Story by: Marlane Meyer
Teleplay by: Rene Echevarria
Directed by: David Jones
Episode Number: 110
Original Broadcast Date: December 17, 1999
Guest Stars: Stephen Bogardus (Isley), William Hill (Desk Cop), Rajika Puri (Store Clerk), Gloria Sauve (Woman in Store), Tom Aldredge (Mr. Leflin), Bruce Altman (Neighbor)
"And a change you shall have," Morris tells him, explaining that they'll be going on a trip to the mountains for survival training. "You're going to love it. We drop you from a plane smack in the middle of the Adirondacks without food, water, or a compass... and see if you can find your way back to civilization."
"Boy, you do know fun."
"And to keep things interesting, my entire staff will be out there stalking you."
"Mm-hmm." Morris produces a gun. "With these."
"Really, you spoil me," Michael says. "Now, forgive me for telling you something you already know, but I think it bears reiterating. I'm - not - bulletproof."
"Really?" Morris asks. "You sure?" He aims the gun and shoots Michael point-blank with it. Michael screams as his bare chest is splattered with red - and then he realizes he's not injured.
"My God!" Morris exclaims. "You survived. And that was the really tough weather-duty paint."
7:58 p.m. Heather has been calling her mother for five minutes, to no avail. She tries a scare tactic. "Mom, my 35-year-old ex-convict boyfriend is here to take me away but he wanted to meet you before we take off for the state line. Would that be okay?"
That finally gets Lisa's attention, and Heather tells her the awards show's starting. Lisa is cramming for her exam, which is tomorrow night. She tells Heather to watch the show on her own, despite Heather's insistence that it can't be too hard and that Lisa should just relax.
Day Two, 6:00 a.m. The curtains open right on time, and Michael groans and pulls the covers over his head. Several seconds pass, and nothing happens. No serenading, no wake-up call whatsoever. Michael pulls the covers off his face, looking around. The room is empty, the lights still dimmed. He sits up, confused. "Hello?"
He showers, dresses, and goes into the gym to wait. "Hello? Anybody out there listening? Hey, big brother, aren't we taking a class trip to the mountains today?" No one replies, and no one comes. "Okay, play hard to get, but I'm getting hungry... and I'm getting lonely... and I'm getting bored."
"Mom, I need you to sign my geometry and I need you to give me money for my class pictures and remember, you have to bake cookies for the orchestra bake sale," Heather says as she comes downstairs. Lisa isn't in the kitchen. Heather turns and sees that her mother has fallen asleep on the couch studying. Sighing, Heather unfolds the comforter and covers Lisa with it, kissing her mother on the forehead before quietly heading out the door to catch the bus.
No one has come to the townhouse yet. Out of frustration, Michael uses his strength to break the lock on the door, setting the alarms in the townhouse off. Pleased with himself, Michael sits down by the pool to wait.
Lisa awakens, sitting up on the couch and trying to decide what to do. What is there to be afraid of? she thinks. There's nothing to be afraid of. It's just a multiple choice test and life is a multiple choice test all by itself... if you're lucky enough to live in a free country. For instance, the question of the moment is should I, Lisa Wiseman, A) go upstairs and shower and dress, B) drink some coffee, or C) lay back down?
She considers it for a moment before flopping back down on the couch. Good answer.
The alarm is still going off, and Michael is sitting there with his hands over his ears as a stranger comes in. Michael is at first excited to see him, until the man tells him that he lives next door, and the alarm can be heard for three blocks. "Why don't you shut off the alarm?" the neighbor asks, confused by Michael's strange behavior.
"Don't know how." The neighbor assumes that Michael's forgotten the code and is waiting for the alarm company to show up. "I appreciate you being so cool about this," Michael tells him.
"Yeah, well... if it doesn't stop within half an hour I'm calling the police."
Michael sighs. "Right."
