Season Four, Episode Twenty-One, The Price of Love
Original Air Date: November 24, 2010
Note: Episodes 21 & 22 were aired together but I am presenting them here as two separate episodes.
A young woman is found dead in an abandoned home and the trail leads a local widower. He claims he loved the woman and wanted to start a life with her and would never hurt her. The case becomes more complicated when the team learns the woman was a prostitute. Was it the man who loved her that killed her, one of his children, one of her clients or her neighbour. Meanwhile, Jennifer and Nick have a discussion about their future. It's performance review time for Matt Ryan.
A realtor and her clients find the body of a woman in an empty house. The team arrive to begin the investigation (after a curt conversation between Matt and Rhys). Matt and Nick take the lead on the case. They find no I.D. on the woman and it appears the killer brought or lured her to the house to brutally kill her.
Matt receives a phone call from Superintendent Jarvis while at the scene calling him back to the office. After having Matt hold a pitcher of water so he could remove a fish from Bernice's tank, Jarvis tells Matt is it performance review time. He hands Matt the paper and tells him to fill it out with his strengths and weaknesses and he will sign it and Matt will get his increment and everyone will be happy.
Matt meets Nick at the morgue where it is learned that the victim had a sales receipt for a very expensive pair of shoes stuck in her esophagus. The credit card used to purchase the shoes belonged to Chris Fleetwood and was reported stolen. Nick asks Allie and Rhys to bring Fleetwood in for a chat while he follows up on some things at the office. Nick and Jennifer go to their car where they talk about their relationship. To him, it isn't a casual fling. He asks her to marry him and have a family. She feels if they stay together one of them will have to leave Homicide. She's devoted her life to the job and if she leaves she won't know who she is anymore. He tells her he will transfer out because he wants her. She tells him she doesn't have the answer and it isn't fair to keep him waiting. He gets out of the car saying he has an interview to do.
Chris Fleetwood claims he doesn't know the woman who was murdered. Rhys has run a check on him and he came back clean. After some (intense!) questioning by Nick and Allie, Fleetwood admits that he knew the woman. He loved her and would have never killed her. His wife died of cancer six months ago. A month later, he met the woman, Mischa Downes, and fell in love with her.
Duncan and Rhys go to Downes' home. While looking through her belongings for evidence, they hear the door open and a man enters the home. He identifies himself as Darren Jacobs, her neighbour, and says he was there to bring in the mail but was actually there to raid her CD's. Duncan found a "little black book" at her home with names and dollar amounts. She was a hooker.
Matt and Nick speak with Fleetwood's children about his having been seen with Downes before her death. Malcolm Fleetwood admits that they kept a baseball bat beneath the counter after the shop had been done over a couple of years ago and the till stolen. When they ask him to show them the bat, he cannot find it. A search by uniforms turn up a bloodied bat.
Fleetwood is again brought in for questioning and, this time, the bloodied bat is shown to him. Again, he says he did not kill Downes as anyone could have taken the bat. They let him know that she was a prostitute. It doesn't truly sink in for him even after they show him a photocopy of her book where she had written down how much she charged him for sex. Nick pushes him to try and break him but Fleetwood holds strong and insists he didn't kill her and didn't pay for anything.
At briefing, the team discuss Fleetwood and his relationship with Downes. Nick doesn't feel he killed her but Allie doesn't want him discounted as a suspect yet. Nick is clearly bringing his discussion with Jennifer into the case. After listening to Allie and Nick argue back and forth for a bit, Matt orders them to cut Fleetwood lose for now and they will wait to see if the media appeal for witnesses bears fruit.
The next morning, Jennifer comes into the office kitchen with the information that a Vivien Chen is downstairs after seeing the media appeal on Crimewatch and thinks that Downes is her friend. Nick tells Rhys and Allie to take Chen. Vivien did Downes nails and the two became friends. Downes had told Vivien that she was getting out of the life because she had a client that was giving her a hard time. She thought if she went to Queensland she could get away from him and start over. "Scary guy", as Vivien called him, wasn't an older man. He was young and strong.
Allie asks Matt to get them a warrant for the names from the mobile numbers in Downes' little black book. While they are talking, Jarvis comes in wanting the "paperwork" from Matt because Waverley is making noise about it. Matt tells Allie to get the paperwork for the warrant done and he will sign it.
Duncan and Rhys go to talk with Darren Jacobs again as there was a Darren in Downes' book. Rhys finds some marijuana on Jacobs' couch and Jacobs explains it away that he has a little before bed as he has problems with insomnia. Duncan tells Jacobs that he thinks the young bloke who was frightening Downes might have been him. He asks them to leave.
Back at the office, Allie has finally gotten the mobile list and she was running profiles and came across a man that looked good for being the "scary guy". Vincenzo De Luca, a twenty-eight year old, and has a conviction for aggravated assault. Allie and Rhys go back to Fleetwood's shop and show his kids photos of the new suspects. Malcolm doesn't recognize either but Tara immediately focuses on the photo of De Luca and says he comes into the shop all the time. Allie and Rhys pick up De Luca.
