Lt. Stillman asks Lilly to re-open a case he couldn't solve, wherein an 8 year old boy, Tim Barnes, was murdered in 1980. The prime suspects included the boy's family's priest, three troubled teenage boys, and the boy's own parents.
The episode opens in February 1980 with 8-year-old Tim Barnes buying a notebook at a corner store. Tim leaves after the storeowner, Murphy, lets him slide for not having enough money to cover the notebook. He heads into a snowy alley, but he is soon chased and knocked down into the snow, unconscious. He is left to die in the freezing cold. The case box is archived in the vault under the name ”Tim Barnes”.
Present day, Lilly finds Lt. Stillman down in the vault looking at a case. She asks him about it, and he tells her how he worked the Tim Barnes case back in 1980. He wasn’t able to solve it. He asks Lilly to take a look at it for him. She agrees. Lilly and Scotty meet with Stillman about the leads he followed back in 1980. He liked a group of black teenage glue sniffers led by Latrell Richmond. The investigation didn’t lead anywhere, and Latrell split town after Stillman questioned him.
Lilly goes to talk to the Barnes family. Tim’s father Greg tells her that the night Tim died was very chaotic. His wife Nicole was taking care of the baby, Greg was washing Tim’s sister’s hair, and Tim wanted to go to the store to buy a notebook. Both parents told him to ask the other parent, so Tim just left without either parent realizing it. Vera and Jeffries go to speak with Latrell’s mother. She is very skeptical of police because of what happened to her son. She tells them that she hasn’t seen or heard from Latrell since the night he left after being questioned by Stillman. Jeffries notices the picture of her grandchildren, but she says they’re from her daughters. Scotty questions the storeowner, Murphy, who now works in real estate development. He is very racist and quick to point a finger at Latrell for Tim’s murder. He says that he saw Latrell and his gang bothering Tim on the corner outside his store the night Tim died. He identifies Latrell instantly from the picture that Scotty has of him.
Later that day, Lilly visits Stillman in his office. She tells him that the Barneses spoke highly of him. He tells her his daughter is pregnant, and it got him thinking about the Barnes case because he missed her birth working on this case. It has really bothered him all of these years because he lost his family and never solved the case. The next day, Vera discovers that Latrell’s two sisters have three children each, but there were seven kids in the picture at Mrs. Richmond’s house, leaving the possibility that the seventh child is Latrell’s. Lilly and Scotty take Stillman to the crime scene. He shows them where they found Tim’s body, Murphy’s store, and the corner where Latrell and his buddies were sniffing glue. They notice a Catholic church near Murphy’s store and decide to look into a possible pedophilia scandal back in 1980 because the Barnes family was Catholic. Vera and Jeffries speak with a woman who used to be involved with Latrell. They had a son together (the seventh grandchild), and she tells them that Latrell also goes by the name Julius Smith. He left years ago with her money as well as their son’s money and she hasn’t heard from him since. Lilly and Scotty can’t get the diocese to disclose the whereabouts of Father Declan who was the priest at the church they saw near Murphy’s store back in 1980. Scotty knows that Lilly has a ”relationship” with ADA Kite, and suggests that she consult him for a court order for disclosure of Father Declan’s whereabouts.
At Kite’s office, he tells her that Father Declan is at a retirement home for priests, and he gives her the address. He wants to discuss ”that night” (when they kissed in Hubris), but Lilly is busy. He gives her his number and tells her to call him anytime. She says maybe. Lilly and Scotty talk to Father Declan in the retirement home. He tells them that he left the church after Tim’s death because he couldn’t handle the race riots from the case, not because he was some sort of pedophile. He went to talk to Nicole Barnes that day because she was having trouble dealing with three kids. He tried to counsel her, but she was really overwhelmed. Lilly realizes that someone confessed to the murder, but Father Declan won’t say anything because confession is a sacrament protected by both church and state law. Lilly concludes that Father Declan left the church because he couldn’t stay somewhere where a member of his church got away with murder. Lilly suspects that Nicole killed Tim because she was suffering from post-partum depression. Stillman wants her to talk to Greg again before going to Nicole. Vera and Jeffries get a tip on Latrell’s whereabouts, but doors slam when they show his picture around the area he’s supposed to be. Vera, Jeffries, and Scotty decide to flush him out with ”No Drugs Today”. They set up lawn chairs on the block and flash their badges every time someone pulls up to buy drugs, hoping the loss of business will cause someone to give up Latrell’s location.
