MAGNUM, P.I. / QUIET BEAUTIFUL AND UGLY LOUD

Brian S. Wheeler

November, 23rd, 2013

Universal/NBC owns all characters. No copyright infringement intended.

TEASER

EXT. - SEEDY HONOLULU STREET - NIGHT

The camera opens on a run-down street in Honolulu. Shops signs advertise liquor, discount tobacco and exotic dancers. The street side is crowded. Men in Navy uniforms stray up and down the sidewalk, approached by escort girls who are not at the moment speaking into passenger car windows. The camera shows a couple men stranding on a street corner, scowling at the escort girls under their thumb.

The camera stops its pan of the street scene to focus on a woman (KELLY "ROXY" LAMBERT) hurrying out of a tavern entrance. She scans both ways. She peers across the street. She turns to her right and hustles down the sidewalk, quickening her pace each time she peers over her shoulder.

A few of the escort girls whistle and wave towards her. One escort girl shouts at the woman's back as the woman passes by.

ESCORT GIRL

Hey, Roxy! Stitch is going to be happy to see you! Stitch has missed you real bad!

Roxy keeps hustling down the street. She slows suddenly as she nears the corner. Turning around she drifts towards a man dressed in a floral shirt.

ROXY

Hey, mister. Just hold my hand a moment. Just hold my hand and follow me into that bar.

MAN

I'm not shopping.

ROXY

I'll buy you a drink. Just share a drink.

MAN

Get away from me before I get a cop.

A man (STITCH the PIMP)whistles from the corner. He is one of the scowling pimps first shown by the camera in the scene's opening. Roxy fidgets. She twists around, apparently searching for place she might flee.

STITCH

Where you running, baby? Street's been missing Roxy. You just come on back to your daddy Stitch. Stitch has forgotten about you running away. He's only happy you're back.

ESCORT GIRL 2

Roxy's here! Hey girls! Roxy's come back to the corner!

Roxy darts across the street, weaving through the slowly-moving traffic to the sound of mumbled curses and car horns. Roxy still looks behind her as she hurries into a narrow alleyway. She gasps as she turns to see someone has jammed an abandoned beer deliver truck into the alley. Roxy cannot even squeeze between the truck to reach the other sidewalk on the other side of the alley.

A man enters the frame in the alley's opening. He is not Stitch. He is not dressed like one of the pimps patrolling their street corner. Roxy tries to climb over the truck, but the man runs and reaches her, pulling her onto the ground, where he delivers a first savage kick into her side.

ROXY

I only came to get my money. I only came to ask for what was promised to me.

The man doesn't reply. He raises his fists and begins to savagely beat Roxy.

The camera pans back to the alley's entrance as Stitch crosses the street and reaches the alley's narrow entrance. Stitch's wrist flips, and a glimmering razor is exposed in his hand.

STITCH

Mr., Stitch doesn't just stand on the corner and let strangers beat his girls. If anyone beats any of the girls, Stitch is the one who does it. Stitch is going to see you bleed real good for beating on his Roxy.

The man ceases striking Roxy. He charges towards Stitch, who sidesteps and swings with his knife as the man runs passed him. The man whimpers as he covers a sudden wound in his forearm with his hand. Stitch lets the man go and slowly walks to Roxy, who is crumpled and beaten on the alley's pavement.

STITCH

What's Stitch always trying to tell you, Roxy? The world's a mean, cruel place. You just stick with Stitch, and Stitch will boss you right.

The camera lowers to show an unconscious Roxy on the ground, facing away from a leering Stitch, her face bruised, blood trickling from her nose.

INT. - ROBIN'S NEST - STUDY

LILY MAGNUM sits behind Higgins' old desk. She is turned slightly to look upon a flatscreen television that has been mounted on the study wall opposite of the portrait of Jonathan Qual Higgins and his lads. Her face scowls as she listens to the political pundit (CLAY BISHOP) speaking on the television.

CLAY

… and so once again, all the apologists and the teachers' unions attempt to deny the national disaster that is this country's public education system. We are near the bottom in performance in all the standards that matter - in the math and sciences we need to compete in the new world, in the most basic of skills employers require. And yet, these apologists have the nerve to expand the oversight of this failed educational system into our households, all the while promoting a curriculum so at odds with our most basic, and cherished, of values including…

THOMAS MAGNUM strides into the study dressed in a jacket and holding a tie. He smiles and softly shakes his head at Lily before taking a remote control from the desk and silencing the television.

THOMAS

Watching the show's not going to make it any easier, Lily. You already know what he has to say.

LILY

I could smell your cologne from the wading pool. Finally, something, or someone, is dragging the hermit out from his shell. Big date?

THOMAS

Dinner with Rick and Cleo.

LILY

And with Carol. Oh, you can't keep secrets from me, dad. She called a couple hours ago asking that I don't let you forget.

THOMAS

Can you help me with this tie?

Lily stands from the desk and twirls the tie around her father's neck and begins forming its knot.

LILY

I can't believe we have to host Mr. Clay Bishop.

THOMAS

If you're going to be a successful head of the Higgins Foundation, you're going to have to learn to play nice with people you might not find appealing.

LILY

And that's putting it lightly.

THOMAS

Get those sneers out of your system. Bishop and candidate Grafton have agreed to meet at the Robin's Nest out of respect for the foundation's neutrality. You're going to have to be careful not to show preference to one side of the political spectrum or another. No matter where you might stand on a particular issue.

LILY

How do I do that? How am I supposed to appear impartial to a man like Clay Bishop, a man who sits so far to the right that he has to turn his head to the left if he hopes to see anything at all?

THOMAS

You'll find a way, Lily. As long as you keep your cool.

LILY

There. A fine Shelby knot. Guaranteed to make Carol swoon.

THOMAS

We're friends, Lily.

