Numb3rs S6E4 Script

Where Credit's Due (2009)

("Speak Soft" intro playing on radio)

She's been waiting

For the summertime

Now she's saving herself

For another guy

Speak soft, shut it off

(sighs) There.

That might help.

All right, I never claimed to be an outdoorsman.

Yes, you did.

Yesterday, when I told you I was going on this hunt.

Guys'll say anything if there's a chance they might get lucky.

And you think you've got a chance?

She's been waiting

For the summertime

Now she's saving herself

For another guy...

(turns off music)

(bird squawking in distance)

(grunts) So what's the point of this whole, uh, scavenger hunt thing again?

Well, you know, there's no point.

I just like doing it.

It's kind of a way to connect with people without actually having to deal with them.

(gasps) That's weird.

No... that's a wooden crate.

What's weird is driving way out here to find it.

Real excited about this, aren't you?

Well, usually it's something small, like a little tin or a coffee can.

I've never seen anyone do this before.

(crow cawing)

(grunts) (crate top rattles)

There's something buried in here.

Oh! Aah...!

Just kidding. (gasps)

So, let's open it up, tough guy.

(crate creaking) (straining)

(screaming)


It's this ring.

It has a funny effect on me.

You closed the door.

Yes, I did.

Did you lock the door?

(door opening)

(knocking)

I hope I'm not interrupting.

But as my imminent departure grows more imminent...

Oh, you finally decided where you're going.

You bought five tickets.

Greenland, Australia, Greece, Alaska, Italy.

AMITA: Larry. That's it.

You still have no idea where you're going.

Larry, I was afraid you might be gone already, and I didn't get to say goodbye.

No, I'm still here.

Ironically, uh, simplifying one's life requires a more complicated extrication.

Larry... why do all these tickets leave from Las Vegas?

Planning a little last hurrah? Hardly that.

Being a sentimentalist, I just didn't want to say goodbye from home.

Well, I'm here on a much simpler quest, I hope.

There's a new movie opening this weekend -- "Bixel Street."

Oh, yeah, I actually want to see that.

Well, here's your chance. Someone pirated a copy of it and released it on the Internet.

Was hoping you guys could help me track the bootleggers?

Yeah, we'll take a look at it tonight.

Uh, we'll make a date of it.

LIZ: That'd be great, thanks.

Larry, just in case I don't see you.

Hey, where are you going?

CHARLIE: Greenland, Greece, Australia, Alaska...

Or Italy.

(indistinct background radio communication)

Message said we caught a weird one.

You weren't kidding, huh?

When do I ever kid, Granger?

Rope and a knife.

Guess the killer wanted to make sure, huh?

There's a bullet hole in the temple, too, and that's just the beginning of weird on this one.

See this stuff?

You know those little packets you find in a box when you buy a new TV or cell phone?

Look like sugar; say "do not eat."

It's a desiccant; it's designed to suck the moisture out of whatever it's packed with.

There's not a cell in this guy's body that hasn't dried out and collapsed.

Okay, why? What's the point?

Make our jobs tougher, maybe.

With the condition of the corpse, it's near impossible to peg a cause or time of death.

Even an I.D. is gonna be a long shot.

Here's one for you.

Why does the killer cover up the details, then lead two kids right to the body?

Showing off.

Trying to tell us he's smarter than we are.

(crickets chirping)

(suspenseful music playing on video)

(man screaming on video) Oh!

Oh. (both laughing)

(taps computer key)

Oh, for Pete's sake, you gotta be kidding me!

Why do you torture yourself with this stuff?

It's not by choice, believe me.

I don't understand; you never needed a computer before.

Yeah, well, I do now, if I'm going to find a job.

Every firm I talked to requires that you have to know how to do this geospatial simulation stuff.

(knocking on door)

Charlie, why don't you at least offer to walk him through it?

Because it's just, it's better this way.

Hey, Cole, what's up? Hey, Don.

I caught a weird one today;

I thought you should take a look at this right away.

AMITA: Hey. Hey, you guys.

COLBY: How you doing? Good.

COLBY: This is on federal parkland out near Palmdale.

Is that a rope around his neck?

Yeah, plus a knife in the chest, and a bullet in the head.

DON: Why does he look mummified?

Well, that's the white stuff that he's packed in.

It's a... Desiccant?

DON: Check it out.

Yeah. How'd you know that, Charlie?

