Friday, June 30, 2017

"Tapa Boca" and a Very Unhappy Birthday (Episode 5.4)

Roughly translated from Spanish, the episode title means "top mouth." I'm guessing that has something to do with Emolia.

Previously on: Vic learned that Kavanaugh of IAD has been talking to Corinne (and lying that he too has an autistic child). The rest of the Strike Team was made privy to the fact that Kavanaugh pressured Lem into wearing a wire. Emolia, a CI of Vic's, turned and is now helping Kavanaugh.

In Motel Hell, Lem does a quick mic check. Kavanaugh reminds him that he needs recorded admissions of wrong-doings by the Strike Team. "Questions make cops suspicious," says Lem. Kavanaugh is onto our blond friend: "You walk outta the room every time he opens his mouth and says something more than 'Good morning.'" "Vic and I aren't attached at the hip." True, that would be Vic and Shane.

"Dragging this out, trying to have it both ways, you're torturing yourself." Kavanaugh actually has a point there. Lem already has a stress-induced ulcer (his current predicament certainly can't be helping). Kavanaugh reiterates that Lem made his bed and now has to sleep in it.

Since threats and yelling haven't worked, Kavanaugh tries the aren't-I-a-great-pal angle. He knows it's Lem's birthday and has a gift for the big guy: a set of fishing lures. While listening to the tapes, Kavanaugh discovered Lem enjoys fly-fishing. Lem's thank you comes across as less than sincere. Kavanaugh is all "I know ratting on your friends is hard, but everything's gonna be okay, son."

Vic goes to the office of Becca the scummy defense attorney. He starts by telling her, "Everything I'm about to say falls under attorney-client privilege." IAD has painted a bullseye on Lem's back. "I don't represent cops, especially corrupt ones," she says sweetly. Well, you're in luck because Lem is clean. Vic thinks this could provide karmic balance for a woman who pays bills by getting gangbangers out of trouble.

Becca, now intrigued, wants more details. Vic tells her about the heroin Lem supposedly stole and how Kavanaugh is in charge of the investigation. He can't look into IAD himself because it'd raise too many eyebrows.

"There's the first real truth I've heard." Oh, you are very perceptive, Becca. Nobody would suspect her of working for "the man." She agrees to ask a few questions of her ex-boyfriend in the city attorney's office.

As they investigate a car accident, Dutch advises Claudette against taking a tropical vacation due to the threat of typhoons. The driver's seat is spattered with blood. Dutch speculates somebody pulled a gun during a road-rage incident. A look at the eviscerated victim tells Claudette otherwise; the thing Dutch just picked up off the ground is an umbilical cord. Oh dear God.

Billings snaps at Claudette that they don't have enough information to file an Amber Alert on the missing baby. The dead woman's boyfriend works nights in a machine shop and nobody's seen him since the murder. Dutch points into the lobby at several reporters: "The vultures are gathering." However, he still wants to use them to pull the public's heartstrings.

Danny tried to call in officers from Wilshire to join the search; their watch commander said no way until someone proves the baby is alive. "That's bullshit," Billings fumes, "Call again."

Becca talked to her ex and some A.D.A.s she went to law school with, but nobody offered to help. According to her, this "means they know something major's in motion." Vic asks if any of her friends mentioned Edgar-veda; he's their old boss and has been working with Kavanaugh. Edgar-veda had Vic cross legal boundaries to catch murderers when he was trying to sell himself to voters. Helping IAD absolves him of that by casting Vic as the villain.

Becca is curious about the real story behind the heroin. Vic hasn't asked Lem yet because Kavanaugh's got him wearing a wire.

Dutch uses Danny as a visual aid to demonstrate how one might perform an amateur C-section. He doesn't think it would require medical training. The people who do this sort of thing are usually women who have recently lost a baby or have been lying about being pregnant. Danny is now officially freaked out: "I'm never gonna sleep until I have this kid."
(Image credit)
Claudette may have a lead. A 911 hangup was traced to a payphone a block from the crime scene. They'll have to persuade the anonymous caller to come forward.

In the clubhouse, Ronnie is chugging coffee. Lem arrives at work, asking if the Strike Team's been assigned to the missing baby yet. Vic mimes pulling his pants down. Lem doesn't get it. Shane holds up a piece of paper with SAY YOU GOTTA TAKE A DUMP written on it.

Vic thinks Dutch and Claudette are handling the case. "Captain wants us available to round up all the other miscellaneous sickos," adds Shane. Lem repeats the line Shane fed him and passes the recorder off to Ronnie.

As Ronnie hustles out of the clubhouse, Vic gives Lem 5 minutes to talk about Kavanaugh. "He thinks I've been protecting you. I've been helpful, but not too helpful." Lem realizes Pitarrio or Emolia could've seen him take the heroin. Vic trusts Emolia. Pitarrio, on the other hand, had a very physical run-in with Lem and would have reason to snitch to IAD.

Lem worries what'll happen to him if IAD successfully makes their case. Shane is confident Lem would only do about 5 years since he's a first-time offender. "Shane!" Vic scolds. Lem's expression says it all.
(Image credit)
Shane has a plan. Lem could refuse to wear the wire and let himself be arrested. The rest of the Strike Team will find information they can use to undermine Kavanaugh. Lem's response is instant: "All the shit you've done and I'm the one going to jail? Are you kidding me?" Vic tells him to settle down, nobody's going to jail. The Strike Team has beaten every rap that's been thrown at them.

"Nobody jumped ship when Antwon had your balls in a sling," Vic reminds his best friend. Shane was willing to kill to protect the others. "We got you out of that before you had to go through with it," says Vic. Shane wants to do the same for Lem. But if they can't, is he willing to be the sacrifical lamb? Are your ears fucking painted on? Lem's answer to that was a huge goddamn no.

Lem, however, doesn't see anyone else in his corner and agrees. Shane promises Lem that things are gonna be fine. He and Ronnie will find Pitarrio. "I hate this," Lem says bitterly, sweat beading on his forehead now. Vic sends him to the men's room to get the recorder back.

Driving along, Lem asks the question of the day: "What kinda person cuts a baby out of its mother's stomach?" Vic stops to talk to Edgar-veda, telling Lem to stay in the car. Lem cranks up the radio because Vic's voice carries. Vic pretends he wants to talk about bums living on furniture the city trash collectors haven't picked up.

The car's police band crackles. Lem calls, "Hey, we got a 187!" In certain jurisdictions, that's dispatch code for homicide. Edgar-veda says trash is below his pay grade; call Waste Removal. Vic says he'd hate to see the councilman's district turn into a big fire hazard.

It turns out Lem wasn't fibbing about the 187. Hank, a man in a business suit, was the victim of a drive-by while leaving a diner after breakfast. His toupee is lying beside him. "Nice piece," Shane quips. He and Ronnie stopped by Pitarrio's house, where, according to Shane, "Only sign of life was a coupla squatter crackheads." A telephone lineman gave Lem the license plate number of a potential witness to the murder.

Vic tells Shane and Ronnie to keep looking. He and Lem will "find out who's got a problem with the Hair Club for Men." I think Vic's just pissed 'cause he's bald.

Billings gives a statement to the reporters: "That baby is still out there. This disgusting crime occurred at approximately 5:15 a.m. this morning." He implores the public to come forward with any information; it could save the baby's life.

Claudette is still popping pills. Maybe the work environment at the Barn finally gave her an ulcer too. Dutch ran background checks on everyone who worked with Isabel the victim, but nothing sticks out. Isabel's boyfriend is there to be interviewed.

Dutch goes after him: "Your neighbor told us Isabel was screwing someone else. Baby probably wasn't yours." Dutch himself was in the same situation once upon a time. Isabel's Boyfriend is positive Isabel was having his child. "If the baby's alive, tell us," says Claudette.

Isabel's Boyfriend mutters, "Oh God. Please let him be alive." Dutch asks if he noticed the baby's gender during the butchery. Has he really never heard of an ultrasound? At the very least, they can now put out an Amber Alert for a newborn black boy.

Dutch will have someone give the guy a ride home; he should stay by the phone in case the police have more questions. Isabel's Boyfriend is understandably angry about being accused. He wants to know who killed her and what happened to his son.

Hank the drive-by victim served time at Lompoc for an unspecified crime and worked at a pet store. He had no family or known enemies. Lem is working on a list of matches to the partial license plate. Shane waves Vic over: "Pitarrio hasn't been arrested in 6 months. That's the longest he's gone since he turned 18. He's off the grid." "If the feds picked him up and he made a deal to give up Lem, that arrest wouldn't be on his record." says Vic.

Lem holds up a folder. Their possible witness is Hank's neighbor Leon. The two of them were in the same GED class at Lompoc. On their way out the back door, they run into Julien and Tina, who have just arrested Leon.
(Photo credit)
Julien and Tina were canvassing for the missing baby when Leon threw a bottle at their windshield. She adds, "Then he asked if he could smell my sweet spot." "Even Shane stopped using that line," says Vic.

Upstairs, Vic remarks, "Pretty stupid thing you did to get yourself arrested." Leon tries to use the I-was-having-a-bad-day defense. Did it include seeing Hank killed? "If a friend of mine was in trouble, I'd do everything I could to help him out," Vic says pointedly. Leon was scared by the gunshots and ran. Maybe if he sits around long enough, he'll remember something else.

Vic guesses the bullets were meant for Leon. "You get yourself arrested 'cause it's safer in here than it is out there," says Lem, a statement that should be hitting home. They're not willing to be his bodyguards. Vic grabs Leon by the jacket and hustles him out of the interrogation room. Leon suddenly remembers a green SUV.

Vic tells Danny he's overriding bail to release Leon on his own recognizance. Leon whines that Vic is gonna get him killed. That's a chance Vic doesn't mind taking. Back upstairs, Leon explains that a pool hustler client fell behind on his payments. They used to go to Gary's Tavern on Sunset. Is his name Dean Winchester?

"Cut to the part where someone wants to kill you," Vic says impatiently. Leon's boss Gus wanted Leon to crowbar the delinquent's arm, which would ruin the guy's pool game. Leon gave the guy an extra 24 hours to pay and was sure Gus would never know. The delinquent disappeared along with the $40,000 he owed. Gus thinks Leon has half of the money.

Leon makes it a point to say how sorry he is that Hank got killed by mistake. "Some ass-suck" who works for Gus probably shot Hank. Leon doesn't know his real name. Shane summons Vic for a private chat. Lem stays behind, listening to the lowlife gripe about how nobody wants Leon to get ahead.

Ronnie tracked down Pitarrio through an INS database. For the last 2 months, Pitarrio's been working construction. Shane is further convinced he made a deal with the feds.

Kavanaugh is once again at the kids' school. Corinne asks how old Kavanaugh's son was when he was diagnosed with autism. "Around 3," he lies smoothly. Corinne confronts him, "There's an Andy at this school, but he's not your son." She was married to Vic and cops come to the ER every day; she knows one when she sees one.

Kavanaugh tells her he's with Internal Affairs. He tries sucking up by saying she'd make a good detective. Vic is in trouble and the two of them have to do a lot of talking until he's convinced she wasn't involved. Kavanaugh threatens to charge Corinne with obstruction of justice if she tells Vic about the investigation. Does she want to go to prison?

Billings' press conference produced a witness. Isabel made a sudden turn and almost hit another car. The other car's driver started shooting and 911 put the witness on hold. The other car was white with a decal on the back window that said R.I.P. Jevontrey.

Kavanaugh listens to today's tape. Edgar-veda comes in. "Lemansky's birthday is today. His pals, they either don't know or they just don't care," announces Kavanaugh. That doesn't prove anything; guys usually aren't good with dates. My best friend remembers my birthday because ours are 3 weeks apart.

