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Murder 101

Written by: Ron Taylor
Directed by: Don Kurt
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): Chad Todhunter (Brad Ventriss), Niesha Trout (Suzanne Nadine), Tom Butler (Norman Ventriss), Jerry Wasserman (Brad's lawyer), Ken Earl (Joel Taggart), Johanna Lebovitz (Jill Gordon), Dmitry Chepovetsky (Rick Feldman), Linden Banks (Henry Nadine), Claire Riley (Connie Roberts), Ingrid Tesch (Jennifer Olson), Lesley Ewen (Serena Chang), Russell Jung (Dennis Chung), George Gordon (Dr. Sidney Oldham), Marie Stillin (Chancellor Edwards).

Summary: Sandburg is shocked when it's revealed that two of his students are linked to Ellison's murder mystery. (Source: Stefan's Sentinel Episode Guide)

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


~Opening theme plays as credits roll.~

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

~Day. Two twenty-something's -- a man and woman -- break into a house, cutting a whole in a glass door to get in. They go into an office and woman starts working on someone's laptop. Both wear latex gloves. The man picks up a wallet laying on the desk.~

Man: Forgot his wallet. There's going to be trouble.

Woman: I'm in.

They hear a car pull up outside and man go over to look through window.

Man: He's back. Keep it running. Keep it running. (goes off-screen)

Second man comes into office and sees files being downloaded from his computer to another one. He stops download, then heads back to main part of house. First man comes out and holds a gun in second man's back.

First man: Don't move.

Second man: Why not? This is crazy.

First man: Shut up.

Second man: Your father...

First man: Shut up! Get on the floor.

Second man twists and attacks, knocking gun and first man away. Woman comes from behind and hits second man over the head with a vase. Second man turns around and hits woman, knocking her down. First man shoots the second man.

Woman: Oh, my god. Brad. Are you crazy?

Brad: I had no choice.

Woman: You... You killed him.

Brad: Well, there's no turning back. All right, sweetheart? (helps woman to her feet) Look, we knew there might be problems.

Woman: But not this. You've a gun?

Brad: It's for our protection. Okay? Now, look, forget about it. He's dead. Now somebody might have heard the shot. So what do you want to do? You want to continue with the plan?

Woman: Let's finish it... Fast.

~Cut to them in office, finishing up.~

Brad: It's done.

Woman: We're clear.

Brad: Let's go.

They leave, walking over body as they do. Camera moves in for a closer look at body, then --

~Pull back to show Jim, Joel, and Serena over body. Day.~

Jim: Well, what have we got?

Serena: Well, we've got one set of fingerprints -- probably the victim's -- but these two hair strands are not. One came off the victim's jacket. The other one upstairs, next to a computer. Same color, same length. (holds up a evidence bag)

Jim: Blond, huh?

Serena: Mm-hmm.

Jim uses his sight to hone in on a strand on the cut glass of the glass door.

Jim: You got another one at the point of entry.

Serena: No. We swept that clean.

Jim: I think you missed one.

Serena walks over to look.

Jim: The weapon that was pressed against him. It was probably a nine mil.

~Cut to Blair lecturing in a classroom, pacing in front of a chalkboard.~

Blair: Today children are sacrificed On the altar of neglect and abuse, but in ancient tribal customs, it was a matter of solemnity. Ritual sacrifice by definition means surrendering of value of something that was physically and morally and sexually uncorrupted, which means that everybody in this room would have been safe, right?

Brad and woman from break-in walk into room.

Woman: Sorry, Mr. Sandburg.

Blair: Perfect timing. We were just talking about human sacrifice.

Brad: That's kind of like me sacrificing my day to be here.

Blair: Yeah. That's exactly what it's like. That's funny. Why don't you take your seat.

Brad pauses, eyeing a girl. He walks by her, stroking her leg and sits down next to her. She pulls away.

Blair: Yeah, hurry up, before we all fossilize.

Girl gets up and moves to another chair, leaving a manila envelope on her desk top, which Brad takes.

Blair: So, um, where were we?

~Cut back to Jim and Joel at crime scene. They're by the window, looking at the cut cirlce.~

Joel: If I was coming to nail him, I wouldn't have wasted time cutting out the window glass. I would have picked the lock. It's a lot faster.

Jim: They cut the window to bypass the alarm then used an aerosol spray to expose the trigger beam.

Joel: Aerosol?

Jim: Yeah. My guess is that the victim came home and found somebody here. (walks away)

Joel: Hmm. Which would mean that, uh... Jim? (follows Jim)

~Cut to Jim and Joel in office.~

Joel: Hmm. So you think that, uh...

Jim: Someone wanted something. Probably something in this room. (pause) Man, something's weird.

Joel: Yeah. Nothing's been disturbed. Look, they even left his wallet. "Dennis Chung. 37." He's got a private investigator's license. Look like nobody took anything.

Jim: Maybe they didn't need to. There's an electromagnetic charge in here.

Joel: How'd you get that?

Jim: You don't feel the hair on your arms standing up from static electricity?

Joel: No.

Jim picks up a paper clip and lets it go in front of the computer casing. It goes right to it and sticks like a magnet.

Jim: This equipment's been magnetized. All the data in the computer and the files and the safe down here has been wiped out. They even tore the labels off all these disks.

