The episode opens with a montage of ballroom dancing and domestic abuse. As a couple dances another couple engages in a violent struggle.
Night fades to day and Chic, Shannon and Leary are at the scene of a crime. A cab driver named Clifford Rashman-the third dead cabbie in a year and a half. A throng of other cab drivers have gathered to mourn the loss of one of their own. Shannon and Leary question a cabbie-Noel-who reveals that Clifford liked to pick up young boys off the street. The first glimpse at an explanation is revealed.
Chic gives Shannon and Leary the details of his preliminary investigation. The cab idled until it ran out of gas. Clifford was strangled from behind and his fly was down, but there's no obvious sign of sexual activity. The idea that it was some sort of kinky sex act gone wrong gains credibility.
At the morgue, Patricia and Marlowe walk new medical residents through autopsy. It's Marlowe's first homicide-a cook found brutally murdered with five different weapons.
Kosmo and Da Vinci are investigating the death of a drunk identified as Ray Sorento. The badly beaten body was found on the stairs of an apartment building, but no disturbance was reported by neighbors. Cause of death could either be asphyxia or the severe beating Sorento took. Sorento's apartment is a mess, littered with empty beer cans. It could very well be the sight of the beating that lead to his death. Or the place he drank himself into such a stupor that he fell down the stairs and asphyxiated on his own vomit. Da Vinci marvels over a past case that brought him to this same building and Sorento's very apartment 12 years earlier.
Leary and Shannon question Clifford's boss. The cabbie hadn't shut off his meter, but they hadn't received an emergency call from him either. None of his behavior was routine, but it also wasn't obviously unusual. There have been a rash of cab driver deaths and robberies in the past year. Clifford has a roommate-Mark.
Sunny performed the autopsy on Ray Sorento. The victim died of asphyxia, possibly brought on by the severe beating he took. His blood-alcohol count was very high. Sunny is unable to rule out homicide.
Shannon and Leary question some other cab drivers. They saw a young blond street kid approach Clifford's cab the night of his death. It might have been a pick-up.
Da Vinci and Kosmo interview Ray's girlfriend/wife (we realize that Ray and Vita were the abusive couple from the opening montage). Ray was beating Vita until her son Eric showed up and grabbed a gun, forcing Ray to lay off. Ray calmed down and left. Vita is badly beaten, but not acting as if it's out of the ordinary.
Shannon and Leary go to Mark's dance studio (the place of the dancing couple from the opening montage). Mark lived with Clifford for 6 years and they were obviously a couple, but it's rather obvious that there are a lot of things Mark doesn't know about his partner. Clifford used to be a dancer, but was injured and had to quit. Nothing unusual happened between Mark and Clifford the previous night. As Leary and Shannon are leaving the older cop laments about the fact that based on all the mirrors in that studio he seems to be putting on weight.
At his office, Helen uneasily gives Da Vinci the news that Bob Kelly, a former Crown Prosecutor, has been named the new Chief Coroner. Da Vinci is more annoyed over the idea of the piano tuner coming in to fix his piano.
In the morgue, Patricia is beginning the autopsy while Chic photographs the body. The new residents and Marlowe are looking on. A fire extinguisher, BBQ fork, knife and some hot liquid-most likely soup-are all potential weapons and possible COD's.
Da Vinci and Kosmo arrive at a gym where some young guys are boxing in a ring right inside the door. The manager, Harry DeBurgh, is not immediately cooperative when Da Vinci tells him they're looking for Eric.
While they wait, Da Vinci makes a comment about his brother wanting to be a boxer. He seems to be full of random anecdotes in this episode.
Eric knows what happened to Ray, but claims he had nothing to do with it. The cuts on his hands are from taking out his frustrations on the bag without wrapping up first. He never hit Ray. Eric often spends the night at the gym and Harry confirms that it's normal behavior for him. Eric is a good kid and Harry takes care of him without asking too many questions.
Back on the streets, Leary and Shannon question more cabbies who knew Clifford. They aren't sure if Clifford picked up the young kids in an attempt to help them out or because he was picking up tricks. The cabbies aren't exactly cooperative with the cops. Tensions are high as someone seems to be targeting them and the cops don't seem to be doing anything to stop it.
Kosmo is at a bar, interviewing a waitress about Ray. He was a regular and the night of his death he got into a mild-and not unusual-bar fight with another patron over the Canuk hockey team. Eric came by to see him, really angry and was tossed out because he was underage. Ray left shortly after. Kosmo is surprised as Eric had claimed he hadn't seen Ray after he left his mom's apartment.
The autopsy is in on Clifford Rashman-a leather bootstrap killed him. No signs of sexual activity.
Kurtz and Marlowe have the dishwasher in interrogation in connection with the dead cook.
Marlowe: We went over to his place, found him sitting on the couch, covered in blood, drinking a beer and smoking a cigar.
