Season 4, Episode 11 "A Thousand Deaths"  

Air date:  5-31-05

So they sort of answered the question, but really haven't.  We found the cop killers, though I'm a little fuzzy on exactly how that worked after four viewings.  Some special guest actor as a random uni got to accidentally pick up the cop killer running from somewhere around the house where his family was being held hostage.  How exactly they got his name to know to go looking for his sister remains a little blurry.  And where was he?  He was not apparently in the house.

The Strike Team busting into the house made for some good "action," what with bullets flying, and such.  For flinching on the polygraph deal, Army was certainly effective under fire, carrying the girl out to safety through the gunplay.  Most of all, the scene climaxed with the re-bonding moment where Lem shoots the Russian perp just as he was getting ready to blast unsuspecting Shane.

The important thing, though, was the killer's confession.  This striking looking bald black man, with his musical sounding accent quietly narrating exactly how he and the now dead partner lured and killed poor Carl and Scooby- that was some pretty cold drama.  Spooky.

But who put them up to it?  This one doesn't seem to even know, saying that it was the dead partner who had made the contacts and the deals.

His family was being held hostage by some Russians, but what was their interest here?  These two low level unis were specifically targeted, but why?  There was business about Carl having put one of the Russians in jail overnight on a speeding ticket, but that doesn't seem like it would explain something this drastic.

As far as Russians, the obvious one with whom there has been ass tangling would be the cab king busted in the garage sting early in the season.  But why would his people be sending out a hit with names and pictures specifically of Carl and Scooby?  To best knowledge, they had nothing to do with his arrest.


Shane also generated a pretty good moment of re-bonding with Ronnie and Lem with his polygraph pep talk to Army.  He emphasized how much the team had put themselves on the line to get the two of them off Antwon's hook, and how it was just purely loyalty to the team.  They both have to come through to clear the whole team now- no ifs, ands, or "bros."


There's a big theme running here the last couple of weeks about figuring out whether Carl and Scooby's murders were gang payback for the asset seizure program.  Indeed, the assistant police chief sandbags Rawling during a meeting with some useful idiot true believers in Antwon.  He assured them that the department was not interested in supporting a policy that got officers killed.

It seems unlikely that a police department would say anything like this.  If the bad guys kill a couple of your officers in retaliation for new policy, then the cops back off?  OK, you win.


We also get further insight into the incentivization at work.  David Aceveda's better angels had him trying to find room to support the captain in this crisis, particularly as he was the one who personally discovered the cops' mutilated bodies.  He offered to actually support her seizure policy- if only she would compromise to the extent of having the seized funds held in escrow until the defendent actually gets convicted of something.  This seems only fair.

No, however, was Captain Rawling's answer- that is unacceptable.  That would mean keeping money tied up for years, instead of going back into the community, ie into her fat police budget that was built counting on those funds.  No, she can't accept David's condition of support.  She'll just have to take her chances solo.


They got a nice bit of comedy from nervous Shane in the pre-credits sequence.  Taking a practice polygraph test from Smitty, the machine busted him for lying when asked if he had ever been unfaithful to his wife.  This resulted in a sly grin from ol' Vic- and Shane's classic defensive reply, "Eatin' ain't cheatin'."   I presume he would likewise have no objection if the missus was doing some fellating on the side.


This is way the most interesting thing they've done with Detective Billings.  On first watching, he just seemed like such a wussy.  Not so much for not intervening in the shooting, but in his handling later.  He phoned in an anonymous tip of a murder/carjacking he witnessed, and begged and pleaded with Dutch and Claudette not to have to come forth publicly when they figured it out.  You could see his point in the first place real clear.  Uber-cops like Vic or Lem might have waded alone into a couple of bangers alone.  A mere mortal might well hide under the bed.

Not intervening in the first place is pretty understandable, but pleading pitifully for anonymity took a little more to accept.  Nonetheless, the more you consider Billings' voiced fear of showing weakness in the station, the more sense it makes.  Consider the examples he provides, and then think about other stuff Dutch has had put on him.  Billings fear becomes pretty understandable, if no less pathetic.





They disappointed me with the apparent denouement of the Dutch/Corrine romance.  However, I'm not sure how much of that is artistic disappointment in the construction and execution, versus how much of it is disappointment with the characters.

Basically, Corrine gently told Vic that she was seeing Dutch, and Vic predictably reacted badly.  He insisted that Dutch was just dating her in order to get at him, because he hates him so bad.  For just that, Corrine turned on Dutch, and ran him off.

For starters, she was, in a quiet way, hysterical in talking to Dutch.  Why, how could she even trust him around her children?  Oh, come on sister, get a grip.

Dutch didn't help his own cause, however.  Dutch shouldn't have admitted to even a little bit of mixed thoughts like that.  Hey, he was interested in a hot chick. Leave it at that.  

Also, note Vic's cheesy little display of intimidation, where he confronts Shane in the bathroom.  He says something like "I hope you've thought this through."  What was that supposed to even mean?  Most importantly, though, cornering him in the bathroom gave Vic the opportunity to literally whip out his weiner.  This has been a long time favorite Vic argument tactic.  

Somehow, Dutch seems to once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Hey, low social status Dutch did the bully's wife.  Besides being the mother of his children, Corrine and Vic are still married.  For good motivation or bad, Dutch cuckolded big, bad Vic.  He's been there, even if he never gets back.  By all rights, word of this should get out on the floor, significantly improving Dutch's social ranking.  I bet it don't happen, though.

In any case, Vic and Corrine seem destined to eventually re-unite.  "He's MY asshole" Corrine angrily asserts.  They've been separated for something like three years- yet never divorced.


They made really good dramatic use of Army here, in what looks like it could be his last appearance.  Basically, he failed the gut check for being part of the team.  That is, he refused to take the departmental polygraph regarding his involvement with Antwon.  It makes great emotional sense that this new guy flinched.  Logically though, it seems like he should have just thrown the dice, exactly because of the reasoning he gave Rawling for not doing it.  If he passes, it's all good.  If he fails, it's not admissable in court anyway.

Captain Rawling had a good scene here as well.  Note the very careful control she exerts on his refusal, trying to reason with him or appeal to loyalty.  It was nicely played, after Army had left, and Shane started to try to smooth things over, the way Rawling lost her temper for just a couple of seconds.  The way she shouted "It's too late now" was considerably louder and harsher than anything else she's said during her entire run.

Now, of course, everyone hates Army, cause he's really made them all look guilty.  That they really ARE in different ways guilty of wrongdoing with Antwon only makes it worse.

Vic made one of his classic cool moves in figuring out to just let this go.  The Strike Team has gotten pulled back together by gravity, and this was as good a time as any for Army to bail.  "There's no reason we can't part as friends."  Good call.

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