Friday, September 2, 2016

"Partners" In Crime (Episode 2.3)

Previously on: Danny was forced to shoot a Middle Eastern man, Zaide, because he was threatening her and a neighbor with a gun. Vic found out he's in drug dealer Tio's ledger under the pseudonym "landlord," an idiotic move because Tio owned the building that was torched. Claudette wants the truth, even if she has to go through both her boss and Vic. Tio was murdered with a burning tire. Vic exacted revenge on drug lord/rapist Armadillo Quintero by burning his face on a hot stove.

We pick up right where we left off, in Armadillo's kitchen. Lem and Shane manage to wrestle Vic away from Armadillo and Vic storms out. Ronnie, outside on the porch, doesn't know what happened in the house, but sees Vic covered in blood. Vic takes a swing at Ronnie before driving off.

Montage! At home, Claudette goes over her files on the tire necklace murders. Mackeys' house: Vic takes off his bloody T-shirt and doesn't seem to know where the Spray 'N Wash is or how to operate the washing machine. On a downtown sidewalk, Edgar-veda hands out buttons and stickers, saying, "David Aceveda. Vote for me."

A young guy comes into the Barn with a lumpy paper bag, which he places on Dutch's desk. He shows Dutch the contents: an arm severed at the elbow. Judging by the fake fingernails and jewelry, I'm guessing female. Ew ew ew! Dutch stares at it and says, "That's an arm."
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The next time we see Vic, he's in the same gray T-shirt as the night before, except free of bloodstains. Claudette went to Armadillo's house earlier. She didn't find him, but there were signs of a struggle. The last call Tio made before being set on fire was to Vic's cell phone. Vic's alibi is that he was with the Strike Team all night.

A medical examiner looks at the arm. She can tell it was severed with something like an ax or a machete, it happened 3-4 hours ago, oh, and the victim was still alive when it happened. Oh geez. Dutch thinks it sounds like a sadomasochistic torture ritual. He asks how long someone could live with an injury like that. "With a tourniquet and proper medical care, indefinitely," she replies. 

Claudette tells Vic that she talked to Shane and knows Vic was gone for about an hour. Vic says he left to meet Gordie, the PI he hired to deal with a personal matter. 

Dutch is standing by a Dumpster. He asks the young kid why he didn't leave the arm where he found it. The guy points to a small dog and says he was afraid the dog would've run off with the extremity "because it's a bone." Julien doesn't have any fingerprint results yet due to a backlog. Dutch wants the garbage truck impounded and for the uniforms to do knock 'n talks. He also calls the print lab and asks if they'd like a backlog to end up being responsible for a woman's death.

In the clubhouse, Shane is wearing a truly heinous brown-and-yellow '70s style polo shirt.
Closest match I could find.
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Vic demands, "Why did you tell Claudette I was gone for an hour?" "You were," says Shane. Oh, so now we're being honest? The truth seemed like the safest option to Shane. Vic says now it'll seem like he's lying, which he totally is. During the exchange, Lem looks kind of uncomfortable, like he's watching his parents fight.

Vic announces he's loaned the boys to Edgar-veda for the day. It seems a group of male hustlers have set up shop near his campaign headquarters; he wants them gone, which will entail a sting operation. "You cain't be serious!" says Shane. 
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Vic gets in a parting shot: "Well, your shirt's gay enough for the job."

The woman with a severed arm now has at least a first name: Kayla. Dutch goes to her apartment and interviews her roommate. The roommate last saw Kayla around dinner. She doesn't know if Kayla ever came home because she slept over at her boyfriend's house. Dutch asks if she knows where Kayla would've gone. The roommate smiles, "There's 2 million single men in L.A. Take your pick."

Dutch noticed Kayla's car was in the garage, but her purse and keys were missing. Is there someplace she might've walked to? Roomie asks, "Is Kayla dead?" Dutch believes she's still alive. Roomie then puts in, "I don't want to be a bitch, but rent's due next week." You may not want to be a bitch, honey, but rest assured, you are.

Gordie has learned that Corinne's PI made unsecured cell phone calls and was able to trace them. He gives Vic the address. When Vic gets there, Corinne is carrying Megan in her carseat, about to go somewhere. Vic asks for two seconds of her time and for her to stop running. Corinne's concerned about the kids' safety and well-being. Vic tries to play on that. School just started again; Matt needs his routine at Glenridge and Cassidy needs to see her friends.

Vic begs her not to punish the kids for the (numerous) sins of the father. If it's what Corinne wants, Vic is even willing to move out. Corinne says she'll think about it.

Dutch knocks on an apartment door. It's answered by Kayla's neighbor Marcy, played by Melanie Lynskey. She's perhaps best known for her turn as Charlie Sheen's stalker neighbor Rose on Two and a Half Men. She also played real-life teenage murderess Pauline Parker in the movie Heavenly Creatures.

