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Poachers

Written by: Tony Westman
Directed by: Tony Westman
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): Marjorie Monaghan (Elaine Walters), Richard Tyson (Frank Rafferty), Byron Mann (Tommy Wu), Johnny Mah (Ho Ng), Mike Mitchell (Jake Marshall), Gerry Rousseau (Sid Polk), Ryf Van Rij (Detective Rafe).

Summary: Ellison and Sandburg stumble upon a poaching syndicate responsible for killing endangered animals --- and end up involved in a Federal hunt for a dangerous international fugitive.

This episode was originally broadcast on October 1, 1997.
Last updated: 7/8/01

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

~Opening theme plays as credits roll. Opening 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 ~~~~~~~~~~

~Forest river. Day. Jim, Blair, and Simon all in fishing gear as they splash through the shallow water.~

Jim: Now, watch your step. These rocks are tricky.

Blair: Don't worry. I won't slip.

A plastic bag falls off the back of Simon's belt and Jim stops to pick it up.

Jim: Slip all you want. I just don't want anybody to kick the fish.

Jim shows the bag to Blair and they laugh and shake their heads.

Blair: Now, this is awesome!

Simon: Yeah, it's good to get away from the city for a while. No paperwork, fresh air.

Jim: (shows bag to Simon) Well, Captain, good you brought your survival kit. How could you live without a cellphone, your pager, and all the essentials?

Simon snatches back the bag.

Jim: Cigars, clippers...

Blair: So much for leaving civilization behind.

Simon: Time for a little smoke.

Blair: So much for the fresh air.

Simon: You know what, Sandburg, I'll do you a favor.

Blair: What that's, no smoking?

Simon: What, are you kidding me? I'll turn off the cell phone. (chuckling) I'm going to move down river a little. See if I can't tell what fly will be biting. (walks a bit aways)

Blair: What does that mean? Whoa!

Jim: All right, my little guppy, ready for your first fly casting lesson?

Blair: I know how to fish.

Jim: This is different.

~Cut to above and away from the river a bit where two men (Jake and Sid) watch them through binoculars.~

Jake: We got three of them but nothing to worry about. Just fishermen, by the looks of them. (hands binoculars to Sid)

Sid: Think so?

Jake: Yeah.

Jake's phone rings and he answers it.

Jake: Marshall.

Woo: You're a difficult man to get hold of, Jake.

Tommy Woo is sitting on a balcony of a tall building playing backgammon with another man.

Jake: Tommy! How's it going?

Woo: Not so well. Where's my merchandise? You promised I'd have my full supply by last week.

Jake: Look, there's not much game out here now.

Woo: Oh, I understand the problem, but my buyer is getting impatient.

Jake: Come on -- I never let you down. I always deliver.

Woo: I can't wait any longer. 24 hours or I'll find another supplier.

Jake: Tommy, you don't want to do that. How long we go back?

Woo: Jake, don't misinterpret the concept of loyalty. It cuts both ways. 24 hours. Happy hunting. (hangs up) He'll deliver.

~Cut to Jake and Sid going to their truck and opening the back to show lots of guns and ammo.~

Jake: Woo just doesn't get it. Big game is where you find it. Maybe he should try it.

They get guns out.

Jake: Saw signs of bear in this canyon yesterday. (points to a map) I'll follow the ravine. You take the ridge. I scare up anything, it will come straight to you. (gives Sid the map) I'll give you a call every 15 minutes or so on channel 12.

~Cut to river. Blair throws out his line.~

Blair: Oh, look at that.

Jim: Let it go. Yeah! My, oh, my!

Blair: Pretty good.

Jim: Come on, you've done this before.

Blair: Nah, I never have.

Jim: That's good. You're a natural.

Blair: And now what?

Jim: Now, we wait.

Blair: Not bad...

Blair's line starts to pull as he gets a bite.

Blair: Whoa!

Jim: Whoa, slow down, slow down! Ease up! Feel the energy of the fish. Ease does it.

Simon looks over, hearing them.

Jim: Now, take up the slack with your left hand.

Blair: What do you mean?

Jim: Cup it. Yeah, yeah. Ease up on it.

Simon: Hang on, hang on! (starts over to them)

Jim: And reel him in.

Blair laughs.

Jim: Yeah, beautiful. Oh, man, look at the size of that.

Jim: Easy does it, easy does it! Hold this, hold this! (gives Blair his pole)

Simon: Talk about beginner's luck. (stops a few feet away from them)

Jim gets the net from on his belt and catches the fish from the end of Blair's line.

Simon: All right, hold him up. Let me get a picture.

Blair: Yeah! What a beauty!

Jim: That must weigh five pounds.

Simon: All right, hang on, hang on. (takes a Polaroid shot of Jim, Blair, and the netted fish) There you go.

Blair: All right, let me have him.

Jim lowers the net back into the water.

Blair: You know, I know this great recipe for fish. You wrap them in maple leaves, put in some fresh herbs, garlic and put it underneath some hot rocks. It's beautiful.

Jim releases the fish back into the water.

Blair: Jim, what are you doing?

Jim: The stream is strictly catch and release.

Blair: What?

Simon: Sorry, Sandburg, it's a conservation measure. A few years ago, this ravine was nearly fished out. Now they're making a good comeback. It's a nice fish, though.

Blair: Yeah, wasn't it? Beautiful.

~Cut to Jake walking in the forest. He finds the bear trail and calls Sid on the radio.~

Jake: Sid, I found a bear's trail. From the claw marks, it looks like grizzly.

Sid: Big one, you think?

Jake: Yeah. 1300, 1400 pounds. Listen I'll continue up the ravine. When I get...

