Det. Rush investigates the 1991 double murder of married illegal immigrants from Cambodia who were shot to death in their apartment. Their six-year-old daughter was home and had been told to hide when there was a knock on the door. She sees the shooting. The now-teenage girl brings the case to Lilly after she discovers a bracelet once owned by her mother is for sale on the internet. The probe reveals that the parents had dark secrets unknown to their daughter.
The episode opens in July 1991 at night in a bad area of Philadelphia where drug dealers and prostitutes hang out. Sen and Channary Dhiet are in their apartment. Channary teaches their daughter, Kara, a traditional dance. There’s a knock on the door, and Sen sends Kara into the bathroom to hide. Kara keeps the door cracked and she hears two shots, and sees the shadows of her parents fall to the ground. She runs out and tries to wake them, but to no avail. The case boxes are filed under ”Dhiet, S” and ”Dhiet, C.”
Present day, an 18-year-old Kara and an older man, Daryl Booker, bring a photo of a bracelet she saw for sale on eBay. Kara believes the bracelet is her dead mother’s. She wants Lilly to investigate the seller, and find out if he/she killed her parents. Scotty asks if Kara lives with Booker, but she says she lives with her aunt and uncle; Booker is a friend (he’s the one who called 911 after the murder). Kara works at her aunt’s restaurant, and she tells Lilly that her mom was a dancer and her dad was an architect.
Lilly and Stillman check the case files down in the vault. The theory at the time was a robbery gone bad, but nothing was taken except maybe the bracelet. Sen was shot in the chest and Channary point blank execution style and the gun was never found. Scotty found the eBay dealer who says he bought it off of a Wilma Whiting, whose son, Dolla Bill, is doing time for a burglary. Lilly points out that Booker was a suspect the first time around. She doesn’t trust his relationship with Kara.
Lilly and Scotty visit Booker. They tell him that the bracelet was solid gold and quite valuable, meaning that they believe that whoever took it had some inside information. He tells them that he didn’t know the Dhiets. He served time in prison for possession with intent to sell because he came back from Vietnam hooked on drugs. He got clean in prison. Lilly wants to know how Booker came to be the one who made the 911 call. The night Sen and Channary died, Kara ran into the streets asking for help. She came across Booker and he agreed to help her when he saw the blood on her hands and t-shirt. When he got to the bodies, he noticed dirt on Channary’s face and leaned it off because he says she had a beautiful face. Then he called 911. He tells Lilly and Scotty that he started taking care of Kara after that because her aunt and uncle worked long hours at the restaurant. Lilly still believes that there’s more going on between Booker and Kara.
Vera and Jeffries go to the prison to talk to Dolla Bill. He says he traded it off ”some white dude” for smack. He doesn’t know the man’s name. Jeffries tells him that they know he worked with Sen at the construction company. Dolla Bill doesn’t deny knowing him, but he points to their boss ,Brad Atwater. Sen had a problem with him because he caught him skimming his paycheck. Sen didn’t say anything about it because he was in the U.S. illegally, but he was rallying the others around Atwater.
Lilly and Scotty talk to Brad Atwater and his wife who remember Sen and Channary. Atwater claims he was fixing potholes in the driveway until around 10:30 pm that night. They ask Atwater about the kickbacks. He explains that he and a friend in the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) went on raids busting undocumented immigrants. They would give them fraudulent work visas for a cut of their paychecks. Atwater first encountered Sen and Channary during one of these raids. The INS officer threatened to send Sen and his family back to Cambodia, but Sen was concerned for his family’s safety if they were. He offered the INS agent a ruby in exchange for letting them stay. The INS agent took the ruby and gave Sen two legit work visas that he has taken from someone else. Sen didn’t want to take them because he knew that would mean he was sending the other family back home to their deaths. He reluctantly took them and he and Channary assumed the identities of the Dhiets. The real Dhiets were deported, and most likely killed.
Stillman, Vera, and Lilly are in the lobby of the police station. Scotty approaches to tell them that he tracked the deported couple. They were executed three days after arriving back in Cambodia. They decide to look into whether there were any real Dhiet relatives that stayed behind in the U.S. in the early 1990s.
