Episode PremiereJuly 15, 2012
Show Period2010 - 2013
Production CompanyFox TV Studios
Three teenage boys throw a football around on a suburban street. One of them chucks the ball over the fence of a house, gesturing for the others to follow him. They plan on breaking into the house to find some beer. In the backyard, one of the boys jimmies the lock on the back door, while his friend takes a seat on a patio couch. He immediately stands up after feeling something strange underneath him. He lifts back the cover on the couch to reveal a dead woman.
In his office, Detective Jim Longworth practices his golf putt while FDLE Regional Director Colleen Manus tells him that Bureau Chief Jennifer Starke's evaluation of the substation wasn't initiated by the FDLE, but by the D.A.'s office. They're afraid to put Jim on the stand to testify because they aren't sure his unconventional methods in the field can withstand the scrutiny of a jury. Moving forward Jennifer is going to be riding with him. Manus leaves and Jennifer enters to the room and takes the putter away from Jim. She holds the club as if she's about to take a swing. Jim notices her grip is off so he gets behind her to help her stance. They are each holding on to the club when there's a knock on the door: it's Callie! Totally surprised but happy to see her, Jim quickly lets go of the club. Jim introduces the two and Jennifer says it's great to finally meet her. Callie says she's in town to finish giving a deposition about her former tax assessor. Jennifer leaves the office and Callie wraps her arms around Jim and playfully asks why he has never mentioned anything about the "smoking hot brunette" he now works with. He smiles and Callie teases him saying he must not have noticed. Jim counters, pointing out that Callie hangs around hunky doctors all day. They kiss as Jennifer walks back into the office, telling Jim that they have a body and she'll be waiting in his car.
Jennifer and Jim arrive at the crime scene. Carlos reports that the victim's name is Connie Simpson. She moved to the area only about a year ago. She was nice, quiet, and kept to herself. According to the punks who tried to break in, she was supposed to be on vacation. Carlos reports that Connie was killed elsewhere and brought back to her house; Jennifer notices that there doesn't seem to be any signs of struggle. Carlos says judging by the brush marks on her hands and the grease and the tire marks all over her clothes, the murder weapon is probably a car. She was likely run over multiple times. Jim points out a car parked on the property; it has a broken headlight with remnants of blood on it.
Jim and Jennifer scope out Connie's house. It looks like she was a hoarder. The room is filled, floor to ceiling, with a stacks of boxes containing documents and legal files. Jim suggests maybe Connie was involved in a lawsuit that got ugly. Jennifer removes a paper from the stack and reads the name off of it; the plaintiff's name was Shamalamadingdong. Jim says he'll get Daniel to find out more about the person. Upon hearing his name, Daniel pokes his head around some boxes and tells them he's already on top of tracking Shamalamadingdong down. He hands Jim two evidence bags, one containing Connie's purse, which was found in her car, and the other, her work ID. Connie worked as a clerk at the County Recorder's office. Jennifer suggests maybe all the files were from work. Jim asks Daniel to take all of the boxes down to the substation and to start going through them. The documents could help figure out why Connie was murdered. Daniel reports that Connie's supervisor is at a conference in Tallahassee, but Human Resources said Connie left the office at 4:44 p. m. the day before. That's when her parking garage pass was last swiped. Jennifer notices Connie's luggage is still in the house. Jim gets an email from Manus saying that Connie filed a letter of complaint against a fellow co-worker, Willow Danson.
