Friday, November 18, 2016

"Playing Tight" to the Vest (Episode 3.1)

Last season: Drug dealer/murderer/rapist Armadillo was stabbed to death in the cage. This was blamed on Danny doing a bad search, so she was fired. Two homophobic uniforms, Carlson and Jackson, put up slanderous flyers about Julien. They were both fired and got revenge by going to Julien's house and giving him a "blanket party." 

Chief Bankston gave Edgar-veda the ultimatum to resign as captain if he lost the city council primary. Claudette is waiting in the wings for his spot. Edgar-veda won the primary and will be captain until the general election; if he loses that race, he'll still be resigning from the force.

Vic and the Strike Team planned to rip off the Armenian mob's so-called money train. During the heist, the Armenians turned on each other, leaving two dead. But the Strike Team still got away with what is supposed to be their big, final retirement score.

We jump right to a shirtless man beating on a suspected Peeping Tom's door with an aluminum baseball bat, screaming, "That prick saw my mom naked!" This is quickly broken up by Julien and his new male partner. The Peeping Tom argues that the woman shouldn't have left her blinds up, adding, "She's nothing to look at." A kid gets out of the house and runs past Julien. "Am I working alone here?" gripes Julien's new partner.

In an unmarked car, the Strike Team is listening to "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" of all things. I guess I shouldn't be surprised after Lemming's rendition of "Rich Girl" last season. They're staking out a corner drug dealer who looks all of 12 years old. Vic thinks any bust is a good bust. "And one step closer to cashing in on a small fortune," Lem pipes up from the backseat. Filling the arrest quotas will keep their noses clean. "Or in your case, brown," says Shane. Lem playfully swipes at him over the seat. Vic chuckles that at least they're keeping him entertained.

At the Barn, it looks like Claudette is packing up her desk. Edgar-veda has a case for Dutch and Claudette. Dutch gripes that he already has 2 open cases. Edgar-veda shrugs that they're shortstaffed. Claudette has some budgetary ideas about it. The captain tells her to focus on her detective duties; she still has 2 days until she takes command. He adds that the case is a special circumstances double homicide.

What special circumstances, you may ask? Two Armenian immigrants were found dead with their feet cut off, lying on the bottom of an empty swimming pool. (Not the same one Vic is using to store money). Both have done prison time. Dutch thinks their feet were amputated postmortem: "One foot's a trophy; four is just plain weird." Judging by the lack of blood spatter, they were killed somewhere else. A woman is watching them through a chain link fence.

Dutch asks who Claudette will assign as his new partner. He suggests Detective Ruiz from Hollywood. "Uh, Gabrielle's quite a looker," says Claudette. Dutch innocently asks, "Is she?"

Lemming chuckles in the backseat as Vic makes faces in the rearview mirror. Shane writes down the license plate of one of the dealer's customers. The registration comes back to R. Mark Lindman, M.D., but the people in the car look like kids. The drug dealers run for their car as the Strike Team drives up. Shane puts his hand out the window, demanding the doctor's kid's keys.

The drug dealers peel away from the curb. "Get the kid!" Vic calls to Tavon. Tavon badges the doctor's kid. The female passenger starts crying.

Vic radios in their pursuit. "We're losing him," Shane says unnecessarily. Overhead, there's the whirr of helicopter blades. The dealers aren't going anywhere. "Let some other unit wreck their car," says Vic. The chopper pilot keeps Vic updated over the radio. It doesn't take long for the suspects to cause a multi-car pileup. When the Strike Team gets there, a van has overturned.

Vic chases one of their suspects on foot. Over the fence and through the alleys he and Shane go. Their suspect runs through someone's open back door. Vic tackles the kid in the middle of an unsuspecting couple's dining room. They watch with mild interest from the living room as Vic grapples him. The dealer manages to bloody Vic's nose. The wife helpfully brings him a towel.

Lem speaks Spanish to the driver of the overturned van as he yanks the windshield off. Whatever cargo the guy's carrying is on fire. Lem calls over his shoulder for a knife to cut the seatbelt. I can tell you from being a volunteer firefighter that won't work. Only thing that will is a seatbelt cutter. Suddenly, gunshots start pinging off the cars. Everyone starts screaming and ducking for cover.

