Previously on: Julien tried to commit suicide by suspect because he's ashamed of being gay. Deputy Chief Gilroy knows Vic killed the Strike Team's rookie Terry Crowley. Vic was investigated for stealing cocaine and Edgar-veda leaked the story to the newspaper. Gilroy told Vic that he can't cover for him anymore.
A Latino man spits a mouthful of liquor onto the back of a rooster. Another Latino stands across from him, also holding a rooster. They throw the birds at each other. A guy who looks a lot like Carlos Mencia watches from a corner. A fourth man has a Glock tucked down the front of his pants. The roosters fight to the death. One of the men lifts the victorious bird aloft like so.
Vic scolds the Glock carrier, "Cethru, how many times do I gotta tell you? Firearms and alcohol are a dangerous combination." He looks through a duffel bag of weapons and remarks, "Some of these might actually shoot." "Hey, Vic," Shane tips his head toward where the chickens are being kept.
Lemming is sitting on the ground next to one of the cages, looking sad. "Wishing your cock was that big?" Vic chuckles. Lem shakes his head, "Man, these are beautiful animals. I can't believe they just let 'em rip each other apart like that." Carlos Mencia (screw whatever character this is, he's Carlos) nervously asks where they're taking his birds. "Three little letters: KFC," drawls Shane. Lem gives Carlos a Gibbs-slap for good measure as he's led to a waiting squad car.
In front of Tasso's Market, a Latino named Tony gets hit by a speeding blue Mercedes, then dragged behind the car. The car drives away. Tony's friend rushes to his side.
Vic has a file on Pazi, who's wanted by Mexican, federal, state, and local authorities for gunrunning. Lem sees that there's also a 3-million peso bounty on him. At the mention of money, Shane jumps off the clubhouse couch and snatches the file out of his hand. Lem gives him a brief look of dude-I-was-trying-to-read-that.
Shane wants to go undercover to find Pazi. Vic jogs his memory about the last time: "You got beaten up by a stripper." "I was jumped by her thug boyfriend and she was a dancer," Shane says irritably, snapping "Shut up" at a laughing Lem.
Enter Gilroy. The rest of the Strike Team takes this as their cue to exit. The deputy chief knows it's been a rough year, but 1 out of 20 years of friendship isn't bad: "With those percentages, I'd still be with my first wife." Vic, unsure where this is going, opines that Gilroy's better off with his current wife Nancy. Gilroy sits down and gets to the real reason he's here to see Vic: "I was in a hit-and-run tonight. I think I killed the guy." He planned on getting out of the car, but the victim's friend shot at him and he got scared.
Vic shrugs that anybody would run from a gun-wielding gangbanger. There are deeper problems than that for Gilroy; he's a 4-time DUI loser and managed to hush it up so he wouldn't get fired. If anyone finds out that he killed someone and ran, nobody will believe he was sober at the time. Vic knows what happens to cops in prison and he can't want that for his old pal Gilroy.
Vic collects Gilroy's keys. He tells Shane to give the Mercedes to the department's best mechanic to fix as a top-secret priority. Lem will drive Gilroy home. Vic will find out who caught the case and run interference.
Dutch reports that the impact dragged Tony 75 feet. "Maybe you should call Guinness," snarks Claudette. Dutch shakes his head; the record is 30+ miles. Witnesses say Tony was a drug dealer who worked a nearby corner. The car was a four-door blue Mercedes; a man was driving and there was "a hot little Latin number in the passenger seat." Dutch doesn't think the a Mercedes owner lives in the neighborhood. Claudette guesses he was in a big hurry to get home.
In the breakroom, Danny sits on the counter, peeling an orange. She asks if Julien is okay; she understands if he's not ready to tackle the streets again. Julien swears he's fine. "Yeah, well, it's my life too, ya know," Danny points out. Julien is getting counseling from his reverend and his head is in the game.
Vic has just started to find out what Dutch and Claudette know about Tony when Edgar-veda pulls Claudette to work a double homicide in the Grove. The captain is going with her. Vic tells Dutch that Tony was probably a Toro. Dutch describes the car and its attractive passenger; neighbors have seen the same blue Mercedes parked in the area, always at night. Judging from the look on Vic's face, Gilroy's wife is not Hispanic.
