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Leverage Main | When Darkness Falls

2x02 The Tap Out Job

[Ruckerís Gym, Lincoln, Nebraska]

Jack: He's yours. Hands up, son! Yeah!

Crowd: You got him. Come on!

Jack: Stay with him, Mark! All right!

(Mark begins to feel woozy)

Jack: Mark? Mark? Son! Find your feet, now. Thataboy, Mark!

(Tank begins beating Mark))

Jack: Cover up, Mark! Cover up, Mark! Cover up, son!

(Mark is beaten into the mat)

Jack: Get out of there, Mark!

Referee: Get off!

Doctor: Mark, can you hear me? Stay with me, Mark. Mark! Get the paramedics! Hang on. Stay with me, Mark.

[Hotel Room]

Jack: Somebody drugged his water. It's an old boxing trick. He couldn't defend himself, and... He's still in the hospital. Mark was undefeated. (hands Nate some pictures) A couple days before the fight, Rucker told him to take a dive.

Nate: I thought, Rucker was your son's manager.

Jack: He was. But with Mark being the favorite, he got great odds on tank, so we fired him.

Nate: And I guess that news didn't go over so well, huh?

Jack: Rucker ain't a man used to hearing "no" around here.

Nate: You must have known that Rucker was gonna try something during the--during the fight. Something dirty.

Jack: I never thought he'd take it this far. Besides, we couldn't pass up that purse. It's five grand. That's the biggest payday we've ever seen. See, I lost my job when the plant closed. Mark gave up his wrestling scholarship to come home and help out. So he poured asphalt all day, and he trained all night. Only reason we can afford the hospital is 'cause of Jonny.

Nate: Jonny?

Jack: The ring doctor. He's my cousin. Mark was real good, Mr. Ford. He had a shot, a real shot, at moving up in the sport. Now, Jonny says he'll never fight again.

[Hotel Room]

Hardison: That's Jed Rucker. He runs a homegrown mixed martial arts league here in Nebraska. They have a very strong wrestling tradition here, so the talent pool is pretty deep.

Eliot: Wrestlers have a good base for a blended training approach. They can go from that to jujitsu, kickboxing, judo.

Parker: Rucker promotes fights.

Hardison: And manages fighters, taking a cut every step of the way.

Nate: Yeah, you know, plus he's not above fixing bouts, as the Howorths found out. We've dealt with some lowlifes, but when I heard about this guy...

Eliot: That was a nice takedown. Good ground and pound. He's a little sloppy in a closed guard, but it's a solid armbar. I mean, you can tell this guy's a wrestler. This ain't the UFC, but these guys got skills.

Nate: Hardison, where did you get these?

Hardison: Online. They're viral videos. See, Rucker doesn't have a TV deal, it's pretty much a bare-bones operation.

Sophie: You call this a sport?

Eliot: Yeah, this is a sport. These are some of the best-conditioned athletes in the world. Are you kidding me? It's about precision, technique, skill.

Sophie: Like cockfighting.

Eliot: It's not a cockfight. All right? Let me show you something, Hardison. Come here. Can I borrow you? All right. Square up. Remember what I showed you?

(Hardison and Parker square up)

Hardison: Are you...

Eliot: There's three phases to an MMA--to an MMA fight, okay? One, striking. (Parker punches Hardison in the face) Nice. Next is grappling, the takedown. (Parker grabs Hardison and throws him on the floor) Exactly. All right. The third one is jujitsu. Okay, try to isolate a joint. (Parker gets Hardison in a hold) That's good. That's a textbook armbar, Parker. Put some pressure on there.

Parker: Like this?

Eliot: There you go. Or you can go for a choke hold.

Hardison: She got to be choking me. (tries to get away)

Eliot: Remember that thing that I showed you?

Parker: Oh, yeah. The choke.

Eliot: Lock that in. All right. You don't have to hold the arm. See, that's a triangle choke. That's nasty. Puts pressure on his carotid artery, and the guy will submit by tap out.

Hardison (tapping the ground): Eliot, I'm tapping! I'm tapping!

Eliot: These fights are won by inches, I'm telling you.

Hardison: I can't breathe!

Eliot: All about leverage.

Sophie: Yeah, it looks really painful.

Hardison: It is painful!

Nate: No TV deal, you said, huh? Hardison, what are this guy's other interests, this Rucker guy?

Hardison: Seriously, you ask me a question right now...

Sophie: I'll take that. Yeah, rotary club, golf membership.

Nate: Golf, huh?

Hardison: Help me!