Lem steps through the hole where the van's windshield used to be. Shane wonders where the gunfire is coming from. Vic doesn't know. Shane guesses it could be the van. "Lem, get outta there!" Vic bellows. Lem isn't budging; he's almost gotten the driver to safety. Vic realizes there's no one actually shooting at them. Lem has successfully rescued the driver.
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The gunfire stops. When Shane and Vic approach the van, they figure out what's going on. The driver was hauling guns and ammo; the heat from the fire made the bullets start exploding. Watched a lot of MythBusters growing up and I can't recall if they ever touched on that particular thing.

CHAOS (Captain Has Arrived On Scene). The EMTs report the van's driver has a few burns and mild shock. "He's in for a bigger one," says Vic. He explains to Edgar-veda about the car chase leading to the ammo-filled van flipping over and catching fire. "One hell of a fireworks show," Shane says. Edgar-veda is not pleased that Vic's pursuit caused an accident. Vic swears they followed all the regulations in the book. The captain wants a report ASAP so his ducks are in a row downtown. "Quack, quack," Vic snarks. No pat on the back for Lemming?

Vic tries to pass off a case to Dutch, but Dutch says he's too busy with a double homicide. He asks if Vic knows about any in-fighting with the local Armenian mob families. He shows Vic crime scene pictures of the two guys with missing feet. The harbor patrol found two other victims last week. Vic guesses it was "old-country retribution." He'll show the pictures to the Strike Team.

Lem is sure those guys were killed by someone looking for the money train cash. "What happens when they run out of feet and realize it was an outside job?" Ronnie asks worriedly. Vic says only 4 people know what happened to the money train and they're all sitting at the same table. They just have to keep their heads and go about business as usual.

Tavon comes into the clubhouse. He ran Jesse the van driver's name, but the guy doesn't have a criminal record; he's an out-of-work cement mixer. Vic goes upstairs, where Jesse has a bandage on his head from being grazed by a stray round. "It is not against the law to have bullets," says Jesse. That's true, unless he was driving them across state lines. Vic knows Jesse took a Greyhound to Arizona to pick up a van filled with a half-ton of 9 mm bullets. Jesse's son Diagur told him it wasn't illegal.

Vic knows Diagur is in a local gang called the Byz Lats. Fellow Kurt Sutter fans will recognize that gang from Sons of Anarchy. Vic asks if Diagur was helping out his unemployed dad. Jesse insists Diagur wasn't involved.

Claudette and Dutch are baffled by the dead Armenians. Their apartments didn't reveal signs of a struggle and the victims' cars were still in their respective parking spaces. The killer must've been someone they trusted. Dutch speculates it could be Margos Dezirian, an Armenian mobster with a terrifying foot fetish who killed someone in their cage and then escaped the paddy wagon. "It's not the only lead we're chasing," says Claudette and she's probably lying.

If Dutch ends up being right about Margos, he wants to call the feds. He's wanted by them, LAPD, and Interpol. Edgar-veda agrees to allow it. Dutch adds that Danny has her final appeal with the police commission the next day; a good word from a future city councilman could go a long way. All the captain says is, "I'm aware of the situation."

Edgar-veda goes upstairs to his office. Vic is there and wants one last favor. He caught a Byz Lat's dad running ammo, but he can't find a free detective to investigate. And where there's ammo, there's guns. Edgar-veda tells him actual murders and armed robberies are the priority. Why doesn't Vic look into it himself? Vic can't unless the chief lowers his arrest quota. Edgar-veda refuses to get into the middle of this. He'll assign a detective when someone is free. And does Vic have the accident report?

Downstairs, Vic asks Lem if he finished said accident report. Ronnie thought he was supposed to write it. When they walk into the clubhouse, Shane is kissing his new girlfriend Mara on the couch. "We in your way?" asks Vic. Mara explains they were just looking at some car listings. She's getting her realtor's license next week and needs to upgrade her car so she'll look better at showings. Shane's helping her with the down payment. Vic is all "really now?"

Mara reminds Shane to meet her at a dealership after work and gives him a goodbye kiss. Vic sends Tavon with Lem and Ronnie to keep arresting drug dealers. To Shane, he says, "You and me are ditching school today."

Dutch got Margos' file from Interpol. He's suspected of killing 3 coca farmers in Chile; the victims' feet were removed. Dutch wants to run Margos' aliases against international flight manifests. Lem and Shane's Armenian friend Chorekian is waiting for the detectives in the lobby. He knows who killed the other Armenians because the same person was waiting at his house to kill him. Chorekian has brought along his mother, his sister, and his sister's several children. If the police protect his family, he'll tell them everything he knows.

