Isabel calls Walter in to help a law school friend of hers, Joyce Willoughby. Joyce currently works in a funeral parlor, putting makeup on dead people, but aspires to leave it behind and be an attorney. Her father Stan recently passed away, and Joyce suspects foul play. Stan had called and asked to see her the day he died, which was something he never did. When she arrived at her father’s place there was a crowd gathered around, and her father’s dead body on the car he landed on after a fall from his apartment. The police think it was suicide, but she is convinced it wasn’t. Walter doesn’t find murderers, so he can‘t help her. Later, though, at Ends of the Earth, Willa and Isabel find a loophole….Joyce’s father wanted to talk to her about her inheritance. Maybe he can’t search for a murderer, but he can search for an inheritance.
Joyce, who is happier and peppier than any normal person should be, brings a box of her father’s belongings to Walter. He didn’t own much, it all fits in the one box. A bank book shows that her dad withdrew $4256 before he died, and she thinks that was to be her inheritance.
Walter and Leo visit a racetrack, because a betting slip suggests Stan had bet the inheritance on a horse. Problem is, the horse lost. Walter feels something is off, though. Stan had wanted to talk to Joyce and the way she described it did not make it sound like bad news was coming. They learn Stan had a system for picking horses, and he always sat in the same seat. While there, Walter notices a few guys having a dispute, and also befriends a horse named Lucy. He thinks Lucy doesn’t trust the guys, an ex-jockey, a trainer, and a fat guy who says he’s just a “friend.”
Walter and Leo take Timo with them to the track. It’s his old stomping ground and he knows the way around. They break into a stable and browse around. Just when it seems they won’t find anything, Walter sticks his hand in a drawer and finds the pointy end of a syringe. Whatever is in it paralyzes him and he has to be carried back to the bar. When they get there, they have Willa search for information on what could have caused the paralysis and deduce it was some type of venom. By this time Walter is doing better, but still having difficulty walking, talking, and drinking from a glass. Isabel has identified the three men they met at the track earlier. The trainer is Ed Beaterman, who received the horse Sweet Stakes from a previous employer that went bankrupt. The jockey is Lazlo Levi, who has been arrested twice on assault charges. The third man, the fat man, was Gary Anthony Jones, who has been arrested in the past for smuggling exotic animals, such as cobras. Walter figures the drug was cobra venom, it numbs pain…they were drugging the horse to conceal it’s injuries.
Joyce tries to keep up her happy demeanor, despite all that keeps going wrong. Willa tells her that they think Stan owed $200,000 to someone. When she shows Joyce what led her to that conclusion, Joyce clarifies that the statement she shows her is for her student loans. She‘s not sure how Stan knew about them. He also has a business card for Gary Anthony Jones. Willa takes that information to Isabel and Walter, who has regained his power of speech. They decide they need to pay a visit to Fat Man. Jones doesn’t answer his door, but Isabel spots him through the window, on the floor and dying. She and Walter break in and try to help him. He tells them his pet cobra got loose and bit him. He knows he is dying, and confesses that Stan had learned they were doping Sweet Stakes. They didn’t kill him, they paid him off, to the tune of $51,072. The cobra decides Walter looks mighty tasty too, and just before it can strike Isabel very impressively takes it out with a handgun. Jones is dead by the time they can turn their attention back to him.
When police arrive, they say it’s pretty open and shut, Jones forgot to lock the cobra cage and it got loose and bit him. Walter doesn’t agree, he believes it was murder. He slithers around the floor like a snake, he thinks the snake would have stayed near the heater, not slither across the cold floor to Jones chair. Isabel has learned that Fat Man had been trying to get a plea deal, and she and Walter believe someone killed him to keep him quiet.
Isabel and Joyce leave school, and Joyce is approached in the parking garage by trainer guy, Beaterman. He tells her that Stan owed him $50,000 and he wants it back. He thinks Stan told her where he hid the money. Isabel arrives just as he becomes threatening, and he’s not so tough when his opponent has a gun. He runs. Joyce, ever the optimist, still sees the bright side.
Back at Ends of the Earth, Walter wants to know why Willa is being so helpful all of a sudden. She says she likes Joyce, and finds the fact that someone gave Joyce $200,000 for college very interesting. Willa made a mess trying to pretend she was Walter and set up a model using Stan’s belongings, but Walter makes sense of it. Walter uses the mice he kept from Fat Man’s place to reenact a horse race, having realized Stan had an elaborate system for playing the ponies. Leo thinks maybe the system is Joyce’s inheritance, but Willa is confused, because she thought it was the $4256. Leo reminds her that money was bet on a horse that lost, so the $50000 from the three stooges was probably the inheritance. Walter realizes that the payoff was exactly the amount he would have won in the race he bet the $4256 on. He would have won that race if they hadn‘t cheated by doping the horse, and he only took from them the amount of money he would have received. Isabel and Joyce arrive, Leo invites Joyce to stay there where it’s safe, and Walter explains Stan’s system to Isabel. After his rat race, Walter proclaims the system works.
Willa and Timo join the grownups at the track. Timo has scraped up all the money he could manage in order to bet using the system, with Willa claiming a 25% finders fee. The horse Walter selected comes in, and Isabel is ecstatic. Walter tells her he figured out what Joyce’s inheritance is. It’s what that $51072 became after he bet it on a horse, enough money to pay off her student loans. They just have to find the betting slip.
Timo considers giving Shad the system to gain favor and convince him to let him marry Magdalena. Willa tells him that system wouldn’t work for him, it was specific to Stan, but Timo thinks she’s protecting Walter. She tells him to stop by the post office first and she will show him the new racket she has in the works. When Leo catches her returning with mail in her hands, he wants to see what she’s up to and is happy to see she has been applying to universities. Leo doesn’t see the bigger picture, that she learned a little too much while helping with this case.
Joyce thanks Walter for helping find what her father wanted to leave her. She thinks learning how much her father was willing to do for her is inheritance enough. She recounts a story that her father used to tell her when she was a child, and a part of the story resonates with Walter. He suddenly knows where the ticket was kept. Unfortunately, before they can go to it, the jockey sneaks up behind and attacks Walter. He is scrappier than he looks, and knocks Walter out. Beaterman is worried Walter will die and they will never know how to find the money. When Walter awakes, he says this is why he doesn’t find murderers. Walter tells them the slip has been under their noses the entire time, and holds up a snuff can from Stan‘s belongings. He opens it, then blows snuff in Beaterman’s face, stripping his gun from him in the process. Jockey Levi gets a little crazy and tries to take on Leo. Leo is too much a gentleman to knock him out immediately, but after Willa offers to take him out for him, Leo picks him up and tosses him aside.
After the bad guys are taken away, Walter reveals he knows where the betting slip is, and takes them to the race track. The story Stan had told Joyce as a child was the tale of St. Dunston, and it mentions horseshoes. There is a horseshoe carved on Stan’s seat at the track. The ticket is taped underneath the seat. He had bet on the horse that Walter bet on the day before using the system, and Joyce now has enough money to pay all her loans and start fresh.
Timo brings Willa her share of the winnings from the track. She is dressed up and looking quite responsible and studious. She tells Timo she’s going to apply for hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans. This is what she learned while helping on this case.
When they get back to the bar, Isabel wants to know what Walter did with all the money they won. Leo approaches just then with Sweet Stakes, and Isabel is elated. Walter tells her they will only have it a few days, until the rescue organization picks it up. Isabel doesn’t care, she climbs into the saddle and invites Walter for a ride.
The Finder airs Fridays at 8/7c on Fox.