Monday, November 10, 2008

What's In A Friend? (S3, Ep7)...

"Easy As Pie" makes it painfully obvious that those closest to Dex-Bot, regardless of Jimmy Smits' constant insistance otherwise, all end up disappearing from his life. Camillia, the woman who worked in the records department at the precinct, is moved to hospice care, which basically means she is not long for this world, and if Dex-Bot keeps up the whole wiping-his-lips-or-cheek-or-wherever-Rita-has-kissed-right-after-she-does-so thing he's got going on, she's going to realize he doesn't truly love her and walk out, too. As it is, they are hastily planning their wedding because there isn't much time left where she won't be showing, and all he can scrounge up for his side of the guest list is Deb and Jimmy Smits. She's bound to catch on eventually, even as distracted as she may be.

Suffering with cancer, Camilla knows her hospice room is the room she is going to die in, and she almost seems to plead with him to take her out sooner rather than later, but she is such a close friend of the family he doesn't allow himself to see it. He simply takes her funeral plans, and the few photos she offers of him during his self-proclaimed "awkward years" and promises he'll bring Rita and the kids by. It's her last real request, besides "the perfect key lime pie."

Jimmy Smits comes to the station to pull his brother out of trouble. Girlfriend tells him if he retires early, no one will press charges, but she won't allow him to walk around with a badge and a gun after the false imprisonment her detectives caught him on. Jimmy Smits thanks her for considering him and their family and helping Ramone out. He's still worked up, though, so he tells Dex-Bot that after work they have to go "hit something... hard," but of course he only means at the driving range.

In a precinct meeting about the progress they're making (or not) on the Skinner case, Dex-Bot muses over who he can really call a friend among the people he just happens to work with every day. He seems stuck on the idea that only those who truly know and accept the real you can be friends, and since Batista or Masuka don't know about his extracurriculars, they can only be co-workers, or acquaintances at best. He's too emotionally stunted to realize he's the one who keeps them at arm's length away, though. He is treating them the same as he treats Hot Cop, and he has known them considerably longer.

Batista wants to use the C.I. as bait to bring out the Skinner, but he doesn't plan to clue the C.I. into their plan. Naturally, this worries Deb, for her own personal reasons, and she snaps at Hot Cop about it. I could have sworn they had made progress after he stuck up for her last week, but I guess it was too good to really be true. She and Hot Cop head to Wen-dell's mom's place because she claims she has information on her son's murder. It's nothing surprising, just Deb's business card, which once again makes her the common thread in the murders. When they pull up, there are tree trimmings all over the street. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal-- just a windy day on set, perhaps-- but since Deb takes the trouble to point it out, it's obvious it will come back to bite them much, much (at the pace this show is moving lately) later. Weeks ago, when they found one of the early skinned victims, Deb talked to two tree trimmers who called in the body. It seemed suspicious then, and now it is obvious one of them is more involved than the show has explicitly said.

At a B&E gone wrong, Dex-Bot point out that the perp was in socks when the crime was committed, which would have led a normal investigator to assume it was someone who lived in the house, too, because very few people walk around in shoes in their own homes. However, after the lame duck storyline they gave Masuka for the first half of this season, he needs a chance to shine, so he announces he knows who did it: a previous burglary suspect named Albert Chung whose M.O. is to wear socks to avoid leaving footprints and to stay as quiet as possible while "on the job." Masuka makes a couple of stereotypical Asian jokes about how he should have been smarter than that, etc etc etc. Still kind of a b.s. moment for him, if you ask me!

At the driving range, Jimmy Smits tells Dex-Bot they should take care of this Chung guy themselves. I like how he's claiming credit for something for which he's not getting his hands dirty but At All. But more so, Jimmy Smits wants to go after Chung's defense attorney, who really was only doing her job when she got him to walk on the first B&E charge. Dex-Bot points out she has never killed anyone with her own hands, so she is not a viable candidate for his handiwork. Jimmy Smits won't take no for an answer, though, assuming he can manipulate him with a few case summaries.

