Holder and Linden investigate a motel, Seward makes a friend (whom Becker uses against him), Twitch's dreams -- and chiseled cheekbones -- are shattered, and Kallie's mom is more connected to the case than we thought
After discovering Kallie was the latest star in the local sex tape racket, Holder and Linden called in Bullet to watch in hopes that she might have some ideas. She flinched when they asked her to confirm whether Goldie was the disembodied voice. She did offer one clue, saying she’d given it Kallie a blue ring she was wearing in the video just three days before. With a timeline taking shape, Holder and Linden secured a search warrant for the 7 Star Motel, where Kallie was last seen.
While the squad busted down the doors one by one, Linden noticed the motel manager Mama Dips looking skittish. They forced their way behind the counter and pressed a button that buzzed them into a hidden room — the very same room from the porn tape. It was empty save for a blue teddy bear in an underground space that seemed just about the right size for a baby hooker.
Elsewhere, Becker and Henderson escorted Seward, now one chest bandage the richer, back to his cell from the hospital ward. Becker scoffed that Seward would have to try a lot harder to get out of prison, but Seward’s death rowmate — whose name we learned is Hill — said Seward (or “Spartacus,” as Hill was now calling Seward) cut out the “A” tattoo so the guards wouldn’t have anything to hold over him. Seward remained characteristically quiet.
The SPD techs were unable to match the voice in the video to Goldie, but Linden didn’t think it was him anyway. Even though Kallie was at the motel the night she went missing, the detectives hadn’t found anything linking her case to the serial killings (not to mention that there wasn’t technically a case since her worthless mom wouldn’t declare her missing), and none of the girls from the bog had appeared in the porn tapes they found at Goldie’s house.
Linden deferred to Holder when it came time to question Mama Dips. Lucky for Linden, that meant she got to sit in the observation room with Reddick as he groused about being woken up “in the middle of the night for B.S.” and let rip a stream of passive-aggressive digs about her. In the interrogation room, Mama Dips claimed the (obviously male) voice on the tape had been hers, deadpanning, “I’m a heavy smoker.” Holder doubted that she was finding and overpowering teen girls to “get her rocks off” taping pornos, but she smirked, “I’m a modern woman. I do it all.”
Given Mama Dips’ stonewalling, the three detectives regrouped to plan their next tack. Linden wanted to try again with Kallie’s mom, but Reddick said it’d be useless and advised they requisition Goldie’s juvie records. After Linden headed out, Reddick snarked to Holder that he’d forgotten more murder convictions than she’d made in six years. Holder said blankly, “Well you’re a lot — a lot — older.”
NEXT: Kallie’s mom is the worst
The next morning, Holder found Bullet asleep on a bench in the SPD, still waiting for news on Kallie. They exchanged jabs about Holder’s breakfast of carrots and soda (Bullet likened Holder to “some big, hairless, albino Bugs Bunny”). Before she left, we learned Bullet is drug-free and has a deep knowledge about rabbits from her old boarding school… or something.
Elsewhere, as Reddick had predicted, Ms. Leeds was steadfastly apathetic, even calling her daughter’s prostitution “just a phase.” She said she needed to go to work, so Linden stopped being polite and ordered her to sit down to watch Kallie’s tape. Ms. Leeds put on a stoic front even as she nervously chewed her nails. Linden was met with silence after asking about Goldie, but she did admit she’d locked Kallie out a few nights back because she had a man over. With that rare, tacit acknowledgment that she was basically responsible for whatever horrible thing had happened to her daughter, she once again claimed she had to go to work. As she left, the camera zoomed in on Kallie’s terrified face on the paused tape.
