Episode begins with Raines catching viewers up with what is happening in his life. He remarks on the police sketch artist they have, pondering if what the man draws reflects his life as much as it does the witness description. He wonders about this because he sees the hallucinations of murder victims. What he sees is limited by what he knows about the victim.
Raines is called to a crime scene with a body that had been dumped in the canal. The victim had been in the water less than 24 hours. Found on him was a picture, 3 metal rings, and a map of LA. No ID was on the man's body.
Raines converses with his deceased partner, Charlie, about the case. He expresses concern about not knowing who the victim is. Charlie reminds Raines they worked dozens of cases without knowing the victim. Now that he sees the victim as a hallucination it bothers Raines to not know about him.
Captain Lewis is recruiting a favor from a therapist named Samantha Cole on Raines' behalf. He wants her to meet with Raines, try to help him with Charlie's death. He compares Charlie and Raines to Lewis and Clark, hoping that Raines doesn't turn out like Lewis who killed himself.
Raines is driving with the victim in the car, dripping water from the canal all over his car. Raines is trying to discern the meaning of the metal rings. The victim suggests a magician maybe.
Raines visits the police sketch artist, wanting a drawing of the victim before he was in the water. The sketch artist tells him, "It'd just be speculation." Raines says, "No, speculation would be if I did it. You as a forensic artist, presumably have some, uh, expertise. Unless the good people of Los Angeles are, uh, compensating you under false pretenses."
Captain Lewis gives Raines Samantha Cole's card. He asks who she is. Lewis replies, " She's a therapist." Sarcastically, Raines tells him, "Oh yeah, it says right here on the card. Therapist. I-I thought that was 'The Rapist' which would be such a strange thing to put on a card." Lewis informs Raines he has to see her for 10 sessions or he is suspended. Carolyn gives Raines the information that their John Doe is from Mexico, based on his dental work.
Raines goes to visit a tattoo artist for information. It doesn't seem to get him anywhere. The sketch artist has a drawing for Raines, which proves to be useless as it's basically a drawing of Erik Estrada. The map in the victims pocket has markings that Raines goes to track a lead. Carolyn has discovered the victim is named Julio Santiago.
Tracking a lead from the map, Raines is sent to a Catholic church. The priest mentions a wife and baby to Raines. A coyote who brought Julio, his wife Maria, and their son has been looking for Julio to get the money owed for getting them over the border.
'The Coyote' admits knowing Julio. He expresses no sorrow over the man's death. He denies killing him though. Raines wants to know where the wife and baby are. Raines pays what is left on the bill to 'The Coyote' and questions Maria about Julio. She states they are illegal Mexican tourists. Julio had left Maria and the baby at the church the night before, running an errand that he never returned from. Raines brings them to his place to stay the night. To hide the fact that Raines is speaking to a hallucination, he pretends to speak on the phone.
Following another lead, Raines is directed to Aurelio Sanchez. Aurelio is a city councilman in LA. Lewis pulls Raines aside to chastise him about not calling the therapist yet.
Questioning Councilman Sanchez doesn't seem to lead anywhere. The Councilman says he doesn't recognize the picture of Julio. Sanchez talks about the illegal immigration problem, specifically mentioning the ones who come across bringing their families. Raines discovers that Sanchez lives by the canals. The Councilman's biography neglects to mention the status of the Councilman's past. Nor does it mention the man ever having any family. Raines has a theory that Julio might have been sent over the border to kill Sanchez.
Councilman Sanchez is brought to the precinct and questioned in Captain Lewis' office. Raines tells Sanchez his theory that Julio came to kill him and that Sanchez got the man first. Sanchez once again denies having killed Julio.
Raines gives in and goes to see Samantha Cole. She questions him, "You talk to yourself detective?" Raines dryly replies with, "Yes. Um, I cant think of anybody more interesting to talk to." He reveals an intense story about his brother drowning which Samantha dismisses as a recitation of a scene from 'Ordinary People.' She informs Raines she would rather he spent the hour sitting quietly while she did her nails than to lie.
Carolyn has information from Julio's file. It turns out Julio's master criminal history is stealing a neighbor's horse to give his girlfriend a ride on the beach. The photo in Julio's pocket has been reconstructed to be a black and white photo of what Raines believes to be Julio. Only the photo is from years ago.
Councilman Sanchez is surprised by Raines outside his house. Raines reveals his new theory that Sanchez killed an unarmed man, who he may have thought to be armed when Julio surprised him. Raines further reveals that Julio was no assailant, that he was his son.
Sanchez is devastated by Raines information. He admits that Raines was correct and that when Julio's body had no gun he was worried that he would be finished. He asks Raines why Julio was reaching into his pocket, if not for a gun. Raines gives him the picture that Julio had been reaching for. Sanchez breaks down sobbing. Raines tells him that Julio came all that way for a reason and asks if he would like to meet his grandson. Maria enters the home with the baby and Councilman Aurelio Sanchez discovers his grandson is named Aurelio. The hallucination of Julio disappears.