There's a loud roar and Jake looks over to see a huge grizzly standing several yards away. The bear charges him as Jake tries to get his gun ready.

Jake: Jesus!

Sid: Jake?

~Cut back to the river. Jim hears the gunfire and bear growling.~

~Cut to scenes of the bear chasing Jake around a tree.~

~Cut back to river.~

Jim: You hear that?

Blair: Is it hunters?

Jim: It sounded like an automatic weapon and a bear. (drops his pole and goes up the hill)

Blair: Simon, something's going on.

~Cut to more of the bear and Jake. The bear attacks and gets Jake on the ground, mauling him. Sid runs through the forest, trying to find Jake. Jim also runs through the forest, following the sounds of the bear and Jake screaming.~

Sid: Jake! No! Jake!

Jim finds the clearing and watches for a moment as the bear stands up from Jake's body, roars a few times, then goes back down on four legs, then wanders away. Jim goes up to Jake's body, checking him out. Simon arrives on the scene, with Blair right behind him.

Simon: Jim... Jim!

Simon: God!

Jim: Bear got him pretty good. He's gone.

Simon: (picks up rifle) This is the gun that we heard fired.

Blair: What hunter uses that kind of firepower?

Jim: Poachers.

Sid: (over radio) Jake, you hear me! I'm coming, Jake!

Simon: Sounds like he's got a partner.

Jim: He's coming this way.

Simon: Where?

Jim zooms into see Sid in the distance, watching them, and then running.

Jim: He's taking off! (takes off after Sid)

Simon: Jim!

~Cut to Sid driving the truck down the road. Jim comes out of the foliage just as the truck goes by and jumps on top of the truck. Sid hears him and yanks the truck from side to side, knocking Jim off and sending him sprawling onto the forest floor. Sid laughs and keeps going.~

~Cut to Simon, Jim, and Blair entering Simon's office. Day.~

Simon: Dead man's a local outfitter the name of Jake Marshall. He organizes trophy hunts for rich clients.

Jim: With a little poaching on the side.

Blair: Any idea who the guy on the radio was?

Simon: Yeah, Marshall usually works with another outfitter name of Sid Polk. Has a hunting lodge near Mt. Gideon.

Jim: I say we pay him a visit. Shake the tree, see what falls out.

Simon: Yeah, you know, Jim, we're going to have to call Fish and Wildlife. Poaching is their jurisdiction.

Jim: They were carrying automatic weapons, Simon. Should we call ATF, too?

Simon: Well, yep, that's a good idea.

Jim: Might as well call the FBI while we're at it.

Simon: Yeah, and Forestry.

Jim: I say we drag the guy in now.

Simon: Call the feds later.

Jim: If they get angry, I'll take the blame.

Simon: I know you will. (grins)

~Cut to Jim and Blair outside Sid's hunting lodge in the trees, watching. Still day. Area filled with bones and skins of animals. Sid is packing to go. Blair is using binoculars.~

Blair: Man, I'd hate to think about how many of those pelts are from endangered animals. (holds up binoculars to Jim)

Jim: I got it covered. (looks at weapons in tent) A D-3, an F.N. We'll be able to bust this guy on weapons violations alone. (into radio) All units, be prepared to move on my signal. And be careful. This joker's got a veritable arsenal down there. (hears a vehicle approaching)

Jim: (into radio) All units, stand by. We've got a vehicle coming.

A camper pulls in and a man and woman get out. Sid points a rifle at them.

Man: Hey, take it easy, Sid. It's just us. We had an appointment, remember?

Sid: Something's happened. Deal's off.

Man: What do you mean the deal's off?

Woman: We just drove in all the way from Spokane.

Sid: My partner got killed by a bear. I'm closing up and clearing out before the cops show. If you've got any sense, you'd beat it, too.

Woman: I'm sorry about your partner, but a deal's a deal.

Sid: I told you, damn it!

Woman: Look, we brought the cash. $10,000. (show the money)

Jim: We got a deal going down here. We're going to be able to bust them in the act.

Woman: If you're closing up, you're going to need traveling money. We want to see the merchandise.

Sid: All right, but we got to be fast.

The three of them head over to a tent where Sid piles some things into a bag. Jim leaves the hiding spot next to Blair. Sid brings the bag out and plunks it in front of the man and woman.

Sid: It's all there. Elk horns, bear paws, gall bladders. The whole shopping list. Okay?

Man takes the bag and the woman hands Sid the money. A moment later, Jim appears from the other side of the tent, holding his gun on them.

Jim: All right, nobody moves, nobody gets hurt. Cascade police department!

Other officers appear as well.

Woman: You have got to be kidding. (turns to look at Jim)

Jim: You're under arrest. You have the right to remain silent and the right to counsel. Anything you say may be used against you.

Woman: Well, I've got something to say all right, you damned idiot cop! Who the hell's in charge here?

Jim: Well, that would be me.

Woman: I want your name and shield number.

Blair comes out to join Jim.

Jim: James Ellison, badge number 733. You want to send flowers, you can't miss with roses. Please Escort her majesty downtown for booking.

Officers take woman away.

Blair: See, now, look at that. Who said all the good women are taken?

~Cut to Major Crimes. Still day. Jim and Blair at Jim's desk. Jim is holding up a bag with some animal part in it. He sneezes loudly and puts down bag, as he sniffles.~

Blair: Bless you.

Jim: Oh, man.

Blair: You've been sneezing all morning, man. What's going on?

Jim: I don't know. Must be something in these dead animal parts. Probably allergic to something.

Blair: You know, we never have done any allergy testing. Do you remember having negative reactions as a kid?

