Officers arrive at the expensive home of police chief Nelson Riskin. The head detective arrives at the scene, and an officer tells the detective that Riskin's wife Dolores was shot to death. When the detective goes in, Sgt. Ed Fiddler is busy yelling at the maid to get him a glass of milk for his ulcer. Ed says that it looks like Dolores was shot sometime after dinner. The detective checks the body, and soon the court is issuing a warrant for Nelson's arrest. An officer warns Nelson that Ed is coming to arrest him.
Armed officers quietly break into the beach house where Ray is staying. He hears them and jumps out a window, but officers tackle him and a detective tells Ray that he's under arrest. Ray asks for what, and the detective refuses to give him the charges. The detective takes Ray to Nelson's office and leave him there, and Ray points out that the police broke into his place. Nelson figures Ray won't cause any trouble because he's Stingray, and he's heard rumors that Ray will take on problems in return for a favor. When Nelson had some time off, he set out to find out if Ray was fact or rumor. Ray gives his current fake name and insists that he has no record, and Nelson says that he filed Ray away for a rainy day... and now he has a problem.
Ed and an officer head to Nelson's office.
Nelson tells Ray that he was with one of his patrolmen, Mark Bonnet, when Dolores was killed, running a stakeout. Despite that, Homicide swore out a warrant on Nelson.
Bonnet is hooked up to a lie detector machine and says that he was reassigned by Miller so he was never with Nelson
Nelson tells Ray that if he finds any evidence against him, he should give it to the DA. The captain says that his marriage wasn't great, but he loved her once. Nelson explains that Bonnet asked Nelson to show him a drug operation so he did, but no one in the bust saw Nelson. Ed comes in and serves the warrant, and Nelson insists that he didn't kill Dolores. The sergeant agrees but says that he has his orders, and says that Bonnet is on a poly and swears he wasn’t with Nelson. Ray slips the handcuffs and tells Nelson that he'll accept, and Nelson tells him that his assistant Candice will help him because she knows everything around the station.
Candice enters the office and stares at Bonnet as he comes out, and Ray confirms her identity. She exchanges glances with Bonnet and wonders why he lied, and Bonnet walks off. Ray says that he thinks he can help Nelson but first he needs Candice to help him. They go to a restaurant for coffee and Ray explains that he sometimes helps people in trouble. He says that he's "just Ray" and asks if Nelson could have done it. Candice insists that Nelson wouldn't have, and Ray realizes that she's in love with Nelson. He explains that he got her pulse from looking at the artery in her neck, and figures she's in emotional distress. Candice says that she and Nelson would never do anything about their feelings because he's too honest. When she tells Ray that she doesn't like him, he says that it isn't necessary. Ray asks why Bonnet would lie, explaining that they have to break the lie down if Nelson is innocent. He tells Candice that she'll have to call the people close to Nelson and to pay for the check because Nelson dragged him out of bed in the middle of the night. Candice angrily tells Ray not to make fun of Nelson, and Ray apologizes. She says that Internal Affairs will be securing Nelson's file and Ray will get nothing, and Ray tells her they'll have to do some eavesdropping... by feeding them.
The next day, Ray pulls up to Nelson's house driving "Pepe's Catering Service". Posing as Pepe, Ray gets out and offers them burritos. The two officers call in the other officers at the house, and the officers discuss how one of the bullets that killed Dolores went into a nearby bookcase and there was no brass casings, so it must have been a service revolver. Ray hears two detectives discussing how the alarm was turned off despite the fact Dolores was home alone. One of the detectives notices Ray listening and asks if he wants something, and Ray suggests that it was a robbery. The first detective says that it wasn't a robbery because the safe wasn't open. Ed arrives and asks what's going on, and tells Ray to leave.
