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Pennies From Heaven

Written by: David L. Newman
Directed by: John Connor
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), Bruce A. Young (Simon Banks).

Guest cast (in order of credits): Sullivan Walker (Watson), Gerard Plunkett ( ), Sal Landi ( ), Jay Brazeau ( ), Ken Earl (Taggart), Lamont Bentley (Marcus Watson), Lesley Ewen (Serena), Anthony Harrison (Dwight Marshall), Peter Flemming (Don Trout), Doug Abrahams (Albert Lane), Jorge Vargas (Serge), Arthur Corber (Sam Bernstein), Avery Raskin (Fred Drysdale), Robin Mossley (Gary).

Uncredited: Ryf Van Rij (Detective Rafe).

Music notes: Featured song was "Let It Rain" (written by K. Hall) recorded by Amanda Marshall on her 1996 album "Amanda Marshall." However, she isn't the artist who sang it on the show, although I'm told Amanda's performance of it is much better.

Summary: Lamont Bentley guest stars as the reluctant Marcus Watson, a local youth who witnesses the disappearance of millions of dollars after an armored car overturns and spills its payload onto the streets of a struggling Southtown neighborhood. Detective Ellison suspect it was no accident and tries to coax cooperation from Watson who may know more about the cause of the crash. (Source: UPN Press Release.)

This episode was originally broadcast on April 30, 1997.
Last updated: 7/8/01

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Opening theme plays as credits roll. Monologue by Blair Sandburg: "In the jungles of Peru the fight for survival heightened his senses. Now, Detective James Ellison is a sentinel in the fight for justice. Seeing before others see. Sensing what others can't. An ever-vigilant watchman in the war against crime."~

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

~Southtown. Day. Poeple standing around. Homeless in abundance. Two teenage boys are walking down the sidewalks. One (Marcus) is wearing a Jags sweatshirt while the other has a basketball.~

Boy: Straight, yo, straight. She was fly.

Marcus: Fly? Like, who?

Boy: Latina, man. Her name was Lorena. You missed out.

Marcus: Yeah. That thing ain't going to happen for me Friday night.

Boy: What? Yo, man, can't you borrow the loot off your old man?

Marcus: Man, all I get is a 20-year lecture about paying my own way.

Boy: Weak. (gives basketball to Marcus)

Marcus sees a man with binoculars sitting in a car across the street. He motions to it.

Marcus: Hey, yo, man, peep that.

Boy: Nah, that ain't no thing, man. Some grandma's probably two days late on her rent and that dude's looking to bust her legs. Hey, so, you going to come over and play Fists of Death, or what?

Marcus: Ah, man, I got to go home and study for this history test.

Boy: All right, kid. I'm out. All right.

Marcus: Easy. Later.

Boy leaves. Marcus exchanges looks with the man in the car, then shrugs and goes on his way.

~Cut to man's POV. He watches Marcus walk down the sidewalk toward the highway overpass. Man reaches down and pulls up a device. He pushes a button.~

~Cut to highway above. A tire blows out on an armored van. It swerves through traffic and ends up hitting the side of the bridge overpass. The back doors fly open and paper money flies out, settling below on the streets of Southtown. Marcus is standing just below the bridge as it happens. He watches as the money falls. People come from everywhere and start gathering up the money. Marcus sees the man in the car leave, then also starts catching the money.~

~Cut to above with the van.~

Lone: What the hell happened?

Marshall: A tire blew.

They go to the back of the van and help a third man out of the back. Then they look over the bridge onto the street below.

Lone: Oh, man...we got to get down there and recover whatever we can.

Marshall: You kidding? Look at them. We'd get eaten alive.

Below, people continue to gather money.

~Cut to Jim and Blair in the Expedition driving down street. Same day.~

Jim: All I know is that when I open the bathroom door, I'm hit with this noxious wave, this odor, and all my nose hairs start to curl, my eyes water.

Blair: (chuckling) Obviously, we're going to have to do some work on your senses.

Jim: Just use the air freshener, okay, Chief?

Radio: All available units, respond to truck accident with spilled cargo, Grand Avenue at Holten Street overpass. Reports of major disturbances in the area.

Jim: That's a few blocks from here.

~Cut to Southtown street where people are still gathering money. Jim and Blair approach with the siren going. Marcus and everyone else scatters.~

Blair: Oh, my god, Jim, that's money.

Jim: Look at this -- it's a free-for-all.

Blair: Yeah. Pennies from heaven.

Jim: Check out the armored car up on the bridge.

They get out of the truck and walk toward the overpass, planning to go underneath it. Jim calls up to the three men above.

Jim: Anybody hurt up there?

Lone: No. We're all okay.

Jim and Blair continue walking under the overpass. Another police car arrives as well. Jim sees two men standing just on the other side of under the overpass.

Jim: Hey, can you guys tell me what went on here? (pulls out his badge to show who he is) Gentlemen, by any chance could you tell me what happened here? I'm Detective Ellison.

