|Title||“Targets of Opportunity”|
|Airdate||July 20, 2015|
|Written by||Jim Leonard|
|Directed by||Michael M. Robin|
|Previous episode||“Personal Effects”|
|Next episode||“Hostage to Fortune”|
|Episode list||Season 4|
After a shooting leaves two LA police officers dead, the Major Crimes unit must work with the Deputy Chief of the LAPD Special Operations Bureau, Fritz Howard, to piece together a high stakes case involving a fugitive witness. Meanwhile, Rusty works with the team on the case in order to secretly gather more background information to support his own, journalistic investigation into the life of the girl who called herself Alice Herrera.
- James Leary
- LAPD patrol officer.
- Forty-two years old.
- Arrested Enrico "Rico" Fornes for selling phony passport cards.
- Shot several times in the neck and chest while trying to help Baldy and Mustache.
- Leigh Ann Tracy
- LAPD patrol officer.
- Only twenty-three years old.
- Arrested Enrico "Rico" Fornes for selling phony passport cards.
- Was in the car when Leary was killed.
- Wounded by Baldy then executed with two shots to the head.
- Weapon stolen by Rico for protection.
- Gordon Peppars
- Elderly man that Baldy and Mustache attempted to rob using a fake police officer con.
- Murdered by Baldy after he murdered Leary and Tracy.
- Enrico "Rico" Fornes
- Twenty years old and a former Arizona State student.
- Nephew of MS-13 higher-up Diego Fornes who "runs the southern half of El Salvador."
- El Salvadorian national, but has been in the US since he was three.
- Deported seventeen months ago, but returned with the help of his uncle.
- Worked for Echo selling fake passport cards to pay his uncle back.
- Arrested shortly before the murders by Officers Leary and Tracy.
- Was a witness to the murders and took Tracy's gun for protection.
- Murders mistakenly believed by the police to be a rescue attempt for Rico.
- Paco Lopez
- High-ranking member of MS-13.
- Had a fake passport card made for him that was on Rico when he was arrested.
- Fake passport card found in Leary and Tracy's patrol car.
- Eugene Nelson
- Known as "Echo".
- Boss of Enrico Fornes.
- Claims to be an artist.
- Makes fake passport cards for MS-13.
- Has a very nervous disposition.
- Ex-con running a scam to rob people by posing as a police officer.
- Less violent and more reasonable member of the duo.
- Ex-con running a scam to rob people by posing as a police officer.
- More violent member of the duo.
- Committed all three murders when Leary and Tracy interrupted the robbery of Gordon Peppars.
- Enrico Fornes' fingerprint on a fake passport card.
- The fake passport cards found on the floor of Officer Leary and Tracy's vehicle.
- Information from Paco Lopez and Echo.
- Information from Emmy Martinez.
- Eyewitness testimony from Rico.
- Fake wanted poster given to Emmy by Mustache.
Closing the CaseEdit
After Paco Lopez is arrested, he is brought into the interview room where he immediately claims to have no idea why his face is on a fake passport card. Julio threatens to send Paco back to prison for violating his parole and Sharon questions him about Enrico and Diego Fornes. However, Paco pretends to know nothing. With Paco unwilling to cooperate, Sharon tells him that he has three problems: first, he has violated his parole by buying a fake passport card. Second, they can turn Paco over to the FBI for counterfeiting federal IDs which is an act of terrorism. This threat catches Paco's attention and Julio threatens that if Paco doesn't tell them about Enrico Fornes, he will go to federal prison for the rest of his life once his state sentence is up.
Paco angrily tells them that Enrico is nothing but an errand boy, a gofer. However, Paco refuses to tell them who Enrico works for, reiterating that he is not a terrorist but an American citizen. Julio presses Paco by pointing out that there is a list of Americans who have been arrested as terrorists and Sharon makes him an offer: they put Paco back in state prison to finish out the last year and a half of his assault charge so it doesn't look like Paco helped them. They will also make the fake passport charges go away in exchange. After Julio refuses to consider putting Paco in Witness Protection as it takes too long and continues to press him, Paco finally tells them that Enrico works for a man named Echo. While Paco doesn't know Echo's real name, a search by Sykes for the gang moniker "Echo" comes up with two men, one of whom is deceased. Paco also tells them that Enrico drives a red Taurus.
The living Echo, a man named Eugene Nelson, is brought in for questioning. As he sits down in the interrogation room with Provenza and Flynn, Sykes enters and is purposefully violent in her handling of Echo's expensive 3D printer. Echo nervously claims to be an artist with Sykes and Provenza bringing forth the fake passport cards they found as examples of Echo's "art." When Echo claims not to have seen the fake passport cards before in his life, Flynn begins taking apart Eco's 3D printer, causing Echo to change his mind and cooperate. Echo admits that Enrico works for him, but does delivery only. Echo hesitates to tell them where Enrico lives out of fear of his uncle, but quickly caves when Flynn threatens to drop the printer to the ground. Echo states that he gave Enrico a ride home once and offers up his address.