The Wisemans' doorbell rings. Still in her bathrobe, Lisa answers the door to find a strange man standing on the porch. He introduces himself as Isley. "Forgive me for ringing your bell so early in the morning. Actually, I'm here to try and locate Mr. Wiseman. Michael Wiseman?"
"Oh, well, I don't know who you are or, or what you want," Lisa says uncomfortably, "but my husband passed away ten months ago."
"I know that, Mrs. Wiseman, but I also know he's sought you out from time to time since then." as she stares at him in confusion, he hands her a business card. "All I'm asking is, if he should stop by, would you please give me a call?"
Lisa slams the door in his face.
The alarm is still going off, and Michael, in an act of desperation, is sticking his head into the pool, holding his breath as long as he can to muffle the noise. Six minutes pass, and he comes up for air, shaking his fists in frustration at the alarm before plunging his head under again. A few moments later, the alarm shuts off, and Michael comes up for air again. "Doc?"
Suddenly, a group of men wearing yellow bio-hazard suits and carrying machine guns file in, lining up at the other end of the pool. They claim to have been sent by Dr. Morris. Thinking this is the survival training, Michael gets up. "Bring me? Bring me where, the mountains? And aren't you guys carrying this lyme disease thing a little far?"
"He told us to come here, shut off the alarm and bring you. Please... come with us."
Michael agrees, although he tells them to radio ahead and let the Doc know he's hungry, and angry. "But nothing a little chocolate cake wouldn't fix." No reaction. "Look, I'm not expecting miracles. Just take your best shot. Even if all I get are a couple of extra croutons in my salad it's worth it to me." They exchange looks. "All right, show me your wheels, boys. Let's get this show on the road."
Riding in a van with four of the men, Michael begins to get suspicious since they're still in the city and headed south. "Say, listen, back to the food thing for a minute. How about we stop and grab a couple of breakfast sandwiches? You know, a couple slices of highly processed bread with eggs, sausages, some fried potatoes on there. We could even pick one up for the Doc. He'd like that, don't you think?"
"Yeah, sounds good," one of the men replies as the van drives into a tunnel.
That tips Michael off. "That's what I thought," he says before punching the man nearest to him in the face with his elbow. He grabs another man's gun. "Let's see what kind of paint you're packing!" He shoots the window, which shatters. Michael bends the gun in half like a pretzel, causing its owner to panic and bail out of the van. The third man follows suit, and Michael uses the bent barrel of the gun to get the driver by the throat. "Who are you? Dr. Morris didn't send you! Where is Dr. Morris??"
The van is swerving wildly in the tunnel by now. "I'll tell you!" the driver screams, but then the van crashes into another car, and the driver is knocked out. Michael wastes no time, getting out of the van and dashing out of the tunnel at high speed.
Roger is taking a bathroom break, and as he opens the stall door he's surprised to see Isley standing here. He tries to excuse himself, only to have Isley shove him back into the stall roughly. "Sorry to be so gruff, Mr. Bender," Isley says, "but I'm on a very tight schedule. The organization I'm working for has reason to believe that since his untimely passing, you've had intermittent contact with Michael Wiseman."
Before he can continue, someone else enters, and Isley hurriedly moves to the sink. Shaken, Roger gets up and turns to go. "My people are prepared to pay $1 million if you can facilitate a meeting between us and the gentleman in question," Isley says.
"But... but..." Roger turns, utterly baffled by the man's words. "The gentleman in question is dead."
"A million five is as high as I'm authorized to go."
Roger stares at him before turning and going back to his office.
Michael has found a pay phone, and calls the police to report a kidnapping. He's tripped up when he tries to explain how he knows it's a kidnapping - especially since he doesn't know Morris' home number - and when the officer asks for his name, he gets frustrated and hangs up. He dials Information to get Morris' number, but there are six listings for that name. He goes into a nearby store to borrow a pencil, but the cashier insists "sixty-three cents." Michael doesn't have a penny on him.
