Original Air Date: May 2, 2010
Amanda – Sr. Reviewer
Hello, children! When last we met, Lilly had just stumbled into her sister’s hotel room to find said long-lost sister missing again…only this time, there were signs of a struggle.
This episode will see Lilly and Scotty tracking Chris down, while the rest of the squad focuses on a case that’s been eating Jeffries alive for seventeen years, a case whose twists and turns could spell the end of a couple of careers. All this is set to the music of The Rolling Stones, who even recorded a new song for the occasion!
The opening flashback deals not with the case, but with Christina: she’s on the phone with a couple thuggy-looking characters, insisting she’s got another hookup all set up for them, and she’s on her way back to Jersey…but they’re right outside her hotel room, calling her bluff. They storm in, beat her up, and drag her off. When the flashback ends, we pick up where we left off with Lilly, who sees blood on the bathroom floor, an empty bottle of pills prescribed to an Alexis Childress, and that photo of the two sisters on the beach. While she’s still processing this, the door opens and hits Lilly, knocking her out…and a guy takes advantage of the opportunity to steal her gun.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Althea Johnson is there to see Jeffries. She sends him a care package every year on the anniversary of her daughter Wanda’s murder, but now she’s got a break in the case: a man known only as Brother Olajuwon has corroborated another witness statement of a dark green SUV with Wanda in the backseat. The car was at a well-known drug corner, but Althea insists Wanda wasn’t into drugs. She paints a portrait of a clean-cut, all-American teenager whose mother was ten minutes late picking her up from track practice.
After a visit from Detective Pierson, during which he learns the fate of Jimmy Mota and reassures an unconvinced Pierson that there’s nothing to worry about, Scotty is summoned to Christina’s motel. Lilly, meanwhile, harasses the desk clerk into showing her the log book of hotel guests. One name sticks out: Alexis Childress. When Scotty arrives, Lilly fills him in, and he’s instantly on high alert: if her service weapon was stolen and used in a crime, it’s curtains for her, and she knows it. He insists that she call it in, but Lilly doesn’t want to: she just wants to find her sister. Her ever-vigilant partner points out that going after potentially dangerous thugs with no weapon is a bad idea, but Lil’s one step ahead. She’s got a weapon.
Jeffries visits with Brother Olajuwon, a drug dealer-turned-devout Muslim who saw Wanda’s face on a flier after being released from jail and remembered seeing her in the back of a dark green SUV. He recalls hearing an argument, then shots from inside the car, then the car taking off. He pinpoints the SUV as a 1992 Ford Explorer, ironically adorned with a DARE sticker on the rear window.
Back out on the streets, Lilly has retrieved the Super-Secret Gun O’ Love Saccardo gave her, and Scotty’s got an unwelcome conclusion for Lil: her sister’s a pill head. Lilly is unable to accept this and rather sweetly leaps to her sister’s defense, but Scotty’s seen it himself: Chris called him a couple days ago. He flashbacks to meeting Chris in a bar, just like five years ago, but this time, her feminine wiles have no effect on him whatsoever. Good boy, Scotty. After apologizing for the mess she left and realizing that Scotty’s all business, she cuts to the chase: she wants to know if Lilly still hates her. Scotty has no idea and tells her to call Lilly herself, but warns her to get cleaned up first. She insists she’s trying.
Furious that Scotty didn’t tell her he’d seen Chris, Lilly bails from the car, and Scotty chases her down. The resulting confrontation is an eerie recollection of their stellar fight from season 2’s “Wishing,” right down to the “you lied to my face” line. Scotty is equally furious that she’s willing to just write her sister off, then hurls another offer at her: maybe she should just take that fancy FBI job and forget about all of them just like she forgot about Chris. Oooh, ouch. Both near tears at this point, she tells him she’s still mad he didn’t tell her, and he shoots back that he’s got his own family to worry about. Man, those two are awesome when they fight. I could watch them fight the whole episode. Unfortunately, Scotty realizes that arguing with Lil is a waste of time when they need to be rescuing Christina, and an uneasy truce descends on them as they get back in the car.
Back at PPD, Stillman notices Lilly’s absence and asks Vera about it; he thinks it’s some family thing, and Scotty’s involved, too. “I don’t even wanna know,” Stillman replies. Hee. Jeffries then shows up with some vehicle records of 1992 Ford Explorers, featuring one record that’s been blacked out. Ooooh, intriguing.
Meanwhile, Scotty and Lilly are visiting the pharmacy where Chris got her “prescription” filled. When Lilly shows him Chris’s driver’s license, he remembers her, saying she came alone, but had the same address as two other guys from New York. He shows them the surveillance videos and says that his pharmacy is just one stop on the route for the trio. Helpfully, he knows the next stop.
Back at the office, Jeffries and Vera interview one “Nightstick” Joe Mueller, a cop in charge of the vehicle records, as to why he crossed one record out with no explanation. Joe says he’ll have to check his notes, and Vera suspects Joe may be covering up sloppy detective work. “Let’s hope that’s all it is,” Jeffries says gravely.
In the Car of Uneasy Truces, Scotty retrieves a still-charged Taser from the glove box and offers it to Lilly as a sort of peace offering. Lil’s still reeling from the realization that her sister, after all they went through with their mother, is now herself an addict. Scotty waxes expert from his Narcotics days, theorizing how Chris’s addiction could have started, but Lil tunes him out in favor of remembering that day on the beach. She shows Scotty the photo, and that’s when they see a car pull up outside the drugstore: it’s the clowns from New York. Lilly follows him into the store, watches him pick up the prescription, and then the two follow the car back to a house, where Scotty, who seems to be dying to watch someone get Tased, gets his wish when Lil zaps the guy, leaving Scotty to drag him inside. Meanwhile, Jeffries does some research and comes to a shocking conclusion: the green Explorer is registered to none other than Commissioner Pete Doherty, thorn in Stillman’s side.
