STRINGS

Season 3, Episode 12

Written by Roy Sallows

Directed by Jon Cassar

Guest Cast:

Christie Black..................Joy Tanner

Dr. Ben McGee...................Peter Hutt

Helen Neary.....................Amanda Smith

Czar Nicholas...................Victor A. Young

Alexandra.......................Caroline Yeager

Rasputin........................Sam Malkin

Matthew Neary...................Joel Keller

Captain Forrest.................Elizabeth Brown

Rose Woolcott...................Natalia Jasen

A woman steps off a bus and is walking down a street at night when a car accelerates towards her. When it barely misses it does a u-turn and speeds back towards her, hitting her. The force of the impact throws her through a store window, shattering the glass and setting off the alarm. The driver gets out of the car and shoots the unconscious woman five times.

A short time later Nick and Tracy are examining the stolen car, noticing the ignition has been punched in, and the lock was probably popped. She will check vehicle theft. Tracy's cell phone rings. She talks to her father, not liking what he has to say. When Tracy joins them, Natalie says the victim is Helen Neary. Nick asks if Helen died on impact causing Natalie to laugh and tell them she doubts it. The victim was shot. They are surprised. Natalie says five bullets were fired into her torso from a small caliber gun, maybe a .32. There were no exit wounds so should be able to match them, once they find the gun. Nothing seems to be missing.

A while later, Tracy asks Nick what he thinks about Corporate Crime Division. Nick says it is white-collar, suits, expense accounts and a good chance for advancement. Tracy asks if Nick would go there if offered the transfer. Nick is surprised. He asks if that is what her father wanted. Is she interested? She tells him she does not know if she is interested or not.

Nick and Tracy approach Matthew Neary's apartment to notify him. Records is having a problem locating the daughter. They knock on the door and identify themselves. They unholster their weapons when they hear frantic scuffling noises inside. Tracy says just because he is the son, does not mean he did not pull the trigger. Nick kicks in the door and they enter weapons drawn. No one's there, but the bedroom window over the fire escape is open. Matthew escaped. They holster their weapons and do an unofficial search. Tracy's telephone rings again. She's embarrassed and tells Nick she thought she turned it off. Nick is amused. It is her father asking if she has made her decision. She says she cannot talk because she's still on duty and has not made a decision. She tells him she is capable of running her own life. The disagreement hits close to home for Nick.

Nick flashes back to Pre-Revolutionary Russia, 1916 St. Petersburg. He is in the palace of Czar Nicholas II. The Czar points out Grigori Yefimovitch Rasputin to Nick as he passes them. The Czar says the Czarina will do nothing without the monk Rasputin's consent because their son, Alexi grows weaker every day. Alexandra is convinced the monk is the only person who can help him, and seems to control her every thought. Nick asks how can he help. The Czar tells him a friend gained at the gaming tables is the truest one a man can have. He needs Nick because Rasputin has ambition. Alexandra enters with the monk right behind her. The Czar introduces Nick to Rasputin. Nick senses he is a vampire, which is confirmed when Rasputin's eyes very briefly glow yellow.

Inside Matthew's apartment, Tracy finally gets off the telephone and reads a letter lying on top of the dresser. She is excited when she tells Nick it is from Christie Black. Nick has no idea who that is. She tells him Christie is a singer.

Using the return address, they arrive at a good-sized house and ring the doorbell. A man answers asking what they want. Nick introduces himself and Tracy, saying they would like to speak to Christie Black. The man asks how they found her and hears it was through the brother. He identifies himself as Dr. McGee, and it is his home and clinic. Christie's case requires constant supervision. Nick asks what's wrong. Tracy says she thinks it is drugs. McGee lets them inside and leads them to the doorway of the room where Christie is watching a woman on TV while listening with headphones. The end table is heaped with prescription drugs. Her expression is blank, but a little sad. McGee tells her the police are there to talk to her and she needs to pull herself together. As Nick and Tracy enter, Christie makes a haphazard attempt to comb her hair with her fingers, until McGee pulls her hand away telling her to pay attention and listen to the detectives. Nick and Tracy exchange uncertain looks. Tracy gets a weak acknowledgement that Helen is her mother. Christie learns her mother's dead. Christie looks up at McGee, asking what to do. He asks if there is anything else. Tracy asks Christie if she can think of any reason that her brother might not want to speak to the police. Christie shakes her head and asks McGee if she can get a glass of water. He says she can and not to be gone too long. She moves very zombie-like. Christie pauses and asks how her mother died. Nick tells her it was a hit and run. Christie continues out of the room, showing no emotion. Tracy comments the whole drug thing started after her boyfriend's suicide. Gary Wilton shot himself at Pier 5. Both hit rock bottom together as they were doing Heroin, Cocaine, you name it. McGee asks if there are any leads. Nick says there are not, and it is really a murder. McGee comments Christie should not be gone so long.

