Mutant X Episode #216 Transcript: “Once Around”
[Opening Scene: Shalimar and Brennan wait on the steps of a courthouse as media and bystanders mill around behind the police barriers in front of the building.]
Shalimar: So, being this close to a courthouse giving you bad memories?
Brennan: No. I have better things to do with my time than sit around and wait for some low-rent hood.
Shalimar: Yeah, a hood that happens to be a key witness in putting away the leader of a major crime syndicate in the country.
Brennan: Exactly. You know, Adam’s got us pulling babysitting duty for some pure-bred grade A rat.
[Down the road, two FBI agents sit in their car with the key witness, Vic Collaruso, in the back seat.]
Vic (sighing): Hey, uh, do one of you guys wanna crack the window or something? I’m burning up back here, huh?
Agent Hirschfield (rolling his eyes, turning on the air conditioning): Better, princess?
Vic: No, no, look, I do not work with AC. Okay? It dries out my sinuses. Would you just crack a window?
[Inside the courtroom, Adam waits with the prosecuting attorney, Silverman.]
Adam (seeing how nervous he is): I think you’ll be a lot happier once Vic testifies.
Silverman: Without him, Raymond walks. Third time in nearly a decade. [A police officer escorts the defendant, Sam Raymond, into the room. Raymond walks up to them.]
Raymond: Hey, Silverman. Good luck today. [He holds out his hand.] What, you afraid to shake my hand?
Silverman (taking his hand): I’m not afraid of you. [Raymond goes to sit next to his lawyer, Harry Davis. Davis starts to talk to him, but Raymond waves him off, concentrating on the table in front of him.]
Adam (to Silverman): Are you all right? I’ve got my people escorting Vic when he arrives. You’ve got the decoy car arriving at the back entrance, right?
Silverman: Right. I figure Raymond’s people would expect Vic to enter from, if they had any intention of taking him out before he testifies.
Adam: Well, then we’ve got it covered. [They both turn and look at Raymond, who’s sitting with his eyes closed. In Raymond’s mind, he visualizes Adam talking to Silverman as he says, “My people are outside to escort Vic when he arrives.”]
Raymond (opening his eyes): I need a phone. [Davis hands him his cell phone; Raymond calls his accomplice who is waiting outside the building.] Yeah. Vic’s coming around the front. Now.
[Outside the building, Raymond’s accomplice, dressed as a policeman, turns to sees the FBI car pull up to the police barriers around the building.]
Shlaimar: Well, looks like our company has arrived.
Hirschfield (rolling down the window to flash his badge at to the security guard): FBI. Two in the back.
The Guard: Okay. [He removes the police barrier and waves them through.]
Hirschfield (to Vic): Look, just sit and shut it!
Vic: Fine! But this is all going in my book. [He pulls a tape recorder out of his pocket and starts speaking into it.] Chapter 7: How I was treated by the FBI as a star witness.
Hirschfield (grabbing it out of his hands): Give me that!
Vic (reaching for it): Hey, hey, that is private! [The other FBI agent pushes him back against the seat just as Raymond’s accomplice shoots a gun twice into the car, killing both agents. Crawling along the floor, Vic shoves past Hirschfield’s body and pushes on the gas pedal with his hand. Another bullet shatters the back window while the car surges forward and crashes into a police barrier.]
Vic (pulling his tape recorder out of Hirschfield’s jacket): Thank you. [Hearing the shots, Brennan and Shalimar dash through the crowd to reach the gunman, but he hops onto a motorcycle and screeches away. Not wanting to use his abilities in public, Brennan puts out his tesla coil.]
Brennan: Come on! [They run towards the FBI car.]
Shalimar (reaching the car, looking into the back seat): Is he dead?
Brennan (seeing that Vic’s gone): No, the rat got away.
[Cut to: Raymond sitting quietly inside the courtroom, hands folded.]
Opening Credits. “Once Around.”
[Inside the courtroom, Silverman sadly packs up his briefcase as the room empties out for the day. Adam comes up to him.]
Adam (sighing): It’s only a matter of time before we find him.
Silverman: Unless Raymond’s people find him first.
Adam: All right, so how did Raymond’s people know that he was arriving in front?
Silverman (shaking his head): You and I are the only people who knew. Even the FBI men had no specifics as to who they were escorting.
Adam: All right, but the leak had to come from somewhere.
Silverman: That’s what you would think, look, I’ve been after this guy for 10 years. They call Raymond “The Reader.” He can find out anything on anyone.
Adam: What, so he’s connected somehow?
Silverman: It goes beyond that. He knows things before they happen. Why do you think it’s been next to impossible for me to build a case against him?
Adam: Well, it’s not over yet.
Silverman: Adam, all I know is if Vic doesn’t show up soon, that monster gets another free pass.
[Back at Sanctuary, Brennan’s lifting 35 pound weights in his room when Shalimar walks up to the doorway.]
Shalimar (watching him for a little while, then coming in): Hey.
Brennan: Hey, what’s up?
Shalimar: Do you....do you want to explain your attitude about Vic?
Brennan: Well, it’s no big deal. I just don’t hold guys like Vic in the highest regard, that’s all.
Shalimar: What do you mean, guys like Vic?
Brennan: Well, you know, someone who will sell out anyone just to save their own skin. He’s just a little guppy trying to take down a barracuda.
Shalimar: Yeah, isn’t that the point?
Brennan: No. For a rat like Vic, the whole point is, “What’s in it for me?”
Shalimar: So, if Vic were to end up dead, according to you, he just had that coming, right?
