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Neighborhood Watch

Written by: Harold Apter
Directed by: Scott Williams
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), Anna Galvin (Megan Connor), Bruce A. Young (Simon Banks).

Guest cast (in order of credits): Sarah Rose Peterson (Katie Johnson), James Kidnie (Lonnie Stevens), Brent Chapman (Bud Flint), Colleen Rennison (Rachel Johnson), Bill Dow (Phil Tanner), April Telek (Susan Tanner), Chris Nelson Norris (Walter Beckman), Fred Henderson (Roger Carson), Richard Side (Tom Coleman), Peter Kelamis (Ed Warner).

Summary: When a U.S. Marshal warns Ellison that someone in the witness protection program may have been illegally exposed, Ellison and Megan go undercover as a married couple -- with Sandburg as their nephew [(sic) -- should be just Jim's nephew] -- in hopes of identifying the endangered witness and possibly preventing a hit. Through surveillance, they learn that the witness is the ex-wife of a wealthy junk bondsman who did the "right" thing and exposed the unlawful activities of her husband, and now he's out to get her. (Source: UPN Press Release.)

This episode was originally broadcast on May 6, 1998.
Last updated: 7/8/01

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

~Opening theme plays as credits roll.~

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

~Day. Jim and Blair in truck driving down road. Blair is reading a letter.~

Jim: So how is your mom? She still running around India with that swampi or swami, whatever it is?

Blair: Holy man, Jim. He's a holy man. Baba Tenaka is one of the greats. Listen to this. "Baba has been instructing me in the art of yogic flying. Yesterday, I actually levitated. It was only for an instant, but I did..." And she underlined 'did.' "...feel my body leave the ground."

Jim: She get frequent flier miles for that?

Blair: It's about spiritual enlightenment. Being a sentinel, I would hope you'd be more open to that.

Jim: I'll tell you what enlightenment is. It's when they can fly to Paris without a plane.

Blair: What do you keep looking in the mirrors for?

Jim: 'Cause somebody's been following us ever since we left the station.

Blair: You think maybe he's going in the same direction?

Jim: Well, let's find out.

They turn a corner. Car follows them.

Blair: He's still back there.

Jim: Let's see what he wants. Hang on.

Jim turns into a warehouse building entrance and goes through to the other side. Car follows. Truck goes down around corner. Car goes as well. Jim keeps going, speeding away, pulling into another empty warehouse entrance. Car comes after, but goes by entrance. Jim and Blair watch, then pull out after the car. Car pulls around another corner to a dead end and stops. Truck pulls up several yards behind it. Jim gets out with his gun pointed at car.

Jim: Get out of the car! Get your hands where I can see them.

Man (Carson) gets out of the car with his hands up.

Carson: Wait.

Jim walks closer as Carson comes to meet him.

Jim: Carson?

Carson: This is a weird way to go about this, but I need your help.

Blair gets out of truck and goes to join Jim.

Jim: Why didn't you just call me?

Carson: I couldn't take that risk and I didn't know who else to trust.

Jim: This is my partner Blair Sandburg. He's all right.

Carson: If you say so. One of our deputies is dirty. Somebody in witness protection may have been exposed.

Jim: You have any evidence to back that up?

Carson: Yeah. In my car. (goes back to his car)

Blair: Who is that guy?

Jim: His name is Roger Carson, US Deputy Marshal. A while back, he helped me out of a scrape. Could've bought the farm.

Blair: What do you mean, he saved your life?

Jim: Yeah.

Carson opens the trunk of his car. Jim zooms in to see a red light blinking in the trunk.

Jim: Roger!

Carson turns to look at Jim, then turns back to the car. Car blows up in a huge ball of flame and debris; Carson flies through the air. Jim pulls Blair to the hood of the truck, protecting him, then they look back at car.

~Cut to same scene a bit later. Still day. Feds are examining the burnt-out wreck of the what's left of the car. Simon and Megan come through the group of onlookers to join Jim and Blair.~

Jim: Captain.

Simon: What the hell happened here, Jim?

Jim: I ran into an old friend of mine. His name is Roger Carson. He worked for the US Marshal's office. He said he had some information about somebody he worked with.

Simon: My phone has been ringing off the hook. What's this all about?

Jim: I don't know, sir. Something having to do with somebody involved with the witness protection program.

Blair: Said he had some evidence in his trunk. He went to get it and...

Simon: What kind of evidence?

Jim: Never got that far.

Megan: You're okay, Sandy?

Blair: Yeah, I'm fine. Six feet closer, you know, uh, you never know.

Megan: Glad you're both okay.

Jim: Thank you.

Megan: (to Simon) You mind if I take a look around?

Simon: Yeah, Conner, go ahead. Just, uh, stay out of the way of the suits.

Megan: No worries. (walks off)

Jim: Your new partner, huh?

Simon: Somebody's got to show her the ropes since I couldn't trust you.

Jim: Have fun, Captain.

Simon: Look, were you able to find out anything before the feds arrived?

Jim: The bomb was under the car. Our guys responded, but the FBI just waltzed in and took over.

Blair: Can they do that?

Simon: A deputy marshal was just murdered, Sandburg. That makes it a federal case.

Blair: That sucks.

Megan is looking around the scene outside the tape. She sees something and pulls out an evidence bag as she picks it up.

~Cut to Major Crimes. Still day. Jim, Blair, Simon, and Megan walk out of elevator.~

Jim: Captain, we've been down this road before. Carson said someone in his office was dirty, right? Now we know with the feds running the case, it's like the chicken coop being guarded by the fox.

They go into bullpen.

Simon: They can't all be dirty, Jim. The real problem is whatever evidence Carson had disappeared with his car.

Blair: And whatever was left, the FBI's got.

They head toward Simon's office.

Megan: Maybe not. (holds up the bagged piece of evidence)

They stop and look back at Megan.

Simon: What are those?

Megan: Keys. I found them at the scene. You said I could look around.

Simon: I didn't say you could take anything!

Megan: They were outside the taped-off area. In my book, that's anyone's game.

Simon: (hits Blair's arm) What kind of book is she writing?

Jim walks over to Megan.

