It’s night. A hand comes up out of a patch of tall weeds. The hand is followed by a body crawling from the ground in the middle of nowhere. The body is that of a man, who runs for a stand of nearby trees as sirens go off in the distance. It’s a prison break.
Dissolve to searchlights on choppers combing the field for the escapee, a federal prisoner by the name of Clint Ford. Milt has asked Russ to join him on the case, Russ is stoked that finally the FBI is asking him for help on a Federal case, Milt insists that he thought Russ might like to tag along, maybe help with the local roads and whatnot. A conversation with the prison warden reveals that Ford, who the warden thinks is an idiot, has escaped just five days before the end of his 20-year sentence.
Driving from the scene, scoping out the area for the the fugitive, Milt and Russ speculate as to why a guy with five days left on his sentence would fly the coop. The obvious answers, revenge, or someone is cheating someone out of something, but Russ is pretty sure the warden is right and the guy is probably just and idiot. As they’re talking, Milt sees something to the side of the road. He stops, backs up and parks. A crossbeam for a fence has been snapped. Russ is sure it’s nothing but Milt finds a footprint and a trail. Milt sends Russ back to the truck to grab an evidence kit form the lock box. While reaching for the evidence kit, Russ is grabbed by the escapee who was lurking in the back seat. Ford grabs Russ’ gun, forcing him to drive away.
As they drive, Russ informs Ford that he’s just kidnapped a cop and they’re using a Federal vehicle to escape in so they’ll be picked up any minute. Ford assure Russ that he’s an idiot because FBI vehicles aren’t federally owned and are considered private, therefore they can’t be stopped without a warrant. They pull up to a house where Ford is sure the family is away. When the sun comes up, Ford and Russ pull out of the garage in the family’s Chevy sedan, leaving Milt’s SUV behind in the garage.
Back at the Cop Shop, Milt is briefing the detectives about the situation. He’s put out an APB on his truck, but assumes it’s already been swapped so they have to hope that Russ can turn on his cell phone to triangulate his position. Det. Niblet mentions that Ford is going to need money, and the likely place he can get it is from Russ since prisoners don’t tend to have money. Commander Guziewicz, points out that one of the suspects from the robbery that got Ford nabbed was never arrested and the money they stole was never found, so maybe they should start there.
Russ and Ford have pulled up to a gas station to refill the stolen car. Russ is curious why, now that he’s gotten away, not let him go. Ford tells Russ that hostages are useful: they’re good protection, you can trade them and… they can provide you with the zip code associated with their credit cards. Ford is perfectly aware that the card will alert the authorities so he warns Russ not to get cute or he’ll kill the family getting gas at an adjacent pump and steal their car. Russ gives him the zip. While the car is filling up, Ford had a conversation with the family anyway. As he’s asking for directions, Russ tries to get the attention of the boy in the backseat – showing him he’s handcuffed to the roof pillar and tries to get the kid to dial 911. The kid just doesn’t get it.
Back at the station, they get the hit on the credit card – it also seems that Russ has managed to turn on his cell phone to give them his position. The cops scramble. Milt and Guziewicz head towards their fleeing quarry, Russ organizing the chase, keeping the officers out of sight so they don’t spook Ford. Everyone is in place to nab Ford and save Russ. As the car bears down on the roadblock, Milt gives the signal and spikes are placed across the road. They time it perfectly and the car swerves as it’s tires are punctured. Milt rushes the car. gun drawn, but it seems that the car they caught was the family’s from the the gas station. Ford had planted Russ’ phone in the car while asking for directions.
Ford brings Russ to a sparsely furnished basement. At this point Russ’ realizes that the theory about Ford being an idiot is totally blown so Russ keeps pressing, trying to get Fort to spill about his reasons for escaping. At the bottom of the stairs, Russ makes a move, knocks Ford down and manages to grab a baseball bat, but Ford still has Russ’ gun which he has pointed at Russ from his position on the floor. Ford cuffs Russ to a a post and leaves him down there without saying a word about his escape. Russ calls for help.
After the commercial break, Russ is still in the basement. A ball rolls by his foot, and a little dog follows the ball. Russ, throws the ball for the dog who runs for it but brings back a stick. Seeing an opportunity, Russ throws the stick near a hacksaw he’d seen earlier. Rather than the hacksaw, as hoped, the little dog brings back a yard elf.
