Sometimes, when giving advice, you realize that you should be following it yourself. That’s what happens to Detective Britten this week when he and Bird work to reunite a couple and help them prepare for a new lief within the witness protection program.
The episode opens with a pair of campus cops talking in their cruiser, when a call comes in that there’s been an unauthorized entry at the pool. The unauthorized person, by the way, is Detective Britten … who reveals himself at the top of the high dive–apparently nude. He throws his ID down to the campus cops, who are now confused as all hell. Why do I get the feeling this is going to be an odd explanation?
Rex: A man walks out of his house on the phone and gets into his car. The car refuses to turn over … and then it starts smoking. He gets out, opens the hood, and runs away seconds before the car explodes.
Marcus, the man we just saw, sits with Britten and Bird in an interview room. They suggest him testifying against Maxim Basayev, the Russian crime boss he works for, in exchange for witness protection. He agrees at last, as they’ve been working him for two months, but then gets upset when Britten and Bird tell him his wife has to go into protection too. Britten suggests Marcus’s wife would prefer a live husband, but Marcus comments that “You don’t know my wife.”
This is a fairly massive win for the police, who’ve been trying to take down Basayev for 8 years. The district attorney wants to know when they’ll get the records Marcus kept, and Britten tells him it’ll happen right after Marcus’s wife is safe.
Alina, Marcus’s wife, arrives at the station concerned about him. He stammers through part of an explanation right before Britten suggests they all go into an interview room. That’s where Marcus at last reveals he’s been working for Basayev for 2 years now. Alina is … unhappy with him to say the least … and tries to leave without entering the protection program. Britten talks her off the proverbial ledge, and then he and Bird take the pair of them to a hotel room where they’ll live for a few days.
Alina asks for a painting, then a book of photos, then their cat Bella. Marcus tries to get her to calm down, but she flips out and starts hitting him. Britten pulls her off and drags her into the bathroom, where she tearfully confesses her terror at leaving her entire life behind.
Hannah: Alina continues talking in voiceover as Britten ends his run in front of the house, where Hannah is already packing for the move to Oregon. She says “you can’t even imagine what it feels like,” but I’m sure Britten wants to tell her that he in fact can.
Hannah sorting through their possessions for donating to Goodwill, finally taking on the project herself because she’s sick of waiting for Britten to help. He pokes around a few of the boxes, nostalgic for a few items, and when he asks to delay the trucks Hannah thinks it’s just an excuse to delay the move.
Britten takes Vega to dinner with Jake, his confidential informant for the past 15 years. Except Jake’s not entirely happy with the idea … and when he suggests a steak dinner to celebrate Britten leaving, the detective offers money to pay for it instead of attending. Even the cigars Britten gave Vega as a peace offering for Jake are turned away. Jake tells them about a burglary at Palace Electronics that night. From what he hears they’ve got body armor, so he suggests they bring the entire posse.
That night, they sit around San Pedro Industrial Park waiting for the crooks to show. Except they don’t. Vega at last suggests that Jake was playing Britten because he’s upset at being kicked aside so easily after 15 years.
Rex: Marcus is freaking out because Alina’s left the safehouse. Bird informs Britten that no one knows anything about where the heck she’s gone. Marcus wishes he’d died in the explosion–at least then Alina would be safe. Unfortunately he has no idea where she could’ve gone, since apparently he doesn’t really know her friends or anything to do with his own wife’s life. Despite this, he still loves his wife and would do anything to save her. If they can’t find her … then Britten and Bird can forget about him testifying.
They search Alina’s credit card receipts to possibly find out where she’s gone. One transaction stands out–a weekend at the Palace Hotel & Resort in Palm Springs. Britten connects it to Palace Electronics from the Hannah world, and suggests they visit there instead of talking to any of Alina’s friends. Bird’s unsure, but he goes along with it.
At the hotel, the bartender recognizes her photograph and says she wasn’t alone the weekend she stayed there. Alina was with a blonde man about Britten’s height who looked like he worked out a lot. The bartender offers to pull the name off the credit card receipt, since the man ordered a drink before Alina got there.
Meanwhile, Greg Hollander puts a shirt on and answers the door to a pair of men–one of whom speaks with a Russian accent. Holy shiz it’s the mob! They force their way in and beat Greg into the floor.
By the time Britten and Bird arrive at Greg’s house (he’s the name on the receipt), the Russians have already bound and gagged him in the living room. As the cops are about to leave, Greg kicks over a table to draw their attention. Bird and Britten kick the door down and a brief gun fight erupts. Both of the Russians are quickly taken out, and Greg is saved.
Afterward, Greg insists he and Alina were not romantically linked. Something that Britten doesn’t believe … until Greg reveals his line of work is as an escort for men. He talks about how sad Alina was that she and Marcus had grown so far apart over the years, and how happy they were when they first got married. This gives Britten an idea, so he calls Marcus and asks “That young couple that you were; if you ran away together, where would you be?”
Marcus tells him there’s one place, but he’s not sure it’s even still there. Turns out that one place is a run-down motel by the ocean. And that’s where Britten finds Alina … staring out at the water. She’s unsure about entering witness protection with Marcus or by herself. Though she didn’t know what Marcus did, she knew it changed the both of them. And though they can’t go back, Britten reminds her that witness protection offers them a chance to start over. That’s not something many people get.
Britten convinces her at last to come back to the hotel by saying that he knows one suitcase isn’t a lot to take into a new life, but so long as they love each other, he’s not sure she needs to take anything. With that he brings her back to the hotel, where right before he leaves the room Marcus nods that he’ll testify.
Hannah: Hannah wakes up to the sound of a moving truck and people talking. She turns over and Britten’s not there, so she goes to the window and sees him helping Goodwill load the truck. This confuses her, and when she walks downstairs she asks him when he had a chance to go through those things.
Britten admits that he didn’t. He simply figured that whatever she wanted to get rid of was fine by him–and then he says he’s taking her out that night to a special place. At first she thinks it’s the new Italian place, but then he says that it’s actually an old place. She’s confused, but he tells her he’s already given her a hint.
Britten apologizes to Jake for treating him poorly. The informant, after all, considered him a friend. He even sent flowers when Rex died, which is something he doesn’t do for people. Especially not for a cop. Awww ….
Britten then admits he’s going to miss their dinners and talks … and reveals it was Vega who told him how poorly he’d treated Jake. This leads the informant to say he’ll have dinner with Vega alone. Give the kid a trial run, as it were. And Jake tells him the tip about Palace Electronics was a good tip, but he gave the wrong details. He’ll give Vega the right ones.
That evening, Britten takes Hannah to their old college aquatic center–the place they first met. After she lost her towel all those years ago and Britten gave her his, they ended up talking for hours until the pool closed. This stroll down memory lane is a bit of a surprise for them both, since Hannah can barely believe they were ever that young. The last thing Britten remembers is they jumped off the high-dive together. He cajoles Hannah into doing now, and soon enough they’ve climbed up and stripped naked.
A count to three and they jump off … their giggling doesn’t even stop when a sensor blares an alert of people swimming at night. They quickly climb out of the pool, and Hannah hides in a corner while Britten runs for his keys with a massive smile on his face. I guess this is why he was naked at the start of the episode, eh?
If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Awake: Ricky’s Tacos’ recap to catch up.