Reconvo: The Mysteries of Laura S1 Ep. 5 The Mystery of the Terminal Tennant

by L.T. Milroy and Veruca Salt

This week, Laura decides to get away from it all while never leaving town. Any time someone else is looking after those little terrors of hers, it’s a vacation. No kids, just lots of unhealthy food, magazines, a comfy bed, and good music to dance to. Who can’t relate?

LT: An older, hausfrau-ish woman is walking through an apartment, calling for Mark. Something from his place is leaking down into hers. These situations never turn out well on these shows. It’s never just a leaky toilet or something. And it’s not this time. She finds a bathtub of water filled with blood and bones, and faints.

V: That was the first natural reaction I’ve seen when they have the whole person-discovering-the-body thing. Usually they just stand there and scream at the top of their lungs, which would not happen in real life.

LT: After the latest overnighter, Laura tells Jake she doesn’t want the kids to stay at his place any more. They always come home tired, unwashed, and occasionally, missing eyebrows. More evidence, as if any were needed, that Jake is a crappy father. Laura’s solution: he can stay with the kids at her house, while she stays in a hotel. This wouldn’t seem to solve much of anything, except that it gets Laura some alone time. Of which she intends to take full advantage.

V: Okay, wait. She should have said that the reason they should stay at her house was so the boys don’t sleep on dad’s lumpy couch and can be in their own beds, because the other stuff she mentioned, unwashed, tired, and missing eyebrows, can still happen at HER house.

LT: Exactly. All her so-called solution does is get her some time alone. Which I assume was the point. Can’t believe Jake doesn’t call her on it. Unless he’s too dim to figure it out.

V: I think he’s too douchey to figure it out. Also, also, how is Laura able to afford a big house, while her husband, the boss, is obviously in some crappy apartment? If the answer is, “Because he’s a bachelor,” then he really needs to lose joint custody of those kids, for purposely not having accommodations that are conducive to having not one, but two, kids sleep over. And if the answer is, “He doesn’t have the money,” then I go back to my original question. Does Laura come from a wealthy family???

Also, it’s nice of Jake to remind Laura why she ran as fast as her two legs could carry her, as he slurps his drink.

01 slurping

LT: Tub-bones guy is believed to be Mark, who lives in the apartment, but the cops can’t be sure it’s him, since the body has been dissolved in sulfuric acid. The apartment is so neat, it almost doesn’t look lived in.

03 neat room

LT: Tub-bones guy is believed to be Mark, who lives in the apartment, but the cops can’t be sure it’s him, since the body has been dissolved in sulfuric acid. The apartment is so neat, it almost doesn’t look lived in.

03 neat room

V: I had the same thought when Laura walked into his bedroom. Like it was being staged for a showing rather than someone actually living there.

Laura and Billy interview the downstairs neighbor, Lillian Greenberg.

04 mrs greenberg

She is SO cute! And I love how she says, “Hubba hubba” when she finds out Laura is Billy’s partner. Laura seems to get a huge kick out of her. Cute moment.

LT: She’s only too happy to gossip about Mark. She said he had always been a hermit who never went out.

V: The best moments are the Greenberg moments. She says the third unit is owned by a skanky trust fund girl who’s away all the time in Europe being a whore.

LT: She said Mark “must have gone through a lot of hand lotion”. Nice character observation. Recently, though, he’d gotten a girlfriend, Corrine, and had become a party animal. He hosted frequent noisy get-togethers.

V: Billy shows her a picture of the happy couple to verify it’s them, but Mrs. Greenberg has to get this close to identify the couple.

 05 looking at the picture

I have a suspicion her poor eyesight is going to come into play here. And ewww, according to the ME, he says techs came up with a bunch of DNA and fingerprints in the apartment, and his bed doesn’t pass the black light test, which I find odd, since as Laura keeps saying, that place is immaculate.

I really like the ME guy. I’m sure we’ve met him before, but he really made an impression on me here.

02 medical examiner

LT: Laura asks Mrs. Greenberg for a hit off her oxygen mask before she goes. Don’t bogart that fresh air, Laura.

