TRAINING DAY Review: “Sunset”


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I have mixed feelings on this week’s episode of . It was pretty zany and all over the place, yet had the most focused subplots concerning Frank and Kyle’s respective romantic relationships that we’ve seen yet. Also it had an appearance by Lou Diamond Phillips, which never hurts. Let’s dive in.

We open on a prostitute walking the streets of L.A, and an old Rolls Royce rolls up next to her. A man in the back rolls down his window and in a poetic British accent tries to solicit her to get in his car. She refuses and he says something about her being some “fair maiden” which was weird. As she speed walks away, a HUGE figure appears behind her, in a kind of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises mask and get-up and fires a freaking net at her. It encompasses her and traps her and as she fights he fires a dart into her back, knocking her out. This actually does seem like something out of Gotham, so at first I was wondering if I was watching the right show. I was. It was about to get zanier.

Of course, Holly, Frank’s madame girlfriend gets a call from an upset Senator Ken Patterson, who we saw early in the season compromised by Frank. Ken is upset his girl he ordered never showed, and Holly apologizes telling him she’ll send over his best girl. She drives right over to her best girl Sofia’s place, to find her packing. She says after tonight she’s getting out of the business. She’s fallen in love with a man who was not a caller, and they are packing up and leaving this life behind. Holly is obviously skeptical but Sofia her out; she’s clearly in love with Frank Rourke and should have left this life long ago to be with him. Holly balks but we know it is true.

Cut to Frank showing up at Kyle’s place, only Kyle isn’t there. Turns out Kyle’s wife Alyse texted Frank from Kyle’s to get him to come over. She puts Frank in his place, saying she knows that Frank and Deputy Chief Lockhart are in some sort of war and they’ve put her husband in the center. Frank protests, invoking Billy Craig (Kyle’s father) saying he only has good intentions with Kyle. But after he storms out, he tells Kyle to nip that in the bud. You can’t have a wife asking questions. Kyle is pissed at Alyse but at the moment they have bigger fish to fry.

Like Sofia ending up dead and dumped in an alley. Frank and Kyle are called to the scene where they meet crime scene investigator Seth inspecting the scene. He becomes important later. Holly shows up and crosses the police tape, running to Frank. She is devastated and tells Frank another one of her girls didn’t show to a last night, that’s why she sent Sofia. Holly tells him it was Ken Patterson who ordered the girls and Frank goes to pay him a little visit. Seeing as he has Ken compromised, he also squeezes a little info on Deputy Chief Lockhart out of him in exchange for leaving his name out of the murder investigation (he has to make sure the hotel security tapes absolve him of that, of course). Lockhart is funneling money into a strange fund that isn’t on the . Frank tells him to investigate further.

Meanwhile, we cut to a girl waking up in a glass pane prison, dressed as some sort of medieval princess and her cell decorated like a Shakespeare play set. She sees other girls in the cells next to her. The man keeping her there is Abel Cribbs, a long forgotten Hollywood actor who has become a kind of recluse (and an insane person) in his twilight years. He keeps girls for his amusement and has come to be known as “Houdini” in the prostitute world for vanishing girls periodically.

Frank and Kyle get a name from Holly’s book (which she is reluctant to give up so easily seeing as many of hers would be very angry for her giving it to a cop) and head to the place of a man who Frank has been chasing for years (who hasn’t he been?), and who has in the past ordered both of the missing/murdered girls. This is Thurmon Ballesteros, aka Lou Diamond Phillips, a big shot crime boss in L.A. He says while he’s been with both girls, he would never harm a woman as that’s against his code. Frank has to walk away empty handed. But of course we’ll see more of him later because it’s Lou Diamond Phillips.

They next go to a “peeping tom” who has snitched in the past and who spoke about Houdini. They corner him while he’s dressed as a city worker on a telephone pole spying on somebody. Frank shoots him down with a BB gun and they interrogate him. He gives them the name Abel Cribbs and Frank and Kyle are off to the Hollywood Hills. They end up both captured by Cribbs and that Bane looking fella, only to reverse it, killing Bane, freeing the girls, and capturing Houdini aka Cribbs.

BUT it turns out that it wasn’t Cribbs who murdered Sofia after all. Remember that crime scene investigator Seth? And remember how Sofia said she had a boyfriend she was leaving town with? It was Seth, and he killed Sofia when she found out that he had been tampering with crime scenes on behalf of none other than Thurman Bellasteros. They rush to where Thurman is and in a harrowing display of heroism take him out just as he’s about to kill Holly.

The interesting part comes when Holly finally realizes she loves Frank and wants to get out of the business. She asks him to come with her, but he tells her that a man who leaves a unfinished is not worthy of her love. She leaves in tears but he stops her at the last second. “You’re still my informant and if you try and leave I’ll throw your ass in jail,” he angrily tells her. “I love you, too,” she responds, and they kiss.

Oh, and Ken ends up getting more information for Frank on Lockhart’s mysterious funding. It’s all going to Mexico. We’re left with that and the episode ends.

The main storyline was a little too weird and far-fetched for me, even for this show, but I did like the subplot with Frank and Holly and enjoyed how it played out. And of course Lou Diamond Phillips is always a pleasure. Now I am interested to see how the Lockhart storyline picks up in the final few episodes of the season.

Season 1, Episode 10 (S01E10)TB-TV-Grade-B
Training Day airs Saturday at 9PM on CBS

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In , 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  reviewer whose methods of reviews are questionable, if not corrupt.
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