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The Trance

Written by: Ann Powell
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): Bianca Rossini (Corinna Santiago), Vincent Castellanos (Dennis Murphy), Tony Longo (Robert Cortez), Michael Rogers (Rico), Liza Huget (Iya), J. Douglas Stewart (Patrick Donoghue), Gabriel Hodge (Bobby Tome), Christine Anton (Cuban Woman).

Summary: When a cop is found dead at the gathering place of a religious cult, Ellison and Sandburg enlist the help of the crime's only witness --- a woman who claims she was in a trance during the murder. (Source: Stefan's Sentinel Episode Guide)

This episode was originally broadcast on January 21, 1998.
Last updated: 7/8/01


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

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

~Large room in a warehouse. Night. Lots of music and people all dressed in white. Singing in Cuban. One woman dances in the middle of all of them. Woman spins faster and faster as they sing.~

~Cut to outside of building. On the roof. Two men (one of which is Donoghue) talking. Behind them are raised windows that look down on the inside of the warehouse.~

Donoghue: Mendola never should have been killed. You know it, and so do I.

Man: What do you want me to say? We stepped over the line? Okay, we stepped over the line. So what? We did it. We've got to accept it and we've gotta move on.

Donoghue: What the hell are you talking about? How do you accept something like this? I can't do it anymore. I'm sorry.

Man: You're sorry? That's what you have to say to me? You're sorry? What about me, hmm? You walk, and it puts me in a bind. I'm the one who brought you in on this. You remember that?

Donoghue: I'd never do anything to jeopardize you. You know that. I just want out.

Man: Well, you can't get out. It's gone way too far.

Donoghue: Cortez put you up to this, didn't he? That's why you wanted to come up here on the roof. First, Mendola, then me.

Man: Don't be stupid. Just go along with the program. Everything will be okay.

~Cut to inside warehouse room. People still dancing. One woman steps out from the crowd and goes to the woman in the middle. She lifts a gold sparkly shawl from around her neck and places it over the other woman's head and shoulders. Woman (with shawl) goes back to dancing.~

~Cut to top of warehouse.~

Man: I will handle Cortez, all right?

Donoghue: Handle whatever you want. I'm finished.

Donoghue tries to walk past the other man, but he grabs him and pushes him back.

Donoghue: What are you going to do? Kill me?

Man: I want to talk to you!

The man shoves Donoghue toward the windows. He goes through, falling through in the midst of the ceremony below, landing on his back two stories down. Everyone inside scrambles and runs. The other man comes in and walks over to Donoghue. He kneels down and lifts Donoghue's body partways.

Donoghue: I can't feel anything in my legs.

Man: (eyes are teary) Why didn't you just let it go, huh? All you had to do was put it out of your head.

Donoghue: Call an ambulance.

Man: (shaking his head) I can't. They'll want to know...what happened. (pulls out his gun and shoots Donoghue)

The man releases Donoghue and stands up. The woman with the gold shawl on steps out of the shadows and heads toward him, reaching out her hand. She seems to be in a trance. The man points his gun and her tries to fire -- his gun jams. He steps backwards, shaking the gun, trying to fire, but no use. He trips over something behind him and falls down. Then he stands and runs out of the room. Woman watches him go, then shakes herself. She looks down to see Donoghue's body on the ground. She runs.

~Cut to next morning. Jim and Blair enter the warehouse. Simon is already there, as well as other police.~

Jim: Call just said an officer was down. What's going on here?

Simon: Patrick Donoghue.

Jim: Oh, you've got to be kidding.

Blair: Did you know him?

Jim: (crouches down to look at covered body) I went to the academy with him. Heard he was working Vice.

Simon: Yeah, we have what we think is the murder weapon. Nine-millimeter. It's been wiped clean and the serial numbers are filed down. Ballistics might raise them.

Jim: What the hell happened here?

Blair: Looks like it was a santeria ceremony. Man, I'm telling you, whoever put together this altar really knew what they were doing.

Jim: And how was Donoghue involved?

Simon: We have no idea. We're trying to locate his partner, now -- Dennis Murphy?

Jim: Don't know him.

Simon: From what we've been able to tell, there was some sort of struggle on the roof. Donoghue was either pushed or fell through, but he was definitely shot down here.

Blair: Well, if that's true and there was a ceremony going on, then there are definitely witnesses.

Simon: Or maybe one of them pulled the trigger. The Cuban community has been up in arms since the Mendola homicide. Cop killing might be their way of saying "How does it feel?"

Blair: Oh, come on, nobody proved that a cop killed Mendola.

Simon: No one has to, Sandburg. Mendola was an up-and-coming law student. He starts making charges of police corruption, next thing you know, there's a bullet in his head. You do the math.

Jim: The department's on thin ice in this neighborhood. I think there's a lot of people around here who'd like to see us fall through.

