NCIS Los Angeles s02e21 Episode Script

Rocket Man

Hey, wait.
I'm in here.
Open the door.
Hey! And, uh One or two N's in "inoculate"? One.
The man says one.
How do you spell "lightning"? What report are you filing? He's not.
He's doing a crossword.
It's a word search, thank you.
It helps keep my intellect razor sharp.
Yeah, well, it's pronounced "lightning.
" There's no E, Razor.
- "Lightning.
" - "Lightning.
" I think it's a silent E.
Never fails.
You guys give us a four-hour delivery window and always show up at the last minute.
You know, when a girl says that she likes a man in uniform, I don't think this is what she had in mind.
Don't push it.
I'm so over this.
This is the worst assignment ever.
Come on, Sam.
Can't be any worse than the puppy park.
- G.
- Do tell.
What's the puppy park? Sam had to go undercover as a dog walker, only he forgot the baggies.
Five dogs.
Big dogs.
- No baggies.
- Oh.
Poop-scooping aside, going undercover's the best part of our job.
You get to be somebody you're not.
- For you, an improvement.
- And also you like to lie.
What? No.
I thought we were picking on Sam.
And secondly, it's not lying, it's truth re-imagined for the higher good.
Houston, we have a problem.
That can't be good.
OIlie Drewett, 52, an expert in rocket engine design, and founder of Drewett Space Technologies.
He got trapped in a satellite test chamber.
And it looks like he didn't pass the test.
Here he is showing off his latest rocket with his partner Harlan Holt, and his daughter Ariel.
She's head of operations.
They're basically a rocket-for-hire service.
You bring them a payload and they put it in orbit for a price.
What's up with the giant Rubik's cube? That's the satellite being tested.
More specifically, a micro-satellite.
Looks like it'd fit in the overhead.
After Reagan deregulated satellite launches for the private sector in the 80's, the industry, well, it took off.
Satellites got smaller and cheaper.
The one in question was designed and built by an American consortium for a Turkish telecommunications company.
As a favor to our NATO ally, the U.
Government agreed to build the satellite using the latest classified technology.
Ortam Communications pays for it, but they never get to actually see what makes it tick.
At least that's the agreement.
Anything useful on Drewett's cell phone? It froze and melted.
So it "frelted"? Spell that.
I managed to hack into Drewett's IM account.
Five minutes before he entered, "One last shake and bake.
" But it was an unscheduled test.
After the chamber is blast-chilled to below zero, it then heats up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
All the air is sucked out of those vents and it creates a vacuum.
Like space.
And the shake? The satellite stand is designed to vibrate at a high speed, to test if the satellite will hold up during liftoff.
Which, I'm guessing, has been postponed.
No, actually.
They're still scheduled to launch in five hours and 22 minutes.
Which is why the DOD wants us to make sure that this was an unfortunate industrial accident and not something which might compromise the security of our technology.
Amigos, vamoose.
Drive or fly? To Lancaster? Wait, no, tell me that's not a serious question.
Space technology is a pretty specialized field.
You really need someone who speaks their language to get them to open up.
Someone with power to shut them down wouldn't hurt.
An FAA inspection wouldn't be out of place, considering the circumstances.
Yeah, but the question is who? I mean, there's a lot to learn and not much time.
Why are you looking at me like that? Mr.
Beale, I think it's time for you to take a little field trip.
A field trip? Gentlemen, ma'am.
Welcome to Lancaster Air and Space Port.
Right this way.
See, now that is seriously cool.
They take passengers into space next year, if you've got 200K burning a hole in your pocket.
Does that include the baggage fee? Wonder if they have jet packs out here? Got to talk to Hetty about getting us some jet packs.
Settle down, space cadet.
You guys here about OIlie? You knew him? Yeah, I knew him.
Well, at least we know the locals are friendly.
Photo ID's, please.
- Thanks.
- That's Harlan Holt, Drewett's business partner.
We'll start with him.
See if you can find Drewett's daughter.
Kens, she lost her father last night.
A little female bonding may go a long way.
You got it.
