Almost Paradise (2020) s01e03 Episode Script

Reef Eel Soup for the Soul

1 Governor.
Aren't you supposed to be avoiding sugar, Governor? You're worse than my doctor.
You said you'd fire me if I let you have another shakoy.
If this election goes south, we could both be out of a job by the end of the day.
So I am going to eat my feelings and you and my blood sugar are just gonna have to deal with it.
This campaign's gonna kill me.
My name is Alex Walker.
I'm ex-DEA.
Quit the agency because my friend and partner betrayed me.
One of my first assignments took me to an isolated beach right here on this island.
I sold what little I had and bought myself a gift shop.
There's peace, no stress, no drama.
Boy, was I wrong.
You doing okay, bud? I'm just peachy, man.
It's just, uh, judging from the sweat stain on your back and the postcards strewn around your shop suggest otherwise.
Don't do that, man.
Don't play detective with me.
- I invented detective.
- How about you take a break? I got just the thing.
Cures all kinds of stress.
The only thing I gotta do is hang this fish.
You realize no marlins swim in Filipino waters, right? Thank you, Ernesto! All right? It's a good luck charm.
I'm starting to think you just like being really angry all the time.
Don't do that either, okay? I know what you're doing.
- What am I doing? - A very rudimentary reverse psychology they teach bad cops with boundary issues.
I was just under the impression you were trying to change.
- You're still doing it, man.
- Hey, this will help.
Come on.
- Come on.
- All right, man.
But if there's any chanting, I'm out.
What have you got against chanting? You wanted to see me, Chief? Come in.
Which do you prefer? - Uh, the left one? - Me, too.
- Is that all? - No, sit down.
I didn't ask you here just to talk about my campaign for governor.
You're a good detective, Kai, one of the best in my department.
- Thank you.
- That's why I chose you to take on a special mission for me.
I've been hoping for another opportunity.
Are we talking a murder case? Something undercover? I'm assigning you to Governor Rosales' protective detail.
The governor's protective detail? - That's, um-- - Not what you were expecting? No, it's just that type of job is normally reserved for someone more junior.
Kai, maintaining the integrity of our democratic process is most important to me.
- Of course.
- That's why why I need someone I can trust to keep a close eye on the governor and report anything that might be suspicious.
In fact, report everything back to me.
Are you asking me to spy on her? Just because I'm running against the governor doesn't mean I forgo my responsibility - to keep her safe.
- Of course, it's just-- Excellent.
You'll do it? - Yes, it's just-- - Good.
And Kai? Let's keep this between us.
People from around the world come here to sample Cebu's amazing street food.
It's a source of great pride for our community.
No, no.
They've been plastering those things - all over my damn gift shop.
- Not a fan of politics? Politicians are like diapers, my friend.
They need to be changed 'cause they're both full of-- Shameful how so many of these vendors have been closing down.
- What happened? - I don't know.
But it's not good for the neighborhood.
Ah, the crown jewel of Cebu.
I'm telling you, this stuff is going to cure your hypertension.
My friend Gabriel had diabetes.
Ate this? Cured.
My cousin Manny, balding at 19.
Ate this? Cured.
My Uncle Tito had, shall we say, intimacy issues-- And he ate this and he was cured.
I got it.
It's because of the special ingredient.
What the hell is this? What's the special ingredient? The soul of the community.
I got two questions.
What is in this and is it dead? It's reef eel soup, caught in the ocean behind this restaurant.
And yes, it's dead, normally.
Eel sou-- norm-- eel soup, man? Like a sea snake? And what do you mean normally? Just try it.
He put yours in a special bowl.
It's an honor.
- Here, eat.
- Hmm.
I'd rather have hypertension.
Look at that.
It just moved.
Hey, an egg, all right? I grew up with eggs.
I can get behind an egg.
An egg, I trust.
Why is this crunchy? - It's a balut.
- What the hell's a balut? Fetal duck.
The crunchy part's the beak.
But you eat that, you're gonna feel strong.
I feel betrayed.
White people.
Back away from the chef.
What? Stay away from this, American.
Come on, man.
Are you done yet? My sea snake soup is getting cold.
This isn't over! You okay, chef? You should've stayed out of it.
Let me get this straight.
I was just supposed to stand there and watch him choke you to death? You only made things worse.
Told you I'd be back.
Excuse me, excuse me.
Now we know why the other carts closed.
Someone is shaking them down.
Bayani told me to stay out of it.
You thought you were protecting him.
Hell of a job I did.
Bayani, we're sorry to bother you, but I need to ask you a few questions.
What can you tell us about the attackers? Do you remember how many there were? Were they tall? Short? We can catch these guys.
Chef, I promise you that, okay? But you need to cooperate with us.
- I don't want your help.
- No, look.
