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The Real Deal

Teleplay by: Randy Brown
Story by: Laurence Frank
Directed by: James Marshall
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): Robert Vaughn (Vince Deal), Robert Wisden (John Bentley), Jessalyn Gilsig (RJ Shannon), Anna Galvin (Megan Connor), Jill Teed (Marika Layton), Philip Maurice Hayes (Joey Trillo), James Bumford (Nick Ray), Ryf Van Rij (Detective Rafe), Yanik Truesdale (Patrolman), Leroy Schultz (Max Rogers).

Summary: An actor who once played a TV detective helps a reluctant Ellison catch a killer. (Source: Stefan's Sentinel Episode Guide)

This episode was originally broadcast on May 10, 1999.
Last updated: 7/8/01


~Opening theme plays as credits roll.~

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

~Night. "Braddock's Way" (TV show with "Vince Deal") is playing on a television. A man sits and watches and listens to the dialogue.~

Man #1: What's that supposed to mean?

Man #2: I'm tired of you half-baked amateurs.

Man #1: Amateurs?

Man #2: That's right.

Man #1: You said amateurs...?

Man #2: That's right.

Man #1: A pro -- a real pro -- would've dropped me when he saw me. But not ramble on, you shoot off your big mouth!

A hand reaches down and turns off the TV. The man in the chair perks up, looking upwards to see a figure in black. Figure speaks. It's a man.

Man: Sorry, Max. Show's over... (walks in front of Max, blocking view)

~Cut to Major Crimes hallway. Day. Jim is talking on the phone as he flips through some papers on a counter.~

Jim: I don't know. Just put him off. Tell him I'm at lunch. ....All right, I'll handle him. (hangs up) Thanks, Pete. (meets up with Blair at the donut cart) Vince Deal's coming up.

Blair: Vince? Oh, you're kidding me! I love that guy. He's such a character.

Jim: More like a caricature. He doesn't realize This is real life here. (to donut dolly) No prune danish?

Jim and Blair walk into the bullpen

Blair: Oh, come on. Didn't you ever watch Braddock's Way when you were a kid?

Jim: Braddock's Way! I watched Banacek.

Blair: Banacek? With George Peppard? Come on!

Jim: He was smooth, he was intelligent...

Blair: He was an insurance investigator. That hardly qualifies as a detective show.

Jim: Then I'd take Mannix. Good with his fists, dry sense of humor.

Blair: Granted, granted. I'll give you that. But Starsky and Hutch, they had the car, right? Mannix, I don't even know what he drove.

Jim: Starsky and Hutch were cops, not P.I.s.

Blair: So?

Jim: Although I can see how Huggy Bear inspired your kit here... (plays with Blair's dark blue plaid suit jacket)

Blair: Hey, hey, back off!

Simon walks by.

Blair: Simon! Simon! Come on. What was your favorite '70s detective show?

Simon: You're kidding me, right?

Jim and Blair: Shaft.

Simon: "That cat shaft with a bad mother..."

Jim: "Watch your mouth!"

Simon: "Talking 'bout Shaft."

Blair: (laughing) You know who we're forgetting here is Baretta.

Vince comes in behind them and joins them.

Vince: Keep forgetting about him, kid. He dressed like a bum and what was with that stupid rooster?

Blair: I think it was a cockatoo, Vince.

Vince: I don't care if it was a frigging pterodactyl. I used to kick his ass every Wednesday night.

Simon: Vince... how did you get up here?

Vince: I promised the duty sergeant a couple of bleacher passes to the Cascade Days Parade. I'm the grand marshal again. (to Jim) Look, there's a folder in your closed case file I want you to reexamine.

Megan enters the bullpen from a side room and stops when she sees Vince.

Jim: Another tip, Vince? You know, the last tip nearly cost me my badge.

Simon: You remember that, don't you, Vince? Airport...drug deal...turned out to be baby powder.

Vince: This is different. The victim's a personal acquaintance of mine and your investigation is way off the mark.

Jim: Vince, it's not that we don't appreciate...

Megan comes over.

Megan: Oh, my god. You're Bill Braddock!

Vince: That's the name. Don't wear it out. I'm actually Vince Deal.

Megan: I'm Megan Conner. I just can't believe it's you. His show has been running forever in Sydney.

Vince: The aussies don't dub the episodes and I lose something in Japanese.

Megan: Oh, at home I always end my night with Braddock's Way.

Simon: Vince, before you get started, Megan is an Inspector, not your skirt of the week.

Vince: An inspector, huh? Well, I guess if Jim is too busy to meet with a concerned citizen, I'll just have to file my report with you.

Megan: "Report"?

Jim: Uh, Mr. Deal happens to be one of our better informants. I'm familiar with the dark underbelly of the city.

Megan: That's what you say at the start of every show.

Jim: Careful, Conner -- he's going to start whistling the theme song. Captain, Sandburg and I are going to eat. It past noon. My underbelly's starting to growl.

Megan: Mr. Deal, if you'll follow me, I'll take down that information.

Vince: I'd be delighted to follow you. Go right ahead.

~Cut to Jim and Blair in truck driving down road.~

Jim: So, what'll it be? A little, uh, a little German? How about that-that German place? Um...

