Jane and Maura investigate the murder of an army veteran, 29 year-old Bernard Avery, who was killed in an alleyway with a hatchet. He was homeless, one of many ex-servicemen now living on the streets of Boston, and suffered from PTSD. When Rizzoli and Korsak visit a psychology center where Avery had sought help, Jane is surprised to find her old friend Casey Jones working there. He's been back for several months but refuses to tell her anything more. The police soon have a second dead homeless vet and Jane's informant, Rondo, thinks he's found a witness. Meanwhile, Maura meets Dennis Rochmond and after saving his life, he sends her orchids. She also discovers her wild side.
When Maura meets a new guy named Dennis in a very unusual way, he opens up a different side of her. And Jane is filled with mixed emotions after someone from her past returns.
- A young black man in fatigues dodges repeated gunfire in an alley , hiding behind Dumpsters for safety. He holds his head and screams for it to stop. He peeks around the alley and sees it's all clear. He notices a flag in the garbage and stoops to look at it. Someone wielding a hatchet comes up behind him and hacks him.
In the police lobby, Maura admires her antique engine purchase. They get called to a case.
In the alley, Maura admires the tagging in the alley, including depictions of a young face splattered with blood. Jane talks to an artist setting up for a gallery show. His art is the same as the stuff in the alley so Jane threatens him with felony vandalism.
The victim is 29 year old Army vet Bernard Avery. The body is still warm.
Jane's C.I. Rondo gets her attention. He introduces himself as General to make another homeless vet, Lance Corporal Justin Brown feel comfortable to talk. He says Avery was killed by an insurgent dressed as a Force Recon Marine. He gives Jane a keyboard that he says contains classified intel. Rondo tries to convince her to listen. She gives him $20 and watches as he gives it to Brown.
In the morgue, Maura finds stab wounds, gashes and other wounds consistent with an ax on Bernard's body. Jane wonders if the murder weapon could be a tomahawk, which are issued to Marines as tactical gear.
Someone brings in the body of a man who collapsed in a cab on the way to the airport. His name's Dennis Rockmond (Eddie Cibrian). Maura unzips him. Jane thinks he's hot. Maura feels for a heartbeat and Jane notices as the body "pitches a tent." Maura inspects and pronounces, "Oh my God, his penis has a pulse!" He's alive.
They call for the EMTs. Maura finds an obstruction in his airway and announces she needs to create an airway. She uses the tube of a ballpoint pen to breathe into his lungs through his throat. He breathes. The EMTs arrive.
Upstairs, Jane announces she thinks the murder weapon is a tactical tomahawk. Bernard has a clean military record. They have a photo of his unit, which included Lance Corporal Justin Brown, Rondo's CI.
Bernard's wife tells them a suicide bomber killed a lot of his unit. When he returned he was diagnosed with PTSD. A friend from her support group told her about an outreach center run by Dr. James Bacal. She thought it was helping, but Bernard was kicked out.
She says Bernard came back with a tomahawk. He'd been homeless for about six months, after he thought there was a suicide bomber in the house. He thought he had to kill their son.
Jane and Korsak go to the outreach center and find Dr. Bacal leading a virtual simulation with a video game. Becal says Bernard was suspicious of their people. He introduces them to Colonel Charles "Casey" Jones (Chris Vance), Jane's old flame. She's shocked to see him in town.
Jones says Bernard got into a fight with Tyler Moore, another vet from his unit.
After Korsak leaves, Casey tells Jane he's been back for about three weeks. The last time they talked he said he had a covert assignment, but says he couldn't tell her where. He essentially asks her to leave.
Jane tells Maura that Casey is back in town and has been for awhile. Maura realizes that Jane liked him more than Dean. Dennis Rockmond, the revived guy, sent Maura flowers.
Jane and Korsak go talk to Tyler Moore, who's in a wheelchair. He is no fan of Bernard's. He says they were on patrol and Bernard saw the suicide bomber advancing and didn't take a shot; six men died and Moore ended up in the chair.
