(Dark night in Washington. In a brick apartment, an old black-and-white
movie is on TV. The movie characters are all you hear.)
Woman: I'm afraid, Mr. Blade. My life has been threatened.
Blade: Lock your doors and stay inside. Trust me. Oh, by the way, do you own a gas mask?
Woman: Yes, I think so.
(The movie continues while the camera pans to look around the room. A man has his feet propped up on a footstool while he watches the movie. An open bag of potato chips and a six-pack are beside him. A hand reaches into the bag and extracts a handful of chips.)
Blade: Okay, kid, beat it.
(In the movie, Blade walks around the woman with a gun in his hand. In reality, the hand crunches an empty can. The camera pans some more to a burned out cigarette in an ashtray and a man lying on the floor, a knife in his back.)
(A bar called Monk's. People are talking and laughing. In a table
over in the corner sit Lee and Amanda.)
Lee: So now you've seen where we spend our spare time. Are you disappointed?
Amanda: Well, I wish you wouldn't treat me like a tourist visiting Mount Rushmore. I just wanted to see where you spend your spare time when you're not working, that's all. Do all these people work for the government?
Lee: Most of them, not all. (He directs her attention to another table.) See the two guys over there, chugging beer in the corner?
(She takes a drink.)
Lee: The one on the left is Mike Monroe, from our L.A. office. The other is Kasmo Ramos.
Amanda: The Mexican office?
(Lee shakes his head.)
Lee: Cuban. (Amanda starts to say, "Ohh," but then stops and starts to say "Cuban?" when Lee interrupts her.) Monk's is neutral territory. It's a hangout for reporters, operatives, or crooks, anyone who makes a buck off the international power game.
Amanda: What about that woman that's just come in the door? (Lee turns to look and sees Jay Negata and Marsha Stone come in and say hi to everyone.) Well, is she an agent?
Lee: Yeah, she's spying for the "Washington Herald." (Amanda chuckles and raises her glass.) That's Marsha Stone. The man with her is with the "Tokyo Gazette." See, sometimes we use reporters to leak information to other governments unofficially.
Amanda (sarcastically): No.
(Marsha and her companion come to their table.)
Marsha: Hello, Lee.
Lee: Hi, Marsha.
Marsha: You remember Jay Negata?
(He and Jay shake hands.)
Jay: How are you?
Lee: Oh, good, good to see you.
Marsha: Certainly is packed in here tonight. I guess everyone's afraid to be out on the street. At least in here they can keep an eye on each other.
Lee: Just what are you getting at, Marsha?
Marsha: Oh, I guess you haven't heard. (She exchanges glances with Jay.) Tonight, another agent was murdered.
(Amanda's eyes widen.)
Lee: One of ours or one of theirs?
Marsha: Another one from the West. Jean-Claude Michet.
Jay: Last night an Albanian operative was killed. It's beginning to look like ours versus theirs doesn't apply in this instance. Just agents on both sides getting killed by parties unknown.
Lee: Did Michet's killer use the same MO?
Marsha: To the letter. First he delivers a warning note, then the hit.
Jay: Whatever his reasons are, he's put quite a crimp on daily operations. It seems to us that he's got you guys running scared.
Lee: Take a look around you, Mr. Negata. (Jay looks around them at all the people laughing and chatting.) I don't see anybody running.
Jay: Just a figure a speech.
Lee: Well, we'll be going.
Marsha: Please don't run off -- I mean, don't leave because of us.
Lee: We aren't. (He gestures to Amanda.) She's got to make a plane.
(He and Amanda gather up their stuff and leave, saying good-bye to the reporters.)
(Outside, Lee is leading Amanda to her car. She's babbling, as usual.)
Amanda: I really do have to get home to help the boys pack. Mother's taking them to Williamsburg.
Lee: Ah-hah. (They stop by Amanda's station wagon.) Amanda, look, I apologize about in there. Reporters just get to me, that's all, they're always trying to stir things up.
Amanda: It's all right.
Lee: Sure, we're nervous about the strange murders, who wouldn't be? (Amanda nods sympathetically.) Well, here you are and, uh, drive safely.
Amanda: Why don't I give you a lift? I could drop you.
Lee: No, no, I'll take a cab.
Amanda: Wouldn't it be safer if I drove you?
Amanda: Yes. I mean, I know I can't punch, but look, if anybody tried to attack you, I could confuse them to death. You know I can do that.
Lee: Oh, that I do. And believe me, when I need a blackbelt confuser, I will call you. (Amanda looks off to the side strangely.) I'm going to be okay tonight, don't worry. (He sees where she is looking. A pencil peddler walks up with a coffeemug full of pencils. He stops between Lee and Amanda.) What is it, Wendell? (The old vendor holds the cup to him. Lee reaches in and pulls out a folded piece of paper. He looks at it.) Who gave you this?
Vendor: A man who knows a man who knows a man.
(Lee nods. Amanda jaw is open and she is staring at the strange vendor who walks off down the street. Lee unfolds the paper and reads it.)
Amanda: What does it say?
(Lee folds it back up and shrugs.)
Amanda: Can I see it?
(Amanda grabs the paper from him and answers, preoccupied.)
Amanda: Well, just because I'm nosy. (She opens it and reads it aloud.) "A warning: I've got my eye on you." Is this the same note that the victims got?
(Lee answers quickly and quietly, hoping for her not to hear.)
Amanda: What are you going to do?
Lee: Ignore it.
Amanda: Ignore it?!
Lee: Amanda, anyone could have sent this. In my business, we get things like this all the time. And I can't let it get to me. No agent can and still be effective.
Amanda: All right. We know that you're strong and brave (Lee smiles proudly) but I'm not, I'm scared, I'm not strong, and I'm not brave, so, just to humor me, would you please let me drive you home? (Lee stares at her.) Please?
(Lee sighs and gives in.)
Lee: How about I drive?
Amanda: Sure. (He holds the car door open and she climbs in. But first, she hands him back his warning.) Here's your -- ahem -- note.
(Lee takes it and rolls his eyes.)
