Friday, December 16, 2016

Keeping "Mum" (Episode 3.5)

Previously on: The Strike Team has no clue their Armenian money train stash contains marked bills. Edgar-veda was given a list of the serial numbers by Agent Quigley from the Department of Justice. Vic helped Diagur take over the Byz Lats gang. Dutch struck out while looking for the man who raped an elderly woman. Shane and Tavon had a huge brawl, which was stopped by Mara hitting Tavon in the head with an iron. On his way home, Tavon crashed the Strike Team van and went through the windshield.

We pick up with Vic, Lem, and Ronnie pacing in the Mission Cross ER parking lot. Corinne comes out with news; Tavon is listed in grave condition. If he recovers, he'll most likely have brain damage from the trauma. Lem wants to see him, but ICU is reserved for family only. Though Corinne doesn't work in ICU, she'll do her best to keep Vic updated.

Vic takes out his phone and calls Shane, who's wandering through his mostly-destroyed living room with Mara standing nearby. Vic doesn't beat around the bush: "Tavon got into an accident. Hit a parked car full speed. He might not make it." "Oh man," Shane sighs, actually looking sorry. Vic tells him to get to Mission Cross pronto. Shane starts babbling some story about getting in a bar fight. Vic's call-waiting signal beeps. He has to take the other call; Shane should come if he can.

Danny and Julien go to a house where a worried-looking woman is standing in the front yard. Lyle, her ex-boyfriend, has been harassing her and she's afraid he's in the house right now. Her bedroom light was off when she left for work and now it's on. The woman got a restraining order, which, predictably, only made Lyle angrier.

Julien goes in the house first. He sweeps the ground floor while Danny heads upstairs. The woman hovers in the doorway. Julien asks her to stay back. Nobody's in the bedroom, but we hear glass shatter somewhere in the house. Julien chases the suspect out into the backyard and comes close to knocking himself out on a clothesline bar. You can hear the clang. When Danny checks on him, he insists he's fine. Their perp gets away.

It seems the call-waiting was from Claudette. She's sorry about Tavon, but she needs Vic to sweep Alvarado Corridor for cruisers and loiterers. Local residents and business owners have been complaining. Vic can't believe she called him to the Barn for this; he's going back to Mission Cross. Claudette says it'll be a few days before the doctors know anything about Tavon anyway. "I'm a detective, not a janitor," Vic says testily, "Get your unis to do your sweeping." Or the Decoy Squad.

Vic is incensed that since Claudette was put in charge, the Strike Team's gotten all kinds of bullshit assignments. Claudette isn't Gilroy; she won't let them handpick cases. If Vic doesn't like it, he can complain to Edgar-veda or Chief Bankston. Vic knows he has to pick his battles and agrees to the sweep. He stops by the clubhouse to vent his frustration by smashing the light over their card table with a baseball bat. A random uniform sticks his head in (unwise) to see if Vic's okay. "Bulb blew out," Vic shrugs.

When Vic knocks on Shane's door, Mara is on her hands and knees with a sponge, trying to clean up the puddle of blood. If CSI and its spin-offs taught me anything, I hope she's using bleach. Shane hastily drags his recliner over the rather large portion Mara hasn't mopped up yet. He opens the door and Vic comes in, trailed by Lem.

Vic tells Shane they've been assigned to sweep Alvarado. When Shane turns around, his best friend observes, "Jesus, someone clocked you." "Dude, who kicked your ass?" Lem puts in. Mara claims she was getting pawed by a drunk at the bar when white knight Sir Shane stepped in to defend her honor. Said drunk and his friends jumped Shane in the bathroom.

"So there was more than one guy?" asks Vic. Shane's like "no, it was mostly the drunk groper." Vic takes note of the marks in the walls and clutter everywhere. He wants to know if Tavon dropped by. Shane says no. Mara alibis that they've been doing laundry all night. Vic seems satisfied and convinced of all this. He tells Shane to take some time off until his face heals.

On Alvarado, there's a huge, mostly Hispanic crowd of prostitutes, johns, and pimps. Vic lets out an ear-piercing dog whistle and calls, "Fiesta siesta! Everyone not outta here in one minute gets run in!" This is enough to get most of the people headed elsewhere. One of the loiterers leans on a car painted bright orange. Vic informs him there's a curfew in this part of town. The guy argues the curfew doesn't apply to him; he's over 21.

