NCIS Los Angeles s02e09 Episode Script

Absolution

The plane is ready when you are, Mr.
Renner.
I've loaded your luggage.
I'll be down in a few minutes.
Okay.
Forgive me, Boyle, but it's just too early for Mahler.
Of course, sir.
Boyle? No.
What you got there, Inspector Gadget? It's an electric potential sensor that can read changes in the electrical field caused by your heartbeat.
Mm.
Seventy-two beats per minute.
It's pretty normal.
So it's like a high-tech stethoscope.
Uh, no, way more than that.
Okay, everybody's heartbeat is unique, right? Like a finger or voiceprint? Well, this sensor is strong enough to pick up, record and analyze your specific cardiac cycle from a considerable distance, even through walls.
Wow.
I thought Mr.
Microphone was fun.
I'm sorry, who? It was this toy microphone that amplified your voice through the radio.
Never mind, I got a person of interest alert.
The name's Sebastian Renner.
It popped up on the police report.
Hm.
I didn't flag him.
Neither did I.
But I did.
Whoa.
Would you look at that? Forty-six beats per minute.
That's incredible.
Ah.
That's tsa lung trul khor, Tibetan yoga.
Sebastian Renner is a Swiss antiques dealer.
Not anymore.
He was found murdered near the Hollywood sign.
You'd best rally the troops.
Would it help if I sang the theme from Rocky? Ha, ha.
Where the hell have you been? Waiting for you.
We were supposed to meet, go for a run before work.
We were supposed to meet at Patrick's Roadhouse for breakfast.
We can still get in a couple of miles.
No way, I just had pigs in blankets and waffles.
I'm a little bit full.
You're full of something and it ain't waffles.
Know what? You get a little grumpy when your blood sugar gets low.
Yeah.
Hetty wants everyone in ops, ASAP.
All right, we're on our way.
- Hey, hold on, let me get a towel.
- For what? - This is nice leather.
- Ha, ha.
It's nice.
Morning, sunshine.
You lied to me.
Not so much as a hello? I even called you sunshine.
- You said you needed a ride.
- I do.
Deeks, I'm your partner, not your chauffeur.
Thought you were having car trouble.
Nope.
- What are you doing? - Hm? - Please tell me you didn't.
- What? - Oh, my God, you're using me as bait.
- No, no, no, not bait.
As a wingman.
This is what partners do.
Do you know how utterly unprofessional this is? You should tell me.
- What? - Don't stop.
Keep telling me, get mad.
Act like we're breaking up.
- Are you for real? - Partner? Oh, come on, sunshine.
- Wait.
- Stay away from me, it's over.
I can't do this anymore.
Listen, I'm sorry, all right? I know that it's tough when I'm on the road all the time, touring with the band.
I don't care about that.
You cheated on me.
With my brother.
Ha-ha-ha.
Mm.
That's just mean.
In addition to his antiques dealership, Sebastian Renner was also a known black marketeer.
Eric? The footage you're watching is from a surveillance perimeter around the Hollywood sign.
- No, no.
Unh.
Unh.
- Police are still on the scene.
That looks like an execution.
Yeah, but they're also looking for something.
Apparently, Renner used his antiques dealership as a front for brokering some major arms deals.
He specialized in weapons, salvaged and stolen, following the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Finding out who killed Renner is secondary to finding his little black book of weapon buyers and sellers.
Every spook and his brother will be looking for that intel and we need to find it first.
What if the men that killed him have it? Then we get it back.
Hold on a second.
That's it? End of discussion? The clock is ticking, Mr.
Callen.
And you're already late for the party.
Any further queries will have to wait.
Deeks and Kensi, see what you can learn from L.
A.
P.
D.
At the crime scene.
Sam and I will take Renner's house.
Problem? No, we're cool.
Yeah, you're so the opposite of cool.
So that's hot? So you think I'm hot.
It's cool.
Morning, Ray.
Guess who's here to see you, Mr.
Cole? J.
Edgar Hoover? We don't usually get to see you during the week, Mrs.
Cole.
I thought I'd surprise my husband.
Looks like we beat L.
A.
P.
D.
