|Full Name||William 'Billy' Soto|
|Portrayed By||Laz Alonso|
|Last Appearance||N/A - Series Regular|
"Hit and run, died on impact. No wallet, no ID. Just once could a victim carry at least a library card?" - Billy, referring to an unidentified victim.
Billy Soto is an NYPD Detective, and one of the main characters in The Mysteries of Laura.
Relationship with Colleagues
Even from the very first episode, it is obvious that Billy and Laura have a very strong friendship, that probably stemmed from them spending so much time together at work, as he is Laura's partner.
Early on, he also makes it fairly clear to Jake - who had recently become their boss - that should he have to choose a side, his loyalties would lie with Laura.
Though he sometimes appears to have reservations about some of the thing she suggests or does, he nearly always ends up supporting her in it or going along with it anyway, such as in The Mystery of the Biker Bar (Episode) when after he was hit in the face by a fleeing suspect, Laura produces a sanitary towel from her bag and sticks it to the wound despite his protests, telling him to apply pressure to it to stop the bleeding. Another example of this is in The Mystery of the Dead Date (Episode) , when Laura is sitting on a bench waiting for her 'date' to arrive, while Billy is hidden behind a nearby tree. He expresses his concern for her, saying that she's a sitting duck, and he doesn't like it. She however reassures him, and they both end up going along with the plan they'd formulated anyway.
Their relationship is always shown to be quite platonic, though they have no real qualms about being what would normally be classed as romantically affectionate with each other either, an example of which is also shown in The Mystery of the Dead Date (Episode) , when one of Laura's 'dates' approaches her, and she responds by saying that she'd met someone, pulling a somewhat surprised Billy towards her, and kissing him on the lips.
He also appears to get on well with Laura's children too, as seen in the Pilot (Episode) when Laura brings them to work with her and they both go running towards him, yelling his name excitedly as they see him.
In the beginning of the first series, Billy and Meredith appeared to be good friends, quite possibly due to the amount of time they spent together at work, as they were often sent out to follow up leads. However, it soon became clear over the course of the season that Meredith's feelings for him ran deeper than platonic affection, and that she had taken a romantic interest in him.
He on the other hand was completely clueless towards her feelings, hardly picking up on any of her hints, much to her sadness.
This is especially clear in The Mystery of The Sunken Sailor (Episode), when she calls repeatedly to check up on him - under the guise of relaying information - as he is on a stakeout with NCIS agent Jennifer Barrington, who he has taken a romantic interest in. When Jennifer mentions the fact that she is obviously checking up on him, Billy dismisses the idea, telling her that Meredith is too professional to do something like that, and that they're just tight like that. He then clarifies that he means 'Friendship tight'.
Her feelings are also apparent later in the same episode at Laura's birthday party, when she sits next to him while he's watching a basketball game on the TV. She references the case they just finished working on, saying that it was ironic that a woman had many different lovers from afar, even though the person who really cared for her was right in front of her the whole time. She repeats the last bit again with more emphasis, but he is too involved with the TV to really pay attention, looking at her distractedly for a a moment to agree that it was ironic, before turning away again, much to her dissapointment.
However, all of this comes to a head in the season finale, The Mystery of the Corner Store Crossfire (Episode). Early in the episode she makes yet another unsucessful attempt to show how much she cares for Billy, after Jake is shot and in hospital, and she realizes just how easy it is to lose someone doing the job they do. Later on they are in the hospital with Frankie and Max, waiting on news of Jake's condition. Eventually they get the news that he's alright, and on what appears to be a complete impulse, Meredith turns to Billy and grabs him, pulling him in to a kiss. After a few seconds she pulls away, telling him to 'deal with it', before dashing off, leaving a very confused looking Billy behind her.
It is also shown that he is still pretty clueless even after she displayed her feelings so blatantly, when he turns to Frankie and Max - after getting over the inital shock - wanting to ask them a question. Frankie nods for him to continue, and he proceeds to ask them if they think Meredith is into him. This causes the two of them to start laughing, and Max to imply that being a detective he should of known that.
Right at the end of the episode, Billy asks Laura what her view on workplace romance is, suggesting that he is intending on entering into a relationship with Meredith. Laura however tells him that it wasn't a good time to ask, referring to the fact that there was a lot going on in her life and in her mind.
In the season two episode The Mystery of the Dead Heat, it is revealed that Billy and Meredith are a couple.