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.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Coward Dies "A Thousand Deaths" (Episode 4.11)

Previously on: Dutch and Corinne started dating. Uniforms Carl and Scooby were abducted on duty, murdered, and dumped in a house that was seized. Shane came clean about his involvement with Antwon. Lem stole a brick of heroin from a drug dealer as collateral while looking for Angie's body (which he stupidly hid in his own damn car). Antwon finally went to jail and taunted that Vic will never find out who killed Carl and Scooby.

Shane takes a polygraph. Our old friend Smitty the locksmith acts as the examiner and asks a bizarre question: Are you currently the mayor of New York City? The next one is: Have you ever lied to keep yourself out of trouble? That'd be a huge friggin' "yes." Have you ever won the gold medal in women's gymnastics?
No, but give him a few years.
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The needle jumps around when Shane is asked if he's ever cheated on Mara. In Vendrell world, much like Bill Clinton world, oral sex doesn't count. Boy, if Mara ever finds out, he'll be:
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Assistant Chief Phillps tells Monica he's been getting a lot of angry calls about Antwon's arrest. "He confessed to murdering a teenage girl," Monica reminds him. (And tried to frame two cops for it). "Now he's screaming that Vendrell's dirty," Phillips goes on. He needs Monica to explain they're wrong about that. If only they both knew...

Smitty tells Shane he should be nervous about his lie detector results. According to him, tricking the machine is "easier if you're a pathological liar or a narcissist." Vic says, "So Shane's safe. What do we do about Army?" Army suggests a tack in his shoe, but there's no proof that works. And if anyone finds out he did that, they'll know he was lying.

Smitty wants Shane to ask him a question. "You like little Asian boys?" asks Shane. Smitty tells them that if he did, he'd use a technique called substitution: "I'd replace your question in mind with another question to which the truthful answer is no. The polygraph records the response as truthful." Like most things, it works if you do it right.

Vic emphasizes that they're all under a microscope until Shane and Army pass their tests. Shane isn't worried; they have a few more days to practice.

Monica practices a technique called subterfuge on a group of black community leaders, claiming Shane was undercover when Antwon hired him to kill Vic. The citizens have read that seizure policies often create police corruption. Monica assures them it's being investigated and Shane will have to take a polygraph, the results of which will be made public.

A man opines, "Taking people's houses is what got [Carl and Scooby] killed. Now you're trying to hide it." "We don't know what got those officers killed," Monica says hotly. People saying things like that won't help them find the killers. Assistant Chief Phillips states the seizure policy is being reevaluated. Judging by Monica's expression, she had no idea about that.

At the Barn, Vic tells the captain that Antwon's underlings are all vying to be the One-Niners' new king. Vic wants to press them for information on the cop killers. She agrees, but Shane and Army can't be on the street until they pass the polygraph. Vic promises they'll only work the cop killings. "Anything goes sideways with them, it is on you," Monica warns.

Shane and Vic see Antwon's lawyer talking to a group of One-Niners on the sidewalk. "I knew that shylock was dirty," says Vic. Shane puts a cigarette in his mouth. Vic tells him not to even think about it; he finally has a nice car with working A.C. "I want this to smell like rich Corinthian leather, not an ashtray." Shane reluctantly drops the cigarette out the window.

Edgar-veda has come to the Barn, feigning sympathy that Phillips threw Monica to the wolves. "It's a real shame you weren't there to witness his handiwork," she says. He offers her an olive branch. "High enough to hang myself from?" Monica guesses. Edgar-veda doesn't like criminals capitalizing on murdered police officers; he'll speak up in favor of the seizures to the chief.

However, she has to agree to modify the policy. Seized property won't be auctioned until after suspects are convicted. Monica doesn't like the idea of money that could be used to help the community sitting around for years. She thinks she can handle the chief.

Halpern, Antwon's right hand man, is enjoying lunch at an outdoor burger place. Shane wants to make a deal. Antwon's lawyer went straight from jail to meet a One-Niner named Weed. They thought Halpern was next in line. "White smoke comin' outta Antwon's cell means he's anointing Weed as his new pope of dope." says Vic.  They're trying to figure out whose side to take. Halpern shakes his head: "You still playing that dirty-cop bullshit?"

Vic doesn't want to go into business; he just wants to know who killed two cops. If Lem was in better shape, this is the point where he'd start helping himself to Halpern's fries or something. The only Salvadoran they know is Pitarrio, a nobody. Halpern's been out of the hospital a while, so he has to know something. Vic thinks they should talk to Weed instead. Halpern calls them back; Antwon's main Salvadoran connection is Gusano.

Halpern asks the cops what they plan to do about Weed. "You're lookin' at a buncha bona fide weedwhackers," says Vic.

Weed's talking on the phone and pretends not to hear Vic. Shane grabs the guy's cell phone, flips it closed, and asks, "Can you hear me now?" Ah, the old Verizon catchphrase. Vic plants a bag of ganja in Weed's shirt pocket. Weed knows that trick won't fly these days.

Shane tells him to think again: "You'll be locked up a week before the judge drops the charges." "Can you really afford to be benched that long?" Vic asks. Word is Weed will be taking over the One-Niners. Halpern could mess that up.

Jamani, a Grape Street gun dealer, told Weed some kids are running their mouths about having a dead cop's gun. Will Vic keep Halpern from taking over? Vic will see if the tip pans out first. They generously let him keep the ganja.

Billings is headed out to buy lunch from Giovanni's. Claudette asks for chicken parmesan. She doesn't think Dutch will want anything; he hates Giovanni's. Dutch is otherwise engaged, talking to Corinne on the phone about bringing wine over tonight. "I can do it. You've got such a long day," she says. Like she doesn't as a nurse working 12 hours in the ER? Dutch will pick up Chardonnay, her favorite. Claudette looks curiously at her partner.

