Written by: Glenn Gordon Caron
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Episode Number: 103
Original Broadcast Date: October 8, 1999
Guest Stars: Kim Chan (Eggman), Elisa Davis (Reporter), Stephen Kunken (Agent #1), Jack Koenig (Agent #2), Jason Kolotouros (Agent #3)
At 6 am sharp, the blinds in Michael's room slide open automatically, and Michael rolls over in bed smiling, happy to be alive for a change. Lisa sits up in bed with a shock, smiling as she picks up Roger's jacket from the other night. Roger is escorted into a building by two of Morris' men, still blindfolded, with his hands tied. He suddenly realizes his hands are free, and as he lifts the blindfold he finds himself standing in a church.
Headline shots: first in English, saying "ENTIRE FLOOR OF MIDTOWN HOTEL WIPED OUT." Switch to newspapers in Chinatown, then pan up to a hotel. Inside, the Eggman cuts out Chinese characters and pastes them onto a sheet. In Michael's apartment, we see him doing sit-ups - hanging upside down from a beam. Outside City Hall, a postal worker is loading bags of mail and doesn't notice the Eggman pass by and stuff an envelope of his own into the pile. Reading the note in his office, one of the Mayor's aides (I believe) puts it down and picks up the phone. A van pulls up to Michael's apartment and two men get out, lugging a big-screen TV between them as Morris comes out of the building. End teaser.
Roger pulls up in front of Lisa's house in what's left of his Mercedes, with both passenger doors still missing. He half-heartedly sets the alarm before knocking on Lisa's door. She's immediately hostile. "My God."
"Lisa..." Roger begins, leaning on the screen door. "I believe I've had an epiphany." He adds, "A mystical clarifying experience."
She's not impressed and is still angry with him, and tells him so. He knows it's about the insurance, telling her that she has every right to be. "I'm a changed man," he insists, pledging to demand the money from Spence, report Grand Empire Insurance to the Insurance Commission in Washington, yada yada yada.
Mid-speech, he suddenly stops, staring at something behind her. "May I come in for a minute?" He pushes past her to where his jacket is hanging on the banister. "Where did you get this?"
"Someone gave it to me last night. Why?"
Roger groans. "He found you. Oh my God." He catches himself. "Gosh! I meant 'gosh.' Damn! ...uh, golly!"
"What are you talking about?" Lisa asks. "I got that from a homeless man." Roger sits down on the steps, holding the jacket. "It's yours? It is yours, isn't it?" She's suspicious. "What's going on here... and what did you mean, 'he found me'?"
"Lisa, you're asking me to screw up my entire afterlife here."
"What are you talking about? What are you not telling me?" Lisa demands. "You know him, don't you? The man who gave me that jacket - you know him! You know what I'm talking about! Have you been following me?"
"I swear... not me!" Roger protests.
"Not you. Well, somebody, who? Grand Empire Insurance??"
He still fields the question, unsure what to do. She demands to know what's going on, and Roger panicks, saying God told him he would smite him. "Go home, Roger. Get some sleep," Lisa sighs.
Roger starts to go, but hesitates at the door. "Didn't he seem familiar?"
"What did you say?"
"Nothing," Roger says hastily. "I shouldn't have said that. I'm not going to say another thing."
Lisa sinks down on the stairs. "I don't even think you know what you're saying. This is so cruel..."
"I've never done anything important, anything noble in my whole life," Roger says. "I'll make you a deal. Let's look for him. Just you and me. Because I think he's got something he wants to tell you... and I give you my word. If we don't find him, I'll tell you everything. The whole astounding story." He sighs. "I'll probably come back as nail fungus... but I swear. Lisa, I will tell you everything."
Manhattan, the Upper East Side. The television brought into Michael's apartment is displaying a news broadcast about the nerve toxin attack at the Petrie Hotel; 23 dead, 17 others hospitalized. Morris turns up the volume as Michael watches the report, disturbed at its import but still confused. "So what's all this got to do with me?" he asks.
