Written by Sean Crouch, this might've been the best episode of the season so far.
We begin with FBI agent Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) out on a date with a woman, Leah Wexford (Jennifer Riker), whom we soon learn is in the witness-protection program. After the chastest of goodnight kisses, Wexford goes into her house and greets her teenage son (Kevin G. Schmidt), who's watching television. Don sits in his car for a moment after she goes in, obviously a bit torn about what to do next (she's made a gesture that suggests that she might be open to his coming in, too, but we haven't heard their dialogue). Then he starts his car and drives away. A moment later, someone knocks and presents an FBI badge at the front door of the Wexford house; Leah opens the door, clearly expecting Don, only to be shot by the man who bursts in, but she's not brought down till after she shepherds her son upstairs (his shoulder is grazed by a bullet, but she takes several to the abdomen before she collapses on the stairwell). The son hides till the assassin flees, spooked by the burglar alarm and the approaching sirens.
With relatively slight asides involving the early promotion of (David Krumholtz's character) Charlie Eppes' new book, and the growing desire of the monks at the monastery where Larry Fleinhardt (Peter MacNicol) resides to be rid of him, the rest of the episode is devoted to working out the interlocking conspiracies that led to Wexford's murder... and how much blame Don deserves for it. Don's subordinate agent and woman friend Liz Warner (Aya Sumika) is understandably less than thrilled with the situation; the U.S. marshal assigned to the Wexfords, Tricia Yaegger (Erika Alexander), is also not too impressed with Don's involvement with Leah Wexford. As she notes, Don dates a lot of FBI agents; it would seem almost inevitable that he might get around to dating a witness. Over the course of the episode, we learn Don had been romantically involved with Wexford just as she and her son had been placed in witness protection several years before, and had faced official reprimand for doing so. Leah's husband had been a mid-level mafioso, killed after he'd turned over evidence, and his ex-boss is the first of the suspects we see interrogated. This leads to the hit man, and his involvement with a sting on a local street gang, masterminded by L.A. cop Chris Frederickson (James Morrison), who seems quite willing to use people as bait to bring down his target. That Wexford was killed strikes Morrison as unfortunate but acceptable, inasmuch as he feels breaking up the gang's drug-running and other criminal activities will save "hundreds, perhaps thousands of lives." Morrison is also savvy enough to see through an attempt at getting him to incriminate himself, set up by Yaegger and Don; however, he's rescued from the street gang in the nick of time by the FBI agents, as the gang is seeking retribution for Morrison's forcing one of their members to testify against the rest. Liz, having worked the case throughout the episode, gets Don to all but admit that he was the one who tipped off the gang about Morrison's manipulation, a bit of underhanded endangerment almost as irresponsible as Morrison's own. She also tries to get him to come clean about his relation with Leah, but he refuses. Their already rocky affair looks like it might be over.
This is a very neatly worked-out and briskly-paced episode; while Charlie is in the majority of the scenes, he is primarily a supporting player in the drama, mostly trying to find ways to prove that Don is not primarily responsible for leading the murderer to Leah... when not helping to work out the chain of events more directly, or dealing with his first book signing, or talking with Larry about the case and Larry's predicament at the monastery. The series is clearly trying to either give a number of its actors a break or not crowd each episode too much. For example, Diane Farr and Navi Rawat are completely absent from this installment, and Krumholtz, who has been the primary focus of most episodes this season, seems like he has to carry a little less of the burden this time out, with Morrow more thoroughly at the center. A small matter of series continuity arises with Larry's seeming regret at being made increasingly unwelcome at the monastery, when he spent much of the previous episode musing about how it was time to leave anyway. But it's a very small lapse, if one at all. Aya Sumika gets to shine here, as Warner is both an acute detective and an increasingly suspicious and alienated lover; Don's refusal to tell anyone, including Liz, the whole story of his involvement with Leah has a nice allusiveness to both his default secrecy and his occasionally demonstrated problems with romance. Erika Alexander gives a good, no-nonsense performance as well, and Judd Hirsch is allowed to be charming and believably paternal without the overlay of shtick he is sometimes encouraged to engage in.
Written by Sean Crouch this mightve been the best episode of the season so farWe begin with FBI agent Don Eppes Rob Morrow out on a date with a woman Leah Wexford Jennifer Riker whom we soon learn is in the witness-protection program After the chastest of goodnight kisses Wexford goes into her house and greets her teenage son Kevin G Schmidt whos watching television Don sits in his car for a moment after she goes in obviously a bit torn about what to do next shes made a gesture that suggests that she might be open to his coming in too but we havent heard their dialogue Then he starts his car and drives away A moment later someone knocks and presents an FBI badge at the front door of the Wexford house Leah opens the door clearly expecting Don only to be shot by the man who bursts in but shes not brought down till after she shepherds her son upstairs his shoulder is grazed by a bullet but she takes several to the abdomen before she collapses on the st