Battle Creek recap episode 7: “Mama’s Boy”

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Candice Bergen (Constance) and Dean Winters (Det. Russ Agnew). Photo: Patrick McElhenney/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A crowd has gathered behind the line of police tape. Russ scoots underneath, dismayed to see the FBI crawling all over the place. He sidles up to Commander Guziewicz who informs him the reason the FBI is present: Two teenagers stumbled on the scene and posted what they found on Facebook (apparently Milt has quite a following online). Smack in the middle of a black tarp is what all the fuss is about: a severed foot, inside a sneaker that had washed up on the shore. According to Milt, there was no trauma where the foot had separated from the leg, but his team is dredging the lake.

Russ sees something else besides a severed foot in a shoe: he sees a knockoff pair of sneakers and the foot likely belonged to a guy who was in the fake goods business. Guziewicz recommends that Russ pay a visit to Constance (guest star Candice Bergen), a con artist, currently cooling her heels in prison. She is also Russ’ mom.

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Candice Bergen (Constance) and Dean Winters (Det. Russ Agnew). Photo: Patrick McElhenney/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Russ and Milt are having a chat with Constance in lockup. She’s going over the photos of the shoes. She doesn’t think the victim was a buyer or a seller, but likely got them to test the market to see if the shoes would fly. She claims that she herself doesn’t know but knows someone who will, but to do so, she’ll have to be outside working in the field. Milt seems okay but Russ is deeply apprehensive. She, like Russ, is curious why Milt with his charm, good looks and great skin is wasting his time in Battle Creek.

The trio pay a visit to the ME, who tells them that the victim had been dead for between 4 and 16 months. Constance assures the guys that she has a likely suspect, one Henry Briggs, but before they do anything they have lunch at a Chinese restaurant. After a spot of lunch, Constance and the boys head to the back of the restaurant to talk to a guy in back, Charlie, about a Prada bag. After being put on the spot, Charlie confirms that the shoes likely came from Henry but he won’t cave to pressure from the cops because he’s got connections in the Russian mob.

The boys take Constance shopping after she convinces them she is going to need some regular clothes if she is going to be any help at all. They take her to a discount store, but, unbeknownst to them, she gives them the slip and returns later with clothes that are more her style. She even stole Russ’ credit card to do it. Milt is stunned that they got played, but Russ has seen it all before.

Detectives Font and Niblet are following up on a lead. The print from the shoe of the severed foot matched one found at the scene of a burglary at a storage facility the previous year. Unfortunately the owner of the storage company doesn’t know which unit was the target.

A reporter from the Battle Creek Intellegentser pays the squad room a visit. As Holly is the “media liaison” (psst.. they don’t actually have one of those), the reporter tells her he’s doing a profile on Russ. At first she’s happy that Russ might be getting his due, but the reporter intimates that it’s going to be a hit piece, and she might want to get an official statement ready.

Russ and Milt arrive at Henry’s place. Russ encourages his mom to wear a wire but, she declines because she doesn’t want to get killed. They let her go it alone. They watch as she gains egress into Henry’s house. Russ, of course, breaks protocol and follows, not that he’s worried about his mom, but more that he doesn’t want to get had. He and Milt end up on the porch, Russ straining to hear what’s going on inside. They hear what sounds like glass breaking and Constance calling out (You know where this is going.) Russ breaks down the door and he and Milt go through the house, eventually making their way to the second floor where they bust in on Constance in bed with Henry. Ugh.

Back at the station. Constance is being questioned by Detective Niblet. She’s calling him out for spending the best years of his life at work, away from his family. He does make an excellent point that she’s basically hijacked a murder investigation to kick it with an old beau. During this heart to heart an image appears on Niblet’s computer screen of a man, at the storage company, running in bright white shoes towards the security camera. Constance recognizes the man as the partner she had on the job that got her busted: Arnold Mathis. She appears afraid now, telling the boys to send her back to prison where she’ll be safe.

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Pictured (left to right): Josh Duhamel (Special Agent Milton Chamberlain), Dean Winters (Det. Russ Agnew) and Candice Bergen (Constance). Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

During the bust, cops had found the money from the scam, $1 million, but they never found Mathis. Constance assumed he skipped town. But in light of the new evidence, she gives the detectives the name of the mark they were scamming: Nick Shaw. Apparently, the two of them ran a cellphone scheme and conned Shaw out of $1 million.

Milt and Russ question Mathis’ Father, who has left his vocation as a criminal to become a priest. Russ isn’t buying the conversion, of course, but Father Mathis does give the detectives a tidbit of info: Arnold did tell his father about the scam, but he told him that the million he made was only His Half.

Back at HQ, Holly tells Guziewicz about the reporter and his plan to expose our man Russ. Guze’s plan is to simply ride out the story because Russ is who he is: He’s been suspended before, he’ll be suspended again. When Constance is questioned about the new bit of info Russ and Milt uncovered, she insists that Mathis’ half of the take is the WHOLE take, and there is no more money. But the boys know that the Cellphone Store Owner was Mob connected.

