We pick up where we left off last episode. Edgar-veda is sitting outside the rapist's house in his car, a gun on the seat next to him. He can't make his move because the rapist and his friends are drinking on the porch. Too many witnesses. The rapist and a couple of other guys get in their car. Edgar-veda follows them.
Detective Milne has called in Claudette and Dutch to help with his latest case. Another elderly woman has been raped and strangled. This crime scene is out of the Cuddler Rapist's usual comfort zone. Their guy likes to steal figurines, but the house is so well dusted that Milne can't tell if anything is missing. He's trying to reach the victim's children.
Milne is putting a rush on the DNA evidence. He thinks he and Dutch should compare their respective case notes for any more similarities. Claudette smiles knowingly; this guy is as OCD as her partner.
Shane and Mara have her mom over for dinner. Mara's Mom asks if they've picked out baby names. Shane says they're waiting until they know if it's a boy or girl. Mara's Mom admires her daughter's engagement ring: "You found yourself a good one this time. A real Southern gentleman." Having met Walton Goggins, I can say that's accurate.
Mara wants to talk about the $7,000 they sent. She lies that she got the money as kickback from one of her real-estate clients for moving up their bid, which isn't precisely legal. Shane jumps in, adding that he found out the client is under federal investigation. The money could be dirty. If anyone asks, Mara's Mom can't say where it came from. Otherwise, Mara might lose her real estate license.
Mara's Mom smiles indulgently and says, "Wouldn't be the first time I covered for you, would it, sugar?"
The robbers terrorize the store owner as he empties the register. Edgar-veda's rapist steals a sixer of beer. The captain identifies himself as a police officer. One of the suspects points a gun, so Edgar-veda shoots him. He exchanges more gunfire and hits a second suspect. The other two guys get away and drive off.
Edgar-veda tells the store owner to call 911. In one of the suspect's pockets, he finds a cell phone, which he swipes because his picture was taken during the attack. He recognizes the dead man as the one who watched him being assaulted.
The Strike Team arrives at the store. Lem looks kinda like he just rolled out of bed. "Two in the 10-ring. Nice," Vic observes. Edgar-veda thinks he shot one of the live suspects in the shoulder. A female Internal Affairs detective asks for his gun. Edgar-veda says it's his personal piece; he was running errands when he stumbled upon the robbery in progress. Vic looks like he doesn't quite believe that.
The captain tells Vic the suspects are Byz Lats: "You wanted back on the streets, prove you're more valuable there. I wanna know every pressure point this gang has by morning."
Vic takes his team down an aisle for a conference. They've got a problem because "the dead guy watched me shove a bong down his buddy's windpipe." Said buddy was probably one of the other robbers. Lem thinks it's an awfully big coincidence their captain should run into them in the middle of the night. "Unless it's not a coincidence," says Vic.
It's possible these are the guys Diagur sent to get money train cash out of his freezer. And if that's true, they're the same guys who beat up the captain and stole his gun. It should be noted that only Edgar-veda's wife Aurora and his cousin Rigoberto know what else happened the day he got attacked. Lem is worried the captain to track the guys and the cash to them. "Let's not get premenstrual until we talk to Diagur," says Vic.
When the Strike Team goes to Diagur's house, they once again catch him in the act of pleasuring a woman. They talk in the living room after the gangbanger puts some clothes on. Diagur has a theory: Edgar-veda killing Ricky was payback for Juan stealing the captain's gun. A friend's cousin Vido helped rob the store as a Byz Lats initiation rite. Vic tells Diagur to get in touch with the guys and tell them to go to Mexico.
Aurora visits her husband at work. She can't believe she had to find out about him stopping a robbery on the morning news. Shooting someone had to be traumatic for him. She suggests he take the rest of today off. He says he can't.
Vic and Corinne meet with Matt's teacher. She reports that Matt keeps to himself, but seems more curious about making friends. Displayed on the classroom wall are pictures the kids drew of their families. Matt's isn't there because the teacher thought the Mackeys should see it first. Uh-oh.
Matt drew Corinne, Cassidy, Megan, and his therapist Owen...not Vic. The teacher doesn't think they should worry; autistic children sometimes get confused when family situations change. Vic is hurt but trying not to show it.
Mara calls Shane because her mom wants more money. She figured out that 2% of a $600,000 sale is a lot more than $7,000. Now she wants $3,000 more. Shane can't believe it: "Your mother is blackmailing us?" Mara wants to give in, but Shane says no way.