(Lee's apartment. Lee is in his robe and his in his armchair, reading
a book. He hears a cat whining and yowling outside. He looks up, then places
a bookmark in his place, sets the book down, and stands up. He walks over
to the window silently, turns off the light, and holds aside the curtain
to peek out. He cranes his neck to look, then closes the curtain. Realizing
what he has just done, he smiles and shakes his head, then walks over to
his desk. He is about to turn off the lamp when someone knocks on his door.
Instantly, Lee picks up his gun from the desk. He walks over to the door
and cocks the gun. The knocking gets louder. Slowly and cautiously, Lee
removes the chain lock and flings open the door. Floyd Feller, the doorman,
is standing in the hall. Lee sighs with relief.)
Feller: Did I startle you, Mr. Stetson?
Lee: Yes. Feller: I always hate to disturb you. I never know whether or not you're entertaining a lady friend.
Lee: Uh, I'm alone, Mr. Feller.
Feller: Oh, good. I mean, at least I'm not interrupting anything. I know how distracting a knock at the door can be at the wrong moment.
Lee: Uh, did you need something specific, Mr. Feller?
Feller: Hm? Oh, oh, yes, of course. (He leans down and picks up a big wrapped box. He hands it to Lee.) A delivery boy brought this earlier. I signed for it. It's quite tastefully wrapped, don't you think?
Lee: Yes, yes, it is. Thank you. Good night.
(Feller tips his hat.)
Feller: Good night, sir.
(He closes the door and carries the box over to a chair. Slowly, slowly, he lifts off the lid and whips his gun out as soon as the lid is off. Inside is an ugly jack-in-the-box. Lee looks at himself in the mirror, pointing his gun at a toy, and shakes his head. He puts his gun in his pocket and bends over. He notices a note tucked under the toy's chin. Lee unfolds it. Inside reads, "Getting nervous?" Lee looks at his reflection and gulps.)
(Next day, IFF. Lee walks over to his desk in the corner and sits
in the chair. He opens the drawer, takes out a bag of food, and snacks.
He picks up a black binder and starts looking through it, propping his
feet up on the desk. Suddenly he looks up. He looks at everyone in the
room accusingly and sets the binder down. He slowly stands up and ruffles
through the mess of papers on the desk, hunting for something. Everything
he finishes with, he throws to the floor. He tosses aside his telephone
and briefcase and starts on the drawers. He opens one at a time and leafs
through the papers and folders. He opens one drawer. Nothing. The next
drawer, nothing. The last drawer has a Polaroid camera sitting inside.
The minute Lee yanks open that drawer, the flash goes off and the camera
takes a picture of Lee, who plasters himself against the wall with fright.
The camera spits out a photograph. Lee exhales. Francine and Billy run
toward him. Frozen against the wall, Lee watches Francine pick up the camera.
She looks from it to Billy questioningly. Billy takes the photo hanging
from it and stares at it, then at Lee. Finally able to move, Lee takes
the camera from Francine and examines it. On the back is a piece of paper
with the words, "Photo of a Dead Man." Lee shows it to the other
Billy: That does it. You need protection, and I don't want any argument. Come on. (Lee looks at him as if to say, "Give me a break," but Billy doesn't buy it.) Let's go, come on! (He and Francine start off, the camera in Francine's hands. Lee just stands there.) Come on.
(Surrendering, Lee grabs his coat and follows them reluctantly.)
Lee: All right.
(The three walk off, leaving the photo on the desk. It has now fully developed and shows Lee, terrified.)
(That night outside Monk's. Lee and Billy exit through the back door,
Lee leading. Lee is apparently sick of being protected.)
Lee: Look, are you going to be taking me to dinner every night? I mean, what kind of agent can I be when there's somebody with me all the time?
Billy: A live one. (Lee sighs.) There are going to be guards posted at your apartment and you're going to have a tail wherever you go.
(Lee stops and looks at him.)
Lee: Oh? Starting when?
Billy: Starting now. Wilson's going to meet you at the Agency and follow you home. Got it?
(Lee sighs again.)
Lee: Yeah, I got it.
(Billy looks around.)
Billy: Is your car in the shop again?
Lee: Oh, come on, Billy. It's a classic.
(Billy walks away. Lee shakes his head and opens the door to a dark car parked nearby. He climbs in and turns the key, but the engine won't run. While Lee tries it again, a masked head pops up from the backseat. The man whose head it is grabs Lee and points a knife at him, but Lee wrestles it away. He frantically opens the car door and gets out. He tries to run, but the back door opens and knocks him to the ground. The mysterious man kneels over him and points the knife at his face, but Lee holds it away at a relatively safe distance. Unfortunately, doing this needs two hands, so the attacker uses his other hand to punch Lee, then stabs him. A blond witness screams. The attacker looks up and runs, leaving Lee lying on the ground.)
(Three days later, at a cemetery. All Lee's acquaintances are gathered
around a casket. Jay Negata is speaking of Lee in Japanese. Billy, Francine,
Alec Belmont, and of course, Amanda are all there. Jay finishes, bows,
and steps down. Alec steps up for his turn.)
Alec: I'm sure we all have similar memories of Lee Stetson. For some, he was a loyal colleague, for others, a worthy adversary.
(Amanda sniffles. The man next to her hands her a tissue and she takes it.)
Amanda: Thank you.
Alec: If nothing else, Lee Stetson was a realist. And as such, he knew that all of us in this business were just fighting the odds. Knowing the odds could beat us all, we know full well that tomorrow, we may meet once more at each other's throats. But we continue to do what we do in the only way we know. Lee, que sera sera.
(Amanda wipes her nose and Alec steps down. The bunch starts to disperse. Billy stays and waits for Francine, who sadly steps up and sets a bottle of champagne on the coffin. She walks away. Billy walks over to comfort Amanda, who is still standing there, staring at the coffin.)
Billy: It's rough. I know.
Amanda: I never thought it would happen. I mean, I knew that it could, but I never . . . really thought that it would.
Billy: No one ever does. You put it out of your mind and you keep on living.