Jim and Jennifer stand over Willow, a young "working for the weekend" party girl decked out in expensive designer clothes. She's not the least bit upset about Connie's death and is more concerned with enjoying her cigarette break than answering questions about her. Jennifer points out that Willow isn't even smoking, but she then pulls a cigarette from her purse, claiming she isn't going to light it because they "stink up your clothes." Jim says it's that kind of attitude and work ethic that caused Connie to send a complaint about her to Human Resources. Defensive, Willow says that she does her job. She gets paid to work from 9 to 5 and just because she doesn't come in early and stay late every day like some people doesn't mean she's not a good employee. Jim asks her for an alibi for the night before and she tells him she was at McHale's bar; people there can vouch for her. He then asks whether Connie made her other colleagues as angry as she seems to have made her. Willow says, "We're government employees. Pissing people off comes with the job." Jim asks her about the document from Connie's house with the name Shamalamadingdong. She laughs, saying somebody was probably playing a prank on Connie because she didn't have a sense of humor. Jennifer asks her if she knew anything about Connie's personal life. Willie says that Connie once mentioned she was married to a guy from Alabama, but admits that she was barely listening. Before Jim and Jennifer leave, Jim hands Willow a warrant, telling her that he's going to need copies of all the documents Connie handled at the County Recorder's office. Willow complains about how much work that would be because Connie handled a lot of cases. Willow stares daggers at them as they walk off.
Back at the substation, Jim tells Daniel, who has been going through Connie's files, to confirm Willow's alibi. Callie calls Jim to tell him she's looking for her old cell phone because there's something on it that she thinks will help the State's Attorney General's case against Jason Elkins. She's been looking all over, but can't find it. Jim tells her he'll be over later to help her look.
In the autopsy room, Carlos tells Jim that the blood found on the car bumper and a in the backseat matches Connie's DNA. So not only did the killer use the car to murder Connie, but he/she then used it to transport her body back to her house. Carlos still hasn't identified the substance found in her wounds, since it wasn't concrete or asphalt as he expected. He also found a thumbprint on the lever to adjust the driver's seat. Connie is only five feet six inches tall, but the seat was moved back to accommodate longer legs. Manus joins them and says she tried to pull records from before Connie bought her house and started working at the County Recorder's office, but she wasn't able to find anything: no credit cards, no phone records. It seems like she dropped off the radar for about five years. Jim suggests that maybe Connie's statements were saved under her husband's name, but Manus tells him that there was no record of Connie ever being married either. But she was able to find one unusual thing: there's a lien on Connie's house by someone named Way N.E. Bey. Manus tells them that Daniel found video of Shamalamadingdong online.
Gathered around Daniel's computer, the team watches a video of Shamalamadingdong , dressed in an expensive-looking suit, as he writes the word "Foreclosure" on a white board. Daniel tells them that the infamous Shamalamadingdong calls himself an "Individual Empowerment Financial Guru" and teaches seminars almost every night of the week, including one that night. But according to his website, it's sold out already. Jim prepares to head out, saying the seminar will probably make room for one more. Manus reminds him to take Jennifer along. He says he has something to do first but will pick Jennifer up later.
In Callie's living room, Jim and Callie go through more boxes, searching for her old phone. Callie pulls out an old photo of Jeff from the first time he used Jim's pool. They stare at the picture, smiling and reminiscing, and start to kiss. But Jim's cell phone interrupts them and he has to leave to pick up Jennifer for the seminar.
Jennifer and Jim pull up to a beautiful antebellum house with a wrap-around porch. The driveway leads up to a sprawling front lawn, packed with cars. They approach the front steps, where a man in his late 20s stands stationed at the front door, taking tickets. Jim flashes his badge and the young man's demeanor changes entirely. He tells Jim that he's not under his authority and that the property doesn't fall under his jurisdiction. Jim asks for his license and the man hands it to him. Jim does a double take after seeing that the "license" is clearly a fake issued by the "Newmerica Nation." The name on the card is Way N.E. Bey. When Jennifer points out that he's the person who put a lien on Connie's house, Jim asks him how he knew Connie and where he was last night. Way says that he reserves all his common law rights and that he's a person in which independent and supreme authority is vested; he's not a subject. As Jennifer whispers to Jim that they should go get a warrant, Way eyes his gun, which is leaning up against the house, and tells them that he's prepared to defend his rights. Jennifer immediately pulls Jim towards the car, but he resists, telling her he wants to arrest Way on suspicion of murder. In a stern voice, Jennifer tells him that he doesn't have probable cause and they are leaving. She apologizes to Way and drags Jim towards the car, telling him that they need to get out of there, fast.
