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New evidence shows that the drowning of a woman in a swimming pool in her ex-husband's house wasn't accidental. Suspicion soon falls on her family as the detectives learn about the twisted relationship she had with her ex-husband and grown children, as the family's dirty secrets start to come out. Meanwhile, as Vera's relationship with Toni continues, he starts to bond with her son Andre.


January 14, 1996. The Williams family is celebrating Matt’s 13th birthday. His mother Virginia (aka Ginny), uncle Tad, grandfather Stan, and his grandfather’s young fiancée, Diane, are all gathered in the living room while Matt is turning the pages of a photo album he’s been gifted with. Suddenly, the doorbell rings – it’s Lauren Williams, Matt’s grandmother and Stan's ex-wife. Everybody is surprised and disappointed to see her. While she introduces herself to Diane, the lights go off. The snowstorm outside has caused an electricity blackout. Lauren is scared of the darkness. In the next scene, she is found dead, floating in the swimming pool, the lights still off. The case is classified as an "accidental death by drowning."

Present Rush and Valens walk into the pool area of the home. The new owner of the house, Paul Heller, has found a red nail and some scratches under the diving board. Valens looks under the diving board to confirm. The picture in Lauren's file shows her hand missing a red painted nail. Elsewhere, Vera walks upstairs and greets Andre. Toni hands him a sock she had found in her bedsheets. They flirt and confirm plans for a date later that day. The team discusses the case at the station. Lauren's blood alcohol level was .24.

Valens and Jeffries question the ex-husband, Stan. He says Ginny had invited her mother to the party to be cordial. He admitted to wanting to kill his ex but had no part in her actual death.

Flashback Diane comes in with candles to get them through the blackout. Lauren makes more snarky remarks at her. She has researched the young lady and reveals the three children Diane left behind. This is all new information to Stan. Tad and Ginny look on, all too familiar with their mother's antics. Diane tells Lauren she will pay for this and leaves the room.

Present Stan says Lauren had done him a favor with this revelation. Diane didn't take it very well. Rush and Vera question her. In retrospect, the blackout was a blessing.

Flashback Diane is looking through a photo album. Tad walks into the room. Diane admires an old picture of Lauren. He says his father was probably fooling around on his mother their whole marriage. Lauren bursts into the room and corrects Tad; it was about the time he was born, in fact. Tad and Lauren bicker, to the amusement of Diane. Tad rips a picture of Lauren out of the album and throws it in the fire, wishing it was really her.

Present Diane says she went upstairs and waited for Stan to break up with her, which he did. Valens and Miller talk to Tad in his photo room. He says whoever killed his mother deserves a medal. He had inherited $3 million upon Lauren's death, but gave it all away.

Flashback Lauren belittles the dinner choice for the evening, as well as Matt's education choice. She holds the fact that she financially helps Ginny since her divorce over her head. They argue and Ginny leaves the room, despite her mother's threats. Tad applauds.

Present Tad was never more proud of his sister than in that moment. The focus turns to Ginny. Rush and Jeffries talk to her and Matt. Matt does not speak highly of his grandmother at all. He excuses himself out of the room. Ginny says only one thing scared Lauren...the dark. She claims to have been asleep when her mother died.

Flashback Ginny, Stan and Tad are sitting in front of the fire. Tad praises her. Lauren walks in, asking where Matt is. It's three against one, another bitter battle amongst the family. Lauren accuses Stan of being a pedophile due to his relationship with Diane.

Present Lilly asks if there's any truth to Lauren's accusations. Ginny denies it. Nick talks with Andre on the basketball court. He tries to connect with him, talking about girl trouble. He gives Andre advice.

Stillman and Rush re-question Stan. They mention Lauren's accusations that he was a pervert. Stan says it's only because she was mad that he cheated on her. That night, Lauren trained her sights on Matt.

Flashback Lauren is in Matt's room, giving him his gift, a camera. She tells him she needs to talk to him about his life's options. Lauren is hoping for her grandson to move in with her. Stan listens in. Lauren invites Matt for a swim and catches Stan looking in.

Present That was the last time Stan saw her alive. Jeffries questions Matt. He failed to mention swimming with his grandmother. Matt says she tried to destroy him that night.

Flashback Lauren and Matt are in the pool together. Lauren insists he not call her Grandma, but call her "Lauren". She asks about Matt's love life, saying he needs some experience with someone he can trust. She's trying to seduce Matt. Tad walks in and orders Matt out of the water.

Present Matt's not totally sure what his grandmother was attempting, but Tad rescued him. Miller and Valens question Tad about his mother's pedophiliac ways. He denies killing her. For all of his years of abuse at the hands of his mother, Tad didn't just hate her, he loved her as well. Makes life gray, which is why he photographs in black and white.

Flashback Tad finally confronts his mother about abusing him. Lauren accuses Tad of being jealous. She looks for reassurance on her beauty, even in her son's desperate, hurtful face. Tad tells her she's ugly on the inside and she continues to mentally abuse him. The lights turn on and Tad leaves.

Present Tad walked away swearing he'd never see her again. He didn't know those words would ring true. Valens confirms the lights came on. But Lauren was found with the lights off. They remember only one person knows about Lauren's fear of the dark. Rush confronts Ginny with this fact. She admits to knowing what her mother had been doing to her brother all those years, and felt guilty for not protecting Tad. Ginny wasn't about to let it happen to her son as well.

Flashback Ginny walks in to find her mother drinking in a lounge chair by the pool. She turns off the lights. They discuss their earlier fight. Ginny is disgusted at her mother's actions and warns her to stay away from Matt. Lauren is unapologetic, mocking Ginny for being "plain" and scared that her mother will steal the men in her life. Ginny angrily pushes her mother into the pool. She tells her mother to give her her hand to help her out. Lauren slaps it away and gloats that she still has power over Matt. Ginny then holds her under the water, crying, "I hate you".

Present Ginny writes out her confession in tears. Stan sits solemnly at home. Stillman arrests Ginny and walks her out, where Matt and Tad embrace her. Scotty takes the closed box to the file room. Nick plays basketball with Andre and Toni. Tad processes a photo of his mother. Lilly speaks to Paul about the case and sees Lauren's ghost mournfully staring into the pool. She turns off the lights and leaves. Lauren's reflection in the pool lingers after her visage fades.


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  • This episode has numerous errors such as the following:
    • When the image of Lauren Williams, played by Donna Mills, disappears when the lights are turned off by Rush, her reflection does not disappear from the surface of the pool. This could be intentional.
    • Her position in the pool was on the other side, but after Lilly looks at her, her position has been changed and suddenly she appears beside her.
    • January 11, 1996 is the date that the crime in the episode took place, as written on Lauren's death certificate; however, the opening date is January 14, 1996.
  • This episode is loosely based on the 2003 murder of Florence Unger.


  • The Wallflowers "One Headlight"
  • Collective Soul "The World I Know"
  • R.E.M. "Bang And Blame"
  • Collective Soul "December"
  • Dave Matthews Band "Typical Situation"
  • Closing Song: Goo Goo Dolls "Name"
Season 4 Episodes
Rampage | The War at Home | Sandhogs | Baby Blues | Saving Sammy | Static | The Key | Fireflies | Lonely Hearts | Forever Blue | The Red and the Blue | Knuckle Up | Blackout | 8:03 AM | Blood on the Tracks | The Good-Bye Room | Shuffle, Ball Change | A Dollar, A Dream | Offender | Stand Up and Holler | Torn | Cargo | The Good Death | Stalker

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