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Pilot
(Switchman)

Written by: Paul DeMeo and Danny Bilson
Directed by: Danny Bilson
Transcribed by: Becky

~~~~~~~~~~ Disclaimer ~~~~~~~~~~

I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show The Sentinel. They were created by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo and belong to them, Pet Fly Productions, UPN, and Paramount. This is not a novelization or a script. It is simply a transcript of the episode. It also includes descriptions of the settings, action scenes and camera movements where needed. If you notice anything that is transcribed incorrectly, please let me know and I will post an update.

Lead cast: Richard Burgi (James Ellison), Garett Maggart (Blair Sandburg), Kelly Curtis (Carolyn Plummer), Bruce A. Young (Simon Banks).

Guest cast (in order of credits): Molly Parker (The Switchman), Ken Earl (Taggart), Tim Henry (Col. Winters), Roger R. Cross (Capt. Matthis), William DeVry (Master Sergeant), Deryl Hayes (SWAT Sergeant), Maria Herrera (Tour Guide), Jason Furukawa (1st Investigator), Althea McAdam (2nd Investigator), Aurelio Di Nunzio (Waiter), Arnie Walters (Doctor), Gaetana Korbin (Young Woman), Heather Hanson (Clerk), Mike A. Mitchell (Tour Bus Driver).

Summary: A rugged police detective and a good-natured anthropology student become an improbable team when the, well-respected detective develops a dramatically different advantage - his five senses are heightened wildly beyond that of an ordinary human being - and the hip, young grad student knows an extraordinary thesis subject when he sees one. (Source: UPN Press Release.)

This episode was originally broadcast on March 20, 1996.
Last updated: 7/8/01

~~~~~~~~~~ Act I ~~~~~~~~~~

~Opening Sentinel logo over Cascade at night; cut to day time in Washington DC, then into a darkened room. Two Army officers looking at an image on an overhead.~

Commanding Officer: Eight days we launched an ARCSAT 7 satellite. We picked this up on the third orbit. This is over Peru.

Infrared image on screen.

Mathis: Looks like a downed Huey, sir.

CO: It was carrying a crew from Seventh Troop on an anti-insurgence op, commanded by Captain James Ellison. On March 14, '88, their Huey disappeared en route to the landing zone.

Mathis: Did we send in a second team, sir?

CO: No, we were subsequently advised that all rebel activity had ceased in that area. The chopper crew and the team members -- eight men in all -- were reported as MIA. They were presumed dead until we saw this.

New image on screen.

Mathis: Seven graves. Was there a survivor?

CO: We don't know. Mathis, I want you to take your team, recover the bodies, and ascertain the status of the eighth man.

Mathis: Yes, sir.

CO: One word of caution. The locals claim that for the past 18 months no one who's gone into that jungle has ever come back out again.

~Cut to helicopters landing in Peru. Daytime. Mathis' team exits; credits roll as team scouts jungle.~

They find Huey crash site. A team member hands Mathis a handful of dogtags.

Member: All accounted for, sir. With the exception of Captain Ellison.

Mathis: Let's get the tough part over with.

Man: All right. Let's do it.

Members put on gas masks and begin to dig up graves. An arrow hits a tree.

Mathis: Take cover.

Guns fired into surrounding trees. More arrows shot from trees.

Member: Who the hell are they?

Mathis looks around, realizes they have to be surrounded.

Mathis: Cease fire! Cease! Stop!

Chopec appear from all around.

Mathis: Hold your fire! Hold your fire! Nobody move! They could have killed us already if they wanted to.

Chopec continue to converge. Above, Jim appears in old fatigues with a gun and looks down the hill with Sentinel vision to the badge on Mathis' sleeve -- Special Forces, Ranger, Airborne. He shoulders his gun and goes down the hill to Mathis and shakes his hand.

Jim: Captain James Ellison. O.D.A. 731. You my relief?

Mathis: Your relief?

Jim: We were ordered to contact the local tribes and organize a militia. These men and I have held the Chopec Pass for 18 months. And quite frankly, Captain, I'm kind of tired.

Jim looks up and hears Sentinel noise. Mathis doesn't see anything at first, then a flock of birds fly overhead.

~Cut to outside view of Cascade, Washington, 5 years later, daytime. Then into Simon's office at photos of bombsites as he briefs a group of people.~

Simon: Six months, six targets. Eight dead, twenty-one injured. A post office in Tacoma. A bridge on the Snohomish. A ferry in the middle of Puget Sound. And there's no reason to think he won't hit us again. As a matter of fact, we're overdue. We have to collar this guy before we lose another life. And that's why I've asked your cities to loan us investigators. So, welcome to Cascade. We have seven kinds of rain and forty-two different ways of ordering coffee. This is Lt. Carolyn Plummer. She heads our Technical Support Division. The team's been working with Major Crimes on the case. Lt. Plummer will be able to provide you with any computers, electronics, or advanced forensics equipment you might require.

