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Leverage Main | When Darkness Falls

5x02 The Blue Line Job

[Brew Pub]

(Nate and Eliot are sitting at a table with Danny, watching a hockey video on a laptop)

Danny: This is pretty much every game.

(on screen, Marko begins a fight with another player)

Eliot: Does he ever win?

Danny: Yeah, he always wins. This is my dad's strategy -- he's a punching bag who punches back.

Eliot: Which makes the other guy focus on his hits and forget about his balance.

Nate: Yeah, like, ah, Terry O'Reilly.

Danny: He actually used to be pretty good. In the juniors, they said he skated like Guy LaFleur. Then they saw his right hook.

(on screen, the referee breaks up the fight as the crowd goes wild)

Referee: That's it. All done. Come on, guys. (Referee)

Eliot: Well, the crowd loves him.

Danny: You should see him after the game. He comes home all kinds of messed up. He gets confused. He says things that don't make sense.

Nate: Like what things?

Danny: Like the other night, after the game, he looked around the car, and he asked me where my mom was.

Eliot: Where was she?

Danny: Uh, it was a car accident. Three years ago. I've looked online, and all the medical sites say the same thing about my dad's symptom. It's called Concussion Syndrome. It can lead to brain damage and even death.

Nate: What about his own doctors? He's got to be cleared to play.

Danny: That's kind of the problem. He has to get evaluated by the doctors all season. (hands over paperwork) He's got stacks of these papers.

Nate (looking at papers): "We have conducted a complete medical..." Okay, so, it doesn't say anything about any serious head trauma. Just basic cuts, bruises, things like that. Who is this Dr. Matsuda -- team doctor?

Danny: Yes. I know it says he had MRIs and the doctor said he was fine, but I see my dad off the rink. And he is not fine, Mr. Ford.

Eliot (to Nate): There's two games left in the season.

Nate: So, after the season why don't you just bring him to a specialist and get another opinion? I mean, somebody who would –

Danny: It's not gonna work. I've tried that a hundred times. He won't do it. My dad thinks he's indestructible. He needs help. You help people who are being hurt, right?

(Nate nods)

Nate: I need you to save my dad from himself.

[Leverage HQ]

Parker: But I want to see it! (reaches for magnet)

Hardison (covers magnet): I'm serious, Parker. No. It's not a toy, okay? This is a rare earth electromagnet. It's very strong, very dangerous. You ever wonder why the nerds have nine fingers? That's why. Okay? Right now, it's inert. But you flip the switch...

(Hardison flips the switch, a watch flies across the room and is shattered against the magnet. Nate and Eliot enter the room, and Hardison covers the magnet and watch with a hat, hiding it. He and Parker blow debris from the table)

Hardison: Hm.

Nate: Okay, Hardison.

(team gathers at the briefing table)

Hardison (begins presentation): Okay. The Oregon Otters. They're a minor-league hockey team currently in their fifth game of a seven-game playoff series. Uh... (changes display) There goes our man Craig Marko. That's Danny's pop. He plays wing for the Otters, but, more importantly, he's an enforcer.

Sophie: Goon.

Parker: Like a bodyguard?

Sophie: No.

Nate: Yeah. Well, yeah. I mean, the enforcers exist to protect the elite players like your Gretzkys, your Crosbys, and everything. They intimidate. They keep order. Without the enforcers, what would you have? I mean, you know, they exist to do exactly that. It's sort of like the fear of having to fight one of them is what keeps everything cool.

Parker: Oh! Schelling's Theory of Rational Deterrence.

(Nate and Sophie look at Parker, surprised)

Parker: The cold war?

Nate: That's actually, terrifyingly, exactly right.

Sophie: But it doesn't apply here. Goons exist for nothing more than a twisted, ritualistic battle that grinds the actual hockey to a halt so that two thugs can just slug it out.

Nate: Well, if you didn't have the enforcers, superstars wouldn't exist. So, the opposing team would just go after the sniper.

Hardison: Come on, there's a job to do.

Nate: Uh, yeah.

Hardison (continues presentation): Now, this is Pete Rising. He's the team owner. Did a small stint in the NHL. He bounced around a couple Russian leagues for a minute. And then he inherits a ton of money, he buys the Oregon Otters, and he turns out tripling the team's revenue. And he did it by turning the enforcer, or "goon" fights, into a circus attraction. You see, he marketed the brawls. He created, like, a culture where going to an Otter game meant hockey was just something that happened in between the fights. Look. (shows graph) See all these dots right here? Every one of these dots is a Craig Marko throw down.

Parker: What are the red ones?

Hardison: The red ones are fights that other players initiated. And, as you see, there aren't many of them, but when they do happen, they happen in clusters.

Sophie: Fights in every period, even on power plays?

