Episode 3: "Custody"
Credits :: Screen Captures :: Video Clips

A father kidnaps his daughter Katie from a school field trip. Her mother hires Cody to get her back. Simultaneously, Cody is working a "matrimonial" where a woman has hired him to catch her aerobics instructor husband cheating. Cody and Ziggy get caught taking photos, however, and have to use Gina to "investigate" by trying to seduce the husband.

When the mom - Mrs. Kincaid - first comes to see Cody, she explains to him that Katie's father is a deadbeat dad. As a result, she has sole custody, working two jobs to pick up the slack and pay the divorce lawyer. She tells Cody that he will probably find the dad at a "reunion" he goes to every year that takes place the next day. Cody gives his price: $500 a day plus expenses. However, when she tells him she can't afford more than $150, he sighs and makes that his "new" price. Such a big heart!

The next day, Cody and Ziggy head off to the "club" where the "reunion" is being held. They didn't bring guns because Cody doesn't like them - "people get hurt." After a fight over music between "Woot! There It Is" and some easy-listening tune I couldn't identify - something about life being a beautiful thing - they discuss more generational differences. Cody mocks Ziggy as part of the "post-literary generation." Cody proudly declares that he "might have" read lots of books in the 60s (he just can't remember for sure because of all the drugs he did). Ziggy asks what kind of music he listened to and he lists the Beatles and the Stones, whom Ziggy proceeds to mock. Then Cody huffs that at least his music has a melody. Finally, they arrive at their destination: a seedy-looking bar.

Oops! The "reunion" is a meeting of bikers, among whom is Katie's dad who has brought Katie with him. Cody and Ziggy uneasily sit around waiting for their chance to snatch Katie. When confronted by a biker, Ziggy goes off about being black and fighting in the LA riots, pretty much babbling. He winds up playing some pool with the bikers. Cody takes this chance to sidle up next to Katie, who's reading at the bar. Cody tells her to pretend like she's reading and he'll explain what's going on. He gives her his name, tells her who he is and that he was hired by her mother. He then tells her it will all be OK and rhapsodizes about the wonders of being a child who forgets trauma. Finally, Katie yells to her dad that there's a cop in the bar. Cody hastily corrects her and states he's a private investigator hired by Katie's mom. That doesn't get him too many brownie points. A bar brawl ensues. Cody is attacked by a guy with a broken bottle, but punches him out. He takes a couple more out, then grabs Katie and makes a run for it as Ziggy fights his way out and runs to catch up. They jump in the car, peel off and elude the bikers by hiding in a fishing area, but only after Katie shoots poor Cody multiple times with a water gun. But uh-oh... he left his card with his name and address at the bar, where it is found by the bikers.

Mrs. Kincaid calls, asking if Cody has her daughter, which he confirms. She seems more gleeful about crossing her ex-husband than about getting her daughter back. Since the ex-husband has found out where she lives, Cody can't bring her back just yet. Mrs. Kincaid hangs up on Cody when she sees the ex outside in the street. Unfortunately, while Cody is on the phone with Mrs. Kincaid, Katie takes off from an inattentive Ziggy. They run to catch up with her, and finally get her. When they tell her they can't take her home just yet, she asks to be taken to a place where nobody fights. Cody looks at her sadly - he can't do that and she knows it.

Meanwhile, Gina is getting along just fine with the aerobics instructor husband. He gives her "private lessons" that involve him holding her close to "show her how to exercise." He's obviously very attracted to her... and it looks like she's attracted to him, too.

Back at the fishing area, Cody calls his friend Merlin and gets him to check out Katie's parents - but they can't talk too long because the bikers have found them. They manage to outrun them. Cody takes Katie to the home of his ex-girlfriend (or ex-wife? It's unclear. We know from Episode 2 that Cody has been divorced, so it's a good possibility, especially considering the reason Cody later gives for bringing Katie there). The two ex-lovers reminisce about their times at the Roxy where she sang backup, and Cody asks her what happened to their relationship. Her answer: "We were afraid to grow up." She asks why he brought Katie to her, and he says it was because they had talked about having a kid once, and it made him want to see her again (hence my guess that she might be his ex-wife). He then gives her a nice kiss on the forehead and they hug. (Does Cody ever get any real action?)

While Cody walks down memory lane, Ziggy talks about his childhood in South Central LA with Katie. He didn't know his father, he tells Katie. He also says Cody is the only friend he's ever had - aw! He ends it by telling Katie not to run away like his father did. Cody then comes in and brings Katie a teddy bear. She talks to him about how her parents always fight. Cody asks her to trust him, and she says OK. Then he calls her angel and kisses her goodnight, while his ex looks on wistfully. We see that Cody has the makings of a great daddy!

But Katie's dad has come to Cody's office. He sacks the place. While Gina inspects the damage after he leaves, the wife of the aerobics instructor walks in. She seems like an unpleasant snob. After declaring that she knows her husband is cheating on her despite Gina's assessment that he is a "nice guy," she leaves. Then, the dad comes in and tries to intimidate Gina into talking to him. She isn't saying a word but then Cody calls and he hears him leave a message stating where he is. Fortunately, by the time the bikers get there, Cody and Katie are long gone.

They've taken off to another park where they meet up with Merlin. Merlin says that her dad may not be so bad after all. Yeah, he's a biker who's down on his luck, but he's not a criminal or anything. Mrs. Kincaid calls, concerned because she's being followed. Cody tells her to let them follow her to his office and he'll meet her there. He has a plan.

While all this has been going on, Gina continues to get close to the aerobics instructor. She flat out asks him - "Do you cheat?" He tells her he's never even considered it... until he met Gina. (There's some irony for ya!) She confesses that she's a detective hired by his wife. He shrugs. "I knew all along." He continues to proposition her. She hasn't said no yet...

Cody brings Katie to his office building. The mom arrives followed by the dad and his biker gang. They start yelling at each other. She calls him an animal, he calls her a slut... poor Katie goes back to Cody and asks him to take her away. Cody looks down at the sad little girl and becomes really angry at the parents. He says - for her parents' benefit as much as hers - that he will take her away since her parents are too busy fighting to take care of her themselves. When they protest, Cody tells them if they can't get their act together, he'll put Katie in Children's Protective Services. He then lectures them on their selfish behavior. They see the error of their ways and agree to try to work it out. Cody tells them if they don't shape up, he'll take Katie himself. He says goodbye to her, but with the assurance that he'll be around anytime she wants to go fishing.

Back at the office, the aerobics instructor's wife strides in and accuses Gina of being a "slut" who's cheating with her husband. Cody sighs as he realizes that he's lost one more paycheck. Times are hard South of Sunset, despite the Beverly Hills zip code!


Solo Filmography :: South of Sunset