McGee leaves to find Christie. Tracy reads the label on one of the pill bottles and shows it to Nick. McGee tells them she is gone. Nick comments she cannot have gotten too far. They go outside and split up to track Christie down. Nick uses his vampire senses to track her, taking to the air once he has a trail. Christie is wandering down the middle of the street mumbling repeatedly that she must center herself. A vehicle approaches and honks her. She walks in front of it. Nick arrives just in time to drag her out of the way. Christie finally snaps out of her stupor and demands to know what happened, very upset. Nick asks if she is all right. She says she should not have done what she did. Nick tells her it's okay. McGee and Tracy run up to them. He asks Nick if she is okay. Nick says she is. Christie apologizes and asks for McGee's help. McGee says it's okay and leads her away.

Inside Reese's office, Nick says they ran Matthew Neary through CPIC. Reese says Matthew's been arrested before for cocaine, and possibly heroin. Brother and sister are alike in that respect. Nick says there is an APB out for Matthew. Reese asks about the sister's name and is as clueless to who Christie Black is. He only knows those who sing anthems at hockey games. He asks Nick if he is sure about leaving her with McGee. Nick says it is a clinic and she doesn't need to be locked up, her doctor's there. He trusts Nick's judgment and says they had better start on the paperwork. Nick leaves, but Tracy is detained.

She is a little confused. Reese tells her her father called. She sags in her chair. He said she is transferring to Corporate Crime. Tracy tells him she does not know what to say, as it was not her idea. Reese realizes Tracy was not maneuvering behind his back. He is more sympathetic, telling her he wished she would let him know it was in the wind. She says she has not agreed to take the transfer, but her father seems to be treating it as if it is a done deal. She says that although it is a smart career move, the more her father pushes, the less she wants to do it. He says he knows her father put her in a tough spot. He does not want anyone who is there to prove a point. Either she wants to be there or she moves on. She says she understands and leaves.

Inside Natalie's office, she hands Nick the bagged slugs from Helen Neary's body. It was indeed a .32 automatic. Nick asks about McGee. She knows Ben McGee, but is not crazy about him or his work. She says some people call him a miracle worker but she is not so sure. He works mainly with high profile cases, mostly with the wealthy. Nick says he met McGee because he is treating Helen's daughter Christie Black. Natalie has not heard of Christie. She says McGee is a whiz with hypnotherapy and chemical conditioning. He uses a classic behavoristic approach. Nick comments she does not believe in his work. She explains the two schools of thought using the controversy about an elevator and someone afraid of closed spaces. One school of thought says you treat the fear of closed spaces and then they can ride the elevator. McGee teaches you get them used to riding the elevator and the closed spaces, and then the fear does not matter. She says the first way treats the disease, while McGee's way treats the symptoms. She explains she believes in treating the disease. Nick comments that McGee gets results. Natalie says she never questioned that he does, and probably faster than with traditional methods, but she is uneasy with leaving the original problem. Most problems will find some other compulsive way to manifest itself. She says McGee tends to completely take over his patient's lives.

Nick flashes back to 1916 St. Petersburg, Russia. Alexandra sadly tells Nick she's grateful for his friendship. She's been stricken with melancholia, and does not know why. The world is no longer the place she knew and fears for their survival. Nick asks if he can talk about the monk. She says Rasputin is her trusted confidant and a holy man so Nick cannot speak ill of him. He is the only one who can help her sick son. Nick realizes all the symptoms Alexi is displaying are those of slow blood loss, as if someone was snacking on Alexi. He says he is familiar with the ailment and there is a cure, but only to a certain point. Rasputin's treatments can not save her son. Rasputin enters unnoticed and comments Alexi would already be dead without him. Nick says that if Alexi is to be cured, it must be done now. Nick and Rasputin fight over who will save Alexi. They decide to leave it up to the Czarina. Alexandra falls victim to the battle of the whammies. Nick is trying to save both Alexi and Alexandra. Nick loses in the end, when Alexandra says anyone who opposes Rasputin must die. Nick says he is humbly her servant and leaves.