Nate: How would you even know what --

Sophie: I thought this guy was like a minor-league hammer. You know, like -- like -- like Dave "The Hammer" Schultz?

Hardison: Who is she?

Sophie: What? Oh. A girl can't watch hockey?

Nate: Wh-what did you steal?

Sophie: Something... Hockey-related. A certain... trophy.

Nate: No, you didn't. No, not the Stanley Cup.

Sophie: Uh-huh.

Nate: No. I saw it last year in Boston.

Sophie: No, that was a fake.

Nate: It wasn't a fake.

Sophie: And not a very good one. No, no, no, no, no. I'm sorry. My engraver was awful.

Nate: Okay, so, where's the real one?

Sophie: I don't remember.

Hardison: Did – Nate, the...

Nate: So, Danny, Marko's kid, thinks that the real medical files are being hidden somewhere. So we got to make sure that we get those and that Marko doesn't fight.

Parker: How are we gonna keep that guy from fighting?

Nate: That's what we have Eliot for. You know, to, uh... For the... Okay, my wa-- anyone seen my watch? Hardison?

Hardison: Huh?

Nate: My watch.

Hardison: What? I ain't seen nothing. Why are you calling me out?

[Otter’s Arena]

Doctor: Like I said, I'm on my way out, and I don't have time. So if you can, call my office and schedule an appointment, and then we can go ahead and talk about this.

Parker: I know, but it really hurts when I do this. (moves her arm) Ow! See? Right there. We could just go to your office for like a second. (pulls out a piece of gum) Oh, want some gum?

Doctor (takes gum): Yeah. No, I mean, I don't have time, Mrs., uh... Which player is your husband?

Parker: The big one... Who can skate.

(Doctor collapses. Parker catches him and lays him down, then enters his inner office and plugs in a flash drive, accessing the computer system and downloading files on Marko)

[Leverage HQ]

(Hardison and Sophie look at files on the monitor)

Sophie: Is this his actual MRI?

Hardison: Yeah. And you don't want to see his X-ray. Looks like a game of pick-up sticks.

Sophie: This says, "indications of swelling on the brain, possible edema."

Hardison: Mm-hmm.

Sophie: Rising's not just letting him play, he's hiding this to make him play.

Hardison: Right.

Sophie: The next blow to the head that Craig Marko takes... could be his last.

[Otter’s Arena]

(Rising skates on the rink alone, shooting pucks at a goal as Nate approaches)

Nate: Nice shot.

Rising: The ice is closed. This is my private time to clear my head. I'm the owner.

Nate: Pete Rising, right? Jeff Hansen.

Rising: Agent.

Nate: Big fan of you and your Otters.

Rising: I hate agents.

Nate: You and me both, brother. Listen, the thing is, I got this player, right? He's just out of his contract, and he needs a little exposure. Can you help out?

Rising: I'm afraid I can't help you there, brother.

Nate: You don't even want to hear his stats?

Rising: You think I sign players 'cause of their stats? People don't come here to watch hockey. They come here to see bloodstains on the ice. So why don't you clear it?

Nate: Tell you what -- how about 1,000 bucks a puck?

Rising: So, this isn't just hypothetical?

Nate: Hey, if it makes you nervous...

Rising: You know, I used to play professionally.

Nate: Sure. Europe. Cup of coffee in the NHL -- Yeah, you played for a minute.

Rising: Cup of coffee, huh? Let's shoot pucks for money.

Nate: You know, money -- it's just... It's overrated. Let's make it more interesting. Let's say, uh, 10 pucks, yeah? If I win, you play my guy, you sign him. And if you win, you can have my boat, my house, my jet, my wife.

Rising: Line 'em up.

(Nate and Rising proceed to take turns shooting pucks at the goal. Neither of them misses until Rising hits the goal frame and the puck careens away. Hardison is sitting in the stands with a remote control in his hand)


(Hardison pulls several pucks out of a toaster oven in the kitchen of the microbrewery)

(Parker throws a bag out onto the ice. She and Hardison install magnets around the goal and scatter pucks around the area)

[Otter’s Arena]

Nate: Ouch. (skates away)

Rising: Hey, what's your guy's name?

(later at the beginning of a hockey game, the players are waiting on the ice)

Stu: Ladies and gentlemen, straight from his record-setting turn in the Northern Caribou League...

Player: What league?

Stu: Let's give an Oregon Otters welcome to... Jacques Labert!

(Elliot skates out onto the ice dramatically)

Eliot (to another player): It's actually pronounced "Jack."

(crowd cheers)

Stu: Welcome back to game six of this seven-game series between the Oregon Otters and the Reno freeze.

Bowman (climbing out of pentalty box): Let's go, Marko. You and me. Come on.

Stu: Looks like Bowman is taunting Marko again.

Marko : Oh, yeah? Yeah? You want some, man?

