The team members try to curtail their emotions as they search for the person who shot both Jeffries and the elderly long-time owner of the corner convenience store Jeffries had entered on his way home from work with Vera.
It's the night of March 15th, 2009 and a tramp called Landry enters the local convenience store for another drink. The owner, Henry "Pops" Walters smells the booze on his breath, so he convinces Landry to take a cup of coffee instead and sends him off. Soon after, he hears the door opening again. He turns around thinking it's Landry, instead finds a gun pointed at his face.
At about the same time, detectives Will Jeffries and Nick Vera are working the night shift, patrolling the streets and bickering over the choice of radio programmes. Jeffries then pulls over saying he needs to buy milk and enters Pops' store, leaving Vera snoozing in the car. He calls out, asking if anyone is there because he is looking for a clerk. He walks straight up to the fridge but feels that something is wrong. He reaches for his gun... The next moment, Vera is awoken by the sound of two gunshots. He dashes to the store with his gun held up high and finds the owner lying face down, in a pool of blood. Jeffries, curled on his side, is barely breathing, blood all over his clothes. Vera immediately dials 911 for help, shouting repeatedly "Officer down! Officer down!".
Jeffries and Pops are rushed to the hospital OR while Vera looks shocked and confused. All the other team mates are informed of the situation and they immediately head for the crime scene. Lt. Stillman reaches Vera at the hospital where they wait hopefully for some good news from the doctors.
In a few minutes, the crime scene is filled with officers and police cars. An officer informs Lilly that Pops, the store owner, has died, while Jeffries' condition is still unknown. A detective, Pete McGinley, explains to Detective Miller what could possibly be the reason behind the shootings. McGinley got the call and was first on the scene. He saw Jeffries on the floor, then Vera pointed out the back so McGinley made chase but did not find the shooter. He states in this area it could be robbery, a drug deal or retribution. He found no witnesses willing to talk.
Scotty yells at the crowd of spectators for any witnesses to come forward. He spots Landry, who says Pops was special to him. He admits he has been drinking, as he does every night. He says he likes his beer, so Scotty offers him money for information. Landry claims he's heard three gunshots. The first he heard when he was crossing the street. He was a block away when he heard 2 more. Scotty takes him in custody as a potential witness.
At the hospital, Vera tells a doctor he hasn't been able to reach Will Jeffrie's sister yet. The surgeon states he was shot twice in the back. One punctured his lung which has collapsed. They will admit him to surgery soon. It will be a long night. Vera wants to go out and look for the suspect.
At the hospital, Vera tells Lt. Stillman what happened two hours ago. Vera entered the store and help He was about to apply pressure to the wound when he heard someone going out the back door. Another cop (McGinley) came in through the front door. Vera directs him to look for the suspect out back and tends to Will. He found it rather strange that a cop could reach the crime scene so quickly. He must have been a block away when the call came in. Vera did not hear the first shot, so they know Pops was already shot when Will entered.
Lilly and Scotty then enter the store and study the scene. The cash register is full so it wasn't a robbery. Based on the blood patterns, they determine that the shooter had ducked down in an aisle when Will came in, shot him from behind and ran out the back because Vera was coming in the front.
Scotty finds two very old surveillance tapes. Lilly recognizes a young lady from a photo hanging on the store's notice board. Her name is Carmen and Lily had seen her at the police station one week ago. (She came in looking for Jeffries during the episode Jackals.) Valentine and Pops had an argument and both are too stubborn to back down. Will promises to take care of it. Lily states Will was here for more than milk.
Scotty reaches the hospital where Vera and Stillman are waiting during Will's surgery. He is talking to contacts on his phone to try to get more info. He fills everyone in on their findings at the store. Miller is picking up Pop's granddaughter Carmen.
Vera recalls taking down a phone message, two months earlier, from a police officer about a certain "Valentine" being accused of gun possession. The other cop was holding off on the arrest until he heard from Will. Stillman searches Jeffries' wallet for Valentine's phone number but finds Jeffries was carrying an unusually large amount of cash with him. When Stillman hears McGinley is involved with the case and has been taken to PPD, his facial expression changes and he leaves for the police headquarters.
