Friday, June 2, 2017

Antwon's Going to Jail. "Ain't That A Shame"? (Episode 4.13)

Previously on: Danny was (nonfatally) shot in the line of duty. Monica arrested a social worker whose negligence nearly caused the death of a 7-year-old girl in foster care. Lem stole drugs as collateral for information, which he did give back. To keep people from finding out Juan raped him, Edgar-veda made a crossroads deal with Antwon. Thanks to that, Antwon might go free, even though he arranged for Carl and Scooby to be killed. 

Monica has just informed her troops what happened with Antwon. The squadroom goes into an uproar. She's sorry, but the deal was made behind her back, so there's nothing she can do. Monica implores them to maintain their professionalism on the streets. She finds this just as sucky and unfair as they do. The police commission will decide tomorrow whether to discontinue asset forfeitures entirely.

Monica goes into the clubhouse, asking the Strike Team to find a way to undermine Antwon's deal. Vic knows the department heads would never sign off on that. Monica is already on thin ice with Phillips and Edgar-veda; neither of them can find out until after everything is done.

Julien prays at his partner's bedside. Danny, her arm in a sling, basically quotes Gerry from Remember the Titans: 
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Danny then jokes, "As long as you're talkin' to the man upstairs, ask him for a Vicodin." She thanks her partner for praying. Julien says he'll come back later to drive her home.

The connection between Edgar-veda and Antwon isn't adding up to the guys. The councilman only visited Antwon in jail once; prior to that, they never talked on the phone or sent letters. Edgar-veda also visited Juan Lozano. That name doesn't ring a bell for Vic.

Lem exposits, "The Byz Lat grabbed Aceveda's gun, then got busted by him for armed robbery." Juan was just murdered in county lockup the same way Jeffrey Dahmer was: dumbbell to the head. Vic doesn't like that math.

When Vic visits Edgar-veda at home, the councilman answers with Sophia in his arms. At the mention of Juan, Edgar-veda sends his daughter off to play in the other room and steps on the porch. He knows Juan filed an appeal, claiming he was forced to confess.

Vic, never one for subtlety, says, "Lucky for you, he had a little sports injury. Somebody in County went Mr. Universe on his skull." "Can't say the world will miss him," Edgar-veda says coolly.

Vic thinks it's awful funny that Juan is the same guy Edgar-veda visited in jail, even though Juan assaulted him. Edgar-veda shrugs that Juan pissed off the wrong inmate, it happens. Vic suggests the pissed-off inmate could've been Antwon. "Maybe he thought going after Antwon would get him back his street cred," says Edgar-veda.

If Juan was killed after Antwon struck a deal with the DEA, Antwon loses his immunity. Edgar-veda will see what he can do. A likely story, since he'd end up incriminating himself.

In a safe house, Antwon tells DEA Agent Grossman about Bonilla, his main El Salvador connection. He describes the guy as "old-school crazy. A technophobe. No cell phone, no email."

Other agents and Monica watch the exchange on surveillance cameras. Monica hands over Antwon's master file. "He's given us more in a day than we got in a year," says Agent Lamberti. Monica reminds him the deal is only good if his tips lead to arrests and convictions. Lamberti realizes this is painful for her. "You have no idea," says Monica.

Vic and the guys meet with Monica at an overpass. She asks them if the name Bonilla rings a bell, but it doesn't. "So we got half a Latino name in a city of 4 million Latinos?" asks Shane. Lem thinks they should talk to Gusano. If they catch Bonilla before the DEA, Antwon loses leverage and Monica might be able to barter.

The guys kick in Gusano's door. Vic tells Lem to tear the house apart. Gusano claims he doesn't know Bonilla. Vic calls for Lem to start tearing up the floors. Gusano gives them the address of a flower store. Vic has Lem stay behind.

Claudette asks Dutch if he's proud of brawling with a coworker. Dutch inspects his bruised face in their side mirror and says, "Stood up to Billings and Vic. No more pranks or jokes since. Damn straight I'm proud." You can almost hear Claudette's eyes rolling: "Men, doesn't matter if they're 5 or 65, it's all about the pecking order on the playground." "You're just figuring that out now?" he asks.

The two of them are at a park. A man in the suit lies on the grass, shot in the chest. A crowd of young ladies in fancy dresses stand nearby. "Wedding?" Dutch guesses. Claudette thinks it's more likely a quinceanera, given the average age of the guests. For those at home not familiar, she explains, "Latin coming-out party. They present the girl as a woman when she turns 15."

