Written by: Michael Angeli
Directed by: Vincent Misiano
Episode Number: 113
Original Broadcast Date: January 28, 2000
Guest Stars: Jamey Sheridan (Ben), Charles Malik Whitfield (Jones/Foster), Faith Prince (Janet), Mary Catherine Martin (Carla), Teddy Coluca (Red)
"You're making me blush," Morris replies with a grin.
They sit down, and the Doc pops in a video tape. The TV replays a news report about Maceo T. Jones, the current and undefeated boxing heavyweight champion. Morris pauses the tape. "Ten years ago, before there was a you there existed a black budget government program called 'Magic Mirror.'"
"What's a black budget government program?" Michael asks.
"It existed... but it never existed," the Doc answers. "A team of government scientists - and mind you, this was well before my time - transformed a young soldier, Private First Class Timothy Foster, from a casualty of a Gulf War nerve gas incident into a biologically altered warrior. Swift, powerful, immune to disease and chemical warfare, with feline reflexes."
Michael is surprised. "What are you talking about? Another me?"
"Perish the thought, Mr. Wiseman. Bio-molecular research. Gene vectors. Advances in nanotechnology. We've come a long way since the '80s," Morris tells him. "Think of it this way. Pfc. Foster was analog. You're digital." He un-pauses the tape for a moment before adding that PFC Foster escaped the program and has been missing since 1992. The thinking was that Foster went underground, had plastic surgery, did anything to avoid attention. "That was the theory, at least, until last week."
"Why? What happened last week?"
For answer, Morris shows him a series of satellite photographs, zooming in on Maceo T. Jones' mansion in New Jersey. The satellite pictures clearly show a man on Jones' property, chopping down a tree - with his bare hands. "Wow," Michael says. "I got to make it a point to introduce myself at the next union meeting."
Heather gets up and stumbles into the bathroom, intending to get a shower before getting ready for school. She's thwarted when the water pressure in the shower is zilch; Lisa's up for her first day of work and using the other shower. "MOM!"
Before she leaves, Lisa is all but panicking over what could happen while she's at work, making sure Heather has the extra key, giving Heather her work number, et cetera. "I'm going to keep the cell phone on. And at some point, I hope I can call your school and give them my work number, 'cause God forbid there's an emergency and they have to get ahold of me and I'm not actually at home. I mean, I could check the answering machine, but that's not the point, is it?"
"I think you've had enough coffee, Mom," Heather says. "I have to go."
"Would you please give me a call when you get home so I know you're all right?" Heather turns and gives her mother a look. "Oh, be nice. I'm terrified." Heather agrees to call her, wishing her luck before she heads out the door to catch the bus.
Meanwhile, Morris and Michael are discussing the possibility that Jones is Foster - while Morris randomly fires off non-lethal projectiles for Michael to dodge from a gun. (They look like beanbags, but I can't tell.) Michael doesn't think the satellite photos prove a thing; they don't show who the guy is. Morris points out that his past is too convenient - the orphanage where he was left burnt down with the birth records inside. Jones came out of nowhere and has never been defeated through 60 professional bouts, and not only that, he's worth $800 million and yet has had no long-lost relatives et al appear for a share of the profits. Michael suggests that maybe, just maybe, Jones is a nice guy with a clean past.
Morris points out that Jones has a tattoo in the exact place where Foster's tracking device would have been inserted and possibly removed. "Could just be a..." Michael breaks off as Morris fires off two quick shots in succession, catching both projectiles in his hands. "coincidence." He picks up a third and juggles them casually, wanting to know how he fits into all this. "If you're counting on me appealing to him as a long-lost relative... I mean, I know that we're kind of apples from the same tree, but truth is - we've never been close."
What the Doc needs is absolute proof of who Jones really is; the boxer is so famous, so well-known and well-loved that Washington has to be sure that Maceo T. Jones and PFC Timothy Foster are the same man before they make any effort to recapture him. "And how do we do that?" Michael asks. "Pull his shorts down and check his underwear for a name tag?"
I need DNA, Mr. Wiseman - hair, blood, saliva, urine - and that's where you come in."
Michael grimaces. "Uh-huh. Tell me you don't have your heart set on the urine-sample thing."
