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The Debt

Written by: Steven Baum
Directed by: Gus Trikonis
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): Sherman Augustus (Earl Gaines), Robert Wisdom (Lieutenant Williams), Montrose Hagins (Lila Lacroix), Reno Wilson (Tyrell Lang), James Black (Antoine Hollins), Christopher M. Brown (Leron Maxwell), Ken Earl (Taggert).

Summary: When a multiple homicide and fiery explosion at a drug lab adjacent to Sandburg's loft is attributed to a bitter rivalry between two gangs, Banks asks for assistance from Lieutenant Williams and the anti-gang unit. Soon Ellison, who prefers to work alone, is paired with officer Earl Gaines, a man who grew up among gang members. While their investigative styles clash at first, Ellison and Gaines find they must protect each other as they're drawn into a vicious gang war and a corrupt cop's involvement with the dangerous drug trade. Meanwhile, the lab explosion leaves Sandburg homeless, so Ellison agrees to let him temporarily stay at his apartment. Unbeknownst to Ellison, Sandburg moves in with a very active lemur [(sic) -- is a Barbary ape] named Larry, the subject of his anthropology research. (Source: UPN Press Release.)

This episode was originally broadcast on April 10, 1996.
Last updated: 7/8/01


~Opening theme plays as credits roll. Monologue by Blair Sandburg: "In all tribal cultures every village had a sentinel. Now, a sentinel is chosen because of a genetic advantage -- a sensory awareness that can be developed beyond normal humans. Your time spent in Peru has got to be connected with what's happening to you now. I've got hundreds of documented cases of one or two hyperactive senses but not one single subject with all five. You could be the real thing."~

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

~Night. Outside a large warehouse where a Corvair is parked. Cut to inside where Blair sits watching TV.~

TV: (tires squealing) Rory, go back to the car. (dramatic music playing) I'll take care of that.

Blair: You think he'll eat it? Of course you do. Of course you do.

TV: I don't take orders, young man -- I give 'em.

Blair: Of course, it doesn't matter, does it? You've seen this thing, what, 35 times, and you could watch it another 35, but as soon as I put Lassie on, you are gone. You're gone. Why is that? (companion Blair is watching with revealed to a Barbary Ape in a cage) Even though they don't show "R" rated movies. (intercom buzzes) Hold that thought, all right? (presses the intercom button) Hello.

Jim: Yeah, it's Ellison.

Blair: Oh, great, man. I'll let you in.

~Cut to Jim and Blair in a hallway in the warehouse.~

Jim: I got your video camera.

Blair: Oh, great, great.

Jim: Not so fast -- you just pay attention. I got this camera from Carolyn's department. I borrowed it. Anything happens to it, my ass is on the line. (they enter Blair's part of the warehouse and Jim sees the ape) Who's this?

Blair: Larry. Larry, Jim. Jim, Larry.

Jim: I met a couple of these guys in the jungle.

Blair: Don't stare, man. They take that as a sign of aggression.

Jim: Right. Right. All right... where's your subject matter?

Blair: Larry.

Jim: I thought this was supposed to be some big research project.

Blair: Oh, it is, it is. See, I'm doing a paper on the short-term effects of concentrated television violence on primates.

Jim: How many chimps do you know that watch tv?

Blair: This isn't a chimpanzee. It's a Barbary ape. And the behavioral pattern of a Barbary ape is remarkably similar to a human being.

Jim: Maybe in your family tree.

Blair mimics Jim's last line.

Metal snaps and an animal squeals in the background.

Jim: What was that? Was that a mousetrap?

Blair: Oh, no, no, no. Mice are like small and cute but these... these... but these...

Jim: How can you live like this?

Blair: Where else am I going to get 10,000 square feet for 850 a month?

~Cut to other side of warehouse where a bunch of guys are working with drugs. One man joins another in looking at a security monitor to see a car pulling up outside.~

Man: It's Leron and Jason. What are they doing here? Better let 'em in. (walks over to let other men inside) You guys ain't working tonight.

Two men pull out guns and start shooting.

~Cut back to Jim, Blair, and Larry, all on the couch, watching the old western TV show that has lots of gunfire. Larry is cuddled up next to Jim.~

Jim: Hey, buddy, how about a can of beer or something?

Blair: Oh, yeah, sure. They're in the fridge.

Jim: I'll take one.

Blair: Oh, that's great. They're in the fridge.

~Cut to other side of warehouse where gunfire is still going.~

Man: Let's get out of here!

~Cut back to Jim and Blair.~

Jim: (standing up on the other side of the couch near the wall) Turn that down, quick.

Blair: (turns down TV) What is it?

Jim: I thought I heard gunfire.

Blair: It's just the TV, man.

~Cut to other side of warehouse where a man is pouring gasoline on a bunch of other barrels of gasoline. A fire is starting as two shooters are taking drugs. One man lights the gasoline barrels, then they both take off in their car.~

~Cut back to Jim and Blair.~

Jim: Get down! (he jumps over the couch and takes Blair and Larry to the floor)

Wall blows out behind them and over couch.

