‘Will Trent’ Episode 8: Recap And Ending, Explained: Who Killed Alison? Why Was The Magician Murdered?


ABC’s detective drama series “Will Trent” streams its 8th episode this week, with the suspicious suicide or murder of a hardworking university student as its central focus. A certain fact about this student’s past also makes her extremely close to our titular detective, Will. Along with the investigation of this case, the episode presents another homicide case taken on by APD detectives Angie and Ormewood, in which a magician is found murdered just before his performance at a retirement home.

Spoilers Ahead

‘Will Trent’ Episode 8: Recap And Ending

“Will Trent” Episode 8 begins with the GBI detectives reaching a lake inside the university campus, where the dead body of Alison Schooner has been found. The investigators looking at the matter initially had ruled it a case of suicide since Alison seemed to have apparently drowned herself in the lake with a heavy block of cinder tied to her body. A short note written on a torn-off piece of paper that read, “I want it to end,” also made it certain that Alison had indeed killed herself. But once special agent Will Trent takes a closer look at the body, he finds hints of something otherwise having happened. He finds a deep but slim cut on the side of Alison’s neck which makes it clear that she had been stabbed by a very sharp instrument, the mark of which was almost invisible. Blood spatters left behind on a tree’s bark confirm this theory, and the GBI now starts to investigate the case as a murder and not a suicide.

Alison was a hardworking student at the university, working two different jobs to pay rent and continue with her education, which itself is commendable to the detectives. But when Will reaches Alison’s rented room to investigate, he is even more impressed by the girl’s efforts and draws an instant connection with her. Every wardrobe, box, and item in the deceased student’s room had wire locks or padlocks on them, which confuses Faith, but Will knows the exact reason for it. Alison had grown up in the same foster care system in Atlanta as Will and Angie, and the girl was, therefore, always insecure about others stealing or taking away her things. The girl was desperately trying to make a good life for herself with the help of education, and the detectives also found out that she was taking part in experimental drug tests at the university. This is revealed through the high liver enzyme count in her body as well as a labeled medicine container found in her clothes.

While in Alison’s room, a knock on her window makes the detectives look out, and they find a young man looking for Alison in a suspicious manner. Will chases this man, who is also a student at the university, and the detective even uses some force against him. The student, Milo, falls to the ground and passes out amidst all this commotion, and Will has to face some serious warnings from Amanda Wagner, for Milo was the son of a rich and influential family. While the detectives initially try to place Milo in the role of Alison’s romantic partner, they soon find out that Alison actually had a boyfriend named Jason for quite some time. However, Alison and Jason had broken up their relationship a few months ago, but they still seemed to be in touch. Jason was a student of the medical research unit, which developed and ran the experimental drug tests, and Will deduces that it must have been he who introduced Alison to the program.

Upon interrogating Jason, the student admits to having done this since he wanted to help Alison earn more money so that she could afford her education with more ease. Jason also says that he did not really know why Alison had broken up with him or fallen out of love with him, making it clear that he still wanted to be together with Alison. As an alibi for the night of the murder, Jason says that he was in the research lab the whole night, preparing paperwork since the research unit was nearing a deadline. However, Jason’s research partner, a kind and impressionable young woman named Darla, later tells the detectives that he had not been entirely honest when he said that Darla was with him throughout the night. The woman had spent quite some time on her own through the night, leaving Jason alone in the lab or maybe outside on the campus grounds. 

Will and Faith focus on the possible motive of the murder and realize that they need to know more about the drug that was being tested. Talking with all the other participants of the test program, they found out that although the medicine was technically being developed as one for hypertension, it actually had a side effect that kept one focused and concentrated without feeling tired. It was for this second reason that the drug was becoming quite popular among students, and it was even being sold illegally. Specifically, in order to avoid such scenarios, the university department had arranged for a system in which each individual taking the drug as part of the test had to submit their blood before taking it, which would prove that they were consuming it on a regular basis and were, therefore, part of the test program. Will now realizes that this system was being evaded and misused by someone, most possibly the murderer of Alison. They have a word with the professor leading this drug test, too, a certain Dr. Tilda, and suspect her of being aware of all of this. Dr. Tilda denies any involvement, and she reluctantly takes the detectives to her research lab, where they find a struggling Darla lying in a pool of blood.

When rushed to the hospital, Darla recovered quite well, though, as the wound on her body had not hurt any of her internal organs or veins. She tells Will that when she was going through the blood samples of all the student participants, she found out that it was just the blood of a single individual being passed on under the names of different students. This meant that some students were unlawfully taking the drugs out of the laboratory to then sell them outside to other students. Darla admits that Alison’s name was there on the list, meaning that she was selling the drugs and that it was Jason who was enabling all this, and it was Jason who had stabbed her. With a clear target, the detectives and campus security start looking for Jason but eventually find his dead body in the basement, seemingly having shot himself, and with an apology written on the wall with steam.

