Danny and Julien are involved in a car chase, pursuing a white Pontiac (at least it's not a Bronco); the rookie is driving. There's radio chatter about CHP possibly deploying spike trips, but deciding against it due to cross-traffic.
|In my head, these two are zipping to the scene.|
Gilroy tosses a paper on Edgar-veda's desk. One front page headline reads: "Farmington cops investigated for stealing drugs." Edgar-veda lies that the story made him sick too and asks if the deputy chief knows how it got out. "Yeah, you leaked it!" shouts Gilroy. Edgar-veda is all "who, me?" before insisting he's not anti-cop.
He asks if Gilroy plans on suspending the Strike Team. Gilroy reminds him of the cherished legal concept of "innocent until proven guilty." The Strike Team will be reassigned to the detective pool with different partners. Gilroy threatens to have Edgar-veda fired for leaking the story. Edgar-veda thinks it wouldn't be smart to get rid of "the one cop who actually cares" about getting dirty cops off the street.
Claudette is surprised to see Vic slumming it in the squadroom. He explains about the temporary partner-swap. Dutch clearly drew the short straw; he's paired with Shane.
We see the Pontiac chase continue, first from the perspective of the police helicopter before transitioning down to Danny and Julien. She points out an intersection for him to block. When the rest of the chase passes by, he'll stay parallel until told to converge. The Pontiac roars by with police cars behind it. Suddenly, the Pontiac crashes offscreen.
"What the hell am I supposed to talk to Shane Vendrell about all day?" gripes Dutch. Claudette shrugs that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Danny and Julien approach the crashed Pontiac. Another officer shakes his head, indicating the driver is dead at the wheel. Julien spots a piece of fabric sticking out of the trunk. When it's popped open, we see a badly burned corpse. Danny and Julien are horrified. Seconds later, the "corpse's" eyes open. Danny and Julien gasp. Theme song.
In the clubhouse, Shane and Vic have a brief discussion about how screwed they are. Vic's about to shut the door when Danny and Julien enter the Barn. He tells Danny they heard about the "crispy critter." Danny thinks it's a miracle he's still alive. Shane figures the victim had it coming. Why else would you torture somebody and shove them in a trunk? Julien is vehement that nobody deserves what this guy is suffering.
"He was probably a rat," Shane says pointedly, shoving Julien. Their respective partners step in before it goes further. Julien gets hold of Shane again. Vic shoves his best friend behind him. Danny drags her partner away. Vic whispers for Shane to lay low and let him handle things, giving him a much more playful slap than last episode.
Tomas calls out from the cage, asking Julien to get him out of jail. There's nothing Julien can do about it. Tomas wonders how Vic knew about their relationship. Vic checks his gun so he can unlock the cage. He got Tomas released until his court date. He swears he saw Tomas making out with Julien when he busted him. Julien denies it. Vic says it's easy enough to make mistakes; you think you saw someone stealing drugs and they were really just packing up extra ammo.
"He's not confused about anything," Tomas insists. Julien won't recant his statement and as for what Vic witnessed, "It never happened." At the desk, Tomas gets his property back and says he and Julien need each other. Vic tells him that Julien doesn't need a narcissistic conman like Tomas complicating his life. The best thing he can do is cut Julien off. Otherwise, Vic will be arresting him every other week. He shuts the Barn door in Tomas's face.
"Oh man, look at this guy," says Claudette from behind an observation window, watching the doctors and nurses care for the burn victim. If Vic is ever that bad off, he wants her to pull the plug with both hands. Claudette thinks it beats the alternative. Dr. Crawford doesn't mince words with the detectives: "3rd-degree burns over 60% of his body? He's gonna die." She gives Claudette a bag of the man's belongings.
Dr. Crawford found traces of red phosphorus and hydrogen chloride on the victim. "So he blew himself up in a meth lab," says Vic.
In an ER bay, a groaning man with an oxygen mask over his mask is being closely watched by a nurse. Dr. Crawford says he's the third one today and asks to see the man's property. Claudette gives the doctor a business card, instructing her to call if any more overdoses come in. Vic finds another baggie of Cupid meth. Claudette is worried; there's no telling how much was made before the cook blew himself up.
EMTs wheel in a new patient, "another college kid." Vic asks how Claudette wants to play this. They both have different ways of handling things, so taking turns seems like the best thing to do. Claudette hopes Vic's methods won't put her name in the papers too. Vic laughs, "Don't believe everything you read." Vic is a gentleman, so they'll follow the first lead Claudette's way. The only thing they know for sure is the identity of the dead driver; she'll start with his family.
Edgar-veda meets with his politician friend Jorge. The captain may have burned bridges, but the headline will help him build new ones. Jorge has decided to back Edgar-veda in the city council race. He invites Edgar-veda and his wife Aurora to dinner; Jorge has to introduce the captain to his new campaign staff. They'll officially announce his candidacy at the neighborhood Cinco de Mayo block party. Edgar-veda promises he didn't come here to lose. Jorge says, "You can't afford to."
At the Barn, Shane is antsy and playing with a Nerf football. He wants to toss a crackhouse, but Dutch would rather stay in to go over some open files. Dutch asks Danni about the sergeant's exam. She thinks it could go either way, but wants him to know how grateful she is for his tutoring. She offers to buy Dutch dinner at a place of his choosing.
A pretty woman wearing a blue blouse comes in looking for Detective Gannon; she's been leaving messages for 2 months and he hasn't responded. Dutch tells her that Gannon retired. Shane stops pacing to watch the conversation. Gannon, it transpires, had been investigating her husband, Kyle Kelner's murder. Shane the Southern gentleman pulls out a chair for her. Dutch leaves to pull the case file. Mrs. Kelner reveals that today is the one-year anniversary of Kyle's murder. "I'm so sorry," Shane says in a hushed, sincere voice.
Vic and Claudette interview the Pontiac driver's grieving widow. She doesn't understand why Andy would lead the police on a chase. Claudette tells her about the burn victim in the trunk and the meth in the car. She shows the woman the baggie. Mrs. Andy recognizes the Cupid as being from their daughter's rubber stamp collection. Andy wasn't a drug dealer, just an out-of-work website designer like his friend Eric. Andy and Eric were college friends. She tried to call Eric during the TV chase, but he didn't answer. Claudette has a pretty good idea why.
At the hospital, Eric's brother can hardly bring himself to look through the burn unit's observation window. We can see a bandage on the brother's forearm. He can't believe Eric was in a meth lab explosion, but did know about his brother's financial problems. "How was I supposed to help him?" he asks tearfully, "He was the one who went to college. Now they're asking me to end his life."
Julien thanks Danny for standing up for him with Vic. That's what partners do, even when they disagree. "This is a brotherhood. Everyone around here seems to get that but you," Danny adds. Julien pulls the "you don't know what I've been through" card. That's because he never talks to Danny. He needs to open up if he wants them to stay partners. Edgar-veda already said no when Danny requested to work with someone else.
Shane and Dutch dig through a box Detective Gannon left behind. They find an arrest warrant that was never served and an old lottery ticket. "Weight Watchers coupon, like that lard-ass would ever use it," says Shane. He doesn't want to scrape ice off a cold case. Dutch thinks they owe it to the widow, but he'll work solo if Shane doesn't feel that way.
Shane is fine with staying because of the possibility of, and I quote: "'I lost my husband tragically, but I'm still young and hot and in need of emotional release' sex."
Julien and Danny roll up to a domestic in progress, two guys fighting over a girl. Danny recognizes the parties immediately. Fran the tire-slashing victim got back together with Lamar, her tire-slashing ex-boyfriend. Lamar wants Hooper, the current ex-boyfriend, arrested for trespassing. "Hey, Fran, don't do this to me, baby!" pleads the current ex. Fran and Lamar kiss in front of Hooper as he's loaded into the police car.
Edgar-veda goes home to tell Aurora that Jorge is backing him for city council. She hugs him and wonders why he doesn't look happier. Edgar-veda worries that he only has one shot. "You won't need another one," Aurora assures him, before adding, "Power is an aphrodisiac."
Dr. Crawford meets Claudette and Vic in the ER. Two of overdose victims are dead, the third has brain damage, and all of them attended the same college. EMS brought in two of the guys; the guy who died most recently was brought in by a friend. The guy leaning against the wall says he's a fraternity pledgemaster and the dead kid was pledging. Vic holds up the meth: "This part of rush week?"
Pledgemaster is a cliche: "My dad's a lawyer." "Mine was a bricklayer. So what?" Vic fires back. Pledgemaster gives the name of his dad's law firm. "We're definitely doing this one my way," Vic chuckles. He drags Pledgemaster back into the ER and pulls the sheet off the dead kid. "Kiss your brother," Vic orders, forcing Pledgemaster's head toward the corpse. When Pledgemaster claims he doesn't know who sold the meth, Vic says, "Kiss your brother again!"