Joel: So we got nothing?

Jim: No. We have someone who wanted to break in and bypass the alarm system when nobody was home. Someone who wanted to steal the files or erase them. Someone who was surprised when Dennis Chung came home. This murder was unplanned. Our someone knows we're looking for them. (picks up a pad of yellow paper and starts running his fingers over it) My guess is they're going to crack. And make a mistake.

Joel: Right.

~Cut back to Blair. Bell rings in distance. Class lets out. People start to exit.~

Blair: Next week we'll be reviewing Mayan city planning and going over the final exam. Let's have those term papers, people. Come on, everybody. I'm sure they're not all that bad.

Students walk by, dropping papers on Blair's desk. Brad drops off the manila envelope. Blair picks it up.

Blair: I don't know what this is.

He opens envelope to see a yellow note paper clipped to top of paper. "This finishes it. So stick to the deal. Rick."

~Cut to woman from break-in going up to Brad outside.~

Woman: Hey. After everything I went through to get Jill to back off, what are you doing messing with her? Unless you...really did it.

Brad: Hey, come on. I told you. She was hot and I pushed her off and she got pissed. Look, she's just trying to squeeze money out of my old man. You know what that's like. All right, we're going to be out of here in a week. Everything's fine.

Woman: Fine, yeah. We just killed somebody and ran.

Brad: Hey! Everything we brought in, we brought out. There is no way they can pin us to this guy.

Woman: What if he had hard copies on all the stuff we erased? I mean, there's all kinds of things that could have been there.

Brad: No. It's fine.

Blair comes up on path.

Blair: Hey, Brad. Brad Ventriss. You know a guy named Rick Feldman?

Brad: Um...

Blair: He's a grad student, taught an anthropology section here last year.

Brad: Don't know him.

Blair: Well, I do. And I also know his handwriting and it looks a lot like this. (holds up report) You know, you might have gotten away with it, but you didn't even bother to look at the first page. Buying a term paper also buys you an "F". Arrogant and stupid is not a good combination. (turns away)

Brad: (grabs Blair to yank him back) Hey.

Blair: Get your hands off me.

Brad: I didn't buy the paper, all right? You're not asking me any questions here? There's no discussion? You're just going to give me an "F"?

Woman: Hey, let's just chill, okay, guys? I'm sure we can work this out.

Blair: Yeah. Chill.

Brad: Oh, yeah, we can work it out all right. If he likes his job, he'll drop it.

Blair: You threatening me?

Brad: You keep pushing my buttons, Sandburg, you'll find out. Let's go. (he and woman leave)

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

~Jim and Joel in Jim's truck, pulling up in front of a building. Day.~

Jim: This is the place here.

Joel: So we're picking up Sandburg here, right?

Jim: Yeah. He should have met us here by now. Looks like it's just going to be you and me.

Joel: So we're, um...

Jim: Trying to find out if Connie Roberts is a client or a suspect of Dennis Chung's.

Joel: Who's Connie Roberts? And where did you get that?

Jim: From Chung's note pages. He left an imprint. (hands Joel paper)

Joel: Oh.

They get out of truck.

Jim: Telling the girlfriend never gets easy.

Joel: (running his fingers over paper) Connie Roberts, yeah. I guess I need glasses.

Jim: It might be easier, uh... That way. (turns over paper) I'm glad you're here, Joel. (hands Joel a framed picture) I need your help on this one.

~Cut to Jim and Joel entering office with Jennifer Olson.~

Jennifer: We've never had police in here before. Now, how may I assist you in your banking needs?

Jim: We're not here on a banking matter, Ms. Olson. We're here investigating a case involving Dennis Chung.

Jennifer: Dennis? What's wrong?

Jim: How long have you known Mr. Chung?

Jennifer: About two years. Is Dennis in trouble?

Jim: There's no real easy way to put this, Ms. Olson. Um, Dennis was murdered this morning.

Jennifer: Oh... No. No. That can't be.

Jim: Perhaps you should sit down, ma'am.

Jennifer: No...

Jennifer sits down. Jim stands behind her. Joel sits in chair in front of her.

Joel: Ms. Olson. Jennifer. We understand how difficult and painful this must be for you, but we need your help -- for Dennis. You see the quicker we get the information we need, the better chance we have of finding out who killed him. Do you understand?

Jennifer: Yeah.

Joel: We know he was a private investigator, but we don't know anything about his clients.

Jennifer: He liked to call himself a cyber-detective. Most of his clients are corporations who believe that their computer networks have been invaded or tampered with.

Jim: Are you familiar with his cases?

Jennifer: No. He never talked about his clients.

Joel: Hmm. You know, sometimes people in a relationship will talk about their jobs.

Jennifer: He trusts me, but he knew it wasn't right. I mean, he's privy to sensitive corporate secrets. Dennis is a good man -- not cynical. He's proud of doing what's right. Kind of straitlaced. You should see his sock drawer... and the way he folds... I'm sorry. Is there anything else you need to know?

Jim: Do you know the name "Connie Roberts"?

Jennifer: No. Is she involved?

Jim: We're not sure.

Jennifer: I'm not helping you, am I?

Joel: You're doing just fine. If you come up with any other information, please give us a call. (gives her a business card) There's someone there can reach us day and night.

