Scarecrow and Mrs. King
The ACM Kid

(A van is parked on the side of a street. Inside are Lee and another agent, Dane, who is wearingbinoculars around his neck. Lee is sitting next to him. They are both watching across the street. Lee has a bag of chips.)
Dane: Clemens has been in there twenty minutes, what's going on?
Lee: I don't know. (He turns and looks at Dane.) Maybe he's driving a hard bargain for that information he took from the ACM plant. Are we out of bean dip?
(He picks up a little cup and examines it. Dane looks through the binoculars at a parked van, hidden among the trees.)

(Inside the house they were looking at, Coughlin is standing stiffly . Vasily Kalnikov and his wife are huddled with each other, terrified, as Becker fires a gun. Jeff Clemens lies dead on the floor. Becker puts his gun down and walks over to Mr. and Mrs. Kalnikov. He slowly walks around them as he talks. Mrs. Kalnikov cries against her husband's shoulder. Becker threatens the Kalnikovs.)
Becker: You see then, Vasily, what happens when people don't cooperate. Mr. Clemens here decided he didn't want to do business with us anymore, either. (Mr. Kalnikov comforts his wife.) A very bad decision. (to Coughlin:) Make sure we don't have any neighbors nosing around outside.
Coughlin: Right.
(He turns and walks out the door. Becker is left alone with the Kalnikovs. He turns and walks around to other side of the couple. He stares meanly at Mr. Kalnikov.)
Becker: Now. Let's discuss Alexi.
(Mrs. Kalnikov suddenly lifts her head up and looks mournfully at Becker. She is terrified. Mr. Kalnikov is no better.)
Mrs. Kalnikov: No!

(Outside. Coughlin is walking along the path, looking around to see if there are any nosy neighbors.)

(Van. Dane is watching Coughlin through the binoculars. Lee is still munching on chips.)
Lee: Who is it?
Dane: Same guy. He's taking another look around. He's going back in. (Through the binoculars, you can see Coughlin turn and casually stroll back towards the house. Dane puts down the binoculars.) You sure our source is reliable?
Lee: As reliable as they are in this kind of thing.
Dane: The informant's a secretary.
Lee: Yeah. (He turns his head and looks at Dane.) Several nights after work, she saw him slip into a project area he had no business to be in. Saw him with his hand in the old cookie jar.
Dane: She's sure it was the satellite surveillance project.
(Lee nods.)
Lee: Yeah.
(He turns his attention back to the house.)

(Inside, the Kalnikovs have let go of each other. Becker and Coughlin are next to each other, facing the husband and wife. Coughlin is looking at Becker, but keeping an eye on the Kalnikovs.)
Becker: Vasily, we need Alexi! Now, let's discuss this like friends.
Vasily: We are not friends.
Coughlin: Mr. Wilson's your friend. (Mrs. Kalnikov looks at the floor.) When you came to this country, he sure helped you out of a jam or two. Rented you this house, gave you a job when you needed it.
(Mrs. Kalnikov wipes her nose. Vasily shook his head.)
Vasily: He tell me he's on a committee to help people like me. Then we find out job is for KGB. We don't come to America to spy for KGB.
Coughlin: Work's work. And it wasn't really spying, just a little legwork. Now, if you've got a problem about Alexi helping us out, then let's just go and iron this out with Mr. Wilson. (The Kalnikovs look terrified.) Where's Alexi?
Vasily: I don't know.
Becker: Then maybe Wilson can help you remember.
(Mrs. Kalnikov bursts into tears. She suddenly turns and runs to door.)
Mrs. Kalnikov
: Help!
(Becker and Coughlin grab her and her husband.)

(Through the binoculars, Lee and the other agent can see the Kalnikovs being forced out the door. Dane puts the binoculars down, but still gazes out the window.)
Dane: Who are the man and the woman?
(Lee takes the binoculars and peers through them. The Kalnikovs are being pushed into a car.)
Lee: Beats me. Where's Jeff Clemens? (He lowers the glasses.) Okay, let's go.
(Dane starts the van. It pulls away as Becker is struggling with Vasily. He finally punches Vasily in the stomach and shoves him into the car. The car immediately pulls out of the driveway and cuts off the agents' van. They both skid to a stop. Becker yanks the car door open and climbs in.)
Becker: Let's get out of here!
(Dane shakes his fist at the car, prentending to be just another annoyed driver.)
Dane: Come on, get out of the way, will ya!
(The car backs up, letting the van go by. They pull to a stop by the curb. Lee gets out.)
Lee: All right, follow them. I'll go in there.
(The van drives by, leaving Lee standing in the middle of the street. Trying to look casual, he trots up the driveway of the Kalnikovs' house, subtly holding his gun. He swings open the door and steps inside. When he sees that no one is inside, he relaxes and quietly shuts the door. Still holding the gun, he tiptoes across the hall and sees Jeff Clemens lying on the floor. Lee marches over to him and kneels down, examining him. Grim-faced, he stands up and continues down the hall. Suddenly he hears a thump coming from behind a door. Lee gets his gun ready and slowly reaches out for the knob. He rapidly swings open the door and holds his gun out.)
Lee: Freeze!
(Behind the door, Alexi is crouched in a small space. Shaking, he puts his hands up.)
Alexi: Okay, I'm frozen. Now what?
(Lee lowers his gun and sighs.)

(Fast-food restaurant parking lot. Alexi is standing among cars, with a pouty look on his face. Lee is at a pay phone a couple of feet away.)
Lee: Listen, I've got this real problem here and it's not exactly in my area. So, I thought I'd call you, as it's something that you probably know all about.
(At the other end of the phone, Amanda is in her kitchen, talking secretively.)
Amanda: I can only assume this is you. Possibly because you're the only man I know who doesn't say hello, doesn't ask how I am.
(At the pay phone, Lee is smiling cutely.)
Lee: How are you?
Amanda: Fine, you? (Alexi has moved closer and is now leaning on a pole.)
Lee: Right. I've got a real problem here, I've got this kid that won't talk to me.
Amanda: By "kid", do you mean one of those girls you date?
(Lee sighs into the phone angrily.)
Lee: No, I mean a kid. As in child. As in boy? I've spent ten dollars on junk food and he won't open his mouth. (Alexi is gone. Lee hasn't noticed yet.) Ah, his parents may be in a lot -- (He has noticed the missing boy.) Oh, God. Uh, uh, stay right where you are, don't go anywhere, I'll call you later. (He hangs up the phone and runs after Alexi into the parking lot. He stops and looks around. Alexi creeps behind a parked car. He peeks up over the roof of the car. Lee spots him and starts running again.) Hey, kid! Hey, kid, come here! Come here, will ya? (He dashes between to cars and catches Alexi. He tackles him and pushes him against a car.) All right, all right, all right. Now hold it, hold it.
Alexi: Let go of me.
Lee: Ah-hah, you can talk.
Alexi: You can't arrest me, I ain't done nothing.
Lee: I'm not arresting you, I'm trying to talk to you. Now you have to tell me about these men that came to your house.
(Alexi calms down.)
Alexi: Please, mister. You're scaring me. Please don't hurt me anymore.
Lee (worried): Anymore?
Alexi: Please?
Lee: All right. But do you promise not to run away from me?
Alexi: I promise. I don't have anywhere to run.
(Lee smiles.)
Lee: Okay. Come on. (Alexi looks at him warily out of the corner of his eye.) Now, come on. (Lee lets go of Alexi and pats him on the shoulder. They walk together for a little bit.) Okay. We've got to help you find your parents. (Alexi drops to the ground. Lee does not notice. He continues walking and talking.) We need just a little more cooperation, that's your part -- (He turns and sees Alexi gone again.) Oh, no.

