Battle Creek Episode 9 recap: “Gingerbread Man”

As Battle Creek Episode 9, “Gingerbread Man,” begins, Detectives Russ and Font are rolling in Font’s new car, a Toyota, and Russ is busting his chops for buying an import in the car capitol of America. Font points out that the car was assembled in Ohio. Suddenly, Font whips the car around. He’s just spotted a guy passing that he’s sure is Barclay Spades, a fugitive on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. During the pursuit, Russ is whining because Font’s going to spill Russ’ Super hot coffee. Russ tries to get Font to stop but Font is determined to get Spades. Their progress is blocked when Font has to slam on the brakes for an oncoming train, spilling Russ’ lava-hot coffee all over his lap.


Font is in Milt’s office trying to get his help in tracking down Spades. He’s very proud that for once the BCPD might be able to help the FBI clear one of their cases. Despite Font’s certainty that the man is Spades – Font has an uncanny knack for faces – Milt informs him that the man couldn’t have been Spades, because Spades killed himself 6 months prior. He was seen, by a Detroit Cop jumping off a bridge. The FBI confirmed it with DNA from the corpse, but Font isn’t sure the suicide wasn’t faked; after all, they did put the wrong picture on Osama Bin Laden’s wanted poster.

At the precinct, Russ is tending to the coffee burns on his thighs. Font is having his doubts about the sighting, but Russ cajoles him into following up, based on Font’s legendary ability with faces. Convinced, Font wants Russ to help him persuade Milt to help, but Russ insists they go it alone.

Font attempts subterfuge on Commander Guziewicz to get permission for he and Russ to travel to Detroit, but she already knows about Spades, and calls Font on his bluff. She gives him the go ahead to follow up on his hunch (she’s seen firsthand his gift for facial recognition).

Russ is down in the M.E.’s office to enlist Meredith’s help to look at the FBI’s death report to see if they’ve missed anything. She agrees to help him, but only if she can borrow is “piece of crap” car to play a prank on her nephew – they want him to think that instead of a Camaro, he’s getting a rust bucket for his birthday.

Russ and Font are in Detroit; more specifically, at the very spot on the bridge where Spades supposedly jumped. They are with the Detroit Cop who was on the scene and saw the jump. The cop admits to the Detectives that he had known Spades from extracurricular security gigs and that he admired the man for taking it to the Wall Street fat cats using admittedly illegal methods. Russ, being the skeptic, realizes there was a way for Spades to fake the jump, and proves it by jumping off the railing onto a ledge. The cop never saw the drop, only a body in the water below.

Back at the M.E.’s, Meredith figured out exactly how the FBI got could have the wrong body. The body in the water had its face crushed – consistent with leaping from a bridge into the water – so the FBI relied on DNA to confirm the death. They used the wrong DNA. Spanks planted DNA from the body at his apartment, but Meredith did a blood type analysis of the blood from the clothes found on the floating corpse. It didn’t match the blood inside said corpse. Unfortunately for Russ, she had to get Milt to release the clothes from the FBI evidence locker, bringing him on the case.

Back at the squad room, assignments are handed out. Jacocks and Funkhauser are to follow the DNA evidence, figuring Spades is using the deceased’s identity now. Milt offers to check any suspicious financial dealings. Holly makes the salient observation that despite the fact that Spanks has no close relatives, the FBI report indicated he loved his mother and he might be making a connection with her memory via food – a tip she got from Milt who connects with his estranged mother via lasagna. Spades’ folks were German immigrants so Milt and Russ check out german themed places around Battle Creek.

Their hunt leads them to a “hipster butcher shop,” which is the last place on the list even remotely connected to German cuisine. The guy behind the counter positively identifies Spades, but he’s using the name Oscar now. While he can’t give them more info, the butcher mentions that Spades will likely come in the following day because of their sausage special.

The next morning, the Detectives have the sausage shop staked out, waiting for Spanks to arrive. Russ and Milt are waiting out front, Font and Jacocks are out back while Funk is in the shop being grossed out but the butcher making sausage. Milt gets on Russ’ case about his inability to ask Holly out despite the obvious, and what silly motivations he uses to rationalize being such an idiot. As the boys hash it out, Spades pulls up to the shop in a pickup truck and goes in. Russ wants to storm the place but Milt tells everyone to hang back until he comes back out, there’s too many customers including a pregnant woman.