So after about 15 seconds, hopefully, if the timing is right, - the satellite will launch.
- Mr.
Holt? - But Yes? - Agents Hanna, Callen, NCIS.
I'm sorry, did we have an appointment? No.
But here we are.
Well, can this wait? These gentlemen have come a long way - and we're on a strict schedule.
- Pretty business as usual, considering your partner was just killed.
OIlie Drewett's death was a tragedy.
But we have a contract to uphold, and a small launch window, which is getting smaller every second I stand here talking to you.
Look, I'm sorry.
We're all dealing with OIlie's death and the stress of launching the satellite.
Feel free to look around, and I'll see you have full access to our facility.
Excuse me.
Excuse me! Who are you? Special Agent Blye, NCIS.
This is Detective Marty Deeks, L.
I already spoke to the police.
I'm an L.
Liaison, but this is an NCIS investigation now.
We're very, very sorry about your father.
Why is NCIS interested in this? Department of Defense request.
Protecting your classified technology, is that it? Just trying to safeguard that it hasn't been compromised.
Well, it hasn't.
Where's the satellite now? It's at the launch site.
It was mated about two hours ago.
Mated? Put on top of the rocket.
Ah, yes.
Who would have done that? It would have been my father.
But Harlan Holt took his place today.
- Your father's business partner.
- Yes.
Any tension between those two? Only about everything, 24/7.
My father didn't have a malevolent bone in his body.
Every person that worked here loved and respected him.
- But not Holt? - Different story.
How different? We ran checks on the computer that controls the test chamber, to see if there was a fault.
There wasn't.
So you're saying that your father's death wasn't an accident? I'm saying someone had to close the airlock and then activate the test signals.
You're saying that Harlan Holt Murdered my father? Definitely.
Okay, Mehmet Osip and Ali Yilmaz are here, representing the Turkish telecommunications conglomerate that bought the satellite.
We're running backgrounds.
These are Harlan Holt's career stops.
Any red flags? Yeah.
Back in the 90's, Holt started an export company with a guy by the name of Curtis Roby.
Not long after, they were cited for shipping parts and software on our Military Critical Technologies List.
Recipients included Libya, Syria, North Korea.
All national security threats.
So they lost their license.
Holt then left the company and started a new one with Drewett.
Where's Roby now? He runs his own space-tech company at Lancaster.
A direct competitor to Holt and Drewett's.
So did you finish forensics on the stress chamber? Still working.
The data at Drewett's a hard nut.
A lot of their intel is on a closed system.
No online access.
Which is why they need you out there.
Yeah, I guess.
Look, you're gonna do great.
Why was your father alone during the testing? Isn't there some sort of safety protocol? Built into the chamber program.
If there's a malfunction, it shuts down automatically.
It didn't because there was no malfunction.
Who had access to the control system besides your father? Me, Holt, some of our ground systems engineers.
Why do you think Holt did it? My father was all about vision.
Holt, all about profit.
And our company was losing money.
Holt wanted to sell.
My father found out he put feelers out to several companies.
How did your father feel about selling? He said, "Over his dead body.
" Good.
Ariel Drewett said Harlan Holt was trying to sell the company.
Her dad was not on board.
And by "not on board," she means that Holt killed him.
You guys find anything? Nothing solid.
Holt's stalling us.
Well, he is just about out of time.
Undercover work is a matter of confidence.
Were you ever in a school play, Mr.
Beale? - Twice, a tree and a horse.
- Ha-ha-ha.
Which end? When you're in your chair, up in Ops, you are one of the most confident people I've ever known.
Can I bring my chair? A case of nerves is understandable.
You're going into the field for the first time.
It's not that, it's It's just Out with it.
What? "Black Ops.
" "Call of Duty.
" I've wiped out entire platoons in an afternoon.
"World of Warcraft," God knows how many Mr.
Beale I don't have to bring a gun, do I? I don't think I could actually really kill someone.
Heaven forbid.
I have no intention of making you carry a weapon.
Relax, Mr.
This isn't rocket science, after all.
