All's Fair is the eighteenth episode of the second season. It was released on 31 March 2006.
After an Iraqi woman - in the US to film an interview on atrocities against women back home - is murdered. Clues lead to an American military suspect, and the team must determine the truth before another killing occurs.
A woman leaves the Bureau of Iraqi Affairs building at night. She gets into a diplomat’s vehicle and goes through LA. She talks to somebody on the phone. Somebody comes reaches out of the bushes and pulls her in. She drops her phone and we hear the person on the other end call out the name Saida. A boot crushes it.
Don and Larry are watching the hockey game and Charlie and Alan discuss Sudoku. Charlie has to cancel a lunch with Larry as he has other plans with a woman named Susan Berry. She’s a neuroscientist out of London that is friends with Charlie. Don gets a call. He has a case. It is revealed that Charlie and Susan have some history. At the crime scene Colby brings Don up to speed. Bootprints are found in the dirt and signs of a struggle. The fact that the murder was done with precision makes them think it was a professional job. Saida had been working on a documentary on women’s rights in Muslim countries and Colby thinks that maybe somebody didn’t want it made. Saida’s cousin, Nasreen Kafaji, is there and wants Saida’s body covered. Nasreen lives nearby and Saida had been staying with her while she was in LA. Don explains that they to examine things to be able to investigate and that they’ll need to talk to her. She refuses to talk until the body is covered and she walks away. Don sends Colby after her to make sure she doesn’t go far.
Megan and Colby talk about Saida’s past. An extreme cleric in Baghdad had threatened her. They join Don, Charlie, and ICE agent Kareem Allawi who are watching interview footage of Saida from the documentary. He informs them that she had had an ongoing feud with a radical Shiite cleric. They discuss various facets of the case. An imam at a local mosque has ties to the cleric, but they don’t know who could have killed her. Charlie has a method that he can use to figure out who might be capable of murder. He needs data of radicals living in California and recent arrivals amongst other things. Don decides to go talk to Nasreen while Megan and Allawi go to talk to the imam. He wants to put the mosque under surveillance, however ICE has already done that. Colby is to look into the cell phone and boot prints.
Nasreen wants Saida’s body back so she can bury her as per Islamic customs. Don wants to know more about her. She was fearless and the death threats egged her on. She gives Don some names.
At the mosque Megan and Allawi talk to the imam. Megan tries to talk to him. When he doesn’t ignore her he begrudgingly answers her. She stays in his face while questioning him so he knows she won’t back down.
Charlie is talking on the phone about the case with Amita. He’s about to go to Susan’s reading at the bookstore. They’re going to meet for drinks later and dinner the next night.
Colby catches Don up on the case including that they may have found the murder weapon nearby. Both it and the boots are American military issue that can bought at army surplus. Colby doesn’t think that the American military would do it, but Don won’t rule it out. He asks Nasreen about military contacts and believes she is holding things back. He offers to protect her however he can. Saida was a lawyer prosecuting cases with Americans. She gives him a letter that says she’s coming to town with an American soldier. Colby is going into the base at Los Alamitos to talk to Army contact, Lt Barry Burchfield. He thinks Colby should have stayed in the military, but Colby prefers civilisation. They talk about the case. It turns out she has a classified military intelligence file. This changes Colby’s thoughts on who could have killed her. Burchfield can get him a list of CI personnel she worked with, but that’s it.
At CalSci Charlie, Amita, and Larry are working on the case with some of Charlie’s students – the sensitive information has been withheld from the students. Susan comes and wants to meet with him right away. Larry reveals that Charlie lived with her for two years. Larry has a brainwave about the boot print.
At Burchfield’s office Colby is bringing Megan up to speed. They don’t have the necessary clearance to see the cases she was working, but he finds a soldier that she worked with, Lt Joseph Karnes, who left for the US with her on the same day. He is currently AWOL and has been since Saida’s murder. Karnes had been in Afghanistan for 18 months. Megan thinks that maybe they let him go for a job well done, but Colby says that doesn’t track. If the file is marked AWOL then the military is actively looking for Karnes too. Burchfield can’t help anymore so Don sends Megan to talk to Allawi before the military intervenes with ICE. Colby wants to get the information to Charlie for his equations to help them, but Charlie is having dinner with Susan at the Eppes’ house. He tells her about his Cognitive Emergence Theory and wants some information on how she quantifies her research. Alan comes home and interrupts the pair.
