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.
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"?|
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.
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."
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.|
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.