Sophie: Yeah. I mean, this guy's like a 1950s sitcom character. He plays a weekly game with the local businessmen. In fact, last year, he won the club championship.

Nate: Did he? Hmm.

Hardison: Let me go!

Nate: I guess it's...

Hardison: She's killing me!

Nate: Öit's time to hit the links.

Hardison: I'm cool. Just let me go real quick.

[Golf Course]

Employee: I'm sorry, Mr. Rucker. The pro shop says your fourth is on his way. He's from out of town and apparently got stuck in traffic. I'm really sorry. These things happen.

Nate: Sorry, boys! Late night.

Rucker: Who the hell is this?

Nate: What do you feed these gals from Nebraska? Viagra-frosted corn flakes or what?

Rucker: Can we get started?

Nate: Sure, sure. Let's get started. What are you playing for here? Huh? Oh, come on, now. We got to make this pitch-and-putt a little bit more interesting, huh?

Rucker: We usually do $100 Nassau, a press a side. Mr...

Nate: Wells. Bill Wells. Yeah. A hundred bucks, huh? Yeah, well, I tell you what, as exciting as that sounds, how about we up it to two grand. Oh, come on. Come on. Don't tell me you're scared by a little action here. I'm sure that Ford dealership and right here, meat packing plant over here, you had some good years, didn't you? What is it you do?

Rucker: I run a gym.

Nate: Oh. Pilates or yoga? What do you say, Omaha? Just me and you? Hmm? Your buddies here can loan you the cash.

Rucker: I won't need no cash, Mr. Wells. Two grand it is. Front nine, back nine - Eighteen. $6,000 total. Sound good?

Nate: All right. Let's do it.

Rucker: Good luck.

(The men begin to play golf. Nate swings and hits the ball down the fairway)


Hardison (holds up a golf ball): Now, this is what you'll be playing. I replaced the core with a torus of high-density polymer. When it spins, it creates a gyroscopic effect. You could hit this thing with a garden hoe and it would fly straighter than an army parade.

[Golf Course]

Nate: Whoo, look at that.

Parker: What are those initials for? (picks other Caddieís pocket) You know what that means?

Golfer: Quite a shot.

Golfer 2: Nice shot.


Hardison (holding up another golf ball): Now, this is what Rucker will be playing. It's got thermal nanotech inside - Like RFID chips, but ones that heat up and allow me to redistribute the energy upon impact from the club head. I can bend it like Beckham, baby.

[Golf Course]

(Rucker hits a ball and Hardison uses a button cam on Parker to put it in the sand trap)

Nate: Boy, you hate to see that, don't you?

Rucker: Yes, I do. Come on. Let's play.

(play commences, Nate doing well, Rucker doing horrible)

Worker: Hey! Come on!

(Parker backs into Rucker)

Rucker: Watch yourself.

Nate: Hardison. It's downhill, right?

Hardison: Yes, keep going 7 inches, man.

(Nate hits ball into pocket)

Golfer: Oh, geez.

Nate: Well, you know, not bad for a practice round. Time to settle up, Omaha.

(Rucker looks for his wallet)

Nate: What are you - What's all this? You know, I didn't expect much from you yokels, but, what, are you welshing?

Rucker: Hey, I'm not gonna welsh, Mr. Wells. I just must have dropped my wallet.

Nate: Must have dropped your...

Rucker: Look for my wallet.

Nate: What is... - You know, I've heard all kinds of thing. But listen, I'll tell you what. I'm staying at the Derby Hotel. Pay me tomorrow. No checks.

[Ruckerís Gym]

Rucker: Guy never missed a shot. It was unbelievable. His name's Wells. He's staying at the Derby.

Engel: Ginny works the front desk there.

Rucker: Yeah, why don't you give her a call.

[Ruckerís Gym, Office]

Rucker: I want her to see if she knows why he's in town. And see how he got a tee time at the club. I mean, what are we, the local muni now?

[Ruckerís Gym]

Nate: All right, work it out! Work it out! Come on, now!

[Ruckerís Gym, Office]

Rucker: Look at this, here. (looks out window into gym)

Nate: That's it. Pick it up. Lazy bastard.

Rucker: Son of a bitch.

[Ruckerís Gym]

Nate: Oh, there. Hey, there, Omaha.

Rucker: Hey.

Nate: Yeah, it's not that I don't trust you, it's just, well, I don't trust you.

Rucker (pulling out cash): What is it you said you were doing in Lincoln again, Mr. Wells?

Nate: Business.

