Friday, July 21, 2017

Who Is the "Man Inside"? (Episode 5.7)

Previously on: Edgar-veda had Antwon kill Juan, the man who raped him. Internal Affairs officially notified the Strike Team about their investigation. Corinne told Kavanaugh about the Backpack O' Cash she got from Vic. Fatima Gardner, sister of suspected serial killer Kleavon, went missing; Claudette and Dutch both fear the worst. Yet again, they were unable to hold him due to lack of evidence. Kleavon killed another woman and cut her hair so she resembled Claudette.

At a department softball game, Farmington is losing 6-5. Lem is up to bat. Vic shouts encouragement from second base: "One to tie, two to win it, baby!" "This guy's pitching is as bad as his arrest record!" Shane taunts from first. Lem, the only guy sans sleeves, swings so hard he does a complete 180. Strike one.

Lem's next swing connects. The second baseman dives for the ball and misses; it goes rolling into the outfield. Vic gets to third about the time Shane reaches second. Vic scores. The other team gets hold of the ball again; Shane bowls over the catcher to cross home plate.

Easy there, Downtown. This is beer league.
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The umpire waves his arms and screams, "Safe!" Now rounding third and headed for home, it's a blue-eyed, handsome man (yes, I know those aren't the words).

Attaboy, Lance.
(P.S. If you haven't seen Major League: Back to the Minors, consider this your hint).
Reyes from the other team bellows, "There's no contact allowed!" "I tripped!" Shane protests. A likely story. Reyes keeps yelling that Shane should be called out. Vic laughs, "You know what? You win some, you win some." Somebody from Team Olympic shoves a player from Team Farmington, arguing the game is still tied.

A few of the guys start scuffling on the ground. Shane and Vic shout in vain for everyone to relax. Somebody from Team Farmington grabs what I initially think is a bat and turns out to be a shotgun, then pumps the action. "Put that away!" Vic orders.

"Somebody from Olympic Division calls, you tell 'em to shove it up their ass!" shouts Billings as he enters the Barn, the rest of Team Farmington filing behind him. The softball players cheer. Incidentally, Billings receives a message that Reyes from Olympic just called. "That guy's a sore loser," Lem comments. The detective who took the call thinks Reyes wants help with a case.

"I'll get right on it," Vic laughs. Billings thinks he should; Reyes is in charge of a citywide task force. The female detective is overwhelmed because Danny called in sick: "I can't do my job and hers." "Got a minute?" Kavanaugh calls to Ronnie from the balcony. Vic answers for him: Not until their lawyer gets here.

Claudette wants to interrogate Kleavon solo. Cutting his last victim's hair made this Very Personal. Dutch comes up with a code phrase for if she wants him to help: ask to turn down the air conditioning. Claudette knows Kleavon has killed at least 8 women between San Antonio and L.A. It's also likely he killed his sister.

The guys show up at a crime scene, thankfully not in their sweaty softball attire. "If yer lookin' for a rematch, I left my cleats back at the Barn," Shane says to Reyes. He replies, "You guys cheated us fair and square. We'll get you next year." "Since when are you guys good losers?" asks Lem.

Reyes is expanding his task force and wants to offer spots to the Strike Team. Rumor has it the Barn might close down. That's news to Farmington's Fab Four. Reyes had planned on discussing this over beers after the game, but duty called. Vic isn't sure this is a good idea; IAD has been all over them. Reyes shrugs it just means they're doing their jobs right.

Violet, one of the victims in the house, is only 2 or 3 years old. The place is owned by Maurizio Ochoa. The second victim is Maurizio's girlfriend Jenny, shot 15 times. Vic is familiar with Maurizio's meth operation. The dealer also had a history of domestic abuse, the most recent charge being 6 months ago when he broke Jenny's jaw.

Part of the ceiling has been ripped down, meaning the stash is gone. Maurizio got involved with a Mexican cartel during a stint in Chino. Reyes' team has been working that angle for 3 months, just waiting for the okay to make the bust. Vic's money is on a rival dealer: "When his head pops up, we'll be there to whack it." By the way, Maurizio was planning to sell 100 pounds of meth.