Blair: I can't eat there. You know that. They got animal heads all over the wall. I can't eat with an audience. Come on. Uh... Charlie's. Charlie's. They got a Vince deal sandwich on the menu.

Jim: What would that be? Pickled liver on rye?

Blair: Oh, come on. That's cold. That's cold. Go easy on the guy. I mean, put yourself in his shoes. He was a big star and now... he'd be grateful to open up a supermarket.

Jim: You know what I don't get, Chief. Braddock's Way was a top-ten show when the network bagged it. And...Vince Deal hasn't worked since. What do you think the guy did?

Jim's cellphone rings and he answers it.

Blair: I don't know.

Jim: Yeah? Hey, Conner. What? Deal hand you a hot case? All right. Be there in five minutes. (hangs up) Got a body on Mason. Looks like a homicide.

~Cut to a bridge over a river. Jim and Blair join Conner to look at the covered body.~

Jim: What's up, Conner?

Megan: Cause of death appears to be a gunshot wound through the heart fired at close range. The purse was found nearby, wallet missing.

Jim: Has the M.E. established time of death?

Megan: Approximately 4:00 this morning.

Jim: What's a beautiful, well-dressed young woman doing walking around here at that hour? This is a massive wound. There's blood all over her blouse and her coat here, but there's nothing on the ground.

Blair: Well, she was probably shot someplace else and brought here.

Megan: It's possible but the empty purse suggests otherwise.

Jim: Unless the killer wanted to make it look like a botched robbery. (sees something, a wallet, in the distance) Excuse me. (gets up and goes over to it)

Megan and Blair follow him after a moment.

Megan: Is he doing his sentinel bit now?

Blair: Shh!!! Quiet! I can't believe I told you that.

Megan: You really didn't have a choice, Sandy. But no worries. It's our secret.

Blair: Keep it that way.

Jim: (after picking up the wallet) They took the money, but left an I.D. Mary Volker, age 28.

Megan: May I see the wallet? (looks at wallet) That's a bit of a coincidence.

Jim: What's that?

Megan: That tip we got from Vince Deal.

Jim: Oh, this ought to be good.

Megan: Vince knew this reporter at the Herald, Max Rogers. Friday night, they ran into each other at the Cascade Hotel Bar.

Jim: Oh, yeah. That's Deal's hangout. I think they have a drink named after him. A fifth of Johnny Walker straight-up.

Megan: That's cruel, Jim. Vince was sober as a judge when I talked to him.

Blair: I'm interested. Go ahead.

Megan: Max Rogers intimated his life was in danger over some expose he'd written. The next day he was found dead. An apparent suicide. Vince thinks his friend was murdered.

Jim: Conner, I know you're a big fan of Mr. Deal, but what does this have to do with the dead body?

Megan: Mary Volker also worked at the Herald.

Jim looks at wallet again.

~Cut to briefing room. Jim, Blair, Simon, and Vince sitting around table.~

Vince: I autographed an 8x10 black and white for Max to a Mary...some chick he had a thing for at the office.

Simon: The victim worked at the research department at the Herald. She assisted Max with a lot of his articles.

Vince: Now there's your connection. Listen..Max tumbles on a big, dirty story and they want to push it under the rug. So, what do they do? They shove Max's head into an O'Keefe and Merritt, snuff out the pilot light. Poof! Sayonara, Max! But...who do they still want? Who still knows, huh? Mary Volker. So, they have her shot and make it look like a phony mugging.

Blair: Max's death was ruled a suicide And there was no sign of struggle. His blood alcohol level was...was way up there. And there was a note, Vince.

Vince: You put a gun to a guy's head, pour a bunch of booze down his throat, have him write a kiss-off letter...that's it. 12th episode -- uh, "Rhapsody in Red."

Megan comes in.

Megan: Here are the crime photos.

Simon: I beg your pardon?

Megan: He asked to examine them, Captain. I... couldn't see the harm.

Vince: This is exactly the way they found him?

Megan: Before forensics took over, yes.

Vince: Mm-hmm. If Max died of a snootful of gas, who the hell turned the oven off?!

Jim: Didn't see that, Vince. Captain, maybe we should, uh...take a look at this one. That's good work, Vince.

Vince: Thank you.

Blair: Who is Max trying to nail in his article?

Vince: I don't know. I was a little smashed when I talked to him, but he said something engines, fire hydrants...Uh...

Simon: Could he have said "Hydra"?

Vince: Hydra... yeah. That could have been it. Listen. If I can be of any help here...

Simon: No. No, Vince. We got it from here. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

Megan: I'll escort you to the lift.

Vince: I guess it's better than being tossed down the back stairs. Listen. I'm not busy. If I can be of any help...

Jim: Vince, you've been a great help already. Thank you.

Megan and Vince leave.

Blair: You got to love the guy.

Simon: No, I don't. Look, I'm going to have Conner go through Rogers' effects and talk to his editor at the Herald. In the meantime, I'm giving you a warrant. I want you to search Mary Volker's home.

~Cut to Megan and Vince at the elevator.~

Megan: I'll keep you informed, Vince.

Vince: Personally I hope. Any chance for dinner?

Megan: Tonight? Um, sorry...

Vince: It's the age thing. Well, I'm still a child inside. I'm reasonably well preserved on the outside.

