(Close up on a man, MR MEMORY, speaking into a microphone.)
MR MEMORY: Malawi has an area of 45,747 square miles and its unit of currency is the kwacha. Is that correct, sir?
(A MAN off screen laughs.)
MAN: How do I know?
MR MEMORY: What, you mean you don't know the answer? Huh! How am I supposed to impress you folks if nobody knows when I'm right!
(Laughter and applause.)
MR MEMORY: But I am. 45,747, or, in square kilometres, 118,484. Look it up when you get home!
[Transcriber's note: The Times Atlas of the World gives area = 94,080 sq km (35,315 sq miles), currency: kwacha.]
(Audience applauds. MR MEMORY shakes his hands in mock modesty. The camera pans over to show an advertising placard with his name and picture.)
MR MEMORY: No need. No needs. Mere child's play for Mr. Memory, ladies and gentlemen. Come on, somebody ask me a tough one.
(Camera pans further to show that the venue is a bar, waitresses are carrying trays of drinks to patrons sitting at small tables.)
(A WOMAN coughs.)
WOMAN: What is the highest price paid for a pop star's clothing?
(The camera has panned across the audience and focuses on ARA FRUMIN and another man - his "GOON" - sat at a round table.)
(Cut to long shot of MR MEMORY on a small stage.)
MR MEMORY: It sold for 34,999 pounds sterling.
(Cut to ARA FRUMIN who is smiling and applauding. The GOON nods towards another man, LARRY ROSE, walking towards them. FRUMIN gets to his feet.)
ROSE: Ara, (he shrugs apologetically) the traffic.
(They grasp hands and then kiss each other on both cheeks, Mafia-style. FRUMIN taps ROSE lightly on the face, then clicks his fingers to summon a waitress.)
FRUMIN: You nearly missed this guy. (They sit.) Kills me. He knows all these crazy little facts. Who's your friend?
(We see a MAN standing at the bar. He's looking at the men at the table.)
FRUMIN: He's been asking about you.
ROSE: Excuse me.
(He leaves the table and joins the man, JEFF STRODE, at the bar.)
JEFF STRODE: You're not as pasty as your DMV photo. So, going to buy me another Jack and Coke, Larry?
ROSE: It's Mr. Rose. You don't know me well enough for anything else.
JEFF STRODE: Oh, I sort of do. I know things about you that your wife doesn't know, that's for sure. I'm like Mr. Memory, this big head full of facts.
(ROSE leans against the bar.)
JEFF STRODE: Yeah, two grand. So, we going to do this or what?
ROSE: Count to ten, than follow me.
(ROSE heads for the men's room, ten seconds later JEFF STRODE follows.)
JEFF STRODE: Hey, Larry Rose?
(There appears to be no-one else there. The window is open. STRODE walks down the room and is suddenly attacked. His glasses fall to the floor. He's being pinned against the wall by a man who has grabbed his jacket lapels. The man is SKINNER.)
SKINNER: You son of a bitch.
(Cut back to bar. Suddenly two shots ring out. FRUMIN and the GOON get to their feet. The BARTENDER rushes to the men's room and slowly pushes open the door. FRUMIN and the GOON move to leave the bar. Through the now open door of the men's room can be seen STRODE lying in a pool of blood.)
(Fade to opening credits.)
(JIMMY walks into view against the backdrop of a plain wall that may be in TLG HQ. He faces straight ahead but we don't see who he is talking to.)
JIMMY: I've got this theory. Back when I was playing the game that is god's gift to Monday night - football - they made me wear a helmet. Nobody could see my face inside it, but if I didn't wear it I could have gotten... brain damage. I think that everyone goes through life wearing this, like, invisible football helmet. We need it to protect ourselves, but that means that other people never really see our true face. So, you got to figure that everybody's always got this part of them that's hidden, me included. And that's where this whole story started.
(Cut to computer monitor showing the front page of The Lone Gunman. The headline is: 'Lick It, Stick It And Trip, CAA coats postage stamps with LSD')
FROHIKE: Oh yeah. This one is going to win us the Pulitzer.
(FROHIKE puts a small disk into a plastic case and throws it to LANGLY who catches it in a large brown envelope.)
LANGLY: Jimmy, we need your check.
JIMMY: Allied Printing And Litho?
LANGLY: Yeah, $1,381.
JIMMY: Price went up, huh?
LANGLY: Yeah, a little. Cost of newsprint they said. Sorry.
(JIMMY fills in his check which has a background of a baseball helmet and ball.)
FROHIKE: Hey, man, thanks, as always.
(LANGLY puts the check in the envelope and hands it to JIMMY.)
LANGLY: Yeah, you're a real lifesaver. Drive fast, the red light's for chumps.
JIMMY: Hey, where's Byers? He usually comes with me.
FROHIKE: Hell if I know, I didn't hear him go out this morning.