CHARLIE: Liz gave us this movie. Take a look.

(taps key)

(taps key, video rewinds)

Let's open it up, tough guy.

(woman straining) (crate creaking)

(woman screaming)

COLBY: Wait a minute, that's it;

I mean, this is exactly it.

The body today, the murder -- it was copied exactly from this movie.

(screaming)

Killer did his homework.

Looks like he nailed every detail.

Right. I mean, they've obviously seen the movie.

COLBY: Well, great, with a pirated copy on the Internet, I mean, that narrows our suspect pool, what, to, uh, like a couple hundred thousand?

Uh, I could get you guys a ballpark figure just based on the actual number of downloads that were logged.

LIZ: Hold on. The pirated version went up on the web only five days ago.

You really think someone could pull this off that fast?

DON: That's a good point. You gotta plan it, you gotta get the supplies, you gotta pull it off, and then have enough time for it to dry out.

So it had to have been someone who saw the movie before it was pirated.

And the coroner? Anything with that?

The cause of death is a coin-toss.

And thanks to the desiccant, all the normal methods of dating are useless.

Why not let the desiccant give us our answer?

I mean, it's not gonna tell us when he was killed, but it will tell us how long he was packed in that crate.

See, every desiccant has its own rate of absorption, its own level of thirst.

So you find the rate of this particular desiccant, calculate how long it took to suck this guy dry.

Well, it's a little more complicated than that because the rate of absorption changes, as does the body's willingness to release its moisture.

Okay, let's say a big, stray dog showed up at your house.

He's ravenously hungry.

You're happy to feed him, so you generously put out food and he gobbles it up.

The more he eats, the less hungry he becomes.

He keeps eating, but the rate slows down.

Likewise, as you run low on food, you become stingier, offering smaller and smaller portions which further slows the rate.

The dog will clean you out but at nowhere near the ravenous rate at which he began.

Now, I'll have to make additional allowances for temperature and ambient humidity, but...

How long?

Faster with Larry's help. I'm gonna go get started.

Does the timing of this bother anybody?

The body pops up just a couple days before this movie's released, right in the middle of their marketing push...

So you think this is some kind of publicity stunt?

You're not really suggesting my studio would have someone killed to promote a movie.

Well, you've got over a hundred million bucks on the line.

You know, we've seen people killed over a hundred dollars I have to admit there have been some stinkers that could've used the hype -- but not "Bixel Street."

It's hot; hottest release of the year.

And this is Chris McNall.

Already got him working on the sequel, that's how hot this picture is.

You're the writer.

You're the FBI.

I wrote an FBI picture once --

Blood and Badge -- you've probably seen it.

No.

Really.

Hey, no offense, but what I have seen of "Bixel Street" so far, definitely left me wondering uh, what kind of sick mind came up with that stuff.

Now you know.

So you guys are, uh, investigating my copycat.

I mean, that's pretty wild, huh?

You sound almost pleased about it.

WHITE: He's a writer.

They crave any validation they can get.

DAVID: All right, well, let me ask -- aside from yourselves, of course -- who would've known the scene well enough to be able, uh, to recreate it?

It takes hundreds of people to make a film.

Even beyond the immediate crew, copies of the script get out, circulate around town.

In some cases, they can make the rounds for years before getting made.

That was not the case with "Bixel Street."

I pitched it to Carolyn.

She hopped on board, pushed it into production, and I don't know, the whole thing took, like, nine months -- which is unheard of, just so you know.

See what I mean about validation?

Look, I can, uh, get you a copy of the crew list, if that'll help.

Thanks.

Yeah, that won't be enough.

COLBY: No?

Nah, I researched the perfect crime to write my movie.

If this guy copied it as accurately as I heard, you're not gonna catch him.

Cool case, though. Good luck.

Should be fun.

That should be good.

Hey, good choice.

Permeability of banana peel, very similar to human skin.

Uh-huh.

To approximate muscle tissue... and... as a control.

And... not on the list, I just liked the idea of dried apricots.

(wry chuckle)

How's Alan doing?

Any luck on the job search?

Yeah, you know, I think it's been a little more trouble than he anticipated because these, uh, design firms, they require CAD proficiency now.

Yeah.

He's having a little trouble with the automata algorithms.

You know, it used to be, a planner simply stood on the raw land and drew inspiration from his surroundings; but no, now it's all done on a computer.

Once again, technology is impeding pure thought.

