L.T. Milroy and Veruca Salt
What do cappuccino machines, fancy designer dresses, arrogant fashion-world types, boney bitches who probably throw up their rice cakes, and office assistants who are really unpaid interns, all have in common? They’re on this week’s Mysteries of Laura, of course!
LT: Laura and Billy are on the scene of a street shooting. The victim is Tyler Cole, who was serving as a dog walker when he was shot. He still has valuables on him, so it’s not a robbery.
V: Also, I guess they’re trying for the whole role-reversal thing, where Billy notices the victim is in a nice, designer pea coat, and Laura makes a big show of not understanding what he said. Anyway, the importance of the coat is that he’s a dog walker, and it probably costs more than a couple of months’ worth of pay.
LT: It’s tea time at the station. Actually, it’s latte time, as that’s what Max has brought Jake. In a china cup, no less.
Jake has some bad news, though. Deputy comptroller Rita has noticed they have a cappuccino machine and says it’s not in the budget. But if they already have it, it’s paid for, right? It’s not like they’re renting it.
V: Someone approved that puppy already. It’s too late to get all heated up about it now. She should have spoken up when they put in the requisition. She’s the worst comptroller ever.
LT: The prospect of losing the machine makes Max pout, but Jake says not to worry as he picks up the phone, because he can sweet-talk Rita. Of course, he can’t. She just shouts at him and hangs up. This makes Jake look like a useless tool and makes Max pout some more.
V: As if we needed more evidence of Jake being a useless tool and overestimating his animal magnetism and, uh, natural charm. The way he’s all, “Listen and learn” before he picks up the phone, just made me want to vomit. I’m glad Rita handed back his tool.
LT: Laura and Billy search Tyler’s apartment. They find a lot of Tom Burke stuff, just like the pea coat he was wearing.
LT: The roommate comes home, and they break the news.
He says he hardly ever saw Tyler and that he worked as a design assistant for Tom Burke, who he worshipped. He was walking Burke’s dog when he was shot.
V:They had thought he was a designer and a law student, due to the drawings with a law book nearby, but Tyler’s roommate says he’s the law student, and Tyler used the roomie’s law books to flatten down his fabrics.
Nice, Tyler. Those books cost a fortune.
V: Twenty bucks says Tom was stealing Tyler’s designs. Gosh I hope I’m wrong, because that has been played out on at least 850 versions of Law & Order.
LT: They question Tom at his office. He seems shocked and says Tyler had worked there for eighteen months but kept to himself.
V: Funny, I thought he came off not at all douchey and was happy they didn’t go with the snooty artist stereotype, until Laura asks for some water at the end of the interview, and he kind of reaches behind him and snaps his fingers a couple of times, whereupon one of the harried female assistants goes to fetch Laura’s water. Only Laura snatches it herself, because she’s a big girl.
LT: As Tom is putting on his coat, Laura notices it’s the same coat Tyler was wearing and how much he looks like Tyler in it.
Since Tyler was walking Tom’s dog on Tom’s street wearing a Tom Burke coat, they tell Tom he can’t leave, and they think he may have been the intended target.
Laura asks Max to dig up all he can on Tyler. Meredith admires one of Burke’s purses, but Laura doesn’t think it’s all that impressive, leading Meredith to make a bitchy face and calls her a velcro mom.
V: It’s in reference to her shoes, that she insists are like walking on Wonder Bread.
LT: Jake questions Tom, who says he doesn’t have any enemies but mentions the model Natalie Marquez might be a bit pissed at him. Seems he screwed her over in a business deal and dumped her from his latest fashion campaign. Meredith looks up Natalie and finds she’s known for having a temper, which got her arrested once. And she’s in town for fashion week.
V: It really does seem like they’re trying to make Max into a character from Airplane when he hears the word brandish as he walks by and says, “I’m brandish on my mother’s side,” then disappears. I really hope they don’t make a habit of this.
LT: Laura and Billy go to a fashion show to talk to Natalie, who’s a self-involved jerk.
V: What is this with the freaking snapping thing? Is it to show a correlation between them? Hmmm…
Anyway, apparently Tom hasn’t heard orange is the new black. Because of his OCD, he banned them from wearing anything orange, drinking brown beverages, or saying fabulous. I can definitely get on board with the fabulous thing.
I think Billy got some drool on his collar. I guess it’s true what they say about men, because she seems Naomi Campbell levels of self-absorbed and bitchy.
LT: Natalie says she got off better than Alison Torres, the top fashion stylist in the industry, whom Tom likewise screwed. He gets around, evidently.