~Cut to later at the crime scene with lots of police vehicles, then inside with Jim and Joel.~

Joel: It looks like when the gasoline went up, the chemical precursor exploded too. That's what tore out the wall. You know, wth all the stuff they had around here, man, this was a major drug lab.

Jim: Good work, Taggert. Just one thing missing.

Joel: What?

Jim: The drugs.

Simon: Jim! Down here. I've asked the anti-gang unit to get involved in this. I think you know Lieutenant Williams. Detective Ellison, Captain Taggert.

Williams: Taggert. Yeah.

Jim: I think we worked that case last year together. I thought you gave up smoking.

William: I did. Problem is smoking didn't give up on me.

Simon: This here is Earl Gaines, one of the best men in Williams' unit.

Jim: Gaines.

Gaines: Hey.

Jim: I remember your game winner against Oregon in '93. Hell of a catch.

Gaines: Yeah, I had a few lucky plays.

Simon: All right what do you got, Jim?

Jim: So far, we've only been able to I.D. two of the bodies -- Maurice Brown and an Eldridge Wardell -- both known gangbangers with extensive rap sheets. And the others, we're not sure of yet.

Gaines: Byron Walker, Darnell Devane and Vernon Simms.

Jim: What was that?

Gaines: Byron Walker, Darnell Devane and Vernon Simms.

Simon: How do you know?

Gaines: I looked at the bodies in the coroner's van. They're all members of the 357s.

Simon: So you really think this is a 357 lab?

Gaines: No doubt.

Jim: So we're not talking about some punk wannabe gang.

Joel: Wait. The 357s are big time. Who'd be crazy enough to hit them?

Williams: What about the Deuces?

Gaines: Not likely.

Simon: The Deuces are their main rivals. It makes sense.

Gaines: There's been a truce between Deuces and 357s for over a year.

Simon: Well, truces break down, Earl.

Gaines: Well, I think we would have heard sooner than this. I've known the Deuces' leader Antoine Hollins most of my life. He made a promise to stop the killing. It's hard for me to believe he would just throw that away.

Jim: Well, someone sure as hell did, huh?

~Cut to outside of warehouse. Jim and Blair loading up Blair's car with his stuff. Larry sitting on Blair' car.~

Jim: So you mean to tell me in all the time you lived here you never once suspected you lived next door to an ice lab?

Blair: Oh, man, I swear, that place was deserted. I mean last week I did start to hear some strange noises in the middle of the night, but I could have sworn it was just like the plumbing... hey Larry ... like you know the rodents or something. I don't know.

Jim: Is this all your stuff?

Blair: Yeah, it's most of it. I'll have to try to come back tomorrow and put the rest into storage. This is just the worst. Where am I going to stay?

Jim: I don't know. A hotel, hostel, something.

Blair: That's fine for me, but what about Larry?

Jim: Put him in a kennel. He'll figure it out.

Blair: I can't do that to him. I mean, my project's due next Friday. Unless...

Jim: No, no, no. No. Just forget it.

Blair: Come on, Jim. Jim, please, please. My back is up against the wall here, man. I got nowhere else to go.

Jim: I'm not a big fan of animals in cages.

Blair: Larry? Larry, he's no problem, no trouble at all. I mean, he's been around people his whole life. Heck, he's more human than most of my friends.

Jim: And that's supposed to reassure me?

Blair: Jim, one week. One week, and I promise, I promise, we'll be out of your hair. Come on. One week, man.

Jim: All right, look... One week. You or the gorilla act up and you're out. All right?

Blair: He's not a gorilla. And, look, you already hurt his feelings.

Jim: You know, I'm already beginning to regret this. (start to load up Jim's truck)

~Cut to Major Crimes. Joel and Jim in bullpen.~

Joel: So how are you and your roommates getting along?

Jim: Don't ask. He makes all these weird noises, he eats stuff I can't even look at, and he smells funny. All he does is watch TV all day and it's driving me crazy. The monkey's okay, though.

Joel: (looking toward elevator) Oh, uh... Your guest of honor just arrived -- Mr. Antoine Hollins himself.

Simon: (coming out of his office) Oh, Jim. Look, I've asked Earl Gaines to sit in on your interrogation of Antoine.

Jim: Oh, come on, Simon.

Simon: What? You got a problem with that?

Jim: Well, maybe Gaines wasn't a gangster himself, but the personal connection kinda bothers me. I don't want him around, in my way, if I choose to hardball Hollins. (they go into hallway)

Simon: Now, c'mon, Jim, I brought Earl into the department. He may be young and green, but he's got a lot of potential. Frankly, I think he could learn a lot from you.

Jim: All right, it's your call.

Gaines: (joining them) Excuse me -- whose idea was it to bring Antoine in for questioning?

Jim: Actually, it was mine.

Gaines: Figures. Look, I know Hollins. I could have talked to him in private outside the station.

Jim: You think he'd admit it to you if the Deuces hit that drug lab?

Gaines: So instead, you figure some tin-flashing white man is going to make him roll over. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Simon: Look, Earl, Jim and I talked this over, and I happen to agree with him.

Gaines: It's a bad move.

Simon: Well, the decision's been made so why don't you just live with it?