Chorekian is sitting at Dutch's desk when Lem passes by. He follows Lem to the vending machine. Don't they know each other? Lem doesn't think so. "You and your friend Cletus," Chorekian says, "The accident that day. The guys paid up. I never had to call."

Lem is dismissive as he walks away with his bag of chips. Dutch has overheard and asks, "Cletus?" "I did not know you work for the police," Chorekian babbles on. Lem is uncharacteristically rude: "That was off-duty. I'm on-duty now. I gotta get back to work."

At a gas pump behind the Barn, Shane is ignoring the NO SMOKING sign. Vic questions his best friend's judgment: "You've known this girl for 2 months and you're buying her a new car?" Shane corrects him; it's used and all he's doing is making the down payment. Mara will make the monthly payments after she sells her first house. Vic wants to know what happened to keeping a low profile. Shane argues he's using his own money.

Vic reminds Shane how buying his girlfriend a new Lexus on a cop's salary looks. "It's preowned!" Shane repeats. It's also nothing new for Shane to be in a ton of debt. Vic tells him not to buy the car.

Lem comes out and tells his boss they have a problem. Dutch is interviewing Chorekian, who saw him and Shane the day of the heist. Lem doesn't know why Dutch wants to talk to him, but Chorekian recognized our burly friend. To be fair, anybody would. That haircut is pretty distinctive.

"And he remembered your name, Cletus," Lem adds. Vic is pissed; Cletus Van Damme also happens to be the alias Shane used to rent the storage unit where the Strike Team hid their retirement fund. Shane shrugs, "Well, it makes Lem laugh." Lemming sure isn't laughing now.

Tavon comes out of the Barn, asking if Lem is riding with him and Ronnie today. Vic reminds Lem of the severity of the situation. They were following Chorekian hours before ripping off the money train. If Dutch starts connecting the dots, they're all well and truly fucked. Vic announces they're moving the money tonight and renting a storage unit under a different alias.
Might I suggest Boyd Crowder?
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In the observation room, Chorekian sees Margos on the TV monitor. "That is not the man doing the killing," he says firmly. Dutch presses. Is he sure? Chorekian's heard of Margos, but the guy Dutch should be looking for is Lyor Slavok. He's not sure who gives Lyor his marching orders. "It's all because of the damn money train," says Chorekian.

Edgar-veda has heard rumors about a money train and can't believe someone ripped it off. "The Armenians are gonna keep dropping bodies until they find out who," says Claudette. He shows her the latest crime statistics: numbers are up by double digits in all areas. Claudette thinks the best thing he can do on city council is find the money to get the Barn fully staffed again.

The captain asks for her ideas about adding people. Claudette suggests bringing in the Decoy Squad from Wilshire. The captain is sure the Decoy Squad's commanding officer won't let them go; they're highly successful. Claudette is thinking of appealing to the chief. Edgar-veda says that'll make her look naive.

Shane and Vic find Diagur at an arcade. The kid's easily identifiable by the tattoo of his name across his shoulder blades, sticking out of his wifebeater. Vic knows his dad crashed a van loaded with live ammo. He's fine, by the way, if the kid even cares. The only gun Shane finds on a patron isn't big enough to hold 9 mm. Vic asks if they're expecting a new shipment. Of course, everyone denies it.

Vic gives a warning: If they arm themselves with anything bigger, the Byz Lats will become his personal pinata. In case anyone doesn't get the metaphor, Shane adds, "Which means we shove candy up your ass and beat ya with a bat."

Van Bro is still selling art on the sidewalk. It looks like the Strike Team made good on their promise of a sporty new wheelchair. His latest paintings are an entirely new genre: religious erotica.
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I know there are prostitutes in the Bible, the most famous being Mary Magdalene, but seriously? Anyway, Van Bro has no clue who's selling guns to Byz Lats, but he does know who's buying them.

But nope, it's our old pal Kern Little. The rapper is chilling in what looks like a strip club. Must be off-hours because Kern and his posse are the only people in the place other than the women. Vic thought Kern was broke. How'd he open this place? Kern claims he had investors. Vic guesses they're One-Niners. He wants to know what a gangsta rapper is doing in the gun-running business. Besides boosting his street cred?

