Rogue Pilot Recap: The Aquarium/Fireball

April 4, 2013

Our insider, Ira Parker, brings you a detailed recap of every new episode plus extra background info only someone in the Rogue writer’s room would know!

Grace Travis, an undercover detective for the Oakland Police Department waits on the end of a loading pier, staring out at the San Francisco skyline. Grindenko, a Russian smuggler, comes to meet her. Inside the warehouse, Grace is shown a supply of fake high-end handbags filled with knock-off Oxycodone pills. She approves the deal, while taking note of two young girls tied up inside a cage. Grindenko’s a real nasty guy, but Grace stays in character, and doesn’t say anything.

Grace goes to meet an Oakland crime boss, Jimmy Laszlo, at his office on the docks. They negotiate a price for the pills. They’re very flirty with each other. Jimmy is clearly attracted to Grace, but she playfully rebuffs his advances. Then the two arrange to meet the following day to fulfill a drug exchange. Grace insists that Jimmy come himself, since the dealer she’s working with is expecting him specifically.

Grace drives over the San Mateo bridge, across the bay. She switches cars in an underground parking lot, from her Mustang to a Jeep, then heads home. Making sure she hasn’t been followed, Grace stealthily hops the fence into her backyard, removes a key from under the step, and lets herself in.

Upstairs, she hears her son, Sam, having a nightmare. As Grace is comforting the boy, she notices the bed is wet. She gets him changed. Exhausted from a long day, Grace lies down in bed next to her husband, Tom.

The next day, Grace waits at the agreed upon exchange location. Grindenko shows up, but Jimmy has sent a representative, Charlie, in his place. Suddenly, three police cars come roaring in to break up the meeting. Grindenko and Charlie split, leaving Grace on her own to make a run for it. She’s chased down an alleyway by Detective Buddy Wilson, who manages to detain her. Grace is confused, she doesn’t know why she’s being pulled out from her undercover assignment. Wilson informs her that something has happened to Sam. We cut to a shot of Sam leaving school, as he is struck in the head by a stray bullet during a drive by shooting. Sam is dead.

Four months later.

Jimmy meets with a group of corporate investors. He’s just closed a deal to become a business partner in a small bank. Over drinks, Jimmy informs his accountant, Tony, that he doesn’t plan to tell the crew about the deal. He’s leaving the crime world behind and preparing to lead a normal life.

Grace is devastated from the loss of her son. She sits outside of his school, staring at the withering shrine left by teachers and classmates at the site of the shooting. Grace can’t help but wonder if she is responsible for his death.

That night, Grace pours over details of the case. Photographs, police reports, nothing makes any sense. The death has taken its toll on her marriage. Tom is sleeping on the couch, and the two barely communicate anymore.

Jimmy’s accountant turns up dead, killed with a single shot to the back of the head. Wilson makes a plea to his superior officer, Lieutenant Hernandez, to help with the case, sighting his knowledge of the Laszlo crime family. Hernandez is hesitant, due to Wilson’s past workplace indiscretions, but she reluctantly agrees.

Jimmy and his crew discuss Tony’s death. Jimmy’s son Alec believes that a rival gang, the Clay Street Boys, is responsible and trying to move in on the docks. Alec wants to meet fire with fire and hit them back, but Jimmy preaches caution. He needs more evidence before committing.

Still on leave, Grace attempts to use the San Jose Police Department resources to follow up on a lead, but she’s been locked out of the system. She scolds Detective Lucas Mitchel “Mitch”, her former mentor and lead on Sam’s case, for not doing enough to solve the murder. He passes her details about a potential break in the case, pertaining to the alloy mix of the bullet used. Grace takes the new lead to Hernandez, demanding to be placed on the case. She wants to go back undercover in Jimmy’s organization. Hernandez refuses. She tells Grace to go home and stay out of Oakland.

