Without A Trace s02e08 Episode Script

Trip Box

Previously on Without a Trace: There's a little girl up there with her ear cut off.
- Martin! - You sick son of a bitch.
- Martin, take it easy.
- I didn't do anything.
I swear to God, if you don't tell me So what went down here? He resisted arrest, he pulled a knife, Martin shot him.
- So it was a good shooting.
- Yes.
You've gotta get your men out of there.
The building is about to collapse.
- Scott.
- There he is.
- Give him a hand.
- We've got you.
I need more air.
Where's Scott? - What the hell's going on in there? - They got way ahead of me.
I lost them in the smoke.
Mike, give me a fog pattern.
- You're not going back in there.
- I can't just leave them in there.
First floor is clear.
Second floor is clear.
That means they gotta be down in the basement.
We can't send anybody else in there.
Scott has been down there for 10 minutes, we've heard nothing.
- I'm going in.
- Chief, don't.
I got you, Billy.
It's gonna be okay.
You're gonna be all right, Billy.
You hang in there, man.
Gus, you all right? Billy's hurt bad, Dad.
He's hurt bad.
I know.
Come on.
We gotta go.
It's hard to understand.
Scott MacAllister pulls two of his men out of a three-alarm fire and then just disappears.
- Post-traumatic stress? - Normally I would consider that except MacAllister called his wife right after the fire and said he'd be home in an hour.
He just never made it.
Patrick Finn.
I'm the Chief.
- Danny Taylor, FBI.
- Jack Malone.
We appreciate you being here.
Scott is the heart and soul of this company.
I understand that you were at the fire two nights ago.
I got there late, but I saw what happened at the end.
I've been at this job for 23 years and never seen anything like that.
How long has Scott been in the company? Eight years.
He was fast-tracked to captain out of the academy.
Three commendations for valor.
Chief, it's a break in protocol for a fireman to leave the scene of a fire, isn't it? We're trying to figure out what happened.
Would you excuse us for a minute? Could I have a word with you in private, please? I'm sorry about my colleague.
He's a little eager.
Look, I know that this is tough on you and your department.
But when somebody goes missing it's my job to conduct a thorough investigation.
I'll do my best not to dig into places that I don't need to but I'm gonna need your full cooperation.
My son, Gus, was in that fire, and he wouldn't have made it out if it weren't for Scott.
- I will do whatever it takes to find him.
- Okay.
Now, is it possible that there was some mismanagement of procedure in the fire? Scott MacAllister would be the last person to run away from a mistake.
Something has happened to Scott.
Otherwise he'd be in the hospital right now, waiting to see about Billy.
Look, I gotta go.
Look, it sounds to me like MacAllister took off on his own.
Is this really one of ours? It's ours until I say it's not.
It's the least we can do for these guys.
Scott MacAllister, 34 years old born and raised in the Bronx attended public school and City College.
Moved to Brooklyn, '92, married Tracy Caldwell in '94 two kids, six and four.
Makes around $82,000 a year as a captain.
Financial problems? He's stretched pretty thin, but his credit is good.
Few thousand in savings, college fund for the kids.
He even finds a few extra bucks to donate to local charities and he's very active in the community.
We get anything interesting from the firehouse? Well, these guys are no different from us.
No matter what the internal politics when somebody from the outside comes in they tend to close up ranks.
So we have to be very careful and very sensitive about how we push for answers.
We've checked with the city attorney's office.
There's no open investigations into this department.
I'm not suggesting any improprieties within the firehouse but I guarantee you, somebody there knows more than they're saying.
I've sent Danny to speak to the fire inspector so he can get a better sense of what went down there.
Sam, I want you to dig deeper into Scott's finances.
And, you two.
I need to have a private word with you both.
The head of the OPR called me.
It appears that there are inconsistencies in the statements surrounding the shooting last week.
- In our statements? - No, not yours.
The little girl from the drop house claims you found her before the shots were fired, not after.
She's obviously confused.
Nonetheless, the OPR is gonna interview you again.
- That's fine.
- Fine.
In the meantime, I want you to go to the hospital.
There's a lot of firemen there sitting vigil for Billy Molina.
Talk to them.
See if they can keep their stories straight.
Viv, like I said before, you don't have to do this.
