We open on the body of a dead man lying in a Zen garden at Sloop Academy in Artzenville.
Cho explains that it's a school that creates baseball stars. Jane guesses Cho played, too.
The time of death was around 10:30 the night before, the victim is Barney Sloop. He was beaten to death with a baseball bat.
Freddy Fitch, the victim's partner, comes over in a rich man's suit, agitated that the CBI took so long to get there.
He says Barney got into Zen about a year ago.
As the team chats over in the garden they hear teenagers running on a nearby ball field and the crack of bats. Some kids are training with their dads. Scouts are on the way, but Freddie's not about to cancel that.
Jane looks at a rocks in the garden and thinks they represent Barney's life: work, garden, home.
Jane's wandering off in the garden when a kid at the plate a field away takes a serious bite of a ball and it clears the field and hits Jane square in the side of the head. He puts his hand up, looks surprised and falls down.
Cho and Lisbon lean over a passed out Jane as he flashes back to Iowa 1986. He's a teenage boy on stage with his magician father. He's blindfolded as his dad holds up a cigarette case and Patrick guesses what it is for the audience. Patrick ad libs, telling a woman in the audience that her grandmother loved her, and his dad calls him "a boy wonder."
Later, his dad calls the ad libbing a "needless risk." Young arrogant Patrick justifies his guesses as his dad gives him a bag of laundry to wash. His dad tells him the private reading came through for tomorrow, it's a big score, big enough to ditch the carnival life. Patrick assures his dad he'll be fine.
Jane wakes up back in the Zen garden and insists he's fine and ready to murder solve.
Freddie shows them through the victim's austere Zen trailer, saying Barney is married but his wife moved out a year ago. Looking at a picture, Jane guesses it was after their son died.
Freddie confirms Barney's son choked on a balloon last year when he was three. As he talks, Jane gets some ice packs for his head.
Freddie tells them Barney's wife started picking up strangers and calling at odd hours. He thinks you have to move on if your kid dies. Jane deducts that Freddie doesn't have kids.
Jane insinuates that nattily dressed, Rolex-wearing Freddie and Zen practitioner Barney might not have gotten along. He asks what Freddie did for the Academy and accuses him of killing his friend. Freddie comes after him, but Cho fends him off.
Jane's still not sure if Freddie did it, but Jane does see his anger.
Lisbon interviews the players, including Scotty Sinclair, whose overbearing dad "Doc", insists on being part of it.
Back outside, Jane sits against the bleachers and holds his head.
A player named Snake tells Cho that Barney gave him everything, he had no reason to kill him.
Scotty tells Lisbon essentially the same thing in another room. He says Barney cared and taught them how to handle life and money as his dad tries to rush things along.
At HQ, Rigsby finds that Barney's wife was the beneficiary of his $20 million life insurance policy. He jokes to his secret girlfriend Van Pelt that for that money, he'd kill her. She does not find this hilarious.
They decide to visit the widow.
At her house they find a car smashed in the fancy driveway and a young man telling them angrily that she isn't there and drove off in a drunken tear. VP recognizes him as Narcisco, a pro. He's dealing with local cops, who he called because she stole his car after crashing hers. He tells Rigsby and VP that she said she had to see "her little angel."
They guess she's going to the cemetery.
Back at the academy, Cho checks on Jane outside. Time to go back to the office. Jane gets up and walks away, leaving Cho to follow him to some bags of raked fall leaves in the field. He picks them up and tosses them in the air.
Cho decides Jane needs a doctor. Jane acknowledges he's dizzy as he passes out again and back to Carnie land.
Patrick and his dad sit atop the Ferris wheel as Patrick looks at people down below and guesses their life stories.
Jane wakes up in his leaf pile. He's ready to play ball.
Rigsby and Van Pelt find Mrs. Sloop kneeling and apologizing at her son's grave, sobbing. They ask her to come with them, but she says no. She takes out a gun and holds it to her head.
Van Pelt approaches her cautiously from behind as she talks to keep her calm. Van Pelt passionately tells Mrs. Sloop about her sister being selfish by killing herself. Van Pelt gets the gun.
Jane sits down on the bleachers next to Snake's dad, who tells him about Snake's older brother, who had talent but is too old.
Cho comes and tells Jane that Leslie Sloop looks good for the murder. He's ready to go. Jane says he'll stay put and get a ride, noting that people love driving with him.
Back at HQ, a sobering up Leslie Sloop tells Lisbon she was at the movies last night, then a bar. She scoffs at the mention of her husband. She says Narcisco was one of Barney's players and she slept with others to make her husband mad, but he didn't care.
In the observation room, VP tells Rigsby she thinks Leslie will confess. He tells her he thought she was amazing out there today. He checks that she doesn't really have a sister. She doesn't.
As the kids practice, Scotty's dad yells at him.
Jane remembers more Carnie ville people-watching. His dad spies an elderly woman arriving in a fancy car. He says he spent three days cruising the hospital to find a suitable mark and now it's time to get paid. Patrick starts a bit as he sees the woman take a young girl out of the car and put her in a wheelchair.
