Ten Days in the Valley Recap – Day 7

IMG_0455Jane begins Day 7 by waking up, on John Bird’s couch, from a dream about the casita raid. Bird has asked Jacob to keep her there because she gets into trouble when she goes out on her own, but after taking one bite of the omelette Jacob cooked for her, she’s off.

At the police station, Bird asks Buddy to try to identify the grey SUV in the murky gas station security video without saying why he wants the car tracked down. Police Gomez calls Bird in, tells him about the discovery of Quinn’s body the night before and says he feels like Bird is keeping secrets from him. He’s right.

Tom & Ali are at a doctor’s office for a progesterone shot appointment when Ali confronts him about having slept with Jane 9 years ago. Tom swears his fling with Jane was meaningless. He’s contrite about never having told her, and admits it was Jane’s idea to keep their fling a secret. Ali storms out of the clinic without getting the shot.

Jane drives to the studio. When the gate guard won’t admit her, she sweet-talks her way in by saying she is just there to pick up some files, and by promising to meet with the guard’s son to discuss a Zombie Detective spec script (heh) he wrote.

Inside, she grabs Matt and tells him that the real-life Red took Lake. Matt still thinks this is an insane theory because the script for the casita raid story has “gone wide” – nothing in it is secret anymore, so why would Red care if the episode shot and aired? Unless they’ve missed something about how it really went down.

Matt and Jane go onto the casita set, which is conveniently fully set up for the scene, but empty of people. They try to walk through the raid as it would have happened, and as they do, we see the raid fully dramatized. We’re shown the shootings of Victim 1: a female prostitute, and Victims 2 & 3: male gangsters. Bird drops in and uses his police knowledge to guide their re-enactment. Some mild humour ensues when he shuts down their assumptions on how to block the scene (especially Matt’s). No, the cops wouldn’t have entered that way, they would come in this way, and so on. We also see a dramatization of Quinn being blinded and deafened by the flashbang thrown by Red.  Bird points out that a flashbang is not a defensive weapon but an offensive one that stuns everyone in close range, so why would the cops use it? Matt goes outside to stall the cast and crew and keep them from entering the soundstage for a few more minutes. That’s when Jane and Bird realize that the raid was a cover for the assassination (two shots to the body, one to the head) of Victim #1, the prostitute.

Ali goes to Jane’s house and finds Pete there, drinking. He’s pissed that he found out from Tom that Lake called, Jane didn’t even tell him. He says Casey kidnapped Lake for love, but Lake’s second abduction should be blamed solely on Jane, because she is a lying liar who lies. Ali takes his booze away and gets him talking about how he met Jane, and more importantly, when. Ali twigs at last to the fact that Lake was conceived before Jane met Pete, and is Tom’s child. Away from Pete, she calls Jane and reams her out about this much bigger secret and lie. Jane says she didn’t know until she saw the blood work after the car accident earlier that year (but come on, now – parents are told their child’s blood type at birth, and Jane would obviously count back from her due date as soon as she learned it). Ali is furious, and says she will tell Pete and Tom the truth. But she chickens out when she goes back to a maudlin Pete (sidenote: how irritating is the Pete character and the actor who plays him? Very irritating) and he says that Lake is the only thing in his entire life that he hasn’t bailed on.

Tom meets with Commander Gomez, in a bid to get some details about the case that he can use to write his story (the story he was supposed to submit on Day 6). Gomez doesn’t want any info going out in the media that might jeopardize Lake, and he is right pissed when Tom mentions Lake’s phone call, seeing as Bird didn’t tell him about it.

Bird and Jane head to the coroner’s office to find out why Victim #1’s file is mysteriously blank as to her identity. On the way, Jane compliments Bird’s eye for detail, and says she could use him in the writers’ room. She also suggests he cook his famous Memphis ribs for her and Lake when all this is over. Is now really the time for flirting, Jane? Even if Bird did say yesterday how alike they are, with the workaholism and all.

The coroner’s office person is a friendly, pierced-nose, punk-hairstyled alternative type who dated Buddy once and would like to break his heart, so can Bird have him call her again? She looks up Victim #1’s file on her old-style computer and finds that she was ID’d (and her body claimed) after she died, but her identifying details have been erased. Ruh-roh.

Jane is waiting outside for Bird when Gus finally returns her many phone calls and messages. He wants to meet, but tells her to ditch Bird, because she can’t trust ANYONE.

