The episode begins with Pierce telling his class about ambition. Towards the end of the lecture, he asks the class o submit their papers to Lewicki and Lewicki is supposed to read them all the same night. One of the students, Bryan is seen dozing in between the lecture. At home, Lewicki is frustrated that none of the students remembered to do a spell check; except one guy; Brian Cahill, the sleeping beauty. Pierce goes to the Principal and tells him that Brian’s paper is plagiarized and he feels that there is no way that Brian could have written that paper as it is too good. Brian is a football star. Pierce wants him thrown out, but Haley says that there is no proof that Brian cheated.
Just then Haley receives a call; there has been a campus murder. Kate is spending her evening with Prof. Hathaway and Pierce calls her and asks her to come over to Haley’s office. Haley educates Kate about the situation where the body of Christina Lake was found on the campus and the COD is broken neck. Haley wants FBI to investigate so that the parents and students could feel a lot safer. Reardon calls Kate and asks her to take up the case. Kate realizes that Pierce called Reardon. While walking down the hallway, Pierce sees one of his students, who has been missing class. Pierce had assumed that he was sick but now he appears to be just fine. They then talk to the students from the dorm.
A girl, Anne who lives below Christina’s room, says that she was preparing for MCATs and that Christina was playing the music loudly in her room. They also learn that Christina broke up with Billy. Christina dumped him and Billy wasn’t too happy about it. Moreover, Billy was on the campus when the murder took place. They then go to meet Billy, but on seeing them, Billy runs. Kate catches him in the bathroom. During interrogation, Billy tells Kate that he was supposed to get transferred to MIT for a better chemistry program. But Christina begged him not to. Two weeks later, she dumped him. He blames Karl, a foreign prince, for their breakup. He admits that he fought with Christina, but says that he did not kill her. He also says that he heard Karl yelling at Christina after he left.
He says he ran because he had a joint in his pocket. Next, Kate runs a background check on Karl and learns that he is a problem child who has been suspended twice. He is also accused for rape and assault. Reardon informs the duo that Karl took off to St. Louis, but the plane never got there. Next, Pierce confronts the student who is missing class and tells him that he has time until next day to hand over his mid term papers. Later, Pierce and Lewicki talk to Brian. Brian admits that he bought the papers. But he did that as he is having trouble in concentrating. Pierce notices a disparity in his pupils and Brian tells him that he has been having trouble breathing and headaches. A scan shows that Brian had a subdural hematoma and this means that he cannot play football anymore.
Brian says that if he doesn’t play then he would lose his scholarship. Next, Kate tells Reardon that she found Karl and she wants permission to fly to him. Reardon agrees and Kate arrests Karl. He says that he did not kill Christina. Meanwhile, the student who was missing class arrives with his papers. But Pierce realizes that this was not the student’s work. This was the paper that Pierce wrote when he was an undergrad. Pierce tells the student that he has ruined his academic future. But the student says that he doesn’t want a life like Pierce’s as he finds it sad and pathetic. He tells Pierce that his name is DJ; a short for Daniel J. Pierce. Pierce is shocked; it is him, when he was young. DJ tells him that he is Pierce before he forgot how to have a life!
Next, Natalie tells Pierce that he did not recognize DJ as Pierce’s dreams had died when he got diagnosed with schizophrenia and that he wanted to forget everything that he had lost. But she points out that despite his condition he is extremely successful and that it is nearly like climbing Kilimanjaro; just like one of his dreams. She says that he is seeing his younger self now as he is emotionally distanced from his students. She gives Brian’s example. He simply gave him the diagnosis and walked away. Pierce calls Brian o his office and tells him that he is not losing his scholarship since he sustained the injury on the field. Next, Kate arrives with Karl. He tells her that Christina was alive when he left. The fight was because she chose studying over him. Christina’s blood that they found on him was due to a nose bleed.
But it appears that Karl has an alibi; Shannon. She tells them that she saw him drive off and Christina was yelling at him from the window. Kate is not buying the story and she thinks that Shannon is lying for money. Pierce tells Kate to search Shannon’s room for cash. But Kate does not have a warrant. Pierce then goes to Shannon’s room and finds her roommate. She lets him in the room and leaves to attend her lecture. Pierce finds an old scrapbook and learns that Shannon is totally obsessed with Karl. Shannon tells them that she liked Karl since she was 12. She also tells them that they slept together on the night of a party. But then Karl started dating Christina and Karl told Shannon that he slept with her because he was drunk.
She adds that lying to the FBI was worth it as now she can prove to Karl how much she loves him. So, Karl is still the suspect and so is Shannon. Next, Brian gets injured while playing football and is in the hospital. His paralysis disappears after the craniotomy. Brian tells Pierce that football was his dream and that he is nothing if he isn’t playing. At the station, Reardon lets Karl and Shannon free. She tells Kate that they have no grounds to hold them and that this could lead to a diplomatic incident. In the hallway, Kate hides from Hathaway. She doesn’t know why she keeps pushing him away. Just then young DJ arrives and tells Pierce that Kate is into him. Pierce tells Kate to tell Hathaway how she feels about him.
Next, Lewicki is playing detective and he finds out about the person who sold the papers to Brian; Andre, a PhD student. Haley and Pierce confront Andre. He doesn’t remember the names of the students he wrote the papers for. Young DJ is also present. He doesn’t believe Andre. Andre says that he doesn’t sleep much. He takes a study aid; a pill that some brainy kid in the chemistry department makes. Pierce immediately realizes that it is Billy. Kate and Pierce go to meet Billy. Billy tells them that he stole the pills from Prof. Emmett. It was an experiment she was working on. They talk to Emmett. She says that she was working on the pill for the defense as they wanted soldiers to stay awake and alert. But then they had to terminate the study as the pill had some major side effects; aggression.
They were conducting their experiments on rats and they found out that the pills made them hypersensitive to loud noises. Pierce now knows who killed Christina. Pierce and Kate go to meet Annie. Pierce intentionally drops a book on the floor and Annie jumps. Pierce tells her that she is taking the study aid. She tells them that she needed an edge for the MCATs. She admits that Christina’s music was driving her crazy. She went up twice and asked her to turn the music down. Christina was with Karl and she did not listen to Annie. The third time when she went up, Karl was gone and Christina was leaning out of the window, hurling abuses at Karl. Annie walked in and slammed the window on Christina’s neck. She turned off the music and went back to studying. She nailed the MCATs.
Next, Kate tells Hathaway that their relationship isn’t going to work out. Hathaway feels that she is into Pierce and he tells her that he understands and that he isn’t the guy for her. Young DJ arrives and tells Pierce that he came to say goodbye. He is going to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro, which Pierce wanted to do. Next, Pierce is lecturing his class on ambition. Annie is arrested. Shannon is going through her scrapbook while Karl gets back to his colorful life. Brian is trying to find new dreams and young DJ vanishes. The episode ends.