In the 12th episode of ABC’s season 1 of the crime drama series “Will Trent,” we witnessed a blast from the past when a spate of killings in the present day turned out to be similar to that of a horror in 1986, when the killer picked a unique group of victims. We also witnessed the younger selves of Amanda Wagner and Faith’s mother, Evelyn Mitchell, when they were cops in their prime and trying to keep the downtrodden safe in a world full of cruelty. In the story so far, Angie was in the hospital after injuring herself to cover up how the molester Lenny Broussard had been stabbed to death by his stepdaughter Crystal, and Trent was helping her move. This episode ties in multiple breadcrumbs spread throughout the season, and here’s how everything is tied down.
The Returning M.O.
In 1986, in Atlanta, police inspectors Amanda Wagner and Evelyn Mitchell were doing their morning rounds when Evelyn spotted something weird. On closer inspection, the officers found a dead woman behind a dumpster. The sickening aspect of the murder was that the woman had her eyes and mouth sewn shut, and as Evelyn called dispatch, she called it the act of a “real sicko.” In the present day, with his partner Angie Pulaski on disciplinary leave, Michael Ormewood speaks to the mortician Pete, who shows him the body of a young woman who had her mouth sewn and a screwdriver stabbed through the heart. Agent Faith Mitchell walks in and announces that Ormewood will have to deal with her as a partner since Trent is helping Angie.
At the hospital, Trent helps Angie with her things as she plans to move out, and they discuss her meeting with the internal review board the following day. He tries coaxing her to reveal what really happened, but Angie doesn’t divulge anything more. At the GBI, Ormewood, and Faith are briefing Amanda about a new male victim and Brooke Miller, the woman whose body was being examined, as Trent walks in to inform them that the latest victim is 34-year-old Edward Ross. While Brooke was an upper-middle-class married woman, Edward was on the economic periphery, so no common motive could be established other than the fact that both victims had red nail polish on their fingers. Amanda walks out of the conference room and phones Evelyn to say, “I need you. He’s back,” and with that, we go back to 1986.
The Red Nail Polish
Amanda and Evelyn arrive at the place where the sex workers wait for patrons with kits containing hygiene products for the women and advise them not to accept patronage from any unknown people. While the women were discussing the worker who was recently murdered, the pimp for these women arrived and asked the officers to clear out. This aggressive man, clad in gawdy jewelry, was also known to occasionally beat up the girls under his wing and even made lewd proposals to the officers while adding that his name was Juice. As Deputy Chief Amanda and former Captain Evelyn look at the photos, Evelyn says it’s a totally different M.O., but Amanda can’t ignore the red polish. It’s quickly revealed that the two women know something pertaining to Trent, but Amanda refuses to loop him in unless she’s got no other choice. She asks for her partner’s help, and Evelyn agrees, although she firmly believes that it was Juice who killed the women, and was sent to prison and had died six years previously.
The Missing Link
Faith and Ormewood interview Brooke’s much older husband, Spencer Miller, who married her when she was 18, and claims that she’d had a hellish childhood, growing up in an orphanage. Meanwhile, Trent is doing an inventory of the boxes with Edward’s stuff when he finds a handkerchief and a premium membership card at Piper’s supermarket, which immediately helps him make a connection. At the records department, Amanda and Evelyn are going through the old case files when they decide to visit Juice’s lawyer, James Ulster, and they recall how hard he’d fought because he believed he could save him. As Angie is packing up her things, Trent walks in and asks her if she remembers Edward Ross, the latest murder victim, and clarifies that both Brooke Miller (nee Tandy) and Edward (Teddy Connor) were killed. This means there’s someone picking up the orphans at the children’s home where Trent and Angie grew up.
Paul Campano, whom we saw all the way back in Episode 1, comes out of his gym and gets into his posh Mercedes when he notices fog in the windscreen before a belt begins strangling him. But we’re not left to wonder what becomes of him because he’s then seen sitting in Trent’s living room as Betty keeps crawling up to him, reporting the events to him as Angie walks in. Aside from his usual meanness, Paul informs them that Abigail has filed for divorce. Also, when he got into the car, someone began strangling him with a belt until he threw his creatinine in the attacker’s face and he ran away. Paul remembered that the man was strong and that he smelled of nice hand lotion. Angie and Trent suggested that he check into a hotel while they looked for the killer, who could belong to the orphanage. Paul suggested investigating someone named PeePee Percy, a rather weird kid they’d had in the home, and he probably had what it took to become a psycho killer.
Trying To Save The Downtrodden
Trent invites Faith and Ormewood to his home, and it’s discovered Trent doesn’t want to inform Amanda yet because he and Angie are directly related to the case. Thus, they ask Faith and Ormewood to subpoena the people who grew up in the orphanage and list Percy as their number one suspect. At that moment, Amanda and Evelyn are barging into an expensive restaurant to sit down in front of lawyer James Ulster, who seems to have done well for himself. Ulster says that Juice, aka Julius Walker, was innocent and accepted the plea deal to escape the death penalty, although Evelyn reminds him that Juice had beaten one of his girls to death. The lawyer adds that there was one other suspect who was known to ‘care’ for the girls because he combed their hair and painted their nails, which is why Ulster thought it was important. As Amanda gets Ulster to agree to bring over his old case notes, a memory comes to the surface of her mind when she spots a handkerchief.