He's walking down the street when he notices a large crowd gathered around a street performer, who's doing backflips for money. Seeing this, Michael decides to do the same thing - but his trick is lifting a bench with two portly people on it, first with one hand, then with one finger. The crowd goes wild, thinking this is a great trick, and soon Michael's collection dish is filled with dollar bills.
"Sixty-three cents!" the cashier cries as Michael walks in.
"Forget that," Michael says. "I want a pen."
"You sure? $1.98."
He brandishes the cash he's just received. "Sure I'm sure. I'm loaded. And a pad." As she gets the pad, Michael stops, seeing something behind the counter. "Gee. Are those peanut butter cups you got back there?"
He's finishing off the last of about twenty peanut butter cups when he dials the last of the six numbers - and it's not the right Theodore Morris. Sighing, Michael pockets the pad and turns away, but then thinks of something. He goes back to the phone and calls home.
Lisa is screening her calls, and Michael gets the answering machine with the message Heather has recorded. He smiles, hearing his daughter's voice, but doesn't leave a message; he stands there for a moment as Lisa stares at the machine, waiting for something other than the background noise of traffic. Finally, Michael hangs up.
At the nearest police station, Michael comes up to the officer at the desk. "Hi. I've got two things." The first thing, of course, is the missing person. When the cop asks for Michael's name, Michael tells him it's unimportant. "Look, I've already tried calling this in and you people keep getting hung up on who I am instead of who the missing person is. I'm not missing; Dr. Theodore Morris is and he's a very important guy."
"A very important guy."
"Very. He works for the government doing top-secret work. I don't know who you call to check those things out... but I'm sure you do, and you should call and check. Dr. Theodore Morris is missing, and it's bad."
"This Dr. Morris... he wouldn't be your doctor, would he?"
"We are involved in a highly sensitive project, yes, but I really can't say more than that."
"I had a hunch," the cop says. "Let's move on to the second thing." Michael asks if he can hang around in the police station while he waits. He wants to stay in one place in the hopes that Dr. Morris' team will track him down, but he figures the police station is one place the commandos in bio-hazard suits won't bother with. "Well, that's sound thinking, my friend," the cop says. "But, unfortunately, the only people allowed in here are people who are reporting crimes or people who have committed crimes and are under arrest."
Defeated, Michael nods, but the cop isn't done. "Now, what I'm going to do is this: I'm going to ask one of the officers upstairs to make some calls and see if there really is a Dr. Morris... 'cause frankly, you sound to me like you could use a doctor of some sort."
Relieved, Michael thanks him, and the cop tells him to go have a seat.
Lisa is still studying when the phone rings again. She lets the machine get it, and when she finds out it's Roger, she picks up, relieved that he's returning her call. He thinks she's just nervous about the test, but she says that's not it. "I had a very... odd experience this morning that..."
"A man with a business card asked you about Michael," Roger finishes.
"How did you know?" Lisa asks as the door opens.
Heather comes in, worried. "Mom? There's some guy out front and it felt like he was watching me the whole time I walked up the walk."
"Lock the door," Lisa advises.
Roger reaches for his coat. "I'm coming right over."
In the police station, the cop on duty calls Michael over. Apparently, Michael's story has checked out. "It turns out your friend is an important fella. And apparently, he knows a lot of other important fellas and they've been looking for you. "Well, I figured they had to be," Michael says.
"Come on. Let's go upstairs, talk to some people see if we can't get this whole thing straightened out." Michael follows the cop upstairs. "Well, you're a very popular guy and from what I hear, very special."
"It's nothing really. Just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."
They reach an upstairs office. "Well, I think these guys will be able to help you, Mr. Wiseman," the cop says, opening the door.
Inside are yet more of Michael's pursuers. The second he sees the yellow suits, Michael turns and runs, only to find that two officers are blocking his path at the foot of the stairs. He leaps clear over the railing, landing on his feet and charging full speed through the station, knocking people and objects out of his way as he bolts for the door, dashing out of the station and down the street.
