We pick back up where the premiere left off as Linden stares silently at the bog o' bodies. Sirens pierced the stillness as Holder, Skinner, and a fleet of policemen arrived. Linden shut down Holder's territorial whining before showing Skinner Adrian's latest drawing, which led her to this watery grave. As Skinner headed back to town, Holder stood next to Linden and quietly smirked, "Looks like you found the Seward file."
Back at the SPD, Skinner shared the grisly findings: 17 bodies in total (Ashley Kwan among them), all teen/tween girls, some as young as 12, all nearly decapitated by the same blade, all swathed in medical institution-grade biohazard bags. And the apparent serial killer sometimes held them hostage before killing them, Skinner added. After Holder gave the heads-up that Kallie had been missing for at least a day and fit snugly into the vic profile, we learned Linden would head up the ID-ing of the bodies while her rehire papers were processed.
Before the meeting wrapped, Reddick asked how the bodies were found. Skinner lied that it was an anonymous tip, and Linden followed him into his office to ask what that was about. Skinner said that since Seward's hanging (the first in years) was front-page news, more attention on her connection to his and/or this case would create too many problems. Linden wanted to talk to Seward's son Adrian about his mother Trisha (exhuming her body for examination wouldn't be possible because Trisha had been cremated), but Skinner shot down the idea. Trisha, he said, didn't fit the profile because of her age. Linden persisted, saying Adrian adding the factory to his drawing showed he was remembering new details from his mom's murder. Skinner urged her to drop it and "let him forget."
Long story short, Skinner offered to look the other way if Linden pursued a conversation with Adrian, but he wasn't going to order anything that might muck up the legal logistics surrounding Seward's execution. "Trisha Seward needs justice. Remember that." With no lack of tension between them, he wondered aloud if they'd be able to work together given their history. Linden insisted they would. Skinner turned the conversation back on her, telling her firmly to work on this case, not the one they'd solved three years earlier.
Meanwhile, it was shower time over at the Big House. Seward's new death row-mate, a swaggering chatterbox we met briefly last week, stopped complaining about the cold water to point out a tattoo on Seward's chest that read "A 6-5-3". He speculated "A" must stand for Seward's girlfriend: "All the best white ladies' names start with 'A': Andrea, Allison, Amy... I knew a girl named Angie. She was a freeeeeeeeak." Becker curtly informed him the "A" was for Adrian, born on June 5, 2003, then took no small amount of pleasure in spinning the tale of Trisha's murder and the image of a young Adrian "sucking on his thumb" next to his mother's decomposing body for days. Becker's bluster gave Seward sufficient distraction to crack open a bar of soap, in which he'd hidden a razor; he stashed the single-blade in his cheek for later.
Out on the streets, Reddick broke the news to Holder that Linden had shtupped Skinner, suggesting that her connection to the boss meant she was getting preferential treatment. They were sniping over whether she got pension when Holder spotted a young hooker "bobbing for apples" (TM Holder 2013) with a john in a nearby car. They busted up the good times, and the girl put in her retainer while stonewalling Holder; once he threatened to lock her up, she suggested he look at the overpass on Front Street.
Linden had less luck with Kallie's awful mother, who heartlessly suggested Linden look for "Shotgun or Ammo or whatever." Of course she meant Bullet, who was in a public bathroom looking at her bruise-covered torso as she processed the emotional scars from Goldie's assault. A bit later, Holder found her skateboarding on Front Street. She pointed him to Goldie's place, mentioning that the pimp had a giant knife and that she'd heard whimpering sounds coming from inside his house. When Holder and Reddick arrived at the craphole, it turned out Goldie also had an intense speaker system for blaring thrash metal -- not to mention a computer playing a sex tape featuring an obviously underage girl. What didn't Goldie have? Fast legs. When the punk pimp tried to flee, Holder didn't break a sweat taking him down.
Interrogation time! Linden watched Holder and Reddick roll their eyes as Goldie denied owning the kiddie porn, claimed a scratch on his face was from shaving, and decried his innocence over a stat rape conviction of having sex with a 13-year-old. As for his profession, he insisted young girls would prostitute themselves anyway, and he was just looking out for them. The sleazeball slipped up a little when he basically copped to distributing the tween porn.
Behind the mirror, Linden grew ever more doubtful Holder would get anything from Goldie, who was clearly a seasoned pro. Skinner joined the viewing, and they discussed how they could evidentially connect Goldie to the bodies. Back in the interrogation room, Goldie showed his hand a little more, demanding to lawyer up the minute Holder pulled out a picture of Kallie. At that point, they had to make a choice. Linden wanted to detain Goldie on the kiddie porn charges, but Skinner thought they should tail Goldie for 72 hours in hopes he'd lead them to Kallie. They went with Plan B.
A frustrated Linden headed outside, where she encountered Holder. After some jabs and score-keeping, they decided to get on the same page, so she filled him in on Adrian, Trisha's broken finger, and the other connections she'd made between this case and Seward's. You guys! The band is back together!
NEXT: Seward swallows more than his pride