Police officer Nick Hardy, who is investigating a domestic disturbance report in a housing project, gets a call from his wife, Janine, and daughter, Sophie. Seconds later, he's felled by shots. A man walks over, stares into his eyes, and leaves.
Meanwhile, Clara Musso -- helped by Cal's reading of her adversary -- concludes a $15 million deal. Clara then offers Cal $45,000 a week to teach her how to read faces. Cal agrees to do this but immediately gets called away.
Ben and D.C. police Captain James tell Cal that Nick is now a quadriplegic who can't speak; can Cal question him and get information? James also says that two young runners for a local drug dealer named Tivon were seen leaving the building and were quickly captured.
Cal is able to read changes in Nick's pupils, and he identifies one suspect as the shooter. Cal watches a videotape of the suspect's confession, notices a small smile of delight, and knows he's lying.
Back at the office, Gillian tells Cal that the Lightman Group is nearly broke and wants Clara to help arrange a loan. Cal dislikes this idea, but when Emily asks for $300 for a prom dress, he hands her cash, then tells Gillian to talk to Clara, which keeps Clara from tagging along with him.
Cal, Ben, and James go to the projects, where Cal tricks some drug runners into revealing Tivon's location. (They consciously avoid his door.) When Tivon takes a hostage, Cal uses the threat of a non-existent sniper to make Tivon drop his gun. He had nothing to do with the murder, but he reveals that someone else was in the building when Nick was shot -- and that person escaped before the police could investigate.
Interrogating all the tenants will take forever, but Cal sweet-talks a little girl into revealing that a Mr. Jenkins' body was removed by men wearing coroners' jackets -- and gun-belts -- last night. Cal suspects these were dirty cops and shows Nick photos of the police who work the projects. Nick identifies the one, Hollander, who looked into his eyes. It's the next-to-last thing he does. Before he slips away, Cal calls in Nick's family to translate his feelings. Tears all around.
James swears his cops are clean, but Jenkins' body is found, not in the morgue but in a dumpster. When the building superintendent is brought in to identify the body, Cal detects shame. Ben notes that Jenkins' apartment, which is federal housing, was registered to another person. And when the superintendent sees photos of the suspect cops, he registers fear. (Ria explains to Clara how Cal knows this: upper eyelids raised, lowers tensed.)
The superintendent says these cops forced out undesirable tenants but left their names on the federal register and pocketed the government's money -- plus rent from the second set of tenants. Jenkins was killed for threatening to expose this. Cal wants to re-question the drug runners, believing fear of the dirty cops caused their false confession and also their claim that Tivon ordered the killing.
Back at the office, Cal takes pictures of Emily in her new dress and dances with her, which Gillian interrupts by dragging Cal to a meeting with some equity fund managers, where he tells an off-color joke and reads their reactions. "That's what we do," explains Gillian, and they make a quick exit.
Cal is sharing a sandwich with Clara when he learns Emily's been busted for drugs. At the police station, Hollander releases Emily, who truthfully claims innocence, to Cal with a not-so-veiled threat to drop the investigation.
Back at the office, Ben tells James this is now an FBI investigation. James denies knowledge of the rent scam or the killings. Cal orders that Hollander and another officer named Tressler be brought in for questioning. Ria explains to Clara that Cal saw Tressler was uncomfortable with Emily's bogus drug bust.
Cal puts Hollander and Tressler in the cube and says Tressler's face told him Hollander had Nick killed. When Tressler claims Nick's murder was an accident, Cal points out that Hollander left Nick to bleed out on the floor -- and he'll do the same to you. Tressler says he didn't want to do that. But you went along with it, replies Cal, then leaves Hollander and Tressler alone in the cube.
Tressler admits knowing the drug runners killed Jenkins, but by the time he saw Nick bleeding out, Jenkins was already dead. Cal re-enters and accuses Hollander of having Jenkins murdered to shut him up, which Tressler confirms. Hollander tries to attack Tressler, but Cal decks him first, adding, "Prison's too good for you, but I've made a couple calls and let 'em know you're coming."
Afterward, Clara hands Cal a check for his week of instruction, but for less than they'd agreed on because he ditched her. Then Gillian enters Cal's office, explaining Captain James was cut a deal, and the rest of the cops are looking at life sentences. She also says the equity firm gave the Lightman Group a seven-figure loan. Clara points out that she's a majority investor in that firm, telling Cal, "Your place is mine now." Clara offers a handshake and leaves.
Gillian observes that Cal wanted more than a handshake from Clara. "You're enjoying this," Cal replies, adding it's all her fault. "You're welcome," says Gillian, and leaves. Cal bites his lip.