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Dead End on Blank Street

Written by: David H. Balkan
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): Stacy Haiduk (Veronica), Kirk Acevedo (Ray Aldo), Alex Carter (Alan Archer), Garry Chalk (Harry Lovejoy), Henri Brown (Detective Brown), Lesley Ewen (Serena Chang).

Summary: Ellison falls for an old flame -- a femme fatale who draws him into a romantic triangle. He may wind up in jail when she tries framing him for murder. (Source: Stefan's Sentinel Episode Guide)

Notes: Episode shot in film noir style; all flashbacks are in black and white.

This episode was originally broadcast on February 22, 1999.
Last updated: 7/8/01


~Opening theme plays as credits roll.~

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

~Close-up of reel-to-reel tape recorder, then a cigarette lighter. Pulls back to show Jim and IA officer, Aldo, in interrogation room.~

Aldo: I don't have to tell you how it goes. You know that better than anyone. You'll make it a lot easier on yourself if you just cooperate. Nobody likes this-- Not your friends. Not the department. Gives us all a black eye. If you're not going to come clean for yourself, do it for the people who still care about you.

Jim: Despite what you may feel about me personally, even you have to admit this sounds pretty strange. It doesn't make any sense, does it?

Aldo: Why would she make up that kind of story?

Jim: For the money.

~Pan to observation room where Blair watches. Simon comes in.~

Simon: What's happening?

Blair: They just keep going round and round. Aldo's not cutting him any slack. What about Veronica?

Simon: She's sticking to her story. Doesn't look good.

~Pan back to Jim and Aldo.~

Aldo: Tell me about the money.

Jim: That's just the punch line. You got to hear the setup, you know, to get the joke.

Aldo: Tell me from the setup. From the first line.

Jim: The first line, huh? All right, but you've got to pay attention 'cause I can only do this once.

~Cut to Jim and Blair in truck driving down street. Day. Two months earlier.~

Jim: (voiceover) Sandburg and I had just wrapped up a crime scene involving a turf war between two rival drug gangs. As usual, my partner was getting sociological on me.

Blair: My point is that battling for territory is a basic instinct, even in prehistory. Weapons and the terrain have changed, but the same rules apply.

Jim: Well, that's what most people think, but primitive tribes fought for survival. You know -- food, water, their women. I mean, these gang wars today are all about pure profit, huh? That's a modern corruption, Chief.

Blair: Modern?

Jim: Yeah.

Blair: What about the Crusades? Forget about protecting the holy land from the heathens. They were motivated to control trade routes and exotic goods. It's the same thing as a drug war.

Jim: Okay, genius, let me ask you something. What dropped those stiffs today on North Chandler?

Blair: Well, that was two harpies that went to the narcs and ratted some of their own kind out and they got whacked.

Jim: Exactly. A true warrior would never betray his own brother-in-arms, especially for money.

Blair: Speaking of money... That 20 bucks you left on the counter -- I borrowed it.

Jim: The defense rests.

Fancy sports car pulls out in front of them, cutting them off.

Jim: Oh, who is this horse's ass?

Sports car takes off, Jim chases it.

Jim: Hold on, Chief.

They follow the car into an alley, where it stops. Jim pulls up behind it and gets out of the truck and goes toward car.

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

Man gets out of car.

Alan: Okay, Don't make federal case out of this. I didn't see... Jim. Hey, hotshot!

Alan and Jim hug.

Jim: Oh, my god! Alan, how the hell are you? You always did know how to make an entrance.

Blair: Oh, wait a minute. Either my lectures on road rage are working or you two have met before.

Jim: Alan Archer, Blair Sandburg. We were in special ops together. I owe him my life.

Alan: Aw, he doesn't owe me anything. Man, it's been ten years. I mean, what are the chances of something like this happening?

Jim: Tell me about it.

Alan: Hey, no harm done. Let's have dinner-- we can catch up.

Jim: Pick it.

Alan: Okay, Riley's Grill, 8:00. If you grab for the check, I'll break your hand.

Jim: Do me a favor. Take it easy with this heap, huh?

~Cut back to Jim and Aldo.~

Aldo: You're driving along and you nearly collide into a man you haven't seen since the service ten years ago?

Jim: Right.

Aldo: And, uh... This didn't strike you as being a fairly wild coincidence?

Jim: Not at the time, no. Haven't you ever heard the concept that random events are part of some greater design that we just don't understand, Aldo?

Aldo: There's only cause and effect, Detective. There's nothing mysterious about this in my book.

Jim: Why don't you read another book. Might do you some good.

