The blade of Not Pastor Mike’s knife was still tickling Linden’s throat as we rejoined her this week. Despite his professed innocence, NPM sure knew a thing or two about stripping a cop of her necessities; he swiftly procured Linden’s gun and asked if she had a radio (she said she didn’t) before he told Linden vaguely to start driving. Props to the episode’s director/cinematographer/writer, who placed PM in the backseat and focused in on Linden’s eyes; it was she who was taking his confession (or his plea of innocence, as it were). Given how much attention has been paid to the Piper’s backseat M.O., NPM was effectively positioned as the victim in this set-up — an interesting reversal and a telling spatial dynamic. Of course, that isn’t to say NPM wasn’t still ultra-creepy. Actor Ben Cotton really has that blood-chilling whisper down — especially when he called out Linden for trying to humanize herself in his eyes by telling him details about her turbulent childhood in foster care; he even dissociated himself from the situation when he said he knew she was using a tactic to discourage “the abductor from killing you.” He added, “It won’t work.”
Elsewhere, Holder was pissed that his partner wasn’t answering her phone calls when Bullet arrived and claimed Lyric had left a message that NPM was taking her to the woods to kill her like he’d killed all those other girls. Knowing what we know, it was fairly obvious that either Bullet was lying to get Holder’s attention or that, if there was a message at all, Lyric was making assumptions and inferences purely driven by fear — and that those assumptions would lead to an incredible amount of wasted SPD manpower. Alas, Holder didn’t know that PM was actually with Holder singing the entire score of the H.M.S. Pinafore, so he ran with Bullet’s red herring and convinced Skinner to assign officers to scour the woods.
Predictably, that wild goose chase nothing tangible, but Holder did get an important break when one of the officers on the radio mentioned that someone was “camped out” on an open channel. That someone was Linden, the lying minx! Holder & Co. quickly ascertained she was still in the city and beginning listening to the patchy transmission from Linden’s dying radio (because of course the battery was dying while this all went down).
During the conversation, Linden dropped hints about her location (they were near a lifted drawbridge, one of two in the city), and Not Pastor Mike voluntarily brought up the girl he’d supposedly abducted in Tempe. She was a “junkie whore” (his words), and his attempt to detox her had gone bad. Throughout, he continued to make wildly suspicious statements like, “They’re human garbage, these kids. No one cares. No one goes looking for them.” Linden replied matter-of-factly, “You do.”
Other details surfaced: Linden spoke heart-wrenchingly about how being a cop, like being a Pastor of Misfits, was a purgatorial job marked by constant second-guessing and a pervasive sense of failure. She shared how she’d lost Jack not just in a custody battle but because she’d basically given up on herself as a mother. She recalled how he used to hide under the blankets in her bed, just waiting for her to come “find” him. Mike noted, “Sometimes the ones who hide are the ones who want to be found the most.”
At this point, Linden and NPM were in an abandoned building where he had often gone to find those very people — the street kids hunkering down to ride out the storm of their lives. Instructing Linden to turn off the car, NPM was holding the gun ominously — though it seemed more like he was waiting for the right moment to kill himself instead of her. By his own admission, Linden and Holder’s investigation would cost him everything. If he ran, where would he run? And how would start over yet again? And so he began to cry: “I don’t want to be here.”
NPM asked Linden to take him to the waterfront. As morning dawned, she noted she’d once found her “good friend” (Holder) walking on the very bridge they were passing. She said it was relevant because it was a time when her friend had lost hope, too. She insisted, though, that there was always a way back, there was always hope. Holder recognized the story, and the cops headed to where Linden awaited them.
NEXT: The truth about Angie