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Skin in the Game - Recap

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The episode begins at a ‘Black Sabbath’ concert, where Conrad and Russell meet John Merchiston, a reporter, who wants to do a story on the team. Conrad thinks that it would be good PR, but Russell doesn’t seem to be too crazy about the idea of John hanging around with the team for three days. However, he agrees. Russell gets called to the latest crime scene. Russell and John arrive at the scene, and Brass tells John not to touch anything. John tells him that he has gone through his forensics training when he did a piece on Scotland Yard.

Brass tells Russell that this is a porn stage and according to the owner of the establishment, this place has been closed for the past 48 hours. Finn tells Russell that their victim is a Jane Doe and her body has been mummified. Somebody broke into the place in the morning to dump the body. Russell notices a fresh smell on the dead body. John identifies it as honeysuckle summer. Finn points out that the lingerie is also new because it still has the price tag on it. Russell theorizes that the killer strangles the victim to death, mummifies her, breaks in and stages her to look like her like a porn star. On the night stand, they find a bible. Nick opens the bible and finds a rectangular case inside.

There are ‘0’s carved on it. Nick opens it and a ‘black widow’ crawls out of it. Finn is slightly taken aback, but Nick tells her that this is the harmless one. In the morgue, Robbins, Greg and Davis examine the dead body. Robbins thinks that they should restore the victim’s face. They rehydrate the body, and Robbins manages to give the Jane Doe a face. Morgan arrives and tells Russell that the killer embedded a small heart shaped gold pendant in the victim’s heart. Brass decides to go public with the victim’s photograph because there are no leads on their database. Later, Brass’s idea pays off. A former hooker, Miss Kitty, now Angela Banner, arrives to meet Russell. She recognized the victim’s photograph. She tells them that Megan Ramirez was a stripper who wanted out of the business. Angela tells them that she was helping Megan through with the process.

The last time she saw Megan was two months ago, at a support meeting and since then she disappeared. She pulls out a file and tells them that all the girls mentioned in the file, have disappeared. She tells them that she and Brother Larson, who runs an establishment called “Fellowship for the Fallen Angels”, were trying to help these girls to lead a normal life. Brass checks the file and gets upset when he sees Ellis’s (his daughter) picture in it. He informs his ex-wife, Nancy. At the hospital, the doctor tells Finn that they found Teresa Hill’s picture in the missing person’s list. Teresa was brought in two weeks ago. She was found strangled and left to die in an alley. She is now in a coma. Finn processes Teresa. Morgan goes through her stuff and she finds a charms bracelet with a gold heart pendant on it.

Finn tells Morgan that Angela found Teresa online, where she was auctioning off her virginity. Finn gets a call from Nick. He found another missing girl, Chloe Rudolf. Greg and Nick are examining Chloe’s body. She has been dead 12 hours. Greg tells Nick that Chloe worked for a ‘food fetish’ porn site. It seems that people used to pay to watch her eat. They see a camera in front of the table. They also figure out that the apartment belongs to her boyfriend and he too has been killed. They find his dead body in the freezer. Nick finds out that Chloe choked on a chocolate covered locust. He also finds a bible on the table and it has a rectangular case inside, but this time there is no spider. Instead he finds a gold heart pendant. Nick concludes that this is the work of a serial killer. Later, Greg finds out that Chloe was strangled because her hyoid bone is broken. Hodges sees some abrasions on Chloe’s back; it is a message: “Thou shall not bear false witness”. It is one of the Ten Commandments.

Hodges figures out that the killer wanted them to see this message during autopsy. Russell and Finn feel that this serial killer doesn’t have a signature; he is all over the place. All the girls disappeared around eight weeks ago. John points out that it is strange that the killer did not kill Teresa. He suggests that they should trace back to the place from where this all began. Nick and Greg go to the support center where Brother Daniel Larson is giving a speech. Jake, a guy from the group, stops the duo from entering because he feels that cops could scare the girls. They tell him that they want to talk to Larson and Angela. During the questioning, Nick finds a bible on the shelf. It is carved from the inside and there is a wooden cross placed in the cavity.

Nick tells Larson that he is taking it with him. At the precinct, Nancy arrives to meet Brass. They have a chat about their daughter. Morgan tells Nick that before Larson became “Brother Larson”, he was a hustler and has a lot of priors in pandering, pimping etc. He was also arrested for possession of a .38, the same caliber that was used to kill Chloe’s boyfriend. Nick also finds out that the web cam broadcast for the food fetish show, was turned on remotely, by a computer at the ‘Fellowship for the Fallen Angels’. Nick, Greg and the team go to Larson’s institute. Nick tells John to wait in the car. Inside the institute, they find a girl strapped to the bed and Angela forcing her to stay down. They rescue the girl.

Outside, John notices someone standing behind the building and smoking, but he suddenly disappears. John decides to follow this person. John finds the cigarette bud. He bends down to pick it when someone attacks him from behind. Later at the precinct, Angela tells them that she has nothing to do with the murders. The girl they found is an addict and she was helping her detox. She tells them she doesn’t know where Larson is. John, who has a concussion, asks Russell if he believes Angela. Russell says yes. John then points out to something that the team seems to have missed. He points out to all the circular objects in the pictures taken at the various crime scenes. Also the rectangular cases found in the bibles, also have circles marked on them. He feels that the ‘circle’ is the killer’s signature.

Russell decides to work on this lead. He figures out that the killer has taken inspiration from Dante’s ‘Inferno’, The Nine Circles of Hell. Every murder is staged to look like the engravings from the 16th century volume of the ‘Divine Comedy’. Russell gets a call. Larson is in custody. During the interrogation, Larson tells him that he did not kill the girls. He admits that he picks up the girls from the streets and sells them to a buyer. He doesn’t know the buyer’s name. He says that he puts up the pictures on line and this Anonymous buyer makes his pick. Larson says that it could be Anonymous who is doing all the killings. Larson also tells Russell that he knows where Elli Brass is, but he would give them information only if they guarantee his freedom.

Later, Russell, Conrad and John talk about the case and it is a dead end because the Anonymous’s computer is cannot be traced. Finn arrives and tells them that Morgan has a plan. They know that Anonymous has requested for another girl for tonight. So, Morgan decides to be the next drop. Later, Morgan is on an empty street, and a car comes to pick her up. Greg and Nick follow the car. Morgan meets Anonymous, Oliver Tate. She is wearing a button camera on her pendant and the team is monitoring every move. Finn runs a facial recognition and tells Russell that Oliver Tate is an MD and PhD in Biotech.

At the house, Morgan enters the room and finds all sorts of things that indicate that Oliver is the man they are looking for. Morgan focuses on the abacus, similar to the ones found in the bibles at the crime scenes. Russell gets a call. He goes to meet Nancy Brass, who tells him that she too received a bible with the rectangular case inside. Russell opens it and finds a flash drive inside it. In the room, Oliver asks Morgan to remove her clothes. He pulls off the pendant from her neck, and Finn loses the visual contact. Oliver then tells Morgan that he has changed his mind. He tells her that his car will take her home. Morgan is confused.

She gets in the car and leaves. Greg and Nick follow the car. They feel something is not right. In the office, Russell, Brass and Nancy check the flash drive. It contains a video; Elli’s video, where she says, “We have sinned”. Russell is shocked. He calls Greg and tells him to stop the SUV. They follow the order and find that, Jake, the guy from Larson’s institute, is the driver. They arrest him, but Morgan is not there in the vehicle. Greg tells Russell that they have lost Morgan. Russell is tensed. He tells Finn that the killer has both, Morgan and Ellis. The episode ends.