Vic fills him in on a Toro ritual known as a "toss-and-shoot," in which a rival gangbanger is thrown in front of a moving car and they shoot off rounds in the area to frighten the driver away. "Maybe the driver killed the guy, didn't wanna get caught," Dutch suggests. Vic offers to help Dutch; the office joke has become "the man" since arresting that serial killer.
Claudette and Edgar-veda arrive in what appears to be a mostly African-American part of town. A crowd of anxious neighbors have gathered outside an apartment building. Claudette asks them to remain patient; someone will give a statement after she determines what's going on. When Claudette walks into the apartment, there's blood on the walls and a dead woman on the floor. "Sweet Jesus, what's burning?" asks Claudette. Danny says, "The garbage disposal. Motor burned out."
There's a bloody meat tenderizing mallet on the floor. A second female victim is in the kitchen with her hand halfway down the disposal. Her name is Tanya Kramer; the victim in the living room is her sister, Violet Roosevelt. The neighbors heard the women screaming. Julien tells them that someone downstairs thinks they can identify the killer. Edgar-veda looks eager for the excuse to get out of there.
Karen Mitchell, a black community activist, is also on the sidewalk. She introduces the detectives to Maya, a neighbor who saw the killer. Maya says they should be looking for Wally Forton, a white man who used to date Tanya's daughter. "What happened?" asks Edgar-veda. Maya says testily, "What happened is they called 911 and it took you over an hour to show up." Claudette asks if she's sure.
Maya heard Tanya yelling at Wally. Tanya called 911. Wally left and hung around outside for about 20 minutes, then went back in and killed Tanya and Violet. "An hour. Can that be right?" asks Karen. Edgar-veda will have to review the 911 tapes. He looks horrified, no doubt imagining his political career swirling down the drain. He tries to reassure the neighbors that the department treats all races equally.
Gilroy meets Vic in the clubhouse again. He identifies the mugshot of Jesus Rosales as Tony's friend. Jesus has an open warrant for possession with intent. Vic is sure he can find him. "He got a good look at me. What if he gets picked up and decides that I'm his bargaining chip?" Gilroy asks worriedly. Vic will just offer a better deal.
"So...when were you gonna tell me you were shagging a Latina in the neighborhood?" asks Vic. Gilroy sighs that he doesn't want her to get involved. "She was in the car; she couldn't be more involved," says Vic. Gilroy maintains that he was driving, not Sedona. Vic tells him to send her away somewhere; Dutch is onto the Latina connection. "She's not just some lay. I love her," says Gilroy. Maybe the two of them can double-date with Tigre and Lem.
A neighbor of Tanya's daughter Melissa says her friend left for the gym 2 hours ago. She was alone. The neighbor hasn't seen Wally for a while, but he was a cutie pie. She used to hear Wally and Melissa having sex. She thought they broke up. Wally came by looking for Melissa and the neighbor told him where Melissa was.
Vic tells Dutch that Tony recently pissed off some Los Mags. Dutch has identified the mystery woman by talking to a local pizza delivery man; he sees the blue Benz parked at Sedona's house a few nights a week. Dutch went to her house, but she wasn't there. A neighbor told Dutch that Sedona had gotten in a cab with a bunch of suitcases. "Who knows if it's even the same Benz?" Vic says, "Maybe she just went on vacation." "Or maybe she and the boyfriend skipped town. Don't worry, I'll get 'em." That's exactly what Vic is afraid of.
Lem and Shane, in matching Canadian tuxedos, ask why Carlos is willing to risk his life to beat a misdemeanor cruelty rap. Carlos raises his own roosters and they're like family. Shane outlines the plan: Carlos introduces Pazi to Shane, then Shane offers to trade fighting cocks for guns. "Can I go home?" asks Carlos. Lem puts Carlos on notice that he's more or less on parole until they make a deal with Pazi. Carlos will take the two cops to his house and give them a crash course in cockfighting.
