Mannix (1967–1975): Season 2, Episode 4 - To the Swiftest, Death - full transcript

Mannix has taken up a new hobby, amateur auto racing. While participating in a race, another racer is killed when his car seems to lose control and goes over an embankment. The widow of the dead racer contacts Mannix, wanting him to investigate, believing the death was a homicide. As Mannix proceeds, it's clear federal authorities have much more interest in what seems like a routine case.

(engines roaring)

(announcer speaking
indistinctly over P.A.)

(announcer
continues indistinctly)

he's trying to pass.

(announcer
continues indistinctly)

(tires screeching,
engines roaring)

ANNOUNCER: Joe Mannix,
a newcomer, is into the pits

with what looks like
carburetor problems.

Carburetor's acting up.

Just a little dirt.

Watch those revs, will you, Joe?



That last downshift,
liked to drop my teeth.

What do you expect
for my third race?

If you ask me, next
to last isn't half bad.

I didn't ask you to win,
just bring my car back.

Thanks, love.

Hey, what's with number eight?

Coffee break.

Coffee break?

Yeah, Kovak's wife
takes good care of him.

All set.

And take those S-turns in third.

Which is third?

(announcer continues
indistinctly over P.A.)

(tires squealing)



It looks like Kovak,
number eight, off the course.

(engines revving)

(tires squealing)

ANNOUNCER: Number
eight, back on the track.

Kovak, over the embankment!

(screams, gasps)

(theme music playing)

♪ ♪

Toby, I know
you're feeling better,

but Dr. Sperry said
for you to stay in bed.

You don't have to
like it, just stay there.

When Mrs... I've got to go now.

Right to bed.

I'll see you at dinner.

Good morning.

I'm Mrs. Kovak.

Oh, yes. Mr. Mannix
is expecting you.

(knocking) MANNIX: Come in.

Mrs. Kovak's here.

How do you do, Mrs. Kovak?

Please sit down.

Would you like some coffee?

Oh, no, thank you. Nothing.

Did you know my
husband well, Mr. Mannix?

No, we never met.

But you sent flowers.

I was in the race.

Well, that's what I
came to talk to you about.

The accident?

It wasn't an accident.

Mrs. Kovak, uh...
when you take up racing,

you learn to accept
certain dangers.

My husband was
murdered, Mr. Mannix.

How?

I don't know.

Perhaps his car had
been tampered with.

Mrs. Kovak, I know
you've been through

a very bad emotional
experience...

I didn't have time
to think about it

until last night,
after the funeral.

But I know I'm right.

It wasn't an accident.

Why would anyone
want to kill him?

We do a lot of government
work at Kittridge Aerospace.

Top secret, most of it.

My husband was vice president.

And, uh, your father
is Roger Kittridge.

Ed was worried about
something at the plant.

And the day before the race,

he mentioned to me that he might

have to let his assistant
go... Mark Harper.

Did he say why?

Something to do with security.

And you think Harper might
have killed your husband?

Mark was my husband's
right hand for more than a year.

He wasn't at the funeral.

And he didn't send flowers.

Well, there could
have been a reason.

Did you talk to him?

That would've been difficult.

He's disappeared.

Disappeared?

He hasn't been
back to the plant.

Nobody's seen him.

And I think he's run away.

Did, uh, Harper have
access to the car that day?

I don't know.

That's another thing:

the Rio Seca is the only race

he's been to in all this time.

Mr. Mannix, will
you try to find him?

First, Mrs. Kovak,
I'll have to find out

if there's been a murder.

I'll, uh, call you if
I turn up anything.

Thank you.

Good day, Mrs. Kovak.

Good-bye.

(intercom buzzes)

Peggy?

Do you know where Albie is?

Haven't seen him all day.

Maybe he finally got
some work of his own.

Well, look, uh, try
and track him down.

Tell him I need a
background on Ed Kovak, huh?

Get on it right away.

(engine starts)

(phone rings)

Mac Wagner here.

Yeah, Mac... Joe Mannix.

Hey, there Joe. How are you?

Look, Mac, I want you to
check out that Ed Kovak wreck.

Find me something
besides an accident.

I don't know, like
sabotage maybe.

Pick up the pieces

and treat it like an Air
Force crash investigation.

Come on, now, you've
handled hundreds of those, Mac.

I know it's not your
business anymore.

Gosh, Joe, it's not only that.

I've got a fellow
here that's paying me

a big wad of dough for a
GT he's racing on Saturday.

Look, it'll take you a day,
maybe two at the most.

Mac, I'd consider
it a special favor.

Okay.

Thanks, Mac... oh, and, uh,

I'll need that
information yesterday.

I love you, too, Mac.

Now look, call me
and I'll hop a plane.

Right.

KITTRIDGE: No, Mr. Mannix, I don't
think it was anything but an accident.

Naturally, my daughter's upset.

When you're young and your
whole life is suddenly shattered,

I guess you've got
to blame someone.

Tell me about Mark Harper.

Pleasant man. Not an engineer.

Special assistant to Ed Kovak.

Mostly in charge
of keeping the lines

of communication
open to all three plants.

Your daughter thinks her husband

was worried about
Harper on a security basis.

Now that he's missing...
"Missing"? Mark?

Well, isn't he?

I talked to him in
Seattle just an hour ago.

He was getting on
a plane. For where?

Mr. Mannix, Mark Harper
is on a well-earned vacation,

and I promised him he
wouldn't be bothered.

Your daughter didn't
know about this vacation?

Why should she? It was
strictly company business.

(knocking)

Sorry, I thought you were alone.

It's all right, come on in.

Mr. Mannix, this is Hal Murdoch.

He handles some
of our legal work.

Mannix.

Here are the R & D contracts
on the Nomad project.

We finally worked
out the language.

Sorry to interrupt.

Not at all.

Mr. Mannix probably has
some questions for you.

You look very familiar
to me, Mr. Murdoch.

Have we met before?

No, I don't think so.

I was in that Rio Seca
race with Ed Kovak.

I thought maybe I'd
seen you around there.

Hm.

No, I didn't go.

I was in bed with the flu.

Had you and Kovak
been friends for very long?

I've only known him since

he came over to
Kittridge Aerospace.

But you're an old
friend of Mrs. Kovak's?

What business are
you in, Mr. Mannix?

Everybody's, I guess.

I'm a private investigator.

All right, Mr. Investigator...

I think if Ed Kovak
hadn't come along,

Ellen might have married me.

Straight enough?

Mrs. Kovak thinks her
husband was murdered.

What do you think, Murdoch?

I think it's enough that
he's dead, Mr. Mannix.

I'll see you later, Roger.

(door closes)

I'm afraid you've been
put to a lot of trouble

for nothing, Mr. Mannix.

If you'll just submit your bill,
I'll be glad to take care of it.

I'll be glad to submit
my bill, Mr. Kittridge,

when I'm finished.

You heard?

I heard.

MAC: They had
her up for salvage.

I had to outbid
a couple of fellas.

What have you got so far, Mac?

Well, I started
on the assumption

that it was either driver's
error or control failure.

But I can't find
any evidence of it.

I had to start somewhere,

so my first guess was
that the skid sideways

snapped that steering gear.

But that steering
gear ain't snapped.

It looks pretty fractured to me.

Yeah, but look at the
way it's fractured, Joe.

The impact at the point of crash

would have caused a
snap quite differently

than what we've got...
An obvious difference.

And I've done a microscopic.

And?

All the controls
are functioning.

No controls jammed.

No mechanical reason
whatever to account for this crash.

Well, what does that leave us?

Look Mac, could
something have been

wrong with him... Kovak?

Well, as near as I
can reconstruct it,

the skid carried him
at a 45-degree angle

into that clump of trees.

Then he recovered and shot

straight back out onto the road.

Now, it could be that
the violence of that stop

ruptured blood vessels
in his eyes, blinding him.

No, at the speed
he was traveling,

the most he could
have pulled was five G's.

But what if the man
had any heart trouble?

The condition of the body,

we're lucky they proved
that he had a heart at all.

Look Mac, could that impact

have, uh, jammed
that accelerator?

Sure, sure, Joe, but
accelerator jam or no,

if he'd been conscious,

he'd have tried
to make that turn.

He didn't.

That car started its skid

right after the second turn.

Went in behind these trees here,

came straight out
and right over the side.

Now what caused it?

It was a dry field.

There was no oil
on the racetrack.

I've been over that area, Joe,

with a fine-tooth comb.

Now, there's been a
lot of traffic over them,

but the skid marks
are still clear.

And here's where
the skid stopped.

MANNIX: You know, it's a
miracle, with all those trees there,

that he didn't hit one of them

and burn up right there.

By golly, you said it.

Joe, you want me to
photograph the whole area?

I mean, give her
the full treatment?

Yeah.

Try everything you
can think of. Okay.

(quietly): Now you
just keep talking

when I tell you;
don't look around.

(louder): Now the car picked
up speed right about here.

Marks got a lot lighter when it

gained traction and
he went straight out.

That's very interesting.

(whispers): What are we playing?

(quietly): There's
somebody out there.

Now, you stay here

and just keep
yelling things at me.

(louder): Hey, look, Mac,

I'm going to take
another look at those tires.

Okay.

Uh, I got some good pictures
of the acceleration track here.

And I got some casts
of these last marks

that were deep in
before they thinned out.

And then I plotted
the whole slide area.

And like you say,

it really is darn near
a miracle he didn't hit

this clump of tr...

♪ ♪

(engine starting)

(tires screeching)

(tires squealing)

You all right? Yeah.

Any idea who it was?

I'm not sure.

But I got a pretty good idea.

Mind if I sit down?

I'm having lunch.

I'll have whatever
Miss West is drinking.

You can have it someplace else.

I don't pick up
strangers at lunch,

even when they know my name.

Miss West, if my
intentions weren't honorable,

I'd have approached
you at dinner.

You're Ed Kovak's secretary.

Yes, I was.

You know my name.

Oh, I'm sorry. Joe Mannix.

I'm investigating a claim.

Insurance?

I've already talked to
Mrs. Kovak, and her father.

So what do you want from me?

I understand you were
very fond of your boss.

You don't meet
many men like Mr. K.

You certainly don't
get to work for them.

What do you think of Mrs. K?

She's very nice.

Were you at the Rio Seca race?

Not for the race.

I had to go up later
and bring his plane back.

She was too upset to fly it.

Mrs. K., I mean.

Hmm, um... Did
Mr. K teach you to fly?

Mr. Mannix, I've
had my pilot's license

since I was 18.

Oh.

What about Kovak's assistant?

Mark Harper? He's fun.

Uh, did you happen to
see him there at the race?

No, but I'm sure he was there.

I wonder why he went.

I understand he hated racing.

He had no choice.

Mr. K called him at
home, 5:00 in the morning.

Told him to get up
there right away.

I drove him to the airport.

With Mr. K, you accepted
the unusual as commonplace.

What about Harper's
friends, his social life?

Mark is a loner.

I don't think he has
any real close friends.

Except you?

We worked together.

We had dinner
together a few times.

You know, when we'd work late.

Mark is a nice guy, but
he's not my idea of a date.

What is your idea of a date?

I'm enjoying lunch.

Then I'll buy dessert.

(whispers): Is he dead in there?

He's not in here at all.

You see, I got all these
units to take care of

since my husband
had this attack.

He says it's an attack,
even if the doctors don't.

He says, "What does
the doctors know?

It happened to me."

All I know is, he's in bed

and I have all these units.

Tell me, Harper always
keep his room this way?

Yes.

I must say, he's a neat man.

How long has he been gone?

Don't know.

His woman friend was
asking for him yesterday.

What woman?

I don't know what
she calls herself.

I see her tiptoeing out
all hours of the night,

until I told him, "Look,
this is a family place."

Well, thank you, Mrs. Paige.

You're not going to drag

the police through
here, are you?

No, not yet,
anyway. It's not just

the mess that takes place,

but it's the time
that they take.

I had a fellow here last year

who took sleeping
pills, and he...

That's the one I told you about.

(engine starts)

ALBIE: License number?!

Look, Mannix,
research the background

on a dead man,
that I'll do for you.

For that, I can justify
leaving my own work. Okay.

I've got my own
office, you know. Right.

What kind of a life is
this, anyway? Okay, Albie.

Every minute
it's, "Albie do this,

Albie do that." Okay. Okay.

You want me around all
the time, fine. Okay, Albie.

Then make me a partner.

A junior partner,
just a junior partner.

I told you, Albie,

I'm all through with
big organizations.

Two guys? That's
not "We, the people."

Look, I got my own
career to worry about.

I got a sign on my office
door the same as you...

Albie, Albie, the license?

Why me the license?

Peggy used to work in DMV.

Because for the time being,

I don't want my
name on the request.

(door opens)

Refreshments?

Refreshments!

Thanks, Peggy.

Hey, you did a great
job on this, Albie.

This Ed Kovak led a short,
but very impressive life.

Short enough to tout
you off auto racing?

Well, there are other dangers
in our business, Peggy.

Such as, uh, Albie
talking you to death.

Traffic. Sergeant
Carson, please.

I didn't volunteer;
I was drafted.

Hi, Mike. Albie Loos.

Give me a registration
on UKS 957.

I didn't have any
trouble with the rest of it,

but those electronic
companies Kovak worked for,

they got security
tighter than the CIA.

Yeah, four different companies
before he landed the job

as project engineer
at Kittridge.

Mm... all in five years.

Now that's a pretty fast
rise in anybody's business.

Well, look at his
college record.

Summa cum laude.

Degrees in
electrical engineering,

business administration.

I must say, he knew
what he was after.

A guy like that
didn't need to marry

the boss's daughter
to make vice president.

However, there were
a few fringe benefits

such as airplanes, very
expensive racing cars...

Would you give
me a little mustard

on that, honey? Right.

Yeah, Mike.

Uh-huh...

Uh-huh.

Good deal. Thanks, Mike.

Say, Albie...

I'm going to need a background

on that Mark
Harper... And a picture.

That apartment of his looks
like it had just been rented.

There's not a
thing out of place,

not a single personal touch...

I've seen motels that
looked more lived in.

Now he's an interior decorator?

Yeah, well, nobody
lives in a place for a year

without leaving some shred
of evidence about himself.

Unless... unless
it's deliberate.

Now about the license? What?

The registration, you wrote
it on the pad, didn't you?

Oh, ooh... Uh, yeah.

The car is registered
to Maureen McGill.

Florentine Arms, huh?

There's a pretty
snappy residence.

Occupation... model.

Everyone should have a hobby.

Miss McGill?

I'm Joe Mannix. I'm not a cop.

And we do have an
interest in common.

Mark Harper.

You're a friend of Mark's?

Well, I'd like to
know more about him.

Like what?

Like when did you see him last?

Why should I tell you?

May save you a lot of trouble.

A week or so ago.

We had a little run-in.

You know how those things are.

I went over to his apartment
today to patch things up.

Mark seems to be out of town.

It's fun talking to you.

I'll carry that for you.

Can you tell me

exactly when you last saw him?

I'd sure like to get
in touch with him.

I have a terrible memory.

Really, it's like a sieve.

Thank you, Mr. Mannix.

I, uh, see you're an aficionado.

Devout.

Mark, too? Ask him.

Well, I'd like to, but
I'll need a little help.

Did he ever talk to
you about his work?

Never. I'm not even
sure what he does.

You didn't know
he was going away?

No. But then why should I?

We're not engaged
or anything like that.

Are you engaged to anyone,

or anything like that?

Oh, I'm not so much
engaged, as "busy."

But do ask me again
sometime, Mr. Mannix.

Say, excuse me.

Have you worked here very long?

Eh, since they opened.

That's two and a half, eh...

let me see, three years.

Well, you probably
know Maureen McGill.

Well, that depends who's asking.

Oh...

Can't take bribes.

Now that's a real
woman, Miss McGill.

A man 20 years younger

could get himself in
a state over that one.

Maybe even ten years younger.

Yeah, I imagine there's quite
a few that do get in a state.

Yep, quite a few.

Tell me, is there anyone
she's particularly interested in?

I don't think there's
anything really interests her,

except it's bullfighting.

Off to Tijuana near
every weekend,

watching them kill beef.

(beeping)

What's that? Oh, that's my car.

It does that every now and then.

I've got to get
it fixed. Thanks.

(beeping continues)

KG-621-14, you
got a call for me?

(phone ringing)

Mr. Mannix's office.

Oh, Mr. Murdoch's tried
to call you several times.

He called three
times in the past hour.

He wants you to get over to
his office as soon as possible.

(engine starts)

(tires screeching)

(honking)

Check is made out and signed.

Just give me the
figure, I'll fill it in.

You can fill it in when
I'm through with the case.

Mannix, Mrs. Kovak was
upset when she hired you.

She made some wild charges.

She now realizes
how foolish they were.

She hired me, why
doesn't she fire me?

She has decided that the
sooner she forgets the accident

and tries to lead a
normal life, the better

it will be for all of us. I'm
sure it'd be better for you.

What exactly do
you mean by that?

As a lawyer, you ought
to know the penalty

for using your car
as a lethal weapon.

Oh, Mannix, I wasn't
trying to aim the car at you.

Just... suddenly you were there.

The question is, Murdoch,
why were you there?

As a friend of the family, I
was concerned about Ellen.

Concerned enough to take a few

potshots at me in the
garage a half hour ago?

Look, I've been at
this desk all afternoon.

That can be checked. Check it.

This is official
notification, Mannix.

Your client has dismissed you.

That's her privilege.

She has withdrawn her charges.

I may come up with
a charge of my own.

Peggy, I want a manila envelope.

Albie, I need that
rundown on Harper.

I'm still working on
it. I did get his picture.

Yeah.

Look, I'm so glad
you're pleased.

Look, why do I keep
paying rent on my office?

How much time do I spend there?

Why can't you put my
name on your door?

Albie... In little letters.

Albie, for the last time,
I'm a one-man organization.

Get moving on that
Harper rundown, will you?

When you finish with him, go to
work on a guy named Hal Murdoch.

Get everything you can, dig in
every wild direction you know.

I'd love to get
something on that guy,

even if it's only
reckless driving.

Peggy, call that
insurance agent.

Tell him I've got a few bullet
holes in the car, huh? Again?

A normal, everyday job
can be just as exciting

as auto racing.

And it can make
you just as dead.

MANNIX: Have you
ever see him before?

Mr. Harper?

Sure. Lots.

When was the last time?

The last time was Sunday...

No, Monday night.

She got back late Sunday.

She had a dinger of a sunburn.

She just laid around all day,

couldn't hardly move.

Tell me, did Harper go
down to the bullfights with her?

Three or four times.

But not last weekend.

The last time I seen
him was right after

she had the sunburn.
Monday night?

That's right, last
time I seen him.

MANNIX: What about him?

I seen him lots, too.

Last time was Monday night.

Same night Harper was here.

Yep, only this fella had
left before Harper come.

Thanks.

Now that's the jackpot answer.

ELLEN: No, Father,
he's been calling all day,

but I haven't talked to him.

Why can't you tell
me what's going on?

Oh, but why do I have
to be kept in the dark?

Well, after all, it was my
husband that was killed.

Yes, Father, yeah...
whatever you say.

Mrs. Kovak.

I'm sorry to break in this way,

but you didn't answer my calls.

What are you doing here?

My father said you
were off the case.

Well, that possibility
was discussed,

but the question is...

do you want me off the case?

Well, what difference
does it make?

It won't bring my husband back.

No, it won't.

I thought you might
still be interested

in finding out who killed him.

There's nothing more to say.

There's a lot more
to say, Mrs. Kovak,

and you'd better listen!

Now you hired me to
find out what happened.

Someplace along the line,

I developed a personal
stake in this case.

Now you said your
husband didn't trust Harper.

Harper had been seeing a
girl called Maureen McGill.

Does that name
mean anything to you?

No. You're sure?

Why should it?

'Cause your husband
had been seeing her, too.

I hired you to find a murderer,

not to dig up a
whole lot of dirt!

It goes with the
job, Mrs. Kovak.

Well, I don't believe it.

My husband loved
me and I loved him.

Now, you found your
way in here, Mr. Mannix...

Will you please
find your way out?

Mark Harper... That's
a very interesting

character you came up with.

He's only a year and a half old.

An alias?

Completely documented,
an expert job.

But all leads end a
year and a half ago.

Just before he went to
work for Kittridge Aerospace.

The day before.

Maybe Mrs. Kovak
wasn't far off about Harper.

The key has got to be
the girl, Maureen McGill.

The model? Yeah, both Harper

and Kovak were tied in with her.

Well, if Harper was
working with her,

why would he get
Kovak mixed up with her?

To get information.

After all, she's
a beautiful girl.

Maybe Miss McGill was
taking more across the border

than her enthusiasm
for bullfighting.

Then why kill the goose
that's laying the golden egg?

Well, maybe Kovak found
out he was being used

and Harper had to kill him.

(Mexican-flavored pop
music playing in distance)

(music plays louder)

(music volume decreases)

(music playing louder)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(Mexican-flavored
pop music playing)

If you're not going to pull
that trigger immediately,

you mind if I have a cigarette?

Well, well, well, Frank Abbott.

Mannix, you still won't
take no for an answer, huh?

I forgot to tell my partner

how touchy you are.

Was that your boy throwing
lead at me in the garage?

Our side wouldn't have missed.

It looks like we'll
have to beef up

our physical fitness program.

I'd like to try again sometime.

Let's see what you
can turn up inside.

(music continues)

Abbott, you mind if
I turn this thing off?

(music stops)

Well, now, uh...

just how is the Air Force
involved in this case?

Oh, I'm not Air Force now.

I'm still official, but
it's a different agency.

It's beginning to
sound like top security.

Do you mind if
we don't discuss it?

Ed Kovak was
murdered, wasn't he?

That's our department, okay?

By Mark Harper.

You're fishing.

The way I've got it figured,
is the girl was working

for Harper and taking
information across the border.

Did she know what was involved?

Mannix, as a favor to me,

to your Uncle Sam
and the free world,

will you just leave?

Sure.

But I do have my license
to worry about, so, uh,

I'll have to tell the
police everything I know.

Mannix... Mm-hmm?

We want Harper's
name kept out of this.

Why, what's so
special about Harper?

He's one of our agents.

(phone hangs up)

Well, now the case is
taking on a new dimension.

But if Harper was
working for you,

why would he kill Kovak?

Unless, uh, he
was a double agent?

Mannix, don't make
me use muscle.

Just keep out of it.

You know, you people are
stifling private enterprise.

Just trying to find
out what's going on.

You'll find out.

Just keep watching the news.

Mac, can you get
down here right away?

I've got a theory on what
happened at the race.

Bring everything you've
got; I'll get Marty Ryan

at International News

to run all the Rio Seca footage.

Joe, it's like I told you...

Mac, I know you've got
a business, so have I.

People are beginning to shoot
guns at me and say nasty things.

So stop arguing
and get on that plane.

Okay, but say the
magic word at least.

What magic word?

All right, Mac: Please?

(announcer calling race,
echoing and indistinct)

Now this was the edited version,

so, naturally, it carried
the newscaster's voice.

ANNOUNCER: Rondelle
pressing Kovak, who's trying to pass.

Okay, okay, here
come the S-turns.

Kovak to Rondelle.
It's Rondelle.

It's Rondelle trying to pass.

(tires squealing)

back on the track.

Kovak, over the embankment!

How do you like that
camera work, huh?

Did you see me get him
going right over the bank?

I'm very proud of that shot.

Okay, now this was
shot right after the race.

The wreck had
almost burned itself out.

Okay, now, you
asked for the outtakes,

here they are.

Okay, go ahead, Lloyd.

Well, it's fairly obvious
why that one wasn't in.

I got a little
nervous on this one.

Oh, now, yeah, now this
one you've seen before.

This is the tail end of the shot

where the car skidded
right behind the trees.

Yeah, wait a minute, back up.

I want to see that
tree area again.

(intercom buzzes twice)

Oh, yeah... no, I cut this
out of the edited version

'cause it was
dull, static footage.

Okay, now, we used
the start of this shot,

where the car skidded
behind the trees,

then we picked it up again
as the car rejoined the race.

Hold it.

Hold it there, Lloyd.

Listen, can you get
him to measure that

tree area footage you cut out?

A precise measurement.

I'd like to get an
idea of the time.

Yeah... uh, Lloyd,
did you hear that?

(intercom buzzes twice)

Give it to me in frames.

Suppose somebody
standing in that tree area

had shot out
Kovak's left front tire.

You mean deliberately
arranged for the car

to skid at that precise spot?

Possible?

Well, in theory,

but the precision, the timing...

Well, the odds are
just too fantastic.

Anyway, that's not
the way he got killed.

Then the killer shot a second
bullet into Kovak's body.

Okay, fine.

Now, you got him over in
that clump of trees, dead.

How did he get out
and rejoin the race,

and run over that cliff?

You saw the film. He
didn't try to make the turn.

Well, why?

Unless he was already dead.

Suicide.

All the money in the
world, a great wife,

more hobbies than
he can keep track of...

That's a motive for suicide?

(intercom buzzes once)

Yeah, Lloyd?

Okay, thanks.

286 frames... at
24 frames a second,

uh, say 12 seconds.

12 seconds... that's a
long time for a racing car

to be running around
behind those trees.

Hmm...

Look, ask him to run
that film again, huh?

Lloyd, run ahead.

The car must have
come to a stop.

But then what...?

Let's take a look.

Ryan, can I talk
to him directly?

Yeah, sure.

Listen, can you run a
few frames at a time?

(intercom buzzes three times)

Hold it!

Mac, look at that...

Right-hand side of the screen.

Now watch.

All right, a few more frames.

Hold it.

All right, a few more frames.

Hold it.

Now, can you run it backwards
a few frames at a time?

(intercom buzzes twice)

Hold it.

Do you see what I see?

Yeah.

Could be dust?

It could be a killer.

Would you ask
him to get the focus

as sharp as he possibly can?

Right.

Lloyd, sharpen that
focus as much as you can.

Great, now it's a sharper blur.

Yeah, well, that, uh,

blur is wearing a racing helmet

and he's moved from here
all the way across there.

So?

It's walking around.

(dialing phone)

Hello, I'd like to
speak to Mrs. Kovak.

Have you any idea
where I can reach her?

She left town?

Where was she going?

Well, do you know
who called her?

Look, it's urgent.

I have to reach her
as soon as possible.

Yes, I understand your position,

but can you tell me
where the plane is kept?

Thanks.

Albie, call Frank Abbott.

Try the Air Force
Intelligence, emergency.

They'll get to him.

Tell him to meet me
at the Kittridge Air Base.

Tell him that he'd better
get there as fast as possible.

I still think it
could be suicide.

Lloyd, run that film
again, from the start.

Hey, get out of here.
This is restricted.

Has Champ Delta Mike
taken off? I said get...

Look, I'm a
private investigator!

There's an emergency.
Has Delta Mike taken off?

Not yet, it's still
on the taxi strip.

Where's it cleared to? Mexico.

Look, Mrs. Kovak's flying
that plane; she's in danger.

No matter what, don't give
her the clearance... look!

No matter what happens,
don't clear that plane!

This is Champ Delta Mike
to tower... ready for takeoff.

This is tower to
Champ Delta Mike...

You are not cleared for takeoff.

All right, hold it, mister!

Don't you know no
one's allowed up there?

What about him?

Tower to Champ Delta
Mike, you are not cleared!

(engine starts)

(gunshot)

(screams)

Kovak.

(gunshot)

(tires screeching)

I've got a gun on her!

Get away from those
cars or I'll kill her!

HAL: Ed...!

Ed, let her go!

Abbott, if he lets her go,
you let him drive out of here!

No, we're leaving here together.

Anybody moves, I shoot.

HAL: Ed, don't hurt her!

You let her go!
Somebody do something!

(engine starts)

(gunfire continues)

You're quite a shot.

He always was.

George, get on
the radio, will you?

I want a team out here
before the police arrive.

We turned up a Party
membership on Kovak.

Yeah, that was Harper's
body in the crash.

He was already dead.

Kovak killed him.

Kovak drove that skid himself.

He jumped out when
he got behind the trees

where he'd hidden Harper's body.

Put Harper's body in the car,

jammed the
accelerator to the floor

and the car drove itself
into the crash, perfect.

Except he happened to run
through a few frames of film.

Kovak's wife didn't
know about this, did she?

No.

Kovak told her he
could explain everything.

She loved him
enough to believe him.

Look Abbott, I'll be
around if you need me.

So long.

How about that shoulder?

Aw, it's just a skin.

You going to be able
to race Saturday?

Of course.

And this time, Mac,

I'm going to finish
right up there.

Tenth, maybe?

Eh, with a little luck.

Did you get him?

Yeah, we got him, Albie.

We got him.

(theme music playing)