'Common Law' Episode 1.11 Recap: "Hot for the Teacher"
Wes Mitchell is the clam and strict one out of the detective duo on Common Law. So when Hot For the Teacher, the eleventh episode in the first season, starts off with Wes having an erotic dream with his and Travis’ therapist, Dr. Ryan, one can’t help but wonder and think, “what in the world just happened?”
Wes wakes up from his dream when Travis calls him to say he has a new lead on a case they’re working on. So Wes picks up Travis and Travis goes over Barry Kennefick’s file with Wes. Barry works at a court and has become a suspect in a hijacking case that the boys have been working on. Forensics discovered that Barry had sent an email from a private account while working at the court to a person for every time a truck was hit. Travis thinks that if they wait outside of Barry’s house, when he gets home they can talk to him and pressure him into telling them who the real thieves are. While they wait, Wes begins telling Travis about his Dr. Ryan dreams. Travis makes fun of Wes but Barry arrives at the house before Wes can get too annoyed. Wes and Travis snag Barry and take him back to the station for questioning. When they walk in, they notice Dr. Ryan standing by the captain’s office, looking rattled. Travis hands another officer take Barry to the interrogation and the guys walk over to talk to Dr. Ryan. She tells the guys that her fiancée, Robert, was attacked last night so the captain is talking to him. Well, that’s a twist.
Robert walks out of the office with the captain and begins introducing himself to Wes and Travis and explaining what happened when Dr. Ryan stops him. The guys aren’t allowed to work the case since there is a conflict of interest. Wes and Travis are upset but leave and go to talk to Barry. In interrogation they have Barry email his contacts and let them know of a truck they want to rob. The detectives are setting up a trap. They hide themselves in the back of the semi truck and as an officer drives the planned route, they wait for the hijackers. While they wait, Wes begins to talk about how he thinks Dr. Ryan needs someone more serious and not goofy like Robert. Travis makes fun of Wes and tells him that he is thinking of himself. Wes denies it but before the conversation could go further, the hijackers show up. When they open the back of the truck, Wes and Travis pop out with guns raised and make arrests. The hijackers turned out to be a couple of guys with hockey masks on. While they make the arrests, Travis tells Wes that he’s going to tell Dr. Ryan about the dreams. Wes tries to pull out the bro code on Travis, but Travis seems determined so no telling if he actually will.
Back at the station, Wes and Travis think about what they should do next. A couple of desks away, the detective working Dr. Ryan’s case is on the phone and complaining about how a vacation should be a business expense since his job is stressful. Wes questions him and the detective complains about his workload as Travis slips the case file under his jacket. The guys walk away and leave the lazy and stressed detective and sneak off to the break room to talk about the case. Robert, an extremely successful builder, was walking to his BMW from a construction site when two African American men attacked him. Robert didn’t get their faces or anything. The guys decide since normally there’s valuable stuff lying around at construction sites that there must be a night watchman somewhere they can talk to. So they head down to Robert’s building site. They immediately go and talk to the guard that was on duty the night before. He tells Wes and Travis that Robert was only attacked by one man and his skin was more of a European dark, more tanned. The guard had let the guy in and didn’t call the police when he drove up to the gate because he had his own key to get in and Robert told the guard that the man was ok. The guard takes Wes and Travis to the area where Robert was attacked. There are a few square holes in the ground and one of them has fresh concrete that isn’t even dried yet inside. They ask the guard if one of the workers this morning had poured and he said no. The detectives get a forensics tech at there and the guy brings a machine to roll over the concrete and use ultrasound to detect what’s underneath. On the screen, the shape of a body appears. Robert isn’t all he appears to be.
Wes and Travis call Robert down to the site and show him the image of the body on the screen of the machine. Robert freaks out and claims he has no idea how that happened. Wes and Travis tell him they know he lied about what exactly happened last night, so he comes clean. He paid a bribe to criminal and head of a labor union, Aaron, in order to ensure that Robert’s workers would come to work. Aaron insisted on getting a set of keys and thought Robert refused, Aaron managed to find some and that’s how the man last night got in. Robert says he had no idea who the man last night was, he can only say that the man’s knuckles were tattooed and said R.I.P Anna. The guys finish talking to Robert and head back to the station to talk to the captain.
The captain is pissed. He rips in to the guys and degrades them for getting involved in the case when he specifically told them not too. But the guys got what they wanted, they’re involved now. Wes asks the captain if they should tell Dr. Ryan about what Robert is up too. The captain says no, there’s no need to butt in to Dr. Ryan’s personal life and Robert is an overall nice, even if he’s made a few mistakes. Wes and Travis are about to leave when Travis tells the captain about Wes’ sex dreams with Dr. Ryan. The captian explains how that’s normal and he used to have them too. He tells Wes he should talk to Dr. Ryan about it, which is what Travis has been saying. Wes disagrees and threatens to kill Travis if he says one word as they leave to head to their session.
Later that night, Travis has his own dream about Dr. Ryan. The next morning, Wes and Travis quietly talk about how they need to stop the dreams while they wait for Jonelle, the medical examiner, to finish writing the report so she can tell the guys about the body. She overhears the guys and makes fun of them for being hot for the teacher. She then goes on to say the dead man is Craig Seward, the worst lawyer ever. He was found under the concrete wearing a track suit and died of blunt force trauma to the head. Someone must have hit him while he was jogging. There’s no clue on the body of who his attacker except for DNA under his fingernails, but Jonelle doesn’t have a match. So the guys head to their desks to discuss what to do next. They end up leaving because the gang department was able to find a match to the tattoos that Robert had described. They belong to a man named Karl who used to be in jail but now works at a dog shelter. Wes and Travis head out to talk to Karl. At the shelter, the receptionist sends the detectives to the back. When Wes and Travis introduce themselves to Karl, he sets a dog he was petting on them. Wes handles the dog and traps him in a cage while Travis chases and arrests Karl. They take him back to the station for questioning.
