In his bedroom, Shane puts on a baseball cap, then tosses it to the floor. He puts on gloves. Grabbing a gun, he loads it and tosses it in a duffel bag. We see a framed picture of Mara and Jackson on the nightstand. Shane flops backwards onto his bed with a sigh. He sits up, puts his face in his hands, and stares into space.
"I'm not sleepy; I wanna play!" Jackson cries from the next room. Mara tells him it's time for bed. Shane appears, telling Mara it's okay for Jackson to stay awake. "But it's late. He's fussy," says Mara. Shane says grumpily, "Good. Let the whole block know we're both here dealing with a cranky kid."
Shane motions his wife into the hallway. They need to walk through their plan. "In 30 minutes, I go online, I check the Georgia Bulldogs score," Mara recites. She'll check the score every 10 minutes after that, answering any emails Shane gets.
At 11:00, Shane wants Mara to order a pizza and turn on the shower. When the delivery guy shows up, she'll call toward the bathroom to ask Shane for cash and make sure he sees Shane's wallet. Mara looks uneasy.
Elsewhere, Vic meets with Cruz. A bodyguard waves a metal detector wand over Vic's body. Cruz wants Vic to put a drug dealer out of business. Did he come to the right guy! He explains a priest named Father Morton lets gang members deal heroin and cocaine out of his church in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds. The yearly fiscal report to the diocese is due in a week. Cruz wants Father Morton to recommend that St. Luke's be closed.
Vic guesses St. Luke's is located on land that Cruz is developing. Cruz plans to open restaurants, but he can't get a liquor license if there's a church within 1,000 feet. His knowledge of the drug dealing will force Father Morton's hand.
In the Barn parking lot, Vic tells Olivia about what Cruz wants to do. "How many commandments does that violate?" Olivia wonders. Vic says Cruz seemed agitated. Olivia gives Vic permission to play along and has the go-ahead from Claudette. In fact, the captain will let Olivia have Vic for the whole week. "The love just keeps on comin'," he says.
Olivia knows he's being fired and is sorry to hear it. Vic hopefully asks if he can work for ICE. "You're forgetting I've read your file," says Olivia. So has Chaffee. Vic points out that with Farmington about to become cartel HQ, the feds need someone who knows the players. Olivia will try to grease the wheels again.
Vic hopes they won't actually let the church close. Olivia promises to give the diocese a heads-up. "Good," Vic says vehemently, "I wouldn't wanna piss off Jesus on top of everyone else."
Ronnie brings home a young Asian woman. She bartends at night and goes to dental hygienist school during the day. They're holding hands and it's nice to finally get a glimpse into Ronnie's personal life. The romantic evening is cut short by a black man, his face hidden by a black motorcycle helmet. He fires at Ronnie.
The bartender screams. Ronnie valiantly opens his apartment door and pushes her inside. He stays where he is and pulls his own gun. After they each pop off a few rounds, Ronnie dives for the safety of his apartment, kicking the door shut behind him. He throws his body on top of his date to shield her until the gunfire stops.
Next we see the photo of Ronnie, Shane, Vic, and Lem having some beers together. Shane sits by a window, breathing heavily. A Charger driven by Vic pulls into the driveway. Bug-eyed and panting, Shane overhears Vic talking to Ronnie on the phone.
Ronnie thinks a black guy took some shots at him. He tenderly wraps his date's arm with gauze; she was grazed by a stray bullet.
Vic jogs out to his car. Shane keeps hyperventilating in the bedroom.
"Glad I moved to the Valley. It's so much safer," Ronnie says sarcastically as Vic and the EMTs arrive. He asks his date (IMDb lists her as Esther) if she's okay. "Don't talk to me, shithead!" snaps Esther. When she's gone, Vic jokes, "So much for your bamboo cage fantasy."
The Barn will be handling the investigation. Claudette arrives on scene, exclaiming, "Jesus! You're still in one piece?" Billings inquires about Esther, tactfully referring to her as "Hanoi Hannah." Ronnie is sure she'll live, but doubts there'll be a second date. Billings is impressed Ronnie talked Esther into coming over on the first date.
Claudette will send Ronnie a list of recent parolees so he can check for familiar names. Dutch notices the light bulb in the porch light has been unscrewed. All Ronnie knows for sure is the guy was black, had a big gun, and rode off on a motorcycle. Vic digs a .357 out of the living room wall. "Looks like armor-piercing," says Dutch, "Somebody wanted you dead two or three times."
