|Dirty Little Secrets|
|Episode:|| Five (Season)
|Air Date:||July 10, 2011|
|Written By:|| John Mankiewicz
Lois Johnson Clifton Crawford
|Directed By:||Timothy Busfield|
An 18 wheeler rumbles into a rest stop area. Air brakes scream as it parks in front of the restrooms and a big, macho trucker climbs down from the cab, wearing snakeskin boots, his beer gut spilling over his jeans. He races to the restroom. He looks like he really needs to relieve himself.
The trucker enters the restroom and quickly unbuckles his pants, enters an open stall, and slams it shut. While the trucker sits in relief, taking care of business, a man's foot from the next stall slowly slides over and touches the his boot. The trucker kicks the boot, but it won't move. He tells the guy in the next stall to move his foot, but gets no response. Enraged, he stands up, pulls up his pants, and pounds on the door stall next to his. The stall door opens to reveal a dead man, in his mid-30s, propped up on the closed toilet.
Detective Jim Longworth enters the crime scene, not pleased that he has to work on his day off, and moves past officers and forensic techs towards Carlos, who's standing over the dead body in the stall with an evidence bag. Carlos notes that he found a cell phone, driver's license, a watch, and a sobriety chip on the victim. Jim notices that the Florida license in the evidence bag is fake (it doesn't have a hologram) and jokes with Carlos that he'd better keep an eye out for fake licenses now that his daughter is getting older. Carlos, stressed, tells Jim not to get him started. His daughter Addy's Quinceanera is coming up and his wife, Marisol, has been driving him to the brink of financial ruin.
Jim notes there are no abandoned cars in the parking lot and that the victim doesn't look like the hitchhiking type, so he assumes that the victim was a passenger on a bus who made a pit stop there. Carlos concludes that blunt force trauma to the head is the cause of death and that the victim died there. Robbery definitely wasn't a motive because nothing was taken from the victim. Jim starts to question Carlos on why he's investigating a homicide in Delray on his day off. Carlos replies that they're backing up a colleague, Dr. Sophie Perez, a Medical Examiner in Delray Beach. The FDLE closed the Pompano substation, and Perez's office caught the overflow, which resulted in a few administrative bumps. Before Jim can respond, the gorgeous Sophie enters the crime scene and gives Carlos a kiss on the check. Jim clocks her beauty and notices her and Carlos's all-too-friendly interaction. Sophie sees this and says that Carlos must have told him that she was one of his former Forensic Pathology students. Jim playfully nods, again, trying to figure out if they were more than student and teacher.
Jeff Cargill, lugging a duffle bag and moving with a Federal Marshal, heads towards his mother's front door. Callie Gargill opens it, and excitedly greets Jeff, who just slips past her, avoiding her hug. Jeff heads into his room and starts putting the clothes in his duffle bag away. Callie appears in the doorway and, confused as to why Jeff is upset since he spent the weekend with his dad, asks him what's wrong. Jeff tells her that he can't see his father for another three months now because of Witness Protection, and blames her for it. Callie leaves him alone.
Colleen Manus and Jim walk down the hall towards the lab room looking over the police report. The victim, David Zale, 38, was a financial planner who was arrested in 2007 for embezzling from his clients. He got out of jail six months ago and his parole officer doesn't have an address for him. The two arrive at Daniel's desk, where he tells them that he was unable to find a current address for Zale and that he used his cell mostly to call one number, once in the morning and once at night. The calls lasted about a minute. Daniel tried calling the number himself put the phone just kept ringing and didn't go to voicemail. Manus tells Jim that they did find the bus Zale was on. He had a one-way ticket to Maggie Valley, North Carolina and his luggage is being overnight shipped back to the station. After Manus walks away, Jim examines the sobriety chip and tells Daniel he may have a way to get Zale's address after all.