In the clubhouse, Shane lets the guys know what Mara did. He's sorry. Lem asks if Mara knows about the money train. "No," Shane answers honestly, "She thinks that we've been skimmin' off drug busts or somethin'." "We? She knows that we're involved?" asks Ronnie. Also, Mara sent the $7,000 to her mom in Indio. Mom knows there's more where that came from.
"This is beautiful," says Lem, "We're already in deep shit with the money if Aceveda tracks down Diagur's errand boy. Now we gotta sweat your future mother-in-law?" Shane's trying to get Mara's Mom off their backs, but "the broad's a piece of work. Mara's got horror stories." Lem is good and pissed now: "How come every piece of ass you hit is more trouble than the last?" Shane reminds Lem that he's talking about the future Mrs. Vendrell.
Lem doesn't care, even if her lady parts can cure cancer. They get in each other's faces. Shane swears they can trust his baby-mama. "You know what I would do if I had her in interrogation?" asks Lem without raising his voice. Oh boy. "I'd tell her that the only way to save her kid's daddy is to give up the three guys he works with." "Mara's not the problem...at the moment," says Vic, "The mom is." They have to erase the trail without her knowing it.
Edgar-veda comes in to give the Strike Team flyers with Juan's mug shot on them. Vic remarks that ID'ing him didn't take long. Edgar-veda ran Ricky's priors for known accomplices. The captain passes out Juan's picture to the rest of the precinct. As a professional courtesy, he wants a call from whoever catches him. Edgar-veda wants to make the arrest himself.
Edgar-veda asks Vic about the Byz Lats' current enterprises. He lists juvenile crack dealers and a body shop that has poker and craps in the back. He can throw a sting together. "No. Right now. You and me," says the captain.
Claudette just got off the phone with Assistant Chief Phillips. He wants Dutch send copies of the Cuddler Rapist case files to Hollywood Division. She doesn't know why. Dutch bets the investigation is being reassigned to Milne. He ran the names of people who got more than one parking ticket in a hot zone prior to an attack. "It's pointless. None of them are registered sex offenders," says Dutch. Being registered only means they've been caught and convicted. Their guy might not have been arrested before.
Dutch suggests going back to their original list of probable suspects. Claudette tells him to rule out the 4 guys with multiple parking tickets first.
The Strike Team raids the body shop. Edgar-veda tells the biggest, meanest-looking employee to call his boss and get him down there.
Dutch and Claudette's first parking offender pleads ignorance; he never reads the signs. He's also black; the Cuddler Rapist is either white or Latino. He's a contractor and nobody else drives his personal car. The employees use a fleet of trucks. The guy asks if he can help out somehow. Claudette tells him that a man's been robbing houses; he hangs out around the neighborhood during the day to spy on potential victims. The contractor will keep an eye out.
In the lobby, a gas station attendant is holding a baby seat. A teenage girl dropped her baby off with him 3 hours ago and hasn't come back. "Why'd she leave her baby with you?" asks Danny. The mom claimed she ran out of gas and didn't have money; she'd bring cash by later because she had an emergency.
The attendant asked the teen mom to leave her driver's license behind as collateral. "So you have her license?" says Danny. Actually, the girl didn't have one. She left the baby instead. "You agreed to that?" Danny is stunned. The attendant's boss doesn't allow him to give away gas. I think Danny should at least give the guy credit for bringing the baby to a police station.
Diagur arrives at the body shop. Edgar-veda wants to know where Juan is. He threatens to raid a store the Byz Lats run crack out of when Diagur won't say. The captain tosses a business card on the ground and instructs Vic to keep Diagur away from the phone.
Dutch and Claudette stop by a house. A woman in a turtleneck sweater and ankle-length denim skirt answers the door. They ask her about tickets issued to a certain license plate number. In a British accent, she explains that car belongs to her husband Will's car. He isn't home right now, though; he works as a courier for a law firm.
Claudette sees a framed picture and remarks, "Cute kids." They're Wifey's students; she teaches 3rd grade. (It must be a weekend if she's at home during the day). Wifey takes the bus to work and never drives Will's car because "I'd end up driving on the wrong side of the street."
Even though Will doesn't fit the profile, Claudette still wants to sit down with him. He was in the target zone prior to two of the rapes. Dutch points out that both members of the couple have professional jobs: "They're not lower class enough." "Only the lower classes rape and kill?" asks Claudette. Seriously, Dutch, does the name Menendez ring a bell?
