Season 1 Episode 7

Ricky's Tacos

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Apr 12, 2012 on NBC

Episode Recap

Reality 1

Michael and Hannah are meeting with their realtor, Heather Seiple, so that they can sell their house in LA for the move to Portland. Heather suggests that they'll need to make some repairs to up the property value to attract buyers and then leaves. Hannah offers to do the repairs when she realizes Michael is reluctant to do so, but he assures her that he'll take care of it. She reminds him that he needs to talk to Captain Harper about resigning and Michael says that he has a meeting scheduled with her later today.

As he drives to work, Michael stops at a fast-food joint, Ricky's Tacos, and places his order at the drive-thru. However, the attendant tells him that he can't go to Portland without learning the truth about the Westfield case. Shocked, Michael drives forward to get his order and asks the attendant what he knows about the Westfield case, but the attendant has no idea what he's talking about.

Michael drives to the warehouse that previously held the Westfield Distribution Center. The property owner, Murray, explains that the company moved out three months ago and left no forwarding address. The only thing they left behind was a Ricky's Tacos sack.

Reality 2

Evans suggests that Michael's subconscious is putting together memories and images, drawing attention to some unfinished business so he has a reason not to move to Oregon with his wife. Michael admits that he had one unsolved case that occurred right before the accident.

When Michael talks to his partner at the station, Bird doesn't remember anything about Westfield. As Michael goes to the records information to dig up the info, he and Bird are summoned to a crime scene. A twenty-three-year-old girl, Sabrina Ferris, jumped to her death from the roof of a nearby building. A witness saw another college student, Tim Wax, on the roof but nowhere near Sabrina when she jumped. As they go to talk to Tim, Michael notices that Sabrina had a parking pass from Tioga College in San Diego, and that it has a tiger logo.

Tim, an unattractive and overweight student, explains that he and Sabrina were lab partners. She invited him to her apartment to study but then insisted they had sex. He accepted but after they were done, she cried and said she was sorry. Jessica then went to the roof and jumped before Tim could stop her. Sabrina's father John arrives with his younger daughter Ally and tries to attack Tim, the man he holds responsible for his daughter's death. Michael and Bird calm him down and he explains that Sabrina took pity on Tim because he lived in a foster home since he lost his mom and never knew his father. His daughter took Tim as a lab partner because she was trying to be nice and thought he was harmless.

When the detectives get back at the station, Banks tells Bird and Michael that the autopsy revealed signs of rape. Jim interrogates Tim, who is clearly shook up and insists that he didn't want to hurt Sabrina because she was the one girl who was ever kind to him. They take that as a confession and close the case.

Reality 1

Michael goes to work and Harper calls him in for the meeting he scheduled with her earlier. However, he asks her about the case files on the Westfield Distribution case, which have gone missing. Harper doesn't see the point in further investigation of the three shootings tied to the warehouse since Michael closed all of them, and tells Michael to focus on cases that are still open.

Vega and Michael are summoned to the site of a hotel that is being demolished because a man's corpse was found buried in the concrete foundation. Banks confirms that the dead man has a fractured skull, indicating murder, and that the concrete was poured three years ago. Thanks to dental records and a missing finger, the coroner has already confirmed that the dead man is Pablo Cabrera, who disappeared three years ago. Michael and Vega go to see Pablo's brother, Jose, who is with his wife Elena and his son. They break the news and Jose confirms that Pablo worked at the hotel site. However, he hasn't seen him since then when he filed a missing persons report, and that Pablo didn't have any enemies. He had only been in the U.S. for a month when he disappeared. As Jose goes in the house, Michael notices that he has a tiger tattoo on his right shoulder, the same tiger design on Sabrina's parking pass in the other reality.

Reality 2

Michael gets the parking pass from Sabrina's car and goes back to the station. He finds it suspicious that it's stamped two days ago and that Sabrina drove 300 miles to San Diego back without telling anyone. Further, Michael has confirmed that Sabrina had an ex, Chris Chapman, going to the college. Michael decides to follow up the lead even though Bird refuses, and then notices that Bird got lunch from Ricky's Tacos. Bird says that he just got the food there because it's cheap. Michael goes to see Chris, who admits that Sabrina showed up at his dorm room two days ago even though they had broken up a year earlier because of her abstinence vow. When she showed up she said she wanted to have sex with Chris so she could have a baby and they could start a family. Chris realized she wasn't herself and refused, and tells Michael that Sabrina kept diaries and he should read them.

As Michael leaves, he calls to tell Bird what he's discovered. Bird informs him that the grand jury already rules against Tim, and Michael asks his partner to have the DA hold off. He explains that someone else raped Sabrina and she had sex later with Tim. When Bird wonders why the girl would have been raped and then wanted sex, Michael suggests that they check the autopsy report to see if she was pregnant when she died.

