UNDUE PROCESS

Season 2, Episode 9 (aired as episode 8)

Written by Michael Sadowski

Directed by Allan Kroeker

Guest stars:

Dr. Emma Reston.......................... Lynne Thomson

Ronald Gault................................. Allan Royal

Ms. Sheppard............................... Theresa Tova

Prison Guard................................. JR Zimmerman

Boss.............................................. Simon Richards

Hobbs........................................... Keith Kemps

Woman #1.................................... Karen Kenedy

Woman #2.................................... Angela Gei

Vivian........................................... Marianne Moroney

Policewoman................................ Tracey Hway

Young Man................................... Lloyd Adams

A visibly upset Natalie is manning the telephones at the missing child center. She is telling someone on the telephone that she is very angry. A woman at the coffeepot tells a guy that the missing girl is Natalie's goddaughter. If this were happening to her, she would be a nervous wreck. She has trouble understanding how Natalie can be there, on the telephones. Posters of Ronald Gault are up everywhere, as are pictures of Cynthia Luce.

Nick and Schanke arrive. From Nick's expression, Natalie knows there is no good news. Nick tells her that they found Cynthia and need her to come with them. Natalie is devastated and it shows. Nick takes her in his arms to comfort her.

Natalie and Nick are examining Natalie's goddaughter hand in hand. Cohen arrives and is both shocked and horrified to see Natalie identifying Cynthia's body. Natalie asks for a moment before she can give the preliminary report. Cohen introduces Dr. Emma Reston and tells Natalie that she is off the case because she is too close. Natalie is stunned, very unhappy with the situation and feels betrayed. She protests that it is still her jurisdiction. Cohen tells her that it isn't tonight, that the decision came straight from the top brass at the last minute and there were supposed to have notified Natalie, but obviously they didn’t. Cohen tells Nick and Schanke to find Gault before the vigilantes do. She takes Natalie home.

Schanke comments on how rude it was not to tell Natalie, and that the guy was probably late for something personal like the symphony so he figured it could wait. So now, Natalie has to live with the image of seeing Cynthia dead as the last time she saw her. Nick is searching the bushes and ground for clues while Dr. Reston examines Cynthia's body. Nick finds blood drops and is able to track Ronald Gault. When Schanke questions how, Nick tells him by footprints and points to them. Schanke is willing to let Gault hang, even if it is too easy a death for him.

Nick flashes back to 1740 Williamsburg, Pennsylvania. He's strung up by an angry mob and hung from a tree. When he should be dead, they leave. A short time later, a very angry vamped out Nick frees himself from both the noose and bag over his face. His eyes are feral red.

In the present, Nick tells Schanke that Gault is wounded. When Schanke asks him if he's part bloodhound, Nick shows him the blood, and further down the path he shows Schanke a broken twig.

Gault is walking down the street drunk and bleeding. Two women see him and tell guys waiting at the bus stop. All but one of the men goes after Gault while the remaining one calls 911.

Schanke is handed his cup of coffee right before the call comes in. Nick tells Schanke that he will meet him there and that there is a mob after him. Schanke remarks that they will rip him apart and that it is four blocks, but it is no use as Nick's already gone.

Gault runs around the corner and into Nick, who grabs hold of him and has to use his strength to keep the mob off the best he can, which is not too good. Schanke arrives and fires off a couple of shots, which get the mob's attention. Schanke helps Nick get Gault safely to the car.

Nick flashes back to when the mob hung him, he remembers that the lynch mob members told Mr. Moss to light him up and send him to hell.

Back in the precinct, Nick ignores the mob members who tell Nick to give them Gault as he gets into the car. Gault is in the back seat with Schanke.

Inside the precinct, the girl with Cynthia cannot pick Gault out of a lineup and neither can the old woman that saw a prowler.

Gault is seated at the table in the interrogation room telling them he would like to make a statement. Cohen reminds him that he can have a lawyer.

Nick, Natalie and a female officer are watching the interrogation from the observation room. Natalie comments that she had to see the killer in the flesh, she had to see his eyes. When the female officer comments that Gault should be ashamed, Natalie angrily comments that Gault should be dead. The venom in Natalie's voice worries Nick. Natalie learns that Cynthia's parents are on their way to the morgue.

Gault asks for medical attention, still quite drunk. Natalie is still watching him.

In the bullpen, Cohen, Schanke and Nick talk about how Gault knows that any confession made while drunk and without a lawyer would be inadmissible, which is why they didn't let him confess. They know they have nothing on him. Their moods darken when they learn that Sheppard, who believes that murderers need counseling and a hug, that they have the same rights as the victim. They comment that the last guy Sheppard got off went back and murdered his whole family. Dr. Reston hears all of this.