~Cut to Jim and Blair exiting warehouse on the street level. They walk down the sidewalk.~

Blair: Santeria... it's an ancient religion. It was originally practiced by an African tribe called Yoruba. I actually went to a couple of the ceremonies in New York. The modern version has a bunch of wild different cultural influences in it. It's really cool.

Jim stops and inhales, smelling something.

Blair: What is it?

Jim: I don't know...something I'm smelling. It's really sweet. I can't really identify it, though. I think I smelled it inside the building. It's stronger over here.

They head down the sidewalk at a jog to find a gold sparkly shawl on the ground near some trashcans. Jim picks it up and smells it.

Blair: Is that what you're smelling?

Jim: Yeah, yeah, it's real perfumy. Like oranges or rose water or something. (reading label) "Botanica alpavo real." Does that mean anything to you?

Blair: Yeah. Botanicas are religious stores -- they sell candles, herbs...stuff like that. You know, some of them have ceremonies in the back.

Jim: All right. Which means that whoever was wearing this is either our killer...

Blair: Or our witness.

~Cut to a Botanica store. There's a knock on the front door. A woman (Iya) goes to answer it. She opens it to see the woman with the gold shawl (Corinna) from last night.~

Corinna: Iya... something terrible has happened. I didn't know where else to go.

Corinna enters and Iya shuts the door.

Iya: Thank god you're all right. People have been looking all over for you.

Corinna: There is a man...

Iya: I know. The one who fell from the roof. We were all there when it happened. Everyone ran. We thought you were with us.

Corinna: No, I can't remember anything. After I came out of the trance, he was lying on the floor. He was dead, Iya. What happened?

Iya: You were about to give your blessing. He fell to the floor through the glass. People were terrified. They panicked.

Corinna: So someone killed him.

Iya: You don't know that.

Corinna: He had a wound in his chest. I've got to go to the police.

Iya: You can't.

Corinna: I have to. I'm in a position of responsibility. I can't just ignore this.

Iya: And what will you tell them? That you were practicing some ancient religion and fell into a trance and now a man is dead? All you will do is jeopardize everything you have worked for.

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

Blair: The gold shawl? Whoever wore it was probably a priestess of Oshun.

Jim: A what?

Blair: Oshun is the African goddess of love and beauty, sort of like Venus. And her priestesses wear gold -- usually really beautiful and exotic women that have this way of moving...uh, sort of like -- sort of like sensual rhythm, you know? (does a little dance move with his arms) This is an academic discussion only, okay? I was strictly an observer.

Jim: Do that move again.

Blair does it and Jim laughs.

Jim: You got all the moves, babe.

Blair: That's the one.

Still laughing, they pull to a stop outside the Botanica.

~Cut to inside Botanica.~

Corinna: Sometimes I feel like I'm on the edge of a knife. What do I do?

Iya: Maintain your balance.

~Cut to Jim and Blair outside the Botanica as they walk to the door.~

Jim: Strictly an observer, huh, Chief?

Blair: Just an observer.

Jim: Maybe a little voyeur?

Blair: Maybe a little.

They both laugh. Jim knocks on the door.

~Cut to inside. Corinna and Iya look at door.~

Iya: Get in the back.

Corinna goes into the back. Iya answers the door. Jim and Blair come in.

Jim: Hi, I'm Detective Ellison. This is Mr. Sandburg. We're with the Cascade PD

Iya: How may I help you?

Jim: A police officer was murdered this morning. This was found in the area. We believe it comes from here. (shows her the shawl)

Blair: It's's a very beautiful shawl.

Iya: Beautiful, but not unique. There are many in this community.

Blair: Any information that you can give us would be great. We're talking about the death of a police officer here.

Iya: I'm sorry. I know nothing about it.

Jim: What is that scent?

Iya: Verbena.

Blair: Verbena, of course. It's part of the bembe ceremony.

Iya: You know about the bembe?

Blair: Yeah. I'm familiar with the ritual. There was one last night, right?

Iya: There may have been. I wasn't there. But I can tell you that whoever murdered your detective was not a part of the bembe.

Jim: How do you know that?

Iya: Nobody comes into the bembe with a weapon. It's a rule that's strictly enforced.

Jim: I never said the murder took place at a bembe. Are you the only one working now?

Iya: Yes.

Jim hears footsteps and a door closing at the back of the store. He hands Blair the shawl.

Jim: Hold this.

Jim walks through the store and exits through the back door, looking around. He doesn't see anyone or anything.

~Cut to Major Crimes. Still day. Jim and Simon coming out of elevator.~

Jim: Captain, I'm telling you, this woman is sitting on some information.

Simon: Yeah, well, leave her sitting there. The last thing we need is a riot.

Jim: Then I want to lean on Cortez.

Simon: Look, Jim, I know where you're going with this, but absolutely not.

