Numb3rs S3E16 Script

Contenders (2007)

Look alive! Look alive!

Get up. Get up.

(grunts)

Come on.

(groaning)

(groaning)

Back off...

(grunts)

Stop!

Stop!

Stop! Back off!

What the hell is wrong with you?

You're a sparring partner.

You okay, Pete?

Pete. Come on.

There's no pulse.

(crickets chirping)

Three sixes.

Beat that.

(clicks tongue)

Flush. All hearts.

You should have folded. Hmm.

I was feeling lucky.

There was a less than an 18% probability that you were gonna complete that flush.

You really should have...

...folded. Charlie, how long are we gonna play poker?

The Texas Hold 'Em tournament is coming up, yeah?

Yes, I know, and you promised Larry that you would defend his title.

That's right, against Professor Novich.

Okay, who's practically a professional poker player.

A big jerk.

Your father is out of town for the weekend, and we have the house all to ourselves.

(doorbell ringing) Wait. You know what?

Hold that thought. I think that's dinner.

ALAN: That's okay. I'll take it from here.

Thank you. (door closing)

(sighs)

Uh... Dad...

I-I caught the delivery boy at the door.

My meeting was over, so I, uh, caught the last plane.

I, uh, think I'm interrupting.

I should... I, uh, I... I-I should leave.

AMITA: No, um, you should... have dinner with us.

There's... there's plenty.

Charlie always orders too much food anyway.

Really?

Because I'm starving.

I'm looking for Larson, Homicide.

Thanks.

Hey. David Sinclair, FBI.

I got your call.

One of my suspects dropped your name.

Called you as a courtesy.

Dropped my name?

Guy over there -- Ben Ellis.

So, you do know this guy?

Yeah, I know him.

What happened?

How much have you heard about mixed martial arts fighting?

Um, it's like, uh, kickboxing with some judo and stuff, right?

Yeah, kind of. (camera shutter clicking)

Anyway, the deceased, Pete Munson, was gearing up for an All-Out Fighting qualifier against Ken Bainsworth.

Qualifier for what? Mind if I take a look?

Go ahead.

If he beat Bainsworth, he was gonna get a shot at the champ.

And Ellis? The training partner.

Landed a punch, Munson went down, never came up.

Fighter dying in a ring is a tragedy, but not necessarily a homicide.

ME's talking about Munson being drugged.

Drugged? With what?

Won't know until the autopsy.

Why is Ben a suspect?

LARSON: Same thing happened six months ago.

Ben was in a training match in Vegas.

Other guy, fighter named Octavio Lopez, also died in the ring.

Was Lopez drugged as well?

We're looking into that right now.

Meantime, we're putting together a list of everybody who was at either gym the day of each death.

Mind if I talk to him?

Be my guest.

(camera shutter clicking)

Guys, have a second?

Long time no see.

Look, I didn't know who else to call, all right?

So is it bad?

Cop says it's a murder.

Murder?

I just threw a couple punches.

That's it.

Is that right?

Yeah, that's it.

Cop told me about the other fight.

The guy in Vegas.

Look, I have no idea what's going on. I swear.

LARSON: Just talked to a witness who said you threatened Munson earlier today.

I didn't threaten anybody.

Then you won't mind giving me a statement at the station.

What? You're arresting me?

Just want to hear your side.

If you want, Agent Sinclair can be there.

(quietly) You just don't say anything till I get there.

Okay?

Raise ten.

I'm out.

Too rich for me.

Ten dollars is too rich for you?

Yeah.

Unlucky in love.

I didn't plan on any of this.

Oh, Charlie, I'm kidding.

I'm having a great time. DON: Yeah, well, you're winning.

Of course you're having fun. I'd be having fun, too.

I'm out. (doorbell rings)

I'll get it. I got it!

You know, you have a seriously strange concept of a romantic evening.

Who the hell is this now?

Hey.

I'm sorry to bother you so late, Don.

DON: What? Everything all right?

I kind of want to talk to Charlie about something.

Yeah, yeah, come on in.