Candice is in the truck with Ray, and Ray tells her that they have to find out who set Nelson up. He suggests that next they talk to Dolores' hairdresser, and when he's back at his current house checks the computers and find out Delores went to Chez Le Gaul. Ray checks his former client list and finds Karen Miller, a hair stylist. He then goes to Chez Le Gaul with Karen as his "assistant", and claims that he's an internationally-famous hair stylist. Ray pays the owner $1,000 to loan him a station so he can prove he's an artist. The owner agrees, and Candice books in clients. Karen is soon wowing the women clients with Karen's help. and the first woman says that it's beautiful.
On break, Ray notices another stylist reading an article about Dolores' murder. The stylist says that he did Dolores' hair for five years, and that Dolores couldn't find any happiness in her marriage. He says that Dolores was playing around for a while, and she finally admitted that it was her pool cleaner.
Later, Ray and Candice watch Nelson's house until the pool man shows up. Candice gushes over how Nelson is so much better until she realizes Ray is watching her, and he says that he understands why she goes on. As they follow the pool man, Candice figures that Ray is very good at what he does at digging out information. Ray points out that they don't have anything yet, and the pool man pulls into his driveway. He talks to his neighbor--Bonnet—and Ray figures that Dolores was involved in something much bigger than an affair.
Ray and Candice go to a nearby park to watch the pool man's house, and Candice talks about how she has never brought up the nerve to tell Nelson that she wants to matter him. She figures that she's a watcher rather than a doer, and Ray tells her that she's a giver. Candice points out that Ray never asked her if she killed Dolores, and Ray figures that if she had, she'd never be able to look Nelson in the eye. They admit that they like each other, and watch the pool man go out for the evening with Bonnet.
As Ray follows the pool man, Candice considers all the times she looked admiringly at Nelson and admired his photo. The pool man and Bonnet go into an expensive manor, and Ray takes off his jacket and approaches a nearby catering truck. He grabs a bartender jacket and, posing as a bartender, grabs a bag of ice and the driver Joe tells him to send Jack back to help him Once he's on the grounds, Ray hides a pistol in a potted plant and then holds the bag of ice in front of his face as we walks past Ed and Bonnet. he finds Jack and sends him to the catering truck, and Jack explains that it's a political fundraiser and David Dearborn is financing ex-police chief Donald Dixon who is going to announce he's running for governor. There are off-duty cops providing security, including Ed, and Jack leaves.
Ed notices Ray and comes over, recognizing him as Pepe. He draws his gun and escorts Ray out, and Ray disarms him, takes out him and the other cops when they come over, and runs. Bonnet draws his gun and goes after him, and Ray gets into his Stingray and drives off. He gets away before Bonnet can get in his car, but the patrolman gets the number on Ray's plate. Bonnet runs a DMV check on the plate, and gets a report that it's registered to the California governor's mansion.
Ray tells Candice that the "pool man" is an undercover cop, and all of the cops are moonlighting as security at the fundraiser. Candice notes that Dixon and Nelson used to be friends, but Dixon moves up through the ranks faster. Dixon and Nelson had a falling out before Dixon resigned, but Nelson never said. Later Nelson told Candice that Dixon broke the law and Nelson had the evidence. Ray asks if Candice can drive a limousine and says that he's going to find out what the two men argued about.
Dixon arrives at the airport and Ray says that Dearborn sent him to pick Dixon up, and he's an advertising agent. Ray gets Dixon into the limo that Candice is driving, and once they're alone Ray tells Dixon that he's in a lot of trouble. Ray claims that he's a power broker and Dixon belongs to him. Dixon draws a gun but Ray easily disarms him and grabs him by the throat. Ray says that he knows Dixon had Dolores killed and Nelson framed, and he has the evidence Nelson was holding. Dixon doesn't believe him, and Ray tells him he'll send the photocopies to Dixon's hotel. Ray claims that he's working for people representing interests that Dixon has been unfriendly to, and now it's going to change. He tells Dixon that he's a criminal and the evidence proves it, has Candice pull over, and tells Dixon to get out. Dixon goes over to a payphone and makes a call, and Ray figures they spooked him. Candice drives over to the Stingray, and Ray tells her to follow him and call in reinforcements if he needs them.