"That's the update?" Edgar-veda asks incredulously. Kavanaugh would be pissed if his best friends forgot his birthday. Come on. For all he knows, there's a surprise cake in the break room or an after work trip for beers.

Kavanaugh asks why Vic stopped by Edgar-veda's office. "Some bullshit sanitation complaint. I think he just wants to rub it in my face that he's de facto running the Barn," says the councilman. Kavanaugh apologizes for wasting his time. He'll call with the next birthday alert.

Kavanaugh rushes to Emolia's safe house to let her know it's now unsafe and she needs to pack. She shouldn't answer the phone if Vic calls.

The guy Vic and Shane meet at the construction site isn't the real Pitarrio. However, he has Pitarrio's Social Security card. Vic asks, "What'd Pitarrio get for his papers?" "He got dead," says Fake Pitarrio. Three months ago, a heroin deal in El Salvador went south and Pitarrio was murdered.

Shane thinks Emolia could be their mole (pun intended). After all, she has "a messed-up kid" and no job. Vic is adamant that Emolia wouldn't betray him; he's hung out with her and her son. Shane suggests Vic call her to "check in." Emolia's not at the safe house when they get there. The next door neighbor saw her leave with a black man earlier today.

Dutch has put the word out to decal places about special orders. Claudette brings him 3 years' worth of coroner's files. Corinne calls Dutch, saying she wants to meet. She didn't know who else to talk to. Corinne tells Dutch about Kavanaugh trying to get her to say things about Vic: "He threatened to send me to jail if I say anything or if I don't cooperate." She wants to know if it's legal or just a scare tactic.

"A lot of times, the person who goes down didn't have anything to do with the original crime." Dutch starts. (cough Lem cough) The trouble comes later on from lying and covering things up. Corinne can't be compelled to talk due to spousal privilege. But if she knew about any of Vic's, uh, extracurricular activities, she could be charged as a co-conspirator.

Corinne is their best leverage. Dutch advises her to be upfront and honest about being in the dark. Before leaving, he has a medical question for the resident nurse: Why would someone take prednisone? Corinne lists off reasons the steroid might be prescribed: lupus, asthma, Crohn's disease, arthritis.

Shane is getting frustrated as Leon looks through mug books in the clubhouse: "You don't have to memorize every picture." "Cut the guy some slack; he's got a target on his back," says Lem, who's all too aware of how that feels. Vic still can't reach Emolia. Leon ID's "ass-suck" as Justin Lamott.

In the hallway, Vic tells Ronnie about Emolia being seen going somewhere with a black guy. If Kavanaugh got to her, Vic is sure he can get her back on his side. IAD must've come to her when Pitarrio got killed. Emolia doesn't know about anything other than the mess Lem's in.

Kavanaugh has been using anything and everything he can to tear the Strike Team apart. "Prick talked to Corinne at our kids' school," says Vic, "Warn Mara. Ronnie, tell whatever you're banging this week, don't talk to strangers." The investigation will go away once they find Emolia and coach her. And just how do they plan to find her?

Vic has an idea. He asks Billings about putting Leon in a safe house. Billings has a list of available addresses, but it's eyes-only, captains and above. Let's hope Vic doesn't try robbing the captain's office again...

Danny comes upstairs. "They found the baby." Her tone is grim. Billings hands over the list. When he leaves, Vic runs it through the copier.

The coroner gives Dutch and Claudette the cause of death: trauma, most likely from a fist. In his unique horrified/interested way, Dutch asks, "Somebody punched a newborn?" The baby also had a cut leg. "A typhoon in Fiji's looking pretty good right now," Claudette mutters. Take Lem along. God knows that poor guy needs a vacation.

The baby's been dead for hours, probably since right after Isabel's murder. "It's a special kind of monster," says Dutch. Thanks to a decal shop, Billings has a name for said monster: Devares Glade. He had the decal made in honor of his uncle Jevontrey and drives a white Monte Carlo. Devares has 6 violent priors, 4 of which were committed with a Sean Deeks.

The baby's body is covered in fingerprints, at least three sets. The big ones were made by men, the smaller ones most likely a woman.

Shane disses Justin's marksmanship: 4 rounds in a wall and 2 in the wrong guy. "Loan shark shoulda hired a professional," says Lem, dropping the hint: "Some shit to be dealing with on my birthday." Shane had no idea it was today: "We should get wasted."
(Photo credit)
They catch up to Justin. Shane plays like they're fellow legbreakers; Gus is pretty pissed about Justin shooting the wrong guy. Justin argues that he didn't, even saw the guy drop. Lem sticks a badge his Justin's face: "You just confessed to murder." Where can they find Gus?

Lem hands his recorder to Vic while Ronnie downs more coffee. Justin and Gus both confessed, clearing Leon's name. "Freak tried to hug me," Shane sounds disgusted. Vic guesses Shane insisted on oral sex. Lem is all "Boy, I must've eaten something that really disagreed with me." The wire gets passed to Ronnie. What friends won't do, huh?

Once the designated pooper is gone, Vic informs Lem that Pitarrio is a literal dead end. That leaves Emolia. Vic is sure he can sweet-talk her back into the fold. She's not in a safe house, but Vic knows where her son Sebastio has occupational therapy: "I chased down this therapist's unfaithful wife in exchange for sessions." Emolia never lets Sebastio miss an appointment.

The best thing for Lem to do right now is go home, put his feet up, and have a beer. Kavanaugh's turning up the heat. No kidding, Lem's been sweating all day. If Kavanaugh formally arrests Lem, the other guys will pool their funds to bail him out. Shane smiles and gives Lem a fist-bump.

An older man has reported a scam: A guy driving around in a camper decked out with patriotic decor has been selling bogus body armor and care packages for the troops. Grandpa paid $300 for a vest to send to his grandson in Iraq. I guess he wasn't in the military or he'd know those things are standard issue. Anyway, grandson told him it was a fake.

Julien found out Tina missed her baton training class. Tina's sorry, but she was stressed out that night after "almost having to blow a van full of skin peddlers." She didn't miss the other 3 classes, though. Why is Julien being so hard on her? Julien tells Tina point-blank that he doesn't feel safe riding with her. They find their suspect's camper with relative ease.

Before opening the cage, Tina actually follows procedure by handing over her gun. "What's a little bit like you doing being a cop?" the suspect taunts. Tina asks Danny if she can be reassigned; she's really trying with Julien, but things aren't working. Another inmate bitches about how he's a drunk and doesn't belong in holding with rapists and murderers.

"We don't have a room. This isn't an inn," Danny snaps. The guy's cellies are there for resisting arrest and "scamming grandpas into buying bogus body armor for their grandkids in Iraq. Don't get your panties in a bunch." To Tina, she adds, "Same goes for you."

In separate rooms, Dutch and Claudette talk to Devares and his female accomplice who looks like a teenager. His fingerprints were on the baby. Did she get frustrated because the baby cried too much? The detectives confer. A good attorney could convince a jury the suspects found the baby in a Dumpster and the fingerprints were from CPR. The girl is their best shot. Claudette has an idea of who she might talk to.

Danny offers to let the accomplice feel her baby bump; she didn't ever think she'd want to have kids, but now she feels maternal. She's willing to bet the girl did the cutting because she knows more about female anatomy. A man lost his son and girlfriend on the same day.

"Bitch brought that on herself," says Female Accomplice (FA). They didn't know Isabel was pregnant. She almost ran them off the road and "my man don't stand for that." To FA, shooting Isabel was self-defense. The menfolk wanted to drive off, "but I said, 'No, we gotta save the baby.'" The guys planned to sell the little boy afterward.

FA's sister has had two abortions and decided she wants a baby. The doctors botched the second abortion to the point where she can't have kids. FA thought she could surprise her sister with a stranger's baby. The baby was having trouble breathing, "so we did the stuff you see on doctor shows. We tried to clear his mouth out, turned him upside down." When that didn't work, Devares tried CPR, crushing the baby's chest in the process. Danny's heard more than enough.

Becca has learned Kavanaugh has carte blanche to investigate the Strike Team. This can't just be about a misplaced brick of heroin. Vic tells her that Edgar-veda chose him to the "posterboy for corruption to sell [a] softer, gentler voice to the voters." Vic pushed the envelope with Edgar-veda's blessing until it was no longer convenient to his political agenda.

Becca agrees to represent Vic. He explains they're a package deal by basically quoting "Good Night Saigon" by Billy Joel: "We said we'd all go down together." Becca looks almost impressed by his nobility.

Danny notices the drunk fighting other inmates in the cage and calls for help. Tina charges in...without removing her gun like she's been trained to do! Julien quickly drags her out: "Someone could've grabbed your weapon!" Is she trying to get an inmate or a fellow officer killed?

Tina runs off to have a private cry by the evidence room. Danny brings her a tissue. However, she doesn't tell the rookie that big bad Julien shouldn't have yelled at her. "You know why you're so dangerous? 'Cause this isn't real for you yet." Part of being a cop is recognizing and admitting your mistakes, then learning from them.

Of course, Tina interprets this as another attack. All she's done is try to be nice to all her coworkers: "You used to be the queen bee around here, but now you don't get so much attention with those stretch marks. So you're gonna make my life miserable." Danny's expression is one of excuse-me-bitch-what-the-fuck-did-you-say-to-me. 

Tina argues that every cop in the Barn has made mistakes; surely nobody was as mean to them as everyone is to her. Danny warns that the guys won't respect her once they see the red eyes and runny nose. Depends on the guy. Lem would probably invite her out for his birthday. As a parting shot, Danny says, "It's bitches like you that make the job harder for the rest of us."

The Strike Team stakes out the occupational therapist's office. Emolia exits with Sebastio and gets into a car with Kavanaugh. Vic decides to tail him.

Claudette's watch beeps and she takes more pills out of her desk. Dutch catches her off guard by saying, "I know you're not going on vacation. You're sick. How sick?" Claudette shrugs that she feels good enough to work every day. Dutch wants to know what's going on; they're partners. She doesn't answer.

Vic and Shane turn off their headlights as they turn down a street. Kavanaugh drops Emolia and Sebastio off at a house. When the Rat King leaves, Vic knocks on the back door. Emolia lies that she hasn't answered her phone because a dealer is harassing her. Vic pats Emolia down for a wire, wondering what Kavanaugh wants with her. Emolia claims not to know who that is.

"Why are you lying to me?" Vic sounds genuinely wounded. Did Kavanaugh threaten her with jail if she didn't play ball? Vic can get her out of this if he knows exactly what Emolia told him. "That I saw your guy take the heroin. That's it," she says. Vic knows her statement will be worthless if she skips town. Sebastio can stay with Emolia's mom until she's settled.

Emolia apologizes; she didn't know Vic then. He realizes Emolia was the one who tipped IAD about the heroin. "If I had it to do over again, I'd say no. You've been good to me and Sebastio," says Emolia. Vic yells at her for not warning him 6 months ago. Emolia brandishes a knife, warning Vic that Kavanaugh checks on her.

Vic shouts that everyone on his team could wind up jail. Didn't it mean anything to Emolia that he helped her son? Her own knife now at her throat, Emolia promises to leave. Vic doesn't trust her not to call Kavanaugh. She cries that Vic knew what she was like from the beginning. Does someone who's trustworthy turn people into the police for money?

Vic slowly realizes he can't bring himself to kill Emolia. His phone starts ringing. They come up with a story that Emolia's earlier call to her cousin had a purpose: getting a message to Vic so he could find her. The door opens. Vic whirls around with his gun out. The Rat King has returned. They stare at each other.

