|Airdate||June 26, 2006|
|Written by||Hunt Baldwin & John Coveny|
|Directed by||Elodie Keene|
|Previous episode||Mom Duty|
|Episode list||Season 2|
|“||I'm not a big fan of "random".||”|
A drive-by shooting that kills two college students, the father of one of them being a friend of Taylor, and injures a third turns out to have a connection to a recent conflict between gangs.
- Wesley Talmadge, college student
- Myra Singleton, college student
- Theresa Hoover, college student
- Lawrence, a.k.a. "Pookie", high-ranking Eight-One gang member
- Michael, a.k.a. "Little Devil", aspiring Eight-One member
- Marcus, valet at Shay
Closing the CaseEdit
Phillip P. Keene Buzz Watson Recurring Role Vanessa Bell Calloway Mrs. Talmadge Guest Star John Lafayette Ronald Talmadge Guest Star Lovensky Jean-Baptiste Marcus Guest Star
The gangs of Los Angeles figure large in this episode as they have in earlier ones. The scope of the gang presence in Los Angeles County is enormous: at present there are an estimated 600 gangs with over 150,000 members in Los Angeles County.
Sanchez again shows his gang expertise drawn from his days on the Rampart Crash squad. In several scenes we see some of the most common signs of gang membership or presence. The African-American gangs of South LA have a very different system of organization, naming, and identification from the Latino gangs of LA. Most are affiliated with one of two large gangs: the Bloods or the Crips.
The 6-deuce members brought in wear similar clothing, as is commonly done, and red bandanas, affiliating them with the Bloods gang. At another time, Brenda interviews two 8-1 members wearing blue clothing, identifying them as members of a Crips gang.
Later, Sanchez demonstrates hand signals used by gang members, and explains gang grafitti on a wall. Grafitti serves several purposes for gangs: to mark territory; to name members; to announce their presence, their actions or their plans in rival territory (such as what Sanchez explained) or to warn rival gangs what will happen if they stray into the wrong territory. Grafitti can be highly communicative, and the Bloods and Crips have unique alphabets.
The gangs figuring in this story are identified by numbers: 5-3; 6-deuce and 8-1. These refer to the street numbers roughly central to their territory. South of downtown Los Angeles, the east-west streets other than major arterials are numbered. Gang names are rarely street numbers alone but tend to incorporate street numbers into their names.
When Brenda goes through her mail, we can see her address and Fritz' both have a 90038 zip code. This is a central Hollywood zipcode, adding yet another small wink to Hollywood to the show by telling us that's where Brenda lives! It's also the zipcode of Raleigh Studios, where the show is filmed.
The Talmadge family live in Ladera Heights, known in the LA basin as the "black Beverly Hills." Located near Culver City, the hillside community boast multi-million dollar hillside houses with ocean views, and is one of the wealthiest areas in the state. It is not part of the city of Los Angeles, but is in a pocket of unincorporated territory.
By contrast, although USC is a prestigious private university, the south LA neighborhood where it is located is known for its poverty and gang violence. The location used for the crime scene is on Flower St. Although slightly mis-located to be on the kids' route from Ladera Heights, the location is one block off Figueroa, and two blocks from the USC campus.