Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sometimes You "Pay in Pain" (Episode 1.7)

Previously on: Dutch went off on a guy for bringing in a false lead during a serial killer investigation. Vic's son was diagnosed with autism. Edgar-veda planned to use his fight against dirty cops to sell himself as a candidate for city council. The Strike Team stole cocaine; Julien witnessed it and refused to recant even under pressure from Edgar-veda. (Which makes no sense because Edgar wants Vic gone).

Peppy Spanish music plays over several people, including a pregnant woman, doing a round of target practice at an indoor shooting range. The pregnant woman reels in her target to examine her handiwork. Somebody sneaks up and shoots one of the guy aiming downrange, then proceeds to shoot everyone else on the range. The killer walks out to the gun store the range is attached to. "You done already?" the clerk asks before he too is shot.

A black woman comes into the Barn and wants someone to listen to her. Dutch tries to pawn her off on one of the uniforms, but ha ha, nobody else is around. He asks if she's there to report a crime. "I've lost track of all the crimes," she sighs. The woman is a lifelong Farmington resident and is tired of keeping her complaints to herself. Her apartment has been broken into 7 times and nobody has ever been arrested. "Graffiti and cuss words" are on every outdoor wall. The woman's voice rises in volume, drawing out Vic and Shane.

The woman dumps a container of pencils on the floor, complaining about the needles on her sidewalk and beer cans on her lawn. Edgar-veda, smelling a campaign angle, listens from his customary perch on the balcony. "We can drop smart bombs down chimneys half a world away," the woman continues, "But some sicko gets released from jail because of a computer screwup and rapes my niece! How does this make sense?" Her eyes fill with tears. Everyone present looks somber. Mothers kill their own children, kids kill strangers, and "maniacs fly airplanes into buildings."

The woman asks Dutch, "What are you doing to make us feel safe?" I'm waiting for Edgar-veda to come bouncing down the stairs to tell her all about their great community-oriented policing programs, taking credit for things that were in place well before he became captain. But no, they just cut straight to the theme song.

At the shooting range, Vic wonders why Gilroy called him; Watts isn't their jurisdiction. Gilroy gives him the body count: 8 victims, 9 counting the fetus. If he's putting his ass on the line, he needs his best man to cover it. Vic is pretty sure Northwest Division won't like him being on their turf. Northwest's lead detective on the case is Carlos Zamora, who's in tune with the local gang scene. Enter Carlos. He informs them that the victims were all Toros, the biggest gang in the area. Unfortunately, the gun store's security cameras are just for show, so they won't be able to ID the shooter that way.

Lucy, the female victim was dating Train, the top guy in the Toros. Vic knows Train will want to retaliate big-time, what with his baby-mama being killed and all. Carlos will pay a visit to the Toros and try to talk them out of doing anything stupid; you see, Carlos used to be one back in the day. Up until now, he's kept a lid on them.

Outside, Shane tells Vic that a high school kid works at the gun store as a janitor. He wasn't one of the victims. According to the owner, the kid, Jaime, didn't call in sick. "You seeing this?" asks Vic. Across the way, Carlos is hugging the grieving Train. "Paging Dr. Phil," mutters Shane. It's no wonder Gilroy called; an ex-gangbanger detective working a gang war is a definite conflict of interest.

Train swears he doesn't know who would kill his friends and his baby-mama. Vic searches a Toro and comes up with an illegally concealed knife and a baggie of cocaine. "Do I have to search all your guys or do I get an answer?" asks Vic. The guy with the knife suspects Wet Willie, a black gangbanger on parole.

Vic goes back to his truck and is confronted by Carlos. He doesn't like Vic shaking down his old friends, insisting: "You treat 'em like people, it works." Vic tells Carlos to track down Jaime while he and Shane talk to Wet Willie.

Edgar-veda goes over Julien's statement. The rookie saw the Strike Team take 4 bricks of cocaine as evidence and hide 2 in their weapons bag. He thinks Vic gave it to Shane. Edgar-veda reminds him that "I think" is not the same thing as "I'm sure." Julien doesn't need to bother doing the right thing if his testimony is vague; Vic's lawyer will try to twist anything Julien says. Hopefully, he won't have to go to court. Nobody involved wants to be embarrassed, so Vic and Shane would probably take a plea bargain and lose their jobs.

Shane is fighting the urge to doze off in Vic's truck. He grabs a book off the console and inquires about the title: Facing Autism. Vic lies that Corrine wants to learn about autism because a classmate of Matthew's was just diagnosed. Shane thinks the kid's parents must be upset, adding, "I had a cousin who was retarded." Vic tells him autism isn't the same thing. Shane makes a Rain Man joke. Vic grabs the book and wants Shane to keep his mouth shut unless he's really interested in learning about autism.

Edgar-veda watches closed-circuit footage of Julien giving his statement to Frances from IAD. Downstairs, Danni is surprised to see her partner; it's Julien's day off. She has an idea about how to handle the situation with Vic, but he doesn't wanna hear it.

Wet Willie pulls up to his baby-mama's house, where Vic and Shane are waiting in the truck. Willie drops off some medicine for the baby. Afterward, Shane pats Willie's friend down. "I didn't do nothing!" the guy protests. Shane asks, "Ever? Or just in the last 10 minutes?" Willie's friend suggests Shane suck something of his. Shane kicks him in the crotch from behind.

Willie has an alibi: he's been home with his sick baby all night, just look at the puke on his shirt. It's not just his baby-mama who can vouch for him. Her sister is there and they took the baby to the free clinic earlier in the day. Vic is convinced. He hears Shane shouting, "Suck your what?" and hurries to see what's going on. Before Vic can do anything, Shane whips it out and starts peeing on Willie's friend. A couple of neighbors are outside, drawn by the commotion. One shouts for his wife to call the police. Just one problem, Shane and Vic are the police. Vic yells at Shane to get in his truck. "Get the license plate!" cries another neighbor.

Speeding away, Vic gives Shane a hard slap to the head. Shane yelps. "We're trying to prevent a war, not start one!" Vic bellows before slapping him again. Shane tries to justify his actions by saying Willie's friend was a pain in the ass. Vic tells Shane that he's been a pain in the ass. Should he pull over and pee on him too? Shane looks stunned. "You're out of control!" says Vic.

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Dutch goes over the serial killer file again; Sally won't be the last victim unless he finds who's responsible. Claudette rightly thinks he's obsessed. Dutch calls it dedication. There's a fine line between dedication and stalking your ex across the country, attacking her new boyfriend, and attempting to rape her. Sorry, wrong show again. Claudette suggests Dutch needs an easy case to get his groove back. She grabs a handful of files from the low-priority cabinet, saying, "Pick a card, any card." He can go back to the serial case with fresh eyes after he takes a day to work on something else. Dutch draws a folder.

He and Claudette interview Gene, a black gentleman who says his mother and her friends are being defrauded by a psychic named Frida. Frida claims she can talk to the man's dead father. His mom took out a second mortgage to pay Frida and he's supposed to inherit the house. "Well, that's a problem," says Claudette in a neutral town. Gene asks what they intend to do about it.

Vic meets Carlos in a parking lot, Shane still sulking in Vic's passenger seat. The two drivers talk to each other through their open window. Vic struck out with Wet Willie. Carlos got a call from a gangbanger friend of the missing Jaime. Jaime's been bragging that he saw the shooter leaving the gun range. Carlos can handle it, but Vic is free to back him up.

Julien visits his lover Tomas, who doesn't understand why Julien wants to complicate his life by ratting on Vic. Julien takes personal responsibility and thinks Tomas should try it. Tomas is unemployed, has outstanding warrants, and does the old dine-and-dash scam. Tomas shrugs that he makes money here and there. Julien knows that translates to either dealing drugs or working as prostitute, neither of which Julien should be around. Tomas will be homeless after his current housesitting gig ends.

"Oh, whatever will I do?" Tom asks sarcastically, obviously planning to mooch off Julien. Julien wonders how long it's been since Tomas even applied for a job. Tom wants to know how long Julien will keep pretending to be straight and says, "I'll try if you'll try."

Vic, Carlos, and Shane talk to Jaime outside a liquor store. Carlos asks if the killer at the gun range was wearing colors. Jaime won't talk. Vic asks what gang the shooter was in. "The white people's gang," Jaime answers. There goes the gang war theory.

At the Barn, Gilroy says the shooter being white is a big problem. More unwanted headlines. A guy named Jiminez is stopping by for a progress report. In the captain's office, Jiminez immediately assumes the gun range murder spree was a hate crime. Carlos wants to release the shooter's sketch to the news, but Vic says even the artist won't vouch for it.
This gives you an idea how vague the sketch is. 
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Despite the quality, Gilroy agrees to release the sketch. He doesn't want Jiminez screaming to the media that the department doesn't care about Hispanic lives. "We're dinosaurs, Vic. And make no mistake, the meteor's coming," Gilroy adds.

Claudette interviews two of Psychic Frida's clients. Frida predicted that Gene would go to the police. Gene's Mom was told by Frida that Gene is just waiting for her to die so he can get his hands on the house. Frida has been passing on messages from Gene's father Frank. "How do you think Frank would feel if you ended up losing the house you both lived in 'cause you had to keep paying this medium?" asks Claudette. Gene's Mom is willing to pay anything.

Frances from IAD gives Vic a folder, telling him they're investigating his actions on April 2nd. He should read over the evidence and decide if he's willing to be formally interviewed. Carlos comes in to tell Vic that 5 Latinos have been shot in a Farmington grocery store. Vic gives the folder back to Frances.

At the store, Danny tells Vic what happened. Everybody in the store was killed, except for the owner who was hiding in the back. He came out with a baseball bat when the gunfire stopped and ran off the killer. One of the dead employees happens to be the store owner's teenage son. Vic spots a baseball bat in the corner of the office. The owner chased the white shooter out of the store, didn't see a car, and doesn't remember what direction he went.

"There's blood on this bat," Vic observes, "Did you hit him with it?" The owner doesn't remember that either. Vic sends Shane off to run the license plates of the cars parked on the block so he doesn't have to deal with him. Carlos has roped off a 10-block perimeter. A news van arrives.

At Frida's house, Claudette and Dutch interview the medium. Frida claims she offers a money-back guarantee, but very few people ever ask for it. Dutch examines the price tag on a candle: $600. It looks like the ones he buys at the dollar store. Please, Dutch doesn't look like a candle person. Frida explains that the blessing ceremony is what drives up the price. I'm Catholic and I can get a dozen prayer candles for under $25. 