Brennan (thinking about it, wiping his face with a towel): Well, I didn’t say that.
Shalimar (walking out): Yeah. You didn’t have to.
[At the prison, Raymond’s lawyer joins him in the visitor’s room. A guard waits beside the table.]
Davis: The judge granted the prosecution’s request for a 24 hour continuance. Nothing’s gonna happen, Sam. There’s no way the DA will manage to pull a rabbit out of their hat.
Raymond: Well, you sound pretty confident.
Davis: Vic’s no idiot. After what happened this morning...[He glances up at the guard standing over them. The guard walks out.] Allegedly happened. Even if they find him, how anxious do you think he’s gonna be to testify against you? By now, witness protection will look like target practice.
Raymond: Good point, Harry. You know, you never once asked me how I found out about Vic. Can’t tell me you weren’t the least bit curious.
Davis: I assumed it would be better for both of us if I remained in the dark.
Raymond (touching his hand): See, I got this way of getting under people’s skin. All I gotta do is touch them and I see things you can’t even imagine.
Davis (pulling his hands away): What do you mean?
Raymond: You know, like, things. Like how your wife started to wear black negligees to spice up your marriage while you cat around every Monday night after phoning that you’ll be working late.
Davis (staring at him): How in the world do you know that?
Raymond: Calm down, Harry. By the way, your wife has a hell of a figure.
[In Sanctuary, Adam and Jesse are standing by the computers.]
Adam: Got it?
Jesse (handing him a disk): Yeah.
Emma (walking in with Brennan): So, Vic has a brother in Florida.
Brennan: Yeah, but Vic’s family’d be the first place Raymond’s people would look. Vic would know that.
Emma: Yeah, well, where else is he gonna go? I mean, he doesn’t have a dime to his name.
Jesse: Well, he stole a wallet from one of the FBI guys at the scene.
Adam: Yeah, Jesse, why don’t you check the credit cards, see if there’s been any activity.
Jesse: Yeah. [He pulls up Hirschfield’s credit card record.] Yeah. According to this, he already took out a 500 dollar cash advance and he rented a sports car from Mirage Exotics.
Emma: Hm. Well, isn’t that sweet?
Brennan: Well, what did you expect, he’s gonna rent economy?
Adam: Yeah, with any luck, this guy’ll leave a credit card trail that will lead us right to him.
Brennan: Nah, he can’t be that dumb.
[Cut to: Vic is sitting on the bed in his posh hotel room, reading out Hirschfield’s credit card number over the telephone.]
Vic: 8725-4224. [He listens.] Well, thanks. What can I say? I’m a natural born writer. Thanks. [He hangs up and picks up his tape recorder.] I didn’t know whether Claudia would welcome me back or not, but one thing was for sure. I had to try. [He turns it off.]
[Back in Sanctuary, Brennan and Shalimar walk down the hallway towards the main room.]
Brennan: There’s an honor among thieves, you know? I mean, you never roll over on anyone. Ever.
Shalimar: Sounds like somebody who’s been on the other side of that equation.
Brennan: No, actually, the opposite. I got busted for a job that a buddy of mine pulled.
Shalimar: What, so rather than flip on your friend, you did the time?
Brennan: Well, they didn’t have enough evidence for a conviction, but I would have.
Jesse (calling them over to the computer): I found Vic!
Shalimar: Where is he?
Jesse: Checked himself into the Tree Lodge Hotel spa for a little bit of a spending spree. He’s got body wraps, manicure, spa treatment...
Brennan: Well, I guess he is that dumb.
Jesse: Yeah. Oh, and it looks like he sent a 200 dollar flower basket to some woman in Shereborne.
Shalimar: Sounds like our Vic really knows how to live it up.
[At the courthouse, Silverman comes out the door to join Adam and Emma as they approach the building.]
Adam: Hey! Well, we found him.
Silverman: Just tell me he’s alive.
Adam: Yeah. He’s alive, all right. [Lying in his jail cell, Raymond sits with his eyes closed, eavesdropping on the conversation in his mind by watching Adam talk through Silverman’s eyes.]
Silverman: Thank God!
Adam: We traced him to the Tree Lodge Hotel outside Freemount. My people are on their way to pick him up. [Hearing this, Raymond sits up in bed and calls a guard over to his cell.]
Raymond (reaching out of the bars): Hey! Give me your phone, now. [The guard grabs his hand and twists it. Raymond sighs.] Or, I could inform the warden about your extracurricular narcotics activity. [Letting him go, the guard hands him his cell phone and walks down the hallway. Raymond calls his accomplice.] Yeah, it’s me. They’re in the Tree Lodge, outside of Freemount. Yeah. This time, make sure you tuck him in for good.
[Vic’s sitting at the breakfast table in his hotel room when he hears a knock at the door.]
Vic: What do you want?
Shalimar (knocking again): Housekeeping.
Vic (opening the door): What– [Seeing Brennan and Shalimar, he tries to shut the door in their faces. Shalimar pushes it open.] Why do I get the feeling you’re not here to turn down my bed?
Shalimar (walking in behind him): I wonder what gave you that idea?
Vic: All right, look. Let’s just...nobody get nervous, here, all right?
Brennan: There’s only one person that should be nervous, here, Vic.
Shalimar: Get your stuff together. We’ve been assigned to protect you.
Vic: Yeah, right. Like that bang-up job you did this morning? It’s a shame you weren’t around when Kennedy was still president. Your protection? No thanks. I want out of this. I want out now!
Brennan: Well, you should have thought of that before you made the deal. You don’t have a choice now, Vic.
Vic: Sure I do. What if I decide I don’t want to testify?
Shalimar: Then you can go to prison.
Brennan: And guess who’s gonna be breathing down your neck.
Vic: Raymond is never going down.
Shalimar: What makes you so sure?
Vic: Because noone has ever lived to screw him, okay? He knows things. Things there is no way on God’s green earth he could possibly find out about, all right? He’s like the Wizard of freaking Oz!
Brennan: Well guess what, Toto. It’s time to take your ass back to Kansas. Now get your stuff, and let’s go!
Vic: Fine! It’s just...can I get changed first?
Brennan: Two minutes!
Vic (grabbing his shopping bags, going into the bathroom): Thanks.
Shalimar (to Brennan): What do you think?
Brennan: I think he’s scared. Probably wishes he never made this deal in the first place. [Outside in the hallway, Jesse’s headed towards the room when he sees three of Raymond’s men coming down the hallway, led by Martin. He hides behind the wall, watching them.]
Martin: Vic’s checked into room 112. Let’s just make it look like suicide.
Jesse (bursting into Vic’s room): We’ve got company. Three of them.
Brennan (dashing into the bathroom, pulling Vic out by the arm): Come on, Vic.
Vic (struggling with him): You pervert!
Brennan: Come on!
Shalimar: Back door?
Brennan (to Vic): You wanna stay here and visit Raymond’s friends? Come on!
Shalimar (motioning them over to the wall): Come on!
Jesse (phasing the wall): Come on!
Vic: Now what? What the hell are you guys?
Shalimar: Your only way out. [They walk through the wall into the bedroom next door, startling a woman sitting up in bed with a sleeping man.]
Brennan (to the woman): Hi. Pretend you never saw us, huh? [They flee out the door as the woman starts to scream. In Vic’s room, Raymond’s men hear her and run back to the hallway, chasing them.]
Vic (running, to Jesse): How did you do that?
Jesse (pushing him faster): Go, go!
Vic: How did you do that? [They reach the roof, where the Double Helix is parked.] What is that? What is that?
Shalimar (grabbing his arm, tugging him along): Don’t worry about it!
Brennan (pushing him): Move!
Vic: Oh, no, I don’t fly! I don’t fly-I don’t fly-I don’t fly! [They run into the Helix.] What are we doing?
Brennan: Come on, get him down! [Shalimar throws him at the seat next to her.]
Jesse (going to the co-pilot’s seat): Sit down! [Raymond’s men start shooting at them through the Helix’s open back door, damaging out some equipment over Jesse’s head. Jesse masses in front of Vic until Brennan gets the door closed.]
Brennan: Okay, let’s go!
Jesse (sitting back down, yelling to Brennan): Why aren’t we moving?
Brennan (wiggling the stick): They must have knocked out the controls!
Jesse: Switch to manual override!
Brennan: Okay, hang on!
Jesse: Come on!
Vic: Can we go?
Jesse: What’s happening? [The Helix reluctantly takes off, leaving Raymond’s men staring after it in confusion.]
[Up in the Helix, Brennan’s trying to fly straight.]
Brennan: What’s going on here? The flight controls are all over the place.
Jesse (examining a panel in the back): Oh, man, the whole system’s fried.
Shalimar: Can you fix it?
Jesse: I don’t know. I’m working on it, but I sure would feel safer working on this if it wasn’t in the air.
Brennan: Well, if you don’t do something fast, you may just get your wish.
Jesse: Just try to keep it level.
Brennan: That’s all you’re gonna get. The whole instrument panel is out. We’re flying in circles here.
Shalimar (getting up to talk to Vic): How did Raymond’s men find us?
Vic: I told you. The man has eyes and ears everywhere.
Shalimar: Really? Well, if that’s the case, how’d you stay alive so long?
Vic: Just lucky, I guess.
Brennan: That’s funny. Being around you is having the reverse effect on us. [The Helix bucks suddenly, throwing everyone.]
Vic (getting up): All right, that’s it. I want off the flying bus.
Jesse (grabbing his collar): Hey, sit!
Vic: Whoa, whoa!
Jesse: I said, sit down!
Vic: Hey, what are you gonna do? You gonna hit me, you freak? [Jesse pulls back his fist angrily.] Huh, huh? Then what kind of witness do I make?
Shalimar (pushing Jesse away): Hey, hey! I got this, Jess. [Jesse stomps back to the instrument panel, shaking his head.]
Vic: Oh, what are you, good cop, bad copping me here? Well, forget it! All I know is, I want out! If I’m gonna die, then I wanna do it nice and peacefully, like with a bullet to the head.
Shalimar (grabbing his shoulders): Look! I know you’re scared. But you have to trust us. [Vic scoffs.] We’re not gonna let anything happen to you. I need you to take a deep breath and calm down. Do you understand? [Vic takes a deep breath.] Better?
Vic: Yeah. A little.
Vic: You got a thing for me, don’t you?
Shalimar (surprised): What?
Vic: Don’t be embarrassed. I noticed back at the hotel.
Shalimar (dropping her hands, staring at him): What?
Vic: It’s okay. I have that effect on a lot of women, all right? It’s my cross to bear, it’s my curse. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. this guy is spoken for.
Brennan: What? You have a girlfriend? [Jesse laughs.]
Vic: Don’t look so shocked, okay? There’s a lot about Vic you don’t know.
Shalimar (looking at him pointedly): Well, that’s great. Does Vic know how to take a seat?
Vic (sitting down): Yeah, fine. [He calls her as she goes back to her seat.) Excuse me, though, uh, Miss? You have a bag of peanuts? Some pretzels, somethin’? A little...[He trails off, realizing no one’s listening. Shalimar and Brennan roll their eyes at each other.]
[Inside the courtroom, Emma and Adam converge on Silverman, who is packing up his suitcase after Vic didn’t show up for court again.]
Adam: Raymond’s men were on the scene moments after my team arrived. So where’d the leak come from this time?
Silverman (wearily taking off his glasses): Adam, don’t you think I’m a little too paranoid right now? I didn’t tell a soul.
Emma: Are you sure? An assistant D.A.? A secretary? Your wife?
Silverman: I told no one. Now this is exactly how Raymond’s been able to slip through the system for so long now. [In his jail cell, Raymond tunes into the conversation in his mind through Silverman’s eyes as Adam talks.]
Adam: Well, the good news is, Vic’s still alive. But we’ve gotta be careful. We should limit our communications as much as possible. [In his cell, Raymond opens his eyes, tuning out.]
Silverman: Trust me. At this point, the way I see it? Ignorance is bliss. [He leaves the courtroom. Emma frowns after him.]
Adam: What’s wrong?
Emma (shaking her head): It’s probably nothing, but I just got the strangest feeling from him right now.
Emma: I don’t know. It was like being on a phone call and someone else picks up the other line and listens in.
Adam: You think it’s possible that he’s a mutant with psionic abilities?
Emma: I don’t know. All I know is, I got this really creepy feeling, like I was being watched.
Adam: Maybe we should check out Raymond. Face to face. [Emma nods. They leave.]
[Up in the Double Helix, Brennan’s still fighting with the controls.]
Brennan: Jess, what’s happening?
Jesse (working at the computer): I’m on it.
Vic (pulling out his tape recorder): Chapter 8. I call this... “Uncertainty.” Because, although every fiber in my being tells me I’m gonna die, I refuse to give up.
Shalimar (at the instrument panel): Do you mind? We’re trying to work here.
Vic (holding up the tape recorder): Yeah, well, so am I. Okay? These are notes for the book I’m planning on writing when this is all over. Provided I’m still alive to write it.
Shalimar: What’d you do for Raymond anyway?
Vic: I, uh, I was in charge of setting up dummy corporations for him to launder his money.
Shalimar: So how’d things go sour between you two?
Vic: One day I told him I wanted out. The next day he took a hit out on me. From then on, I knew I was cooked no matter what I did, I was a dead man.
Shalimar: Why’d you want out so bad?
Vic (smiling): I, uh, fell in love with a woman who turned my life around. Her, uh, her name’s Claudia.
[Davis visits Raymond in the prison visiting room again; this time, there’s no guard to monitor them.]
Raymond: All right. Say Vic does testify. How much damage control are you prepared to do?
Davis (surprised): Well, I don’t understand, Sam. I thought you had that problem under control.
Raymond (punching the table in frustration): I had a temporary setback. I just wanna make sure all my options are covered.
Davis: If Vic takes the stand, he’ll crucify you. Of course, I’ll do what I can to attack his credibility, but face it. He knows where all the bodies are buried.
Raymond: Well, then, we can’t let that happen.
Davis: I can’t prevent him from taking the stand.
Raymond (reaching across the table, grabbing him by the tie): I can’t find Vic! I have to find someone who means something to him! Give me your phone. [Davis hands him his cell phone. Letting him go, Raymond calls Martin.]
Martin (in Vic’s room, answering his cell phone): Hello?
Raymond: Martin. It’s me. Have you looked around Vic’s hotel room?
Martin: Nothing so far.
Raymond: Do me a favor. Give it another once over while I’m on the phone. [Martin looks around the room; Raymond closes his eyes to look through Martin’s with his mind.] No...Ah, see that photograph by the edge of the bed? Pick it up.
Martin: Boss, you’re freaking me out.
Raymond: Just do it! [Martin picks up the picture frame; Raymond examines it through his eyes.] That must be his girlfriend. Check the hotel phone records and find her.
Martin (replacing the photo): Got it.
[Up in the Helix, Vic is telling Shalimar about his girlfriend.]
Vic: See, Claudia, she didn’t care about the cars, and the money, or the lifestyle. All she really cared about was me. You know, it’s kinda like The Godfather III, only in reverse. Instead of pulling me back in, she was pulling me out.
Shalimar: She sounds pretty special.
Vic: Yeah. In the movie, I see her played by a Julia Roberts. [Shalimar laughs; Brennan rolls his eyes.] If it’s a tv movie, Justine Bateman.
Jesse (throwing up his hands): Okay! Let’s see what we’ve got here, huh? Okay. [He flips a switch and the control panel in front of Brennan lights up.]
Brennan: Nice work! [Vic sighs in relief.]
Shalimar: So, where are we?
Jesse (checking his computer): Where are we? We are... Right back were we started.
Vic (laughing): Oh, man! You guys are good. [They glare at him. Sobering, he stammers.] What? What, I was being serious. You’re very good. [Just then, a hose behind Vic bursts, and the Helix dips to the left. Vic panics.] What is that? What is that? What is that?
Jesse (running up to the co-pilot’s controls): Okay, when that bullet hit the navigation system, it must have sheared a hydraulic line.
Vic: Oh, way to go, Ace, you couldn’t have figured that out while we were still on the ground?
Shalimar: Hey! Relax!
Jesse: We’re gonna be leaking fluid out.
Brennan: I told you it was all I can do to keep her steady. [The Helix starts to nose-dive.]
Jesse: Pull up!
Brennan: I’m trying, the controls are frozen!
Jesse: We gotta land, now.
Brennan: Land? Jess, I can’t even keep her level!
Vic: We’re gonna crash, aren’t we? [Nobody answers him.] This is the part where you’re supposed to reassure me! Oh, this is not happening!
[The Double Helix continues its nose-dive towards the ground.]
Brennan: Still frozen!
Shalimar: We’re at less than 200 feet!
Brennan (looking over at Jesse): Any ideas?
Jesse: Uh...yes! Maybe if you try juicing the hydraulic lines with an electrical charge, it might heat up the fluid enough to give us the thrust we need. But I don’t know, Brennan.
Brennan: All right, take the controls.
Jesse: All right. [Brennan hits the line with a tesla coil.] It’s working, Brennan!
Shalimar: We’ve leveled off at 300 feet.
Shalimar: Guys, there’s a schoolyard below us.
Brennan: Okay, I’m taking her down.
Vic (standing up): No-no-no-no, this is not gonna work; I do not feel good about this!
Shalimar (grabbing his arm): Hey, hey!
Vic: What, what?
Shalimar (pointing at him): Take a seat!
Vic: Forget that, all right? I’d rather grow wings!
Shalimar: Will you calm down?
Vic (screaming): I can’t! I wo– [Shalimar punches him. He slumps into his seat, unconscious.]
Brennan: Thank you.
Jesse (laughing happily): Hit him again!
Shalimar (sitting down): I don’t think that’ll be necessary. [Brennan flies into the schoolyard. The Helix hits a minivan, but they land safely. The jolt wakes Vic up.]
Shalimar (relieved): That wasn’t so bad, huh?
Vic (massaging his jaw): Oh, yeah. Let’s do it again. Did you hit me? [They all glance back at him; no one answers. Once outside the Helix, Jesse examines the navigational system as Vic walks around the schoolyard, talking into his tape recorder.] The day was getting worse by the minute. First, averting a near-air disaster, second the humility of being knocked out by a beautiful chick. I don’t know which was worse. I– [He sees Shalimar walking up to him and points to the Double Helix.] Okay, woah. You are gonna have to pack one hell of a punch if you think you’re gonna get me back in that sardine can.
Shalimar: Would you relax? Okay, Brennan’s working on an alternative mode of transportation for us, okay?
Vic (pocketing his recorder): Yeah, there’s an idea. [Looking down the road, he sees Brennan driving up in a Sherebourne public school bus and starts to laugh. He and Shalimar walk over.] Oh, geez. You couldn’t find anything a little less sporty?
Brennan: Just get in.
Vic (flinching away from Shalimar’s glare): Okay, I’m going.
Shalimar (calling over to Jesse by the Helix): How’s it looking?
Jesse: It’s not as bad as it looks. I found the burst hydraulics line and I can fix it, but it’s gonna take some time.
Vic (hanging out one of the bus’s windows): Hey! You can always use your cushion as a floatation device! [Jesse rolls his eyes and starts back to the Helix.]
Brennan (calling after him): We’ll be in touch! [Shalimar gets into the bus.]
[Emma and Adam arrive at the prison. Silverman comes down the hallway to meet them.]
Silverman: Now, I don’t know why they’ve agreed to it, but Raymond’s prepared to meet with you both. He thinks you’re interviewing him for a story for the times.
Adam: His lawyer didn’t balk at this request?
Silverman: Quite the contrary. He insisted on meeting with you both alone. [Waiting inside the visiting room, Raymond tunes into the conversation through Silverman’s eyes.]
Emma: Well, he must be pretty sure of himself.
Silverman: That’s what scares me. It’s like he’s playing with us.
Adam: Maybe now’s our chance to get the upper hand. [Adam and Emma walk down the hall into the visiting room. The guard stands by the wall, monitoring them.]
Adam (sitting at the table next to Raymond): Thanks for agreeing to meet with us. We just have a few questions. [He turns on a tape recorder and places it on the table.]
Raymond: Of course. It’s a thrill, Adam. I’ve heard so much about you. [He turns to Emma.] Hello, Emma. You’re even prettier in person.
Adam: How do you know our names?
Raymond (staring at Emma): Oh, I know lots of things, Adam. You’d be surprised. Tell me. Have I said enough for you to get the...upper hand?
Adam (turning off the recorder): Okay, let’s go.
Raymond: Well, at least shake my hand, Adam. I mean, you’re not scared, are you? [He reaches out for Adam’s hand; Emma pulls Adam’s hands away.]
Emma: Don’t let him touch you. [They stand up.]
Raymond (laughing behind them): You tell Silverman he’s never gonna get a conviction because Vic is never gonna testify. [They walk out of the room.]
[Riding in the school bus, Vic turns to Shalimar, who’s reading the paper.]
Vic: I’m, uh...I’m feeling a little hungry, how about we get something to eat in the next town over?
Shalimar (shaking her head): Sorry, Vic. We’ve gotta keep moving.
Vic: Come on, guys. I’m buying. I know this great pizza place, it’s just over in Sherebourne. It’s great.
Brennan: Yeah? I know this guy who sent a huge flower arrangement to some girl in Sherebourne.
Vic (closing his eyes): Okay...
Brennan (glancing back at him): I think in the, uh, movie version, she’s played by Julia Roberts?
Vic: Okay, okay, okay, you caught me, all right? That’s where Claudia lives. That’s where I was headed in the first place.
Shalimar: Why did you wait till now to tell us?
Vic: I don’t know. I figured maybe we could bond on the way over .
Brennan: Yeah, you figured wrong.
Vic: Give me a break, would you, pal? I haven’t seen or heard from Claudia since I’ve been in witness relocation.
Shalimar: You never told her what you were doing?
Vic: I never had a chance. I mean, as far as she’s concerned, I fell off the face of the Earth.
Brennan (glancing at Shalimar): I hope you’re not buying this.
Vic: I’m on the level here.
Shalimar: Why didn’t you try to call her?
Vic: Look, I could give you a line, right, like I was just trying to protect her. But the truth of the matter is, I didn’t know what to say. Look, you guys, you don’t owe me squat, okay? I know that, but I would give my right arm for just five minutes with her just so I could...so I could say goodbye. I mean, she deserves that much.Brennan: We don’t have time to stop so you can make some love connection.
Brennan (looking at her): What? [He sighs, relenting.] Fine. Five minutes!
Vic (grinning): Hey, thanks, pal! [He pats Brennan’s shoulder. Brennan glares at him.] Okay, I’m sorry. You’re driving. [He and Shalimar smile at each other.]
[Adam and Emma walk slowly down the hall of the prison discussing their encounter with Raymond.]
Adam: So, Raymond’s been getting his information first hand.
Emma: Well, he’s a powerful psionic, and he recognized us from his contact with Silverman.
Adam: Yeah. I mean, he must have the ability to get inside Silverman’s head, to literally see and hear everything he does.
Emma: Which explains how he’s been able to skate off every time he’s been tried.
Adam: Yeah. Maybe it’s time we used this ability against him.
[Cut to: Claudia’s apartment as a flower-filled vase smashes against the door. Vic quickly ducks to avoid being hit; Shalimar and Brennan stand in the doorway watching as Vic stands inside the apartment trying to talk to Claudia.]
Vic (smiling at Claudia): You missed me.
Claudia: What did you expect, Vic? A hundred dollar flower arrangement was gonna smooth things over?
Vic: Woah, I spent two!
Claudia: Yeah. And I spent the last year wondering where you were, or if I’d ever see you again.
Vic: Uh...you know, I...I... [Shaking her head, Claudia stalks off into her bedroom. Looking at Shalimar and Brennan for help, Vic follows her.] Let me explain! Hey, hon? Hey, babe? [Going into the room, he closes the door after him.]
Shalimar (listening to their muffled argument): I’d like to see him wriggle out of this one.
Brennan (coming into the room): Yeah. I think he stands a better chance with Raymond.
Adam (at Sanctuary, calling over their comlinks): Brennan, Shalimar?
Brennan (picking a flower off the floor): Yeah, what’s up?
Adam: Jesse’s tracked your comlink signal. He’s got the Double Helix up and running; he’s coming to pick you up.
Shalimar: What’s going on?
Adam: I don’t wanna give Raymond’s people a chance to catch up with you again. The sooner you’re back here at Sanctuary, the better.
Brennan (turning towards Claudia’s bedroom): Well, let’s get Mr. Lonely Hearts Club ready to roll.
Shalimar: At least it sounds quieter in there.
Brennan: Yeah. A little too quiet. Vic, let’s go! [He knocks on the door. Getting no answer, Shalimar enters to find the window open and Vic and Claudia gone.]
Shalimar (looking back at Brennan): Damn.
[Close by Claudia’s apartment, Vic and Claudia run down the steps towards the street.]
Claudia (carrying a suitcase): Where are we going?
Vic: I don’t know, I haven’t figured that out yet. Just give me some time, okay?
Claudia: Uh-huh. Where have I heard that before?
Vic: Look, I never said I had all the answers, Claudia, I’m just trying to stay one step ahead of the curve, okay?
Claudia: Why don’t you just testify and get it over with? By running, you’re gonna spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder!
Vic: Don’t you get it? I mean, if I testify, then my life is over. All right? [She stops walking.] What?
Claudia (shaking her head): I’m sorry, Vic. This is as far as I go. [She takes a wallet out of her purse and hands it to him.]
Vic: What is this?
Claudia: Look, like I told you from the start, I can’t live my life like this.
Vic: No, no. Don’t do this, okay? I’m trying to get out.
Claudia (stroking his arm): But the truth is, you can’t. Vic, I love you. [He opens his mouth; she interrupts him.] And if you even cared about me? You’d let me go.
Vic: But... You’re right. You’re right. Okay, then this is it alone, right? [She nods.] Okay? I love you. I–
Claudia (turning away): Bye, Vic. [Vic pockets the money and heads in the opposite direction.]
[Brennan and Shalimar walk down the street, searching for Vic and Claudia.]
Brennan: I knew I shouldn’t have let my guard down. Vic was just waiting to play us.
Shalimar: No, I don’t know about that.
Brennan: What? Don’t tell me you’re gonna try and defend him!
Shalimar: Look, honey, I think if you had a romantic bone in your body, you might see that he took off after her because he really loves her.
Brennan (stopping): Okay, you know what? I guess I don’t have a romantic bone in my body. You go that way; I’ll go this way. [Shalimar stares after him, grinning.]
[Vic’s walking dejectedly under an overpass when he stops and turns around.]
Vic (sighing): Come on, come on. [Suddenly, a black truck drives into the underpass, speeding towards him. Three men get out and start shooting at him; Vic hides behind a pillar. Hearing the gunfire, Brennan pulls the bus up and dashes out. He shoots an electrical arc at the first gunman, sending him flying. Shalimar takes out the other two gunmen as Brennan calls Vic.]
Brennan: Let’s go! Get in, come on! [All three run into to bus and Brennan takes off.]
[Across town in the courtroom, Silverman waits tiredly at the prosecution table. Adam comes up the aisle towards him, smiling.]
Silverman (looking up at him): Well, the judge has denied my request for a continuance.
Adam: Not a problem. The situation is under control. Vic is safe.
Silverman (surprised): When did he arrive?
Adam: Well, my people just brought him to a secure location. He’s ready to testify. We are back on schedule. [Listening from inside his jail cell, a furious Raymond opens his eyes.]
[Brennan’s stopped the bus in an abandoned lot, waiting for Jesse to arrive in the Double Helix.]
Vic: You guys want to know why I ran.
Brennan: We know exactly why you ran. Because you’re a selfish, pathetic little man who only cares about himself.
Vic: Woah, that’s not true.
Shalimar: Yeah, right. The whole time you were running, you were actually thinking about us.
Vic: I’m sorry I took off, okay? I thought maybe if Claudia and I could get far enough away, they’d just give up on us.
Brennan: Yeah, and then Raymond goes free.
Vic: Look, I never signed up for this hero thing, okay? It’s not who I am.
Brennan: Well, thanks for shattering that image for me. [Vic’s cell phone rings.]
Vic (answering it): Uh, hello?
Raymond (calling from the visitor’s room): Hey, Vic! You know, I finally figured out why you wanted out so badly. That blonde bombshell of yours, whoo! What a dish. You know, it’d be a shame if anything should happen to her. But I’m a generous man, so I’ll make you a deal. Your life for hers.
Vic: Okay, I understand.
Raymond: You have till 9 am to decide. [He hangs up.]
Vic: Wait, I–. [He turns to Shalimar and Brennan.] That was...that was Raymond. They’ve got Claudia. He says I have until 9 am tomorrow to turn myself in, or else they’re gonna kill her. They’re gonna kill her!
[Jesse flies the Double Helix back to Stormking Mountain. Jesse and Shalimar escort Vic down the stairs to the main room.]
Vic: If she dies, it’ll be all my fault.
Shalimar: Look, Vic, you had no way of knowing.
Vic: Yeah, but who’s been going around saying, “Raymond is all powerful?” Huh? Just by going over there, I practically handed Claudia over to Raymond myself.
Vic: I screwed up my whole life. Maybe it’s finally time I did something right.
Jesse: Well, you can’t just turn yourself over to Raymond’s people.
Vic: Oh yeah? Watch me.
Shalimar: They’re just gonna kill you both.
Adam (walking in): She’s right. Raymond’s not gonna leave any loose ends.
Vic: Yeah? Well, I have to try.
Adam: Well, then, fine, then two more lives will be lost.
Vic: I’m outta options here, pal!
Shalimar: Maybe not. Adam, what if we were to shadow Vic and get Claudia back first.
Jesse: And then hand Vic over to the D.A. afterwards?
Adam: No, because the judge refused to grant any more continuances. After tomorrow, Raymond walks.
Vic (to Jesse): Any other suggestions, Champ?
Jesse: Hey, we’re just trying to help you out, Champ.
Vic: You’re helping me out?
Vic: My girlfriend–
Adam (interrupting their fight): No, guys, wait. Maybe the answer is to have Vic in both places at the same time.
Vic: Okay, hey, woah. I get that you people are a little...special, okay? But come on.
Adam: No, listen, I think I might have a way to work this out. Jesse, I’m gonna need your help. We’re gonna have to work fast.
Vic: So what are you gonna do? You gonna split me in two?
Adam (wiggling his eyebrows): Yeah. Something like that. [He leads Vic back to the lab, and sits him down in the biochair.] Now, this isn’t going to hurt, but I’m gonna need you to stay very still.
Vic: Sure. I can do that. [Adam goes back over to Emma by the computer. He turns on the EDD, scans Vic’s body with a blue light. Emma begins creating a 3-D image of Vic’s face. Watching outside the lab, Shalimar grabs Brennan, who follows her to a computer in the main room. Shalimar’s copying a tape of Vic reading “To Be or Not To Be” and “Friends, Romans, Countrymen.”]
Brennan (turning down the volume): You’ve gotta be kidding me. You’ve got him quoting Shakespeare?
Shalimar (smiling at him): Well, I had to give him something. The computer needs enough source material to assimilate a voice pattern.
Brennan: And you think he’s gonna be able to pull this off?
Shalimar: Maybe that is the question.
[Scene: Claudia’s apartment building, where two of Raymond’s men hover over Claudia, who is sitting a chair in the middle of the room. Martin peers out the window as Vic’s car pulls up in the parking lot out front and calls Raymond in his jail cell.]
Martin: Hey. Vic’s on his way up.
Raymond: Is he alone?
Raymond: Good. Kill them both. [He hangs up and tosses the cell phone back to Davis.]
Davis: You certainly look chipper.
Raymond (tying his tie): Impending freedom, Harry. Always puts a little bounce in my step. [He laughs. Back at Claudia’s apartment, Vic knocks on the door.]
Vic: It’s me. Open up. [Raymond’s man lets him in and searches him for weapons or wires. He looks at Claudia, who’s about to cry.] Are you okay?
Martin: Hey, Vic. Shame this could all have been avoided if you’d just took the bullet like you were supposed to.
Vic: Yeah, well, I’m here now, right? So why don’t you let her go?
Martin: You didn’t actually think that was gonna happen, did you? Really.
