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Beast of Burden - Recap

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The episode begins seven years in the future with Walter having a chat with Paul, a reporter, in his office. They are talking about an article Paul has written about Walter. Back in the present, while taking a shower together, Margot suggests Walter move in with her. He seems a little reluctant and she feels that’s because of Holbrook, her ex. Walter assures her that isn’t the reason and the two begin making out. At the office, while Don is busy telling Walter that although Holbrook is crooked they can’t take him down till they have proof, the Lieutenant tells them about a body found in a hotel room in SoHo.

He asks Owen to take a lead in the case. The DOA is Talia Price, who was strangled. There is no sign of struggle and evidence in the room suggests Talia was an escort. Owen and Diaco have a talk with Monique, Talia’s roommate. She tells the duo that she doesn’t know the agency Talia was working for because she kept that and the names of her clients private. Owen calls Walter to the security room of the hotel and shows him a footage that reveals Holbrook was Talia’s client last night. Owen urges Walter to not get too excited about this and says they have to tread carefully. At Holbrook’s office, he tells the duo that he is innocent. Walter refuses to listen to any of his justifications and asks Holbrook to come along with them.

At the precinct, the Lieutenant is informed that there are holes in the footage, but Holbrook and Talia were seen going up to the floor where the room was. Three hours later Holbrook was seen leaving the hotel room in a hurry. They haven’t been able to find the motive yet. During questioning, Holbrook reveals that when he woke up in that hotel room, Talia was lying next to him and was dead. He claims he has no recollection of coming to that hotel. He only remembers texting Talia to meet up and nothing else. Holbrook claims he is being set up by one of his enemies. His lawyer hands Walter a list of all the people, who have a grievance with Holbrook. While leaving, Holbrook asks to have a chat in private with Walter. He tells Walter he knows that his father was tried years ago for killing a bookie.

He hints that he also knows Walter lied during the trial, when he testified that his father was with him during the time of murder thus providing him with an alibi. Holbrook says he learnt the truth, when had a talk with one of Walter’s childhood buddies doing time, who revealed that Walter was with him at the time his father murdered the bookie. Holbrook maintains he is innocent, but this information would be assurance that Walter doesn’t try anything funny and get him (Holbrook) in trouble. The team learns from Holbrook’s blood test that he might have been roofied. The team also learns that Jordan Weiser, Talia’s pimp, wasn’t very happy that Talia was planning to quit. Francis, Diaco’s father, who apparently is suffering from dementia, is escorted to the precinct by a cop.

The cop tells Diaco that his father was wandering aimlessly by himself on a bridge. While Diaco leaves to drop his father home, Walter tells Don that they need to talk. He tells Don, how Holbrook is blackmailing him, using the wrong he did by lying at his father’s trial, as a child. At the diner, Agnes is shocked, when a man sits at the counter and reveals to her that he is her father. After storming Jordan’s house, Deb and Arroyo find him hiding in the closet. They drag him to the precinct for questioning. Jordan reveals that Margot was really mad, when a couple of months ago she came to know that Holbrook was cheating on her with Talia. She called Talia and threatened her. Jordan even gives a written statement, saying Margot had at that time physically assaulted Talia in rage.

Walter refuses to believe anything that Jordan has claimed, but is shocked on learning that Talia had two months ago filed a police complaint against Margot. Walter reluctantly volunteers to bring Margot in for questioning. During questioning, Margot reveals that when Holbrook moved out, he took with him a piece of jewelry that was her grandmother’s. When she asked him about it, he said he had given it to Talia. This was the reason for her anger and nothing else. She also says that Holbrook had cheated through their marriage and Talia was the first girl she came to know about. Later, the team learns that at the time of the murder Margot had used her credit card at a place that was an hour away from the hotel. Walter confirms that for the rest of the night she was with him, so it isn’t possible that Margot killed Talia.

Before she leaves for home, Walter has a talk with Margot. He asks her, what are in Holbrook’s files that he has kept in the storage room of her house. She says that according to Holbrook they are medical records. Walter tells her they need to check them, saying he has a hunch. The files reveal that Holbrook has three offshore accounts, where he keeps all his dirty money. Walter confronts Holbrook about this. Holbrook reluctantly admits that Sarven Manasian, a contractor whose bid he had approved and who has Armenian mob links, kept bothering him for favors. Holbrook refused to help him after a certain point, which really upset Manasian. Holbrook therefore feels that Manasian killed Talia to set him up. Holbrook suggests Walter kill Manasian if Walter wants him to keep quiet about his childhood lie.

Walter is really mad that Holbrook would suggest something like this, but also knows he is helpless because he can’t let this secret come out. At the precinct, Walter tells the team about Manasian and his mob links, but hides that fact that Holbrook took money from him. Arroyo smells something funny in this whole affair because he can’t understand why Manasian would try to frame Holbrook without a reason. Later in private, Walter tells Don, what Holbrook asked of him. Don suggests they deal with this, one step at a time, but if push comes to shove, then they have to take Holbrook down, even if it mean Walter’s secret coming out in the open. Walter agrees with Don. At Manasian’s, the team doesn’t find him, but they find a cigarette butt with Jordan’s fingerprint on it.

At the precinct, Jordan admits that Manasian paid him $10K to set Holbrook up, by slipping him the mickey and opening the hotel door when Holbrook passed out. He says Manasian was only suppose to take pictures of Holbrook with a hooker, so he could later be blackmailed. He says things took a bad turn for some reason, but adds that he doesn’t know how or why it happened. Jordan is made to call Manasian on the pretense of him asking Manasian to pay him more money. While Jordan and Manasian are talking, the team traces Manasian’s location. During the conversation, Manasian also lets it slip that he killed Talia because she got cold feet and didn’t want to frame Holbrook. Walter and team arrive at the building where Manasian is.

After a brief game of game of cat and mouse, Walter pursues Manasian to the roof. While he is looking around for Manasian, the contractor approaches Walter from behind, gun in hand. Walter senses this, so he immediately turns around and shoots down Manasian. Don arrives there and Walter tells him that he didn’t deliberately kill Manasian. Don assures Walter that he believes him. While the scene is being cleared, Walter tells Don that Holbrook will think he killed Manasian to protect him. Don urges Walter to not worry about that, saying he did what was needed. At home, Diaco, while having a talk with his father, realizes that his dementia is getting worse by the day. He knows that he might soon have to think about assisted living for his father and is moved to tears.

At the precinct, Walter is shocked when told that the gun Manasian was carrying went missing from the evidence locker a week ago and it is being suspected that he deliberately killed Manasian. Walter is told that he will be consigned to a desk job till this investigation is over. While Don and Walter are having a talk about this issue, Arroyo comes and says he wants to help Walter. The trio decides to pay Holbrook a visit because they feel Holbrook switched Manasian’s gun. At Holbrook’s, on seeing that he isn’t home, they break in, to get their hands on the files that prove Holbrook is dirty. They check his locker, but see all the files missing. Seven years in the future, Commissioner Walter Clarke tells Paul, the reporter, how he should have been more ruthless with Holbrook and made sure he was put behind bars. The episode ends at this point.