Megan: No question, but I'm on the night watch. Another time?

Vince: Another time. Thanks, Megan.

Megan: Thank you.

Vince gets on elevator. Doors close as Blair comes out into hallway and waves at the departing Vince.

Blair: Uh-huh. he hitting on you?

Megan: Hmm... more like a light tap. Actually, I find him rather charming.

Blair: You know, he is old enough to be your father.

Megan: Sandy, are you jealous?

Blair: Jealous? Me? No! Come on. No. I'm just...I'm concerned, all right... I don't want you falling for an image.

Megan: Oh, really? Well, at least he has one.

Jim backs out into the hallway as Megan turns. They bump into each other slightly, then Megan continues into the bullpen.

Jim: Excuse me, Conner. (to Blair) Let's go, Romeo. We got to pick up a warrant downtown.

They head to elevator.

Blair: Hey... what do you think of my image?

Jim: Your image?

Blair: Be gentle.

Jim: I don't know. Cut your hair. Run for president. I'll vote for you. I don't care.

~Cut to Jim and Blair in truck driving down road. Night.~

Blair: What's that address again?

Jim: 1340 Bridgewater.

Blair: Turn, uh... east on Western.

Jim: Sure it's not west on Eastern?

Blair: No. Hey, what's this "Hydra" thing that Simon's all worked up about?

Jim: Hydra's a security firm. It's new to the area. Been here less than a couple of months. There's already allegations of them being involved in more than just protecting clients.

Blair: Like what?

Jim: Possible misuse of client info...extortion... Simon's been trying to get a man on the inside. If Vince's late pal was, uh, onto something, this investigation could catch fire.

Radio: 211 in progress at 1340 Bridgewater. All available units -- respond.

Blair: That's Volker's house.

Jim: Unit Echo Seven, responding. On our way to 1340 Bridgewater.

Radio: Ten-four, Echo Seven. All available units, provide backup.

They arrive at the house.

Jim: That's the house. Keep your eyes open. Stay close to the radio, okay? (leaves truck)

Jim goes up to the house with his gun out. He sees shadows in the window. He goes up to the porch and to the front door. He hears a gun click and moves just moments before a bullet goes through the door. He kicks the door open and exchanges gunfire with a man inside. Man goes down. Someone else comes around the corner.

Jim: Freeze!

It's Vince, holding a hand to his hand.

Vince: Is he dead?

Jim: Vince, what the hell are you doing here?!

Vince: I'm going to my dressing room. (falls to the floor, unconscious)

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

~Same scene, a bit later. Police vehicles have arrived. Vince, Jim, Blair, and Megan are outside house.~

Jim: Vince! Am I gonna to have to lock you up here? Or chain you up here? What were you thinking, huh? I mean, how'd you get in the house in the first place?

Vince: I'm just fine, thanks for asking. I found a spare key under the flower pot. You find out the name of the cold-cock artist?

Jim: Vince, that's my job, all right? That is not your job, nor any of your business. If I was doing my job and my business correctly, I'd be running you downtown and I'd be booking you for interfering in a police investigation.

Vince: I just want the truth, just like you.

Jim: You want the truth, Vince? The truth is, you keep this, you'll be collecting your acting residuals from the pen.

Vince: Dial it back. My head hurts.

Megan; Jim, let me talk to him.

Jim: Vince, you'd better pull it together here, buddy. (walks off)

Megan: What happened in there?

Vince: I was pawing through the files, trying to find max's research about that Hydra thing, and all of a sudden, I heard the window break. Somebody jumps down, I get clocked. Next thing I know there's a stiff on the carpet.

Blair: Did you find anything useful?

Vince: No.

Blair: Looks like the prowler was looking for incriminating evidence.

Megan: Not necessarily.

Vince: You're losing me.

Megan: It's possible anyone Max might have confided in is at risk. Suppose the suspect was actually tailing you and thought he'd found a quiet spot to do the job.

Blair: Megan's right, Vince. Look, you need some protection, just for a couple of days.

Vince: A safe house?

Blair: Uh, not exactly. I'll be right back, unless you hear some gunfire. (walks off)

~Cut to loft. Next morning. Vince is serving up pancakes to Jim and Blair who are at the table.~

Jim: Vince... I appreciate your efforts here, but, um, I'm really just kind of an eggs-and-coffee man myself.

Vince: You'll love these, believe me. (walks back into kitchen)

Jim: I'm trying to love it, but I just wish it wasn't raw in the middle.

Blair: Mine's burnt.

Jim: What are we? The three little bears, Vince?

Vince: (looking into fridge) Got any pork chops?

Jim: Yeah, sure, Vince.

Blair: Yeah, right next to the whale meat.

Jim: (to Blair) Pork chops?

Vince: You got a great pad. I can fit my whole apartment into your living room. (walks back over to them)

Blair: Well, with all those residuals, I figured you'd have a big house on the bay or something.

Vince: With ex-wives and bad investments? Nah. I get by all right, though.

Jim: Vince, I always wanted to ask you. Whatever happened to, uh...?

Vince: Braddock's Way? Yeah, I get that question a lot. Remember Linda Rydell? (sits down at table)

Jim: Yeah. The one who...

Blair: She, uh...she played your secretary.