Natalie watches Dr. Reston treat Gault. She watches Reston prepare an injection and give it to Gault along the wound, then stitches him up.

Inside Cohen's office, Sheppard tells the three officers that Gault has to be released, and points out that the girl who helped with the composite couldn't identify him from the lineup and neither could the older woman. They have no proof, which they need in order to hold him. Cohen points out his history of priors for child molestation are enough to hold him. A war nearly breaks out between Sheppard and Schanke as she tells him she is in charge of keeping things under control and Schanke comments that she just wants to see her name in the paper. She thinks she is far superior to them.

Nick again flashes back to Williamsburg and enters the home of one of the killers, who freaks out when he sees Nick. Nick asks why the guy killed him. He is told that everyone knows he killed the woman. Nick's angry and tells them that he was never given a chance. The guy told Nick that his boss told him so. Nick comments that he wants revenge and drains the guy.

Shepherd tells the three officers that she will not see the law bent or broken and that they must protect Gault from the vigilantes or he will sue them. When that is questioned, she tells them that is a precedent. The officers are not happy. She says that is the only way they can stay near Gault. Reston brings blood test results that get Gault released.

Trouble breaks out when Natalie learns that the blood type does not match. The DNA testing is underway and difficult due to so-so samples. Natalie is not happy to learn that Dr. Reston has been working her lab. She asks Cohen for a chance to do the lab work and Cohen tells her that she is too close. Sheppard looks way too smug, which upsets and angers Natalie. Natalie loses it and slaps Sheppard across the face calling her a bitch. Nick grabs hold of Natalie to prevent more trouble. Sheppard tells Natalie she will probably see her in court (for assault). Cohen tells Natalie that she is out of it, and to go home. Natalie angrily yells that she is not finished as Nick escorts her out by the arms.

Natalie is sitting on the floor in front of the fire in her fireplace tossing the missing child flyers into the flames one by one. Nick is seated on the couch. She tells him that she heard from Cynthia's devastated father. She tells him that the parents will never recover. Natalie has tears in her eyes as she asks Nick how there can be men like that who hurt and kill children. Nick tells her that he still has trouble comprehending that sort of Evil. She angrily tells Nick that Gault has to pay. He leaves knowing there is nothing more he can do for her and that she has to work through her grief.

Inside the Captain's office, Cohen, Nick, and Schanke cannot believe what Sheppard is telling them. They have to baby-sit Gault because if they let him go, he is dead. Nick tries to act as peacemaker before the full war breaks out between Schanke and Sheppard. He asks Sheppard why cannot they keep Gault in protective custody in the precinct and learns that they can only do that if Gault agrees to it. They all know he will not. Schanke is not at all happy that they have to tuck him in at home. Cohen tells them to take him to a motel outside of town until everything cools down and to sit on him until the DNA stuff comes in, hopefully positive. Schanke grumbles makes a vague threat, which gets him a warning glare from Cohen.

Nick again flashes back to Williamsburg. His fangs are embedded in the guy from the end of the previous flashback. Once he finishes draining the man, he lets him fall to the floor and wipes his mouth satisfied by his hot meal. His pleasure over his revenge shows on his face.

In Cohen's office, she warns them that Gault can not come back in worse shape than he left in and makes sure they understand it. She is a little worried, even though both have nodded their understanding.

Natalie is still seated in front of her fireplace. She's thinking about recent events and has that same look she gets every time she's concentrating on a tough puzzle and is near the answer. She looks like she has solved something as she gets up and leaves with a determined look on her face. Her expression conveying what's going on in her mind better than words ever could.

Nick, Schanke and Gault are in a really low budget motel. Gault is acting as if nothing serious is going on while Nick is on the telephone reporting in and Schanke is playing solitaire. Nick tells Cohen that they are in their room and everything's secure. Nick tells Schanke they are going to put a rush on the DNA so they should have the answer by morning. Schanke asks what the chances are that Gault will reform, as they both know there is little to no chance of it happening. Schanke reminds Nick that when Gault is released, another child will die. Nick is not happy, knowing Schanke's right. Schanke tells Nick about the mini tape recorder that he bought in case Gault talks in his sleep.

Natalie's heading for her office and just misses being spotted by the security guard hitting the key box right next to the door to her lab. She checks to make sure it is clear before she enters her lab and heads straight for the smaller fridge. She searches two shelves, surprised not to find the samples she wants, needs. She turns on the light as she walks into the cooler and stops next to Cynthia's sheet covered body. After a moment she removes the small hand from under the sheet, lovingly strokes it, takes a deep breath and sadly looks at it as she scrapes under a fingernail.

