Mar. 20, 1999
Andrew Dettman, Daniel Truly
IN FRONT OF THE LITTLE WHITE CHAPEL, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, a yellow school bus pulls up in front of the small, white church. Jarod, who is driving the bus, opens the door and turns to say goodbye to the children as they leave and are greeted by their parents waiting on the sidewalk.
A middle-aged priest walks up to the bus and talks to Jarod through the door, thanking him for all his support. Apparently, Jarod has helped the financially troubled church out, fixed the old bus and then volunteered to take the children on a field trip to the air force base. "It's better to give than to receive," Jarod replies, "I read that....some place." One of the boys from the bus is still standing there and the priest asks him how his father liked the base. Jarod explains that Ryan's father couldn't make it because he was on a business trip. "But we got to hang out, didn't we?" he says to the boy. Ryan agrees. The boy's mother pulls up in her car and Ryan is about to say goodbye to Jarod, when the latter calls him back and hands him a present, a small metal toy aircraft. The boy thanks him. "Maybe you'll fly one, one day," Jarod adds. "Yeah, we'll see. Thanks for kinda being my dad for the weekend," Ryan replies. "Sure," Jarod says. After Ryan has introduced Jarod to his mother Cindy, she and Ryan take off in the car. However, they don't get far.
Cindy drives her car forward from the intersection, but swerves when another car almost hits her from the left. Due to the parked bus, Cindy can't see a garbage collection truck which has to try to stop suddenly on the slick road. The driver sounds the truck's horn in panic, but Cindy and Ryan can only watch in horror from their stationary car as the truck plows into them. Jarod turns at the noise. The truck pushes the car some distance before both stop, the hood of the car crumpled, the windshield shattered and the horn sounding. Jarod and a group of people run to the scene of the accident. Jarod, who was closest, arrives first. He leans through the shattered back passenger window and feels Ryan's pulse on a wrist splattered with blood. "Somebody call 911!" he shouts.
AT THE HOSPITAL, Jarod is standing in the corridor when a man walks in and questions the nurse about his wife and son. "Are you Mr. Wells?" Jarod asks and the man says yes. Jarod informs them that he's witnessed the accident and that Ryan and Cindy are still in surgery. A doctor joins them and tells Mr. Wells that his wife will be just fine, but Ryan has suffered severe kidney damage, one of them had to be taken out already and the other won't last long. The boy desperately needs a transplant, he can't survive without it. However, there is another problem. Ryan has a rare hereditary blood condition which will make it nearly impossible to find a compatible donor within the next 48 hours. Cindy is not a donor match. "Well, then I have to be, right?" Ted Wells replies and offers that they could starts operating right now. The doctor says they need to stabilize Ryan first and then do a complete blood check up on Ted to make sure.
AT THE CENTRE, as Miss Parker exits the elevator, Lyle shows up with a bunch of flowers and hands them to her, asking her to forgive him for being a neglectful brother. "Just because you were nowhere to be found when I was in the hospital at death's door? You're too hard on yourself," Miss Parker sarcastically replies. Half an apology on his lips, he hands her a box in addition to the flowers. "Candied snails? Yummy," she remarks and tells him she's had three solid leads on Jarod in the last two weeks and he's shown no interest at all. "I do have other responsibilities. Jarod is just one of them," her brother replies. He is then called by his secretary who informs him that the phone man is here. "Oh my. Big responsibilities," Miss Parker quips and walks away. "Enjoy the snails," Lyle adds.
IN MISS PARKER'S OFFICE, Miss Parker enters with the box and the flowers. She sniffs at them then dumps both flowers and box into a trash can. She reaches into a drawer of her desk and pulls out an appointment diary. Attached with a paper clip to a page is a photo of Thomas, naked with a pillow covering his privates. He's grinning and waving at the camera. Written at the bottom of the photo is "See you tonight". Parker laughs, delighted, uttering "That's my good pillow." "You seem to be smiling a lot these days, Miss Parker", a wheezing voice sounds from behind her. Mr. Raines has entered the office and goes on telling Miss Parker that her work has become unfocused. "Perhaps you're too distracted with personal affairs." "Such as?" Miss Parker inquires. Just as Raines is about to answer, Broots enters and Miss Parker lets Raines know that it's time to leave. "Priorities, Miss Parker. Priorities," the latter says as he walks out.