Jim: Daily.

Blair: To what?

Jim: Life in general.

Blair: I'm serious.

Simon: Ellison! (comes out of his office and walks over to Jim's desk) I wonder if you wouldn't mind joining me in my office. It seems there's been a bit of a snag with your bust.

Jim: What kind of snag?

Simon just smiles and motions for them to follow him. They go over to Simon's office. Simon opens the door and steps inside, followed by Jim and Blair.

Simon: Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet Elaine Walters and Frank Rafferty.

Elaine and Rafferty are the man and woman from the bust earlier.

Simon: They're game wardens with the Department of Fish and Wildlife. They were working undercover on a poaching investigation. And your bust, Jim, just blew their case.

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

~Same continuing scene.~

Rafferty: Maybe we should do this some other time.

Elaine: (goes to confront Jim) Detective, do you have any idea how long we spent setting up Polk and Marshall? Three months! And in ten seconds, you blew the whole deal.

Jim: Well, it would have been nice...

Elaine: Save it!

Jim: For your information, those guys had enough automatic weapons to start a small army. I didn't feel like playing inter-departmental games here.

Elaine: (calming down a bit) Does the name "Ho Ng" mean anything to you?

Simon: (looking startled) Ng is involved in this?

Rafferty: We think he's the man behind Marshall and Polk.

Elaine: Now maybe you can appreciate how important this case was to us.

Jim: Well, I'm beginning to.

Blair: Well, I'm not. Who is this, uh, Ho Ng? Is that it?

Jim: He's a, uh, high-level gangster who operates out of Asia.

Simon: He's been tied to running rackets here in the northwest for years. Drugs, arms smuggling, even slavery. We've never been able to touch him.

Jim: So, we're to understand that Ng is involved in poaching?

Rafferty: Oh, not just for profits; all these powders and medicines made from illegal animal parts -- he uses them and...it a real obsession, too.

Elaine: We almost had him. Look, this is the big picture. After drugs and arms smuggling, poaching is the third most profitable crime on earth. $20 billion changes hands every year and every day another species is on the edge of extinction. These are the stakes, gentlemen.

Simon: If Ng is involved, it's all the more reason for our departments to work together.

Jim and Elaine don't like that.

Simon: Ah-ah...hear me out on this. His poaching angle is a prime setup and you need us to get back inside. Now, I'll clear it with the chief and talk to your superiors over at Fish and Wildlife. We'll work out the details. I suggest that you two do the same.

Elaine: Well, fine.

Simon: Some place other than my office, if you don't mind.

Jim: Let's go, Chief.

They all leave the office, giving Simon his office back. They stop in the middle of the bullpen. Jim and Elaine pause to talk.

Elaine: So, where do we go from here?

Jim: Forensics already checked out Polk's cabin. I'll give it another look.

Elaine: I doubt if Polk just left clues lying around. Best bet would be to hit up my informants.

Jim: I'll tell you what: You follow your instincts and I'll follow mine.

Elaine: Right. We'll maximize our potential and if any of us should find anything...

Jim: We'll inform the other.

Elaine leaves. Jim turns to whistle for Blair's attention.

~Cut to Jim and Blair getting out of the pickup at Sid's cabin. Still day.~

Blair: So, what do you think of our two feds?

Jim: Well, Rafferty's not so bad, but I could do without what's-her-name. Walters?

Blair: (chuckles) Yeah. Right. You know what I think? I think there's a definite attraction between you two.

Jim: Yeah. I think you've been chewing peyote buttons again.

Blair: Yeah. It's inevitable. You guys are too much alike.

Jim: You're forgetting your physics, Chief. Opposites attract, like charges repel. And you can trust me on this one: I'm repelled.

Blair: Whatever.

They come up next to a black car and Jim puts out a hand to stop Blair.

Blair: What's up? Why are we stopping?

Jim: The driver of this car could be close by, so just be careful.

They keep going, walking closer to the cabin. Jim uses his sight to see a man inside the cabin just preparing to shoot.

Jim: Get down! (shoves Blair into the cover of the trees as the man fires)

Jim and Blair move further into the trees around the cabin. Then Jim calls out to the cabin.

Jim: Cascade P.D.! Put your weapons down and come out of the house!

The other man comes out of the cabin, firing his automatic weapon. Jim takes one shot and hits the man, taking him down. Jim goes forward carefully, going up to the man and kicking the gun away. He checks him, but he's dead. Blair joins him.

~Cut to Major Crimes. Still day. Simon, Jim, and Blair walking down hallway.~

Simon: So, the guy just opened fire on you?

Jim: Twice. Full auto. I had to fire back, Captain. So far, we've been unable to identify him. I did find a phone number in his pocket, though, for a Chinese herb store. It's, uh, called Tong Fong Low.

Simon: "Tong Fong" what?

Jim: Tong Fong Low. It's in Chinatown.

Simon: Maybe the guy was a health nut.

Blair: We did check out Polk's phone records and he's been calling the same number on a regular basis.

Simon: Chinese herb store.

Jim: It's a perfect cover for contraband.

Simon: All right, be sure to share this information with our friends over at Fish and Wildlife.

Jim: Very good, sir.

Simon: Promise?

Jim: Absolutely.

Simon chuckles and walks into the bullpen. Jim and Blair turn to go to the elevator.

Jim: All right, you know how to get down here...

Elevator dings and Elaine and Rafferty come out.

Elaine: Glad I caught you. I think we found the pipeline for the contraband.

Jim: A Chinese herb store.

Elaine: How did you know?

