Season Five, Episode One, The Business of Fear
Original Air Date: February 9, 2011
The brutal murder of a customs broker leads the team to criminal activities at the waterfront. Jarvis is asked by Stanley Wolfe to contact one of his old informants to assist in the investigation. Things take a turn when the son of Jarvis' informant is pulled into the activities to save his family. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan is awaiting approval of his transfer request.
Duncan and Jennifer are called in when a waterfront worker, Mervyn Mason, is found hanging from a forklift, having been run through by one of the blades. Without the benefit of autopsy, forensics tells Jennifer they believe he was assaulted before the blade was rammed into his body.
Matt tells Stanley he was right when he told him it would be tough coming back to his old squad as sergeant. He feels it might not have only been a tough choice but the wrong one. Stanley wants him to give it a few months. There's an opening in arson and Matt is hoping he can go there. No one else knows about his transfer request and he'd like to keep it that way.
Jennifer gives the rest of the team the details of the murder at the briefing. Mason was a customs broker on the waterfront. Matt starts to talk about his feelings on the case from looking at the autopsy and Allie and Rhys jump in and start talking about it over him. Jarvis is angry that a local had pictures of Mason that he sold to the press and he had to call in a favor to get them. Jarvis wants Matt to be quicker on the mark and get his people on the scene faster and he wants Stanley to stop riding shotgun for Matt. Stanley informs Jarvis that one of the avenues of investigation involves possible criminal activity on the waterfront. Since Jarvis had organized a job at the container depot for one of his old informants, Ted Mangus, Stanley would like to know if he could get in touch with him again. Jarvis is reluctant but agrees and Stanley tells him he'll get Matt to go with him.
Jarvis and Matt meet with Ted. Jarvis speaks alone with Ted who knows it isn't a social call. Matt brings them drinks while Ted is telling Jarvis Mason's death probably had something to do with his job and the possibility of a lot of dirty money if he was on the take. Jarvis wants a name but Ted is reluctant to give one. He says he's happy and on the straight and narrow. Ted finally gives them the name Keith Healy, another customs broker on the waterfront but he isn't as straight as Merv was.
Matt and Jarvis find Healy in hospital as he suffered a heart attack at work a week previous. Keith doesn't know who took over his work at the waterfront and he tells them he heard about Merv and that he hardly knew him. Jarvis tells him they know he's more lax with his job than Merv was. Keith calls for the nurse because he says their questions are stressing him. Jarvis stands to leaves but promises they'll be looking at him more closely.
Back in a briefing, Jarvis is convinced the murder is linked to customs broking. The theory is that since they know Healy is a dirty customs broker and someone had to take over when he had his heart attack the work went to Merv. A dodgy box came through and Merv didn't let it pass which led to his death. The question now is who is wanting a box to pass through customs. Jennifer gives Matt a current list of broking firms. He sees that Jarvis' informant has a son, Justin, who is also a customs broker.
At the waterfront, two men are arguing. One wants the other, who happens to be Justin Mangus, to clear a box for his boss. To get that job done, he threatens Mangus with harm to his family. He's to go back to work and wait to be contacted again. Jennifer and Duncan go to Mangus customs brokers to speak with Justin. They ask about any possible dodgy box movements around the waterfront and both Justin and one of his employees deny knowing anything. Justin also denies working with Healy as well as moving a box illegally. He insists he runs a clean operation at all times. Justin receives a call that he really must take. Jennifer and Duncan pay close attention to Justin while he's on the phone. It's the contact call he was told to wait for. His wife and daughter are being held prisoner until he does what he's told to do. He's told to wait for instructions but his family will remain prisoner. Justin tells his employee to give Jennifer and Duncan access to any files or materials they need but he must leave to go into town. Jennifer stays at the business to collect movement orders for the last three months while Duncan follows Justin.
In the hospital car park, Justin receives another call and is given his instructions. He takes the information down and tells the man he's speaking with if he harms his family he'll hunt him down and kill him. He tells his father, who is in the car with him, that they want him to clear a box tomorrow. His father says it can be anything: stolen goods, guns or drugs. Justin believes whoever has his family, Healy is behind it. Ted Mangus takes a gun from the glove compartment telling his son to leave it to him. Justin takes the gun away telling his father it will only make things worse. They need to find out who they're dealing with instead. Ted wants his son to let him fix the problem so his wife won't have to visit him in prison. Justin insists he will take care of things. He grabs some flowers from the car and gets out and goes into the hospital. His father sees his son tucking the gun into the back pocket of his trousers and gets out of the car to follow his son. He calls to him but he takes off running. Duncan is in pursuit. When he catches up to Ted, the latter tells him about Justin having the gun. Duncan runs into the hospital and, while asking which room is Healy's hears a gunshot. He follows the sound and finds Justin on the floor with a gunshot wound.