Jim: Excuse me. (goes into interrogation room)

Simon: Look, you're a good cop, Earl, but you need to learn when to give your attitude and your mouth a rest. (goes into interrogation room)

~Cut to interrogation room. Jim and Gaines questioning Hollins.~

Hollins: Deuces had nothing to do with those dudes getting capped.

Jim: They just accidentally shot each other and blew the place up, huh. After they accidentally flushed several million dollars' worth of ice down the toilet.

Hollins: If you want Q&A, watch Ricki Lake 'cause I ain't got a damn thing to say to you.

Jim: I've got five bodies and solid motive. Talk to me now, Hollins. 'Cause when the evidence backs me up, you are looking at life in lock down and we're not cutting a deal.

Hollins: You want to charge me, go for it. Otherwise, get out of my face.

Jim: Okay. If you're innocent, then you just tell me who did it.

Hollins: You got the badge. Figure it out.

Jim: I already did, Antoine, and you're going down.

Hollins: Ooh, you got me shaking die hard.

Jim: Get him out of here.

Officer: Come on, let's go. (takes Hollins out)

Gaines: Smooth work, Detective. You know, smooth work.

~Cut to Gaines talking to Hollins at a sidewalk market. Daytime.~

Gaines: Yo, 'Toine. Hey, what's up with you? (grabs a lettuce head and they toss it back and forth)

Shopkeeper: Who you playing with?

Gaines: Easy, man. We're cool.

Hollins: Put it back, Earl, before he call the police.

Gaines: I'll be back.

They walk down the sidewalk, talking.

Hollins: He was going to take you out.

Gaines: He was going to take me out.

Hollins: Yeah. How's grandmama?

Gaines: She still cooks supper on Sunday. You know, she keeps asking why you don't come by anymore.

Hollins: Oh, man, the head of the Deuces rollin' up through her neighborhood in broad daylight? That ain't happening, brother.

Gaines: Talk to me, 'Toine. I know the Deuces didn't do that lab.

Hollins: Tell that to the 357s.

Gaines: How bad is it?

Hollins: It's all falling apart, man. You know how hard I worked to make that truce.

Gaines: Who did the hit?

Hollins: You're not gonna believe me.

Gaines: Why not?

Hollins: 'Cause it was a cop. Straight up, man. See that's why I didn't tell you down at the station.

Gaines: Who is it, 'Toine?

Hollins: I'm working on it. Give me a couple days, and I'll have a name for you.

Gaines: All right.

Hollisn: It's going to get bad. And it ain't like the 'hood. I can't watch your back no more.

Gaines: That's all right. (they hug)

Hollins; Say hello to grandmama.

Gaines: You tell her yourself. Sunday. 5:00.

Hollins: 5:00. All right.

Gaines: Okay.

Hollins walks down sidewalk. Gaines stops at a food vendor.

Gaines: Yeah, let me have one of those.

A man with a ski mask and a gun comes out of an alleyway in front of Hollins.

Man: Yo, Deuce? Yeah, you ain't so wild now, huh? (shoots Hollins several times)

Gaines: (pulls gun and runs down sidewalk pointing his gun at the shooter) Police! Freeze! Drop your weapon! Get down! Get down! Get down! Get down!

Shooter gets into black car with two others. Car screeches away. Camera focuses in on metal band on shooter's wrist. Gaines goes to Hollins, but it's too late. He's dead.

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

~Cascade PD. Daytime. Then into Simon's office with Jim, Simon, Gaines, and Williams..~

Jim: A cop.

Gaines: That's what he said.

Simon: No, no. I just don't buy it.

Williams: Neither do I.

Jim: Hollins give a name?

Gaines: No. (Simon snorts) Look, we all know Antoine Hollins was a gangbanger, but he was my best friend. Now the truce was the most important thing in his life. There's no way he would never betray it.

Simon: Look, we all hear what you're saying, Earl, but I think your judgment is a little clouded. A friend of yours was killed. I think you're too personally involved. That's why I've had to have you reassigned.

Gaines: Reassigned?

Jim: I'm sorry, Earl.

Gaines: You know, I expect to be screwed by white folks.

Simon: Oh, come on, Earl.

Gaines: But I didn't think I'd get it from a couple of brothers.

Williams: You're out of line, Gaines!

Simon: Look, this is not about black or white. This is about you doing your damn job, brother.

Gaines: I guess you hang with the suits long enough, you forget where you come from. (leaves, door slamming behind him)

Williams: He's a little hot-headed. I'll talk to him. (leaves)

Simon: Damn!

Jim: Don't take it personally, Simon. He's just blowing off steam.

Simon: Yeah. I know. Just hit a little close to home.

~Cut to loft. Jim enters. Loft is a disaster. He pulls out his gun.~

Jim: All right, put your hands where I can see them, now!

Blair: (from the upstairs bedroom) Jim, it's me. Don't shoot. Don't shoot, man.

Jim: What the hell happened here?

Blair: Larry and I, we were watching The Wild Bunch, right? I opened the cage to give him some popcorn and he freaked out, tried to bite me. I thought I had him upstairs in the closet, but he gave me the slip.

Jim: He escaped. (picks up phone and dials)

Blair: Yeah.

Jim: Oh, man, that's great.

Blair: What are you doing?

