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Leverage Main | When Darkness Falls

3x06 The Studio Job

[Interior House, Memphis]

Kaye Lynn (singing): Well, I know they say all good things must come to some kind of ending, we were so damn good I guess we never stood a chance go on and find what you've been missin', when that highway's tired of listenin'...

(Men break into the room)

Brother: You can't just barge in here like... (gets hit in the face)

Kaye Lynn: Oh!

(thugs beat up the brother and throw him on the floor)

Kirkwood: What did I tell you two about talking to lawyers?

Kaye Lynn: I-I... no, we didn't! We didn't!

Kirkwood: You don't think I know what goes on in my town? When I tell you not to do something... (stomps on hand)

Brother: Aah!

Kaye Lynn: No! No! Ah!

Kirkwood: (throws girl on couch twice) Sit down! Don't do it.

Kirkwood: Now, get me the other hand.

Brother: No.

Kaye Lynn: No. No. No. Please don't. Please. I swear, we didn't do anything. Please!

Kaye Lynn: We didn't do nothing.

(Kirkwood stomps on hand, brother screams)

[McRory’s Bar]

Kaye Lynn (hands shaking, spilling milk): I'm sorry. I'm still a bit shook up.

Nate: That's all right.

Eliot: That’s all right. (uses napkin) I got it.

Kaye Lynn: Thank you.

Nate: So, uh, your brother, now, will he ever play again?

Kaye Lynn: Doctors say he'll be lucky to move his fingers again. Music was his life. What Kirkwood did was more than wrong. It was...

Eliot: It was cruel.

Nate: Now, this guy Kirkwood, you said he has a reputation for doing these kinds of things. So why would you work for him?

Kaye Lynn: Well, he owns a record label, Mr. Ford.

Nate: So?

Kaye Lynn: Put it like this. The day I was born, my Mama said I looked at her, smiled, and asked, "Which way to music city?"

Eliot: He was your shot at stardom.

Kaye Lynn: Right. He hired us to write songs for other artists, his more established artists. It was good money, plus royalties, and we thought we'd hit the jackpot, but when it came time to pay...

Nate: He showed you the fine print.

Kaye Lynn: Exactly. He charged us rent to park in his lot. He charged us for the pens we used. He... he owns our publishing.

Nate: So the only difference between Kirkwood and the majors is that the majors use lawyers to do their dirty work.

Kaye Lynn: And our songs were good and they did well. And before you knew it, he owed us hundreds of thousands in royalties.

Nate: You ever confront him?

Kaye Lynn: Instead of paying us, he offered to record our own album in his studio, no charge, and he said he was gonna get us a spot in "Saddles & Spurs."

Nate: "Saddles & Spu... " what's that?

Kaye Lynn: A big music festival in Memphis.

Eliot: All right. So, what happened?

Kaye Lynn: When he heard the album, he decided it was too good to waste on a couple of unknowns. So he stole it! The devil may have gone down to Georgia, Mr. Ford, but he lives in Memphis.

[Briefing Room]

Hardison: Mitchell Kirkwood. Record producer and CEO of Kirkwood Records. Now, here's a fun fact. He started off his career as an artist. Does anybody remember this?

Kirkwood (on screen singing): Should have been it took a single spark to set the sky a flame when you were in my heart the stars spelled out your name…

Sophie: I say we take him down for that alone.

Hardison: Critics agreed. It's probably why he never released another single. He took all the money he made and funneled it into his record company, and judging by the number of lawsuits filed, and dropped within days, I'd say it's not his first time forcing somebody to settle out of court.

Eliot: Does he have a criminal record?

Hardison: None. He carved out a nice, little kingdom in the country-music world.

Eliot: Yeah, well, he stole Kaye Lynn's music. He stole her money, he took over their publishing.

Nate: Yeah, but we're gonna get it back.

Sophie: I understand how to steal money, but how do you steal music?

Hardison: Oh, it's called a digital master. It's high-quality, multi-channel, studio-recorded, mixed, and engineered. Price to produce hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions. Now, this building right here, this is Kirkwood Records, Memphis, Tennessee. Now, inside this building is a hidden safe that contains these digital masters, one of which has Kaye Lynn's music on it.

Parker: So it's a smash and grab.

Nate: Well, no, no. Not exactly. No. 'cause we have to make sure she gets back the money.

Sophie: And a little extra for hospital bills.

Nate: Making sure that he can't come after them, well, that wouldn't hurt.

Nate and Sophie: A fiddle game.

(Parker raises her hand)

Nate: Uh, Parker!

Parker: Uh, I don't know how to play the fiddle.

