To say the poop hit the fan this week on TRAINING DAY would be putting it pretty mildly. The first part in the two part season (and most likely series) finale brought a ton of twists and turns, setting up for hopefully one tremendously entertaining final hour.
We open on Frank and his typical ominous voice over, but this time he is telling the audience though they will probably judge him, to just wait until they see the entire story to do so. Under this we see him taking out a wall of a former lucha libre hall with a sledgehammer, a body long deceased spilling out of it onto the floor in front of him. From here, we flash back a few hours. If you will recall, last episode left off with a foreboding warning from Jack Ivers to Frank about not pursuing answers regarding Billy Craig’s murder. Ivers was formerly thought to be a Homeland Security official, but later turned out to be CIA.
As we know by now, Frank is not one to respond reasonably to threats. This is the first solid lead he’s had on his ex partner’s (and Kyle’s father’s) murder in over ten years and he intends to follow up on it. He enlists the help of trusty informant Moreno, who purposefully throws himself in front of Ivers’ car, causing him to stop. He plays like he is running a scam and Ivers thinks he’s got him pegged–only for a few of Moreno’s gang thugs to show up with weapons and take him in. Next thing we know Ivers is dangling off the ledge of a tall Los Angeles building, held by a crane with his wrists wrapped together. Frank wants answers out of him and after a brief exchange, Ivers tells him that the people who he works for are interested in a set of keys–one being the one Kyle’s father Billy gave him, which he wears around his neck, and the other’s location is unknown. We don’t know what the keys open.
So where is Kyle, you ask? He tracks down some old retired cops to start asking some questions for himself (why he hadn’t done this earlier, I’m not sure) about his dad’s untimely demise. When he talks to one, he learns that, contrary to what Frank told him, Frank was at the scene of the murder the night Kyle’s father died. This rocks Kyle’s trust in Frank in a huge way. When he confronts Lockhart about it, she tells him that she will now bring Frank in for the murder of his dad, based off his “anonymous” tip to her (nobody knows he is undercover besides her).
Kyle randomly recalls the crossroads Frank tipped him off to about something involving his father’s murder and goes there. It just happens to be the moment in the beginning where Frank is knocking down the wall and uncovering the long dead body. Kyle pulls his gun on Frank and tells him to step away. Frank tells Kyle to put his gun down–they have work to do. So who is this dead guy? Frank tells Kyle (and we see in a flashback) how his father Billy went to meet a man who could tip him off on who killed another cop friend of theirs. They originally thought it was a criminal named Teflon who Frank and Billy set up to go to prison (with Lockhart’s approval) only for Teflon to swiftly be assassinated once inside. It was a cover-up for something bigger, and Frank and Billy knew it. When Billy stepped aside to talk to the man who could provide him info, the man draws a gun on him. Frank takes him out quickly, searches his person, and finds that the man he just shot worked for the State Department–or at least he had the badge.
Frank discovers just what he was looking for when he decided to open the wall to exhume the dead body. He finds the other key. He tells Kyle what he learned from Ivers about the keys. Kyle looks at the one around his neck and compares it to the one Frank just took off the dead body and it’s a match. And while the one Billy Craig gave his son had its serial number scratched off, the key off the State Department agent has one on it. This is a huge lead.
There are a lot of questions now. What do these keys open? Why did Billy Craig have to die? And why are the State Department and Teflon’s cartel working together to cover something up? Frank and Kyle can’t get to floating some theories just then because Lockhart shows up just as they are moving the body of the State Department agent Frank killed years ago. She’s ready to take Frank in for killing Billy Craig to get away with killing the guy he and Kyle are moving. Frank accuses her of protecting whoever it is really behind Billy’s murder. Then bullets fly.
The rest of the episode is basically one long shoot out, not between Lockhart, Frank, and Kyle, but between those three and Ivers’ guys. They roll in with automatic weapons, masks, and army fatigues. The three police take them out after a lengthy battle, only for Ivers to send in more troops. One gets Lockhart in the gut. And just when Frank appears cornered, Rebecca and Tommy roll in and take out the last bad guy with their van. Frank and Lockhart both realize they are on the same side and the real bad guys are still out there.
However, that’s the only friendly union we get to leave with this episode. It comes out that Kyle was a plant from Lockhart this whole time, and Rebecca and Tommy realize Frank knew and didn’t tell them, putting them at risk. They leave, angrily. Kyle tells Frank he doesn’t want anything to do with him anymore, and they actually get into a physical altercation. When Kyle gets home to his wife Alyse, she leaves him telling him to come back to her when he has all his answers he needs. Then Kyle realizes that in the physical altercation with Frank, Frank swiped the key off his neck.
We leave off here with one hour to go. Savor every last bit of Paxton’s performance, people. It’s made even better knowing we have a finite amount of this tremendous actor left.
Season 1, Episode 12 (S01E12)
Training Day airs Saturday at 9PM on CBS
In Los Angeles, a city where streets are overrun by drug dealers, those who have sworn to uphold the law are breaking them to clean up the streets. Paul Gulyas is a veteran TV reviewer whose methods of writing TV reviews are questionable, if not corrupt.
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Paul Gulyas | Contributor