Man: Any suspects, Captain?

Simon: We've had a few nut cases claim to be our man, but we're not biting.

Carolyn: You'll find copies of the genuine article's correspondence in your folders. It's email, always signed "The Switchman", but we can't be certain we're dealing with only one suspect. None of this has been released to the media.

Woman: Why are all these letters addressed to a James Ellison?

Simon: He's our lead investigator on the case. The bomber seems to get some sort of perverse kick out of taunting him.

Woman: Well, can we talk to Ellison?

Simon: Jim's following a lead in some woods outside of Auburn. An old lumber mill. He's been on stake-out since last week.

Man: Last week? How often does he come in?

Carolyn: He doesn't. Jim works in his own way. He won't be in until he thinks it's over.

~Cut to a spot above the old lumber mill where Jim is watching it through binoculars. He sits down to look at his boiling water when his hearing kicks in and the boiling sounds extra loud.~

Handheld radio: Ellison. You copy? Ellison, you awake or what?

Jim tears his attention away from the water and picks up the radio.

Jim: I'm here.

~Cut to scene of police van and officer talking into radio.~

Officer: I put the team on standby. There's a red Jeep Wrangler coming at you on the north access road. One suspect only in the vehicle. You should be making a visual any minute.

~Cut back to Jim.~

Jim: Copy that. I'll give you the green. Out.

Jim loads his gun. Hearing kicks again and hears engine coming, but doesn't see anything. The Jeep pulls up and stops in front of lumber mill. Jim watches as figure gets out, opens doors, then drives Jeep inside. A motorcycle is attached to the back of the Jeep.

Jim: The suspect has entered the building. Let's go.

Jim goes down hill and goes along side of building to doors where Jeep entered, gun at the ready. Helicopters and other police vehicles arrive, sirens blaring. Officers in riot gear come out. Jim points his gun at the doors.

Jim: This is the Cascade Police. Exit the building on the north side with your hands behind your head.

Man on radio link: He's not coming out.

Jim (into link): Smoke 'em.

Smoke flares fired into building. Jim puts on gas mask. Everyone moves into building.

Voices: See them? They're not here.

Man on radio link: Ellison, the building's empty.

Jim: I saw him go in.

Man: He left something for you.

~Cut to another spot in building with a view of NEWS magazine with Jim in his fatigues on the cover, smaller inset of him in uniform in corner. Title: Beyond the Call: G.I. Survives Jungle Ordeal.~

Man: Looks like somebody's got your number, Ellison.

Jim: Yeah, I know. (pause) You smell that?

Man: What?

Jim: Gas. How can you not smell it? (walks past in a hurry)

Man: You guys smell anything?

Other men: Uh-uh.

They all follow Jim down some stairs, past lots of lumber and all the way through the building to another part of it.

Jim: It's stronger in here.

Man: Jim, I'm not picking it up.

Jim: What the hell's wrong with you?

Jim tracks smell to under some boards; his sight kicks in to see a red LED timer that is ticking down from 12-11-10...

Jim: Clear the building! Now! Move it!

Everybody runs out, going back outside. Helicopter takes off. Timer hits 0. Building blows up in a huge ball of flames. Jim hears a motor again, tracks it, follows the sounds to a clearing where a motorbike roars out of a hidden panel on the ground. Jim runs and jumps on the back of the bike. Rider turns around. Jim sees his distorted reflection on the rider's helmet and he falls off.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act II ~~~~~~~~~~

~Day. Simon's office. Simon and Carolyn talking.~

Carolyn: ....that's left. But we've assisted forensics in pulling a few things of interest. Fingerprints aren't likely, but we'll laser scan whatever debris looks promising. There was a clean impression from the bike's tire. It's being run through right now for a maker's I.D. We also have a paint chip from the bike's fender.

Simon: What about the explosives?

Carolyn: Same chemical signature as the previous blasts and Ellison's description of the timer fits as well. And this is the most intriguing piece of evidence because it's personal.

Carolyn hands Simon what's left of the NEWS magazine which is bagged.

Simon: I don't get it. Why does the bomber have such a jones for Ellison? Look, I still think our best bet is tracing the bike. How long for that paint chip analysis?

Carolyn: Couldn't get a make here. It's gone to DC to check against the FBI's files.

Simon: Plummer, your department is sitting on $6 million worth of state-of-the-art equipment, financed by some of the biggest corporations in the country and we're still shipping to the feds?

Carolyn: That's right. And unless some genius walks in here with an instant matter-transmitting device, it's still gonna take three days.

Simon: All right. Good work.

Phone rings.

Simon: That's probably the mayor wanting an update. Go on, get out of here, Plummer. I don't like having an audience when I tap dance. (picks up the phone as Carolyn stands up to leave) Yeah....Sure, send him in.

