'Common Law' Episode 1.06 Recap: "Performance Anxiety"

No one can catch a bad guy and make him confess like Wes and Travis. The sixth episode in the first season of Common Law starts off with Wes and Travis wagering a bet about whether or not a criminal is going to make an appearance. When he does (Travis won the bet, by the way), the guys jump out of Wes’ car and chase after the man along with other LAPD officers and detectives. The guy leads everybody up to the roof of a building where he tries to jump across to the next roof. However, he doesn’t make it and is barely holding on to the roof with his slippery hands. Wes and Travis follow the man, clearing the jump easily. As they stand before the criminal (who is still holding on to the ledge for dear life), Wes and Travis start to argue about whether Travis is actually a long jump champion and if he jumped further than Wes. Their colleagues on the other building become frustrated at the guys for bickering instead of immediately helping the man up and arresting him. But, while Wes and Travis stand there and fight with each other, the desperate man confesses to the crime. Case solved, Wes and Travis style.

After they capture the man, Wes and Travis head to therapy. One of the couple is talking about how their desire for a baby has put too much pressure in the bedroom for Peter (the husband) to handle. Dr. Ryan explains how that is normal, everyone feels performance anxiety sometimes. So she asks the other couples if they have other cracked under pressure. Everyone says no and the show leaves the scene. A quote Johnny Bench (a hall of fame catcher) flashes across the screen that says, “Slumps are like a soft bed. They’re easy to get into and hard to get out of.” And sure enough, we find the guys in a slump.

Wes and Travis have so far solved a total number of 398 cases. If they solve two more, they will make a record and be entered into the LAPD’s Hall of Legion. The captain comes up to them and shows them a countdown poster he’s made and gives them a new case. Last night, a couple robbed a club. Since two people are involved in the robbery, that means two arrests which will put the guys at 400. The pressure is on as the guys leave to go talk to the bartender at the club.

The bartender didn’t have much to say about the couple. She described their actions while the detectives looked at a picture of the couple from a security camera. They were kind of older, calmer than the rest of the club’s occupants, sort of normal, the husband had an odd accent, and they wore matching silver charm bracelets with a playing cards charm on it. The bartender then flirts with Wes, saying he should come by sometime so she can hook him up with a drink. Wes gives her a look, and she walks away. Wes and Travis then head back to the station for a closer look at the case. While Travis is giving Wes a hard time about not taking the bartender’s offer and staying out of “the game,” Wes is thinking about the case. The couple, or Bonnie and Clyde as Wes calls them, are clearly from the south by their accents and are bridge players. The bracelets they were wearing are given to champions at bridge tournaments. Travis takes the accents even further, saying the couple must be from the Texas panhandle because he once dated a girl from Amarillo with the same accent as the husband. Wes looks through an online search engine with the information they have and is able to find a hit. Bonnie and Clyde are actually Jem and Maria Bergen. Wes suggests looking at hotels in the area for their names on credit cards, though Travis is doubtful. Would thieves who stole $15,000 use their real names? But Wes counters, Jem and Maria look nothing like criminal masterminds. Deciding it is worth a shot, they look into it and find a hotel. They’re off again, following their new lead.

Travis runs into the hotel to talk to the desk clerk who says the Bergens are in room 110 and are possibly in their room right now. Back in the car, the guys talk about their plan of action. Travis looks anxious as he tells Wes about how this is it, they’re about to make their 399th and 400th arrest. Wes is calm and tells Travis their plan of action. All of the hotel rooms surround a pool, like a courtyard. So while Wes and his team is going to go through the front door, Travis will be waiting in the back for Jem and Maria trying to make a run for it. Wes tells Travis its simple and tries to calm him. The detectives get out of the car and prepare for the arrest. However, they found themselves in a bit of a slump. They went to the same door. According to Travis, the back was the swimming pool side which was the exact opposite of what Wes thought. The Bergens see the cops though their door and make a run for it. Wes and Travis chase them to the garage where Jem and Maria escape in a minivan. So much for making 400 arrests. Wes yells at the cops with them to run the plates and asks (well, more like shout at) Travis what happened. Travis kicks at the broken barricade that Jem crashed through in his and his wife’s escape, and yells to Wes that they have performance anxiety.

In therapy, the detectives arrive early with Dakota and Peter, the couple having trouble with making a baby. Travis tells Dakota that he now knows how she feels about having a partner unable to perform and feels bad for Peter. Wes shoots back that in the analogy he is Dakota and Travis is Peter. Dr. Ryan butts in and says the guys need to stop blaming each other and communicate in order to overcome their issue. Wes disagrees though and explains to Dr. Ryan that he and Travis always blame each other and never communicate, it works for them and has never been a problem. But Dr. Ryan counters and says, “Until this afternoon.” The guys look away in defeat, finally considering that Dr. Ryan may have a point and be right.

