The crew investigates the 1982 death of a young talented graffiti artist who died from a fatal dose of spray paint down his throat. Meanwhile, Miller meets her ex's new wife and Lilly continues following Moe.
In 1982, two boys named Leon and Carlos tag a water tower. Leon is scared being up so high above the ground. After spray painting his name Blaze, Carlos takes a photo of himself. Later, Carlos is found dead in an alley.
In the present time, Jeffries tells the others that he is looking to invest in a property in Florida. Mrs. Espinoza, Carlos’s mom, arrives at the station and tells Rush about her son who was killed by someone who sprayed paint in his mouth until he suffocated. She says she found some of Carlos’s graffiti books in a storage. She says she knows that Carlos was a huffer and kicked him out. She shows them a picture of a graffiti tag with the letters ’TUR’ taken the day he died. Valens sees that Carlos painted over the work of a tagger group called Anarchy. Jeffries sees that Carlos was also beaten before he was forced to inhale the spray paint. Rush says they found receipts to a hardware store. Valens says the head of the neighborhood urban art organization, Don Bardwell, knows Anarchy very well. Miller asks Curtis how he agreed on his children’s custody. She asks for advice with her ex-husband who is asking for visitation. Curtis suggests she talk to her ex with her. Curtis brings Rush a private criminal complaint filed against her by Moe Kitchner. Curtis reads a list of all the things she did to him the last several weeks. Curtis warns her that what she is doing might cost her career.
Valens and Rush meets with Don who recognizes the last picture that Carlos took as the work of a tagger named Turbo. He says Anarchy taught Carlos a lesson. Don remembers when he saw Carlos was beat by the Anarchy crew. Don says the leader of Anarchy was a kid named Tut who no one disrespected. Valens and Rush meet with Tut at the auto paint shop that he works at. They tell him that they know they threatened to feed Carlos with spray paint. Tut remembers when Carlos and his friend brought him a case of beer to apologize for painting over his work. Tut told him that he was impressed by his water tower tag. Tut remembers when a girl called Taln introduced herself to Carlos. Tut tells the detectives that the girl’s real name is Gina. Rush tells Stillman that the investigators learned that Carlos’s last photo was taken in the sewers. Rush says she was able to track down Gina who was fired from her hardware store job after she was caught stealing spray paint.
Curtis and Miller meet with Miller’s ex and his new wife at the diner. After they tell Curtis that they have the house set up to take in Veronica, Miller’s daughter, Miller leaves. At home, Valens has dinner with his parents. After Valens asks his mom how she is doing after she was robbed, he gets a call about another similar robbery. Miller and Jeffries meets with Gina as she is closing up her boutique clothing store. They show her the photo that Carlos took, but she doesn’t recognize it. They show her the photo of Carlos who was killed by ingesting orange paint, her signature color. She remembers when Carlos showed her a spray tag of her name entwined with his. Gina says Carlos instructed his friend Leon to use his name Turbo when he tags. She remembers when Don chased them down. Gina says Turbo fell off a roof and died before Carlos died. Miller wonders who took Turbo’s name after he died.
Valens meets with the Hispanic woman who was robbed at a grocery store. She says she doesn’t remember what her attacker looked like. After Valens says there were other people who were attacked, she says she fells like she wasn’t strong enough to fight back. She describes how the man put his hand over her mouth and raped her. Valens suggests she see a nurse and assures her what happened was not her fault. The woman says she just wants to go home. Rush and Valens meet with Don who insists he only scared taggers to stop them from destroying the city. Don says he was informed by someone who told him where someone was going to tag. Rush asks about Leon, but he says he doesn’t know who he is. Rush shows him a report identifying as a witness to Leon’s death. Don remembers watching as Carlos and Leon were about to spray paint on top of a rooftop. Carlos jumped across an alley and reached the other building. Leon followed, but didn’t make it. Don told Carlos to run while he reported the death. Don says that night changed his life.
Miller apologizes to Curtis for walking out on him. She says if her ex wants to see Veronica, he has to go to court. Curtis tells her that the court will want parents to see their children, but Miller disagrees since her ex used to be a gangbanger. At a bar, Moe notices Rush watching him in her car. A traffic cop taps on Rush’s window and tells her to move along. Jeffries says they tracked the paint can to the same store that Gina worked at. A man from a soup kitchen says he recognizes the tag. He takes Jeffries and Miller to the sewer where Carlos painted a mural dedicated to Leon. He remembers when he and several other homeless people were impressed by his work. Miller and Jeffries sees that Taln spray painted over the work. Gina is brought to the station for questioning. She remembers when she found Carlos in the sewer. Carlos said he felt responsible for Leon’s death. Gina suggested they join Anarchy, but he didn’t like their attitude. Leon told Gina they use their art for good. Carlos took off with the orange paint that she stole after Gina told him that Anarchy’s work is never painted over. Gina says she painted on the mural since she was angry. The team wonders where Carlos went to after he left Gina. Rush figures there is something under the paint on the wall next to where Carlos’s body was found. She has a man remove a layer that uncovers Tut’s portrait proclaiming him as a snitch.
Tut is brought in for questioning. They tell him they know he has been still tagging. Valens accuses him of informing Don of tagging incidents. They bring in Don who recognizes Tut’s voice. Rush tells Tut that Carlos since was going to rat him out, they think he killed him. Tut admits that he thought Carlos was going to take over his leadership role. Tut remembers when he met with Carlos just as he finished his last portrait. Carlos told Tut they can do more than tag. Tut told him to take down his mural, but Carlos told him he was just snitch. Tut bashed Carlos’s head against the wall, sprayed paint in his mouth until he died, then painted over the mural with white paint. Tut is arrested for Carlos’s murder. After the case, Miller is still angry at Curtis. Valens has dinner with his parents and notices that his mom pulls back when his dad touches her. Moe is found shot dead in his car.
- Kathryn Morris as Lilly Rush
- Danny Pino as Scotty Valens
- John Finn as John Stillman
- Jeremy Ratchford as Nick Vera
- Thom Barry as Will Jeffries
- Tracie Thoms as Kat Miller
- Walter Perez as Carlos Espinosa
- Daniel Baldwin as Moe Kitchener
- Michael Badalucco as Don Bardwill (2010)
- Earl Billings as Eddie Clark (2010)
- Ismael "East" Carlo as Ramiro Valens
- Edward Carnevale as Don Bardwill (1982)
- Teresa Castillo as Gina Lopresi (1982)
- Ivonne Coll as Sonia Espinosa (2010)
- Rick Gonzalez as "Tut" (1982)
- Terri Hoyos as Rosa Valens
- Jonathan LaPaglia as ADA Curtis Bell
- Karmin Mucelo as Belen Hernandez
- Manny Perez as "Tut" (2010)
- Elizabeth Rodriguez as Gina Lopresi (2010)
- Dondre T. Whitfield as Jarrod Jones
- Trevor Jackson as Leon
- Keesha Sharp as Chantel Jones
- Jeremy Ratchford does not appear in this episode.
- Lilly's name is mentioned as being short for "Lillian", (Which had been known for quite some time, we first discovered that her name was Lillian back in Season 2's," Time To Crime," when she flashes her badge)
- When Stillman closes Carlos's case box, Rudy Tanner's and Buella Stiffler's case boxes are seen.
- The 'CLOSED' on Carlos' box is done in graffitti type lettering.
- The Gap Band "You Dropped a Bomb on Me"
- The Ramones "We Want the Airwaves"
- Dazz Band "Let It Whip"
- Blondie "Rapture"
- Yazoo "Only You"
- The Cars "Since You're Gone"