Aldo: Okay. So you met Archer as arranged...

Jim: I thought you wanted the whole story. Don't leave out your own chapter.

Aldo: Okay.

~Cut to Simon and Aldo in Simon's office. Flashback..~

Aldo: Well, Captain, somebody grabbed two kilos of heroin before evidence hit lockup. I intend to question every man on that squad -- starting with Ellison.

Simon: This was a joint operation. If the drugs are missing, it wasn't us. I trust Jim and his team without exception.

Aldo: You know what I think? You operate Major Crimes like it was your private fiefdom. Maybe you should take off your blinders.

Simon: Maybe you should back off the concept that Major Crimes is run by a bunch of dirty cops.

Aldo: It only takes one. The D.E.A. Is conducting its own internal investigation. In the meantime, you better be keeping a clean house. If there's dirt, I'll find it.

Jim and Blair come in.

Jim: You do windows, also?

Aldo: This isn't just going to go away. We'll be talking. Sandburg, isn't it?

Blair: Uh... Yup.

Aldo: You were at the sting, correct?

Blair: Uh, yeah. You're 2 for 2. That... That's good. Yeah.

Aldo: Keep your calendar clear. (leaves)

Blair: Ooh! If that man's ass were any tighter, it'd be inside out.

Jim: This is a witch-hunt, Captain.

Simon: Is it? The drugs are missing. D.E.A. Doesn't have them. Somebody's got to take the fall.

~Cut to Jim entering Riley's Grill. Flashback.~

Jim: (voiceover) We all knew Simon was right, but if I'd had any idea the poor sap about to take the high dive was me, I'd never have walked into Riley's Grill.

Jim goes over and joins Alan at a table.

Alan: Well, well, well. We said 8:00, James. It's 17 past.

Jim: You're not pulling the Archer internal clock trick on me again, are you?

Alan: I can still time a three-minute egg to the millisecond.

Jim: Remember that bar bet with that poor marine? Lost his month's pay.

Alan: I ordered you a mexican beer in a frozen glass.

Jim: You remembered that?

Alan: Some things you don't forget.

Veronica joins them at table.

Veronica: If you two go on like this, I'm gonna get all misty. (pause as Jim stares at her) Sorry. I had to make a phone call. Hello, Jim. (they share a brief friendly kiss.)

Jim: Hi.

Alan: Surprised?

Veronica: Of course he is, Alan. It's been a long time.

Jim: Yeah. I-I... Uh... I don't know what to say. You look absolutely beautiful.

Alan: (to waiter) The gin and tonic's for my wife.

Jim: Your wife? You guys got married?

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Veronica: Yeah. Nine years ago.

Alan: I followed her to Honolulu. I went straight over when my tour was up. We sent you a wedding invitation.

Jim: Mail travels slow in the South Pacific. Maybe I never got it. Well, I guess the best man won, huh?

Alan: Not the best man, Jim. Just the... More determined man.

Jim: Well, I know this is a little late but, um... Congratulations to the both of you.

Veronica: Thank you.

Alan: Thank you.

They all toast glasses.

~Cut to earlier flashback. Jim, Alan, and Veronica toasting with champagne glasses. Jim and Alan both in uniforms.~

Veronica: There you go. (hands empty glass to Alan)

Alan: I'll get some more. (turns away)

Jim and Veronica start to kiss, then walk away. Alan turns back in time to see them go. Scenes of Jim and Veronica in bed.

Next morning, Jim, in uniform, carries a huge bouquet of flowers as he walks next to a building. He stops as he rounds to corner, seeing Alan and Veronica kissing, then walking away together. Jim watches for a moment, then turns, drops flowers in a trashcan and walks back the way he came.

Jim: (voiceover) After a couple of months, Veronica was transferred to Hawaii. We shipped out to the jungle. End of story.

~Cut back to Riley's Grill scene.~

Jim: (voiceover) Then, suddenly, I'm toasting the happy couple while my insides are slushing up like that frozen beer glass.

Alan: So anyway, I was working for this union, investing their pension fund, but I kept hearing this clock -- ticktock -- louder and louder. Finally, I had to get off the dime.

Jim: Cascade's a long way from Chicago.

Alan: Yeah, but, you know, something came up that enabled me to be my own boss.

Veronica: What happened to the three of us, anyway? Hmm? Why don't we keep in touch?

Jim: I guess life has a way of getting in the way sometimes, huh?

~Cut to Jim, Alan, and Veronica outside of restaurant as valet brings Alan's car up.~

Jim: (voiceover) After dinner I let them talk me into coffee back at their place. Maybe I was too numb to say no or maybe I was just enjoying the pain.