Jim: May I? Thank you.

Jim takes bagged keys from Megan and turns back to Simon and Blair. He lifts the bag and opens it, sniffing inside.

Jim: It's definitely evidence of C-4 here, Captain.

Blair makes some hand motions.

Megan: How does he do that?

Blair: Uh...demolitions expert in the army.

Jim: Some sort of tag here, sir. Maybe I can lift an address.

Simon: And do what?

Jim: I don't know, Captain. Just give me some time to check it out.

Simon: I don't have any time. We have to give that evidence back to the feds.

Blair: Simon, come on, we're only talking about a couple of hours. There's somebody's life at stake.

Megan: We should get those keys straight to the lab.

Jim turns back to Megan.

Jim: (chuckles) "We"?

Megan: I found the keys. That makes me part of this case, right?

Jim: Conner, you've already violated the rules of conduct at a crime scene, now I have my own methods..

Megan: Look, I know by your standards my methods are somewhat unorthodox...

Jim: ...I'm sure you're very good at what you do...

Megan: ....but if you gave me half a chance to prove myself...

Jim: ...and I appreciate your enthusiasm...

Megan: ...and stop...

Jim and Megan are talking over each other. Behind them, Simon rubs his forehead for a moment. Blair just watches and grins. Simon finally interrupts, lifting a hand.

Simon: Detectives. Could we continue this in my office?

Jim and Megan go into Simon's office.

Simon: Thank you. (to Blair) Care to join us?

Blair: No. I'll hear about it later. (walks off)

Simon goes into his office and closes the door.

Simon: All right, look, Jim, I don't like this withholding evidence from the feds.

Jim: Captain, Carson was a friend of mine and I respect his integrity. Now, he wouldn't be wasting his time on this. It's got to be important. Now I've got to believe what he told me.

Simon: All right, here's how we'll play it. You find the lock that fits those keys and we'll take it from there. (to Megan) In the meantime, Conner, I pulled some case files for you to look at to bring you up to speed at what's going on around here. (hands Megan a stack of files) Jim can handle the legwork from here.

Megan: But...

Simon: In the meantime, I want you two to clean up your act. Let's not have any more public displays in the bullpen. Am I clear?

Megan: Yes, sir.

Jim: Yes, sir.

Simon: That's it.

Jim and Megan leave.

~Cut to Jim and Blair at Jim's desk. Jim is feeling the keys. Megan walks up behind them in the hall and watches through the glass.~

Jim: Yeah, I can only feel 3-2-5-0 down...d-o-w-n. I mean, there might be an "i." D-o-w-n-i... 0-5...

Blair: Yes.

Jim: Down.

Blair: Downing.

Jim: Downing. That might be it.

Blair: All right.

Jim: Let's give that a try.

Blair: Downing. (starts flipping through a phone book)

Megan comes in the doorway next to the desk.

Megan: Detective?

Jim: Yes, Conner.

Megan: I just wanted to apologize. I'm new here, and I should be more deferential.

Jim: Yes, you should. And your apology is accepted. Thank you.

Megan: Don't you think we should at least try to work together?

Jim: Uh, Conner, I'm sure we might get the chance in the future but, uh, right now the captain has given us instructions and it seems like you have quite a lot of work to do.

Megan: You might at least tell me how you do that thing you do.

Jim: What thing is this?

Megan: Deciphering burnt letters with your fingertips, identifying C-4 residue without the benefit of chemical analysis. What are you? Some kind of psychic?

Jim looks at Blair. Blair sorta shrugs and gestures at Jim.

Jim: Oh. Cat's out of the bag, Chief. (stands and says to Megan) Just do me a favor. Try not to broadcast it, okay? (leaves)

Megan: He really is?

Blair: (stands) Yeah.

Megan: Why didn't he just tell me? I've worked with psychics back at home on cases before. Sometimes we've found them to be quite useful but I've never met a cop who had the gift.

Blair: Well, you know he doesn't want to be considered a freak, right? It's, uh... (gestures and shakes his head, then leaves)

~Cut to Jim and Blair pulling into a housing cul-de-sac. Night. They stop in front of a house.~

Jim: Well, here it is. 3250.

Blair: Ooh. It's the Amazing Kreskin again. (laughs)

Jim: Well, you know, the beauty of it is, it's her idea.

Blair: I know. It's beautiful. It's perfect. We still got to be careful. We can't use the psychic thing to explain away everything you do, so we got to stay on our toes, you know.

Jim: That's a good point.

They get out of car and go up to front door of house. Jim hears something inside the house.

Blair: What is it?

Jim: Something electronic. I think it's coming from upstairs.

They go inside house and head upstairs. They walk into a darkened room with lots of static-t TV's. The room is unfinished. Blair turns on a desk lamp to give the room a little light.

Blair: Man. Looks like this guy was cooped up here for a while.

Jim finds a column of pictures.

Jim: Check this out. He knew a witness might have been exposed and been relocated to this neighborhood.

Blair: He doesn't know who or where so he just stakes out the whole cul-de-sac.

Jim: Yeah... and waits for the killer to show up.

~Cut to across the street. Someone pulls back a curtain to see a figure in black going up to the outside of the house.~

~Cut to house. Figure tries the doorknob.~

~Cut back to Jim and Blair.~

Blair: Is this what was making the noise? (referring to TV's)

Jim hears the doorknob being tried downstairs.

Jim: Somebody's trying to get in. Come on.

They head downstairs and go out of kitchen back door. Figure outside is going along side of house. Jim (with gun out) and Blair go along side of house. They stop at a corner.

Jim: Wait here.

Blair: No problem.

Jim goes further down side of house. He finds the figure in black and points his gun.

Jim: Move away from the window.

Figure steps out into light -- it's Megan. Jim lowers his gun.

Jim: Conner, what the hell are you doing here?

Across the street, someone pulls back a round on a rifle. Jim hears it and looks across street down the site of the gun. Just as gun is being fired, Jim lunges and shoves Megan back to house wall. Bullet strikes the wall, missing them.

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

~Same continuing scene.~

Jim: Chief, stay back! Shots fired!

Blair runs to join Jim and Megan anyway.

