Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Dragonchasers" Aren't a Pokemon Go Team (Episode 1.10)

Previously on: An underage prostitute nicknamed Sally (as in Struthers) was murdered, one of a string of other "working girls" killed. Dutch is obsessed with finding the guy responsible. Julien is totally not gay. Crack Whore Connie stabbed a john in not-quite-self-defense. She was afraid of losing her son, so Vic agreed to hit to make the story that the john attacked her more convincing.

At a strip club, Vic gets a lapdance from a woman in purple glitter pasties and matching G-string. She suggests they move their party from the VIP room to the alley behind the club. The stripper leads him outside to a conveniently placed pleather couch. She tells him they have to make it a quickie; she doesn't want her boss to find out.

Elsewhere, the rest of the Strike Team listens in from their van. The stripper asks the age-old question, "How do I know you're not a cop?" "If I were a cop, would I do this?" asks Vic before doing something that makes the stripper moan. The guy laughs. Lemming, the true professional, has a more important concern: How will they know when the muggers try to jump Vic? They need to bust her now. "Oh, and ruin a good thing? He'd kill us." says Shane.

Danny and Julien catch a man masturbating in an alley. Danny orders, "Get your hands out of your pants and put 'em up!" The guy repeats that he can explain. No, I really don't think you can. Julien checks his ID and finds the guy is from Pasadena. Danny makes it sound like he's a long way from home. Google Maps says more like 20 minutes. "This is the stupidest thing I've ever done," says the masturbator.

And no, it's not this guy.
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Vic gets back in the van with a sigh and the other guys pats him on the back. He guesses Purple Pasties isn't part of the mugging ring. "You nailed her, didn't you?" asks Shane. Vic replies, "Like I'd tell you 3." Oh, come on, you would. Vic's phone rings and it's Connie. Whoops, gotta run. He says to wait half an hour before sending the next guy in and keep rotating out until somebody gets jumped. Whenever it's Lemming's turn, I imagine the conversation going something like this.

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In a convenience store, Connie is kneeling on the ground next to an unconscious woman while a paramedic packs up his gear. Connie's baby son is screaming. Connie is in tears muttering that she's sorry. Vic asks what happened. Connie says the dead woman is her mom.

Ronnie is next to run the gauntlet. He uses his own name to introduce himself to the stripper. "Amateur," scoffs Shane. The stripper asks what Ronnie is "into." He dumbly tells her that he plays golf. Ronnie stammers, asking her to "tease him...not really take it off but almost." Lemming seems to be enjoying this far too much. Shane can't stand to listen to this anymore; he's going in. Lemming shakes his head: "Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie."

Couldn't help it.
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Vic brings Connie a jar of baby food and a plastic spoon, asking what she plans to do. Her mom had been the one who mostly took care of Baby Brian. Connie says she'll get clean and won't need help with the baby. "You can barely take care of yourself," Vic points out. If he offers to adopt the kid, Corinne will probably kill him. "They can't take Brian. He's all I got left," Connie whimpers as the medics take her mother's body out on a stretcher, "Help me, Vic. You can get me through this."

Vic doesn't think that's a good idea; she needs a professional. Connie is afraid that if she goes to rehab, the court will use that to take away Brian and her welfare checks. She hasn't gotten high in 12 hours and the next 48 will be the worst. She has to get clean; she's Brian's mom.

At the Barn, a reporter from a Spanish-language newspaper interviews Edgar-veda. He brags about how much the crime rate in Farmington has declined since he took over. She thinks it's ironic they're using an old church: "God moved out, the cops moved in." Edgar-veda, trying to be clever, answers, "God's still here. We just sublet." The reporter wants to interview some of his officers for background. Hopefully, she doesn't talk to Vic.

Around the vending machines, Danny tells some other uniforms about the Koreatown alley masturbator. "Wasn't even homeless, just a regular Joe from Pasadena," adds Julien. This piques Dutch's interest. Which alley? Next to the laundromat that keeps getting robbed. "He's not horning in on your territory, is he, Detective?" jokes a uniform. Dutch wants to know what the guy's name was; it had to have been on the ticket. They just gave him a verbal warning, but Julien remembers it was Sean Taylor.

