NCIS Los Angeles s11e09 Episode Script

Kill Beale Vol. 1

Homeborg, intruder alert! HOMEBORG: I'm sorry, I'm not capable of this function.
You can ask me things like: read my to-do list, - weather, podcasts, reminders - Homeborg, intruder alert! [DISTORTED.]
: Intruder alert initiated.
Intruder alert initiated.
Cheese and crackers, cheese and crackers, cheese and crackers [PANTING.]
Oh, come on.
Hey, hey, hey.
Hi! Hey, hey, hey.
Can you just wait? Hold on one second.
You guys, I-I-I need you.
'Cause [GRUNTS.]
Hey, hey! Uh [TIRES SCREECH.]
- Whoops.
I-I can explain.
- Put your hands up! - I knew the 10+ model was too big.
Then the 72-hour backup battery, you got to have that.
And I'm-I'm in tech.
You can see my predicament, right? [GRUNTS.]
I'm with NCIS.
: You can talk to Henrietta.
As much as I love getting an early start, even coffee shops don't open until 4:00 a.
, and this drip coffee just ain't gonna cut it this early.
Tell me about it.
I had to resort to gas station energy drinks.
Is it probably gonna kill me? Sure.
But with Deeks away on LAPD assignment all week, - there is no one here, uh, to stop me.
- Mmm.
So I am enjoying a much-deserved lady staycation with Lizzo and chemical-laced junk food all week.
Exactly how much of that have you consumed? I'm a little shaky, I'm not gonna lie to you.
But I'm fine.
Call from Hetty.
You might want to Yep, yep, yep.
Hello, Hetty.
Jones, Ms.
I appreciate you coming in so quickly at this hour.
Uh, what's going on? Is everyone okay? Mr.
Beale has been arrested by the San Francisco PD.
Wait, E-Eric? For what? Has his D&D campaign gone too far again? Well, it's a little more serious than that.
According to this police report, he was the victim of a home invasion last night.
Is he okay? Oh, yes, he's fine.
Just a little shaken up.
Apparently he broke the window of a squad car during his escape.
With a cell phone.
What? I told him the 10+ was gonna be too big.
Hetty, do you think this has something to do with his new job or maybe his status with NCIS? Too soon to tell.
I have Sam and Callen en route to San Francisco now.
He's in good hands, Ms.
I feel as though, and-and please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm just getting the sense that you're still mad at me.
What would give you that idea? Just a hunch.
Just keep drinking your coffee, okay? I don't have time for you to fall asleep for the 18th time.
Hey! Hey! Yeah.
It's like interviewing a damn sloth.
Sorry, I don't know what's gotten into me.
Except a bullet.
You were grazed by a bullet.
Barely left a mark.
: Okay I am NCIS, you're SFPD.
For the sake of agency relations, I am willing to put this whole thing behind us.
Beale, your story checks out.
I've got two NCIS agents here to pick you up.
Thank God.
Not that it wasn't a pleasure.
- Hmm.
Not who I was expecting.
- ROBIN: Mr.
Beale, I'm Special Agent Robin Ip from the Monterey NCIS Office.
Hetty Lange is sending two agents up from L.
to come get you, but in the interim, my partner and I have been tasked with keeping you safe.
Or she will have our head on a platter of avocado toast.
That's my Hetty.
- We got here as quickly as we could.
And, uh, apparently for good reason.
Excuse me, Officers, does your precinct usually treat other agencies this way? Okay.
Come on, Eric.
I'm sure my partner has an extra clean shirt in the car.
You know what? Actually, I wouldn't mind a San Francisco Police Department sweatshirt.
Perhaps from the detective division? No? Uh, a baseball jersey? A T-T-shirt? Tank top? - Challenge coin? - Okay, then.
- Shall we? Okay.
- Yeah, okay.
Any news from SFPD? Yeah, they sent officers to his apartment, but nothing seems to have been taken.
TV's still on the wall, wallet just sitting on his dresser.
Any news from Eric? I keep checking his message board, but no, nothing yet.
He's probably just waiting to call.
Actually, it's been nothing for the past two weeks.
You guys haven't spoken for two weeks? Nope.
I mean, it's probably fine.
Is it? Initially, I thought it was just a symptom of the new job.
You know, he would go and I would stay - Mm-hmm - and we just wouldn't hear from each other for a while.