Next time we see the boys, they're down on the farm and it's kind of adorable.
"Shut up, Lem! I'm readin' this here magazine!"
|Not that Kelso...|
Shane flips through the magazine, asking if chickens really need all these supplements. Lem leans over to pet the Kelso, asking, "What's his name?" Carlos stopped naming them; it hurt too much. "They're all called Nugget," Shane fires back. Lemming isn't amused: "These are innocent creatures." Shane drops the magazine and reaches a tentative hand toward the bird, guessing they're beautiful "in a snack food sorta way." Lem glares. I guarantee he never eats a chicken nugget again.
Vic goes to a vacant lot and arrests Jesus on his open warrant, A girl protests that Jesus didn't do nothing. Another guy tries to block Vic's way to his car. Vic badges him, tells him to back off. The guy thinks that if it was a real arrest, there'd be more than just Vic. This may be California, but Vic embodies the Texas saying "One riot, one Ranger."
Vic says open warrants arrestees are only held for 12 hours. Jesus' friend decides it's a good time to flash the piece in his waistband. Vic pulls his own gun: "I don't wanna shoot anybody today." Now he sounds like Raylan Givens.
|"You make me pull, I'll put you down."|
Claudette reports Wally and Melissa were seen leaving her gym together. She isn't sure if Melissa was going along willingly. Edgar-veda says Karen Mitchell is stopping by and can Claudette get her to back off? Claudette gives him an "It's because I'm black too, isn't it?" look.
Rumor has it Karen Mitchell was handpicked to run for Councilman Morgan's seat, vacant now that he's a senator. This means she's running against the captain in the primary. "You want to catch the killer and cover your ass, but if you can't do both, this is about catching the killer," Claudette says firmly.
Karen wants a progress report. The 911 tapes haven't been delivered yet and they got a report that Melissa is still alive. They're trying to find her. Karen wants to listen to the tapes with them. When Edgar-veda hesitates, she hopes he isn't playing politics. Isn't he always?
Vic and Gilroy sit down with Jesus. Vic tells him that what happened to Tony was just a nasty accident. Gilroy knows they weren't saints. Vic tries to convince Jesus that he's a good friend to have. Jesus agrees to keep his mouth shut. When he turns around to write down his cell phone number, Gilroy shoots Jesus in the chest.
"What the hell's the matter with you?" Vic demands. Gilroy says they don't have to worry now. Oh yes, I'm sure you can clear up the little misunderstanding about the two dead bodies. Vic repeats, "What did you do?" "Nothing you haven't done."
At a yard sale, the usual amalgamation of treasures is on display: candlesticks, vases, random mismatched dishes, a light-up plastic Santa. Danny tells the guy running the yard sale that there's been a complaint. It seems he's been burglarizing his neighbors and making them buy their things back. The complainant didn't leave their name because everyone's scared of this guy.
Julien asks, "You got any proof this stuff is yours?" "You got any proof that it ain't?" asks the proprietor. He's just trying to make a few bucks; he even has a permit from the city. "Dookie?" Danny says amusedly when she sees the name on it. Julien asks the crowd if anything for sale belongs to them. "If you speak up, you'll get your stuff back," Danny adds. Nobody opens their mouth.
In the Strike Team lounge, Shane is holding a rooster on his lap as he talks to Jojo, a heavily tattooed bounty hunter. He's not happy that he'll be doing all the work and only getting 10% of Pazi's bounty. The bounty hunter himself only gets to keep 20%, so it's more than fair.
Lem comes in and Shane introduces him to Jojo the bounty hunter. "Bail enforcement agent," Jojo corrects. Shane asks if Lem wants a piece of Pazi's bounty. "Cops can't collect bounty, dude," Lemming reminds him. Shane has figured out a way around that. Lem adamantly refuses.
Shane puts the rooster down next to its water dish and tells him that his share would be 400,000 pesos, which has to be about 100,000 American dollars. Lem, who's better at exchange rates, says, "Try $50,000." Jojo nods to confirm the math.