Rucker: And what business is that?

Nate: Well, right now, betting against Nebraskans is proving pretty profitable. Am I right?

Rucker: Yeah, I guess you are.

Nate: I'm just saying. Is that my money?

Rucker: Yeah, this would be yours. (hands Nate the money) Have a good day.

[Ruckerís Gym Office]

Rucker: I want to close at 11:00 tonight. (looks at monitor, sees Nate talking to Eliot) Come here. Look who's still here. Who's he talking to?

Engel: He's a walk-in. You want to keep an eye on the Wells guy?

Rucker: Not Wells. I want you to keep your eye on that other guy, the fighter.

[Exterior Alley]

(Eliot walking, cars pull up, Eliot sets down his bag, is surrounded by cars and men gathering around him)

Rucker: Sorry for not properly introducing myself. Name's Jed Rucker. Welcome to the Rucker fighting method. (looks at one of his men) Tommy.

(Tommy attacks Eliot, who fights him off.)

Rucker: Wait! Now, that's it.

(Men continue to attack Eliot, he gets one in a choke hold against a truck, parker is filming on a phone)

Rucker: Thatís it, enough. (Eliot letís man go) Get over there. And who the hell are you?

Parker (walking away): Uploading video now.

[Hotel Room]

Hardison: Got it. See, Online video websites, they track viewer hits by IP Address, so the trick is to just spoof a bunch of IPs, then write a script that lets you browse the video page via the proxy list and...

Nate: That's great. We got a feed on the security camera at the gym?

Hardison: Yeah, yeah. The feed's on the TV.

Nate: Oh, well, how come we're not hearing it? Where's the audio? We got audio?

Sophie (on the phone): Huh? No. Oh, but the earbuds work.

Room Service: Room service. Can I help you?

Sophie: Yeah, no, I can't eat this. I'm sorry?

Everything on my plate is yellow.

Room Service: It's chicken-fried steak.

Sophie: It's what? Chicken-fried steak?

Room Service: Yes.

Sophie: No, let me just tell you, all right. Meat should never be used as an adjective.

Nate: Sophie, how's he doing? How's he doing?

Sophie: Uh, ooh, he's about to set the hook.

(Nate joins her and they watch the gym feed)

[Ruckerís Gym]

Eliot: It's a hell of a welcoming committee you got here.

Rucker: Oh, that? Yeah. We put all the newbies through that. We call it the gauntlet. I can see you've had some training.

Eliot: Some.

Rucker: And Wells - What, he's your manager?

Eliot: He runs a league out of South Dakota.

Rucker: South Dakota? There's no athletic commission there.

Eliot: That's the way he likes it, kind of under-the-radar. Action's raw, lot of amateurs trying to make a name for themselves.

Rucker: So, so, what's he doing here?

(Eliot looks uneasy)

Rucker: No, you... Don't worry, son. You can talk to me. I can make it worth your while.

Eliot: He's here looking for talent. You know, some fresh blood.

Rucker: Why?

Eliot: I don't know. He sent me here to see if I could spot anybody worth poaching.

Rucker: Is that right?

Eliot: Look, I--all I know is that he has a meeting with some woman tomorrow and I got to find guys before then.

Rucker: So, he has a meeting? Here? Hmm, that's interesting. Come up to the office. We'll have a drink.

[Ruckerís Gym, Office]

Rucker (hands Eliot a glass): Here you go.

Eliot: Thanks.

Rucker: So, tell me, what's her name?

Eliot: I'm supposed to pick her up from the airport. (pulls piece of paper from his pocket and hands it to Rucker) She's coming in from L.A.

Rucker: Miss Debbie Dreiling. (checking internet) She's a producer.

[Hotel Room]

Hardison: He found the stories.

Nate: Okay. Now trip the news alert.

[Ruckerís Gym, Office]

Rucker (sees a news alert for his gym that shows Eliot fighting in the alley): So, come fight for me.

Eliot: I can't.

Rucker: What's he paying you, three-and-threes? Five-and-fives? You under contract?

Eliot: Sort of. I owe him money.

Rucker: So you're his grunt. You're working it off.

Eliot: I collect debts, you know. Work security, bust noses. Sometimes he lets me fight.

Rucker: Well, let me tell you something. This Wells is an idiot. It's a real waste of talent. See, most of these guys, they're pieces of meat, like the cows they butcher at work. But they come to my gym every night 'cause they think if they work hard enough and fight hard enough, that they can make it to Vegas, and the UFC, energy-drink contracts. That's the dream I sell them, they listen to me because I can take that dream away. Now, you, you're different. You fight like something's trying to get out of you. So, tell me. How much you owe Wells?

