'Common Law' Episode 1.02 Recap: "Ride Along"

Wes and Travis may not get along perfectly, but they always find a way to get the job done. Some of their ways could be considered unorthodox (like shooting at a priceless car just to see if drugs are inside), but by the end of the day the criminals are in jail. And that’s all that matters to them. So what happens when their therapist, Dr. Ryan, decides to tag along with them for a day, something she likes to do when new couples join her group? An interesting day for sure.

The detectives’ day with Dr. Ryan starts off in the office when their Captain assigns the boys to a suicide case. The trio goes to the hotel where the crime happened and ID the victim to be Justine Whitfield by her stuff she left in her room. Wes discovers a ripped off earring on the balcony below, and Travis notices that the bathtub was prepared for a relaxing night and there was $200,000 hidden under the couch cushions. The suicide just became homicide.

Travis and Wes decide to go talk to the husband and break the news of his wife’s death to him. As they walk up to the front of the house, Wes locks Dr. Ryan in the car so she can’t observe them break the news and interrogate Mr. Whitfield about his wife’s death. However, when they arrive at the house and began to break the news to Mr. Whitfield, his wife, the real Justine, walks down the stairs. Turns out their victim is an actually a Jane Doe.

The Whitfields follow the detectives and Dr. Ryan to the office to see if they can figure out why their Jane Doe has a drivers license with Justine’s name. Both Whitfields say they don’t recognize the girl and Mr. Whitfield suggests it may be identity theft. Wes and Travis had already figured out that must be the case and ask about their bank accounts and such to see if the mystery woman had took anything. Mr. Whitfield assures them that no, nothing is missing, he is an accountant and is extremely anal about their money. Wes and Travis decide it’s time to visit Jonelle in autopsy for a report.

Things are a little awkward and Dr. Ryan gets a better sense of how Travis treats women when she learns Jonelle is a heartbroken and bitter ex girlfriend. Jonelle completely ignores Travis and tells Wes all about the Jane Doe such as the offensive and defensive wounds on her body, the blood in her mouth that isn’t hers (a sign she bit someone in defense), and the ripped ear where the earring Wes found must have had come out. She slaps Travis’ hand when he tries to grab the fingerprints and hands them to Wes. Jonelle goes back to glaring at Travis as the  boys with Dr. Ryan in tow leave and head back to their cubicles to find a new lead.

Travis runs the prints through the system and finds out that Jane Doe is actually Olivia Fisher who was arrested before on an assault and battery charge. In the report they find out Olivia and her husband, Kenneth, are not the happiest couple and have a history of beating each other and getting restraining orders. Travis jumps to the conclusion that its Kenneth and so they leave once more to talk to him.

At the Fishers, they find an extremely upset Kenneth burning and shooting at Olivia’s stuff. Apparently she had left him earlier that week for a rich guy and Kenneth was depressed, he loved and missed her. The news of her death sent him into a crying fit and the detectives bring him back to the police department for questioning. However, it turns out that Kenneth is like a big drunk harmless teddy bear that misses his wife and had nothing to do with her death and lacks the bite mark, Olivia’s signature on her killer. The only thing he could provide was that she had left him for a wealthy man. Jonelle calls Wes with a toxicology report of Olivia during the interrogation and says that Olivia was recently given a yellow fever vaccination, confirming what Kenneth said about Olivia leaving and getting ready to go somewhere exotic with her new man. Travis decides it’s time to look at the TSA (transportation security administration) for possible plane ticket Olivia may have bought.

While Travis is at the airport talking to his foster mom, who works for the TSA, about getting the information, Wes is at the car shop with his ex wife. Wes’s car that was wrecked in the previous episode isn’t fixable and has to be sent to the junkyard. Wes and Alex sign the insurance together since Wes never got Alex’s name off of the registration, and Alex reminds Wes about his previous job as a lawyer. She tells him the firm has a standing offer for him if he comes back, and the job comes with a new car for Wes. Though Wes loves fine cars, he turns down the offer and leaves the car shop with a realization about the money they found in Olivia’s room.

At the office the next morning, Wes realizes the money was organized by treasury, something an organized Mr. Whitfield might do. Plus, after some research Wes discovers that one of Mr. Whitfield’s largest clients is Ronnie Car, a Texan gun runner who was using Mr. Whitfield to launder money. Travis then enters with the information he got from the TSA. Justine Whitfield had a plane ticket, not Olivia, a clear sign that Mr. Whitfield was in on this. The boys go chase down Mr. Whitfield and bring him back for a more intense round of questioning.

Mr. Whitfield comes clean. He was cheating on his wife and stole the money form Ronnie so he and Olivia could go start a new life. However, he had cold feet and decided he loved his wife after all and had stayed and lacked the bite mark to show he didn’t kill Olivia. But then, he tells Wes and Travis about how Ronnie kidnapped his wife and was holding her for ransom since Mr. Whitfield has stolen $200,000 from him. The boys come to the conclusion that Justine killed Olivia and go meet up with Ronnie in Mr. Whitfield’s place to make the arrests. In a style that is purely Travis and Wes, they surprised Ronnie and his men by acting like lost friends arguing about whom to ask for directions one second, and then pulling out their guns and handcuffing the men the next. Wes pulls a crying Justine from the back seat and finds a bite mark on her arm. Both Ronnie and his crew and Justine are arrested and West and Travis go back to the office after a job well done. At the station, they discover that not only does Dr. Ryan have a boyfriend, but the boyfriend is out of town a lot so she has to watch his kid. Hunter is a rebellious adolescent that refuses to like Dr. Ryan and was picked up by the captain for being caught hanging out with friends that were stealing stuff from the mall. The detectives are shocked, not ever have given much thought before to Dr. Ryan’s personal life and Travis offers his assistance because of his experiences with dealing with multiple foster brothers and sisters. Wes brings his new car to the next therapy session and the group goes outside to admire it. The show ends with Travis locking Wes out of the car and drowning him out with the stereo.

Common Law never fails to surprise me. While the first episode was fun, Ride-Along was downright hilarious and had me smiling the entire hour. The plot is now thickening as Wes’ ex wife, Alex, keeps reappearing, more about Travis’ past is unraveled, and we find out more about Dr. Ryan as a person and not just the therapist. It’s official, Common Law has me hook and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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