By the swings, the detectives interview Xylina, the guest of honor, and her sister Concepcion. Xylina's boyfriend Alejandro came to the party, even though he wasn't supposed to. Their father didn't like him. When Xylina went to the parking lot to talk to her Romeo, Papi followed to tell him to leave. Alejandro had a friend with him. Concepcion heard arguing, then gunshots.

Concepcion can't identify the other guy, but Xylina knows him. The birthday girl gives Claudette a hard, defiant look. The detective asks, "You're gonna protect the person who murdered your father?" "You're 15. You're supposed to be a woman. Start acting like one," Concepcion scolds.

Shane, Vic, and Ronnie aren't having any luck at the flower shop. Bonilla is supposed to be 50-60; all the employees are too young. Vic looks around and finds black tar heroin residue on a vase. The employee Vic questions is from Mexico, not El Salvador. "Gusano humped us," Vic realizes, "He sent us to bust his competition."

Lem is casually sitting in Gusano's living room, shotgun aimed in the general direction of Gusano and Company. Vic calls to let him know they'll be coming back for a little talk. Gusano and his pals keep mumbling to each other in Spanish. "Hey, shut up! English only!" Lem snaps. The guys start to get off the couch. Lem pumps a round into the shotgun. One guy taunts, "You'll never find Bonilla!"

All Vic can hear on his end is a lot of jumbled shouting. One of Gusano's friends jumps Lem, causing him to fire wildly into the wall. Vic floors it. Ronnie radios dispatch that an officer needs assistance.

Lem is handling himself pretty well, considering it's two-against-one. They slam each other into walls and then the front window, which shatters. One of Gusano's friends manages to wrestle the shotgun away from Lem; Friend #2 holds him on the floor in a headlock. Lem grabs onto the gun barrel, desperate to get it pointed someplace other than at his head.

Gusano's Friend #1 shoots, breaking another window. The noise startles him enough that Lem is able to kick the guy away and reclaim his shotgun. Lem smacks both guys a few times with the butt of said shotgun. Scrambling for a better position, Lem trips over a kid's toy and lands flat on his back. His head almost bounces off a corner wall.

The cavalry arrives, but Lem is so keyed up on adrenaline that he points the shotgun at his own team. Shane, the worst person for the job, tries to calm him down. Vic asks a few times if Lem is okay. He doesn't really answer, just kind of paces the destroyed living room, trying to catch his breath.

Vic asks where Gusano is. "He got away," Lem sounds disgusted with himself. Vic kicks one of Gusano's friends again for good measure.

"What the hell happened?" Monica demands as she arrives with the uniforms. Vic takes the blame; it was his genius plan to leave Lem by himself. Shane smiles proudly, "Lem kicked some serious ass." A compliment from Shane Vendrell? Wonder what angle he's playing.

Vic lays out how they went to investigate a tip and Lem was babysitting the suspects until they got back. Gusano fled, but the important thing is that Lem's more or less okay. After all that, it turns out the lead was total bullshit.

Vic brings in his CI Emolia, former heroin cutter for Gusano's middleman Pittario. Monica asks her for ideas of where Gusano would run. Emolia doesn't really know Gusano personally and she never had his phone number. However, she knows Gusano's girlfriend and babysat for her a few times.

At the address Emolia gave them, Gusano's pregnant girlfriend Rosario answers the door. The guys shoo her outside to safety. Gusano's not home, but half-packed suitcases are sitting in the living room. Lem found something odd by the phone: directions to Industrial Discount Clothing. Ronnie knows exactly where it is because he's a regular customer. "That explains a few things," mutters Vic, eyeing Ronnie's powder blue-and-gray striped polo.

Vic shows Rosario the address. Is this where she's meeting her baby daddy? Rosario shakes her head. Vic interprets this as a yes.

Xylina sits in the interrogation room, still wearing her fancy mint-green quinceanera dress. Dutch believes the girl when she says Alejandro didn't kill her dad. However, if they can't prove it by ID'ing the second guy, that makes Alejandro an accessory to murder. "My father tried to throw them both out. Why'd he have to do that?" asks Xylina.

Claudette understands that the kids are scared. But does Xylina really want to wait 20-30 years for Alejandro to get out of prison? The teen says the other boy is Miguel and describes him as "crazy, always on drugs. Alejandro is not like that."
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The guys find Gusano hiding in the back room of the clothing store. Lem clocks the guy with the door when he tries to escape. He jams his gun into the guy's neck and whispers, "Bitch."

