NCIS: Sydney (2023) s01e04 Episode Script


Oh, my God, it stinks. It's all musty.
Stop fussing. You look great!
Happy anniversary.
[MAN 1] Happy anniversary.
Behold, citizens!
Welcome to The Rocks district,
one of Sydney's most
haunted neighborhoods.
If you listen, they are there
from the windows.
in the alleyways,
bringing history back to haunt you.
This way, please.
[MAN] Nightmares from this.
Down there was a cemetery.
Up here
was a bakery that was rumored
to have minced human flesh
into their pies.
- [BANG!]
Okay, that was impressive.
It's I think that's real.
[MACKEY] Damn.
Hey. LAC found this, called us in.
[JD] Say hello to Petty Officer
First Class Eddie Baker.
How the hell did he end up here?
Well, uh, likely he fell from up there.
Hello, hang about.
The impalement may not be
what killed him.
There's gunshot wound in his
chest just above his heart.
[EVIE] Hey!
Come take a look.
Check it out. Clear signs of a scuffle.
Yeah, trajectory lines up.
Found this too.
So what do we think? Some
kind of meet-up turns ugly.
There's a fight, someone pulls a gun.
Victim's shot, falls backwards
through the window.
- Any sign of the weapon?
- No, nothing.
Run the casing for prints.
Canvass the area.
I'm with you, Doc.
They're definitely green.
Initial diagnosis, Rosie?
40 years I've been in this racket.
My professional opinion is grass stains.
Telling us what exactly?
That he liked playing
touch footy barefoot.
Spent his last hours on Earth
at a backyard barbie.
[MACKEY] How'd we do?
Doorknocked every house
two blocks back from the scene.
- Learn anything?
- Only that most folks don't like
being dragged outta bed after midnight
to answer questions about
something they never saw.
Salutations, colleagues.
Hi, hel
So I had a sneak peek
at the shell casing.
From its marking and impressions,
it's most likely from a Colt .45.
- Pull any prints?
- Sure did!
Nothing from the local database,
so I ran it through
the US naval records.
Came up with this handsome fox.
Petty Officer Frank Doherty.
Wait, so our suspect is also US Navy?
Well, he was.
In 1971.
That was the last time
anyone saw him alive.
Come again?
He jumped ship in Sydney while on R&R.
A group of MPs tracked him down
to a pub in the Cross.
Doherty put two of them in hospital
and he was never seen again.
So he's a deserter.
And good at it! I mean,
50 years and counting.
Go get some sleep.
In the morning, we hunt down
this AWOL son of a bitch.
See my life flash before my eyes.
Now I just have to run it
through facial rec
and cross-reference it with
any government systems.
So if Petty Officer Doherty is
still alive and living in Sydney,
he's keeping a low profile.
For good reason. In the eyes of
the DOD, this guy's still AWOL.
Not just the DOD.
[EVIE] Really? After 50 years?
Desertion is a forever felony.
He gets caught? [WHISTLES]
Straight to Leavenworth.
I've tracked down a sister who's
still alive and living in Florida.
Not everyone living in Florida's alive?
You obviously haven't
been to Florida, Sarge.
She said she hadn't heard from
him since he jumped ship.
Fine. Till we get more intel on
Doherty, Baker's our best lead.
What do we know?
I spoke to his CO.
He has digs at HMAS 'Watson'.
Keep me posted.
Not much to it, as you can see.
Sweet views, though.
Is it normal for American
sailors like Petty Officer Baker
- to bunk down on Australian bases?
- [JAMESON] More and more,
with the increase
in American ships in the region
and the whole interoperability push.
- Works out well for everyone.
- [MACKEY] Wow.
- Okay, then.
- Hmm.
Looks like our boy was a collector.
What year did our ghost jump ship?
[MACKEY] '71.
Starting to see a pattern here.
[RECORDED VOICE] Vietnam was
often called the helicopter war
and the sound of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois,
widely known as Hueys,
is one of the most
distinctive soundtracks
Found him.
Sorry, I couldn't get off
a call with the Board.
[CHUCKLES] Armen Standish.
I'm the curator.
Special Agent Mackey, NCIS.
We're making inquiries
into, uh, this guy.
He's US Navy.
[STANDISH] Sure, I recognize him.
He's come in to use our research
facility a few times.