Karl admits to nothing and repeats over and over that he didn’t kill Craig. While the guys are talking to him, a man walks into the interrogation room. He introduces himself as Timothy and says he’s Karl’s lawyer. Karl looks confused, he never called for one, but Timothy waves his concerns away and explains that his services are free. Wes and Travis ask if Aaron had called Timothy, but he admits to nothing. The captain then walks in with the DNA results. Karl doesn’t match the DNA under Craig’s fingernails. Wes and Travis then leave Karl with the intention of finding Aaron now, who Timothy is also defending. Later that night, Timothy actually brings in Aaron since he had agreed to work with the LAPD. Aaron walks in with his nose bandaged up, he just had another nose job. Wes asks for Aaron’s guy’s card in order to confirm his story. They send Aaron down to the lab for a DNA swab, which he happily does. Aaron doesn’t seem at all like a murderer, or even a small criminal. Wes and Travis leave the station for the night feeling more confused than ever.
The next morning at therapy, Travis and Wes immediately bring up the dreams. It turns out half of the other couples have been having the same dreams. Dr. Ryan admits that the dreams are uncomfortable on both sides, but it is a natural part of therapy. The dreams mean the guys have committed to therapy on a subconscious level. Hopefully the dreams mean that everyone will be having more breakthroughs and will have improved their relationships greatly by the end of therapy.
At the station, Wes and Travis bring the night guard in and show him a line of guys with Karl in it a bunch of men that look similar to him to see if the night guard can point Karl out as his attacker. However, he tells the guys that he doesn’t recognize any of them. Wes and Travis are panicked. Their one witness is recounting his tale and Robert won’t testify because that means Dr. Ryan will find out about the whole ordeal. The captain tells the guys that they have to finish the case and live with the consequences, so they head over to Robert’s place to talk to him. Robert admits that yesterday, two men came to his office and threaten him and told him he better not talk about anything he has seen. Wes and Travis promise Robert that they’ll put his family under protection, but they need his help to catch the killer. Dr. Ryan then comes home and is upset at the guys’ involvement in the case. Robert takes her upstairs to come clean about some of his under the table work and explain why they need protection from the LAPD and what all is about to happen next. She eventually comes back down to tell the guys that Robert will testify and point out the man and bluntly tells the guys it’s time for them to go. They leave a very pissed of Dr. Ryan to deal with Robert.
Wes and Travis call Karl and his lawyer, Timothy, back in for another round of interrogation. Despite Timothy’s wishes, Karl comes clean and admits that he got an email from Aaron telling him to pick up Craig’s body form Riverside Park and drop it off at the construction site. Wes and Travis step into a corner to talk about the new information when Travis notice Timothy trying to discretely send a message. Travis forces Timothy to give up the phone and they see a message was sent to Aaron saying Karl confessed.
The guys and other officers from LAPD arrive at Aaron’s work and snag him right before he tries to leave and escape out of town. Wes and Travis bring him in for questioning. Timothy tries to convince Aaron that he doesn’t have to say anything but Aaron is done and is ready to confess. But right before he does it, Timothy bolts from the room and tries to run out of the office. The captain rolls a chair in front of Timothy, bringing him down. Case solved and done.
However, there is still some unfinished business. Wes and Travis head over to Dr. Ryan’s office to tell her how the case ended. Turns out, Craig and Timothy have been friends since they were kids and went to law school together. Later in life, when Timothy got a D.U.I., he asked Craig to defend him. While he was around Craig, Timothy talked too much about the work he did for Aaron. So Craig began blackmailing Timothy until he cracked and killed Craig. Timothy had Aaron dispose of the body and that’s when Carl and Robert’s construction site came in. The guys tell Dr. Ryan that her family is safe now, everyone is behind bars, and they apologize for bringing drama into her life. Then Wes notices she’s not wearing her engagement ring. Dr. Ryan tells the guys they did what they were trained to do and she did what she had to do. She then tells them because of a conflict of interest, they’re kicked out of the therapy group. She pulls out a slip of paper with an address for another group that meets in another part of town. Wes and Travis try to refuse it and tell Dr. Ryan would a good doctor she is and how much they like her. However, she tells them that if she can’t trust them, she can’t treat them. Wes says he’s sorry, which is a first. But Dr. Ryan stands her ground and Travis walks out.
Later, Wes and Travis head over to their new therapist. They walk into the room to see a man arguing on the phone about divorcing his wife. The guy hangs up and turns around and sees the detectives. He welcomes them into the “safe circle” and tells them that he is the therapist. Wes and Travis look at each other and agree on something, they need Dr. Ryan back.
My first thought it wow. I was not expecting Dr. Ryan to drop the boys like that at all. The episode definitely ended on a cliff hanger that makes me excited for the upcoming season finale. However, the general content created an episode that is probably not my favorite. There wasn’t much of the usual bickering humor we always get to see and the show came off as more of a drama than a comedy. Now, I don’t mind a good drama, but when I was expecting something else, it just didn’t seem as good as it could have been to me. Now, the dreams of Dr. Ryan were most definitely different and a little funny, but the entire case just wasn’t as entertaining as some of the previous episodes. Hopefully, the season finale will live up to my expectations more.