It's almost dawn. A bartender and her bouncer begins to close up. The bartender plays some music on the jukebox. Suddenly, a man wearing a hooded green sweatshirt bangs the door,pushes the bouncer aside and aims the gun at the bartender. She gives all the cash from the cash register to him, but he shows no mercy to her. He fires twice at her chest and ran off.
Det. Flack informs Mac that the surviving witness, the bouncer described the shooter as a African-American guy wearing hooded green sweatshirt. Mac, Stella, Danny and Lindsay processe the crime scene. Somewhere about 6 blocks away, a guy was running, wearing a hooded green sweatshirt. The police arrests him as he matches the description and he has a wad of cash in his pocket. The guy in the sweatshirt is Hawkes.
Later, the Mac's team is taken off the case and the case is handed over to Captain Gerrad. Stella and Danny lose their temper with the captain as the Captain insults Danny. Stella telss the captain, "Threaten one of my CSI's again, and i'll make it my personal mission to get your badge!" She leaves the crime scene.
Stella gets a call for a dead body in Times Square. Mac asks Danny to follow Stella. At first he refuse, but Mac insist he goes. They arrive at the store, and Danny browses thru a X-rated DVD. The person who runs the shop, Tom tells them that a junkie is found dead in Booth 3 where Det. Angell was already present. He's only wearing boxers and has fresh track marks. No witness too. Coincidence, no.
Hawkes gets interrogated by the union lawyer. He explains he went for a run and later got arrested but he has no explanation on how the exact amount of cash from the robbery was found in his pocket.
Mac enters the police station only to find the Captain was busy. He decides to sneak in and speak to Hawkes. But the Captain saw him, but he didn't hesitate to stop. He goes into the interrogation room and locks the door. He asks Hawkes for the truth, but the truth is he didn't commit the murder. The captain manages to break down the door and throws Mac out of the room.
Sid does an autopsy on the body found in the booth. Cause of death is overdose of drugs. But Sid found GSR in the nasal cavity but not on the hands. Now that's odd. The bartender, Kelly was brought in but neither Sid nor Peyton can do the autopsy due to a conflict of interest. Back at the lab, Lindsay and Danny watches as Hawkes's shirt is tested for GSR. Bad news : It's positive.
Danny encounters the bouncer, asking whether he's sure Hawkes did it. He sticks to his decision. Peyton tells Mac that Hawkes gets transferred to Riker's(jail) and the two bullets that killed Kelly are running thru IBIS. As she places her hand on Mac's face, he pushes her hand away as Stella comes in. Feeling hurt, she leaves the room.
Stella explains the GSR on Hawkes's shirt as Hawkes test-fired yesterday. He takes a run after his late shift. Later, Danny told that he spoke to the bouncer. Doing this could get the team in trouble. Mac thinks the murder is a frame up. Who would want to frame Hawkes? The answer suddenly becomes clear, it's Shane Casey and he's back.
In Riker's, Sheldon gets a surprise visit from his lawyer. But his lawyer is no lawyer, it's Shane Casey. Hawkes tells the guard but he doesnt buy it. As Hawkes was taken away, Shane yelled , "Trust in the system, Sheldon!".
Mac visits Hawkes the next day, only to get a note from Shane saying, "Grand Regent Lobby, 10.00 am tomorrow. I hold the key to freedom.Come alone." As Mac heads back to the lab, he bumps into Peyton. She was clearly hurt over what happened yesterday. And a "I'm sorry" wont clear things up. To make matters worse, he accidently called her Claire, Mac's late wife. They break up.
In the lab, Stella told Lindsay and Danny bout the vic in the booth. There was green dye on his skin, and gravitional drops. Tom lied bout not being near the victim. Danny goes back to get info, and Tom hands him a ring which was found near the victim.
Mac goes to the hotel to meet Shane. Flack and the other officers are standing guards unnoticed. Mac's phone rings, but it wasnt his phone actually. Someone dropped it into his pocket. Shane asks Mac to enter the elevator and stops at the 25th floor. Shane was a in a nearby elavator too, holding a gun. A gun which will prove Hawkes's innocent. In return, the CSI's must prove that Shane's brother, Ian was innocent. Shane left the elavator, and manage to escape with all the police officers surrounding the hotel.
Stella tries to trace Shane on the phone Shane left with Mac. She triangulates the location and he's still in New York. Mac looks into Ian's case, and Danny notices that the ring in the newspaper cutting matches the ring he found earlier. It was the bartender's ring. Ian is indeed guilty. Suddenly, a text message came in from Shane, saying "I know a thing or two on going to bat for your brother". Danny knows Shane meant him. Another message came in, " Send Messer. Alone."
Danny heads into the pub, once used to be the crime scene of Ian's case. Danny goes in with a bulletproof vest and an evidence kit while holding a gun. He got even scared when the jukebox starts up. Shane sings to the tune while holding the gun, acting crazy. Later, Shane turns off the music and demands Danny to process the crime scene. Shane also mentions about Louie, Danny's brother. Danny and Shane had something in common, they defend their brothers. But Danny reveals to Shane that his brother was indeed guilty. The ring was actually the bartender's ring, not Ian. Shane falls apart and Danny takes the gun away from him. Danny leads Shane to the police.
Hawkes walks out from jail. He collects his possesions and when he turns around, he was happy to see someone picking him up. Stella greeted him with a smile. Finally, Hawkes is free.