Written and submitted by SciFi_Angel

Witchblade The Original Series, TNT

Episode 8: Thanatopsis

Original air date: July 31, 2001

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Teleplay by: Richard C. Okie

Story by: Ralph Hemecker & Richard C. Okie

Directed by: James Whitmore, Jr.

Transcript Credit:

 

Main Characters:

Sara Pezzini Yancy Butler

Jake McCartey David Chokachi

Kenneth Irons Anthony Cistaro

Danny Woo Will Yun Lee

Ian Nottingham Eric Etebari

 

The episode opens with a "Previously on Witchblade segment" then the opening credits. I'll skip that.

Note: Braces { } indicate missing or uncertain dialog or transcriber's inserted ramblings.

 

This one comes with a warning: Tonight's episode of Witchblade contains violent material and adult themes which may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

 

Act I

Open in Dante's office. He's handing out file folders to Sara, Jake, and a few others.

Dante: His name is Armand Parsegian. Arms dealer - world class. His most recent claim to fame: arming both sides of the Chechen conflict.

Everyone looks at the contents of their folders.

Jake: What a sweetheart.

Dante: He's gonna be gracing us with a once-in-a-decade visit. He lives on a yacht. Hardly ever comes ashore ... especially not in this country.

Sara: What's the occasion?

Dante: Well, that's what you're gonna tell me. It's gotta be a sale or a purchase and it's gotta be a big one.

The gem in the Witchblade bracelet on Sara's right wrist is glowing. Sara gets a close-up glimpse of Kenneth Irons.

 

 

Cut to a deliveryman removing a large wrapped box with balloons attached to the top from the back of his truck. He takes it to a door in a low brick building. There are bars over the window next to the door. He brings a radio out of his pocket.

Deliveryman (into radio): Ralph Wray - eleven eleven. You sure this is the right address?

He knocks on the door.

Dispatcher (over radio): Copy that. The instructions were very specific.

The deliveryman looks all around.

Deliveryman (into radio): Yeah, but there's no one ...

Dispatcher (over radio): Just leave the package there.

Deliveryman (into radio): OK.

He leaves the package sitting by the door and gets back into his truck.

 

 

Cut back to Dante's office.

Dante: So I'm assigning you two man teams, 12 hour shifts, round the clock surveillance.

Jake (low): So long, social life.

Sara (low to Jake): You have no social life.

Sara: Why aren't the feds all over this?

Dante: 'Cause the feds don't know about it yet.

Sara: But this is a Bureau job ...

Dante (walking toward Sara): Would I be making myself clear if I said that wrapping up Parsegian in a ribbon for the FBI would be a career-making move for any officer ... would I?

Sara nods. Dante turns away and Sara silently fumes.

Dante: Memorize every detail in these dossiers. Uh, Pezzini and McCartey, you're up first. Then Wheeler and Belsen, then Timlin and Jacoby. Any questions?

Jake holds up one of the pictures from his file.

Jake: Who's the muscle?

Dante: Benjamin Wolf. Parsegian's bodyguard. Infiltrated our own Secret Service before they learned that he was working for the Mossad. Rumored to have a sixth sense about being tailed, so use utmost caution. OK? That's it.

Sara raises her hand.

Sara: Our current case loads? Court appearances? Homicide?

Dante: Everybody's dismissed ... except Pezzini.

Sara turns back around with a grimace.

 

 

Cut back to the wrapped package. It is now inside the doorway. A man in a dark suit can be seen form the waist down. There's no furniture in the background. The man picks up the package.

 

 

Cut back to Dante. He closes the door to his office.

Dante: Even your rookie partner gets this. What's the matter with you?

Sara: Simply, I work Homicide. This is not a homicide.

Dante: I'm offering you an opportunity here.

Sara: Why exactly is that, sir?

Dante: Maybe it's because I recognize your ability to execute a difficult and dangerous task.

Sara raises her brows and gives a little nod in thanks for the compliment.

Dante: Or maybe it's that I have my eye on McCartey and I'm looking to build up his resume. Maybe I'm just short-handed. Whatever the reason, you better step up, kid. Because this is an order and not a request. Could I make myself any clearer?

Sara: Not if you tried ... sir.

Dante (low): Thank you. Good bye.

He nods his head toward the door.

 

 

Cut to the interior of a house. Pan across a table cluttered with bottles, coffee cups, food, and other trash. Pan to an exterior door in the kitchen being opened. Gabriel Bowman enters after knocking perfunctorily.

Gabriel (shout): Sly! Open up, dude.

Gabriel sees the messy table.

Gabriel: Man, what did you do last night?

Gabriel walks through the house. We see the walls are covered with comic book art. Easels hold even more comic art. Sly still hasn't shown.

Gabriel: C'mon, man, I know you're home. If you don't come out, I'm gonna steal your laptop and rifle all your DVDs.

Gabriel picks up a piece of pizza from an open box and takes a bite.

Gabriel (low voice): Nasty.

He puts the piece back in the box and continues walking through the house.

Gabriel: C'mon, man, you ready or what?

Gabriel has reached the staircase leading up to the second storey. He looks up and sees a body hanging at the top of the stairs. He gives a little laugh, thinking his friend is joking with him. Behind Gabriel, we see the front door is slightly ajar.

Gabriel: Sly. That's not funny. Sly ... oh, man.

Gabriel goes up the stairs and pats his friend's leg.

Gabriel: Hey ... hey.

He turns the body and sees Sly's face is a pale gray and the head is tilted over, neck possibly broken.

Gabriel: (going to lift the legs): OK ... OK ... um ...

Gabriel (shout): Hey! Anybody!

 

 

Cut to Armand Parsegian and Benjamin Wolf getting out of a limousine. Parsegian seems to be talking on a phone or radio to someone {though I never saw the phone}.

