The 1970 murder of a musician who was instrumental in creating the Philadelphia soul sound is re-investigated. The victim tried to keep his involvement in the music scene from his strict minister father. Meanwhile, Lilly meets her teenage half-brother, Finn.
In 1970, a father holds a sermon about the Vietnam War. Billy the organist starts to groove, but his dad tells him he is not finished. Later, Billy was found dead in the snow. His death was put in the unsolved files.
In the present day, Jeffries meets with Archie, Billy’s son. He says his mom died died a few months ago. He explains his son wanted to learn about his family tree. He says he wanted to find out about him since he doesn’t know about him. Rush tells Archie Billy had a record of disorderly misconduct. They tell him they will let him know if they learn anything else. Jeffries and Rush figures Billy was an organ player. Jeffries discovers a VIP pass he recognizes from from a jazz club called The Hive. He figures Billy was a one of the best musicians in town. They learn Billy was killed by blunt force trauma to the head by a liquor bottle. Jeffries remembers the club had a reputation of having great music. Jeffries says the owner was known as the queen bee. A officer tells Valens that there is a kid there who wants to talk to Rush, but before she gets to meet him, he disappears.
Vera calls his mom to see how she is doing. Vera says the owner of the club was Geraldine Watkins. He says the club is now a Soul Food restaurant. Jeffries and Vera meet with Billy’s father Thomas. He says when Billy died, they buried him like a king. Vera asks for a list of people who attended the funeral. Jeffries asks him if he knew Beatrice Sloan, but he doesn’t recognize the name. They ask him if he knew anyone who hung out with Billy and he says he doesn’t know. Valens and Rush meet with Geraldine and ask her about Billy. Geraldine says the musicians that played at the Hive had nasty habits, but none of them had anything against Billy. She remembers the first night she met Billy. He played the drums which impressed everyone. After their set, the lead musician Buster asked Geraldine for payment, but she refused since they drank more than what they earned. They pulled out guns and set in on the bar. Billy convinced Geraldine to pay since she knows him as the pastor’s son. A woman bought Billy a drink and commended his playing. Billy explained he plays music by ear. Geraldine says the woman was named Beatrice Sloan. She says Beatrice supposedly was the girlfriend of Ronde Brooks, a record producer. Geraldine says Ronde came from the streets before making it big. Vera and Jeffries meet with Ronde. He says he got along with Billy. He admits he paid Billy under the table. He remembers when he brought Billy in for a recording session. Billy played a new style of guitar which Ronde liked. He told Billy to take the lead. He says Buster fell into drinking heavily after he was put in the back. The detectives wonder if Buster killed Billy.
They meet Buster at his record store. He says he has been clean for thirty years. He explains he realized Billy was a much better musician than him. He remembers when Beatrice brought Billy a drink during a recording session. She told him a woman from his church is there. She asked him if she could come to his house, but Billy said he didn’t want his father to find out about them. Billy introduced Ronde to Chandra a gospel singer, but he didn’t want to hear her. Billy told Ronde they should introduce the world to a new Philadelphia sound. Ronde told Billy if he can pay for the session, he will record her.
At the station, Jeffries tells Vera about Philly based musicians including Billy Paul, The Intruders and the Delfonics. Vera says he knows one song from a beer commercial. Valens tells Rush he can’t find what kind of bottle Billy was killed with. Rush meets the kid who wanted to talk to her earlier. Stillman says he was picked up for drunk and disorderly. The boy gives Rush a fake ID. He asks her what she does and how long she worked there. Rush orders an officer to hold the boy until he detoxes. Valens learns Chandra still works at the church as a choir director.
Chandra tells Rush and Vera she didn’t want to tell Billy’s father about his work in the record company. She says Billy started drinking heavily just before he died. Shandra says she wanted to be the next Aretha Franklin. She says with Billy’s help she had the chance to shine. She remembers when Billy arrived at the studio late and gave everyone their sheet music. He directed the band consisting of drums, strings and horns while Chandra sang. She says the song helped launched Ronde’s label. Billy provided the money for the entire ensemble. She explains that Ronde replaced her vocals with three guys who could sing and dance. The detectives wonder how Billy got the cash.
