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.
(Photo credit)
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:
(Image credit)
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.

No comments:

Post a Comment