Cause of Death episode
Opening Moves
Volume 6, Episode 1
Air date 29 August 2011 - 25 October 2011
Volume 6 guide [v]
  1. Opening Moves
  2. Under My Skin, Part 1
  3. Under My Skin, Part 2
  4. Gambit
  5. Breaking Point, Part 1
  6. Breaking Point, Part 2
  7. Zugzwang
  8. Endgame
Volume 5: Hand of Justice
Volume 7: The Ladykiller
Alarm Spoiler warning! Plot details follow.


A puzzling murder in a pawn shop kicks off a brand new volume of Cause of Death!


The chapter starts off in the Eddy Street Pawn Shop. Lou Ferretti struggles to escape the heat when Florence Jenner walks in, seeking a book called the Handbuch de Schachspiels, which she claims is a family heirloom. While Ferretti is checking the back room for the book, a man walks in and shoots Jenner several times in the stomach.

The next day, Mal Fallon is called into Captain Yeong's office regarding a new case. Displeased to see Seth Holland in the office, Mal starts to denounce Mayor Charles Gilcomb before realizing that the mayor is standing in the room as well. After a debate about how the department should choose which cases to pursue first, Gilcomb explains that Florence Jenner was his assistant and that he wants her murder solved.

Mal and Ken Greene go to the pawn shop to interrogate Lou Ferretti, and after leaning on him a bit, get him to reveal that the killer was "medium-ish" and had brown hair. He also tells the detectives that he saw the perpetrator use a green asthma inhaler.

Back at the crime lab, Mal and Ken talk to Amy about an email that Jenner received telling her to go to the pawn shop. Signed "Mad Stranger," the email was put through a sophisticated blocker that prevents even genius Amy from being able to trace it. As they start to discuss the possible suspects and the inhaler (their best lead), Kai Kalaba comes in informs the detectives that inhalers are color-coded by which medication they contain. He also states that the inhaler used by the perp contains an out-of-date medicine that is no longer prescribed and that the only way to obtain it is if the patient had started treatment some time ago. Mal asks Amy to cross-reference the medication by people out of jail on parole. After narrowing down the field of suspects a bit, Amy comes up with a name: Eli Nott, a former night watchman with a history of violence and sexual crimes.

Mal and Ken go to Nott's home and flank him, with Ken going in the front door and Mal backing him up on the other side of the apartment. Ken takes a bullet to the body armor and leaves Mal to chase after Nott alone. Mal runs after Nott and eventually chases him into a public park, where Nott stops to take a breath. Not wanting to overstep the boundaries of the law by tackling or shooting him, Mal lets Nott take a puff from his inhaler and explain himself. While trying to talk, Nott collapses and Ken pronounces him dead when he can't find a pulse.

Later at the precinct, Gilcomb and Seth discuss the killing with Captain Yeong and the detectives. After Mal profusely explains that Eli Nott collapsed and that he had nothing to do with it, Kai bursts in with new evidence: Nott's inhaler was poisoned with a toxic chemical very similar to the medication Nott was prescribed. He ends his explanation by saying that whoever executed all of this was extremely smart.

In the background, Mal is dealing with missing Natara, who has taken time off following the death of her former boyfriend and partner Shawn Mallory. In the bonus scene, Natara comes into the precinct to prepare a testimony and is reminded of Shawn's death after Mal tells her that Nott didn't make it through the chase.

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