Inside McGee's clinic, Christie is huddled in her chair crying. McGee angrily asks if she thought killing herself would make everything better. Christie cries Helen was her mother who she loved and needed. McGee yells that is not the answer. He intently tells Christie the only person she needs is herself. Accidents happen, life goes on. He asks she's giving up, telling her she is weak. She tells him she is weak. He says she is not weak. A weak person cannot go through all she has been through. She reluctantly agrees. He says she is getting better and no one can take that from her. She smiles through her tears and repeats what he said. He tells her it is because she is strong. She repeats it a few times, each time believing it more. Her tears have stopped. He asks if she is strong enough to do what she must to survive. She says she is. He asks if she knows why he is hard on her. She says she knows it is because she can take it. He tells her she is right. He turns on the TV and she puts on the headphones, seeing the same woman from when Nick and Tracy were there.

In the Caddy, Nick asks Tracy if she has heard from her father again, sensing her mood. She tells him he has talked to everyone else. Nick suggests she tell him she needs more time, hearing he will tell her how much time to take. She asks how do you reason with someone who thinks they are always right. Sooner or later you give up and let them have their way. You need control of your life or a part of you goes crazy. She always used to run to her dad for advice, then realized she could not make decisions because he never let her learn how. Nick watches her concerned, realizing they have a lot in common, especially when it comes to their fathers.

Inside McGee's clinic, Tracy and Nick are interviewing him. McGee says he will do what he can but will not jeopardize Christie's recovery. They say they are not asking him to. They need some info. McGee says there is not much to say about Helen because she was quite unremarkable. Christie had an ambivalent relationship with her. Matthew was a problem. He and Helen fought a lot. He had a substance abuse problem. Christie was always caught in the middle. Tracy asks if there was ever any physical violence in the Helen Matthew fights. McGee says Matthew would not kill his own mother. If it turns out it was Matthew, he'd have to keep it from Christie. Tracy inquires about Christie, learning he's overall optimistic, but she was upset by her mother's death. They worked through the grief last night. Nick starts to ask about his methods. McGee says he has heard it many times, but it gets results. The doorbell rings. McGee excuses himself. Tracy tells Nick she thinks she is going to take the transfer. Before Nick can react, they hear Matthew's voice warning McGee. A gunshot is heard. Nick and Tracy run into the front hallway. They learn McGee's fine. Nick tells her to call it in. He runs outside and arrests Matthew after identifying himself. Matthew tells Nick the bastard is messing with his sister's head.

Inside an interview room, Matthew tells Nick and Tracy he was not trying to shoot McGee. He had had a couple of beers. He does not like how McGee treats his sister. Tracy says McGee practically saved her life. Matthew comments any rehab clinic can do it. He is proof of that, except for tonight, he has been clean for two years. Nick asks what his objection is. Matthew says Christie is not herself anymore. Nick comments that might be a good thing. Matthew says she is not anyone, just blank and under McGee's complete control. Nick asks about Matthew's mother. Matthew says they do not get along, and spoke sometime within the last year. Nick reminds him his mother's dead. Tracy says she was murdered. Matthew is upset, commenting she is his mother. He swears he did not know. When asked why he ran, he says he was holding a little grass. Matthew asks if Christie knows mom was murdered. Nick says she does not because McGee thought it was better not to tell her yet. He says that might be the first time he has ever agreed with McGee.

Inside the observation room, Reese watches. Nick and Tracy enter. She is not sure if she buys his reason for running. They can hold him on the weapons charge. Matthew is a mess and it would be hard to pull together an act like that. They should tell Christie her mother has been murdered. McGee will not like it but she is the only one they have not talked to. Reese says Tracy's father pushed through her transfer. She starts at Corporate Crime tomorrow night. Tracy does not look happy, or surprised. She admits she accepted the inevitable. He's sorry to lose her and congratulates her. She thanks him.

Nick is driving around listening to the Nightcrawler. LaCroix says Nick has been thinking about how he got there. He's been going with flow of life, realizing everyone and everything influences him but he has no influence over his own life.

Nick flashes back to December 1916, St. Petersburg, Russia. Nick enters a room and sees Rasputin waiting for him. LaCroix asks if he is there to see a revolution in the making. He is never far from his assistants or from making history. Nick asks if he brought Rasputin across. LaCroix laughs telling him he could not resist the delightful conceit, but did not because Rasputin's a holy man. LaCroix looks at Rasputin with contempt, telling Nick he is more trouble than he anticipated. Rasputin is quite insane and not a real monk. He is also quite headstrong, like Nick. LaCroix comments Nick believes all men should be free, but history teaches them otherwise. Humans tend to be readily enslaved, comforted by being told what to think, how to live, and whom to wage war against. Freedom is the absence of individual thought. Everyone is under some form of control. Nick asks who controls LaCroix. Two soldiers enter carrying rifles. LaCroix comments Rasputin has begun to resist him, having forgotten the source of his power. LaCroix was ready to give him the whole country, but it was not enough. He nods to the soldiers who shoot Rasputin, twice. LaCroix orders the body thrown into the river. The body is dragged away by the soldiers. Nick says that will not kill Rasputin. LaCroix says he knows, but it will catalyze events. Revolution is all in the timing.

