We start with previouslies of when Steve & Danny were using a little old lady's house for a stakeout five years ago and she had a cat named Mr. Pickles and a neighbor named Ricky who took care of the cat while Agnes was out of town. I loved that episode because it showed that Steve is a cat person! (All right, he turned dog person, but in the first Mr. Pickles ep he clearly loved cats.)
Then we cut to a guy coming home. He grabs a drink and goes into the living room when he sees a window broken. Before he can do much, he's hit in the back of the head, then wakes up in a crematorium where he is burned alive. (So. Much. Ew.)
Danny and Steve are walking into a law office because they've been included in Agnes' will! Even though they don't know her and never met her, Danny is hoping for a cash reward. RickytheNeighbor is also there and hugs Steve, but gets a fist bump from Danny. They catch up a bit and Ricky says they scared him straight five years ago, so he's staying out of trouble. Also, Steve is wearing his best blue shirt (thank you wardrobe people). Danny is really hoping for cash and tells Steve that he should look for a new partner if they get $250,000. The lawyer comes in and tells them that Agnes left $842,671 to the Humane Society, Steve and Danny get her cat figurine collection, and Ricky gets guardianship of Mr. Pickles. Danny looks disappointed and Steve takes a pic of the exact moment Danny's dreams crumbled. LOL Unfortunately, Ricky is in a halfway house right now and can't keep the cat, so Danny and Steve step up. They'll take Ricky and Mr. Pickles to the office to hopefully find the cat a new home. Steve still has some cat love, though, and says he would take him except that Eddie doesn't do well with small animals. Awww. Danny says he can't take him because he doesn't like cats, and Steve comments that cats are Danny's spirit animal---solitary, moody, aloof, don't socialize well, and spend an inordinate amount of time grooming themselves. Ha!
We get a little more light-heartedness with Lou taking Adam to breakfast to check up on him. Adam refuses a shrimp taco because he watched a documentary of how shrimp are the vacuum cleaners of the ocean. Lou doesn't care about that, though. He has the stomach of a billy goat and nothing will keep him from the delicious vacuum cleaners of the sea. Adam tries to tell Lou that he doesn't have to take care of him or anything, but Lou says he just want to make sure Adam is good after his eventful year, that tough guys sometimes bottle things up and take on guilt and shame, working it around until the whole thing is their fault. Adam says he's doing okay. He's getting through it. (Dang Kono.) The only thing that got Lou through his dark period was his wife and kids and family and friends and he says that Adam has the same support system available to him with Lou and all of them. Adam admits that there were times he didn't know if he would make it through the day, but he has his job and friends and is optimistic about the future. (A nice moment for them). Lou gets a call from Noelani. She has the ashes of an unknown victim. Workers at the crematorium found evidence of a break in and the fresh human remains. Of course there are no prints or DNA or cameras and all signs point to murder, but they need to ID the victim.
Back at HQ we get the highlight of the show when Steve is cuddling Mr. Pickles against his chest. So cute! Then everyone chimes in with why they can't take him. Junior is in a monogamous relationship with Eddie, Jerry is afraid of toxoplasmosis and Tani thinks she'll become a crazy cat lady. Since they're no help, Danny sends them back to work. Ricky makes an adopt-a-cat profile, but uses a picture that makes Mr. Pickles look satanic. Danny tells him to change the pic and don't mention the cat's age since no one wants an old cat. Lou calls them to the Chatting Table and on the way there, Danny says Steve can keep all the figurines. (He seems to have some serious cat issues.) The Chatting Table convo is that the victim was wearing a pacemaker with a serial number so they ID'd him as Dale Sampson, a freelance PI and former detective who got kicked off the force for taking bribes and evidence tampering. (Lou can't take Mr. Pickles because he has enough mouths to feed and Adam is allergic.) Steve sends Tunior to check out Mr. Sampson's house and on the ride over Tani awkwardly asks Junior to be her date to a friend's wedding and he agrees. (I know some people are shipping them, but they just seem so awkward and forced to me.) Tani immediately makes sure that Junior knows she just wants to take a friend, but tells him it's an open bar, so that helps him be more excited about it. They finally get to Dale's house. The front door is unlocked and the house has been trashed, with a laptop and TV taken. Tani notices a missing rug on the floor and Junior sees bloody drag marks. They conclude that this was the primary crime scene where he was murdered and then dragged out in the rug. (Excellent deduction skills!)
Jerry finds a few of Mr. Sampson's things in pawn shops and they get an ID on the seller. Michael Manoa. He has a few priors and when Tunior goes to his house, he sees them and runs away. Junior tackles him and they arrest him. Before they can haul him off, they hear moaning coming from the house and find a guy duct-taped and beaten in there. Michael gets put in the Blue Room of Doom where he explains that he thought his wife was cheating on him so he hired Sampson to get proof, but Sampson strung him along and billed him for hours until Michael asked for his money back, then he stopped returning Michael's calls. Steve talks to him about murdering Sampson and Michael is all, slow your roll bro. (The look on Steve's face! Haha) Michael admits that Sampson's door was unlocked so he took some stuff from the house, but didn't see Sampson. Oh, and he has an alibi for the murder, he was in bed with his girlfriend. (Classy.) The alibi checks out, too. No one knows where Sampson's laptop is since Michael didn't steal it, but Sampson used an online backup service. The team also figures out that the pacemaker transmitted data and then ends, so the exact time of death is 1:57 a.m. They all kind of look sad that Sampson was probably alive when he was burned.
