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'Common Law' Episode 1.07 Recap: "Role Play"

It is often said that in order to understand someone, you must take a walk in their shoes. And that is exactly what Dr. Ryan encourages the couples in her group to do. During the session, she has the couple switch seats with their partners to act like each other for a second. Travis, being the joker, takes it a step further and satirizes Wes, much to the rest of the group’s amusement. Wes begs for a time out and glares at Travis. For homework, Dr. Ryan asks everyone to switch roles with their partner in order to know each other better and reach a new level of mutual understanding. Travis thinks it’ll be fun, but the ever negative Nancy Wes disagrees. And that is how this new episode of Common Law begins.

Wes and Travis arrive at a cupcake bakery where the murder of Beth Boyd took place. On the way, Travis is joking around about how easy it will be to play Wes. He starts off when they arrive at the scene by telling the police offers that the yellow crime scene tape is suppose to be at least 10 yards away from the scene. Wes chimes in that it is actually 7 yards and pointing out that the cops did it wrong, and accidently proves Travis’ point. The detectives enter the store to where another cop gives them the details of the case. The police officer leads Wes and Travis into the kitchen were Beth lay tied to a chair and strangled. He told the guys that she had made a 911 call and named her attacker, Kevin Boyd, who is her husband. Travis, keeping up the “I’m Wes” charade, dismisses the officer in harsh way and looks around the crime scene. While Wes and Travis look around the kitchen, a woman escorted by two police officers enters the room. She looks at Beth’s body lying on the floor and begins thrashing the cops arms and crying. She’s the victim’s step sister and was brought in to identify the body. Wes and Travis follow her outside and Travis goes up and talks to her. He asks about Kevin, Beth’s husband and possible murderer. She says that Beth and Kevin where in the middle of a nasty divorce, they couldn’t decide who gets what. The couple had bought all of the store fronts on the street the cupcake store was and were now fighting over them in court. The detectives thanked the sister, Susan, for her time and asked her if she knew were Kevin might be. Right as she began talking, Kevin shows up yelling at Susan and asking her what’s going on. Wes and Travis are on him and taking Kevin back to the station for interrogation.

Kevin doesn’t remember anything about the night before. Travis pushes him, so Kevin goes into what he remembers. He closed his store and then walked two doors down, pass the cupcake store, to Northbrook, a store that Beth and Kevin sold to Susan. He drink some whiskey at about 7:30 (the divorce has been a big stressor), and then that was it, he doesn’t remember anything after that. He woke up behind the wheel of his car about eight this morning and honestly has no clue what else happened the night before. Wes and Travis keep pushing, clearly thinking Kevin is the most likely suspect. He’s assaulted his wife five years ago, though Kevin blames it on drinking, and his wife did call him out on the 911 call. Kevin offers up his DNA and any other forms of corporation that the detectives will need in order to solve the case in order to possibly clear his name. While he talks, Travis notices a red stamped V on the back of Kevin’s hand. He asks about it and Kevin explains it’s from Red Lace, a burlesque club he sometimes goes to for a drink. He then realizes he didn’t have the mark on his hand yesterday, maybe Beth was wrong? The guys leave Kevin and are off to talk to the people at Red Lace.

They enter the club in the middle of the dancers’ practice. Wes and Travis go up to Ed, the owner of Red Lace, and to one of the dancers who is a law student. Travis tries to be Wes again by attempting at showing off what knowledge he has of the law to the dancer but completely crashes and burn. Ed and the dancer both recognize Kevin and say that he is actually here all the time and was here last night for a few hours. Ed mentions that Kevin was dropping tips left and right, which was unusual for him since normally he is pretty cheap. He tells the guys that Kevin left right before the curtain went up for the midnight show. Beth made her 911 call at 12:13, still leaving an open time window for Kevin to do the deed. Ed finishes off the question by saying when Kevin was ready to leave, he mentioned how he wanted to keep his night going. So Ed referred him to a not so legal underground casino place. Wes and Travis have their next lead.

Wes and Travis sit out in front of the entrance to the club, staking out the place. Right as they’re about to fall a car go through the entrance, Travis pauses Wes. He fakes interest into the soft jazz playing the background that Wes likes to listen too during a high speed chase. Normally, Travis tries to change the radio station to one with hip hop and rap music, but since he is acting like Wes, he fakes interest in the jazz. He gets into the music and explains to Wes about how wonderful the music was, sending Wes over the edge. Fine, if Travis wanted to be Wes, then Wes was going to be Travis and act like a maniac, his interpretation of his partner. First he rolls up to the entrance and tries to flirt with the woman that stands guard at the entrance. Despite his failures, the guys get in when Travis flashes his badge. Inside the club, Wes drives his car, Rebecca Black’s Friday blasting through the speakers and blaring the sirens, and slams through the red velvet rope. He yells at everyone, telling them how they’re with the LAPD and will throw anybody who doesn’t answer their questions in jail, which is actually pretty Travis like. Wes then grabs a wine glass and it into the ground, all the while continue shouting and waving Kevin’s picture around to see if anyone’s seen him. However, it does get him answers. A guy at a poker table admits seeing Kevin and security comes up to tell Wes that they can look through the security camera footage. It turns out Kevin was at the casino at 12:24. Wes and Travis get to talking and realize that there is no possible way that Kevin could of killed Beth in that time frame. But what about the 911 call? Maybe Beth just assumed it was Kevin? The guys leave and part ways for the night with a determination to figure out who else might have wanted Beth dead.

