Dr. Morales calls in a favor when he believes a suicide is murder, interfering with Brenda planning her wedding with her parents.
At the Medical Examiner's insistence, Brenda and her team look into the death of Jeff Crawford, a recovered drug addict with a $2 million insurance policy, who owed money to his brother Ed and his ex-wife Dana (suing him for back alimony) but who left it all to the church through which he found religion. The police determined that Jeff took his own life, but the autopsy suggests otherwise. Pastor Paul Hicks says he was on the road to leading a good Christian life and living in a church-owned apartment. He had even asked his girlfriend (recovering cancer patient Beth Gibson) to marry him, which she refused to do until she recovered. Brenda, with her own wedding now less than a month away, has her own challenges to deal with, including placating her visiting parents. Awareness of her father's health condition gives Brenda the clue to identifying the killer.
- Brenda stands in front of a mirror. In a wedding dress. A big poofy wedding dress. Her mom chokes up. "Who designed this veil?" Brenda says, "the Taliban?"
They try another one.
Brenda hears sirens in the distance and looks wistful.
Fritz comes home and her dad says it's too bad he has to wait a month to see Brenda in the dress. "I think we'd both feel better if we had that in writing," says Fritzie, knowing his bride. Brenda wants to wear her first dress, but Willie Rae explains that's cursed and they like to pretend that marriage never happened. Brenda picks dresses between her sister-in-law's, her aunt's and her mother's.
Fritz knocks, not peeking, with a call from Lt. Flynn.
The only wedding thing Brenda is putting her full energy into is selecting a cake. She takes the samples into the station. Sanchez takes a plate. Sanchez lives! He's on restricted duty, he's had five surgeries. The suicide Brenda came in to sign off on has turned into a murder.
The coroner gives his presentation, with photos. A guy shot in the head. His minister found the body of Jeff Crawford. He was in debt and had tried to kill himself in the past. He also just got out of rehab. The coroner isn't convinced it's suicide. He's saying murder and is determined to convince the detectives. X-rays show joints on several of his fingers are fused and he couldn't have pulled the trigger. Dr. Morales gets ramped up into a ferocious snit saying he'll go over their heads if he has to. Sanchez looks at the crime scene photos and thinks the blood spatter pattern shows someone might have been standing there.
Pope joins Brenda in the viewing room, irritated that the victim's family is threatening lawsuit over the whole suicide-no-wait-murder thing. The victim's brother Ed was Jeff's beneficiary and the gun belonged to him. Brenda promises she'll investigate the murder discretely. "Oh my god, you just called it a murder, that is not discreet!" Pope rants like only Pope can.
Proflynza talk to Ed, who says Jeff was engaged but broke it off. Brenda breaks in, apologizing profusely to the sirs and Flynn catches on, barking at her to hurry it up. They bluster while she has Ed sign a Miranda waiver as just some paperwork the ditzy secretary forgot to have him sign earlier. She tries to sneak a card saying that the gun was Ed's in front of him, but he pushes it aside. They manage to interrogate him without making it sound like an interrogation.
Tao and Sanchez have a fun show-and-tell. They blew up photos of the crime scene and the void in the blood spatter clearly makes an outline of someone with a raised arm. Brenda pokes Sanchez to see if he's hurt and produces only ticklish giggles, no pain.
Buzz and Tao lay full-size photos of the body out in the bathroom, recreating. Brenda and Provenza talk to Jeff's girlfriend, Beth, a cancer patient. The apartment is owned by the church, part of his rehab. She explains she turned his proposal down because they started dating after she got cancer and she told him to try again when she beat it. The ring was 2 carats.
Tao is ready for his demonstration. Using a dummy, they prove that someone moved the body. Brenda delegates the rest of the day to the team, reminding them to work the murder as a suicide. She calls her folks, saying she has a new venue for them to look at. It happens to be the church Jeff attended. It's a former skating rink. A sex addiction group is meeting nearby.
The pastor says he knew Jeff embezzled money from his brother, but let him manage the church's finances anyway. He put together web pages for members in financial crisis. The pastor says he found Jeff's body after he didn't appear for Sunday services. He let himself in with the key Jeff left out. He moved the body, checking on him. He says Jeff's ex, Dana, took all Jeff's things, including his car. She called the other day, asking for the money Jeff donated to the church. Brenda tells her parents she'll meet up with them later. Dad is not pleased.