Vera and Jeffries talk to Kara’s aunt and uncle who tell the detectives Sen and Channary’s real names. Channary was a member of the royal family. She and Sen had to leave Cambodia when there was a regime change; it would have been much too dangerous for them to stay. They say that they didn’t know the real Dhiets or their family. The aunt tells Jeffries and Vera that Channary was too proud and refused to put aside her royal past. She walked around like she was better than everyone else. She wore fancy dresses and used to say that the calluses of her fingers (from being a seamstress) and the holes in her stockings didn’t exist, they were just illlusions. She and the aunt used to bring lunch to Sen at the construction company. The aunt and uncle say that the way Channary carried herself made it seem that she had a lot of money when all she really had was that bracelet. No one knew that Channary was royalty, including Kara.
Lilly goes to the restaurant that night to talk to Kara. She tells her that they found the bracelet and it’s very valuable. She tries to tell Kara that her parents weren’t who she thinks they were, but Booker is there and he doesn’t want Lilly upsetting Kara. She tells her that Channary was Cambodian royalty. Kara remembers stories that her mom told her, but she thought they were just stories. She had seen the bracelet as a child and one time snuck it out of the house for Show and Tell at school. Kara’s upset because she thinks that by telling all the other kids, teacher, and assistant that she may have gotten her parents killed.
Outside the restaurant, Booker approaches Lilly, angry that she upset Kara. Lilly wants to know what Booker was really doing that night on the corner. He tells her that Kara doesn’t know about his drug past. He says that a girl needs a father-figure to look up to, but Lilly insists not all girls. Booker accuses her of having man problems since she’s not wearing a wedding ring. She sarcastically tells him that she ”just can’t find the right ex-con, drug dealing, smack addict to settle down with.” Lilly knows Booker is hiding something and she plans to find out what it is.
Back at the police station, Lilly tells Jeffries, Scotty and Stillman that there’s a new list of people to check out since Kara took the bracelet to school. Scotty tracked down a Buddhist monk who knew the real Dhiets and he told him that they had a niece that lives in Philly. It turns out to be Kara’s aunt, which gives her motive to kill Kara’s parents. Vera and Jeffries interrogate Kara’s aunt at the station. She admits who she is, but says she didn’t kill them. She admits she hated Channary, but not because of what happened to her family. Atwater tried to get Channary to sleep with him because he said it would make up for Sen’s bad behavior when he found out that Atkinson took part of his paycheck. Channary refused to do it and walked off, leaving Kara’s aunt to fill the void with Atwater. She agreed to do it because she was afraid he would deport Sen and Channary. She tells Vera and Jeffries that Atwater was repulsive and would make her lick his boots.
Lilly and Scotty track down the teacher’s assistant from Kara’s class back in 1991. He admits that he stole the bracelet for drugs after Lilly tells him that his dealer, Dolla Bill, identified him. He broke in through a kitchen window and only found the bracelet. He claims no one was home when he broke in, and he didn’t kill Sen and Channary. He does tell them that he saw something at a crack house the night of the murders. He was looking for drugs, but no one would let him borrow any. In one of the rooms, he sees Channary and Booker getting high together. Back at the station, Scotty pulls the old crime photos and notices that the kitchen window is already boarded up, meaning it happened before their deaths. Jeffries ran a background check on Atwater, but it came back clean and no registered weapons. Scotty wants to bring him in and sweat him, but Vera says that he already lawyered up. Stillman pulls Lilly aside and tells her that he looked into Booker’s Vietnam record. He had an old pal from when he fought in the same war, who works at the VA. He found out that Booker was brought up on charges for allegedly massacring locals execution style (like Channary). He beat the court marshal, but was dishonorably discharged for psychiatric reasons.