Carolyn: Oh, by the way, did I hear the Sonics got pounded last night?

Simon: Well, why don't we just let it ride until the next time they play the Blazers? Double or nothing?

Carolyn: Easy money.

Simon: Nuh-uh.

Carolyn: Huh-uh. (opens door)

Jim comes in looking rather worse for wear.

Carolyn: Whoo! Stake out in a dumpster all night, Jimmy? (leaves)

Jim sits down in front of Simon's desk.

Simon: My cousin sent me the new roast from his shop. Something about Guatamalan-Mocha-Turkish-Dark, whatever the hell it was. It all tastes like Maxwell House to me. Here.

Simon pours two cups of coffee, then comes around desk and offers one to Jim. Jim doesn't move to take it at all. Simon sets the cup on the desk behind him as he sits down on edge of desk.

Simon: All right, Jim, what's going on?

Jim: I need a leave of absence.

Simon: Are you nuts?

Jim: I don't know. Maybe. I ran a blood test to see if I'd been drugged, but I'm clean.

Simon: Hey, slow down. What drugs?

Jim: How else can I explain what happened to me out there, Simon? I fell off the back of that bike because I was seeing things.

Simon: Look, you were stressed, okay? You heard something. You smelled some fumes. You got dizzy. You fell off the bike. What, now you want a vacation? Come on. Is this the guy that toughed it out in the jungle for a year and a half? Take a shower, get some aspirin, and go back to work. 'Cause right now the only thing I want more than my divorce papers is an arrest.

Jim: Hey, this isn't a joke. I lost the prime suspect, Simon, and I don't even know how.

Simon: Guilt's a good motivator, but don't take more than your share. Air support lost him in the trees. The road block didn't snag him either. All right, look, you can take the afternoon off. See a couple of specialists if that'll make you feel any better. But that's all the slack I can cut you, Jim.

Jim: Well, that's not enough. I'm losing control of my senses, Simon. I don't know how else to describe it. It's scaring the hell out of me.

Simon: All right, so let me get this straight. This is all about you being scared?

Jim: Yep.

Simon: So the Switchman psyched you out. He's gonna make you fold.

Jim: (stands up) All I know is I can't do my job this way. So either you grant me a leave or I'll take one.

~Cut to a restaurant where Jim and Carolyn are having dinner at night.~

Carolyn: Wendy's getting married again this week, so of course my mother is making the wedding impossible. My dad is practically living on his boat just to escape the madness. He's already filled every freezer on the block and Wendy says if she has to gut one more salmon, the wedding is off. What?

Jim: Why are we here?

Carolyn: Dinner. And yours is getting cold.

Jim: We haven't had dinner together since last July.

Carolyn: I know. I just thought we should catch up.

Jim: Look, I liked your sister okay, but right now I could give a rat's ass about the Plummer family newsletter. (pause) I'm sorry. I've asked you out, you always turned me down. Why tonight? Simon put you up to this? Are you supposed to get me to go back to work? Is that it?

Carolyn: No! (pause) Okay, yes.

Jim: It won't work.

Carolyn: I know.

Jim: So don't bother.

Carolyn: I won't.

Jim: Good.

Carolyn: Can I try your squash?

Jim: (to waiter as he hands him his wine glass) Hey, could you get me another one of these, please?

Waiter: Certainly, sir.

Jim: Thank you.

Carolyn: You know, Jim, you're not the first cop who's ever lost a suspect.

Jim: I don't want to talk about it...

Carolyn: But if you did talk about it, maybe I could help you.

Jim: ...so let's just drop it.

Carolyn: Sure, why should I expect anything to be different.

Jim: What's that supposed to mean?

Carolyn: Light's out, no one home. Or if there is, how would I know? (pause) I give up.

Jim: Good. Can I have my plate back? I'd like to eat my dinner now.

Carolyn gets up.

Jim: (takes a bite of food) Where are you going?

Carolyn: Home. I can get more out of my toaster.

Jim starts to cough and choke. He drinks the glass of wine on the table, then starts pulling glasses from other tables. Carolyn watches, not knowing what's going on.

Carolyn: Jim. He's choking! What's wrong?

A waiter runs out.

Jim: (to waiter, pointing at food) What the hell is in this?

Waiter: Herb and paprika, I think. Do you have a food allergy?

Jim: No! Maybe this is your cook's idea of a joke.

Waiter: No, sir.

Carolyn takes a bite of the food and doesn't react to it.

Jim: Look, I am a police officer. I will have this place closed down, damnit. Now you get me the manager!

Waiter: Yes, sir, right away, sir. (runs off)

Carolyn: Jim.

Jim: What?

Carolyn: There's nothing in your food. (Jim doesn't say anything.) I don't know what's going on with you. Just take care of yourself. Okay? (she leaves)

Jim sits back down.