Carlos and Sophie stand in the lab, examining Zale's lifeless body. Carlos reads the lab results as Sophie prepares for an autopsy. Carlos mentions that the victim's blood screen came back clean, no drugs or alcohol. Sophie asks Carlos how his girls are. Uncomfortable, Carlos tells her everyone is good and then changes the subject. Jim, holding the sobriety chip, walks in and notices the tension. He hands Carlos the sobriety chip and tells him that Zale only called one number, twice a day from his cell phone, which sounds like he was calling his sponsor. Jim clocks the look between Carlos and Sophie and asks Carlos if he invited Sophie to his daughter's Quinceanera. Carlos shoots a quick look at Jim, not pleased with his input, and then, put on the spot, invites Sophie, who's excited to come. Carlos and Jim leave the lab and head over to Zale's sponsor's center while Sophie preps the body.
Carlos and Jim arrive at the Church of Palm Glades where Jim asks if Carlos and Sophie were ever an item. Carlos swears that he was still married to Marisol when he was teaching Sophie and they were nothing more than friends. Carlos and Jim enter the church and are greeted by Dr. Sloan, who's surprised to hear of Zale's death. Sloan tells them that he was Zale's sponsor in sobriety as well as his employer. Sloan runs the rehab center Higher Roads, an upscale rehab center where Zale worked. He hired Zale as a peer counselor there. Sloan gives them Zale's former address, but says that on nights he worked late, he had a room at the rehab center. When questioned about his own whereabouts the previous night, Sloan says he was in bed since had had radio interviews starting at 5:00 the next morning. Sloan tells them the interviews were about Teddy Vargas, a former billionaire patient of his who overdosed on heroin.
Jeff sits on the couch at home playing video games. Callie, watching the screen, attempts to speak to him again, but Jeff gets up, throws the controller on the seat and starts to walk off. When Callie tries to stop him, he turns to her, asking why they can't live with Ray. She tells him that she's trying to build a better life for the two of them, which is why she's working two jobs and going to school. When Jeff questions what is so important that's keeping them there in Palm Glade, she tells him it's not that simple. He walks off.
At the lab, Carlos and Sophie examine Zale's head wound on the monitor. Sophie explains that if he died from blunt force trauma, his red cells would be degraded. She positions the lens over the back of Zale's neck to reveal a thin, three-centimeter puncture wound. It transected the cervical cord and cut off oxygen to the brain. Jim walks in as Sophie explains that the murder weapon was probably an ice pick or Phillips head screwdriver.
Jim walks in and examines the wound as Daniel approaches, files in hand. Daniel tells Jim that Zale had a class action lawsuit against him, so any income or money he earned went straight to his former clients. He also no longer lived at the address provided by Sloan. Between the lawsuit and court-ordered restitution, Zale was broke. Jim questions how Zale could have possibly afforded a place like Higher Roads.
Jim arrives at Higher Roads, a sprawling old Florida estate turned rehab center. Inside, Sloan swears he had no idea Zale no longer lived at the address he provided. Sloan leads Jim to the room Zale stayed in when he worked late. When the two enter, they notice the room had been cleared out in a hurry. Sloan leaves the room and Jim walks towards the curtains, where he spots what appears to be blood. Before he can react, he is blindsided by an angry, jacked up Conner Burris, a patient at Higher Roads and former tennis star and coach of the most successful pro tennis camp in the country. Burris lunges at the detective, calling him Zale, but Jim takes him down.