Kavanaugh asks why Vic is there. Vic's more interested in why Kavanaugh has been talking to his CI. Kavanaugh gives Vic a bullshit story about her helping bust a Salvadoran drug ring. "I got spooked," Emolia pipes up, "Called my cousin. She called Vic for me." Vic advises, "Next time you hide one of my CIs, put a car out front. This isn't safe."

End of episode (and end of what was probably the worst birthday of Lem's life). Seriously, I hope somebody brought him some cake or at least stopped by his house so he wasn't drinking alone...

Friday, June 23, 2017

Undercover "Jailbait" (Episode 5.3)

Previously on: IAD reopened Terry Crowley's shooting and Lem learned the shocking truth about his former teammate's death. Kavanaugh bullied Lem into wearing a wire, threatening him with prison time for possession with intent if he didn't cooperate. Lem burned the guy on purpose by yanking the wire out while talking to Vic. He also told Vic exactly what's going on, then asked his team leader for the truth. Vic's silence was all the answer he needed.

At Motel Hell, Lem lies his ass off that his mic got disconnected during the scuffle with Vic. He asked about Terry and Vic maintains Two-Time shot him. Kavanaugh asks how the fight started. Guys like Vic don't just talk about stuff like that, you have to make it personal. "I can't believe I was stupid enough to let you in my head, make me think Vic had something to do with Terry dying," says Lem.

Kavanaugh smirks and tells Lem to pull up his shirt. Lem refuses to be wired again. Kavanaugh claims this time isn't about Terry; it's about what the rest of the team gets up to. There's also the small matter of the 15-year prison sentence Lem's facing. Can he try to avoid technical malfunctions this time?

Vic knocks on Shane's door. His best friend opens it, holding Jackson. Vic wants a private chat. Shane passes the baby off to Mara and steps outside. Vic tells Shane and Ronnie that IAD has Lem over a barrel about some missing heroin. "What's Lem doing with horse? He's not using," says Shane. He suggests Lem is running it on the side. Vic knows Lem wouldn't do that, least of all without telling them. "Like burning the money train cash?" Shane wants to know.
Dude, get over it. It's been like a year.
(Image credit)
Vic also lets them know Lem is wearing a wire and doesn't have any idea about them dropping off Doomsday in Mexico last night. "How long has this been going on?" asks Ronnie. Vic doesn't know. Right now, it's all about helping Lem out of the mess he's in. Shane doesn't get how they can if he's wired.

Vic tells Ronnie to check the clubhouse for bugs. They need to stick to business as usual. He reminds them what's at stake: "IAD gets a whiff that Lem tipped us, it's over for him." Ronnie leaves.

Vic stays with Shane on the balcony to tell him that Lem asked about Terry. But it's cool, he disconnected the wire first. Vic didn't say a word, "but [Lem] knows." They can explain everything once the Internal Affairs trouble blows over. The fact remains that Vic and Shane were the only ones in the room when Vic shot Terry.

At a Mexican grocery store, the clerk reports to Tina and Julien that he found two bodies when he opened this morning. On a storage room couch, a naked woman is pinned by an obese and equally naked man. "What do you think? Heart attack, then she got crushed underneath him?" the clerk speculates. The woman gasps in surprise when Julien checks her pulse.

The uniforms move the dead man to the floor. The woman's wrists are bound behind her back with tape. Tina covers her with a blanket.

Ronnie sets up his laptop after running a wand through the clubhouse. Lem raises his shirt to show them exactly where the microphone is. Shane tells a joke about three explorers in the Congo who get captured by natives and are told to choose between death or chi-chi.

Ronnie opens a Word document and types HOW LONG? Lem types back YESTERDAY. Vic asks WHO? With one finger, Lem pecks out KAVANAUGH. Where'd he learn how to type?

Shane continues the joke; chi-chi amounts to sexual torture, but the first explorer chose it to escape death. He types WHY? Lem explains about the heroin in his Jeep. Shane jabs his finger at the screen, indicating he wants more details. WHEN LOOKING FOR ANGIE'S BODY...TO SAVE YOUR ASS. Vic realizes that was 6 months ago. I'M SCREWED, Lem types. Vic replies with a promise: WE'LL GET YOU OUT OF THIS.

Danny rattles the door. Ronnie hastily shuts his laptop. "We didn't know it was locked," Shane fibs. Danny has a case for them: a murder and possible sex crime. "Can you give it to someone else whose time isn't as valuable?" asks Shane. Vic is sure they can solve it by lunch.

Danny suddenly flinches. Vic asks if she's okay. "He just kicked," Danny explains. The guys congratulate her.

In the parking lot, Vic sends Lem to get a car. He wants Shane to find out everything he can about Kavanaugh. The heroin accusation could just be Internal Affairs chumming the waters.

The Strike Team's murder/rape is at the Mexican grocery store. Ronnie surveys the party mix of drugs on a table: "Poppers. Intensifies the orgasm." Vic has Ronnie run the male victim's driver's license. The store owner has never seen him before. "Then why does he have keys to your place?" Vic wants to know. He's aware the owner is infringing on the local Teamsters' turf, something they won't take kindly to.

The owner says Rodrigo is a part-time delivery driver. Union mandated wages are killing his business. Rodrigo's truck is parked by the loading dock. Shane gets into the cab to look for the woman's purse or ID. Vic rolls up the back door and finds a load of pinatas. He has Lem smash them open, which is probably the most fun the big guy's had in a while. "Dude, no drugs, no candy," Lem sounds disappointed.

Vic pries up a board and finds a secret cargo compartment. Three Mexican women, gagged with duct tape, are inside. All of them are dead. Lem looks ready to cry. Outside the truck, Shane exposits that the air vents were taped up to minimize any noise the girls made. None of them have IDs.

Ronnie learned Rodrigo did 5 years in prison for assault and rape. He got a current address from the parole officer. Before Vic can formulate one of his usual plans, Lem looks pointedly at the Texas longhorn on his shirt. Vic tells Shane and Ronnie to go file for a warrant and search Rodrigo's house; he and Lem will interview the victim at Mission Cross.

As usual, the nurse on duty is Corinne. Magdalena, the girl from the store, was severely dehydrated and has signs of sexual assault; there was also a date-rape drug in her system. She told Corinne that she and her little brother were both sold to Mexican gangbangers. Magdalena doesn't trust the police, "but I told her you were two of the good guys."

Vic tells her they found three more girls in the truck, but not her brother. Magdalena heard a man take him away. The truck stopped again. Rodrigo took Magdalena into the store and raped her: "Then he just died." Magdalena starts laughing in relief that her nightmare is over. She doesn't know who sold her or where she was supposed to end up.

Magdalena takes a small plastic bag off the nightstand and pulls out a wallet-size photo of her brother Pablo. "Please find him," she whimpers to Vic and Lem.

Becca, a lawyer, wants to talk to Dutch and Claudette. They arrested her client Evan for shooting someone during the school riot. She represented him in another matter (in which he was found guilty) two years ago. Becca is working pro bono because she knows he's innocent this time. She re-interviewed the police witnesses and thinks it was a shoddy job.

Dutch tells her Mariano, the first witness to come forward, had his story confirmed by four other boys. Were they aware those boys were Mariano's good friends? "We're not gonna reopen this case based on who's in what clique," says Dutch. Claudette adds, "Evan has a history with weapons and assault."

Becca insists he's changed. She understands they all have tough jobs and people make mistakes. She'll be waiting while they look into it.

The coroner says Rodrigo's C.O.D. was a heart attack "mixed with too much party fuel." Vic hangs back to talk to Corinne. Has anyone from the department asked her about him? Internal Affairs has their sights set on the Strike Team, but they're totally clean. Vic adds, "You and I were married, so spousal privilege applies during that time. You don't have to tell anyone anything." "Is there something I need to hide from them?" says Corinne.
(Image credit)
When the Strike Team raids Rodrigo's house, the clock radio is still blaring. "Rodrigo's gonna be pushing the snooze button in hell from now on," says Vic. They find headshots of young girls and boys stuffed inside the mattress, including Magdalena and the dead girls. Not only was Rodrigo a pimp, he was a pedophile.

Shane finds another picture and asks, "What's granny doing in here?" Vic guesses she's helping traffic the kids. They head for the cross street written on the bottom of her photo.

Evan sits at the interrogation table, dressed in his finest juvie scrubs. Dutch talked to everyone again; the kids all say Evan did the shooting. Evan thinks Mariano scared his friends so they wouldn't say what really happened. According to him, Mariano had the gun.

Becca is confident someone will eventually tell the truth. Claudette thinks she's reopening the case to create reasonable doubt at trial. Becca wants to be sure before Evan spends up to 25 years in prison for something he didn't do and returns to her client's side. Dutch accuses his partner of trying to undermine the case.

Traynor, a parole officer, has a case for Dutch. His client Loel missed court yesterday, which is a parole violation. Loel appears to have some kind of physical deformity and a speech impediment. His friend Ned just got out of prison for armed robbery. Someone was taking care of his dog while he was locked up, so they went to get it.

The dogsitter lived in a trailer in the general vicinity of Farmington (Loel can't remember where): "All of a sudden, Ned comes out all bloody and shit. Tells me the guy wouldn't give him back his dog. They fought and Ned hit him with a shotgun. Made me grab the dead body, hack the head off." They buried the head in a field and chopped up the rest of the body. They dumped the body parts in a junkyard guarded by a bunch of dogs. Loel finishes with, "I was an unwilling participant, okay?"

Traynor believes Loel because he's studied how to read faces. Another amateur profiler. I can see why Danny thought Dutch would be a good fit for this investigation. Dutch agrees it's a fascinating theory, but the results are inconclusive. He flips the channel to Evan and asks for Traynor's take. Traynor also believes Evan is innocent.

The Strike Team catches up with Abuela the pimp at a street fair. A man is with her. Both run when they see badges. "You get the tortoise, we got the hare," Vic tells Ronnie. Abuela is wielding a knife, which Ronnie orders her to drop. The others catch the guy on the balcony of a shopping center. Shane almost gets knocked over it. As Lem cuffs him, the guy shouts, "I want a lawyer!" "Yeah? In a minute, you're gonna want a doctor!" snaps Shane, clearly forgetting they're being recorded.

Kavanaugh plays back tapes in Motel Hell. All he's got so far is Shane's stupid joke, which gives him a good chuckle. Edgar-veda heard about last night's technical problems. Could the case be compromised? Kavanaugh thinks it'll be okay. Edgar-veda is sure the microphone mishap was a calculated move on Lem's part and he's actually right for once.

Kavanaugh describes Vic as 98% good; the other 2% is what gets him. He's being pretty generous with those numbers, in my opinion. Edgar-veda is too convinced he's 100% evil. There has to be a reason Vic keeps slipping away. Edgar-veda points out that Kavanaugh's never met Vic, much less had him lie straight to his face. Kavanaugh's wasting his time and this could be their last chance to nail Vic to the wall.

"Where are these kids, lady?" Shane asks Abuela. Tina translates. Vic knows Rodrigo likes them young. Abuela maintains she's never seen the kids before, then keeps rattling on in Spanish.

Tina tells the guys she's saying: "This is more gringo bullshit. Threatening me because I'm an old, sick Mexican. I hope your syphilis-infected dick gets ripped off by rabid dogs and gets fed to your whore mother, may she rot in hell." Points for creativity? Then, in perfect English, Abuela requests an attorney.

Lem found out that Abuela did time for murder 30 years ago. Vic asks him to call the public defender's office and find out how soon they can get a lawyer to the Barn. Becca passes by. Vic wonders if she can help them by representing Abuela; he doesn't have time to wait because 50 juvenile sex slaves are missing. This could be her good deed for the day.

