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.

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