Cause of Death episode
Domestic Disturbance, Part 1
Volume 7, Episode 5
Air date December 12, 2011
Volume 7 guide [v]
  1. Bad Romance
  2. In Vino Veritas, Part 1
  3. In Vino Veritas, Part 2
  4. Split
  5. Domestic Disturbance, Part 1
  6. Domestic Disturbance, Part 2
  7. Killer Alibi
  8. Final Flight
Volume 6: Mad Stranger
Volume 8: The Kraken

Domestic Disturbance, Part 1, is the fifth chapter of Volume 7. It aired on December 12, 2011.

Alarm Spoiler warning! Plot details follow.


After a series of grisly murders, Mal and Natara must go undercover... As a happily married couple!


The chapter starts with Don Wilcox rushing through his upscale suburban home, decorated with Christmas decorations. Someone with a butcher knife chases after him. After a little chase, the figure pushes Don off of the balcony, where he lands on fence spikes lining his yard 3 stories down. He dies soon after.

The next morning, Mal and Natara enter Captain Yeong's office, where she sits behind her desk next to Seth Holland. A bulletin board with photos taped to it shows a picture of a man impaled on a spiked fence, which Captain explains to be Don Wilcox. She tells them that he was a prominent sales executive with a tech company, and Seth tells them he was a model resident in Avalon Grove, a luxury resedential gated community. They talk about whether it was a suicide, and Seth says that it was the 2nd fatal accident Avalon Grove had in the last month. Maria shows them a photo with a woman lying face-down in a yard with gardening shears through her back. It happened two weeks ago. Detective Fallon is not convinced that it was a murder, but instead thinks it might be accidents when they were drunk. Seth wants the case solved discreetly, and Maria explains that they will be going undercover.

Two days later, a large group of residents gather around a lawn next to a barbeque. Barbara Kensington and Carmela Finkelberg sip eggnog while talking about Don's death. They talk about how his wife found him impaled and how close it was to Christmas. Barbara's husband, Brett Kensington walks to them and says how it's not nice to gossip about others. Carmela replies saying that good gossip is why she's here. She walks off to get another drink, so Brett brings up that they have new blood in the neighborhood. He tells Barbara that a new couple moved into the house on the corner of Pastoral and Rustic. His instict tells him that there's something odd about them. He waves to the outskirts of the lawn, where Natara and Mal watch. Natara says that they should go talk to them, since Brett's the alpha male. She tells Mal to remember that he's Charles Waldencrest, an orthodontist, and Mal replies saying that she's Claudette, his devoted wife. They walk to the neighbors and introduce themselves. Brett greets them, saying that they're just in time for the Annual Holiday Barbeque. Brett says that he's the president of the Homeowner's Association. While Natara and Barbara hug, Brett takes Mal's hand, squeezing it extra hard on purpose. Mal retaliates by sqeezing back, causing Brett to jerk back and release his hand. He mentions how he noticed the moving truck, and claims that vigilance is the first step to ensuring a beautiful community. This causes him to bring up how they have a bird-feeder. Natara responds, but Brett cuts her off, saying that birdfeeders are against the Homeowner's Charter. They give off too much of a "country farmhouse" aesthetic. Brett leaves, saying he's going to check on the grill and eat. Mal replies, saying that he wants to talk to Natara first, so they step away and Mal starts by saying he wants to punch himself in the face. He says that if he spends too much time with Brett, then he might go back to the suicide theory. Across the lawn, Barbara invites Natara to meet the other girls, so she leaves.

Mal then walks to the guys and is introduced to a short man named Larry Finkelberg. He is also introduced to a teenager wearing a black shirt that says "Necrophile Holocaust". The teenager's name is Randy Kensington, Brett's son. Mal extends a hand to Randy, but he doesn't shake it. He instead calls them sheeple and says that they're exactly the same, to which Mal accidently agrees on out loud. When asked, Mal says he plays baseball on second base, but Brett responds that he also plays second base. Brett leaves to get something off the grill, so Mal asks about the fatal accident. Larry replies saying it was a terrible accident, and that he and Brett had their differences. Brett comes back with burgers, and joins the conversation, saying Don didn't respect the laws of the Association. Mal steps back and hopes Natara is doing better.

Agent Williams walks into Barbara's backyard, where a hot tub bubbles. Barbara introduces Natara to Carmela, who is drunk at the moment. Natara is handed some eggnog, which has a strong flavor of rum. The conversation then turns to "Claudette's" husband. The girls ask how he is between the sheets, to which Natara responds by saying he's a tiger. The door swings open, and a woman enters carrying a tray. Carmela explains that the woman that entered was Wendy Wilcox. Wendy walks over and holds out her tray, which have several round cookies with a cracked texture. She offers it to the women, saying that she made them. Natara takes one, and compliments her snickerdoodles. She then tells them that snickerdoodle is derived from a German term meaning "snail noodle", making them stare at her. Barbara said that she would be baking snickerdoodles, but shakes it off, saying that they would have twice as many. Wendy leaves, and Carmela says that she's better off with Don dead, making Natara ask if they had marital issues. Carmela responds by saying they had screaming matches blasting through the neighborhood, while Barbara said that they wern't as bad as Carm said.

During the night, Mal sits on the couch sipping beer and watching football, while Natara studies notes. She tells Mal that something is going on, and that everyone she met is hiding something, but she can't tell if they're homicides. Natara asks if anyone set off red flags, but Mal is distracted by the game. She tells him to focus and he responds by saying that if he had to choose, he would choose Brett because Don didn't really follow the rules of the Homeower's Association. Natara doesn't buy it, but still is willing to see if Suzane Washburne, the first victim, had problems with the Association. She asks Mal to take his feet off the coffee table, and asks him to take them down, but he asks why he should. She responds by saying that it's slobbish and rude, and Mal claims that it's his house. Natara scolds him for this, and Mal asks her to tidy up, saying that the place is a mess. He talks about the clothes on the floor and how she puts the silverware in blade up, which he almost cut his hand on. They start to banter about their imperfections, when they hear the sound of footsteps coming from the backyard.

A masked man stands there, oblivious to the fact that he's been spotted. They charge out with their guns, and the man rushes for the fence. He climbs over it, but Natara's jacket gets stuck on the fence. Mal goes on without her, facing many obstacles, like a rottweiler. He follows the masked man into backyards, one filled with Christmas decor, another empty, but an old woman threatens Mal with a shotgun because she mistakens him for a Communist. The last yard belongs to the Kensingtons, where he follows the masked figure onto the front yard. He tackles him, revealing the man to be Randy Kensington. Mal then learns that Randy was trying to vandalize his house. On the driveway, Barbara Kensington lies with her head crushed. Mal and Randy both see this, and Mal says that it's not good.

Bonus Scene

In the crime lab, Kai swings Johnny Qingyi's blade around, claiming that he's a dashing samurai and the greatest ninja in all of Japan. He swings the blade around, knocking over test-tubes. Amy scolds Kai telling him not to play with the evidence, and that he can't be a ninja and a samurai. Amy then notices something, and Kai asks what she noticed. Captain told her to watch Oscar's phone, and Kai asks if there are any steamy texts between him and Natara. Amy replies by saying that there are none, and they might've broken up. Kai asks why anyone would break up with someone as handsome as Oscar, or why someone would break up with someone as hot as Natara. Amy asks if he realizes there's more to relationships than looks. He makes suggestive comments, like if Mal's helping her by "going under cover". He remarks how it would be like his fanfic. Amy ends the conversation by saying he should go back to playing with his sword.