When city health inspector Larry Chapel is found dead in an elevator, a quick look into Chapel's home life introduces them to Chapel's recently widowed brother, Evan, and little girl Gwen. Goren isn't very surprised to learn that Nicole Wallace is Evan's fiance as well as the future mother to his little girl. The Major Case detectives soon realize they're off the mark on who they believe is the suspect and Goren's only hope is to get Nicole to help him trap the hugger. Logan joins the Major Case squad, but isn't pleased with being relegated to the background while the other detectives solve the cases. Deakins tries to find a partner for him.
Det. Robert Goren is an exceptionally bright homicide investigator with well-honed instincts that match up favorably with his criminal quarry. Likewise, his partner, Det. Alexandra Eames, brings an independence and stylish edge to her work that meshes well in tandem with Goren. They were joined by Mike Logan, who has finally worked his way back from a ten-year exile to Staten Island, and Carolyn Barek as a devoted Catholic detective whose religion plays a part in everything she does.
Their commanding officer, Capt. James Deakins, is a competent but ambitious political character who knows how to survive and thrive behind the scenes. All of them often butt heads with the no-nonsense Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver, a stickler for the crucial legal details.