Kurtz: What's he got to say about that?
Marlowe (annoyed): Not guilty.
Kosmo and Da Vinci have a discussion over Eric's possible guilt. Kosmo wants a warrant to search Eric's locker at the gym, but Da Vinci balks when he realizes she wants to go under his jurisdiction, not that of the criminal unit. He's not so sure that Sorento's death wasn't accidental. Kosmo needs more evidence.
Shannon and Leary question some street kids and get a name-Tommy.
Kosmo is questioning Vita who changes her story regarding the night of Sorento's death. She now claims that she sent Eric away while Sorento crashed on the couch. She started imagining all the things Sorento might do to her son when he woke up hung over. Her mother's instinct kicked in and she took a baseball bat to his head while he slept.
Kosmo: Vita, I appreciate what you're doing, but I don't believe you.
Vita (crying): Don't take him away from me.
Da Vinci is talking to Harry and tells him that although he believes Sorento's death is an accident, Homicide is still investigating the case. Harry waxes poetic about Eric's talent and his chances at going pro. By the end of the conversation, Da Vinci's faith in Eric's innocence seems to waver a bit and he tells Harry that he hopes he's right and that Eric really did have nothing to do with it.
Shannon and Leary continue to follow Clifford's random trail the night of his death. A convenience store clerk speaks well of the victim and gives the detectives yet another lead-a young street kid named Speed.
Kosmo, probably influenced by Vita's supposed confession, goes to Da Vinci and tells him she's bringing an end to her criminal investigation and she's willing to go with the coroner's office as to COD. Lucky for her, Da Vinci has already decided to investigate the matter further.
In Kurtz's office, Leary and Shannon reveal the lamentable fact that they've got next to nothing on Clifford's death.
Patricia and Marlowe discuss the homicide. It turns out the dishwasher was sleeping with the cook's girlfriend. The cook found out about it and that sent him into a jealous rage. According to the dishwasher, the cook came after him with a jack knife. In self defense the dishwasher was able to turn the knife on the cook, but that didn't stop him. The soup came next, followed by the BBQ fork and then the butcher knife. Lastly, the fire extinguisher leveled the final blow. The dishwasher's series of events is backed up by the medical evidence, but one of the residents points out that it's only self defense if the first weapon, the jack knife really belonged to the cook. If not, then the whole story flips and the dishwasher is covering his behind.
At the gym, Kosmo is searching Eric's locker. Apparently, Da Vinci caved and granted that search warrant she'd been requesting.
Da Vinci and Bob Kelly talk about his new position as Chief Coroner. Kelly asks for Da Vinci's wish list. Their relationship seems good…for now.
Harry shows up looking for Da Vinci. He's concerned about Eric. The kid has what it takes to go pro and be a national renowned boxer. Harry is genuinely concerned about the kid and doesn't want what happened with Sorento to hurt his future. He offers up more information about the night Sorento died.
Eric wasn't lying. He really did go to the gym, beat the crap out of the bag and then crash there. Harry was upset that Sorento caused Eric so much grief and he went out looking for him. Harry admits to giving Sorento the beating, but that he got up and walked away. Harry had no idea that the beating could lead to Sorento's death, but he's willing to accept whatever happens to him. Eric had nothing to do with it.
There was another incident involving a cab driver. This time both the driver and the perpetrator survive, although the perp is being taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Apparently, the cab driver called a second emergency number and brought down a horde of angry cabbies on the perp. Leary and Shannon surmise that it's possible the perp could be Clifford's killer.
Kosmo and Da Vinci discuss Eric's bloody shirt. Kosmo hasn't put it on priority and it's pretty clear she's agreeing with Da Vinci on Eric's innocence.
In a junk yard, Shannon and Leary find Speed sleeping in the backseat of a car. He did know Clifford and said that the cab driver was trying to help him out, but…he just didn't feel like doing any of the things Clifford suggested to get his life on track. The night of Clifford's death, Speed was crashing at his sister's place. He knew about the murder, but not what happened.
Back at the morgue, Marlowe has discovered the real story. The girl in question had a thing going with the restaurant owner. The dishwasher did it.
Marlowe: In the kitchen, with assorted weapons, the dishwasher.
Da Vinci goes to the gym and gives Harry the final details about Sorento's death. He believes Sorento's death was an accident-caused by the beating Harry gave him, but an accident nonetheless. The coroner's office is closing the case, but the police could continue investigating the matter and Harry's not necessarily off the hook. He should get a lawyer.
Shannon goes back to see Mark and questions him about Speed. Mark had never heard of the kid. Shannon hems and haws and finally reveals why he really returned.
Shannon: I was thinking about taking some dance lessons.
Mark is suitably surprised and calls over his business partner Carla to dance a little with Shannon and see what skill level he's at. While he can do a little two-step, Shannon is clearly out of his element.
Thus the episode ends like it began…with a dance.