V: Laura notices Natalie wears a Fitbit around her wrist, which counts all of her steps, heart rate, sleep time, etc. It’s the only way she knows if she burned enough calories to earn lunch. Laura asks to see her phone where the info is stored and notices she was asleep during the time Tyler was shot.
So she may be bitchy, but she’s no longer a suspect.
LT: Also, nice ad for Fitbit.
V: Huh. Except for this, they’re not doing a great job at advertising it. I’d never heard of it and thought it was something made up for the show. And I’m a technology junkie.
Also, I take back what I said about Billy. He seems quite disenchanted after their little talk.
Laura gets a text message that her leftovers caused the babysitter food poisoning, and she has to take her kids to their respective sporting activities. She seems not at all concerned about the poor babysitter who’s probably throwing up her guts because of something Laura made. This means Billy gets to go interview Alison.
LT: I assume it’s the rebel chick babysitter. That’s what she gets for actually trying to relate to those kids. They probably put Play Doh in her food.
V: And wow, Jake sounds almost nice as he tells Laura he’ll not only cover for her but that he loves her salmon surprise. Someone is kissing butt today.
LT: Max looks longingly at the cappuccino machine as Jake apologizes.
He has one last idea to move some money around in order to save the precious machine and asks Max for a copy of the precinct budget.
Max: So you want an actual copy of the actual budget?
Jake: Yeah, is there a problem?
Jake and Billy visit Alison as she directs a fashion shoot.
She snarkily says she was at home with her Hitachi Magic Wand when Tyler was shot. Hee! I like her. She grudgingly answers their questions and says she didn’t like Tom but wouldn’t kill him. She finally tires of the inquisition and says “Bite me, cop” in answer to a question. A big guy walking up overhears.
He takes off but Billy tackles him, and they find he’s carrying the same kind of gun that killed Tyler.
Jake brings Tom to the station, and tells him that Alison’s bodyguard has been arrested.
V: Ooh. Douche factor goes up, due to sunglasses.
LT: Billy suggests Tom call off a charity event he’s hosting tonight, but he says it’s a big fashion week thing and must go on. Laura volunteers to go as part of a police detail. You know, because she’s so dedicated. Laura finds out it’s catered and vows to bring a doggy bag. Bring me one too, Laura. And don’t forget dessert.
V: Max finally comes up with the budget and gives it to Jake who is on hold with the city comptroller’s office. The recording says the wait is twenty-three minutes. Okay, is the woman who vetoed the coffeemaker in the same building? Because earlier, Jake was able to press like three buttons and get her on the phone right away.
Anyway, Jake comes out to Officer Pissy Face who remembers exactly when Jake was hired, due to her being able to remember weird things, namely that Laura introduced her to a ginger space alien.
LT: Later on at Laura’s place, Jake asks her why Max doesn’t show up in the budget anywhere. According to the paperwork, there ain’t no Max on the squad. But the question temporarily goes unanswered when they’re interrupted by the doorbell. It’s Tom, who has brought his ‘people’ along and lots of pricey dresses, so Laura will blend in at the gala.
V: Earlier at the station, she smelled herself and realized she needed to take a shower, yet she’s in exactly the same clothes when Tom arrives and doesn’t appear to take a shower before she tries on all of those very expensive dresses.
LT: You know, if you wear clothes long enough, they become fresh again. She tries on a bunch of dresses and finally settles on a hot little red number.
She looks rather good, which leads Jake to remind Tom to keep it professional. Ugh. So tired of his possessive BS. You’re divorced, buddy. Act like it.
Tom gives Laura one of his new purses to bring along. It’s brand new, isn’t available to the public yet, so Laura will have the honor of being seen with it first. I guess that’s a big deal. I don’t know, since my idea of fashion is a tank top and cargo pants. One problem: Laura’s gun won’t fit inside, so she has to improvise. She hikes up her dress and straps a holster to her leg,
V: Wow. They didn’t slo-mo that at all. They don’t have to keep reminding us that Debra Messing is beautiful and sexy. We know that, even when she’s wearing Velcro shoes.
LT: She says she can also ‘accessorize’. It sure gets the attention of the men in the room. Neat trick, but how accessible is the gun, all the way down there and under folds of expensive dress? Looks like it would take way too long to draw in an emergency, but I guess that’s why I’m not on the police force thinking that way, all practical and everything.
V: Seriously, if someone brandishes a gun, and she has to teeter over to a chair on the thin heels, put her foot on the chair, hike up her dress, open the holster, and procure her gun, won’t that sort of defeat the purpose of her wearing one?
LT: By the time she’s done with that process, they’ll be notifying the next of kin.
Max is packing up his desk.