- I'm the one who shot the guy.
- And I was the senior agent on the scene.
We go back and change our stories now, we're dead.
- Look, just hold on a minute.
- Martin, get a grip.
Your father's deputy director.
This comes out, who do you think they're gonna hang first? - I still think we should tell Jack.
- Why? So he can lie for us? It's too late.
This is so scary.
Ever since I met Scott I've lived in fear that something would happen to him in a fire and I prepared myself for the worst.
But I never considered that anything like this could happen.
For him to go missing out of the blue, I don't know what that means.
After the fire that night, you spoke to him.
He called.
That's what I can't figure out.
He'd called, and he said he was coming home.
I'd never heard him sound like that before.
He was really out of it.
- Billy got hurt.
- Oh, my God.
How bad? - He may not make it.
- What? What happened? Scott, what happened? Are you okay? Are you hurt? I'm getting out, Trace.
You were right.
Scott, we don't have to talk about that right now.
Where are you? - Scott.
- I'm sitting in the car.
- Well, come home, okay? - Yeah.
I love you.
I love you, too.
Just come home.
Scott? He's been in a lot of fires but I've never, never heard him talk about quitting.
Do you think that there was something else going on? Like what? Financial problems, a personality conflict at the firehouse? No.
Scott's men worship him, and the people in the community they know everything he does.
How is your relationship with your husband? We're fine.
What about Gus and Billy? How were their relationships? Billy's single, and Gus he lost his house and his wife took the kids to live with her mother in Houston.
He's been living with us for a while.
He had nowhere else to go.
How long? - About three months.
- Three months.
They must be really close.
It's a lot more than that.
They owe each other their lives.
How so? It was a house fire about six years ago.
It was their first big fire, and a roof caved in on them.
They were all trapped.
They only got out sharing the same tank of air.
Scott and I have a great marriage, and he's a great father but sometimes I feel like the bond between those guys is more important to them than anything.
Look at him.
The doctor says he may not make it.
They're purposely keeping him in a coma.
If he were awake, the pain Excuse me.
Another agent just spoke to Scott's wife.
The night of the fire, he told her that he was gonna quit the department.
- Scott said that? - Any idea why? No, he would never This job is his life.
Apparently, after the fire that night, something changed.
He must've got spooked.
Look, I know this is hard but can you try and walk us through what happened? It was a bad one.
The whole place was going up like a tinderbox.
Warehouses like that lots of times there's homeless people living in the basement.
So Billy and I, we went down there to make sure.
The roof caved in and Billy was trapped.
And I was I was running out of air.
Oh, God, help me! Billy! Scott came out of nowhere.
Billy, Gus, where the hell are you guys? Over here, Scott.
Help me! Oh, my God! He's hurt.
Billy, I'm gonna get you out of here, all right? I got you, man.
You hang on.
- It hurts.
- I got you.
It's okay, buddy.
I got you.
We're gonna make it, okay? Get me out of here.
- Scott! Over here, I'm over here.
- Gus! Gus, where are you? - Scott! - Gus! - Over here! - Gus! The building's going down.
We gotta get out of here.
- Come on! - Okay! - Come on! Let's go! - Okay! I should be dead.
I never would've made it out of there if it weren't for Scott.
Once you made it out, did you see Scott? No, I came right to the hospital to see about Billy.
You have any idea where he may have been going since he didn't go right home? Sorry, I have no idea.
Excuse me.
I'm looking for Lou Morelli - the fire inspector.
- I know who he is.
I work with him.
And I'm wondering why you're contaminating our investigation scene.
I'm Danny Taylor.
I'm with the FBI.
I'm working on the Scott MacAllister case.
Lou's not in and won't be back for a couple of hours.
- How long have you worked for Lou? - Excuse me? Well, the whole territorial, protective thing.
You're new here, aren't you? As a matter of fact, I am.
I'm also very patient.
Lou would have thrown you out by now.
Good thing for me that you're here and Lou's not.
Can you please tell me how this fire got started? Two minutes and I'm out of your hair.
Point of origin is here.
Short fuse.
Spark catches inside the wall, and poof.
One short and the whole building goes up in flames? That's because that short triggered another one.
- Where? - Upstairs, in the main switchboard.