But we always reconnected eventually.
It just kind of became the new norm.
But now I can't help but think that maybe I was so busy being busy that somehow I missed something.
Listen, as you very well know, I have been there and I have done that.
Deeks and I have been separated by continents for months without any contact.
- And we're fine.
- I know, - but you guys didn't choose to do that.
- Hey.
Eric is fine.
He's going to be fine.
And you two are going to be fine.
Of course.
Right on time.
Callen and Sam just landed at SFO.
: Robbery and Homicide Got to love San Francisco.
Yeah, well, what's not to love? It's the joys of L.
without the heat.
Did you not see that layer of fog we came through to get in? I thought it was the runway.
What is the point of sunlight if you can't see it? You're talking to the wrong man.
I live at the marina.
I live for fog.
How you doing? NCIS Special Agent Callen, Special Agent Hanna.
We're here for Eric Beale.
The guy who broke the window? Oh.
How could we forget? One minute, please.
I'll call Nancy.
She's one of the officers handling the case.
Thank you.
Officer McGrath to the front, please.
You guys really work with that guy? - Every day.
- Ugh.
You have no idea.
Well, then, I salute you.
Thank you for your service and all that.
- It's our pleasure.
- Mm-hmm.
Gentlemen, how can I help you? NCIS.
We're here for Eric Beale.
- The window breaker.
- Really? He left.
What do you mean he left? With your agency.
Two NCIS agents came to pick him up about an hour ago.
- Thanks again for the clothes.
- Of course.
Yeah, I usually try to stick to, uh, fair trade organics when possible, but the-these are nice, too.
You guys have, like, a cell phone I could borrow? Sorry, Eric.
Hetty insisted that we maintain radio silence until your colleagues arrive.
Oh, right.
Yeah, that's smart.
It's just that Nell will be worried.
Uh, she's my intelligence analyst.
Uh not "my" intelligence analyst personally.
She is an intelligence analyst.
Like, one of several intelligence analysts - that I work with.
- Radio silence.
But one of you must have, like, a laptop or a - No.
- I'm so sorry, Eric, but we have our orders from your boss.
We're a black box until Hetty's agents get here.
- Got it.
- You should try to rest.
- Yeah.
- You've been through a lot tonight.
Ain't that the truth, brother? [CHUCKLES.]
It's just, they've given me so much coffee, you know, probably on account of me being shot.
- They say that's worse.
- No, they don't.
So, uh, what should I call you guys? - Hmm? - Please don't encourage him.
Come on.
You guys must have nicknames within the agency.
- They used to call me Flash Bang eh, that's a long story.
But if you've ever heard them talk about Bulletproof, - you guys have met him.
Oh, my God.
The guys are gonna be killing themselves when they learn that Bulletproof Beale has survived yet another gunshot.
Hey, any news? I just got off the phone with our Resident Unit in Monterey.
They don't have any agents matching the description SFPD gave us.
What about other agencies? Well, not if they're within 300 miles of San Francisco.
I've basically contacted every government agency, short of the United States Postal Service.
Now I'm sorting through this surveillance footage looking for our two mystery agents, but whoever they are, they did a stellar job of avoiding getting caught on any security cams.
Well, they must have put on a pretty convincing show - if Eric went with them.
- Yeah, they must have.
What I can't wrap my mind around is: why take Eric in the first place? And why expose themselves by picking him up in front of a bunch of cops.
I mean, even for a professional, this is super risky.
So the home invaders break in, they chase Eric out of the apartment, and they don't take anything.
And then, later that same night, Eric is taken from SFPD custody by two unidentified "agents.
" This was never a robbery, it was a kidnapping.
They watched him escape with SFPD.
And then they went back to the precinct to finish the job.
Nice place you got here.
You guys went all out on the crime-infested spooky factor.
I'm really digging the whole abandoned restaurant motif.
We have a boatshed.
It has a trapdoor, goes right down to the marina.
That's pretty cool.
You guys have a trapdoor? Maybe it goes down to, like, a abandoned sewer or something like that? No? We can share this between field offices, right? That's a thing? It's gonna be light soon.
I feel like we should get you inside - before somebody sees you.
- Oh, copy that.
I live in the shadows.
I'll get him settled.
WOMAN: Right this way, gentlemen.