Amanda: What happens now?
Billy: You go home. (Amanda sniffs some more.) Amanda, trust me. Go on home. Tomorrow will be better.
(Amanda nods and takes Billy's hand. She leans over and kisses him gently on the cheek.)
Amanda: All right.
(Billy walks away. Amanda gazes one last time at the casket and leaves, as the last one.)
(Amanda's house. Dotty is helping the boys pack for Williamsburg.)
Philip: Grandma, I won't leave town without my Mr. T. sun visor. No way!
Philip: Yeah!(She hands him the visor and he slips it on. Jamie stands there, holding a pillow.)
(Dotty looks up.)
Dotty: Jamie, I think it's safe to assume that they have bedding in Williamsburg.
Jamie: This is my squishy pillow. I have to sleep on my squishy pillow.
Dotty: Oh. Okay.
(A car horn honks outside. Philip and Jamie pick up their suitcases and race out of the room.)
Jamie: We're going to put our stuff in the car, Grandma!
(They're gone. Amanda walks in, carrying a big potted plant. She sets it down and sits on the arm of the couch, gazingsadly at the plant. Dotty flips through a brochure.)
Dotty: Amanda, honey, I'm going to take your copy of "Virginia's Forgotten Diners," okay?
(Dotty looks silently at her daughter for a moment.)
Dotty: Why are you staring at that ficus?
Amanda: Oh, I just don't think I have what it takes. I mean, to water plants and walk dogs.
Dotty: What does it take?
Amanda: Objectivity. You have to be professional in this work and. . . . Well, what I do is I . . . I get sort of attached to a plant and then when it's gone, I feel like I've lost a friend.
Dotty: Honey, are you all right? Do you want somebody to talk to? The boys and I can cancel our weekend trip.
Amanda: No, I really think I -- I probably just need to be alone. It would probably be good for me to be alone this weekend. You just go on to Williamsburg and have fun and take lots of pictures.
(The boys run inside and shout about the car. They give Amanda a good-bye hug and kiss.)
Boys: Grandma, the car's here!
Dotty: Oh, good. Great.
Amanda: Okay, all right. You have a good time, you be extra-special careful, and you do everything your grandmother tells you to.
Dotty: Here, darling, take this.
(Philip takes the suitcase Dotty is holding for him and he and Jamie run outside.)
Boys: Okay. Bye!
(Dotty gives Amanda a big hug and some last-minute instructions.)
Dotty: Sweetheart, we'll be at the Plum and Pig Inn. The number's on the fridge. Take care. I love you.
Amanda: Bye bye. I love you, too.
(Dotty runs after the boys.)
Dotty: Okay, I'm coming!
(She disappears. Amanda hears the door slam and starts sniffling again.)
Amanda: The hardest part about this work is the feelings. Lee said not to get involved. (She nods and cries.) He was right about that.
(Lee's voice rings in.)
Lee: I never thought I'd live to hear you say that. (Amanda looks up. Lee is standing in the doorway of the room, holding a duffel bag.) Actually, I didn't live to hear it. Not officially, of course.
(Amanda, shocked, turns her head to see Lee coming closer.)
Amanda: You're alive? (She stands up.) You're alive and standing right here in my family room? Oh, you are! (She runs over and hugs him. He smiles and accepts.) Oh, you are! (They laugh and hug, and then she realizes what he did. She whacks him in the back and pulls away.) Oh, I'm so angry with you!
Lee: What, for being alive?
Amanda: No, for whatever it is you're pulling, whatever -- whatever secret mission it is that causes this kind of deceit.
(She starts crying all over again.)
Lee: Look, was it a nice funeral? Not too fancy?
(Amanda turns her back.)
Amanda: Oh, how dare you make jokes! (She faces him.) I have been really upset about this. I thought I'd lost a friend, and that hurts. And I was frightened, too, and uh. . . . Look, I know you don't like tears, I know they frighten you more than bullets, so I'm sorry about this little scene, but you brought it all on yourself because it would have been totally unnecessary if you hadn't been killed, which you haven't been, and I cared that you were dead, and I don't care if you don't care that I care.
Lee: I do care. Really. Thank you.
Amanda: You're welcome. (They smile at each other. Amanda takes a breath.) Would you like a sandwich?
Lee: That would be nice.
Amanda: Good. (They walk into the kitchen. Amanda wipes her eyes and looks in the fridge.) Why did you do it?
(Lee sits on the counter and watches her get the sandwiches ready.)
Lee: I almost was dead. (Amanda closes the refrigerator and stares at him.) My pen pal, the guy that wrote me that note at Monk's, he attacked me three days ago. Almost made good his threat.
(Amanda gets the bread and walks to the other side of the counter.)
Amanda: Are you okay?
Lee: Well, except for a little vent in my left shoulder, yeah. Billy and I thought that if the killer thought I was dead, he'd feel free to move on to the next victim. You know, he'd never suspect I was investigating my own murder. Now, you and Billy are the only two that know the plan. You got any milk?
Amanda: In the refrigerator. How are you going to investigate it if you're supposed to be dead? You can't even show your face. Who's going to do your legwork? I mean, if Billy and I are the only two who know that you -- (She stops when she sees Lee staring at her. She smiles sickly.) Oh.
Lee: Amanda, I'm not crazy about the idea, either. But the killer is obviously very plugged into the intelligence community and Billy wanted someone the guy wouldn't know.
Amanda: If I volunteer, what would be our gameplan? Where would we rendezvous, where would our, um, headquarters be?
Lee: See, now this part is either incredibly convenient or incredibly awkward, depending on your answer.
Amanda: To what question?
Lee: Can I stay here?
Lee: Look, Amanda, no one I know would ever look for me here and everyone you know is out of town. So if you could just get past the psychological barrier of having me around, everything would be great! So where do you want me to put my things? Hmm?
(He walks away. Amanda stands there.)
(At a movie drive-in, on the screen is the same movie as the one
on TV at the beginning of the episode. In some cars, people are kissing.
Others are munching popcorn and sipping soda.)