Dixon calls a cab and Ray follows it. Dixon goes into a campaign warehouse and Ray parks nearby and breaks in. The candidate meets with Ed and says that Ed told him he had the evidence. Ed tells him that Ray is lying, and he and the other cops are going to use the evidence. Ed describes the reports that Dixon fixed, and assures Dixon that they're behind him. They want to make sure that Dixon wants to protect the guys who put Dixon in office.
Bonnet finds Ray and draws a gun on him. The patrolman drags Ray into the auditorium, and Dixon wonders who he is. Bonnet figures that Ray works for the governor, and Dixon tells Ed to check for the limo and then eliminate the problem. Ray says that Dixon is cold-blooded and warns that he's hip-deep in lousy karma. Dixon just traded one watchdog for twenty.Ed takes Dixon to Dearborn's estate, and Ray asks Dixon if he sees a good ending in Ed's eyes. Before he goes, Ed tells Ray that he has a smart mouth and has his men cuff Ray and then burry him on Mulholland.
Bonnet, his partner, and the other officers drive Ray up to the hills and make him dig his own grave. Ray refuses, slips the cuffs, and attacks the officers. He ducks for cover as they shoot at him, gets to their cars, grabs a shotgun, and aims it at them. The officers quickly drop their guns, and Ray locks them in the trunks of their cars. He then asks Bonnet what evidence they took from Dolores and where it is. Bonnet says that its records of Dixon's political spy unit, and they're in a blue metal box in the trunk of Ed's car.
At the Dearborn estate that night, Ray arrives as Dixon takes the podium. Dixon makes his acceptance speech, and Ray breaks into Ed's car and gets the evidence. After the speech ends, Ray approaches Dearborn and shows him the evidence which has a photo of Dearborn with his mistress. A few minutes later, Dearborn calls Dixon inside the house. Ray steps out and says that he has the evidence now, and figures Dixon blackmailed the political forces using his spy unit.
A relieved Dearborn tells Dixon that it's over, and Dixon runs out and yells to Ed and the other cops that Ray has a gun. They shoot at Ray, who runs back inside and then goes after Ed and Dixon as they escape in Ed's car. Ray grabs the gun he hid earlier and shoots the tires out on the car, and it crashes. The police arrive and Ed tells them that he has it under control. Dearborn runs over and says that Ed and Dixon are involved in extortion, and Ray adds murder to the charge. Ray puts up his gun, and the officer in charge tells Ed to drop his gun. Ed finally does so, and the officers arrest Ed and Dixon. Candice runs over and tells Ray that she was frightened and went to the police, and Ray tells her that they can prove Ed and Dixon killed Dolores. He thanks Candice, admitting he was out of bullets.
After Nelson is released he goes home and Candice accompanies. She offers to help him with everything he needs to do after Dolores' death, but Nelson says it's something he has to do alone. Nelson thanks Candice for helping him and says that she just keeps showing up being special. When he hesitates on what to tell her, Candice says that it's soon to talk about plans. Nelson says that she's the best friend he has but that's all it is. Candice hastily says that she wasn't making a play for him and chuckles self-depreciating, and agrees that they're just friends. Once Nelson leaves, Candice says that she has a ride. Ray is waiting outside, and Candice tells him that Nelson might come to her if she waits. Ray talks about how a beautiful princess named Candice rescued her prince, and then she found out the prince was living in another kingdom. He tells Candice that she has to decide if she's going to be a giver or a taker, and Candice breaks into tears and wonders why it can't be with Nelson. Ray tells her that it's life and sometimes you gotta sing the blues, has her get into his car, and drives off. As they go, Ray puts his hand on Candice's to comfort her.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 5, 2020