Provenza is in a hurry to dispose of the latest case the detectives have been called to because Sanchez is supposed to come back from his five months suspension later that day. The case in question is a double homicide in a Hollywood Hills home that has some similarities to a string of home invasion robberies the Major Crimes division has been investigating.
The team concludes this case is substantially different from the other home invasion robberies because the victims were not tazed, bound or gagged. This means it should be reassigned to homicide. However, just as the detectives are about to leave, a girl, Ashley screams for help from across the street. Her mother has been shot and killed. The detectives must now investigate.
Ashleyl's plight quickly draws sympathy from Sharon and some of the other detectives. She has no family except an older brother, Pete. Rusty interrupts their discussion to ask if Sharon is available but she wants to deal with Ashley first.
Rusty wants to write a story for his school paper about the crime but Provenza blows up at him. However, he gets permission from Chief Taylor. Sharon is proud of him. He doesn't tell her his previous piece was rejected, but does tell her someone is following him and gives her a picture he took.
Flynn thinks Sanchez's return should be postponed until they finish the case, which angers Provenza. Sanchez returns but Chief Taylor insists he be confined to the building for the next two weeks.
Sharon finds out that Chief Taylor has put a suspect in the home invasion robberies under surveillance and that he has just bought flowers, signifying that he is about to hit another house. Sharon and Cooper hide out in a nearby van to do surveillance and Sharon warns Cooper that Rusty spotted the undercover who is supposed to be keeping an eye on him. Cooper tells Sharon that his men can't protect Rusty forever.
Sykes goes undercover as the homeowner while Provenza and Flynn hide in the house. The criminals attack Sykes and are arrested.
The detectives have less luck with the homicide case.The security guard behind the robberies accidentally confesses to all the robberies while denying involvement in the murder. He points out that the flowers and vases used in the murder are different.
Rusty interviews the brother, Pete, for his story. Pete reveals that his mother was overly controlling and that the only one who ever bought her flowers was him. The detectives discover Pete bought a stun gun. Sharon thus thinks Pete killed his mother and throws Rusty out of the room so she can make the arrest. Pete insists they're wrong. He tells them about Ashley's boyfriend, Raul, who was violent. Ashley bought a stun gun to protect herself after Raul stole the one she had.
Cooper tries to talk to Raul, leading to the mandatory gunfight and chase scene before he is arrested. Another car pulls up and Ashley rolls out in handcuffs, screaming for help. She says Raul kidnapped her.
As the DA watches, Sanchez tells Pete and Ashley that Raul is dead. Everyone is confused by this strategy since they know he isn't. Pete loses his temper and begins screaming that the cops make too many mistakes and that they're done helping solve this case. Sanchez threatens him with arrest for obstruction of justice.
Ashley says Raul was crazy and that he made her do things she didn't want to do. She calls him a freak. Raul is shocked because he thought Ashley loved him. He has a different story. According to him, Ashley wanted him to kill her mother and make it look like a home invasion. He says Ashley bought the roses. Sykes goes to check out the records at the florist he gives the detectives.
Rusty is upset because he's missed his deadline and has no story. Buzz tells him that good reporters find a story based on what information is available to them and encourages him to look for and write his own story instead of waiting for the school paper to put him on staff. While Rusty is thinking about it, Sharon calls Cooper and cancels the undercover protective detail. She puts Philip Stroh's photo away while explaining that it's time to stop worrying about Rusty.
Ashley is arrested. Pete storms into Sharon's office and tells her she's making a mistake. She tells him he can't protect his sister anymore.
Rusty asks Provenza for the photo of "Alice," the homeless Jane Doe they found last year. He wants to write the story of who she really was.