LILY

Of course you are. I would warn you not to be a miser tonight at dinner, but if the Wrights are with you, I know you'll be at Rick's resort, and that dinner will be provided.

THOMAS

And no more television for you. At least no more of Clay Bishop. Not until the interview's conducted.

LILY

I promise. Be home by eleven.

Thomas chuckles and plants a brief kiss on Lily's forehead and strides out of the study. Lily grabs the remote, points it at the television, but upon shaking her head, places it back down on the desk and leaves the television dark. Instead, she peruses the books on the study's shelves and grabs one to take to Higgins's old reading chair.

INT. - RICK'S RESORT AND HOTEL - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Thomas, CAROL BALDWIN and RICK and CLEO WRIGHT are gathered around a white dining table in the resort dining room. Light sparkles off of crystal. A piano plays in the background.

CLEO

Rick, we're all here at the table. Stop tracking the waiters and waitresses. They're doing great. Try to enjoy the company.

RICK

Oh, yeah. Hey, I'm sorry guys. A habit.

CAROL

It's perfectly alright, Rick. You've built a first-class resort here. I can forgive you. And Cleo, you've founded an incredible program to help women find a way off the streets.

THOMAS

Oh, Rick just makes sure to polish all the crystal. But Cleo, what you've accomplished is nothing short of tremendous. Helping women cope with the abuse, the alcoholism, the addictions. Makes my head swim just to think of the challenges.

RICK

Thomas is right. It's incredible, Cleo. And meeting you was the best thing in my life.

CLEO

Bless you all. The program would never have survived without Jonathan's help at the beginning.

RICK

You were the only person he let call him Jonathan.

CAROL

No, that's not right, Rick.

THOMAS

There was Agatha.

CLEO

God rest her soul. Sweet Agatha. It meant a lot to me, and I think a lot to him, that I called him Jonathan.

CAROL

To Agatha, and to Jonathan. Two lovely souls who understood how narrow the line is between the street and the penthouse.

RICK

Here. Here.

Crystal chimes as the table shares a toast. For a moment, the melody of the piano floats through the room. A sudden commotion breaks that melody as a young woman (MIRANDA HENSEN) rushes beyond the hostess and a waiter to reach Rick's table. Cleo stands quickly from the table and embraces the woman as Rick nods to the trailing hostess to let her know that everything is alright.

MIRANDA

I'm so sorry, Cleo. I didn't know where else to go.

CLEO

What is it, Miranda? Did something happen during an outreach walk? Did one of the pimps assault you after talking to the girls?

MIRANDA

Not me. It's Roxy. She must've gone back, because they found her busted up in an alley.

RICK

Who found her, Miranda?

MIRANDA

Someone called in the police. They didn't say who they were. They only told the police where to find her.

CLEO

It had to be Stitch.

RICK

That low-life. A real man that Stitch. Beating up on his girls.

CLEO

Where's Roxy now?

MIRANDA

She's at General. They won't let me in to see her. That's why I came to see you, Cleo. Roxy doesn't have any family. She's in that hospital all alone, and I don't know how bad she's hurt.

CAROL

I can help you see her, Cleo.

CLEO

I would like that. Miranda, you come along with me and Rick. We're going to go see Roxy. Let her know she's not alone. See if there's anything we can do for her.

THOMAS

I'll give you a ride over, Carol.

CAROL

Thank you, Thomas.

RICK

Yeah, and then we'll deal with Stitch. He's gone too far this time, Cleo. One way or another, we have to make sure he doesn't do this again to another girl.

The camera fades out as Cleo hugs a sobbing Miranda. Carol gives Thomas a concerned expression, and Thomas places a reassuring hand upon Carol's wrist.

INT. - HONOLULU GENERAL HOSPITAL - PATIENT ROOM

Thomas and Rick lean against the hospital room's wall, a bit removed from Roxy's hospital bed. Roxy sleeps on the bed, her right eye covered in a large bandage as Carol holds her hand. DOCTOR SUSAN YANCY approaches Cleo to inform Cleo of Roxy's diagnoses.

CLEO

How bad is it?

DOCTOR YANCY

Plenty bad. A fractured eye socket. Broken ribs. Ruptured spleen. But we're worried most about the head trauma. Hard to tell the extent of the damage this early. Hard telling when she comes to, if she comes to at all. She have any family on the islands?

CLEO

She's got me.

DOCTOR YANCE

Thank goodness for that, Mrs. Wright. We all know around here that it means a lot when a girl has Cleo standing beside her.

Doctor Yancy leaves the room.

THOMAS

Has Roxy been in your program before?

CLEO

In and out. Three steps forward, two steps back. Addiction. But she was making progress. She'd been clean for almost three months. She was right there. I don't know what might've pulled her back in.

RICK

Stitch did it.

CLEO

Maybe. But I don't know. She'd been off the coke, and Stitch isn't very charming if there's not a monkey he can speak to.

RICK

Thomas, we need to pay Stitch a visit.

CAROL

Hold on, you two. Thomas, you don't have an investigator's license anymore. I don't know how good I feel about the two of you chasing a pimp down the street.

THOMAS

We'll just take a look, Carol. We'll bring Booker along. He'll give us a little youth.

CLEO

Promise me, Rick, to stay in the car. Stitch is ugly, and he is stupid. But Stitch has a real short fuse, and he's good with his razor.

THOMAS

I promise I won't let him out of the car.

EXT. - ROBIN'S NEST - FRONT DRIVE

Lily stands in front of Dalton and Magnum as a black Cadillac rolls down the lane towards the Robin's Nest. Thomas whispers towards Dalton as the car approaches.

THOMAS

Come on, Booker, I only want to look at the guy.

DALTON

I don't know. Doesn't sound like a great idea.

THOMAS

Rick will be with us.

DALTON

That's supposed to convince me?