Becca is still holding a grudge against Vic over a case she lost. Vic was the sole witness who testified and he managed to convince the jury that the defendant was guilty. He can't believe she's unwilling to do something that may save lives. Becca gets high and mighty: "I'd rather not devote the next month of my life to protecting a sex slavemaster grandmother." Vic just needs an hour of her time.

Becca stands next to the accused pimp as Tina keeps translating. Abuela picked up girls at the fruit stand and took them to drop-off points. Her contact finds her after she calls him. Vic wants to send one of the guys to the meet and take down the operation. Becca refuses to allow it unless Abuela gets probation. Quoting another famous Bostonian, Vic advises, "Dream on."

Becca tells Vic it was stupid to let her know how important Abuela is. Vic can't believe she's willing to let Abuela go free.

Vic has a Plan B: Wire Tina for sound. They've just finished when Billings announces, "Officer Lowe has misgivings about putting his trainee under." "She's still on probation," adds Julien. Vic says the decoy has to look young or it won't work. Tina is confident she can handle it, even though she botched a simple domestic call so badly she had to get stitches.

Ronnie brings Vic a file on Kavanaugh. "Word is he gave his own partner up to IAD back in the day," says Shane. Since then, he's worked without a partner.

Kavanaugh's a "poor kid done good" with degrees in psychology and criminology. He's also a former Golden Gloves boxer. Before IAD, he worked stints in Vice and Robbery/Homicide. Kavanaugh is divorced with no kids. "We gotta figure out what this guy has to lose," whispers Shane. Vic is sure Kavanaugh can't be that squeaky-clean.

On a crowded sidewalk, Abuela leads Tina to a drop-off point. A van not unlike the Strike Team's own arrives. The driver gets out and opens the door for Tina. Thanks to some road-blocking civilians, Vic has to make a crazy U-turn in traffic to chase the van. Through the radio, they hear the trafficker telling Tina she can see Pablo after she turns enough tricks.

The pimp's van turns down an alley. The trafficker tells Tina, "We're gonna break you in first." Two obese guys get in the van with her. The trafficker orders Tina to open her mouth. Thinking on her feet, the rookie claims she has gonorrhea in her throat. Never mind, they'll just run a train on her later.
"And don't be telling the customers you're sick," adds the trafficker. Vic continues following the van.

At the junkyard, Dutch nervously eyes the dogs: "You sure they're chained up tight?" The junkyard owner says they'll be fine unless they think he's being threatened. Traynor opines that face-reading should be taught at the police academy. He offers to loan Dutch some books and DVDs on the subject.

Traynor also thinks it's obvious Claudette is trying to hide something from Dutch. The junkyard owner shows them where he found a human arm.

Tina has been taken to a house. The guys don't know if it's the trafficker's or just a spot they use to run girls. If they pounce too early, they won't have anything on the ring. A woman opens the door for Tina. Vic calls over the radio for everyone to bust in.

Lem gets through the door first and hits a guy with the butt of his shotgun. Girl start screaming. There are johns in the house too, beds partitioned off with flimsy sheets. After watching Season 2 of Secrets and Lies, Kenny Johnson raiding a whorehouse gives me deja vu.

Vic yells for Tina. They find her on one of the beds, sitting on a john's back and restraining him. Shane compliments her on a job well done. She seems shaken up.

Outside, Vic shows the trafficker a picture of Pablo. Lem holds the guy by the scruff of his neck: "This idiot's acting like he doesn't understand." Ronnie's found 10 girls from the photos; the rest are unaccounted for. Trafficker wants his lawyer. Vic smacks the guy with his stack of papers.

Shane doesn't think they should take him to the Barn; he'll never talk. Once word gets out about the raid, they'll never find the rest of the kids. Lem keeps glancing down to where his wire is taped. They load the trafficker into the van.

"This is a shitty day," Shane gripes. Vic looks on the bright side: Someone will be getting a lethal injection. Shane is sure Guttierez will only serve 5-7 years. Lem thinks they have enough to charge him with conspiracy for the three dead girls. With D.A. Calhoun prosecuting, Guttierez is as good as on death row.
The D.A.'s first name wouldn't happen to be Caleb, would it?
(Photo credit)
Guttierez starts to protest. Vic tells him to shut up; after all, he asked for a lawyer.

"I ain't getting no death penalty for girls I didn't kill. I didn't even see," says Guttierez. Vic suggests, "Save it for your last words while you're on the gurney." "I wouldn't expect any clemency with the Terminator as governor," Shane puts in.

Guttierez gives up Carlos Odon as his boss. Vic asks if he's waiving his right to counsel. Guitterez says yes and tells them the addresses of two other houses. Pablo and the rest of the boys were flown to Bangkok this afternoon.

Kavanaugh and Corinne have a friendly chat in the school parking lot. She hands over her address and phone number. Are Matt and Andy still having a playdate Friday? When Kavanaugh starts talking about tutoring, something throws up a red flag for Corinne as a parent: He can't remember who his son's teacher is, just that it's a woman. "I thought Mr. Dunhill taught the after-school program," Corinne says. He claims he was talking about the aide. Corinne makes an excuse to leave.

Mariano's Lawyer asks why his client is being charged with second-degree murder when Evan has already been arrested. Evan's lawyer has new witnesses saying Mariano was the shooter. The D.A. is dropping the case against Evan. Gunshot residue was found in Mariano's locker. Mariano's lawyer wants to play Let's Make A Deal.

Becca thanks Claudette for getting Evan released; she couldn't have gotten away with the bogus GSR claim. Claudette can call her for a favor anytime she needs one. Dutch tells her that Loel really was coerced, so he won't be charged with murder or hacking up the body. He's off dinner with Traynor. Claudette says, "[Traynor] has quite a reputation as a man's man, if you know what I mean....While you were reading faces, he was reading your package."

Vic asks Becca if she's sure there's no room in the cage for Abuela. Unfortunately, her deal has no loopholes. Corinne arrives with something to tell her ex-husband. A guy claiming to have an autistic child has come to the kids' school a few times and asked her questions. She knows how cops talk and she's also suspicious because she's never seen his kid.

"That him?" asks Vic, showing her Kavanaugh's photo. Corinne nods. Kavanaugh's been especially curious about how the Mackeys pay tuition and how involved Vic is. All she said was Vic always finds money for the kids: "I was trying to sell you as a good dad." She didn't mention the Bag O' Cash. Vic tells her Kavanaugh has no business asking her anything and he'll take care of it.

Cue a gratuitous Shane/Mara sex scene. Afterward, Shane lights a cigarette. Mara sighs that it was great for her, but he seemed distracted. "Lem's in some hot water," he confides. Mara thought Shane was keeping his nose clean. Shane tells her not to worry about it; things will work out.

"You and Vic together as a team standing behind Lem?" Mara wants to know. Not exactly. "Team's one thing, family's another," says Shane. He could've gone to prison after all the shit with Antwon. "I'm not gonna let anything happen to us," he promises. Mara reminds him, "Jackson needs his father." Shane can't live without either of them.

Lem comes into the clubhouse to get his jacket. Vic lets him know he talked to an American diplomat in Bangkok about finding Pablo: "I meant what I said about not giving up on him." He feels like he and Lem have unfinished business. Did Lem really think Vic was hiding the truth about Terry?

"I swept through that house. I cleared that bathroom. At least I thought I did. Somehow, Two-Time got past me. I left Terry exposed." Vic's never told anyone before; he feels like it's his fault. (Which it actually is). Vic scribbles 'We together?' on a notepad. Lem nods. They shake hands.

"Her Majesty Billings needs to see you," Danny tells Vic. The captain has company: Kavanaugh, who wants to talk to Vic alone. Kavanaugh claims he's touring the district. Recent budget cuts might tempt people to take shortcuts. He wants everyone to know there's a right way to do things.

Vic sees through him: "I've been a cop for 14 years. You guys never toured before." "New management," Kavanaugh shrugs. Special squads like the Strike Team get the most allegations of misconduct. He knows everyone in the Barn follows Vic's lead, even though he's not in charge. Is there anything suspicious Kavanaugh should be aware of?
(Photo credit)
Kavanaugh gives Vic a shark's smile. End of episode.

Friday, June 16, 2017

"The Enemy of Good" Is Jon Kavanaugh (Episode 5.2)

Previously on: Kavanaugh of Internal Affairs tried to cozy up to Corinne by pretending to also have an autistic child. He and Edgar-veda schemed to reopen Terry's case and get Vic off the street. Their unwilling pawn in this is Lem. Kavanaugh dragged him out of his house, promising he won't arrest Lem for stealing that heroin if Lem agrees to turn on Vic.

Vic is concerned that Lem isn't answering his phone. Shane guesses he's "knee-deep in a booty call," even though we've never seen any indication that's his style. Ronnie says, "Hope he's getting the cop discount." Shane hears Ronnie's girl charges by the minute.

A car dealer says it's about time they showed up. "Better be a good reason for you blowing up my cell phone," Vic grumbles. The salesman reports someone smashed a bunch of windshields on the lot. "We don't monitor lemon laws," says Vic. Shane snarks, "Good thing they're sold as-is."

The salesman, who I will refer to as Honest Pete, knows who's behind this: a Latino with the street name Doomsday. He's been pressuring every business on the block for protection money. Honest Pete missed a payment and now the cars are damaged: "My son's right. It's every man for himself from now on."

Kavanaugh understands Lem is scared because he's caught in a mistake he can't get out of. "I didn't commit any crime. I'm a goddamn cop," says Lem. Kavanaugh says denial is a normal first reaction; they have time. Lem's never seen the heroin before. Unfortunately, Kavanaugh has the search of his Jeep on video.

Lem threatens to walk out. Kavanaugh wouldn't do that; it would force him to officially arrest Lem. He doesn't want to embarrass him. Lem stands firm: "I got nothin' to be embarrassed about." They both know how interrogations work. Everyone who's guilty denies it at first. "So do the innocent ones," Lem points out.

Vic knocks on a door. "You must be Doomsday," he says, "I'm Armageddon. Say hello to the hounds of hell." "Ruff," Shane barks. They know he's been shaking down business owners. "Consider us the Better Business Bureau."

The Farmington cops aren't playing around anymore. All Vic wants to hear is "si, senor." "Suck my dick, senor," Doomsday menaces. Instead, Vic punches Doomsday in his. Ronnie tackles Doomsday to the couch. The Strike Team, it transpires, doesn't have a warrant. That doesn't stop Vic from zip-tying Doomsday's wrists to the shower curtain rod.

Lem, still in Kavanaugh's no-tell-motel room, drums his fingers on the kitchen table: "I need to get back to my team." Kavanaugh brings in coffee and breakfast pastries, advising, "Eat something. We're gonna be here for a while." When Lem stands up to leave, he warns, "The only thing outside that door for you is a prison cell."

Kavanaugh read Lem's file and met with one of his old partners: "You started off an upright guy. What happened to you?" Lem has a question of his own: "How'd you go from riding with cops to hunting 'em?"

Kavanaugh reads off a list of all the Strike Team's dead CIs: "Any of the people you work with make it out alive?" "Better them than us. Or did you forget that from the academy?" Lem wants to know. Kavanaugh brings up Angie, murdered at 15 for helping Lem. Did she choose the life? "No," Lem says softly, "She was a good kid."

Kavanaugh wonders what Lem thinks should happen to someone who kills a kid, a cop, or a grandma. "Needle's too good for someone like that," Lem opines. Kavanaugh is glad they finally agree on something. He lays a file in front of Lem; the first thing he sees is a crime scene photo of Terry.

Kavanaugh asks if Lem knew Terry was an undercover fed investigating Vic. Why would a good guy like Lem be involved in a fellow officer's murder?

