Shuffle, Ball Change
Shuffle, Ball Change

Season : 4
Episode: 17
Directed by: Mark Pellington
Written by: Liz W. Garcia
Production Number:
Airdate: 11 March 2007
Date of Crime: October 1984
Previous: The Good-Bye Room
Next: A Dollar, A Dream

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After the remains of a teenage boy missing since 1984 are discovered in a landfill, the squad look into his life, learning that his desire to become a dancer put him at odds with his family and made him enemies at the competitive performance school he wanted to join.


On September 15, 1984, Pat Hall, father of two sons, Grant and Maurice, and owner of a grocery store, is proudly announcing to some customers in his store that Grant has qualified for the Junior Olympic Training Program in wrestling. Everybody is clapping hands and Pat unveils a showcase where he says he’s going to keep the Olympic gold, which Grant will one day win. As everybody goes for beer and congratulates Grant for his achievement, Maurice walks up to his father. Pat is visibly proud of his elder son. Then he inquires on his younger son’s ambition but Maurice is distracted by a girl behind his father. She’s wearing a pink ballet dress and revising some steps while shopping. Pat snaps his fingers and brings his son’s attention back on him. He tells Maurice to find a direction in life or he’ll find one for him. When Pat moves away, the girl notices Maurice’s looks and they smile at each other. The next moment we find Maurice dead inside a rubbish skip in a dark side street while people hurriedly pass by a ”Missing” leaflet with his photo.

In the present, detectives Rush and Valens enter a morgue room to find Lt. Stillman, a coroner, and a skeleton lying on a table before them. Stillman fills them in on the finding while the doctor says the skeleton is of a teenage boy with multiple skull fractures, broken leg, and and broken fingers caused by something long and thin. Stillman hands Valens Maurice’s file, the only possible match for the skeleton. After 23 years, the detectives are going to find the truth. Stillman and Jeffries are walking on the footpath. Stillman tells him that the police have found a man claiming he has caused a car accident in the winter of 1995. Jeffries is alarmed because his wife died exactly in the same circumstances. With a sudden fire in his eyes, he demands to know the suspect’s name. Stillman instead looks hard at him but reassures him that the cops are aware of his situation. After briefing the case, Valens and Rush visit Pat Hall’s grocery store to give him the sad news. Of course he is distressed to hear such a news but Grant comforts him. The detectives ask Pat what kind of a boy Maurice was. He says his son was quite touched by his mother’s death. Unlike the other boys in the neighborhood, he was more into books and arts; he was a creative boy. But one day Pat found Maurice with a black eye. Pat had told him he could send Grant to settle the issue with the jerk who had punched him but Maurice had insisted he had everything under control.

Meanwhile, Grant goes to the storage room and he, too, is distressed. Valens follows him and makes him admit that he, and no one else, had given Maurice the black eye since nobody would have ever touched Maurice knowing who his brother was. Grant explains his behavior: One evening he was jogging and he saw Maurice dancing outside the local dancing school, imitating the girls inside. Even though Maurice denied, Grant thought his brother was gay, and punched him on the eye. Soon after, a girl, the same who was shopping, came rushing outside. Her name was Crystal Stacy and she told Grant to go away and leave her boyfriend alone. Valens wonders why Crystal Stacy didn’t come up in the original investigation. He suggests that maybe Pat didn’t want her involved because she was black. But that was not the reason: Grant says his father would have had a heart attack knowing Maurice wanted to be a dancer, that’s why he never gave her name to the cops.

Stillman and Jeffries enter the police department, and Vera tells them Crystal Stacy is now a teacher at the dancing school. He then hands Jeffries the case file of Isaac Keller from Jersey State Police. Jeffries sits at his desk and runs through the papers. Crystal Stacy has just finished a lesson when detectives Valens and Miller ask her questions on Maurice. She tells them she didn’t even know the boy’s name when she saved him from his brother. That night was the first time they met. She was the best in the school and knew Maurice was talented. Maurice told her he had learned from his mother who was now dead. She advised him to try out for the school audition. Just as they were trying some moves, Carlos Garcia, another dancer and Crystal’s boyfriend, stormed out of the school, pulled her away and dragged her inside. Maurice tried to stop him so Carlos pushed him back and, looking in his eyes, told him to meet him at 5 p.m. the next day. Crystal never knew what Carlos was up to, but she states she never saw Maurice again.