(Alexi is racing down a sidewalk along a wall. He slides into a corner and peeks out for Lee. When he sees that Lee is not coming, he starts backing up past trash cans and metal gates. He starts to pick up speed and turn around a corner, when Lee walks out from behind and grabs Alexi by the collar.)
Lee: All right. All right, all right, now look, kid. A truce, okay? Five minutes, okay? (Alexi regains his dignity and stares at Lee.) Now, I know you're scared --
Alexi: I'm not scared of nothing!
Lee: Oh, yeah. A tough guy, huh?
Alexi: Yeah.
Lee: Yeah, well, I was a tough guy too. I had to be tough, so no one would know that I was really scared.
Alexi: Now you're gonna tell me about your lousy childhood. Man, you don't know what a lousy childhood is!
(He tries to jerk his arm away, but Lee holds on.)
Lee: Oh? I lost my parents when I was four and got raised in a hundred different army bases by an uncle that didn't even like me, so you top that, pal.
Alexi: Some guy just got shot in my living room, so you top that, pal.
Lee: Yeah.
Alexi: Yeah.
Lee: That is lousy.
Alexi: Look, you can't help me, and you can't help my parents, so why don't you just let me go!
Lee: Because I think I can help you, because this is what I get paid for, because --
Alexi: What?
Lee: Because I'm bigger than you and I say so!

(IFF. Billy's office. Francine slaps some files down on the desk. Lee and Alexi are sitting on the couch in the back, both with folded arms. Lee is smirking at Francine. Francine looks at her watch, then back up again at the wall.)
Francine: All right, Alexi. (She turns to them.) Now, let's start again. At the very beginning.
(She sits on the desk.)
Alexi: You start again at the beginning. I'm through talking.
(Francine sighs.)
Francine: You have no idea who those men were who took your parents away. (Alexi stares into space.) Alexi, the car with your parents got away from our men. We don't know where your parents are. (Alexi looks in the other direction.) How do you expect us to help you if you don't help us?
Alexi: I never asked you to help me.
(Francine looks to Lee for help. He chuckles.)
Lee: Actually, that's true, Francine, he never did.
(Alexi closes his mouth and nods slightly towards Lee.)
Francine: Oh, well, I'm glad you find this so amusing.
(Lee laughs again, but then stops as Billy walks into his office, holding a giant lollipop. He has a big smile on his face.)
Billy: I knew we had one of these around here somewhere. (He sits in a chair next to the couch.) Now, Alexi, could I trade this for a little cooperation?
(Alexi looks at Lee and gestures toward Billy.)
Alexi: Is this guy kidding with this thing or what?
(Billy's smiles fades. He places the lollipop on the table and looks at his watch.)
Billy: It's after midnight. (He stands up and clears his throat. He walks over to his desk.) Let's adjourn.
(Francine follows him. Lee gets up and walks after her, leaving Alexi alone on the other side of the room. Billy stands behind his desk, Francine stands next to him, and Lee faces Billy.)
Lee: Billy. (He lowers his voice.) Uh, what about him?
(He motions to Alexi.)
Billy: They've got room for him at Dojer Hall for tonight.
Lee: Aw, come on, Billy, that place is a nightmare. You can't take him there.
Francine: We could always clap him in irons.
(Lee laughs sarcastically and playfully pats Francine on the shoulder. He takes a deep breath.)
Lee: Listen. What if I took him over to my place for the night? (Billy and Francine stare at each other in shock.) Okay, so I feel sorry for him. What's the big deal? He's a scared kid.
(Billy and Francine still stare at him. Alexi yells across the room to Francine.)
Alexi: Hey, Blondie! (Francine looks up.) Can I get out of here now?
(Francine thinks for one second, then breaks into a smile.)
Francine: Enjoy yourself.
(She walks out the door, grinning smugly. She pats Lee on the arm as she passes him and walks out the door. Lee smiles after her. Alexi makes a face, then looks at Lee and sighs. Lee looks back at him.)

(Lee's apartment. Lee is inside in his bathrobe, holding the door open. Amanda is on the other side.)
Lee: What are you doing here?
(Amanda marches past him and into his apartment, looking all around for the kid.)
Amanda: Well, I had to take the boys to school, and I was already halfway here, so I figured why should I go all the way home and come all the way back here, so, ha ha.
(She turns and shrugs. Lee picks up a pillow and blanket from the sofa and toss them on a chair. He holds up an empty coffeepot.)
Lee: Coffee?
Amanda: Mm-hmm.
(She nods. Lee takes the pot and goes into the next room.)
Lee: Good.
(Amanda walks around to the bookshelves.)
Amanda: You know, this reminds me of a place I lived in when I was in college. Mother saw it and she made me move. (She briskly trots after Lee.) So, where's the little boy you want me to baby-sit?
(Lee comes out of the kitchen with the coffeepot full of coffee.)
Lee: Getting dressed. (He sighs, not fully awake yet, and walks across the room to get the mugs.) It'll only be for a couple hours while I go into the Agency. You mind?
Amanda: No, no, I like kids. (Lee grunts.) Are you always this punchy in the morning?
Lee: Are you always this perky?
(Amanda smiles and shrugs.)
Amanda: Well, you know, I guess I'm just what you'd call a morning person. (Lee stares blankly at her.) I guess you're just not what you'd call a morning person. (Lee smiles slightly and turns back to the coffee. Amanda walks over to him.) Uh, look, are you sure you're set up to take care of a child? I mean, you know, they need. . . .
Lee: Attention, someone to talk to.
(Amanda opens the refrigerator and stares inside.)
Amanda: No, what they need is food, and you haven't got any.
(Exasperated, Lee puts the pot down and looks at her.)
Lee: Just what do you call that incredibly expensive Camembert?
(Amanda looks back into the virtually empty fridge. She reaches in and takes out a small item wrapped in tinfoil. She opens it and holds it up. She sniffs, then makes a disgusted face and looks at Lee.)
Amanda: Moldy.
(She tosses it into a trash can. It falls neatly in.)

(Grocery store. Lee's Porsche drives up with Lee and Alexi inside.)
Lee: Okay, kid, we're going to buy some groceries. Remember, no running away.
Alexi: Maybe.
Lee: Maybe what?
(The car slows to a stop by the curb. Alexi gets out of the car.)
Alexi: Maybe I will, and maybe I won't.
(Lee gets out on the other side.)
Lee: Yeah.
Alexi: What happens if I do?
Lee: I'll shoot you.
(He starts walking around the car to the sidewalk, where Alexi is waiting.)
Alexi: You wouldn't shoot me.
(Lee approaches him.)
Lee: Oh, I'll shoot you.
Alexi: No, you wouldn't.
(Lee takes his arm and leads him along the sidewalk to the door.)
Lee: I'm telling you, kid, I'm a killer.
(Lee lets go of Alexi and pats him on the back. They walk in together.)

(Later that day at Lee's apartment. His apartment is very messy. Amanda opens the door from out in the hall. She has a paper bag full of things in her arms. She peers around for Lee and Alexi.)
Amanda: Hello? (She walks into the kitchen. Lee and Alexi are in there. Lee is drinking a cup of coffee and Alexi is eating something at the table.) I got the things you wanted from your house, Alexi. (She puts the bag down, folds her arms, and looks at the other two.) How'd you guys do at the grocery store?
(Lee is about to say something, but then Alexi speaks up.)
Alexi: Good. The Fed here let me do all the shopping.
(Lee and Amanda exchange glances. Amanda marches over to the fridge and opens the door. She nods knowingly.)
Amanda: Six frozen pizzas and a pound of brownies. (She shuts it and turns to look at Alexi.) That all you got?
Alexi: We must've left the beer in the car. Thanks for reminding me.
(He gets up and leaves the room.)
Lee: Uh --
(He looks down at his coffee while Amanda looks up at him sternly, trying to hide a smile. Lee laughs silently and walks over to the table, still not making eye contact with Amanda. He reaches the table and keeps staring down.)
Amanda: What are you doing, going for Father of the Year?
(Lee looks up at her and smiles.)
Lee: Hey. He's been through a bad time. His parents came to the United States when he was little, (Amanda stops smiling and nods. She holds her hand up, signaling that she understands. Lee continues.) he grew up in a rotten neighborhood, and whoever borrowed his parents last night plays very rough. (Amanda looks at him. Lee says the rest softly.) We got a tip from an employee there that Jeff Clemens was rummaging around in the satellite project area. (He takes a deep breath.) Well, the satellite is a special surveillance job, and obviously, the bad guys would love to find out what makes it tick.
Amanda: And Alexi's parents are connected to all this?
Lee: Yeah, it looks like it. Look, I got to run. Here. (He takes a pile of money out of his pocket and hands some to her.) Have a fun time with him, okay?
(She takes the money and stares at it.)
Amanda: Mm-hmm.
Lee: And I'll have one of our people follow you around, just in case.
(He starts to leave.)
Amanda: Just in case what?
Lee: Well, you know, just in case some of our friends would also like to get his hands on Alexi.
(Amanda's gasps.)
Amanda: Really?
(Lee lowers his voice to sound threatening.)
Lee: Yes, Amanda. Danger, excitement. Intrigue.
Amanda: Oh, shut up.
(Lee laughs and leaves.)

