All photos from NBCUniversal
Law & Order LA “Plummer Park” was an episode that clearly aired out of sequence, being completed before the “reboot”. As a result,Detective Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) was not dead and TJ’s (Corey Stoll) mustache had grown back. Terrence Howard was also sporting a different look – but his acting was still wooden. I actually found the first half of the show much more interesting that the last, and felt the legal side of the case was plodding and dull. My opinion is that it was the legal half of the show that was in more need of fixing. With the addition of Alana De La Garza to the cast, I had some hope that she would draw in viewers. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to give the series another season.
I don’t quite understand why this episode could not have been aired before Rex Winters was killed. My opinion is that they would have been better off by not going off the air for so long during the reboot; this cost the series momentum.
This episode was titled "Plummer Park" and the only connection to the case was that a bunch of Russians - including the kidnappers - played chess there. It is such a waste to name an episode after such an inconsequential connection to a much bigger case. If there is any chance whatsoever that Law & Order LA gets a second chance with another network, they should reconsider the practice of naming episodes after locations in the Los Angeles area and come up with episode titles that build excitement.
Here is the recap:
When a neighbor, Mrs. Lang, calls police to tell them that a car was left running outside Nick Libergal’s home, they knock on the door, and two beeps of a nearby car horn also sounds. A man, speaking Russian, waits inside with a gun and when he opens the door, the police see the gun and shoot him, and also another man who comes forward with a gun. The police find a gruesome scene – Nick Libergal (Michael Enright) is dead in the bathtub.
Detectives Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) and “TJ” Jarusalski (Corey Stoll) are called to the scene. Coroner Nishizawa (Tamlyn Tomita) tells them Nick’s body was being dissolved in the bathtub using quicklime. He was also beaten but likely died from a heart attack. Nick is a goldsmith. They find a bag with items in it that appear more for a kidnapping than a killing. They think Nick died of the heart attack during the kidnapping and the kidnappers did not want to drive around with the body.
They can’t find any info on the dead suspects and they check out the car and find nothing. Nick was a Russian immigrant who came over in 1988 and does not appear to be a man with money. They think someone had been watching to house to wait until Nick was alone.
They speak with Mrs. Lang who noticed a honking car there that night and she also saw it there 2 days ago. It was a town car. Near the location of that car, the detectives find cigarette butts and spicy peppermint gum wrappers.
At RHD, Amy Libergal (Amy Benedict) is there speaking with the detectives and Lt. Arleen Gonzales (Rachel Ticotin). She does not know the men who were shot in her home. Nick used to send money to his family in Russia. He has a younger brother in the oil business who is rich.
Afterwards, Gonzales says Homeland Security had a hit on their suspects, who came in via LAX two weeks ago from Moscow.
They check with Homeland Security who says that the men were met in the terminal but never checked into the hotel where they were to be staying. They list a local contact as the Eagles and Bears Friendship Club.
They head to the club and find that the location looks like a storage facility. They find a cable bill but no TV and head over to the billing address. TJ finds spicy peppermint gum wrappers on the ground so they approach the home with guns drawn. They enter the home and Rex finds a room that appears to be where the kidnappers were going to keep Nick. TJ finds a hole dug outside and assumes once the money was paid they were going to kill Nick.
They check with a local store to check out a purchase the kidnappers made. They paid with cash, and the woman at the store recalls a Russian man making a purchase twice and she helped him get the items he needed. It was almost the same list both times, but one list had sanitary napkins and a hairbrush. The detectives think the kidnappers have a woman somewhere in the canyons.
Back at RHD, the detectives discuss this with Gonzales who tells them to put someone on to watch the store. The house had been rented through Craig’s List so Gonzales tells them to check other listings. They find one of the suspects’ cars got a ticket 10 days ago in West Hollywood. There was a chessboard at the house so Rex thinks they should check out Plummer Park.