"Terry was killed by a drug dealer," Lem insists, "I was there." Kavanaugh tells him they both know that's not true. "Terry was killed in the line of duty," Lem repeats. Kavanaugh gives him until the end of the day to decide if he wants to help Internal Affairs or get locked up.

When the rest of the boys arrive at the Barn, Danny tells Vic that Lem will be late today; a friend of his called in to say his car broke down. Vic doesn't find it at all suspicious that Lem didn't make the call himself. Billings has assigned them to a multiple homicide that's possibly gang-related: two black men and a black woman.

"These kids aren't flying colors," Vic remarks at the crime scene. The back door was kicked in. All the victims still had their cash and credit cards. There's a computer and printer set up on the kitchen table. A young black woman is crying on the front steps; she came over to study with her friends and saw their bodies through the window. The victims were beaten, not shot, which smells personal to Vic. The neighborhood isn't known gang territory and there are no crackhouses.

(Image credit)
A shop owner found an injured man he didn't recognize outside his store. Dutch detects a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vomit puddle on the sidewalk. There are no bars within staggering distance. Tina checked the victim's wallet and learned he lives 10 blocks away. "You're starting to get an instinct for the right things to look for," Dutch praises. He doubts Guillermo could've gotten here on his own, drunk as he was.

Claudette, late to the party, asks, "Since when does a misdemeanor drunk in public need two detectives?" Dutch saw cuts on Guillermo's face and numerous broken teeth; he was assaulted. Whoever did it left Guillermo's wallet, cash, and cards behind. The guy was likely dumped here. "Not the most neighborly thing, but we've seen worse and we didn't call it assault," says Claudette.

Vic talks to a neighbor that's peeking out her window. She came home to let her dogs out and saw someone leaving the murder scene. Her description is vague: "He looked like evil." "A lot of people wanna know what evil looks like," says Vic. Would she mind sitting down with a sketch artist?

Edgar-veda is headed out the door with his briefcase when Kavanaugh jogs over, cheerfully informing the councilman, "I picked up Lemansky last night." He doesn't mention that he's illegally detaining him, of course. Terry's murder seems to be a sore spot for Lem; Kavanaugh needs the detective's former boss to "add that personal element to it." He thought Edgar-veda was Terry's friend. Why did he let Vic go?

Edgar-veda claims he never had enough evidence. Vic is no longer his problem, anyway and will be forced to retire in 4 months. "15-year pension. That ain't a bad reward for killing a cop, is it?" asks Kavanaugh. Lem can prove Vic's involvement.

"You gotta see this," says Shane. The police sketch he's holding looks a lot like Doomsday. Ronnie also sees the resemblance. Problem is, Doomsday couldn't have murdered anyone because he's been handcuffed to a shower all morning. Shane learned the victims were all "community college geeks, no history of trouble."
Did someone say "community college geeks"?
(Photo credit)
One of the dead students was the son of a local businessman: Hughes of Hughes Used Cars. The same lot was vandalized earlier in the episode. This could've been Doomsday getting revenge. Billings looks over Vic's shoulder at the sketch and asks, "You think this was another racial incident?" They can have extra uniforms to help them out. "If we can find one," mutters Shane.

In the clubhouse, Shane continues, "So we cause a triple murder before breakfast, start a race war before dinner." Boyd Crowder would be proud. Vic wants the word out that this was a personal beef. When the guys go to Doomsday's house, the only sign of him is a chewed-through ziptie on the bathroom floor.
(Image credit)
Vic gives Emolia money to flash at her friends in exchange for intel on where Doomsday went. He promises her 10 times more if they find him.

Dutch watches Billings walk upstairs and comments, "All the emperor needs is a toga and a violin while Farmington burns." Claudette reminds Dutch that he turned down the promotion. "And it would've been yours, but you screwed it up," he fires back.

Dutch asks Mrs. Solis about her husband's condition. She reports Guillermo is brain dead and on life support. He takes note of the wife's outfit: a conservative sweater and jeans with clear plastic stripper heels. He casually asks what went on last night. Mrs. Solis took Guillermo to church for a meeting. Claudette assumes she means AA.

Mrs. Solis explains Minister Romero's revolutionary therapy: "He has them drink until the alcohol cures the sickness." He allows participants to sleep it off in the church, which is why Mrs. Solis didn't worry that her spouse hadn't come home.

The church is locked up when Claudette and Dutch get there. Romero is in the alley, selling shoes. The detectives inform him that Guillermo is in an alcohol-induced coma. They're aware Romero treated him for alcoholism. "I don't treat people. I don't have a license for that," Romero corrects. Guillermo was attending a prayer group.

Dutch asks if tequila and Bible study really helps people. It worked for Romero, who credits his recovery to the success of his business and ministry. Dutch, ever the skeptic, says, "My ex-wife was a drunk. Think if I'd hauled her off to happy hour every night, I coulda saved the marriage?"

Guillermo, Romero, and Hector were the only congregants at last night's meeting. "The group gets smaller as more of us are healed," explains the minister. As they walk away, Claudette mumbles, "Preachers need to stick to preaching." Dutch examines a pair of heels for sale that look a lot like the ones Mrs. Solis was wearing. "Want me to ask Romero if he's got that in your size?" asks Claudette.

Vic's witness came home to find her dogs dead and called the police. "Guess Doomsday ain't a member of PETA," says Shane. Ronnie gives more background. Doomsday is originally from North Carolina and did prison time for aggravated assault. "Took a guy's eye out with a fork for stealin' his food in junior high," adds Shane. I actually know someone who did something very similar.

The dogs' heads are nowhere to be found. "What's he gonna do? Put 'em on a pike?" wonders Ronnie.

Kavanaugh ponders sudoku while Lem slouches on the sofa. Everyone's least favorite councilman drops by for a visit. "It's time for you to step into the sunshine, Lem," says Edgar-veda. Lem didn't do nothing and, besides, Edgar-veda isn't his boss anymore.

Edgar-veda says this isn't just about Lem's career. The recent ballot measure shows what the general public thinks of the police. Somebody has to be offered as a sacrifice to appease them and "right now, that's you." Lem's prepared to take his chances in court; he knows he's telling the truth.

Edgar-veda confirms Terry's undercover status. Terry didn't have anything against Vic at first, but two weeks was enough to convince him Vic is dirty. Edgar-veda has his original case notes. Terry was a threat, so he had to die.

"No! Never!" Lem shouts. Edgar-veda seems surprised by the outburst, even though Lem's always run a little hot. He realizes aloud that Lem really had no clue what Vic's plan was. Lem's expression is relieved, that's-what-I've-been-trying-to-tell-you-this-whole-time.

Kavanaugh says, "It was the other guys." Lem is like "nope, didn't say that." Kavanaugh respects loyalty, but now Lem is "protecting a guy for something that you don't have any stake in." Didn't Lem himself say the death penalty was too good for cop killers? Lem thinks Kavanaugh is on "a damn witch hunt."

Kavanaugh adds more pressure. Whose side is Lem on? "Vic did not kill Terry!" Lem's voice cracks. Kavanaugh tells him to wear a wire and "ask him as a friend." Lem wants no part of railroading Vic, firmly believing his friend's innocence. Kavanaugh acknowledges it's hard to choose between prison and ratting out someone who killed one of his own.

"Guillermo was a jealous man. The drinking only made it worse," says Mrs. Solis. Dutch wonders if he had reason to be. Mrs. Solis is insulted. He asks about her shoes. Mrs. Solis says Romero gave them to her as a present. She flirts with him because the attention feels good, but she wouldn't break her vows. "You mean, 'til death do us part'?" Dutch guesses.

Kavanaugh tells Lem it's time to decide if he'll be loyal to Vic or the badge, himself, and a dead brother officer. Edgar-veda steps in with the double-team maneuver: If Vic is innocent, wearing a wire can only help him. At this point, poor Lem is likely exhausted from not sleeping and in pain from his ulcer. Not in any condition to be deciding anything. He wants to know what's in it for him.

The rest of the Strike Team find Doomsday eating lunch at a diner counter in plain sight. Vic kicks Doomsday's stool out from under him and asks, "Where'd you put the dog's heads?" Doomsday feigns ignorance.

Kavanaugh wires Lem for sound, promising the big guy his freedom if everything works out. While Lem signs an agreement to that effect, Kavanaugh whispers a warning in his ear, "If you lie to me, try to screw me, or you just don't live up to the deal, I will push for the maximum for distribution of heroin."
(Image credit)
Claudette leaves the Barn, supposedly to run an errand. She tells Dutch she'll be back in an hour. Upstairs, Dutch shows the pastor Guillermo's tox report: "He was practically embalmed. No way he had enough motor function to swallow, much less hold the bottle." Then he gets personal. "You screwing any other sheep in your flock, Reverend? Or you just like giving shoes to all the pretty wives?"

How did Guillermo's teeth get broken? Romero guesses he fell. Dutch thinks the more likely cause is having a bottle shoved down his throat. Mrs. Solis wouldn't sleep with Romero because she's married. Did he decide to make her a widow so it'd be okay? "The devil did that to him," says Romero. After the prayer group, the God-fearing pastor went to his office to write Sunday's sermon. Guillermo was gone when he came back; he could've walked home.

Romero is willing to put his hand on the Bible in court and swear to it. "Not as much fun as putting your hand on another man's wife," says Dutch.

Vic shoves Doomsday into the cage and sees Lem making his way across the squadroom. "Glad you could join us," Vic remarks. Shane aims a friendly punch at Lem's stomach (he has a bleeding ulcer, jackass!). He also informs Lem that he smells bad. Shane hopes Lem "put a little boom in her womb." No, what you're smelling is fear.

Lem comes up with a story that he had trouble with his Jeep on the way home from Chino and spent half a day waiting for a mechanic. Shane says, "Good thing you didn't call back, buddy, 'cause I ain't about to haul my ass out there to pick you up." He swipes at Lem again. Lem keeps a close guard on himself, knowing one wrong tug on his shirt will expose the wire.

Danny tells Vic that headquarters wants to see their records on Terry. Lem is visibly trying not to twitch. Vic guesses they're just trying to wrap things up. He tells Lem, "Missed the first half. We're still in the game. We just picked up a suspect in a triple murder." "Put me in, Coach," Lem says dully.

In observation, Irma stares at Doomsday's image on the TV. "It's not him," she practically whimpers. The triple murder wasn't her fault and the whack job already killed her dogs. "You're protecting a killer. Makes you no better than he is," says Vic. This all sounds very familiar to Lem. Irma leaves.

Lem looks dead on his feet, using the interrogation room wall to hold himself up. Vic asks about the scratches on Doomsday's hands. He knows Hughes Senior refused to pay Doomsday for protection and advises, "Save that grin for the lineup before I smack it off your face." "Need a witness for a lineup. Ruff, ruff," Doomsday barks.

Vic announces they're holding Doomsday for 12 hours on charges of vandalism and animal cruelty: "Wanna see how cruel I can be to animals like you?" Lem grabs Doomsday by the throat: "The problem for you is we don't scare like girls. And our bite's as good as our bark." Vic pulls him off. I sure hope that camera was unplugged or Kavanaugh will have something else to use against Lem.

Julien and Tina respond to a domestic where the combatants are father and son. "She steals all my shit and you let her get away!" the son screams as Julien wrestles him into submission. Tina tries to corral the father outside and he pushes her onto the floor. Both cops have to use their batons. Tina keeps swinging long after the guy stops fighting. Julien yells for her to stop.

Afterward, she holds a gauze pad to her face. Her earring got ripped out, just like Danny warned her could happen. "He wouldn't listen to me," she tells her partner. Julien replies, "It's your job to make him listen. You failed to get the father out of the room, then you used excessive force." People forget that adrenaline doesn't have an off switch.

