Agent [=McSweeten=] has come to Parker for help. His father, a former agent, is dying of pancreatic cancer, and he wants the teams help tracking down the one felon his father wasnít able to catch, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper D.B. Cooper]]. Nate is reluctant, but relents and allows them to help.
Hardison and Nate meet with the Peter [=McSweeten=]'s partner, Steve Reynalds. His wife was a stewardess on the plane that was hijacked and so itís personal for him. They ask him if he has a theory on who D.B. Cooper was, and he tells them several that are all as plausible as the other.
Nate later meets with [=McSweeten=]'s father who begins to tell them about the case. It was his first day as chief of the Portland area. As he arrived at work he gave a short speech about the values of their motto, but feels there should be one word added, ďcompassion.Ē On Trans Pacifica 305, a stewardess, [[SexyStewardess Stephanie Ritter]], is handed a note by a passenger. At first she thinks itís a love note, but when she reads it she finds a message telling her he has a bomb.
On the ground, [=McSweeten=] is heading for the airport after the plane lands. He reviews the demands and is informed that there is a tactical response team ready to go, on [=McSweeten=]'s say-so. All the shades on the plane are down so police snipers canít hit him. Aboard the plane, Cooper is talking to Stephanie until she goes to answer a knock on the door. [=McSweeten=] is there with the demanded money and parachutes. Cooper instructs the pilots to fly to Mexico City, at 10,000 feet, flaps at 15 degrees. [=McSweeten=] arranges to intercept the plane in Reno, but Cooper jumps out the back of the plane and vanishes. [=McSweeten=] is then transferred back to his old position.
Hardison and Steve find a possible match and Nate sends Sophie to check it out.
After losing Cooper, [=McSweeten=] become nearly obsessed with finding him, chasing down leads wherever they turned up. He goes to see the stewardess from the flight and asks him to identify a man in a photo claiming to be D.B. Cooper. She isn't sure, and as heís about to leave, she and her husband Steve offer him some coffee. Inside they discuss Steveís military service and [=McSweeten=] decides to sponsor his admission into the FBI, after which they become partners.
Steve and Hardison are discussing the same thing. Steve tells him and says [=McSweeten=] quite probably saved his life that day.
[=McSweeten=]'s first break came when money from the hijacking was discovered and they went to search the area. Realizing theyíre not really doing anything useful, they decide to take over the cold case files, tracking down many other unsolved mysteries.
Peterís story is interrupted by a call from Sophie, who has located the suspect Hardison and Steve foundÖin a graveyard. He died three years before the hijacking, in Vietnam. Itís another dead end. Hardison finds the file on him, but notes there isn't any DNA evidence. If there is still some to be had, it will be at the forensics lab.
Back in [=McSweeten=]'s story, he starts talking about the effect the search had on his son. He laments that his son will probably try to avenge his fatherís failure and asks Nate to make sure he doesn't lose himself to it.
When they get the DNA evidence, they find itís been contaminated because it was before DNA evidence was really relevant. Then a call comes in. Peter just died. They all gather for a little memorial and Steve reminisces about his partner. [=McSweeten=] announces that the hunt is now his and gets up.
That night Nate is up staring at the picture of Cooper. He and Hardison brainstorm trying to track down anything. Nate realizes the only thing thatís never been questioned is the sketch of the stewardessí description of Cooper. He decides to do just that and finds out that the face of Cooper was actually on the back of the airlineís inflight magazine. Nate realize what's going on the moment they know the stewardess lied.
Nate goes back to see Steve and manage to stop him from leaving with the help of [=McSweeten=]. He confront Steve about what really happened on flight 305 since he realize he's DB Cooper. Steve then begins to relate the events of the flight from his point of view. He talks to Stephanie and asks "Do you think I look scary to you?", eventually winning her sympathy. He even tells her that heís doing it for a friend, PFC Dan Cooper, to get money for his family, as he's one of his close friends. The bomb is a fake and he tells the stewardess to tell [=McSweeten=] that if they try anything he will set it off. Before she walks off he ask for a drink. Later as he prepares to jump, she goes back to try and talk him out of it. He asks why she cares but she canít answer. He promises to see her again and then jumps. One night afterward, he appears outside her house and later they get married. The day [=McSweeten=] comes, she tries to tell him to run, but he decides to face him. After he leaves, she tells him to accept the job offer, because that way [[RefugeInAudacity they will never find him]] as the 'DB Cooper' is right in front of them.
[=McSweeten=] asks Nate how he figured it out, and Nate says Dan Cooper died in the Tet Offensive, and Steve was in his unit. Steve tells [=McSweeten=] his father was like a brother, even as [=McSweeten=] slaps the cuffs on him. He adds that the money was given to Cooper's family and the rest hidden in the forest, until the money was found by some hikers. Before he carts Steve off, Nate comes out and talks to him. He tells him that his father had the gift to see the good in people and because of that, he did bring D.B. Cooper to justice. [=McSweeten=] eventually relents and lets him go. At his apartment he finds a copy of ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', and inside is the Christmas list he wrote all those years ago, asking for a bike and D.B Cooper. Later he thanks Nate for his help.
After he leaves Sophie comes in and she and Nate discuss what they do. Nate decides he wants to build something.
!Tropes stolen in this job:
* BerserkButton: Steve loses his temper when one of the other agents makes disparaging remarks about finding D.B. Cooper, saying his wife still has nightmares about it. It's an act, of course.
* BadassMustache: Peter and especially Steve in their younger years.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Nate's beginning to worry about this for himself.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Peter and Steve.
* HiddenInPlainSight: How Steve avoided detection for all those years.
* SexyStewardess: Stephanie Ritter. She notes that she gets frequent invites from infatuated passengers and has taken to wearing a fake wedding band to ward some of them off.
* RefugeInAudacity: Stephanie urges Steve to accept Peter's offer since they'd never think that a criminal was right under their noses.
* UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar: Where Steve served, and where Dan Cooper died.