Marcy's husband Bob joins her. Hey, It's That Guy! Bob is played by Marc Vann, who played slimy crime lab supervisor (and later undersheriff) Conrad Ecklie on the original CSI. He's curious about why the police are there. Dutch explains that their neighbor Kayla is missing and asks if they heard or saw anything suspicious the night before. Marcy heard Kayla arguing with a man around midnight and Bob saw him.

Dutch asks if they mind coming to the station to give a detailed description. Bob is like "sure, let me get a jacket." As Bob passes the bathroom, we see a one-armed woman handcuffed to the shower curtain rod. There's a belt tied around the stump like a tourniquet, blood everywhere, and she's gagged.

Joe Clark, a black man, walks into the Barn. He greets Shane with: "How's my favorite hillbilly?" Joe's meeting Vic for lunch and asks Lem, "You still crackin' skulls?" Only on the very rare occasions he Hulks out. Lem asks how retirement is treating Joe, who doesn't recognize Ronnie. Ronnie introduces himself. Poor guy's always the fifth wheel. Joe asks if the others want to join him and Vic. "They're busy," Vic answers for them. Well then.

Joe's missing tee time, so he hopes lunch is on Vic. Edgar-veda watches Vic and Joe leave, then peevishly asks the Strike Team, "You guys still here?" Everyone starts acting busy. Danny asks about Vic's friend. Shane explains that Joe was Vic's training officer. "They kicked him off the force," adds Lem. Somebody took a swing at Joe's last partner and he responded by knocking the guy's teeth out in front of a crowd of witnesses. Lem thinks Joe was railroaded.

At a diner, we learn Vic hasn't talked to Joe in a year, so he must have something important to say. Vic confesses that he's thinking about quitting; retirement seems to work for Joe. He reminds Vic that he didn't retire by choice. Vic inquires, "Did you ever feel like you went too far?" Maybe. "Going too far'll get you fired. Not going far enough'll get you killed," says Joe. He's never lost sleep over it.

The sketch artist shows Bob and Marcy her finished work. They confirm it's the guy they saw with Kayla. Bob asks if there's anything else they can do to help: "She was such a nice girl." Dutch says she's still alive. The roommate ID'ed Kayla's latest gentleman caller as Jordan Arnold. Dutch tells the desk sergeant to find his address.

Vic and Joe drive by the place where Vic made his first arrest. That day, Joe knew Vic "wasn't a complete screw-up after all." He asks Vic to turn right so he can show him something. Vic can't; he has to go back to work. Joe treats Vic like a rookie again and instead of telling him to screw off, Vic does what he's told.

Claudette tells Edgar-veda that Vic's name keeps popping up in Tio's murder case. There were a lot of phone calls back and forth, even though Vic told her he hadn't talked to Tio in months. Claudette wants to check the payments made to Tio's alleged landlord against cash deposits in Vic's bank records. She needs him to sign off on the request. Edgar-veda has no problem doing that.

IAD arrives to discuss Danny's shooting with her. Outside the office, Lanie offers to help Claudette look into Vic. Dutch pulls his partner away to bounce some ideas about Kayla off her.

Vic and Joe end up parked in front of the house belonging to Fleetwood, the guy who got Joe fired and also successfully sued the city for $1.2 million. Joe thinks payback is in order. He's sure Fleetwood will commit another felony before dark. Vic doesn't think this is such a good idea.

Fleetwood strolls up to them, carrying a video camera. "Lookee here. It's the bitch who made me rich," he says. He taunts Joe to hit him. "I could use another couple million." Vic roughs him up, but not enough to leave marks. He also swipes Fleetwood's Palm Pilot. Remember those? This encounter changes Vic's mind about getting revenge.

Edgar-veda tells Danny there have been a few hiccups in her shooting review. Julien told IAD that he was in the neighbor's apartment when Zaide was shot and therefore didn't see anything. The captain is sure it will still work out in her favor.

Dutch found out that Jordan's alibi was solid. Claudette ran all of Kayla's neighbors through the system and only two have records. One woman passed bad checks. More interestingly, Bob had attempted kidnapping charges filed against him, which were later dropped.

In Bob's garage, the trunk of his car is open. Kayla is inside, moaning and wrapped in a blanket. "She's coming to again. Get in the car," Bob tells Marcy in his monotone. Marcy does. Through the back window, we can see Bob hitting Kayla. When Bob backs out, he sees Claudette and Dutch approaching on the sidewalk.

Dutch tried to call them, but didn't get an answer. Bob lies that they went out to eat. Dutch asks if Bob minds coming back to the station to help him ID a suspect. Bob hesitates at first, then is like "oh yeah, absolutely."

