Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Learning Curve – Wild Card Episode Summary 1.2

Zoe (Joely Fisher) learns from Dan (Chris Potter) that the rookie does the paperworkOverview: Zoe Busiek's first case as an insurance fraud investigator hits close to home. She and Dan get to the bottom of an arson case that left a woman badly burned and a sister dead.

Synopsis: It is Zoe Busiek’s (Joely Fisher) first day as an insurance fraud investigator. Bored and anxious to actually start doing fieldwork, she whines at Dan’s (Chris Potter) suggestion of her spending the day at the office. Their boss, The Intimidator, overhears Zoe as she goes on and on ranting about reading manuals, going to seminars and watching endless training videos. She gives her a good piece of advice about listening instead of talking. Still she pleads with Sophia (Rae Dawn Chong) and Dan to let her in the fraud case, but Sophia explains to her that she thinks the case they are investigating is too close to home. They show her the file of Marilyn Lee, a woman whose house was set on fire and who lost her sister as the consequence of this. It is believed that drug dealers were responsible for her burns and her sister’s death, since she was working for the police in the hopes of ridding her neighborhood of troublesome entities. Zoe tries to contain her emotion and insisted on being part of the case.   Continue reading...

The three fraud investigators visit Marilyn in the hospital to help her settle the claim. Because she is not a suspect their sole task is to account for all the items that were lost in the fire. The woman starts to become troubled with all the paperwork especially when she was asked to come up with an inventory of her things. Sympathetic the three try to ease the woman and was grateful for the unlikely investigators. As they were leaving, Marilyn remembers a person other than her sister who might be able to help with the inventory.

The seasoned investigators, Dan and Sophia, sense that the woman’s eagerness to settle the claim is not a good sign. Also Marilyn’s decision not to return to her neighborhood despite her dedication to her community provides a cloud of doubt. However, Zoe who felt for the woman argues that her tragedy could explain Marilyn’s actions. Dan reminds Zoe that as investigators they have to be objective.

On their way out, they come across a handsome doctor who turns out to be Sophia’s boyfriend Peter Sallas (Don Franklin). Having received a letter from a hospital, the two decide to have lunch and learn together the contents of the letter. Hopeful that the residency comes from the University of Chicago, both were dismayed to see that the offer came from a hospital in Atlanta.

Dan and Zoe visit Jimmy Wilson, the person whom Marilyn believes could help with the inventory of her things. Jimmy turns out to be a 12-year old boy who used to run errands for the woman. While still in the boy’s house, all were astonished when the police arrest the boy for arson. Although hard to believe, the facts all point to Jimmy. The police reports that the boy has access to the house and was seen near the house after the fire was started. Moreover, his fingerprints were on an empty can of paint thinner. His status as a delinquent also added to the case against him. Zoe remains skeptical, but Dan explains that the boy also has motives from Marilyn’s comic book collection to him protecting his drug dealer brother. Finally, Zoe concedes and realizes her inexperience.

Marcos Morales (Bronson Picket) looks after Hannah (Aislinn Paul), while they wait for Zoe. When she arrived the two starts flirting with each other and failed to notice that the little girl approached the crossing guard who resorted to living in her car as a result of a pay cut. Back at the office, Dan and Sophie update Zoe about the case. Much to her dismay, Jimmy remains an arson suspect. They also remind her that it is not their place to determine his guilt and that their only concern is whether the insurance company should pay the claim. Moreover, Dan starts to doubt the victim Marilyn for suddenly becoming an overnight hero for her misfortune. His reservation stems from the fact that the government and other groups have been showering her with rewards and benefits. Taken aback, Zoe argues with him and makes a speech about how there should be more people like Marilyn who took action instead of just complaining and whining about the problems in her community. The child Hannah overhears the whole argument and is struck with a bright idea.

After a long day at work, Sophia meets Peter who shocks her with the question of moving with him to Atlanta. Though she did not give him a straight answer, the man was able to read between the lines. In dire need of space, he leaves her alone despite their dinner reservation.

The following day, Zoe and Sophia visit Marilyn to go over the inventory. Like before, the victim starts to become upset with the thoroughness that is asked of her. Just when Zoe was starting to doubt the victim, she gives them another reason to think otherwise. With a scream, they learn that the threat to her life is a fact.

Finally, they close the case despite their earlier doubts on Marilyn for being too quick to settle the claim. Instead of celebrating for closing her first official case, Zoe remains restless with the thought that the kid Jimmy is still in detention. Her real concern for the child prompted her to inform Jimmy’s mother that Marilyn continues to receive threats despite her son being locked up. She instructs them to use that piece of information in the kid’s defense.

A traffic jam causes a stir near Hannah’s school. Zoe was surprised to learn that the real cause is her niece Hannah who started a one-man demonstration in front of the school. Though proud of the child’s concern for the crossing guard, she explains to her niece that there are other ways to help. Sophia who dropped by to bring a file interrupts their chat. Sensing discontent in the woman’s expression, Zoe invites her in. She opens up to her newfound friend about her and Peter’s dilemma. They start to discover more about themselves as they talk about their lives. Sophia turns out to be a woman with a plan and a lot of expectations, while Zoe is completely the opposite.

After Hannah’s stint, Zoe was called to a meeting with the school principal. Seeing her perturbed as she waits for her appointment with the principal, Marcos laughs at the sight of her. The lady gives her advice on handling children and gives her a book to help with her new role as a parent.

Zoe visits Jimmy and brings him the comic books that she confiscated from Cliff. Her visit confirms her conjecture and she rushes to the office to share the new information with her colleagues. She with her co-workers try to convince The Intimidator to re-open the case with the argument that the claimant is a fraud. The real Marilyn Lee died in the fire and that the claimant is the other sister. This explains why the woman had so much trouble itemizing her personal items and why she is too quick to settle with the undervalued claim. The comic books played a vital key. What the other sister did not know was that the old graphic novels cost a lot more than the appraised value. It was her disconfiguration that helped her get away with the mistaken identity.

Having done their homework learning more about the real Marilyn Lee, the three face the impostor. With her guilt confirmed, the woman walks out on the investigators. Zoe accompanies the Wilson’s as they wait for the release of their child. She explains to them that the real arsonist is Marilyn’s sister who planned everything from putting her dog in the kennel while she assumes her sister’s identity to spray painting threats on her house.

Zoe, Dan and Sophia update The Intimidator with the final details of the case. They learned that Marilyn was already dead when her sister started the fire and that the sister had also switched their dental records in preparation for the murder and arson.

Peter drops by the office to say goodbye to Sophia. As he leaves, Sophia with much consternation and everybody’s disbelief makes an unexpected move and asks him to marry her. He accepts and changes his mind with moving away.

To help Hannah with her cause, Zoe organized a carwash to raise funds for the homeless crossing guard. With an effort to impress Zoe, Marcos follows her lead and helps the woman by getting her a part-time job at the cafeteria. His bliss was cut short when Dan surprises Zoe at the fundraiser.

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