This episode of Battle Creek features yet another familiar face from the comedy scene, in veteran actress Candice Bergen. She’s playing Agnew’s con artist mom, whom he is extremely reluctant to rely on when a murder case pops up. Will she bring the giggles the same way Patton Oswalt did? Will we learn any juicy new secrets about our favorite curmudgeon in uniform? Let’s find out..
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Find the Foot, Solve the Case
This murder is a doozy, since the first thing they found was a rogue sneaker with the severed foot still inside. Ick. The body was dumped in the lake and the victim was so very dead that the foot came apart on its own, according to Chamberlain. Agnew says that the victim was involved in some shady dealings because the sneakers are an obvious Nike knock off. He knows because that’s what he received every year on his birthday.
The commander urges him to go see a woman named Constance for some insight into this case and all of a sudden Agnew wants to rely on the FBI for help instead. Chamberlain presses them on Constance’s identity only to find out it’s Agnew’s mom (played by Candice Bergen). Chamberlain goes with Agnew to see her and she speaks in a curious code that only Agnew can understand and translates the real meaning of her condescending comments.
Mama Knows Best
She’s equal parts fascinating and intimidating, and the kind of person you feel the need to keep an eye on. She’s a master con-artist, and Agnew is extremely irritated to be in her presence at the local jail, where she is serving a six-year sentence for her conning crimes. She gives a few helpful bits of info but not enough that they can continue the investigation without her help. Chamberlain agrees to a temporary break from the big house so she can work closely with them. Agnew is not happy.
They stop at the morgue first to learn that the victim was a man and he had a puncture wound on the bottom of his foot that went right through the shoe. Agnew and Mama Agnew immediately determine that whatever happened with the puncture must’ve happened right before he died. Then she convinces them to stop for a quick bite to eat. During the meal, she randomly decides she needs a Prada bag and heads to the back room, where an old knock-off buddy of hers has a room full of fake designer purses. They get him to provide an address for their number one suspect of knock-off sneakers and since the guy has Russian mob ties, Constance lets them know that they still need her help and Oh, BTW, she needs some new clothes.
Her shopping spree is a success in her mind, but is just a batch of new credit card debt for Agnew as she used his card number, which she had memorized. So they go to this guy’s house and she goes in alone because she thinks he’ll already be suspicious to see her out of jail. Agnew tries to listen in from outside the house before he hears yelling from inside. They bust in to find her in bed with this guy. Yikes, as if Agnew didn’t already have a pile of mommy issues…
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Trouble With the Press
Back at the precinct, a reporter comes in and talks to Holly about doing a story on Agnew. The attention isn’t great because it’s a take-down piece, detailing his suspensions, citizen complaints against him, and past case failures. When Holly tells the commander about the article, she says to draft up a statement of support and leave it at that. Agnew is a tough guy, he can handle this.
A Con Gone Wrong
On some surveillance footage at the storage unit where the victim was seen running away after trying break into a unit, Candice recognizes him as her old partner, Mathis. So if someone was after Mathis a year ago when he was murdered, then someone is after Constance too.
They go through her most recent and biggest cons with Mathis and settle on the cell phone store they conned together. She bought an iPhone at a guy named Nick Shaw’s store and Mathis left a box of fake phones in his backroom. Then she returned to the store a few days later with burns on her face and Mathis posing as her lawyer. He didn’t want the bad publicity so the settlement was two million dollars that the two of them would share. The cops found Mathis’ million but still haven’t found Constance’s.
Agnew tries all kinds of tactics to get her to admit that there was two million dollars and she got half of it but she won’t crack. He finds a gun near the body that was pulled from the lake and a boat rental under one of her aliases that he questions her about while she’s strapped to a lie detector test. She lies about every single question that would make her guilty of the murder. Chamberlain even asks her if she loves her son. She says yes, but the machine says she’s lying. Agnew is crushed.
They bring her out and put her in a van back to prison. Agnew says a short goodbye and sends her on her way. But wait… A few minutes later, the real van shows up to bring Constance back. CON ALERT!
She gets out of her con van and meets the Russian mob guy she was boning earlier. They kiss and she knees him in the junk before stealing his car. She drives it back to the storage unit and starts busting open all of Agnew’s trophies to pull her million together in a sack. Then mob guy shows up and pulls a gun on her, just as Agnew pulls a gun on him. They take mob guy away and Agnew admits that there was never a boat rental or a gun paired with her alias. Agnew conned her!
Total Mama’s Boy
Back at the precinct, Mama Agnew sits handcuffed to a chair when Holly sees someone from the press come in and asks about the guy who threatened to write about Agnew (whom she also gravely threatened to out on his previous crimes involving drugs and alcohol if he proceeded with the article). The reporter says something about him that doesn’t match the man Holly met. Then it becomes clear — the whole thing was a set up courtesy of Agnew’s mom. She was testing Holly to see if she was good enough for her son. Holly says there’s nothing going on between them and she says, “There should be.”
As Agnew comes back in and leads her out to the real van to take her back, they make peace. She says she loves him and this time he knows it’s true. As the van drives away, we see Chamberlain on the phone trying to get a hold of his mom, but she refuses to come to the phone. He’s left hanging and looking quite sad. Hmm… what exactly is going on here?
Battle Creek airs Sundays at 10pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)