Vince: Yeah, she's a nice girl. We were very close. It was May 1976, I was going to be on the Carson Show and I was in the Green Room and the phone rang and it was Linda and she was crying. She'd just got fired. Well, I got pissed, and then I got loaded. A half hour later, I'm on with Johnny, telling why she got fired. Some network V.P. had knocked her up and his old lady had spiked him with it.

Blair: Hmm.

Jim: You know, Vince, not that I doubt the veracity of your story here, but I watched Carson all the time. I don't remember that.

Vince: My segment got cut and the lawyers got on the phone and that was...Braddock's last case.

Jim: Well, we should probably head for the station.

They all get up from the table.

Vince: Uh, listen, uh, will you drop me at City Hall? I've got a parade commission meeting and it's going to take all day.

Jim: All right, Vince. We have a security detachment there. I'll drop you off; I'll pick you up, but I want you to stay in the building.

Vince: Right.

Blair: (eating a pancake) This one's not bad.

They all leave the apartment.

~Cut to Simon's office. Jim, Blair, Simon, and Megan. Blair is playing with stuff on Simon's shelves.~

Simon: Hydra security is run by R.J. Shannon, a former FBI agent. Her partner is another ex-fed, John Bentley.

Megan: The man you shot was Eddie Carpenter. He graduated from Quantico with Bentley, but there's no indication he ever went into law enforcement.

Jim: You don't graduate Quantico and not become a fed.

Blair: Unless you got a better future as a hit man.

Simon: There's another guy on the payroll. Joey Trillo is listed as a consultant, but he was the suspect in a kidnap case a couple years ago.

Blair pulls down one of the tall jazz player figurine to look at it. Simon comes over, without pausing in the middle of talking, and takes it away from him, putting it back on the shelf.

Simon: San Diego police couldn't find enough evidence on him so Trillo walked.

Blair takes a mug -- which looks like a mug with a gun going through it -- off the shelf and points it at Simon. Simon just looks at it, then at Blair.

Blair: Sounds like Max was onto something nasty then, doesn't it?

Jim: Simon, I got to get inside somehow.

Simon: Way ahead of you. Conner, would you like to show Detective Ellison the background we drew up?

Megan: We think you'll make an attractive candidate for Hydra's employment roll.

~Cut to Hydra offices. Jim -- as "Carl McQueen" -- talking to Shannon and Bentley.~

Jim: So after six months in the squadron I left Portland and moved up here.

Shannon: A lot of our recruits come from law enforcement. We're always happy to have trained officers.

Bentley: Why exactly did you leave the Portland P.D., Carl?

Jim: Well, you're going to find out anyway if you check. A guy died, uh, in custody. Got a little out of hand in the interrogation room. You know what I mean? I didn't lay a hand on him. They dismissed me and, uh...and ended my back pay and pension, you know. I'm going to do a good job for you, Miss Shannon. I just want a shot.

Bentley goes over to the side door and opens it.

Shannon: We'll start you out In home protection.

Bentley: Marika?

Shannon: If things work out there are always opportunities for advancement.

Marika comes in.

Jim: I won't let you down, ma'am.

Shannon: Marika, this is Carl McQueen, our new security officer.

Jim: Hello.

Marika: Pleasure. Certainly.

~Cut to Jim and Marika going down an elevator.~

Marika: After you finish your paperwork, Carl, we'll get you fitted for a uniform. We'll also provide you with a firearm and training at our private shooting range down on Parker Street.

Jim: So you work in the personnel department?

Marika: No. I'm a bodyguard.

Jim: Oh.

They exit elevator.

Marika: Over there is where the bookkeeping is done. Downstairs is the computer room. Unless you have authorized business down there, consider it off-limits, all right? And upstairs is our publicity section.

Jim; I've seen your commercials.

Marika: Well, even security firms have to advertise.

Jim's hearing kicks in. He hears Vince. He looks up into the publicity department and sees Vince in the window, reading a commercial.

Vince: "Hi. I'm not a real detective, But I played one on TV. I'm Vince Deal. As private eye Bill Braddock, I learned a thing or two about fighting crime. If the question is private protection, my friends at Hydra Security have the answer."

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

~Jim in Hydra garage. Vince comes out.~

Jim: May I have your autograph, Mr. Deal? You lied to me, Vince.

Vince: I wasn't lying. I was acting.

Jim: My truck is parked around the corner. You meet me there in two minutes Or you're going to wish your stuntman was with you.

Vince: I never used a stuntman.

~Cut to Simon's office. Jim, Simon, and Vince.~

Simon: Celebrity spokesman?!

Vince: I pitched it to R.J. and she bought it on the spot. Now, you can't be a star if you can't sell yourself.

Jim: Vince, did it ever occur to you that Hydra might suspect that Max filled you in and they want to keep you close?

Vince: Perfect -- the hunted becomes the hunter.

Simon: Vince, I want you to call Shannon right now and back out of that commercial.

Vince: I already signed the papers. Besides, if I wankle now, that would put their radar up.

Simon: He's right. I'm open to suggestions here.

Jim: Captain, we got to scrap this whole thing right now. It's ludicrous if you ask me.

Vince: Don't either of you wonder how I scored a nugget?

Jim: A nugget, you say?

