In Re: Tracy Vidalin - Recap

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The scene opens with a pickup truck slowly rolling in front of apartment complex one late night, and the alarm goes off. Lonnie Daws sprints towards the truck and tells his girlfriend to drive. The alarm sets the cops on the move. Senator Vidalin lives in Dover, Delaware, and Garza and Al are on the way towards the city. Garza and Vidalin were good friends for the many years, but the last one year was not the best time between them. Al does not like what Garza’s about to do, but he insists that the senator’s daughter, Tracy needs him in such a time of distress. They arrive and the country jail and find Tracy Vidalin in a perplexed condition. Besides, she is injured. They urge her to tell her story. She says that Lonnie asked her to wait inside the truck for a surprise. When he signaled her to drive, an alarm had already sounded, and she nervously made the mistake of crashing into a few cars, but did not kill anyone.

Al asks about her 21-hour grueling session in police interrogation, but she insists on speaking to her father first. However, Tracy trusts Garza and knows that he can protect her. Senator Vidalin and his wife meet Garza and learn the legal aspect of the chaos. Garza tells him that he may not be the best option to fight the case for her. However, Vidalin insists that he does not know of anyone better, and gets him to agree on the condition that he will let Garza do it his way. On the other hand, Lucinda uses an alibi that Vidalin hates her boss so that she can avoid involvement in the case. She says this to Eddie and Mereta, but they are less than satisfied, and decide there is more to be unraveled. Lonnie is under medical supervision at a hospital, but the cops do not allow Al to meet him. He tells Garza about it, and he orders Eddie to get a judge’s signature on a Conditional Examination Order. Garza waits for Eddie and Mereta to get Lonnie’s statement at indictment hearing, strongly believing it will have the potential to acquit Tracy. Eddie and Mereta cannot get the statement from Lonnie as he is already dead. Tracy pleads not guilty, and Garza tries his best, but she is remanded to country jail. The trial is pending.

Tracy’s parents worry about their daughter. Garza asks Tracy’s parents to remain collected, and want to know whatever they knew about Lonnie. They tell him that she started meeting Lonnie a few months ago, and noticed her growing distant and weak as a student. Vidalin tells him that he once called the Attorney General for Lonnie’s acquittal after he got caught for breaking into his uncle’s liquor store. Garza advises him to avoid calling folks, as they get annoyed. He tells them that the DA is still unable to prove that Tracy knew Lonnie’s plans, giving them hope. The parents leave. Garza receives the interrogation DVD from DA Doug Inman. Garza is shocked, especially because he believed that she had said nothing during interrogation. The DA suggests she lied to Garza. Garza gets ready to watch the DVD at his office, but falls asleep nearing the first 10 hours in which Tracy remains silent. Al arrives the next morning and continues the next 12 hours. They receive Tracy’s possessions from the DA. They include a Hay-Adams pen and other items expected in a teenage girl’s possession. Mereta admires her writing skills as is evident from the college application essay, and Lucinda comments on Tracy’s rage against Vidalin’s love affair from her journal. Although Garza ignores her anger as a common thing for teenagers, he considers that Vidalin’s love affair could hold importance.

Garza meets Vidalin. He lets him know that Vidalin’s affair with Paula Munger could have made Tracy so angry, that she purposely chose to go around with Lonnie, who definitely fits the bad boy description. Vidalin realizes that the motivated DA, Doug Inman will try to bring him disrepute, so that he can move a step ahead in replacing Vidalin’s senate office. Garza coaxes him, but he denies, saying that he ended the affair six months ago. Garza tells him that Tracy has written about the affair after seeing them together only two weeks back. Vidalin adds that his wife does not know about the affair. Garza takes Paula’s number and has a talk with her. He learns that Paula was in town a couple of weeks back, she stayed at Hay-Adams and she got a few strange calls some months back. He tells this to Lucinda and Mereta when he gets back to office, where Mereta was getting inquisitive about some tattooed numbers on Lucinda’s arm. Garza tells Lucinda to get Paula’s phone records, especially because he fears that Vidalin might have to face the music during the hearing. Almost immediately, Al comes up with the information about Tracy’s speech from the DVD. All she said was yes when Detective Hank Darby asked him if she would plead forgiveness for making the cop’s kids fatherless. That was all Tracy said in the long interrogation. Garza, knowing that Tracy said nothing except that one word, plans for filing a motion to defeat the prosecution.

