A young girl sits on the stairs while her father calls 911; his wife was stabbed to death. Detective Tao (presumably, this is a flashback, as Tao has noticeable, extra facial hair) interviews the husband, Mr Reichman; he says that there was a man in the house, and he broke into their safe and then murdered his wife, Elaine. In an effort to save her, he pulled the knife out of his wife’s body. Their 10-year-old daughter, Lydia, was asleep but heard mom and dad fighting, and according to her, she saw her father stab her mother. She testifies against him in court, and he is charged with first-degree murder.
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Fast-forward eight-and-a-half years to the present: Lydia has since recanted her story, and blood found at the scene was tested, matching a man with a criminal record, confirming Mr. Reichman’s story. His sentence is overturned. Lydia accuses Tao of manipulating her into testifying against her father, and while he apologizes, he also asks that she take a second look at the video from eight years ago and see if it will trigger any additional memories of that night.
Back at the station, Tao explains that, back then, they had limited funds to prove their case and could only afford to test 25 out of the 200 blood samples at the crime scene. Tao admits that he felt the husband was guilty from the very beginning. Reichman had recently purchased a shovel and cement and gave his daughter an Ambien before bed. Security cameras had Recihman at the airport shortly after midnight, and he made the 9-1-1 call at 1 a.m. With travel time, that only gave him 20-30 minutes to murder his wife.
Sharon watches Tao’s initial interview with Lydia. He didn’t feed her any information; Lydia emphatically stated that she saw her dad hurting her mother and didn’t see or hear anyone else in the house.
Rusty is going to have dinner with his biological father and has decided to wear a suit. He seeks help from Provenza and Buzz in tying his tie and tells them of the 47 questions he has for his father.
Reichman is suing the department for wrongful imprisonment and tells Tao to stay away from his daughter. The blood found at the house came back belonging to Benito Zapata, a wanted embezzler. Reichman says that it’s possible that his wife, an insurance adjuster, caught on to Zapata’s crime, giving him motive to kill her.
Zapata stole 1.8 million dollars in 2004, and it was never found. The FBI has been keeping tabs on Zapata’s wife in Colorado Springs, hoping she’ll lead them to it. Tao offers to fly out Mrs. Zapata on his own dime; however, Raydor volunteers the use of the FBI’s funds for that endeavor.
Rusty is unusually quiet with Daniel around. With Rusty out of earshot, Sharon advises Daniel to share something positive about Rusty’s mother to lighten the mood. It starts out fine when he mentions her great laugh but comes to a screeching halt when he talks about her family, the same family that threw her out of the house when she became pregnant. After Daniel leaves, Rusty is relieved and still unsure of Daniel’s motives.
Provenza and Raydor have their weekly tiff when he suggests that she be more supportive of Tao. Her concerns are not that of Tao’s self-esteem but of properly closing the case and avoiding a costly lawsuit.
Mrs. Zapata has arrived and isn’t too concerned over her husband’s disappearance. He didn’t leave her with any of the stolen money and was unfaithful.
Mr. Valdez of Banco Nacional has history of an account, opened by Elaine Reichman in March 2004 in the amount of $1.8 million. Elaine also renewed her passport one week prior to her death. So Mr. Reichman didn’t just kill his wife; he killed his wife and her lover. He planned for everything, except for Lydia. When she awoke, he had to alter his plans.
Lydia meets the DA and Tao at her old home and tells of the reason for the sudden change in her story. She secretly wrote and visited her father while he was in prison, and he “helped” her remember the details of that night.
She walks them through that night, saying she saw Zapata carrying a sack, and then she got a flashlight and went downstairs to find her father trying to save her mom. The only problem with her story is that the power was cut; she needed a flashlight just to walk down the stairs. How could she possibly make out a person outside? Her father cut off the power and staged the break-in.
Back at the station, Reichman denies any romantic connection between his wife and Zapata, but the detectives have found multiple emails linking the two.
Tao finds Zapata’s body buried in Reichman’s front yard in addition to the tip of the knife that went missing.
Reichman can’t be charged for the murder of his wife a second time, but she can be used as evidence when they try him for the murder of Zapata.
Tao informs Lydia that she won’t have to testify again, as her father has confessed to the murder. She gets to see him one last time, looking for a reason or apology for his crimes. He apologizes…but only for not killing her when he had the chance. Wow.
Daniel and Rusty try dinner a second time, this time without Sharon.
Completely floored by how much I’m enjoying this show. Background on the squad? Love it!
I’m with Rusty on this one; I don’t trust Daniel at all. Besides, if Daniel was actually all that and a bag of chips, technically, wouldn’t Rusty leave to live with him? And then we wouldn’t have those precious Sharon/Rusty or Rusty/Provenza moments. We need those.