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Series / Gang Related

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Gang Related is a police drama show that aired on May 22, 2014, starring Ramon Rodriguez and Terry O'Quinn. It aired on FOX in America for 13 episodes. It's created by Chris Morgan, who has written some of the Fast & Furious movies and 47 Ronin. FOX announced that the show would not see a 2nd season.

Set in Los Angeles City, it follows plainclothes officers working under the Los Angeles Police Department's Gang Task Force, which works around the clock to investigate cases that involves gangsters, no matter how big or small the case is. Among the officers assigned to the GTF is Detective Ryan Lopez, who had served previously in the US Army's 75th Ranger Regiment prior to joining the LAPD. However, he has a secret that he hides from his colleagues and his superiors.

Prior to joining the military and the police, Ryan was taken in by a Mexican-American street gang called the "Los Angelicos" after his father died. The gang is led by Javier Acosta, who currently serves as the head of the gang. Javier had prepared Ryan, after he was adopted, by making him the Double Agent and The Mole in order to infiltrate the LAPD. As Ryan goes on his work in the GTF, he begins to question on whether his loyalty lies if he should continue to be the double agent/mole of the LAs or continue to work with the task force.

It's only available as of 2016 on Amazon, but as an on-demand service for anyone who wants to watch it on DVD.

Gang Related provides examples of:

