Episode PremiereFebruary 25, 2009
Show Period2007 - 2009
Driving his "deflowered" car, Crews talks to a technical service rep for his Bluetooth headset. Noting her foreign accent, he asks where she's from. She doesn't tell; they aren't allowed to discuss their personal lives. Crews bets she's from far away, looking at things he can't even imagine. Crews and Reese investigate the murder of financial advisor Jerome Raftss his apartment. First poisoned, then impaled with a broomstick, he stands propped against the wall, like macabre avant-garde art. A pigeon flies into the window, trying to get in. They find proudly displayed pictures of Rafts with several different women. Crews mentions the bird to Reese, wondering if it means something.
Tidwell takes Reese aside and says that the FBI called and wants to borrow a few LAPD detectives for a joint organized crime taskforce. He encourages Reese to do it since it looks great on the resume and she wants to move up. Reese worries about the case, but Tidwell says that it's practically solved with the amount of girlfriends that Rafts had. When she tells Crews about the opportunity, he encourages her to do it as well, giving her a speech on building a good foundation. "See you in a few weeks," she says to Crews. Stark finds Raftss' wireless computer backup.
At the station, Crews briefs Tidwell, having an awkward time since Reese usually starts. Raftss was 39 years old and moved from North Dakota nine years ago. He worked from home as a financial advisor specializing in derivatives. Tidwell tries to explain what that is but can't, confusing Crews even more. They still haven't cracked his business files, but the women in the photos weren't girlfriends, they were high-priced escorts. He spent the most on a woman named Alexa, over $9000. Tidwell wonders what kind of person displays photos of escorts like they were his girlfriends.
Rafts had a date with Alexa the night of the murder. The elevator security camera in Rafts' building picked up a woman in an elevator who didn't live in the building and wasn't a guest of anyone there. She stands purposely hiding her face from the camera. Rafts' phones showed no records of calls to the girls, but there were repeated calls to a woman named Brenda Trill, whom they figure is the Madame. At Crews' request, Stark fills in for Reese on the investigation. Stark is thrilled to be in the car again with his old partner.
Crews asks Stark what a derivative is, and his answer is the same as Tidwell's. He calls Ted, who explains that it's a financial product whose value is derived from the value of something else, called the underline. Ted says the derivative bubble burst, and if the guy had money it came from somewhere else. Amanda, the owner of the security company that was protecting Rayborn, visits Ted under the guise of wanting to take his class. She asks Ted if she can ask him some questions. Ted, unaware that Amanda thinks Charlie murdered Rayborn, agrees to talk.
Crews and Stark visit Brenda, the Madame, who doesn't keep records of her escorts' addresses nor does she have a picture of Alexis. They show her Rafts' photographs but none are of Alexis. They learn that Rafts was Alexis' only client. He was her first customer and after Rafts dated her he didn't want any of the other girls. They question the other escorts, who all say that Rafts was a gentleman, wanting a few dates entailing dinner and activities like whale watching before having sex. None of the girls understood what he did for a living, but he always paid on time and tipped well.
The escorts mention that Rafts owned carrier pigeons and was obsessed with them. Stark and Crews go to Rafts' chicken coop on the roof of his apartment and are surprised to find identically dressed twin brothers, who are taking something from the coop. Meanwhile, at the FBI office, Reese takes a lie detector test where an examiner asks her uncomfortable questions, including if she thinks her father broke the law. She says that to the best of her knowledge, no. She also answers truthfully to once being addicted to drugs and having a relationship with a suspect.
At the station, Crews and Stark question twins Ronnie and Mitch Popel, who say they are pigeon fanciers. They say that Rafts sold them a bad egg, supposedly from his prize bird Bloody Mary, but they knew it wasn't from her. They were in the coop to get a real egg from Mary. When shown an artist's sketch of Alexis, they recognize her as Rafts' girlfriend who was also into pigeons. The twins swoon when they talk about her and her in-depth knowledge of pigeons. They say they were in their own pigeon coop behind their house at the time of the murder.
Lacking Reese to talk to, Crews calls the tech support rep again and asks her if she's in India. She declines to answer, since the call is monitored. He then asks if two people can be perfect for each other. June tells him he must have a technical issue if he wants to continue the call. Crews says he usually talks with Reese, and remarks that it's amazing: he's in LA, and she's in India, helping him with his phone made in China. June politely ends the call. Tidwell says they opened the business files on Rafts' computer and they were empty. Meaning, Rafts didn't make his money investing in derivatives.
At Rafts' apartment, Crews and Stark weigh the odds of Rafts finding an escort who knew about pigeons. Pretty impossible. They wonder if Alexis learned about pigeons because she was targeting him. They find the bathtub full with an iHome plugged in next to it. Crews asks what Alexis would have done had Rafts not drunk the laced wine. Knowing what he's thinking, Stark says his electrician cousin says GFCI outlets trip the circuit in less than a second, so no way. Crews notices the outlet has been tampered with nail polish. To test his theory, he throws the iHome into the bathtub and shorts out the entire building.