Well, actually, in this case, I guess it is.
You'll do fine.
Nell will be listening in on you at all times.
At all times? What if I have to use the restroom? I have a shy bladder.
OIlie was being stubborn.
What you call not wanting to hand over his life's dream for a payday? There wasn't gonna be a dream or a payday if he kept running the company the way he was.
Are they questioning them? Just taking the tour.
Look, OIlie was an idealist.
All his Right Stuff fantasies weren't making the overhead, R&D, payroll.
This is a business, an expensive one.
So you stood to lose your shirt if he didn't go along with the sale.
What are you implying? No one's implying anything.
He just asked you a question.
I was in a meeting when the accident happened.
That's not what he asked you.
With four other people who can verify that.
- How is that for an answer? - Sounds more like an alibi to me.
Gary Clay, FAA.
I don't understand why the FAA would be involved.
The accident occurred in a testing chamber.
Which raises safety issues that could affect a flight.
Yeah, I've got a work order here.
It's a pre-flight data audit.
I wanna speak to your supervisor.
Fine, but, you know, if I can't do my job, I gotta make a phone call, and the guy I call makes a phone call, and the launch is scrubbed, so Wait here.
I'll have one of our systems engineers escort you to the test chamber.
I mean, great.
That would be very helpful, thank you.
She seems nice.
Used to be in business with Roby, selling things you weren't supposed to.
- To people who weren't to have them.
- Business is expensive.
Your words.
I'm not selling anyone's technology.
We might wanna take a look at that satellite.
Come back with an army of lawyers, because we launch in four hours, if that payload doesn't go up, it'll ruin this company.
Not what OIlie Drewett would have wanted.
And that's something Ariel and I can agree on.
She thinks you killed her father.
Then she's wrong.
The eagle has landed.
Eric, you're going to be great.
I got your back.
- Colin Benson.
On a schedule.
- Gary Clay.
Great, everyone's leaving for the launch site but me.
- Where did you go to school? - Uh UC Boulder.
Couldn't make the cut at Caltech, huh? Undergrad.
Got my masters at MIT.
So did I.
Professor Gordon Ellis.
What a hard-ass, - but he sure knew his aerospace.
- Yeah.
You know, I really didn't need this today.
New fuel feed system has us generating seven megahertz at liftoff.
Have to completely refigure the Pogo Effect.
Oh, yeah? Hang on.
Searching "pogo effect.
" You do know what I'm talking about, right? I'm still searching.
Actually, no.
Because anything over five megahertz, you shouldn't be launching.
Nicely done.
I'm gonna need access to your system.
Hey, you can go to the launch site now.
Eric, got something for you on Gordon Ellis.
Oh, and by the way? Gordon Ellis hasn't taught at MIT for ten years.
And we're in.
I've got the data stream, and scanning - for bugs in the software.
- All right, good.
I'm gonna inspect the chamber.
Nell? Nell, we've got a problem.
Nell, you gotta help me.
Help! - Somebody, help me! - Oh, my God, Eric.
Problem, Miss Jones? It's the testing chamber.
Eric's locked inside and I can't shut it down.
- Somebody, help! - Callen, we have an emergency.
Nell, emergency shutoff.
What am I looking for? It's an override button.
It's red, protected by a clear cover.
You're sure Eric is all right, Mr.
Callen? A little shaken up, but Sam thinks he's gonna be fine.
Where was Holt when Eric got trapped? The launch site, with everyone else.
A very convenient alibi.
Much as I understand your cynicism, Mr.
Callen, Who set the chamber in motion? Holt is either working with someone else or there's another suspect we're just not seeing.
Eric wants to stay here and keep fishing around.
Kensi, Deeks will keep an eye on him.
Sam and I are headed back.
Very good, Mr.
Try not to get frozen or melted again until we get back.
It's "frelted.
" So, Eric, bad idea? No.
Not yet.
All right, Eric.
I ran a systems check on the test chamber.
No sign of a software malfunction.
What about Colin Benson? He was with me right before I went in.
Well, he wasn't back on his computer yet, unless he logged in from another site.
