As CBI tries to figure out who murdered a terminally ill cancer patient, who only had weeks to live, Cho's addiction results in a near - tragic mistake in the field. Cho's book: Hard Times by Charles Dickens
The team is investigating the murder of cancer patient Archer Braddock, a wealthy car salesman with end stage bone cancer.
There’s not much for the team to go on. The coroner’s tied up with a major car accident and can only give a wide window for the time of death and Braddock sold his stake in his dealerships to his employees when he found out he was dying. The only thing they do have is an oddly timed “treatment” listed in his calendar at 4:17 the day before.
Cho, meanwhile, is waking up with Summer – who decided he should sleep in for a change and had turned his alarm off. He rushes off to work as Lisbon and Jane span arrive at Braddock’s house and meet his daughter Liesl. She sends them upstairs to talk to her stepmother, Helen, who’s also dying of cancer – in fact they met in a cancer support group. When asked about the “treatments”, Helen directs them to Dr. Scheck and an experimental study Braddock was involved in before calling Jane out on his usual “nosiness”. He responds by asking about the young man in a photo with Braddock and Liesl. Helen identifies him as Braddock’s son Aden, who’s estranged.
This clearly rubs Liesl the wrong way and she storms out with Jane close behind. He follows her into the kitchen under the pretext of wanting tea, but really he just wanted to talk to her alone. She said her father was wearing hemp as a reflection of the natural methods that he claimed were healing him. She also confirms that Braddock, a recovering alcoholic, had kicked Aiden out for using drugs. At last the kettle is ready and Jane’s looking for tea bags when he finds Braddock’s “tea” and the source of the morning’s smell. Lisbon comes in to suggest they go visit Braddock’s doctor and Jane suggests that Liesl bury the tea – deep.
Back at the CBI, Rigsby and Van Pelt have tracked down the Aden, who’s apparently got a rap sheet – mostly drug related. Cho arrives just in time for Rigsby to take him along to the banquet hall where Aden works, but the kid runs when he sees them. They lose him when he rolls under a closing door just as Jane and Lisbon arrive at The Scheck Cancer Institute, where they meet Nurse Administrator Betsy Firth – the picture of efficiency. Jane offends Dr. Scheck and only Lisbon goes off to speak to him. It turns out that yesterday’s treatment was not with Dr. Scheck though, and the good Dr. isn’t very sympathetic either.
Jane, having decided to stay behind in the open treatment area, is on the trail of the scent of “tea”, in the purse of another patient. He helps her up and strikes up a conversation with her to ask about Braddock and the “tea”. It turns out that she’s the one who suggested him to try it and she gives Jane the information on where they were getting it, a shop called Sekhmet’s Promise. The shop, when they arrive, appears to be closed, but the door’s not locked, so Lisbon and Jane walk right in. Within moments, they’re following the sound of moaning to a “ritual” being performed in the back area of the store by one Brother Josef. The good Brother Josef believes that the power of solar flares is capable of healing tumors. Jane pegs him for a charlatan. He does seem quite theatrical, particularly when he learns that Braddock is dead – claiming they had just completed his final healing. He also wants to see the body – to “release his energy so he can cross over peacefully”. He does agree to tell them everything though, even though he claims he doesn’t know where Braddock was going next.
Meanwhile, the team has a new lead. Braddock’s car was found not far from the banquet hall where Aden was working and they’ve learned that Braddock was reworking his will and trust arrangements to make it so that Aden wouldn’t get his share of the inheritance until he was thirty, not at twenty-three. That, coupled with his earlier escape, makes Aden a strong suspect. Just as they’re trying to figure out where to look for him, he surprisingly calls and wants to come in and talk. When he gets there, he says he ran because he was holding drugs and it would have been his third strike if he was caught. He says he hadn’t talked to his father in months. He hadn’t listened to the voice mail Braddock had left the night before. He points them towards his dealer, Mike Tran, who’s been asking a lot of questions about his father and Cho and Rigsby go stake out his “baby mama’s” house. He’s supposed to be dropping off some money that day. Rigsby’s watching from out front, Cho from out back.
Lisbon and Jane are back at Braddock’s house to talk to Helen about his “treatments” with Brother Josef. Helen tells them that he had a history of falling for the latest “miracle cure” and was always convinced he was getting better. Jane notices that Helen hasn’t eaten and offers to make her tea.
Cho has fallen asleep and Tran has arrived. Rigsby’s not getting a response from Cho on the radio, but goes in anyway when he hears a fight breaking out inside. Cho arrives in time to save Rigsby and help him arrest Tran.
Back at the Braddock’s, Lisbon’s gone looking for Jane and found him, in the kitchen, with only one cup of tea that he’s drinking himself. It seems he saw something suspicious about Helen, at least not until the second viewing. He’s setting a trap to see if she’s faking by putting smoldering tea bags into the vents and making her think the house is on fire. “Sister Helen has been healed.” Turns out that she’s been faking cancer for the sole purpose of meeting a wealthy, dying man. Leave it Jane to notice that she hadn’t shaved her eyebrows, and had such a “ruddy complexion” and no “air of finality”. She’s not the killer though; there was no reason for her to risk her insurance payout by murdering a man who was dying in a month or so anyway.
Lisbon’s still going to charge her with fraud though – if for no other reason than to prevent her from getting the insurance money. And Jane’s got a plan to catch the killer.
Cho and Rigsby are still working the angle with Tran, who had an alibi, and Aden, who didn’t – and was actually at the banquet hall the night before, even though he wasn’t working. They arrest Aden as Jane drops by Dr. Scheck’s to tell him and Firth about Brother Josef and the autopsy taking place the following morning. He’s apparently told Brother Josef the same story and he and Lisbon are laying in wait at the morgue to see who shows up to get try to take the body. It’s Brother Josef that shows up, supposedly to do his ritual, but they don’t believe him and haul him in. He’s right though, it is a terrible mistake because just after they left with him, someone else stole the body. They’ve got the wrong “healer” and are headed back to the Scheck Institute looking for the incinerator.
Once there, they find Firth burning Braddock’s body to get rid of the evidence. Further investigation into her background shows she had been taking bribes to place people in the drug trials. When she placed Archer in the drug trial, she missed the fact he had a damaged liver due to his alcoholism. The drug was killing him faster than the cancer. She was afraid that a post-mortem would lead to further investigation and uncover her scheme – and ruin her career. ..Cho goes to see Lisbon in her office, struggling to tell her something. In the end, he just apologized for his tardiness that morning and ensures that it will never happen again. He goes to the toilet and stares at his painkillers before flushing them down the toilet.
- Simon Baker as Patrick Jane
- Robin Tunney as Teresa Lisbon
- Tim Kang as Kimball Cho
- Owain Yeoman as Wayne Rigsby
- Amanda Righetti as Grace Van Pelt
- August Emerson as Aden Braddock
- Stephanie Erb as Betsy Firth
- Rebecca McFarland as Helen
- Richard Cox as Brother Josef
- Haley Ramm as Liesl Braddock
- Catheryn Brockett as Delilah
- Randa Walker as Wilma
- Andy Milder as Dr. Leopold Scheck
- Bruce Kenny as Archer Braddock
- Johnny Yang as Mike Tran
- Marlan Clarke as Frail Woman
- Jess Cohen as Teen Mother