I know I made a mistake, okay? And I am sorry, but let me fix it.
There's nothing you or anyone else can do.
Why? Next time, they will kill me.
Who will kill you? Chef, please.
Are you sure, doctor? Because if you're telling me I have to choose between sugar and death, I think I might take death.
Yeah, yeah.
I'm kidding.
No more bibingka.
You must be the detective Ocampo sent to join my security detail.
Kai Mendoza, Governor.
Are you here to spy on my campaign? Are you his mole? I know how it looks, but I assure you I don't have an agenda.
- Not yet.
- I'm sorry? Everybody's got a pure heart until someone offers them something they want.
All I want is to keep Cebu safe, ma'am.
- You're an idealist? - You say that like it's a bad thing.
Excuse me, Governor, Mr.
Montrose is here to see you.
Send him in.
Montrose, a pleasure to meet you.
This is Detective Mendoza, my security detail.
Governor, I was hoping we could have this discussion in private.
Of course.
Detective, if you wouldn't mind stepping outside? - You wanna slow down? - I came to this country for the culture, - not to burn it down.
- You didn't set that fire.
No, but it's my fault Bayani's in the hospital.
If I wouldn't have interfered, they wouldn't have retaliated.
We've got no idea why he was targeted.
Yeah, but we know what he looks like.
I know what he looks like.
And if we can find him here, we can arrest him.
So what is this, the unofficial official bad guy bar of Cebu? Yes.
Before we go in, you should know they don't like surprises.
You! Freeze! You! Get up.
Get up! If you ate the duck egg, you would've had him.
Well, it didn't stay down, did it? Come on.
That's a good deal! Everything okay, Governor? Men like that think just because they have money they can buy whatever and whoever they want.
I know you did it.
I know you did it.
Why don't you confess and make it so much easier on yourself? - Your friend got anger issues.
- He's working on it.
You think this is angry? You think this is angry? I'm not even annoyed, man.
You wanna see angry, punk? You think I'm scared of you? I know you're scared of me because I saw you.
I saw you take your hand and I saw you put it around Bayani's neck hours before he was assaulted and his place was burned to the ground! Why did you do it? Huh? Why did you do it? What did he owe you? He owe your protection money? You got the wrong guy.
We get one witness, you go to prison for a long time.
Not the local jail.
Big boy lockup.
You don't have anything on me! Mr.
Walker here was a witness to your assault and attempted extortion.
You're not gonna stop nothing! I'm just the guy who takes orders! - From who? - I tell you that, I'm dead man.
We gotta find out who's working for.
You said that food stalls have been shutting down - all over town recently, right? - Yeah.
Yeah, and I bet Face Tats in there is not the only thug shaking down chefs.
It feels like you're heading towards one of those ideas that puts me in mortal danger.
If he ain't gonna give up his crime boss, let's see if his boss can come to us.
Be honest, do I need more padding in the shoulders? Yeah, more padding.
So how did the special operations go? Anything to report? - Well, something kind of strange happened.
- Do tell.
The governor was in a meeting that got pretty heated.
In a meeting? That's it? I get heated meetings every day.
I want to know about the corruption, money changing hands, vote rigging.
Sorry, sir, didn't witness any vote rigging.
Keep at it.
I have an important meeting coming up with a very important donor.
- Who's the donor? - A Canadian gentleman who shares my vision of bringing more jobs to Cebu.
So, if you don't mind Luis, I want to be able to see these shoulders from space.
Oh! Mr.
- You're here early.
- Good to see you.
You must be new around here, huh? Finest lechon in the Philippines, boys.
- Fresh off the spit.
- Well, here's the thing, Chef.
My friend and I work for the people in charge of this area, and they didn't approve your business.
I did not realize I needed your approval.
Well, now you do, and not having it is a problem.
A problem? Do you get what I'm saying? I do, but, uh, I made an arrangement with someone who offered to provide me with protection.
Oh, really? And who did you make this arrangement with? Señores.
I believe I am the man you are looking for.
If I could introduce myself.
My name is Diego Caballos, and this man is under my protection.
What? What? I just bought that hat.
What are you going to do with that? You're gonna burn.
We are going to burn.
Your boss is gonna have to pay for my dry-cleaning.
Our boss is gonna have you killed, Spanish Fly.
You are in no position to make threats.
Now, tell me, why are you trying to shake down my clients? We just wanna make people move along.
We don't want no money.
We just want them to leave.
Who's your boss? You know we can't tell you that.
Well, it looks like we're gonna have to slow-roast them, chef.
Tell me, how do you like your low-level criminals cooked? - Well done.
- Well done.
Let's start with the big one.
No, no, no! I'll tell you anything you want! Please.
Please, no.
Not the fire! Likewise.
In the meantime, enjoy Cebu, hmm? It's all trash? Testing, testing.