Eliot: AhhÖ

Rucker: You can trust me. I'm here to help.

[Hotel Room]

Nate: Hardison, his financials.

Hardison: I know, I know. I told you back home, it's all a big mess.

Nate: No, come on. I need something now. I mean, he's...

Hardison: His money's all over the place. Just give me a minute to plow through this, man.

Nate: Okay, Eliot. Eliot, say, 20 grand.

[Ruckerís Gym, Office]

Eliot: 20 grand.

Rucker: Well, I can swing that. I can even bump someone off my next card. You'll be fighting within days. But I'll need something in return. I'll need you to bring this Miss Debbie Dreiling to me, before Wells. Now, you do that, and I'll get you out.

[Hotel Room]

Sophie: I'm starving.

Parker: I found these in the minibar. (throws her a bag)

Sophie: "Pork Rinds"? How do you peel a pig? (throws it back)

[Golf Club Hallway]

Sophie: Well, this guy, he just--he give me the creeps.

Eliot: We've gone up against rougher dudes than this before.

Sophie: I know. But it's this whole treating people as commodities. This whole barbaric sport.

Eliot: Hey, don't lump these guys in with Rucker. All right, he's not what the sport's about.

Sophie: Eliot, this "sport" is about two guys beating the crap out of each other.

Eliot: MMA fighters act with more respect than any other athlete I've seen.

Sophie: Yeah, they're "Braveheart," I get it.

Eliot: No, you don't. These guys don't fight because they like hurting other people, all right. They fight to gain some sort of control over their opponents, over their environment, over their lives. Have you seen this town? Huh? The farms are drying up. The only stores are bail bondsmen and pawn shops, and there's nothing they can do about it. So, yeah, they get in the ring and try not to let it all suffocate them. (a beat) And it's about two guys beating the crap out of each other.

[Golf Club Bar]

Rucker: I'm not saying that this Bill Wells is a liar. It's just that heÖ he overpromised.

Sophie: What are you telling me?

Rucker: That he doesn't have the product that he says he did.

Sophie: Sweetie, I think you may be operating on some misinformation. I'm just in town to produce a show.

Rucker: But you're also here closing a TV deal with Wells and, I'm guessing, a pay-per-view package. But the thing is, he doesn't have what you need. And that's why he's trying to steal my fighters.

Eliot (phone rings): Excuse. I'm gonna... I got to take this.

Sophie: Say what you're saying is true. What exactly are you telling me?

Rucker: That you don't need him. He's a middleman. You need me.

Sophie: My, my, what a little shark you are. Are you sure we didn't have lunch at the ivy last week?

Rucker: Just trying to make you feel at home. Little Midwestern hospitality and all. You hungry? Because they serve a mean chicken-fried steak here.

Sophie: No. (gagging) I'm fine.

Rucker: Well, bottom line is, you need good product. What event are you here to produce?

[Interior Van]

Hardison: On it. There's a tractor pull in grand island, a livestock show in council bluffs, white people doing other white thingsÖ Sophie, there's a Trianna concert in Omaha.

Parker: Trianna?

Hardison: She's that teenybopper kid's star. She's got a show on that kid's network.

[Golf Club Bar]

Sophie: Trianna.

Rucker: At the Mid-American Palace?

Sophie: Uh-huh.

Rucker: That's a hot ticket. So let's say you've got Trianna...

Nate: Yeah, right. Enough. Enough's enough. I'm sorry. Monkey boy here was supposed to take you to the hotel. It didn't happen.

Sophie: All right, sweetie. I was just catching up with the local welcome wagon.

Nate: Yeah, all the more reason I'm sorry.

Rucker: Well, I really enjoyed our conversation. Perhaps we can continue it at the concert later?

Sophie: Pardon me?

Rucker: Turns out I'm going to the big show. Maybe we could meet up there.

Sophie: Of course. Definitely.

Rucker: Well, I look forward to it. Mr. Wells.

[Golf Club Hallway]

Nate: Trianna? Really?

Hardison: Hey, man, look. You're lucky I didn't give you a monster truck rally on an Indian reservation. Now what?

Nate: To hook this guy, we have to convince him Sophie's the real deal.

Sophie: How are we gonna do that?

Nate: Let's go steal us a concert.

[Exterior Concert]

Hardison: So, look, the concert's already televised, so all we got to do is show Rucker a TV production truck. We're in charge.