Dutch thinks if the Cuddler Rapist is married, his spouse probably isn't so... "British? Pretty?" Claudette guesses.
Diagur reports to Vic that Juan's accomplice Vido is getting sewed up at a doctor's house. Juan still isn't answering his phone. The captain could ruin all of Diagur's businesses, which Juan happens to know a lot about. Vic asks, "You don't think he'll bring down you and your buddies for early parole?" Juan's arrest could essentially dismantle the Byz Lats entirely. He thinks Diagur should get rid of Juan if he's too big of a problem.
The Strike Team and Edgar-veda find Vido at the doctor's house. He's groaning in pain with blood running down from his shoulder. The doctor says Vido needs an ER. Vic tells a uniform to take the gangbanger to Mission Cross. "AMA know you're operating in here?" he inquires of the doc. Doc's son has a drug problem and sometimes his dealers ask for help. The dealers won't sell to Sonny if Doc helps the police. "So aiding and abetting a fugitive's gonna get him clean?" asks Vic.
Edgar-veda shows Doc the photo of Juan. Doc saw him earlier, but he's not there now. Doc is definitely getting a trip to the Barn now. The captain thought Juan and Vido were both supposed to be here. Vic looks on the bright side: "At least we know you scared Diagur into cooperating."
The Strike Team gathers in the hospital parking lot. Ronnie found out who Treasury's new prime suspect in the money train heist is: Neil O'Brien, a violent felon with no gang ties. He's served time for armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He'll be looked at even more closely when he spends some of their marked money.
"So we're planting money on an innocent?" Shane asks, though he normally has no qualms about such things. Vic scoffs, "If you can say that with a straight face." The best part is Neil has two brothers in Indio. The feds will be onto him in a heartbeat. "And off Mara's mommy dearest," adds Lem.
Corinne comes out to tell them that they can take Vido to jail now. Lem and Shane head inside to collect him. Corinne apologizes to Vic about Matt's picture and says there's a decision they both need to be involved in. She wants to keep Owen as a therapist because of the progress Matt's made. If Vic's uncomfortable with Owen being Corinne's boyfriend as well as Matt's therapist, she's willing to hire someone else. "Good. That's what I want," says Vic.
Julien is holding the baby. Danny says a social worker is coming by for him soon. Julien announces, "Vanessa and I are gonna have a baby." "She's pregnant?" asks Danny. No, but Julien knows she will be soon.
Upstairs, Vic asks Vido where to find Juan. Vido only met him last night. "You showed up at the doctor's alone. Your Byz Lat big brother at least give you cab fare?" asks Edgar-veda. Juan ditched Vido after the robbery went south. They met the night before at Elisa's house. Vido won't say who Elisa is.
Edgar-veda wants Vic to find the drug dealers who strong-armed the doctor. They can be charged with extortion. Vic would rather find out who Elisa is. Edgar-veda would rather do that himself.
The captain knocks on Elisa's door and says he's looking for Juan. "So am I half the time," she sasses. She agrees to let them in without a warrant, but they don't find Juan. The captain wants to take Elisa in for questioning; her boyfriend is an armed and dangerous fugitive.
Claudette has information on the law firm Will works for: Ponte and Cruz Immigration. Dutch chuckles at their slogan: "You wanna stay, we'll find a way." Ponte and Cruz aren't even lawyers, just hustlers who charge clients $50 to fill out a visa application. Will and 10 other men work there, advertising the business by putting flyers on doors and car windshields. Little lie, big lie on the wife's part?
Will also works at a 24-hour video store. "Great excuse for the wife on the occasional nights you feel like hiding naked in a woman's closet," Dutch realizes. But he can't see the rapist not having some kind of history of sexually inappropriate behavior.
James the contractor comes in with a tip. He remembers seeing a suspicious guy in the neighborhood. Dutch and Claudette tell him to leave the tip with the desk sergeant; they'll look into it.
In Edgar-veda's car, Elisa repeats that she doesn't know where Juan is. Edgar-veda asks what she does know about him, ignoring his ringing phone. "There ain't no cop house up here," Elisa says uneasily, "Let me out! Get these cuffs off me! I want my lawyer." The captain says she can call when they get to the station.