Stu: These two danced in game three...

Bowman: Round two, huh?

Stu:...with Marko getting the best of him. The rookie Labert is trying to get out of his way.

(Eliot skates between the two players, knocking Bowman down)

Marko: Aw, come on!

Stu: And Bowman goes down before Marko even gets his sleeves up.

Eliot: Weird, huh?

Marv: Might have been the best thing for Bowman, Stu.

Stu: Looks like Marko's giving a little on-ice advice to the rookie Labert.

Marko: What are you doing?

Eliot: Playing hockey.

Marko: Stay out of my way.

Eliot: We're on the same team, Marko.

Marko: Yeah, don't forget it.

Marv: Marko's got a lot more to his game than just his fists. But that's not why everyone is here.

Stu: Rogers and Downey ready for the face-off. And Veach is trying to start something with Marko.

(Eliot skates into Veach, knocking him into the wall)

Stu: And, whoa, the new kid, Jacques Labert, lays a massive hit on Veach.

Marko (to Eliot): You trying to steal my bonus? (pushes Eliot into the wall)

Eliot: Did you get that, Nate?

Nate (to Rising): Well, looks like our Jacques Labert's gonna be a fan favorite. Maybe he'll be next year's enforcer.

Rising: Sure.

Nate: But what about Marko?

Rising: Hockey's a rough sport. You never know what might happen.

Woman: Hey, Pete, can I get your autograph?

(Rising moves away to sign autograph)

Nate: Sophie, Hardison, I need you to go into Rising's office, check the financials...

[Arena Lobby]

Nate: see what's going on with Marko's bonus.

Hardison: We're on our way now. Now, his office is behind that door. The only other entrance is through the employees-only section.

Sophie: Well, do you have a plan?

Hardison: Sort of. Parker, you ready?

(across the lobby, Parker walks between two people, taking their employees badges and handing them to Sophie and Hardison)

Hardison: How does she do that?

[Employees Only Area]

(Hardison and Sophie move down the stairs and through a mechanical area)

Marv: It's never too early to get your season tickets for next year's Oregon Otters.

[[Otter’s Arena]

Stu: 3-on-2 now as the Otters take the puck up ice. Labert takes the puck forward. And he's not going to be denied. He's saying, "that crease is mine."

Opposing Player (pushing at Eliot): Come on, pretty boy. Let's go, pretty boy.

Rising (to Nate): He's not really letting Marko do his job.

Nate: He's not?

Rising: No.

(Opposing Player punches Eliot, who punches back

Otter Player: All right, Labert!

(Eliot continues to fight with Opposing Player on the ice, knocking him down while Marko watches from the sidelines)

Stu: And look at that. Labert drops Bernard. Whoa! No wonder this kid dominated the Caribou League, eh, Marv?

Marv: I've never heard of that League, Stu.

(referee's pull Eliot off the Opposing Player as the crowd cheers "Jack the Bear")

Eliot: How pretty is that?

Stu: Labert is sending a message that this is his house, and the Otter nation is loving it. I think they're chanting, "Jack the bear."

[Employee Only Area]

(Hardison and Sophie approach Rising's office. The door is locked. Hardison looks at Sophie expectantly. She seems confused as to what he wants)

Hardison: Well, I ain't the thief or the grifter.

Stu: That's the end of the second period...

Sophie: Okay. (pulls a hair pin from her hair and picks the lock)

Stu:...with the freeze clinging to a one-goal advantage.

Sophie: Hmm.

[Rising's Office]

(Hardison and Sophie enter the room. Hardison logs on to the computer to check files while Sophie checks a ledger she finds behind the desk)

Hadison: Okay. Nate, yep. Yep, it looks like Rising does have a bonus deal for Marko. He's set to get half a mil at the end of the season playing every game. And the kicker is, he has to fight in every one of them or he gets nothing.

[Otter’s Arena]

Nate: What are you talking about?

Rising: What?

Nate: Oh, the ref. He just -- I don't know what he's...

[Rising's Office]

Sophie (looking at ledger): Nate, does this make any sense to you? It's the same dollar amount after every entry. "D.P.A.C., 1-2-1-0-1-1. S.A.S.S., 1-2-1-4-1-1."

[Otter’s Arena]

Nate (pretends his phone is ringing): I got to get this. It's too loud in here to make a call. (walks away from Rising) Yes?

Vendor: Programs! Get your programs!

Nate: Hey, the numbers are dates. Read them again as dates.

[Rising's Office]

Sophie: December 10th, December 14th.

[Otter’s Arena]

(Nate pulls out a notebook and writes down the dates)

Sophie: December 17th, December 21st, December 23rd.

(Nate looks thoughtful)

Fan: Yeah! Otters!

Stu: Another shift change. And all the Otters lines are working hard tonight.

