A woman, who was romantically involved with Nick Vera in high school, claims that members of a fraternity might have been involved in her alcoholic sister's death in 1995. The victim's estranged husband and a bar owner are also viewed as potential suspects.
Feb 2, 1995. In a fast food restaurant, a young woman named Sloan picks up two trays and finds an empty table, accompanied by her son and daughter. As the two kids start to eat, the little girl Hailey asks her what she is going to have, only to receive the reply that ”Mummy already had her lunch.” She then asks if they could go skating later, to which Sloan gives a very quick no. Sloan struggles to open a packet of ketchup, fingers shaking. Hailey asks again why they cannot go skating, admitting that she wants to be like her mother. Sloan looks up for a second, visibly affected by what her daughter has just said. She finally opens the ketchup and pours it all over the fries, much to her son Ryan’s dismay. Sloan tells Ryan that it is just ketchup, but Hailey is quick to reply that Ryan prefers mayonnaise. Ryan’s soft drink accidentally gets knocked over and spills. Amidst the chaos, Hailey points out yet again that ”Daddy says you’re a good skater— why don’t you ever want to skate with us?” As the people in the fast food joint are starting to stare, Sloan simply tells her kids to finish their food; she’ll be back for them in a few minutes. Quickly putting on her jacket and scarf, Sloan walks out of the door. Night time has come in Philadelphia and snow is falling peacefully to the ground. The camera pans down to find a body by a dumpster located outside of a bar. The body is covered by a layer of snow. It is Sloan. Fingers are typing on a typewriter. As the piece of paper is taken out of the machine, we can read the words that have been typed out on the form. Sloan Easton. Accidental death.
Present day. In the lunch room, Vera opens up the fridge and accuses Scotty of having stolen his Tasty Cakes, to which Scotty coyly maintains his innocence, tossing the detective a strudel to eat instead. As Vera turns around, he eyes a blonde woman walking in. Vera glances around nervously, looking for a place to escape. He finally hides behind a corner. Lilly arrives and notices Vera hiding, but decides not to say anything. She notices the blonde woman and asks if she can help her. Is this homicide? And more specifically, does Detective Nick Vera work here? She knew him from high school. Lilly notes that he should be around somewhere, but maybe he’s in court. Want to leave a message? The woman says she’d better talk to Lilly about the murder of her sister from 10 years ago. Her name was Sloan Easton, found dead beside the bar where she worked. Autopsy revealed that she had passed out and died of exposure. Lilly asks if Sloan had been drunk at the time, to which the woman replies that Sloan was always drunk. It was thought her death had been an accident. That was what she herself had thought, until she met a guy at the bar last night by the name of Evan. He had been a student at the time, and he had known Sloan on the night of the murder while he was drinking with his fraternity brothers. The woman thinks that perhaps things had gotten out of hand. By the way, Evan is staying at the Delaware and he gave me his number. Scotty subtly joins Vera at his hiding place, asking who the mystery girl is. Megan Easton...and is she wearing a wedding ring? Scotty admits that he forgot to bring along his binoculars, but Vera isn’t laughing. So what did you do Nick, if you have to hide from that woman like some kid? I was in love with her.
Lilly, Stillman and Scotty check the case file down in the vault. Records show she was 32 and found dead by a homeless guy in a parking lot beside a bar named Sansom’s tavern. Stillmen comments that autopsy revealed that Sloan had suffered an injury to the head and the alcohol content in her blood was .24. The temperature that night had been the real murder, plunging down to a chilling 16 F. Lilly theorizes that perhaps the fraternity boys had thus assisted in the murder. Vera comments that Sloan had the ultimate goods in high school: she was Homecoming Queen. Stillman notices that there was blood on Sloan’s coat which was never tested. Now’s a good of a time as any. Any information about family? Vera states that she had separated from her husband Seth, who had been in New Jersey with their two children on the night of the murder. Lilly offers to go and question Evan, but Vera eagerly volunteers for the job. Anything to avoid talking to Megan Easton. Vera and Jeffries hunt down Evan outside of the Delaware before he has to return to Washington. Evan claims that he didn’t know or see much at all. All he knew was that Sloan was pretty, drunk and hanging out with Garrett; a bad combination. Who was Garrett? President of the fraternity. He was a guy that you learned to stay away from because he was rough. With women.
