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Episode 1.8 - Sept. 18, 2005

This episode was billed as the "season finale," even though there were still five more episodes of "Wanted" left to go. The Powers That Be did not want "Wanted" to go up against popular returning network TV shows. Thus, after "Ronin" aired on Sept. 18, the series was put on hold till its "winter season premiere" on Dec. 4.

Nevertheless, "Ronin" was a good episode to enter hiatus on. It features the writing of Jorge Zamacona and the direction of Alex Zakrewski, who did the "Badlands" episode as well as as some "Oz" episodes and many other Tom Fontana and Dick Wolf creations.

This installment under-used Eddie Drake, mixed in some new blood and re-introduced Lt. Rose's family crises. The members of the task force also took some time off from insulting each other to show a little tenderness when one of their own was attacked.

The bad guy of the week is a gang leader named Karsh, who is big and mean. He's trying to take over all the gangs in South Central LA simply by killing off the competition. Enter Detective Rubio, a member of the LAPD's anti-gang unit, to lend a hand to the Fugitive Task Force -- who are a few steps (and dead bodies) behind in trying to catch Karsh.

As the team gathers at base, Eddie and Tommy are missing at first. Jimmy asks, "Where are Bert and Ernie?" Then we here Eddie say, "Coming dearrrrr." With all present and accounted for, Connie runs down Karsh's rap sheet: murder, drug dealing, more murders.

Rubio joins them, and Connie explains he'll be helping. Carla scoffs, "Great just what we need around here is another pair of testicles."

Rubio ignores her, asks, "Where are you guys on Karsh." Eddie's answer paints a brief, vivid picture: "Dry. And from behind."

Eddie's assignment is to visit Karsh's loving sister Cassandra. Eddie isn't happy. "She's a witch."

He's right. When he arrives at her door, she opens it, hissing at him. She points at him, says, "Demon.... Fornicator."

Eddie: "Guilty."

She lets him in. She rocks and chants and tells him he's not leaving there alive. He demands to know where her brother is. She says, write this down. He starts to get out a pad, and she chants something with a lot of vowels. Wearily, Eddie says, "How do you spell that."

She warns him, "Don't kill my brother!"
Eddie: "Or what?
Cassandra: "Or this." And she blows in his face.
Eddie: "Or you'll blow me?"

That night, a big guy accosts Carla, beats her, almost shoots her, but she hits the "panic button" on her keychain and the car alarm scares him off. The team gathers around her, showing great concern. It's a rare tender moment for this rugged, rancorous squad.

Later comes another classic Eddie exchange. Eddie, Connie, Rodney and Rubio are in the mobile unit, staked out. Rubio is impressed by all the gear. Connie says it still hasn't replaced the warning shot. Rubio says,  "You know what the LAPD warning shot is? Boom! Stop or I'll shoot."

Eddie laughs. "There's no such thing as a warning shot."
Rubio, "Amen. Full sprint down a dark alley, some asshole shooting at you..."
Eddie: "They ain't warning you."
Rubio: "That's what Internal Affairs doesn't understand."
Eddie, to Connie: "I like this guy."
Connie: "Get a room."

The team determines that Karsh has a mole in the LAPD. It's the guy who beat up Carla. They arrest him. Turns out he was childhood friends with Karsh. He asks them to keep his mother safe, but when Jimmy and Eddie go to get the mother, Karsh has already killed her.

Jimmy and Eddie later return to Cassandra's place. They root out a laptop computer. They take it back to Rodney, and he figures out where Karsh is hiding.

The team pairs up in different vehicles to comb the neighborhood. Jimmy and Eddie are cruising in Jimmy's vintage convertible. (Eddie looks good in a convertible.) Then they close in on Karsh. Guns blaze. The chase is on. Tommy catches the bad guy, but the bad guy knifes Tommy. Connie and Rubio continue the chase, and finally shoot Karsh -- and mock him as he cries.


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