Marko (to Eliot): I told you to stay out of my way!

Eliot: I'm not in your way. I'm in theirs.

Nate (draws graph in notebook): I know what it is.


Hardison (referring to graph): See, each one of these dots represents a Craig Marko throwdown.

[Otter’s Arena]

Nate: Okay, so, the clusters of red dots are when the opposition started fights with Marko. Rising's put a bounty out on his own player. He's paying other teams to take--

[Rising's Office]

Nate: Marko out so he doesn't have to pay the bonus.

(Hardison and Sophie exit the office)

[Brew Pub]

Nate: So where is all his money?

Hardison: Those bounties he put out on Marko add up to less than 5 grand.

Sophie: Are we talking about Rising's money, Marko's bonus, or the bounties?

Nate: Well, all of it's all connected. We just got to figure out how.

Hardison: Follow the cash.

Nate: Yeah, that's right. We have to figure out where Rising's money went.

Sophie: Well, maybe instead of trying to track down the money, we should let the money find us.

Nate: Are you thinking --

Sophie: The other hockey job I ran -- the one with the you-know-what -- we ran the Oligschlager shuffle. It would work just the same here.

Nate: That's the one with the turtle, right?

Sophie: The Russian one -- like my partner on it, Vlad. We'd need him to pull it off.

Nate: Bring him in. Maybe he can tell us where Lord Stanley is.

[Locker Room]

(Marko is sitting on a bench drinking a beer and tending his injuries. Eliot dressed in a suit enters the room)

Eliot: You know what, Marko? You got one more game left. One more game. Why don't you let me help you? Watch your back, make sure nobody --

Marko: My back doesn't need watching. I got a job to do. The fans count on me. Everyone's counting on me.

Eliot: You know, I know a little inside scoop on Rising and his doctor. You're not as healthy as you think you are.

Marko: The doctor will sign it. No one will know.

Eliot: What the hell are you -- You don't have to do this, man. You can walk away.

Marko: I got a job to do.

Eliot: Look at you, man! You can barely move! You barely fought tonight! What are you like when you're throwing hands all nigh—

Danny: Dad! (enters room and kneels at Marko's feet, taking off his skates) There you are. You haven't finished getting dressed again, dad.

Eliot: Make sure he keeps those --

Danny: I got it, okay?

Marko: You see me tonight, Danny? Good, huh?

Danny: Yeah. I saw you play. You were good, dad. You're always good. (to Eliot) You can go now, okay? We're fine.

Eliot (backs away): Played a hell of a game tonight, your dad. You should be proud of him. (leaves)

[Brew Pub]

Nate: Were you messing with me?

Sophie: When did I ever lie about a grift?

Nate: All right, so, tell -- tell me where it is.

(Vlad enters, putting his suitcase and coat down at a table)

Sophie: Oh, there's Vlad.

Nate: Busiak?

Sophie: Mm-hmm.

Nate: Vladimir Busiak was your partner?

Sophie: Yeah. Oh, maybe I should have said he played some hockey.

Nate: "Played some hockey"? He's in the hall of fame! You didn't steal the cup. It's been in his living room three different times.

Sophie: Vlad.

Vlad: Sophie.

Sophie (kissing Vlad): Mwah.

Vlad: Baby duck. (kisses Sophie) My rose.

Nate: Yeah. Wh--

Vlad: Are you causing my Sophie problems? I will cause you problems.

Nate: That's, uh -- listen, that's pretty reckless talk from a guy with a medial tear that hasn't quite healed and a chronic rotator cuff, Vlady.

(Vlad and Nate stare at each other for a long moment)

Vlad: Hey! I love this guy! (hugs Nate) My drog.

Nate: Hello, Vlady. Nate. (puts arm around Vlad and leads him away)

Vlad: So, what do we do? What?

(Sophie struggles to carry Vlad's suitcase)

[Otter’s Arena]

(Vlad and Nate stand just off the ring, watching practice)

Nate: Yeah, there he is over there. Hey, Jacques!

(Eliot sees Nate and begins to skate over, past Rising and the Coach)

Coach: Yeah.

Rising: Yeah.

Coach: That's how to do it.

Rising: (sees Eliot skating by) But just making the plays start.

Nate: Hey, hey. Jack the bear, looking good.

Eliot: Vlad.

Vlad: Jacques.

Rising: Is that who I think it is?

Coach: Holy crap.

Man: Hit it harder!

Nate: And no one knows about it yet. You know, it's gonna be quite amazing. So, when you're in front of other people... (in Russian) speak Russian.


Hardison: He did a small stint in the NHL. He bounced around a couple of Russian leagues for a minute.

[Otter’s Arena]

Rising: Hey. Excuse me for interrupting, but, uh...

Nate: Oh! Oh, hey. This is Pete Rising, owner of the Otters here. This is --

Rising: Oh, I know who this is. Vladimir Busiak. Seven-time all-star, three Stanley cups. What the hell are you doing here?

Nate (in Russian): Vacation.

Vlad: Vacation.

(Rising looks at Nate, confused)

Nate: We got to get going, Vlad.

(Nate and Vlad leave, Eliot skates off)

Rising (on phone): The what? The World Hockey League? No, I don't know anything about it. How would I know? All over the web?


(Hardison is placing articles about the World Hockey League online)

[Otter’s Arena]

Rising: Well, maybe I don't have as much time as you lawyer types to surf the web all day, so just send me everything you can right now.

[Arena Lobby]

Nate: You know, I always felt if you hadn't played during the Bobby Orr era, Park would have won, I don't know, five, six Norris trophies easy.

Vlad: That is true. Ever hear of Kharlamov?

Nate: Oh, sure. Russian national team during the '70s.

Vlad: Best I ever saw. Da. Better than the great one.

Nate: Wow. Really?

Vlad: Absolutely.

(Rising approaches from a nearby stairway)

Nate: Oh, uh... here we go.

Rising: Hey, Hansen!

Nate: Huh? Huh?

Rising: Hansen, don't walk away! I know everything.

Nate: Ah, I'm kind of -- kind of busy. Kind of in a rush.

Rising: Oh, yeah? You got a World Hockey League meeting to get to?

Nate (turns): I'm sorry, what?

Rising: Don't embarrass yourself any more than you already have. I played hockey in Russia for two years. Your accent is... (in Russian) garbage.

Vlad: Is true.

Nate: Thanks, Vlad.

Rising: I want in.

Nate: Look, you don't know a damn thing about it.

Rising: I know everything about it. My lawyer just sent it to me, okay? (shows screen of smartphone) You're scouting for the only American franchise right here in Oregon. Projected revenues in tens of millions of dollars. No wonder a superstar like Busiak is hanging with a scrub like you.

Vlad: You're pretty scrubby.

Nate: Vlad, please. Listen, Rising, it's not up to me, okay? Here's the thing. You -- you would have to meet Olyenkov.

Rising: Olyenkov?

Nate: Yeah. Nadia Olyenkov. This is her show. Okay, she's got $2 billion of her own money in the WHL. She's crazy, but she's rich. She knows how to make a deal.

Rising: Okay, so introduce us.

Nate: No. No, it's not gonna -- not gonna work. No, there's only one way she lets people in.

Rising: Well, tell me what it is, and I'll do it.

Nate: You're gonna have to make friends with the Zacato.

Rising: What is that, some kind of code?

Nate: No. Come on, Vlad.


(camera pans from a turtle in a fishbowl to Nate and Rising entering the room)

Nate: Uh, Nadia, this is Pete Rising.

Rising: You know, we discussed the d--

Sophie: Nyet.

Nate: Ah. "Nyet." Okay. Well, that's it. You had your shot. Let's go. (tries to guide Rising out)

Rising: What? No! I'm not -- Ms. Olyenkov, Nadia -- whatever -- I don't want to waste your time. Just give me 30 seconds, please.

Sophie: Go.

Nate: Okay, go, go.

Rising: All right, look. I own a minor-league team right here in town that's good enough for the majors, but I've never bumped them. You know why?

Sophie: Politics, capital investment, maybe you have small brain.

Rising: No. It's because the NHL was too small. I didn't know it at the time, but I was waiting for something global. Now, you need an American hockey team for the World Hockey League, okay? You're obviously not interested in the NHL or you wouldn't be here. Instead of spending five years building a stadium and creating a team, why not take what's already here? You'll love the Otters.

Sophie (to turtle): You think Otters hit my sweet spot? What do you think?

(confused, Rising looks at Nate)

Nate: No. She's talking to the Zacato. Yeah. There's only three in the world. That's one of them.

Sophie: Hm. I think he likes you.

Rising: Well, I like... it? Hunh! (moves to touch the fishbowl)

Nate: No. No, no. Don't want to do that. He'll go right through the glass, take your hand off.

Rising: Okay.

(Rising tries to stand, Sophie pushes him back down)

Sophie: No. Tomorrow, you bring me $500,000. Then you join.

Rising: You got it.

Nate: There we go. Fantastic.

[Exterior Otter's Arena]

(Eliot exits through a garage door, holding a duffel bag)

Player (driving by): Great practice, Jacques!

Eliot: It's "Jack."

(Marko attackes Eliot, who blocks his punches)

Eliot: Marko, I ain't playing with you, man.

(Marko continues to attack, picking up Eliot and throwing him down on a car. Eliot grabs him and holds on)

Eliot: I'm not gonna fight you, Craig!

Marko: You're not gonna have a choice!

(Eliot pushes him back and Marko swings again. Eliot evades)

Eliot: You know what your L4 and your L5 is?! It's your lower vertebrae on your spine! Yours is cracked all to hell. One shot to it and you don't walk again.

Marko: You think you know everything about me, don't you?

Eliot: I know you got edema in your brain! I know you got an enlarged heart. You want me to keep going?

Marko: Not really.

Eliot: No.

Marko: I'm gonna tell you what I know about you. I know you don't have a kid. 'Cause you just tried your dead-level best to scare the hell out of me, and you didn't mention my son once. So I don't care about all the x-rays and MRIs you've seen 'cause you don't know a damn thing about me! (moves closer to Eliot) I do it for my son. That's why I suit up. One more game. After that, I don't... I don't care what happens to me. But until you have a family, I would never expect you to understand.

Eliot: Yeah, you're right. I got no family. Not like you mean. But I had brothers. I had a lot of 'em. I didn't know all their names -- not all of 'em -- but I knew their faces and I knew their rank. And I did things that I didn't want to do because they counted on me -- bad things for good reasons. And you know what I learned? Bad choices are bad choices. Doesn't matter why you made them. And they tear you apart from the inside out. And you don't even notice.

(Marko walks away, hitting Eliot with his shoulder as he passe)

Eliot: He's putting bounties out on you, Craig! Rising's paying people to take you out!

Marko: Good luck finding the guy that can do that.

[Leverage HQ]

Parker (joining Parker at the top of the stairs): Did I fall asleep again?

Hardison: Yeah. (hands her a coffee cup) Here.

Parker: Thanks. How did the movie end?

Hardison: Soylent green is people.

Parker: Whoa.

Hardison: I know. Just sit with it for awhile. (looking at laptop)

Parker: Yuck. What's up?

Hardison: There's something weird in Rising's financials. Uh, you should get changed. It's time to go meet Nate.

Parker: Okay.


(Nate is holding the fishbowl staring at the turtle while Sophie lays with her head on his lap)

Sophie: Are you having a staring contest with a turtle?

Nate: No, I just won a staring contest with a turtle.

Sophie: Is it weird that I find that oddly attractive?

(bell rings and Sophie sits up)

Vlad: So, did you win?

Nate: Did I what?

Vlad: Contest.

(bell rings again)

Nate: Oh, yes. Yes, I did. Yes. Vlad, would you mind grabbing the door? Our guest is here.

Vlad (opens door): Pete. Come in.

Rising: How you doing?

Vlad: Good. How are you?

Rising: Here's the thing. You guys are for real. You got the best marketing firms, billions in backing... And I know enough about this business to know that in a deal like this, sooner or later, you guys will squeeze me out. I also know enough to recognize when I can't compete, so... I'm out.

Sophie: Out of WHL?

Rising: Out of hockey. My team's bankrupt. I'm filing on Monday. So, if you want to buy this franchise, you have to be first in line. Of course, the bank will want you to pay off the $5 million.

Sophie: What $5 million?

Rising: There's a lot of unpaid bills, and I haven't taken a salary myself for quite some time, so...

Nate: How much of that is your deferred salary?

Rising: $4 million. So, hey, good luck with it all. Maybe I'll see you on the ice again someday, huh? (walks out)

Nate: What the hell just happened?

Vlad: You did too good a job.

Nate: Thanks, Vlad.


Nate: Okay, not only did he not bring any money, but someone –only I won't mention any names -- went a little overboard in the WHL marketing materials.

Hardison: What? Like I'm supposed to do a bad job?

Sophie: Well, no, but you did such a good job that he decided to declare bankruptcy rather than compete.

Parker: And what about Marko's bonus?

Nate: Yeah, Marko's bonus. Well, forget about that. I mean, we pretty much ensured that Marko's bonus and the rest of the team's bonus, salary, insurance -- gone.

Hardison: Yesterday he accessed an account that was held by a shell company with a chain of title so convoluted I'm still unraveling it. He cleaned everything out.

Nate: Okay. He's skimming from the team. Yeah. He said that most years, he loses money on the team, but the team's actually doing pretty solid business.

Sophie: Yep. He's stealing from the operation.

Nate: Yeah. And that's why he's afraid of us. Because if we invite him into the franchise, there's gonna be an audit to end all audits.

Vlad (enters with box): Who's hungry? Hey, anybody, doughnuts?

Nate: But wha-- How come he hasn't spent any of the money?

Hardison: He has no way to hide it from the government.

Sophie: Well, how does that change after he declares bankruptcy?

Nate: It doesn't.

Vlad: Rising is going to launder money, yeah?

Nate: Yeah. Yeah, that's great. Thanks. Thanks, there, Vlad. The question is when?

Parker: Tonight.

