The following contains spoilers from the Season 1 finale of ABC’s Will Trent.
Just as it did last week, Will Trent with its freshman finale left you feeling allll kinds of things.
For starters, there was the manhunt for the person who grabbed Angie and also was responsible for the circa-1986 murder of multiple prostitutes, Will’s mom Lucy included. An “old” note from the case file led Will & Co. to suspect it was Butch, the cop who worked the case back in the day, and that resulted in a parking lot confrontation where Ormewood had to wing Butch with a rifle shot.
But in a truly great “A-ha” moment, Will when again poring over the case file realized that that Butch “tip” had not been written dozens of years ago, but recently. Meaning, someone was trying to throw them off the scent.
Said someone, Will deduced, was James Ulster, the attorney who defended onetime suspect Juice back in the day. Having wound up on the phone with James after Angie tried/failed to escape, Will showed up at Ulster’s doorstep. The two men got to talking, and it became clear that James blamed Will for Lucy’s death, during childbirth. Because James felt Lucy was “different,” softer than his other victims. James led Will to his cellar, where Angie was shackled and unconscious after a brutal beating.
Will in turn dealt quite a beatdown to James, until he was supine on the floor. Will then quickly checked on Angie, and we got a first hint that James’ blows to her back/spine may have left her paralyzed. Will was poised to punish James further, yet when he lifted him from the floor he realized that James had poisoned himself with the limoncello he was sipping earlier. An angry Will was railing at the lack of true justice as the rest of the APD (tipped off by Campano’s epiphany that the killer smelled of the hand soap at James’ go-to restaurant) descended on the house and cellar.
James, it turned out, lived, and was in the hospital at episode’s end. As was Angie, though her doctor offered Will and the others no confirmation, either way, that Angie would be paralyzed.
Then, another of the 1980s flashbacks took us to when officers Amanda and Evelyn nearly caught their serial killer, but he slipped away. Amanda in turn found Lucy in a nearby room, dead after giving birth. Amanda rummaged around the nearby area, looking for the newborn, and found the wee lad inside a garbage can.
Coming out of that flashback, Evelyn sat beside Will at the hospital and revealed to him that it was Amanda who found him all those years ago. And that, if she had her druthers, Amanda would have kept him — but adoption simply wasn’t possible for a single woman back then. Amanda thought she had turned him over to a good family, and deeply regretted that his childhood took a different path. “Losing you broke her heart,” Evelyn said, but Amanda did at least give him one thing: her mother’s maiden name, Trent. Plus, 19 years later, they happened to find each other…? “You’re connected,” Evelyn asserted. “Amanda Wagner is one proud bitch.”
What followed was a quiet, beautiful, and emotionally laden scene where, meeting up at the hospital vending machine, Will said simply to Amanda, “Thank you.” Amanda’s eyed well up, as she patted Will on the shoulder and handed him a small envelope, inside of which was a necklace that belonged to his mom.