Alex, do you copy? - Copy.
- So who do you think this guy is? Hopefully just some local thug trying to throw his weight around.
Here comes the cavalry.
Remember, if you get into any trouble, the code word is-- Yeah, avocado.
I got it.
He's on his way.
I am in no rush.
Oh, gracias.
No, no, no, no.
You all look beautiful.
Oh, thank you.
Walker? I hear you're the man that's trying to mess with my business.
No, no, señor.
You are messing with my business.
I run the area where I met your two compadres.
I have no idea who you are.
Who am I am, Mr.
Caballos? As you can see, I'm the man that's in charge.
What the hell is going on? You were about to walk into the middle of a sting.
Good thing I saw you coming.
- You're investigating Montrose? - You know this guy? Not exactly.
There is no need for theatrics.
Tell your snipers to stand down.
Did he just say snipers? As in more than one? Alex, are we in an avocado situation? I just want to talk.
What do you want to talk about? I want to know why you and your pandilleros over there - are chasing down my clients.
- What clients? The chefs, like the one they tried to attack today.
They are under my protection.
I'm afraid your clients are getting in the way of my plans.
And what plans are we talking about, señor? Well, that's my business, Mr.
Caballos? Well, if you're clearing out the land, it must be some sort of development.
Maybe a beautiful beach-front resort? Very lucrative, I'm sure.
I don't think they're talking about a resort, Alex.
I followed him to the docks.
But that wouldn't explain the shipping containers.
Excuse me? How do you know-- The ones you inspected earlier today, the ones filled with trash.
I have no idea what you're talking about.
I saw him at the capitol and at the police station-- I also know that you have taken meetings with Governor Rosales and her opponent Señor Ocampo.
Now, what would a Canadian businessman be doing shipping in tons of trash to the Philippines while simultaneously clearing out businesses in low-income areas and cozying up to local politicians? My guess? You're clearing the land for a dump.
Caballos-- And I also know you have been funding Ocampo's campaign so when he is governor he will grant you the permits needed for you to complete your conversion.
And if I was, what do you think I'd be willing to do to keep that information quiet? Oh, oh, oh.
Before you kill me, señor, would you like to hear why your plan is going to fail? What are you up to, Alex? Enlighten me.
- Ocampo can't win.
- Why not? Because the governor is fixing the election.
And how would you know that? Because I work for her.
And the chefs, they pay me to operate in Cebu, but I am the middleman.
She is the, how you say, real crime boss.
Fortunately for you, my friend, I have grown tired of the scraps - that are given to me by my employer.
- Meaning what? Meaning for the right price, I could work for you.
And how can you help me? Señor, have you ever fixed a fixed election? Hey.
You can't fix an election.
We're not fixing anything.
We don't even know anything about this guy.
- All we have is a last name.
- Found him.
Paul Montrose.
His business visa lists him as a lobbyist and former political consultant out of Canada.
- He's a corporate fixer.
- I've heard of a fixer before, but corporate fixer? When a multi-billion dollar international corporation wants to bend the law to get what they want, they send somebody in like Montrose.
He functions as a go-between for companies who don't want to get their hands dirty.
According to the database, Montrose has been accused of working for a blood diamond mining company in Africa, an Amazon deforestation corporation, and, well, you get it, other bad guys.
We just have to find out who he works for.
No idea.
He's been off the radar for awhile.
I remember something down at the docks.
There were these shipping containers with an owl logo on it.
Katorn Limited was on the barge anchored out into the channel.
Katorn Limited has turned coastal areas into recycling dumps all over the world.
- China, Brazil, Argentina.
- Yeah, and now Cebu.
- Poisoning the marine life.
- Destroying the community.
Not if we can stop him first.
- How are we gonna do that? - Guys like Montrose, they think everybody can be bought.
He thinks everyone is as corrupt as he is.
Then we just need to prove it.
The problem is, he's an intermediary.
I mean, it's almost impossible to link him back to any of the companies that he works for.
And if he does gets caught, they send in another guy, the whole thing starts over again.
Why do I have a feeling you have a mostly illegal plan to stop him? Mr.
Caballos, again, so I'm clear.
Working for the governor, I have access to her security cards.
This allows us into any locked area of the capitol.
Explain how this is gonna work.
In the Philippines, señor, the absentee votes are manually tabulated.
With a military base on the island, there are enough absentee ballots to tip any election.
Now, Governor Rosales, she has the power of her office to change the rules of the election.
The hand count for the province happens inside the capitol.
- That's smart.
- And I have a man in the tabulation room.
Last election, I swapped the ballots with enough fake votes to get Governor Rosales reelected.
This time we use these fake ballots.
To ensure Ocampo comes out on top.
You sure about this? Let me know when the van arrives.
How are we doing? He's on his way.
