Ray and Tom arrive at the accident scene. The driver of the truck, Sean Dornan, is watching the fireman trying to remove the car from beneath the trailer.
Sean: No...No! Uhhhhhhh, no!
Ray walks over to him: Excuse me. Just step back and let them work. Are you the driver here?
Sean: Yeah, it's my truck.
Ray: You got any ID.
Sean: Is it true people are dead in there?
Ray: I don't know, sir. The paramedics are working on them now. Do you have any ID?
Sean reaches into his pocket: Yeah.
Ray: Can you remove your eyewear, please, sir?
Sean takes off his sunglasses.
Ray: Want to tell me how this happened?
Sean: Yeah, a guy...a guy pulled out in front of me, jammed on his brakes. I hit mine and rear-ended him. The trailer fishtailed.
Ray: Sir, I can't help but notice your pupils are rather dilated for the sunlight here.
Sean: Hey, I did NOT cause this accident.
Ray: Have you been taking speed?
Sean: Oh, come on!
Ray: I know a lot of you guys use it.
Sean: This is a bunch of crap! The guy pulled out in front of me! I hit his damn car! That's that!
Ray: All right, sir. Let me ask you to step over here, sir, by the car. We're going to have to go downtown and you're going to have to give a statement and a blood test. Just calm down, sir. Put your hands behind your back.
At the police station, Ray enters the interrogation room where Sean Dornan is waiting.
Ray: Good news. The DA's dropping the felony charges. You're still looking at a DUI, but you can go home, now.
Sean: I've got a wife and four kids to support.
Ray: Well, you can't do that in here. Come on, let's go.
Sean: Look, if I drive by the book, my family starves. I gotta work double-shifts and turn-arounds just to make ends meet. That's what the meth was for. I just can't work those kind of hours without it.
Ray: Well, I don't recommend using that defense in court. Come on, I got to sign you out.
Sean is crying: My wife's going to walk out. She's going to take the kids. She's going to leave. I don't know what I'm going to do. I mean, what am I going to do?!
Ray: Well, you're going to do whatever you gotta do. Look, Sean, you're not the first guy to ever get his marbles in a vice, crossing an ethical line.
Sean: My life is over!
Ray: Your life is not over!
Sean: Right... (He heads for the door.)
Ray: Listen, Sean! (He pulls Sean back into the room and closes the door.) Now, listen to me. You may have been the victim of a crime.
Sean: What are you talking about?
Ray: The guy who cut you off - he forced it to happen. It was a set-up.
Ray: Probably. Now come on, let's go.
They leave the interrogation room and walk down the hall.
Sean: Did they find these guys?
Ray: There's an investigation underway.
Fearless walks up: Mr. Dornan. All right, I've got some papers for you to sign. You got a ride home?
Sean: Yeah. Yeah, I'll call my wife and she'll probably come pick me up.
Fearless points to one of the papers: This will enable you to get your rig out of impound.
A man calls out: Detective Smith!
Fearless looks up and the man walks over and hands him a business card: Leonard Glassman. I represent Hugo Pinkston.
Fearless: Great. I'll be with you in just a second there, Mr. Glassman.
Glassman: What is it with you guys, huh? I mean, you just suspended the constitution and the rules of evidence?
Ray: All right, sir, just wait back there.
Glassman: You don't have a case. My client was in bed asleep at the time of the accident.
Ray: Right back there, sir.
Glassman: Oh, for crying out loud!
Fearless: Ray, Ray, Ray...why don't you escort Mr. Dornan to the front door?
Ray: Come on, Sean.
As they walk away, Sean asks: What was that all about? He's talking about the guy who set me up, isn't he?
Ray: Look, Sean, just call your wife. Go home to your family, tell them you love them. Just start putting this thing behind you. Just start making it right, okay? Are you going to do that?
Sean: Yeah, officer.
Ray: It's Ray. The telephone's on your first left there.
Sean: Thanks, Ray.
Joel is at home, sitting on his couch, where he's obviously been sleeping.
Flashback to the little boy's hospital room.
Teresa: I'd rather stay here if you don't mind. I just don't want him to wake up alone.
Teresa: How are you doing? Are you all right?
Flashback to questioning Hugo in his restaurant.
Fearless: We hear you had something to do with that big accident down on Doncaster. A semi jackknifed, killed a couple of people.
Hugo: Yeah, I saw that on the news.
Joel: Yeah, it left their little boy in a coma.
Hugo: Terrible. It's a tragedy.
Joel and Fearless are in David McNorris' office.
David: Wait a minute. You've got a co-conspirator that's willing to testify that Hugo Pinkston orchestrated the accident? Offered him money to partake in it, told him where the target was and how to dispose of the car when he finished?
Joel: That's right.
