WHAT'S HOT?

Life

Episode 2.07 : Jackpot

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TV Info


Episode Premiere

November 05, 2008

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Drama

Show Period

2007 - 2009

Production Company

NBC

Cast and Crew


Director

Daniel Sackheim

Screenwriter

Rand Ravich

Main Cast


Additional Cast

  • Jessy Schram

Synopsis


Rachel Seybold, now out of the psychological facility, is staying at Detective Charlie Crews' mansion. She tells Crews she probably won't stay long and isn't going to answer questions about Jack Reese or anything else. That's fine with Crews, who is more interested in her well-being. Rachel, taking in the mansion, asks if all this money is for staying in jail for 12 years. It is. She says, "I could do that."

At a posh downtown loft, Crews and Det. Reese investigate the murder of a woman stabbed from behind at her dining table. She still sits in her chair at the table, dressed in an evening gown. No forced entry; cooked dinner and lit candles suggest she was killed by someone she knew. The detectives also note that the stark, modern decor of the loft seems in contrast to the elegant style of the victim. From her driver's license, they learn her name is Hannah Ronson and she's been in LA three months. Crews notes a tattoo on her lower back: "Ben" on a heart. Jaguar keys have a keychain bearing the initials "LWA."

In the bedroom, a messed bed tells the story of sex before dinner. They also find luxury travel and French real estate brochures, all with notes listing the extravagant cost. Someone was planning some luxurious spending. On a calendar, "LWA" is written on many of the days. The Jaguar yields only a three-month-old lease and a church parking lot permit. Reese figures that "A" in LWA stands for anonymous. At the church, luxury cars populate the lot with an old Nova conspicuously parked among them. They find that LWA stands for the support group, "Lottery Winners Anonymous."

At the church, Crews and Reese enter the LWA meeting. Tom, a member, says LWA is for winners of $20 million or more. And, if they don't meet those qualifications, to please leave. Crews, enjoying his own inside joke, sits. Instead of lamenting about sudden wealth, he determines that Hannah was in the group. Reese divulges her murder. Dale, another member, faints. Ben, a 75-million-dollar winner and the tattoo's namesake, says Hannah, who won "only 34 million," found it hard to relate to the "U.L.O's," the Unlucky Ones, who wanted something. She moved from Florida to LA to escape. Their relationship and the tattoo was their secret.

Crews notices Tom has disappeared. In the parking lot, his old Nova is gone as well. Dale says Tom won $173 million. Since L.W.A. is anonymous, no one knows Tom's last name so they can't ID him. Dale's "posse" arrives in his luxury Winnebago to pick him up. At the station, Reese tells Tidwell and Crews that Hannah had no friends outside of L.W.A. Crews suspects Dale was also intimate with Hannah. After the briefing, Tidwell and Reese share a look which Crews notices. Tidwell asks to speak to Reese alone, so Crews leaves. However, she won't let him mention the kiss they shared.

Crews and Reese interview lottery winner Ben, who has hired a bodyguard. They ask if his relationship with Hannah was sexual. Ben and his bodyguard share a look and he confirms it was. They ask if he knew Hannah dated other members, but he doesn't believe it. Ben says girls he barely knows have told him they loved him, but with Hannah it was different, because she also had money. On the night of Hannah's murder, Ben says he was home waiting for her. Crews notes Ben hasn't spent much of the money. Ben says he bought his mom a house. Reflecting on Hannah, he says, "What do I have now?"

When the address that Dale provided leads to an empty ocean view lot, Crews and Reese think he lied. That is, until his Winnebago pulls up, party in full swing, including paid guest Erik Estrada. Uncomfortable when Hannah is brought up, Dale says they had a relationship, but she dumped him over his ostentatious lifestyle. Like Ben, he appreciated Hannah liking him, not his money. Dale says he wanted her more when she left. On the night of her murder, he says he was partying on his bus. A helicopter arrives, Dale's ride. The party departs. Estrada recognizes Crews and says, "I'm a big fan of yours!"

At the station, they ID Tom as Tom Bruckner, who worked in the defense industry for 20 years and took his winnings in one lump sum. Tidwell wonders why it took so long to find a 173-million-dollar winner. Crews thinks it's because two years ago, Tom looked like this, and holds up a newspaper clipping of Tom looking much younger, less gray and smiling. Tidwell asks what happened. "He won the lottery," Crews says. Tidwell gets Reese alone again and brings up the kiss. Reese pretends that she has no idea what he's talking about.

Crews and Reese visit Tom's house, protected by Fort Knox-style security. Reese scales the wall, and a kid warns her that Tom has guns. A shot rings out, Crews falls into the yard. Tom, dressed and armed for Armageddon, peers out of a slit and has a high-powered rifle trained on Crews. He commands Crews to come inside, planning to take him hostage. Inside the fortified house, Crews talks him out of it. He tells Tom he's no killer and asks what happened to the smiling man he was two years ago. Tom stands down just as a flash grenade is thrown into the house.