Kametlian: I was in my store and I saw this money rain down -- people going crazy.

Jim: Neither of you took any, I guess.

Kametlian: Not us, Officer. No.

Jim: So, nobody actually witnessed the accident?

Man: Uh, one of the neighborhood kids. He was right over there, by the bridge.

Jim: Can you describe him?

Man: He was a black kid. 16, 17. Had on one of them Jags sweatshirts -- carrying a basketball. Around five-eight.

Kametlian: Sounds like that, uh, Watson kid. His first name's Mark, Marcus -- something like that.

~Cut to Simon's office. Simon, Jim, and Blair sitting around table.~

Simon: Looks like they're going to report two million stolen.

Blair: I wouldn't exactly say it was stolen.

Simon: What would you call it?

Blair: Look, I'm not condoning what happened out there. All I'm saying is some people might look at this situation and say, "finders keepers," you know.

Jim: I agree in theory, and it's an interesting moral dilemma but bottom line, you take what isn't yours, it's stealing.

Simon: I don't even know why 're involved. This was all old money being taken out of circulation -- hundred-dollar bills destined for the federal reserve to be destroyed.

Jim: Maybe we should start with the possibility that it wasn't an accident.

Blair: If it was done deliberately, who benefits?

Jim: Quite a few people in Southtown, for one.

Blair: So what're gonna do? You going to arrest the whole community?

Simon: Nobody's being arrested here, Sandburg. The chief set up a neighborhood command post. We're working with the media, the local churches, offering a week-long amnesty period. Anyone can turn in money, no questions asked.

Blair: Guys, this is a fascinating experiment in social behavioral science.

Simon: Jim, I want you to find out what's going on. If this wasn't a freak accident, I want to know who did it and why.

~Cut to Jim questioning the three armored car guys at their office.~

Lone: Well, Westerberg was supposed t be on the job, but I guess he called in sick. Food poisoning, wasn't it?

Marshall: Yeah. He ate something bad last night.

Lone: Yeah. So, uh, I got the late call and I met the truck here after the guys picked up the load of money.

Jim: (to third man) And you were in the back?

Trout: Yeah. We took a hell of a ride. Smashed in the guardrail. Impact popped the door right open.

Jim: Hmm, and you couldn't stop the money from flying out?

Trout: Detective, it was all I could do to keep myself from flying out.

Jim: Yeah. It must have been pretty hairy. Well if any of you guys come up with anything relevant, please don't hesitate to give me a call, okay? (hands out his card)

Lone looks unsettled.

Trout: Will do, detective.

Jim: There you go. (notices ring on second man's hand) Marines, huh?

Marshall: Six years. Discharged as a sergeant.

Jim: I was army ranger, myself. Thanks, gentlemen. (opens door to leave) Oh. You know, if...if I may ask one more question, why didn't anybody make a move to recover the money?

Marshall: We were stuck up there on that bridge.

Trout: Yeah. We couldn't exactly take on the whole neighborhood.

Jim: Right. Thanks. (leaves)

~Cut to Southtown. Day. Jim and Blair at the neighborhood command post with Rafe (in beat cop uniform).~

Rafe: We passed out flyers all over the neighborhood. We've urged people to come forward. You're pretty much looking at the response.

Jim: Has any money been turned in?

Rafe: I'd say we're about as popular as the ice concession on the Titanic.

Jim: Thanks. Let's go, Chief.

~Cut to Jim and Blair walking down busy Southtown sidewalk.~

Blair: I have got to get Dr. Hapsburg down here.

Jim: Who's that?

Blair: He's the head of the sociology department. Someone has got to study what's going on down here.

Jim: What's to study?

Blair: With all that money literally falling out of the sky, these people have rationalized that it's rightfully theirs and a good social scientist can peel back the layers of the onion and find its truth at the core.

Jim: Look, I'll give you the truth. You peel back the onion any way you want. People are rationalizing that they're not breaking the law.

Blair: Jim, take a look around you, man. Do you blame them?

They stop next to the truck to get inside. Jim pauses when he hears a few kids talking, then a basketball bouncing. He zooms in down the street to see a Jags sweatshirt, then pans up to see Marcus.

Blair: What's up? You hear something?

Jim: Yeah. My witness.

They get into the truck.

~Cut to Marcus who runs up to talk to another boy.~

Marcus: What's up, boy? You all right? I'm chillin', too, man. I'm going to go up in the house. All right?

Boy leaves. Jim pulls up in the truck. He gets out of the truck and puts on his Jags cap. It's beginning to rain.

Jim: What a shock, huh? A rainy day here in Cascade. How you doing? (shows his ID) I'm Detective Ellison. Would you be Mark Watson?

Marcus: Marcus.

Jim Oh. "Marcus." I'm sorry. Some of the merchants in the area said you might have been the one to see the spill of that armored car?

Marcus: I didn't see anything.

Jim: Yeah. Well, we have a witness that said you were right by the overpass there.

Marcus: Well, actually, I was under it, and, um, I heard the crash. Next thing I know money start falling out the sky.

