‘Will Trent’ Episode 8: Recap And Ending, Explained – How Does Trent Solve The Mystery Of The Dead Student?

Whenever Will Trent arrives on the scene, he manages to see something that normal detectives always miss. It was no different in this week’s case in ABC’s crime drama “Will Trent,” where the agents found a body on a university campus and needed to find clues. The episode helps us understand Trent’s psyche – particularly about his feelings about other foster home children, and it throws light on the softer side of his nature. Here’s everything that happens in this week’s episode.


Spoilers Ahead

Suicide? Or Murder? 

It’s already night when a girl named Alison Schooner steps out of her college and is met by a guy named Jason, and she’s not too pleased to see him because she has spent all night studying and doesn’t have the energy to deal with him at the moment. She walks through the forested area and hears footsteps behind her, but it’s only a man walking his dog. Alison stands on the edge of a lake, looking pensive. Her body is recovered from beneath the lake the next morning, and GBI agents Will Trent and Faith Mitchell are gathering clues at the scene. She had a cinder block tied to her leg, and Alison had left behind her ID and a suicide note inside her shoes. The note read, “I want it to end.” University chancellor Vera Kuo meets the agents and expresses regret for the suicide, but Trent believes things are not as they seem because the note is on a torn piece of paper and consists of a single sentence. He makes the coroner unzip the body bag and spots something moving inside Alison’s skin, under the ears—a fish pops out of a hairline slit below the ears, and Trent immediately pictures in his mind’s eye blood spraying onto the nearby tree when the stabbing happened. He approaches the tree and finds blood on the absorbent bark, and it’s confirmed that Alison Schooner’s death was not a suicide, while Faith deduces that the killer was waiting for her.


Trent and Faith arrive at Alison’s residence, where she lives with six other people, and her room is full of padlocked containers with notes asking them to stay away from her stuff. Trent deduces that Alison, too, had to grow up in foster care, judging by the way she labeled her stuff to keep other people off of it, just like Trent used to. Dwayne Gilbert, the guy showing the agents around, informs them that Alison was a studious kid, keeps to herself, and is always organized and tidy. Faith notices that the handwriting on the containers matches the one on the suicide note when they find someone spying on the agents from outside. Trent chases the young man and pins him against a door, then empties his rucksack to find a sharp knife inside—the guy claims it’s a fettling knife used for sculpting before having a seizure and losing consciousness. Trent’s boss Amanda questions him about whether he roughed up a senior student named Milo Braham, the guy who had the seizure, and Trent defends himself, saying he didn’t cause the student to start frothing at the mouth. She also informs Will Trent that Alison spent her childhood under the care of foster parents.

Inside a hospital, Faith learns from Dr. Farhad that Milo suffered head trauma and that he’s stable but needs to be put into a medically induced coma so that his brain doesn’t swell. Faith wants to leave a guard outside his room because he might be linked to the murder, and Farhad gives her his personal number before popping an impromptu dinner date request. Flustered, Faith ends up talking a lot about herself and leaves in a hurry. At the morgue, the coroner reports to Trent that Alison’s liver enzymes were increased, although that could be because of heavy drinking—a common college student trait. Alison appears beside Trent and confesses to him that she never had time for parties between her two jobs and a partial scholarship and that she didn’t have anyone to help her. He asks for the plastic container they had found in Alison’s bag and asks to have it brought to the autopsy room. The coroner states that the murder weapon was pierced through Alison’s carotid artery and then twisted—the same way one kills a deer. Trent deduces that the killer might be a hunter, and when the container is delivered, the doctor says the unnamed container with just a serial number is a common sight in drug tests conducted in colleges, where students often participate for some extra cash. Based on the fact that these tests paid a few thousand dollars at times and Alison’s impoverished conditions, it was quite possible that she had something to do with the drug tests.