Grace ignores Hernandez’s instructions and reconnects with Jimmy, demanding that he bring her back into the fold to make up for the Grindenko deal that went south. She blames him for the cops breaking up their deal, claming that the leak came from inside his camp. Grace offers him a new counterfeit pill connection. Jimmy agrees.

That night, Grace goes home and lies to her husband, telling him that Henandez called and wants her back on the case. An argument ensues. Grace’s daughter Evie yells at her mother, she’s upset that her mother is never around. Evie feels betrayed and storms off. Grace tries to make amends, but the relationship is too far-gone.

Jimmy takes Grace to see Grindenko. Believing he was the rat, Jimmy wants Grace to deal with the situation. A car appears and someone shoots at Jimmy, Grace pushes him out of the way and gets shot in the process. Jimmy has his doctor remove the bullet from Grace’s shoulder. She takes it as a souvenir, later passing it along to Mitch in the hopes of finding another connection to Sam’s death.

After the recent attempt on Jimmy’s life, Alec is worried that their crew is under attack. He doesn’t want to look weak, but again Jimmy stops his son from acting.

While getting a forensics update on Tony’s murder, Wilson finds out that Grace Travis’s blood was found at the scene of another shooting down by the docks. Wilson investigates further, discovering that Grace has been working undercover without the permission of the Oakland Police Department. He uses this knowledge to extort Grace for information relating to Jimmy’s crew, in order to boost his own reputation at work. Grace gives him the plate number of the car that shot at Jimmy.

Grace tells Tom that she’s found a lead in Sam’s case, but the department is trying to bury it. Tom is convinced that Grace is only continuing her investigation to try and make herself feel less guilty.

Mitch gets back to Grace about the bullet that was fired at Jimmy, informing her that it has a blended metal alloy, just like the kind pulled out of Sam and Tony. Grace is convinced there’s a connection, but Mitch is unsure.

Wilson tells Hernandez that he found the plate number of the car that took a shot at Jimmy Laszlo. He claims to have extracted the information from a CI that he’s been working with. Hernandez commends the detective on his good work.

Jimmy takes Grace to a secluded sugar warehouse. Inside she finds that Grindenko has been bound and gagged. He’s hanging by a hook overtop of a rusting metal grinder. Jimmy believes that Grindenko is the rat. He gives Grace a gun and tells her to shoot him. Grace can’t do it. Jimmy shoots the man himself. After disposing of the body, Jimmy invites Grace to Alec’s birthday party. She has no choice but to accept.

The party is in full swing. Everyone is having a good time. Grace shows up looking stunning. Jimmy shows her around, then steals away for a few minutes to discuss business with his crew. Grace manages to overhear the conversation, and discovers that Jimmy has the license plate number that she gave to Wilson. She’s shocked, wondering if there’s a mole in the police department. Grace looks over to find Jimmy staring right at her. Did he notice her reaction? Is he onto her? Jimmy concludes his business. The vehicle belongs to the Lee Brothers on Clay Street. Alec wants to move immediately, but Jimmy instructs his crew to wait.

Later on at the club, Jimmy corners Grace. She can’t tell if he’s onto her, so she throws herself at him. The pair make out furiously. Jimmy pulls her into the bathroom. They begin to undress, when a woman coming out of the stall interrupts them. The moment is broken. Grace rushes out. She goes to see Mitch, who comforts her. Desperate and emotional, Grace refuses to give up on the case.

The party winds down. Alec sits with his wife, Cathy. He’s upset that his father won’t listen to him about Clay Street. Cathy encourages her husband to take matters into his own hands, if he wants to be taken seriously.

Grace drives by the restaurant where the vehicle was registered, The Bamboo Pearl. In the window she sees that the place is closed and decorated for a funeral. Upon closer inspection, Grace realizes that the patriarch of the crime family, Grandpa Lee has recently died. There’s no way they could be responsible for the attempt on Jimmy’s life. They’re in mourning.

Jimmy gets into an unmarked car. He has a conversation with a person inside, but we can’t hear what is said. Presumably this is Jimmy’s police department mole.

