Friday, June 16, 2017

"The Enemy of Good" Is Jon Kavanaugh (Episode 5.2)

Previously on: Kavanaugh of Internal Affairs tried to cozy up to Corinne by pretending to also have an autistic child. He and Edgar-veda schemed to reopen Terry's case and get Vic off the street. Their unwilling pawn in this is Lem. Kavanaugh dragged him out of his house, promising he won't arrest Lem for stealing that heroin if Lem agrees to turn on Vic.

Vic is concerned that Lem isn't answering his phone. Shane guesses he's "knee-deep in a booty call," even though we've never seen any indication that's his style. Ronnie says, "Hope he's getting the cop discount." Shane hears Ronnie's girl charges by the minute.

A car dealer says it's about time they showed up. "Better be a good reason for you blowing up my cell phone," Vic grumbles. The salesman reports someone smashed a bunch of windshields on the lot. "We don't monitor lemon laws," says Vic. Shane snarks, "Good thing they're sold as-is."

The salesman, who I will refer to as Honest Pete, knows who's behind this: a Latino with the street name Doomsday. He's been pressuring every business on the block for protection money. Honest Pete missed a payment and now the cars are damaged: "My son's right. It's every man for himself from now on."

Kavanaugh understands Lem is scared because he's caught in a mistake he can't get out of. "I didn't commit any crime. I'm a goddamn cop," says Lem. Kavanaugh says denial is a normal first reaction; they have time. Lem's never seen the heroin before. Unfortunately, Kavanaugh has the search of his Jeep on video.

Lem threatens to walk out. Kavanaugh wouldn't do that; it would force him to officially arrest Lem. He doesn't want to embarrass him. Lem stands firm: "I got nothin' to be embarrassed about." They both know how interrogations work. Everyone who's guilty denies it at first. "So do the innocent ones," Lem points out.

Vic knocks on a door. "You must be Doomsday," he says, "I'm Armageddon. Say hello to the hounds of hell." "Ruff," Shane barks. They know he's been shaking down business owners. "Consider us the Better Business Bureau."

The Farmington cops aren't playing around anymore. All Vic wants to hear is "si, senor." "Suck my dick, senor," Doomsday menaces. Instead, Vic punches Doomsday in his. Ronnie tackles Doomsday to the couch. The Strike Team, it transpires, doesn't have a warrant. That doesn't stop Vic from zip-tying Doomsday's wrists to the shower curtain rod.

Lem, still in Kavanaugh's no-tell-motel room, drums his fingers on the kitchen table: "I need to get back to my team." Kavanaugh brings in coffee and breakfast pastries, advising, "Eat something. We're gonna be here for a while." When Lem stands up to leave, he warns, "The only thing outside that door for you is a prison cell."

Kavanaugh read Lem's file and met with one of his old partners: "You started off an upright guy. What happened to you?" Lem has a question of his own: "How'd you go from riding with cops to hunting 'em?"

Kavanaugh reads off a list of all the Strike Team's dead CIs: "Any of the people you work with make it out alive?" "Better them than us. Or did you forget that from the academy?" Lem wants to know. Kavanaugh brings up Angie, murdered at 15 for helping Lem. Did she choose the life? "No," Lem says softly, "She was a good kid."

Kavanaugh wonders what Lem thinks should happen to someone who kills a kid, a cop, or a grandma. "Needle's too good for someone like that," Lem opines. Kavanaugh is glad they finally agree on something. He lays a file in front of Lem; the first thing he sees is a crime scene photo of Terry.

Kavanaugh asks if Lem knew Terry was an undercover fed investigating Vic. Why would a good guy like Lem be involved in a fellow officer's murder?

"Terry was killed by a drug dealer," Lem insists, "I was there." Kavanaugh tells him they both know that's not true. "Terry was killed in the line of duty," Lem repeats. Kavanaugh gives him until the end of the day to decide if he wants to help Internal Affairs or get locked up.

When the rest of the boys arrive at the Barn, Danny tells Vic that Lem will be late today; a friend of his called in to say his car broke down. Vic doesn't find it at all suspicious that Lem didn't make the call himself. Billings has assigned them to a multiple homicide that's possibly gang-related: two black men and a black woman.

"These kids aren't flying colors," Vic remarks at the crime scene. The back door was kicked in. All the victims still had their cash and credit cards. There's a computer and printer set up on the kitchen table. A young black woman is crying on the front steps; she came over to study with her friends and saw their bodies through the window. The victims were beaten, not shot, which smells personal to Vic. The neighborhood isn't known gang territory and there are no crackhouses.

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A shop owner found an injured man he didn't recognize outside his store. Dutch detects a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vomit puddle on the sidewalk. There are no bars within staggering distance. Tina checked the victim's wallet and learned he lives 10 blocks away. "You're starting to get an instinct for the right things to look for," Dutch praises. He doubts Guillermo could've gotten here on his own, drunk as he was.

Claudette, late to the party, asks, "Since when does a misdemeanor drunk in public need two detectives?" Dutch saw cuts on Guillermo's face and numerous broken teeth; he was assaulted. Whoever did it left Guillermo's wallet, cash, and cards behind. The guy was likely dumped here. "Not the most neighborly thing, but we've seen worse and we didn't call it assault," says Claudette.

Vic talks to a neighbor that's peeking out her window. She came home to let her dogs out and saw someone leaving the murder scene. Her description is vague: "He looked like evil." "A lot of people wanna know what evil looks like," says Vic. Would she mind sitting down with a sketch artist?

Edgar-veda is headed out the door with his briefcase when Kavanaugh jogs over, cheerfully informing the councilman, "I picked up Lemansky last night." He doesn't mention that he's illegally detaining him, of course. Terry's murder seems to be a sore spot for Lem; Kavanaugh needs the detective's former boss to "add that personal element to it." He thought Edgar-veda was Terry's friend. Why did he let Vic go?

Edgar-veda claims he never had enough evidence. Vic is no longer his problem, anyway and will be forced to retire in 4 months. "15-year pension. That ain't a bad reward for killing a cop, is it?" asks Kavanaugh. Lem can prove Vic's involvement.

"You gotta see this," says Shane. The police sketch he's holding looks a lot like Doomsday. Ronnie also sees the resemblance. Problem is, Doomsday couldn't have murdered anyone because he's been handcuffed to a shower all morning. Shane learned the victims were all "community college geeks, no history of trouble."
Did someone say "community college geeks"?
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One of the dead students was the son of a local businessman: Hughes of Hughes Used Cars. The same lot was vandalized earlier in the episode. This could've been Doomsday getting revenge. Billings looks over Vic's shoulder at the sketch and asks, "You think this was another racial incident?" They can have extra uniforms to help them out. "If we can find one," mutters Shane.

In the clubhouse, Shane continues, "So we cause a triple murder before breakfast, start a race war before dinner." Boyd Crowder would be proud. Vic wants the word out that this was a personal beef. When the guys go to Doomsday's house, the only sign of him is a chewed-through ziptie on the bathroom floor.
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Vic gives Emolia money to flash at her friends in exchange for intel on where Doomsday went. He promises her 10 times more if they find him.

Dutch watches Billings walk upstairs and comments, "All the emperor needs is a toga and a violin while Farmington burns." Claudette reminds Dutch that he turned down the promotion. "And it would've been yours, but you screwed it up," he fires back.

Dutch asks Mrs. Solis about her husband's condition. She reports Guillermo is brain dead and on life support. He takes note of the wife's outfit: a conservative sweater and jeans with clear plastic stripper heels. He casually asks what went on last night. Mrs. Solis took Guillermo to church for a meeting. Claudette assumes she means AA.

Mrs. Solis explains Minister Romero's revolutionary therapy: "He has them drink until the alcohol cures the sickness." He allows participants to sleep it off in the church, which is why Mrs. Solis didn't worry that her spouse hadn't come home.

The church is locked up when Claudette and Dutch get there. Romero is in the alley, selling shoes. The detectives inform him that Guillermo is in an alcohol-induced coma. They're aware Romero treated him for alcoholism. "I don't treat people. I don't have a license for that," Romero corrects. Guillermo was attending a prayer group.

Dutch asks if tequila and Bible study really helps people. It worked for Romero, who credits his recovery to the success of his business and ministry. Dutch, ever the skeptic, says, "My ex-wife was a drunk. Think if I'd hauled her off to happy hour every night, I coulda saved the marriage?"

Guillermo, Romero, and Hector were the only congregants at last night's meeting. "The group gets smaller as more of us are healed," explains the minister. As they walk away, Claudette mumbles, "Preachers need to stick to preaching." Dutch examines a pair of heels for sale that look a lot like the ones Mrs. Solis was wearing. "Want me to ask Romero if he's got that in your size?" asks Claudette.

Vic's witness came home to find her dogs dead and called the police. "Guess Doomsday ain't a member of PETA," says Shane. Ronnie gives more background. Doomsday is originally from North Carolina and did prison time for aggravated assault. "Took a guy's eye out with a fork for stealin' his food in junior high," adds Shane. I actually know someone who did something very similar.

The dogs' heads are nowhere to be found. "What's he gonna do? Put 'em on a pike?" wonders Ronnie.

Kavanaugh ponders sudoku while Lem slouches on the sofa. Everyone's least favorite councilman drops by for a visit. "It's time for you to step into the sunshine, Lem," says Edgar-veda. Lem didn't do nothing and, besides, Edgar-veda isn't his boss anymore.

Edgar-veda says this isn't just about Lem's career. The recent ballot measure shows what the general public thinks of the police. Somebody has to be offered as a sacrifice to appease them and "right now, that's you." Lem's prepared to take his chances in court; he knows he's telling the truth.

Edgar-veda confirms Terry's undercover status. Terry didn't have anything against Vic at first, but two weeks was enough to convince him Vic is dirty. Edgar-veda has his original case notes. Terry was a threat, so he had to die.

"No! Never!" Lem shouts. Edgar-veda seems surprised by the outburst, even though Lem's always run a little hot. He realizes aloud that Lem really had no clue what Vic's plan was. Lem's expression is relieved, that's-what-I've-been-trying-to-tell-you-this-whole-time.

Kavanaugh says, "It was the other guys." Lem is like "nope, didn't say that." Kavanaugh respects loyalty, but now Lem is "protecting a guy for something that you don't have any stake in." Didn't Lem himself say the death penalty was too good for cop killers? Lem thinks Kavanaugh is on "a damn witch hunt."

Kavanaugh adds more pressure. Whose side is Lem on? "Vic did not kill Terry!" Lem's voice cracks. Kavanaugh tells him to wear a wire and "ask him as a friend." Lem wants no part of railroading Vic, firmly believing his friend's innocence. Kavanaugh acknowledges it's hard to choose between prison and ratting out someone who killed one of his own.

"Guillermo was a jealous man. The drinking only made it worse," says Mrs. Solis. Dutch wonders if he had reason to be. Mrs. Solis is insulted. He asks about her shoes. Mrs. Solis says Romero gave them to her as a present. She flirts with him because the attention feels good, but she wouldn't break her vows. "You mean, 'til death do us part'?" Dutch guesses.

Kavanaugh tells Lem it's time to decide if he'll be loyal to Vic or the badge, himself, and a dead brother officer. Edgar-veda steps in with the double-team maneuver: If Vic is innocent, wearing a wire can only help him. At this point, poor Lem is likely exhausted from not sleeping and in pain from his ulcer. Not in any condition to be deciding anything. He wants to know what's in it for him.

The rest of the Strike Team find Doomsday eating lunch at a diner counter in plain sight. Vic kicks Doomsday's stool out from under him and asks, "Where'd you put the dog's heads?" Doomsday feigns ignorance.