  • Attempted Rape: Slotko tries to rape Vee after he discovers she's an undercover cop recording him while they talk, but she's saved from it as her colleagues come Just in Time.
  • Bar Brawl: Daniel beats up a guy who'd hit on his fiancee (before realizing she's with him) in a bar they visit, as a symptom of his PTSD after getting kidnapped and nearly murdered by gangsters.
  • Batman Gambit: Ryan arrests Javier Acosta so the latter can kill off El Mozo, who is currently in a supermax prison.
  • Becoming the Mask: The driving question of the show is which mask Ryan is becoming. As of the season 1 finale, he ditches the Acostas for good.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The majority of the episodes have Spanish words or phrases for titles.
  • The Cartel: Los Angelicos is a Mexican-American crime family in Los Angeles involved with drug trafficking. Even more powerful are their partners, the Metas Cartel from Mexico. The lead character Ryan is Los Angelicos mole in the LAPD. He starts to enjoy being the good guy, which causes problems when the police start investigate them. The Metas pretty clearly were based on the real Zetas Cartel, since both recruit from Mexican special forces and they're known as especially vicious.
  • City of Adventure: Los Angeles, if you're looking from a law enforcement perspective perhaps.
  • Cliffhanger: Due to the series being canceled, many plot threads were left hanging, such as whether Ryan being the mole will be revealed, or the Los Angelicos/Metas gang war, and Carlos implied intent to take the leadership of the LAs away from his brother Daniel.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: The show revolves around Ryan being torn between his allegiance to the Acosta family and his responsibilities as a police detective.
  • Dating Catwoman: Ryan's relationship with his boss Chapel's daughter comes across as this. To further complicate matters, she works with Internal Affairs, and they're currently trying to find The Mole in the LAPD.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • Ryan's secretly The Mole for Los Angelicos, a Latino gang, in the LAPD, feeding them information along with other crimes he commits. At the very least, he still has a conscience, and does go against Javier Acosta's orders on occasion. One notable instance is when he busts a human trafficking ring led by one of Javier's fishscale buyers.
    • Javier uses some prison guards under his payroll when they "arranged" for the murder of three Long Beach Lord gangsters by locking them up in the jail's yard near the end of "Sangre Por Sangre".
    • The Metas Cartel has prison guards strangle a witness who's going to testify against them in a federal case after learning what alias he's been held under in jail, making this look like he'd hung himself afterward.
    • Some of the Mexican Federal Police officers Sam meets up in Mexico turn out to be crooked cops working for the Metas. One of them was assassinated for refusing bribes.
  • Double Agent: The main plot of the show with Ryan serving as one when he works for the LAs and the GTF.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Gang Related" refers to the subset of crimes the GTF deals with, as well as Ryan's affiliation with the Acosta family which leads the Los Angelicos gang.
  • Dynamic Entry: The GTF uses armored vehicles when they need to breach in case of potential resistance from heavily armed gangsters. In "Pilot", they used it after being warned by Ryan that some military-trained Lords gangsters may have set up ambushes.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Lead character Ryan was an Army Ranger. The Metas, a Mexican cartel, recruit soldiers from Mexico's special forces as well. They are the main characters to get military backgrounds.
  • Eye Scream: One episode features a drug addict who took a tainted pill and gouged out his own eyes while under the influence. There's even a shot of his eyeballs on the floor!
  • Fair Cop:
    • Ryan's quite handsome, and an LAPD detective.
    • Vee is a very beautiful ICE agent.
  • Frame-Up:
    • Los Angelicos frame RMF as having murdered several Metas soldiers to extort an arms deal from them at a good price.
    • Jessica is later murdered under Javier's orders while it's made to appear like the Metas were behind it, since she knew Ryan was their mole in the LAPD.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: The Metas Cartel heavily recruits Mexican special forces soldiers, making them even more dangerous than most cartels as a result.
  • Gayngster: The member of the Lords gang who gives up the shooters turns out to be a closeted gay man with a boyfriend. He agrees to go into Witness Protection in the deal if they're together. They marry before going in, with the cops commenting he probably likes the fact they can be open about their relationship now.
  • I Have Your Wife:
    • Chapel coerced Lucho, a Los Angelico, to inform against his gang by threatening to have his incarcerated son placed in a cell along with a serial rapist who would surely assault him.
    • The Metas kidnap Daniel, Javier's son, after the cocaine that Los Angelicos (the crime family Javier heads) were supposed to distribute gets seized by the cops. He's given a day to get back the $120 million that it's worth or Daniel dies. They manage to steal back the seized cocaine, so the Metas return him Just in Time before their men were intent on murdering him.
    • Chapel later gets ahold of El Mozo's daughter, threatening her so he'll give up his daughter's murderer.
  • Internal Affairs: In "Sangre Por Sangre", IA agent Paul Carter interviews Ryan during an investigation into the death of his partner, James Tanner. He becomes a recurring character, appearing often once it's discovered there's a mole in the LAPD (Ryan himself).
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique:
    • To get information on a mass murder by the Metas of civilians who didn't pay what they extorted, Ryan tortures a Meta into telling them all he knows about it.
    • Chapel later tries to beat information out of El Mozo, the Metas' leader, whom he believes had his daughter murdered.
  • Latino Is Brown: "Perros" has young Mexican women trafficked who are blonde and pale-skinned. This is due to them having ethnic German ancestry, and their looks are also noted to be unusual among Mexicans. All other Latino characters, the lead Ryan included, have olive brown or darker skin tones along with dark hair.
  • The Mafiya: The Russian Mafia Family are criminal players in LA, with one episode focusing on them as it's found they were trafficking young Mexican women as breeding slaves. Vee's brother Anton, who's doing a life term for murders she's convinced he didn't commit, is a member (they're Russian-Americans).
  • Prevent the War: After Carlos was wounded in an assassination attempt by the Lords, the GTF was ordered to search for shooters from the Lords in order to prevent a shootout from taking place in "Sangre Por Sangre".
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Part of the premise is that Ryan Lopez was protected from the violence and poverty of his neighbourhood by Javier Acosta, the leader of the local Los Angelicos street gang after being orphaned. As a result Ryan has Undying Loyalty towards Acosta and acts as The Mole, helping Acosta stay ahead of the LAPD's Gang Taskforce.
  • Revenge by Proxy: It's stated the Metas' standard practice is this: rather than just kill their enemies, they'll murder their loved ones first. So after Chapel's daughter Jessica is slaughtered in the wake of his raids shutting down their operations, naturally they're suspected. However, it turns out they were framed by Los Angelicos.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Daniel suffers from nightmares of his experience and explosive rage after his kidnapping by gansters who nearly killed him too before their demand was met. Ryan, who was in the US Army Rangers, recognizes his symptoms quickly.
  • Suicide by Cop: Beto, a Los Angelico, makes the cops shoot him by firing his gun in their direction (but not at anyone) so that Ryan is able to escape with them delayed.
  • Tattooed Crook: Most gangsters on the show have tattoos related to their memberships in different criminal organizations. Javier has them all over his entire torso, as shown in "La Luz Verde".
  • Token Minority:
    • Cassius is the only African-American main character.
    • Tae is the only Asian-American main character.
  • Turn in Your Badge:
    • Cassius is suspended over him (justifiably) shooting a rich white kid high out of his mind on drugs who shot Ryan (who'd been saved by his vest) and then was going to shoot him. Even it's clear he did nothing wrong, there is every sign he'll get fired from the DEA as the kid's dad is filing a lawsuit over it. However, this ends once Ryan intimidates the man and makes him drop it.
    • Chapel later gets suspended when he beats up El Mozo, who he thinks had his daughter murdered.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Almadena": Chapel gets Javier Acosta to turn against the Metas and help the GTF dismantle their fishscale operation. In revenge, Jessica is brutally murdered in her home.
    • "Malandros": Chapel, Ryan, Cassius, Tae and Vee go on an unsanctioned mission to Mexico to hunt down Matias, whom they believe is responsible for Jessica's death. Ryan finds out that Javier Acosta was the true mastermind, and as a result not only renounces his allegiance to his adoptive family, but also sends Javier to the prison wing controlled by the Metas. Meanwhile, Daniel is appointed as the new Los Angelicos leader, much to the frustration of Carlos, who's slowly regaining control of his legs.