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When an anonymous murder confession is found in a modern art exhibit, the team reinvestigates the fatal drug overdose of a sixteen year old high school student and cheerleader in 1997.


September 1st, 1997 At Birmingham High School, football practice is going on. Best friends Rainey Karlsen and Celeste Church are trying out for varsity cheerleading. While an outcast named Joe Vives-Alvarez watches in disgust, Rainey and Celeste make the squad. Three days later, Rainey's dead body is found on the empty football field at the 50-yard line. Her death was ruled as an accidental drug overdose and the case was closed.

2007 Lilly and Scotty head over to a museum after getting a call from Rainey's mother, Elizabeth. Her art exhibit is a place where people confess their secrets. In the exhibit is a piece of paper that says "I killed Rainey Karlsen" with a drawing of what appears to be an atom, the same picture that was found on Rainey's body. Elizabeth insists the two detectives re-open her daughter's case.

At the station, the team analyzes the case and Nick remarks that he loved high school because he was a hockey athlete, who the girls admired. Lilly jokes that she was the kind of person who nobody wanted to mess with. Lilly, Nick and Kat review the autopsy reports that said high levels of Liquid X and alcohol were in Rainey's system but no signs of sexual assault. In addition, she missed her high school pep rally. The team ultimately decides to question Rainey's best friend, Celeste.

Celeste tells John and Scotty that she had no idea who was with Rainey the night she died. Celeste explains that she and Rainey had been best friends through everything, yet she wasn't as popular as Rainey because their cheerleading captain, Becca, chose favorites.

Flashback Becca and her friends invite Rainey and Celeste to sit with them during lunch now that they're on the squad. Becca jokes about Celeste being fat in junior high and decides to invite Rainey to a party, which attracts the attention of Becca's then-boyfriend, Casey Evans. Celeste tries to join the conversation but is shut down.

Present Celeste reveals that Becca wanted to be friends with Rainey because she thought that Rainey would be a threat to her relationship with Casey. The team decides to question Becca.

Birmingham High School is preparing for their ten-year high school reunion. Lilly and Will ask Becca if Casey had the hots for Rainey. Becca responds that Rainey was clueless with boys and she invited her to a party because Rainey was a new member of the varsity cheerleading squad. Will asks if there was anyone who was willing to hurt Rainey and Becca answers that it's those who want to hurt "the good-looking popular people".

Flashback Rainey, Becca, Celeste and Casey are in a physics class taught by Mr. Pruit, who's also the coach. Coach Pruit asks a question about which Newton's Law of Motion would be a rock if it stopped one from skateboarding. Casey jokes, "my ass" and Rainey raises her hand. Becca then convinces Rainey to discard her answer and tells her that if she looks smart, she'll be a loser. Behind the two, Joe berates them for being idiotic and suggests to eradicate themselves from the world. Rainey seemingly takes this more offensively than Becca.

Present Lilly and Will are skeptical that Joe killed Rainey just because Becca thought he was a loser. However, Becca then tells them that Joe was expelled from school a few months after Rainey's death. Rumor has it that it was due to Liquid X.

Nick and Scotty question Joe and remind him that he wanted Rainey to be eradicated from the world. Joe defends himself and says that while he was expelled from school, it wasn't from Liquid X; it was because he got caught smoking marijuana for a fifth time on the bleachers. Joe proceeds to tell them that he was wrong about Rainey and thought that she was better than the popular kids, including Casey, who was always wanting to get with her.

Flashback Rainey confronts Joe and then confesses that her answer in the physics class was Newton's First Law of Motion--an unbalanced force. Joe is surprised and asks her why she would take Becca's advice earlier. Rainey responds that he wouldn't understand. Joe advises her how to deal with peer pressure, making her laugh. Rainey says that cheerleaders are cool and admired by everyone, and maybe it's stupid and shallow to want that. Joe assures her that everyone would want something like that. Casey then interrupts them to remind Rainey about his party and places his hands on her shoulders, making her uncomfortable. Joe tells him to stop and Casey demands to know who he is. Joe looks at Rainey, who doesn't say anything, and grumbles that he's a no-one.