~Cut to outside in the rain; Carolyn is walking along under an umbrella.~

Jim: Carolyn! Wait. (he catches up and ducks under the umbrella, stopping her next to a building) I'm sorry. I'm really sorry.

They kiss. The umbrella falls to the ground.

Jim: I'm sorry.

Carolyn: Shut up, Jim. You're only allowed one apology a night.

Jim picks up her umbrella for her.

Carolyn: Maybe if you'd kissed me like that before, we'd still be married. (she walks away)

~~~~~~~~~~ Act III ~~~~~~~~~~

~Hospital exam room. Jim sits up on table and starts to dress. Cut to outside in hallway where Blair, in a medical coat and jeans and sneakers, walks toward the room. He is carrying a clipboard, he has glasses on, and his hair is back in a ponytail. He enters the room as Jim is putting on his shirt.~

Blair: Detective Ellison. I'm Dr. McKay.

Jim: Your name tag says McCoy.

Blair: Um...yeah. But the correct Gaelic pronunciation of my family name is "McKay."

Jim: You have the results?

Blair: Of?

Jim: The tests?

Blair: Forget the tests. You don't need medicine. You need information.

Jim: What are you, an intern? Go get the doctor for me, will you, please?

Blair: Now just wait a second. Hear me out here. Loud noises that shouldn't be loud. Smelling things that no one else can smell. Weird visuals. Tastebuds off the map, right?

Jim: That's all in my chart.

Blair: Yeah, but I bet I can add one more thing. A hyperactive tactile response.

Jim: A what?

Blair: Extra sensitive touchy-feely lately.

Jim: That's none of your business. And who the hell are you, anyway?

Blair: Me, I'm no one. But this man, he is. (hands him a business card) He's the only one who can truly help you. You're too far ahead of the curve for any of this techno trash. You're a cop. See the man. (he leaves, passing a doctor on the way)

Doctor: Good afternoon, Detective. I have to tell you I've scheduled some additional tests. But based on the results we have so far there doesn't seem to be any medical foundation for your complaints.

Jim: You lost your name tag.

Doctor: Oh, so I did. I'm Dr. McCoy.

~Cut to warehouse where gloved hands are building another bomb with nails and chemicals. A regular wall clock lays on the table next to the mixtures.~

~Cut to Jim standing outside of Hargrove Hall at Rainier University during the day. He goes inside and uses the business card to find Blair's office. The sign on the door says "Artifact Storage, Room 3." Below it is a handwritten paper sign that reads "Blair Sandburg." Loud percussion music comes from inside. Jim opens the door and walks inside to see Blair at his desk, bopping to the music. Now his hair is loose and he's wearing torn jeans and multi-colored vest over a white shirt. Blair turns around and sees him.~

Blair: Oh, hey. Notice how the war chant of the Yanomamo headhunters finds its echo in the cellars of Seattle. I'm sure your dad used to say that stuff all the time about the Stones. "Hey, hey, turn that jungle music down." (he stands up)

Jim: Yeah, he did. So do I. You mind?

Blair: No, no. (turns music off)

Jim: Why are you in my face?

Blair: Oh, hey, look I'm really sorry about all that Shakespeare stuff at the hospital. But I just had to find some way to get you into my area here to talk.

Jim: So talk.

Blair: Okay. Uh, here, please take a seat here. Um... (picks a pile of stuff off a chair and drops it on the ground) Have a seat, man.

Jim sits.

Blair: You see, there's this nurse I've been....you know...tutoring at the med center. She saw your chart and she faxed it over to me. And when I read that thing, man, it was like -- Bang!, Holy Grail time.

Jim: You're losing me, Chief.

Blair: Okay, um...my name is Blair Sandburg. And I'm working on my doctorate in Anthropology and you just may be the living embodiment of my field of study. If I'm correct, Detective Ellison, you're a behavioral throwback to a pre-civilized breed of man.

Jim: Are you out of your mind? (stands up) You dragged me all the way over here to tell me I'm some sort of caveman?

Blair: Well, maybe I was a little out of line with that caveman remark, but I mean...

Jim slams Blair against the wall.

Jim: Listen, you neo-hippie witch doctor punk, I could slap you right now with larceny and false impersonation and you are heading real quick into harassing a police officer, and what's more your behavior is giving me probable cause to shake this place down from top to bottom for narcotics.

Blair: Hey, Joe Friday, relax, okay? Look, you mess with me, man, and you are never gonna figure out what's up with you. (Jim releases him and walks away.) Now I know about your time spent in Peru and it has got to be connected to what is happening to you now. Now, let me just show you something here. This is a monograph by Sir Richard Burton, the explorer, not the actor. It's over a hundred years old. (gives a large open book to Jim to look at; has a picture of the ancient Sentinel in it) Anyway, the idea goes something like this -- in all tribal cultures every village had what Burton named a Sentinel. Now this was someone who patrolled the border.

Jim: You mean a scout.

Blair: No, no, no, more like a watchman. You see, this Sentinel would watch for approaching enemies, change in the weather, movement of game. Tribe survival depended on it.

Jim: Yeah, what's this got to do with me?

