An airport security video shows Alan Summers, a real estate mogul investigated by the FBI for fraud and embezzlement. His employees are suing him for lost pensions. Just another day in the American financial institution paradise.
Both Summers and the chauffeur disappeared. A ransom was called in of $1,190,476.19. Strange, not many zeros. Unfortunately, the Summers’ assets have been frozen by the FBI.
Enter Det. Mikki Mendoza (Paola Turbay). Latina, beautiful and noticeable — could be the white tank top, but it’s just a guess.
Brenda dismisses this as a case where the target of a multi-million dollar lawsuit skipped town. Mendoza’s first impression is not a good one. She accuses Chief Johnson of making a decision before finishing the tape. Brenda repudiates the beautiful, former Miss Columbia. (OK, so I Googled her.)
The feline announces her/his presence. It’s bring your kitty to work day. The remaining video shows Summers driving himself away in the car owned by the car service. The whole thing looks staged.
Flynn introduces Det. Mendoza to the rest of the squad. Sanchez has particular interest. Gomez, the chauffeur, worked for the car service for six months. This was the first time he had driven Summers.
Lt. Provenza arrives late, very chipper and wearing a fancy new tie. He talks about the beautiful weather and pours coffee for the squad. Knowing this character’s usual demeanor, he was obviously visited by three apparitions during the night.
Brenda needs to find the missing car. Provenza says he would love a brisk walk around LAX; it would be good for him. Chief Pope calls for a breathalyzer. Provenza is friskier than Kitty ever hoped to be.
Pope warns Brenda to stay away from the family. She is not certain this is a kidnapping. Pope says if it is, the police could get the guy killed. The LAPD needs no more of her country-fried fanfare. Commander Taylor stares at the crime pictures. Maybe he is thinking what I am thinking, that chauffeur is very familiar.
Brenda goes to see the chauffeur’s regular customer. She explained Gomez became a chauffeur because of his wife’s illness. She admits that Gomez is an illegal, and he thought someone had been following him.
They go to Gomez’s house. Brenda is going to pick the lock — probable cause — as she is rummaging around in that huge purse, Det. Mendoza kicks down the door. Gotta love a take charge girl. They find blood on a towel in the bathroom: DNA.
Ah, the sound of another T-mobile purchase. Brenda answers. The car has been found near the airport. Copious amounts of blood are in it. No one survives this much blood loss. Gentlemen, this is not just a kidnapping, we have our murder.
Brenda enlists the Pope’s help with her dying Kitty. The blood type in the car matched the chauffeur. She needs to talk to the family about the finances. Pope says to ask FBI instead. She says the FBI hates her, except for Saint Fritzi.
Brenda is undercover as a bank executive. She asks Summers’ family several questions including the possibility that her husband might be faking this kidnapping. Brenda comes clean as the police and asks Summers’ blood type. It’s not the same as the chauffeur. I know that chauffeur’s picture, but from where?
When the kidnappers call, the wife is to verify Summers is alive. That way the FBI can release the funds to pay the ransom.
The phone rings. “Do you have the money?” Hey, I recognize that voice — it’s the DA on Medium. That’s the chauffeur. Hmmm, that actor wouldn’t just be a voice on the phone. Mrs. Summers asks to speak with her husband. Summers says he is fine, just pay the man. The accounts unfreeze.
Suddenly, the Summers account begins to empty into the tropical waters of the Cayman Islands. The balance lowered is the exact amount of the ransom demand. Dang.
Blood splatter evidence shows blood was splashed inside to look like a crime. A “Brenda moment.” Gomez was his wife’s caretaker. He knew how to draw blood.
Back to the tape. Brenda notices the chauffeur doesn’t lift the fare’s name card until he saw Summers; he knows him. Back to a kidnapping again.
The FBI case file shows that the individual employee share of the lawsuit would be $1,190,476.19. Through employee records they establish the chauffeur is really Mario Vargus. He adopted a fake persona to kidnap Summers.
Flynn questions Provenza about his new tie. Provenza says he is tired and hurts in places he never knew he had. That’s just more information than my mind can process.
Brenda goes through Vargus’ house and finds the medical supplies for drawing his own blood. Vargus’ car is on its way home. Not wanting him to run, Brenda T-mobile’s him.
She wants to ask him a tiny question in her sweet Brenda Leigh voice before she lets him go: “Are you wearing a seat belt?” Mendoza rams Vargus with her car, climbs out the broken window, leaps across the hood of the car, grabs him, throws him against the side of the car, and leans against his back.
Brenda, can only muster an accented, “Wow!” Never in my life have I wanted more to be a heavy set, balding, Hispanic man. Wow indeed.
Vargus accuses Summers of killing his wife. They lost their insurance after the company liquidated. She killed herself to save them their last $5K.
Inside the foreclosed property, Summers is dead, his throat slashed. OK, now it’s back to a murder.