Broots plays the recording of a TV news report from that morning on a small portable television set. It's about the Little White Chapel in San Diego and Jarod can be seen talking to the priest.
IN SAN DIEGO, AT THE HOSPITAL, Jarod enters Ryan's room and tries to cheer him up by bringing him his toy airplane. He asks Ted about the lab results and he tells him that they are still waiting and haven't heard anything yet. Jarod says he'll go check on it and Ted thanks him for being so helpful.
IN THE LAB, the lab tech is on the phone telling the person on the other line that she's hopelessly overworked and her colleague has called in sick. Apparently, a substitute was supposed to arrive but hasn't shown up yet. Jarod quickly takes on the identity of the promised substitute and tells the lab tech to take a break. When she has left, Jarod pulls on latex gloves and goes over to the table. He looks through a selection of test tubes till he finds the one labeled "Wells, Ted". He drops a sample of the blood onto a slide with a syringe and looks at it through the microscope. What he discovers doesn't seem to please him.
IN RYAN'S ROOM, both boy and mother are asleep, Ted is nowhere around. Jarod softly wakes Cindy and asks her where her husband is. She tells him he went to call her parents. Jarod wants to talk to her outside. He tells her he needs to know the truth. Ted is not a donor match for Ryan, although he should be. Cindy then reluctantly admits that she had an affair with another man before she got married to Ted. She had been jealous of him, after seeing him on a date with another woman. Her lover's name was Luther Ecksley, but he turned out to be a jerk, so Cindy quickly returned to Ted. She had never told Ted about the affair, but had always feared that the baby might be Luther's. As the years went by, she kept wanting to tell Ted the truth, but was too scared of losing him.
Jarod supposes that this Luther Ecksley may have a police record, since Cindy said he was trouble.
AT JAROD'S LAIR, hacking into the City of San Diego Sheriff's Department, Jarod finds out that Luther indeed is a criminal charged with crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon, possession of narcotics, kidnapping and attempted murder. Jarod also discovers that Luther has been arrested for leading a narcotics ring.
ON THE STREETS, Jarod shows Ecksley's picture to people he meets, one of them points him to a pool hall.
IN THE POOL HALL, Jarod asks the bar tender about Luther and hands him money when he remains silent. The bar tender takes it but doesn't answer Jarod's question, so he turns around and raises his voice to the entire room. "Does anyone know who Luther Ecksley is?" Several men look at him but he's ignored. When he gets up to leave, he's struck from behind with a cue stick and falls to his knees. A crowd gathers but doesn't help him as a man with long blonde hair pulls his cue against Jarod's neck. "What do you want with Luther Ecksley? Huh?" When Jarod says he just wants to talk to him, the man tells him to start talking now. "You're not Luther," Jarod replies. "I'm as close as you're going to get. Luther's rotting in a Mexican prison and he's going to be for a long damn time," the man says and lets Jarod go, "You ain't never going to find Luther."
AT THE CADRENAS FEDERAL PRISON, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO, Jarod has located Ecksley and has arranged to meet him. Sitting behind a glass partition with a phone, he introduces himself to Luther. Jarod holds a photo of Ryan against the glass for him to see. "I give up," Luther says, not understanding what Jarod is getting at. Jarod tells him that Ryan is his son and how desperately he needs the kidney transplant. He also honestly informs him that he may never be able to actually meet Ryan. Luther seem perplexed by Jarod's request and is fairly quiet. The he says, "Do you believe in redemption Jarod?" "Maybe," Jarod replies, "You have a lot to make up for." "This could be a start though, right?" Luther asks.
AT THE LITTLE WHITE CHAPEL, Miss Parker and Broots have just arrived and question Reverend Collins about Jarod. He tells them that Jarod "is a damn angel" and helped them out wherever he could, but that he had packed his things and left early that morning. He shows them Jarod's lair down in the basement of the church. He had insisted not make a big fuss about him and refused to take up the offers of several parishioners to stay with them. When Jack mentions something about Jarod having passed the border by now, Miss Parker supposes Jarod must be in Mexico. When the Reverend leaves them down in the basement and goes about his business, Miss Parker has the idea of snooping around the trash bags upstairs, because she can see that the lair has just been cleaned. In one of the bags she finds a mug shot printout of Luther Ecksley.