Kavanaugh meets Corinne as she picks Matt and Megan up from school. He lies that his ex-wife promised to be pick up their non-existent son, but she bailed out as usual. Corinne sends the kids to the playground while they talk.

Kavanaugh lays it on thick, every guy's worst fears about marriage: The ex had an affair and is now living with the guy. Kavanaugh has primary custody and she's 3 months in arrears on child support, even though she's a "big-time money manager." Corinne is sympathetic, playing right into his hands.

Because of the lack of child support, Kavanaugh is behind on his son's tuition. How does Corinne manage all by herself? "Vic always comes up with whatever extra cash I need for the kids," says Corinne. For Matt and Megan, anyway. We've never seen or heard about Cassidy needing money for sports or school field trips or anything.

Kavanaugh thinks it's swell of Vic to help. Corinne scoffs he's hardly a candidate for sainthood. Kavanaugh eagerly asks about Vic's bad side. Corinne isn't put off by how friendly this stranger is. The worst traits she can come up with are that Vic is stubborn, always has to get his way, and is married to the job. For all his faults, she knows Vic loves their kids.

Corinne looks around the playground to catch a glimpse of Kavanaugh's son. He smoothly tells her that Andy is inside getting after-school tutoring. Corinne would love for Matt and Andy to have a playdate sometime. Kavanaugh agrees that'd be nice. How's he gonna come up with a kid?

In the clubhouse, Shane is all for setting Doomsday free; they can "continue this conversation on the street." Lem's biting his nails in the corner. He suggests letting the never-previously-mentioned Special Cases unit handle things. Is that anything like Special Victims?

Vic says hell no; the Strike Team needs to reestablish their fearsome reputation. Lem reasonably points out that Special Cases has more resources. "Every minute he's free, we're a bigger joke," says Vic. They need to handle this personally.

Shane suggests calling in a Mexican they encountered during a sting last year. At this, Lem abruptly stands up from the table, saying he needs to get gone: "My stomach's been bugging me all day." That probably isn't a total lie. Can he catch up with this tomorrow?

Vic asks the stupid thing: Are you okay? "It's just my medicine. I'm back on it. I left it at home," Lem goes on. That's also true. He hasn't been able to take it because Kavanaugh was pretty much holding him prisoner!
I feel like I'm gonna be using this a lot.
(Image credit)
When Lem leaves, the guys exchange a what-was-that-all-about look. Ronnie wisecracks, "He gonna get paid for today?"
(Image credit)
Vic uncuffs the dog killer: "It's a great country, respecting the human rights of a bloodthirsty piece of shit like yourself." Doomsday threatens to sue and tells Vic to stay off his street.

Danny has an I-told-you-so talk with Tina about her earrings: "Protocol's there for a reason." Tina promises it won't happen again. Yeah, especially not if she gets fired. Tina knows that Danny trained Julien and suggests he has a problem working with women. Danny doesn't dignify that with a response. If the rookie really wants to fit in, she should listen up and do her job the right way.

Billings has already called the D.A. about the Romero case. Claudette filled him in before going on her mysterious errand. The D.A. told Billings there's not enough to prove anyone was involved in killing Guillermo.

Later that night, Shane and Ronnie arrest Doomsday again. With their human cargo on board, they pick up Vic. Shane gives him the chance to walk away, but Vic is adamant that he wants in; they're a team. Doomsday gets nervous. What are they talking about?

Uniforms seize all the merchandise at Romero's illegal sidewalk Shoe Carnival. "Romero skates on attempted murder. At least he won't be selling knockoff shoes anymore," says Dutch. Claudette reminds him of the old saying about lemons and lemonade. Dutch asks about Claudette's new hey-man-it's-all-good-whatever attitude. Did she catch Billings'  "mediocrity flu"?

Dutch knows his partner well enough to know something is wrong. She took half a day of personal time today. She's been late to work and is unfocused. Claudette evades that line of questioning, shrugging that Romero's case was hardly a slam-dunk.

Danny asks Julien if he really wants Tina to have excessive force in her file this early in her career. (Given what we've seen out of her, what makes Danny think Tina will even pass her 6-month review)? Julien should sleep on it. After all, Tina was coming to his aid. Julien says the department is liable. Danny also points out that excessive force is relative when you're 5'4". "It's my call," Julien says shortly.

Danny suggests Julien talk to Tina about taking another baton training class so she feels more comfortable; he has responsibilities as her training officer. "I also have a responsibility to wash her out if she can't handle it," says Julien. Danny recalls a few occasions she could've done the same to him.

The van rattles along a dusty road in the middle of nowhere. Vic produces a revolver from a compartment, loads it, and asks about the dogs' heads. "They're in the freezer," says Doomsday. He planned to cook them into soup and serve it to Irma a la Jeffrey Dahmer. Shane parks by an abandoned building, where a Mexican police truck is waiting.

Shane and Ronnie force Doomsday into the backseat. Vic hands a wad of cash to the Mexican policeman. Ronnie hands over the revolver, wiped clean of prints. "Possession of a weapon in my country is a very serious crime," the federale says grimly. From the truck, Doomsday screams, "You can't do this shit! I'm a citizen!"

Shane flicks out a lighter and burns Doomsday's driver's license. "Government types aren't too helpful getting murder suspects out of foreign prisons," says Vic. Shane adds, "Mexico makes our gun laws look like parking violations." "See you in 20 years," Vic says as the truck pulls away. Underhanded? Yeah. As blatantly illegal as having him shot in the desert? No.

Vic parks in front of Lem's house. He's already waiting on the front walk. Elsewhere, Kavanaugh and Edgar-veda listen in. Lem read through Terry's files earlier. "Why?" asks Vic, "It's ancient history." Something always seemed off to Lem and now Terry's files are resurfacing.

Vic acts like he doesn't have a clue why. Lem wonders what really happened the night Terry died. He knows there's more to the story than what was in their report. Besides that, Terry was his friend. "I'm your friend," says Vic, which has a real Mrs. Lovett ring to it.

Lem gives Vic a couple of shoves across the lawn, then rips the wire out of his waistband. Kavanaugh and crew are far enough away they can't see what's going on and are baffled why everything is static. Lem and Vic continue what resembles a kind of bizarre dance, holding each other by the arms. "IAD has me wired. I just disconnected it," Lem says quietly. And that honesty, ladies and gentlemen, is why he was never picked for undercover duty.

Lem spills his guts (figuratively, this time): "They're watching us right now. They busted me with some heroin and they're talking prison if I don't do this. I've been protecting you all day. They're gunning for all of us." Edgar-veda is in on it too.

Now Lem has a decision to make. Vic, like me, wants to know why it's even a question. Lem is sure Vic has been lying to him for years. Vic swears he hasn't. "Then you look me in the eye and you tell me the truth about Terry." It's more than a request; it's a challenge. "If I don't believe you, I'm gonna start looking out for myself." Something you should've done a long time ago there, Lem.

Vic starts in with the "we're a team" speech. Lem jogs Vic's memory that Terry was part of the team at one time. Kavanaugh's tech is still scrambling to pick up anything. "How can you even ask me that?" Vic asks, feigning shock.

Lem knows Terry was undercover and after Vic. His tone cycles from pleading to demanding: "Now answer me, okay? You look me in the eye. You tell me the truth. If we're really a team, man, tell me the truth already."

After a brief Mexican standoff, Lem realizes Vic doesn't have to say anything. In his heart of hearts, he knows the truth. "Oh my God," he whispers. Vic tries to talk him down. Lem brushes him off, goes across the street, and gets in his Jeep. I'm guessing that wasn't his place they were fighting in front of him.

"Where is the sound?" Kavanaugh hisses. The tech says it has to be the microphone.

Lem practically backs into the car behind him as he peels away from the curb. Vic's shouts of "Lem" fall on deaf ears. End of episode.

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Painful "Extraction" (Episode 5.1)

Last season: A LOT of crazy shit happened, but the first part of the recap focuses on how Vic killed Terry Crowley way back in the pilot. Monica, the Barn's new (and now ex) captain, sicced Geno from Internal Affairs on Vic and the Strike Team. Dutch, shockingly, turned down the opportunity to become ringmaster of the Farmington circus.

Lem stole a brick of heroin from a drug dealer as collateral toward finding the body of his teenage informant Angie; he stupidly stashed said drugs in the glove compartment of his own Jeep. Emolia, a CI, witnessed the theft and ID'd the big guy. One of Geno's IAD buddies searched the Jeep in the dead of night and replaced the heroin with bunk. 

For reasons unknown, the subplot about Shane getting in over his head with cop-killing gangster Antwon Mitchell is not mentioned.

We open at a funeral home, which currently resembles the church scene from Kingsman.
(Photo credit)
People are screaming and wrestling. The coffin gets knocked to the floor. A funeral home employee is almost put through a window. When your loved one's visitation turns into a free-for-all, who ya gonna call? The Strike Team.

Vic orders his teammates to split up the combatants. Lem pretty much uses the pews as hurdles. One of the funeral attendees whacks Ronnie over the head with a wooden crucifix. "Everybody, just be quiet!" Shane yells, which is futile at this point. Ronnie stands up, the angriest I've ever seen him look, demanding, "Who hit me?" "Jesus Christ?" Vic jokes when he sees the weapon.

The guests are lined up against the wall; the cops check their hands for blood with no luck. Vic tells Ronnie to go to the ER and have his head looked at. He wants Lem to have all the grieving relatives transported to the Barn.

Shane gripes that this is a bullshit call uniforms could've handled. Vic asks the funeral director who hit Ronnie; the guy says it was a black guy with a blond afro. He's seen the kid hanging out in front of a liquor store.

Funeral Director wonders what's going around: "This is, like, the second black and Latino brawl I've had this week." He's from Culver City, unfamiliar with Farmington gangs. Vic explains that last week, a black man killed a Mexican boy in a hit-and-run. Nobody was willing to come forward as a witness. The Mexicans found the driver and beat him to death, then blacks killed two Mexicans. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.

Julien and his partner go to a high school, where a female student was stabbed in the back 3 times and discovered in a bathroom stall. The girl is being rushed to the hospital. Julien's Latina partner asks if the school has metal detectors.

"Some of them don't work very well," the principal admits. She doesn't know the names of witnesses other than Zellie, a junior who discovered the victim. Julien requests the principal keep Zellie in the office until detectives arrive. Wonder what happened to Danny...

Julien's new partner Tina goes into the girls' bathroom and inspects the blood puddle. Julien scolds her for contaminating the scene. "Oh shit," she says, realizing she stepped in the blood.

We cut to the Barn and now I get why Danny isn't in the field: She is very obviously pregnant. Nobody seems interested in going to the briefing room to listen to the new captain's speech. "Come on, I'm hormonal and I expedite your paychecks," Danny coaxes. I can understand why nobody cares about the speech; Monica's replacement is the gutless Billings.

Vic, the Strike Team, Dutch, and Claudette dutifully stand at the very back of the briefing room. "Bet you lunch he says 'and so forth' at least twice," Dutch mutters to his partner.

Billings informs the assembly that a measure on the city ballot failed, making the temporary department budget cuts permanent. They'll have to make do with a "lack of manpower in the Barn and on the street and so forth." Everyone grumbles about this.

Chief Bankston asked Billings to pass along that this isn't a reflection on police job performance. As of next week, all marked cars will be single-unit. Officers with 6 months of experience or more will be flying solo. Billings turns the floor over to Danny, "who might be keeping mum about who the daddy is, but she'll gladly spill the beans on your new assignments." Smart money says she and Vic rekindled their affair.