Next we see of Gusano, he's got blood down the front of his shirt and gauze stuffed up his nose. Vic reads Gusano's extensive rap sheet and notices all his charges were plead down. Somebody must've paid for a good lawyer. Hopefully, that person will pay the tab for Gusano's defense against his latest charge: attempted murder of a police officer.

Vic wants to talk alone, so Monica leaves. Vic bargains, "If you give up Bonilla, I'll get my guy to drop the charges." Uh, the hell you will. Lem seems like he took that beatdown pretty personally. Gusano points out he's still out a key of heroin thanks to them. Vic hastily unplugs the camera.

"Whatever that crap was, it wasn't tar." Gusano goes on, "I tried to pass that fake shit down to one of my hookups. Looked like I was trying to play his ass." Gusano gave him two free keys to make it up. Oh, this is very bad news for Lem...

Vic goes to the clubhouse and says lightly, "Gusano claims the dope we returned was bogus. Is that possible?" Emolia admits she sometimes thinned the drugs, but she never packaged bunk. Ronnie has cracked the "third grade code" on Gusano's phone.

Edgar-veda pulls Vic out into the squadroom. There are no connections between Antwon and Juan. "Except you visited both of them in prison the day Lozano was killed," says Vic. More bad news: Juan died before Antwon signed his DEA deal. Vic thinks he should dig into why Juan was killed.

The councilman threatens to do some digging of his own. Vic reminds him that busting Bonilla will end Antwon's deal. "Dig all you want, I've got nothing to hide," says Edgar-veda. He's willing to help Vic so they can get justice for Carl and Scooby.

Vic and Shane tell Gusano they're ready to start dialing numbers in his phone. They know the area codes all have one subtracted from each number and are all local. "Nice job, windtalker," says Vic sarcastically, "If the Germans had you in World War II, we coulda stopped that thing before it started."

Vic calls one of Gusano's customers and identifies himself as a detective. "We keep lettin' our fingers do the walking, won't be long 'til we're talkin' to Bonilla," says Shane. Gusano tells them Bonilla likes to hang out at a nightclub. Bonilla also loves "music, poppies, and black whores."

Sitting in their stakeout car, the Strike Team doesn't see anyone under 60 in the club. "Looks like a goddamn Viagra convention in there," says Lem. Vic guesses that "hanging with the Depends crowd" helps Bonilla keep a low profile.

"I ever get that low pro, tie off my colostomy bag and call it a day," says Shane. Lem chuckles, "Man, you're gonna be on wife number, what, 6 by then?" I'm surprised Shane doesn't tell Lem to shut his mouth; Mara is his One True Love.

A car parks and a Latino gets out, accompanied by three scantily-clad young black women. "Gusano says [Bonilla] likes to burn coal," says Ronnie. Shane drawls, "Three hotties like that, you tell Santa I been naughty."

Dutch and Claudette have arrested Miguel the pill head for the quinceanera murders. They found something interesting in his car: prescription bottles bearing the address of Joya's foster home. One of the prescriptions was filled mere days ago. Family Services confirmed the couple has new foster kids in their teens, one of whom is a classmate of Miguel's. Monica is upset; she'd been told that couple would lose their foster care licenses because of what happened to Joya.

Julien finishes making Danny comfortable on her couch. She feels bad that they had so many disagreements over the seizures and now Julien's the only person taking care of her. I'm sure Vic would, given the chance. Julien says it's not a big deal; he knows Danny would do the same.

Monica confronts Joya's caseworker, who explains the Walkers' license is under appeal. Pending misdemeanors or not, they're still innocent until proven guilty. "Two months since that little girl had drain cleaner poured down her throat. One of those kids is selling prescription drugs out of that house. When do you get mad?" the captain demands.
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The caseworker promises to handle it once she knows the kid's name.

Monica announces she intends to seize the Walkers' house, even though there's a moratorium. Claudette warns the captain of the potential consequences; a final decision about the seizure policy is being made tomorrow. Monica is unwilling to give the Walkers a third strike and will take full responsibility when the fallout comes.

Dutch opines that it's Monica's business if she wants to hang herself. He and Claudette aren't getting themselves caught in the middle of anything again. On the bright side, if Monica gets fired, Claudette is next in line for captain. Claudette knows better: "They'll get some company yes-man jellyfish from outside."

"Black Betty's taking a little stroll," says Vic as one of the hookers exits the club.
Sorry, it's a reflex.
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Given the neighborhood they're in, Vic thinks they should be gentlemen and offer protection. They follow her into a store. When Shane requests a price list, Boogie (yep, that's her street name) says she isn't a whore. "You just joined Grandpa's harem for the free paella?" asks Vic. He checks her pupils, wondering what she's on.

