Murder in the First: Season 2 Episode 8 – Out of the Shadows – Recap and Analysis

Out of the Shadows, the 8th episode of Murder in the First’s second season, was a decided upgrade over the previous segments. However, before you think that I’ve fully jumped on the bandwagon, or that I’m all in, let’s have a closer look.


Actually I’m still in the camp of those who are not yet all in. As I noted in least week’s MITF notes, the show likes to toss in new characters, in what seems like a weekly basis.

All of a sudden, Mario Siletti, the DA who is in charge of the prosecution of the Dustin Maker case, has a wife and a nearly or possibly wayward son. Who knew?

The almost forgotten Alyssa, Molk’s strip club hostess girlfriend, has reappeared, and now, she suddenly matters. She’s the bag-lady for the union, delivering envelopes crammed with money on the union’s orders. She’s also terrified.

But I am getting ahead of myself. The episode began with Sugar and family emerging from a church – Tenea’s funeral. Gang squad coppers Raffi and Isaiah are watching from across the street. Sugar comes over, and we get that Raffi knows more than we previously thought. Sugar appears to think the same thing.

But did you notice the tat on Fatty B’s neck? I could be wrong, or this could have no meaning at all, but it made me flash back to juvie hall footage of the still missing Jalil who also had a tattoo that he hadn’t had before. Is there a connection?

Back at headquarters, Koto suggests that the Kaleb Peat case be handed off to the Cold Case cops, and that English, and Hildy work the Sarah Tran case. And the murderer could very well be in the building, so…

Especially since the forensics show that she’s been dead for six weeks and the phone message sent to her husband Brian Tran had a date that was three weeks after her death. Worth looking into, no?

Still at HQ, Raffi’s Commander Criolla, who we already know is running Junior McCormick’s debt clearance, and is way high up in the Union; he takes Raffi off the Sugar case.

She’s extremely pissed, especially after finding out that a  year of her work has been wasted, and only she is transferred. Her colleague Isaiah remains on Sugar.

At DA Siletti’s office, we find out that the Siletti kid, named Michael, has been suspended for mouthing off at the history teacher. Siletti tells his son. You weren’t suspended for nothing. You cannot call the teacher an asshole. But it looks like there’s much more to this. Otherwise, why SUDDENLY does DA Siletti have a wife and possibly troubled son. My guess –

Michael Siletti is somehow connected to the Alfie Rentman and Dustin Maker’s acquisition of the guns. Which would be another event straight out of left field, but for Murder in the First – you know you have to adjust your thinking to – expect the unexpected.

Brian Tran tells English and Hildy that it was tough being married to a cop. Is she lying dead in the street, is she having an affair with another cop, or is she so totally involved, or lost in the case – that she loses track of her home life and husband? Sarah Tran was working undercover at the same club as Alyssa.

Hildy asks her bro Junior to sit down with her, She doesn’t understand something in the notes. Junior says Bogart is not a name , it is a verb, And then after Hildy tells Bro that she can’t have him arriving at work – reeking of alcohol, he says he had just the one drink which he needed because of ‘the situation’  he’s in. You know – 70K in gambling debts and having to work as the Union’s muscle.

Raffi, still pissed, arrives at the diner where English and the Cold Case Cop are talking. English tries to make nice, but Raffi isn’t having any of it. She doesn’t want to talk about it.

Kami, the techie on the homicide squad, is able to connect the Sarah Tran message to a burner phone. She reveals they can track its sale to a particular store and day with the proper warrants. By now, Hildy knows something about Junior’s situation. At least the 70K debt part.

At the Siletti home, he’s working on his opening statement for the Maker sentencing phase. Mrs Siletti is upset. Their son is missing. He’s disappeared before, Siletti tells his wife, and us.

Raffi is home working on a joint and who shows up but Sugar. She asks, Does everyone in Portrero know where I live, or is it just you. Sugar replies Just me. It looks like there could be some strong sexual vibe between them, but Raffi backs away but not before telling Sugar that Criolla, her commander, has a strong interest in Sugar’s doings. So much so that she thinks Tenea was set up by Criolla.

Tenea had been busted with six ounces of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. But instead she was locked up, and the charged with felony possession (8 ounces or more). Sugar asks why she didn’t tell him this before. Raffi said, she told him now because she ‘s tired of ‘covering shit up’ (as well as being pissed at Criolla).

I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but it will later prove to be important.

Hildy suddenly comes up with the 70K that Junior needs. He asks her if she got it from the evidence lockup. She says she got it ‘all legal’.

But she says there’s a condition for the money – he must level with her about everything he knows about the union. Which leads Junior to tell how he got the money. At the strip club – from a girl. Who turns out to be Alyssa, Molk’s g.f.

Alyssa meets Hildy. But reveals nothing, Hildy says she can protect her – and Alyssa says – you have no idea…then leaves, obviously terrified.

