been out for months, meaning Holder's part of a larger plot. In the end, that cute crazy Belko Royce had a Jack Ruby kind of gun pointed at Richmond, Linden was actually belted in on the plane she'd kept missing all season, and Mitch left Stan, the better to spread her special kind of cheer.
Sarah's washing her face in what you can tell is an airport bathroom, which lends itself to two possibilities: Either she is getting off the plane in Sonoma to meet the boyfriend who more than likely doesn't exist, Or she is still in Seattle, because guess what, she is a crazy person. There's just something about that bathroom that screams Seattle, but I can't tell what it is... Oh wait, a bathroom in Sonoma wouldn't have Sarah Linden standing in it. It would lack that essential quality.
Jack, outside: "I am fed up with your shit as usual."
Sarah: "I think I just broke up with my boyfriend -- who can keep all the ultimata straight? -- so I guess we're going to live in Seattle now. Like we already do."
Jack: "Does that mean we can stop being homeless and actually live somewhere some time?"
Sarah: "Look, I'm just really sorry."
Jack: "Is this because Councilman Richmond, whom you arrested, is now dead?"
Sarah: "No, it's because I'm nuts. What's this now? What's happening?"
He's not dead, but he is being rushed to the ER. In a spectacularly jagged and jarring fashion, falling off his gurney and bleeding through several layers of Gwen's clothes. The best slash saddest part is when wormy little Jamie ties his BFF routine and clambers onto the ambulance, and the guys fully shove him out into the windmilling air like Wile E. Coyote and thence onto his ass, and Gwen's just like, "Don't rush cops or EMTs, I guess, is the moral of that story."
CHEZ LT. OAKES
This is the thinking: If the photos were faked, then Holder is part of a larger, scarier thing that was trying to get Richmond blamed for Rosie's murder, meaning that Richmond is likely not the killer, but more importantly therefore, Sarah Linden -- and Jack -- are in an ongoing trouble from this conspiracy. Therefore, it's best to yank her kid off that plane and go running back into danger. First, though, she stashes him at the Lieutenant's house while she's telling her nice boss about how Rosie's killer is still at large.