At CalSci Colby and Larry are working together on the boot print. Larry doesn’t think that Karnes’ body measurements and weight don’t quite jive with the evidence found at the scene. He leaves to think on it. Megan finds Allawi at the symphony. She pulls him out to find out more information. She wants to know what military information she could have found that she could have been killed over. Larry is thinking in the hot tub when he gets a eureka moment about the boots. He and Colby realise that the person that made the prints couldn’t have been Karnes as they have a physical issue that would keep them out of the army. He’s being framed. Susan brings Charlie to her hotel room so they can be alone.
Don knocks on Nasreen’s door first thing in the morning. He wants to know what she’s been keeping from him. Saida and Karnes fell in love when working together and got married. It was done in secret because he isn’t Muslim. At first Don thinks it's a potential honour killing, but none of the family was there. Nasreen says if it were an honour killing it wouldn’t have to be a member of the family that did it – a friend acting as a surrogate could do it.
Megan, Colby, and Charlie discuss the case. They’re pretty sure Karnes heard Saida being killed. They try to figure out who could have framed him. Charlie has a smaller list of potential suspects than the original list. Charlie has a brainwave. He’s probably out to kill his wife’s killer and so they look into army buddies of Karnes. Colby and agent Johnson talk to Daniel Ratchet who is in a wheelchair. He denies seeing Karnes, but there is army gear on the top of a set of shelves that he could not have reached. Colby knows that Karnes is there and he tells Ratchet that he knows Karnes is innocent. They hear glass shattering from a back room. Karnes is running. Colby pursues. He resists and Colby is able to subdue him and he brings him in. Megan and Colby interrogate him. He tells them that it can’t be an honour killing because outside of Nasreen nobody in the family knew they were married. He points the finger at one of Sadam’s inner circle. He sent people out to campuses to find women for him to have sex with. Saida was going to testify against the man who raped her at a tribunal. She was killed for it. Megan leaves Colby alone with him. He tries to reason with him. He needs to know who she was testifying against. It’s a man named Qassim who is still in Iraq. His cousin, Sammy Qassim is believed to be in the US. They figure out a way to prove that he’s not a sincere Muslim so the Imam might give up Sammy Qassim. Nasreen doesn’t think the Imam will listen. She wants to use herself as bait to lure him out at a memorial for Saida.
Charlie and Susan take a walk. He’s thinking about taking a standing teaching offer at Cambridge up so they can spend more time together, but she stops him. She’s seeing somebody back in England. They say goodbye.
Colby hands out pictures of Qassim as he and Megan brief the SWAT team. At the mosque there is no sign of him. Don and Nasreen head to the mosque. As she is escorted in she gets shot. Megan spots Qassim; he turns his gun on her and she fires. He is dead. Nasreen is ok as she was wearing a bullet-proof vest. She decides to go back to Iraq to continue Saida’s work.
At the Eppes’ house Alan asks about the game Don is not watching. Charlie joins them and the rib him about Susan.
Army Lt. Barry Burchfield refers to the green camouflage uniform as "camies". US Army Soldiers use the term "BDUs" (Battle Dress Uniform), US Marines use the term "camies".
The (supposed current) photo of Lt. Joseph Karnes shows him wearing a hat that the US Army stopped wearing in 2001.
The letter which Nasreen shows to Don Epps is supposed to be written in Arabic, and is shown in closeup. However, upon inspection, the letter is complete gibberish, consisting mostly of unconnected Arabic letters or nonsense words.
Mosques have separate entrances for men and women. They are not allowed to worship together. Both sexes likely would not even be entering from the same side of the building, yet the worshipers appeared to be using the same entrance. The undercover agents were concentrated at that one entrance as well.
[This appears on the beginning of the episode] 34,000 Insurgent Attacks, 65,000 Iraqis in Calfornia, 5 Calls to prayer, 1 god