(IFF. Billy's floor. Lee and Billy come through the door, talking.)
Lee: What were you able to get out of Jeff Clemens' wife?
Billy: Ex-wife. Apparently, the man had a real gambling problem. That's what broke up the marriage. He kept coming home later and later. (They reach Billy's office and walk inside. Billy shuts the door.) Hung out at a place called The Lug Wrench Bar. (Lee turns around and faces Billy.) That's where a lot of ... people go after work. You'd always find a game going, always lose. He owed her back alimony, child support, starting taking out loans to support his gambling.
Lee: Well, we've seen this kind of thing before. An average guy gets in over his head, he has access to sensitive material the other side would pay an arm and a leg for. If he's desperate enough, sometimes the temptation's too much.
Billy: Let's put you in there for a while and see if we get a nibble.
Lee: But I wonder what all this has to do with Alexi's folks.
(Billy thinks for a second, then shrugs.)
Billy: Tell the King woman to keep her ears open. And by the way, how's she getting along with Alexi?
(Lee chuckles.)
Lee: You know Amanda. She's got motherhood carved on her bones. She's having the time of her life.

(Arcade room in shopping mall. Alexi is mastering a pinball game. He has a cigarette in his mouth. Amanda gingerly pulls it out.)
Amanda: Alexi, I am not going to tell you about this one more time.
(She drops it on the floor and squashes it with her foot. Alexi glances over at her, then concentrates back on the game.)
Alexi: What are you, a cop?
(Amanda shakes her finger at him.)
Amanda: You are twelve years old.
(Alexi waves his hand around the room at all the teenagers laughing and playing arcade games.)
Alexi: Everyone smokes in the dives I hang out in.
Amanda: Well, not in the dives I hang out in. Now, look, um, would you like a strawberry milkshake or...
(She smiles at him. He glances at her again.)
Alexi: I quit strawberry milkshakes when I was two.
(Amanda takes a breath, trying to control herself. She walks around to the other side of Alexi.)
Amanda: All right. Is there anything you would like?
(Alexi straightens up and looks at her.)
Alexi: Yeah. Can I play some more?
Amanda: You've already played four times.
Alexi: Come on, please? Just a couple more times.
(Amanda shakes her head firmly.)
Amanda: No.
Alexi: Please?
Amanda: No.
(Alexi looks at her slyly.)
Alexi: Come on. I saw the wad Lee gave you.
(Amanda smiles, then rolls her eyes. She opens up her purse.)
Amanda: All right. A couple more times.
(She takes some money out of her purse and hands it to him, smiling.)
Alexi: I'll get change. (Amanda nods. He turns and walks away from her. He goes up to the guy behind the change booth. He leans in toward the window and whispers.) Mr. Wilson?
(Wilson turns to look at him, then smiles when he recognizes Alexi.)
Wilson: Oh. (He chuckles.) It's about time you showed up.
(Alexi glances over his shoulder nervously.)
Alexi: They're watching me. Where are my parents?
Wilson: Someplace safe. For the moment. You know, we still need your help. Be here tonight.
(Alexi whispers fiercely.)
Alexi: I can't! I told you, they're watching me.
Wilson: You have an IQ of 185. You'll think of something.
(Alexi lowers his head, then looks up at Wilson with sad, pleading eyes.)
Alexi: Please don't hurt my parents.
Wilson: If you're not here, I'll do more than just . . . hurt them.
(Alexi glares at him, but then gets up and walks away. Wilson watches him go with cold, mean eyes.)

(A back room in the arcade. Mr. and Mrs. Kalnikov are bound and gagged. Mr. Kalnikov is struggling to loosen the ropes, but his wife just hangs her head down as if it is hopeless. As Mr. Kalnikov's fingers are working at the rope, a gun lands on them. Mr. Kalnikov whirls around to face Coughlin. He shakes his head at Mr. Kalnikov and Mr. Kalnikov looks away.)

(The Lug Wrench Bar, the one that the ex-Mrs. Clemens had mentioned. A piano is playing. Lee is leaning on the bar, staring intently at something across the room. He is wearing western clothes. The waitress, Candy, comes up to him and takes his empty glass.)
Candy: You want another hacksaw?
(Lee turns. He speaks with a western accent.)
Lee: Yeah. Listen, I don't suppose you could tell a poor cowboy where he could find himself a little action.
(Candy looks at him.)
Candy: What kind of action?
Lee: Poker, ponies, pinball, anything with odds. Why, back at Pauly's --
(Candy nods over her shoulder.)
Candy: Why don't you ask one of these ACM guys around here? They usually have a game going. That'll be three fifty.
Lee: Uh, you take a check? I'm a little short on cash --
(Candy interrupts him by groaning.)
Candy: Oh. I should have known. Another ACM deadbeat. (Lee's smile fades. He lowers his checkbook.)
Lee: Say what?
Candy: You guys are the only people I know who knock down fifty thousand dollars a year and you never have a dime.
Lee: Listen, lady, I got me an ex-wife and a couple little mouths to feed. Didn't they teach you sympathy back there in bartender school?
Candy: I cut class.
(Lee stops smiling. He nods.)
Lee: Well, the check's good. Come on. Can we be friends? (Candy smiles. Lee does, too.)
Ricky Joe Jackson. (He holds his hand out.) Put her there.
(They shake hands.)
Candy: Nice to meet you.
(Across the bar, Becker is sitting, having a drink. He watches Lee and Candy, then he lights a cigarette, still keeping an eye on the two.)

