The New York papers are filled with stories about the mayoral race between Assistant DA Landon Walker and city councilman Ed Griffin. Reporter Maxine Angelis has information about of one of Griffin's employees who is cooking the books for his boss.
Maxine goes to the hotel room where Griffin's man, Paul Hix, is cheating on his wife with a hooker. She blackmails Hix into giving her the inside scoop on Griffin's illegal fundraising in return for her promise not to tell his wife. The money man gives in and Maxine takes down his statement. Meanwhile, Reese watches her from a rooftop across the street. He talks with Finch, who reminds Reese that Maxine is a determined reporter and has done exposes on criminals such as HR and Carl Elias. Since Maxine's number came up, they figure that someone will come after her due to one of her stories. Meanwhile, Maxine finishes her interview with Hix and heads out. Her editor, Glen, calls to tell her that the Feds are launching a major operation to arrest all of the NYPD officers who are members of HR.
At the station, Fusco and Carter watch as the FBI makes their arrests. Carter figures that Fusco is responsible thanks to the inside information he got for Reese. However, he warns her not to say it too loudly since the FBI might be interested in his own shady background. Special Agent Donnelly comes through and Carter congratulates him. He assures her that once he's done closing the books on HR, he will go back to searching for the mystery man in the suit. However, Carter realizes that he hasn't closed the case because they haven't tracked down the head of HR. Donnelly figures that it may be someone other than a cop and assures Carter that they'll soon have him or her. Once the agent leaves, Detective Kane comes over and warns Carter that anyone tied to HR may be a target. HR double-crossed almost all the cartels in the city and the criminals will be after anyone associated with the crooked cops. Once Kane leaves, Carter tells Fusco that the risk only wants her to drive even harder to find out who the boss is.
As Fusco goes to his car, he calls his son and leaves a message reminding him they're getting together later. When he gets in his car, he finds Simmons in the back, armed with a gun. Simmons suspects that Fusco was part of the bust that brought HR done but apparently believes the detective's denial. He tells Fusco that HR isn't out yet and that his boss is ensuring that the upper management survives. The boss wants Fusco to find out through Carter what the FBI has on HR, using her connection to Donnelly. If Fusco doesn't do what HR asks, Simmons will expose him to the FBI, guaranteeing that his ex-wife will get custody of their son. Simmons asks Fusco who he'd rather trust: Simmons or Carter. As he leaves, Simmons assures Fusco that once he does this last favor, he can get out if he wants.
The next day, Maxine chats with Quinn, Griffin's campaign manager. Quinn isn't thrilled that Maxine brought the heat down on his boss but assures her that he and Maxine will always be around as politicians come and go. The campaign manager admits that they've tried to land something on Walker but he appears to be squeaky clean. Maxine doesn't believe it, figuring that the more innocent someone appears, the guiltier they actually are. As Quinn walks away, he warns Maxine that Griffin will discredit her if he can to save his own skin. As they talk, Reese listens in on the entire thing. Finch figures that Griffin is a likely suspect while trying to deal with Bear, who is chewing on a new squeaky toy. After tossing Bear a ball, Finch tries to access Maxine's cloud storage site.
Back at the newspaper office, Maxine talks to Glen and insists that the real story is publishing the name of HR's boss. Glen agrees to publish the story once she has something definite. Reese, listening in, suggests that Simmons could be the boss but Finch figures that there's someone above the cop. As he listens in on Maxine's cloned cell phone, Finch hears her receive a call from a blocked number. The caller says that Christopher Zambrano, son of mobster Don Zambrano, is the head of HR and the FBI is arresting him that night. Once the call hangs up, Finch informs Reese that Don Zambrano died a year ago when Elias consolidated his hold on the underworld. Christopher doesn't have a criminal record and runs an import business.
Maxine calls her FBI contact, Agent Clark, and he agrees to act as deep background for her story. He confirms that Donnelly has been talking to Christopher. Listening in, Finch tells Reese to check on Christopher. At the docks, Reese watches and clones Christopher's phone as Maxine confronts the man. Christopher insists that he's clean but she asks if Donnelly visited him. When Christopher denies it, Maxine points out that she talked to the gate guard and he confirmed that Donnelly was there and argued with Christopher. Christopher tells her to shut up and warns that she's going to get into trouble if she keeps pushing. He points out that everyone assumes he's a mobster because of his father and they never notice the good things he does like importing a carousel for the children's park. When violence looks likely, Reese starts to move in but Finch stops him, warning that Maxine is also working a story on Reese's activities. They have to protect Maxine without giving her evidence that Reese exists.
