Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Rap Payback" Is a Bitch (Episode 5.6)

Previously on: Claudette was forced to release suspected serial killer Kleavon Gardner due to lack of evidence. Vic promised to bail Lem out if he got arrested by Kavanaugh and hired a lawyer for the Strike Team. Kavanaugh tried and failed to catch the Strike Team being dirty.

Everyone in the Barn stares at the spectacle of furniture movers trying to bring a new couch through the narrow hallways. "You gotta be kidding me," says a mover when he realizes Billings wants it to go upstairs. Billings warns them not to scratch the leather.

Vic doesn't look impressed. Billings explains that a bunch of his purchase orders finally got approved after last episode's big drug bust. Dutch turns into a kid, all "What'd ya bring me?"

Lem arrives, looking agitated. Vic declares his intent to move Billings' new couch down to the clubhouse. "I'm not wired," Lem says, lifting up his shirt to prove it (and giving the audience a nice view of his six-pack). Kavanaugh has gone ghost; he's not at Motel Hell, nor is he answering his phone.

Ronnie wonders why Lem hasn't been arrested. "Maybe he never had a solid case," Shane says confidently. Vic wants to act like Lem is still wired until they're positive the investigation is over. Billings pokes his head in to assign the boys to a gang-related multiple homicide.

Julien exposits the male victim has Bop Street gang ink. Sounds more like a bad 1990's boy band. Shane thought this part of town was gang-neutral since Antwon went back to prison. "My boys went down wet like real G's," says a male witness. (He's whiter than I am and dressed like Eminem). Whoever killed his friend was probably "some hater." The shooter almost nailed him and Moni, the girlfriend he has a protective arm around. Not-Slim Shady can't ID the car.

Vic encourages him to think hard about that unless he wants a free ride downtown. Not-Slim Shady can't believe that: "Me and my breezie almost catch hollowpoints and po-po got his foot up my ass? Ain't that some white toy-cop bullshit?" This would be a good time for Vic to resurrect one of my favorite lines: "No speak Ebonics, shithead." And it's Shane with the retort: "Better check your color." Lem snickers over his shoulder.

Dutch all but whines at Billings that he needs a new desk chair. In strolls Kavanaugh and an associate, both with large cardboard boxes. He notifies the captain that the Strike Team is officially under IAD investigation. Kavanaugh will be camping out in the Barn, where all the Strike Team files are stored. Would it be too much trouble to borrow Billings' office?

Billings reminds Kavanaugh that he's in charge around here. "Acting captain," smirks Kavanaugh. As such, Billings is only entitled to a desk and a phone. Monica didn't seem to have had issues mingling with the commoners.

"I got nothing to say except thank the Most High that my man's okay," says blond, dreadlocked Moni. Lem thinks she's way out of Not-Slim Shady's league. Moni likes Not-Slim Shady because he buys her presents and is, shall we say, well-endowed.

"What I'm having a hard time understanding, aside from the ghetto-speak, is why some evildoers lit up on your peace posse for no good reason," says Vic. Shane thinks Preston is pretty arrogant for a 19-year-old. "That's my government name," Preston Shady says indignantly. His homies call him Kasper.

Vic recognizes the name; our thug wannabe is a fairly major crack dealer. He's done business with everyone from the One-Niners to the Latinos. "When you white in Farmington, you don't fit in, so you gotta make friends everywhere," Preston explains before making it clear he ain't a "cheese-eating rodent."

Billings calls Vic and tells him to come back to the Barn. When he gets there, Kavanaugh has just finished tacking everyone's picture to a bulletin board. Kavanaugh puts Vic on notice. Vic isn't worried; Kavaugh's last attempt at a bust blew up in his face. "Last thing I wanna do is rock the boat," says Kavanaugh, even though that's exactly what he plans to do. He pins up a crime scene photo of Terry.

Lem slams his trusty bottle of Pepto back into his locker: "Man, if he'd arrest me already, at least then he'd have to lay out what he's got."
(Image credit)
Vic toys nervously with a softball bat. There's a knock on the door. Vic opens it and introduces the guys to Becca. "[Kavanaugh's] made it personal, which helps me make the case that you're being unfairly targeted." she says.

Kavanaugh opens the door: "Whoa. This looks like attorney-client privilege." Becca icily confirms that's the case. Any questions for the Strike Team have to go through her. Lem glares a hole into Kavanaugh's back as he exits.

Vic says they all have to concentrate on doing their jobs. Staying alert makes it harder for Kavanaugh to trip them up. Ronnie wants to know their next move on the gang case, even though it's obvious: talk to Bop Street. Maybe they had an internal beef with the victims.