Jennifer: Okay.

Joel: We will not give up on this.

Jennifer: Thank you.

~Cut to Blair at University, walking up to another guy.~

Rick: Hi, Blair. How you doing?

Blair: Uh, not too good, Rick. (holds up term paper) You know, you can get thrown out for this. I don't care about Brad Ventriss But you, I mean... Why did you do it? If you needed some money, you could have just come to me.

Rick: It's not money. I didn't sell it.

Blair: You wrote this paper. "This finishes it, so stick to the deal. Rick." What kind of deal could you have made with a schmuck like Brad?

Rick: Can't you just look the other way?

Blair: No, I can't. I'm sorry.

Rick: Fine -- then do what you have to do.

Blair: Hey, why don't you just talk to me, all right? I'm your friend.

Rick: Okay, look... The deal was I write his paper and he stays away from Jill.

Blair: Jill... Uh, Jill Gordon... From my class?

Rick: Yeah, we've been going together this term. I'm in love with her.

Blair: So... is he harassing her?

Rick: The son of a bitch raped her.

Blair: What?

Rick: I shouldn't have told you that. Look, he ran into her at the pub and he slipped some rohypnol into her drink. She's so torn up about it that she can't be with me. And he's still coming on to her.

Blair: Did she go to the police?

Rick: Yeah, but she's afraid of him. She wants to drop it.

Blair: Why?

Rick: Maybe she thinks it'll calm me down because I just want to take a baseball bat to his face. Or maybe because his family's money can drag this into a nasty rape trial. So she came up with this deal.

Blair: All right, uh... I will keep you out of this for as long as I can, all right?

Rick: Thanks, man.

Blair: Yeah.

Rick: Hey, Blair? This guy's whacked. Watch your ass.

Blair: Yeah.

~Cut to Blair and head of department, Sidney, walking down outside corridor. Day.~

Blair: Sidney, you're the head of the department. You have an accusation of date rape. You have to take that seriously.

Sidney: Of course. But it's only an accusation. If the young woman won't come forward, there's nothing the university can do. Or, I imagine, your police department.

Blair: But what about this paper? It's a serious violation of the academic code.

Sidney: You've heard of the proposed Ventriss Gymnasium named after Norman Ventriss, Head of Questscape, the internet giant?

Blair: Yeah. I don't care who Brad's father is.

Sidney: You should. Look, the grade you give won't make any difference to Brad Ventriss's life, but it could have a large effect on yours and the university's.

Blair: So, what do you want me to do?

Sidney: Give him a "C" and forget it.

Blair: So just let it slide. Like nothing ever happened.

Sidney: Your police world is very black and white. If you spent more time here, you'd realize these hallowed halls are very gray.

Blair: It needs a paint job, Sidney.

~Cut to Jim and Joel coming out of elevator in front of Major Crimes.~

Jim: Also, get down to Forensics and see if they've popped open the safe from Chung's office.

Joel: Listen, if it's all right, I'd like to stay on this one and keep working it.

Jim: Yeah. All the way. Great. Hey, Joel.

Joel: Yeah.

Jim: Nice work with Chung's girlfriend.

Joel: Thanks. (walks in other direction)

Jim goes over to his desk where Blair is working on the computer.

Jim: Chief. It's nice of you to beam down. What are you doing here?

Blair: A kid in my class tried to pass me a plagiarized term paper. Daddy's money's bought off my department head and probably the whole school. He threatened me when I said I'd fail him.

Jim: What are you doing with this?

Blair: Well... He also drugged and raped one of my students.

Jim: Drugged and raped a student.

Blair: Yeah.

Jim: Was there a report filed?

Blair: Yeah, but she changed her statement, so I'm checking to see if the kid's got a rap sheet. Maybe this isn't his first time.

Jim: This is the kid?

Blair: Yeah.

Jim: Brad Ventriss. Looks clean.

Blair: I know. Where else can we look?

Jim: I don't know, but, uh, anyplace other than right here. (shoves Blair away in the chair, then pulls another chair over and sits down)

Blair: What's going on? What are you doing?

Jim: Look, Chief, what would you like me to do? Kid's got no charge. I got names to run in a murder case. I'd love to help you out, but my hands are tied with nothing else to go on. It's just the law.

Blair: It's just the law.

Jim: Yeah.

Blair: Just the law. That's great to hear you say that. What about what's right? (stands up) How many time have I heard you say that?

Jim: Why don't you take it easy? Don't let your anger take you out of the game. One of your better lectures, remember?

Blair: No. (walks out, passing Simon coming in)

Simon: What was that all about?

Jim: Something at school.

Simon: Look, we ran the name "Connie Roberts" through the system. Came up with a match with a woman who works for Questscape. Before that, she was a computer programmer dealing with classified material at the Pentagon. Might be something our cyber-detective would be interested in.

~Cut to Jim and Joel waiting for Connie Roberts in a parking lot. She arrives.~

Jim: Ms. Roberts.

Connie: Yes.

Jim: I'm Detective Ellison. This is Detective Taggart. Could we have a minute of your time?

Connie: I have to pick my kids up at soccer practice. Does this have to be now?

Jim: This is a murder investigation, ma'am. Everything about it is right now.