- For what?
- Medal authentication, mainly.
I'm pretty sure he's a trader.
What makes you think that?
Oh, a lot of them come in
wanting to authenticate old medals.
Do you know what what this is?
Yeah, looks like an ISBN code.
You have a library here?
No. We do have a microfiche.
Lot of the old files
haven't been digitized yet,
so it's a fallback for academics,
history buffs and well
Mr. Baker, apparently.
Haven't seen one of these
since my granddaddy
was searching our family tree.
Find what he was looking for?
- Nope.
- Wrong tree?
Some of the branches very wrong.
Here we go.
Any problems, just give me a shout.
[JD] Thank you.
So it's a newspaper article from
July 1971 on Frank Doherty.
"Vietnam war hero jumps ship in Sydney".
[MACKEY] War hero?
Yeah, it says, "Doherty
received the Navy Cross
for bravery in battle
during a tour in Vietnam".
Hey, what do you make of this?
Huh! Oh, wow.
What a beauty.
It's a Navy Cross,
second-highest decoration
after the Medal of Honor.
The ribbon is blue and white.
Blue for service, white for the
Purity of selflessness.
Kind of ironic under the circumstances.
It's old. Korean War, maybe.
[MACKEY] We think Petty Officer
Baker was likely trading medals.
We found them in his room,
including this Vietnam-era Navy Cross.
And an archival photo of Frank Doherty
receiving what looks like
the same medal.
Wait, so our deserter's also a war hero?
- Starting to look like it.
- [DESHAWN] Wow.
Says here Frank exposed
himself to hostile fire
rescuing a squad of Marines.
Got wounded taking out
a machine-gun nest,
but refused medical treatment
till the Marines were tended to.
Till he walked out on his pals.
Okay, sure, but it's war, so
I guess that it's complicated.
[MACKEY] It's not, actually.
You put on that uniform,
you agree to protect
the person next to you
no matter what, that's the deal.
AWOL or not, we need to work out
if Frank Doherty's still alive,
and if he is, did he kill Eddie Baker?
Extra points for why Baker ended
up with Frank's medals too.
- You wanna talk about that?
- Nope.
Come on, D.
That is the closest I've seen Mackey
to real-life human emoting.
I tracked down Doherty's file from '71.
Check it out.
It's like a time capsule.
Look, there's even a love letter
signed with just 'M'.
- 'M' for 'mysterious'.
- 'M' for 'embarrassing'.
Man, 'cause I can I can
almost smell the perfume.
I'm telling you, Frankie boy
had a girlfriend in Sydney.
You think that's her?
He was 20. Probably had
a girl in every port.
I don't know. You know, look.
I know true love when I see it.
- Wait, is that
- Mmm!
Possession is nine-tenths
of the law, amigo.
Damn, girl! I brought that for my lunch.
From yesterday!
I'm saving you from salmonella,
taking one for the team.
There's no 'I' in 'team', Evie.
No. But there's an 'I' in 'sushi'.
Her name is Mei Koo.
I aged up this photo.
It got a ping on facial rec.
And she's still living in Sydney.
'M'! What'd I tell you?
She's Frank's girl. We get an address?
I've already sent it to your phone.
Sorry to break it to you, D,
but this is a wild-goose chase.
Geese mate for life. Just sayin'.
- Don't you believe in love?
- Yes.
Just not in my hot years.
Come on!
A romance endured over decades
in secrecy, against all odds.
- Think about it.
- I did.
And then I threw up in my mouth.
See now? See, that's
the sushi repeating.
Guilty conscience. Touch me, Blue.
[WOMAN] Who is it?
It's the police, ma'am.
Mei Koo?
Constable Evie Cooper, AFP.
[DESHAWN] Special Agent Jackson, NCIS.
What's this about?
We're investigating the murder
of a US Navy petty officer last night.
We're looking for this man,
Frank Doherty,
to help with our inquiries.
I'm afraid you'll have your work
cut out for you there.
Frank skipped town with my heart
a long time ago.
Really? When was the last time
you saw him?
About five minutes after
that photo was taken.
"Life is too short not to love long".
I, uh, read your letters
to Frank, Ms. Koo.
You wrote that one
after the article came out.
What does it matter?
It's all ancient history now.
It matters.