Inside Corporate Crimes, Tracy meets Captain Forrest and is given a short tour. They have the cream of the crop, including more economics and business administration degrees in the room than in most brokerage firms. Tracy should be proud because not everyone gets into the forensic accounting division. Tracy is appalled as she hears this. Forrest says she has to get her feet wet. Tracy reminds her homicide was her last assignment. Forrest snobbily says she thinks Tracy can handle the big challenge here. Tracy is depressed by her gray cubicle and the entire gray room of small gray cubicles.

In a downtown office, the woman from the videotape is pulling a late night. She hears a knock on her desk and goes to answer. She's surprised by her visitor and invites her in. She is shot four times in the back as she heads for her desk. Christie shot her.

It is now a crime scene. Natalie tells Nick there were five small caliber shots, probably a .32, asking if it sounds familiar. Nick tells her the victim was Ruth Woolcott, Christie's business manager. She detects a pattern. The time of death was definitely within the last twelve hours. Nick says it lets Matthew off the hook. He was in holding. Natalie asks who is left as a suspect. Nick leaves, knowing the answer.

Inside Corporate Crime, Captain Forrest drops an enormous stack of paperwork on Tracy's desk, telling her it is the Laurin file. He is an investment broker they suspect has been bilking his clients out of tens of thousands of dollars. Forrest tells her to follow the paper trails to their start. It is tedious but it is what they do. Forrest sounds like she is far better than everyone. Tracy's attitude starts out bored, then turns sarcastic and hostile as Forrest lectures about how she's God, and everyone obeys her every thought. She grumpily tells Tracy she will not get special treatment because her father sits on the Police Commission. Tracy rolls her eyes and says she hopes not. Forrest continues as if talking to a lower class of cop, that homicide cops have a reputation for being independent, making it sound like a dirty word. Tracy rolls her eyes disgustedly and tells Forrest she would not dream of using her brain here. Forrest is not happy someone is not bowing down to her and snippily tells Tracy they are going to pretend the conversation never happened. They got off to a great start. The Laurin report is to be finished by tomorrow night and leaves. Tracy looks at her computer screen, then the Laurin file.

Inside the precinct, Christie enters. Reese asks if he can help her. She meekly says she wants to see her brother. She hears they are dropping the charges. Reese confirms it, and says that normally they would not let her. She has to leave her purse behind, which she does. She is lead to the interview room. Matthew is surprised to see her, asking what she is doing there. She says she came to see him. She did not do it without McGee. They sit down knee-to-knee. He says he's getting out soon, which she says she knows and is good. He starts to talk about mom. She puts her head on his shoulder and starts crying. He puts his arms around her and asks the cop watching them to please get them some water and tissues. The cop leaves to do that. Matthew tells her he does not think McGee is doing good things for her. Her face crumples and he embraces her whispering it is okay. She pulls out a silenced gun and fires five shots into his chest, telling him she doesn't care what he thinks, because he wants to hurt her. Matthew is shocked. He slumps to the table while she puts the gun away and leaves. He has a dead stare.

A few minutes later, Reese watches from the observation area as forensics deals with the body. Reese wants to know how that could happen. Nick says she had everyone fooled. Natalie enters, tells them five shots, probably with a .32 automatic and a silencer. Nick wants to know what's going on inside Christie's head.

In Corporate Crimes, Tracy is staring intently at her computer screen, flipping through information on Christie Black's Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, and Income reports. Forrest catches her. Tracy says they should drop the game, as both know she is not working on the Laurin file. Forrest leaves, telling Tracy she thought she was smart enough to see the larger picture of her career. Tracy says that sometimes the right thing is not the proper thing. Forrest says it is the same thing. Tracy disagrees, telling Forrest she should be helping track down a killer. Tracy turns back to her computer. Forrest does not like anyone who does not think she's God. She interrupts Tracy's work and coldly threatens her. Tracy says she will not bust Tracy to meter maid because she is too busy trying to score brownie points with her father. Forrest hates how Tracy sees through her and storms off. Tracy prints the Christie Black Partnership Agreement.