06 a hit of oxygen

Back at the office, Max has reinforced the stereotype once again when he tells Jake he rearranged the office furniture according to feng shui.

V: But Jake is suspicious, and when he presses Max, he finds out the real reason is that Laura wanted her desk farther away from Jake. Because there isn’t anything feng shui about that setup.

Meredith says a print was found at the crime scene and was matched to a Carlo, who has lots of priors. Then Max shows he has other talents besides interior decoration by tracking Carlo via Tweet. At site. Bring cash. No cameras.

“Boom shaka laka” was Max’s way of notifying he found the tweet. And when he announces he’s going to find the IP address, Officer Pissyface tries to run back to her desk to do it, but Max beats her to the punch, thus getting…a pissy face.

07 pissyface

LT: The Tweet is traced to an apartment where Laura and Billy find a party going on, featuring lots of unattractive, hefty, shirtless guys.

V: Oh! And Laura gives my favorite quote my grandmother used to say. “There’s a lid for every pot.”

LT: Carlo is there and tries to ditch the cops but gets caught up.

08 can't squeeze through

He tells Laura he never heard of Mark. He does a lot of these parties through his Website, I was a little off. I’d guessed it was a bear party.

V: Carlo shows off a nice ankle bracelet to prove he’s been a good boy and only tried to escape because he was past curfew. But where was he going to go? He has an ankle bracelet. Anyway, he’s very high and mighty, until he finds out the address where they found his prints on the knife.

LT: Seems Mark rents out his place when he’s not there. Is that really a thing in NYC, renting out your apartment to strangers to have parties when you’re out of town? I know the cost of living there is crazy, but there’s got to be a better way.

V: Laura agrees with you. But maybe you should check out and find out!

LT: Max and Meredith do just that and find Mark’s page. He had eighty-four recent renters. Party animal, indeed. Someone named Cody Roberts was there during the weekend. They look for info on Cody but find that he has no ‘net presence, which, these days, is suspicious.

V: Max also finds it suspicious that he has a p0rn name.

LT: Laura and Billy are searching Mark’s apartment, when two people walk in: Mark and his girlfriend.

09 mark walks into his apartment

V: Yeah, imagine walking into your place and seeing this.

10 the cops are here

LT: They’ve been away all weekend. They only met Cody for a minute when he picked up the keys, but his girlfriend said he seemed like a nice guy. Mark doesn’t remember anything suspicious before he left on Friday, except he noticed a black Escalade parked across the street with a woman inside who seemed to be watching the block. He takes the cops to a drawer he leaves empty for the renters, and they find Cody’s clothes.

Jake is at Laura’s for the sleepover with the kids, who are dropped off by their friend Ethan’s mom. She and Jake flirt a little, and he invites her in for pizza. Ugh.

V: Did you catch where he tried to impress her by saying he was doing the laundry? And how she makes such a big deal about it, as if it’s unheard of in this day and age?

LT: She’s certainly easily impressed.

Laura and Billy go through Cody’s clothes. They find a flyer from Melody Buddies, a music class for moms and kids. A nine a.m. class is circled.

11 melody buddies

They plan to go the next morning, even though Laura apparently has some kind of creepy history with the Buddies and swore she’d never go back there.

Jake and Ethan’s mom, who’s named Nora, flirt some more. Jake tries to be charming. Yuck. Still don’t care.

V: I’ll take your yuck and double down on it. He lets her hold his badge, and she talks about how he saves lives, which he totally doesn’t. He sits on his ass while Laura saves lives. Then he ups his douche factor when he humble-brags about keeping the city safe for their kids.

LT: “Holding his badge?” Is that what they call it these days? Sounds more like what Mrs. Greenberg thought Mark did too much of!

Finally done with her day, Laura retires to the hotel for some serious alone time. And that can certainly be had here, because this room is beautiful. It looks to be a luxury suite in Manhattan. How much is this setting her back, exactly? Was this a choice of, stay in a hotel for a couple of nights or start a college fund for the kids? ‘Cause that’s a semester, right there.