Lily frowns at them as the Cadillac pulls up before the Robin's Nest. The driver exits the car and pulls open the rear door, out from which steps Clay Bishop, a tall, slender man with a black and gray beard. Clay steps beyond Lily and instantly offers to shake Thomas's hand.

CLAY

Mr. Magnum. Navy Seal, intelligence, private investigator. I would love to share stories with you.

THOMAS

Mr. Bishop. This is my daughter, Lily Magnum. Head of the foundation.

CLAY

Of course. Dear, would you have your man there take my bags into my room? Perhaps, if you could find yourself a moment in this paradise, you could see that someone connects my notebook to your wireless network? Must stay plugged in to the wide world.

LILY.

Of course, Mr. Bishop. We're proud to host you.

CLAY

Good to hear. If you don't mind, I need a moment with your father.

Lily frowns at her father, and Thomas shrugs back. Dalton grabs Clay's bags and follows Lily into the parlor where the two climb the spiral staircase leading the estate's second level. Clay follows Thomas into the study.

CLAY

I'm very lucky to find a man like you on this estate, during this week, Mr. Magnum.

THOMAS

You're fortunate to have Lily as a host. She's far more capable than I.

CLAY

I fear not in the business I need to run by you.

Clay tosses a manilla folder onto the desk. His face is somber. Thomas frowns and opens the manilla folder. He sighs, and then he levels a cold, hard stare upon Mr. Bishop.

THOMAS

I hope for your sake this is some bad joke.

CLAY

Let me try to explain. I'm on the road most all of the year. I'm a single man. And so, what's the crime if I fall into a little of the fun love from occasion to occasion.

THOMAS

There's a lot wrong when you pay for it.

CLAY

I wouldn't dare, Mr. Magnum.

THOMAS

Really? The woman in these photos with you is a call girl.

Clay's face turns dumb. His mouth drops open.

CLAY

My God. I didn't know.

THOMAS

Then you're not aware this girl was beaten within an inch of her life and left in an alley last night?

CLAY

No. No. Listen. I ran into her three weeks ago in Denver. She came on real sweet to me. I'm not too old to enjoy it. Someone's trying to blackmail me, Mr. Magnum. They're threatening to post all those pictures online if I don't pay up.

THOMAS

So what't the big deal with that? Seeing it was all on the up and up.

CLAY

You have to ask? There's the Faith Coalition for starters. And there's the Family Defense League. Single man or not, my sponsors are not going to like those pictures.

THOMAS

What do they hope to get from you with these pictures? Maybe you could just pay them?

CLAY

I know you know better. They're not asking for money. They're wanting me to cancel the interview with candidate Grafton out here on the estate. I can't do that.

THOMAS

Because that would make you look weak.

CLAY

My audience wouldn't listen to me if I was meek, Mr. Magnum. And without an audience, then I have no sponsors.

Thomas slaps the manilla folder back onto the desk, a disgusted look on his face.

THOMAS

So ask for their forgiveness.

CLAY

Now I know you don't watch my show. If those photos get out right now, my interview with candidate Graft is undermined. I know the foundation doesn't want that. I'm willing to be charitable. I can wrap the foundation in some really positive spin on my show. I've got all kinds of viewers, and a lot of them have deep pockets.

Thomas turns and stares out of the window across the estate while Clay Bishop silently sits in the wide, leather reading chair. He finally shakes his head and faces Mr. Bishop.

THOMAS

I'll look into it, but you're not paying me anything.

CLAY

You're a good man.

THOMAS

No. Not really. I'm just not doing it for you.

EXT. - SEEDY HONOLULU STREET - NIGHT

Thomas slowly cruises the same, seedy street seen at the start of the episode. Dalton sits in the passenger seat, his Cardinals baseball cap pulled low on his forehead. Call girls wave and blow kisses as the Ferrari passes.

DALTON

I've never met a SEAL who looks so conspicuous.

THOMAS

Who wants to hide on a night like this?

DALTON (sarcastically)

The lights are just lovely. Just lovely.

THOMAS

Smile. This red Ferrari has a great knack for uncovering secrets. The bad guys just fall into the net to get a chance to ogle over a car like this.

DALTON

Not to mention it gave you an excuse to keep Rick from paying Stitch a visit with us.

THOMAS

This car only has two seats. I didn't think Rick needed to storm after Stitch before I had a chance to ask that pimp some questions. Rick's got a lot of energy. He might not have waited for me before he started throwing punches.

DALTON

Think Rick will forgive you for taking off without him?

THOMAS

Better that I ask for his forgiveness than have to ask for Cleo's if something happened to Rick.

A pair of call girls on the street corner shout and wave at the Ferrari. Thomas honks the horn and pulls the Ferrari to the side of the road and grins as the girls walk up to the side of the car.

Call-Girl Glory

I was just telling my friend Suzie here that two men in a car like that aren't shy.

Call-Girl Suzie

Car like that sure catches the eye.

THOMAS

Since you mention catching somebody's eye, can either of you girls point me towards Stitch?

Call-Girl Suzie

We could, but you're not going to like the vibe he throws at you.

Call-Girl Glory

Stay with us, we throw a lot softer. What's with your friend? Sugar, you think you can pull that cap any lower?

THOMAS

Oh, he's just sore. Stitch owes him money.

Call-Girl Suzie

Oh, Stitch isn't going to like you two at all.

Thomas taps Dalton's shoulder as the girls on the street suddenly turn quiet and pensive. Stitch appears on the corner, curious to investigate the men in the red Ferrari who are wasting two of his girls' time. Thomas and Dalton exit the Ferrari just as Stitch arrives at the corner.

Call-Girl Glory

The handsome, tall one says you owe his friend money, Stitch.

STITCH

I'm going to give the two of you five seconds to roar that car back to wherever you've come from.

THOMAS

My car doesn't have to roar anymore.