Brenda meets with Dana, who helps herself to Brenda's candy, in no way endearing herself to Brenda. She wants to know what happened to his things. Brenda tells Dana that she no longer has the right to Jeff's things because she's not his next of kin. She doesn't feel bad at all, saying that he probably stole from everyone, including cancer girl.
She's not turning anything over and Brenda, peeved at this point, arrests her for grand theft. Dana caves.
They go through Jeff's things, finding past due notices and a bill for Beth's chemo. Tao finds a police report saying that Jeff showed up at the doctor's office, demanding drugs. They still haven't found the engagement ring.
Taylor offers to talk to Pastor Hicks so Brenda can meet up with her folks, but her delegating fails. Brenda gives him a form to open the church finances, but the minister gets huffy in a non-minister way, saying absolutely not and that Jeff wasn't stealing. Brenda wants to know how he afforded the ring and Hicks answers that, saying he cosigned the loan and when Beth turned him down, Jeff returned the ring and donated the deposit to Beth's health fund - through the web site Jeff set up for her.
Pope is not pleased the non-suicide has now led Brenda to accusing a minister of murder. She says the accounts balance properly, but Pastor Hicks, a former real estate investor, moves money around in a way that would impress a Swiss banker. Her phone rings, it's Provenza telling her her parents have been waiting in her office for an hour and a half. With Flynn. Fritz gets to her in the hall first and prepares her for much apologizing, which she launches into upon seeing the displeased parentals. An hour with Flynn will do that to a couple.
Her dad asks if she intends to go through with the wedding. He gets worked up and turns down dinner, saying he's got indigestion. Then he starts gasping and gets wobbly. He slowly crumples. Brenda tries to keep her father conscious while they get help.
At the hospital, the doctor says the stent in her father's heart has closed off. He had his first heart attack two years ago. They didn't want to bother Brenda by telling her.
She talks to her daddy, who is tired of hearing her apologize. He worries about what it'll cost. They end with a teary moment.
Brenda calls Daniels, wanting a copy of Beth's chemo bill.
Back at the office, Brenda preps for Beth, laying out Jeff's things, along with Brenda's own gun. Beth notices that it's not the gun Jeff had, because his brother Ed's was more old fashioned. She asks Beth which chemo drugs she's getting. Beth doesn't know all the names, but says it's a cocktail. Brenda points out that Beth's bills aren't itemized, unlike normal hospital bills, which show you the $10 charge for aspirin. Brenda feigns concern that they hospital might not have charged Beth properly. They showed Jeff's photo at Beth's doctors office and they recognized him. And knew her, from when she got the results of her biopsy last year. When they were negative. Beth is under arrest.
She stands, frozen, then tries to explain. She felt so loved when she told her prayer group about the lump, she didn't want that to go away. She tells Brenda about Jeff's reaction when he found out she was lying. Beth claims that he forgave her, but told her that she had to go in front of the church and ask forgiveness. She said she would. And then she left, but she should have stayed. He needed to be with someone. Beth's still arguing suicide.
Tao closes a door and the blood spatter photos are tacked up behind Beth. She fits the void. She keeps talking, going for sweet and innocent. They explain that every donation she accepted through her web site is a count of wire fraud, with a three year punishment. She says she asked Jeff for time to make it look like she'd gotten well. But he wouldn't give her that. She's under arrest, and, Provenza adds, "may God have mercy on your soul."
Pope tells Brenda that Sanchez is good to go physically, but hasn't gotten the OK from the therapist because he refuses to meet with one. Brenda figures that Provenza is covering for him with talk of stalled paperwork, and Pope reminds her that Sanchez literally took a bullet for Provenza. So let him cover. Provenza will figure it out.
Meanwhile, Brenda has a recuperating dad to look forward to at home.
Willie Rae has a proposal: Brenda and Fritz get married on a hotel balcony with just her parents and Fritz's sister as witness. Just like Brenda wants. Fritz beams at her, saying he has a feeling that the wedding might happen after all. "You can count on it," she tells him.