Siletti gets a call at his office. His assistant is helping him decide which tie to wear. I don’t think there’s anything going on between Siletti and his assistant, but with MITF, one never knows. He gets a call from his wife. She’s terrifically upset. Their son Michael’s school is in lockdown. An unspecific threat says Siletti. Mrs. Siletti cries – Michael is the threat… and doesn’t that get your attention?

Next we get two key events. Kami finds that the burner phone was sent to a specific store where it was sold. And that store has security tapes. Said tapes show Criolla buying the phone.

Really? A guy we never heard of or even saw until a few weeks ago is now neck-deep in a conspiracy involving the murder of Sarah Tran. Wow. Never saw that coming. Neither did you.

Second – Molk is told about Alyssa’s involvement in financial improprieties. Molk is upset. More on him later.

Michael Siletti arrives home. I was camping at the Presidio, he tells his Mom and Dad. No big deal. Siletti asks his son, What’s up, are you mad at me. No, says Michael. I’m just unhappy. Why? That’s just the way it is.

Now while not specifically incriminating, and not much of an answer – that certainly opens the door to Michael with Alfie and Dustin.

Sugar meets with Andy Chan. Chan tells Sugar ‘that it doesn’t do any good to be angry with the police’. He says, I need the police to be my friends. If you are a good businessman – it is the only way to live. Always protect the business.

Molk meets Alyssa at the club. She tells him that he is just one of many in a long line of white knights offering to help her. She also says that Molk was never her type. Molk, remembering the night of passion they shared, disagrees and says he will help her anyway – no matter what. She doesn’t agree. Molk leaves.

I think Alyssa has decided her own fate, and it won’t be pretty. After all didn’t Molk flash his badge in the club? Somebody besides the dude chatting up Alyssa had to have seen it.

The cops had obtained a search warrant for Criolla’s apartment. They find money, weapons, and possibly the weapon involved with the murder of Sarah Tran.

Led by Koto, they head out to arrest Criolla who is still in the building.

He tries to bluff them. You’re making a big mistake. One phone call and this all goes away, as does your careers. Criolla says, There’s no coming back from this.

If this was Hawaii Five-O, we would have heard, Book him Danno. Criolla is arrested and led away.

At the penalty phase for the Dustin Maker trial, Siletti quotes the law. Defense Attorney Nelson says,  That while what Alfie and Dustin did is unforgivable, his life may still have some value.

What exactly she means is beyond me

Nelson says, That his life, like any other human life should be met with mercy.

We next meet Criolla, dressed in prisoner orange. He’s waiting in an interview room. A woman comes in and says, We need you to sign some papers. Criolla not recognizing her says. You must be new to the firm. While he looks at the papers, this woman takes out a revolver with a silencer attached and shoots Criolla dead. She arranges him to look like he’s still reading the documents, and asks where the lady’s room is – little girls room were the exact words. Off she goes – leaving her bag behind.

Can you spell finger prints?

And the episode ends.

Thoughts and observations:

What is the issue with Siletti’s son Michael?

Criolla came and went. Yeah, he was a dirty cop. Or as Koto said, Let’s arrest this scumbag while he is still in the building. Based on what we have heard in this episode, I’d venture that it was Sugar who was behind this assassination. After all, Criolla was fingered by Raffi.

But that would mean that Sugar ignored the advice given him by Andy Chan. And the question now becomes – who was Criolla referring to when he said – one phone call and this all goes away.

Other questions:

I'm wondering where did Hildy get the 70K.

I’m wondering where did Hildy get the 70K.

Where and how did Hildy get the money for Junior?

Will Raffi sleep with Sugar? Will she be transferred back to the Sugar investigation?

What will Molk do, and as long as that question is being asked – what and where will we find Navarro – who to me –

skated away far too easily. I still think he shot the black cop Walt in the tunnels, weeks ago.

And, of course, a few more questions – Who beheaded Tenea and where is Jalil and his tattoo, and does that connect to Fatty B. Who I still like as the one trying to get Sugar killed in a war with the Chinese gangs.

Last question – what about Maker’s young cousin? I can’t believe we’ve seen the last of her.


3 thoughts on “Murder in the First: Season 2 Episode 8 – Out of the Shadows – Recap and Analysis

  1. Wow..that was a great episode. I think its too easy to think Sugar was involved in the assignation of Criolla. I think it is someone in the Union. I agree with you that Alyssa the stripper days are numbered. I am not liking the lady defense attorney. The “his life may still have some value” comment sounded so lame. After what he and his dead partner in crime did, he deserves no mercy. What is the “value of his life”? ZERO. Thanks for the great recap.

    • Hi Anita – thanks for the comment. I think I said that based on what we saw in the episode, I’d venture to say that it was Sugar. But I also made a reference to the fact that Criolla said with one phone call this all goes away meaning that more powerful people than either Criolla or Koto, or Sugar existed. Either at the top of the Union, or even higher in either the police force, or the SF City government, unless it was the Feds (who are usually involved in a way that interferes with the police – you know, the Feds protect people like Chan who is allowed to run his criminal enterprises just as long as he feeds the Feds intel and busts along the way.

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