Detectives Charlie Crews and Dani Reese stand outside the station when they feel a mild tremor. "Did you feel that?" Charlie asks. Reese wonders why someone always asks that when you're right beside them. She felt it. Seconds later, a bigger quake hits and rocks them where they stand, along with the rest of Los Angeles. They steady themselves to keep their balance. After it ebbs, Charlie asks Reese, "Did you feel that?"
At the station, the power is out and it's a shambles. They're in full emergency mode. Not leaving the safety of his doorway, Tidwell announces that freeways are cut, there are 50 fires, power and water out citywide, and buildings collapsed. Charlie gets a call from a state corrections officer that a prisoner named Arthur Tins, whom Charlie put in jail, has escaped. The officer says he'll notify a witness who testified against Tins and asks if there are other people who need to know. Charlie thinks the guy sounds familiar and asks if they've spoken before. The officer doesn't think so, and asks if Charlie has any connections to the corrections department. "Not anymore," Charlie says.
At the mansion, Ted lies on the floor unconscious, having fallen down the stairs during the earthquake. When he wakes, he realizes that his hand is impaled with a pencil.
At the station, Reese doesn't think Tins will go after the witness. Charlie worries that Mark Rawls, the father of the 10-year-old boy that Tins killed, will go after him. Rawls was paroled three months ago. Reese can't believe they have to protect the scumbag Tins. Tidwell, still too petrified to leave his doorway, thinks differently, since it's two psychos killing each other and they aren't the future crimes unit. Plus, they're in the middle of an emergency so he puts them on foot patrol. An aftershock hits and rocks the station. Terrified, Tidwell asks, "Did you feel that?"
Charlie and Reese foot patrol themselves to Rawls' street, where the shady residents, spooked by the quake, sit outside. Reese and Charlie call for backup before they enter Rawls' building. They find Rawls and tell him Tins escaped. By his reaction, Charlie knows Rawls already knows and tells him so. Rawls says, "I did you a favor, so you do me one." Instead, they pat him down. Rawls says they should leave it alone, since Tins killed his son. They find a gun on him and he bolts, but Charlie tackles him. They cuff Rawls and put him in a patrol car.
After stuffing Rawls in the patrol car, Charlie and Reese get into their unmarked car, which won't start. Charlie gets out and waves at the patrol car with Rawls inside. Rawls turns around and screams at Charlie. Is he cursing at Charlie? As the officer at the wheel of the patrol car raises a gun behind Rawls' head, Charlie realizes Rawls isn't angry, he's terrified. The "officer" points the gun at Rawls and shoots him in the head in full view of Charlie and Reese. It's Tins and an accomplice, dressed as officers. The patrol car speeds off as Charlie and Reese fire at them in vain.
They find the abandoned patrol car with Rawls dead inside. Charlie says he wants to kill Tins. Tidwell says that as his commanding officer, he's glad he didn't hear that or he'd have to take his gun. They figure Tins heard their call for backup on the radio, leading him to Rawls' address. At the station, they find out that the prison only recently learned of Tins' escape. Meaning Tins is the one who alerted Charlie of his escape, which is why he sounded familiar. Tins, on the lam with two other convicts, still has time to send Charlie a fruit basket with a note: "Thanks for making me the man I am."
With the pencil still stuck in his hand, Ted calls Charlie and gets the lowdown. He decides to keep his predicament to himself and tells Charlie he's fine. He then calls Olivia, Charlie's stepmother, about his injury. She arrives and tells him there's a 24-hour wait at the hospitals. Later, she decides the pencil must come out. Ted gets dejected, and she says that's the pencil talking. She says to get some alcohol - the drinking kind - to prepare for the extraction. They both get tipsy, and Ted confesses his desire for Olivia. She kisses him, but only to distract him as she yanks the pencil out.
Because the computers are down, Charlie and Reese trace Tins's ex-wife through the phonebook. They take Charlie's car because all the squad cars are in use. Tins's ex-wife says anything she can do to hurt her ex, she's happy to do. She hopes they kill him and gives them a list of 50 names and addresses of her ex's criminal friends.