Flashback Evan walks into the bar and places his order with the bartender. Garrett sits down at the counter next to Sloan, who is drinking and minding her own business. Garrett attempts to introduce himself, only to be ignored as Sloan goes and feeds the Rottweiler that is lying on the floor. Garrett asks Sloan who she is, to which she replies that she is someone that is only here to drink. Garrett offers to buy her a drink a split second before another guy named Rick sits beside Sloan and asks how many drinks she’s already had. Sloan doesn’t want to see him, and flirts back with Garrett, asking if he’s going to get that drink. Right before Sloan joins Garrett and his friends, Rick hands her his card, stating that ”I’m not afraid of a 3 am phone call.” As Garrett and Sloan walk past Rick, Garrett asks her if she likes the beach. Flashback to Present Evan admitts he knew perfectly well where things were headed, so he left, telling Garrett that he had to and study. That was all he saw, and he had no idea who that Rick character had been either. He tells Vera and Jeffries that their fraternity had this room in the house called The Beach and an event called Beach Night, to which a guy could do it with a girl in the room while all of the other guys could watch, unbeknownst to the girl. Evan knew that he and the other guys had been jerks. But all he knows is that it was Beach Night, and it looked like that Garrett had found his girl.
Scotty and Lilly pay a visit to Garrett in his office. It has been ten years and there is little difference between the college boy and the business man. Same air of arrogance, same smirk. Garrett tells them that they can’t blame him for something that has happened ten years ago. Lilly replies that they can, in fact, they do it all the time. Garrett tries to brush it off, saying that maybe Sloan was a girl that wanted to have a walk on the wild side, no harm in that. But Lilly and Scotty think that things went a little differently once they were outside. Maybe Sloan tried to resist, and Garrett got a little rough with her in the parking lot, ’cause they heard he does that sort of thing. Garrett reveals that they never closed the deal. Flashback Sloan is drinking with Garrett and a bunch of other fraternity boys. The group is playing a game, naming off all the Olympic cities that they know. Sloan names Lake Placid, the Olympic City from 1980. Garrett thinks she is wrong, but Sloan assures him that she is right: she almost went there as a skater. Garrett and the other boys brush off her claims as a joke. Sloan is not impressed and gets up to leave, only to have Garrett try and convince her to come back to the house. Before things get out of hand, a cop whips out her badge and order the boys back to campus.
Flashback to Present Back at the station, Vera notes that there were two types of blood on Sloan’s coat—one is hers, the other is unidentified. Stillman suggests that it’s probably the killer’s. He also asks if anybody would know who that Rick guy was, the one that showed up at the bar. Megan might. Stillman asks Vera to go and ask her, and it can’t be anybody else that asks. Jeffries enters with the mystery cop, Julia Owens. She had been at the bar to see Sloan. She had gotten a DUI back in ’94 and the two had struck a deal. Sloan worked as Julie’s CI, investigating Sansom’s Tavern because the owner there had been suspected of dealing drugs. Megan and Vera meet up outside of the station. Turns out Megan knew about the DUI—the kids had been in the car, that’s why her husband finally left her. However, she didn’t know about Sloan working for the cops. Vera asks about Rick, and Megan says that Rick had been Sloan’s sponser. And she also knows where they can find Rick. There’s silence between the two, and Vera finally comments on how Megan still looks the same. Megan asks Vera if he thinks that she’d pass for a high school girl, to which he replies ”To me you would.” Lilly, Jeffries and Scotty find Rick and the four visit the site where Sloan died. He tells the detectives that he gave Sloan his card every week, and every week she threw it out. She always seemed like the stubborn drunk she was, though Rick thought he could save her but eventually realized that she was making no effort to drop the habit. He notes that Lilly sounds like she’s been through the program, and she brushes it off, saying that she encounters a lot of these cases on the job. Rick says that Lilly never answered his question, and gives her his card, stating that he’s not afraid of a 3 a.m. phone call.
Scotty and Jeffries pay a visit to the bar owner, John Powell. They tell Powell that they knew he had been dealing drugs, and since Sloan had been working for the cops, informing them of Powell’s little ”side business”, that gave him a pretty good motive to hurt her, plus the fact that she had ended up dead in his parking lot. Powell maintains that he never touched her, but that night, Sloan’s ex-husband Seth really had it out for her. Flashback Inside the bar, Sloan finishes up the drinks that had been left by the customers. Powell is watching from the doorway, and says to her if she wants another drink, all she has to do is just ask. Sloan kneels down beside Powell’s dog Ravage and says that he’s really hungry. Powell simply replies that he needs the dog that way, and leads Ravage away. An angry Seth comes barging into the door and grabs Sloan, asking her where the kids are. Sloan had ended up leaving her kids at the fast food restaurant, Rodeo Robs. Sloan insisted it was only for fifteen minutes, but Seth knows it was actually for five hours. Sloan admits that she just needed one drink, and had ended up losing track of time. She asks to see her kids, but Seth tells her she’s never going to see them again, and also demands that she stay away from them. He leaves out the door of the bar, with Sloan running after him.
