Season One, Episode Thirteen, Where in the World is Carmen Vega?
Original Air Date: May 30, 2011
When cold-blooded killer and drug runner Carmen Vega escapes from prison while at her eldest sons funeral the team is called into action. The case becomes personal when Carmen Vega has Shea's girlfriend, Vanessa, kidnapped and threatens to kill her unless Shea sees to it Carmen is allowed to escape. Vanessa's abduction, and the possibility that someone from the Marshall's service leaked info on the cons to Vega causes Erica and Lloyd to contemplate running.
At Edgecombe Female Penitentiary in New York, New York, the women are in the showers and one, Carmen Vega (Lauren Velez) is joking with the others about a man she knew on the outside. A guard tells Carmen the warden wants to see her but Carmen says she needs to shower and the warden can wait. The guard informs Carmen her son was found in a dumpster with a bullet in his brain. The warden gives Carmen his deepest condolences but he cannot allow her to attend the funeral. The warden mentions her drug trade and Carmen insists it was her husbands business and her son, Sebastian, was drawn into it just as she was only she was fortunate enough to get into prison where she could get a second chance. As the guard is dragging her from the office she begs and pleads with the warden that she must see her son and hold his hand one last time before he's buried.
Carmen steps out of a prison van in her orange prison jumpsuit and chained at the wrists and ankles. She is flanked by five guards and led into the church where her son's body rests. She wants to run to her youngest son, Cesar (Manny Montana), but the guards restrain her saying she isn't allowed any physical contact and give her five minutes to pay her respects to her slain son. A guard checks beneath the coffin Sebastian is in for weapons as Carmen walks up the aisle to her son. She kneels next to the coffin and wants to touch her son but cannot for the chains around her wrists. She turns to the guards and begs them to free her hands. A guard frees one of her hands and she turns back to her son. She stands and leans over his body. As she's kissing his forehead, she reaches into the folds of the coffin with her free hand and takes hold of a gun. She turns and fires, killing the guards. Her associates draw their weapons and surround her as she tells the mourners at the church if any of them go to the police she will find out and kill their entire family.
At the office in Brooklyn, Shea is surprised to see Vega has escaped. He tells the team he knew her a couple of lifetimes ago and they had some business dealings. When Charlie starts to tell the team about Vega, Shea tells him he's got it and proceeds to tell her story. She claimed the dope she was imprisoned for belonged to her husband who was killed by a rival gang two weeks earlier. In actuality, she knew about the drugs because she was the head of the family and she had her husband killed because he was having an affair with her hairdresser. She called all the shots and she pulled the triggers. Shea points to her picture saying she is the baddest, meanest, most vicious person he ever met. Shea did business with her for a couple of years as she had a pipeline to Columbia and provided his outfit with a certain recreational powder. Ray asked if they stayed on good terms and Shea tells him they didn't as one night she made a move on him and when he shot her down, she got that look in her eye when she doesn't get what she wants and called him a name that he doesn't allow people who aren't black to call him. He took his business elsewhere and hadn't seen her since. Charlie wants Shea to run point on the case but Shea is reluctant to do so as he wants to stay low profile since Carmen and all her people know him. Erica suggests Shea can call plays from the press box to the players on the sidelines, something he agrees with. Charlie agrees and orders Shea to start making calls as he wants to know what Carmen's plan is.
As Shea is getting out of his prison clothes and into his civvies, his phone rings. Vanessa (Tattiawna Jones) is on the other end of the line saying she has a message from Carmen. She knows he is working with the Marshall's and if he doesn't make sure she doesn't get caught they will kill her. Shea wants to talk to whoever is there with Vanessa and when she tells them that, a man slaps her and hangs up the phone.
Carmen's son Cesar tells his mother that the message was delivered to Shea. She looks to a wall that has several photographs hanging on it and asks her crew to tell her what's wrong with the picture. She thinks there are too many black faces at the top of the pyramid and they are all the way at the bottom. Cesar informs her they lost a lot of territory under Sebastian as he would have rather done lines with the guys rather than fighting for the street corners. She admits it was obvious even from prison that Sebastian was driving them into the ground as he didn't even keep up with the payments to the guards. She's angry she has half the crew she used to command and that Flow Flow (Brooks Darnell) made it to the top. She orders one of her crew to find Flow Flow. When he and another man leave, she is notified that a man Buntz (Jim McAleese) has arrived to speak with her. She politely greets the man telling him she'll be with him as soon as she can and to make himself comfortable. She goes to Cesar and promises him she will make him a king. He needs to make the men in the crew fear him so they will respect him.