Faith informs Trent that Alison did have a boyfriend named Jason Howell—the same guy from the first scene—and that he worked as a research assistant for a new drug for high blood pressure. Apparently, the two had broken up a while back, and he didn’t take the news very well—but Milo was still an unknown quality, which pointed towards something fishy happening between Alison and him. Going through Jason’s social media, they find a picture of Jason and Alison at his family’s cabin with a deer hoist behind them, making him fit the profile. At the university, the agents meet Darla Wall, the other assistant of Dr. Tilda, and she says that the drug is in the first phase and the research is to study the side effects of human consumption. When Jason arrives, he says that the cabin is his family’s hunting cabin, and that the rest of his family hunted while he didn’t. The previous night, he was compiling data the entire night with Darla because of the strict deadline they needed to follow, and upon Faith’s questioning, he says that he got Alison into the trial because she required money. However, she never reported having any side effects, but she got very quiet and aloof, and he still doesn’t know why they broke up. He’s providing his own theories behind the reason when Trent shuts him up, saying that it’s also possible that Alison just wasn’t interested in him. While leaving the university, Faith points out that Trent is getting too attached to the case because he empathizes with her past when they find Darla outside, exercising. Faith mentions that Jason and Darla had been working the entire previous night when Darla gives a brief preface of how sweet a guy Jason is before saying that she wasn’t with him the entire time—she had gone to the gym for a workout and a shower.

While leaving, Faith gets a call from Dr. Farhad, who says that Milo’s medically-induced coma needs to be prolonged because his seizure happened due to drug interaction, and Faith correctly guesses that the drug was an anti-hypertensive, which means he too was part of the drug trial. Farhad says that even though that’s possible, the student had several previous medical conditions, so he would never be cleared for a drug trial—before announcing to her that they could go for the meal sometime soon. Faith says Farhad is on speakerphone with her partner, Will Trent, who says that her schedule is open. Annoyed, she turns formal with the doctor and asks Trent to focus on the case—why did the son of rich parents need to participate in a possibly risky drug trial? Trent deduces that the drug probably has some side effects that help students, which is why they need to speak to other participants of the drug. The participants look manic, energized, and bursting with energy, and some say that the drug is ten times more effective than Adderall and helps them study, while another adds that Milo was definitely using the drug because he used to stay up at night making art. In his office, Trent records his thoughts on his tapes, saying that being a dealer was probably the reason Alison died when her spirit seems to appear before him. She says Trent might be disappointed in her, but he isn’t actually. She asks if he knows what foster children receive when they turn 18, and Trent answers that it’s $200 and a bus pass. He remembers that he was so famished at 19 that he tried shoplifting food and got caught, but he was lucky because the police precinct captain, Amanda Wagner, took an interest in him. Trent admits that Alison was really close to her goal, so he won’t judge her actions and promises to find her murderer.


Trent talks to Faith regarding the possible suspects and says that, upon talking to the chancellor, he learned that the college has a blood test policy that states no further pills shall be provided without blood tests that detect drug intake. The agents theorize that Dr. Tilda, the head of the research, could be falsifying data and getting more pills for Alison to sell, and her suicide note might have something Alison told Tilda. The agents visit her and ask to see the workspace, and while begrudgingly leading them through the lab, she spots blood coming out of a room. Inside, Darla is unconscious and losing blood from a stab wound in her stomach, with all other blood samples lying shattered all around her. After regaining consciousness, Darla says that when she arrived at the lab, she found Jason working there. What’s weird was that there was inconsistency in his reports because it seemed that he had used the same bloodwork for multiple test candidates, and when Darla went to check further in the reports room, she was attacked by Jason. While looking for Jason, Trent and Faith head down into the basement, where they find Jason’s body with a gunshot wound to the head and the weapon in his hand—there’s “I’m sorry” written on the walls over soot. At the GBI, Amanda is talking to Kuo when the agents walk in, but Trent isn’t very satisfied with the findings and questions why a strong person like Jason would not just drown Alison. They figure out that the killer wanted them to think it was a suicide and realize that the murderer is very intelligent, so the only way to apprehend them is by outsmarting them.

Trent and Faith tell Darla that the murderer, Jason, was a disturbed man, but now the worst is behind her, and she can focus on her life, and she promises to dedicate her entire career to Alison when Dr. Farhad calls Faith outside. Trent follows her out and learns from Faith that Milo Braham has regained consciousness and that he had followed Alison the night she was murdered and needed to speak to the agents. However, he’s sleeping at the moment in Room 237, so the agents promise to return the following morning—the entire conversation is heard by Darla, who seems deep in thought. At night, Darla creeps into the said room to find just a pillow under the covers and Trent waiting for her, and he informs her that Milo is still in a coma. He knew it was her from the boiler room where Jason’s body was found because of the steam, which helped keep his body warm, as Darla wanted the agents to believe that he had stabbed her first before killing himself. They also found her scalpel in the records room, and it was weird that the murderer, who was so precise in killing Alison, would stab Darla in exactly the spot that wouldn’t kill her. He adds that she was supplying the pills to Alison, and when she wanted to be cut loose, Darla killed her. She tries fleeing and is obviously arrested by Faith, and even then, she cries that even after giving Alison half the money, she would have told on Darla, so she had to kill her.


