Friday, July 28, 2017

"Kavanaugh" Is Literally the Devil (Episode 5.8)

Previously on: Claudette fainted at work. Corinne told Kavanaugh about the Backpack O' Cash from Vic. Kavanaugh questioned Edgar-veda about his relationship with Antwon Mitchell, last season's big bad. Vic tried to "persuade" his informant Emolia into changing her story about Lem stealing heroin.

Kavanaugh wakes up to the soothing sounds of NPR, brushes his teeth, sits down for breakfast, and brushes his teeth again. OCD much? The Rat King gets dressed and puts on his wedding ring, a curious accessory for a divorced man. He heads off to prison to visit Antwon. "I know you know these gentlemen," he says, laying pictures of the Strike Team on the table.

Antwon wants a deal, but as Kavanaugh himself says, "Even the pope himself couldn't get you mercy time on those two cop killings." He offers more privileges. Antwon brags that he runs the jail. He picks up Shane's picture: "I could bury this banjo-playing asshole....If you put a boot on his throat, his eyes tear up like a little bitch." And as everyone knows, bitches are snitches. Antwon's terms: Have the Strike Team serve their time in the same place as him. Kavanaugh refuses.

Driving back to L.A., Kavanaugh hears Vic on the police scanner requesting the bomb squad: "You're not gonna believe this, but somebody threw a buncha grenades into a backyard barbecue." He goes to check it out. At least two victims are being taken away by ambulance; a uniform carries a child out of the backyard.

Vic and Lem are, understandably, less than happy to see Kavanaugh. More bodies lie in the wreckage of grills and picnic tables. According to Vic, the explosion was caused by 4 or 5 Vietnam War-era hand grenades, one of which was a dud. The victims were all Spookstreet Souljahs, their children, and their baby-mamas. Shane and Ronnie found drugs in the house, but Vic doubts it was gang retaliation.

Kavanaugh finds Emolia at a diner. He knows a Salvadoran cartel offered her work assembling hand grenades. He also knows what she's told him in the past was total BS. If he didn't know better, he'd think Emolia was trying to avoid testifying against Vic. Sure enough, Emolia won't talk about the grenades unless he promises not to make her testify. "The only thing keeping you out of jail and Sebastio out of a foster home is my good grace," says Kavanaugh.

The Spookstreet house belonged to Latasha Dunn. Her son Marcus AKA MC Dunn-Good is one of the gang's lieutenants. Kavanaugh arrives at the clubhouse with Emolia, ostensibly to help with the Salvadoran connection. Vic is surprised to see his old CI; he thought she left town.

In the office, Vic asks why Kavanaugh never told anyone about the grenades. Kavanaugh shrugs that Emolia gave him a lot of bad intel. Vic smells blood in the water: "So your main witness against Lem's unreliable."

He wants to set up a meeting with Emolia and her friend Maria who got her the job. Kavanaugh tells him it's too dangerous for Emolia to be in the field. "She just told us there's another shipment coming in. You want every night here to be the Fourth of July?" asks Vic.

Kavanaugh agrees to let the Strike Team investigate, but he has to make any decisions regarding Emolia. They can't be alone with her, threaten, or coerce her (look who's talking about coercion). Kavanaugh himself or his associate Irwin will supervise Emolia at all times.

In the clubhouse, Kavanaugh assures Emolia that nothing is more important than her safety. Emolia demands $20,000 for Sebastio's occupational therapy. Vic puts a hand on her shoulder. Haven't the police always looked out for her? Emolia explains the grenades are being assembled in L.A. so they don't explode during shipping. The Salvadorans are trying to get back into their old business of drug protection.

The Strike Team lays out the politics of contraband: Colombians control product and Mexicans mule it to L.A. Salvadorans used to be in charge of protection until the Strike Team busted Bonilla. The Colombians no longer trusted the Salvadorans and stopped paying them. The bombings are an attempt at extortion.

Kavanaugh asks how Claudette is doing. Dutch thinks she'll be back at work soon and adds conversationally, "You finding anything on the Strike Team?" Kavanaugh pulls the old "I can't comment on an ongoing investigation" line. Dutch suggests looking into the guys' bank accounts, not knowing the Rat King already has. He also tells Kavanaugh not to act too friendly.