Shea is in the SUV outside the church where Vega escaped speaking with one of his friends on his phone. He wants him to find out where Vanessa is being held no matter what he has to do. Charlie and Ray get in the car and asks what Shea has and are told nothing yet. Charlie reminds Shea that they have five dead correctional officers in the church. Shea holds up his phone telling them he's trying.
Flow Flow is in a strip club receiving a lap dance from one of the strippers (Virna Kim) when Carmen enters in a hail of gunfire and walks up to him. She tells him he has a stupid name as she holds a gun pointed at his head. He swears to her he didn't kill her son and doesn't know who did. She admits she knows that as she is the one who put the hit out on her own son then shoots him.
The team arrive at the strip club and Charlie goes to check out the security camera in hopes of identifying someone other than Carmen. Ray asks Lloyd to speak with the strippers. Shea receives a call from his friend and steps away from everyone else to talk. He has no word on Vanessa and Shea begs him for his help as they've been friends since they were five but his friend hangs up. Lloyd addresses the strippers saying it's a common misconception that strippers hate men, and the truth is they hate men in strip clubs. He assures them he isn't a man whose hands they must constantly slap away and is there to move things forward so they can get back to work making some money. He asks for pertinent information regarding Flow Flow or the woman who murdered him. Jade, the stripper who was with Flow Flow, raises her hand. She tells Lloyd she was giving Flow Flow a lap dance when Carmen came in. She hid under the table but was able to hear Carmen say something.
Charlie is shocked to learn Carmen had her own son killed but Lloyd feels Jade was telling the truth. Erica points out Sebastian's funeral was the perfect way for Carmen to get out of prison to make her escape. When Charlie asks Shea what he thinks he tells them he's thinking. Ray and Charlie take him aside and Ray questions him about his new found lack of enthusiasm for the case. Shea maintains he's working on it but Charlie warns him if he's thinking about past loyalties he will send him back to Sing Sing as they have no time for games because Carmen's body count is rising. Shea tells them if Flow Flow as involved with Sebastian business wise, there was only one man who could set it up, The Mayor (Eugene Clark).
The team returns to the office and Julie informs Charlie all local airports and docks have been notified and are on alert and there's no news from NYPD about information sharing. Ray brings Mayor in and Shea asks Charlie if he can have first crack at the interview since Mayor knows and trusts him and Charlie gives his consent. Erica thinks Shea is up to something because of him wanting to conduct the interview himself. When Ray re-enters the main room, he joins Charlie at Julie's desk to listen to Shea's interview. Mayor asks Shea what he's doing there and Shea tells him 'community service'. He tells him if they don't find Carmen soon it will get bad for some people and Mayor asks if it hasn't gotten bad already. Shea points out it will get bad for them. Mayor insists on a deal like the one Shea has before he will do any talking. Shea sits down and quietly tells him that Carmen has Vanessa and will kill her, something Charlie, Ray and Julie weren't able to make out over the intercom. Shea asks Mayor to help him find Vanessa before it's too late but he refuses because he needs to worry about his own safety now.
Charlie and Ray come back into the room and Mayor tells them he's a dead man if he goes back out into the street. He wants witness protection before he will say a single word to them. Charlie asks if he's willing to give info on everyone and testify at every trial the D.A. needs him at and he doesn't want that, he just wants to give info on Carmen. Charlie tells him that's no deal and Ray includes they could put him in protective custody until Carmen is caught or he could take his chances on the street. Mayor agrees to the deal and Ray sends Shea from the room. When he's outside the room, Shea's phone rings and it is Vanessa telling him she has guns pointed at her and the men holding them are angry because they think he's working for the Marshall's. Shea assures her he's making sure the Marshall's are going in the wrong direction but she insists they aren't buying it. Shea wants her to tell them he's playing ball and will make sure the Marshall's won't get anywhere near Carmen. The men with Vanessa hang up the phone. Erica and Lloyd are behind Shea and she asks what he's up to and that if he doesn't bring them into the loop they might tell Charlie he should hang onto Shea's phone. He tells them about Carmen taking Vanessa and Erica asks if he's going to throw the investigation. He knows Carmen will kill Vanessa no matter what he does so the only option he has left open to him is to work the case and get Carmen before anything happens to Vanessa. He asks if he can count on them to cover for him and Erica says he needs to tell them he isn't planning on running. Shea looks in her eyes and tells her he isn't running.
