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Golden Boy “Next Question” 

Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/Warner Bros.
Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/Warner Bros.

With Clark on modified desk duty, he can’t participate in this week’s active case. But he can look into a case that’s been cold for 10 years, Owen’s first homicide. I love that we get to see who played the role of mentor to Owen back in the day. Turns out Owen was a lot like Clark, but he had someone to teach him the right way to work a case. His voice of reason? Robert John Burke‘s Andrew Lightstone. The reason this particular case is so cold? It’s happened the same morning as the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

It’s so to see Michael Madsen on my TV even if he’s up to no good. Clark’s father wanted his son to reach out, but maybe he didn’t expect Clark to be more interested in talking about a man from his past he’d rather not discuss. Back in the day, Walter Sr. moved a lot of coke in the neighborhood. Jr. wants to know if he remembers a man named Dworaczyk. His father says he’ll look into it, but of course there’s a string attached. He wants Jr. to help him track down a man who owes him 50K. Clark’s sorry he even asked his father for help.

Lightstone was pulled off the case and sent to the World Trade Center where he died. It took Owen a few months to recover enough to be put back the case. And by then all their leads had gone cold. There’s a reason Owen hasn’t been able to crack this case. Maybe Clark would be better off working this one alone. Arroyo and MacKenzie aren’t getting anywhere on their current case so Owen offers to take a crack at Maceo. Arroyo gets a call from his wife, who has discovered evidence of his affair. Arroyo denies it, but Lorraine isn’t buying it. She tells him not to come home and reminds him that he’s not the only one who knows how to shoot a gun.

Owen tries the good cop route first and his words are affecting. He talks about how homicide detectives are different from other cops, how they carry the burden of every unsolved murder on their shoulders. When it doesn’t look like he’s getting through to Maceo, he tries the bad cop route and scares him enough for him to give up a name: Cody Vance.

Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/Warner Bros.
Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/Warner Bros.

Clark notices that Dworaczyk and Eddie Roque resemble each other. What if this is all a case of mistaken identity?  Why would someone have been targeting Roque? Clark tracks him down in court-ordered rehab. Clark can tell Roque’s dying and he uses that information to get the name Sal Dominquez. He made a threat on Roque, but he’s been dead for three years.

Cody Vance, the guy responsible for the drive-by has cleared out. He’s got access to a private plane and relatives in Havana. The plane left for Cuba six hours prior. Arroyo’s still looking for his promotion, but his LT reminds him this case isn’t off the books until their suspect is in custody.

Walter’s father claims he doesn’t want anything in return for the information he gives to Clark on Dworaczyk. Turns out it was a contract killing. A hitman who works for dope dealers is responsible. Owen wonders what this is going to cost Clark with his father, but Clark tells Owen he’s happy to do it for his partner. Clark brings Roque in to see if there’s anything to this new theory. Three of Roque’s business rivals were killed. Roque alibied out. They know they’ve got Roque when he asks for full immunity. So far they’ve connected this case to 11 other murders. When Arroyo agrees to catch the ADA up to speed Clark takes him aside and calls him on his machinations. But Arroyo isn’t having it, especially today. He threatens to pull out the recording he has of Clark admitting to stealing that money. Arroyo reasons that Owen’s career is over, so this one is his.

Roque doesn’t have a last name, but he man he hired goes by Pablo and he operated out of a hardware store in Queens. You’ve got to know the guy to hire him, so Roque gets drafted and wired up. Walter tries to get Arroyo to see reason on this case, let Owen get his due but Arroyo isn’t hearing it. So Clark takes him out of the game – punches him (which, let’s face it, he deserved) and handcuffs him to a pole in the basement of the precinct.

Erik Todd Dellums‘ Pablo Vega seems to know it’s a setup, but Owen is not about to let this guy get away again. Clark’s outside and covers the back alleyway. The problem? Clark doesn’t have a badge or a gun. But Pablo has a knife, which he knows how to use. Owen is the one to arrest Pablo after Clark gets hurt in the fight. He got him. He finally got him. They’ve found Pablo’s tricks of the trade; he’s caught. But this isn’t what the interrogation is about. Owen wants to settle up the past. And he gets Pablo to cop to his screw up.

When William Sadler‘s Commissioner Jack Dowdell shows up, we’re not sure where this is going. He tells Clark his internal affairs investigation is going away and he promotes Owen on the spot, despite their history. Before the Commissioner leaves Clark talks to him about the 3 murders Pablo confessed to that other guys are doing time for. In all instances the perps confessed to Ryan Bell, who is a captain now. Clark thinks they need to take another look at those confessions but the Commissioner wants him to let it go. We know Clark won’t.

Walter Sr. shows up as Agnes is getting off work. He wants her to take a ride with him and he assures her Clark knows all about it, which we know he doesn’t. Later when Clark is having dinner with Margot, Holbrook shows up and pulls a gun. He’s got one more card to play. And that card is to shoot his wife. Clark was injured, but it’s unclear if Margot survived or not. We already know Owen is dead seven years in the future, but in this episode we learn that MacKenzie is too.

After the towers collapsed, Owen listened to the voicemail Andy left for him. It made me cry – the message and Owen’s reaction to it. I’m bummed this series isn’t coming back, but I enjoyed it while it was here.

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