Two staff members stand over a still-agitated and confused Burris as Carlos and Sophie take blood samples from him. Jim tells Sloan that Burris, although in detox, clearly was on something when he attacked him and suggests that Burris may be Zale's killer. Sloan reassures Jim that there is no way Burris could have slipped out or used and Jim, sensing Sloan knows something more, asks for his blood sample. Although he says he is not the killer, Sloan finally agrees, and he and Sophie go to his private bathroom to get a sample.Carlos tells Jim that the blood sample looked like it was throw-off, probably from an altercation Zale had with someone. He'll rush the samples through and find out who that person may be. Carlos then fawns over how Sophie discovered pithing was the cause of Zale's death, calling it a once in a career catch.</p>
Jim sits across from a subdued Burris who apologizes for taking a swing at him. He says he believes Zale didn't have a problem and was faking an addiction to make it look like he had overcome something. Jim then tells Burris that while he likes to have a good time as much as the next guy, if he had pushed a 12-year-old female tennis prodigy to the brink of exhaustion on the tennis court, resulting in her death from a heart attack, he'd want to crawl inside of a bottle and not come out. Burris defends himself by saying that he didn't know Nina had a heart condition. Apparently the guilt over her death ate him up so much that he drove his Range Rover into a tree. He says he wanted to die. Jim says that that after three DUIs and two probation violations, Burris was able to get away with going to court-ordered rehab and received no criminal charges because he had a high priced attorney keeping him out of prison. Burris tells Jim that Andrew Waller is his attorney.As they walk through the station, Manus informs Jim that Andrew Waller represented a lot of people who ended up in Higher Roads instead of prison, including Teddy Vergas. Manus does emphasize that Waller isn't connected to Zale, so any questioning of Waller about their victim would be voluntary. Daniel approaches the two, carrying Zale's heavy luggage. Jim asks Daniel to look out for anything connecting Waller to Zale.</p>
In his office Carlos and Marisol go over the seating chart for Addy's party while Carlos is getting fitted for his tux. Sophie interrupts the two as they share a kiss, telling Carlos that she found a hair on the victim's shirt but that it wasn't his own. When Carlos says it could be the killer's, Sophie says she's going to run a blood grouping test to see if it matches the blood found on Zale's curtain.
In the evidence lab, Daniel stands over the suitcase, sorting out the contents of Zale's luggage. Digging through clothes and toiletries, he nearly gives up until Sophie, who is sitting nearby, tells him that sometimes high-end luggage has secret compartments for passports and valuables. Daniel feels around and unzips a hidden compartment up top to find Andrew Waller's business card with a meeting time on the back.
Jeff sits at Jim's kitchen table, doing his homework. Jim, who's on the phone with Manus, listens as she tells him that Zale and Waller were scheduled to meet and at one point Waller represented Zale in an extortion case. The meeting was scheduled for 8:30 the night Zale was murdered. And now, Waller has been missing for two days. He recently failed to show up to cases for three of his important clients. Plus after a long fight with the county over building a beachfront home, he finally got approval, yet missed the groundbreaking. Jim looks down at the kitchen table and notices the paper with the headline reading "Waller Seaside Home Approved By City Planners." Jim ends the call and tells Jeff, who's chowing down on pizza, that he has to run a quick errand. Jeff thanks Jim for letting him hang at his house as he deals with his mom.As Jim leaves the house, he gets a call from Callie and he asks her if she could meet him somewhere.</p>
Jim walks around with his nine iron, idly swiping at tall grass at the oceanfront construction site for Waller's new place. Callie approaches as Jim stops, moves on to another area of weeds, and swipes at it with the club. Jim tells Callie that she needs to have a talk with Jeff about her future with his father so he knows why she decided not to go along with him into Witness Protection. Jim continues to swipe over the dirt until he spots an area of loose ground. Jim scrapes the dirt and sand until he clears off enough to reveal Waller's dead body.
Carlos and Sophie examine Waller's body as Jim and Callie look on. Callie tells Jim that she's going to talk to Ray about how he wants to break the news to Jeff that they will be divorcing. Jim looks pleased. He walks toward Carlos and Sophie, asking them if Callie can observe, since it's her first double homicide. Then he suggest that Carlos and Callie take the body back to the lab, while Sophie joins him in getting "cozy" with some suspects.
Jim and Sophie walk into the Church of Palm Glade. Jim asks Sophie if she's taking a date to the party and she says no. She was dating someone but it ended badly.
Inside the church, Jim tells Sloan that he'll need a hair sample from him since they found a hair on Zale. But Sloan tells him that he has to comply with the rules and procedures his lawyer gave him, and refuses to provide a sample. Jim says his lawyer couldn't possibly be Andrew Waller, since he's dead. He explains that there's now a bigger connection between two of Sloan's patients (Zale and Burris) and Andrew Waller and that two of the three are dead. And the patients were referred to Sloan by Waller. Sloan calls that an unfortunate coincidence and maintains that he has nothing to do with the murders. Jim asks for a complete list of Sloan's clients and their medical and psychological evaluations to clear things up. When Sloan refuses, saying that is privileged information, Jim counters that court-appointed rehabilitation is a matter of public record so that he's going to help himself to the information.
