Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers
Helen sets her sights on Ryan.
Upon realizing that FBI agent Ryan Kane is actually the murderer she’s been chasing all along, Helen rushes back into the hospital where she sent him to protect Philip and Lukas. She shuts the hospital down, but it’s too late -- she spots him from the maternity ward window getting back in his car and driving away. Having fled the scene before Ryan got to them, Lukas and Philip are nowhere to be found. Helen, Tony, and Gabe get ahold of the hospital’s security tapes and see Philip and Lukas jumping in the back of someone’s truck. Helen thinks they may be headed to Anne’s because that’s the first place that Philip usually goes in the sign of trouble. “Shit, I just told Ryan the same thing,” Gabe says. With an Amber Alert out for the boys, Helen wants to go after Ryan herself because if she were to go to the FBI making that kind of accusation against one of their top agents they’d grill her for hours. Despite Gabe’s pleas, she knows she’s the one for the job. She kisses him and tells him it’ll be all right before she and Tony head to Anne’s rehab center.
Lukas and Philip hide out in a motel.
Cut to Lukas and Philip; they’ve hitchhiked in a pickup truck to the middle of nowhere just to get out of Tivoli. Lukas is still weak from the surgery and bleeding a bit through his shirt. Telling Lukas that he had seen a badge on the killer when he entered the hospital, Philip concludes that so long as Ryan knows they’re alive, he’s never going to stop until he finds them. Philip and Lukas group their money together and get a motel room to get a roof over their heads. They’re unconvinced of Helen’s ability to keep them safe at the hospital and decide to stay there awhile. Even in the wake of their drama, the two boys can’t help but fall for each other and know they’re safe in each other’s arms. One thing leads to another, and they end up finally putting Philip’s condom to use.
The boys are trying to figure out what to do next and decide to call Helen to tell her that they’re safe. Relieved, she sends Tony to pick them up. Philip tells her he thinks the guy from the cabin was wearing a badge, and she assures him that she knows and that it will be over soon. With Tony on his way, Philip asks Lukas what they’re going to do about “us,” and Lukas admits he doesn’t know if they’re going to tell people right away, but they’re going to stay together. They’re still figuring it out. That’s when Philip’s phone starts buzzing with texts from Anne; she’s saying she’s back at home and doing badly. She needs his help, and Philip knows he has to get to her before Tony gets to the motel because he’d never be allowed to visit her otherwise. So without thinking twice, Philip and Lukas pack up and head to Anne’s home to take care of her. Tony shows up at the motel and they’re nowhere to be found.
Ryan kills Anne and sets a trap.
Ryan, meanwhile, has driven to see Anne in rehab, thinking that’s where Philip and Lukas may have gone. He gets a call from work that the chief is heading over to get an in-person brief on the Vescovi bust, and he says he’ll get there soon. Ryan finds Anne and begins his visit with her comfortingly, introducing himself as Agent Kane with the FBI, saying he’s there about her son. He says that her son witnessed a murder in a cabin in Tivoli. “Do you know anything about that? He’s in danger Anne, and I need to find him.” Anne gets nervous. Ryan confides that his mother was an addict, too. Booze. He’s trying his best now to get under her skin. “Why don’t you call Philip, have him meet us here? That way you can show him how good you’re doing.” Anne says she doesn’t have phone privileges and is then taken aback by Ryan’s pushiness. She suggests that he call Helen the sheriff, his foster mother, if he needs to get in touch with Philip. He explains why he can’t. “I didn’t mean to be, but I’m the one your son saw in the cabin,” he says, growing ever more menacing. “I’m not gonna scream,” she says. In the next scene, Ryan stages her death as a heroin overdose, just like with Tommy. He then takes her phone, goes to her home, texts Philip, and waits. When Philip and Lukas show up, he’s waiting for them behind the door; in their next scene together, the boys are unconscious in the back of Ryan’s trunk while he drives off to the Vescovi bust.
Helen interrupts the Vescovi bust.
Helen and Tony get to Anne’s rehab to find her being carted off, dead, but Helen knows Ryan killed her and staged it as an overdose because opiates weren’t her poison. That’s when Helen hears from Philip and she sends Tony off to get the boys while she hunts down Ryan, who she assumes is at the Vescovi bust with the FBI chief. In an effort to learn his whereabouts, though, she heads to the FBI headquarters to find it empty, wiped clean. That’s when she turns to Kamilah, who’s getting ready to leave Tivoli for good with baby Jake, for information on the bust.
Tracking her down near the docks, Helen reveals to Kamilah that Ryan is the killer and that Kamilah was inadvertently his leak who got him Lukas’s location. Kamilah, distraught, confirms the bust is happening on Pier 3. Ryan is then shown getting to Pier 3 for the bust after putting the unconscious Philip and Lukas in the trunk of his car. As he’s getting ready to orchestrate the Vescovi bust, Helen shows up and begs him to do the right thing and tell her where the boys are. She says she knows it was him. Panicking, Ryan flees the scene and calls for the bust to start, effectively cutting Helen off with the line of FBI vehicles speeding to the pier while he speeds off in the opposite direction with the boys. She jumps in her Jeep and chases him down a dirt road. Stopping, he gets the boys out of the trunk, gun in hand, and disappears just in time before Tony and Helen show up, hot on is trail.
Helen gets her man.
Pulling up to Ryan’s car, Helen and Tony run up to the trunk to find Lukas in the back, but Philip is still missing with Ryan. Lukas’s wound is bleeding again, so while Tony tends to him, Helen chases Ryan by foot. She comes to a clearing to find him holding her foster son a gunpoint. Ryan stands with his gun cocked and ready to kill Philip, but he unexpectedly lets him go and tells him to go be with Helen. He tells Helen he couldn’t do it to her boy. Never taking her eyes of Ryan, Helen begins crying and opens up to the FBI agent one last time. She explains for the first time all season why she was going to kill herself before meeting Gabe. When she was working in Buffalo, she’d tracked down a kidnapper, got a hold of the baby, and was so close to getting out safely when the kidnapper showed up at the last minute. Hiding from him in the closet, she stifled the baby’s cries by covering its mouth (a scene we saw play out several times over the season), and she accidentally suffocated the baby. “I live with that every day and fight like hell to control it and not to let it destroy me,” Helen says through tears. “Why couldn’t you?” “I’m sorry, Helen,” Ryan replies, before pulling his gun on her. But she’s too fast and shoots him down first. Next to his slain body, she finds his gun empty, the cartridges lay beside to him. He emptied the gun before she shot him, letting her kill him. That’s when Gabe and Bo (who Gabe met with and calmed down, bonding over whiskey earlier in the episode) show up. Running to his son, Bo cries, “I love you so much, Lukas.” Gabe comes into the clearing, and Helen takes Philip’s hand and they walk toward him together.
One month later…
Now with the pressing danger of Ryan Kane finally out of their lives and with Philip and Lukas becoming increasingly more comfortable living their love openly, the now-orphaned Philip is moving in for good with Helen and Gabe. His new adoptive parents reveal they’re building a dark room in his closet, as he’s taken a particular liking to photography. While they’re moving Philip’s boxes in, Helen’s murder board box from Buffalo is also part of the storage, but she decides to bring that back down to the station instead of allowing it to darken their home. Lukas then picks Philip up on his bike and they share a kiss in front of Helen and Gabe; it’s one of the first times they’re going out together since Lukas’s hospitalization. They’re off toward a party in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where Lukas promises to kiss Philip in front of everyone. As they ride off into the sunset, Gabe and Helen watch on from their porch. Gabe pulls Helen close: “I love you unconditionally, always, until the end.”