Kavanaugh wants the van to follow Emolia. Vic doesn't think it's necessary; Emolia is wearing a wire (which Kavanaugh didn't authorize) and has a GPS device planted in her phone. "I know how much you love 'em," says Vic. Kavanaugh decides to give her a 5-minute head start. He gets out of his car and heads for the Strike Team van.

"Nothin' like a large black man in a suit jumpin' in your van to maintain your cover," Vic remarks. There's no reason for Kavanaugh to be worried about Emolia. Before she can start her grenade job, she has to meet Tejado and Guardo. The two men start speaking Spanish. One inspects Emolia's mouth and checks her arms for track marks. He doesn't need junkies playing with explosives.

Guardo demonstrates to Emolia how to reassemble a live grenade. When the pin is out, she has 5 seconds to get it back together. "Is that a live grenade in there?" Kavanaugh asks, even though Vic literally just told him it was.

Guardo rolls the pinless grenade to Emolia. She fumbles to get it disarmed. Kavanaugh starts to get out of the van; Vic is sure Guardo is bluffing. Also, a lot of problems will be solved for him if Emolia does get killed.

"That grenade wasn't armed," Guardo chuckles as Emolia slams the pin back into place. He praises her for not losing her cool. Tejado will be in touch with her soon. Weirdest/most stressful job interview ever.

Kavanaugh asks how Vic knew Guardo was bluffing. Simple: You really can't disarm a grenade.
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Kavanaugh wants to round up the suspects. Vic points out there will still be grenades on the streets. Kavnaugh suggests getting Tejado and Guardo to give up their supplier. "Fresh-off-the-boat Salvadorans rarely rat," says Lem, "They'll take the needle before they talk to cops." Following Guardo is their best option.

Lem wants to go out back where Guardo parked, but Kavanaugh stops him: "Emolia's still in there!" Lem is sure she'll be fine; if they don't get moving, they'll never find Guardo. Vic tells Rat King to check on Emolia. They'll handle Guardo.

At the Barn, they stash Emolia in the observation room. Shane and Ronnie bring in Marcus. Vic tells them to find out what they can about Guardo; he wants to talk to "MC Dumbshit." Danny says Kavanaugh has an urgent phone call from Sadie. Presumably, that's his ex-wife.

After he takes the call, he asks Dutch for a ride to a crime scene on Forestry Street. He also wants Dutch to be the primary detective. "Uh, I've got work and you don't hand out my assignments," Dutch says snottily. Kavanaugh reminds Dutch that he outranks him and orders him to get his scrawny ass up before he files an insubordination complaint.

"I was just maintaining your cop cred with the other IAD haters," Kavanaugh says once they're in a car. Dutch would prefer the silent treatment. He asks if Kavanaugh's ever heard of the Armenian money train: "I think the Strike Team ripped 'em off." "Dangerous enemies to make," notes Kavanaugh. Dutch counters, "Not if you get away with it." (Shane really oughta be thanking Lem for burning most of the evidence).

Kavanaugh knows the former Mrs. Mackey received $65,000 in cash. Even though Corinne spurned his advances, Dutch leaps to her defense: "This is all Vic." Kavanaugh wants to see Dutch's notes on the money train heist. Dutch is curious what kind of case Kavanaugh has assigned him to. Kavanaugh explains that his ex-wife was just raped.

Paramedics and uniforms are already on the scene. Kavanaugh asks the stupid thing: Are you all right? "I don't know," Sadie is in a daze. She was getting out of her car when a man grabbed her and dragged her behind it so passersby wouldn't be able to see what was happening.

"I stopped him in the middle. I fought back like you taught me," says Sadie. She goes on to describe her rapist as Hispanic and in his 30's with a mole on his face. She asks Kavanaugh to go with her to the hospital for the rape exam. "You need privacy," he says. Sadie starts to cry: "Don't leave me, Jon."