Jim: Well, detectives get lucky sometimes. Now we need to figure out how to make contact. Tell me something. If I was a contraband dealer, what would be the most expensive and rarest item I could sell?

Elaine: Well, that's easy. A narwhal tusk.

Jim: A "nar" what?

Blair: Narwhal. It's an arctic whale. It can grow tusks up to about 8 feet long.

Jim pulls out his cellphone and starts dialing.

Elaine: It's worth its weight in gold.

Blair: It has other special properties, but I'll tell you about them later. "Unicorn of the sea" they call it.

Jim: Narwhal? (into phone) Yeah, tell your boss if he wants a steady supply of narwhal tusks to dial 555-4563. Your boss will. (hangs up)

Elaine: What makes you think we can get you any?

Jim: What, you mean you can't? (stares at them)

Elaine and Rafferty look at each other, then back at Jim.

~Cut to the loft. Night. Jim, Blair, Elaine, and Rafferty are all gathered around the table as Rafferty unrolls a narwhal tusk from newspaper. Jim is putting on a mostly green, flowered apron.~

Elaine: Narwhal tusk. It's from our confiscation warehouse. This is worth about 6,000.

Jim: You got to be kidding me. For a piece of bone?

Blair: No, Jim, it's reputed to be an aphrodisiac.

Jim: Is that so? Do me a favor, Rafferty, keep it away from the kid. He's liable to field test it.

Jim goes into the kitchen and Elaine follows him. Blair and Rafferty remain at the table. Jim checks on one pot, then starts to stir some spaghetti sauce.

Elaine: You know, we're probably wasting our time here. Takes months to set up a sting like this.

Jim: Well, you might be right. If that's the case, we'll just enjoy the evening and have a nice meal.

Blair: (to Rafferty) So, tell me something. How'd you become a fed? I mean, you don't really look the type.

Rafferty: Oh, actually, I started out as a poacher.

Blair: (laughs) That's good.

Rafferty: I'm serious. It was the family trade. When I was 17, my dad and I bought some contraband from this biker gang. All of a sudden, they pull out more uzis than an Israeli commando unit. I figured they're going to rip us off, and kill us, but then out of nowhere, the feds appear and bust everybody. They saved us. They did. So then I realized I was working the wrong side of the fence.

Blair: That's great. (chuckles)

Elaine: You know, you didn't have to go to all this trouble. We could have met at the station.

Jim: You've got to be kidding me. You obviously haven't tasted our breakroom cuisine. Anyway, if they do call, the last thing we need is some perp yelling in the background for his lawyer to blow the whole deal.

Elaine gets a spoon and tastes the sauce.

Jim: Huh?

Elaine: Mmm. This needs oregano.

Jim: It's got oregano in it.

Elaine: I like oregano. (hands him the oregano jar) See? Inter-agency cooperation. (walks off)

Jim: She likes oregano. (puts more oregano in sauce)

Blair walks into kitchen.

Blair: You know, if you didn't like her, you would have sent out for Thai noodles.

Jim: Why don't you close it and get me a bay leaf.

Blair laughs, then looks back over at Elaine and Rafferty (who still has tusk out).

Blair: Maybe you should put the tusk in there, Jim.

Jim: Maybe I should put you in here.

Blair chuckles and goes over to get the bay leaf container. He brings it back as Jim's cellphone rings. Jim answers it and Blair picks up the spoon to stir the sauce after setting down the container.

Jim: (into phone) Hello. (taps Blair on the chest and points at the phone) Yeah, I'm your man. Number one man in the northwest. Get you anything you need. We'll be there. (hangs up)

Blair: (to Jim) They took the bait. (to Elaine and Rafferty) Yes! They took the bait.

Jim looks rather smugly at Elaine.

~Cut to next morning. Docks. Blair and Rafferty in the Volvo watching Jim and Elaine from a distance as they wait by their car.~

Blair: Hey... Hey, somebody's coming.

Rafferty watches through binoculars as black limo pulls up on road approaching Jim and Elaine.

Rafferty: Here you go. Take a look. (holds out binoculars to Blair)

Jim and Elaine (who has the wrapped narwhal horn) wait for limo to stop, then get inside.

Blair: All right, well, we should get going. We don't want to lose them.

Rafferty: We won't. (starts typing on a laptop keyboard; screen labeled "FBI Global Tracking System")

Blair: What are you doing, man? Jim said no transmitters. What if they got detectors?

Rafferty: Calm down. We borrowed this rig from the FBI. It's state-of-the-art, undetectable. Just give them a head start.

Limo speeds by them as their progress (a red blip) is tracked on the laptop screen.

~Cut to Jim and Elaine in limo. Person up front has a device that seems to be scanning for something.~

Elaine: Here we go.

Jim: Well, I hope they take the scenic route.

~Cut back to Blair and Rafferty. Red blip vanishes.~

Rafferty: What the hell?

Blair: What happened? I thought you said that thing was undetectable.

Rafferty: Quick! Go after them. They must've jammed the damn signal.

Blair starts up the Volvo and they take off, going where they last saw the limo. They reach the stop of a street and stop since they don't see anyone.

Blair: Great! Just beautiful. Beautiful. That's a good piece of machinery you got there.

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

~Woo's top floor apartment of the tall building seen earlier. Jim and Elaine sitting on chairs. Woo talks to two of his men, then walks over to join Jim and Elaine.~

Woo: We have a problem here. One of you is wearing a transmitter.

Jim: Now, why would we go and do something stupid like that?

Woo: The signal's already been jammed. So, no one's coming to your rescue. Give me the transmitter or I'll have my men find it.

Jim: (stands up) Help yourself.

Woo: Her first.

Elaine: (pulls a transmitter from her collar) Here it is.