(That night at Amanda's house. Dotty walks up the stairs in her high heeled shoes. She opens the front door. The inside of the house is all lit up.)
Dotty: I'm home!
(In the kitchen, Amanda is making something in the blender. She yells back to her mother over the sound of the blender.)
Amanda: In here! (Amanda looks over the buttons on the blender as Dotty walks in. Amanda finally finds the right button and shuts the blender off. She turns and sees Dotty.) Oh, where have you been?
(Dotty sits down at the counter. She takes her shoe off and gets a faraway look in her eyes.)
Dotty: With Fred.
(Amanda looks up.)
Amanda: Fred? (Dotty raises her foot and admires it.) Dr. Fred Bain? The chiropodist?
Dotty: Did you know that feet were erogenous zones?
(Amanda turns with the blender in her hand.)
Amanda: What?!
Dotty: Of course it's different with every person, but Fred and I have determined that I carry a lot of passion in my arches.
Amanda: Mother!
(Just then, Jamie and Phillip are heard thundering down the stairs.)
Jamie: Hi, Mom! Hi, Grandma!
Dotty: Hi.
Phillip: Hi, Mom! Hi, Grandma!
(They arrive in the kitchen.)
Amanda: Hi, boys. You having a good time?
Jamie: Yeah, Alexi's teaching us how to roll a drunk.
(Amanda puts the blender and cups down and stares at the boys, her mouth open. Dotty looks at her.)
Dotty: Alexi?
Amanda: Alexi Kalnikov.
Dotty: Oh. (She smiles at the boys.) A little boy from school?
Phillip: Nah, the Feds got him in protective custody.
(Dotty's mouth drops open. Amanda quickly changes the subject.)
Amanda: Why don't you show Alexi your bike?
(Phillip speaks in a singsong voice.)
Phillip: He's already seen it, Mom.
Jamie: Uh, he won it off me in a crap game.
Amanda: What?
(She walks over to the boys, but Dotty stops her.)
Dotty: Uh, Amanda, who is this child?
(Amanda pauses with her mouth open while she tries to think of an answer.)
Amanda: I'm glad you asked me that. You see, I volunteered to keep him. I joined a big sister program and we take children from broken or deprived homes and we show them good, healthy role models.
(She looks fondly at her boys. They exchange glances and roll their eyes. Amanda ruffles Phillip's hair. Dotty smiles.)
Dotty: Well, that's nice.
Amanda: Yeah.
Dotty: Why do the Feds have him in protective custody?
Amanda: I'm glad you asked that.
(The phone rings. Amanda walks away to answer it, relieved.)
Jamie: Yeah, why do they?
(Amanda takes a glass of the stuff she was making with the blender and hands it to Jamie. Meanwhile, the phone is still ringing.)
Amanda: Look. Take this and share it with Alexi, hmm?
(Jamie takes it in his boxing gloves and hands to Phillip. Phillip sniffs it. Amanda lifts the phone receiver to her ear.) Hello? (Phillip makes a horrible face.)
Phillip: Mom? Have you smelled this?
(Amanda motions for them to leave.)
Amanda: Go. Go. (The boys turn and go. Amanda turns her attention back on the phone.) Hello?
(In the bar, Lee is at a pay phone. He whispers softly.)
Lee: Uh, look, I can't talk now.
(Amanda glances over her shoulder at Dotty.)
Amanda: Oh, um, well, I hope you're not going to be much longer.
Lee: I got to work late, and I don't want to leave Alexi alone in my apartment, so could you . . .
(We don't hear the last part, but Amanda does.)
Amanda: Keep him here! Well, I think that's a -- (she suddenly remembers her mother staring at her) really splendid idea.
Lee: I'll keep a security man out in the street. Billy wants you to keep an ear open in case Alexi says something that might. . . . (He stops when he sees Becker watching him. Lee starts yelling into the phone.) Well, you can -- you can get off my back is what you can do, you got the house, the car, the, the, the kid! (Amanda grimaces.) You make it work out!
(He hangs up. Amanda lets the phone drop to her shoulder. She smiles cheerfully, turns, and hangs the phone up.)

(In the bar, Lee leaves the phone, passing Becker. He stops long enough to explain what he was doing.)
Lee: Ex-wives.
Becker: Yeah.
Lee: Yeah.
(Lee walks away. Becker laughs to himself as he takes a sip of wine.)

(King living room. Amanda is trying to help Alexi make his bed on the couch.)
Alexi: I'm used to taking care of myself. I can make my own bed.
(He takes a pillow and tosses it down. Amanda nods.)
Amanda: That's good.
(She walks over to the couch and leans on the back of it while Alexi arranges the pillow and blankets. Amanda pretends she is not watching by glancing back and forth. They do that silently for a few moments until Alexi suddenly looks up at her.)
Alexi: And don't you try to kiss me or tuck me in. 'Cause you're not my mother.
Amanda: I know, Alexi. And I would never try to be your mother. But I would like to be your friend.
(Alexi starts to relent, but he shakes his head.)
Alexi: There's no percentage in friends. You can't count on 'em.
(Amanda walks over to Alexi and pulls him down next to her on his "bed". She puts her arm around his shoulders.)
Amanda: Alexi, you've got to learn to trust people. Now look. Do you remember in "Peter Pan" when Tinkerbell was dying and her little light was flickering and fading --
Alexi: You talk to little kids a lot, don't you?
(Amanda smiles.)
Amanda: Well, yeah, you know, with two boys of my own, I --
Alexi: You should get out more.
(He turns away. Amanda sighs, then grabs his head and turns it toward her.)
Amanda: Okay, look, try this. You're in my house, and as long as you're in my house, I'm going to act like your friend, no matter what, and I expect the same thing from you. So now you can get in bed and go to sleep and in the morning, you can give Jamie his bike back.
(She chucks him under the chin. Then she gets up and starts to walk out the door.)
Alexi: You know (Amanda turns around and looks at him), you're tougher than the Fed with the moldy cheese.
Amanda: Really? (Alexi nods.) I want that in writing.
(She smiles and leaves.)

(Nighttime. Parking lot outside the bar. Focus on a Texas license plate on Lee's Porsche. Becker writes it down, then, glancing around behind him, tucks the pen and pad into his jacket pocket and walks away. Behind him, in the bar, Lee leans over and peeks out the window. He smiles.)

(Nighttime. Amanda's house. The front door opens slowly and Alexi peers out. He sees a man getting out of his car. The man yawns. Alexi closes the door firmly. Then he tiptoes through the hall, into the kitchen, and out the back door. He closes the door behind him.)

(Back room of the arcade in the shopping mall. Alexi is typing on a computer keyboard. Becker and Wilson are watching from behind. On the screen are the words "Jackson, Ricky Joe, credit data: Bank of Houston". Alexi points to it.)
Alexi: I got the credit bureau.
(New words appear on the screen. They say, "Risk: poor". The word "poor" is blinking. Becker and Wilson chuckle.)
Becker: Whoa. This guy's in up to his eyeballs.
Wilson: Owes back alimony, several loans outstanding, cancelled credit cards.
Becker: Our kind of guy.
(They exchange looks. Alexi glances up at them, but looks quickly back at the computer.)
Wilson: All right, now access the ACM personnel computer.
(Alexi types some coordinates, and on the screen appear's Ricky Joe's name and the date they hired him.)
Becker: Why can't we get into the satellite project computer that easy?
(Alexi turns around in his seat to look at him, as if that was the dumbest question in the world.)
Alexi: You only get into these computers with the access code word. Getting into a credit computer is one thing. But the codes for these projects are top secret. They sit on those babies like golden eggs.
Wilson: Security classification please. (Alexi sighs, then turns back to the screen. He punches a bunch of keys. Lee's alias appears again with the words "Security clearance: Top secret" with "secret" flashing.) Excellent. (He walks around Becker and smiles.) Only five days remain until the satellite launch. Perhaps our Mr. Jackson can be persuaded to hatch a golden egg for us by then.
(Alexi abruptly stands up.)
Alexi: I gotta go.
(Becker pushes Alexi back down into the chair.)
Wilson: I think, Alexi, it would be best if you stayed with us.
(Alexi stands up again. This time, no one pushes him down.)
Alexi: No way. And don't you try to stop me. I left a note back where I'm staying. If I don't tear it up before they find it in the morning, they'll know right where you are.
(Wilson stares at him for a second, then looks up at Becker.)
Wilson: And get busy with this Jackson person, Becker. Once that satellite starts sending messages to the ACM computer, our people want to know everything it knows. (Becker nods and leaves the room. Alexi smiles smugly at Wilson. Wilson smiles and walks up to him. He lays his hand on Alexi's shoulder. Alexi's smile fades.) You want to help your parents, you help me.
(He puts his arm down.)

(Next morning at Amanda's house. Amanda is on the phone with Dean and has a laundry basket in her other arm.)
Amanda: Oh, Dean, that's wonderful! Tri-city weather forecaster of the year. . . . A trophy! What kind of a trophy? . . . An aluminum sun. (She laughs.) Gesundheit. Look, I told you you should have taken your rain poncho. . . . Yeah, well, okay. I'll see you when you get here. . . . Okay. All right. Bye-bye. (She hangs up and smiles. Then she walks over to the stairs and calls up.) Uh, Alexi, your clothes are out of the dryer!
Alexi (from upstairs): Good.
(Amanda sighs, then turns to the clothes, pretending to be Alexi and imagining what he should have said.)
Amanda: Thank you, Amanda, you really shouldn't have bothered. (The door opens behind her. Dotty walks in, staring at her daughter's strange behavior.) Oh no, Alexi, no problem, really, no problem. Oh, well, Amanda, you're really much too kind --
Dotty: Why are you talking to yourself?
(Amanda jumps and sees her mother standing right behind her.)
Amanda: Oh. Ha, ha.
(She chuckles nervously.)
Dotty: Well, how are you and young Dillinger getting along?
Amanda: Oh, we're, we're making progress. Mother, did you notice Alexi's sweatshirt at dinner last night?
Dotty: No, why?
Amanda: Well, it's torn. I'm sure it wasn't torn last night. (She shrugs and puts the shirt back. She looks down and giggles.) You're barefoot.
(Dotty glances down at her feet.)
Dotty: Oh, yes. Well, Fred says that feet strangle in shoes. He recommends letting them breathe until at least noon.
Amanda: Mm.
(Dotty folds her arms.)
Dotty: Speaking of feet, which one of our three little hooligans has trampled my rose bushes?
Amanda: What?
Dotty: The ones by the front fence. Two of them are absolutely squished. Now, I can not imagine when that happened. I was in the garden until late. And I was out there first thing this morning. (She shrugs.) Strange, isn't it?
(Dotty walks away. Amanda watches her go.)
Amanda (preoccupied): Uh, yeah, it's uh . . . it's very strange.
(Amanda fingers the torn sweatshirt.)