Jim: I'm calling Animal Control. (into phone) Yeah, Animal Control, please.

Blair: No, Jim, you can't do that.

Jim: He could be dangerous if he tried to bite you.

Blair: No, he's not. He's not. He's just a little... he's high-strung. I mean, that's the television violence he's been watching. He must've snapped. If you turn him over to Animal Control, I'm not going to have enough time.

Jim: Well, you should have thought about it sooner. Now you'd better go find him, and first warn the neighbors. C'mon, out. (into phone) I'd like to report a lost Barbary ape. No. He's not a gorilla. He's an ape. Permit?

Blair leaves as Jim looks at him.

~Cut to next morning. Blair is cooking. Jim comes down the stairs.~

Blair: Come and get it! Eggs are almost done, scrambled firm just the way you like them, right? Good morning. Have a seat, man.

Jim: If you think this little courtship ritual here is going to change my mind about throwing your butt out of here...

Blair: No, no, no, no. If Larry can survive out there without a roof over his head, I'm, I'm sure that I can too.

Jim: I thought you were panicked about your project. What happened?

Blair: Well, I was. Then I called the grant's office in order to get an extension, and it turns out that the department chairman has been called out of town for two weeks. So I have ample time to procure myself a new subject. I don't know. I'm thinking something small, sweet. Maybe a nice orangutan -- something like that. I don't know.

Jim: What the hell happened to your old subject?

Blair: Who, Larry? I don't know. Animal Control's still looking for him and until they find him... Well, I'm all yours, little buddy.

They both sit at table with their food.

Jim: Well, that's a very generous offer, but I think you'd be a over your head.

Blair: You know, Jim, a couple years ago I did an extensive study on tribal warriors who share remarkably similar behavioral patterns to American street gangs.

Jim: You know, these days with a comment like that people could lose their jobs.

Blair: Jim, this has nothing to do with race, man. This is about dominance and submission of subgroups. As a matter of fact, a colleague of mine predicted the outcome of a key U.S Senate vote last year based on this same model. It's simple really once you think about it. In all male-dominated, power-based subgroups, antagonistic action by one group is usually met with equal to or greater antagonistic action by another.

Jim: Meaning what?

Blair: Meaning that now that the Deuces think that the 357s killed Antoine, they're going to have to retaliate. Their code of honors will demand it. So escalation is inevitable.

Jim: Unless I can prove to one group that the other group is innocent.

Blair: That's exactly what you'll have to do.

~Cut to playground at daytime with Gaines playing with a bunch of kids.~

Gaines: Oh, whoa. Okay, good. Good, good, good. Hey, now, you guys, remember what I told you. You watch me not the Q.B. All right? Or I'll burn you every time. (another kid runs over to join them, a red handkerchief tied around his head) No. No. You know the rules. You want to play flag, You don't wear the rag.

Kid: But, Earl...

Gaines: I don't want to hear it. Give me this thing. Take this off. (to a bunch of older teenagers on the side of the field) Hey, yo, guys! No colors on the field, man. (to kids) Huddle up. Let's go. Let's go, huddle up. Okay, so... (notices Jim watching them) You guys go ahead and run a play. I'll be right back, okay? (goes over to Jim) What are you doing here?

Jim: I'm not your enemy, man and neither is Simon Banks. So maybe we can talk cop to cop. I just need a few minutes with you.

Gaines: Yeah. Okay. (to kids) Yo, Corey -- run them through the passing drill till I get back.

Boy: Hut one!

Gaines: (to Jim) You feel like walking?

Jim: Yeah. (they walk) Tell me about Antoine Hollins.

Gaines: We grew up together. He knew that playing ball was my ticket out so he saw to it nobody messed with me. He even made sure I hit the books. After my knee blew out, I came home, quit school, hung out a couple weeks blowing crack feeling sorry for myself. By that time, 'Toine was pretty straight looking for a way to make things better. When he saw what I was messing with he cleaned me up, drove me back to school. He said if I came home without a degree, he'll kill me. Last couple years all he talked about was how America ain't going no further than its young black men can help carry it. Either that, or we all go down together.

Jim: Yeah, the other day when I brought Hollins in for questioning um, you were right, and I'm sorry. I should have listened.

Gaines: No argument there, but I was out of line.

Jim: You think Hollins was telling the truth that a cop was involved in the hit on the drug lab?

Gaines: 'Toine was no saint, but he never lied to me.

Jim: All right. Well, if the Deuces did not put the hit on the drug lab and the 357s didn't kill Antoine, then we got to find out who did or we're going to have a major gang war on our hands.

Gaines: "We"? I'm off the case, remember?

Jim: All I'm saying is that if you find out anything or hear anything I'd appreciate the information.

Gaines: I'll keep that in mind... die hard.

~Cut to Simon's office. Simon and Williams inside. Jim enters.~

Jim: You wanted to see me?

Simon: Yeah. Come on in. Get the door will you? Now what you're about to hear has to stay in this room -- I know you understand that. Forensics just finished the test on those slugs taken from the gangbangers killed in that drub lab. They match two weapons that were supposed to be in evidence lockup.

Williams: Both weapons disappeared day before yesterday sometime between 3:00 p.m. and midnight.