The two of them aren't having much luck solving Carl and Scooby's murders, even after re-interviewing all the neighbors and papering the block with flyers. The forensics team hasn't come up with new evidence. Monica wants them back in the regular detective pool. The case is being reassigned to Vic, so they need to fill him in.

Billings goes to a car wash and hears a lot of yelling in Spanish. The guy doing the shouting points a gun at another customer. Billings draws his own gun, but before he can react, the other customer gets shot. The Spanish guy's car peels away, quickly followed by the victim's car. Billings checks and finds the other customer is dead.

Corinne visits Vic at work, saying she has something important to tell him: She's been seeing someone. Vic shrugs that he's been dating too. Corinne tells Vic that the lucky guy is Dutch. Vic stands up: "How the hell did that happen?" "It just did," says Corinne.

Vic warns her Dutch "is a first-rate asshole." They've never liked each other and "he just wants to get back at me through you." Corinne thinks that's ridiculous. He asks quietly if she told Dutch about the money Vic gave her. She didn't. Vic tells her to keep it that way. Corinne begs him not to put himself in between her and Dutch.

Ronnie has an address for Jamani. Vic tells him to pick him up while he looks for Gusano. As they pass Dutch's desk, Vic knocks over the coffee cup so it spills all over Dutch's papers. "Not your most ingenious prank," Ronnie remarks.

Vic and the guys go to Pitarrio's house. "I'll have a gun! I'll shoot!" his girlfriend Emolia warns from somewhere inside. She doesn't believe they're the police. When they go in, they find Emolia hiding in the bedroom with their toddler. She says Pitarrio disappeared because he "lost something he was supposed to be holding." He knew the Salvadorans would kill him.

Vic asks what Pitarrio had. She replies that it was a kilo of heroin. "Shit," Lem mutters. Emolia won't say how the drugs went missing. She's in charge of cutting the heroin and the Salvadorans will come after her next. She went back to the house to see if there was any more that she could sell; Pitarrio never paid her and she has no money to feed her kid. She's also afraid of Gusano.

Lem motions Vic closer and confesses, "She was here when I roughed up Pitarrio and took that heroin as collateral. So if she's running, it's because of me." He isn't sure if she saw him take the drugs. Shane wants to just leave. Vic doesn't want to leave her hanging out to dry. He tells the girl to pack bags for herself and the baby.

At the car wash, Dutch stands around talking on his phone to Corinne. "Vic said you two weren't exactly the strangers you said you were," she says. She wants to talk about this. "Look, I hate to do this to you, but I'm looking at a dead body right now. I've gotta go." Dutch tells her. They're still on for dinner tonight if the case breaks.

Back to the matter at hand. The carjacking victim, 21-year-old Luis, was shot 4 times at close range. His missing car is a 2003 Honda. Dutch notices the third bay is still wet. There may be a witness: "You're not gonna wash your car with a dead body next door." "Don't be so sure," Claudette says cynically.

Vic sets Emolia and the baby up in a safe house. She's very high strung; the last woman who crossed Gusano was brutally killed in front of her boyfriend. If something happens to her, she wants Vic to promise to find someone to take care of her son.

"I'm out of a job!" cries Emolia, "Can't exactly collect unemployment. And H-cutter don't look good on no resume." Can't argue with that. Vic says it's not too late to change. Next time he catches her with drugs, she'll be arrested. Does she wants someone else raising her 2-or-3-year old? Emolia corrects that he's 4. Vic thinks he's awful small for his age. Yeah, likely because he's a preemie drug baby.

Shane, now in his own car, is free to light up. Ronnie gives them the good news that Jamani works alone. I guess the smell of smoke bothers Lem's ulcer because he asks Shane to put it out. "This is my car," Shane snaps. Okay, well, don't bitch if you end up with puke in your floorboards.

"I can't go through with this lie detector," Army blurts out. Shane is sure it's just jitters; he'll have Army go a few more rounds with Smitty. Army doesn't trust that a locksmith really knows what he's doing as far as polygraphs are concerned. Shane tries to reassure him by saying Smitty was Army Intelligence for 12 years. "I was in the service. A.I. means he was carrying extra batteries for the field radio!" shouts Army.

Shane reminds Army that Vic, Lem, and Ronnie stuck their necks out for them. They can get through this if they stay calm and work together. They can't let the guys down.

In interrogation, Jamani denies that anyone's tried to unload a police-issue gun. The guys found a silencer and boxes of unregistered guns. Vic advises him to talk "unless you wanna hone your legal skills in Soledad." Jamani reveals an arrogant African guy brought in a Beretta 92F and asked him to file off the serial number. Jamani said no and is disgruntled about the guy calling him the N-word.

Monica wants him to look at mug books. Jamani claims he didn't get a good look. "This guy's great-great-great-grandpappy sold one of your ancestors to the man," says Vic. Does Jamani want the guy to get away with acting superior?

A female witness across the street from the car wash remembers seeing a dark blue classic car. A male witness contacted the Barn. The shooter had Los Mag tattoos and drove away in the victim's Honda; his friends followed in a black BMW. My question is if you're already driving around in a Beemer, why steal a Honda? The male witness put his call through the switchboard, "knew how to keep his name and voice out of it."

Their Nigerian suspect Ade lives in a house with a large dog, probably a husky, standing guard. They should send Lem in the fence; animals always love him. The gun he tried to give Jamani was the same make as Carl's and Ade is on a Homeland Security watchlist. Vic sends Ronnie and Army around back.

Lem asks if they have a warrant. "Just my winning smile," Shane chuckles. Vic inquires, "Anybody else hear those cries for help?" They kick in the door. Ade is dead in the kitchen. When Ronnie picks up his radio to call it in, there's an echo. Shane finds Scooby's radio in the basement.

Monica isn't sure what this discovery proves; Ade could've gotten the radio in a pawn shop. She does find it suspicious that someone killed their best lead. Shane doubts Ade could've subdued two cops on his own.

