The theme for Season Three is family. The PHD has now come together as a unified division, and their stories center on how they function as a family that must cope with a budget crisis. Episodes this season explore issues of family, beginning with a tale of bigamy, and ending with two stories of family pitted against one another. The season also explores the elements of family life in America, the secrets a family keeps and the horrors a family must face. In Brenda's personal life, we meet her father for the first time along with Fritz, with some interesting results. Brenda faces a personal health crisis even as her relationship with Fritz takes a large step forward.
In the third-season opener, Brenda and the team investigate the grisly slaying of a family, and the only survivor is the drug-addled teen son. Meanwhile, a financial crisis rocks the LAPD, bringing about budget cuts, numerous changes --- and possibly Provenza’s early retirement. And Fritz hopes to move into a new house with Brenda.
The body of a long-dead murder victim is uncovered along with Lt. Provenza’s business card, setting off the squad’s search for his identity and killer. When the bullet is traced to a gang weapon that had been turned into the LAPD 15 years prior, Deputy Chief Johnson is forced to contend with political activist Father Jack.
At a retired cop’s funeral, Lt Provenza and Lt. Flynn discover something quite unexpected along with the corpse.
A recently released sex offender is accused of kidnapping a child, and with time running out, Det. Gabriel beats a confession out of him. Deputy Chief Johnson must deal with Gabriel and also get the pedophile to re-confess.
An old man’s confession to seven murders leads Deputy Chief Johnson to investigate the sudden and unnatural deaths at his nursing home.
Brenda and the PHD investigate the murder of a personal trainer who was involved with the wife of a possessive husband with a temper. Complicating the investigation: their only witness is the man's frightened valet, who also has OCD. Brenda must also solve the murder while sharing her squad with Homeland Security.
When two Catorce gang members are shot to death, Brenda and her squad must solve the murders before a gang war erupts. Meanwhile, Brenda has her own personal health scare when she finally visits the doctor.
It looks to be the return of a serial killer when two bodies turn up dead. With the knowledge that he kills in sets of three, Chief Pope charges Brenda and her squad to hunt down the killer before the third victim is taken.
In an effort to get good PR for the department, Deputy Chief Johnson takes a journalist on a ride-along, but when the Crown Vic is targeted and shot at, Brenda is forced to live under 24-hour police protection, while being the key witness in the case she must solve.
When a Chinese business woman is found dead on the tour bus she and her husband operate, Brenda and the squad must dig deep to investigate her past life. Meanwhile, Brenda’s parents reveal to the squad that Brenda and Fritz are engaged.
A car belonging to a Department of Homeland Security employee is found wrecked at the bottom of Mulholland Drive. Priority Homicide is brought in to uncover the details surrounding the driver’s death, but the investigation leads Brenda a lot closer to home then she expected.
Deputy Chief Johnson’s investigation into a famous Hollywood divorce attorney found floating in his swimming pool is under heavy scrutiny. Meanwhile, Fritz and Brenda are trying to consolidate their bills, but when Brenda discovers a secret Fritz has been keeping will she keep to the plan?
Still experiencing the strain of her case, Brenda finds herself under another time crunch when she must disprove a questionable alibi within 48 hours to prevent the investigation from falling flat. As Brenda searches for the truth in her case, she discovers some inside information that may have an unfortunate effect on her relationship with Fritz.
Brenda finds an opportunity to visit home when she attempts to track down a witness who disappears to Atlanta. Unfortunately, once she finds the witness, her holidays with family take on a whole new meaning.
Returning to L.A. proves to be a challenge when Brenda's witness remains hesitant, causing her to be creative. The fallout left behind in Atlanta leaves Brenda's parents picking up the pieces while Fritz becomes buried underneath all the stress.