Simon: Now there were only three officers who signed into the lockup cage during that time. We checked on two of them, and they came up clean.

Williams: The third one was Earl Gaines.

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

~Outside of Gaines apartment in hallway. Jim, Simon, and Williams.~

Williams: Gaines! Gaines! Open up! We have a warrant!

Simon: Williams, look. I know Gaines has always been a hard-ass but he's straight-up. We're wasting our time here.

Williams: Yeah, well, I hope you're right. (to other officers) Break it down. (door busted in)

~Cut to Gaines outside of his grandmama's building. A bunch of 357 gang members block his way. Gaines talks to one of them.~

Gaines: Out of my way. I got a call my grandma's sick.

Leron: Hey, look, man. Grandma's fine. We just wanted to talk.

Gaines: About what?

Leron: About your situation. Antoine's history. Pretty soon, the Deuces going to be history too... Officer Gaines.

Gaines: That's me, man.

Leron: You turned your back on your own, but now your cop friends think... you dirty. That's right. Ain't nobody around to cover your ass no more. You keep snooping around the hood and somebody going to break down and blow your ass over to the next block. So my advice is... disappear.

Gaines: I ain't going nowhere, homeboy and any time you and your gangsta-fool friends think you can make me do a ghost, then come on down. (Tyrell goes for knife; Gaines pulls his gun.) You want to do it now?! Want to do it now? Then go for it "G"!

Leron: (chuckles) Dodge City, blood. Your call.

Gaines sees metal bracelet on Leron's wrist.

Gaines: (puts away gun) We'll talk again, Leron. We'll talk again.

Leron: Count on it.

~Cut to Gaines' apartment where Jim, Simon, and Williams are waiting around during search.~

Jim is coughing.

Williams: Come on, Lieutenant, huh? What's the matter? Smoke bother you?

Jim: I just have a pretty sensitive nose.

Officer: Captain, we found these in the bedroom. (holds up a gun and a bag of drugs)

Jim: (pushes away gun) Easy with that, huh?

Simon: I always knew Gaines was involved in gangs, but I thought he was clean.

Jim: I don't know, Simon. Doesn't it seem dumb to you -- a stash of drugs and a murder weapon in your house?

Simon: Who would frame him?

Jim: I don't know.

Simon: Look, just because Gaines is a cop doesn't mean I can treat him any different. I have to treat him like any other suspect.

Jim: I understand that. It just seems to me...

Simon: If he's innocent, he'll get his day in court. If he's guilty... the sooner we get his ass off the streets, the better.

~Cut to car pulling into a garage. Jim is waiting as an older teenager gets out.~

Jim: How you doing, Tyrell?

Tyrell: Yo, you want to talk, make it fast, all right? It don't look good for the leader of the 357s to be chatting with no cop. Now your message said you had some important information about my crew getting capped at the warehouse?

Jim: I lied.

Tyrell: You lied.

Jim: Yeah, the truth is I'm trying to find out who's responsible for the killings. And I figured if I came right out with it you'd tell me to go to hell.

Tyrell: No question, which is exactly what I'm telling you right now, man. Go to hell. (heads back to car)

Jim: That's some very fragrant weed you have in your trunk here. It's Honduran red, right?

Tyrell: I don't know what you talking about, man.

Jim: I smelled it from over there.

Tyrell: Jack, you bugging.

Jim: No, you're bugging. You're getting worried -- I smell that too. Hold on a second. (pulls out cellphone) This is Detective Ellison. Have the canine squad stand by...

Tyrell: All right, hold up, man. What is it that you want?

Jim: I want to know who killed Antoine Hollins.

Tyrell: I'm sure you do, but the 357s is clean on that.

Jim: The 357s had the most reason. The Deuces hit your drug lab.

Tyrell: What drug lab?

Jim: (into phone) This is Ellison again. Bring the dogs in.

Tyrell: All right, man. Damn.

Jim: (into phone) All right, hold up, hold up.

Tyrell: Here it is, okay? Straight-up. The day after the hit, right, Antoine comes and he's like him and the Deuces ain't have nothing to do with that, and he asked me for a week so he could find out who really did it.

Jim: And you believed him.

Tyrell: I can't say if I did or if I didn't, man, but I definitely gave him that week, though, you know what I'm saying. 'Cause a gang war don't do nothing but kill a whole lot of brothers and bring down a whole lot of heat.

Jim: Okay, I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you didn't put the hit on Hollins, but maybe one of your crew went out and did it on his own.

Tyrell: What? You crazy, man? None of my crew would ever make a move like that without my permission.

Jim: Look, Tyrell, I think Hollins was telling the truth. Maybe somebody's trying to play the 357s and the Deuces off against each other. Do me a favor and give me the same week you gave Antoine.

Tyrell: Can't do that, man.

Jim: If it is somebody else will you let them play you like a puppet? Make you and your crew look like a bunch of fools?

Tyrell: All right. I'll hold off for 48 hours, that's if the Deuces don't make a move, but check it -- if they do... the street's going to run red, kid. (gets in car and leaves)

Jim: All right. (his cellphone rings and he answers) Ellison.

Gaines: It's Earl.

Jim: Where the hell are you?