Blair: I'm not staying over there. Megan, what are you doing?

Jim: What the hell am I going to do with you two? (points across the street) The shots came from that window over there. (to Megan) I want you to cover the front. (to Blair) You stay behind me.

Blair: Right.

They split up and take off. Jim and Blair go to other house and creep along side. Jim pauses.

Jim: Behind us.

Lights and sirens go off. A man (Bud) comes out behind them with a rifle.

Bud: Freeze you dirtbag or I'll drop you where you stand.

Jim winces away from the light and sound and pulls out his badge.

Bud: You can buy a badge at any pawnshop. Oh, yeah, I guess your little hippie friend here is your partner, right?

Megan comes up behind Bud and cocks her gun.

Megan: One of them.

Bud: Whoa. (raises his gun in the air)

Jim: (goes up to Bud) Get down on your knees, Rambo. (takes gun)

Bud: I've got a bad back.

~Cut to Major Crimes. Still night. Jim and Conner walking in hallway.~

Jim: Conner, how can I put this to you gently? Um, we are not partners now nor do I foresee us being partners.

Megan: It was a figure of speech.

They enter bullpen. Blair and Bud are at Jim's desk.

Jim: Maybe we should get a book of translations, huh?

Megan walks off.

Bud: What's with these two? They haven't stopped for an hour.

Blair: If I were you, I'd be more concerned about raising bail than what they're up to, all right? Jim, I'm going to go get some coffee.

Bud: Coffee sounds good.

Simon comes over.

Simon: So, you're our vigilante.

Bud: Concerned citizen.

Jim: Bud Flint.

Simon: What the hell do you think you were doing, Mr. Flint?

Bud: Well, the neighborhood's been plagued by burglaries. We even had a home invasion and you guys haven't done anything about it. It's like a war zone. So when I saw someone sneaking around, I decided to take action.

Simon: By taking a shot at a cop through your window?!

Bud: I thought she was a burglar.

Simon: Let's let this "concerned citizen" see what it's like to be booked, shall we? (walks off)

Jim: Sit down. Take your hat off.

Simon: Conner. Help me out here. Do I not express myself clearly?

Megan: Captain?

Simon: I remember telling you to stay out of this investigation.

Megan: I remember you telling me to work on some case files which I did. Has there been some misunderstanding?

Simon: (chuckling) No, not at all. As long as you remember that you're here as a guest and your credentials can be pulled at any time.

Megan: I understand, sir.

Simon: Make sure that you do. (walks off)

~Cut to Simon's office. Still night. Jim, Blair, and Simon.~

Simon: I don't like withholding evidence from the feds, Jim. I wouldn't want them doing it to me.

Blair: Uh, sir, but if we do talk to the FBI, aren't they going to be filling in the Marshals?

Jim: Not necessarily. One or the other, I think we can safely rule out Bud Flint as a potential. I mean, the feds would be all over us by now, right?

Simon: Yeah, you're right. All right, so the Downing development is brand new. Any family that moved in there would have had to have been there in the last three months.

Blair: Right. That leaves four families, sir. (gestures to pictures on the table) We have the Colemans, the Tanners, the Warners, and... (lifts picture of woman and a girl) and the Johnsons.

Simon: For the time being, let's assume who know about Carson and his surveillance. You have any luck with the real estate company that rented him the house?

Jim: I found out that he was on a month-to-month.

Simon: That leaves us two weeks. I got an idea. (goes over and opens door) Conner! My office.

Megan looks up from her desk, then stands and heads over.

Jim: Oh, this ought to be good.

Megan comes in.

Simon: You want in on this case, Conner? You've got it. Here's how we'll do the dance. Jim, you and Megan will move into that house in the cul-de-sac. Get to know the neighbors. See if you can ID the witness -- maybe prevent a hit. Your cover will be you're a couple.

Jim looks at Blair who raises his eyebrows. Jim looks back at Simon.

Jim: A couple of what?

Simon: (looks at Jim) Newlyweds.

Megan: You have a problem with intimacy, Detective?

Jim: I'm familiar with the concept.

Megan laughs.

Simon: See what I mean? The way you two go at it, nobody will doubt it. Besides, it'll give you a chance to work out your differences. By the time you come back, I want everything peaches and cream.

Jim: Simon...

Simon: Sandburg You're in, too.

Blair: Uh...so, what do I get to be, their son?

Simon: You expect me to think of everything? Come up with a cover.

Jim: You could be my nephew.

Blair: Don't you think I'm a little old for that?

Jim: You think anybody would buy us as brothers?

Blair: (with Australian accent) Hey, no worries, mate. I know what, I'll go as Megan's brother.

Megan: You're not tall enough, and the accent needs work. (to Simon) I'll do an American accent.

Blair looks at Jim. Jim makes an amused face and looks away.

Megan: What about our friend Flint? He knows we're cops.

Simon: I'll talk to the DA, work everything out. If Flint behaves himself, we'll get the charges dropped. Besides, if he thinks we're going in there to protect the neighborhood, you should have no trouble with him at all.

~Cut to Downing neighborhood. Bud and another man (Tom) are doing something with the side mirror on car.~

Bud: It's real straightforward. You just operate it from the inside.

Jim's truck pulls into the cul-de-sac.

Bud: Oh, speak of the devil. There they are. Come on.

Jim pulls the truck into the driveway of the house, then get out of truck. Bud and Tom go over to greet them as they start to unload the truckbed.

Bud: Hey, Jimbo.

Jim: Maybe we should have kept him locked up.

Bud: Here's the new kids on the block: my buddy Jim...his lovely wife, Megan, and Jim's nephew Blair.

Tom: Tom Coleman. Hello.

Jim: Hi, Tom. Nice to meet you.

Bud: Perfect timing. I got some of the guys coming over. Going to throw some dogs on the grill, maybe break open some beers.

Jim: Well, uh, it sounds like a nice invitation, but we've got unpacking to do. Maybe we could take a rain check.

Bud: Oh, hell, you got lots of time for that. Look, all the guys are coming over. (to Megan) It's kind of a stag. I hope , you don't mind.