Blair: A Sentinel is chosen because of a genetic advantage. A sensory awareness that can be developed beyond normal humans. Now these senses are honed by solitary time spent in the wild. Now at first Burton's monograph was disputed and now it's basically forgotten. I mean, there are certain manifestations today of maybe one or two hyperactive senses, like taste and smell, people who work for coffee and perfume companies. Oh, and in Vietnam, the Army long-range recon units that had to --

Jim: -- change their diet to fish and rice because a Cong scout could smell a Westerner by his waste. (puts book down)

Blair: Right, right, exactly. I've got hundreds and hundreds of documented cases over here of one or two hyperactive senses but not one single subject with all five. You could be the real thing.

Jim: The truth is I don't remember much of anything about the jungle.

Blair: A year and a half spent in the bush? The sole survivor of your unit? I mean, I'm no psychiatrist, but that sounds pretty damn traumatic to me. And trauma tends to get repressed.

Jim: Let's say I buy this. Why is this coming back now?

Blair: I don't know. But you need someone who understands your condition.

Jim: And what's the payoff?

Blair: My doctorate. I want to write about you. You're my thesis.

Jim: I've had enough. (leaves the office)

Blair: Well, just think about it, okay? (goes to door, calling out) Oh, wait, there's one other thing I gotta warn you about.

~Cut to outside. Jim stops in the middle of the road to watch a frisbee go by and doesn't hear the garbage truck headed for him or the horn. Blair appears behind him in a rush and yanks him down to the ground.~

Blair: Look out!

Truck drives all the way over them, then stops. Blair jumps up again afterwards.

Blair: Wow! Oh, that really sucked, man!

Jim: (standing) What happened?

Blair: It was that thing I was trying to warn you about -- the zone-out factor.

Truck driver gets out of truck.

Driver: God Almighty, you all right? You just stepped right out in front of me.

Blair: We're okay, man, we're all right.

Jim: Let's get out of here before I gotta answer a lot of questions. Let's go.

Blair: Let's? As in we? Oh, great, I've got some really specific ideas on how we can proceed here. Come on, let's go.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act IV ~~~~~~~~~~

~Day, outside market, near the pier~

Jim: That thing that happened with the truck? What'd you call it?

Blair: Yeah, the zone-out factor. You see, it's suggested in Burton's research, is that when a Sentinel is working his deal, he gets oblivious to the outside world. Sorta like the blinders are on. Usually he had a partner along, someone to watch his back.

Jim: You mean like you?

Blair: Oh, yeah, beautiful, great idea, I'd love to. Now, you ready for a little research?

Jim: No. Why did I let you drag me down here? I want to get rid of this thing, not figure out how it works.

Blair: One, your abilities which were once latent and then suppressed have been dredged up. Translation: You are back on line. And I haven't got a clue on how to turn them off. Two, you're a detective with hyperactive senses. You're a monster, man, a human crime lab with organic surveillance equipment. What more could you want?

Jim: Control.

Blair: That's what we're here for. It's all about concentration. Let's try a little test here. Okay, all right, okay, great. In the aisle behind us, there's a flower seller. See if you can smell the roses.

Jim: This is stupid.

Blair: Now, c'mon, this is a scent you should easily identify. Now just give it a shot here.

Jim: I feel like an idiot.

Two girls walk up next to them.

Girl #1: Hi, Blair.

Blair (to girl): Oh, hey, how you doing?

Girl #1: Missed you at the meeting on Wednesday.

Blair: Yeah. You'll let me share your notes?

Girl #1: Maybe. Call me. (they walk away)

Jim: Hey...I think it's working.

Blair: 86 that, 86 that. See that blonde over there? See if you can hear what she's saying about me.

Jim: Hey, I'm not helping you troll for coeds, short eyes.

Blair: She's a TA, man. I'm clean. Now, c'mon, let's go, radar up!

Jim listens.

Girl #2: Would you go out with him?

Girl #1: Yeah, I'd go out with him. He's adorable. But he's never asked me.

Blair: Well?

Jim: She thinks you're a dork. (walks off)

Blair: A dork. (pauses a moment, then follows Jim)

~Cut to train station building with police cars around it. Simon and Carolyn are walking inside, talking.~

Carolyn: The Switchman sent us a warning about two hours ago. Disposal had a problem locating the bomb. We did a sound sweep and matched the audio signal of the timer identical to the one the Switchman uses. The explosive was hidden in a pedestal ashtray.

Joel appears and hands Simon and Carolyn papers.

Joel: He put the charge in a wax casing, Captain.

Carolyn: What's that? Patchouli oil?

Joel: Something like that. No wonder the dogs missed it. He's a clever son of a bitch. There's something else. I think the ante's been upped here. This charge is anti-personal, like a IRA nail bomb. It was mean to frag people. And a lot of them.

Simon: That's a good job, Taggert.

Joel: You should thank Lt. Plummer. Her team found the bomb.

Carolyn begins to shake her head when there is an explosion. Windows are blow out. Cars blown over.

Simon and Carolyn stand up again.

Carolyn: Sir, are you okay?

Simon: Yeah, I'm okay. Taggert?

Joel: I'm all right. I'm all right.

~Cut to Simon's office. Night. Simon, Carolyn, and Joel~

Carolyn: I don't understand it. The sound sweep should have picked up the second timer as well.

Joel: That's the point. The second timer wasn't the same type. He hardwired it right into the station's lobby clock.

Jim enters the office.

Carolyn: Jim.