Meanwhile, Lilly talks to Greg again about that night. He doesn’t know what happened because he couldn’t find Nicole. She came in from outside with nothing but a t-shirt and shorts when it was freezing outside. She said she was sorry, but three is too many. Tim was missing and neither of them knew where he was. Lilly wants to talk to her again, and Greg agrees - as long as he’s there. Nicole tells them that she went outside to get some air and to smoke on the front porch. She made a prayer to God to take away her burdens and he did. She has felt responsible ever since. She stopped going to church and tried to kill herself. One of the prostitutes on the block comes up to Vera, Jeffries, and Scotty because she’s losing business. They tell her they’re looking for Latrell/Julius and she walks off. They’re hoping she spreads his name all over the block. Later that night, a young boy comes up to them and gets Jeffries’ cell number so he can call him about Latrell/Julius.
Lilly runs into Kite at the police station. He wants to take her out for drinks since she is in the middle of eating French fries for dinner. She agrees, but hesitantly. Outside Lilly’s house, Kite wants to come in, and she agrees as long as he likes cats. They go in and she introduces him to Olivia (who only has one eye) and a white cat that Kite calls Tripod because he is missing a leg. Kite begins kissing Lilly, but she stops him when he tries to take her hair down. She says that she’s not ready for that yet. He leaves saying it’s a start to the adventure. Lilly and the team raid an abandoned house after Jeffries gets a tip on Latrell’s location. Lilly gets one of the residents to give him up by stepping on his drugs. They find Latrell and bring him in. Stillman interrogates him about the night Tim died. Latrell confesses that he and his friends asked Tim to steal model glue for them, but he didn’t kill him. He believes that someone killed Tim to frame him so the black kids would go away, thus raising the property values in the area. He points out that Murphy now works in real estate, and would stand to gain the most. He also tells Stillman that he saw Murphy banging on the church rectory’s door in the middle of the night after Tim’s murder. Lilly, Scotty, and Stillman know that someone confessed to Father Declan that night.
They decide to bring Murphy in and make him think that Father Declan told them everything. Murphy comes in thinking that he’s going to pick Latrell out of a line-up. He sees Father Declan writing something down for Scotty. He is really writing down instructions on how to start a baseball league, but Murphy doesn’t know that. Once in the interrogation room, Lilly lies and tells him that Father Declan left the church, so he was free to tell them about Murphy. Murphy confesses that Tim was ungrateful when he stole the glue for Latrell and his friends. It angered him because it took away from those who earn an honest living. He chased Tim and hit him in the head. He left Tim unconscious out in the cold to die. The closing scenes have Genesis’ Follow You, Follow Me playing behind them. Lilly and Stillman take Murphy to jail, Stillman sees Tim Barnes, Latrell is welcomed home by his mother, Stillman helps his daughter set up baby furniture, and Lilly stands in front of the mirror in her bedroom. She takes her hair down and gets into bed, hugging her two cats as she goes to sleep.
- Kathryn Morris as Lilly Rush
- Danny Pino as Scotty Valens
- John Finn as John Stillman
- Jeremy Ratchford as Nick Vera
- Thom Barry as Will Jeffries
- Josh Hopkins as ADA Jason Kite
- Chelsea Field as Nicole Barnes (2004)
- Marc McClure as Father Declan (1980)
- John Lawlor as Father Declan (2004)
- Michael McGrady as Greg Barnes (2004)
- Eden Rountree as Nicole Barnes (1980)
- Todd Waring as Sean Murphy (2004)
- Emily Yancy as Wilma Richmond (2004)
- Asa Bernstine as Michael Russell
- Trent J. Cameron as Latrell Richmond (1980)
- Anthony John Crane as John Stillman (1980)
- Nicholas Mitchell as Kid
- Sonia Jackson as Brenda
- Jason Alan Smith as Sean Murphy (1980)
- Anne Thomas as Wilma Richmond (1980)
- Terry Wilkerson as Junkie
- Jordan Wooden as Tina Barnes (1980)
- Unknown actress as Janie Stillman
- Unknown infant as Brian Barnes (1980)
- When Lilly suspects Nicole of having killed her son Tim, she references Andrea Yates, a mother suffering from severe postpartum depression, who drowned all five of her young children in a bathtub in 2001.
- The shot of Rush, Valens, and Stillman walking down the street in the opening later made for Season 3 onward is from this episode.
- Jackson Browne "Running On Empty"
- Supertramp "The Logical Song"
- Paul Simon "Slip Sliding Away"
- Closing Song: Genesis "Follow You, Follow Me"