Detectives Jacocks and Funkhauser are questioning, Danny Patton, Ford’s accomplice in the burgalry that got him put away. Somehow, Patton netted half a million dollars and no jail time, while Ford got sent up and the “wheelman” was murdered. Patton corrects the detective that the wheelman wasn’t murdered, nobody got murdered, it was ruled a homicide, but he didn’t do it. The detectives press Patton, trying to scare him that Ford might wonder how he can afford such a nice house, which seems to have some effect, so he gives up a name.
Back in the basement, an elderly woman comes down with a bowl of food for her dog. Russ says hello and the woman is startled and a little confused that there’s someone in the basement. Russ tells her he’s a detective and she tells him her name is Veronica. She puts the dog food down, asks Russ if he’s a friend of Mitchell’s (Ford’s) then heads upstairs as if it’s normal to have a dude tied up in the basement.
Milt and Guziewicz are sitting in her car in the parking garage. Milt is more than a bit miffed that the Commander doesn’t seem to want to budge and the time she’s spending is costing them. But she assures Milt that what she’s doing is better than rushing around pretending to accomplish stuff. She and Russ used to ride together and they would play a game where they would figure out what to do when kidnapped. Russ’ plan was to appeal to the humanity of his kidnappers by opening up to them (an admittedly bad plan as far as Russ is concerned). He also had a brilliant angle, and Guziewicz has put all the pharmacies in the area on alert in case Russ is able to implement his plan.
In the basement, Ford comes downstairs with some lunch for Russ. Russ turns on the charm (yeah, right) and speculates that the reason Ford escaped was to take care of his grandmother (Veronica) and that he, Russ, would do the same because of love and family. Ford sees right through Russ, that he’s trying to win his sympathy by concocting an obviously BS story. Ford knows that Russ doesn’t have any family (or any that he cares about at least), and that Ford managed to develop stronger bonds in prison than Russ has ever had. Russ then tells Ford that he has type-1 diabetes and needs insulin. Commander Guziewicz gets the call from the pharmacy.
Guziewicz learns from the pharmacist that the guy who placed the bogus script for Insulin is still in the store. Guze throws on a lab coat making to deliver the insulin to the guy. She jumps him but quickly realizes he’s not Ford, and that Ford paid the guy to get the medicine. He was waiting outside, but has vanished.
Niblet is at the home of Ford’s ex-wife Susan who is sitting with her niece, Annie. Niblet assumes that Ford is coming after her because she got remarried while he was in prison, but she tells him that it was Ford’s idea for her to move on, 20 years is too long to wait. Both she and Annie had been regular visitors of Ford’s but recently Annie had been busy and so had Susan. Niblet asks why Susan and Ford had recently gotten into a fight, resulting in Ford’s suspension of visitation rights. She tells him that she’s made a mistake while taking care of his “great aunt.”
Ford returns to the basement with the insulin Russ requested. He got it from a vet, seemingly monkeywrenching Russ’ plans. Ford assures Russ that dog insulin is exactly the same as human insulin, so if he’s lying about being a diabetic, this insulin is going to be just as dangerous, as dangerous as lying to his captor. Russ tries to get Ford to leave the insulin, but Ford insists on making sure Russ gets his medicine.
Milt leads a SWAT team to Ford’s great aunt’s place. They silently enter the house that appears empty. They clear the first floor and carefully head for the basement where they come upon Ford’s great aunt… ironing her clothes. Russ clearly isn’t there.
While Milt has been invading this poor woman’s house the show has been intercutting with Ford prepping then injecting Russ with the insulin. Russ isn’t a diabetic and he passes out from the insulin. He awakes to a blurry image that resolves itself into Veronica. He’s upstairs, chained to the dining room table and Veronica is trying to get Russ to eat.
Ford’s great aunt doesn’t have much to say. She also isn’t in need of care. He was a good boy, he just made a lot of mistakes. He’d even contacted her the day before to tell her he loved her and he would likely never see her again.
Back at Veronica’s, Russ has revived enough to make a grab for her Life Alert pendant to get some attention from the authorities, but Ford, who has just come in, informs Russ that his idea isn’t bad except Ford had the alarm call re-routed to his phone, that rings at that very moment. Russ notices that Ford’s gotten a haircut and wonders why he would take such a foolish chance. Ford catches Milt on TV and the three of them watch Milt hold a press conference where he pleads for help from the community and offers to take Russ’ place as a hostage.