Flashback to Present Lilly and Vera interrogate Seth, who maintains the fact that he was really in New Jersey on the night of Sloan’s murder. Lilly points out that could be a bit of a problem, since there was a witness that says otherwise. Seth admits that he was in the bar that night, but afterwards he went to New Jersey with his kids and his girlfriend Rose. Yes, he had been angry, furious with Sloan in the bar, but once out in the parking lot, everything changed. Flashback Sloan follows Seth out into the parking lot. Rose and the two kids are in the car, along with a barking Doberman. Sloan tearfully cries that all she wants to do is say sorry to her kids. Rose yells at Seth because the kids are cold, but he says to give them a minute and close the window. Sloan tearfully tells Seth that she knows that he knows she loves her kids. She had cried when they were born. Seth snaps back and says he was the one that cried, because now he had more of Sloan. A moment passes and all anger passes out of Seth as he defeatedly asks Sloan how things ended up like this. Sloan replies that it was her fault. Seth wants to know how he should have helped. Should he have been any harder, or easier? No, Sloan knows that it wouldn’t have been any different, because ”we tried multiple times, baby.” Sloan puts her hand on Seth’s cheek, and tells him to go with Rose and make a life with her. Reluctantly, Seth leaves.
Flashback to Present Seth admits that even with all the stuff they had gone through, there were still moments when the two of them could still connect. Vera speaks up and tells him that he knew her back in high school. The two men wonder how booze to do something like that to a person. Scotty and Frannie bump into each other. She had been meaning to say that she was sorry about his girlfriend’s suicide, and Scotty replies that they don’t know for sure if it really was suicide. Well, Frannie had just been coming by because the lab results on the blood have come back. Turns out the other blood on Sloan’s coat, is canine blood. This puts two possible suspects into view: Powell had Ravage, a Rottweiler, and Rose had a Doberman. Lilly talks to Rose, woman to woman. Rose insists that her dog Tuck is not a vicious dog. But Lilly has a theory of her own, believing that Rose had been jealous of what Seth and Sloan had. Pretty hard to stand by and watch your guy be in love with someone else. Rose admits that Sloan did have Seth’s heart. She also admits that she knew how Sloan got dog blood on her coat, but it wasn’t from Tuck. Flashback Rose is on her way back to the bar, but slows down and hides behind a corner as she sees Sloan hunched over an injured Ravage, suffering from injuries from an earlier dogfight. Powell comes out from the bar bottle in one hand, furious because he paid $400 for Ravage and he can’t fight at all. Sloan insists that she can fix Ravage. But Powell won’t hear any of it. He fires Sloan and tells her to take the dog, he doesn’t care anymore. A moment later Rose leaves.
Flashback to Present Lilly doesn’t quite believe Rose and the fact that she left, just like that. Rose says there was nothing she could say to Sloan. What else could she say? Make him stop loving you? That was impossible. Scotty visits Powell in the bar once again, telling him that he knows Powell was swinging a bottle the night Sloan died. Maybe he knocked her on the head? Powell insists that all he did was fire Sloan. But she came back, begging for her job right? Powell admits that Sloan did do that, sort of. Flashback Sloan and Ravage re-enter Sansom’s Tavern because Ravage is cold. She also tries to persuade Powell to give her back her job, but he refuses. After a moment’s decision, Sloan puts her fingers into Powell’s pants and sweetly says to Powell that she’ll do anything to get her job back. And she means it. Flashback to Present Powell sighs from the memories and admits that was not his finest moment. And to top it all off Powell says, in the middle of it, Richie Rich, aka Garrett, comes walking in. He had probably been watching the whole time. Scotty is interested. Why was he back? Powell says that Garrett had come in to buy some drugs, and after he got them he left. Sloan went to lock up in the back, and the last time Powell saw Sloan, she was alone with Garrett. Vera and Megan sit and talk in his car and talk about marriage after finding out that their old hangout restaurant is closed. Megan says her husband is really nice, works really hard, but they rarely have a conversation. Vera admits that he and Julie haven’t been doing too hot either. They had wanted a baby and tried everything, but they still couldn’t have one, and it killed off the love. The two admit that they think about each other from time to time. Megan wonders what life would be like now, if they had ended up. Vera replies that they would have a 19 year old, that’s what. Megan wonders if the baby would have made it, and Vera tells her that it should have been the two of them.