Megan: Not a bit. Have fun, guys. (walks over to Jim and kisses him briefly) I'm going inside to do some woman things.

Megan turns to go inside the house. Blair looks at Jim, then at Megan, then back at Jim. Then he follows Megan inside the house. A beeper noise sounds.

Tom: Oh. That's the wife. (pause) I'd better go see what's up. (leaves)

Jim: His wife has him on beeper?

Bud: She crooks her finger, and he does a jig. It's pathetic. Anyway, I'll get everyone together to get to know you and help you fit in.

Jim: I'll tell you, Bud, with the surveillance, we really got our hands full, you know. We got to keep a low profile here.

A man and woman come out of another house, both dressed very loudly and flamboyantly.

Jim: Who's this?

Bud: Oh, uh, Susan and Phil Tanner. Every neighborhood should have one of those, huh? Rumor is they're, uh, swingers.

Jim: Oh, really?

Bud: I'd love to be a fly on the wall in that bedroom, huh? (laughs)

Jim: I bet you would.

~Cut to a man on the hillside above development. He takes pictures of Jim and Bud on the street.~

~Cut to inside house. Upstairs. Still day. Jim is looking out the window. Megan is setting up a surveillance camera and monitor. Blair is sitting in front of another window with a few cameras around him.~

Megan: So, my darling husband, just so we keep our stories straight, how long have we been married?

Jim: Long enough for me to get the seven-year itch, dear. (walks back over to stand in front of Megan)

Megan: I was a child bride. When I kissed you before, you didn't seem to like it much. We don't want the neighbors to think our marriage is in trouble.

Jim: No, it was...it was good for me. Uh... I heard the symphony play. The earth moved for me.

Megan: Uh, Jimbo, it's a job.

Jim: Conner, how far are we willing to take this job here? Are we going to, uh, share a bed?

Megan: Whatever it takes... honey.

Jim: We won't even be sharing a room.

Megan: What will people think?

Jim: People won't be peeking in on us.

Megan: Why not? We'll be peeking in on them.

Jim: That's a good point.

Blair: Jim, come here. Check this out.

Jim goes over to join Blair at the window. They see Bud, Tom, and another man (Ed) gathering in Bud's open garage -- with their guns.

Blair: Looks like the neighborhood watch is coming to work.

Jim listens in.

Warner: Hey, you guys, check this out.

Bud: .38 special. Very nice.

Jim: I guess we're going to be attending old Bud Flint's little stag party after all. Come on.

~Cut to Jim and Blair leaving house. As they leave, a minivan pulls up in front of another house.~

Blair: Shall we bring cookies?

They cross street. In the garage, Bud cocks and aims a shotgun upwards.

Bud: Look at that, huh?

A woman gets out of the van and starts talking to Jim and Blair. A girl sits in the back of the van.

Katie: Hey! Tell your friends if they start waving their guns around again, I'm calling the cops.

Blair: Uh, we're not with them.

Jim: We moved in across the way. I'm Jim Ellison. This is my nephew, Blair Sandburg. We were kind of getting acquainted with the folks.

Katie: Katie... Johnson.

Jim: Hi.

Katie: I'm sorry. It's just...they come here and they start playing with their guns. I'm afraid to let my daughter go outside.

Jim: I'll, uh, try and talk to them.

Blair: Yeah, you know how I feel about guns.

Jim walks off.

Katie: Thanks. You're his nephew?

Blair: Uh...yeah. By a second marriage. How you doing?

Katie: Hi.

Rachel: Mom.

Katie: I'll be right there, Rachel.

Blair: Hi, Rachel. How you doing? I'm Blair.

Rachel waves at him.

Blair: Hi. That's a very pretty name.

Katie: I'm really sorry I lost my temper. Do you want to come in for an iced tea or a soda or something?

Blair: Yeah. That'd be great. You need help with the groceries?

Katie: Great.

~Pan over to Bud's garage. Bud is still showing off the shotgun as Jim comes up.~

Bud: You want it up in here, and you look down here. Right. And you can fire again. That's easy. It's easy.

Jim: Well, if it isn't the wild bunch. Bud, can I talk to you for a second? I just want to ask you something about the house.

Jim and Bud walk further down driveway.

Bud: What's up? Hey, uh, when can I get my rifle back?

Jim: What's with the firearms?

Bud: It's a neighborhood protection squad I'm putting together.

Jim: I like the idea, but, Bud, do me a favor. Put away the guns, get some flashlights, and register with the neighborhood watch, okay?

Bud: Come on, you think a home-invasion robber is frightened by a couple of flashlights?

Jim: This is not the way to go about it. You're terrifying neighbors.

Bud: You should be happy for the extra backup.

Jim: All right, all right, here's the bottom line. You or any of these other bozos go goose-stepping around the neighborhood with loaded guns, I'm gonna have to haul in the lot of you. Is that understood?

Bud: There's no law against carrying on our own property.

Jim: No. But there are several regarding the illegal discharge of firearms and interference with a police investigation. Both of which you have violated. Now, one word to the DA and you're going to go away for good this time. Now, do I paint a good picture?

Bud: Do I look stupid?

Jim looks away a moment and blinks. Then he looks at Bud once more, then walks away, heading back to the house.

~Cut to man on hillside again as he takes more pictures of Jim.~

~Cut to same man holding up a US Marshal ID. Still day. He is at Emery Grove Penitentiary.~

Beckman: Walter Beckman, US Marshal. I'm here to see Lonnie Stevens.

Guard opens a door for Beckman to enter a large room with several prisoners at tables.

Guard: He's in there.

Beckman goes over and sits down in front of another man (Stevens).

Beckman: I want you to call off the hit.

Stevens: Forget about it.

Beckman: The killing's over. You hear me?

Stevens: Yeah, I hear you, Beckman. You shouldn't even be here. You could blow everything.

Beckman: It's blown already. Look at this. (shows him a picture of Jim) The Cascade police already know about Carson's surveillance. It's just a matter of time before they figure out -- like he did -- who the witness is and that I'm the one who sold them out.

Stevens: I'll have my people keep an eye on them.

Beckman: Your people...! Your people have been in place for months. Why did you keep them so long?