Lisa is settling into the office, while her coworker Janet shows her around, pointing her desk out as the fourth desk. Janet's desk is first, then Bob's, then Carla's, then Lisa's. They work on a rotation; the first walk-in comes to Janet, then the next comes to Bob, then Carla, then Lisa. "Every day is a new day," Janet says. "We don't pick up where we left off. We start all over again. Now, I know this seems unfair, but these desk assignments are given out based on sales. So, next quarter, who knows? You could be sitting at the first desk. Besides, over time you will find that most of your business will come from referrals and ads, not from walk-ins." She gives Lisa a form to fill out to get her business cards printed up. "So what have we got here... Ms? Mrs?"
"It's Mrs. I think I'll always be a Mrs. I, um... lost my husband last year in an accident."
"I'm sorry. I lost my husband to a female golf pro." Janet realizes what she's said. "That came out... much flipper than I meant it." She offers to buy Lisa a cup of coffee.
Lisa agrees, and they chat as they walk back to the office. Janet warns Lisa that the hardest part is the waiting. "For something to happen. Unless you have a friend or a relative who's looking to buy or looking to list, it's tough to get started. And until you've made that first sale, it's really tough on your self-esteem and your pocketbook but, if it's going to happen, it'll happen. You just have to tough-out that first waiting period and establish yourself."
Lisa smiles. "In this last year or so I have become very accomplished at waiting. I have no idea for what. Maybe this - but rest assured I can wait with the best of them."
Heather comes home from school, shouting for her mother, then realizes Mom's still at work. A big grin crosses her face. "Oh, yeah!" She runs upstairs, blasts her stereo, dances around, goes through Lisa's things, before settling on a cardigan and going downstairs to make a huge concoction of whipped cream and ice cream. She sits down in front of the TV and turns on a press conference with Maceo T. Jones and Tyrell Hoyles, the guy he's due to fight next. Jones is going off on Hoyles and how he doesn't stand a chance. "Righteous!" Heather cheers, picking up the ringing phone. "Hello. Oh, hi, Mom. Oh, nothing, just doing my homework."
MTJ Training Camp, King Street Gym, Harlem, New York. Jones is going through his sparring partners like dominoes, one after the other. After four quick finishes, he starts yelling at his publicist. "If you haven't heard, I have a date with Tyrell Hoyles at the Garden in a week. Now, he's going to be ready, what about me? Red, I need some competent damn sparring partners."
"We brought you..." Red begins.
"Dopey, Grumpy, Sneezy and Bashful - that's who you brought me," Jones retorts. Now, this is boxing, baby. Not tag, boxing. Now who I'm going to fight? Hmm?"
A small crowd is gathered to watch Jones train, and standing at the back are Michael and the Doc. Michael raises a hand, snapping his fingers to get Jones' attention. "Right there," Jones says. "Bring that boy's ass up here."
A few minutes later, both Jones and Michael are almost ready to go. Red tells Jones he's got a couple of guys from Newark coming, and that he doesn't know this guy. "What's there to know?" Morris interrupts from the far corner of the ring. "He's here, and he's willing." He turns back to Michael, holding the mouthpiece. "You know," he says quietly, "this thing would be covered with the man's DNA." He pushes the mouthpiece in.
"What are you saying?" Michael mumbles around the mouthpiece.
"I'm saying if you knock one of those out of his mouth, you won't have to worry about getting me any hair or blood or..." He trails off as the bell clangs and Michael gets up, ready to fight.
Jones, however, looks Michael up and down, and is unimpressed. "Go on," he decides, turning away. "Go back to your modeling job."
"Afraid of me?" Michael taunts.
"Get up on out of here. I'm serious. I don't want to hurt you." He turns to his publicist. "Hey, Red, get the Newark doggies up in here so I can train already."
Undaunted, Michael punches him lightly on the shoulder to get his attention. Jones turns, punching Michael lightly in return, and isn't prepared for the hard punch to the gut he gets. "Oh! You want a piece of me? You want to play, Ken Doll?" Jones takes a moment to get his mouthpiece in. "You just got your wish."
He gives Michael a hard punch to the jaw, enough to hurt an ordinary man - and it's a second before Michael remembers to fake a sore jaw. "What the hell was that? Some kind of delayed reaction you're working, Ken?"
"Hey, I'll tell you, that was such a good shot it knocked the pain right out of me for a second, there."