Kavanaugh wires Lem for sound, promising the big guy his freedom if everything works out. While Lem signs an agreement to that effect, Kavanaugh whispers a warning in his ear, "If you lie to me, try to screw me, or you just don't live up to the deal, I will push for the maximum for distribution of heroin."
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Claudette leaves the Barn, supposedly to run an errand. She tells Dutch she'll be back in an hour. Upstairs, Dutch shows the pastor Guillermo's tox report: "He was practically embalmed. No way he had enough motor function to swallow, much less hold the bottle." Then he gets personal. "You screwing any other sheep in your flock, Reverend? Or you just like giving shoes to all the pretty wives?"

How did Guillermo's teeth get broken? Romero guesses he fell. Dutch thinks the more likely cause is having a bottle shoved down his throat. Mrs. Solis wouldn't sleep with Romero because she's married. Did he decide to make her a widow so it'd be okay? "The devil did that to him," says Romero. After the prayer group, the God-fearing pastor went to his office to write Sunday's sermon. Guillermo was gone when he came back; he could've walked home.

Romero is willing to put his hand on the Bible in court and swear to it. "Not as much fun as putting your hand on another man's wife," says Dutch.

Vic shoves Doomsday into the cage and sees Lem making his way across the squadroom. "Glad you could join us," Vic remarks. Shane aims a friendly punch at Lem's stomach (he has a bleeding ulcer, jackass!). He also informs Lem that he smells bad. Shane hopes Lem "put a little boom in her womb." No, what you're smelling is fear.

Lem comes up with a story that he had trouble with his Jeep on the way home from Chino and spent half a day waiting for a mechanic. Shane says, "Good thing you didn't call back, buddy, 'cause I ain't about to haul my ass out there to pick you up." He swipes at Lem again. Lem keeps a close guard on himself, knowing one wrong tug on his shirt will expose the wire.

Danny tells Vic that headquarters wants to see their records on Terry. Lem is visibly trying not to twitch. Vic guesses they're just trying to wrap things up. He tells Lem, "Missed the first half. We're still in the game. We just picked up a suspect in a triple murder." "Put me in, Coach," Lem says dully.

In observation, Irma stares at Doomsday's image on the TV. "It's not him," she practically whimpers. The triple murder wasn't her fault and the whack job already killed her dogs. "You're protecting a killer. Makes you no better than he is," says Vic. This all sounds very familiar to Lem. Irma leaves.

Lem looks dead on his feet, using the interrogation room wall to hold himself up. Vic asks about the scratches on Doomsday's hands. He knows Hughes Senior refused to pay Doomsday for protection and advises, "Save that grin for the lineup before I smack it off your face." "Need a witness for a lineup. Ruff, ruff," Doomsday barks.

Vic announces they're holding Doomsday for 12 hours on charges of vandalism and animal cruelty: "Wanna see how cruel I can be to animals like you?" Lem grabs Doomsday by the throat: "The problem for you is we don't scare like girls. And our bite's as good as our bark." Vic pulls him off. I sure hope that camera was unplugged or Kavanaugh will have something else to use against Lem.

Julien and Tina respond to a domestic where the combatants are father and son. "She steals all my shit and you let her get away!" the son screams as Julien wrestles him into submission. Tina tries to corral the father outside and he pushes her onto the floor. Both cops have to use their batons. Tina keeps swinging long after the guy stops fighting. Julien yells for her to stop.

Afterward, she holds a gauze pad to her face. Her earring got ripped out, just like Danny warned her could happen. "He wouldn't listen to me," she tells her partner. Julien replies, "It's your job to make him listen. You failed to get the father out of the room, then you used excessive force." People forget that adrenaline doesn't have an off switch.

Kavanaugh meets Corinne as she picks Matt and Megan up from school. He lies that his ex-wife promised to be pick up their non-existent son, but she bailed out as usual. Corinne sends the kids to the playground while they talk.

Kavanaugh lays it on thick, every guy's worst fears about marriage: The ex had an affair and is now living with the guy. Kavanaugh has primary custody and she's 3 months in arrears on child support, even though she's a "big-time money manager." Corinne is sympathetic, playing right into his hands.

Because of the lack of child support, Kavanaugh is behind on his son's tuition. How does Corinne manage all by herself? "Vic always comes up with whatever extra cash I need for the kids," says Corinne. For Matt and Megan, anyway. We've never seen or heard about Cassidy needing money for sports or school field trips or anything.

Kavanaugh thinks it's swell of Vic to help. Corinne scoffs he's hardly a candidate for sainthood. Kavanaugh eagerly asks about Vic's bad side. Corinne isn't put off by how friendly this stranger is. The worst traits she can come up with are that Vic is stubborn, always has to get his way, and is married to the job. For all his faults, she knows Vic loves their kids.

Corinne looks around the playground to catch a glimpse of Kavanaugh's son. He smoothly tells her that Andy is inside getting after-school tutoring. Corinne would love for Matt and Andy to have a playdate sometime. Kavanaugh agrees that'd be nice. How's he gonna come up with a kid?

In the clubhouse, Shane is all for setting Doomsday free; they can "continue this conversation on the street." Lem's biting his nails in the corner. He suggests letting the never-previously-mentioned Special Cases unit handle things. Is that anything like Special Victims?

Vic says hell no; the Strike Team needs to reestablish their fearsome reputation. Lem reasonably points out that Special Cases has more resources. "Every minute he's free, we're a bigger joke," says Vic. They need to handle this personally.

Shane suggests calling in a Mexican they encountered during a sting last year. At this, Lem abruptly stands up from the table, saying he needs to get gone: "My stomach's been bugging me all day." That probably isn't a total lie. Can he catch up with this tomorrow?

Vic asks the stupid thing: Are you okay? "It's just my medicine. I'm back on it. I left it at home," Lem goes on. That's also true. He hasn't been able to take it because Kavanaugh was pretty much holding him prisoner!
I feel like I'm gonna be using this a lot.
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When Lem leaves, the guys exchange a what-was-that-all-about look. Ronnie wisecracks, "He gonna get paid for today?"
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Vic uncuffs the dog killer: "It's a great country, respecting the human rights of a bloodthirsty piece of shit like yourself." Doomsday threatens to sue and tells Vic to stay off his street.

Danny has an I-told-you-so talk with Tina about her earrings: "Protocol's there for a reason." Tina promises it won't happen again. Yeah, especially not if she gets fired. Tina knows that Danny trained Julien and suggests he has a problem working with women. Danny doesn't dignify that with a response. If the rookie really wants to fit in, she should listen up and do her job the right way.

Billings has already called the D.A. about the Romero case. Claudette filled him in before going on her mysterious errand. The D.A. told Billings there's not enough to prove anyone was involved in killing Guillermo.

Later that night, Shane and Ronnie arrest Doomsday again. With their human cargo on board, they pick up Vic. Shane gives him the chance to walk away, but Vic is adamant that he wants in; they're a team. Doomsday gets nervous. What are they talking about?

Uniforms seize all the merchandise at Romero's illegal sidewalk Shoe Carnival. "Romero skates on attempted murder. At least he won't be selling knockoff shoes anymore," says Dutch. Claudette reminds him of the old saying about lemons and lemonade. Dutch asks about Claudette's new hey-man-it's-all-good-whatever attitude. Did she catch Billings'  "mediocrity flu"?

Dutch knows his partner well enough to know something is wrong. She took half a day of personal time today. She's been late to work and is unfocused. Claudette evades that line of questioning, shrugging that Romero's case was hardly a slam-dunk.

Danny asks Julien if he really wants Tina to have excessive force in her file this early in her career. (Given what we've seen out of her, what makes Danny think Tina will even pass her 6-month review)? Julien should sleep on it. After all, Tina was coming to his aid. Julien says the department is liable. Danny also points out that excessive force is relative when you're 5'4". "It's my call," Julien says shortly.

Danny suggests Julien talk to Tina about taking another baton training class so she feels more comfortable; he has responsibilities as her training officer. "I also have a responsibility to wash her out if she can't handle it," says Julien. Danny recalls a few occasions she could've done the same to him.

The van rattles along a dusty road in the middle of nowhere. Vic produces a revolver from a compartment, loads it, and asks about the dogs' heads. "They're in the freezer," says Doomsday. He planned to cook them into soup and serve it to Irma a la Jeffrey Dahmer. Shane parks by an abandoned building, where a Mexican police truck is waiting.

Shane and Ronnie force Doomsday into the backseat. Vic hands a wad of cash to the Mexican policeman. Ronnie hands over the revolver, wiped clean of prints. "Possession of a weapon in my country is a very serious crime," the federale says grimly. From the truck, Doomsday screams, "You can't do this shit! I'm a citizen!"

Shane flicks out a lighter and burns Doomsday's driver's license. "Government types aren't too helpful getting murder suspects out of foreign prisons," says Vic. Shane adds, "Mexico makes our gun laws look like parking violations." "See you in 20 years," Vic says as the truck pulls away. Underhanded? Yeah. As blatantly illegal as having him shot in the desert? No.

Vic parks in front of Lem's house. He's already waiting on the front walk. Elsewhere, Kavanaugh and Edgar-veda listen in. Lem read through Terry's files earlier. "Why?" asks Vic, "It's ancient history." Something always seemed off to Lem and now Terry's files are resurfacing.

Vic acts like he doesn't have a clue why. Lem wonders what really happened the night Terry died. He knows there's more to the story than what was in their report. Besides that, Terry was his friend. "I'm your friend," says Vic, which has a real Mrs. Lovett ring to it.

Lem gives Vic a couple of shoves across the lawn, then rips the wire out of his waistband. Kavanaugh and crew are far enough away they can't see what's going on and are baffled why everything is static. Lem and Vic continue what resembles a kind of bizarre dance, holding each other by the arms. "IAD has me wired. I just disconnected it," Lem says quietly. And that honesty, ladies and gentlemen, is why he was never picked for undercover duty.

Lem spills his guts (figuratively, this time): "They're watching us right now. They busted me with some heroin and they're talking prison if I don't do this. I've been protecting you all day. They're gunning for all of us." Edgar-veda is in on it too.

Now Lem has a decision to make. Vic, like me, wants to know why it's even a question. Lem is sure Vic has been lying to him for years. Vic swears he hasn't. "Then you look me in the eye and you tell me the truth about Terry." It's more than a request; it's a challenge. "If I don't believe you, I'm gonna start looking out for myself." Something you should've done a long time ago there, Lem.

Vic starts in with the "we're a team" speech. Lem jogs Vic's memory that Terry was part of the team at one time. Kavanaugh's tech is still scrambling to pick up anything. "How can you even ask me that?" Vic asks, feigning shock.

Lem knows Terry was undercover and after Vic. His tone cycles from pleading to demanding: "Now answer me, okay? You look me in the eye. You tell me the truth. If we're really a team, man, tell me the truth already."

After a brief Mexican standoff, Lem realizes Vic doesn't have to say anything. In his heart of hearts, he knows the truth. "Oh my God," he whispers. Vic tries to talk him down. Lem brushes him off, goes across the street, and gets in his Jeep. I'm guessing that wasn't his place they were fighting in front of him.

"Where is the sound?" Kavanaugh hisses. The tech says it has to be the microphone.

Lem practically backs into the car behind him as he peels away from the curb. Vic's shouts of "Lem" fall on deaf ears. End of episode.

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Painful "Extraction" (Episode 5.1)

Last season: A LOT of crazy shit happened, but the first part of the recap focuses on how Vic killed Terry Crowley way back in the pilot. Monica, the Barn's new (and now ex) captain, sicced Geno from Internal Affairs on Vic and the Strike Team. Dutch, shockingly, turned down the opportunity to become ringmaster of the Farmington circus.

