TRAINING DAY Review: “Quid Pro Quo”


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After a long hiatus, on CBS returned in a new time slot, Saturdays at 9pm. Usually not the slot you put your winners in, but I have to say for what it is I thoroughly enjoy these hours of television where Bill Paxton gets to gleefully antagonize and outsmart bad guys. He is the entire show.

The show picks back up with a typical drawling voice over from Paxton’s Frank about how his father told him about the carnival games being rigged when he was a kid. Under this we see a bad guy walking through a park with several fountains of water jettisoning from the ground around him. We see him take out a gun with plenty of kids around, and Kyle shooting.

Cut to a very upscale home where lawyer Gary Millstone (played by Thomas F. Wilson aka Back to the Future‘s Biff) and his wife are about to have some special sexy time when a couple of thugs bust in with guns and order him to open the safe. How they know that the safe even exists is unclear, but they have a hard time getting him to open it. Millstone explains that he represents guys like them, tells them to take his card and he’ll represent them in the future free of charge. They’re not having it and so he finally opens the safe for them, where they find a cell phone and a bunch of files. The thugs take them and they’re out.

Investigating the scene of the crime, it becomes clear that Frank and Gary know each other “from the few occasions Frank makes an actual arrest,” Gary quips. There is a lot of animosity here but for what we do not know yet. We also meet Vince Parker, the head of Millstone Security, who obviously was not doing his when these thugs broke in in the first place. The team decides to do some surveillance on the neighborhood, as these particular burglars have been known to hit a bunch of houses on consecutive nights and then lay low for six months. Frank is dead sure that they are not coming. How can he be so sure, Kyle asks, and Frank gives him the roundabout answer he’s famous for. They do find somebody, though. Parker.

They take him in to the station where the Deputy DA and Deputy Chief Lockhart almost immediately cut him loose. The Deputy DA explains that they are in the middle of a high profile murder trial with Millstone, and a mistrial could be declared for Frank harassing him. Frank is livid. Lockhart calls Kyle into her office and explains the backstory of Frank and Millstone. A criminal named McQueen was in a shoot out and killed somebody seven years ago. His lawyer was Millstone and an eye witness, a young girl named Robin Meyer, mysteriously went missing after Frank convinced her to testify. She knows this is personal for Frank, and Kyle accuses her of letting Parker go just to wind Frank up and watch him spin out of control. She doesn’t deny it. When Parker does leave, Frank orders Rebecca and Tommy to tail him anyway.

Frank explains to Kyle that he believes it wasn’t McQueen but his lawyer Millstone who had Robin Meyers killed. He just needs to prove it. Soon after we see him meeting with the two culprits who robbed Millstone’s safe in the first scene. They hand him the phone and the files. Kyle catches him meeting them and pissed but goes along with it because his character is pretty passive and doesn’t actually do anything but follow Frank around.

Rebecca is tasked with breaking into Millstone’s phone. She can’t recover the actual texts, but is able to see the dates and times that he sent them from this phone. Frank notes that the one from June 2010 is when Robin Meyers went missing. “Whoever was on the other end of that text made her disappear,” he says. Then they notice that the most recent text is from a few days ago… Millstone is going after another witness.

When they go to the Deputy DA to warn her she tells them she has seven witnesses. Frank and Kyle tell her that one of them could be in trouble and she needs to do something. She tells them she can’t go to the judge with unsubstantiated allegations or there could be a mistrial. “Bring me something I can act on, something legal,” she tells them. As you could have predicted, Frank doesn’t like that.

Meanwhile, Parker has been on the trail of the two guys who robbed his boss. He finds them trying to pawn some of his things in a pawn shop and takes them in. Tommy had been staking out Parker and follows him to where he takes them. Parker sets up a torture device called the Tucker Telephone (basically electric shock, but ten times creepier as it’s done from an antique crank phone). He asks them who put them up to robbing the safe. That’s when Tommy busts in, kicks his ass, and soon Parker wakes up hooked up to the Tucker Telephone, with Frank doing the interrogating. It turns out Millstone used the cell to text a contract killer named Ulysses. Nobody knows his real identity. The money is sent to an offshore account in the Caymans and whoever you want ends up dead. This gives Frank and idea.

Frank catches Millstone coming from court and tells him he sent Ulysses Millstone’s photo and money to that offshore account. Ulysses is coming for him! Now he has a choice: use the cell phone and text Ulysses the abort cord, which proves he’s guilty, or get killed. Only Frank won’t give him the phone until he tells him what happened with Robin Meyers. “I had her killed, I paid to have her killed, had her car left at LAX,” Millstone blurts out. He dials the phone number and has Rebecca standing by to trace the ping. They find the suspect in a nearby park. We cut back to that original scene at the top of the episode and we see Kyle gun down “Ulysses.” Problem solved!

Parker rats on his boss Millstone, who we see being brought into the station. The Deputy DA is happy, but Lockhart is pissed. Frank goes to the mother of Robin Meyer and tells her they caught Robin’s killer, may recover her body. “At least now you know for sure. You can let her go,” he says. “Frank, you have to let her go, too,” she counters, which is a weird thing for a bereaved mother to say to the detective on the case she hasn’t seen in years, but OH WELL.

When Kyle comes home he finds Deputy Chief Lockhart there with his wife. She still wants dirt on Frank, but he’s literally given her nothing. “If I found out that you’re covering for him, I’ll take everything away from you, your badge, your pension, and that’s just for starters. Frank is not the one you need to be scared of.” She leaves and that’s where we end the episode. Will Kyle actually do something for once and make a move against Frank? We’ll have to wait and see.

TB-TV-Grade-BSeason 1, Episode 7 (S01E07)
Training Day airs Saturday at 9PM on CBS

Read all of our reviews of Training Day here. 
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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 is a veteran TV reviewer whose methods of writing TV reviews are questionable, if not corrupt.
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