What's up, David? Hello, David.

How you doing, Mr. Eppes?

I'm sorry to interrupt you guys. No, it's all right.

I wanted to know if I could get some help on something.

A guy I know got into a little bit of trouble.

What kind of trouble?

He's a mixed martial arts fighter.

He's in a sparring session; he threw a punch; and, uh, the other fighter... he died.

That's awful. Yeah.

It gets a little worse.

Um, six months ago, the same thing happened.

Another sparring session, and that guy died, as well.

Trouble seems to follow your friend.

Yeah, always has.

Um, LAPD thinks the two fighters could have been drugged.

What, so they're looking at your friend for this?

Yeah.

What can I do?

I'm hoping you could do something like what you did with the Syntel shareholders when that-that corporate whistleblower was killed.

Okay, so you have a large list of potential suspects.

Yeah. Actually, I have two.

This list is everybody that was at the gym tonight.

And I'm waiting on a second list to come in from Las Vegas where the other fighter died.

I know it's a lot, Charlie, but there's a lot of overlap.

About 100 names.

Spectators, trainers, some fighters.

(playing cards flapping)

What if we construe the precipitating events for the two murders as appropriate for a Kruskal Count?

That's creative.

We could, um, look for the linkages and find any key pattern.

You know, you may help us narrow down the lists to a few key suspects.

Mm-hmm. Or maybe just one.

I mean, um... your friend.

My witness says you threatened Munson.

Said you'd kill him.

Wasn't like that.

So, you don't deny saying it?

DAVID: Why don't you tell the detective what it was like?

We were just talking about what would happen in the ring -- me and him.

And you said you'd kill him.

It's a figure of speech, Detective.

Doesn't look like a figure of speech to me.

Does it look like a figure of speech to you, Agent Sinclair?

Are you ready to charge him?

No, I'm not.

So he's free to go then.

You need to stay in Los Angeles, Mr. Ellis.

Why?

Because you're a material witness in a murder investigation.

You need to get yourself a lawyer.

So this is how it's gonna be?

Just get yourself a good lawyer, Ben.

You don't know anybody, I'll make a phone call.

I should have known you would take their side.

I am down here in the middle of the night helping you out, am I not?

Yeah.

At least that much has changed.

(sighs)

DON: So, more people watched mixed martial arts fight on pay-per-view than a baseball playoff game on network TV.

Yeah, this is big business.

I saw Larry Alston on the news the other night.

Well, who's that? Larry Alston?

He's the guy that partnered up with all the big casino money and bought the All-Out Fighting League.

He's trying to clean it up, take it mainstream.

Yeah, well, this whole thing ain't gonna help, huh?

Yeah. Neither is losing his fighter.

I mean, it's not that Munson could have taken Tino Alva.

Oh, who's that?

Alva's the AFL's champion.

Well, so, how you know all this?

The guys I teach Krav Maga to are way into it.

They're so excited for that Alva-Bainsworth rematch.

Why are we looking at this?

I thought the thing with David's friend was LAPD.

Yeah, well, it might be two murders in two states, right?

Meanwhile, we're just playing a supporting role for now.

Just got off with the Vegas ME.

They found a heart defect in Lopez's autopsy.

The death was ruled accidental.

So, the other fighter wasn't drugged?

They stopped looking once they found the defect, so they're gonna pull an archived tissue sample and take another look.

All right, meanwhile, Charlie's gonna need data, so we'll start looking into their background, and we'll talk to this guy, uh, Larry Alston?

I thought this was an LAPD Homicide.

Yeah, key suspect's a guy I know from the old neighborhood.

New York, right?

Yeah, Bronx.

What can you tell me?

Munson was killed with 1080 poison.

Poison?

1080 is the brand name for sodium fluoroacetate.

It disrupts the body's ability to process oxygen, induces cardiac arrest.

To be honest, I almost missed it.

So, it's pretty hard to detect?

Unless you're looking for it, but Munson had a strange allergic response, so I was looking.

And how do you get your hands on 1080 poison?