After a bit, after realizing Spades has been in the shop too long, the detectives check take action. Suspiciously, nobody appears to be inside, so they draw their weapons and enter the store, but it’s somehow empty. They hear pounding coming from the cooler, which they open to find Funkhauser and the rest of the customers except the pregnant woman. Spades comes up behind them with a gun to the head of the missing customer. Turns out, Spades was hiding in the basement. They never noticed the door, because the butcher had disguised so nobody would notice the he was also growing weed. Spades recognized Funkhauser because he’d memorized the faces of the detectives – it is a small town. Spades lays out his Robin Hood routine, claiming that he was just stealing from Wall Street thieves and the body he used to fake his death was purchased from an organ donation program so he’s also not a murderer. He forces the detective to put down their weapons then herds them all back into the walk-in cooler and escapes.

Later, Guziewicz and the cops arrive and let everyone out of the cooler. She’s put an APB out on Spades and has cut off all the roads and airports. She then warns the detectives that they had better get Spades because she’s going to be very upset if her picture is on the front page of the newspaper for losing him.

Outside, Milt calls in the Fugitive Task Force while Russ speculates that Spades must be living on a farm somewhere outside of town because the tires on his truck were all muddy. As Russ and Milt drive back to the station, Milt continues to needle Russ about not asking Holly out.

Meanwhile Font, Funk and Jacocks are heading back as well, when Font spots, parked in a driveway, the Buick he saw Spades driving the previous morning. They park and call for backup, decide not to wait, and check the house out instead. Inside, the house is empty save for the detectives. They find mail addressed to Spanks’ alias, Oscar, but can’t shake the idea that there is something wrong with the scene. They reach the conclusion that they’ve just walked into a trap, but at first can’t seem to see any sensors or trip wires. Jacocks mentions that the IRA (Irish Republican Army) used to lure British police to locations where they had planted bombs with 5 minute timers. The three make a break for it and leap outside just before the bomb goes off.

Backup arrives moments later. The three detectives all seem fine until Russ notices a trickle of blood on Font’s collar. Font turns around revealing a 4 inch piece of shrapnel lodged in the back of his skull. Milt and Russ rush Font to the hospital in Milt’s SUV. Font starts to fade out.

At the hospital, Font is unconscious and the doctor is talking to his wife about organ donation, just in case the swelling in his brain doesn’t go down in a timely fashion. Russ flips out on the Doctor.

The detectives regroup back at the station. They’re all blaming themselves for not only missing Spades, but almost losing one of their own in the process. Spades is in the wind but Russ is sure that he hasn’t skipped town yet. Slowly, Russ comes to realize that Spades’ plan was so complicated that he must have had an accomplice to pull it off. He grabs Milt and they head out.

Later, Milt and Russ have the Detroit cop, who supposedly saw Spades kill himself, in the interrogation room. Russ and Milt are sure that the man is more than just an admirer of Spades. In fact, they are convinced that the only way the plan could possibly work was to have a cop on the scene to make sure everything looked legit and went according to plan. It’s not until Russ points out that Spades just tried to kill three cops and that one of them might actually die, and that Spades didn’t buy his doppleganger at all but had killed a homeless man, that the cop admits to partnering up with Spades.

Meanwhile, Font’s wife is sitting next to her unconscious husband when Holly walks in. They get to talking and Font’s wife admits to Holly that Font was of the opinion Russ was in love with her. Just then, Font wakes up.

That night, a cab pulls up in a marina. A man with a mullet and a mustache gets out and pays the cabbie with a 100 dollar bill. Of course it’s Spades in disguise. He strolls onto a boat and sets down his travel bags. Moments after setting the bags down, bright lights come on and a SWAT team, along with Russ and Milt, surrounds Spades. Spades asks Russ how they found him and Russ tells him that his partner ratted him out once he found out that Spades wasn’t the hero he pretended to be. He cuffs Spades and hands him over to the SWAT team.

Russ and Milt are in Font’s room with Font’s wife. The doctor tells them that Font is going to make a full recovery. Font is disappointed that the BCPD couldn’t confiscate Spades’ sweet boat.

Russ and Milt are waiting for an elevator on their way out of the hospital. Milt is, again, trying to get Russ to stop being a fool and ask Holly out. They’re about to get in the elevator when Milt spots Holly down the hall and pushes Russ out as the door closes. Holly congratulates Russ on the case, and they have a moment where it looks like he might actually ask her out, but instead tells her to have a great trip. He gets on the elevator, leaving Holly behind. Like a jerk.

Russ stops by the waiting room to grab Milt. Russ tells Milt to shut up, but Milt has nothing to say. They walk off.

Case closed.


Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.