Matt and Jarvis question Healy who says he thought Justin was going to shoot him. Healy got hold of the gun and says Justin pulled him out of bed. When he fell down, the gun went off. He didn't know who Justin was as he'd only seen him around the yard and had no idea why he would be threatening him. Jarvis, tired of Healy's behavior, grabs Healy's hospital gown and warns him that when he finds out why Justin Mangus had a gun on him he'd be back.
At the office, Duncan tells Jarvis and Matt that Justin Mangus is in recovery and might not make it. Jarvis goes in to speak with Ted Mangus. Matt stops him saying he's not being objective since he's involved. Jarvis sends Matt away and the two men talk. Ted admits he isn't involved with what is happening. He wants to see his son but Jarvis can't let him go. Ted tells him it's his way or no way at all.
Matt gives the team movement orders from the various brokers. The team want to talk to Ted Mangus as they feel he's their best link to information. Matt wants them to focus on the brokers but they are insistent on Mangus. Stanley listens closely to the discussion between Matt and his team. Matt learns, for the first time, that the feds have been looking around the waterfront the past couple of weeks. When Matt goes to check on what the feds' interest is at the waterfront, Stanley asks the team if they have a problem with their orders. They aren't. Stanley informs them that their sergeant has been outranked on the decision to let Jarvis speak with Ted Mangus. He asks them point blank if they have issues with Sergeant Ryan. Nick questions what they are supposed to do if they do have issues. He wants them to back Matt. Allie tells Stanley Matt doesn't make it easy for them to work with him sometimes. Nick feels Matt hasn't commanded the authority of the stripes, which Duncan agrees with. Rhys feels Matt gets defensive. Stanley informs them it is because Matt thinks they resent his orders. He asks what any of them have done to help him and if they realize how difficult it must have been for him to return his own squad as a sergeant. He needed their support, not criticism and carping. He wants them to look at their faults as a team as much as they look at Matt's faults as a sergeant. When Stanley goes back into his office the team all share a look with one another then start to work on tracking box movements.
Ted Mangus goes to Healy's room at the hospital and chokes him wanting to know who is behind everything with his son and where Justin's wife and daughter are. As Ted tightens his grip on Healy, the latter finally gives a name: Tony Scanlon.
In Matt's office, under the ever-watchful eyes of Stanley Wolf in the next office, Duncan and Jennifer present Matt with information about Tony Scanlon they learned from the box movements. Matt was "right on the money" with wanting them checked. Every month, Scanlon Imports brings in four containers supposedly containing furniture from the Philippines every month. The containers are cleared through customs only on the days Keith Healy is working. Nothing has been linked before but there are only three containers ordered by the retailers. The fourth comes in piggy-backed to the third, is destined for the same retailer and shares the same paperwork with the other three. The three legitimate containers are cleared and sent to the retailers. Keith ticks off on the fourth dodgy container, pays the driver and sends it to its destination. The feds haven't picked up on it because they don't know they're after Keith Healy. They know there's a dodgy container somewhere in the depot that needs to be cleared. Rhys enters to tell him Justin Mangus is still in a coma but stable. He left a message for Justin's wife. Matt sends Duncan and Jennifer to speak with Tony Scanlon about the containers, Merv Mason's murder and the attack on Keith Healy. Rhys' job is background on Scanlon and financial records.
At Scanlon Imports, Tony Scanlon finds his desk drawer open. Ted Mangus enters the room holding Scanlon's gun. He tells Scanlon that he can make the movement of his box happen as long as the girls are alive. Ted pours lighter fluid on Scanlon's desk and strikes a lighter. Scanlon admits he needs a job done. Ted says he can get in touch with a broker but he wants to speak to the girls. Tony makes a call as Jennifer and Duncan arrive at the business. Ted talks to Bridgette. Tony hangs up and proposes a deal. Ted gets the box cleared and away and they make a swap. Ted sees Jennifer drive in and he leaves through the back stairs. Scanlon cleans up his desk and pours a drink for himself. He's calm and cool as they ask him about Healy. He says Healy is a good man and that he had no association with Mason. He denies piggy-backing boxes and importing drugs and that they will find nothing untoward about him, just as the feds didn't find anything.
Jarvis is waiting for Ted at the pub. When he doesn't show he calls and leaves a message for him telling him to not do whatever he's planning and that he'll be out looking for him.
Matt confirms that the feds have nothing on Scanlon and his financial records are impeccable. Matt has left a message for Jarvis but hasn't heard anything about Ted Mangus. Nick presents them with a photo of the man who threatened Justin Mangus at his company. The man, Bruno "Tiger" Lilley, has priors for assault, aggravated robbery and drugs and did a stint in a psych institution. Rhys feels he is the kind of person who would impale someone with a forklift and perhaps even enjoy it. Matt and his team work through the evidence to link Bruno to Scanlon.