Frida agrees to go to the police station for an interview. She fixes her gaze on Dutch: "You yearn for a young woman who doesn't yearn after you." Story of his life. Claudette chuckles. Dutch knows how she deduced that: he doesn't have a wedding ring, single people tend to shop at cheaper places, and most single guys have a thing for somebody out of their league. "Is now when I fork over a week's salary for a candle?" he asks. Frida predicts that the mystery woman is someone Dutch works with and warns that he's wasting his time.

Edgar-veda talks to Deena the car thief from two episodes ago. If Deena is honest with Frances about what she found in the stolen Navigator, they'll drop the charges against her. Deena asks how she should tell the story: as a sweet, innocent young thing or as a tough biker chick/master thief. "Don't get too cute with her," Edgar-veda advises. Deena says, "But I am cute." She seductively asks if the captain is involved with anyone. Deena's "sexually available" on account of her last boyfriend dying from an overdose of stolen cocaine. 

Edgar-veda tells her he's happily married and has a 1-year-old daughter. Deena thinks she could get away with a lot if she was sleeping with a police captain. Edgar-veda wants her to stay out of trouble so they don't have to see each other again. "But you want to see me again," Deena says. Edgar-veda doesn't, but makes the mistake of telling her it would be a different story if he was single and 18.

Outside the grocery store, Danni reports to Vic that the nearby shop owners heard the gunfire but didn't see anything. Vic doesn't believe that. Given how close together the stores are, I don't either. Shane found a car whose owner hasn't been accounted for and there's an open box of bullets on a seat. The car is registered to a George Klassen.

"Is that a GERMAN name?!"
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Vic, Carlos, and a SWAT team raid Klassen's house. It's a pretty nice, average suburban place...until they find the bodies of an elderly couple in the living room.

Deena tells Frances about finding the guns and coke. She watched Shane get out of the truck and go into his girlfriend's apartment. Nobody got in or out of the truck between when he got out and when Deena stole it. She sighs about how sad it is when people who are supposed to upload the law break it.

Vic talks to George's sister. The dead couple were George's in-laws, but George's wife and son aren't in the house. The sister doesn't know of anyplace George would hide if he'd gone on the run with his family or kidnapped them. She's sure George wouldn't hurt Myra or Brady. "Can you imagine him killing 15 people in cold blood?" asks Vic. Sis shrugs that it's different; this was a nice neighborhood until Latinos moved in.

At the Barn, Jiminez demands to know how Vic will prevent the next attack. That won't be easy, considering they didn't find any clues about when or where. Carlos assures him all bases are covered. They have police cars watching his family members and friends; George's own car was impounded. Vic says he has to go check on something.

Shane is outside the grocery store, relaxing in a lawn chair. Vic asks if he noticed any blood on the sidewalk. Shane hasn't, but there's blood inside that doesn't match any of the victims' DNA. When Vic looks at the puddle, he says it's impossible for the blood not to have dripped on the sidewalk. Shane suggests George went out the back. They check the alley, but it's clean. Too clean...almost like someone swept.

Meanwhile, Frida says everything she does is based on faith. "The church only takes you for 10%," Claudette points out, "You're wringing these ladies dry." Frida can't be arrested if the women don't complain. That's okay; there's plenty of other things to check on, such as fire code violations and parking tickets. It's time for Frida to find new prey.

Upstairs, Jiminez is angry that the shop owners are being questioned. Vic explains they have new information. "You don't drag a grieving father down here and stick him under the lights!" Carlos yells. Vic counters, "And you don't get answers from people by passin' around hugs." "You don't get them by pissing on people either," Carlos fires back. Jiminez can tell Vic how to do his job once he makes it through the police academy. Jiminez wants to sit in on the interviews, but Gilroy says no.

"If you're lying so you can get to your son's killer before us to get revenge, I can't let that happen," Vic says to Leon the grocery store owner. Leon insists he doesn't know anything. Vic asks why all the store owners are telling the same phony story and why someone swept the alley behind Leon's store. In the next room, Carlos doesn't get anywhere with his suspect either.

Gilroy asks if Edgar-veda ever planned to tell him about IAD going after the Strike Team again. "I didn't want to bother you with it until things were more definitive," says Edgar-veda. Gilroy is concerned that his best cop and the captain aren't getting along. If they don't make nice-nice, Gilroy has to make a choice, one Edgar-veda probably won't like. The captain gives Gilroy the report from Frances.

Frida tells Dutch she's been getting strong signals from his desk and they're coming from someone named Sarah. Dutch doesn't know any Sarahs. "Sally," Frida corrects herself. That gets Dutch's attention. He asks if she went through his desk. Frida's clients appear and hug her. Claudette herds the three women elsewhere. "She has a message for you," Frida says cryptically to Dutch.

Vic tells Leon it's not all about him; it's about an innocent woman and little boy. He takes his gun out and lays it on the table. Someone is holding one on George's family and Leon isn't telling the truth, so he might as well be pulling the trigger himself. Don't give him any suicidal ideas there, Vic. Carlos says Leon doesn't know anything. 

"What if it was your son?" Vic challenges. Leon puts his face in his hands and mutters, "My son is dead." Vic says that's because the police didn't catch George in time and urges Leon not to be like him. Leon argues he's nothing like George. "Show me," says Vic.

Leon nods tearfully and starts to tell his story. When he heard the shots that killed his son, he came out of the office with the baseball bat. He hit George from behind, knocking him out. The other neighborhood store owners helped him drag George into the alley, but Leon didn't have the nerve to kill him. At least not directly. Leon handed George over to the Toros. Vic realizes what that means: Train has Myra and Brady. "God help you," Carlos says to Leon.

Vic and Carlos crash down the stairs and sprint to the motor pool lot. They shake down Lucas, one of the Toros from earlier. Lucas argues that George had it coming. Maybe, but his wife and son didn't. Vic asks where Train stashed them. Lucas won't talk. Vic draws back a fist: "You wanna tell me with teeth or without?" Lucas says Carlos was a Toro and wouldn't let Vic do that. Carlos punches the kid in the stomach. 

In a rundown house, George is duct-taped to a chair. Brady plays on the floor while Myra pleads for her husband's life. Train has a gun to her head and grabs her. Brady charges the gang leader with a fierce "Don't touch my mom" and gets knocked to the floor. Vic bursts in with Carlos at his heels. "For Lucy," Train says before shooting George. Train is shot at almost the same moment. Myra and Brady start crying.

Carlos puts his gun in Train's mouth; racist scum or not, the gangbanger has to pay for killing George and George's in-laws. Vic talks him out of pulling the trigger with a 10-year-old in the room. He tenderly wraps his coat around the distraught widow.

"We've gotta get Vic Mackey off the streets," says Edgar-veda. Frances hasn't taken his statement yet, but it looks bad. I'd say it looks more than bad. Gilroy wants to keep this under control; he doesn't want the press getting hold of the story. He asks for a few days to figure out how to handle it.

Jiminez is angry that the shop owners are still in jail. Carlos points out that their actions resulted in the deaths of three people; additionally, George's wife Myra was raped in front of her 10-year-old. "They're victims," Jiminez insists. His community activists while make sure the shop owners don't spend more than a few days in jail. By Vic's expression, he probably has the connections to pull it off.

Danny approaches Edgar-veda in the breakroom. She thinks Julien would be better off with a different training officer. Edgar-veda says Julien is going through a lot and needs her, throwing in flattery: "You're as good as we have."

"How could you do this to me?" Gilroy hisses at Vic in his car. Vic insists this is all a big misunderstanding; they were going to use the coke for an undercover bust and didn't have time to do the paperwork. Besides, car thieves don't make reliable witnesses. Gilroy reminds him that cops do, but doesn't give Julien's name. This will land on Shane; he was the one who got the truck and drugs stolen and Gilroy can't keep covering for the whole Strike Team. It's that or being Shane's cellmate. 

Dutch visits Frida at home and asks about Sally's message. Sally doesn't want Dutch to give up because he's the only person trying to find out what happened to her.

In the precinct parking lot, Edgar-veda gives Vic's IAD file to Jiminez. "If you leak it to the press, it'd look self-serving," Jiminez guesses. Also, Edgar-veda would lose his job. Gilroy is the deputy chief and specifically ordered him not to let the case go public. Of course, Jiminez takes the folder.

In the clubhouse, Vic admits to Shane that he's been reading up on autism because Matthew has it. Shane is sorry to hear that, but doesn't make any attempt to apologize for the Rain Man comment. Vic knows Matthew has problems, but there's no way he's giving up on him. He won't give up on his best friend, either. Shane looks genuinely touched.

In a candle-lit room, Julien and Tomas sit semi-clothed on a couch, the latter filling out a job application. He thinks he'll have to be creative with the employment history. Julien tells him not to lie. Tomas skips to the reference page, hinting it would be great to have one from a police officer. Julien can't; he knows too much about Tomas' criminal past.

Julien isn't ready to tell anyone that he's gay. They argue about how Julien promised to try if Tomas would look for a job. Julien tries to get Tomas to understand that he was brought up in a religious family and taught that homosexuality is a sin. Doing sexual things with another man is trying.

Tomas starts kissing Julien's bare chest. Suddenly, Vic kicks down the door. "Police," he says softly, not quite believing what he just saw. He shows Tomas an arrest warrant and handcuffs him. Vic seems to know this isn't Tomas's place, because on the way out, he says, "Don't worry, your boyfriend'll lock up...won't you, Officer?" Vic puts a jacket over Tomas. Julien sighs. His secret is out and he knows Vic won't keep it. End of episode.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

I Don't Have a Good Feeling About the Title "Cherrypoppers" (Episode 1.6)

Previously on: Dutch thinks L.A. has its own version of Jack the Ripper. Vic's junkie informant Connie was stabbed and raped by a john. Julien told about witnessing Vic and the boys stealing bricks of coke from a drug raid. Dutch spied on Danny and caught her kissing Vic, which he did not take well.

Pictured: What Danni may have to resort to when Dutch inevitably breaks in.
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The body of a prostitute has been discovered facedown in a park. Claudette guesses the girl is no older than 13. "I warned you about this guy!" Dutch, let's not gloat over the body of a child, all right? Witnesses spotted a green car with a broken taillight, no make or model. Dutch asks which light was broken; Julien says it was too dark for the witnesses to tell. Dutch snaps at Julien to talk to the witnesses again and get every detail.

Edgar-veda won't give Dutch more manpower because they're stretched too thin, not even for 48 hours. Dutch know his boss is politically ambitious and asks how committed the department is to catching this predator.

