Raines is called to a murder scene where he knows the victim's husband. The victim is the wife of someone Raines has been friends with. Her name was Connie Webb. Raines makes mention of how someone living in a nice house might buy a gun to protect their castle. Sleep would come easy given the security provided by a gun. But when the moment is called for what if the owner can't pull the trigger? The would be burglar might not have the same reservation and may take the gun, shooting the owner. Connie is found lying on her coffee table, minus her head. Shotgun blast has strewn parts of her all over.
LA criminal Judge Lionel Webb is the new widower who has found his wife when he returns home. Boyer deduces someone broke in looking for drugs and she was unable to fire her shotgun before having it taken and used on her. Connie has 14/88 with a white supremacy symbol carved into her chest. Her husband has just sentenced the leader of the Aryan Brotherhood to life in prison for contract hits and her death could be the start of a race war.
Lionel recounts for Raines what happened in his courtroom when he sentenced the leader to life. The man, LeVay, swore to kill the judge which is when he bought the gun for protection in his house. As he talks to Raines, Raines sees the headless body of his wife wandering through the house. Given that he never met her he asks Lionel for a picture of her so he can put a face on the headless body. She follows Raines from her house complimenting the new look complete with head. Raines tells her, "Any image of you where you still have a head is a good one as far as I'm concerned." Raines muses aloud that she should have had police protection posted for her. She reminds him that they can't work all the time.
Lewis is having a briefing on the case. LeVay looks good for organizing the hit as a power play. Lewis wants to find the shooter, and Raines wants to question LeVay. LeVay is enraged, pulling on his cuffs, making loud statements about the Aryan Brotherhood. Raines can't determine if LeVay is jerking him around or not. Connie wants to know why it happened to her. Raines says, "Killing a judge is one thing. But, uh, coming after his family... that makes a statement. They're not playing games." Lewis calls with a location on the man they believe to be the shooter. A neighbor called in a tip that there is a Brotherhood holed up in their clubhouse and one was waving around a new shotgun.
Raines takes a detail and they converge upon the clubhouse. Boyer calls the all clear on the building. A man bursts through the door, firing at Raines and is shot by Lance as Raines dives for cover.
Raines is trying to question one of the suspects about Connie's death. The man, Marcus, denies that LeVay has involvement in it, saying that LeVay is delusional. Raines takes Boyer to task for his haphazard way of clearing the building. Lance is concerned for the man she shot, he has a nasty recovery ahead of him. Raines offers her a donut and notices Lionel giving a speech on tv.
Raines is going over the case, bouncing ideas of Connie as he tries to figure out why Connie was killed. He decides to delve into her past to find out what she was doing that could have gotten her killed.
Lionel meets with Raines and tells him more information about Connie. He tells Raines she didn't have a great family growing up, she seemed to live fast. Lionel says he taught her to take pride in who she was. Carolyn has found out that Connie was thought of as nice. She mentions that Connie set up a bank account in her maiden name. She also made calls to someone named Mitchell Parks and an unknown number. Raines tells Carolyn to get Lance on the trail of the cell phone Connie used. Lance looks over to see Boyer bringing in a suspect who has what Lance believes is a gun in his pocket. She yells and every officer in the precinct reacts, pulling weapons. Boyer reveals it is actually a stapler the suspect has picked up.
Lance is berating herself for mistaking the stapler for a gun. Boyer tries to be sympathetic and she rebuffs him for it. Boyer pauses then comes back with the sarcasm she is used to.
Mitchell Parks tells Raines that Connie had been coming into his salon with a woman lately. Raines goes to Lionel with the allegation of Connie being a bisexual. Lionel reveals that Connie was young, he wanted to keep things interesting. They called an escort service and the woman came over a few times. Lionel says it didn't feel right so they called it off. He tells Raines he got rid of everything having to do with that experience and doesn't even know the woman's name. He excuses himself to return to his courtroom.
Carolyn says, "One deceased victims red-hot lesbian lover right this way." She found the woman and directs Raines to Lewis' office where the woman is. The woman, Svetlana, wants to know how she can help. Raines is distracted by his figment of Connie snuggling close to Svetlana. Svetlana says she was Connie's drug addiction sponser, her friend, not her lover.
Connie indulged in drugs, alcohol, cocaine, pills. Svetlana says she is a sex worker, and the time with Lionel and Connie was just work. Svetlana tells Raines that Connie offered her drugs but she refused. She says the next time they got together Connie told her she wanted to stop using drugs. Connie was coming up on her 90th day drug free. Connie wanted to help Svetlana pay off her debt owed to the people who brought her to the United States.
Raines can't figure out if Lionel wanted to have Connie done in for straightening her life out. Raines goes back to Lionel. He tells Lionel he believes Connie was killed because she was going to tell her story. She needed to talk about her problems to get past the next step to recovery. Raines tells Lionel he sees the victims of the crimes he is trying to solve. He informs him that he sees them until he solves the case.
Raines suggests that Lionel relies on drugs and booze. He recounts the story of how Lionel got his start with drugs then became clean. A car accident blew his recovery making him return to drugs and alcohol. He was worried that Connie and/or Svetlana would reveal his secrets so he hired the hit on his wife. Lionel breaks, saying he hired the hit anonymously. He told them to make it look like the Aryan Brotherhood did it. He tells Raines he was trying to get justice, so the decisions he made on the bench wouldn't get overturned.
Raines tells him that Svetlana didn't know his secret so she would never have been able to tell and Connie wouldn't have betryed him. Lionel breaks down sobbing that he killed two people. Raines realizes that he ordered a hit on Svetlana as well. He calls Lance to pick up Svetlana and protect her. He gets off the phone and Lionel has jumped from the bathroom window, falling to his death.
Police arrive at Svetlana's only to find her not home. Raines attention is drawn to a sampler on the wall stating "Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Boyer declares the apartment empty. A boy comes in crying that someone took his mother. A man with a gun kidnapped his mom to get past the cops.
The boys' mother is driving her car with the gunman hiding in the trunk. He has the gun pointed between the seats at her, threatening her. The police question her then let her go. Suddenly a police car sideswipes her and police descend upon the vehicle. They are trying to pull the woman free from her seatbelt when the gunman fires through the windshield. Raines appears behind the car and unloads his clip into the trunk. Carolyn calls, she found Svetlana. Svetlana had been at a meeting.
Raines shares a few words with Connie and lets her know having her around has been kind of nice. Connie tells him, "You'll always be your best company Michael. I'm just your imagination you know that." Boyer yells for Raines and the image of Connie is gone.
Raines voiceover states, "Each time you pull the trigger, every round you fire into a person, takes a little bit out of you. Little piece of yourself that you never get back."
Raines takes Lance out, buying her a drink for saving his life and consoling her for the consequences of shooting the man in the house. She reveals that she is mad because she fired three times, center mass like she was trained and only hit him once. He tells her she will wake up one morning and everything will be normal again. Then he goes to sit at the bar and have a drink with Charlie.