Cities around the world attract crime like bees to nectar, and The Big Apple knows this well. For Det. Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo), emotions go through the roof after a neighbor of his dies.
After Danny takes Ruben, a kid who lives in his apartment building, to a blessing of bikes, they head home. When gunshots ring out, Danny tells Ruben to keep going. Ruben does, but soon runs into trouble.
Det. Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) and Dr. Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper) arrive to help process the scene of a bodega robbery. Since the store is a mess, only lab work will be able to put the pieces together.
Dr. Sid Hammerback (Robert Joy) examines the x-rays of Justin, the injured shop owner, but has a bigger problem when a young child is wheeled into the morgue. Danny takes one look and is sick to his stomach — it's Ruben! Hawkes gets Danny out of the room before evidence can be destroyed. Mac later reminds Danny he could not have prevented what happened.
Before Det. Lindsay Monroe (Anna Belknap) can let Danny cry on her shoulder, he walks off. Right now, he needs to tell Ruben's mom what took place. Then he must come to grips with the tragedy himself.
It turns out Lucy, Justin's sister (Suzie Pollard, Beyond the Break), shot Ruben. She did not mean to. Lucy was shooting at the man who robbed their family store, but the shot went wild and Ruben died.
On the lighter side, Det. Don Flack (Eddie Cahill) and Det. Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes) work with Lindsay to deduce who killed Essex Palmer with an exploding cigar. The trail leads to Laughing Larry (Richard V. Licata, The West Wing), selling gag toys. He denies wrongdoing, and the evidence backs him up.
However, he does have a connection. The killer, Benjamin (Brad Rowe, 1-800-Missing), is a man whose childhood best friend drowned many years ago. Larry had made the cardboard submarine which sank, leaving a non-adept swimmer helpless. Larry was given the deadly smoker by someone seeking revenge. The killer never meant for another man to die.
Carmine Giovianzzo has always been an actor to watch, and he proved it in this episode. I would be interested in more focus on this, so perhaps this can come up later. Danny had a difficult choice to make, and there are some who might wonder why he did not keep Ruben at his side. Er, let's see… a young child witnessing a crime scene where a man has been shot. Broken glass abounds while emotions quiver from shock, anger, and trauma. Why does Ruben need to see that? He also could have been taken hostage.
Flack's pantomime was a pleasant surprise. He knows the suspect is having hearing problems, so he finds another way to make the arrest. Adam (AJ Buckley) and Sid were priceless! The discussion about Sid's autopsy results gave these two recurring guest stars a chance to shine.
Mac had the tough task of dealing with the aftermath of a horrid death, complicated by the involvement of one of his own. He lets Danny know things will be okay, eventually. There is no embrace like the time Louie, Danny's brother was shot ("Run Silent, Run Deep"), but sometimes distance works better.