Six years ago, Daniel Frye was partying hard with a rich man's son with the unlikely name of Santiago Sol, Jr. That is, until Junior went tearing off into the night in his sports car to get more drugs, but more on that later. Back in the present, Wade and Cross interrogate Jack Childress about his supposed murder spree, but aren't getting much sense out of him. Cross is still not convinced that he's the guy they've been after, but she's the only one. Which means it's pretty much just up to her to find out that Childress has been under investigation before -- including by FBI agents who confiscated some of his notebooks. Which would explain why the real killer could be someone else and still talk like him about dialectics and institutions and all that happy crappy.
So Cross starts diving into some old files and unearths the name David Tate. He was an FBI agent who was part of the Childress investigation, and he used to be Ralph Gedman's partner years ago and he was a patient of the late Dr. Peter Meadows. What's more, he once worked with Ruiz on a task force, so that's four -- count 'em, four -- potential connections. Cross and I think we have a new prime suspect. Too bad he's dead.
Or is he? Cross drags Ruiz back down to Juarez to look into it, and given that David Tate supposedly committed suicide down there amid all the overworked cops by blowing his head off -- and was cremated before ever being positively identified -- she forms a theory that David Tate faked his death and has been planning the killings ever since. She learns a little more about Tate, like how he went into a spiral after his wife and ten-year-old son were killed in a car accident while she was having an affair with someone in Mexico. So Dave was a bit of a mess.
Meanwhile, Tim Cooper discovers the skeleton of a man buried under Jack Childress's concrete, who turns out to be a long-missing right-wing neighbor of Childress's named Kenneth Hasting. Cross dismisses that as another separate killing from the ones they've been investigating, but looks into it anyway after Cooper says something inexcusably rude to her. When she pulls up Kenneth Hasting's DMV record, Ruiz recognizes the photo as that of David Tate, who must have assumed Hasting's identity. And we recognize him as someone else, but we'll get back to that, too.
Because in other news, Ray's new gunrunning operation is not going well. Charlotte busts him almost immediately and orders him to shut it down, but that's the least of his problems; after he's back home, Graciela Rivera's people discover the wireless trackers that the ATF concealed inside the weapons. She gets furious, fast. Also, Steven Linder is having nightmares about Sarah Bega and Fausto Galvan, so he takes an unannounced leave of absence from his work at the homeless shelter. And Gus confesses his crush on Cross, who shoots him down while coming as close as she has yet to mentioning her Asperger's.
And this is all happening on the night of a big party to celebrate the opening of a library sponsored by Mexican philanthropist Santiago Sol. Frye sends his coworker Mendez to cover it, knowing his sobriety won't survive that environment. Mendez meets Frye's old buddy Santi, Jr. there, though they don't exactly hit it off. But of greater interest is another couple attending the party: Ruiz's wife Alma, escorted by her coworker Kenny. That is to say, Kenny Hasting. Formerly known as the late David Tate. Oh, hell naw.
But that's not even the final revelation. Before taking Alma home, Kenny -- or David -- corners Santi, Jr. in the men's room and murders him for killing his family in that car accident years ago, which also explains the connection to Daniel Frye. Then he all but signs the crime scene with a bloody handprint and his biggest bead yet. When Cross, Wade and Ruiz arrive, Ruiz finally recognizes what the beads mean. They're from a necklace once owned by a woman he had an affair with: David Tate's wife Jill. Okay, seriously? Ruiz confesses this to Cross, but begs her to keep it between the two of them. Given that this whole murder spree was arguably initiated by Ruiz's total inability to keep it in his pants, I don't really see how that's going to be possible. Anyway, he doesn't even know that he's got an even bigger problem, which is that his wife is currently going home with a man who almost certainly blames Ruiz in part for the death of his wife. Hard to imagine this ending well.
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Starting with a flashback this week. Six years ago exactly, according to the subtitle. We're in a loud (but basic cable-friendly) strip club, where the goings-on include a younger Daniel Frye snorting coke off a glass table, sans trousers. He grabs a stripper and yells manically about how he can't feel his dick, but at least he's still together enough to wonder where his pants are. The dude he's there with -- a rich young Mexican man by the name of Santi -- throws money at a large bouncer, who actually takes off his trousers and gives them to Frye. Turns out that back then Frye spoke a bit more Spanish than he does now…about as much as I do, in fact. Either that or he just enjoys jubilantly shouting, "¡PANTALONES!" But then, who doesn't? Hell, I shouted "¡PANTALONES!" at my son every morning for the first eight years of his life. Now, alas, he gets dressed without being told.
As the party continues, the younger Frye and Santi are heading out to Santi's car to make a drug run across the border. At least until Frye, whose new, much larger pants keep falling down on him, realizes that his passport is in his other "¡PANTALONES!" See? Even when it's bad news, you can't be unhappy when you're shouting that word. So Santi gets in his sports car and goes careening down the street sideways, tires squealing until he's completely out of sight. Frye's left standing there in his too-large pants, and instead of going back inside to wait, he suddenly walks away, looking dead inside. Even though he seemed to be having a great time up until a few seconds ago, it's almost as though he expects Santi to have some kind of terrible car accident, the way he was just driving.
After the credits and a few establishing shots of present-day El Paso, we're in an actual windowless interrogation room at the police station. Who knew they had one of those? I thought they just used the all-purpose, glass-walled room off the bull pen for everything. Which does explain why this room looks like nobody's been in it since the night Daniel Frye lost his ¡PANTALONES! Lieutenant Wade asks the arrested suspect, Jack Childress, if the 33 illegal weapons found at his home are in preparation for the end times or something. "Dialectics is my answer," Childress says unhelpfully. Well, thanks for clearing that up, L. Ron Stubborn.
Wade reminds him of all the charges against him, including cop-killing, as well as some other bodies. Oh, right, is someone going to ask him about the specific killings they were investigating him for in the first place? Cross, sitting across the table from Childress, finally starts rattling off names: "Lorraine Gates. Cristina Fuentes. Gina Meadows." Childress claims not to know them, and when Cross says they're testing his bone saw for DNA, Childress tells them to go right ahead because that isn't his either. "Someone put them there?" Cross wonders, half-skeptically. Childress is still going on about strangers invading his land, either leaving behind or stealing who knows what. Wade brings up the car found at Peter Meadows' house, which Childress says was also stolen from him. Wade points out that he didn't report it, but Childress isn't really the reporting kind.