As everything falls into place for the sting operation to bring Vic down, Shane is desperate for money. Back at the Barn, Ronnie tries to intercept a blackmail package, and Aceveda begins to question Pezuela's "suicide."
- Previously on...: Guillermo Beltran came on to the scene as the Guerrero drug cartel's head of security. Vic turned in his badge, leaving Aceveda to believe that he held some weight over I.C.E. because he was their only remaining connection to the cartel investigation. Agent Murray questioned Vic's value, and he asked for time to cozy up to Beltran, who asked Vic to kill Pezuela. Vic staged Pezuela's suicide after making sure Murray's file was removed from his blackmail box. Vic wanted to take Pezuela's place in the organization. Meanwhile, Shane's plot to kill Ronnie fell apart and he and his family are on the run. Shane lost his money and told Vic he had to replace the $100,000. Shane also told Vic that he mailed an outline of one of their incidences of wrongdoing. Claudette told Mara that all she wants from the investigation was Vic Mackey.
'I'm glad you called': Claudette, Dutch and Corinne waited at Corrine's house for a call from Mara. She told Claudette about the 5 o'clock deadline Shane gave Vic to come up with $100,000. She told Claudette where the money exchange was supposed to happen -- by the fountain in Hollenbeck Park. She asked Claudette to promise Shane wouldn't get hurt. Claudette did. She wanted every cop to understand he went after Vic and Ronnie in self-defense. Claudette agreed to work with the D.A. to get a light sentence for Shane.
Shane's plan, it appeared, was to tie Vic to a bag of dirty money, where he'd be arrested. Corinne worried that Vic would find out she set him up. Claudette and Dutch promised to protect her. Aceveda met Vic at his house in the morning, with news of Pezuela's suicide, which he didn't believe. He thought Vic killed Pezuela and warned Vic not to try to ruin his shot at the mayor's office. Vic then called Corinne in a panic, telling her to meet him at Hollenbeck Park. He told her about the money exchange and she pretended to resist the idea, as Dutch and Claudette told her to, and Vic asked her to "just do this one last favor" for him.
Vic talked to Beltran about becoming his liaison with the black drug dealers in the area, with whom Pezuela was never able to work. Vic convinced Beltran to let him arrange a meeting. Vic met with an old drug dealer to try to get into the high-level dealing world. Murray told Vic Pezuela wasn't being cooperative. Vic said he intended to come through on his two jobs: Gathering enough intel on Beltran and the cartel to deliver I.C.E.'s big bust, and covering Murray. Vic got a call from the dealer, setting up a meeting at 2 p.m. in Inglewood.
At the station, Ronnie was looking through Claudette's mail for the letter from Shane. Claudette wanted him to go to a shooting, despite his desk assignment. He seemed to want to stay at the station, but Claudette sent him out on the case with Julien. Ronnie asked Billings to look out for the letter, claiming it was coming from a scorned ex-lover and making inaccurate accusations, and Billings agreed to watch his back. Ronnie told Vic the letter hadn't come in the first delivery.
Shane went to find a gun he'd stashed under a grate where some homeless people hang out. It wasn't there, but he found it soon enough after threatening everyone around. It wasn't loaded and the man who'd stolen it pointed it at him and pulled the trigger. Shane took it back. Vic met with Beltran in a big warehouse, which Vic learned was going to be used to stash drugs. At Julien and Ronnie's crime scene, a college football recruiter told them he was meeting with the victim, Cardell, when the kid got shot. He said he had to arrange the meeting with "the shot caller." While Cardell's mother grieved, another woman in the house told Julien she'd lost her son a year earlier. She asked if the shooting happened because Cardell was running with a gang. Julien, who'd coached the kid in Pop Warner football, said, "No." Julien gave her his card. Ronnie later told Julien that the recruiter said Cardell was representing the "Acorn Park" gang, but Julien didn't want to believe it.
Vic explained to Ronnie that he was playing Beltran and the black drug dealers to get the $100,000 to give to Shane. Ronnie told him that playing both sides was "crazy dangerous." Vic said he only needed to keep it together for a couple of days. He thought he could bring Beltran in within a few days and broker a deal with I.C.E. for immunity.
Dutch told Claudette she could sit out the stakeout on Vic and Shane if she wasn't feeling well, but she said she'd be there on a stretcher with an I.V. in her arm to see Vic and Shane go down. She wondered how Vic would get the $100,000. Claudette told Julien about the upcoming bust on Shane and Vic. He assured Claudette that there would be no problem.
Vic met with the black drug dealers' board of directors. They passed on the offer to have Beltran's cartel be their new supplier, but Vic told them to look outside, where his "backup" from Beltran included two vans full of bad looking dudes. The drug dealers realized it wasn't an offer, it was a "gank and grab." Vic told them the buy-in was $200,000. "I can wait if you need to run to the ATM," he said.
Vic tried to ditch Beltran's security team on the way back from making the $200,000 deal, but they wouldn't let him go. He changed plans and stopped at a gas station to fill up. There, he quickly opened the trunk, stashed half the money into a smaller bag and hid it in the restroom trash can. He called Ronnie to tell him to get over there and pick it up quickly.