Mayor tells Charlie and Ray that Carmen has positioned Cesar to take over and Ray wants to know where to find him. Mayor doesn't know but tells them Cesar's father might be willing to help out as he was never in Carmen's organization and he always stood up to her and gives them the name Jose Rodriguez (Tim Sell). Charlie points out that's an extremely common name in Queens but Mayor doesn't know any nicknames or anything else about Rodriguez.
Carmen and Cesar are talking about his father and she asks if his father raised him or taught him the ways of the world. Cesar insists she wouldn't let him. She tells him Sebastian thought he was a man but he inherited his weakness from his father. She wants to know how she can leave him in control if she has to worry about him falling under the influence of his father. He tells her Sebastian had everything handed to him and he (Cesar) had to prove himself and asks her to leave his father out of it. She kisses her son telling him she's just going to talk to his father. As she starts to leave, the businessman who came to see her earlier is still waiting and stops her. She apologizes and tells him she'll be with him as soon as she can.
Charlie informs Mayor that two Marshall's that are at the office will take him back to headquarters. As the Marshall's escort Mayor out, Julie tells Charlie and Ray there are 1,293 men named 'Jose Rodriguez' in the greater New York area. She called NYPD Gang Unit and they are trying to get a current address. He wants her to lean on the NYPD as they don't have time for them to waste. Outside, the Marshall's put Mayor into their car. Upstairs, Ray asks Shea if he knows about Rodriguez and he says he's never heard of him. He is interrupted by the sound of screeching tires then gunfire. Ray and Charlie draw their weapons. Charlie orders everyone to stay put as he and Ray head downstairs. Julie and the cons go to the windows where they can see two men in a car firing at the Marshall's car. When Ray and Charlie get outside they find the Marshall's car riddled with bullets and all three men inside dead. Charlie asks Ray how Carmen knew Mayor was in their custody and Ray raises his eyes upward.
Upstairs, Ray takes Shea into the interview room and asks if he's in Carmen's back pocket. Shea insists he isn't and Ray makes it clear that if he is working with Carmen he's looking at three murder charges. Shea assures him he's doing all he can to find Carmen. Ray asks for Shea's phone. Reluctantly, Shea hands it over. Ray tells him to sit down and wait for someone to come get him then leaves the room.
Charlie is being fiercely questioned by a Marshall's Senior Director, Colburn (Derek Webster), in his office who wants to know if anyone could have tailed them back to the office with Mayor. As Charlie is being grilled by the Director, Erica and Lloyd talk about the developments with Shea. Lloyd wants to tell Ray and Charlie everything they know but Erica points out that two Marshall's have already been killed and they sat on information that should have been told beforehand and it's possible the task force will be shut down. Julie can hear their conversation. Erica asks Lloyd what Shea will do and if he might help Carmen then run. Lloyd tells her about the Prisoner's Dilemma and asks what if Shea doesn't run. She tells him it isn't a game and she will not go back to maximum security as she will not talk to her daughter through three inches of Plexiglas. He doesn't want to go back to maximum security either but he doesn't want to ruin the best work release program they could find; he won't. Charlie assures Colburn that they are just as upset over the murders as his superiors are and gives him his word they'll get to the bottom of it. Colburn tells Charlie that he needs to get up to speed on the case as Knox is demanding oversight on it until they get in front of the mess. Charlie tells him the files are all on his desk and he can go through them while he goes to make sure the team is on Carmen's trail.
Charlie goes into the interview room and asks Ray if Shea's phone got him anything. Ray tells him a couple of calls from a Dimani Johnson. Shea informs them that is his source on the streets and they are trying to find info on Carmen. Ray tells Charlie about two calls from a cell phone using a scrambling device which Shea explains as being from contacts he has on the side that doesn't want anyone to know they're providing info on Carmen and assures them he had nothing to do with the Marshall's getting killed. Charlie tells Shea he knows he isn't being straight with them and Shea again stresses that he wants to help find Carmen. Outside the interview room, Charlie tells Ray he can't hold Colburn off any longer and must tell him what's going on with Shea. Ray tells him if he does that they may as well clear out their desks. Charlie agrees they are all on the line but he's the only person with a badge to lose. Ray counters that he's trying to advise him on how not to lose it. Julie comes in to tell them she found Jose Rodriguez who lives in a cousin's apartment in Long Island City. When she leaves, Ray tells Charlie they put Shea back in the bullpen because if Colburn finds out they suspect one of their own they are toast and Carmen is gone.