Vic bets he and Shane could make their monthly narcotics quota just by emptying everyone's pockets. Kern says he's not buying guns because he wants to: "'Cause I got to." The Byz Lats have been arming themselves with fully automatic MP5s. Kern's just making sure his boys have equal firepower. He's not sure if the Byz Lats actually have the MP5s yet. Vic asks, "Who's running this arms race?

Just a wild guess.
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Kern claims it's a "regular army" guy. Vic wants to know when Kern is making his own buy and promises to take care of disarming the Byz Lats. Kern doesn't trust Vic after what happened to their last "business deal." Vic says if he has to find out on his own, he's hauling Kern in. 

Agent Quigley of the U.S. Treasury arrives, looking for Dutch. We learn that Dutch's Christian name is Holland Wagenbach. Something tells me he was bullied a lot in school. Dutch had requested the FBI. Well, Quigley is who he gets. The treasury agent understands there's an Armenain wise guy who wants to talk. "He already has," says Dutch. Quigley wants to talk to the boss.

Upstairs, Quigley sits down with Dutch, Edgar-veda, and Claudette. The Treasury Department has long been concerned about the Armenian mob shipping loads of U.S. currency overseas. 4 months ago, Quigley and other agents conducted a sting operation in San Jose, where an Armenian business owner was being shaken down. They inserted $50,000 worth of marked bills into the protection money. So far, none of the bills have been used. 

Quigley heard about Farmington's investigation into an Armenian mob rip-off. "And 4 related murders," Dutch puts in. Treasury blew the money laundering case, but the marked bills could end up leading Dutch to the killers. 

Speaking of the marked bills, Shane is in the storage unit, practically drooling over the footlocker of money. Vic seems less awed. Someone starts knocking on the unit's door. Shane hastily closes the footlocker and sits on top of it. One hand drifts to the small of his back, where he's hiding a small gun.

Vic rolls up the door. It's just Albert the manager, trying to make sure his customers got their boxes moved in okay. He sees the sheer number of boxes and asks if one of the guys recently moved. Vic explains he just got divorced. Albert asks which of them is Mr. London. As in Jack London the author? That would be Shane. Albert hands over the spare keys Shane requested. He tells them good night.

Vic watches him go. He tells Shane to buy new padlocks. They can't have the manager getting curious. Shane opens the footlocker again and throws some coats on top of the money. Vic gets a call on his cell phone from Lem. He's needed somewhere.

At the crime scene, Vic has a hard time not stepping on the shell casings all over the street. Foreign music is playing in the background. Something is illegibly spray-painted on the sidewalk. The victim is Kern's friend Slap. His feet are intact, so we know who it wasn't. There's a CD case nearby, one of Kern's albums, which is titled Too Big to Be Little. "So much for passing this case off," Vic mumbles.

Kern and company are waiting to pick up their guns. The Strike Team have (poorly) concealed themselves in a nearby alley. Vic wants to know where Kern's connection is. "Guess he got spooked," shrugs the rapper. Vic calls bullshit. He knows Kern is upset about what happened to Slap, but that "still doesn't give you license to bend me over." Kern argues it's not his fault.

Vic pulls his sidearm. Kern's homeboys do the same. "Don't even think about it," warns Lem, armed with his trusty shotgun. Shane, of all people, tells Vic to take it easy. He's sure Kern will call them with the new time and place. Vic will be waiting.

Mara and Shane exit the car dealership's office. She's ripping her boyfriend a new one: "Why did you say you would help me? So embarrassing!" Shane apologizes. He spins a story about how he talked to his friends and they said buying the car could put a huge strain on their relationship, which is still fairly new. Mara gets louder: "I worked my ass off to get this realtor's license! I need to make a living! Would you buy a half-million dollar home from somebody driving a '97 Neon?" "From you? Sure," says Shane. Mara stomps off.

At Mackeys, Cassidy complains that Vic wouldn't let her have ice cream before bedtime. Corinne tells her to go to bed. Matt is sitting at the kitchen table, drawing a picture with his new occupational therapist Owen. When asked what he's drawing, the kid replies, "Daddy and me." They finish listening to a classical music CD. Vic is impressed by the progress Matt has made.