For answer, Michael punches him in the face. Jones reels back before punching Michael, who shrugs the blow off. "Yeah, you take as good as you give, Ken," Jones says. "So, I don't have to worry about you."
"You want to worry about me you go ahead and worry about me. I think that's nice." With that, Michael hits Jones, and they start sparring in earnest, throwing punches back and forth. After a few seconds, Michael finally gets the upper hand, hitting Jones repeatedly in the face. Jones swings and misses, giving Michael the opening to grab him into a bear hug long enough to get him off balance and sucker-punch the champ. Jones' mouthpiece goes flying, and Jones hits the mat. The spectators cheer as Morris, wearing latex gloves, surreptitiously snatches up the mouthpiece.
Jones gets to his feet, and he and Michael face off for a second before Jones asks, "You like fried perch?" Michael nods. "Good." Jones throws a friendly arm around Michael's shoulders, and the two head off, much to Morris' irritation.
Lisa sits at her desk, bored out of her mind as the few walk-ins all go to the other three real estate agents. She gets no business, and comes home dejected, flopping down on the bed>Heather flops down beside her, asking how many houses she sold, and Lisa answers none. "Whoops," Heather says.
At first, Lisa says she didn't get any business because she hasn't gotten her business cards yet. After a second, she admits the truth. "I don't get my business cards until tomorrow... and because nobody came in to see me. So, I didn't have to get in my car and show anybody a house so that I could sell someone the house. There you have it, honey. It's all perfectly normal, perfectly natural, just what you'd expect on your first day of work when you are starting a new career." She sighs, then smiles. "Could you... write me a note so that I don't have to go in tomorrow?"
Heather laughs. "No."
Michael and Jones are at a restaurant, and Michael is thrilled to actually eat "real" food. Jones is tired of people kissing his ass, and Michael insists that isn't his deal. "Not your deal? Hmm. Ain't you cool?" Jones says. "Just like your boxing, too - just lean back there... let the other fellow go reckless and you just slip in that bomb. Smart. I like that. So, what's your real name, Ken?"
"Michael. Michael Newman."
"Oh, damn, stop," Jones cries. "That is definitely not a fighter's name. That's like some freaking bean counter's name."
"Really? You think so?"
"I know so. Have my publicist come up with something for you. That is, of course, if you want to be a star. You like boxing?"
"Oh, yeah. In fact, I was... kind of born to fight. How about you?"
"Me?" Jones asks. "Hate it."
Michael is confused. "Then, why do you do it?"
Jones shrugs. "Well, I was strong. What was I going to do, join the circus?" He adds that boxing just fills the void for him. "So, you got any family, Ken? Married?"
"Separated," Michael replies quietly.
"You get to see her much?"
Michael sighs. "Not nearly enough."
"I feel you," Jones says. "I feel you."
"How about you?"
Jones sighs dismissively. "My life's complicated enough. No. No family. Maybe someday." The waitress comes with their orders. "Welcome to Uncle Maceo's training table. Dig in." Michael is only too happy to oblige.
The limo picks him up later that evening, and Dr. Morris is irritated at the amount of time Michael spent hanging out with Jones. "Well, I didn't want to eat and run," Michael answers. "Which reminds me, he actually invited me to run - road work, day after tomorrow. 110th and Central Park West, 7:00 a.m."
"Hmm... well, that might come in handy," Morris admits. "You like him, don't you? "Well... 'like' is a little strong. It's not like I get to meet a lot of people in my present situation. Why? You worried I'm going to leave you for him? I'll be honest - it crossed my mind when they brought the hush puppies."
"Oh, come on, Doc. I only ate what I absolutely had to so as not to give myself away and, then, only to protect democracy and the American way of life." Michael belches loudly, much to Morris' disgust.
Michael briefly gets serious, saying that he doesn't think Jones and Foster are the same. Jones loves being famous, and he can't have gone to all that trouble only to lose it all when he was caught. "But, of course... hey... my opinion doesn't count. I'm just a cog in the wheel, an ant in the colony, and if you tell me you need me to keep hanging out with this guy - sparring with him, training with him and, yes, even eating with him, well... a government experiment's got to do what a government experiment's got to do."
"Oh, be quiet," Morris tells him. Michael belches again, and Morris groans.
