A comedian works the night club stage. He stops mid-act to single out the host and owner Billy Cooper for not paying attention. He denies that Billy is tied to the mob except, you know, he says it funny. After, Willie Ripp gets the news from his girlfriend in the audience that he's booked a gig on Johnny Carson.
They toast his good fortune.
Willie goes looking for better hooch in the back room. He hears moaning, and not the good kind.
He checks it out and sees his boss Billy finishing up with a man tied to a chair. Willie watches as his boss shoots the guy dead. A man puts a gun to Willie's head. The man's about to pull the trigger when Willie's girlfriend bashes him on the head with a bottle and they make a break for it.
Willie Ripp and Gwen Jones enter the program as Willie Rabson and Gwen Jarvis.
Brandi ignores her ringing cell phone. It's Peter again. They haven't talked since the date at the Governor's Ball. Mary points out that even Brandi says he treated her like a princess.
"If you're not going to break him off some, the least you can do is take his call," Mary says as she answers her sister's cell and hands it to her.
Bobby the police officer arrives on a construction site where a body has been uncovered.
At the office, they discuss Brandi's dating life. Bobby calls for Stan. He's holding Stan's old badge (so old that Stan has hair in the photo). It was recently dug up with the body.
Stan, Mary and Marshall join Bobby in the dirt. The body is Willie Ripp, Stan's first witness.
Stan remembers that Willie walked away from the program. He thinks Willie lifted his badge off him years ago. Bobby checks with Stan on what gun he carried. It happens to match the murder weapon.
Flash to 20 years ago, Stan-with-hair explains the rules to Willie and Gwen. Willie isn't happy. He's upset he doesn't get to be on Carson.
Stan left out the part about Gwen when talking to Bobby. Gwen opted out of the program, too. Mary parses his words, noting he said she was protected but not in the program.
Mary does research at work. Stan lost Willie before he testified.
Flash back to Willie on stage, drunk and doing horribly. Gwen watches, disgusted, in the audience. Stan walks in. Willie confronts Gwen, thinking she ratted him out to Stan. He walks out. Gwen grabs Stan's hand, getting him to stay. She asks him why he doesn't have a girlfriend.
Back in the office, Mary finds Gwen's file on Stan's desk. He's touchy. She wants to know what's up. She asks if there was something going on with him and Gwen. He sends her back to work.
Bobby drops by the office for the Ripp file. Bobby says the mob guy who wanted Willie dead has a solid alibi. He mentions the gun used was a .9 mm. Mary wants to see the foresics. Bobby gets a call that a second body, a woman, was found in the desert.
Mary hands over the file on Gwen while Stan hesistates.
Eleanor works the phones for the forensic reuslts. Something she sees in the file makes her hesitate.
Peter takes Brandi out to a nice dinner where she guzzles wine, acts defensive and generally seems like she wants to be somewhere else.
Eleanor knocks on Mary's door at 10 p.m. She tells her Stan did something with the Ripp file - he removed a page before giving it to Bobby. That's technically with holding evidence.
There's a noise at the door. Peter carries Brandi in. She had two bottles at dinner. He goes to hose out his car.
Mary, Marshall and Eleanor go through the file the next morning to figure out what Stan did. Eleanor threatens someone on the phone to get the forensic results.
Mary sees Stan's old boss's name on the file, Chief Inspector Malone. She and Marshall visit with him. He remembers that Stan made his lifetime of mistakes on that one case. He asks where the bodies were found. The bodies are 20 years old. He swears Stan had nothing to do with the murders and says Willie was cheating on Gwen from the moment they got to town.
They show him the file and ask if he knows what page is missing. He doesn't need to look to know.
Eleanor arrives at work to find Stan. They have some awkward office chitchat and Bobby knocks on the door. He found an incident report with Willie's name on it. Stan says he was hoping Bobby wouldn't find it. He goes with him to the police station.
Mary and Marshall join him there. Mary's not pleased. Stan apparently beat the crap out of Willie the last night he was seen alive. They are not impressed that he's tried to hide everything.
He tells them that Willie was making Gwen miserable and they had a couple of lunches. He was the only shoulder she had to cry on.
Flash back to the night of the police report. Stan got a call from Gwen, she was crying. Willie's out getting a "Ripp fix." She asks Stan to stay with her.
He says he can't, while stroking her hair in a way that says "yes." Then he sees her black eye. He leaves the room and is immediately plowed over by Willie with a maid's cart. He beats the crap out of him and says he's going to kill him. A man sees it and breaks it up and calls the police, which is why there was a report.
Back in the present, Stan says he took the report out because he didn't want Bobby to know about Willie hitting Gwen because it gave her motive. That was before he knew about the second body.
Back to that motel room, Gwen asks Stan to stay with her and quit his job for her. He says yes. And then there's kissing.
Back to present day Stan says he "crossed the line." Malone, his boss, talked him into finishing the job. He spent the night looking for Willie but couldn't find him. When he got back to the motel, Gwen was gone. He thinks Willie doubled back and convinced her to leave with him.
Mary and Marshall wonder why Stan's old boss Malone didn't mention that part.
Eleanor continues to work the phones for forensics that might match from Boston, where the mobsters were.
A tipsy Malone wanders in to the police station in his retired man's track suit. He won't talk unless Stan's there.
Malone tells everybody the body isn't Gwen. He knows because he put her there. Then he pukes in the trash can. The girl was a cocktail waitress. He didn't kill Willie.
Flash back to Malone saying he got a call from Willie drunk and screaming about Stan stealing his girl. Malone goes there and finds Willie and the waitress dead. And then he buries them. Stan's badge fell in while he was digging. He thought Stan killed them.
He relocated Gwen behind Stan's back. He told Gwen that Stan was married with kids. She was his rebound. He found his badge next to the bed.
Bobby asks Stan to stand up to arrest him but Mary sees Eleanor in the lobby. She found a ballistics match. The gun traced back to one of Billy Cooper's goons in Boston. Mary's so happy she plants one right on Eleanor's kisser.
Stan takes in the fact that after all these years it turns out Gwen didn't change her mind. Malone passes on Gwen's number. He throws it away.
Brandi answers the door. It's Peter with Saltines and Gatorade - hangover helpers. She braces for a break up talk, but he wants to ask her out again. He likes her. And he knows what it's like to set yourself up for failure. He thinks she just needs a little help believing she deserves to be happy. She agrees to go out with him.
Stan sits on his bed. Eleanor joins him. (Yeah, that's right, office romance.)