Dutch gives a briefing in the roll-call room. The medical examiner has confirmed Claudette's suspicion that the latest victim is 12-14 years old. She's still a Jane Doe. Witnesses saw a green four-door car with a broken right taillight. Dutch wants a reward poster made. A set of keys was found on the body and Vic is in charge of matching every key to a lock. Vic says no way; he'll be working his contacts on the street. Dutch tells everyone how important the next 24 hours are. If they don't get a suspect, they won't find the murderer until he kills again.

Dutch goes into the hallway calling for Vic. "Yes, Herr Wagenbach?" Vic replies. Shots fired! Dutch tells Vic to take the night off if he's not interested in talking to a locksmith. Vic can solve this case. Dutch argues that's all he wants. Vic thinks that Dutch cares more about who does the solving than getting justice for the dead girls.

Dutch throws back a Nazi reference of his own; he doesn't want the killer to walk because of Vic's Gestapo tactics. He's in charge of the investigation and Vic has to report anything he finds. Somehow, Dutch misses Lem rubbing his knuckles menacingly in the background. The Strike Team, minus Ronnie, leaves.

Dutch gripes that everyone thinks he's a joke and they don't know the real him. $10 says this guy secretly commits murder off-duty because he thinks he's too smart to get caught. The other detectives in the precinct respect results. Dutch is prepared to give them that. He turns the whiteboard into a timeline of Jane Doe's death. He tapes up a photobooth strip of the smiling girl who's dressed like a normal teenager.

Edgar-veda has news Julien won't like: the stolen cocaine wasn't found in the overdose victim's apartment. Julien says that doesn't mean Vic is innocent. The car thief can testify about the drugs being in the unmarked SUV she stole. Edgar-veda says that part would be complicated, but doesn't elaborate why. He wants Vic off the street, but doing that isn't Julien's responsibility. Probably because the captain wants to take all the credit.

Elsewhere, Vic shows Jane Doe's picture to Connie. She's seen the girl around the neighborhood, but doesn't know her name or who her pimp is. However, her friend Tracy might. Vic warns her to be careful.

Dutch gets a lead after showing the same picture to a group of pimps and prostitutes in the cage. A fellow prostitute only knows the girl's street name: Sally Struthers. Very odd choice for a teen. In 2002, I'd be thinking more along the lines of Pamela Anderson or Anna Nicole. Dutch thinks maybe it's a play on the actress' famous "save the children" ad campaign.

Anyway, young Sally typically started "working" about 10:00 every night, but the girls on her stroll don't remember seeing her. Another prostitute said Sally went to a drug store about 7:00. Claudette wonders what a young girl would do on a Friday between 7 and 10 PM. Please, girl, you raised two daughters so you know the answer. Agent Wright, an FBI agent, chimes in that Sally would shop or go to a restaurant or movie. It transpires that Dutch called him in. He can't wait to pick the agent's brain. Agent Wright promises not to step on any local toes; he just wants to help.

Vic pays a visit to a pimp eating at a Chinese restaurant. He asks if Snoopy and Woodstock are on the menu. Lem picks up a pair of chopsticks and tries to help himself to whatever the pimp's having. The Asian pimp swears he doesn't know Sally. Vic knows the pimp has an apartment full of fenced electronics and thinks he'll call his friends in the robbery division. The pimp admits he knows Sally, but he isn't the one who turned her out. All he does is take 20% of her earnings.

Before Sally came to the Asian pimp, she worked at a sex club. "She was a kid," says Vic. The pimp gives a "so what" shrug. Vic asks, "What kind of work could she do for a sex club?" I think you already know the answer to that. This would be a good time to call in Elliot and Olivia, but they're on the East Coast.

At the precinct AKA the Barn, Agent Wright is impressed that Dutch picked up on the killer's pattern. Dutch explains that he's done a lot of criminology research. Dutch gets two tips in a row: A gas station attendant saw the mystery green car and someone called the tip line claiming he sold drugs to Sally that night. Dutch talks to the attendant, but the guy doesn't know anything about cars.

In the next room, Claudette talks to an Asian drug dealer who says Sally had an ecstasy habit. He's not worried about jail because, like Sally, he's a minor. Sally paid him in sex for the drugs and he saw he around 8:30 the night she died. He wants to know how much the reward is. 6 months-1 year in county for dealing.

The gas station attendant does have something semi-useful. The guy driving the green car prepaid $20 for gas, only pumped $17, and never came into the store for his change. He somehow thinks they can fingerprint the bills, even though the driver never touched them.

Edgar-veda's secretary tells her boss there's a big problem. The toilets in the women's bathroom are clogged. "So now we have no working toilets in the Barn?" he asks. You got it, genius. Shoulda fixed the men's room. Also, that's probably some kind of health department violation. The maintenance guys can't come until the next day. Edgar-veda tells her to hire a plumber and use his credit card if she has to.

Vic waits in the dark on a bench for somebody. He tells his target that he's Vic "your best friend from Boston." The guy says he's never been there. Vic slams him against the wall and grabs his wallet. He gets the guy's name, Ted, off his driver's license. Ted demands his wallet back and repeats, "I don't know you." Vic chuckles, sure the guy wasn't about to go into the sex club either. He flashes his badge. Ted does the "really? That's a sex club?" routine. It's members only, so Vic will be Ted's guest.

Inside, the Asian female proprietor (seriously, what is it with this episode and Asians?) asks if Vic will be watching or participating. Vic just likes to watch. "You'll be watching Sun-Lee tonight," says Asian Madam, leading Vic to a back room with a curtained-off stage. If Vic likes the performance, he can buy a tape of it.

Meanwhile, the plumber isn't sure the toilets can be fixed. Danny advises Julien not to take the Vic matter to Internal Affairs. That would mean a lot less to him if he knew they were having an affair. Julien is angry that everyone wants to cover this up.

At the sex club, the curtain pulls back to reveal something sickening: a set done up like a little girl's bedroom. The girl on stage is in her very early teens, if that. Vic is enraged. Outside, Vic returns Ted's wallet with a warning: "I ever see you within 5 blocks of here, your wife's getting a very unpleasant phone call." God forbid Ted has any daughters. Vic calls to get a warrant to raid the club.

Julien goes back into the captain's office and lets him know he's not dropping his complaint. The captain doesn't think the rookie knows what he's doing. Julien says he knows right from wrong, which is made highly ironic by Michael Jace's recent conviction for murdering his wife in front of their kids. Julien will not be at peace with God or himself if he ignores Vic stealing drugs. Edgar-veda lays out the likely sequence of events: Julien will be labeled a traitor and Vic won't care if God is on Julien's side.

The Strike Team raids the sex club. Vic chases Asian Madam into a sort of wardrobe room and asks where the tapes are. He finds them in a tall metal cabinet; the cassettes are labeled CHERRYPOPPER FILMS. Disgusting. Vic frogmarches Asian Madam toward the front of the club. Sun-Lee is at Ronnie's side, wearing an oversized men's jeans jacket. Vic tells Ronnie to take her to the clubhouse AKA the Strike Team only breakroom.

Meanwhile, Dutch is upset that two cops were taken off his serial killer case for a robbery-homicide. Them's the breaks, kid. Suddenly, there's a loud crash and water gushes out from the open door of the women's bathroom. Everyone scrambles to pick up boxes and files off the floor. Edgar-veda climbs on a chair. The plumber deadpans that there are big problems with the pipes.

Dutch takes his timeline whiteboard upstairs. Agent White has a preliminary profile of the killer: late 20s-early 30s, spotty employment history, feelings of being worthless and unappreciated. In other words, as generic as profiling gets. The killer poses the bodies facedown to show his dominance. Oh, and the suspect is probably impotent. Another tip comes in from the flier: Someone who actually saw Sally being driven around in a green car.

Downstairs, the rest of the cops are scooping up water in buckets and building a wall out of sandbags. Tom, their tipster, is in the interrogation room and not pleased about it. The flier said tips are confidential, but didn't mention the tipline was wired into the 911 system. He's afraid the killer will come after him, despite the fact that he's entirely the wrong age and gender. "Your name doesn't leave this room," Claudette promises.

The night before, Tom stopped behind a green car at a stoplight. It looked like the driver was struggling with the girl in the passenger seat. He's almost sure the girl was Sally. Tom wrote down the license plate number and thinks he saw a broken taillight. However, Dutch won't be able to run the plate from the precinct. All the computers were unplugged due to the flood. The fax machine is down too. The desk sergeant asks who she's supposed to send elsewhere to run the plate. Dutch rudely asks her to do just one thing.

Asian Madam is put in the cage, protesting that all her girls are 18 and over. She wants her lawyer. Dutch asks if she's connected to Sally. Vic explains that Sally used to work for Asian Madam's child pornography operation. Dutch is still pissy about the keys. Vic finds this to be a much more pressing matter and so will anyone watching. "And I'm trying to catch a killer, asshole," Dutch snipes. Next, Vic assigns Lem the oh-so-pleasant task of watching the confiscated child porn.

Dutch has gotten a name from the license plate: Steve. He's got Steve in the interrogation room and asks if a 1997 Saturn is a good car. Steve has only needed some minor brake repairs done. Dutch tells him they know about the broken right taillight.

Vic goes into the clubhouse to check on Sun-Lee. The girl asks what'll happen to her now. Vic wants her to play blackjack with him. "Not in trouble?" Sun-Lee asks suspiciously. Vic starts dealing cards and asks who made her work for Asian Madam. Sun-Lee has a different view of things: Asian Madam helped her and paid for her ticket. She said being in porn would give Sun-Lee a start on becoming a famous actress. She wins the first hand of blackjack and gives Vic a shy but proud smile.

Dutch asks if Steve was popular in high school. "I had friends," Steve shrugs. That's not the same thing. Dutch did some digging and found out Steve has a sealed juvenile record. Steve won't tell Dutch what he did and wants to leave. "You're not going anywhere," says Dutch.

Edgar-veda's secretary whispers a secret to Vic: The captain just had her call Internal Affairs. Vic talks to Danny, who can't believe Julien went behind her back like this. Vic isn't worried; it's not like he's committed felonies recently or anything. Vic pretends to be concerned for Julien not fitting in. As Julien's training officer, Danny could be considered a traitor by association.

Danny confronts Julien about turning Vic in. He says it's not her business. She argues that it is; she's his partner. Julien should've listened to Vic's side of the story before going to IAD. He tells her about the stolen cocaine and "whether you realize it or not, you helped him cover it up." Think it's probably a good idea to get him a new FTO.

