|Air Date:||September 5, 2010|
|Written By:||Lois Johnson|
|Directed By:||Colin Bucksey|
|Previous Episode:||Marriage is Murder|
|Next Episode:||Second Chance|
A sudden crash interrupts a large crowd of people having a good time at Blues Rock Casino. Glass shatters and rains down as a woman's body smashes on top of the roulette table as guests point up at the ceiling.
Josie Tigertail, a young, beautiful Native American in a Tribal Police uniform, waits at the Employee Entrance of the Blues Rock Casino as Jim Longworth arrives. Longworth asks Josie if she's the first officer on scene and she tells him she's an Investigating Officer and introduces herself. Longworth comments that "Tigertail" is an uncommon name and Josie explains that she's a Seminole Indian and welcomes him to the reservation. She tells him the victim is Sally Bird, a casino executive and Vice President of Operations. She was also an important tribal elder. She fell from the twelfth floor of the hotel overlooking the casino skylight.
Josie tells Longworth that she wanted the FDLE involved because Tribal Police don't have good forensic resources, but she makes it clear that this is still her investigation and she doesn't want a partner. As they enter the casino floor, Josie warns Longworth that distressed casino workers moved the body, but reassures him that there is plenty of surveillance footage. Sanchez is standing next to Sally's body, clearly frustrated that the body had been moved. Longworth quickly notes that Sally has just moved. He picks up her hand, smudged with red nail polish and puts two fingers on her wrist. He says she still has a pulse though her breathing is weak. He looks at Sanchez, who has no idea what's going on, and tells Josie to watch out, wheeling Sally out past her to the hospital.Longworth and Sanchez arrive at the emergency entrance and Callie runs out of the hospital to help. Sanchez pulls the sheet back to reveal a dead woman and concludes the time of death as 11:07, telling Longworth not to make him lie for him like that again. Callie is confused and asked if they knew the woman was dead. Sanchez remarks that if he'd called the time of death at the casino on tribal land, Tribal Police would be in charge of the case instead of Longworth.</p>Sanchez finds a printed letter in the victim's pocket and places it in an evidence bag which Longworth takes and leaves with. Sanchez tells Callie that the autopsy is the most important part of the case and when she seems interested, he invites her to watch later on. Suddenly, an angry Josie is standing over him and Sanchez makes a run for it, concealing Sally's body and disappearing behind the van. Josie storms towards the emergency entrance and tells Callie she's looking for Detective Longworth, telling her that this pain in the ass messed with her body and wants to know where he went.</p>
Meanwhile, as Longworth drives to the reservation, flashing lights come up behind him. Josie approaches, telling him that he didn't signal when changing lanes and asks for his license and registration. Longworth opens the glove compartment; Josie sees something and tells him to step out of the vehicle. Longworth shows her his badge and tells her he's on duty, but she reminds him that he's not authorized on the reservation and cannot do anything without having Tribal Police with him. She also warns him that for the duration of the investigation, he has to keep her in the loop. She playfully removes his keys from his ignition and throws them in a lake by the side of the road.As Longworth and Josie walk toward the crime scene Longworth takes in three empty shadowboxes (with glass shattered in two of them) hanging from wires. Longworth asks Josie what happened and she explains that in the chaos after the body fell, some pieces were stolen off the wall. She tells him that Blues Rock has the most valuable collection of music memorabilia in the world. Longworth asks to see the surveillance video and a list of everything that was taken.</p>
As they stop at the yellow tape, a Tribal Police officer detains a woman, Angie Sweet. She's a bad-ass rocker clutching an acoustic guitar who tells the officer that the guitar belongs to her, explaining she's in the house band, Blue Rock Boogie. They are joined by Michael Richmond, keyboard player, who shows the officer the label inside her guitar, telling them it's not even vintage, made in 2008 and that Angie's name is on the strap. The officer finally lets her go.
Josie and Longworth stare at the bloodstained roulette table where Sally's body hit. Josie comments that someone must have been pretty angry with Sally to do this and that people were upset when she pushed the Tribal Council to buy the casino. Sally was on the committee that verified tribal membership and enforced the rules for who got in, as determined by the Tribal Constitution.