Frost calls to report they found Justin; he was killed.
In the morgue, Maura says Justin's injuries are similar to Bernard's. Jane is distracted by thoughts of Casey.
Maura finds evidence of "war lung" in Bernard's lungs, but none in Justin's.
Maura gets at text that Dennis is there to see them.
Up in the lobby, he checks out Maura's salvaged engine.
Jane's CI Rondo drops by with "Sour Grapes," another of his CIs. Angela recognizes Rondo as Raymond Washington, a famous Boston blues singer.
Sour Grapes announces that Pope John Paul killed Justin. Rondo says there's a white dude that reminds him of the Pope who's the "self appointed sheriff of homeless town."
Rondo presents Jane with Justin's Casio, thinking it means something.
In her office, Maura opens her gift from Dennis. He made her a sculpted hand, but she knows he's a motivational speaker. He asks her to dinner.
Angela drops by with puff pastry and Maura lets slip that Jane's upset about Casey.
Jane and Frost look at pictures of neighborhood watch guys and the pope and find that Jeff Miller resembles John Paul II. And he drives a white Dodge Caravan with a bubbletop sun roof -- like the pope mobile.
Maura and Dennis stroll through street carts in a street fair. She admires the wall art. He says he wants to sculpt her hands and asks the wildest thing she's ever done. (She rode nude in a dressage event.) He pulls down a fire escape saying it's time to do something outrageous again. He leads her up on a rooftop and picks up spray cans. She doesn't want to tag, but he convinces her. In no time, there's a spotlight on their faces and Frankie is shouting at them to stop.
Korsak and Frost find Miller's van and see him karate chopping Rondo.
In the morgue, Maura shows Jane her ticket for tagging. She confesses she liked breaking the law. Maura gets the results of Bernard's lung tissue. He was exposed to a lot of spray paint over the years. Jane wonders if he was a tagger.
Jane takes Maura's ticket.
Upstairs, they go over street tags. Maura chews Frankie out for writing Maura a ticket, but he points out it's just for show.
They find tags for Blister and Penance. Blister is Steve Bogart, a documentary film maker shooting something about Boston's homeless. There's a record that he was a victim of an unprosecuted assault by Bernard Avery.
Frankie and Frost go to pick up Bogart and find his studio trashed. They find a Jacuzzi in the apartment and a body looking like "corned beef cabbage" inside.
At Maura's apartment, she prepares a fruit and cheese plate and tries to get ready for Dennis to draw her. He gets undressed since he's planning to draw her nude.
Later, in the morgue, Maura looks at the boiled corpse, Steve Bogart. Maura notices he smells, which means he was killed more than 72 hours ago.
Finally, Jane puts Maura out of her misery and tells her her tagging summons was a fake.
Upstairs, Jane opens Justin's old keyboard and finds a memory chip.
Jane goes to the gallery show put on by the artist she ran into at the first crime scene. They puts in the memory chip and plays video of Bernard telling Steve Bogart his art isn't for sale. He drew the face of the little boy who was the suicide bomber who took out his unit. Bernard's wife is in the gallery and realizes that's why Bernard was so wracked with guilt; he couldn't kill a child.
The artist stole Bernard's art and killed the documentarian who filmed him and his friend to cover up. They found the tomahawk murder weapon in his things.
Later, Jane pays Casey a visit. He says it's not a good time to talk and he doesn't want to have this conversation. She tells him she fell in love with him. She thinks he fell in love with her too, since he kept calling from overseas. He tells her he has her number and if he'd wanted to see her he would have called. "The only people I have room for in my life are these wounded vets," he tells her.
She leaves and he looks at his screen saver of the two of them together.
His coworker Dr. Becal comes out and tells Casey he's a fool. Casey reaches for his crutches and props his shattered legs in braces on the floor. He walks away, with great difficulty.
Outside, Jane tells Maura that going to see him was a terrible idea and suggests they do something crazy, like drink a box of Shiraz.