Vince: Yeah. Got to know a girl in the computer room. Turned on the old charm. You could take a cue from me on that, Jim. I sent her out to fetch me a danish. Meanwhile, I copied a list of all the access codes.

Jim: Where's the list, Vince?

Vince: Up here. (taps his forehead) But I can conveniently forget it if you don't let me play this out to the freeze-frame.

Jim: Hey, Vince, it's time for you to wake up and smell reality here, buddy.

Vince: know, when I came back to Cascade with my tail between my legs, Max Rogers was the only reporter who'd interview me. He helped me keep it together and I owe him for that.

Simon: Okay, Vince. Jim, tomorrow, I want you to get those codes, but you stay close to this man. First sign of trouble, I'm pulling you both out.

Jim: Thank you, sir.

~Cut to Hydra computer room. Jim and Vince on the computer.~

Jim: Does that look about right?

Vince: Yeah, that's good. Reminds me of Mission Impossible. I was up for the Marty Landeau role and my agent yanked me. He thought it wold be a flop.

Jim gets a disk from the computer.

Jim: Somebody's coming.

Vince: I don't hear anybody.

Jim: Let's find a place to hide.

Vince: Where?

Shannon comes in.

Shannon: What are you doing in here?

Vince: Uh, I'm absorbing.

Shannon: Absorbing?

Vince: Yes. I'm a method actor, like Brando and Hoffman. And I have to...well, we live the part. I have to feel Hydra. So I have to spend some time in each department.

Jim: Ma'am, I saw Mr. Deal in the restricted area and I felt obliged to escort him out.

Shannon: I suggest you do so.

Vince: It won't happen again.

Shannon: Mr. Deal, publicity wants to shoot your spot tomorrow at noon. Will you be ready?

Vince: Absolutely. You know, I had a thought on that. Um, I'd like to have a Hydra security guy in a uniform -- kind of in the background with spotlight on him -- kind of dress the set. I think Carl here would be perfect, don't you? He's very photogenic.

Shannon: I'll discuss it with John.

Jim: Uh, Mr. Deal, I'm sure Ms. Shannon has some work to do. Uh, please. I apologize, ma'am. This... won't happen again.

They leave and talk in hallway.

Jim: Vince, what is this about you making me your costar?

Vince: You're supposed to stay close. Well, let them think it's their idea.

Jim: Vince, were you hit on your head as a child? I can't be in a commercial.

Vince: You got flop sweat. I'll teach you some breathing exercises, make you relax, all right? Now, try this. (does deep breathing as he walks down the hallway.

~Cut to loft. Night. Jim, Blair, Megan, and Vince.~

Megan: (handing out papers) Here's a list of some of their biggest clients, but each of them has two accounts -- one for Hydra's legitimate books. And a second, larger payment into a number of offshore banks.

Blair: So, the money's being laundered.

Megan: But why? All of these clients are wealthy -- some quite prominent.

Vince: Ah, that's the classic formula for blackmail and extortion.

Jim: Not bad, Vince. Episode 62?

Vince: No, no, no. "Requiem for a Stool Pigeon." I was supposed to protect this witness. He got in my hair, but eventually he helped me solve the case.

Jim: You know, if we approach anyone on this list chances are, Hydra will find out. We'll have to nail them ourselves. Catch them in the act. Vince and I are going to stay under. I want you two to get with Simon, all right? We'll have to find a way to bait the hook.

~Cut to Hydra offices. Day. Megan -- as "Olivia Somerset" -- is talking to Shannon and Bentley.~

Megan: My husband and I moved to Cascade last year from Melbourne.

Shannon hands her a drink.

Megan: Thank you. Charles is consulting for a Russian ore company in the Urals. But he'll be coming back any day. I need my situation handled immediately.

Bentley: Please, have a seat.

Megan sits down. The other two do as well.

Shannon: What is your situation?

Megan: Two months ago, I... had a brief affair. He's an artist...Anthony Drake. We ended it, but he's been following me. (gives Bentley a letter) He's threatening to tell my husband. I don't want to destroy my marriage over this.

Bentley: Do you think this man's dangerous?

Megan: He's young. He has a temper.

Bentley: (into an intercom) Marika, could you come in here a minute, please?

Marika: (over intercom) Right away.

Bentley: We'll start with 24-hour armed protection.

Megan: Whatever you say.

Marika comes in.

Bentley: Marika, this is Mrs. Somerset.

Shannon: Marika will be your bodyguard. We like to assign her to female clients. It's more discreet.

Megan: A lady with a gun. Imagine that.

Marika: I'll take you to the contract office, Mrs. Somerset.

Megan: Thank you.

Megan and Marika leave. They walk down hallway. Jim sees Megan from across the way. Then he starts to listen to conversation in office above.

Bentley: She seems like the perfect client. I'm sure she has access to her own money.

Shannon: This letter is not enough. Tell Marika to tape all her conversations with Mrs. Somerset. Then if the boyfriend shows up...

Vince appears and shakes Jim's concentration.

Vince: Carl, why aren't you in wardrobe? We're due on the set in an hour.

Jim: Vince...

They walk around corner.

~Cut to office with Shannon and Bentley.~

Bentley: I'll do a deep background, check on her. If there's anything there, we'll use it.