Here, but somebody else beat us.
- Hetty's right, we're late for the party.
- Huh.
Mouton Rothschild Pauillac.
Very fine, very rare.
Very expensive.
Maybe Renner was celebrating.
Maybe Sebastian Renner knew his time was running short and wanted to enjoy it while he could.
What's missing from this picture? Printer, scanner, cables.
No computer.
Hm.
Speaking of missing pictures Renner had no family.
These must all be friends or associates.
What was in this one? This guy's in a lot of them.
Probably a pretty good place to start.
- Yo.
- Eric.
Callen's sending you some photographs.
Need to identify the players.
Concentrate on a guy in his 30s who appears the most.
Got it.
Federal agents.
Come out with your hands up.
Hey, boys, how you doing? Easy.
Easy.
You're good doggies, aren't you? Yes, you are.
How are those waffles feeling right about now? Ha.
You know what's really funny? Your car is still in there.
What's all this? Sebastian Renner's personal effects.
L.
A.
P.
D.
Was more than happy to hand the case over.
Two less homicides for them to worry about.
No cell phone or laptop? Well, if he had either, the killers must have grabbed them.
I'll see what I can find in terms of phone, Internet and travel records.
- Who is this with Renner? - That's Sander Lee.
Callen and Sam found his photo all over Renner's house.
He's an interior designer here in L.
A.
He's got a store at the Pacific Design Center.
- Could be a client.
- Or something a little more significant.
Call Callen, let him know what you found.
Where's Hetty? Uh, she left right after this morning's briefing.
She didn't say where she was going.
"They wrenched the flag furiously from the dead man, and as they turned again, the corpse swayed forward with bowed head, one arm swung high, and the curved hand fell with heavy protest on the friend's unheeding shoulder.
" Sebastian Renner passed away this morning.
Do you remember him? He was an antique dealer.
Among other things.
I believe you had dealings with him in the past.
Did I? Yes.
I don't remember.
He helped smuggle you into this country in exchange for a book you gave him.
A book in which you'd recorded information about your past.
I told you, I don't remember.
Well, Renner is dead.
He was murdered.
You could be next, if they were to find you.
I would prefer death over this.
That should come as no surprise to you, Sylvia.
No.
What surprises me is that you haven't asked who killed Renner or why.
Perhaps I don't care.
Or perhaps you know who killed him, and perhaps you remember a lot more than you're telling me.
I am tired of being your prisoner.
It's okay, Mr.
Cole.
Just try and relax.
- I'm sorry.
- It's quite all right.
He gets frustrated sometimes.
Yes.
Perhaps it's best if you go back in and rest, dear.
I'll come back later.
This place is enormous.
One-point-two million square feet.
You've never been to the Pacific Design Center? Look who I'm asking.
Of course you've never been here.
That's a nice chair.
What do you know? You don't own any furniture.
- Well, maybe it's time I get a chair.
- Yeah? Thirty-seven hundred dollars.
I don't need a chair.
Sander Lee Design.
This is it through here.
How much did you give him? The usual.
He must have had a reaction.
Pulse is weak.
Federal agents.
Go.
Go quickly.
He's got a pulse but it's thready.
Stay with him.
- Drop the gun.
- Unh! Drop it.
Now.
Okay.
Okay.
- Did you get them? - One of them got away.
The other one needs an ambulance.
He gonna make it? - What's the word on Sander Lee? - Guy's in critical condition.
He would have been dead if it hadn't been for Sam keeping him alive.
He's not out of the woods yet.
The doctor said they pumped him full of narco-synthetic.
A truth serum? They thought he knew where Renner's black book was.
This book of Renner's must be one hell of a read if they're willing to keep killing people to get it.
- You find anything? - I talked to Sander's parents.
They're flying in from Phoenix to be with him.
They did confirm that he'd been in a relationship with Sebastian Renner for the past several years.
Eric, what do you got? I managed to ID the two men from Sander Lee's.
The dead guy is Dars Talbert.
The guy you wounded and captured is one Frederick Harbin.
Both in the country as agricultural attach├ęs, but are suspected of being Bundesnachrichtendienst.
Gesundheit.