As Garza and Al get to the suppression hearing, they find a crowd of reporters. In the hearing, DA Inman asks Darby to describe the crime, and play the DVD. Garza tells the court that all it contained was just one word as far as confession is concerned. He argues that Tracy had the legal right to be silent, but Inman objects saying that she had to say so. Garza argues that Darby was too hard on her to make her say anything, but the judge mocks him suggesting that remaining silent is no way to appeal for a right. Later, Tracy gets to talk to Al and Garza. They tell her to remain hopeful, and that the DA has no evidence to prove that she was aware of the break-in. She says she did not participate in the burglary, or ‘jack open the door’, and only sat in the truck. Vidalin is quick to blame Garza when he meets him in the foyer. Garza gets furious and blames him for having set followers on him and getting his place ransacked. Vidalin denies, but tells him that many want Garza killed, but Vidalin only wants him barred from doing certain things. Later, Al gets alerted by the fact that Tracy said she did not jack open the door, and tells Garza how she knew if it happened at all. Garza gets the point, but tells him that the truth may not be on the lines of what he was thinking, and believes in Tracy’s innocence.

Mereta and Lucinda are on the way to the apartment building, which Lonnie had robbed with Eddie. Mereta apprehends that the numbers on Lucinda’s arm might be coordinates while using the GPS to locate the crime scene building. Meanwhile, Garza tries to solve the problem concerning Tracy’s confession with a legal team. Al discovers that 63 crank calls were made from Grant Dinges phone over 10 days. Dinges is a former classmate of Tracy and perhaps an ex-boyfriend. Lucinda says she will definitely contact this person. Eddie and Mereta do a thorough investigation of the apartment building, and learn that no one knew about Lonnie or Tracy, and that Paula Munger was one of the tenants there. Garza is shocked when he hears that, and thinks that the senator and his mistress will easily get caught if the prosecution consortium got hold of the tenants list. He also feels that Tracy is lying somewhere. Garza talks to Tracy the next morning, but she denies that she is lying. She says she told Lonnie about her dad’s mistress, Paula, but did not know she stayed in that building. She asks Garza to put her up in the courtroom saying that she is not sure about what she wants to stay, but she will definitely remain honest. She does this after Al gets the tenant list.

The next day at the trial, Al hands Garza a recording of the interview Lucinda took of Grant Dinges, the crank caller. Tracy gives her statement saying that it was her mistake to date a bad person such as Lonnie. She says she was unaware of the break-in and tells the DA that Lonnie raped her the night before the burglary happened, thereafter threatening her to keep quiet about it.

Later Tracy tells Garza that she did not know if the rape part of her statement really mattered to him. However, when asked if she was doing whatever one needs for winning, she replies ‘somebody has to (win)’ with a sly smile. Garza switches on the player to make her hear Grant’s interview with Lucinda. Grant tells her that Tracy made the crank calls, and badly wanted to break into Paula’s apartment. When he refused, she ditched him. Lonnie comes up ready to help her. Tracy claims that Grant was plain jealous. The DA offers Tracy five years after hearing her latest confession, but she is least worried and wants to fight till she is freed.

Although Garza knows Tracy is guilty, he knows that the DA has no evidence about what Tracy planned. Garza knows he can set Tracy free, and makes the statement that if the jury follows the law, they have to let her go. Later Garza goes drinking and tells Al how he felt emptied of the righteousness he was proud of earlier. He uses the glass as a metaphor for himself and calls for a refill. Mereta and Eddie are led towards an interesting discovery by Lucinda’s tattooed numbers in the night. It lies in a cemetery. The next day, the Vidalins find their daughter judged not guilty by the jury. The reporters surround the parents with their daughter, and she waves bye with a smile to Garza. All he can do is stand and look.