At the substation, Jennifer reports that Shamalamadingdong and Way N.E. Bey are "Sovereign Citizens," part of a radical anti-government movement. Manus says people in the group believe the law doesn't apply to them because they're above it. They think if they change their name on any government-issued ID, then the government has no jurisdiction over them. They also think writing in red ink over the documents nullifies the contracts, even though that's not true. Jennifer says that Sovereigns have been known to target and kill law enforcement and government officials. All of the documents at Connie's house are a classic case of "paper terrorism," a harassment technique they use to intimidate their enemies by overwhelming them with bogus, nonsense lawsuits. This includes the lien Way put on Connie's house. But, even though the lawsuits and liens have no merit, the legal system legitimizes them by accepting the paperwork. And once the paperwork is accepted as the truth, it could take months, or even years, to prove that the paperwork is false. Jim wonders aloud what made Connie an enemy to Shamalamadingdong and Way N.E. Ney and Carlos points out that she worked for the government. It must have something to do with work. Jim asks Daniel if he has found anything from Connie's work files that Willow sent over, but he just stares at him confused, saying he hasn't received any files from her yet. He's also still checking out Willow's alibi.
Jim and Jennifer face Willow, who stands behind a counter with a long line of people in front of it, waiting to be helped. She tells them that she's been really busy at work now that Connie is dead and hasn't had a chance to send the paperwork yet. Jim says she needs to do that now and threatens to arrest her for failure to comply with a warrant. She says she will, but first she has to help the line of people. Jim shows her a photo of Way N.E. Bey on his phone and asks if she recognizes him. She says yes; he was in there trying to get his name changed to something ridiculous but Connie refused. In his usual sarcastic tone, Jim asks Willow to pull Way's information for him, including his real name. But Willow just looks at Jim. Jennifer breaks the tension, complimenting Willow's yellow designer handbag behind her. Willow finally says his real name is Wayne Balldinger and pulls his file from under the desk, handing it to Jennifer. He calls Daniel to tell him he should be expecting the files from Willow soon and asks him to find out where Wayne works.
As they walk on a seaport for cargo ships, Jennifer watches Jim read a text from his phone. She curiously asks if everything's OK with Callie. He tells her that she's giving her deposition today, and the text was from Daniel, who says that Shamalamadingdong has shut down all of his websites. Jennifer tells him that the Sovereigns are probably on to him and that he needs to handle this situation better than he did the last time with Wayne. He knows she's right, and tells her that "good cop, sovereign cop" might be more effective this time. They approach Wayne, who's scrubbing the bottom of one of the boats. Taking on the role of the "bad cop," Jennifer asks Wayne why he killed Connie and why he put a lien out on her house. He says he put the lien on the house because she wouldn't let him change his name and that he's a Sovereign, not a subject, and that the government doesn't own him. Jim pretends to sympathize with Wayne, saying he understands that having a social security card and a birth certificate makes him like a "slave" to the government. Wayne agrees, saying that's the reason why he wanted to change his name. Seeing that Jim is sympathetic to the cause, Wayne tells him that he should come to one of their seminars to meet other cops who are members of the group. They're having one that night with one of the best financial gurus in the movement. His name is Shamalamadingdong. Jim hands him a notepad and asks him to write down the address.
At the State's Attorney General's office, Callie and her lawyer, Collier Weiss, sit with Elkins and his lawyer. Elkins' lawyer asks Callie why she thought it was appropriate to invite him to her house to talk, but not meet him in a public place for dinner as he asked her to. Callie explains that the reason she asked him to come to her home was because she couldn't find a babysitter for her young son. Not satisfied with her response, the lawyer asks her if when Elkins was over her house, she made any preparations to have sex with him. Confused, Callie says that she offered Elkins a glass of wine to be polite. The lawyer asks if she also thought it was "polite" to record their private conversation. Weiss moves the microphone away from Callie before she can answer and asks to break for the day. Elkins tells Callie that he's sorry if she "misinterpreted his intentions" to help her. Weiss immediately takes Callie aside, saying that if she did indeed record a conversation between her and Elkins, he needs to hear it immediately. She should bring the recording to his office as soon as she can.