Vic wouldn't rule out Antwon until they talk to Gusano. "The neighbors are screaming blue justice. Payback for one of our own," says Monica. Vic invites, "Let them stick their fingers up his ass. He's been cold for hours. We just got here." Monica wants answers.

Claudette suggests talking to Vic about any current beefs the Los Mags have. Dutch is sure that anything Vic can do, they can do better. "Including dating his wife?" asks Claudette. Dutch amends, "Ex-wife. And we're friends." Maybe Claudette should do the talking. Dutch looks across the precinct parking lot and points, "Blue classic car. Well-maintained." Billings' ride. Who else would know to call the switchboard instead of 911 and be able to distinguish gang tattoos?

Dutch swipes a finger across the trunk and finds soap. Wasn't Billings supposed to be out buying lunch? It's time to talk to the man himself. "Dried soap?" Billings scoffs, "We found Nicole's blood in O.J.'s bedroom and look at what good that did us." Will the lab find Billings' fingerprints on money in the register?

Billings admits he was there but didn't take action. He defends himself by saying, "I was 15 feet away from two armed bangers who already had their guns out. That's not being a coward; that's living to fight another day." That's a matter of opinion.

Billings argues that if he didn't care, he wouldn't have made the anonymous tip. He knows the Barn doesn't tolerate weakness. But he's not Superman, "just a middle-aged guy who could use a few more hours a week on the treadmill." Can they keep his name out of it?

In the clubhouse, Army is still sweating over the idea of the polygraph. Lem is sure he'll pass it. After Army does, he should think about transferring. "This team gets into a lot of shit," Lem starts, "We always say that we're through. If you're not in 100%, split while the going's good. You're either built for it or you're not."

Before he can say anything else, Shane and Ronnie appear. The bullet pulled out of Ade's wall doesn't match Carl or Scooby's guns. INS is looking for Ade's roommate Ididsa Okoye because his visa expired. "It's Okoye with me if it's Okoye with you," says Shane. Oh, just stop it. No one thinks you're funny. Ididsa's visa was sponsored by a family in Long Beach.

This time, Lem and Ronnie are sent to the back of the house. A woman who doesn't speak English answers the door. Vic calls Ididsa's name. Someone fires at them from another room. Army and Shane escort the woman's kids to safety as Vic fires back. Their suspect sounds like he's speaking Russian. When he runs out of ammo, Vic pounces. Ididsa is bound and gagged on the bed.

As Shane walks through the kitchen, another bullet comes through the glass in the back door. A second presumably Russian guy sneaks into the backyard. Lem spots him just as the guy raises his gun. Now Lem is up to four officer-involved shootings in as many years. Shane actually thanks Lem for saving his life.

A Long Beach police car pulls up. Our boys identify themselves. "You wanna shoot somebody, I volunteer this guy," says Vic, coming out of the house with one of the Russians. A second police car arrives. They picked up Ididsa fleeing from the scene and found a gun on him. Vic identifies it as Carl's. Long Beach just bagged a cop killer.

In the men's room, Vic minces no words with Dutch: "I hear you're banging my ex." Is he just dating her to spite Vic? He tells Dutch they picked up one of Carl and Scooby's killers, then rubs salt in the wound that Dutch had been the primary detective.

"You are in deep shit," Monica informs Ididsa. The African denies knowing Antwon or being involved in murder. "I don't know how it works back home in lion country, but here you get the needle for killing cops," says Vic. Why did he have a police radio and one of their guns? Ididsa announces, "I'm tired now. I'm going to take a nap." When he closes his eyes, Vic jerks the table he's handcuffed to.

On the balcony, nothing about this adds up to Monica. Why were the Russians involved? Shane might know. The Russian boss was pulled over by Carl and Scooby for doing 50 mph in a school zone. There was an argument and the Russian spent the night in jail. Carl had a habit of being verbally aggressive. Monica is incensed: "They got killed over a speeding ticket?"

The Los Mag that Dutch and Claudette arrested isn't talking, so they need Billings to pick him out of a lineup. There's no other way to prove who did it. Billings pleads not to be involved. Dutch isn't budging.

Is Ididsa sure he doesn't know Andrei the Russian? Andrei killed his roommate. It was just sheer dumb luck the cops were able to stop Andrei from raping and torturing Ididsa's family. Ididsa's been a dead man walking since he killed Carl and Scooby, but has a chance to save his sister. She and her kids can go to witness protection if Ididsa tells them everything.

Ididsa claims Ade made all the arrangements. He had the officers' names and pictures. The night the cops went missing, Ididsa and Ade opened the manhole cover. They told Carl and Scooby they heard a child crying inside, just as Monica initially suspected. When they bent over to look, Ididsa stabbed Scooby in the back of the neck, paralyzing him.

He and Ade stabbed Carl repeatedly, "but he wouldn't die." Scooby was still alive, so Ididsa dragged him into the sewer and killed him. Ade was told to leave the officers' bodies in the seized house.

Monica praises Vic and the rest of the er satz Strike Team for finding the cop killers. Vic still believes Antwon is connected somehow. They're all headed out to find Gusano. Shane and Army have to stay behind; their polygraphs have been rescheduled and will take place in 10 minutes.

A young woman straps Shane into the machine. "Did you have to get such a pretty tester?" he asks. He can feel his heart rate going up. She starts asking the control questions.

Vic, Ronnie, and Lem stop by Gusano's house. Vic knows Pitarrio lost something that belongs to Gusano and Emolia is afraid she'll get blamed. Lem tosses Gusano the brick of heroin. Vic warns the guy to stay away from Emolia and her son.

Now it's Army's turn in the hot seat. He won't take the test; his union rep told him he has the right not to and the refusal can't be held against him. There's a reason polygraph evidence is inadmissible in court.