LANGLY: I never heard him come home last night. I don't think he did.
FROHIKE: What do you figure? A girl?
(They all laugh.)
LANGLY: Yeah, right. Byers.
(JIMMY exits the HQ.)
(We are now outside the Gunmen HQ. We see a tow truck in the street.)
JIMMY: Hey, what are you doing?
(JIMMY sees that his black Thunderbird has been loaded on the back of a tow truck.)
TOW TRUCK DRIVER: Repossession for non-payment. This says I can take it.
(The DRIVER hands JIMMY some paperwork.)
JIMMY: Come on, I only missed like -
TOW TRUCK DRIVER: Sorry, talk to the bank.
(The DRIVER drives away as BYERS pulls up in the Lone Gunmobile.)
JIMMY: Hey, Byers.
BYERS: Jimmy. I'd like you to meet somebody.
(A Woman walks round from the other side of the VW - blonde, dark glasses, wearing a low-cut, tight, red top. JIMMY smiles at her.)
BYERS: Jimmy Bond, Carol Strode. We're going to help her catch a murderer.
(The smile fades from JIMMY'S face as he looks from BYERS to CAROL.)
(Cut to LANGLY and FROHIKE back inside, listening to CAROL, but perhaps their attention is not 100% focused on her story.)
FROHIKE: That's terrible.
LANGLY: Yeah, really terrible.
CAROL STRODE: My brother and I were estranged for the past couple years, that's what makes it even harder.
BYERS: It happened four days ago at a Delaware night club. He'd been shot.
FROHIKE: I'm really sorry to hear it.
LANGLY: Yeah, I'm even sorrier.
CAROL STRODE: The police have no suspects, or motives. And this thing that happened to Jeff's body...
BYERS: He was cremated by accident. A coroner's error.
CAROL STRODE: I never even got to see him.
(She puts her hand on BYERS'. The others notice this.)
LANGLY: So, then you called Byers?
FROHIKE: How do you two know each other?
(CAROL looks at BYERS.)
CAROL STRODE: We knew each other in college. My brother, Jeff, was John's room mate.
FROHIKE: Oh. Sorry, Byers.
BYERS: At any rate, the case has taken some odd turns, the latest of which is this.
(BYERS takes a sheet of paper from his jacket pocket and hands it to FROHIKE and LANGLY.)
BYERS: It's an email Carol received yesterday. It's from Jeff.
JIMMY: Jeff, who died four days ago, Jeff?
LANGLY: He programmed his computer to send it post-mortem. Heavy.
FROHIKE: (reading) 'Carol. If you're reading this, I'm dead. In all likelihood I've been murdered, owing to the huge number of people I've pissed off in the past few years.'
(The message continues: 'Big surprise, huh?')
FROHIKE: 'The web site below will reveal the identity of my killer.'
(The message continues: 'www.JD313.com')
BYERS: I've already tried to access the site, the server's been completely wiped.
LANGLY: Which means, somebody is covering up evidence.
(Cut to outside the Tamarind Club. THE LONE GUNMEN, JIMMY and CAROL enter the men's room where Jeff Strode died.)
FROHIKE: Oh, my eyes are burning.
LANGLY: Oh man, what died in here? Oh, sorry. That didn't come out right.
BYERS: Maybe we should...
CAROL STRODE: Yeah. There's nothing here. I don't know what I was expecting.
(MR MEMORY exits one of the stalls.)
JIMMY: Oh man, Mr. Memory!
MR MEMORY: No dressing room and no dignity.
JIMMY: Dude, you rock! I caught your act once. Hey, do you remember me?
MR MEMORY: Cerveza Sammy's... Hicksville, Long Island... April 4, 1999, 8 o'clock show. You had a bunch of blind guys with you.
JIMMY: I asked you three questions.
MR MEMORY: Completed passes thrown by Joe Nameth, 72 season, 162.
JIMMY: On the money.
MR MEMORY: Total number of episodes of the TV series 'The Man From Atlantis' starring Patrick Duffy, 17.
JIMMY: You're the king.
MR MEMORY: Yeah, and, oh yeah, who would win in a fair fight: Han Solo or Indiana Jones?
JIMMY: You never got that one.
CAROL STRODE: Sir, what can you tell us about this man?
(She shows him a photo of Jeff Strode.)
MR MEMORY: He got murdered here. That's all I know about it. Really.
JIMMY: Can I see that again?
(He looks at the photo then at MR MEMORY.)
JIMMY: Where'd you get those glasses?
MR MEMORY: I don't recall. (pause) All right, I found them behind the john. So what?
CAROL STRODE: Those are Jeff's glasses.
FROHIKE: Yeah, they are.
(FROHIKE removes them.)
FROHIKE: And what glasses.
(There is a wire extending from one ear stem.)