Joel: Ms. Roberts, uh... What's do you do at Questscape?

Connie: I design anti-viral programs for our software. My work is very sensitive to leaks and industrial espionage. I don't think I can say anything else.

Jim: Ma'am, wouldn't you rather cooperate with us than have us obtain a warrant for your files?

Connie: Why would you think this involves me?

Joel: Do you know the name, Dennis Chung?

Connie: No. I've never heard of him.

Jim hears her pulse quicken.

Connie: Is that all you need from me?

Jim: Go get your kids. You've been very helpful.

Connie: Thanks. I really appreciate it. (she leaves)

Joel: She's lying, man.

Jim: Good call, Detective.

~Cut to Blair waiting outside university building to talk to Jill.~

Jill: (to other girls) So I'll see you guys in a bit, okay?

Blair: Jill.

Jill: Mr. Sandburg.

They walk together, talking.

Blair: Yeah, I was wondering if we could talk.

Jill: About Brad Ventriss?

Blair: Uh, yeah.

Jill: Rick told me he talked to you.

Blair: He really cares about you. He didn't mean to...

Jill: I know, but he just doesn't understand how I feel.

Blair: You know, I'm not too sure that I do either, but you should talk to somebody. You shouldn't deal with this by yourself.

Jill: You know, if you go after Brad, he is just going to take it out on me.

Blair: Well, he's not just going to go away. Look, you're not alone in this. All right? It involves you, it involves Rick And now it involves me and I want to nail this guy.

Jill: What are you going to do?

Blair: I don't know. But it might help me if you tell me why you changed your original statement to the police.

They sit down on the stonework around the fountain. Jill has flashback memories of the attack.

Jill: After the drug wore off, and I realized what he'd done, I went to the campus cops, and they brought in Cascade P.D. A few days later, I went home, and my mom told me that my dad had been fired from Complexium Communications. I didn't want to add to what they were already going through, so I never told them what happened. Then I get this anonymous note saying that if I dropped the charges against Brad, it would help my dad get his job back.

Blair: But... Brad's father's the C.E.O. of Questscape, not Complexium.

Jill: Yeah, but Suzanne Nadine is Brad's girlfriend, and her father runs Complexium.

Blair: Her father's Henry Nadine? And did you confront her?

Jill: No. She'd just deny it, and I can't prove it. But when I withdrew my statement, I told the police that I'd been high and that I couldn't really be sure what happened. My dad got rehired with back pay.

Blair: Guys like Brad think that they're untouchable. That's their weak spot. Let's, uh, let's get out of here.

Blair looks over to see Brad watching them from across the way. Blair and Jill walk away. Brad gets up as well.

~Cut to Blair walking down sidewalk, presumably toward loft. Day. He passes a car with Brad in it and three other guys. Scene starts with them.~

Brad: Make it fast. Hey, make it hurt.

Two of the guys beat up on Blair, hitting him and knocking him to the ground. Jim is walking from another direction carrying a bag of groceries. He sees and hears what is happening. Just as one of the guys is about to hit Blair with a baseball bat, Jim appears and defends Blair. Third guy gets out of car; he has a gun and points it at Jim.

Man: Enough! Let's go!

They pile in car and speed off. Jim watches them leave. Car has no license plate and has tinted windows. Jim turns back to Blair and helps him up.

Jim: Chief, you all right? Let me see. Let me see. All right, let's get you cleaned up. Come on.

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

~Continuing scene. Jim picks up a bag of frozen peas from his spilled groceries and tosses the package to Blair who puts it on his face..~

Blair: Peas.

Jim: Yeah, it was the only thing I had that was frozen. Maybe it'll help cool off your love life.

Blair: Cool off my life. What are you talking about? This wasn't a jealous boyfriend, Jim. It wasn't even a mugger. It was that Brad Ventriss. He saw me talking to Jill yesterday -- the girl that he raped.

Jim: We have nothing to go on. You know that. You just got to back off.

Blair: What do you mean "back off"? When have you ever backed off?

Jim: If I had I backed off on certain things in my life, they would have gone down a lot easier.

Blair: I can't stand the kid. Did you think he could get through by just buying and scaring off?

Jim: He's got you so angry you couldn't even think straight. Why don't you try using your head for something other than a punching bag, all right?

Blair: Yeah, that's funny, Jim.

Jim's cellphone rings. He answers it.

Jim: Yeah. ... No, it's all right to call. ... Where are you? ... Are you all right? ... I'll be there in 20 minutes. (hangs up) Let's get going. Why don't you throw on some shades, huh? I don't want you to scare any of the other kids. Come on, let's go.

~Cut to Jennifer Olson's office. Jim and Blair are seated in front of her desk. Blair has sunglasses on, not really hiding the cut above his left eye.~

Jennifer: Are you sure I can't get you something for that? A bag of ice?

Jim: Maybe just a bag.

Blair: Uh, no, I'm fine. Thank you.

Jennifer: I appreciate you both coming. (to Blair) Especially the way you must feel. Detective Ellison told me about you when I said Dennis had an interest in anthropology. He'd like it that you're working on this for him.

Blair: Yeah, yeah. The universe has a strange way of tying things together, doesn't it?

Jennifer: Yeah.