That evening, on a hill road, she meets Gus, who is driving a bright blue sports car (not a grey SUV), though he is wearing a black leather jacket and jeans, just like the guy who was driving Lake around! They embrace. He claims not to have heard about Quinn’s death, but when Jane asks him who the dead prostitute was, he tells her to stop talking, stop her show, and if she wants Lake back, to stop digging. When Bird emerges from the shadows, unarmed, to talk, Gus shoots out Jane’s tires so they can’t follow him, and takes off. Not sure why Bird doesn’t call in the plate number so they can track him down though. Maybe he did.

Meanwhile, the dynamic duo of Bilson and Buddy have found the grey SUV. It’s been rolled down a hill and abandoned, it is definitely a police vehicle, and the person who signed it out a week ago was, of course, Gus! Who we see stopping at a convenience store to buy snacks, bananas, and a childrens’ tape recorder/player toy. Hmm.

Bird returns to the police station. Buddy & Bilson avoid his eye, because Gomez made them spill about the grey SUV and how come Bird didn’t keep them in the loop anyway? Gomez gives Bird shit and takes him off the case. Through clenched teeth, Gomez claims Gus was the head of the dirty crew, and the police have been building a case against him, which would have been resolved without Lake going missing if  Bird hadn’t interfered. Bird doesn’t seem to believe that Gus is Red, and he doesn’t want to be reassigned. He’d rather hand in his gun and badge, and walk out, after taking from Gomez’s desk a wrapped roll of candies that, according to my vast knowledge of North American food culture, are called Rockets in Canada, and Smarties in the U.S.


I’m unspoiled on this show – I haven’t yet seen the remaining three episodes currently available in Canada on CraveTV. But my bet is that this will turn out to be Chekhov’s candy, when Bird later finds a discarded wrapper among the evidence from the casita raid. Because I think Gomez was there, and the prostitute was killed to protect his brother the AG. Police Gomez may even be Red.

Jane comes home to find Ali in the house, and Pete passed out on Lake’s bedroom floor.  Jane tells Ali that (she thinks) Gus took Lake but she has to believe he won’t hurt her. Ali says she did not tell Pete the truth about Lake’s parentage, but not because she wanted to spare Jane. Jane plaintively asks Ali to stay, because she can’t do this without her, though she seemed perfectly fine without her that whole day, what with the flirting and joking. Ali just shakes her head and leaves.

Jane helps Pete get onto Lake’s bed. They are both afraid of tomorrow. They spoon and try to sleep.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners, The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in June 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Here is its book trailer:


Ten Days in the Valley Recap – Day 6

All kidding aside for a minute, I gotta say that this show uses amazing, beautiful and haunting time-lapse establishing shots of Los Angeles – by day and by night – between scenes and under the title. I wish I could have used one on the book cover for my new novel set in L.A.

Okay, back to the snark: Day 6 begins somewhere in the wee hours, when Jane is acting like a crazy person. She listens to an old Pinocchio storybook recording on a kids’ record player, drinks brown liquor, has a blotchy face, curls up in a fetal position on the floor, and how many days has it been since she showered? Because her unflattering, straightened/fried hair style might be turning into dreadlocks now.

When Ali comes in near dawn and convinces her to go to bed, Jane says Lake is gone, and, “I can’t live without her. And I won’t.” Ali points out that Jane doesn’t know if Lake is dead, because clairvoyance is not one of Jane’s superpowers. She then sings Amazing Grace (weird choice for a lullaby, if you ask me, and also my husband, who turned to me during this scene and made me promise never to sing Amazing Grace to him under any circumstances, not that I would) to her until she falls asleep.

Bird tries to track down the origin of the flashbang handle found at the crime scene where Casey died. The serial number indicates it is not police issue, but military grade. Except when Bird goes, with his adult son Jacob (who is home from college, and with whom he is trying to spend some quality time) to the Marine depot on the way to help the son buy a suit to impress his new girlfriend’s family, he finds out that that particular batch of flashbangs was stolen from the Marines, but the stolen goods were later recovered by the police, so actually it was in police hands. This seemed like a time-killing plot development rather than a germane one, plus Jacob gets pissed off in the suit store and leaves when Bird takes a work call, so yeah, not Bird’s finest hour.

The big development of the day occurs when the car Lake is in pulls into a gas station. The still unseen driver locks her inside and goes into the station/store. I guess Lake can’t unlock the door from the inside because this is a police SUV, though there is no barrier between the front and back seats, and when she starts to climb to the front, she stops when she sees the police radio and doesn’t try getting out. (Why?)  Instead, she convinces a young woman pumping her own gas to pass her a cell phone through the car window, and she correctly remembers Jane’s number to call her. Incredibly, Jane answers a call from an unknown number, and has the wit to quickly question Lake on her whereabouts. Lake provides some generic identifying details on the location and describes the police radio, but she doesn’t know who she is with. The driver returns, Lake throws the cell phone out the window, and it breaks when the car runs over it while speeding away. So no one will be able to find the woman who lent the little girl in distress her now-broken pay-as-you-go phone, and yet does not bother to report this odd incident to anyone.

