As we begin this week’s Battle Creek Guziewicz’s adopted son, Danny, is being haunted by visions of his parent’s murders when he was three — the murders that left him an orphan in the Commander’s care. Danny has new information about the event that leads him to Special Agent Chamberlain to ask for help in reopening the case; he wants to keep Guziewicz out of the loop for fear of her blocking his request. Milt, sensing the sensitive nature of the request, takes Danny home where they discuss the case over a game of basketball.
While in jail for missing a parole hearing, Danny was in a cell with the guy who was convicted of the murders, but after talking with the man, Clarence, Danny believes he might be innocent.
In light of this, Milt goes to the jail and has a chat with Clarence who admits he was at the scene but insists that he didn’t kill Danny’s parents. Yes he’s a hood, but he’s no murderer. Plus, he has a witness that can confirm this — “Prelude Pete,” who also happens to be a white guy.
Milt takes this new information to Police Chief Pritchett, who was the lead on the case. He initially shoots down Milt’s request to reopen the case until he learns it’s Danny who’s asking. Pritchett gives Milt the rundown on the events of the day. Clarence was known to have a gun like the murder weapon (that was never found) and young Danny confirmed that he was the guy when he was shown a picture. Milt calls him on the shady eyewitness ID (children are notoriously bad eyewitnesses because they tend to say what you want them to), but three people claimed to have seen Clarence fleeing the scene. He was also found with the victim’s blood on him. When Milt asks Pritchett about Prelude Pete, Pritchett states that the lead went nowhere.
Guziewicz confronts Milt as he’s coming down the stairs from the meeting. She is concerned that re-opening the case is going to reopen old wounds and send Danny deeper into addiction. Besides, she’s sure that they got it right the first time and Danny is grasping at false hope. She asks Milt to back off, but he declines.
Danny is shooting hoops outside his apartment building when Guziewicz confronts him about going behind her back. He says that he knows about the letters that Clarence sent him from prison, but Guziewicz retorts that all she’s ever wanted was to protect him from the harmful truth, and to keep him from having his emotions preyed upon by a murderer. When asked why he’s putting himself through all this, Danny confesses that he wants to know that his folks weren’t drug addicted losers like he is becoming.
Back at HQ, Holly needs some advice from Jacocks. The coffee shop dude has just asked her to go on a cruise, and she’s wondering if it’s a good idea to accept. Jacocks observes that they’ve only been on three dates, so she’ll just go ahead and run a background check.
Milt and Russ’s investigation has turned up a possible connection to Prelude Pete: A guy named Joseph Bartley. After a little chat, it turns out that not only did Joseph know Prelude Pete, Pete was his little brother and he gave the car to the kid when he went off to college. Unfortunately, Pete died of an overdose in 2002, rendering the alibi moot.
Russ and Milt return to the scene of the crime — the motel where Danny’s folks were staying when they were killed. Unfortunately, Danny is there waiting because Milt told him he had some promising leads, and the kid figured they’d return to the scene of the crime. The detectives try to shoo Danny away.
An interview with the Patels, the couple who own the hotel, doesn’t turn up much. Everyone assumes Clarence did it, but when Russ asks them to imagine Clarence out of the picture, Mrs. Patel thinks of someone else — Eli, a 13- or 14-year-old kid who used to burgle rooms at the motel. Maybe he burgled the wrong room?
Meanwhile, Jacocks and Font have found some interesting news; while Holly’s new beau doesn’t appear to have anything more criminal than a traffic ticket in his past, it looks like Holly has a Juvenile record, but it’s been sealed.
Milt and Russ return from their interview only to catch Danny by the car, which now sports a freshly broken window, reading the police report that he’s taken from the locked vehicle. Russ is angry that the kid would betray his trust and that an already unstable Danny has now seen the photos of his murdered parents, which can’t be good.
Russ returns to the precinct to find Chief Pritchett regaling his fellow detectives with tales of Russ’ more humiliating exploits as a detective, particularly his handling of a turtle on a golf course. This gets laughs from everyone but Russ. To be fair, Pritchett is being needlessly cruel. Russ finally has enough and calls Pritchett out for not being able to find Prelude Pete when he was still alive, and because of that, he may have sent an innocent man to prison for 17 years, and he can’t wait to be there when Clarence gets sprung. Pritchett tells Russ that he could be a good cop but he’s always been too much of a hothead, and that’s why he treats him like garbage. Thankfully, Milt walks in with a lead on the whereabouts of Eli, the young hotel thief.
Milt and Russ are driving to interview Eli. Milt doesn’t understand why Russ lets such an obviously mean and petty man get to him, like “a dog barking at the wind.” He also questions Russ’ motives for taking the case, and if it’s just to prove Pritchett messed up, his motives are suspect. Russ angrily assures Milt he cares about Danny most in all this.