Tracy and Nick meet up in front of McGee's clinic. He smiles, telling her it's good to see her, thanking her for the call. She says she is glad to be with him again. They head for the front door. Nick says he has the warrant. Tracy tells him Christie had no motive. No one can get at the fortune unless she dies. There is no answer when Nick rings the doorbell. The money stays in the corporation to be controlled by Matthew and Helen, then Rose Woolcott, and finally Dr. McGee. Nick comments that is three down and one to go. Tracy agrees, asking which one's next. When their repeated attempts get no answer Nick tries the door. It is locked. He grimaces, breaking the lock with his vampire strength. They enter and search the house, starting with the TV room. Nick finds the tape with Rose they saw on their first visit and sticks it. Nick identifies Rose from the tape because Tracy never saw the body. Tracy tells him McGee uses the old videotapes in his therapy. They look happy and playful on the tape. Nick tells her that is Matthew Neary. Nick puts on the headphones and listens. His vampire hearing allows him to pick up the subliminal track. McGee's voice tells Christie she must shoot that person. She's strong and can do it. It is a dream, not real. No one is to stop her. Nick is bothered as he pulls off the headphones. She asks if he hears anything and learns he'd like to get the tapes checked out because he thinks McGee is using the drugs and tapes to program Christie to kill whoever is on them. She probably does not even know it. Tracy looks disgusted.

Nick flashes back to St. Petersburg. Rasputin enters and tells the Czar he cannot be killed, his eyes vampire yellow. He is definitely crazy. The Czar looks at him in horror, asking what he is. Rasputin says he will lead all the Russia's and grabs the Czar. Nick flies into the room and drags Rasputin off his friend. Nick keeps a firm grip on Rasputin, harshly telling him if he leaves now, he will let him leave. Rasputin comments they could destroy it all. Nick tells Rasputin he would bring a monarchy to its knees. Thousands would die in the upheaval. He would rule a wasteland. The Czar grabs his revolver from his desk as Rasputin tells de Brabant he does not belong there. Nick tosses him aside. When Rasputin leaps at Nick, Nick drives a stake through his heart. Rasputin dies. The Czar aims his revolver at Nick, asking if he is like Rasputin. Nick tells his friend it is a long story, and he is afraid he cannot tell him. Alexi should recover now. He wishes his family well, calling the Czar an old friend. The Czar thanks Nick for what he has done and tells him to leave and not return. Nick is saddened by the loss of another friendship.

In McGee's house, Nick examines the tapes. Christie and Gary are down at Pier 5. They realize Christie is going to kill herself. McGee arrives home angrily asking what they are doing there. Nick says they have a warrant and is thinking of adding his name to it, for conspiracy to commit murder. McGee looks as if he is about to bolt. Tracy pulls her weapon and firmly tells him not to think about it. McGee refuses to anything. Nick tells Tracy to cuff him. She holsters her gun and handcuffs him, asking Nick where he is going. Nick leaves without answering.

Nick speeds towards the pier. Christie is at Pier 5. She's alone, but hears McGee's voice repeating all the things Nick heard. She slowly raises the silenced gun to her temple as Nick arrives. Nick calls her name. She turns to Nick, aiming at him, telling him to go away. Nick hears her spouting off what she was programmed to say. He tries to counter it. She whips the gun towards her forehead. Nick grabs it as she fires. The bullet misses. Nick whammies her. She is to listen to him only. She can rest and forget the pain for now. She says no. He convinces her McGee wants her to kill herself. She wants to live. McGee's been controlling her. He gets her to remember it all. She does not have to die. Christie repeats she does not have to die, over and over again. Nick releases her, knowing his message has overridden McGee's. She rests her head on his shoulder and closes her eyes.

Inside the bullpen the next night, Nick is in a good mood. Tracy walks in smiling. Reese learns she has not talked to her father. Tracy knows Nick would like to hear it. She asks about Christie. Nick tells her Christie has a lot to recover from. She remembers what McGee did to her and is willing to testify. Tracy says McGee has the best lawyers. Nick says the tapes will hang him. Tracy's cell phone rings. She is teased, it sounds like her father's ring. They move off to give her some space. She tells her dad they have to talk. They try to work out a time. She tells him to change his plans.

Introduction
Black Buddha Part 1 | Black Buddha Part 2 | Outside the Lines | Blackwing
Blind Faith | My Boyfriend is a Vampire | Hearts of Darkness | Trophy Girl
Let No Man Tear Asunder | Night in Question | Sons of Belial | Strings
Fever | Dead of Night | The Games Vampires Play | The Human Factor
Avenging Angel | Fallen Idol | Jane Doe | Francesca
Ashes to Ashes | Last Knight

SEASON 1 | SEASON 2

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