Vic heard Officer Paula went on a run with Edgar-veda. She nods that they picked up Juan's girlfriend Elisa. Are she and the captain back yet? It's been half an hour.
Vic tells the Strike Team that Edgar-veda took off someplace with Elisa. Lem nervously fiddles with a baseball bat. What if this leads the captain to Diagur and the Strike Team? Vic wants to worry about one thing at a time. Ronnie almost $30,000 worth of marked money out of the storage unit. He and Lem are supposed to drop it off someplace where Neil will find it. "Try not to be too obvious," Vic warns.
Someone knocks on the door. Ronnie puts the Box O' Cash on a chair and sits on it while Lem stupidly raises the baseball bat. Officer Paula says a woman reported a shooting. The dead guy fits Juan's description.
Edgar-veda is still driving around and finally parks on a deserted street. Elisa is really scared now. She screams for help. Edgar-veda repeats, "Tell me everything you know about Juan Lozano, starting with where he is."
When they arrive at the crime scene, Vic takes one look at the dead body and says, "That's not Juan." The victim does have Byz Lat tattoos, though. "Hey, dumb-ass!" Shane barks at the nearest uniform, "Right gang, wrong dead Mexican." However, Juan was at the scene. A neighbor identified him as the shooter. Nobody's been able to reach Edgar-veda because he's not answering his phone.
Dutch and Claudette go back to Will's house. His wife Joanna says he's still at work. Dutch tells her they got an anonymous tip that Will's car has been spotted at the scenes of several burglaries. Claudette is sure it's nothing, but it would sure help if they could look around. "If we don't find 50 VCRs stashed in a closet, end of story," Dutch puts in. Joanna agrees to sign a consent-to-search form.
The baby's mother, who's decidedly not a teenager, comes to the Barn to pick up her son, sobbing with relief. Mom tells Julien that she's been at work and her son was with his 16-year-old babysitter Taniesha. When she came home, they were both gone. "A girl fitting that description left your baby at a gas station," Danny tells her. Mom is stunned.
"I'm gettin' a stomachache already," Lem complains. He and Ronnie are on a stakeout, hiding behind the front seats of the van. One is having a lot more success than the other. They left the Pouch O' Cash in a parking lot. Neil stumbles across it, picks it up, and gets in his car. "Congratulations, you just got yourself a spot on Treasury's most wanted," says Lem.
Diagur is upset because the dead gangbanger was his best friend Arroyo. He blames Vic and Shane. Vic argues it's Diagur's fault for not sending enough guys to do the job. Diagur wants to call Edgar-veda and give Juan up. It would've saved a lot of trouble if he'd done that a few hours ago. Vic wants this handled in-house and advises Diagur to send a small army this time. Diagur tells Vic to do it himself or he's calling the captain.
Juan is at a drug house whipping up something on the stove (probably meth). He hears a noise and thinks it's his friend Sancho. Nope, it's Edgar-veda. Juan recognizes him and eyes a gun on a nearby shelf. The captain orders Juan to get on his knees. His voice is a little unsteady, but his grip on his gun is solid. Juan obeys.
Edgar-veda levels the gun at his attacker. The moment is interrupted by Shane and Vic kicking down the door. The house isn't big, so it doesn't take them long to find the captain in the kitchen. They cuff Juan.
At the Faulks', Dutch notices a typewriter. Joanna tells them Will is working on a novel. Dutch opens a cabinet and finds about a dozen mismatched figurines. Joanna explains that Will's given her knickknacks since they started dating.
Back at the Barn, Edgar-veda locks the interrogation room door and unplugs the camera. Shane and Vic are in the observation room, worried the boss will scare Juan into giving up Diagur. Vic doesn't think that's who Edgar-veda is after: "If he was, he'd be in the cage by now."
Juan asks how long the captain's been following him. "How many chances you had to pull the trigger on me and never could? What's that say about you, lawman?" he taunts, "Why don't you suck my dick? Again?" I'm shocked when Edgar-veda doesn't put Juan through a wall.
Claudette puts Will's house under surveillance until they can get a warrant. Several of the figurines have been identified by the rape victims. Dutch has invited Milne to come along for the raid and asks how old he is. Milne is 33, two years younger than Dutch was when he became a detective. Dutch wants to compare scores on the detective exam; he's pleased to find out he did better than Milne.
