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'Common Law' Episode 1.04 Recap: "The Ex-Factor"

The Ex-Factor was a great episode because it was fun seeing a side of Travis we don’t see a lot, his guilty side. We discover in this episode how Wes and Travis ended up partners in the homicide and robbery divison of the LAPD. Turns out that five years ago Travis had left his previous partner, Phil, to work on a lead with Wes on a serial killer case. Phil was fired for not assisting Travis on the lead he found, and Travis and Wes were made partners. Now, Phil is lieutenant at the Beverly Hills Police Department with a new partner, Morgan, who is better looking and possibly a better cop than Travis. Here comes the jealousy and guilt.

Wes and Travis find themselves working on a case with Phil and Morgan when Mayor Barns of Beverly Hills car is stolen as he was handing it over to valet at a party he was attending in Los Anglos. The crossing of city lines demanded that a task force between the BHPD and LAPD be made. Phil and Morgan are in charge and represent the BHPD in the task force, and they picked Wes and Travis to join them because of the BHPD’s captain encouragement. And the show begins.

It starts off with Phil explaining how the theft of the mayor’s car is similar to four other robberies that have occurred all over town. Phil’s and Morgan’s theory is that it’s the valets. They noticed that the same valet company, Regal Pacific, was working at all of the robberies, and that there was a consistency among the valets working the parties. Five men that work for the valet company had worked all five nights, making them suspects in Phil’s and Morgan’s eyes. However, Wes then asks about the truck. The other guys are confused, what truck? So Wes explains. He noticed that all the cars stolen are high end and new, meaning that they have GPS and don’t blend in on the street. The robbers had to have a chop shop on wheels in order to cut off the GPS and take apart the cars to make them unrecognizable. Phil and Morgan find themselves at a loss, they never considered that. But they stick to their valet theory while Wes and Travis branch off to look into their own idea.

While Phil and Morgan interrogate the owner of Regal Pacific, Wes and Travis go and talk to one of Travis’ foster brothers, Money, who owns a car yard and knows everything that goes on in the world of crimes and cars. He can’t tell the boys if he knows of anyone who bought the parts to build a truck like the one We s thought off, but he is able to give them a list of parts that one would need to set up the truck. With the parts in hand, they go see Kendall, the new forensics girl from the last episode. Kendall looks at the traffic cams in Beverly Hills around the places that were hit at the times the robbers came. She found that the same large white delivery truck was a couple of blocks away from all of the places at the right time. Kendall was able to zoom in enough to get a good look at the drivers face. The view was non-descriptive and vague, but it was enough for a composite. She also takes the list of parts that Money gave the guys earlier and runs them through the system, seeing if a car shop or person had bought all of them recently.

As Wes and Kendall joke around about how much better Morgan is compared to Travis (like he’s a Travis 2.0), Morgan and Phil walk in with their own good news. Regal Pacific’s owner has agreed to corporate and allow the guys to work undercover at that night’s events. Morgan and Phil decided they’ll show up in Phil’s fancy car and try to lure the robbers at when the valets, Wes and Travis, get ready to drive the car to the parking lot.

At the event, Wes gets a call as Morgan and Phil arrive and Phil gives the keys to Travis. When our favorite LAPD detectives get in the car, Wes tells Travis that it was Kendall on the phone, she found the white truck a few blocks away from a restaurant that was just opening. Instead of taking Phil’s car to the parking lot, the guys instead head towards the party happening at the restaurant with hopes to catch their thieves.

Right as they arrive, two black SUVs show up and guys dressed in black with black ski masks get out with guns pointed, yelling at the valets at the restaurant to hand over the car that just showed up. Immediately, Wes and Travis jump into action. The second they see the robbers, they spring out of the car and begin firing. They are able to prevent the robbery, but they’re unable to chase the thieves because Phil’s car was shot in the engine. You could say Wes and Travis failed, but they proved their theory right to Phil and Morgan.

When they get back to the station to confront Phil and Morgan, Travis is expecting Phil to be upset and start yelling and take them off the case. However, neither of that happens. Phil instead is happy for them for following up on such a great lead and actually seems more willing to let them work on the case. He instead gives them all of the case files for the guys to look over and Wes and Travis leaves for their therapy session.