Jim: You grab any of it?

Marcus: Give me a break, man.

Jim: (looks down to see Marcus' very nice tennis shoes) Nice kicks you're wearing. What they run you, about 100 bucks?

Marcus: It was a birthday present. I wouldn't know.

Jim: Marcus, you got an ID on you?

Marcus gives Jim his ID.

Jim: You live her huh?

Marcus: Yeah.

Jim: It says your birthday was eight months ago.

Marcus: It took me that long to grow into them.

Jim: (chuckling) Some of the people that picked up that money might think of it as a gift from God, but in reality, it belongs to the U.S. government.

Marcus: Um, these aren't bad people around here, Detective.

Jim: I'm not saying they are.

Marcus: If you lived around here and all that money fell into your lap, what would you do?

Jim: I'd like to think, I'd do the right thing. Anything comes to mind, give me a call, okay? (gives him his card)

~Cut to inside Marcus' building. Marcus' father (Watson) is talking to the landlord's money collector (Ungar).~

Ungar: I tried to be a nice guy about this, Watson. My patience is gone.

Marcus comes into the hallway.

Watson: Well, so is mine! And so is every tenant's in this building. Get on inside, son.

Marcus goes inside the apartment, but stays within hearing distance.

Ungar: Now look, the damn boycott -- over, kaput, finished. You and your people are going to start paying your rent.

Watson: When you do something about the roaches and the rats! Fix the plumbing, the exposed electrical wires, the peeling paint, and the falling plaster -- that's when this boycott will be over.

Ungar: Look, you know if it was up to me, then I'd do anything I could...

Watson: Who the hell is it up to? Who even owns this damn building?!

Ungar: All you need to know is I'm here the first of every month. Here it is the tenth and I've got nothing to show for the whole building. I'll be back tomorrow and I won't be alone. You and your fellow freeloaders, you pay up or you'll be sleeping on the sidewalk. (walks away)

Watson: At least the sidewalk isn't crawling with vermin. (goes inside apartment and closes door)

Marcus: So you don't think there's going to be some kind of miracle down here tomorrow to throw us out if we don't pay the rent?

Watson: Legally, they can't touch us.

Marcus: They don't give a damn about the law, man!

Watson: If you don't stand up for your rights, people are going to walk all over you!

Marcus: There's only one way to keep people from walking all over you and that's money! (leaves)

~Cut to Major Crimes. Jim is taking money back from people who are turning it in.~

Jim: Thanks. I appreciate your honesty.

People leave and Jim sits down at his desk to look at the money. Blair comes in and sits down next to him.

Blair: Hey! Wow. What's up? You hit the quick pick?

Jim: No. It's evidence from t spill -- what we recovered, $7,200. You have a 100-dollar bill in your wallet?

Blair: (chuckling) What do I look like?

Jim: You look like the type of guy that would carry around a C-note just to impress women. Come on.

Blair: For your information, it's for emergencies. (gets out his wallet and gives Jim a $100 bill)

Jim: Emergencies, huh? Earthquakes, floods...stranded coeds?

Blair: Why you got to hurt me like that for?

Jim: You bring it upon yourself.

Blair: Make sure I get that back.

Jim compares the two bills with his sight. The watermark is missing from the money that was turned in.

Jim: This money is counterfeit.

Blair: What?

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

~Simon's office. Still day. Simon, Jim, and Blair (drinking coffee).~

Simon: ...finding this stuff all over the northwest for the past six months. It's very high-quality work.

Blair: So are we assuming that all the money that fell off the truck, that all of it is counterfeit?

Jim: Yep. The evidence report indicates that bills were recovered over a widely scattered area in Southtown. I'd say it's a good bet it's all phony.

Simon: So, somebody steals the real two million, substitutes with the fake, stages an accident, spreads the bogus money all over Southtown. There's a good chance the switch will never be discovered.

Blair: If the money's going to be destroyed anyway, why go through all this trouble staging this accident?

Jim: 'Cause odds are the Treasury inspectors would realize they were getting a load of counterfeit dough for shredding.

Simon: What do you think? Inside job, Jim?

Jim's cellphone rings and he answers it. Conversation cuts between him and caller -- the first man from the armored car discussion earlier.

Jim: Ellison.

Blair points to his mug, gesturing for more coffee, then goes over to Simon's desk.

Lone: Detective, this is Albert Lone. I didn't want to say anything this afternoon because I wasn't sure.

Jim: About what?

Lone: Well, after you left here, I called Harry Westerberg, that guard with the food poisoning. You know, I took his place this morning. Well, it turns out that, uh that Westerberg had dinner last night with Dwight Marshall, the driver.

Jim: What are you saying? You think Marshall did something to his food?

Lone: Yeah, I think so. There are some other things, too.

Jim: Uh, Mr. Lone. You think we could speak in person somewhere?

Lone: Yeah, sure, uh...I'm still at work.

Jim: Be there in 20 minutes. (hangs up) It's definitely an inside job.