Not exactly my taste, but maybe the 12-year-old me might've liked it.
Ten bucks says he has a race car bed in the other room.
You know, I'd take that bet, but, uh, I'm not going to check.
Some things can't be unseen.
This is a hell of struggle.
Yeah, Beale's lucky he made it out.
Check it out.
A fléchette.
It could be from one of Eric's sci-fi weapons.
Maybe, but using a CO2 pistol would explain why none of Beale's neighbors reported hearing gunshots.
It's hollow.
Tip looks like it might be a hypodermic needle.
Maybe it's some kind of tranquilizer dart.
Huh, that's pretty advanced for some common criminals.
I'd say Kensi and Nell are right about the kidnapping angle.
So two gunmen break in, Beale manages to escape.
Then phony agents show up at SFPD two hours later claiming to be NCIS? How would they happen to figure that out? Well, they would've had to have known that he was already NCIS.
What, do you think they bugged his phone? - Whoa-whoa.
- What? You're about to step on the most dangerous thing in this place.
- That's a toy.
- No.
You're wrong.
It's a land mine for unsuspecting barefoot parents.
If you had kids, you'd know that.
They already knew Eric was NCIS before they went to the police station.
Nell said Eric treated it like he was deep undercover, zero contact with NCIS.
Well, they couldn't have just pinged the phone.
They'd have to be watching him somehow.
They bugged the place.
And what better way than something that has complete Bluetooth access to your entire home? [PHONE RINGS.]
Is Nell with you? Um, she is talking to SFPD.
- Why? - Okay, good.
This is probably best between us.
Um, hey, how's she holding up? I mean, she's holding.
Did you guys find anything at Eric's apartment? Yeah.
I think you guys were right about the kidnapping.
It looks like someone's been watching him for a while.
Looks like they were using his personal assistant device to watch him.
If someone was able to hack into it, they could access all the cameras and microphones in this place.
Allowing them to see and hear everything.
How did they sneak all that past Beale? I mean, the man was born a conspiracy theorist.
He's one Area 51 documentary away from wearing a tinfoil hat.
Well, if he knew someone was watching him, he would have informed NCIS.
Well, then why hadn't any of us heard of it? Maybe one of us has.
KENSI: Hetty, can I have a word with you, please? Good morning to you as well, Ms.
Good morning.
- Hmm? - Oh, no, I'm-I'm good.
I've actually all filled up on caffeine.
- You can take a seat.
- Thank you.
Uh, I'd like to talk to you about Eric.
I just heard back from Callen and Sam, and they said that Eric's home network has been compromised.
Now, whoever picked him up from the precinct was obviously watching him closely, because if they're willing to do that in front of the SFPD, it's because they found something.
So please tell me, what was Eric doing in San Francisco? Mr.
Beale was recruited by a, a tech company called Logic Wide.
Just another in a long line of Silicon Valley start-ups.
And you let him take this job? They offered him a large incentive to be a part of this new think tank opportunity.
That's a dream job for him.
From the outside, it was, but as with all things, if it's too good to be true, it most certainly is.
And Eric figured them out? Yes.
And for the past few weeks, he's been funneling information on their operations back to me.
So what you're telling me is, whoever bugged Eric's apartment figured out that he was operating undercover, is that it? What I'm telling you is, we have to find Mr.
Beale and we need to do it quickly.
Cream and sugar? Hmm? Oh, no, thanks.
Can I have, like-like, a water or something? Or maybe a coffee is fine, too.
Eighth cup of the day.
Not that I need it.
Like all NCIS agents, I am fueled purely by my need for justice.
Am I right, Chen? And I'm out.
Strong cup of joe, huh? [BOTH CHUCKLE.]
Eric, what can you tell us about Henrietta Lange? Hetty? Henrietta has a lot of ties and acquaintances.
I'd be curious to know who she's been talking to lately.
Well, she's, um, she's really popular, so, um You know, I think I'm gonna need a bathroom Name a few.
Um, you probably wouldn't know any.
Try me, Eric.
I think you'll come to find that I also know a lot of people in a lot of high places.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Uh, this coffee is really not settling well.
Oh Oh, need a bathroom.
Why didn't you grab him? He was right in front of you.
I'm not touching vomit.
You want him, you grab him.