Jim: I've been looking for you all over the building. You okay?

Carolyn: Just winged me.

Simon: I'm all right too. Thanks for asking.

Jim: I think the station was just a warm-up. This was in my email folder.

Simon: "Dear Detective Ellison: Today I bought my ticket. Tomorrow I ride to the end of the line. The Switchman."

Carolyn: The end of the line. Tomorrow?

Simon: Look, Jim, I need you back at work.

Jim nods.

~Cut to old lumber mill. Jim and Blair drive up in a red Jeep and get out and start to walk around. Blair has a backpack with him.~

Blair: How long were you here on stakeout?

Jim: Four days.

Blair: Well, maybe that's why.

Jim: Why what?

Blair: The forest. The isolation. The danger of the hunt? That could have kicked the Sentinel thing back up on you.

Jim: Yeah, maybe. Okay, Sandburg, both forensics and explosive technicians have already been through this place.

Blair: Try to concentrate. You got to learn how to turn things on and off. Now I'm just gonna shut up and let you feel it out.

Jim: I can't see or hear anything that happened days ago.

Blair: Put your hands behind your back. (Jim just looks at him) Put your hands behind your back.

Jim turns away from Blair and puts his hands behind his back. Blair picks up two pieces of debris from the ground and puts them in Jim's hands.

Blair: Okay, what's in your hands?

Jim: I don't know. (pause) Ashes.

Blair: Right. Right. From what?

Jim: Uh... The right one is kind of dry. Wood maybe. The other is different. Oily.

Blair: It's from plastic. I never could have told the difference. And a lab analysis, that takes time, man. But you could be rolling on instinct here. And I bet with a little practice, you could even tell what kind of wood. (pulls a video camera from his backpack and starts to film)

Jim: (turns and sees camera) What are you doing?

Blair: I'm documenting.

Jim: No. (puts hand on camera lens)

~Cut to Jim climbing backward out of a pile of lumber.~

Jim: Nuts. I don't know what the hell I expected to find here.

Blair: Hey, hey. Yesterday, you're begging a doctor for a cure and today you're complaining because you can't make it work?

Jim hears a flapping noise and looks up to see a bird on top of the wreckage with a blue string in its beak.

Blair: What? What is it? What is it?

Jim watches the bird fly to a tree.

Jim: How good are you at climbing trees?

~Cut to Blair up a tree; Jim watches from below, giving directions.~

Jim: It's right there in the crook of the limb.

Blair: Man, I am not in the mood to have my skull ventilated by some pissed-off magpie. (gets nest) Heads up. Heads up! (tosses nest down to Jim, then rejoins Jim on the ground) Whew!

Jim: (pulls a blue thread from the nest) The bomber was wearing a blue watch cap when he went into the mill.

Blair: So maybe the hat was inside when the place blew and the bird found the pickings up in the beams where forensics missed them. I mean, the nest isn't finished which would definitely suggest that the time frame would work there.

Jim gives Blair a look in between sniffing at blue threads.

Blair: What? Part of your job is walking into a place and trying to figure out what happened there. So is mine. It's just that mine are usually a few thousand years vacant. (pause) What? What is it? You got something? What?

Jim: Yeah, it's, uh, shampoo or uh...

Blair: Aftershave...

Jim: No, no, no, it's more complicated. It smells like, uh...

Blair: What?

Jim: Jungle plants.

~Cut to Jim and Blair entering a perfume store.~

Jim: I can't keep this up. I'm starting to get a headache. I should run the evidence back to forensics. There could be some other fibers in the nest or hairs... (attempts to leave, but Blair stops him)

Blair: No, no, no, you see, I deal with labs too, man, all the time and lab results take days. You have hours. Now just look at the bright side. We've already been to three shops. We only got two to go. Now, come on, come on.

Woman at counter: May I help you find something?

Blair: Yeah. Oh, wow, did you know that dress of yours resembles a ceremonial sarong of the ancient Mayan--

Jim: (breaks in and holds up his badge) Detective Ellison, Cascade PD. A suspect we need to identify may have purchased body oil or shampoo here.

Woman: Which fragrance?

Jim: I don't know. I have to inspect them.

Blair: (pulling out a tablet to write on) All of them.

Woman: Well, there are over 365 essential oils and extracts. Well, why don't you start with sandalwood? That's what I'm wearing. (she holds out an arm)

Jim: (looking at Blair) What are you doing?

Blair: I'm taking notes.

~Cut to later; Jim in front of a huge counter of little bottles of essential oils and extracts; Blair at the counter talking to the woman~

Jim: Sandburg.

Blair: What? You got it?

Jim: Not exactly. It's this one, but with this one and this one all mixed together.

Woman: Well, we do make special blends for customers.

Jim: Do you have a client list?

Woman: It's on the computer. I'll get you a printout.

Blair joins Jim.

Jim: Working pretty hard, aren't you?

Blair: Yeah, you know, common interests -- she's into zuni fetishes. (Jim looks at him.) What? Fetish as in small, carved figures, okay? (picks up bottles) What's this? Cinnamon bark? Tropical rain? Purple orchid? What?

Jim: Yeah, I know, doesn't seem like anything a man would wear, does it?

Blair: No.

Woman hands Jim the printout.

Jim: Thank you.

Blair: Thanks.

Jim reads printout, then looks up, away from the paper.

Blair: What is it? Another sensory thing?

Jim: No, no, uh, a memory thing.

