New York is known for its characters, and sometimes it draws in one or two. When an illusionist named Luke Blade (Criss Angel) comes to town with a three-day show, he has no problem getting an audience. However, there is a woman in trouble close by. She's being sawed in half while being held prisoner, and this is not an illusion.
It's not long before Det. Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) and his team arrive to start catching a killer. They don't need Dr. Sid Hammerback (Robert Joy) to tell them how their victim died — it's obvious. What is also quite clear is how much life imitates art. The well-known illusionist who wows the crowd each night starts his new routine by being cut in half. Plus, the victim is the assistant of Luke Blade. This killer could be right under the detectives' noses.
Mac knows better than to assume anything, which he repeatedly mentions to Det. Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo). Evidence needs to be solid before any arrest is made. Det. Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes) reinforces this idea.
Along for the ride are Det. Don Flack (Eddie Cahill) and Dr. Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper). Once a background check of their prime suspect is done, it clears the way for Mac to start looking where Danny had been all along.
Evidence may be what Mac seeks, but he has enough common sense not to discount Danny's words. I thought this first murder, though, was a little cheesy. Sawing someone in half is simple. I'm surprised the assistant would let herself get trapped in a box and set up her own death.
Luke Blade was given up for adoption as an infant, only to be given up once more when his adoptive mother learned he had signs of fetal alcohol syndrome. Mac thinks that in Luke's mind, he cannot handle perceived betrayal. He is confusing work with what life was like for him as a child.