The team re-opens the 2002 case of a murdered amateur actor when the owner of a local community theater finds a gun hidden inside prop furniture.
The episode opens with Dennis Hofferman, a cab driver, auditioning for a part in a small production of the musical Cabaret. He gets the part and in the opening night, right before the start, he is found dead on the stage door.
Four years later, a gun of the same caliber as the one used to kill Dennis is found inside the drawer of a dresser that was used as a prop in the play. At the time he died, police thought it was a robbery gone bad, but in light of the new evidence, they suspect it was someone from the theater who killed Dennis and made it look like a robbery. The detectives first talk to Dennis’ fiancee and ask her if she knows of someone who might ´ have been giving him a hard time.
Flashback:: It's the first day of rehearsal, when Clinton, one of the co-stars, argues with Dennis about who has the bigger part on the show. Back in Present:, Jeffries and Vera go talk to Clinton about his threats to Dennis. Clinton tells them he and Dennis worked it out and became friends, but the director had some anger management issues. He flashes back to a rehearsal where Rafe, the director, is screaming to Nora and Clinton about their performance. When Dennis interrupts to defend his co-stars, Rafe says to him he will do whatever it takes to make the play a success. Clinton tells the detectives that it sounded like a threat. He also tells them that Rafe asked him for a gun a few weeks before Dennis was shot.
Lilly and Kat go talk to Rafe. They ask him about the gun he got from Clinton, and he replies the gun was stolen a few days before Dennis died. He explains that the gun was to research for a part in a cop movie. He claims he didn’t kill Dennis.
Flashback: The actors did a trust exercise at a rehearsal consisting in one person telling a secret and falling in the arms of another member of the cast or crew and trusting they would catch the fall. He tells the detectives Nora made a revelation that day: she revealed she was in love with her leading man, Dennis. Upon hearing that, the music director Lyle stormed out.
He implies to Lilly and Kat that either Lyle could’ve killed Dennis out of jealousy, or Nora because Dennis rejected her for his fiancee. He also says anyone ´ from the theater could’ve had access to the gun on his desk, because he didn’t keep it locked.
The guys at the precinct are betting on who is the guilty one: Jeffries bets on Lyle, Lilly bets on Rafe, Vera puts his money on Nora, and Scotty believes it’s Clinton. At that moment, Nora shows up to give her testimony. Scotty and Vera talk to her; she claims she and Dennis were together and he was going to leave his fiancee after the opening night. Meanwhile, Jeffries and ´Lilly interviews Lyle in the next room. He says he had a crush on Nora, but he would never let his emotions interfere with his work. He flashes back to a costume rehearsal where Rafe announced his agent would be attending at opening night, looking for new talent. He says he overheard Nora and Dennis making plans and that Gloria, Dennis’ fiancee, overheard them. Gloria was furious about it. He says she showed up looking for Dennis at the opening night.
Lilly and Kat ask Gloria why she didn’t mention she and Dennis were having problems. She says she never told anybody he was planning to break the engagement because she was ashamed that after five years of engagement, her fiance was leaving her for another girl he just met.
Flashback: to a conversation she had with Dennis where she confronted him about Nora. He says he didn’t cheat on her, but he wants to explore his acting before making any commitments. He has big dreams before, and feels cornered right now. He also mentions a secret meeting with Rafe and Nora. This meeting is giving him his dreams back. He knows he's been a disappointment, he wants to be more from here on out.
Present: Gloria tells Lilly it was a meeting with a big shot agent...and Nora, and it was the last time she saw Dennis. Vera and Jeffries confront Rafe about the meeting, and tell him they know there was no agent. He confesses he was lying to the actors in the play, because he wanted them to think he was still great and not some B-list actor.
Flashback: At the meeting, the moment he informs Nora and Dennis that the agent is late, getting stuck on a train, but the agent only takes on one new client a year. Dennis tells Nora it should be her, she's the gifted one. She jumps right in and agrees. She uses their ages as fodder. Dennis is shocked by her behavior. He second guesses himself. He tells her that he almost ruined his life because of her and storms off.
Present: Rafe thought competition would be good for them. He didn't expect Nora to act the way she did. Lilly, Vera and Lt. Stillman find the show’s program and read Dennis’ last minute change to his notes. They find out he changed his mind about breaking up with Gloria after Nora betrayed him. Clinton appears at the precinct with a recorded message of Nora threatening him if he told the police about what she did at the opening night. He says he didn’t tell them before because he didn’t have any proof and didn't think they would believe him. Vera says "always bet on the dame" Nora is brought back to the precinct and Scotty confronts her with Clinton’s recording.
Flashback: to the last rehearsal, right before the opening night. She says she approached Clinton and tried to make him take Rafe’s gun. She wanted him to give Dennis a scare so he would act badly on stage and ruin his changes to get the contract. Clinton refused her invitation, and she gave up the plan.
Present: The detectives ask her how can anyone else have known about her plan, because what happened to Dennis was exactly what she wanted Clinton to do. She says there is only one other person who could’ve known about it. Lilly and Kat confront Lyle about it, as he was listening to everyone’s conversations while testing the sound equipment. He blows up in a rant about how he was great, and if Dennis was gone, he would be the one to get hired by the famous agent. He seems outraged by the fact that the show was canceled after Dennis died.
He starts to recite all the lines of the show and then flashes back to the opening night. He is outside hiding near the stage door with a ski mask and a gun on his hand. When Dennis comes out for a smoke, Lyle comes pretending to be a robber. But Dennis recognizes his voice and thinks it is a prank; Lyle gets upset and shoots Dennis. Back at the precinct, with the soundtrack of Cabaret in the background, Kat escorts Lyle to his cell, Nora is preparing for a show, Rafe is conning another young actress, and Clinton is playing with a baby. Lilly gives Gloria the program where Dennis asks for forgiveness, and then catches a glimpse of him at the taxi company. At the happy hour bar everyone is celebrating another cold case closed and pays Jeffries their bets. Vera pays his 'iou' card by performing cabaret for everyone and annoying Lilly in the process.
- 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
- Adam Pascal as Dennis Hofferman
- Laura Bell Bundy as Nora McCarthy
- Dwayne Barnes as Clinton
- Eric Lange as Lyle
- Timilee Romolini as Gloria Hill
- John Rubinstein as Rafe Gray
- Yvette Tucker as Kit Kat Girl #2
- Nancy O'Meara as Kit Kat Girl #3
- Tyce Diorio as Kit Kat Boy #3
- Matthew Shaffer as Kit Kat Boy #1
- Anthony Marciona as Kit Kat Boy #2
- Gigi Hunter as Kit Kat Girl #4
- Rita Bland as Kit Kat Girl #5
- Aisha Jamila Francis as Kit Kat Girl
- Adam Pascal and Tracie Thoms were co-stars in the 2005 film adaptation of the musical Rent.
- Like his character, Adam Pascal was also in Cabaret in real life, although he played the Emcee while his character Dennis played Cliff.
All the songs come from the musical Cabaret: book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander.
- Don't Tell Mama
- Perfectly Marvelous
- Maybe This Time
- If You Could See Her
- Tomorrow Belongs to Me
- Maybe This Time
- Closing Song: Cabaret