Lisa is back at work, bored out of her mind, when suddenly a man comes in and walks up to her desk. "Oh. I'm sorry. I didn't realize that you were there. Can I help you?"
"I certainly hope so," he says. "I'm looking for a house."
"Oh, great. Um, actually, Janet is the person that you want to see." Much to his dismay, she explains the rotation.
Sighing, Ben (that's his name in the press release, so I'm assuming that's right) goes over to Janet's desk. "I'm looking for a brunette to help me find a house." Lisa looks up, and Janet is taken aback. "Excuse me?"
"Is that your natural hair color?" he asks.
"I beg your pardon."
"You know what? I don't think this is working out for either of us," Ben says. "I think I'm going to go outside and, uh..."
He gets up, goes out the door, turns around and comes back in. Janet is trying not to laugh and grinning at Lisa. Ben heads for Lisa again, but Janet points him over to Bob. Bob immediately picks up the phone and points over to Carla's desk, so Ben sits down in front of Carla. By now, everyone in the office knows what he's up to. Carla sighs. "Have you met Lisa?"
Lisa ends up taking Ben to see a house. On the way there, she asks what that was all about. He simply wanted to work with her. "I mean, I walked in, I looked around... and you looked pleasant. Not that the others looked unpleasant. I don't know. It's kind of an instinct thing. I trust my instincts. I'm an investment banker. Me and my instincts have done pretty well so when I get an instinct about something or someone I like to... you are pleasant, aren't you?"
"Well, I like to think so," Lisa says. "But you should know that this is my second day on the job and that you are absolutely the very first person that I have taken out to see a house."
"Well, that's okay because this is my first day looking. And you are absolutely the first person I've asked to help me. So you could do something badly and I'd be almost certain not to notice. As long as you're pleasant."
Ben spends a long time checking out the house she takes him to, letting it slip that he isn't married. He decides this isn't the one. "What are you doing for dinner tomorrow night?"
"'Dinner?'" Lisa echoes. "I'm sorry, did we skip something? Was I not paying attention somewhere?"
"Here's what I'm thinking," Ben says. "Now that you have a better sense of what I'm looking for maybe you could go assemble some brochures, photographs, whatever, come into the city tomorrow night. We'll have dinner together and you can show me your ideas. Does that work for you?" She agrees, and he decides to call her tomorrow, phoning his driver to pick him up. "Lisa?" he says before leaving. "This was, uh, very pleasant."
Michael wakes up to find Dr. Morris sitting beside his bed, looking uncharacteristically gloomy. Turns out the DNA tests came in - and Jones' DNA is a match for Foster's.
Morris shows him a map of Central Park, noting that Jones has been jogging a specific path along the west drive. A tactical team will be waiting at a nearby ravine to intercept him, and his three bodyguards will be "neutralized" with non-lethal narcotics. His disappearance will be assumed to be a botched kidnapping.
"Boy, I got to tell you," Michael says, "finding out that stuff like this goes on... if I wasn't dead, it would kill me." He's not happy with this at all, noting that Jones/Foster seems like a pretty well grounded guy. He asks if Morris really has to do anything - Jones doesn't seem like he's careless enough to slip up.
Morris disagrees. "Suppose Pfc. Foster slips up and someone, anyone discovers the secret of his success is more than just a sweet left jab. What if he's hurt in the ring? Hell, forget the ring. He's hurt in a car accident. The attending physician cuts him open only to discover that the knee bone ain't connected to the shin bone. Hell, forget the knee bone. There are bits and pieces in this fellow that aren't even illustrated in Gray's Anatomy."
Michael cuts him off. "Okay, I get it. So what's going to happen to him?"
"Suffice to say that his strength and appearance will be dynamically altered. We'll obviously have to do something with his memory. Some sort of surgical procedure involving the brain."
"Lobotomy?" Michael asks incredulously.
"As I said, some sort of surgical procedure involving the brain. And after all that's accomplished, I will make it my business to see to it that he lives out his days comfortably in a government facility."
"Right," Michael replies bitterly. "After all that's accomplished."
Morris reminds Michael that Foster was offered roughly the same deal he was offered, with all the terms and restrictions laid out for him, and then violated the agreement. "And under the circumstances I think he's lived an unusually... comfortable life." Michael doesn't answer, and Morris sighs. "I'll leave the map here. Let's skip our workout for today. Leave you some time to... yourself."