Jim and Sophie arrive at the ME's office, where Daniel tells them that Waller was prepped and ready for her to perform an autopsy on. She leaves and Daniel tells Jim that Zale, who was supposedly broke, was able to afford the most expensive cigar in the world at $750 each, which he would purchase three times a week. Jim determines that Zale was hiding money. Daniel also mentions that Waller had $5 million in an offshore account in Bermuda. Jim is guessing since David Zale had access to rich addicts with dirty little secrets, so he's thinking he must have been blackmailing someone. So now the question is, was Sloan in on it or was he being blackmailed himself?
Carlos lies awake in his bed, staring at the ceiling. Marisol lies next to him, sound asleep. He gets out of bed and heads downstairs, case file in hand. Carlos studies the file over a glass of milk. He flips through the photos and stops at a close up of the wound in Waller's head. He squints, noticing something, and calls Sophie.
In the autopsy room, Carlos and Sophie stand over Waller's remains, extracting a hair from inside the puncture wound in Waller's neck. Sophie profusely apologizes to an angry Carlos, and says she doesn't know how she let it get past her. He reminds her that it's mistakes like the one she made that lets killers go free.
She tells him that not having a family to go home to every night is what's making her become less careful and observant at work Carlos, realizing her guilt, apologizes for leading her on in the past, but reminds her that this could have cost them the case. He adds that if the hair on Zale matches the hair found in Waller's wound, that it means the victims were murdered by the same person. To cover up Sophie's oversight, Carlos will tell everyone that Sophie called him up in the middle of the night to tell him what she found.
Back at the ME's office, Daniel fills in Jim on what he discovered about Zale and Waller. While he couldn't find any evidence of blackmail by either Zale or Sloan, he did learn that once a week Waller flew to Bermuda, played 18 holes of golf and then flew back, each time declaring $9,999, one dollar under the legal limit. But he couldn't track who was making deposits into the account. Jim speculates that was how Zale was being paid for his end of the blackmailing scheme. He was targeting Sloan's patients.
Back in his office, Jim asks Carlos about Teddy's Vargas's death. According to his file, it was an overdose, but there was no autopsy report included, so they can't determine if it was an accidental overdose or an intentional suicide. Carlos realizes that the case was handled out of Sophie's old office and calls her to track down the autopsy.
Sophie sits under a palm tree on the beach, looking out into the water. Carlos, finally able to track her down, takes a seat next to her and she tells him that she never did the autopsy report for Teddy Vargas. Her office was swamped and accidental deaths and overdoses just weren't a priority. She didn't tell Carlos about because she thought she had "disappointed him enough for one investigation." Carlos understands that they're all overworked. Sophie tells Carlos she just doesn't seem to care about anything anymore but apologizes for not having done the autopsy. Carlos tells Sophie about the number of accidental deaths pilled up on his desk. He understands how overworked they both are. He says he'll take care of it.
Carlos and Jim walk down the hall examining the ME report and evidence collected on Teddy Vargas. Carlos determined that the death wasn't accidental at all, it was an intentional suicide. Daniel joins them and pops in a USB card that was sent over with Vargas' file. They watch Vargas bare his soul to Sloan, admitting that he made his billions off an idea from a friend who committed suicide. He cries that he doesn't deserve the money or to live. Jim says that whoever was blackmailing Vargas sent him the USB to remind him of what was at stake if he didn't pay up. And Sloan might have been in on it. Carlos says they don't yet know whether the hair they found matches any of the blood samples from Conner or Sloan because whoever it was dyed their hair so the first test was inconclusive. Jim then asks Daniel to have Manus execute a warrant for Higher Roads to see if Burris has a USB stick and was being blackmailed.
Jim grabs Carlos and heads to Higher Roads. It's not every day two of Jim's prime suspects are under the same roof.
At the entrance to Higher Roads, medics rush out with a bleeding Burris, who has attempted suicide by slitting his wrists. He was found just in time. Jim questions whether he tried to kill himself because of the guilt of being partially responsible for the death of the girl at his tennis camp, or because he killed his blackmailers.
