Battle Creek epsiode 6 recap: “Cereal Killer”

Today is one of the greatest days that befall the people of Battle Creek Michigan: It’s the 31st annual Breakfast Day! On Breakfast Day, everybody in the city comes together and celebrates what put Battle Creek on the map — the breakfast cereal revolution. Everybody except Russ, that is, who, like his fellow detectives, is stuck in uniform patrolling a festival of cereal. Of course, Milt loves it. Mayor Scooter Hardy and his Chief of Staff (and brother) Daryl swing by say hello and to meet the FBI wunderkind. The Mayor grabs Milt for some show and tell, which of course, irks Russ.

Meanwhile, Funkhauser is irked at Font who messed up putting down the deposit on the venue for Funk’s upcoming wedding. Font denies blowing it and promises to straighten things out. This is not going to go smoothly for Font.

Eventually everyone sits down with their cereal so the mayor can launch the festivities. The mayor and the Battle Creek Tomcat mascot pour the ceremonial milk onto the giant ceremonial bowl of cereal (Honeycomb, looks like). Before the Mayor can take the ceremonial first bite, shots ring out knocking down the Tomcat and the Mayor. The crowd erupts into chaos as the cops work to clear the scene.


Russ notices a hole in a banner and a scuff on the pavement, but before he can follow the trajectory of the bullet, Milt has the probable location of the gunfire thanks to the gunshot locator system he had installed after Russ was shot in Episode One. The two charge the apartment on the second floor of a nearby building, but find the place empty save for a rifle on a tripod connected to a remote firing mechanism. “Our suspects,” Russ quips, “are everyone with a cellphone.”

Back at the station, the gang is working over the complete lack of evidence, and Milt’s high-tech analysis just confirms everything that Russ has already written down on cue cards in anticipation. The gun, bullets and the common items used to make the firing mechanism are all untraceable. Russ suggests they do some “old fashioned” police work, but Milt has already had his FBI squad trace the phone (a burner, as Russ predicted) and had the source of the call triangulated to a 2000 sq. meter area. Milt suggests they use his FBI super tool, the Digital Crime Board, that can compile data and video from all the cell phones and security cameras covering the area. Russ does not love this.

Font digs through his file on the wedding preparations and discovers the deposit check. When Holly asks him what he’s going to do, he runs with the most obvious solution: Lie.

At the Hospital Font and Russ discover the Mayor in good spirits, chatting up his savior the mascot Sam McPherson from his hospital bed. The detectives ask Mayor Hardy and Daryl who might want to kill him. The Mayor mentions he won the election with 85% of the vote (it was a low turnout election), but concedes that there is a Crackpot File that collects the various nuts who have made themselves nuisances.

The detectives return to the station to find their comrades ogling Milt’s newest piece of kit: The Digital Crime Board, which seems to do everything but make arrests. Needless to say, Russ is displeased at this latest affront to his brain-centric detective methods. The DCB can combine and synch footage across platforms, isolate faces and compare them to a database. The machine breaks it down to 15 suspects, but a winner quickly emerges: Steven Venson, a petty criminal with drug issues who was caught on tape fighting with the mayor. The camera also caught his license plate: XTR BAD. Russ’ old-fashioned Crackpot List is rendered useless.

On the follow-up visit to the hospital, Russ and Milt spot the XTR BAD Camaro parked outside. They rush upstairs to find the duty officer unconscious and the Mayor gone. The officers rush back to the car just in time to catch the Camaro peeling away.


The formerly unconscious officer was given a tainted cup of coffee by an orderly who turned out to be Venson. The facts that the mayor wasn’t killed, and that his clothes were taken as well, lead Russ and Milt to assume kidnapping. Daryl is shocked and angry that his brother is gone. They discover the Mayor’s location using an app that Daryl has for just such (frequent?) occasions.

Back at HQ, Holly is pressing Font to come clean about the deposit snafu, but he is determined to push through and be the hero. Holly suggests the Windsor Club a private club who’s GM might wave the Member requirement because he owes nearly a thousand dollars in parking tickets.

Russ and Milt lead a SWAT team to the Mayor’s location. The team busts down the door to find a party in progress and the Mayor on the couch with two young ladies smoking a crack pipe.


Outside the party, the detectives are have a chat with Mayor Party Down who pops an Oxycontin right in front of them. It would seem that Venson, wasn’t kidnapping the mayor at all but helped bust the Mayor out of the hospital so he could party. Venson is a longtime associate of the Mayor and the procurer of the Mayor’s illicit substances. Unfortunately for Stevie, he has been buying the Mayor’s stash on credit so he can help his grandmother out with medical bills. So, if Stevie is no longer a suspect, maybe his supplier, Duane Lydon, is trying to send a message to the Mayor.