A woman calls from outside: "Ronnie, you okay?" It's his neighbor Shonda. She thinks she can help the cops out with a possible license plate. Shonda normally "doesn't like to get involved with messy shit," but Ronnie helped her cousin get out of some kind of trouble. She describes the motorcycle as black and red, then hands over the partial plate she wrote down.
"Timing's kinda creepy with all the shit goin' on with Shane lately," Vic mutters. Ronnie was thinking the same thing. Vic offers to let Ronnie spend the night at his house. Ronnie deadpans, "You got a bamboo cage?" "For chrissake," Vic chuckles.
Vic suddenly remembers he's meeting with Olivia the next morning about Cruz. Not to worry, he can cancel it. Ronnie doesn't want him to. He plans on going back to the Barn to figure out who shot at him: "I'm not gonna sleep anyway. Not without my Asian throw pillow."
|The first thing that came to mind when he said that.|
Vic will see what he can find out. Claudette tells him that's not happening; he's been assigned to ICE. She threatens to have Vic on desk duty for the rest of his short career if he starts rousting people in Farmington. Claudette addresses the rest of the cops; any information on Two-Man or Ronnie's attempted murder should be passed along to Billings and Dutch.
Ronnie makes a disgusted noise when Claudette puts him on desk duty. "You're the victim of a crime; it's mandatory," says the captain. She's sure Shane and Julien will leave no stone unturned on Ronnie's behalf. Claudette will get a warrant for Two-Man's house. She turns to Julien: "I'd park Shane here too, but we need the manpower. You keep an eye on him."
In the clubhouse, Vic promises Ronnie that he'll find a way to be there when Two-Man is caught. "This is bullshit," grumbles Shane, "Everyone used to fear this team...We need to remind them who we are, put this asshole's dick in the dirt." Ronnie doesn't think that's a good idea. Shane the Duplicitous Bastard points out, "This asshole tried to kill you over a bloody jaw, man....If he happens to fall in front of a moving bus, consider it an accident." He leaves with Julien to talk to Two-Man's stable.
Ronnie muses it's possible Two-Man was acting on his own. Possible, but extremely unlikely.
Shane parks in front of a motel. He wants to take the first crack at Capuchina: "We can go salt and pepper on her if her tongue freezes up." Julien agrees to wait in the truck. In Capuchina's room, Shane urgently asks for help finding Two-Man before he finds Capuchina. Someone must've seen her at the Barn and figured she dropped a dime. "Shit!" cries Capuchina, hurriedly getting dressed.
Capuchina starts shoving more clothes into a bag. Shane sits her down on the bed. The best thing she can do is pretend she's never talked to Shane. Capuchina thinks Two-Man might be staying with his cousin.
Shane snarls to Julien that Two-Man deserves whatever they can give him. "That's not for us to decide," says Julien. Shane points out all the factors: Two-Man is big, pissed-off, and has lots of guns. He probably won't come peacefully. Two-Man also tried to kill a fellow cop. Julien agrees to back Shane's play.
They hear a loud argument from inside the house they're approaching. "Hey! Hey! It's the police!" calls Shane. An angry black woman opens the door, telling them more or less to get the fuck out if they don't have a warrant: "You don't have the right to--" "Do what? Look for a guy who almost killed another cop?" asks Shane.
The woman tries to get Shane in a stranglehold from behind. Shane manages to shake her off and handcuff her. Julien finds a black man in the bedroom, pulls his gun, and demands to see the guy's hands. Shane dashes into the bedroom, all "whoa, whoa, buddy, that's not him."
He then asks, "Where's your cousin? Why were you trying to sneak out the window?" The other man admits Two-Man was here earlier, but he packed some things and left. Two-Man has an hour head start.
Vic asks to talk to Father Morton about his unofficial altar boys. The priest insists the gangbangers just come to his mission "for a hot meal and a place to sleep. What they do on the streets is out of my hands." "Out of your hands and into your pockets?" Vic guesses. He knows the E-Park Johnnies deal drugs there and the good father gets a cut of the proceeds.
