Friday, August 18, 2017

"Postpartum" Depression (Episode 5.11)

Previously on: Lem saved Kavanaugh's life during a raid on a Salvadoran grenade-smuggling ring. Guardo, who was in charge of the operation, got away. Kavanaugh repaid Lem's kindness by redoubling his efforts to have Lem locked up. Vic had revenge sex with Kavanaugh's ex-wife Sadie.

Lem, who's been getting progressively sicker from his ulcer, struck a deal that would make him eligible for parole in 18 months. Antwon menaced Vic about how there are One-Niners in every California prison who'd love a piece of Lem; the only way to buy him protection was for the rest of the Strike Team to help Kern Little rob a police warehouse. Things went south and Antwon went back on his word. 

Vic dropped this bombshell at Lem's going-away party, hours before Lem was supposed to turn himself in. The new plan is to smuggle Lem into Mexico. Lem didn't want to, but Vic said that it was the only way to keep him alive. 

The police chief gave Kavanaugh 48 hours to tie up loose ends in the investigation. The Rat King went knocking on the door of the former Mrs. Mackey.

"Why are you here?" asks Corinne. Kavanaugh wants her to know he always liked her. He's sorry he couldn't tell her right away that he was IAD. Kavanaugh complains that he's exhausted and hasn't been able to eat lately. Neither has Lem, so I'd call that karma. Corinne, in a tank top and sleep shorts, says uncomfortably, "I'm gonna put on a robe."

Shane is sitting on the courthouse steps, smoking. Ronnie and Becca are there too. She wonders what's going on; Lem's half an hour late. "If I was going to jail for 18 months, I wouldn't be in a rush either," shrugs Vic. He's sure Lem will show up.

Corinne wants Kavanaugh to leave. When she turns around to unlock the door, Kavanaugh presses against her and tries to untie her robe. Corinne shouts for him to stop, which he actually does. He asks if Corinne sees how lonely Vic has left the two of them. Corinne isn't lonely; they both need to move on with their lives.

Kavanaugh grabs her by the shoulders. If he takes on Vic and wins, he needs to know she'll be okay. No mention of the children. Corinne doesn't want to be without Vic. Just then, Cassidy comes out of her room. Kavanaugh hastily lets himself out. Corinne is visibly shaken.

Lem has found himself in a trailer, just like his white trash relatives Ronnie mentioned two episodes back. He's trying to cook soup, but the hotplate won't turn on. There also seems to be something wrong with the filthy toaster oven.

Outside, there's a loud bang and Lem almost jumps out of his skin. He grabs his gun. The ruckus turns out to be a neighbor moving some especially heavy trash. Lem sighs; he's cracking up and he knows it.

Vic has just found out Kavanaugh spent all morning at Corinne's: "Did he try to touch you?" Corinne wonders why he'd ask that. Vic gives her the news that Lem didn't turn himself in and pretends to have no idea where he is. Kavanaugh wants to hurt Vic through her, which Corinne already knows. Vic advises her not to let Kavanaugh in if he shows up again. I doubt she'll have any problem listening to him on that front. Corinne tells Vic to be careful.
To quote Severus Snape
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Kavanaugh, sitting in the clubhouse, asks, "Where's Lemansky?" Vic repeats he doesn't know. Kavanaugh chuckles that, once again, Lem got screwed. He warns Vic that he, Shane, and Ronnie could get in major trouble themselves for aiding and abetting a fugitive. IAD will be keeping tabs on all of them until Lem is caught. The Rat King creepily whispers, "Thank you for bringing me back into your life."

The rest of the Strike Team has a powwow in the weight room nobody seems to use. Shane talked to the federale who helped make gangbanger Doomsday disappear. Lem will meet the federale in Tijuana and go to a safehouse in Ensenada. Ronnie immediately sees a problem with this plan: "That's wall-to-wall wetbacks. Surfer boy will be a little obvious."

The federale's brother lives on a goat ranch in the mountains of San Ignacio, Belize. He's only asking for $2,000, plus a favor to be determined later. The guys can wire money to Lem via Guatemala. Shane will set Lem up with cash to use in the meantime. Their main problem now is how they'll pull off getting Lem to Tijuana with IAD watching. "We do it how we always do: right under their noses with a goddamn smile," Vic replies.

Claudette pulls Vic to help her with a case. Half a dozen Crown Vics were blown up with hand grenades in a parking lot. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. They're joined by Agent Gallagher of the DEA. Shouldn't the ATF be handling this? Agent Gallagher explains the cars were government-issue; they've been running an investigation out of a nearby travel agency.

Agent Gallagher isn't impressed that Guardo escaped. When he sasses the newly appointed Captain Claudette, she gives it right back to him. Claudette also warns Vic, "That renegade shit's not gonna fly on my watch."

Unable to cook anything, Lem tries to get some rest on the couch. That isn't working out because a neighbor's kid is crying and someone else has their stereo up too loud. He tucks his gun in his back pocket as he goes outside. It doesn't take him long to find the trailer housing the screaming kid. The door is locked and nobody is home. Not a problem for Lem; he just jerks the screen door right off the hinges.

Lem follows the sound of crying to the kitchen, where a young black boy is sitting against the cabinets. There's broken glass and milk all over the floor, plus a little blood. The boy's sister is on the other side of the room. "Where's your mommy?" asks Lem. The little girl replies, "Gone."
This picture of Lem and the kid gives me all the feels.
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Lem asks for the little boy's name, but he's crying too hard to answer. "Wendell," says the sister, pronouncing it Wen-dell. Lem wets down a dish towel. "It's gonna be okay. It's just a little cut," he reassures the kid. I wonder if this situation is giving him childhood flashbacks; a softhearted guy like Lem wouldn't estrange himself from his family without a good reason.

"What the hell is goin' on in here, guys?" demands a pudgy white man. He calls for his wife Lisa. "It's okay, I'm a cop," Lem says out of sheer habit. The man notices the revolver sticking out of Lem's jeans and shouts, "Lisa! A gun! Call the police!" Not a word about whether or not the kid is okay.

Lem has wrapped the dish towel around Wendell's hand, instructing the sister, "Hold this tight until someone gets here." He sprints back to his own trailer, grabs his gym bag, and leaves. Neighbors have run into the street. "That's the guy," says Lisa's Hubby, "I told you somethin' wasn't right with him."

At a pool hall, Vic asks a shady guy what he knows about Crown Vics getting blown up in a DEA parking lot. When the guy doesn't answer, Vic breaks a pool cue over his knee. The guy explains his gang's second-in-command Osorio was busted by the feds; they were sending a message. He's the third guy to tell them that today. According to Vic, that "means it can't possibly be true."

Ronnie gets a phone call and hangs up, looking tense. Kavanaugh might've found the trailer where they stashed Lem. The sheriff's department was just called there for a disturbance. Vic doubts Lem has been arrested; they would've heard.

Shane starts, "Maybe they found him and he was--" Vic cuts him off: "There's no way he'd eat his gun." Shane reminds him that they told Lem not to contact them, no matter what. Vic just needs them to pull together so Lem can go to Mexico tonight.

Kavanaugh is already at the trailer park. A neighbor identifies Lem from his mugshot. He tells Kavanaugh he heard a noise, went to check, and found Lem with the bleeding kid: "Said he was a cop. The whole thing seemed weird, so I had my lady call the real cops."

Next time the neighbor saw Lem, he was running away: "Funny thing was, big guy like that with a gun and all, he still looked awful scared." And with damn good reason.

Emolia is at the Barn, claiming she has information on the car bombings. Claudette tried to pass her to DEA, but Emolia would only talk to Vic, even though there's bad blood about her testifying against Lem.

Guardo was supposedly hired to guard a Colombian cocaine shipment coming via Mexico: "Guardo's a crazy shithead. Anything to blow something up." The contact is Aldo, a Mexican grocery importer. Emolia doesn't know when or where the drop-off is.

Vic doesn't trust Emolia anymore, so he wants her to cite her source. Emolia won't say unless she gets paid upfront; she needs the money so she and Sebastio can live with her sister in Seattle. Shane asks if Lem is going to Seattle too: "Oh, that's right, he can't because he's gonna be in prison."

Well, he got the Washington State part right. Wrong city.
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Shane thinks this is some way for Emolia to pay Vic back after everything he did to help her. Emolia rolls up her sleeves, revealing bruises on her arms: "I slept with this scumbag Ignacio to get this info for you." Two of Ignacio's friends then raped her. "If you made different choices from the beginning, none of us would be ripped up right now," says Vic.

Becca meets Lem in the park. He's incognito, Captain America style with a ballcap pulled down over his eyes.
It doesn't really work for Lem either.
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Lem links arms with Becca, saying, "Make it look like we're on a date." She shakes loose; she can't help him flee the police. "All right, make it look like a lovers' quarrel then," he shrugs.

Becca advises Lem to turn himself in. That turns out to be exactly what he wants to do. But first, Lem wants assurance he'll do his time someplace without One-Niners: federal prison back East. She explains that going fugitive invalidated the deal he had. Lem is willing to plead to federal charges if he has to, admit to everything.

"You can't serve them your head on a platter," says Becca. Lem points out, "Kavanaugh's not gonna stop 'til he's carving me up." She can tell the feds about the money train heist, which he claims to have pulled off alone. He has nothing to say about Vic, Ronnie, or Shane.

Becca asks a logical question: Why did he run in the first place? Lem argues that he's not running, even though he is. Becca knows Lem doesn't have a chance in hell of getting a new deal unless he gives up the others: "You have to think about yourself. This one time."

She might be able to spin the facts as the Strike Team spreading drug money around to prevent gang wars. Lem shakes his head. The Armenian money train was armed robbery, plain and simple; people died because of it. He can't give up the others because they'd all end up doing life. "Open your goddamn eyes to who we are!" Lem snaps.

Becca blinks. She didn't know people died. Lem reminds her, "This is all attorney-client privilege." He'll turn himself in as soon as she makes a deal that involves doing time back East. He'll call in a few hours to see how that's going.

Dutch burns his fingers and spills his drink while trying to get it out of the coffee vending machine. Claudette assigns him and Billings to interview a woman who was assaulted. Dutch doesn't want to work with him. Claudette tells him that's too bad because Billings is his new partner as of now.

