Case #3.14: "Nemesis"

At a cemetery, Booker, in his police uniform, sits with his legs dangling over the side of an open grave. A voice somewhere says, "I thought I knew you, man." Flash to Booker standing in his own yard. He runs up to the porch through the fog and hammers on the door, yelling, "Mom! Open the door!" A teenage boy and girl on the porch don't seem to notice him.

Desperate, Booker breaks into the house. He finds the living room is set up like a classroom, his mother seated at the teacher's desk. "Do you know the answer, Dennis?" she asks a couple of times. The teens begin to chant "Narc"; the word is written in big capital letters on the chalkboard.

Booker retreats upstairs to his bedroom, where there appears to be a dead body under the sheets. He frantically loads his arms with clothes from a dresser drawer. Cap'n Rufus has appeared and flicks open a switchblade. The teenage boy from the porch shoots Booker in the chest. He flies through the wall, landing neatly on his back in the bottom of an open grave, dressed in a suit.

A female psychiatrist asks Booker if he has nightmares or insomnia. Booker denies both as he lights up a cigarette. He makes it clear that he's only talking to her because the police department said he has to. He begins to tell his story.

Booker's sitting on his couch with his girlfriend. She's bored because they've watched this same vampire movie over 30 times. She wants to know more about him. Booker tells her he's on a case involving an older brother dealing drugs and teaching his younger brother the trade. Booker's girlfriend meant personal things; she asks about the scar on his face, his hatred of Chinese food, and his childhood nickname. He rattles off: "Fell off my bike, found a worm in an eggroll, Joe Cool."

Booker's girlfriend still feels like she barely knows him. "I keep to myself," Booker shrugs, "You're as much a part of my life as anybody." Booker's girlfriend is frustrated; she loves him but wants more emotional intimacy.

Booker and some kids dressed in early grunge era fashions drink beer on a deck illuminated with white paper Chinese lanterns. A brunette girl, Christine, mentions Bobby's family tradition. Bobby, we notice, is the same kid from Booker's dream. He says, "I'm not the dealer, Matt is." A boy sporting a Bret Michaels-style bandanna voices his opinion that a boy named Tyler in their driver's ed class is a narc. A redheaded girl in a leather jacket pipes up that cops have to legally tell you who they are if you ask, "Are you a narc?" Bobby says it's a myth "like she can't get pregnant the first time." 

Booker turns down the teens' offer of drugs and gets more beers from the cooler. The kids want more drugs and know just where to get them. They hand Bobby a cordless phone. He heads off to call his brother in private.

Later that night, the kids wait behind a building to wait for Matt. A guy named Chet delivers the drugs instead, saying Matt had other business. Police cars swoop in. Booker is put in a paddy wagon with the kids, who are furious about getting caught. Bandanna thinks Booker is a narc. Booker points out that he sold drugs to a kid named Ronnie and "narcs can't make a sale without busting the guy." Redhead thinks it's Bobby because of the mysterious phone call.

At school the next day, a boy in a sheepskin jacket wanders into class late. It must be normal for him because the teacher pays no mind and keeps calling roll. Sheepskin Jacket sits down and whispers something to a girl. She whispers to someone else nearby. Bobby isn't in the room. The teacher asks Sheepskin Jacket to tell the class what he's whispering about. Sheepskin Jacket reluctantly stands up and announces: "Bobby Clayman was found in a trashcan this morning, shot in the head." Booker doesn't react.

In a bar, Cap'n Rufus asks Booker why he hasn't reported to the Chapel. Booker tells him that Bobby was killed. Rufus already knows. Booker says it was meant to be him and the kids are getting suspicious. Rufus wants to pull him out, but Booker thinks he can get close to Christine and learn who'd want Bobby dead. He's clearly wracked with guilt that the murderer killed the wrong person.

In the cemetery, Sheepskin Jacket says he owes a favor to whoever killed Bobby. The kids file past the open grave and take turns spitting in it. Booker can't bring himself to do it.

At Bobby's house, the clearly paranoid redhead thinks a middle-aged man that they don't know must be a cop. They see Matt go outside. Bandanna shakes his head: "He's getting stoned at his brother's wake." The grunge kids and Booker head to the back porch. 

Bandanna tells Matt they'll still do business with him even though his younger brother was a narc. "You mongoloids make me puke! Get out of my face!" Matt shouts. If Bobby really was a cop, where are all the other cops paying their respects? They suggest the cops aren't there to keep the undercover conspiracy a secret. Matt storms into the house.

That night, Booker tells Christine that his dad disappeared when his parents split up and it was almost like he died. They feel closer to each other and end up kissing. 

The next day at the school's outdoor cafeteria, Bandanna says Matt won't sell them drugs until they find out who the real narc is and suggests searching each other's houses. "We've never been to your house, Dennis," says Bandanna. 

At Booker's childhood home, Mama Booker wonders who the kids are. Booker replies, "I'm going upstairs with my friends. Don't bother us." The grunge kids can't believe how clean Booker's room is. He says he doesn't stay in it much, just gets wasted and sleeps in his car.