As he walks away, Michael sighs, worried.
110th Street and Central Park West, New York City. The "TOYS B FUN" van is parked out of sight, and Dr. Morris is speaking to Michael through an earpiece as Michael waits for Jones to show up. As Jones pulls up, Morris instructs Michael to slow the pace once they reach the ravine.
Jones greets Michael cheerfully, telling him his bodyguards thought Michael wouldn't show up. "You guys can chill," he tells them. "We're going to fly solo today."
Michael is surprised, and Morris can't believe this break as Jones brushes off his bodyguards' protests. "I got Ken here to protect me," he quips. They take off jogging, alone. Morris is giddy with excitement.
But the "break" isn't what it seems. As Michael looks away, Jones suddenly turns off the main drive, running at top speed down a side path. Michael takes off after him, ignoring Morris' demands to know what's going on as he chases Jones through the trees. The path ends at a main drive, and Jones is nearly hit by a cab as he crosses the street, giving Michael a second to gain on him. As they head down an open incline, Michael tackles him. Jones gets up and tries to punch Michael, but Michael catches both punches and overpowers Jones, pinning him down.
"Boy, I'd have never known looking at you," Jones gasps, "but you're my long-lost Uncle Sammy, aren't you?"
"Something like that, yeah."
Jones manages to reach up and yank the earpiece out of Michael's ear, making it impossible for Morris to hear what's going on. Realizing they've gone dead, Morris decides to round up the team at the ravine.
"Ken..." Jones groans. "Listen to me. We can both get out of here." He's got plenty of money, and he's done this before; he even knows someone who can get the tracking device out of Michael's head. Michael insists that they'll just find him again.
"So what? What are they going to do-- kill me?"
"Shut up!" Michael cries, obviously hating every moment of this. "They'll be here any second."
Meanwhile, Morris has reached the tactical team. "Forget the ravine! They're tracking east of the lake!"
"Stop kidding yourself," Jones tells Michael. "You got the same disease I got. You got a hole in your soul. You can't hide that emptiness. It weighs a ton. Come on, tell me. what's stopping you?"
Michael looks away, the worry evident on his face. Jones reads his expression. "You got somebody you're worried about on the outside, right? All my people are... are dead. But you really do have a wife, a daughter someplace, right?" Michael nods. "Okay. No problem. We go get them. Take them with us. You'll have your family, I'll have my memories. All of us will disappear for good."
"No, no. That won't happen," Michael realizes miserably. "I'll never get within a mile of the house. They'll kill them before that happens." He looks back down at Jones. "As far as your memories go, Private Foster..."
"What?" Jones demands. "What about my memories?"
Michael hesitates. The sound of an approaching helicopter can be heard. A second later, he makes a decision, hauling Jones to his feet. "Hit me." As Jones blinks at him, he adds, "Knock me out."
Jones can't believe what he's hearing. "Knock you out?"
"Knock me out!" Michael insists.
"Where do you want it?"
"Surprise me. Just do it," Michael tells him. "Then get the hell out of here."
"Thanks," Jones says. Michael nods and closes his eyes, steeling himself for the blow. Jones decks him, and the world goes black.
Michael awakens to find Morris standing over him. "You're supposed to be the greatest living fighting machine in the world," the scientist says. "What happened?"
"I'm thinking maybe the second greatest living fighting machine in the world sucker-punched me, Doc."
Morris groans at this news as Michael sits up, gingerly touching the puffy and bruised skin around his left eye. "I guess I'm not going to be doing any Banana Republic ads for a while."
"You'll be fine in all of about 15 minutes," Morris says. "We will catch him, you know."
"Oh, I don't doubt that for a second, Doc."
Ben calls Lisa, and they set up a time to meet at Clementine's that evening. Ben offers to pick her up, but she'd much rather take the train and catch a cab. When she gets into the cab, she hears the radio broadcasting the news of Maceo T. Jones' mysterious disappearance. "Who are they talking about? That famous boxer?"
The driver nods. "Yep."
"Well, how does that happen?" Lisa wonders. "I mean, how does somebody that famous go missing anywhere?"
The camera pans over to show the cab driver's face. "I know what you mean, lady," Jones/Foster replies. "Seems unbelievable."
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