At the police headquarters at 3AM, DA Curtis Bell tells Lilly that James Valentine has juvenile records; he joined the military in order to avoid hard prison and has been clean ever since. Bell plans to stay at PPD, working until someone is charged for killing an officer. Lilly knows it is in honor of Bell's father.
Scotty learns from technician Frankie Rafferty that one of the surveillance tapes was unusable but she promises to try and find something on the second tape.
Kendrick, the detective who had left a message with Vera, later said he had made a mistake about Valentine. Lilly tells an officer to track him down – apparently, Jeffries had asked Kendrick for a personal favor of keeping an eye on Valentine.
Stillman knows McGinley is from Internal Affairs. He asks why he was tailing Jeffries. Two months ago, Will fixed a gun charge on a convicted felon. Yesterday, McGinley had taken pictures of Jeffries getting money from Valentine. so he concluded Jeffries was probably dealing with drugs. McGinley states he wants to help but Stillman tells him to get lost.
Lil had not found Valentine at his apartment. A roomful of cops wait while Miller tries to get info about his whereabouts from Carmen. Pops always tried to help out troubled neighborhood kids with jobs and education. He knew they needed him, so he would not close his shop and move away, A week ago Pops and Valentine fought and Pops hit him. Valentine ran off. She tells the cops at which restaurant Valentine works nights.
Lilly and Scotty make sure Valentine's alibi is confirmed by the restaurant security camera and then interrogate him. Valentine says he was grateful to Pops and would have never harmed him. He was trying to buy a gun to protect Pops from Francisco Ariza, a local thug who was threatening Pops into accepting his protection. Jeffries, however, stopped him and was probably on his way to return the money to Pops on the night he was shot.
At the hospital, Vera can't sit still so Stillman takes him to the hospital chapel and tells him to pray. Miller reaches them there and shows them Ariza's folder. As they talk, another man, who is also praying, complains he's getting disturbed, causing Vera to lose his temper. Stillman tells him to chill out—after all, they are in a chapel. Then the doors open and the surgeon comes in and tells them Jeffries is going to be fine. They all breathe a sigh of relief.
Rush and Valens break into Ariza's first girlfriend's apartment. Nobody is home, but in a trash can they find blood-stained clothes and shoes. This is enough to call for a search warrant. When they get back to the police headquarters, Lilly finds her dad waiting for her. She's surprised to see him but hides it very well. He heard on the radio that a homicide cop was wounded in a gun shooting and was worried about Lilly. Before leaving, he gives her a St. Jude's medal (patron saint of lost causes) that may keep her safe. She reluctantly accepts it, but is annoyed at his belated concern for her safety since he didn't even show up when she was ACTUALLY wounded.
Lilly then heads to the hospital while Valens and Miller go to Ariza's aunt's apartment where his GPS was last located. The cops turn things upside down at Beatrice Calderon's apartment, while Miller and Valens try to persuade Francisco's aunt and younger brother, Gabriel, to talk. Gabriel seems very upset, but says the old man deserved it. He recalls that five days ago, he and his brother entered Pops' store and were treating themselves to chips and popcorn when the old man had ordered them out because Francisco didn't want to pay for the snacks. Pops humiliated his elder brother by telling him to sweep his store for a minimum wage instead of running after easy money and dodging bullets. Annoyed by their arrogance, the detectives take them both to the station for further questioning.
At the hospital, Stillman looks through a glass window at a sleeping Jeffries when Deputy Commissioner Patrick Doherty comes up to him. Evidently, McGinley has reported Stillman to Doherty because the two start arguing on interfering into each others' responsibilities in the case. Stillman says he can prove Jeffries was retrieving stolen property and threatens Doherty to leave his team in peace.
Jeffries wakes up and finds Lilly sitting at his bed side. He asks about his friend Pops but Lilly shakes her head. Jeffries remembers how Pops changed his life, pulled him out of the whirlpool he was sinking in after his father left his family. Lilly tells Jeffries they're looking for Francisco everywhere but still can't find him. Jeffries hints to a 2nd girlfriend's apartment.