Dutch has discovered Steve's spotty work record. Steve blames it on the economy. Not being able to keep a job might make a guy feel pretty worthless. Steve doesn't feel that way. Dutch asks what Steve was doing at 11 PM last night. Steve was home alone and there's nobody who can corroborate that. He wishes there was. Dutch implies Steve is impotent and brings up the sealed juvenile record. Steve admits that he broke into his high school and vandalized the place.

Vic has a new angle to approach Asian Madam. Lem saw Sally on one of the child porn tapes. Vic sits Asian Madam down in a room with a VCR. He's gonna play the tape for her until she tells him everything she knows about Sally or until Vic has to turn it off. He warns her there will be no rules if he has to turn off the video. Vic and Dutch are stone-faced, angry. Sally screams on the video and Asian Madam begs the detective to turn it off. Vic obliges and leans down into Asian Madam's face.
Asian Madam says she got Sally from Kurt Schmidt, the guy behind this underage smut.

On the balcony, Dutch still looks disturbed about the video, as I'm sure anyone would. Vic tells him not to worry; he'll find Kurt. Claudette has fielded another call on the tipline, this one from a 14-year-old who claims he was Sally's boyfriend. They bring the kid in. Sally's Boyfriend saw her the night before; they went out for ice cream. She left before 10:00, claiming that was her curfew.

The boyfriend never went to her house. Sally said her parents were traditional and didn't allow boys to come over. They've been dating for a months, but it didn't get serious until Sally kissed him last week. Claudette asks if the kid knew what Sally did for a living. "She's a freshman, right?" he says.

Sun-Lee wants to play cards with Vic some more, but first she has to look at a photo array. In a rough tone, he asks her to pick out the guy who made her do the movie. "Vic mad at Sun-Lee?" the girl asks. Vic is madder than hell, all right, but not at her. Sun-Lee belongs with her family, doing normal teenage girl things...like his Cassidy. You can tell how much it bothers Vic that she's so close in age to his own daughter. Sun-Lee taps a photo.

Danny finds Julien beating up a punching bag in the precinct weight room. She apologizes for not being a good listener or training officer. She was afraid to believe him, but promises to believe the truth when Julien gives it to her. Um, he already did that!

Dutch sticks pins in a map, tracking Sally's whereabouts before she was killed. He deduces she must've been picked up by her killer on Cassandra Street. Agent Wright says they don't need a full confession; Steve just has to admit to being on Cassandra around 10:00. Dutch goes back to the interrogation and offers Steve a Ding-Dong. He's sure Steve won't be here too much longer.

Vic forces a pickup to stop. He reaches in the open window and turns off the engine, then yanks the tattooed driver out of his seat. Vic arrests him for making child porn. Kurt plays the semantics game. He didn't film it; he's just the editor and Vic can't prove otherwise. Au contraire, mon ami. The only mystery left is whether Kurt "accidentally" cracked his head open on the sidewalk trying to resist arrest.

Dutch asks if Steve has a girlfriend. Unsurprisingly, Steve tells him no. Dutch is sympathetic. He remembers how hard it was being twentysomething: "too old for the college girls, too young for the mature ones." It must piss Steve off that he can't get laid. Steve is sure he's entitled to a lawyer. "Entitled." That word sets Dutch off. He covers the table with photos of the murdered prostitutes, asking what they were entitled to. Does Steve pose them facedown after death so he doesn't have to look them in the eye? "No way!" Steve protests.

A witness saw Steve's green car on Cassandra Street at 10:00. Dutch puts his hand on the back of Steve's neck, leaning creepily close and whispers, "At least tell me the truth about this one thing." Steve can't believe Tom Ross saw him, adding, "This is raising the bar." Apparently, this whole thing is a prank. Tom and Steve are roommates constantly trying to one-up each other. Tom must've seen the dead girls on the news and called the tipline because the killer's car is the same as Steve's.

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Steve asks Dutch for help in getting Tom back. He wants Dutch to act super pissed, which wouldn't be acting at this point. Then Dutch should tell Tom he's under arrest for something. "Obstruction of justice?" Dutch suggests. I'd also throw in filing a false police report.

Dutch drags Tom to the Barn toward the cage. Tom broke Steve's taillight to make it make the one of the flier. He tells the detective to have a sense of humor. Dutch informs the prankster that a little girl's killer is running loose. He's spent all day chasing his tail instead of the real killer. Vic sees the wild-eyed, shouting Dutch and tells him to take it easy. You know it's bad when Vic Mackey is saying you have an anger management problem. Vic leaves to answer his beeper.

In a hotel room that still has Magic Fingers beds, we see one very dead man in his underwear and Connie huddled up in the corner wearing just a bra and panties. "He's the killer maybe, right?" Connie whimpers. Vic checks the guy's wallet. Nope, just an insurance salesman from Fresno. Connie thought he was acting weird. Vic's jaw drops: "So you shot him?" He wants to know how much crack she's been smoking.

Connie begs Vic to help her. She wants Vic to say that he shot the john. Problem is Vic has a solid alibi. She thought the john wanted to kill her. "I'll lose my son. Vic, please!" she sobs. Vic shuts the door. He has to call this in. Connie slaps the cell phone out of his hand. Vic tries to explain that his hands are tied. "All I have is Brian!" cries Connie.

Vic hurriedly cooks up a story. Connie picked up the john and they had sex. Afterward, he refused to pay. He started hitting Connie. Connie then grabbed the salesman's gun and shot him with it. Plain and simple self-defense. I can't believe he's trusting her to remember this. She's clearly strung out on something. Connie asks if the cops will buy the story. "Only if you have the bruises to prove it," Vic says grimly.

Connie takes a deep breath and braces herself. Vic clenches a fist, but can't bring himself to do it. He can't punch a woman, not even to make it look good. "Hit me!" Connie shrieks, repeatedly slapping him in the face. She starts to ugly-cry again. Vic kisses her forehead. It's clearly tearing him apart that she wants to be hit, but he still pops her in the jaw twice.

Dutch, Edgar-veda, Claudette, and Agent Wright are trying to figure out their next move. Nobody actually saw Sally disappear. There was no forensic evidence in the park and none on the other four victims. Agent Wright doesn't think the killer will get sloppy now. Edgar-veda announces he's pulling the plug on extra manpower for the case; 60 students at a local high school just got into a huge brawl. They'll reopen Sally's murder if they ever get clues or a viable lead.

Dutch is angry. A dead underage prostitute only gets 21 hours of investigation instead of the full 24 that was promised. There are just as many people looking for a serial killer as there are people fixing the Barn's bathrooms. "Getting mad doesn't change how life works," Edgar-veda says sanctimoniously. Claudette tries to reassure her partner that he did everything possible.

Downstairs, Dutch's desk is on the flooded side of the sandbag wall. He grabs a bottle of aspirin from a drawer. Danny approaches, asking hesitantly about when they can get together again and study for the sergeant's exam. "Why don't we do that right now?" he says nastily, "I'll just drop my pissant serial killer thing to help you study. Because what you want always comes first, doesn't it, Danny?" Oh, just shut up. Dutch buries the knife deeper, implying Danny doesn't care about a dead 13-year-old. Danny gives Dutch a well-deserved you're-such-an-asshole look.

At the hotel, CSIs are taking pictures of the body while a uniform interviews Connie. She's dressed now and also sporting a black eye, bloody nose, and cut lip. Connie recites the story about the john refusing to pay her and beating her. She's taken back to the Barn and put in the cage. Vic whispers that she just has to remember to tell the detectives the same thing. Good luck with that! Connie promises that she's gonna get clean and be a good mom.Vic looks like he's heard that line before, but tells her everything will be fine.

Vic goes to the clubhouse. He wakes up Sun-Lee, who's napping on the sofa. He tells her that INS is sending her back to her family in Korea. "But you said you help Sun-Lee!" she says. Vic tries to convince her going home is the best thing for her. "Parents never take me back!" says Sun-Lee. Even if that happens, Vic assures her that she'll be looked after in a foster home or someplace. "Sun-Lee come back! I will!" the teen says fiercely.

As INS agents march Sun-Lee out, Dutch calls for them to wait. Then he changes his mind about whatever he wanted to ask. Dutch feels like a failure. Vic reminds him that they busted a child pornography ring; Dutch should be proud of that. Agent Wright says that hunting serial killers is a marathon, not a sprint. He worked the Green River Killer case in 1984. They wound up with a total of 49 victims, even with lots of resources. They didn't make their first arrest until 2001.

Vic goes into the clubhouse and Danny is waiting for him. She wastes no time, asking straight up, "Did you steal drugs from those Armenians?" Yes, he did. And cookies too. Danny promises to never share the answer with anybody, but she was party to the theft and wants to know the truth. Vic knows this is coming from Julien. Danny doesn't confirm or deny that. She does, however, tell Vic she needs some space. As Jeff Foxworthy once observed, "'I need some space' is always half a sentence. The rest of it is 'without you in it.'"

When Danny gets home, Dutch is sitting on her porch steps. Run away before this turns stalker-ish. Dutch apologizes; what he said earlier was inexcusable. I agree, but I think he's just saying that to try at getting in her pants again. He starts to leave. Danny offers to cook dinner: "I make a mean grilled cheese." Dutch smiles and walks back up the porch. This would be an adorable scene if he wasn't so weird in such a sinister way.

The episode ends with a quick flash of a green car with a broken taillight driving past a group of prostitutes.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

How Vic Mackey Got His "Blowback" (Episode 1.5)

Previously on: Danny was threatened by drug dealers. Vic's middle child Matthew might have a developmental disability. Julien is attracted to men but totally not gay. Vic told Shane to get over him killing their coworker Terry.

Vic unlocks a door. Horrible music in a foreign language is playing inside the apartment. Closed captioning identifies the singer as speaking Armenian. A cat runs across a table. It's not the only feline at home; I count 3 in various colors. The cats meow in protest of Vic shining his flashlight at them.

Vic goes over to the window, sticks the flashlight under his chin, and laughs creepily. Shane and Lem, parked in the van, start laughing too. We see the apartment is over a shop called Ara's Pastry.

Ronnie sneezes violently as he looks through a storage compartment built into the stove. A cat knocks over some beer bottles, making a hell of a lot of noise.

Back in the van, Shane reveals that Vic and Ronnie are looking for Peruvian cocaine. This batch looks pink in the right light and Rondell hasn't seen coke so strong "since Grandmaster Flash."

Lem's reaction.
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Inside, Ronnie is getting ready to install an illegal wiretap. Lem notices a car parking at the curb next to the closed bakery. Shane calls to let Vic know the bakers are home and headed through the front door; they'd better duck out the back. Ronnie and Vic do so just as several Armenian gangsters enter.