Blair: Best if you take it from here, Jim.

Jim: You said you found something for us?

Jennifer: Yeah, maybe. Did you find some photos in Dennis's safe?

Jim: No, no. Just some computer disks that had been erased.

Jennifer: Dennis left this at my place the other night. (hands Blair a big camera) I know that he sometimes photograph his subjects. But it might not be anything. I know that there's a couple of photos of me.

~Cut to briefing room at PD. Jim, Simon, Joel, and Blair looking at developed pictures from camera.~

Simon: Most cyber-detectives just deal with the computer terminals. Evidently, Mr. Chung liked to know the people in front of them.

Blair: That's his anthropologist touch.

Jim: Sandburg found he has a connection to the victim.

Simon: This one's wearing your sunglasses, Sandburg. You connected to her, too?

Jim: That's Connie Roberts. She designs computer software at Questscape.

Joel: Yeah, we think she lied about not knowing Dennis Chung.

Simon: Who do we have here? Coworker? (passes picture to Jim)

Jim: Hmm... I don't know him. (passes picture to Joel)

Joel: Hmm... He's not on our radar.

Blair: (sees picture) Hmm, let me see that. (takes picture) That's him!

Simon: You know that guy?

Blair: Yeah. It's my nightmare student. That's Brad Ventriss.

~Cut to interrogation room. Brad is there and Jim is questioning him. A lawyer is also present.~

Brad: Yeah, of course I know who Connie Roberts is. She works for my dad.

Jim: You have an intimate social relationship with all of your father's employees?

Brad: Just the females.

Jim: Mr. Big Stuff... She seems a bit, uh, mature for someone like you.

Brad: Yeah, well, you know the chicks like a guy who can last all day. Probably been quite a while for you, hasn't it?

Jim: Don't worry. You'll find all the action you need where you're going.

~Cut to Blair and Simon in room next door, behind one-way mirror.~

Blair: When is he going to nail him?

Simon: (holds open coat to reveal gun) Why don't you just shoot him?

~Cut back to Jim.~

Jim: Tell me something, Mr. Ventriss. If this is just a simple sexual relationship and you really have nothing to worry about why is your lawyer here?

Lawyer: Mr. Norman Ventriss retains my services. He wanted to be sure his son was treated properly.

Brad: Look, what's going on? Is that Jill Gordon chick all bent out of shape again or what?

Jim: No. Those charges were dropped. This is something entirely different. (goes around to Brad's side) Oh, I guess you don't know. See, that was just rape. This is murder.

Brad: What are you saying -- I smoked some guy, what?

Jim: I never said anything about gender here.

Lawyer: Do you have something to charge my client with?

Jim: He's going to give us that. (chuckles) See, I think you know who took this picture. (puts down picture of Brad that Dennis Chung took) I think he knows what happened.

Brad: Prove it.

Jim: Prove what?

Brad: Whatever!

Jim: You're a smart kid. You got it all figured out, didn't you?

Lawyer: That's enough, Detective Ellison. Unless you are charging my client, this session is over.

Brad and lawyer leave. They pass Blair in the hallway. Brad and Blair just stare at each a moment before Brad leaves.

~Cut to Brad and Suzanne typing in on a computer.~

Suzanne: Have you done this before?

Brad: Don't worry. I know how the system works.

Suzanne: The cops must know everything.

Brad: The cops don't know squat. They're just trying to rattle me. I've watched my father get away with all kinds of crap. Trust me, the cops aren't going to do anything.

Suzanne: Only if our dads are behind us. If we get married, your father is going to cut you off.

Brad: There. Can't very well connect us to Connie if Connie isn't here. (starts to pull strings from Suzanne's blouse)

Suzanne: What are you doing?

Brad: A little office work.

Suzanne: Not now.

Brad: Yes, now. Everything now. I'm not going to spend years working in some office trying to become a V.P., I'm going to pick it all up in one swoop. If we make all this money, our fathers aren't going to care if we get married. They're not going to care what we do.

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

~Cascade PD. Simon's office. Simon, Jim, and Blair. Day.~

Blair: So Chung was tracking Connie Roberts for tampering with computer files. So, what's Brad? Was he a partner?

Jim: Maybe. Kid's in deep though. Why does he bug me?

Simon: Because he called you old and told you, you couldn't hack it with the ladies.

Jim: I don't have a problem getting old nor do I have a problem with the ladies.

Joel comes in.

Joel: You got a problem with one lady, Jim. Connie Roberts and her kids just left the country on a Questscape private jet.

Blair: So our case's off the map.

Jim: No, no, wait a minute. Your boy is nervous. That's a given. So we got to force him to make a mistake somehow. Let's talk to daddy.

~Cut to Jim and Blair walking into Norman Ventriss's office with him. Day.~

Norman: We discovered some altered log files on our net server. I had to consider the possibility that someone could have hacked in and stolen our new internet upgrader, so I called Dennis Chung.

Jim and Blair sit in front of desk. Norman Ventriss sits behind it.

Jim: No one else knew he was working for the company?

Norman: I didn't tell the team they were being investigated, no.

Blair: Did anyone ask if you brought in someone from outside?

Norman: Our programmer Connie Roberts did. I didn't tell her who it was, although I've trusted her.