When Meredith asks why, he won’t say, just that “A dark secret is about to emerge.” What a drama queen. He gives her a farewell letter and asks her to hand out letters to everyone else, because he can’t bear to say goodbye to them.
V: When asked why she’s the only one he can bear to say goodbye to in person, Max hems and haws and at last comes up with, “Because you’re so…approachable.”
LT: I suppose she’s warm, in an icy-wind-through-an-abandoned-old-factory kind of way. Then he hugs her.
And not surprisingly, she makes a face.
Later, Max stops by Laura’s place to talk with Jake. I guess he knew to go there since Jake is at Laura’s so often. It’s almost as if they’re still married.
V: To be fair, he says he was summoned by Jake and also mentions when he gets there that Jake texted him, but why Max thought Jake would invite him over to Laura’s place to do the firing and not, as he said, do it at the precinct where he’d be escorted out, should have tipped him off Jake wasn’t doing the summoning for a firing.
Jake sits Max in the most uncomfortable chair in the house then proceeds to interrogate him.
Jake says that according to the NYPD, Max doesn’t exist, to which Max makes some cute comments about actually existing, but Jake wants to know what Max and Laura cooked up.
Meanwhile, did you notice the book Jake is reading? And how he didn’t even give Max the common courtesy to look at him while he’s talking to him?
Jake, you take one step forward and two steps back, my friend.
Laura looks freaked out by all of the hubbub over some clothes.
LT: Inside, Tom introduces Laura to Gabriella.
She’s a good friend of Tom’s who is an anti-counterfeit specialist. Since designers are susceptible to being ripped off, it’s a matter very important to Tom.
Gabriella walks up to the buffet table as Laura is filling both her face and her purse. Gabriella tells her the purse is an original worth $12,000. My car isn’t worth that. It makes Laura do a spit take.
She feels guilty she’s been stuffing food into a twelve-thousand-dollar bag. Gabriella is happy that Laura’s actually eating and notes that no one at these fashion dos ever does. She says “These boney bitches are getting on my nerves,” and takes some food, admitting that she eats when she’s nervous. She also points out to Laura the finer points of the styling of Tom’s purse, and why it’s worth so much. Whatever. I’ll give you ten bucks for it, take it or leave it.
Laura suggests there might be something going on between them, but Gabriella says she and Tom are just friends.
V: When she asks about Laura’s relationship with him, Laura takes a note from Facebook and says, “It’s complicated.” Gabriella gives her some advice. She says not to get into a long-term relationship with him and calls him a greedy bastard who’s never satisfied. He always wants more.
LT: Tom leaves the gala and goes outside to the street, and Laura and Billy follow. Tom still can’t get over Tyler’s death. He says he feels guilty because if he hadn’t asked him to walk his dog, Tyler would be here right now. As he says this, a shot rings out and Tom falls.
Wow, give the show some shock points for that one. It came out of nowhere, and was totally unexpected and jarring.
V: It was.
LT: But it wasn’t a direct hit, and Tom is just wounded. Nonetheless, Alison is crying hysterically as he’s put in an ambulance, leading Laura to rule her out as a suspect.
Jake tells Laura to go home and relieve Max, who apparently took over babysitting duties when Jake had to go to the crime scene. Jake then says he knows about how Laura hired Max as an unpaid intern. As punishment, Jake suspends Laura for a day. Yeah, that’ll work.
V: Wait. I’m not getting the problem, here. They got a great employee who agreed to NOT TAKE MONEY for working there?
Of course, Laura is back at her desk the next day. Far from Wonder Bread Velcro shoes, she’s wearing stiletto boots and a nice outfit.
She’s also carrying a garment bag, which confuses me. Why bring that into work? Apparently all of her clothes were dirty, so she wore the swat, but that doesn’t explain why she had to wear the fancy boots with them. Laura’s the kind of gal who wouldn’t care.
Anyway, she immediately stomps into Jake’s office to extol the virtues of Max. How the department hadn’t always run as a well-oiled machine, until a fresh-faced man-child appeared who only wanted to help and didn’t need to get paid, because his parents are loaded.
LT: He can live without a salary in NYC? Wow, that must be some major family moolah.
Laura looks at a Burke bag knock-off they found at Tyler’s apartment.
Laura explains the differences between it and an authentic bag, after her crash course from Gabriella the night before.
They wonder why Tyler would have a counterfeit when Tom was so against it. Laura says she’ll go with Billy to Canal Street, where street vendors sell this kind of stuff, to check it out. Since Laura is Velcro mom, Meredith says she’ll go instead.
Meredith comes across a counterfeit bag and haggles with the vendor.