Elsewhere, Lyric watched Twitch get into a car with his parole officer, who said Twitch’s urine test had come back dirty. Twitch panicked that he wouldn’t be able to go to L.A., so the officer channeled Nils Bjurman, unzipped his fly, and told Twitch to get in the back and take off his pants. Twitch: “Whoa. I don’t do that. I’m not gay.” Bjurman 2.0: “Neither am I.” A bit later, Twitch returned to his abandoned hotel squat to numb the pain with heroin. Bullet arrived and, not knowing they now had several things in common, started chewing out Twitch for using Lyric’s money for dope. Twitch stormed out, already jonesing for another fix.
Prison. Henderson delivered Seward’s antibiotics. The inmate lackadaisically picked up the paper cup and tossed the dose into his toilet. Henderson walked away frustrated and muttering about Seward getting an infection. This tickled Hill, who began regaling absolutely no one about that time he had green pus coming out of his ear. Bless Seward, he’d finally had enough. He said they were both sentenced to death — guilty or not — but noted that he knew Hill wasn’t innocent because he would never STFU (a.k.a. The Kid doth protest too much). Hill insisted he had hope, and Seward countered, “Hope’s the same as faith. That bitch’ll kill you faster than this place will.” Hill was silent.
SPD meeting. After Linden and Holder gave an update to Skinner, Holder’s girlfriend Caroline interjected on behalf of the District Attorney that the legal team was focusing on Mama Dips and urged the cops to cut the pimps and johns loose. Reddick chimed in from Goldie’s juvie file with a couple of interesting facts: 1.) Goldie’s given name is Sheldon(!) and 2.) When he was 15, he raped an 11-year-old girl by threatening to cut her throat from ear to ear. Sound familiar? And yet, there was still no evidence connecting Goldie and the vics.
As the meeting adjourned, an officer delivered screengrabs of the sex tapes to Linden, reporting that none of the girls matched up with the victims from the bog. Or did they? Linden took another look and quickly singled out an African-American girl. Though she had a scarf over her hair in her head shot, when they pulled out the DVD of her tape, it was indeed the same girl. Linden wanted to check with Vice for leads. Reddick interrupted to announce that Goldie was on the move, and Holder headed out with him.
As the guys waited for Goldie, Holder told Reddick to ease up on Linden. Reddick once more belittled her experience and warned Holder not to put his career in Linden’s hands. Holder didn’t have much time to mull that over because Goldie sped by in some sort of cheeseball Trans-Am-type car with a girl in his passenger seat. He headed to a dump site filled with TV crews from all over the city, who broadcast as he claimed innocence and drew attention to Kallie’s case. Let’s just suspend the disbelief that some cracked-out low-life like Goldie could really convince TV stations to dedicate all those resources to this impromptu “press conference” and get to the point: his actions will certainly be a huge headache for the SPD.
Meanwhile, with the news in the background, Kallie’s mom received a phone call from her boyfriend (or whatever). She flirt-whined that she’d waited up the night before. From the her smile and giggle, he apparently promised to make it up to her that night.
NEXT: Kallie’s mom is seriously the worst
Linden checked in with a Vice detective, who pointed her to a girl named Tiffany. Now out of the game, with a toddler and another baby on the way, Tiffany told Linden that her experience taping the porn wasn’t particularly traumatic, that the videographer had let her stay overnight and had shared fast food with her. Ah, modern romance…
Meanwhile, Hill was chatting away as Seward did some tricep reps. Hill wondered why Seward didn’t have more tats. Seward took off his shirt to show Hill his “tattoos” — a collection of scars from the Mexican Mafia and the Black Guerillas, plus a very special one from his father, who had taken a baseball to Seward’s skull when the 16-year-old was sentenced to his first stint in prison and warned him not to be someone’s bitch because Li’l Sew should “Go in a man, come out a man.” Hill asked, “How’s that working out for you?” Seward laughed, and it seemed the tension had broken. But I suspect there’s plenty of psychotic behavior in store.
Though not from Seward in the immediate future. Indeed, Becker had apparently become jealous over the inmates’ bromance. While he schemed to break up the new BFFs, he invited Henderson over to his house for a beer so the newbie wouldn’t have to — God forbid — go home to his wife and baby. As they say, that’s what (misanthropic, creepy, utterly ill-intentioned) friends are for!