The detectives question some chess players at Plummer Park and one person recognizes them as no good chess players that looked too much at married women, one of them was Anna Ackroyd who has not been there for a few days.
At Anna Ackroyd’s home, the detectives see her husband Dennis (Raphael Sbarge) at home and he looks nervous. TJ later fakes being a delivery man and gets Anna’s husband to sign for a package. He then tells him to stay calm and that they know his wife is missing an are here to help. His daughter Mila (Skyler Day) and uncle Andrei is there and Mila thinks they are going to kill her mother.
Later, the detectives and Gonzales are in a nearby surveillance van with taps on all the home’s lines. Anna Ackroyd is a Russian native and has been in the country for 18 years. Anna is a librarian and her husband is a teacher. They think the uncle has money. They see the uncle and daughter out for a walk and when TJ thinks Mila would talk to them if they got her alone, Gonzales says she should be at school so pick her up for truancy.
The detectives have Mila at RHD and she doesn’t want to make any mistakes, she just wants her mom back. Separately, an officer speaks with Dennis Ackroyd who says Mila was with her uncle Andrei and they just snatched her away. The officer enters the interrogation room and whispers that Mila’s father is there and that a supervisor said they have to let her go. Gonzales tells Mila she can save her mom, and Mila tells them that she came home from school and the house was messed up and her mom gone. The kidnappers skyped them on their computer. The guys were in masks and her mother had tape over her mouth. They men were talking in Russian and her dad can speak it, and they told him they wanted money. Her father had spyware on the computer and the call was recorded and she thinks the video is still on the computer. TJ gives her an email address and asks her to try to find the video and send it to them. They release Mila to her father.
Later, they get the video from Mila and they look at it. A translator tells them what is being said. The kidnappers ask for $10 million and tell them Anna’s family has money to pay. They gave them one week to get the money or they will start cutting her. Gonzales tells them to send the video to the lab. TJ notices one of the men has stitching on his label that looks like something he saw in the junk mail at the Eagles and Bears Club – a flyer for a tailor – Lenny’s of Brentwood.
They head to Lenny’s and they show him a photo of the suit and he knows who he made the suit for. The man’s name was Oblomov but only has a phone number. Rex tells them their technicians will come there and then the shop owner should call Oblomov and tell him his suits are ready and must talk to him as long as they tell him to.
Later, the detectives arrive at the location where the caller's cell phone GPS signal have been coming from. The police barge in and find Anna (Alla Korot) hiding another room. They also see another grave dug outside.
The detectives and ADA Lauren Stanton (Megan Boone) later speak with Anna who doesn’t recall much as she has not been sleeping. She is clearly traumatized. Her husband and daughter arrive.
Later, Rex tries to question one of the kidnappers, Mr. Kolbichek. He wants a lawyer. TJ speaks with the other kidnapper who also won’t talk. Stanton, and DDA Joe Dekker are watching and Dekker wants to put the kidnapping gang out of business.
At the DA’s office, Dekker tries to question the Ackroyds before the hearing. Dennis tells them that Anna’s family in Russia live like kings but they don’t share the money. He admits that they came up with a plan with a friend to get money from that family and no one was supposed to get hurt. Their lawyer admits it was a show for Ackroyd’s uncle. They wonder if the Ackroyds are being pressured and TJ and Rex tell him there was another attempt at a kidnapping. Their lawyer says the Ackroyds will not be testifying in any kidnapping case.
Later, Dekker, Stanton, TJ and Rex speak with the uncle. He tells Dekker maybe they know the wrong facts. He does not want to file a police complaint, it is just only family business. He tells the detectives they are good police and he leaves. But TJ think this was no act and thinks the family is afraid. TJ reminds them Anna was not restrained when they got to the house. The airport video was not clear enough to tie the two men to the kidnapping. Dekker doesn’t like the idea that they think they can come here and commit crimes with impunity.
Afterwards, Rex recalls that Mila said the house was in shambles meaning Anna did not go willingly and wonder if SID can find evidence of the grab.
