Previously: Belko Royce went on a depressing killing spree, Mitch Larsen finally found a way to make her home an even drearier place, Linden was passive-aggressive with Holder some more, Richmond’s in a wheelchair so he’ll have even more things to whine creepily about, and we learned that the photo conspiracy involves Holder’s old mentor Sherriff Gil Sloane, and thence Richmond’s political rival the Mayor.
Stan Larsen spends the day feeling emasculated once Rosie’s Killer drops off her blood-covered backpack on their front porch like some kind of existential flaming dog turd. Holder — informing him about Belko’s suicide on top of everything else — promises some patrol cars, but they never appear — because Oakes blocks them or because the Larsens creep the cops out like they creepy everybody out, it’s never made clear. Only when the boys start making their own weapons does Stan throw one of his fits, and when that doesn’t work, he goes to a sturdy sneaky murderer named Janek. Since Stan seems to think that everybody murdered his daughter, I’m not sure hiring a killer to find and kill the murderer of his daughter is a great idea. But hey, without Belko around to trick into killing everybody, I guess you have to have a new plan.
Holder (with Gil Sloane in tow) takes the backpack to Lieutenant Oakes’s special contact for analysis, but Oakes lies to his face and says there was nothing of further interest. The way he knows that is, he never gave up the backpack in the first place. Where Holder makes his mistake is in taking this information back to Sloane, who explains — hands up anybody who was surprised how fast this situation went directly into the ****ter — that there is a vast conspiracy in play and that Holder was selected as the patsy because he is so trashy and gross and meth-addict looking that he can play Cassandra all day and nobody will care. Harsh but so true.
Oh, and the doctored photos were recquisitioned under Sarah’s badge number, so she should probably stop ignoring Holder’s calls now that they are 100% back on the same side. She does some serious investigating this episode, eventually figuring out what happened the night Rosie died, when Richmond took Gwen to that Tacoma B&B: He freaked out about his dead wife, it being their anniversary, and he tried to commit suicide on the bridge where he’d first proposed. And while you’re right that that’s a ****ty move for a boyfriend to do on your first overnight romantic getaway, the larger reason for this massive coverup is that a suicide attempt would damage the campaign. (Or possibly that one more conversation with Darren Richmond about his dead wife would cause everyone to go into a coma and they wouldn’t be able to get out there and vote.)