Lewis and Kellerman take a road trip to extradite a Baltimore murder suspect from Pennsylvania. It should be an easy assignment, but Meldrick and Mikey make things hard on themselves by losing the suspect on the way back.
In the second part of a story started on Law & Order: Charm City (1996), Bayliss and Pembleton work with Lennie Briscoe and Rey Curtis to find the people involved in the NYC subway bombing and the Baltimore church bombing five years earlier.
A male prostitute offers to reveal the identity of a multiple murderer as part of a plea bargain. He admits to luring in the victims and stealing their rings, but not to being the killer. The Homicide Squad takes turns on a stakeout next door to the suspect. Interactions between squad members and between the couple whose house they "occupy" run the gamut of emotions.
The murder of a young girl revives memories, especially in Bayliss, of an earlier case--Adena Watson, which was not resolved. Pembleton is the primary and is angered by Bayliss' interference and obsession with the old case. A reported sexual assault on a friend of the murdered girl produces a connection but no proof. Will this be another case which has no definitive answer?
The desk clerk at the New Moon Motel hears shots and calls 911. Lewis and Kellerman find the body of an ex-con wearing only one boot. The victim's classic motorcycle is missing, as is his handgun. As they interview motel residents, they find a family of illegal immigrants, a prostitute who swims in the nude, homemade drugs, wads of cash, illegal guns and uncover an unreported self-defense shooting. But what about the killer of Charlie Wells?
Two young black men are found shot to death at a project where Black Muslims have a security contract from HUD. Residents are hostile to the police initially. When one bereaved mother tells Russert that she had called 911 and half an hour passed before help arrived, they find there was a beat cop just a few blocks away. He admits he waited because he was in fear of his safety. Internal Affairs gets involved when the autopsy shows one of the boys bled to death over a period of about 20 minutes. Lewis and Kellerman are alienated over the racial issues.
The body of a 71-year-old world class swimmer is found in a pool where the ME says he was for 24 to 36 hours. A man claiming to be his biological son asks the detectives to test the corpse's blood for a DNA match. The ME discovers cancer in the corpse and massive amounts of steroids. Then a woman from the NSA demands Bayliss and Pembleton help her find her "friend," the purported son. The detectives are flabbergasted when someone comes in and confesses to speeding up the cancer effects with the steroids!!
A drug war is being fought--shipments hijacked, smalltime dealers shot, and even a family in their home are killed, leaving a small daughter hiding in a closet. Kellerman and Lewis catch the case(s) and learn a lot about the strange code of honor involved. The Narcotics detectives bring in a self-confessed killer with the murder weapon, but that's not the "whole truth."
Lewis announces to Kellerman that today is his wedding day and promptly vomits. Because Lewis involves all the squad in the preparations, Giardello and Howard catch the murder of a radio talk show host, which ends with Gee's firing/killing the suspect. Munch is sure the wedding is an elaborate practical joke, but the others work frantically to get flowers, food, etc. for the nuptials. Pembleton's wife makes this day very memorable.
Three people are shot during a robbery at a burger place; two die, a teenage girl and a male customer. Pembleton and Bayliss investigate. They discover the other victim (shot in the knee) was the shooter's friend, and during his interrogation Pembleton has a seizure and is taken to neurosurgery. Meanwhile Lewis and Kellerman investigate "The Bowling Ball Murder"-someone dropped the ball from an overpass.
The arrival of a new Chief Medical Examiner upsets Bayliss at first, but results in an old case's exhumation and correct determination as a homicide. The FBI investigation of Kellerman continues, increasing his frustration. The marriages of Pembleton and Lewis are tested, but with quite different results.
An article in The Baltimore Sun about an investigation of the arson unit upsets Kellerman. Munch catches the case of a woman whose husband discovered her dead in her bedroom and immediately suspects the husband. Brodie gets an offer to stay at Kay's place.
Survivors discuss, in a grief-support group, the circumstances of three murders one Saturday night in Baltimore: a girl strangled in an alley on her 16th birthday, a mother who dies as the victim of a carjacker who drives off with her 3-year-old daughter, and a man who was attacked in the Waterfront Bar in the presence of several uncooperative witnesses. One of the cases remains unsolved.
An outstanding computer genius at a prestigious prep school is found stabbed to death. The incident is believed to be racially motivated as he is one of only three black students. Bayliss and Lewis suspect a student whose protective mother is a powerful judge. Pembleton finally passes the firearms test.
On Pembleton's first case back, a divorced woman is found stabbed to death; her 10-year-old twin boys were shot in the head. He is convinced the boyfriend did it, but Bayliss believes it was the ex-husband. Kellerman is summoned to the Grand Jury. Once again a drug murder implicates Luther Mahoney, but the star witness is intimidated even while in police custody.
A robbery gone wrong kills Danver's bride-to-be while trying on a wedding dress. Once again Pembleton and Bayliss disagree on theories of the crime. Giardello tries to help Kellerman but runs into opposition; Kellerman is "comforted" by the new ME. Danvers confronts a jailed suspect with threats which has unexpected results.