Several minutes later, he is holding his breath underwater for as long as possible... and finally comes up for air after 6 minutes 11 seconds. "That could come in handy," Morris observes, handing Michael a towel.
"What are you talking about, handy?" Michael asks once he's breathing normally again.
Morris tells him what they know and what the media doesn't: the attack was an accident, and their guy must have been wearing a mask. The evidence - the original threat was for the day after the next, and the Mayor's office just received a new threat, this one asking for $10 million to be delivered that night. "He wants to meet one man with a satchel full of bonds," Morris finishes. "I volunteered you."
In the car, Michael is really confused... what is he supposed to do?
Morris explains how the toxin works. "The kind of stuff this guy's using - within three seconds of inhaling just a micro-particle of it, it attacks the central nervous system. Your heart starts pumping two, then three and eventually ten times faster than normal, forcing blood to the extremities. Within 30 seconds, the capillary walls burst, and the interior of your body is flooded with fluid - but it's okay. The brain's already stopped functioning, so there's no real pain."
"But I don't have capillary walls, right? So this won't affect me."
"No, you have capillary walls. You have lots of capillary walls."
"But why send in a real live man when you can send in one who's already died?"
"That's it??" Michael asks. "That's what makes me the right man for the job - 'cause I've been dead?"
He's still not convinced as they enter an empty gymnasium. "Can we discuss this, please? Guy to guy? Man to man? Science fair project to scientist?" Michael insists he's not ready for this mission, and the qualification that he's legally dead is not all that comforting. Morris tells him to climb one of the tall wooden stepladders sitting in the gym. Sighing, Michael does so, and once he reaches the top, Morris hands him a device. "What's this for? Killing evil contractors?"
Morris explains that they have no idea what this guy's packing, what he looks like, if he'll be alone. The device is an added advantage just in case. "The idea is: in addition to your great speed, this will give you lateral freedom." Michael gives him a blank look, and he continues. "Say you're waiting for him on the south side of the street... and he suddenly appears on the north side."
"Yeah?" Michael asks.
"You see that beam?" Morris replies, pointing to one of the ceiling beams. "Aim for it." Michael does, and a grappling hook shoots out, wrapping neatly around the beam. There's a guidance system in the hook, which senses what the target is and aims for it. "Now step off the ladder," Morris says, "and swing from that side of the room to that side."
Michael shakes his head. "You know, that's not my area."
"What's not your area?"
"Pretty much anything having to do with gravity. I'm a spectator sport kind of guy."
"Let go of the ladder and swing," the doctor orders. "From the south side of the street to the north."
"This is not going to hold me."
"It absolutely will. The weight threshold is calculated by a sensor in the hook. If it calculatees that it can't, the line will come back to you."
"Okay, that's fine, but what if I fall?" Michael adds. "What if I break something - my leg or something - think about the taxpayers..." Sighing, Morris walks over and takes hold of the ladder. "Doc, what are you--"
Without a word, Morris grabs the ladder and jerks it out from beneath Michael. Unable to do anything else, Michael hangs onto the line for dear life as he swings across the gym for a pass, the line catching at the far end of the room and sending him swinging back. When it's obvious the line's going to hold, Michael actually starts to enjoy it. "On the next pass, backboard!" Morris shouts as Michael picks up his momentum, kicking himself off one of the old basketball hoops.
As Michael swings back and forth, forgetting about his apprehension for a moment, Morris breaks into a rendition of "Fly Me to the Moon." He breaks off as Michael pulls him along for a pass. "Mr. Wiseman, what are you doing?"
The scene shifts to the Wisemans' neighborhood. Heather gets off at the bus stop to find her mother waiting by the curb, with Roger riding in the passenger seat. Heather takes one look at Roger: "Whoa, looks like you got rolled!" Lisa explains that they'll be going into town and she doesn't know how late they'll be back... so she suggests that Heather come along with them. "Will you buy me something?" Heather asks.