Woo: I think you better leave. I don't deal with the police.

Elaine: We're not...

Jim: That narwhal tusk is worth $6,000. Now, that's an awful lot of trust for some people we don't really know. Now, that locator is just an insurance policy. I'm sure you can understand that.

Woo: Well, you could be telling me the truth, or as a man once said "All warfare is based on deception."

Jim: Didn't that man also say "That the valiant fight, but the cautious defend and the wise counsel"?

Woo: So, you know Sun Tzu. That's very good...but that still doesn't mean I can trust you.

Elaine: Have you ever done business in Tacoma with Keith Rourke?

Woo: We've run into each other.

Elaine: Call him. He'll vouch for us.

Woo: (picks up tusk) This is very good specimen. If I decide to do business, I'll get in touch. Nice to have met you, Mr....

Jim: Tanner. Jim Tanner.

Elaine: And I'm Elaine.

Woo: (to Jim) Should we make an arrangement, I'll be dealing just with you.

Jim: Well, that won't work. Because we're partners.

Elaine: We're more than partners, we're married. So either you deal with us both of us or not at all. Right, darling?

Jim: That's right.

Woo: My men will take you back to your car.

They start to leave. Jim pauses when he sees a figure on the balcony. Figure pulls back and the man behind Jim shoves him forward.

~Cut to below as Jim and Elaine get back in limo. Jim pauses to listen to Woo and Ng (man from backgammon game) on the balcony at top of building.~

Ng: Why are you letting them go? You should kill them.

Woo: I'll have them checked out. If they're real, I can use the narwhal supply. So can you.

Ng: You take too my chances. I don't like that.

Woo: No risk, no profit. Come on, have some tea. It'll settle your disposition.

~Cut to the loft. Jim, Blair, Elaine, and Rafferty enter. Still day.~

Elaine: I am sorry about the microphone. I didn't think it would be a problem.

Jim: That's seems to be a recurrent problem -- you not thinking. What were you thinking when you told him we were married?

Elaine: I didn't want Woo pushing me out of the game.

Jim: The only person that was pushing there was you.

Elaine: It worked, didn't it?

Jim: Oh-oh-oh, you...

Blair: Hey-hey-hey, come on! It doesn't matter who screwed up, right? As long as Woo bought the act, we're in business, right?

Jim: Uh, what do we have on this Woo character?

Rafferty: The FBI says he runs a legit export business, but he's suspected of having ties to Ho Ng.

Jim: He's connected, all right. Ng was there.

Elaine: What? I didn't see him.

Jim: Look, just trust me on this. Ng wanted us dead, but Woo wanted to check us out first. By the way, who's this Keith Rourke?

Elaine: Uh, he's the biggest poacher in Tacoma. We busted him, turned him. He works for us as an informant.

Rafferty: If Woo calls, he'll back you.

Jim: If this deal goes down, we're gonna need a major haul of contraband.

Rafferty: We can supply that.

Elaine: You know, so far we've supplied the informants, the bait -- what exactly is your contribution?

Jim: Brains?

Elaine: I'm going home. (leaves)

~Cut to a bridge on a deserted road. Still day. Woo rides up on a motorbike to stop next to a black limo. Ng gets out of the limo.~

Woo: Hey, what's going on? You wanted to talk?

Ng: One of my men was killed yesterday.

Woo: How?

Ng: I sent him to visit to your Jake Marshall for a friendly chat. Unfortunately, all he found was an empty cabin sealed by police. We're not getting results and you, how do you know the police aren't on to us? That man and woman could be setting you up.

Woo: No, I had them checked out. I can handle things.

Another man grabs Woo from behind.

Woo: What are you doing?

Ng flips out a switchblade and swipes at Woo's ear.

Woo: Ow!

Ng: The water's full of sharks. Swim carefully, Tommy.

Man releases Woo. Ng and others get back into limo, leaving Woo.

~Cut to fancy restaurant. Night. Jim and Elaine at a table.~

Jim: Well, I have to admit I was kind of surprised by your invitation.

Elaine: I just...well, I decided that if we're going to be working undercover together, we should smooth things over.

Jim: I agree.

Elaine: It could get dangerous, we'll need to depend on each other...

Jim: I agree.

Elaine: And the truth is, the problems between us are as much my fault as they are yours. I think we're both used to being in control.

Jim: That's exactly what Sandburg said. (chuckles)

Elaine: What?

Jim: Nothing.

Elaine: Oh, come on.

Jim: (chuckles) It's, uh...I, uh...he just seems to think that we have a thing for each other.

They look at each other, then start to chuckle a little nervously.

Jim: I think we could be friends. I think this -- I think this could happen.

They clink champagne glasses and drink. Jim's cellphone rings and he answers it.

Jim: Excuse me. (into phone) Yeah. Where?

~Cut to Simon's office. Day. Jim, Simon, and Elaine looking at a large map on the table.~

Jim: Woo wants us to meet at the Navy Street Marina at 4:00 with the merchandise.

Simon: All right, but this time I want full-scale surveillance.

Jim: Negative. I don't want to spook him.

Elaine: Right. We need Woo to lead us to Ho Ng.

Simon: Excuse me, but Ng's involvement in this throws it to a whole 'nother level. Now if things go wrong, I want the option to go in and take Woo down.

Jim: Simon, if we bust Woo, Ng will just find another supplier. Now, we have a chance to catch one of the big fish here.

~Cut to docks. Still day. Jim and Elaine getting on a ship. Simon and Rafe watching in the distance from a building. Blair and Rafferty on the docks still, showing the merchandise in a truck.~

Simon: Well, they're heading down towards the docks.