Vic thinks the car looks like it has 14 coats of high-end paint. "Let's see," says Ronnie, taking out his pocketknife. The guy takes the hint and leaves.

Julien and Danny talk to Lyle, who claims he was jogging when his ex's house was broken into. Lyle can't go near Elena because of the restraining order. Danny is aware of it, but she also knows that he's been leaving messages on her machine. According to Lyle, he left those before she got the restraining order. He also isn't sure anyone can verify that he was jogging tonight. Danny warns that they're watching him and Elena.

Vic gives another loiterer his 10th citation for cruising. The guy customizes cars and says driving around the streets is the only way he can advertise. Vic suggests he try the Yellow Pages. They're impounding the car and Lem is sure the loiterer will get it back in a month or two. Don't worry, he'll take good care of it.

The guy asks what he has to do to keep the car. Simple, give Vic a bigger criminal to target. The tow truck pulls up and the loiterer gives Vic a name: Aramis.
My first thought when someone mentions that name.
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At the Barn the next morning, Vic asks if Edgar-veda has seen Claudette. She and Dutch are on their way out; another elderly woman has been raped. But maybe the captain can help with whatever Vic needs. Vic tells him about what he learned during the almost-tow at the Alvarado sweep: a guy named Aramis sneaks contraband into Chino for his gangbanger friends. Vic isn't sure exactly what is being brought into the prison; he wanted to ask Claudette if he and the team should stick to Alvarado. Edgar-veda tells him to follow up on the smuggling.

When Dutch and Claudette arrive at their crime scene. The victim, Lou-Ann, didn't call it in; her daughter Patty did. Lou-Ann helps herself to a fistful of candy from a nearby dish. She's fully clothed and doesn't appear upset. The break-in happened the night before. Patty came over this morning and noticed some of Lou-Ann's Hummel figurines were gone. "She's supposed to be watching her sugar levels," Patty comments as her mother eats the candy.

Dutch goes to Lou-Ann's bedroom and knocks on the doorjamb. He's the worst possible person to be talking to a woman who's likely been raped. Lou-Ann is sitting on her bed, which is stripped down to the mattress. Dutch asks if anything is missing from the bedroom. Lou-Ann doesn't think so. She came home from the movies at 9:00 last night and saw things missing.

"You weren't afraid?" asks Claudette. Lou-Ann has lived in Farmington for 40 years, so no. Dutch surreptitiously checks the laundry hamper. Claudette understands Patty wants her mom to move to Encino. "You'll have to kill me before I'll retire to the Valley," says Lou-Ann.

Outside, Dutch snaps on a pair of rubber gloves and walks to the dumpster. "The compulsive eating, the odd distracted behavior, I think Lou-Ann was raped," he opines. Claudette agrees. Dutch flips open the lid and goes dumpster-diving. Claudette warns that anything he finds will probably be too contaminated to test. Under some garbage bags, Dutch finds a set of floral-patterned sheets and vaults out of the dumpster.

Sitting in the stakeout car, Lem and Vic see Aramis carrying a chin-high stake of cigarette cartons. Diagur is running things better than Vic thought he would. Ronnie is stationed at a nearby sidewalk cafe with a glass of iced tea. Vic and Lem get a good chuckle at Aramis trying to stuff the cartons into the small trunk of his car.

"We can't provide 24-hour protection to every woman with an ex who has a temper," Edgar-veda tells Danny. So much for his protect-the-vulnerable-citizens platform. Danny checked into Lyle's background. One of his other exes left a good job in Cleveland and moved to New Hampshire because she was afraid Lyle would kill her.

Julien backs his partner's play. Edgar-veda thinks they can escort her to work and set up extra patrols in her neighborhood. Lyle has a week to violate the restraining order. If he doesn't, the protection stops.

Dutch has found case files on 11 elderly women whose houses were broken into while they were home. And that's just from the last 6 months. Claudette has the local hospitals on alert to call her if any women in that age range report being raped.