Father Morton is curious about the lack of squad cars and uniforms. What's Vic's angle? Vic wants the priest to recommend the closure of St. Luke's; otherwise, photos of Morton taking money from gangbangers might end up in the parish hall. He also has statements from Father Morton's unauthorized bank account. That could mean a lot of prison time. "Then arrest me," Father Morton challenges. He won't close his mission.
Vic arrives at the home of Damon, head of the Johnnies. Damon thought Vic was retired. "Too young and pretty to retire," says Vic, "Made 'em shitcan me." He taunts the gangbanger about the possible effects of steroids on a man's goodies. Vic has seen the crew around St. Luke's selling cocaine and heroin. How does the priest figure into it?
Damon claims Father Morton is just their spiritual counselor. Threats of jail don't scare Damon. The police don't have evidence. "Ain't gonna put no homeless junkie on the stand. And the priest? He bound by oath to keep his mouth shut." "Since when are you Catholic?" Vic wants to know. Damon mockingly crosses himself.
Cruz has a lunch conference with Edgar-veda. Early studies have been encouraging. People believe Edgar-veda's years as a police captain will make him a stronger leader. D.A. Anita Lima has started an exploratory committee of her own, convinced she can be L.A.'s first female mayor.
If the councilman wants to win the election, he has to surround himself with more influential people. Cruz promises, "I have the influence and power to make you the next mayor." He also has enough leverage to guarantee a win. This is one-time offer.
"Forgive me, Father, but you have sinned and I need a goddamn confession," Vic says. That's not quite the version I learned in Confirmation class. Through the confessional screen, Father Morton hisses, "I am in the middle of service. Get out." Dear writers, real Catholics call it Mass.
Vic tells the priest about his visit to the Johnnies. Whatever the gang has on Father Morton must be a lot worse than Vic's Box O' Blackmail. "What could be worse than a priest losing his collar and going to jail?" Vic muses, "Then it hits me. A priest going to jail for molesting boys." Father Morton tells Vic to leave. "What? No absolution?" Vic asks innocently.
Father Morton gives Vic an earful: "Just because some priests use the collar to live out their sick fantasies doesn't mean every priest is a gay pedophile." He does have a fair point. "Then what do the Johnnies have on you, sir?" Vic asks loudly enough that people in the pews turn around.
Father Morton pulls Vic away from the congregation. With a sigh, he admits to having an affair with a female parishoner named Keisha, which resulted in a baby. Keisha's brother is none other than Damon. The gang leader was none too happy about the relationship.
Father Morton tearfully says Damon has been threatening to kill Keisha and her son if he doesn't let the Johnnies deal at the mission. The secret bank account is to provide for Keisha and Adam. Damon uses his and Keisha's grandfather's house as a stash spot.
Vic suggests hiding Keisha and Adam in a shelter. Father Morton tried, but gentrification closed all the shelters in the neighborhood. Vic understands that a man has to do whatever he can to protect his blood.
"Good news!" Claudette announces to the squadroom. Uniforms picked up Two-Man. Outside, assembled cops clap as Two-Man is taken out of the squad car. The pimp was driving recklessly on his motorcycle, ran a stop sign, and almost hit a city bus. "You shot and tried to kill one of my detectives last night," says Claudette. Two-Man denies it, but tells Ronnie his jaw feels better.
Busting Two-Man was a case of beginner's luck; a rookie spotted his bike. Dutch and Billings get the first shot at interviewing him. Vic takes Billings aside. He knows all about the "half-assed lawsuit" and doesn't want Billings' "half-assed brand of police work anywhere near a hit on one of my Strike Team members." "The guy shot at a cop. Cuffs are never coming off," Billings promises.
Upstairs, Two-Man repeats he had nothing to do with shooting at Ronnie. Dutch informs him that a witness saw his motorcycle leaving Ronnie's apartment. Two-Man holds up a Polaroid of Ronnie: "This faggot-ass cop laid his hands on me. Y'all need to arrest his damn ass." "Great, only 20 seconds in we've already got motive," says Dutch.