~~~~~~~~~~ Act V ~~~~~~~~~~

~Simon's office. Jim and Simon looking at a police record.~

Jim: Veronica Sarris. Her father served with me in my Special Forces unit. He died in Peru.

Simon: So she blames you and blows the hell out of Cascade just to make you look bad?

Jim: She had demolition experience in the Navy. She was discharged due to mental instability. She left Washington State Psychiatric Hospital eight months ago. She's employed now as a tour guide. I've got an address.

Simon: So what am I supposed to do here?

Jim: Well, give me a warrant. What else?

Simon: On what evidence? Because a detective smelled something on a piece of yarn he pulled out of a bird's nest? You know, Jim, I think you should take some time off.

~Cut to outside of police station. Jim exits, joining Blair who had been waiting for him.~

Blair: Well?

Jim: He said I need a vacation. (pulls out cellphone and dials)

Blair: Well, you're not going to do that, are you?

Jim: No, but I am going to do some sightseeing. (into phone) Is this Cascade Harbor Tours? Yes, I need to locate one of your tour guides. Veronica Sarris.

~Cut to "Space Needle" where Jim and Blair pull up in the red Jeep and get out.~

Blair: Hey, attaboy, Kojak, you parked in a no parking zone.

Jim: You wait here.

Blair: What? And miss all the action?

Jim: You're supposed to be my back-up.

Blair: I am, but...

Jim: (gives him the cellphone) But nothing. You just wait here. If I'm not down here in ten minutes, you call 911. (leaves)

Blair: I guess this means no video. Come on!

~Cut to top of building as Jim comes out of elevator, looking for Veronica.~

Jim (to another female tour guide): Are you with Cascade Tours?

Woman: Yes.

Jim: I'm looking for Veronica Sarris.

Woman: Veronica's with the other group. They just went down to the bus.

Jim looks down toward bus and sees Veronica.

~Cut to Blair below who also sees Veronica.~

~Cut back to Jim who pulls out his badge and runs for the elevator.~

Jim: Everybody out of the way. Let's go. Thanks for your cooperation, folks. (doors close)

~Cut back to below where Blair sneaks onto bus.~

~Cut back to Jim who watches from inside elevator as bus pulls away. He gets down to the street finally only to see his Jeep being towed.~

Jim: Taxi. (pulls out badge as taxi comes to a stop) Cascade Police. I need your car. (driver gets out, Jim gets in) Thanks, buddy.

Driver: What are you gonna do with it? Hey, when do I get it back? (Jim squeals around, bumps into a car or two) Watch it!

~Cut to inside of bus. Veronica stands up next to driver.~

Veronica: We're going to turn at the light. Take the Green Street bridge.

Driver: That bridge is closed for repairs. We'll take East 32nd or...

Veronica: (pulls out a gun and points it at driver) Drive to the bridge.

Blair watches from halfway back, trying to see what's going on.

~Cut to Jim driving the cab like crazy up to a overhanging bridge that the bus will pass under. He jumps, landing on top, thwacking his chin. He starts to slide backward, having a hard time finding something to hold on to.~

~Cut back inside where Veronica turns, revealing that she has a gun; everybody screeches.~

Veronica: No one move. (looks back in front)

Driver: That bridge is blocked.

Veronica: Drive through it.

They drive through a bunch of orange cones and a directional sign onto an empty bridge.

Veronica: Stop here.

Bus stops in middle of bridge. Veronica walks down aisle of bus with gun.