Woman: When my husband was murdered, I felt I had to say something.
Detective: This case is devilish. Whoever our killer is, he's very cagey. Last night, he attacked Blade with a knife in the back of his Jaguar. This morning, Joe was found hanging in his office, by his temp secretary, too.
Woman: I guess it had something to do with that submarine.
Detective: You never mentioned a submarine.
Woman: Didn't I?
(The movie continues, but the audience starts laughing and chatting. One man in blue clothes gets into his car, setting his popcorn beside him. He snacks and enjoys the picture.)
Woman: I hope you don't think I'm just a silly woman.
Detective: I never met a woman I thought was silly. Dangerous, yes. Deadly, yes. Poisoned, yes. But not silly.
(In the movie, he strokes the woman's face. Meanwhile, the people in their cars are laughing loudly at the movie. The man in the blue outfit angrily clenches his hand, squeezing his handful of popcorn.)
(IFF, late that night. Francine is finishing up some work at her
desk. The maid is running the noisy vacuum cleaner. Francine shuts her
folder and glares at the oblivious maid, who ceases. Francine gets up and
walks over to the coffee machine, where she sadly picks up a mug with "Lee"
written on it. Holding it in her hands, she walks over to another agent
Francine: What are you doing here so late?
Agent: Oh, submitting my lunch receipt so I get reimbursed. (He holds it up.) Two months of tuna melts. (He shakes his head, then looks up at Francine, who is staring at him and staying silent.) I guess I'm looking for excuses to stay here, too.
Francine: You know, it's very frightening to think that the killer could be any one of us here in intelligence. And I'm the one who always pooh-poohed backstabbing.
(The agent nods sympathetically. Suddenly, a female scream rips through the room. Francine and the agent jump up and run out into the hallway, followed by everyone else who stayed, except the maid, who stares after them.)
Intercom: All sectors, code 14. Attention: code 14.
(Out in the hall, a crowd has gathered. A guard stops Francine.)
Guard: No further, Miss Desmond.
Francine: What's going on, Inspector? What is everybody looking at?
Guard: Special agent Vernon, ma'am.
Francine: Vernon? Vernon's off duty, what's he doing here?
(The guard looks over his shoulder. A shadow of dangling, limp legs is silhouetted on the white wall.)
(Amanda's house. In the dining room, Lee and Amanda are eating a
delicious Oriental meal.)
Amanda: Where did you learn to cook Japanese food?
Lee: Japan. You want some more?
Amanda: Um . . . no, thank you.
Lee: Ah. You know, it's just not the same without inoki mushrooms. It compliments the taste of the squid.
Amanda: Mm. You know, this is really rather interesting, it's a domestic side of you that I just didn't expect.
Lee: A man's got to eat, you know.
Amanda: Yeah, but I sort of thought that probably one of your lady friends boiled you a lambchop every now and then or something.
Lee: You can't always count on lady friends being able to cook. That's one of the advantages I've had to bumming around the world half my life. Learning how to throw together a meal.
(Lee gulps down the rest of his drink.)
Lee: Well, let's get going.
Amanda: Where are we going?
Lee: I want to check out the King Edward Apartment Hotel before they rent room twelve-oh-four.
Amanda: What's in room twelve-oh-four?
Lee: That's where Jean-Claude Michet was killed.
Amanda: The French agent. Don't you think the police have already checked it out?
Lee: How much attention do you think they give the murder of a scrap metal dealer who lives in a hotel for transients?
Amanda: But Jean-Claude was an agent. So the French government must have had to tell the investigators something, didn't they?
(Lee puts down his napkin and starts clearing the table.)
Lee: The minimum. France can't acknowledge his real identity without compromising future missions.
(Amanda nods and stands up to help him. She gets their plates.)
Amanda: Oh. All right, well, um, I'll just get my coat and uh, you take these dishes and scrape them and just put them in the dishwasher. I'll do the rest later.
Lee: By the way, do you have something I can borrow? I don't want to be recognized.
Amanda: Uh, sure, I think I can . . . yeah, I can find something.
(In the hotel lobby, people are sitting in the sofas and chairs and
getting food from the vending machines. Amanda peeks in and looks around.
She motions behind her and walks in. Lee, dressed in an ugly plaid jacket
and a cap, reluctantly follows.)
Lee: I hate plaid. I feel like the front seat of a De Soto.
Amanda: Listen, I'm sorry, but you said you didn't want to be recognized and Dean likes plaid. (They reach the front seat, where a mean-looking clerk is watching TV.) Excuse me --
Clerk: Full up.
Amanda: Thank you. (She turns to go, but Lee motions for her to try again. Amanda turns back.) Are you sure?
Amanda: Well, do you suppose that you could find a vacancy for a hundred dol --
Clerk: Twenty dollars. (The clerk looks up and realizes her offer. He bends over. While he is bent, Lee glares at Amanda, knowing that it's his money. The clerk straightens up with a collection of room keys. Amanda holds her hand out to Lee for the money.) Take your pick.
Amanda: Thank you.
(Lee puts the money in her hand and she uses her other hand to hover over the keys, as if trying to decide. She glances at Lee, pretending to confer, then points to one. The clerk looks at the one she picked.)
Clerk: Twelve-oh-four. Name?
Amanda: Smith. (The clerk looks at her. Lee closes his eyes and shakes his head.) Well, it's actually Smythe, with a "y." (The clerk nods and writes.) And an "e."
(Lee smiles, somewhat amused. The clerk looks up again, then finishes writing.)
(In the room, the door opens and Amanda walks in, closely followed
by an angry Lee.)
Lee: A hundred dollars.
Amanda: Well, how am I supposed to know what the current bribery rates are? A hundred dollars seemed fair to me.
(Lee yanks off the hat.)
Lee: In this neighborhood, you can rent a city block for that.
(Suddenly, Amanda realizes something else.)
Amanda: Ooh, renting a room with no luggage. Can you imagine what that desk clerk must think?