Vic checks Connie's mother's apartment for drugs and warns, "If you put yourself or this kid in harm's way, DCFS isn't gonna take him away; I am." He advises her to stay hydrated and eat bananas. One of the guys from the Strike Team is coming to sit with her. My money is on Lemming; he gets all the fun jobs. Vic will take Brian home with him so he doesn't have to watch his mom go through withdrawal.

Shane gets a lap dance from a girl in a purple sequined bikini top. Seriously, does this place have a dress code or something? She calls him hot and gives him the old "I don't usually do this, but let's have sex in the alley." Outside, Shane puts her against the wall of the club and starts kissing her. In the van, Lemming can't believe Ronnie tried to talk to a stripper about golf. He hears sex noises through the headphones and chuckles, "He shoots, he scores!"

The microphone on Shane's wire squeals, wiping the smirk off Lemming's face in a hurry. He and Ronnie jump out of the van in time to stop the guy from kicking Shane's ass any further. Lemming asks his loudly groaning pal the stupid thing: "Are you all right?"

Dutch shows Danny a DMV photo of Sean Taylor and she confirms that's the guy. Julien is bringing a struggling transsexual prostitute to the cage; 'she' has been charged with soliciting a police officer for sex. "I'm not going in there!" the hooker protests. When Julien takes the cuffs off, the hooker knocks and Danny over and starts biting her arm. "Get him off!" Danny shrieks in a panic. Julien and another officer get 'her' under control.

Danny stands up and sprints for the bathroom. The skin on her forearm is broken. She runs it under hot water. Julien checks on her. Danny asks him to drive her to the hospital for a blood test and PEP (Post-Exposure Prevention) in case the prostitute has AIDS. "You think he does?" Julien asks worriedly. Danny replies, "You saw the guy."

Shane gripes to Lemming about the mugger breaking up his magic moment with the stripper. He knows it wasn't an act and "she really felt something." Lemming thinks it was probably the roll of $20s Shane had in his pocket. "She was rubbing her ass all over my hands. They don't just do that for everyone," Shane insists. All righty then.

Dutch visits Sean Taylor at the garage where he works. Sean has a calendar on display with pictures of Chicago landmarks on it. He explains that he's from Rockford, Illinois. Dutch explains that he's there because Sean should've been given a ticket. Sean says he's embarrassed about it but doesn't quite look it. Dutch tries to get the guy's guard down by asking if there might be something wrong with his car radio; all the stations are in Spanish. "That's just Los Angeles," says Sean.

When Vic walks in the house carrying Brian, Corinne remarks, "Some husbands just bring home flowers." She asks who the baby is. Vic tells her that Brian is Connie's son: "This hooker, I'll explain later." "You brought a prostitute's child home?" Corinne gasps.

Vic fills her in on the situation: Connie's mother died of a stroke and Connie is trying to kick her drug habit so the state won't take Brian. Wisely, he leaves out the part about Connie potentially losing her welfare. It's only for one night and Vic doesn't trust anyone else with Brian. "I hate you," hisses Corinne. Vic says he loves her too.

Dutch shares a theory with Claudette: Sean the alley masturbator is the serial killer he's been hunting. He just finished interviewing Sean's aunt, who raised him; his early childhood fits a serial killer's profile. Also, the alley where Danni and Julien found him was 2 blocks from the corner Sally usually worked. "You never established Sally was killed in that alley," Claudette points out.

Dutch goes on that Sean is an opportunity offender, only killing when presented with the right victim under the right circumstances. In the absence of an opportunity, he might fantasize and relive an earlier crime. Sean has a cozy little apartment in Pasadena. Why drive to one of the worst parts of Los Angeles to masturbate outdoors?

At Connie's place, she's sweaty and complaining about cramps. She tries to get out of bed. When Ronnie tries to get her to relax, she slaps him in the face. Then she immediately leans over the side of the bed and pukes on the floor. "She hit me!" Ronnie shouts as Vic comes in. Vic sits next to her on the bed and helps her drink some water. "I love you, Vic," sobs Connie.