They bring Nick Shaw, the scam-ee, in for questioning, and he insists that he was taken for only one million. By now, Milt isn’t buying it either and accuses Shaw of either lying to cover his ass with the mob bosses or he’s lying because he and Constance are in on the scam together. The third option is that he’s telling the truth, but …. With a bit of the old Russ magic (that’s saying mean, scary things and threatening him) Shaw does fess up that he was scammed for $2 Million. When confronted, Constance says Shaw is lying, as Milt gets a call from his FBI buds that they found the rest of Mathis’ body.

Russ comes to Milt with the ballistics report on the murder weapon, registered to Joe Ryan, an alias of his Mother’s. Constance maintains that she still doesn’t have the other million and she’s frankly insulted that Russ would think she was stupid enough to kill a man with her own gun then leave it with the body.

Meanwhile, Niblet has tracked down the storage unit in question, but there appears to be no link to Constance, Mathis or Shaw. Russ asks Niblet to check on a boat rental where her alias appeared about the same time, and when Russ double checks the list from the storage facility, he realizes that her alias has been crossed off that list, but not by Niblet. Scammed again! As Russ and Milt head out to check out the storage unit, Font can’t seem to find his phone.

The storage unit is crammed to the rafter with Mom’s stuff. Old trophies and clothes that make Milt believe that she might be telling the truth: “boxes and boxes of normal,” he says. Russ, you know he’s not falling for it.

Back at the station Holly is having a followup meeting with Archer, the mean old reporter. She’s dug into his past and wants him to back off his story or she’ll go public with all his arrests. He tells her to take a hike, but she threatens to dig deeper and expose the rest of his sordid tale. He agrees to back off.

In the Commander’s office Constance is handcuffed to a TV cart. She’s trying to talk to Guziewicz, who is not listening. Russ comes in with a hit on the boat rental, made in the name of Joe Ryan. Mom insists she’s being set up, and Milt agrees that it’s all just a bit too tidy, but it is nearly impossible to trust Constance. They come up with a solution…

… Constance is hooked up to a polygraph machine. When asked about the $2 million, the murder and the hidden money, she fails. Milt asks her is she loves her son, she fails again. Russ stalks out of the room.

They have no option but to send mom back to prison and, indeed, are putting her in a police van. Constance insists that the machine is wrong and that she loves him, but Russ just helps her into the van, which pulls away. While Russ and Milt are having a little chat, a second van pulls up and the officer tells them that he’s there to pick up Constance. Scammed again!

The first van pulls up in a deserted area where Henry is waiting for her. He thanks his boys who drive off in the van. Constance gives him a hug then knees Henry ion the nads and takes his car.

Russ and Milt are in pursuit. They are using Font’s stolen phone to track Constance. Turns out, Russ has scammed everyone. He faked the gun registration, the boat registration and used Constance as bait to flush out the killer. Of course, the battery in Font’s phone dies.

Constance pulls up to the storage space. Unfortunately Henry isn’t too far behind. That guy’s got a lot of muscle cars (apparently the Russian mob is into that?)

Russ and Milt are in a pickle now that the phone’s dead. Milt is incredulous that he’s been scammed and that Russ thinks Constance is innocent (at least of the murder). Russ has a moment of insight and they take off.

Constance appears to be reminiscing in the storage unit, until she cracks open one of Russ old trophies adding the stack of cash inside to her fairly enormous pile of loot. Henry comes in, waving his pistol at Constance. Henry admits that he did indeed confront Mathis about his share of the loot and when Mathis wouldn’t roll over, Henry got in touch with the guys who killed him. During story time, Russ slipped in and tells Henry that if he shoots his mom he is going to be very angry, then Russ ducks in with his gun drawn and Henry gives up quietly.

Milt wants to know how Russ knew his mom was going back to the storage space. Russ realized that his mom would never save his damn hockey trophies. Constance is super proud that Russ conned her and everyone.

Back at the station another reporter from the Intellegentser is there and Holly asks about Archer, the other guy. She is shocked to discover that the Archer she talked to wasn’t the real Archer and that Constance hired that guy to test Holly. Constance wanted to know if she was good enough for her son. This news does not displease Holly.

On the way out the door and back to her Prison cell, both Font and Niblet drop by to thank Constance for her excellent relationship advice. She warns Russ to keep an eye on Milt (she doesn’t trust him 😉 and they have a heartfelt goodby before she gets in the van.

Meanwhile Milt, apparently taken by all this Mothery stuff tries to call his mom. She doesn’t want to speak to him. Hmmm…

Case Closed.

New episodes of Battle Creek premiere Sunday nights at 10/9CT on CBS.