At the substation, Carlos tells Jim that it was a nice try, but they couldn't get Wayne's fingerprints off the notepad Jim gave him. But Daniel did find a fingerprint in red ink on one of the legal documents from Connie's house; he's having it analyzed to see if it matches the fingerprint from Connie's car. Jim asks about the substance found in Connie's wounds and Carlos tells him that he found out it is cultch, otherwise known as turkey grit or crushed shell. It's found in every roadway and driveway in Florida. Obviously this doesn't narrow down where Connie was murdered. But Carlos says there's another chemical in the cultch and he's still figuring out what it is.
A bleary eyed Daniel sits at his desk drinking a large coffee while reading one of the many documents from Connie's house. Jim congratulates him on finding the fingerprint. Smiling, Daniel says Willow's alibi checked out; the bartender confirmed it and her credit card statements indicate that she ran a tab. And the Social Security Administration is emailing him Shamalamadingdong's real name and information. Also he found somebody named "Crackalacka" associated to one of Shamalamadingdong's files, an alimony settlement for an out of state common law couple. They moved to Florida then got divorced. But there's no association with Connie that he can tell. Daniel looks at his email and says Shamalamadingdong's real name is Steve Lamming. Jim asks Daniel to find out everything he can about Steve Lamming and email it to him. He's going to need it for that night's seminar.
Jim and Jennifer arrive at the financial seminar and sign up with a Sovereign worker at the registration table. The cost is a whopping $200 per person, which Jim pays. The conference room is packed with people sitting in chairs, attentively listening to Shamalamadingdong, a.k.a. Steve, talk from behind a podium. He tells them people can reject government contracts (any piece of paper from the government) and that he's selling kits for $400 that will show everyone how they can do so. Jim gets a text from Daniel, showing Steve's fingerprints, phone, and financials. He stands up and interrupts Steve, asking him why, if he's so anti-government, is he accepting $2,000 per month in disability for a work-related injury from his time working for the federal government as an Air Marshal? Steve apologizes to the crowd, saying that the seminar has been infiltrated by an imposter. Jim asks where Steve was two night ago. Steve says it's a good time to take a break and steps off the podium. Just as Steve asks for security to remove Jim, Jim places him under arrest for Connie's murder. Jim's backup cuffs Steve and escorts him out.
At a table in the interrogation room, Jim plops down Steve's Sovereign license plate, telling him that it's proof that he's not just some financial seminars guru, he's also a Sovereign. He asks if that's why he killed Connie. Steve pleads the fifth, saying he refuses to be a witness against himself. But Jim continues to try and crack him, until he hears a knock on the window. He steps out of the room and Jennifer tells him that he has to stop interrogating him and that with his prints from the car, they have enough proof to charge him. He should just process him and get him out of there. Given what Sovereigns are capable of doing, she doesn't want to antagonize him. Jim says he thinks Steve is hiding something. Manus approaches them and hands Jim documents from a lawsuit launched by Steve and Crackalacka to have their own Sovereign Nation federally recognized: Newmerica Nation. She says that during the period where she couldn't find any records under Connie's name, Connie had left Florida, moved to Alabama, and changed her social security number and name to Crackalacka. Connie was a Sovereign. But after five years of living with the suspect, she must have had enough and moved back to Florida and went back to being known as Connie. Jim questions why Connie brought all those files with her and Jennifer suggests maybe she thought something bad was going to happen to her and wanted to prove how crazy Steve was. Jim counters maybe she wanted to use Steve's own tactics against him.