He remembers there are bigger fish to fry and asks about Bonilla. Boogie has been with him all day every day and doesn't know if anyone tipped him off about the cops. She turns around, bends over the counter, and pukes. The clerk looks revolted.

Lem leans on the counter and inspects the vomit. "I see some blood in that," he reports, "Looks like an ulcer." Thank you, Dr. Lemansky. "If you don't get that thing treated--" "It'll kill me, I know," Boogie says weakly, "That's the plan."

Vic has a better idea. The city can help Boogie pay for her medical bills if cooperates with them. (Hell, Lem would probably refer her to his GI doc). Boogie hopes they're not lying to her. Some guy came with a message that pissed Bonilla off: "The stuff was moved to la cueva [the cave]." She doesn't know what that means.

Monica has bad news: Antwon gave up Gusano to the DEA. Agent Lamberti will be there any minute. Vic tells her to get his phone. "Get Bonilla on the phone now!" Monica orders Gusano. Gusano tells Bonilla that he's at the police station and the cops think he's talking to his lawyer; they're asking him about the cave. Bonilla goes outside and gets in his car.

The cave is more like a vacant lot full of junk. As Vic approaches, a spotter whistles from the roof of a nearby house. Someone starts shooting at them. A second guy pours gasoline over some file cabinets. Ronnie and the guys take cover while Vic chases Bonilla into the house. The shootout continues, the file cabinets now on fire.

Lem bodychecks one of the flunkies, sending him head over heels on top of a burning file cabinet. He drags the guy to safety while Shane and Ronnie smother the flames.

The documents the guys managed to save were shipping charts and distribution lists. Bonilla has connections from D.C. to San Salvador. Lamberti thinks it's awfully coincidental that Bonilla was at the top of their most wanted list. Monica lies that Vic discovered Bonilla during a routine sting.

Lamberti wants Bonilla and all the records. Monica says Bonilla will be processed for attempted murder first and the files logged into their evidence vault. Assistant Chief Phillips warns that could give the cartel time to do damage control. Monica isn't about to let a whale go. She wants Antwon too.

Monica leaves Vic and the boys to handle the crime scene. She's off to seize the Walkers' foster home. After catching Antwon and Bonilla, she doubts anyone will care too much. "Or we can quit while we're ahead," says Vic, who should've taken his own advice several years ago.

A uniform leads a protesting boy out of the Walkers'. Dutch asks if Monica is sure about going through with this; the actual dealer, a 14-year-old, is going to juvie. The foster care supervisor tells Monica she's out of control: "These kids will end up sleeping in my office tonight." "At least it won't be here," Monica shrugs, "This system fails thousands of kids every year. This is about not putting up with this shit anymore."

Corinne goes to Vic's apartment to pick up Cassidy since Vic is working late. The eldest Mackey child isn't alone; she's with a boy named Evan. Cassidy claims they were studying. Corinne looks around the room and asks, "Where are your books?"

Corinne's next stop is the Barn. She informs Vic that Cassidy snuck a boy into the apartment: "Evan something. He lives in your building." It took longer than Corrine would've liked for Cassidy to answer the door. The kids were supposedly studying, but she didn't see any books. I don't think you need them to study human biology/anatomy. Cassidy's been lying and evasive lately: "You know what they say, 11's the new 13."

Vic has a come-to-Jesus with his daughter in the clubhouse. Cassidy huffs that her mom is making a big deal out of nothing again. Vic thought she knew the rule against having friends over when he's not home. Cassidy insists she and Evan weren't doing anything and he's never come over before.

Cassidy gushes about Evan: "He's cool, just like you. Other kids like him and he doesn't take shit from anyone." Vic is so taken aback he doesn't even mention the swearing. He asks if Cassidy understands there's more to a person than that. Honesty, trustworthiness, and being caring are more important.

"I like him." argues Cassidy, "Mom didn't get you and now she doesn't get me." Five bucks says Vic will have Lem run Evan's name through juvie records.

"I had every reason to seize that house," Monica tells Edgar-veda and Phillips, "Neglected, unsupervised foster kids selling prescription drugs that contributed to a murder." But that's not why she's here.

"The Department of Justice has been on the phone with the mayor ever since you twisted DEA's arm into giving up Mitchell," Phillips explains. They're threatening to pull federal funding, even though she gave them Bonilla.