Lilly and Scotty question Garrett again. They know he was watching the whole time that Powell got ”serviced”. But Garrett claims that he went back to buy pot, that was all. He didn’t kill her. Really? Lilly notes that records show the day after the murder he checked into the hospital with an ugly gash on his arm. So far, all of the evidence is pointing at you. Garrett says he went to go use the washroom after he bought the drugs. When he came out, Sloan was talking on the phone. Flashback Garrett comes out of the washroom and sees a tearful Sloan talking on the phone, saying she’s hit rock bottom. Ravage growls at the sight of Garrett, and Sloan hangs up, saying someone is coming for her. In the meantime, Garrett tries to get some ”service” from Sloan, only to be attacked by Ravage. He manages to escape out the back door, with Ravage close at his heels. Flashback to Present Garrett angrily flashes his scars to Lilly and Scotty, saying that the ”psycho dog” ended up chasing him for three blocks and he was lucky he didn’t get rabies. Lilly and Scotty ponder over whether or not anybody was on the other end of the phone. Who would Sloan call at that hour? Lilly suddenly realizes it was someone who wouldn’t be afraid of a 3 am phone call. Megan visits the station, wanting to know what’s going on with the investigation. Vera tells her that Sloan had fallen really low. Megan sadly smiles and says she always used to look up to Sloan. Vera insists that people should be remembered at their best and not how they ended up. Megan suggests that the two of them have lunch, but Vera says that he can’t do that, not with her. Before Megan leaves, she tells him that she was always so sad, but last night she wasn’t.
It is night time in an empty bar. Lilly sits at the counter when Rick walks in, sits down beside her and asks if she’s okay. Lilly replies that she’s been staring at the Scotch for about an hour, she hasn’t had a drink in 8 years. Rick supportively says that he’s been there. He tells her not to start now and puts his hand over hers and gets Lilly to let go of the drink. He says this is a bad place to be in. Why don’t they go? Lilly asks Rick if that is how it goes. Getting calls from girls in the middle of the night when they’re weak and needy and he can score. She looked for him in the meeting going on in his area. They said Rick hadn’t been there in years because they don’t trust him with women. Rick gets up to leave, but Lilly mentions that her boss and partner are right outside, and he gets to decide who he’d rather talk to. Rick goes back to the counter and reluctantly admits that he didn’t know Sloan was going to lie there all night in the snow. He didn’t mean for it to happen. Flashback A tearful Sloan is in the parking lot calling desperately for Ravage to come back. Rick jumps out from his truck and Sloan tells him that she’s lost her dog. She has to find him, Ravage is her test. If she can take care of Ravage, she can take care of her kids. It is the least she can do since Ravage took care of her, now she must do the same for him. Eventually Rick convinces Sloan to get into his truck and backs up, only to run over Ravage. He tries to get Sloan to leave, but Sloan notices his sleeziness. She has just hit rock bottom, and he still wants a piece? Rick is starting to get agitated. Sloan tells him that he’s lower than her, and he laughs and tells her that she is nothing. Sloan smiles and says ”and even I won’t have you.” In a fit of anger, Rick hits her on the head and she crumples to the ground beside the dumpster. Sloan starts saying that she needs to go to sleep, then afterwards everything will be better. Rick ignores her and jumps back in his truck and drives away. Ravage limps over to Sloan and lies down beside her as the snow continues to fall.
Flashback to Present Lilly escorts Rick outside where Stillman, Jeffries and a police officer are awaiting. The police officer escorts Rick into an awaiting squad car. Outside of Sansom’s Tavern Powell is walking a limping Ravage. Garrett is walking down the street talking on his cell phone. Sees a beautiful blonde girl walking. He hangs up his cell phone and smoothes his hair. He tries to go up and talk to the girl, only to have to dodge away as her dog lunges at him. Scotty puts Sloan’s closed file in the fault. He walks to another section, takes out another box and starts to go through the contents. Outside of the station, Seth hugs Megan after she tells him the news. The two go their separate ways, Seth walking away with the two now grownup kids. Vera watches above as Megan crosses the street. He turns his head and ”sees” Sloan smiling back at him.
- 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
- Meredith Salenger as Sloane Easton
- Sarah Aldrich as Megan Easton
- Clare Carey as Rose
- Susan Chuang as Frannie Ching
- Wendy Davis as Julia Owens
- Colby French as Seth
- Googy Gress as John Powell
- David Monahan as Evan (2005)
- Michael B. Silver as Rick
- Steve Sandvoss as Garrett Caine
- Robert Adamson as Frank
- Ryan Carlberg as Evan (1995)
- Aidan Hart as Ryan (1995)
- Aspen Payge as Haley (1995)
- unknown actor as Ryan (2005)
- unknown actress as Haley (2005)
- Sophie B. Hawkins "As I Lay Me Down"
- Hootie & The Blowfish "Only Wanna Be With You"
- Hootie & the Blowfish "Time"
- David Thiele "Fall For Love"
- Hootie & The Blowfish "Let Her Cry"
- The Gin Blossoms "Found Out About You"
- Messy Music "Long Cold Silence"
- Closing Song: Bruce Springsteen "Secret Garden"