Lem stole a brick of heroin from a drug dealer as collateral toward finding the body of his teenage informant Angie; he stupidly stashed said drugs in the glove compartment of his own Jeep. Emolia, a CI, witnessed the theft and ID'd the big guy. One of Geno's IAD buddies searched the Jeep in the dead of night and replaced the heroin with bunk. 

For reasons unknown, the subplot about Shane getting in over his head with cop-killing gangster Antwon Mitchell is not mentioned.

We open at a funeral home, which currently resembles the church scene from Kingsman.
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People are screaming and wrestling. The coffin gets knocked to the floor. A funeral home employee is almost put through a window. When your loved one's visitation turns into a free-for-all, who ya gonna call? The Strike Team.

Vic orders his teammates to split up the combatants. Lem pretty much uses the pews as hurdles. One of the funeral attendees whacks Ronnie over the head with a wooden crucifix. "Everybody, just be quiet!" Shane yells, which is futile at this point. Ronnie stands up, the angriest I've ever seen him look, demanding, "Who hit me?" "Jesus Christ?" Vic jokes when he sees the weapon.

The guests are lined up against the wall; the cops check their hands for blood with no luck. Vic tells Ronnie to go to the ER and have his head looked at. He wants Lem to have all the grieving relatives transported to the Barn.

Shane gripes that this is a bullshit call uniforms could've handled. Vic asks the funeral director who hit Ronnie; the guy says it was a black guy with a blond afro. He's seen the kid hanging out in front of a liquor store.

Funeral Director wonders what's going around: "This is, like, the second black and Latino brawl I've had this week." He's from Culver City, unfamiliar with Farmington gangs. Vic explains that last week, a black man killed a Mexican boy in a hit-and-run. Nobody was willing to come forward as a witness. The Mexicans found the driver and beat him to death, then blacks killed two Mexicans. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.

Julien and his partner go to a high school, where a female student was stabbed in the back 3 times and discovered in a bathroom stall. The girl is being rushed to the hospital. Julien's Latina partner asks if the school has metal detectors.

"Some of them don't work very well," the principal admits. She doesn't know the names of witnesses other than Zellie, a junior who discovered the victim. Julien requests the principal keep Zellie in the office until detectives arrive. Wonder what happened to Danny...

Julien's new partner Tina goes into the girls' bathroom and inspects the blood puddle. Julien scolds her for contaminating the scene. "Oh shit," she says, realizing she stepped in the blood.

We cut to the Barn and now I get why Danny isn't in the field: She is very obviously pregnant. Nobody seems interested in going to the briefing room to listen to the new captain's speech. "Come on, I'm hormonal and I expedite your paychecks," Danny coaxes. I can understand why nobody cares about the speech; Monica's replacement is the gutless Billings.

Vic, the Strike Team, Dutch, and Claudette dutifully stand at the very back of the briefing room. "Bet you lunch he says 'and so forth' at least twice," Dutch mutters to his partner.

Billings informs the assembly that a measure on the city ballot failed, making the temporary department budget cuts permanent. They'll have to make do with a "lack of manpower in the Barn and on the street and so forth." Everyone grumbles about this.

Chief Bankston asked Billings to pass along that this isn't a reflection on police job performance. As of next week, all marked cars will be single-unit. Officers with 6 months of experience or more will be flying solo. Billings turns the floor over to Danny, "who might be keeping mum about who the daddy is, but she'll gladly spill the beans on your new assignments." Smart money says she and Vic rekindled their affair.

Vic makes an impassioned speech of his own: "Cheap bastards don't wanna cough up a half a cent in sales tax, screw 'em. Next time somebody bitches P.D. didn't show up..." He slams a penny on the table. "...tell 'em that coulda bought two cops, on time. So let's keep showing up. Everything else will even itself out." Billings agrees, "Everything will even itself out. And so forth."

Julien asks to interview the rest of the juniors. The principal says the entire junior class has the same lunch period. Tina complains that could take all day. As the adults approach the cafeteria, they hear screams. A girl runs out, her nose bleeding. A crowd follows her, like the wildebeest stampede from The Lion King.

The scene in the cafeteria resembles a prison riot more than a school. Students are punching each other. Food and even chairs fly. Danny and Tina are helpless to control this many people and they know it. Before they can call for backup, shots are fired. The officers turn their focus to evacuating the cafeteria. Tina gets separated from her partner.

At the Barn, Danny sounds the alarm: "Full-blown riot at Wellman-Chase High School. Shots have been fired. Officers need help." Billings looks like he has no idea what to do. Vic takes over: Bring in every tactical unit on duty. Make sure fire and EMS stage two blocks away.

The cafeteria melee has spilled out into the parking lot. A car is on fire; a bunch of kids flip another car over. Others break a window and try to yank a screaming girl out of her car. Vic grabs a hose from a nearby fire truck and tells the firefighters to charge the line. Ah, the oldest riot control measure in the book.

The kids quickly change their minds about the attempted assault/carjacking/whatever they planned. Vic keeps the crowd at bay with the hose as more patrol cars arrive. And look who's here, everyone's least favorite city councilman: Edgar-veda. Vic glares at him from behind his sunglasses.

A short time later, EMS is triaging injuries. Kids in cuffs are sitting on the curb. "This was your solution? Turn the goddamn fire hose on my kid?" asks an angry mother. Vic wants to know if she would've preferred them to open fire. Edgar-veda actually sides with Vic, telling the woman this was the best way to keep all the kids safe.

Dutch and Claudette are outside the bathroom where the stabbing took place. Dutch spots an errant footprint, which Julien identifies as Tina's. "Preserving the scene is Training Officer 101," Claudette tells Julien, "That's how murderers go free." Tina apologizes. Dutch eyes her up and down. When the uniforms leave, Claudette tells Dutch that Tina is too young for him.

Downstairs in the cafeteria, a boy lies dead. "This shooting connected to our stabbing or is this just extra credit?" asks Dutch. When Claudette leans over to look at the body, she seems to be in pain. Dutch offers to get the paramedics, but she waves him off. They'll work the stabbing and leave the shooting to Vic.

It's standing-room-only in the Barn's lobby. Danny informs Billings that parents want to take their kids home. Billings would love to make that happen: "Unfortunately, all the little shitheads are either suspects or witnesses." Danny adds, "They wanna talk to a captain." "And I want more hair!" Billings snaps. He tells Danny to deal with it because it's "good mothering practice."

Weston, a kid who was in the cafeteria during the shooting, was found to be carrying a Taser. Billings gives Vic permission to do "anything necessary" to keep it off his plate.

Vic tells the teenage suspect that 11 of his classmates are hospitalized, one is dead. Having a Taser on school grounds "puts you at the top of the most-likely-to-be-tried-as-an-adult list." Weston doesn't see it that way: "The knife and the gun did the damage. That don't mean shit."

Vic "persuades" the kid to talk by zapping the metal rail he's cuffed to. Shane asks what the Taser is for: "Toasting Pop-Tarts?" Weston protests he's just trying to protect himself.

After another round of Tasering, he elaborates: "It's a kill clock. Some Mexicans gotta kill a couple brothers by tonight." He doesn't know why or who's behind it. Before leaving, Vic Tasers the kid a final time: "That's for being a wiseass."

Vic educates us about kill clocks. Gangs use them to set time limits on initiations or retaliations. Dutch asks if Vic is sure that's the case. "If it stirs up enough fear, it's real," says Vic. He'll talk to one of his CIs. Danny has bad news: Caroline, the stabbing victim, died in the OR. Before Danny goes downstairs, Vic checks to make sure she's feeling okay.

Shane, Dutch, and Claudette work tag-team. They let Zellie know that Caroline is dead. Keeping quiet about what she knows is interfering with their investigation, which is a crime. Zellie admits to seeing Lorenzo run out of the girls' bathroom just before she went in and found Caroline.

Shane wants to swap cases with Claudette and she agrees. Dutch will tell Billings. "Ah, why confuse him?" asks Shane.

Emolia signs a statement for Lieutenant Kavanaugh of Internal Affairs. We can't see his face yet, but I recognize his voice. It's Forest Whitaker, who I know best as Big Harold from the Oscar-winning Vietnam War epic Platoon. Emolia opens the door and Edgar-veda is waiting on the porch. Kavanaugh grins, "You're early" and waves him in.

Edgar-veda doesn't seem to get why he's there; Monica was the one who revived the investigation into Vic and the Strike Team. Kavanaugh brings him up to speed about Lem stealing the heroin. Internal Affairs is waiting to see if that develops into anything. So far, Vic's nose has been as clean as he ever keeps it. A CI is keeping tabs on Vic and will report anything dirty.

Kavanaugh wonders if Edgar-veda can help out. The councilman chuckles and shakes his head: "You've got my letter. And I've got nothing else to add." Vic is no longer his problem. "Perception is your problem," says Kavanaugh. He (correctly) accuses Edgar-veda of doing nothing when Vic was under his command. Edgar-veda protests he did everything he could. Kavanaugh apologizes for being out of line.

Kavanaugh describes Vic's personnel file as "a 20-page cautionary tale" and "a lawsuit waiting to happen." All he wants is to get Vic off the street. Edgar-veda implies that putting one cop's head on a spike will get the public to trust the rest of the force. Next time the police department requests more funding, the voters will say yes.

Kavanaugh looked over the file on Terry's death; it's clear Vic was a suspect. "And your comrades ruled it line of duty," Edgar-veda reminds him. Kavanaugh asks if the rumors are true that the feds were involved with Terry.

Ever the self-serving bastard, Edgar-veda wants to know what's in it for him. Kavanaugh says it'll make him look good, checking on Vic even after leaving the department. If Edgar-veda plays his cards right, he could ride this into the mayor's office. Edgar-veda can barely conceal his glee.

However, the councilman isn't stupid enough to think taking down Vic will be easy: "Lemansky, he's a soldier. He'll follow Mackey anywhere, but he's the one with a conscience." They'll have to scheme a way to create a rift between Lem and Vic. I think they already have one and his name is Shane Vendrell. "If I give you this, I'm done," Edgar-veda says. I seriously doubt that.

"Terry was working with Justice to bring down Mackey," Edgar-veda confirms, adding, "I think Vic had him killed." Now it's Kavanaugh's turn to be giddy as a schoolboy. He offers the councilman a stick of Juicy Fruit.

Edgar-veda declines twice. "You hold this out here long enough, some people feel compelled to take the gum," says Kavanaugh, "It's a sign they'll crack under pressure." Then Lem is in trouble.

Vic stops by Emolia's safe house with a lollipop for her son. He asks Emolia to see if she can find out anything about a Mexicans-vs.-blacks kill clock. Vic knows being a CI pays Emolia's rent, but the work is "a roll of the dice." She should get out before she has a chance to get hurt. Vic promises to help her find another job. Emolia says she'll think about it.

Assistant Chief Phillips asks if the Truman-Chase riot was gang-related. Billings is clueless. Vic speaks up: They have a motive, but no suspects. Phillips wants to talk to Vic in private. "If this is about me hosin' down those kids, I'd rather have 'em pissed off and wet than dead and dry," says Vic.

Phillips gives Vic a letter from the pension department; they want Vic to retire when he hits 15 years on the job. Vic is in shock.

Phillips explains that anyone close to 20 years in or with problematic personnel files is being shown the door. It's due to the cutbacks, nothing personal. Vic sees right through that: "Then why am I getting the news hand-delivered to me by the chief's inner circle?" Phillips is sorry, but there's nothing he can do. He advises, "Don't give them a reason to pull your pension."

Vic stares morosely out the window. Shane, not knowing what's just transpired, comes into the clubhouse with intel on Lorenzo. The kid is 17 with a few misdemeanor charges, no violence or gang affiliation. Lorenzo's dear old dad is doing 10 years in prison for assault. Shane notices his bestie seems distracted. Vic shows him the letter.

