Edgar-veda sits down with Bill, another councilman, worried about how property seizures will impact his constituents (and therefore their votes next election cycle). He pretends he's concerned the policy will lead to more corruption, as it has in other cities. Edgar-veda asks to be in a position of power on the police committee. He knows what should be done, but as of now doesn't have the authority. "That's what the other councilmen are afraid of," says Bill, "Think you might try to shove something down their throat." Poor choice of words given what happened to Edgar-veda last season.
Throughout their time at the bar, Edgar-veda has been eyeing up a woman in a tight sweater. She saunters over and introduces herself as Sara. She joins him for a cigarette and remarks that she hasn't seen him before; however, his friend seems familiar. "I hope, for his wife's sake, he wasn't a john," says Edgar-veda. Sara thinks she needs to get her cop radar checked. Edgar-veda isn't interested in arrested her.
Edgar-veda conversationally asks where Sara is from. She just moved to L.A. from Phoenix and likes it so far. "There's a lot to like," Edgar-veda agrees and I'm sure he's not talking about Rodeo Drive or sightseeing on Hollywood Boulevard. Sara gives him a business card and leaves.
Shane and Army meet with some of Antwon's goons. They aren't pleased about "cops with Kodaks takin' cars and shit." Shane, like TLC, has a strict policy.
Shane pulls Army aside for a private conference. "Are we involved in some shit beyond hookers that I don't know about?" asks Army. Shane is sure this is no big deal; Antwon is just slow on the quo of their quid pro quo arrangement. He then starts beating up Halpern, using his handcuffs as makeshift brass knuckles. Army pulls his gun and makes Halpern's friend finish the beating.
A.D.A Insardi asks Dutch to look into Maurice Webster, a drug dealer who's supposedly a major player. Drugs aren't Dutch and Claudette's forte, but Insardi is sure they can handle it.
Corinne is excited about the possibility they may have an offer on their house. "Why does Mom have to move?" asks Cassidy, "What about my friends when I'm here?" Corinne just shrugs. Yeah, acting like you don't care whether your middle-schooler sees their friends is always a good game plan. Cassidy and Vic have to leave while the realtor is there, but she wants to go to her room and get her stuff. "Nobody's gonna touch your things," Corinne promises.
Vic gets a phone call and has to go to work. Cassidy hangs her head sadly.
At the crime scene, a suburban home, a woman is being wheeled out by the paramedics. Vic quietly tells Monica, "I appreciate the call, but rape's not usually my thing." "Fugitive recovery is," says the captain. Oscar Ruiz was due to appear in court on three sexual assault charges and found an open window to get in this victim's house. He got loose at 7:30; the 911 call came in two hours later.
Monica plays the answering machine tape. Myrna, the victim, tells her boyfriend Joe that she slept with someone else. Her voice is flat, then tearful: "He's better than you are. He's a real man." Sounds like she's under duress. Joe seems to get that feeling too, asking if somebody is there making her say this. Joe then tells Myrna he's calling the police and will be right home. Vic is now even more fiercely determined to catch Oscar.
At the Barn, Dutch exposits that forcing victims to call their husbands or boyfriends is part of Oscar's M.O. He put together a list of Oscar's known friends, including a fiancee who lives in Farmington. Oscar left Myrna's house at 9:15 with trophies: a gun and clothes from the closet. Dutch is concerned that Oscar will be on a rape spree until they catch him. Another piece of Oscar's M.O. is disguising himself as a flower deliveryman.
Vic takes issue with Dutch referring to Oscar as the stay-at-home rapist: "The women stay home. This guy goes out and rapes." "Nicknames are meant to be catchy, not literal," says Dutch. Somebody needs to go to sensitivity training. Monica thinks Vic can take things from here.
Monica and Vic sit down with Emily, one of Oscar's victims. Monica offers up a police department safe house. The sheriff's deputies thought they had Oscar contained downtown and it took time to realize he slipped past them. If Emily doesn't want to go to a safe house, Vic can post some uniforms at her place. Emily decides she'd rather stay at the Barn.
Vic and Ronnie pay a visit to the body shop where Oscar's roommate Felix works. Oscar came to the shop earlier, pleading innocence. He was facing life in prison, so Felix gave Oscar some money to go to Mexico. Vic tells Felix that Oscar is still in the States and raped another woman. Oscar knows where Felix keeps a spare key to their apartment.