A team of cops breaks into the girlfriend's flat, Rush and Valens following close behind. However, they're too late, Valentine got there first and shot Ariza in the chest. The officers arrest Valentine and take him to the police station. Looking at Ariza's dead body, Rush notices the size of the clothes and shoes they found earlier doesn't match Francisco's—this means Valentine killed the wrong man. They interrogate Valentine and tell him he made a dreadful mistake, but he rebuffs the accusations, saying Francisco himself told him he DID kill Pops. Francisco was obviously trying to protect somebody.
In the hospital chapel, Nick sees the man he had previously assaulted, apologizes to him and even hugs him. They're interrupted by Miller who's come in to check on her colleague. Vera is not in the mood of getting some sleep but it starting to rely much more on prayers, yet neither of them can make sense of what has happened to Will.
Agent Rafferty enters Stillman's office with the surveillance tape she's been working on. She shows Rush, Valens and Stillman the recording. In it, Francisco Ariza is seen shaking hands with Pops, a few hours before the shooting took place. This confirms the fact that Francisco couldn't have killed the store owner. Valens notices something on Ariza's coat and figures out who it was that Francisco was trying to protect in his last moments of life. He goes to get Gabriel but the officer in charge of him had already let him go, thinking he was harmless.
Again, Valens and Rush break into Ariza's apartment with their guns held up high. They call out for Gabriel and he comes out and shoots at them. They manage to duck behind a wall. Rush fires back, wounding the boy's leg. He drags himself inside the bathroom. Valens nods to Rush to get Gabriel from behind and starts talking to him and telling him his older brother wouldn't be proud of what he's done. Gabriel starts crying and recalls the look on his brother's face when he saw him coming home covered in blood. Rush gets him in the line of fire and orders him to surrender. Gabriel sees he's out of options and finally drops his gun. The cops arrest him, and take him away on a stretcher.
In the final scenes, as The Judgment by Solomon Burke plays along, Valentine lies in a prison cell thinking of how he threw his life away, Stillman closes the murder cases of Ariza and Pops, people lay down flowers, candles and cards outside Pops' store while his granddaughter watches on and from his hospital bed Will sees Pops nodding at him, then he looks at Vera finally sleeping on the chair next to his bed. Lilly locks herself in a double mirrored room, she looks at the medallion her father gave her, starts crying and falls down to her feet.
- 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
- Tracie Thoms as Kat Miller
- Clarence Williams III as Henry "Pops" Walters (2009)
- Mateo Arias as Gabriel Ariza
- Sharif Atkins as James Valentine
- Kevin Jackson as Landry
- Jonathan LaPaglia as ADA Curtis Bell
- Brian Letscher as Pete McGinley
- Simone Moore as Carmen Walters
- Keith Szarabajka as Deputy Commissioner Patrick Doherty
- Norma Maldonado as Beatrice Calderon
- Pancho Demmings as Henry "Pops" Walters (1966)
- Manny Montana as Francisco Ariza
- Lawrence Adimora as Will Jeffries (1966)
- Valenzia Agarin as Francisco's Other Girlfriend
- Traber Burns as Man in Chapel
- Heather Perrilliat as Hot Young Woman
- Erika Ringor as Dr. Pascal
- Alex Valente as Officer Lennox
- In a notable departure for the series, the case in this episode is not "cold" at all. The shooting of Jeffries and Pops is solved a mere ten hours afterwards, although there is a flashback to 1966, showing both men in their younger days.
- Events foreshadowing this case were seen in previous episodes. Vera took a phone call about James Valentine's arraignment in "Lotto Fever", and Carmen Walters showed up at the station to ask Jeffries for help in "Jackals". Both events were shown again in flashbacks here.
- Stillman and Doherty both mention the tension between Stillman and Councilman Grover Boone in "Street Money".
- The Temptations " I Wish It Would Rain"
- MasterSource Music "The Miracle"
- Bobby Womack " Across 110th Street"
- Otis Redding "Down in the Valley"
- Gnarls Barkley "Just A Thought"
- Closing Song: Solomon Burke "The Judgement"