Nate: Tonight? You think you can come up with a plan?

Parker: Already have. It's in one of my contingencies.

Nate: Okay. I want to hear this plan. Hardison, you're gonna be with Sophie. We were never here in this apartment. It didn't exist. Vlad, thank you for the autographed stick, puck, and gloves.

Vlad (shakes Nate's hand): Any time.

Parker (takes donut on the way out): Thank you.

[Otter’s Arena]

Coach: One game left, boys. We got to leave it all on the ice tonight. Hustle up!

Eliot: The skate -- knee went right through it.

Coach: Keep it going!

[Arena Lobby]

Cashier (handing out ticket): Here you go.

Fan: Thanks.

Cashier: Enjoy the game.

Nate: Okay, Parker, how would you do it?

Parker: Cash flow starts there.

Cashier: Here you go. (hands out ticket)

Fan 2: Thanks.

Parker: Every 20 minutes, a guard removes the collected cash from the box office.

Nate: And the guard carries the cash to Rising's office.

Parker: The cash is dropped into a specially designed lockbox. You can put things in, but only a bank official can open one up to take things out. It's like a mailbox you can carry.

Nate: And that is where Rising will add the extra cash to the lockbox. As long as no one looks too closely, they'll never know that it didn't come from legitimate ticket sales. It's classic money laundering.

Parker: Once the box office is closed, the lockbox is carried from Rising's office to a loading zone. An armored car picks it up, takes it to the bank. But we don't want to hit it in Rising's office -- too much attention.

Nate: And once the box is on the armored car, the bank's insurance kicks in, and Rising's protected against theft.

Parker: So, that just leaves one place.

Nate: Mm-hmm.


Vlad (puts bag on chair): This guy -- your new partner.

Sophie: Yes?

Vlad: You like him?

Sophie: Yes.

Vlad: I like him, too.

(Sophie hands Vlad an envelope of money. He kisses her)

Vlad: My rose. (exits)

[Otter’s Arena]

Stu: It's all or nothing tonight, folks. Game seven here in Otter town between the Reno Freeze and your Oregon Otters. The Otters have a new hero in Jacques Labert, the kid from Saskatoon, who's proving he's got as much punch as Craig Marko. The puck's about to drop. And here we go.

(game begins on the ice as Nate watches from the stands)

Stu: The puck is deflected by Raymond Jack, and the freeze take early control.

Marv: Marko looks like a shark with blood in the water. Somebody call a doctor.

(Eliot tackles an opposing player and they slide into a wall)

Stu: There's Labert again using Franco like he's a toboggan.

(Eliot gets up and skates away, continuing to collide with other players on the opposing team)

Stu: Labert is a man possessed tonight, and he's jawing at every freeze player he makes contact with.

Referee: Let's face it off.

Player: Come on, Duffy!

Stu: Downey and Marko ready for the face-off. Puck controlled by the Otters. No, it's stolen by Veach. Labert is all over the ice tonight. He pins Siegel against the boards and is talking trash again.

(Marko pushes Eliot into the penalty box)

Stu: Oh, doctor!

Eliot: Wrong team!

Marko: I told you how this would go.

Eliot: Remind me!

Marko: I just did.

Fan: Did you see that?

[Arena Lobby]

(Parker watches as the ticket booth closes)

Parker: Hardison, I need you on your way. Now.

[Rising's Office]

(Rising takes an envelope of money from a safe)

[Otter’s Arena]

Stu: Only 6 1/2 minutes left, and the game is still tied. Look at Jack the bear. Even in the penalty box, he is still jawing at the Freeze players.

[Rising's Office]

(Rising places several envelopes of money into the lock box, then shreds a stack of tickets. A guard enters and Rising hands him the lock box)

Rising: She's all yours.

Guard: Thank you, sir.

[Employees Only Area]

(guard leaves Rising's office and passes Hardison in the hallway. Hardison is carrying a heavy backpack and nods to the guard as they pass)

[Otter’s Arena]

(Eliot slams an Opposing Player into the wall)

Stu: Labert lays a devastating cross-check on Schuckersand...

Referee (grabs Eliot): That's it, Labert.

Eliot: I told you every time, didn't I?

Referee: Back to the box.

Eliot: Told ya.

Stu: Boy, Marv, with Labert in the box, maybe we'll finally see Marko do battle.

(Eliot looks over his shoulder at Nate in the stands)

Marv: Here we go, Stu.

Stu: With Labert still watching from the penalty box, the freeze enjoy 30 more seconds of power play.

Marv: Marko's got that look in his eye, Stu. He wants a game-seven scrum with somebody.

[Arena Dock]

(guard sets the lock box down on a pair of metal doors in the floor and waits)

[Otter’s Arena]

Stu: Craig Marko has barely gotten into it with anyone these last two games...