~Cut to Marcus in a small store. Night. He is talking to the storeowner (Kametlian) , who is also one of the men who ID'd Marcus as a potential witness to Jim.~

Marcus: How you doing tonight?

Kametlian: You buying something?

Marcus: Look, um, I need to talk to someone.

Kametlian: The pay phone's outside.

Marcus: Burt Ungar.

Kametlian: You see his name on my mailbox?

Marcus: Look, Mr. Kametlian...everybody knows he hangs out down here.

Kametlian: Sorry, kid. You're not buying, head on out.

Marcus: Yo, um... isn't this where my friend Serge purchases all his liquor at? Huh? Yeah, my 17-year-old friend?

Kametlian: Wait here. (walks to opposite end of store)

Marcus waits.

Kametlian: Hey!

Marcus and Kametlian go to a door that leads downstairs.

~Cut to basement of store where Ungar and friends are playing pool and watching TV.~

Ungar: Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah, baby! Yeah! Point spread made! Let's go. Everybody pay up. Come on, pay up.

Man: There you go.

Ungar: Come on. You, too, my friend. Thank you. Gee, I hope there's no street hundreds in here.

Kametlian and Marcus come over.

Kametlian: Hey, Burt, here's your visitor.

Ungar: What do you want?

Marcus: I came to pay you the rent money we owe. (hands him some bills) Now leave us alone.

Ungar: Hang on to it. You can burn it to keep warm when you're sleeping on the sidewalk.

Marcus: What's the problem? I pay the rent, my dad pay the rent. What difference do it make?

Ungar: You find the money on the street this morning? Hey, dumb schmuck. Ain't you heard? It's all over the news. The money from that truck is fake.

Marcus: This stuff ain't real?

Ungar: Yeah, it ain't real. Come here, kid.

Marcus doesn't move. One of Ungar's friends grabs him and shoves him closer to Ungar.

Marcus: Hey, hey.

Ungar: Anybody asks you if you saw me at the bridge this morning, what are you going to say?

Marcus: I didn't see anything.

Ungar: Smart boy. (puts a gun up to Marcus' face) Now, you stick to that story or things are going to be a whole lot worse for you and your old man than getting thrown out of that rathole. Get him out of here.

Man shoves Marcus toward the stairs. Kametlian stops him for a moment.

Kametlian: Remember, you didn't see nothing here.

Marcus goes up the stairs, leaving.

~Cut to the other two armored van guys looking at a laptop.~

Trout: How the hell do you think the cops figured out the scam so quick?

Marshall: Beats me. We had our bases covered.

Trout: All I got to say is Jones better come up with our share.

Marshall logs into "Chatter.net" and starts typing to a "Mr. Jones."

Trout: You tell him we're not waiting six weeks. We want our share now.

Marshall keeps typing.

Trout: You don't got to be so damn polite.

Marshall: As long as he's holding the money, I do.

Mr. Jones replies to their chatting.

Trout: Hester Street. Isn't that Southtown?

Marshall: Dude's calling the shots.

~Cut to Jim and Blair walking with a man into the armored car building.~

Jim: Thanks for coming out on a Friday night, Mr. Drysdale. Albert Lone said he'd meet me here. I see his car parked outside, but no sign of him. I checked on the door. It was locked.

Drysdale: It's no problem. I just hope everything's okay.

Jim: You mind if I take a look around?

Drysdale: Go right ahead. I'll get the lights.

Jim: Thank you.

Jim and Blair start walking around. Jim starts to smell something.

Blair: What's up? You onto something?

Jim: There's cordite...and blood. It's coming from someplace over here.

They walk into a locker room. Jim turns on the lights.

Jim: It's in here.

Jim goes over to a locker and opens it. Lone falls out, very dead.

Blair: Oh, man. Oh, this is bad.

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

~Same continuing scene a bit later. Jim, Blair, and Serena are examining Lone's body.~

Serena: Cause of death was a bullet to the heart. He also took a bit of a beating before he was shot.

Jim: Anything on the body point to who did it?

Serena: Nothing definitive. We'll see what the autopsy turns up.

Blair: Oh, man. Just let me go nice and peacefully in my sleep.

Jim: Hmm.

Coroner starts to zip up body bag. Jim stops them.

Jim: Ho-hold on a second. Sorry.

Jim zooms in on Lone's cheek, then feels it.

Serena: Did you find something?

Jim: Uh, no, no, sorry. It was nothing. (to Blair) Could I see you outside for a second? Thanks very much, Serena. I appreciate it.

Jim and Blair step outside the locker room.

Blair: What was it?

Jim: An impression in the skin where he was hit like from a ring.

Blair: Well, could you make out what it was?

Jim: It's a marine corps insignia like the one Marshall was wearing.

~Cut to a man (probably a forensics tech) bringing in the blown tire from the van into a room for Jim and Blair to look at. Major Crimes.~

Jim: All right, set it right down here. That's nice.

