Part VIII
S2 episode 8 Aired on September 19, 2018

Alright, this is it, folks! The grand finale we’ve all been waiting for. Part VII wrapped with Marin being found shot dead outside the Five Nations Reservation motel. The question is: Who shot her? And where’s Julian? Get all the answers you’ve been dying for below.

Vera and Julian escape to New York City.

While at this point in the episode still unconfirmed how Julian reunited with Vera, it’s clear that Vera knew from the matchbook in her Bible that Marin was taking Julian to the Five Nations Reservation. The morning after Marin’s death, Terry is sent in Vera’s brown Volvo as a decoy to distract the police -- including Harry and Heather -- while Vera and Julian escape to New York, where an ex-Mosswood resident, Danielle, puts them up in her Chinatown apartment. Danielle doesn’t know the full extent of their situation, just that they’re running away from Mosswood and Keller and making their way to Washington State. There, Vera says, they have friends of Mosswood who will take care of them -- and “the biggest trees you’ve ever seen,” she tells Julian. Vera also finally admits to Julian that she’s been wrong for lying to him all this time; she should have told him about Marin, and she apologizes. Julian, though admittedly upset and distracted by the previous night’s events at the motel, seems to be warming back up to the woman who raised him. 

Julian has his reservations, though, and the next morning he calls Harry -- not to tell him where he is, but to ask for his advice. Should he return to Keller or run away with Vera? “It’s not just up to her,” Harry says. “The whole thing is about you, and you can choose which way it goes.” But Harry also admits that he’s not sure what he would do in Julian’s shoes.  “It depends on what you can live with.” Julian hangs up in a hurry when Vera walks in. Their stay in Chinatown is being cut short; Danielle saw on the news that Marin is dead, and despite Vera’s attempts to convince her that they’re not responsible for Marin’s death, it’s still a load of trouble that Danielle wants no part of. She tells them they have two hours to get out of her apartment. Vera takes those two hours to take Julian to get fake IDs made for their forthcoming journey. They’re going into hiding and plan on taking the Chinatown bus to Pittsburgh and eventually make their way to Chicago and further west to Washington. When they return to Danielle’s, though, the police are already there waiting for them. In the nick of time, Vera and Julian sneak off to a nearby diner to plan their next move.

There’s more to Jack than meets the eye -- he’s Julian’s father.

In perhaps the episode’s most shocking twist, we learn that Julian’s father is not Jeffries (The Beacon), but in fact Jack! We’ve assumed that Marin’s last night in Keller was the night she was drunk at the firehouse, when really, Jack managed to convince Marin to come back home with him and Heather. After putting Heather to bed, Jack comes downstairs to speak with Marin about why she’s running away. She tries to get under his skin by revealing that the reason Heather is so upset is because Marin doesn’t want to have sex with her. It’s the first time Jack’s suspicions about his daughter’s sexuality have been confirmed, but Jack is unfazed. When she tries to leave again, Jack insists she stay. “What? You’re worried about me?” she asks, and eventually succumbs. “Whatever you say.” He goes to get sheets to make up the couch; there’s a glassy look in his eye. When he returns to ready for bed, he leans in to kiss her. Marin is at first taken by surprise -- “Really?” she says with a laugh -- but then she kisses him back. They get down on the couch, and things get more intense. That’s when Marin wants out. “Jack, I think I should go,” she says, but he holds her down and forces himself on her. Marin leaves the next morning for Mosswood, devastated.

This all catches up to Jack in the present day when Brick discovers documents on Liddell’s desk that indicate monthly $1,000 payments to Mosswood from a company called Daedalus. While it at first looks suspicious that Liddell would sit on this information, it’s because he was linking the company back to Jack, and had to be sure himself before confronting his colleague Heather’s father. He’s also a friend.

The pieces start coming together for Heather, however, when she’s back at home doing Jack’s laundry and finds a key to the Five Nations Reservation motel in his back pocket. With the information on Daedalus and the key in-hand, she and Harry approach Jack the next day, demanding answers. Jack admits that Marin called him that night at the motel, and that he wanted to help her with money and a means of escape. “I thought if anyone deserved a fresh start, she did. So I drove up,” he says. But he stops his story there, requesting that Heather leave. Shocked at her father’s lies, she goes outside, while Jack continues his confession to Harry.