Kavanaugh checked Ronnie's financial records and didn't find anything unusual. He's impressed at how well he hid the mob money. Ronnie says politely, "The only money I get is from my weekly paycheck." Becca wants proof if Kavanaugh plans to continue this line of accusation. Kavanaugh is curious where Vic would get $65,000 in cash. "Don't answer that," whispers Becca.

Ronnie thinks Kavanaugh is bluffing. Kavanaugh knows Shane has money he can't account for. Either Ronnie isn't getting a cut of the profits or he had enough financial savvy to know how not to leave a trail. "You just said you checked my records and didn't find anything." says Ronnie. He doesn't keep track of his teammates' bank accounts.

Kavanaugh accuses Becca of covering Vic's ass and not looking out for Ronnie's interests. Becca calls an end to the meeting. Kavanaugh praises Ronnie's discipline; the other three are loose cannons, which is true to varying degrees. "They're gonna screw this up. They're gonna bring you down for a mistake that you were too smart to make."

Ronnie tells Vic that Kavanaugh asked about the $65 K. Vic knows the Rat King didn't just pull that figure out of his ass. Kavanaugh went through everyone else's finances. Well, we know he didn't find anything suspicious in Lem's bank account--A) He burned most of the money train stash and B) He's probably broke from always going to the doctor.

Shane asks his best friend what he did with his share of that score. Vic gave it to Corinne for the kids, meaning there's only one person who could've given Kavanaugh that information. "That's gonna look great at trial. Your ex-wife on the stand talking about dirty money we stole from the Armenian mob." says Ronnie. Vic is sure Corinne doesn't know where the money came from and that she'd never testify against him.

They go to a house, saying they're looking for Maurizio. Shane tries the old "he won the lottery" scam. Vic pushes his way in when he hears glass break. Lem tackles the tenant to the couch while Shane chases Maurizio out the back. Shane bodychecks Maurizio into a fence, wishing he could shoot the meth dealer for getting his young daughter killed.

Claudette shows Kleavon the bloody shirt Fatima brought in. He claims it's not his. Dutch searched the house and found tape, gloves, and a knife. Did he find out his sister talked to the police? Was Fatima so nervous she told him everything? Where is her body?

Tina got a hit on one of Fatima's credit cards at a furniture store. Dutch doesn't want to leave the observation room, so Julien offers to look into it. Claudette has an idea of why Kleavon moved to L.A.: "Those Texas cops had you pegged for the murders, so you decided to swim to safer waters." Kleavon insists they had the wrong guy and pulls the race card. Claudette may be black, but she's just like those "Jim Crow Texas boys."

Claudette doesn't appreciate being called an Uncle Tom. Kleavon thinks she's more like a house servant "gets called up to massa's room every night." "This guy's got a real need for black women to be subservient," Dutch says in the hall. Gee, what was your first clue? He tells Claudette to press Kleavon hard. Claudette looks exhausted.

The clubhouse doors are gone, so Vic and Becca have their attorney-client chat in the Barn's weight room. "When were you gonna tell me about the $65,000?" she demands. Her head is spinning because things have gone from Vic being persecuted to him being a cop killer to him being on the take. When things crossed their paths, Vic admits they'd save some for a rainy day "to help with intel on the street."

Vic gave the money to his ex and Kavanaugh found out. "I am trying to defend you. Do you get that?" asks Becca. She let Ronnie talk because she was under the impression they had nothing to hide. They need to know whose side Corinne is on.

"Look, I've got two autistic kids. There's special schools, there's doctors, there's--" Vic stops himself. "I'm not gonna use my kids as an excuse. That's bullshit." It was supposed to be no fuss, no victims. Vic had an exceptional case clearance record. He worked hard and didn't see anything wrong with taking some for himself. Vic admits out loud he's not who he used to be.