Dalton doesn't flinch nor waste any words. He moves quickly towards Stitch, challenging the pimp to make a move. Stitch responds with a flick of his wrist, but before he might raise his razor, Dalton executes a martial arts lock and pins Stitch's face against the curb.

DALTON

Friend here has some questions for you.

Stitch grunts and attempts to resist. Dalton rewards him with a tighter lock that steals the breath from Stitch, so that the pimp gasps for air before Dalton very slightly relaxes his hold.

THOMAS

We're here about Roxy.

STITCH

I didn't beat her. That girl's been nothing but trouble. Not worth beating a girl like that.

THOMAS

Then why'd you call the police?

STITCH

Maybe I was being a good samaritan. Maybe I didn't want to watch her bleed.

Thomas takes a glossy photograph out of his jacket's inner pocket and hold up close to Stitch's face.

THOMAS

You ever see this man?

STITCH

Clay Bishop. Sure. Love his television show. Loves what he has to say about the welfare deadbeats. What's he to you?

THOMAS

Did he beat Roxy?

STITCH

What would he be doing on a street like this? He wasn't the guy.

DALTON

What'd the guy look like?

STITCH

You let me go and maybe I'll draw you a picture. (Stitch grimaces as Dalton tightens the lock again). I don't know what the man looked like. But I know I cut him real good across the arm. You two just need to look all over the city for a man bleeding from his forearm.

THOMAS

I believe you for now, Stitch. But my friend Booker there will be back if you're not honest.

STITCH

Yeah, well, I'll be ready for him.

Dalton releases Stitch from the arm lock, and Stitch rubs his numb arm as Dalton places the dropped razor back in Stitch's pocket. Thomas and Dalton cruise away from the corner as call girls wave at them.

DALTON

You get anything from that?

THOMAS

Maybe a little. Maybe enough to tell me we don't need to be concentrating on Mr. Bishop, or on Mr. Stitch.

DALTON

So what does that leave us?

THOMAS

I'm not sure. Your instincts telling you anything?

DALTON

Murky waters at best. But there has to be a connection between Mr. Bishop and whoever beat Roxy and left her on the street. I can't buy that it would be coincidence that she's beaten like that on the same day Bishop arrives on the islands.

THOMAS

Me neither.

DALTON

So I'm thinking we might find that connection during one of Mr. Bishop's talk shows.

THOMAS

As good a place as any to start. I hope you like television, Dalton. Because we're about to watch a whole lot of it.

INT. - ROBIN'S NEST - GUESTHOUSE

Thomas Magnum sits on the guest house coach staring at a notebook computer, Hansel curled on the couch beside him. Dalton sits at the raised kitchen table, his concentration locked onto tablet computer, Gretel at his feet. Thomas' narration begins as the scene opens.

THOMAS NARRATION

I began feeling foolish for even thinking I might find something that might shed light on why a girl named Roxy was comatose in one of Honolulu General's rooms. I had hoped that, somewhere amid the hours of clips Dalton and I played on the internet, we might find a motive, a grudge, that would give us a clue as to whom would want to so harm a political, talk-show pundit, a connection that might explain why the girl seen in those seedy photos was the very girl so badly beaten on that hospital bed.

It wasn't just the sheer amount of footage Dalton and I viewed all day long. It was also the sheer number of people who had very good reason to hold a grudge against Mr. Bishop. I would never have believed that a person could make so many enemies before I watched Mr. Bishop do so one show after after another.

Unions. Veterans' affairs. Teachers. Farmers. Wall Street. The Fed. Judges. The unemployed. Mothers. Fathers. Cats and dogs. There wasn't any group that didn't fail to offend Mr. Bishop in some way. We were trying to pull a single suspect out of a mountain of enemies. It was the proverbial search for a needle in a hay stack.

There is a short rap on the guest house door before Lily walks onto the upper landing. She is dressed formally for dinner.

LILY

Thought I might check one last time for one party more at the dinner table. Clay Bishop seated right next to Hawaiian senator candidate Owen Grafton. Should be a night filled with conversation.

Neither Dalton nor Thomas show any interest.

LILY

Really, you two, brave men are going to leave me to the sharks?

THOMAS

Dalton and I are on a case, Lily, and we still have a pile of footage to wade through.

LILY

Well, no one's got anything to say about how I look?

THOMAS

You look smashing, Lily.

Lily waits a moment. But Dalton peeks at Thomas and decides the better course of action is to remain quiet.

LILY

I hope the two of you find what your looking for. Whatever that is.

EXT. - ROBIN'S NEST - JUST OUTSIDE GUESTHOUSE

Lily closes the guesthouse door and walks across the lawn in direction of the main house, from which seeps the sound of classical music. She pauses and takes a breath just outside of the study door before finally summoning her courage and stepping within.

Clay Bishop has helped himself to the seat behind Higgins' old desk, sipping from the sherry Thomas keeps at a small table, puffing away on one of the cigars Thomas stocks in Higgins' old humidor. U.S. Senate candidate OWEN GRAFTON sits in the study's large reading chair. Across from him sits Mr. Grafton's political aide, JACKSON PALMER.

CLAY

However well-intentioned your goals may be, Mr. Grafton, your policies will only continue to harm the entrepreneurial spirit of these islands. A time will come, I assure you, when you'll learn the best way to give a person a hand is by simply stepping aside and letting them fall on their ass.

OWEN

Oh, I think a lot of folks are already pretty low on the dirt. I'd prefer the idea of offering only a little hand to help them back on their feet. Then they too can lift up someone else.

CLAY

Naive dreams, Mr. Grafton. Naive dreams. (Clay appears to suddenly realize Lily stands beside him.) Good dear, perhaps you might consider treating us to one of those wines this estate is so famous for.

LILY

Of course, Mr. Bishop.

JACKSON

Why the Robin's Nest, Mr. Bishop? Why agree to conduct this interview with us at the very heart of the Higgins' Foundation? It's an easy argument to make that over the last ten years there's been no group as giving as the Higgins' Foundation.