Back in the present, Jane watches a gardener blow the leaves into a new pile. He walks over eagerly to talk to the guy, who runs as they get close. Cho runs after him as Jane picks up the leaf blower and takes over.
At HQ, Lisbon gets Leslie to admit that after the movies she got in an argument with Narcisco and went to see Barney. She found him sleeping in his rock garden. He wouldn't talk to her.
Lisbon goes to confer on the other side of the glass and they guess that Leslie knew Barney was dead and that's what pushed her over the edge. They have nothing to hold her on, but Lisbon says she needs help.
Jane and Cho, with ripped pants from his chase, are back with the gardener, who had "immigration problems."
The gardener tells Lisbon that a baseball player was angry with Sloop yesterday, accusing him of stealing. Then Sloop showed the kid some papers and the kid got quiet and left. He'd know the kid if he saw him again.
They bring the players in for a line up. The dads aren't happy.
The gardener takes some time looking at the players until he settles on Scotty. Lisbon tries to talk to him but his dad interrupts. Finally Scotty says he did go to see Sloop, but he didn't kill him.
His dad gets angry about him lying, but Scotty brushes him off.
Lisbon asks again what the argument was about but before Scotty can answer, Freddie Fitch breaks things up.
Jane tells Lisbon the kid didn't do it, he was angry with his dad not Sloop. He suggest Lisbon check the ball field security footage, which should show Snake and Scotty practicing last night.
VP is able to confirm Leslie's bar alibi, leaving them short on suspects.
We see a tent labeled "Patrick: Psychic Boy Wonder" at the carnival. The grandmother explains the girl has had four rounds of chemo but the tumors in her lungs are still growing. Patrick assesses the woman's jewelry as his dad sets up the revelation of "the crystal." With great flourish, Patrick presents a crystal in a box. The girl asks Patrick if it'll shrink her tumors. He seems to forget his schtick for a moment.
His dad tells them to observe and decide. Patrick looks from girl to grandmother and puts the crystal back. He gets up and leaves the tent.
His dad finds him outside and tells him to get inside.
But Patrick says he can't take money from a dying girl. His dad says they're giving hope, but Patrick isn't swayed.
His dad says he's been carrying him and Patrick wouldn't make it on his own. His dad makes him decide whether to stay or go.
Back in the present, Jane's still carrying around the ball that beaned him.
He tells Lisbon and Cho it's time to head back to the academy.
At the academy, Freddie Fitch is addressing the gathered scouts, taking a minute to remember Barney Sloop. Then it's sales time. Freddie talks up Scotty and Snake then offers the scouts some beer.
Jane goes into the locker room and tells Scotty and Snake they can relax, he knows they're innocent. He winds up, eventually ending with accusing anyone who'd answer of having a dad who steals. Scotty pipes up, saying his dad just set up a new account.
Jane figures this was the source of the argument with Sloop yesterday.
Jane tells them to be sure to sell their talent, not their soul, not even to their dads. He says he knows what he's talking about. So Snake asks his talent.
Jane says he reads minds.
Cho watches with amusement as Jane shows off.
He tells Scotty to concentrate on the month, date and year of his birthday. He writes it on the baseball with a pencil.
Scotty says April 10, 1992.
Jane puts the ball behind his back and scratches off the pencil with his fingernail, asking them how much they want to bet that he can't read minds.
He turns it over and shows he was right.
He offers to do it again for Snake, but the kids leave to warm up.
Jane tells Cho he was just confirming a hunch.
Back in Carnie land we see Patrick back at the table with his dad, going through on the crystal stunt. He fakes burning his finger and "healing" it on the crystal to show its powers. The grandmother predictably says she wants to buy it. His dad objects, she insists and reaches for her money.
Patrick looks ill.
The grandmother begs for it until finally Patrick cries and tells his dad to just turn it over.
Outside their tent his dad comes out with $10,000 in cash and a grin on his face. He gives Patrick $100 for his share then says he might be a little late coming home, the sideshow boys have a poker game going.
Patrick pockets his cut.
Back in the present at the Academy, Jane follows Snake to the ball field, insisting on performing his trick. His dad is there and says Snake was born March 5, 1992. Jane says that's odd, he was five years off on the birthday, which would make him 22, the same age as his brother. Snake's dad gets upset and goes after Jane, but handy Cho steps in.
Jane accuses Snake's dad of killing Barney to conceal Snake's real age. Freddie walks up and hears it.
Barney says he tried to reason with him. We see the night before, Barney in the Zen garden turning his back on Snake's dad, who wails on him with a bat.
He won't confess because he wants his kid to be able to pitch.
Freddie asks Snake how old he really is and he says 22. Freddie says if they double his cut, he'll let him throw for the scouts. Agreed. Cho arrests him.
As he's being led away in cuffs, Snake's dad gives him pitching advice.
Jane slumps to the ground.
Scotty strikes someone out and is pleased with himself but his dad comes over and gives him advice, cutting him down. His dad is ready to make a deal, but Scotty stops him, saying he hired an agent.
Lisbon tells Jane it's time to see the doctor.