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:

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