Although the case seems to be over, Will has doubts about how things turned out to be. Had Jason really killed Alison, then he could have just drowned her instead of leaving enough clues for a murder. Also, the stab wound on Alison’s body was very carefully positioned to hit her artery and twist it, which would drain all blood and most definitely kill her. But in the case of Darla, the stab was carefully positioned to miss any organs, and yet both had apparently been committed by Jason. In order to prove his hunch, Will sets up a false situation by mentioning that Milo, who was clearly a buyer of the drugs from Alison, had apparently seen Alison’s murderer on the night of the killing. With the help of the doctor leading the case, who also shows romantic interest in Faith in “Will Trent” Episode 8, Will makes sure that Darla overhears them talking and mentions that Milo could only be interrogated the next day due to his health condition.

That very night, Darla walks into the trap by trying to kill Milo in his hospital room while Will patiently waits for her there and finally confronts her. It was actually Darla who had committed the murders, and she had arranged Alison’s death carefully in order to make the police suspicious of possible murder. Darla knew that Jason would be the prime suspect, and she removed him too, posing his death as an apologetic suicide for having killed his ex-girlfriend. Darla was the one ensuring that the university’s system of submitting blood to withdraw the drugs was being evaded, and she was the one running the whole illegal drug-selling ring. Although Alison was also partaking in the illegal act, she soon was overwhelmed with guilt and wanted to quit. Darla was not ready to let her go, though, and Alison even threatened to inform the authorities about the drug ring. Both out of fear and rage, Darla murdered Alison and then killed Jason too, in order to set up the whole false story. Along with arresting Darla, the GBI also investigates Dr. Tilda as well, as she must have known about the effects of the drug for which it could be misused, and yet was still developing it.

The empathetic side of detective Will Trent had already been established in “Will Trent” Episode 7, and now some more is revealed through this case too. Although Alison was intentionally risking her life by getting involved with drug peddling, Will understood her reasons with no judgment whatsoever. He was way too aware of the feeling of a young teenager being turned away from the foster home where they grew up, with only two hundred dollars and a bus ticket to figure out one’s life. During the investigation, Will gets so caught up with it that he starts to imagine the dead Alison having conversations with him. In one such conversation, Will says that he, too, had gotten involved with petty crimes at that age. Will had been caught stealing and was turned in to the police when he was a teenager. It was only because the very good police captain took an avid interest in Will and had supported him since then that his life turned around, and he is now a GBI detective. This very good police captain happened to be Amanda Wagner, the GBI superior to Will and Faith. When Will meets Angie during the investigation, he tells her about the victim, and Angie realizes how much the stories of such people affect Will. At the end of “Will Trent” Episode 8, when all cases have been solved and perpetrators put behind bars, Will, Angie, and Nico sit down for a homey dinner. Angie now leads a toast of dedication to Alison, wishing that she could know in her lifetime that she was not alone and that there were more people like her all around.

What Was The Reason Behind The Murder Of The Magician?

APD detectives Angie Polaski and Michael Ormewood reach the Sunshine Life senior living home as part of a homicide investigation, as a man had been killed. Calling himself Steve Susperio, the man was a professional magician who would travel from place to place conducting shows. Steve had a regular schedule performing at retirement homes and senior living centers, and he was a regular at Sunshine Life as well. On this particular occasion, Steve was setting up for his show when Nancy, the head caretaker at the facility, left him alone. When the senior residents started to enter the hall to watch the magic show, they found Steve lying dead with one of his own prop swords stuck in the back.

The APD detectives try to follow every lead that they can get and also interrogate each of the senior residents to find out more. As it turns out, Steve Susperio was not just a magician but a con artist as well, who specifically targeted residents of senior living homes for his scam. He would use all sorts of tricks, ranging from hypnosis to flirtatious charm, to get close to the old people and collect personal information like bank account numbers and social security numbers from them. Steve would then wipe out their bank accounts and keep all the money for himself. With the elderly people having no idea about what happened, Steve would continue with his scam over and over again since the families of the residents would put money in their accounts again. Angie and Michael suspect that some of the senior residents could have committed the murder, but a major breakthrough arrives when a crucial piece of evidence is found. Although Steve’s personal ID and his wallet were still on him, his phone was nowhere to be found.

As it turned out, Steve had placed his phone in front of the stage to shoot a video of his magic tricks to send to America’s Got Talent. He had started rolling the video when the whole murder took place, and the entire ordeal had been captured on the phone. One of the senior ladies then found the phone and took it away with her, and she has now turned it into the police. The head caretaker Nancy had actually been in a romantic relationship with the magician Steve, but the two now had a huge argument over the money. In fact, it was found out that Steve had a habit of getting close to such caretakers because he needed to do so in order to carry out his scam. Nancy had been Steve’s accomplice, and when they had a fight, she had turned into his murderer, for it was she who had stabbed Steve with a prop sword. 

What Is To Be Expected From ‘Will Trent’ Episode 9?

As “Will Trent” is surely nearing its end, what the final two episodes might bring along is anyone’s guess, really, since no one case has continued. It could be possible that the last two episodes follow one case, as had been in the first two episodes. The past about Faith’s mother being removed from her position due to Will’s investigation still remains a mystery to us, and whether more about that is revealed would be something to look forward to. As of now, Will and Angie’s relationship does seem to be in a stable stage, but whether there is any more development with regards to that or whether any finality is established with regards to it can also be expected in the episodes to come.

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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