Dutch walks outside with an ice pack on his hand while Billings whines about being unfairly demoted: "No respect. Claudette is even moving my desk where everyone can get a good gander Caesar lying in a puddle of blood." Dutch raises an eyebrow: "So in this story, you're Caesar?" Dutch wants to drive, but Billings declares he gets carsick.

Dutch wonders why Billings doesn't transfer if he feels like he got such a raw deal. It's a matter of convenience; Billings is used to his commute routine and counting down his 56 months until retirement.

Vic and the guys go to a grocery store. Aldo is an idiot and has a charcoal grill crackling away inside. To quote Lou from Rescue Me, "Someday, science is gonna be able to isolate the gene that makes people think barbecuing indoors is a good idea." Vic has heard rumor Aldo imports more than Mexican sausage. Aldo says all his goods are legal, which Vic doubts.

How about he and the guys hang around a while? Aldo tells them closing time is 7:00. Vic has a hunch he'll stay open late to take delivery of Colombian cocaine. He's willing to keep Aldo's name out of it if he tells them what time the shipment arrives; they'll bust the Salvadorans afterward.

By the way, how is Aldo at export? Vic needs a package overnighted to Mexico. "How big?" asks Aldo. Vic replies, "About 6'2"."

Vic pays a visit to the hospital, where Danny is holding a bouncing baby boy, named Lee after her dad. There's a long beat as they both look at the newborn. Vic asks if she needs anything. Danny's mom is flying in from Maryland tomorrow and her two brothers are coming over the weekend: "I got more help than I know what to do with." Vic hands over a wad of cash, her cut from the baby-daddy pool. When it comes to newborn Lee, Vic:

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Danny lets Vic hold Lee. Vic says everyone decided to give Danny the money, almost $3,000 in total. "When he's old enough and he asks, I'll tell him," Danny promises. Vic agrees to that.

The guys see Becca talking to Kavanaugh and Edgar-veda. "You think of any scenario where that's a good thing?" Shane whispers. Upstairs, she says Lem wants to turn himself in. Kavanaugh tells her she's obligated to disclose his whereabouts if she knows. Becca is aware of that. "Curtis knows where the Barn is if he wants to turn himself in," adds Claudette.

Becca tells how Kavanaugh plotted with Antwon to jeopardize Lem's life during incarceration. This would pressure Lem into testifying against Vic and the others. Becca wants Lem protected until that accusation can be investigated. He'll take the same deal he had before.

Edgar-veda says that's a no-go; Lem ran. Becca says Lem has promised to plead to new charges in exchange for serving his time in federal prison. By the way, IAD's investigation against Lem is now in the hands of the police committee due to Kavanaugh's misconduct.

Kavanaugh still wants to be the one who finds Lem. He orders surveillance teams to be put on Vic and the others. "You burned your bridges with the chief," says Edgar-veda. Claudette can't spare any manpower.

Vic follows Becca to the parking lot. He has to know if Lem is okay. "Privileged information," she says tersely. Hasn't Vic done enough damage? Should they discuss the armed robbery of the money train or Terry's murder? Becca knows what really happened: "I let you touch me. It makes me sick." She no longer finds it hard to choose between being Vic's friend or Lem's lawyer.

Tori the assault victim didn't see her attacker because she was trying to cover her face. Hey, It's Her! Ally Walker played loved-to-hate-her ATF Agent Stahl on Sons of Anarchy. Dutch remarks that this is a rough neighborhood even in daylight. Tori volunteers as a tutor at the nearby community center.

Billings asks her to come to the station and look at mug books, even though she didn't see anything. Dutch pulls him aside; it'd be better for her to call if memories come back. Billings inquires, "Why don't you figure out another way to get her phone number?" He tries to throw the nonexistent clout he had as acting captain.

A witness comes forward. She saw Tori arguing with someone; the guy took Tori to the ground and started hitting her. Their suspect parks up the street in his green cab, waiting for fares. Billings wants to ask why Tori didn't mention an argument. Dutch would rather talk to the suspect first. He's on the phone trying to find out who owns the precinct's vending machines.

Lem calls Becca from a payphone. She lets him know his offer is under consideration, but there was no hint at whether it'd be accepted. Lem asks her to get a message to Vic. Becca can't without breaking the law, so Lem changes his mind. She warns him that Kavanaugh will be merciless, like he doesn't already know.

At this point, only one other option exists for Lem: witness protection. He says no way. Becca sighs, "Curtis, you're the one with a heart, but now use your head." This isn't about head vs. heart to Lem; it's about not betraying his family.

Ronnie thinks Lem held out as long as he could. "He'd run before he would rat," Shane disagrees. Well, how else did they find out about the money train? Vic calls it an educated guess. They know Lem would find a way to tip them off if they were under suspicion. "Or he wouldn't if his deal meant us going down," says Ronnie. Shane won't believe that until he sees it.

Vic is sure Lem is avoiding them to protect them. They'll meet him at midnight and get him to Mexico. "On whose nickel?" asks Ronnie. Dirty federales don't take American Express. Shane pulls out a check Mara wrote when he told her that Lem was in trouble. The first truly unselfish thing Mrs. Vendrell has ever done. $5,000 should be enough to "keep him in burritos and beer" for a while.
Vic tells Ronnie to cash the check, keep half, and wire the rest.

When he's gone, Vic theorizes Lem could've opened his mouth about Terry. That would give credence to what's otherwise a rumor. "Terry was a decision that we both made." says Shane. Vic forced him to and he feels bad about it: "Lem's gonna hafta hide under a rock for the rest of his life. That's on me too." Shane asks how "skewering Lem" helps anybody; Vic had to do what he did.

Vic asks Edgar-veda what was going upstairs. Edgar-veda wants to talk later, but Vic is running out of "later." Do the two of them still have an alliance against Kavanaugh? Or does Vic need to break out his flamethrower and start scorching the earth?

Edgar-veda gives Vic the details: Lem wants his original deal back, but Kavanaugh won't allow that. Additional charges will be filed because he went on the run. The Rat King was put back on the investigation when Lem became a fugitive. Claudette plans to call the D.A., but for some reason, she wants to give Kavanaugh the opportunity to find Lem. Edgar-veda refuses to get involved with aiding and abetting.

Dutch's suspect Gilbos claims he was driving his taxi at 8 AM. Dutch knows he was seen arguing with and then punching Tori. Does he just go around beating women on the street or did they know each other? Gilbos doesn't answer. "You just like knocking the shit out of random strangers. Works for me," says Dutch, starting to leave.

Gilbos calls out that picking up a prostitute "doesn't mean I deserve to get rolled and robbed." Tori set him up. As soon as he was ready to, uh, get down to business, two black guys came and beat him up. Dutch knows Gilbos he's lying; Tori is a volunteer tutor for at-risk kids.

"That whore flagged my cab. Offered me anything in the book for a C-note." Tori's not only a very conservatively-dressed hooker, she's not a very pricey one. She even had Gilbos pick out a motel. The guys stole his wallet and a chain Gilbos' mother gave him. Tori should be arrested, not him,

"So did you find him?" asks Tori. Dutch confirms they did. Tori's glad to hear it. Will they call her if she needs to testify or whatnot? Billings talked to the community center director; Tori really does volunteer three afternoons a week.

Dutch comes right out with, "Are you a prostitute?" Tori scoffs, insulted he'd even think that. Dutch informs Tori she's now a suspect in an assault/robbery. Tori wants a lawyer.

Out on the grocery store loading dock, cocaine is being put in the van. There's no sign of Guardo yet. Shane observes that an El Camino full of Mexican chicks has driven past the Strike Team van twice. Vic is fairly certain they aren't connected to Kavanaugh. Ronnie has successfully wired the money and set up a meeting in Tijuana. Lem himself is the last piece of the puzzle.

Dutch tells Claudette he's filing for a transfer so he doesn't have to work with Billings. Claudette thinks they can work things out. Dutch only stayed at the Barn because Claudette was his partner. Now that she's captain, it's time for him to go elsewhere. Claudette knows she can't change his mind and agrees to help with the paperwork.

Billings has more background on Tori. She has an M.B.A. and was an account manager for a brokerage firm until she was fired 6 months ago. They let her go after she quit showing up to work. Tori has no arrest record.

Wallis, a black man in a velour tracksuit, enters with Officer Paula, saying he's Tori's lawyer. Claudette looks doubtful about that. Wallis asks if he can see his client or if he has to file for dismissal. Claudette tells Officer Paula to escort Wallis upstairs. She'll check his credentials.

Ronnie says the DEA is tied up doing a sting in Compton; it'll be a few hours before they get there. The guys don't have that long because they have to meet Lem. The Barn has no available backup. Vic wants to go in. Shane thinks that's a bad idea; there are at least 6 guys. Vic argues they can't leave Lem hanging.

Ronnie and Vic go one way, Shane goes the other. Vic breaks down the door. A few of the drug dealers get hit with the butt of Vic's shotgun. "I got rabbits!" Shane yells from the back of the house. "Let 'em run!" Vic calls back.

Shane opens a box that ostensibly contains pork rinds. Underneath the bags, he finds hand grenades. Vic says Claudette can deal with booking the Salvadorans; they need to pick up Lem.

Dutch is still on hold with the vending machine company. "Tyrez Wallis is no more a lawyer than I am a figure skater," says Claudette. In mock surprise, Billings exclaims, "Really?"

It's time to go back upstairs to talk to her, but Dutch is too busy threatening whoever's on the phone: "I want the name of the owner of these machines right now or you will be sitting in a holding cell for as long as it takes me to track it down." Overreact much?

Dutch hangs up and approaches Billings: "You own those machines? Isn't it illegal for department employees to profit from things like vending machines? Especially when you use your position as acting captain to create a de facto monopoly?" Billings sees it as a gray area. Is Dutch gonna snitch on him? Dutch smiles that he hasn't decided.

When Claudette opens the interrogation room door, Tori and Wallis are having sex doggy-style. "Attorney-client privilege?" Claudette asks lightly. Dutch looks upset.

Vic tells Claudette the bomb squad is investigating a threat made to an abortion clinic; they'll pick up the grenades later. Claudette reminds Vic he was supposed to fill her in on every step. He says there wasn't time because the smugglers were about to split up into two vans.