Later, Jeffries shows Stillman and Vera the record which shows that Ronde took credit for the song. Rush learns the boy is Finn Cooper, her half brother. She asks him what he wants to know. He says he just wanted to see what she looks like. Rush tells him there are easier ways to meet her. Rush says she might stop by at his house. Finn says it is weird that their dad has a whole other life before him. Rush asks him to ask him about it. Rush releases him and gives him her card. Jeffries meets with Ronde and tells him he knows that Billy wrote his first song. Ronde says he wants to talk to his lawyers. Jeffries says it will take time, which might make him late for his music awards. Ronde remembers when Beatrice and Billy got in a fight in the studio. Beatrice was upset that he wouldn’t introduce her to his family since she didn’t go to church. Beatrice asked Billy if he wanted to be his own person and admitted she was pregnant. She tells her to contact her when he is ready to be a father. Billy pushed down some instruments then confronted Ronde about not putting his name on the record. Ronde convinced Billy to pay him $5,000 for the full credit. Ronde admits that Billy helped, but he got multiple gold records after Billy left. He says the only person who was able to provide Billy the money to pay for the extra musicians was Geraldine. Vera tells the team that Geraldine was a ruthless loanshark.
Valens, Rush and an officer arrive at Geraldine’s. She admits that Billy owed her money. She says when Billy went to return the money, he noticed his father’s cufflinks on the table. Later, Valens discovers the bottle that was used to kill Billy was communal wine. They wonder if Thomas killed his son after he found out about his affair. They bring Thomas to the station and show him the bottle of wine that was used to kill Billy. Thomas says he loved his son. He admits he looked for his son that night. Thomas found Billy in the church. Billy told him that he is going to move out so he can be his own man. He said what he does is like his own sermon. Thomas said he knows he was running around with shady musicians. Thomas said his brother would be ashamed with him, then slapped him. Billy told his dad his preaching is as empty as his soul. Jeffries informs Thomas that Billy had a son who wants to meet him. They ask him who else had access to the wine.
Later, they bring in Chandra. They learn that Chandra was fired at Ronde’s studio shortly after Billy died. Valens and Rush figure that Chandra killed Billy and used the cash she found on him to pay for his headstone. Chandra says she loved Billy. She says she met Billy the night he died when he wanted a ride to the bus station. Chandra told Billy he was the only one who was promoting her at the record company. Billy said he finally got the guts to branch out because of Beatrice. He told her that Beatrice is pregnant. Chandra told Billy they made magic together. Billy tried to exit the car, but before he did, Chandra hit him in the head with a wine bottle taken from a box in between them in the front seat. Before he died, he dropped the wad of money he received from Ronde. Chandra is arrested for Billy’s death. Later, Thomas meets his grandson at Ronde’s studio. Meanwhile, Rush meets with Fin at a diner and shows him a picture of their dad when he was younger.
- 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
- Wesley Jonathan as Billy Sanders
- Meagan Good as Beatrice Sloan (1970)
- Vanessa Bell Calloway as Geraldine Watkins (1970)
- John Cothran as Reverend Tom Sanders (2009)
- Brett Davern as Finn Cooper
- Jamie Hector as Ronde Brooks (1970)
- Anna Maria Horsford as Geraldine Watkins (2009)
- Ajgie Kirkland as Buster Large (2009)
- Dig Wayne as Reverend Tom Sanders (1970)
- Steven Williams as Ronde Brooks (2009)
- Hope Olaide' Wilson as Chandra Patterson (1970)
- Freedom Bridgewater as Archie Sloan
- Kelvin Brown as Buster Large (1970)
- Alex Valente as Officer Lennox
- Unknown actor as Tom Sanders Jr.
- Even though it is implied that Billy wrote a song called "Back Stabbers," it is actually a real song recorded by The O'Jays in 1972. The song was written by Leon Huff, Gene McFadden, and John Whitehead.
- Tracie Thoms does not appear in this episode.
- Francisco Ariza's and Kate Butler's case box is visible when Stillman puts Billy's case box away.
- This episode was originally to air on CBS on October 18, 2009 but was pre-empted to the following week of October 25 for American viewers. Other markets, such as the Canadian network CTV aired the episode at its intended date and time.
- The Temptations "Just My Imagination"
- The Temptations "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone"
- Hope Olaide' Wilson "Back Stabbers"
- Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes "If You Don't Know Me by Now"
- Billy Paul "Me & Mrs. Jones"
- The Spinners "I'll Be Around"