The next morning, Travis walks into therapy in a suit, like Wes, instead of the usual jeans and t shirt he wears. Even though the guys are just trying to play caricatures of each other, Dr. Ryan commends the guys and tells them that whether they want to or not, they’ll end up benefitting from the exercise and learning about each other. After their session, Wes and Travis head to the station where the captain is extremely impressed by how Travis seems to capture the essence that is Wes. The captain then goes on to the real news he had to tell the guys. Beth once sued a delivery guy for harassment, but dropped them as soon as the company let the man go. Wes and Travis leave to go talk to him at his new job where he stands on the sidewalk dressed as a hot dog and twirls a sign. It turns out to be a dead end. The guy loves his new job and would actually love to thank Beth for getting him fired. Apparently, being dressed as a hot dog was his calling. The guys find themselves at a stump when Wes gets text message. Skin was found under Beth’s fingernails and the DNA matches Kevin. But how could of Kevin had the time to do it? The guys set out looking for the man who was just released on bail for some answers. They don’t find him until that night. Kevin holed himself up in the cupcake shop and was threatening to commit suicide by bombing the place. He called 911 in order to let them know they had 20 minutes to evacuate the area and told the cops on the scene he couldn’t live knowing he killed his wife. Wes and Travis roll on to the scene and head inside the store for a chat with Kevin.

They walk in to find Kevin sitting in the kitchen with the gas stoves running and a lighter in his hand. He cries about how he can’t believe he killed Beth. Kevin pulls his shirt aside to show the guys scratch marks that Kevin doesn’t remember getting, but his lawyer told him about his DNA under Beth’s fingernails. Wes and Travis explain to Kevin that they don’t believe he is guilty and try to convince the guy that they want to prove his innocence. They think Kevin might have been set up. Maybe drugged? He did black out and can’t remember anything. The guys are able to convince Kevin to give them the lighter, but then rush out of the store. Kevin was afraid he chicken out so he set the pilot lighter to turn on after 20 minutes. The store explodes and the guys part ways with new theories in their heads.

In the morning, Wes shows up to the station in a t shirt and jeans, just like Travis normally does. Travis arrives in a different suit, still trying to keep up the role play game going. The detectives go see Jonelle in the coronary. Jonelle jumps into a lecture about how the guys need each other and need to quit the charades. She then shows them a toxicology report from Kevin. Someone had given him a large dosage of roofies the night of Beth’s murder. Travis and Wes remembered that Kevin said the last thing he remembered was getting a drink at Northbrook, Susan’s restaurant and right down the street from the cupcake store. The guys call Susan in for some questions. She admits that Beth had given her a bottle of whiskey and told Susan to serve Kevin from that bottle. Susan gets flustered and explains she did it for Beth. Kevin was being hard on her so if Beth wanted to play a trick and get revenge, Susan wasn’t going to ask questions. The guys then consider what if Beth wanted to frame Kevin for assault but then it all went horribly wrong?

Wes and Travis head over to the captain’s office to see if it is possible that Beth killed herself on accident, in a long about way. It makes sense for Beth to try to get an assault charge on Kevin. If Kevin looked bad, then Beth gets everything out of the divorce. The captain then gives the boys a challenge, how did Beth tie herself to the chair. Wes and Travis grin at each other and Wes asks the captain how he feels about role play.

So the detectives get the captain to sit in a chair and try to tie himself the same way Beth did. They soon discover that it isn’t possible for Beth to tie herself in the chair and accidently strangle herself. Travis takes a closer look of the picture from the crime scene and notices that the knots are backwards from the ones that they tied the captain in. Whoever helped tie Beth to the chair had to be left handed. But Kevin Boyd is a rightie. The guys have finally found their answer, someone else was in the bakery with Beth.

They go back and listen to Beth’s 911 call. Even though they have listen to it at least a dozen times, they now know that someone else was in the room. Listening closely, they notice a change in Beth’s voice from before and after she falls. She didn’t expect to start choking and had dropped the phone in her fall. When she falls, her voice becomes more frantic as she yells please help me. Wes realizes she is no longer talking to the operator but instead to whoever else was in the room with her. They play it back one more time. Wes notices the that there is a pause between the first and second “help me.” The killer had said something. They run over to forensics to try to find what the second person in the room said. They listened to the new version of the recording and here a female voice tell Beth, “I’m sorry.”

Wes and Travis leave the station and head over to Northbrook. They go up to Susan with a brown envelope of Beth’s things and say she has to sign for them. Susan writes with her left hand. The detectives arrest Susan, who had killed Beth and blamed Kevin because her restaurant was bleeding money and with Beth’s death on Kevin’s hands, the property would go to her so she could do whatever she wanted with it. Susan is sent to jail, Kevin is released, and another case is solved by the dynamic duo.

The guys are back in therapy to discuss the role playing exercise. Travis admits that yes, he needs Wes to be Wes so he can be Travis and Wes concedes. Jonelle was right, they guys need each other. Dr. Ryan congratulates the guys on their first breakthrough and another fantastic episode of Common Law ends.

This episode was downright hilarious. I can’t not even begin to explain just how hilarious it was to watch the boys try to be each other and basically be each other’s caricature the entire hour. It was absolutely fantastic and only reminds why I love this show so much. I also can’t help but smile at Wes’ and Travis’ progress. After almost half a season, they have finally made some progress and I honestly can’t help but be proud of these two wonderful detectives that I have grown attached too. If you could only watch one episode of Common Law, then it should be Role Play because it was truly an amazing and maybe groundbreaking for Wes and Travis. Hopefully, the show will stay on this same level of humor and the guys will start taking bigger steps so we can find out why Wes pulled a gun on Travis and land the guys in therapy.

One Comment

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  1. Do you know who is performing the guy dressed as a hot-dog ?
    Could be a detail for many of you, but very helpful for me…!
    Best regards,
    Jerome

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