Jim: Simon, we got a cop killing in Little Havana. We both know that Cortez has got his fingers into every little puppet show that goes on there.

Simon: I cannot have you leaning on Cortez. We know this cop killing is a tinderbox. The last thing we need to be doing is adding fuel to the fire.

Jim: Simon, this guy is nothing more than a stone-cold thug.

Simon: Yeah? He's also a recognized leader of the community and I want you to back off. Now, is that understood?

Jim: Very good, sir.

Simon: Oh, uh, what about Donoghue's partner?

Jim: Murphy's taking some personal time. I'm going to see him this afternoon.

Simon: All right, good. The sooner we find out what Donoghue was doing on that roof, the closer we'll be to finding his killer.

~Cut to Jim and Blair entering firing range. Murphy is there practicing. Thy wait until he's done and go up to him.~

Jim: Murphy...

Murphy turns -- it's the man who killed Donoghue.

Jim: Jim Ellison. This is Blair Sandburg. He's a consultant to the department.

Murphy: Ellison... I've been expecting you.

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

~Same continuing scene.~

Murphy: We were partners. Anything you want to know, you ask.

Jim: What was he doing there?

Murphy: I don't know. That's what's so strange about all this. He never said a word to me.

Jim: Any cases you guys were working on together?

Murphy: Sure. We had a lot of open files. Patrick could have been working on any of them. But he would have told me about it.

Jim: How 'bout somebody had a grudge against him? An ex-con fresh out of the joint?

Murphy: Come on, Ellison...we both know what this is about, right? Everybody does. This...this is payback for Mendola.

Blair: You and Donoghue were the arresting officers on that case, right?

Murphy: It was a legitimate collar. He had a nickel bag on him. So, what happens next? Mendola gets off on bail, somebody whacks him, and everybody in Little Havana thinks that we did it. Now, I think one of those "good" Cuban people wanted to settle the score.

Blair: From what I know about the case, none of that can be proved yet.

Murphy: I'm sorry. You were -- what was it? -- a consultant

Blair: Yeah.

Murphy: So, basically, you have no idea what the hell you're talking about. For awhile, walk in our shoes...

Blair: Man, look, I was...

Murphy: No, you look! I lost a partner here. All right?

Jim: It's okay, man. We understand. I'm sorry. We're just trying to figure it out here.

Murphy: Patrick was a good man. He didn't deserve this.

Jim: Well, hang onto this. Whoever killed Donoghue is not getting away with this. He may have been your partner, but he was part of all of us. We're going to catch this scumbag.

Murphy: If you don't...I will. (walks off)

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

Blair: I'm sorry about what happened back there. I didn't mean to get into a hassle with Murphy. I should have realized I was treading upon sacred ground and the department has its own social structure and its own taboos...

Jim: Whoa, whoa, Chief, don't turn this into a term paper. Do me that favor, all right?

Blair: I'm not. I'm just letting you know I understand.

Jim: No, I don't think you do understand.

Blair: Oh, I don't understand. Look, Jim, don't patronize me. I may not be a cop, but I know what it's like to lose somebody, all right?

Jim: I'm sorry. I know you do.

Blair: It's all right. It's all right. So where are we going now? Where're we going?

Jim: We're going to pay a visit to a guy named Roberto Cortez.

~Cut to Cortez and Murphy in a small dark restaurant talking. Still day.~

Cortez: Hey, you did what you had to do. It's over.

Murphy: It's so easy for you, isn't it? I killed a cop. Do you have any idea what that means? This isn't Mendola that we're talking about. The department is going to turn this town upside down until they make an arrest.

Cortez: They're not going to say anything. What? They're going to talk about what they don't know?

Murphy: God knows. (pause) I was an altar boy. Did you know that? Every morning before school, 7:00 mass...and the old priests -- they used to say "You can't fool God. God sees everything."

Cortez: Wait, wait, wait. Don't go off on me, Murphy. You got too much to lose. You got your kids in private school. You got all your girlfriends. You like the good life a little bit too much. It's okay.

Murphy: There was a witness. A woman.

Cortez: Who is she?

Murphy: I don't know. But I think that she saw everything.

Cortez: If she's in the area, she won't be hard to find. I want you to track her down. And I want you to make sure she's not a problem.

Murphy: Why don't we just leave it alone? Hmm? I mean, if she was going to come forward, she probably would have done it by now.

Cortez: We can't take that chance. You got to take care of business. Look at me. (pause) Do we understand each other here, Dennis? Hmm.

~Cut to Jim and Blair pulling into a parking spot outside the restaurant. They get out and go inside. Murphy is gone, but Cortez is still inside. Cortez sees them come in and walk down toward him. Another man, a really big guy (Rico), steps in front of them as they approach Cortez, blocking them.~

Jim: We're not going to do this, are we?

Rico: This is a private club. Members only.