Seriously, Charlie, why won't you help him?

Because it won't work.

You're not embracing the "old dog, new tricks" adage, right?

I mean, Alan is perfectly capable of learning.

Yeah, I know he is.

But the whole son-teaching-father dynamic doesn't work for us.

Trust me.

AMITA: Come on, Charlie.

It's bad enough what happened to Alan's savings.

All right, I'll do it, but I am telling you, it will end in tears.

Hey, did you ever wind up seeing "Sullivan's Travels"?

I did put it in my Netflix queue, but just I keep bumping it down.

The main character is this big-time Hollywood director played by Joel McCrea, and, the whole movie, he's-he's wrestling with whether movies should be art or commerce.

I gotta tell you, there ain't a whole lot of art in these.

Hey, man, I'm doing those, uh, checks on the cast and crew.

You would be surprised, you guys, how many deviants they hire to make movies these days.

This guy right here -- he's a grip, whatever that means -- and he spent two years in County for assault.

Well, coroner was able to I.D. our victim.

DON: I thought we didn't have enough good DNA.

DAVID: They found some in the pulp of one of the teeth.

Guess it was sealed up, so it didn't dry out.

Victim's name is Brett Fuller. He's a producer.

He's got a few cheesy credits.

Nothing I ever heard of, though.

DON: "Brain-Dead Donna," "The 17th Level,"

"Love, Lace and Loss."

See what I'm talking about here, Colby?

No, hang on a second. I know those.

Oh, but "Sullivan's Travels" you've never seen.

No, no, no, one of the crew guys I just ran -- he's got a bunch of those titles in his credits.

Victor Stokes -- he did props on "Bixel Street," and he's worked on three of Brett Fuller's movies.

So he would know our dead guy.

DAVID: And he'd know the murder well enough to be able to copy it.

DON: Check him out.

COLBY: Looks like we got three.

Victor Stokes!

FBI! We want to talk to you. COLBY: Got a runner.

I'll take the back.

Ready? Yeah.

FBI! Don't move!

Like you were going to.

Clear.

(gasps)

Where're you going, Victor?

Nowhere, I guess.

Hmm.

VICTOR: It's a prop.

(chuckling) What did you think?

A guy like me killing somebody?

Oh, come on.

COLBY: Okay, so you want to explain why you ran, then?

I'd rather not say.

(sighs) Okay.

I might have spent some... prop money at a local massage establishment recently.

LIZ: Counterfeiting?

Oh, I... I look at it as bartering.

Their... services for my movie memorabilia.

You have a license for all these?

(laughing) And then there's that.

Yeah, licenses take time.

Producers, directors, they... they want everything yesterday.

What are you going to do?

When was the last time you saw Brett Fuller?

Geez, like... a year ago?

He had some movie lined up overseas.

Malaysia, I think.

You have any idea why somebody would want him dead?

Dead?

(chuckling) Well... the guy was good at talking people out of their money.

Anywhere else, you'd call him a con man.

Here, he's called a producer.

Oh, so you're saying he wasn't legit?

Eh, he got movies made, I guess.

Although... th-th-this is a little weird.

He said, after the Malaysia thing, he was coming back to make this movie.

What do you mean, "this movie"?

"Bixel Street."

He said he had the rights, he was going to produce it.

Obviously, that never happened.

ALAN: Oh, wait -- whoa, whoa -- now!

What... What just happened? You jumped to the z-axis.

No, I didn't. Yes, you did.

No, I-I-I...

Well, the computer didn't do that on its own, did it?

You should not have rotated on the y-axis, I told you.

Oh, that just doesn't make any sense.

The whole program doesn't make any sense, you know.

Well, look, I'm just trying to show you how it works, all right?

Did I write the program?

I didn't write the program. I know that, Charlie.

You don't have to patronize me.

You see, the problem is, a planner just doesn't think this way.

Man, I could've done it by hand.

I could've drawn the whole thing by hand in half the time.

LARRY: Hey, Charles.

I did some early numbers on the desiccant.

You should see this.

Go, go, go.

Check your dried fruit.

(sighs)

No one filed a missing persons report on Fuller.

Last anyone remembers, he was headed to Malaysia.

Which matches what we got from Stokes.

Only the movie never happened. The financing fell through.

LIZ: Victor also said Brett Fuller was supposed to produce "Bixel Street."

Guy's supposed to produce the movie, then he gets killed in a scene stolen from the movie?

