503 Blowback

Please don’t forget to pay the debt …

Summary: A shooting in at an LA coffee shop leads the FBI into a web of intrigue inside the LAPD.

Original air date: October 17, 2008 (US)

Written by: Robert Port

Directed by: Dennis Smith

Opening numbers:

8: Dead bodies
3: Cops
1: File
2: Days after the murders

Family Concepts: (character development)

  • Charlie is working with the LAPD
  • Robin has an offer from a law firm in New York
  • Nikki is having problems adjusting to the FBI after working for the LAPD
  • Charlie has discovered he misses consulting on Don’s cases and he is a “crime junky”
  • Nikki has been on Don’s team four weeks, David has been with Don four years
  • Colby broke his leg at age ten
  • Colby’s inspiration to join the FBI was watching Gary Cooper in High Noon
  • Don is the supervisor for the FBI’s Violent Crimes squad

Episode Quotes:

  • Nikki: In the LAPD, you kill a cop that’s a priority.
    David: In the FBI, you kill eight people, they’re all a priority.
  • Don: Charlie’s back or I’m gone.

Episode Synopsis:

LAPD calls in the FBI to help with a shooting at a coffee shop that leaves eight people dead, including an LAPD detective.  LAPD thinks the shooting is part of a robbery however, no money or jewelry is taken.  While at the scene Don is surprised to see Charlie walk in; apparently Charlie now consults for LAPD as he only needs to pass a polygraph test.  Charlie offers to figure out where each of the eight victims was sitting at the time of the shooting, and John Schmidt the LAPD detective for the investigation is grateful for the help.

Agent McGowen is interviewing members of Don’s team, however it appears McGowen is more interested in Don’s tactics during various cases than whether or not Charlie should get his clearance reinstated.

Don is sent by his boss to talk to Kurt Young the head of a movie studio.  Young confesses Jerry Lowe, the police officer killed, was blackmailing him and Young wants the file Lowe had on him returned.  Don isn’t impressed with Young’s blustering, but wants to know how Young knew about the shooting before any press was released.

Nikki is focusing on Lowe thinking Young had him murdered because of the blackmail and she thinks Alvarez was the man Young hired to kill a police officer.  David has to remind her there are seven other victims and they are all just as important as Lowe.  Nikki then discovers Alvarez washed out of the same police academy class as Lowe and Don thinks Alvarez was a snitch for the LAPD.  When Don and Nikki confront Schmidt with this, Schmidt admits Alvarez really was a police officer working deep cover and that Alvarez and Lowe knew each other when they both worked for the LAPD intelligence unit.  Schimdt has been doing his own investigating and found that Derick Brockston  a man both Alvarez and Lowe helped put in jail is in town.  A joint LAPD and FBI bust finds Brockston however Schmidt shoots and kills him as he is arrested by David; Schmidt says Brockston was going for a gun.

Colby and David discover four phone calls Lowe made in the few minutes before the shooting started. He wasn’t calling 911, instead the number belongs to Lynn Potter, a prostitute Lowe arrested a few years ago. Colby and David talk to Lynn who says she didn’t get any messages and her cell phone was off.  Colby later goes back to talk to Lynn again and ends up sleeping with her.  Colby tells David he doesn’t think Lynn was involved, however David is skeptical.

Nikki and David obtain all of the radio logs for Alvarez and Lowe.  Charlie is able to find a pattern in the calls as Lowe received a call once a week from dispatch to check on a 911 call in Bel Aire, an area usually outside Lowe’s patrol area.  The address belongs to Kurt Young.  However the last few calls made, John Schmidt goes out to Young’s house instead.  Don, David and Nikki figure the blackmailer is actually John Schmidt and Schmidt is using Lowe as his partner, Lowe however has the important file.  The team also theorizes Schmidt killed the eight people in the coffee shop in order to get the file and kill his partners, Lowe and Alvarez.

Don calls in Schmidt for a talk, however Schmidt denies everything and walks out. David and Colby figure out Lowe had left Young’s file with Lynn Potter. Colby sees Lynn again while David is getting a search warrant for her house.  Colby tells Lynn he wants to file Lowe left with her. While he’s talking to her next to her car, the car blows up; both Colby and Lynn are injured but Colby manages to rescue the file from Lynn’s car.  The file is evidence Kurt Young has been defrauding the investors in his film company and Schmidt is arrested for the murders in the coffee shop.

McGowan interviews Charlie and wants to know details of how Don works his cases.  Charlie refuses to say anything against Don and walks out of the interview telling McGowan he will respect whatever decision McGowan makes regarding his clearance, but he, Charlie, will not “throw his brother under a bus.” Don has his interview with McGowan and tells the agent Charlie is a vital part of his team’s investigations and that Don can’t do his job without Charlie’s help and if Charlie isn’t given his clearance, Don will leave the FBI.