Jim: (shows his badge) I got a "get in free" card here. I'm here to see Mr. Cortez. So why don't you get back up on your tree, okay, chooch?

Rico: He doesn't have time for you. Senor Cortez is a very busy man.

Jim: Right -- that happens to be why I'm here.

Blair: Hey, Jim, uh...let's say we come back some other time.

Jim: I'm double-parked, Chief. Do I need a tow truck to get you out of here, too?

Rico: You really want me to hit you?

Cortez interrupts, tells Rico in Spanish to let Jim by. Then he speaks to Blair.

Cortez: Why don't you sit down. I'm gonna have my cook make you lunch, okay? Only you.

Blair: I... I could eat. (sits at the bar counter)

Cortez: (to Jim) Come this way.

Jim follows Cortez back to his table.

Cortez: Sit down.

Jim: (sits down) I'm here investigating the murder of a vice squad cop named Patrick Donoghue. He worked this neighborhood. Do you know him?

Cortez: No. I never had the pleasure, but I do offer my condolences.

Jim: I'll be sure to pass that along to his widow.

Cortez: What do you want from me, Detective?

Jim: Any information that you have on the incident. And I would doubt that there's anything that goes on in this neighborhood you don't know about.

Cortez: Ooh, come on. You're giving me way too much credit.

Jim: What about Jorge Mendola? You know who killed him?

Cortez: I heard it was a cop. (shrugs)

Jim: Why don't you think about that for a while, all right? (stands up and starts to walk away)

Cortez: You know, Cuba, I was tortured by Castro's revolutionaries. Intimidation has very little effect on me.

Jim: (goes back to Cortez) You know that any man that's got to tell you that...well, he's usually scared to death. And if I were you, I'd keep Rico sharp because the next time I come back here, it's not going to be a social visit. (joins Blair) Let's go, Chief.

Blair: Thanks for the food. (takes the brown bag and follows after Jim)

~Cut to outside restaurant. Corinna is walking across the street as Jim and Blair exit. She sees them.~

Jim: What's that, a Cuban happy meal?

Blair: I had to take it, or if I didn't, it would have been an insult.

Jim: You wouldn't want to offend Cortez.

Corinna goes the other direction in a hurry, hailing a taxi.

Blair: Or that guy Rico -- man, you take away the guy's clothes, he's a cave dweller.

Jim stops at the side of the truck, sniffing the air. He walks a few feet away.

Blair: What is it?

Jim: That scent -- I'm smelling it again.

Corinna gets into the taxi.

Blair: The verbena?

Jim: Yeah.

Blair: Where's it coming from?

Jim: (looks around but doesn't see anyone or anything) I don't know. But I lost it.

Jim's cellphone rings and he answers it.

Jim: Ellison. All right, great. Thanks, Cassie. (hangs up) Forensics was able to get a serial number on the gun that killed Donoghue. It was registered to a security guard named Sam Dawson who sold it to a kid named Bobby Tome.

~Cut to Jim and Blair entering a pool hall. Still day.~

Blair: "Shooting eight balls with some friends." You think the girlfriend was straight with us?

Jim: Let's find out. (to the crowd inside as he shows his badge) All right, which one of you girls is Bobby Tome?

One of the guys inside runs, going up the stairs to the second level. Jim and Blair go after him.

Blair: Oop.

Jim: (grabs Bobby) Not so fast here. I usually like a proper introduction. Where are your manners, Bobby?

Bobby: I didn't do anything, man.

Jim: Then why were you running? For your health? (pats Bobby down)

Bobby: From a cop in this neighborhood? Damn right.

Jim: Where were you last night?

Bobby: At my church, helping Father Dominguez paint the vestry. You can ask the padre. That's unless you think he'd lie.

Jim: That won't be necessary.

Bobby: It's about that cop being killed, isn't it?

Jim: What do you know about it?

Bobby: Nothing, man. I don't know nothing.

Jim: There's a security guard named Dawson. About a month ago. He claims that he sold you a gun about a month ago. Is that true?

Bobby: Yeah? So? He needed some bread and the price was right. So what?

Jim: That cop was killed with it.

Bobby: Hey, wait a minute, man. I haven't seen that gun in three weeks. I swear to God.

Jim: Let me guess. You lost it.

Bobby: Three weeks ago, I was picked up on suspicion of possession. It was a bogus charge but I was packing at the time. The gun was confiscated.

Jim: By who?

Bobby: By the cop that arrested me. Who else?

Blair: Do you remember the cop's name?

Bobby: Yeah, sure. Donoghue.

~Cut to Major Crimes. Still day. Simon's office; door is open. Jim, Blair, and Simon.~

Jim: Bobby Tome's story checks out. Donoghue busted the kid three weeks ago and logged in his weapon. Somehow it got out of lockup.

Simon: Was Murphy involved in the collar?