Shane insists it's still worth it. Lem asks, "For once, can't we just do what we're supposed to do, then stop?" Jojo has had enough of their bickering; they can beep him when they figure out who's wearing the pants. Oh, 2002. Lem looks insulted.
Jojo adds, "Oh, your cock's out." Both of them automatically look down at their zippers before realizing their feathered friend is indeed making a bid for freedom. I'd love to see a deleted scene of Walton Goggins chasing the chicken around the precinct.
Julien's pastor asks if Julien sees himself as a gay man. Julien doesn't, but he can't control his urges. The pastor thinks he knows someone Julien should meet.
Dutch has researched Gilroy's mistress Sedona. Vic tells him it was a waste of time; some taggers found Jesus' body in a Los Mag neighborhood. Dutch is suspicious that something other than gang involvement is a factor. He continues sharing his research findings. Sedona is listed as the CEO of a corporation based in the Grand Cayman Islands, a corporation that's been buying a lot of real estate, all of it in Farmington. Dutch still wants to talk to the Toros that Jesus ran with.
"And you found all this out since 4:00?" asks Vic. Dutch brags, "Pretty good, huh?" He has a reputation to maintain now, just like Vic. "You're gonna put me right out of a job," Vic says, not kidding at all.
At the cockfights, Shane looks every bit the part of a redneck: an unbuttoned sleeveless flannel shirt under a denim vest, tight jeans, a big belt buckle, and a trucker cap. Remember when those were the trend? "Go, birdie, go!" Shane cheers, hopping up and down. Shane's rooster is victorious. He hugs Carlos, holds the bird up high, and laughs.
Shane is still laughing when he wanders up to Lem. Predictably, our animal lover is far away from the bloodshed. "What a bad-ass!" crows Shane (pardon the pun). Lem mistakenly thinks Shane saw Pazi. The exchange is too good not to recount:
Shane: "No, man, Frank! I mean, he gets in there and it's like he's possessed! It was so goddamn cool! I won 700 bucks!"
Lem: (more than a little confused) "You named him?"
Shane: (proud as hell) "Frank. What? It's just a first name."
Is his last name Van Damme, by any chance? For those playing along at home who haven't watched Sons of Anarchy, that'll make sense soon. Apparently, Pazi isn't even at the fights. He should be there the next day, though. "You ready for round two, killer?" Shane coos to Frank. Lem is like "Dude, you're sick."
On the 911 tape, you can hear one of the Grove homicide victims pleading for help. "At this point, it's been 47 minutes since the initial call," says Claudette. Karen murmurs, "Unbelievable." "You did this, bitch!" a man's voice shouts on the tape. Claudette turns it off, unable to take anymore.
Karen wants to know how this happened. Only two cars were assigned to that block; both were responding to other calls when the 911 tape was recorded. Gilroy explains their new policy of assigning more police cars to more crime-ridden areas, known in the trade as saturation patrol. It can supposedly reduce crime in said area by 65%.
Karen is aghast that they let other areas go unprotected. Gilroy shrugs that today was a statistical anomaly. Karen responds much the way I would: "Tell that to the family of those two dead women."
Gilroy passes the buck, saying the captain has discretion on which areas receive more police cars. Edgar-veda's face briefly flashes an expression of don't-you-dare-bring-me-into-this.
When Karen is gone, Gilroy asks, "Payback's a bitch, huh?" Saturation patrols have been effect for 6 months and the captain didn't care as long as the extra patrol cars were assigned to Latino neighborhoods. The case is now effectively a racial powderkeg. Edgar-veda has the audacity to say this isn't his mess.
Dutch brings in Jesus' friend, the one who pulled a gun on Vic. Vic flags down Julien and asks for a favor. Julien refuses at first until Vic reminds him just who is keeping the rookie's biggest secret.
Upstairs, Dutch asks, "This guy just walks into the middle of you and your friends, pulls a gun, and walks off with Jesus? Any idea who it is?" Julien opens the door, claiming the captain needs Dutch for something important. Vic goes in to impress upon the kid the dangers of ID'ing him. Dutch comes back in and asks for a description. The kid didn't get a clear look, but the guy was wearing Los Mags colors.