Gallagher arrives to congratulate Vic on the bust. Guardo must really be feeling the heat and you won't like Salvadorans when they're angry. "Better watch your Crown Vics," the DEA agent advises.

Vic pays Emolia. She'd be happy to find out where Guardo is. Vic says for another tip, there would need to be another buyer. Emolia apologizes for her crossroads deal with Kavanaugh: "I did it for Sebastio. You'd do the same for your kids." Shane has heard enough: "Take your rat money and your retarded rat-baby and get on the first bus--"

Emolia shoves Shane against the lockers. Hell hath no fury like a mother whose child has been insulted. Vic grabs Emolia by the arms: "I showed you mercy once and it ruined my friend's life." She shouldn't expect mercy again.

Edgar-veda says the police committee is amenable to a deal, but they want the maximum sentence of 10 years. If Lem turns himself in immediately, he'll be parole eligible in 4 years. Lem will be placed in protective custody, but they can't guarantee a location unless Becca's allegations turn out to be true.

Kavanaugh talks to Edgar-veda in the observation room. Lem's new deal doesn't mention giving information on the rest of the Strike Team. This could be IAD's last chance to nail Vic to the wall. The Rat King wants Edgar-veda to scare Vic into leading them to Lem or catch Vic in the act. Edgar-veda knows Vic won't be that stupid; IAD is on high alert since Lem went on the run.

Kavanaugh knows the Strike Team might've robbed the Armenian money train. Edgar-veda can make Vic think that Lem gave it up so he could get witness protection. IAD will follow the guys and catch them trying to get Lem out of the USA. The guys won't get a lot of prison time for harboring a fugitive, but they will lose their badges. Lem didn't talk; Shane and Ronnie might not be as strong.

"Lem's talking," Edgar-veda tells Vic in the parking lot. Vic calls bullshit. Edgar-veda mentions the money train, which would explain Corinne having $65,000. "He's tired, he's scared, and he wants his freedom. And he doesn't wanna die at the hands of Antwon Mitchell." Not to mention he's sicker than a dog.

Vic knows Lem isn't a rat. Edgar-veda lies the D.A. gave Lem no choice but to roll on the Strike Team. Edgar-veda himself could get in trouble because he was captain back then: "You get a message to your boy and tell him to shut the hell up." Vic would, but he doesn't know where Lem is.

Edgar-veda shouldn't have told him all this, but Kavanaugh threatened him. Vic knows everything he does, so it's time for him to clean up this mess.

Dutch will drop the soliciting charge if Tori talks about Wallis and Spank's involvement in robbing Gilbos. "Spank wasn't there when the cabby got rolled," she says. Dutch thinks she's afraid and offers protection. Tori isn't scared. She loves Spank for "dragging me out of a superficial, empty everything." She was nothing before they met.

Billings heard Tori had a nice condo. "You equate a roof over your head to love?" she asks. Dutch understands her not wanting to be away from her boyfriend, but what does she think will happen when she's in jail? He'll just "set his sights on the next piece of Century City ass that comes his way."
Tori slaps Billings in the face, saying things like "How dare you? You don't know us!" Dutch pulls her away and gets her back in the chair.

Next door, Dutch announces that Tori gave up Wallis. Why would a smart, educated woman with a good job get mixed up with a scumbag pimp? Wallis explains he finds out what a woman needs to fill the hole in her heart and keeps filling it until she can't live without him, then takes it away: "That makes me God."

Tori was an easy mark; her fiance left her for a younger woman: "I just kept telling old girl she was still the prom queen like back in the day. Sooner or later, all bitches break. If you're born a woman, I can make you my ho." Who does this guy think he is, Velvet Jones?

"Call 1-800-I-Wanna-Be-a-Ho."
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Can he leave now that he's given the detectives a free course in "pimpology"?

Vic, Shane, and Ronnie hang around quietly in the weight room. Shane asks if anyone else believes Lem made a deal. Vic says, "Maybe he felt like he had no choice." Becca could've talked Lem into it. The big guy has no clue about his new home on a goat ranch or the money they're wiring. Edgar-veda told Vic about the new deal. Shane thinks the ex-captain is bullshitting them.

"We aren't gonna know what's inside Lem's head until we see him face-to-face," says Vic. They don't need an exit plan; they just need to tell him about Belize. "And if Lem is talking, it's because he believes that Antwon has marked him as a dead man behind bars." Once Lem knows about the plan, he'll go along with it, just like he always does. (And look at how much good that's done him).

They'll go to the rendezvous point and assume Lem made a deal if he doesn't show up. If he does, they'll make sure he's onboard. "He'll be on board," Vic says confidently. Lem trusts them and Vic still trusts Lem.

Kavanaugh, waiting in the parking lot, realizes the guys are taking different cars. He'll follow Vic and have his associate trail Ronnie. There's nobody to keep an eye on Shane, though. Vic calls Ronnie from the road to let him know they're both being tailed. He'd better get a hold of Shane.

Shane's ringtone is, of course, "Dixie." Ronnie tells him that he and Vic are being followed. They have to lose them without looking like they're trying. Whoever loses their tail first will pick up Lem and hide him someplace until they can get back together as a group. Shane sighs, looking nervous as hell.

Lem's generic rental car is parked on a dusty hill outside of town. He hears an engine approaching and hilariously tries to duck behind the front end, but relaxes when he recognizes Shane's truck. "I'm glad it's you," he says, giving Shane a hug. Shane tells Lem they have to get going; the Rat King is tailing Vic and Ronnie. Lem should meet him at an abandoned body shop on Mission.
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Claudette has been reviewing Tina's file and Julien's T.O. reports. She wants to know why Billings ignored the recommendation for dismissal. Billings felt Julien was too hard on her. Claudette lists off the problems: excessive force, contaminating crime scenes, and failure to identify an undercover officer. It's more like a sixth chance than a second.

Billings knows Tina's fieldwork has a long way to go, but the kid has good instincts; that's why Dutch is mentoring her. Claudette clearly had no idea about this. "She's very intuitive," Dutch puts in. Claudette picks up the phone to have a union rep to start the dismissal paperwork. Billings cautions her against doing that.

The former acting captain comes clean about the locker room camera and the pictures of Tina in her underwear that got leaked. He and Dutch handled it. "Uh, all I did was find the pictures," says Dutch. Billings scoffs, "You helped cover this up for a shot into Tina's panties." "Asshole," Dutch retorts, even though it's true. Claudette is free to spend her first few weeks as captain watching over a "full-time lawsuit" if she wants.

At the former body shop, Shane parks curiously far away. Lem gets out of his car for a final look at Los Angeles: "Never thought it'd come to this." "Hasn't come to anything yet," Shane replies. He's going back to get Vic and Ronnie, then Lem will be on his way to Mexico.

Lem doesn't relish the thought of ending up like Gilroy. "You're not a miserable drunk," Shane points out, "It's gonna be different." Lem refuses to go anywhere. Shane asks if he really wants to spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder for Antwon.

"How the hell am I gonna live in Mexico?" asks Lem. Shane explains about the goat ranch in San Ignacio. They hired a federale to take Lem there. "It's beautiful, man. It's gonna be peaceful," Shane says almost dreamily. I'm starting to have Of Mice and Men flashbacks. Ronnie set up a bank account and "Mara and I even kicked in 5 grand for you."

Lem still says no. Shane swears they'll keep skimming off drug busts so they can wire him money. Lem sighs, "I can't do that." Shane tells Lem to trust them; this will work. Lem wants to take the hit alone.

Shane informs him, "Kavanaugh, Aceveda, the D.A., there's no other deal to make." They'll force Lem to give up the Strike Team. "Maybe not now. Maybe a year from now." And we're in Casablanca territory.

Lem needs to take his one chance to get out of this. "I got it figured out," Lem assures his friend. Shane gets hostile: "Why did you even come back here tonight if you weren't planning on leaving?" Lem wanted to see the guys, his only family.

"Don't do this, man," Shane pleads. Lem is (finally) starting to get suspicious and asks where Vic is. Shane says Vic will call when they lose their IAD tail. All is quiet for a few moments. Shane sighs that Mara is pregnant again, almost 3 months. Lem is happy for him.

"Yeah, it's another mouth to feed," Shane says gloomily. Mara might have to go on bed rest, so he'll have to step up as far as finances go. "I hope I get to see the little guy," says Lem, then adds, "Or girl." Shane repeats "girl" over and over like Lem just predicted the future.

Lem doesn't want Shane to worry about him. "Yeah?" Shane sniffles, his eyes wet, "It's all about family, right?" Distant sirens spook both of them. Lem asks what Vic and Ronnie will do if they can't lose the tail. Shane guesses they might double back to the Barn; he can call and find out. He pats Lem's arm and affectionately grabs the scruff of his neck, then tells Lem to move his car.

Shane, knowing Lem's weak spot has always been his stomach, asks conversationally, "Did you get enough to eat today?" "No, man, I'm hungry," Lem replies. I bet he is after going all over town on foot. It just so happens Shane brought along some food. How thoughtful!

Lem gets in his car. Shane goes to his truck and fiddles with something beside him. He brings a paper bag to Lem's window. Lem pulls out a plastic-wrapped sandwich and smiles, "My favorite." Shane starts double-timing it back to his truck. Lem turns and calls, "Shane? Shane!" Suddenly, the car explodes.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
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Shane manages to duck the debris. He walks over to the car and peeks inside. Lem is in really bad shape but not quite dead yet. Shane kneels beside the window, whispering, "I'm sorry." You are not, you duplicitous bastard! "I'm so sorry, buddy." Shane starts blubbering crocodile tears and walks away. "Lem! You know I'm sorry." Oh, you're sorry all right. A sorry excuse for a friend.

Shane approaches the car, sees Lem is dead, and kicks the tailgate of his truck. You gave him a fucking grenade sandwich. What did you think was gonna happen? Shane gets in his truck and keeps on crying.

Vic and Ronnie are waiting at the original rendezvous point. "What are we gonna do if Lem doesn't show?" Ronnie asks in a quivering tone. Vic says, "He will." No, he won't, thanks to Shane. Speak of the devil and he appears. Shane lies that he had to shake off his tail. They lean against Vic's car to wait for Lem, Shane acting like nothing happened.