Later, the detectives present Stanton with evidence that SID found of forced entry and glass shards in the living room. Latent got a print from the uncle’s bedroom which matches a print from the FBI, described as an unknown person of interest found at a suspect residence in Washington 10 years ago.
At the FBI, the detectives speak with an agent (Harry J. Lennix) who tells them it is a national security matter, and that it was found in a home of a suspected spy and they believe the print was from his handler. The detectives tell him the print belongs to Andrei Kalugin (Eugene Alper) and he is booked to fly out soon. The FBI agrees to help.
The detectives explain the spy angle to Stanton which may explain why Dennis and Anna want this all to go away. They wonder if this really is their uncle and if the Ackroyds are really who they say they are.
At the Canadian Consulate General, they find Dennis is Canadian and that he never left Canada – he died in 1989. The identity was stolen. There is no record of a marriage to Anna and that she never resided in Canada.
The detectives explain this new information to Dekker and Stanton, and that the FBI thinks they are spies. Dekker thinks that now that they know the secret they can get them to cooperate, and tells them to call the FBI and get the Ackroyds in.
Later, Dennis and Anna are arrested and Mila is shocked to find that she has to go with family services.
With Mila at RHD, she finds out about her parents. She asks to stay with her best friend Natalie. Meanwhile, the FBI and Dekker and Stanton have Anna and Dennis in for questioning and explain the other kidnapping. Anna agrees to testify against the kidnappers.
The FBI agent explains that the Ackroyds were sent to the US to befriend academics and policy makers and gather information on policy and trade but now the information is freely available on the net. They are low level operatives. The FBI got word that they are interested in a trade for the Ackroyds but they have one weekm but the trial is two months away. The FBI guy suggests Dekker wrap up his case quickly.
Dekker and Stanton later makes an offer to the kidnappers and tell them that their target was a spy. Dekker offers then 25 to life and wants names of accomplices, or they will be deported to Russia and the will not look kindly on them. One of them thinks Dekker has no case and the Russians will trade spies and there will be no more witnesses. He says no deal.
In court, Dekker tells the judge about the time constraints against the case for the kidnappers. The judge allows the questioning to go on immediately.
Anna testifies about the kidnapping and identifies the kidnappers. The defense attorney only asks if she ever met the men before the kidnapping and she says no. The defense then calls Mila to testify to impeach what Anna just said.
Mila testifies that 2 weeks before the kidnapping, she saw those two men in the kitchen talking to Russian to those two men. A week afterwards, her parents argued with a man named Libergal and her dad said those guys screwed up their big plan and her mother was afraid, and soon after her mother was kidnapped.
Later, in Dekker’s office, he explains how she just implicated her parents in murder. But she says they are liars and deserve to be in jail there. She says it is not fair she has to go back there with them. Dekker says she created so much confusion that two murderers might go free. He tells her she will be on the stand again tomorrow and she has to tell the truth. Afterwards, Stanton tells Dekker to give Mila a break, she is only 15, but Dekker says Mila knows exactly what she wants she just doesn’t know how to get it, and maybe they can help her.
Later, Dekker and Stanton are at the FBI and they explain what Mila said at trial and what this means for them and that the kidnappers could go free. They asks them to sign a declaration of independence for Mila so she can stay there after Anna and Dennis leave. He adds Mila feels betrayed and may already be lost to them. Anna and Dennis anguish over this, and they decide to sign the paperwork.
Back in court, Mila admits what she said previously was not true. She says her parents would never hurt anyone on purpose and apologized for lying. Dekker asks for Anna’s and Dennis testimony to be preserved for trial and the judge concurs.
At the Burbank Airport, Dekker and Stanton are there to watch the trade off of Dennis and Anna with the Russians, and Mila is also there. They say their goodbyes. Stanton gets a call saying the kidnappers are ready to deal. Dekker says they should go make that deal, and as they walk off we fade to black.
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