Questionable tactics ensue from both sides, with Jeffries body-slamming Joe in the restroom and demanding to know why he covered up for Doherty, while Scotty and Lilly interrogate Bernie, the New York lowlife, about Chris. Due to their repeated zapping of the Taser to get him to talk, I keep expecting Bernie to yell, “Don’t tase me, bro!” Sadly, he does not. He also doesn’t know much about Christina, saying she’s Cliff’s problem. The detectives deduce that Cliff, who Bernie says has a possessive mean streak, is Chris’s latest ill-advised love interest, and Bernie insists that he’s got Cliff’s number stored in his phone. Cliff, he says, is back in New Jersey.
Back at the office, Jeffries is starting to suspect Doherty of Wanda’s murder, and he, Vera, and Kat hatch a plan to finagle Doherty’s service revolver to run ballistics tests. Jeffries knows Doherty keeps it in his desk drawer, so, while Kat flirtatiously distracts the janitor, Vera invades the commissioner’s office and finds the gun. Meanwhile, Jeffries shares his theory with Stillman, who warns him that accusing such a high-ranking officer of murder is career suicide. Jeffries doesn’t care, and asks about the possibility of running ballistics on the gun. “This better be hypothetical…” Stillman begins, but when a triumphant Vera and Kat come in bearing the weapon, he realizes it’s totally not. Poor Stillman. He puts up with a lot.
A little interrogation apparently smoothing the way, Scotty and Lilly kiss and make up en route to New Jersey. Not literally, of course, although that might have been interesting to see, but Lil apologizes for dragging him into her mess, and Scotty apologizes for withholding information. Lilly then starts angsting about Christina, and Scotty points out they went through the same trauma as kids. Lil says that should’ve brought them closer, but it didn’t; she barely remembers a time when they got along. She reminisces about that day at the beach, saying their father came back for a weekend and took them. Chris thought they were going to be a family again, but Lil knew the truth: he wasn’t coming back. (To which I say, huh? Wouldn’t Chris have been a little young to even remember Paul? Oh, well).
Back in Philly, Stillman and Jeffries bring in Doherty for an interview. The ballistics are a definitive match. Predictably, Doherty blusters and threatens and wants his lawyer, but when Stillman figures out Doherty’s covering not for himself, but his son, Doherty softens. In a flashback, we see him asking his son, Matt, about some stains in the car; he insists his friend Ronnie got sick. Doherty, knowing there was more his son wasn’t telling him, buried the witness report, and insists that Matt’s turned his life around; he even has a child himself now. “Then maybe he’ll understand the hell he’s put Althea Johnson through,” is Jeffries’ scathing reply. Nice.
Kat and Vera take Ronnie in one room, while Stillman and Jeffries deal with Matt in the other. Through the two interviews, they’re able to piece together what happened. Ronnie knew Wanda, and when they saw her waiting after track practice, they offered her a ride, but had to make a stop first: the Badlands, to confront a drug dealer who cheated him. When they pulled out the gun, Wanda decided she wanted out, and as the boys grappled for the gun, it went off accidentally, gravely injuring Wanda, who died within moments. Matt tells Stillman and Jeffries that they dumped the body, cleaned up the car, and put the gun back where they found it. Though he lied to his father, Matt says his dad knew, and he’d always been waiting for this day to come. “So was Althea Johnson,” Jeffries replies.
Meanwhile, after finding and breaking into Cliff’s apartment, Lilly and Scotty find a badly injured Christina lying on a mattress. Barely coherent, she says she wants to leave Cliff, but she can’t walk, and she can’t leave “her.” She keeps referring to herself in the plural, and it’s not until after she helps Christina up off the mattress and into Scotty’s arms that Lilly realizes that Chris doesn’t have multiple personalities: nope, she has a baby. Congratulations, Lil! You’re an aunt! While Lil’s staring at the baby, Cliff comes back, and Lilly goes ballistic pistol-whipping him. You’d think she’d been taking lessons from Scotty or something. She then points the gun at him (“Lord help the mister who gets between me and my sister” indeed!), but Scotty implores her not to shoot, saying she doesn’t really want to do that. Listen to your partner, Lil; he knows that of which he speaks. Finally, she lowers the gun and leaves Cliff unconscious in the hallway while she goes off to rescue her new niece. The montage shows Matt and Jeffries meeting with Althea, the top brass looming menacingly at Doherty, Jeffries seeing Wanda, and Scotty driving Lil, Christina, and the baby back to Philly. It’s supposed to be a touching moment, but all I can think is, “You CANNOT drive 87 miles holding a baby in your arms, Lilly! Stop and buy a car seat, for crying out loud!!”
They really packed a lot into this episode, and I thought they did it pretty well, and with some stellar acting by Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino, and Thom Barry. I wish Jeffries’ case had been given its own episode without having to be sandwiched in amongst Lilly’s family drama, but the family drama was pretty well-done. I’m glad they brought Christina back in a semi-believable capacity, and I enjoyed watching Season 2 Redux, with Scotty and Lil fighting about her. For the sake of her daughter, I really hope Chris can get cleaned up and on the right path. This vicious cycle need not visit another generation. I hope this isn’t the series finale, but if it is, I think they’ve put together a pretty satisfying ending.
So that’s my TwoCents, but, as always, I want to know yours. Were you happy to see Christina? Were you surprised at the way Doherty wound up being involved in Wanda Johnson’s murder? If this is the finale, were you satisfied with how they wrapped things up? Leave your TwoCents in the Comments section!