Mutant X Episode #316 Transcript: “Age of Innocence”
[Opening scene: A young man in a bathrobe and slippers, Peter Hansen, flees through an alleyway at night. Stopping to rest for a moment, he tries to pry open the ground floor window of one building, but it’s locked. Looking behind him, he runs to a garbage bin and sits down behind it. In the darkness, two men in an ambulance creep slowly down the street, searching for him with a flashlight. Peter picks up a broken shard of glass from the ground and studies his face in it, touching his cheek in shock.]
The Driver (spotting him): There he is! [Hearing him, Peter starts running again.]
[Sitting in a truck parked down the street, Shalimar and Jesse are talking. Shalimar takes off her comlink ring.]
Shalimar: We need to talk. Privately.
Jesse: All right. Now, can you explain this cloak and dagger mystery to me?
Shalimar: I’ve got a tip something big’s about to go down. There’s a group about to resurrect an old military experiment that was terminated years ago.
Jesse: How old are we talking?
Jesse: How’d you hear about this? The Dominion? [She doesn’t answer.] No. Then who?
Shalimar: Look, I know this is going to sound crazy, but I can’t tell you. I gave my word.
Jesse: So, why’d you drag me down here and not Brennan?
Shalimar: Because, Jess, whatever’s about to happen concerns you. [They hear squealing tires and look up to see Peter running in front of the ambulance. Shalimar grabs her comlink ring, and she and Jesse get out of the truck. Peter tries to climb a chain link fence, but it collapses under his weight and he falls. The two men in the ambulance get out to pick him up, waving their guns. Lying on the ground, Peter looks up at them.]
Peter: What did you do to me?
Jesse (running up): Leave him alone! [He masses as one of the EMTs opens fire on him, and a bullet richochets off his body to hit the shooter. He runs back to the ambulance. Shalimar catches the second EMT and knocks him out. Then she and Jesse go back to help Peter, who is lying motionless on the ground.] Hey, you all right, buddy? [Shalimar leans down and turns Peter over onto his back. Instead of the young man they had seen before, they see the face of an elderly man.] What happened? He was young! [Then Jesse notices a tattoo on the man’s arm.] That’s a Tomcats. [Shalimar stares up at him in confusion.]
Opening Credits “Age of Innocence.”
[Scene: Stormking Mountain. Inside the lab at Sanctuary, Lexa’s looking through some notes at the table while Jesse’s at the computer, trying to identify the man he and Shalimar saw in the alley.]
Jesse: His name was Peter Hansen. He was a naval fighter pilot in a unit called The Tomcats in the second World War. So he wasn’t young. [He pulls up an old army photograph of Peter from 1941.] That’s what he looked like when we first saw him. [Lexa looks up and frowns.] What is it? Come on, there’s something you’re not telling. [She doesn’t answer him, so he goes over to her.] Lexa! What do you know?
Lexa: Okay. I heard a rumor that back during World War II, the military lead a series of covert anti-aging experiments. Anyway, once The Dominion heard about it, they shut it down.
Lexa: That’s it, that’s all I know. [He turns away.] It’s the truth. Hey, what's with you? I mean, you seem to be taking this so personally.
Jesse (facing her): It is. My grandfather was a member of the Tomcats unit.
Jesse: Yeah. They gave him the medal of honor after he led seven attacks off Granada Island. His plane was hit by enemy fire, but he survived and spent half the night in shark-infested waters before he made it to shore.
Lexa: Wow, he sounds like quite the war hero.
Jesse: Yeah, he was. Is. So now you know why I need answers.
Lexa (nodding): Yeah. Well, I'll see what I can do.
Jesse: Thank you.
Lexa (she starts to leave, then turns around): Until then, maybe it's time you checked in with your grandpa.
Jesse: Uh....my Grandpa and Pa had a falling out when I was younger. I don't even know where to start looking.
Lexa: Well, maybe it's time you tried. [She walks out; Jesse returns to the computer.]
[Shalimar and Brennan are standing in the medical office of Dominion Dr. Denise Saunders as she performs an autopsy on the elderly Peter Hansen.]
Dr. Saunders (speaking into her tape recorder): Absolutely remarkable. Although all outward physical signs seem to indicate that the subject is between 80 and 85 years of age, his internal organs are those of a healthy 30 year old male.
Shalimar: How is that possible? How can someone age 50 years within a few seconds?
Dr. Saunders: I’m afraid I won’t know more until I biopsy the tissue samples.
Brennan: Doc, is it possible to reverse the aging process through genetic manipulation?
Dr. Saunders: Well, so far, science has looked for ways to extend life, as opposed to trying to reset the biological clock.
Shalimar: What are we talking about here, Doc? The fountain of youth?
Dr. Sanders: Not exactly. The catalyst used to set back his clock was only temporary. He represents a work in progress.
Brennan: I guess whoever’s responsible for this is trying to find a new way to say life begins at 80.
[Scene: Colonel Henry Burns’s laboratory. From his wheelchair, the elderly Burns yells at the two EMTs and his personal physician, Dr. Francis Gallant.]
Burns: How could you idiots have let Hansen escape? This man represented the culmination of a lifetime of research!
Dr. Gallant: There was no way of anticipating how quickly his cells would regenerate. Hansen caught our men off guard. [The EMTs leave.]
Burns: The man was combat trained. When he woke up half a century younger, what did you expect he would do?
Dr. Gallant: Sir, the good news is the sirtuan stimulators were successful in effective cell rejuvenation.
Burns: But only for a few hours. Hansen’s free radicles quickly became unstable.
Dr. Gallant: Nevertheless, this is the biggest breakthrough we’ve had so far. I’m sure with time, we can sustain the reaction.
Burns: Take a good look at me, Doctor. I’m not exactly in the prime of my life. Time is not on my side.
Dr. Gallant: With your permission, I’d like to move forward on testing the final subject immediately.
Burns (swallowing his heart pills): Do it!
Dr. Gallant: Thank you, Colonel.
[Back at Sanctuary, Lexa’s sitting in her office talking with her Dominion Contact via video link.]
The Contact: Has Kilmartin had any success with contacting his grandfather?
Lexa: No, not yet. So I assume he was part of the original experiment?
The Contact: It was known as Operation Immortalis, led by Colonel Henry Burns. The project was cloaked by the military as a new treatment to counteract tuberculosis.
Lexa: What, they used the members of the Tomcats as human guinea pigs?
The Contact: I’m afraid so. After we shut it down, Burns escaped.
Lexa: Well, what became of h is research, then?
The Contact: It was destroyed during the atomic bomb testing over the Bikini Atoll. Since then, Burns has managed to stay under the radar.
Lexa: Yeah, until now.
The Contact: What was done to the men back then represents only the first stage of the experiment. We believe Burns has finally resurfaced to finish what he started.
Lexa: Yeah, but wait a minute. This study was done over 60 years ago. How many of these men are still around?
The Contact: One. [Lexa nods, realizing the import of this.]
[On the computer in his room, Jesse’s continuing to search for his grandfather’s residence when the screen blanks out.]
Jesse: Come on. I don’t have time for this. [Suddenly, a disguised voice issues from the computer.]
The Voice: Jesse, you have to listen to me carefully. Your grandfather’s in danger.
Jesse: Who is this? [He types in some commands and scans the results.] You’re the one who tipped off Shalimar.
The Voice: Yes. You’ll find your grandfather at the Clark Port Veteran’s Hospital. You need to go now.
Jesse: Why? What’s going on? [Getting no answer, he grabs his coat and rushes out of his room to find Brennan and Shalimar walking down the hallway.] Guys, I need your help. I don’t have time to explain, but I’ve gotta go get my granddad. [He runs towards the door.]
Brennan: What’s the big rush?
Shalimar: I guess he’ll fill us in on the way.
[A little while later, the cloaked Double Helix hovers over the veteran’s hospital.]
Jesse (to Shalimar and Brennan): I can’t tell you anything now. Just drop me off and wait.
[Inside the Veteran’s Hospital, Dr. Gallant is standing at the bedside of Jesse’s grandfather, who is asleep in restraints. Dr. Gallant injects a blue liquid into his IV bag and leaves the room.]
Dr. Gallant (pulling out his cellphone): It’s Gallant. He’s good to go. Meet me at the north elevator. And I want Kilmartin ready for transport immediately. [When he’s gone, Jesse comes out of the linen closet, pulling on a white coat. He heads towards his grandfather’s room.]
Jesse (going to the bed): Grandpa, it’s me, Jesse. Can you hear me?
William Kilmartin (waking up): Jesse?
Jesse (smiling): Yeah.
William: Is it really you?
HoloAdam (appearing behind him): He's in the advanced stages of lymphatic cancer, Jesse.
Jesse: Adam, what the hell? You're dead.
HoloAdam (smiling): I needed you to believe that. Since the explosion, I've been in hiding. But it's important that you keep that a secret. My enemies are everywhere.
Jesse (throwing up his hands): What?
HoloAdam: I'm sure you have a million questions. Right now there isn't time. You have to trust me.
Jesse: Trust you? Adam, you've been lying to me for a year and now you want me to trust you?
HoloAdam: This isn't about us. This is about your grandfather. You have to get him out of here. His metabolism is already starting to reverse.
Jesse (watching William’s hands grow younger): What have they done to him?
HoloAdam: He’s been given an experimental serum. Right now there are guys on their way up here to transfer him, so you’re gonna have to find another way out.
HoloAdam: Jess, quick. You have to move now. [He disappears. Jesse grabs a wheelchair and unbuckles William’s restraints.]
Jesse (into his comlink): Hey guys, listen carefully. I need you to pull the Double Helix up to the window. South side, top floor. Do you understand?
Brennan: Yeah. What’s going on?
Jesse: Just do it, okay?
Shalimar: Okay. [The Helix turns visible again as Brennan moves it up and closer to the building.]
Jesse (helping his grandfather into the wheelchair): Okay. [As he wheels William down the hallway, he passes behind Dr. Gallant and the two EMTs standing at the elevator with a stretcher. He’s about to make it when another resident, Patty, sees them.]
Patty (looking down the hallway after them): William? Where are you taking Mr. Kilmartin? [Dr. Gallant hears her, and the group at the elevator starts running after them.]
Dr. Gallant: Stop! Hey!
Jesse (rushing the wheelchair down the hallway towards the window): Brennan, tell me your in position.
Brennan (in the Helix): Almost.
Jesse: Well, almost better be good enough. [In the wheelchair, William has completely de-aged into a young man.]
William (opening his eyes, confused): What’s going on? [His eyes widen as he sees that Jesse’s pushing him directly at the window. At the last minute, Jesse phases himself and the wheelchair. They pass through the window and crash onto the floor of the Double Helix. Jesse reaches over to pick up his grandfather, only to find himself face to face with a young man.]
Jesse: Oh my God. [To Shalimar and Brennan.] Guys, go!
William: What’s going on? What are you looking at me like that for? Where are we?
Jesse: It’s okay. You’re gonna be safe.
Jesse: Uh...this is my grandfather. [Shalimar stares at him in disbelief.]
[Back in the lab at Sanctuary, William’s lying in his hospital gown on the biobed as Jesse checks him over. Shalimar, Lexa, and Brennan watch from the doorway.]
Lexa: Does he have any idea what happened to him?
Shalimar: I don’t know. Jesse barely got out with him alive.
Lexa: According to his medical file, he was being treated for lymphatic cancer.
Brennan: Must be some powerful medication. He looks pretty damned good to me.
Shalimar: No kidding. The two of them could pass for brothers.
Lexa: You know, I still think Dr. Saunders should check him out. See if he really is as good as he looks.
William (looking into a mirror in amazement): Well, God bless America. Fo the first time in my life I don't mind being used a lab rat. Who do I have to thank for this new lease on life?
Jesse (smiling): Right now we don’t know, Grandpa. But we’re working on that.
William (getting up): And look at you. I can't believe it. Last time I saw you, you were...six years old?
William: Oh, that's right. Your mother brought you by to talk to me about a report you were writing for your history class.
Jesse: Yeah. That was a pretty big deal. Not every kid's got a war hero as a granddad, you know? You were even going to come and talk to my class until my dad made you back out of it.
William: Oh. Well, what are you gonna do, kid? It’s water under the bridge.
Lexa (walking in): Mr. Kilmartin? Lexa Pierce.
William (shaking hands): Well, hello there, Missy! You must work for my grandson here.
Jesse (looking scared): Well, I, eh--
Lexa (grinning at Jesse): That's right. I do.
William: Well, that's a pretty fancy plane you got there. What are you packing in that bad boy?
Lexa: Twinsburo turbo jets.
William: Nifty! I've read about those.
Jesse: Yeah, my granddad was trained at Presidio.
Lexa: That's pretty impressive. Now, I heard you could fly under bridges and blow the wash off clotheslines?
William: Well, uh...
Jesse (laughing): Tell her, tell her!
William: Well, I pissed off a lot of housewives in my day. Not to mention a few husbands.
Lexa: Ahem, listen, Mr. Kilmartin. Just to be on the safe side, you know, we're gonna have one of our doctors come in and check you out.
William: Are you kidding? I feel like a new man! I could dance all night. [Holding out his arm.] Darlin'?
Lexa (staring at him): Hmm? [He takes her hand, and she realizes he wants to dance with her.] Oh! [Singing, he dances her around the lab. Jesse watches, laughing until William dips Lexa, exposing his bare backside.]
Jesse (coming over): I’m uh...I’m gonna get you some clothes, Gramps.
William (holding his hospital gown closed): Oh yeah! I thought it was a little drafty in here. Thanks, pally. [Jesse walks out; William turns back to Lexa.] Well, now, I hate to break it to you, darlin’. But this fly boy’s spoken for. When my gal back at home gets a load of me, she’s gonna pass out! [He flexes his muscles.] Damn!
[In his room, Jesse is dancing and singing to himself while pulling clothes out of his bureau dresser for his grandfather. HoloAdam appears behind him.]
Jesse (his face sobering): Well, well, well. Is this going to be a regular thing?
Jesse: What are you doing here?
HoloAdam: How's your grandfather?
Jesse: Pretty amazing. But somehow I suspect that you already knew that. Now. What's this all about?
HoloAdam: It's imperative that you find Burns and destroy his research.
Jesse: Why? How is any of this a bad thing?
HoloAdam: You'll see when you find the files on Operation Immortalis.
Jesse: According to Lexa, those files don't exist.
HoloAdam: That's not true. And you’re not the only person looking for those files, so it’s important that you find them first.
Jesse: How? [Hearing Jesse talking to someone, Brennan walks up to the doorway. HoloAdam disappears.]
Brennan: Who are you talking to?
Jesse (picking up the clothes): Uh....no one.
Brennan: All right. Lexa’s ready for Dr. Saunders to give your grandpappy the old once over, if you want to check it out.
Jesse: Yeah, thanks. Listen, while we’re away, see if you can find out where the files on Operation Immortalis are being kept.
Brennan: I thought they were destroyed.
Jesse: Yeah, you thought wrong. [He walks out.]
[At Burns’s lab, Dr. Gallant is telling him what happened at the Veteran’s Hospital.]
Burns: Now we have lost Kilmartin?
Dr. Gallant: I can’t explain it, Colonel. The man who was with Kilmartin had the ability to walk right through a wall.
Burns: I suspect it was one of the Dominion’s people. They were the ones who shut me down back in 43. Hypocrits!
Dr. Gallant: The drug was already taking effect on Kilmartin. I think this time we were successful in achieving complete cellular rejuvenation.
Burns: Really? Would you bet your life on it?
Dr. Gallant: Yes, I would.
Burns (taking his heart pills): Well, you’ll understand if I’m a little unwilling to accept your assurances.
Dr. Gallant: Even with all our resources trying to find Kilmartin, there’s no guarantee we’ll find him.
Burns: He’ll turn up. The man just woke up with a whole new life ahead of him. What would you do?
[In Dr. Saunder’s office, Lexa, Jesse, and Dr. Saunders watch William, bare-chested and wearing a heart monitor, pedal the stationary bicycle.]
Dr. Saunders (patting William’s hand): Okay, that’s fine.
William: Let me do a few more miles.
Lexa (laughing): It’s not a race, William. You don’t want to wear your new hot body out.
Jesse: Come on, how is he?
Dr. Saunders: Well, your grandfather’s blood pressure’s probably lower than yours. His preliminary tests show that he’s got the physiology of a thirty-year-old.
William (getting up): What about my cancer?
Dr. Saunders: Based upon your x-rays, the tumors have completely vanished. I can’t explain it.
William: Hear that, kiddo? I got a clean bill of health.Dr. Saunders: Well, not exactly. I did find something in your bloodwork that was a little puzzling. The free radicals seem to be oxidizing at twice the rate of a normal thirty year old’s.
Lexa: Wait a minute. You lost me after puzzling.
Dr. Saunders: Well, oxidation produces byproducts called free radicals. It’s how we age. When this process occurs in metals, it’s called rusting.
William: I don’t feel too rusty.
Jesse: Is this something we should be worried about?
Dr. Saunders: It could just be his metabolism adjusting to whatever the active agent was that started the process in the first place.
Lexa: At this point, we still don’t even know what that is.
Dr. Saunders (shaking her head): I’m afraid not.
Jesse: Well, that’s about to change. Brennan? Did you manage to dig up anything on the Project Immortalis files? [The screen splits in two to show Shalimar and Brennan at the computer in Sanctuary.]
Brennan: I think we’ve finally hit some pay dirt here. The only problem is, trying to get them outta there.
Lexa: Wait a minute. The Dominion said they were destroyed.
Jesse (rolling his eyes): Yeah. (To Brennan.) What’s the problem?
Brennan: Well, they’re stored in the military warehouse at McClaren Air Force Base.
Shalimar: Anyone unauthorized comes within a mile of that place is gonna need to make friends with a team of F-16s.
Jesse: There’s gotta be a way onto that base.
Lexa: Yeah, but how? I mean, the guys said this warehouse is guarded like the arc of the covenant.
William (putting on his coat): Well, what you need is a diversion.
[Scene: Outside of McClaren Air Force Base. Invisible, Lexa waits until a soldier walks out of the main building, then slips inside before the door closes. Up in the air, Jesse and William are flying the Double Helix towards the base.]
Lexa (whispering over her comlink): Jesse, this is a suicide mission. It'll never work.
Jesse: It will work.
William Kilmartin: Tell her as soon as we enter military air space, they'll start scrambling for an air assault.
Jesse: All right, did you hear that?
Lexa (waiting inside the front office): Yeah, I know. That's the suicide part of the mission. [William and Jesse laugh.]
William: Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that, sweetheart. We’re just gonna play a little game of chicken is all. [Jesse stares at him in shock.] Relax. It’s gonna be a piece of cake. [The Double Helix swoops down over the base, close enough to set off alarms within. The soldiers run to board their jets and track them down; Lexa uses the distraction to slip out of the front office into the warehouse. Soon, two military jets are following the Helix, and one of them hails them over loudspeaker.]
Military Pilot: Unidentified craft, be advised that you are entering military airspace.
Jesse: Well, we’ve got their attention.
William: Good! This is where it gets fun.
Jesse: Lexa, are you moving? I don’t want to have to play chicken with these guys any more than I have to.
Lexa (turning visible inside the warehouse): I’m on it. [She begins searching for the Operation Immortalis files.]
Jesse (dodging a military missile): Well, they’ve started the fireworks.
William (pointing): Now you’ve gotta get down lower to lose them.
Jesse: If I go down any lower, we’ll crash!
William: Give me the stick. [Jesse stares at him.] Son, I used to do these maneuvers in my sleep.
Jesse (transferring the controls): All right.
William: Okay. Here we go. [He points at an underpass along the highway.] And there’s our way out right there.
Jesse: That bridge? We can’t make it under that bridge, come on, you’re kidding!
William: Wanna bet?
Lexa (finding the carton of files): Guys, I’ve got it. Let’s move. [She turns invisible again and leaves the warehouse.]
Jesse: Grandpa, this is not some twin prop airplane you can just kick around, come on!
William: Hold on. [He flies the Helix under the bridge and hovers there, cloaked, while the military jets pass by overhead.]
Jesse: Whoo, you smoked those dudes!
William (laughing): Old Blue Eyes is back!
Jesse: All right, you wanna take it out of here?
William: Like you have to ask.
Jesse: Beautiful! [William does a series of rolls in the air as they head off.]
[William and Jesse walk back into Sanctuary, William’s animatedly telling Jesse about his past exploits.]
William: Damn! The last time I felt this alive was in October 10th, 1942. I was on the Cactus fighter command; there were three of us left in the air circling this Japanese destroyer.... [He stops, noticing Jesse’s sad expression.] Something wrong there, Jess?
Jesse: No, no. It's been great being with you. But I've never understood why my dad kept us apart.
William: Oh, don't blame him, son.
Jesse: Why not?
William: Well, because you and I have been given a second chance. And you can't get back the past.
Lexa (walking up to them): Ahem, Jess? Can I see you for a minute?
Jesse: Yeah. Uh, yeah. I’ll be right back. [He follows Lexa into the lab, where Brennan and Shalimar are looking through pictures from the Operation Immortalis files.]
Jesse (picking up one photograph): My God. What is this?
Brennan: The research photos taken in 1943 during the experiments of Operation Immortalis.
Lexa: This research reads like a horror novel.
Shalimar: Burns was trying to reverse the aging process by using the members of The Tomcats as human donors.
Lexa: Yeah, and he tried to transfuse their genetic vitality to others others a test subjects.
Shalimar: You know the sad part? Half the men lost their lives in this experiment and then later they were listed as missing in action.
Brennan: Guess your grandfather was one of the lucky ones, huh?
William (walking in): I had no idea what they were doing to us. [He reads a name on one of the pictures.] W. McGowan. My God, that's Whitey McGowan. They told me he was shot down in a raid over New Guinea.
Jesse: Grandpa, this is not your fault. There's no way that you could have known what you were a part of.
William: Yeah, well, the only reason I'm still here is because that bastard murdered somebody else in my squad instead of me. Woah. [He staggers and leans against the table.]
Jesse: Grandpa, you all right?
William: I’m fine. I’m just...just a little dizzy, is all.
Shalimar (taking his arm): You know, I think it might be a good idea if we got Dr. Saunders to check him out again.
Brennan: Yeah. We’ll take care of him, Jess.
Jesse: Thank you. [Brennan and Shalimar escort William out of the lab.]
Lexa: He'll be okay. He's just a little overwhelmed. It's a lot to get over, you know.
Jesse: Lexa, this isn't the kind of thing you get over. I'm sorry, but I don't get it. If The Dominion is as powerful as you say it is, then why did they allow this experiment to go on for so long before they decided to shut it down?
Lexa: Well, maybe they tried.
Jesse: And maybe we'll never know, will we? [Looking over the photos, he shakes his head.]
[In Burns’s lab, Dr. Gallant listens to his heart with a stethoscope.]
Dr. Gallant: Colonel, I’m concerned that your heart will give out before we find Kilmartin.
Burns: My heart will be fine.
Dr. Gallant: We’ve got men staking out every place he might frequent. He hasn’t turned up yet.
Burns (nodding): Patience.
Dr. Gallant: It’s more prudent, sir, at this point to proceed.
Burns: No! We wait until we find Kilmartin. I’m not interested in becoming the final lab rat. [He wheels away.]
[Back at Sanctuary, Jesse walks into his room and shuts the door. Assuming that Adam’s watching, he calls out into the air.]
Jesse: Adam, show yourself! [Sure enough, HoloAdam appears in front of him, leaning against the wall.] It's time you filled in some blanks here.
HoloAdam: I told you would find your answers in Burns's research.
Jesse: Burns! The Dominion let him escape, didn't they? They actually hoped that he would finish what he started.
HoloAdam (nodding): Well, I don't have any proof, but it's possible that some people within the organization realized the potential of the therapy should it become viable. Which is why it's up to you to make sure that doesn't happen, or else more innocent people are going to die.
Jesse: Yeah, and how am I supposed to do that?
HoloAdam: You've got to find Burns. Your grandfather's the key.
Jesse (finally realizing): You want me to use my grandfather as bait?
HoloAdam (sighing): I never said this was going to be easy. I'm sorry. [He disappears, leaving Jesse to digest his words.]
[As William waits for Dr. Saunders on the examining table, he studies a picture of Patty. Shalimar walks up to him.]
Shalimar: You okay, Mr. Kilmartin?
William (pocketing the picture): I just don't deserve any of this. I have...I have too many regrets. I wasn't the man I should've been.
Shalimar (smiling): Well, I think we all go through life wishing we could've done things a little bit differently.William: Maybe so. I just hope it's not too late to make things right.
Brennan (sticking his head into the room): Hey, Shal! Dr. Saunders wants to have a word with us.
William: You go ahead. I’ll be fine. [Patting his arm, she walks out to join Brennan and Dr. Saunders in the hallway.]
[Back at Sanctuary, Lexa walks into her office as her Dominion Contact calls her over vid-link.]
The Contact: Miss Pierce. When were you going to tell us about your little caper on McClaren’s Air Force Base?
Lexa: About the same time you were going to come clean about Burns's research being destroyed.
The Contact: We want all the materials you stole from the facility.
Lexa: Mission was a bust. Couldn't find anything.
The Contact: In that case, I want you to use all measures necessary to locate Burns and secure his research. Do you understand?
Lexa (seeing Jesse walk into the room): Perfectly. [She cuts off the connection, then looks up to Jesse.] Okay, you were right. Something deeper is definitely going on here.
[Back at Dr. Saunders’s office, Brennan goes back into the examining room to get William, but he’s gone.]
Brennan: Hey, William? [Over his comlink.] Guys, William’s gone AWOL. [The screen splits to show Jesse and Lexa in her office at Sanctuary.]
Brennan: Yeah. Dr. Saunders was giving us the results of his exam and he took off.
Shalimar: Jess, I don’t know how to tell you this, but your grandfather’s condition is reversing. He’s starting to age fast.
Jesse: Does he know what’s happening to him?
Brennan: No, I don’t think so.
Jesse: So, where did he go?
[Scene: The library at a retirement home. Patty is sitting on the couch reading when William sneaks up beside her.]
William (kneeling by her side): Hello, darlin’. It’s me.
Patty (dropping her book in shock): Well, no, can’t be. It’s impossible.
William: No, you’re not dreaming. It’s real.
Patty (shying away from him): It’s not natural. It’s not right!
William (reaching out to her): Patty, I’ve gotta talk to you about something. All right?
Patty (pushing his hands away): No, don’t touch me!
Patty (running from him): Please, please just go away!
William (calling after her): Darlin’! Darlin,’ I just gotta say goodbye! [Suddenly, the two EMTs walk into the room.]
EMT #1: Why, Mr. Kilmartin. Colonel Burns has been expecting you. [They grab his arms.]
William: Easy, boys, easy. I can’t wait to see him. We’ve got a lot to catch up on. [They carry him out of the room past the stares of all the residents.]
[Jesse’s in his room throwing on his coat when HoloAdam appears in front of him, leaning against the wall again.]Jesse: Adam, this is not the time to be holding out on me. Either help me find my grandfather or get the hell out of here!
HoloAdam: I'm guessing that wherever he went, Burns's men were waiting for him.
Jesse: What're they going to do to him?
HoloAdam: Well, they have to determine how effective the serum was in sustaining the age reversal.
Jesse: Look, according to our doctor, he's already beginning to regress. What, that's not true? C'mon, Adam, you know something here. He's not dying, is he? Is he?
HoloAdam: Jesse, there are no guarantees here. But it's up to you to make sure that Burns doesn't succeed.
HoloAdam: Because his discovery comes at the cost of innocent human life.
Jesse: Fine. You help me find my grandfather and I will make sure that that never happens.
HoloAdam: No. You cannot have it both ways. Even if you destroy Burns's research, there are others out there who are going to use your grandfather to reverse-engineer the process.
Jesse: Adam, what do you expect me to do? You expect me to let him die?
HoloAdam: I'm expecting you to do the right thing.
[The two EMTs have brought William back to Burns’s lab. As Dr. Gallant examines William’s bloodwork, Burns looks him over.]
Burns: My God. It's as if he's been transported back from 1943.
William: And how many of our men did you murder to do this?
Burns: What difference does it make? The life expectancy of a fighter pilot in those days was less than a year.
William: But they were willing to die for their country. Not for you.
Burns: Any advancement in science has its casualties. Isn't it better a few men have to die to keep the Einsteins of the world alive?
Dr. Gallant: The results of his bloodwork. I’ve discovered the key to preventing cellular regression. The Sirtuan levels must be consistently regulated.
Burns: In other words, booster shots must be administered on a regular basis.
Dr. Gallant: Exactly. The same way a diabetic uses insulin.
Burns (grabbing his arm): I’ve been waiting 60 years to say this: Let’s proceed.
[Meanwhile, back at Sanctuary, Jesse’s pacing frantically around the main room while Lexa, Brennan, and Shalimar man three separate computers, searching for William.]
Jesse: Guys, we are wasting time here! We are no closer to finding my granddad!
Lexa: Look, the security footage just gave us a clear image of the license plate of the ambulance that
Burns’s men just drove him off in.
Shalimar: Yeah, and by tapping into the department of transportation, we should be able to monitor them through the traffic cams.
Jesse: I can’t wait around for this. We’re grasping at straws.
Brennan: Oh, really? You might want to check this out. I think I found ‘em heading west on Garnett avenue. As long as they stay off the interstate, I think we’ll be able to track ‘em. [The Westand Casion Security LN2]
Jesse (walking away): Oh, this is hopeless.
Shalimar (getting up, walking over to him): Jess, look, we’re gonna find your grandfather, okay? Just don’t lose faith.
Jesse: Don’t lose faith. Shalimar, I don’t think you understand. If Burns finds my granddad, he’s gonna slice him and dice him until he gets what he wants. [Shalimar touches his cheek.]
Brennan: Hey! Good news, people. Last picture was taken of the ambulance on Mission Bay Drive.
Shalimar: So what’s the bad news?
Brennan (smiling): There is no bad news. That street ends in a dead end. And at the end of that dead end is a small pharmaceutical lab.
Lexa (grinning): That’s great! You hear that, Jess? [She looks around, but Jesse’s already gone.] Jess-e?
[Back at Burns’s lab, two men hold William back as EMT #1 slides an unconscious man into a cylindrical chamber. Dr. Gallant fiddles with the controls, and red fluid begins to drain from the cylinder into a needle in Burns’s arm.]
William: How can you people stand back and let this happen?!
Burns: Save your breath, Major. You should be more appreciative. You're about to witness history in the making.
William: Go to hell.
Burns: Say! There lies the rub. By unlocking the key to eternal youth, I'll never have to go there. [As the red fluid drains into his arm, his face grows younger and younger, while the man in the chamber becomes a skeleton.]
[Shalimar, Brennan, and Lexa are on their way to the lab in the Double Helix.]
Brennan: All right, lab’s up ahead. I’m gonna take her down on the roof.
Lexa: Jesse's not responding to his comlink. Why would he take off without us?
Shalimar: Well, I'm sure he feels like this is his battle. [She looks back at Lexa.] Part of me can't blame him.
Lexa (shaking her head): Maybe. But he has no idea what he’s getting himself into. He’s gonna need all the help he can get.
Brennan: Yeah, well, maybe we should give it to him.
[In Burns’s lab, Burns is rejuvenated. He stands up from his wheelchair.]
Dr. Gallant: How’s that?
Burns (grinning): I feel like a new man!
William: Well, all you did was wrap that rotting soul in a new package.
Burns (walking up to him): Well, I guess it’s true what they say, then, isn’t it?
William: What’s that?
Burns (admiring himself in the mirror): Youth. How it’s wasted on the young. [Jesse phases into the back of the lab.] Now, despite what you might think, life is something I really do hold quite dear. As long as it’s mine. [Jesse sneaks up behind Dr. Gallant and wrings his neck. Moving quickly, Burns grabs William and holds a gun to his throat. He nods to his men.] Take him out. [Two men attack Jesse, but he knocks them both unconscious. Burns holds his gun to William’s chest.] All right, that’s it, sonny boy. It ends here, or you bury your grandfather with a hole. I mean it!
Jesse (holding up his hands): All right. What do you want?
Burns: You turn around and I promise I won’t hurt him. The sirtuan is here on the table. If you leave now, it’s all yours. Otherwise, I kill him. Pick your poison.
William: Don’t do it, Jesse.
Jesse: All right. [He walks over to the table and grabs a handful of the syringes of sirtuan.]
Burns (nodding, grinning): Excellent. [Just then, William elbows him in the stomach. The two fall to the ground and as the two wrestle for the gun, a shot goes off.]
Jesse: Grandpa? [Holding the gun, William rolls Burns’s body off him.]
Burns (whispering): Oh, no. [Lying on his back, he ages before their eyes.]
William (standing over him): Well, I guess you’re right, Burnsie. Youth really is wasted on the young. [Seeing that his hair has begun to whiten, Jesse holds his fistful of sirtuan syringes out to William.] No, that's okay, kiddo.
Jesse: Grandpa, you've gotta take it. You know what will happen if you don't.
William: No, son. This has to end here. I've already lived my life. [Shalimar, Lexa, and Brennan burst into the room.]
Jesse: Yeah, well maybe I'm just not quite ready to....(he glances back at his teammates, then turns back to William.]....let you go yet.
Shalimar: I don't think that's your decision to make, Jess.
Jesse (hesitantly placing the sirtuan back on the table): Destroy it all. [He walks over to his grandfather.]
Lexa (to Brennan): You heard him.
Brennan: What are you going to tell The Dominion?
Lexa: Something short and pithy. I'll be damned if anyone does this again. [With an electrical arc, Brennan shatters the samples on the table, then destroys the computers by the wall.]
William (putting his arm around Jesse): Take care of one last wish for an old man?
Jesse: Anything you want.
William: Let’s go home. [They walk out.]
[Back at the retirement home, Jesse stands in front of the elderly William, who is sitting on the couch.]
Jesse (shaking his head): I don't know what to say.
William: Words are overrated. I know how you feel. [He stands up.] Listen, Jesse, you've got to do me a favor and promise me you'll stop being angry with your old man.
Jesse: Grandpa, he was a poor excuse for a father.
William: No, Jesse. He did the best he could. He was right to keep you away from me.
Jesse: How can you say that? I mean, you were a hero.
William (chuckling): The thing about heroes is that in real life, they're full of nothing but flaws. When I got out of the service, I didn't adjust real well to civilian life. Turned out to be nothing more than a selfish husband and a lousy father.
Jesse: I don't believe that.
William: Listen to me. Your dad was only trying to protect you. He wanted to make sure I didn't let you down the way I did when he was growing up.
Jesse (nodding): I understand.
William (giving him his medal): There's something I want you to have.
Jesse: Grandpa, no, I can't take that. That's your medal of honor. You earned that.
William: So did you. [Behind them, Patty walks into the room and turns on the record player.]
Jesse (nodding to her): Better not keep the lady waiting.
William (hugging him): See you soon, kiddo.
Jesse: Yeah. [He smiles as he passes Patty, then begins to walk out of the room. William and Patty begin dancing together.]
HoloAdam (suddenly appearing beside him): You did the right thing, Jesse.
Jesse: Is that what this was all about? Some kind of a test of trust?
HoloAdam (smiling): Maybe.
Jesse: So how'd I do?
HoloAdam: I think you already know.
Jesse: Am I ever going to see you again?
HoloAdam: If the time is right.Jesse: Typical evasive answer. I guess I couldn't have expected anything else, huh?
HoloAdam:You take care of yourself. You’ll be all right. [He disappears.]
Jesse: You too. [He leaves, glancing back at the elderly couple slow-dancing.]