Stevens: I've already given up eight years. A few weeks means nothing to me. Anyway, as you know, this situation presents us with a special problem.

Beckman: I don't understand you. (puts pictures away) Your time here is almost done. In a few days you could walk out of here and never look back.

Stevens: Never look back.

Beckman: Right.

Stevens: I had everything, Beckman -- real power, money. Somebody wanted to make a big trade -- float a few junk bonds, arrange a merger -- they came to me first because I was the best and everybody knew that. But then one day the person I trusted most in this world decided to betray me because...because it was the right thing to do. Imagine that. Some ridiculous law was more important than I was. Eight years. Now's the time for payback. Don't lose your cool.

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

~Downing development. Next morning. Bud, in his robe, is outside to get his newspaper. He heads back inside.~

~Cut to stakeout house. Jim and Blair are in the kitchen. Jim is at the table reading the paper and drinking coffee. Blair is at a counter, leaning his head on a blender full of green stuff. Megan comes in and heads over to Blair as he pours the green stuff into a cup. All are in their pajamas/robes.~

Megan: I love breakfast. Favorite meal of the day. What is that?

Blair: It's an algae shake. I have one every morning.

Megan: How do you get used to the smell? (goes over and opens refrigerator)

Jim: You don't.

Megan: (pulls out a steak) Steak. Much better.

Jim: Ah! Bad choice. That would be mine.

Megan puts steak back. Blair sits down with his algae shake. Megan pulls out a pineapple.

Blair: Don't even think about it. That's my lunch.

Megan puts pineapple back and shuts fridge. She steps over to table and stands between the two chairs, leaning down a little.

Megan: We're one big happy family here. Can't we just share?

Blair: Well, in the family unit structure -- you being the mom -- why don't you go do some shopping? (chuckles)

Megan: We'll need Uncle Jim's gold card.

Jim: You've already exhausted your allowance?

Megan: Mm-hmm. On floor wax and nine-millimeter shells.

Jim: Can't eat that.

Phil and Susan Tanner come knocking on the glass sliding door of the kitchen. Phil is carrying a big fruit basket and opens the door.

Susan: Hi.

Jim and Blair stand up.

Jim: Morning.

Susan: Can we come in for a sec?

Jim: Please.

Phil: Hi. Susan, Phil. Just wanted to drop this off. (puts basket on table)

Susan: Our way of saying "Welcome to the neighborhood."

Jim: Very kind. Thank you.

Susan: You must be Jim.

Jim: That's me. Yeah. Uh, this is my...wife Megan.

Megan: Hi.

Jim: My nephew Blair.

Blair: Hi. It's a second-marriage thing.

Susan: He's adorable. (walks over to Blair) I'd like to have one of you at our house.

Jim: Yeah. We rent him out on weekends.

Susan: Oh... Better than a video, huh, Phil?

Phil: Uh-huh...Yeah.

Blair chuckles a little nervously.

Susan: Well, we should go. Wanted to drop this off and hope to see all of you again soon.

Blair: Good.

Susan: Bye.

Jim: Thanks for stopping by.

Phil: See you soon.

Susan and Phil leave, shutting the door.

Blair: I feel violated.

Megan: Thank God for neighbors. I'd starve to death with just the two of you to depend on.

Blair: Man.

Jim: Bud Flint says they're swingers.

Megan: Hmm... maybe we can all go out dancing one night.

Jim and Blair look at each other, then at Megan.

Megan: Or maybe not.

~Cut to later that day. Jim and Blair are watching from above as a man pulls out of his driveway in a car.~

Jim: It's 3:00.

Blair: Yeah. He left the same time yesterday. I guess he's on the night shift.

Jim: He did that same sort of work in LA., right?

Blair: Yeah. Company offered him a lot of coin to stay but he moved his family up here for the better life, you know. I don't think he's our witness. (sees Katie washing her van in her driveway) Hmm. (pause) You know, I think I should go over there and...give her a hand, you know. See if I can find out some more stuff about her.

Jim: Like the moth to the light. Why don't we flip to see who helps her out?

Blair: 'Cause you're a married man, remember?

Jim: You're on a stakeout, remember?

Blair: So? I mean, uh...come on. Give me this one. She makes me feel good.

Jim: (flips a coin) Let's flip.

Blair starts walking out.

Jim: Call it.

Blair: (calls back as he leaves) Heads.

Jim: Just be careful.

~Cut to much later. Night in the Downing development. Megan is at the window listening to conversation at Coleman house as Tom talks to his wife (Marilyn).~

Marilyn: Tom, where are you going?

Tom: Over to Bud's. He's got a new gun he wants to show me.

Marilyn: I've had it with those stupid friends of yours. Go ahead. I won't be here when you get back.

Tom: Honey, you don't mean that. Honey? Marilyn!

Jim comes in with a tray of food and sets it on a table.

Jim: All right. Come and get it.

Megan goes over to join him.

Megan: I thought I was cooking.

Jim: Well, the idea of you whipping up one of those, uh, vegemite stews wasn't all that appealing to me.

Megan: I have no problem with a guy wearing the apron. (pause) You've been married...for real. What was it like?

Jim: Well, it was great, you know, for the most part. We just kind of...we just kind of drifted apart.

Megan: I don't think I'll ever get married. I couldn't bear it if things went bad.

Jim: Well, you're always going to have problems come up, but I wouldn't trade the good times.

Jim goes over to window and starts to listen to conversation bits around the neighborhood.

Woman: Willie, put your pajamas on and get to bed right now!

Man: Will someone pick that up, please? (referring to ringing phone)

Megan: How long were you married?

Jim doesn't answer as he's still listening.

Bud: I bought a new box of shells. Did you see where I put them?

Megan: Jim?

Man #1: Where are Cole and Westlake?

Man #2: They're on their way.

Megan: Jim!

Jim turns around to look at her. Megan comes over to join him at the window.

Jim: Oh, I'm sorry. Were you, were you saying something?

Megan looks out the window, then turns to JIm.

Megan: You're getting some kind of psychic bead on the witness, right?

Jim: You know, Conner, you catch on very quick.