AT THE CADRENAS FEDERAL PRISON, IN THE WARDEN'S OFFICE, Jarod is talking to the warden, an attractive Hispanic woman. "Warden, I don't think you understand. A child's life depends on this decision. Please think carefully," he tells her. "Maybe you feel that he has undergone some spiritual awakening. But that man owes me and the people I answer to twenty-five years of his life," the warden replies. She wants to know what happens if something goes wrong while Ecksley is out on the temporary release that Jarod had required. She tells him that before she came to the prison, it was run by men and was a horrible place where prisoners were tortured and treated like animals. Many of them died. "Those same sadistic men," she says, "they're waiting for me to make a mistake to put them back in power. I won't allow that to happen." "Then where does that leave Ryan?" Jarod wants to know. The warden asks why he's not going through the proper channels. Jarod explains that Ryan doesn't have that kind of time. When he spots a picture of two little children on the warden's desk, he asks what she would do if it were one of her children. "As I said, I can't help you," she replies. Jarod looks at her a few moments, then stands up and starts to go. "...But if you're forced to resort to more extreme measures..." she adds, "...I'd understand." The warden pushes a button on her intercom and a guard responds through it. She orders him to take Ecksley back to his cell and that he has the afternoon loading detail in the compound. Having thus let Jarod know how he can get to Ecksley, she says good-bye to him and wishes him good luck.
SHORTLY AFTER THAT, Jarod calls Cindy and tells her to be strong and that he'll do the best he can. He also reminds her that she needs to tell Ted about her affair with Luther before he finds out for himself.
IN THE CENTRE JET, Miss Parker and Broots are on their way to the prison. Broots wonders why Jarod would be involved with someone like Ecksley, and Miss P. says that's what they're trying to find out from Luther himself.
AT A CAFE, Jarod is sitting at a table, lost in thought. He remembers Ryan's words before the accident, "Thanks for kinda being my dad for the weekend." Then he hears Luther's voice "Do you believe in redemption, Jarod?". The warden's last sentence still rings in his ears "If you were forced to resort to more extreme measures...I'd understand." A crashing plate wakes Jarod from his reverie. He drops money on the table and leaves the cafe.
AT THE PRISON, Jarod drives a large, white truck through the prison gates. A guard runs a group of prisoners up to the open back. Luther jumps up inside the van and pushes mattresses out one by one to the other prisoners. While the guards are distracted, Jarod comes up behind Luther and grabs him, then pulls him further inside the truck. "Do you want to get out here?" he asks him. "Hell, yes," Ecksley replies and so Jarod takes off a false panel inside the truck, pushes Luther inside, and closes the small hidden space again with the panel. Nobody has noticed that Ecksley has disappeared and Jarod is back in the driver's seat, waiting for the prison gate to open. Suddenly, he spots Miss Parker and Broots outside the gate. He pulls down his baseball cap and lowers his head so that they won't recognize him. Finally, Jarod is allowed to drive out and Miss Parker and Broots drive in, without seeing him.
ON A COUNTRY ROAD, Jarod stops the truck and gets Ecksley out of his hideaway. Another car is parked nearby and Jarod tells Luther that he's got new clothes prepared for him as well as a fake passport. He's planning one blending in with tourist traffic and hopes to cross the border undetected that way. As he walks over to the car, he has his back turned to Ecksley. So the latter, with the words "I appreciate you springing me there, Jarod, but the truth is, I could give a damn whether that kid lives or dies," knocks him out and leaves him unconscious in the middle of the street. Shortly later, Jarod wakes up, but the car and Luther are gone.
AT THE PRISON, Miss Parker and Broots are in the warden's office. Sirens are blaring outside and the warden angrily talks to someone on the phone in Spanish. Apparently, she won't let Miss Parker and Broots go, because they showed up at exactly the same time that Luther disappeared. "Nobody enters or leaves until we've completed a thorough search of this prison. For all I know you could be involved in this escape," she tells them. Miss Parker says she overheard one of the guards saying something about a boy and a kidney transplant and asks if the warden knows anything about it, but she denies and asks them to be patient a while longer.
AT THE HOSPITAL, Jarod tells Cindy that he couldn't get Luther...yet. Cindy has talked to her husband about the affair and is upset because she thinks he hates her now. "He doesn't hate you," Jarod tries to calm her "It's just going to take him some time to adjust." He assures her that everything is going to work out.