Present Nick asks Joe if Casey might have killed Rainey and Joe reveals that in Casey's college years, he was charged with date rape.

John and Lilly then bring in Casey for questioning. Casey tells them that the date rape charges were dropped and doesn't seem to be worried. Lilly asks him where he was on the night of Rainey's death and he answers that he was partying with his friends at his house because his parents were out of town. John asks if Rainey told him to get lost, but Casey tells them that she didn't tell him to get lost, but for someone else to.

Flashback Casey and the rest of the football team are hiding in the girls' locker room, where Becca and the rest of the cheerleaders walk in after a big game. Becca congratulates Rainey and Celeste on their first game and prepares them for a post-game tradition: first-time cheerleaders have to French kiss each other. Rainey doesn't want to, but Celeste merely pecks Rainey on the lips. Casey and the football team emerge and chant, "TONGUE!" Casey tries to make a move on Rainey, who panics and runs out of the locker room. She finds that Coach Pruit is also with the team, and he tries to insist this is all in good fun. Angered, Rainey threatens to tell the principal on him before storming out, leaving Celeste behind.

Present Casey remarks that Coach Pruit was a "cool guy" and bought the team beer on occasions. After hearing this, Lilly and John are led to believe that he killed Rainey to shut her up before she could tell the principal about him.

Kat and Will enter Coach Pruit's present-day classroom to question him about Rainey's death and remind him that she threatened to report him sneaking into the girls' locker room. Coach Pruit points out that Rainey didn't report him, but she did teach him a lesson on the day of her death to stop being friends with students and do his job. Coach Pruit tells Kat and Will that he learned this on the day of the pep rally, just right before Rainey was last seen.

Flashback Coach Pruit's a bit impatient with his student Dorian's presentation during physics class. Casey makes a suggestive gesture to Celeste, who is teary-eyed. Becca warns her to get a grip. After Dorian's presentation, it's Becca's turn. She gets in front of the class without a poster board and just makes a suggestive comment on friction and lubrication. The class applauds and Coach Pruit approves while Joe scoffs in the back. Rainey calls this out and says that Becca's "presentation" is nowhere near a coherent discussion. Coach Pruit ignores this while Joe is fascinated to see someone finally stand up to him. Rainey proceeds to call Coach Pruit out on how he doesn't teach and takes advantage of his job to favor the popular kids. Coach Pruit tries to threaten her with detention. Angered, Rainey storms out of the classroom, saying that Joe is "the only real person" there. Joe applauds while Becca jokes about what just happened. Annoyed, Joe flips over his desk and storms out as well.

Present Coach Pruit admits to Kat and Will that Rainey was right all along and he should take his job more seriously. Kat then asks if Joe walked out of the classroom after Rainey and where was his desk. Coach Pruit points out where Joe sat that day. On the desk where he sat, Kat and Will find a drawing of an atom in permanent marker.

Joe is brought in for questioning again and Lilly and Scotty confront him. They present Joe a photo of his desk, where he drew the atom. Joe admits that he drew that, but then Lilly presents a photo of the atom on Rainey's leg and accuses him of killing her. Joe then displays a look of despondency and reluctantly says that he was the one who posted the note in the museum and he killed Rainey. Seeing through this false confession, Lilly and Scotty ask why he would admit to Rainey's murder. Joe answers that it's their ten-year reunion and nobody thinks or cares about Rainey. Joe then blames himself for her death, calling himself the "unbalanced force".

Flashback Rainey is sitting outside of school away from the pep rally that evening. Joe finds her and sits next to her. Rainey tells him that she intentionally skipped the pep rally and contemplates quitting the cheerleading squad, but is worried that Becca would then humiliate her throughout her high school days. Joe then draws an atom on her leg, explaining that Rainey wouldn't want to be the orbiting dots, getting tangled with no beginning or end. Instead, she'd want to be in the center--sitting, constant and observing. Joe explains that he draws this to help him. Inspired, Rainey asks if two centers can be friends and Joe agrees to the idea. They share a kiss and Rainey tells him that she's going to quit the squad. As she walks off, Joe reminds her that it's only high school.

