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'Common Law' Episode 1.05 Recap: "The T Word"

Travis Marks doesn’t trust easily. After growing up in 18 foster homes, being raised with more foster siblings than he can count, it’s easy to see why. So when he attempts buying time with a shooter holding a hostage by taking off his bullet proof vest and setting down his gun, surrendering all trust, I knew this was going to be another good episode of Common Law.

Trust turns out to be the topic in therapy. While the other couples tell each other something their partner didn’t know, Wes and Travis are goofing off, saying what their weight is in grams and using that as their big secret. Time runs out and Dr. Ryan gives the two slacking detectives homework; they have to tell each other one thing the other didn’t know a day until the next session, therefore building trust. Then the show really begins.

The guys get their case when they show up at the scene of a home invasion, or simply a robbery that was committed by four men dressed in masks with punk baby masks on. They meet two FBI agents, Carrie and Tom, who are with the serial crime department and believe that these men have robbed about three other mansions. The agents were telling Wes and Travis everything about the case and talking about the interviews with the neighbors (who didn’t see anything), when Wes asks, “Did you talk to their kids?” The agents look downcast as they lead the detectives to the house next door where they have a teenager. Because of Travis experience with his foster siblings, he takes the lead on talking to the boy, Mason. The kid was said he was up early that morning because he wanted to draw some of his own comic book characters. He talked about what the men look liked and the type of hand signals they used, which Travis identified as military. Mason had drawn a detailed sketch of one of the men with the baby masks holding a gun, providing the next lead for Wes and Travis and the FBI agents. They take Mason’s drawing and head over to the station so they can track the rifles.

Wes and Travis get to their usual bickering and they talk about Carrie and whether she was in the “no fly zone” or not. A race to one up the other begins when she walks over. Wes talks about how he found the guns, they are a type of rifle that rangers form the army generally use. Travis settles the score by saying him and Travis will do the dirty work of going through the names so Carrie doesn’t have to worry about it, because like always, Travis knows a guy. Wes and Travis head out to one of Travis’ foster mom’s place where we meet Jason, a foster brother and recently medically discharged army vet. Jason now works as a counselor for other veterans so Travis and Wes give him the names and pictures of the guys who own rifles to see if any of them are Jason’s clients and are violent. However, because of patient confidentially and simple trust among military men, Jason refuses to answer Travis’ questions and sends the guys out. However, as Wes and Travis walk out, Wes comments on Jason shooting them down. But Travis knows his foster brother and opens the folder with the pictures inside and shows Wes a picture of Richard, an ex army demolition expert. Travis explains that Jason had stared at that picture longer than the others, silently signaling the guys where the next clue may be. So they go off to find Richard.

At Richard’s, the guys experience the ultimate trust exercise. When they arrive, Wes and Travis stroll in. They ignore the Do Not Enter Signs at the gate and begin walking across the yard. After a few steps, Wes hears a click and looks down to see he stepped on a pressure plate geared to explode in either when Wes steps off or in 90 seconds. While Wes calmly freaks out, Travis looks around for something to switch with Wes’ weight. The only things he finds is two rusty buckets (one of which has holes in the bottom) and rain water that had pooled in a tire. Filling the buckets, Travis runs over to Wes and gets in position to make the switch. Wes successfully steps off of the press plate and as they run away the bomb goes off, throwing the guys a few feet into the air. Think the guy is a suspect now?

A bomb squad and a couple of police officers arrive at the house Richard’s house. Though they didn’t find any more booby traps in or around the house, Wes and Travis discovered that the basement as filled with all sorts of military weapons. From rifles to grenades to plastic explosives, it was all in Richard’s basement. There may not have been any baby masks, but Richard for sure seems like one of the thieves.

Back at the station, Carrie is in the briefing room and presenting the facts of the case to other LAPD officers. While they are still cataloguing all the weapons from Richard’s basement, they have found $200,000 worth of equipment. She ends the debriefing by telling everyone she wants to try to have Richard found by the end of tomorrow. The meeting is adjourned and everyone leaves. While Travis waits for the elevator, Carrie comes up to him. They flirt a bit and Carrie gives Travis her number with two conditions; he can’t use it until after the case and he can’t tell anyone about their conversation. The elevator arrives and the two part ways.