Dutch hands her a spiralbound book: Mueller's Geographic Profiles. Mueller is a criminal logistics expert from Duke who takes data from violent serial crimes and generates the most likely location of the suspect. He needs 3 cases to create a preliminary profile. Claudette points out they only have one confirmed victim, two if Lou-Ann eventually tells them. Dutch wonders if Edgar-veda will spring for the study; Mueller doesn't work cheap. Claudette thinks they're better off going back through the files to find their second and third victims.

Vic brings in two suspects he caught with drugs, cigarettes, and $7,500 in cash. Edgar-veda is impressed he already broke the case. Vic explains the operation: "The gangbanger sets up the care packages. The white guy is a frozen food deliveryman who drops off at Chino twice a week." Claudette asks what Vic is talking about. Vic tells her that the captain cleared him to work the smuggling case.

Upstairs, Vic and Lem ask Aramis about the cigarettes and heroin. "Must be the old man's 'cause I learned in school to just say no," snarks Aramis. Vic knows Aramis takes orders from gangbangers and Fred sneaks in the goodies. The two cops close in. "We gotcha dead to rights," says Lem. Vic talked to the D.A.; if Aramis cooperates, he can serve his sentence in Chino with his homies.

They go to the next room over. Fred asks if he can go home. Lem says Aramis told them about Fred's weekly trips to Chino. "I'm a deliveryman. That's my job," says Fred. He didn't know about the heroin because he doesn't open the packages. "But you knew it was wrong," says Vic.

Fred mumbles that he has to leave because his wife is cooking dinner. Lem's the good cop, all smiles and "it's all right." Vic asks if Fred understands that he's under arrest. Fred can make things easier on himself if he tells them who collects the "packages" at Chino. Fred keeps saying this has to be a mistake and he's not a criminal.

In his office, Edgar-veda takes some papers out of his safe. He tells his secretary about the Strike Team's bust that included cash. He wants her to check every serial number against the Department of Justice list. I hope he's gonna sign off on her overtime. Also, shouldn't a trained investigator being doing this, if only for chain of evidence purposes? She has to return the list directly to him. Nina sighs that she could be more than just the captain's assistant. The election is coming up and his campaign staff don't know what they're doing.

Claudette sighs that a woman named Layla was the victim of a break-in 5 months ago and just reported that she was raped during the same incident. The rapist didn't use a condom and there was "a lot of cuddling." They need one more victim to be able to hire the profiler.

Dutch and Claudette sit down in Lou-Ann's kitchen with her and Patty. Lou-Ann is eating candy again. Dutch asks if she noticed anyone suspicious near her house. "In this neighborhood?" she scoffs, "Try finding someone who doesn't look suspicious." Claudette's asking because a man has been breaking into houses so he can sexually assault women.

Lou-Ann scoffs again. "Sexually? I'm flattered, Detective." "He's targeting women your age," Claudette goes on, "Did someone hurt you?" Lou-Ann says no and walks out of the kitchen. "Thank God," sighs Patty. Dutch and Claudette aren't so sure Lou-Ann told them everything.

Danny checked on Tavon's accident report for Vic. Witnesses saw the van swerving for several blocks before Tavon hit the parked car. Did Tavon have a history of being a drinker? Not that Vic knows of. He asks which direction the car was going. "North on Perry," says Danny.

Out in the parking lot, Shane is using the shiny paint job on his truck to examine his cut cheek. Mara is there too, even though Vic asked his best friend to come alone. Shane says Mara wasn't sure that he was okay to drive. Vic gives Shane the facts from the accident report. The hospital didn't find drugs or alcohol in Tavon's system, but he was weaving prior to the crash.

Vic knows something is missing "like a coffee table or a painting." Mara tries to feign doe-eyed concern and innocence, but only succeeds in looking worried about herself. Shane looks uncomfortable and 'fesses up. His version is Tavon gave him a backhanded apology (true), they argued, and Tavon jumped him. Shane hit him back. Vic wants to know where. Shane once again is honest and says the back of the head. However, he's sure the brain trauma is from the car accident.

Vic reminds him of the witnesses' statements. If a doctor can prove Shane caused the brain damage, he could be brought up on charges. Vic asks what Tavon was hit with. "A paperweight or something." I'm not sure if Shane honestly doesn't know or if he's lying to keep his baby mama out of jail. Speaking of, Vic asks where Mara was during the fight. She lies that she was doing laundry in the basement. Vic doesn't believe her, but Shane repeats she wasn't there. As my grandma used to say, "One lies and the other swears to it."