(Cut to dog on a leash and two people walking in a park. The dog stops. The man, LARRY ROSE, sighs.)
ROSE: It's your turn.
MRS ROSE: Oh no, it's your turn. From now on.
ROSE: This stupid dog. It makes with the brown Play Doh every ten feet.
(SKINNER steps from behind some trees.)
SKINNER: I know the feeling. Cleaning up someone else's mess.
ROSE: Again I apologise. It won't happen again.
SKINNER: Damn right it won't. Now what do we know about Frumin.
ROSE: He hasn't contacted me since. That's his thing, he's cautious. Don't worry, he'll come around.
SKINNER: He'd better.
(The dog starts whining and pulling on the leash. SKINNER starts to walk away, then stops.)
SKINNER: By the way, I'm taking your computer, and I'm shutting off your internet service.
MRS ROSE: Because you can't keep it in your pants, Casanova.
(ROSE sighs - now there's more dog mess to clear up.)
(The Gunmen VW is parked. CAROL is sat in the front with FROHIKE and LANGLY either side of her, JIMMY is sat behind.)
CAROL: This is actually a camera?
FROHIKE: That's right.
(FROHIKE opens lengthways one of the ear stems of Jeff's glasses, showing microchips and circuitry inside.)
FROHIKE: Fibre optic lens, single chip pickup, your brother Jeff knew what he was doing. This whole thing is a tiny video camera, tuned into the cellular phone spectrum. Luckily for us, my great skill enabled me to run down the specific number matched to this frequency.
LANGLY: After which, owing to a little quasi legal hack by yours truly, voila, we got an address to go with the phone number.
FROHIKE: It's technical.
(BYERS appears outside Frohike's window.)
BYERS: The dockmaster recognised Jeff's face, but not his name. He knew him as Jack Johnson.
LANGLY: The same name on the cell billing.
JIMMY: But why would your brother have an alias?
(A MAN, presumably the dockmaster, unlocks the door to a modern-looking but sparse apartment and the GUYS and CAROL enter. LANGLY spots a computer on a desk.)
(LANGLY gets to work on the computer.)
BYERS: He paid the rent in cash. It hardly looks like he lived here.
CAROL: I can't believe he did.
LANGLY: The web address your brother left, this was the server where it lived, and lives no more.
(The monitor shows: 'Com Prompt' 'list drive contents' 'no files found'.)
FROHIKE: The hard drive's been reformatted.
CAROL: So this is just another dead end?
JIMMY: Guys, this blinking light here? What is it?
(JIMMY points to a small grille set low down in the wall opposite the desk.)
FROHIKE: Jimmy, if we've got to stop every time you see a blinking light...
BYERS: Yeah, he's right. What is it?
(BYERS and JIMMY have knelt down in front of the grilled. FROHIKE goes over and also kneels down. LANGLY'S perspective is of three butts in a row.)
LANGLY: Oh, that's attractive.
FROHIKE: Enjoy the view, but I think Jimmy's on to something.
(FROHIKE removes the grille and pulls out a small rectangular box, looks like a hard drive, with a gadget mounted on top that has the blinking light.)
FROHIKE: It's a backup CPU. Mounted on a line-of-sight to the first one.
(LANGLY picks up a small box on top of the tower unit.)
LANGLY: It's IR-slaved to it.
CAROL: And in English, that means...?
BYERS: It's like a TV remote. So that whatever was on that computer...
JIMMY: Is still on this one.
(FROHIKE connects the backup to the computer. LANGLY lists the files. The screen shows 'Dirty Laundry List' and a number of images.)
CAROL: 'Dirty Laundry'? What are these?
FROHIKE: It's a whole lot of thumbnails - compressed video files.
LANGLY: This must be the footage off Jeff's video glasses.
(LANGLY plays one of the video files - a man obviously shouting.)
JIMMY: Who's the guy?
(The video now shows a pair of hands checking an envelope containing a wad of banknotes.)
BYERS: Jeff just took a payoff.
CAROL: Jeff was blackmailing these people.
BYERS: He would actually do that?
CAROL: I've never in my life known anyone nosier. He loved knowing other people's secrets, I just never thought he'd go so far as to profit from it.
LANGLY: Well that explains the video glasses. People get cheesed off when you shake them down, a smart guy would want to take along some insurance.
FROHIKE: There must be a file dated the day of Jeff's murder.
LANGLY: Yeah, here it is.
(He plays the video.)
BYERS: It's the bathroom of the club. Run that back, frame by frame.
FROHIKE: Are you seeing what I'm seeing?
LANGLY: Yeah, the murderer's Skinner.
(Fade to black.)
(A single page - the front cover of The Lone Gunman, headline: 'FBI Director Implicated In Murder, Videotape marks suspect'.)
FROHIKE: I say we publish it.
(BYERS picks it up, then rips the page in half.)