CHARLIE: Not stolen from the movie.

DON: What?

It's only preliminary, but it's already clear the numbers are well away from what was anticipated.

CHARLIE: Right, see, the desiccant -- in this case, a porous crystalline aluminosilicate -- is initially highly absorbent, but there's a rapid decline in the rate of moisture transfer...

Charlie.

For the victim in this case to be dried to the degree that he was, he had to have been packed in that desiccant for a minimum of nine months.

Nine months?

That's before the movie was made.

That's before there was even a script.

Art imitates life, it would seem.

DON: So we've been going at this all wrong.

Killer didn't copy the movie.

Yeah, the movie copied the killer.

COLBY: Morning, Chris.

Oh, you're back.

Yeah. You're going to be seeing a lot of us.

Well, at least you brought a prettier partner this time.

Hey, where were you five years ago?

I wrote a little bank heist picture.

You would have been perfect for Lola, the, uh, ex-gymnast/criminal mastermind with a handicapped son.

Sorry.

I do yoga, and I have an able-bodied hamster.

COLBY: So you know a guy named Brett Fuller?

No. Who is he?

The murder victim.

LIZ: Sure you don't know him?

'Cause we heard he was supposed to produce "Bixel Street."

(laughing)

Okay, first rule of Hollywood:

Never believe anything you hear.

There's probably a hundred guys claiming to produce this picture.

COLBY: Yeah, but probably not a hundred guys who wound up dead and packed in desiccant.

LIZ: The murder happened before you wrote your script, Chris.

McNALL: No, see, there's no way, 'cause I talked to the coroner, and it's impossible to establish a time line, so... (clicks tongue)

COLBY: Well, I hate to contradict your expertise, but we happen to know that Fuller was in that desiccant for at least nine months.

LIZ: You copied the crime, which either means you committed it, or you know who did.

Hey, look, that's pure fiction, and, you know, as much as I'd like to stay here and help you finish writing your story, I don't think you could afford my quote, so...

Ciao.

DAVID: You think he's lying?

LIZ: Of course he's lying.

DAVID: Charlie's timeline could be wrong.

COLBY: Nah, Chris McNall either committed this murder, or he's got information on the real killer.

I believe the latter.

But if the victim really has some connection to this movie...

It's a little too cozy to be a third party.

All right, let's dig into this guy.

Let's get a warrant.

Let's go after his phones, his banking, everything.

I'll get on it.

Let's pay a visit to the victim's house.

All right.

DON: Make any decisions here?

Oh, I don't know that it much matters.

They all offer the distance I'm looking for, away from the clutter of technology.

You say all this stuff about technology, but I remember you were pretty fired up about the Hubble.

Well, the Hubble transported us to new corners of the cosmos, but in an infinite universe, how is some new corner any better than our own?

Ah, just... for the fresh eye of Copernicus... gazing up, nothing between him and the stars, not even Galileo's telescope.

Yeah, there is something about the idea of just... taking off that-that's appealing, isn't it?

CHARLIE: Hey.

LARRY: Hey, how did the, uh, computer session go?

As expected.

So, now, both my fiancée and my father are mad at me.

Well, what about Amita? Maybe she'd have better luck with him.

We're going to find out, 'cause she's going to try later today.

Part of me wishes her luck, and the other part of me hopes that she can understand my suffering.

How's the case going?

Did the timeline I sent you -- did that help out at all?

Well, we're still working it, so...

LARRY: How could anyone be so arrogant?

He commits murder, and then he tells the whole world about it by featuring it in his movie.

You know, Larry, at this point in my life, nothing would surprise me.

See this?

Oh, is this the guy? Yeah.

Yeah? Writer and software salesman.

Huh. What is Cinepal?

Cinepal... a collaborative scriptwriting program.

It automatically suggests story lines, plots and character arcs.

More technological clutter.

You mind if I keep this?

No. Go ahead.

(rock music playing in distance)

So the guy's been dead nine months, who's paying the gardener?

And who's playing his stereo?

(rock music blares from stereo)

Hey. What's up?

We're looking for Brett Fuller's house.

Yeah, you found it.

I'm Tyson, Brett's assistant.

Mind if we come in?

DAVID: Hey.

You been living here?

Uh... (chuckles)

(turns off music) Just house-sitting, really.

So when's the last time you heard from your boss?