Then she badges him, and he gives up his supplier and the address of a warehouse. It’s more of a sweatshop, turning out counterfeit purses. Sketches of Tom’s new bag are also found on the premises.
V: I like the way Pissyface snags one. But they don’t have a warrant, so they can’t do squat.
LT: Tom is brought back in for questioning, along with his matching black sling.
He says Tyler wasn’t involved in the designing of the bag. Billy shows him the pilfered sketches and says the knock-offs were produced before Laura went public with the bag at the gala. It’s looking like Tyler was stealing design information, and maybe he was the intended target after all.
V: But they made a huge error when they notified Tom they were getting a search warrant for the sweat shop. Alarms when off in my head.
LT: As they watch security videos from the gala, Billy and Sourpuss notice someone they’d seen at the sweat shop. The cops go back and raid the sweatshop, but it’s gone. It’s apparently a mobile operation, and has bugged out.
Laura and Billy talk to Gabriella about the counterfeits, but she basically blows them off.
V: Notice how Laura has a baggy sweatshirt over the designer duds? Clearly she doesn’t care, so again, those spike-heeled boots made no sense.
LT: Gabriella doesn’t say much and is eating the whole time, which leads Laura to recall her saying she eats when she’s nervous. Why would talking to the cops about this make her nervous? Hmmm. She can’t seem to get them to leave fast enough. As they’re going, they spot a shipment of crates arriving, and helping to unload is a guy they saw at the sweatshop.
V: Billy approaches him, but ‘Mr. Clean’ took an extra dose of stupid this morning. He takes one look at the well-built cop and shoves him into some boxes. Yeah, add assaulting a police officer to your list of offenses. I’m sure that’ll make everything easier.
Laura opens one of the crates, and it’s full of knock-off purses.
Jake says they need to link Gabby and Tyler. Billy says they’ll toss Tyler’s apartment again.
Max takes Jake into the break room to let him know the comptroller has a major chocolate habit, and maybe Jake should gift her some good chocolate.
At Tyler’s apartment, Laura realizes the book Tyler had chosen to weigh down his fabric was one of the lightest ones in the bunch. It was on intellectual property. And Tyler highlighted it. His roommate’s very expensive book. Tyler, my friend, it’s good you’re dead, because your roomie would kill you right about now. Anyway, the theory now is that Tyler felt guilty for helping them do the knock-offs and was going to blow the whistle.
LT: However, Max looks into the budget at the sweatshop and finds it was transferring $250,000 a month into Tom’s account, not Tyler’s.
Laura shows up backstage at Tom’s fashion show.
V: She drinks brown liquid, purposely spills it, and says fabulous just to irritate Tom. It works. Heh.
LT: He’s kind of rude and tries to get rid of her, but she tells him about how they’ve figured out Tyler wasn’t helping them. Tom stole Tyler’s sketches and made knock-offs, Tyler threatened to expose him and Gabby, and Tom got him out of the way.
V: I knew it! Twenty bucks for me! Tom does the “You’ll never be able to prove that,” but I guess they threw food at Gabby, and she’s singing like a bird.
LT: Then Laura makes a nice public arrest of Tom. She trips him on the runway.
And Billy gets a lapful of supermodel.
V: Oh, nice. Without Laura’s permission, Billy gives Officer Pissyface the 12k purse. Of course, she has to dump out the food first.
And yes, this is more like it for Laura’s shoes.
Also, Laura totally bluffed Tom about Gabby’s confession, so now he’s the one singing. And apparently the shooter was supposed to miss Tom, but Gabby wanted to make it more convincing.
Laura notices the cappuccino maker is gone and does a little happy dance as she talks about karma, until she sees Max is still there, and Jake explains he traded in the cappuccino maker for him. Jake figured rather than just sending her a pound of chocolate, a mochaccino every morning would be even better. So, she gets a cappuccino maker, and they get to keep Max. That was almost…nice, Jake. Stop it. Do something douchey again.
LT: Laura is a little pissed that Jake actually did the right thing and says it’s even more maddening than when he behaves like a dirtbag. Jake says that’s how he keeps things interesting. That old saw about how even a broken clock is right twice a day comes to mind. Jake will occasionally, if even by default, do the right thing. But the vast majority of the time? Huge tool.
V: Amen, sister.
The Quote of the Week comes from Laura, after Gabriella tells her what the purse is worth: “For $12,000 it better pick up the kids, do the dishes, and let me finish first.”
Maybe she can borrow Alison’s Hitachi Magic Wand.
So ends another Laura mystery. I have to say, this show is growing on me week after week. I hope it sticks around. No kids this episode. That’s a plus. And officer Pissyface is lowering her pissyface quotient. Let’s hope the trend continues.