Reality 1

Michael goes back to Westfield Distribution and looks around, only to discover the doors are locked. As he leaves, a man watches him from a nearby car. He calls Harper's co-conspirator, Carl. Carl calls Harper and warns her that his people don't want Michael anywhere near the truth. Harper objects but Carl tells her that they've already arranged Michael's death and that she should stay out of the way.

Vega and Michael track down Doyle, the foreman who worked the hotel site three years ago. He claims not to recognize Pablo from his photo and dismisses him as another illegal alien in the U.S. Vega starts to lose his temper and Michael sends him to talk to the other workers. Once they're alone, Michael initially sympathizes with Doyle but then cracks down and warns that if Doyle doesn't make more of an effort to identify Pablo, he'll shut down the site where Doyle is working for OSHA and INS violations. Doyle backs down and checks the photo, but says he still doesn't recognize Pablo. The only thing he can remember from three years ago is that one of the workers, a man nicknamed El Diablo because of his devil tattoo, was a troublemaker and walked off the job. Doyle doesn't know what El Diablo's real name was. Satisfied, Michael leaves with Vega and warns his partner never to lose his temper with a civilian. He explains that even if they don't have any obvious leads, they'll just have to follow a trail until they either find what they're looking for, or confirm there's nothing there.

Reality 2

Michael goes to the Westfield warehouse and talks to the other Murray, who doesn't know anything other than what his counterpart knew about the company owners. Bird calls to tell Michael that the autopsy report showed that Sabrina was four weeks pregnant at the time of her death. They go to see John at his home and tell him the news, asking if he had any idea about his daughter's pregnancy. As Ally looks on, John says that he didn't and Michael asks to see Sabrina's diaries. They search Sabrina's room but find nothing, and Michael asks John for a glass of water. Once he's gone, Michael points out that there are a series of scratches in the floor between Sabrina's dresser and the door. When they open the door, they see Ally watching them from her room across the hall. John comes back with the water and Michael tells him that he's under arrest.

At the station, Michael and Bird interrogate John, who has his lawyer with him. Michael explains their theory that John molested her daughter and impregnated her. She tried to use first Chris and then Tim to cover up but finally killed herself out of shame. Her injuries are consistent with a long-standing pattern of rape and Michael says that they can run a DNA test on the fetus to confirm its father. The lawyer tells them to file charges or let his client go, and they have no choice but to release John. The detectives tell Harper what happened and that it will take twelve days to complete the DNA test. He refuses to send Ally home with John for even a day, much less two weeks.

Michael gets an idea and has Harper talk privately to Ally. The captain makes small talk with the girl and describes how she gets scared but is successful because she faces her fears. She finally tells Ally that she knows that she was molested and Ally breaks into tears and agrees to testify against her father. John is arrested and Michael watches as Tim is released.

Reality 1

Lee thinks that Michael's subconsciously is deliberately altering the dream and letting him find justice on a closed case. Michael doesn't believe it, but Lee talks about pentimento: a situation where a painter erases his original work and paints over it because he changed his mind. The psychiatrist thinks that Michael's subconscious is creating new memories overlaid over the old ones. Michael has an idea and realizes that Jose's tattoo of a tiger is actually drawn on top of an old one... of a devil.

Michael and Vega go to Jose's house and he runs out the back. They manage to catch him and take him to the station, and Michael works out that Jose is actually Pablo, and the dead man is the real Jose. The detectives asked about Jose and no one remembered him, but everyone remembered the drunken troublemaking El Diablo and recognized their prisoner, Pablo, as the man. The real Jose disappeared when Diablo came to LA, and Michael figure Pablo murdered his brother to get his green card. Crying, Pablo explains that he and Jose fought and his brother hit his head by accident when they struggled. Pablo had to take on his brother's identity and file the missing person report on Jose-as-Pablo to avoid the INS, but since then he became the kind of man that Jose wanted him to be. He stopped drinking and fighting, but spent every morning waking up and worrying if that day would be the day that someone saw through his charade.

Reality 2

Evans wonders if Michael found anything at the warehouse in either reality, and he admits that he didn't. He worries that he missed something, but Evans figures that he's fabricating a mystery so that he can find a reason to stay in LA rather than move to Portland with Hannah.

Reality 1

Lee agrees with Evans, figuring that Michael's subconscious has crafted an unsolvable mystery to avoid leaving LA.

Michael goes back to Ricky's Tacos but no voice from the drivethru loudspeaker advises him or gives him a warning. He then goes to the station and finishes his conversation with Harper, telling her that he's resigning. A relieved Harper says that she hates to lose him but that it's the best thing for him and Hannah, and promises to give him a recommendation.

Later, Michael comes home and realizes that the realtor company handling the sale of his home is Ferris Diamond Real Estate: the same last name as Sabrina in the other reality.

Harper calls Carl and tells him that they have nothing to worry about now that Michael is resigning and leaving town.