David: Am I missing something? I mean, why don't you charge the guy, now?
Fearless: If you want to kill a snake, you got to cut off the head.
David: Yeah, I've heard that before.
Fearless: Look, we're pretty convinced that Hugo is the captain. He hires the talent. He puts on the show. But, these scams don't ever work unless you got crooked lawyers and medical clinics processing these insurance claims.
David: Look, guys, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck, okay? I know what goes to the top. Where's your case?
Joel: We looked into Hugo Pinkston's lawyer, Leonard Glassman. He does some criminal work, but the bulk of his cases are accident/personal injury. That's not a small coincidence.
David: So, what are you saying? That Glassman is the head of the snake?
Joel: Yeah, that's a pretty good possibility.
David: Yeah, well, that's not good enough.
David: Because Glassman's going to claim that he didn't know the insurance cases were bogus. There isn't a judge in the world who's going to let you go fishing through someone's files if you don't have probable cause. And guess what? We don't have probably cause. A bird in the hand, guys. You want Glassman? Go after Hugo and then, flip him.
Fearless: As soon as we pick Hugo up, Glassman's going to destroy the evidence. It's going to be Hugo's word against the lawyer's.
Joel: Hugo's going to get a deal and his lawyer's going to get off on reasonable doubt.
David: I said this before. It's an imperfect world.
Joel: So, that's it? These guys get off the hook. Sorry about your parents, kid, but it's an imperfect world.
David: Look, Joel...
Joel: We're not asking for that much!
David: I appreciate your moral indignation, but if you don't have a case, let it go.
He opens the door for them.
Joel and Fearless are at Vicki Peneda's office.
Joel: The best the Deputy DA's going to do is give us a search warrant for this guy, Hugo Pinkston's house. So, if we want to get to his lawyer, we're going to have to find something there that incriminates him.
Fearless: So...what if we do? What's the smoking gun?
Vicki: I'd look for paper.
Fearless: What kind of paper?
Vicki: Accident reports, legal retainers, medical files. Maybe, a ledger.
Joel: Wait a minute. These guys keep ledgers?
Vicki: Sure. To track their cases.
Joel: Well, if we find the ledger...
Vicki: Then, you've got your smoking gun. Case closed.
Joel to Fearless: I'll wait for you downstairs.
Fearless: All right. Two minutes.
Joel walks over to a desk and says: Give me the file on Leonard Glassman.
Vicki to Fearless: I think so. What do you feel like doing?
Fearless: Maybe, we could go to Catalina for the weekend.
Vicki: Ohhh, for the weekend? You're very ambitious.
Fearless: Yeah, I am.
Joel overhears their conversation and smiles, as he heads downstairs.
Joel and Fearless are sitting in their car outside of Hugo's house.
Fearless: Looks like he's home.
Joel: Yeah. Just got to wait for the warrant. So...how's it going with you and Vicki?
Fearless: It's going. You know, I woke up early this morning, man. Took a long walk in the park and it was just one of those days when you look at your life and then, you go ' Is this my life? Is this all that there's ever going to be?' Then, I look up a couple of hours later and bang, there's Vicki.
Joel: Like someone answered your question.
Fearless: An answer. Maybe, not THE answer. But, for the first time in a long time, at least I'm open to it. I don't know why. You know, I look at your life sometimes and I think that's how it's supposed to be. Get yourself a sweet woman, have a great kid. You know, become a part of the whole chain of being.
Joel: Yeah. Chain of being. That's poetic.
Fearless: I guess it ain't all poetry, though, huh?
Joel starts to answer him, when Fearless' cell phone rings.
Fearless to phone: Smith...okay, thanks.
Fearless to Joel: We got the warrant.
They get out of the car and start walking to Hugo's house.
Fearless: How are you doing?
Joel: Well, I woke up this morning, asking myself the same question as you.
Fearless: Did you get an answer?
Joel: My boy, Willie, gave me a hug.
Fearless looks up the street: What the hell is that?
An semi-truck, with its horn blaring, crashes into Hugo's house.
The semi is being hooked up to a tow truck. Joel and Fearless walk out of the house with Sean Dornan, who is handcuffed.
Ray walks over: Sean, what the hell happened?
Joel: He followed Hugo and his lawyer here.
Fearless: He got his truck out of impound and decided to administer some street justice.
Ray: What the hell did you do that for? Why didn't you go home to your family? We were going to nail the guy.
Sean: He had it coming. And you know it.
Ray: Get him the hell out of here!
Tom puts Sean inside the patrol car: Let's go. Watch your head.
Inside the house, Hugo is lying on the floor halfway under the truck.
Fearless examines the body: Hey, look at this. Son of a bitch! He's been shot. Looks like he was dead long before this truck was out of impound.
Joel: Close range?