Inside, Jim pokes around Sloan's office trying to find the hidden camera. Sloan says it's not a priority for him to figure out what was behind Burris's suicide attempt and that clearly it was a cry for help. Jim says he found out Sloan's secret. Carlos shows Sloan the footage off of the USB drive. In the footage, Sloan is seen telling Burris that he needs to admit he's responsible for the young tennis star's death and Burris admitting that he did, in fact, know about her heart condition.
Sloan says he didn't use a video recorder to tape his sessions, only an audio recorder. Then Jim removes a painting from a wall to reveal a circular outline underneath it. Sloan used to have a clock there (which contained the hidden camera), but it was replaced by a painting. Carlos tells Sloan that Sophie confirmed that the hairs found on Waller and Zale matched his DNA. Jim heads to the bathroom and opens the medicine cabinet and finds a USB drive in a prescription bottle. Sloan admits that he discovered the recorder and knew he was being blackmailed by Zale, but wasn't involved in the killings. He maintains that he's being set up. Jim says if he is, someone is doing a really good job. Two police officers cuff and drag Sloan off.
Jim says after his conviction, Zale was banned from the FTC for life and reinvented himself, pretending to be an addict so that he could blackmail the patients of Higher Roads. Then he kept everything of value in an offshore account because anything of value could be confiscated by the court-ordered restitution or the class-action lawsuit.
Jim and Jeff stand in front of a hallway mirror, getting ready for Addy's party. Jim ties Jeff's tie and tells him to lose the attitude towards his mother. Jeff, realizing he has been unfair to his mother who works day and night to provide for him, agrees. Sam comes in, all dressed up, and heads over to the two. She asks Jeff if she could tame his cowlick. When he agrees, she plucks some hair off of her brush and hands it to Jim to dispose of. Jim, whose mind is racing, tells them that he has something to do and asks to meet them at the party.Jim, at the lab, watches Sophie come in, dressed to the nines. She spreads her tool satchel out on an autopsy table. Jim picks up a heavy stainless steel needle used to stitch bodies and puts it into an evidence bag. Sophie looks confused. Jim tells her that he knows she killed Zale and Andrew Waller, who she killed in a fit of passion. He flips on the computer monitor and puts in the USB stick he found in Sloan's bathroom. In the recording, Sloan tells Waller that he had no idea that he was manipulating medical records. Waller responds by saying he has his girl in the Medical Examiner's office in his hip pocket. He says "She thinks I'm in love with her. She'll keep her mouth shut and she'll do anything that I tell her to do."</p>
Jim says that Waller was the relationship that ended badly for Sophie.
Sophie, realizing there's no way out, starts to crack and admits that she helped Waller because she was in love with him. She changed an autopsy report for Waller to help keep one of his clients out of jail. Then he asked her repeatedly to change reports. Waller says that if she didn't give him $10,000 to help him escape, he would expose her for what she had been doing. So she met him and killed him in a fit of passion. Then she had to kill Zale since he knew about their affair and scam. She claims she didn't want to kill Waller, and that she loved him. But he was using her and leading her on. Jim watches as Sophie is taken away by police officers.
Jim walks into the party alone. He sees Manus, who is in shock over Sophie's involvement in the murder. Jim doesn't want to ruin Carlos's night, so he tells Manus he'll fill Carlos in on everything tomorrow.
Then Sam, on the dance floor, calls his name and before he can join her, Callie, looking stunning, approaches him. She thanks Jim for talking to Jeff. Jeff joins them,and says his mother wants to dance before they have to leave. Jim, thinking that Jeff meant his mom wanted to dance with him, looks for a place to put his drink, but then Jeff hands him his backpack to hold as he leads his mother onto the dance floor.
Carlos approaches Jim, asking him where Sophie is. Jim tells Carlos to forget about Sophie and to go dance with his daughter. Carlos admires his daughter and goes off to dance with her.
Jim, holding Jeff's backpack, stands alone on the side, watching the happy couples and family members dance.