Uh, well, he left for Malaysia like, um... ten months ago?

Look, I didn't hear from him, so yeah, I sort of moved in.

Ah, beats paying rent, huh?

Are you kidding? I mean, satellite TV, a washer-dryer. I'm in heaven, man.

And it didn't occur to you, after ten months, that maybe something had happened to Brett?

Did something happen to Brett?

He's dead, Tyson.

Tyson, who's been paying you?

Brett left 60 grand cash under the bathroom sink.

60 grand?

I take my salary out of that -- nothing else, I swear -- and I file payroll taxes...

Okay. Hey, listen.

Did your boss know Chris McNall?

The writer?

Uh, I know they had lunch.

I do Brett's expenses.

I probably still have the receipt.

Dude, he's dead. He's...

(shudders, sighs)

Here.

It's dated ten months ago.

"Lunch with McNall and D.W."

Okay, uh, who is D.W.?

I don't know.

Am I going to have to move out now?

AMITA: Forget about Charlie and his whole x-, y-, z-axis approach.

For me, it's best just to put yourself in the space.

If you can imagine yourself inside the figure you're creating, you get a better reference for direction.

Does that help?

I'm sure it's supposed to.

All right, don't, don't try to be nice.

If you can imagine yourself inside that cube, you'd have to imagine yourself being crushed by four collapsing walls.

Oh, I'm sorry, Alan.

Oh, my mind just doesn't work this way.

I mean, this is written for a totally different generation.

Yeah, but I mean, you have so much experience and talent.

You'd be an asset to any of these firms.

They have hundreds of applicants to choose from these days.

Sure, they'll find someone with my talent and with the ability to do this.

Do you need a job that badly?

What do you mean, money-wise?

No, I'm fine for now.

But, you know, down the line, as things change, and you and Charlie get married...

CHARLIE: Hey, there.

Hey.

Look what I bought.

Cinepal -- it's professional screenwriting software.

It's supposed to help you write scripts.

You're writing a script? I don't know.

More I'm curious about something.

McNALL: I just feel so fortunate that, from the get-go, the studio realized what an extraordinary story this is, and they were committed to telling it my way.

All right.

Hey.

(bell rings) Got time for one more interview?

What do you think? I sound all right?

Someone in Hollywood told me not to believe everything I hear.

Good advice.

Yeah. Apparently.

You lied to us.

You said you didn't know Brett Fuller, but you had lunch with him on January sixth.

You got someone who saw us together?

Yeah. I talked to the assistant who set it up, and I have a receipt.

Oh, receipt.

Well, uh, that's interesting.

It's, it's not really proof, though, is it?

(wry laugh)

You know, I think you killed Brett Fuller.

I think you packed him in desiccant, left him for us to discover, because you're a twisted, arrogant ass who thinks he can get away with it.

What-what you think, though, isn't really the issue, is it?

The issue is what you can prove, and-and you can't prove anything.

So...

You should try the Danish.

It's unbelievable. Seriously.

DAVID: You know, what pisses me off most about this guy is that he's right.

We can't prove it.

Which is how he designed it.

Well, until we get some good evidence, there's no point going back to him, 'cause he's just gonna lawyer up.

I think he's enjoying this too much to hide behind an attorney.

Check this out.

I've been going through the writer's bank records.

On January sixth, the same day he had lunch with the victim, he took out 120 grand cash.

Yeah, follow that money.

All right, Brett Fuller had 60 grand cash in his bathroom.

That's half.

But there were two guys at lunch that day with McNall, right?

The victim and this D.W.

Well, that's exactly where I'm going.

So, the month leading up to this lunch, he wrote four checks to a Deborah Westbourne.

Oh, your D.W.

If it is, we got a witness who can put McNall with the victim near the time of the murder.

I'm guessing D.W. hasn't hit the big time yet.

The glamorous side of Hollywood, hmm?

Yeah. No kidding.

Hello? Anybody here?

LIZ: FBI, Ms. Westbourne.

We'd like to talk to you.

No!

Grab my knife! Cut her down!

Liz, what are you waiting for? Grab my knife!

Come on! It won't help.

She's already dead.

There's still time. Come on.

Feel her, David. She's cold.

The chair rigged to the door, the hanging.

It's another scene from the movie.

We played right into it.

She was dead before we got here.

Oh.

The son of a bitch. He is taunting us.

Two murders, both copied straight out of the movie.

Okay, why?

