I Am the Night series finale recap
The Beginning of the End
The episode begins in 1917 with a young George Hodel playing the piano. Hodel’s mother is outraged when the piano instructor tells her he cannot teach Hodel because while he is talented, he has no emotion and is not an artist. He suggests Hodel seek out a career in medicine or science instead. The flashback ends with the young Hodel hallucinating the demon bull that’s been glimpsed throughout the series.
Back in the present, Jay is handcuffed in a cell and is being beaten by Detective Billis and his men. When Jay tells Billis that Hodel killed Janice Brewster, Billis tells him that maybe he’ll get out of jail one day if he keeps Hodel’s name off of his lips. Jay, worried about what Hodel will do to Fauna, yells at him about protecting a killer and not being a good cop.
Billis attacks Jay and tells him that he doesn’t know what his daily life is like. Before Billis leaves Jay behind in the cell, Jay tells Billis he wants the detective to look Hodel in the eyes as a cop.
A Different World
Fauna finds out that Jimmy Lee was attacked and is currently in the emergency room. Fauna contacts Corinna for help. Terrence arrives at Fauna’s cousin’s house looking for his friend Xander. Fauna asks if he can take her home but Terrence hesitates because there is rioting in the streets with cops attacking black people. He’s worried about being seen driving around with a white girl, but not wanting her to walk, he puts her in the trunk of his car instead.
Terrence takes Fauna to Corinna’s house. Fauna gives him a kiss goodbye and tells Terrence to go home. Corinna lets Fauna inside, ranting and raving about the riots. Fauna asks for money for the bus so she can get back to Nevada. Corinna offers her a drink instead. Fauna tells Corinna that she finally found Tamar. She tells Corinna that Tamar forgives her and doesn’t hate her. Fauna then realizes that Corinna has drugged her. Before Fauna passes out, Corinna warns her not to eat anything in Hodel’s house.
Back at the jail, the police have rounded up many black men from the riots, locking them up next to Jay’s cell. One of them, who was clearly beaten, starts telling Jay about how they’re fighting back against the racist police officers. The man tells Jay that he lives in a different world and if they won’t put themselves on the line then who will?
Welcome to Hell
Fauna wakes up in the Hodel house, noticing that she’s in a nightgown. After putting her own clothes back on, she finds Dr. Hodel in the sitting room polishing his shoes. He tells Fauna that she fainted at Corinna’s and that he had brought her back to his home. Fauna tells Hodel that she’s been trying to get into contact with her grandfather since he’s the one who invited her in the first place. Hodel says that work keeps him busy.
Fauna tells Hodel that she met Tamar and Jay. Hodel jokes that Fauna must think he’s “Lucifer himself.” Hodel brushes Jay off as a damaged man who has caused him trouble over the years. Hodel says that he sends Tamar money and that it’s tragic how she believes her “mistruths.” Fauna tells Hodel that she’s not feeling well and wants to lay back down. Fauna tries to escape, but find herself locked in and trapped.
Hodel finds Fauna and offers to show her some new art he’s acquired. He then tells Fauna that she “looks well” in his house and asks his granddaughter to stay with him. Hodel asks if she felt at home with Jimmy Lee and asks how Jimmy is doing. Fauna lies, saying Jimmy Lee is fine and that she hasn’t spoken to her in a few weeks.
A doorbell interrupts them and Fauna says she would like to leave. Hodel says it’s not safe as Detective Billis walks in the room. Hodel tells Fauna to leave so the two men can speak. Billis tells Hodel they have Jay locked up, but Hodel is only concerned about having soldiers to protect him from rioters and spewing racist garbage. Fauna asks Billis if he can please get her out of the house. Caught in between her and Hodel, Billis declines and watches as Hodel walks Fauna to her room.
On the Line
At the jail, Jay is taken to speak with Billis and another detective in an interrogation room. Billis tells Jay that he looked through his evidence and says it’s not enough to go after Hodel. Billis also says that Jay is not credible, so he would have to give him solid gold. Jay yells at Billis when he finds out that Hodel has Fauna trapped in his house. Billis tells him if he isn’t careful he’s going to have the other detective slit Jay’s throat and throw him back in his cell.
As the detective pulls out a knife, Jay tells Billis that they both know Hodel is guilty. Billis finally talks straight with Jay, telling him (while casually threatening to put his cigarette out in Jay’s eye) that he can’t make a move against Hodel on his own because he’s protected by too many powerful people that would kill Billis.