I'm still sweeping the system.
I'll let you know if I find anything.
Sorry you almost got frelted.
I hate that word.
- She said "frelted," didn't she? - Ugh.
- See, Kensi, it's catching on.
- Yeah.
I heard what happened.
Is he okay? Yeah, he seems to be.
Is it possible for someone to remotely activate the test chamber? No, not that I'm aware of.
It's a closed system.
So where were you I was at the launch site.
Drewett fired a dozen employees after the last launch.
One of them filed a wrongful termination suit.
Jeff Kinto.
Kinto lives near the spaceport.
He claimed that DST was violating some safety standards.
Got the FAA involved, but the suit was settled.
FAA investigation never came to anything.
FAA, huh? Maybe it's time the FAA reopens the case in view of Drewett's death.
Think Eric's up for another assignment after he almost got killed today? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
We're talking about Eric.
Intellectual fortitude is just as important as physical strength.
I'm just saying, in the short time that I've been working with Mr.
Beale Oh, now it's Mr.
- He seems much more resilient than he may appear to be.
Looks can be deceiving, and since deception is one of the key aspects of being a good undercover Nell, do you have something for us? Well, I was going over Holt's phone records.
Seven phone calls to Curtis Roby in the last two weeks.
Ariel said Holt was putting out feelers to sell the company.
Roby's probably a potential buyer.
Holt and Roby also worked together ten years ago, when they were convicted of selling restricted parts to hostile nations.
I think it's time we talk to Roby.
See if he's got the wrong stuff.
So this guy fancies himself as an artist? Not exactly Rodin, is he? Coming from a guy who decorates his living room with a portrait of dogs playing poker? That's intentional.
I'm fully aware of the kitsch factor.
It's a statement of irony.
Is that what you tell girls you take back to your place? Just the art history majors.
Okay, Eric, it's showtime, buddy.
He looks nervous.
Well, you would be too if you almost got frelted.
Kinto? Gary Clay, FAA.
I need to talk to you about Drewett Space Technologies.
- I settled.
- We re-opened the case.
Because of what happened to Drewett? You claimed they fired you without cause.
They did me a favor.
Now I build what's really important.
Quite a 180 for an aerospace engineer.
Why did they fire you? They modified a guidance system.
Ran a stationary engine test.
And it didn't turn out so good.
New parts were substandard.
But you ordered them.
But it was Holt who said he knew where to get ones for a cheaper price.
And Ariel Drewett approved it.
But when it was discovered, they put the blame on you.
Getting this, Hetty? Loud and clear.
- Uh-oh.
- Could you elaborate on "uh-oh," Miss Jones? Well, I've been crosschecking background information on everyone associated with this case.
It seems that one of our Turkish friends has some glaring discrepancies in his personal history.
Ali Yilmaz did not attend Ankara University as his CV suggests.
Everybody lies on their résumé.
Or, at least, that's what Sam told me.
His passport record shows recent travel to Tunisia, Syria and Libya.
Cell phones brought down the Egyptian government.
In the wrong hands, a communication satellite can crush a revolution by controlling the airwaves.
I'm just saying.
I think we need to have a chat with our friend, Mr.
Drewett Technologies is scheduled to launch that rocket in exactly 26 minutes.
They need to delay until we can confirm that neither their satellite nor rocket have been compromised.
Patch me in to Mr.
We're on it, Hetty.
Roby's gonna have to wait.
This thing go any faster? Final checks are complete.
All systems are green.
- Resume countdown.
- Resuming countdown.
Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
We have ignition.
And liftoff.
All systems look good.
We are in the green.
Too late.
Ten seconds into flight.
Positive tracking.
Burn rate is steady.
We have vehicle failure.
There's not much left.
Nothing left.
They determine the cause? Take weeks.
Why bother? All these test mock-ups.
People thought my father kept them around for his vanity.
He told me they reminded him of how far we had come, and how hard we'd worked.
He saw every single one of them as a sacrifice.
What did you see them as? Something that he and I did together.
And now, we'II I lost my father too.