Lee: Amanda, did you see that guy? I mean, do you really care what he thinks? (Amanda shakes her head and turns to the window.) Believe me, he's seen worse than a lousy one-nighter. (Amanda whirls around. Lee quickly corrects himself.) Which this isn't.
Amanda: Thank you. (She takes off her gloves. Lee walks over to a shelf and Amanda goes to a little night table. She dusts it with her gloves.) Lee?
Amanda: What am I looking for?
Lee: Uh, anything, you know, suspicious.
(Amanda walks across the room to a door. She pushes it and it quietly eases open. She steps inside to a bathroom.)
Amanda: Some of his things are still here! Don't they ever clean these places?
Lee: Are you kidding?
(Amanda finds a book lying open. She gingerly picks it up and reads the marked page.) Amanda: "It was the best of times -- "(Suddenly a dark, masked figure appears from behind the shower curtain. It grabs Amanda. She screams.) Lee!
(She struggles against her attacker. Lee walks over to the door.)
Amanda: Lee! Lee, help!
(He hears her struggle and gets out his gun and kicks the door down. The wood splinters and the figure releases Amanda's throat and leaps out the window behind the shower. Lee runs in.)
Amanda: He went out the window. (Lee runs over to the window and looks out, but hears nothing but a cat.) Ow.
(Lee tosses aside some of the broken wood, puts his gun in his pocket, and kneels down to Amanda.)
Lee: You okay? Huh?
Amanda: Ow. (She turns her head to side and points to a spot on her neck. Lee examines it.) Yeah?
(She leans against the wall. Lee takes her hand.)
Lee: So now he's tried to kill both of us.
(Amanda sighs and nods. She pants and tries to catch her breath.)
(Later in the room, Lee is searching through a bag on a table. Amanda
Amanda: Shouldn't we just get out of here before that man comes back?
Lee: Amanda, we can leave when we find something we might be able to use, but so far there is nothing unusual in this place.
Amanda: Except a crazy man in a bathroom!
Lee: Look, if he was the killer, he must have come back for something. Something that he left behind when he killed Jean-Claude.
(Amanda looks at the item in her hands.)
Amanda: How about this?
Lee: What is it?
Amanda: Ticket stub. To the Bonneview drive-in.
Lee: That's your idea of something unusual?
Amanda: Well, it's the most unusual thing I could find in the bathroom. It was on the floor. (She stops and thinks aloud.) It wasn't there before the man came in the window. I think he dropped it in the fight.
Lee: He dropped it?
(Just then, there is a loud pound on the door. Amanda and Lee stand stock-still.)
Lee: Amanda, get in the bed.
Lee: Just do it, will ya?
(Amanda obeys. The clerk shouts from out in the hallway.)
Clerk: What's going on in there? Open up! (Lee climbs into the bed also. The clerk forces open the door and he sees Lee and Amanda huddled together under the blanket.) What's all the ruckus in here?
Amanda (innocently): Ruckus?
Clerk: Yeah, there's screaming and pounding and yelling. Eddie the alcoholic says it sounds like World War Three.
Lee: Hey, now look, man. Me and the chick here paid for some privacy and we expect it, so beat it, huh? You tell Eddie the alcoholic to put in his earplugs if he don't like it.
(He cuddles closer to Amanda.)
Clerk: Look. I run a nice, clean joint here. You got five minutes to clear out or I call the cops!
(He leaves and slams the door behind him.)
Amanda: Do you know what it must take to offend that man's sense of decency? I'm so glad that I was the one to do it.
Lee: Look, let's get out of here, huh? We're not going to find much more anyway.
(In unison, they throw back the covers and get out. Amanda shakes out her coat.)
Amanda: What did we find?
Lee: Well, we got your drive-in ticket and . . . this.
(He rolls an object around in his hands.)
Amanda: What is it?
Lee: I pried it off the back of the TV set.
Amanda: What for?
Lee: I don't know. It's the property of the J.C. Nieman company.
Amanda: Oh, they're the people who do the television ratings.
Lee: Yeah, these boxes record what the television was turned to at any given hour. (He smiles.) Looks like our French spy Jean-Claude was a Nieman family. Come on.
(The cemetery. Someone is shoveling dirt out of a new grave. The little marker sticking out of the ground reads, "Lee Stetson.")
(IFF, Billy's office. Billy is getting the report from Amanda, who
is sitting in his armchair.)
Amanda: Two Turkish cigarettes and a Coney Island ashtray, um, a novel called Attack of the Extremities, page 34 was turned down.
Billy: So far, Mrs. King, everything that you noticed in Jean-Claude's room was noted and logged by our people when we swept the place, except, of course, for the ticket stub. To the Bonneview drive-in.
(Amanda nods matter-of-factly.)
Amanda: The man dropped it when he was choking me.
Billy: Excellent! (Amanda raises her eyebrows. Billy reaches for a pen and scribbles some notes.) Does Lee really think that it's important to know what Jean-Claude watched on TV?
Amanda: I don't know, I guess he does. Will the Nieman company cooperate?
(Billy nods and returns the pen. He leans back.)
Billy: Yes. One of their people is examining the black box now. He should have the results by the time you leave.
Amanda: Lee thinks that the killer came back to the room for something that he left there.
Billy: Assuming, of course, that the man who climbed in the window was the killer and not some maniac prowler.
Amanda: Killers, maniacs, prowlers. You know, before I came to work for you people, the worst person in my life was a grumpy milkman.
(Billy thinks a moment about how to answer, then just decides not to. He stands up and walks over to the door. Amanda gathers up her things.)
Billy: Yes, well, tell Lee that we haven't got a thing yet on the agent that was killed here in the office.
(Amanda stands and faces him at the door.)
Amanda: Yes, sir. So that means that it could be one of you . . . us.
Billy: Well, tell Lee that we're rechecking all of our personnel files.
Amanda: Yes, sir.
(Francine opens the door and steps between them, carrying an armload of files.)
Francine: Billy, these are the --
(She stops when she sees Amanda.)
Francine: Amanda. You're here. Well, I was under the impression that you only worked with us in connection with Lee.
Amanda: Uh, well, I was very upset and, uh, Billy was trying to console me.