Turns out Becker has a pretty wife and a teen son. While he went to fetch a case of brewskies, Mrs. Becker told Henderson of her loneliness during Becker’s double shifts, confirmed that Becker is generally a miserable person to be around, and basically said a lot of things that made Henderson even more uncomfortable and guilty not to be with his own family. Becker returned and casually called out Henderson for lying that Seward had taken his medication. Safe to say, Becker probably wasn’t looking out for the inmate’s health so much as calculating how he could use the situation in his sadistic scheme to ruin the very short remainder of Seward’s life.
Inner city. Twitch dragged Bullet to a park to score despite her clearly stated anxiety about the park being the turf of some guy named Tank. Things went from bad to worse when Tank called Twitch a queer, prompting Twitch to puff out his chest and barrel over. Tank unleashed his pack of punks on Twitch — who probably couldn’t handle himself in a fight against Bullet, if we’re being honest. Bullet carried a Twitch back to the abandoned hotel as he blubbered that he’d never make it to L.A. now. (Say it with me now: “I’m a monster!“) Lyric offered to get bandages and popsicles for Twitch’s lip; all he could sniffle out was, “I don’t like orange.” Then, in front of Bullet, he kissed Lyric with his gross, bloody face and pulled her into bed with him.
Back at the SPD, Skinner laid into the detectives for letting Goldie hijack the investigation and give the serial killer a moniker (“The Pied Piper”). Reddick rightly pointed out that it was Skinner who had issued the order to release Goldie. With the pimp back behind bars and the case at an impasse, Linden told Holder she thought Tiffany knew more than she was letting on and asked if he’d join her for more questioning. Reddick peppered their entire conversation with criticisms and imperious “suggestions” until Linden finally had enough and snapped, “Carl, why are you still here? What are you doing here? I mean really. Haven’t you ever wondered why you never made Sergeant? Because 23 years of experience, and all you are is in the way.” BOOM. Linden walked out, Holder stifled a smile, and Reddick said pissily, “I’m talking to Skinner about her. She’s gone 5150 on us.” A lot of good that’ll do him. Linden eats 5150s for breakfast.
Holder joined Linden outside, and they headed to Tiffany’s house. Since Linden was getting a taste for truth bombs, she told the girl she hadn’t been special — that the fast food, compliments, and the night in the motel were all part of the perp’s M.O. When Tiffany wouldn’t give, Linden laid it on thicker: “It’s too bad you’ve gotten old and pregnant. What would he think if he saw you now?” Holder stepped in to play good cop, complimenting Tiffany’s sexy body and soothing her insecurities before asking why Tiffany would want to protect a man who’d taken her innocence and dumped her. The camera lingered as Holder’s charm offensive sunk in.
Back in the pokey, Becker was ready to execute his evil plan. He marched to Seward’s cell with four guards in tow and told the prisoner to take his meds. Seward tossed the pill into his mouth and, no surprise, spat it back at Becker. The punishment? Becker ordered the guards to hold Hill while he pummeled Seward’s new BFF in front of him. After the nightstick came out, Seward relented and took the pill, though I suspect it was a strategic move rather than a show of humanity or solidarity. Hill insisted he could have taken more, that Seward shouldn’t have let the officers win. Seward said flatly, “They won a long time ago.”
Back at the SPD, Linden and Holder shared talk small and big while they waited the computer search for a guy named Mills that Tiffany must have dimed on. Linden said she probably couldn’t help Holder become Sergeant, and he noted they were running out of time to link the serial killings to Trisha Seward. She casually asked about Holder and Caroline, and he teased, “You jealous?” Suddenly the results came through, and they were mixed: Mills had been in the detectives’ custody thanks to the motel raid — but they’d cut him loose six hours ago.
And where had Mills gone? To Kallie’s mom’s house, of course.