But not “Amateur Knight”, because Nick’s a consummate professional.
We open on a city playground, full of what I can only assume Canadians think gang members in LA look like. There’s a drive-by shooting – from a Camaro, because Canada – and someone at the playground shoots back, and then we have an ominous shot of an empty swing. A little girl has been shot.
I do not remember this one at all, you guys. It’s almost like finding forgotten money in your coat pockets at the start of winter! What gems will I find? What jokes will I make? WHO KNOWS? This could go anywhere!
The story has hit the papers before Nick even gets the case, and he doesn’t just show up at the scene, but is invited onto it by Captain Cohen. She calls him at home and talks about how the little girl – Shanise – was killed playing outside. “My daughter plays outside,” she says, and I never pictured the captain with a kid. Never struck me as very maternal, but I was apparently wrong. Oh, they also talk about how Schanke’s out of town.
Nick gets off the phone and Nat comes in with a HUGE bakery box and a croissant in her mouth. Who’s eating all those pastries, Nat? I mean, I like to carb-load after a hard day, too, but damn, girl. I don’t think your stomach is going to thank you.
Anyway. Shanise was killed by a single bullet. She’s the third kid under 12 to die in a drive-by in the last six months, and Nick and Nat start telling tiny criminals to get off their lawn.
Oh! Schanke’s consulting on the set of a cop movie. Although for a second, I thought he was just watching the world’s most Canadian drug deal – very polite. Anyway, no one on the set likes Schanke, because he keeps interrupting to get details right, even though no one cares. He gets into a discussion with the lead actress about how cops are supposed to prevent violence and not let things escalate into gunplay.
Oh, Canada, 30 years ago. Certainly no Ferguson, MO.
Schanke somehow convinces the actress that the movie should be “real” and “gritty”. I don’t know her name, but she looks a little like Sharon Lawrence, so that’s who she is now. Schanke’s all pleased until Sharon wants to do a ridealong and Nick says “HELL, NO.” She’s not trained in policework, and therefore is unprepared for the gritty hell that is a Canadian police precinct.
Flashback Time! Nick’s being interviewed for a position as a cop – in Chicago. Wait. Wasn’t he a professor when he lived in Chicago mid-century? Isn’t that how he ended up on trial for Communism?
Anyway, he’s got this crazy accent – maybe Scottish, maybe Irish, who knows? – and he mojos the captain into giving him a night shift job on the spot. Oh, Nick. All about that law and order, aren’t we?
Nick gives in to Schanke and Sharon Lawrence 2: Electric Blonde-A-Loo, because without it, we wouldn’t have a plot. They take her to a meeting with some gang members, and while they’re waiting for them to show up, Sharon Lawrence is bored and asks Nick all about himself.
Which means we flash back again. Nick’s boss – not the captain – is giving him a lesson in how to police in Chicago. Surprisingly, it is not a list of who will bribe you and who won’t, but a much more timely lesson to be just like Big Brother. “Every pedestrian has a secret. Our best weapons are our eyes and ears.”
He tells Sharon that she can’t possibly understand the nuances of his job after just a few hours, and before she can probe a little deeper, the gang members show up.
They’re wearing red AND blue do-rags, though. I don’t think these guys know how to gang.
They tell Schanke that they didn’t pull the drive-by that killed Shanise. The B-Dogs did it. As soon as the words are out of his mouth, people are shooting and Nick and Schanke and Sharon are all in pursuit of a big white van, which they lose in short order. Sharon thinks this is all awesome.
Back at the precinct, Captain Cohen is reading Nick and Schanke the riot act.
And she doesn’t back down! She tells Schanke to go back to the set, and Nick to go back to work. Nick wants Schanke with him, though, because he has the gang contacts. Sharon Lawrence, however, is SOL. She got to see her shootout and police chase, and it’s time for her to go back to the set.
In Chicago, Nick’s partner is teaching him that beat cops are the first line of defense, and they should keep their eyes out for weird behavior – which they find, in the guise of a busboy lingering over garbage cans. Sure enough, when Partner goes for backup, some dude with a bag full of cash comes out to the busboy. Nick comes around the corner and they start shooting – and Partner gets shot in the process of Nick arresting the busboy. Using his vampire speed and resistance to bullets, in full view of Partner, of course.
Nick tries to convince Sharon Lawrence that the other night was abnormal. For some reason, they’re doing this in his apartment. Nick’s trying to warn her off, and Sharon’s all, “I want to see real policework and do a good movie for once.” Nick tells her to listen to Schanke, because he’s the real cop, not Nick.
And we’re back to Chicago, where Lacroix has just shown up.
He’s wearing a Nehru jacket and a medallion, guys. I LOVE HIM.
He’s basically shown up just to remind Nick that he’s a vampire, for fuck’s sake, now stop playing human! Oh, and also, if he insists on running around with a gun and a badge, he’s probably going to kill more people. Like the partner who got shot.