Jane decides that Bird cannot be trusted with the exciting new intel that Lake is alive, because bad cops are everywhere. Except Gus. He won’t answer her calls so she drags Ali over to his house to look for him. He is not home, his car is there, and his house is artfully disarranged – papers are strewn about on the floor just so – to look like he ran out fast, or someone else came and searched the place. A busybody neighbour appears at the door and refers to Jane as Gus’s girlfriend, which pisses off Ali, because Jane lied the last time Ali asked her if she was seeing anyone.

They decide to go look for Gus at a bar he frequents, owned by a friend. On the way, Jane speculates that he may have gone to his cabin up north. She doesn’t know where it is but happens to have a flash drive containing a recording of a flirty conversation she had with Gus in that bar, during which she tried to get more info out of him about the dirty cop operation, and he maybe mentioned the cabin’s location. She and Ali listen to it in the car, and she leaves it playing when she goes into the bar.

The bartender turns out to be: a) a strung-out looking guy named Quinn O’Farrell; b) Gus’s ex-partner, an ex–narcotics cop who was a lackey in the ‘lick crew’; c) melodramatically played by a hammy actor; and d) inclined to melodramatically warn Jane off telling the casita raid story, because there’s a dark secret hidden in it, and it’s the reason Gus is on the run! Also, Red, the lick crew boss, is a big bad guy who will kill you if you cross him.

Back in the car, Ali hears Jane say on the recording that she slept with Tom a couple of times, years before Tom met Ali, and she has never told Ali about this. Ali is mighty pissed about this betrayal, but doesn’t let on at first. She tricks Jane into driving to Bird’s house, where Jacob lets them in. When Bird arrives home, Ali tells him Lake called, and convinces him to trace the call off the record. After some heated words with Jane about trust and lies, Ali leaves, and checks into a hotel for the night so she doesn’t have to face Tom (still toiling away at his story) either.

Jacob wouldn’t mind talking with Bird about some family issues of his own, but Bird can’t, not now. He promises to take a few days off and visit Jacob at college when the case is done.

Matt, meanwhile, is trying to figure out the motivation of the Red character for the TV show, what with the final episode about to be shot, and the script needing work. A woman writer points out that Red shares certain character traits, like heroin addiction and an ex-wife, with Pete. Matt calls Pete into the office on the pretext of handing over some of dead Casey’s effects, and for story reasons, questions him about his feelings for Jane and Casey. Pete soon figures out what he’s doing, calls him a vulture, and leaves in a huff. Whereupon Matt adds the word ‘heartbreak’ to his character board.

Bird and Jane visit the gas station that Lake called from, view some murky, unhelpful security video footage, and find a piece of a broken cellphone case on the ground.   Next, they go pay a visit to Quinn O’Farrell. They break into the bar’s backroom living quarters from an alleyway, and find Quinn dead, hanging from the ceiling.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners, The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in June 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. See its book trailer here:

Ten Days in the Valley Recap – Day 5

Now that Casey is very dead, we get a flashback to the day she got hired as Jane’s assistant. On her way into the interview at the studio, Casey meets Pete, who is there to drop off Lake.  They have a friendly, flirty chat during which he initially takes her for an actress because she’s a beautiful skinny girl (aww, or ew?) and he asks her out (definitely ew) because he is lonely and desperate and she is young and smiley.

In the interview with Jane, Casey says that after film school, she considered becoming an actor and director, then settled on writer. “I want to be you,” she says. Jane doesn’t care that Casey is totally into “docs,” especially since the cop show is not a documentary. Jane is not interested in hiring someone who isn’t passionate about her career choice, and cuts the interview short. Sad Casey runs into Lake in the restroom, and they bond, what with Lake knowing from sadness with her parents being divorced and all. Lake talks Jane into hiring Casey because Jane will do anything for her kid. When she’s not ignoring her.

That night, a prescient Casey tells evil sister Lynn that the job is going to change her life. Evil Lynn tells her to go out with Pete if she liked him. Out of loyalty to Jane, Casey initially resists the siren call of Pete, older-guy drug addict and underemployed music producer, but succumbs to his allure one day after Jane gives her shit for giving Lake candy. And she only offered the candy anyway to keep Lake from noticing that Jane was snorting coke or Adderall or whatever drug it is that she keeps cut into lines next to her  on her desk.