That night, Wes is eating dinner in the restaurant in the hotel that he has lived at since his divorce last year. A woman on a business trip comes up to him and asks if he knows what is good on the menu and they get to talking about Wes being a hotel dweller. She gives him her card and suggests he calls her tomorrow night so neither of them have to eat alone. Surprisingly, Wes actually looks pleased by the suggestion and takes her number. The next morning in the office, Wes strolls in and shows of Carine Thompsen’s (the woman last night) card of to Travis. The detectives get to talking about whether or not will Wes have performance anxiety at dinner when Amy, a fellow detective, walks up with Jem and Maria news. The couple held up a store this morning and took all the money in the cash register plus $15,000 worth of designer clothes. Wes and Travis look at the video from the robbery and take more notice of the wife. She isn’t doing anything but standing there while her husband holds her arm, as if preventing her from running away. The captain calls the guys out and has them come into his office for a talk. He gets on to the guys about their mistake yesterday and asks what the problem is. Wes and Travis say everything is fine now and that they have actually talked about their new performance anxiety with Dr. Ryan. Captain awkwardly compares the guys to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, causing the detectives to jet and get back to the case.

While Travis is talking about the information from Jem’s background check, Wes is talking on the phone to Maria’s sister. Maria had told her sister that she was leaving town and didn’t know when she be back. The sister was only able to give the guys the number to a disposable cell phone that Maria had told her sister to call her at anytime. The guys call Maria from a machine that could track down her whereabouts, as long as they can keep her on the phone for 30 seconds. When Maria picks up the phone, Travis fakes being from the census bureau in order to keep her on the phone. However, Maria starts begging for help and asks the guys to call the police. After Wes says that they are the police, Maria quietly gives the guys an address (she doesn’t want her husband to overhear) then the dial tone comes on, Maria had hung up. Wes and Travis jump into action and grab some cops to go with them to the address.

They arrive at a house undergoing renovations. Outside, everyone crouches down behind a dumpster and Wes issues order. He sends the cops in different directions around the house, securing the perimeter, while he makes sure him and Travis are on the same page. They are going to simply run up together and go through the front door. They walk into the unlocked house together and began searching the rooms when they find two guys standing around with guns of their own. Wes and Travis do their whole “LAPD, drop the weapons” spill as the cops rush in. The two men turn out to be security for the neighborhood and were looking around the house because they had seen people inside. The security had arrived right after the Bergens left, putting Wes and Travis too late to catch them. However, the men show the detectives a note that the couple had left. The note is from Maria and talks about how Jem keeps saying this is the end and her fear of Jem is going to do something to hurt her. The guys then realize this isn’t a couple on a crime spree but just a husband possibly thinking about killing his wife.

The guys go visit Jonelle in the coronary to ask about some pills they found in the house. The owners had completely emptied the house when they left for the renovations, so the drugs obviously belong to the Bergens. Wes asks her to do a toxicology report to figure out what the little tablets are. Just by looking at them, Jonelle is able to say exactly what everything is. The small white ones are aspirin, the large yellow translucent capsules are fish oil, and the round tan tablets are a heavy anti inflammatory drug that is prescription only. The anti inflammatory drug is only prescribed to patients with heavy chronic illnesses such as cancer, telling the boys that one of the Bergens is really sick.

At dinner that night, Wes gets to talking about Alex. He makes the mistake of calling her his wife instead of ex-wife, and rambles on about why they divorced. His date, Carine, gives Wes some insight. While Wes thinks he is still living in a hotel because he is adjusting, she points out that it has been a year and it is pretty clear to her that he hasn’t moved on from his divorce yet. The date doesn’t go anywhere, but now Wes has heard from an outsider that he isn’t over Alex, which may help him move on.

The next morning, Travis is talking to Amy in the break room about how he called hospitals back in the Bergens’ Texan hometown and figured out that Jem has a type of leukemia that is fatal 91% of the time. He continues on about how he now feels bad for Jem and how the robberies make sense. Jem had just lost his job, had no money, no insurance, and so he couldn’t pay for the treatments he needed. Wes walks in and gets attitude when Travis tells him about Jem. They walk together to their desks with Travis questioning what was wrong with Wes. Travis guesses that the date didn’t go well and by the look on Wes’ face, he knows he’s right.

The guys are back in therapy and Travis is explaining how Wes is mad because Travis was “cheating” on him by talking to Amy about the case. The guys get to arguing and agreeing that they’re both in bad moods because they have the Legion of Honor hanging over their heads. Dr. Ryan picks up on that and points at their agreement. She asks then what exactly had happened at the hotel. Both guys admit that maybe they went to the wrong side. Dr. Ryan is pleased and tells them now that they have stopped blaming each other they can begin communicating and hopefully make those two last arrests. Dr. Ryan turns her attention to Peter and Dakota who talk about how they have spiced up their sex life, making the conversation suddenly awkward for everyone. While they’re talking about all what they’re doing to overcome Peter’s performance anxiety, Wes realizes a key fact about the case. Jem had fired shots at the club and the store, but forensics didn’t recover any shell casings. Why is he firing blanks? While they contemplate that, their phones go off. Something in the case has come up and it is time for the guys to ditch therapy and head out back into the field.

Wes and Travis arrive at a fancy restaurant that the Bergens just robbed and begin talking to the manager. While the couple was eating, a man from another table yelled at the waiter. Jem got upset and told the man to apologize. When he refused, Jem pulled out his gun and fired at the ceiling and asked the man to apologize again. Jem then did ask for everyone’s wallets and the money from the register. The couple was off again. Wes asks about Maria and the manager said he didn’t even hear her talk until Jem was in the bathroom and he offered to fill her drink. The guys perk up, Maria was alone for a couple of minutes? They get to talking and figure out that she might be faking being a hostage because why didn’t she run? Travis goes over the facts of the case to Wes and they come to the same conclusion, the couple is on a vacation and possibly fulfilling Jem’s bucket list. The places they have robbed are stops on their itinerary and they keep robbing the places so when they get caught, Maria can fake hostage and try to keep some of the money. Back at the station, the guys look up the top places for people to visit in Los Angeles and find a list that has the exact place the Bergens have robbed on it. Wes and Travis are finally ahead and get ready to meet Jem and Maria at their next target.

In the briefing room, Wes and Travis go over the details of their new findings with the other detectives and cops. Four things are left so far on the list so they decide they’ll dispatch people at each place to catch the Bergens. Even though the couple has followed the list, Wes and Travis pick the last item, a museum, because there is benefit tonight, meaning lots of wealthy people. Amy adds pressure when she decides to cover the pier, the next thing on the list, and threatens to take the guys’ arrest away from them. Travis acknowledges Amy’s challenge and the boys feel even more performance anxiety. Will they finally nail the case?

At the party, the guys are undercover with some other cops. They’re walking around when Jem and Maria enter the museum. Coleman, one of the cops, rushes into things nad immediately pulls out his gun. Jem retaliated by taking out his own gun and holding it to Maria’s head. Wes and Travis talk to Jem and convince to drop the weapon. They successfully make the arrest and head back to the station where they talk to Maria in interrogation. Wes tells her that because Jem is now in the custody of California, he will be able to get treatments. So in a weird way, this has worked out for him, though Maria doesn’t see it that way. Travis then comes in and talks about how her husband had stolen over $30,000 and how most of it was in Maria’s bag. If she was a hostage, how did that happens? Maria claims that Jem must have put the money there. But then Wes says they also found a printed list of the places the Bergens had planned on robbing with Maria’s handwritten notes in the margins. Maria’s eyes water, she’s been caught. However, another twist happens. Wes and Travis explain how they feel sorry for Maria. They tell her that Jem will go to jail, they’ll return the money, and then release Maria and put in their official report that she was held hostage. This act of compassion only grants the guys one arrest instead of the needed two, but it is well worth it. Besides, they have overcome their performance anxiety so the next case that comes up won’t be so hard.

Later that night, Wes is back in the hotel’s restaurant and sees Carine. He goes up to her to apologize and ask for a second chance. She invites him up to her room for drinks since she’s finished eating, but then she gets a phone call. She says it was from the office, but Wes had overheard the conversation and figured out that she actually had a fiancé back home. Wes confronts her about it, but Carine blows it off and says no one has to know what happens tonight. The scene ends and we find ourselves back in therapy. Dakota tells the group that she finally got a plus sign on the pregnancy detection test stick and the group congratulates the couple. Wes exclaims how happy he is for the couple, which is weird because Wes is never this cheerful, especially in therapy. Dr. Ryan then has Wes talk about why he is in such a rare good mood. He tells the group about Carine and how he was prepared to do the deed with her until she confessed that she is engaged. Wes pointed that even though he didn’t sleep with Carine, he was ready too (until he found out about the fiance that is) which proves he is over Alex. Travis disagrees; Wes didn’t prove anything last night. The group agrees with Travis and the session ends. The show ends with the guys back at the station. Travis is in the break room playing mini basketball with co workers. Wes chimes in saying he bets Travis can’t make the next shot. Wes tries to psych him out by wagering $100. Travis shoots and scores and the credits roll. No more performance anxiety for this duo.

Though in the past two episodes of Common Law we have looked more into Travis’ personal life, in Performance Anxiety we get back to the Wes and Alex issue. While I loved getting to know Travis, it was also fun to be updated how Wes is handling his divorce with Alex. As usual, the episode was absolutely entertaining and hilarious all the while touching on concepts that are easily relatable and that teach lessons. Out of a six star rating, I would have to give Common Law a six. Yeah, it is still early in the series, but Common Law is my new favorite show and gives me something to look forward to on Friday nights.


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