Jeff the contractor comes back with a written description of the suspicious man and a list of addresses. It's clear he has a crush on Claudette. She flirts, "If you'd like you skip to the part where you ask me out, you should hurry." "You don't like a man who plays hard-to-get, huh?" Jeff flirts back. He writes down his phone number.
Juan knows Edgar-veda is running for office. How would the voters like seeing the picture taken during the attack? Edgar-veda holds up Ricky's phone and informs Juan that he deleted the photo. Juan claims he had it put on a disk. If Edgar-veda gets him out of trouble, he'll make the picture go away.
Edgar-veda calls Juan's bluff: "You're too stupid to change a light bulb let alone figure out how to download." He knows Juan didn't tell anyone about the assault because it would've brought too much heat to the Byz Lats. Juan will just start telling people now that he doesn't have anything to lose. "You talk now, it's a desperate attempt to avoid the gas chamber," says Edgar-veda. Juan clearly hasn't considered that possibility.
Edgar-veda knows a lot about Juan. His girlfriend Elisa is sleeping with someone else. Juan has a sick grandmother who worries about being found by Immigration and deported; the captain could arrange for Border Patrol to stop by her house. Juan's mom is behind on her mortgage and involved in a pyramid scheme. Juan steals credit cards for the Byz Lats and has been skimming profits.
"I know about the headaches you get. I know about the uncle who molested you when you were 12," Edgar-veda goes on. He knows what's in the porno magazines that Juan hides from Elisa. Edgar-veda also knows about Juan's former cellmate who tried to stab him and can get them put in the same cell again.
Edgar-veda not killing Juan has nothing to do with cowardice: "Don't think for a second it means that I don't believe in revenge." If Juan starts running his mouth about assaulting Edgar-veda, he and his entire family "will find out about a dozen different kinds of revenge."
"It's back," says Vic when picture reappears on the observation room TV. Edgar-veda takes his gun back from Vic and tells him Juan is ready to confess. Vic stares after the captain.
Danny and Julien have arrested babysitter Taniesha and a teenage boy named Anquoin. Taniesha had been in the middle of babysitting when Anquoin asked her out. Instead of making plans for a different day, she decided to get somebody else to watch the baby. That somebody else being a strange gas station attendant. Taniesha had intended to pick up the kid after her date, but they got stuck behind an accident on the freeway.
Danny can't believe Taniesha. "You see Anquoin?" asks the teen, "Sometimes, you only get one shot with a boy like that."
Dutch forcefully knocks on Will's door. Once again, Joanna answers. Dutch hands her a warrant. Will exits the kitchen and is placed under arrest. Joanna protests that her husband didn't steal anything, then she hears what Will is being charged with. Dutch adds that the tacky figurines Will gave to the missus were trophies from his victims. "That is a sick lie," Joanna insists.
Moreover, she didn't give permission for them to look for the trinkets. Maybe not, but she gave them consent to search the house. I know from various criminal justice classes that, unless a warrant gets specific, pretty much anything the police find is fair game. Joanna turns her anger on her husband. He does pretty much the worst thing he could at this point: he tells her to calm down.
"Get the crime scene geeks in here!" Dutch calls. Grissom would resent that remark.
When Shane walks in the clubhouse, he's greeted by Vic, Mara...and Mara's mom Stella. Supposedly, Stella wanted to see where Shane worked and there's "nothing sexier than being around 3 men with guns." Mara claims they were just leaving. Out in the hall, Mara tells Shane that her mom got a message on her answering machine from a U.S. Treasury agent.
Shane goes back to the clubhouse. "The mom is poison," says Vic.
Vic has moved the rest of the money train stash someplace else. "Where?" asks Shane. Lem's expression is one of well-this-got-awkward. Shane isn't allowed to know because Mara already found out once.
Vanessa picks up Julien from work. "We're gonna have a child," he says when he gets in the car. God supposedly spoke to him. At home, she and Julien have sex. Vanessa stops him when he starts getting too rough.
Edgar-veda praises Vic for his work on the extortion case. Vic thinks the captain must feel good about arresting the guys who shot at him. The Korean community has nicknamed Edgar-veda the Sheriff. Aurora comes to ask what happened yesterday. Edgar-veda shortly says he wrapped things up and shows her out, right into a crowd of TV reporters. One thinks he must be brave to be back on the streets so soon.
"I'm inspired on a daily basis by the bravery of exhibited by the men and women who work under my command. I just try to live up to their standards," says Edgar-veda. Then he starts in talking about crime statistics. End of episode.