BND is the German Federal Intelligence Service.
- A.
k.
a.
, spies.
- Just became an international incident.
There is a bright side.
If these guys are interrogating Sander Lee, they're still looking for something.
He's right.
Maybe they didn't find Sebastian Renner's black book.
Then again, they are Germans.
Could be just getting their kink on.
- I'm half German.
- I can see that.
Director Vance is on the phone.
- Where the hell is Hetty? - I'm right here.
Let me deal with the director.
I'll meet you in ops in 10 minutes.
Eric, access a file that's called, "Dinner Party 76.
" The password is Haruspex 77981.
- "Dinner 76" mean anything to you? - Not a clue.
It's buried in a bunch of administration folders.
What's that password code? Haruspex 77981.
In ancient Rome, a Haruspex was someone who could predict the future by reading the entrails of sacrificed sheep.
You don't think that Hetty Okay, here it is.
It's a surveillance folder on Bernstrom Kohl.
Bernstrom Kohl.
- The guy was Staatssecherheit.
- Gesundheit.
Just wait for it.
Rule of threes.
Third time's gonna be hilarious, I promise you.
Stasi were the East German Secret Police during the Cold War.
Cold War ended 20 years ago.
Seems to me like it's heating up again.
Bernstrom Kohl was a rising star in the former Soviet Republic before running into some trouble with his superiors.
Apparently, he had a little black book on some of his fellow Stasi operatives as well as foreign agents from numerous countries.
The little black book Sebastian Renner ostensibly possessed.
Kohl allegedly had evidence of some of the more infamous, albeit secret, operations of the KGB, the U.
S.
And Israel, including assassinations.
That's one hell of a dinner party.
So why would Hetty tell us this book is a list of arms dealers? Because the actual specifics of the book are way beyond all of our pay grades, Ms.
Blye.
Where did Renner get the book? Bernstrom Kohl traded the information to our friend Renner for safe passage to the West.
Renner kept the book as a sort of get-out-of-jail-free card.
Nobody wanted to risk that information leaking out so they left him alone.
So why did the Germans whack him now? Ah.
One never knows with the Germans.
Psh.
Right.
Come on guys, I'm right here.
Apologies, Herr Beale.
- Where's Bernstrom Kohl now? - He's been living in this country for several years under the name Branston Cole, C-O-L-E.
He had a stroke a while back which left him crippled and legally blind.
It may have contributed to early onset Alzheimer's, but that's debatable.
He's waiting in the boatshed.
Question Cole, see if you can get anything useful out of him.
Oh.
I had animal control move the dogs from Renner's property.
Perhaps Ms.
Blye and Mr.
Deeks can have a more thorough search.
- Absolutely.
- Done.
Hetty.
Do you have some sort of plan you wanna share? Yes, my plan is to prevent an onslaught of foreign operatives from tearing this town apart looking for that book.
I suggest you and your team do the same thing.
This place looks more like a museum than a house.
How can you even relax in a place like this? What, you don't like antiques? "Antique" is just a fancy word for "second-hand goods.
" Why would I want something that somebody else had? We're not talking about a toothbrush.
I mean, look around, you don't find craftsmanship like this anymore.
Some of this stuff is probably worth a fortune.
Reason number two: Why would I want a coffee table I can't put my boots on or have to worry about my beer leaving a ring? You are a classy chick.
I'm classy.
You're more sassy than classy.
Oh, and those yoga bunnies you were perving on before, they're classy? "It's really hard when I'm on the road all the time touring with the band.
" Like I said, classy.
Whoa.
Check this out.
It's an application for a clinical trial at UCLA Jonsson's Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Renner had cancer? I don't know.
If he did, it wasn't good.
This trial involves placing experimental chemotherapy wafers into the brain after the removal of a metastatic tumor.
Brain cancer.
That might explain why the Germans came after Renner now.
If they learned he was dying, they were afraid he was gonna unload the book.
Well, selling it would provide Sander Lee with a pretty nice nest egg.
Well, he's already got a nice little nest egg here but maybe Renner was getting rid of it so no one would come after Sander Lee looking for it.
Well, if so, he waited too long.