~Cut to ship. Woo comes out to greet Jim and Elaine.~

Woo: Welcome to the Island Commander.

Elaine: This is yours?

Woo: More or less. I lease it for business. Keith Rourke tells me you're good people and your merchandise is first-rate.

Ship starts to pull away from the docks.

~Cut to Simon and Rafe.~

Rafe: Captain...looks like they're casting off.

~Cut to docks. Blair and Rafferty notice and run from truck down to the end of the docks.~

Blair: Hey! Hey! Hey!

Jim: Why are we moving?

Woo: Oh, it's better to do our business in a more secure location.

Elaine: What about the merchandise?

Woo: Oh, your men were given a boat and directions to meet us.

Jim: But that wasn't part of the plan.

Woo: Plans change. I didn't think you'd object.

Jim: No. No problem here.

Woo: Good. The captain tells me the ride should be a calm one. This way, please.

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

~Same continuing scene a bit later. Blair is the cellphone with Simon, who is still in the building with Rafe.~

Blair: They gave us a boat, told us to sail north, and wait for further instructions.

Simon: N.G., Sandburg. I am not sending you two out there without proper backup.

Blair: But I don't see how we have any other choice. I mean, if we don't deliver, who knows what they'll do to Jim and Elaine?

Simon: Damn it! All right, you listen to me. The Coast Guard has a cutter and helicopter standing by. They can reach you in 15 minutes. Any sign of trouble, you get on the horn right away. You hear me?! (hangs up)

Simon: (to Rafe) I hope they're okay out the.

~Cut to ship. Jim and Elaine at a table with Woo inside a dining area.~

Woo: We have a very special dinner prepared for you tonight. We have bear paw soup, baked rock cod, sea cucumber. All local.

Jim: Mmm.

Elaine: It looks delicious.

Woo: Yes. Try the heron eggs. They're very, very good. (to Jim) So, I was surprised that a poacher like yourself would know Sun Tzu.

Jim: You know him and you're a smuggler.

Woo: Ever read Miyamoto Musashi?

Jim: The Five Ways of Strategy -- it's a favorite of mine -- ground, water, wind, fire and void.

Woo: Very good. Have you mastered them?

Jim: Not completely. (to Elaine) Sun Tzu and, Musashi were, uh, writers. They wrote about the philosophy of war.

Woo: Well, to Sun Tzu, life was war. One was either in battle or training for it. Miyamoto believed that the way of the warrior is acceptance of death in the cause of duty.

Jim: Yeah, but we can't forget what Gandhi said: "The true warrior does not die killing."

Woo: Gandhi. You don't seem like a man who'd practice nonviolence.

Jim: Well, in life, I'm a pragmatist -- in my heart, an idealist, but Patton himself once said...

Elaine: I've got a favorite quote, too. It's Coco Chanel and it goes, "As long as you know that most men are like children, you know everything."

They all smile.

Woo: Of course.

Elaine: Heron egg, sweetheart?

Jim: After you.

~Cut to Blair and Rafferty on a small motorboat zipping along on the water. Still day, but getting darker.~

Blair: It'll be dark soon, and they haven't called. Hey, how long before we're in Canadian waters?

Rafferty: About an hour.

Blair: You know, if we cross the border, we're out of Coast Guard jurisdiction. (pause) I got to call Simon. (starts dialing)

Rafferty: Damn, I'd hate to blow this thing 'cause we jumped the gun. Let's give them a little more time.

Blair: (hangs up) All right.

~Cut to Woo showing Jim and Elaine into a one-bed stateroom.~

Woo: Well, here it is. It's modest but comfortable. See you in the morning. (leaves)

Jim: Thank you.

Elaine: "In the morning" -- why are we going so far out?

Jim: Hard to tell. He's probably just being cautious. This sure ain't the Queen Mary.

Elaine: There's only one bed.

Jim: Well, help yourself.

Elaine: Don't quote the code of chivalry on me. I'll flip you for it. (flips a coin and catches it on her wrist) Heads or tails?

Jim: Heads.

Elaine: (looks at coin, then at Jim) Two out of three?

Jim: (laughs) Let's go. Come on.

Elaine: All right.

~Cut to Blair and Rafferty. Dark outside. Blair is driving boat. Rafferty is seated behind him on the boxes of merchandise.~

Blair: We got to be in Canadian waters by now. The hell with Woo. I got to call Simon. (picks up phone and it rings)

Blair: Hello?

Woo: Enjoying your cruise?

Blair: Uh, yeah, yeah, sure. We're just about to start the shuffleboard tournament.

Woo: There's a small island 60 kilometers north of you. You should see it on the chart -- Sackett's Island.

Blair: (looks at map) All right, yeah, yeah, yeah. I got it, I got it.

Woo: It should take you most of the night to get there. We'll meet you off the north shore just after dawn.

Blair: (hangs up) All right. All right, we're on. We're in business. I'm going to call Simon and fill him in.

Rafferty: (pulls out a gun and points it at Blair) Hang up. Don't look so surprised. There's a half-million dollars worth of goods under this tarp. You know how long it would take to get that on a government salary?

Blair: You had this planned all along, didn't you?

Rafferty: Yeah. Just waiting like a wolf on a rabbit hole.

Blair: Well, come on, man, we got to deliver this stuff. If we don't, Jim and Elaine could die.

Rafferty: I'm counting on it. (stands up and moves toward Blair) Actually, with the three of you gone and me tucked away someplace nice and tropical, the home office will just figure that Woo wasted all of us. Sorry, man. (cocks gun)

Blair throws the gear on the boat, knocking Rafferty off his feet, also making him drop the gun into the bottom of the boat. Blair grabs it, holding it on Rafferty as he steadies the boat again.