The stripper, now in an interrogation room, asks Shane if his head is okay. "No, it hurts," he answers. The stripper apologizes; she didn't know he was a cop. Like it would be totally fine if he'd just been an average citizen? She wanted to stop Carl from hurting Shane because she thinks he's sexy. She guesses that he's Southern. "Atlanta, thereabouts," Shane confirms. The stripper purrs, "Hot-lanta." I've seriously never understood the origin of that nickname. I was in Atlanta last summer and didn't find the temperature that bad. In fact, the hottest place I've ever been during summer is a toss-up between DC and Chicago.

Anyway, Shane asks about Carl. Carl introduced her to the club owner and that's when she started--"Stripping?" Shane supplies. The girl gives him a snotty look and says, "I'm a dancer."

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Carl had the idea to start robbing customers. He was supplying her with epilepsy medicine, so she felt like she owed him. Yeah, right. A strip club is one of the worst possible places for an epileptic with all the strobe lights and whatnot. Shane doesn't ask why she can't just see a doctor and get a prescription like the rest of the epileptic population. The stripper knew it was wrong, but Carl is just so darn sweet. "He hit me in the head with a tire iron," Shane disagrees.

Sean asks why Dutch has been bothering his aunt. She told them all about the house fire that killed Sean's parents. Claudette gives his aunt credit for taking him in. Dutch flatters Sean, telling him that "excelling in the face of tragedy speaks volumes about your character." Sean, it seems, graduated from college magna cum laude and turned down a full ride to law school. Who does that and starts installing car stereos for a living?

Sean chuckles. He wishes they'd just write him a ticket for public lewdness and be done with this whole thing. Dutch asks if Sean likes to hunt. He talked to a detective in Rockford. When Sean was 15, he went out hunting with his best friend Mike and only one of the boys made it out of the woods alive. "It was an accident," Sean insists, adding that psychoanalyzation seems out of Dutch's league, "I know a lot more about you than you'll ever know about me."

"Either this guy is innocent or he doesn't scare easily," Claudette surmises in the squadroom. They need to find some physical evidence or they can't hold Sean.

Connie is shouting that she wants to go home. "You are home, honey," Vic soothes. Connie begins crying, shrieking that she wants to die. Then she starts to ramble: "We had sex. I told him it was time to pay. He said that he didn't have to pay. That's when he started hitting me! He pulled out a gun! I took it and I shot him!" Ronnie, now sporting a flowered Band-Aid, asks what she's talking about. Connie orders Vic to hit her.

Tereza the reporter asks Claudette about Edgar-veda. Relationships? Effectiveness? People skills? Claudette sums it up: he does fine with people "and our relationship is he's my boss." Tereza asks if people resent that he rose through the ranks doing desk jobs rather than being on the street. Claudette doesn't. They're one big, happy family aside from occasional arguments. "You're talking about the Strike Team," says Tereza. Claudette asks, "Am I?" Tereza knows about the excessive force complaints, investigations, and civil lawsuits.

"Carl totally rolled on Tulips," Lem tells Shane. Shane says that she also rolled on Carl: "He's like this Svengali guy that got a buncha the dancers to go along with his little bait and bash scheme." Carl told Lemming a different story; Tulips organized the muggings. "She's an epileptic hottie, not Amy Fisher," says Shane. Amy Fisher is better known as the "Long Island Lolita" who at the age of 17 shot her lover's wife.

Vic asks who the ringleader is. Lemming and Shane talk over each other: "Her!" "Him!" Vic puts his hands on his hips and says, "This is the easiest case we've had all year. Are you telling me I have to get involved?" Basically. "No," the dynamic duo says in unison. Vic tells them to get to the bottom of it or just arrest both "for kicking Shane's ass." "I didn't get my ass kicked. I got sucker-punched," Shane argues.
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Danny is back from the hospital. Until they can subpoena the prostitutes medical records, she has to take antiretrovirals and get her blood tested every 30 days. I have a paramedic friend who accidentally stuck himself with a needle at work and had to take those pills, so I feel for Danny. I'd never seen my friend crankier or sicker. Fortunately, he didn't get HIV.

Julien feels guilty for taking his eyes off the biter; hitting him with the baton sent blood into his partner's cut. She tells him not to worry about it. Another uniform says to Julien, "You let loose on that queer pretty good last night, huh? You did the right thing." The unnamed uniform wants to send a message by way of a blanket party. Danny tells them not to do it. They shrug that she can always change her mind. Julien asks, "What's a blanket party?"