Parker: That means clearing out the real director.

Hardison: Yeah, he's coming in from L.A. Network's flying him in.

[Exterior Road]

Director (in car looking at his phone): Come on! Come on! Give me something! Come on! Is this gonna take long?

Nate (through window): No. Two shakes. Are you in a hurry?

Director: Even half a bar... what? Yes. Hurry. Does anyone in this backwater hellhole know what that means?

Nate: You're a director, right? What was your name again?

Director: What? It's Laurence. Todd Laurence.

Nate: Todd, well, listen, Mr. Laurence. See, I wrote a script...

Director: Huh?

Nate: Yeah. It's about a limo driver who solves mysteries till his wife leaves him for --

Director: For the love of god!

Nate: ...the best part: The feed store manager. Right? His wifeÖ

Director: Yeah...?

Nate: Tramp...

Director: Hey, hee-haw, move the car! Okay?

(Nate takes something from his pocket and throws it into the river)

Director: What was that?

Nate: Lug nuts. (walks away and gets into another car, driving off)

[Exterior Concert]

Hardison (showing passes): So, I'm Todd Laurence? (girls flock to Hardison) Ladies, please, look. For the last time, I am not the tailback for the cornhuskers. Go! I don't even know what a cornhusker is.

Parker: What about the crew?

Hardison: Remote units are always crewed locally, so they never would have met the director, anyway.

Parker: Right.

[Concert Control Trailer]

Sophie: That's two handhelds on stage, two steadicams, three slashes, two robos, and a beauty. Yeah, that's 10 cameras in total. (taking something from aid) Thanks. There's a reason Fightingnet turned to me to find a package to launch their channel.

Rucker: And that's what you want from Wells?

Sophie: He's giving me programming. Yes, the UFC is booming but the fans want more, real guys in real fights. That's what Wells is giving me.

Rucker: That's what he says he's giving you. Now, who's paying for all this?

Sophie: My production company, costs us around $500,000. And for that, trust me, you get the best. Like our director here.

Hardison: Camera three! Move off of her! I donít--she's hideous. The chick is packing, trust me. Trianna doesn't have any pretty fans? Todd Laurence ain't happy. I'm not happy. This is some bull. Seriously, guys, I thought we were running a professional show here, people. Run that back. Give me a replay. I'm sorry. Did I stutter?

Parker: You heard the man! Give him some replay!

Sophie: In exchange, we get the pay-per-view profits. With Wells' fights, we'd start small. Maybe 10 bucks a buy.

Rucker: Well, that's a quarter of what the UFC charges.

Sophie: Well, you need to be competitive in this economy. Fightingnet thinks we'd get 500,000 viewers, conservative. That's about...

Rucker: That's $5 million. Is that a year?

Sophie: Sweetie, no. $5 million an event. We'd do five, six a year.

Rucker: So just so we're clear. You spend $500,000 to make $5 million?

Sophie: It's called deficit financing. It's how TV works.

Rucker: And all you need is a product?

Sophie: Well, that's what they are: Products. You get the girls with Trianna, you get the boys with MMA. And there's always another fresh-faced princess ready to go through the singing/dancing mill in Florida. Occasionally, we let one be a lesbian, keeps the press on their toes.

[Exterior Concert]

Rucker: I want in.

Sophie: Oh! It's not that easy, sugar. I have an agreement.

Rucker: Agreement? The man's a fraud. That's why he's here, trying to steal my fighters. But guess what. I already stole his best fighter, and have him slotted into a card this week.

Sophie: But Wells has already agreed to put up half my production costs.

Rucker: Well, how's this? I'll put up all of it.

Sophie: Sweetie, you're talking half a million dollars of your own money. No, no, no. Uh-uh, that's not gonna work.

Rucker: Well, look, you said it yourself, you need product, and that's what I've got. You and I, we understand each other. We think alike. And I've got an equity line on my gym I can tap. You'll have the money tomorrow.

Sophie: Well, then, call me when you have your funds together. (shakes hands with Rucker) I'll bring the paperwork.

(Rucker walks away)

Sophie: Did you get all that?

[Ruckerís Gym]

Nate: Got it. Great job. We should be on our way home by this time tomorrow.

[Ruckerís Gym, Office]

Engel: You sure about that? And you checked the other place, too? No one's heard of him. Either of them? (looking at monitor of gym) Yeah, all right. Thanks, Jimmy. Jed?

Rucker: Oh, start printing up the posters. I want a good crowd when Fightingnet comes down.

Engel: Jed, listen.