Dutch lets Wallis out of the cage. The pimp lucked out; the cabby couldn't ID him and Tori won't testify. Wallis promises to bail her out. Tina tells Dutch that Claudette wants her to spend more hours shadowing him.

Dutch thinks Tina will be a great detective because people won't realize how smart she is. A pretty face can make people assume you're not intelligent. "I know, right?" Tina giggles. Dutch adds, "But you're not nearly as smart as you need to be." If he's mentoring her, Tina better make sure his time is being well-spent.

People start rushing out of the Barn. An indistinct voice raises the worst kind of alarm: "Officer down."

"He's not coming." Ronnie has no idea how right he is. Vic thinks maybe Lem had to hide; one way or another, he'll get a message to them. (Not without a fucking seance). Vic wants to wait as long as it takes.

"Kavanaugh could be at our houses right now," says Ronnie. They have to leave. Vic sends Ronnie and Shane home. Shane the Betrayer wants to wait a while longer. So they do. Vic's phone rings.

Claudette stands beside the car, looking sadly into it. "Your transfer's denied." she tells Dutch, "I need my best detective on this." Dutch knows the weapon was a grenade. With Guardo the Salvadoran weapons smuggler still on the loose, Claudette wants Dutch to start there.

"Oh my God," Tina sobs, "Why?" The other cops are outwardly stoic. The rest of the Strike Team arrives. Vic is horrified by the sight of Lem's body. Shane pretends this is the first time he's seen the carnage. Ronnie puts a comforting hand on Vic's shoulder. In shock, Vic wanders toward the back of the car.

"You happy?" demands Kavanaugh. Vic charges at the Rat King and they grapple. Vic slams Kavanaugh into a car, shattering the driver's side window. Tina shouts, "Stop it!" The two men start wrestling on the ground. Shane and Ronnie grab Vic; some uniforms more or less drag Kavanaugh away.

Vic, gasping for air, announces, "We're gonna find whoever did this...and we're gonna kill him." Shane gets a we're gonna do what now? look on his face, but no one sees. End of Season 5 and the most heartbreaking, gut-wrenching episode of the series. I cried several times writing this recap.
RIP Curtis "Lem" Lemansky
1963-2006
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Friday, August 11, 2017

A Tale "Of Mice and Lem" (Episode 5.10)

Previously on: A man trying to use a glory hole in a public bathroom got a rat trap clamped to his penis for his trouble. Claudette fainted at work during a lupus flareup. Kavanaugh was forced to arrest his mentally ill ex-wife Sadie after she filed a false rape report. Lem was arrested.

Kavanaugh made a crossroads deal with Antwon, agreeing to have Lem do time in the same cell block at Lompoc. Antwon has no love for cops, so that's as good as killing Lem. Vic called Kavanaugh's bluff: "You don't have the stomach to serve Lem up to Antwon."

Lem is home from jail but not exactly enjoying it. He's flat on his back in bed, sniffling and crying from pain. Suddenly, he jumps up, almost tripping over his blankets on his way to the bathroom. Lem barely gets there in time to puke.

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He stands up, rinses out his mouth, and splashes cold water on his face. Somebody starts knocking on his door. "You gotta be kidding me," Lem says when he opens it to find the Rat King on his porch. Lem's disheveled and sweaty, wearing just a T-shirt and boxers. "You don't look so good," Kavanaugh says with faux concern.

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Lem practically collapses onto the couch, hugging his knees, a trick that can sometimes help a stomachache. Kavanaugh offers a muffin, even though the poor guy is sick and miserable. He thinks Smitty must be some friend to put up $100,000 for bail. Funny thing is, Smitty doesn't seem to know Lem that well. "Just get out, man," Lem says tiredly.

Uninvited, Kavanaugh sits down in Lem's recliner and starts eating the muffin. "When I find out how Vic and the other two got that bail money, they're gonna wish they had a friend like your friend Smitty." Lem sprints across the living room, drops to his knees, and vomits noisily into a trash can.

Kavanaugh watches as though Lem is a mildly interesting bug. He ambles over and asks, "Is that blood?" Lem is too busy retching to answer. "Do you need a doctor?" That's the first sensible question Kavanaugh's asked in a long time. "Just get the hell out!" Lem yells as fiercely as one can with their head halfway in a wicker trash can. Kavanaugh leaves him to his misery.

Vic checks on Sadie, saying Kavanaugh does the same for Corinne. Sadie thinks they must be close. Well, they've been spending a lot of time together anyway. Do they have kids? "Family wasn't on Jon's to-do list," says Sadie. She asks about his relationship with Corinne. They have good days and bad ones, but Vic always makes sure she and the kids have everything they need.

"Just like him to send someone else over to carry my emotional baggage. Tell the prick I'm great," says Sadie. Vic understands being married to a cop is hard. "Jon's wife is the job," Sadie goes on. She calls the Rat King a coward for not coming over. Vic offers to pass on a message.

By way of an answer, Sadie starts shoving her tongue down Vic's throat. Kavanaugh made his decision when he filed for divorce. She starts taking off Vic's jacket. Vic removes his holster and starts undoing his belt. He and Sadie get down to business right there on the kitchen floor.

Lem stares out Becca's office window. Shane asks where Vic's been. Vic shrugs, "Just an ex-wife thing," leaving out that it wasn't his ex. He wonders what Becca wants. Actually, this meeting is about what Lem wants. He's decided to plead guilty, which will satisfy Kavanaugh enough to stop his investigation into Vic. (Personally, I wouldn't count on that).

According to Becca, Lompoc was an empty threat; the worst place Lem could go is medium-security. Shane knows Kavanaugh will block any attempt at a deal and his friends in high places will help. Becca tells them the chief is losing confidence in the Rat King.

If Lem pleads to theft under color of authority, the D.A. will drop the possession with intent charge. The former crime has a maximum sentence of 5 years; with good behavior, Lem will probably only serve 18 months. Vic warns Lem of the consequences, namely losing his badge and pension. Don't forget about his health insurance. Some of those ulcer drugs are expensive.

Shane begs Lem not to take the deal; they're all in his corner. Lem is tired of fighting. He knows that were Shane in his position, he'd take one for the team. Wrong. Shane would throw y'all under the bus.

The Strike Team confers in the parking lot. No matter what else happens, Kavanaugh will still have the brick of heroin and Emolia's testimony. So will the next IAD investigator. Lem is tired of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now would be a really good time to mention the stress is making him physically ill, worse than before. Of course, he doesn't, just goes back in to talk to Becca.

Vic doubts it's realistic that Lem will get paroled in 18 months. "Protective custody's a joke," Shane agrees, "He's gonna be fighting for his life the full 5 years." "Between Kavanaugh spinning doom and Becca sellin' him a rose garden, poor guy doesn't know what end is up," says Vic. Well, Lem's always tended to take the optimist view.

Ronnie thinks Lem is pleading guilty so Kavanaugh won't have the satisfaction of seeing him crack. (Little does he know, Rat King saw it that very morning).

Vic goes to Lompoc. Antwon says it sure is a shame about Lem. Vic rains on his parade: "If Lem does time, he's not gonna do it here." However, Lompoc isn't the only place Antwon has connections. The gangster claims to be the answer to all Vic's prayers, Lem's guardian angel.

Antwon knows his relationship with Vic has been volatile, to say the least, but they still have a bond. Halpern has been running the One-Niners in Antwon's absence. "That cranky black bitch is afraid of his own goddamn shadow," says Antwon. He'd rather have Kern Little running the show. Vic heard Kern's rap career flamed out, but wasn't aware he went back to flying colors.

Antwon knows of a storage unit where they're holding seized assets. "You want me to rip off a P.D. warehouse?" Vic says slowly. No, Kern's crew will be doing the actual robbery. Vic just needs to tell them when and how to hit. Antwon won't accept anything less in exchange for Lem's life.

"Stand back, nothing to see here," Julien tells a crowd, which usually means there is. My suspicions are confirmed when a paramedic says, "Jesus, his dick's gone. Somebody find it." A jogger trying to use a glory hole got more than he bargained for.

Tina exits the men's room. She found a rat trap in a stall with the victim's penis still inside. Tina gives the trap to the paramedics so they can preserve it. "That's not gonna matter if we can't stabilize him," says one of the medics as they load the victim into the ambulance.

Dutch exposits the rat trap had serrated teeth, a different model than the one used in the earlier attack. The victim is still unconscious at Mission Cross. Julien didn't have any luck canvassing the park. "So we got dick...which is more than I can say for our victim," says Dutch. Mr. Sensitivity, everybody.

Claudette wants a warning put out at bars and other businesses frequented by gay men. Dutch plans to re-interview the original victim, which will be easier said than done. The man was terrified his wife and daughters would find out, so Julien covered for him.

Tina offers to write down Alarico's address for Dutch. "I told him I'd keep his name out of it if he cooperated," says Julien. Don't make promises you can't keep. Dutch has no choice, given the level of violence in the second attack.

Vic also has no choice about helping with the warehouse robbery: "Antwon's the devil we know." "What if it's the other devil?" asks Shane, referring to Kavanaugh. He worries this could be a trap. Ronnie says easily, "This place is wide open. We could spot a surveillance unit a mile away." Vic tells the guys to triple-check everything about the warehouse. They're gone as soon as anything looks hinky.

Kern parks his truck. Shane suggests he crank up the volume on the rap music: "Might be some cops in Long Beach who can't hear it." Kern introduces them to his right-hand man Moses. Ronnie pats them both down for wires. Shane angers Kern by tossing out a jab about his failed rap career. Vic steps between them.

Kern doesn't trust the Strike Team. "The lack of love is mutual," Vic assures him. Kern calls the situation between Vic and Antwon karma. Vic informs him "taking shit from M.C. Has-Been" wasn't part of the deal they made. Moses plays peacemaker.

Ronnie tells the gangbangers that the warehouse has one guard who rarely leaves the guard shack. Surveillance cameras feed into said guard shack. In addition to cars and antiques, there's a safe containing half-a-million dollars' worth of watches and jewelry. Vic makes it clear the One-Niners are only to take the safe: "No one drives outta there with a Hummer or a flat screen."