Jim: Did you authorize her use of the company jet?

Norman: No. Someone could make it seem like I did.

Blair: So, if someone stole and sold your new program on the open market, what would that be worth?

Norman: We've solved some of the speed delivery problems of the internet. Someone could become very rich.

Blair: Dennis took this photo of Connie and your son. And you think that's just a coincidence?

Norman: If you're implying my son is involved in this mess, I resent your method of questioning.

Jim: Mr. Ventriess, This is a murder investigation.

Norman: I know what you're doing. I have no problem with that, but your associate Mr. Sandburg -- and I do know who you are -- has his own agenda. He's the one hounding my son...

Blair: Me?

Norman: ...Framing him for a violation of the academic code.

Blair: Oh, I'm framing him?

Norman: Is this some sort of personal crusade?

Jim: Mr. Ventriss...

Norman: Because I know how to wage a crusade of my own. You think I'll take your word over that of my son's?

Blair: That depends... on how well you know your own son.

Norman: Good day, gentlemen.

~Cut to Jim and Blair walking on sidewalk outside of building.~

Jim: You're becoming very dear to that family.

Blair: What's not to like?

Jim: Well, your face is a little bit scary.

Blair: You know, I don't think he knew his son's connection to Connie Roberts.

Jim: I think you're right.

Blair: None of this tells us who knew about Dennis Chung.

Jim: We've only talked with one father.

Blair: What about Brad?

Jim: Don't worry about Brad. Taggart's on him. Look, I don't want you to even think about him 'cause every time you do, you lose your cool.

Blair: Oh, would you not start with that crap again? I won't lose my cool.

Jim: What is this?

Blair: It's me losing my cool.

Jim: That's cool.

~Cut to Jim and Blair walking in outside with Henry Nadine. Day~

Henry: Look at this. Aphids again. Makes me wish for the old days -- Crop-dust the whole place with D.D.T.

Blair: We need to ask you about your...

Henry: ...relationship with Dennis Chung.

Jim: Was he working with you at the time of his death?

Henry: No, he wasn't. I'd used Dennis's services many times before 'cause my company is a constant target of hackers.

Blair: Are you aware that Norman Ventriss had recently hired him?

Henry: Yeah, Norman alerted me that he suspected a hacker raid and was bringing in Dennis to shut it down.

Jim: And you had no such problem?

Henry: No, not that we know of.

Blair: Your company and Questscape are direct competitors in the marketplace, right?

Henry: Tenaciously competitive. But we'd never steal from each other. Neither of us can afford it.

Jim: Didn't it bother you that Dennis knew both your systems?

Henry: No. We both hired Dennis because we could trust him. He was a good man.

Blair: Your daughter Suzanne and Brad Vventriss are close, aren't they?

Henry: Yeah. His father and I realize we have to fight a little more often to keep up with the Montagues and the Capulets.

Jim: Did your daughter know Dennis Chung?

Henry: I'm teaching her the business. I showed her how to stop hackers and I'm sure I mentioned Dennis, but, uh, no, they never met.

Jim: Is she on the payroll?

Henry: No. She receives an allowance. $10,000 a year. I want her to know the value of money.

~Cut to Simon's office. Jim, Blair, Simon, and Joel. Blair pacing. The other three sitting around the table.~

Simon: You've seen the way these people live. Maybe Suzanne thought her old man shorted her with the ten grand. But would she rip off the company and commit murder?

Jim: I don't think the murder was planned.

Blair: I don't think these fathers have any idea who their kids really are.

Joel: The kids think dad probably won't prosecute.

Blair: They stand to make a lot of money when they sell the software to some offshore Asian company that'll just knock it off and then these two will skip the country just like Connie Roberts.

Jim: Yeah, it's all pretty clean except that Dennis Chung came home.

Simon: Yeah, it's all too crazy.

Jim: Not when you're 20.

Simon: So you want the warrant for hard evidence?

Blair: Yes, now!

Simon: We got to get this kid on Prozac. I've fielded one call from the mayor's office about how this is being handled. I do not need his teeth in my backside!

Jim: So, no warrant?

Simon: I didn't say that. I would just like us to go easy with these families.

Blair: "Easy with these families." Great. So money does buy special privileges.

Simon: Yes, Sandburg. Welcome to the real world.

Someone knocks on door and steps in briefly, handing a piece of paper to Simon.

Officer: Message for you, Captain.

Simon: Thank you.

Door closes.

Simon: Why am I getting your messages and why do you have a meeting with Chancellor Edwards with Brad Ventriss and his attorney?

Blair: I filed a code violation against the little...

Simon: (stands up) Look, I want you to back off. If you don't, the brass will come down and close this investigation. I would have to terminate your involvement with this department. I kid you not.

~Cut to chancellor's office. Blair, Brad, his lawyer, and chancellor (woman).~

Chancellor: Mr. Ventriss says that you had no interest in hearing his side.

Blair: Well, I thought I heard his side when he threatened me.

Chancellor: If you've something to add, Mr. Ventriss, now would be a good time.

Lawyer: If I may, Chancellor Edwards. Our concerns go beyond Mr. Sandburg's failure to hear Brad out. They go to the quality of education that Brad and, in fact, the rest of the students, are receiving.

