A routine investigation into hijacked Japanese bearer bonds turns into an uncomfortable situation for Neal when he and Peter are teamed with Sara Ellis, an insurance investigator who had testified against Neal at his trial five years prior. While the charges didn't stick at the time, it doesn't stop the witty insurance investigator from holding Neal's feet to the fire, much to Peter's amusement.
But while Sara uses her new proximity to Neal to get under his skin, Neal uses Sara to further his investigation into Kate's death. While conducting an unsanctioned search of the plane wreckage, Neal and Mozzie pose as co-workers of Sara's and convince a Federal Aviation inspector to send the plane's black box recording to "their office," care of Sara. With a little luck, Neal will be able to get his hands on the box before Sara has any idea what is going on.
Meanwhile, the FBI has targeted international real estate tycoon Edward Halbridge in the bond case. Halbridge has hired a foreign courier named Mr. Black to get the bonds out of the country, but Halbridge and Black have never met face to face. All the FBI has to do is have the real Mr. Black detained, and Neal can take his place and recover the bonds. However, the simple plan becomes complicated when Neal learns that the man he's impersonating is actually an assassin - and his target is none other than Sara Ellis!