LANGLY: Byers, we've got him on video. It's a slam dunk.
BYERS: We've got a glimpse of him, after which the image goes dead, and we've got nothing. We never see a gun, nor do we see him pull a trigger.
FROHIKE: An Assistant Director of the FBI is alone in a men's washroom with a guy who's found murdered two minutes later. I know the man - I don't like it any more than you do - but put two and two together, why don't you?
BYERS: I am and I'm not getting four.
CAROL: Regardless of what you print, don't you think that we should go to the police with this information?
FROHIKE: This man is the police.
LANGLY: He's the boss of a couple of friends of ours at the FBI.
FROHIKE: We don't know how high or how wide this thing goes.
BYERS: You're making my point for me - we don't know.
(He walks away, angry.)
(FROHIKE follows BYERS. What we see is a very pleasant warehouse conversion type of apartment. It's presumably Byers' apartment as it reflects Byers' tastes - tidy, uncluttered kitchen area with table and chairs, a table with a chess set, a room off which looks like a sitting room - but it does seem to have more than one bedroom so could be the sleeping quarters for all the guys.)
(BYERS is in his bedroom and FROHIKE pauses at the doorway.)
FROHIKE: What's up with you, Byers?
BYERS: What's up with me? Nothing.
(BYERS is changing his jacket.)
BYERS: That one didn't breathe well. It's a wool-poly blend.
FROHIKE: Uh huh.
BYERS: Poor choice for this weather.
FROHIKE: Yeah, I was going to say.
(FROHIKE walks over and fixes the collar of BYERS' jacket, then sits on the bed.)
FROHIKE: Walter Skinner isn't the only one with secrets. Is that what's eating you?
(Now BYERS has removed his tie.)
BYERS: What are you taking about? I don't have any secrets.
FROHIKE: I'm talking about Jeff, Byers. Your college room mate turns out to be a high-tech blackmailing scum bucket, god rest his soul. What did you think I was talking about?
(BYERS takes out another tie.)
FROHIKE: My point being - could that be why you don't want to go with this story, because of what it'll do to Carol, her family?
BYERS: Jeff Strode could turn out to be Hitler Junior and I'd run it front page, across the fold - if I knew it to be true. We may look to all the world like the 'National Enquirer', but we're going to operate like the 'New York Times' or else I don't want to be here.
FROHIKE: Hey, you're preaching to the choir.
BYERS: I know.
(The door buzzes and BYERS and FROHIKE go off to check. Downstairs, YVES has arrived. BYERS and FROHIKE rejoin the group.)
YVES: You must be Carol.
(YVES holds out her hand. CAROL shakes it.)
CAROL: It's good to meet you.
YVES: Likewise. Nice handshake. Take a lesson, boys.
LANGLY: Byers, what do we need her for?
YVES: Because you're in way past your depth, as always. At least one of you has the sense to admit it.
BYERS: Thanks, Yves. I think.
YVES: I reviewed the thumbnail you emailed me. You were right, Byers. There is more to this story.
(She runs the video on the computer - it shows LARRY ROSE.)
YVES: I assume this man was the intended blackmail victim the night of the murder.
BYERS: Do you recognise him?
(She enhances the video showing FRUMIN.)
YVES: But I certainly recognise the man he's sitting with. Ara Frumin, a Russian mob boss.
FROHIKE: Well, what's he into?
YVES: Anything and everything. He's very smart, very careful, he keeps a low profile. But he'll kill without compunction if it's in his interests to do so.
CAROL: What does the Russian Mafia have to do with this FBI man, Skinner?
YVES: Frumin has half the Moscow police force on his payroll. Could be he's done just as well for himself here as in the states.
[Transcriber's note: Yves does say "here as in the states" but presumably she's referring to the Commonwealth of Independent States, of which Russia is a member, rather than the USA.]
BYERS: As in Skinner is working for him? I don't buy it.
JIMMY: This guy walks into the bathroom the same time your guy Skinner must be there, then they both disappear. That means they work together, right?
BYERS: Whoever this man is, he's the key to it all?
(An area of warehouses. LARRY ROSE is there as a car draws up. The back window winds down showing ARA FRUMIN.)
ROSE: So, I guess I owe you an explanation.
FRUMIN: You do. You shot a man in my favourite club. It could mean trouble for me. Attention.
ROSE: I apologise. It was hot headed.
FRUMIN: Who was he?
ROSE: If you read his name in the newspaper, you know as much about him as I do. Computer hacker. He tried to blackmail me. Don't ask me what for.
FRUMIN: He knew you had a mistress and he threatened to tell your wife. I don't leave anything to chance. The good news for you is... a man with secrets, is a man I can trust.
ROSE: I don't exactly follow your logic there, but whatever. Just so we're in business.
FRUMIN: It's looking pretty good. Hey, do I get a chance to meet your wife?