Agricultural companies, chemical suppliers, nurseries.

It's mostly used to protect crops from animal pests, but it's not regulated.

All right, and how was it delivered?

Munson's reaction was localized to the tissue in his mouth.

So what? You think maybe he drank it?

Probably, but the LAPD checked all the water bottles in the gym.

They came up clean.

Okay, so, uh, we have a generic chemical and no forensics on delivery.

Sorry there's nothing more specific.

You and the suspect old friends?

Yeah. Back during grade school, me, uh, Ben Ellis and another kid -- we were pretty tight.

And now?

Uh, you know, Ben and I sort of drifted apart after high school.

You know how that is.

How about the other kid?

Earl's, uh... Earl's dead, so...

Sorry.

Thank you. Mm.

Appreciate it.

AMITA: It's tough to determine linkages when these two seem to have almost nothing in common.

Yeah, the first fighter killed, Octavio Lopez, is Hispanic; he's from Colorado.

And the other, Pete Munson, is a white guy from Wisconsin.

Fighting seems to be the only thing in common.

Well, then... then that's it.

What's it?

That the common link is fighting.

I mean, look at the fighters' histories.

I have to assume that the motive in both of these deaths involves the fighters' rankings, right?

What?

David's friend, Ben Ellis...

With Lopez and Munson out of the way, he moves to the top of the list.

(knocking) Yeah, you're right.

Stanley, you're a long way from the Biochem Department.

Amita, you remember Professor Novich.

Hi.

I hear you're taking Fleinhardt's seat in the Texas Hold 'Em Tournament?

I am considering it.

Well, you should think again.

With Fleinhardt in space, I'm in line for the title.

I don't think that's the way it works, (laughing) but okay... okay.

Well, I've seen your game, Eppes.

Won't make it at the big table.

My game is vastly improved.

Been practicing, have you?

I've been working on a specialized training program.

Should make me more than ready by tournament time.

Guess we'll just see about that.

What was that?

Geek trash talk?

Actually, what that was, was terribly rude, terribly inappropriate.

He has a lot of nerve coming in here with that attitude.

(chuckles) Oh, come on, Charlie.

He's trying to psych you out.

Just ignore him.

So Tino Alva -- he's been the AFL champion for quite a while now, right?

ALSTON: Alva's 22 and one.

He hasn't lost a fight since he took the championship away from Bainsworth.

So what's the deal?

This guy Pete Munson, he would've been up next?

If he could've gotten past Bainsworth in the qualifier.

Pete was a promising fighter.

If you could get past the tattoos, he was a good kid.

Charismatic. College degree.

Our sport's not as brutal as it looks.

His death was an aberration.

How about Octavio Lopez?

His death an aberration, too?

We're gonna be looking into his death as well.

What? Do you think they're related?

They were fighting the same guy.

Look, we're in the middle of filing a petition to the State Athletic Commission.

Trying to put our best foot forward.

It would be extremely unfortunate if it were to get out that these deaths were connected.

I understand.

We're not gonna rule out anything at this point.

Agent Sinclair.

Glad you joined us.

I appreciate the call.

Results from the Vegas medical examiner on Lopez came back positive for 1080 poison.

Wanted you to be here for this.

Here for what?

We just confirmed the original hit.

This is your friend's locker and gym bag.

These markers indicate traces of sodium fluoroacetate.

That's 1080.

I just wanted you to see for yourself who it was you helped walk out of the station last night.

Find a judge.

Get a warrant to pick up Ben Ellis.

Thanks a lot.

So looks like that credit card trace paid off.

Manager says he's up in the room.

You notify LAPD?

They're on their way.

I don't want to wait.

I'm gonna bring him in right now.

Ben! It's David.

Open up. Let's go.

Get your stuff, man. Let's go.

Why? Where we going?

Jail.

But I told you, I didn't do anything.

They found traces of the poison in your gym bag and your locker.

Now, get your stuff. Let's go.

Poison?

Yeah, you're under arrest.

You have the right to remain silent.

If you can't afford an attorney...