Hetty said the dogs were gone.
Dogs don't wear shoes.
Well, that's not necessarily true.
You ever seen those little dog booties? - Shh.
Shh.
- Got little bells on them.
Federal agents.
- L.
A.
P.
D.
- NSA.
- NCIS.
- M-O-U-S-E.
- What are you doing here? - This is our case.
Sebastian Renner was a foreign national with information considered a threat to the United States of America.
- Still our case.
- We don't have to be adversaries.
After all, we're on the same side.
Perhaps we could work together.
Have you found anything that might be? - Unh! - Whoa! What are you doing? You heard the guy.
We're on the same side.
- I'm pretty sure he's not in NSA.
- Pretty sure? You teed off on him like you were kicking a field goal.
I've got a hunch they're foreign operatives.
A hunch? You don't kick a guy in his junk on a hunch.
Jeez, sometimes I don't even know you.
Who does that? This place smells like fish and gasoline.
I can hear the water underneath me.
Where the hell am I? A boathouse? Something like that.
Budget cuts? Or are you planning on chopping me up into chum? We'd just like to ask you a few questions, Mr.
Cole.
You were an East German agent? Was I? I don't remember things.
Heh.
Tell us what you do remember.
I remember San Francisco.
November 22nd, 1989.
It smelled just like this.
But it was cold and drizzly.
Last day I had eyesight and the sun wasn't even shining.
Is that when you had the stroke? My stroke was caused by blood loss from two bullet holes.
Compliments of an American operative.
You were fortunate to survive.
Was I? Why don't you tell us about Sebastian Renner? He was an antiques dealer.
- Was? - He's dead, isn't he? Supposedly, he has a book of yours.
I don't remember any book, sorry.
You were told Sebastian Renner died this morning.
Usually, Alzheimer's patients have more of a problem with short-term memory.
I am not a doctor.
No.
You were a spy.
I was a lot of things.
Now I am just this.
You want my help? So be it.
We make a trade.
I tell you what you need to know and in exchange, Sylvia finishes what she started.
Sylvia? Vicious pixie owes me that much.
Sylvia is one of Hetty's aliases.
Hm.
Seems like there's a lot of old-school cloak-and-dagger stuff going on here we're not being told about.
How'd you make out? Did you take anything new from Renner's? Yes, these two guys.
These jokers waltzed in while we were there, tried to pass themselves off as NSA agents, but they're DGSE.
French Intelligence Agency.
- How'd you know they were bogus? - Their accents.
They didn't have accents.
Do you know the difference between French open syllabic organization and English trochaic speech patterning, Deeks? That old chestnut? Hetty was right.
They're coming out of the woodwork.
Where are they now? Had my L.
A.
P.
D.
Buddies lock them up for a few hours.
Give them a taste of the real L.
A.
That's not in the star tours.
- They have diplomatic immunity.
- That's why we put them in county.
They're gonna be lucky if they get to make a phone call by Christmas.
- Just don't let Kensi interrogate them.
- Why is that? Because the guy on the right, she kicked him in the nom des plumes.
- No.
- Guy didn't even have his weapon out.
- Really? - I Mm-hm.
Right in the cul-de-sac.
Kicked him so hard it gave me a stomachache.
So what? It would have been better if I pistol-whipped him across the face? Yes.
What is it with you guys and your? It Really, it's not It's not all that.
Trust me.
Did you guys manage to get anything out of Cole? Not so much.
He's playing us.
- He may not be the only one.
- What do you mean? - Yo.
- Eric, I need to talk to Hetty.
She left again.
- How long ago? - Uh, about an hour ago.
- Did she say where she was going? - No.
When I asked, she stared me down like a mongoose.
Bugger.
Don't tell me you wanted your chair reupholstered.
That was very foolish of you, Mr.
Callen.
You came dangerously close to having your head blown off.
You're lucky I caught a whiff of your partner's baby fresh scent.
You and I need to talk.
Shall we start with Branston Cole? Not unless he told you something useful.
Well, it was as much what he didn't tell me.
It was you.
I'm sorry? You shot him.
It was your wounds that led to his stroke, which also suggests it was you that kept him from dying.