Dutch and Claudette come back to find that Sean has written a profile of Dutch on the interrogation room whiteboard: "Craves respect, fantasizes about being well-liked yet shows no outward manifestation of  his low self-esteem, feels ignored and unappreciated, and inadequate with women."

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Claudette suggests he can read her palm. "Look at him. Tell me I'm wrong," says Sean. Obviously, Claudette can't let him know he's right. Sean thinks Dutch became a cop thinking that a badge and gun would make people respect him. The uniform didn't make him less of a joke; Dutch is the same lonely kid from high school who doesn't like what he sees in the mirror, "a lowly civil servant."

"I hope you're here to pick him up," Corinne says to Vic as she carries Brian through the kitchen. Vic is filling a grocery bag with bananas and bottled water. He can't bring him back yet; it's too ugly. Connie threw up all over her clothes. "It's pretty ugly around here too," Corinne says testily, "Why can't you just take this crack whore to detox?" Vic tells her again that Connie will lose Brian if she gets treated through official channels.

Corinne asks Vic, "Are you sleeping with her?" "Jesus, the kids!" Vic hisses. Corinne stares intently at the baby's features, trying to find something resembling Vic. Vic tells Corinne that he's not Brian's father and explains his sense of personal responsibility for Connie.

2 years ago, Connie got beaten up in another neighborhood for stealing the locals' johns. Vic gave her his number if she needed anything. One night, she called. Vic found her "cracked out on the floor of a hotel bathroom, 6 months pregnant, crying, screaming, begging for forgiveness." Connie had tried to force herself to have a miscarriage. Vic rushed her to the hospital, where the doctors did an emergency C-section. Brian was 10 weeks premature and positive at birth for crack.

This story gives Corinne a change of heart. She offers Vic a box of old dresses that's in the garage.

Shane tells Tulips that Carl is blaming her. Of course, Shane doesn't believe this was her idea, "but who knows how a jury would see it?" He asks if she knows anything that can prove it was Carl: mugging victims' names, dates, anything. The D.A. is only offering one deal and he wants Tulips to get it. "There must be something I can put on the table," she says. I think I know where this is going...

Julien visits the transsexual prostitute in the cage, asking why he/she attacked Danny. "Because I wanted to give her what I got," the transsexual replies. Julien doesn't think HIV can be passed through biting. "Aren't you the expert?" sasses the transsexual. Julien asks, "So you were trying to kill her?" The transsexual got HIV in jail: "Cops put me in jail. So why shouldn't I give it to cops?" Julien growls, "You're the reason why people hate faggots." The prostitute thinks he/she should've bitten both of them.

Vic is giving Tereza the reporter a tour of the Barn. He takes her to the observation room and explains they use it for people to safely identify suspects and monitor interrogation techniques. He flips on one of the closed-circuit TVs. We're treated to the sight of Shane having sex with Tulips. Vic hurriedly jabs the button to change the channel; Dutch is still interviewing Sean.

Tereza tells Vic that people call the precinct's tactics "harm on the Farm." Vic says it's just a rumor; it never hurts to have suspects scared. She asks if Edgar-veda encourages that. The captain knocks on the door, asking if he can borrow Vic. In the office, he demands, "What are you telling her?" Vic shrugs that reporters are always looking for dirt. "So she goes where it's dirty," Edgar-veda says.
Vic and the boss may not like each other, but they both agree that the reporter snooping around can only bring trouble. Vic asks how they can get rid of her.

In the breakroom, Julien tells the two uniforms from earlier that Danny had to go home; the AIDS drugs made her too nauseous to work. They hope she doesn't end up like Officer Watson, who got AIDS from being stuck with a dirty needle. Julien's never heard about it. They explain that being shot in the line of duty, fatally or not, is seen as heroic, but: "Some queer in a dress gives you AIDS, you end up unemployed and the city's dirty little secret." Danny may not want them to give the transsexual a blanket party, but he/she deserves it. "Count me in," says Julien.

Vic asks how the bait-and-bash case is going. Shane got Tulips to agree to testify against Carl. "I was doing a little channel surfing up in Observation," Vic says casually, "I didn't know we got the Spice Channel." I'd say more like Skinemax, but whatever. "You saw that," says Shane, not looking the least bit embarrassed. Vic warns him that he better not see any reruns.