Gaines: Around. I saw the little cop party at my place. What'd they find?

Jim: Ice and a gun used in the drug lab hit. It was stolen from evidence lockup.

Gaines: It's a set-up. You've got to know that.

Jim: Man, you got to come in.

Gaines: Forget it.

Jim: Banks is a straight shooter. He's gonna make sure you're protected.

Gaines: I'll take my chances on the streets.

Jim: Come on, Earl, you've gotta trust somebody.

Gaines: I need a favor first. Then we'll talk. I need someone to look after my grandmother. She's all alone, and she's nearly blind.

~Cut to outside of Earl's grandmother's place. Jim watches from the truck as Blair, in a tweed jacket and a briefcase, goes toward the front door.~

Leron: You going somewhere?

Blair: Social services. (Leron takes briefcase) Hey, that's government property... (Leron dumps briefcase on the ground) Never mind. (goes down to pick up papers)

Leron: Whose welfare you taking away?

Blair: Oh, no, no, on the contrary. You see, there's actually several residents in this building who have had social security checks underpaid and I just need to go in and fill out some paperwork in order to rectify the situation.

Leron: So you the rectifier, is that it?

Blair: Yeah. That's exactly it.

Leron: Go on.

Blair: (referring to one of the gang members' switchblades) That's nice. Very nice. Thanks. Excuse me. (enters building)

~Cut to hallway of building. Blair finds a door and knocks on it.~

Blair: Miss Lacroix? I need to talk to you about your grandson. Earl Gaines? (Miss Lacriox opens door) Hi. I'm Blair Sandburg.

Miss Lacroix: You the police?

Blair: No. No, I'm just a friend. (she lets him in) Thanks. Look, we really need to get you out of here.

Miss Lacroix: This is my home. I ain't leaving it.

Blair: I don't exactly know how to say this but... it may not be safe.

Miss Lacroix: It ain't safe out there, neither. Now, I ain't been out of here in two years except to visit my neighbors or clean up the hallway and I ain't about to start now.

Blair: Ma'am, you are not listening to me. You're in danger.

Miss Lacroix: Of what? Those children with their loud music and their guns? They don't worry me none.

Blair: That's great. Um, you mind if I use your phone?

Miss Lacroix: Help yourself.

Blair: Thanks. (calls Jim)

Jim: Ellison.

Blair: Yeah, hi. It's me. We got a little problem -- she won't leave.

Jim: Now, look. I want you out of there, Sandburg. I'll put a surveillance team outside, okay?

Blair: No, I don't want to do that. It's not safe. I don't want to leave her alone.

Jim: You're not a cop!

Blair: I know, but I can handle this. Trust me. The first sign of trouble I promise you, I'll give you a call, okay? I'll talk to you later. (hangs up)

~Cut to later with Blair and Miss Lacroix talking.~

Blair: There's something that I don't understand, though. I know that you have family, so... why do you live alone especially in a neighborhood like this?

Miss Lacroix: Just 'cause I live by my lonesome, don't mean I'm alone. Folks in this building watch out for each other.

Blair: These, uh... these neighbors of yours. Do you think that we could call a meeting?

~Cut to night on streets. Gaines find Jason (a 357 member).~

Gaines: You got to be more careful, Jason. The streets are getting real dangerous these days. I thought maybe you and I could have a little talk you know, brother to brother? I want to talk about Leron and that little scar of his. (hauls him down an alleyway; someone follows them) Turn around right there. Now, I know Leron killed Antoine and you're his partner, so I figure you were driving. Only thing -- who put you up to it?

Jason: I don't know what you're talking about.

Gaines: Wrong, man! One way or another, you're going to tell me.

Jason and Gaines fight for Gaines' gun; gun gets knocked aside. Leron runs off. Gaines chases him. Someone else picks up Gaines' gun. A gunshot sounds and hits Jason, killing him.

A bunch of 357 gang members come around corner, all with guns and firing at Gaines.

Gang members: Yo! There he is! He's gone.

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

~Night at burned out warehouse with Williams and Leron.~

Leron: Hey, we got a problem. Jason's in the hospital.

Williams: They just brought him out of surgery.

Leron: That chump Earl Gaines shot him. Man, I'm going to enjoy pumping that sucker full of bullets.

Williams: Don't worry about him. Between the cops and the 357s he'll be dead by sunrise. Now where is the stuff?

Leron: It's over here. What are we going to do about Jason?

Williams: You got no choice. He talks, we're finished.

Leron: Yeah, well, I hate to cap a friend but a brother got to look out for his own first. (pulls out a bunch of drugs)

Williams: Exactly right, Leron, exactly right. (shoots Leron in the back)

~Cut to hospital. Jim walking down corridor. He goes into a hospital room and finds an orderly stripping the bed.~

Jim: I'm looking for Jason Garvey's room.

Orderly: Who are you?

Jim: (pulls out his badge) I'm Detective Ellison. There should have been a uniformed cop on duty here at the door. Now what happened?

Orderly: He went down to the morgue with the body.

Jim: What body? What are you talking about?

Orderly: Jason Garvey came out of surgery -- he was fine. Your cop friend went to get a coffee from the machine. While he was gone, he stopped breathing.

