{TB Talks TV} Aquarius Review: “Never Say Never To Always”


aquarius nbcTweetable Takeaway: Charlie cuts a demo and Officer Tully goes all in…to Roy Kovic

Airtime: Thursday at 9pm on NBC

By: , Contributor

Charlie Manson makes his classic demo Never Say Never to Always in this week’s episode of Aquarius.

Detective Sam Hodiak’s life is a first class mess.

Hodiak drops by the ex-wife’s house unannounced, probably hoping to find his AWOL son, Walt, hiding out. Walt isn’t there, but he does find a bus schedule and his wife’s current lover finds him. Surprise! It’s Ed Cutler, Hodiak’s partner. Cutler has some lame excuse about why he’s cheating on his wife with Opal, Sam’s ex, but Hodiak doesn’t care about the affair, he’s over Opal. He is upset that Cutler’s been telling him lies. Hodiak breaks up the partnership on the spot. If some cop is gonna buy it in season one, my money’s on this guy.

Opal wakes up while the men are talking and recalls the time Hodiak beat her up, “A wife beater,” she calls him. This family is in big trouble. Opal has diabetes, Walt is a deserter, and Sam is just wrong most of the time.

Charlie Manson’s life is pretty good. Then again, he’s an optimist.

Ken Karn climbs out of Charlie’s bed stinking of self-loathing. Charlie hates it; the guy is nothing if not sensitive to the feelings of others. He has a real gift, but he doesn’t dig negative energy. He tells Mr. Karn if he hates being himself so much, he should try being Charlie Manson. Yeah, it’s a little weird. Aquarius sets an excellent pace easing Charlie into madness, a little bit here, a little more later on in the episode. Mr. Karn wants his daughter to go with him, but Charlie assures him she isn’t a prisoner, all he has to do is ask, go talk to Emma. Charlie is positive she’ll choose to stay. Mr. Karn drives away without seeking his daughter. He leaves the balance of the demo money with Charlie, but his secrets and shame have a tighter grip on him than Emma, or her safety. This is one of the show’s, “Who’s the real monster here,” moments and there’s plenty of them. Then again, at the end of the day, we’re still talking Charlie Manson, a tier one apex-crazy.

Charlie’s parole officer gets fired for helping Hodiak. There is some shadow local government guy machinating here, but they don’t tell us who it is. Hodiak wants Shafe to go back to Roy Kovic and set up another meet with Charlie.

Officer Charmain Tully wants to be a great cop, but her office is full of d-bags.

The glass ceiling, sexual harassment, hostile work places… this is the late sixties/early seventies; perps are just the tip of the shitberg Officer Tully has to deal with to earn her pay. To start with, a nasty prostitute assaults her during a pat down. Then, instead of backing her up, Cutler makes fun of her and sends her to refill the coffee pot. Dick move man.

Kovic is surprisingly forgiving when he sees Shafe. His knee is still too weak to put any weight on. However, Tully shows up in her undercover flower child costume and Kovic is pleased to see her again. Undercover or not, Tully is full of qualities, everyone but Cutler seems to get it. The three of them drive to Charlie’s compound, meet the man and his women, which includes Emma. Shafe is cool as an undercover cop, but it’s Tully’s quick thinking and determination that get them access to the house. It costs her a trip around the sack with Roy Kovic, but she doesn’t do anything she doesn’t want to do. Tully and Shafe make a powerful partnership. They also make a dramatic target moving forward.

A drug dealing coffee shop owner is murdered and Shafe’s informant Vickery is the prime suspect.

The center of Shafe’s narcotics investigation is murdered at his coffee shop. He wants to look into hit, but it would blow his cover. Hodiak goes instead, but Cutler in already on the scene. He isn’t a creative thinker, inside the box was the preferred method at this point in time, but he isn’t a workaholic either. When Hodiak asks to have a couple of days to build the case, Cutler gives it to him. He already has Mike Vickery in custody; Shafe’s informant was seen fleeing the scene of the crime. Hodiak doesn’t think Vickery did it, and likely doesn’t know anything about it.

The Medical Examiner and Hodiak put together a theory based on the victim’s wounds. The attacker was right handed and taller than Vickery. He tells Cutler, actually demonstrates a plausible attack scenario, but Cutler doesn’t buy it.

Shafe tells Hodiak he saw Emma at the Manson Compound. Hodiak takes Grace Karn to the compound to talk with Emma, but she’s already gone.

Manson makes music with Emma Karn while Hodiak makes love with Grace Karn.

Charlie took Emma and the other girls to Rue Fisher’s to record his demo, outside, with all the ambient noise. Charlie loves the texture of the wild sound. At the same time he records his song with Emma, Hodiak and her mother are rolling in the sheets. Of course it’s a good decision. This is the same man that hotwired his own car when he couldn’t find the keys.


Kovic tells Charlie about Hodiak’s visit when he returns from the session. Charlie’s in a really good mood and so are the girls, but he gets a little dark when he finds out Mrs. Karn was looking for Emma. He tells Emma and Sadie to get ready to leave again and gives Emma a nasty backhand when she questions him. He breaks into Rue Fisher’s home/studio and offers the girls to him like someone might offer a houseguest a glass of water.

While Emma and Sadie pleasure Mr. Fisher, Charlie calls Ken Karn and makes him listen to the recording with Emma singing on it. Something beautiful from the ugliness is how Charlie puts it.

Plenty of threads to pull on next week.

Military Police show up at the Hollywood station looking for Walt Hodiak. Sam doesn’t have anything to tell them, and he isn’t exactly sure if Opal really knows where he is. Lets face it, Culter’s a real ass and we want something bad to happen to him. Somewhere, there is a tall, right-handed killer roaming the streets, and we need to know who had the juice to fire Charlie’s parole officer and why they didn’t shut down Hodiak. Plenty to look forward to.


Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.

Twitter: @etom2012

Keep up with all of Eric’s Aquarius reviews here.
Follow all of our TV content here!


Leave A Reply