Parsegian: I am 100% certain this prototype will meet all your expectations. You should have received it by now.

Parsegian and Wolf walk casually across a plaza.

Parsegian: Your new plaything is accurate to 2000 meters. The laser sight has got an onboard computer ...

Camera pans to the top of one of the building surrounding the plaza.

Parsegian (electronic distortion): ... which compensates for wind drift and elevations.

We see a dark-haired man in a dark suit walking across this building's roof carrying the large wrapped package. The balloons obscure his face.

Parsegian (electronic distortion): And she delivers a wide array of payloads ...

Shift to Parsegian and Wolf.

Parsegian: ... Explosive, armor-piercing, jacketed, soft-tip. I am looking forward ...

Shift to the package being unwrapped and the case thus revealed being opened. Inside is a rifle in pieces inside the foam-lined case.

Parsegian (electronic distortion): ... to your reviews and comments.

Shift to Parsegian and Wolf.

Parsegian: I know ... You're dying to take it out for a spin.

Shift to see the rifle being put together. All we see are the hands of the man assembling the rifle.

Shift back to Parsegian. Wolf, acting the bodyguard, looks all about.

Parsegian: Once you're satisfied, we can discuss delivery ... in quantity.

Shift to see the bunch of balloons that had been attached to the wrapped package floating down on the wind.

 

 

Cut to Jake and Sara at the precinct. They're getting ready to go to their stakeout. Jake is dressing up in a suit. Gabriel walks up with a quick knock on the door.

Gabriel: Pezzini, uh, Sara. (Points his finger at her) You gotta help me.

Jake: She can't. She's busy.

Gabriel: Is anyone talking to you?

Sara: Jake, give us a minute.

Jake (to Gabriel): A minute.

Jake leaves the office.

Sara: What's going on, buddy?

Sara shuts the office door.

Gabriel: My best friend was murdered.

Sara: What?

Gabriel: Yeah. I ... uh ... I found him this morning. Uh, called it in. This bastard cop took one look and called it suicide, but ...

Sara: OK, whoa, back up. How did he die?

Gabriel: Someone hung him from the ceiling. I know how it looks, but Sly would have never done that. He was the most, you know ... Look, anyway, this jerk, Detective Orlinsky ...

Sara: Wait, Orlinsky took the call?

Gabriel: Yeah, barely. He didn't even check anything. He just called the meat wagon, stood around cracking jokes.

Sara: I'm sorry.

Gabriel: Yeah, well, I don't care about sorry. I wanna know who killed him.

Sara: Well, of course. Look, Gabriel, when I get off work tonight, I'll come ...

Gabriel: Don't blow me off, Pezzini.

Sara: I'm not. Gabriel, I'm on special assignment. Apparently, a really important surveillance ...

"Witchblade vision": Sly hanging from his ceiling. Ken Irons alternating with one of Sly's comic creations that bears a striking resemblance to Irons. Then Ian Nottingham and a comic character standing next to the comic Irons in the same pose as Ian habitually stands.

Back to Sara.

Sara: Uh, give me the address.

Gabriel: Really?

Sara: Yeah. I won't have much time, but meet me there in 20 minutes, we'll see what we see, OK?

Gabriel: Oh, you are righteous.

They walk out of Sara and Jake's office. They pass Orlinsky on their way past. Gabriel stares at him. Sara warns him off.

Sara: Gabriel.

Orlinsky goes into Dante's office.

Orlinsky: The bitch Pezzini ... she just left with the kid.

 

 

Cut to the interior of Sly's house. Gabriel and Sara are standing on the staircase.

Sara: So, who might've wanted your friend dead?

Gabriel: You want a list? Ah ... there's a partner who'll get Sly's half of Parricide.

Sara: Parricide?

They walk down the stairs.

Gabriel: Parricide Comics. The name means ...

Sara: Killing your parents. I know what it means.

Gabriel: OK. Uh, you got a string of ex-girlfriends sucking him dry. Crazed fans who pay fortunes for his original artwork on the net. And whatever.

They arrive in a room that has on one easel the comic art Sara saw in her vision - the one with a man like Irons with a man standing to his side as Ian so often does. Sara sees flashed of Irons and Ian as she looks at this. She walks over to the panel.

Sara (pointing): Tell me about this one.

Gabriel: It's new. It means nothing to me.

Sara wanders over to a bookcase and pulls out a glass drug pipe. She holds it up to Gabriel.

Gabriel: Did he like to party? Yeah, you bet your ass. Was he an addict? No way. Look, he was an edgy guy. You know? That's what made him great. Um ... fast cars, skydiving, raves - all that crap.

Sara gives him a sympathetic look.

Gabriel: I thought you were here to help me.

Sara: Helping you includes letting you know when I think you're wrong.

Gabriel: I'm not wrong.

Sara: Gabriel, you want someone to jerk you off, go down to Times Square. It'll cost you twenty bucks.

Gabriel (low): Great.

Gabriel turns and walks away.

Sara: Gabriel ...

He keeps walking on out of the house.

 

 

Cut to Benjamin Wolf returning to Parsegian's car. He's looking all around, even up to roofs.

Shift to see Jake snapping pictures while sitting on a marble bench. Beside him is a lunch. Just another businessman out for some air.

Shift to see Wolf put a briefcase in the back seat of the limo. He puts a large white envelope inside his jacket. He then checks out the car {looking for bombs?}.

Back to Jake watching Wolf. Jake is wired, a thin black line trailing from his left ear down to inside his jacket.

Jake (into radio): The subjects are preparing to leave. Wolf just readied the car himself.

 

 

Cut to Dante and Orlinsky in Dante's office. Dante holds a walkie talkie.