Reese goes back to the library and Finch admits that he hasn't been able to connect Christopher to HR. If he is the boss then he'll have to eliminate Maxine to protect himself. Since Reese can't cover all the angles, Finch suggests that he bring in backup and Reese arranges a meeting in the park with Carter and Fusco. As they discuss the situation, Fusco realizes that HR is involved. As he looks at a photo of his son, Reese tells him to check on Simmons. Fusco says he hasn't seen Simmons in a while and that the man probably doesn't know anything. However, Reese tells him to tail Simmons while Carter finds out if Donnelly knows anything.
At the newspaper office, the staff watch as Griffin holds a news conference where he announces his plan to donate the illegal funds to charity. Griffin claims that he had no idea where the funds came from. Satisfied, Maxine then tells Glen that she has confirmed that Christopher is the head of HR. Glen agrees to run the story on their web site and back-edit when Donnelly makes the arrest. Finch warns Reese that Christopher will order Maxine's execution once the story goes public. Reese, still following her down the street, complains that he can't protect Maxine from a distance. Finch assures him that he's already come up with an idea and explains that he hacked Maxine's profile at an online dating site. He created a profile for Reese as an actuary with likes and dislikes matching Maxine's, including his love of dogs. As Maxine looks at her text messages and smiles, Finch explains that he's been electronically flirting with her all day in Reese's name and set up a date.
That night, Reese steals an expensive car and drives up to their date. Finch tells Reese to wear a pair of glasses because Maxine likes intellectuals and sends Reese some notes on the conversations he had with Maxine. At dinner Reese tries to get through a conversation without much luck and Finch sends in Zoe Morgan, who he approached in advance in case Reese blew it. Zoe greets Reese like an ex-girlfriend, impressing Maxine. After Zoe leaves, Maxine admits that she's surprised that Reese is dating such an important behind-the-scenes woman. They talk about her stories and she explains how she's going after the mystery man in the suit. Reese dismisses it as an urban legend and turns the talk to Christopher. He points out that if he's the head of HR then he could come after her and suggests they leave town for a weekend to avoid the heat. Maxine is amused that he's trying to get her out of town with him but refuses. She explains that she's made it her job to investigate the people in power, find out what they don't want others to know, and tell the public all about it.
As they talk, Carter calls Reese and Glen calls Maxine. They each take their calls separately and Carter tells Reese that the FBI has announced that Maxine's story is incorrect. However, the cartels will go after Christopher as a result, believing him to be the boss anyway. Meanwhile, Glen tells Maxine that the FBI have officially denounced her story. She asks Reese for a ride to Christopher's dockside import company and he agrees. When they get there, Maxine has Reese wait outside while she goes in to warn Christopher. Reese secretly follows her in as cartel members pull up outside. While Maxine finds Christopher's corpse, Reese takes out a couple of cartel members lurking in the shadows without the reporter seeing her. However, he realizes that they didn't get there in time to save Christopher.
Later, Carter secures the crime scene and brings Maxine and Reese in to take their statements. Maxine blames herself and Carter leaves her for a moment to ask Reese why he's with the reporter. He admits that it's complicated and says that he's not leaving Maxine alone. Carter agrees to release Maxine, but Donnelly arrives and takes her to the interrogation room. He demands the name of the man who gave her the fake tip on Christopher but she can only point out the number from her incoming call list. The agent tells Maxine that Christopher was actually their witness against the head of HR. Christopher's father kept a ledger of HR finances and Christopher found it after his father was murdered. He called the FBI to let them know and Donnelly came to see him at his company. They argued about whether Christopher should turn the book over to the FBI and testify to its authenticity. Christopher was worried that it would implicate him in his father's mob activities, but finally agreed once he received an immunity deal... a deal that had just come through. Donnelly tells Maxine that he'll arrest her if she prints anything that he just told her and confirms that the phone number of the man who called her was a disposable cell phone. Disgusted, the FBI agent tells Maxine that the real HR boss played her and she went right along with it.
Fusco watches the conversation through the one-way mirror and realizes that Simmons is watching him.
The next day, Reese returns to the library and he and Finch realize that Maxine was the inadvertent violent perpetuator, not the victim. The head of HR played her and managed to kill Christopher and get her discredited at the same time. While Finch tries to find the ledger, Reese calls Fusco and tells him to see if he can get Simmons to identify the HR boss. Fusco warns that Simmons won't tell him but Reese tells him to try anyway.
Maxine goes to her office past her staring co-workers, and Quinn calls to tell her that Griffith is going to use her screw-up to discredit her story against him. Glen comes in to tell her that she won't be doing anything until Legal reviews the situation. Finch listens in as Maxine calls the disposable cell phone number and leaves a voice mail promising that she'll bring the boss down. He realizes that Maxine is going for the ledger and warns Reese, who calls Maxine and invites her to a pub for a drink.