Jose Rodriguez arrives home to find Carmen waiting for him. He isn't exactly happy to see her and wants to know why she's there. She tells him she wants to make peace for Cesar's sake as he will be taking the reigns. Jose doesn't want to stand by while Carmen sends his son to an early grave like Sebastian. He wants his son to have a future. Carmen asks if that is why he's been talking to his son about moving to Miami. She tells him their son has a future and she wants him to promise he will not interfere with it. He sits down next to her and she hands him a glass of wine. He tells her he cannot make that promise. As she is kissing him, she pulls a knife from her pocket.
Ray and Erica arrive at Jose's building and he asks her if Shea said anything to her and she says he hasn't. He reminds her that if one con runs all three go back. Erica points out that Jose is in apartment #2 and they go inside. Ray draws his gun when they see the keys are in the door. They enter the apartment and find Jose's body on the floor with Carmen nowhere to be found.
At the office, Charlie hangs up the phone saying Carmen snuck out the back as if she knew they were coming. Shea reminds him they shouldn't look at him as they took his phone. Colburn comes out of Charlie's office wanting to know what the word is on Rodriguez and Charlie tells him Carmen killed him. Colburn angrily goes back into the office and sits down behind the desk. Shea tells Charlie they need to start looking at Colburn instead of him since he was the one who sent the Marshall's down to transport Mayor. Shea points out all the things Colburn knew that made their way to Carmen. Julie stands up from her desk and goes to Charlie and tells him Colburn has a second phone that he's hiding under Charlie's desk to text with. Shea sees this as proof. Lloyd points out Colburn has been tugging at his collar which is a sign of discomfort and nervousness. Shea tells Charlie La Santa has a man on the inside and it isn't him. Charlie asks about the name "la santa" (the saint) and Shea tells him it is Carmen's nickname and only her inner circle calls her that. Charlie steps into his office and asks Colburn if he's heard anything more about La Santa. Colburn tells him no and that it's his job to keep him informed. Charlie closes the door and quietly tells Julie to go to the back, get on the phone and call Ray to bring him up to speed then call Internal Affairs to send someone over. Charlie tells the cons to keep their heads down, work the case and play it cool. Colburn comes out of Charlie's office wanting to leave but Charlie will not let him go and tells him there is a guy from IA on his way over. Shea questions Colburn about his involvement and mentions the second phone as Julie watches the exchange from the back room. Charlie holds Shea back as he continues to press Colburn harder. Colburn draws his weapon and Charlie turns with his own gun raised ordering Colburn to put his down. Colburn tries to justify working with Carmen and Charlie tells him they can make it right. Colburn repeats 'make it right' to Charlie then turns his gun on himself.
Colburn's body is wheeled out of the office and Shea comments he was a rat and died a rat's death and didn't even tell them where Carmen was before killing himself. Ray asks Julie where they are with Colburn's cell phone. She informs him he cleared the history so she's having all calls and texting traffic captured. Ray asks if she's alright and she says she's guesses she is.
Carmen is being given instructions on how to use a device she is buying from Buntz. She takes the equipment and tells him if he'll be kind enough to wait there she'll arrange payment. As she's leaving, Cesar asks when he'll see her again and she tells him someday when things quiet down and that he's a king now. He asks about the man and she tells him he knows what to do. She kisses her son goodbye and leaves.
Erica is on the phone with her ex wanting him to have their daughter call her when she gets home from school. Lloyd walks up to her and she hangs up and stresses to him that Carmen had a Marshall feeding her inside information and she has as much info on them as she does Shea and warns him to call his mother. She tells Shea she isn't putting her daughter in danger like that. Lloyd asks him what the plan is and he tells Lloyd the only way is that he needs to bring the ballgame to Carmen. Erica says she won't wait to get a phone call like Shea did. Charlie calls to the cons and tells them they have the feed back from Colburn's phone. They look over the texts and fine "PAWE" in them leading them to wonder what it could be. They dial the number on another of the calls and Shea's phone rings in.
Charlie takes Shea into the interview room and tells him they have a clean slate starting right now but he needs to tell him what's going on. Shea tells him Colburn must have sold him out to Carmen because she kidnapped his girlfriend and will kill her if they catch Carmen. Charlie points out they can't find Vanessa unless they catch Carmen. Shea knows and wants Charlie to promise he can get Carmen alone and gives Charlie a location where they might find her.
Buntz's body is being wrapped in plastic as Charlie and Ray enter with guns drawn. Cesar's men draw and fire upon them and are killed in the exchange. Ray points his gun at Cesar and asks where his mother is.