He was an amazing man.
And you still miss him? Every day.
But I found a way to move on.
It's what he would have wanted.
And it's definitely what I needed.
Eric Beale, returning from the field.
Is there a debrief? Do I write a report? Not exactly sure what the protocol is.
You can return your FAA credential to me, and go back to Ops.
Beale? I'm most appreciative of your efforts.
Really? You brought us valuable intelligence at great risk to your own personal well-being.
That's what I call solid undercover work.
And without the aid of a weapon.
So, what now? Now we find out who sabotaged that launch, and why.
Cell phone records indicate you called Roby one hour after your partner died.
Our company was devalued, but we still had assets.
Better to get something than nothing, which is what we have now.
Drewett found out you bought parts for the vehicle that were substandard and unreliable.
That's not a reason to kill someone.
Besides, Drewett replaced everything.
Oversaw the installation himself.
One of the Turkish representatives, Ali Yilmaz, has links to a half a dozen countries barred from military trade with the U.
You have a history of selling sensitive technology to bad people, Mr.
Maybe you let Yilmaz get a look at the classified technology in that satellite.
And Drewett found out about it.
Now, that's a reason to kill somebody.
He reminds me of every guy who looked me in the face, and said, "I'll call you.
" Ladies see through that? Really? So Kensi thinks he looks hinky.
Well, looking hinky and being hinky are two different things.
- You think Ariel is wrong about Holt? - Maybe.
Holt wasn't near that test chamber when Eric almost got fried.
Why try to kill Eric? That doesn't make any sense.
A misdirect.
Putting the focus on a malfunction, instead of the murder.
Which we know it's not.
Okay, so the operating system was remotely activated, which could indicate Holt has an accomplice.
Or that he doesn't and we're looking for somebody else.
Whoever locked the chamber and started the test had to have Eric go inside and Drewett too.
- Cameras? - There's only one.
It feeds to a closed-in security system.
Unless My old desk.
- Just as you left it.
- Heh.
My chair.
Untouched and unswiveled.
Are you okay? It's just not easy coming back in after you've been out there.
I guess I understand.
I mean, even if you were out there for only seven hours.
- You must be hooked.
- Yeah.
It was challenging and exhilarating, - but ultimately - Unsatisfying.
Well, we have a ton of data to go through.
I'm back, Nell.
I'm glad, Eric.
Accessing Drewett's computer.
I got e-mails.
They were hidden in a cloud file.
Hey, this one's recent.
Holt to Drewett: "New MEMS are here.
" Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems.
It's special chips.
Drewett to Holt, "Great.
" - Holt to Drewett - "I'm happy to install.
" Drewett, "Be my guest.
" But Holt told Callen and Sam that Drewett installed them.
- Well, he must have lied.
- Why? Because maybe he never swapped them out.
Camera within a camera.
Just like we did in Kosovo.
Question is, who put it there? We're missing something.
In my case, a fortune.
But how is that possible? Because you have no future? Just saying.
We've analyzed the telemetry data on all three launches.
The first two were test launches.
They went perfectly.
The third, carrying the satellite, went kaboom after 15 seconds.
But the graphs and data on all three are the same.
Which is weird.
What kind of weird? Well, the first two didn't carry a payload.
The third carried the satellite.
It's small, but it's heavy.
There would have been a weight differential.
Which would have skewed the telemetry data.
Unless, wasn't carrying a real satellite.
A dummy.
Like the mock-ups that weigh practically nothing.
The rocket failure was a cover.
Final "shake and bake" test wasn't scheduled.
It was Drewett's idea, checking things one last time.
The moment he started that test, he would've found out - that the satellite had been replaced.
- And there's your motive.
The launch goes ahead, the rocket explodes, destroying the evidence.
Someone walks off with a state-of-the-art satellite loaded with classified U.
Seller's market.
It would fit in an overhead.
Stealing a satellite is one thing, but selling it? Not easy to get one through security.
It's not the satellite that's so important, but what's inside.
The satellite, solar panels, battery, transponders, but in here, nanotechnology.
