Veruca Salt and L.T. Milroy
Enrico Colantoni is back! Those with a sharp memory will recall all the way back to the pilot episode when he was Laura’s original captain, Dan Hauser. It was just for that one ep, though, as he went rogue and killed the person he held responsible for his wife’s death. He’s now in prison after being arrested by Laura, but not before he tried to shoot her when she was closing in on him.
They go back a long way, as they were partners before he was promoted and became her boss. He’s the mentor mentioned in the title. So they have a complicated relationship.
And now, on with the reconvo!
LT: Ex-Captain Hauser is now cooling his heels in prison and out of the blue, gets in touch with Laura.
V: Dude! I forgot that he totally pulled the trigger on her and would have done it, but the gun was empty. Yeah, I can understand why she isn’t rushing to pick up the phone. It’s only Max’s puppy-dog eyes and the words “The Irish” that get Laura to take the call, albeit in a hostile manner.
Enrico Colantoni, who I’ve met in person and is one of the coolest humans, always brings the humanity and three dimensions to what could be a one-dimensional dirtbag. He’s all, “It’s been a year” like he borrowed her lawnmower and forgot to return it and wonders why she’d be upset over something so trivial.
LT: So he tried to kill her. So what? At some point she needs to get over that. Forgive and forget, right??
V: Ummm…yeah. Sure. I mean, what’s a little attempted murder between friends?
LT: Hauser gives her a lead on a cold case. He tells her where the bodies of two missing people are buried. They disappeared without a trace, and Laura believes they were killed by the Irish gangster Thomas Mullens, who is in prison with Hauser.
V: Ah, so that’s why “The Irish” made her pick up the phone for her former mentor and attempted murderer. And it’s so amazingly cool the way she’s able to put it aside and is still able to understand what he’s throwing down, when he speaks to her in code about a factory and calls it a deli. Apparently the bodies are buried in the basement.
But Laura, the COP, must have forgotten that prisons RECORD ALL CONVERSATIONS, and does not speak in code. Indeed, just says that the bodies are buried in the basement of the factory. Oh, Laura.
LT: She doesn’t yet want to tell Captain Queenie Santiani about the whole thing. She enlists Jake’s help and goes behind her back to investigate. I hate the way she does this, as when Queenie tries to get her to go out on a call, she fakes cramps to get out of it so she can go off on her own. She complains a bit, and then hints that maybe Queenie is too old to remember what it feels like. Hey, FU, Laura, with your ageist crap. And Debra Messing, you ain’t far off from all that yourself, so you’ll be able to speak from experience in a year or so, most likely, hon.
V: YES! The body at the Laundromat will have to be investigated by Billy and Meredith, as Laura’s “cramps” are causing her much pain, and I could have done without the convo about her and Queenie “syncing up.” Also, also, Laura insinuating that she’s nowhere near the age when menopause hits and Queenie is, made me laugh as well.
I also guess Jake won’t be missed, since Queenie doesn’t care what he does, as he goes off to be Laura’s willing lap dog once again. But his line about asking if he just got cramps, too, was kinda funny.
LT: Laura and Jake find the bodies in an old warehouse, where Hauser said they’d be.
V: They are Sarah Price and Gary West. They disappeared six years previous after an armored car was held up while carrying ten million bucks in unmarked bills it was taking to be destroyed. Sarah worked for “The Fed” where the money was being delivered and Gary Price drove the truck. Every other cop besides Laura thought it was an inside job. She thinks they were killed by Mullens and framed for it, because she didn’t think Sarah would risk it, since she had kids and wouldn’t leave them. I guess she doesn’t watch the Investigation Discovery channel.
LT: Laura tells Jake not to tell anyone, as Hauser’s safety may be compromised.
V: Jake has steam coming out of his ears when he finds out it’s Hauser who’s Laura’s CI and runs off the laundry list we’ve already gone over, about the murdering and the attempted murder of her, but when Laura gets on the case, that’s all she can focus on, and she will not be dissuaded. He’s flabbergasted that she trusts him.
I was TOTALLY on Jake’s side until, once again, he made it ALL ABOUT HIM. How he’s been groveling and scraping and being a good dad to his boys, as if that’s not already part of the dad description and what he should be doing anyway.
LT: Didn’t he refer to having the boys for the night as “babysitting” on an ep last season? Maybe he means his thinking has progressed from that. Sure hope so. “Babysitting” his own kids. That was incredibly lame.
V: Yes. It always cracks me up when parents say that. He also talks about the “Laura Diamond Code of Conduct” and about how she’s always throwing his past in his face if he violates it. Again, these are things he should be doing, whether he’s trying to be Mr. Laura Diamond again or not. Geez, give it a rest, Jake.
LT: Yes, Jake was in full-on whiny, self-pity mode this week. The two situations, Jake’s and Hauser’s, are totally different, as Laura points out, and she adds that maybe she’s trusting Hauser, but she hasn’t forgiven him.
V: As proof, when Laura visits Hauser in prison, he tries to treat her like an old friend, but she’s having none of it. She purchases pork rinds from the machine and gives them to him, but they give him the runs. She knows this. Happy birthday. He also has Band-Aids on his fingers he attributes to having paper cuts, and I’m sure this is not important at all.