Vic explains how everybody wins in this scenario. Edgar-veda gets a pat on the back for them busting the Armenians, meaning he'll get off their asses. Rondell gets more cocaine to sell and the Strike Team adds to their retirement fund. Shane asks, "Who said anything about retirement?" Lem suggests a ski trip, high-fiving Shane over the seat back. Everybody suddenly pipes down to hear what's coming through on Ronnie's wiretap. Unfortunately, the Strike Team is gonna need a translator.

The next morning, Vic recruits a college student named Theo to help them out. He takes the kid into the van and plays the surveillance tape. "The gardener delivers 6 loaves of Indian white bread?" Theo translates, looking confused. It makes perfect sense to Vic. Theo adds the "bread" is being delivered at 9:30 the next night.

Vic guesses the location will be the bakery and passes the kid a $20. Shane lets Theo out of the van, but the kid wants to know what's going on. Vic lies it's a matter of national security; he could tell Theo, but then he'd have to kill him.

Vic bribes a chauffeur named Bing. He's to say he heard about an incoming shipment of cocaine while shuttling a client from LAX. Bing is to also to know the time and place of the dropoff: Ara's Pastry at 9:30. Bing accepts the money and even signs a statement. Vic will take the statement to a judge so they can get a search warrant, all nice and legal.

That night, Edgar-veda comes into the clubhouse as the Strike Team gears up for the raid. He ruins the party by turning off their heavy metal music. For safety's sake, Edgar-veda is sending a few marked cars with them as backup; he doesn't want another Terry Crowley situation on his hands.

Everyone else looks slightly nervous at this, but Vic says, "The more the merrier." Lem racks a load into the shotgun. Once Edgar-veda is gone, Vic turns the music on again. Lem starts playing air guitar on the shotgun. I hope he remembered to put the safety on or they'll have a hole in the ceiling to explain...

Julien has a visitor, his Latin lover Tomas. He's upset that Julien hasn't called him since the night they had sex. Julien tries to shoo him out by saying he'll call later. Tomas won't budge. Julien promises to stop by later if Tomas leaves. Tomas turns all stalker, swearing he'll be back every day if Julien doesn't come over.

In the squadroom, Dutch gives Danny a binder of study guides, notes, and practice tests from when he took the sergeant's exam. She gripes that the exam is scheduled for 7:00 AM: "I barely know my name before 8." You and me both, girlfriend.

Dutch asks when they'll be having their first tutoring session. Danny suggests 9:00 the next night. Claudette, who was watching, comments, "A study date? What kind of back-door con is that? Unless the first question on the test is 'Will you sleep with me?', you're wasting your time."

Above Ara's, the Armenians are sitting amongst the cats, drinking and listening to music in their native tongue. Holy Kurt Sutter, Batman!
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He's making a cameo appearance like he did during Son of Anarchy as Big Otto. (I always called him Blind Otto 'cause of the eyepatch).

Anyway, the cops clear the surrounding block. Vic tells the uniforms to hang back and cover the exits. Lem enters first with the shotgun.

One of the Armenians decides to take a literal snootful of cocaine from the pile in front of Not-Otto. Not-Otto calmly snorts some cocaine, then shoots his associate in the head. At that moment, here comes the Strike Team. Vic orders the Armenians to put their hands on top of their heads. They comply, so I guess they understand more English than they'd have you believe.

Vic radios in a report. Danny calls for the coroner and sends Julien to the back door. She tells the rest of the officers to lock down the building; nobody gets in or out if they don't have a badge.

At Apartment Armenia, Lem peers at the coke, saying it doesn't look pink. Shane is all "It's not the right lighting, dumbass." They start stuffing bricks of cocaine into a duffel bag while a cat watches them from the sofa. Vic hands over Not-Otto to Danny, telling her to keep him in a separate cell. I wonder how many evidence envelopes they'll need for Not-Otto's jewelry. Shockingly, Ronnie hasn't been reduced to a ball of snot on the floor.

Downstairs, Lem is on a raid of his own: day-old baked goods. Shane shakes his head and asks, "Do you know how much fat is in that cookie?" Lem scoffs through a mouthful, "Whatever. I can eat as many cookies as I want." "No, I'm serious. It's a sugar-coated lard ball. Have you looked at your waistline?" Shane goes on. I don't think he's seeing the same thing I'm seeing; Lem's in damn good shape.

Vic comes in with the bag o' coke, putting an end to the nutritional debate. Lem licks the icing off his fingers and starts putting bricks of coke into evidence bags. Cocaine looks a lot like powdered sugar, so he probably shouldn't have eaten anything coming out of that kitchen. Of course, not all the bricks are going to the evidence locker. What they don't know is Julien is watching them from the open back door.

Appropos of nothing, Vic doesn't want his kids to end up "in U.C. Northridge hell." Lem gets defensive; he's a Northridge grad. Shane guesses that Lem majored in "Where's the keg at?" Lem, having been called fat and now stupid within the same minute, looks really irritated. Vic tells Shane to give the bag to Rondell.

Danny finishes stuffing Not-Otto in her squad car. Julien pops out from around the corner. The other cops cheer as Lem and Vic emerge, victorious (no pun intended), with the cocaine. Shane gets into a truck across the street while the others pile into the van.

Shane is listening to a country song that basically just lists brand of beer when he parks. He leaves the Bag O' Coke in the truck and knocks on a door. A woman in a bathrobe answers, miffed that Shane is 5 hours late. But he had to work. The woman reminds Shane that he's not the only one with a job. But busting drug lords makes Shane horny; all he needs is 15 minutes. "Ooh, a marathon," the woman teases. He carries her back into the house in a bear hug. She starts kissing him and Shane kicks the door shut, sparing us all a Walton Goggins sex scene.

At the precinct, Vic drops off the remaining Peruvian coke with the evidence clerk. Edgar-veda is suspicious about the lack of cash. Vic tells him there wasn't any money, just a million dollars' worth of cocaine, a murderer, two possession with intent arrests, and a partridge in a pear tree. It was just a delivery, not a buy.

Vic asks why Edgar-veda always assumes the worst about him. They want the same things: safe taxpayers and imprisoned criminals. Edgar-veda just wants to know they're going about it the same way. Vic knows that he should be blamed for Terry's dead and wishes he could make that night go differently.

When Shane leaves the girl's apartment, the truck is no longer parked at the curb, meaning the Bag O' Coke is also gone.
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A short time later, Shane has woken up his woman and they're driving the streets in her car. She doesn't understand why Shane can't just report the truck stolen. He makes an excuse about police business and says she needs to keep her mouth shut unless she sees a black Navigator, which she does.

As they pass the Navigator, Shane holds his badge out the window, screaming for the driver to pull over. When that doesn't work, he tries a different approach: pointing his gun out the window. Like anybody would pull over when a crazy redneck is waving a gun at them. However, these morons do exactly that.

Shane's woman looks bored, her flip-flop-clad feet on the dash. Shane orders the driver and his passenger to the ground; they look like scared college kids. One of them, thinking Shane is a carjacker, tells him to just take the truck. Shane informs them that they've stolen a police vehicle. "It's my mom's car," says the driver.

Shane looks inside the truck but all he finds is an open package of maxi-pads. Not sure why two college guys would be driving around with that particular cargo. Frustrated, Shane throws the pads at them. Shane's girlfriend gives him a look like he's a maniac.

At home, Vic puts on a pot of coffee. He's thinks he heard Matthew having a nightmare. Corrine is concerned about their daughter Cassidy's cough; she's taking her to the doctor in the afternoon. Shane knocks on the door, strolls into the kitchen, and gets right to the point: he "kinda lost" the Navigator. Vic is aghast. When Corrine leaves to check on Cassidy, he asks where Shane was when the truck got stolen. Shane says he called on his lady friend Amy. He's sure got a thing for girls with three-letter 'A' names...

"You stopped to get laid?!" cries Vic, "What were you thinking?!" Shane was, of course, "thinking about getting laid." And he's so sorry. Well, sorry doesn't cut it. Vic gets his backup gun out of a lockbox; they've probably got about 4 hours to find the truck before it gets sent to Mexico in pieces and somebody besides Rondell starts dealing Peruvian Pink. Vic tells Shane to call Lem and Ronnie.

At the clubhouse, Vic has just explained the situation Shane got them in. Lem is pissy about being out $50,000. Vic reminds him nobody else is thrilled about that either. Shane hopes the thief is just sitting on the drugs. Yeah, hang onto that dream. Ronnie and Lem will have the fun job of explaining this mess to Rondell.

Meanwhile, Shane and Vic visit Officer Hoffman. He works auto theft and has a bait car parked outside a diner. They ask if Hoffman knows of any chop shops in town that specialize in new (as in 2002) Lincoln Navigators. Hoffman gets distracted as two girls approach the bait Jeep, but all they do is check their makeup in the side mirror. He scribbles an address on a napkin, describing the head of the chop shop as a "skinny Polish prick." Hey, don't talk about my people that way!

Hoffman is bored to death with these bait car stings. He asks Vic to consider putting him on the Strike Team. "Might be a new spot opening up any day now," says Vic. Shane looks both worried and offended. In the evidence room, Julien asks the clerk how much cocaine the Strike Team brought in. She tells him 4 bricks.

Dutch interrogates Not-Otto, who has a wrist handcuffed to each side of the table. Four police officers saw the Armenian kill his associate; they'd be able to nail Not-Otto even if one of said cops got hit by a bus. Not-Otto isn't talking. Down the hall, Claudette is having similar luck. The trafficking charges only add years to their sentences. Claudette's suspect won't say where Margos AKA Not-Otto got the drugs. Dutch tries to shock Margos into talking by asking, "What if I stuff big blue bananas in your ears and set them on fire?"

Claudette sits down on the captain's sofa and says her suspect is ignoring her as much as her daughters did in high school. Everyone's too scared of Margos to talk. Margos has been questioned by Interpol in Kosovo, Bogota, and Sri Lanka; he also recently returned from a 36-hour trip to Peru. Edgar-veda tells her to get a warrant to search Margos' house. Elsewhere, Dutch keeps spitting out theories why Margos killed his buddy. The guy insulted his mother. Bad hair day?

Vic sticks his head under a partially open garage door, calling, "Is this Universal Studios?" One of the mechanics tells him no. "You mean this ain't CityWalk?" asks Shane. They notice the cars being stripped for parts; Vic thinks it's a good thing they're policemen. I laugh because this is like a scene from 21 Jump Street (the Johnny Depp version).

Mark the mechanic isn't dumb enough to think the guys really got lost on their way to an amusement park. They ask whether any Navigators came in overnight. They'll even let Mark keep his current inventory if he cooperates. Mark admits Guy Ricardo from Silver Lake tried to unload one.