Danny goes into Steve's office to put pressure on Ricky to find a match for Mr. Pickles since Ricky is being kind of picky, asking potential new owners for annual household income numbers. Danny takes the phone from him and says if you want the cat come and get it, then tells Ricky the cat has to be gone by 5:30 or he's going to the pound. Danny does give Mr. Pickles a scratch behind the ears and talk in baby talk, which Ricky notices and accuses Danny of being a closet cat lover, that his problem isn't that he hates cats, he really loves them too much. Danny confides that he had a cat once, but doesn't want one ever again. (Hmmm...)
Steve goes to Jerry who found some messages sent from Sampson's computer two hours after the guy died. It tells Mr. Nettles in Texas that he's made a breakthrough in the case and he needs to get to Hawaii. Nettles messages back with his flight info and, uh oh, the guy touched down thirty minutes ago and a bearded guy picked him up. That's not going to end well. The team finds out that Mr. Nettles was paying Sampson to investigate his eighteen-month-old daughter's disappearance over twenty years ago. It seems that for the last twenty-four years, Nettles has been going state by state, hiring PIs to find his daughter and Hawaii was one of the last ones he had left. (So sad!) So whoever killed him must have had something to do with the kidnapping back in the day.
BeardedGuy takes Nettles to a deserted looking cabin, and Nettles gets suspicious. BeardedGuy pulls a gun and Nettles tackles him. They fight and Nettles almost wins, but BeardedGuy pistol whips him. Back at the Chatting Table they've pulled addresses from the GPS of Sampson's car, but none of them lived in Texas at time of Jennifer's disappearance. Steve is starting to look at things differently and asks what if Sampson was getting close to finding the girl and tipped the kidnapper off in the process? It's hard to believe that Jennifer might be still alive and on the island with kidnapper, but they run all the GPS addresses against DMV records to find women close to Jennifer's current age and up pops a picture of an Emily Henderson who was also in Sampson's computer. Compared against an FBI released age-progression pic, it's a match. And guess who else lives at that address? BeardedGuy! But he gave a false ID. His real name isn't Wade Henderson! Facial rec says he's Jesse Stolz who was arrested in Laredo, Texas. And BeardedGuy is currently pouring water over a beaten Nettles and yelling at him, asking who else knew he'd hired Sampson and was looking for his daughter in Hawaii? Nettles isn't cooperating and gets punched a few more times, pitifully asking how BeardedGuy could have taken her from him. (It's so sad!) BeardedGuy hears a car and it's HPD, so he quickly makes it a hostage standoff.
Steve arrives on scene, and BeardedGuy isn't talking or answering his phone. They end up calling the daughter to the scene to talk to her "dad." She is having a hard time comprehending what BeardedGuy did, since he raised her as his own daughter. Regardless, she tries to coax BeardedGuy out, but he says he can't, he's sorry. Then they hear a gunshot and they all move in to find that BeardedGuy has killed himself. (That daughter is going to have nightmares and guilt for years! Why call her in instead of a trained negotiator? Sigh. I guess it's just TV) The team does rescue the real dad and when Emily sees him, we flash back to the news conference where Nettles and his wife begged for info on their kidnapped daughter. There is crying and smiling. And probably lots of future counseling.
Back at HQ Tunior is talking about how BeardedGuy's wife and kid died in a car accident, so he kidnapped Emily to deal with his grief. They also talk about their "date" to the wedding, that Junior isn't offended she asked him as a friend and is looking forward to it. She offers not to make him dance since he probably wouldn't like it or be good at it and he says she's half right. Steve is walking around with the box of cat figurines, which he's found out is worth $10,000 since they're collectible. Of course, now Danny wants in. Steve reminds him that he gave them all to Steve and if they're worth that now, what would they be worth in fifteen or twenty years when he's ready to retire? Ricky has not found a home for Mr. Pickles and since Ricky gets out of the halfway house in four months, Steve suggests that Danny put him up until then with Steve paying for food and litter. Danny says no, because Rachel is allergic to cats. (Ohhhhh!) Steve gives him a look. (I love that Danchel seem to be getting back together.) Apparently Danny had a cat as a kid and in college, but he had to get rid of the college one because of Rachel's allergies. Ricky is all, you're thinking she's not going to stay your ex (which is what we're all thinking!) They end up taking Mr. Pickles to Steve's house where he and Eddie have a staredown. Danny throws it out there that if he's a cat, then Steve is a dog, friendly, loyal, loud, kind of dirty and stupid. Also that Steve once said that cats were superior animals. (Sigh. I wish they didn't have Danny say things like that.) Steve says he no longer has that philosophy, and that Danny as a cat is inflexible and set in his ways, yet they manage to get along. Mr. Pickles pauses the discussion by getting in Eddie's bowl. There's a fight and the last thing we hear is Steve yell for Eddie to put the cat down. (I wish Mr. Pickles and Eddie could get along. I wouldn't mind seeing Steve snuggling one of them every episode!)
As you may have guessed, the best part of the show for me was Steve cuddling the cat. And maybe the suggestion that Rachel and Danny are getting closer. Close enough that he can't have a cat, anyway. Did you watch? What did you think?