Blair: Don't move! Don't you move... And don't kid yourself, either. I've shot more guys than John Wesley Harding.

~Cut to Jim and Elaine in the stateroom. Night. Jim's on the bed; Elaine's on the floor.~

Jim: Are you comfortable down there?

Elaine: Oh, yeah. I'm in one of my favorite positions. I just can't move to any other positions.

Jim: You want to switch? I don't mind.

Elaine: Forget it. You won the toss.

Jim: God, you are stubborn.

Elaine: Yeah, I've got the better view, anyway. I could see a piece of the moon out of the porthole. (pause) Ever since dinner...I've been thinking about what...what you said. Well, actually what you said Sandburg said. I guess I've just been wondering...

Jim sits up.

Jim: I smell smoke.

Elaine: I don't smell anything.

Jim goes into the hallway and sees smoke coming from a closed door. He opens it, only to close it again, coughing as the smoke billows out. Woo and another man come down the hall with extinguishers.

Jim: Is there any other way into this room?

Woo: No, just this hatch.

Jim: Whoa, quiet, quiet. (listens) I hear somebody breathing. There's somebody inside.

Jim and Woo go inside.

Woo: Smoke's too thick. I can't see anything.

Jim sees someone laying on the floor inside.

Jim: There's somebody down there. I think they're unconscious.

They go further down into the engine room. Jim checks out the man.

Jim: He's alive!

~Cut to a bit later in another room. Jim is tending the man. Woo sits next to man. Elaine stands just behind the man, holding an oxygen mask on his face.~

Woo: You risked your life to save my engineer.

Jim: Well, he needed help. (to engineer) It's going to be all right. You doing okay?

Engineer nods.

Woo: Thanks.

~Cut to Blair and Rafferty next morning. Blair makes Rafferty get out of boat to stand on a rock in the middle of the water.~

Blair: Get off. Get off! Don't worry. When this is all over, I'll send the Coast Guard back for you. And don't try to swim for it either. Sharks are gonna be looking for breakfast.

Blair takes off.

~Cut to Woo, Jim, and Elaine walking out onto the deck of the ship.~

Woo: Well, your friend must have overslept.

They see Blair coming up in the motorboat.

Woo: There he is.

Blair pulls the boat up next to the ship.

Elaine: Where's Rafferty?

Blair: Uh...well, uh, he wasn't feeling well. Remember that old sickness he used to get when he was a kid? Well, it flared up again. Real bad. How you guys doing?

Blair comes on board. Jim hears another boat arriving.

Jim: Another boat's coming.

Woo: Ho Ng is here. Let's do our business here and get him off my ship before he cuts my other ear.

~Cut to a bit later. Ng's men are inspecting the goods.~

Ng: A good shipment. Quality merchandise. But I wouldn't expect less from undercover police.

Ng's men all pull weapons.

Jim: (laughs) I think you've made a mistake. Tell him, Tommy.

Woo: I know these people, Ho Ng. I told you I had them checked out.

Ng: By Keith Rourke, an informant?

Woo: That's impossible.

Ng: Not according to the man I found on a rock off Sackett's Island.

Blair: That guy, he's a liar wanted to rip you off.

Ng: For that information, I'd let him live. But Mr. Rafferty was too greedy. He wanted to be my partner, and that's one too many. The fish have him now. Elaine Walters of the US department of Fish and Wildlife. Detective James Ellison and his partner, Blair Sandburg, of the Cascade police.

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

~Same continuing scene.~

Woo: We have to get out of here before the authorities move in.

Ng: I agree, but we must get rid of these witnesses.

Woo: No.

Ng: Tommy, don't be stupid. If we don't kill them, they can identify us.

Jim: As poachers, not as murderers.

Elaine: The US government will be after you for the rest of your lives.

Ng: With what proof?

Jim: We were seen boarding Tommy's boat.

Ng: Tommy will say he put you ashore somewhere and unfortunately, you disappeared.

Jim: Don't you see what he's trying to do, Tommy? I mean, the only one we're connected to here is you. And you're the one the feds will come after. And once, we're dead Ng's going to kill you.

Ng: Tommy's my friend.

Woo: There will be no killing aboard my ship.

One of Woo's men pulls a gun. One of Ng's men shoots him.

Ng: I'm sorry you feel that way, Tommy.

~Cut to Jim, Blair, Elaine, and Woo being tied up in the hold. Still day. Jim and Elaine tied next to each other; Blair and Woo tied next to each other. Other men down there as well. Ng's men leave, shutting the hatch on the roof.~

Elaine: You know, when I look back on the all-time worst days of my life, this one's headed right for the top of the list.

Blair: Not that I'm in any rush or anything, but why haven't they killed us yet?

Jim: Probably 'cause they don't have a plan yet. Which buys us a little time. Elaine, I've got a knife in my boot. Could you see if you can get it?

Elaine works on getting knife.

Blair: I got a question, Tommy. I understand that the money's pretty good in poaching, but you're killing endangered animals.

Elaine: Got it.

Jim: Try and cut the ropes.

Elaine works on the ropes.

Woo: The medicines made from what I buy and sell are not just folk superstition. In Asia, people really believe in them.

Blair: But nowadays, I mean, all those ingredients or their equivalent could be made in a lab.

Elaine gets the rope cut.

Woo: Yes, but that's not part of our tradition and, of course, westerners don't understand or respect our cultural beliefs.

Jim works on Elaine's ropes.

Blair: Well, I do understand them and I do respect them. But when cultural beliefs start to threaten the ecosystem, don't you think it's time for a change?

