“Did Rick Loomis die of happiness?” Sheriff Hughes takes a moment to turn, look, and answer he was shot in the head. “… Well never mind,” Jane replies.
A fellow gold prospector found Rick Loomis in the bed of his truck one day and assumed he was sleeping, but was forced to reassess when he was still there the next day. Investigating as only Jane can, he opens the truck and takes a look at the music. CDs are smooth jazz but the radio is tuned to hard rock. From this he takes that Loomis was killed elsewhere and driven there, while the killer found a radio station he liked. Meanwhile, other prospectors are getting antsy about whether they can work at the crime scene or not, and Jane takes the opportunity to yell fire in a crowded room — or rather, “Gold!”
In the ensuing chaos, Lisbon gets knocked over and her ankle is sprained. Although she tries to brush it off, it’s pretty clear she’s not going anywhere on that ankle. While the team is doing their job at HQ, Jane is… sort of doing his, in the field. He’s engaged some of the prospectors in a game of poker and gathering his intel casually. He quits the game when his ride arrives, although it’s not Lisbon who gets out of the car — it’s Hightower.
Loomis’s girlfriend and son are put under the microscope with Jane and Hightower. They hadn’t filed a missing persons report because it wasn’t unusual for him to go missing days at a time to go mining off the grid, and they were here in this camp barely making ends meet — the girlfriend, Sheryl, does in fact use the phrase “flat broke” to describe their finances.
Taking a look at the finances, there is a joint account for Rick and Sheryl amounting to eighty-eight dollars and change, but Sheryl has an account of her own with five thousand dollars in it, and she recently bought a one way ticket to San Francisco — not only that, Loomis had recently bought a gun, and Sheryl either didn’t know about it or was lying to CBI. They get her in there and she reveals that she was going to leave Rick because she couldn’t take the lifestyle anymore — but when he died, she didn’t use the ticket since she knew it would look bad.
Jane goes looking for Wes Attwood, who sells the property to the miners. He finds him on a piece of land he is showing to some potential buyers, along with Dean Puddick, who sells mining equipment. Jane acts like he is looking to buy some property and then makes an appointment for the next morning. Later, when he and Hightower follow Attwood to the site he was going to show Jane, Attwood is essentially planting gold for them to find. Hightower takes him in pretty quick.
Cho interrogates Attwood, building from the supposition that Rick caught Attwood building gold claims. He protests with, “I’m not a killer! Well… killer business man…” and Cho, bless him, returns, “Ask yourself if this is the right moment for humor, Mr. Attwood.” I am going to stop this paragraph here because let’s face it: Cho deserves it.
Attwood instead points a finger at a thief who had been targeting miners. They discover Scott Monroe, whose record including theft of mining equipment and has been out of prison for six months. When they arrive at Monroe’s trailer there’s a body in there, but it’s not Monroe’s — it’s Attwood’s.
Grace gets an awesome moment of her own this week. She and Rigsby go to pick up Monroe at a bar where he’s hanging out, and Monroe pushes her over when she shows her badge in a bid to get away — but of course Rigsby is there to stop him. Grace makes the arrest and she is not gentle about it.
The investigation gets turned on its head again when Monroe reveals it was Loomis’s son Jeff who stole the equipment and sold it to him for a pittance. Jeff acted out, and was angry because Rick had cleaned out his college fund to live on. But he wasn’t mad with Jeff. Then the moment where Jane begins to unravel his thought process for us begins — Loomis had stopped saying he’d struck it rich and found a gold mine — which in fact meant that he’d found one.
They go back to Dean’s store and in front of Dean, Hightower, and the prospector who’d originally found the body, Jane performs what seems to be a mentalist trick to see where Rick Loomis’s found mine was, playing on the idea of Rick and Jeff’s strong connection and using a map in thestore. Of course it’s all mumbo jumbo and the actual purpose is to lure out the real killer.
In the hills, Jane finds the site — although he followed Dean up there, who left immediately after the trickery in his shop. His family had been in the area since the first gold rush and had never struck it rich, so he shot Rick, a newcomer to the area. He then of course expects Mr. Jane to die, but Hightower isn’t having it. She takes down Dean while he is using Jane as a shield/hostage with no cover for herself.
Jeff and Sheryl are left co-owners of the gold mine..