Someone knocks on the door.

Bentley: Yeah?

A man comes in and hands Bentley a tape, then leaves again.

Bentley: Thanks, Mike.

Shannon: What's that?

Bentley: Deal and McQueen showing up on the same day was suspect enough, but that business in the computer room got my alarm bells going. I asked internal security to review all the tapes since those two arrived. There's more, but this is the piece that hangs them.

~on tape~

Jim: What is this about making me your costar?

Vince: You're supposed to stay close. Make them think it was their idea.

Jim: Vince, I can't be in a commercial.

Vince: You got flop sweat. Relax. Do some breathing exercises.

~end of tape~

Shannon: Damn it, John. We should've killed Deal the minute he walked through that door.

Bentley: It was worth it to play it out. Now I know Rogers didn't tell him anything. Deal was just fishing around for scraps.

Shannon: Yeah, But McQueen might be a cop. We have to find out if he's pla...

Bentley: We will. I put Joey Trillo on it.

~Cut to Jim and Vince pulling up in a car outside a soundstage -- Metro Studios.~

Vince: 433. There's the soundstage.

Jim: Vince, I don't mean to get personal here, but are you wearing makeup?

Vince: Of course. I've got to even out my skin tone for the camera. What'd you think this was -- an ascot? I've got my makeup kit, if you want to try some pancake.

Jim: No, thank you. I've had your pancakes.

Vince: All rihgt, mock me if you will, but some casting director could be looking in at the commercial and hire you for something else.

Jim: Oh, isn't that exciting -- spending time with a casting director. Vince, I don't know how to put this right now, but, uh, I'm a cop, you see, a real cop. You're an actor. If you get shot in there, you can't just wipe off the stage blood and ask for a second take. You follow? Come on.

~Cut to Jim and Vince inside soundstage. They enter a set dressed to look like Bill Braddock's office.~

Vince: There's my name right on the door -- my character's name. Maybe we're early. This is just like the office in my old show.

Two men appear from down the empty set.

Man: Mr. Deal...

Vince: Where's the crew?

Man: We're it.

Vince; Oh... you're non-union, huh? That's why I do my own makeup.

Man: Yeah, whatever.

Vince: When do you start shooting?

Man: When I say, "action." (he and other man both pull out guns)

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

~Same continuing scene.~

Man: ....part with your weapon.

Jim: Whoa, whoa, whoa, easy, I'm not packing. You can check.

Man: I'm going to ask you some questions. If I hear the right answers, maybe I won't blow a hole in your throat.

Vince: Oh.

Jim: Vince, what's going on here?

Jim starts to fight both guys. Vince runs.

~Cut to Jim taking both bad guys outside.~

Jim: Vince! Vince, where are you? Come on, up against it.

Vince appears from behind a couple of drop-off mailboxes.

Vince: I don't know what happened to me, Jim. I'm sorry.

Jim: It's okay, Vince -- you're alive. That's... that's all that counts.

~Cut to Megan and Marika in the Somerset apartment.~

Megan: My husband's given me status and security, but he's a great deal older. There's just no passion anymore. Anthony made me feel alive again. I just don't know what to do.

Marika: Well, don't do anything. You can have it both ways.

Megan: But Charles would never...

Marika: Listen. In my experience, we usually find out that the husband's...been unfaithful, too. Just think about what you need.

There's a knock on the door.

Marika: Expecting someone?

Megan: No.

Marika: Who is it?

Blair: Olivia? It's Anthony.

Megan: Oh, my god. Tell him to go. No. Let him in, but stay close.

Marika opens the door and Blair, compete with artist cap, enters.

Blair: Olivia, I just came to... oh. Who are you? What's with this gun? What's going on?

Megan: She's from a security firm. I warned you not to come here.

Blair: Come on, you didn't think I would hurt you, did you?

Megan: You already have.

Blair: I was out of my mind when I wrote those letters. Don't you know that I love you?

Marika: The lady doesn't want you here.

Megan: It's all right, Marika.

Megan drags Blair up and kisses him.

Megan: Give us a moment. I'll call if I need you.

They go into a bedroom and close the door.

Blair: Why can't you and I just be alone?! Why can't you just leave Charles?!

Megan: None of that matters now! Let's not waste the time we have!

Blair: How long do we have to keep this up?

Megan: Well, I don't imagine Anthony's the talkative type.

Blair: What do you think of my outfit?

Megan throws a lamp on the ground.

Megan: Ooh, Anthony, you beast!

Blair: (throws his hat aside) Arrroooorrr!

Megan: Naughty boy! Look what you've done!

Blair: I broke it! Arrrrrroooorr!

Outside, Markia sits down to read a magazine.

~Cut to Jim and Simon walking down Major Crimes hallway.~

Jim: Well, Trillo's already called a lawyer, Captain. We're not going to get anything out of them.

Simon: Yeah, one of Hydra's lawyers, I'm sure. I guess that means your cover's blown to hell. That leaves Conner holding the bait.

Jim: If Shannon puts up her guard, those two are going to be left out on a limb.

Simon: You must explain to me why Sandburg was necessary. Now, Conner should be checking in with her backup soon. I'll have Rafe bring her up to speed. In the meantime, if anything looks hinky, we'll just pull 'em in, cut our losses. How's Deal taking this?

