While an undercover Ironside sells "legit" Rolexes on the street, he carefully watches his prey: professional hit man Soriano. Miss Lillian, the witness whose grandson was slaughtered while observing a murder, positively identifies Soriano as his killer. The team moves in, distracting Soriano's bodyguards and cornering him in the Chicken Shack. Soriano attempts to use his escape car, but Holly's already commandeered it.
No stranger to the justice system, Soriano attempts to weasel his way out of jail time again - he claims to know who killed New York University honors student Mei-Ling Shih. Despite Ironside's protests of judicial inequality, the Chief of Police wants the high-profile Mei-Ling case prioritized over the two uptown murders. Ironside is given 24 hours to find Mei-Ling's killer before Soriano is released.
For Ironside, Soriano's potential release brings unwelcome flashbacks of his homeless uncle's murder. Despite identifying the murderer, the judicial system decided the case wasn't worth pursuing. With one less homeless man on the streets, the murder was perceived as a public service killing.
The story from Mei-Ling's roommate, Charlotte, remains the same: the girls went clubbing and automatic fire erupted as they were walking home, killing Mei-Ling. Although it sounds rehearsed to Ironside's ears, Charlotte won't recant her story.
Gary is kicked out of his house yet again, so Ironside requests his help digging up information. Special military grade ammo was used in Mei-Ling's murder. Channeling his inner police chief voice, Ironside orders Ballistics to cross-reference the ammo to other cases.
Meanwhile, Miss Lillian's apartment is ransacked, but she refuses to enter police custody. A vengeful Virgil threatens Soriano's right-hand man and cousin, Platano, to leave the witness Miss Lillian alone. But within hours, Miss Lillian is shot and in critical condition in ICU. The same ammo was used to shoot both Mei-Ling and Miss Lillian, ammo from the Afghanistan National Security Forces.
Video footage pulled around the estimated time of Mei-Ling's murder shows two men in a drive-by car, one is Middle Eastern and one looks suspiciously like Platano. Charlotte confesses she knows Platano as a man who snapped her picture and took her number at the club. Terrified he would find her, Charlotte decided to fudge details of the fatal night.
Platano swings by the ICU to finish off Miss Lillian but is apprehended by Virgil and Ironside. The pair drags him into the station's interrogation room, where Platano keeps mum, even when they inform him of Soriano's master plan to blackmail his own flesh and blood.
Details mesh together as Ironside theorizes that Chicken Shack owner and Afghani immigrant Omar Najibullah supplied Soriano and Platano with ammunition from his brother in the Afghanistan National Security Forces. Omar relents more easily than anticipated and is brought into the precinct.
While Platano listend to the exchange, Ironside pieces together Mei-Ling's murder: Omar was jealous of the girls' attention to Soriano and Platano, so he attempted to chat with Mei-Ling, the quietest girl in the club. When she turned him down, he was livid and had Platano shoot her. Platano confesses his guilt and implicates Omar, who begged him to do the deed and offered him military grade automatic weapons. He only meant to scare the girls... but his inexperience with automatic firearms lead to inaccurate shooting and consequently, the death of hardworking honors student Mei-Ling.
Ironside and his team have 24 hours to solve a New York University honors student's murder before a professional hit man walks free.