Episode 2.17 : Shelf Life

  • Life
    • Episode Premiere : March 11, 2009
    • Distributor : NBC
    • Genre : Drama
    • Seasons : 2
    • Show Period : 2007 - 2009
    • Production Company: NBC
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

Captain Tidwell tells Crews to come into his office and stomp on his foot that's fallen asleep. Hesitantly, Crews stomps until Tidwell can feel it. Officer Stark walks in just as Crews delivers the money stomp on the boss's foot. Ignoring what he just saw, Stark says there's a dead guy on the beach. At the crime scene, Travis Slocum lies dead, stabbed in the heart on a crowded sidewalk in broad daylight. A key on his body leads them to a nearby hotel.

With the key, Crews and Stark enter Travis' room and see four sets of army gear. Upon leaving, a no-nonsense woman sternly asks if she can help them. In her sunglasses, Crews sees two men sneaking up behind them and says she can tell her two friends to put their hands in the air. Stark spins around with gun drawn and stops them in their tracks. Cuffed, active duty soldiers Dixon Simms, Andy Diller and Erin Cordette sit while the police search their room. All say they were by the pool all day and moved on Crews and Stark because they thought they were burglars.

Tidwell asks Crews what he sees, admitting that Reese, who's away on FBI assignment, made him promise to ask. Crews is touched, but it's what he doesn't see. He asks the three why they aren't wearing their dog tags. They say they want to enjoy their two-week furlough as civilians. Crews says Tidwell thinks jealously between the guys led to the murder. They scoff, having been through hell together in Iraq. When Crews picks up Travis' backpack, Andy stands up protectively. Erin holds him back, assuring Andy, and at the same time telling Crews, that he'll treat Travis' belongings with respect.

On the phone with Reese, Crews relays the contents of Travis' backpack. He finds a souvenir glass with the initials "AFO" on it. On the other side is a pin-up girl. He also finds a medal for exceptional valor that Travis earned fighting in Sadr City. Both agree that whoever stabbed Travis had to have known him and been trained to get that close and stab with such precision. Which all three of his friends have. Crews mentions that he knows she said something nice about him to Tidwell. She denies it and hangs up on him.

Stark and Crews watch surveillance video of the crime but can't see anything with so many people around. On the beach, they learn that no one, including the regular street performers, saw anything either. They wonder how anyone killed someone like Travis, a war hero. They watch the tape again and see that at the time of the stabbing, several diversions take place within the crowd that could have distracted Travis: a musician turning up her amp, two guys shoving each other, and a vendor spilling ice.

Back at the beach, Crews and Stark conduct interviews and find that a white guy in a hoodie and sunglasses paid people to create diversions as part of a performance art piece. When shown Travis's picture, they can't confirm or deny if he was the guy. One of the store owners says he tried to sell the guy Big Bertha, a gigantic bong, but he didn't go for it. However, he did touch it. "Always put the merchandise in the customer's hands. First rule of sales," the man says. Crews and Stark are hoping that first rule will yield the killer's prints.

At the FBI, Reese continues her lie detector test. Showing her Mickey Rayborn's picture, Agent Ray asks if she knows him. She does, from the papers. She also confirms knowing about his murder and that he and her father were friends. However, she doesn't know her father's whereabouts. Nor does she know the one detail kept from the press about Rayborn's murder: that Rayborn's body was never found. Ray asks what that means to her as a detective. Reese says all the blood suggests he was butchered. Ray shows her Roman Nevikov's picture and asks if she knows him.

Stark and Crews stake out the hotel and see Erin leave, sharply dressed in a suit. Crews wonders again why they took off their dog tags. They follow Erin to an airfield, where she boards a private jet. Crews wants to follow her through the open door. Stark knows he doesn't look the part, but Crews does. Crews pretends to be a player and boards the luxury jet full of rich business types. A sexy flight attendant asks him to drop his cell phone in a bag. Another one hands him a drink in a glass identical to the one found in Travis' backpack. She welcomes him to Air Fun One.

Erin spots Crews and pulls him into the bathroom. She tells him he isn't supposed to be on the plane. He says she isn't either. She reveals she's working security on the flight because she needs the money. In the Army, she makes the equivalent of less than minimum wage. And, that AFO called her to work today because they think Travis flaked. She didn't tell them he was dead. Crews learns the flight is just a flying party, and that the cell phones are confiscated because of their cameras. The engines start. Erin tells Crews to sit on the toilet for takeoff.

After takeoff, Crews exits and passes a man dressed as a motorcycle cop. He's escorted into the bathroom by a gorgeous flight attendant. Another leads a man dressed as a gladiator. Crews meets Gus Wilvern, host of the mile-high party and VP of Chem X Tech. He recognizes Crews' name as the falsely accused cop and, looking for gossip, asks who he came on board with. Crews shocks him and everyone else on the plane when he loudly announces he's investigating a murder.