(She pretends to lower her head in grief.)
Billy: Buck up, Mrs. King.
Amanda: Yes. Thank you, that -- that helps. I'd better go now.
(She starts to leave, but Francine stops her.)
Francine: Amanda, believe me. I know how you feel.
Francine: Of course, I'm very sorry about your dashed career.
(Amanda abruptly stops sniffling and looks up.)
Amanda: Thank you, Francine. (Francine nods.) If you'll excuse me, I'd really better go now.
Billy: I'll see you out.
(He opens the door and holds it for her.)
Amanda: Good-bye, now.
(They leave the office and Francine closes the door after them.)
(Amanda's house that night. Amanda opens her back door and walks
in with Lee right behind. Lee is wearing the same repulsive jacket. Amanda
takes off her pocketbook and jacket and tosses them on the couch.)
Amanda: That was the worst movie I've ever seen. I wonder why the killer had a ticket to a Buzz Blade movie.
(She sits on the couch. Lee tosses the jacket to the couch and sits in the chair.)
Lee: Maybe he was a Russell Sinclair fan.
Lee: Russell Sinclair, Buzz Blade in the movie.
(She flips through a magazine and Lee takes a folder out of the case.)
Lee: Don't you remember his TV show in the sixties? You know, uh, "Buzz Blade, Secret Spy"?
Amanda: Yeah. Whatever happened to him?
Lee: That movie. He left the series to make it. It was a real bomb. Disappeared right after it came out.
Amanda: Why would they rerelease such a bad movie?
Lee: Are you kidding? Did you see that place? It was packed. People come in there to have a good laugh -- Helloo.
(He pauses at something in the folder. Amanda leans over.)
Amanda: What is it?
Lee: Guess what was on TV the night Jean-Claude was killed.
Amanda: I don't know.
Lee: "Buzz Blade, Secret Spy," right here. The TV was turned on at one-thirty AM.
Amanda: So he was a "Secret Spy" fan and he watched television at 1:30 in the morning.
Lee: Amanda, he couldn't have watched television at one-thirty in the morning.
Amanda: Why not?
Lee: Because his death was fixed prior to midnight.
Lee: Come on, I'll get something to eat, I can think better.
(He stands up, but Amanda stops him.)
Amanda: Now, wait a minute. We just got here.
Lee: Well, we can leave again. Come on, I get fidgety.
Amanda: You're supposed to be dead! You can't be seen!
(Lee sighs and plops back into the seat.)
Lee: I'm sick of being dead. I miss my apartment, I miss restaurants, I miss nightclubs.
Amanda: This is probably very healthy for you. (Lee massages his forehead.) No, really. Real people do not go to restaurants and nightclubs every night, they stay home and make hamburgers and watch television.
Lee: Amanda. Are you going to try to make me into a real person again?
Amanda: No. But the exposure certainly couldn't do you any harm.
Lee: Okay, okay, make the hamburgers, I'll go pick us out a nice Beaujeaulet to go with them.
(He stands up and starts walking to the kitchen.)
Lee: Where do you keep your wines?
Amanda: Well, there might be a half-bottle of something or other in the refrigerator.
Lee: I see. I'll just have to add that to my list.
Amanda: What list?
Lee: I want you to stop by and pick up some things at my apartment in the morning, uh, aftershave, a couple of sweaters, and a small but provocative selection of wines. Are you going somewhere?
Amanda: What do you mean?
(Lee motions to a pile of suitcases on the opposite side of the room.)
Lee: Well, there's a bunch of suitcases right there. (Amanda looks to where he is pointing with wide eyes.) What's wrong? (At just the worst moment, as always, Dotty's voice rings in from upstairs.)
Dotty: Amanda, is that you?
(Lee looks up.)
Amanda: That. Get out of here!
Lee: Um. . . .
(He searches for a place to dash, finds one and dashes, just in time. Dotty comes down the stairs in her robe.)
Dotty: I didn't hear you come in. Oh, you will never dream what happened.
(She rushes over to Amanda and hugs her.)
Amanda: Everything all right?
Dotty: We almost drowned trying to sightsee. This terrible storm hit, in fact, it's on it's way here now. The boys are upstairs asleep.
(Dotty walks over to the back door and shuts it. Amanda glances around for Lee. She quickly sits on the couch, hiding Dean's jacket behind her.)
Dotty: I didn't leave this door open. Did you come in this way?
Amanda: Yes, Mother.
Dotty: Oh, good. (Lee peeks in from the kitchen doorway.) I am going to have myself a glass of milk with a splash of galliano. Can I get you something?
Amanda: No, thank you, Mother.
Dotty: You're sure?
Amanda: I'm sure, thank you, though.
(Dotty briskly trots into the kitchen to get her drink. Lee sneaks out the front door. Thunder claps and the storm starts.)
Dotty: Amanda, are you feeling all right?
(Amanda comes in after her mother.)
Amanda: Uh, yes, Mother, I feel fine.
(While Dotty's back is to her, Amanda glances around for Lee, who is crouched in the bushes outside. Lightning crashes. Lee looks up.)
Dotty: I tell you, it is going to be a mess outside. Now I am just going to take this upstairs and drink it.
(Outside, Lee is huddling to stay warm. It starts raining. He looks up and shakes his head. Inside, Dotty is juggling her glass and the milk cap. The cap jumps out of her hands.)
Amanda: I'll clean it up.
Dotty: Oh, okay, you do it.
Amanda: I'll take care of it.
Dotty: I love you.
(She hugs and kisses Amanda and carries her glass out of the room.)
Amanda: Goodnight. (The instant Dotty is out of sight, the phone rings. Amanda runs over and grabs it.) Hello? (She glances around and lowers her voice.) Yes, he is. . . . Sure, just a minute. (She slides open the window and leans out.) Lee!
(Amanda passes the telephone to him. At Dotty's voice, Amanda drops it and whirls around.)
Amanda: Yes, Mother?
Dotty: Honey, was that for me?
Amanda: Uh, no, Mother!
(Outside, a drenched Lee is talking on the phone.)