Vic suggests Spookstreet make peace with the Salvadorans before all their drug houses get blown up. Marcus can't do that; Colombia calls the shots. Vic wants the addresses of the other drug houses. "How stupid do y'all think I am?" asks Marcus. Vic advises, "Don't ask questions you don't want the answers to."

Enter Kavanaugh. Marcus doesn't believe the IAD rat is a big shot until Kavanaugh calls the D.A. and puts him on speakerphone. Would D.A. Zuckerman be willing to reduce Marcus' charge to simple possession if he gives up addresses of the other stash houses? Zuckerman agrees.

Marcus is worried because snitches get stitches (or worse). Vic will give him half an hour to alert his homies. "Can I use your phone?" asks Marcus.

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Corinne did Sadie's rape kit and she was definitely assaulted. There was no skin under her fingernails, but Sadie said she punched her rapist instead of scratching, so that makes sense. There was also no DNA. Corinne will have to ask if Sadie can be discharged and go to the Barn to make a formal statement.

In the exam room, Sadie is looking through mug books with Tina and Julien. She hasn't found a match yet. Kavanaugh offers to bring her clean clothes and then he'll give her a ride to the Barn. Sadie pulls away when he tries to touch her hand.

There's been another grenade attack. A Salvadoran who looked like Guardo was pulled over nearby. Irwin brought Emolia over to make an ID, but it wasn't Guardo. "What if somebody saw us? She coulda been compromised!" says Kavanaugh. Vic explains he made a command decision.

The deceased homeowners, George and Mattie, are retired teachers. "Only drug we found was some Metamucil in the medicine cabinet," says Shane. Vic raided the house last year; it was auctioned off to George and Mattie after the Barn's former captain Monica seized it. Salvadorans protected Spookstreet back then and would've known it was a stash house. Working off an outdated list means more innocent citizens could die.

Kavanaugh tells Marcus to write down all the addresses he remembers. Dutch motions Kavanaugh outside. Sadie identified her rapist as Emmanuel Olivo, who's currently on parole for rape. He claims he was filling out job applications when Sadie was attacked, but he can't remember where.

Dutch isn't so sure Emmanuel is their guy; his previous convictions were for raping teenage girls and he doesn't even have a mole. Kavanaugh wants Sadie to go to the observation room just to make sure on the ID. He spots Vic and the Strike Team outfitted in bomb squad vests and runs down the hall.

Emolia found out the grenade operation is above a furniture store. They're gonna drop her off, let Guardo pick up the merchandise, and then arrest him. Billings is sending uniforms to clear out the Spookstreet drug houses.

Vic realizes Kavanaugh no longer seems interested in being attached to Emolia's hip and asks if something more important came up. By the time he gets back to Dutch's desk, Sadie has already ID'd Emmanuel. Kavanaugh sits down with his ex: "It's time to come home. Our bed misses you." Sadie wishes he'd stop wearing his wedding band.

Dutch waves him over: "Why didn't you tell me Sadie has a history of mental illness?" Kavanaugh grabs Dutch by the arms, pushes him backward into the men's room, and slams him against a stall door. Dutch explains that without DNA evidence, Sadie's mental problems will make it difficult for the D.A. if the case goes to trial.

Kavanaugh says Sadie hit a "rough patch" a few years ago. She was paranoid, psychotic, and battling depression, but she's totally okay now. Uh, two out of three of those things don't normally go away. Sadie started getting therapy and medication after the divorce. Through gritted teeth, Kavanaugh demands that Dutch go back to the crime scene and find some forensic evidence.

Corinne is back, this time with her lawyer and a manila envelope containing all the money left over from what Vic gave to her. Corinne is willing to cooperate in exchange for immunity. Kavanaugh has a bizarre question: Did Dutch arrange for Corinne to be Sadie's nurse? Extremely unlikely; ER nurses are assigned rooms at random and you never know who's coming in.

Corinne adnits it was Dutch's idea to get her back on Kavanaugh's good side. "There is nothing illegal about a registered nurse caring for a patient," Lawyer Sydney says tightly. Kavanaugh's phone starts ringing. He doesn't have time to discuss the possibility of a deal, which is just that, a possibility.