Accompanied by Deputy Chief Fritz Howard and a rapid response team from SOB, Julio and Sykes raid Enrico's home. However, Enrico is gone and his pregnant girlfriend claims not to know where to find him and that she wouldn't tell them where to look if she did. In the raid, Fritz finds a packet of fake passport cards and Sykes finds a packed suitcase.
With Enrico's girlfriend Emmy Martinez unwilling to talk, Sharon shows her the room full of volunteers searching through tips to find him. Emmy claims not to know where Enrico, who she calls by the nickname of Rico, is. Sharon tells Emmy that they know that Rico stopped by her apartment after the shootings as he left the packet of fake passport cards behind. As they were in Emmy's possession, she is criminally liable for them. She also harbored Rico knowing that he was a fugitive which is a crime and if he is the killer, she was an accomplice after the fact to a triple homicide, another crime.
After Sharon accuses Rico of having gang affiliations, Emmy angrily tells them that Rico is not in a gang. Rico's just paying his uncle back for helping to get him back into America by distributing fake passport card to MS-13 gang members. When they question Emmy about the gun Rico stole from Officer Tracy, Emmy claims to know nothing about a gun. Sharon and Tao press Emmy for where Rico could've gone since he's not gang affiliated and has no friends or family nearby and Emmy tells them that she has no interest in the reward the police are offering. The squad are confused as they have offered no reward and Emmy tells them that two "nicer" cops that came that morning offered the reward. Though they had cops canvassing all over the place looking for witnesses, Flynn, Provenza, Julio and Assistant Chief Russell Taylor are confused by the mention of a reward.
Sharon and Tao press Emmy about Rico's car which wasn't parked on the street or is in impound, having realized that Emmy and Rico were planning to run from the packed suitcase Sykes found. Emmy tells them that the car is a piece of crap and is in the garage for repairs. The two press Emmy for the location of the car, making the point to her that if Rico tries to flee in the car while armed, he could get killed and her baby could grow up without a father. Finally, Emmy gives up the location of the garage.
At the same time, Rico heads to the garage to get his car, but the owner recognizes him from a wanted poster distributed by Baldy and Mustache and calls them to turn Rico in. As the two arrive and Rico begins to run after seeing them, the two fake cops spot an LAPD airship circling the area and decide to leave rather than risk getting caught. Rico runs followed by the airship which directs ground units after Rico. Unknown to the cops, they narrowly miss the killers as they chase after Rico. Finally, Rico is cornered by police officers led by Sykes and Julio and is arrested. On Rico, they recover Officer Tracy's gun which is marked with her name and badge number.
In interrogation, Provenza questions why MS-13 was so desperate to get Rico back that they would kill two cops and an innocent man. Rico claims not to know anything about the murders or to have seen anything so Sharon shows him pictures of Officers Leary and Tracy and gives him background on the two. While Rico feels awful that they died, he insists that he only fled the scene of the crime to avoid being deported again. Rico states that he may not be an American, but he grew up in the United States and asks if they can do anything to help him avoid being deported.
Sharon, Sykes, Provenza and Julio press Rico on MS-13's murder of the officers, offering him protection from the gang, even in prison. Finally, Rico snaps and tells them that the gang wasn't even involved in the murders and that it was a case of "cops killing cops." Tao remembers the fact that there was a tip by someone who claimed to have seen two police cars at the scene of the murder and that someone posted a reward for Rico's capture and that it wasn't them. Upon Sharon's prompting, Rico confirms that he did see Leary and Tracy murdered by other cops.
Rico tells them that it was two other officers in a black Charger that almost got him at his apartment and at the garage. Fritz correctly surmises that the other "officers" heard them coming and were scared off. Taylor is disturbed by the implications of cops killing other cops while Provenza insists to Rico that no one wants to catch dirty cops more than they do. Rico tries to ask for a lawyer, but Julio tells him that if Rico is telling the truth, then he's a witness instead of a suspect and he doesn't get a lawyer. Provenza decides to assume the other two cops are fakes and confirms with Rico that he can in fact identify them if they are arrested. Once Rico confirms that fact, Sharon informs him that that will make Rico a material witness in the investigation as Julio stated.
Studying the tip sheet on the second police vehicle that was spotted, Flynn asks Taylor if there have been any reports of imposter cops shaking down people for money. Taylor admits that there haven't been in the last few weeks, but that its a common con in the poorer parts of LA. They also remember that Gordon Peppars had his license and registration out, like he had just been pulled over. Peppars had also just taken three hundred dollars out of an ATM in a grocery store where he could've easily been spotted by two con men looking for an easy mark. Flynn is enraged to realize that two cops are dead over an attempt to shake down an old man at an ATM machine.