When Billis starts to leave, Jay comes up with a desperate plan. He tells Billis to put his fingerprints on the knife the other detective is holding and to use it as evidence that he killed Janice Brewster. Jay says he’ll sign a full confession for the murder if Billis agrees to cut him loose into the chaos of the riots for a couple of hours, giving him enough time to kill Hodel. Billis knows Jay’s plan takes away all of his problems, so he agrees. The other detective wipes of his fingerprints and passes the knife over to Jay. Jay grabs the knife, planting his prints and saying, “I was supposed to be a journalist.”
Father and Daughter
Billis walks Jay out to a cop car that is meant to transfer him, sliding him a key to the handcuffs before he’s taken away. At Hodel’s, Fauna is allowed to leave her room to join her grandfather at dinner. Remembering Corinna’s warning, Fauna doesn’t eat, saying she’s not feeling well. When Hodel tries to get her to drink some wine, she defiantly refuses.
Hodel then tells his granddaughter/daughter that he wants to paint her. He removes his jacket, revealing a gun in his waistband. When Hodel leads Fauna out of the room, she grabs a small, heavy object unbeknownst to Hodel. After arriving in Hodel’s secret room, Fauna says she doesn’t want to be painted. Hodel hits her. Fauna steps behind a curtain to change into the gown that Hodel wants her in. She asks if Jay was right about Hodel, and he says that he cannot be compared to regular men.
Hodel tells Fauna that his instincts were given to him by nature, and “it would irritate her” if he were to resist them. Back in the police car, Jay frees himself, overpowering three officers while stealing one of their guns, and stumbles away from the wrecked vehicle. At Hodel’s, Fauna is sitting in a chair as Hodel paints. She says she needs to wipe her face, which has blood on it from when she was hit. Fauna takes the cloth Hodel offers her and carefully drops the object she’s been hiding inside, making a weapon.
Fauna then tells Hodel that he talks a lot of shit. She says she went to Corinna’s event, and that Corinna would call Hodel’s work the opposite of avant-garde. Hodel says, “No one speaks to me like that,” and Fauna continues with the insults. As Fauna riles him up, Hodel reaches for a scalpel (instead of his gun) and approaches. When he gets close enough, Fauna strikes, attacking him with her makeshift weapon.
Fauna snatches up the gun before Hodel can grab it. Hodel tells Fauna that she can’t get away because she’s his more than anything. Fauna says, “Am I your daughter, George? No, not yours. I’m Jimmy Lee’s daughter. I will never be yours. We all know what you are, George. You’re a cliche. Just like a pimp raping his own daughter. It’s boring, George. Pretending simple urges are high art. You’re boring.”
Fauna then escapes the room with the gun, leaving Hodel broken on the ground. Jay arrives at Hodel’s place, running into Fauna. Fauna hugs him as he asks if she’s okay. He then tells her to stay there as he goes to kill Hodel. Jay trashes the room and Hodel’s art when he realizes the doctor has escaped. Fauna calms him down and the two walk away from the house.
During their walk, Jay says he doesn’t want to tell Fauna’s story anymore, he just wants her to get away and never come back. Fauna says she doesn’t mind and tells Jay she believes there’s grace for him. Jay says he has to leave town. Fauna asks Jay to send her a postcard and she’ll write to him. The two part ways, Fauna walking past a group of National Guard soldiers and disappearing into the smoky city street.
Later, Fauna and Terrance arrive at Jimmy Lee’s hospital room. Elsewhere, Jay reads a letter from Fauna as her voiceover closes out the story. Hodel has apparently fled the country. Fauna says that the more things change the more they stay the same and that sometimes she feels lost like Jay does. She wonders if it’s because they know what monsters are.
As Fauna’s words continue about making peace with our demons, Jay floats out on the ocean on a surfboard watching the sunset. He still sees the dead Korean soldier as well as Sepp floating alongside him, but for the first time appears to maybe be at peace. Fauna thanks Jay for saving her in the letter, saying that when she looks in the mirror she sees someone she doesn’t quite recognize, but something she chose.
The series ends with real photos of Fauna and her two daughters, Rasha Pecoraro and Yvette Gentile, in Hawaii in 2015.
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