A street-level informant, an artist named Van-Bro, told Ronnie and Julien that rumor was going around about Cardell shaving points during a recent high-school football game because he kept running out of bounds during games. He suggested they talk to "Deuce" to find out more. Deuce told Julien it wasn't point-shaving. Cardell had been running out of bounds all season to avoid cheap hits. The bookies knew it and factored it into their spreads. Ronnie called Billings for a mail check, but there was no delivery. Julien wanted to talk to the recruiter again, in case he was the intended target. Ronnie got away from Julien, saying he had to get a prescription filled.
Shane duped a street drug dealer to take him to a stash house where he wanted to steal a large sum of cash, but when they got there the house was empty and cops were all over. He gave the kid up as bait in the house, and the cops chased the kid while Shane slipped out the back door. Vic presented Beltran with $100,000, "earnest money." Vic told Beltran to "realize something Pezuela never did: You've got an action hero on your payroll."
Corinne waited at the park while Claudette and the gang watched and waited for Vic to show up with the money, but it was Ronnie who came toting a bag. Ronnie gave Corinne the bag, leaving Dutch and Claudette in a panic about whether or not to arrest him. They decided to wait for "the primary," meaning Vic. They could get Ronnie later.
When Shane was an hour late and everyone realized Vic wasn't going to show, and Corinne was getting more and more agitated, they called off the stakeout. Claudette, very upset, pounded her fists on the dash board and shouted, 'God dammit!"
Mara suggested they rob the real estate company's lock box, where they keep first and last month's rental deposit checks, which are usually cashier's checks that Shane could easily cash.
Vic met with Aceveda, who'd been investigating Pezuela's "suicide." He figured out that Pezuela wasn't really dead, but Vic didn't budge. Aceveda asked if Pezuela was testifying and whether he was giving up Aceveda. Aceveda told Vic he would tell Beltran that Pezuela was still alive, but Vic called his bluff, knowing Aceveda wouldn't want it to be known that his campaign was funded by drug money. He appealed to Vic based on their "common cause," and said they should respect each others end game.
At the station, Julien saw Ronnie and they had an awkward exchange. Vic met with Murray and gave her half-truths, at best, about Beltran's operation. He told her Beltran "never mentioned any drugs" and said the operation was mostly focused on banks. Murray wanted to put a couple of I.C.E.'s agents on the case with Vic, but he wanted to bring Ronnie into the fold instead, shouting, "That's the way it's got to be." He handed Murray the file Pezuela had on her. He said it was all the leverage he had on her and he had no future past tomorrow. He asked her if he could on her for "a place to land." She nodded, yes.
Shane broke into the real estate office at night and held the cleaning crew at gunpoint while Mara and Jackson waited in the car. He couldn't figure out the lock on the safe and had to call Mara to come in and bring Jackson with her. One of the cleaning ladies even held Jackson as Mara opened the safe and grabbed about $5,000 worth of checks before they left.
Vic came over to Corinne's and told her he had a job interview with the feds, which was why he didn't show up at the park. He told her to keep the money in case Shane called for it, and if not she should keep it for the kids. She wondered where it came from, but he told her it didn't matter. He told her it would be over soon. Cassidy showed Vic her math test. She scored a 98 and Vic praised her for it and handed her a $20 bill. They hugged as Corinne looked on.
Julien met with the football recruiter, who said he found it odd that he had to meet with a gangster to get to Cardell. Julien said the guy was probably just trying to make sure Cardell wasn't taken advantage of, telling the recruiter he destroys more dreams than he helps come true. The recruiter scoffed and mentioned that a year earlier, he had a mother come after him with a baseball bat after the team passed on her kid. "Same block as Cardell," he said. Julien realized it was the woman who was in Cardell's mother's house.
Next we saw, she was at the station. She confessed that the recruiter had promised her son an education, money, a car, and it all fell through. Six months later, he was shot at a bus stop. She wanted revenge on the recruiter, but she didn't know Cardell was in the truck. "My boy is lying in the dirt, when he should be running for touchdowns," she said.
Back at the station, Ronnie saw an opportunity to check Claudette's mail. He found a large envelope, grabbed it and ran into the Strike Team's old room. Inside, he found a sheet of paper that read, "Hey, Ronnie. Tell Vic he's a (expletive). You've both just been PUNKED." Ronnie didn't like that. He threw the package at the wall.
Dutch told Claudette he started paperwork on Ronnie and they'd be ready to hit him with an indictment "when the time comes." Dutch told Claudette that Danny was ready to come back now that Vic wasn't around. Dutch told Claudette she was working too much, but she said that if they couldn't expect justice out there when they don't demand it in their own house. He said she couldn't solve all the world's problems. She told him, "If you don't like the way I'm handling this case, you can always leave."
Vic told Ronnie he could get them both a deal if they help bring in Beltran. Vic introduced Ronnie to Beltran, who said Vic spoke highly of his character. "He taught me everything I know," Ronnie said. Meanwhile, Shane went to a convenience store guy he'd known before and asked for an exchange on the cashier's checks. The guy gave him 50 cents on the dollar, which Shane said was pretty steep. The storeowner told him to take it and leave or he'd call 911. "You're not a snitch," Shane told the man. "Giving up a killer cop ain't snitching in my 'hood," he said. Mara wondered why Shane couldn't get more from someone he'd said owed him big time. "Moving forward, I guess we both have to embrace the reality that neither one of us has a friend in the world," Shane said. "Except each other."