"These are retirement papers," Shane says disbelievingly. Vic tells Shane he's leaving when he hits his 15th anniversary. Shane exposits that's only 4 months away. Don't remind him. Vic rips up the letter and tosses it in the trash can: "I'll walk myself out the front door before I let someone push me out the back." For now, this situation needs to stay between best friends.

Enter Lem and Ronnie, laughing about something. The brunette is sporting a small bald spot. "Man, nothing can hurt that cabeza," kids Lem. Shane pokes at the stitches, asking, "Is it sore?" Not if they gave him the good stuff.

Ronnie wants a piece of the guy who hit him. "'Hood needs a reminder: You hurt us, we hurt you worse," Vic agrees.

The Strike Team pays a visit to Lorenzo's mom. She swears she hasn't seen her son all day; she just got in from picking up his little brother at soccer. Vic hears an engine revving and looks over his shoulder. Lorenzo is hilariously attempting to flee on what looks like his kid brother's minibike. He's barely past his own house when he gets clipped by a car.
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Lorenzo stands up and starts running, the Strike Team on his heels. Lorenzo stops in a nearby park. Spotting a black man holding a Bible, the kid pulls out his gun and shoots him in the chest. He then tries to shoot the pursuing cops. Lorenzo darts into the street and carjacks a minivan.

Vic "borrows" car keys from a construction worker. He drives over the sidewalk to cut the kid off and T-bones the stolen van. Lorenzo begins to climb out the window. "Don't move or you're dead!" Vic warns. The kid freezes. Shane pulls Lorenzo to the ground.

Lorenzo's mother jogs up, demanding, "What are you doing? Why are you arresting him?" Vic snarks, "He ran a stop sign."

At the Barn, Vic informs the teen he's a lousy shot. The man with the Bible "lost a lot of blood, but he'll live to see Armageddon." Lorenzo's Mom is sure her son only ran because he was scared: "He sees what white cops do to Mexican kids." Vic asks if Lorenzo was scared when he stabbed Caroline at school.

"Tell them you didn't do it, 'Renzi," says Mom. Lorenzo tensely asks what time it is. He's sweaty, bug-eyed, and says he doesn't feel good. Vic says, "I wouldn't feel too good either if I just slaughtered an innocent girl." He clicks through the kid's cell phone and flips the screen around. "I'm guessing you didn't download the death photo with your ringtones." "Oh Jesus," Mom whimpers.

Lorenzo responds by throwing up all over the table. Vic calls Tina over, standing so she can't see into the room. He asks her to escort Lorenzo to the men's room. Tina's just in time to watch Lorenzo vomit again. She looks ready to sympathy-puke.

Claudette and Dutch talk to the suspected cafeteria shooter, who swears he wouldn't kill a fellow Mexican. Claudette knows he's been bragging about having a new gun. The kid must've gotten it past the faulty metal detectors and used it to shoot someone in the back.

Dutch wants to call juvie and let the kid spend a few weeks there, "get a taste of his future." "Maybe a little truth will seem like a good idea then," says Claudette. The kid says he didn't do the shooting; it was Every-Day AKA Evan Dayne. He's in a gang called Hope Hill.

Tina exits the interrogation room, gingerly touching shirtless Lorenzo's upper arm with rubber gloves. Lorenzo lunges, almost knocking Claudette over the railing. Dutch grabs the teen from behind in a headlock and pulls him off his partner. "Stop! You're killing him!" shrieks Mom.

It takes both Vic and Shane to wrestle scrawny Dutch away from Lorenzo. Claudette assures Dutch that she's okay. Lorenzo pukes over the balcony, scoring a direct hit on Billings. "Goddamn it, this is a new suit," the captain gripes.

Corinne drops off Matt and Megan at Glenridge, their special-needs school. As the kids walk into the building, Kavanaugh appears at Corinne's shoulder. He lies that he just dropped his own son off at orientation.

Kavanaugh only has to offer once before Corinne accepts a stick of Juicy Fruit. He's empathetic about her plight; sometimes he has trouble with just one autistic child, especially as a single father. "Doing it alone is hard," Corinne agrees. She does at least acknowledge that her ex helps with tuition and is there for the kids as much as possible.

Kavanaugh's imaginary ex-wife is embarrassed by their child being different and isn't in the picture. There are days he wonders why he even married her. Does Corinne ever feel like that? Also, would Kavanaugh mind if he called her? The principal suggested he make friends with other parents.

Corinne falls right into his trap and tells him she's under "Mackey" in the school directory. She'd be happy to tell him more about the school or talk about their respective kids. Her ex-husband won't be much help in those departments.

Shane asks Julien if he knows who Danny's baby-daddy is because "the pool's up to 1,100 bucks." They could split the money, minus "a broker's fee for insider trading." Julien tells the guys to stop pestering her about it. Tina asks who Ronnie would bet on. Ronnie answers honestly, "These things, I always go with Shane."

The Southerner reminds them that he's married and follows Clinton's rule: no intercourse with other people, just oral. Besides, he's attracted to small women. Danny was pretty small before she got pregnant, you know.

Tina cracks wise about the size of Shane's equipment and bets $20 on the sperm bank. Shane blows her a kiss as he leaves. He escorts Lorenzo, dressed in a clean white T-shirt, back upstairs. When the interrogation room door closes, Mom asks her son, "Are you on drugs?" Without waiting for an answer, she slaps him and grabs him by the back of his hair. "I didn't raise an animal!"

"Who set the kill clock?" asks Vic. Mom steps between them when Vic tries to grab the kid's shirt. Shane sees Emolia outside the screen door.

In the clubhouse, Emolia explains that the boy killed in the hit-and-run was a Los Mag's nephew. Said Los Mag is serving time in Chino, just like Lorenzo's dad. "I got a few juvie graduates in Chino. I'll find out what Pops' story is," Lem volunteers. Vic asks for a minute alone with his CI and gives Emolia gas money.

Vic goes back at the teen with what he knows. The dead child's uncle is on the same cell block where Lorenzo's dad has been helping black inmates sell illegal cigarettes. "That asshole can't even play by the rules in prison," says Shane.

Vic guesses Lorenzo Senior said Junior could be their outside assassin. "Does that bastard have something to do with this?" Mom asks tearfully. Vic whispers in Lorenzo's ear: "Mommy can't help you."

"It's about justice," says Lorenzo, "It's Mexi-pride." Dad told him that if he didn't kill two blacks by 10:00 tonight, the Los Mags would see dear old Dad shivved.

"Why would you do this for him?" asks Mom. Lorenzo hates his dad, "but if I don't do it, it falls on Cisco. He was on the other line. Dad told him too." Dad gave them the combination to his gun safe. Cisco is still fond of dad and will probably finish the kill clock. When Vic checks the lobby, Cisco is gone.

"Description of the shooter sounds like our lost brother," says Ronnie at a barber shop. A bloodied middle-aged black man is sitting in one of the barber chairs. Lem checks the guy's pulse, but he's dead.

The owner reports Cisco went out the back, adding, "You know that crazy kid stopped to take a goddamn Polaroid? I stuck him with my best pair, though." "You mean your scissors?" asks Ronnie before running out with Lem.

In the alley, Shane has spotted a blood trail. They can just barely make out the top of his head over what looks like a concrete planter.

Cisco's holding up a Polaroid, insisting, "I gotta get this picture to my dad." "We'll talk about the picture after you put the gun down," says Vic. He'll even personally take it to Chino. Cisco complies.

The Strike Team steps closer. "This really hurts," Cisco whimpers. The barber's scissors are still stuck in his shoulder. Cisco then does the one thing you should never, ever do when impaled: he yanks them out. Vic holds pressure on the wound and sends Lem to grab a paramedic.

Claudette questions Evan about what happened in the cafeteria. "I heard the shots and I hit the floor, just like everybody else," he says. Dutch informs the kid they have three witnesses saying Evan himself was the shooter: "Those aren't very good odds for you." He leans on the table.

"You best tell pale boy to get outta my goddamn face," Evan says to Claudette. He sighs that the witnesses are probably all Hispanics who hate blacks and would love to see another one in jail. That sounds like motive to Dutch. Evan calls him lazy. Dutch's pride is wounded, so he tells the kid he's good at his job. "Your busted ass sucks at it," Evan disagrees.

Dutch tells the uniforms outside interrogation to book Evan for murder. Evan shouts that he's innocent. Neither detective is buying it.

Back at the barber shop, the EMT thinks Cisco will make it. Vic gives Mom the news that her youngest son killed an innocent person. Mom says, "I wanted to kill their father a dozen times and I never did. For their sake. Los Mags should slit his throat from ear to ear." Crying, she gets in the back of the ambulance to ride with Cisco.

"She's right, you know. That prick should die," says Shane. Vic promises, "He will. Just not today." Lem has two hours to get the pictures to Chino and stop the kill clock.

A teacher called Danny to report his gun stolen from a locked desk drawer. Evan just happens to have said teacher for homeroom and science. Claudette, who must've gone to Catholic school, asks, "Whatever happened to smacking a kid's knuckles with a ruler?" When Danny walks away, Dutch tells his partner he bet $50 that it's Vic's baby. "That's funny 'cause I got $50 on you," says Claudette.

Vic rings Corinne's doorbell. He tried calling and nobody answered. He wants to see the kids. Corinne tells him he can't just drop by. The kids have a schedule. Vic reminds her, "And mine's always changing. Do you want me to ever see them or not?" Corinne didn't make the rules; it's their custody agreement.

Corinne notices something on Vic's upper arm: "Is that blood?" Vic tells her it's from a 12-year-old. It's been an exceptionally bad day at work and he just wants to give his children good-night kisses. Corinne hands him a towel: "Wash it off before you see them." After he does, Cassidy runs up and gives Vic a hug.

Tina compliments Dutch on closing the school shooting so quickly. Dutch tells her how the odds decrease after the first 24 hours. And here I thought it was the first 48. Tina smiles, "I'm gonna learn a lot from you, aren't I?" "Could be," Dutch smiles back. Claudette tells him the gun-shot residue test on Evan came back negative.

Vic, Shane, and Ronnie go to a quickie-mart looking for blond afro guy. "Took you guys 3 hours to show up last time I called," grumbles the clerk. Vic hands him a business card: "Next time, you call us. We're your new 911." The clerk gives up afro guy's name: Darius McBride AKA D-Mac. He bought Band-Aids and beer this morning.

Vic grabs an unsuspecting customer by the beer cooler, pulls his gun, and issues a stern warning: "Anybody any color hits this store, I will beat them half-dead and plant enough shit on them to send them away for a 10 stretch. Spread the word."

"Guys like the girly girls," Danny remarks, watching Tina touch up her lipstick in the women's room. Satisfied with how she looks, Tina tucks the makeup into her vest. Danny is aghast: "You replaced your breastplate with lipstick and tampons?" The rookie shrugs that it's a good place to put stuff.

"That's a reprimand," Danny informs her, "As well as probably getting you killed." She advises, "Lose those hoop earrings before someone rips your ears out." Didn't they teach Tina about the dress code in the academy? Tina asks if she pissed Danny off somehow. Danny tells her she needs to take her job seriously: "You're a cop, not a Kelly Girl."

Tina appreciates what Danny's saying, but it's just so darn hard to fit in with the boys. In my experience with volunteer firefighters, being overly concerned about makeup and looking hot makes things worse, not better. If Tina wants to prove the boys wrong, a good start to that would be fixing the safety issues with her wardrobe.

Julien is surprised Danny is still at the Barn. He thought light duty was a 9-5 gig and admires her for "pretty much running the place." Danny wishes she was still on patrol. "Don't be so sure. I got my work cut out for me," says Julien.