When I mentioned the sailor's death,
you reacted kinda strange.
- Do you know something about it?
- Only what I saw on the news.
What? It caught my attention.
Why did this story catch
your attention, specifically?
Well, I
I suppose something about Eddie Baker
reminded me of Frank.
Step aside. Eddie's name's not
been released to the public yet.
[EVIE] Where is he? Where's Frank?
Don't make this harder
than it already is.
Where is he?
Come out with your hands up!
You renovating, Frank?
[JD] How do you wanna do this, Frank?
You tell us what happened
or we tell you what we already know?
Okay, why don't I start?
We found your prints on a shell
casing from the crime scene
where Petty Officer Eddie Baker
was found dead.
Why is that?
Why do you think?
Because you killed him.
Not much gets past you,
does it, Sergeant?
So what happened, then?
Hmm? Why'd you do it?
- Does it matter?
- It does to Eddie's mum, I bet.
How about 'cause Eddie was about
to expose you as a coward?
You don't know me, Agent Mackey.
I know you came to Sydney on R&R.
When it came time to leave,
you ran away.
You abandoned your post,
leaving others in harm's way.
A coward's a coward,
whichever way you cut it.
[JD] So how'd you meet
Petty Officer Baker?
[SIGHS] Let me just sign
the damn statement.
I told you I did it already.
The judge is gonna wanna know why.
I was robbing him, okay?
I needed cash. I saw my chance.
It was a struggle and he got shot.
I dropped the gun and ran.
End of story.
Doesn't really explain this, though.
What are the chances of you
robbing someone
who just so happens to have
your Navy Cross in their drawer?
Eddie wasn't a stranger, was he, Frank?
[MACKEY] Wanna know what I think?
I think you'd been AWOL for 50 years
until Eddie found you.
He threatened to expose you
if you didn't pay up,
so you killed him.
What happened, Frank?
Like your partner said.
He wanted money for his silence.
If we didn't cough up,
he was gonna drop a dime on me.
So you paid up?
What choice did we have?
Mei withdrew the money
and I gave it to him.
It was meant to be a one-off.
What happened last night?
He was never gonna stop.
That was clear.
I took my old service pistol.
And when he turned up,
I shot him.
Final transaction.
Run the tape. Get a statement
of facts drawn up.
[DESHAWN] You got it, boss.
Hey, we're meant to be
working together in there.
- You saw I had the angle.
- You were going too gentle.
Yeah, and you went too hard.
Hard is leaving other people
to fight your battles.
Maybe thought they weren't his to fight.
You never served.
Don't expect you to understand.
[JD] You know what? That's not true.
I did a month-long Sea Scout
summer camp when I was ten.
Oh, right, that doesn't count?
Ask his buddies.
They'll tell you what
they think of desertion.
If any of them made it out alive.
Yeah, still, let's not conflate
desertion with murder.
Who's conflating?
He admitted to both, didn't he?
Well, he could admit to
being the Zodiac Killer.
Doesn't mean I'm buying it.
Gunshot residue results came back.
They are
[ROBOTICALLY] negative.
Mr. Doherty is either super hygienic
or he hasn't fired a gun recently.
Those tests are never conclusive.
[BLUE] Yep, copy that.
What about the arthritis? You saw it.
He could hardly hold
that cup to his lips
and a .45 is a heavy sidearm.
You really think he could
hold and shoot?
When you have to, you find a way.
Okay, so where's the gun?
He said he dropped it
and we couldn't find it.
He admitted to killing Baker on tape.
I don't know what's left to discuss.
Take your medicine, Sergeant.
We got any more details
on Baker's last movements?
Ran a PT check.
He tapped on at
Kings Cross Station at 3:15
and tapped off at Wynyard at 3:34pm.
After that, nothing.
So time of death was 7:42pm.
That's a ton of time
we still need to account for.
Account for it.
[EVIE] We're having a little trouble
pinning down Baker's last
movements and we were
You were hoping I could tell you
which grass he was frolicking
about on before his death.
You think I'm that good?
I believe in you, Doc.
The grass is kikuyu.
Boom! Kikuyu. My man.
Which narrows it down to about 70% of
playing fields, parks
and lawns in the country.
- [DESHAWN] Right.
But I can tell you
where he went to dinner.
Cop a whiff of that, hey?