When Gus learns Travis was murdered, he becomes so upset that he chugs down three bourbons. Gus says Travis worked security for him. Even though soldiers aren't supposed to moonlight, he hires them to help out because they make so little on active duty. Crews asks Gus if Travis saw something on the plane that someone wanted kept quiet. Maybe someone who got too rough. He accuses Gus of bending the rules. Gus takes offense, saying his company has all kinds of outreach programs for military vets. Crews asks how he found Travis. Gus gives him the name of the moonlighting company.

Over lunch, Amanda continues to lay her charms on Ted. She asks him about being in jail, and he corrects her. It's prison, not jail. He says he learned in prison that he's not as charming as she's pretending he is, smiling and laughing at all the right times. Crews surprises her and joins them, saying he agrees with Charlie's assessment of himself. Busted, and furious about it, she leaves. When Crews gets back into the car, Stark tells him he's been ordered back in uniform tomorrow. Crews will get a new partner; a detective from the Valley.

They visit the moonlighting company, which consists of an Internet business that teenage Pete Magnus runs from his room. Pete, an Army reject who lives at home, uses military jargon and has a large chip on his shoulder. He didn't like Travis, because he agreed with the Army for rejecting his application. Therefore, he stopped sending him referrals. He says Erin sent him a text that Travis was sick today, which contradicts what Erin told Crews. When asked, Pete says he was in his room working yesterday, adding, "You may query my mother on that if you wish."

The prints from the bong lead them to Quentin Norse, whom they find dead of a drug overdose in his apartment. They also find $10,000 hidden in a potato chip tin and the knife that turns out to be the murder weapon. Also, some oddly perfect grapes in his refrigerator. Norse's background reveals he was a dishonorable discharge ten years ago with a rap sheet full of drug-related crimes.

At the station, Tidwell says Norse's tox screen revealed that his heroin was laced with drain cleaner. They deduce that someone paid Quentin to kill Travis, then someone else killed Quentin. At the soldiers' hotel, Crews and Stark show Erin the picture of Quentin, dead. They tell her that he most likely killed Travis, and then confront her on lying about being in Los Angeles on vacation and texting the agency. Not rattled, she claims she just needs the cash. She says she was in a bar last night with the guys when Norse was killed.

Crews sees that Travis's bulletproof vest is made by Chem X Tech. At the company, Gus tells Crews about their lightweight but indestructible vest, which is too expensive for the military. However, he outfitted a few platoons with the vests to try out. First rule of sale and all. Gus demonstrates the vest by shooting himself while wearing one, which he's done over a hundred times. Crews notices the same grapes in Gus' office that were in Quentin's refrigerator. Gus says Chem X Tech bioengineered them to have an infinite shelf life and they're not on the market yet.

Crews briefs Tidwell on Chem X Tech's connection to both murders. The grapes in Quentin's fridge, and Travis' bulletproof vest. Wondering how a decorated soldier ended up murdered, Crews remembers that Gus said Travis didn't have a scratch on him. If so, the medal couldn't have been his as he wouldn't have qualified. They track the medal to Kit Weston, a fifth member of their squad who was killed in Sadr City. Shot in the chest, he died while they were carrying him to the chopper. They wonder why the vest didn't save him. Perhaps Gus sent a different vest to Iraq.

Realizing the soldiers are here for revenge, Crews and Stark look for Gus, who's MIA on his party plane. They find the soldiers have left the hotel and head to Chem X Tech, where they arrest Andy outside Gus' office. They find a terrified Gus inside; he says Erin and Simms took his guns. Crews tries to talk Erin and Simms out of hiding, but they want Gus to walk the hallway so they can kill him for causing Kit's death by lying about how long the vest works. Gus denies that, claiming they work for five years. Andy says they work for two.

Andy says Travis traced the sale to Gus, then was killed two days later. It becomes clear that Gus hired Quentin to kill Travis when he got too close to the truth. Then, Gus killed Quentin. When Erin threatens to storm the office, Gus demands they get him out. Charlie puts him in Travis's three-year-old vest. Faced with being shot in that vest, Gus admits he changed the numbers in the catalog from two years to five, even though their lab gave the vests a two-year shelf life. Gus thought he could get away with the lie, figuring the Iraq war would only last six weeks, not six years. He yells out what he did, and Erin and Simms stand down.

Crews and Ted invite Amanda over. Crews asks to see Rayborn's files. She steadfastly refuses. So, he asks why her clients choose her. Her reputation, she says. They show her a live shot of one of her client's homes, adding that a computer savvy kid got them her client list. Pete steps into frame and waves. Amanda is horrified. Via remote, Crews activates the house alarm. Faced with ruin, she shows him Rayborn's file, admitting the cameras on Rayborn's boat went dead the night of his murder. Crews searches photos from Rayborn's computer that Amanda's company didn't take, including one that shocks Crews; Rayborn on his boat the day of his murder... talking to Reese.






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