Edgar-veda calls Vic for a meeting, which ends up taking place in the Barn's men's room. Kavanaugh is covering all his bases in case he can't make criminal charges stick. He's painting Vic's earlier statements about Terry's death as false. Vic calls bullshit: "Nothing I've said has changed because the facts haven't." "Then he's doing a good job of twisting your words," says Edgar-veda.

It's a good possibility Kavanaugh could take away Vic's retirement. His case has been sent to the police committee. Vic's attitude is let 'em try: "PBA reps will have his head on a pike." "Kavanaugh could use this as a face-saving way to end his investigation," the councilman cautions. Has Kavanaugh been saying anything about him? Vic says no.

Claudette tells Alarico's wife that they want to talk to Alarico about a car accident he witnessed. Is that what they're calling it these days? Alarico maintains he told the other cops everything. "You didn't tell me about no car accident," says the missus.

Claudette claims another driver has been seriously injured; Alarico needs to go to station and make a formal statement. Alarico wants to be left alone. Dutch says quietly, "We can do this another way if we have to."

A sheriff's deputy watches as Lem cleans out his locker. Kavanaugh surveys the clubhouse: "Pretty soon, this is gonna be a lonely room filled with empty lockers, huh?" What's that saying about chickens and hatching? Lem tells Kavanaugh he just made a deal; all it needs is the police chief's signature. Kavanaugh wants to fact-check before he shuts down the investigation.

Kavanaugh calls the chief's office and learns there is, in fact, no deal. Becca's just "feeding [Lem] a Happy Meal to keep his spirits up." He asks Edgar-veda if Vic took the bait about the department going after his pension. "You didn't see the steam coming off his bald head?" Edgar-veda snarks.

Assistant Chief Phillips knocks, asking Kavanaugh if he can borrow the office. Claudette and Billings are with him. When the Rat King and the councilman are gone, Phillips tells Claudette that her fall scared everyone. Claudette pats her rear end and says with a smile, "When you've got one of these, there's plenty of bounce to the ounce."
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Phillips is concerned Claudette's lupus could make her unable to do her job. She should've have disclosed her condition to the department when it was diagnosed 15 years ago. Phillips puts her on desk duty until she sees a doctor for a full checkup. Surely Claudette understands that he's only looking out for everyone's health and welfare.

Claudette thinks battling the bullshit epidemic would be a good start. Kavanaugh is ruining the Barn's morale. "Uh, she's got a point there," Billings acknowledges. Claudette is on a roll: "IAD is arrogant and intrusive, but this man takes intimidation to a whole other level." Everyone spends more time watching their backs than doing their jobs.

"Our last captain had unpopular policies, so you brought in an interim jellyfish that won't rock the boat." Phillips himself is putting people at risk by cutting department funding. Billings brags that crime is down since he became captain.  "If you weren't out to lunch, passing the buck, or leaving every day at 4:00, you'd know that our citizens don't report half of what's going on out there because they know we can't or won't do anything."

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Claudette will pee in a cup if she has to, but she's not the problem around here. When she leaves, Billings thinks she's loopy and "maybe that's why they call it lupus."

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Alarico wants to go home before his wife gets suspicious. Dutch promises witnessing a car accident is a good cover story.

Claudette waves her partner over and confronts him about telling people she has lupus. Dutch swears he didn't. She points out he's the only person who knows. Also, he did go to the D.A. behind her back after Claudette reopened the cases of a defense attorney who was high in court.

Claudette goes further, accusing him of gossiping with Tina. "You've crossed the line into wholesale character assassination," Dutch says indignantly. Claudette thinks career assassination is worse.

After Alarico helps create a sketch of the attacker, Dutch offers to have a uniform drive him home. Alarico would rather take the bus. Billings has a visitor: Art from the Los Angeles Gay Men's Initiative. The captain tells Julien to discuss the "rat trap glory hole business."

Julien says they've been interviewing witnesses and asking anyone with information to come forward. Art doesn't appreciate that Billings passed the buck or that Julien doesn't seem to care about the attacks. Julien suggests Art do something more proactive than blaming people, like handing out warning flyers.

Art says 6 other rat trap attacks have gone unreported. "Maybe they knew what they were doing was wrong," says Julien. Art argues that the victims were consenting adults. Julien points out that having sex in public is illegal. He shoves Art when he asks for Julien's name and badge number. Yeah, that'll smooth things over. Art basically says, "We're here, we're queer, get used to it."

Ronnie, wearing all black and a matching ski mask, gets in the van. There's no surveillance equipment of any kind around the warehouse. Vic hasn't heard anything on the police scanner. They drive up to the unoccupied guard shack. Ronnie climbs the fence and turns off all the monitors.

Elsewhere, Kern holds a gun to the guard's back: "You don't fight, you don't die."

The guard's reaction.
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Kern and Moses enter the warehouse, followed by the ski mask-clad Strike Team. The gangbangers put the safe on a dolly. All is going according to plan until Kern gets shot, along with the guard. Moses shrugs those were Antwon's orders. "This was not part of the deal!" Vic bellows. Moses plays innocent like "oh, Antwon didn't tell you?"

Vic punches Moses in the face and holds a gun to his head. Moses warns that killing him will knock Vic out of Antwon's good graces, meaning Lem will meet a gruesome end in prison. Shane dropkicks Moses in the head. When he recovers, he and another One-Niner take off with the safe.

Ronnie can't believe what just happened. Vic and Shane start picking up the guns and tools left behind. Vic surmises Antwon had Kern killed so Kern couldn't take over. Kern dying in a robbery gone bad gives the One-Niners street cred. Moses will become the boss and do Antwon's bidding.

The guys are about to leave when they hear Kern groaning. "These brothers can take a bullet," Shane remarks. Kern asks for help. Shane, surprisingly, doesn't want to leave the ex-rapper to bleed to death. Vic snarls that an ambulance would take 20 minutes to get there and Kern has maybe 10 minutes. They'll wait that long, then call it in. Saving Lem has to be their priority.

A suspect in the rat trap attacks has locked himself in a Dumpster. Julien instructs him to stand up with his hands above his head when the lock is cut. Tina found a glory hole and rat traps. They don't know if the traps were left by the suspect or put out by the building's owner.

"What do you suppose would happen if you snapped this on somebody's dick?" Dutch asks, working the action on the rat trap. Jarrod the suspect calls Dutch sick. (You don't know the half of it, pal). Claudette inquires, "Glad it wasn't you? Be a hell of a secret you'd have to live with. Something personal and embarrassing that affects your ability to function. Not something you'd want a lot of people to know about."

Dutch knows what she's driving at. If that's her attitude, she can talk to the guy alone.

Sidebar: It's interesting how Claudette and Lem sort of parallel each other. Both believe in doing the right thing, no matter what it costs them. Both have health problems; while Claudette's hidden her lupus for over a decade, Lem's been open about his ulcer since the beginning.

Claudette is curious what Jarrod has against gay men. Jarrod doesn't answer. Claudette goes downstairs to collect her purse and cane. Dutch thinks they should put Jarrod in a lineup. Claudette tells him to do whatever he wants. He's about to call Alarico when Billings reports uniforms are responding to a domestic at Alarico's house.

"We got here, he was standing over her with a baseball bat," says a neighbor. They couldn't get the bat away before Alarico hit his wife a couple of times.

During premarital counseling, Alarico, his wife, and the priest discussed his previous involvement with men. Alarico thought things would change once he was married, but the feelings have been coming back. His wife knew the score. When the police started questioning Alarico, she knew why. The missus started calling him a fag in front of their daughters. Naturally, the only way to stop that was to beat the crap out of her.

Kavanaugh arrives at the warehouse. Vic says he got a tip about the robbery from an informant. "We got stuck in the van on a stakeout, couldn't make it back here in time," adds Shane. Kavanaugh asks if Vic knew the dead gangbanger. Vic ID's him as Kern and suggests Kavanaugh take inventory of what's missing.

Kavanaugh has a sense of deja vu: "A dead cop killed by the gun of a dead bad guy." Shane knows what the Rat King is insinuating; they were on the other side of town. Kavanaugh wants to know if anyone saw them. "It wouldn't have been much of a stakeout if they had," says Shane. Vic tosses in his two cents: "You know what? You should start eating again. Malnourishment's starting to screw with your logic."

Kavanaugh lays out the scenario: Lem needs protection in prison, so they went to Antwon. Antwon agreed to help on the condition that the guys killed Kern. Yeah, that's pretty much it.

Vic thinks Kavanaugh missed a few details. Vic didn't kill Terry. The Rat King doesn't have any leverage with Lem. And, oh, by the way, Vic fucked Sadie.
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Kavanaugh goes to Sadie's house and shows her a picture of Vic. She nods that she's seen him before. Kavanaugh asks if Vic hurt her. "You're the only one who ever hurts me, Jon," she says. That won't happen again.

Sadie admits to having sex with Vic, twice, in fact. Kavanaugh asks if she realizes what a bad guy she just slept with. He gets in her face, demanding, "What is wrong with you?" Sadie tells him to leave or she'll call the police.

Vic is surprised when Lem, sporting his black-and-white track jacket, walks into the clubhouse. The police chief signed off on his deal; he has to go to the jail tomorrow morning to be processed. Lem is at peace, glad the whole mess is over. Shane hugs him, then Ronnie. Last is Vic. He grabs the scruff of Lem's neck to pull him down to his level, promising Lem will be taken care of.

Jarrod insists he wasn't behind the rat trap attacks, but thinks "these perverts" deserve punishment; gay men seduce children and spread AIDS. Billings talks to the detectives on the balcony. "He's guilty, just not prosecutable," says Claudette. All the evidence is circumstantial. Nobody will believe Alarico because he's a no-good wife-beater. They can't fabricate charges to hold Jarrod in jail.

Phillips got Claudette's medical report back, which says she's fit for duty. Claudette could've told him that. However, the department will require her to have quarterly checkups. "Your nickel," she shrugs. The police chief announces Claudette is being promoted to captain. She's is uneasy about the idea; after all, the job is jinxed worse than teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts.

If she says yes, she wants a guarantee that she runs the precinct, "not in theory, in fact." Kavanaugh interrupts the meeting to ask whether the chief really made a deal with Lem. Phillips tells Kavanaugh they were in the middle of something. Kavanaugh shouts that he was too until he got derailed; Vic deserves jail time just like Lem.

