Brenda and her team step into the delicate kidnapping case of a real estate mogul accused of fraud, which is complicated by frozen assets, an FBI case, obnoxious relatives, and a victim who may not be victimized.
Brenda and the team investigate the potential kidnapping of real estate developer Allan Summers, under investigation for fraud. With all of his assets frozen by the FBI, LAPD believes he may have staged his own kidnapping in an attempt to get access to his money. The chauffeur who met him at the airport, Mario Gomez, is also missing. When they find the limo, the seats are covered in blood but there is no body and no driver. Lt. Tao untangles that mystery while Sgt. Gabriel finds a key clue to the culprit. Meanwhile, Brenda's cat, Kitty, is seriously ill and requires extra special care.
The apparent kidnapping of a rich financier under investigation for ripping off investors leads Brenda's squad to think he may have staged his own abduction. During the investigation, Gabriel tries to cover the forensic accounting duties, since Det. Daniels has been promoted to another division. Meanwhile, something strange has come over Lt. Provenza, and Kitty, Brenda and Fritz's cat, is enduring serious medical issues.
- Pope narrates LAX security camera footage for Brenda, focusing on former real estate mogul Allan Summers. He's being investigated by the FBI for fraud and embezzlement. He's also being sued by employees of his home construction company for their lost pensions.
He was met at the airport by his car service but somewhere between the airport and his home, Summers and the chauffeur disappeared. They've been gone 12 hours. His wife told a bank he'd been kidnapped and was requesting an odd amount just over $1 million. Detective Mickey Mendoza is there to help.
Pope now notices that Brenda's cat Kitty is in a nearby crate. She's sick and Brenda has to give her medicine. Buzz plays some footage from the parking lot. It shows Allan driving himself from the lot.
Sanchez tries to give info on the driver Mario Gomez (Miguel Sandoval), but is distracted by Mickey's general hotness. They try to sort out who's the suspect and who's the victim when Provenza walks in with a pocket full of sunshine. They catch him up. He's super excited for a grid search of the airport parking lot. Pope wonders if they have a Breathalyzer there.
Pope tells Brenda to assume it's a kidnapping and keep their involvement on the q.t., which means no contacting his family.
She gets Gabriel working on following up with Gomez's regular fare who reported him missing, Catherine Ortega.
Brenda talks to her. She knows his wife died of cancer and he's newish to the area. She also knows he was "an illegal" and thought someone had been following him.
They visit his apartment. When no one answers, Mendoza kicks down the door. They find blood on his bathroom towel and a fresh steak laid out, which implies he expected to be back shortly.
They meet Provenza with Gomez's town car near the airport. There's a ton of blood all over the front and back seats, too much to lose and live. But no bodies. Brenda gets Tao to work on the blood spatter. It's not just a kidnapping anymore.
In her office, Brenda talks sweetly to Kitty and prepares to give her her IV. Pope gets stuck assisting. She tells him the blood on Mario's towel matches the type in the car. But in order to check the blood in the car against Summers', she needs to contact his family for his type. Pope tells her, again, that she's not allowed to call or meet with them.
She's also trying to figure out the weird amount the kidnapper asked for. She doesn't think Gabriel is up to figuring out the numbers. But she doesn't want to ask Fritz for help since they're keeping their professional lives separate. She starts crying over Kitty as they talk about the case. Pope's patting her on the shoulder, comforting her as she cries when Fritz walks in.
He tells her the FBI feels pretty dumb since they were monitoring him. He offers to help, but she turns him down. But then wonders, what they might say.
Hypothetically, they'd unfreeze Summers' accounts so the family could pay the ransom. As Brenda says this would make her like a banker, she has an epiphany. Fritz packs up Kitty and goes.
Summers' wife and son go into the bank. Members of the team are undercover inside, including Brenda and Gabriel inside the bank, posing as, yep, bankers. His wife isn't feeling very cooperative. Brenda identifies herself, saying they need their help to be able to pay the ransom. Summers' blood type doesn't match the blood in the car. His son says the relatively small amount of the ransom is what makes him believe it's legit and not his dad.
They want him to get the kidnappers to put his dad on the phone and let them tap it. Mrs. Summers says they have no choice but to cooperate even though all Brenda has done is frighten and insult them. She finishes up by telling Brenda to go to hell.
Provenza thinks the demands aren't from Summers since there's $5 million in the account . They're waiting for proof of life over the phone before unfreezing the account. The kidnappers call Mrs. Summers. Allan talks to his wife and tells her he's fine and he's worked out a very good way of handling it. The kidnapper gets on the phone (and if you watch "Medium" you might recognize the voice) and tells them how to drop off the denominations so that Allan doesn't end up "like the guy who picked him up from the airport."
Brenda says they need to contact Mario Gomez's next of kin. At his computer monitoring the bank account, Gabriel turns to listen to Brenda. When he turns back the balance has gone down by exactly the amount the kidnappers are asking for. Brenda looks at him like he failed her.
Brenda tells Pope it's the FBI's fault for letting them unfreeze the account. Gabriel traced the transfer to the Cayman Islands. Gabriel apologizes again, saying maybe Daniels could have done a better job. Brenda lets him off the hook.
In the office, Tao has reconstructed the inside of the Town Car by putting huge photos up on wipe boards and desks. He thinks he knows what happened and it makes no sense whatsoever. It was staged. There were no smudges or blood outside. He thinks someone took a bucket and dumped it around inside.
Brenda remembers Mario's regular fare said he became his sick wife's nurse, so he might know how to draw blood. But it would have taken weeks of planning and he would have had to have known Allan.
They go back to the security tape. The driver doesn't hold up Allan Summers' name card until he sees him. He recognized him. So it's not a murder anymore. It's a kidnapping. Again.
They're on to Gomez as the suspect. Brenda's still stuck on the weird ransom amount. Gabriel comes in with the case files from the FBI. He's done some math. If each employee suing Summers got their money they would have gotten the ransom amount: $1,190,476.19.
They start through the employee files looking for someone who matches Gomez.
Pope meets Commander Taylor at Mario Gomez's house. He's really Mario Vargas, born and raised in L.A. He spent the last 20 years working for Summers' company. His apartment was part of the fake ID he established.
Flynn and Provenza go through Vargas' things. He has 15 photos of the same house in his kitchen. Flynn asks Provenza what's with him. He says he hasn't slept in two days, his back his sore, his neck his stiff and he hurts in places he didn't know he had. Aha, Flynn deduces, Provenza is seeing someone.
They find Mario's plane ticket in a bag in his house.
On the phone with Mickey, Sanchez reports to Brenda that Vargas is driving up the street, but is alone. Brenda tells Sanchez to tell Mickey to go with Plan B. Sanchez finds this very exciting.
Brenda calls Mario, accurately identifying herself. She keeps him on the phone until he rounds the corner, saying she has one tiny question for him. He sees her as he drives by. She asks him if he's wearing a seat belt.
Then a car peels out and rams him. Detective Mickey, the hot chick driver, jumps out of the car like Sanchez's dream girl and cuff's Gomez/Vargas.
After Gabriel reads him his rights, Brenda talks to Vargas inside his house. He plays dumb about Summers being missing. He blames Summers for his wife's death. When he lost his job, they lost their health insurance. She got pancreatic cancer. To save them their last $5,000 she shot herself because her treatment was too expensive.
Brenda asks if this is what his wife would want him to do. He says if she wants to know where Allan is, he's "in a hell of his own making."
They drive to the house that Vargas had photos of all over his house. It's an abandoned tract home, made by Summers' company. Summers is dead in the kitchen.
"OK, Mr. Vargas," Brenda says, "now it's a murder."