That is quite a theory, Mr.
Callen.
You put him into an assisted living facility as your husband under a new name so you could keep working him for information.
Only it's difficult sometimes to tell when it's his Alzheimer's and when he's just playing you.
Tell me if I'm wrong.
He's a stubborn old bastard.
But I'm patient.
Occasionally, he trips up and I get him.
If I didn't know any better, I'd say that you two enjoy the game.
Maybe even each other's company.
Now you're straying into fantasy, Mr.
Callen.
Cole is an asset from the past, nothing more.
You read to him.
Every week for years.
It's a cover.
And it's wearing thin.
He's become more and more withdrawn lately.
As his physical condition worsens, so does his spirit.
He's willing to cooperate.
Hm.
If you agree to finish what you've started.
Oh.
He's asked you before? About a year ago.
Taking a life in the line of duty is one thing.
Hell, I've already shot him.
Twice.
I'm not a murderer, Mr.
Callen.
But I may be a hypocrite.
Cole's fate is now in the hands of someone far greater than I.
I didn't think there was such a person.
What about this little black book of secrets? I don't think he knows what Renner did with it.
Is it really as valuable as everyone thinks? From what I know, it could permanently damage international relationships and jeopardize our country's political security.
Such as what? - Sanctioned assassinations? - Use your imagination.
Are you in the book? The longer one stays in this business, Mr.
Callen, the more one's closet resembles an ossuary.
Mine, I'm afraid, is beginning to look like the Paris Catacombs.
Speaking of closets, did you find anything before you ducked into Sander Lee's? I found something.
I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to interrupt.
I could just No, no, tell us what you discovered, Nell.
Well, I was looking through the manuscripts, thinking that maybe there's something hidden in them.
It took me a while to even figure out what they were because they're written in boustrophedon.
Back and forth like plowing a field.
Exactly, very old school.
Miss Jones, to the point.
Right.
Well, the manuscript's legit.
It's not the book.
It's the bookmark.
Eric? It's sterling silver and very rare.
See, it has a magnifying glass compartment, which contains a miniature dictionary.
It was a very clever novelty item back in Victorian England.
That's when Eric and I started talking about Sherlock Holmes and vintage cloak-and-dagger stuff.
Anyway, it was Eric who found it.
It was the punctuation that was the tip-off.
There's just too much of it.
That's when our conversation started me thinking about Cold War spy craft, and then it hit me.
- Microdots.
- Exactly.
Renner was using old-school techniques to hide his assets in plain sight.
It was easily overlooked by everyone.
I managed to enlarge one of the microdots.
So we found it? Yes and no.
I'm still analyzing this, but for the most part, it just seems like a lot of outdated Cold War information.
The value of which is suspect, at best.
But it could mean that the information we're looking for is hidden in a similar manner.
You see how many books were in Renner's place? It could take years to look through them all for microdots.
- It's like picking flies - Yes, Mr.
Hanna, it would be labor intensive, to say the very least.
But we have to do something.
Washington is having a conniption fit over the number of foreign operatives who have descended on our city.
What if we put word out that Cole's book had been found and it's for sale? We could use some of what we found as proof to smoke out the foreign operatives that have infiltrated the city.
Sounds like a plan.
Let's do it.
I put it out to the Koreans and the Armenians that the book is for sale.
Speak to your buddy, Arkady? He might be helpful in spreading the word.
What is it? - It's Hetty.
- What about her? Something's not right.
I'll be right back.
What's going on? I'm not sure.
Nell, have you seen Hetty? She was in her office.
- Eric? - Yeah.
- Hetty up there? - Yes, she was I'm sorry, she's like a ninja.
- Mattias.
- Herta.
I had hope you'd find my note.
You look well.
Well enough.
- As do you.
- Too much sun.
Too much wine.
Too much food.
But I didn't expect either one of us to live this long, so who cares? If you hand over your weapons, it would spare us both the vulgarity of having me search you.
That's it these days.
And even then, it's mostly for the common street thug.
Ha, ha.
Please, sit.
Thank you.
It's a shame, isn't it? So much crime and corruption.