Jim: Oh, could you stop that? Please? (referring to stripping the bed) Give me a couple minutes to examine the room?

Orderly: Okay, suit yourself. (leaves)

Jim: (picks up sheets, smells them) Turkish cigarettes. (his cellphone rings and he answers) Ellison.

Gaines: It's Earl.

Jim: Where are you, man? You were supposed to call me hours ago.

Gaines: I got a little busy.

Jim: Busy. Doing what? Shooting Jason Garvey?

Gaines: I didn't shoot nobody.

Jim: Hey, man, we've got to talk... right now.

Gaines: For what? So you can turn me in?

Jim: You are running out of options, man. Now... where can we meet?

~Cut to outside of Miss Lacroix's building. Tyrell pulls up in his car. The other 357's come over to talk to him.~

Gang member: Yo, what's up?

Tyrell: Any news on Gaines?

Gang member: No, man. It's like he crawled into a hole, man.

Tyrell: You know what? Forget this, man. Go pick up the old lady, go pick her up 'cause once we got her, he going to come to us. Go ahead, man.

~Cut to inside apartment Miss Lacriox's apartment. Blair and Miss Lacroix listening to old record player. There's a knock on the door.~

Gang member: Yo, Mrs. Lacroix! I got to talk to you. It's about your boy Earl.

Blair: I'll get this. You okay?

Miss Lacroix: If worse comes to worse I'll be hearing my late husband sing the blues again.

Blair: Let's hope not. (opens door and two gang members come in)

Gang member: You're going to have to come with us, ma'am. We're going to take you to him.

Miss Lacroix: I know that voice. That's Sylvia Hayes' boy, Marcus.

Gang member: Come on, we ain't got much time.

Miss Lacroix: Just a minute. I need to take my medicine.

Other tenants of the building come in.

Gang members: Hey, what's going..? Back off. I'm warning you.

Blair: Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet the Roosevelt Garden Safety Committee.

Gang member: Out of my way, you old fool.

Tenant: You going to shoot me? You going to shoot all of us? (one member leaves)

Marcus Hayes: Where are you going? (gets his gun taken away and given to Miss Lacroix)

Miss Lacroix: We're not scared of you, Marcus Hayes. We ain't scared of your punk friends neither. Now git! Git! (Hayes leaves)

Blair: (clapping) Congratulations. Everybody. You all did it.

Miss Lacriox: Watch out, honey. I'm in a feisty mood.

~Cut to playground with Jim and Gaines talking.~

Gaines: Ellison. I had to make sure you weren't being watched. Hey, listen, I know you're taking a chance and I'm grateful. So what did you want to meet about?

Jim: (they start to walk) Tell me about Garvey.

Gaines: We were fighting in this alley. My gun went flying. Somebody picked it up and shot him.

Jim: Garvey went to the hospital. He died after surgery. Now, Earl, Garvey should have survived that wound. I think he was murdered in the recovery ward by Lieutenant Williams.

Gaines: Oh, man, Williams. Okay, but why?

Jim: I don't know. I'm trying to figure it out. Could Williams be tied to Antoine's death?

Gaines: Leron Maxwell and Jason Garvey killed Antoine. They also planted the ice and the guns at my place.

Jim: But Tyrell Lang swore to me the 357s were clean on the Hollins murder.

Gaines: Maybe Leron and Jason were on a renegade move. Antoine said there was a dirty cop working for the 357s. He must have meant Williams.

Jim: Okay, so Williams talks Leron and Jason into hitting their own drug lab, right? They steal the ice, split the profits and then they get the Deuces to take the fall.

Gaines: Right, and once Antoine got on to the deal, Williams had Leron and Jason kill him and makes it look like a 357 get-back.

Jim: Right, so Williams knows that Antoine talked to you. He's getting a little nervous. He frames you to get you out of the way.

Gaines: All right, it all lays out except for one thing. Why kill Jason Garvey?

Jim: Fear and greed. Jason might spill to the police. And with Jason out of the way, there's more profit.

Gaines: Jim, one thing -- I know all about Williams. He's a methodical son of a bitch. That means Leron Maxwell could be next. And he's the only gangster we could sweat to get the truth from.

Jim: (into cellphone) Yeah, this is Detective Ellison. I need an all-points on Leron Maxwell. He's a member of the 357 street gang. Where? Got it. Thanks. (hangs up) Leron's dead. He's been shot. They got the weapon at the scene and they called in the serial number. It's your gun.

Gaines: Oh, man.

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

~Cut to the loft. Simon comes in. Jim shuts door.~

Simon: At least tell me what all this secrecy is about. (stops when he sees Earl at the table) Earl? (pulls his gun) What's going on?

Jim: (pushes down the gun) Simon, please, come on.

Simon: Have you lost your mind? You're harboring a fugitive.

Jim: Would you have come here if I told you he was here?

Simon: You know the drill. Up against the wall.

Gaines: Simon, I'm being framed.

Simon: I don't need to hear this.

Gains: Simon, you know me. I'm not a murderer.

Jim: Simon, would you just listen to what we have to say? Please?

Simon: (puts gun away) All right, talk fast.