Vic: Come on, guys. At least let me have a goodbye kiss. [Martin pulls Claudia out of the chair and pushes her over to Vic. As she starts to hug him, Vic whispers in her ear.] Follow my lead.
Claudia: Okay. [Kissing her, ‘Vic’ backs her up against the wall and puts his hand on the wall, phasing it. He pushes her through the phased wall into the next room, then turns to face Raymond’s men.] Neat trick, huh? [He masses as Raymond’s men open fire on him.]
Martin: Get the girl! [The other man dashes to the door and opens it, only to run into Emma. She shoots a psionic blast at him and Martin, knocking them both unconscious. She comes into the room. ‘Vic’ grins and peels off his mask, revealing Jesse underneath.]
Emma: You okay?
Jesse (using Vic’s voice): Are you kidding, hot stuff? It was a cakewalk!
Emma (smiling at him): You can stop that now. [Jesse laughs.]
[Meanwhile, Silverman waits nervously outside the county courthouse. Raymond and Davis walk up to him, escorted by two policemen.]
Raymond: Hey, Silverman. Why so glum? [He reaches out to straighten Silverman’s tie.] You know, this just goes to show, you can’t win ‘em all.
Brennan (coming up behind them with Shalimar and the real Vic): Well, today, you can.
Vic: Hey, Ray. Nice day for a trial, huh?
Raymond (lunging at him): You son of a– [The policemen hold him back, pulling him into the courthouse.] Get off me! [Shalimar, Brennan, and Vic follow them in.]
[Jesse’s sitting in Claudia’s apartment, which is filled with boxes. Brennan brings Vic in.]
Vic: I just don’t understand. Why are we here? Where’s Claudia [Pointing at Jesse.] You told me she would be!
Jesse (getting up): She is. But I’m afraid she said she never wants to see you again.
Vic: Yeah? [Brennan nods.] Well, I can’t say I really blame her.
Shalimar (standing in the bedroom doorway with Claudia): Until we twisted her arm and convinced her to give you another chance.
Claudia: Just tell me it’s really over, Vic.
Vic (rushing to her): It’s done. It’s over. [He kisses her.]
Brennan: Well, you did a great job.
Shalimar (going over to Brennan and Jesse): It took the jury less than an hour to find him guilty on all charges.
Jesse: Yeah. Raymond is gonna spend the rest of his life in a maximum security prison.
Brennan: Hm. All thanks to Vic.
Vic (pointing at Brennan): You, uh, you had me wrong huh?
Brennan: No. [Claudia laughs.] But you’re all right.
Vic: Yeah. So, what happens now?
Brennan: Well, Adam managed to pull some strings to get you both relocated so you can start a new life. City of your choice.
Vic (to Claudia): City of our choice?
Shalimar: Looks like you’re gonna have a pretty good ending to that book of yours.
Vic: Guys, I don’t know what to say.
Shalimar: Goodbye would be good. [They all laugh.]
[Back at Sanctuary, Jesse and Emma are walking down the hallway.]
Emma: If you ask me, it’s a dream come true. Starting a new life in a new town where no one knows you. No worries, no preconceptions.
Jesse (laughing): Sounds to me like somebody’s a little bit envious.
Emma: Oh, come on. Haven’t you ever thought of just running away from it all?
Jesse: I don’t know. Have you?
Emma: I don’t know. The idea of living the simple life somewhere in suburbia is kind of appealing sometimes.
Jesse (grinning at her): Suburbia, huh? Maybe for about a week until the boredom set in.
Emma: Yeah, well after the last couple of days we’ve had, boring isn’t such a bad thing.
Jesse: Come on, Emma. I know you. You thrive under pressure. We’re just not like that. And sooner or later, that little slice of heaven’d turn into hell.
Emma: Yeah, and what makes you think Vic’s gonna fare any better?
Jesse: Well, Vic’s different. Vic’s gonna get exactly what he wants. He’s gonna spend the rest of his life with the woman he loves.Emma (smiling at him): Hm. I knew there was a part of the equation I was envious of.
Jesse (smiling as he catches on): Hmmm. [He saunters off.]
[Brennan’s sitting in his room loudly playing the electric guitar.]
Shalimar (walking up to the doorway, yelling to be heard over the racket): IS IT JUST ME OR DID IT JUST GET [Brennan stops playing, she lowers her voice] a lot quieter in here?
Brennan (laughing): Yeah. Yeah. When Vic was around you were never quite sure when the next hurricane was gonna hit.
Shalimar (coming in): He sure knew how to press your buttons. Was it just ‘cause you thought he was a rat? [She pulls a metal cylinder off his shelf and sniffs it, grimacing at the smell.]
Brennan (putting away his guitar): Yeah. And it’s not just because I was raised on the streets.
Shalimar: Well, what is it?
Brennan: You know, I spent a lifetime being let down by people that I thought were my friends. I learned early on that loyalty was everything. That’s why when I did work the streets, I tended to work alone.
Shalimar: Felt like you couldn’t trust anybody.
Brennan: Nope. No, you see I’m very loyal. And all I expect is the same in return.
Shalimar (starting to leave, then turning around): Hey Bren, what if it was me thrown in some prison for some crime and you were put in a life or death position to turn on me. What would you do?
Brennan: What? Like you even need to ask. [He starts to laugh.] I’d roll over on you like an old dog. [He howls.]
Shalimar (laughing): You would not.
Brennan: Yeah, I would! You’d be so done, you’d be crispy. [She slaps his arm, playfully. Getting up, he throws her over his shoulder, then gives her a big bear hug.]