FRUMIN: Any woman who scares you more than the cops, I got to say, I'm intrigued.
(The window winds back up and the car drives away.)
(Cut to JIMMY continuing his narration.)
JIMMY: Your typical dedicated investigative journalist is like a really strong offensive line.
(FROHIKE, CAROL and BYERS are in the front seat of the VW, LANGLY sitting behind.)
JIMMY: (VO) They're just going to plough right through, no matter where it takes them.
(BYERS sees, in his wing mirror, SKINNER getting into his car.)
JIMMY: (VO) That's how the guys wound up shadowing this Walter Skinner. They picked up his trail outside FBI headquarters in Washington DC and tailed him all the way to Delaware.
(SKINNER drives off. The VW follows.)
JIMMY: (VO) They figured whatever he was up to, they'd catch him in the act.
(SKINNER drives up and exits his car. There are other cars parked here. The VW stops a short distance away.)
BYERS: Carol, I'd like you to wait here.
FROHIKE: This kind of covert operation requires a lot of training.
LANGLY: But in case you feel left out, I borrowed the ear stem from your brother's glasses and attached it to mine.
(He demonstrates by switching on the monitor.)
LANGLY: Now you can watch everything I do.
(BYERS and FROHIKE glare at him.)
LANGLY: We do.
CAROL: Be careful.
(The THREE GUYS leave the VW.)
(As JIMMY continues his narration, we see the LONE GUNMEN creeping through the shrubbery.)
JIMMY: (VO) Sure enough, Skinner was on his way to a secret meeting, with his mystery man.
(They crouch behind some bushes and FROHIKE points a receiver towards SKINNER and ROSE.)
ROSE: He's too scruffy, too little. I'm a German Shepherd guy.
SKINNER: Enough of the damned dog. What did Frumin say, did you convince him?
(SKINNER and ROSE are standing out in the open.)
ROSE: Well, it looks like it but he still won't set a date.
(The dog, free of his leash, runs towards the shrubbery.)
ROSE: He's cautious, doesn't take chances. Or so he says.
(Cut to the dog which runs up to LANGLY.)
ROSE: I'm sure he's checking me out.
(The dog jumps up at LANGLY'S leg.)
SKINNER: Yeah, well, at least your little love affair is over.
ROSE: Thanks to you. Ever since that night in the club, I've gotten a lot more respect.
SKINNER: Oh, I bet you have.
(Cut to monitor showing the dog with its paws round LANGLY'S leg.)
(Cut to CAROL, surprised at what the monitor is showing.)
(LANGLY is trying to shake the dog off.)
LANGLY: Get off! I'm not your type.
(FROHIKE raises his eyes heavenwards.)
(Cut to CAROL, she sees another car draw up.)
JIMMY: (VO) But what the guys didn't know, was that the mystery man had been followed too.
(FRUMIN gets out of the car and walks off, accompanied by his GOON. CAROL gets out of the VW and follows them.)
ROSE: It's not in his interest to keep stalling. Look, believe me when I tell you. He don't want to blow this deal.
(LANGLY is now desperately and somewhat noisily trying to get free of the dog. FROHIKE shushes him.)
SKINNER: What's that?
ROSE: It's probably my damned dog.
SKINNER: Don't contact me again until you have a date and time.
ROSE: All right.
(SKINNER walks off. ROSE calls his dog who finally leaves off humping LANGLY'S leg and runs back to ROSE. ROSE puts the leash back on and they walk off.)
BYERS: I say we follow our mystery man.
(They walk off.)
SKINNER: Hey! What are you three doing here?
(They turn around, somewhat embarrassed.)
(Cut to reflection of ROSE in his car window. He puts the dog in the car. Then he hears a voice behind him.)
MAN: Hello, Mr. Rose.
(ROSE turns to see Frumin's GOON.)
GOON: How about you come with me.
(ROSE gets into the front passenger seat of Frumin's car.)
FRUMIN: I told you. I don't take chances.
(ROSE turns round to see FRUMIN and a frightened-looking CAROL.)
(Back at the The Lone Gunmen HQ. JIMMY is using a phone while YVES is working at a computer.)
JIMMY: Still no answer. The guys never go this long without checking in. I mean, ever since that little kitchen fire that I started, it's been like every hour on the hour.
YVES: I've run every emergency room in the city, they've been admitted to none of them. Nor have they been arrested by the Wilmington police.
JIMMY: Wait, what about the Mobile Command Post? Is there any way that we can trace it?
YVES: I'm sorry, the Mobile...?
JIMMY: VW bus.
YVES: Oh, the clown car. Good call. You're in luck. The Mobile Command Post was impounded less than an hour ago for being parked in front of a fire hydrant. Banning Park, just outside Wilmington.
JIMMY: What were they doing there?