V: She said it cost her 75,000 Duane Reade points. It’s a drugstore in New York. Part of the Walgreens company. I don’t know how that ties into getting a free hotel room, but there ya go. Last week she talked about a Groupon. This woman knows how to take care of herself, but I’m assuming she’s going more budget in the future, since it seems she used up all of her points for this one night.

LT: That’s assuming there will be any continuity. Never a guarantee on these kinds of shows. Ridiculous cost aside, this is a funny scene. Laura makes sure to indulge in all her favorite pleasures, eating junky food, lazing around on the bed.

V: Looks like she cleared out the mini bar. Billy will tell her later they charge you for that stuff. How does a grown woman not know this?

12 hotel mini bar

LT: She’s playing Donna Summer. Loud. Then after the junky food, she orders room service. And a foot massage.

V: Did you catch her having the Big O while it was going on?

LT: She also ordered an awesome-looking chocolate fountain. By that I mean she’s looking at it in awe. As would I.

13 chocolate

V: Me too!

LT: Laura is inserting ear plugs as she arrives at the nine a.m. Melody Buddies class. She chats up another mother, who is all too willing to talk.

V: Laura had spotted right off that she was agitated and fidgety. She says Cody had better get there soon, so she knew this wasn’t some mom watching her kid.

LT: She’s ‘crashing’, which is maybe why she just said something stupid to a total stranger.

V: Really. “Nothing a little Christy won’t cure.” At first Laura thinks it’s a friend of Cody’s, until the woman kind of whisper-hisses Crystal, to which Laura says loudly, “METH! OH!” Fake mom asks the newbie to keep it down.

LT: She says she can’t wait for Cody to get there. She’s going to have to wait longer, as Laura flashes her badge. Later at the station, she interviews meth woman.

V: In the beginning, she sounds very much like Laura did last week when she was trying to get into that rehab. All crazy eyes, talking about the diapers and such.

LT: She met Cody at class and liked him. She thought he was a nice guy, and even thought it was cute how he stuttered when he got worked up about something. He said he had something that would make it all go away and offered her a sample. Claimed all the moms are doing it.

V: Laura judges meth mom, but she’s touting all of the benefits of the stuff, like the weight loss, nothing bothering her, the constant euphoria. Yeah. Just that little part about how you’re sitting there looking like you might jump out of your skin if you don’t get a fix and how you need more and more just to keep up that nice feeling. Oh, and it can’t be cheap.

LT: She also says she once scored from his partner at a rollerblade place. Cody told her to ask for size 6 ¾ skates.

V: Ooh! A nod to Harry Potter?

LT: While she’s saying this, we see Meredith and Jake go to the place, and she rents skates.

V: I think it was just an excuse to get Meredith in a sports bra and spandex pants.

14 tight pants

LT: Works for me. It beats looking constipated all the time.

V: Once again, Jake’s nonchalant act is stellar, and he’s made in, like, two seconds.

LT: Jake chases the perp and keeps holding the ice cream he was eating while doing so, thus showing off his priorities.

V: I’m just impressed Jake is actually doing something besides being a douchebag and taking all of the credit for Laura’s hard work.

LT: The guy runs into a house, and Jake runs around back. Dealer is on the roof, throwing stuff off.  Jake spots him and tells him to come down then tells him to freeze, whenthere’s an explosion inside the house.

15 explosion

The aftermath for Jake makes me smile.

16 jake exploded

As Meredith cuffs him, the dealer says he’s relieved they’re cops. He was afraid they were Jimmy’s muscle. Jimmy is the supplier who had Tony killed, and Tony was working with the dealer, so dealer figured he was next. That led him to booby trap his house. Not a great plan, but he’s a meth dealer, not a Mensa member.

V: Jake’s condition continues to amuse me.