Man: We collected some residual material off the armored truck tire, but it will be another 24 hours before the test results are final.

Jim: Thanks. I just wanted to take a look at it.

Man: Knock yourself out, Detective. (leaves)

Blair: Oh, hey, Jim, you know what I just realized? You never gave me back my 100 bucks.

Jim: Got logged in with the evidence probably. (examines tire)

Blair: Wait a minute. It probably what?

Jim: It's all on its way to Washington to the secret service.

Blair: Ah, Jim. What...?

Jim: Don't worry about it. The department will make good on it.

Blair: They won't make good on it. My 100 bucks is lost in some bureaucratic abyss and that's okay. What are you looking for?

Jim: Whatever blew out this tire. (smells something from the tire) It's petroleum jelly.

Blair: Well, that's weird.

Jim zooms in on tire to see a piece of copper wire. He gets a pair of tweezers and gets it out.

Jim: I didn't realize copper wire was a common component in the average truck tire.

Blair: You think there was some kind of charge?

Jim: Triggered remotely.

Blair: Why wouldn't they just set it off from inside the truck?

Jim: Well, they could have, but that would they would have to dispose of a triggering device.

Simon comes in.

Simon: Jim! We came up empty. We had stake-outs at their houses all night. APB's out on both of them. Marshall and Trout have vanished.

Jim: You think they'd kill their co-worker and stick around?

Simon; Any chance these guys pulled the armored truck job on their own?

Jim: I doubt it. Those clowns aren't sharp enough.

Blair: Who else are we looking for?

Jim: Whoever came up with counterfeit dough and the plan to get rid of it. I don't know, Chief. What do you got?

Simon: Do we have any witnesses on the crash?

Jim: Well, we got a potential, but he's not talking.

Simon: Use some of that Ellison charm. Get him to talk.

Jim: Right.

~Cut to Watson's building. Watson and Ungar talking in hallway.~

Ungar: I'm through talking. I'm through messing around. You tell everyone in the building that the rent is past due. If I don't get it today, they're out of here.

Jim and Blair come into hallway.

Watson: I've told you our conditions.

Ungar: Your condition is going to be critical unless you pay up.

Jim: Is there a problem here?

Ungar: Who the hell are you?

Jim: I'm Detective Ellison. Are you the landlord?

Ungar: More or less.

Jim: Well, more or less, I think you better watch what you say to these people. I don't want to hear of any trouble.

Ungar: Thanks for the advice.

Jim: By the way, I'll be calling in an extra patrol around the building for the next few days.

Ungar: Good for you. (leaves)

Watson: Thank you, Detective.

Jim: Someone should get him a muzzle. Are you Marcus Watson's father?

Watson: Yes, I am, but he's not here.

Jim: I just wanted to ask him a few questions. We think he might be a witness in the armored car crash.

Watson: All right. Come in.

They all go inside.

Watson: A lot of people down here think the cops are scamming them. Saying the money's counterfeit to get them to turn it in.

Jim: I'm sure the rumors are lying. Do you know if Marcus by any chance bought any money home?

Watson: No, he's a good kid, Detective.

Jim: I'm not doubting that, Mr. Watson, but in the excitement of it all, I would imagine a lot of good people might have picked up the money without thinking about it.

Watson: I suppose if he was right there, Marcus could have grabbed some, but he never even told me that he was there.

Blair: Well, I don't envy your position here, Mr. Watson, having to raise a teenager all by yourself.

Watson: Sometimes, it seems everything is working against you.

Jim: Must have a lot on your plate, sir. I'd like to speak to your son. Please give him my card when you see him. I'd appreciate it.

Watson: You bet I'll be talking to him. I want to know what the hell that boy's been up to.

~Cut to Marshall and Trout pulling up outside a tall rundown building. Day.~

Marshall: 126 Hester Street. This Jones guy better show up.

They go inside and go up to an apartment door.

Marshall: Here it is. (knocks on door -- no answer)

Trout: See if you can open it.

Marshall tries door. Doorknob is unlocked.

Marshall: This guy likes to keep his identity secret. Maybe he just left the money for us to pick up. (opens door)

They step partially inside and then the room explodes in a huge ball of flame. All the windows of the top floor of the building blow out.

~Cut to a bit later. Still day. Joel is talking to Jim and Blair.~

Joel: We got a positive ID on the victims. The guy's name was a Dwight Marshall and the other one was a Donald Trout.

Blair: There go your murder suspects.

Jim: What's left of the bodies?

Joel: Not much at all.

Jim: We'll double check with dental about that just to be sure.

~Cut to the three of them going upstairs where the blown-out apartment is.~

Joel: You said there were traces of petroleum jelly?

Jim: Yeah, and evidence of copper wire.

Joel: You know, it sounds like a potassium chloride device. All you have to do is add the chemical with the jelly, set it off with an electrical charge. That's more than enough to blow out a tire.

Jim: You're saying this charge could be detonated with a remote triggering device?

Joel: Absolutely.

Blair: What caused this, a bomb?