At Mangus brokers, Ted holds a gun on Bob to sign the release for the box Scanlon wants cleared. Jarvis enters the office and Ted threatens to shoot him. Jarvis sends Bob away. Jarvis knows Bridgette is nowhere to be found and wants the truth from Ted. Ted finally tells Jarvis that the girls have been abducted and the box must be delivered by tomorrow or they die. He begs Jarvis to turn a blind eye just this once.
The next morning, Jarvis briefs the team that the only way to save the girls lives is to clear the box and give the kidnappers what they want. Ted has the release from the customs broker and the box is cleared. Ted will be driving the box out himself. He wants Nick posed as a security guard to make sure the box gets through. There will be surveillance vehicles in two locations. When Ted is through the gates he will call Scanlon who will give him the drop-off point. Rhys asks if serious crime should be handling the case but Jarvis insists there isn't time. When the truck reaches the destination, the hostages will be released. The feds will be handed a major drug bust and Scanlon and Bruno will be on the hook for the murder of Mason. Matt supports Jarvis in front of the team but he tells his superior that privately, he thinks the plan is nuts.
Duncan and Matt are dressed as waterfront workers and watching the area from their car. Nick is at his post as a security guard. Jennifer and Jarvis, who is calling the shots, wait in their car with Allie. The plan goes into motion. Nick clears Ted and wishes him good luck. As Ted is pulling out with the box, a truck and van race in front of him and stops. The federal police order Ted out of the truck. Jarvis orders his people to move in. Jarvis confronts the feds who tell him plainly the truck isn't going anywhere.
Jarvis and Matt brief Bernice Waverly about the operation. She orders Jarvis off the case because he's personally involved. When Jarvis tells her Stanley asked him to seek out Ted Mangus, she says Stanley can take over. Matt steps forward and says the best one to take over would be him as there is civilian life at stake and time is of the essence. Matt explains how things had to move fast and that he does have Rhys at serious crime running a liaison with them. He tells her that since they were running low on time, he and Jarvis put serious crime on standby to help locate the kidnappers. He assures her that he knows the case and can run with it. She gives her consent. Matt gets a call. Ted Mangus gave the feds the slip twenty minutes ago.
Jennifer and Duncan go back to Scanlon Imports where they find a disturbance and a cap that was worn by Ted Magnus. At the office, Matt asks Nick how they are doing in tracking Scanlon's phone. Allie is working on Scanlon's financial's. All the information is scattered or diverse. They can't pinpoint his location exactly. Rhys finds Scanlon making a phone call on the wiretap he's monitoring. As they listen to the conversation, Nick announces Scanlon is in Spotswood. Allie finds a Spotswood location in the list of Scanlon's properties. Matt leaves Nick to keep tracking while he and the rest of the team head out to Scanlon's Spotswood property.
At the property, Mangus holds a broken bottle to Scanlon's throat and orders Bruno to untie the girls. As a struggle ensues, they hear the sound of Matt's voice from outside. The police have arrived. Matt is leading the operations perfectly and his team is coming together nicely and orders his people into their positions at the doors. Bruno holds a gun to the girls while Scanlon holds a knife to Ted. Matt tells Bruno the police will pull back. He orders the car moved and when it's gone, he runs to the building. Everyone inside comes out, with Scanlon and Bruno still holding weapons to their hostages. Matt and his team jump into action. Bruno turns on Matt with his gun. Allie and Rhys fire upon Bruno. Scanlon drops the knife. Ted picks up Bruno's gun and kills Scanlon then gives himself up.
Jarvis talks with Ted back at the police headquarters and tells him he didn't have to shoot Scanlon and that his son came out of his coma, something Ted didn't know. Ted wants to see his son and doesn't want him to visit him inside prison.
Stanley commends Matt on his work on the case. Jarvis asks him to write up a good report for the DPP. Stanley asks Matt about the arson squad. Matt replies that he's a homicide sergeant. Duncan asks Matt out for a night with the guys just like old times.
We started the episode with Matt Ryan looking forward to moving into the arson department because of the problems he's been having in his own squad. By the end of the episode, he knows he's a homicide sergeant and he wants to stay. Matt really came a long way in this show. He went from someone who had trouble with his team talking over him during a briefing to one that commanded respect from everyone--including his superiors. A good lashing to the team from Stanley Wolfe helped greatly, but the biggest credit went to Matt himself. He stepped up for the operation Jarvis set into motion with Bernice Waverley. He took control and, under his leadership, the hostages were saved. This was the Matt Ryan we've all known for the past five seasons.
With shows like this, it truly makes me sad that we just have five more episodes left in City Homicide's run.
City Homicide airs on Wednesday nights at 9:30 p.m. (AUS time) on the Seven Network.
For more information:
City Homicide Official Site: http://au.tv.yahoo.com/city-homicide/
Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1024932/
TV Rage: http://www.tvrage.com/shows/id-17228