Phillips wants to him to leave, but Kavanaugh keeps ranting: "Vic Mackey kills cops! He deals drugs! He beats suspects! He screwed my ex-wife with the sole purpose of making this investigation seem like a personal vendetta. He may have assassinated a gang leader. And that's just all in one day." What does it taste like to be pissed on by Vic? Even Kavanaugh's lazy eye is wild.

Chief gives Kavanaugh 48 hours to tie up loose ends, but he'll have to find another desk. Claudette needs her office.

Vic tells Lem they'll sneak a whole cow into prison. I guess in case he wants steak? Danny is sorry to hear how things worked out for him. Lem jokes, "You're gonna be a little thinner next time I see you", hugs her, and leaves to take care of some stuff. I love that Miami Vice colored bathroom; I'll house-sit. He'll see everyone later at the going-away party.

Danny hands over a file on the warehouse robbery. EMTs found jewelry in Kern's pocket. This is very bad news. An empty safe means Antwon won't get his money, which also means Lem is a dead man walking. Vic better talk to Antwon and fast.

"These fags choose a life of sin and suffering and get what they deserve. But I'm the one in handcuffs," Jarrod says disgustedly. Julien handcuffs him to the table, walks him to the window, and points at the cage. Does Alarico's family deserve to have their lives ruined because of what Jarrod did? Jarrod's never seen Alarico before, but if something happened, it was God's will.

Jarrod quotes the Bible. Julien cuffs his other wrist to the table and unplugs the camera. Jesus lived an honest life and was crucified for it. What does Jarrod think happens when people lie in the Lord's name? Julien opens an evidence bag and dumps a rat trap onto the table.

Julien sets the trap while quoting Psalms. He edges the trap close to one of Jarrod's hands. "You wanted to look at a man down there. You wanted to touch it. ...You didn't because you knew that it was wrong."

Jarrod is now terrified. In light of Michael Jace's real-life murder conviction, this performance is especially disquieting.

Julien uses the pin from his badge to spring the trap; Jarrod convincing himself he was doing God's will gave him an excuse to touch other men's genitals. Jarrod maintains he'd never do something so disgusting. "You're no different than the men you prey on," Julien opines, "You're a homosexual." Jarrod shouts, "That's a lie! I am a Christian!" He only used the rat traps to punish gay men.

Kavanaugh knocks on Lem's door again. "What, no muffins?" Lem asks. Kavanaugh tells him that taking the deal was a bad idea. Lem thinks that's funny coming from the guy who's been threatening him with jail nonstop for weeks. Kavanaugh explains that was just a strategy: "Cops always give it up with the threat of jail." He can't believe Lem is doing this.

The Rat King is sorry he and Lem didn't become friends sooner. "Friends" is an extremely strong word for your relationship; so is "acquaintance," for that matter. "Any man would be lucky to have you in his corner." Kavanaugh holds out his hand, which Lem actually shakes. He has the nerve to wish Lem luck.

Vic tells Antwon things went south because they didn't get all the details up front. Antwon found out that Vic's been playing him against Kavanaugh, manipulating him into protecting Lem. "What do you care?" asks Vic. It seems Kavanaugh started a Department of Corrects investigation at Lompoc, which will cost Antwon most, if not all, of his creature comforts.

Vic will figure out a way to get Antwon his money and check on the DOC case. Antwon thinks Vic's done enough. As of now, Lem's protection deal is off. There are One-Niners in every California prison, so there's nowhere to hide. "One of your crew so much as hard-looks my guy, my reach will get you shivved." Coming from Vic, that's not a threat; it's a promise.

Antwon knows Vic is bluffing; otherwise, he wouldn't have come to Antwon for help. Vic reaches across the table and grabs Antwon by his jail uniform. Guards pull them apart.

Billings accuses Claudette of stealing his job. Claudette says she didn't ask for it, which is true: "Letting Kavanaugh loose in this place, they set you up to fail." She asks for help picking up the pieces. Billings refuses to stay after "getting shanked in the back like this." Claudette suggests he take a few days to think it over; her door is always open if he wants to talk.

Lem's big send-off is at a cop bar. Someone, presumably Shane, hired a couple of strippers. A blond one is cuddled up to Lem, rubbing his hair. He's either drunk or his ulcer's feeling a lot better because he's grinning like an idiot. When Vic arrives, Becca is on her way out. He tells her the neighborhood isn't safe, so he'll walk her to her car.

Becca will be taking Lem to the courthouse at 9 AM so he can surrender. She hopes Vic knows they did the right thing. Vic thanks her for helping Lem. Becca thinks he's lucky to have a friend like Vic. Vic himself doesn't look so sure. "I gotta tell you something about Lem," he starts. Before he can get to that, he's French-kissing Becca.

Claudette heard Jarrod confessed. "He and Julien 'reasoned' together," says Dutch. He congratulates her on the promotion and explains how Phillips learned she has lupus. When Claudette passed out at work, the paramedics found prednisone in her purse; they called her doctor find out why it was prescribed and Billings overheard. Billings "thought lupus was an emotional disorder."

Claudette apologizes for how she treated him earlier. "You can't un-ring that bell," says Dutch. After all this time, his partner doesn't trust him and assumed the worst. Oh, get over yourself. However, he thinks she'll be a great captain. The job requires "an active mistrust of everyone and everything." Sounds more like IAD qualifications.

The bar is now almost empty. Vic hates to ruin a good time, but they need to discuss a change of plans: "You're not going to prison." Lem is confused. Vic tells him about the crossroads deal they made with Antwon in exchange for Lem's safety; the warehouse robbery went to hell in a handbasket.

Kavanaugh has the Department of Corrections investigating Lompoc, which will make Antwon's life hell. Antwon blames Vic. "But I won't end up in Lompoc," Lem says worriedly. That part doesn't matter because Antwon has a lot of homies.

"Best-case scenario, you bust enough heads to stay alive," says Vic. Lem knows he won't get early parole if he fights, even in self-defense. Shane says, "Worst-case scenario, you'll kiss everything goodbye."

Lem pounds the table: "What the hell am I supposed to do?" Vic wants him to lay low until they get back on Antwon's good side, which is a pipe dream as far as I'm concerned. Lem is adamant: "I can't run anymore. I do not wanna do this." "Do we even have a plan?" asks Shane. Vic snaps that he's working on it.

The best option would be talking to some of Gilroy's old contacts. Lem pretty much tells Vic that Mexico is a huge goddamn no. Vic swears it'd only be temporary. Lem knows he'll lose his deal if he skips town and be in a worse fix than he is now.

"This is about keeping you alive!" Vic shouts. Lem drops his head onto his folded arms. Poor guy thought this nightmare was over and the rug's been pulled out from under him again. Shane lays a reassuring hand on his shoulder. Vic promises everything will be okay. Completely overwhelmed, Lem starts bawling, not caring that everyone is watching him.

Claudette moves her things into her new office. Downstairs, Dutch flirts with Tina. Claudette takes down Kavanaugh's bulletin board.

Danny has gone into labor and Julien is driving her to the hospital. She groans for him to hurry. Julien floors it, accidentally knocking over his plastic dashboard Jesus.

It's the dead of night, but that doesn't stop Kavanaugh from knocking on Corinne's door. He asks to talk to her. Even with everything that's happened, she lets him in.

On a hill outside town, Lem puts a duffel bag in the trunk of a generic sedan. Ronnie embraces his best friend. Shane also gets a bear hug. Vic climbs in the driver's seat. For some reason, Lem's riding in the back instead of shotgun. Shane lights a cigarette as Vic drives away. End of episode.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Somebody's Getting "Smoked" (Episode 5.9)

Previously on: Terry's case was reopened, putting the Strike Team in the crosshairs of IAD's Kavanaugh. He first tried the Agent Stahl technique: Use the "old ladies" to get to the men. Kavanaugh let it slip to Corinne about Vic's affair with Danny and his suspicions that Vic fathered her baby. Antwon Mitchell offered information in exchange for the Strike Team being sent to his cell block. Kavanaugh made good on his threat to arrest Lem. He even put him in the cage with the rest of the Barn's arrestees, essentially throwing him to the wolves.

"What you lookin' at, you punk-ass?" an inmate taunts as Lem is escorted down the cell block in his new orange jail scrubs. Lem is totally on edge, which can't be good for his ulcer. Becca and Vic are in the visitors' room. A guard uncuffs Lem and gives him 10 minutes.

The first thing Vic does is pull Lem into a hug and mess up his hair. All smiles, Lem assures Vic that he's okay. Vic's plan to get Lem out seems to be tenuous at best because Lem asks if Mara changed her mind about putting up the Vendrell residence as collateral. Of course she did. Mara would ruin her reputation if she did something unselfish.

More bad news: Kavanaugh had everyone's assets frozen. "So I'm stuck," Lem says glumly. He knows Vic doesn't have $100,000 lying around, at least not anymore. Becca has filed a motion to get his bail reduced. Lem asks how much longer he has to hold out. Vic promises that in 24 hours, Lem will be sleeping in his own bed. Lem's face shows some uncharacteristic pessimism. Honestly, though, who could blame him at this point?

Tina and Julien arrive on the scene of an apparent store robbery. Around back, Tina finds a guy sitting on top of another man, restraining him. She shouts for him to drop his gun. The guy shouts back that he's a cop too, but slides his gun away. The hoodie-clad perp takes the opportunity to get up and scramble over a fence.

"Man, tell your partner not to shoot," says the maybe-cop. Julien barks at Tina that the guy is undercover. "I didn't know. He didn't identify himself," says Tina, even though he totally did. Julien points out the yellow bandanna on the guy's arm, the color of the day. "Which makes you ditz of the month, honey," the undercover puts in.
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Shane and Becca walk Kavanaugh through the apartment where Terry died. Shane keeps up the longstanding party line that Terry shot drug dealer Two-Time, who then killed Terry. "Ballistics gave Vic the kill shot," Kavanaugh says lightly. Shane guesses he's off his game.

Kavanaugh asks if that was the case when Lem's teenage informant Angie was killed. Shane's bullet was in her. Shane points out that he didn't pull the trigger; Antwon did. Kavanaugh wonders if Shane was on Antwon's payroll, which was definitely true for a while. Becca says it was a documented undercover assignment.