Longworth shows her a suicide note in the evidence bag and asks if Sally had a hotel suite in the penthouse. Josie says that all the casino executives had their own. She adds that she can't believe Sally jumped, to which Longworth replies, "She didn't."
Longworth and Josie are gloved-up, leaning over Sally's computer back in her hotel room where the suicide note has been left on screen. Longworth nods at the number lock key on Sally's keyboard: the light is on. Josie comments that Sally always seemed so strong and together and Longworth replies that her manicure was a mess with smudged nail polish on both hands as if she had just put it on. The polish bottle is on the coffee table and appears loose. Josie suggests Sally must have opened the door to let someone in. Longworth tells her that there are two things you don't do if you are about to commit suicide: get gussied up and let people into your room. Josie understands and concludes the suicide note was fake.
Longworth asks what Sally was watching while she did her nails, nodding at a small stack of DVDs next to the TV. Josie checks the labels, which read poker, blackjack, and craps. Longworth hits play and surveillance footage comes up of a blackjack table from an overhead camera as a bearded man with a large nose wins. Longworth comments that the man is winning, but Josie tells him that he's cheating; casinos don't keep surveillance on honest players. Longworth tells her to get the DVDs to Daniel in the lab. Suddenly, the bedroom door opens and a man walks in telling them that he saw the suicide note on Sally's computer and can't believe she killed herself. Longworth tells him she didn't and Josie asks what he's doing in the room. The man is Peter Lang, Vice President of Acquisitions for the Blues Rock and tells Longworth that he curates all the memorabilia for the casino.
Peter explains to Longworth that every tribal member gets a dividend, close to $7,000 and Sally was responsible for this payment. He describes Sally as tough, but fair and only had the best interest of the tribe in her heart, even if it meant alienating her own flesh and blood. Josie interjects that he's referring to Billy, Sally's son, a troublemaker Sally had to ban from the casino. Peter tells Longworth that things had gotten worse between Sally and Billy and he could see how that would have made Sally want to kill herself.
Back at the lab, Sanchez tells Longworth the cause of death is definitely not suicide. Sally's body is under a sheet and Sanchez goes over his findings as Josie stands off to the side, a little sick. He explains that the bruising on Sally's face is consistent with blunt force trauma from an irregular object like a fist. Longworth suggests these are defensive wounds but Sanchez says no, that Sally grabbed onto something before she fell and that he found inorganic evidence under her fingernails that is definitely not skin which he's having tested. Longworth picks up the sheet for a better look and Josie gags. Sanchez hands Josie a garbage can and Longworth tells her to toughen up, as the animosity between them grows.
Longworth bumps into Callie at the station and asks her if she wants to grab dinner. She says she can't, as Carlos has offered her a chance to stop by to watch an autopsy. As she heads off and Longworth calls after her, struggling to find the right words. Callie tells him that she doesn't want to keep doing this, she's married and can't handle this right now. She tells him she just wants to be friends. Longworth gives her his best "just friends" smile and leaves. Callie is relieved and slightly disappointed.
Longworth enters the station, miffed to see Josie deep in conversation with Sanchez, who tells Longworth that they have been watching the DVDs Josie took from Sally's hotel room. They appear to have captured three different con men working scams. Longworth and Josie lean in for a closer look at the surveillance footage on the computer. Longworth tells Josie it is one man wearing different disguises and that the inorganic material under the victim's fingernails could be from a wig or prosthetic disguise. Josie recognizes the man on the screen and is not surprised but slightly annoyed by who it is: Sally Bird's son, Billy.
At a local tourist attraction, Longworth and some tourists applaud as Billy Bird and his alligator take bows after a show while Josie rolls her eyes, unimpressed. After the show, Billy, a Seminole man, approaches them as they take out their badges. Longworth and Josie argue about who is in charge of the investigation and Longworth tells Billy he has a search warrant for his house and place of business and that he is wanted for questioning in the murder of his mother, Sally Bird.