Vic, Lem, and company are calling from the van. Guardo is moving the girls and grenades ahead of schedule. Kavanaugh wants them to pull him over. Vic can't because Guardo might tip off the rest of his crew. He's sure Emolia can take care of herself. "Are you trying to get her killed?" asks Kavanaugh as he strides across the parking lot.

Vic hangs up on him, then has everyone else turn off their phones. Guardo parks the van and the girls get out. Kavanaugh pulls up in his unmarked car and climbs in the Strike Team van. He asks why SWAT isn't there like they were supposed to be. Vic promises they're en route. Through his binoculars, Ronnie sees the girls loading MP5s into Guardo's van.

"How long before backup and SWAT arrive?" Kavanaugh asks tensely. Shane estimates 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, Tejado alerts Guardo about a missing grenade. Guardo orders the girls to stop what they're doing and singles out the girl beside Emolia. Tejado finds the wayward explosive in the woman's purse. Guardo grabs her by the hair. "There's so many I didn't think you'd care," she explains. That's all she gets out before Guardo stabs her in the throat.

"Check the others," Guardo tells Tejado. The Strike Team races to get there before he finds Emolia's wire, Lem all but pushing Kavanaugh out of the van. Tejado rips the wire off Emolia. She screams for Vic's help. And here comes the cavalry, plus some dead weight (cough) Kavanaugh (cough).

It's a scene of confusion as the cops and suspects chase each other around a labyrinth of a warehouse. One of the weapons dealers pulls the pin out of a grenade and rolls it right toward Lem and Kavanaugh. Lem's eyes widen in horror for a split second, then he grabs the grenade and tosses it right back at them.

An explosion rocks the air. Kavanaugh shields a suspect with his body. When it's all over, he looks back over his shoulder at Lem. The guy he's trying to send to prison just saved his life. Kavanaugh suddenly realizes Lem isn't cut from the same cloth as the rest of the Strike Team; Shane or Vic would've let him die. This could bring an interesting change to the Lem/Kavanaugh power dynamic.

Someone notices Emolia is MIA. Kavanaugh walks through the warehouse, calling her name and Vic's. Vic is whispering something to Emolia in a corner. He lies to Kavanaugh that he was just telling her she did a good job. He took Emolia back here for safety when the grenades started flying.
"Guardo's gone," Shane reports. Vic tells him to set up a perimeter.

Back at the Barn, Kavanaugh tells Billings that they didn't catch Guardo. Danny interrupts with, "Somebody ripped off the vending machines again." She doesn't elaborate on whether the snacks or the quarters were stolen. Billings gripes about how much repairs cost. "No wonder these guys get away with murder," Kavanaugh chuckles humorlessly, "Captain's more concerned with the sandwich machine than he is with personnel."

Kavanaugh tells his IAD cohort Kyle to send Emolia, Sebastio, and her mother into hiding. Lem awkwardly hovers in the background.
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Kavanaugh follows his prey to the breakroom. He smiles that he knew there was good in Lem; he wants to repay him for saving his life. Lem knows just how he can do that: "Quit chasing me and Vic. Let us do our jobs." The ungrateful Rat King asks if Vic is really worth going to jail. Would Vic risk his own life by picking up a live grenade?

Lem argues that Vic's a great cop. Kavanaugh gives Lem a final chance. Vic wanders in, all "Problem here?" Lem says Kavanaugh's threatening him with jail again. Vic thinks that's pretty cold considering Lem saved Kavanaugh's ass from ending up blown to bits like Big Harold.

Dutch tells Kavanaugh that the area around the crime scene was plastered with flyers warning about Emmanuel. The supposed mole on the rapist's cheek is a blot from the photocopier. Sadie picked out Emmanuel because of the flyers, not because he raped her.

Emmanuel also has a pervy alibi: He was lurking at a high school watching the girls' cross-country team practice, which is a parole violation. The cross-country coach called about the incident.

There's even more damning evidence that Sadie fabricated her story. Her DNA was all over a bottle. She never mentioned being sexually assaulted with one. Kavanaugh wants to talk to her. Lem sees Kavanaugh on the balcony and wonders aloud why a woman has the Rat King so upset.