Inside Tom's place, Crews sees a computer screen with live video feed of a family inside their house, peering out at the action. He realizes Tom has rigged a hidden camera inside the home of his neighbor. Crews goes across the street and talks to the family and finds that Ronald, the husband, was Tom's co-worker for over 20 years. Ron says he carpooled with him and the two bought lottery tickets every week. On the day that Tom won, Ron forgot to give him the dollar. He says that after that, Tom quit his job, built the fences, and doesn't talk to him or anyone anymore.

While talking to Ronald, Crews spots Dale posing as a detective, interviewing witnesses. He's asking about Hannah when they interrupt him. Dale wants to use his money to help find Hannah's killer. Crews says to let the police handle it and Reese reminds Dale that he's a suspect. He leaves. Tidwell calls over to them and says Tom's money was buried in the basement. At the same time, both Reese and Tidwell say, "That's just crazy, right?" It isn't lost on Crews, and Reese is thankful Tidwell was out of earshot.

At the station, Tom says Ronald killed Hannah as punishment for not sharing his winnings. He says Hannah loved him, not his money, and that he was at a gun show the night she was killed. Ronald, watching on video, says he and his wife were bowling on family league night. He's sad Tom thought he wanted his money. He never did, he just wanted to be his friend again. Crews lets him tell Tom that. As he does, Crews says he doesn't think Tom's the killer, since he's a gun man and Hannah was stabbed.

Crews and Reese can imagine only one reason why a woman like Hannah might date a guy like Tom: money. But why would she date him if she had her own money? After a fingerprint check, they learn Hannah is really LeAnn Pembers, a con artist who did time in Georgia for fraud. They go to her real address, an apartment that isn't the swanky loft downtown, but a modest one bedroom. They find newspaper clippings on all the lottery winners and evidence that a man lived with her, particularly noting a fancy pair of cowboy boots.

Through her paperwork, they learn that the loft was foreclosed on and the lease papers were fake. The Jaguar was obtained on fake credit and LeAnn set up fake websites about Hannah the lottery winner that came up on Google. Going for the long con, LeAnn built up the fake credit over a few years, each time using the Bank of Central California. Crews calls the 800 number and asks for their location. The woman says they aren't taking new accounts and hangs up. A trace leads to an apartment two floors below.

Two floors down, they ask a seedy couple about the Bank. They're reluctant to talk until Crews says it's homicide, not fraud. The man says LeAnn gave them a phone to answer when it rang. They posed as the bank and cleared her credit for a cut. The wife, who also does "other phone work," says LeAnn was a sweet girl who worked a nice grift. They identify the boots as Lenny's - and explain that he ruined LeAnn. At Ben's house, they tell Ben about LeAnn and ask about Lenny. As the bodyguard stands by, they ask Ben why he's the only L.W.A. member who has a bodyguard; who he's afraid of? Ben asks them to leave.

Over pizza, Crews and Ted struggle with idle dinner talk with Rachel. Then Crews gets a call from a panicked Dale. He borrows Ted's car and Rachel insists on coming along. When they arrive, Dale says he was beat up when he went after Ben for killing Hannah. Ben's bodyguard did the handiwork. Rachel comforts Dale, saying he'll be fine. She's seen worse. Dale asks what a girl like her has seen. Rachel says she's seen things you'd swear were nightmares but your eyes are wide open. Dale says he knows, which Crews picks up on.

Crews asks Dale what he meant when he said "I know," to seeing terrible things. He also asks why Dale feels the need to pose as a detective to find Hannah's killer. Dale admits he was there the night she was killed. He just wanted to see her and when he arrived at her loft, the door was open. There was so much blood and she couldn't talk. He saw her die and left her alone. At that, Crews cuffs him. Dale asks why it wasn't his name on the tattoo. It used to say Lenny, but she changed it to Ben. Now, Crews has doubts about Dale as a suspect.

Reese calls Crews back to the seedy couple's apartment. They've been stabbed to death. The detectives realize that they alerted Lenny that they'd talked. At Ben's apartment, as the bodyguard watches, they question him about Hannah's tattoo. Ben tries to deny that LeAnn covered up Lenny's name in favor of him, but they persist. Crews begins goading the bodyguard, who is growing visibly uncomfortable. Crews moves very close to the bodyguard - and identifies him as Lenny, the actual murderer. Lenny quickly pulls a knife (the murder weapon) and tries to stab Crews, but Charlie counters and thrusts the knife into his assailant's leg.

At the station, Ben explains to Reese that the day after Hannah died, Lenny showed up to try to blackmail him. He told Ben that he was Hannah's husband and that he had killed her with a knife he had stolen from Ben's house - a knife with Ben's fingerprints on it. Lenny demanded that Ben begin transferring his money to him, ten million dollars at a time. Reese asks if Lenny told him he'd let him free after he had all his money. Ben nods, realizing that was a lie, too. At the jail, Dale shows Lenny proof that LeAnn intended to remove Ben's tattoo once the con was over. They leave Lenny in his cell to live with what he's done.

Back at the station, Dani learns that her parents are divorcing. Seeing her cry, Tidwell offers sympathy. He coaxes her to come to dinner with him, saying he doesn't know her parents but knows divorce and can offer an ear. He swears he won't touch her or mention sex so she takes him up on his offer. At the mansion, Rachel tells Crews she thought he killed her family, even after what she saw. Crews said there were years in prison when he thought he had, too.

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