Hernandez busts in on Wilson, she’s just found out that he has an undercover agent in with the Laszlo crew and demands to know who it is. Wilson reveals that it’s Grace Travis. Hernandez tells him that she’s been compromised and they need to get her out immediately.

Grace goes to pick up Evie from school. She wants to talk about her daughter’s subpar report card, only to catch her smoking pot. Grace apologizes for not being around enough, but Evie doesn’t want to hear it. The girl accuses her mother of loving Sam more, then storms away.

Grace goes to Tom to tell him about Evie. Both parents seem lost. Tom tells Grace that she needs to come home. Grace agrees.

Wilson’s search for Grace continues, but he can’t locate her.

Meanwhile, as Grace is packing up her cover apartment, Jimmy shows up. He takes her for a ride. They pull into the sugar warehouse. Grace is starting to worry that Jimmy discovered that she’s a cop. Her suspicions are confirmed when he uses her real name, Grace, instead of her undercover moniker, Jackie. She can’t look at him. Terrified. The camera holds on a deathly silence.

In the car, Grace knows that Jimmy has her dead to rights. She looks around for an escape route – then jams her fingers into his eyes, flings the door open and makes a run for it.

Half-blinded, Jimmy fires his gun wildly at her. The shots miss. Jimmy gets backs into his vehicle and speeds after her. Grace turns down and alleyway and finds herself at a dead end. She tries desperately to open a door leading inside a warehouse – as Jimmy closes in, gun drawn, Grace manages to bust inside.

Grace attempts to hide, but Jimmy quickly discovers her. He wants to know everything she has told the cops, and an emotional Grace makes a last ditch plea for her life, revealing the connection between Jimmy crew and Sam’s death – the bullets used to kill Tony and Sam are homemade and have the same blend composition. Someone is moving against Jimmy and trying to make it look like Clay Street. Not sure what to make of this new information, Jimmy spares Grace’s life – for now.

A physically and emotionally battered Grace goes home. Tom finds her in the bathroom, bruised and bloodied, trying to clean up herself up. Terrified from almost losing her life, Tom and Grace make love for the first time since Sam died.

A paranoid Jimmy searches his offices for surveillance devices. Charlie is asleep on the couch – his wife has kicked him out again. Jimmy tells him that they need to clean house.

Hopeful, after his encounter with Grace, Tom starts making plans for the family. He thinks that they need a new start. A car pulls up outside Grace’s house – worried that it might be Jimmy coming to finish her off, Grace goes to investigate. Fortunately, it’s only Wilson and Hernandez — they’ve been looking for her all night, after discovering that she was made. Hernandez again orders that Grace stay out of Oakland.

Grace returns to find that Tom has been watching the whole encounter from the window. He knows what this means: Grace is going back. Instead of telling him the truth, she lets him believe it.

Jimmy checks Charlie’s gun, taking a bullet out of the clip. It’s not homemade. Charlie is disturbed by this, but doesn’t let on. He reassures Jimmy that everyone has his back.

Grace beefs up security at her house. She has cameras installed, in case Jimmy decides to show up. Grace is worried about Evie’s safety and demands to drive her to school. Evie has noticed that her dad didn’t sleep on the couch last night — she thinks her parents might be reconciling. To her daughter’s delight, Grace offers to cook them dinner later.

Jimmy does a little research into Grace’s claims. He finds that a young boy was shot in the Bay area four months ago, but the victim’s name was withheld.

Wilson and his Chinese working girl, Kim, are in the throws of passion. It’s clear that these two have an ongoing relationship. Wilson is distracted by work. Hernandez has him on a short leash. He offers Kim some extra cash for information on Clay Street. She provides him information on one of the gang’s grow ops.

Charlie tells the crew that they’re tightening ship and collects all their cell phones.

Alec and Cathy take their four-year-old daughter, Ruby, to the park. Cathy wants to know why Alec isn’t going with Jimmy to pick up Max from prison. Alec tells her that’s the way Jimmy wants it. The conversation turns to Jimmy’s failure to act on the “Chinese problem.” Alec assures her that it’ll be taken care of. Cathy is nervous about taking Ruby out in public with a target on their backs.