17 jake exploded 2

 Anyway, Mensa says Cody didn’t look like a dealer. No tats, etc., so the moms all felt safe around him. But Cody wanted to quit. Probably made TV/movie mistake number one: meeting with vicious killer to tell him in person you want out, rather than just disappearing. Mr. Intelligence never met Tony, but knows Cody picked up the liquid meth from a bodega downtown.

Laura and Billy are watching the bodega, where two guys walk out, one of them holding the liquid meth.

18 liquid heroin

They approach the two guys, and when Laura identifies herself, one of them slugs her and tries to run. The cops show up, and he’s arrested.

LT: At the station, the slugger apologizes to Laura. His name is Alejandro, and he’s an undercover DEA agent. He had to make the punch look real. Mission accomplished.

V: No kidding!

 19 shiner

LT: Jimmy is his target, and he heard there’s a shipment coming in tomorrow. That’s when he plans to make the bust he’s been setting up.

V: Laura gives him the frozen bag of veggies she was using on her face, for his own bruising, and he seems smitten.

20 alejandro

LT: He should be glad he didn’t get the maxi-pad Billy got a couple of episodes ago. Jake comes in to tell him he checked out, and it will be a joint NYPD/DEA bust. After Laura leaves, Alejandro inquires about her availability, to which Jake answers, “Don’t even think about it.”

Laura and her ex have the most screwed-up relationship. They’re not merely separated or living apart, they’re divorced. Legally no longer a couple. If they didn’t want to break up, they shouldn’t have taken the ring off it. But since they did, it’s perfectly all right for Laura to go out with Alejandro, who seems very nice. Except for that punch in the face, of course.

V: And Alejandro is adorable. Plus, the night before Jake was smooth-talking Ethan’s mom. It is a screwed-up relationship.

LT: With Laura still living it up at the hotel, hot-to-trot divorcee Nora stops by to see Jake. She does a little bitching about her ex then comes on to him.

Barf. Very subtle, honey.

V: Seriously! Especially when she twirls her pink thong and says, “For easy access.”  She’s a real winner!

22 easy access

V: Meanwhile, Laura is looking at pictures of the boys and feels all mushy about them, probably because she’s looking at pictures and not at them running around being hellions. So she frantically texts Jake to see how things are going.

21 text

LT: Surprisingly, Jake says he can’t in Laura’s house.

V: It was funny how he’s brushing her hair away from her face one moment, then is surprised when she takes it to the next level. That’s when Laura decides to call, and his phone rings. For some reason, those texts were silent, but the ringer is on? Okay. She wants to come home and get hugs, especially when Jake sounds weird and jumpy, but he convinces her to stay where she is and have a massage on him.

LT: There’s also the matter of the kids just upstairs within earshot, but Nora doesn’t appear concerned about that. And right on cue, one of those lovely kids comes downstairs. He asks why dad and Ethan’s mom were wrestling. Good thing dad kept his head, or the kid could have seen a whole lot more. Nora’s a dumbass, and she actually made Jake look like a good parent by comparison. Not an easy feat. Nor an honorable one.

V: Well, Jake doesn’t win parent of the year, yet. He convinces the kid Nora isn’t even there. That he’s mixing up his nights, and it’s all just a dream.

At the stakeout, Laura talks about all of the ways she’d like to torture Jimmy, because he sells meth to moms. Then when the bust goes down, a well-dressed lady tries to slip away, but Laura spots her.

23 jimmy

When asked later how she knew the kingpin was a queen, Laura says nobody but another woman would know to target the untapped stressed-out mom market. Well, only if you’re a mom and hang out with other moms, right? I mean, you could also be a single dad who hangs out with moms. Just because she’s a woman, doesn’t mean she knows what it’s like to be a mom or hangs out with moms, especially since she’s a meth dealer!

Since “Jimmy” has lawyered up, Laura can’t question her, but she can put her in a lineup and have Mark try to identify if she was the Escalade woman staking out the place.