How much did you give him? Enough to get the job done.
- Eric? Everything okay in there? If we're lucky he suffocated in his own vomit by now.
Break it down.
CHEN: Damn it.
The drugs will keep him from getting too far.
We have a few hours before he's fully conscious.
Till then he's just another drug addict out on the street.
: Mr.
You think we played any role in this? Us? How? We busted Eric's chops on a daily basis.
Maybe that's part of the reason he took the job.
He took the job 'cause it was a great opportunity.
Well, we also helped and encouraged him to try to become an agent.
And that may be the only reason he's still alive.
We might have given him a false sense of his abilities.
And that's probably why he signed up for this.
And now he's in over his head.
Yeah, and we're here to pull him out.
This job used to be a lot easier.
It was never easy.
It was just easier because you were working alone.
This is what happens when I stay in one place too long.
No, this is what happens when you get connected to other human beings.
First your sister, then Jake.
Now you're worried about Beale.
If I didn't know any better, I'd think you're turning into a real boy, Pinocchio.
Can't just be about the job, G.
At some point, the job has to end.
Then what do you have? Peace of mind, a clear conscience.
Lifelong regrets.
Okay, you know, you always know exactly the thing to say.
You ought to write one of those life affirmation books.
It's just a matter of time before we find Beale.
Yeah, yeah.
This is it.
Huh, I always wondered what a think tank would look like.
For some reason, I thought it'd be round.
Thought it'd be easier to think in a circle.
Yeah, okay.
May I help you, gentlemen? Special Agent Callen.
This is Special Agent Hanna.
We're from NCIS.
- Do you have an appointment? - No, but we need to speak to all those who were working with this employee his name is Eric Beale.
I'm afraid I'm not at liberty to discuss such things.
All our employees sign a strict NDA when we hire them.
And in return, we protect their privacy.
Well, Mr.
Beale was kidnapped.
And he's still missing, so speaking with his supervisor and some of his coworkers may help us in our search.
I would like to help you gentlemen, but short of a warrant, there's really nothing I can do.
I'm sorry.
Due to the highly sensitive nature of our work here, I'm gonna have to ask you to vacate the premises.
Okay, but if anything happens to him, I'm gonna hold you personally responsible for obstruction of a federal investigation.
Good luck finding your friend.
We never said he was our friend.
See you around.
They were waiting for us.
Probably got a conference room full of lawyers up there.
We're not getting anything out of here unless we steal it.
Any luck? No, but he hasn't turned up in the hospital or the morgue, so I guess that's something.
You checked the morgue? Several, in fact.
Hey, Eric is gonna be okay.
They don't call him Bulletproof Beale for nothing.
No one calls him that.
Except Eric himself.
Fair enough.
Hey, it's gonna work out.
It always does.
And I may have found someone to help us.
So This guy, his name is Sean Reynolds.
He's the CEO of the company that Eric works at.
Now, he's been in L.
for about three years trying to launch this digital modeling agency, where all the models are computer-generated.
So, virtual modeling? Essentially.
I don't know if he can help us, but I do plan on bringing him in for questioning.
So if you want to come with me, get out of here for a little bit, get some fresh air or something I would, but I feel like I should stay here in case Eric tries to contact us or maybe by some miracle, I find something.
You sure? Be good for you.
I'm sure.
Okay, well, let me know if you need anything or if you find anything, even if it feels like a long shot.
No, I will.
Thanks, Kens.
You bet.
Did you put Eric in a dangerous position? I didn't put him anywhere.
He took a job he wanted.
Oh, I am aware, but there's more to it than that.
This kidnapping is directly related to whatever it is Eric was working on, and I think you know a lot more than you're telling us.
So? I'm-I'm sorry.
Was there a question in there somewhere? Yeah.
Yeah, there is.
What's going on here? What was Eric really doing in San Francisco? Why is someone trying to kidnap him? Who are these people pretending to be NCIS? And why in the hell excuse my French are you doing this to Eric? You know he's not an agent.
He does not have the skill set to deal with this.
You may be surprised.
Oh, really? Well, that is just great, Hetty.
Really, it is I-I love the amount of confidence that you have in him, but that is not helping us find him right now.
And ultimately it may be what gets him killed! Are you prepared to deal with that?! I share your concern about Mr.
Beale's safety Eric.
His name is Eric.