(The Lug Wrench Bar. Lee, as "Ricky Joe", is leaning on the bar chatting with Becker.)
Lee: So she says to me, "Now don't you bother taking your boots off, 'cause I just love cowboys." (They laugh. Candy serves someone across the bar. Lee calls to her.) Hey, Candy darlin', how about another round of beer here, huh?
(Candy walks away.)
Becker: Oh, no thanks. Noon is too early for me to lose it, R.J.
Lee: Beck, old boy, I can't lose what I no longer have. (They laugh again. Candy walks over with the tray of one beer.) Oh, thank you, sweetheart. How about I cut you for the tab, huh?
(He takes playing cards out of his pocket and ruffles them. Candy puts her hands on her hips.)
Candy: Oh, that's okay, you just write me a check.
(She walks away. Lee chuckles and picks up the beer.)
Lee: Oh, well. Here you go. (He raises the cup to his lips, then stops. Across the room is Amanda, waving. Lee tries to stay in character, so he laughs nervously. He talks to Becker.) Now you see why I'm so broke. Most ex-wives just pick up the phone. Not mine. She jumps on a plane. Excuse me for a minute, huh? (He pushes past Becker and walks toward Amanda.) The alimony check is in the mail, sugar.
(Amanda realizes what he is doing and plays along, also with a western accent.)
Amanda: Well, I had to see you, Ricky Joe. It's about the boy.
Lee: Well, now is not the time, honey.
Amanda: Well, something is definitely going on with him . . . honey. Uh, I think he ran away last night.
Lee: You think?
Amanda: Well, he came back. But he trampled the flowers in Mother's garden. (Becker peers at her.) Mother has been staying with me, you know, ever since you left.
Lee: Ah. You know, I got to go back to work now (through gritted teeth) or I might screw up my job totally, you savvy. (Amanda nods. Lee whispers.) You're just going to have to keep an eye on him. Come to my place tonight and we'll talk. (Amanda nods again. Lee looks at his glass.) Tell me I stink.
(Amanda glances around. She speaks loudly.)
Amanda: You stink.
(Lee takes a drink from his glass and hands it to her.)
Lee: Throw my drink in my face.
(Amanda takes the glass and splashes him in the face, thoroughly enjoying it. Lee sputters.)
Amanda: And frankly, Ricky Joe, sex with you was always a major disappointment.
(She pushes the glass into his hand and walks away. Lee watches her go, glaring.)
Lee: Ham. (Becker, watching, laughs silently to himself. Lee turns to him and shrugs. Chuckling, he walks over to Becker.) Well. Whoo. (Becker hands him a handkerchief. Lee takes it.) Thank you. (He dries himself off and motions toward the door.) Still a lot of unresolved anger there. (The two men laugh. Lee examines his dripping clothes.) Look at this.
Becker: Ricky Joe, I -- I know you got to get back to work soon, but do you have just a minute? I'd like to talk a little business.
(They laugh again. Becker starts to walk away. Lee follows.)
Lee: Yeah.

(Parking lot. Becker and Coughlin are sitting in their car, waiting.)
Becker: I promised him two grand for a couple of personnel files.
Coughlin: We got Jeff Clemens for half that.
Becker: We got half the time we had with him. This cowboy comes through with something simple like personnel records, he may be ready to graduate to the big time.
(Lee's Porsche drives up. Becker and Coughlin fall silent. Lee parks the car beside them. Becker and Coughlin exchange looks. Lee gets out of the car, carrying a briefcase, and strides casually to Becker's car. He leans over and shoves the briefcase through the window. Coughlin opens it and starts leafing through the papers.)
Lee: Here. (Becker and Coughlin reach for the briefcase and take it. Lee stays leaned over.) Now, look, I got to tell you, I still don't feel right about this. I never did anything like this in my life.
Becker (gently): Always a first time. (Lee nods. Becker motions to Coughlin.) My associate, Jack Coughlin.
Coughlin: How do you do.
Lee: Yeah.
(Coughlin reaches into his jacket and pulls out an envelope. He passes it to Becker, who passes it to Lee.)
Becker: This ought to help ease the pain.
Lee: Yeah.
(Lee smiles.)
Becker: We'll be in touch.
Lee: No, thanks. Don't bother.
(Still chuckling, he straightens up and trots down to his car. Becker watches him go. Coughlin examines some more things in the briefcase.)
Coughlin: Aero-boy gets an A.
Becker: Good. Next we'll go for the code word.
Coughlin: We keeping the kid around to verify the codes for us?
Becker: That's the only reason we're keeping him around. Once we're into the satellite computer, Wilson wants the kid and his parents blown away. They're too much trouble.
(Coughlin nods.)

(Night at Lee's apartment. Lee opens the door and walks in. Amanda comes to meet him. She has a figurine that looks like a cornucopia with flowers sticking out of it in her arms.)
Amanda: Hello!
Lee: Hi.
Amanda: I made a completely unnourishing meal. Alexi is bound to love it.
(She sets the figurine down on a small table. Lee comes around the corner and walks down the hall to her, carrying a gigantic stuffed panda bear wrapped in a red bag and another red-wrapped package in front of him.)
Lee: Well, how'd it go today?
(Amanda sees the bear.)
Amanda: Oh.
Lee: Did you beat up on him?
Amanda: No, no, not too much. You know, I'm actually beginning to like him? (Lee drops down onto the couch and puts the presents beside him. Amanda stands in front of him.) You know, they've lived in eleven places since they moved here from Russia? No wonder he doesn't believe in friends. He hasn't had time to make any.
(She picks up the panda and pulls the red bag off.)
Lee: See? I knew he'd grow on you.
(Lee starts pulling the bag off the other gift. Amanda sits the bear down and admires it from the floor.)
Amanda: Oh. What is all this stuff?
(Lee extracts a box from the other bag and sets it on the table in front od the couch.)
Lee: Oh, I picked up some things for him. Where is he?
Amanda: Oh, uh, you hold it. He's in the bathroom in the bathtub, and you just let him stay there. It took me an hour and a half to get him in.
Lee: Mm.
Amanda: Let's just see what you got.
(Lee pulls out some video tapes. As he names the videos, he puts them down in front of Amanda.)
Lee: Well, we've got your "Death Demon," "Space Dinosaur," and the ever popular
(He holds up the last tape.)
Both: "Swamp Humanoids."
(Lee chuckles. Amanda takes the tape from him.)
Amanda: Very good. You know, it looks like you're sort of, uh, you're spoiling the kid rotten, maybe you're trying to, um, to buy his affections. (Amanda looks at the panda. She takes its furry chin and moves it toward her.) You know, you could definitely buy mine with this guy, this guy is gorgeous. I --
(Lee stands up and takes the bear. He walks across the room with it.)
Lee: He might like him. (Lee tosses it up and down and laughs. He sets it in the desk chair, then looks around him at the clean room.) Where'd my apartment go?
(Amanda smiles.)
Amanda: Well, I just, you know, dusted a few things off, maybe threw away a couple of old newspapers.
(Lee walks over to the figurine Amanda had placed down earlier.)
Lee: Oh, no. You went and drowned my Tibetan ram's horn. (Amanda looks away.) Wha -- ? (He notices something on the couch and walks over to it. It is a blue booklet. Lee reads aloud from the cover.) "Understanding Sabotage: A Beginner's Guide." (Amanda jumps up and runs over to him.)
That's not mine.
(Amanda yanks it out of his hands.)
Amanda: That's mine. Billy gave it to me. It's on my reading list.
Lee: Ah. (Amanda walks away. Lee turns and rests his hand on the chair with the bear in it. Amanda puts the booklet on the coffee table and looks up when Lee speaks.) You've taken over the place. It's not that it's, uh, it just looks nice and neat and tidy. It looks like you live here and not me! (Amanda rolls her eyes upward.) Not that I'm not grateful, of course.
(Amanda nods. She walks over to the matle and leans on it.)
Amanda: You know, I think Alexi was right when he said that we were incompatible.
Lee: Oh, Alexi said that?
Amanda: Actually he said, "Lee's fun. You're a drag."
Lee: You know, he's not all that bad. (Amanda raises her eyebrows at him. He walks over to her.) I mean, some kids deserve a little spoiling. Life's not easy. And it's a lot harder for a scared kid. You know, maybe he pretends to be tough so no one will know how scared he is.
(Amanda smiles.)
Amanda: You know, if I didn't know better, I'd swear you were speaking from personal experience.
Lee: You're not kidding. Did I ever tell you about my childhood?
Amanda: No.
Lee: Yeah, I didn't think so. (He brushes past her and stops in front of the record player.) All right. All right, what -- where are my Rolling Stones albums, huh?
Amanda: Under S. Stones, Rolling.
(Lee starts to speak, but stops. Amanda walks away. Lee shuffles through the S albums.)
Lee: Look, all I'm saying is put up with the kid, huh? (Amanda starts playing with the panda.) Just a little bit longer? I'm sorry if he, uh, snuck out on you.
(Amanda, carrying the bear, walks over to him.)
Amanda: I'm not sure that he did. I just don't want him to get hurt, you know? (She stops walking.) I mean, I think he knows a lot more than he's telling us, and I think maybe he tried to contact his parents.
Lee: But he's scared to death and he's not telling us a thing.
(Amanda hugs the bear and looks at him slyly.)
Amanda: Hmm.
Lee: What?
Amanda: Oh, nothing, I was just think that maybe you tough guys aren't as tough as I thought you were.
(Lee chuckles.)