LT: Later, Laura meets Jake at the bar and he wants to discuss the whole thing further, but she begs off, blaming being tired and having to pee. Very original. The next time someone wants to talk to me about something important, I’m just going to say I’m tired and have to pee. That should shut them up.
V: Jake tries to dance with Laura and still wants to talk about their “relationship” and his redemption, and MAKE IT STOP. She has no answer for him. If she means she doesn’t know why she can’t trust him again, fine. But as for their “relationship,” the answer is clearly FOOD TRUCK TONY, who is hotter and doesn’t cheat on her and cooks for her. There is no contest. If this show wants me to root for her and Jake while FTT is still in the picture, they are fighting an uphill battle. I don’t care how dang charming Josh Lucas is. And ew, the next morning the nanny notices how happy Laura is. Please don’t let it be because of Jake.
LT: That was gross. I’ve never understood the Jaura shipping, no matter how much the show tries to shove it down my throat. When she has FTT around, who worships her and cooks her awesome creations on a regular basis and treats her well and doesn’t screw around on her, why should Laura even consider going back to Jake? If they wanted to get Jaura back together, they shouldn’t have given the FTT option, which is a no-brainer.
And to take it even further, why did they have Laura and Jake get divorced in the first place? Since the moment those divorce papers were signed, they’ve been toying with the idea of making them a couple again. It comes up all of the time, and it’s something that constantly annoys me about this show. If they wanted Jaura as a couple, they shouldn’t have had them divorce and then have Laura find such a great new man. It’s annoying me. Did I mention that?
V: Join the club. Seriously. I think it was to add to the drama, but it’s just annoying. Yes, Josh Lucas is charming and adorable, but we know his character’s cheating past, and his need for instant forgiveness is just completely hair-pulling.
LT: In this season’s premier episode, it looked like they were totally setting up the return of Jaura and the exit of FTT, then the next ep opened with Laura and FTT in bed. So what the writers want in this area seems to vary from week to week. The next ep will probably open with Laura and FTT doing it in Vegas in the middle of the Strip. Then he won’t be mentioned for a couple of episodes. Just to keep us guessing.
V: I don’t want to guess. Jaura is over. Long live Taura.
Anyway, Jake walks into the house and turns on the TV to show Laura that Hauser escaped with Mullens.
LT: Laura and Jake search his cell, and Laura thinks he must have had some inside help from a guard.
V: Laura instinctively knows from a bunch of books he used to research filing his appeal, that Hauser is trying to redeem himself in her eyes. That he won’t run off to some island but will indeed deliver Mullens and the money directly to her, because Mullens was the one that got away.
LT: Her search is cut short when Capt. Queenie calls her back to the station. She knows all about Laura’s visit with Hauser and says she’s suspected of helping him escape. She confines Laura to desk duty and takes her badge and gun.’
V: But first Laura tells Max to run a background check on the guards, even though that’s a given when they’re hired.
I guess the power drill Laura bought to break into the warehouse is suspicious, because guess how Hauser escaped? Yes, I guess she baked the drill into a cake, because those things are really easy to slip to someone in prison. Unless, say, you have someone working for you on the inside, which I guess everyone is too busy with their heads up their butt to put together.
But Laura is convinced Hauser covered for them working together by making her look dirty.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, due to Max slipping Laura a tablet with the most likely FEMALE guards highlighted who might have succumbed to Hauser’s charms (rolls eyes), good ol’ Jake, still at Laura’s mercy, goes to interview them.
LT: The guards can be charmed pretty easily by Jake. Barf.
V: Well, I guess if you don’t know him… He immediately zeroes in on a buttoned-up, bunned-up guard named Vicky Lynn.
She coughs up the goods with little provocation. She says Hauser is innocent and calls him by his first name. It’s clear she’s in love with him. She didn’t know that Hauser would be escaping with that “animal” Mullens. In a nod to feminism, she breaks down and cries and admits she maybe slipped Hauser a few tools and that they were going to meet in Canada “once the coast was clear,” because yes, law enforcement would just stop looking for two convicted murderers, and nobody would think to look in Canada.
But of course, Hauser isn’t dumb enough to give his real destination, and Laura’s “What would you do if you won the lottery” game she used to play with Hauser pays off, because she knows he’d head to a fishing boat in sunny Mexico.
LT: There’s lots of unbelievable stuff, as Hauser left a trail of dodgy clues for Laura to follow. Among those is writing a lead on a wall in his own blood, which was erased, but he still knew would be discovered. Because he knows Laura is just that good.
V: Yeah. Remember those Band-Aids? Well, he’d told Laura it was due to paper cuts from investigating his case, but said he’d “hit a brick wall.” Spritz-spritz with luminal and VOILA! Charlie.
Charlie? Laura says it’s not a who but a where. Charlie sector, their old patrol route and where, coincidentally, Sarah and Gary have been stored all of these years. Laura has to give up this info in order to make Queenie believe her, and honest to God, the woman’s nostrils flare when she finds out.