Danny defends Tina: "She's raw, but she's got potential." By the way, Julien's end-of-shift paperwork is late. Julien will get Tina to do it. "See? I did train you right," says Danny.

Another bathroom scene! The one at Lem's place is powder-blue, very Miami Vice, and I love it. Lem stands in front of his mirror, wearing nothing but a towel.
I'm fine, it's just really warm in here...
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Someone is knocking on his door. He doesn't put on pants or anything, but he does stop to take his gun out of what looks like the linen closet. After checking the peephole, Lem puts his gun on a side table next to his badge and Chino visitor's pass. What we can see of Lem's house is pretty organized for a bachelor cop.

"Curtis Lemansky," greets Kavanaugh, completely unperturbed by the mostly-naked dude in front of him. He introduces himself as IAD and says Lem will have to come with him. Lem wants to know what this is about.

Kavanaugh doesn't answer, but graciously gives him the opportunity to get dressed first. Walter, also of IAD, pushes his way into the house and tries to herd Lem down the hall. The big guy is having none of this. He even shoves Walter: "I'll get dressed. Leave me alone." Kavanaugh confiscates Lem's gun and smirks evilly as he takes the badge.

Montage! The Strike Team has caught up to Darius. Claudette brushes her teeth, several prescription bottles on the sink beside her. Another ulcer casualty? There's a shot of the DANNY DADDY POOL posterboard hanging in the Barn. Everyone's money seems to be on "turkey baster," followed by Vic and Shane. Even Lem has a few votes.

Tina dresses up for a night on the town in a sequined orange tank top and short black skirt. Almost the same ensemble Danny wore in the pilot for her blind date. Dutch stares as she leaves. Put your eyes back in your head!

Cassidy does homework at the kitchen table. Corinne pops in the stick of Juicy Fruit she's been carrying around all day.

Edgar-veda looks over Terry's file again.

The Internal Affairs guys frog-march Lem out of his house and stuff him in their car. Poor Lemming.

In a parking garage, Shane holds up Darius. Ronnie, the least violence-prone of them all, repeatedly punches his attacker. Vic decides Darius has had enough. Shane steals Darius' iPod and walks off listening to it. Vic does something not very bright: He leaves behind one of their old calling cards.
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Kavanaugh lays everything out for Lem. 6 months ago, Internal Affairs found a kilo of pure heroin in his glove compartment and switched it out. Lem never logged the brick into evidence.

Lem can't believe they've been watching him for that long without him knowing about it. Well, he's never seemed like the most observant guy and they did snoop through the car when he was in bed.

Our friend Lem is facing serious charges, namely felony theft under color of authority (not sure that's a real thing) and intent to distribute. Kavanaugh tries flattery, "You're a smart guy. You've been on the other side of this table a long time. You know how that will play out. Does that seem fair to you?" Lem knows Kavanaugh is bluffing; if they wanted to arrest him, they'd be at police headquarters. What does he want?

"I want us both to do the right thing, Curtis," says Kavanaugh. Lem scoffs. "Why is it that the guy with the conscience always has to get caught holding the bag?" That's actually a fair question. "And we don't really want that guy. We want the guy that put him into motion, the one who is really dangerous. Who do you think I want, Curtis?" End of episode.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Antwon's Going to Jail. "Ain't That A Shame"? (Episode 4.13)

Previously on: Danny was (nonfatally) shot in the line of duty. Monica arrested a social worker whose negligence nearly caused the death of a 7-year-old girl in foster care. Lem stole drugs as collateral for information, which he did give back. To keep people from finding out Juan raped him, Edgar-veda made a crossroads deal with Antwon. Thanks to that, Antwon might go free, even though he arranged for Carl and Scooby to be killed. 

Monica has just informed her troops what happened with Antwon. The squadroom goes into an uproar. She's sorry, but the deal was made behind her back, so there's nothing she can do. Monica implores them to maintain their professionalism on the streets. She finds this just as sucky and unfair as they do. The police commission will decide tomorrow whether to discontinue asset forfeitures entirely.

Monica goes into the clubhouse, asking the Strike Team to find a way to undermine Antwon's deal. Vic knows the department heads would never sign off on that. Monica is already on thin ice with Phillips and Edgar-veda; neither of them can find out until after everything is done.

Julien prays at his partner's bedside. Danny, her arm in a sling, basically quotes Gerry from Remember the Titans: 
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Danny then jokes, "As long as you're talkin' to the man upstairs, ask him for a Vicodin." She thanks her partner for praying. Julien says he'll come back later to drive her home.

The connection between Edgar-veda and Antwon isn't adding up to the guys. The councilman only visited Antwon in jail once; prior to that, they never talked on the phone or sent letters. Edgar-veda also visited Juan Lozano. That name doesn't ring a bell for Vic.

Lem exposits, "The Byz Lat grabbed Aceveda's gun, then got busted by him for armed robbery." Juan was just murdered in county lockup the same way Jeffrey Dahmer was: dumbbell to the head. Vic doesn't like that math.

When Vic visits Edgar-veda at home, the councilman answers with Sophia in his arms. At the mention of Juan, Edgar-veda sends his daughter off to play in the other room and steps on the porch. He knows Juan filed an appeal, claiming he was forced to confess.

Vic, never one for subtlety, says, "Lucky for you, he had a little sports injury. Somebody in County went Mr. Universe on his skull." "Can't say the world will miss him," Edgar-veda says coolly.

Vic thinks it's awful funny that Juan is the same guy Edgar-veda visited in jail, even though Juan assaulted him. Edgar-veda shrugs that Juan pissed off the wrong inmate, it happens. Vic suggests the pissed-off inmate could've been Antwon. "Maybe he thought going after Antwon would get him back his street cred," says Edgar-veda.

If Juan was killed after Antwon struck a deal with the DEA, Antwon loses his immunity. Edgar-veda will see what he can do. A likely story, since he'd end up incriminating himself.

In a safe house, Antwon tells DEA Agent Grossman about Bonilla, his main El Salvador connection. He describes the guy as "old-school crazy. A technophobe. No cell phone, no email."

Other agents and Monica watch the exchange on surveillance cameras. Monica hands over Antwon's master file. "He's given us more in a day than we got in a year," says Agent Lamberti. Monica reminds him the deal is only good if his tips lead to arrests and convictions. Lamberti realizes this is painful for her. "You have no idea," says Monica.

Vic and the guys meet with Monica at an overpass. She asks them if the name Bonilla rings a bell, but it doesn't. "So we got half a Latino name in a city of 4 million Latinos?" asks Shane. Lem thinks they should talk to Gusano. If they catch Bonilla before the DEA, Antwon loses leverage and Monica might be able to barter.

The guys kick in Gusano's door. Vic tells Lem to tear the house apart. Gusano claims he doesn't know Bonilla. Vic calls for Lem to start tearing up the floors. Gusano gives them the address of a flower store. Vic has Lem stay behind.

Claudette asks Dutch if he's proud of brawling with a coworker. Dutch inspects his bruised face in their side mirror and says, "Stood up to Billings and Vic. No more pranks or jokes since. Damn straight I'm proud." You can almost hear Claudette's eyes rolling: "Men, doesn't matter if they're 5 or 65, it's all about the pecking order on the playground." "You're just figuring that out now?" he asks.

The two of them are at a park. A man in the suit lies on the grass, shot in the chest. A crowd of young ladies in fancy dresses stand nearby. "Wedding?" Dutch guesses. Claudette thinks it's more likely a quinceanera, given the average age of the guests. For those at home not familiar, she explains, "Latin coming-out party. They present the girl as a woman when she turns 15."

By the swings, the detectives interview Xylina, the guest of honor, and her sister Concepcion. Xylina's boyfriend Alejandro came to the party, even though he wasn't supposed to. Their father didn't like him. When Xylina went to the parking lot to talk to her Romeo, Papi followed to tell him to leave. Alejandro had a friend with him. Concepcion heard arguing, then gunshots.

Concepcion can't identify the other guy, but Xylina knows him. The birthday girl gives Claudette a hard, defiant look. The detective asks, "You're gonna protect the person who murdered your father?" "You're 15. You're supposed to be a woman. Start acting like one," Concepcion scolds.

Shane, Vic, and Ronnie aren't having any luck at the flower shop. Bonilla is supposed to be 50-60; all the employees are too young. Vic looks around and finds black tar heroin residue on a vase. The employee Vic questions is from Mexico, not El Salvador. "Gusano humped us," Vic realizes, "He sent us to bust his competition."

Lem is casually sitting in Gusano's living room, shotgun aimed in the general direction of Gusano and Company. Vic calls to let him know they'll be coming back for a little talk. Gusano and his pals keep mumbling to each other in Spanish. "Hey, shut up! English only!" Lem snaps. The guys start to get off the couch. Lem pumps a round into the shotgun. One guy taunts, "You'll never find Bonilla!"

All Vic can hear on his end is a lot of jumbled shouting. One of Gusano's friends jumps Lem, causing him to fire wildly into the wall. Vic floors it. Ronnie radios dispatch that an officer needs assistance.

Lem is handling himself pretty well, considering it's two-against-one. They slam each other into walls and then the front window, which shatters. One of Gusano's friends manages to wrestle the shotgun away from Lem; Friend #2 holds him on the floor in a headlock. Lem grabs onto the gun barrel, desperate to get it pointed someplace other than at his head.

Gusano's Friend #1 shoots, breaking another window. The noise startles him enough that Lem is able to kick the guy away and reclaim his shotgun. Lem smacks both guys a few times with the butt of said shotgun. Scrambling for a better position, Lem trips over a kid's toy and lands flat on his back. His head almost bounces off a corner wall.

The cavalry arrives, but Lem is so keyed up on adrenaline that he points the shotgun at his own team. Shane, the worst person for the job, tries to calm him down. Vic asks a few times if Lem is okay. He doesn't really answer, just kind of paces the destroyed living room, trying to catch his breath.

Vic asks where Gusano is. "He got away," Lem sounds disgusted with himself. Vic kicks one of Gusano's friends again for good measure.

"What the hell happened?" Monica demands as she arrives with the uniforms. Vic takes the blame; it was his genius plan to leave Lem by himself. Shane smiles proudly, "Lem kicked some serious ass." A compliment from Shane Vendrell? Wonder what angle he's playing.

Vic lays out how they went to investigate a tip and Lem was babysitting the suspects until they got back. Gusano fled, but the important thing is that Lem's more or less okay. After all that, it turns out the lead was total bullshit.

Vic brings in his CI Emolia, former heroin cutter for Gusano's middleman Pittario. Monica asks her for ideas of where Gusano would run. Emolia doesn't really know Gusano personally and she never had his phone number. However, she knows Gusano's girlfriend and babysat for her a few times.

At the address Emolia gave them, Gusano's pregnant girlfriend Rosario answers the door. The guys shoo her outside to safety. Gusano's not home, but half-packed suitcases are sitting in the living room. Lem found something odd by the phone: directions to Industrial Discount Clothing. Ronnie knows exactly where it is because he's a regular customer. "That explains a few things," mutters Vic, eyeing Ronnie's powder blue-and-gray striped polo.

Vic shows Rosario the address. Is this where she's meeting her baby daddy? Rosario shakes her head. Vic interprets this as a yes.

Xylina sits in the interrogation room, still wearing her fancy mint-green quinceanera dress. Dutch believes the girl when she says Alejandro didn't kill her dad. However, if they can't prove it by ID'ing the second guy, that makes Alejandro an accessory to murder. "My father tried to throw them both out. Why'd he have to do that?" asks Xylina.