Joel: No, simpler than that. A valve was left open, the apartment filled with gas, something set it off, and bang. Two dead bodies and a hell of a mess.

Jim: Any idea what set it out?

Joel: No, not at all.

Jim: (glances downward) Hey, Chief.

Blair: Yeah. (looks down as well to see that he's standing in a body outline; jumps out of it) Whoa! That's a fresh one, too.

Officer comes over to Joel.

Officer: Captain Taggert. The owner of the building is here.

Joel: Okay, I'll see you guys downstairs. (leaves)

Jim: All right.

Jim and Blair go into the apartment.

Jim: Man! Smells like a big burnt match in here.

Blair: That's because it's toast in here.

Jim: No, no, no -- something distinct. Phosphorus...sulphur. Yeah, it's coming from over here. (standing by doorway) It's covered with the stuff. Chief, let me have your Swiss army knife. And something waxy, too, like, uh...like paraffin.

Blair: You just described the head of a match, man.

Jim uses Blair's knife to pick up a small piece of wood.

Jim: This is the bottom of the door here. This is the hinge side. So, when the door opened up, maybe there was a sulphur preparation of some sort on the bottom of the door that would correspond to a striking surface on the floor. (picks up another piece of debris with knife) Sandpaper. Whew, man! Marshall and Trout were probably told to come here. The gas was left on. They opened the door. Say good night. There's your match. (gives knife back)

~Cut to Jim and Blair exiting building.~

Jim: My guess is that we find out who killed Trout and Marshall, we're going to find the real two million.

Joel: Hey, Jim.

Blair: See you at the car. (walks away)

Jim: All right, man. (joins Joel and another man)

Joel: This is Adam Latham. He owns the building. Detective Ellison.

Latham: Captain Taggert didn't have information on the victims.

Jim: Positive identification could take a couple of days. Besides yourself, Mr. Latham, who else had access to the building?

Latham: Well, technically, no one, but I'm afraid I've seen this kind of thing before. Transients, junkies...they become squatters. Open up the gas lines for cooking and heat, and, well...you see what can happen.

Jim: What's the status of the building?

Latham: It's scheduled for demolition. We're going to build some livable, affordable housing for these people down here. Slowly, but surely, we're trying to renew the neighborhood.

Jim: Mr. Latham, if I have any other questions...

Latham: Captain Taggert has my number.

A car honking its horn goes by on the road behind Jim. He turns to look and sees a black car parked across the street. He zooms in and sees Ungar watching them with binoculars. Ungar then takes off after seeing Jim watch him.

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

~Watson apartment. Marcus comes in. Watson is at the kitchen table.~

Marcus: I guess the goon squad ain't got here yet, huh?

Watson: Marcus...

Marcus: Dad, why don't you just pay the man? I mean, face it -- they got us.

Watson: A Detective Ellison was here. He wants to talk to you about that armored truck crash.

Marcus: I already talked to him and I told him just what I'm going to tell you -- I didn't see a thing.

Watson: (takes out a wad of money and slaps it on the table) I was dusting your room. I found this in your dictionary.

Marcus: I know you're not going to be buggin' over that, are you?

Watson: You bet your narrow behind I am.

Marcus: Well, then, you trippin' over a whole bunch of nothing! Or haven't you heard?

Watson: I don't care. I don't care if this is as fake as the "B" you tried to forge on your report card. You took something that isn't yours. The police are asking for it back.

Marcus: You think I'll be fool enough to turn that in? Dad, Serge said if I turn the money back in, the police will just think I stole it and arrest me.

Watson: Serge is an idiot. And even if it were true, you are going to have to deal with it 'cause I'm not raising you to be a lowlife and a good-for-nothing like the people on the streets around here. Do you understand me?

Marcus: Yes, sir.

Watson: And while we're at it...these are going back. (puts expensive tennis shoes on table)

~Cut to Jim, Blair, and Rafe at the Southtown community command post.~

Rafe: Nothing's been turned in. Rumors are flying out on the street: They bring it in, we'll bust them; or we're lying and the money is real; or the whole thing is some sort of government plot to make the community look bad.

Blair: And the conspiracy theories have begun.

Jim: Yeah...

Marcus and his father come in.

Jim: Mr. Watson. Marcus.

Watson: Detective. You were right. Marcus does have something that doesn't belong to him.

Marcus: Here.

Jim: (hands money to Rafe) Rafe, thank you. I appreciate that, Marcus. I really do.

Marcus: Oh, so that's it? You're not going to bust me?

Jim: No. I would like to ask you some questions.

Marcus: I told you already, man. I don't know anything.

Blair: Marcus, this isn't about the money anymore. The three guys in the armored truck -- they're dead.

Jim: No, they're not just dead -- they were murdered. So help me out here.

Marcus: I can't...

Watson: Marcus...

Marcus: He'll kill me, Dad! And you, too.

Jim: Nobody's going to get hurt here.

Marcus: Can you guarantee that?

Jim: I can guarantee you that we're gonna do the best that we can to protect you.