Anyway, Mullens owns the warehouse, as well as another six buildings in Charlie sector, and that’s where the money must be hidden. For coming clean, Laura gets her badge and gun back and tries not to look smug while doing it.
After hitting all six buildings is a bust, Laura hears a call about a petty larceny in which a flashlight, trash bags and pork rinds were stolen. Hmmm…I think that’s another obvious clue. The next one comes to her in the back of the store where the items were stolen and underneath the toilet tank cover written in waterproof eyeliner is an actual address, so this might be over soon. Mullens’s mom owned the building and it was about to be torn down, which explains the urgency of the situation which led to the prison break.
Right after Laura promises Jake she won’t go in there alone, she immediately goes in there alone.
LT: Only when it looks like Hauser is done for. Mullens and Hauser are gathering the stash of money, and when the money transfer is complete, Mullens puts a gun on Hauser like he’s ready to get rid of him now that his usefulness has ended. When Mullens sees that Hauser means something to Laura, he grabs Hauser to use as a shield to make an escape.
V: Seems like Hauser wanted to make this a suicide by cop, but that ain’t going to happen.
LT: He tells Laura to go ahead and shoot, that it’s okay if she also kills him while trying to kill Mullens. Yikes. But then the detectives arrive, and Billy takes Mullens out from behind.
In the end, Hauser tells Laura he felt so bad about letting Laura down and trying to shoot her and all, that he was just trying to make it up to her.
Before he’s sent back to prison, Laura tells Hauser she’ll tell the district attorney that he only broke out of prison to help her get Mullens. Then Hauser gets weepy and tells her how much she meant to him and that she was his family and how his betrayal still haunts him. They cry a bit and hug.
V: AH! In what I can only describe as the Colantoni magic, I cried as well. Then the look of sheer relief on his face after he got back to his cell.
Such a great “show, don’t tell” moment. He’s so fantastic, and I like how they chose to revisit this. I will slam the show when it does things wrong, but this was done right.
LT: I like that they brought the character back this way. I remember watching the first episode way back when and being happy to see him, thinking that as Laura’s captain, he’d be a regular. Then they quickly had him turn to the dark side and he went to prison and off the show. This redeemed Hauser, a little bit. Who knows, we may see him again…
V: Gosh, I hope so. I can never get too much Colantoni.
LT: At episode’s end, Laura tells Jake she’s still working on forgiving him, but it will take some more time. Jake appears to believe he’s been in purgatory long enough and Laura should just forgive him and take him back, already. She’s trying to impress upon him that it’s a process and it will take as long as it’s going to take, but he’s rather slow to really understand that.
V: When she says she’s working on it, at least he says, “That’s all that I can ask,” so he redeemed himself from some of the earlier douchebaggery.
I really do feel they handled the personal stuff really well this week.
LT: No appearance by Food Truck Tony. But also no sign of the bratty kids, which is always a plus.
As for Billy and Bitchface, they’re apparently an item, something the show has alluded to this season but hasn’t spelled out. This week, it’s spelled out. Before Laura meets Jake at the bar, she comes across the pair doing tequila shots. Laura assumes they’re a couple, though they deny it. It looks like they’re trying to keep their relationship on the down low, even though BF grabbed and kissed Billy in front of everyone last season. Sooo, yeah, whatever, guys.
V: When Billy suggested she lick the salt off his neck, I thought that was really hot. It’s about time someone besides Laura had some fun. They were celebrating their solving of the Laundromat case in eight hours. They’re braggy and snappy about it, and Laura says she liked them better before they were a couple. They’re all, “Uh, NOPE! Not us!” But…yeah. Like you said, when she grabbed him and kissed him in front of everyone, she wasn’t exactly trying to be sneaky about it.
LT: After Billy shot Mullens at the warehouse, and the detectives moved in, BF had run toward Mullens, and Billy pushed her back. It looked like an instinctive gesture, but BF ain’t having none of that protective crap from another cop, not even her tequila partner. Didn’t we go through this with Robin and Belker on Hill Street Blues thirty years ago? In any case, she tells him afterward that it better not happen again. That’s when he calls her “my girl,” but she says she’s also his partner. She then tells him a bit heatedly that he has to knock it off, and he basically tells her she’s hot when she gets mad. Instead of making her angrier, that seems to turn her on.
V: The show this week is all about feminism, am I right? One step forward, two back.
LT: Why exactly are Billy and BF partners, anyway? It seemed unrealistic that Jake would be placed in Laura’s precinct as her captain, but making them partners is even more unbelievable. Weren’t Laura and Billy partners? It would make much more sense for Jake to be partnered with BF. What if things go wrong while Laura and Jake are on a case together, their kids could be orphaned in an instant. I don’t think any police department would put itself in danger of that happening.
V: Yeah, but where’s the DRAMZ in that?
So, that’s it, kiddies! What do you think of Hauser’s redemption? How about Laura not even mentioning Food Truck Tony? Will he magically show up next week? Will Laura ever forgive Jake, and if she does, will poor FTT be left out in the cold?
Stay tuned and find out!