Fearless: Entry wound right behind the ear.
Fearless: Yeah, somebody capped the captain.
Joel: As far as we know, his lawyer's the last person to see him alive.
Fearless: Shouldn't be too hard to get a search warrant.
Fearless pulls out his cell phone and dials a number.
Tom and Ray drive up to Leonard Glassman's office.
Ray: Oh, beautiful! You'd thnk the guy could rent an office on the ground floor. What's he do when he wants to impress a client? Take him next door for a corn dog?
After walking up the stairs, Ray says: You watch, we're going to be carrying files up and down those things all day.
Tom: What are you saving it for? The Stairmaster?
Ray taps on the door with his police baton: Police. Open up!
A woman comes to the door: Is there something wrong?
Ray: Please open the door, ma'am, so we can talk.
The woman opens the door slightly and Ray rams his baton between the door and the doorsill.
Woman: What is it?
Ray: There is a search warrant.
Woman: Go away!
Ray: I would love to, ma'am, but you have my baton caught in the door.
Woman: Get out! I want to see a search warrant.
Tom: Ma'am, open the door, please!
Woman: No! Get out!
Tom and Ray force their way inside the office.
Woman yells: Lenny! Lenny! Get out! Lenny!
Ray holds her at bay, while Tom runs down the hall to a locked door.
Tom: Sir, open the door!
Tom forces the door open and sees Leonard Glassman using the paper shredder.
Tom: Step away from the shredder.
Tom calls out to Ray: He's destroying evidence!
Tom to Glassman: Step away.
Glassman: Fine, fine...
He backs away from the machine, until Tom bends down to unplug it from the wall. Then, Glassman hurries over and grabs some more papers. Tom grabs him.
Glassman: All right, all right.
Tom: Head down. Hands behind your back.
Tom handcuffs him.
Glassman: This is a violation of my civil rights. I want your ID. I want your badge number!
Tom: Shut your mouth!
Ray is putting the handcuffed woman into the backseat of the patrol car.
Ray: Okay, into the car, ma'am. Watch your head.
He looks up to see Joel and Fearless coming down the stairs, carrying boxes of files.
Ray: Ah, detectives. I see you're finding everything to your satifaction.
Fearless: Yeah. Nice job, guys.
Joel: There's a couple of dumpsters over there. They might have some shredded papers, documents. Why don't you guys check it out?
Tom and Ray look at each other.
Ray is standing outside the dumpster, pawing through the garbage.
Ray: Maybe, it's my history in Vista Heights. They figure I'm used to wallowing in garbage.
Tom: Yeah? Who's in the dumpster?
Tom is inside the dumpster.
Ray: Just be careful for razor blades, used needles, radioactive waste. You know, the usual.
Ray: I got your back.
Tom: Hey! I got something.
He holds up a sack and Ray looks inside.
Tom calls out: Fearless!
Fearless walks over: Yeah?
Tom: What caliber gun was your suspect shot with?
Fearless: A .380.
Tom lifts the gun out of the sack: A .380. (He smells the gun.) I think it's been fired.
Fearless stares at the gun for a moment.
Ray: If it's too little, we can always throw it back.
Fearless: Just tag it and bag it. Nice job. Very nice job.
Tom: Thank you.
Fearless and Vicki arrive at the Tiki Lounge.
Vicki: Bobby, when you told me you were going to take me some place special, I was thinking, maybe Spago.
Fearless: So, you've nevr been here?
Vicki: No. I think I would have remembered if I had.
Fearless: Well, this is living history because there aren't that many authentic Tiki bars left.
Vicki: And that's a bad thing?
The waitress brings their drinks to the table.
Fearless to Waitress: Thank you.
Fearless to Vicki: I hear the Hawaiian spare ribs are "to die for".
Vicki: You're kidding, right?
Fearless: You've never been here?
Vicki shakes her head.
Fearless: I thought I saw the bartender give you one of them looks.
Vicki: Well, I've been known to turn a few heads, you know?
Fearless: Yeah, some women are beautiful because God put them together just right. And some are beautiful because of what's on the inside. Smarts, humor, experience. Baby, you got it all!
Vicki laughs: I think you've been listening to a little too much Barry White.
Fearless: Let's go have a smoke.
Outside the restaurant.
Fearless: I can't find my lighter. I must have left it on my desk. You got matches?
She pulls a matchbook out of her purse and lights his cigarette. Fearless takes hold of her hand and looks at the matchbook.
The matchbook is from the Tiki Lounge.
Flashback to the day before when Vicki lit his cigarette outside the police station.
Fearless: You said you'd never been here before. You had these matches, yesterday, at the precinct.
Vicki: Bobby, I...uh...I...How long have you known?
Fearless: You're a strong woman, Vicki. You wouldn't spend three years in a dead-end job.