COLBY: You all right?

(elevator bell dings)

Hey, I just heard from this homicide detective.

What's going on?

Ellis got away.

Yeah, well, this I know.

It was my fault.

Well, what's going on, David? Is it too much?

It wasn't anybody's fault.

And we're on it. We got pictures at the airport.

We're monitoring his credit card.

Caught him with his credit card once.

He's not gonna make the same mistake twice.

All right, so where's he go?

He doesn't have any immediate family in L.A., but we might have some mutual friends out here.

We could pull his phone records.

Do it.

CHARLIE: You said, "Just ignore him."

Right?

(chuckles) Well, obviously, I didn't think this was gonna happen.

Novich is a world-class authority on animal defense mechanisms.

This says that my office has been contaminated with a derivative of thioacetate.

That's the stuff that gives skunk spray its smell.

Says I can't go back in until they determine the level of toxicity.

Okay, well, when will that be?

Minimum of three or four days.

And my laptop is in there, which means I can't work on my poker training program.

Hi. Hey, you guys.

Hey. What happened in here?

I don't want to talk about it.

Is this the file on Ben Ellis?

Yeah. What is that smell?

(laughing)

He got skunked.

Okay, look, is he familiar with the Los Angeles area?

Well, he fights out of New York, but he's been out here training for about a month.

So Ellis' knowledge of the area will give us a prior distribution on his location.

We can start with his training regimen, who he works for, who he knows.

We should also factor in the people that David knows from the old neighborhood who might now be in L.A.

Because if they were old friends, then Ben's escape routes might go through points in common.

Yeah. That's exactly what David was thinking.

So there you go. Thank you.

Bye.

(sighs)

Hey, you knew this guy Ben Ellis pretty well?

Something on your mind?

You really think he's capable of a double murder?

These murders do move him to the top of the rankings.

I'm sensing you don't think he fits the profile.

I think our killer has to be methodical.

Planned out two murders in advance.

Spent two years in a youth correctional facility.

And that's just for starters.

You're a psychologist.

You know what those kind of places can turn you into.

What did he do to get in?

Three of us went to a movie.

It's me, Ben Ellis and... another kid, Earl Day.

After the movies, I decided to go home, and Ben and Earl went to hang out with Earl's lady over at this burger spot she worked at.

Ben got into it with some guy over there.

As usual.

Gun came out, and Earl was killed.

And you blame Ben?

So did the State of New York.

CHARLIE: So next time, we'll get into strong type versus end-point weak type estimates.

Look, I just want to thank you all for dealing with the change of venue.

I know it's a little strange.

Drive safely, okay?

Hey, Dad, this is my graduate harmonic analysis seminar.

Bye-bye. In our living room?

Yeah, we usually meet in my office, but, uh, kind of locked out at the moment.

How'd you get locked out?

Oh, it's a long story.

Okay.

But, I can tell it quickly.

There's this professor, who's my competition in the Texas Hold 'Em tournament.

What do you mean? He stole your keys?

No.

He turned my office into a toxic swamp.

He's a biochemist.

He works with skunks.

What are you saying? You got skunked?

He's trying to psych me out, you know.

Yeah, well, you know they always say: the best defense is a good offense.

Yeah.

Yeah, you know what?

That's a great idea.

I'm gonna call Amita.

(beeping) Hey, we have messages.

(dial tone)

(dialing)

Yeah, Don Eppes, please.

Thought you were calling Amita.

I was, but I think I just figured out a way to help Don catch his fugitive.

I have all these computers networked for you.

I have 50 phone numbers from Ben Ellis' phone records ready to go.

That's awesome.

Here is the program with the algorithm that I constructed on Amita's laptop.

Do you mind telling me what we're doing with it?

Oh, we're just gonna find Ben Ellis by identifying his call pattern.

But he hasn't used his phone since he got away from David and Colby.

Yeah, doesn't mean he hasn't been making any calls.

Oh, like if he borrowed a phone or used a pay phone?

Yeah.