Marko (to opposing players): Come on.

Stu: So he's itching to brawl.

(opposing players back away from Marko)

Marko: Fight! Drop your gloves!

Stu: This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen. This game has come to a complete stop.

Marko: Somebody fight me!

(Marko pushes at players, who just back away)

Marko: Let's go! Drop your gloves! Come on! Let's go!


Eliot (to the opposing player he tackled): Every doctor he's seen has said the same thing.

Eliot (to another opposing player): You don't want to be the one that kills a legend, do you?

Eliot (in penalty box to another opposing player): I'm trying to make you see that if you hit him in the head one more time, could be the last one. He could die. Eh?

[Otter’s Arena]

Marko: Somebody fight me! Let's go!

(all of the players stand there, looking at Marko. Even the crowd is silent. Eventually Marko realizes that no one will fight him. He sees Danny in the crowd. Danny smiles at his father, who picks up his gloves. Eliot skates out onto the field and hands Marko his stick. The crowd cheers)

Eliot: Let's play some hockey.

(play resumes)

Player: Go!

Marv: Well, Stu, looks like we're finally gonna see Marko play the kind of hockey he did back in the juniors.

[Arena Dock]

(garage door opens and the armored truck backs into place. The back door opens as the guard tries to pick up the lock box. It won't move. The guard from the armored truck tries to help, but they can't lift the box)

Guard (into radio): We have a problem. We need a bank official on site.

[Otter’s Arena]

Stu: Downey digging in the corner, and the Otters control the puck. If nobody scores in the next minute, we are going into overtime.

[Arena Dock]

(official enters area)

Guard: Sir, it's stuck. We can't lift it. (tries to lift box) See?

(official comes closer)

Guard: Can you open it?

(official kneels and unlocks the box, lifting the lid. The official and the two guards look inside to see that the bottom has been cut out, and they can see into the basement of the building)

Official: What?


(Hardison holds up two of the strong magnets and attaches them to the underside of the doors. He then uses a cutting torch to cut through the doors and the bottom of the lock box to retrieve all of the money envelopes inside)

[Otter’s Arena]

Stu: Final seconds here as the Otters drive it into the crease. Waddell flips it to Marko, and he scores! Holy cow! What a shot!

(crowd cheers)

Stu: Otters win! Otters win! That's the end of the season and the end of...

(later, after the crowds are gone and the ice scraper is clearing the ice, Rising is shooting pucks at the goal)

Nate (walking onto ice): Nice shot.

Rising: You here to gloat?

Nate: A little.

Rising: You really got me pinned up against the boards. Can't go to the cops, can I?

Nate: No, not really.

Rising: I'm gonna lose everything.

Nate: Yeah. That's sort of the point.

Rising: Why?

(the entire team walks out onto the ice, all wearing suits, all carrying hockey sticks and duffel bags)

Nate: You put a bounty out on your own man -- a guy that you knew put his life on the line for his teammates every time he stepped out onto the ice.

(the players fan out to stand in a circle around Nate and Rising)

Rising: What's this?

Eliot: What is this? I think they may have found out about your little plan to declare bankruptcy and not pay anyone. Or it could have been the matter of you putting a bounty on the head of somebody that they count on.

Rising: Who are you guys?

Eliot: Enforcers are put on the ice to make sure things don't go too far. If they do, they step in -- regulate.

Nate: Every player on this ice is an enforcer.

(all the players drop their bags and step forward)

Rising: There's no reason to do this.

Nate: Oh, there's every reason to do this.

Rising: What do you want, huh?! I got nothing! They took everything!

Nate: Nope. Not everything. (pulls a contract and a pen from his pocket)

Rising: The team.

Nate: Yes. This is the contract for the sale of the team.

Rising: You did all this so that you could own the Otters?

Nate: I'm not gonna be the new owner of the Otters. No. (gestures toward players) They will.

(Rising looks at the players for a long moment, then drops his stick and gloves and takes the contract. He signs and hands it back to Nate before swinging a punch at him. Nate dodges and punches Rising in the face, knocking him down. The players tap their sticks on the ice. Eliot hands Marko a check for $500,000)

Marko: Thank you.

Eliot (gestures to a cut on his face): I'm not gonna forget about this, Marko.

Marko: Good... Jacques.

(Nate and Eliot walk off the ice. Later, the team watches practice from the stands)

Coach: All right, guys! Let's do it again!

Marko (to Danny): You said you want to be a part of this?

Coach: Come on, little Marko!

Nate: So, is it someplace warm?

Sophie: I don't remember.

Nate: Hm. Is it in Boston?

Sophie: Nate, I don't remember.

Nate: Are you sure it's the Stanley Cup?

Sophie: That I remember.

Nate: Where's the last place you remember, uh, having it?

Sophie: I don't remember.

The End

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