Alan: Hey, we're off Gull Road, all right? Just follow us.

Jim: All right.

Valet: Here you go.

Another car pulls up next to them. A man gets out and walks up to Alan.

Harry: Hey, Archer. Where you going? We got business to discuss.

Alan: It's over, Harry. You lost. Now get out of my way.

Harry: Why are you doing this?

Jim: Is there a problem here?

Harry: Yeah. Enough for two, tough guy.

Alan: Careful, Harry. This is my friend Jim Ellison -- Detective Jim Ellison. Did I mention that?

Harry: So that's the way it is, huh? Okay.

Alan: Okay?

Harry goes back to his own car. Alan opens his car door.

Alan: I'll get that for you.

Harry: He can't protect you forever. (gets in car, then his car pulls away)

Alan and Veronica get in their car.

Jim: What was that all about?

Alan: That business deal I was telling you about? He wanted in, but he was late coming up with the cash. Figures I owe him finder's fee. Forget him. He's all talk. Follow me.

~Cut to outside of Alan and Veronica's house. Jim helps Veronica out of the car and then the three of them walk towards front door of house.~

Veronica: How long have you been with the police?

Jim: Eight years.

Veronica: Do you like it?

Jim: Uh, usually, you know. Hold on a second. (uses sight to see broken lock on door; pulls gun) Somebody's, uh...broken the front lock of your house. I'd like you two to get back to your cars, please. (turns to go towards door)

Alan follows him.

Jim: You didn't hear me? What are you doing?

Alan: I'm watching your back, just like the old days. Come on.

Jim: Stay behind me.

Veronica follows them up to door. Jim knocks open door in. Dark inside. Veronica turns on light. Everything is wrecked inside.

Veronica: Oh, my god.

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

~Jim and Aldo in interrogation room.~

Aldo: Whom did you suspect had broken into the house?

Jim: The ape in the caddie.

Aldo: What did Archer think?

Jim: No connection. I mean, this wasn't your basic B and E. They were looking for something.

Aldo: Would it be fair to say that you fell in love with Veronica the first time you met?

Jim: Yeah... Something like that.

Aldo: And this relationship was intimate? By that, I mean physical.

Jim: I'd like to think, uh... Both of us thought it was more than that, yeah.

Aldo: For you, perhaps.

Jim: Wh-what is the question you're driving at here, Aldo?

Aldo: Why didn't you...?

Jim: What, follow through? Sandburg asked me the same question. I don't know. First there was the military, then the department... Met some lady, got married... It didn't work out. I guess I'd put Veronica in that, uh, "one that got away" file. Anyway, that afternoon, she called and asked me to meet her down at Boulder Point.

~Cut to Jim walking on a rocky beach. Flashback. Day. Veronica is a little further down, sitting on a boulder. Jim stops in front of her.~

Veronica: I'm sorry. I didn't know who else to come to.

Jim: It's all right. I'm, uh, I'm glad you called.

Veronica: Alan's in trouble. I don't know what it is, but it has to do with that man at the restaurant. I think the break-in was a warning of some kind.

Jim: What does Alan say about it?

Veronica: Nothing. When I press him, he tells me I've an overactive imagination. The phone rings in the middle of the night. No one's there. The other day, I thought we were being followed.

Jim: The caddie?

Veronica: No, another car. Every time I looked, it was there. Alan acts as if he hasn't a care in the world.

Alan: Yeah... He always thought of himself as invincible.

Jim: The man at the restaurant, Alan called him "Harry." Does he have a last name?

Veronica: No. He doesn't talk to me. Maybe he'll talk to you.

Jim: All right. I'll see what I can do. In the meantime why don't you just try and relax,stay in public places if you go out and lock your doors at night, that sort of thing. I'll, uh... I'll be in touch.

Veronica: Hey... (takes his hand and stands up) Thank you. I remember you were always more centered than Alan... Calmer. I feel safe with you... (kisses him) And I'm still the emotional one. (starts to kiss him again)

Jim runs his thumb over her fingers and feels her ring. He looks down at it a moment, then back at her as he pulls away.

Jim: I got to get back to the station. Call me if you need me.

Veronica: All right.

~Cut back to Jim and Aldo.~

Jim: Looking back I can see that's where she first set the hook... But for some reason, I didn't fight it.

Aldo: Well, she's an attractive woman. You had feelings for her and you wanted to believe everything she said.

Jim: Careful, Ray. You're almost sounding like a human being. You might've shown that when you charbroiled Sandburg.