For once, the other couples in therapy and Dr. Ryan aren’t talking about Wes’ relationship with his ex wife, Alex, who doesn’t even make an appearance in this episode. Instead, all eyes are on Travis as everyone puts in their two cents about what they think of Phil. Dr. Ryan suggests that Travis is feeling guilt and should go out and get coffee or dinner or something to clear the air with Phil. Ironically enough, right after she says that, Phil calls Travis asking if they could grab dinner tonight together. With a push from Dr. Ryan, Travis consents. At dinner, Phil immediately gets to the point and apologizes. Travis is shocked, he thought he was the one that needed to say “I’m sorry.” But Phil had noticed how antsy Travis is around him and so he apologizes for being so upset when they first broke up. He even thanks Travis because now Phil is a lieutenant with an amazing partner. Phil asks if they can be friends like they were before, but Travis is hesitant and says “It’s too soon.”

The next morning, Morgan walks into the station and talks to Wes. Morgan compliments Wes and talks about how he admires him and the way he carries himself. However, he then tells Wes he needs to drop Travis because Travis is only holding him back. Wes admits that Travis is reckless and drives him crazy, but he snaps at Morgan saying he is the only one allowed to criticize Travis. Morgan immediately backs off and leaves. Travis and the Captain then walk in and the Captain then says that the Mayor wants an update and Phil wants the two of them to talk to him. Travis is impressed and thinks that Phil has really changed. So the detectives get their gear together and go see the Mayor.

The Mayor is on a golf course with his two sons, Jeremy and Cameron. The Mayor is yelling at Jeremy when Wes and Travis show up. The boys tell him about their truck lead and ask him if he saw a big white truck anywhere near the party he was attending the night when his car was stolen. The Mayor admits yes, he saw one hiding in an alleyway when he was trying to take a shortcut to the party. Wes and Travis say thanks and are about to leave when Morgan calls Wes. He says sorry about what happened earlier and gives Wes and Travis the address Kendall found of a business that bought all the parts required to outfit the truck. The boys head off but arrive at an old house with a chicken delivery truck. Morgan and Phil played them.

They get back to the station to see Phil and Morgan walking in with a guy in handcuffs. The man is named Wade and is the owner of a cars shop and chop house and was the actually person that bought all of the parts. Phil comes over to make fun of Wes and Travis before leaving to go interrogate Wade. Wes and Travis leave for therapy. They tell the group about what had happened and how they plan to get back at the other two detectives. Dr. Ryan says the guys should be the bigger men and forget it, but Wes and Travis disagree, they’re out for revenge. So the next day, they get to the station early to pick up Wade for their chance at talking to him and take the man over to talk to Money.

Money convinces Wade to talk and Travis promises to help clear Wade’s name. The guy says he doesn’t know who needed the truck, the whole transaction was unanimous. But, he was able to describe the car that dropped of the money and said the license plate had a bracketed e (like this <e>) on the plate, meaning it was a government car. When they get back to the station, they go talk to Kendall. Since the car was a midnight blue BMW, they look through the Beverly Hills database, the only city with enough money to purchase a car like that. There is only one car like that and it belongs to the Mayor. The boys are shocked, but then they remembered Jeremy, who looks like they’re rough composite of the driver they had made earlier. Jeremy also makes sense because he would be able to use the Mayor’s social calendar in order to pick events and parties to hit. They tell the Captain their about their new findings and ask for the Mayor’s social calendar. He gives it to the boys and they discover there is a party that afternoon. They are gone, plan in mind.

They go to the Beverly Hills station in order to take Phil’s newly repaired high class car. The original idea was to go catch the robbers without cluing in Phil and Morgan, but Dr. Ryan’s words and their guilty consciences catches up with them. So they call the other two and set up a plan.

At the party, Wes and Travis pose as valets again and this time the Captain drives Phil’s car to the party. As they are about to park the car, the robbers show up in their black SUVs. Wes pops open the trunk, and then comes out of the driver’s side and brings down two men. Travis climbs out of the trunk, helping Wes arrest the rest of the men. Meanwhile, Morgan and Phil found the white truck where Jeremy is waiting and arrest him. Case solved.

Back at the station, Phil confronts Travis. He’s surprised that Travis and Wes had included them in on the Jeremy lead and let them capture him. Travis shrugs and the men part ways, neither of them mad.

My favorite thing about this episode was that for once we are looking at different aspects of Travis and dealing with his problems. In the past, therapy sessions sometimes center around Wes and Alex and Travis has never revealed something so personal as his ex partner. It was a wonderful episode, full of laughs and giggles but most importantly, it added more to the plot and showed us a Travis we hadn’t seen before.

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