In 1999, Luke, a gifted debater from a rough neighborhood, is found dead two months after he gets a scholarship to debate for Maynard Green Academy. When a Maynard Green debater brings Rush a threatening letter written to Luke just before his "suicide", Rush sets out to investigate. Jealousy at first seems at the root of the murder when the team discovers that Luke wasn't well like initially by his new teammates. His position on the team causes Luke to drift away from his father and his former partner, Ronnie, but when Rush and the team learn they were both trying to protect him, the investigation centers on the author of the threat, Luke's Maynard Green teammate, Alyssa. In the end Alyssa helps the police decode the shorthand of Luke's last words and discover the killer was Luke's former Coach Darren, desperate for a championship.