Edgar-veda's secretary returns the list of marked bills. She got two matches. The captain is surprised. Cut to Aramis being led out of the cage. Another man in a suit is there too. Vic and Lem see this and ask what's going on. Edgar-veda says he has to question our Musketeer about an unrelated matter. He tells the Strike Team to go back to Alvarado.

The suit's ID reading "Treasury" does not escape Vic's notice. This makes the second Treasury agent to stop by the Barn in the last two weeks. Lem wonders if Edgar-veda has pieced together Diagur's hostile takeover of the Byz Lats. There's only one way to find out.

They go to the observation room, Lem watching the door. On CCTV, Edgar-veda asks where Aramis got the $7,500. Aramis isn't interested in talking because he already made a deal. Edgar-veda lets him know his crime has become federal, hence the presence of Agent Nell. The Chino deal is null and void. Agent Nell asks how Aramis got his hands on marked money stolen from the Armenian mob. "Holy shit," Vic breathes. Lem looks sick to his stomach and has a death grip on the doorjamb.

Vic remembers the bag they gave Diagur had come back short $20,000. That must be how Aramis got it. Meanwhile, Aramis asserts he doesn't remember where the money came from. "Whoever stole that money killed two Armenians to get it," Agent Nell goes on. Does Aramis want to risk getting the death penalty for something he didn't do? Edgar-veda moves for the interrogation room door, so Vic and Lem hustle out of observation.

Outside, Lem has a bad feeling about this. Ronnie fires off questions: "Our money's marked? Some of it? All of it?" The others have no idea. They all pile into the stakeout car. Their destination? "To silence a smoking gun" as Vic puts it.

Under a blue tarp tent in a seedy lot, the Strike Team finds two of Diagur's associates smoking a bong. Juan, the buck-toothed one, says he'd be happy to pass on a message. Vic checks Juan's ink and asks how long he's been out of Terminal Island. Ronnie and Lem start (literally) twisting some arms. Vic warns that Juan'll be going back to prison if they don't get some information. "Home is where the heart is," says Juan, stoned and utterly unconcerned.

Vic relights the bong, then shoves it in the guy's mouth. The guy struggles as he's forced to take an extremely long hit. Puke splatters the table. Vic takes the bong out of Juan's mouth and offers it to his friend. The friend is much more forthcoming: Diagur is at Yolanda's house, which he describes as brown with a Madonna statue in the yard. In a Latino neighborhood? That narrows it down.

The Strike Team knocks on Yolanda's front door. A middle-aged woman lets them in. They find Diagur in a back bedroom, having sex with a girl who's presumably Yolanda. "How old are you?" asks Vic. Yolanda, holding a robe over herself, sasses, "Old enough." Vic is glad her mom is such a concerned parent and tells Yolanda to wait outside.

He asks if the Byz Lats have a lawyer on retainer, which of course they does. Vic tells Diagur to get his lawyer to the Barn ASAP. Aramis is there on smuggling charges and they need to make sure he keeps quiet.

Danny visits Lyle at work. Somebody left a rose in Elena's mailbox. Lyle pulls the old "Don't you have more important things to do" card. Julien says, "Actually, tampering with a mailbox is a federal offense." Lyle was supposed to be making business calls, so the boss gave authorization for the police to monitor his work phone and online activity. "You can either spend your 9-to-5 stalking or you can spend it working. You can't do both," says Danny.

Back at Yolanda's, Diagur has just gotten off the phone with the Byz Lats' lawyer. He gets dressed and is curious why Vic is being so helpful. Vic tells him about the marked money stolen from the Armenians. If word gets out that the police suspect the Byz Lats, the gang will be "up to their necks in severed feet." He's trying to prevent a war. Diagur doesn't know where the money came from. Vic advises him to stick to that story.

Oh, and in addition to the $7,500, Diagur gave Aramis $15,000. His fingerprints will still be on it. Diagur knows Aramis keeps it in the freezer. Vic tells him to pick it up, then disappear for a few weeks.