Because he's a smug psychopath who thinks he can get away with it.

Ah, I would have believed that before, but the victims, the money.

I mean, there's a motive here.

Okay, what if what Victor Stokes told us was true:

That Brett Fuller really was supposed to produce "Bixel Street."

Maybe Deborah Westbourne was, too.

They were both low-level, B-movie types.

Yeah, but so was McNall up until now.

Everything he wrote was low-budget.

Most of it went straight to DVD.

All right. So?

What if McNall took his movie idea to Fuller and Westbourne first?

LIZ: Gets in bed with them early on.

COLBY: But then he gets some interest from one of the big studios, only the big studio doesn't want to have anything to do with his low-budget producers.

So he starts by paying them to go away.

But that doesn't work, at least not with Fuller.

Right, so Fuller gets the desiccant treatment.

And Deborah Westbourne gets a noose around her neck when she becomes a potential witness.

Now, if I remember correctly, um, it was your move.

Hmm...

You do realize, uh, by your leaving, I'm forced to be back to playing against Charlie.

Well, if I have any regrets, it is leaving my friend in his time of need.

Yeah, well, lots of people are going through tough times right now.

I'll find something.

I'll just have to lower my sights some.

Well, you will never be happy in a job that fails to inspire.

I really wish I had your cool about heading into the unknown.

On the contrary, I have more than a little apprehension.

I simply remind myself, this is not a destination.

It is merely a stop on the journey.

Well, I hope you find what you're looking for.

I wish you the same, sir.

But in the meantime... checkmate.

(screaming)

AMITA: What are you watching?

And since when are you working in adaptive algorithms?

(pauses video) Well, it's the, uh, the screenwriting software I bought -- Cinepal.

I broke it down to its root functions.

Oh. Now you're having a Chris McNall film festival?

Yeah. You know, McNall's had 11 of his movies made.

And all of them fit perfectly into my Cinepal algorithms.

Charlie...

I'm worried about your dad and this whole job search.

Well, I mean, you know him.

He doesn't like to be idle.

Yeah, but now he feels he has to work because of money.

I mean, he's worried about being able to afford a place to live after we get married.

The wedding's a year away... No, but listen, Charlie -- my grandparents always lived with my parents.

And I have an uncle who stayed with us when I was born.

I'd have no problem if Alan continued to live with us.

Look, you know I'm not thinking of throwing my dad out onto the street, but it would be nice, if after we were married, I had some alone time with... with my wife.

Just you and me.

I was, uh, I was thinking about yesterday.

At school?

Mm-hmm.

When you came into my office, and then you kissed me.

I was wondering what would've happened if Larry hadn't have walked in.

Did I just hear my name?

Sorry. Maybe if you carried your phone with you?

Don called.

He requires your help.

Hi. Hi.

(elevator bell dings)

DON: Hey, guys. Thanks for coming.

CHARLIE: No problem. What do you need?

David and Colby have been trailing the writer all day.

They lost him.

You did a cell phone triangulation scheme for us before.

Took you half the time it would take our techs.

Well, we just need to access the signal through his provider.

All right, well, I've already got it set up.

(beeping)

(trilling)

LIZ: David, Charlie's got him.

He's about four blocks to your northeast.

Got that. Is he in motion?

Looks like he's stationary.

LIZ: Negative, David. He's stationary.

Yeah, he...

He's on the corner of, uh, Plumber and Orion.

COLBY: Is there anybody who isn't writing a script in this town?

There.

In the corner.

We got him.

COLBY: Our boy isn't looking so good.

He just got a text message.

Doesn't look happy about it.

He's moving.

COLBY: All right, I'll go get the car.

DON: We got the phone warrants.

Why don't we look at the text?

I'd have to stop the tracking triangulation.

I can take over.

Consider it my last submersion into technology.

How does he find time to write?

There's over a hundred texts, just from today.

But there were six, including the last one, from some number I can't access.

All of a similar ilk.

LIZ: "I know what you did."

"You're going to pay."

All right, so, blackmail -- there we go.

Here's the last one: "If you're not here in ten minutes, it all comes out."

Yeah. Where is here?

Hey, don't get too far behind. I'm not. We're good.

Colby, you need to get over. Yeah, thank you. I'm trying.

COLBY: Move it up.

All right, come on.

You got to move up. (honks horn) Let's go, man.

(tires screeching)

COLBY: Come on! MAN: Whoa!