Owen explains his reason for using music: "Matt's learning to use his ears as his primary source of hearing so his other senses don't get overwhelmed." As the daughter of an occupational therapist, that statement made absolutely no sense to me. He reminds Corinne to keep Matt doing his drills, says it was nice to meet Vic, and leaves.

"Told you he was amazing!" Corinne is practically skipping. Owen wants to have two more sessions a week and work with Matt the low price of an extra $300 a week. Vic will only have to pay half. He agrees, elated that Matt is talking now. 

Corinne tells Vic she's going back to work; there's a nursing shortage, so the pay is great. She's planning to work 30 hours a week, meaning they'll have to adjust Vic's schedule of visiting the kids. Corinne emphasizes how much she wants to work again.

Edgar-veda visits Danny at her glamorous new job: school security guard. Well, it's supposed to be temporary until her appeal, but her lawyer said not to get her hopes up. Edgar-veda wants to restock the Barn with officers he can trust to be tough but fair, people who aren't afraid to tell him when other people aren't being fair. Danny's not interested in being one of his rats.

The captain claims that's not what he's trying to do. He just doesn't want another good cop to be railroaded the way Danny was. She'd only have to come to him if major lines are crossed. "By Vic?" she asks. Edgar-veda says, "By anyone." If Danny wants her old job back, she has until the end of the school day to think about it. 

Vic talks to Julien. He's heard he's having self-confidence problems on the street in addition to the disrespect Julien gets in the Barn. People are wondering what Julien plans to do about the blanket party someone gave him. Julien says the detectives on the case aren't really getting anywhere. "Everybody here knows who did it and they're watching you," says Vic.

A warrant for the Armenian double murder should be issued within the hour. Vic wants to know if Claudette and Dutch need help, but both ignore him. "Damn, I was gonna ask her to the prom," Vic says, trying to lighten the mood. Dutch tells him, "The mob's pissed off about a shitload of stolen money that was ticketed for the homeland. Now they're whacking all the players, trying to find it." Chorekian was scared he'd be next and is now in witness protection.

This may help Dutch clear two of his unsolved murder cases. The night the money was stolen, Armenian mob soldiers were killed. The robbers were described as 3 or 4 guys in ski masks.

Vic calls an emergency powwow in the clubhouse. Chorekian spilled his guts to Dutch about the Armenians who died the night of the robbery. Lem isn't worried; the Strike Team actually wasn't responsible for that. Ronnie asks why Chorekian would say that. Vic's guess is Chorekian knew those two guys were stealing. He admitted to his part in the money laundering but not the rest. If the robbery gets traced, guess who's on the hook for the double murder? 

Vic passes out the keys to the new storage unit. They should all wait about 6-9 months before giving any of the cash to the real estate guy. Shane and Ronnie have just started to bitch about this when Tavon comes in. "Didn't mean to interrupt your secret Klan meeting," he says. Shane sasses, "Left our hoods at the dry cleaners."

Tavon wants to know why they all stop talking whenever he walks in. "Maybe because we're all captivated by your winning smile," says Shane. Tavon fires back, "Or blinded by yours." 

Vic spins a story that they were just talking about the Byz Lat situation. The Barn doesn't have enough manpower to take them down and Kern isn't playing nice. They're gonna tap the rapper's phone, even though they don't have a warrant. If Tavon has a problem with that, he should speak now or forever hold his peace.

Tavon found out that 12 cases of MP5s were recently stolen from Fort Irwin, a still-functioning training base in San Bernadino County. A total of 72 guns are on the street. Tavon doesn't want another body to pick up. Vic is satisfied with this answer. He sends Ronnie off to set up the phone tap. 

Tavon and Ronnie plant the wiretap together, disguised as telephone linemen. "Hey, look, it's the Village People," Shane jokes in the stakeout car. The first conversation they pick up is a woman demanding to know why Kern hired "light-skinned skanks with nice bodies" to work in his club. "Sounds like Kern's not too big to be a little whipped," Shane observes. Vic says lightly, "Next thing you know, he'll be buying her a new car." He's leaving now, supposedly to pick up Cassidy from school. 

Shane asks how long he and Lem have to sit out here in the car. "'Til the call comes in," Vic replies. He unnecessarily adds that the gun conversation will probably be in code. Shane is about to be in the doghouse again; he promised Mara a lunch date. I hope somebody brought plenty of snacks for Lem.