Vic gets one of Bop Street's crackhead clients to walk him up to the door. He crouches behind her and pulls the pin out of a tear-gas grenade, which he tosses through a slot in the door. The gangbangers get as far as the backyard. Ronnie puts on his handy-dandy gas mask. One guy protests they mostly didn't have problems with Kasper. "As in you wanted him and his crew mostly dead?" Shane guesses.

Ronnie finds a shoebox full of drugs and money. Vic announces the Strike Team's truce with Bop Street is over. They'll shut down a crackhouse every two hours until they have the shooter's name. Vic drops a calling card on the guy's chest.
(Image credit)
Dutch brags to Claudette that the robbery-homicide division wants to interview him. Claudette acts like she's happy for him, but you can tell she's a bit jealous. Suddenly, she spots Kleavon's sister Fatima in the lobby.

Fatima's been keeping a close eye on her brother since learning he's a suspected serial killer. She reaches into her purse and produces a shirt she found while cleaning his room. There's what I would scientifically call a shitload of blood on it. As far as Fatima knows, Kleavon hasn't cut himself or been in an accident.

Claudette tells Fatima to go home and pretend everything's normal. "How am I supposed to do that?" Fatima demands of Dutch in the parking lot. Dutch lets her know she has a legal right to allow police to search the house.

At Fatima's place, Dutch inquires as to whether Kleavon's been keeping odd hours. She says no. In Kleavon's dresser, Dutch discovers a purse with a roll of duct tape and a knife inside. Fatima gasps as she hears the front door open. Dutch hides in the closet.

"Just changing the sheets," Fatima lies smoothly when her brother walks in. Kleavon is unhappy; his boss sent him home only an hour into his shift. Fatima offers to make him lunch in the kitchen, giving Dutch the opportunity to, er, come out of the closet. He manages to slink out the back door without either sibling noticing.

"Huh?" says a neighbor, spotting the suit-clad white guy wearing latex gloves. Dutch smiles and waves goofily. It'd be adorable if it hadn't been so firmly established that Dutch is as batshit crazy as the killers he chases.

The guys return to find both the clubhouse doors are missing. Kavanaugh thought they'd like some fresh air. Besides, they have nothing to hide, right? He congratulates them on last week's big drug bust. Kavanaugh wants to talk to Vic upstairs. "Not without my lawyer," he says.

In that case, can Shane talk? He doesn't see a problem with that. "Shane," Vic warns. Shane promises he'll answer anything. A little bird told the Rat King that Shane just bought a new house. Has he been doing a lot of moonlighting as a security guard? Shane can't take all the credit; Mara is a realtor.

Kavanaugh wants to talk about Terry. "IAD cleared us. Or didn't you hear the squeaks in your rat hole?" says Shane. Kavanaugh gives Shane a copy of his post-shooting interview. What made him leave Vice last year and come back to the Strike Team? He thought Shane wanted to be out of Vic's shadow. Did Vic want Shane on the Strike Team again so he could keep him on a leash?

Shane puts the folder back on the desk. What's in the file is exactly what happened. Kavanaugh asks, "So it was just you, Vic, Terry, and Two-Time in that room? No Lemansky, no Gardocki?" "It's true then, it's true now," Shane answers. Kavanaugh asks Shane to sign a paper confirming his knowledge that Terry's case has been reopened and he himself is being investigated. "Blow me," says Shane.

Claudette tells Dutch that no recent murders match Kleavon's M.O. Dutch talked to robbery-homicide again; an anonymous "veteran detective" put his name in their ear. Sounding wounded, he asks, "Are you trying to get rid of me?" Claudette thought of it as helping her partner get his dream job. A uniform lets them know that Kleavon wants to report Fatima missing. That's super not-good.

Danny goes upstairs to retrieve some of Billings' things. Kavanaugh holds up the sheet for Danny's baby-daddy office pool: "Pretty demeaning, don't you think?" Danny shrugs it off as "boys will be boys." Kavanaugh observes that Vic is the front-runner. "Everybody's got an opinion," she says.

Does that mean there's no truth to the rumors that she and Vic had a sordid affair? Danny has no interest in talking about "stupid gossip about my personal life" with IAD. Kavanaugh quotes the employee handbook: Officers who get romantically/sexually involved with each other are supposed to "report it in a timely manner." Not doing so is grounds for suspension or demotion. Didn't Danny just get a raise?

"There's no relationship between me and Vic," Danny repeats. Kavanaugh doesn't want to make this official, but will if he has to. Danny sighs; she and Vic dated, past tense. "8 or 9 months ago?" the Rat King snarks. Danny says he's free to compel a DNA test if he wants, but it's not his business. Kavanaugh gives her 'til the end of the day to file forms reporting their relationship; he'll overlook the time discrepancy.

Lem tells Vic the Bop Street crackhouse has reinforced doors and windows. Vic is about to send him off for a battering ram and flash-bang grenades when he sees a banger nicknamed Gunsmoke. He doesn't know "who capped [my] peoples," but he's damn sure it wasn't Bop Street. Being in this "pig farm" is hurting Gunsmoke's street cred. "Oink when you got something we can use," says Vic.

Gunsmoke calls over his pregnant baby-mama. She claims she saw two Latinos driving away from the scene. They had shaved heads and white T-shirts. One had "L.A." tattooed on his neck. Yeah, that description's gonna be a big help. The shooter was driving an old car with gold rims. In a Latino gang neighborhood? That also narrows it down.

Vic is curious how a "punk-ass" like Kasper got street cred with Bop Street. Gunsmoke thought he was a poser too, but "white boy got business skills." He came up with names the crack like Pink Yo and Yellow Fever. The customers didn't know it was "the same shit, different color caps."

Danny calls Vic over. Kavanaugh knows the two of them were dating. She can't afford a suspension or demotion, so she's telling Billings about it.

Kleavon last saw his sister at lunch. She said she was going to the store for soda and never came back. "I seem to remember you were out for soda when Lana Gregory was killed," Dutch says conversationally. Claudette adds it's only been a couple of hours. Isn't that premature to call the police? Kleavon gives them permission to search the house.

Dutch is concerned about the absence of Kleavon's fanny pack/murder tool kit. Fatima let him look around earlier. Claudette can't believe he was dumb enough to do that without backup. What had he planned to do if Kleavon came home? "I hid in the closet," says Dutch. Claudette doesn't want to think about what could've happened if Kleavon confronted Fatima.

Dutch was only looking out for his partner's health. Stress can trigger lupus flareups and he noticed she was in pain earlier. A uniform tells the detectives that a neighbor saw a prowler "wearing what he called a hundred-dollar suit." Dutch looks guilty. Claudette will talk to the witness; Dutch can take Kleavon to the Barn. He defensively mumbles that his suit cost $300.

Vic and Becca enter Kavanaugh's commandeered office. She sees Terry's picture and asks who he is. I guess Vic didn't tell her everything. He maintains the story that Terry was killed by a dealer. Kavanaugh adds in that Terry was undercover investigating allegations of corruption against Vic. He's sure Vic is involved in Terry's death. "Just like that Russian I was gonna murder before you blew our sting?" Vic wonders.

Becca wants evidence. "In due course," Kavanaugh promises. He reads the IAD version of Miranda: Vic has a right to a union rep or a lawyer. He gives Becca a form for Vic to sign. She intends to cooperate so Kavanaugh can "stop wasting everyone's time." Kavanaugh wants the Strike Team to walk him through the house where Terry was shot. Becca threatens to file for harassment if Kavanaugh doesn't take down his bulletin board.

"Did this murder charge slip your mind?" Becca hisses downstairs. Vic can't talk because Corinne has just arrived with the kids in tow; he'll call Becca later. Corinne volunteered to talk to Kavanaugh. Vic reminds her that she doesn't have to say anything; spousal privilege still applies.

"Dad, what the hell is going on?" Cassidy whispers when Corinne walks off. Vic scolds her for barely even swearing. Billings tells Vic there's been another 187. Cassidy wants to know what that means. "It means Dad's gotta find you a ride," says Vic. Why not just let Lem babysit?

Kavanaugh asks if Corinne wants coffee or water. She just wants to get this over with. Kavanaugh again brings up how expensive it is for one child to attend Glenridge, let alone two. How do the Mackeys manage? "Overtime," Corinne answers automatically.

Kavanaugh wonders what'll happen when Vic's money starts getting split 4 ways. Corinne doesn't understand. Kavanaugh informs her of Danny's pregnancy and long relationship with Vic. Wasn't their divorce finalized last year?

Corinne leans forward in her chair and practically snarls, "Is this another imaginary child like Andy? What kind of a man says he has an autistic child to a woman who has two of her own? How sick is that?" Kavanaugh makes out like he didn't enjoy lying. Besides, this isn't about him; it's about Vic. It's about Corinne, her kids, and Danny's new baby.
Corinne's reaction to the word "baby."
(Image credit)
A Latino gangbanger with "L.A." inked on his neck in a naked lady font lies dead in his house. Vic bets it was the same shooter who went after Bop Street. Shane remarks, "Payback's a bitch." "And karma's a whore," agrees Vic. Larry the uniform reports no signs of forced entry; neighbors saw the victim Amado's car being driven away: a 1969 Cutlass with gold rims. Vic has him put out an APB.

Vic almost kills the entire Strike Team driving them to apprehend the guy driving the Cutlass. They chase their suspect on foot through a parking lot. He starts to climb over a chainlink fence, kicking poor Lem in the stomach when he tries to follow. The Strike Team chases the guy up a hill. The suspect runs toward another fence. "Hey, stop, dumb-ass! That's a barbed-wire fence!" Shane calls. The guy keeps climbing, loses his footing, and rolls all the way down the hill.

"I didn't do nuttin'!" the suspect protests. Vic says, "Except for a double homicide." Fleeing the scene in the victim's car was a stupid thing to do. The guy swears Amado was dead when he got there. Amado owed him $10,000 and our friend Kasper was supposed to drop off some money. Suspect saw the dead bodies and got scared.

Kavanaugh asks if Corinne remembers Terry. Did Vic behave oddly before Terry's death? Corinne says no, but it really tore him up. The Rat King tells her that Terry had been an undercover plant investigating Vic for corruption. IAD thinks Shane and Vic had him killed. "Vic's a lot of things, but he's no killer," she says firmly.

Kavanaugh knows Vic would do anything he took to protect himself, the Strike Team, and his family. Mostly himself, really. Does Corinne honestly think Vic would be incapable of killing somebody who could've taken everything away from him?

Corinne gets choked up. Kavanaugh all but orders her not to cry "'cause tears imply that you didn't know." Corinne and Vic were married for 12 years; she had to have known. Except she didn't know anymore than Richard Kuklinski's wife knew what he got up to. Kavanaugh doesn't want to hear bullshit about how Vic is a good man. "You left him because you knew," he accuses.

Kavanaugh keeps ranting about how Corinne is only allowed to cry if she didn't know. This is about the point where I'd be walking out of the room. Corinne remains mute and shell-shocked.

Tina and Julien break into a locked public men's room to find a man up against the wall with his pants around his ankles. "Something's got me. My dick," he sobs. Tina tries to pull on his shoulders, but his penis seems to be stuck inside the wall. Julien gets an idea and opens a second door to the men's room. Something is jutting out of the opposite wall.

"You're caught in a rat trap," Julien explains. He tells Tina to call for paramedics. Julien frees the man, who collapses on the floor, still crying.

"Ouch," Billings comments when Tina brings in the rat trap, "This IAD guy's got my nuts in a waffle iron." The victim is lucky he didn't lose his penis altogether. Tina guesses the trap only sprung halfway. It was one of a batch of 20 sold at a hardware store. Julien suggested to her that Billings should assign detectives. Billings doesn't have a free detective, so he'll let them investigate; Julien is an expert on glory holes.

Kleavon insists Dutch and Claudette are wasting time by asking him about Fatima. The detectives confer outside. "Anyone else, I'd say he's genuinely concerned about her," says Dutch. Claudette wishes she could administer Kleavon's lethal injection if he did it. She doesn't want to mention the bloody shirt and missing fanny pack in case Fatima is still alive. Dutch points out Kleavon could've connected those dots himself.

Shane asks where Kasper was at 4:00. Kasper's alibi is that he was with Moni, having sex and smoking weed. He claims he doesn't know Amado. Ronnie has an ID on the second victim at Amado's house, Adair Zeborio; Las Vegas PD suspected him in a murder-for-hire.

Shane wants to keep "half-baked" Kasper talking. He wonders how long it'll be until someone kills Kasper "as reparations." Kasper says, "The streets got nothin' but love for Kasper long as I'm puttin' money in their pockets." Vic doubts it: "One bad month and you'll be dangling from a balcony just like Vanilla Ice." That story, if you buy it, was a contract dispute.

"Next thing ya know, we're gonna be hearing about some shitty rap album you're gonna wanna put out," says Shane. Kasper asks, "Why you trippin' on this black-white shit? Color ain't a thing."

Shane says there ain't nobody here but "us glacier monkeys. Black is whack." Kasper isn't fooling anyone with his street lingo; he only likes his own. Shane adds, "Not that the sisters would show you love anyway."

Kasper tosses out what's most certainly a lie; he gets "more black ass than a bus bench in Compton." If Vic and Shane don't believe him, they can ask his side chick Taneisha. He only dates Moni "'cause I can take her home to Moms without any drama."

Outside the interrogation room, Shane says, "LL Douchebag's startin' to piss me off." You and me both. Vic tells Shane to pick up Moni.

Julien is sure Bathroom Guy must've seen whoever put the rat trap on him. Bathroom Guy is uncooperative, so Julien arrests him for public indecency and lewd conduct. Bathroom Guy is worried his wife and daughters will find out he's been trolling public bathrooms.

Corinne tells Kavanaugh she doesn't have to talk due to spousal privilege. He bets Vic told her to say that. Is she aware that she can waive that right? Why doesn't she have a lawyer? Does she know Vic has a lawyer and a pretty one at that? A good man wouldn't leave the mother of his kids hanging out to dry, but a lawyer would put Corinne's interests above Vic's own.

Kavanaugh threatens to arrest Corinne for obstructing justice if she doesn't cooperate. Who'll take care of her autistic kids while she's in prison? Sure, don't even mention Cassidy. She can't expect Vic to take over that job. Corinne can't take the pressure. She admits to Vic giving her the Backpack O' Cash; she doesn't know anything else. There was $65,000 in the bag, to be exact.

Corinne didn't ask where the money came from and spent most of it on tuition and occupational therapy. There's maybe $5,000 left. Kavanaugh asks for it. The Rat King then gives her permission to cry.

Shane tells Moni to rethink alibiing Kasper. They can charge her with conspiracy to commit murder if she's protecting him. Shane plays the interrogation room tape in which Kasper talks about screwing other people.

Vic sees Corinne bolting down the stairs with her face in her hands. He hurries after her and almost runs smack into Danny. Corinne freezes at the sight of Danny's baby bump, then tells Vic not to talk to her. She leaves. "Moni gave up our friendly ghost," Shane tells him.

Vic says all women are the same, regardless of color: "When they get pissed off, watch out." Kasper must've thought he had everything between the clothes and the stripper girlfriend. All he was missing was credibility. "You're only a true baller when somebody wants you dead. If the bullets miss you, makes you immortal to the street," says Shane.

Kasper hired Amado and Adair to shoot at him and the Bop Street guys. Moni gave them the key to her locker at the strip club where she works; they found the gun used to kill the hitmen.

Claudette asks if Fatima went to church. The thing she's always loved is "no matter how bad you are or how often, forgiveness is always there. All you gotta do is come clean." Claudette theorizes Kleavon had Fatima killed and reported her missing to draw suspicion away from himself. He killed random strangers, why let a little thing like blood ties stop him? Kleavon storms out of the interrogation room.

Julien is willing to let Bathroom Guy walk if he agrees to stop trying to screw other men in public and to ID his attacker. He'll keep the victim's name out of it. Whoever did this has 19 more rat traps. Bathroom Guy sits down with a sketch artist.

Tina knows she and Julien had a rough start, but she feels like things are a lot better between them. As a kid, her gay uncle lived with her, so she doesn't judge Julien. She understands his struggle "and it's between you and your wife." Julien angrily says he should've washed her out weeks ago; Tina doesn't understand shit.

Dutch thinks he knows why Claudette recommended him to robbery-homicide: "You're getting sicker and you can't bear for me to see it." He's sorry for searching Kleavon's room without her. Claudette tells him it's dangerous for him to let her lupus affect his job performance.

A uniform tells Dutch and Claudette that a black woman in her mid-40s was found strangled. Their rape/murder victim doesn't turn out to be Fatima. Jane Doe's hair looks like it was cut off with a knife; the style vaguely resembles Claudette's.

Becca is having second thoughts about representing Vic or anyone else on the Strike Team.

Edgar-veda thinks Kavanaugh has lost his touch. Kavanaugh wonders if Edgar-veda helped Vic set up the Russian sting. He asks Edgar-veda to sign the same form he gave to Vic and Shane. As a reserve police officer, Edgar-veda is still subject to be investigated by IAD: "You walk out that door, I'm gonna take your badge and I'm gonna tell every reporter in town why."

The Rat King sure knows what buttons to push: Corinne's love of her kids, Edgar-veda's obsession with image and power, Lem's desire to be liked. Edgar-veda refuses to sign the form until the city attorney looks it over. Does he really want to fight the chair of the police committee? "I didn't want any of it," Kavanaugh lies. Nevertheless, he's here for the long haul.

Shane asks why Edgar-veda is in Kavanaugh's office. Lem thinks it'd be a good time to leave for the night. They step out of the clubhouse as their former boss walks through the squadroom. The Rat King watches from his throne. End of episode.

No comments:

Post a Comment