A then rich man claims that he was wrongfully convicted of the 1982 murder of his rich wife. The case is reopened when the victim's rare ring is discovered worn by a recently deceased junkie.
Jan. 2, 1982. In the hustling and bustling Patrick Brea Salon, an excited Lindsay Chase is examining her highlights and gushing over how her husband Steven totally surprised her, telling her that she could decorate the house however she wanted, since he is at the hospital most of the time. Lindsay goes on to describe what accessories the house has already. A young blonde sweeper shyly suggests to Lindsay that maybe she should get a big neon sign with her name on it to put in the living room. The door opens, and Steven aka the doctor steps in. Lindsay approaches her husband and notices that he’s sweating. Their friend Allan died while Steven was operating on him. Lindsay is beside herself with shock. Steven thinks that things are going to get ugly. One of her friends at the salon hands Lindsay her purse and coat and tells her not to worry about the bill. Lindsay grabs Steven’s hand and leads him out of the salon. Inside a luxurious house, the camera slowly pans through the different rooms, all littered with papers, plates and the occasional pizza box. Lying in the living room is the body of Lindsay. Down in the vault, two detectives are directed to a spot where they put down numerous closed case boxes bearing the name of Chase, L. May ’82.
Present Day. In a shabbier part of town, Lily and the other detectives enter a homicide scene. Stillman informs Lily of the situation. Melanie Castle, 44. Heroin overdose, no foul play. Stillman asks Lily and Jeffries if they remember the murder of Lindsay Chase. Sure, doctor kills his wife for the insurance money. 23 years, and Steven Chase is still telling the same story about that night, claiming that he heard a gunshot, ran downstairs and saw a shaggy man and a blonde woman run out the door, but nobody ever found evidence they existed. Lily inspects a ring and its inscription that was found on Melanie. ”Dr. Chase, all my love, Lindsay.” It was Steven Chase’s ring. And that ring was found...on a blonde woman.
Down in the vault, the whole team is going through Lindsay’s files. Jury didn’t buy Steven’s story, convicted him within 2 hours. Steven Chase was a big league surgeon until he lost his friend, Allan Moore, on the operating table. The widow sued for malpractice, and his medical licence was suspended. They couldn’t pay the bills, but there was a million in life insurance on the wife, Lindsay, and she ended up shot in her own living room. The gun was never found, just a receipt for one that Steven had bought months earlier. Stillman admits that Steven had a lousy alibi, but he has been sticking to it for a long time.
Lily and Jeffries visit Steven in prison. Jeffries comments on how the city followed the doctor’s story in ’82 like it was the World Series. Steven comments on how it is called ”Schadenfreude” aka taking pleasure in other people’s misfortunes. Jeffries and Lily are quick to point out that there was a stack of evidence against Steven, including the gun that he bought, just before Lindsay was shot. Steven admits that the gun was for him, not her. And if he really did commit the murder, he would’ve thought of a better story to cover his tracks. Steven recognizes the picture of the ring that Lindsay gave to him when he graduated med school. Lily asks Steven to tell him about the patient that he lost. Allan and his wife Diane were their best friends. When Allan died, Steven couldn’t face Diane, he shrank, but Lindsay didn’t.
Flashback In the Moore house, everybody is comforting and hugging Diane. Steven is full of doubt as he and Lindsay enter. Lindsay assures him that they are meant to be there and that he’ll find the right words to say. Amongst the stares, the couple approach Diane. Lindsay gives Diane a hug and tells her how sorry they are, but Diane is cold. She asks how they can come here. Steven killed him. Lindsay tries to tell Diane that it was a horrible accident, but she has already contacted a lawyer; she wants to see them lose something too.
Flashback to Present Steven sticks up for Diane, saying that she didn’t know what she was saying, that she was in shock. Lily theorizes that maybe in her shock Diane was able to do something that she normally wouldn’t be able to stomach. There was no way Diane could have killed Lindsay; she had brown hair. Steven tells the detectives that it wouldn’t have been possible; they weren’t those kinds of people. Scotty goes to speak with Diane about Lindsay’s murder. She comments on how Steven has been paying for her murder for 25 years. She admits that he was a good friend, at one time. She was out of her mind when she lost Allan and couldn’t see past the pain. Diane just wanted their world to crumble, just like hers had. And the lawsuit broke them: Steven couldn’t practice, pay the mortgage, they were cash poor. It was a horror show, and Diane couldn’t get enough of it.