In therapy, Dr. Ryan scolds the guys. Yes they did the assignment she gave them, but they did it all wrong. Instead of sharing actual trust-building information that Dr. Ryan as looking for, Travis merely told Wes about the many women he’s slept with and Wes told Travis about the places he lived at and for how long. Frustrated, Dr. Ryan makes the boys stand up and face each other in front of the other couples so they can tell each other a real secret. Wes and Travis are at a stump so Dr. Ryan suggests Wes tell Travis why he pulled a gun on Travis, the action that landed them in therapy in the first place. Wes immediately clams up, saying he had his reasons and doesn’t want to talk about it. Dr. Ryan keeps pushing him to when they detectives’ phones go off, LAPD found Richard. They’re off again to interrogate him with the Carrie and Tom.

In the interrogation room, Richard doesn’t feel like talking. But when Travis begins walking out and telling Richard he’ll be in jail for awhile, Richard gives in. He says he isn’t a part of the baby masked crew, but bargains his freedom with some information he has about them. He says that the crew contacted him to get the rifles and C-4s (a type of explosive) they’ve been using in their heists. But they thieves picked up their stuff while wearing the masks, so Richard can only provide possible weights and heights. Travis pushes Richard for more, but the only other information Richard can provide was that while counting the money, one of the guys kept twirling a Zippo lighter in his fingers. He mimicked the motion and Travis becomes anxious. He asks Richard about the motion, making sure that it was the exact motion the man under the baby mask was making. Richard confirms and Travis leaves the room, upset.

At night, Travis heads back to one of his foster mom’s house. Jason is outside, working on his motorcycle. Travis walks up, tells Jason he is only here on a social call, and the offers him a cigarette. Jason declines and said he quit. Travis agrees, yeah, he quit too, but tonight he wanted to reminiscence about the old days. He pulls out a cigarette and asks Jason for a light. Jason pulls out a gold colored, square Zippo. Travis asks if he still does that trick and Jason flips the lighter around to show him. Travis smiles but you can tell it’s forced. Jason might be one of the baby masked villains.

The next morning, Travis follows Jason to work and watches him. While he’s watching, Wes calls. After Travis had left last night, the others continued to interrogate Richard. This morning, they found out from Richard that the baby masked crew contacted him and asked if they can do another exchange. Richard went ahead and set it up and Wes and the FBI agents are planning a way to crash it and catch their robbers. Travis doesn’t tell Wes what he’s doing, but simply says he’s following a lead. Wes scolds Travis for making him look bad but leaves Travis alone. Carrie walks up to Wes and they get to talking. Wes suggests they go grab breakfast together, but Carrie refuses because they’re working a case together. But she gives him her number but says he can’t call her until after the baby masked case and can’t tell anyone, she doesn’t want Todd to know since it is a personal thing and not professional. Wes agrees, he completely agrees that relationships in the office are highly inappropriate. The two go their separate ways, and Wes smiles, thinking he beat Travis in winning Carrie’s attention.

Back at Jason’s work, Travis is still watching him. Jason walks out of the building he works in and gets on his motorcycle and leaves. Travis starts up his own bike and follows Jason. They go around the corner when Jason stops and turns around to face Travis. Jason gets mad at Travis for thinking he would commit a crime. He asks where the trust is, but Travis says his not bringing Wes was the all the trust he’s willing to give Jason at the moment. Jason tells Travis even if he was involved, Travis couldn’t catch him. If Travis couldn’t catch Jason back in their street racing days, there was no way in Jason’s mind that Travis could catch Jason if he was up to illegal activities. With that, the foster brothers part ways, neither looking back.

Wes calls Travis again, demanding that he gets over to the station. Wes explains that they went to the park where the meeting was and picked up a man named Glen Marsh, who is ex army and has a Zippo lighter in his truck. Travis rushes over and interrogates the man with Carrie and Wes. Glen claims that he was only buying the C-4s for dynamite fishing. He wanted to try to blow up the explosives in the water and see if he catches any fish. Though Glen claims innocence, the detectives and Carrie keep pressing until the Captain walks in with the news that there has been another robbery. Glen is innocent and there’s still a chance Jason is one of the baby faces.