(There is a pounding on the door. CCTV shows their unexpected guests to be an FBI SWAT team, JIMMY and YVES run off to hide. The SWAT team go through the HQ in typical fashion, all armed, shouts of "Go! Go!" as a couple of COPS make for the stairs the camera pans up to show JIMMY and YVES in the space between the floors - very limited space so YVES is lying on top of JIMMY.)
(Cut to security camera in a large cell. It's a very bare room, bunks beds and a sofa, mesh covering the window. The LONE GUNMEN are sitting on the sofa, looking despondent. The door is unbolted and SKINNER enters. He shows them the newsletter with the "FBI Director Implicated in Murder" headline.)
SKINNER: Photo's not very flattering. Of course, I'm wondering where you got it.
FROHIKE: Why should we tell you?
LANGLY: Yeah, you're only going to kill us like you killed Byers' old room mate.
LANGLY: Oh crap, did I just say the wrong thing? Oh, oh, he's going to get a tarp. A waterproof tarp. I've seen this in the movies.
(By now ALL THREE are on their feet.)
FROHIKE: Shut up.
(SKINNER returns with a very alive JEFF STRODE.)
BYERS: Oh my god.
FROHIKE: It's Jeff, he's alive. You didn't kill him.
SKINNER: Sit down. All of you.
JEFF STRODE: Byers. Right?
LANGLY: I thought you two roomed together?
BYERS: Mr. Skinner, would you please explain what is going on?
SKINNER: You three are interfering with an FBI sting operation. That's what's going on. You put an undercover operative in danger.
FROHIKE: Oh, the guy with the dog.
BYERS: Well, unfortunately, we were investigating this man's murder. (points to JEFF STRODE) Just know whatever it is you've got going on here, you put your sister Carol through hell.
JEFF STRODE: It wasn't my idea. The man didn't give me much choice. I couldn't freaking believe it. I'm cruising the internet and I come across this rich import guy who's married and having this chat room fling. It turns out he's undercover FBI, his 'wife' is undercover FBI, and the chick he's fooling around with on the computer is his actual wife in real life. How messed up is that?
FROHIKE: What is this operation of yours?
JEFF STRODE: Plutonium, can you believe it? Post Cold War ICBM salvage. Some Russian dude is ready and willing to sell.
BYERS: Frumin. You faked Jeff's murder to keep the deal alive.
SKINNER: To make the best of a bad situation. And to buy my agent some credibility. Only now, I don't know where my agent is. I was so busy with the three of you in the park that I missed it completely. Witnesses saw him leave with Frumin and a woman.
BYERS: A woman.
(JIMMY continues his narration.)
JIMMY: So basically, they completely screwed up this big deal FBI operation and put Carol in danger. Meanwhile, Yves and I weren't exactly dancing the end zone ourselves.
(Cut to the VW, followed by Yves' car. YVES gets out of her car and goes up to the VW.)
JIMMY: There's no sign of the guys at that park or anywhere else. It's obvious that guy Skinner must have them.
YVES: It is not obvious he's harmed them. At least not yet.
(JIMMY gets out.)
JIMMY: I just wish we knew where they were. If only there was some way that they could contact us.
(They walk back to the office as a monitor in the Lone Gunmobile turns on and shows LANGLY mouthing a message.)
(Cut back to the cell.)
LANGLY: (speaking into videoglasses) We are in custody. Frumin has Carol.
JEFF STRODE: What the hell are you doing? Wait a minute, those are my video glasses. What did you do to them?
LANGLY: Byers, can you talk to your whiny little blackmailer here?
BYERS: Leave him alone. We're all trying to help Carol.
FROHIKE: Come on, Langly. Keep trying.
LANGLY: (into videoglasses) FBI safe house. Minquadale, Delaware. We are in custody.
(SKINNER returns, BYERS gives a warning cough and LANGLY starts polishing his glasses as cover.)
SKINNER: My agent was released and just got word to us. Carol Strode is fine, however, Frumin is holding her as collateral.
BYERS: So you're going to get her?
SKINNER: Tonight. (The others look hopeful.) No, the deal goes down tonight. I can't do anything to jeopardise that. We're talking about a six pound pit of plutonium the size of a tennis ball. In the hands of someone who knows what they're doing, it can kill 100,000 people. Now I'm sorry, but that's my first priority. (pause) Hey, we'll get her.
JEFF STRODE: Here's what I want to know: Carol, honest to god, came to you three for help? What the hell was he thinking?
BYERS: Us? You're the reason he's in this mess.
(BYERS realises what he's just said.)
FROHIKE: Byers, what's with the 'he'?
JEFF STRODE: What, they don't know? My sister Carol, your buddy here knew him back when he was Carl. They were room mates in college. Yeah, and you two were thinking damsel in distress, right?
(JIMMY continues his narration.)