COLBY: You got to be kidding me.

(horn honking)

Come on! (horn honking)

DAVID (over radio) Liz? Liz, we lost visual.

Charlie's still got him.

He's headed north on Western.

Mm, the cell signal's breaking up.

(honking) Move!

Back it up! Let's go!

(honking)

It dropped out somewhere near Franklin?

All right, we're back; we're back up and rolling again.

DAVID: How far behind are we? I've got nothing. I lost him.

DAVID: Liz, are you there?

What have we got?

Tell 'em we lost him.

DAVID: Liz?!

Wait, wait, wait. I got it.

LIZ: David, Elysian Park.

It's another scene from the movie -- the third act when the pilot finds the dead hooker.

That's right. Uh, it took place at Angel Point.

David, go to... go to Angel Point.

(engine revving)

That is weird.

What?

The murder in the third act.

It-It's the wrong story structure -- it doesn't fit with the Cinepal algorithm like all of his other scripts.

COLBY: All right, so where is he?

DAVID: Liz, we're gonna need some help here.

Okay, it's down the hill, and, uh, in the movie, there was a statue, or a sculpture of some kind.

Okay, that's got to be it.

I don't see anything.

DAVID: Liz, we don't see him. Where is he?

LIZ (over radio) Try looking up.

What?

Where the hell is McNall?

(motorcycle starts)

I got him.

Liz, we got a body.

It's Carolyn White, the studio exec.

(motorcycle revving)

LARRY: Hey, get anything?

We've got LAPD looking.

No luck tracking his phone?

(sighs) He either turned it off or he lost it.

Forgive the presumption, but I detect there's more bothering you than just his whereabouts.

I'm just trying to make sense of it, Larry.

The murder scene in the park -- it's right out of the movie.

But McNall didn't choose the spot; the blackmailer did.

Yeah, oh...

I admit I am struggling with the logic myself.

Why would a studio boss blackmail her writer, especially if she needs him to write the sequel?

You know, I'm not so sure that she does need him to write the sequel.

You know, this is the 12th movie that McNall has written, and all the others fit perfectly into a predictable format, dictated by a set of algorithms.

You mean the Cinepal program. CHARLIE: Right.

Hey, Charlie, we're in the last act. Spit it out.

Well, it occurred to me while we were tracking him that this movie doesn't fit at all.

Structurally, "Bixel Street" runs contrary to the Cinepal algorithms at almost every story point.

So you think maybe Chris McNall didn't even write "Bixel Street"?

I can't say for sure, but this is a very strong indication.

COLBY: How much longer you want to wait?

DAVID: Where else is McNall going to go?

DAVID: McNall!

(gunshots)

DAVID: Don't be stupid.

There's no way out for you.

Who is that?

The FBI!

Okay.

Okay, I'm sorry.

I'm coming out, I'm com --

Hands up, hands up, hands over head!

I di -- I didn't know it was you.

McNALL: I'm sorry. COLBY: Put that gun down.

Okay, I'm putting it down. Let's go, put it down.

Gun's going down.

Okay, gun is down, gun is down.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Did I... did I... did I hit anybody?

Fortunately, you shoot like you write.

Who'd you think we were?

You know, you just... you can't be too careful.

Uh-huh.

DON: You took a shot at my agents.

You have any idea the kind of hot water you're in?

Just hold on a second, all right? It was dark.

They didn't identify themselves.

When I fired, my state of mind was that I felt threatened, which is grounds for a justifiable act of self-defense.

Oh, so now you're a lawyer?

Let me guess, you wrote a courtroom script.

Schwimmer was attached until the financing fell through.

I know who you were shooting at tonight, or you thought you were shooting at.

The real writer of "Bixel Street."

(chuckles)

Come on.

Read the trades, all right?

Check out any of the 500 billboards around this town.

All right, my credit is right there --

"Written by Chris McNall."

And you are desperate to keep that credit, aren't you?

So desperate you'd rather risk three murder charges than just admit the truth. (McNall chuckles)

You've seen Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder," right?

Robert Cummings tells Ray Milland that in stories, things turn out the way the author wants, but... in life, they don't.

"Bixel Street" is my movie.

See this guy here?

He can prove it's not.

LIZ: Brett Fuller and Deborah Westbourne -- they found the script, didn't they?

And they brought it to you.

No one would take them seriously with their credits.

They needed access to the studio.

