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:

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