Lemming joins them. He talked to the rest of the strippers; all of them said Tulips was behind the whole thing: "Carl was just like her sexual pawn she totally manipulated." Seeing how she played Shane like a fiddle, I believe it. Shane walks over to the cage. Tulips asks when she's getting out. Shane isn't sure; Carl and the girls say she's the shot-caller. The lightest sentence he can get her is 2 years.

Tulips scowls and folds her arms: "How much time are you getting for sexual misconduct?" It appears that she has the, uh, DNA evidence to back her claim. "So am I getting out of here or do we need to call your supervisor?" she asks.

As Planned Parenthood so eloquently put it, sometimes you don't want to "catch 'em all."
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Somehow, Shane doesn't call her a bitch right to her face. Too much of a Southern gentleman, I suppose.

Connie, now past the worst of the withdrawal, is wearing one of Corinne's old dresses. She asks Ronnie how she looks. "Beautiful," he lies. Connie says she's dizzy. Ronnie thinks she should lie down and offers to bring her some tea. While Ronnie is in the kitchen, Connie takes his wallet out of his jacket and steals all his cash. He really should've known better than to leave his wallet sitting around with a junkie. She slips out of the apartment.

Up in the observation room, Lemming is munching on a donut. Dutch is on CCTV, still talking to their suspected serial killer. Sean is sick of talking about his own family and asks what Papa Dutch thinks of his son's career. "He's proud of me," Dutch replies. Sean smiles, "Sure, that's what he says to your face." Lemming chuckles.

Shane calls in a group of passing uniforms to come watch the show: "Dutch is getting hammered by this civvie." "It's brutal!" Lemming cries. Shane adds, "It's like watching a train wreck, only it's more horrific."

In the office, Edgar-veda tells Tereza to just tell them what kind of information she's really after. Tereza asks about the upswing in brutality complaints. Ever the politician, Edgar-veda says, "We're a very proactive force. Bad guys don't like to be arrested. Allegations are all they are." Vic actually defends his boss. Tereza's next question to the captain catches both men off-guard: "What about your alleged rape of a 21-year-old white girl?" Edgar-veda sends Vic outside.

Tereza doesn't think it's a coincidence that someone who's been violent himself is commanding a district with a high rate of police violence. Now he wants to be a councilman. Edgar-veda says the incident occurred 15 years ago. Tereza has a hospital report from the victim, Maureen Wilmore. She was bruised and even had minor burns. Edgar-veda is all "I can't talk about it, I have a family." Tereza asks, "And how would you like it if their rapist wanted to be their representative?" She leaves.

Sean is half-asleep on the interrogation room table when Dutch and Claudette come in. Dutch erases the psychological profile Sean wrote up. He starts off by poking the bear; the detective may not have been Mr. Popularity in high school, but "I got laid...more than a few times." If his current personality is anything to go by, I don't think so. Dutch goes on, "I'm getting laid now too. And guess what? She's hot."

Vic joins the crowd around the CCTV. "Sherlock Holmes here is getting smoked," says Shane. Now it's Dutch's turn to write on the whiteboard. Sean can sense vulnerability, has access to other people's cars, and is meticulous. Dutch asks if Sean put a CD player in a green Taurus about 5 weeks back. Sean works on a lot of cars. Dutch adds in another detail: the customer complained because the right taillight was broken when they picked it up. He erases the whiteboard again, wanting to know if Sean knows Sally.

"Oh my God, someone stop it," Shane laughs in observation. Dutch writes LIAR on the whiteboard. Sean wants to leave. They tell him that isn't happening; from the earlier conversations, they got enough evidence for a warrant to search his house. Sean knows they won't find anything. Well, other than some bondage porn. Dutch and Claudette also got a warrant for his aunt's house. "You can't do that," says Sean. They can because Sean co-signed the mortgage.

Lemming has finished his donut and moved on to popcorn.