Dante (into radio): Copy that. Is Pezzini in position?

 

 

Back to Jake.

Jake (into radio, looking around): Ah ... yes, sir. She's ... photographing their vehicle.

 

 

Back to Dante.

Dante (into radio): Why isn't she on this channel?

 

 

Back to the plaza. Jake raises his hands in an unseen shrug. Then Sara walks up behind Jake.

Sara (into radio): I am on this channel.

 

 

Back to Dante at the precinct.

Dante (into radio): All right. Get ready to move. Keep me informed.

 

 

Back to Jake and Sara. Jake turns off his radio transmitter.

Jake: Where the hell have you been?

Sara: Personal errand.

Jake: With that kid, Bowman. Nice of you to make it back.

Sara: Hey, it's not like I missed anything.

Jake: Oh, no. Big gunfire. Couple of explosions ...

 

 

Cut to the gunman on the roof. Whoever it is has the gun in his bare hands, pointed down into the plaza. Shift to see Sara in the crosshairs.

 

 

Back to Jake.

Jake: ... nothing. You got lucky.

Shift to Sara in the crosshairs again. Then the aim moves to Jake.

 

 

Back to Sara and Jake.

Sara: No, now I'm lucky.

Shift to see Wolf walking with Parsegian out of a building toward their limo.

 

 

Cut to the rooftop gunman as seen from behind his right shoulder. His hair is dark and long enough to curve around his cheek. Shift to see Wolf and Parsegian in the rifle's sites.

 

 

Back to Sara and Jake.

Sara: Keep your ears on. I'll be at the bike.

Jake: Gotcha.

Sara walks over to her motorcycle. Wolf and Parsegian are still in the gunman's sites. Then he shifts to Sara. He shifts back to Parsegian and Wolf as they reach their limo. Wolf holds the door for his boss, still looking around. The assassin lines up his shot on the back of Wolf's head and fires. Both Wolf and Parsegian go down. The shot makes almost no noise. Pedestrians run screaming.

Sara reaches for her pistol.

Sara: Jake!

Jake is sitting on the bench with a stunned expression.

Sara: Jake!

Sara runs toward the downed men with her gun out, looking everywhere to see where the shot came from.

Jake pulls his gun out and runs toward her. They both scan rooftops, but see no one. They look down on the two men sprawled beside the limousine.

Sara (into radio): All units ... Shots fired! Two down. Roll ambulance. Roll it! Roll it!

 

 

Cut to Dante at his desk. He jerks open a desk drawer and grabs his gun. In his other hand he has the walkie talkie.

Dante (into radio): Pezzini, report! Pezzini, report!

He dashes from his office, Orlinsky quickly following from the adjoining office.

 

 

Back to Sara. She takes one final look at the rooftops.

 

Fade.

 

End Act I

 

 

 

Act II

Open back at the plaza. A body has just been zipped into a body bag on a gurney. Sara and Jake are there, along with a dozen other police. Sara and Jake are standing near the open limo door.

Sara (pointing up): So, Mogenson went up there, came back down, she said it was definitely from there.

Dante and Orlinsky arrive on the scene, crossing under the yellow police tape.

Dante: Brilliant, just brilliant.

Jake: Captain ...

Dante: Right under your damn noses.

Jake: We never heard a shot. Silenced weapon fired from long range.

Orlinsky (to Sara): You're senior here, Pezzini. This one is on you.

Sara: It was a world-class hit, Captain. Parsegian lives by the sword.

Dante: You and half of New York City watch this guy get clipped and you don't have a clue who did it?

Sara really looks like she'd like to say something to Dante, but doesn't. Instead ...

Sara: Johnson! Could you open the trunk?

The limo's trunk lid rises. Sara, Jake and Dante all look in the back.

Dante: You better start thinking about what you're gonna tell the FBI. {The first thing I'd tell 'em is that my Captain wanted to play glory hound.}

Sara opens a case in the trunk. Inside is another of the sniper specials.

Sara: How about the truth ... sir.

Jake (looking at rifle): Whoa!

Dante (to the side): Photog.

Jake (still fascinated): Wicked.

Dante (shout): Photog!

Sara goes to the back seat of the limo and opens the briefcase lying there. Inside is a photo of Kenneth Irons. Sara crumples this and then removes a CD in the case. She exits the car, stuffing the CD in her jeans back pocket.

 

 

Cut to Gabriel's apartment. Someone's knocking insistently at his door.

Gabriel (shout): Hold on!

He opens the door to find Sara there. She walks in without an invitation.

Gabriel: Jeez, Pezzini, why don't you break it down next time?

Sara: Is your computer online?

Gabriel: Is Elvis worm food?

Sara pops the CD ROM drive open on Gabriel's computer. The time on a clock on the desk says 7:39.

Gabriel: Mind telling me what you're doing?

Sara: Yep.

Gabriel: Well, then, get off my box.

Sara: I can't open these files at the office.

Gabriel: Why didn't you do it at your place?

Sara: 'Cause you were closer.

Something loads onto the computer screen.

Gabriel: Hmm. You know, a clue would be nice. You don't have to tell me everything, just give me a little hint so I can play along with the audience.

Sara: A few weeks ago, a guy came into your shop, warned you not to talk to me.

Gabriel: Don't remind me. (Points to the screen) That's not him.

Sara: Nope. That's his keeper.

Shift to see a file on the screen with the heading "Subject: Kenneth Irons," with a photo. Sara gets a flash of Sly's comic version of Irons.

Gabriel: Kenneth Irons ... I know that name. He's on that, uh, Forbes list every year. American billionaires, world's most powerful people. What? This guy, uh, kill someone?

Sara: Probably a lot of people.

Gabriel: So, he's a suspect?

