At the start of this busy and entertaining episode Nolan suddenly realises that his credit rating is tanking, and on further investigation it looks as if he’s been the victim of identity theft. He takes it to in-house expert Detective Summerland (Jeremy Davies, giving it the full twitchy Jeremy Davies number. Which, I will admit, I quite like) who confirms that his son’s college fund has also been emptied, but reassures him that if they find the baddie, Nolan might be able to get a few cents back in five or six years. This isn’t entirely welcome news. Fortunately, the miscreant (Seth Green) was dumb enough to spend some of his money on a watch with inbuilt GPS, which means that Nolan and Harper can track him easily enough (I’m not sure that Nolan should be investigating a case in which he is the main victim, but whatevs). Despite all the evidence pointing to him as the thief, he’s pretty insistent that it wasn’t him, to the point where I wondered whether the driver of the mysterious SUV which parks outside his house was going to be a lot more involved than he turned out to be.
In the slightest of this week’s storylines Jackson finds a case file which has actually, rather than metaphorically, fallen down the back of a filing cabinet. It’s a relatively minor vandalism from a year ago which was never assigned, and when Jackson brings the victim in and apologises for the LAPD’s apparent indolence, it’s perhaps no great surprise that the victim doesn’t want it taken any further. He’s very insistent, though, to the point where Jackson decides it might be better to do some digging after all. Unsurprisingly, the victim is hiding something. Quite a big something.
The other storylines are heavyweights. Grey and Lopez are attending the parole hearing of the man who, ten years ago, shot Grey and killed his partner; Lopez, on her first day, was on the scene. This becomes particularly interesting when Lopez reveals to Grey that his partner, who Grey thought was sober after battling an alcohol problem, had been drinking on the day of his death. Which gives Grey something to think about, particularly when he encounters the killer’s young son at the prison. Now, the traditional stance of American cop procedurals, even those with an otherwise liberal worldview, is somewhat Old Testamentary on issues of punishment, particularly for cop killers. It might just be confirmation bias on my part, but it does seem to me that this particular tide is turning, and Grey is notably ambivalent about whether the killer should get parole. He doesn’t, this time, but Grey puts down a marker: if you do get out, turn yourself into a man your son can be proud of.
The other storyline starts out light and ends up dark, and I’m not really sure to make of it. Rachel’s father Colin – old school small-town cop – is in LA to see his daughter, and to meet Bradford. To start with, the two of them face off – maybe, I idly wonder, Colin senses that Bradford is trifling with his daughter’s attentions, and would sooner be hitting it with his boot – but game recognise game, and soon enough they’re teaming up to catch the guy who broke into Colin’s hire car. So far, so standard. But then Colin warns Bradford away from his daughter, because he’s a cop, wedded to the job, and is he going to look after Rachel when she gets sick. Uh…? says Bradford. Oh, says Colin, you didn’t know. My bad.
Because Rachel has a chance of developing Huntington’s disease, and Bradford didn’t know. Nor did Chen, as it happens. Rachel isn’t particularly happy about such an intimate detail being revealed to everyone, when her desire is to live a normal life for as long as possible without everyone looking at her as if she were dying. Bradford, of course, vows to stick by her. Not sure whether this makes Chenford any more likely, mind you, which is a problem.