Claudette understands that the kids are scared. But does Xylina really want to wait 20-30 years for Alejandro to get out of prison? The teen says the other boy is Miguel and describes him as "crazy, always on drugs. Alejandro is not like that."
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The guys find Gusano hiding in the back room of the clothing store. Lem clocks the guy with the door when he tries to escape. He jams his gun into the guy's neck and whispers, "Bitch."

Next we see of Gusano, he's got blood down the front of his shirt and gauze stuffed up his nose. Vic reads Gusano's extensive rap sheet and notices all his charges were plead down. Somebody must've paid for a good lawyer. Hopefully, that person will pay the tab for Gusano's defense against his latest charge: attempted murder of a police officer.

Vic wants to talk alone, so Monica leaves. Vic bargains, "If you give up Bonilla, I'll get my guy to drop the charges." Uh, the hell you will. Lem seems like he took that beatdown pretty personally. Gusano points out he's still out a key of heroin thanks to them. Vic hastily unplugs the camera.

"Whatever that crap was, it wasn't tar." Gusano goes on, "I tried to pass that fake shit down to one of my hookups. Looked like I was trying to play his ass." Gusano gave him two free keys to make it up. Oh, this is very bad news for Lem...

Vic goes to the clubhouse and says lightly, "Gusano claims the dope we returned was bogus. Is that possible?" Emolia admits she sometimes thinned the drugs, but she never packaged bunk. Ronnie has cracked the "third grade code" on Gusano's phone.

Edgar-veda pulls Vic out into the squadroom. There are no connections between Antwon and Juan. "Except you visited both of them in prison the day Lozano was killed," says Vic. More bad news: Juan died before Antwon signed his DEA deal. Vic thinks he should dig into why Juan was killed.

The councilman threatens to do some digging of his own. Vic reminds him that busting Bonilla will end Antwon's deal. "Dig all you want, I've got nothing to hide," says Edgar-veda. He's willing to help Vic so they can get justice for Carl and Scooby.

Vic and Shane tell Gusano they're ready to start dialing numbers in his phone. They know the area codes all have one subtracted from each number and are all local. "Nice job, windtalker," says Vic sarcastically, "If the Germans had you in World War II, we coulda stopped that thing before it started."

Vic calls one of Gusano's customers and identifies himself as a detective. "We keep lettin' our fingers do the walking, won't be long 'til we're talkin' to Bonilla," says Shane. Gusano tells them Bonilla likes to hang out at a nightclub. Bonilla also loves "music, poppies, and black whores."

Sitting in their stakeout car, the Strike Team doesn't see anyone under 60 in the club. "Looks like a goddamn Viagra convention in there," says Lem. Vic guesses that "hanging with the Depends crowd" helps Bonilla keep a low profile.

"I ever get that low pro, tie off my colostomy bag and call it a day," says Shane. Lem chuckles, "Man, you're gonna be on wife number, what, 6 by then?" I'm surprised Shane doesn't tell Lem to shut his mouth; Mara is his One True Love.

A car parks and a Latino gets out, accompanied by three scantily-clad young black women. "Gusano says [Bonilla] likes to burn coal," says Ronnie. Shane drawls, "Three hotties like that, you tell Santa I been naughty."

Dutch and Claudette have arrested Miguel the pill head for the quinceanera murders. They found something interesting in his car: prescription bottles bearing the address of Joya's foster home. One of the prescriptions was filled mere days ago. Family Services confirmed the couple has new foster kids in their teens, one of whom is a classmate of Miguel's. Monica is upset; she'd been told that couple would lose their foster care licenses because of what happened to Joya.

Julien finishes making Danny comfortable on her couch. She feels bad that they had so many disagreements over the seizures and now Julien's the only person taking care of her. I'm sure Vic would, given the chance. Julien says it's not a big deal; he knows Danny would do the same.

Monica confronts Joya's caseworker, who explains the Walkers' license is under appeal. Pending misdemeanors or not, they're still innocent until proven guilty. "Two months since that little girl had drain cleaner poured down her throat. One of those kids is selling prescription drugs out of that house. When do you get mad?" the captain demands.
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The caseworker promises to handle it once she knows the kid's name.

Monica announces she intends to seize the Walkers' house, even though there's a moratorium. Claudette warns the captain of the potential consequences; a final decision about the seizure policy is being made tomorrow. Monica is unwilling to give the Walkers a third strike and will take full responsibility when the fallout comes.

Dutch opines that it's Monica's business if she wants to hang herself. He and Claudette aren't getting themselves caught in the middle of anything again. On the bright side, if Monica gets fired, Claudette is next in line for captain. Claudette knows better: "They'll get some company yes-man jellyfish from outside."

"Black Betty's taking a little stroll," says Vic as one of the hookers exits the club.
Sorry, it's a reflex.
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Given the neighborhood they're in, Vic thinks they should be gentlemen and offer protection. They follow her into a store. When Shane requests a price list, Boogie (yep, that's her street name) says she isn't a whore. "You just joined Grandpa's harem for the free paella?" asks Vic. He checks her pupils, wondering what she's on.

He remembers there are bigger fish to fry and asks about Bonilla. Boogie has been with him all day every day and doesn't know if anyone tipped him off about the cops. She turns around, bends over the counter, and pukes. The clerk looks revolted.

Lem leans on the counter and inspects the vomit. "I see some blood in that," he reports, "Looks like an ulcer." Thank you, Dr. Lemansky. "If you don't get that thing treated--" "It'll kill me, I know," Boogie says weakly, "That's the plan."

Vic has a better idea. The city can help Boogie pay for her medical bills if cooperates with them. (Hell, Lem would probably refer her to his GI doc). Boogie hopes they're not lying to her. Some guy came with a message that pissed Bonilla off: "The stuff was moved to la cueva [the cave]." She doesn't know what that means.

Monica has bad news: Antwon gave up Gusano to the DEA. Agent Lamberti will be there any minute. Vic tells her to get his phone. "Get Bonilla on the phone now!" Monica orders Gusano. Gusano tells Bonilla that he's at the police station and the cops think he's talking to his lawyer; they're asking him about the cave. Bonilla goes outside and gets in his car.

The cave is more like a vacant lot full of junk. As Vic approaches, a spotter whistles from the roof of a nearby house. Someone starts shooting at them. A second guy pours gasoline over some file cabinets. Ronnie and the guys take cover while Vic chases Bonilla into the house. The shootout continues, the file cabinets now on fire.

Lem bodychecks one of the flunkies, sending him head over heels on top of a burning file cabinet. He drags the guy to safety while Shane and Ronnie smother the flames.

The documents the guys managed to save were shipping charts and distribution lists. Bonilla has connections from D.C. to San Salvador. Lamberti thinks it's awfully coincidental that Bonilla was at the top of their most wanted list. Monica lies that Vic discovered Bonilla during a routine sting.

Lamberti wants Bonilla and all the records. Monica says Bonilla will be processed for attempted murder first and the files logged into their evidence vault. Assistant Chief Phillips warns that could give the cartel time to do damage control. Monica isn't about to let a whale go. She wants Antwon too.

Monica leaves Vic and the boys to handle the crime scene. She's off to seize the Walkers' foster home. After catching Antwon and Bonilla, she doubts anyone will care too much. "Or we can quit while we're ahead," says Vic, who should've taken his own advice several years ago.

A uniform leads a protesting boy out of the Walkers'. Dutch asks if Monica is sure about going through with this; the actual dealer, a 14-year-old, is going to juvie. The foster care supervisor tells Monica she's out of control: "These kids will end up sleeping in my office tonight." "At least it won't be here," Monica shrugs, "This system fails thousands of kids every year. This is about not putting up with this shit anymore."

Corinne goes to Vic's apartment to pick up Cassidy since Vic is working late. The eldest Mackey child isn't alone; she's with a boy named Evan. Cassidy claims they were studying. Corinne looks around the room and asks, "Where are your books?"

Corinne's next stop is the Barn. She informs Vic that Cassidy snuck a boy into the apartment: "Evan something. He lives in your building." It took longer than Corrine would've liked for Cassidy to answer the door. The kids were supposedly studying, but she didn't see any books. I don't think you need them to study human biology/anatomy. Cassidy's been lying and evasive lately: "You know what they say, 11's the new 13."

Vic has a come-to-Jesus with his daughter in the clubhouse. Cassidy huffs that her mom is making a big deal out of nothing again. Vic thought she knew the rule against having friends over when he's not home. Cassidy insists she and Evan weren't doing anything and he's never come over before.

Cassidy gushes about Evan: "He's cool, just like you. Other kids like him and he doesn't take shit from anyone." Vic is so taken aback he doesn't even mention the swearing. He asks if Cassidy understands there's more to a person than that. Honesty, trustworthiness, and being caring are more important.

"I like him." argues Cassidy, "Mom didn't get you and now she doesn't get me." Five bucks says Vic will have Lem run Evan's name through juvie records.

"I had every reason to seize that house," Monica tells Edgar-veda and Phillips, "Neglected, unsupervised foster kids selling prescription drugs that contributed to a murder." But that's not why she's here.

"The Department of Justice has been on the phone with the mayor ever since you twisted DEA's arm into giving up Mitchell," Phillips explains. They're threatening to pull federal funding, even though she gave them Bonilla.

Monica offers an apology. Unfortunately, the DEA chief is more interested in having her job. The mayor agreed and so did the police chief. Edgar-veda is sorry how this worked out, which I doubt. Monica hopes one of them will fight for her. It's crushing to watch Monica realize that after all the good she's done in Farmington, she's losing her command. She leaves, barely holding back tears.

Monica meets Geno from Internal Affairs at Emolia's safe house. "You were right about the Strike Team," he says. "[Emolia] was cutting heroin for her dealer Pitarrio when Detective Curtis Lemansky had words with him, assaulted him, and confiscated a kilo of tar heroin. Those drugs were never logged into evidence."
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Emolia reported the incident. Internal Affairs was able to ID Lem from her description. They searched his Jeep while he was asleep, found the heroin, and replaced it with bunk. Monica eyes Emolia: "I thought you were Vic's CI." "Whoever's got the money," says Emolia.

Geno's boss wants to use the heroin case to grab up the whole Strike Team. Emolia thinks they can use the fact that Vic likes her and her son. "I just lost my job. This is someone else's problem," sighs Monica. Hey, It's That Guy! Jose Zuniga AKA Geno played the undercover DEA agent who was killed in the Nicolas Cage classic Con Air.

The squadroom watches solemnly as Monica packs up her desk. She's not appealing the chief's decision because if she loses, there goes her pension. Monica hands Vic a shadowbox containing Carl and Scooby's badges. She asks him to make sure they get put up someplace where everyone can see them. Two uniforms arrive; Phillips assigned them to escort Monica from the Barn.

"Not tonight," says Vic. Dutch adds that they're waiting for Antwon to be back in their custody: "The captain has to make that arrest." She smiles fondly at him.

Vic walks Cassidy and Corinne to their car. He promises his ex-wife that he set their daughter straight: "No more hangin' around with boys in empty apartments." A prison van pulls up. Vic thinks maybe Cassidy should move back in with Corinne. She understands more what it's like to be a preteen/teenage girl.

Everyone stands at attention as jailers bring Antwon through the Barn. Antwon is smirking. Monica stands in front of him and closes the final case of her career: "Antwon Mitchell, you're under arrest for conspiracy to commit the murders of Officers Carl Miller and Wayne Haimes." Shane gets to do the honor of opening the cage. Claudette watches from the balcony. Monica exits the Barn with her head held high.

Vic brings the contents of Monica's desk to her house. She's staying because she signed a 6-month lease; anyone who's watched Judge Judy can tell you what an expensive bitch those are to get out of. There's a long, awkward silence before Vic says, "It was good working with you."