- How new are you at this? - Third generation.
Four brothers in Ladder Company 22.
Where was the rescue? Ceiling beam came down, fell on top of Molina.
Finn was crawling in through here couldn't get to him through all the smoke and MacAllister ran in, saved the day.
MacAllister came from all the way upstairs to down here? Yeah.
Took real cojones.
And skill.
Thank you.
We just got a new charge on Scott's credit card.
Victor's Bar, 1:00 a.
, the night he disappeared.
- Let's pay them a visit.
- Yeah.
- You know this guy? - Yeah, of course.
Scotty MacAllister.
I believe that he was in here two nights ago.
I don't know.
It was my night off.
Nicky, come here.
- Scott MacAllister in here Thursday night? - Yeah.
How was he? Anything unusual about his behavior? He was pretty shook up about that fire.
Came here to tie a few on.
Left pretty drunk.
It's not like him.
- Come on, Nick.
One more, man.
- Can't do it, man.
Call you a cab.
Come on.
It's for your own good.
I'm sorry.
Look, I'm fine, okay? Really.
- You swear? - Yeah.
Come on.
I'm five minutes from home.
All right.
He's five minutes from home, and he never makes it? If it was a serious accident it would've had to be reported in the police logs.
Yeah, I checked.
Nothing came up.
Maybe it wasn't reported.
Maybe he walked away from the accident.
I think we should check with all the towing services.
- I got the call about 2:15 in the morning.
- From who? Just a guy.
Called from the road.
I figured it's the owner of the car.
We got out there, we found the car, smashed headfirst into a pole.
- No driver.
- So you had it towed anyway? You know you're supposed to notify the police.
I sent my guys out there at 2:30 in the morning.
I don't want them to get stiffed.
Besides I figured whoever called it in is gonna show up for his car sooner or later.
Take a look at this.
Looks like he was hit from behind multiple times.
Somebody was trying to run him off the road.
I checked with Scott's wife.
When he left that morning there was no damage to the rear of the car.
So these are definitely fresh.
Analysis of the skid marks indicate that he'd been hit several times from behind.
Now, the odd thing is there's no blood anywhere.
I traced the call.
It was placed at 2:21 a.
M from a pay phone, four blocks away from where the accident occurred.
I don't think this is an accident that you walk away from.
Maybe the guy that ran him off the road stopped, picked him up put him in the car, took off, stopped at a pay phone - called the towing service - Towed the car away got rid of the evidence.
- Do we have any prints off this car? - Not yet.
Is Scott a drinker? According to his wife, no.
Occasional beer at the company barbecue, that's about it.
I don't get it.
If he's not a drinker, why's he getting bombed at Victor's Bar? Maybe he was there waiting for someone.
This is what we found in the bag in Scott's car.
Haven't determined what it is yet.
Looks like it got burned up pretty badly in the fire.
That's why I think you should take it to the fire inspector, get him to check it out.
It's what we call a trip box.
It's a homemade device designed to short out an electrical socket.
Plug it into the wall, it sucks in all the electricity overloads the outlet box, and bam.
So it looks like bad wiring, and then you blame the electrician? Only one problem for the arsonist.
It doesn't always go up in the fire.
- So where'd you get this? - Scott MacAllister's car which was wrapped around a pole.
- I'm gonna need to keep this.
- No can do.
You see, this is part of an ongoing federal investigation.
I'm sure you understand.
- Of course - I knew there was gonna be an "of course.
" I need the radio transmissions from that night.
- They're still under review.
- That's too bad.
I imagine you walking into your boss's office with this he might be pretty impressed.
But, if you're not interested So, you were a probie at Engine Company 17.
I was, till a couple of weeks ago.
According to your record, you were on the fast track.
What happened? I saw something I wasn't supposed to.
You told Gus? Why would you tell him? I couldn't keep it in anymore.
The guilt was killing me.
What did he say? He wasn't happy about it, but he forgave me.
- He forgave you for screwing his wife? - It was done between them way before I got involved with her.
He understands that.
He's over it.
He is, is he? She just sent the divorce papers over this morning.
You should've seen him.
He was crying like a baby.
We're supposed to look out for each other.
I know.
I'm sorry.
I blew it.