Jimmy stops in at a bank to collect the money that Tony was laundering for him. To his dismay, he finds out that the account is empty. Tony never made the transfer.

Jimmy bursts in to Lizzie Aldon’s house (Tony’s widow). He frantically searches the place for his missing money while accusing Lizzie and Tony of ripping him off. Lizzie is furious, says that Tony would never do that, and that they had been living hand-to-mouth because Jimmy never took proper care of them. Jimmy’s phone rings. It’s Alec – he wants to know how Max is doing. Jimmy realizes that he has forgotten to pick up his son from prison. He rushes off to do so.

Grace faces her internal affairs disciplinary hearing. She’s been temporarily suspended with pay, pending an investigation. Her union lawyer says that they’re going to take her mental state into account, in light of what happened with her son. Grace will need to submit to a psychiatric evaluation.

Jimmy drives Max home from prison. He tries to put on a good face for his son. Max has been inside for twelve months and Jimmy is still angry about what he believes to be an unjust sentence. Max seems at peace with his situation – he’s trying not to hold grudges.

Alec does some recon work on the Lee brothers restaurant, the Bamboo Pearl.

Jimmy needs to drop Max off at the house – he needs to take care of some business before the party tonight. Max tells Jimmy to drop him at the park – it’s been twelve months since he’s taken a walk and could use the exercise.

Grace surprises Mitch in his car – someone burned her in the department and she needs his help find out who it was. Mitch is reluctant to help – tells Grace to take it easy and go be with her family.

Earlier two young punks, Hector and Lee, held up a taco cart. Alec knows about their stunt and has a job offer for them.

While Grace is grocery shopping, Jimmy surprises her. He invites Grace to Max’s coming home party tonight. A terrified Grace doesn’t know what to make of the offer.

Disturbed by his argument with Grace, Mitch looks into Jimmy Laszlo. As he scans for records on his San Jose PD laptop and a flag pops up “Investigating Office: Detective Buddy Wilson”. Mitch takes note. Meanwhile, in Oakland, a hidden flag comes up on Hernandez’s computer – she discovers that Mitch is looking into the gangster. She gives him a call – wants to know why he’s interested in Jimmy. He tells her that there is a ballistics link between a cold case of his and Tony Aldon’s murder. Hernandez wants to be updated on all information pertaining to Jimmy Laszlo. Mitch agrees by feels unsettled by the request.

Max’s “Welcome Home” party is underway, but the guest of honor is still missing. Jimmy’s crew is concerned that they still haven’t moved against Tony’s killers. Charlie is getting drunk at the kids table with his wife, an M.S. sufferer in a wheelchair, who looks on disapprovingly. Alec gets a text — he heads upstairs to find Max hiding in his room. The two brothers embrace warmly, then head to the party.

Wilson tells Hernandez that the license plate from the attempted Laszlo shooting was linked to a Clay Street grow house. Hernandez agrees to raid the place.

Tom breaks the news to his daughter that Grace isn’t coming home for dinner. Evie is devastated, but not surprised.

Grace shows up at the party, where she meets Max. He questions Grace about her whereabouts over the last four months – Max doesn’t seem to trust her. Grace is surprised to find that the party is an intimate family gathering; she can feel all the eyes are on her. Cathy is suspicious, wants to know why Jimmy invited her. Grace walks in on Alec snorting coke in the washroom, he invites her in for a line. Grace obliges.

While serving the warrant, at the Bamboo Pearl, Hector and Lee, under Alec’s orders, firebomb the establishment, trapping some of the cops inside of a fiery blaze. Detective Fleming saves Hernandez, but in the process, collapses from smoke inhalation.

Jimmy tells Grace that she was right – he has a traitor in his crew, but doesn’t know who it is. Jimmy proposes a deal to Grace – he helps her find her son’s killer and she helps him find his traitor.