TNT’s Murder in the First: Season 2 Episode 11: Down Time – Recap and Analysis

So, are you current with TNT’s Murder in the First? Eleven episodes have been aired, leaving just one, the season finale, remaining.  Episode 11, called Down Time, was decent and solid if not spectacular.


At the jump, continuing from last week’s closing moments – the IA dick Torres emerges from his home and picks up the bag of dead presidents that Alyssa had dropped into his trash bin. Naturally, Terry and Hildy pounce on him. He’s busted and he knows it. What do you want?, he says.

The name of the Headman.

Torres tells them that he can only give them what he can give them. He says he doesn’t want to go to jail, but he can’t give them what he doesn’t know. The key to the whole deal is anonymity. But Junior doesn’t believe him, and launches a few punches at Torres. The best they get out of him is that he’s supposed to make a drop at 9:00 AM next morning at the marina.

My suspicions were correct. Torres is not the Headman of the Union, as there’s no way the Headman receives cash in a bag in a dead drop, in front of his own home. The second dead drop won’t yield the Headman either.

Terry and English might know this, but they have to follow the money. If they want to find out who the Headman is,  they have to capture whoever picks up the bag, and squeeze that person.

Hildy has called in DA Siletti. Siletti marvels about the irony (Torres being dirty) and asks for the ‘top of the pyramid’ name. When Torres says he doesn’t have it, Siletti says he’s not interested in anything else, and stands to leave.

Torres: You’re not interest in a guy that did more than 2 million in graft last year? This is gonna be big. Siletti sits down.

Next morning and Hildy, Terry, Junior, and Koto have the marina staked out. Torres makes the drop. No one shows, until some young twenty something arrives and goes straight to the bag. They bust the kid.

But the kid knows nothing. Koto says he’ll book the kid on the misdemeanor. Torres? – He made a deal with Siletti so says Koto.

Sugar is at the hair salon getting a trim. Fatty B is telling Sugar about how the gang is getting nervous because it looks like Sugar is getting ready to book himself out-of-town. Fatty B wants answers from Sugar. And Sugar sizes up Fatty B. This is the beginning of Fatty B’s move – only he’s not too subtle. Looks like Sugar has sized up Fatty correctly. Of course, this was easy to see coming. It has been obvious for weeks that this is how it would go down.

Molk arrives home to find Alyssa waiting for him. She wants to talk. And she pus a move on Molk. He says – I thought you wanted to talk. Alyssa spins a story of remorse which leads to another night of passion. Followed by a key reveal.

Back downtown, Lawyer Jamie Nelson is talking with her client Dustin Maker.

At Police HQ, Siletti and Koto are putting the squeeze on other detectives. What they learn is unbelievable, – drugs, extortion, identity thefts, etc etc etc. Five cops get led away in handcuffs.

Terry wonders out loud to Koto – Why didn’t the second drop go off. That’s disregarding the kid they nabbed.

Raffi tells Hildy and Terry that the witness, a young Chinese woman, that ID’ed Sugar for the alley murder may be lying.

Fatty B meets with Andy Chan. Fatty says – Look, Sugar is gonna be gone, and when he is, I’ll be your man. Bingo. Fatty confirms what I surmised weeks ago. We all heard it. Fatty’s plan is either to take out Sugar or assume the role when Sugar bails. Chan nods knowingly but says nothing.

Hildy then interviews the young Chinese woman who insists she was there, and saw what she saw. I saw the Asian guy come out of the restaurant. The black guy jumped out of the shadows. Hit him with the gun, and shot him in the face. It was over in like 10 seconds. Hildy wonders if there was a full moon that night – because the alley has no lights – so how did you see him?

So the girl is caught lying. I mean when Hildy says – we triangulated your phone – you were nowhere near that alley. So, unless you want to be arrested for obstruction of justice, you need to start telling me the truth, and you need to start right now – she has no choice.

Further discussion between Koto, Terry and Hildy – we learn that Koto has spent a couple of hours talking with Torres who they have stashed at a motel. Terry says – I still want to know why the drop didn’t go off. Koto says – maybe we got made at the drop site. Hildy says, or whoever it is knows who we are.

Koto – says nothing.

My friends, I think there’s your case and Headman right there. Koto knows about the deal Torres made with Siletti. Koto was at the drop site which yielded only a low-level interim messenger boy with no connections, and the only thing he can be charged with is resisting arrest. Koto has Torres stashed at a motel. I think that this is so Koto can take out Torres before he gives up anything more.

All along I suggested it would either be the Chief of Police, Koto, or possibly Junior. But when I mentioned Junior it was only a wild guess. If Junior was the headman, why would he be busting heads and collecting for the now dead Criolla?