Or are you already starting to distance yourself, should this thing go bad? Ms.
Jones, you've been up for hours.
Why don't you take a seat and have a cup of tea? No, I don't want any tea.
I want to find Eric.
We all do.
Uh, but in this job No, I don't care about the job.
Analyzing intelligence, manipulating data that's one thing.
But manipulating people as if they're mere assets? No.
I will never be good at that.
And I realize this now.
Hetty, I can't be you.
And honestly, I I don't think I want to be.
MAN: Hello? Uh, hey, I'm looking for Sean Reynolds.
My name is Special Agent Kensi Blye.
I'm with NCIS.
I'd like to Okay.
It's a very nice place you have here.
You sure you don't want some cereal? Oh, no, I filled up on a big bowl of Lucky Charms this morning, thank you.
So, how can I help you? Do you know this employee, Eric Beale? No.
What's he do? Well, he works at your company.
You should know.
I've been focused on some personal projects - the last couple years.
- Okay.
So if you're not running the company, who is? I have various division supervisors who take care of the day-to-day operations.
Day-to-day operations, such as? Well, you name it.
We are imagining the future today.
Wonderful, well [MUTTERING.]
Maybe you can help me imagine who tried to kidnap Beale or why? Oh, okay, sure.
Uh, does he owe people money? - What? - Is he a gambler or heir to a family fortune? Okay, let me just stop you right there.
I-I'm not trying to spitball as to why someone somewhere was kidnapped.
I'm trying to find out what Eric Beale did at the company that may have led to his kidnapping.
Oh I have no idea.
All right, well, um, supposedly, it was something to do with home security.
Well, there you go.
Okay, Sean, can you just focus on me for a second, just real quick? I need you to tell me what Eric Beale was working on at your company, and the name of all the other employees that may have been What is that? Is that a home security robot? Eric had one in his apartment.
My company makes them.
To spy on its employees.
To protect their person and property.
Sean, are you under surveillance? [KNOCKING.]
Expecting company? I wasn't even expecting you.
We got to go.
Let's move.
- Why? - Just to be safe, come on.
Come on.
Is there another way out? - Garage.
- Let's go, let's go.
Lead the way.
Let me see.
You're very popular today.
- What's up, Kens? Nell, I'm gonna need a little help here.
I'm with Reynolds right now.
We got six potential hostiles outside the hou - [BEEPING NEARBY.]
- Do they have a key? [GROANS.]
Scratch that.
All right, I got two guys coming in.
Scramble a REACT team.
I'll hold them off as long as I can.
Yep, I'm on it.
- What? [MOUTHING.]
Irene? [SHUSHES.]
Really? That's so cool.
: Sean.
: I have a panic room.
- Ooh! - [GUNFIRE.]
Move! Go! Come on, come on! Come on! Come on, go, go.
Give me that.
How cool is this? I honestly thought I'd never get to use it - for what it was built for.
- All right, REACT team is about five minutes out we'll just have to hold down the fort until they get here.
Whoa! You sure they can't get in? Nah.
This was designed by a Navy SEAL.
We have enough food and water in here to last two weeks.
All right.
So have you ever done any modeling? [MUFFLED GUNSHOT.]
Nothing here.
Well, there has to be something.
Everyone leaves a trail.
We ran plates, darts, electronics, facial rec, Kaleidoscope, you name it.
Yeah, all right.
So what are we missing? Well, they want Beale alive.
That can only mean two things.
Ransom, or he has something they want.
Well, if they suspected that he had penetrated their operation, they may have taken him just to find out how much he knows and who he's working for.
Beale's not gonna do well if he's questioned under duress.
Um, just wondering if, uh, I could borrow your cell phone.
It's, it's an emergency.
Uh the [EXHALES.]
Hi, ma'am, sorry, I just was wondering if you have a cell phone.
Thank you so mu oh! All right.
Nell, it's me.
I'm here.
I-I'm good.
I'm-I'm healthy, I'm okay.
Facial rec.
Oh, thanks.
Who were those guys at your house? I thought you knew them.
I've never seen them before in my life.
Any idea why they were after you? How do I know they weren't after you? Really? I should probably get my lawyer.
Why, does he know who they are? [DOOR OPENS.]
- Nell.
- Kens.
Who are you? I'm your worst nightmare, pal.