In the present, Casey is still dead on the floor. Bird tells Jane that Lynn took Lake, though what makes him think this, we don’t know, because Lynn is soon traced through a credit card purchase at a cheap restaurant, and when the cops surround her and arrest her, she is alone (as I called in my last recap!). She tells the police she came home, found Casey and her husband dead and Lake gone, and she panicked and ran. Forensic tests of her clothes and person show she appears to be telling the truth, because there is no sign she fired a gun, so goodbye evil Lynn. Before she goes, she says on tape to the woman cop Bilson that everything, including Casey’s death, is Jane’s fault because she’s a shit mom who cares more about her work than about her kid. All of which interview is observed remotely by Jane, because Bird has no sense of proper boundaries between police  and victims’ mothers.

In what might be a bid to make Pete look more sympathetic (or possibly more weak), he cries about Casey’s death (which Jane sure doesn’t), and tells Tom he blames himself, because Casey kidnapped Lake for him. And he starts drinking again.

Tom meets with Ali’s friend Jamie, the hotshot online news editor, to pitch some long-form serious journalism story ideas about sanctuary states and infertility. She is all yeah, yeah, those are important subjects but what have you got that’s hot and juicy? He admits that his niece having been kidnapped is on his mind right now, and she presses him to write that story, which has been kept out of the press so far, but is sure to break soon, so better him to write it than anyone else, right? He demurs at first, but later agrees if he has control over what is written. Jamie gives him 24 hours to turn in his story, but he doesn’t submit it on Day 6, and is still researching it on Day 7, so I’m not sure what happened with that timeline.

In other subplots, Attorney-General Gomez continues to worry that the Sadler case will affect his campaign, and Police Gomez continues to unconvincingly assure him it will not. Police Gomez asks John Bird to attend AG Gomez’s campaign event re: the Medina taskforce (something about a gang that Bird helped take down) where Bird runs into his attractive and sympathetic ex-wife (who is maybe a lawyer with the D.A.’s office?). They discuss their college age son, who doesn’t see Bird often due to Bird’s workaholic schedule. The wife reminds Bird, in regard to Lake’s abduction, that until there’s a body, it’s never too late.

Bird checks in with the police department clerk who is bagging and labelling the crime scene evidence found at evil Lynn’s house, and comes across the handle of a flashbang, AKA stun grenade, which Wikipedia tells me is a non-lethal explosive device used to temporarily disorient an enemy’s senses. And guess who uses flashbangs – cops!

In a flashback, we see Jane in bed with Gus, asking him detailed questions about the real-life casita raid. “You tell me the truth, I’ll make it fiction,” she says, though she forgot to do that, duh. In the present, she meets Gus in an alley, where he sports a black eye he got when the backup he called for recently never arrived. He warns her to stop making the TV show be about that raid, because the bad cops don’t want that info out and are punishing him AND her.

The lightbulb goes off above Jane’s head that some cops might be involved in Lake’s latest abduction, and as a sidenote, how do we feel about the show having Lake be kidnapped AGAIN, but by a completely different criminal crew? Is this a clever twist, or a bit of a show-extending cheat? I’m leaning toward the latter. Jane runs into the studio, calls “Cut” on whatever scene is being shot, and frantically tells Matt and co. that the whole story line has to be changed, the cops can’t be the bad guys anymore or they won’t help find her daughter, so they’re going to rewrite the show NOW. (I liked the detail of her removing all the blue index cards from the writers’ room story wall.)

A network executive, who was seen in a flashback as the guy she pitched the concept to originally, shows up. He tells her the studio and network are in full support of the original idea, it can’t be changed at this late stage, and she should take some time off to handle her personal situation. In other words, he fires her on the spot.

A distraught Jane tells a worried Matt that it’s her fault Lake got taken, because of the whole dirty cops story line, and she was warned and didn’t listen. He thinks she’s talking crazy shit now. Or maybe not so crazy when she mentions that oh yeah, Casey was shot in the head earlier that day. And no, Ali, Jane doesn’t want to sleep and shower and eat and act normal, she wants to survive on stress fumes and guilt until Lake is found because this is all Jane’s fault!

We close Day 5 with a scene showing that Lake is alive, safe, and whiny in the back seat of a big grey SUV driving through the night. “Where are we going?” she asks the unseen driver.

Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners called The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in June 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. See its book trailer here: