Mannix (1967–1975): Season 2, Episode 23 - The Solid Gold Web - full transcript

Diana Walker, the daughter of a newspaper tycoon and Mannix' old flame, comes back into Mannix' life after a four-year absence. She is in a fragile mental state after believing that she killed a hoodlum named Johnny Malina, with whom she was also once involved, in a night-time road accident. Diana's father, sensing that she's terribly upset about something, asks Mannix to contact her once again, hoping that she will confide in Mannix about whatever is disturbing her.

(rock music playing)

(partiers reveling)


(no audio)

(no audio)

♪ ♪

(laughter, conversations
stop, music continues)

(guests laughing)

(music continues,
muffled in distance)

(knocking on door)

It's Macklin Reeves.

That was a bad
scene, Miss Walker.

But Johnny's gone now.

I don't think he'll be back.

I couldn't really care
less what Johnny does.

Well, won't you come
down and rejoin us?


Would you like me
to drive you home?

Just leave me alone.
Miss, Walker, I...

(car door closes
and engine starts)

(tires squealing)


(theme music playing)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(softly): Miss Diana.

(louder): Miss Diana.


Good morning.

It's a beautiful morning...

Hardly a cloud in the sky.

Are you all right, dear?

After I have my
shower, Cinny, please.

You're sure you're all right?

Yes, please.


Thank you so much for coming.

How are you, Jason?

It's good to see you.

You look fine.

Sit down.

Well, I can't say that

you show any signs of
wear and tear yourself.

Getting a newspaper out
every day keeps a man fit.

How is Diana, Jason?

It's been four years now, Joe.

Things change, people...

Nothing wrong, is there?

Hasn't been easy for Di.

Her marriage a failure.

I understand you're
your own man.

I... I can't buy
you, so I won't try.

I need your help.

With Diana?


I realize what I'm asking,
but I'm desperate, Joe.

Diana and I are out of touch.

Something's happened.

I don't know what it is.

And you think
she'll confide in me?

You're just about my last hope.

Jason, I don't know.

I don't know, Jason.

I just wouldn't
want to do anything

to make it rough for Diana.

How could you?

What you had... the two of you.

I know that now; I've
known it for years.

I've had to live
with the knowledge

that I spoiled it
for both of you.

Oh, you didn't do it, Jason.

I didn't have to be
quite so stiff-necked.

I guess I've grown
up a little, too.

But you were right.

You wanted a girl, not
a newspaper empire.

I should have stepped back.

Will you see her?



We're having a dinner party

at the house tonight.

(lively chatter)

Scotch, please.

Two champagne, please.

Hello, Bill. Joe!

All look the same?

Yeah, it's a little strange to be
back again, after all these years.

How have you been?

Oh, still helping
get out the paper.

Bill, I see you've got
everything you need, eh?


Everything, except the other
half of the welcoming committee.

He means the pretty half.

I'll see what's keeping her.

Excuse me.

(no audio)

(no audio)

Oops, you better
lock up the silverware.

One of the more prominent pickpockets
to ever occupy a bench just arrived.

Judge Y. Franklin Leigh.

He keeps getting
away with it, Joe.

What's he doing here?

Judge Leigh has aspirations
to be our next senator.

I suspect he's here to
woo support from the paper.

Jason? He'd never buy him.

The worst he can wind up
with, Joe, is a good meal.

Joe, excuse me. The wife.

Excuse me.

Joe... Joe, I want you
to meet Judge Leigh.

Joe Mannix.

Haven't we met
before, Mr. Mannix?

Yes, we have.

Pardon me, gentlemen...
A small domestic crisis.

Uh, where was it
we met, by the way?

In court. Yours.

I was with an
attorney named Knox

who was petitioning
for a retrial

in the Harry Meachem case.

Oh, yes, you're, uh,
you're the private detective.

That's right, Your Honor.

I developed the new evidence
that Knox presented to the court.

I'm sure if Your Honor had taken
the trouble to read it carefully...

Of course I weighed
your evidence, Mr. Mannix.

Then why wasn't Harry Meachem
released from San Quentin

before the full
sentence was served?

It was all right
there in the report.

Law is the art of the
possible, Mr. Mannix.

A retrial in the Meachem case
would have been impossible.

Good evening, Father.

Diana, some of our guests
have been here for an hour.

I'm sorry, Father.

(whispering): Are you all right?

(shouting): What?

I said, are you all right?

Well... Now that
was worth waiting for.

Hello, Joe.

Are you coming down?

Or do I have to
come up and get you?

I'm coming down.

(quietly): Take her
to her room, Joe.

I'll make some excuse.

Good old Joe...

always around to save
little Di from nasty falls.

You must have radar
tuned in for falling women.

Doesn't every
red-blooded American boy?

It's a pity you didn't step
aside and let me break my neck.

Di, what's bugging you?

Oh, is that why you're here?

Why you came back?

To find out what's bugging me?

Is there anything to find out?

It's too late, Joe.

You understand
that?! It's too late!



I'm sorry that Diana was ill.

I am too, Jason.

Good night. Good night.

Nice you could come.

Good night. So nice
seeing you... good night.

Good night.

You can clean up in the morning.

Good night.

Thank you very much.
Good night, Mr. Walker.

How long has
Diana been that way?

Well, some time now.

Since she came back from Europe.

What happened?


Something must have
pushed her over the edge.

I don't think it
was any one thing.

It just started to build up,

till one day, it
was all downhill.

Right to Johnny Malina.

Where did you hear about Malina?

Diana and a cheap hood?

That kind of gossip
gets around fast, Jason.

Like a dirty joke.

I tried to stop her.

What could I do, Joe?

Lock her in her room?

Handcuff her to the bed?

I'm not her jailer;
I'm her father.

Hardly that, sometimes.

There seem to be so many things

we can't say to each other.

If it can't be bright
and cheerful,

it has to be swept under a rug.

You didn't invent
the generation gap.

But I have to build a bridge
over it, Joe, somehow.

She's all I have.

If you can get through to her...

if you can find out why...

I'm afraid we've
blown it, Jason.

She figures that's
why I was here.


Good night, Jason.



Mr. Mannix?

Oh, I'm so glad I could get you.

This is Iris Meacham.

Well, hello, Iris.

I know I have no right
to ask you this, but...

I was hoping that
you could come here.

I was hoping that you
could stop Harry before he...

Before what?

All he talks about is
killing Judge Leigh.

He's bought himself
a gun, Mr. Mannix.

Harry's only been
home a little over a week.

Maybe I should have waited,

given him a chance
to settle down.

Oh, I'm sure he'll settle down

just as fast without a gun.

Iris, who is this?

Harry, Mr. Mannix

from the building where I work.

I wanted to meet you,
Harry... talk to you.

You met me, we talked.

Now, come on in here, Iris.

Good night.

(door closing)

What is this?

Harry, a couple of
Christmases ago,

we had an office party.

Iris was there.

It was kind of a
sad time for her

with you in San Quentin,

so we, uh, tried
to cheer her up.


But as sometimes happens,
uh, the cheer-up backfired.

So she told us all about it.

About you and your trial
in Judge Leigh's court.

Don't you think I want
to forget about that?

You were railroaded, Harry.

Yeah, I did a
little investigating,

so I know about the stolen goods

the police found in that
warehouse you owned downtown.

It was an obvious frame-up,

and I tried everything I could

to get you a new trial.

No luck.

I had five years
to think about luck.

Sit there week after week,
in a coffin called a cell,

try to drag the clock
around to five years.

Mr. Mannix, ask
him about the gun.


Harry, you're smarter than that.

You know what would
happen if you got busted

with a gun in your possession.

I told you. I told you, Iris.

On top of everything else,

I got to have a wife
who talks to cops.

She was with you
all the way, Harry.

She scrubbed floors to
pay your attorney fees.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

I got a wife.

She's got me.

And that's all there is.

There's nothing else
to show for our life.

They tore down the warehouse.

Put up a skyscraper.

You know who owns it?

Macklin Reeves.

He tried to buy
me out for years.

Had his hoodlums
run off my help.

I fought him, and it
cost me everything I had.

Now he's got everything.

Reeves... he's a
big operator now.


He just buys a
building or a bank...

or a judge.

Judge Leigh?

In his pocket. Can you prove it?

What difference does it make?

You get me any proof
there's a connection

between Judge Leigh
and Macklin Reeves,

and you won't have to square
accounts with His Honor.

I'll square them for you.

Where do I get proof?

That's your problem.

I'll pay you for your time.

How about it?



Here's my card.

Call that number any
time of the day or night,

and if I'm not in, my
answering service

will know where
to get a hold of me.

Thank you, I... I appreciate it.






It's, uh, me, the girl who
didn't come to dinner.

Hello, Diana.

I'm sorry I was such
a monster last night.

I... I was an unholy mess.

I'm sorry, Joe.

Let's just say last
night didn't happen.

Scrub the whole 24 hours.

I'd like to scrub the
whole last four years.

I can meet you
at the Laundromat.

Or would you rather
make it dinner?

DIANA: We can make that dinner.

Gino really has a lock
on time, doesn't he?

It's hard to believe it's
been over four years

since we sat at this table.

You've been here
since with other women?

I'm hooked on the lasagna.

And the candlelight.

Were you in love
with any of them?

Oh, I thought so.

Once or twice.

What happened?

I stopped thinking so.

Once or twice.


I'll drink to that.

(birds twittering)

My poor Rudi.

My poor little prince.

So handsome, so dashing.

So sick.

But you married him?

Well, doesn't every
rich American girl,

if she can find a
prince who isn't taken?

What was wrong with Rudi?

Some men marry because
they want a mother.

In Rudi's case, it was a
little more complicated.

He wanted his own mother,
so I sent him back to her.

I understand they're very happy.

Is that why you made the
scene in Europe for three years?

I can't explain that, Joe, I..

Stopped thinking
and started drifting.

I just went off
in all directions.

That explains Johnny Malina.

It's no secret, you know.

Johnny just happened.

And once it started,
I couldn't stop it.

What's the matter, Diana?

♪ ♪

I haven't painted
here in a long time,

but it makes a nice pad
when I want to get away.

There's really
nothing to look at.

Those are things I
did a long time ago.

All the better.

By now, they may have
become old masters.

Please, no jokes about
hanging them upside down.

As long as you know.

I like them.

You ought to go back to work.

Maybe I'll do that.

Or something more useful,
like getting us a drink.

♪ ♪

I tried.

I don't know how
many times I tried,

but I just couldn't
quite catch you.


Well, maybe you'll try again.


Maybe I will.

Joe, it's so wonderful
to see you again.

I feel so comfortable and warm

when I'm with you, and safe.


Did I say that?

Safe from what?

Oh, from ghoulies and beasties

and things that go
bump in the night.

(phone ringing)

(ringing continues)



Just a minute.

It's your answering service.

Yeah, this is Mannix.

Put him on.

Mannix, I'm calling you
from the Mirador Yacht Basin.

I got something.

All right, give it to me.

Judge Leigh left his
house about midnight.

Raced down here
like a two-year-old.

Macklin Reeves
ties his yacht up here.

He was waiting for him.

They just sailed out
through the breakwater.

Well, good work, Harry.

That's just for openers.

We caught us another fish.

A big one.

Jason Walker drove
up and got on board

just a minute after His Honor.

You're sure about that?

You did recognize him?

Positive... I've seen
his picture often enough.

Well, I'll, uh, I'll get
right to work on it, Harry.


Morning, Jason.

Good morning, Joe.

Good news.

Diana's moved down
to her beach place.

Plans to do some
serious painting again.

Yeah, I know.

I'm picking her up for lunch.



Oh, no, thanks.

Jason, I'd like to read you
something from your paper.

"The Case for Judge
Leigh" by Jason Walker,

"Editor and Publisher.

"The Observer strongly
urges the support of its readers

"for the Senatorial candidacy

of the Honorable Y. Franklin
Leigh, Supreme Court Judge."

Why, Jason?

I wouldn't endorse Judge Leigh,

if I didn't know he was
the best man for the job.

Is that what last night's
cruise on Macklin Reeve's boat

was all about?

Your way of getting to
know your candidate?

I just thought you might like to
try an explanation on me, Jason.

You know, sort of a dry
run, to see if it holds up.

No explanation.

All right, Jason.

I guess if you want to
have a midnight rendezvous

with a known hoodlum
boss and his political stooge,

that's your business.

Good-bye, Joe.

(knocking on door)

MANNIX: Diana?


(knocking louder)




What does it mean?

I hate to say it, Jason, but
it could be a suicide note.

We've got to find her, Joe!

Who are you calling?

The police.

Not the police, not yet.

Jason, this is a
job for them now.

Joe, try to understand.

If this is merely a mood, a fit of
depression, and I press the panic button...

Isn't there something we can do?

Jason, this is a big city.

It would take a small army to
check out the places she might be.

Wait a minute.

You happen to have a
small army working for you.

Maybe they can find her.

Come on, you loaders,
this ain't no coffee break.

Move it!

Hold it! Hold them trucks!

You drivers and loaders...
All you guys, up here.

Gather round.

We got a bird-dog
from the old man!

Now who we're looking
for is the old man's kid,


L.A. Observer.


L.A. Observer.


Something wrong
with the drink, miss?


Maybe you'd like some
chips or something,

or fried shrimp?

No, I'd just like
to be left alone.

Observer, ma'am?

No, I don't want an Observer.

What's new, Arnie?

It's all in the Observer.

(phone ringing)


Mr. Walker?

This is Arnie... blind Arnie.

I got the route in Santa Monica.

Yes, Arnie.

About your girl, Mr. Walker...

Could be she's in a joint
here called the Glad Hand.

I ain't heard her
voice in years,

but it sure sounded like her.

She used to come
around on the trucks.

Called me Mr. Arnie.

I never forgot her.

Bartender, there was a girl
here... tall, blonde, pretty?

Yes. She left this.
Where'd she go?

Out the side entrance,
onto the beach.

Hang onto that for me.

♪ ♪










(waves crashing)

Diana! Diana!




Diana, don't be a fool!

It's me, Joe!


I killed him!

I killed him! I killed him!

I killed him... (sobbing)




Joe, help me!

Help me, Joe!


No! MANNIX'S VOICE: Diana...

No! No! Diana...
Diana... Joe, help me! No!

No! Diana, it's me!

It's Joe.

Now, what is it?

Oh, Joe.

Oh... oh, my Joe.

Oh, oh, Joe.

Oh, Joe.

Oh, last night with you...

I thought something
was good for me again.

Something I'd lost, I'd found,

and I kept... I kept
seeing his face,

and I just wanted to die.

It was an accident.

I... I could have swerved

or maybe put the brakes on,

but I didn't, I didn't!

I hated him!

Joe, I wanted him dead!

I killed him!

(Diana hyperventilating)


Oh, Joe, I'm...
I'm glad I told you.

I'm glad I told you, Joe.

MANNIX: She killed a man.

WALKER: I know... Johnny Malina.

How long have you known?

I suspected.

I saw Diana come in that night.

She was hysterical.

I went out to the garage.

There was a dented
fender on her car.

Oh, Jason.

Jason, why didn't
you go to the police?

So a girl panics and runs.

She probably
could have gotten off

with a couple of
years probation.

It wasn't a hit-and-run.

It was murder.

Just because Diana
has some crazy ideas...

Diana never said a word to me.

How could you know?

There was a witness.

Who didn't go to the
police, either, huh?

The police don't
own a newspaper.

I got a call from Macklin Reeves

to meet him on his yacht

and discuss a matter
of mutual interest.

He saw Diana run Malina down.

He was very sympathetic.

Most anxious to cooperate.

More than willing to save
Diana from a murder charge,

even if the victim
was one of his boys.

It's all heart.

Oh, what could I do, Joe?!

I can't turn in my
daughter for murder!

I can't let her rot in prison

for someone like Johnny Malina.

I don't think
endorsing Judge Leigh

was too high a price to pay.

Blackmail's always
too high a price, Jason.

I'm gonna retire.

Diana and I are gonna
go away somewhere.

Run somewhere, you mean?

Call it what you like...
I'm gonna stand by her.

That's not the answer,
Jason, and you know it.

It's out of your
hands now, Jason.

Diana stopped running today.

She knows what has to be done.

(door opening, closing)

(phones ringing in distance)

This place is open
24 hours a day.

Come on, there's something
I want to find out first.

Joe, let's get out of here.

In a minute, Diana.

I want you to tell me
exactly where you were

when you hit Malina.

Now, was it this
close to the house?

No... it was back further.

You sure?

Back further.

All right.

You tell me where.



(engine stops running)

You're sure this is
where it happened?


I remember going
around the curve.

And, uh, Macklin Reeves
was still in the house?

You left him there?


Yes, Joe.

Take a look at the house.

Go ahead, take a look.

I can't see the house from here.

So how could Reeves have
seen where you hit Johnny?

blocking the house?

It couldn't stand up, Joe.

It's his word against hers.

The difference of a few yards.

How are you gonna prove it?

Maybe I can get Macklin Reeves

to prove it for us.

Well, how are you gonna do that?

A little fishing.

Oh, and if I don't get
back, Jason, uh, follow it up.

Might be a good yarn.

You wanted to talk, so talk.

It's Macklin Reeves
I want to talk to.

It's the same.

I'm his right hand,
Cully Roberts.

Oh, you stepped into
Johnny Malina's shoes.

They were getting
too big for him anyway.

So that's what happened, huh?

Johnny stepped out of line,

so you got the word to
put him out of his misery.

Say it again slow.

Come on now, Cully,
it's just a little too pat.

Johnny's kind doesn't
die stepping off a curb.

You've got nothing.

Zero plus zero.

I've been putting it together.

It adds up.

You take care of Johnny,

just like Reeves planned it.

Then you prop him up in
the road and let her hit him.

She takes the blame,

and then Reeves has
her old man on the hook.

Everybody's happy.

Hey, try it again.

You still got nothing.

The girl hit him.

I say she killed a dead man.

Lots of luck proving
that, Mr. Mannix.

All right,

tell me how you know
Diana didn't run Johnny down.

I'm very interested.

Oh, I think I'd be wasting
my time, Mr. Reeves.

She tells me you
saw the whole thing

from the house. That's right.

Uh, you'd better
check the geography

before you try and
sell that under oath.

I stood on the spot
where she hit Johnny.

Can't see it from the house.

Ah, now, I wondered
what would happen

if I scratched the image

of the new Macklin Reeves.

Correct, impeccable

business connections,
pillar of the community.

Now you know.

Now I know.

♪ ♪


(air leaking)

A guy trying to change a
tire too close to the road

could have a real bad accident.

Yeah... now give me a hand.

All right.

Remember to step on the brake

when you hit that puddle.

I want to get good skid marks,

so it really looks like
somebody tried to miss him.

(tires squealing)

(tires screeching)


I'm glad you happened
along, Macklin.

Seems I've got a
tire needs changing.

(knock at door)

Oh, hi, Joe.

"Oh, hi, Joe."

I thought you
might be interested

in knowing what happened.

We won it all.

Macklin Reeves
has been indicted,

and Judge Leigh has
withdrawn from the race.


And you're not listening.


How do you like it?

Well, I think you
finally caught me.


No one will ever do that.

But if you don't mind...

I'd like to keep trying.

(theme music playing)