Monica explains that the public is in an uproar, thinking Antwon was set up. They might say the cop killers were framed too. By not taking the test, Army is "screwing every single cop in this building."
Army walks away. Shane plays it off like he's just jittery. Monica storms off.

Phillips and Edgar-veda meet with the captain. Edgar-veda thinks Monica's injunctions have helped keep gangbangers off the street. Doesn't it count for something that she nailed Antwon? He's sure they can find middle ground. Monica doesn't want to compromise: "You'd be abandoning the memories of those two dead cops and all that they fought for." Their murders had nothing to do with the seizures.

Monica gives an ultimatum: The seizure policy stays in place or she leaves. "Then you can explain to the brass how you lost one of L.A.'s two female captains because she was too tough on crime!"

Vic tells Emolia that she doesn't have to worry about Gusano anymore. Emolia took her son to a doctor and was told he needs to eat more and go to preschool. The kid used to talk more but now he hardly speaks. Vic offers to go pick up some groceries. Let's hope Emolia doesn't become another Connie.

Dutch tells Billings that the carjacker confessed. This pleases the coward.

Corinne asks Dutch pointblank if he's only dating her because he doesn't like Vic. "Absolutely not." Then Dutch backpedals. "Maybe a little at first. But I really like you now. Vic's an asshole." Corinne says through clenched teeth, "He's the father of my children. That makes him my asshole, not yours." She doesn't want to be in a relationship that's based on a lie.

She told him from the start this was a bad idea. "Corinne," Dutch wheedles. She tells him to leave.

Shane is pissed at Army for listening to his union rep. Army thought he'd take his chances even if the guy doesn't know as much as an ex-military locksmith. Ronnie asks if the PBA rep is gonna get Army his next job. "You can toss your career if you want, but you made us all look guilty when you blew off that test," says Shane. Army shouts, "You are guilty!" Vic tries to shush him.

"Who's the one who lost it and shot Halpern?" Shane inquires. Vic thinks this might be a good time for Army to quit, "no reason we can't leave as friends." Shane agrees with Monica that Army is screwing the team.

Army says, "That bullshit never worked on me when I was pulling sand outta my ass in the desert...I didn't take a bullet over there and I'm not gonna take one over here. Not for you guys." Vic appreciates his honesty. They all leave Army alone in the clubhouse.

Shane apologizes for vouching for Army. Vic is sure Antwon is involved; nobody else could get Russians, Salvadorans, and One-Niners to work together. "Why shake a stick at a hornets' nest?" the Southerner wants to know. Vic's answer is simple: Anyone connected to killing Carl and Scooby has to pay. He also wants to make up for 8 months of not kicking ass together. The Strike Team is back in business. End of episode.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Get "Back In the Hole" (Episode 4.10)

Previously on: Sociopath Dutch strangled a cat. Kleavon, a suspected serial killer from Texas, was ultimately found innocent of murdering a woman in Farmington. The former Strike Team may have found Antwon's weak spot: his oldest son Donald III, who sells fake IDs. Shane passed (a lot of) police intelligence to the gangster kingpin.

Antwon killed Lem's teenage informant Angie with Shane's gun. He'd tell Shane where he hid the body if Shane agreed to kill Vic. Vic found out. When he heard his best friend's side of the story, he agreed to help Shane get out from under the maniac. Lem didn't buy Shane's version of events ("You had a gun to his head; he's gonna tell you anything you wanna hear"). 

Uniforms Carl and Scooby disappeared while on patrol and were found murdered in a house Monica seized.

Vic "persuaded" Antwon's associate Pitarrio to tell them where Angie's body is. He and Shane intercepted Antwon at the airport and brought him back to the Barn. He's right where Vic and Monica want him: an interrogation room. At least for the next 12 hours.

Ronnie, Army, Lem, and Shane hike through Griffith Park with flashlights and shovels. They're having some trouble locating the rock that, according to Pitarrio, marks the spot. At first. Shane is confident they're in the right place; Angie was buried 200 yards south of the horses and they already passed the stables. Then he starts to waffle about where they are.

"This is bullshit," Lem says under his breath. Shane asks if he has something to say. "Nope, I'm just lookin' for a dead girl's body to keep your ass clean," Lem replies. Shane tells Lem he doesn't have to be here. "I'm not here for you. I'm here for her," Lem counters.

Antwon smiles that he enjoyed his police escort. Vic warns his next one might not be roundtrip. Antwon is surprisingly willing to sign a waiver to talk to the police without his lawyer. Monica asks him about Carl and Scooby. Antwon's been a vocal opponent of the seizures and the officers were found in a seized house. Not only that, it was in One-Niner territory. Everyone knows Antwon is their king.

Antwon's fresh from a Vegas vacation, "haven't even been back to the castle yet." Monica thinks the timing of his trip was pretty convenient. Does Antwon knows his son Donald is in jail? The captain lays a surveillance photo on the table, showing Donald and another inmate in a compromising position in the shower: "Guards say that he wasn't forced." Vic clearly didn't expect her to play this card. She goes on, "I didn't know your crew was so friendly with Mexicans."

Monica wonders what would happen if Donald was sent to Folsom. "He'd have a line of boyfriends outside his cell," says Vic. Monica wants to know who killed Carl and Scooby. She's taking a break to give Antwon time to think. Antwon angrily scatters the photos across the floor.

Vic whispers he didn't have a clue about Donald being gay. Antwon tells Vic not to forget that he knows things too. When Vic leaves, Antwon punches the wall.
(Image credit)
I knew a football player in high school who shattered his hand by punching his locker.

Downstairs, Vic asks to be made aware of what else Monica knows. She basically responds with:
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Vic isn't sure going after the family is a good idea. "He killed two of ours," Monica points out.

Upstairs, she shows Antwon photos of three Mexicans who basically run the show at Folsom. All of them want Antwon dead. Antwon shrugs that Donald will have to learn to take care of himself. "I bet you feel like a real bad dad for being away during the wonder years," says Monica. Maybe if Antwon hadn't been in jail, the kid would've turned out to be straight. She honestly doesn't want anything to happen to Donald because "it's bad enough having you for a father."

