It's been a few weeks since the last time Ali and Simon have seen each other, and they meet up at Dick Hofstedder's 'Scene of the Crime', a favorite bar for local cops. Simon can't help but notice a change in Ali's hair (last season she was a redhead, now she's dirty blonde). Over a glass of wine, Simon tells Ali that the squad, with the exception of Logozzo, has been disbanded and turned into a provincial task force. He's gotten a job in New York, and asks her to come with him but she turns him down before leaving. After getting in an accident, Tony picks her up at the hospital, where he advises her that the boy she hit was the son of Wynn Harris, a very influential local man. Ali swears the the boy had a gun. While leaving the hospital, Tony dumps out Ali's blood samples, convinced that she was drinking no matter what she says.
While driving Ali home, Tony talks to her about the new changes. He freely admits that the only reason he is still around is because he is eight months from retirement, and tells Ali that he and Vivian are thinking about getting back together. He tells her about Frank Coscarella, the new head of the squad, and Mickey Kollander, a transfer from gang squad who looks more like a debutante than a cop. Ali suddenly announces that she wants to go back to the station, where she and Tony run into Bernice Boyle, formerly from the third floor, who is the new secretary. Ali then confronts Mulray, demanding a chance to keep her job, but Mulray isn't interested in getting into hot water with Harris. Ali tries to convince him that she put her heart and soul into cold squad, but Mulray reminds her that Schneider and Malcolm once said the same thing, and they both ended up behind bards because of her. Ali advises him that she refuses to quit her job and leaves. While watching Tony help her into the car, Mulray asks Simon to take a look into the accident, to find out if there is any chance that the boy really did have a gun despite his claims that Ali was speeding and he was unarmed.
Tony drops Ali back off at her place, where she finds her cousin Cathy Nelson waiting for her. Ali is less than thrilled to see Cathy who admits that she's looking for a place to stay because she just had a fight with her roommate. Once Logozzo leaves, Cathy and Ali sit down to watch some television, with Cathy talking about osteoperosis and menstruation. A news story about the Joey Harris shooting comes on, featuring the 14-year-old in a neck brace, showing Joey, his brother Cal, and their parents talking about the accident. Cal claims that the smell of alcohol was strong on McCormick, and even though McCormick has no memory of the other boy being there, she now realises where the gun went.
As Frank walks through the squad room, Bernice stops him, telling him he has a message from Tina, who she then asks if she's his wife. After a snide response, Frank reluctantly agrees to talk to Tina when Bernice hands him the phone. Although he tries to put her off, she tells him there's an emergency with their son, Ledo. Meanwhile, Ali is in with her union representative, talking about the accident and what is likely to happen with internal affairs. She maintains her innocence, but even the rep doesn't think she's got a good chance. When Ali begins to cry, the representative tells her that I.A. has never looked kindly upon women in the force, so she doesn't want to cry in front of them. At Ali's, Cathy continues to watch the news.
When I.A. shows up, the two cops immediately start asking Ali about her drinking preferences, obviously trying to prove that Ali was drunk. Her representative tries to help her, but the I.A. officers aren't interested in listening to anything he has to say. They push Ali into admitting that her mother had a drinking problem at one point, when her parents were having some marital problems. They continue to ask her about her drug history, then move on to discussing her vacation, asking her about the plane trip. When they confront her with the fact that she never went anywhere, the union representative steps in and says that they're not speaking to her until she gets a lawyer. While leaving the meeting, Ali runs into Mickey who tries to introduce herself, but Ali brushes her off. She also brushes Tony off, who follows her when she leaves. After grabbing a message from Bernice, Frank goes to talk to Mickey, who found some paperwork on a criminal record that Wynn Harris buried for his son, who assaulted a seven-year-old boy, did some breaking and entering, and killed and tortured a dog. It's soon clear that while Kollander is batting for Ali, Frank is suspicious of her. Nevertheless, they take the information to Ross.
Back at Ali's, Cathy calls the newstation and introduces herself as a journalist who can get the inside track with Ali for the news. When they shoot down her 'day in the life of' idea she fishes for something new, but the station hangs up on her. As Ali leaves the station, Tony tries to convince her not to let I.A. get to her, but she can't help it. When she admits to lying about her vacation, Tony wants to know what she was thinking, and she admits that not only did she not get on a plane, she never left Vancouver. The entire time they thought she was gone, she was in the hospital having an abortion.