Lisa rolls her eyes. "Get in the car, please."
Michael's apartment. Morris and the agents are discussing the plan of action while Michael sits out of the way. Apparently, the Eggman wants to make the drop on a subway train, while it's moving, during rush hour. Morris wants plainclothes cops, but during rush hour it'll be difficult. They'll have choppers in the sky, units sealing off the perimeter... but they don't know what the guy looks like. "Which is where the prototype comes in."
"Prototype?" Michael echoes, irritated.
Morris clears his throat. "Gentlemen, we make it a point to refer to Mr. Wiseman as 'Mr. Wiseman.'"
"That's okay," Michael answers. "They can just address me by my model number and I'll address you fellas by your whole names."
"What do you mean, 'whole names?'" one of the agents asks.
"Well, you'll be "A-hole," and you'll be "B-hole," and you'll be... well, you get the idea." He sits back and turns away. Chuckling despite himself, Morris suggests they include him in the preparations, since he is the one making the drop.
"You're to board the second car from the rear of the uptown bound No. 2 train at Franklin Street Station," one of the agents tells Michael. "First one that arrives after 5:35."
Michael nods, repeating it to himself. "First one after 5:35. Second car from the rear, uptown bound no. 2. First one after 5:35. Second car from the rear, uptown bound no. 2. First one after 5:35. Second car from the rear, uptown bound no. 2. First one after 5:35... What?" He stops, seeing their stares. "One of you fellas got a pen I could borrow?"
Chinatown. The Eggman pulls a change of clothes out of his suitcase, swatting irritably at the flies buzzing about. Most of them are converging on the toast and jelly he has sitting out. He takes another egg from his case, laying it on the edge of the plate and covering the entire thing with a glass dish cover, pulling on his gas mask. He pounds a fist on the table, causing the egg to crack... and immediately, the flies buzzing over the toast drop, two of them hitting the glass in blobs of blood.
Upper East Side, 4:47 pm. Lisa and Roger have staked out 63rd and Madison - the address Michael "jokingly" gave her the other night. Lisa's tired of waiting, thinking this is completely ridiculous. Roger is in no condition to argue, falling asleep on his feet. "Ten more minutes," Lisa says, "and we're going home."
4:52 pm. Michael is lying flat on his back on his bed, staring at the ceiling, as Morris enters to remind him they'll be leaving in five minutes. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe I see that 'there and then' look in your eyes again, Mr. Wiseman. I thought we agreed that we were going to concentrate on the here and now."
"Yeah, I know," Michael sighs. "There's something about staring at death a second time that makes me nostalgic."
"Lift your shirt, please," the doctor orders. Michael does, and Morris sticks a small device beneath his shirt, handing him a receiver to put in his ear - he'll have to stay in contact with Michael somehow. He adds that all Michael is supposed to do is hand over the money and get an accurate description of the terrorist. That's all.
Michael's not thrilled, since that's all he has to do. "You don't need me, you need a bellhop. Now if you'll excuse me," he adds, "I haven't finished counting the tiles in the ceiling just yet."
"Mr. Wiseman... somewhere along the way, have I given you the impression that you have a say in what you will and won't do?" Morris inquires. "If I have, please accept my apology. If I tell you today your job is the safe and expeditious transfer of money, until you hear otherwise your job is the safe and expeditious transfer of money. You... are an experiment. My experiment. I will tell you when and what you can do. You are a part of this operation for one reason and one reason only. Any confrontation with any individual using biological agents is highly dangerous work. If we could send a robot down there, we would. You just happen to be the next best thing."
Outside, Lisa and Roger are still waiting. Heather is sitting in the backseat of the car, doing her homework, which Lisa thinks is absurd given that she could be doing it in her room at home. "Builds character," Roger says.
