Friday, May 11, 2007

Episode 5: The Wrong Side of the Tracks

A gang leader is bashed and left near-dead, and a rival gang is implicated. Time to call in...

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Funky Squad... because the Chief wants them to solve an unrelated burglary. Chief’s reluctant, but the squaddies argue themselves 48 hours to solve the gangland bashing before they have to give up and move on to some piddling thefts in the better-heeled part of town.

Meanwhile property developer Miles Stricklen cons an immigrant couple out of their shop for a pittance, because it’s in a violent gang-controlled area. How very convenient. Or maybe not, since Stricklen’s goon was behind the thumping in the first place.

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A bit of smooth talking from Grant gets them past a ditzy nurse to see the injured Johnny in intensive care. The matron chucks them out, but they get a one-word clue - "eagles" - out of the lad first.

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Cassie and Stix head to Johnny’s place to see his Mum and brother.

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Stix has a deep and meaningful moment with the kid.

I didn’t talk to cops all that much either when I was your age. Back then, I was in a gang. I ain’t jiving you, Titch, I grew up in a neighbourhood just like this. Used to sit on a fire escape just like you, sit back and stare up at them stars. I could name them all. I dreamed of one day leaving this place, being as free as a star. Then something happened. My best buddy took a switchblade in the back. Then I wised up...

Cassie is obviously moved.

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Tito’s young, and convinced Johnny will live forever. But he doesn’t, because the squaddies discover Stricklen’s goon sneaks into the hospital that night and finishes the job.

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The squaddies take the red Mustang for a spin, following up Johnny’s clue by looking for a gang called the Eagles.

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There isn’t one - but there is Eagle Corporation, Miles Stricklen’s property development company.

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There’s a rumble under the bridge... The Skulls think the Bandits started it, and the Bandits think the Skulls started it. We now know Stricklen started it, but try telling that to an unruly mob.

Stix intervenes and reveals himself as a former gang leader. I quit when I realised I was fighting for nothing. Tearing the streets apart - my own turf, my own home...

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He singlehandedly talks the two sides into a truce. As you do.

The squaddies head over the tracks to confront Stricklen. No warrant, no firm evidence... but they do have two gang’s worth of bloodthirsty hoods in tow, ready to beat the seedy git to a pulp if he doesn't come quietly - an unorthodox if effective way to secure a confession.

In the ads this week we get yet more cola - Schweppes Export this time - while a woman with a boxy Tarago encourages other ladies who want a new car to "get your husband to talk to Neil Neilson" and some psychedelic camera effects are enlisted in a desparate (and failed) attempt to make ugly harry-highpants jeans sexy.

Quotes of Note

Johnny: Who dies and makes you king?

Random witness type dude: Mystery man was a honky hombre two clicks off the six in mighty flash threads.
(The police are baffled)
Grant: Take a letter, Maria - Suspect was male, caucasian, six foot two and well dressed.

Grant: Some fatcat’s colour TV goes missing, you put out an APB... Meanwhile the kids are doing it hard down ghettoside. Where’s their justice?

Grant and Poncho give up trying to talk to Johnny in hospital and go to leave. Once their backs are turned...
Johnny: Eagles
Grant (to Poncho): Was that you?
Poncho gives Grant a particularly silly look and shakes his head

Now, about those burglaries Funky Squad didn't get around to investigating... more on those next time, with Diamonds Are A Cat's Best Friends.

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