Pledgemaster finally cracks: "We gave it to all the pledges! It was supposed to be funny, sending them to class on speed!" So there are even more potential victims, lovely! Pledgemaster bought it from Effi Montecito, a guy who deals to all the frats on campus. "Now let me show you how we haze our pledges!" says Vic as he handcuffs Pledgemaster.
Dutch remarks that Gannon left a long "to-be-interviewed" list, so they have to start over. Mrs. Kelner's late husband Kyle had been a property manager for some local condos and was found dead at a construction site. He and his business partner Ari had started building a new complex.
Mrs. Kelner is on the verge of tears. Shane brings her a glass of water and says he'll bring her some chips. Dutch asks if the widow has talked to a grief counselor. Mrs. Kelner says it didn't help. Dutch can make some recommendations if she wants to try again.
Claudette has gotten some more information on Effi the campus drug dealer. He's 25 and still lives in his old frat house. She's working on getting a warrant. Vic follows Julien into the bathroom and mentions the IAD investigation. Julien refuses to change his statement. Vic promises not to tell anyone that Julien is gay if he says Vic didn't steal any cocaine.
The Strike Team is made up of good men and Vic won't let Julien ruin their lives. Julien's not giving Vic any choice but to turn in the arrest report that says he caught Julien in the midst of a sex act with Tomas. "That report doesn't prove anything," says Julien. Vic doesn't have to prove it; just saying what he saw will be enough. He leaves Julien to mull that over. Vic is about to turn in the arrest report when Julien calls his name.
Julien goes to Edgar-veda, no longer sure that he saw Vic stealing drugs. It was dark and he couldn't really see what was happening. Edgar-veda is certain that Vic threatened Julien. The rookie says no, which is technically true. What Vic did is more along the lines of blackmail. Edgar-veda reads from Julien's interview transcript, warning him of the penalties of not reporting corruption and making false statements. Julien is willing to take the punishment. Edgar-veda dismisses him, slamming the office door so hard that the glass shatters.
In the clubhouse, Shane laughs and high-fives Vic for getting them off the hook. Edgar-veda commands Shane to leave and asks what Vic did to Julien that made him change his story. Vic asks if he can leave. He and Corrine are touring a school for autistic children.
Danny and Julien get called back to the home of Fran and Lamar. Somebody has spraypainted the word "HOE" in red across the front door. Fran knows it was her ex Hooper; he's a bad speller. They take the couple back to the Barn to sign an official complaint. Fran can use it to get a temporary restraining order, under which Hooper can't be within 10 feet of her. Lamar says that if the order is violated, "I'll make him my bitch."
Fran mentions that she sometimes sees Hooper at the Vons and he helps her shop. "Aw, hell naw!" cries Lamar. He adds that Fran needs to just "sign the damn thing." She does.
Dutch interviews Ari, who claims he was on a business trip in Phoenix when Kyle was murdered. Why is Dutch asking this now, anyway? The detective explains that the file slipped through a crack. Given the day's headline, Ari is "surprised any crack slips past you guys."
Shane interviews Kyle's secretary. She says he was a great boss and she hasn't had a decent job since he died. Shane suggests that she lean on her husband or boyfriend during this difficult time. "I'm single," says the secretary. Shane's eyebrows go up a fraction of an inch.
During the school tour, a teacher explains that comprehensive treatment for autism is available onsite: speech, occupational, and behavioral therapy. Vic has a concern. He read that placing a kid in a school where all the other kids are autistic can prevent them from socializing properly. The teacher says Matthew would be put in a small class with kids at his own level. She's not in favor of mainstreaming at public schools because "throwing them in the deep end doesn't teach them how to swim" either. Attending this school will make Matthew a leader and build his self-confidence.
The teacher adds on some pressure for the Mackeys to make a decision: There's one spot remaining in the school and "it's sure to go quickly." Vic still has sticker shock; the tuition is $25,000. In 2002, undergraduate tuition for a full year at Stanford was only slightly more expensive (about $27,000). All the school's parents say it's well worth the cost. The teacher again advises them to decide quickly.
Julien's reverend drops by the Barn because Edgar-veda called him and said Julien might need spiritual guidance. Julien explains that he recanted his statement due to being unsure of what he saw. He overreacted. The reverend has never known Julien to be prone to that and senses there's something else on his mind. "What do you do when the man you are isn't the man that you want to be?" asks Julien. The reverend's advice is simple: "Give the man that you are a kick in the ass." Also, he recommends praying about it.
Vic and Claudette enter the Kappa Upsilon house. The pledges are standing in the living room, blindfolded and wearing just boxers. Effi is sitting on a recliner, holding a rope that's attached to a live sheep. "You're coming with us," says Vic. Effi stands up, but doesn't let go of the makeshift leash.