Jim: Nope.

Blair: How does a gun just disappear?

Simon: Well, it had to be someone who had access to evidence lockup. You figure it out.

Blair: What are you saying? Another cop...

Simon: (closes door) What I'm about to tell you stays in this room. You hear me, Sandburg? Now I got a call from IA this morning. They were investigating Vice cops who may have been in Cortez's pocket. Donoghue's name was on the list. Now if cops are on the take, it could be why Mendola was killed.

Blair: And also why Donoghue.

Simon: Look, Jim, I want you to give this top priority. I want to find out who killed Donoghue and if it connects in any way at all to Mendola.

Jim: Yes, sir. Let's go, Chief.

Simon: Oh, by the way, I, a call from your friend Cortez. It appears he's filed charges for police harassment.

Blair: What?! Oh, come on. I was there.

Simon: Save it, Sandburg.

Rhonda: (over intercom) Captain Banks? Ms. Santiago is here to see you.

Simon: All right, I'll be right out.

Blair: Do you believe that?

Simon: And because of this and also due to the escalating tensions in Little Havana, the mayor has asked us to work with a community affairs liaison -- her names's Corinna Santiago. (grins) She's right outside.

Jim: Simon...

Simon: As my son Daryl would say, talk to the hand. (lifts his hand)

Simon opens the side office door and steps out into the next office area. As the door opens, Jim starts to smell something.

Simon: Ms. Santiago, I'm Captain Banks. Would you like to step in, please?

Corinna Santiago steps inside -- it's the woman who had the gold shawl.

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

~Same continuing scene a bit later. The four of them are sitting around the table.~

Corinna: We have a crisis on our hands, Captain. Our people are frightened, and they feel unprotected.

Simon: With all due respect, Ms. Santiago, I feel those fears are totally unfounded.

Corinna: A young man named Jorge Mendola spoke out about police corruption, and he ended up dead.

Simon: Yes, and we are doing everything we can to find his killer.

Corinna: What about Detective Donoghue?

Jim: What about him?

Corinna: The fear is that someone in Little Havana is going to be picked as a scapegoat.

Blair: This isn't Cuba.

Corinna: I've seen the police push, grab, and racially insult my people. That was here -- in Cascade.

Jim: Those were isolated incidences, ma'am, I...

Corinna: I didn't come here to argue the point. I'm asking you to exercise restraint and avoid harassing my citizens.

Jim: If you're referring to Roberto Cortez, some say that everything bad that happens in that neighborhood traces back to him.

Corinna: It's because of Senor Cortez, we have a free clinic, youth center, and hot meals for our elderly.

Blair: Oh, yeah, yeah, sure. Friendly neighborhood patriarch, right? Little Havana's answer to John Gotti.

Corinna: He's given a lot.

Jim: It's only a fraction of what he's siphoned off.

Corinna: It seems we have a difference of opinion. (stands up; Simon helps her on with her coat) I hope we can resolve it.

Jim: (stands up and walks around to her) By the way, if you don't mind me asking, what is that fragrance that you wear?

Corinna: I made it myself, from tropical flowers -- flores tropicalis. My mother taught me in Cuba. Buenos dias. (leaves)

Jim: Adios.

Simon shuts the door.

Jim: It's the same scent I picked up at the murder scene. She was there.

Simon: All right, well, walk carefully on this one. We're dealing with the mayor's office.

Jim leaves Simon's office.

~Cut to Corinna in the hallway. She goes toward the elevator, but there are too many people, so she takes the stairs instead.~

~Cut to the stairwell. Murphy is going up the stairs. Corinna passes him as she goes down. Murphy ducks behind a corner as Jim comes down the stairs a few moments later. Murphy listens to their conversation.~

Jim: Just a minute.

Corinna: Let's see. You've already asked me about my perfume. You now want to know where I buy my clothes.

Jim: Well, actually, I know where you buy your clothes -- at least some of them anyway. We have a witness to Donoghue's murder. She dropped her shawl at the scene.

Corinna: And...?

Jim: And I think that shawl belongs to you.

Corinna: That's ridiculous.

Jim: You know, obstructing justice is a crime. I'm not the enemy here. Why don't you just talk to me.

Corinna: I've told you everything. If that's all...?

Jim: One way or the other, I'll find out what happened.

She leaves.

~Cut to Cortez and Murphy at the restaurant. Still day.~

Cortez: You had your chance. Why didn't you kill her?

Murphy: I was in a police station. What the hell am I supposed to do, hmm? We're screwed. She probably already gave a statement.

Cortez: No. If that would have been the case, they would have been breaking down the door. I want you to find her and I want you to find out what her name is.

Murphy: And how am I supposed to do that?

Cortez: What? Am I going to tell you how to do your job now? You're a cop, okay? Rico. Murphy needs company. And this do what needs to be done.