IN THE MEANTIME, Broots and Miss Parker are back in their plane and Broots has found out that Ryan Wells is the only boy nationwide in desperate need for a kidney transplant.
AT THE POOL HALL IN SAN DIEGO, we see the same man who attacked Jarod when he was looking for Luther. His cell phone rings and he answers it with his name, "This is Ray." Luther is one the other end and from their conversation we learn that they were once partners in a narcotics operation. However, someone tipped Luther off and he ended up in prison. Luther says that this "someone" must still have the ten thousand dollars from their last deal, so he tells Ray to meet at the Mission Bay Hilton and find the guy. "Bring some old clothes Ray," he adds, "We find this bastard, it is gonna get messy." It is fairly obvious, however, that Luther knows exactly who double-crossed him: Ray. Coming out through the back door of the pool hall, Ray runs into Jarod, who explains to him that his old friend Ecksley is setting him up to get his payback. He points to a car standing nearby. Inside, we see Luther, who's watching the two men. He sees how Jarod grabs his former partner, but can't hear what Jarod is telling him as he grabs Ray's jacket: "He's playing you Ray and he knows you're going to lead him straight to the money and when you do he's going to blow your brains out. Now you had better do exactly as I tell you to do or you're never going to walk out of this alive." Luther watches how Ray pushes Jarod against the dumpsters behind him and then down to the floor out of sight behind a car. Ray then takes out a gun and fires it in Jarod's direction four times. Luther waits until Ray drives the car out of the alley and then follows him.
IN RAY'S CAR, Jarod sticks out his head from the back seat where he has been hiding, careful to stay out of sight as Ecksley is still behind them. Ray asks him what's next and Jarod tells him to do just what Luther expects: Drive to the hiding place where he keeps the money. "This had better work, man, or we're both dead," Ray replies. Jarod assures him "Just keep driving and make sure you follow my plan."
AT A WAREHOUSE, Jarod quickly disappears to the inside and only seconds later, Luther pulls up in his car. Ray is nowhere to be seen. A flashlight and gun in his hand, Luther exclaims, "Ray. Give it up, Ray. I know you're the one who stole my ten million dollars." He is surprised to find Jarod instead, unarmed inside the warehouse. "Jarod?" he wonders, "I saw Ray shoot you in the alley. "That was part one of my plan," Jarod replies. "Oh yeah, what's part two?" Luther wants to know. "Ray," Jarod says, a split second before Ray comes up behind Ecksley and hits him in the back of the head with a fire extinguisher. "I tried to warn him," Jarod then adds. Now threatening Ray with his gun, Jarod makes him hand over the bag of drug money - under loud protesting - saying, "I know a little church that deserves it a lot more than you do."
IN A MOTEL ROOM, Jarod wakes Luther up, who is firmly strapped face down to a gurney and wearing a hospital night gown. Giving him just enough time to realize what is going to happen to him, Jarod then drugs him with an anesthetic and prepares him for the operation...
IN THE HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM, Jarod tells Cindy and Ted that their son's new kidney seems to be taking and that Ryan is going to be just fine. Ted is still upset about finding out he is not Ryan's real father, but while Cindy is out of the room to make a phone call, Jarod convinces him that all that matters is what Ryan thinks of him and that he needs him. Smiling and shaking Jarod's hands, Ted finally says "If there's ever anything that I can do for you..." "It's funny that you should mention that," Jarod replies when he spots Miss Parker and Broots through the waiting room door's window and pulls Ted aside.
When Broots and Miss Parker enter the room, Jarod is nowhere to be seen. Miss Parker questions Ted and his wife about him, but Ted coldly tells them he doesn't know anyone named Jarod and that they'd like to be left alone.
AT THE SAME MOTEL AS BEFORE, the warden from the Mexican prison and a doctor are in the room. Luther is still lying on his gurney, sleeping. The doctor states that whoever did this certainly knew what they were doing. The warden lifts a small Mexican flag from where Jarod has left it on top of Luther and smiles, "Yes he did." She orders to transfer the prisoner, just as Luther opens his sleepy eyes in confusion.
SOMEWHERE, Jarod is looking at the latest newspaper in his red notebook. The headline reads "Local Boy Recovers From Kidney Transplant". He lowers it, looks about smiling, and walks away.