Jim goes back to the interrogation room to tell Steve that he knows he used to be in a common law marriage with Connie. He probably didn't know that Connie kept every piece of bogus legal document that the two of them filed because Florida recognizes out of state common law marriages and she was probably getting ready to sue him for part of the government disability and tax-free seminar cash he's been getting. So he killed her. Realizing he can't keep quiet for long, Steve tells Jim that he didn't kill Connie. His prints were in the car because he used to drive it when they were living together. When Jim asks for an alibi, he says he was by himself, preparing for a seminar. If he wanted Connie to go away, he would have just paid her off. He admits he's not in this to hurt anybody, just to make some money. He swears that there are plenty of Sovereigns who are way more violent than he is. Jim considers that, and then heads for the door.
At a computer at the County Recorder's office, Jim tells Daniel to bring up Connie's work files so he can see if she was dealing with any violent Sovereigns. Willow walks in and angrily questions what they're doing on the computer. Jim asks whether Connie ever mentioned the Sovereign Citizens movement to Willow, but she shakes her head. Daniel pulls up a PowerPoint presentation titled "Sovereign Citizens: Public Enemy." Willow says she's never seen the presentation before but that both hers and Connie's files are on the computer. Jim hands her a second warrant for the computer; Willow watches as they walk away with it.
Back at Callie's apartment, Jim helps her search through boxes for the phone. Now that the existence of the recording was mentioned at the deposition, she has to present it as evidence. Jim holds up a photo of a high school-aged Callie and smiles, telling her that he totally would have asked her to prom. Callie lets out a quick gasp and holds the phone up triumphantly; she found it! Manus calls Jim to tell him that complaints have been filled and phone calls have been made against Carlos. There's a problem with his autopsies, in particular, Connie Simpson's. He's suspended from the case and work until further notice.
At a bar drinking beers, Carlos tells Jim that he's thankful that he wasn't fired, just temporarily suspended pending an investigation by the State Medical Examiners Board. Jim says he can't believe there were 77 complaints filed against him. Carlos maintains that they're all unsubstantiated and that it takes a special kind of crazy to take so much time and energy to screw someone over. He sarcastically adds that it was his own fault for using his real name and title to investigate his cases. Although he's off this case, he discreetly slides an FDLE file over to Jim. The chemicals listed in the report are the ones found in Connie's wounds: a combination of insecticides. But he's not sure what they're used for.
At the station, Manus and Jim comfort a distraught Daniel, who can't believe what has happened to Carlos. Jennifer provides a list of names of people who filed complaints against Carlos. She tells them that all of the names belong to Sovereigns and that it's paper terrorism. Manus says they're not going to take it all lying down, but they are going to do everything by the book. Jennifer tells Manus that there were complaints filed against her as well and that she's on paid leave until further notice. Completely shocked, Manus reluctantly hands Jennifer her badge and gun. Jennifer says this is "anarchy versus order" and they can beat them by, as Manus said, doing everything by the book. Manus tells Jim that she'll have her cell on her in case he needs anything. Jim asks Jennifer for the lists. She tells him that one of their suspects signed a complaint: Wayne. He says he's going to check the list against all of the cases Connie was working on before he brings anyone else in.
Callie and Jeff pull up to a Goodwill donation dropbox. They pop open the back of their car and start unloading boxes and placing them into the container. Callie tells him that once she finishes her third year boards and her intern rotations, he should visit her in Atlanta when school lets out. Jeff agrees, telling his mom that it sounds like a plan. Callie is happy to hear that.
Jim walks into his house to find Manus and Carlos in their swim gear grilling in the backyard, taking advantage of their paid time off. Manus tells him that Daniel brought the documents by so that they could go through them. Connie was very thorough with all of her files, the ones she accepted and rejected, such as Wayne's name change. And the name change wasn't the only document from Wayne she rejected. He tried to claim a foreclosed property five different times. Jim looks at the document, realizing that Connie really didn't want it recorded. But was she willing to stake her life on it?