I told him I'd do whatever I had to to make it up to him.
You'd better.
What the hell are you doing? Get back to work.
Up until then, Scott was always great to me.
He took me under his wing, showed me the ropes.
Then three days after that, he gave me my walking papers.
Said they didn't have any room in the budget for me but he offered to recommend me to another company.
I just got off the phone with Gus's wife in Houston.
She confirms that after she kicked Gus out this summer she had a fling with Billy.
Said Billy cut it off when Scott found out about it.
Now, it turns out, the reason Gus's wife booted him in the first place the reason they lost the house he had a big gambling problem.
Okay, so Gus has two motives for arson.
One, money.
Two, he wanted to get rid of Billy for sleeping with his wife.
- Fire is a great way to cover a murder.
- Right.
Scott ends up with the trip box because he figures out what Gus was up to.
Let's find out more about the owner of the warehouse - and let's bring Gus in.
- Okay.
No sign of him.
- I'm sorry, could you excuse me? - Sure.
- Hey.
- Is Gus there? Not anymore, but he was.
Do you have some news? I need to ask you some questions about your son.
Let's step outside.
Did you know that your son, Gus, was having serious financial difficulties? He's had some tough spots.
So what? Did you know he has a gambling problem? - Who told you that? - His wife.
Well, Lisa only said that so she can get the kids in the divorce.
- Gus does not have a problem.
- Really? Then why has he been living on Scott's couch for the last three months? You know what a fireman's salary is.
He got in over his head.
He wouldn't accept any help from me.
- But he's getting back on his feet.
- Yeah, and I think I know how.
We found a trip box in Scott's car.
What the hell are you saying? That Scott set the fire? No.
I think Gus set the fire.
Scott found the trip box, kept it as evidence.
Gus knew about it and decided to take matters into his own hands.
You don't know what the hell you're talking about.
- Those guys live for each other.
- Billy Molina was sleeping with Gus's wife.
I thought you said you wouldn't go digging anyplace that you didn't need to.
I thought you said you were gonna help me where you could.
Well, we will just go talk to Gus and straighten this situation out.
He's gone.
He went to Scott's house a couple of hours ago packed up his stuff, and took off.
- Gus did not do anything to Scott.
- Then why is he on the run? Jersey state troopers picked him up at a turnpike 80 miles from Brooklyn.
- What kind of condition was his car in? - Minor damage to the front.
Forensics are checking it to see if anything matches with Scott's rear bumper.
How's his alibi holding up? Well, doctors checked him for smoke inhalation at 11:00 p.
M released him at 3:00 a.
M so, unless he snuck out, it's pretty rock-solid.
I know that there's something going on between you and Martin.
If you're covering for him, I can't protect you.
I don't need you to protect me.
Good news.
Your alibi checked out.
Brought you some water.
I told you guys.
- I don't understand why you were running.
- I wasn't running.
I just needed to get out of town for a couple of hours.
You know, clear my head after everything that was happening.
Yeah, I understand.
I really do.
Especially knowing that Scott was an arsonist.
- What? - Scott set fire to that warehouse.
Do you have any idea who might have hired him? Nobody.
There was no arson.
We found a trip box in his car.
It's possible that whoever hired him is responsible for his disappearance.
I don't know what you're talking about.
I just thought you'd like to know that Billy's come out of the coma.
My agents are talking to him as we speak.
Are you sure that there's nothing that you wanna tell me? Scott is a fireman, not an arsonist.
Would you mind sticking around for a while? There may be some other questions we need to ask you later.
- Yeah, sure.
- Thanks.
- Viv, anything from Forensics? - No match.
The car that hit Scott's was a silver-gray BMW.
Gus drives a red Honda.
Jack, I got the information on that warehouse.
It had been on the market for almost a year.
Asking price dropped to $2 million, still no bites.
The insurance policy pays $3 million.
- That's pretty convenient for the owner.
- Owners.
It's a real-estate group.
Six different partners.
One of them wouldn't happen to drive a silver BMW, would he? I'm on it.
Can't live without me? I've been listening to those radio transmissions.
I wanna run something by you.
Scott went into the building at 10:04 p.
This sequence starts at 10:05.
Scott, come in.
Come in, Scott.
That's the chief, Finn.