"You ain't got much regard for a man's family, do you?" asks Antwon. He knows the captain had an affair back in the day with her then-partner Rich. Vic looks ready to Hulk out. Monica is remarkably calm about her dirty laundry being aired. Antwon asks how Rich would like his former mistress threatening to have someone raped and killed. Rich is dead, but Monica is sure he wouldn't mind if he was alive. After all, the two of them busted Antwon the first time.

The guys haven't managed to dig up Angie's body yet. Shane knows this must be the place because the ground is torn up. "By a mountain lion or something," opines Army. Ronnie is pretty sure they're west of the stables, not south. Lem wants to call Vic, reminding Shane that this mess is all his fault. Army asks why Lem is involved. He can thank Vic for that.

"Probably wanted someone around wasn't thinkin' about killin' him," says Lem. Shane protests that he couldn't have gone through with it. "We'll never know 'cause Vic got the drop on you first," says Lem, dropping his shovel and stalking off into the woods.

Dutch still hasn't found out who bought the stolen JP necklace that was at the cops' murder scene. Over 60 gangbangers with those initials have been cleared so far. Monica temporarily puts him and Claudette on another case; Kleavon is suspected of strangling another young black woman, just like Texas. He was described by a couple who interrupted the attack. Unfortunately, the victim died in the ambulance. "Looks like we got him this time," says Claudette.

Edgar-veda asks Monica how Antwon is connected to Urkel the gun dealer they arrested. She lies that she isn't sure yet. He thinks it was smart of her to announce the arrest of an alternate suspect until she can prove who really did it.

In the clubhouse, Vic tells Lem that Monica is pushing Antwon hard. In return, he might push back. "And all we got is a rock in the middle of pretty damn big woods," says Lem. Actually, it's a pretty damn big park. Vic suggests sweeping the area with a metal detector; Angie was wearing earrings and a belt buckle when she disappeared. (Bullets would set it off too).

Lem makes it clear that if he has to choose between locking up Antwon and covering for Shane again, he's choosing the former: "You and I have both been living straight and we're in deeper than ever because of him." Vic argues Shane wouldn't have gotten involved with Atwon if Lem hadn't broken up the team. Yeah, that makes total sense. Never mind the guy has an ulcer partially thanks to Vic's money train ripoff.

"Like it or not, Shane's family," says Vic. It should be obvious to him by now that Lem doesn't like it one bit. In fact, I'd go so far as to say he hates it.

"Nice getting shot at with you today," Danny says to Edgar-veda in the locker room. She knows he found the bodies and starts to ask how bad it was. Edgar-veda offers cold comfort: "I don't think they suffered much." They didn't die in the house, though; they were stabbed somewhere else. Danny decides she doesn't wanna know more than she already does. "Me either," sighs Edgar-veda. Danny thinks he's lucky to have a family waiting for him at home.

Monica brings Antwon a bottled water. She tells him Donald is transferring to Folsom next Tuesday. Antwon gets that they're both just trying to use the power they have. Rich did the same thing. Vic gives Monica a what-is-he-talking-about look. Antwon trots out the age-old "I was framed" story; Rich planted the cocaine in his car. As his partner, Monica had to have known.

While they're on the subject of secrets, the captain brings up Antwon's past. When he was 13-14 years old, Antwon didn't sleep much because his 6-year-old sister was raped every night by their father. Antwon was too much of a coward to do anything, but not Mama Mitchell. She shot her husband. Antwon's sister is now in a mental hospital; Mama Mitchell is serving life in Chino. These days, Mom probably would've gotten off on justifiable homicide. Tears roll down Antwon's cheeks.

"Oh yeah, you're street tough. You're a gangster full of cop-killing rage. But you're still too much of a coward to save your own son," says Monica. She orders Vic to cuff Antwon to the table. Vic tells Antwon he can make this all stop if he names names. Antwon thinks they should check their own house. Monica wants to know what he's talking about.

Antwon knows about a murdered girl who was involved with a dirty cop. If he knows, maybe Carl and Scooby did too. Vic calls bullshit. Antwon demands his lawyer.

At his desk, Julien makes a donation jar for Carl and Scooby's families. He tells Danny that Carl's wife Vonda wants to file a lawsuit: "This didn't have to happen. She sees that." "She sees that or you put it in her head?" says Danny.

Claudette's witnesses, Trina and Morgan, describe the murder suspect they saw. Hubby saw jeans and shifty-looking, wifey a clean-cut guy in a track suit, "the kind [of guy] you'd bring home to Mom." "Sounds like you wanna bone him," mutters Morgan, which reminds me of Kevin Spacey's character in The Ref.

Dutch is sure that's not what Trina meant. "Oh, trust me, she means it," says Morgan. About the only detail they can agree on is the man they saw was tall and black.

They continue to argue. Morgan is confident he could pick the guy out of a lineup, but his wife is useless. He even goes as far as saying, "It's too bad that psycho didn't cross your path." Trina gives her husband a smack upside the head that almost knocks him out of his chair. Then she picks up a tape dispenser and hurls it through the breakroom window.

Morgan cries for his woman to be arrested: "If it was me smackin' her around, you'd lock me up!" Trina squirms as Dutch holds her arms and tries to cuff her. As she's put in the cage, she demands they arrest Morgan for stealing cable. There are also stolen car parts in the garage, which she'll give them permission to search. For a parting shot, she insults the size of her husband's, uh, equipment.

Dutch reveals the couple failed to pick Kleavon out of a lineup. Claudette stuffs some money in the breakroom donation jar. Dutch contributes too, then takes the lid off the jar. "I only have $100. I'm getting change," he explains under his partner's scrutinizing gaze, "I need some cash for gas." Claudette has a plan: Trick Kleavon into thinking his victim is still alive, get him to ask for a deal. She'll take the lead because "he's got a thing for us black girls."