Danny locks Margos in the cage and he says something to her in Armenian. She knows Dutch interviewed the guy and asks him about it. "Interview would imply that a conversation actually took place," says Dutch. Danny tells him the phrase phonetically and he jots it down.

Vic and Shane wake up Ricardo, who's in bed with a woman. She whines that she's trying to sleep. When asked about the Navigator, Ricardo has a question of his own: "How'd you get in my bedroom?" Vic punches him in the chest. Ricardo coughs that he didn't steal the Navigator; a girl named Deena did.

Outside, Vic tells Shane to have Ronnie and Lem pick him up; he has somewhere else to be. They can drive him to Deena's. Shane wants to know where he's going. Vic tells Shane that he's not currently in a position to question his judgment.

Vic finds Danny in the precinct parking lot. She tells him about Dutch tutoring her for the sergeant's test. Vic is pretty sure Dutch is trying to pull the old "I'll help you study, you help me get laid" number. So am I.

Vic spins a lie. Their police-issue Navigator got jacked when Shane stopped for a Slurpee on his way home. He needs to find the truck because their weapons are in the back. He doesn't want the boss to know about this. Danny promises keep an eye out for it. "Is that what Shane's calling it these days, a Slurpee?" she asks, partially seeing through Vic's story. They both chuckle.

Julien asks Claudette for advice. She thinks he'd be better off consulting his training officer. Julien would rather to talk to her. Claudette asks if it's because she's also black and adds, "It better not be because I remind you of your mother." Julien mumbles, "Never mind" and starts to leave. Claudette calls him back in.

Julien thinks he saw a fellow cop do something illegal on duty and doesn't know what to do. Claudette warns that Julien could be jeopardizing two careers: "Nobody likes a rat, especially one who hasn't proven himself yet." I'm surprised she didn't ask if it was Vic.

Is what he saw illegal enough that he can't live with keeping it a secret? The answer must be yes because now he's talking to Edgar-veda. Julien counted 6 or 7 bricks of coke, but he knows Vic only turned in 4. Edgar-veda barely conceals his glee as he tells the rookie that he did the right thing.

In the breakroom, Edgar-veda asks a female detective when the blue Navigator was checked back in to motor pool. It wasn't and should've been 5 hours ago. Another district has been calling, asking for it to be returned.

Vic and Corrine are at the developmental pediatrician's office in some kind of windowed observation area. On the other side of the glass, Matthew pages through a picture book.

Edgar-veda calls Vic's cell to informs him of a complaint from a local woman. A policeman matching Shane's description attacked her son at gunpoint and accused him of stealing a department vehicle. Where's the Navigator? Vic tells him to ask Shane and hangs up as the doctor enters.

The doctor asks the Mackeys to have a seat. He tells them how lucky they are to have such a charming, intelligent little boy. He's also autistic. "Oh God," Corrine says in horror, putting a hand over her mouth like she's just been told he has terminal cancer. Vic's reaction is similar: "Autism? Jesus!"

The doctor knows it's a difficult diagnosis for parents to hear, but it's also a very misunderstood one. As the daughter of a pediatric occupational therapist, I know that for sure.

The doctor empathizes with them; he has two autistic sons. Corrine looks even more worried, as if autism is contagious. She frets about Matt's future; he's already behind in school. The doctor suggests a special program. Vic bursts out with, "You mean like blue bus special?" He insists Matt's not autistic; he's just shy. The doctor explains Matt can stay in the school he currently attends, but will require speech therapy and social skills teaching.

Vic further endears himself to the doctor by demanding, "Is he gonna be normal or not?" The doctor doesn't promise anything, except that the prognosis for autism that is good with proper intervention. Matt just needs a lot of love and some help. Vic wants to know what kind of help, even though he was just told what would be best.

Vic's cell phone is ringing again. "What?" he snaps. Shane moans that they're screwed; the captain put out a state-wide APB on the Navigator. Later, Vic and the rest of the Strike Team gather on the street. Lem talked to Deena's roomie; their suspect went to get a bikini wax, but the roommate doesn't know where. There's probably only several hundred places in L.A. to get one.

If Edgar-veda finds the truck first, he'll also find the Peruvian Pink cocaine. Vic yells, "Our fingerprints are all over those bricks. We'll be finished!" Lem blows up at Shane: "We're gonna all crash and burn because of you! I mean, Christ, dude, Amy's not even that hot!" Shane calls bullshit on that.

Ronnie agrees that he screwed them. "Thanks for the support, asshole!" yells Shane. Vic tells the overgrown children to cut it out. There's probably people that didn't hear them up in the Hills somewhere. They're not getting in trouble because Vic has a plan. Ronnie will wait for Deena to come home; Shane, Vic, and Lem will split up to check out waxing places.

At the precinct, Edgar-veda asks what Claudette and Dutch found at Margos' place. Nothing incriminating, just seemingly random items: maps, dictionaries in 5 different languages, diapers (not sure if he means adult or baby), a Gameboy, meditation books, and incense. The most interesting find was a case of microwave popcorn but no microwave to pop it with.

Margos also doesn't seem to believe in the bare necessities like a refrigerator, soap, plates, or toilet paper. He must buy shampoo by the case, though, because his hair is scraggly but clean. Edgar-veda has heard enough.

Danny is on break, so Dutch asks if she's looked over the notes yet. They're pretty detailed, so she shouldn't put it off too long. She asks if he managed to figure out what Margos said to her. Armenians speak two different dialects, so this may not be an exact translation. Dutch's Armenian source thinks Margos probably said, get ready for this one, "delicious feet." Danny thinks that's gross, but I'm of the school of thought that he could've said a lot worse. Dutch's eyes wander under the table to Danny's tactical boots.

Suddenly, all the cops in the building rush toward the ruckus going on in the cage. One perp is so scared he's wet himself. Margos is up against the chainlink, looking very calm. Those meditation books must really work. Another inmate is lying on the floor with his neck snapped. Edgar-veda tells the desk sergeant to call Central Booking; he wants Margos out of here. Probably worried about how a lawsuit would affect his chances of becoming councilman.

Meanwhile, Danny and Julien have pulled over a Lincoln Navigator. The girl in the driver's seat is very nervous and barely looks old enough to have a license. They have her get out and put her hands on the window. The girl sobs that her father is drinking again; she was so scared she just grabbed her younger brother and took off in the truck. Danny asks if the girl needs help. Big sister just wants to go pick up her brother from school before Dad does.

"You always pick up your abused brother in a stolen vehicle with bogus plates?" Danny inquires. Ah, so this must be Deena. Danny cuffs the girl. Julien starts to radio in that they found the Navigator. Danny tells him not to; she promised to tell Vic first. "It's an APB. We have to call it in," says Julien.

Deena, still handcuffed, tries to wander away. Danny catches her by the arm. She explains she owes Vic a favor. While Danny puts Deena in the car, Julien lets dispatch know about the stolen Navigator. He can't risk a black mark on his record while still in his probationary period.

Edgar-veda soon arrives. Julien assures him they didn't touch the car. The captain notices a lockbox in the center console and is quite pissed to find it empty. Vic pulls up with Shane in tow. Danny apologizes; Julien told dispatch before she could stop him. She has good news, though. They didn't find anything in the truck except Deena. Edgar-veda transfers Deena to the backseat of his car.

At the precinct, Edgar-veda tells the girl she's in deep trouble. Deena already has a record for shoplifting and assault; grand theft auto is a felony. What's next? Deena sarcastically replies, "I was thinking about the police academy." Edgar-veda tells her this isn't a game.

Deena wants to know if he's going somewhere "with this scared-straight angle." Or is she supposed to break down and say Daddy used to bad-touch her? Clearly, she's a sociopath. Edgar-veda slaps the table hard enough that he winces, asking what she found in the Navigator.

Deena overheard he's a captain. She's sure a stolen car shouldn't even be his concern; he's got people for that. Edgar-veda doubles down: "Where are the drugs?" Deena says they're safe. The captain offers a deal. Deena won't talk until she has something in writing from the DA.

While putting Deena's property in the evidence room, Danny checks the girl's cell phone. She calls Vic. Their car thief made calls to her roommates and a pawn shop in Echo Park: Pemble and Pemble. Margos is led out past her, causing Danny to shout, "Stop staring at my feet, you Balkan freak!"  Edgar-veda motions for her to join him and Deena.

As soon as they walk into Pemble and Pemble, Shane flips the store's sign from Open to Closed. The clerk isn't pleased: "Yo, sprechen sie English, skinhead? We're not closed yet." Vic takes extreme offense to that. He smashes a display case, grabs a large hunting knife, and holds it to the clerk's throat, asking about Deena. The clerk claims he doesn't know her.

Shane goes into the back room and finds the duffel bag empty. "Where are the drugs?" Vic demands. The clerk thinks a French guy named Freddie might haven taken them home. Vic presses on the knife just hard enough to make the clerk bleed and the guy gives up an address.

When the Strike Team kicks in the door, they find French Freddie sitting with his head on the kitchen table. There's a puddle of blood and a partial line of Peruvian Pink on the cutting board next to him. Vic surmises the guy blew a vessel. He sends Lem to look for anything that could tie them to this. Shane looks out the window and sees Danny and Edgar-veda. They hurriedly grab the bricks of cocaine, rinse the cutting board, and wipe down Freddie's face. Ronnie zips up the Bag O' Coke.

Edgar-veda asks what happened. The Strike Team found him OD'd and were about to call it in. Vic is in the bathroom flushing the opened brick. Lem informs the captain they found their guns that were in the Navigator when it got stolen. Vic wanders out of the bathroom. Edgar-veda rips open the duffel bag and finds nothing. He asks, "Where is it?" Vic has no idea what his boss means, but he'll see him back at the Barn. The captain looks ready to go into full head-chomping mode.

"Captain, eat a Snickers. You're a monster when you're hungry."
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He orders Julien and Danny to turn the apartment upside down.

When Vic gets home, Corrine has books about autism spread all over the kitchen table. Vic tells her not to worry; they'll get through it. He tucks Matt in and kisses him good night.

Danny is studying. Dutch explains the rationale of a question that deals with turning in your partner for an infraction. The phone rings. Danny tells the caller to come on over and hangs up. She apologizes for cutting their study session short, but a girlfriend is having a crisis. She thinks Dutch is a good teacher; they can pick up where they left off tomorrow.

At Tomas's place, he apologizes to Julien for coming to his work. He swears it won't happen again. Julien feels like he shouldn't even be there. He reads the Bible and this is just so wrong. Tomas says Julien deserves happiness. Julien, who'd started to leave, comes back and starts kissing Tomas.