Flashback Down at the Patrick Brea salon, Lindsay enters. Diane is sitting in a chair and gives Lindsay a cold look before greeting someone who has come with condolences. Her friend Kitty approaches. Lindsay is looking for employment at the salon. She doesn’t have any professional experience, but she’s good with hair and nails. From her chair, an annoyed Diane tells Kitty that she has aerobics in 20 minutes. She can’t give Kitty two seconds; she needs her there now, because ”I am the one paying you.” Taking Lindsay to one side, Kitty tells her that all she has is hair sweeping positions. But Lindsay doesn’t mind, she just needs to make enough money for groceries until Steven gets better. After a moment, Kitty accepts.
Flashback to Present Diane admits that she was so distraught; she actually enjoyed watching Lindsay suffer. It wasn’t until much later that she started wondering if she was the one that caused Lindsay’s death. Maybe that had thrown Steven over the edge and made him kill his wife. Late at night, Vera is looking through the dead Melanie’s file. Nothing surfaces that connects her to Lindsay, did Scotty have better luck? Stillman replies that Lindsay may have taken a lower end job a few months before her death. Jeffries returns and says they struck out: from the IRS, there’s no record that Lindsay ever worked at the Patrick Brea salon or anywhere else. What salon? Vera notes that Melanie worked at that salon from Jan to Aug of ’82. So Melanie and Lindsay Chase were coworkers. Lindsay and Jeffries enter the Patrick Brea salon, now obviously having undergone quite a renovation, going under the name of Katarine’s Salon and Day Spa. Kitty Shaw has changed her name to Katarine, figuring her life would follow with her name upgrade. Kitty remembers Lindsay Chase. There was no record of Lindsay working at the salon, because they paid her under the table like most sweepers. Turns out Melanie and Lindsay were somewhat of a culture clash. According to Kitty, Melanie sure did not think of Lindsay has a ”helpful presence in her life.”
Flashback Down at a club, Lindsay is drowning her sorrows with alcohol. She apologizes to Kitty. She didn’t mean to cry all day, but Kitty assures her that it’s alright; she would cry too if her husband was depressed in bed all day. Lindsay also remarks that she thought 8 hours of work would add up to a lot more than what she just got. Kitty assures Lindsay that Steven will pull through: he’s got a million reasons to get out of bed, with her as one. Just then Melanie and her boyfriend Timmy approach the two. Timmy wants to join Lindsay and Kitty; Melanie wanted to sit at the bar. It’s alright with Lindsay. Timmy has heard of Lindsay and her money problems and offers to help her out. Kitty defends Lindsay, saying that she’s not like that. Noticing the lingering looks between Lindsay and Timmy, Melanie tells him that she wants to go, NOW. When Timmy doesn’t reply, Melanie uses a candle to set a piece of paper on fire and throws it right into Timmy’s lap. Timmy quickly gets up, and follows Melanie, while Lindsay and Kitty put out the small fire.
Flashback to Present Kitty tells Lily and Jeffries that Melanie felt like Lindsay was ”lording over” the rest of them, but it wasn’t like that at all. Any idea where Timmy ended up? Jail, halfway house; probably somewhere like that. Scotty manages to catch Stillman in the elevator to give him the scoop on Timmy. Started in ’83: Methamphetamine, Methamphetamine, Methamphetamine. 3 time loser with a blonde girlfriend. Stillman tells Scotty to go pick Timmy up. Stillman has something else for Scotty too, handing him a card for a grief counsellor. Scotty says he’s fine and does better not talking about it. Scotty and Jeffries find Timmy, who tells them that he’s done nothing wrong. He’s clean and sober, well, except for maybe drinking beer. He’s got a job wiping car windows; a job with regular hours took too much out of him. Scotty brings up Lindsay Chase. Timmy and Melanie fit the description of a couple that Steven saw flee his house. Timmy admits that there were sparks between him and Lindsay, but that was mutual. It was Lindsay who came to him for help. Timmy agreed to help: all he needed was a place to cook.
Flashback In the dark kitchen, a meth lab has been set up, with Timmy running around pouring in ingredients. Lindsay is a bit worried; the whole house smells and Steven is coming home the next day. Kitty assures her that they’ll roast coffee beans to cover the smell. Melanie comes up to Timmy and shows off a ring that she found: it is the ring that Lindsay gave to Steven when he graduated med school. Kitty tells Melanie to put the ring back, to which she grudgingly replies, only to snatch it up later when nobody is looking. Just the there is a heavy knock at the door. A thug-like man by the name of Mike enters. He inspects the white powder and tells Timmy that he only needs half. Lindsay can’t believe it: that’s only $3000. Mike tells her that it is $2500 now. But Lindsay refuses. It’s got to be all. $6000; a deal is a deal. Mike threatens that he could kill Lindsay right now if he wanted to, and take the whole batch for nothing. Without flinching, Lindsay opens the front door. Take the deal, or get out of my house.