Lilly interrogates Booker at the police station, wanting to know why he lied about knowing Channary. He tells her that she doesn’t like him because he did for Kara what no man ever did for her—take an interest in her and be a father. Lilly accuses Booker of wanting Channary. She says he tried to get her to leave Sen, but she wouldn’t so he killed them both in a fit of rage just like in Vietnam. She tells him she knows he was on the corner that night buying for Channary. Booker says she was in agony so he helped her with opium, but the dealer was late that night, past 10:30pm (after Sen and Channary died). He has the name and number of the dealer, but he never told Lilly because he didn’t want Kara to know that her mother was ”damaged goods.” He admits he was in love with Channary. From the moment they first met, he knew they shared a desire to forget the past. He asks Lilly not to tell Kara. Kara comes into the station upset that they have Booker. Lilly tells her that they made a mistake and they’re releasing him. Kara says that they should arrest Atwater because she heard her aunt telling her uncle about how he would make her lick his boots. Booker wants to know if it’s true, and Lilly says that they’re looking into it.
Outside the police station that night, Stillman finds Lilly. She feels guilty for judging Booker and his relationship with Kara. Stillman tells her that Jeffries got Atwater’s phone records. He made a lot of calls to Sen’s all within a week before the murder. She and Stillman both get calls on their cell, and they leave in a hurry.
Outside Atwater’s home, there are a lot of police cars. Lilly and Stillman go inside, and find Booker holding Atwater and his wife at gun point. Booker tells Lilly that Atwater shot Sen and Channary. Lilly wants him to put the gun down. Booker says he figured it out when he found out that Atwater liked women licking his boots. He realized where the dirt on Channary’s face came from when he heard Kara tell the story about her aunt. Stillman tells him to put the gun down, but Booker says he has killed before and he doesn’t mind doing it again. Stillman says he did the same in the war, but they were just 18 then, not grown men like they are now. Lilly reminds him that Kara needs a father-figure. Booker agrees to put the gun down if Lilly can nail Atwater. Stillman brings up the phone calls, and Atwater’s wife admits she called Channary so she could hear the voice of the woman who drove her husband crazy. She also admits that Atwater left while he was filling potholes that night. She says when he came back, he buried something in one of them and paved it over: the gun. The day of the murder, Atwater says that when Channary brought lunch to Sen at the construction site, she acted as though she was better than Atwater. That night he went to teach her a lesson. He held them at gun point and forced Channary to her hands and knees or he would kill Sen. He forced her to lick his boots and then move on up. Sen hit him and the gun went off, killing him. Atwater gets upset at what they made him do, and he says he has to kill Channary too. He asks her if she’s going to beg, but she tells him that he ”doesn’t exist.” That is when Atwater’s gun went off again. Both of the parents are lying dead on the floor.
The closing scenes are to the Scorpions ”Send Me an Angel.” Stillman cuffs Atwater and Lilly escorts Booker out of the house. The CSU unit digs up the gun in the driveway. Lilly brings Kara the bracelet, and watches as she runs outside and embraces Booker. Lilly ”sees” Sen and Channary in the window of their old apartment, watching their daughter and the man who protects her. Stillman files the solved case in the vault. Lilly sits alone with her cats at home looking at photos. One show a man holding a little girl's hand and another holding her high in the air. Lilly is the little girl. She closes the box that holds the old photos and hugs her cats.
- 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
- Bruce A. Young as Daryl Booker
- Loanne Bishop as Brenda Atwater
- Sung Kang as Sen Dhiet
- Michelle Krusiec as Kara Dhiet (2004)
- Doan Ly as Channary Dhiet
- Joel McKinnon Miller as Brad Atwater
- Akiko Ann Morison as Mei Prak
- Brian Britt as Gang Banger
- Bridgette Ho as Kara Dhiet (1991)
- Anthony Lawton as Robert Richter (2004)
- David Venafro as Robert Richter (1991)
- James Kiriyama-Lem as Arun Prak
- Dawn Saucier as Addict
- Brett Wagner as Construction Worker #1
- Rodney Holland as Construction Worker #2
- Paige Pratt's case box is visible to the left when Sen and Channary's case boxes are put away.
- Tim Barnes's case box is visible to the right when Sen and Channary's case boxes are put away.
- Michelle Krusiec and Bridgette Ho worked together previously in Daddy Day Care, which premiered in 2003.
- Enigma "Sadeness"
- Depeche Mode "Policy Of Truth"
- The Cure "Just Like Heaven"
- Edie Brickell & New Bohemians "What I Am"
- House Of Pain "Jump Around"
- The Cure "Pictures Of You"
- Closing Song: Scorpions "Send Me An Angel"