Longworth watches Josie question Billy, who acts surprised that his mother's death was not a suicide. Josie tells Billy that the grieving son act isn't his best routine and chastises him for putting himself on display for tourists. Billy tells her that he's proud of his heritage and reminds her that his mother is a disgrace for taking money from poor people who really can't afford to gamble. Josie counters that Sally had footage of him gambling at the casino wearing a disguise to hide his identity from security. She continues that she checked his phone records and knows that while he had not called Sally in months she called him two nights ago and they talked for twenty-five minutes. Billy insists they were catching up and Josie tells him that by cheating the casino he was also taking money from the tribe. Longworth adds that they believe Sally threatened to call the cops if Billy didn't pay the money back. Josie tells Billy that Sally didn't want to turn him in and that's why she didn't tell anyone about his scams. She accuses him of killing her, and arrests him for casino fraud until they can build a case for murder.
Josie tells Longworth that she's executing a search warrant of Billy's residence for the disguises and Sanchez tells the two that techs processed Sally's computer and they did not find a trace or DNA evidence of Billy but they did find a fingerprint on the keyboard from Peter Lang. Longworth adds in, "on the number lock key" as only a number-cruncher like Peter would turn on the number lock key, plus Peter said he had seen the suicide note. Josie suggests that maybe Peter wrote it and Sanchez adds that a file was deleted from Sally's computer after she fell on the roulette table, though that doesn't mean it's actually gone. Sanchez hands Longworth a memo.
At Peter Lang's house, Peter holds the memo, explaining it's from Sally asking him to have some of the casino's memorabilia re-appraised. Longworth asks if she thought some of the pieces were inaccurately valued and Peter confesses that he erased the document to protect Sally who was scamming the casino, lying about the value of some items of memorabilia. Peter continues that Sally would find a private collector to buy the undervalued items for their true price, pay the casino the lower value and pocket the difference for herself. Josie insists he's lying and that Sally would never hurt the tribe, accusing Peter of only pretending to protect her because it makes him look less guilty. Peter asks for a lawyer and Longworth says he'll need a list of the items that were looted from the casino.
Longworth heads for the station entrance when he spots Jeff, who is meeting his mom to drive him home after the autopsy. Josie catches up to Longworth, telling him he's a pain in the ass and apologizes after she sees Jeff. Longworth introduces him as his good friend and they chat about Jeff's knowledge of Seminole Indians. Jeff's cell rings and he runs off to meet his mom.
Back at the station, Josie and waves the evidence reports in front of Longworth. Longworth tells her the reports were inconclusive and she replies that the disguises in Billy's house were made of latex and nylon, the same organic material Sanchez found under Sally's fingernails. Longworth corrects her that it's similar, but not the same, but still Josie thinks Billy did it, given that there was bad blood between him and Sally for years. Longworth watches the surveillance video, tells Josie it's the tape from after Sally hit the table just as the looting begins. On the screen a looter smashes in the glass on a shadowbox and yanks a leather jacket from the wires while another pulls a tambourine from its wires. Josie points to a machine in front of a wall which has a drape around it. A third looter dashes out from behind the draped machine and runs off-camera. Longworth tells Josie they are going back to the casino to find out what this has to do with Sally's murder.
At the casino, Longworth approaches the house band and asks Michael about Sally's death. Michael tells him the band was on a break, so he didn't see who took the memorabilia. Longworth says that something else was taken and Michael remarks that it was Honey, the guitar of Stovepipe Richmond, an old blues musician. Longworth asks if he was a fan and Michael tells him that he's Stovepipe's grandson. Josie asks if he took the guitar, but Michael retorts that when Honey was on the walls, at least people knew who Stovepipe was. Michael continues that the Seminoles are a bunch of drunken injuns, collecting casino checks like welfare while everyone else works for a living.
Josie stands in front of a smashed display case remarking that Sally probably had to deal with people like that all the time. Changing the subject, she notes that none of the cases were hooked up to an alarm system since the casino figured no one would be bold enough to steal them and that whoever took Honey knew the machine would block the cameras and that a commotion would divert attention away from the theft. Longworth says that Sally's murder was the diversion for stealing Honey.That night, Longworth lounges at home bobbing his head along to some music. Callie comes in with a stack of blues CDs as Josie comes around the corner, surprised to see her. Callie explains that she thought she'd stop by with some old Stovepipe CDs and they both look at Longworth, bobbing his head to the music, oblivious. Longworth opens his eyes, sees Callie. Josie asks Callie what she's doing. Callie says she's leaving and heads out. Longworth follows her, explaining that he and Josie were just going over the case and Callie counters that he should get to it then and leaves.</p>
Longworth asks Josie if she told Callie they were just going over the case and Josie wonders if there is some reason why she would care. Longworth doesn't respond and Josie changes the subject, telling him the leather jacket and tambourine showed up on eBay and at a local pawn shop but neither has ties to Peter, Billy or Sally. Honey is still missing, though compared to the others it isn't worth as much.