Blair: Excuse me? What are you talking about?

Lawyer: Since Mr. Sandburg began his research with the police, he has missed more teaching days than any other T.A. on campus, including a sudden and unauthorized 12-Day trip to Peru two years ago. Yet in three years, Mr. Sandburg has not officially submitted so much as a draft of his doctoral thesis.

Chancellor: Mr. Sandburg, is there some compromise we can reach that would satisfy you and save us all a lengthy investigation?

Blair: Chancellor Edwards, I don't see how this institution could retain its credibility if we allow basic standards to be ignored. I'm not just talking about academic standards here.

Chancellor: I see a need for cooperation and I'm not getting it from you.

Blair: Not getting it from me? Well, what about him? How is it that he can sit there without saying a word?

Chancellor: It seems clear to me that with your attitude, we'll have to settle this without you.

Blair: Fine. (gets up)

Chancellor: I must also inform you, documented proof of the extent of your absenteeism has been forwarded to my office and constitutes what we feel is a breech of your contract. Therefore, you are being dismissed permanently.

Blair: Fine. (walks out of office)

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

~Briefing room. Jim and Simon in there. Joel comes in with a box of stuff.~

Joel: Hey, guys. The forensic boys dropped off a few items from the search of Suzanne Nadine's apartment. Here's your basic blond hair and here's your basic...

Jim: Electromagnet.

Joel: Yeah, with carpet fiber stuck in the coil. And here is some fiber from Suzanne's rugs. I'm going to take all of this to the lab right now, okay?

Jim: Hold on a second. (feels and looks at fibers) This is nylon... And this is wool. Same fiber that they found at Dennis Chung's.

Joel: Captain, you ought to get the department to offer the detective science course that Ellison took.

Simon: Yeah, I'll look into that.

Blair comes in.

Jim: Hey, Chief. How was the meeting? Keep your cool?

Blair: Yeah. And then I got fired.

Simon: Fired?

Blair: Yeah, it was a total setup. They used my attendance record as grounds for dismissal.

Simon: Can they make that stick?

Blair: Welcome to the real world, Simon.

Jim: So what are you going to do? I went and talked to a lawyer and he said we actually have a case, but you shake the guy's hand and it costs $500. (to Simon) There isn't any extra coin in the department payroll, is there?

Simon: Sandburg, you know we don't pay observers, but if I'm still here next week, I'll see if we can invent a job.

Blair: What do you mean if you're still here?

Simon: Because we're going to bring in your buddy Brad and that's going to bring down a lot of heat.

Blair: Yes. (pause) Uh, the bringing-him-in part not the heat part. Sorry.

Simon: All right, look -- if we're going to pull this shell game off, we've to do it right. So far we only have circumstantial evidence that brad stole Questscape secrets through Connie Roberts and that Suzanne knew about Dennis Chung. So, we'll present the fathers with the physical evidence that link their son and daughter to the crime scene. Let's be on our best behavior, gentlemen.

~Cut to Jim and Simon standing with fathers and lawyer in front of large open garage.~

Simon: Normally, we'd just put out an A.P.B. on Brad and Suzanne, but considering your standing in the community, we decided to give you an opportunity to have your children turn themselves in.

Jim: Yeah, with your cooperation, Captain Banks has managed to keep this whole affair out of the press as much as possible.

Henry: I find my daughter's involvement in this... there are no words. I pray you're wrong.

Norman: We don't know where our children are. We'll act quickly to do what's right. Mr. Covington will contact you to arrange processing. Thank you, gentlemen.

Jim and Simon walk away, toward Joel and Blair hanging back aways.

Jim: Did his "I pray you're wrong" sound like, "I'm going to sue your ass"?

Simon: No more than having to do what's right meant "cut and run."

Jim: Are we cynical?

Simon: No.

They reach Joel and Blair.

Blair: How'd it go?

Jim: Give me a second. (starts listening to distant conversation)

Joel: What's he waiting for?

~Cut back of house with two fathers, Brad, and Suzanne.~

Norman: Why don't you tell me what you were going to do with my company secrets? Well?

Brad: Just what I learned from you there, dad -- make money. We figured the company would take a hit...

Norman: You're damn right it would.

Brad: But you write it off. I mean, that's what you always seem to be doing anyways. That way, we'd be set. That's how it was all supposed to go down.

Suzanne: Chung's death was an accident, Daddy.. He wasn't supposed to be there. We were just defending ourselves and...

Henry: How much did you two arrange to pocket by this venture?

Brad: About $20 million. We have to get you both out of the country as soon as possible. We'll sort all this out later.

~Cut back to Jim and others.~

Jim: The two kids were there the whole time. Where's our chopper?

Simon: Waiting for my signal.

Jim: Call them. Let's take this around back.

Simon: (in radio) Air unit one -- immediate response. We have two suspects attempting to evac by helicopter.

~Cut to back of house and helicopter. Fathers and kids heading toward it.~

Norman: Okay. After the transfer, they'll be in Rio tomorrow.

Henry: I just wish we didn't have to do it this way.

Norman: We're past wishing, Henry.

They see cops coming and start running.

Henry: Get in! Get in! Come on!

Brad: Get your hands off me.

Suzanne: Sorry, Daddy!

Both kids get in.