That night, Reese offers to help Maxine however he can. Still believing that he's an actuary, Maxine asks him to go through Christopher's records but Reese suggests that they leave it to the FBI. The reporter admits that she was too arrogant and got a good man killed as a result. Now Maxine wants to catch the man responsible and try to make amends. She goes outside and Reese follows her, telling her that he understands what it is like when someone does something and can't take it back. As they talk, Reese sees a laser dot on Maxine's chest and shoves her down behind a car. Gunmen open fire and Reese provides cover fire while getting her into the car and driving away.
When Finch realizes that Reese is taking Maxine to his apartment, he realizes that since he used Bear's photo on the dating site, he has to get the dog there or Maxine will see through the ruse. He quickly takes Bear there but is forced to hide in Reese's gun closet when Reese and Maxine arrive. Reese suggests that Maxine go to the police but the reporter refuses, pointing out that HR could still have men on the inside. As she look around Reese's expensive apartment, he tells her that he won't leave her side until everything is over. Maxine thanks him, saying that he's a good man, and Reese assures her that he'll sleep on the couch. Once she goes to the bathroom, Finch comes out and warns Reese that the longer she's in Reese's apartment, the likelier it will be that she asks some uncomfortable questions. As Reese ushers him out, Finch says that he'll check the surveillance cameras at the pub.
The next morning, Finch identifies the shooters as Craig Bogle and Leonard Pitt, former FBI agents who took early retirement. He passes the information to Reese and they figure that the two ex-agents used their contacts to find out about the ledger and then contact the HR boss. Finch tells Reese that he's anonymously sent the information to Maxine, and she comes out from the shower and asks Reese if he can set up a meeting with his friend, Zoe.
Zoe agrees to meet them at a restaurant and confirms that Bogle and Pitt were forced out of the FBI for harassment and malicious prosecution. She tells Maxine that she doesn't know who the head of HR is, but suggests that campaign offices buy disposable cell phones by the hundreds. Once Maxine gets the message that either Walker or Griffin are involved, Zoe tells the reporter that they never met and walks out.
Reese and Maxine go back to his apartment and Maxine checks her contacts. She confirms that that Bogle and Pitt harassed Griffin's former opponent, suggesting that they worked for the councilman. However, Maxine insists to Reese that she won't publish the story until she has the ledger, avoiding her previously mistake. As they share a bottle of wine, Maxine goes through her files and remembers Christopher saying that no one sees the good things he does. She spots the carousel in the photos and figures that he hid it there where no one would look at it and associate it with him.
Maxine and Reese break into Christopher's warehouse and search the carousel. Reese finds the ledger inside a horse but Bogle and Pitt arrive, take the ledger, and beat up Reese. Finch talks to him via the earbud, saying that he's called in Fusco and Carter. He also tells Reese not to take on the agents because Maxine will realize he isn't an actuary. Bogle tells Maxine and Reese that they'll kill both of them and make it look like an argument gone bad.
Fusco and Carter bust in and Bogle identifies himself as an FBI agent. They don't buy it but Bogle realizes that there are no sirens and no backups. Both sides open fire and Reese turns on the carousel to distract the ex-agents and Maxine. She grabs the ledger and gets into the control cabin at the center, and then sends images of the pages to her boss. Meanwhile, Reese knocks out Pitt and shoots Bogle in the shoulder, taking him down.
Carter calls in the bust while Reese steps out and tells Maxine that he hid the entire time. Fusco takes the ledger from Maxine, saying that it's evidence, and walks outside. He then rips out the pages with his and Simmons' payoffs on them.
The next morning, Donnelly and his men arrest Walker.
Maxine files her story and it makes the front page.
Fusco meets with Simmons and gives him the pages, telling him that they're in the clear. Simmons tells him that despite what he said earlier, Fusco is into HR for good. Fusco warns him never to threaten his son and Simmons tells the detective that Fusco is the biggest threat to his son.
Reese meets with Maxine for a normal date but she tells him that it's their last because she's married to her work. She also figures that he still has something for Zoe. She gives Reese a friendly kiss and tells him that she's dropping her investigation into the mystery man in the suit. Maxine figures that if he did exist, he would have helped her against HR. As she walks away, Finch contacts Reese and tells him that he doesn't think Walker was the boss. He figures that Walker hired Bogle and Pitt but that the real HR boss wouldn't have exposed himself by hiring them directly.
As Griffin wins the election and gives his acceptance speech, Simmons watches it on the news and shares a toast with his boss... Quinn. Quinn assures Simmons that people like them will always be around.