Whatever happened to honor among thieves, huh? Or respect for one's elders.
Let alone one's enemies.
Chivalry.
Indeed.
Do you ever come here? Occasionally.
It reminds me of the first time we met.
Vienna.
The Volksoper Wien.
I missed the second act of Die Landstreicher because of you.
I wish you'd stayed.
Of course, you still would have missed the second act.
I don't have the book, Mattias.
I don't even care anymore.
But to be honest, I'm beginning to think it's nothing more than a legend.
No, I don't want the book.
I want Kohl.
He's dead.
- Herta.
- I shot him myself.
That much is true, but our agents confirmed that he survived his run-in with the Gartenzwerg.
With you, Kohl was most fortunate.
I know only too well that most aren't.
Present company excepted.
You must know then that I won't tell you anything.
I would never insult you by suggesting you would.
I'm confident, however, that you are worth far more to your people than a crippled old blind man.
Which is why I'm certain they will be willing to trade him for you.
I apologize for the distastefulness of it all, but we should get going.
I'm not going anywhere.
You're just going to have to shoot me right here.
Herta, I could kiss you right now if I wasn't afraid you would gouge out both of my eyes and bite through my windpipe if I got close enough.
The fact that you are so damn defiant, especially knowing what I'm capable of You truly are the last of a dying breed.
We both are, Mattias.
We are, aren't we? It's not just my Kodachrome nostalgia for a simpler time.
The world has changed and our business has changed.
And I, for one, have seen enough bloodshed in the name of king and country.
Well, let me appeal to you as one Cold War survivor to another.
What is Kohl to you? No one cares about a crippled, blind traitor.
Surely you haven't developed feelings for the old man.
You know, he is the one who gave you the nickname Gartenzwerg.
Sticks and stones.
Unfortunately, we're now talking guns and knives.
You're just as valuable to me dead, my dear.
I send your people an ear, maybe a finger.
They'll hand over Kohl before your corpse is cold.
Why now? Who cares about the incoherent babblings of an old man? Some wounds last a lifetime.
Treason is one of them.
I'm sorry, Herta.
I find it hard to even do this myself.
But in the end, we all die alone.
One more step and she's dead.
Don't listen to him.
I already told him to shoot me.
And I'm still here.
- Clear.
- Clear.
Clear.
I guess that's the difference between us, Mattias.
Despite my best efforts to keep these ones at arm's length, I'm not in this alone.
Gesundheit.
Nicely played.
The FBI and the real NSA have been brought up to speed, along with the other agencies.
Hopefully, we'll be able to round up the rest of the foreign operatives still lurking around town.
What's going to happen to Mattias? If he's lucky, he'll be sent back to Germany in some face-saving spy trade.
Along with Kensi's French boyfriends.
What about this missing book? If it's hidden among Renner's manuscripts or in his library, it will take a while to find it.
Nevertheless, it was a job well done.
National security is a marathon, not a sprint.
I suggest you all get some rest.
The game begins anew tomorrow.
Well, I don't know about you guys, but I could use a drink.
You'd be better off getting a good night's sleep.
Don't let alcohol become your chosen form of stress management.
I'm not stressed, man, but I'm buying.
- Then I'm in.
- Me too.
Nell, that means you gotta come too.
I can't be the only woman in this group.
Really? Okay.
Looks like you're the designated driver, G.
Nice.
If that's the case, I'm gonna check with Hetty and see if she wants to make this the Magnificent Seven.
- I call shotgun.
- Fine.
You can have shotgun.
Oh, come on.
You see the look on your face? I'm all right, Mr.
Callen.
Thank you for not asking.
Just wanted to see if you wanna join us for a drink.
I'm driving.
A more generous, inviting offer I can't imagine.
But I have plans.
Hetty, you're kidding me.
You almost getting killed today, that doesn't merit a celebratory cocktail with your rescuers? I have a previous commitment.
Forgive me if I'm hesitant to let you out of my sight.
If you must know, I'm going to see Branston Cole.
Which means what, exactly? I'm not certain myself.
But it's something I have to do alone this time, and I'm confident that you'll respect my wishes to do so.
Good night, Mr.
Callen.

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