Shane tells Antwon he's sorry about the beat-down, but nobody owns him and Army. Antwon concedes that Halpern was out of line. He gives Shane a bundle of money. Shane wants more tips and "I'll make sure you get by, same as before."
Antwon complains the cops are coming after the One-Niners like storm troopers. "Well, I'm your Luke Skywalker," says Shane. The cop running the seizure detail happens to be his best friend. Once Antwon starts making himself more useful, Shane will step up the protection.
Monica tells Edgar-veda she has to reschedule their meeting because a rapist escaped from the courthouse and attacked someone. He still wants to talk about the seizure program because it's important. More important than catching that bastard? I think not. Monica officially assigns Dutch and Claudette to Maurice's case. They shouldn't waste time.
Ronnie has posted Oscar's mugshots in all the nearby flower shops and supermarkets, but hasn't been able to track down the fiancee yet. Vic tells the uniforms to start the search at Oscar's old apartment, then fan out.
Lem might have a way to get to Antwon. It seems Antwon's oldest son, Donald III, sells fake IDs out of his van in the DMV parking lot. Donald definitely didn't inherit the criminal mastermind gene; there's probably cameras all over the place. The kid dropped out of private school to join the family business. Vic tells Lem not to arrest Donald for a few days; he needs to test a theory.
Ronnie jumps in the truck; someone just spotted Oscar nearby.
Edgar-veda thinks Monica is pushing too hard with the seizures. He suggests she play Officer Friendly at some local churches and watch groups instead. The current policy makes it look like she's targeting blacks and Latinos. "That's who's here. We target the criminals," Monica disagrees, adding, "Most of their victims are black or Latino." Edgar-veda wants unspecified modifications to make the plan more civilian-friendly and lets her know that he might be joining the police committee.
"We don't answer to the police committee on this," says Monica. He corrects, "Not yet." Monica takes a phone call. Vic and Ronnie just missed Oscar at a flower store. Vic needs as many officers as possible to blanket the neighborhood.
Danny and Julien are looking for Raga, the main tagger for the One-Niners. They're in a territory dispute with another gang: the Po' Boys. Must be transplants from Louisiana. Raga keeps targeting a specific freeway sign. Danny and Julien get called away before they can decide whether to post there for the night.
Claudette can't believe a 60-year-old dealer like Maurice has never been arrested. His only criminal charge was a possession citation in 1989. Dutch is sure it's important or Insardi wouldn't have them working on it. After all, they were specifically requested. "Because everyone else is out hunting a rapist," Claudette reminds him.
Ronnie found out Oscar just called his fiancee. She tipped him off about the police looking for him. At another house, a woman is on a stretcher. "I'll be right behind you," her husband/boyfriend promises. Enraged, he smashes something in the kitchen. "Son of a bitch!" he howls, ripping a cabinet right off the wall. The man sits down hard on the floor and starts crying.
Julien didn't find anything during his canvass. More uniforms are posted at train and bus stations; Oscar has relatives in Fresno. Monica suggests Vic get a psych profile from Dutch. They have to get creative.
Vic talks to a gangbanger named Suvuto, even though Oscar isn't affiliated. "God's work ain't cop's work, homey," says Suvuto, who has a crown of thorns tattooed on his skull. Vic is sure Jesus wouldn't mind. Suvuto tosses out something that sounds like a Bible quote but isn't: "He who persecutes my brother persecutes me." Vic asks, "What about he who rapes my mother or my sister?"
Oscar has raped 5 women that they know of; he further humiliates his victims by making them call their husband or boyfriend and tell them how good Oscar was. He escaped from the courthouse today. Suvuto will keep an eye out. Vic tells them Oscar usually pretends to be delivering flowers.
Carl the uniform pulled over Slick, a guy with joints in his car. Dutch tells the suspect about the new asset seizure program. Does he really want to start a criminal career at age 40? Dutch gives Slick one chance to name his dealer. Slick says Maurice is just a friend who grows a few plants at home.
"Three plants in his backyard? The D.A.'s office is trying to make us look like idiots," Claudette opines on the balcony. She and Dutch tell Monica that Maurice is strictly small-time. Claudette shakes her head: "Crushing crime, one blunt at a time."
Edgar-veda runs Sara's name and finds she's never been arrested, at least not in Los Angeles. Monica catches him, so he lies that he was looking up potential employees. "Resources are for law-enforcement personnel only," Monica says coldly. Edgar-veda counters that, as a reservist, he is personnel. Monica guesses he stayed on because he didn't put in enough time for a 10-year pension.