Jim gets Elaine's hands free.

Elaine: My hands were starting to turn blue.

Jim: Everybody be quiet. (listens to above)

~Cut to above. Ng talking to one of his men.~

Ng: Get the limpet mines. We'll put one in the engine room and one in the stern storage hold.

Man: All right.

~Cut back to below.~

Jim: They're going to sink the ship with explosives.

Elaine: How did you...? Oh, right. I forgot. Good instincts.

Jim goes up the ladder to the top hatch and tries to push on it -- no go.

Jim: There's no way to get out.

Elaine cuts Blair free.

Woo: There's another way. Cut me free, and I'll show you. Come on.

Elaine cuts Woo free as well. Jim comes back down the ladder.

Woo: Come on. This way.

Jim and Woo go back on the back wall behind some barrels.

Woo: There's a passageway concealed in the bulkhead. I had it put in to hide contraband. There's a way to get this open. I just...I just can't...

Jim: These bolts are loose.

Woo: Try it.

They open the panel.

Jim: Where's it lead?

Woo: A hatch cover in the foredeck.

~Cut to Jim, Elaine, and Woo coming on deck in a shadowed passageway. They can see Ng's men and some of Woo's men on the two smaller boats next to the ship.~

Jim: Looks like our only chance to take them is one at a time.

~Cut to below. Blair climbs the ladder to the roof hatch. He has a wrench.~

~Cut to above. Jim can hear Ng talking to another man.~

Ng: We're going to set the timers for 30 minutes.

Jim: They're setting the mines for 30 minutes.

Elaine: How do you know that?

~Cut to below. Blair starts banging on the roof hatch.~

Blair: Help!

Above, one of Ng's men starts opening the hatch. Blair goes back down the ladder. The man opens the hatch and leans down to look inside. Jim comes around the corner and knocks the guy out. He lowers him down inside to the other men. Blair gets the man's gun and waves at Jim.

~Cut to Jim, Elaine, and Woo creeping along the side of the ship. One of Woo's men, loading the merchandise onto on of the smaller boats, sees him. Woo motions for him to be quiet and keeping working. He does. Jim jumps over to the boat and attacks one of Ng's men. His gun goes off. Woo attacks another man. Elaine attacks a man who comes out to see what's going on. Jim knocks out his man and gets the gun. He looks up to see Elaine tossed on the ground, but she grabs the other man's gun and holds it on him, getting up as she does. Ng runs out with his gun, pointing it at Elaine.~

Ng: No!

Jim: (points his gun at Ng) All right, drop your gun.

Ng: (moves to aim at Jim) I don't think so. (holds up a grenade, pulling the pin partially) If I trigger this, we all die. Get up here. Throw your weapon down.

Jim hesitates a moment, then does so. The man Elaine was fighting takes his gun back. One of the motorboat starts up and takes off. Ng looks over to see Woo driving away. Jim attacks Ng. The grenade falls to the ground, the pin rolling out all the way. Elaine attacks the other man again, knocking him out. Jim and Ng struggle for the gun, rolling on the ship deck. Elaine sees the grenade.

Elaine: Oh, god! (grabs the grenade and throws it overboard)

Grenade explodes, sending a wave of water up onto the ship Ng gets a good hit on Jim and jumps off the ship onto a jetski and takes off. Blair and two of Woo's men come out onto the deck.

Jim: Find the explosives they've set! (jumps off the ship onto the other jetski and takes off after exchanging a look with Elaine)

Blair and others head off to find explosives.

Jim chases Ng through the water. Ng biffs on a turn, but gets back up and keeps going. The chase continues. Ng takes a jump successfully. Jim takes the same jump and loses control, flying off the jetski into the water. Ng turns around and runs at Jim. Woo appears in his boat and goes right in front of Ng. Ng loses control as he goes through the wake and falls off the jetski. Woo comes back long enough to exchange a few words with Jim.

Woo: A man of honor always pays his debts.

Sirens can be heard approaching.

Woo: Excuse me. Got to go pick up my men. (takes off as Jim starts to swim toward Ng)

~Cut to Major Crimes bullpen. Day. Simon, Elaine, Jim, and Blair.~

Simon: Oh, speaking of Mr. Woo, I heard from Hong Kong police. They figure he's on his way to southeast Asia.

Jim: Even a pirate's got to pull into port now and again.

Simon walks off. Blair takes off after him.

Blair: Uh, excuse me, Captain...I wondered if you could do me a favor? Before evidence returns the narwhal tusk back to Fish and Wildlife, I was wondering if you'd let me take it down to the lab and do a little chemical analysis on it?

Elaine: If, um, if you could get some time off, I know a place where the salmon runs so heavy, they'll almost knock you over.

Jim: Where would that be?

Elaine: Well, that's privileged information.

Jim: Oh, I see.

Elaine: You'll have to have a warden to...guide you.

Jim: Oh. Well, actually, the department owes me this Friday through Monday off.

Elaine: Okay. I'll, um...I'll pick you up at dawn.

Jim: But the only thing is...I don't have a tent.

Elaine: I'll bring mine.

Jim: Well, I hope it's bigger than Tommy's stateroom.

Elaine: It sleeps two.

Jim: Okay. I'll see you then.

Elaine leaves.

Blair comes over, chuckling.

Blair: So this fishing spot she's taking you to -- um...you think it's catch and release?

Jim: (chuckling) Why don't you ask me Tuesday?

They leave the bullpen, arms around each other's shoulders.

Blair: "I don't have a tent." That's a good one.

They laugh as they head down the hallway.

~ The End ~