And this algorithm will help us identify his call pattern hidden amongst all the other calls made on that phone.

All those other calls are like a symphony.

Ben's calling pattern is like a series of notes.

If we know the notes, then we can identify his tune even if it's being played on another instrument.

But we need to do that while listening to the entire symphony.

So what do we do now?

We just wait, and the program will find the new number calling Ben's friends.

I heard you're doing a lot of work on this poker tournament you're in.

Yeah.

You really want to win it, huh?

The winner gets a seat at the final table at next year's tournament.

Larry had that seat five years running.

I just want to make sure it's there for him when he gets back.

(beeping)

Did you get him?

We got his phone.

So whose house is this?

Turns out, Ben has a cousin in L.A.

And he's been using the cousin's phone?

According to Charlie's dialing pattern algorithm, yeah.

Nobody's home.

Ben could've taken off. He could be anywhere.

Or he could be coming up the block right now.

Suspect spotted approaching on foot.

MAN (over radio): We have a visual.

All right, move into position.

Let's take him.

(tires screeching)

(tires screeching)

On the pavement.

Hands on the back of your head.

So you gonna shoot me now?

Ben, I said on the pavement, hands on the back of your head!

Been a long time coming, right?

You haven't changed a bit.

I am not gonna ask you again.

Come on, David.

Come on!

You want to get shot, I'm your guy.

Get down on the ground, and put your hands behind your head.

Traces of the poison used to kill both Munson and Lopez were found in your locker and on your bag.

How many times I got to tell you this?

I've never seen that bag.

Really?

'Cause that bag was in your locker.

Why?

Why would I kill those fighters?

Moves you up in the rankings.

So you're gonna arrest Kurt Bordinay, 'cause it moves him up, too.

Or maybe Bill Tallridge.

He was in prison. Yeah.

But we're not talking about either of those guys right now.

Come on, David.

You know me.

When have I ever backed down from a fight?

Thought you'd finally step up, take responsibility, be a man for once.

A man? Yeah? Yeah.

(chuckles)

What do you know about being a man, David?

This isn't going anywhere.

That's it. Leave.

It's what you do.

Whoa, hey, hey, hey.

COLBY: Come on, man. David, easy.

Hey.

Hey.

We don't have any coffee.

Yeah, what, you don't even drink coffee.

So, now what's going on here?

That dude has always made me crazy.

You ever know anybody like that?

Well, you know Charlie, right?

Look, you two were close at some point?

Once upon a time.

So, I mean, is it possible?

Could he have done this?

I don't know.

I had a case. I put away a guy for ten years.

The wrong guy.

I mean a day doesn't go by, he doesn't pop into my head at some point.

So you have your doubts, you better run 'em down.

I'm all in.

Okay, I'll call.

I got 'em, Charlie.

Aces and Jacks. (sighs)

Whatever.

Charlie, you gotta, you gotta remember you can't play percentages.

Remember when Millie beat me at chess?

Yeah, she figured out that you had a tell, right?

Right.

She played the player, not the game.

You think Novich has a tell?

Everyone has a tell, Charlie.

I don't.

Yes, you do. Yeah, what's my tell?

I'm not telling you.

What do you say we knock off this practice?

No.

No, no, no.

He skunked my office. I'm taking him down.

Five more hands.

That's my deal. (sighs)

So, Ben isn't the only suspect.

No, just the best one we have at the moment.

Say he is telling the truth, all right.

That would mean the traces found on his locker on his gym bag had to be a plant.

Where are you going with this?

I'm thinking a guy's gym bag has got to have some kind of DNA on it, right?

It should.

Did you check the bag?

I had no reason to.

Can you get me a sample?

From Ben. For comparison.

Whoa, you're really serious about this.

Is this still an LAPD case?

Technically, it is.

But we have Ben in our lockup.

(sighs)

Can't be easy having to arrest a friend.

You okay?

(sighs)

I wasn't really ready for old home week, you know.

Hmm.

Just when you think you've gotten away.

What's that mean?

South El Paso isn't the Bronx, but I had to work pretty hard to get out of there.