In the parking lot, Edgar-veda says seizing assets from an already-poor community looks bad. Monica refuses to compromise on the policy. She also correctly guesses that this might be about the city council getting a cut of the profits, which is well above her pay grade. Edgar-veda offers to set up a public forum where Monica can explain the policy and answer citizens' questions.
Antwon tells Shane and Army he knows someone who smuggles Mexicans over the U.S. border. Neither cop is impressed. Army's mom has "half a dozen sleeping in the back room on any given night." This is different, though; according to Antwon, these Mexicans are held hostage until a family member agrees to pay a $5,000 "relocation fee."
Shane and Vic pass each other in their respective cars. Hunting a rapist is wearing Vic down, so Shane offers to swap for his "coyote farm" case. Vic wants a break, not charity. Shane thinks of it more as a peace offering.
They bring the idea to Monica, but every available officer is looking for Ruiz. She does, however, promise to see what she can do. Walking out of the Barn, Shane sees Lem standing by the cage and remarks, "Look what the rat dragged in." Don't you talk about my Lemming that way!
Vic says Lem is just there to tell what he knows about a garage on Third that sells stolen airbags. I'm not sure what the profit is in that, but I'm no car expert. Lem doesn't see either of them and Shane slips out the back door.
Dutch confronts Insardi about wasting his and Claudette's time with Maurice. The ADA gives up her endgame: Maurice is about to testify for the defense in a murder trial and she wants to undermine his credibility. Dutch, of course, is not happy about this. "You wanted out of the doghouse, remember?" Insardi reminds him. If Dutch doesn't like this deal, she'll gladly put him back where he was.
Claudette tells Dutch to get someone else to go undercover with Slick. Dutch gets pissy, saying it's their case and ordering her not to walk away from him. Claudette looks like she'd love to give him a whipping with the folders she's carrying.
Danny and Julien try to keep a mob of angry citizens under control. The people are attacking an overturned flower shop van with baseball bats. Vic happens upon the scene. "They think it's your guy. They just started chasing him and he called 911," Danny reports. Vic yanks someone off the van, looks at the driver, and shouts to the crowd, "He's not the rapist! He's Chinese, for chrissake! What's wrong with you people?" The deliveryman is terrified, but otherwise unharmed.
Suvuto apologizes to Vic about his friends getting overzealous. "If he's a Chinaman driving an actual floral truck, feel free to assume he's not our escaped Hispanic rapist!" Vic says. He didn't ask for a lynch mob.
At the Barn, Monica asks why Vic put a street gang on the payroll. Vic only wanted street intel from them. "I got the genie back in the bottle," he promises. Monica counters, "Maybe you should've asked the genie for three wishes." Is he planning to burn her? A lot of people warned Monica about Vic and she's thinking she should've listened.
Emily has been sitting in the squadroom all day because she's afraid to go home. Has Vic talked to Dutch? Vic finds him in the breakroom eating a sandwich. "Deputizing vigilantes, I gotta write that one down," says Dutch. Vic argues he's just trying to keep Oscar from raping anyone else. He's got eyes on Oscar's roommate, fiancee, and the border: "I need you to drop some profile bullshit on me, preferably something useful."
Dutch knows Oscar has raped two women in a day when he used to do it once every few months. What else does Oscar binge on? Most rapists are loners and loners become creatures of habit. (Dutch would know). Does Oscar like soccer, video games, porn? He might indulge in other things he missed in prison.
Claudette goes to Slick's house with the story that weed is the only thing that helps curb the side effects of her mom's chemo treatments. He brings her two bags. He normally charges $20 apiece, but her mom will be getting a freebie.
Edgar-veda calls Sara from a payphone, wanting to set up a "date." He needs to take more precautions than most people because he's a city councilman and reserve police officer. Sara tells him to come over tonight.
Roommate Felix claims to have no idea what kind of hobbies or habits Oscar has: "He'd get his takeout and close his door. All day, every day." He always brought home chicken pot pie from Clucky's.
Vic shows Oscar's mugshot to the Clucky's waitress, who confirms he was there an hour ago. Oscar is looking for a car and asked the waitress what she drives. He also asked her out, but she told him that she's engaged. She doesn't know that's quite possibly one of the worst things she could've said.
In the parking lot, the waitress, Vic, and Ronnie discover her passenger door has been jimmied. Nothing is missing except her registration paperwork, which has her home address on it. Vic and Ronnie hurry to the waitress's house. Through the kitchen window, Ronnie sees Oscar leaping a nearby fence.
