The Bridge

Season 1 Episode 9

Painted Ladies

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Apr 23, 2010 on CTV

Episode Recap

After a patrol car pulled up to the front door of a very posh hotel, an attractive female officers got out of the car and headed inside, unaware that the patrol car is being shadowed by a pair of IA (Internal Affairs) officers. Moments later, the "officer" plummeted to her death, landing squarely on the roof of the IA team's vehicle.

A call to 911 was made from within the hotel and included the detail that the deceased was a police officer, thus sending out the message of "Officer Down". All available officers in the area, including Frank Leo, came running to the scene, thinking that one of their own had just been killed. The truth that the victim was a prostitute dressed as a cop quickly comes out, but Frank was suspicious as to why the IA officers were in front of the hotel in the first place and why a clerk from the hotel called 911 and not them. They hadn't called in the incident until nearly five minutes later. After talking briefly with them, Frank detected that they seemed to have a noticeable interest in Officer Matthews, the officer who had dropped the girl off in front of the hotel in the first place and had also responded to the "Officer Down" call. Assuming that Officer Matthews may be the target of an Internal Investigations review, Frank tried to reach out to him to offer him any legal support he may require. Not surprisingly, Matthews feigned ignorance of any wrongdoing and returned to his patrol car.

Another detective who had rushed to the scene was a vice cop. Frank had approached him to see if he knew who the girl was and what light he might be able to shed on the situation. With little information forthcoming, Frank noticed Billy arriving on the scene. She recognized the vice cop as Sergeant Croft, the man she had worked with when she was trolling the upscale hotels as a part of a vice sting operation. After chatting for a few moments with Alex about the crime scene, a second body plummeted from the sky and landed in virtually the same spot. The second victim was a middle-aged man dressed only in his underwear, confirming to everyone present that the day's incidents are part of a prostitution ring gone wrong.

After looking into Matthew's history, Frank and Tommy discover that he had been promoted to vice squad some time ago, but had been transferred back down to being a patrol cop. It was also discovered that Matthews had been working under Croft's authority during his stay in vice. Putting this together with the poorly-concealed look of pain on Matthew's face when he saw the dead hooker, Frank had begun to think that something more was going on and that Officer Matthews may be needing his help even more than he first realized.

Shortly afterwards, Abby approaches Frank with the news that the Feds, in a pre-election move, want to sweep into all of the local divisions in an effort to root out any and all corrupt cops at all levels. Knowing this to be a publicity tactic rather than a real effort to improve things, Frank and Tommy both realize that if the Feds have any legitimate excuse to make such a blatant and aggressive move, they would need something in the headlines to justify it.

In an attempt to discover more about what Matthews was obviously hiding, Tommy decided to get in close with him (with Kantor's help) by putting his uniform blues back on and pretending to be a troubled cop with money issues within earshot of Matthews while at Kantor's bar. Meanwhile, Frank asked Sgt. Croft into his office to ask him about Matthew's time under his command, trying to determine why an upwardly mobile officer would ask for a demotion and back into a squad car. When Croft was toild that IA was looking at Matthews, he became uncomfortable and wondered out loud if IA thought Matthews was pimping girls rather than arresting them. He then went to some lengths to point out how difficult that would be for a cop to do. Frank then inquired if Matthews was having financial problems. Croft mentioned that his ex-wife was garnishing his salary, but that Matthews was handling it. After that, the two men went their seperate ways.

Back in the bar, Tommy was getting Matthews to open up about what had been bothering him and got him to admit that he had lost someone close to him. As the conversation moved into the area of ex-wives and spousal support, Tommy alluded to the fact that if a cop were careful about it, there were many way he could make a great deal of money on the side if his ethics were not a hinderance. In time, Matthews made an offer to Tommy to get in on a side operation he was involved in that offered high-end call girls to wealthy clients. After Matthews assured Tommy that the operation was virtually bulletproof and safe from IA investigators, Tommy agreed to join up.

Later, as Tommy and Frank compare notes, they both come to the conclusion that Kroft is in on the cop-run prostitution ring. Frank concluded that IA is on to Croft's operation, but is wary of the Feds who would use this as an excuse to seize control of the police force and torpedo every negotiation the union has been working on. Knowing that handing control of the department to the federal government wouldn't benefit anybody, Frank reluctantly decided to help IA with their investigation rather than take the chance that they mess it up and make the department look worse.