"I told you it was boys in the 'hood," says Vic. Dutch the wannabe profiler noticed that the kid couldn't make eye contact. He must be covering for someone. Even if Vic's gang theory checks out, the guy in the blue Benz still witnessed a murder.
Edgar-veda orders the desk sergeant around: "I don't want anyone to be able to spit in the Grove without hitting a police car. And put the riot squad on tactical alert." Claudette has a location on Melissa. She, the captain, and some guys in tactical gear converge on a cheap motel. Edgar-veda wonders if Melissa was involved in the murders. "Let's just hope she's not halfway down the disposal," says Claudette. Like this place would have them anyway.
Wally brought Melissa and a bottle of champagne to the room 2 hours ago. "To celebrate?" says the captain. Claudette the eternal optimist says, "Or to tenderize." They break down the door and find Melissa and Wally in the aftermath of sex. They yank him, still naked, out of bed. Melissa covers herself with a sheet and asks what he's done. She's horrified when Claudette announces the murder victims' names. "They were just getting between us, sweetie," says Wally coldly.
Edgar-veda is in an especially foul mood at the Barn. Vic asks what happened, as if he doesn't know. Edgar-veda informs him that Gilroy is letting the captain take the heat for diverting police cars from the Grove. He leaves out the racist reason. Vic asks if there would be any incentive for someone to buy property in the Grove. "Crime's up, land's cheap," Edgar-veda replies. He saw Vic talking to Gilroy and wants to know what prompted the inquiry. "Just a stupid idea," says Vic.
In the pastor's office, a man tells Julien about his own struggles with homosexual feelings. He'd thought he was born gay and cursed God for doing it to him. The pastor tells Julien about a support group that meets at the church, a sexual-reorientation group for men. The other man went to the therapy program. He's now married with a pregnant wife. It will take hard work, but Julien too can go back to being straight. Julien wants to know when he can start.
Day two of the cockfights and Frank is losing. Shane desperately shouts encouragement from the sidelines, but Frank dies in the ring. Shane looks ready to cry. He picks up Frank's limp body and asks, "What the hell happened?" "You lost," says Carlos. Shane is still cradling the dead chicken when Carlos introduces him to Pazi. His heart is no longer in the case. Carlos and Pazi both assure him Frank's death was an honorable one. Carlos tosses the bird into a burn barrel and crosses himself.
Shane asks if Pazi can hook him up with guns. Pazi wants to see more of his birds first. Shane takes Pazi to an old green pickup. The tailgate is down, a few caged roosters in the back. He tells Pazi about the diet he gives the chickens. Pazi asks if there are more. Shane left the rest at the mo-tel, but he has Polaroids in the truck. Then he takes a rag out of his back pocket and presses it over Pazi's face.
Shane knows Pazi's case would drag through American court for years; he'll be "properly hung by his balls" if he goes back to Mexico. Money from the bounty is just a bonus. "Thought we were gonna play this one straight, Shane," says Lem. Shane thought they changed their minds. In a word, no.
In addition to police, the Grove is now crawling with reporters and news vans. Vic confronts Gilroy with his newfound knowledge about the dummy real estate corporation. He asks if the next phase is sending the Strike Team to clean up the 'hood, then selling the properties for a nice profit. Two women are dead because of this scam, not to mention the escalating racial tension. Gilroy offers to cut Vic in. Vic is tempted; he needs money for Matthew's tuition at Glenridge.
Jojo has shown up to drive Pazi back across the border. "Different kinda cockfighting where you're headed," Shane says cheerily. Lem is still upset about Shane lying. Shane knows Vic would've done the same thing. Besides, they just made $25,000: 10 for Lem, 10 for Shane, and 5 for Vic. "What about Ronnie?" asks Lem. Shane responds, "Screw Ronnie. He's off the clock."
If Lem doesn't want his share, why, Vic and Shane could use an extra $2,500 each. Not so fast, pal. Lem snatches up the money and threatens, "Look, you do this to me again, I'm gonna kick your redneck ass!" An idea I fully support. "Don't gimme that look, bro," he adds as they get in the truck. I'm surprised when Shane doesn't retort "Bring it on, bitch" or something similar. It's probably not a good idea for him to be pissing off a guy who looks like he could dead-lift the back of a car.