Sara: No.

Gabriel: Well, did someone kill him? No. Wouldn't have been that, I would have heard it on the news. Come on, Pezzini, you gotta give me somethin', here.

Sara (reading): Subject occupies 12-bedroom mansion. Never sleeps in the same room two consecutive nights. Owns 11 personal vehicles. Switches every day.

Gabriel (laugh): I thought I was paranoid. Uh, oh ...

On the screen now is "Subject's Personal Security: Ian Nottingham, " complete with picture. At the bottom of the screen it says, "Extremely Dangerous." {But we knew that already, didn't we? :wink: }

 

 

Cut to Dante's office. He's seated at his desk. Jake is standing behind and to the side of him. Vicky Po, the Medical Examiner, drops a report on his desk.

Dante: It's impossible.

Vicky: Well, it's irrefutable.

Jake: Told ya.

Dante: One shot through both heads?

Vicky: Look, there's brain matter from one subject inside the cranium of the other one.

She shows him pictures.

Vicky: Look at the entrance and exit wounds of the second guy. OK, the round, it was traveling slower - not much slower - but slower.

Dante: What kind of muzzle velocity would it take to punch a round straight through two live skulls with virtually zero deflection?

Vicky: This is a Pezzini case, right?

Dante: Yeah, why?

Vicky (nods): Yeah, figured. The weird ones always are.

Jake gives a small smile.

Vicky: You know, it actually might be interesting to test that sniper's weapon you recovered. I was thinking we could, uh, round up a couple of cadavers from downstairs and see how many heads it would take to actually stop one of these projectiles.

Dante: Miss Po ... please.

Vicky: Hey, it's professional curiosity.

Dante closes his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose.

Dante: Um hmm.

 

 

Cut to Sara and Gabriel.

Sara (reading): Subject Kenneth Irons has no known family or progeny. Personal security, Ian Nottingham. U.S. Army Special Forces. Black Dragons Unit, '93 through '95.

Gabriel: Black Dragons? What, did they name the unit after the guy?

Sara: Yeah. Wouldn't be far off. (Continues reading) Subject is highly sexually active. Known partners include ...

She scrolls down a page with various photos, mostly women, but a couple men, too. One picture in particular catches her eye. It's one of her practicing her kick-boxing with a heavy bag.

Sara: Oh, no!

Gabriel: Damn, Pez. This guy's your lover?

 

 

Cut to Dante and Jake. Dante is sitting at his desk. Jake is standing in front of it, flipping through Vicky's report.

Jake: This was a world-class hit. Sara was right. Captain, there's no shame in admitting you're battling a worthy adversary.

Dante: Well, you know, the good news here is that we're gonna have a short list of suspects. Military training, extreme weapons capability ... Get online and generate a, uh, finite array.

Jake: All over it, Cap.

Jake turns to go.

Dante: McCartey ... since your partner's nowhere to be found, look into this and get back to me directly, OK?

Jake: You got it, boss.

 

 

Cut to Sara and Gabriel.

Sara (firmly): No, I am not his lover.

Gabriel: Hmmm. (nods)

Sara: Look, you just forget everything you've seen here.

Gabriel: Yeah, sure. No problem. I'll just get a bulk eraser and hold it up to my head.

Gabriel looks at the clock on the desk. It now reads 8:18.

Sara: Oh, my gosh. What was I thinking, bringing this here?

Gabriel: Well, you were thinking you, uh, you didn't want your bosses snooping around in these files. You were thinking you did want someone other than yourself to know about this stuff. And you were thinking you could trust the, uh, handsome dashing Gabriel.

Sara (low): Oh, brother.

Gabriel: And you were thinking that in exchange for the use of his computer, you would offer to spend some more time on the unsolved murder of his friend Sly.

Sara: All right, Gabriel, now you're pushing it.

Gabriel: If I say, "Please," would you at least think about it?

Sara: I haven't stopped thinking about it.

Gabriel: Um, did you, uh, did you catch the last window on the last screen there?

Sara: Someone was distracting me.

Gabriel: Oh, well, your pal Nottingham ... it, uh, it said he might be Kenneth Irons' son.

Sara looks a bit shocked.

"Witchblade vision": The assassin on a rooftop with the rifle being aimed. Wolf and Parsegian going down. Ian in a suit on that rooftop with the sniper rifle in his bare right hand.

Back to Sara. The clock on Gabriel's desk now says 11:11.

Sara: You know, Gabriel, I think it might be a good idea for you to get out of town for a couple of days.

She looks around, but no one's there.

Sara: Gabriel?

She notices the time at about the same time Gabriel's phone starts ringing. She answers it.

Sara: Hello?

 

 

Cut to Irons on his library balcony eating something from a bowl. He's wearing a hands-free headset telephone in his left ear.

Cut between each as they speak.

Irons: Good, I caught you.

Sara: How did you even know I was ...

Irons: You're investigating the suicide of a protege of mine - Sylvester Marcus.

Irons has dark smudges under his eyes. His color in general is not good.

Sara: You ... are a patron to a comic book artist?

Irons: "Was," in this case. Just offering you my cooperation lest you discover our connection and think I'm hiding something.

Sara: Gee, thanks. How did you know him?

Irons: He attended design school on a scholarship I award annually. We remained close.

Irons walks down the steps from his library to his den.

Sara: Were you close to Armand Parsegian?

Irons: A sweet man. I'll miss him. {Yeah, right.}

Irons takes another bite {never could figure out what it was} and grimaces at the taste.

Sara: How did you even learn of his death? It hasn't hit the media yet, Mr. Irons.

Irons: Hmmm ... Hurry home to your precinct, Sara. Someone's waiting for you.

He touches the phone ear piece and disconnects them.

 

 

Cut to Sara arriving at one of the holding cells in her precinct. The door slides open and Sara walks in, rapping her knuckles against one of the bars. Gabriel is sitting with his legs pulled up on the bunk.

Sara: What happened?

Gabriel: You zoned out in some kind of trance or something, so I took off. Uh, I went over to Sly's ...

Shift to see Gabriel's face. He has a darkened area around his right eye and a swollen bloody lower lip.

Gabriel: ... There was supposed to be a wake for him. Um ... instead his partner, Pike Donless, was negotiating a new lease with Sly's landlord. It's bad enough he's taking over Sly's company, I couldn't hack him taking over his whole life.

Sara: Go on.

Gabriel: I broke Donless' nose.

Sara sits on the bunk next to Gabriel.

Sara: I, uh, I know how you feel, Gabriel. This past year alone, I've lost a partner and a lover. So I get it.

Gabriel: What am I supposed to do?

Sara: I don't know, but I don't think it's going around beating people up.

Gabriel: Like you've never taken it out on anybody.

Sara: The best advice I can give you is ... just sit still ... and hurt.

Danny appears on the other end of the bunk, between Gabriel and the wall.

Sara: You know, I used to think time was linear ... like a string or ... Well, under that version of reality, Sly's gone. Over. Ended.

Gabriel: Oh, gee thanks, Pez. That's real comforting.

Sara: Well, maybe time isn't that way. Maybe time is more like, uh ... like photos, in an album. You know, maybe each moment lasts forever and it's only our perception that streams them together. And if that's the case, then you can turn the page and be with your friend at any moment, any time you want.

Gabriel: Have you been reading Quantum Physics for Dummies?

Sara looks at Danny and directs her next comment to him as much as to Gabriel.

Sara: I can honestly tell you that I still share meaningful moments with my ex-partner, even though he is dead.

A tear trickles down Danny's face from his left eye.

Sara: You're free to go. (Sara rises) I ordered you into my recognizance. I'll try to make the charges go away.

Gabriel: Thank you.

Sara: Unless you act out again. In which case, I will hunt your ass down and kick it up somewhere around your ears. And you know I can do that.

Gabriel gives her a smile.

Sara: C'mon. Let's get out of here.

She walks out of the cell. Gabriel hops off the bunk and follows.

 

 

Cut to just outside Sara's office. She's seeing Gabriel off.

Sara: Take care.

Gabriel gives a little wave and heads for the exterior door. Sara turns and enters her open door. She stops cold at the entrance, a surprised look on her face. Shift to see Ian Nottingham sitting atop her filing cabinet. He's looking down ... again.

Sara: What the hell?

Ian: Relax, Sara. I would do anything to please you.

Sara: Then quit with the psycho vampire {baloney}.

Sara shuts her door, then turns back to Ian. Ian turns his head to look at Sara.

Ian: I love you ...

He turns his head back.

Ian: ... in unguarded moments.

Sara: What the hell are you doing here?

Ian: Turning myself in.

Sara realizes almost instantly what he's talking about.

Ian hops off the filing cabinet and offers his wrists to her to be cuffed.

 

Fade.

 

 

End Act II

 

 

 

Act III

Open in an interrogation room. Jake sits on one side of a table. On the other Ian sits sideways to the table, his legs crossed at the knee. He looks straight ahead, not at Jake. Sara stands against the wall with the viewing glass.

Jake: ... can and will be held against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand the rights I have read to you?

Ian (still not looking at Jake): What's your real story, Detective?

Sara looks puzzled.

Jake: Would you like me to read them again?

Ian: Does anyone here really buy that champion surfer fiction of yours?

Jake: Do you understand these rights?

Ian doesn't say anything.

Jake (to Sara): What's wrong with him?

Sara: You got a week?

Jake (to Ian): One final time. Do you understand the rights I have read to you?

Ian (low, gravelly): What do you think?

Jake (ticked and rising from his chair): What do I think?

Sara: That would be a "Yes," Jake.

Jake sits back down and looks through his notepad.

Jake: Mr. Nottingham, do you know Armand Parsegian?

Ian: Doesn't everyone?

Jake: Were you aware he was surveilling the man you were paid to bodyguard?

Ian: I'd be a poor bodyguard if I didn't. Did anyone ask you why you got whisked into this job over several candidates who were actually qualified?

Sara raises her brows and glances at Jake.

Jake: Where were you today between the hours of twelve and three?

Ian: Sound asleep in my own bed.

Jake: Asleep? At noon?

Ian: Yes. Alone, unfortunately. Perhaps you'd care to join me tomorrow?

Jake stands with his palms flat on the table. Sara, sensing trouble brewing, moves away from the wall.

Jake: Last chance to answer my question.

Ian: I'm sorry. Could you repeat it, please?

Jake: Oh, you don't remember what I asked?

Ian turns his head slightly and looks Jake in the eye.

Ian (low, almost venomous): I remember perfectly. I just want you to repeat it. I want to hear the sound of your hollow voice.

Sara shifts her eyes nervously between the two men.

Ian (low): Do you remember, Jake McCartey, what you're doing here? Now? In this police department?

Sara looks on, confused by the cryptic remarks.

Ian (low): Do you remember who you really are?

Jake punches Ian in the face with his left hand. {Sucker punch or no, Ian had to want that to land, or it never would have.} Ian doesn't retaliate.

Sara comes between them and faces Jake.

Sara: Hey! Get outta here!

Jake: You're gonna let this bastard make fools of us?

Ian, head down near the level of the tabletop, looks to be smiling.

Sara: Rookie, take a break.

Jake hesitates.

Sara: Now!

Jake makes a move toward the table that Sara intercepts. Jake leaves.

