Were the three timelines the show was using confusing enough?
Because here’s a fourth.
The fourth is a quick one: Wayne is dropping his daughter off at college. The same daughter Wayne’s adult son Henry changes the subject when Wayne asks about her in 2015. Is she still alive?
And considering she’s nowhere to be seen in the college drop-off scene, is Amelia?
Then again, there are plenty of other things going on in Wayne’s life that could point to a good reason why Amelia isn’t around in 2015 or at that moment somewhere between 1990 and 2015. She is conducting her own investigation, and while she may be learning things, the one thing she knows for certain is she’s not an outside observer. But the things she doesn’t know? That the audience knows and 2015 Wayne may have forgotten?
Well, why did Roland and Wayne have a falling out in 1990? In 1980, the pair were reassigned and just drifted apart. That happens. In 1990, Roland brought Wayne onto the case to get Wayne off desk duty. He knew the case would never be solved and didn’t expect Wayne to solve it. No one told Wayne that. They did find Tom Purcell’s dead body, gunshot to the head and next to a suicide note, in a manner that suggested something similar to what happened to Brett Woodard. And sure enough, the authorities pin the blame on Tom. Wayne figures the thing to do is follow up on one Harris James, one time cop and current security guy for the Hoyts, the man who undoubtedly actually killed Tom. That involves taking James off for a good old-fashioned beating to get a confession. Yeah, we saw Roland and Wayne pull that off before. This time? James gets loose, attacks Wayne, and Roland has to kill him to save his sometime partner.
And that doesn’t sit well with the two, with Roland coming this close to using a certain n-word in the argument that follows.
Does Wayne remember that? It’s hard to say. In 2015, he does learn why the TV crew is talking to him: since Wayne disputed the most the official story of what happened to Julie Purcell, perhaps he thought there was something else, something along the lines of a massive child kidnapping and murder ring like one the interviewer has listed on a convenient laptop showing a news story featuring some rather familiar faces. But no. That wasn’t it. There may be holes in Wayne’s story, but there are more in his memory, and he got what he wanted from the TV crew, namely to find out how much they knew. And it turns out, not much. The interview is over.
He and Roland have some more success finding a former servant of the Hoyts who remembers the missing Mr. James as well as a mysterious Mr. June, an African American with one good eye.
We’ve seen a guy like that already.
Plus, that dark car came back to 2015 Wayne’s house, and Roland manages to get a shot of the license plate.
But then Wayne’s life goes dark. As in, the only thing he can see is himself in 1990, burning his clothes after James’ murder. Amelia asks what happened, and he won’t say. Not even the next morning when they both get up and he gets an ominous phone call from Mr. Edward Hoyt. Hoyt says he knows what happened the night before. He knows the names of all of Wayne’s relatives. And he wants to talk in a car parked outside the Hays’ house. And he leaves the house, and perhaps his marriage, as the credits roll.