~Cut to a bit later, same scene.~

Jim: Here's Lieutenant Williams's phone records for the last three months. The ones in yellow are for Leron Maxwell. Orange is Jason Garvey.

Simon: The only problem with all this, guys, is that even if I buy it, it's not going to hold up in court. Now we need hard evidence.

Jim: I know. We think we got a way to get it.

Gaines: Williams stole a half million dollars worth of ice but none of it showed up on the streets yet which means he's been waiting to move it.

Simon: Waiting for what?

Jim: Think about it. Williams wouldn't want to sell stolen ice in Cascade.

Simon: No, probably want to do it out of town, out of state.

Jim: Right. My friend tracked the out-of-state calls. There are several to a San Francisco number and they belong to a John Magnuson.

Gaines: I called a buddy at S.F.P.D. John Magnuson is a major west coast dealer.

Jim: So we did some nosing around and guess what? Magnuson is due in Cascade this afternoon. His flight arrives at 4:00 p.m.

Simon: You think he's here to buy the ice?

Gaines: This time of year, he ain't coming for the sunshine.

~Cut to orange truck with Jim and Gaines next to a street near the airport waiting. Gaines has binoculars; Jim doesn't.~

Jim: Airport security says Magnuson and his people rented a dark blue Lincoln Towncar. They left the rental lot about five minutes ago. (sees car coming over hill) That's him right there.

Gaines: How can you see that far?

Jim: Good eyes. (into radio) Two, this is one, we're on the move.

Simon: (in another car) Copy that, number one.

Jim and Gaines, and Simon, follow Magnuson to area near bay. Magnuson and Williams meet and trade money and drugs.

Men testing drugs for Magnuson: Okay, I got it. It's good.

Jim appears from around building corner, gun out.

Jim: Police! Throw your weapons down now!

Gunfire exchanged. Williams gets in car and leaves.

Magnuson: Get back here, you son of a bitch! (he's out of bullets and surrenders)

Gaines: I'm going after Williams. (takes off towards truck)

Jim: Simon, you got it?

Simon: Yeah, I got it. Take off.

Jim leaves, jumps in back of truck as Gaines drives.

Simon: (into radio) I need all available units down at the Container Yard, Second and Maritime, now. (to bad guys) All right, on the ground! Drop your guns. Now! Now!

~Cut to Jim riding on top of the truck cab as they chase Williams. Williams hits the truck. Jim jumps over to Williams' car. Vehicles are going side by side and approach a man motioning for a semi to come out into the road.~

Man: (directing semi) Come in! Come in! (sees two vehicles coming) Hey, stop! Hey!

Gaines gets stopped. Williams keeps going. Williams shoots his gun through the roof; Jim dodges, then pulls his gun and shoots downward over the windshield into the engine. Williams stops suddenly and Jim flies off car. Then Williams tries to run over Jim. Jim moves aside. Gaines shows up again and rams Williams. Williams gets out of car; Gaines takes off, chasing him. They fight. Williams pulls a gun and aims it at Gaines. Jim shoots gun out of his hand from far away. Jim runs up to join them.

Gaines: How'd you make that shot from way back there?

Jim: Like I said -- good eyes.

~Cut to outside of Miss Lacroix's building. Jim, Gaines, and Simon pull up in Jim's truck.~

Gaines: Hey, grandma. (he hugs her)

Miss Lacroix: What you been up to? Boy, you all skin and bones.

Jim: Good work, Sandburg.

Blair: Oh, no, it wasn't me, Jim. Jim, I want you to meet Ms. Lila Lacroix.

Jim: Ah, Ms. Lacroix I've heard so much about you.

Simon: Jim... (motions to 357's pulling up)

Jim: Your grandson's a good man.

Gaines goes over to car to talk to Tyrell.

Tyrell: I got your message. Still going to check it out though. Make sure you ain't trying to scam me. Know what I'm saying?

Gaines: We got to get the 357s and the Deuces back to the table, Tyrell. Tomorrow morning, Baptist Hall on Seventh. All right?

Tyrell: We'll put the guns down... for now. (Gaines offers a hand to shake) Too soon for all that, brother. Peace.

Gaines: Yeah, peace.

Jim's cellphone rings.

Gaines: It's all right.

Jim: You all right? (into phone) Ellison.

Miss Lacroix: I want you and your friends to stay for supper.

Blair: Of course, we'd love to. We'd love to.

Gaines: If you don't, she'll whack you with her skillet.

Blair: Oh, I know. I've seen that skillet, man.

Gaines: I'd like you to stay, too, Simon.

Simon: I'd love to.

Jim: (into cellphone) All right, I'm on my way. Thanks. (hangs up) I hate to bust up the party. We'll be back in a little while but some business has come up. Let's get out of here. Let's go. (motions for Blair to follow him to the truck) They found Larry.

Blair: Where?

They get into the truck.

Jim: That mini kong of yours busted back into my apartment, and he trashed it again. Now Animal Control's got the place surrounded, so I'm going to give you half an hour to bag him. If he doesn't come out with his hands up, well then, I call in the SWAT sniper.

Blair: They say what he's doing?

Jim: He was watching TV.

Blair: You're kidding me. What program?

~ The End ~