Sara turns back around and Ian turns to face the table squarely. Ian bows his head to look at the tabletop.

Ian (normal voice): Alone at last.

Sara: You didn't have to kill someone to make that happen.

Ian: Is that what you think I did?

Sara: I suspect you've killed for less.

Ian glances up at Sara and offers his right hand.

Ian: Take my hand.

Sara: No ... thanks.

Ian: Do you want answers? Take my hand.

Sara gives a snort and sits down opposite Ian, holding out her left hand.

Ian: The other one.

Sara holds out her right hand. Ian surrounds it with both of his gloved hands. The Witchblade glows and swirls violently.

Sara gets a string of quick flashes of Ian: Firing two Uzis at the "Irish Massacre." Taking out one of Gallo's guards outside of a bar. A close up of Ian's eyes. Ian striking another of Gallo's guards. Back to the Irish Massacre. Dodging bullets fired by Mobius on a rooftop. Taking out Gallo's final guard with a pool cue. Close up of Ian's eyes. Killing Sean before he has a chance to fire on Sara. Catching bullets in a tunnel, coat flaring.

Back to Ian. He looks Sara in the eyes.

Ian: Whoever killed Armand Parsegian prevented thousands of murders.

Sara: I know saving lives wasn't your motive.

Ian: His assassin should be thanked. Yet, the killer's reward in this society is that he in turn will be murdered.

Shift to view Sara and Ian through the mirrored glass.

Sara (electronic distortion): Did you intend to take both men out with one shot? Or were you just lucky, Nottingham?

Ian (electronic distortion): Less than a century ago, men were still killing each other in duels.

Sara (electronic distortion): {Fine.} Only 3 or 4 people in the world are capable of making a shot like that.

Back to inside the interrogation room.

Sara: One is in jail in Hong Kong. One is in the Iraqi Army. One might have been your first victim, Benjamin Wolf. Between you and me ... (voice lowers) ... it was a beautiful hit.

 

 

Cut to Jake at his desk. He pounds his fist on his desk and is visibly upset. Dante walks through the doorway behind him.

Dante: I heard you took a swing at a suspect.

Jake (shakes head): Lost my cool.

Dante: Don't apologize. I'm betting he deserved more.

Jake: Next time I see him, he's gonna get more.

Dante: But the question I'm asking myself is, why is your partner back in interrogation holding that dirtbag's hand? I mean, I just ...

Jake has a thoughtful look on his face.

 

 

Cut to Ian and Sara.

Sara: I think Parsegian and your boss had an arms deal going. I think you anticipated a double-cross and protected your master.

Ian: Dueling men resolutely accept their inevitable death.

Sara gets a flash of Elizabeth Bronte as she appeared during the periculum, though we never saw this scene.

Elizabeth: A warrior, Sara, walks with death as if it were a friend. She resolutely accepts her own finiteness and meditates on it daily.

 

 

Cut to Jake entering the room on the other side of the mirrored glass in Sara's interrogation room.

Ian's voice (electronic distortion): Can you imagine the freedom that gives a person? Or maybe you don't have to imagine.

Jake stands before the glass looking at Ian holding Sara's hand.

Sara's voice (electronic distortion): I'm sorry. Go on.

Jake leaves, shutting the door behind him.

Ian's voice (electronic distortion): How many people have you murdered in the course of your duties, Sara?

 

 

Back to Sara. She gets a series of quick flashes of herself. Shooting a couple men at the Rialto. Punching one man at the Rialto with the Witchblade gauntlet. Skewering one of the Isaacs with the Witchblade. Slicing up some of Gallo's men at the Rialto with the Witchblade. Plunging the Witchblade into Mobius.

Sara: None. I've killed my share, but I haven't murdered any.

Flash of the Black Dragon grabbing the cop's gun and Sara firing a bullet into his forehead.

Ian: C'mon, Sara. Remember the rush of satisfaction you felt when you murdered that Irish wench who killed your lover, Conchobar?

Flash of Sara putting five rounds into Fiona.

Sara: That was justified.

Sara tries to tug her hand out of Ian's grasp.

Sara: Let go .. of my hand.

Ian still holds her hand firmly.

Sara: Let go.

She jerks her hand back and stares at him as if he were some vile thing.

At first Ian's expression shows he knows that more than just Sara's hand has escaped his grasp. Then his face changes to one of pain and rejection. He lowers his head once more, only glancing up at Sara, instead of meeting her eyes as before.

Ian: Aren't you the least bit curious about those questions I was asking your partner?

Sara: Maybe a night in a cell will make you feel a little more communicative.

Sara gets up and starts pacing.

Shift to view them through the glass.

Ian (electronic distortion): For the promise of another tryst like this one ...

Shift back to the interrogation room.

Ian (looking up): ... you can keep me here forever.

Sara exits. Ian drops his gaze.

 

 

Cut to Gabriel going through his mail. He opens a large unmarked envelope. He pulls out a copy of Parricide Comics. He opens the book and starts reading.

Gabriel (reading): Nietsche said the bravest thing a man can do is to gather his loved ones around him and take his own life before time and disease have a chance to lay him waste.

Flash of Sara walking by a holding cell with several men walking around inside. And back to Gabriel.

Gabriel (reading): If one cannot live ferociously ...

Flash of Sara boxing a heavy bag.

Gabriel (reading in voice over): ... why live?

Back to Gabriel.

Gabriel (reading): The only real question is ...

Flash of Sara crying over Conchobar's body.

Gabriel (reading in voice over): ... should we wait until life has proven ...

Flash of Jake helping Sara out after the Irish Massacre.

Gabriel (reading in voice over): ... to us how disappointing it is?

Back to Gabriel.

Gabriel (reading): Or should we cheerfully charge toward ...

Flash of Danny.

Gabriel (reading in voice over): ... whatever awaits us on the other side of death? Presuming it cannot be worse than this.

 

 

Cut to Ian in his cell. He is standing in one of the back corners. He has his sweater sleeves pulled over his hands and his arms are raised over his head with his hands touching either wall. His eyes are closed.

 

 

Back to Gabriel.

Gabriel (reading): If one studies the rich and successful ...

Flash of Ken Irons having a nightmare in his chair. He starts awake and checks the pocket watch in his right hand.

Gabriel (reading in voice over): ... one cannot help recognizing their path leads not to happiness.

Back to Gabriel.

Gabriel (reading): With apologies to those who will miss me, wouldn't you rather see me free-falling among the stars than chained to a life which only invokes my disdain, or even worse - my apathy?

Gabriel closes the comic.

 

 

Cut to Jake at his desk. He flips through his note pad, thinking.

Dante (voice over): We call ourselves the White Bulls.

Dante (voice over): This invitation is offered to you one time, and one time only.

Jake looks towards Dante's office.

 

 

Cut to Dante's office. He's filing papers when a knock sounds on the door. He turns to see Jake entering.

Dante: What's up?

Jake: I'm in.

Dante (smile): You won't be sorry.

Jake: But about this test, this initiation, and Pezzini ... I ...

Dante: Jake. Relax, my friend, relax.

Jake: You try relaxing in my position, all right.

Dante: The test will come when it's time. You won't even see it coming. You may not even know it's come. But one day I'll walk over here and say, "Jake, you passed."

Dante holds out his hand to Jake. Jake clasps it and they shake.

Jake: OK.

Dante: OK.

 

 

Cut to Ian in his cell. He is still (or again) in that odd pose in the corner. His eyes pop open and he doesn't look particularly pleased.

 

 

Cut to early morning. Sara walks into the holding area to see Orlinsky releasing Ian.

Sara: Hey, Nottingham. Where do you think you're going?

Ian is just pulling on his black duster. His hands are bare and his hair is loose. He doesn't look at Sara.

Sara: Orlinsky, what the hell is going on here?

Orlinsky: What the hell is going on with you, Pezzini? Trying to call that Marcus suicide a murder? That's my case.

Sara: You first.

Orlinsky: What's it look like? Mr. Nottingham's being released.

In the background Ian pulls his hair back and secures it with an elastic band.

Sara: No, no. Mr. Nottingham is my suspect, murder one.

Orlinsky: D.A. won't file. Lack of evidence.

Sara: I haven't put forward my evidence yet.

Orlinsky: Oh, and how would you do that, Pezzini? How do you put intuition on display in a courtroom? Hmmm? 'Cause you got nothing else on this man.

Orlinsky turns to Ian with a pen and a form to sign.

Orlinsky: Here.

Sara: Not going to file, my ass, Orlinsky.

Orlinsky just gives her a smirk and walks off.

Ian turns to Sara and looks at her face.

Ian (hopeful): If you want to stay close to me, just ask, Sara. We can be inseparable.

Sara can't believe what she's hearing.

Sara (low): Freak.

Sara looks down and closes her eyes.

Ian (disappointed): Is your partner in?

Sara (not looking up): No, Nottingham. Why?

Ian walks toward the exit.

Ian: I have a debt I wish to repay.

Sara turns and looks at him.

Sara: What kind of debt?

Ian opens the door and faces Sara once more.

Ian points at her and spins out of the doorway.

Ian: A debt of honor.

Sara knows this can't be good and her apprehension shows on her face.

 

Fade.

 

End Act III

 

 

 

Act IV

Open still early morning. Jake is doing push ups at a local college soccer field. He finishes and then puts on his warm up jacket. He reaches into his right jacket pocket and pulls out a bullet with a bull engraved on it.

 

 

Cut to Sara inside Sly's house looking at the comic that Gabriel received with his mail (or another copy of it). Gabriel enters.

Gabriel: You ... uh ... you said you had something to tell me.

Sara: Yeah.

 

 

Cut back to the soccer stadium. Jake is now running the stairs in the bleachers. Nearing the top, he is startled to see Ian sitting quietly, eyes closed, a short distance away. Jake continues on to the top. He pauses there a moment then starts back down. Ian is now standing on the stairs waiting for him, hands clasped behind his back.

 

 

Cut to Sara and Gabriel.

Sara: Your friend is dead, Gabriel.

Gabriel: That's what I came for?

Sara: That final comic was his farewell letter.

Gabriel: That was a goof. OK? Sly's been mouthing that existential crap for years.

Sara: Whether he ended his own life or not, he saw his death coming. And he accepted it. And now you have to accept it, too.

 

 

Cut back to the guys at the stadium.

Ian: Where's your gun, Detective? Why don't you use that bullet on me?

Jake: What bullet?

 

 

Cut to Sara and Gabriel.

Sara: Your refusing to even consider that Sly might have committed suicide is really your refusing to let him go.

Gabriel: That's B.S., Sara.

Gabriel walks away, toward the front door.

Sara: Gabriel, I see people deal with death every day. Denial and anger are the first two steps. You're stuck there. You've gotta move on.

Gabriel: So that's it? Case closed?

Sara: No, absolutely not. I'll keep investigating, but I want you to leave that job to me. Your job is to mourn your friend. He is gone, and there's a hole in your life where he used to be. And that's gotta hurt like hell. I am truly sorry for you.

Gabriel: Um ... you, uh, you know because of that? (Points at the Witchblade.)

Sara (shakes her head): No, because of this. (Points to her heart.) Come here.

She moves to enfold him in a hug.

Sara: It's going to be OK.

She notices something in the Witchblade gem.

 

 

Cut to the stadium. Jake is still standing two steps above a quiescent Ian.

Jake: If this is about the punch I threw ...

Jake laughs then turns to the row of seats next to him. He picks up his gun from under a towel there.

Jake: ... Hey, man ... (pointing the gun at Ian) ... I'm just trying to apologize.

Ian uses both hands in a blurring move to swiftly disarm Jake. Jake throws a right-handed punch that is blocked by Ian's left forearm. Ian follows with a shot to the body that doubles Jake over. Ian shoves him over to the bleachers. Jake tumbles down several rows. Just as he gets back to his feet, Ian delivers a high kick to his head. Jake tumbles down several more rows, stopping at a concrete wall surrounding an entry tunnel. Ian jumps after him.

Jake tries to backhand Ian, but gets a left-handed punch instead. He goes down again, but gets back up quickly, blood spattered across his face and onto his jacket. He charges Ian, who steps out of his way. Jake stops a few rows down, holding onto the railing around the entry tunnel and breathing hard.

Ian jumps down and grabs Jake's throat with his left hand.

Ian: How will you apologize for betraying your partner? For sentencing her to death?

Jake: You talking about Sara?!

Ian: You don't even deserve to say her name.

Ian punches Jake with his right hand, sending him over the railing to the floor of the tunnel 10-12 feet below. Ian jumps over the railing to land near a now-standing Jake. He lands a front snap kick to Jake's face, sending him stumbling to land near the low wall around the edge of the bleachers. Another kick forces Jake over the wall to land on the field. Ian leaps after him.

Jake picks up a metal folding chair there and catches Ian across the face as he's coming out of his crouch after the leap. Jake readies for another swing as Ian advances on him. Jake swings and Ian ducks to let it pass overhead. Jake tries an overhead smash which Ian catches with his arms crossed. Ian twists the chair out of Jake's grasp.

Jake stumbles several yards away. Ian walks swiftly toward him and strikes him with his right fist. Jake staggers back a few more feet and Ian follows with another massive right.

Jake is swaying on his knees, blood spots everywhere. He's breathing hard and drops to his knees and elbows. Ian almost runs up to him, then stops. He goes down to one knee in front of Jake and grabs his jacket near the throat with his left hand. With his right hand, he picks the bullet out of Jake's jacket. {How it stayed in there through all this, I don't know.}

Ian places the bullet between Jake's teeth, tip pointed inside Jake's mouth. Ian draws back his right fist, with its heavy silver ring outside the glove and prepares to strike. {Would this really work? Can you "fire" a bullet like this?} He punches toward Jake's face, just barely stopping when he hears his name being called.

Sara: Hey, Nottingham! Why don't you pick a fair fight?

Sara strides across the field toward Ian, who is still holding up a swaying Jake.

Ian: I've never met a worthy opponent till I met you.

Jake, while they are focused on each other, removes the bullet from his mouth and replaces it in his pocket.

Ian: My life is yours for the taking.

Sara: Let him go.

Ian: Before you rescue him, consider this. He betrayed you.

Sara: Yeah? There's a lot of that going around.

Ian: You know less than you think you do.

Sara: Listen, you psycho crazy Galahad, you wanna make me happy? Let him go, now.

Ian: I'm committed to your partner's death. The only way to save his life is to end mine.

Sara raises the Witchblade gauntlet to him. The "eye" opens and the blade extends about six inches.

Sara: That would be your choice, not mine.

Ian releases Jake, who falls flat without his support. The Witchblade changes back into the bracelet. Sara, watching Ian, goes to Jake.

Sara: Hey ... it's OK.

Ian walks off a bit.

Ian: Sara ... You wouldn't lift the blade against your own flesh and blood, would you?

Sara's head snaps around.

Sara: What?!

Ian has turned from her, walking away.

Sara: What did you say?!

Ian (not turning): I said your partner needs medical attention.

Sara: What did you say?! Nottingham!

But Ian is already running across the field to the exit.

Sara turns back to Jake lying on the field. His face is a real mess.

 

 

Cut to Jake and Sara in their office. Sara is tending to Jake's wounds. He flinches from her latest ministration. Jake holds a cold pack to his face.

Jake: Ah!

Sara: Wuss. There. How's that feel?

Jake: Like I got hit by a truck.

Sara: Well, that's exactly what happened, right?

Sara looks at Jake until he agrees to this very altered version of how his face got into the shape it's in.

Jake: Right.

Sara: You want to tell me anything about the questions that Nottingham was asking the day we Q-and-A'd him?

Jake: Yeah. I wanna tell you the guy's absolutely full of crap.

Sara: Good.

Jake: What? You believe him not me?

Sara: I believe me.

Jake: But ...

Sara: In this case, I'll take your word for it.

Jake: Good. ... Guess we're even now. I helped you out at the Irish Massacre, you helped me out today.

Sara: Hey, that's what partners are for.

Sara punches him on his left arm.

Jake: Ow!

Sara's cell rings. By the look on her face, she knows (or can guess) who it is. She opens it and puts it to her ear, but says nothing.

Ian's voice (over phone): Hello, Sara.

Sara: "Flesh and blood"?

 

 

Cut to Ian sitting on the staircase in Sly's house, resting a scabbarded sword between his legs.

Ian: Gabriel's right. The death of Sylvester Marcus was no suicide. I know it for a fact.

 

 

Cut to Sara.

Sara: Seems to me there's only one way you could know that for a fact.

 

 

Cut to Ian.

Ian: Mr. Irons felt that life was imitating art a bit too closely. The comic that kid published, Parricide ... I always liked that comic.

Ian breaks the connection.

 

 

Cut back to Sara. She steps back into her office and closes the door.

 

 

Fade.

 

 

End Act IV