When the Strike Team arrives at the Barn, Aramis is back in the cage. That can only mean he talked. Cut to Edgar-veda and Agent Nell at Aramis's house, taking the brick of cash out of the freezer. Agent Nell will run the serial numbers and take the money to the lab for fingerprinting. Aramis gave permission to search the whole house, so Edgar-veda wants to stay behind and look around. He'll call some uniforms for a ride back.

Corinne tells Dutch and Claudette that a woman named Diana Peabo came to the ER last month after being hurt in a home invasion. Diana's kids brought her in again today for an allergic reaction; she mixed two medications that she shouldn't have. Her family reports Diana hasn't been herself since the burglary. Also, Tavon is no better and no worse than he was yesterday. Claudette and Dutch ask Diana's son Vince if they can talk to her.

Edgar-veda is poking around the bathroom, unseen by the goons Diagur sent to pick up the money. When he hears a voice, the captain draws his gun. Edgar-veda announces himself as the police and the suspect tries to run but seems to think better of it. He orders the guy to his knees. Suddenly, the captain is tackled from behind by a second guy. Fortunately, there's a mattress for him to land on.

Edgar-veda's gun is knocked loose. The three men struggle for it. We recognize Diagur's henchmen as the two stoners from earlier. Juan manages to grab the captain's gun. He hoots with glee like Wild Bill Wharton.
"Ain't this a party now?!"
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"Don't make this mistake. I'm a police officer," says Edgar-veda, as if these guys can't tell. He gets pistol-whipped for his trouble, falling to the floor. Edgar-veda tells them they still have a chance to get out of this. They kick him down when he tries to get up. The second guy ties the captain's hands behind his back with some kind of electrical cord.

Juan holds the gun to the captain's forehead. "Don't throw your life away," Edgar-veda says desperately. Juan, much like Wild Bill, isn't afraid of prison. He undoes his belt and asks in no uncertain terms if the captain has ever given oral sex to another man. When Edgar-veda refuses, Juan cocks the gun.

Someone knocks on the door. Juan covers the captain's mouth with his non-gun hand so he can't scream. We see a uniform on the porch. He gives his partner a why-isn't-he-answering shrug. The partner thinks Edgar-veda got a limo to pick him up. The uniform on the porch radios dispatch and the dispatcher can't confirm the address. The uniforms leave and Juan picks back up where he started.

At the Barn, Vic can't find the captain. Nina says Edgar-veda is out in the field searching a suspect's house. She can try calling, but she's already left two messages. She tries a third time with no luck.

Juan asks his counterpart to take a picture of him sexually assaulting the captain. The guy is clearly squicked out but does it. Juan lets out another wild yell, getting off on his extreme cruelty.

Claudette asks if Diana remembers anything about more about the robber than she told the police already, but they're out of luck. In observation, Dutch breaks the bad news to Vince: his mother may have been raped by the man who broke into her house.

Diana's son tells them what he saw the day of the robbery. He found his mom on the kitchen floor and she couldn't stop crying. The back window was broken. He's sure Diana would've mentioned being raped.

At Aramis's place, Juan has finished assaulting Edgar-veda. He asks if the captain is gonna tell anyone. Edgar-veda says no. Juan's friend thinks they should kill him to make sure. Juan hands him the gun. Edgar-veda pleads with them; he has a wife and a little girl. Juan aims the gun and cocks it. "If your mother were here, what would she tell you to do?" asks the captain. The other guy insists that Juan shoot him.

Tires squeal outside. "It's the other cop, let's go," says Juan's friend. They bolt, leaving Edgar-veda sweating, bleeding, and still tied up on the floor. The captain manages to get loose and calls out, "I'm in here!" We hear the Strike Team forcing the door. Lem and Ronnie sweep the house while Vic stays in the living room. "They got my gun," Edgar-veda pants. Vic asks if he's hurt. The captain is in shock and says, "No."

While the detectives sit in the observation room, Vince asks his mom what happened during the robbery. Did the man do more than just push her? Did he rape her? "Don't you say that," says Diana. When Vince asks again, she sobs, "Yes, he did." Vince holds his mom and tries to comfort her.

Driving past Elena's house, Julien thinks he sees something. He did, indeed. Lyle is lurking between Elena's car and the wall of her house. They bring him back to the Barn and put him in the cage. Edgar-veda comes in with a bandaged forehead and waves off Dutch's concern: "No harm done. Let's not waste any time on it." Vic tells Dutch that the captain had to fend off two suspects: "Miracle he hasn't called a press conference yet."