Flashback to Present Timmy says he never saw anything like that; nobody ever talked to Mike like that, he was in the big money things. He also said Lindsay was curious about that, wanted to know about the stuff that Mike did. Money laundering, insurance scams, those kinds of things. Did Lindsay ever meet up with Mike again? She’d be dead if they did. Despite what Timmy has said about Mike, there is no record of him. Jeffries says he obviously worked under the radar, making a fortune from staged robberies, plus some meth deals on the side. And now, he’s moved up in the world, owning a security store. Lily wonders why Kitty never mentioned the meth cookout. Scotty and Jeffries get straight to the point with Mike, asking about Lindsay Chase. He read about it in the article. But the two detectives know that he had a closer seed to Lindsay. They know about the meth deal, and the threat that Mike made to Lindsay. Mike says that Lindsay couldn’t have been too scared, since she invited him back to her house, alone.
Flashback Lindsay is showing Mike around the house, telling him which items are valuable. Coming across a painting, Lindsay tells Mike that he can’t take that one; Steven’s grandfather was an artist, and that painting has sentimental value. Mike tells Lindsay that if she doesn’t want to go through with this, she shouldn’t waste his time. But he finally agrees. He tells Lindsay that on the night of the heist, the phone will ring twice, and then Lindsay will have five minutes to get upstairs and turn out all the lights. Next morning Lindsay will have to call the cops, and then she will have to wait 6 months to collect the insurance money. As Mike steps closer to Lindsay he tells her that they will split the insurance money, and he’ll sell her stuff for cash, which he will keep. He also states that since Lindsay is high maintenance, he’ll require a bonus. Lindsay slaps away Mike’s hand. Just take the deal. No this, no deal. Lindsay removes herself from his grasp and walks down the hall.
Flashback to Present Mike tells the two that Lindsay buttoned up so there was no sale. He had 30 other deals going, so he didn’t need her. Mike wasn’t thinking of her a week later when Lindsay died: she wasted enough of his time. Down at the salon, Lily asks Kitty why she never told the cops about the meth lab. Kitty states that she was just trying to protect her friend. Lindsay didn’t want to let the world know how desperate she was. Kitty tells Lily that Lindsay ended up stooping even lower than that: with Timmy. He was tripping over himself to get with Lindsay. Lindsay knew it, and she needed someone to help her out with what she was planning. Flashback Back at the bar, Kitty is standing alone, watching Lindsay sweet-talk and flirt with Timmy in a more remote corner. Kitty finally intervenes, asking what is going on. Lindsay sends Timmy away for more peanuts. After a few questions, Lindsay finally breaks down and tells Kitty that since Mike backed out of the robbery because Lindsay wouldn’t ”give it up” for him, she thought she could get someone else to do the robbery, someone that she could control. Kitty tells her friend that they’re not that kind of people, and they’re above people like Timmy. Lindsay’s just got to hang in there. Timmy returns with fresh peanuts. He is convinced that there are sparks between Lindsay and him, but Lindsay can’t even look him in the eye anymore. Heartbroken, Timmy leaves.
Flashback to Present Kitty tells Lindsay that Timmy and Melanie split after Lindsay’s murder: she never saw him at the bar again. Down at the bar where Chris works, she and a slightly buzzed Scotty are pouring each other shots and playing the game of Never. He never stole liquor from my employer after hours. He never caused complications for himself just for some guy. Christina drinks her shot and tells Scotty it’s worth it. She never checked her phone ten times in an hour hoping that somebody had called. Scotty tells her that he never pictured somebody so vivid from the night before that he missed his stop. The two dance and kiss. Lily and Jeffries interrogate Timmy. He denies ever going to Lindsay’s house later that night. Lindsay had told him that her life was all roses on the outside, but inside she was crying. Turns out Steven had a girlfriend on the side. Hurt Lindsay especially bad since it was her friend, Diane. Back at the prison, Lily confronts Steven. He admits to having an affair with Diane, but it was nothing. Lily tells Steven that the affair hurt Lindsay so much that she was able to bring it up with a virtual stranger. A young buck named Timmy. Loser to the core, but he loved Lindsay. Steven retorts that he loved Lindsay. Funny way of showing it then. It is only from Lily that Steven now knows that Lindsay was dealing drugs and planning to rip off the house to get the insurance money. She had been desperate to save Steven. Steven tells Lily that it was pretty funny then: they found each other when they both hit their lowest points.