Sadie asks if she'll be at the station much longer; she has a date. Kavanaugh asks if she's still on her meds: "I just wanna know which Sadie I'm talking to right now." Lem and Vic sneak into the observation room and stand in front of the TV.

Sadie changes the subject. Her ex-husband has lost weight and it doesn't look healthy. (The same could be said about Lem). Is Kavanaugh depressed because he misses her? Now that they know the identity of the mystery woman, Lem remarks it's weird Kavanaugh still wears his wedding ring.

Sadie wants Kavanaugh to kill Emmanuel for raping her. Kavanaugh thinks they both know that's not what really happened. Sadie dodges that by saying she's ready to come home to him. This is starting to remind me of the ending of Shutter Island.

Kavanaugh softly says, "You're gonna be charged with filing a false police report. And you're gonna be remanded for psychiatric care." "I'm not sick like I used to be," Sadie insists. She knows it was wrong to fake being raped, "but I didn't know how else to talk to you." She wanted him to save her; deep in his heart, Kavanaugh himself wants to save her.

Sadie keeps begging to come home and stars to make out with him. Lem and Vic exchange a look of well, that came outta left field. Sadie's practically sitting on the table when Kavanaugh pulls away and repeats she's being charged with filing a false report and will be enjoying a nice stay on a psych ward.

Sadie is sure Kavanaugh could convince Dutch to drop that charge. He refuses. Sadie accuses him of abandoning her again. Rat King explains that he can't investigate other cops for violating the rules if he starts doing that himself. He's sorry he couldn't take care of her. "You tell the truth! You didn't want to!" shouts Sadie. "You can take your sorry and shove it right up there with that pop bottle."

She starts to sob about feeling worthless. Kavanaugh wraps her in a bear hug. She beats his back with her fists, all but chanting, "I wanna go home!" "Holy shit," whispers Lem, who probably feels genuinely bad for Kavanaugh about the whole situation.

As Sadie cries, tears roll down Kavanaugh's cheeks too. With a jolt, Kavanaugh remembers the big camera on the other side of the room is on. Vic and Lem make a hasty retreat out of observation. They're too late. Kavanaugh reaches the balcony and knows they've seen and heard everything.

Kavanaugh points dramatically at Lem, announcing that he's under arrest for possession with intent to distribute. Lem is bewildered that Kavanaugh is actually making good on his numerous threats. Kavanaugh gets all up in Lem's personal space, demanding his badge and gun. He chases him across the balcony.

Vic grabs the Rat King when he reaches the top of the stairs. Kavanaugh shouts wildly, "You touch me, you're gonna go in the jail cell next to him!" He breaks away from Vic. "Don't be stupid, Curtis!" Rat King is spitting with rage. "You gimme your badge and your gun! Captain Billings, you take his badge and you take his gun now!"

Billing complies, his expression telling Lem don't make a scene in front of everyone. The big fella looks ready to cry. Shane is in shock. Kavanaugh threatens to fire Julien and Tina if they don't put the cuffs on Lem.

Everyone in the Barn is watching like it's the floor show. Tina looks sick and stays frozen. Julien cuffs Lem as gently as possible. Kavanaugh frog-marches Lem toward the cage, barking at Officer Paula, "Get him printed!" Aren't they already on file? Trying to delay the inevitable, Officer Paula claims she's fresh out of ink. Kavanaugh tells her to put Lem in the cage until she gets more.

Vic shakes his head, saying they can't stick Lem in gen-pop. They can clear out one of the other cages for him. Kavanaugh is having precisely none of this. He shoves Lem against the gate, telling Julien to uncuff Lem and toss him in.

Reality sets in for everyone on the Strike Team, especially Lem. Shane has made no bones about not liking him, but even he's wounded. Lem is officially on his own in a holding cell full of the same people he hunts down every day. Hulking bodybuilder or not, the odds are against him.

Kavanaugh pays another visit to Antwon in prison. Antwon hopes whatever the Rat King has to say is worth interrupting a gangster's beauty sleep. Kavanaugh wants everything Antwon has on the Strike Team. Antwon won't talk without a deal. Kavanaugh promises one as long as Antwon's information pans out. End of episode.

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