Nick and Matt go into the interview with De Luca who admits to being a client of Downes'. He tells them she had said she was in love and wanted to get out of the business and he also claims she didn't dump him, he dumped her. He tells them she was pregnant and wasn't about to let her stick him with the baby.
In briefing, Nick informs the team that De Luca's alibi checks out. He was working the door of a nightclub until 2 a.m the night Downes was killed. Nick and Allie again argue about the suspects. Nick has cleared De Luca as a suspect in his mind but Allie doesn't want to remove him from the list. Nick is insistent Chris Fleetwood did not kill Downes. Jennifer brings news from Pathology that Mischa Downes was definitely not pregnant causing Rhys to ask why Downes would tell De Luca she was pregnant when she wasn't. When Nick makes a comment to Rhys, Allie questions why he has been in a mood all week. Nick stands up and angrily pushes his chair in then apologizes to the team for his outburst. Nick leaves to talk again to the Fleetwood kids.
Malcolm Fleetwood tells Nick he was happy his father had something in his life that made him happy. Vivien Chen says the pregnancy thing was her idea. She had told Downes as a joke that a surefire way to make a guy run was to tell him she was pregnant. Downes used it as a way to try and get rid of Scary Guy. Tara Fleetwood says Malcolm is virtually useless around the shop and that she had her hands full taking care of things. If Downes had set her sights on her father, she said he wouldn't have stood a chance against her. According to Vivien, Downes was a good person just trying to turn her life around. She reveals that Downes had used drugs and, when they would go out, would go next door and come back a couple of minutes later with a stash.
Duncan, Allie and Rhys go back to Darren Jacobs. When he doesn't answer, Duncan busts the door open and they go in to search the flat. Jacobs isn't home but Allie finds photos of Jacobs and his mates, including Malcolm Fleetwood. They go to speak with Malcolm who says he bought dope a few times off Jacobs and they hang out sometimes. Darren suggested Downes to Malcolm for his father. While they are talking to him, Chris and Tara come in and Chris attacks his son wanting to know what he did. They take Malcolm back to Homicide to speak with him further.
Matt wants Nick in on the interview and he reluctantly agrees. Before Nick arrives, Rhys asks Allie if she wants to go see a band with him that night. She agrees as long as she won't have a late night as she needs to be up at five. Nick arrives saying Tara Fleetwood is making a fuss as reception. Rhys leaves to handle her while Nick and Allie go in to talk to Malcolm. Malcolm doesn't have an alibi for the night Downes was killed but he denies killing her. He used the money his mother left him and would give it to Darren who would give the money to Downes. He admits that he told Tara everything as soon as he started to worry their father would learn Downes was a hooker. Unfortunately, Rhys, not knowing Tara had become a suspect, sent her home.
Darren Jacobs calls Duncan. He has information and wants to cut a deal. He tells Duncan where he is and Duncan and Rhys leave immediately to go to him. When they arrive, Darren staggers out to meet them with his hands in his pockets. When he removes them, they see he has been stabbed in the stomach. Nick and Matt go to pick up Tara Fleetwood. Matt tells her Darren Jacobs told them everything. During a struggle as they are trying to take Tara into custody, Nick pushes Chris Fleetwood and, as he falls, he knocks over a rubbish bin and a bloody knife and clothes spill out of it.
When she learned Malcolm had been paying Downes for their father, she went to Jacobs and told him to call Downes off. Tara figured there was no way Downes could have been in love with their father. She was simply a gold digger. She paid Darren Jacobs $5,000, her inheritance from her mother, for Jacobs to take Downes to the house and scare her. Tara was at the house with Darren and Downes and Tara stabbed her when she wouldn't say she would leave her father alone.
Allie and Rhys had a good time at the concert and the two go back to her place. Matt honestly fills out the evaluation form noting that he is having a difficult transition compounded by returning to old squad, struggling with leadership challenges and that the higher ups have reservations about him. Jarvis reluctantly signs the evaluation.
Nick is clearly not coping with his and Jen's situation very well. He wants to marry her and have a family but she is putting her job first. She doesn't want to take the chance that their relationship might not last and feels she's worked too hard to give up her job on a chance. I figured that eventually we'd see Allie and Rhys hook up. They've been doing a bit of flirting this season and the two seem to have bonded here of late. I like them as a couple, actually. We all know what auntie Bernice is going to say when she gets wind that her nephew has taken up with the one detective she despises more than anything. I love how Matt handled his evaluation. He went for full honesty even though it very well could mean trouble for him, Jarvis and Stanley Wolfe. That's the Matt Ryan we've all known and loved the past four years.
For more information:
City Homicide Official Site: http://au.tv.yahoo.com/city-homicide/
Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1024932/
TV Rage: http://www.tvrage.com/shows/id-17228