Megan: I have a confession to make.

Jim: Should I call you a priest?

Megan: I told Sandburg that I'd worked with psychics on cases at home, but actually, I've been to readings for myself.

Jim: Well, so you don't think my, uh...ability is so strange, then?

Megan: Not at all.

Jim: Oh, good.

Megan: I get it from my dad. He's an absolute fanatic about that stuff. Dragged me off to have my cards read twice a year. More after my mom died.

Jim: I'm sorry to hear about your mom.

Megan: That was years ago, but thanks.

Jim: Maybe we could hook Sandburg's mom up with your dad, you know. They can, uh...get metaphysical over some, uh...ginseng tea or...

Megan turns and looks out window again. She sees into a window in Katie's house -- and sees Blair with Katie and Rachel.

Megan: Did you know Sandburg was next door?

Jim: Yeah. I told him he could go there.

Megan: (turns back around) Do you think that was a good idea? What if she's the witness?

Jim: So we've got somebody up close and personal. What?

Megan: What about somebody who carries a gun?

Jim: Conner, we're right over here. What's the big deal?

Megan: Look, it's bad enough we have this Bud Flint tosser to deal with. If one of us slips up, even innocently, suddenly the whole neighborhood's onto us.

Jim: I'll talk to him.

Megan: When?

Jim: Tonight. I'll talk to him tonight. Just let's eat, okay? And do me a favor -- don't nag. We're just pretending to be married. (goes back over to table)

Megan looks out window again.

~Cut to Katie's house. Same time. Blair is in the front room looking at a picture of Rachel. Katie comes back into room and leans against the entrance doorjamb.~

Katie: She has a terrible crush on you. I had to promise you'd come back tomorrow just to get her to go to sleep.

Blair: We don't want you to be a liar. So, I'll guess I'll be seeing you tomorrow.

Katie: (comes further into room) I...don't want to impose.

Blair: Are you kidding me? You know, I can't remember the last time I had such a good time.

Katie: You don't have to flatter me.

Blair: Actually, yes, I do. You see, uh, my mother raised me by herself. And when I see you with Rachel... It sort of reminds me of how my mother and I were and, uh, I really admire the way you do it, you know. The way you do it all alone.

Katie: She's worth it.

Blair: Yeah.

They both sit down on the couch next to each other.

Blair: You know...I'd really like to do this again and not just, uh, to keep you from being a liar.

Katie: Somehow, I'm not sure I'm the kind of woman you usually hang out with.

Blair: What do you mean? Because you have a kid? Yeah, that's true. But I'm willing to try new things -- you know, have new experiences.

Katie: It's been a long time since I've even thought about dating anyone.

Blair: It's okay. We'll go slow. We don't even have to call it dating.

~Cut to Emery Grove Penitentiary. Day. Stevens is leaving. He meets a man (Charlie) just outside and gets into a car.~

Man: (over PA system) Lockdown five minutes. I repeat: Lockdown in ten minutes.

Stevens: Can I have the phone?

Man gives him the phone.

Stevens: Thanks. (dials and then talks into phone) Stevens... Yeah. Just now. I'm on my way. What are we going to do about this Beckman problem? Look, I'm counting on you to take care of it. You understand? Now. (hangs up and walks back over to man, handing him the phone) Thanks, Charlie.

Stevens gets into the back of the car. He pulls a picture of Rachel out of his pocket and looks at it.

Stevens: I'm going to give you a whole new life, sweetheart. This time, one you deserve.

Charlie starts up the car and they pull away.

~Cut to parking garage. Beckman walks over to his car and opens it. He turns and sees someone with a gun pointed at him. He goes for his gun, but doesn't get there before the shooter fires at several times.~

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

~Downing neighborhood. Day. Rachel is outside of her house, drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. Katie opens the door and calls to her.~

Katie: Rachel... Lunch.

Rachel: Okay.

Rachel gathers her stuff and goes inside. Katie stands for a moment in the doorway, then goes inside.

~Cut to stakeout house. Blair is at the window watching and holding the parabolic mic, with headphones on. Jim and Megan are at a table, sorting through pictures.~

Jim: Come on, Chief. You'll see her sometime again...just after we finish the job.

Blair: Maybe...unless she's the witness and then they change her identity and ship her out of town somewhere.

Megan: In that case, maybe it's for the best.

Blair: I mean, I know I just met her and my history with women is, well...is what it is but, uh, I feel like I could really like this one, you know? One thing I do know is that when you date a woman with a kid, you're not number one anymore. You're second and that's okay with me, you know? That doesn't bother me.

Jim's cellphone rings and he answers it.

Jim: Ellison.

~Cut to Simon in the parking garage where Beckman's body has been found. Conversation scenes cut back and forth between them.~

Simon: Jim, it's Simon. The rules of the game have just changed. A marshal by the name of Walter Beckman has been found murdered.

Jim: Walter Beckman?

Simon: I just spoke to his boss in DC. Evidently they suspected a leak, too. Got wind of it a few months back. They sent deputies to check it out who came up empty so they figured they were wrong. Beckman was always on their short list though. Him turning up dead just set off all their internal alarms.

Jim: So, now what?

Simon: They want you out of there, of course.

Jim: We'll be leaving the witness wide open.

Simon: According to DC, they're moving to a safe house.

Jim: According to who in DC? I mean, how do we know they're not dirty?

Simon: Unfortunately, we don't. Look, we've run with this as far as we can, Jim.

Jim: Did they at least tell you who the witness is?

Simon: Of course not. It's still classified.

~Cut to Katie's house. Her phone rings and she answers it. Blair hears the phone and listens in to her half of the conversation.~

Katie: Hello? Yes, Marshal. What? But how did he find us?

Blair: Jim...

Katie: Oh, my god. What do we do? Yes, Marshal, I understand. We'll be ready. Thank you. (hangs up)

~Cut back to stakeout house. Blair takes off the headphones.~

Jim: Yeah.

Blair: Jim... (walks over to Jim)

Simon: I want you to pull out of there as gracefully as possible. Try not to bring too much attention to yourself, all right?

Jim: All right. (hangs up)

Blair: It's her. The witness is Katie.