Crews and Stark tell Tidwell their theory that Alexis is an assassin. She has several connections with people who ended up dead; a gun company whistleblower who fell 10 stories to his death, a DEA informant who was strangled, and a labor leader who died of rat poison. They have a surveillance photo of her leaving the labor leader's hotel. No knives or guns were used in any of the deaths, just everyday household items. She also left no DNA or fingerprints. The problem is, since they don't know how Rafts made his money, they can't find a link to who would want him dead.
Crews and Stark get a list of the master pigeon fanciers from the twins. This leads them to Edward Zakaria, who says Alexis came to him to learn about the birds. She didn't offer any personal information but appeared to really like the birds. That's why he was surprised that the pigeon he sold to her came back to him. When asked why it would do that, he says because it didn't feel cared for. Again, this surprised him because he'd thought she was genuine. Thinking of the pigeon in Rafts' apartment, Crews wonders if that bird was returning to a familiar place.
At FBI headquarters, Reese is questioned about Crews' prison time and then asked about Mickey Rayborn. As the interviewer slides her a picture of the blood-covered deck of Mickey Rayborn's boat, Reese gets suspicious and asks, "Exactly what kind of security clearance is this?"
Under the supervision of Zakaria, Crews and Starks wait until Alexis' pigeon gets tired of them waiting to feed it and flies off. Attached with a GPS device, Crews and Stark follow the signal to a house where a woman is sweeping her porch. They ask her if she's Alexis. She says her name is Claudia and that she's a personal chef. Crews is blunt and says they're looking for a contract killer named Alexis. Claudia doesn't flinch, and seems almost excited when they ask her to come in for questioning. She takes her big purse and goes with them.
At the station, they invite all the players: the madame, the twin pigeon fanciers and Zakaria to see if they can identify Alexis on the TV screen. All say she looks familiar but can't say for certain that it's her. The woman on TV has long blonde hair, as Alexis had short dark hair. And, something about her is different. As she's leaving the station, she hands Crews a bag of cookies. He asks what's in them. "Just stuff I had around the house," she says. Both Crews and Stark decide it's best not to eat them.
At the mansion, Ted has brought Amanda home to continue their discussion about his class. As he makes tea, Amanda sneaks off and takes pictures of Charlie's conspiracy wall. When she comes back from upstairs, she tells Ted she was just looking for the bathroom. Suspicious, Ted asks her to explain again why she wanted to take his business class. Meanwhile, Charlie calls June, the technical support rep again just to talk. Confused and a little amused, she asks Crews what he's looking for. He responds, "A killer."
Crews visits Claudia at her house and as he pretends to be attracted to her, the two dance around the topic of what she does for a living. He asks for a diet soda, and notices scratch marks on the back of her neck. Later, after tests under the victim's fingernails are confirmed as negative for DNA, they test the pigeons, two of which test positive for human cells. Crews calls Stark, who is keeping surveillance outside Claudia's house and relays the news, then tells him to wait until he gets there. Claudia sees Stark and makes a point of closing the curtains.
Even though Crews told him to wait, Stark gets out of the car and approaches Claudia's house, gun drawn. He pushes open the unlocked door and sees Claudia, who is upset. She asks how they found her and then swallows what looks like a cyanide pill. Starks grabs her throat and tells her to spit it out. She does, right into his mouth. He feels the effects immediately and begins to choke. She tells him it's a concoction she made herself from poison mushrooms that paralyzes the body and shuts down the organs. "But you'll be dead before that," she says as Stark sits there helpless.
Claudia breaks a broom and is about to impale Stark with it when she hears Charlie's screeching tires outside. She runs off. Charlie runs inside and sees Starks in trouble. He calls for help, then watches as Claudia drives away. However, he chooses to stay with his friend. Meanwhile, Claudia is on the phone arranging a flight when her car stalls. Charlie approaches her at gun point. "You did this to my car," she says. Indeed, diet soda in the gas tank. When he asks why she killed Jerome Rafts, Claudia feigns just being a chef, saying he has the wrong girl.
Crews tells Reese that Stark is recovering. As he updates her on the case, he notices there's an unusually large amount of birdseed by Rafts' pigeon coop. He cuts open the bags, finding bundles of money and an unassembled sniper's rifle. Turns out that Rafts was also a hit man and the rifle that Crews found was traced to six assassinations. Claudia killed him to eliminate her competition in a bad economy. Feeling he owes her, Crews calls the tech support rep and tells her about the case. Since his Bluetooth is working, she's able to close her case as well. Crews gets her to tell him her real name: Deepa.