Schumov is demoted to operations and investigation officer for misclassifying a crime, a crime he shoulders the blame for to protect his partner Bondar’. He’s not sure why, but Bondar’ has been on edge lately.
Varta is introduced as the new senior detective of the department, and Maksim Shumov is appointed to be her partner.
Varta and Shumov are assigned a high-profile case: «Hide-and-Seek». It could be just what Schumov needs to regain his standing, but their conflicting personalities and Varta’s higher rank make for a difficult start.
The case: Seven-year-old Alina Borovko disappeared from the apartment when playing hide-and-seek, while her father, Yevgeny Borovko, apparently never left the apartment at the time.
Borovko confesses that he forcefully took his daughter away from the «The Church of Pure Birth», where his ex mother-in-law Nina Sayenko is a loyal parishioner. And the investigation team concludes that while father and daughter were playing, someone else was in Borovko’s apartment. CCTV camera footage shows that the girl could still be in the apartment building.
Varta prepares a warrant request to search the entire building. She hears the DA’s last name mentioned – Gordeyev. It turns out Varta and Gordeyev go way back, they’ve known each other since college, and even had a brief affair back then.
Varta and Shumov both go home. Shumov tends to his drunken father who mumbles something about corrupt cops in his sleep and also imagines he is seeing his late son. Varta looks through the photos she took of Borovko’s building and notices a sign announcing a free tour for kids. It dawns on her that the abductor may try to get the girl out of the house when the bus returns that evening. She calls Shumov who tries to warn Bondar’.
Bondar’ is stoned and misses the call. When the bus arrives, Bondar’ spots a figure in a baseball cap carrying a child whose mouth is taped shut. Bondar’ has left his gun in the car and goes back to get it. On his return, he bumps into someone, who presses a gun barrel to his chest.
Varta and Shumov arrive too late: Bondar’ is already dead.