~Cut to later. Still day. Jim, Blair, and Megan are packing up the truck.~

Jim: She's going to be all right, Chief.

Bud comes over to talk to Jim.

Bud: What the hell are you doing, man?

Jim: Well, the department feels we've, uh, fulfilled our requirements, uh, during our time here, and, uh, we're out of here.

Bud: Are you kidding? Don't you people read your own reports? House on Cedar Creek Road last night got hit with a home invasion. I mean, that's just a couple of miles from here.

Jim: Look, Flint, the reality is, we don't have enough people to be in every neighborhood 24 hours a day. It's just an impossibility.

Bud: Oh, so, you're just going to leave us hanging?

Jim: You need us anytime, you know the drill. You call 911.

Bud: Yeah, oh, I'm going to do that. That's just great. Thanks a lot. (walks back to his house)

Phil and Susan come over to them.

Megan: Come on, let's get going before they start asking questions, too.

Phil: Hey, Detective... (shows a badge)

Susan: US Marshal's office. (shows a badge as well)

Phil: Just want you to know we got the situation under control.

~Cut to Major Crimes. Still day. Simon (on a phone) and Jim walking down hallway.~

Simon: What kind of dog-and-pony show are you people running anyway? Have that field supervisor get in touch with me as soon as possible. Thank you. (hangs up) The guy I talked to this morning, he's out on some survey somewhere.

Jim: Captain, you told me Washington pulled out of this case months ago. They got people permanently there though.

Simon: Normally they don't keep anybody under guard once they're relocated.

Blair and Megan meet up with them.

Blair: Jim, your hunch paid off. There were fingerprints on that basket.

Megan: (hands Simon a file) Only their name's not Tanner. It's Polk, and they're wanted for murder in two states, both paid hits.

Blair: Now, look, guys, I just called Katie's house. And the phone is dead or something like that. And I can't help but be a little nervous here, all right?

Simon: Sandburg, you stay calm. Everything's gonna be fine. Jim, you and Conner get to the house. I'll jump on the Marshal's office. Maybe they'll listen to me.

~Cut to Katie's house. Same time. Katie, Rachel, Phil, and Susan.~

Rachel: But, mom, I don't want to move again.

Katie: I'm sorry, baby, but we have to.

Rachel: And why can we only take one suitcase? What about my new computer and all my dolls?

Katie: We'll have to leave them behind for now.

Rachel: No, I'm not going! (storms off)

Katie: She'll be okay. (follows her)

Susan: I'll move them along. (goes after the two of them)

Phil's cellphone rings and he answers it.

Phil: Yeah? Where are you?

Stevens: (in the car) We're getting close. I'll be there in a couple of minutes.

Phil: You know those cops that were watching us, they've cleared out.

Stevens: Well, that's convenient, isn't it?

Phil: Look, why don't you just let us do her now, get over with?

Stevens: Not in front of my daughter. Are you listening to me? When Rachel and I leave the country, that's when you can...dispose of my ex-wife. (hangs up)

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

~Bud's garage. Still day. Bud, Tom, and Ed.~

Bud: Ed, Tom, I called you here today because my Buddy Jimbo and his family are cops.

Ed: What?!

Tom: Cops?

Bud: After all the stuff going on here, they were sent to watch the neighborhood. But they bailed. So it's come down to us to look after things around here. Now, it's going to take a little more time so we may have to miss some work. Are you with me?

Ed: (cocks his handgun and stands) I'm in.

Bud: Tom?

Tom: Oh, I'm in. I'll just have to okay it with the wife.

Bud: Aw, Tom. Did you even bring your gun?

Tom: Oh, I got the gun. (pats his coat)

~Cut to Jim, Blair, and Megan in the truck driving toward the Downing development.~

Blair: Come on, Jim, can't you drive faster?

Jim: Not on these side streets, Chief. It's too dangerous.

Blair: Where's the backup you called for?

Megan: The captain's set up roadblocks. But we don't want to provoke a hosstage situation if the Tanners are with Katie.

Blair: I know. I know.

Jim: Just try and relax. We're gonna be there any minute.

~Cut to Downing development. Stevens' car pulls into the cul-de-sac. Inside Katie's house, Phil sees them arrive and watches Charlie and Stevens get out of car.~

Phil: They're here. Time to go.

Katie and Rachel are sitting on the couch.

Rachel: Mommy, I don't want to.

Phil: Come on.

Katie: This all feels so sudden. What if your people are wrong? I will have disrupted my daughter's life again for nothing.

Susan: This isn't the time to question our judgment. We're doing this for your protection.

~Cut to Bud's garage. Bud is holding an AK-47 up for inspection.~

Bud: AK-47. A buddy of mine smuggled it out of China piece by piece.

Ed: Whoa. Let me see that. (takes gun)

Bud: Take it easy.

Ed: Very nice. (cocks gun)

~Cut to Katie's house. Phil pulls out his gun.~

Phil: Okay, let's go now. (holds gun on Katie)

Katie: What are you doing?!

Susan pulls Rachel up from the couch. Stevens comes up the stairs.

Stevens: Hi, honey. I'm home.

Rachel: Momma...

~Cut to Bud's garage. Ed is aiming gun around.~

Bud: The safety's off...

AK-47 goes off, firing through windows. Shots go through to Katie's house.

~Cut to Katie's house. Everyone falls to the ground, ducking under shots as they strike the windows, walls, and shelves. Outside, Charlie gets out of the car and looks around.~

~Cut back to Bud's garage after gunfire stopped.~

Bud: What the hell is that about, Warner?

Warner: It's not my fault.

Bud: The gun just went off on its own. (takes gun) Let's go. You've got some explaining to do.

Warner: Me? You're the one with the loaded AK, pal!

Bud: You just stay away from all my weapons.

Warner: Whatever.

The three of them (all with their guns) go outside and see Charlie with his machine gun in the driveway of Katie's house. Charlie starts firing at them. They all duck behind Bud's car.

Bud: Who is that?

Ed: Who cares?

~Cut to inside Katie's house. Susan and Phil head downstairs.~

Stevens: I thought you said they'd gone.