Claudette tells Kleavon he did a sloppy job; there's a 50/50 chance the girl will survive. "You're jittery," she observes, "Afraid of what she'll say when she comes to?" Kleavon asserts he was at home watching sports with his sister. Claudette lies that the witnesses picked him out. Kleavon remembers going out to buy soda. He brags that he has absolutely no police record. Rather insincerely, Kleavon says, "I'm sorry that girl got her neck wrung. It ain't my problem."

Kleavon's sis tells Dutch her brother was only gone 5-10 minutes. Two witnesses chased Kleavon away from the girl. "He has a habit of being in the vicinity of murdered black girls," says Claudette, "I know it's hard to believe this of your own brother." Sis thinks they're making a big mistake; she'd know if he was a murderer.

Dutch points out that intuition only goes so far: "We had a woman in here last year whose husband was a serial rapist. She had no idea....I don't think she really even believed it when he confessed." Sis asserts that 10 minutes wouldn't be enough time for Kleavon to buy sodas, then stalk and kill a strange woman. Dutch and Claudette both seem to think she has something there.

Edgar-veda and Sara have a "date" night at a cheap motel. She goes over her rules again: no bruises or ripping out her hair and stop when she says so. She adds that she's sorry to hear about the dead policemen. Maybe she can make him feel better. Edgar-veda grabs her by the arms and makes a chilling statement, "I don't want to feel better."

Antwon's lawyer arrives and wants a few minutes alone with his client. Monica goes downstairs; Vic goes to the observation room and turns on CCTV. Antwon needs a favor, but first the lawyer should cover the camera. Tom assures him that the police aren't allowed to watch their privileged conversations, but he obliges. "Call Bobcat. Tell him it's time to let the police find that girl," Antwon instructs.

"Pitarrio screwed us," Shane says when Vic walks into the clubhouse. They searched all around the stables and nothing. Vic tells them what he's learned about Donald. Antwon lost it and lawyered up. It's only a matter of time before they get a so-called anonymous tip about the body. The guys need to find Pitarrio and make sure he tells the truth this time. They have 6 hours until Antwon is set free.

May I just say a motel is a less-than-ideal place to act out a rape fantasy? Through the thin walls, someone might mistake the cries for help as real and call the police. Things could get very awkward very fast for a certain married city councilman.

Edgar-veda forces Sara to her knees, ignoring her real protests. He draws his gun and holds it up to her mouth, then loudly repeats his own rapist's words, "You ever suck a dick like a cell bitch, huh?" Sara's terrified, just now realizing she's in over her head with a madman. This time, her shout of "stop" gets Edgar-veda to drop the gun.

Prostitute and john sit there for a minute or two, trying to catch their breath. "Did somebody to that to you?" Sara asks in a shaky voice. Edgar-veda tells her to shut up, then vomits into the sink.

Sara is infinitely more understanding than Aurora was about this revelation: "Whoever did whatever to you, you didn't know they wouldn't pull the trigger. You probably knew they would. If you fought it, you'd be dead. It isn't your fault. You're not like that. You're a good person." No, he's not, and I'm not just referring to the adultery issue. Edgar-veda has always been a duplicitous bastard.

Edgar-veda himself even disagrees with Sara's last sentence: "A good person wouldn't be here with you." He breaks off their business arrangement/affair/whatever. I'm sure that's an enormous relief to her.

Dutch tells Kleavon that Sis changed her story; he was really gone for about half an hour. His sister lives 2 blocks from a convenience store. Why did he travel half a mile to an expensive supermarket for soda? Kleavon says that store doesn't always have his favorite. Said supermarket happens to be near the bus stop the victim used to commute from her job teaching night school. Kleavon must've been stalking her for some time.

Claudette and Dutch conduct a lineup through a little subterfuge. Dutch looks at the observation room TV, points to Kleavon, and says, "That's him, Officer."

Lem sneaks into a house through the unlocked back door. Pitarrio's girlfriend seems to knows why he's there and sends him to the living room. Pitarrio is asleep on the couch; Lem kicks him awake. "You met my friends yesterday," says Lem. They asked about a girl's body and were given bad directions. Pitarrio maintains that Angie is buried south of the horses.

Lem drags him off the couch: "You like lying about dead girls as much as you like burying 'em?" Pitarrio says, "Screw you" and gets Lem's right hook for his trouble. The guy's face starts bleeding. Lem tosses him a cloth to mop himself with.

"Tell me where the girl is buried," Lem repeats, "And do not say the stables." Pitarrio is confused: "What stables? Horses, man. That go up and down?" Lem realizes he means the merry-go-round. He starts to leave, then asks about Pitarrio's stash. Pitarrio claims he doesn't have one. Lem raises his fist again, asking, "How many goddamn teeth do you wanna lose today?" Pitarrio changes his mind.

Lem drags him through the house by his shirt. Pitarrio indicates a cabinet under the kitchen sink. His girlfriend Emolia watches from the staircase as Pitarrio is tossed to the floor. Lem holds up a brick of something, probably heroin. Pitarrio will get it back when they find Angie. Outside, Lem puts the drugs in his Jeep's glovebox. Here's hoping you don't get pulled over, big guy.

Back in the clubhouse, Shane rants and raves about how they spent all night digging in the wrong place. Okay, I get the bachelors not having a clue about the merry-go-round in Griffith Park, but Vic has kids. Did he not think to mention that carousel when they started looking? Shane rushes off to meet Lem.

"You're back," Aurora observes when Edgar-veda walks in their house. He hugs and kisses their daughter Sophia. Aurora asks him to leave a check for the drywall repair guy before he goes to work. Edgar-veda suggests they both play hooky and take Sophia to the beach, but Aurora doesn't want her to miss preschool.