Tiny machines, smaller than the hair on a flea.
And very classified.
Strip it down, mark up the parts.
Hard to trace.
Holt has to be working with somebody else.
Got an alibi for when Drewett was killed.
So he gave someone remote access to the test chamber.
Someone who could have monitored and activated it from his computer or smartphone.
Whoever was watching the micro-camera.
Curtis Roby? He and Holt do have a history of selling restricted parts to the wrong people.
Kensi, Deeks, find him.
Check him out.
Curtis Roby? NCIS.
I know who you are.
How did you find me? Smartphones.
Law enforcement's friend.
That's an invasion of my privacy.
Maybe you should have answered when we called you.
Why? I've got nothing to talk about.
Not even OIlie Drewett? Okay.
Let's talk about Harlan Holt.
You and Holt do have a history of being naughty, don't you? That was a long time ago.
Holt's calls weren't a long time ago.
Seven calls in the space of two weeks? The most recent being an hour after Drewett died.
He wanted me to buy into Drewett's company.
That would have been a sweet payback.
Payback for what? For not making me a partner in his company, like he did Holt.
Well, I guess two guys with a history of illegal sales wouldn't have looked good in the company profile.
Drewett wasn't gonna let the deal go through.
Pretty good reason to get him out of the way.
I was nowhere near that building when Drewett was killed.
And I can prove it.
You are a software engineer who specializes in remote operating systems.
You didn't have to be there.
You and Holt team up again? This time, get real naughty? - You've got it wrong.
- Do we? I hated OIlie Drewett.
But I did not kill him.
Well, looked you right in the eye when he said it.
And didn't even blink.
Which leaves us with Mr.
- Kens, you ready? - We're in position.
On your mark.
Three, two, one.
That's funny.
Didn't really see him as a country music fan.
Nell, Holt's dead.
Where's Yilmaz? At his motel.
He hasn't been near Holt's place since the launch.
- And Roby? - Nothing on Roby's computer suggests he could've been monitoring the chamber or had any remote access to control it.
This rules out Holt.
Somebody knew Drewett went into that chamber.
You can't sit around, watching a camera feed all day.
Drewett's text to Ariel said he was gonna do one last test.
Maybe someone hacked into her phone.
They intercept the text, check the monitor, see Drewett, activate the system.
Murder by remote.
And we've got our hacker.
Jeff Kinto.
Who better to help Holt screw the company than someone the company screwed over.
Only Kinto decides to kill Holt and sell the satellite technology himself.
If he hasn't done so already.
We could be in luck, guys.
Kinto rents a booth at the Saugus Speedway flea market.
Trading starts at 7 a.
Tomorrow morning.
Ten bucks? Really? - What did you pay for yours? - Let's go this way.
Eyes on Kinto.
Coming up on his booth now.
They've made contact.
It can't be the sculptures they're interested in.
More likely what's attached to them.
Hiding the satellite chips in plain sight.
Now, wait for the exchange.
Kensi, Deeks, take the buyers.
Kensi, Deeks, we've got Kinto.
Everybody down! Power system, fueled and ready.
Pre-flight checks, complete.
Rotor systems, go.
Structural and engine post-assembly check, go.
Launch area, cleared and ready.
Vehicle power, on.
Engaging remote flight control system.
This is gonna be so cool.
Initiate countdown.
Initiating countdown.
Ten, nine, eight, seven Just a little something to show my appreciation for helping me through my first, and hopefully last, undercover assignment.
This is so sweet.
Couldn't have done it without you guys.
Especially you, Sam.
- Me? - Yeah.
Well, after Callen told me about how he found you puking your guts out before you went on your first undercover assignment, I figured, I could do this, no sweat.
I had food poisoning.
Think of it as truth re-imagined for the higher good.
Oh, that's nice.
I almost forgot.
I heard you're going back on your delivery job tomorrow.
Figured I'd save myself some time.
Is that right? - It's not a problem, is it? - No.
- It's fragile? - Uh Very.
- It's insured? - Of course.
That was a very smart decision.
Mm-mm! Oops.

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