Julien tells Danny about how he's starting sexual reorientation therapy at church. "God's gonna make you straight?" She's clearly skeptical.
An elderly woman shouts at Dookie that she wants her microwave back. "Bein' on welfare don't make you special," says Dookie, "You got to pay like err'body else." Julien asks if she has proof the microwave belongs to her. After the last time it was stolen, the woman carved her initials on it: EB for Emily Berry. Dookie tries to claim it stands for "excellent buy."
Emily Berry indicates a picture frame, also hers. Dookie tells her it can be hers for $10. "If that's your picture frame, how come that's me and my granddaughter?" asks Emily Berry. Dookie doesn't have an answer for that. This guy is an idiot. Julien arrests Dookie. Danny tells the neighbors to take what belongs to them and go home.
Edgar-veda needs Claudette. The 911 tapes were leaked to the media (probably his doing again) and now there's big trouble in the Grove. He needs her to do the talking: "Coming from you, a plea for peace will sound more--" "Black," she says archly.
Vic asks Lem and Shane about Sedona. She was supposedly hiding in a hotel she and Gilroy liked, but Lem found out she never checked in. Being a glass half full guy, he says, "Maybe he stashed her someplace else." "Or slashed her someplace else," Shane puts in darkly. Lem always thought of Gilroy as a quiet drunk. "It's the quiet ones you gotta worry about," says Shane. My grandma used to say the same thing.
Vic, more to himself than anyone else, mutters that Gilroy is spooked and needs to calm down and see a way out. Vic's phone rings. At home, Corinne drains spaghetti and says it's almost time for dinner. Vic doesn't think he can make it. "But Ben's already here," his wife informs him. Now Vic is the one who's spooked. In the background, Cassidy chirps at the deputy chief, "Come see the bowl I made in art class!"
Corinne passes the phone to Gilroy. He's all buddy-buddy, but Vic isn't fooled. He, Lem, and Shane head for the precinct parking lot. Vic wants to know why Gilroy is at his house. Gilroy tells him that Tony's case is a dead end. Vic should've left things alone and not gone looking for Sedona. "I'll leave it alone now, Ben," Vic promises, "This is between you and me. You leave my family out of this." When Lem and Shane hear this, they start running for the car.
"You gotta spend more time with your family, Vic." says the deputy chief. With a smile, Corrine says, "You tell him." Gilroy adds, "You'll lose 'em before you know it". Vic tells Gilroy to think about what he's doing. Gilroy hangs up. Vic hops in Shane's truck, Lem already in the backseat. "Sheriffs can get there faster 'n we can," Shane says.
In the Grove, the protesters are chanting: "911 for no one! Where were the cops?" It's taking everything for a few uniforms to hold back the crowd. Karen knows the situation is serious. In the political tradition of making promises you can't possibly keep, Edgar-veda swears there won't be another problem with slow response times again. Claudette implores for them to keep this peaceful. The crowd is unmoved.
Somewhere in the distance, shots are fired. The neighbors duck and scream. Edgar-veda herds himself, Claudette, and Karen to the nearest building and radios for the riot squad. A man breaks out a patrol car's windows with a baseball bat.
When Vic gets home, Matthew and Cassidy are in the living room with two sheriffs' deputies. Corinne is at the kitchen table, clearly scared: "What's going on, Vic? They practically broke in!" Gilroy, it seems, already left. Vic tells the deputies he'll take over, then instructs Corinne to pack suitcases for her and the kids. Their house isn't safe, but he can't explain why. He hugs Cassidy.
The protesters turn over a squad car. Claudette, Edgar-veda, and Karen hear the muffled noise of the continued riot from the basement they've holed up in. Members of the riot squad arrive to escort them to safety behind their shields. The overturned squad car has been set on fire. Edgar-veda is no doubt mentally calculating how much it'll cost to replace. The riot squad leader orders them to pull back. End of episode.