Claudette is executing the Armenian search warrant and has found 4 different guns so far. Dutch found an invoice: an overnight package shipped to Greece this morning. The name on the receipt, Marcus Dreliozis, sounds like a Greek alias for Margos Dezirian. There's an interesting note about the package: "contains dry ice." Dutch bets it's the missing feet. How perfectly gruesome.

Lem is eating a burrito in the front seat, eavesdropping on Shane's apology call to Mara. Shane hangs up and leans back in the seat, looking depressed. Lem tries to cheer him up: "Dude, we're rich. At least we're gonna be." They hear Kern's conversation with a guy named Lex: "Guns are ready. Get all the cash yet?" Kern confirms it. Lex will be at Kern's place in half an hour.
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"I think I just broke the code," says a wide-eyed Shane. 

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By the time Vic gets back, Tavon has joined them and is eating a cheeseburger. The gun runner just went into Kern's place. Lem saw 6 crates and 4 Army guys. Vic decides they need backup. Ronnie is all "wait a second, we're kinda here illegally." Vic starts to radio in, but Shane grabs his arm. He suggests they just keep a low profile. Vic managed to get through to dispatch, because a woman's voice crackles out of the speaker, asking for their location.

Vic asks if the guys really want to try going mano y mano against 36 loaded MP5s. Nobody seems to like the sound of those odds. Vic tells the dispatcher where they are.

Lyor the Armenian mobster and his lawyer keep conversing in their native tongue, making it impossible for Claudette and Dutch to know what's going on. The gist of it is the mobster wasn't involved in the murders. Dutch asks what the guy mailed to Athens earlier today. The lawyer translates his client's answer as "books." "In dry ice?" Dutch asks skeptically. Neither Armenian has an answer for that.

Lyor's name may not be on the receipt, but it was found in his house. Dutch wants to know why he was dumb enough to keep it. "I'm not gonna ask him that," says the lawyer. Claudette asks why the mobster is whispering; they can't understand him anyway. Dutch is sure Margos will be at the pickup address in Greece tomorrow. Too bad it's being rerouted to L.A.

A small army of uniforms shows up to cover Vic and the Strike Team. Even though he's not a rookie anymore, Julien's new partner rudely tells him not to get in anyone's way. They burst into the bar just as Kern hands over the money. One of the gun runners escapes into a back room. Vic asks where it leads. Kern says it's basically a door to nowhere; the only window is barred.

Vic tells the uniforms to arrest everyone and take them outside. The Strike Team helps themselves to 4 of the MP5s. Vic gives the guy in the back room 3 seconds to disarm himself before they open fire. Their suspect complies.

Agent Quigley gives Edgar-veda a list of serial numbers from the marked money. The bills will be flagged if they're spent and put into the bank system. Dutch thinks they should do cursory checks on all busts involving large amounts of cash. He also has bad news. He called the American embassy in Athens, but the Greek authorities won't arrest Margos without the go-ahead from somebody higher on the food chain. Agent Quigley thinks he might be able to help.

Lem is grinning as they lead their suspects out. Vic is absolutely disgusted that the gun runners are stealing from soldiers to supply gangbangers. He roughly shoves the guy against a wall, demanding to know who's selling guns to the Byz Lats. The guy refuses to talk. Vic tells Shane to uncuff him. 

Vic takes out his revolver and puts it in the suspect's hands. Cocking his own gun, he lays out the situation: "The trained soldier grabbed my spare gun and tried to make a run for it." "Oh, guys!" calls Lemming the Lookout. Shane directs an errant female uniform to where they're loading the evidence van. 

Vic repeats his question. The suspect won't answer. Vic raises his gun, telling the guy to run. The suspect (finally) realizes Vic isn't bluffing and spills his guts. He sold the guns to Garza, reigning Byz Lat king. The suspect puts down Vic's revolver. "That's a good little soldier boy," Vic praises.

Edgar-veda wants to hang onto the list of marked bills. He wants to know if Vic has been asking Dutch about the Armenian double murder. Dutch says he asked him a few things since Vic has more experience with organized crime. From now on, the captain doesn't want Vic to know anything. Someone tells Dutch a package came for him.
"We just got a letter
We just got a letter!
Wonder who it's from?"
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When Dutch opens the box, sure enough, it contains severed feet!
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Vic tells Julien not to take Kern to the Barn, claiming Kern and his homies set up the sting. That's why they didn't need a warrant. "What the hell was that?" Kern asks quietly as Vic uncuffs him. Vic thought he'd be more grateful about dodging a felony firearms charge. They can call things even. Kern argues they're not even because nobody on the Strike Team is dead. Uh, dude, the last guy that threatened them got shanked to death in a holding cell.