Gregory "Stovepipe" Richmond, an 80 year-old African-American man, sits on the porch resting a guitar on his knee and his foot on an old battered guitar case next to Longworth. His friend, "Little Tiny" Smalls, comes out with a glass of water and a handful of pills for Stovepipe. Stovepipe explains that Sally wasn't a friend of his and while she had his guitar up in the hotel she wouldn't even allow him a complimentary room because while he's part Seminole Sally "wasn't 'bout to let no 'blues man' into her tribe." Little Tiny tells Longworth that Honey was the sweetest guitar anyone would ever want to hear and Stovepipe adds that his father always said that guitar was who he was. Blues Rock bought Honey from Stovepipe's record company years after the record company took Honey away from him, telling him he owed them an advance on his royalties. He says that if Longworth wants Honey's full provenance (a document that collectors use to verify history and ownership) he should talk to Peter Lang. Longworth asks why Peter has the provenance for Honey and Stovepipe says he doesn't know but Peter had asked him to sign some papers talking about Honey's pedigree and paid him $500 for it.
As Callie and Jeff work on homework, he asks her if they can have Longworth and his "new girlfriend," meaning Josie, over for dinner. Callie tells her son she'll think about it and he returns to his work while she sits, unable to concentrate.
At the station, Josie walks beside Longworth with the casino's memorabilia files inquiring if he'd like to see Gregory Stovepipe. Longworth tells her he already did, and says finds it odd that he doesn't live on the reservation even though he says he's Seminole. Josie explains the Seminole requirements to Longworth: a current tribe member has to sponsor you, you have to be directly related to a Seminole listed on the 1957 tribal role and you have to have the birth certificate to prove that one of your grandparents was a full-blooded Seminole.
Longworth comments that it sounds like a lot of work and Josie says that it's worth the money, close to seven thousand a month for each family member. Longworth remarks that with that kind of money, Gregory could have bought Honey back from the Blues Rock but Josie counters that she went through the casino's files and Honey's true worth is actually 1.2 million dollars. Josie explains that she's checked everywhere and Honey has still not turned up, but Longworth tells her he knows where she is.
Peter Lang backs his car out of the driveway, but Longworth and Josie block him in. Longworth looks in the back windows and sees a blanket covering something in the back seat. He reaches under the blanket and pulls out a black guitar case with Honey inside.
Josie watches Sanchez photograph and process Honey, as Longworth studies the less glamorous guitar case. Sanchez tells Longworth that there were several short and thin threads in the case and Longworth suggests this the inorganic material found under Sally's nails. Sanchez agrees, telling them that the materials were identical to each other.
Back in the interrogation room, Longworth stands back and lets Josie press Peter. Peter tells them he is obviously being framed and explains that the real killer left Honey on his doorstep suggesting that they must have gotten scared when they realized that they couldn't sell it. When he insists he didn't do anything wrong Longworth tells him he deleted the e-mail because he told Sally that Honey was worth $4,300 when he knew it was really worth $1.2 million. Josie continues that Peter couldn't just walk out of the casino with a guitar, even if no one noticed, the camera would see him but it wasn't hard for him to figure out that the scissor life would block the camera. She suggests Sally was on to him and that if Honey went missing, Sally would know it was him, so he had to get her out of the way.
Josie paints the picture: Peter went up to Sally's room, beat her up and threw her off her balcony. Longworth adds that Sally crashing into the roulette table was the perfect distraction for stealing the guitar. Josie continues that he couldn't steal the guitar and kill Sally at the same time and demands to know who helped him. Peter says that while he had some of the memorabilia appraised for less than it was worth, he did not kill Sally or steal Honey.
Longworth walks with Josie through the station. Josie believes they've got the real killer while Longworth is pensive and tells her he is not arresting Peter.
Back in the lab, techs carry in boxes of evidence in from Peter's office. Longworth stops at a tech pushing a cart with a stack of posters from the casino which are bound with a flat black packing band. Sanchez tells him that the black band around the posters is sometimes manufactured out of nylon. Longworth comments he likes the poster and pulls one out of the stack. The poster features a photo of the band Blues Rock Boogie, including Michael and Angie decked out in 80's wigs and clothes. Longworth asks if the search warrant covers the casino or just Peter's office and Sanchez tells him it only covers the office. Longworth says he's getting a warrant to search the casino and to have Josie meet him there.
Lights, instruments and cases of equipment are stacked and waiting to be set up for tonight's gig as Tribal Police stand guard over Michael and Angie. Angie has a guitar case with her and Josie stands next to a clothes rack with costumes holding a big hair wig. Longworth approaches and Josie suggests the nylon fibers from the guitar case and from under Sally's nails could have come from the wig she's holding. Longworth asks if it belongs to Michael or Angie and Josie tells them it's Michael's but Angie has one too. Longworth concludes the two band members were in on it together.
Longworth and Josie approach Michael and Angie. Longworth goes to Angie and opens her guitar case; her old acoustic guitar is inside but he notices the case looks new and the UPC sticker is still on it. She tells him she must have forgotten to take the sticker off. He responds, "Like the day you forgot to bring the case to work?" He tells her it seemed odd for a professional musician to be carrying around the instrument without a case.
Josie asks Angie what happened to her old guitar case and when she doesn't respond, Longworth says she used it to steal Honey from the casino, then left it on Peter Lang's doorstep. He tells her once she realized they were investigating stolen items as part of the murder, she knew she wouldn't get away with it and wanted to return Honey, but couldn't risk bringing it back into the casino. Josie adds in that it didn't hurt that it also made Peter look guilty.
Michael insists he has an alibi and Josie corrects him: an accomplice. The rest of the band says he and Angie were together during their break and they searched his apartment and found the suicide note forged for Sally on his computer, created two days before she was killed. Angie is surprised and questions Michael, saying he told her it was an accident.
Angie is clearly angry and asks Michael what he dragged her into, that no one was supposed to get hurt and that he'd said he didn't mean to kill Sally. Angie continues that Michael was just supposed to create a diversion using pyrotechnics so that they could steal the guitar and she didn't find out until later that the commotion in the casino was because Sally was dead. Angie tells Longworth that while she took Honey, she only did it because Stovepipe never got the recognition or the respect he deserved and that they simply wanted to give him his guitar back before he died of cancer. She adds she had no idea Michael was going to kill Sally.
Michael knows he's caught and tells them Sally Bird deserved to die because she took everything from his grandfather: his guitar, his identity and his tribal membership, all because she said he didn't have authentic Seminole papers. Longworth turns to Josie and she nods at the officer to cuff Michael and Angie.
Longworth, Josie, and Little Tiny are on Stovepipe's porch, watching him as he sees his guitar for the first time in many years. Longworth hands Stovepipe a document, yellowing and fragile, which was hidden behind the guitar's sound hole label, and guesses his father put it there for safekeeping, figuring the guitar was the one thing he'd always have. The paper turns out to be an authentic birth certificate for Daryl Bobbie, Stovepipe's grandfather: a full-blooded Seminole with his name in the tribal roll. Longworth explains to Stovepipe that he now meets the Seminole requirements and Josie has agreed to sponsor him to get in. He adds that unfortunately Honey still belongs to the Blues Rock, but that Stovepipe can take all the time he needs with her.
Longworth thanks Josie for sponsoring Stovepipe and she tells him she wants a recommendation for a FDLE-hosted nine-week training academy which will allow her to leave the Tribal Police and come back as chief some day. Longworth tells her to come by later for the recommendation.
Back at his house, Longworth drinks a beer and listens to music to pass the time when Callie enters, telling Longworth Jeff wants to invite him and his new girlfriend Josie over for dinner. Callie thinks it's a terrible idea: having them over for dinner and Longworth having Josie as a girlfriend. Longworth is confused, thinking Callie only wanted to be friends, but before he can react, Callie kisses him passionately on the lips. They continue to kiss until Callie pushes him away, telling him that's what she really wants, before walking out the way she came.