He explains that he went to see Marin at the reservation, she was not stable. When he learned of her plan to take Julian across the border, he tried to stop her, but she pulled the gun on him. He panicked, grabbed her hand, and the gun went off, shooting her in the stomach and killing her. From there, he went into the motel, called the police, and found Julian. That’s when he brought him to Vera Walker. Harry, pushing Jack on what Vera has on him -- Why did he bring her Julian? Why is he paying her each month? -- Jack admits to being Julian’s father. Jack is brought down to the precinct, effectively ruining his relationship with Heather (they have one last conversation in which he refuses to speak, too ashamed). Beyond that, we never learn what happens to Jack thereafter.

Julian decides to return to Keller and face his sentencing.

Back at the diner, Vera and Julian sit to concoct their next move. Vera suggests they get the next bus out and leaving their things in Danielle’s to buy anew in Chicago, but Julian has made a decision for himself: He’s not going with her. “If we just keep running, it’ll never stop,” he says. He wants to go back to Keller to face the consequences of his actions. Vera doesn’t understand -- she’d do anything for her son, including running for life from the law, and she just wants to protect him. But Julian maintains that he wants to go back. She resorts to trying to scare him: they’ll put him in jail or in a home, they won’t let her be his mother. “This is crazy!” she says. “They might not let me see you anymore. What if they don’t let me see you?” But he assures her that he’ll tell them that he wants to see her, and when he’s 18, he’ll be allowed to see who he wants. Both of them are crying at this point, and Vera reluctantly agrees. They go back to Danielle’s where they are arrested, and brought back to the Keller precinct, where Harry is waiting for them.

The next morning, Julian’s hearing takes the courtroom. The debate is whether or not to incarcerate the 13-year-old murderer or to rehabilitate him. Was his mind warped beyond his control while living with Vera and the Mosswood community? Did he not understand the nature of mortality and death? It was Vera, after all, who told him of the deadly power of jimsonweed, but using the phrasing “passing on,” as we see in a flashback. Did he know Adam and Bess would die violent, horrible deaths?

Harry speaks on Julian’s behalf during the hearing, expressing that the boy has come on his own accord to turn himself in and face his sentencing, which should also be taken into consideration. He was there to make amends, which is “more than a lot of us can say,” Harry exclaims, thinking to his own past with his mother and the house fire. The judge agrees with Harry and sides with the lesser judgement: Julian will spend four years in a facility in Syracuse called New Horizons, where he will be rehabilitated and eased into real-world society.

Vera, Harry, Heather, and Julian all get their closure.

After her return to Keller, Vera effectively shuts down Mosswood. Its members have left in the aftermath of the Julian Walker case, and it appears to be just her left on the commune. She’s shown in the middle of the night burning her belongings in a bonfire, the way we have seen members of Mosswood do before. She then eventually takes it one step further and grabs a burning log to use as a torch. She then sets the entire barn surrounding the rock altar ablaze, and it burns down to a crisp. And the next morning, she gets a chance to see her son off in the courthouse -- and to thank Harry for all he’s done. (He even dropped the charges against her for fleeing Keller with Julian.) It’s an awkward and stiff goodbye -- two damaged and troubled adults seeing one another for who they actually are, demons and all.

And we do indeed learn that Vera got a glimpse at Harry’s demons up close and personal that night in the cabin. Before burning the barn down, Vera makes a trip to Harry’s hotel room at the Rockford Lodge and leaves the audio recording of his work session waiting for him on his pillow. Listening back to it, it’s clear that Harry is completely enraptured in the moment, perhaps hypnotized; his voice is distant and unfocused. We cut a flashback, and Vera and he are back in the cabin. Vera is in his face, demanding to hear how he feels, to stop hiding. He begins telling her about his relationship with his mother, but then proceeds to tell Vera that he doesn’t want to do this and that he hates her. He hates the way that she clings onto Julian as if he’s her own. It stings, but she turns the tables, saying that he’s resentful of his own mother for never showing him such kindness and care. She asks him what he wants, and he slides her hand from his chest up to his neck, and forces her to choke him. She complies, and as he’s gasping for air, we jump back to the present day -- Harry’s stopped the tape. So while these two characters have largely been opposing each other throughout the entire season, by the end, they do know each other. 

That’s not all we see of Harry, however. His final moments this season are spent with Heather and Julian; they’ve taken Julian out of the center for the day and finally make it to Niagara Falls. Staring incredulously out at the water, Julian tells Heather, “My mother would have liked this,” and it’s unclear if he’s talking about Vera or Marin. But Heather smiles beside him. Standing behind them back is Harry. He looks fatherly, proud. He smiles while watching Julian. But in the last moments of the season, that smile begins to fade. Harry has seen enough of the world to know that darkness may well be around the next corner.