Watson: Look, son -- if you can help put a murderer behind bars...

Marcus: Believe me, Dad...it ain't worth it.

Jim: Marcus...you said there's some good people around here, yesterday. Remember that?

Marcus: Yeah, I remember.

Jim: Well, I got a feeling I'm looking at one of them. So you got my card.

Jim and Blair start to walk out.

Marcus: Detective Ellison...well, about a block or so up the street, I...I saw a guy looking over the overpass with binoculars.

Jim: A black Chrysler?

Marcus: Burt Ungar. I can show you where he hangs out.

~Cut to a man exiting Kametlian's store. Still day. He walks over to Ungar who is in his black Chrysler.~

Ungar: You go find Brill and McCoy. You tell him we got a building to evict and make sure they're packing.

~Cut to across the street where Jim and Blair pull up in the Expedition.~

Jim: There's the car. (zooms in with his sight) And he's in it.

Jim puts on his siren, and zips over to park the truck next to the Chrysler. He gets out of the car, pulls out his gun, and points it at Ungar (still in his car).

Jim: All right, put your hands on the wheel where I can see them.

Ungar takes off, clipping Jim, knocking him to the ground. Jim gets up immediately. Blair gets out and goes over to him.

Blair: Are you all right?

Jim: Yeah, man.

Blair: (helping Jim to the truck) I'll get you to the hospital.

Jim: No. Let's just go. Come on. (goes around to passenger side)

Blair gets behind the wheel. Still standing outside the car, Jim picks up the radio and starts talking.

Jim: This is David 152 to all patrol units. I need an APB on a black Chrysler with gold rim, last seen headed eastbound on 22nd Street. (gets inside truck) (to Blair) Let's go, let's go!

They tear off after Ungar.

~Cut to Major Crimes bullpen. Jim and Blair walking toward Simon's office. Jim is limping. Blair bumps into Jim from behind.~

Jim: Ow!

Blair: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Jim: Man, I don't know what's worse -- walking around with you or getting whacked with that car. Will you watch where you're going?

Simon comes out of his office.

Simon: Hey, Jim.

Jim: Yeah?

Simon: You feeling all right?

Jim: I feel like I spent the night in an industrial dryer, sir.

Simon: Well, while you were busy enjoying yourself being x-rayed and scanned, we managed to make some real progress on the case.

Jim: Did you manage to catch Ungar?

They all go into Simon's office.

Simon: No, but we were able to access his bank accounts. This, uh, paycheck was just deposited.

Blair: Wait a minute. Ungar works for Elmwood Property Corporation?

Jim starts to sit on the edge of Simon's desk.

Simon: Oh, oh, easy, Jim. Come on. (puts a folder down on the desk for Jim to sit on)

Jim sits down and looks at the paycheck.

Jim: There's no company address, just a P.O. box.

Simon: We managed to trace that P.O. box to a Kathryn Maras. Chestnut Hills address.

Jim: Is that name supposed to mean something?

Simon: Not until you realize that it is the maiden name of Adam Latham's wife.

Jim: The guy who runs the tenements in Southtown.

Simon: Yeah, including the building where Trout and Marshall were killed.

Blair: So you think Latham is behind the theft of the two million?

Simon: Not until a routine check of court proceedings that he may be involved in turned up this. (pulls out another report) The IRS just nailed Latham for a million and a half in back taxes.

Jim: Wow.

Blair: No wonder Latham's in bad financial straits.

~Cut to Jim and Blair driving up to a building. Still day.~

Jim: This is the sixth property of his we've checked on. Three look like they haven't had a tenant in years.

Blair: And the ones that did weren't fit for human occupancy.

They get out of the truck. Jim is still limping.

Blair: All right, come on, Jim, you should be at home in bed, man.

Jim: I may walk like Walter Brennan here, Chief, but duty calls.

They go up to the locked door.

Jim: Smells like printer's ink.

Blair: What?

Jim: (pulls out a device to open the lock) I've never used one of these things before.

Blair: What is that? Oh, come on. That only works in the movies, man.

Door unlocks.

Blair: Whoa.

Jim: You had to be a smart ass, huh?

Blair: I'm no legal expert, but I don't think we can just walk right in here, can we?

Jim: Captain gave us a warrant. Gives us permission to get on any of Latham's properties.

Blair: Well, let's go.

They go inside. Jim has a flashlight.

Jim: That smell is coming from over here somewhere. You don't smell that?

Blair: No.

Blair finds a light. They find a printing machine that has $100 bills on it.

Jim Would you take a look at this. Looks like Latham wasn't only a moneygrubber. He's a money-maker.

Blair: Wow.

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

~Kametlian's store. Day. Kametlian is just finishing helping a woman with her groceries as Marcus comes inside.~

Woman: Thanks. (leaves)

Kametlian: (to Marcus) You buying?

Marcus: Oh, uh, my old man sent me down here to get some food.

Kametlian gives him a basket. Marcus starts putting stuff in the basket, then sees Ungar come in and walk to the back of the store.