I guess you don't ever really get all that past behind you, huh?

Hmm-mm.

Thanks for the help.

ALSTON: Bill Tallridge will fight Ken Bainsworth in the qualifier.

And we all know who'll be waiting for the winner...

Ladies and gentlemen, the champ, Tino Alva.

(cheering and applause)

So they just announced, uh, Munson's replacement.

The guy on the right, Bill Tallridge.

That's one of the guys that Ben mentioned.

Said he did a few years in lockup, right?

Yeah, three years at Pelican Bay for aggravated assault.

Hey, Champ. How you doing?

You worried about either of these guys or what?

No, not really.

(crowd laughs) To be honest, I'm just tired of waiting.

I've been in training camp now for the last six months.

I'm ready to go...

Whoever it is.

Well, Bainsworth's been tripping around but he said that if he gets you in a rematch he's gonna knock you out.

I think Ken needs to worry about Bill Tallridge.

Don't worry about what I need.

I ain't worried about anything here, sweet cheeks.

CROWD: Ooh.

(crowd laughs)

Hey, hey, hey, hey. Ken, that's it. Sit down.

Hey, but Champ, not for nothing you gotta give this, the last you fought, he did knock you down.

How 'bout I come down there and knock you down.

(laughing)

Look, that fight was almost four years ago.

Ken was at his peak.

He took me down.

I got up and I took his belt.

If Ken makes it to the qualifier, I'll beat him again.

He ain't taking this belt.

(cheering and applause)

(beeping)

Looks like Tallridge is gonna have to wait.

If there are no more questions, we'll see you at the fight!

CHARLIE: Hey, Megan.

Hey, Charlie.

Uh, Don's gone home already.

No, actually, I came to see you. Me?

It's about the tournament.

I see.

Do you know what a tell is?

An unconscious gesture, usually brought about by stress, that reveals an inner emotion, like your brother.

He always checks his watch anytime he feels threatened.

He does do that, doesn't he?

Anyway, I, I need you to tell me how I can figure out what Stanley Novich's tell is.

Well, simply speaking, it's just an observational exercise.

I have to watch Novich?

Yeah, but you have to watch him under the right circumstances.

You have to watch him when he's under duress.

And then I can see his tell.

Mm-hmm.

Can you help me with some surveillance equipment?

No.

Got your message.

You said you had something.

From the DNA tests.

I found three different specimens on the bag.

Compared them against your friend's swab.

Ben's not a match.

Somebody did plant that bag in his locker.

Physical evidence says he's telling the truth.

I owe you one, Claudia.

David, if Ben Ellis didn't kill those two fighters, who did?

And why would they frame him?

All right, so if Ellis is in the clear...

Oh, that'll bring us right back to square one.

Who killed these guys?

Maybe somebody who, uh, opposes to the violence of the sport.

Yeah, but Charlie seemed to think that the motives had something to do with the rankings.

Didn't Ben say something about the other fighters?

Tallridge.

Yeah, but I checked into that; he was fighting in Japan at the time that Lopez was killed.

He's got a good alibi.

DAVID: What if this is just about the All-Out Fighting League itself?

DON: So, what, like an attack from a competitor?

Or someone who has a grudge against Alston.

Yeah, let's talk to him again.

We'll take a closer look at his business.

You know, find out what his competitors might be worried about.

We think someone might be targeting your fighters as a way of getting at you.

Me? I don't understand.

These murders don't exactly help your efforts to clean up the sport.

Let me ask you this, is there anyone who might wanna sabotage your business?

Boxing, baseball, basketball.

Our ratings make us the fastest-growing sport in the country.

Yeah, what about you personally?

Any threats against you?

No.

I'd like to take a look at a list of your investors if that's all right.

I don't see how that'll help.

Mr. Alston, if you're not the target, then quite possibly somebody else involved in your business -- they might be.

You're Sinclair, right? Yeah.

A detective from LAPD came to see me yesterday.

He told me about you and Ben Ellis.

I don't think that's the issue.