"Why? Because you got caught?" Becca says archly. Vic says it's because he still wants to be a cop. He won't let himself be shoved out the back door by hypocrites "who patted me on the back every time I brought some murdering rapist asshole in here." Vic needs Becca's help to get a second chance.

Shane says nobody shoots someone 15 times unless they want them "extra dead." Wasn't breaking Jenny's jaw last summer enough? Maurizio admits he smacked her around, but he'd never hurt his kid. Shane and Vic know a meth stash is easier to hide than two dead bodies; Maurizio must've ripped it out of the ceiling. "Are you saying the drugs aren't in the crawlspace?" asks the meth dealer.

Maurizio bets Jenny's ex Ted was involved. Ted's a meth head and didn't appreciate Jenny leaving while he was locked up. Violet was fathered by Ted. Ted had no clue and Jenny wanted it to stay that way.

Dutch has bad news: the M.E. found no forensic evidence on last night's Jane Doe. He starts profiling: "Made the move from organized killer to thrill killer without missing a beat." Claudette should play the angle that Kleavon's a screw-up who didn't plan things.

Vic goes to his custody exchange in the hospital parking lot. He understands why Corinne hasn't returned his calls. "Should you be at a Lamaze class or something for your new baby?" Corinne asks nastily. Did Vic get Danny pregnant? "She didn't tell me I was the father," says Vic, which might actually be true. He can't believe she told Rat King about the money out of spite. "You get angry at me for a second and you wanna send me to jail?"

Corinne's expression is one along the lines of I-didn't-think-it-would-go-this-far. She tells Vic she was threatened with jail: "What kind of a man puts the mother of his children in this position? What did you want me to do?" Keep quiet, duh. Corinne apologizes; she didn't mean to hurt him.

Maurizio has an alibi for the murders: he was at a house party. They know where Ted lives. Vic lets the guys know he explained to Becca about Corinne's goody bag. Anything they tell her is privileged and she can't protect them if she doesn't know everything. Kavanaugh calls Shane to the hot seat. Vic sternly tells him not to open his mouth without Becca.

When the Strike Team arrives, Ted isn't home, just his buddies Jimmy and Billy Boyd. Billy doesn't know what Ted does during the day; he only goes to the apartment to sleep. Vic leaves his business card with instructions to call.

Kavanaugh brings up Shane's $600,000 house, which he had gutted right after buying it. Does he pay the contractors as they go? Or does he let Mara write the checks? Shane has all their receipts and invoices. Does the Rat King want to see them? "I've already seen 'em. I've seen everything," Kavanaugh sounds manic. Becca wonders how he got the information without a subpoena; IAD is only entitled to look at departmental paystubs.

Is Shane making money on the side? "Don't answer that. We're done," says Becca. Next time, she wants him to submit a list of questions in writing. Downstairs, Shane says, "Now she's defending me like we're guilty. Why don't you just put it up in big flashing neon lights?" "I'm not the one with bags of cash floating around," Becca points out. Excuse her for trying to keep Shane out of jail.

Shane is more concerned with keeping his job. Becca explains they have to keep deflecting until Kavanaugh files formal charges. "I'm sorry, darlin', but you don't represent me anymore," says Shane. Vic and the guys continue this chat in a private corner by the vending machines.

Kavanaugh grilled Shane about how much money he and Mara make versus the money they're putting into the new house: "Problem is there's nothing left over and he knows it." "Oh, this isn't good," Lem mumbles.
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Billings reports there's been a shots-fired call at Ted's place. Rat King wants to see Lem in the office.

The shooting victim is Billy's brother Jimmy. Ted didn't do it, though, it was "some cholo dude." Either Maurizio was upset about his dead girlfriend or he really wanted those drugs back.

At the Barn, Vic theorizes that Ted killed Jenny and Violet so he could steal the meth. Do they have someone who could buy from Ted without suspicion? Shane suggests a dealer with the street named Burnout. They find Burnout and his posse hanging out at a laundromat. "My quota's a little low this week. Who wants to do the bracelet dance?" asks Vic.

Shane tells Burnout to call Ted and say he needs to score. He tries to appeal to whatever humanity Burnout might have: "When he stole those drugs, [Ted] killed a mother and her 2-year-old little girl." Burnout wants $25,000 and the department can't authorize that on such short notice. "City council could rubber-stamp a reward," Vic muses.

Kavanaugh asks Edgar-veda about Antwon and implies that Edgar-veda set up Terry's death. The councilman doesn't see what that has to do with Antwon. Did he get a share of Corinne's money? And how is Juan Lozano connected? He knows Juan assaulted Edgar-veda, but not the extent of what was done. Antwon was in the same cell block where Juan was found dead. Edgar-veda tells Kavanaugh to stop wasting his time on conspiracy theories.

A black woman used Fatima's card at the furniture store, but the clerk can't make a positive ID. Julien and Tina have the address of a motel where the woman wanted the furniture delivered.

Claudette can't believe Kleavon was so sloppy with his latest kill. Kleavon knows Claudette is sick. "You're the one who's sick," she counters.

Vic and Reyes press Edgar-veda about offering a reward. It'd be a shame if 100 pounds of meth hit the streets in his district. Edgar-veda can authorize the $25,000, but he can't speed up the process. He sees Lem upstairs in the observation room, painstakingly labeling videotapes. Edgar-veda goes inside, shut the door, and warns, "Kavanaugh's case against you is a hell of a lot stronger than you think."

Lem is suspicious of his former boss's motivations. "He's holding his trump card until he can nail all four of you," Edgar-veda says. Kavanaugh reports directly to the police chief and the mayor. "I could broker a deal. Make sure jail time gets knocked down to just one year for all of you instead of the 7-to-10 you're looking at now." Lem refuses.

Edgar-veda goes on. Vic is the one who deserves to swing; Lem shouldn't buy into his "all for one, one for all" speeches. "When are you gonna get it through your head? I. Don't want. Your help!" Lem snaps, his face turning red. Edgar-veda shouts, "Just one year for all of the shit you guys have done! But if you're too stupid to take it, well, then the four of you deserve everything you get."

Burnout gripes that he would've charged more if he'd known the Strike Team would use his house as the drug exchange point. Ted pulls up in the driveway with rock music blasting. "Yo, this guy's tweaking big time," Lem tells Vic over the phone. Ted is going to the wrong door and doesn't seem to have the drugs on him. Vic needs to know what's happening; he can't see past the fence.

"He's arguing with the woman next door," Lem narrates. "Telling him he's got the wrong place, but he's not leaving." Reyes and his associate are moving closer. They need to grab Ted; there are kids around. Reyes tells Ted to relax. Ted responds by putting a gun to the neighbor's head, taking her hostage. Reyes' friend calls SWAT.

Ted starts shooting out the window. The tweaker demands a plane. Shane wants to pull back and wait for SWAT. Reyes wires a wall that's hopefully non-load-bearing with explosives: "Just finished my weekend in the Guard." When Reyes blows the wall, Vic walks through it into the next door neighbor's house. Shane takes the hostage to safety while Vic arrests Ted.

Vic informs Ted that he killed his own daughter. Does Christmastime about 3 years ago ring a bell? Ted stares. "You do so much meth you forgot how to do a little arithmetic?" asks Vic. Um, probably. "Wouldn't have killed my own girl. Not if I knew," Ted insists. The detectives leave the room. "WHAT WAS HER NAME?!" Ted screams after them.

Reyes is sorry, but his captain said no to four IAD targets joining his task force. Vic shrugs it off: "We're happy where we are." They shake hands with a promise to see each other on the softball diamond.

Ronnie might have something they can use against Kavanaugh: "I noticed he was wearing a wedding ring, but he's been divorced, like, 2 years."

At the motel room rented under Fatima's name, Julien and Tina find packed suitcases on the bed. Julien kicks in the bathroom door. Fatima is huddled in a corner of the shower, terrified, sobbing, and holding a Bible. Tina promises they won't hurt her.

Dutch assures Fatima that Kleavon is in custody. Fatima worries they won't be able to arrest him. She describes Kleavon during their childhood as a "sweet, sensitive boy with just me, my mom, and auntie." They all wanted him to feel special. "Unfortunately, that resulted in his narcissism," says Dutch.

Claudette lies that they found Fatima strangled in an alley: "It's all you. Your signature." Kleavon says it's Claudette's fault for not finding her in time. Claudette's tone gets more heated as she talks: "You didn't respect them, you didn't even see them as people. And now your own sister? The one who took care of you!" Kleavon spits on her.

Claudette steps out to wipe the spit off her face. She's sweating. Dutch is sure Kleavon is seconds away from cracking; Claudette doubts it. She doesn't think she can go back in the room. Dutch gives her a pep talk: She has to get him to confess because there's no forensic evidence. She's gotten in his head better than anyone else. She can't let her illness get in her way.

The encouragement veers into borderline verbal abuse: "I don't give a shit how tired or weak or pained you are. If he walks today, he's gonna come after you or Fatima or some other woman." Claudette dries her face and heads back in.

Vic tells Becca he doesn't want to push any further until he secures Corinne's future and makes amends. He meets his ex at the Chinese restaurant they frequented when they were dating. Vic wants Corinne to get a lawyer of her own and make a deal with Kavanaugh. She needs to tell "the whole truth, no matter what it makes me look like." Vic can take care of himself; he needs her to take care of the kids.

Vic coaches her on what to say about the money. She asked Vic to take overtime to help out with expenses. As far as she knows, that's exactly what happened.

"Maybe I should just give him some minor bullshit that won't stick. Get us all out of it," says Lem, now sweating bullets. Shane doesn't think Lem should trust Edgar-veda. They're having this talk without Vic because he seems to trust his lawyer more than his best friends. Ronnie doesn't like Becca representing everyone; "we all have different levels of involvement."

Shane agrees. He and Vic would be charged with tax evasion, Lem with possession. Ronnie is the only one whose nose is totally clean. Ronnie argues, "Kavanaugh cannot handle four lawyers poking holes in his case." What are they waiting for? "Vic," Lem replies. Shane scoffs.

Claudette bluffs to Kleavon that a hair was found on last night's Jane Doe. They'll need hair and blood samples. Did he fight with Fatima because she confronted Kleavon about the dead girls? Fatima blamed herself for not stopping her brother. "You're bleeding," Kleavon observes. Claudette shoves a hankie under her nose.

Dutch offers to let her step out for ice. Claudette shuts the door in his face. She calls bullshit on Kleavon's insistence that he loved Fatima; Kleavon's victims were all Fatima to him. Thanks to the nonexistent hair, "We've got you, you son of a bitch!" "She was nothin'! The others were nothin'. Fatima was...Fatima was my sister," he whines.

Claudette reads off a list of his victim's names. Kleavon doesn't deny killing them or the girls in Texas, but he couldn't have hurt Fatima. As Julien walks Kleavon onto the balcony, the serial killer spots his very much alive sister downstairs. He's angry with her for playing along with the police's charade.

"Your soul's gonna burn, Kleavon!" sobs Fatima. "I'm gonna visit you until it does. You're never gonna see Mommy or Auntie. They're crying over what you've done. What's wrong with you?!" "You traitor! I'm your blood!" Kleavon shrieks.

Suddenly, Claudette collapses and rolls down the stairs. Dutch hurries to his partner's side, Lem on his heels. Tina asks if Kleavon pushed her. Alarmed, Dutch says, "No, she fainted."

Lem seems to think there's something wrong with Claudette's neck, so Billings orders them not to move her. Ronnie calls an ambulance. "Who's goin' to hell now?" Kleavon says smugly. Dutch keeps up a desperate mantra of Claudette's name, but she doesn't respond. We hear a siren approach. End of episode.

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