(The Lug Wrench Bar. Becker and Coughlin are having a secretive discussion at one end of the bar. Lee walks in. The discussion ends.)
Lee: Candy darlin'!
Candy: Hi, cowboy.
Becker: Hi, Ricky Joe!
(Lee walks over to Becker and Coughlin.)
Lee: How you doing, partner?
Becker: Good. You remember my associate, Jack Coughlin.
(Coughlin gets up and he and Lee shake hands.)
Lee: Yeah. Howdy, howdy.
Coughlin: Nice to see you again.
(Lee points at both of the other men.)
Lee: You slicks want to join me for a drink? I'm buying.
(All the men laugh.)
Becker: Nah, Jack's got to get a haircut. Let's step back here for a second.
Lee: Well, I kinda want to get a beer here --
Coughlin: We've got to talk.
(Lee looks at Coughlin, then at Becker and shrugs.)
Lee: Well, sure.
(He chuckles and follows Becker out the door and into a dimly lit storage room. Coughlin tails along close behind.)
Coughlin: Ricky Joe, my friend and I need a little help. Help that you can provide.
Lee: Hey, I owe you boys. Talk to me.
Becker: Remember how you were able to get those personnel files for us?
Lee: Yep.
Becker: Well, we need a little more information.
Lee: Oh. Who is it you fellas want to check up on this time?
Becker: We need access to the new surveillance satellite computer.
Lee: Ah, hold it right there. That's way out of my league. I ain't interested in treason.
Becker: How interested are you in losing your job and gaining a police record?
(Lee's smile fades.)
Lee: Now just wait a minute --
Becker: Ricky Joe, you got financial troubles that won't quit. Gambling debts that could be called in any time. (Lee gulps and glances at Coughlin, who is staring at him cruelly.) And now you've gone and stolen confidential files from a high security organization. A word to the wrong people. . . .
Lee: Are you threatening me?
Coughlin: That's right, cowboy. And we mean business, I promise you. Now, you get us that entry code book.
(Lee laughs as if they were joking.)
Lee: Now ordinarily, I'd be obliged. But you can --
(He turns to go, but Coughlin grabs him and pins his arms behind his back. Becker punches him in the stomach. Lee grunts and slumps down.)

(IFF. Billy's office. Lee's shirt is open and he is wrapping bandages around his stomach. He grimaces in pain. Billy is going through files and things on his desk. Francine walks in.)
Francine: You know, I love my work, too, but, uh, you wouldn't catch me letting thugs tumble my body.
(She smirks at Lee. He glances at her.)
Lee: Fine. You wouldn't catch me in a hotel room with a Turkish gunrunner.
Francine: I did not go to a hotel room. It was a suite.
(Billy, tired of this conversation, looks up and silences them.)
Billy: All right. So they're convinced you're scared of them. Are you making the drop tonight?
Lee: Yeah. Is that phony code book ready?
(Billy holds up a small blue book and a transmitter.)
Billy: Just like the real thing, with one minor exception. One of these transmitters will be hidden in the spine of the book.
(Lee reaches for the transmitter and examines it.)
Francine: Dane and I will be in the van. Once you make the handoff, we're going to follow the homing device directly to the KGB computer.
Lee: Are we sure it's KGB?
Francine: With this satellite involved, I don't think it's a gang in Harlem.
(Lee chuckles.)
Billy: How are you getting along with Alexi?
(Lee sighs, thinking.)
Lee: Well, you don't get along with Alexi, you get around him.

(Amanda's house at night. Amanda is in the kitchen on the phone with Lee. She turns to face the camera.)
Amanda: Well, I don't know why you keep calling this your case, I mean, I am the one that's with him. . . . Well, I think it's a little bit more than baby-sitting. . . . Yes, of course he can stay here another night. (Dotty appears at the doorway to the kitchen and listens.) Yes, I am proud to be serving my country in this meaningful way. Mm-hmm. . . . All right, fine, I'll see you tomorrow. . . . Yes. Good-bye. (She hangs the phone up and turns. Her eyes widen as she sees her mother staring at her.) Mother! That was the big sister people. They want to know if it would be all right if Alexi spends another night. Do you mind?
Dotty: Uh, no. No, not at all. I'll just go hide the silver again.
(She turns to leave, but Amanda walks over to her and faces her.)
Amanda: Mother, uh, wait a minute, listen. Could I ask you how do get a kid like Alexi to open up to you, you know, to trust you?
Dotty: Well, he probably thinks you don't trust him.
Amanda: I trust him. (Dotty looks at her out of the corner of his eye.) Well, I -- I try to trust him.
Dotty: Children are like chihuahuas, Amanda. They smell mistrust. I mean, you've got to give him the benefit of the doubt. You believe the best, you'll get the best, I always say.
(Amanda nods.)
Amanda: Thank you, Mother.
Dotty: I'll just go attend to the silver.
(Amanda nods again, then walks over to the stairs and calls up.)
Amanda: Alexi, could I see you for a minute?
Alexi: I got things to do. I'm busy.
(Amanda looks down, then up again.)
Amanda: Alexi, you get yourself down here right now. I'm the tough one, remember?
(Alexi sighs, then walks down the stairs. He faces Amanda. She just stares at him.)
Alexi: What?
(Amanda stares at him some more, then starts to smile. She lowers her gaze.)
Amanda: I'm not so tough and you know it. (Alexi nods.) Look, I wish I knew what to say to you, I wish I had the right words to reach you. But I, you know, I don't. Um, if you were my boy, I would put my arms around you, and I would tell you that I know you're scared, and that everything's going to be all right. Uh, but I do want you to know that . . . well, I trust you, and I want you to trust me. (Alexi just stares. Amanda smiles.) And I like you.
(Alexi smiles, surprised.)
Alexi: You really like me?
Amanda: Yeah, I do, I really like you.
(Alexi's smile broadens and he runs upstairs. Amanda looks away happily.)
Alexi: Oh. (Amanda looks up.) I never said I wasn't the hugging type.
(Amanda smiles.)