Camilla learns her tumor is slowing, and she will not have to endure another month of struggling to breathe and losing control of some of her muscles before passing away. She flat out asks Dex-Bot to put her out of her misery this time, and I don't know how he doesn't see it coming, but he seems genuinely disheartened by the idea. She's his friend, after all. Something he just decided on the spot, I'd gather. Dex-Bot talks about not being able to change his code just for a friend; he can't kill an innocent person just for a friend. He says this to himself while looking at the photos Camilla gave him, but he is still willing to entertain Jimmy Smits' proposal.

Meanwhile, the supporting characters continue to be dull filler for a show that is running out of creativity. Rita and Wifey talk about their men, and Wifey says she is suspicious that sometimes when Jimmy Smits says he's out with Dex-Bot he's really off doing something shady. Rita tells her about Dex-Bot's drug use and affair, and Wifey doesn't believe her. Batista and Kristin Dattilo come thisclose to kissing in the elevator, but she reiterates that she just wants to be friends. Girlfriend confides in Ellen (Helen Hunt's TV sister who Jimmy Smits wants dead), and Ellen turns it around and says she has a lot on Jimmy Smits' family-- stuff that maybe Girlfriend just hasn't want to see thus far. Well, at least that explains why Jimmy Smits wants her dead! Perhaps Dex-Bot truly has met his match: the worst criminals are the ones who are merely masterminds but never leave their fingerprints, let alone a trail. Deb tips the C.I. off to Batista's plan, risking her shield, and risking her heart all at the same time. She doesn't think clearly; she doesn't act cleanly; and she doesn't open her mouth without starting to cry. It's so much more of the same. He tells her he guesses he should go then, and she pretends to be completely fine with it. Yawn. Oh yeah, and Batista and Masuka fight over who is going to be Dex-Bot's best man. They've done that already; it was on a little show called Friends, and it was much funnier then.

Ellen manages to piss Dex-Bot off when she suggest she will discredit his forensics work in order to get her client, one Mr. Albert Chung (who we still haven't seen, by the way) off on a technicality. She says it will be super easy to discredit Jimmy Smits, and that only further angers Dex-Bot because when you insult the boyfriend, you insult the man, too! They bicker, but it doesn't change Dex-Bot's opinion that the code is the word. He can't allow some personal vendetta to interfere with his handiwork; it is his neck on the line, after all. He and Jimmy Smits clash over it momentarily, but they make up just as quickly, and Dex-Bot asks him to be his best man (natch).

Batista invites Kristin Dattilo to be his plus one to Dex-Bot's wedding. Somehow, even though that's worse than just asking her on a regular date, it manages to soften her a bit, wearing her down, and she not only accepts, but she kisses him in the precinct parking lot, for Deb and whoever else is lurking by to see. Similarly, the C.I. hasn't gone anywhere because he knows what it means for Deb to do what she did for him, and he wants to do something for her. He kisses her (in the privacy of his own home, though) and says he'll be her bait.

Camilla tells Dex-Bot she knows the truth about his brother, the Ice Truck Killer. She promises to take it to her grave, but Dex-Bot's wheels are turning, and as he glances at her beloved key lime pie (the slice untouched, as it's not the perfect one), it appears he has found a way to ease his conscience of putting her to sleep, regardless of how personal this one might be. Good thing, too, otherwise it doesn't look like anyone is going to bite it this episode, and that would be an episode wasted. He injects a huge dose of "his secret ingredient" into Camilla's last piece of key lime-- the one she will consider perfect because it will give her what she has asked for this whole time. It's as hard to watch as it is for him to do. In her last moments, he whispers to her his dark secret: he not only knew about his brother, but he also was the one who killed him, and he doesn't question her friendship or loyalty like he has Jimmy Smits'; he knows she will take this to the grave.

Oh and Deb finally connects the tree trimmings angle only a few episodes after I do. Maybe I should have become a cop instead of just writing about them (the fake ones, anyway).

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