I don't have them yet.
- That's Scott.
- Right.
And that's the last we hear from him until about 10 minutes later.
I got Gus and Billy in the basement! We're coming up the stairs now! Was there something wrong with Scott's radio? No.
That's the cleaned-up version of his message.
It was so garbled up at the time Finn and the others couldn't hear it from outside the building but Scott was transmitting.
And that's the only message he sent - while he was in the fire.
- Right.
So he goes into a burning building to find Gus and Billy but he doesn't use his radio once to contact them.
Because he doesn't have to.
- He knows where they are.
- In the basement getting the trip box back.
Which means they are in on it together.
- Chief Finn.
- I'd like to talk to my son.
One of my agents is with him right now.
- Have you charged him with something? - Not yet.
Can I talk to you in private? Of course.
Come to my office.
I lied to you before.
Gus has a gambling problem, and I knew it.
Scott came to me about it last week and asked me to do something.
- It's out of control, Chief.
- He's living with you.
- Can't you keep your eye on him? - I can do what I can but I can't watch him 24-7.
I love Gus more than anything, but I have tried.
There's nothing I can say that's gonna make him change.
You can threaten him.
Tell him if he doesn't shape up, you'll suspend him.
- It's just gonna make matters worse.
- It might just wake him up.
Nothing else has.
All right.
I'll talk to him.
- So did you talk to him? - No.
- Why not? - I wanted to.
I just kept putting it off.
We have reason to believe that all three men are involved including Scott.
To burn a building, to put other men at risk Scott would never allow that, not even for Gus.
- Jack.
- Excuse me.
Meet Stuart Turner, one of the owners of the warehouse.
He also happens to drive a silver-gray BMW.
Let's bring him in.
- We want to make a deal.
- We're all ears.
We'll make a plea on the arson charge but he has nothing to do with this missing fireman.
Then how do we account for the fact that his silver-gray BMW ran a fireman off the road? - It's not his anymore.
He gave it away.
- Really? It was a down payment for setting the fire.
- A down payment to whom? - To Victor Cartwright.
He's the one who set all this up.
He owns a bar in Canarsie.
- Near the firehouse.
- Great.
Let's get a drink.
- Hi.
Where's Victor? - I haven't seen him.
- When do you expect to see him? - Probably not for a couple of hours.
Thanks for your help.
I think I just figured out where Gus Finn does his gambling.
- What's the game? - Seven stud.
This game open to everybody? Law enforcement, members of the fire department, maybe? Yeah, we heard about Billy Molina.
It's a real shame.
- You know Gus Finn or Scott MacAllister? - Not really.
You know, we can finish this conversation at the FBI headquarters which is a real pain in the ass, 'cause we have to fill out paperwork call up the IRS, talk about undeclared earnings.
It's up to you.
We can do it here or there.
What do you wanna do? All right.
Gus Finn used to live back here.
But he outstayed his welcome a few weeks ago.
Your call.
That's enough, Gus.
He's bluffing.
I've got him beat.
That's $10,000, man.
- I got him beat.
- Walk away.
Let him play the hand, Scott.
Just let me play the hand.
Call you.
Queens full.
And I'll expect my money now.
I don't have it.
What do you mean, you don't have it? You're $50,000 in the hole tonight.
$50,000? Gus, what are you doing, man? - It's all right, fellas.
I'll cover it.
- No, that's all right, Victor.
- We'll get the money.
- When? - I don't know, but we'll scrape it together.
- Not good enough.
I'll cover it.
You and I, we'll work something out.
So I don't know how Gus was ever gonna pay him back - but that's not my problem.
Is it? - No, I guess it's not.
Good afternoon, gentlemen.
So that was how it all started.
What do you wanna do with those guys? We should break up the game, get those guys out of here before Victor gets back.
- Make it look like a Vice bust.
- Okay.
There's someone here that wants to talk to you.
If it gets to be too much, you just hit this button, okay? Five minutes.
My name's Martin Fitzgerald.
I'm with the FBI.
Your friend Scott MacAllister's been missing for nearly three days.
He never made it home the night of the fire.
He saved me.
Saved my life.
We know that Victor Cartwright hired you guys to burn that building in order to cover Gus's gambling debt.