Lydon has a bad reputation and is a known dealer of almost every kind of drug you can imagine and a few you probably can’t. The Mayor is currently into the guy for $15K, which seems like a solid motive.

A SWAT team assembles outside Lydon’s house. All the detectives are there – Milt and Russ are in the command van. Font and Funkhauser are at their post outside, where Font tries to talk Funk into upgrading his venue to Windsor. Funk likes the idea but his fiancée won’t get on board because the venue was segregated until 1996. Meanwhile, Russ gets a call from Guziewicz informing him that Sam the mascot was just shot as he was being released from the hospital. They call off the raid because he ain’t their man. At least not for this.

Back at the station, the detectives go over footage from the shooting, caught by the local news. The kid is fine, but he’s been placed under 24 hour surveillance. The detectives now believe that the shooting at the Festival was a misdirection and the kid is the actual target. Again, there are no clues and, again, Russ wants to go do real detective work, and start asking questions. Of course, Milt has had his buddies at the FBI reconstruct some of Sam’s deleted Instagram feeds which reveal a new suspect: “Sad Cat 13” an unknown person with a crying cat avatar who had sent Sam disturbing messages.

And then there’s Font, whose blind devotion to his scheme leads him to a yoga class where the woman who did get her check in on time is working out. Font tries to convince her that the venue a target for some criminals, but the woman has her heart set. Until, that is, Holly (who is pretending to be in the class?) convinces her that the venue has a bad vibe.

Funk and Jacocks question Sam about the Sad Cat 13 and try to link the shootings to his homosexual… ness? But Sam has no idea who Sad Cat might be. Milt and Russ check out the high school robotics lab, where the FBI had ascertained was the source of the Instagram insults. The teacher tells them that the kids are way too busy to even have human thoughts let alone angry ones, but a student in the room brings up the fact that the rooms aren’t locked and any kids can come and go. Milt shows her the iPad version of Digital Crime Board and she recognizes a face.

Milt and Russ are chatting with JJ, the guy that was ID’d by the girl. He cops to posting the messages but only because he was jealous of Sam for taking the mascot job that should have gone to JJ. He also claims that the Breakfast Day is his favorite holiday, but seeing Sam as the Tomcat hurt too much, so he called his mom for a ride. While the DCB shows JJ on the phone at the time of the shooting, The FBI turned up no record of the call. JJ claims that the call didn’t go through right away. Guziewicz, believes the kid and so does Milt. It’s then that Russ’ big brain technology kicks in and he realizes that they need to look at earlier footage because all the phones might have been laggy.

The revised DCB search does reveal some new details and a potential suspect. Daryl, the Mayor’s brother!

Russ and Milt start to walk over to the Mayor’s Office with their findings but angry Mayor Hardy is already coming down the stairs, outraged that their encounter at the drug house is all over the internets. Daryl enters but pauses when he sees the detectives with his brother. He hoofs it outside and through the parking structure to the top where he runs out of room and Milt and Russ catch up to him. Daryl stands on the ledge ready to jump but the Detectives talk him down.

No sooner do they accomplish this than they get a call that the Mayor has just had a heart attack. Russ and Milt get to the hospital just as the Mayor is being wheeled into the ER. The doctor tries to get the boys to leave, but Russ is suspicious of the whole situation, guessing that the heart attack was likely induced. He takes out the Mayors bottle of pills that used to contain Oxycontin, but not now. The nurse checks and the drugs have been swapped with Digitalis, which would have killed the mayor had the ER doc gone through his regular procedure. This is one lucky Mayor.

Back at City Hall, the Mayor bursts into the squad room acting like he’s on cloud nine. Turns out, not only did the video of him from the “poker game,” not ice his career, but people are digging “Mayor Party,” because he seems more personable. But the good mood is broken when they go visit Daryl.

Finally, Font’s schemes have paid off. The bride gave up the space thanks to Holly and he’s put down the deposit on Funk’s venue. Except Funk’s fiancée, through a friend, heard about the all the bad goings on (that Font made up) and decided to move the wedding to their house. Funkhauser asks Font to retrieve the deposit.

In the interrogation room, Daryl explains loudly and angrily why he wanted to kill his brother, which boils down to Scooter getting everything without effort while Daryl busts his ass for nothing, “the laws of gravity don’t apply to you!” Not only is Mayor Hardy not shocked, he tells Daryl that he loves him and gives him a big hug. They reconcile.

The Detectives leave the room. Milt is saddened that Daryl just couldn’t share his brother’s success, but Russ is sure that the Mayor is a phony, and a ne’er do well that nearly lost everything. Russ suggests that Milt might be similar in that the laws of gravity don’t seem to apply. Milt reminds Russ that he did end up in Battle Creek.

Case Closed.

New episodes of Battle Creek premiere Sunday nights at 9/8CT on CBS.

Photos: Adam Taylor/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.