Rucker: Also, call Logan at the bank, and have him start up the paperwork.

Engel: Jed! Remember my cousin Jimmy in South Dakota?

Rucker: Sure, I do.

Engel: He knows every promoter and manager in the state. Never heard of Bill Wells.

Rucker: Is that right?

Engel: Also, Ginny says someone came by to visit Wells at the hotel. You know who it was?

Rucker: Who?

Engel: Jack Howorth. Mark's father. The kid Tank beat up the other night.

Rucker: They're setting me up.

Engel: Want me to call the police?

Rucker: No. No police. Let's show them how we deal with con men in Nebraska.

[Ruckerís Gym]

Sophie: Hey. (walks up with flier) Saw this in town.

Rucker: Oh, yeah. It'll be a good gate. Lot of interest in the new boy. The message boards are blowing up. He's gonna fight tank here. Tank, come here. I want you to meet Debbie Dreiling. She's gonna make us all rich. Now, this is a lot of money. I need to know it's in good hands.

Sophie: You're making a good bet.

Rucker: I want to know I'm making a great bet. So, where are your partners? Waiting for you to blow me off?

Sophie: I'm sorry, I don't know what you...

Rucker: Well, let me tell you what. Alex's cousin Jimmy is in the fight scene in South Dakota, and guess what? He's never heard of Bill Wells.

Sophie: Sweetie.

Rucker: Sweetie.

Sophie: I think you're getting a little paranoid.

Rucker: So you think you can come to my town, huh? Us country bumpkins, right? 'Cause all we can do is kick ass. I'll show you what us ass-kickers will do.

(Tank moves threateningly toward Sophie)

Sophie: WhoaÖ

Nate (coming into gym followed by Eliot): All right. Leave her alone.

Rucker: Oh, Look who's here. Wells. So, where's the rest of your crew? In the getaway car?

Nate: Yeah, all right. Parker, Hardison, break it down. We're out of here. Come on.

[Interior Van]

(Hardison grabs computer and the two exit)

[Ruckerís Gym]

Rucker: Oh, you talk in a wire, huh? Pretty fancy.

Nate: Yeah, nothing but the best for you, Rucker.

Rucker: Yeah, well, youíre not all frauds. (looks at Eliot) People do want to see you fight. So why don't you take on Tank here?

Eliot (moves forward): I got five seconds to kill out of my day.

(Tank moves forward, stopped by Nateís hand on his chest)

Rucker: No, no, no. Not here, Tank. But, you know, you're probably right. We've seen what you can do. But that's the thing, you know, see, you're favored. So I'm gonna need you to take a dive.

Nate: Come on. (they head for the door)

Rucker: Fine. Go back to L.A. Or wherever. It's a shame you won't be here next month, when Jack Howorth's house goes on fire. Ď

(team stops and turns around)

Rucker: Or in six weeks, when Mark has a car accident. But you won't be around for any of that.

Eliot: I'll do it.

Nate: You don't have to do anything.

Eliot: Yeah, I do. And then you lay off the Howorths.

Rucker: You do what you have to do and they'll be fine. But I'm betting it all on Tank here, so it can't look like a fix. And feel free to use the gym. We don't want anybody to think you're not ready.

(team exits)

[Exterior Parking Lot]

Hardison: What? What? W-what was I supposed to do? It was cousin Jimmy.

Sophie: He's right. We couldn't have planned for that.

Hardison: Look, you know what I can do? I can re-task a satellite, I can get a level 3 NSA clearance, but I can't hack a hick.

Eliot: All right, it doesn't matter. What do we do now?

Parker: We can move the Howorth.

Eliot: We're not moving the Howorths. All right? This is their home. That means something to people here.

Sophie: Yeah, we can't babysit them forever.

Nate: We've taken out bigger players than this. You know, there's got to be some way, something we can...

Eliot: No, no! I take the dive.

Sophie: You sure?

Hardison: Give me some time, okay? I've found some funny business in Rucker's accounts. I can move some things.

Eliot: Forget the fact that we just got beat by Barney Fife, all right? This is the right move. Tactically it's the right move. You all know that. (walks away)

[Ruckerís Gym, empty]

Sophie: Hey. Listen, you-you don't have to do this, you know. Nate's gonna come up with something.

Eliot: I'm losing a fight, Sophie. I'm not diving on a grenade. I'll be all right.

Sophie: Yeah, I know. I'm not talking physically.

Eliot: I think my ego can handle it.

Sophie: Look, you told me that it's about control, about knowing that you're never gonna be the victim. And that's what keeps you going, right?