Joe is disappointed by the intel he got on Fleetwood. He hasn't missed meetings with his parole officer and even does community service. Vic found 4 two-strikers in Fleetwood's address book. When Joe leaves for the bathroom, Edgar-veda tells Vic that Tio didn't burn his ledger. Now Claudette wants to look into Vic's finances. Vic says he doesn't have anything to hide.

The captain recognizes Joe from newspaper stories and says he can't be in the Barn. Friend of Vic's or not, Joe is "an embarrassment to this department."

In the clubhouse, a couple of Strike Team members are concerned about their own futures. Lem heard Joe was a good cop and "if a guy like that can get booted, none of us are safe." Shane thinks Joe was probably just too old, lost his edge, and "got sloppy and stupid." Vic walks in right as he says that. He sets Shane straight: "Joe is twice the cop you'll ever be. You're too sloppy to even know it." "Here we go again," Shane sighs.

The Southerner has had enough of being Vic's whipping boy. He should find someone else. (Please, not Lem). Vic might do just that. Shane threatens to put a transfer request on the captain's desk first thing in the morning. "Fine, write it out." Vic says calmly. Shane yells back, "Fine! Asshole!" Vic shoves him from behind. Joe comes in and asks what's going on. "Just a little spring cleaning," says Vic.

Dutch asks Bob about the attempted kidnapping charge filed against him in '93. Bob calls it a "misunderstanding." Can't a 35-year-old man take his high school-age girlfriend on vacation for 2 weeks? He claims that Amanda was 18, anyway, legally an adult. Dutch observes that Bob is 17 years older than Marcy too.

In the breakroom, Shane tells Danny he knows how she feels about being betrayed by her partner. He knows Julien isn't backing her play at Zaide's. Shane goes to Julien, informing him, "An officer-involved shooting means we're all involved." You'd think he would've learned that last year when Terry was killed. Julien says he told the truth. Shane offers up some Southern-fried wisdom: "When it comes to your partner, the truth is like grits. You don't serve it up plain; put a little salt on it."

Vic and Joe catch a guy selling stolen clothes and other merchandise out of the back of his van. That makes 3 strikes before the guy's 25th birthday. They take him into an alley and hand him a confession that's already been filled out. If he signs it and helps them get Fleetwood, they'll tear up the paper.

Claudette shows Marcy pictures of Kayla's severed arm. Marcy doesn't understand why someone would do this. Dutch is more interested in Marcy herself. Was Bob her first boyfriend? Did she know about the kidnapping charges? Yes and yes. She also knows that Bob went to medical school for 2 years, meaning he'd know how to amputate Kayla's arm without causing her to bleed to death in the process. Marcy swears Bob wouldn't do something so horrible.

Outside on the balcony, Dutch thinks Bob is cold and manipulative; Marcy goes along with anything he wants her to do because she doesn't know any better. He's broken her down so thoroughly she doesn't have her own opinions (and likely her own morals) anymore. Claudette seems skeptical. "If you grew up in my family for 20 years, you'd recognize it too," says Dutch. No cop show would be complete without one officer who has a tragic backstory. Dutch wants to talk to Marcy on his own.

Back in the interrogation room, Marcy continues insisting that Bob is innocent and she's not afraid of him.
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Dutch smacks the table and tells Marcy to stop lying. He knows she's afraid to leave Bob and it's because she's worried nobody else will ever love her. Marcy starts crying, asking why Dutch is being so mean, and repeats that she doesn't know where Kayla is. Back in the hall, Dutch admits that maybe Bob is a garden-variety asshole rather than a sadomasochistic thrill killer.

Joe tells Vic that their boy Fleetwood is still fencing electronics. Edgar-veda hopes Claudette finds the truth in Vic's bank records.

Vic visits Joe at home, a seedy efficiency apartment. Joe tells him that he left his family and is upset Vic has seen how broke he is. The civil suit payoff took most of Joe's pension. He bitterly wishes he'd done more "side jobs." Vic wants to bust Fleetwood's fencing operation and sell half the stock to his new informant Taylor. Joe can't let him do it.

Joe has done a complete 180 because now they're driving to Fleetwood's stash house. Corinne calls Vic to tell him she's back at home with all 3 kids, but it still doesn't change things between them. Joe stays behind while Vic goes in the warehouse. He sees Fleetwood unboxing some automatic weapons. They start shooting at Vic.

Vic shoots Yellow Hoodie in the leg; Yellow Hoodie returns fire, hitting Vic in the side. Not about to let something like a little gunshot wound stop him, Vic keeps chasing Yellow Hoodie. Yellow Hoodie shoots again and Vic shoots him in the chest. Fleetwood drives off in his truck.