I need to know.
Was Scott involved? No.
Then how did he know you were in the basement? He was supposed to do it with us.
- It's just an empty warehouse.
- Damn it, Gus, do you hear yourself? I do this one thing, I get out of my hole I have enough extra to get my house back.
This goes against everything that we believe in all that we stand for.
- We wanna do this? - Look, he needs it.
I get back on my feet.
I have a little extra in my pocket.
I get back with Lisa, my family.
You don't have to deal with me on your couch anymore.
We'll be there.
We can control this fire, make sure nobody gets hurt.
Just this one time.
Nobody's gonna get hurt, Scott.
- So Scott agreed.
- At first.
But the day of the fire, he said he couldn't go through with it.
He wanted us to call it off.
- Gus said he would, but he didn't.
- And you went along with it anyway.
I owed Gus.
You owed him because you slept with his wife.
Why don't you tell me what happened in the fire when Scott found you? We went down to the basement to grab the trip box.
That's when everything went wrong.
I got you, man.
You hang on.
- It hurts.
- I got you.
It's okay, buddy.
I got you.
We're gonna make it, okay? Get me out of here.
- Scott! Over here, I'm over here.
- Gus! Gus, where are you? - Scott! - Gus! - Over here! - Gus! The building's going down.
We gotta get out of here.
- Come on! - Okay! - Come on! Let's go! - Okay.
Scott grabbed the trip box and got me out of there.
We know that after the fire, Scott went to Victor's.
- Victor's? - Yeah.
He hung around there for a couple of hours but Victor never showed up, so he took off.
But Victor was waiting outside for him.
He followed him - and then he ran him off the road.
- He followed him? The only thing we can figure is that - Gus was the one who tipped him off.
- No.
- No, Gus would never - No? No.
Not even if he knew that Scott was gonna turn you in? Scott would never turn him in.
And Gus would die before he let anything happen to Scott.
Scott grabbed that box to protect us.
He did it to protect us.
Time's up.
Please, find him.
I called my lawyer, and I don't think it's such a good idea we talk anymore.
You don't need to talk.
You need to sit down and listen.
- I spoke with Billy.
- Billy? He's okay? He died 15 minutes ago.
But he told us everything, Gus.
- Oh, God.
- Scott's probably dead, too.
Both your friends are dead because of you.
They risked everything for you.
We found the trip box in Scott's car.
Not yours.
That means he's the one going down for arson.
You know what that means to Scott's wife and kids.
They don't get the pension.
They don't get a cent because of you.
So either way, you're going to jail, man.
But this is your chance to do something right for your friend.
What do you want me to do? Give us a beer, will you? - Thank you.
- Well, you don't look too good.
What's on your mind, Gus? I need my money.
I told you you'd get it when I collect my share.
- I need it now.
- What's the hurry? It's only a couple of more days.
The feds are onto us.
I gotta get out of here.
They don't have anything on us unless you or Billy opened your mouths.
Whatever you did with Scott, we gotta move the body and we gotta move it tonight.
And then we've gotta get out of here.
If they had anything on us, they would've brought us in by now.
You don't wanna do this? I'll do it myself.
But I can't take any chances.
Did you talk to Billy? Billy's dead.
It's just me.
All right.
You can take it easy, kid.
You don't need to worry about Scott.
I got him in another warehouse over in Flatbush.
I got another team going over tomorrow, light the place up.
Won't be anything left of him.
Hey, you okay? You all right? You look sick.
Everybody move into position.
Let's go.
Keep your hands where we can see them, Gus.
Slowly put your hands behind your back.
Behind your back, nice and slow.
He's gone.
All right.
Let's go.
- You okay? - No.
Excuse me.
I just wanted to tell you how truly sorry I am.
Thank you.
If there's a fund, I know a lot of people that would like to make a contribution.
That's very kind, but really, it's not necessary.
- You sure? - Yeah.
- Tracy? - Excuse me.
I'm so sorry.
I get back with Lisa, my family.
You don't have to deal with me on your couch anymore.
We'll be there.
We can control this fire, make sure nobody gets hurt.
Just this one time.
Nobody's gonna get hurt, Scott.
So that's it.
Do you have anything else to add? Now is the time.
That's it.
Your turn.