Vic makes an impassioned speech of his own: "Cheap bastards don't wanna cough up a half a cent in sales tax, screw 'em. Next time somebody bitches P.D. didn't show up..." He slams a penny on the table. "...tell 'em that coulda bought two cops, on time. So let's keep showing up. Everything else will even itself out." Billings agrees, "Everything will even itself out. And so forth."

Julien asks to interview the rest of the juniors. The principal says the entire junior class has the same lunch period. Tina complains that could take all day. As the adults approach the cafeteria, they hear screams. A girl runs out, her nose bleeding. A crowd follows her, like the wildebeest stampede from The Lion King.

The scene in the cafeteria resembles a prison riot more than a school. Students are punching each other. Food and even chairs fly. Danny and Tina are helpless to control this many people and they know it. Before they can call for backup, shots are fired. The officers turn their focus to evacuating the cafeteria. Tina gets separated from her partner.

At the Barn, Danny sounds the alarm: "Full-blown riot at Wellman-Chase High School. Shots have been fired. Officers need help." Billings looks like he has no idea what to do. Vic takes over: Bring in every tactical unit on duty. Make sure fire and EMS stage two blocks away.

The cafeteria melee has spilled out into the parking lot. A car is on fire; a bunch of kids flip another car over. Others break a window and try to yank a screaming girl out of her car. Vic grabs a hose from a nearby fire truck and tells the firefighters to charge the line. Ah, the oldest riot control measure in the book.

The kids quickly change their minds about the attempted assault/carjacking/whatever they planned. Vic keeps the crowd at bay with the hose as more patrol cars arrive. And look who's here, everyone's least favorite city councilman: Edgar-veda. Vic glares at him from behind his sunglasses.

A short time later, EMS is triaging injuries. Kids in cuffs are sitting on the curb. "This was your solution? Turn the goddamn fire hose on my kid?" asks an angry mother. Vic wants to know if she would've preferred them to open fire. Edgar-veda actually sides with Vic, telling the woman this was the best way to keep all the kids safe.

Dutch and Claudette are outside the bathroom where the stabbing took place. Dutch spots an errant footprint, which Julien identifies as Tina's. "Preserving the scene is Training Officer 101," Claudette tells Julien, "That's how murderers go free." Tina apologizes. Dutch eyes her up and down. When the uniforms leave, Claudette tells Dutch that Tina is too young for him.

Downstairs in the cafeteria, a boy lies dead. "This shooting connected to our stabbing or is this just extra credit?" asks Dutch. When Claudette leans over to look at the body, she seems to be in pain. Dutch offers to get the paramedics, but she waves him off. They'll work the stabbing and leave the shooting to Vic.

It's standing-room-only in the Barn's lobby. Danny informs Billings that parents want to take their kids home. Billings would love to make that happen: "Unfortunately, all the little shitheads are either suspects or witnesses." Danny adds, "They wanna talk to a captain." "And I want more hair!" Billings snaps. He tells Danny to deal with it because it's "good mothering practice."

Weston, a kid who was in the cafeteria during the shooting, was found to be carrying a Taser. Billings gives Vic permission to do "anything necessary" to keep it off his plate.

Vic tells the teenage suspect that 11 of his classmates are hospitalized, one is dead. Having a Taser on school grounds "puts you at the top of the most-likely-to-be-tried-as-an-adult list." Weston doesn't see it that way: "The knife and the gun did the damage. That don't mean shit."

Vic "persuades" the kid to talk by zapping the metal rail he's cuffed to. Shane asks what the Taser is for: "Toasting Pop-Tarts?" Weston protests he's just trying to protect himself.

After another round of Tasering, he elaborates: "It's a kill clock. Some Mexicans gotta kill a couple brothers by tonight." He doesn't know why or who's behind it. Before leaving, Vic Tasers the kid a final time: "That's for being a wiseass."

Vic educates us about kill clocks. Gangs use them to set time limits on initiations or retaliations. Dutch asks if Vic is sure that's the case. "If it stirs up enough fear, it's real," says Vic. He'll talk to one of his CIs. Danny has bad news: Caroline, the stabbing victim, died in the OR. Before Danny goes downstairs, Vic checks to make sure she's feeling okay.

Shane, Dutch, and Claudette work tag-team. They let Zellie know that Caroline is dead. Keeping quiet about what she knows is interfering with their investigation, which is a crime. Zellie admits to seeing Lorenzo run out of the girls' bathroom just before she went in and found Caroline.

Shane wants to swap cases with Claudette and she agrees. Dutch will tell Billings. "Ah, why confuse him?" asks Shane.

Emolia signs a statement for Lieutenant Kavanaugh of Internal Affairs. We can't see his face yet, but I recognize his voice. It's Forest Whitaker, who I know best as Big Harold from the Oscar-winning Vietnam War epic Platoon. Emolia opens the door and Edgar-veda is waiting on the porch. Kavanaugh grins, "You're early" and waves him in.

Edgar-veda doesn't seem to get why he's there; Monica was the one who revived the investigation into Vic and the Strike Team. Kavanaugh brings him up to speed about Lem stealing the heroin. Internal Affairs is waiting to see if that develops into anything. So far, Vic's nose has been as clean as he ever keeps it. A CI is keeping tabs on Vic and will report anything dirty.

Kavanaugh wonders if Edgar-veda can help out. The councilman chuckles and shakes his head: "You've got my letter. And I've got nothing else to add." Vic is no longer his problem. "Perception is your problem," says Kavanaugh. He (correctly) accuses Edgar-veda of doing nothing when Vic was under his command. Edgar-veda protests he did everything he could. Kavanaugh apologizes for being out of line.

Kavanaugh describes Vic's personnel file as "a 20-page cautionary tale" and "a lawsuit waiting to happen." All he wants is to get Vic off the street. Edgar-veda implies that putting one cop's head on a spike will get the public to trust the rest of the force. Next time the police department requests more funding, the voters will say yes.

Kavanaugh looked over the file on Terry's death; it's clear Vic was a suspect. "And your comrades ruled it line of duty," Edgar-veda reminds him. Kavanaugh asks if the rumors are true that the feds were involved with Terry.

Ever the self-serving bastard, Edgar-veda wants to know what's in it for him. Kavanaugh says it'll make him look good, checking on Vic even after leaving the department. If Edgar-veda plays his cards right, he could ride this into the mayor's office. Edgar-veda can barely conceal his glee.

However, the councilman isn't stupid enough to think taking down Vic will be easy: "Lemansky, he's a soldier. He'll follow Mackey anywhere, but he's the one with a conscience." They'll have to scheme a way to create a rift between Lem and Vic. I think they already have one and his name is Shane Vendrell. "If I give you this, I'm done," Edgar-veda says. I seriously doubt that.

"Terry was working with Justice to bring down Mackey," Edgar-veda confirms, adding, "I think Vic had him killed." Now it's Kavanaugh's turn to be giddy as a schoolboy. He offers the councilman a stick of Juicy Fruit.

Edgar-veda declines twice. "You hold this out here long enough, some people feel compelled to take the gum," says Kavanaugh, "It's a sign they'll crack under pressure." Then Lem is in trouble.

Vic stops by Emolia's safe house with a lollipop for her son. He asks Emolia to see if she can find out anything about a Mexicans-vs.-blacks kill clock. Vic knows being a CI pays Emolia's rent, but the work is "a roll of the dice." She should get out before she has a chance to get hurt. Vic promises to help her find another job. Emolia says she'll think about it.

Assistant Chief Phillips asks if the Truman-Chase riot was gang-related. Billings is clueless. Vic speaks up: They have a motive, but no suspects. Phillips wants to talk to Vic in private. "If this is about me hosin' down those kids, I'd rather have 'em pissed off and wet than dead and dry," says Vic.

Phillips gives Vic a letter from the pension department; they want Vic to retire when he hits 15 years on the job. Vic is in shock.

Phillips explains that anyone close to 20 years in or with problematic personnel files is being shown the door. It's due to the cutbacks, nothing personal. Vic sees right through that: "Then why am I getting the news hand-delivered to me by the chief's inner circle?" Phillips is sorry, but there's nothing he can do. He advises, "Don't give them a reason to pull your pension."

Vic stares morosely out the window. Shane, not knowing what's just transpired, comes into the clubhouse with intel on Lorenzo. The kid is 17 with a few misdemeanor charges, no violence or gang affiliation. Lorenzo's dear old dad is doing 10 years in prison for assault. Shane notices his bestie seems distracted. Vic shows him the letter.

"These are retirement papers," Shane says disbelievingly. Vic tells Shane he's leaving when he hits his 15th anniversary. Shane exposits that's only 4 months away. Don't remind him. Vic rips up the letter and tosses it in the trash can: "I'll walk myself out the front door before I let someone push me out the back." For now, this situation needs to stay between best friends.

Enter Lem and Ronnie, laughing about something. The brunette is sporting a small bald spot. "Man, nothing can hurt that cabeza," kids Lem. Shane pokes at the stitches, asking, "Is it sore?" Not if they gave him the good stuff.

Ronnie wants a piece of the guy who hit him. "'Hood needs a reminder: You hurt us, we hurt you worse," Vic agrees.

The Strike Team pays a visit to Lorenzo's mom. She swears she hasn't seen her son all day; she just got in from picking up his little brother at soccer. Vic hears an engine revving and looks over his shoulder. Lorenzo is hilariously attempting to flee on what looks like his kid brother's minibike. He's barely past his own house when he gets clipped by a car.
(Image credit)
Lorenzo stands up and starts running, the Strike Team on his heels. Lorenzo stops in a nearby park. Spotting a black man holding a Bible, the kid pulls out his gun and shoots him in the chest. He then tries to shoot the pursuing cops. Lorenzo darts into the street and carjacks a minivan.

Vic "borrows" car keys from a construction worker. He drives over the sidewalk to cut the kid off and T-bones the stolen van. Lorenzo begins to climb out the window. "Don't move or you're dead!" Vic warns. The kid freezes. Shane pulls Lorenzo to the ground.

Lorenzo's mother jogs up, demanding, "What are you doing? Why are you arresting him?" Vic snarks, "He ran a stop sign."

At the Barn, Vic informs the teen he's a lousy shot. The man with the Bible "lost a lot of blood, but he'll live to see Armageddon." Lorenzo's Mom is sure her son only ran because he was scared: "He sees what white cops do to Mexican kids." Vic asks if Lorenzo was scared when he stabbed Caroline at school.

"Tell them you didn't do it, 'Renzi," says Mom. Lorenzo tensely asks what time it is. He's sweaty, bug-eyed, and says he doesn't feel good. Vic says, "I wouldn't feel too good either if I just slaughtered an innocent girl." He clicks through the kid's cell phone and flips the screen around. "I'm guessing you didn't download the death photo with your ringtones." "Oh Jesus," Mom whimpers.

Lorenzo responds by throwing up all over the table. Vic calls Tina over, standing so she can't see into the room. He asks her to escort Lorenzo to the men's room. Tina's just in time to watch Lorenzo vomit again. She looks ready to sympathy-puke.

Claudette and Dutch talk to the suspected cafeteria shooter, who swears he wouldn't kill a fellow Mexican. Claudette knows he's been bragging about having a new gun. The kid must've gotten it past the faulty metal detectors and used it to shoot someone in the back.

Dutch wants to call juvie and let the kid spend a few weeks there, "get a taste of his future." "Maybe a little truth will seem like a good idea then," says Claudette. The kid says he didn't do the shooting; it was Every-Day AKA Evan Dayne. He's in a gang called Hope Hill.