Lisa checks on Heather to see how she's doing. "Sorry I dragged you out here." Heather shrugs it off. "Mommy's been acting a little crazy lately," Lisa adds.
"It's okay, Mom," Heather insists.
Sighing, Lisa gets out of the car again, deciding it's time to go. Just as she gets to the driver's side, a couple of police cars pull up to the townhouse. "Well, he lives here and he's a criminal," Roger observes. Then a van pulls up. "A very important criminal." An armored car pulls up. "Whoever he is, he does pretty well for himself."
"That's nice," Lisa murmurs, opening her door. "Let's go home."
Inside, Morris and the agents check the satchel - the bearer bonds are all there and accounted for. "Let's hit it," he tells Michael, who reluctantly hauls himself off the bed.
Outside, Lisa is just putting her seatbelt on. "Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait," Roger says. "We have movement. People are coming out of that building. I think it's him." They watch as Michael, flanked by agents, comes out. "It's him!"
Heather leans forward for a better look. "You're not talking about that hottie in the middle, are you?" Roger and Lisa nod as Michael gets into the van.
5:11 pm. While the others discuss the FBI lab results - having discovered the egg gimmick - Michael is staring out the window wistfully at the people on the street going through their everyday lives. He asks for a gas mask, but they answer that it's too risky. "Uh-huh," Michael answers, going back to staring out the window again.
5:22 pm. Lisa is following the police escort from a distance, while Heather complains about getting a late pass for the next day. Late passes are forgotten, however, when they stop in front of the subway entrance. "This is so cool!" Heather gushes. "You think we're going to be on 'Cops?'"
"Pull over here and let's get out," Roger suggests.
Michael reaches the subway entrance, hesitating as he glances about him - kids playing jump rope, a pair of old men playing chess, a couple walking down the street - but is jogged back to reality as Morris contacts him through the earpiece. "Just taking a second. Thinking about what I have to do," Michael sighs as he turns and starts down into the subway station.
He enters with everyone else, hesitating as he realizes he has no change to get through the gate. Not wanting to draw attention, he makes a face and literally pushes through the gate - discreetly bending back the metal bar as he does so.
5:35 pm. Michael waits at the back of the crowd, repeating the instructions to himself as he stands there. He just barely manages to make it into the car.
"For a guy who doesn't know his own shoe size, you clean up very nicely."
He turns, and is horrified to see his wife, daughter, and best friend standing behind him. "You can thank me later," Roger says.
"What's the deal with the police escort?" Heather asks. "You running for office?"
"What are you all doing here?" Michael gasps.
"To be completely honest," Lisa sighs, "I'm not sure."
He's too panicked to be polite. "Get in the next car! Now!"
Lisa blinks. "What?"
Morris is listening in. "Mr. Wiseman, are you talking to somebody? Have you made contact?"
"No," Michael answers before turning back to his family. "Go!!"
They finally obey, Lisa looking offended and confused. Michael pushes his way through the crowd, stopping when he sees the Eggman, wearing a gas mask and holding an egg. "Hey, I, uh, I think we've got a live one."
"Just hand the man the bag," Morris says.
"He's a really puny guy," Michael mutters. "I could take him." As he passes over the bag, he grabs the Eggman's wrist with his free hand - the hand holding the egg. "Pick one."
The Eggman looks from the egg to the bag... and drops the egg. Michael dives for it, catching it in time to keep it from breaking. As the Eggman makes a break for it, a commotion breaks out. The train pulls to a stop, and immediately there is a stampede of people shoving their way off the train. Michael shields the egg with his body, making sure it doesn't break as the Eggman disappears into the crowd. Ignoring Morris' repeated demands for a response, Michael gets up and hurries out, still holding the egg. He pulls off the earpiece as he gets off the train in time to see the Eggman heading down the subway tracks. Michael is about to follow, but realizes he still has to do something about the egg.