Ungar: Watch the door, Leon. (goes to the door in the back

~Cut to Jim and Blair in the truck. Still day.~

Jim: (hands an envelope to Blair) Before I forget -- Simon requisitioned that $100 reimbursement for you.

Blair: All right! That was quick, man. (opens envelope) Wait. Man, would you look at this?

Jim: What?

Blair: Well, it's five twenties.

Jim: Take it to a bank and change it for a $100 bill.

Blair: The point is, Jim, I gave you guys 100 bucks. I want to be reimbursed with a $100 bill.

Jim: You're kidding. Man, you're like a little kid with a security blanket with this thing.

Jim's cellphone rings and he answers.

Jim: Ellison.

Marcus: (at a payphone) Yo, yo. This is Marcus Watson. I just saw Burt Ungar at Kametlian's store. If you hurry, you can catch him.

Jim: Marcus, where are you calling from?

Marcus: Look, I'm just outside....

Latham comes up behind him and puts a gun in his side.

Latham: Hang it up! (grabs phone and hangs it up_

Jim: Somebody's got him. Hold on.

~Cut to Latham and Marcus.~

Latham: In the car. Come on. Move!

~Cut to Ungar in the basement of Kametlian's store, emptying a freezer of money into a silver briefcase.~

~Cut to Latham (still has the gun) and Marcus in a car.~

Latham: Give me your wallet. Hurry up!

Marcus: Don't... (hands Latham his wallet)

Latham: So who you talking to out there, hmm? Huh? (hits Marcus on the head) You talking to the cops -- Marcus Jerome Watson? You live in the building I own on 23rd.

Marcus: So you the slumlord, huh?

Latham: If you don't like it, move. Watson... Your father's the one causing all the trouble over there.

Ungar comes up to car.

Ungar: What the hell's the kid doing here?

Latham: If we run into resistance, a hostage could give us some leverage.

Ungar: Come on, kill him. Let's go.

Latham: I pay you to do that kind of work. Now, keep him covered. (gives gun to Ungar, then takes briefcase to put in the trunk)

Jim and Blair come around the corner in the Expedition. Latham runs, still holding the silver briefcase. Marcus jumps out of the car, attacking a distracted Ungar. Jim gets out of the car and goes over to Ungar.

Jim: All right, freeze! Put your hands behind your back.

Marcus: The other guy's getting away.

Jim: All right, we'll take care of him. Put your hands behind your back. Close that door.

Blair closes the other car door. Jim cuffs Ungar.

Marcus: He's getting away.

Jim: All right. Call for backup. Keep him against the car.

Jim takes off after Latham, chasing him through train yards. The chase leads into a building. They both go up the stairs to the roof. Latham hits Jim with a door at one point, but Jim keeps going. They get to the very top level of the roof. Jim climbs up after Latham. Latham knocks Jim's gun away. Latham runs. Jim tackles him. They struggle. Jim ends up going off the edge of the roof to hold on to a pole sticking outwards. Latham gets up on the edge of the roof and puts one foot on Jim's hands on the pole, trying to make Jim let go. Jim releases his hand, then moves it. He grabs onto Latham's foot. Latham loses his balance and falls off the edge. He lands several stories below on a car, dead. The suitcase falls as well, opening and spilling money everywhere. Jim climbs back up on the roof.

~Cut to Watson's building. Day. Tenants are fixing things up. Jim and Blair walk up to Watson.~

Jim: Looks good.

Watson: Would you like to grab a brush?

Jim: You want paint every other place than where it should go?

They all chuckle.

Jim: What's going on here?

Watson: With the owner's death the building fell into receivership. The mayor needs to score some inner city points so he sells the building to the tenants for a dollar.

Jim: Nice.

Blair: The money you're saving in rent you get to put towards making yourselves a decent place to live. It's great, look at it. The community coming together.

Jim: Marcus.

Marcus: Hey, what's up, man?

Jim I have some good news. That chump Burt Ungar -- he decided to cop a guilty plea and you're not going to have to testify.

Marcus: Whew. Now, y'all know I would have did it if I had to, right?

Jim: I never had my doubts.

Marcus: So...now that you believe me, think there's a couple of righteous people in Southtown?

Jim: I can see there's quite a few.

Marcus: Thanks, man.

Jim: You know, I was thinking. Since you're going to get your diploma, you might want to consider the Police Academy.

Marcus: Uh-uh. I mean, uh...y'all hassle too many punk ass fools for me.

Jim and Blair chuckle.

Jim: Yeah, you got a point. I'll see you around.

Marcus: All right.

Blair: Later.

Jim and Blair walk back to the Expedition. Jim limps a little.

Jim: You know...

Blair: You still hurting from the accident?

Jim: No, no, no, I got a splinter in my foot from that wood you scattered all over the bathroom floor.

Blair: Jim, that's red cedar. It's a natural deodorizer.

Jim: I got three words for you, Chief -- use the spray.

~ The End ~