Kerns adds that they'll just get more guns and pay a visit to the Mexicans. Vic gives his word that their next stop is Byz Lat turf. Everything will be cleared up by tonight. Shane gives his best friend a look: "Thought we were playing it tight." He said the thing!

Shane isn't happy about being put at risk "over guns we had nothing to do with." Vic would do it again if he had to. "Well, I wouldn't," says Shane. Ooh, you sure told him!

Agent Quigley tried to get some back-scratching done, but the Greeks aren't interested in helping. Dutch suggests calling Parguay, Chile, or Belgium; Margos is wanted in those countries too. Quigley says that'll take a few days. That's no good because they already know where Margos will be tomorrow and "it's already tomorrow in Athens." How hard is it to have some local cops pick Margos up? 

Lyor won't tell them where Margos is going after Greece. "Even in prison, you need feet," Claudette puts in sagely. Quigley's sorry, but there's nothing else he can do. Claudette tries to talk to Assistant Chief Phillips, but he fobs her off to Edgar-veda. "He's not stepping down yet, is he?" she asks. Assistant Chief Phillips won't say anything more.

"I'm supposed to be captain in two days!" Claudette rages in the office. Edgar-veda has decided to stay until he takes care of a few things; it's a volatile time at the understaffed Barn. She asks if he's bringing in the Decoy Squad. When he says yes, Claudette accuses him of stealing her ideas. Ever the politician, Edgar-veda says, "I'm implementing them." Claudette doesn't buy that for a second.

They argue the semantics of that for a bit. The captain still foolishly believes he's making a difference. "You're the reason for half the problems in the first place," Claudette points out. He advises her to keep her opinions to herself. Claudette brandishes her reading glasses at him, saying, "I will not let you do this to me." Edgar-veda tries flattery. There's a big picture here that he knows Claudette is smart enough to see. Besides, Chief Bankston won't help her.

Vic helps Van Bro put some paintings in his wheelchair basket. He asks where he can find Garza. Van Bro thought Garza retired. "Maybe his pension ran out," Vic suggests. He needs Van Bro to tell Garza he needs a buyer for some guns who's willing to pay double the asking price. Van Bro thinks that could take a couple days. Vic gives him 2 hours.

When Vic gets back to the Barn, he sees Danny on the balcony. Edgar-veda praises him for the gun bust. Vic tells him not to get too excited; they only found half of what was stolen from Fort Irwin. He needs about $100K to buy the rest off the Byz Lats and he needs it tonight. "I'm not bending the rules for you," says the captain, even though he has a history of doing that.

Anyway, wasn't Vic opposed to taking this assignment? Vic's like "yeah, at first." Now he feels like he's the only person who cares. Edgar-veda tells him to file the paperwork and wait "or you can stop by the ATM."

Vic got an idea
An awful idea
Vic got a wonderful, awful idea
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In the squadroom, Dutch is ranting at someone on the phone: "The guy's wanted by Interpol! I'm giving you the address! All you have to do is pick him up! What's so goddamn hard about that? If my tone sounds superior, it's because I'm American and you're Greek." He slams down the phone and gets cagey when Vic asks what's wrong.

Elsewhere, Julien is praying in a stairwell. One of the disgraced uniforms who attacked him approaches. "Confess what you did to me," Julien orders. The guy answers, "I didn't do anything to you." Julien grabs him in a chokehold from behind. This scene is all the more disturbing after reading what actor Michael Jace did to his wife. 

The ex-uniform starts gagging while Julien mumbles Bible verses. "Julien, please!" his victim cries. We hear the sound of bone snapping. Julien immediately lets go, leaving the guy crying and coughing on the ground. Julien heads downstairs, pauses like he's gonna go back to check on the guy, and then continues on his way. 

Montage! Mara hugs and kisses Shane in the lobby of a different car dealership. Kern and his crew pull a drive-by at the arcade frequented by the Byz Lats; Diagur is unscathed. Vic goes to the storage unit and loads a duffel bag with cash. End of episode.

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