Ten Days in the Valley Recap – Day 9

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We’re really in the home stretch now, as we  hurtle toward the Ten Days series conclusion, and – spoiler alert – my disappointment in that conclusion.

I take back what I said last time – that Lake being found safe on Day 8 was a deft structural move on the writers’ part. Because no sooner has Lake spent the night at police headquarters with Jane, Pete, a Child Protective Services officer that I will hereafter refer to as  Matron, Bird, and a bunch of other cops, then she and Jane are on the run. Without Jane’s phone, wallet or wits, apparently.

They’re running because Lake recognized Police Gomez from her knothole view in the cabin where she was held captive. She recognized him right after she failed to identify Gus as her kidnapper from a stack of photos that Bird showed her, and evaded Bird’s questions about who drove her to the cabin. Also after Bird left the station to go get yet more info on Cantina Suspect #1, whose real name is Rosa Garcia.

Jane panics, says she’s taking Lake to the bathroom, and runs out of the the building with her. Matron thinks Lake doesn’t feel safe with her mother, so the cops mobilize and go after Jane, who is now being positioned as Lake’s third abductor.

Jane jumps a subway turnstile (nimble work there, Kyra!) and they run onto a subway train. They get off the train when Jane sees some cops, and emerge in sketchy downtown L.A., where Jane makes the TERRIBLE decision to hide out at the home of Sheldon the drug dealer chef, which faithful viewers of this show (all 5 of you) may recall is a cool, large loft with a restaurant-sized kitchen.

Jane has been pretty frantic since the flight from the police station – she’s snapped at Lake several times and lied repeatedly about what they’re doing and when they’ll call Pete and go home. She tries to make Lake play a “game” that consists of inventing a new description of what Police Gomez looks like (she suggests red hair and a jean jacket, as if). Lake balks at this. She doesn’t want to be a liar like Jane.

For no reason I can think of except a need to inject more conflict into the episode, PJ the bike-riding drug dealer is at the loft, having an argument with Sheldon about money. Sheldon starts beating him up (wtf?), Jane expresses alarm, and in the confusion, Lake grabs a portable phone, runs into the bathroom, calls Pete, asks her to come get her, and describes the loft. He heads right over with Ali, Bilson, and some other uniformed cop.

The beating done with, Sheldon cheerily offers to make everyone grilled cheese sandwiches, which is a super weird thing to do under the circumstances. It’s also another nod to Roy Choi, the real-life chef who pioneered Korean taco food trucks in L.A. like the ones the Sheldon character operates, and who’s known for having devised the gorgeous grilled cheese sandwich featured in the movie Chef, the sandwich that I wrote about in this site’s former life as a food blog. (I can only hope Roy Choi is not also a violent drug dealer.) In the post-beatdown lull, Jane borrows PJ’s phone and calls Bird. She tells him Lake identified Police Gomez, and that she thinks Gus was Gomez’s flunky.

P.J., Jane and Lake sit around eating the sandwiches, which do not look anywhere near as good as the movie one, btw. A bleeding P.J. makes a joke about how his scars will help his eventual TV writing career (remember that?) and engages Lake on the topic of hip-hop dancing. I give the writers’ room points for providing continuity here by returning to the one interest Lake has consistently evinced a couple of times since it was established in the pilot, when she danced some hip-hop moves with Jane.

When Jane sees that Pete & co. have arrived, she tries to persuade Lake, if questioned again, to pretend she saw no one. Lake refuses and goes off with Pete, who is appalled that Jane brought her to this den of iniquity and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Ali and PJ exchange awkward hellos before PJ disappears for the remainder of the series. Jane asks Ali to make sure Lake is not interviewed by police. Jane gets cuffed and taken away by Bilson.

Bird visits his ex-wife Chantal at the D.A.’s office, or maybe it’s a courthouse, so she can have her last appearance on the show. He asks her how to find out about someone in witness protection, she tells him that without a warrant his best bet is to sweet talk a young marshal into giving info without one. He intimidates a young marshal instead, and finds out that Casita Victim #1, real name Rosa Garcia, testified against ganglord Vince Medina, and was authorized to be in witness protection thanks to AG Gomez. Oh, and when Bird checked in with forensics, there was no sign of Lake having been in Gus’s cabin.

Police Gomez asks his assistant Amira to tell Matt how the casita story ended – with the killing of Gus AKA Red (wink, wink) – so that the show can be written to reflect the “truth.” She visits Matt and relates the story.  He is suspicious about her motives in telling him, but goes ahead with it as a plot resolution. In a scene meant to be a bit of comic relief (or time filler?), Matt informs Isabel and Dominic, the actors who play the lovers loosely based on Jane & Gus, that Dominic is actually Red, and he is going to die. Isabel thinks that’s way cool, Dominic less so.

Bird goes to Police Gomez and asks him some tough questions. Was his brother sleeping with Casita Victim #1? (No). Then why did he give her a bracelet? (It was a gift, he was grateful to her for testifying.) Was Gus hired to kill CV#1? (maybe, says Gomez  – Gus visited Medina in prison several times). Bird doesn’t believe Gus was Red. Police Gomez tells him to stop fishing, because Police Gomez doesn’t understand that nobody puts Bird in a corner, or, for that matter, tells him where, when and for how long to fish.

What about Tom the intrepid journalist, you ask? Or you would ask, if anyone cared about the Tom character. He spends the night when Lake is recovered writing his version of the kidnapping story, with his phone off and his headphones on -– playing rap, of all unlikely music genres for a guy of his demographic, and more proof of his incompatibility with his Amazing-Grace-singing wife. Hey, what about the missed opportunity that slips by here for him to show his affinity with his biological daughter? He should hip-hop dance with Lake to some of that rap music! Anyway, he has no idea Lake has been found when he emails his story to Jamie the online news site editor. She kills it because it’s worthless now, and she lets slip that she was doing Ali a favour by talking work stuff with him, which pisses off Tom. He snaps at Ali, who is pissed in turn that he would exploit the family drama for a story. These two.

Buddy shows up at the house, he wants to question Lake once more for the case report. Ali tries to stop him, but Lake lets him ask one question – did she see who took her? Lake follows Jane’s instructions (aww?) and lies, says she saw no one.

We close out what is essentially Part 1 of a two-part series finale with Bilson driving Jane somewhere that isn’t the police station. Bilson mentions that her wife has MS, and she has spent years trying to protect her. She also flashes back to taking Lake from Casey’s house and laying her out cold in the back seat of her car.

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:

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