Jennifer and Jim arrive at an empty lot, with a sign on it that reads "Foreclosure - Bank Owned." Carlos calls Jim to report that the pesticides found in Connie's wounds are used in crop dusting. Suddenly, a loud rumbling from above startles them. They look up to see a crop duster plane flying overhead, quickly approaching them. Jim grabs Jennifer's hand and they run down a strip of land, with the plane closing in behind them. Just as the airplane is about to fly right over them, they dive, face first, onto the ground. Now they know where Connie was murdered.
With the property now a crime scene, Jim looks up to see Wayne approaching him. He tells Jim to get off his property, but Jim just smiles and points to violent black skid marks on the ground and a large faded red splotch, saying that this is where Connie was murdered. Wayne shrugs, saying it makes no difference to him, since this is his Sovereign land and he makes the rules there. Smiling, Jim says that just because he filed bogus paperwork and is squatting on the land, doesn't mean he actually owns it. That's what Connie was trying to stop. Wayne says he didn't kill her. Jim gets distracted as he spots something on the ground. He picks up a piece of yellow leather fringe.
Jim walks up to Willow, who's sitting on a bench during her break with her yellow tasseled bag by her side. Jim says he checked her bank statements and saw that on the same day she accepted a case from the Sovereigns, she deposited hundreds of dollars into her account. She was being bribed. For every case Connie rejected, Willow accepted. She plays dumb, but Jim says he thinks Connie figured out her scheme and was planning on reporting her; that's why she killed her. Jim says that Connie left early the day she was murdered to check on the foreclosed property and Willow followed her. Jim checked on her alibi and the bartenders at McHale's remember her coming in after work, around 4:53 p.m. and closing her $20 tab around 1:23 a.m., but didn't see her throughout the night. Jim points out that she had time to run over Connie, dump her body, and return to the bar for another drink. Willow's bar tab was also a lot lower than usual; it normally runs about $70. Willow smiles and explains that other people were buying her drinks, but Jim says not according to the bartenders. Willow says the bar gets pretty rowdy, so that's probably why the bartenders didn't see her much. Jim shows her the leather fringe he found at the murder scene and her face drops. There's no getting out of that. She complains that if Connie just left work and went on vacation, none of this would have happened.
FDLE Uniforms bring a handcuffed Willow into the station. Jim enters behind them and joins Jennifer, who tells him that she's shocked that one of the Sovereigns wasn't responsible for Connie's murder. She asks Jim how he figured out it was Willow and he says that besides the yellow fringe he found at the scene, he noticed that the names on the complaints were from Connie's rejected files and that Willow later accepted them. That's why Shamalamadingdong wasn't one of the complainants and why Willow didn't recognize his name. Jennifer smiles, telling Jim that they should celebrate; she heard Carlos and Manus are having a killer pool party. Jim considers this, but tells her that she should go to the party, but he can't right now since he needs to get to the State's General's office for Callie. He'll join everyone later. Looking a little disappointed, Jennifer tells him that they'll have more time to celebrate once Callie leaves town. She walks off and Jim watches her, a little confused and slightly intrigued.
In Weiss's office, Callie plays the recording on her cell phone back for Weiss and Jim. In it, Elkins tells Callie that maybe they could have some fun together from time to time and no one would have to find out about her legal problems. Callie, who is trying to lead him on and get as much out of him as possible, asks him if they have sex, does it mean he won't turn her case over to the prosecution. He says yes and Callie says "got it," meaning she got it on tape. The recording ends and Callie seems pleased. But Weiss and Jim look troubled. Weiss quickly gets up and apologizes to Callie for not being able to make their meeting, but tells her to call his office to reschedule so that he can listen to the recording another time. Totally confused, Callie sits there, but Jim gets up and shakes Weiss' hand, thanking him. Weiss leaves and Callie ask Jim what just happened. He explains that on the recording it sounds like she entrapped Elkins and because of that, the jury may think so too. This can result in serious criminal charges against her. Callie starts to freak out saying she could lose everything - her job, her spot in medical school, and everything she's been working toward in Atlanta - but Jim assures her that they're going to fight it. Callie isn't convinced.