Next comes a strange interlude with lawyer Nelson and the hotel’s beautiful barkeeper. Obviously Nelson is lonely, and just as obvious is the fact that the barkeeper is a beauty, aware, and appears interested. But nothing is going to happen. Nelson realizes that the barkeeper is straight when her boyfriend arrived. Basically a waste of two and half minutes in showtime. Nelson is in the midst of an ugly divorce, and she’s misjudged the barkeeper. And so, Nelson remains lonely, unhappy, and most likely bitter.

Molk and Alyssa are still together. Alyssa has made some homemade french fries. They talk and the grand reveal is – the pimp that ran the girls at the club was a cop.

The police techie actually did a triangulation on the Chinese girl’s phone. As the girl said – she was texting. But definitely not from Chinatown. So with this news , as in no credible witness – as Terry so succinctly puts it – Sugar walks.

Molk comes in and tells Terry that Alyssa said the prostitution ring at the Invisible Hand club was run by a cop. Molk says, I’ve been in there a number of times and the only other cop I’ve seen there is Junior. And the girls just flocked around him. Terry says he’s thinking the same way.

Terry then tells Molk that Junior is a part of the Union’s issues that they’re looking into – illegal loans, drugs, brass knuckle enforcement and now prostitution. Terry tells Molk that he has to get more from Alyssa.

Terry then tells Hildy about what he has heard, and he tells her in Koto’s office. Hildy doesn’t believe it. Have you any proof she asks. No says Terry, but when I interview Junior I’m going to go at him, like I have everything.

Terry tells Junior he knows all about the prostitutes at the club. Junior begins to protest, but Terry tells him not to say anything unless he asked to say something. Hildy and Koto watch from behind the one way glass. Terry offers a deal – fess up and there will be no criminal charges filed, no corruption in your file. But you have to resign today. You have 1 minute to decide.

Junior asks if Hildy is watching? Terry says, It is because she’s your sister that we are even making the deal.

Junior takes the deal. Terry leaves the interrogation room, and Hildy comes in. She’s shocked. Prostitution? she asks. Junior says this is who I am and have always been. Junior hands her his badge. Hildy calls him a scumbag and leaves.

This was the single dramatic high point of this episode, if not of this season.

Molk shows up at Alyssa’s place, and while she changes he begins to look around. In a moment of suspense, that’s not really suspenseful. Molk discovers a beneath-the-carpet-cut-into-the-flooring safe in Alyssa’s living room. They go out.

Fatty B and Sugar are in Sugar’s Cadillac Escalade. Sugar suggests they go somewhere which turns out to a an empty road somewhere behind a golf course. The Presidio? Golden Gate Park? The Olympic Club? I’ve really no idea. Sugar questions Fatty B. I heard you went to talk with Andy Chan – is the witness okay? Fatty doesn’t know because that topic wasn’t discussed. Sugar – You’ all talk about anything else?

Fatty knows that Sugar knows because Andy Chan told him of Fatty’s plan. So he pulls a gun on Sugar. He claims it ain’t personal – it’s what Potrero wants – (for those wondering, Portrero is not a person – it is a neighborhood and it is where Fatty B and Sugar are from) – and needs. Sugar says – It’s always personal. This is how all kings take the crown. And before Fatty can react, Sugar pulls out an even bigger gun. The episode ends with the two of them pointing guns at each other.

Well Sugar now has seen with his own eye’s Fatty’s intentions. Strangely he didn’t shoot Fatty B. Which is almost as strange as Fatty not shooting Sugar once he knew that Sugar knew the score.

And that was almost as strange as five cops confessing about their involvement in the Union’s nefarious doings. Not one of them ate their gun – which is usually the case.

So what’s left –

1) Dustin Maker’s sentencing. And Nelson’s return practicing law again. Maybe. She doesn’t have anything else going on once the Maker sentencing is over. I’m assuming she took a leave from Stanford to take up this case.- but her true passion isn’t teaching – it is trial law.
2) Molk, or Junior, or Alyssa’s death
4) Identity of the Headman… I’m still betting on Koto
4) Which of Fatty B or Sugar will survive..

And what is your take? Do you agree or disagree. Either way – the season, and maybe even the series wraps up next week. Which bring us to the last question – will the show be renewed for a 3rd season?

4 thoughts on “TNT’s Murder in the First: Season 2 Episode 11: Down Time – Recap and Analysis

  1. Hey I am BRANDON RUSH TWITTER: @BrandonRush14 I played Officer Huff in episode 11. Awesome reading your analysis.

    • I think she is just the hair cutter at the neighborhood hair salon where Sugar has always gone. This was where Fatty B stated that he (and the gang) felt uneasy as it seemed like Sugar was letting the business go. Her purpose was to show Sugar’s popularity in the neighborhood.

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