He hurries around the station, desperately trying to find a plainclothes cop, to no avail. Having no better option, he chases after Lisa, Roger, and Heather, who are getting off the next car. Lisa tries to ignore him. "Stay away from us!"
"Lisa, you didn't hear me. I need your help!"
"Would you take her upstairs?" Lisa asks Roger, who takes Heather up to the street as Lisa turns back to Michael. "Excuse me, but aren't you the guy who yelled at me in front of a train full of people and ordered me to go?"
"Well, consider me gone."
She whirls on him, furious. "Stop saying my name like you've known me for a million years! And stop acting so familiar! You are completely unfamiliar! In fact, you're crazy! In fact, you're a crazy man walking around asking people to hold his eggs." The next train is coming in, and she shouts to be heard over the roar. "Screw you! SCREW YOU!!" She turns and starts to walk away.
"Really?" Michael shouts back. "You sure? It's a weekday, you know!"
Lisa stops dead at that, turning back to him in shock. "What did you say?"
"I said... you're the person in the world I trust most." He gently places the egg into her hand. "So please... take this up to the street and give it to a Dr. Theodore Morris. Just ask for him; he'll be up there with the police. And don't ask me why, but whatever you do, don't drop it. Don't crack it."
She's a little stunned at this, but no longer angry. "Okay."
"And don't hold this against me." With that, he pulls her into his arms and kisses her. The kiss lasts for several seconds, and Lisa doesn't attempt to pull away from his embrace.
She is more than a little dazed when the kiss finally ends. "Okay. I won't."
Michael hesitates a moment more, brushing her hair out of her face tenderly before turning and running after the terrorist. Lisa watches him go with a bemused expression on her face, then almost laughs as she cradles the egg in her hands.
The empty subway tracks. As Michael walks down the tracks, the Eggman appears from the shadows, sans mask and holding up an egg. "Stop!" he yells. Michael obeys as the Eggman glances up at the open grates above them, leading up to the street. If the nerve toxin gets up there, a lot of people will die. Michael can only stand there as the Eggman puts his mask back on, backing away into the darkness and still holding the egg.
The street level. Morris is talking on his headset. "I'm telling you what he told me. Puny. That's the only description I got before we lost contact." Behind him, Lisa, Roger and Heather are crossing the street, Lisa looking around at the swarm of emergency personnel. "No. No, forget that. Look for my guy. Six feet tall, 175 pounds. Moves like the wind."
"Excuse me," Lisa asks behind him. "Does anybody here know if there's a Doctor Theodore Morris around?"
Morris turns, surprised. "I'm Dr. Morris."
"A man downstairs asked me to give you this." She proffers the egg, only to have it taken from her hand by a man in a protective suit and gloves. "I don't know why."
"Thank you," Morris answers smoothly. "So how's the man downstairs doing?"
Lisa's at a bit of a loss. "Well, he was busy. You know him?"
"Since the day he was born," Morris replies. "You?"
"Me? Well, no. Not really. Who is he?"
"I can't tell you his name. We work together. Government work. Highly sensitive." He pauses for effect before adding, "Internal revenue."
Lisa decides to accept that for the moment. "Oh, my."
"You didn't see anything strange down there, did you?" Morris presses. "He didn't do anything unusual, did he?"
"Well, he gave me an egg," Lisa points out. "And... then he kissed me."
Roger and Heather react with simultaneous shock. "HE DID?!?!?"
Morris sighs. "Oh, my. That's... that's very distressing. He's not supposed to do that. You have my word, ma'am, that he will be given the most severe reprimand possible."
"Well, let's not go overboard," Lisa says hastily, trying to suppress a smile. "It wasn't completely unpleasant."
Heather can't believe what she's hearing. "Mom!"
Lisa has to smile at her daughter's reaction, wrapping an arm around Heather. "We're going to go home," she decides, turning away.
Roger hangs back, staring at Morris curiously. "Could I ask you a favor?"
Morris enunciates just as he did the night before. "Smite."