Blair: (laying down in seat talking on cellphone) No, don't put me on hold. Yeah, this is an emergency. Get me Captain Banks. I'm on the Green Street bridge with the Switchman.

Veronica puts gun in Blair's side and takes phone, then stands back up.

Veronica (into phone): This is the Switchman.

~Cut to Simon's office with Simon and Carolyn~

Woman's voice: Captain Banks, I'm patching the suspect through to you now. Go ahead.

Veronica: I want to talk to the officer in charge.

Simon: This is Captain Banks.

Veronica: No, I want the one who couldn't catch me. Detective Ellison.

Simon: (putting Veronica on mute): Where the hell is Ellison?

Carolyn: I don't know.

Joel comes in.

Joel: Captain, SWAT's rolling and I've got a bomb disposal unit on the way to the bridge now.

Simon: (un-mutes the phone) Uh, can you just hold on to the line for a moment. Detective Ellison will be with you in a minute.

~Cut to bus where Jim crashes through the back window of the bus, gun drawn and ready as he stands up.~

Jim: Okay! First the gun! Put it down.

Veronica: No. Remember my message? This is the end of the line. I want to die.

Jim: (sites down the barrel of Veronica's gun) And I want an arrest. (fires, knocks Veronica's gun out of her hands, then runs forward and takes her down to the ground)

Blair stands up and is filming Jim in action. Jim looks back and notices.

Jim: What the hell are you...? Put that down. (Pulls Veronica up) Where's the bomb?

Veronica: Find it.

Jim: Tell me!

Veronica: You let him die. You let them all die.

Jim: No.

Veronica: You left me alone.

Jim: Your father was my friend. I never hurt him. I tried to save his life, Veronica, you've got to believe that. Now, where's that bomb?

Veronica: Tick. Tick....

Jim: Please.

Veronica: Time's up.

Jim: (to Blair) Help me look for it.

Blair: Don't look. Listen.

Jim: (pulls Blair forward and gives him the gun) Watch her. (sees driver moving toward door) Don't touch that door, driver. It could be wired. (turns around) Okay, everybody, just relax, okay? We're gonna get you out of here safely. (starts to move through bus, listening for bomb)

Blair looks away from Veronica and she strikes out, knocking the gun away and hitting him. Jim doesn't hear the fight for the gun behind him, just keeps going.

Blair: Ellison! Ellison! (he and Veronica end up on the floor) Ellison!

Jim starts to hear a ticking as he nears the rear of the bus.

Blair: (still struggling with Veronica) Oh, God. (punches her finally, then shakes out his hand) Ow...

Jim finds the bomb finally; it has 5 seconds left on it. He tosses it out the back window, then turns back around.

Jim: Everybody get down!

Bomb blows up, big explosion. Bus rocks forward. Jim flies through the air. Part of bridge is destroyed.

~Cut to later when police and rescue vehicles have arrived on the scene. We see Veronica, cuffed, being put into police car and driven away. Simon, Jim, and Carolyn stand in the midst of the chaos.~

Simon: Well, I'd say the city is in for more than a little repaving here. Good work, Jim. I've been worried about you the past couple of days. Glad you finally came to your senses. (leaves)

Carolyn: So...can I make you dinner?

Jim: You don't cook.

Carolyn: I do now.

Jim: What time?

Carolyn: Um...oh, damn, my watch fell off -- again. (starts to look for it in purse)

Jim: (cocks head to listen) It's on the rear floorboard of your car.

Carolyn: (turns to look at her car in the distance) How could you possibly...?

Jim: See you at eight. (walks away)

~Cut to Joel and Blair at the back of an ambulance.~

Joel: Come on, Sandburg, give me the tape. It'll make my job a lot easier. Come on, we can subpoena it for evidence anyway.

Blair: All right, but you gotta promise me you're gonna give me it back.

Joel: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jim: (shows up from the side) He'll promise, he'll promise. You'll get your tape back, Sandburg.

Joel: Wait a minute. You know this guy?

Jim: Yeah. My new partner. (walks off)

Blair: Partner? (picks up backpack and follows Jim) Are you serious?

Jim: Every, uh, what's it called, Sentinel needs one. Isn't that what the book said?

Blair: Oh. Excellent. I thought this was gonna be a thesis paper. But I think we're talking best seller here.

Jim: Whoa, whoa, whoa, just hold on, Darwin, just slow down. You're not publishing anything for a while, okay?

Blair: Why not?

Jim: Because I don't want every lowlife in town knowing I've got an edge, especially one I can barely control. You just keep this between us, you got it?

Blair: Hey, do I get a badge?

Jim: First, I gotta find a way to clear it with the captain. Then you're gonna have to go through the Academy just like every other cadet. (slaps Blair on the shoulder and walks off)

Blair: Cadet? Cadet? Wait a minute, man. I am not cutting my hair.

~ The End ~