CLAY

More liberal spin. I doubt you've read the memoirs of Jonathan Quayle Higgins. A world war. A handful of Cold-War campaigns. A hero in the good old-fashioned sense. There's a man who helped shaped the world. A man who understood there was no better catalyst for progress than competition.

OWEN

And what do you think, Ms. Magnum? You knew Jonathan Quayle Higgins. Where do you think Mr. Higgins would have stood among the two of us?

LILY

I have to say I don't read Jonathan's memoirs as a treatise on the merits of the competitive spirit. I doubt he would've stood in perfect alignment with either of you. He had an unique ability to recognize allies where one might first see enemies.

CLAY

Nonsense. Look at this place. An estate and empire such as this was not built by dreamy good- intentions. It was raised by action, by doing. An estate like didn't allow itself to be slowed by the lazy and the sloven.

JACKSON

And yet Mr. Higgins went by a different name for so many of those years during which he was building it.

Mr. Bishop's phone suddenly chimes. Clay nods before withdrawing his phone and peeking at its screen. He frowns. Jackson's phone vibrates a moment afterwards, and he nods to excuse himself before drifting into the adjoining foyer. Lily and Owen trade a puzzled glance.

CLAY

Ms. Magnum, would you please be a sweetie and ask your father to see me a moment before dinner? And please don't forget about that wine.

LILY

Is everything alright, Mr. Bishop?

CLAY

Nothing worth your trouble, dear.

The camera follows a frowning Lily out of the study. She is mumbling a curse as she passes Jackson Palmer who stands near the main house's front door. The camera stays upon Jackson as Lily passes him, and the look on his face as he looks up from his smartphone's screen is one seething with rage.

EXT. - HAWAIIAN HIGHWAY - NIGHT

An overhead camera follows the red Ferrari along curving roadways illuminated by city streetlights before shifting to center upon both Thomas and Dalton who look ahead down the road with pensive faces.

THOMAS

You got all of that from an email?

DALTON

Yeah. It was a real bad move for whoever's working to blackmail Mr. Bishop to send that second picture over to Mr. Bishop's email account. That IP address turned out to be all I needed.

THOMAS

Feels kinda creepy to me. Getting all that information from a few numbers.

DALTON

It's a new world. There's a reason why some of the world's nastiest terrorist groups communicate more through mule and rider than they do through cell phone and email. If you want to keep something private, whatever you do, don't put any of it online.

THOMAS

This guy put his address online? He just include it in the email to Mr. Bishop?

DALTON

Guy wasn't bright, but he wasn't that dull. I found the address by tracing the social media pages and the credit card accounts tied to that IP. Only a few minutes and I had an address.

THOMAS

And a name. Ray Henkel. You remember that name from any of those episodes we watched this afternoon?

DALTON

No, but we only watched the tip of the iceberg. Hoping this name saves me from having to watch any more of Clay Bishop's talk show.

The Ferrari pulls alongside a tall apartment tower. Dalton steps out of the car and fills his arms with bags of groceries.

THOMAS

I'll be waiting in case anyone tries running out of the apartment. Just do what I told you and act clumsy the first chance you get. Believe me, it'll get you in.

Dalton walks to the apartment's entrance, lingering near the doors until a woman approaches him. Dalton moves towards the door and appears to struggle as his hand moves towards his pocket, as if reaching for a key or keycard with which to unlock the entryway. The woman quickly unlocks the door for Dalton, holding the entrance wide open as Dalton thanks the woman and hustles into a hallway's elevator.

Dalton sets the groceries upon the elevator floor as the doors open upon his intended floor. Dalton cautiously walks forward. He sees that the door to the apartment for which he is searching is wide open, and Dalton hurries to peek around the doorway inside.

Someone has ransacked the apartment. Furniture is overturned, cushions sliced open. Dalton scavenges briefly within a room attached to an adjoining hallway, peeks into the bathroom and the kitchen, finding that he is alone in the apartment. A breeze flows into the room, and Dalton notices that a sliding door remains open onto a balcony. Dalton moves into the open air and peers over the balcony's ledge.

The camera shows Dalton's face grimace at whatever he sees. Dalton turns around and hurries out of the apartment. He fidgets as the elevator lowers him back to the ground floor, and he attempts to hurry back to Thomas without breaking into a run and drawing suspicion.

THOMAS

Did you find our man?

DALTON

You need to get a cell-phone. I think I found him on the courtyard on the other side. Hurry before someone else finds him and calls the police.

Thomas and Dalton hurry around the apartment tower. On the other side, they find the body of a man who has fallen to his death from Ray Henckel's apartment balcony. The camera does not center upon the body, but the expression on Thomas and Dalton's faces convey that it is a gristly scene.

THOMAS

We better get out of here before all the attention arrives.

DALTON

There's something over there next to his hand, Thomas.

Dalton quickly picks up the small, black square of plastic, and he and Thomas hurry to return to the Ferrari. Someone shouts as the car's quiet, electric engine hums to life. None of the bystanders hurrying to the sight of the dead body notice as Dalton and Thomas pull away from the curb. The camera shows the Ferrari driving down the street, soon passed by a police car and an ambulance, both vehicles silently flashing their lights.

THOMAS

What is it, Dalton?

DALTON

I think it might be what whoever ransacked Mr. Henckel's apartment was looking for. It's a memory card. Like one that goes into a cell phone.

THOMAS

Let's get back to the estate and see what we find. We better make sure someone's looking after Roxy in the hospital.

DALTON

Are you thinking like me that Mr. Henkel was thrown off that balcony?

THOMAS

His face wasn't facing the ground.

EXT. - ROBIN'S NEST / WADING POOL - NIGHT

The camera opens upon Lily Magnum sitting on the beach, contemplating the night sky above the wading pool.

A cell phone chimes behind her. The camera shifts to show Clay Bishop walking along the beach and raising his cell phone to his ear. Lily's silhouette can hardly be discerned in the camera behind Clay Bishop, who does not notice that Lily sits on the beach within earshot of his conversation.

CLAY

Listen, Gary, I don't need to have this talk with you and the network. I'm more than a little offended you think you still have to give it to me. Yeah. I know sweeps are around the corner. Sure. I'm as aware as you are that there's gonna be all kinds of subscribers viewing the interview, and I also know how all of that ties in with the signings for the upcoming book.

So don't preach to me the science of the business, Gary. I've made millions, for the both of us. Don't forget it's my face on all the promotion. It's my name that's on the line. So I don't care if I have to kick kittens or kiss drooling babies. Don't call me and give me this pep talk. You should know better, should know I'm gonna do whatever it is I have to do. That I'm gonna say whatever I have to say. No matter what that is.

Lily stands and approaches Clay as he nears the end to his cell call. Clay turns to return towards the estate, stiffening a moment as Lily's presence surprises him.

CLAY

Girl, you shouldn't sneak up on folks like that. Enough to give a man in my condition and in my age a heart attack.

LILY

The office checking in?

CLAY

Just my agent. A nervous man, my agent.

LILY

Not the conversation I might've expected from you.

CLAY

Humor me. What kind of conversation would a young lady like yourself expect to hear?

LILY

Something a little more in line with what we hear each night on your talk show. A little principle. A little dogma. I don't know, maybe a little pluck.

CLAY

You're bold for a young lady. Tell me, Ms. Magnum, have you not always called this estate home? Let me tell you, it's a rabid world on the other side of these walls. I'm not ashamed for doing what I got to do.

LILY

I don't think all your listeners would be excited to hear that coming from you. They seem to take a lot of stock in what you believe in.

CLAY

You're a naive girl, Lily Magnum. You think I tell them what I believe? "Belief" has nothing to do with it. I only tell them what they want to hear, and they love me for it. If not me, then there would be someone else telling them just what they want to hear. So I say, why not me?

LILY

A shame the foundation accepted the proposal to host the interview on the Robin's Nest.

CLAY

And here comes the speech about the ghost of Jonathan Quayle Higgins ratting his chains tonight outside of my bedroom door. You might wish to think all of this was built on his memoirs, on his life-lessons following his terrible wars. But let's be honest beneath this incredible Hawaiian sky. He built this place on pulp, on simple trash fiction. Delusion is a dish a wealthy sweet tooth can't resist.

LILY

You go too far.

CLAY

No I don't. And here's where old Mr. Higgins' ghost haunts you much more than he haunts me. You're not going to do anything no matter how I tell it to you. You won't even so much as make a threat. Because the foundation needs the interview conducted here as much as I do. The foundation needs to appear neutral. Can't look too biased, one way or the other, if you want to keep all those castles floating in the sky.

So save me one speech more. My business is in giving them, not listening to them. I might suggest you enjoy the view a little longer. Listen a little more to the waves crashing on the shore. But don't delude yourself into thinking all of it was built by a man more noble than any of the rest of us. Good night, Ms. Magnum.

Lily seethes as she watches Clay Bishop return to the main house and enter by means of the door to Higgins' old study. Her hands are curled into fists. She snorts and walks towards the guest house.

INT. - ROBIN'S NEST - GUEST HOUSE / MAIN ROOM - LATE NIGHT

Lily sits on the couch, staring at a black and white movie flickering on the television, its sound muted. A bag of microwave popcorn next to her bears the brunt of all the frustration Lily can vent through the grinding of her teeth.

The door on the upper landing flies open as Thomas and Dalton hurry into the guest house. Thomas pauses on the top of the last several steps leading to the guest house's lower floor.

THOMAS

Careful, Dalton. I know what it means whenever that movie's playing this late at night. What's got you fuming, Lily?

LILY

Clay Bishop. I have supplied that man with some of the estate's finest wines. I've turned the other way as he's pilfered your favorite cigars. I've picked up his dry-cleaning. I've delivered carry-out to him. But I've reached my limit. I wish I had a fist big enough to finally shut that mouth of his once and for all.

DALTON

He's about to do that to himself.

Thomas frowns at Dalton, a gesture Lily doesn't fail to notice.

LILY

What are you two up to? What do you know?

Dalton peeks at Thomas. Again, Lily notices the glance.

LILY

Tell me. You two are working on something concerning Clay Bishop. Dad over there never tells me anything if it has anything to do with some kind of case, or if there's the least bit of danger involved. So his look right now tells me we're talking about both of those things. Tell me, Dalton.

THOMAS

You let Dalton use your smartphone, Lily, and we'll get you right up to speed.

Lily tosses her smartphone to Dalton. Dalton replaces its memory card with the one found at the apartment complex. His fingers tap at the screen.

DALTON

We're in luck. Mr. Henckel didn't go through the trouble of setting up any kind of passcode at all. Guy wasn't talented for this business.

THOMAS

Well, people don't always think straight when they start something like this.

LILY

Something like what?

THOMAS

Blackmail.

DALTON

The complete library of photos is on this card.

Dalton tosses the smartphone back to Lily. Her face is blank for the few moments it takes her to scan through the photos. Then, the furrow of her angry forehead creases still deeper.

LILY

That pig! Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go and get him right at this moment.

THOMAS

And do what? As far as we know, Mr. Bishop has done nothing illegal. In fact, he came to me with this business when he first arrived at the estate.

LILY

So you help him? Why in the world would you do that?

THOMAS

Because that girl in those photos with him was a girl Cleo Wright tried to help off the streets, a girl who nearly made it before she was beaten within an inch of her life the night before Mr. Bishop arrived at the estate. Lily, I couldn't care less about whatever might happen to Mr. Bishop, but I need to know who beat that girl.

DALTON

And why whoever's behind all of this killed the owner of that memory card currently in your smartphone.