The detectives find Eli working at a law firm in a tall building downtown. He’s definitely made a major improvement as he tells the detectives that it was Rosalee, Danny’s mom, who inspired him to change. He frankly did not want to end up like her and Kyle, a prostitute and a bum. The detectives are surprised about the prostitution revelation, but Eli, who thought the killer was Clarence, recommends they check back with Mr. Patel, the motel owner, who was having sex with Rosalee in exchange for rent. Coincidentally, Danny’s parents were killed the day after Rosalee gave the Patels notice that they were moving out.
Russ pays a visit to Danny to bring him some more appropriate, less bloody photos of his parents. Danny is too strung out to care. Russ finds what appears to be a crack pipe and other drug paraphernalia. Russ leaves, disappointed and disgusted.
Mr. Patel is in the interrogation room with Russ while Guziewicz, Milt and Pritchett observe from behind the glass. Russ gets Patel, who is chewing tobacco, to admit to having an affair with Rosalee and even to being in love with her, but when he turns on the pressure to get Patel to confess to murder, the guy shuts down and asks for a lawyer.
In Guze’s office, Pritchett basically accuses Russ of blowing the interrogation because he’s a bad cop. Milt suggests they try to use EMDR to unlock Danny’s memories of the event and bring them forward so maybe he can cope with them better. Russ hates the idea, insisting Danny is too fragile (read: strung out). Guziewicz, reluctantly sanctions the plan.
Russ, Guziewicz, Milt and Danny return to the motel room where the murders happened. They sit Danny in the closet where he was when he was 3. Milt waves a metal pointer in front of Danny trying to induce REM like eye movements. Danny flashes back to the moment of the crime (scenes we’ve seen throughout the episode) and while he never saw the killer’s face from the closet, he does remember a fight and his mom kicking and scratching someone; information that didn’t make it into the original police report. Milt speculates that there might be DNA under Rosalee’s fingernails, but they’ll have to exhume the body.
Milt and Russ pay Meredith, the medical examiner, a visit where Rosalee’s recently exhumed body is on the table. Russ and Meredith do not get along, so it’s up to Milt to find out what they need to know. She whispers in his ear: She did find DNA under her nails. It doesn’t match Clarence’s, so at least they seem to be on the right track, but it they have no DNA from Patel because he’s not in the system. Russ volunteers to retrieve Patel’s tobacco spit cup from the trash.
Jacocks and Fonts are visiting a high school friend of Holly’s to see what they can find out about her Juvie record. Turns out, her best friend Shelby was at a party when a guy named Todd asked her to take a walk. Whatever it was he did, Shelby wasn’t at school all the next week, so Holly came at Todd in gym class with a baseball bat and gave him a good thrashing for messing with Shelby. They nicknamed her Holly Godarkly.
M.E. Meredith pays Milt a visit in his office. Further DNA analysis has exonerated Patel but there’s a new twist to the case, the DNA is a partial match with Danny’s. Kyle isn’t Danny’s father, but his biological father is likely the killer.
Guziewicz, Milt and Russ are going over the case in her office when Milt gets a text from his FBI brethren. They’ve gotten a match with the DNA, a recently released felon with a history of violence named Devon Moore. The detective go to chase down the lead, but Guziewicz stops Milt on the way out and thanks him for not listening to her about dropping the case.
They find Moore in a hellhole of a drug den, nodding away in a back room of the house. When they place him under arrest for the murder of Danny’s parents, Moore sneers at them that they “sure are slow.”
Danny and Devon have a face-to-face in the interrogation room. Devon explains that he was sent to prison for a petty beef while Rosalee was pregnant, and he was trying to do right by her after he got out. Unfortunately when he saw that Rosalee was shacked up with a no good hustler, Kyle, he tried to chase him off. but things got quickly out of hand leading to the murders.
At the press conference following Devon’s arrest, Pritchett publicly apologizes to poor Clarence for the 17 years he spent behind bars. While he’s speaking, Jacocks tells Holly that she is good to go for the cruise. Pritchett thanks Milt, the rest of the detectives, Guziewicz and Holly but intentionally fails to acknowledge Russ.
Guziewicz pays a visit to her son at his apartment. She confesses to him her own troubles with a drunk and abusive father, a pill-popping mother and her own struggles with alcoholism. She also admits that he was the one thing to keep her sober when things looked the blackest. He saved her life and now she wants to return the favor. Pritchett has arranged for Danny to go to rehab. They reconcile… somewhat.
Russ in is Pritchett’s office taking the Chief’s portrait off the wall when Milt drops in. Milt isn’t sure if what Russ is about to do is a good idea, but Russ is sure; “He was right about one thing: I am a hothead,” says Russ. He then smashes the large portrait on the chief’s desk, throws in to the ground, then grinds his foot into the face in the photo. The detectives leave.
New episodes of Battle Creek premiere Sunday nights at 10/9CT on CBS.
Photos: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.