Back in the future, Sharon is yelling at Nick that her movie is bringing a lot of money into this town, and she deserves to get what she wants. Nick’s not buying it, not even when she tells him she’s gone over his head to the Mayor, who’s going to force the department to afford her “every courtesy”.
Seriously? There’s a mayor who would tell his police force to take an actress on an active investigation into a gang shooting that has already proven incredibly dangerous?
Schanke has a guy from the other gang in an interrogation room. Everyone in the episode has worn long sleeves, but not this guy. No, Sleeveless Shirt and Newsboy Cap Dude is committed to that name, and nothing will stop him – not even the cool Toronto weather. He tells Schanke that it wasn’t the B-Dogs; it was the Renegades. But he won’t give up a name; he says they take care of their own business. But that’s enough for him to get paid – though the cash gets him to throw in that if they knew who’d shot the kid, it would already have been taken care of.
Sharon walks in at the end of this, and Schanke’s not pleased to hear that she talked to the mayor and now he’s stuck with her. Or rather, now he’s going to have his name linked to an entitled movie star. Sharon Lawrence is wearing way too much look in this scene, BTW. I’m distracted.
Captain Cohen sees Sharon and tells Schanke to get in her office. Sharon, left to her own devices, decides to follow Sleeveless out of the precinct. Of course he makes her and confronts her on the street. She gives the whitest performance of her lifetime, complete with those weird Canadian Os, but somehow gains Sleeveless’s trust. He tells her to meet him that night in the same place, and he’ll deliver the shooter.
Someone is watching all this go down, of course, but we only see a sneaker – the same sneaker we saw at the first gang meeting, before all the shooting started.
Sharon comes back to the precinct to tell Schanke about her big scoop, and Captain Cohen is PISSED. She threatens to charge Sharon with obstruction, but Sharon waves it away with her own threat about lawyers. Cohen backs down, so Sharon and Schanke and a uniform go to the meeting – only to find Sleeveless dead.
Schanke feels guilty for Sleeveless getting shot, and Cohen’s all, “It’s not your fault,” with a significant look at Sharon. Who, she tells Schanke, she does not want to see again.
Sharon’s all, “I just wanted to be a cop!” and Schanke’s all, “Lady, it took me like 20 years to get here. You can’t just ‘be a cop’.” She asks him how he can live with the thought of being responsible for someone’s death, even inadvertently. He says a lot of them don’t, and then she’s crying about killing someone for a “stupid movie”. Schanke softens, and tells her it won’t be stupid if she can show people what the police really do.
Sharon wants to go home, and Schanke offers an escort, but she wants to walk. Schanke’s all, “Um, you do know that the killer totes knows you’re involved in this, right?” and sends a uniform back to her hotel with her. He tells her to stay in her room, and to definitely not come back to the precinct.
Schanke tells Nick some boring story about wanting to be in movies, filling some time before Cohen tells them that Sharon’s disappeared from her hotel room. But then the next scene is her coming into her hotel room? That’s…odd. Anyway, we hear glass breaking and then see someone on her fire escape – someone with those same sneakers.
Oh, wait, it’s her dressing room. That was confusing. Anyway, she opens the door and starts asking “Who’s there?” like an idiot.
Nick and Schanke are on their way, because her manager or someone told them they should check the set. She’s bumbling around, looking for a phone, when Sneakers shows up. He’s a kid – a sweaty kid. He thinks she’s a cop, and wants to know what she was doing with Sleeveless. He’s about to shoot her when she hits the lightboard and blinds him. She runs away and turns on the lights to signal that the set is in use, so someone will know she’s there. Smart cookie, actually.
Nick and Schanke show up, and Nick uses his vamp senses to get a bead on the kid, who looks like an extra from the “Come On Eileen” video. But too late – the kid’s got Sharon. He says he did it because the B-Dogs wouldn’t let him in the gang. Schanke does a little trash talking, telling the kid that he’s too young, too green to be in a gang, that he screwed up by killing a six-year-old. Schanke’s put his gun away, but Nick’s behind him as backup.
Schanke gets into the kid’s head – he’s really guilty about Shanice. The kid lets Sharon go, and then collapses on the floor in a heap of tears and remorse.
Nick takes the kid in. Sharon’s a little shaken, and Schanke takes her home.
In the coda, we’re back in Chicago. Turns out Partner – whose name is Czajkowski, which is super weird, because I had a childhood friend with that name, and haven’t heard it anywhere else. Took him to my junior prom. Nice kid. Maybe I should look him up on Facebook.
Anyway, Czajkowski is going to be fine. The captain is putting Nick in for a commendation, because without him, Czajkowski would have died. Nick doesn’t deny the commendation, but he says that he needs to go through the academy after all.
And then we get to see Sharon Lawrence’s now much more realistic movie – though the drug deal is still all Canada – and Schanke’s got a walk-on part.
He forgets his line.
Next week: Nick runs a secret investigation on IAB! Because someone committed suicide! I feel like we’ve already seen this one! But no matter! I will recap, because that’s what I do!
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