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

Simon: To tell the truth, Jim, I don't know how to play this one. Unless you can absolutely put Corinna Santiago at the crime scene...

Jim: The shawl is hers. Either she's covering for someone or she's a part of it.

Simon: Think she'll roll over if you put some pressure on her?

Jim: Maybe.

Jim's cellphone rings and he answers it.

Jim: Ellison.

~Cut to Blair parked in his car outside a restaurant where he can see Iya and Corinna eating at a table through large windows.~

Blair: Jim, it's me. We lucked out. This whole thing started with the santeria ceremony. I decided to go back to the Botanica and I saw Iya leaving, so I followed her to this café. Guess who she just met. Corinna Santiago.

A dark car comes around the corner. It stops and turns off its lights. Inside, Murphy cocks a large automatic weapon. Then the car screeches down the street toward the restaurant. Murphy sticks the gun out the window and fires as they drive by. Iya is hit several times. Corinna gets down before she is hit.

Blair watches in shock, then watches the car take off. He gets out of his car and runs inside the restaurant. Inside he finds Corinna leaning over Iya's body, holding her head.

Corinna: Iya? Iya? (whispering) Iya...

~Cut to same scene a bit later. Police and ambulances are there. Corinna and Blair are at a table when Jim comes over; he has the gold sparkly cloth. Iya's body (in a body bag) is being wheeled out. Jim hands her the scarf, then sits down with them.~

Jim: Sorry about your friend. You want to tell me now?

Corinna: You're right. I was there, at the bembe... But I can't help you. All I remember was the heat and the drums that began the ceremony. Then I was standing over the dead body of Detective Donoghue. Everything between is a blank.

Jim: What do you mean, it was a blank? Could you explain that?

Corinna: I was in a trance.

Blair: Yeah. I've seen it before, Jim, at the bembes I've observed.

Corinna: our religion the gods come down to earth. Sometimes they enter the bodies of certain people. I'm one of those people. Oshun chose me.

Blair: In these trances, uh, sometimes they'll last for an hour, sometimes a day, sometimes a week, and the subjects, when they come out they, uh, they never remember anything.

Jim: Why didn't you tell me all this before?

Corinna: I work for the mayor and I practice an African religion where a god inhabits your body. I live in two worlds.

Jim: A lot of us walk in different worlds, Corinna. Sometimes we're not sure which world we're in. This is what we have. I think the killer knows that you're the only witness But he doesn't know that you were in a trance. I think he wants you dead.

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

~Major Crimes. Still night. Simon's office. Jim and Simon.~

Jim: They're at the loft. A couple of uniforms are standing by.

Simon: Well, good move. That takes care of her, but we still don't know why Donoghue was killed.

Jim: Let's say Mendola's claims of police corruption were true. Donoghue and Murphy are the arresting officers and later Mendola is found dead in an alley. I think Donoghue was involved in the murder. Now something went wrong -- a change of heart, he was murdered.

Simon: That's a lot of supposition.

Jim: You think these were all coincidences?

Simon: All right, so now we come to the big question: Who killed him?

Jim: I don't know. Somebody who could, uh...lure him up to that roof. Somebody he his partner.

Simon: It's the only thing that fits. (pause) God, I hope you're wrong.

Jim: Yeah. Me, too.

~Cut to the loft. Blair and Corinna. Blair gets some cream out of the fridge for her coffee.~

Blair: So, uh, how long you been in America?

Corinna: I was ten when I left Cuba, and already a priestess.

Blair: Uh...

Corinna: Thanks.

Blair: These trances, are they easy for you to get into?

Corinna: Under the right conditions, yes.

Blair: Because I was wondering if you went back into a trance if...if we could ask Oshun who the killer is.

Corinna: No, I couldn't do that.

Blair: Why not?

Corinna: This isn't some kind of illusion you do on demand. Oshun's got a mind of her own...and her own methods of punishment.

Blair: I'm sure that she does and I view your beliefs with great respect. Oshun speaks through you.

Corinna: Mm-hmm.

Blair: I'm asking you to give her Her voice. I'm asking Oshun for help.

~Cut to Major Crimes. Still night. Jim's desk. Jim is on the phone when Simon comes up to him.~

Jim: All right, Sandy, appreciate it. Yeah. (hangs up)

Simon: What's the word?

Jim: Well, Murphy was on duty the night that Donoghue was shot. He was part of the security detail at the mayor's fund-raiser. Now Donoghue was killed around midnight. Murphy was on until 1:00.

Simon: Any chance he could have slipped out?

Jim: Anything's possible, Captain, but I don't see how he could have. We still have our other witness.

Simon: Let's see if there's any way to jog her memory.

Jim: The wheels are already in motion, Captain.

Simon: Good. (walks off)

Jim's phone rings and he answers it.

