The Mysteries of Laura: The Mystery of the Dark Heart has, obviously, a Valentine’s Day theme. On the day of the holiday Laura is attempting to make decorations and as Alicia takes over, after her boss has burned herself with the glue gun, Diamond gets a call; her gift for the day is a murder.
Arriving at the murder scene, Jake hands her a pair of gloves while wishing her a “happy Valentine’s Day. A dead man with multiple stab wounds is on the floor and surrounded by copious amounts of blood. Laura checks inside the victim’s mouth and Reynaldo remarks dryly that it is a little late for CPR.
After explaining that the murder resembles the MO of St. Valentine, a serial killer who struck back in the 90s, she and Jake explain that part of those crime scenes included a groom cake decoration being placed in the male victim’s mouth.
As the episode continues a number of similarities between the old serial killer, who was killed by officers back in 1994 as he left the last body drop off site, emerge. This leads the detectives to investigate whether the real culprit was really killed.
Laura’s old Captain, Dan Hauser (Enrico Colantoni), whom she arrested back in the 2014 pilot episode for murder, was a white shield when the original killer was caught and Jake arranges for the man to get out of prison to help on this new case.
The detectives realize that this is either a copycat or the cops got the wrong guy back in 1994. Throughout the precinct, Laura’s colleagues are getting flowers and candies, even Santiani (Callie Thorne) has balloons delivered. New “official” couple Soto and Bose have not “celebrated” and she tells Laura that Billy knows that she does not like PDA. Laura tells Meredith that Billy will go all out.
Reynaldo calls and tells Jake that he and Laura need to see him. The ME has found the groom cake topper that Diamond was looking for; the victim inhaled it. The investigation goes on to reveal a number of things that indicate there were two serial killers “back in the day.”
They also find a website that sells crime scene memorabilia which leads the detectives to find an “expert” on the St. Valentine murders. The man steals a baby tooth of the original killer from the “little old lady” proprietor of the serial killer memorabilia “store.”
Jake: “Are those Ted Bundy’s undies?”
When they track the “expert” down, he reveals that he believes that St. Valentine is still on the loose. Later, the detectives find that the man is partially correct; there were two killers during the first series of murders.
When the police do a DNA test on Glen Baker (the man believed to be St. Valentine) it matches nothing found at the crime scenes. Looking at old photographs of victims, Laura realizes that there were two killers based on bruises found on the dead men’s throats.
As the cops narrow down their search for the partner, Meredith gets irate when Soto does nothing for Valentine’s Day and Laura keeps the news that she dumped Tony close to her vest.
Hauser feels guilty about not knowing that there were two killers while the partner begins the new ritual of the old killings. Dressing the young woman in a wedding dress and injecting her with an overdose of heroin, the race is now on to catch the man before Rachelle dies.
A nostalgic, aka retro, craze for old chocolates leads the detectives to their hottest suspect, Wayne Lewis, who should have been questioned in the 1990s but was not after Baker was killed. They go to his old address and find his soon-to-be ex-wife, who is a dead ringer for the victim.
Sidenote: In this part of the case, the writers seem to be taking a page from the real-life case of the UK’s Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, who was essentially killing his wife over and over. Sonia, his wife for 20 years, was a very controlling woman who was said to rule Peter at home. Each of his victims, after the first, resembled Sonia in body type and other features.
Lewis, upset that his wife left him, starts killing again. Diamond and Broderick find out that the man is a security system installer that his wife met during the first killings. They believe that he has begun anew to terrify his estranged spouse. According to her, it was her fear of St.Valentine which led to them meeting previously.
It becomes a race to save Rachelle, the latest female victim, who is in an impregnable vault. The cops trick Wayne into opening the door and only just save the young woman’s life.
By the end of the episode, Meredith rounds on Soto to complain that he has done nothing for the “greeting card holiday” and he reveals that the reverse it true. Laura goes to tell Jake that she broke up with Tony only to discover that he has a new romantic interest; Jennifer Lambert (Jenna Fischer).
Lambert is not only the judge who expedited everything that Jake and Laura needed to catch Lewis, but her son Liam plays with the twins. Broderick and the mother of his boys’ playdate are set to go out and Laura keeps the news of Tony’s departure quiet. By the end of the episode, only Max (Max Jenkins) knows about the breakup.
Great writing on this episode with the use of new-age definitions such as “catfish” and the dinosaur technology remark when the 90s floppy discs are brought out of the evidence box. There are also the occasional uses of procedural terms, like COD (cause of death) and Marc Webster as the ME Reynaldo projects professionalism with a capital P.
The Mysteries of Laura airs Wednesdays on NBC, tune in for the catchy theme tune and stay for the great writing and brilliant acting.