- Maybe give us the cheat sheet.
Right, well, Mr. Baker
ingested a meal of turkey pot
pie and stout before he died.
I've tested the beer.
It's low in hops and malted barley.
Dark Galley.
- Excuse me?
- Name of the beer.
Asked Blue to run a match.
Now, only one pub serves
a beer matching that composition
and turkey pot pie
and it is half a click
from the crime scene.
[WOMAN] Yeah, nah.
Nah, yeah.
[EVIE] Great. How long was he here for?
What? You got a yes from that?
About an hour or so.
He was having a beer
with some bloke, I think.
Theo might remember.
As in ghost tour Theo?
You were in the night the young
fella died, weren't you, mate?
Oh, look, it's the constabulary.
This is Eddie Baker.
Did you see him and another man together
on the night he died?
Habeas corpus!
Answer the damn question.
Did you see Eddie Baker here
with another man, yes or no?
Yes and yes.
Americans, both.
I'm rather good at accents.
Canada. Vancouver.
- South L.A. Inglewood.
- Close.
You didn't think to mention
this in your statement?
Well, I didn't recognize him
un until I saw his face on the news,
by which time I assumed that
you would have the perpetrator
in manacles.
[DESHAWN] Describe the other man.
Well, he had an air of mystery.
Eyes that harbor indelible sadness.
Describe him physically.
Oh, I don't know. Old.
That's him.
And what were they doing?
Same as always, having
a few drinks and a bite to eat.
I'd seen them before. I assumed
they were father and son.
Then what happened?
I left to go back to my office
and don my costume for the evening tour.
I thought nothing more of it
until midway through the tour,
in the distance,
I saw two men enter
the abandoned building
above the Argyle Steps.
You saw them enter the crime
scene moments before the murder
and didn't mention it to the police?
Well, I'm no hero.
Only of the spoken word.
Also, I've been operating
without a license
or insurance for a wee while now.
- You know how it is.
- [EVIE] For the love of God!
What time did Doherty and Baker
enter the building together?
Well, I I didn't see him
enter the building.
Although I certainly saw him exit it.
You just said you saw two men together.
I saw that man and
another man go in together.
What other man?
- Frank still not talking?
Like a clam.
[DESHAWN] Hmm! If that's me,
I'm singing like Sinatra.
Besides, who has a beer
and a turkey pot pie
with someone that's extorting him?
I mean, I like pie, but
How'd you go with their financials?
Well, the last two years,
regular expenses,
you know, groceries, insurance.
In February this year,
5,000 cash withdrawal.
And the month after that
and the month after that too.
So the extortion theory tracks.
[JD] Yeah, but still not
the physical evidence
to support Frank as the shooter.
[EVIE] That's not the only thing
not tracking.
I've been checking
the provenance of these
by cross-referencing the numbers
Eddie's been calling.
This bad boy was awarded to
Gulf War hero Andre Schwartz.
Phone records indicate Eddie
had called Schwartz's brother.
So I called him too.
The brother said Eddie had
located Andre's medal
and wanted to get it back to him.
- How much was he asking for it?
- That's the kicker.
He didn't want a single cent.
- He wasn't trading medals.
- [JD] Mm-hm.
He was repatriating them.
[MEI] What do you want now?
Run out of old ladies to harass?
Actually, I just wanted to know
who mows your lawn.
[MEI] My lawn?
Why, Frank, of course.
Gonna be hard to keep up with
your husband not around, huh?
We're not married.
Too much paperwork. Too risky.
Huh. Either way, you know,
must have been tough to mow
with his arthritis.
By the way, we got the results back
from the testing of your grass
last time we were here.
It's a rare strain.
Same as we found on Eddie Baker's feet.
You wanna tell us why
a kid who mowed your lawn
would wanna extort money from you?
Eddie wasn't the extorter, was he?
He came to you with Frank's medal
to return it.
Eddie had tracked down Frank's sister.
He'd bought Frank's Navy Cross online
and he just wanted to try
and get it back to him.
We spoke to the sister.
She said she hadn't spoken with
Frank since he jumped ship.
Frank told her not to talk to anyone.
So something about Eddie
changed her mind.
And Frank didn't want it back.
It reminded him too much of
what he'd spent his life
trying to forget.
But Eddie kept visiting anyway.