JIMMY: The thing of it is, the damsel was in distress - even more than they knew. Because no one by the name of Carol Strode had ever been born on the birthday given by her drivers licence. And the Russian, who left nothing to chance, was definitely keeping his play book a secret.
(Shots of FRUMIN checking Carol's licence, then talking to the GOON. CAROL looking worried.)
(Cut to TLG HQ. The place has been trashed. YVES is at the computer, JIMMY fixes new bolts to the door then kicks something on the floor. He's very upset.)
JIMMY: They're dead, aren't they? We got to face the facts, right? This man Skinner, he's into something big with some Russian mobster. You said so yourself. He's got the entire FBI behind him. What chance did our guys ever have?
YVES: I don't know what to say.
JIMMY: I do. I say we nail him, we get the proof. It's what my friends would want.
(Back at the cell.)
BYERS: Agent, please, you have to get word to Assistant Director Skinner for me.
FBI GUARD: Go back and watch TV or something. Try and relax.
BYERS: You people are putting my friend in danger. She has a secret, if they know it they might harm her.
(The GUARD closes the door.)
LANGLY: You know, you should have told us about Carol, Byers. You misled us.
BYERS: I did, and I apologise. But it wasn't germane to the case.
LANGLY: Well it's sure as hell is germane now. If this guy, Frumin, looks into her background and finds inconsistencies, there's no telling how this thing will play out.
FROHIKE: That's why you were acting so squirly, isn't it? You were protecting her.
BYERS: Somebody has to, her own brother wouldn't. (to JEFF STRODE) She came to you in confidence when she was thinking about doing... what she did. You told everybody.
JEFF STRODE: And why not? My brother suddenly becomes my sister. That's a secret that just won't keep. People are going to figure that one out on their own.
BYERS: You made it that much harder for her to go through with it. You made her have to explain things before she was ready. No wonder she wants nothing to do with you. (to LANGLY) I take it back, I don't apologise for not telling you. Everybody deserves his privacy.
LANGLY: Well, I guess I was freaked out because... she is kinda hot. I mean, is that wrong?
BYERS: We can't just sit here and wait for this sting to go down. Carol's in danger, we have to get out of here.
(FROHIKE takes a gadget out of his boot.)
FROHIKE: You know, I could probably pry that mesh off if big brother wasn't watching.
(They all look at the security camera.)
JEFF STRODE: I might have an idea.
(Inside a vehicle, SKINNER checks a monitor showing the entrance to the club and then turns to ROSE.)
SKINNER: Okay, one counter check drawn on the Bank of Zurich for $1,000,000. I don't have to tell you not to lose it. You don't give them that check until you know the exact location of the merchandise. Once you do, allow them to leave, we'll take them down outside where we can ensure everyone's safety.
ROSE: And if all goes wrong?
SKINNER: I can't wire you. We'd risk them picking up the RF. But I've got a man at the bar, if you get into trouble, order a rum and Coke. That'll be our signal. All right? Rum and Coke.
(Cut to YVES, looking through binoculars. She sees ROSE entering the club.)
YVES: Well, well, our mystery man. Perhaps tonight we'll catch three conspirators for the price of two.
"SKINNER": Sounds good to me. Man, do I want to bust these dudes.
(YVES hands JIMMY/AKA "SKINNER" a dental plate plus gizmo - as used in earlier episodes - so he will sound as well as look like SKINNER.)
YVES: Say something. Testing. One, two, three.
"SKINNER": Testing. One, two, three. This is Walter freaking Skinner of the FBI and I am going to prison big time. Oh yeah, I am going down.
YVES: Ah, you're not going to talk to them like that are you?
"SKINNER": Trust me, I'm all over it.
(A video monitor is showing a view of the cell. The GUARD checks the monitor, everything looks normal. Then the link cuts out and the screen shows static. The GUARD adjusts the controls and now the screen shows a black and white movie. The GUARD opens the cell door and sees the window is open.)
(Back at the Tamarind Club, where MR MEMORY is doing his act. ROSE is sitting alone at a table. He checks his watch. Then FRUMIN, his GOON and CAROL arrive. Frumin's GOON checks ROSE for bugs.)
ROSE: So, what does your tricorder tell you, Mr. Spock? Are we going to do business?
FRUMIN: Do you have the money?
ROSE: You have what I came for?
FRUMIN: It's close by. The lead shielding is 80 kilos, so I don't carry it in my pocket. But I have with me a sample. (The GOON shows ROSE a small metal cylinder, then shoves it into ROSE'S side like a weapon.) It's a teeny tiny pellet of it. Powered by compressed air. Completely silent. But you would walk out of here a dead man. Old time KGB technology, it makes me homesick. Now two questions. Who is this woman? And who are you?
ROSE: Ara, what kind of hospitality is this? You threaten me, you got Special Ed here poking me in the side with his lipstick. Aren't you at least going to buy me a drink?
(FRUMIN snaps his fingers for a waiter.)