Lee: Am I comfortable at Amanda's? (He looks up at the sky.) She's moving me into the garage. I should be much better there. What's up?
(At IFF, Billy is on the other line, pacing in his office.)
Billy: Uh, Lee, we've gone back through all of our personnel records as you suggested.
Lee: Did you find anything?
Billy: Well, it turns out that some of our employees have incomplete records. We're missing employment data, birthdate, and some background details. They were all hired around the same time by the same personnel officer.
Lee: Yeah, well, I think I should talk to that personnel officer.
Billy: Well, she's not with us any longer, she retired about three years ago.
Lee: Well, let's find her, Billy. And I mean let's find her.
(Lightning crashes again. Lee looks up.)
(Lee's apartment. Amanda is walking down the hall, reading Lee's
Amanda: Address book in desk, extra-firm blue toothbrush, (laughing) and the Chardonnay of my choice. (She stops opens the door and walks in. Her first stop is the desk. A large typewriter is set on it. Amanda sits in the desk chair.) Address book in desk. (She opens a drawer, but spots a white envelope in the corner. She picks it up and opens it. Inside is a note that says, "Lee -- Last night was fab! Debbie." Amanda shakes her head and puts it back. She returns to searching for the address book. Meanwhile, the bathroom doorknob jiggles and starts to turn. When she finds the address book, she walks over to the bathroom door.) Extra-firm blue toothbrush. (She grasps the handle, then hears a knock on the apartment door. She walks over and opens it. Outside stands Mr. Feller.) Oh, hello.
Feller: Hi. I'm Floyd Feller, the doorman.
Amanda: Oh, yes, I know, we've met.
Feller: I've been so distressed ever since I heard of Mr. Stetson's passing.
(Her smile fades and she lowers her head.)
Feller: A man so young doesn't deserve that.
(She shakes her head.)
Feller: No matter how degenerate his lifestyle.
Feller: Now, why are you here?
Amanda: Oh, I'm just picking up a few things.
Amanda: I'm a relative.
Feller: Oh. I had assumed you were one of his lady friends.
Feller: Do you mean to say that relatives are fighting over his things already? Not that it's any of my business.
Amanda: Well, I guess we're just that sort of family. Now, listen, I'm sorry, but you'll just have to excuse me because I want to grab the teapot before Aunt Ellie gets here.
Feller: Oh, dear!
Amanda: I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude!
Feller: Oh, my!
(Amanda closes the door in his face and grimaces. She turns around and sees the bathroom door open. With a strange look on her face, she slowly steps up to it. Before she can take two steps, the same masked figure grabs her and clamps his hand over her mouth. He pulls her into the bedroom.)
(At a retirement home, Lee, wearing another plaid jacket, is walking
with Patsy Peters.)
Lee: I'm sorry for tracking you down, Mrs. Peters. (They sit at a table outside.) Uh, I wanted to ask you a little bit about your days at the Agency.
Patsy: Oh, I was such a mess then. Tension, pressure, ulcers, migraines. Going to work was like having my fingernails pulled out.
Lee: Mrs. Peters, when you were personnel officer at the Agency, you interviewed and hired a lot of people.
Patsy: That place chewed 'em up and spit 'em out.
Lee: Yeah. I know. There are certain irregularities in a few of the job applications that you processed.
Patsy: Is that why you're here?
Lee: Does "Buzz Blade, Secret Spy" mean anything to you?
Patsy: What do you know about that?
Lee: If you tell me what you know, we may keep some people from getting murdered.
(Patsy takes a few deep breaths while Lee probes her with his eyes.)
Patsy: Russell Sinclair was very successful in his Buzz Blade television series, so successful that he wanted to get out of the show so he could make the Buzz Blade movie.
Lee: Yeah, I know that.
Patsy: During the making of the film, there was a terrible accident on the last day of the production. He was almost killed. After a year of treatment, Russell finally came out of the hospital, terribly disfigured. No career, no money, and that's when I met him.
Lee: How did you meet him?
Patsy: He showed up at the Agency one day, begging for a job. He had played a secret agent for so many years, I think he thought he really was one.
Lee: So you hired him.
Patsy: Yes. Janitor, night shift. Non-classified levels. That was fifteen years ago. He had several more operations that did improve his appearance, but his self-image was shot.
Lee: And you promised you'd never tell.
Patsy: Yeah, I wanted to protect him. And now you think he may kill someone?
Lee: I think he already has.
(Patsy stares at him.)
(IFF, Billy's office. Francine is angrily strutting back and forth,
yelling at Billy, who is calmly sitting in his desk chair.)
Francine: It is so good to know just how highly regarded I am around here. I mean, an operation of this kind of importance and am I informed? No, I am not informed.
Billy: Francine, it was a need-to-know only. No one knew except Lee, myself, and Mrs. King.
(Francine stops pacing and stares at him hurtfully.)
Francine: Amanda King knew about this?
Billy: Lee had to have some place to stay.
Francine (sarcastically): Oh, of course!
(The phone buzzes. Billy picks it up.)
Billy: Yes? . . . I'll take it.
(In a phone booth outside the retirement home, Lee is on the other
end, reporting back about Patsy's information.)
Lee: Billy. I just talked to Mrs. Peters. I think I may have a line on our killer.
Billy: Lee, Francine went out to the cemetery. Your grave had been opened. I think this maniac is on to us. (Realizing something, Lee abruptly hangs up on Billy.) Hello, Lee?
(In the booth, Lee rapidly dials another number. He waits a minute while it rings.)
Lee: Amanda? Amanda!
(In Lee's apartment, it is not Amanda who has the phone, but the
now unmasked man. All you can see is a mouth with beard and mustache stubble
growing around it. The mouth speaks into the phone.)
Man: I've been expecting your call, Mr. Stetson. If you want to see her alive again, you'll come here. Alone.
(A black gloved hand hangs up the receiver.)
(In the booth, Lee looks at the phone, thinking, then hangs up and leaves the booth.)