Oh, I think it's right on point.

I understand loyalty. I do.

But you're not gonna jeopardize my business because you're unhappy about arresting your friend.

Yeah, well, I mean that's a nice little speech, but I wanna see those records.

I'll happy to cooperate with you when you have something specific.

Well, you better cooperate now, or I'm gonna get myself a subpoena.

I'm gonna take a look at your...

Fine. Fine. Fine. I'll get you what you need.

And you might wanna know that if it weren't for the fact that he was in custody, your friend Ellis -- he'd had a shot against Bainsworth.

He was next in line for the qualifier.

We'll be in touch.

Hey.

You're welcome.

Excuse me?

Who do you think got you out of here?

I don't even know why I bother coming down here, man.

Maybe you trying to make some sort of amends.

Make amends?

Look, I was in that youth facility for two years.

Finally get something straight, man.

Locking you up back then is one of the best things they could have done for you.

Look, I know you put the Bronx in your rear-view, but I would have thought my best friend, the guy I knew would have come to see me at least once.

Just to find out what happened that night.

What happened?

You did the same thing, man, I seen you do a hundred times.

I know what happened.

You know that Earl step to that guy.

'Cause you know what happened.

You're saying that E started that fight?

E never started a fight in his entire life.

That guy was messing with E's girl.

E tried to back him off.

That guy came back hard.

I don't think E even saw the gun coming.

But I did.

Why didn't you tell anybody?

Lawyer said if I told my side, claimed self-defense, I'd do 20 years.

Wait. Hold on. Wait. Hold on.

I didn't know what to do.

You weren't there.

What's done is done.

Never. Never.

Say what?

You asked me before, I ever seen you back down from a fight.

Answer to the question is never.

What your partner said earlier about the rankings.

You oughta know, it doesn't work that way.

I mean, the rankings, they matter, yeah, but at the end of the day, it's Larry Alston who decides who gets to fight.

Charlie.

Hey, check this out.

What do you got?

(sniffing)

What is that smell?

You get used to it after a while.

I don't think so. No.

Okay, so there he is, all right.

Now this is Professor Stanley Novich, and this is where the door to his lab used to be.

What do you mean, "used to be"?

I had one of my dad's contractor friends bring in a crew late last night.

They dry-walled his doorway.

(laughing) Then painted it to match the wall.

COLBY: Ah, you made his office disappear?

Yeah, well, now watch. Oh.

See that?

That could be it right there.

That could be what?

I'm hoping that the stress of losing his office will force him to reveal his poker tell.

Well, he just did it again.

Gotcha.

Now, how can I help you, gentlemen?

We actually have some new information on the stuff you been working on about the fighters and their rankings.

AMITA: The modified Kruskal count.

Yeah. You said before that Ben benefited from the other fighters' deaths because he improved in the rankings.

Exactly.

What if rankings weren't the only thing to determine who fought for the title?

How do you mean?

Ben told me that the head of the league sets the fights, that the rankings are only a loose guide.

Well, we were assuming that the rankings alone determined the fighting patterns.

Right, I mean, if there's an arbitrary variable involved.

Yeah, it could change things, right?

Big time.

Amita and I are going to have to rework the entire network flow analysis.

What's all this?

Alston sent over the business records that you asked him for.

Hey, you could have gone.

And?

Not much here, really.

Except that the All-Out Fighting League is in a fair amount of debt.

I thought it was a big success.

It is, but Alston's focus has been on expanding the business.

What, like he's overextended?

It looks like he's using his equity in the business as collateral on the loans.

Right, so if he gets in trouble, he's going to lose everything though, huh?

We looked at almost a hundred fighters over the past three years and mapped out idealized fight trajectories for each.

Idealized trajectories?

Essentially, we used skill level and past performance to create an objective rating for each fighter.

Then we compare our results to the actual histories.

Right, and what we found, well, it's like driving two different directions to the same destination.

One route has all the normal road hazards, uh, potholes, pedestrians.

The other considers road hazards in advance in order to map out the most efficient route.