LILY

Are you afraid that whoever's behind this might just run or vanish if we make any show we're looking into it?

THOMAS

We are. That's why, however much I might like to see it, I can't let you deliver that big fist to Mr. Bishop's mouth just yet.

Dalton accepts the phone back from Lily and continues to navigate through its screen.

DALTON

There's an email account set up through this phone, and it looks like the very one that sent that photo straight to Mr. Bishop earlier. There are two other email addresses set up in here. There's one for a girl named Kelly. And the other is just a mumble of letters and numbers, an obvious alias.

THOMAS

Kelly might be our Roxy. We'll need to check with Cleo on that. Can you trace the other one?

DALTON

Not likely. Hosted on a free email provider, so whatever I might find to trace is probably a lot of junk.

LILY

Email the contact. Maybe we can trick him somehow.

THOMAS

Our alias might not know the girl's in the hospital. Say that she has the pictures. Say she'll hand them over in someplace public. Say the Aloha Tower observation deck at 10am.

LILY

How will we recognize him? Or her?

THOMAS

Tell him to stay in the elevator. Tell him Roxy will come to him in the elevator after he takes it up and down a few times.

DALTON

You think he'll go up and down on that elevator long enough for us to spot him?

THOMAS

Long enough for one of us to maybe get in next to him. Remember what Stitch said about the man?

DALTON

That he cut the man's arm real good. I'm with you. An elevator sure is a tight place to bump up against a person.

THOMAS

We just have to hope he doesn't get spooked.

LILY

What about Mr. Bishop? What about him at the end of all this?

THOMAS

I don't know, Lily. I still don't see any more connection with him in all of this other than what's in the pictures. As distasteful as it may be, it's not illegal.

DALTON

I'll keep working this phone while we wait for the sunrise. Maybe I'll find some kind of connection.

THOMAS

And in the meantime, Lily, turn up the volume. There's something wrong with watching a classic like this without any sound.

INT. - ALOHA TOWER / OBSERVATION DECK - MORNING

Thomas and Lily stand just inside the doors leading onto the Aloha Tower observation deck, both keeping an eye on the people who arrive via the elevator. Thus far, all those riding the elevator promptly exit when reaching the observation deck level, showing no indication that they might be the alias for whom both are waiting.

Thomas nudges Lily when the elevator rises to the observation deck level to show Jackson Palmer waiting inside. Jackson looks both directions, frowns and then remains in the elevator as it lowers back towards ground level.

LILY

Jackson Palmer. There's a surprise. If he's the man answering our email, there would be our connection.

THOMAS

Maybe. But I wonder what that connection is. Let's see if he rides that elevator another time before you chime Dalton on your cell phone.

The elevator rises another time to the observation deck level. Jackson Palmer again stands within the elevator. This time, he takes step out to glance around the corner. Thomas and Lily retreat a few steps to put some tower visitors in the line of sight and avoid notice as Jackson takes the elevator down another time.

THOMAS

You better chime Dalton. Mr. Palmer looks real anxious. He might not stay in that elevator much longer.

LILY

Done.

INT. - ALOHA TOWER / GROUND LEVEL

Dalton's phone vibrates. Jackson's arrival in the elevator has grabbed his interest, and Dalton has moved close enough to the elevator to easily slip inside as the door opens.

DALTON

Oh, excuse me.

JACKSON

Wait a minute. I know you?

DALTON

Button for the observation deck, please. Meeting my sister up there for brunch. She's in from the states. Yeah, maybe. Hey, you one of the guys staying out at the estate? You with Clay Bishop's crew?

The doors close and the elevator begins to rise again towards the observation deck. Jackson appears anxious.

JACKSON

No. I'm not with that blow-hard. I'm with candidate Grafton.

DALTON

Well, you know it gets awful hard to tell the bad guys from the good guys these days. I still haven't decided who I'm going to vote for. Am I right, or am I right?

Chuckling, Dalton suddenly extends his hand and playfully punches Jackson's left forearms, which is covered by his jacket. Jackson grunts and rubs his arm.

DALTON

Hey, you alright? I didn't mean to cause you so much pain.

JACKSON

Just keep your hands to yourself.

DALTON

What did you do? Maybe you should let me look at that? I know a thing or to about first aid.

Jackson jerks his arm back, grimacing from the effort, as Dalton reaches for the forearm. The door to the elevator opens, and Jackson sees Lily standing in front of him. He reaches for the elevator's button, but Dalton blocks him. Jackson panics and darts out of the elevator towards Lily.

Thomas Magnum has been waiting at the side of the elevator and trips Jackson as he darts out of the door. Jackson falls hard on his hurt forearm, which Dalton instantly clutches to control Jackson as people stare at the disruption.

Dalton pulls back the jacket's sleeve and exposes Jackson's left forearm, along which runs a jagged line of stitches sewing shut the wound inflicted by Stitch's razor.

THOMAS

We've got your photo collection, Mr. Palmer.

JACKSON

I don't know what you're talking about.

Lily taps at her smartphone. Jackson's cell phone chimes.

LILY

That's telling you, Mr. Palmer, that I just sent an email your way, an email addressed to Kelly and Mr. Henckel's contact.

Jackson winces as Dalton squeezes his forearm before retrieving Mr. Palmer's smartphone.

DALTON

The evidence we'll need will be in this phone.

THOMAS

When did things start slipping away, Jackson? Maybe when the girl and Mr. Henckel started demanding the payment you promised? You would've silenced the girl like you did Mr. Henckel had it not been for old Stitch showing up when he did. The girl's part was pretty easy to see, but what did Mr. Henckel play in all of it?

LILY

He was the photographer wasn't he? He was the one hidden on the other side of all those pictures. He kept all the photos.

JACKSON

I paid them plenty. Problem was when they kept wanting more. The blackmail got turned back on me.