Right, and you needed them gone.

I paid them, all right? I paid them to go away.

I didn't kill anybody.

(deep, heavy sigh)

The kid did that -- the one, the one who wrote the script.

LIZ: Who, Chris?

Who's the real writer?

Guy who works for Brett -- Tyson.

He's brilliant.

McNALL: He's an artist, you know?

So did that hack finally confess?

He didn't confess 'cause he didn't actually kill anybody.

(laughing) I'm not talking about the murders.

I'm talking about stealing my script.

DAVID: Come on, Tyson.

Out the pool.

Why didn't you just come out and say something when they first stole it?

I didn't even know till I read about it in the trades.

By then it's a green-lit project.

If I'd have popped up yelling "foul," the studio might have backed out.

Plus, it's a better ending this way.

Three people that ripped me off are dead.

The fourth's going to go down in total humiliation.

COLBY: What about what happens to you?

(laughing) Me? Are you kidding?

Starting tomorrow, I top the A-list.

There's not an agent in town that won't be scrambling to sign me.

Yeah, too bad you'll be writing from prison.

Locked in a cell, no one to bother me, I can crank out five or six movies a year.

Oh, grab that script, will you?

Don't want to leave it out where some other bozo could steal it.

"Bixel Street" opens up tomorrow, but they got a midnight show tonight.

You interested?

Oh, thanks, I'm actually going to hook up with Robin.

Let me guess, you're going to cuddle up with an old classic.

The Travel Channel, actually.

See you, boys.

DAVID: Hey.

How about you two?

Anybody up for a midnight show?

You've seen it already, right?

Yeah, well, you know, I like the energy of the audience, the smell of popcorn.

Weird thing is, when this story hits the news tomorrow, it's only going to make that film bigger than it already is.

All the more reason to catch it tonight.

How about you, Colb?

No, I got to try and finish this.

(scoffs) Since when do you read?

It's that kid Tyson's new script -- it's insane.

LIZ: Looks like I'm on my own, then.

Good night.

Are you still going?

DAVID: Isn't that kind of sad?

I do it all the time.

It's better than sitting at home with the hamster.

The script really that good?

Yeah, and you got to read it. You know what it's about?

I have no idea.

COLBY: A prison break.

Thank you.

What are you doing? Making a copy.

First thing in the morning, I'm getting it to the director of the detention center.

Yeah, well, give me the last ten pages, at least.

You're gonna have to wait, man.

Come on.. Come on. It's not happening.

(Alan types, computer beeps)

I knew you were going to do that.

Hey, you got a minute? ALAN: Yeah, just a sec.

I think I got this thing licked.

Really?

How? What happened?

It fell for my Rook to Rook 6 feint.

It's the oldest trick in the world.

Bingo.

You're playing chess.

Yeah, well, of course. What'd you think I was doing?

Alan... Charlie and I were talking, and...

We cannot bear the thought of you getting stuck in some stupid job to pay rent somewhere.

AMITA: Even after we're married, we don't want you feeling like you have to move out.

What if I was a technical consultant to a software firm?

What? I got a job with the same company that wrote that ridiculous CAD program.

You despise those people.

You were in the process of writing them hate mail, weren't you?

Yeah, I was, till I realized that they were right here in Pasadena, so I went down to cuss them out in person, and they ended up giving me a job.

I'm going to help retool that software to make it more user-friendly.

You know what I mean?

(chuckles) Congratulations, Alan.

Thank you, and the job pays well, so by the time you two get married, I'll be able to afford a little place of my own.

AMITA: You don't have to do that.

We meant what we said.

She did, anyway.

I'm kidding; I'm kidding.

I'm very, very happy for you.

Thank you. Thanks. That's awesome.

Thank you. Where are Larry's bags?

Oh, I tried to get him to wait.

He's gone?

He wasn't supposed to leave until tomorrow.

I know, he said it was, it was hard to say goodbye.

We don't even know where he's going.

Well, neither does he.

Leavin' my family

I'm leavin' all my friends

My body's at home

But my heart's in the wind

Where the clouds are like headlines

On a new front-page sky

My tears are saltwater

And the moon's full and high Oh, no, no, no, no, no!

(tires screeching)

(turns off music)

I know Martin Eden's gonna be proud of me now

Many before me has been called by the sea

To be up in the crow's nest

Singin' my say

Shiver me timbers as I'm a-sailin' away.