Aquarius Premiere Recap: Everything You Need to Know About David Duchovny’s Charles Manson Police Drama

David Duchovny and Claire Holt in Aquarius.
Sergeant Hodiak (David Duchovny) chats with LAPD bombshell Charmain Tully (Claire Holt) in Aquarius. Vivian Zink/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius! (Sorry, had to.) David Duchovny kills it in the premiere of his new NBC cop drama, Aquarius, which follows the criminal investigation of notorious murderer Charles Manson (Game of Thrones' Gethin Anthony). Duchovny plays police sergeant Sam Hodiak, a super straight-laced cop who comes across Manson while investigating the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend's young daughter. Together with his ridiculously good-looking partner, Hodiak delves into the sinister world of drugs, sex, tie-dye, and the Manson family.

The show's inaugural season promises to be full of '60s-era fashion, great music, and major brooding by the man also known as Agent Fox Mulder, so get caught up on its premiere episode below!

Setting The Scene

In 1967, police sergeant Hodiak unwittingly gets involved in the infamous life of Manson, the real-life criminal who led a commune (aka The Manson Family) in the late '60s. Manson was found guilty of plotting the murder of seven people in 1971 — including actress Sharon Tate. In other words, he wasn't exactly sane in the membrane.

Aquarius - Michaela McManus and David Duchovny
Michaela McManus as Grace Karn, David Duchovny as Sam Hodiak in Aquarius. Vivian Zink/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Meet Mr. Manson

Let's get one thing straight: much like Stacy's mom, Aquarius' Charles Manson has got it going on. This wannabe guru already has a cult following of attractive hippies when the show starts, but wasted no time targeting young Emma Karn (Emma Dumont). Emma ditched her family to join Manson's entourage, and immediately started having casual orgies and making friendship bracelets. Fortunately, she's yet to sing "Kumbaya," but it's only a matter of time.

The Main Mystery

Ready to watch a shirtless Duchovny attack a punching bag? Aren't we all! This no-nonsense cop was busy being hunky when he received a call from his ex, Grace Karn (Michaela McManus), informing him that her daughter, Emma, had gone missing.

Sergeant Hodiak whipped out his aviators and eye-rolled his way through a party in search of Emma, until he found himself at a hippie commune with a bunch of Jethro Tull wannabes. The problem? These free-loving folk didn't want to help an uptight cop — which is where Brian Shafe (Grey Damon) came in.

While Hodiak probably passes out at the mere sight of patchouli, Officer Shafe is totally at ease chilling with the "youths" — so you better believe he teamed up with Hodiak to find Emma.

Aquarius - David Meunier, Claire Holt, Grey Damon
David Meunier as Roy Kovic, Claire Holt as Charmain Tully, Grey Damon as Brian Shafe in Aquarius. Vivian Zink/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Potential Love Connections

No one has locked lips on Aquarius yet, but there are two central love connections burgeoning on the show: Hodiak plus Grace, and Shafe plus LAPD's resident blonde bombshell, Charmain Tully (Claire Holt). Shafe and Tully definitely had a moment when they went undercover as hippies to get info on Manson, and it's only a matter of time before they turn on some Grateful Dead and make out (that's what people did in the '60s, right?).

The Twist

Get this: Manson's former lawyer was Emma's dad, Kent Karn — whom Manson used to "round up whores" for. No wonder his daughter was targeted! The first hour ended when Manson paid Kent an unwelcome visit in the parking lot and threatened to rape him if he didn't fork over some music industry connections. It was crazy disturbing. Thank goodness David Duchovny is here to save the day!

Aquarius airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, and the network has released the entire series online for your binge-watching pleasure.

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