Jim: Like an actor who blew his comeback.

Scene of Deal in the breakroom looking depressed.

~Cut to Hydra offices. Shannon is the phone when Bentley comes in.~

Shannon: Yeah, and you're sure Ray and Trillo didn't give us up? Okay. Well, do what you can. (hangs up)

Bentley: What's going on?

Shannon: They're being held without bail. McQueen's real name is Ellison. He's a detective with the Major Crimes unit.

Bentley: It gets worse. From the society page of the Melbourne Daily. "Mining engineer Charles Somerset and his lovely wife, Olivia." (shows her a newspaper page, which she crumples)

~Cut to Simon and Vince in the breakroom.~

Simon: Thought you might like a real cup of joe.

Vince: No, I don't want to be any more awake than I am, thank you.

Simon: I don't ever recall Braddock wringing his hands over some case.

Vince: Braddock would never run off. He would have punched his way out. And Jim is right. If it weren't for reruns, I'd be nothing but a has-been waiting for the man in the black hood to clock me out.

Simon: Look, come on -- things change. I mean, we're both getting a little...

Vince: No, no. No, believe me I've had enough for one day, I think.

Simon: All right. I'll get somebody to take you home.

~Cut to Blair and Megan in the bedroom.~

Blair: You know, we've been quiet for quite some time now, maybe you should scream or something.

Megan: Me? What makes you think Anthony's that talented? I think you should scream.

Blair: Me? I definitely think Anthony can make you scream. (fiddling with his lower lip)

Megan: What's wrong?

Blair: You bit my lip when you kissed me out there.

Megan: Yeah?

Blair: Yeah.

Megan: Just trying to make it convincing.

Blair: Well, I'd say you did.

Megan: I think another five minutes ought to do it. Why don't you...mess up your clothes, Sandy?

Marika and Bentley burst in. Bentley has a gun.

Megan: Marika. Mr. Bentley. This is outrageous.

Bentley: Shut up.

Marika goes through Megan's purse.

Marika: .9 mil.

Bentley: Cop issue. Up. Get up. Call Shannon -- tell her to meet us at Parker Street.

Bentley, Blair, and Megan leave as Marika starts calling Shannon.

~Cut to Jim and Vince in the truck. Day. Jim has his phone open and up to his ear.~

Vince: Remember the last episode of Braddock's Way?

Jim: Yeah, the cliffhanger. It was supposed to be continued next season.

Vince: There wasn't any next season. Braddock was framed, stripped of his license, and back on the bottle. That's where my big mouth left him, twisting in the wind.

Jim: Yeah, my mouth's gotten in the way a couple of times, too, Vince. (closes phone and puts it down) Sandburg and Conner's backup hasn't answered yet. They should have checked in. Let's take a cruise by that apartment.

~Cut to Jim and Vince arriving at apartment. Jim goes to car. Rafe is in car unconscious.~

Vince: That your backup?

Jim: Yeah. (opens car door) Rafe. What happened?

Rafe: Somebody sapped me. Oh, god. I-I never even saw it coming.

Jim: You hurt anywhere else?

Rafe: I'm okay.

Jim: All right, Vince. Call 911 and get some squad cars over here. (to Rafe) Just hang in there.

~Cut to Jim checking out the apartment. He finds the tape recorder that Marika was using and listens to it.

Bentley: (on tape) All right, come on-- up. Get up! Call Shannon -- Tell her to meet us at Parker Street.

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

~Same scene, a bit later. Jim outside again, talking on his cellphone.~

Jim: Hydra's got a pistol range there. I'll meet you there, okay, Simon. (hangs up) Vince, you stay here.

Vince: This is a disaster. They made the sting because I horned in.

Jim: Vince, please, it takes more than just you to screw something up, okay? It's not your fault. (leaves)

Vince goes over and gets into the car Rafe had been using.

Officer: Sir? It's a police vehicle.

Vince: Son, do you know who I am?

Officer: Well, you... do sort of look familiar.

Vince: I'm lieutenant Vincent -- Ellison's partner. Do you mind if I back his ass up?

Officer: Excuse me, sir.

~Cut to shooting range. Blair and Megan are tied to chairs, separately. Bentley, who has a gun, and Shannon are both there.~

Megan: You've made a grave mistake, Mr. Bentley. My husband's a very powerful man.

Bentley: I already called your "husband" in Melbourne, so you can drop the act anytime.

Shannon: Look, we know you're cops. Now all we need to know is how much the police have on us.

~Cut to Jim getting out of truck outside of building.~

~Cut back inside.~

Blair: This doesn't make sense. I'm an artist. She' unhappy wife, married to a man that doesn't have time for her anymore. Where's the crime in that, man?

Megan: Charles put you up to this, didn't he? To scare Anthony off.

Bentley fires several shots over Blair's head at the target behind him.

~Cut to outside. Jim hears the shots, gets out his gun from his ankle holster, and moves faster into the building.~

~Cut back inside.~

Bentley: Not a bad grouping. Wonder what kind of damage it would do from this range? (points gun at Blair's face.