Monica has a question for Vic: Has he ever thought about how his own career might end? "Promise me you'll take a good look at where you're going." Foreshadowing alert! They wish each other luck. Once Vic is gone, Monica locks her door and lets her feelings out at last. She starts to sob, then composes herself enough to move boxes.

Phillips tells Dutch they need an interim captain. Dutch recommends Claudette, but Phillips wants it to be Dutchboy himself. Vic won't like this one bit and neither will Claudette. Nothing is guaranteed, but it might end up a permanent promotion. Though flattered, Dutch declines: "If you think I'm the kinda guy you're looking for, you've made a mistake." Well said.

"What was that about?" asks Claudette. Dutch replies, "He wanted me to be the company yes-man jellyfish. I told him to shove it. Sometimes you have to take the moral high ground."
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Just curious, Dutch, were you taking the moral high ground when you tried to revenge-fuck Vic's ex? Or when you brawled with Billings in the parking lot?

Vic invites Dutch and Claudette to join everyone for drinks to celebrate Antwon's arrest.

At the bar, Dutch and Claudette play pool. The Strike Team splits a couple of beer pitchers. A hard rock version of "Ain't That A Shame" plays in the background. Danny and Julien arrive. Cops all over the bar cheer and lift their drinks in salute when they see her. Vic pulls up the chair next to him.
Lem offers to buy Danny a drink, but she's still on painkillers. Granted, Lem shouldn't be drinking either with his condition. Danny accepts a beer anyway.

Vic calls for everyone to stand up, raise their glasses, and toast Carl and Scooby. Flip to Monica drinking alone in her living room. Back at the bar, Lem has grabbed a pool cue and is animatedly reenacting how he narrowly avoided death by his own shotgun. Ronnie flirts with Officer Paula. Danny and Dutch play darts.

Shane is getting louder. He and Lem seem to have made nice-nice because they start to play-fight on a pool table. Geno enters and goes largely unnoticed. Lem is on top of Shane, our favorite redneck looking like he's trying to grab his hair. "Get a room, get a room!" Vic chants at his battling buddies, laughing. End of episode, end of Season 4.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Breaking the Law Like "Judas Priest" (Episode 4.12)

Previously on: Edgar-veda was sexually assaulted on the job by a guy named Juan, who eventually went to jail on an unrelated charge. Carl and Scooby were murdered. Assistant Chief Phillips wanted to re-evaluate the seizure policy. It turns out Russian gangsters killed the uniforms over a speeding ticket; Vic is sure Antwon was involved somehow.

Vic and the boys stake out Andrei, "the asshole Carl and Scooby slapped with that reckless driving ticket." Andrei is doing some slapping of his own, specifically to a blond woman whose company he's probably paying for. He punches her in the stomach. When Shane tells them to stay in the car, Lem actually says, "Slapping a hooker around is not gonna give us any leverage to twist this guy." Shane suggests searching Andrei's office after he leaves home.

Ronnie discovers restaurant invoices in a file cabinet. Shane turns on a tape player and a learn-to-speak-Russian lesson plays. Lem finds out the Russians have beef shipped to a warehouse in Alameda twice a month. Funny thing is, the warehouse is registered for dry goods. "What kinda steak doesn't need refrigeration?" Vic muses.

Phillips tells Monica that Chief Bankston decided to discontinue the asset forfeiture policy. The captain is momentarily stunned, but recovers enough to ask, "Who's really the one with his finger on the kill switch?" Why, Councilman Edgar-veda, of course. Phillips wants her to write a public statement about the reason behind the policy's suspension.

"The seizures are making a difference," Monica insists in Edgar-veda's office. There's less violent crime and gang activity. Edgar-veda's next police committee meeting is in three days. Monica knows the Barn is his legacy: "Us working together is the last thing that downtown would suspect." Seizures also mean more revenue for the city. Farmington will be a model for other districts. Edgar-veda will get to "hang [his] mayoral hat on a big success."

Edgar-veda changes the subject. Can Monica prove the officers' murders weren't related to seizures? No, not yet.

The Strike Team hides behind the Russians' warehouse. Shane guesses they're dealing China white. The girl from the night before is serving as a translator. Lem tells them to keep an eye for a Hobalt Construction pickup truck. They wonder why the Russians just left the drugs sitting on the ground. Shane moves in for a closer look.

Vic suddenly mutters, "Oh shit" and throws a small rock to attract his best friend's attention. Something nearby explodes. "Heads up, dude!" Lem calls unnecessarily. Shane hustles back. Vic realizes what the white stuff was: C-4. He flags down the Hobalt Construction truck and tells the driver, "I need you to remain silent because anything you say might get you shot."

Truck Driver explains he got behind with his bookie Andrei and paid him back with "supplies," namely C-4. He initially refused, but Andrei threatened to tell his boss. Truck Driver forged ATF papers so he could buy it. A shipment is coming in today, some of which will get sent back to Mother Russia. Vic asks how much is arriving. Oh, just a literal ton.

Monica calls in SWAT and the bomb squad; she wants to ride with the Strike Team. "It's not a good time to babysit," says Vic. Monica explains that Phillips and Edgar-veda are conspiring to stop the seizure policy. The Russians could lead them to Antwon, therefore proving that Carl and Scooby's murders had nothing to do with the seizures.

At the warehouse, Monica is directly behind Vic in line. With all the explosives around, Vic wants to avoid gunfire if at all possible. Andrei won't be there because he's at the restaurant. "Saving his strength for hooker beating," Vic says contemptuously. He asks Lem and Ronnie to pick up Andrei and the girl after the raid. They swarm in, Shane barking, "Cold War's over, boys!"

Dutch examines the body of a man shot through the crotch. There's no damage to the victim's hands, meaning he didn't try to shield himself. A uniform hands over the victim (Gill's) wallet. Dutch looks through it and finds cash and an American Express card. There's also a business card: Dr. Grohl, Rage Management classes and one-on-one counseling.

"Maybe he ran into someone who flunked that class," Claudette suggests. Dutch says, "I know a shotgun to the genitals always brings me to my happy place." I can't tell if he's being sarcastic.

Back at the warehouse, Andrei is bound to a chair in front of Lem with a gag in his mouth. Vic promises Irina the hooker that Andrei will never hurt her again. She starts slapping and clawing at him. Vic pulls her back. Irina agrees to help them by translating Vic's questions. Why did they hire Nigerians to kill two police officers?

When Lem removes the gag, Andrei says something that causes Irina to lunge at him. She wraps her hands around his throat. Vic pulls her away again: "Jesus, we're gonna need a different plan."

Gill was released from Chino two weeks ago. In civilian life, he's a high school teacher and baseball coach. His latest stint in prison was for nearly beating his shortstop to death. "It is America's favorite pastime," jokes Dutch. Claudette fails to see the humor.

Also not funny is the fact that someone wrote BITCH across the windshield of their unmarked car. Dutch starts wiping it off with a handkerchief: "Two cops are dead. You'd think harassing me about dating Vic's wife wouldn't be a priority." "You're the distraction keeping them from thinking about dead cops," Claudette corrects.

Dutch speculates that Mrs. Perdue, sporting two black eyes and bruised nose, might've finally gotten tired of being abused. They know she sold her car last week. "Maybe you hired someone to stop Gill from hurting you," says Claudette. Mrs. Perdue got rid of her car to get cash for a fake ID and forged reference letters. Gill knew he'd never get another teaching/coaching job with his record of assaulting his own players.

Mrs. Perdue didn't accompany him to buy said fake ID because she had an early-morning AA meeting. Did anyone know about him having $8,700 in cash on him? Mrs. Perdue has talked about Gill during her meetings. Bumper, a new member in a wheelchair, told her he knew someone who makes fake IDs.

In an office at the warehouse, Andrei is still tied to a chair. Ronnie is taping on blocks of C-4 and wires. Vic tells him to make it look real. Lem is downstairs with Irina. Vic goes down to instruct her on what to say: Accomplice has 30 seconds to tell them about the Nigerians or they'll blow up Andrei.

Andrei, blindfolded, is bucking and squealing in panic. "Tell him to relax or he's gonna flip that goddamn chair," says Vic. Irina yells something up to him. Andrei manages to stand. He falls over and the explosives actually go off.
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Everyone dives for cover. Vic jogs toward the office. Blood and debris are everywhere. "That was loud, brother," says Lem.
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"What the hell are we gonna do?" asks Shane. Vic's plan is simple: Grab everything and run.

In the back of the van, Andrei's friend babbles on in his native tongue. The gist is he doesn't know why the Nigerians were hired. Vic tells Ronnie to pull over. Did this have anything to do with a ticket? Irina translates: "He doesn't think so. Said he was crazy, not stupid." "Apparently, the only person who knew anything just blew himself up!" Vic cries in frustration. Actually, you guys had a hand in that too.

A third black guy was involved, strictly as a wheelman. Andrei's Friend saw the guy once before, bringing in language tapes. Vic tells Shane to take her to the restaurant and grab the tapes. Does Irina have a safe place to stay?

Nina delivers a subpoena to Edgar-veda in front of Aurora. The councilman hastily tucks the paper into his suit, saying it's nothing.

Edgar-veda visits Juan at the county jail, where he's waiting for an appeal. Juan claims he didn't rob the store, even though Edgar-veda and two other witnesses saw him: "They're gonna drop the charges when you take the stand and admit that you forced my confession. Otherwise, I'm gonna tell the whole courtroom what went down with us."

Edgar-veda doesn't think anyone will believe him. Juan supposedly has a picture of the sexual assault in progress. "You forget the 50 ways I can screw you and your loved ones to death if you open your mouth?" asks Edgar-veda.

Juan gloats that all the councilman's leverage is gone. His illegal immigrant grandma died of throat cancer last month. His mom got sick of being a nanny and moved back to Mexico. As far as whether the picture even exists, Edgar-veda can believe what he wants. Either the councilman will testify to violating Juan's rights or he'll get Juan out of jail another way.

Monica inspects the carnage at the warehouse. Vic shrugs that the Russian "must've mishandled his merchandise." Monica reminds him that Andrei was their best lead on the cop killings. Vic calls it justice.

Shane traced the language tapes to the library at Lem's alma mater: Northridge. They were checked out by a student named Jason Porter; his initials match the necklace found in the sewer where Carl and Scooby were killed. Overachiever Jason is triple-majoring in Spanish, Korean, and Russian. His professors say he hasn't been in class for two weeks, which also timelines with the murders.

Vic knocks on a door and tells the middle-aged man who answers that they're looking for Jason. "So am I," says Jason's Dad. The kid hasn't been home in two weeks, but Dad doesn't seem worried; Jason likes to road-trip to Northern California to visit friends.

"He may know a couple of Nigerians who were involved in a shooting," says Monica. Jason's Dad, of course, doesn't think his son has anything to do with it. Lem brings Vic a framed family photo, which features a very familiar face. It seems Antwon is Jason's half-brother; the boys have the same mom.

Monica recognizes Jason's dad as a former correctional officer at Chowchilla Women's Prison. He lost his job for impregnating Antwon's mom, who was an inmate at the time. Jason's dad admits he isn't sure where Jason went and blames himself for not asking enough questions when Jason was growing up.

Dutch discovered Bumper nee Francis Valverde has a record for DUIs and gang activity. He became paralyzed as the result of a drive-by. When Dutch upends his lunch bag, tampons and maxi-pads fall out. Everyone laughs. Dutch makes another lame joke: "Packed the napkins, forgot the sandwich." No, Vic probably ate it.

Monica wonders how they'll find Jason. Vic has a C.I. who works at a pawn shop. The guy put the word out that the police never found the expensive necklace. Vic is "hoping greed wins out over smarts" and its owner will claim it.