Edgar-veda tells Claudette that Margos somehow escaped from the paddy wagon that picked him up. He got the back doors open and jumped out at 40 mph, then disappeared. "That's a special kinda crazy," Claudette remarks. Well, an Armenian guy with dead eyes and long, creepy hair shouldn't be too hard to find.

Back at Danny's, the friend in crisis has turned out, of course, to be Vic. Dutch, the creeper, hasn't left. He's been circling Danny's block in his car. He catches her making out with Vic on the porch. I now realize why Dutch looks so familiar. Way back in Season 1 of Sons of Anarchy, Jay Karnes played Tara's stalker ex-boyfriend, ATF Agent Kohn. Danny better watch her back. End of episode.

Friday, June 10, 2016

It's the "Dawg Days" of Summer (Episode 1.4)

Yet another "previously on" about Terry's demise and Vic's association with drug dealer Rondell Robinson.

We go straight into a rowdy rap album release party at a nightclub, where Lem and Danny are doing security. Lem, ever the voyeur, watches a female partier give Rondell a lap dance and wonders aloud, "How does she even move like that?" Kern, the guest of honor, grabs the mic and thanks everyone for coming to his party. Rondell requests that Kern sing his duet with Tyesha. Tyesha can't; her album doesn't come out until next month. The crowd groans.

Lem mumbles in Danny's ear that he sees trouble. A guy in a do-rag walks toward the stage, demanding money from Kern. Rondell tries to get the guy to back off. Do-Rag only gets louder. Danny and Lem break it up.

On the way out, more words are exchanged and somebody pulls out a gun. Everyone in the place screams and ducks for cover. The shooter nails someone and dashes for the exit. Lem leaps over the bar to apprehend him. The victim has a hole in his chest. Danny is slightly shaken and calls out, "Lemon!" Lem yells for somebody to call 911. Um, buddy, you are 911.

A short time later, Vic has arrived. The melee has left two people dead and six others injured. The loudmouthed do-rag wearer who started the trouble was T-Bonz, another rapper. Rondell shot the guy on the floor. Dutch interviews a patron with an ass wound.

Vic remarks, "Look who's the last one to a 'shots fired' call." Edgar-veda himself. He's not happy about two of his officers moonlighting. Lem says they got the okay from their shift commander. The Strike Team is told they'll assist this investigation only when necessary. "I won't put up with shooting galleries in Farmington," says Edgar-veda. Uh, Captain, that term doesn't mean what you think it does...

Edgar-veda gently grasps Vic's upper arm. He doesn't like being Vic's boss, but the station is still under his command. He menaces that Vic needs to do his job and stay out of Edgar-veda's way. Vic thinks that's good advice for the both of them.

Danny says neither rapper fired a round during the shooting. She's sure she could identify their homeboys if she sat down with a mug book.

Vic tells Lem they better host a war council between the rappers before there's any more gunfire. Dutch asks who Kern is. Vic tells Dutch Boy not to get his clogs dirty; they'll take care of this.

Vic and Lem knock on Rondell's door. We learn T-Bonz and Kern have a long standing beef. Lem admiringly runs his hands over the big-screen TV mounted on the wall: "Is this thing high-def?" "Don't be gettin' your prints on that!" Rondell snaps. Hey, It's That Guy! Rondell is played by Walter Jones, who I grew up watching as the original Black Power Ranger.
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Anyway, Rondell and Kern have been friends since they were kids, so Rondell was backing his boy. Kern also paid for Rondell's start in the drug business. Rondell explains the bad blood: T-Bonz was on Kern's record label until he left and started his own.

Lem is now flipping through Rondell's record collection. Rondell gripes that he had them all in chronological order. At the club, he was "just shootin' to be shootin'"...whatever that means. Vic confiscates Rondell's gun. He advises Rondell to keep his dealers off the street until this thing blows over. They have an arrangement; Rondell gets a free pass as long as he keeps the neighborhood violence in check.

Vic wants Rondell to set up a friendly meeting with Kern. Rondell doesn't want to, but agrees after Vic threatens to run his gun through the ballistics lab. Vic also needs two of Rondell's shooters. When they later put the guys in the holding cell, Vic smiles angelically at the captain: "Just doing my job and staying out of your way."

Edgar-veda and his wife Aurora go to an outdoor Project Familia rally. Aurora is worried; this could be her husband's one shot at something big. Edgar-veda shakes hands with Machado, a bigwig in Project Familia. Sidebar: Machado looks like a Latino Ray Liotta knockoff.

Machado is glad they came and asks for a favor. His nanny hasn't seen her husband in a few days. He's a day laborer who waits by a local hardware store to get picked up for jobs and has a tempestuous relationship with his wife. Edgar-veda promises to look into it.

Lem and Vic talk to Kern at his recording studio. He doesn't know anything about who took a shot at him; when it happened, all he thought about was protecting Tyesha. She comes out of the booth holding a Pomeranian and kisses Kern. Lem looks like he wants to take the dog and cuddle it. Vic introduces himself to her, points behind him, and says, "You can call him Lemonhead."

Lem reaches out to pet the fluffy little doggie and gets growled at. Tyesha says Kern wasn't actively involved in the shooting. Vic needs Kern to pass on the message that the war is over. Kern refuses to call it off; T-Bonz started it by spilling blood in Kern's 'hood.

Edgar-veda sits Ellie the nanny down with Dutch. The captain is giving the Chez Club case to someone else so Dutch can devote his time to finding Ellie's missing husband Manuel. Dutch thinks it's "abuse of power" to take him off a big case to do favors for his friend's nanny. I'm with him. "You'd be happier if it was his mistress?" asks Claudette.

Dutch tells Claudette she'll have to do all the talking with Ellie. There's a slight language barrier. Claudette wants to know how somebody can be a cop in L.A. for 12 years and not speak Spanish beyond a couple of phrases. Dutch explains he's always had Spanish-speaking partners.

Outside the hardware store, a Mexican man repeats the phrase "Yo no se". Dutch proudly informs his partner that means "I don't know." Claudette takes over, asking if anyone has seen Manuel Ruiz. She shows the men his picture. One guy in a varsity-style jacket tries to slink away, but Dutch and Claudette catch up to him.

In the truck with Lem driving, Vic suddenly shouts, "I don't believe this! Back up." Lem obediently throws it in reverse and drives around the corner. To a cluster of gangbangers on the corner, Vic warns, "Don't make me break a sweat trying to catch you!" Lem parks and gets out to back up Vic. Vic tells the guys to run along; Rondell wants them off the streets.

Vic pushes his way in when Rondell answers the door, demanding to know why Rondell's dealers are on the street. Rondell protests it's a free country. "I'm your landlord, Rondell. I let you use space that I own." Vic reminds him. "If you can't follow my rules, then I'll find someone who can. You got it?" During this exchange, Lem just hovers in the background like the big scary guys in rap videos.

Back at the precinct, Claudette tells Edgar-veda what she learned from the day laborers. Manuel was picked up for a job on Tuesday along with a man named Eduardo. They were best friends in Mexico and later smuggled themselves into the U.S. together. Claudette thinks something happened on that truck ride because Eduardo's been threatening to kill Manuel ever since.

The truck that picked up the duo at the hardware store was from Jamieson Contracting. Edgar-veda tells Claudette to find out if they ever made it to work.

Over the police radio, Vic hears there's been a shooting on one of Rondell's corners. "Punch it!" he growls at Lem. When they arrive, the gunfire has stopped. Lem inspects the guys laying on the ground. A car is stopped in a nearby alley, the driver shot dead at the wheel.

Vic screams over his shoulder for Lem to call EMS. We see a young boy and his bicycle pinned under the car's front bumper. Vic goes to the ground level with the boy's head and holds it still, trying to keep his spine aligned.

Later, Deputy Chief Gilroy has arrived, the area fenced in by crime scene tape. In a roundabout way, the mayor knows the boy hit by the car, a golf buddy's second cousin or some such. All Vic knows is the kid was hurt pretty badly. Gilroy wants to know how to explain the "four dead thugs." Vic tells him about the rap war between T-Bonz and Kern. He'll handle it.

Gilroy hits Vic where it hurts by saying, "I told the chief that the Strike Team would make a difference, that these kinda things would stop happening." Vic assures him it's a temporary setback. But the chief funds special units based on results. Another detective has bad news: The little boy was pronounced dead on arrival.

Vic brings T-Bonz to an interrogation room for a sit-down with Kern. Lem is standing against the wall with one foot propped on a chair. He gives it a gentle kick, sending it sliding to the opposite side of the table. Vic says cheerily, "The war ends right now with a handshake."

T-Bonz isn't going for it; Kern stole his money and his woman Tyesha. Kern owes T-Bonz $2 million in royalties from Tyesha's last album. Kern is a fair man, but $2 million is out of the questions. He'll give his enemy a finder's fee in an undisclosed amount. Probably not close to what T-Bonz wants.

Kern claims Tyesha wasn't selling any albums until she signed with his record label. Vic tries to break up the pissing match: "Your 10 lawyers can do battle with his 10 lawyers or we can settle this right here." T-Bonz will get money over Kern's dead body. "That sounds like a good idea," T-Bonz says in a menacing whisper.

Vic has had enough of their bullshit; each man will come up with a number and Vic will decide what's fair. "Who you supposed to be, Judge Judy?" T-Bonz scoffs. Vic calls for a 24-hour ceasefire: "You boys break it, I break you." Again, Lem hasn't done anything but stand in the corner menacing the rappers with his biceps.

Dutch and Claudette go to a construction site and have a debate on the exploitation of illegal immigrant workers. They ask the site boss if an Eduardo is working today. "Throw a rock. You're bound to hit one," the boss replies. He recognizes Manuel's picture. Manuel worked for a day and was never seen again after collecting his pay. The boss has no idea what happened and doesn't care.

The detectives walk through the site, calling Eduardo's name. Another worker points him out. Eduardo immediately starts to run away. He crawls under a loose section of chainlink fence and continues down the street. Dutch doesn't follow, probably afraid of ripping his suit.

Meanwhile, Danny picks out Rondell as one of the shooters at the Chez Club. Rondell is handcuffed to the table in the interrogation room and protests his innocence to Edgar-veda. Edgar-veda has a witness and not just any witness: a cop. Two cops if he bothered to count Lem. He wants to know who's protecting Rondell's drug business. Rondell says he doesn't need protection.