Roger squints, trying to match it up. "Say 'pus.'"
"Pus. Anything else?"
"I guess not," Roger sighs. "Thanks."
Michael is still walking down the tracks, tracking the Eggman. He stops beneath a grate, seeing that it's opened to the street level for anyone to climb up.
In the car, Roger is trying to make sense of things. "I don't understand it, but... I think I've been made a fool of."
Michael jogs down the sidewalk, shoving his way through the crowd as he catches sight of the Eggman on the other side of the street. What Morris told him earlier occurs to him, and he jogs up the steps of a building, firing off the grappling hook. Below, the Eggman gets into a cab. Getting a running start, Michael leaps off the wall he's standing on, swinging just over the tops of cars to land on the other side of the street. He touches down right behind the cab just as it pulls away. Michael breaks into a run, following the cab as closely as possible.
"Although he did rip the door off my car," Roger murmurs. "I think."
Michael is running through traffic, trying to keep the cab in his sights as he dodges the other cars on the road, dashing down the center yellow line.
Heather leans forward from the back seat. "Mom? Did you really kiss him?"
Still running, Michael finds himself coming up to a very familiar red station wagon.
"How old of a man would you say he was?" Lisa wonders thoughtfully.
"Mom!" Heather exclaims. "You're a mom!"
Lisa sighs. "I wonder if we'll ever see him again."
She screams as something lands on the roof of their car - namely, Michael. "I can't see from the street and I don't want to lose that cab!" he calls, sticking his head in the window.
Lisa has given up arguing at this point. "Of course," she answers, hitting the gas as Michael gets a better grip on the roof.
"Can you get a little closer?" he asks. Lisa crosses the yellow line, coming side by side with the cab. As soon as he's close enough, Michael jumps from her car onto the roof of the cab. Lisa's car continues down the street as the cab screeches to a halt - the driver can't see with Michael in the way. The hard stop sends Michael tumbling off the hood and landing uncomfortably on the asphalt. As Michael gets to his feet, seemingly unfazed, the driver gets out, takes one look at him, and takes off running.
Michael pulls open the passenger door, jumping into the cab as the Eggman pulls his mask on. Michael locks the doors, grappling with the Eggman for his mask as he hits the power window controls with his foot, sealing the two of them in the cab with the egg. The Eggman smashes the egg against the window, and Michael holds his breath as he yanks the Eggman's mask off. The old man breathes, Michael keeps holding his breath... and nothing happens. At last, Michael gasps for air. "Bleed, dammit!"
The Eggman just grins. "Bye-bye."
It hits Michael then. "You've been bluffing??" he cries, incredulous. "That egg in the subway - that was your last egg?"
The passenger door opens, and the Eggman is grabbed by an agent. "Bye," he says as he's pulled out of the cab. Michael flops back against the seat, still not quite able to believe what just happened as the Eggman is cuffed and led away.
Morris sits down in the seat beside him. "Scientist to science fair project. I'm very proud."
Michael's attention is drawn to the sight of Lisa's car being towed. "Where are they?"
"Being treated to a night at a first-class Manhattan hotel, and then being escorted to their home tomorrow morning by a friendly IRS agent." Morris pauses. "Or maybe it was an ATF agent. Or maybe the guy was from the FCC - I don't remember what I told her." Michael merely stares at him. "What, you didn't really think I was going to invite her back to the house for milk and cookies? You're dead, my friend... and you'll just have to learn to live with that."
The next morning, outside the Wiseman house. The "TOYS B FUN" truck from the previous episode pulls away, leaving a newly repaired Mercedes in place of Roger's beaten-up one. Lisa pulls into the driveway a moment later. Roger gets out, holding his jacket. He steps up to his car... and realizes it's miraculously repaired.
He walks around the Mercedes in disbelief, staring at it for a moment. Sighing, Roger throws his jacket over his shoulder and heads off, deciding to walk home.
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