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Scapegoat - Recap

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The episode begins seven years in the future, and Commissioner Walter Clarke is about to give a statement to the press about an incident involving cops. Back in the present day, Walter and his mother discuss an opportunity Agnes has been offered. She has been invited to audition for Julian Rutherford, a music producer, who his mother met in the rehabilitation clinic. Walter is worried how this will affect Agnes, if things don’t work out, but his mother assures him that she will look out for Agnes.

At work, the Sergeant tells Don and Arroyo that they are both being considered for a promotion. They will know the outcome in two weeks. The Sergeant tells them to just keep doing their work and keep their noses clean. While Don is busy discussing the possible promotion with Walter, the Sergeant arrives and tells the team about a body that’s been found. The victim is Isaac Neville, a city councilman, who was found at a construction site with multiple gunshots to the head. Based on the clues at hand, the team concludes that this could be a mob hit. At the Neville residence, Don and Walter have a talk with Neville’s wife and Tyler, his son, who was also his chief of staff. Tyler reveals that Neville had a long-standing grudge against Alex Zalichnyok, a Russian mobster. The duo returns to the office and sees Arroyo and Deb already questioning Zalichnyok.

The rivalry between Neville and Zalichnyok is front page news, so Arroyo took advantage of that and brought him in for questioning before Don and Walter had a chance. Walter feels Arroyo will do anything for that promotion and Don agrees with him. Zalichnyok denies killing Neville, saying he was at a wedding during the time of the murder and 700 people saw him. Don and Walter are informed that, two hours before his death, Neville received a call from Margo Dixon, a newspaper reporter. At the newspaper office, Dixon reveals to the duo that she met Neville an hour before he died, to talk about an article she was writing. The article was about his personal withdrawals from the campaign coffers. She says she received an anonymous tip in the form of a letter, informing her of this.

At the office, Agnes arrives to meet Deb and tells her she needs a favor. Agnes is worried about whether or not Julian Rutherford is the real deal. She has Deb run a background check on him, which comes out clean. Agnes is relived with the outcome. While heading for Dixon’s apartment to get the letter, she reveals to the duo that the letter implied the withdrawals were made by Tyler, Neville’s son. She says Neville has a string of bad habits like gambling, drugs etc., but this never came out in the open because his father always cleaned up after him. They arrive outside Dixon’s house and, through the window, they see a masked intruder. Upon seeing them, the trespasser makes a run for it.

Don and Walter split up in order to apprehend him. In the end, the intruder manages to escape after hitting Don with a large piece of wood in the ribs and as a result inuring him badly. Although Don is in pain because of a badly bruised rib, he refuses to go to the hospital and tells Walter that he wants to keep working on this case. At Neville’s office, Walter and Don question Tyler about his gambling problem and if he used campaign funds to repay his debts. Tyler breaks down, confesses that he still owes $150,000 to a bookie named Eddie Thorne and feels that his father was killed trying to pay off his gambling debt.

While Don is talking to Tyler, Walter gets a call and after hanging up, informs Don that he is under investigation by IA. Back at the office, Gary Carson, from IA, informs Don they got an anonymous tip that he used the department vehicle to conduct personal business, which is why he has been called in for questioning. Arroyo and Deb are handed the case because Don is indisposed at the moment and Walter is confident that this whole thing was orchestrated by Arroyo. The duo arrive at the bar, where Eddie Throne hangs out and Throne on realizing that the cops are looking for him tries to make a run for it, but Arroyo manages to grab him by the collar and cuff him.

At the office, Thorne admits that he does take bets for Tyler, but he had no reason to kill Neville because Tyler always paid on time. He also reveals that at the time of the murder he was at home watching TV and having steak with his grandmother. After the officer from IA is done questioning him, Don tells Walter that he never used the department car for personal use in his life, but because a complaint has been lodged he has to go through the motions.

Don realizes Arroyo did this, so he could take over the case, which is why he tells Walter to keep everything quite about their investigation from now on. Walter agrees and whispers to Don that he has found out, Tyler after withdrawing the money from the campaign account was depositing it in a Soony Stonybrook credit union account. He hasn’t been able to find out, who owns this account, but he has found an email sent by Tyler to a student email account in Soony Stonybrook, which is in the name of Lucy Reyes. In the email Tyler had told her to stop, what she is doing, because she is ruining everything.

Walter suspects that Dixon, who was investigating Tyler, might know something, so he talks to her in private. She reveals that Lucy Reyes is from a family that has mob connections, so Don and Walter decide to pay her a visit. Before leaving, Don asks Walter, why Dixon agreed to help him, but Walter refuses to reveal the reason. At Soony Stonybrook, Lucy reveals that she and Isaac Neville fell in love, when she was working as his intern. The money she was paid was so that she would stay away from him, but she was in love with him, which is why she couldn’t and last week landed up at his apartment. His wife as a result found out about their affair.

At the Neville residence, the duo has a talk with Neville’s wife and she says it was Isaac, who was into drugs and gambling, and made his son cover up for him. Don finds difficult to believe, what she is saying and asks her, where she and her son were during the time of the murder. She refuses to answer them and lawyers up. At the office, Arroyo is informed by the ME that Neville died of blunt force trauma to the head and the bullets were shot in his head post mortem to make the whole thing look like a mob hit. There was residue of wood resin on the injury, which indicates he could have been hit with a piece of furniture. Arroyo wants to keep this info to himself, but Deb doesn’t want to play such dirty tricks, so she calls Walter and informs him about this.

Walter and Don are in Isaac’s office, when he gets the call and on seeing a baseball bat kept in a display case in his office, he and Don conclude that the bat could be the murder weapon. They inform Tyler that the bat is going to be taken to be checked for traces of DNA and on hearing this; he makes a run for it. They chase after him, but before they can catch up, he steps out of the window onto a ledge and threatens to jump if they don’t stay away; saying he anyway has nothing to live for. Eventually, they talk him out of it and pull him in. At the office, Tyler reveals that his father made him buy drugs for him, placed his bets through him and he even facilitated the women for his father.

He could take it no more, so he sent the anonymous letter and when his father found out about the letter he began to panic, saying the press would find out about Lucy, so he asked Tyler to kill her. Tyler refused to do that, so he began calling him a disgrace and other hurtful things, which is why in anger he hit Isaac with the baseball bat. The case is solved and Tyler gives a written statement. Don later gets a call informing him that IA has dropped the case against him, but for this promotion cycle his name can’t be considered. Walter feels bad for Don, but Don is unaffected, saying it’s more important to solve cases and focus on work. Agnes is waiting for her mother outside the diner and is virtually in tears because she has stood her up, when Deb arrives and takes her along for dinner.

In return for her help, Walter agrees to be Dixon’s anonymous source in the police force and begins by telling her all about Don. The next day, the team reads a rather flattering article written by Margo Dixon about them and in it she has made a special mention about how great Don is. Seven years into the future, at the press conference, Commissioner Walter Clark takes the complete blame for the incident, saying he is responsible for the whole department, so it would be unfair on his part to single out a cop. The episode ends at this point.