Even if the murder charges doesn't stick, Rondell is still going to jail for discharging a firearm in public. Edgar-veda lets Rondell know that he's dead wrong if he thinks he can deal drugs in Farmington because a cop is protecting him.

Vic has a quiet chat with Rondell while he's in the holding cell. He reminds the drug dealer he was supposed to lay low. Rondell claims he was sitting at home listening to Miles Davis when Edgar-veda showed up. He tells Vic not to worry; he never keeps drugs in his apartment. All Rondell has to do now is keep his mouth shut, a tall order for him.

Edgar-veda gives Machado a progress report. They still don't know where the hell Manuel is, but they do have a suspect. Machado tells Edgar-veda there's a spot opening up on city council next year, a seat traditionally occupied by a black politician. However, Latinos are a growing majority in Farmington and would eagerly vote for a candidate of their own ethnicity. With Machado's backing, Edgar-veda could become that councilman.

However, Machado doesn't think he can sell a police officer to the voting public. "What would you think of a man who exposed corruption, brought down dirty cops from inside the department?" asks Edgar-veda, eyeing Vic from his office window. Machado is honest: It would be career suicide, but also an easier sell.

Danny and Julien go to the home of a rather upset middle-aged black woman. Her son Thurman has been kidnapped and she got a ransom call asking for $10,000. She hasn't talked to Thurman in a month and last saw him three weeks ago. Danny asks how the woman is sure he's only been missing a day. "Cemetery called. Somebody dug up his body," Thurman's Mom explains.
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Later, Danny is about to leave the precinct in her civvies when Vic stops her on the stairs. He knows she ID'd Rondell. That complicates things because Rondell is his CI (confidential informant). Vic claims none of Rondell's bullets hit anyone and he was acting in self-defense. He needs Danny to get amnesia. Danny doesn't know if she can, but she'll think about it. She better think fast or she'll end up like Terry.

Thurman's mother waits anxiously by the phone. Julien recognizes a picture of Thurman; they went to high school together. Thurman and Company liked to beat up Julien on a daily basis. Thurman's Mom blinks. Julien hastily adds that the bullying ended up making him a better student because he'd hide in the library. Thurman's mother reveals her son died when a liquor store robbery went bad and the owner shot him. He also did drugs. Even so, Julien is sure that Thurman went to be with Jesus.

The phone rings. Julien turns on a recorder before letting Thurman's Mom answer. She lies that she has the ransom and asks where her son's body is. The caller tells her to bring the money to the cemetery at 10:00. She can't understand his muffled voice, so he repeats the demand a couple of times. "Henry, is that you?" shouts Thurman's Mom.

Julien arrests Henry and puts him in the cage. Turns out Henry used to date Thurman's Mom. He knew she had a life insurance payout coming and he "wanted to take [his] new lady on one of them cruises." Julien informs Henry that Thurman's Mom spent all the insurance money on the funeral. Hope this half-assed plan was worth a grave robbery charge.

At home, Vic and his wife (Corrine, according to IMDb) talk about their son's upcoming appointment with a developmental pediatrician. Vic is skeptical about how many problems a 5-year-old could have. Matthew is jumping on the couch and barking. Corrine asks why Vic is fighting the idea of seeing a specialist. He's hardly ever home and doesn't see what she has to deal with every day. Vic offers to put the kids to bed so Corrine can take a bath. As she leaves the kitchen, he playfully slaps her rear.

Out on the street, Danny is jumped by an unidentifiable black man. He forces her to the ground and puts a gun to her head, ignoring her shout of "I'm a cop!" The man says, "And I'm a cop killer, but not tonight." He tells Danny in no uncertain terms to forget what she saw at the Chez Club. Danny says she will.

At work the next day, Danny grabs Rondell by his collar, letting him know he doesn't scare her. Rondell begs to differ on that. Danny storms out of the cage and herds Vic into the weight room. She tells him what happened the night before. Vic promises to take care of it, which he does by going into the cage and grabbing Rondell by the neck. Rondell whines that he was just trying to scare Danny. Vic advises Rondell to use his drug profits to bail himself out. It'll take at least a year for the firearms charge to go to trial, but the charge will get dropped.

Claudette and Dutch haven't had any luck finding Eduardo, but Dutch has a new Spanish-English phrase book courtesy of his partner. Dutch is curious why Claudette keeps reading the real estate page, but she's not talking. They suddenly spot Eduardo getting out of a van. Claudette handcuffs him. According to the closed captions, Dutch is "reading Miranda rights in broken Spanish." Nearby Mexicans laugh at his pronunciation.

Eduardo confirms he and Manuel both worked for Mr. Jamieson. However, Eduardo didn't kill Manuel and has no idea where he is now. Dutch knows Eduardo wanted Manuel dead and that they haven't been friends for a long time. Claudette asks what happened in the truck during their illegal border crossing.

Eduardo insists Manuel is still his friend and nothing happened. Claudette has been intently watching their suspect's body language. "I'm not the one who killed Manuel," says Eduardo. Now we're getting somewhere. Eduardo starts crying and crosses himself. The detectives step out of the room into Edgar-veda's office.

Claudette is positive that Eduardo was raped. She spent her first few years in uniform at emergency rooms interviewing rape victims; she knows the look. She also realizes it sounds like one of her partner's theories. Dutch doesn't think it would be possible to do such a thing in the back of a moving truck and then asks, "What do you mean it sounds like one of my theories?" Claudette doesn't answer.

Vic is in the clubhouse reading the paper when Tyesha and Kern make a surprise appearance. The rapper overturns a cardboard box he's carrying and a very dead Pomeranian flops out onto the table. Tyesha chokes out that T-Bonz poisoned her baby. She's supposed to be finishing work on her new album, but she's too upset to sing. T-Bonz needs to pay for breaking the ceasefire. Vic's only comment is "Get that thing off my table."

Tyesha asks if Kern will be a man or does she have to get someone else to do the job. Kern knows what he has to do, but he needs Vic's help to get to T-Bonz. His badge opens up a lot of doors. Kern will even pay him. Vic asks for the address.

Dutch asks if Manuel is the only one who raped Eduardo in the truck. Eduardo denies it. Dutch would want to kill if someone did that to him, so what Eduardo did is understandable. "I murder Manuel," mumbles Eduardo. They were working on the roof when Manuel slipped and fell while carrying an air-conditioning unit. Dutch tells Eduardo that doesn't qualify as murder. Eduardo was told different by Mr. Jamieson.

At the construction site, Dutch, Claudette, and Eduardo watch the work crew dig up Manuel's body. Mr. Jamieson says they buried him after his accident because nobody seemed to know if Manuel had a wife or family in the States. He wanted to call the police, but that would've shut down the site and left his employees without work. Mr. Jamieson zeroes in on Eduardo and lunges at him, shouting, "I told you not to talk, asshole!" A worker holds him back. Mr. Jamieson is arrested.

Vic drives T-Bonz to a semi-trailer at the water's edge. The rapper keeps saying he never did whatever Vic thinks he did. Lem "helps" T-Bonz out of the car: "Let's go, you dog killer." Vic wants to know what happened to the trash talker he fell in love with. The rapper starts babbling, offering Vic money. Kern steps out of the shadows. Lem holds his gun on both of them.

Vic tells Kern and T-Bonz to get into the semi-trailer/shipping container. Kern asks if Vic is crazy. "Oh yeah, he's definitely crazy," Lem confirms. If they want to kill each other, Vic is more than happy to cut out the middleman. T-Bonz thought they had a deal. "I'm never for sale," says Vic. "You two can't make peace, I'll see one of you in the morning." Lem quickly slams the door and locks the container. Vic chuckles that they should've thought of this yesterday.

At the precinct, Edgar-veda tells Vic that Rondell made bail. He can't imagine where a kid from the ghetto got $100,000 cash. Vic guesses he has a rich uncle. Julien doesn't know why Danny is so edgy, but he'll pray for her before he goes to bed. Awwwww.

Rondell comes home to find Vic in his living room and his record collection in pieces all over the floor. Lem strolls out of the kitchen, eating a banana. Through a mouthful, he informs Rondell the peaches are about to go bad. Rondell's TV is missing. Vic and Lem took it upon themselves to donate it to a local boys' club. "Man, you shoulda seen their faces; it was like Christmas," Lem grins.

Vic says this is what happens when you go after a cop. Lem thinks Rondell owes him a thank-you; he talked Vic out of doing something a lot worse.

Edgar-veda tells Machado and Ellie that Manuel's death has been ruled an accident. Mr. Jamieson has plead guilty to evidence tampering, the punishment for which is a fine. Ellie isn't worried; she'll just sue Jamieson's company. Machado thanks the captain for his help. He hasn't decided who to back for city council yet, so Edgar-veda has time to impress him. The captain smiles a particularly Leviathan-esque smile.

Eduardo is being released, but Dutch has one last question. Why did Eduardo go on the same job with Manuel? Eduardo says Mr. Jamieson handpicked the two of them outside the hardware store and he needed to work. Eduardo doesn't know what his next job will be. Dutch might have one, namely a crumbling retaining wall at his house.

Vic is in the clubhouse alone cleaning his gun when Danny opens the door. He heard she kicked ass. "No more than usual," she shrugs. Vic asks if Danny trusts him with her life. She does. Vic tells Danny she can stop looking over her shoulder for the rappers. Vic's phone rings. He promises the caller he'll be right there and puts the magazine back in his gun.

Vic goes to the ER waiting room. Corrine is sitting in a chair next to Matthew. Vic asks where their toddler Megan is. She's getting X-rays and Corrine's mom is with her. "A 5-year-old does not bite his 18-month-old sister on the face and make her fall on her head," says Corrine. Vic sends her to be with Megan. Matthew sits in a chair, staring blankly straight ahead. Vic promises Megan will be okay.

At dawn, Lem and Vic go to unlock the shipping container. Lem doesn't hear anything from inside. Vic isn't worried: "Assholes like these don't wake up 'til noon." They get the door open and Vic cheerily cries, "Reveille!"

Kern comes out with blood on his shirt and a blinged-out chain in his hand. Lem calls for T-Bonz. "Ain't nobody else comin' outta there," says Kern, "Told you he was a bitch." Lem looks worried and runs a hand through his spiky hair. Kern will have his cleanup crew take care of the body. Somehow, Vic seems surprised that locking two people with a blood feud in a crate overnight caused a murder.

Lem murmurs, "Oh shit." He puts a hand out for Vic's gun and wipes the prints off. Kern stands at the water's edge, watching the sunrise over the skyline. Vic joins him and asks if Kern is hungry. "I'm goddamn starved," says Kern. All right, Chauffeur Lem, take us to the nearest IHOP. End of episode.