~Cut back outside. Vince arrives and looks over to see Jim's truck.~

~Cut back inside.~

Bentley: (to Blair) So, what are your influences, huh? Turner? Maybe, uh...Manet? If it's Van Gogh, I can help out with the ear thing. (holds gun up behind Blair's ear)

Blair: Well, actually, I'm into the abstract expressionists.

Bentley clicks gun back, preparing to fire.

Megan: Stop. I'll talk. Just put down the gun.

Shannon goes over to Megan and yanks her head back by her hair.

Shannon: Who are you?

Megan: Inspector Conner with the Major Crimes unit, but he's not a cop. Just a civilian consultant. Let him go, and I'll give you the rest.

Blair: Nice try, Megan. I'm Detective Jim Ellison. She's just a local actress and not doing a very good job, I might add. I'll let you know what you want to know. You just let her walk.

Bentley: Why don't you guys get tour stories straight? The real Ellison...

Jim: right behind you, pal. Don't move! Put your gun at your feet. Really slow.

Bentley moves down and puts his gun on the floor.

Jim: That's right. Now, kick it over here.

Bentley does so.

Jim: Now move back.

Marika comes in behind Jim with her gun pointed at him.

Marika: Drop it, blue eyes. Now.

Jim: (moving down to put his gun on the floor) All right. Easy does it.

Jim comes back up quickly and attacks Marika. They fight. Shannon and Bentley decide to take advantage and run off.

Blair: They're getting away! Jim, look out!

Jim knocks Marika to the floor, where she knocks her head and falls unconscious.

Jim: You all right? (goes by Blair and unlocks Megan first)

Blair: Yeah.

~Cut to outside. Vince watches as Shannon and Bentley come out the back door.~

Shannon: The car's in front. We'll never make it.

Another car comes into the alley. Bentley waves it down.

Bentley: Hold it, hold it, hold it. Whoa, whoa, whoa!

~Cut inside.~

Jim: Chief, I want you to come with me. (to Megan) You stay with Mrs. Peel.

~Cut outside. Driver of other car opens his door.~

Bentley: Our car's broken down. I was wondering if you could lend us yours? (hauls out driver and tosses him aside)

Bentley and Shannon get in car and take off. Jim and Blair come out of side door and move just before they get run over by Bentley. Vince takes off after them as Jim and Blair run for the truck.

Jim: Chief, get in the truck!

They both get in and Jim takes off.

Jim: Hang on.

They pull in behind Vince in the car chase.

Blair: Watch that car.

Jim: Who the hell is this idiot?

Blair: I don't know.

Jim: Come on, jackass, Get out of the way.

Blair: Pull up alongside him.

Jim pulls up alongside Vince's car, with the car on Blair's side.

Blair: It's Vince! Get off the road, Vince! Get off the road!

Jim: Get off! Get back!

Vince pulls off on another road.

Jim: Idiot. (into radio) This is unit Echo Seven. We're in pursuit of a vehicle. Dodge Challenger, Oregon plates, heading north on Promontory. Copy?

Scene of Vince also hearing radio calls and the chase continues.

Dispatcher: Ten-four, Echo Seven.

Jim: Hang on! You all right?

Blair: Yeah.

Cars bounce up and down on roads, sometimes flying into the air.

Blair: Don't, Jim! You're supposed to be Carl McQueen, not Steve McQueen! Ow!

They come to an intersection and both cars try to avoid hitting something.

Shannon: Oh. Watch out!

Blair: Look out!

Jim: Brace yourself, Chief.

Jim pulls the truck to one side, avoiding causing an accident.

Bentley sees Vince's car coming and tries to play chicken.

Shannon: John, what are you doing?!

Bentley: Shut up.

Both cars swerve. Bentley smashes into a TV shop window.

Jim and Blair pull up next to Vince's car. Both get out.

Vince: How's that for comeback, eh?

Jim: Yeah, you're quite a swinger, Vince. (runs over to Bentley's car)

Blair: Where'd you learn to drive like that?

A TV is still playing in front of Bentley's car. Shannon and Bentley, both still conscious, watch, then look at each other.

TV announcer: A crime fighter that knows. Braddock's Way -- the name for action. Weeknights at 11:00 on Cascade channel three. "Why don't you give up, Nick? The whole area's ringed by police." Braddock's Way -- the name for action.

~Cut to Major Crimes hallway. Vince signing autographs. Megan is standing next to him.~

Vince: There you go.

Jim, Blair, and Simon exit elevator and join them.

Jim: Hey, if it isn't Bill Braddock.

Vince: That's the name.

Megan: Don't wear it out.

Blair: How's it going, Vince?

Vince: Great, kid. All that publicity got my career back on the blocks. (shows Blair a script) Treatment for a TV movie. Going to bring back Linda Rydell to play my secretary.

Simon: Braddock Returns?

Jim: Congratulations, Vince.

Vince: I owe it all to you, Jim. Uh, you know, uh, just for fun, I knew a couple of the writers. I had them write in a small role for you. Just a couple of lines. (shows Jim the script)

Jim: Detective Madison is a stroke of genius.

Simon: "Gruff, belligerent, head hard as a rock."

Vince: What can I say? Typecasting, eh?

Jim: Yeah, you're my hero, Vince.

Simon: Mm-hmm. You know, I don't see us in here.

Blair: I don't see us, either. We need to talk to the writers.

~ The End ~