Jim: Ellison. She's willing to do it? I'll send the uniforms along to accompany you over to the Botanica.

~Cut to the roof across from the Botanica. Murphy walks up the edge and watches as Blair and Corinna, accompanied by two uniformed officers, pull up next to Botanica. Blair and Corinna go inside. Murphy pulls out his cellphone and dials.~

~Cut to Cortez in his restaurant talking on a phone, presumably to Murphy.~

Cortez: Where are you? Okay, you wait for me there. Hey, hey, hey...because you already screwed up twice. This time, I want to be there. Good. (hangs up)

~Cut to inside Botanica. Corinna lights candles. She and Blair prepare the bembe ceremony. Blair has a taped recording of bembe music which plays.~

~Cut to Jim entering the Cuban restaurant early the next morning. Sun just barely rising. Cortez is not there, but Rico is. He waits until Rico (who doesn't see him) walks toward the back of the restaurant, then goes after him, pinning him against a wall at the back where no one sees them.

Jim: You know, I think it's time you and I had an understanding, huh? Maybe we should talk in private.

Jim shoves him into the men's restroom.

Jim: This is how it's going to work: You're going to try to run away and I'm going to have to shoot you.

Rico: And that's supposed to scare me?

Rico reaches for Jim. Jim grabs Rico's hand and crunches his knuckles, forcing him to his knees. Jim pulls out his gun with his other hand and holds it to Rico's neck.

Jim: You think that Cortez even thinks about you, huh? He's going to save his own ass, puke.

Rico: You can't just kill me.

Jim crunches his fingers a little more.

Jim: This is Little Havana. Cops off people here every day. Now there's one way out. You're going to tell me who did it. Come on, puke, sing.

More crunching.

Jim: Come on!

Rico: Murphy killed Donoghue. Donoghue and Murphy killed Jorge Mendola. Donoghue couldn't take it.

Jim: How does Cortez figure into it?

Rico: Cortez gave the orders.

Jim: Where is he now? Where is he, puke?! Where's Cortez?

Rico: They know about the girl. They went to Botanica.

Jim cuffs Rico to some pipes.

~Cut to Simon on his phone in his office talking to Jim a bit later.~

Simon: Murphy's alibi doesn't wash. His name was on the roster, but he sent in a substitute at the last minute.

Jim: (in his truck driving) We got some trouble. Cortez knows where Corinna is. I tried to call Sandburg, but he must have forgotten his cell phone.

Simon: Oh, don't worry about it. I'll raise the uniforms from this end.

Jim: Also, you might want to send a cruiser over to Cortez's club. There's a man in the men's room who's wanting to talk to you. He'll fill you in on the details.

Simon: Right. (hangs up and gets ready to redial)

~Cut to the roof of the building across from the Botanica. Murphy is there. Cortez comes up in another car and joins him.~

Cortez: This time it's done the right way, okay?

Murphy leans into his car and gets a gun and a silencer, then heads out.

~Cut to inside Botanica. Corinna is still doing ceremony. Blair is watching and throwing some stuff around Corinna as she dances and chants.~

~Cut to outside where two officers are guarding the door.~

Officer #1: You want to check in?

Officer #2: Yeah, yeah. (into walkie) Headquarters, this is unit 29...

Gunshots hit both of them, sending them to the ground.

Walkie: Unit 29, please respond. Unit 29, please respond!

Cortez, Murphy, and another man walk toward Botanica.

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

~Simon in his office talking to Jim who is in his truck, still driving.~

Simon: There's something's wrong, Jim. We can't raise the uniforms. Where are you now?

Jim: About ten minutes away.

Simon: All right. I'm on my way.

~Cut to inside Botanica. Ceremony still going on. Corinna still dancing and chanting. Blair watching. Corinna suddenly jerks to a stop, then slowly looks over at Blair. She walks over to him, removing her shawl and putting it over his head. She says something in Cuban.~

~Cut to outside. The officers' walkie is still on. Murphy switches it off.

Walkie: Unit 29, please respond. Unit 29...

~Cut to inside. Blair looks past the open door of the back room where they are to see the front door opening and three men with guns entering. He slides over and slams the door shut, then ducks to the side as bullets fly through the door. Corinna doesn't respond, just stands there. Blair jams a chair under the doorknob, then grabs Corinna's hand and pulls her toward the back.

Blair: Come on, come on, let's go!

Cortez kicks the door in, knocking the chair out of the way as they storm through.

Blair opens the back door and pulls Corinna out after him into the daylight.

Blair: Come on, come on.

They run down the street; Cortez and others are following them. They run into a huge noisy parade and head into the crowd, hiding within everyone.

Blair: 'Scuse me. sorry. 'Scuse me, guys. Sorry about that.

Blair looks back to see Cortez and his men coming hin after them. He pulls a dazed Corinna and keeps going.