Lisa and Heather are waiting in the living room for Roger when they hear honking outside. Roger is sitting in his Mercedes outside, leaning on the horn. Lisa is irritated that he won't just come in, and finally Roger calls her machine on his cellphone. "Lisa, it's Roger. Uh, listen, I'm sure you're going to think I'm being paranoid but I think someone followed me over here. So, uh, maybe, rather than my coming in it might make more sense if you came out and got into my car."
Lisa picks up the receiver. "Roger... I have this test in three hours that I have been trying to study for all day. Don't you think it might be possible..."
"I believe we may all be in danger," Roger tells her.
Lisa gets up. "I'll get the coats."
Lisa gets into the passenger seat, and Heather gets in the back. "He gave me this..." Roger and Lisa say in unison, pulling out identical business cards.
"I fear it's all some hideous, terrible mistake," Roger says. "The man to whom I spoke seemed unwilling or incapable of accepting the idea that Michael is gone."
"Isn't the point of having a car to move?" Heather interrupts. "I mean, if some guy's following us, trailing us I mean you're making his job a lot easier by just sitting here in the driveway."
"Heather, wait a second," Lisa says. "I'm starting to think that maybe we're overreacting a bit. A strange man came to my door. He didn't hurt me. He didn't threaten me. Yeah, he spooked me a little, sure, but... He also gave me his phone number. Now if he was up to no good he wouldn't give me his phone number, would he?" She wonders if she should call him, but Roger doesn't know what they could tell him.
"You can start by telling me where Mr. Wiseman is," Isley says, appearing at Lisa's window. "There's nothing to be afraid of. I just need some information. Once I have it, I'll be on my way. May I join you?"
Lisa orders Heather to go to Gretchen's and stay there til Lisa calls her. Heather gets out of the car as Isley gets in. "Who is it you're protecting?" Isley asks. "Your government? How do you think the organization I work for heard of your husband? If not through someone in your government who was forced or bribed or just sought to impress by sharing this deep secret..."
"What secret?" Lisa asks, frustrated. "I don't know what you're talking about. My husband sold insurance. He had nothing to do with the government. He voted, he paid taxes, that's it. We're just regular people. I have a little girl. I'm supposed to take my realtor's test in three hours. Winter's coming, so tomorrow I have to rummage through the basement and find the snow tires - and I don't know what a snow tire looks like. That's it. That's who I am."
"And I'm even less," Roger adds.
"Want to see where he lives?" Isley asks. "Where your husband's lived since he died?"
Michael, meanwhile, has come back to the townhouse, but this time he decides to scope it out first, using the grappling hook to climb up to the upstairs window and look inside. To his dismay, it's filled with yellow suits waiting for him - two of them are even playing "Go Fish." Michael climbs down a bit so as not to be seen. It's then that he notices the familiar "TOYS B FUN" truck parked on the other side of the street.
Roger pulls up in front of the townhouse, and Lisa starts laughing hysterically. She thinks it's "Mr. Newman's" townhouse, and the knowledge just strikes her as funny. Isley insists that this is where her husband lives, but Lisa refuses to believe that.
Michael enters the truck to find the extensive lab inside, but no one's there. He goes over to a console full of weather and lighting controls. Of particular interest is the monitor which shows the views of several security cameras inside the townhouse. "Doc, you lying bastard, you do watch me," Michael observes, not entirely surprised.
He is surprised, however, to see Isley leading Roger and Lisa through the townhouse. Lisa finds this whole thing hysterical - that Isley's confused "Mr. Newman" with her husband. "If you knew how completely different they were. Michael is... was so... solid and Mr. Newman is, well... is like this place - strange. And he works for the government."
She starts laughing again when Isley explains the suits: "We were led to believe Mr. Wiseman might be biologically volatile. That he might carry some disease or pestilence."
"Once and for all," Roger says, "Mr. Wiseman isn't carrying much of anything these days and, if he were, trust me, that woman would be dead. She's kissed him."