Claudette wants to conduct the interview her way. "If you think we have time for that," Vic shrugs. Effi, now sans sheep, is waiting in the interrogation room with his lawyer. Vic thought "screwing sheep went out with New Wave." "We weren't really gonna make 'em do it," says Effi. The first words out of the lawyer's mouth are "You dragged my son down here."
Mr. Montecito calls Effi a "son of a bitch" and slaps him again. Effi gets angry and takes a swing at his old man. They grab each other by the shirt. Vic gets them apart and stands between them. Two uniforms enter to subdue father and son. As he's dragged out, Mr. Montecito yells, "You see if I'm gonna bail you out this time!" I bet some well-meaning family member guilts him into doing it anyway.
At the hospital, a nurse changes the sheets in Eric's room. His brother told them to turn off the life support. Claudette doesn't want to come off as disingenuous, but she's sorry for his loss. "What's 'disingenuous' mean?" asks the brother, just in case we forgot he's the dumb one. They arrest him for cooking meth; Effi rolled on him.
Vic and Claudette interview their suspects in the same room. Eric's brother reveals he was in the room when the explosion happened. They put him in the trunk, not wanting to risk a trip to the hospital. Andy was planning to bury him in the desert, thinking Eric would be dead by the time they got there. "Exactly how stupid are you?" asks Effi. Vic reminds the frat rat that he's been 6 credits shy of graduation for 4 years running: "You're a drug dealer who spends his free time watching pledges hump sheep and he's the stupid one?"
Claudette asks if there's any Cupid meth still out there. Manny, the guy who gave our meth cooks their lab startup loan, is holding some product for collateral. When they couldn't make a payment, he broke Eric's brother's hand and took 10 pounds of meth. It's Manny's fault that Eric died because Eric was nervous about the threats and rushed the last batch. Claudette is familiar with Manny Sandoval.
Vic asks Edgar-veda for $20,000 to take to a meeting with Manny. Effi and Eric's Bro both agreed to wear wires. The police can collect the tainted meth at the drop location. Edgar-veda isn't about to give Vic that much cash when he's under investigation for stealing drugs. Claudette tells him to put the voucher in her name. Lives are at stake. Edgar-veda agrees.
Dutch visits Mrs. Kelner at home. He tried to call, but didn't get an answer. Mrs. Kelner claims she forgot to pay the bill. Dutch just wanted to ask if Kyle's company owned any properties in Phoenix. No, but Ari has family members who live there. Mrs. Kelner also says she has an appointment with one of the counselors Dutch recommended.
Julien isn't happy about Edgar-veda bringing his reverend into this. The captain asks what happened to the fortitude that made Julien come forward. He advises Julien to call his union rep; the rookie is looking at suspension or possibly being fired. The lying liar who lies wishes things had gone differently.
At home, Corrine offers up ways to get money for Matthew's tuition. They could skip their annual vacation to Lake Powell. She could go back to work at the ER. Vic says she'd spend half her paycheck on daycare for their toddler Megan. Matthew can keep toughing it out in public school. Corrine insists he'd be happier at Glenridge.
Okay, wait a second, who decided that was a good name for a special-needs school? In the 1980s, there was a very nasty and very public incident in which a group of high school football players gang-raped a mentally-challenged female classmate. The town? Glen Ridge, New Jersey.
Anyway, Vic knows what's best for his son, so he tells Corrine to call the school in the morning. Vic will have to pick up some overtime too. Corrine complains that the kids barely see him anyway. Well, you can't have it both ways. Either you both work more so he can go to a school more suited to his needs or keep the kid in a situation that isn't working for him academically or socially.
The eldest Mackey child, Cassidy, enters the kitchen, upset because Matthew drew in her diary. Corrine promises to buy another one. "Why does he do stuff like that? He never listens," says Cassidy. Vic explains that Matt understands things differently. Cassidy's handwriting is neat and fits in the lines, but her brother doesn't know how to make things fit. He needs help. "Big sister help?" asks Cassidy. Vic gives her a hug and a kiss.
Edgar-veda gripes to his wife about how he can't ride the headline to city council. "You're more than just the headline," says Aurora. Edgar-veda is afraid that Jorge will pull his financial support and that Gilroy will have him fired from the police department. Just as Aurora starts putting the moves on him, the baby starts to scream. "I knew twice in one day was too much to hope for," he sighs.
