Arnold Dodd, makes his way through a rail yard and meets with Ray. He's there to hire Ray to work for Ty Gardiner, the TV star of "Cry Wolf." Someone is trying to kill Gardiner and they need Ray to find out who. Dodd agrees to Ray's payment, and reluctantly agrees for Ray to meet with Gardiner directly. They go to Gardiner's ranch home and notice that Dr. Fairchild's "doctor of vegetarian medicine" is at the house. They come in and find Ty in the pool with Fairchild. Ray starts to leave in disgust by Gardiner demands some courtesy. Ray isn't impressed and Gardiner reluctantly apologizes. Ray still isn't sure and Gardiner pleads that his life is in danger. He notes his character on TV is a jerk and the writers are to blame, and goes into a rant. Ray isn't impressed and Gardiner asks him to dinner so he can watch Ray eat a steak. Ray says he doesn't think he can work for Gardiner, who spins him a story from a movie, then notes that since he called the police with a fake death threat/PR stunt a year ago, they won't listen to him now. Ray insists he can't take the case and goes outside with Gardiner in pursuit, and someone opens fire from a car. He gets Gardiner to cover and gets the license plate of the car as it drives away.
While Dodd tries to get the police to take Gardiner seriously without success, Ray tends to Gardiner's wounded thumb but when the actor starts ranting again, he figures Gardiner is on amphetamines. He finally agrees to take the case as long Gardiner tells him everything, he does everything Ray says, and he stops taking drugs. He also makes his arrangement clear and then checks the security system. The next morning, Gardiner staggers out of bed and finds Ray going through his records, which reveal he went into a real estate deal with a Mark Webber out of Las Vegas: the car's license plates were from Las Vegas. Gardiner doesn't remember much but comes up with an address... and a secret stash of drugs. Ray plans to go see Webber and hauls Gardiner along. When the actor starts speeding, Ray figures it out and tosses the drugs, but sticks with the case. They arrive at Webber's office, which is named "TyGard" and lists Gardiner as the president. They go inside and spot bullet holes in the door. The staff don't recognize Gardiner and say Webber is home sick. They go to Gardiner's office and collect his mail, which is mostly bills. Ray figures it's a front and gets Webber's home address. When they arrive there they find Webber on the phone. He quickly hangs up and welcomes Gardiner, then says he's had a business dispute with some men in Las Vegas. He's interrupted when an Asian man bursts in and kills Webber. Ray knocks him out and identifies him as Yakuza, and has Gardiner call the police.
The police figures drugs are involved and Ray tells the police to check out the Yakuza and demands a phone call. He calls a man and collects a favor from the lieutenant governor to get released, and takes Gardiner with him. Gardiner insists they don't want him for anything but Ray warns him the Yakuza is big on revenge. They go back to Webber's house and after the police leave they go in and Ray looks for a secret room. They're unaware that men are watching their every move. Ray hears a helicopter overhead but Gardiner dismisses it as a neighborhood police watch. Ray tells him to check it out anyway but Gardiner blows it off. Ray finds papers indicating Webber was doing business with Sam de Augusta, a Mafia boss that Webber lured into a real estate scam and used Gardiner as reassurance. They're interrupted when Ray hears men coming in. He grabs Gardiner and makes a break for it but more men are waiting outside and take them into custody.
The two men are taken to a warehouse and sat in chairs, and then a man interrogates them, demanding to know their connection to Webber. Ray figures their Federal agents and Gardiner cheerfully gives out Ray's name. The FBI agent, Mutter, orders a background check but Ray warns that his file is closed. Ray offers to compare notes and explains Gardiner's involvement and that both the Yakuza and the Mafia are involved. Mutter doesn't know about the Mafia but explains that Webber came to them to help set up the Yakuza and got $3 million to convince them. Ray figures Webber took the dope, took the Fed's money, and played everyone against each other. Mutter prepares to cut his losses and take off but Ray offers an arrangement.
The next day, Ray drives up to Sam de Augusta's manor and meets with him in his greenhouse. He offers some information that the Yakuza are moving in on de Augusta's drug operations, and Gardiner has come into possession of 50 lbs. of Yakuza cocaine. He'll turn it over to de Augusta in return for protection. The Mob boss agrees once Ray explains that Gardiner's an actor who doesn't know what's going on. Ray then meets with the Yakuza head, Susu, and offers the return of the cocaine in return for the Yakuza calling off the contract.
Ray and Gardiner wait at the rendezvous spot at an abandoned amusement park and Ray informs Gardiner that he's going to be playing the role of his life. The Mafia arrives and Ray checks to make sure the FBI are in position, then goes to talk to de Augusta. As the Yakuza gunmen move in, Ray calls Gardiner over with the cocaine. Gardiner shows it to de Augusta but the Yakuza open fire. Gardiner runs for cover and takes a bullet to the shoulder while the two sides open exchange fire. The FBI arrive and take everyone into custody while Ray goes down with a flesh wound as well.
Later in the hospital, Mutter thanks them for their help and admits that he couldn't access Ray's files. Once he's gone, the two men fight over the channel controls on the TV as Gardiner tries to find a news channel running his story. Gardiner then starts trying to get out of his favor.