Shane, Vic, and Ronnie watch the interview on CCTV. Two-Man insists that, as a Christian, he turns the other cheek. "He could turn both cheeks, he'd still be talkin' out of his ass," says Vic. Billings thinks it's lucky for Ronnie that Two-Man couldn't hit a target that was 10 feet away with a clear shot.
|Two-Man's favorite phrase|
Dutch and Billings leave the interrogation room to come up with a new strategy. Unis are combing the streets between Ronnie's apartment and Two-Man's for the gun. Julien suggests searching the cousin's house. Shane thinks he can convince the guy to let them in without a warrant. He would like it to be just himself and Julien: "Too many bodies, it'll look like an occupation instead of a friendly request."
Shane makes a beeline for the interrogation room and turns off the camera. He asks where Two-Man ditched the gun. Two-Man is sure this is a trick to put him in prison. "Look, I am trying to save you, dumb-ass," Shane says impatiently. There's no case against Two-Man without the gun. Going into her office, Claudette notices Shane pounding on the interrogation room table, waving his arms.
"You think I trust you?" asks Two-Man, "You wanted me to kill your own cop buddy, remember that?" "Which means that we're in this goddamn thing together," Shane whispers. Claudette passes the observation room and notices the TV showing nothing but static. Two-Man finally tells Shane the gun is in a sewer grate in his backyard.
"Why is the camera off?" Claudette demands as she enters. Shane lies, "I didn't think you'd want a defense attorney to hear the names I was just calling this asshole."
Vic approaches Chaffee about staying undercover for ICE. Chaffee doubts it'll be possible with Vic's shady reputation. Vic appeals to their desire to keep good guys on the streets. Chaffee's phone rings. "It seems you're not the only one Cruz is trying to employ," the fed says. Edgar-veda enters the office.
Cut to after Edgar-veda has presumably explained Cruz's play to buy the mayoral election: "As soon as I showed any reluctance, he turned his offer into an ultimatum." Chaffee advises Edgar-veda to accept the offer. Edgar-veda thought he gave them the Box O' Blackmail to wash his hands of Cruz. "Are you sure those hands are clean, councilman?" asks Chaffee. Edgar-veda calls him an asshole.
Olivia reminds the boys they're all supposed to be on the same side. They need to keep Cruz from leaving L.A., which he won't if he's helping Edgar-veda's campaign. Vic and Edgar-veda have to turn their secret partnerships with Cruz into an open threesome. The goal is to prove Cruz's connection to the cartel.
"And what happens when this blows up and my name gets tied to Cruz and the cartel?" demands Edgar-veda. Olivia says, "Former cop goes undercover to catch a cartel player trying to buy a mayor. Smells like a winner." Chaffee tells the men to be careful. Vic quietly tells Edgar-veda not to worry: "If Cruz decides he wants you taken out, I'll be the one he hires to do it."
Olivia stops Vic before he leaves. Her orders to keep Cruz in play were from the Department of Defense. The cartel evaluator probably has ties to the Mexican military. If Vic wants to make himself an asset, he needs to find out who the new player is. Vic is glad Olivia has his back. She tells Vic she managed to get Keisha and Adam into a shelter in El Segundo.
Shane gives Two-Man's cousin a choice: Let him and Julien in to look for the gun "or 20 cops show up in an hour and they wreck this place." The cousin and his girlfriend consent to the search. Shane tells Julien he'll check the backyard. He pulls up the sewer grate, finds the .357, and shoves it down the front of his jeans. Don't ask me how; they're practically painted on.
Shane is further proving his idiocy in that the T-shirt he's wearing is barely long enough to touch his belt line. If that thing rides up when he sits down, the surprise is out.
Dutch and Billings heave sighs. Ronnie heard Julien and Shane rolled snake eyes at the cousin's. Billings wonders if the witness and partial plate could be enough to make a case against Two-Man. "You be willing to roll to a jury with that if he'd been trying to fill your ass with lead?" Ronnie asks grumpily. Julien hasn't been able to find any associates.
Shane suggests switching out teams. Dutch pissily tells him they're doing the best he can. "And the final result's lookin' to be this asshole walkin' outta here with nothin' but a few hunger pangs," says Shane. Dutch thinks Shane should make himself useful and look for the gun. Shane did; without it, the only chance at sending Two-Man to prison is a confession. Let him and Julien try pushing the pimp's buttons.
"He doesn't know we don't have the gun," Billings points out. Shane worries Two-Man could catch them in that lie, then there'll be nothing left to squeeze. Dutch wants to finish what he and Billings started. Upstairs, Dutch pretends they found the gun. "Where?" Two-Man challenges.