Eliot: You think I'm upset 'cause I got to let this guy kick my ass? I learned a long time ago, you can't control the violence. I can take the punishment. That's what I do. What I need to control is not out there. (touches his chest) It's here. Always.

(Sophie smiles and walks away)

[Ruckerís Gym, full]

Crowd: Tank! Tank!

Engel: All right, Tank. Go for his ribs. All right?

Rucker: Engel! Did you place that bet?

Engel: Yeah. Wasn't easy, no one local would handle that kind of action, so I had to lay it off on a bunch of different bookies online.

Rucker: Well, that's fine, at least I can't get ripped off by one guy.

Engel: Are you sure you want to bet it all? What if this guy doesn't go down like he said?

Rucker: Don't worry. He'll go down. I've got an insurance policy. Tank! Don't go easy like you did on that last guy. I want you to teach him a lesson and break every bone in his body.

(close up on Eliot drinking water)

Rucker: So, your friend knows to stick to the plan, right? He goes down, and I collect on my bet.

Sophie: And you leave the Howorths alone.

Rucker: And you get the hell out of my town.

Nate (to Eliot): All right. Listen to me. Listen to me. You make it look good, but not too good, all right? Don't make it go past the second round.

Crowd: Let's go!

Referee: Ready?! You ready?! Get it on!

Crowd: Tank!

(Eliot and Tank begin fighting. Eliot goes down before taking Tank to the ground and getting in some good shots)

Rucker: What the hell is he doing?

Sophie: You told him to make it look good, didn't you?

(fight continues, Tank beating on Eliot)

Engel: Come on, now! Reel him in!

(Tank has Eliot on the ground and is beating him badly, Eliot looks dazed. Nate opens the water bottle and smells it)

Sophie: You drugged him, didn't you?

Parker: Why?! He already said he'd go down!

Rucker: What makes you think I would trust a bunch of lying grifters to keep their word?

(Tank continues beating Eliot)

Sophie: Get the doctor, Parker. Now.

(Parker moves away)

Rucker: No need. It'll be over in a couple of minutes.

Sophie: Oh, man--you don't get it, do you? Eliot's not like other fighters. He doesn't play games. He fights to survive, that's his training.

Referee: Break it up!

(Eliot looking furious)

Sophie: It takes all his control not to kill somebody. You've just made him more dangerous. You've taken the safety off the gun.

(Eliot takes control of the fight, beating Tank)

Nate: Break it up! Come on, now! Break it up!

(Referee hesitates to break it up, but finally moves in)

Referee: Come on. That's enough. Come on. Let go of him. That's enough. Get off him.

(Eliot moves away)

Referee: Yeah, we need a doctor here. Easy. Easy does it.

Doctor: Tank! (examines Tank, gives him a shot

Rucker: All right. Everybody out. Come on, come on. Let's go. Hey, Lookit. Get everyone out of here now.

Engel: Out! Come on, everybody! Let's go! Get out! Everybody get out of here. Come on. Keep it moving. We're closing soon. Come on. Fight's over, people! Go! Everybody out! Come on.

(crowd begins to leave)

Rucker: What the hell just happened?

Nate: What the hell are you doing?! You could have killed him!

Rucker: You know how much you just cost me? I'm gonna make you pay.

Nate: Make me pay, huh?

Rucker: We had a deal!

Doctor: Hey, listen to me! Tank is dead!

(shocked reactions all around)

Rucker: No. No, wait.

Doctor: You killed him.

(Eliot looks devastated)

Rucker: Wait a second, doc. Look, are you sure?

Doctor: There's nothing I can do.

Rucker: Listen to me! He could just be out!

Doctor: I've got to call the police.

Rucker: No police! Listen to me! Listen--Listen, we can work this out. Keep it in the family. I'll make it worth your while.

Doctor: There were hundreds of witnessesó

Rucker: Theyíre gone now!

Doctor: --plus we've got a dead body. What am I supposed to do about that? And also, we ain't family.

Rucker: All right. All right. You're right. You're right. You call the police, and I'm gonna... I'm gonna call the athletic commission. (leaves room)

[Ruckerís Gym, Office]

Engel: What are you doing?

Rucker (throwing things into a bag): Where's tonight's gate receipts?

Engel: What?

Rucker: The gate receipts!

Engel: In the safe, as usual. You're running? Why?

Rucker: This was an uninsured, unsanctioned fight. I could be on the hook for millions in liability. (taking money from safe) There's probably gonna be a manslaughter charge, and I could be an accessory. I'm not taking the fall for that. Besides, none of this is worth anything anymore.