Vic puts a wire on our old pal Taylor. Lem and Ronnie have all the video cameras on display in the store rigged to record when Taylor steps on a power strip. Vic tells him not to give up the necklace too easy; make Jason prove it's his. "I'm well-versed in the conversational arts," Taylor says coolly.

Joanna, the Cuddler Rapist's wife, complains to Dutch that someone's been making harassing phone calls. Today's came from a man who said Joanna "deserved to suffer the way Will's victim's suffered." He even knew what she was wearing.

Joanna feels the police won't help her and wants Dutch's assistance with getting a concealed carry permit. Dutch tells her that threats are often just threats; some people feel powerful by making other people afraid.

Danny brings Dutch a copy of Joanna's phone records. 11 of the 15 supposedly threatening calls were from telemarketers. Joanna herself mostly calls Chinese takeout and pizza delivery places. Dutch asks Danny to check the callers' names for any connections to Will's victims.

As Jason walks into the pawn shop, Taylor nervously drags his foot across the power strip. He produces the necklace and offers it for the low, low price of $15,000. "You smoking crack?" Jason wants to know. Well, platinum is expensive. Jason knows the sticker price is $10,000 because "I'm J.P." The necklace was a gift from his brother.

Taylor claims a homeless guy brought the necklace in after finding it in a gutter. Jason pulls the do-you-know-who-I-am card. The Strike Team rushes into the store, guns drawn.

Danny, Julien, and Dutch go to Joanna's house. Mrs. Cuddler Rapist claims someone broke in. Dutch sends the uniforms on their way. He doesn't think it's a good idea for Joanna to have a concealed carry permit. Joanna feels bad for blaming Dutch for her husband's arrest and offers to make him dinner by way of an apology. Dutch pretty much tells her "thanks but no thanks."

Juan's girlfriend approaches Edgar-veda in a parking lot. She knows he thinks they're bluffing about the picture. He slams her against the car and finds a recording device in her pocket, which he doesn't think she'd need if there was a picture. "You'll see it when Juan shows it in court or maybe we can send it to the Times," says the girlfriend.

Edgar-veda might be able to set Juan free, but he needs time. The girlfriend doesn't want Juan sent back to Terminal Island. She threatens again to tell everyone about Juan and Edgar-veda.

At home, Edgar-veda seems distracted as he watches his daughter Sophia color and play with blocks. He picks up his coat, telling Aurora he has unfinished business.

Edgar-veda wonders how Vic and Monica missed Jason's connection to Antwon. Easy, the kid is a dean's list scholar with no gang ties or criminal record. According to the councilman, if Antwon's half-brother is involved, the cop killings are seizure-related.

Monica tells Jason that his necklace was covered in the blood of two murdered police officers when they found it. Jason lies, "I lost it on my way home from school." "Before or after the dog ate your homework?" asks Vic. Monica is sure the kid isn't stupid enough to do something like this without his older brother's say-so. Jason shrugs that they barely know each other.

Monica knows otherwise; checks with Antwon's signature have been used to pay Jason's tuition at Northridge every semester. Jason toes the party line about Antwon being a law-abiding visionary leader. Antwon in jail "is a crime against this community and all people of color."

Vic says one of Jason's Nigerian accomplices is itching to make a deal. Jason shouldn't count on a family reunion at Lompoc. Jason cracks. He met one of the Russians at school and arranged everything with the Nigerians: "I did it to prove to Antwon I could play in his league. He didn't know anything about it." For an honor student, that kid sure is felony stupid.

Edgar-veda brags that he was right about Antwon not being involved. Vic asks, "You really think the Fresh Prince in there brokered a high-powered deal between the Russians and the Nigerians?" Edgar-veda reminds him that Antwon is already in jail and "sometimes, you have to take 'I did it' for an answer." Vic understands that Antwon's connection could very well mean the end of the seizure program, but facts are facts. Monica says, "I just want to find out the whole truth, wherever it leads."

Dutch and some uniforms carry Bumper's wheelchair up the stairs. When they get to the top, the weight is too much for Dutch. He and Bumper both crash to the floor. The uniforms help Dutch right the chair and get the suspect back into it.

Bumper admits to giving Gill the phone number of his friend Nokey who makes fake IDs. When Dutch asks for said phone number, Bumper claims to have lost it. That's no problem, Dutch is sure he can find it.

"Visitor this late at night? Must be important," says Antwon. Edgar-veda has friends in the Justice Department who could get the gangster into witness protection. "I ain't a rat," Antwon says stubbornly. Edgar-veda didn't think he was loyal to the Salvadorans. The DEA is having trouble making a case against them, but they can't push through Antwon's deal without local approval.

Antwon will have to give up all the names at the top, both in L.A. and in El Salvador. And because Edgar-veda is such a nice guy, he's not even getting anything out of this. Antwon considers the offer, then says, "Call Justice. Tell them I'm interested."

The councilman has another favor to ask. An inmate named Juan Lozano is due to give testimony that could screw up a DEA case: "This could be your chance to show that you're a team player. Convince Juan to miss his court date." Antwon agrees to see what he can do.

When Dutch sits down at his desk, his chair tips over backwards. Billings sneaks away as everyone laughs.

Upstairs, Dutch and Claudette tell Bumper that Nokey doesn't like him so much anymore. Nokey said Gill was supposed to pick up his fake IDs and pay off a $6,500 balance. They don't think Nokey killed him, though. "Blowing off a guy's nads and taking his money? That's just bad business," says Dutch.

Bumper's chair puts him at "face-to-balls" level with Gill and makes for a quick getaway. The detectives know he paid $6,000 in cash this afternoon to have a wheelchair ramp installed at his house. If they swab the wheels, will they find gunshot residue and blood? Bumper wants a lawyer.

Joanna's phone stalker insists he didn't threaten to rape or kill anyone: "Maybe one of my kids dialed the wrong number." Julien knows the guy's mother lived in the same neighborhood as one of the Cuddler Rapist's victims; Joanna was married to said rapist. "This asshole did it. He's just not gonna confess," Danny opines. Dutch asks them to run by Joanna's house with the interview tape and see if she can identify the voice.

Dutch follows Billings to the back parking lot. He did his fellow detective a favor by keeping his name out of last week's fatal carjacking and this is the thanks he gets? Billings laughs that Dutch needs to loosen up. Dutch pushes Billings and taunts, "What you gonna do? Turn off the hose and hide behind your car?" Billings grabs Dutch's sportcoat, shoves him against the chainlink, and punches him in the face.

Lem sees what's happening and calls over his shoulder, "Check it out! Billings and Dutch!" "Catfight!" Shane hollers. The Strike Team jogs out to the parking lot, where their fellow detectives are rolling around on the ground. Lem cheers, "Get 'im, Dutch!" "I got $20 on the geek!" says Vic. Shane tells the combatants to quit pulling each other's hair.

A crowd gathers, just like when a fight breaks out at a high school. Dutch manages to get on top of Billings and punches him in the face a few times. Vic finally decides it's gone far enough, sighing, "How many slapfests do I have to break up today?" In the process of pulling Dutch away, Vic gets headbutted in the face.

Now Dutch wants to fight Vic. Lem and Shane struggle to hold him back, even though Dutch is the office weakling. "You wanna keep ridin' me? You wanna mess with my chair? Let's finish it! Let's just do it!" Dutch is beside himself, not caring he'd be fighting way out of his weight class.

Claudette shouts, "Two of our own are dead!" That gets everyone's attention. Dutch stops fighting, so Shane and Lem let go. Billings straightens his rumpled suit.

Monica tells Jason he has to find new legal representation: "Apparently, Antwon's lawyer thinks helping you is a conflict of interest." Vic wonders why Jason wants to protect his brother when it's obvious Antwon doesn't care about him. Did Jason know his so-called custom necklace was stolen from someone else with his initials?

Jason argues that Antwon does care. He buys groceries and helps pay bills when Jason's dad is unemployed. The cops know Antwon is a drug dealer; under the asset forfeiture laws, they can get a warrant to look at Dad's finances. If the mortgage was paid with drug money, Dad could lose the house. The kid might be able to prevent that if he talks.

Jason doesn't want to be in prison too far from home. Vic says cop killers don't get that choice. Monica offers to see if the D.A. will take the death penalty off the table and have Jason put in a protected unit. Jason wants to see that in writing before he says anything else.

Dutch picks up some clothes and things he left at Corinne's. He tries to backpedal on his earlier statement; getting back at Vic isn't the only reason he dated her. "It's the only one that matters," says Corinne. I'm surprised she hasn't asked if her ex has anything to do with the bruise on his cheek.

Dutch thinks they had a real connection, but isn't it possible she was trying to get back at Vic too? "Men have time for pissing contests; mothers don't," says Corinne. Has she been to a PTA meeting or a youth sports game recently?

Corinne is willing to forgive Dutch. "I didn't tell you about Vic because I was afraid you wouldn't go out with me, Then I was afraid to tell you because things were going so well," he explains, "Being afraid ruined it." He's not afraid anymore. If Corinne is ever willing to give him a second chance, she knows how to find him.

Jason has signed his deal. He says Antwon "wanted to make peace with the red, yellow, and brown." "He paid for your education, made sure someone in his organization could speak the languages so he wouldn't get left behind," Vic surmises. It's too bad he negotiated drug deals and gang alliances instead of actual peace.

The Russians didn't like the police because they busted Kozodav; Antwon didn't like it either because he was close to Kozodav. Andrei targeted Carl and Scooby because they gave him a ticket. Jason says all he did was drive the car and translate the instructions.

Antwon wanted to take his business global and couldn't do it without Russian approval. Killing Carl and Scooby "was a handshake. Antwon knew if they did this, they'd be tied." "An oath in blood," Vic says quietly.

Joanna doesn't answer her door, but Julien can hear the TV playing inside. The back gate is open and that's where she said the intruder entered during the last break-in. Julien knocks on one of the back windows, identifying himself as a police officer. A gunshot shatters the back door. Danny goes down, bleeding from her shoulder. Julien radios for help.

Joanna steps outside in her bathrobe, babbling apologies over and over. She thought it was one of her stalkers again. Never mind that Julien said "police" pretty damn loud. And of course, the number one rule of gun safety: Never pull the trigger until you identify your target.

Phillips informs Monica that the DEA requested all of Antwon's files. They're pushing for immunity and witness protection. Monica is aghast; they have to stop the deal somehow. Phillips accuses her and Edgar-veda of orchestrating this behind his back: "Figured you'd get to know your bedmates before you lay down with 'em." Monica hurries out of the office.

Downstairs, she tells Jason that he's shit out of luck: "You're gonna take a lethal injection for the killing of two cops! And I'm gonna be there to watch!" She tells Vic that Edgar-veda fucked them over, which should come as no surprise to him. Vic can't believe Antwon is gonna walk.

Monica barges into the councilman's office. Edgar-veda says he was asked by the DEA to approach Antwon. Vic, blunt as always, says, "You just set a cop killer free, you dick," Edgar-veda thought Jason acted alone. "Well, that family has a little bit of trouble with the truth," Monica says icily.

Edgar-veda can't call off the deal and he's supposedly sorry. He adds that he's the poor, traumatized person who found Carl and Scooby's bodies: "I'm still a cop." Monica loudly calls bullshit.
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"Cops only want one thing: Antwon Mitchell executed for what he did," she snarls. Edgar-veda tries to say this deal is doing greater good by potentially shutting down the Salvadoran drug cartel. Monica is sure he's getting political favors from Sacramento out of this.

Monica says with sheer, unadulterated, glorious venom: "You can take your backroom handshakes, your DEA cronies, and your self-serving cop-killer deals, and you can shove them up your ass." Vic agrees: "You're not a cop. You never were." End of episode.