Monica offers an apology. Unfortunately, the DEA chief is more interested in having her job. The mayor agreed and so did the police chief. Edgar-veda is sorry how this worked out, which I doubt. Monica hopes one of them will fight for her. It's crushing to watch Monica realize that after all the good she's done in Farmington, she's losing her command. She leaves, barely holding back tears.

Monica meets Geno from Internal Affairs at Emolia's safe house. "You were right about the Strike Team," he says. "[Emolia] was cutting heroin for her dealer Pitarrio when Detective Curtis Lemansky had words with him, assaulted him, and confiscated a kilo of tar heroin. Those drugs were never logged into evidence."
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Emolia reported the incident. Internal Affairs was able to ID Lem from her description. They searched his Jeep while he was asleep, found the heroin, and replaced it with bunk. Monica eyes Emolia: "I thought you were Vic's CI." "Whoever's got the money," says Emolia.

Geno's boss wants to use the heroin case to grab up the whole Strike Team. Emolia thinks they can use the fact that Vic likes her and her son. "I just lost my job. This is someone else's problem," sighs Monica. Hey, It's That Guy! Jose Zuniga AKA Geno played the undercover DEA agent who was killed in the Nicolas Cage classic Con Air.

The squadroom watches solemnly as Monica packs up her desk. She's not appealing the chief's decision because if she loses, there goes her pension. Monica hands Vic a shadowbox containing Carl and Scooby's badges. She asks him to make sure they get put up someplace where everyone can see them. Two uniforms arrive; Phillips assigned them to escort Monica from the Barn.

"Not tonight," says Vic. Dutch adds that they're waiting for Antwon to be back in their custody: "The captain has to make that arrest." She smiles fondly at him.

Vic walks Cassidy and Corinne to their car. He promises his ex-wife that he set their daughter straight: "No more hangin' around with boys in empty apartments." A prison van pulls up. Vic thinks maybe Cassidy should move back in with Corinne. She understands more what it's like to be a preteen/teenage girl.

Everyone stands at attention as jailers bring Antwon through the Barn. Antwon is smirking. Monica stands in front of him and closes the final case of her career: "Antwon Mitchell, you're under arrest for conspiracy to commit the murders of Officers Carl Miller and Wayne Haimes." Shane gets to do the honor of opening the cage. Claudette watches from the balcony. Monica exits the Barn with her head held high.

Vic brings the contents of Monica's desk to her house. She's staying because she signed a 6-month lease; anyone who's watched Judge Judy can tell you what an expensive bitch those are to get out of. There's a long, awkward silence before Vic says, "It was good working with you."

Monica has a question for Vic: Has he ever thought about how his own career might end? "Promise me you'll take a good look at where you're going." Foreshadowing alert! They wish each other luck. Once Vic is gone, Monica locks her door and lets her feelings out at last. She starts to sob, then composes herself enough to move boxes.

Phillips tells Dutch they need an interim captain. Dutch recommends Claudette, but Phillips wants it to be Dutchboy himself. Vic won't like this one bit and neither will Claudette. Nothing is guaranteed, but it might end up a permanent promotion. Though flattered, Dutch declines: "If you think I'm the kinda guy you're looking for, you've made a mistake." Well said.

"What was that about?" asks Claudette. Dutch replies, "He wanted me to be the company yes-man jellyfish. I told him to shove it. Sometimes you have to take the moral high ground."
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Just curious, Dutch, were you taking the moral high ground when you tried to revenge-fuck Vic's ex? Or when you brawled with Billings in the parking lot?

Vic invites Dutch and Claudette to join everyone for drinks to celebrate Antwon's arrest.

At the bar, Dutch and Claudette play pool. The Strike Team splits a couple of beer pitchers. A hard rock version of "Ain't That A Shame" plays in the background. Danny and Julien arrive. Cops all over the bar cheer and lift their drinks in salute when they see her. Vic pulls up the chair next to him.
Lem offers to buy Danny a drink, but she's still on painkillers. Granted, Lem shouldn't be drinking either with his condition. Danny accepts a beer anyway.

Vic calls for everyone to stand up, raise their glasses, and toast Carl and Scooby. Flip to Monica drinking alone in her living room. Back at the bar, Lem has grabbed a pool cue and is animatedly reenacting how he narrowly avoided death by his own shotgun. Ronnie flirts with Officer Paula. Danny and Dutch play darts.

Shane is getting louder. He and Lem seem to have made nice-nice because they start to play-fight on a pool table. Geno enters and goes largely unnoticed. Lem is on top of Shane, our favorite redneck looking like he's trying to grab his hair. "Get a room, get a room!" Vic chants at his battling buddies, laughing. End of episode, end of Season 4.

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