Why was that?
Eddie had lost his dad to war.
And I suppose he was
Whatever he was searching
for, he found in Frank.
[DESHAWN] Who's extorting you, Mei?
'Cause there's a good chance
whoever it is
killed Eddie Baker.
Frank never told me.
And men of his generation
don't like to share the load.
I can't help you.
What are you waiting for?
Just lock me up already.
[JD] We just spoke to Mei.
We know you didn't kill Eddie Baker.
He mowed your lawn, Frank.
You're really gonna let
whoever killed him
walk away scot-free?
I got Mei to think about.
How does protecting whoever's
extorting you help Mei?
He's bleeding you dry.
He's threatening a whole lot
worse if I give him up.
We can keep Mei safe.
What if you don't catch
the guy straightaway?
The first thing he's gonna do
is hurt Mei.
- I won't let that happen.
- Neither will I.
Because if I take the fall,
he's got nothing more to extort me for.
Mei's off the hook.
And I can finally pay her back
for everything she gave up for me.
You can trust us, Frank.
Please, you've gotta believe me.
A man earns trust.
You haven't earned mine.
Fair enough.
- Where are you going?
- [JD] You heard the man.
He doesn't trust me.
After all, I never served.
We're not done here, Sergeant.
I'll be outside if you need
anything, Captain.
Come on, Macka.
You got this.
[FRANK] Captain?
That supposed to impress me?
You're gonna do what you're gonna do.
I can see that.
So at least tell me why you jumped ship.
Sailor to Marine.
We're not the same.
[MACKEY] We both served our country.
Vietnam was different.
Different to where?
Marine Light Attack
Helicopter Squadron 169.
Multiple tours.
Multiple tours at 500 feet.
You ever killed anyone?
I don't mean up there.
Talking close enough to see
the whites of their eyes.
No, Frank. I have not done that.
You ever crawled around
a field under enemy fire
looking for your buddy's body parts
after he's been shredded by a claymore?
Oh, they gave me a medal for that one.
So until you've done that
you don't get to pass judgment
about me leaving my post.
I was stationed in Khost.
It was Christmas Eve. Cold as hell.
They were shelling us
to make sure we knew it.
That night, three young guys
wandered off base.
We searched for them for days. No joy.
Then one night, we got the call.
They'd somehow wound up
in a little village
on the wrong side of the border.
ROE said stand down.
Why doesn't that surprise me?
So me
my gunner and a corpsman
disobeyed a direct order
and went anyway.
We flew in under the cover of dark.
Can remember their faces.
They knew they'd screwed up.
Couldn't believe we'd come for them.
We hauled ass back
across the border and
that's when we came under fire.
We weren't dynamic.
Heavy with fuel and the extra bodies.
I put her down hard in the
mountains a few miles from base.
The three guys went home
to face the music.
My two
went home in body bags.
So maybe we got more
in common than you think.
You wanna know why I jumped ship?
Because killing changes you.
Numbs you till you feel nothing at all.
I was disappearing.
Then I met Mei.
She brought me back.
Like oxygen.
She was my shot at redemption
and I took it.
And now you wanna protect her.
I get it.
But you can't leave another
young sailor behind now.
What happened the night Eddie died?
I spent my life running from myself.
A kid who went to war.
So I
buried him deep
to try to forget.
Not that easy, is it?
When I saw what that son of
a bitch was doing to Mei
She was terrified.
So I dug him back up.
This time, when the extortion
demand came in,
I packed the cash
and my service pistol.
And Eddie?
We'd been having a drink earlier.
[CHUCKLES] He could see
something was wrong with me
and he asked me what it was.
And I foolishly told him.
He wanted to help.
Now, I told him I didn't need it
and I left him in the bar.
But he followed you, right?
I didn't know.
When I had that son of a bitch
in my sights
I couldn't pull the trigger.
And he could see that.
And he grabbed for the pistol.
We were struggling and
that's when Eddie came in.
And he
He tried to take the gun off him.
The wrong blood was spilled.
And who is 'he'?
Who shot Petty Officer Baker?
I'm going away one way
or another, Captain.
And I'm not taking Mei down with me.
Come on, boss. This ain't
how it's supposed to go.
This isn't how the story ends.
What do you want me to say?
They're gonna ship Frank stateside
and try him for desertion.