The team and the police go over the place as Shea and Charlie question Cesar about where his mother can be found but he isn't talking. Shea asks him where they are keeping Vanessa but he maintains he doesn't know what he's talking about. Shea hits him and demands to know where Vanessa is and Ray pulls him away and orders him to leave the room. He asks Lloyd and Erica if they found anything and Lloyd holds up a piece of the equipment the salesman had. Ray orders him to send a picture to Julie for identification. Erica is going over the texts on the phone. Charlie shows Cesar the crime scene photos from his father's apartment telling him Carmen killed him and asks where she went. Cesar, who is clearly upset by what he's seeing tells Charlie she's gone. Julie calls Ray with an identification on the murdered man. He's a regional salesmen for Northstar Nautical Supplies. Erica suggests that could indicate PAWE means Port Authority Watch Engineer and Shea says Carmen is sailing back to Columbia.
At Port Authority, Charlie tells the team the ship there is definitely headed to Columbia but was searched and every head counted and Carmen isn't there. Julie calls with identification on the equipment Lloyd found. It goes with a device used by miners and submarine crews in case of a lack of air. They take dogs over the cargo containers on the dock and a dog stops in front of one and barks. They open the container and find it is outfitted for someone to inhabit. Charlie, with gun drawn, orders Carmen to step out. After a few seconds, she steps around the corner into view. She acknowledges Shea as she's being cuffed and Charlie asks where Vanessa is. She claims to not know what he's talking about. As Ray is leading her away, she calls Erica and Lloyd both by name and tells them she heard a lot about them. Erica turns to Lloyd and tells him the train is heading for a cliff and why are they still on it. Ray calls to them and they follow him.
Shea gets in an interview room with Carmen and they talk calmly. She points out that he no longer has power in the streets. He admits that's true but he does have power in prison, exactly where Cesar is going. He puts a phone down on the table telling her to make a call and get Vanessa released now. She again maintains she doesn't know what he's talking about. Shea tells her she got rid of one son but Cesar is the one that matters. She tells him Cesar lasted one day on the throne and to imagine her disappointment. He informs her that she either call off the hit on Vanessa or she will find out in a couple of days that Cesar will be skinned alive and asks her what it will be. The rest of the team, and Cesar, are listening in the main room as she tells Shea "Cesar is dead to me". Erica walks away and Lloyd follows her under Julie's watchful eyes. Shea comes into the room asking Cesar if he heard what his mother said and Charlie tells him if he wants a deal it will only come if he tells where Vanessa is. Cesar agrees to take Charlie to where Vanessa is and the two leave. Shea starts to follow and Ray stops him.
Erica is talking to her daughter and tells her it's a secret between the two of them but she needs to be ready in case she comes by. She ends the call when Lloyd enters the room. He tells her Cesar gave up where Vanessa is. She says that's good for Shea but does nothing for them as Carmen can tell anyone in prison who they are and what they are doing and she will not let Carmen kill her daughter. Lloyd point out that if she runs he goes back to maximum and before they pulled him out things had started to get difficult for him and he's unsure he'd last a month there. She tells him to run with her and that she doesn't want to run either and wished the gig would have worked out but she won't let Carmen put a bulls eye on her daughter's back. Julie comes into the room and tells them if two members of the task force try to run Charlie and Ray will find them, no matter what, and she'd have to help them. She tells Erica her little girl would be older than she is now by time she got out and Lloyd that he'd never be a professor again and prove everyone wrong. They work with the U.S. Marshall's and they will protect them. She asks them not to run and leaves.
Downstairs, Ray brings two pitchers of beer to the table and tells them they've waited a long time for it and to drink responsibly. Shea tells him they've been outed. Ray admits there's no going back for any of them, including him. He might never get to carry a badge again but the task force has given him the chance to do the only thing he knows. As long as they stick together, they will be alright. Charlie enters the restaurant with Vanessa and calls to Shea who gets up and runs to her. The two embrace as Charlie goes to the table and sits. He tells them all he will put them and their families in a witness security safe houses for the next two weeks as they do a risk assessment. They have nothing to worry about as the Marshall's have their backs. Carmen is being sent to a supermax in Colorado and will have no contact with anyone. Lloyd raises his glass saying "let's get drunk" and looks to Erica. The two smile and everyone enjoys their drinks.
Breakout Kings airs every Sunday night at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on the Arts & Entertainment Network.
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