At the station, Milt tells everyone to take every call seriously and that nothing is too crazy.
Back in the basement, Ford sets up a chair for Russ but still has him tethered to the pole by a longer ankle chain rather than cuffs. Russ starts to go off on how he would hate to have Milt rescue him and heap more glory on himself, and that Milt has never cared about anything but the front page. Ford tells Russ to stop being a douche and that Milt clearly cares and isn’t in it to be a hero, he’s being a friend, and is proving it via a futile gesture. Ford tells Russ that he should get a life. The conversation seems to work in Russ’ favor and Ford does open up about his own life and motivations.
Ford tells Russ that the bank job went perfectly up until some jerk ran a red light and T-boned their car. While Ford and Patton were slightly injured, Ford’s brother, the “wheelman,” was hurt badly and likely paralyzed. After some back and forth, Ford got Patton to flee, while he stayed behind with his brother who died from his wounds, just as the cops reached them. Russ still can’t figure out who Ford’s trying to get vengeance on, Patton or the jerk driver, or was his jail break just another futile gesture. Russ insinuation seems to get Ford’s goat, and he stomps up the stairs, giving Russ time to launch his escape plan with his first item: a roll of duct tape.
At Milt’s office the detectives are giving Milt the updates from the hotline. It’s a lot of cranks. Jacocks and Funk give two good examples, but when Niblet gives him his crank call – a woman called in saying that Russ is in her basement and is fine, he just got his insulin – Milt knows they got their guy and his strategy paid off.
In the basement, Russ’ brilliant plan is bearing fruit. He’s taped every sticklike thing together and managed to finally reach the hacksaw. No sooner does he hack through the chain than he hears a noise upstairs. He ducks into the shadows near the stairs, baseball bait at the ready, waiting to pounce, when who comes down there but Milt! They exchange a brief hug before the SWAT team joins them. There’s no sign of Ford.
Back upstairs. Turns out Veronica got to know Ford in prison when she was deeply involved with the service animal program, until the point she became ill. From the program, that Ford was in as well, he learned that she lived alone, and with her diminished neurological capacity, makes her home the perfect place to hide out.
Veronica offers the boys sandwiches, and reveals what they already suspect: that Ford isn’t coming back, but she mentions Susan, Ford’s ex-wife. Milt is sure that Ford is going to go after her, but Russ is sure that whatever Ford is up to, murder isn’t one of them. Milt accuses Russ of developing Stockholm syndrome, in which a captive comes to identify with his captor, but Russ, the most mistrustful person in the world, is sure that the man who gave him insulin when he thought he was diabetic and then saved him again when it turned out Russ was lying, didn’t break out of prison to kill anyone. Then Milt gets a text: Susan’s been abducted.
At Susan’s, the cop who was there explains just how Ford managed to grab Susan and Anne and escape, while he wasn’t paying attention, Milt reads the cop the riot act. Russ notices something interesting about the point of entry. All the glass landed outside the house, leading Russ to suspect that not only weren’t Susan and Anne abducted, Ford was likely never there, and the women faked their abduction to avoid telling the cops where they were going… because Ford was going to be there. A quick search of the house turns up an invitation… to Annie’s wedding.
Milt and Russ come rolling up on the church and catch Ford in the act… of having a corsage pinned to his lapel by Susan. Milt draws his pistol to approach, but, tellingly, Russ doesn’t. Russ finally gets the big picture, what with the haircut, the tux, that Annie is Fords niece – that is to say his brother’s daughter (in a flashback we see the promise he makes to look after her)—this is why Ford busted out. Susan admits that the fight they had was about him breaking out of jail to attend the wedding. Milt asks the obvious question: Why not postpone the wedding a week? Annie’s fiancée was deploying the next day, and Ford had a promise to keep.
Annie comes out to witness the scene and starts to cry, Ford is sure he’s being taken in but Russ, the old softie, has a better idea. They let Ford walk his niece down the aisle… with Russ handcuffed to him.
Back at the station, Russ is making his usual botch of pouring a cup of coffee, when Holly walks in. She says hello, he asks about her cruise, and she says she had a great trip. Once again they have a moment of romantic tension that they let slip away. Holly exits as Milt enters to see if Russ wants to grab a beer. Russ declines.
Cut to Ford, back in his cell, a smile on his face; dissolve to Russ in his apartment alone, miserable.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.