While Schanke and Gault are sleeping in the cheap motel room, Nick's watching the prisoner and toying with the tape recorder. He wakes Gault up and hears Gault complaining that he does not feel too good. Nick reminds Gault that he wanted to make a statement, to which Gault comments that it would have been thrown out because he was drunk. Gault looks like he is in pain. Nick whammies Gault to confess to taking and killing Cynthia. Deep down Gault does want to confess and does so. Gault admits he grabbed Cynthia Luce and she fought him, so he stuffed a rag in her mouth and did her out in the woods, with her still fighting him. He tells Nick that the children pick him as he watches them on playgrounds and streets. He says that they tell him to take them, to do it to them. Gault looks like he has passed out.

Nick flashes back to Williamsburg again. The last guy's boss is cleaning his counter when he sees Nick and is both angered and repulsed, calling Nick a dirty scum, asking how he got out of the noose. Nick comments that his technique needs work. When the balding man threatens Nick's life as he attacks, Nick defends himself and pins the guy to the wall. Nick comments that the guy executed him as the guy is trying to free himself from Nick's hand around his throat. He tells Nick to let him go and he is a free man. Nick asks why the guy is showing lenience and why he does not still want him dead. Nick tells the guy that he was wrong about Nick and for that, he is going to die. He sinks his fangs into the guy and drains him.

Back in the cheap motel room, Nick shuts off the tape recorder and has second thoughts as he thinks about what he has done. He realizes he has to destroy the tape and pulls it out of the case.

Inside Natalie's office, she's comparing her test results to the file open on the file drawer and can't understand how the other doctor could've botched it so badly. She's both surprised and concerned by the erroneous results.

Inside the cheap motel room, Schanke thanks Nick for letting him have the catnap, and asks how Gault can sleep like nothing's wrong. Schanke comments that he does not sleep that well on vacation. Gault rolls over into an odd position and does not sound too good, causing Schanke to ask if they should call for help.

Nick has another Williamsburg flashback as he finishes draining his executioner and drops the body. He is once again satisfied by his revenge until he sees LaCroix and learns he was the true criminal. LaCroix has again set Nick up. Nick is ashamed because he got caught in another one of LaCroix's sick mind games. LaCroix comments that Nick's now guilty of the same thing as those he killed.

In the motel room, Gault lets out a strange gasp and dies. Nick rushes over and checks Gault for a pulse, ordering a shocked, stunned Schanke to call 911 when he does not find any life signs. Nick starts CPR and has a flashback to the dead guy on the floor. Schanke returns and sees Nick still aggressively doing CPR. Nick stops long enough to check for a pulse. When he does not find one he tells Schanke that Gault is dead.

Gault's zipped into a body bag, as Schanke tells Nick that Sheppard's going to have a fit. Nick reminds his partner that Gault had a heart attack, causing Schanke to comment it was from the wrong kind of excitement, and that there is justice in the world. Dr. Reston tells them that it looks like a massive coronary thrombosis, but will not know for sure until she has completed the enzyme test. When Nick tells her he tried to resuscitate him, she tells Nick that he died instantly because his heart exploded. Schanke seems quite upset by Gault's death and comments that even though he says he wants someone to die, he never means it.

Via the telephone, Natalie tells the Captain that Reston's diagnosis is fine with her at this point, that if she says it was a heart attack, it was, and does not need to look it over. Natalie is looking at the Crimeline Network from her home computer as she is talking to Cohen. She apologizes for what happened with Sheppard and hopes everyone understands. Natalie logs onto the Criminal Justice System and looks up Dr. Emma Reston, M.D. She tells Cohen that taking her vacation now might not be a bad idea, agreeing with Cohen's suggestion. After she hangs up she looks up medical reports and physical exams deeply intrigued by something.

Inside the precinct, Cohen tells someone that she considers the case closed. Sheppard is in Cohen's office with Nick and Schanke reading them the riot act for Gault dying in their custody, threatening an full investigation. She is not at all happy to have lost her ticket to major publicity and possibly a way out of the public defender's office. Cohen tells them that the case will continue until they find Cynthia Luce's kidnapper and killer and prove Gault either innocent or guilty of it. Cohen also comments that she'd be happy to see Sheppard in court for the potentially slanderous accusations Sheppard is making suggesting criminal conduct of her officers. Sheppard angrily grumbles that it is not over as she storms out, upset that they did not treat her like the legal goddess she thinks she is. Schanke is happy and it shows. Cohen tells her detectives that she wants solid proof that Gault did it for Cynthia's parents and Dr. Lambert's sake, and that she wants the case closed correctly.