Redhead finds a Polaroid on the dresser. It's of Booker, Tom, Judy, and Doug gathered around a birthday cake. Booker claims it was taken at a birthday party he had with friends from his former high school. He points out Tom and says, "He was the biggest drug dealer at my old school." Redhead is suspicious of the number of candles on the cake and starts counting. Booker tries to distract her. 

Mama Booker comes in. Booker says, "Dammit, can't I have friends over without you hanging around my room?" Mama Booker tells him not to talk to her like that and adds that the kids can do their dope somewhere else. When the teens leave, Booker tells his mom not to worry about them. He takes a photo out of a dresser drawer: him and Mama and Papa Booker at his police academy graduation.

Doug and Booker play pool at a bar, the bigger cop still walking on crutches. Booker sounds paranoid, saying things like "kids know, man, they know. They can see right through us." Doug doesn't ask him to elaborate.

On Chinese lantern porch, Bandanna passes around a baggie of black pills. "Cops can't do anything illegal," he says, clearly proud of his genius. Booker swallows his pill and excuses himself. He goes into the bathroom, ramming a finger down his throat. Christine hears him puking and calls through the door, asking if he's okay.

Back on the porch, Booker's tired of all these loyalty tests. Bandanna thinks they're necessary because "nobody knew about the deal that night except us and Matt. Matt ain't a narc." At the same building where they were arrested, Bandanna readies a Molotov cocktail. Can I reiterate how annoying it is that most of the teen characters are never referred to by name? 

Sheepskin Jacket is scared and tells Bandanna not to throw it. Booker grabs and bat or something and starts smashing windows. This sets off the building's burglar alarm. "Let's all go to jail!" Booker cries. "Let's all go to jail!" Sirens approach.

Booker is released from a holding cell at the precinct and picked up by Mama Booker. "I'll pay you back," he promises. He tells her the kids know he's a cop. Back in Booker's childhood room, Mama Booker sits on the bed next to him. She asks him to share some of his life with her; she knows he's scared. Abrupt cut to an apartment laundry room, where Booker asks his girlfriend to stop by later.

Booker visits Christine, whose mother is apparently okay with her having boys in her room. Booker can't stop thinking about the grave spitting incident: "It makes me sick." As well it should. Christine says she'll stand by Booker and she loves him. Booker says he loves her too and they kiss. Moving very fast for a girl whose boyfriend was just murdered, Christine puts Booker's hand on her breast. Booker pulls away, explaining he feels weird doing that so soon after Bobby's death.

On his way home, Booker sees a car following him. He pulls over and readies his gun, but the car drives right past. Booker goes to his apartment to shower and thinks he sees a shadow passing by the bathroom door. He grabs his revolver and goes to confront the intruder wearing nothing but a towel. It's only Booker's still-unnamed girlfriend, who has a key. She leaves and says she'll call him later. Christine is parked near Booker's building and sees Booker's girlfriend coming out of it.

At school, Bandanna says Survivor: Narc Edition is over. Christine offers up her house for a party; drugs on Matt. Later at the bar, Booker meets up with Doug and asks to be arrested with the grunge kids. In the bathroom, Booker practices flashing his badge and saying, "I'm the narc." 

Christine shows up at Booker's apartment, saying Matt didn't want to make the deal at her house and they have to meet him somewhere else. They drive past a bank of payphones and Booker casually asks to stop for a Coke. Christine says they don't have time.

Bandanna and the other grunge kids meet Matt near what looks like the cemetery. Matt asks where Booker and Christine are. "They're probably off doin' it somewhere," says Redhead, sounding jealous.

Booker and Christine go into the same abandoned building we've seen all episode. He wants to know where Bandanna and Company are; she says they won't be there until later, then asks if he lies to the girl who was at the apartment: "I know you're the narc. I realized it last night when you wouldn't make love to me." Did she ever stop to think that a guy who doesn't wanna sleep with her just might not find her attractive? Just sayin'.
Booker didn't mean to hurt her and asks who killed Bobby. 

In a reveal that should surprise nobody, Christine admits to killing Bobby to protect her friends. She accuses Booker of making her think Bobby was a narc. 

She takes a gun out of her pocket. "Don't do this," Booker pleads. Christine says her life is nothing now and believed Booker loved her. She asks him to say he loves her and wants to be with her forever; Booker complies with her request. "You're lying, Dennis," she says just before jumping down an empty elevator shaft. Booker looks in horror at her dead body.

In the office, the shrink tells Booker he's a good cop. Booker doesn't want to feel guilty and worthless anymore. The shrink suggests he take some time off. Booker follows her advice. 

The next we see of him, he's sipping a fruity drink at a Tiki bar. A bikini-clad girl approaches him and takes off her sunglasses. She says something that, like "narc", was repeated ad nauseam in this episode: "Sorry, I thought I knew you." Booker looks scared. End of episode.

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