The team calls Carlos Garcia to come in for questioning. He tells them he took Maurice to the lion’s den, i.e. to Dr. Octavius Leroy’s dancing class. Maurice was totally unprepared and didn’t know his steps. Leroy noticed him immediately. He made him try all alone and nearly took off the kid’s foot with the wooden staff he always carried with him. He then insulted his mother who had taught him to dance. Maurice replied back and eventually Leroy threw him out of his school. Carlos tells them Dr. Leroy had once broken a girl’s leg with his staff. Maurice was found with a broken leg, too. Jeffries is having a coffee at the diner where Keller, the former truck driver, works and engages in a conversation about family with him. Jeffries even shows him his wife’s photo to see his reaction though it doesn’t seem to strike Keller. When he’s leaving, Jeffries mentions the road where his wife was hit full speed by a truck going too fast on a heavy rain winter night. Keller recalls passing through that road in winter 1995 and that it was pouring. He says it was a hell of a winter. Jeffries listens and holds tight to the seat.

Lilly questions Dr. Leroy upon his behavior with his students. He says that even if Maurice wasn’t in his he benefited from his lessons. The grocery store became their room. Maurice asked Leroy to teach him. After a little initial resistance, he agreed to give him lessons. Since Maurice couldn’t quit his job at the store, he showed his moves to Leroy while working. He soon improved also thanks to Crystal, who became his dancing partner and girlfriend. She had lied to the police about never seeing him again. Crystal admits she was helping him for the school audition but one night, while they were practicing in the storage room, they heard Grant coming. She found a hiding place from where she followed the events. As soon as Grant entered and saw his brother, he understood Maurice was dancing. Grant became angry and they started fighting. Somehow Grant fell on his knee and hurt himself badly. That meant the end of chances to compete for the Olympic gold. He started yelling out of pain, and Pat came in running. Grant tried to hide the real reason of their fight but Maurice couldn’t keep it anymore so he told his father he was practicing for the dancing school audition. He started crying and told Grant he was sorry. Pat was furious for what Maurice had done and forbade him to audition the next day. That was the end of Maurice’s dream. Crystal couldn’t forgive herself for that.

Pat is now questioned by Vera and Valens. They ask him what he did to Maurice after threatening him. They try and make him confess by tickling him. He tells them he had been to Maurice’s audition. Grant was also there, walking with crutches. Then Maurice came on stage and performed his piece in memory of his mother. He danced wonderfully and everybody in the audience appreciated him. They all stood up and clapped their hands. Pat himself was touched by his son’s performance; he couldn’t believe his eyes. He called him from afar but Maurice ran away thinking his father was mad at him. That was the last time he saw him alive. In the end, Pat regrets not being a good father to his sons. The detectives figure out that Grant must have been quite angry at Maurice for crushing his dreams of being a successful athlete. Rush and Jeffries find him mopping the store’s floor. They psychologically attack him by awakening in him the anger he felt toward his brother. He falls apart and tells them the truth.

After the audition, he went back to the grocery store and was staring at all his trophies in the show case his father had set up when Maurice came in from behind. Grant told him their father was proud of Maurice. Maurice couldn’t believe it; he was happy. It had always been Grant he was proud of, never Maurice. Then Grant took off his knee bandage and threw his crutches away. Maurice couldn’t understand what his brother was doing and told him to stop. He told Grant that he’s going to injure his knee even worse... but then he understood that Grant had been faking it all along. Grant wanted to quit wrestling because he felt inadequate but couldn’t quit because of his dad so he needed an excuse to come out of it. Maurice tried to talk Grant out of quitting but ended up making him angrier. They started shouting, pulling and pushing until Grant lost control and pushed his brother on the ground and hit him brutally with the crutches. When he realized what he’d done, it was too late. The police arrests Grant. When they take him in, he exchanges glances with his father. All the people involved in the inquiries move on with their lives. The case is closed. We see Jeffries in his car watching Keller close the diner from a distance. Lilly passes by the grocery store and sees Maurice still dancing and whirling


Main CastEdit

Guest CastEdit



  • This episode uses some elements from the films Footloose and Billy Elliot.
  • "Maurice Hall" is the name of the protagonist in E.M. Forster's novel Maurice, about a young gentleman trying to come to terms with his own homosexuality in early 20th century England.
  • The last appearance of Susan Chuang as Frannie Ching.
  • Nathan Halliday is a professional dancer and this episode marks his debut as an actor. Several other actors, particularly the extras in the class scenes, are also professional dancers.
  • Debut of Greg Finley.
  • When Maurice Hall's box is being put away, Latrice Hicks's box is briefly visible


  • Asia "Heat of the Moment"
  • Luscious Redhead "Behind the Mask"
  • Laura Branigan "Self Control"
  • Chaka Khan "Through the Fire"
  • Kenny Loggins "I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man)"
  • Rufus feat. Chaka Khan "Ain't Nobody"
  • Closing Song: Foreigner "I Want to Know What Love Is"