A Dead Magician And A Rabbit

At Sunshine Life Senior Living Home, a magician who is stabbed to death brings in homicide detectives Angie Polaski and Michael Ormewood to investigate. There are no fingerprints on the ornate knife, and the magician is missing his phone. Angie talks to the manager, Ms. Hernandez, who found the body, and she informs the detectives that Steve, the magician, a regular at the facility, was setting up his tools when she left him. Every Thursday, Steve hosts “Morning Magic with Steve Susperio,” and when the audience arrived for his show today, they found his body. Ormewood spots Steve’s tripod, and Angie deduces that Steve’s phone must’ve been stolen, and they need to search the facility when Sheila, an elderly resident, comes in with a rabbit that belonged to Steve and asks Angie if she can keep the animal.

Upon questioning Hernandez, the detectives learn that the cafeteria worker Ernesto had a criminal record who in turn adds that Steve was such a good magician that he hypnotized him out of his smoking habit. He also points at the residents with criminal records. While they’re interviewing the residents, the fire alarm starts ringing, and everyone has to go outside, but Angie wants to question everyone. Back at the station, interrogating the residents is barely useful, and they can’t provide anything substantial to the agents when a resident’s daughter barges in to take her father home. Gus’s daughter, Leigh, will take her elderly dad elsewhere because he spends tremendously at this facility, and the officials aren’t checking his spending habits.


Angie later informs Ormewood that Steve Susperio was already charged with identity theft and that he was siphoning money from other elderly people in residences all over the state using hypnosis. Ormewood learns that all the computers were destroyed by the water sprinklers and the fire drill was definitely false, and he also informs Angie that Sheila had also taken Steve’s phone. The agents are watching Steve record a video when Hernandez barges in and shouts at him for planning to flee to the Bahamas and demands money. When he says there’s none left, she proceeds to stab him with the ornate knife. Sheila later walks in, casually ignores the body, picks up the rabbit, takes the phone, and leaves. While Hernandez is arrested as Steve’s murderer as well as his accomplice, Ormewood and Angie tell the Captain about the bet they’ve made about how much the duo must’ve hoodwinked off the old people.

Closing The Night

At night, Angie, Nico, and Trent are enjoying his special potatoes when Angie wants to say a few words about Alison because she knows how Trent was affected by the plight of the victim. She says that she’d have liked to know Alison if she were alive today, and Trent begins with a very objective report of the victim before finally delivering a wholesome note about someone he truly could understand. He talks about how things were difficult for her, but she still tried, and he’d like to think that had situations been better for her, Alison might have someday found herself in a room like the one they were in, with good friends and food.


‘Will Trent’ Episode 8: Ending Explained – How Does Will Trent Solve The Mystery Of The Dead College Student?

When faced with a murder victim who reminds Trent deeply of his past, he treats this week’s case with a little more passion. He finds himself in Alison—in her actions and her suffering—and realizes that the two had lived more-or-less a similar life. This is all the more reason for him to want to apprehend the killer and to be frank, the scales seemed a little too heavily tipped against Jason from the beginning, and it smelled fishy. Everything pointed towards him a little too coincidentally, and the innocent nature of Darla seemed rather paper-thin. However, what really gave away that she was a brainiac killer was the open steam in the boiler room—why would someone leave the steam open inside a basement for no reason? Of course, the hidden scalpel in the records room quickly pointed out that whoever used it had to hurriedly place it away from prying eyes and had the killer truly been Jason; he’d have stabbed Darla in a critical area instead of just injuring her. Trent manages to fulfill his promise to Alison—or rather, his imagination of the victim—and apprehends the killer. He ends up honoring her at dinnertime. It also shows that it does get better for people who’ve grown up in foster homes, and people like Trent could grow up to find love, friends, and even a dog like Betty. We also get a deeper look into his past and learn how Amanda came to know him, which also explains why she cares for him so much—even though she might never show it.

Additionally, the episode also shows that Angie and Ormewood are now great friends, and they can hold wagers, make jokes, and solve cases together. It’s a great improvement from last week, when he had an outburst, and it seems he has kept his promise to work on his issues.


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Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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