"I am leaving now," Lisa declares. "Roger, my test starts in an hour and ten minutes, and I am not missing it. And, as for you," she adds, glaring at Isley, "you are obviously the victim of a hoax no doubt perpetrated by Mr. Newman perhaps relating to his I.R.S. work I don't know. That's not my problem. My problem is that I don't like strangers coming to my door and frightening me and my daughter. And I don't like men parked in front of my house watching my comings and goings and I don't appreciate people sullying the memory of my husband with nonsensical stories about where he lives now that he's dead! So, as soon as I get home, I am calling the police and I am going to give them your phone number and I will be providing them with your description! Roger, come on."
She turns and heads for the door. Roger grins. "Isn't she great?" In the truck, Michael smiles, just as proud as Roger is.
"Do you know a Dr. Theodore Morris?" Isley asks. That gets Lisa's attention. "Dr. Morris is a scientist who committed his life to building an artificial man. Your government financed him to the tune of billions of dollars and apparently, sometime late last year he succeeded save for one small thing - he could not synthesize a brain. That, he needed to transplant from a living human being."
"Oh, my God," Michael whispers.
"I'll bet you watch lots of shows that aren't listed in the TV Guide," Lisa says.
"I'm deadly serious, Mrs. Wiseman. There was one problem Dr. Morris couldn't solve, one obstacle he couldn't overcome. And it forced him into an ethical dilemma that threatened to derail the project."
"No," Michael groans. "Don't tell her."
Isley continues. "All of his work was about to go down the drain. Without a mind, the beautiful body he built would never live."
Michael frantically searches the console, looking for something that will help - until he sees the sprinkler controls.
"His salvation, Mrs. Wiseman, was none other than..."
At that moment, Michael hits the sprinkler system switch, and the sprinklers go off. "What the..." Isley exclaims, as Lisa and Roger run for the door.
He doesn't pursue them immediately; his cellphone rings, and he answers it, telling a "Mr. Leflin" that they're not being very cooperative. Isley hangs up and runs after Roger and Lisa, catching up to them just as they're getting into Roger's Mercedes. "Three million is my final offer!"
"Three million?" Roger echoes in amazement.
Lisa isn't so thrilled by the prospect. "Come on, Roger."
He sighs and gets in. "All right. This is a $1,200 suit. The least they could do is pay for the dry cleaning."
With that, Roger drives away. Isley hails a cab. It's dark by the time the cab pulls up at 78th and Second, and neither Isley nor the driver notice that Michael has been riding on the roof. As Isley hops out, heading for a nearby building, Michael rolls off the roof and follows him. He's stopped by a receptionist, and tells her he's here for Mr. Leflin. "The memorial's on the second floor," she says.
Apparently, the memorial is for the late Mr. Leflin. Isley is seated at the far end of one of the rows, looking appropriately distressed. Michael takes a seat beside him. "Hi there. Friend of the bride's?"
As Isley stares at him in confusion, Michael goes on. "I believe you've been looking for me. Michael Wiseman. You know, I'm sorry. I would have worn a suit and one of those Toxic Avenger costumes but I didn't know I was coming till the last minute." He glances up at the front of the room. "Oh, look. It's about to start. A shame. So here's the deal - if you don't take me to Dr. Morris right now, I'm going to stand up and tell all these nice people I heard you talking to their dead friend on the phone today."
Isley smiles. "I'd be happy to."
In Roger's car, Lisa is tired and frustrated; her hair is wet, and she's wasted the past few hours on absolute nonsense. She decides she's setting herself up to fail, and that Roger should just take her home.
Lisa stares at him. "What did you say?"
"I said, no," Roger says. "I'm not participating in this little game that you're playing with yourself. I'm taking you to the test. I'm going to wait outside until you finish the test. Now, if you want to go inside and hide in the bathroom, that's your business, but I'm doing my job as your friend in getting you there."
"Roger, I don't think I like your tone."