(ROSE looks round and sees JIMMY, in his Skinner suit, who waves happily at him from across the room.)
FRUMIN: Who is this?
("SKINNER" walks over to the table.)
"SKINNER": (to waiter) Oh, no thanks, buddy. I had a couple on the drive over. (to FRUMIN) So, Ara, guys. (Slaps them on the back.) Hey, do you mind if I join you? (He drags up a chair and sits.) So, what's on for tonight? Who do we - ? (He draws his finger across his throat) What evil deeds are afoot?
YVES: (on radio) Jimmy, you're supposed to be a Director of the FBI, reign in your emotions.
"SKINNER": Am I talking too much? I probably am. Well, you know what would shut me up? Money. More money. 'Cause here I am, Director of the FBI, and I'm out there killing good people right and left for you guys. The bodies are just stacking right up like -
YVES: (on radio) Shut up, Jimmy. Let them do the talking.
"SKINNER": Yeah, so... what do you say?
FRUMIN: Who the hell are you?
"SKINNER": Ara, buddy, come on. (FRUMIN removes "SKINNER'S" hand from his shoulder.) Okay, that hurt.
WAITER: Can I get anybody anything?
"SKINNER": Yeah, what the hey. I'll have a Cuba Libre.
WAITER: I'm sorry, Sir. We're out of fresh limes. Would you like a just a straight rum and Coke?
"SKINNER": No. No thanks, I prefer the Mexican version. Comprender, amigo? Oh, what the hell, rum and Coke.
(Suddenly, FBI AGENTS appear from everywhere, guns drawn: 'FBI! Freeze! Don't move!' It seems everyone else in the bar is an FBI agent. As the GOON raises his hands, ROSE takes the cylinder from him and looks at "SKINNER", puzzled.)
(Outside the club, an FBI AGENT is checking a car using a Geiger counter. SKINNER is there and ROSE walks past him then stops and stares.)
(SKINNER looks at him.)
ROSE: Weren't you just ...?
(ROSE walks off, now very perplexed.)
(Back in the bar.)
CAROL: Let me get this straight, you're Jimmy?
"SKINNER": Uh huh.
CAROL: Then, who's that? (SKINNER has entered the club, as has JEFF STRODE.) Oh my god, Jeff. (She hugs her brother.)
JEFF STRODE: I'm sorry, Carol. I'm sorry.
(SKINNER walks over to JIMMY and looks him up and down. The LONE GUNMEN enter and see TWO SKINNERS in the room.)
"SKINNER": No way! No way! Guys!
(He hugs the LONE GUNMEN, as YVES enters.)
YVES: Uh huh.
"SKINNER": Wow, this is just so cool.
(He removes his voice synthesizer.)
JIMMY: (to SKINNER) Sir, I owe you an apology. You didn't murder my friends. (SKINNER peels the lower half of JIMMY'S prosthetic mask off) Pretty cool, huh?
SKINNER: Larry, Moe, Curly, I see you've found yourselves a fourth Stooge.
FROHIKE: Yeah. Great working with you again, Walt.
SKINNER: Don't call me Walt.
(Fade to black.)
(Back the The Lone Gunmen HQ. JIMMY picks up the front page of the latest newsletter from the printer.)
(The Lone Gunman headline: 'FBI Director Nails Plutonium Seller, Courageous reporters aid case'.)
JIMMY: Makes for one great story. I like this part especially: 'Courageous reporters aid case'.
LANGLY: And we managed to keep Carol's secret. You should be proud of me, I didn't even tell Jimmy.
JIMMY: Tell me what? That she used to be a man? I knew that the first time I saw her, so did Yves. So what?
BYERS: Also, for once, we managed to turn a profit. This story is big news in Russia. A Moscow wire service is paying us 125,000 roubles for the reprint rights. That's just under forty-four hundred US.
JIMMY: Oh. Well, at least it will pay for a few more issues, right?
BYERS: Actually, no. We're using the money for something else.
LANGLY: Something you really should have told us about, man.
(BYERS points the way and JIMMY, BYERS and FROHIKE walk to the front door.)
JIMMY: (narration) So, back to my theory, the thing about football helmets - even invisible ones - is that you can always take them off. Not that you should if you're about to get tackled. But you can if you're around people you trust, your friends.
(JIMMY, BYERS and LANGLY are now standing outside the HQ.)
JIMMY: Oh, guys. (Jimmy's Thunderbird is back) How are you going to get by?
BYERS: How are we going to get by? Same as we always have, just barely. But we'll manage.
(FROHIKE gets out of the car.)
FROHIKE: Go for it, man. (He tosses JIMMY the keys) You might want to move the seat back, though.
(JIMMY has difficulty getting into the driver's seat.)
JIMMY: (VO) Maybe that's what friends are. The people you can show your true face to.
(Fade to black.)