Engel: Wait.

Rucker: Get out of my way!

Engel: Jed!

[Exterior Gym]

(Rucker gets into car and drives away)

[Ruckerís Gym]

Nate: Parker, you got him?

[Ruckerís Gym, Office]

Parker (watching car pull away on monitor): Yep. He's gone.

[Ruckerís Gym]

Nate: You plant the transmitter?

[Ruckerís Gym, Office]

Parker: Wired to his GPS. (leaves office)

[Ruckerís Gym]

Hardison (looking at phone): Looks like he's headed to Iowa.

Nate: Make the call.

Jack: What's going on?

Nate: Just give me a sec. Doc, You got Tank, right?

Doctor: Yeah. Oh, he'll be fine. Should come around in a few minutes.

Jack: Wait, wait. He's not dead?

Doctor: Succinylcholine. It's a mild paralytic. It only works for a few minutes.

Nate: Yeah, it was just enough to scare off Rucker.

Jack: So, so, so Eliot...

Nate: No, no, no. We found the drugged water bottle before the fight, switched it out with a clean one. Rucker's not too original when it comes to this kind of thing, apparently.

Jack: So, Jonny, you were in on this?

Doctor: Mr. Ford and his friends came and asked me for help. I told him around here, we always stand up for our own.

Jack: Where's Rucker?

Hardison: Oh, the Iowa State Police just got a tip that a fugitive is headed into their jurisdiction. And I'm pretty sure crossing state lines with a bag full of cash won't look too good.

Parker: Especially when they find the little surprise in his trunk.

[Flashback, Pawn Shop]

Parker: I need guns. (dumping money on counter) $6,000 worth. And one of those.

[Exterior Road]

(Police have pulled Rucker over and have him in handcuffs)

Rucker: Like I said, I can explain the money. I can explain the money.

Cop (opening trunk to reveal guns): Oh, yeah? How do you explain this?

Rucker: Those are not mine! Those are not mine!

Cop: Come on, buddy.

Rucker: I don't know how they got there!

Cop: All right, get in there.

Rucker: Somebody put them there. Somebody...

Cop: Watch your head.

[Ruckerís Gym]

Nate: That should hold him off until the IRS gets down here.

Jack: The IRS?

Sophie: Yeah, the money that Rucker makes from these fights? Well, it's all in cash.

Hardison: Yeah, and he wasn't too good about reporting that income.


Nate: Hardison, his financials.

Hardison: His money's all over the place. Just give me a minute to plow thorough this, man. Just give me some time. I've found some funny business in Rucker's accounts.

[Ruckerís Gym]

Hardison: All we had to do was flag the government about the tax evasion.

Parker: Rucker won't be coming back to town anytime soon.

Sophie: He doesn't have anything to come back for. He literally bet the whole house on Tank.

Jack: So all that money's gone?

Nate: Well, you see, not exactly.


Rucker: Engel? Did you place that bet?

Engel: Yeah. Wasn't easy. No one local would handle that kind of action, so I had to lay it off on a bunch of different bookies online.

Hardison (setting up betting web sites): Where's your cousin Jimmy now?

[Ruckerís Gym]

Doctor (examining Eliot): You took a hell of a pounding. We should get you a CT scan. You could have internal bleeding.

Jack: You let yourself get hammered like that on purpose? That's a hell of a lot of punishment to take.

Sophie: That's what he does.

Nate: So, with Rucker out of the picture, management of this gym and all the fighters, it's all up in the air.

Parker: You guys could use a fresh start.

Sophie: They just need a little direction.

Hardison: I mean, the place could use some spit and polish, but it's solid.

Eliot: You might not be able to fight anymore, but you know the sport. You know what it means to commit to something. So, what do you say? Take a stab at running this joint, the right way?

Nate: Plus, you know what? You'll have some seed money from Rucker's bet. I mean, enough to get you started.

Mark: Let me get this straight. You guys want me to be in charge? Of all this? Of all the guys?

Eliot: They're fighters. Like you. You treat them that way, and you'll be fine.

(Nathan throws Mark the keys)

Jack: What do you say, son?

Mark: Thank you. Thank you.

Jack: Thank you so much.

(Team moves away)

Mark: If we moved those heavy bags out of the way, we could make room for a video station. Put some mats down, get some grappling dummies.

Jack: That'll work.

Sophie (to Parker): Pork rind? They're actually pretty good. You sure?

The End

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