Nate: Well, actually we're not gonna play a fiddle. No. We're gonna sell one. For a hell of a lot more than it's worth.

[Saddlebag Saloon, Memphis, TN]

Kelly: Y'all have a good night.

Customer: Thank you very much.

Kelly: Uh, Mr. Kirkwood!

Kirkwood: Hello, Kelly. (sees Sophie at his table) Who is at my table?

Kelly: Uh... Well, the computer said you canceled!

Kirkwood: Does it look like I canceled?

Kelly: But the computer...

Kirkwood: Go ahead. Say it again. Say something else about the computer.

Kelly: I'll put a table together right away. (moves off)

Hardison: Kirkwood's on his way over. (leaves bar, runs into Kirkwood)

Kirkwood: Hey. Hey. (sits down at the bar) Oliver, pour from my bottle. Make it a double. Oh, no, no, no, no, no. (forcing bartender to put more in his glass)

Nate: Hey, why don't you put it on my, uh, tab, there? You're, uh, Mitch Kirkwood, aren't you?

Kirkwood: Yes.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Hallway]

Hardison: Parker, I'm on my way to the sound booth.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

(Parker cracks her neck)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison: (manages to get into sound room when the technician leaves, pulls up iTunes on the laptop) Let's see what our friend likes to listen to. Most played... Brooks & Dunn. (checks a clipboard) I need tickets for Brooks & Dunn. You got that, Parker?

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

(Parker in bar dancing, picking pockets)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Technician (entering): Uh, you're not supposed to be in here.

Hardison: Tell me about it, buddy. Why are you here?

Technician: I work here.

Hardison: Flippin' fantastical. They call me on my night off and gone and double-book it.

Technician: Better call the main office, (picking up phone) find out what's going on here.

Hardison: Please do, Skipper, 'cause if I got to work tonight, then I need to find somebody to take this Brooks & Dunn ticket off my hands.

Technician (hanging up phone): You know what? I am starting to remember something about having the night off.

Hardison: Don't you think you could go on and double-check that, butter britches?

Technician: Naw. I definitely remember now.

Hardison: Really? All right, now. Think you can find somebody to take this ticket off my hands?

Technician: I think I can find somebody.

Hardison: Hot diggity dadgum. Let me... (looking in his pockets) Get you this Brooks & Dunn ticket, so...

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

(Parker dumps loot on table, sorts through them, pulls out ticket and smiles)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison (sees ticket slide beneath door): Well... Spick-and-span... Damn. Look. There it goes, right there. Yes, it is. I must have dropped it. Been there the whole time. whole time.

Technician: All right, well, thanks. (exits)

Hardison: All right, yeah, well, you were right, man. Give me a t-shirt.

[Saddlebag Salloon]

Kirkwood: I'm not gonna lie to you. Being rich? That'll get you the chicks.

Bartender: Here you go, Mr. Kirkwood.

Kirkwood: But you add to that being famous? I tell you... (grabs bartender) I have the opportunity to turn down girls prettier than this. Damn near every day.

(bartender pulls away)

Nate: Why, th-th-that's really... that's really somethin'. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Now, why... why would you just, uh, stop at one song?

Kirkwood: Oh. Same reason you manage musicians. Why be the cow when you can be the farmer?

Nate: Oh. Well...

Kirkwood: Tell me about this kid you got.

Nate: Yeah, well, his name is, uh, Kenneth Crane. Right?

Kirkwood: Yeah.

Nate: Now, a couple of years ago, uh, we took his best song, we put it on a demo tape, and we sent it out everywhere. Well, two days ago, this, uh, European lady, she offered $25,000 for the rights to that song.

Kirkwood: $25,000?

Nate: Yeah.

Kirkwood: Well, what did you say to that?

Nate: Well, that's the thing. I-I didn't know what to say to her. You know? And she's sitting right over there waiting on an answer.

Kirkwood (looks over at Sophie): Interesting.

Nate: Yeah. Yeah. Do you know... do you know her?

Kirkwood: No. No. Not... Not really, but I tell you what I will do. I will go over there for you, talk to her, see if I can't get her to show her hand.

Nate: That... that's amazing. You would do that?

Kirkwood: Hell yes, I would do that. Local boys got to stick together. (walks away)

Nate: Well... (Parker walks up to Nate) Let the fiddle games begin?

Parker: Yeah. Um, I'm still a little unclear. Where, exactly, is this fiddle?

Nate: It just walked through the door. (turn to see Eliot walk in)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

(Eliot looking down at crowd)

Parker (bumping into Eliot): What are you looking at?

Eliot: Don't!

Parker: What's wrong?

Eliot: I’m—nothing's wrong.

Parker: Something's wrong.

Eliot: I'm fine.

Parker: I startled you.

Eliot: You're a cat burglar. That's what you do.

Parker: Yeah, I've been a cat burglar since I was 10 years old.

Eliot: Don't... Really?

Parker: Well, maybe 9, but this is the first time I've startled you.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Sophie: He's nervous, Parker.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Eliot: I'm not nervous.

Parker: I thought you said you could sing.

Eliot: I can sing. I just... I didn't... realize there was gonna be this many people.

Parker: You are nervous.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison (looking at computer screen): Relax, man. I told you. I got you. Say something.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Eliot: I don't speak on command, Hardison.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison: Perfect. Now, I rigged my laptop to record your comm. Now, this means that I can alter your pitch from anywhere to make you sound like Darth Eliot...

Eliot (voice altered deeper): I don't speak on command, Hardison.

Hardison: ... To Spencer Smurf.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Eliot (voice altered higher): I don't speak on command, Hardison.

Eliot: Hardison?

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison: Don't ever do the Smurf thing again?

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Eliot: Right.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison: So, the software takes the frequency of your voice, and it matches it to the key of the song, then uses a Fourier transform to correct the pitch, and sends the tuned audio out through the bar's speakers.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Parker: What does that mean?

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison: That means that, for tonight, Eliot has perfect pitch. You ever wonder how Britney Spears sounds so good on her tracks? Well, this is it, except mine's is in real time, Baby.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Nate: Uh, who, exactly, did you just refer to as "Baby"?

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison: It's like the universal term of "Baby". How old are you?

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Kirkwood (walking up to his table): All right, where is he?

Sophie: I'm sorry?

Kirkwood: Beautiful girl like you couldn't possibly be sitting here all alone. Where is he?

Sophie: This must be that southern charm I've heard so much about.

Kirkwood: Mitchell Kirkwood.

Sophie: Oh. I seem to have stolen your table. (moves aside hat to show plaque) You must be a very important man. Should I know you?

Kirkwood: Truth be known, they give one of these to just about anybody who happens to own the place. I will let you make it up to me, by allowing me to give you the nickel tour. And I won't even charge you the nickel. Come on. (gets up)

Sophie: Virginia. Virginia Ellington. My things gonna be safe here?

Kirkwood: At this table, they will.

(they move away. Jesse sits down at table and picks up phone, dialing from recent calls)

Nate (answering phone): Worcester Studios. How may I direct your call?

(Jesse hangs up, looks at computer screen for Worchester Studios, sees rap star promo)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Green Room]

Eliot: Aww...

(Kaye Lynn pacing)

Eliot: What, are you nervous?

Kaye Lynn: That song you're going out there to sing? That's the only thing my brother and I have left that Kirkwood hasn't stolen or destroyed, and if I lose it...

Eliot: You're not gonna lose it, all right? We're gonna get you your money, we're gonna get you your music back. I promise you.

Kaye Lynn: How can you be so sure?

Eliot: 'cause this is what we do. (begins to play guitar)

Kaye Lynn: You still having trouble with that bridge?

Eliot: No. I-I think...

Kaye Lynn: Let me... let me show you. Let me... (climbs onto his lap under the guitar) okay. (adjusts his hands) When you strum, just do this, all right? So... (moves her fingers) "G" Right.

Kaye Lynn: You have "D"...

Eliot: "D" Right.

Kaye Lynn: You got... you got "G" again.

Eliot: "G" "A" minor.

Kaye Lynn: Now the "G"

Eliot: "G" from the top.

Kaye Lynn: Good. That's right.

Eliot: That's right.

Kaye Lynn: How do you feel when you play?

Eliot: I'm... I think... I think I got it.

Kaye Lynn: See, that... that's your problem. (gets off his lap) You're thinking about how to play the song, and I'm asking you, "how do you feel when you play?" You ever been in love?

Eliot: Once.

Kaye Lynn: How'd it end?

Eliot: I made her a promise that if she ever needed me that I'd be there for her.

Kaye Lynn: What's wrong with that?

Eliot: Because I made the same promise to the United States government and I found out you can't make that promise to more than one person.

Kaye Lynn: That feeling? Right there? Hold on to that, and you'll do just fine.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Waitress (bringing plate of ribs): All right. Here you go.

Sophie: Ugh. What is it with this city and ribs?

Kirkwood: Why don't you try one and find out?

Sophie: Ohh. No. I couldn't. I just...

Jesse: Mr. Kirkwood.

Kirkwood: Excuse me. (goes aside with thug)

Jesse: She's a record executive from England, sir.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Nate: Okay, Hardison. How are we doing?

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison: Ready when Eliot is.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Kirkwood (returning to Solphie): Tell me something. Why would a star like K-GENT send you all the way here from London to sign an unknown, unsigned country singer and give him $25,000 for a song on a demo tape?

Sophie: Congratulations, Mr. Kirkwood. You've impressed me, and I'm not easily impressed.

Kirkwood: I didn't think you were.

Sophie: You gonna tell me how you did that?

Kirkwood: I want you to tell me first. Right now.

Sophie: It's very simple. Box of demos, lying around the studio, waiting to go to the rubbish. K-GENT picks one up... Who knows why? Next thing we know, he's sampled one of the tracks on his new album.

Kirkwood: And you came here to offer the kid $25,000 before he realized he had won the lottery.

Sophie: Something like that.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Eliot (sitting down on stool at microphone on stage): Hi, I'm Kenneth Crane. And, uh, I'm gonna sing a song... I'm gonna sing... sing a song I wrote about... the road not traveled. (singing) Well, I know they say all good things must come to some kind of ending we were so damn good

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison: Nate, something's wrong.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Eliot (singing): I guess we never stood a chance

Nate: All right. What is it?

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison: Uh... The system's not working. S-something's wrong.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Nate: No, it's fine.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Hardison: No, it's not fine. I'm looking at it right now. It is not correcting his voice.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Eliot (singing):... Listenin' you'll see I'm not that easy to forget and when a new moon shines through your window or you hear a sad song on the radio

Nate: That's because it doesn't need correcting.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

(Hardison puts the headphones to his ear, Parker stands up to look at Eliot)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Eliot (singing): and you don't know why but you just start to cry

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Jesse (to Kirkwood): You know who he sounds like?

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Eliot (singing): or you're driving 'round on a sunny day and out of nowhere comes the pouring rain

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Kirkwood (to Jesse): Don't let the manager leave.

(Jesse exits)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Eliot (singing): and a memory hits you right out of the blue yeah, that's just me thinking of you and I'm thinking about the road you're on, I'm thinking about you coming home, I'm wondering if you got your radio on. Yeah, when you find your way to another town and someone tries to lay you down and a memory hits you right out of the blue it's me thinking of you, yeah, it's just me thinking of you.

(Audience goes wild)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Kirkwood (to Sophie): I think you and I need to talk.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Green Room]

Eliot: How'd I... How'd I do?

Kaye Lynn: That was amazing!

(She hugs him, they kiss)

Eliot: Hang on. (takes out his ear bud and sets it on the table)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Jesse: Mr. Kirkwood wants to see you.

Nate: He knows where I am. (Thugs move in threateningly) Or, uh, you know... I could go to him. Yeah. (walking away from thugs) Eliot. Eliot, how soon can you get here? Eliot? Eliot!

[Saddlebag Salloon, Control Room]

Parker: On our way, Nate.

Technician: You! You lied to me. (pulls ticket from his pocket) This is for tomorrow night.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Kirkwood: You offered, what? $25,000? I happen to know that you would pay half a million dollars for that song.

Sophie: Fortunately for me, he doesn't know that.

Kirkwood: Fortunately for you, his manager and I happen to go way back. We did 4H together. It's a cowboy thing. Why don't you let me see if I can't nudge the deal along for you?

Sophie: And what would you want, exactly?

Kirkwood: Oh, I'll think of something.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Back Room]

Nate (looking at thugs): You two work out together? (they ignore him and another man comes in) Oh, hey. I'm just gonna leave my card and get going here. Listen, I gotta go take care of my musician.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Green Room]

(Eliot puts back on his earbud)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Back Room]

Nate: You know how artists get.

Thug: Sit down!

Nate: ohh! Yeah.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Green Room]

Eliot: Nate! Nate, I'm on my way! (sees shadows along the bottom of the door, yanks it open) Get in here! (has girl in a choke hold) Who do you work for?! (lets girl go)

Girl: Forever 21! Don't hit me!

Eliot: I'm not gonna... What are you doing here?

Girl: I just want your autograph.

(Eliot shrugs and gives autograph)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Hallway]

Jessie: He tried to leave so I had to get a little rough.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Back Room]

(Kirkwood enters sees thugs on the floor, Nate sitting comfortably in chair)

Nate: Oh, hey, yeah. They got into a fight, these guys. Yeah, something about reps versus sets. To be honest, I wasn't really paying attention. (Kirkwood pulls out money and throws it to Nate.) Yeah.

[Hotel room]

Nate: Now, that is how you run a fiddle game.

Kaye Lynn: I don't even know how to begin to thank you.

Nate: And that's just 10% of it. Now, tomorrow, he's taking Eliot into the studio, And we'll get you the other 90%.

Sophie: And while Eliot's in the studio, Parker will get into the safe and grab the masters.

Parker: Ohh! Eliot's the fiddle! Ha ha ha!

Hardison: What's she doing back there?

Sophie: She's trying on her costume.

Parker: We sold Eliot to Kirkwood. I totally get this.

[Recording Studio Hallway]

Executive: Supposed to be some hot shot producer, works for K-GENT.

JC: Oh. And he came all this way just to produce one song?

Executive: I guess so.

JC: Hmm.

Executive: Now, listen, anything he wants, you get. Understand? Anything.

[Recording Studio Office]

JC: Okay. (greeting Hardison and Parker) Hi! Welcome to Kirkwood Records. I'm JC. Anything you need, you just let me know.

Hardison: Okay, first of all, my man, real quick, lose the attitude. Second of all, yes, it's her... breathe.

JC: I'm okay. Um... If I could get you to fill out these visitor badges...

Hardison: Did you just look her in the eyes?

JC: Oh. I-I-I don't think I was.

Hardison: Whoa! Chill with the attitude! Don't... don't raise your voice! Did they not tell you nothing? You know who you're in front of? Think about it. Iceland. Pop star. Figure it out. Click it together. Bells and whistles. Give me something!

JC: Bjor...

Hardison: Mnh-mnh!

JC: Uh...

Hardison: Oh. Oh. I'm so... oh, I'm so sorry. Are you okay? Are you okay? Is the duck...? Good. Woman... For real. Get up in here. Mommy, mommy, mommy, real quick. Oka... okay. I hope, for your sake, that you was not about to say what I think you was about to say.

JC: Well, I don't think I was.

Hardison: What I'm gonna need you to do is just roll up out of here, cuz, 'cause you messin' up the aura. We was cool. We was vibin'.

JC: Okay. Um... Great. Well, I'm gonna get going on that paperwork.

Hardison: Okay. Yeah, you do that. Okay. So I can start recording this hillbilly. I crossed an ocean, a pond, and a creek to get here.

(JC leaves)

Hardison: Hey, yo, Eliot, you got an ETA?

[Exterior Sidewalk]

Eliot: Yeah. I'm almost there. But I think somebody's following me.

[Recording Studio Office]

Hardison: Do some Eliot-fu on 'em. What happened to "this is what I do"?

[Recording Studio Office]

Eliot: Yeah, I don't think that's gonna work this time.

[Recording Studio Office]

Hardison (looking at fan sites on internet): I been meaning to tell you, this, uh, Kenneth Crane? He is blowing up on Twitter. He's got a fan page and everything. It's a pretty good picture, too.

[Exterior Sidewalk]

Eliot (running from fans): That's the problem. I can't have my picture out there like that.

[Recording Studio Office]

Hardison: Well, contrary to what y'all may believe, I do not control everything that happens on the internet.

[Exterior Sidewalk]

Eliot (running from fans): There's a price on my head. In three different countries, and I'm fairly certain a fatwa was issued!

[Recording Studio Office]

Hardison: You are so vain, man. (on phone) Boom. There. Fan site... nuked. But you know what? When you get back, we gonna have us a serious conversation about the difference between caution and paranoia.

[Exterior Sidewalk]

Eliot (running from fans): When you've done the things I've done, there's no such thing as paranoia.

[Hotel Restaurant]

Nate (eating ribs): Mmm.

Sophie: Seriously? For breakfast?

Nate: Mm. Oh, yeah. (Sophie slaps him and stands up) Oh! Geez. What, did Kirkwood just walk in or something?

Sophie: How'd he find us?

Nate: Well, there's probably not a lot of five-star hotels in Memphis. Now, you should probably just, you know, act the part, ride this out, be in character, and... You should probably storm off about now.

Sophie: I thought I'd give it another beat. (a beat) Okay, then. (walking up to Kirkwood) Perfect. The other man in Memphis I'd like to slap.

Nate: Just relax now, little filly.

Sophie: I am perfectly aware that you went behind my back to get the rights to that song. So let's just cut to the chase, huh? What do you want?

[Recording Studio Hallway]

JC: Mr. Crane arrived just a moment ago. He's just setting up in his studio now.

Hardison (walking into Studio): All right. Let the magic begin.

JC: You're not joining them.

Parker: And risk being tainted?

JC: By what?

Parker: Exactly. Which way to the meditation temple? Hmm? (walking away)

JC: Oh. Um... (following her) You know, we do have a few rooms. Just, um, actually, right this... Way... (Parker goes the other way, JC turns to follow) Okay, that way's great, too. That's perfect. Okay.

[Recording Studio]

Hardison: Parker's on the loose, but there are a lot of unfriendlies.

[Hotel Restaurant]

Nate: Yeah, which is exactly why we have cover stories. How's Eliot?

[Recording Studio]

Hardison: He's good. He's about to record so he took his comm out.

[Recording Studio Office]

(Parker walks into an office and looks around)

JC: Oh. Mm?

Parker: Mm. Too much clutter.

[Recording Studio]

Hardison: You ready, man?

Eliot: Whew. Yeah.

Hardison: All right.

Eliot (singing): when a new moon shines through your window or you hear a sad song on the radio

Hardison: Hold up, man. It's... it's a little pitchy. It's... Just a scosh. A little pitchy.

[Recording Studio Office]

Parker (in another office): Not enough clutter.

[Recording Studio]

Eliot (singing): when a new moon shines through your win--.

Hardison: It's pitchy in that very same spot, right? It's... yeah, it's a little pitchy.

Eliot (singing): and when a new...

Hardison: Hold up, man.

Eliot: Hang on, man. Let me get into the song.

Hardison: Did you practice your warbles? Just put a... smooth it out. Like, you... (singing): when a new moon shines through your...

Eliot: When a new moon shines through your window

[Recording Studio Hallway]

Parker: (coughing, takes access card)

JC: Oh.

Parker: Water! Hurry!

JC: Okay. (walks away)

[Hotel Restaurant]

Nate: How's it going, Parker?

[Recording Studio Hallway]

Parker: I don't think I'm being weird enough.

[Hotel Restaurant]

Nate: Somehow I doubt that.

[Recording Studio Hallway]

JC: Okay, sugar, I got... I got your water.

Parker (takes drink spits it out): This isn't from an iceberg!

JC: Oh... I don't think we have that here.

Parker: Fine. Just... Bring me some champagne. (uses access card to get into office)

JC: Okay.

[Recording Studio]

Eliot (singing): and when a new moon shines through your window or you hear a sad song on the radio and you don't know why, but you just start to...

Hardison: No. Ma...

Eliot: Listen to me, man. Say "pitchy" one more time... Say "pitchy" one more time and see what happens. I don't even think that word means what you think it means.

Hardison: It means "pitchy".

Eliot: Define it.

Hardison: You define it.

Eliot: I don't have to define it! I'm not saying it every five seconds!

Hardison: I'm... I'm sorry. Well, I can't... I lo... I lost you. I can't hear you. I'm sorry. I... I... it...

[Recording Studio Office]

Parker: Maybe the safe is off-site. I've looked everywhere. (takes a step, hears Eliot singing) Isn't the recording studio supposed to be soundproof?

[Hotel Restaurant]

Nate: Uh, yeah. Completely.

[Recording Studio Hallway]

Man: Here's the master from the Kenneth Crane session. (hands master to Jesse)

[Recording Studio Office]

(Parker lifts a floor panel and finds the safe, opens it, pulls out several tapes)

[Ribs, Ribs and More Ribs]

Sophie: I don't understand. You just paid $100,000 for the rights to that song, and you're just gonna give them to me for free.

Kirkwood: That's just about the lay of the land.

Sophie: You must want something.

Kirkwood: I would like you to forget that you ever heard the name "Kenneth Crane."

Sophie: Well, why would I do that?

Kirkwood: I'm thinking about getting back into the spotlight, and I don't think there's anything that would, uh, jump-start a career any more than having a song of yours sampled by a major rap superstar.

Sophie: Hmm? You're gonna steal Crane's song for yourself? How are you gonna get him to go along with that?

Kirkwood (phone rings): Well, I wasn't exactly gonna give him a choice in the matter. Uh... You know, I guess there is one more thing that you can do for me. (stands up) Stop asking questions. (walks away on phone) Hey, hey! Talk to me.

Sophie: Okay, Nate. We have a little problem. (exits room)

Nate: Y-yeah, what kind of problem?

Sophie: The guy who's buying our fiddle? He thinks he is the fiddle.

[Recording Studio Hallway]

Jesse (on phone): Yes, sir. I'll take care of that first. (loads gun)

[Recording Studio]

Parker (coming in): You're not done yet?

Hardison: He's doing one for him.

Parker: Well, I found it. (dumping tapes on counter)

Hardison (picks up tape): Got it.

Parker: Um... Hey, look. This is that song Kirkwood did.

Parker: This is the original master. Why is the artist's name blacked out?

[Sound Booth]

(Eliot getting ready to sing, door opens)

Jesse: You need to come with me.

Eliot (puts down guitar and stands up): No.

Jesse (pulls gun): Try telling this guy that.

Eliot (hits guy with microphone stand): Get up.

[Recording Studio]

Hardison: Okay. So, this is the original recording of the song that made Kirkwood famous.

Kirkwood (singing): It took a single spark to set the sky aflame when...

[Sound Booth]

(Eliot still fighting)

[Recording Studio]

Hardison: And this is the recording he released to the video ...

Kirkwood (singing): It took a single spark to set the sky aflame

Parker: It's not the same.

[Hotel Lobby]

Nate: Which one is Kirkwood?

[Recording Studio]

Hardison: That's just it. Neither. It's the same song, just with a pitch adjustment.

Parker: Well, then, who's singing the song?

Kirkwood (singing): and the sky is filled with stars

Hardison: I am matching a voice print right now.

Kirkwood (singing) ... All that's left for me to do is face

Parker (turns and looks toward Sound Booth): Where's Eliot? (turns back)

[Sound Booth]

(Eliot continues to beat Jesse)

[Recording Studio]

Kirkwood (singing): …the long road home

Hardison: Got it. Boom. Jesse Jenkins. All right.

[Hotel Lobby]

Nate: That's... that's why Kirkwood never recorded a second song. He didn't record the first one.

Sophie: Kirkwood paid him off?

[Recording Studio]

Hardison: I don't think so. Jenkins sued him. Copyright infringement, harassment, fraud, the whole nine… But those charges weren't formally dropped.

[Hotel Lobby]

Sophie: They went to court?

[Recording Studio]

Hardison: Not exactly. Any other guesses?

[Sound Booth]

(Eliot continues to beat Jesse, who finally goes down)

[Hotel Lobby]

Nate: Jenkins was killed. Circumstances were suspicious. Kirkwood was implicated but never charged.

[Recording Studio]

Hardison: Yeah. Dead on. How'd you know?

Nate: Because he is about to do the exact same thing to Eliot.

(Hardison and Parker turn to see Eliot beating on the window of the Sound Booth)

Eliot (entering room): Let's go! Now!

(team leaves)

[Hotel Room]

(Eliot, Parker and Hardison entering)

Nate: Oh. All right. Good. (Parker dumps tapes on table) Ahh, I do love it when a plan comes together. Okay. (looks at tapes) uh... Yeah, but... Wh-where's the tape?

Hardison: I think I may have left her tape in the deck.

Eliot: Unbelievable! (putting on coat)

Nate: Where are you going?

Eliot: When they find Kaye Lynn's tape, they're gonna want to ask her some questions, and we know they don't ask questions very nicely, do they? Damn it, Hardison! (he leaves)

[Interior House]

Eliot (enters): You okay?

Kaye Lynn (crying): The festival director just called. Kirkwood took my spot in the showcase. He's gonna sing my brother's song. And you told me you were gonna get our money and our songs back, but all you did was lose the only thing I had left! (walk away)

[Exterior House]

Eliot: Come with me. (on intercom) What's the plan?

[Hotel Room]

Nate: All right. Come back to the hotel. We're reworking the approach. Hit him hard in a couple of days.

[Exterior House}

Eliot: No. Kirkwood's getting ready to sing this song in front of the Who's Who of country music.

[Hotel Room]

Nate: Listen, uh, you know, it's too late to stop him tonight.

Hardison: No, I hacked into his truck's navigation system. He's on the move. It's game over.

[Exterior House]

Kaye Lynn: Eliot, if he plays that song in front of those A & R's, I'll lose it forever.

Hardison: Eliot, it's too late.

Eliot: All right. Help don't help, but don't tell me it's too late! (hands helmet to Kaye Lynn) Put that on.

(Eliot and Kaye Lynn get on Motorcycle and drive away)

[Hotel Room]

Sophie: Sometimes you... you... you don't get a second chance to get it right.

Parker: Why not?

Sophie: Rules of life.

Nate: But that's exactly what we do. We change the rules.

[Hotel Lobby]

(fangirls with Craniac shirts run by)

Nate: Uh, uh, where's Kirkwood right about now?

[Interior Truck]

Kirkwood (lip-syncing): Oh, you're driving ‘round on a sunny day and out of nowhere comes the pouring rain and a memory hits you right out...

(fangirls storm car)

Kirkwood: We got three blocks, Jesse. Go on. Go!

Jesse: I can't move.

Kirkwood: Give me the cd. (takes the CD and gets out of the truck) All right, come on, girls! Get out of my... I'm trying to get somewhere. Get out of here!

(fangirl shows shot of phone saying that Kenneth Crane is in the truck with horns)

[Exterior road]

(Eliot driving motorcycle through traffic)

Hardison: Eliot, I used your fans to stall Kirkwood. I bought you like two minutes.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Sophie: We're here.

Eliot: Is Kirkwood there?

Sophie: I don't see him. Wait. Yeah, he just walked in.

(Kirkwood hits the side of the control booth and hands the DJ a tape)

DJ: Got it.

[Exterior Road]

Eliot: All right. A few more minutes.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Sophie: Eliot, I'm sorry. We did everything we can.

Parker: Maybe not everything. (goes up on stage to stall)

[Exterior Road]

(Eliot drives motorcycle into back hallway of bar, Kaye Lynn walks off)

[Saddlebag Salloon, Back Room]

Eliot: Hey. Surprised to see me?

Kirkwood: Why would you say that?

Eliot: Well, you tried to kill me. Same way you killed Jesse Jenkins.

Kirkwood: You're unstable, Kenneth. And I'd really like to help you, if you'd let me. (hits Eliot in the stomach, pushes microphone away) You think I'm gonna confess to a murder in a room full of microphones? If I was that stupid, I never would have gotten away with it.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Announcer: Well, let's put an end to amateur night and give a warm welcome to Mitchell Kirkwood!

(security moving Parker off the stage)

Kirkwood (sits down on stool and starts singing): Well, I know they say all good things must come to some kind of ending we were so damn good I guess we never stood a chance go on and find what you've been missin' and when that highway's tired of listenin' you'll see I'm not that easy to forget. And when--

[Saddlebag Salloon, Balcony]

Kaye Lynn: And when a new moon shines through your window or you hear a sad song on the radio and you don't know why, but you just start to cry or you drivin’ round on a sunny day and out of nowhere comes the pouring rain and a memory hits you right out of the blue that's just me thinking of you.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

(Crowd goes wild)

Kirkwood: How about it? Oh! She's wonderful! Isn't she?

Eliot (over speakers): ... The same way you killed Jesse Jenkins.

Kirkwood (over speakers): You think I'm gonna confess to a murder in a room full of microphones? If I was that stupid, I wouldn't have gotten away with it.

(Kirkwood sees Eliot standing beside stage)


Kirkwood (in Eliot’s ear bud): You think I'm gonna confess to a murder. In a roomful of microphones? If I was that stupid,

Hardison: and you make fun of earbuds.

Kirkwood: I wouldn't have gotten away with it.

[Saddlebag Salloon, Floor]

Kirkwood: Hmm.That was a, uh... That was a joke, ladies and gentlemen. Very funny joke. I'll be right back. How about that, huh? Give it up for her. (walks off stage)

Eliot: Let me explain something to you, Kirkwood.

Kirkwood: Yeah?

Eliot: Next time you hit somebody in the stomach and you want 'em to stay down, (blocks Kirkwood’s punch) you gotta hit him in the solar plexus! (hits him in the stomach)

Kirkwood: Ohh!

Eliot: See the difference?

(Nate hands Eliot the Master)

Cop (leading Kirkwood off) Easy, buddy.

Music Executive: Yes. This is a number where you can reach me at.

Kaye Lynn: All right. Th... um, just... just a sec. (approaches Eliot) There's a lot of A & R's who want to meet with me. Thank you. For my brother, too.

Eliot: For what? It was all you.

Kaye Lynn: Thank you for keeping your promise.

Eliot: Speaking of that... (hands her the master) That's yours. That's for your trip to Nashville.

Kaye Lynn: You can come with me, you know. You're a natural-born country star if I've ever seen one. Maybe the next Johnny and June?

Eliot (kisses her): Some roads, you start going down, well, you can't turn back, and I'm about 100 miles down one of those right now, so...

Agent: Excuse us. Kaye Lynn?

Eliot: I sound like a bad country song.

Kaye Lynn: Oh. Um...

Agent: I have some folks I'd like for you to meet. We have so many ideas for you. We're dying to talk to you.

(Kaye Lynn is pulled away, Eliot rejoins team)

Nate: Ready?

Eliot: Yeah. Tell me something, man. How'd you take those two guys out by yourself?

Nate: Oh, they got into a fight.

Eliot: Yeah, but, really, I mean, how'd you do it?

Nate: Can't say it any plainer. They got into a fight.

Eliot: You're not... you're not gonna tell me.

Sophie: And where were you when all this was going on, huh?

Eliot: What? I was getting notes from Kaye Lynn on my performance.

Sophie: Ohh. How were you?

Eliot: No complaints.

Young Girl: Excuse me, sir?

Eliot: Yeah. Oh. Man. All right. This is the last one, Sweetie.

Young Girl: I just wanted to know what time it was.

Eliot: Yeah. I know. It's late. Go home. It's past your bedtime.

The End

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