So you compared what actually happened to what should've happened.

In an idealized world where fighters only advance based on their merits.

DON: All right, so?

What did you find?

Over the past two years, Ken Bainsworth has seen nothing but green lights.

There's no way that would've happened just by chance.

Right.

So you're saying that the fights are fixed.

No. No, the fights are very real.

But someone's been manipulating Bainsworth's schedule to make sure he doesn't lose.

DON: All right, so why?

Megan said that the AFL's pay-per-view deal for the Alva championship was going to be the richest in MMA history.

But only if Bainsworth is the challenger.

Right. So then Alston's got no choice but to make it happen.

Or the broadcast company has the right to void the entire deal.

All right, so he gets Lopez and Munson killed...

Probably 'cause they could've beaten Bainsworth.

Bill Tallridge broke his hand in training.

They just pulled him from the qualifier.

So will they cancel the fight? No way, right?

Nah, the venue's booked.

Tickets are already sold.

If the fighter going into that qualifier has any chance of beating Ken Bainsworth, then... then he's in danger.

They announced the replacement the same time they broke the news about the injury.

It's Ben.

Then they'll come after him next.

I found traces of a silicone polymer in the sodium fluoroacetate used to kill Pete Munson.

I was hoping I could use it to pin down the manufacturer.

And?

I've been through every chemical catalogue in the library.

I've spoken to ten different manufacturers.

And nothing? Mm-mm.

I even checked with packaging companies.

Packaging?

Yeah, I figured that the silicone might have come from the container the chemicals were in.

Why would you think that?

Because that silicone compound is used to insulate molded plastic.

You mean like that?

I assumed the 1080 was on the mouthpiece because the victim put it in his mouth after he was poisoned.

(speed dial beeping)

David's not picking up.

(crowd whistling and cheering)

COLBY: All right, guys, they tested all the water and all the bottles, so those are all good to go.

Alston's not going to come after me in front of all these people.

COLBY: Look, his pay-per-view deal's on the line.

Without it, he goes bankrupt.

Then he needs me to fight, right?

Yeah, but he needs you to lose.

OFFICIAL: Two minutes.

Let's do this.

Fighting out of the blue corner, weighing in at 205 pounds, the former light heavyweight champion, Ken "The Big Bang" Bainsworth!

(crowd cheering)

In the red corner, the challenger, with a record of 11 wins, two losses, from the Bronx, New York, the pride of Jerome Avenue, Ben Ellis!

(cheering)

(bell dings)


(cheering)


(crowd cheering wildly)

(bell dinging)

ANNOUNCER: Winner by submission...

Ben Ellis!

(cheering)

Expecting a different result?

We found the mouthpiece.

You're under arrest. Turn around.

Hands behind your back.

Take him away.

I didn't lose.

No, you didn't.

Didn't die either.

Thank you.

Yo, back there, in front of my cousin's house, when you picked me up... you weren't really going to shoot me, were you?

Yeah.

You looked good out there, man.

Thanks.

So, you think you can take Alva?

Bro, we're just going to have to see about that.

About Earl...

No, no.

What's in the past is in the past, right?

We're cool.

Yeah. Cool.

I love you, bro.

(crowd cheering)

(applause)

Hey. Hi.

Charlie's still in it. Yeah?

It's down to the final two.

Dr. Eppes, the small blind, please.

You have a large blind, Dr. Novich.

Action to you, Dr. Eppes.

I'll check.

(quietly) Check.

I bet 100.

Raise... 200.

Call.

You think Charlie's got the cards?

He must have kings; otherwise he would have folded.

I mean, given the percentages.

I'll bet 200.

I raise... one thousand.

(shocked murmuring)

Wow.

You have the tens, huh?

I'm all in.

(crowd murmuring)

DEALER: If you'd like to call, you're all in, too.

I guess I'm all in, too.

DEALER: Two pair.

Kings and tens.

Oh, that's not good.

I guess Charlie got beat.

Flush. Winner.

(applause)

(whoops)

That's great, Charlie! Yeah!