Joe runs up to his wounded friend. Vic tells Joe to leave. Joe refuses to ditch him. "I can't explain you being here to Aceveda," says Vic. He asks Joe to call an ambulance and Corinne. Vic uses his teeth to flip open his phone and dials.

In the clubhouse, Ronnie and Lem are playing a game of pitch. Well, Lem is playing and Ronnie is reading a magazine. Shane's phone starts ringing. He checks the caller ID and lays it on the table, obviously screening his calls. Lem answers the phone, then jumps out of his chair like he's been electrocuted: "Vic got shot!" At this, everyone races for the door.

Dutch tells Marcy she should be able to leave soon. She begs the detective not to walk out on her again. Dutch says he believes Marcy. It's definitely possible that Bob could've kidnapped Kayla without her knowing it.

The guys meet the ambulance at Mission Cross Hospital and crowd around Vic's stretcher. Vic grabs Shane by the back of his neck, telling him he has to stop Fleetwood. The EMS crew orders them to move; Vic is losing a lot of blood. "Just hang in," Lem says desperately.

Danny tells Claudette that another uniform picked up a homeless guy with a bloody machete who's claiming he killed somebody. When she and Dutch get to the scene, the machete turns out to be a kitchen knife. The guy is screaming about how he killed JFK, MLK, and RUN-DMC. Dutch is irritated about the false lead and takes off with Claudette. The uniforms shoot the homeless guy with a beanbag gun. Claudette wants another crack at Bob and Marcy, but Dutch released them. He's sure Bob didn't do it.

Edgar-veda comes to the ER. The doctor says Vic will live but needs surgery and starts to wheel him away. Vic grabs onto the wall and says, "Not until I see my kids." Corinne arrives, but doesn't want the kids to see him and be scared. Vic has an idea. Is he gonna pull the old "Daddy just has a tummyache" scam? He limps into the waiting room with his leather jacket zipped all the way up to hide his bloody T-shirt. He hugs Cassidy and kisses Matt.

Edgar-veda calls from the doorway that he needs Vic in the other room. Near tears, Cassidy says, "Don't go." Vic tells Cassidy he has to sit with someone who's been hurt really bad, he'll be home soon, and he loves her.

Fleetwood isn't home, but his woman is in the bedroom. Her hair is wet and she's in just a bathrobe. There's a partially packed suitcase on the bed. Shane wants to know where her boyfriend is because he just shot Shane's partner. "You gonna hit me? I'll let my bruises do the talking," she says. Shane repeats, "Just tell me where he is!" He doesn't want to do something they'll both regret. Fleetwood's girl doesn't mind being hit if she can sue the city for a million bucks and mockingly kisses at Shane.

Shane now has something else in mind entirely. He pushes Lem and Ronnie out of the room and locks the door, throwing Fleetwood's girlfriend on the bed. Shane starts undoing his belt. Throughout the entire scene, there's a chorus of Ronnie and Lem pounding on the door and yelling. Lem could probably just Hulk out and kick the thing off its hinges. Terrified, the girlfriend says she's supposed to meet Fleetwood at his stash house by the bridge. Shane gets up and buckles his belt, telling her she really missed out. "ASSHOLE!" she screams as he leaves.

Joe has already found the stash house and draws his gun on Fleetwood. "You were always such an idiot," he says. But this time, Joe's not here to arrest him. They fight. Fleetwood starts hitting Joe with a metal pipe. The Strike Team gets there just in time.

The police are searching Bob and Marcy's apartment again. Julien finds something hidden behind a piece of tile: a peephole that looks into Kayla's bathroom. "Oh God," Dutch says, realizing he's been played. He wants an APB out on their car.

Joe visits Vic in the hospital. He apologizes for getting Vic involved and getting him shot. "Always knew there was a bullet with my name on it," croaks Vic. And given all his shady dealings, he's probably surprised it didn't find him sooner. Out in the hall, Joe tries to convince Shane to go in. Shane doesn't feel like talking.

Bob and Marcy are pulled over at a gas station. Dutch tells them he found the peephole. Claudette has the car's trunk popped. Kayla lies dead inside. Bob says that Marcy never liked the way he looked at Kayla. Cutting Kayla's arm off was Marcy's idea. Dutch is in shock: "She was in the trunk the whole time? Why didn't you tell me, Marcy?" "Sorry, Daddy," she says coldly as she's loaded into a patrol car.

Shane has decided to talk to Vic after all. Vic wants to play golf with Shane every day when they retire. Shane doesn't know how, so Vic promises to teach him. Other cops are standing vigil outside his room. Danny comes in and sits on the arm of Shane's chair.

Back at the Barn, Dutch works out his anger by slamming a bathroom stall door over and over. End of episode.

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