This review contains spoilers.
2.5 Dead Head
This episode opens with Chance and Winston sitting at a cafe waiting for an anonymous client to show up. When a car bomb explodes in the cafe’s car park and they save the driver from the car, the team have found their new client. After him to the hospital, they find that he now has amnesia.
A John Doe (Roger Bart), or J.D. as Ames labels him, is signed out to the custody of Ilsa without her knowledge and this brings the police knocking. In particular, a Lieutenant Broward (Nick Chinlund) who, it quickly comes apparent, has a history with Winston. Winston informs the team that he’s a dirty cop and is, in fact, the reason why Winston isn’t a cop anymore.
A trip to the motel that J.D. was staying at reveals a key, while Guerrero has a look at the remains of the car bomb. While on the phone with Guerrero, Chance notices a biker gang with guns entering the motel, presumably coming for J.D. With the combination of a shotgun and a Molotov cocktail, Chance and Winston take care of the gang just before Broward shows up and takes J.D. into protective custody. Guerrero has a ‘conversation’ with an old friend who reveals that the gang were actually hired to take out Chance and company. This leads to Chance, Winston and Ames capturing J.D. from Broward’s car just after he’s told J.D. he’s going to kill him.
Some of Broward’s dirty cops show up at the office to kidnap Ilsa, but she’s already made her escape, leaving the whole team as fugitives. While Ilsa is being picked up by Guerrero, the team figures out that the key they found is for a self storage locker, which happens to contain a van full of cash along with an ID showing J.D.’s real name is David Jarecki. Guerrero reveals that Jarecki is one of the best money launderers on the West Coast and we also learn that Jarecki has a photographic memory. That could come in handy.
Winston and Chance take a trip to see Winston’s ex-wife, Michelle (Tracie Thoms). Michelle still lives in the house they shared and still has all of his old case details in her home. While having a look through these, Winston remembers that Broward has an offshore account and they decide that’s the best way to get him.
The team come up with a plan that begins with Ilsa transferring two million dollars to a holding account, before Chance and Jarecki head into the police station and try to trick Lt. Broward into giving them his offshore account number. After Broward threatens Jarecki, he reveals the existence of the storage unit full of money, leaving Chance to take care of several police officers. At the storage unit, just before Broward has a chance to shoot, Winston shows up to get his revenge. It turns out Jarecki’s photographic memory is all the evidence they need to convict Broward. Who’d have thought!
Chance and Ames reveal to Jarecki that it was, in fact, him who planted the bomb in his car and that they think he was trying to fake his own death before he stole all that money. The episode ends with Winston visiting Michelle again to apologise for the way things went between them.
This was a very entertaining episode which focused mainly on Winston and Chi McBride was fantastic, taking the majority of the story here. His rapport with his ex-wife was excellent and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw her again. It was good getting to see his motivations for doing what he does.
Another standout point was the contribution of Roger Bart. He played David Jarecki with just enough vulnerability that you felt sorry for him, whereas he could have easily gone over the top.
Ames was back in this episode and had a few funny scenes, the best of which being when she crashed Guerrero’s car as a distraction, then put on her damsel in distress act. I also liked the Nightmare On Elm Street homage of her jacket. (For those of you who aren’t aware, Guerrero and Freddy are played by the same actor.) Even Ilsa’s contribution to this episode was good, although that may have been down to her sharing screen time with Guerrero. It was good seeing her opening her eyes to the way some people have to be. She’s even showing signs of understanding that the world isn’t all black and white.
Overall, it was a very good episode. Okay, the plot was never going to win any awards, but the performances in this episode were great and I really look forward to the season developing further.
Read our review of episode 4, The Return Of Baptiste, here.
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