While Linden and Holder are trying to track down Jamie, he's absquatulating with Darren so they can have a nice long talk about... Lots of things, but one of them is that Jamie accidentally killed Rosie Larsen. Kind of. What happened was that he caught her upstairs with a video camera, assumed she was part of the same kind of no-limit games he was himself playing (remember, he was up there conspiring with Ames and Nicole for all kinds of corrupt reasons), and beat her unconscious. Then -- after getting on the elevator for some reason, riding down with a scary face, and then presumably back up again -- he magically got Rosie into his car. She wasn't dead yet, though, and she led him a merry chase through the woods, at which point he killed her a second time and stashed her in the trunk.
Of course, we know she still wasn't dead yet, but at this point that's all he is gonna say. So right around this time our cops show up, and he's waving an empty gun around and feeling sort of hemmed in, and before you know it, Stephen Holder has shot him dead. Gwen and Darren both flip the fuck out, Nicole refuses to give evidence against Ames, and in the end everybody pulls themselves together. Darren's the new Mayor, at peace with his wife's death finally; Jamie is dead and no longer slapping old men around; Mitch has turned over a new leaf and is now ready to move into the gorgeous home Stan secretly bought her, and Linden even gets a metaphorical high-five from Lt. Carlson about, um, what good cops she and Holder are.
...And then they head over to the Larsens' to tell them the news. Remember that broken taillight Jasper mentioned? It wasn't on a taxi after all: It was on Terry's car. So when they show up, she figures the jig is up and they know her part in the murder, which is what clues them in. See, Jamie called Ames for help once he had Rosie in his trunk, but he was in Aunt Terry's car, given that they were thinking about running away together. Jamie and Michael got into a big argument by the waterside and Terry -- some hooker in Jamie's trunk being the last thing she's gonna let get between her and her man -- ended up sinking the car, listening to somebody dying as they slowly drowned.
...Which, ha, is just about the time Mitch and Stan show up. So there's a beautifully horrific scene in which Terry tries to explain the Greek Tragedy coincidence that caused her to accidentally kill their daughter, move in on Mitch's territory, kiss Stan out of guilt, turn Tommy into a serial killer by shaking him for locking Denny in her trunk, and all the rest of it. Even when the writing's been questionable, you have great actors making it work, and I'm happy to say this isn't one of those cases: Every twist and dramatic set piece in this hour felt earned, elegiac and wise. Just dreadfully sad.
So in the final moments (Day Twenty-Seven) we see the final outcomes: Darren, shocking Gwen, has allied with Nicole and Ames -- even Incumbent Adams -- now that he's the new Mayor, and even got them cleared of all charges, so that the only person who actually got in trouble for all this were the actual murderers, Jamie and Terry. It's a sleazy move, but it's probably the right one for Seattle and for Darren.
The camera yields Rosie's final project, a goodbye-letter of a film she made for her family in which she explains her reasons for running away, and it's very touching to watch, along with the Larsens, once Sarah's dropped it off in their mailbox. And the season (hopefully not the series, although that was a masterful way to go out either way) ends with a new murder... But not one that Sarah will apparently be solving. Holder seems relatively unsurprised, although just as affectionate as usual, as Sarah gets out of his car and walks out into the city, perhaps cured of murder solving for good.
Gwen or Jamie killed Rosie Larsen, meaning neither of them did, but it was probably Jamie, meaning it wasn't Jamie. The inspiring Ted Wright welcomed Darren Richmond into his home just as Linden and Holder were figuring out that it was Ted's grandson Jamie, which means at least four people are now wrong in thinking it was Jamie. Meanwhile, the internet decided en masse that it was Terry, all at once, just like those monkeys on that island that decided it was Terry Marek at the same time the other monkeys on an island three million miles away also decided it was Terry Marek. Or, by the simple logic that nobody can figure out another reason for her crazy ass to exist, except to replace Belko as the Cousin Marilyn in the shadowy freak show that is Rosie's surviving family, unless she did it. I find this unconvincing, but then I haven't really been paying attention at any point, because I don't care who killed Rosie Larsen.
And tonight we finally learn who killed Rosie Larsen!
Rosie screamed! Like she was getting murdered!
But it was just a ruse; the boys were chasing her around. (It was her brothers that did it!) They were all super excited because they were going camping, but Rosie refused to go with them, because she was about to have the busiest day a teen ever did have.
Mitch: "So you'll go straight to Sterling's house after the dance? There's not a working phone at the campsite, so essentially you are in the middle of a horror movie right now."
Rosie: "Yeah, MOM! I'm not an idiot, MOM!"
Terry: "This relationship gives me pause. Or maybe it's just that nobody has ever smiled in this house, or ever will again."
Rosie: "Staring off into space, I get that from my mom. But the smiling part, that must be from my mysterious birth father. I can't wait to run away later. After I make a movie and take the ferry to the Casino and spot Michael Ames at the ferry and then sneak up to the 10th Floor to stare at Seattle and then bleed everywhere and then get chased through the woods and then get murdered a little bit and then be put in a car trunk so the murderer doesn't look me in the eye. But first, I gotta drop some last-minute eaves."
Rosie: "Daddy, I just wanted to say goodbye, and also you're the only person on this show I don't have a problem wi..."
Stan: "-- Sweetie, I'm yelling at vendors right now. But I do love you."
There's a really neat shot of beautiful Rosie Larsen leaving the house, one last look before she flies, and then closing the frosted security-window door behind her. Until all that's left is a shadow.