Amanda and Evelyn stopped a cop from booking a young, pregnant Puerto Rican sex worker, Lucy, and then sat her down and offered her a solution. They asked her to leave this life behind and head to a home where the nuns would be judgemental but she’d be safe. The officers get Lucy to accept swapping this life for one where her child could grow up safely and ask her to stay away from any of the regulars, even the one who’d paint her nails with red nail polish. They asked her to wait for them the following day near a bench at 10:30 a.m., and she agreed. In the present day, Trent and Angie learn from Ormewood that most government data is very hard to access, so they realize there’s one place where there’ll be hard copies: their old orphanage. The abandoned building with overgrown weeds had been boarded up long ago, but the two agents sneak inside and look around the places where they spent their childhood while reminiscing their past lives. Trent was carrying Betty until he placed her down to look into the records room, but it had been picked clean of all documents and paper, and Betty skittled away and began barking at a closed door. Upon nudging the door open, they spot a gift box, and inside, there’s an old photograph of all the children of the orphanage and three of them have their eyes scratched out. Trent and Angie recognize Brooke and Edward, and as for the third, a call comes in that says another body has been found.
The third body is identified as belonging to David Reynolds, and interestingly, he’d been contacted a few weeks ago by the Georgia Housing Endowment, but there was no association in existence. David had replied, and after a few days, he wasn’t heard from again, meaning the killer catfished the victims to ensure he had the right targets. The mortician, Pete, walks in and says that Amanda Wagner is on her way because he’s informed her, and Faith asks Trent and Angie to explain why they don’t want Amanda to know. Trent argues that the killer is threatening them and removing people who belong to him and Angie’s past when Amanda and Evelyn arrive. Amanda asks Angie to leave and sends Ormewood to see her off. In the corridor, he asks her to take care of herself because he doesn’t want to find a new partner. Angie promises to head to Trent’s place, lock the doors, and set off the alarms as Trent tells his boss he’s looking into the details of the case.
Later, Evelyn says there are only vague descriptions of the man who used to paint the girls’ nails, while Amanda talks about the two men who were their superiors, Butch and Rick. These two were the definition of misogynistic pigs, and while one had hit Amanda, the other had threatened to sexually assault Evelyn. Amanda breaks down, remembering how she didn’t do enough to pursue leads back then, and she feels upset for telling Angie that she’s not allowed to work now. The conversation is interrupted when Faith knocks at the door and asks to speak to Amanda. Her usual partners. Trent and Ormewood arrive at Perseus Larson, aka PeePee Percy’s workplace by tracking the mail he used, to pose as Georgia Housing Endowment and ask him to come with them, but Percy is fleeing in his car. Trent makes Percy step out by taking out his gun, and when they sit down with him in his office, Percy says he’s a P.I. and the charges against him won’t stick. However, Ormewood says all three victims had been mailed by Percy through mail fraud, which is a federal crime, and Percy reveals that he was contacted by someone unknown, who offered him a lot of money to track down other people who lived at the orphanage at the same time as him. Apparently, this happened after Paul Campano’s story came out in Southern Magazine, where Trent’s rescue of his daughter became news.
Who Was Lucy Morales?
While Trent is reading the magazine, where a photograph of the children is also printed, Amanda asks him to go to her office, where she takes him off the case and threatens to throw him in a cell if he argues. Amanda sits down and thinks of a similar situation she’d faced when she and Evelyn went to the station before heading to pick up Lucy, but Butch and Rick made them type out reports. They made a series of sexist comments and threw vulgarities at the women while they pleaded to be allowed to do their job. As the present-day Evelyn asks her counterpart why to not let Trent know the truth, Amanda says he’s all she’s had, and he’ll know that the women couldn’t keep “her” safe. Evelyn asks her partner to trust the fact that Trent is the best, so he’ll understand.
In the final flashback, when Evelyn and Amanda arrived at the usual spot for the sex workers and asked about Lucy, one girl said she’d seen her waiting with a garbage bag, and another had to hand over a necklace she was wearing because it belonged to Lucy. Amanda breaks down and wonders what the purpose of their jobs is when Evelyn consoles her. She says they keep women safe and help black people being illegally harassed by white cops. Evelyn tells “Mandy” that they need to keep doing this job to keep others safe.
As the disciplinary committee waits for Angie to show up, Amanda walks into Trent’s room and tells him about Lucy Morales, a prostitute who was the mother of Will Trent. Trent can’t deal with this sudden bombshell and retorts that he’d been found in a dumpster, and while Amanda confirms that, she adds that after he was caught shoplifting at 19, she’d dug through his records and found the details about his mother. He also learns that his mother had wanted him to live, and Amanda said the only reason she didn’t say anything was because she believed he’d be better off not knowing. Before huffing out of the room, Trent demands to know how dare Amanda withhold this information when he’s carried around a feeling of emptiness in his heart for such a long time.
‘Will Trent’ Episode 12 Ending Explained: What Happens To Angie Pulaski?
Trent goes back to his home to find a record playing, and the entire house is a mess, with furniture lying askew and household items scattered everywhere. He takes out his gun and starts checking every room while calling for Angie until he hears Betty barking from the washroom. The little chihuahua jumps out of a laundry box onto his lap. Trent comes out of the room to find a photo frame shattered and a photo lying face down on the floor. When Trent picks it up, he finds it’s a photo of Angie with her eyes scratched out.
“Will Trent” Episode 12 ends on a massive cliffhanger where Trent’s girlfriend and APD detective Angie Pulaski has been kidnapped by the same psycho killer who’s targeting people who’d grown up in the same orphanage as Trent. This time, Angie has been taken, and the scratched-out eyes on the photo mean she might end up with her lips sewn shut and a hole through her chest unless GBI and APD come together to take down this sicko before time runs out. In all probability, the next episode will be the big finale where everything comes full circle, and we finally figure out who this killer is and why he’s copying the style of murders that happened in 1986, but until then, we can hope Angie manages to stay unharmed.