Lou-Ann's house is surrounded by uniforms. Tommy exposits that Lou-Ann locked herself in with her husband's service weapon. Patty is behind Dutch and Claudette; her key didn't work in the new lock and Mom shot at her. The detectives cautiously walk in. Lou-Ann is listening to some sleepy jazz, sitting on her stripped bed and holding her dead husband's 1911. She puts it down when they tell her to.

Claudette sits next to Lou-Ann. The older woman points out her wedding picture. Claudette asks what happened. "He robbed me. I didn't want to get robbed again." Lou-Ann replies. Now I'm wondering if there's a dead rapist somewhere in the house.

When Vic comes home with Cassidy, the kitchen table is strewn with art supplies. Cassidy ignores Owen's presence. "I'm drawing a zoo," Matt tells his father with a sweet smile. Corinne asks how Cassidy's appointment with Dr. Franks the counselor went. "You know shrinks. You ask 'em one question, they give ya 5 back," Vic says dismissively.

Dr. Franks suggested to Corinne that both parents do one-on-one sessions with him. Vic wants to help Cassidy through the divorce, but he refuses to talk to a therapist. "Stubborn and incommunicative. Wonder where she gets that from?" asks Corinne. She has more information on Tavon. His last surgery was successful and the brain bruising wasn't as bad as they thought. The next 48 hours are critical.

"If he recovers, would he be able to remember anything that happened?" Vic wants to know. He supposedly had Tavon undercover prior to the accident. Possible results are on a spectrum from Tavon could remember everything to he could wake up without a clue of who he is.

Vic stops by Shane and Mara's, armed with what Corinne just told him. If Tavon dies, an autopsy could reveal that the blow to the head happened before the crash. "We'll figure this out, baby," says Mara. When she steps out, Vic says quietly, "Chew on this, baby. We just found out the feds marked some of our money train cash." Shane's reaction is immediate.
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If the accident leads back to Shane before he alleges self-defense, Internal Affairs will be around right when they need to cash in. Vic wants the truth.
Sorry, it's a reflex.
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"You had a fight. One of you hit him. It was self-defense," Vic goes on. It could all go away if Shane and Mara come clean. Vic needs a decision now. Shane wants to make it disappear.

Dutch and Claudette tell Edgar-veda about the cuddler rapist and how they want to hire a criminologist from Duke to build a geographical profile. They were able to confirm three victims, which is required for him to do a study. Mueller's past results have been accurate down to the square block. It can help them narrow the search.

"If this Mueller can to help, then let him," says the captain. Dutch tells him the profile will cost $5,000. Edgar-veda can't spare the money. "The victims could just pile up until he makes a mistake. And so far, he hasn't made one," Dutch argues. Edgar-veda says no again, being awfully unsympathetic for someone who was just sexually assaulted himself.

Vic tells Shane and Mara to get rid of the evidence. Throw the rug out and buy a new one. Same goes for the coffee table and the painting. Make sure to pay with cash. Vic will help Shane patch the wall. What was Tavon hit with? Shane brings out the iron. Mara objects to throwing it out; it's brand-new and she washed it afterward. Shane promises her a new one and takes the rug down to Vic's truck.

Mara goes back to washing the floor. She tells Vic the crash wasn't her fault. "You mean, 'It's not Shane's fault,'" he corrects her, adding, "He must really love you." Mara says Shane is just trying to do the right thing; she trusts him. If push comes to shove, Vic wants Mara to tell the real truth: "D.A. is never gonna pursue the conviction of a pregnant woman trying to protect the father of her child." He knows Shane will do things however Mara tells him to.

Shane comes back in and takes over mopping. Vic gives the couple a blacklight and a bottle of Luminol. Shane will handle that part; the fumes could be harmful to the baby. Shane thanks Vic and gives Mara a reassuring kiss.

Danny lets Edgar-veda know that she caught Lyle hiding next to Elena's house. The captain seems distracted as he signs something for Nina. He ducks into the women's room/the only working bathroom in the Barn. Edgar-veda rinses his mouth out with water from the sink, then locks himself in a stall to dry-heave. End of episode.

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