For once, Stabler wasn’t the one in danger in an undercover job.
While Kenny was captured, it still left up in the air what kind of connection he had to the Silas family and their casino.
That led one cop to agree to a dangerous undercover assignment in jail that put them at a huge risk.
While that uncovered a big part of the case, it also led to some new twists on an already dark storyline.
This made Spirit In The Sky another important step in the story arc for Season 3 as the cops had to untangle a dark web of corruption.
Going undercover behind bars
At a construction site, Teddy and Pearl were checking on a delay just as a worker fell off a platform. Pearl raced to help him and ordered construction to shut down.
Kenny was being checked into prison, hearing some inmates threatening him. He headbutted a guard to get checked into the infirmary, where Stabler checked on him, complimenting Kenny for the smart move of attacking a guard to get put in isolation.
Stabler said if Kenny said who hired him to kill Henry, Stabler could get him to see his sister. Kenny said he killed Henry alone and refused Stabler’s help.
Reyes said the only option they had was to send someone undercover with Kenny and volunteered for it. Bell refused even as Reyes insisted he could do it.
The site manager admitted he didn’t even hire the guy who fell as aide Vincent was hiring non-union workers. While Pearl was thinking of the workers, Teddy insisted that construction continue, no matter what.
Reyes managed to get undercover in prison after all and talked to Kenny, using the idea they had the same corrupt parole officer to connect to the man.
At a cemetery, Vincent Bishop (Kevin Corrigan) and Dominic Russo (Wass Stevens) talked of losing a woman they loved. They mentioned Kenny and Dominic promising he would take care of it.
Jet told the team that Kenny worked for Bishop’s construction company and was suspected of being involved with arsons, including one that disfigured a young boy. Stabler suspected Bishop was just the errand boy for the real boss.
Kenny and Reyes talked about Reyes’ cover story, including robbing places by some of the arson spots. When Kenny made a joke about calling Kenny’s boss, Kenny punched him, accusing Reyes of being a cop. Reyes fought back, threatening to kill Kenny if he ever said that again before guards pulled them apart.
Bishop got a call from Pearl and Teddy, with Pearl wanting to hold him accountable while Teddy was focused on construction. Pearl announced she was replacing the entire crew and cut Bishop off.
Teddy warned his wife she had no idea what she’d done. “Yes, I do. I’m leading, and I can use your help.”
Reyes was playing a little magic trick for the other cons when another guy approached Kenny. Reyes punched the guy before being stabbed in the gut, with Kenny grateful for Reyes saving him.
Reyes gets deeper into his role
Bell and Stabler checked in on Reyes in the hospital, with Reyes defending doing this to win over Kenny. Bell brought up losing a UC before, while Reyes pointed out Stabler had done some dark stuff undercover to get the job done.
Bell didn’t like it but gave Reyes another 48 hours to get the job done. After she left, Stabler told Reyes he wouldn’t add another dead cop to Bell’s conscience. He suggested Reyes wait for Kenny to come to him to play it out.
Teddy warned Pearl that half the crew might walk with her firing Bishop. It was obvious he knew the man was far more dangerous than his wife was aware, as Pearl said to let this happen or she’d leave him.
Teddy brought up how Pearl hadn’t been so high and mighty when his family helped hers years before and that, if he had to, he’d use that to bury her.
Bishop met Dominic at a bar as Dominic was still working on getting a guy to Kenny. He said he knew if they couldn’t silence him, “There’s no place for us to hide,” as he called a man on a phone to get this done.
Like Stabler predicted, Kenny went to Reyes to thank him for the rescue. He played it cool before Kenny admitted his bosses wanted him dead. Reyes said Kenny’s best move was just to confess before he got killed.
Stabler met Kenny, who confessed he still felt guilty about the kid burning in the fire he’d set and killing Dede. He finally revealed Dominic had hired him to kill Henry in exchange for being sent to Florida near his sister. He also told Stabler the casino wasn’t run by the Silas family.
A brutal end for a mobster
Jet shared how Dominic was an old-school mobster, using the unions for mob-related jobs, while Bell pointed out they still needed clear evidence of a connection.
Looking up a video from the club, they saw Kenny talking to Dominic as Bell wondered if he was the boss or a lackey.
Stabler talked to a federal agent interested in bringing Dominic down and willing to cut Kenny a deal. Dominic had a dentist appointment which would be the perfect time for an arrest.
Stabler and Whelan followed Dominic only to realize he was heading to JFK Airport. His driver spotted the cops tailing him to start racing off, creating a chase.
The cops cornered Dominic in the airport parking lot. He tried to shoot at them, forcing Stabler and Whelan to gun him down.
Raiding a mob bar, Stabler found a photo of Dominic and none other than Dede Hayes at a 4th of July party. Jet dug to find photos of Dominic, Kenny, Dede and Bishop all together to prove the connection and it was Dede’s grave Dominic and Bishop had been at.
Teddy met with his father on Bishop’s death and eventually, Stabler would find the connection to them. Teddy said as the boss, he was ready to do what needed to be done.
Robert warned him, “Once you cross that line, you never come back.” Kenny replied, “It’s time to feed the wolves,” with Robert not caring who got eaten.
Teddy invited Stabler over to claim they’d “discovered” Bishop had been involved in criminal activity and fired him. Stabler was obviously doubtful and warned the pair that they would be in serious trouble if Bishop gave a different story.
Bishop was watching the news on Dominic’s death when he heard the doorbell. Grabbing his gun, he answered it after bidding his wife what he knew would be a farewell. He opened it to find Stabler and Whelan, saying he needed a minute to see his family.
Instead, Bishop ran upstairs as they followed him. Stabler tried to talk, but, knowing there was no way out, Bishop shot himself. Stabler comforted his sobbing wife as Whelan stopped their kids from coming up.
Back in jail, Reyes and Kenny saw the news about Bishop, with Kenny saying the mob had given Bishop the “choice” of killing himself or having his family die with him. He bid Reyes farewell as he was getting transferred to Florida and thanked Reyes for the help.
Stabler was with Pearl as they watched Henry’s home being torn down. Pearl admitted she knew her husband was up to shady stuff as Stabler brought up how she’d been a good kid from Queens.
Stabler told Pearl that if she wanted to honor the person she was and indeed do some good, she’d have to decide whose side she was on. Teddy and Robert saw the pair talking with concern.
Stabler and Pearl went their separate ways as Henry’s home was condemned. Robert told Teddy he’d done a good job.
While the early arc of Kenny appears done, the Task Force still knows they have a bigger foe to handle in the Silas clan.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 3 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.