~Cut to Aldo and Blair in interrogation room.~

Aldo: I don't want to make things difficult for you. Actually, you can make things a whole lot easier for me. (pulls out a pack of cigarettes)

Blair: Well, you know what? You can make things easier for me and not light that up. I'm not into second-hand smoke, okay?

Aldo: Sorry... Old habits are just hard to break... Like protecting a friend.

Blair: Is that what I'm doing?

Aldo: Well, you and Ellison are friends. You hang out together. You go to crime scenes together.

Blair: Yeah, I'm working on my thesis. That's why we stay so close.

Aldo: It's okay. I think it's great. All's I'm saying is you see things... You hear things...

Blair: Look, Detective Aldo, why don't we just cut to the chase, all right? I've known Jim Ellison for three years now and, uh, if you're looking for a vice, the man has a beer occasionally. That's it. You can't even get him to fix a parking ticket.

Aldo: We're way past parking tickets here. Ellison led a team of cops on a drug sting. Five kilos were on the table. Three showed up in the evidence room.

Blair: The D.E.A. was there, too. Have you talked to them?

Aldo: They were on the outside, waiting to go in. Your buddy was on the inside. Why is that so hard to believe?

Blair: Because I know him.

Aldo: You think you know him.

Blair: Wrong. I know him. You said it yourself, we're friends. Now, if you're looking for an accomplice to this hoax of yours, you're going to have to look somewhere else. (stands up)

Aldo: Where are you going?

Blair: I'm a civilian, all right? I've waived my right to an attorney. And you've waived your right to bust out the rubber hose. I'm out of here. (leaves)

~Cut to Jim and Brown in bullpen. Still in flashback mode.~

Brown: Hey, Jim, I got some information on the caddie.

Jim: What is it?

Brown hands him several papers.

Brown: Now, take the temporary permit, description of the driver, first name "Harry"... Come up with a cat named "Lovejoy."

Jim: "Lovejoy," huh? Garbage by any other name still stinks.

Brown: Well, he's an arm breaker for Chicago Freight. You know, pop go the weasel?

Jim: Yeah. I get the picture. Thanks, Henri.

Brown: Anytime, man.

Blair comes in behind Jim.

Blair: Whew. Just finished up with Aldo. Man, is that frustrating. It's like trying to teach a-a card trick to a monkey.

Jim: Let's take a ride.

Blair: All right.

~Cut to Jim walking down pier on Alan's property. Day. Flashback.~

Jim: (voiceover) Sandburg and I headed out to see Alan. I left my partner cooling his heels out front. I figured whatever Alan had to say, he'd do it a lot easier if we were alone.

Alan: If I had any guts, I'd say, "the hell with the engine." It's a sailboat. It should live or die by the wind, right?

Jim: Veronica's worried about you, Alan. So am I.

Alan: What? Is this about the break-in? I told you, it's nothing.

Jim: Harry Lovejoy is nothing?

Alan: You got that from Veronica, right? She had no business talking to you.

Jim: Why are you being so stubborn about this?

Alan: This doesn't concern you, all right?

Jim: Alan... You saved my life. You think I'm going to forget that?

Alan: Let me tell you something -- that sniper was 300 yards away and we were in the middle of a damn monsoon. Before I took that shot I knew I had a one-in-a-million chance. Until he fell, I wasn't sure if I got him or he got you. Look, the point is it was more luck than anything else. We're square, Jim. You don't owe me anything.

Jim: So that's it?

Alan: Yeah. That's it.

Jim: All right. Have it your way. You change your mind, you know where to reach me. (leaves)

~Cut to Jim and Blair going into bar to where Harry Lovejoy is sitting. Still flashback mode.~

Lovejoy: Well, well... Dick Tracy. Figured you'd make an appearance.

Jim: What do you want from Archer?

Lovejoy: Who's he? (motioning to Blair)

Jim: Don't worry about him.

Lovejoy: Hey, I just want to know how many players we got at the table. You know me... but I know you. Yeah... I'm good at figuring out things, too... Like right now, you're being investigated by Internal Affairs over some uncut smack that found it's way down a rabbit hole. So, I figure you got your hands in that, well, maybe you got your hands in Archer's pockets, too.

Blair: Are you for real, man?

Lovejoy: As real as it gets, jack.

Jim: You still didn't answer my question. What do you want from Archer?

Lovejoy: Why don't you ask him?

Jim: I did.

Lovejoy: Then ask him again... And this time, tell him he's running out of time. (leaves)

Blair: Jim, I think you should let this one go. That guy all but accused you of being on the take. You're already under investigation from I.A.D. Just get someone else to take the case.

Jim: No can do, Chief. Alan's a friend of mine. He's involved in something he shouldn't be.

Blair: Wrong friend.

Jim: What?

Blair: What, you think I'm blind, Jim? The one you're trying to protect here is Veronica.

Jim's cellphone rings. He answers it.

Jim: Ellison.

Veronica: Oh, god. Jim, you have to stop him.

Jim: What's going on?

~Cut to Veronica at house. Alan can be seen through the window walking down sidewalk toward car.~

Veronica: Alan's in a rage because I came to talk to you. He says he wants to put an end to this once and for all.

Jim: Well, where is he now?

Veronica: On his way to see that man. Jim, one of them is going to get killed. I just know it.

Alan's car blows up.

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

~Jim and Aldo in interrogation room.~

Jim: Whoever blew up that car did a ace job. One of the doors went clear into the lake. Now, you can imagine how much left after that.

Aldo: Didn't it disturb you that Veronica Archer was the only witness?

Jim: No. Not until after we had done our Q and A with public enemy number one.

~Cut to Jim and Simon questioning Lovejoy in interrogation room. Blair watching from observation room. Flashback.~

Lovejoy: I don't know nothing about Archer buying it. I was at the track, okay? Surrounded by hundreds of people.

Jim: The bomb was connected to the ignition of Archer's car. You could have been in a crater on the moon, for god's sake. It would have gotten off.

Lovejoy: I'm not saying word one without my lawyer.

Jim: All right.

Simon: Jim. Mr. Lovejoy wants his lawyer. I thought we might be able to help him out with his life in Chicago, but...

Lovejoy: My life is fine in Chicago, thank you.

Simon: Really? I just spoke with Special Agent Kline at the F.B.I. He told me the union you work for is under investigation for money laundering. Silly me. I thought you help us out, we help you out with the F.B.I. But you have it all figured out. So we'll just cut you loose back to the midwest and tap on a murder charge for a little added bonus. Let's go, Jim.

Jim: Yes, sir.

Lovejoy: All right. The money was being washed through the pension fund. Archer was in charge of the books, only he was skimming. When he found out that we were onto him, he skipped town with $500 large. I've been looking for him for two months.

Jim: The night at the restaurant -- That was just a chance meeting?

Lovejoy: Hell, no. I was supposed to be there. She said that Archer would...

Jim: "She"?

Lovejoy: His wife. She's the one who made the call. She said that Archer would pay back all the money plus interest. He just wanted to meet in a public place so he'd feel safe.

Jim: You sure it was his wife that called?

Lovejoy: Oh, yeah. Veronica. I knew her up in Chicago. You don't forget a voice like that.

Simon: I bet you don't. Did you kill Archer?

Lovejoy: My orders were to wait. Besides, explosives ain't my thing.

Jim leaves room and goes down hallway. Blair comes out of the observation room.

Blair: Jim, wait a minute.

~Cut to Jim talking to Veronica at her house. Day. Still flashback mode.~

Veronica: I told you, I have no idea what Alan was involved in.

Jim: That's not what Lovejoy said.

Veronica: And you believe him?

Jim: Why shouldn't I? You lied to me before. See, when I asked if you knew Harry's last name, you said you didn't. But later, I mentioned it to Alan. He thought I got Lovejoy's name from you.

Veronica: Well, Alan was just guessing.

Jim: Why would he make a guess like that if he didn't think you already knew what was going on? Veronica, Alan was my friend. What are you holding back here?

Veronica: There's just some places you shouldn't look. You may not like what you find.

Jim: Try me.

Veronica: One night in Chicago, Alan came to me in a panic. Said he'd done something stupid. He'd been drinking, so it all just tumbled out -- the mob, the skimming, everything. He said we had to leave right away.

Jim: Married or not, once you found out what Alan was into, you could have gone right to the police. You didn't have to stick around.

Veronica: I was terrified not to. (pulls aside her robe to show bruises on her shoulder) He said he'd kill me if I left him, and I saw no reason to believe he wouldn't keep his word.

Jim: I thought I knew him.

Veronica: Yeah, well, he wasn't the man you remembered. But you're the man I remembered. And ever since that night at the restaurant... I thought maybe you could take me away from all this. When you're desperate, you think desperate things.

Jim: Who do you think killed him, Veronica?

Veronica: I don't know. Someone in Chicago, maybe Vegas. He owed a lot of money to the casino. He ran up his credit and we skipped out of town owing them, too. You know the real crazy thing? You think I'd be glad he was dead. I'm not. He still was my husband and I tried to be a good wife.

Jim and Veronica hug.

~Cut to Jim and Aldo.~

Aldo: So you knew that she had knowledge of the skimming and that made her an accessory after the fact. Why didn't you bring her in for questioning?

Jim: Because she was a victim, and I thought she'd had enough. From that time on, she just let the line play out. I must have felt it pulling me along, but I didn't care. Anyway, we started seeing more of each other. Then about a month later, uh, she dropped a bombshell.

~Cut to Jim and Veronica at Boulder Point again. Day. Flashback.~

Jim: What happened? Are you all right?

Veronica: I'm not sure. Alan took out a $3 million life insurance policy. A claims agent called me this morning. He took it out when he worked at the union.

Jim: That's a lot of money.

Veronica: I don't care about the money. You're the one good thing that's come out of all this. You've been there for me. No one's ever done that. All those years... The wrong turns. I always imagined you getting the wedding invitation in the mail and tearing it up. Tell me... What would you have done if it'd reached you all those years ago?

Jim and Veronica kiss.

~Cut to Jim standing in the loft, looking out the windows. Blair comes in, carrying a grocery sack.~

Blair: Hey. Long time no see.

Jim: I've been busy.

Blair: Any closer to who killed Archer?

Jim: (goes into kitchen) No, we're nowhere. We got Lovejoy in Chicago. The feds have him. We can get him back, but I don't think that's going to serve anything.

Blair: Nah. Ever thought about looking closer to home?

Jim: What are you trying to say, Chief?

Blair: Well, uh, what was that that you always used to tell me? You know, "M.O.M." "Motive, Opportunity, Method."

Jim: I'm sure there's a point here.

Blair; My point is, $3 million and an abused wife -- Motive -- and she certainly had an opportunity.

Jim: So she goes and puts a bomb in his car?

Blair: It's possible.

Jim: Maybe I need to clue you in -- Forensics said the explosive was D-13. That's a linear-shaped charge used in demolition. It takes a highly technical, precision knowledge to handle it, okay? Now, there goes your method.

Blair: She could have had help.

Jim: I-I think you're the one who needs help. I'm going to bed. I'm tired. (walks away)

Blair: I'm sorry I brought it up.

~Cut to Jim on docks on Veronica's property. Night. Still flashblack mode.~

Jim: (voiceover) A few days later, the insurance company paid off and Veronica called. She was hearing noises again, like someone was close by prowling around. I figured it was just her imagination. I was wrong.

Jim sees someone get off Alan's boat. He waits until they come up the pier, then holds his gun out.

Jim: Move real slow.

Man stops, then lifts his face to reveal...

Jim: Alan.

Alan: Hey, hotshot.

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

~Continuing scene with Jim and Alan.~

Jim: I had all the pieces, but I just couldn't make them fit until right now. Ah... Fake your death... Let Lovejoy take the fall and collect $3 million.

Alan: Yeah, well, you know me -- always thinking.

Jim: Yeah. So the whole thing was a setup right from the car show, huh? That night at the restaurant I was supposed to be seen with you, so that Lovejoy would think that I was your protection, and he would back off. That's who Veronica called from the restaurant. And later, we're go to your house where I find it a mess and assume someone's after you, right? But the best is yet to come.

Alan: Go on. Get it all out of your system.

Jim: So you need someone to witness the explosion and be believed. This way there wouldn't be a need for positive I.D. And you needed a cop who would let love and friendship cloud his judgment.

Alan: Listen, you were just a means to an end, all right -- nothing personal.

Jim: It's all personal.

Alan: Here's the big picture, Jim: $3 Million -- one for me, one for Veronica and one for you. All you got to do is just walk away.

Jim: You're not supposed to walk away from that body in your car, too, right?

Alan: That was nobody, all right? Some low-rent hustler tried to strong-arm me in a bar. I guarantee you society won't miss him.

Jim: What happened to you, man?

Alan: Hey, you owe me.

Jim: I thought we were clear.

Alan: I changed my mind, all right?

Jim: I got to send you over, buddy. Veronica, too. Let's go.

Sirens approach from the distance.

Alan: Oh, right. Let the backup handle the rough trade. You never did like the solo mission, did you, Jim?

Jim: I didn't call for backup.

Alan: Oh, that bitch.

Jim: Let's go. It's over.

Alan: I'll see you, Jim. (turns to walk away)

Jim: Don't make me do this!

Alan pulls a gun, but Jim fires first. Alan goes down. Jim goes to him.

Alan: Hey, Jim... The old Archer clock -- I can't hear it ticking anymore.

Jim: Just hang in there. Alan, we got help on the way. Come on.

Alan falls over, dead.

~Cut to Jim and Simon standing over the body bag a bit later.~

Jim: It was an insurance scam. They were both in on it.

Aldo appears with Veronica.

Aldo: That's not what Mrs. Archer says. She claims that she knew nothing about this. That you and Archer planned it all. Then you decided to kill him because you thought she'd run off with you.

~Cut to Jim and Aldo in interrogation room.~

Aldo: Is that all of it?

Jim: Yeah. The rest you know.

Aldo: You know, that's quite a story. Unfortunately, it doesn't match her version.

Jim: Yeah. She's lying.

Aldo: Yeah, she's pretty convincing. You know, $3 million is a lot of money. You were in love. Hey, you know, it happens all the time. You and her husband were going to fake his death and then you were going to kill her after she got the money , but you wanted Veronica and the payoff. Guess what? I believe her. I may not get you on the drug deal, but that is chump change compared to this.

Jim: It's getting kind of late here. Are we done?

Aldo: For now.

Jim leaves.

~Pan to Simon and Blair in observation room.~

Blair: Well, it's still her word against Jim's.

Simon: Doesn't matter. Because of what went down with the drugs, he's already under suspicion. People would always wonder if he was a bad cop.

Blair leaves.

~Cut to Jim in police garage. Veronica comes out of shadows to talk to him.~

Veronica: I'm sorry it worked out this way. If it's any consolation, it wasn't all an act.

Jim: Sure it was. You needed me to get to Archer. You needed Aldo to get to me. I mean, you're smart, Veronica, I'll give you that, but I'm going to have to put you away now.

Veronica: It's already over and you don't even know it. Run...while you're still able to, and if you need any money, we both know I got loads.

Jim: Why are you being so generous?

Veronica: Because you can't win. And let's just say, for old time's sake.

Jim: Well, thanks. But I'm going to see this one through.

Veronica: Yeah. I had a feeling you would. (leaves)

Blair passes her as he joins Jim.

Blair: What was that?

Jim: An apology, I guess.

Blair: What are you going to do?

Jim: Start acting like a cop.

He and Blair get into the truck.

~Cut to Simon and Brown at a bomb scene. Simon is looking at some papers.~

Simon: Let's contact Detective Aldo at Internal Affairs. Bring in Ellison.

~Cut to interrogation room. Simon, Jim, Blair, and Aldo. Simon hands Jim a bagged piece of paper.~

Simon: It's a receipt for D-13 -- the same type of explosive that blew Archer's car. To purchase it you need an I.D. And a signature.

Jim: That's my signature, but I didn't sign it. Archer did.

Aldo: You just have an answer for everything, don't you.

Jim: We learned how to forge in Special Ops. Uh... You don't see it. You were supposed to find this, for god's sake. Why would I blow up a chemical building?

Aldo: Nobody said you did. The building had highly-volatile material. Just blew up.

Jim: She said something last night, was over. This is what she meant.

Simon: Anyone else there when she said it?

Blair: I was.

Simon: Did you hear her?

Blair: Uh... No. I just saw them talking.

Aldo: I don't need to hear anymore. You do it or I will.

Simon: Jim, I need to put you on suspension pending a full investigation. I need your badge and your gun.

Blair: Come on, Simon, you can't do this.

Simon: I don't have a choice.

Jim places his gun and badge on the table.

Jim: You know where to find me. (leaves)

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

~Jim walking in police garage. Blair comes up behind him.~

Blair: Hey, Jim, wait up, man. So, what's next?

Jim: Uh, chemical building.

Blair: What about it?

Jim: Well, if signatures were required to buy the explosives, maybe other safeguards were in place as well.

Blair: Right. Good.

Jim: Oh, Chief, um... I'm sorry. I was wrong about her. You were right.

Blair: Well, that's all right. I mean, come on. We all make mistakes, right?

Jim: Yeah, yeah. Well, got to admit it was a...good-sized mistake.

Blair: It was huge.

Jim: All right. That's enough, all right?

~Cut to Jim and Blair entering chemical building.~

Blair: What are we looking for?

Jim: We'll know when we find it.

Blair: Oh, that's a good answer. Where'd you get that -- off a t-shirt?

Jim sees something in the corner, buried under the rubble and heads back to it.

Blair: What is it?

Jim: Looks to me like the security camera. (digs out camera and follows cord) Which means... (pulls out a VCR and hands it to Blair)

Blair: VCR... Nice.

Jim gathers up the rest and they leave.

~Cut to forensics lab. Jim and Blair talking to Serena.~

Serena: I want to help you, Jim, but you're on suspension.

Blair: Look, Serena, can't you just run through it for us once, please. This is really important.

Serena: I need authorization.

Simon appears at the doorway behind them.

Simon: I'll authorize it.

Serena: Works for me. (goes over to her desk)

Simon joins Jim and Blair.

Simon: Well, for once you both are speechless. I like that. I did my own background check on Veronica Archer. Turns out her father was a strip miner, a detonations expert. That gives her a link to explosives.

Jim: Did you share this information with Aldo?

Simon: He's not returning my calls.

Serena: Not much left here.

The three of them join Serena at a computer monitor where she is playing the tape.

Jim: Can you play it again? (focuses in on fuzz) Freeze it right there. Can you isolate this... Give it more color and resolution?

Blair: Hey, that looks like Veronica.

Simon: He looks familiar.

Jim: Get a blow-up on his hand. (picture clears up to show a man's wrist) Recognize that hockey puck on his wrist? That's Aldo.

Serena: How on earth could you have seen that?

Three guys walk away from Serena.

Jim: So, Aldo gets access to the evidence lock-up, snags the heroin before it's logged in. He frames me as a bent cop, nails it shut with the Archer case, and then takes off with a cut of Alan's three mil.

Simon: And Alan's wife, too. (on phone) Yeah. This is Banks. I need an A.P.B. put out on Ray Aldo. Well, accessory to murder for a starter. It only gets better from there. Just get on it, Brown! We can gloat later.

Blair: This nails Aldo. What about Veronica?

~Cut to Veronica's house. Jim comes inside, walking into main room to see several pieces of luggage.~

Veronica: (voice coming from back) You're late. You have the plane tickets? (comes out and sees Jim)

Jim: You're not going to need tickets where you're going, Veronica.

Veronica: I thought you might change your mind about things, Jim.

Jim: There was a security camera that caught you and Ray Aldo buying explosives at the chemical building. That links you to insurance fraud and murder.

Veronica: I don't know a Ray Aldo.

Jim: I'll take the money.

Veronica: Of course you will. I suppose you want half. Right?

Jim: No, I'll take all of it. I'll need it for evidence. You're under arrest.

Veronica pulls out a gun and points it at Jim.

Veronica: Jim... You should have settled for half.

Jim: You're not going to get three feet past that door.

Veronica: And neither will you.

Jim hears a watch ticking. Pan to show Aldo hiding around corner with a gun.

Jim: You had that piece in your hand the whole time. Who was on the other end of this business transaction that you were expecting at the door? I mean, really, you didn't have any intentions of splitting up this money, did you?

Veronica: I deserve it. I did all the work. Now, come on, Jim -- move out of the way.

Jim attempts to go for his gun.

Veronica: Don't. I'm a better shot than Alan ever was.

Jim: I'm sure you are. You going to, uh, be prepared to take out your bellhop, too?

Veronica: No contest.

Jim hears Aldo's gun cocking. He moves back out of the way just as Aldo comes around corner. He and Veronica shoot each other. Aldo falls backwards, hitting the wall. Veronica falls on the floor. Jim goes over to her, leaning over her.

Jim: Don't, don't, don't. Shh! Just relax. Just breathe, breathe. Don't say anything.

Veronica: If you loved would have let me walk away.

Jim: Don't... Just... Veronica... Breathe.

Veronica's head falls to one side as her eyes close.

Simon and the rest of the team come in, including Blair.

Jim: Veronica. Veronica. (bends down to listen to her chest)

Simon: I want the perimeter sealed. Keep it clear out there.

Blair: Jim, you okay?

Jim: Yeah. (stands up)

Simon: Should I get an ambulance?

Jim: I don't think that's going to be necessary. (walks away)

~Cut to Jim standing outside of house. Simon and Blair come up to stand on either side of him.~

Blair: Hey. So, uh, Veronica...was she shooting at you or at Aldo?

Jim: I don't know. I don't know if I ever will.

Simon: We're all done here.

Jim: Why don't you guys go back? I'll catch up with you.

Simon claps Jim on the shoulder, then he and Blair leave, walking back up the house.

Blair: He'll get over it. Maybe not today, but soon.

Simon: Sandburg, sometimes you sound like an old movie.

Simon and Blair go inside, leaving Jim to stand alone outside the house.

~ The End ~