(In the apartment, Amanda, tied to a chair, with her arms tied to
the armrests, watches her captor, who turns out to be none other than .
. . Buzz Blade, secret spy! [Alias Russell Sinclair.] Sinclair has an eyepatch
covering one eye. He sets a black bag on the sofa opposite Amanda and sits
Sinclair: Mrs. King, I . . . I think I can put my finger on the precise moment that I knew they had to die.
Amanda: Who had to die?
Sinclair: All of them. All these dashing, young agents. They had no right to do the things I could no longer do. I was better than them.
Amanda: But you were an actor.
Sinclair: I was Buzz Blade, Mrs. King. (Amanda nods.) I could have been Buzz Blade forever. Except for that accident.
Amanda: Mr. Sinclair, I'm no expert on this sort of thing, but I really think that you could use some help --
Sinclair: The film was virtually completed the day of the explosion. They were able to release it. It didn't do well. But when I heard it was going to be released again, I felt I was given a second chance at life. They opened it in drive-ins. "Okay," I thought. "A lot of successful films opened in drive-ins."
Amanda: Oh, and it is, very successful. Yes, I mean, the night that I was there, the place was packed, there were --
Sinclair: Yes. They come. (Very slowly, he stands up and walks over to mantel. He leans his arm on it.) They come to laugh. They throw beer cans at the screen.
(Amanda nods and squeaks a reply.)
Amanda: Mr. Sinclair, what are you going to do with me?
(Sinclair kneeled down and put his hand on Amanda's knee.)
Sinclair: Mrs. King, I have nothing whatsoever against you. Unfortunately, in the process of killing Mr. Stetson, I'll probably kill you, too.
(Amanda looks down sadly.)
(Meanwhile, Lee, in a rental car, is zooming down the road, trying to make it to the apartment.)
(Back in the apartment, Sinclair is rigging up a system of explosives
all around the walls of the room. At the moment, he is attaching the fuse
up while Amanda watches silently. Sinclair turns around and proudly admires
Sinclair: The set looked very much like this the day I shot my final scene. I remember thinking, "This looks very realistic." Then I woke up in intensive care.
Amanda: Mr. Sinclair, you're going to blow the whole building up.
(Outside, Lee's car is parked by the building. Lee slides open the
shutters and quietly climbs inside through the bedroom window, aiming his
gun. He creeps into the hall and leans forward to inspect the living room
doorway, when Sinclair appears from another doorway, pointing a decorative
sword at him.)
Sinclair: Drop the gun, Mr. Stetson.
(Lee sighs and tosses the gun aside to the floor. Sinclair marches him into the living room, where Lee sees Amanda. Sinclair holds Lee at sword-and-arm distance and holds up a lighter in his other hand. Amanda gasps. Sinclair switches on the flame and slowly, agonizingly moves his hand to the fuse. It lights and crackles. Suddenly, Lee throws up his hand to push the sword away and throws up the coffee table. Lee runs around the room, throwing everything he can: the lamp, Amanda's jacket and pocketbook, the black bag, and then Lee pulls the other sword off the wall. Maniac and spy engage in an out-and-out sword fight, Lee dodging all of Sinclair's attempts. Amanda's eyes are fixed on the sparks on the fuse, coming closer and closer. The men clash swords and Sinclair uses his free hand to grab Lee's arm. Lee twist around and sends Sinclair into the wall. They move farther back into the room, clashing swords, as smoke starts to fill the place. Lee forces Sinclair over to the couch, where Lee steps on the fuse and rubs out the flare with his sneaker. He hops over the couch and they go at it again. But the flame on the fuse starts up again. Amanda sees it and stares at it. Lee gets forced up onto the desk. Amanda cringes. Lee leaps off and thrusts his sword at Sinclair. Sinclair fights back and they take their fight into the bedroom, where Sinclair throws a pile of books at Lee. Lee gets almost knocked to the floor and holds the night table for support. When he looks up, Sinclair is climbing out the window. Lee grabs his gun off the floor and runs to the window. Outside, Sinclair is trying to climb the fire escape. Lee points the gun.)
Lee: Sinclair, hold it!
(Startled, Sinclair loses his grip and falls to the sidewalk. Lee catches his breath and looks down at the lifeless body lying facedown on the pavement below. Meanwhile, in the living room, Amanda is watching the fuse burn about a foot away from the bomb.)
Amanda: Lee, we have a burning fuse in here!
(There is a knock on the door. Mr. Feller shouts from the hallway.)
(Using his key, Feller opens the door and walks in.)
Feller: I know something funny is going on now.
(He stares at Amanda, who tries to point to the fuse. Feller just stands still. Lee runs into the room. Feller's jaw drops.)
Lee: Well, Mr. Feller. Well, how you doing? (He detaches the fuse. Feller just gawks.) Nice day, isn't it?
(He walks over to the fuse in the carpet and rubs it out, then finally walks over to Amanda and unties her.)
Feller: Well, forgive me, Mr. Stetson. I guess what you do in the privacy of your apartment is your business. Good night, sir.
(He walks away and leaves the apartment.)
Amanda: What happened to Mr. Sinclair?
Lee: He lost.
Amanda: Poor man.
Lee: Yeah. Now I'll call Billy, have him send some people over. Are you okay?
Amanda: Oh, yeah, sure, I'm fine.
Lee: You're sure?
Amanda: Oh, yes.
Lee: All right.
Amanda: Well, I guess this means you're back to the land of the living.
Lee: Yeah, right. Oh, God, am I glad to be back. Yeah, I guess we won't be able to have those hamburgers and wine at your place. You know, like real people?
Amanda: No, I guess you'll be able to go back to your fancy restaurants and nightclubs. You're not disappointed, though, are you?
Lee: Me? Nah. . . . Are you?
Amanda: Me? Nope. (Lee nods and tosses aside the belts used to tie her. He stands up and starts to walk out of the room.) Uh, Lee?
(Lee turns. Amanda shows him the belt still tying her to the chair. Lee comes back and kneels down again.)
Lee: Oh, yeah.
(He works at the belt. He and Amanda smile and look at each other.)