(Later that night, Amanda is doing her bills on her dining room table. She hears the door slam and looks up. Then she looks down and talks to herself.)
Amanda: I trust him. I trust him. I really trust him.
(She does a couple more bills, then hears another door slam. She looks down again, but this time, she jumps up and follows the noise outside. She looks into the kitchen. The door is open. She sighs, then walks in the other direction. She opens the front door and runs out. She quickly opens the fence and runs across the street to a parked car with an IFF agent inside. She leans over to the window.)
Amanda: He's gone. He went out the back. Look, if you go that way, I'll take my car and go that way.
(The agent nods and starts the engine. Amanda runs over to her car. Alexi, hiding in a bush, gets out and darts across the street, narrowly missing a passing car. Amanda hears the horn honk and sees Alexi running into the dark behind a house. She chases after him. She turns the corner. Coughlin is helping Alexi into a car.)
Amanda: Alexi! What are you doing!
(Becker comes into view.)
Becker: Well, well. (He slowly takes a gun out of his jacket and holds it up. Amanda recognizes him and her eyes widen.) If it isn't Mrs. Ricky Joe.
(Amanda gulps, and turns to see Alexi peering at her. Amanda whispers, shocked.)
Amanda: Alexi.
(Becker walks over to her and puts his hand on her shoulder. Amanda turns. Becker motions with his gun to put Alexi into the car, then he pushes Amanda forward.)

(A dark, secluded spot in downtown Washington, D.C. Lee drives his Porsche up and blinks the headlights two times. Becker's car, hidden in the woods, shines its lights. Lee looks closer. The headlights go off. Lee gets out of the car, carrying the fake code book. He shuts the door and tucks the book under his arm. He walks toward the other car. In a van, Francine and Dane are sitting with a loudly beeping device.)
Francine: Okay, he's about to reach the drop-off point.
(Lee comes through the trees and walks to the car. He waves. Suddenly, the headlights go on in his eyes. He squints, taken by surprise. He puts his hand up to shield the light.)
Lee: Whoo. Hey. (He walks over to the window and leans in.) You boys nearly knocked my eyeballs out with them lights. Y'all sure can pick the meeting places.
(He stops smiling when he sees Amanda and Alexi in the backseat with a gun pointed at them. Amanda smiles weakly. Becker points another gun at Lee.)
Becker: Ricky Joe. You can cut the cornpone.
(Lee stares at him silently, knowing he is beat. At the same time, he glares at Amanda. In the next shot, Lee is squished in the backseat next to Alexi. He whispers over to Amanda. Alexi looks back and forth from one spy to the other.)
Lee: I thought the idea was to keep him at your house.
Amanda: Well, what was I supposed to do, tie him up?
Lee: Better him than us.
(In the front seat, Becker is carefully examining the code book. Coughlin is watching.)
Becker: Quiet back there. (He feels the spine of the book. Becker tears away the binding. Lee glowers at Amanda one more time. Amanda looks back meekly. Becker removes the transmitter and looks at it, smiling meanly.) I thought so.
(He looks at Coughlin, then gets out of the car.)

(In the van, the machine still beeping, Francine checks her watch worriedly.)
Francine: He must have given it to them by now.

(By his car, Becker carefully leans down and places the transmitter in front of the front tire. In the backseat, Amanda turns her head toward Lee, but does not meet his eyes. Lee is still glaring, but then he sighs and looks away. Alexi stays silent. Coughlin starts the car and with a crunch, they squash the transmitter.)

(In the van, the device stopped beeping. Dane bangs it a couple times, then looks at Francine.)
Dane: What happened? Malfunction?
Francine: That or they're on to us. Either way, we have no way of following now.

(Arcade back room in a closet. Lee and Amanda are tied with their hands together and attached to a bar. They try to undo it with their fingers. They keep looking away briefly, but their fingers never stop working at the ropes.)
Lee: So now Soviet agents are operating out of video arcades. I can't beileve we had Alexi the whole time and then he turns out to be the key to this whole thing.
Amanda: Well, he couldn't talk! They were threatening his parents. What do you think they're going to do to us?
Lee: Well, if you were them and they were us, what would you do?
Amanda: Oh, I only wish they hadn't found that homing device.
Lee: Amanda, I learned a long time ago in this business you can't look back.
Amanda: Yeah, it just doesn't seem like I have too much to look forward to.
(The closet door opens. They both turn to look, which proves to be a difficult maneuver. Alexi appears in the doorway.)
Lee: Hey.
Alexi: I just wanted to say I'm sorry you're tied up in this closet.
Lee: I don't suppose you came here to untie us.
Alexi: No! They'd shoot my parents. I got to go. (He starts to leave, but then turns back.) Oh. They think that code book you gave them is probably phony.
Lee: They're probably right.
Alexi: That's what I figured. Well, I'll punch phony codes into the computer anyway. It'll buy you some time.
Lee: Alexi, just -- just this little knot right over here.
Alexi: No!
Lee: Come on.
Amanda: Alexi, listen. We're not asking you to choose between us and your parents.
Lee: No.
Amanda: Helping us won't get them hurt.
Alexi: Shot.
Amanda: Shot. It won't get them shot. Look, Alexi. This is Lee Stetson. He is one of the top agents in the country. Now, if you'll just untie us, he will rescue your parents and he'll stop these people, trust me!
Lee: Yeah.
Alexi: If he's so hot, what's he doing tied up in a closet?
(The two spies are stuck for an answer.)
Amanda: Perfectly good question.
(She shakes her head. Lee looks at her.)
Alexi: I got to go. I really am sorry.
Lee: Oh, come on, Alexi.
Alexi: No!
Lee: Alexi!
Alexi: No! Amanda: Alexi! Alexi!
Lee: Alexi, just untie -- (The door closes. Lee sighs, then looks at Amanda.) One of the top agents in this country?
Amanda: Too much? (Lee nods.) I sensed it right away.
Lee: Mm-hmm.
Amanda: Too much.

(Outside the closet, in the back room, the computer screen is flashing "Access Denied" and Becker and Wilson are getting annoyed. Alexi is holding the open code book and looking at it, pretending to think.)
Wilson: The sun's coming up. Is the book a fake or not?
Alexi: I can't be sure. It's got a lot of combinations here. (He flips a couple pages.)
Wilson: Try a few more. On the remote chance one of those codes might get us into the computer before the satellite launch.

(In the closet, Lee and Amanda are still working at the ropes. Lee is holding a rope in his teeth and tries to talk without dropping it.)
Lee: Okay, grab the other loose end with your teeth. (Amanda strains her neck and grabs hold of another rope. They hold the two ropes out, which are tied together with a knot.) Yeah. Hold tight while I work on the knot.
(He leans forward, inches away from Amanda, snapping his jaws, trying to catch hold of the knot without dropping the rope.)
Amanda: Don't bite me. Don't bite me.
Lee: Just hold still.
Amanda: All right.

(In the other room, the computer is flashing the same message. This time, Becker and Wilson are leaning over Alexi and the book.)
Becker: The whole book is obviously counterfeit. Where does that leave us?
Wilson: We'll have to abandon our operation here. Attack the problem from a new direction.
Becker: What about Stetson and the woman?
(Alexi glances up, then quickly back down. Wilson looks at Becker, then gets up and walks away from Alexi. Becker follows. Wilson turns to face him.)
Wilson: Get rid of them.
(They hear a door open and look up just in time to see Alexi running out the door and closing it behind them. Becker and Wilson chase after him, pushing chairs out of their path. They try the door, but it won't move.)