He's decided to put Mei's safety
above all else.
It's his call.
Can you blame him?
I can't. That's just it.
I mean, it was 50 years ago.
Lot of folks refused to fight
and they're long since forgiven.
Frank did two tours.
No shirking there.
- There are laws, D.
- What laws?
He's an illegal alien
in this country, for starters.
How do you figure that?
Frank was ordered here.
Never got a visa,
so he can't have outstayed it.
- You're reaching.
- I know.
But if my time at law school
taught me anything
it's that there's always a loophole.
Yes, sir. I'm looking right at him.
Yes, sir, I can assure you
he'll be fully compliant
this time around.
I'll see your MPs when they get here.
They're on their way over
to pick you up.
Think I don't know what you're doing?
Were you even talking to anyone?
Just thought you'd wanna
say goodbye is all.
His mom's gonna take him home
and lay him alongside his dad.
Told me his dad served in
the Navy in the Gulf War.
And also received
the Navy Cross.
Seems courage is genetic.
Something I gotta ask.
Why the hell did you let Eddie
mow your lawn barefoot?
Don't you know how dangerous that is?
He'd been stuck in a sub for six months.
Wanted to know the feeling
of terra firma under his toes.
None of this would have happened
if he hadn't found that damn medal.
How did he find it?
I threw it out.
Couldn't stand the guilt.
Mei fished it outta the trash
without me knowing.
She loves you.
Warts and all, huh?
Mei bequeathed my medal
to the Navy Heritage Museum.
Put out a BOLO for Armen Standish.
He's the extorter.
He's Baker's killer.
Door's open.
[DESHAWN] Clear!
Albania, Colombia, Cuba.
All countries without
extradition treaties
with Australia.
Hey, I've got Blue on the line.
[EVIE] Looks like Armen's
done a runner, guys.
We're canceling his passport as
we speak, but might be too late.
Heads up, I just got another
ping on Mei's financials.
She's been back to the bank
to make another withdrawal.
- When?
- [BLUE] Seven minutes ago.
And this time it's for 40 grand.
You think it's another handover?
Yeah, it's gotta be.
One last extortion payment.
Grab it from Mei and skip town.
Where, though?
[MEI] Come on.
I'm giving you a chance.
You may only break your legs.
[MEI WHISPERS] I dare you.
I can still pull a trigger.
Mei, put the gun down.
- Stay away.
- Call her off!
She's she's clearly insane.
Call her off.
Drop your weapon. We've got this.
This is for Eddie.
Frankie couldn't do it, but I can.
Please, please! Please!
Doesn't have to end like this, Mei.
You and Frank.
I've done some research.
There's still a way out
that sees this guy going down
and you two reunited.
But there's something
you gotta do first.
What's that?
[THEO] Love.
Did Plato have it right?
Is love the ultimate spiritual beauty?
is love strife and torment
sacrifice and black storms?
Who is this clown?
I like him.
[THEO] thespian said those words.
Laurence Olivier.
Not everyone has experienced love.
So how did DeShawn figure out
this whole marriage thing?
He went back to his law school training.
Discovered that in some cases,
marriage can be classified as
an extenuating circumstance
when it comes to extradition.
Sounds almost romantic
when you put it like that.
[THEO] How fortunate that
they have found one another
in a world so bleak.
Humanity is a fickle wench, is she not?
Are you crying?
[SCOFFS] What?
No. As if.
[ALL] Cheers! Cheers.
Don't tell me. Don't tell me.
New Zealand.
[LAUGHS] No. No, I'm sorry.
- What about you, Sergeant?
- Mmm.
Is that a Wagga Wagga twang I hear?
Not from Gumly Gumly, are you? Ohh!
- [THEO] Huh!
Quite a good little gig
you've got going on here.
- Mm-hm.
Any openings?
I've been pondering a new vocation.
Yeah. We'll keep that in mind.
- [THEO] Excellent! Cheers.
- Cheers.
- Here we go.
- Look at your face!
[DESHAWN] What are you talking
about? My face looks good.
[EVIE] Are you kidding?
So you wanna talk about
you know [CLEARS THROAT]
Prefer to talk about you and
the Sea Scouts, to be honest.
National pastime, isn't it?
I'll be right back.
Previous EpisodeNext Episode