Danny and Julien go back to Fran's. The graffiti outside now reads "SHOE." Hooper answers the door. Fran met him at the Vons and apparently forgave him. Hooper couldn't scrub the "hoe" off the house, so adding a letter seemed like the logical thing to do. Lamar slashed Hooper's tires again. Hooper wants his name taken off the restraining order and Lamar's name put on it.
Danny pulls Fran aside for some girl talk. It's clear that both these guys will do anything for her and she's playing a dangerous game by leading them on. Fran needs to pick one guy and stick with him.
Dutch and Shane re-interview Ari. He repeats his story about the business trip. He went out with a work friend for drinks at 9:30. Dutch checked flight manifests and knows Ari's plane didn't take off until 10:00. Shane grabs Ari by the neck, screaming, "You killed him, asswipe! Say it!"
Ari confesses. Kyle had found out Ari was stealing from their business' bank account. He adds, "I didn't have a plan or an alibi. Why didn't you just arrest me last year?" Outside the interrogation room, Shane chuckles about how much that rocked. Dutch isn't celebrating. He looks like something is bothering him.
In their car, Vic gripes that the wires at Beverly Hills P.D. probably work. "You don't like our World War II hand-me-downs?" asks Claudette. They suddenly hear grunts, curses, and shouts that Manny found the wires. They get there just in time to pull Manny off Eric's brother Paul. Only took 35 minutes to name the poor kid. "This isn't gonna screw up my deal, is it?" asks Effi.
Mrs. Kelner asks why Ari killed her husband. "Kyle caught him with his hand in the cookie jar," says Shane. Mrs. Kelner thanks them for finding out what happened. Shane promises to check on her in a few weeks. Dutch hopes she keeps her counseling appointment. Mrs. Kelner doesn't see the point; it won't change anything. "I just don't wanna be alone anymore," she says sadly.
Dutch cancels his dinner with Danny, throwing her own words back at her: "A friend of mine is having a crisis." Danny says it's no problem; they can reschedule.
Vic and Claudette sent teams to search the alley where Manny met his cooks and Manny's house. They didn't find any Cupid meth. Vic thinks they need to start doing things his way. "And what way would that be, exactly?" asks Edgar-veda. Vic makes a lame joke that they should put a bell around the captain's neck.
They let Manny out of the cage, bluffing that they found the drugs. People are dead because of Manny, putting him on Vic's radar, not a good place to be.
Edgar-veda goes to Jorge's office to let him know that the department is no longer investigating Vic. Their only witness got cold feet. Jorge isn't worried. Most people don't read past the headlines, so "perception is reality." Unfortunately so, especially in this USA election cycle. Anyway, stopping before I rant about the multitude of reasons why Hilary Clinton should be in prison.
Dutch and Claudette discuss their first day with their temporary partner. Vic was okay, but she misses Dutch. "Shane wants to hit the monster truck rally on Friday," says Dutch and I can't tell whether or not he's happy about it.
Vic is headed into the bathroom when he runs into Julien. "We gotta stop meeting like this," he jokes. Julien insists he's not gay. He just gets these urges and fights them until he runs out of strength. He hates this feeling. Vic, unexpectedly, tells Julien not to go through life hating himself. Julien is upset about pushing everyone away; he's all alone now. Vic says he's not. Julien was there for him and Vic won't tell anyone what he saw.
This scene brings us to Cooking With Dutch. Tonight's menu is pasta for himself and Mrs. Kelner. She purrs that it's nice to have someone cook for her and starts to kiss him. Dutch doesn't want to take advantage of her pent-up grief and misplaced feelings. "You wouldn't be," she says.
Danny apologizes to Vic for thinking he stole the drugs. She's upset that it ruined her partnership with Julien. Vic says Julien deserves a second chance. Danny takes Gilroy's appearance as her cue to exit. The deputy chief has terrific news: The Strike Team goes back in business tomorrow. He shuts the clubhouse door and tells his pal that he's tired of cleaning up his messes.
Mrs. Kelner, her hair wet and wearing just a bathrobe, puts on some music. She takes her date's gun out of its holster. Dutch is still taking a shower. She seems to think better of whatever she was planning and picks his clothes off the floor.
Montage! Edgar-veda and Aurora leave for his candidacy announcement. Shane works out in the Barn's weight room. The Mackeys are eating pizza. Matt pokes his slice with a spoon; Cassidy shows him how to pick it up to eat it. Claudette and Danny go to a house where there's blood all over the kitchen walls. Hooper and Fran lie dead on the floor. Lamar, with blood on his clothes, is handcuffed in the living room. You play with fire and you get burned. End of episode.