LILY

Why the blackmail in the first place?

JACKSON

I thought it would be enough to get Bishop to cancel his interview. I never wanted Grafton to appear with Bishop. An interview like that's a no-win situation for the campaign. But Grafton refused to see it that way. He thought he could use the interview to reach the swing voters. But Bishop isn't going to let that happen. Bishop's only aim, no matter where the interview is hosted, is to make Grafton a fool. And he'll say anything to do so.

THOMAS

So you set up the rendezvous?

JACKSON

They contacted me. They already had the photos. The blackmail was their idea.

DALTON

But why? Whats' the connection we're missing?

JACKSON

Ask Clay Bishop. You give him the names Kelly Johnson and Ray Henckel. He'll tell you the connection then.

DALTON

You're going to keep me company long enough for me to drop you by the nearest police precinct for safe-keeping.

Dalton squeezes Jackson's forearms and leads him back towards the elevator.

LILY

We'll meet you back at the estate, Dalton. We're going to have that talk with Mr. Bishop.

INT. - ROBIN'S NEST - STUDY

Cameras and lighting crowd the study as the television crew prepares for the upcoming interview. Clay Bishop is seated in large chair brought into the study for the occasion and scans his interview notes as Thomas and Lily enter the study.

Thomas tosses the small smartphone memory card at Clay Bishop. The card falls into his notes before Clay holds it in the light.

THOMAS

Those are the rest of the pics. As far as we know, they're all right there in your hands now.

CLAY

I knew you were the man to find them, Mr. Magnum. I promise to paint the foundation in a very good light.

LILY

What do the names Kelly Johnson and Ray Henckel mean to you?

Clay Bishop's face softens. He sighs.

CLAY

What do they have to do with this?

THOMAS

Kelly is the girl in the photos. Mr. Henckel was behind the photos.

CLAY

My God. That woman was Kelly Johnson.

THOMAS

Why don't you tell us the tale? Mr. Henckel's dead. Kelly's doing her best to shake off a coma in Honolulu General.

Clay Bishop sets his notes aside and helps himself to one more glass of sherry from the crystal decanter kept on a small table in the study.

CLAY

Casualties of my fortune, those names. Goes back enough years to before I had all the cable talk shows. To when all I had was a radio program in Denver. The names Kelly Johnson and Ray Henckel helped me scale beyond that small radio station.

Kelly Johnson suffered a very difficult childhood. Likely abuse of a sinister kind. Well, one day when Kelly was seventeen she accused her high school history teacher Robert Henckel of sexual assault. Claimed they had an after school affair. Claimed all kinds of sordid details.

It was Kelly's word against Mr. Henckel's. But Mr. Henckel appeared a very good man. Good marks as a teacher. Solid family man. Positive role in the community. So folks would've had little reason to believe Kelly Johnson if the story would've been left well enough alone.

But I didn't leave that story alone. I saw potential. So, I made an inference here, planted a distrust there, and before long, the community suspected Mr. Henckel may well have had that affair with the attractive, seventeen year old girl. I dragged them both through the dirt. Played on assumptions and stereotypes of the worst kind.

The district fired Mr. Henckel, ruined his career. Never knew what happened to Kelly Johnson after I heard her family relocated.

But people flocked to their radios to listen to what I had to say. People remembered Clay Bishop.

Sponsors came. The reach of my voice expanded. My radio show turned into my famous cable show. I became rich.

LILY

You used them up. Just like you've used up so many since.

CLAY

Not like everyone else. Not those two. I never forgot those names.

THOMAS

One party using up another until one man's dead and another is fighting for her life.

CLAY

Ray was Mr. Henckel's oldest boy. So he and Kelly strike out from the past for their revenge. What are the two of you going to do now?

THOMAS

I don't know what we can do. Like you said, you didn't do anything illegal no matter how despicable we might think it to be.

LILY

I suppose all we can do is hope you conduct a fair interview. The foundation's already made that commitment. It would only harm us to back out now.

CLAY

I don't know if I can afford to do that.

THOMAS

Well, Mr. Bishop, I suppose that decision's up to you.

Thomas and Lily walk away from the study as several from Clay Bishop's crew filter into the study to adjust lighting and to apply Mr. Bishop's makeup.

Lily is frowning, but her father places a proud arm around her shoulder, and she smiles.

INT. - HONOLULU GENERAL HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT

Cleo Wright sits at the side of Kelly (Roxy) Johnson's hospital bed. Rick sits in the corner reading from his hard book copy of Jonathan Higgins' memoirs.

Cleo holds Kelly's still hand when the girl's fingers move. Cleo smiles and tears come to her eyes as Kelly's eyes open. Rick hurries to Cleo's side and hugs his wife before hurrying into the hall to notify a nurse.

CLEO

It's ok now, Kelly. I'm here for you. Now I know your real name. Now you're family.

INT. - ROBIN'S NEST - GUEST HOUSE - MAIN ROOM

Thomas, Dalton and Lily watch the interview between Clay Bishop and U.S. Senate Candidate for Hawaii Owen Grafton on the guest house's flatscreen television. All three sit in befuddlement as the interview reaches its conclusion.

LILY

Well, that wasn't what I expected.

THOMAS

I don't think that was what anyone expected.

DALTON

An honest-to-goodness fair and honest interview. From no less than Clay Bishop. That had to take some guts.

LILY

Yeah, some of his most ardent viewers aren't going to like it. Bound to hurt his book sales.

THOMAS

You know, though, maybe that honest interview will attract more attention for Mr. Bishop than any of us expect. Funny to think it, but maybe a balanced face is just the thing the market is hungriest for.

DALTON

That interview sure makes the foundation proud.

LILY

All that can come later. For now, I'm just so happy there's some new hope for all of us.

Thomas pats the couch and Hansel and Gretel jump onto the open cushions, happy to again receive Thomas Magnum's affection.