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Aquarius recap: A Whiter Shade of Pale

Sam is better with the Shafes’ problems than he is with his own.

Posted on

Vivian Zink/NBC


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
David Duchovny, Claire Holt
Crime, Drama

NBC has made all 13 episodes of Aquarius available online after the May 28 premiere, because a snake of traffic is coming for us all and we have to live for the now. The show will still be airing Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET; if you’re watching live each week, come back here after “A Whiter Shade of Pale” airs on June 25. If you’re watching online, read on—or view the entire episode here.

Sam is not in a good place right now, but he’s still pretty lucky. He’s lucky that he didn’t kill anyone driving drunk. He’s lucky to have Shafe to pull him away from Charlie and pour a little whiskey on his wounds (whiskey—it’s just like Tylenol). And he’s lucky that Grace is more annoyed with her husband than she is with him. After Ken admits that Charlie holds something over him that could ruin their lives, Grace is prepared not only to stop blaming Sam for Emma’s latest disappearance, but to leave her husband entirely.

Grace asks Sam to look into Ken’s history with Charlie, and Sam admits that he already knows something about it. The news that her daughter ran off with a pimpand probable murdereris almost as upsetting to Grace as the fact that Sam kept it from her. He says that he didn’t think it would help the situation, then yells that his kid is missing, too. Not exactly an excuse. Shouldn’t he know as well as anyone how important it is to have all of the facts? This episode is like a showdown between Sam’s good luck and his questionable decision-making.

At least his intentions are good, especially when he isn’t drunk. When someone throws a rock through the Shafes’ window, Sam volunteers to look into it. He questions Howard, the grumpy old crank next door, by throwing the same rock at his car. (“Careful there. You wouldn’t want to dent it.”) Howard complains that the value of the block dropped the day the Shafes moved in as Sam blithely keys Howard’s new paint job.

After a few trips around the valley, Sam notices the same white man parading black women through various neighborhoods. He stops to ask the guy some questions, and the guy runs. Sam doesn’t even try to chase him. He just finds the guy’s name and address in his car and announced over megaphone that they can do this now, or they can do this at Drew’s house. Drew accepts defeat. Sam uses his megaphone to call Drew an idiot. All in a day’s work.

It turns out that Drew has been running a con with his cousin Gene, the Shafes’ landlord. Gene rented them the house with the intention of driving the white people out of the neighborhood, buying the houses cheap, and then selling them to black families at a huge markup. After letting Kristin take out her anger on Gene, Sam declares that the Shafes won’t have to pay any rent from now on. He’s not asking. Kristin tells Sam to kick Gene out, then invites him to stay for dinner. She’s not asking, either. “I thought you wanted to kick the racists out,” Sam quips. Look at all of this bonding.

NEXT: Not all’s fair in love