Thane Woodson is a man who was wrongly convicted of robbery. He spent almost three years in prison, where he learned a lot about the law and now wants justice, and a little restitution to the tune of $100,000. He goes to Shawn and Gus, asking their help to solve the crime. They are moved by his tragic story and agree to take the case.
Shawn is anxious to get started and share his new cause with Juliet. This could get a little dicey for them because Juliet is the officer who originally investigated the case. She feels certain of Thane’s guilt. She spent three weeks on the case and found a gun with his prints on it in his car. Lassiter is gleeful that the lovebirds being at odds is bound to unravel their relationship, but they insist that they can keep their personal and professional lives separate.
Shawn, Gus, and Thane go to see Mercer, the man who owns the restaurant Thane was convicted of robbing. He says Thane was always his best cook, but he was under a lot of pressure from police to say it was Thane. Thane loses his temper, which happens a lot, but quickly cools down and makes amends. He apologizes to Mercer and leaves, giving Shawn and Gus the chance to investigate. They learn that the robber tied Mercer up with zip ties and made him recite the alphabet backwards. The guy looked a lot like Thane. Shawn and Gus recognize the zip ties and alphabet details as having been the MO in a very recent convenience store robbery. Next stop, Stop N’ Go.
As soon as Shawn and Gus try to interview the clerk, Thane shows up and is identified again. This sets off his temper once more, after which he hugs the clerk and declares they’re good. Shawn notices a written message about a claims adjuster, and learns the store was recently robbed. Shawn also notices some structural details that suggest the store was recently renovated. Before they are finished with the interview, Henry calls to let Shawn know there was just another robbery using the beaded zip ties, at a jewelry store. Shawn and Gus are on it.
When they arrive at the jewelry store, Juliet and Lassiter are already there. Juliet takes a dig at Shawn about Thane being guilty. The tension is already building between them. Shawn asks about recent renovations there, and the store owner confirms it. Same as the convenience store, the alarm didn’t go off. Thane arrives and is once again identified as the robber. Shawn introduces him to Juliet. She admits she is troubled by the thought she may have put the wrong person behind bars and would like to help find the real culprit. The last thing Thane wants is Juliet on the team. He insists that the guys can’t work with her or else they won’t get their $10,000. Shawn and Gus hadn’t read the contract, so they didn’t know about the money. Shawn is sure for $10,000 he and Juliet can keep this separate from their personal lives. She doesn’t react well when he tells her he can’t talk to her about the case.
Shawn learns that both the jewelry store and convenience store hired the same contractor for their renovations. He and Gus discuss whether Shawn and Juliet will suffer because of this case, and Shawn is certain that he and Jules are good. They arrive at the location of the contractor they want to speak to, only to find Juliet putting him into her squad car. She’s keeping it separate, just as Shawn wanted, not talking to him about her case. He hadn’t considered that approach working against him. Shawn learns from Officer McNabb that the contractor only uses day laborers, so he rushes off to find information before Juliet finishes her interrogation.
Shawn and Gus question a group of day laborers waiting around for work opportunities. They learn that the contractor only hires people that are knowledgeable in multiple areas of construction. They hear about one guy that worked both jobs, named Carl. Their informant doesn’t know much more about Carl, but he does have a street for him, Carl was dropped off before him after their work day.
They arrive at the street, with Thane in tow once again. A man asks if he can help them, and tells them Carl is his son. His name is Fred Dozier, and when Thane tells him he needs help proving Carl is a no-good criminal, he invites them in. He says Carl has never lived up to his potential. He threw Carl out a month ago, and shows them a photo that looks a lot like Thane. Fred asks them to please help Carl if they can, he’d do anything to keep him out of jail.
Shawn announces at the station that he knows who committed the robbery, and it’s old news. Juliet already identified Carl. She also found a small droplet of blood on the fence surrounding the jewelry store, and will have DNA evidence soon. Shawn tries to get on her good side and work together again, but she’s not buying it. Shawn and Gus worry that if Juliet solves the case, they won’t get their money. They go back to Mercer’s restaurant to ask some more questions, but find him in the freezer….dead. Video footage the police retrieve from the restaurant show Thane enter the building, then running away, looking very guilty. Shawn and Gus can’t believe what they are seeing.
Thane is back in jail. He says he went to ask Mercer for his job back, then saw the body and panicked. He can’t believe Shawn and Gus doubt him. Juliet shows up ay, she found evident announces Thane is free to go, she found evidence that proved Thane’s innocence. Someone else was seen leaving the restaurant just before Thane arrived. Shawn and Gus want back on the case, but Thane isn’t forgiving them. He does, however, forgive Juliet.
Shawn goes to cry to Henry, who gives him advice “love lasts, money doesn’t.” He thinks Shawn needs to go suck up to Juliet. When he learns about the $10,000 though, he suggests Shawn buy Juliet some jewelry, because “love lasts longer when you have money in the bank.” Shawn goes to beg Thane instead.
Juliet informs the guys there is a backup delaying the DNA evidence. She thinks Carl will unload the diamonds quickly and when he does they will find him. Shawn recalls he saw a “conflict free” sign at the jewelry store, which means they are from a war free region, and those diamonds are traceable. A lead soon turns up, a woman named Jasmine Richards pawned some of the jewelry, but when questioned says they were a gift from her ex, Carl Dozier. Lassie asks for a pen so he can leave his number, and while she’s distracted Juliet searches the apartment and locates Carl. Driving back to the station, she gives Shawn the good news over the phone . A truck broadsides the car, someone grabs Carl out of the car and takes off with him.
Juliet is beating herself up for letting Carl get away. Shawn arrives, fussing over Juliet to make sure she’s okay. They finally get results for the DNA, and it ties to a murder committed in 1981, when Carl was just a little boy. Shawn remembers Carl’s dad saying he would do anything to keep him out of jail. Fred knew if Carl was in the DNA database, it would be a familial match to the DNA evidence that he himself left at a crime scene 30 years ago. Fred learned that Mercer was helping police to solve the robbery that Carl committed, and he killed him to keep him quiet. The 1981 victim was a woman in her 20′s, found at the docks. Shawn remembers crates he saw in Dozier’s home from a bottling company at the docks. They start their search there.
When they arrive at the old bottling company, they find Fred and Carl there. When Shawn reveals Fred’s actions to save Carl were actually to save his own skin, Carl feels betrayed and hurt. He turns himself in. As soon as Carl is out of the line of fire, Lassie and Juliet move in and arrest Fred.
Shawn and Gus are excited they will get their $10,000. Thane drives up at the station in a flashy new convertible, a gift he gave himself before using the rest of his money to re-open Mercer’s restaurant. He thanks Juliet for her help and holds no grudge for his incarceration. He thanks Shawn and Gus, invites them to his restaurant soon, then speeds off. Juliet sees him run a stop sign, but Shawn convinces her to overlook it after the guy just spent three years in jail. He next runs a red light, and Juliet is chomping at the bit to go after him. Shawn is about to defend him again until Gus points out Thane didn’t give them their check. The three of them rush after Thane together.
Psych‘s season six finale airs April 11th at 10/9c on USA.