Flashback to the day before, outside the police station.
Vicki: So, I guess I just figured a way to make it work for me.
Fearless: When we came here to question Hugo, I remembered your matches. Figured he could use someone like you to make this scam work.
Vicki: Oh...I'm always picking up matchbooks. I don't even think about it.
Flash to Vicki picking up a matchbook at the Tiki Lounge.
Hugo: That's what I've been saying all along. That we make a good team. You're the boss.
Flashback to the semi rear-ending the car.
Flash to Vicki answering her cell phone.
Hugo, on the phone: Hey, Boss.
Hugo: We...got ourselves a little bit of a problem.
Flash to the scene of the accident.
Vicki: We're the insurance writer for Pacific Roadway. That is one of our trucks.
Ray: You're here already? You must be a fast mover.
Vicki: As soon as the driver calls in the accident, we're at the scene. Especially when there are fatalities.
Vicki: I wasn't working you, Bobby. My feelings were real! When I turned around and saw you, I almost ran.
Flashback to Vicki, at the police station, talking on her cell phone as Fearless walks up to her.
Vicki to phone: I'll call you back.
Vicki to Fearless: Bobby Smith...
Flashback to Tom holding up the gun he found in the garbage.
Fearless: You planted the gun in the dumpster. You shot Hugo.
Fearless: I'd like to believe that.
Flash to Hugo's house.
Hugo: I'm not the kind of guy who rolls over on people. I am nothing, if not loyal.
Vicki: I can't take that chance, Hugo. I bought you a ticket to Mexico City.
Hugo: Mexico City?
Vicki: The plane leaves in three hours. I'm taking you to the airport.
Hugo laughs: Mexico City! I don't see myself being happy in Mexico City. Do you?
Vicki pulls out a gun and points it at him: You're getting on that plane.
Hugo: Oh, please! What movie did you see that in?
He grabs her arm. They struggle and the gun goes off. Hugo falls to the floor and dies.
Vicki: Bobby, the company kept bringing in all these college kids. 'Vicki, this is Jeff. He's going to be your new supervisor. You mind showing him the ropes?' The message was loud and clear. 'You are a Hispanic woman with no college degree. You ain't going any higher.' I started thinking to myself, 'If I want to get somewhere, I got to do it myself.' No one was supposed to get hurt. And the money was so good. This was the last time, Bobby. I swear!
Fearless takes off his jacket and puts it around her shoulders: I really wish I'd gotten this one wrong. I really do. I'm sorry. Let's go.
Vicki lays her head on his shoulder and he caresses her hair, as he says, softly: Let's go.
Fearless is at the police station and spots Joel.
Fearless: What are you doing here?
Joel: Just taking care of a few things. I thought you had a date with Vicki. What are you doing here?
Fearless: There's something I should have shared with you, partner, but I didn't. I wasn't sure.
Joel: Well, you sound pretty sure now. What is it?
Fearless: Vicki's in Processing. She's the head of the snake.
Andrea is at home, lying in bed.
Flashback to her conversation with Teresa in the little boy's hospital room.
Teresa: I just don't want him to wake up alone. Are you putting that in your story?
Andrea: Not if you don't want me to.
Teresa: It just makes me sound like I'm gunning for sainthood.
Andrea: Everyone will identify. No one likes to wake up alone. Although, there are times I've wished I was alone.
Andrea gets out of bed.
She's walking down a hallway in the police station, talking on her cell phone.
Andrea: Lewis? Little. About the insurance-fraud story. Listen, I want to hold off until the kid's back in Indiana...a couple of days, at least...Yeah, there's a snow storm...I know it's a heartfelt story. That's why I want to hold off. Two hours after we run it, the kid's going to be inundated with flowers and teddy bears and get-well posters from third-grade classes. And I think what he really needs, right now, is to be alone with his family...tomorrow? Sure. (She looks at her watch.) Sorry, I didn't realize what time it was...Yeah, go tuck your kids in. We'll talk in the morning...Okay, good-night.
She stops, looks around the station for a moment, then turns and leaves the building.
Andrea enters the little boy's hospital room and sees Teresa asleep in a chair. Joel and Fearless are standing there, also. Joel puts his finger to his lips, signalling for her to be quiet. But, Teresa wakes up and sees everyone.
Teresa: Hey, what are you guys doing here?
Joel: We came to check up on Jamie.
Fearless: And to see how you were.
Teresa: I'm okay. Just having a hard time keeping my eyes open, that's all.
Andrea: Listen, if you want to go home, I'll be happy to stay.
Teresa: No, I'm okay. Thanks.
Joel takes off his jacket: Well, maybe we can all stay and keep you company.
Teresa: That would be nice.
They, all, stand silently around the little boy's bed.