During the drive, NPM admitted he had been the one to take Angie to the vet's office -- this explained the blood in his backseat and, as many of you pointed out, his innocence (if he'd been the Piper, he'd have put plastic down to catch the blood). He was trying to save Angie just like he'd tried to save the girl in Tempe, and he'd lied to the cops because he knew they wouldn't believe him.
Speaking of lies, as he leaned into the window, he noticed Linden's radio and told her to stop the car. He took her to the end of a pier, pointed her own gun at her, and told her to get on her knees. She begged and told him, "You don't have to do this!" And he couldn't do it. He sunk to his knees and prayed aloud for forgiveness, dropping the gun in the water as the sirens drew closer. When her colleagues arrived, guns cocked, Linden jumped in front of NPM. He wouldn't remove his hands from his pockets, consciously trying to force the police to pull their triggers since he hadn't been able to pull his. But Linden cautioned, "If you make these men shoot you, they'll carry it all of their lives." Beset by guilt, resignation, and exhaustion, NPM removed his hands slowly from his pockets and ended Linden's most life-affirming yet soul-crushing night yet. She, too, dropped to her knees as Holder comforted her.
With more than half the episode elapsed, we finally checked in with Seward. He'd scheduled a desperate meeting with his lawyer to see if Linden could stall his execution. His lawyer rightly, if callously, pointed out that Linden must not have any indemnifying evidence if she hadn't presented it yet. As Seward urged him to check again, the lawyer went over Seward's burial options. And that's all the end of life turns out to be -- a series of mind-numbingly mundane tasks that bely the hugeness of death. It's fascinating in context really. While all we hear about the Piper's killings are methods and motives, which effectively render his horrific crimes against innocent girls distant and clinical, we are actually experiencing it with the supposedly guilty Seward as he undergoes a similarly clinical ticking off of boxes (his weigh-in, his final meal, his burial wishes, etc.) and are forced to identify with him, to understand that death is not something to be catalogued, written off, or forgotten. Any death a big deal. Too much for one person's psyche to bear -- which is why Seward had a panic attack. And, in another interesting turn of events, Becker was the one who displayed rare kindness by talking him through it.
Over at the SPD, Skinner confirmed everything we already knew: NPM couldn't possibly be the Piper -- Angie's was the only blood found in his car, and he was out of the country at the time of the '09 murders. In somewhat of a silver lining, Lyric was found alive and well... and hustling. Unfortunately for Holder, it meant the trust he'd placed in Bullet had resulted in personal and professional humiliation. He went to read the riot act to Bullet for lying about the voicemail, and Bullet screamed back that Holder wouldn't otherwise have done anything to find Lyric -- just like he hadn't done anything to find Kallie. At that slander, Holder went nuclear and brought out a below-the-belt threat to "bury" Bullet in the foster system. He concluded acidly, "That's right. I'm not your friend. ... You're just a nobody, nothin', punk-ass kid." Ouch, Bugs!
And the hits just kept coming for Bullet as Lyric dumped her with three swift blows: "I don't belong to you. I'm with Twitch. I'm not gay." Bullet sought to numb the sting with heroin. But it was a fortuitous fall because the dealer (Poochie!) dropped a tip about seeing Angie just a few hours before. Bullet tracked down Angie at the bus station. She feared for her life and was getting the hell outta Dodge. Bullet offered her one more fix of heroin in exchange for information about the Piper.
NEXT: The most important phone calls of Seward and Bullet's lives