Natalie's still on her computer, this time looking at Gault's files from the prison system. She sees that Dr. Reston was the most recent person to access the file. She gets that heavy concentration look again as she reads the file.

In the bullpen, Schanke has the exact same file pulled up on his computer screen. Nick approaches and tells Schanke that the DNA from the samples they brought in matches Gault, yet the blood type didn't match, and asks how that's possible. Schanke comments that maybe the samples were contaminated, or there were problems with the testing procedures as he had seen it happen before. That it does not really matter because Gault did it. Schanke gives Nick a surprising piece of information. He tells him that Gault's medical history shows he was treated twice for arrhythmic tachycardia, once when he went into prison and again when paroled seven months ago, which makes it a pre-existing condition. They both comment on how Dr. Reston seemed to know this when she told him that the heart just blew up and nothing would have helped. Nick suspects something and it shows in his expression. Schanke starts to second-guess their actions and Nick tells him that they did all they could and not to beat himself up over it.

Nick calls Natalie but her machine picks up. She listens to Nick ask how she's doing and that he'd like to stop by as it sometimes helps to have someone to talk to. Natalie's on her way out, yet seems to hesitate a moment as if temporarily unsure what to do. A moment later her determination returns and she leaves.

She enters her dark lab and slips into a pair of gloves. She is seen by an older security guard that enters her lab and startles her. He apologizes and comments that he thought she was on a leave of absence and even heard rumors she was suspended. He offers his condolences and tells her how he cannot imagine how horrible it is. She thanks him and he tells her that he will let her get back to work, and will not see her again until she is officially on duty. She asks him to please not tell anyone she was there, and he agrees to it, then leaves. Natalie has a cold, angry look on her face as she pulls down the sheet and momentarily stares at Gault's face. She gets on with her work. She takes a skin sample from Gault's scalp laceration.

Nick enters Natalie's apartment, calls out to her and grows concerned when there is only silence. He sees her computer screen showing Dr. Reston was the last one to access Gault's information, turns and leaves, knowing exactly where to find Natalie.

Natalie runs a test on the sample she took from Gault's wound and flashes back to Reston treating Gault, telling him the injection was a local anesthetic. That Reston looked at her through the observation window as if she knew Natalie was there. The reaction of the sample plus test chemical shocks Natalie, who suddenly realizes she is not alone, but Dr. Reston is there now. Natalie confronts her. Natalie tells Reston she knows Reston used an old KGB trick to cause Gault's heart attack. Reston tells Natalie that she was raped when she was Cynthia's age and could not do anything about it.

Nick's on his way to the morgue.

Inside Natalie's office, Reston tells Natalie that the guy came back for her when he got out. Reston tells Natalie that once she had the skills she went after him. That she did that to Gault for them. Nick arrives and is concerned when he sees the tense situation. When he asks Natalie if she is okay, she tells him what Reston did. She tells Reston she is sorry for what happened to her. Reston tells them she has no regrets, never has and never will regret her actions.

Inside Cohen's office, Schanke learns what happened. He finds out that the Crown is working out a charge for Reston as well as reopening the Calgary case. Schanke's confused as he tells them Reston should get a medal and then comments that he doesn't know, when Cohen questions him. He asks how Natalie goes on. Cohen tells him that Natalie does because there is no other choice, and how it must hurt more than can be imagined.

At the cemetery, Natalie is squatted down before Cynthia's grave in tears telling the little girl that she loves her as she lays a bouquet of flowers on the grave. When she is ready, she sadly stands and heads for the Caddy where Nick waits for her, safe from the pre-dawn light. He hates to see his best friend in so much pain. He is saddened, knowing exactly how she is feeling. Natalie enters the car and immediately turns to Nick, needing the comfort of his arms. They hug, wordlessly comforting each other. After a couple of moments, she turns towards the side window teary-eyed. Her devastation is clearly written on her face, especially in her eyes.

Nick pulls away leaving the headstone with Cynthia Lambert Luce's name on it and Natalie's flowers resting against the stone as the final shot.

Introduction
Killer Instinct | A Fate Worse Than Death | Stranger Than Fiction | Foward Into the Past
Faithful Followers | Hunted | Father's Day | Undue Process
Bad Blood | Can't Run, Can't Hide | Capital Offense | Amateur Night
Beyond the Law | The Fix | Be My Valentine | The Fire Inside
Blood Money | Partners of the Month | Queen of Harps | A More Permanent Hell
The Code | Curiouser and Curiouser | Near Death | Baby, Baby
Close Call | Crazy Love

SEASON 1 | SEASON 3

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