Did a little research.
You're not smart enough to have the company you do.
Your coding flat-out sucks, your imagination is rec room-level at best, and yet someone keeps dumping millions of dollars into your company.
Care to share why? Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna need my lawyer.
No, you don't.
I'm not saying another word without him.
That's okay.
You don't have to.
We're taking you home.
Home? To my house? What if those guys come back? Maybe your lawyer can help you.
NELL: Wake up, dude.
We're the only ones who can help you now, but you're gonna have to tell us everything.
Oh, my God, it's Eric.
Hold that thought.
Don't go anywhere.
Callen, Sam, I found him.
Eric is in Huntington Park.
I'm sending you the coordinates now.
The cavalry's on its way.
You're gonna be okay, Bulletproof.
What exactly is Bulletproof doing? Uh, he's Naruto running.
- Sorry? - Naruto Uzumaki.
Japanese manga ninja.
And why is he running like a ninja? I feel like he thinks it makes him harder to catch.
Well, it just might be working.
Just one of those days, huh? CHEN: We've been up all night looking for you.
What do you guys want from me? Put these on.
Behind your back.
- Let's go.
He cuffed himself to the bench.
: Oh, my God.
Any more tricks, and I'm gonna put a bullet in the back of your head - [SHOUTS.]
- Son of a bitch! I'm gonna kill him.
Playtime's over.
Nobody likes a playground bully.
Real agent, fake agent.
See the difference? [GRUNTS.]
You okay? I am now.
I can't believe you guys are here.
You ready to go home? Ugh.
You have no idea.
KENSI: Sean Reynolds made a bunch of money on novelty apps and then lost a whole lot more in failed ventures.
But because he was a recognizable entity, he was the perfect front man.
Five years ago, his failing app company becomes flush with investors and starts spending top dollar to recruit the brightest young minds in the country, shifting focus to the military-industrial sector.
Only, uh, Reynolds was not the one pulling the strings.
The Chinese were.
And they were developing technology under the guise of a Silicon Valley "start-up.
" Why steal our technology when you can own it? And then turn around and sell it back to our military with a built-in back door.
And Mr.
Beale has the proof of this? Yeah, thanks to you.
We also know that Reynolds is going to talk to us because he knows that we're his only chance of staying alive.
CALLEN: What, no banner? No cake? Look what we found.
Oh, my gosh, he's so cute.
Can I keep him, please? Uh, if you promise to take him for a walk, you can.
We were worried about you.
I was worried about me, too.
Did you, uh, you brief Hetty? Oh, uh, yeah, we did, and it kind of seemed like she already knew most of it.
Should be more than enough to prove that Logic Wide was a front for Chinese intelligence.
Are you gonna be okay? Of course he will.
He's Bulletproof.
Did they, uh, tell you? I was shot.
What? - Well, by a dart.
- Th-They say that's worse.
You know, I'm pretty sure - I read that somewhere.
- You did well.
Really well.
- Thanks.
- Welcome back.
Come on.
I'll reintroduce you to Ops.
On that note, I am going to go home, uh, pour myself a large glass of wine, and go to sleep.
Sounds great.
You coming? I'm gonna finish up some stuff around here and I will, uh, - see you tomorrow.
- Later.
- All righty.
- Bye.
ERIC: Home sweet home.
I should get abducted more often.
I missed you.
I mean I miss you.
I miss-missed you, too.
Okay, I'm just gonna go grab my stuff.
Come on and raise your freak flag high Come on and raise your freak flag high Be true to what you feel inside Don't let somebody else decide how to live your life 'Cause everybody's different and everyone's the same Be proud of who you are and how you play the game Go on and raise your freak flag high Is that coming from Ops? I think someone is happy to be home.
Is that for me? Unless you're leaving me to drink alone.
Oh, well, God forbid.
To Mr.
Beale's safe return.
Do you think I made a mistake? Oh, with Eric? Mm-hmm.
It was a tough call.
Um Look, he didn't have to do it, but who else could have? I mean, he had the perfect cover because it was real.
Would you have done it? I don't know.
But it was not my call to make.
Maybe it should be.
I thought you were grooming Nell for that.
I did, too.
I don't want your job, Hetty.
Neither do I.
But somebody's got to do it.
Think about it, Mr.
I won't be here forever.