We all have a past. Sometimes, though, it catches up to the present.
As this episode opens, a man is seen running to the Staten Island Ferry. He misses the boat, and hears people shouting, “Better luck next time.” When he glances down, he sees a body floating in the water. Time to call in the cops.
Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise), Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes), and Lindsay Monroe (Anna Belknap) watch the dive team haul out the body. The dead woman is in a mermaid costume. Mac and Stella leave Lindsay at the scene while they go to investigate another death. Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo) is on his way to join Lindsay.
The second victim is a man shot in the eye. As they start processing evidence, Mac notices Stella is a little distracted and asks if she is okay. She was nearly killed by her enraged boyfriend in “All Access.” Stella is still recovering from her encounter, but she says yes.
Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper), the newest investigator as well as the former medical examiner, arrives to help out. A woman approaches the scene, screaming that the dead man is her husband. Stella intercepts her before she can destroy evidence. While she is doing so, another woman runs up and says she too, is the man’s wife.
Dr. Sid Hammerback (Robert Joy), the medical examiner, tells Danny and Lindsay their victim was strangled with bare hands. Plus, she was killed on dry land and dumped in the water for a maximum of eight hours.
There are marks on the dead woman’s hands. Lindsay tells Sid they are cuts made from roping steer. She knows because she has the same ones. She asks Sid, “Why do you think Danny calls me ‘Montana’? Because I like the 49′ers?”. Sid replies Danny has a crush on her.
They find a $200 dollar check stuffed down her costume. The name on the check is Paul White.
Lindsay and Det. Don Flack (Eddie Cahill) talk to the man who wrote the check. She says the dead woman was hired as an entertainer for his daughter’s birthday party. Since the boat is not far from where the dead woman’s body was found, there is a question of whether the mermaid and the man who hired her were involved romantically.
After Flack, Danny, and Lindsay search the boat, they find one of the mermaid’s sequins from her costume. They talk again to the father of the birthday girl. He says he was having sex with the mother of one of the party guests.
Mac does some checking on the two wives. He discovers one has a record. Wife number two shot her boyfriend in the chest in self-defense. Stella gets a flashback to the night when Frankie was killed, by her. Mac asks if she intends to come with him. She does.
A friend of the family backs up the alibi of wife number one. Wife number two turns out to be common law rather than legal. When she realizes Mac sees her as the prime suspect, she punches him in the chest. Stella cuffs her and puts her in a patrol car.
The suspect does not expect Stella to understand. Of course, Stella does. She tests the woman’s hands for evidence that she might have fired a gun recently and the result is positive.
Lindsay talks to the father of the dead mermaid. He says they hadn’t spoken in over a year. He deeply regrets his last words.
A DNA test shows the boat owner was telling the truth. The only thing left to do is look for clues in the costume itself. The missing sequin fell off with others on the same thread. Lindsay and Danny go to a nearby park to find them.
The cops figure out the location of each sequin. When Lindsay finds a print on one of the sequins, she checks AFIS, the fingerprint database used by law enforcement personnel. A match turns up and she and Danny are out the door.
Talking to their suspect is tricky since he knows he is a perfect suspect. He doesn’t convince them he is not the killer, so they scoop up some dirt off his boot as he walks away. Now they can compare it to the dirt collected where the mermaid was actually killed.
At the precinct, a man calls out to Mac. The intruder is not welcome. He is a lawyer representing DJ Pratt, a serial rapist yet to be locked up. The man implies his client has been the target of a vendetta. Aiden Burn, a former CSI member, was trying to link Pratt to a woman who was raped twice. Another case has shown Pratt potentially guilty of rape and murder. Mac is annoyed. He throws the lawyer out of the building.
Stella remembers Mac got hit on his chest with a closed fist. She tests Mac’s shirt for DNA. It proves there was someone else at the scene.
Mac and Hawkes go to the bank where their suspect works. They notice the sidearm he’s wearing, but it’s the wrong caliber. Could he have killed the male victim? They’re not in a position to bring him in for questioning.
The dirt samples matched. Lindsay tells Danny and Flack it is time to make an arrest. During the interrogation, they decide the mermaid was attacked from behind and murdered. The suspect does not give them a motive.
Hawkes realizes the bullet had a copper “jacket” which can make it into a different caliber gun. When Mac and Stella return to the crime scene, they realize the bullet had to have passed through something. Stella finds a newspaper in the garbage nearby.
Wife number one murdered the man because she felt he was not taking her concerns seriously of being in second place. She killed out of jealousy, anger, and revenge.
Mac finds Lindsay at her computer. Mac says he is pleased with the way her investigation turned out, but Danny noticed she was affected by not knowing why. Mac says he has cases where it haunted him, but sometimes you just do not get why.
As the episode closes, Mac is looking at crime scene photos in his office. Adam Ross (AJ Benchley) stops by. Adam has confidence in Mac’s ability to get the job done. Could the story be closed soon?
This week not only tied in past storylines, but also one that has played out since the beginning of the season. Only Gary Sinise could have pulled off enough bubbling anger to let the lawyer know his client should not count his chickens before they are hatched. Aiden may have been fired, but the case she was working on still sits on Mac Taylor’s desk. He promised her he would keep it there until the case is solved. The flashbacks suggest the former cop is still very much a part of her colleagues’ lives.
Lindsay and the dead mermaid might have come from the same state, but this did not work out the way I expected. The clues, which might have given viewers an idea of how she got into police work, are few and far between. With only two episodes left in this season, is this being saved for the finale? I’m not sure, but I would not mind it being written that way. It might also be a great way to involve Adam Ross. We don’t know his story, either.