Edgar-veda tells his wife that he was the one who found Carl and Scooby murdered. He apologizes for how he's treated her since his rape. Aurora doesn't want to hear it; she's upset that he didn't call all night. Edgar-veda promises things will get better. They awkwardly hold hands, then Aurora starts crying in his arms.

When Shane gets to the Griffith Park carousel, it's surrounded by patrol cars and crime scene tape. Army and Lem are standing in the street. The uniforms showed up right when they started digging. Oh, this is super not-good. Army gets pissy and drives off. Lem is sorry but they did their best. He leaves too. Shane sighs, watching dogs and uniforms combing the surrounding hills.

Kleavon is confident the nonexistent witnesses' IDs won't hold up in court. They're probably racist. Dutch and Claudette keep lying, this time to Kleavon's sister. They tell her his latest victim is awake after surgery and says Kleavon tried to kill her. Sis is a churchgoing woman. Is she willing to swear to God in court that Kleavon was at the store for 10 minutes? "Maybe it wasn't exactly 10 minutes, but it didn't seem like much longer," she amends.

Shane knows it won't take long to connect him to Angie; Antwon put Shane's business card in the girl's pocket. Vic thinks it's too early to worry because they haven't found the body yet. "As far as we know," Lem points out. Ballistics from Shane's gun are on file due to a different officer-involved shooting, but Army's never shot anyone and should be safe. Vic gets the idea of breaking into the coroner's office tonight. Ronnie says it would never work, too many cameras.

"Me going to jail and Antwon walkin' outta here, that's not gonna happen," says Shane, "I saw him shoot that little girl 4 times. So if I'm gonna go to jail for murder, it may as well be his." "Don't be a dumb shit," Vic chuckles. Shane asserts, "This guy is evil." No argument from me. "I put a bullet in his brain, at least there's some justice." "We ain't deep enough?" asks Army.

Shane appreciates everything the guys have done for him, but wants the chance to clean up his mess. If I were in Vic's shoes, I'd let him. Lem agrees with me. Of course, Vic tells him to shut up. Lem thinks killing Antwon would be the first good thing Shane's done in a long time. More like the first good thing he's done, period.

Shane surprises the hell out of me by saying, "Lem's right." It's his fault they got involved with Antwon. Everyone goes quiet. Shane leaves the clubhouse.

Upstairs, Shane uncuffs Antwon from the table. Antwon refuses to talk without his lawyer. "Stand up. I wanna look you in the eye," Shane orders. They stand practically nose-to-nose. "You're not gonna get away with killing that little girl." Antwon plays dumb. He must think he has it all: money, power, respect. "The hillbilly's been listenin' to my speeches," Antwon says with a hint of admiration.

Shane thinks it's a shame about Donald III: "If my little boy turned out to be a fag, I don't know what I would do. They say you're born that way." Antwon must have some bad genes that caused it. What'll it do to Antwon's image if his son is found shanked to death in a prison shower after group sex? "Your people don't cotton to the homo vibe." "My people ain't your worry," says Antwon.

Shane goes further. He drops the N-bomb and calls Donald III a fag again. "Where's the respect in that?" Shane shouts. Antwon pants and grits his teeth, eyeing Shane's gun. After a beat, he sits down and cuffs himself to the table again. He knows what Shane's up to and isn't willing to give him an excuse.

Shane unplugs the camera, looking pretty shaky. He has one hand on the doorknob and one on the butt of his gun when Vic walks in. He takes Shane by the arm down to the parking lot where the rest of the guys are waiting. "You don't get outta this by getting dirtier," says Vic. He wants Shane and Army to tell Monica the whole story. They have video proof that Antwon's been blackmailing Shane. Not to mention him soliciting Vic's murder.

Shane doesn't want to get Vic and Ronnie in trouble for not coming forward sooner or drag Army into this. Vic tells him not underestimate how much Monica wants Antwon back in prison. Shane is still hesitant; if Monica doesn't believe him, she'll question everyone else that he's close to. "So we survive it together or not at all," shrugs Vic. Lem and Ronnie, pretty much the only innocents in this whole thing, really need to pipe up with "What's this 'we' shit?"

In the observation room, Monica is stunned by what she sees on the video from Shane's car. "Shane and Army killed Angie?" she asks. Vic explains that Antwon did after beating them up and stealing their guns. He bugged Shane and Army's department car to see if Army was the mole. All she has to do is say she authorized the camera.

Monica wants to know how long Vic has been hiding this. He says only a few days. Monica asks if Ronnie and Lem are doing things behind her back too. Vic had to go through hours of footage to find that. He needed time to wrap his head around what Shane's done. He also didn't want him or Army to get fired.

"This isn't about careers. He put a hit out on a cop," says Monica. Why didn't he tell her this before Carl and Scooby were murdered? "I guess I wasn't thinking straight," Vic mumbles. He gives her the detail about Shane's business card. If Shane really killed Angie, he wouldn't have left it behind. Monica says through gritted teeth, "And you guys are supposed to be the cops."

Vic was just trying to help his best friend. What if the same thing had happened to Rich? Monica wants her dead partner kept out of this. She needs to talk to the guys. Vic brings Shane to the gang task force command post. Monica draws the blinds and warns, "One whiff of bullshit and my next call is IAD."

After the cul-de-sac bust, Shane thought Antwon had kidnapped Angie to send a message. He and Army went looking. "Not coming to me immediately is a fireable offense," says Monica. Shane was scared because Antwon had threatened his family: "I have a 3-month-old son. I have a wife who shows open houses all day." "Carl had a wife. Scooby has a mother," Monica points out.

Shane admits to tipping Antwon off about the warehouse bust and arresting his rival dealers, but he didn't have the stomach to kill his best friend. Vic found out about the hit and confronted him. Monica tells Shane he'll have to take a polygraph, then calls in Army. Shane looks ready to throw up as he walks back downstairs.