Kavanaugh knows the pimp shakedowns were real. So were the payoffs from drug dealers. Shane was Antwon's bitch. Becca interrupts that they're here to talk about Terry.

Next it's Vic's turn to relive the events of the pilot. Terry went in first and Vic failed to clear the bathroom: "Two-Time must've been hiding behind the wall." He and Shane were going down the hall when Vic heard the shot that killed Terry.

A guy Vic doesn't seem to know is present at the walk-through. Kavanaugh introduces him as Terry's brother Drew, a former cop from San Diego. Drew remembers how Vic couldn't make eye contact with the Crowleys at Terry's funeral. He wanted to see Vic's face and find out the truth.

"Of all the underhanded bullshit!" Becca shouts. She wants Drew removed. "If you killed him, God will know," warns Drew. Vic is sorry about Terry, but that night went just like he said. Drew keeps preaching, "If you're lying, God will have your soul and I give it to him personally."

Ronnie is confident Kavanaugh will be forced to drop the case because all their stories match up. Vic worries he'll just "move on to shit we actually did." Shane thinks this was all about rubbing their collective nose in what Kavanaugh was able to dig up on him and Army. Antwon has to be involved. Vic doubts it; nobody can get Antwon out of prison, what with him doing double life sentences.

They run down who else would know about Shane's extracurriculars, everyone from Antwon's sidekick Halpern to ex-captain Monica. Ronnie suggests it could've been Lem. Vic tells him to shut up. They have to focus on raising bail. "This is the last night he spends in County," Vic vows.

Prospects are none too rosy with $700 in cash between them and three frozen bank accounts. Five seasons in, we get our first bit of intel on the rest of the Lemansky clan. According to Ronnie, the rellies are trailer trash who flat out refused to help with bail so they could buy Powerball tickets. Makes you wonder how Lem turned out to be such a give-you-the-shirt-off-his-back kind of guy. Certainly explains why he considers the Strike Team his only family.

The guys have to hope they "just happen" to find $100 K on the street. Shane is uneasy about that with Kavanaugh's lazy eye focused on them. Vic thinks Kavanaugh is more interested in the past. "If you're wrong, we're gonna end up keeping Lem company," Ronnie pipes up from the backseat. However, Vic promised Lem they wouldn't leave him and Vic Mackey is a man of his word.

A construction worker found a man's body buried under a pile of site waste (insulation, drywall, and the like). The killer was probably hoping the victim would be carted off with the trash. Tina agrees with Dutch's theory. Julien asks about Claudette. She's on sick leave for a few more weeks.

When Vic goes to pick up the kids, Corinne is somewhat frantic. Her bank accounts and credit cards have been frozen. She couldn't even buy groceries earlier. "I can't be around you and neither can the kids." Corinne tells Vic that, for the record, it wasn't her idea; it was her lawyer's. They can resume their normal visits after Kavanaugh finds someone else to chase.

Cassidy appears in the doorway, hugs her dad, and politely tells him to leave: "Mom's been crying all morning." Vic offers to give Corinne cash for groceries, but for obvious reasons, she can't accept it.

Billings has a visitor: Hoffman the undercover detective wants to file a complaint about Tina. Danny explains that Tina failed to recognize Hoffman was undercover. "She nearly blew my head off," adds Hoffman. Julien is also filing a report. Billings swears they'll make sure it doesn't happen again. As far as I'm concerned, there's only one way to do that: strip Tina of her badge. She's racked up several monumental mistakes since she started.

Hoffman rambles about how "I get enough guns to my head without Barbie adding to the action." Billings seems surprised that he's expected to fire people. Danny agrees; she and Julien have both tried, but they're not getting through to Tina.

Billings gripes trying to fire a Latina officer will be a massive headache because people will cry racism and/or sexism. Danny says bluntly, "She's gonna land herself or someone else in a body bag." "Being captain's about making tough choices," says Billings the spineless jellyfish. He'll handle Tina.

Billings sees Vic and thought he had the day off to spend with the youngsters. Vic lies that all three kids are sick. Does Billings have any cases for him, like the loan shark on Clinton? Billings says they guy copped a plea and got 2-6 years. Felonious T the drug dealer closed up shop too.

Danny says there's a girl who wants to see Vic. Maybe one of Lem's relatives grew a conscience? No, turns out to be a young black woman, one of Antwon's numerous girlfriends. Vic pats her down. "Your incarcerated old man wants to fly a kite?" he guesses.

Antwon wants to know what Vic is willing to do "to keep your boy Curtis alive." She heard Lem is going to Lompoc and will be put on Antwon's cell block because"the big brother" made a deal with Antwon. Dick move even for Kavanaugh the Rat King. The clock is ticking on the offer.

"You tell Antwon I'll put a bullet in that fat head of his myself before I let him kill another cop," Vic says fiercely. The girl suggests Vic say it in person when he winds up in prison himself. Collecting $100,000 to get Lem out just took on a new sense of urgency.

Dutch finds a folder on his desk chair. Inside are pictures of Tina changing clothes in the Barn's locker room, wearing only underwear. Claudette asks what he's looking at. "Nothing. Huh?" he says dumbly. Claudette observes, "Your face is red." Dutch jumps topics to how nice it is to have his partner back. Since taking that nasty tumble down the stairs, she's walking with a cane.

Dutch exposits on the construction site dump job: Artemis Cooke, black, 43, shot in the face. His mother is upstairs. Dutch makes an after-you gesture toward the stairs. Artemis' mom praises her son's work ethic; he's always had several jobs. His most recent gig was with an ambulance service that "drove organs into Canada."
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Mom guesses "they have a big need for them up there." If the detectives have more questions about that, they can ask his friend DeKnight, who works for the same company.

Vic confronts Kavanaugh, who's lurking in the breakroom: "Your attempts to drive a wedge between me and my guys include planning a murder?" Kavanaugh unconvincingly says he's looking for his salad; somebody must've stolen it. Vic has a solution: Send the salad thief to prison to be killed by Antwon. Kavanaugh is no better than the criminals if he hands Lem over to a known cop-killer.

Kavanaugh is all "you mean like how you set Terry up?" "Terry was a snake, just like you," says Vic. Kavanaugh takes that to mean Vic knew Terry was undercover. Vic didn't until Kavanaugh himself told him. Kavanaugh smiles that Antwon had a lot to say about Shane: "Does your neck hurt from the noose tightening?"

Vic repeats Kavanaugh will be the real killer if Lem goes to Lompoc. Kavanaugh agrees to let Vic pick the prison if everyone on the Strike Team comes clean. Vic stays silent. Kavanaugh guesses he's not really that concerned about Lem. There's nothing in writing about where he'll serve his sentence, but Kavanaugh can make recommendations. As my nursing instructors and Judge Judy always say, "If it's not on paper, it doesn't exist."

Kavanaugh adds, "Any correctional facility is dangerous for a cop." The best way to avoid that danger is not doing shady shit that could land you in jail. "Streets can be dangerous too," Vic says, more of an observation than a threat.

Vic knows Kavanaugh is bluffing. We're talking about a man who "couldn't even cut [his] poor, sick-in-the-head, defenseless ex-wife a break from the rules." He doesn't think even the Rat King has the stomach to hand Lem over to Antwon. "I didn't used to," says Kavanaugh.

DeKnight tells Dutch he worked a straight job with Artemis at a plant; Artemis got the black-market organ ambulance gig on his own. "Organs usually have to be transplanted within hours. Takes a hell of a lot longer to drive to Canada," Dutch notes. Wouldn't it be better to fly them? DeKnight shrugs they could be "low-priority organs, like fingers or tongues."

"Whatever he was running got him shot in the face," says Claudette. DeKnight admits that it was "some kinda super-weed." Artemis made $8,000 a trip and everyone loved him. DeKnight likens him to a stoner's version of Santa Claus.

Danny notices Claudette's limp and asks how she is. Claudette keeps telling Dutch she's fine and he's not about to argue, even though she did come back early. Danny plans on using every second of her 6-week maternity leave.

Dutch follows Tina into the evidence room and hands her the folder of semi-nude pictures. Tina doesn't understand how these were taken; she always locks the door. (Hasn't she ever heard of surveillance cameras)? "I barely glanced. Just enough to identify you," says Dutch.
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Dutch confirms my theory about the camera. He advises the rookie not to let everyone's "high-school mentality" get to her. This is more than mean-spirited teasing, you moron, it's flat-out sexual harassment.

"Shit. I think I'm gonna get fired," Tina says sadly. She tells Dutch about almost shooting the undercover cop. Dutch shrugs that people make mistakes, even him.

Tina remembers when she wore specific matching bra and panty sets and knows these photos were taken in the last few days. Dutch says he'll find out who's behind this and destroy all the pictures. How about taking down the camera while you're at it?

Tina thanks him for being a gentleman. Not two seconds later, Dutch requests that she give the photos back for evidentiary purposes. And she does! Tina really is an idiot.

Edgar-veda announces that he's resigning as a reserve police officer so Kavanaugh can't compel him to talk by threatening his badge. Furthermore: "As vice-chair of the police committee, I'm launching an investigation into your investigation." Kavanaugh's wasted tens of thousands of dollars and all he has to show for it is Lem in jail on 7-month-old charges.

Kavanaugh has more than that: $65,000 given to Corinne by Vic, the Strike Team's assets frozen, and Antwon singing like a bird. He thinks Edgar-veda can help him sweat Vic more. Storming into his office was a nice touch. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend?" says Edgar-veda. Vic will never confide in him.

Kavanaugh points out that desperate men need friends in high places, like a city councilman serving on the police committee. Edgar-veda agrees to temporarily put his investigation into Kavanaugh on hold. "Walk out angry. Mackey's watching," Kavanaugh coaches, returning Edgar-veda's badge.

Dutch tells Vic about the super-pot being smuggled in from Canada by phony ambulances. Does he know anyone involved in that racket? Vic has a question of his own: Where's the van? Dutch has no clue. Vic agrees to lend a hand since Dutch and Claudette's "Wonder Twin powers aren't fully activated." He watches Edgar-veda leave Kavanaugh's office.