~Cut to outside. Susan and Phil go outside and run behind Stevens' car. Charlie is still firing.

Bud: You got to talk to them.

Ed: Me?! You go talk to them.

Tom pulls a really big silver handgun from inside his coat.

Tom: Let's dance. (stands and fires at Charlie over the car)

Bullets take out windows on Stevens' car. Charlie goes over the top of the car to get to cover. Phil and Susan return fire.

Bud: Tom!

They pull Tom down.

Ed: Coleman, what the hell was that?

Charlie fires at them from behind cover.

Bud: I misjudged you, Coleman. (stands and returns fire with AK)

~Cut to inside house. Katie and Rachel are holding onto each other.~

Stevens: Rachel...are you all right? We're leaving. (grabs Rachel) Let's go. Let's go!

They go out another door that leads to the garage.

More gunfire exchange outside.

Stevens pushes Katie through a door, holding a gun to her. Rachel is confused.

Katie: You're insane, Lonnie.

Stevens: Shut up.

Rachel: Who is he, Mommy?

Stevens: You didn't tell her about me? I'm your father.

Rachel: My daddy's dead.

Stevens: No, Rachel. I'm your father.

Katie: How can you do this to her?

Steven: She'll be fine. Get in the van.

More gunfire exchanged outside.

Jim, Blair, and Megan pull into cul-de-sac as the gunfire is going on.

Jim: Hold on!

Jim pulls the truck to a stop sideways in front of the driveway. Charlie turns to the truck and starts firing at it. Jim, Blair, and Megan bail out as bullets hit the side of the truck. Susan and Phil fire as well. Jim returns fire over the truck bed; Megan over the cab. Blair stays hidden behind the truck. Megan takes out Charlie, hitting him in the arm. Jim sees Bud, Ed, and Tom.~

Jim: What are you morons doing?

Bud: They started it.

Jim fires a few more times. Then Katie's minivan, Stevens driving, comes through the closed garage door. It doesn't get very far, as it scrapes past Stevens' car, runs into garbage cans, then hits a fire hydrant and comes to a stop. Jim follows the van's progress with his gun. Inside, Katie and Rachel are in the back seat. Katie goes forward and hits her head on the back of the driver's seat. Water from the hydrant sprays into the air.

Phil: Come on. Let's get out of here.

Phil and Susan take off. Megan chases after them.

Stevens gets out of the van and opens the sliding door. He grabs Rachel and pulls her out.

Stevens: Rachel, come on!

Rachel: (screaming and fighting) No! No!

Jim and Blair come over. Jim points his gun at Stevens.

Jim: Put the girl down.

Stevens releases Rachel, who runs over to Blair.

Stevens: I'm not going to hurt her. She's my daughter, man. She's my daughter. It's okay.

Jim: Get down. Put your face on the ground. Do it. Do it!

Stevens lays down on the ground.

Blair: (to Rachel) Stay here. (goes over and gets into the van)

Jim: All the way down. Put your hands behind your back. (gets out his cuffs)

Blair: Katie, you okay?

Katie: Oh, my head...

Rachel watches as Jim cuffs Stevens.

~Same scene a bit later. Police vehicles have arrived. Katie and Rachel are sitting in the back of an ambulance. Katie is hugging Rachel.~

Katie: It's all right, Rachel. Everything's going to be all right now.

Rachel: I was so scared.

Katie: I know, baby, but you don't have to be scared anymore.

Blair comes over and crouches on the ground in front of them.

Blair: You guys okay?

Katie: We're going to be all right.

Blair: (to Rachel) You okay?

Rachel nods.

Blair: Good

Katie: So, after all this you think you'd still want to go out with me?

Blair: Uh, well...sure, if I can track you down.

Katie: They'll put Lonnie away forever now. We're done with running.

Blair: Good. I guess I'll be seeing you soon.

Katie: Okay.

Paramedic comes up behind them from inside ambulance.

Paramedic: We're gonna go ahead now. Will you step inside?

Blair: Bye.

Paramedic helps Katie to her feet to go inside.

Paramedic: Here we go.

Blair: Bye, Rachel.

Rachel: Bye, Blair.

Blair and Rachel hug.

Blair: Get on up there.

~Pan to Bud, Tom, and Ed all cuffed and sitting on the ground in front of a car. Jim stands in front of Bud. Behind them, an officer goes by with Phil and Susan.~

Officer: Right this way. Let's go.

Ed: Your cuffs too tight, too?

Tom's beeper goes off.

Tom: That'd be the wife.

Bud: (to Jim) We didn't have time to call 911.

Jim: Bud, that's three numbers. You always have time to call 911. What you did was a stupid thing and it endangered the lives of a lot of innocent people. (to officer) Let's get them out of here.

Bud: Aw, Jimbo...

Jim: Bud, don't ever call me Jimbo again...if we see each other on the street.

Bud: Jim? Jimmy?

Officers take them away as Jim leaves.

~Pan to Simon and Megan watching proceedings while standing in a driveway.~

Megan: Who is Stevens?

Simon: Lonnie Stevens? He was a big dealer here in the states. Almost single-handedly destroyed the bond market a few years back.

Jim comes over to join them.

Jim: I think we're about wrapped up here, Captain. (to Megan) Why don't you go finish packing up the house, dear.

Simon covers his eyes.

Megan: Me?

Jim: Yeah.

Megan: Captain Banks, I'd like to officially request a divorce.

Jim: But, sir... (trying to sound like he doesn't want a divorce)

Megan walks off to the house. Simon looks at Jim pointedly and clears his throat. He nods for Jim to go with Megan.

Jim: Right. (follows after Megan)

Blair comes over to join Simon.

Blair: Whew...man...

Simon: Is it my imagination or are those two still not getting along?

Blair: Tell me about it. I did the best I could, sir.

Simon: Sandburg, I put you here to keep an eye on them. (walks off)

Blair: What?! Wrong. You put me here so that they wouldn't kill each other. I'm not a therapist. I'm an anthropologist. (goes after Simon)

Simon: Yeah, well, maybe you should consider supplementing your degree. Go to night school. Do something!

~ The End ~