You look good in a hat.
Not everyone can pull that off.
- Let's just get on with it.
- Okay.
Absentee ballots.
I will see you in three years.
For your first election tampering, Señor Montrose, you have done very well.
Now, about my payment.
Sorry, Mr.
Caballos, but when it comes to manipulating democracy, I find it's better not to leave loose ends.
I'll dispose of these.
- Kill him.
- Wait, wait.
You're going to kill me? In a government building? No, no.
Of course not, no.
He's gonna knock you out, then kill you somewhere you'll never be found.
- Good-bye, Mr.
- Señor.
Are you sure you want to do this again? Because the last time, you almost got slow-roasted.
But now there's only one of you.
Yeah, about that.
There's still two of us.
I could've-- I could've taken both of them by myself.
Like the time with the kid on the scooter? That was the duck egg-- the fetal egg thing.
Let's have this conversation later.
What about you, big boy? How are you feeling? Nah, nah, I'm good.
I'm good.
Did you really have to do that? That was for Bayani.
What was that one for? That was just for fun.
What? What the hell? Trash? Feels bad, doesn't it? Being used? Taken advantage of? Pisses you off, right? What's going on? Election tampering is a serious crime on this island.
I didn't tamper.
He did.
Who, me? Nah, that's not what the camera saw, man.
You're gonna have to explain to a judge why you were inside delivering fake absentee votes.
And so what now? You gonna arrest me? No.
A one-way trip back to Canada is all you're ever gonna get out of the Philippines.
Save us all a big headache.
Leave the island and never come back.
No, no, no.
You're afraid.
- You know I can get out of this.
- Oh, you can stay, but then we'll then arrest you.
Maybe your high-priced lawyers can get you out.
Or maybe something happens to you in our jails before that.
If I were you, I wouldn't take the risk.
Take the ticket, Mr.
Next time, we won't be so nice.
By the way, I lied.
Hats are not a good look on you, man.
This campaign's gonna kill me.
I think it's time we made a deal.
You intend to shoot me, Mr.
Montrose? No, I intend to make you an offer, and this time you're going to listen.
I'm all ears.
One hundred thousand U.
It's enough to buy you every last shakoy in the country.
I'm afraid not, Mr.
How much do you want? I don't think you have that kind of money.
If I don't, the people I work for do.
How's a million dollars sound to you? That's a lot of money.
I can make it happen right now.
Just grant the land rights and the permits, and you tell me we have a deal.
This is my personal bank account, the one I use for wire transfers.
You're gonna accept wire transfers? The money spends the same.
This money is coming directly from my company's account so it must remain private.
Enter your routing numbers.
One million dollars.
Pleasure doing business with you.
There are 7,000 islands in the Philippines.
We could make a lot of money together turning every single one of them into a dump for western waste.
We could, except you'll be in prison.
And your company will be banned from ever doing business in this country again.
Excuse me? You just bribed a government official, and I have a record of it.
You set me up.
I've spent my whole career trying to stop people like you, people who think they can come in and destroy my country just so they can line their pockets.
At least you're gonna die with your principles intact.
Should've used that plane ticket.
Montrose, you're under arrest for bribery.
Add in extortion, soliciting arson, and assault and battery with intent to commit grievous bodily harm.
And by transferring funds over international lines, Katorn Limited has committed enough financial crimes to be permanently barred from operating in the Philippines.
All we needed was the paper trail.
What do you want? I'll give you anything.
I'll give you more money than you could ever imagine.
- Not everyone can be bought.
- Not when the cost is the lives of good people, right, chefs? Detective Mendoza, if I ever need protecting again, you'll be the first person I call.
Call me Kai.
And I wanted to thank you for prepping me on the situation.
You're welcome, Governor.
You didn't tell me he'd have a gun.
He was never gonna use it.
How did you know that? He's Canadian.
Looks like Montrose's trash is going back to where it came from.
Wanna see? No, I'd rather watch something else.
Come on.
Is it time? It's time.
You sure about this? Mm-hmm.
For the one you lost in the fire.
This just might work.
- Good? - Yeah, good.
As the leader of the investigation into the foreign interference in the Cebu elections, I bravely volunteered to go undercover as Governor Rosales' opponent.
And I'm very happy to put all of my support behind Governor Rosales and wish her the best in the next three years.
Is it just me or do his shoulders look bigger? You guys ready? You brought this thing all the way from the United States? It's a good luck charm.
All right, up, up.
I never took you for a superstitious guy.
Yeah, well, I got multitudes.
No way you know what that means.
Either way, I appreciate this, guys.
It's nice to have-- - Community? - Yeah, let's stick with that.
What'd you stuff this thing with? Concrete? Keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going.
Hup! - Not bad.
- That's perfect.
Maybe we don't make such a bad team after all.

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