Tina exits the interrogation room, gingerly touching shirtless Lorenzo's upper arm with rubber gloves. Lorenzo lunges, almost knocking Claudette over the railing. Dutch grabs the teen from behind in a headlock and pulls him off his partner. "Stop! You're killing him!" shrieks Mom.

It takes both Vic and Shane to wrestle scrawny Dutch away from Lorenzo. Claudette assures Dutch that she's okay. Lorenzo pukes over the balcony, scoring a direct hit on Billings. "Goddamn it, this is a new suit," the captain gripes.

Corinne drops off Matt and Megan at Glenridge, their special-needs school. As the kids walk into the building, Kavanaugh appears at Corinne's shoulder. He lies that he just dropped his own son off at orientation.

Kavanaugh only has to offer once before Corinne accepts a stick of Juicy Fruit. He's empathetic about her plight; sometimes he has trouble with just one autistic child, especially as a single father. "Doing it alone is hard," Corinne agrees. She does at least acknowledge that her ex helps with tuition and is there for the kids as much as possible.

Kavanaugh's imaginary ex-wife is embarrassed by their child being different and isn't in the picture. There are days he wonders why he even married her. Does Corinne ever feel like that? Also, would Kavanaugh mind if he called her? The principal suggested he make friends with other parents.

Corinne falls right into his trap and tells him she's under "Mackey" in the school directory. She'd be happy to tell him more about the school or talk about their respective kids. Her ex-husband won't be much help in those departments.

Shane asks Julien if he knows who Danny's baby-daddy is because "the pool's up to 1,100 bucks." They could split the money, minus "a broker's fee for insider trading." Julien tells the guys to stop pestering her about it. Tina asks who Ronnie would bet on. Ronnie answers honestly, "These things, I always go with Shane."

The Southerner reminds them that he's married and follows Clinton's rule: no intercourse with other people, just oral. Besides, he's attracted to small women. Danny was pretty small before she got pregnant, you know.

Tina cracks wise about the size of Shane's equipment and bets $20 on the sperm bank. Shane blows her a kiss as he leaves. He escorts Lorenzo, dressed in a clean white T-shirt, back upstairs. When the interrogation room door closes, Mom asks her son, "Are you on drugs?" Without waiting for an answer, she slaps him and grabs him by the back of his hair. "I didn't raise an animal!"

"Who set the kill clock?" asks Vic. Mom steps between them when Vic tries to grab the kid's shirt. Shane sees Emolia outside the screen door.

In the clubhouse, Emolia explains that the boy killed in the hit-and-run was a Los Mag's nephew. Said Los Mag is serving time in Chino, just like Lorenzo's dad. "I got a few juvie graduates in Chino. I'll find out what Pops' story is," Lem volunteers. Vic asks for a minute alone with his CI and gives Emolia gas money.

Vic goes back at the teen with what he knows. The dead child's uncle is on the same cell block where Lorenzo's dad has been helping black inmates sell illegal cigarettes. "That asshole can't even play by the rules in prison," says Shane.

Vic guesses Lorenzo Senior said Junior could be their outside assassin. "Does that bastard have something to do with this?" Mom asks tearfully. Vic whispers in Lorenzo's ear: "Mommy can't help you."

"It's about justice," says Lorenzo, "It's Mexi-pride." Dad told him that if he didn't kill two blacks by 10:00 tonight, the Los Mags would see dear old Dad shivved.

"Why would you do this for him?" asks Mom. Lorenzo hates his dad, "but if I don't do it, it falls on Cisco. He was on the other line. Dad told him too." Dad gave them the combination to his gun safe. Cisco is still fond of dad and will probably finish the kill clock. When Vic checks the lobby, Cisco is gone.

"Description of the shooter sounds like our lost brother," says Ronnie at a barber shop. A bloodied middle-aged black man is sitting in one of the barber chairs. Lem checks the guy's pulse, but he's dead.

The owner reports Cisco went out the back, adding, "You know that crazy kid stopped to take a goddamn Polaroid? I stuck him with my best pair, though." "You mean your scissors?" asks Ronnie before running out with Lem.

In the alley, Shane has spotted a blood trail. They can just barely make out the top of his head over what looks like a concrete planter.

Cisco's holding up a Polaroid, insisting, "I gotta get this picture to my dad." "We'll talk about the picture after you put the gun down," says Vic. He'll even personally take it to Chino. Cisco complies.

The Strike Team steps closer. "This really hurts," Cisco whimpers. The barber's scissors are still stuck in his shoulder. Cisco then does the one thing you should never, ever do when impaled: he yanks them out. Vic holds pressure on the wound and sends Lem to grab a paramedic.

Claudette questions Evan about what happened in the cafeteria. "I heard the shots and I hit the floor, just like everybody else," he says. Dutch informs the kid they have three witnesses saying Evan himself was the shooter: "Those aren't very good odds for you." He leans on the table.

"You best tell pale boy to get outta my goddamn face," Evan says to Claudette. He sighs that the witnesses are probably all Hispanics who hate blacks and would love to see another one in jail. That sounds like motive to Dutch. Evan calls him lazy. Dutch's pride is wounded, so he tells the kid he's good at his job. "Your busted ass sucks at it," Evan disagrees.

Dutch tells the uniforms outside interrogation to book Evan for murder. Evan shouts that he's innocent. Neither detective is buying it.

Back at the barber shop, the EMT thinks Cisco will make it. Vic gives Mom the news that her youngest son killed an innocent person. Mom says, "I wanted to kill their father a dozen times and I never did. For their sake. Los Mags should slit his throat from ear to ear." Crying, she gets in the back of the ambulance to ride with Cisco.

"She's right, you know. That prick should die," says Shane. Vic promises, "He will. Just not today." Lem has two hours to get the pictures to Chino and stop the kill clock.

A teacher called Danny to report his gun stolen from a locked desk drawer. Evan just happens to have said teacher for homeroom and science. Claudette, who must've gone to Catholic school, asks, "Whatever happened to smacking a kid's knuckles with a ruler?" When Danny walks away, Dutch tells his partner he bet $50 that it's Vic's baby. "That's funny 'cause I got $50 on you," says Claudette.

Vic rings Corinne's doorbell. He tried calling and nobody answered. He wants to see the kids. Corinne tells him he can't just drop by. The kids have a schedule. Vic reminds her, "And mine's always changing. Do you want me to ever see them or not?" Corinne didn't make the rules; it's their custody agreement.

Corinne notices something on Vic's upper arm: "Is that blood?" Vic tells her it's from a 12-year-old. It's been an exceptionally bad day at work and he just wants to give his children good-night kisses. Corinne hands him a towel: "Wash it off before you see them." After he does, Cassidy runs up and gives Vic a hug.

Tina compliments Dutch on closing the school shooting so quickly. Dutch tells her how the odds decrease after the first 24 hours. And here I thought it was the first 48. Tina smiles, "I'm gonna learn a lot from you, aren't I?" "Could be," Dutch smiles back. Claudette tells him the gun-shot residue test on Evan came back negative.

Vic, Shane, and Ronnie go to a quickie-mart looking for blond afro guy. "Took you guys 3 hours to show up last time I called," grumbles the clerk. Vic hands him a business card: "Next time, you call us. We're your new 911." The clerk gives up afro guy's name: Darius McBride AKA D-Mac. He bought Band-Aids and beer this morning.

Vic grabs an unsuspecting customer by the beer cooler, pulls his gun, and issues a stern warning: "Anybody any color hits this store, I will beat them half-dead and plant enough shit on them to send them away for a 10 stretch. Spread the word."

"Guys like the girly girls," Danny remarks, watching Tina touch up her lipstick in the women's room. Satisfied with how she looks, Tina tucks the makeup into her vest. Danny is aghast: "You replaced your breastplate with lipstick and tampons?" The rookie shrugs that it's a good place to put stuff.

"That's a reprimand," Danny informs her, "As well as probably getting you killed." She advises, "Lose those hoop earrings before someone rips your ears out." Didn't they teach Tina about the dress code in the academy? Tina asks if she pissed Danny off somehow. Danny tells her she needs to take her job seriously: "You're a cop, not a Kelly Girl."

Tina appreciates what Danny's saying, but it's just so darn hard to fit in with the boys. In my experience with volunteer firefighters, being overly concerned about makeup and looking hot makes things worse, not better. If Tina wants to prove the boys wrong, a good start to that would be fixing the safety issues with her wardrobe.

Julien is surprised Danny is still at the Barn. He thought light duty was a 9-5 gig and admires her for "pretty much running the place." Danny wishes she was still on patrol. "Don't be so sure. I got my work cut out for me," says Julien.

Danny defends Tina: "She's raw, but she's got potential." By the way, Julien's end-of-shift paperwork is late. Julien will get Tina to do it. "See? I did train you right," says Danny.

Another bathroom scene! The one at Lem's place is powder-blue, very Miami Vice, and I love it. Lem stands in front of his mirror, wearing nothing but a towel.
I'm fine, it's just really warm in here...
(Photo credit)
Someone is knocking on his door. He doesn't put on pants or anything, but he does stop to take his gun out of what looks like the linen closet. After checking the peephole, Lem puts his gun on a side table next to his badge and Chino visitor's pass. What we can see of Lem's house is pretty organized for a bachelor cop.

"Curtis Lemansky," greets Kavanaugh, completely unperturbed by the mostly-naked dude in front of him. He introduces himself as IAD and says Lem will have to come with him. Lem wants to know what this is about.

Kavanaugh doesn't answer, but graciously gives him the opportunity to get dressed first. Walter, also of IAD, pushes his way into the house and tries to herd Lem down the hall. The big guy is having none of this. He even shoves Walter: "I'll get dressed. Leave me alone." Kavanaugh confiscates Lem's gun and smirks evilly as he takes the badge.

Montage! The Strike Team has caught up to Darius. Claudette brushes her teeth, several prescription bottles on the sink beside her. Another ulcer casualty? There's a shot of the DANNY DADDY POOL posterboard hanging in the Barn. Everyone's money seems to be on "turkey baster," followed by Vic and Shane. Even Lem has a few votes.

Tina dresses up for a night on the town in a sequined orange tank top and short black skirt. Almost the same ensemble Danny wore in the pilot for her blind date. Dutch stares as she leaves. Put your eyes back in your head!

Cassidy does homework at the kitchen table. Corinne pops in the stick of Juicy Fruit she's been carrying around all day.

Edgar-veda looks over Terry's file again.

The Internal Affairs guys frog-march Lem out of his house and stuff him in their car. Poor Lemming.

In a parking garage, Shane holds up Darius. Ronnie, the least violence-prone of them all, repeatedly punches his attacker. Vic decides Darius has had enough. Shane steals Darius' iPod and walks off listening to it. Vic does something not very bright: He leaves behind one of their old calling cards.
(Image credit)
Kavanaugh lays everything out for Lem. 6 months ago, Internal Affairs found a kilo of pure heroin in his glove compartment and switched it out. Lem never logged the brick into evidence.

Lem can't believe they've been watching him for that long without him knowing about it. Well, he's never seemed like the most observant guy and they did snoop through the car when he was in bed.

Our friend Lem is facing serious charges, namely felony theft under color of authority (not sure that's a real thing) and intent to distribute. Kavanaugh tries flattery, "You're a smart guy. You've been on the other side of this table a long time. You know how that will play out. Does that seem fair to you?" Lem knows Kavanaugh is bluffing; if they wanted to arrest him, they'd be at police headquarters. What does he want?

"I want us both to do the right thing, Curtis," says Kavanaugh. Lem scoffs. "Why is it that the guy with the conscience always has to get caught holding the bag?" That's actually a fair question. "And we don't really want that guy. We want the guy that put him into motion, the one who is really dangerous. Who do you think I want, Curtis?" End of episode.