Present Joe confesses that he didn't tell the police he was with Rainey the night she died because he was the "bad druggie kid" and nobody would've believed him, making him the scapegoat for who most likely killed her--Becca.

At the reunion, Lilly confronts Becca, who tries to avoid her. In the locker room, Lilly tells Becca that this reunion was just so she could feel great again and relive the glory days, bringing up her failed jobs and two dissolved marriages (going on three) since high school. Lilly reminds Becca that Rainey was going to quit the squad and show the world how much of a loser Becca was. Becca snaps and tells Lilly that she showed Rainey who's boss.

Flashback Becca and the other cheerleaders, including Celeste, are about to pour one dose of Liquid X into their beer cans out on the empty football field at night. Becca makes another joke about Celeste being fat, causing Celeste to pour all of the Liquid X into her beer without anyone noticing. Rainey then approaches and announces that she's quitting. When Becca protests, Rainey calls her out on her manipulations and cruelty towards other people and begins walking away. Angered, Becca orders her friends to grab Rainey and pin her down to the ground. Becca then snatches Celeste's beer, not knowing it's completely spiked with Liquid X, and force-feeds it to Rainey. Rainey starts to convulse. Panicked that she "only had one beer", Becca and her friends flee, leaving Celeste behind with Rainey.

Present Lilly realizes that Becca grabbed Celeste's drink, thus confirming her (Becca) to be responsible for the murder of Rainey. Becca tries to brush this off and return to the reunion but Lilly stops her dead in her tracks.

Will and Scotty find Celeste sitting in a classroom in the dark. Will asks her if this is to make peace with what happened and why she drugged her own beer with so much Liquid X. Celeste answers that she just wanted to fit in. Will and Scotty remind her that Rainey was her best friend, but Celeste says that Rainey abandoned her in the locker room, where it's implied that she was raped. Rainey found out and was going to tell everyone, destroying Celeste's popularity. Celeste confesses that she "paid too high a price" to be a cheerleader.

Flashback Rainey is dazed by so much consumption of Liquid X and alcohol. Celeste tends to her and tries to make Rainey come with her to get help, revealing that her beer had too much Liquid X. Rainey advises her to step away from everything she went through, especially since what happened in the locker room "wasn't just kissing". Celeste insists that Rainey not say anything, otherwise she'll lose everything and be a nobody. Rainey reminds Celeste that she was always somebody to her. Feeling fainter by the second, Rainey tells Celeste to call an ambulance. Celeste reluctantly lies that she already called an ambulance and they'll be arriving very soon. Feeling assured, Rainey looks up into the sky and sees the stars in the same pattern as the atom that Joe drew. She then loses consciousness and dies in her friend's arms as Celeste starts crying.

Present Celeste writes her confession and is arrested. Lilly escorts Becca out of the reunion in handcuffs in front of her former classmates, including Casey and Coach Pruit. Lilly glares at the two men, implying they'll soon be arrested as well. At the art exhibit, Elizabeth pins a piece of paper that says "my daughter is my hero" before leaving. As the case folders are being put away, Nick and Kat show each other pictures of themselves back in high school and the two share a laugh over how they looked back then. At the reunion, Joe looks into the night sky to see the stars as the atom. He then sees a ghostly image of Rainey Karlsen, who smiles at him.

Victim: Rainey Karlsen

Doers: Becca Abrams, Celeste Church (accomplice)

Motive: Manslaughter (for Becca), Silence (for Celeste)


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]



  • This episode uses some elements from the film Mean Girls.
  • A close inspection of the report when Lilly and Scotty examine the note on the wall shows the dialogue, even the personal remarks, from the following scene.
  • Aviva's last name wasn't revealed in this episode when she was credited, however it was later revealed to be "Baumann" since there is also a singer which already had the same name.


Opening Song[]

Alongside Scenes[]

Note: The third song used in the "Social Suicide" scene of this episode was still unidentified.

Closing Song[]

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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