East New York Episode 1 Recap and Ending, Explained

Created by William Finkelstein and Mike Flynn, ‘East New York’ is a CBS police procedural drama series airing on CBS. The plot revolves around the officers and detectives associated with the 74th precinct in East New York. The series chronicles their personal and professional struggles and the sacrifices they make in the pursuit of both ambition and justice. The launching pad of the narrative is the arrival of the new commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Regina Haywood (Amanda Warren), whose insistence on doing the police work the correct way puts her at odds with some of the mavericks under her command. In the series premiere, titled ‘Pilot,’ Regina and her team search for a masked shooter who killed two people and injured a third in broad daylight. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘East New York’ episode 1. SPOILERS AHEAD.

East New York Episode 1 Recap

The episode begins with Regina visiting her manicurist. It’s her first day at work as the CO. Right outside the establishment, a dollar van driver gets shot by a masked shooter. As Regina rushes outside, the perpetrator accidentally shoots a German tourist before fleeing. Regina gives chase, and the shooter puts a bullet in a security guard who tries to stop him. He later enters a building with multiple escape routes and manages to evade capture.

It turns out that both the German tourist and the security guard are dead. The cab driver is alive and has been taken to the hospital. As Regina is forced to deal with a violent mess such as this on her first day as the CO, the audience is introduced to other main characters. Crystal Morales (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and Tommy Killian (Kevin Rankin) are detectives attached to the precinct. Although they prove to be quite good at their job, they become agitated when Regina tells them in no uncertain terms to follow the rules.

There are a few rookies, including Brandy Quinlan (Olivia Luccardi) and Andre Bentley (Lavel Schley). Among them, Brandy accepts Regina’s offer to be placed in an apartment acquired by city housing as part of Regina’s efforts to reach out to the local community. Regina also accepts Captain Stan Yenko’s (Richard Kind) appeal to serve as her executive officer, much to the skepticism of her boss, Chief John Suarez (Jimmy Smits).

‘East New York’ is set in the post-George Floyd world, and it seems that the show strives to hold its main characters, almost all of whom are police officers, accountable for their actions. The show acknowledges these characters are imperfect and employs the new CO as a plot device to — if not guide the officers under her toward the correct path — at least lead them in the search for it.

East New York Episode 1 Ending: Who Is the Masked Shooter?

While ‘East New York takes the concept of a typical police show and adds a sense of realism to it, it is still a procedural series. So, the main driver of the plot is the episodic mysteries. In episode 1, thecentraln mystery is the identity of the masked shooter. But as Regina and her team try to find the person responsible for multiple deaths, they discover an expansive criminal enterprise.

The van driver, who later dies, is from Africa, as is his friend Didier. Back in Africa, Didier used to be a diamond miner. After he found several blue diamonds valuing tens of millions, his boss, Brenda Sykes, convinced him to work for her as a trafficker. Before Didier came to the US, he swallowed the diamonds to get through the customs. By the time the diamonds went through his system and came out, the van driver had made it clear to Sykes that his group (comprising him, his wife, and Didier) would not return them. They hid the diamonds in a septic tank, which they thought was the last possible place anyone would look.

It is ultimately revealed that Nikolai Dushkin (Miroslav Barnyashev), a man with a connection to the Russian mafia, is the masked shooter. He was sent to threaten, and if necessary, gun down the driver. However, things quickly went out of control, and other people died as well. Sykes was the one who ordered the hit, along with Adam Lustig, a powerful developer with a close connection to the deputy mayor. Didier and several others confess, incriminating Sykes, Dushkin, and Lustig. Sykes is also arrested, and Regina manages to get onto Lustig’s private jet, believing that Dushkin will be there.

Regina’s hunches are proven right. Dushkin is indeed on the plane. He tries to take Lustig hostage but is gunned down by Regina. Lustig is also arrested. Seeing what has happened, the deputy mayor distances himself from his supposed friend.

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