Henry: You'll be all right! I love you!

Helicopter takes off. Cops arrive.

Jim: Hey! I'd pull that chopper back if I were you.

Norman: There's nothing we can do.

Jim: We'll have to fix that. (walks off)

Simon: Keep with him, Sandburg.

Blair: Why did it have to be a helicopter?

Simon: What would you prefer? A boat? Go!

Blair runs over and gets in helicopter. He sits behind Jim who is next to pilot.

Jim: All right, let's move! Let's move!

Helicopter takes off, chasing other helicopter.

Henry: A father can't just stand by and let his daughter spend her life in prison.

Simon: Perhaps if you'd spent more time being a father, they wouldn't be going to prison. Taggart.

Joel: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

~Cut to Jim and Blair in copter.~

Jim: He's probably trying to use the canyon as cover.

Blair pulls on headphones.

Blair: Hello, hello, hello. Hello, hello, hello.

Jim: We got you, Chief. Let's keep them in sight. When we get over a clear area, we'll try and force them down.

They fly for a while, chasing the other copter.

Pilot: Hang on. It's going to get rough.

More chasing.

Jim: Just stay with them.

Pilot: He's going to try and lose us in a ravine.

Jim: Don't let him get out of your sight.

Pilot: I lost visual.

Jim: See them?

Blair: Uh-uh.

Jim: Come on. Where are you?

Other copter appears.

Jim: There he is.

Pilot: Man, look out!

Helicopter goes toward them, whooshing by them, causing them to rock.

Jim: Hang on.

Jim: Are we going to crash?

Pilot: We're caught in his rotor wash.

Blair grabs on to the back of Jim's seat, getting Jim's coat in the process.

Jim: Hey, Chief, get a grip -- on something other than me!

Blair: All right, all right. I'm good. I'm cool.

Pilot: Lost them again.

Blair: Where the hell did he go?

Jim spots helicopter. Kids aren't in it.

Blair: They must be making a run for Canada.

Pilot: I'm on them.

Jim: No. Keep heading south.

Pilot: What?

Jim: They're not on board. He must have dropped them. Move out over the water. They could be on a boat.

They see boat on water. Brad and Suzanne in back of boat. One other person, the driver.

Jim: Follow that boat!

Pilot: Roger that.

Jim: (over loudspeaker) This is the Cascade Police Department. Heave to and shut off your engine.

Brad: Go! Go!

Boat goes faster.

Jim: Bring it around!

Brad: Faster, faster. Full power!

Blair: How we going to stop them?

Jim: Like a runaway stagecoach.

Blair: What are you talking about? That means jumping.

Jim: Right.

Blair: Well, that's crazy.

Jim: Right.

Blair: What if they swerve and you miss? That leaves me.

Jim: Right.

Blair: Don't miss.

Jim: See if you can get right over them.

Brad: Turn it! Turn it! Move! Let's go!

Jim starts to get out of copter.

Blair: Oh, you're crazy.

Jim: Bring it over.

Jim jumps onto boat.

Brad: Turn the damn boat now!

Boat swerves. Jim goes off the edge to hang on side of boat. Brad uses a big hooked staff to try to get Jim. Jim grabs staff and pulls Brad over to land in water.

Blair: (to pilot) Stay with the kid!

Jim gets up on board. He knocks out driver. Suzanne threatens him with fire extinguisher.

Jim: We're not going to have a problem here, are we?

Suzanne backs off.

Jim: Sit down. You're rocking the boat.

Blair starts to get out of copter and hangs on edge over Brad.

Blair: What am I doing? What am I doing? Stay with him. Down lower.

Pilot: You've got it.

Blair: Lower!

Pilot: I'm working on it.

Blair: Can't you get any lower?!

Pilot: Jump!

Blair jumps in water and grabs Brad.

Blair: Hey! If you noticed, I'm not in class today! I hope you don't file a grievance!

~Cut to hallway outside of Major Crimes. Simon and Joel walking.~

Joel: Captain, I found the detective science course that Ellison took. Man, this book's got it all. I mean, it's really in-depth. You know, we should offer it for everybody. I mean, we could all be like Ellison.

Simon: Joel, I don't need you to be like Ellison. I need you to be you. Can you handle that?

Joel: Yeah, but it is a good book.

~Cut to Jim on the phone at his desk. Blair walks over.~

Jim: Yeah, well, thanks, Pete. Give my best to your mom. Bye. (hangs up) Hey. Hey, your face is looking better. How's your head?

Blair: Well, my head realizes that just 'cause you're right, doesn't mean you always get what you want. You can't get mad at anybody. You just got to play the game better than they do. How's that sound, Wally?

Jim: Well, that's pretty neat, Beav.

Blair: Yeah.

Jim: School was good?

Blair: The principal and I worked things out.

Jim: Hey, that's pretty keen, Beav. Well, Dad called. Said we've got a body down at Miller's Pond. (stands up) We got to go meet up with Eddie and Lumpy. (taps Blair on the chin with his fist, then gets his coat)

Blair: (taps Jim on the chin with his fist) Is it just you and me again, Wally?

Jim: You betcha. (goes around far desk on his way to the door)

Blair: Where you going?

Jim: You know our suspect is Gus the fisherman...

~ The End ~