"You don't have to like it; you just have to listen to it. I know you're scared. 'Scared' is where I live. But do you really want to go home and tell Heather that you just couldn't get it together to take this test? I mean, that'd be like failing two tests... and that is not the Lisa I know. She would rather go home and tell her daughter that she failed, than tell her daughter that she ran away."
Lisa is silent for a moment, looking out the window, before she speaks. "You play very dirty, Mr. Bender."
Roger shrugs. "When I have to."
Isley shows Michael to a rather spacious study on an upper floor, and there, tied to a chair, is Dr. Morris. Michael rushes over, pulls the tape from Morris' mouth, until Isley pulls out a gun and tells him to stop right there. "Dr. Morris, if you'll swivel around in your chair you'll see that I have a gun trained on your creation and I am prepared to use it. And while I know it won't kill him, we both know it'll do some damage. So, perhaps you'd like to take a moment and reconsider our proposition."
"Let me be clear," Morris says. "This is not my creation. I have no creation. And as for your proposition, I won't accept because I can't accept. I am completely unfamiliar with the procedure you're asking me to perform."
"You leave me no choice," Isley says.
"I'd like to suggest a choice!" Michael exclaims. "As a courtesy, before you shoot me, could somebody tell me what's going on here?"
Isley ignores him. "I'm giving you three to reconsider, Dr. Morris. One..."
"What's going on here," Morris explains, "is an attempt at a misguided business proposition. Mr. Leflin here is under the mistaken impression that I've transplanted a human brain into a man-made Superman."
"Two..." "What do you mean, 'Mr. Leflin'?" Michael asks. "He's not Mr. Leflin. In fact, I heard him speaking to the late Mr. Leflin not more than an hour ago."
"Three," Isley finishes.
"Wait!" A door slides open to admit an old man in a wheelchair - the same man whose memorial is currently taking place. It's Mr. Leflin, all right, and he decides the whole thing has gone too far. "Isley" is really his son, who is helping him out with an elaborate scheme he'd concocted to prolong his life. He learned about the project from rumors told to him by friends in the government, and as ridiculous as the prospect was, he bought it. Leflin's death was staged; he planned to convince Morris into doing the same thing for him that he did for Michael - first by offering money, then by threatening to destroy what he values most.
"That's why you sent your men after me," Michael realizes.
Leflin decides, once and for all, that they were misinformed. "Well... Son, I think it's time to send our friends home. Time for you to go back downstairs to the ceremony. Time for me... to contemplate what's next."
"It's not going to be as simple as that," Morris says coldly. "I was kidnapped. My colleague here, stalked. People were hurt. I will be going to the authorities as soon as I leave."
Leflin sighs. "Well, we all have to do what we all have to do. Nevertheless, our business is concluded. There's nothing more to talk about. I suppose I'll have to find another way to... solve my problem."
As they walk out into the hall, Michael asks if Morris really can call the cops. Morris doesn't see how; the project's top-secret and Michael's not supposed to exist. "So that's it," Michael sighs. "They get off scot-free."
Isley catches up to them in the hall, apologetic and asking if there isn't some way they can compensate the two of them before Morris goes to the authorities. Any answer Morris can give is cut off by the sound of a gunshot. Morris, Michael and Isley rush back into the study. "Dad!" Isley cries. "What have you done??"
He rushes to his father, and Michael grimaces. Morris sighs. "I guess the awful truth is... no one ever gets through this life scot-free." He turns to Michael. "You call an ambulance. Let me see if there's anything I can do."
Heather is in bed when Lisa gets in, having just come from her test. "Oh," Heather says. "I thought you might chicken out."
"What are you talking about?" Lisa replies. "I would never chicken out. In fact, I-I think I aced it."
"No kidding. Actually, Uncle Roger helped me get ready."
That makes Heather sit up and take notice. "Uncle Roger? I didn't think he could help anybody with anything."
Lisa smiles. "Oh, yeah. Actually, he can be quite helpful... when he has to be."
~ Episode Review ~ Sounds ~ E-mail Me ~ Back to Index ~