Dutch thinks that's an odd answer; innocent people would say there's no gun to be found at all. They know Two-Man has a motive and no alibi. "Means, motive, and opportunity, the holy trinity of incarceration," says Billings. The only question now is whether to charge Two-Man with attempted first-degree murder or attempted second-degree murder. The pimp wants to see the gun, then he'll tell them why it's not his.
Vic jogs into the observation room. "If Wagenbach and Billings do any more jerking off, it's gonna be a goddamn bukkake party in there," gripes Shane. He begs Claudette to let him and Vic talk to the suspect. The captain agrees, but Vic has another idea: fake statements by nonexistent witnesses. Shane looks vaguely sick to his stomach.
Claudette pulls Dutch out of the interrogation. Vic instructs, "I want you to smile at me like we've got this bastard hung to the cross and thank me like you really mean it." Dutch does, then strolls back into the room. He reports to Two-Man that he has witness statements saying "you were gonna kill a cop who roughed you up."
Dutch heard all this from a reliable source: "couple pros you use as punching bags, Farrah and Capuchina." "I didn't say nothin' to them bitches," Two-Man insists. Dutch sums up all the evidence in their favor. He and Billings put on their suit jackets and walk out.
Vic mutters desperately for Two-Man to take the bait. "What if you get forced to do somethin' that you didn't really wanna do?" the pimp inquires. Shane hastily excuses himself from the observation room.
Two-Man won't shut up now: "That ho Amber that got herself killed...he was gonna put my name on that killing I don't do what he say. He wanted a cop merked." "Who wanted him dead?" Dutch presses. Cut to Shane skittering down the stairs like a Daddy longlegs.
"Who made you do it?" Dutch asks again. Two-Man points in the direction of the observation room: "That cop in there. Dixie-Boy." There's only one person that could be. Downstairs, Shane has made it as far as Billings' bank of vending machines.
Two-Man lays out more damning details: Shane gave him the revolver and Ronnie's address, told Two-Man that Ronnie was getting off work at 11:00. What Ronnie drives, where the pimp could hide. "Two shots to bring him down, two shots to the head to be sure."
In the back parking lot, Shane's getaway is impeded by Officer Paula. She cheerfully asks if Shane wants to sign up for department softball again. "Uh, sure," he answers, speed-walking to his truck. Paula says Shane can play center field or shortstop since Officer Asher quit. "Wherever," Shane says with a wave of his hand. Officer Paula keeps chattering away; the league fee went up to $75 instead of $50.
"Shane Vendrell hired you to kill Gardocki?" Dutch looks equally confused and skeptical. Two-Man argues, "I didn't get hired for shit. I got thrown on a slave ship and given a gun for an oar." Ronnie, Julien, and Vic dash out of the observation room, all three eager to get their hands on Shane. "Where's Vendrell?" Vic asks downstairs.
Officer Paula is still standing at Shane's truck window. What jersey number does he want this year? "You pick," he replies. Paula gives him his choice of any number besides 23, 17, and 35. (I'd suggest #1 with a bullet or maybe #25, as in 25-to-life). Shane fidgets, then finally loses his temper: "Just pick the goddamn number and shove it up your ass."
Shane starts his truck and peels out of the parking lot. Ronnie, Vic, and Julien are too late to catch him.
Mara knocks on Corinne's door. "You left Jackson in the car?" the former Mrs. Mackey says disapprovingly. Mara asks Corinne to listen to her carefully.
The first thing out of her mouth is a bombshell: "Vic murdered Terry Crowley." Shane witnessed it. A year and a half or so later, the Strike Team stole $2 million from the Armenian mob. "That's why there was an Armenian hitman in your house to kill you and your kids. Shane shot him and saved you." Two days ago, Vic and Ronnie tried to kill Shane. "Last night, [Shane] retaliated in self-defense."
"You're crazy," Corinne grinds out through her teeth. When she tries to shut the door, Mara grabs her by the arm. "Just shut up and pay attention," orders Mrs. Vendrell. She and Shane are leaving L.A. Mara wants Corinne to pass on messages to Vic and Ronnie. First, they need to remember they started this. Secondly, they better not look too hard for the Vendrells or "Shane is gonna testify to so much Strike Team shit that the two of them will be put away for 10 natural lifetimes."