LT: Laura brings Mark to the station, and he tells her how this whole experience has creeped him out, and how he can’t even stay in his own apartment anymore, knowing a murder was committed there. He gets all worked up and starts stuttering. You’ll remember that meth mom mentioned how Cody sometimes stuttered. What, you thought that little nugget of information was put out there with no purpose? Laura realizes she’s with Cody, who killed Mark and staged his own death.

V: That whole thing about how normal he looked, plus Mrs. Greenberg’s poor eyesight, also come into play. Cody and Mark look a lot alike. Mark was a hermit with no Internet footprint. The perfect victim. Except he had to sign up to do the whole apartment exchange. So that means he has a computer and wifi and knows how to get around. Ugh. Fine. Maybe they mean no social media or something. Not gonna sweat it.

LT: The cops decide to play with Cody’s head a bit. Laura has him take a quality control survey, which she says the department now requires they give to all witnesses. It includes personal questions about Mark, all of which he gets right. Even though Billy is ready to call him legit, Laura finds that suspicious, since some of the questions were so arcane, even Mark himself probably wouldn’t know the answers. Cody studied up, so he could pass as Mark. But they have to let Cody go for now, since he’s catching a plane.

V: They know he’s about to fly out, and they let him go? That’s taking a big risk. Also, also? I could tell you all of those questions off the top of my head. And I do remember my sixth-grade teacher.

LT: I wouldn’t have been able to answer half those questions. I would have failed as me. Or passed, I guess, by Laura’s logic.

V: Laura and Billy have a discussion about Corinne. Laura thinks she’s Cody’s real girlfriend and Mark’s fake one, so she could find out info on Mark. I was wondering how Cody could find out all of that info, what with Mark having no Internet presence. Billy thinks she’s just an innocent bystander. Let’s see who’s right!

LT: Max has tracked down a Dr. Chang, Mark’s dentist. The doctor is a bit on the goofy side.

V: Yeah. A little too much of his own laughing gas. Anyway, Laura is frustrated that Mark’s dental records don’t match the body soup in the tub, until she goes through the brochure and sees this:

23 corinne

Mark’s girlfriend, Corinne. Wow. Who would have guessed Laura would be right?

Mrs. Greenberg comes in looking for “Maureen O’Hara with a gun”

24 mrs greenberg again

She tells Laura her credit card was stolen.

Laura asks if Mark had a key to her apartment for emergencies, and when the cops check, they discover a card belonging to her was used to buy bus tickets to Boca. But he’s going from ATM to ATM taking out cash with the card to go on the run. They locate Cory and Corinne at a little convenience store, where they just took out more cash. They stupidly stand there looking suspicious and counting it.

25 counting the money

LT: Just because Jake turned down horndog Nora, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not in trouble. She calls him at work, and he says, “You left what at my ex-wife’s house?” He makes a surprise visit to Laura and the kids, bearing Chinese food.

V: Good thing, because it was going to be ketchup and pickle sandwiches. It’s a good thing she insisted all of them stay at her house, where they’re fed much better!

LT: But it’s not dinner on Jake’s mind. He looks around and digs between the couch cushions.

26 looking for undies

Then he hears his little monsters playing in the next room, and one says he’s the Pink Monster. The kids found Nora’s pink thong, and one of them has it on his head.

27 pink monster

Jake grabs it, and when the kid says Jake was playing with it in his dream, Jake says it was more of a nightmare and to forget about it. He seems relieved that he got away with it, and they all sit down to a family dinner. Whether he actually got away with it is yet to be determined.

V: Ew. She’d been wearing those undies, and look at the part that’s across the kid’s face!

I wonder if Nora or Alejandro will be back next week. I don’t mind if Mr. Hunky Undercover makes another appearance. He and Laura have possibilities. As for Ms. Skankythong, can’t Jake find a normal GF who isn’t an annoying ho-bag? Just a suggestion.

V: Alejandro, come sit by  me. I don’t have a dirtbag c-blocking ex-hubby.

Tune in next week to watch Laura’s ex block every interested admirer and try to win back Laura, who seems to be entirely over it.  Also watch him be a crappy dad who is only capable of bringing his family takeout food. Run, Laura, RUN!

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