Flashback Lindsay returns from the bar. She notices Steven sitting in the dark. Flicking on the switch, she sees him sitting in a chair, holding a gun. Solemn, he tells Lindsay that he ruined both of their lives. He notices Lindsay’s apparel and asks if she’s seeing someone else. He wouldn’t blame her if she was. Steven’s convinced that without him, Lindsay can get her life back. Lindsay gently takes away the gun and assures Steven that this is her life, them. She puts the gun down onto the table and tells him that she misses him. If Steven leaves, she doesn’t know what will happen to her. All she wants is to get away. Steven agrees. He’ll sell the house, and they’ll leave. The two kiss. As the phone rings, Steven tells Lindsay that he’s going upstairs. The phone rings twice, then stops. Steven stops at the foot of the stairs and tells Lindsay that he loves her. Flashback to Present Steven tells Lily that he went upstairs, and then heard the shot. End of Lindsay and him. Scotty and Jeffries interrogate Mike. Two rings, then hang up. That was the signal. If the deal was off, then how come there was a phone call from a convenience store minutes before Lindsay was murdered. Mike hopes they got more than a phone call to convict him. Scotty confidently replies that they’ve been looking into his finances as well. Turns out Mike has been receiving payments from Katarine’s salon since the early ’80’s. Suddenly Mike doesn’t want to talk. Then we’ll talk to Kitty then. Should be pretty easy, you know hairdressers: talk, talk, talk. Just before the two leave the room, Mike tells them that he was there, but he didn’t kill Lindsay. He can prove it: he has the gun with Kitty’s prints on it. That’s why she pays him: she was the blonde.
Flashback In the dark house, Mike and Kitty enter through the back door with flashlights. Lindsay meets them and asks them what are they doing here, the plan is supposed to be off. She notices Kitty with the long blonde hair. Kitty tells her that she and Mike can do this whole thing and Lindsay will get her money no problem. But Lindsay doesn’t want to go through with this anymore. Taking Lindsay to one side, Kitty tells her that she gave Mike what he wanted, so everything will be fine. She did it for Lindsay, for better tomorrows. Lindsay tells the two of them to go, Steven’s upstairs. Kitty asks why Lindsay is pissed at her. Lindsay replies that she was crazy, she isn’t like this. She starts walking up towards the stairs. Kitty eyes the gun left on the table and picks it up. She thought she was Lindsay’s closest friend. Mike tells her to put the gun down, but Kitty doesn’t hear. Kitty starts to cry. She just wants to know if she was Lindsay’s closest friend. Yes, fine, whatever, just get out of my life. A shot is fired, and Lindsay falls to the ground. Mike and Kitty scramble out the front door as Steven runs downstairs.
Flashback to Present Scotty escorts Mike into an awaiting jail cell. Police open up Mike’s safe in the security store and Vera takes out the gun. Timmy finishes wiping a customer’s windshield and collects the money, thinking about Lindsay. Lily and Jeffries handcuff Kitty and escort her out of her salon, while a crowd watches. Across the street, Lily ”sees” Lindsay watching the events unfold. On the front steps, Diane picks up the paper and sees the article stating that Steven Chase is innocent and is being released after 23 years. Down at the prison, Steven shakes hands with the guards before walking out. Just before he exits, he waves to Lily, who shakes his hand and hands him the ring that Lindsay gave to him. The two exchange smiles before Steven leaves.
- 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
- Nicki Aycox as Christina Rush
- Tony Denison as Mike Doherty (2005)
- Michael Bryan French as Steven Chase (2005)
- Michael Hagerty as Steven Chase (1982)
- Brian Kimmet as Timmy Horan (1982)
- Mary Gordon Murray as Kitty Shaw (2005)
- Jenna von Oy as Kitty Shaw (1982)
- Linda Purl as Diane Moore (2005)
- Andrea Savage as Lindsay Chase
- Jay Bontatibus as Mike Doherty (1982)
- Jenny Eakes as Diane Moore (1982)
- Andi Eystad as Melanie Castle
- Tahmus Rounds as Timmy Horan (2005)
- Apparently based on the case of Dr. Sam Sheppard, who was convicted in 1954 of the murder of his pregnant wife Marilyn Reese Sheppard before his conviction was overturned and declared a miscarriage of justice nearly a decade later. Many believe his story also inspired the classic TV series The Fugitive, as well as the movie of the same name, though this has always been denied by their creators.
- As mentioned in the episode, "Schadenfreude" means pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.
- Tony Denison later went on to star in The Closer and Major Crimes as Lieutenant Andy Flynn.
- The song "Save a Prayer" by Duran Duran was also featured in the season 5 episode Justice.
- David Bowie feat. Queen "Under Pressure"
- Duran Duran "Save A Prayer"
- Manhattan Production Music "Still In Pain"
- .38 Special "Caught Up In You"
- Billy Idol "Dancing With Myself"
- Master Source "All Night"
- Tommy TuTone "867-5309/Jenny"
- David Feldstein, Scott Nickoley, and Jamie Dunlap "Wish I Never Met You"
- Closing Song: Journey "Don't Stop Believing"