Corinne's mouth hangs open in shock. Anything else you wanna add, Mara? Like how your husband murdered Lem in cold blood? Mara orders Corinne to be by the phone every day at 1 PM and 10 PM. She'll be checking in. Vic needs to keep Corinne in the loop concerning what the cops know about Mara and Shane. "You need to tell [Vic] everything. Exactly what I said," Mara demands before stomping off the porch.
"Must've given you some reason why he wanted to kill Gardocki," Dutch says. Two-Man denies it; Shane was all about the plan.
Vic reports to Claudette that nobody is at Shane's house. It looks like the Vendrells packed in a hurry. "Why?" asks Claudette. Vic shrugs; Mara must be Shane's accomplice. "No. Why did this man try and kill [Ronnie]?" the captain wants to know. Vic snarls, "Ask Shane." Claudette places Vic and Ronnie under orders not to leave the Barn. When Vic goes downstairs, Corinne is in the lobby.
Billings informs Two-Man that he shot Ronnie's date Esther. Two-Man asks if she's okay. "Gonna be left-handed for the next 6 months," says Billings. Two-Man apologizes, but he had no choice; Shane was trying to stick him with a bullshit murder charge.
"Holy shit," Ronnie says in the clubhouse. Corrine replies hotly, "That's right, holy shit." Vic implores Corinne to help them. Corinne agrees, provided Vic tells the truth and she believes it. Did the Strike Team really do all the things Mara said? Ronnie looks uncomfortable. Vic admits a lot of stuff happened that shouldn't have "for reasons that made sense at the time, but are pretty hard to defend now."
Corinne's eyes fill with tears. Vic asks, "Do you want me to go to prison?" Corinne responds with a question of her own: "Do either of you even feel any shame?" Vic tries not to think about it too much. Corinne appreciates the honest, then admits she's known something shady was up for all these years. "And I have let you infect me and our children. I will help you this one last time and then the kids and I are out of your life." Vic has to have some kind of consequences for everything that's happened.
Driving along, Shane tries to give Mara a reassuring pat on the shoulder.
Vic and a small army of uniforms show up to raid Damon's house. When Keisha answers the door, Vic promises to get her and Adam out safe. She says Adam is watching TV with his grandpa and Damon is in the back bedroom. Vic presses a finger to his lips and motions for grandpa to take Adam outside. He ends up having to keep Damon from diving out the bathroom window.
Vic hands $5,000 Cruz gave him over to Olivia. She's impressed; given his file, she thought he'd have pocketed it. This will go a long way toward helping Vic get a job with ICE. Vic thanks her for doing right by him. "Wouldn't wanna piss off Jesus," Olivia says, probably in reference to the fact the Barn used to be a church.
In the clubhouse, Ronnie heaves a deep sigh. "If Shane wanted to retaliate against both of us, why only come after me? And why'd he trust it to someone like Two-Man?" Vic figures Shane needed to give himself an alibi. Or Shane wants to finish Vic off himself. For all Vic knows, Shane could've been hiding in his house the night Ronnie almost died.
Ronnie wonders how long the Vendrells can realistically hide. A month? A year? I'd say less than that. Mara looks like she's pretty far along and I doubt she'd agree to a home birth, on the run from the law or not. Ronnie is sure Claudette will confine him and Vic to the Barn. How are they supposed to find Shane? Vic sighs. For once, he's at a total loss.
"Why did Shane try to get Ronnie killed? What went wrong with you three?" Claudette asks Vic. In response, he unclips his detective shield from his belt and lays it on her desk. Vic officially announces his resignation; he'll turn in his gun before he leaves the Barn.
Claudette is surprised. Vic still has a week left; she thought he wanted to play things out 'til the end. Vic doesn't want to stay if it means being chained to his desk. After a beat, Claudette goes to her office window and calls do to Vic. She doesn't want him interfering with Shane's case. "Seeing as how I'm not a cop anymore, you don't really have jurisdiction over what I do, captain," Vic snaps.
"You rogue out on this, you do anything sideways like you did with Lemansky and I'll lock up your corrupt ass faster than you can say, 'How'd I lose this job?'" Vic looks amused. If this is what his job's come to, he doesn't want it.
Vic turns in his gun at the desk. Ronnie watches him leave the Barn. End of episode.