Later, Vic goes to ask Monica what'll happen to Shane. The captain will decide when his and Army's polygraph results come back. Vic doesn't want her to punish them for his not coming forward. Monica understands Vic wanting to help his friend, but that doesn't excuse not telling her about the leak.

"You could use that tape to get Antwon Mitchell off the street for the rest of his life or you could use it to hang me and the rest of my guys," Vic says. Monica corrects, "Or I could do both."

Trina is now even more pissed at her husband Morgan. He tipped off Trina's sister that she stole from their mom's house after their mom died. Trina's sister got so mad she rescinded bail. Morgan gave the police permission to search their attic.

Claudette and Dutch show Kleavon a sketch of his own face. "Am I under arrest?" he asks. Claudette confirms it. Kleavon wants to see his sister, but the detectives can't allow that; it could taint her testimony. She did tell them that Kleavon was watching a news report on the cop killings, not the game. Kleavon argues that they were watching the game; the bulletins kept interrupting it.

Dutch fires off questions: How did Kleavon know his victim? Where did he really go last night? Why did he kill her? Kleavon insists he didn't do nothing. Officer Paula tells the detectives that the victim is awake.

On the balcony, Claudette asks why Dutch stopping pushing. It's not like him. "I don't see the point in burying myself deeper in his mind if there's nothing useful," Dutch replies.

Danny confronts her partner with a rumor she heard: The donation money will be used to hire a lawyer to sue the police department. "People are really raw around here, you know. It's not the time to be rubbing salt into a wound." "I didn't choose the timing," says Julien. Danny knows this isn't the example she set when she was his training officer. Julien thinks that if people listened to his opinion, Carl and Scooby wouldn't be dead.

Dutch bullshits that Lana the victim ID'd Kleavon as her attacker. Kleavon followed her to the bus stop after putting the soda in his car. She had her headphones on, wasn't paying attention to her surroundings. Yet another reason I only use them when I work out. Kleavon wore latex gloves.

"Her neck was thin, weak. Her panic excited you. That's the whole point. All you can think about is finishing." Okay, Dutch, you're weirding me out more than usual. He then goes into graphic detail about what happens when you strangle someone. Kleavon doesn't believe that Lana came out of her coma and told Dutch all this. He threatens to visit her at the hospital.

Monica shows Antwon the tape where he hires Shane to kill Vic. Antwon's lawyer cries entrapment. Monica says she authorized the camera, plus Shane and Army are willing to testify. "Next time you arrange a cop killing, don't do it in a cop car," Vic advises. Enraged, Antwon pushes the TV off its shelf. Vic subdues him.

Antwon wants a deal before he ID's the cop killers: no death penalty and he serves his sentence at Lompoc with Donald III. "Life for me won't change," he says cockily. He can still get liquor and women in prison. Monica says he won't get a deal unless he tells them everything. Who killed Carl and Scooby? Who has their guns and radios?

Antwon admits to killing Angie: "The bitch deserved it." He tried to hire Shane to kill Vic. But he had nothing to do with what happened to the uniforms. He tells Monica that Shane and Army were always dirty; it's a matter of time before he sees them in prison.

On the balcony, Vic swears that Shane isn't dirty. Monica tells him not to worry; he and Army will be fine if they pass the polygraph.

Dutch and Claudette tell Kleavon's sister that his victim has been dead this whole time. She refuses to believe her brother's true nature: "If I'm living with a killer, why hasn't he killed me?" "He feels safe with you. You've never suspected him," says Claudette. For whatever reason, they have to let her brother go. She should go home, act normal, and watch her back. "First sleepless night, we'll be her first call," Claudette predicts.

Julien tells Danny the donation jar has gone missing. Something tells me she's aware of that. Morgan and Trina call out from the cage that they want to drop the charges against each other. Unfortunately, it's too late for that. The van from county lockup is on the way.

Lem, Shane, Army, and Ronnie sit quietly and tensely in the clubhouse. Vic comes in with the news that Antwon confessed to soliciting his murder and killing Angie. Shane's sigh of relief is audible. Lem asks about Carl and Scooby. "Didn't give us anything on that one, but we all get to go home," says Vic. After today, the polygraph is the easy part.

Shane's got his trademark sense of humor back: "Couple of Vicodin, you'll have 'em believing you don't jerk off." Antwon will be going to jail for life and Monica is backing their play. "It's over." Lem sounds like he can't believe it. "Couldn't have gone better if we planned it," says Vic. I wouldn't go that far. Shane thanks them for saving his ass.

"Maybe this is just who we are," says Lem and it's clear he means something other than just looking out for each other. They're all liars, all dirty. Vic disagrees, "We had a problem, we came together, solved it. That's who we are." From now on, they focus on showing criminals who's in charge. "Strike Team style," Shane pipes up.

Vic wants to start with the guys who killed Carl and Scooby, which is problematic, considering they don't know who they are. "I'll sweat the baby bangers, threaten to take away their PSPs if they hold out on intel," says Lem. Shane will call in all his favors. Lem is starting to sound like his old self as he says, "Bangers won't know which way to turn. Then, bam, there we'll be."

Gino tells Monica that Vic has been clean the last 6 months. The seizure files are sloppy but in order. Nothing's missing from the evidence room. He thought this would be good news. Monica tells him to stay watching Vic and the guys.

Vic and Shane stand in the parking lot to watch Antwon's perp-walk. "Guess it's time for you to lick my balls, daddy," Shane says triumphantly. Antwon is satisfied that Monica believed he doesn't know what happened to the dead cops. Do they really think anything like that happens without his say-so?

"Those kinda whispers violate your deal," says Vic. Antwon counters, "Not unless you got 'em on tape." They'll never find out who did it and he'll fall asleep with a smile on his face every night. Vic hopes he enjoys sleeping in a prison cell.

Another officer loads Antwon into the jail van. Vic is even more determined to find the cop killers and wipe that smirk off the gang leader's face. End of episode.