They set out for the crime scene, a posh apartment. As Wes, Travis, and Carrie walk in, a cop is debriefing them on all what has been stolen. She said that everything from the safe was stolen but one thing. When the group arrives at the safe, the only thing left is a gold colored, square Zippo lighter that the cop thinks they left behind because they didn’t smoke. Travis sees the lighter and immediately knows that the baby faces didn’t leave it, they placed it.

Travis goes out to the balcony to try to call Jason. Wes follows him out and watches Travis put away his phone after not getting a response on the other line. Wes immediately tears into Travis; asking what’s going, why Travis isn’t acting like Travis, and what is Travis hiding from him.  Travis snaps back and tells Wes if he wants to do a trust exercise now then the lighter left in the safety deposit box is actually a message for him from Jason. Wes gets a little upset with Travis for not telling him before about Jason and is disappointed in his partner. But he sees the pain in Travis’ eyes and comes out with his own confession. Wes tells Travis that even though he gives his partner crap about all of his foster brothers, Wes is actually jealous because he doesn’t have any brothers and so he can only imagine how Travis feels at the moment. The guys joke around about whether if they made progress or not. Wes asks if Travis’ head is in the right place. When Travis says yeah, the partners leave to go catch Jason and the other baby faces.

Travis goes to talk to his and Jason’s mother. He questions her about where all the expensive stuff in the house is coming from considering she’s out of work and Jason lives off of a government paycheck. He pushes her, saying he tried to help Jason but he pushed Travis away and it was time for their mom to help. She comes clean and admits she knows their fancy appliances aren’t from good investments. She tells Travis about how Jason researched houses on his computer and how the addresses match the ones the baby faces robber. She tells Travis that even though there have been only four robberies, Jason looked into five addresses. The baby face crew has one more house to hit.

As the baby faces are getting out of the taxi they took to their last house, the cops drive up and Wes and Travis pop out above on the balcony. There’s a shoot out and the cops are able to shoot down two baby faces. The third one surrenders, but the last one takes off running. Travis runs after him and slams into the guy. As they fall and roll around, the mask falls off and the guy Travis jumped turned out to be Jason. They pull their guns out on each other and Travis does the usual cop things and demands Jason to drop the weapon. Jason wasn’t dropping it so Wes shot Jason in the shoulder from behind Travis, surprising both Jason and Travis. As the ambulance wheels Jason away, Travis tells Wes he would have shot him. Wes looks at his partner and replies, “I know. I did so you wouldn’t have to.” Wes walks away and Carrie comes up to him. She asks about Jason and Wes confesses he’s Travis’ foster brother. Jason only gave Richard away because he got nervous and looked at the picture too long and Travis misread it. Carrie threatens Wes that she should have both of them arrested for not preventing this earlier when Wes was covering for Travis. But she shakes it off and comments that Wes is a good partner. Looking back at Travis, standing solemnly where Wes left him, he says, “Sometimes.”

In therapy, the guys tell Dr. Ryan and the other couple they did their homework, for real this time. However, they don’t want to talk about it since it is between them and no one else. Dr. Ryan says that’s fine, but asks if there is anything else the guys would like to share before they move on to a different exercise. Wes chooses that moment to come out and say that he is going to take Carrie out on a date. Travis looks at his partner and tells him that he was going to take Carrie on a date. They compare the cards she gave them and the other couples in the therapy session laugh. Dr. Ryan explains how they have just been manipulated and basically played. The show ends with both guys feeling like idiots.

Wes and Travis are quite the pair. Their arguments are pointless and hilarious, and the lessons they learn each episode are truly a benefit to any viewers. This particular episode of Common Law was more relatable than normal because of the main topic, trust. No matter what kind of relationship it is, trust is always important. It was fun to see the guys trust in each other grew throughout the show. While they are detectives, and have to trust each other with their lives everyday anyway, there was still room for them to grow. This particular episode wasn’t as funny as previous ones had been, but it was filled with more sentiment which is always a good thing.

 

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