Actual still from the episode.
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A uniform gripes that he thought Dutch was getting destroyed. Dutch draws a kindergarten-quality rendering of a house with a front porch. He informs Sean that the Pasadena police just dug 2 bodies out of the crawlspace. Dutch asks how many more bodies they'll find. "17," Sean replies matter-of-factly. The crowd in observation is no longer entertained. Lemming even seems to have lost his appetite. "That's just under the crawlspace, you know," Sean chuckles. He dumped some of his victims when he ran out of room under Auntie's house.

Dutch thinks Sean is so typical it's pathetic: "As soon as you're caught, you try to be special." Sean stands up. He's killed 22 people, 23 counting the "hunting accident" in high school: "I'm special, all right." Dutch counters, "If you're so special, how come a lowly civil servant like me just caught you?"
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What happens next is something I doubt Dutch has experienced before. When he walks out of interrogation, he's greeted with cheers, applause, and slaps on the back. "Told you we'd get this guy," says Vic, looking like a proud father.

Vic sees Tulips being let out of the cage and hunts for Shane. He doesn't have to go further than the clubhouse. He shuts the door, clapping, and says, "Way to go, Ron Jeremy." Hold up. Walton Goggins may not be the best looking man in the world, but comparing him to this?
Yeah, that's not cool.
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"A simple investigation and you cage everyone except for the evil stripper," Vic goes on. Shane says, "At least we got the guy who hit me. And she's a dancer." And I'm Mary, Queen of Scots. Vic doesn't think Tulips will have problems finding "another loser with a tire iron." Shane rolls his eyes: "So everyone else here is free to just bang away. Lem here's nailing Chiquita Banana--"

Lemming throws a basketball in the direction of Shane's face, but Shane's got quick hands. He's all "come on, I didn't mean nothin' by it." Lemming is tired of hearing it. "Oh, so once again, I'm the asshole?" asks Shane. Yeah, pretty much. Lemming tells Shane to leave Tigre out of this. "Oh, come on, this whole West Side Story thing's got a lifespan of 2 weeks, tops," scoffs Shane. Lemming throws the basketball at him again. The door opens, immediately cuing them to start acting like adults. It's Ronnie, here to let them know he lost Connie.

Edgar-veda has decided the best place to talk to his wife is in the cozy atmosphere of his office. He wants to explain his side of things before Aurora reads about it in the paper. Maureen, a publishing heiress, dated Edgar-veda when they were in college at USC. She liked it rough. One night when they were both drunk, Maureen asked him to tie her up and pour hot wax on her body. He complied, but he drew the line at choking. Edgar-veda broke up with her the next day.

Maureen didn't take the end of the relationship very well. She stalked Edgar-veda, followed him home one day, and grabbed his roommate's pocketknife. Edgar-veda points to his shoulder: "I didn't get this scar from rock-climbing." Then Maureen accused him of sexual battery and attempted rape. Aurora can't believe it. Edgar-veda wants to fight the story and clear his name, afraid the public won't trust him.

Connie shows up downstairs. Vic can tell she's high. "I'm sorry, I tried," she says. Lemming walks over, carrying Brian. He looks scared to death of dropping the kid. Connie is glad they took good care of her baby. "You need help," says Vic. Connie dazedly says, "I can' helped." Brian starts to cry. Lemming the bachelor doesn't know what to do.

Connie knows someone will love Brian. "He's your boy," Vic reminds her. Connie sure couples would fight over a happy white baby. I don't think "happy" is the word I'd be using right now. "He needs his mother," says Vic. Connie basically says she's not mom material and heads for the door. Lemming passes the screaming baby off to Vic. Vic's expression clearly reads "My wife is gonna kill me when I get home." Brian reaches his chubby arms toward the door as Connie walks out. Both men look saddened.

Julien loads the transsexual prostitute into a paddy wagon. A line of uniforms appears. One of the uniforms opens the door and throws a blanket over the prostitute. Two officers hold him/her down while Julien avenges his partner with his baton. This is really disturbing to watch in the wake of Michael Jace's recent murder conviction. They pull Julien off before he goes too far and kills him/her.

Julien and the others climb out of the paddy wagon, leaving the transsexual a sobbing heap on the floor. They grab the blanket, shut the doors, and signal for the driver to leave. Dutch walks out to his car. He finally comes down the adrenaline high from earlier and sits with the radio on, crying his eyes out for Sally and the rest of Sean's victims. End of episode.

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