TV Recap: “Will Trent” Episode 12 – “Nothing Changed Except for Everything”

It’s the beginning of the end for Will Trent… of Season 1, that is. Tonight, ABC aired episode 12, titled “Nothing Changed Except for Everything,” which serves as the first of a two-part season finale that concludes on May 2nd. As you might expect, this one ends on a grim cliffhanger. Without further ado, a recap of the first installment.

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

(ABC/Danny Delgado)

In 1986, Amanda Wagner (Imani Kahim) and Evelyn Mitchell (Sydney Park) were rookie cops out to prove themselves when they stumbled upon a dead prostitute behind a garbage dumpster, her eyes and mouth stitched shut. After conversing with a group of local prostitutes, one of whom had a black eye, the two officers pursued their pimp, a man named Juice (Willie Raysor), as their lead suspect. He was arrested and convicted of the crime, and the murders stopped. But not before a few more victims were murdered in a similar fashion. Among them was a pregnant woman named Lucy Morales (Raiany Silva), whom Amanda and Evelyn were trying to move to a safe house when she disappeared. Even though Juice was arrested and convicted, the two officers had their doubts that they caught the right man, primarily because all of the victims also had the same shade of red nail polish. Before Lucy went missing, Amanda and Evelyn recalled her telling them that it was one of her regular clients who would paint her nails for her. Because of this, they had suspicions that Juice wasn’t responsible for the murders, but due to sexism in the APD, they weren’t able to investigate further.

In the present, a woman named Brooke Miller has been murdered, her eyes and mouth sewn shut and her nails painted red. It’s the second case just like this, so Faith Mitchell (Iantha Richardson) and Michael Ormewood (Jake McLaughlin) present what they know to Amanda Wagner (Sonja Sohn) and Will Trent (Ramón Rodríguez). The other similar death was a man named Edward Ross, with both victims of different genders and socioeconomic backgrounds. Amanda asks the APD and GBI officers to keep the two cases separate for now. But as soon as they exit her office, we see how concerned Amanda is. She picks up the phone and calls Evelyn Mitchell (LisaGay Hamilton), saying “He’s back.” Soon after, Evelyn is sitting with Amanda going over the new cases. Evelyn notices enough irregularities to believe this is a new copycat killer, but Amanda tells her she wants to keep this from Will anyway. That night, the two former colleagues review old files together and decide they should meet with Juice’s attorney.

Will’s childhood bully and former orphan Paul Campano (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) exits his high-end fitness center late and gets in his car. He is suddenly strangled by a person who was hiding in his backseat. Paul splashed the murderer in the face with his protein shake, causing them to stop their stranglehold and rush out of the vehicle. Paul went directly to Will Trent’s house, telling him and Angie Polaski (Erika Christensen), who was just released from the hospital, what happened. Paul remembers that the killer’s hands smelled really good, like they may have been covered in lotion. He also shares that his wife Abigail has left him and filed for divorce. Will has a new theory after Paul’s attack and learning that the two other victims spent time in the same orphanage they all lived in. The killer is targeting all of them. As the trio talk, they recall an unusual kid they nicknamed “Pee Pee Percy.”

(ABC/Crystal Power)

(ABC/Crystal Power)

The next morning, Will and Angie call Faith and Michael over to tell them about Paul’s attack and their theory. They made a list of names of all the orphans they remember from their time at the orphanage and share that they believe they are both targets. They ask Michael and Faith to try and track all of the names down, particularly Percy, although they don’t know his last name. They also request that Amanda not be told any of this. After going through all of their records, Michael and Faith are unable to locate a Percy who matches the description from Will and Angie’s memory.

Amanda and Evelyn surprise James (Greg Germann), the lawyer who represented Juice, at a high-end restaurant, joining his table. Juice is dead now, but James recalls that his client took a plea deal to avoid the death penalty, not because he was guilty. Amanda asks for the lawyer’s old notes, and he reminds her that this would break client confidentiality. He also makes a joke that with how much time has passed, the killer would be using a walker by now.

Will and Angie decide to visit the condemned orphanage to see if any of the old records are still inside. “Nothing’s changed except for everything,” Will says as he looks at the building (giving this episode it’s title). They have to pry away boards in order to enter the home, which has mostly been cleared of furniture. They go upstairs to the room where the woman who ran the place kept her files. It’s empty, but Betty, who Will brought along, scampers off and barks at a closed bathroom. When Will and Angie open the door, they find a shoebox placed on the sink. Opening it, they find a photo from an orphan’s birthday party. The eyes of the deceased are scratched out. Just then, Will gets a phone call revealing that another body has turned up.

Will and Angie join Michael and Faith in examining the body of Dave Reynolds in the morgue. Michael reveals that a search of this victim’s home uncovered a certified letter for a class action lawsuit over asbestos exposure from the orphanage. Will doesn’t recall any asbestos issues in the building and believes this is how the killer is locating the victims. Amanda and Evelyn enter the morgue, and Faith is shocked to see her decommissioned mother working with Amanda. Similarly, Amanda is upset to see Angie working a case since she’s on leave pending an investigation. After sending Angie away, Amanda asks Will for information on the victim. Will doesn’t tell her anything.

Michael tracked down Percy (Myke Holmes) and takes Will to arrest him. Brought in for questioning, they show him the photo of orphans with their eyes scratched out alongside copies of the class action letters he sent each victim. Percy claims he is innocent, that he was hired by a mysterious figure to send those class action letters, but that he doesn’t know who hired him. All he knows about his employer is that they read an article about how Will Trent found the abducted daughter of his orphanage bully, Paul Campano. Stepping out of the meeting, Will discovers that Faith told Amanda about the case. His boss orders him off it, vowing that she is taking over. Will is furious at both Amanda and Faith.

Evelyn encourages Amanda to talk to Will and to tell him everything. Amanda goes to Will’s office and asks him to sit down, but he refuses until she tells him that one of the women who was killed in this same spree was his mother. Will sits, confused because he was told nobody knew who his mother was. Amanda tells Will Trent that his mother was a prostitute named Lucy Morales who was supposed to be moved into a safe house when she went missing. It wasn’t until Will was 19 that Amanda met him and made the connection. Will grows furious at Amanda for not telling him this, storming out of his office and slamming the door behind him.

Will arrives home so angry that it takes him a moment to notice that the record player is spinning, although the needle has moved to the center of the disc. He then realizes that his living room furniture is out of place. “Angie?” He moves through his house with his gun drawn. He finds Betty cowering in a laundry hamper. Looking around, he notices a picture frame that’s been broken, the photo missing. He finds it face-down on the floor. Picking it up, he stares at a photo of Angie. Her eyes have been crossed out.

(ABC/Crystal Power)

(ABC/Crystal Power)

The season finale of Will Trent will air on Tuesday, May 2nd, at 10/9c on ABC. Here is the official description of “It Was the 80’s.”

When an APD agent goes missing, Will examines the crime scene and locates a secret message putting him back on the path to justice. Meanwhile, with his lineage in question, Will realizes the answers he seeks have been in front of him all along.

Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).