They narrow down the list by calling Tins' cellmate, Carl, who feels the same about Tins as his ex-wife. Carl says Tins was always talking about the getaway. He says that Tins wanted something that was both the score and getaway. Carl also wants a favor: "When you catch Tins, don't arrest him, just kill him." They call Tins' ex-wife to ask about a name on her list: Chip. She says he works at an armored car company. She doesn't know the name, but describes the logo. Charlie enters a WiFi cafÃ© and deputizes a kid who has a laptop to find the armored car company.
At the armored car company, it's eerily empty, so they sweep the place, guns drawn. They find a room where the employees are bound and gagged. They hear a toilet flush, and Tins walks out, clad in an armored guard's uniform. Tins tries to shoot him, but Charlie gets him in a headlock and asks where his partner is. Tins says he doesn't know, but he should be along any minute. Down the hall, they hear a woman scream.
In the garage, Tins' partner Chip holds June, the president of the company, hostage with a shotgun. Tins asks Charlie to uncuff him. Charlie has no choice, so he does. Tins says it's "his day," where anything he says, goes. He sees Charlie's Maserati and tells him to shoot it. It's incredibly hard for Charlie, but he does. Tins wants more poh-lice lead in the car and makes them pump it full of bullets. Another beautiful car of Charlie's bites the dust. Tins and Chip escape in an armored car. Back in the office, they ask June if she can trace the car, but she says they've disabled the locator.
In the armored car, Tins tells Chip that the earthquake was a miracle because everyone will want cash out of the ATMs and they'll need to be reloaded. Tins says the beauty is that they'll load up their armored truck full of cash, doing everything for them. Later, the company gets a distress call from Chip's personal guard locator. It leads them to a warehouse where the burnt-out armored car still smolders. Chip lies dead of a gunshot, and a burned corpse is near the car.
Charlie and Reese theorize that Tins wanted to make it look like he died, but he seems too smart for this. Charlie figures he has something else in mind. More of a mess to cloak the corpse's identity. A cell phone in a car parked nearby rings. Bobby goes to answer it. Just as he's about to open the car door, Charlie stops him. Good thing, as the door is rigged to set off a makeshift bomb. As Bobby withdraws his hand, his watch gets caught on the trigger line. In an act of bravery, Tidwell tells them to stand back so he can cut the line. He does, freeing Bobby.
Charlie and Reese wonder why they didn't take June hostage. At June's house, she answers the door, acting strangely. Reese catches on and plays like they're leaving, but Tins knows he's been found and yells at them to come in. They enter, Reese splitting off somewhere unseen. In the dining room, Tins, who has the family hostage, sits in a robe smugly eating mac and cheese. June's terrified son Simon sits at the table with him. Tins asks where Reese is, but Charlie wants to see his partner first. When asked, June and her daughter indicate another criminal is in the house. Charlie calls him out. A huge escapee, Crete, walks in with the father, holding a gun to his head.
Tins tells Crete to take the father to the car, but Reese surprises him at gunpoint. Confident they can't call for backup because of the earthquake, Tins stands with Simon. Charlie mentions Chip. Crete says the plan was to kill him. However, when Charlie says Tins killed Donnie, their third partner, to fake his death, Crete becomes upset. Tins says the cops are lying, that Donnie's on his way back from the warehouse. During the confusion, Charlie signals to Simon with his fingers behind his back at the boy's eye level. He counts down with them, and at zero, Simon breaks free. Charlie shoots Tins dead, and Reese kills Crete.
Back at the station, Reese asks Tidwell how he can disable a car full of explosives but be afraid of earthquakes. He says that the earth opening up he doesn't get, but people doing messed up things? That he understands. An aftershock hits, and Reese runs into the doorway with him. Tidwell jokes that the doorway isn't even weight-bearing. Reese laughs, as they stand face to face, locked in the moment. Tidwell goes for it and kisses her, she kisses back until she comes to her senses. Confused and shocked at herself, she walks off leaving Tidwell unsure.