(On the other side of the door, in the arcade room, Alexi checks the lock on the door, then quickly runs across the room to the closet where Lee and Amanda are held. He stands on his tiptoes to reach the lock, then he opens the door. He does not notice that Lee is completely untied and finishing up Amanda's knots.)
Alexi: Okay. You win. We've got to get out of here. They've got my parents tied up in a vacant store in the mall. (He suddenly notices the missing rope.) You're untied!
(Lee finished the rope and Amanda comes free. He looks at Alexi defiantly.)
Lee: Yeah. One of the top agents in the c--
(He hears a noise and looks up. Coughlin has arrived, and he is stuggling with the gate. Lee pulls the terrified Alexi close to him, then creeps out of the closet. Amanda and Alexi follow very close behind. Lee peers around the corner and sees Coughlin pushing open the gate angrily. The thug draws his gun out of his pocket. Lee sighs and leans against the wall. Coughlin hears the banging coming from the locked room. Inside, of course, are Becker and Wilson, trying to bash the door down with their shoulders. Coughlin walks toward the noise and, glancing around, pulls a small key out of his pocket and unlocks it. Lee glances around again. Doing some quick thinking, Alexi reaches over and pulls a lever on the wall. The strobe light flashes on and off. It's enought to distract Coughlin. Before he can remove the lock, Lee runs over and kicks him in the stomach. Coughlin goes down. Lee grabs him in a headlock and throws him against a video game. Coughlin falls to the floor, But Lee's not done yet. He runs over and gets ready to throw him again. Amanda nods to Alexi, then she runs over to the door with the criminals inside and closes the lock. Lee and Coughlin are in the middle of a deadly fight. Coughlin punches Lee in the jaw and slams him against the wall, but Lee fights back. Amanda and Alexi work together to push a video game in front of the door, blocking it.)
Amanda: Over there! Block it!
(Lee elbows Coughlin in the stomach and the fight continues. Amanda hands Alexi the keys that were dangling from the lock.)
Amanda: See if you can find your parents and let them out.
(Alexi takes the keys and makes a mad dash for the doorway, anxious to leave the room. The fight between Lee and Coughlin has spread to Amanda's side of the room. She ducks out of the way and watches. Lee and Coughlin circle each other. Suddenly, Lee bashes Coughlin with his head and Coughlin steps back, dizzy. Lee punches him in the face. Just then, Becker breaks through the door. Furious, he pushes the video game out of his way and jumps out of the space he made in the door. Wilson follows him. He takes out his gun. Meanwhile, Lee is trying to corner Coughlin by knocking over video games and surrounding him with them. As one bangs into another, sparks fly. Lee dives out of the way. At the same time, Becker jumps on him. Lee holds up Becker and wrestles for his gun. Wilson, watching quietly, leans down and picks up the gun that Coughlin dropped. As Lee slams Becker's elbow into a machine, the glass shatters and the game smokes. Amanda, with Wilson holding her arm and the gun to her back, walks out the door.)
Amanda: Lee!
(Lee turns to look in time to see her being forced out the door by Wilson. In that moment of distraction, Becker slams Lee in the jaw. Lee drops and holds onto a video game for support. He looks dazed, but just as Becker's fist is coming at him, Lee ducks and Becker's hand goes smashing into the metal. He falls. Now infuriated, Lee stands up, grabs Becker by the collar, and punches his stomach multiple times until finally Becker goes down for good. Lee watches him a few moments, then turns and rips the cables off a motorcycle on display.)

(Outside, behind the building, Wilson pushes Amanda into his red car and holds his gun pointed at her. Amanda moves aside into the passenger's seat. She sighs, knowing that Lee will come to the rescue. Wilson watches her out of the corner of his eye, then starts the car. It backs out of the driveway and begins to speed away. Now Amanda starts to get worried. She looks behind them and spots Lee, riding the motorcycle, driving along above them on a wall. Wilson looks at his prisoner to see what she is watching, but Amanda quickly looks forward. Lee rides the motorcycle off the wall and lands squarely on the street in front of Wilson. The tires screech as the big car makes a sharp turn.)

(Over by the mall, Alexi runs out the main entrance, leaving his father shouting after him.)
Vasily: Alexi, wait! Come back!
(Still astride the motorcycle, Lee glances behind him and sees Wilson hot on the trail. They speed by the main entrance, where Coughlin grabs Alexi and pulls out of harm's way. The two vehicles chase each other around a corner. Lee grits his teeth and makes an abrupt sharp turn. Caught off guard, the car continues going straight. It turns around. Lee turns around on the bike, too. They are now facing each other. The car speeds right toward the bike. Lee meets the challenge and does the same thing. Just before they collide, Lee veers around the car. They turn around again and get back on the road, this time with Lee following behind. In the car, Amanda looks over her shoulder at the hero. Wilson turns and watches Lee passing him. Wilson tries to aim his gun. Amanda reaches over and grabs the steering wheel. The car drives right into a pile of boxes. While Wilson grabs his gun, Amanda yanks the keys out of the ignition and opens the door to get out. Wilson finds the gun and picks it up. Lee heads right for the car. Amanda gets down on the ground and crawls out of the way.* Wilson finally gets the pistol in his hand and fires at Lee. He misses, but Lee falls off the motorcycle and crashes into the same pile of boxes.)
Amanda: Lee!
(She looks up, trying to see if he's all right. Wilson stands up with his gun. Amanda gets up.)
Wilson: Stop. (Amanda turns and sees the gun pointed right at her.) Get back in the car.
(Amanda gulps and walks over the car with a slight limp. When Wilson turns his back, Lee gets out of the debris and races over to him. He jumps on the hood of the car and springs onto Wilson, slamming him onto a barrel. Amanda walks over to watch. Lee picks Wilson up and pushes him against the car hood, satisfied. He glares at Amanda. Overjoyed, Alexi runs over to them with a big smile on his face. Behind him, his parents embrace. Amanda returns the smile.)
Amanda: Like I said. One of the top agents --
(Alexi nods, still smiling. Lee holds up his hand.)
Lee: No, no, no, no. No, Don't say it. (Amanda looks at Alexi and shrugs. Alexi smiles harder. Lee looks away for a second, then looks back, also smiling.) Okay. Say it. (Amanda raises her eyebrows at him. Lee's smile fades.) Say it.
(Amanda shakes her head, trying not to laugh. Lee glares at her darkly.)

(Amanda's living room. Amanda is massaging Dean's back. Dean has his head buried in the pillow, so once again, we don't see what he looks like.)
Dean: Oh, Amanda, that feels wonderful.
Amanda: Good, I'm glad, Dean.
Dean: So did you hear the news about what happened at Pepper Tree Mall? (Amanda's eyes widen.) Spies. (Dean chuckles.) Right there operating out of a video arcade. Isn't that amazing? Right there in the suburbs. Hmm.
Amanda: Uh, uh, no, Dean, I -- I didn't hear a thing about it.
Dean: Really?
Amanda: Yeah.
Dean: Hmm. Some Russian kid and his parents were involved. Apparently, against their will. So everything's going to turn out for them all right. (Amanda smiles, pleased.) It was all over the radio. It was on television. Amanda: Well, you know, I've been pretty busy with the boys.
(Dean uneasily turns around to face Amanda. You get a view from behind him,ufortunately, although finally you can see that he has brown hair, though not nearly as nice as Lee's. He runs his hand through that hair.)
Dean: Um . . . . speaking of the kids, uh . . . Jamie will be coming to the movies with us tonight.
Amanda: Since when?
Dean: Since he rolled a seven and I "crapped out."
(Amanda smiles and shakes her head. The doorbell rings.)
Amanda: Excuse me.
(She gets off Dean and goes to answer the door. Dean sits up and watches her go. She trots over to the door and opens it. No one is outside, so she opens it the rest of the way and looks around. She stops and smiles. Amanda walks over a few feet and kneels down in front of the big stuffed panda. She wraps her arms around it. Then she hears an engine rev and drive away. Dean calls from inside.)
Dean: Amanda? Who is it?
(Amanda smiles and looks down at the bear.)

*I realized while I was watching this part that Amanda is kind of dragging her foot as she crawls. We found out later that the actress Kate Jackson really did break her foot early on in the first season of the show. We figured that this must be the spot, and for most of the first season, she needed a stunt double for walking and running, and you almost never see her foot, only the double's. As I said later, she had a slight limp when she walked back over to get in the car.