Rico questions how the two fake cops could've found him twice and Provenza states that Rico's name and picture were plastered all over television. With Rico being a relative of one of the most notorious gangsters on Earth, if the fake cops are professional low-lives, they would likely know who's who in their neighborhood. Rico brings up the fact that the two fake cops had come to his apartment and offered Emmy a reward to turn him in, reminding Sharon of the fact that the two fake cops left Emmy a way to contact them.
Under direction from the LAPD, Emmy calls the number on the wanted poster she was given and claims that Rico returned after escaping from the police, but she refused to let him stay. Emmy tells them that Rico is fleeing the country out of fear of his uncle with the help of a priest who offered him help at St. Andrew's Church, "Father Provenza."
Watching the church, Baldy and Mustache spot Rico entering. As Baldy watches the back door from the car, Mustache enters looking for "Father Provenza." Inside the church, Julio and Sykes are waiting disguised as a janitor and a churchgoer respectively. When asked where to find "Father Provenza", Julio directs Mustache to look behind him where Provenza is waiting with a shotgun. "If you're seeking a shortcut to Hell my son, you've come to the right place" quips Provenza. Surrounded by the armed Provenza, Julio, Sykes and a SWAT officer, Mustache is left with no choice but to surrender without a fight. With Mustache in custody, Rico emerges from hiding and identifies him as one of the killers.
Outside, posing as a regular citizen, Sharon comes up to Baldy's door and asks for his help. Once Baldy rolls down his window, Sharon draws her gun, points it at Baldy's head at point-blank range and orders him to "remain very still." Sharon is quickly joined by Tao, Flynn and several SWAT officers who surround the car with guns drawn. Outnumbered and outgunned, Baldy surrenders and is pulled from the car as well. "Whatever the hell your name is, your under arrest for murder," announces Flynn and reads Baldy his rights.
Later, Provenza tells Rusty Beck and TJ Shaw that instead of being terrorists or master criminals, Baldy and Mustache were ex-cons "playing dress-up and shaking down old people." In order to secure Rico's testimony, he is offered a deal where in exchange for his testimony in court on what he witnessed the night of the murders, his passport card charges will "go away." Sharon also promises that in the meantime, they will put Rico and Emmy in Witness Protection, sort out Rico and his parents' immigration status and hopefully get him back into college. Fritz warns that the other part of the deal, the part that is pulling a lot of the "freight" is that Rico and his parents must offer the FBI insights into his uncle's business and personal life and they must be "extremely upfront" about it.
Rico is upset as he lived in America from the time he was three until his deportation at nineteen and sees what happened to him as unfair. Sharon reminds Rico that murder is the ultimate betrayal of human rights, not a political issue and suggests that he can start finding justice for what happened to him by agreeing to the deal. Rico tearfully agrees and signs the deal that was prepared for him.
- Carlos Pratts (Enrico "Rico" Fornes)
- Chris Browning (Mustache)
- Matt Bushell (Baldy)
- The MS-13 gang features in his episode. MS-13 is the shorthand name for the Mara Salvatrucha, a gang that originated in Los Angeles, with ties to El Salvador. The gang is ultra-violent, and engages in a range of criminal activity, including human trafficking and the drug trade. Deportations of prominent gang members from the U.S. have resulted in the growth of the gang in other countries, particularly in Central America.
- The church scene was filmed at Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Lincoln Heights, near downtown Los Angeles. The Lincoln Heights area is a traditional Latino neighborhood, largely populated by multi-generational Mexican immigrant families. Rusty is seen entering their Parroquia de Maria Auxiliadora, or parish hall.
- When Rusty's phone is visible at 23:57, the date is given as Tuesday, June 16th. However, this is contradicted as the date Gus' background check was generated is shown to be July 21, 2015 which is over a month later. The episode only occurs over the course of a couple of days.
- As in "Snitch", Rene Rosado is credited as co-starring as Gustavo Wallace despite not physically appearing. However, he once again appears in the form of a voicemail message.
The Search for Alice HerreraEdit
- Rusty is able to take advantage of the LAPD hunt for to run a background check on Gustavo Wallace. He learns that Gustavo has a record including an assault with a deadly weapons charge. Rusty plans to meet Gustavo with TJ insisting he will accompany Rusty to the meeting.
- When Rusty and TJ replay the message from Gustavo Wallace, he calls Rusty by name. In Identity, when Rusty altered Alice's voicemail greeting, he did not give his name thus Gustavo wouldn't have known to call him Rusty.
- Rusty discusses Gustavo Wallace who he has learned is Alice and Paloma's older brother.