Out of all the offenses committed within the walls of the LAPD’s Hollywood precinct — lying to suspects, drinking, getting superiors drunk, Shafe’s hair — maybe the worst is that Charmain isn’t allowed to run the place. She’s the only one who consistently cuts through the bureaucratic nonsense and makes things happen. Charmain found Louise Mitchell, identified the source of the formaldehyde on the drugs, prepped for an upcoming trial, and stuck it to her chauvinist bosses in the time it took everyone else to not notice Sam spiraling. She could probably help Sam too, if he asked. He really should ask.
But of course, Sam is too busy ignoring his problems by burying them in everyone else’s. When Rachel, one of the dancers at the Peach Pussycat, is arrested for marijuana possession, Sam agrees to a deal: She won’t go to jail if she writes down everything she saw after Jimmy was shot. He can’t act on that information as long as Shafe is undercover, but he can at least look into (or, more accurately, have Charmain look into) the hearse they used to dump Jimmy’s body. It’s a start. Given 1960s drug laws and the way his hands are tied, it might not be enough to warrant the pardon that he offers, but Sam is a gentleman like that.
Sam even lets Rachel stay at his place to lay low, and he says all of the right things when she tries to sleep with him. She doesn’t have to do this; she’s just spinning; he knows she’s an adult; he’s going to help her anyway. The next day, Sam returns home to find Rachel hosting a party in his living room. After kicking everyone out (“So that’s your drug paraphernalia that you brought over international borders? Groovy”), he tells her to use her head. Rachel isn’t technically in hiding; she can go back to work. She just needs an explanation for her absence. Rejecting the suggestion that he punch her in the face, Sam delivers Rachel to the Pussycat himself, claiming that she’s his girlfriend. With a kiss passionate enough to seal the alibi, Sam warns Lucille that he’ll be keeping an eye on things.
Back at the station, Shafe reopens the Raymond Novo case in the wake of Chris Wagner’s murder. Digging through unsolved violent home invasions, Sam and Shafe find a case with similar details, but the surviving victim is a superior court judge by the name of DeMurray who once held Sam in contempt. They bring him in anyway. While Sam tries to get the judge to open up, Shafe calls the gay bar’s bartender to the station. The bartender recognizes DeMurray, who never enters the bar but has been known to pick up men outside it, and that’s all Sam needs to convince DeMurray that it’s in his best interests to help. The judge provides a full description of the killer.
It’s all so level headed that for a moment there, Sam almost seems to be pulling himself out of his spiral. He isn’t. He’s just that much better at dealing with problems that don’t concern him. Unfortunately, plenty of problems concern him. Walt is tired of waiting to go public with what he knows about the war, but Sam can’t find a reporter who’s willing to release it anonymously. After what feels like his last trip to church for a while, Sam goes to the most connected man he knows — Ken — and strikes a much more dangerous deal than the one he struck with Rachel.
NEXT: You’re on Candid Camera