Vic chases him down the street, but is unable to follow him over another fence. K-9 Officer Cummings arrives and unleashes his dog. Vic and the handler follow the dog into the alley. The dog corners Oscar in a shed. Over the barking, we can hear the rapist screaming. "Should I call him back?" asks Cummings. Vic replies, "Not yet."
Vic tells Oscar to throw his gun outside. Ronnie appears, carrying the gun Oscar dropped in the street. Cummings asks again if he should call off the dog. "This guy raped five women, two today," Vic growls. Cummings gets it: "Yeah, he might still be packing." A few more minutes go by before Vic decides Oscar has had enough.
Monica tells Emily that Oscar has been arrested and a police dog ruptured one of his testicles in the course of subduing him. "They say dogs are a good judge of character," says Monica.
|Case in point...|
Shane thanks Antwon for his tip about the coyote farm, adding that he's not an unreasonable man: "You work with me, I work with you. Keep both our asses in the clear." Shane tells Antwon someone is looking into the garage dealing in stolen airbags. Antwon is more concerned about the seizures. Shane is working on that.
Slick doesn't understand why he's been arrested; he doesn't make trouble, hurt people, or sell to kids. Going to jail over three plants isn't right. Monica tells Claudette and Dutch that Insardi is taking over the case.
Ronnie went to the garage and found out the airbag guy isn't there anymore. "Shane tipped him off about it," says Vic. He warns Lem and Ronnie to watch what they say around the resident redneck. Lem's part of it now.
Sara brings Edgar-veda a drink. She wants him to proposition her so she knows this isn't a sting. Edgar-veda wants to have sex with her; she just has to name her price, which turns out to be $600. He grabs her wrists when she tries to undress him, but lets go when she says it hurts.
Sara lays out some rules of her own. Slapping is okay as long as he doesn't leave bruises. No scratching or blood. Hair pulling is also fine if he doesn't pull her hair out. She doesn't mind choking unless it hurts. They'll have a safe signal.
Danny and Julien are staking out a graffiti hotspot. They learn their master tagger Raga is a girl. She starts to spray the overpass sign. "Sorry to ruin your masterpiece," Danny says, getting out of the car. Raga looks down at the highway below, contemplating jumping. Julien tells her it's not worth it.
Monica asks Raga who's calling the shots in the war with the Po' Boys; things will be easier on the girl if she talks. Danny asks what her nickname stands for. "Righteous angel, gorgeous ass," the teen replies. Monica smiles and admits, "I don't like the artwork, but I do admire the confidence."
Lem and Vic sit down with Donald III. Donald III is proud of the fact that he's a walking target because he's Antwon's son. Has he seen his dad recently? "Oh, that's right, he's got 10 other kids to look in on," says Vic. Donald III barely knows his dad, but Antwon lectures him about going straight. Vic thinks Antwon should take his own advice. "I don't like the dude, but I ain't gonna help the white occupation take him down either," says Donald III.
Shane tells Antwon he doesn't offer a guarantee. Antwon doesn't care about that, but is enraged that "they're trying to get at me through my blood." "You're starting to sound a lot like Halpern. Maybe you're thinking about dropping a dime too?" Shane says coolly. He'll get close to Vic again, just like they agreed.
Raga's mother isn't happy that "you've been holding my daughter all night for a little graffiti." Monica tells the woman that Raga tags for the most violent gangs in the city and gets a typical response:
Shane goes into the former clubhouse and notices Vic and Ronnie are still working the garage sting. He wants to rejoin the band, even though the Strike Team was officially dissolved months ago. But Army has to come along; they're a package deal. Shane doesn't realize he's in no position to make demands. Vic will try to make that happen. I'm kinda surprised Shane didn't say anything about how Lem better not come back either.
Monica announces to Dutch and Claudette that the D.A. wants them investigating a double murder. Claudette wasn't aware the D.A. assigned cases: "Exactly whose agenda were we servicing by targeting and rolling a three-plant drug kingpin?" Monica claims to have no idea what Claudette means.
Vic asks Monica about bringing Shane onto his task force. Monica doesn't know Shane "except for what's on paper. A lot of that's bad." Vic says that was just politics; Edgar-veda didn't like Shane. Monica thought the two of them had bigger problems that just that. "Well, brothers fight," Vic shrugs. Monica agrees to let Shane on the task force because Vic vouched for him. End of episode.