~Cut to Jim pulling to a stop in front of the Botanica. He gets out of the truck and hurriedly checks the two officers on the ground. He picks up the one officer's walkie and speaks into it.~

Jim: Yeah, we got two officers down, Domingo and First. Both alive. Send ambulance and backup, ASAP. Domingo and First.

Walkie: Copy that. EMT is on its way. ETA three minutes.

Jim goes inside the Botanica, gun out, but doesn't find anybody.

Jim: Come on, Chief, where the hell are you?

~Cut to the parade. Blair is still pushing his way through the crowd, bringing Corinna along with him by the hand.~

Blair: 'Scuse me. 'Scuse me, sorry. 'Scuse me. 'Scuse me. 'Scuse me. 'Scuse me.

They stop and Blair looks around. , seeing Murphy in the distance. He looks back behind him and realizes he's lost Corinna.

Blair: Ah, Corinna! Corinna! Corinna! (starts to go through crowd again) 'Scuse me.

Jim arrives on the scene, getting into the crowd, looking around. He picks up Blair's voice.

Blair: 'Scuse me. sorry. Corinna!

Jim heads off, following Blair's voice.

Simon arrives on the scene in his car. He gets out and starts going through the crowd as well.

Simon: 'Scuse me. Pardon me. 'Scuse me.

~Cut to Corinna. She is somewhere away from the main parade route, but still with a crowd of people, walking through them, drawn by a large picture of Oshun. Behind her, Cortez and his men see her and start to follow her.

~Cut back to main parade sight. Blair is still looking around. He stops, turning in a circle to look. A hand latches onto his shoulder. He jumps and turns, then breathes out quickly.

Blair: Oh, man, am I glad to see you.

Jim: Where's Corinna?

Blair: I don't know. I lost her in the crowd. But see if you can pick her up by her scent.

Jim: You've gotta be kidding me. How am I going to do that with all these people?

Blair: You can do it.

Jim: I can't do it.

Simon: Ellison! (comes over to join them)

~Cut to Corinna. She almost reaches the large picture of Oshun when Murphy steps in front of her.~

Corinna: I know you. You're the man who killed the friend he loved.

Cortez comes up behind Corinna, then pulls her aside, pushing her away from the crowds. Cortez's man points a gun at Murphy and motions for him to follow. The four of them head into a side area where no one else is at. Cortez puts Corinna up against a wall, then turns to Murphy.~

Cortez: Kill her. Do it.

Murphy: God forgive me. (aims his gun at Corinna)

Jim and Simon come around the corner, both pointing their guns at them.

Jim: Drop it! How many more, Murphy? How many more is it going to take before it ends?

Murphy lowers the gun and lets it drop on the ground.

Simon: All right, both of you n the ground! Now!

Cortez and his man exchange a look. Cortez runs down a side corridor while his man fires at Simon and Jim. They return fire, knocking the man to the ground.

Jim: I'm after Cortez! (takes off)

Simon: Come on! Get up...! (grabs Murphy and forces him to the wall)

Blair comes down the hallway to join Simon and Corinna.

~Cut to Jim chasing after Cortez back into the parade area.

Jim: Police, coming through! Cortez!

Jim aims his gun at Cortez through the crowd. Cortez hesitates, then grabs a woman, putting his gun to her head.

Cortez: Drop it! Drop it! Or I kill her.

Jim drops her gun. Cortez looks around, realizing everyone is watching him.

Jim: Look at you -- willing to murder an innocent woman to save your sorry ass. Good lord, you are pathetic, man. Go ahead, kill her. Kill me! They're still going to know what you're all about. They can see it.

Cortez: Don't listen to him! He's the cop that killed Mendola!

Jim: No. They know who killed Mendola. There's no place for you to run now. Go ahead.

Cortez shoves woman away and aims his gun at Jim. A man comes out of the crowd and forces Cortez's arm up. Others join him, mobbing Cortez. Jim pushes his way into the mob.

Man: Murderer. Murderer! Beat him up!

~Cut to Major Crimes. Jim and Simon exit Simon's office into the bullpen.~

Simon: Murphy signed a complete confession. That, plus the cooperation from his men, we'll be able to put Cortez away for two counts of murder one.

Jim: Wild ride.

Blair and Corinna enter the bullpen.

Jim: So we don't need Corinna Santiago's testimony?

Simon: No. It won't be necessary.

Jim: I'll tell her. (goes over to join them) Thanks for coming by.

Blair: Hey, how'd everything work out?

Jim: Good.

Blair: Good. Great. See you later. (walks off)

Corinna: Blair said you had to talk to me.

Jim: Well, I don't see it serving any purpose to expose your personal life and hold your beliefs up to scrutiny.

Corinna: You seem to understand a lot.

Jim: Yeah, well, let's, uh...let's just say I know a few things about secrets. Come on. (walks with her toward elevator)

~ The End ~