Vic tells Shane and Ronnie about Kavanaugh's Lompoc plot. If Kavanaugh isn't gona play by the rules, the Strike Team won't either. Of course, when did they ever?

They go to a restaurant frequented by One-Niners. Vic knows Antwon isn't letting Halpern call the shots. He asks about the Canadian connection. Halpern tells them to talk to a "dude with a fancy French name." More specifically, Dijon, like the mustard.

In the men's room, Dutch compliments a uniform on the pictures: "You think Tina's panties are regulation?" How'd he take the photos? The uniform claims he just found them on Billings' desk. Dutch is always staring at Tina and it would've been cruel not show him.

Corinne is not pleased with Kavanaugh. She did everything the Rat King asked and he still froze her bank account. How is she supposed to feed the kids? Kavanaugh is unsympathetic: "You told me about $65,000. Now I hear there may be more." If there was, Corinne argues, she wouldn't have defaulted on Matt and Megan's tuition.

Kavanaugh is sorry for the inconvenience, but Corinne is one of the walls he needs around Vic. "I'm not a wall; I'm a mother," she says. Father of her kids or not, she's cutting Vic out of her life. Kavanaugh tells her about Lem's arrest and how he's waiting for Vic to bail him out. The longer Lem spends in County, the more pliable he'll be.

"That has nothing to do with me," Corinne says through gritted teeth. Kavanaugh needs her to get Vic to confess if she wants her life back. Corinne asks exactly what she did to deserve this. "You married the wrong man," replies Kavanaugh. A lot of people do, but that doesn't mean they should be constantly threatened with arrest.

Billings, Julien, and Danny confer about Tina. She's ill-suited for the job, a danger to herself and everyone around her. Billings wants an on-the-record report of Tina's conduct. Dutch shows him the pictures. "Shit. Where'd you get these?" the captain wants to know, "They were on my desk. Is nothing sacred?"

Billings explains that he put a security camera in the locker room after the last round of vending machine ripoffs, which makes absolutely no sense because the machines are in the hall. The captain figured the thief was hiding the stolen snacks in their locker. Well, Lem has an airtight alibi (not that he'd do that anyway). Billings supposedly had the pictures so they "wouldn't fall into the wrong hands."

"Do you have any idea what kinda shitstorm you're looking at when she finds out you're behind these?" asks Dutch. Billings can't believe Dutch told her, even though Tina has every right to know. He sighs, "I just promised to wash her out."

On her way out, Corinne throws shade at Danny. She hopes she isn't counting on Vic to provide for the baby. "I'm at work right now. This isn't the place," Danny says politely. Corinne asks why not; after all, work is where Vic found Danny. Danny reminds her Vic is the one who broke his vows. "That makes him a cheat," Corinne snarls, "That makes you a whore and the baby you're both having a bastard."

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Shane, Vic, and Ronnie go to Dijon's house. They know the dealer got ripped off this morning and they're willing to hunt down his missing cargo for a finder's fee of $100,000. It's only a question of time until the detectives assigned to Artemis' murder trace his phone records to Dijon. The Strike Team can ensure Dijon's name is kept out of it.

Dijon explains that his cash was stolen, not the weed. Artemis had been on his way to Canada with $250,000 in the van. The guys want their fee upfront. Dijon doesn't have it because it was tied up in the shipment. Vic wants a list of customers and anyone else who knew where Artemis was going. He also asks Dijon to plead ignorance with the other detectives.

Vic brings Dijon to the Barn. Dutch and Claudette take him upstairs. Vic is about to follow them when his phone rings; it's a collect call from County. Lem wants to know if he's getting out today. Vic dials up Becca, turning the call into a three-way. This way, if any guards ask, Lem can say he's talking to his lawyer.

"Whoa, you can't use me as cover for anything illegal," says Becca. Vic has good news and bad news. He and the guys might have a way to raise the bail money. On the other hand, Kavanaugh has been visiting Antwon and made a deal with him. If Lem gets convicted, he's going to Lompoc.

Lem is shocked. Becca says Kavanaugh doesn't have the legal authority to do that. "It's never gonna get that far," Vic assures Lem. One way or another, they'll get him out from under Kavanaugh's large ass. Kavanaugh won't admit to what he did, but the deal exists. Dutch comes looking for Vic, so he ends the call.

Billings pulls Dutch into the observation room: "You know I was on the up and up taking those photos." Tina will probably sue the police department and end up with a huge settlement. Billings doesn't want that to happen. He needs Dutch's help to make it go away. Does Dutch want to be Tina's hero or "watch her red bra and panties" walk out of his life forever?
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Claudette knows Dijon is part of the pot ring, but nobody kills their own driver. If her suspicions are correct, Dijon will want his money back. Vic is sure Artemis was acting alone, but he'll take another shot at him. Claudette is none too happy that Dutch let Vic in on their case.

Downstairs, Vic tells Dijon his list is getting them nowhere. Does anybody else know about Dijon's business dealings? Dijon shrugs, "Just my wife and my dumb-ass stepson." Jaden is 20 and used to drive once in a while. That stopped when Dijon found out Jaden was keeping drugs for himself. He doesn't know where Jaden is and doubts his wife does.

Vic tells Shane and Ronnie that Silver Lake would be a good place to start looking for Jaden. It's where the uniforms found Artemis' van. Jaden could've hit up local weed dealers with $250,000 burning a hole in his pocket. They have to find him before Claudette does.

Speaking of, she gets a call from the crime lab. Fingerprints in the van came back to Jaden. His last known address is his mother's. Claudette wants to head over there. Vic offers to do it for her. She doesn't fall for it.

Jaden's mom Tasha hasn't seen her son in two months. Dijon is sure Jaden didn't shoot anyone. Claudette has Dijon show Dutch to Jaden's room. Tasha repeats that Jaden is a good boy. The only other place he might be is his girlfriend's house. Tasha doesn't approve of her.

Vic gives Shane the girlfriend's address, warning Dutch and Claudette will be there in 15 minutes. Shane and Ronnie need to find the money and get out as fast as possible. They can't park in front of the house because Claudette knows Shane's truck (a nice-looking Dodge Ram).

The back door is locked, so Ronnie climbs in a window. Shane follows him. Nobody seems to be home. They search frantically for the cash and are about to give up when Ronnie notices the bedroom door is ajar. Jaden is on the bed, passed out from smoking weed. There's a duffel bag underneath him.

Shane and Ronnie hear cars pull up. "Grab it, grab it!" Ronnie cries. Shane jerks the bag out from under the skinny kid without much difficulty. They sprint out of the house just before Vic, Claudette, and Dutch come in the front door.

In the kitchen, Vic sees Shane climbing out the window. Shane gives him the "okay" signal. "Clear!" Vic calls. Dutch wakes up Jaden.

"Somebody took my money," Jaden slurs out as Vic puts him in the cage. He didn't want to hurt anyone. "You shot him in the face 3 times," Dutch disagrees. Vic tells Dutch and Claudette that anything Jaden says while high is inadmissible, as if they don't already know. Jaden thinks the cops should go hassle Dijon. He can't believe his stepfather fired him.

In the squadroom, Claudette ponders their next move. Jaden told her someone broke into his girlfriend's apartment and stole the money. "It's my day off. I helped catch a killer. Finding the money's your problem," says Vic.

The guys go to a shop run by our old friend Smitty. "I haven't seen you guys in a while. It was nice," says the locksmith. Vic asks if he'd like to make $100,000. Duh, who wouldn't? Vic explains that Lem is in jail. Their bank accounts are frozen, so Smitty has to put up the bond. The Strike Team will pay him back and Smitty doesn't have to worry about Lem not showing up for court.

"And the catch is...?" Smitty wants to know. Well, IAD might show up to check his books. How many security systems would Smitty have to sell to make $100,000? Smitty asks why they always come to him. "Because you're the last honest guy we know," replies Vic. Wrong. Lem is honest as they come, which is part of the reason he has an ulcer after 5 years of Strike Team shenanigans.

Vic gives Becca the story that an old friend is bailing Lem out. Becca will make some calls and see if she can fast-track his release. The lawyer has found herself between a rock and a hard place: "I don't wanna convince you all to turn on Lem. I don't wanna convince him to turn on you, but that's what a good lawyer would be advising." She doesn't want any of them in prison.

Becca sighs that she might be better as their friend than their lawyer. Vic says Lem needs her. Besides, they can't afford to hire someone else. If she has to decide who to protect, she should take Lem's side. Vic even offers to switch places with Lem and be the one in Lompoc. Becca wants Vic to have a second chance, which he's already had, plus at least five or six more.

Billings apologizes to Tina on behalf of the department about the pictures and lies, "The identity of the culprit's a mystery."

Dutch and Billings both feel Tina has special promise that needs to be nurtured. Billings will allow Dutch to take Tina under his wing and teach her about detective work. "Unless these photos have you too upset to focus on career advancement," the captain adds.

Tina gets it; she can't climb the department ladder unless she shuts up. Billings covers his ass by telling her that shadowing Dutch is just an opportunity he thinks she deserves. Instead of consulting her union rep, Tina tells Dutch she looks forward to working with him.

When Lem walks out of the jail gate, Shane and Ronnie are on the sidewalk to greet him. Ronnie gives his best friend an enthusiastic hug, joking, "Looks like your hymen's still intact." Shane hugs Lem too. Lem asks what happened to Vic. Shane says he had someplace to be, but he'll catch up with them at the bar; Smitty's buying. "I am?" says the locksmith.

"What are you doing here?" Edgar-veda asks. Vic opines that Kavanaugh is out of control and unbalanced.
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Kavanaugh's been threatening Lem's life. Vic has a feeling Edgar-veda isn't so fond of the Rat King either. Does Kavanaugh have Edgar-veda over a barrel? Edgar-veda calls it "the price I pay for having been your boss." But he's not dirty, not like the Strike Team. Vic warns he won't go quietly.
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Edgar-veda himself will be the first target. "Your stink will smell up every voting booth in this city." If Edgar-veda ever wants to be mayor, he and Vic will have to work together. Edgar-veda, Vic, and the rest of the Strike Team will be the last men standing. "What's your plan?" asks Edgar-veda. Vic stares; he probably hasn't thought that far ahead yet. End of episode.