Recap: At a local airport, two men who look like they're up to no good are posing as aircraft maintenance technicians as they await the arrival of a plane. When the plane lands a few minutes later, a pretty blonde woman arrives to pick up one of the passengers. He deplanes carrying a briefcase...and when he spots the faux maintenance technicians staring menacingly at him, he clocks one of them in the head with his briefcase and races toward the blonde woman and her car. The two squeal off, and the bad guys jump into their car and race after them while opening fire...but are soon foiled when they get boxed in by large vehicles who pull out in front of them.
Aboard the Riptide, Nick is railing about how much he hates Murray's new contraption, Beat the Box, a large white orb encased in a glass box that glows orange and buzzes every time someone tells a lie. Murray tells Nick he's surprised to hear how much he hates his new game and explains that he can't turn it off 'cause he's in the process of testing the orb's circuits.
The pretty blonde woman arrives at the Riptide, introduces herself as Jessie Wells, and tells them she's a producer for the Les Carter Show. The Riptide trio make a collective ew face at the mention of Les Carter 'cause of what an abrasive douchebag he's known to be. Nick attempts to fib about being a fan of his TV show - but Beat the Box calls him out by glowing orange and buzzing. Womp womp! Jessie says she would like to hire the agency to look into why a couple of guys pretending to be aircraft maintenance technicians just tried to kill the guest she booked for tonight's show. She has no idea why anyone would want to kill the man, an author named Karl Novack...and Murray recognizes the name and says he recalls that Karl Novack used to work at Cullen-Davis, a weapons manufacturer. Jessie asks them if they could please accompany her to the KCED TV station so they can meet Les Carter and discuss their current conundrum, and they're like 'sure, why the hell not?'
At KCED, Jessie introduces Les Carter to Nick, Cody, and Murray...and Les brags about his impressive track record of scoring exclusive interviews, and touts his brash 'love me or hate me' style. As that's happening, one of the bad guys who was at the airport is posing as a water deliveryman and replenishing the water cooler jug while glancing around shiftily. Les pours himself a cup of the water, admonishes Jessie for screwing the pooch on Karl Novack's airport pickup, and snappishly tells her to stay inside while he talks to the Riptide guys outside the building...and Jessie somehow refrains from telling him where he can stick his bitchitude.
Nick tells Les that Jessie told them about the two men who tried to kill Karl Novack, but Les just shrugs unconcernedly and says that Novack is probably being hunted by bookies for his gambling debts. He forbids the trio from involving the cops 'cause he doesn't want to be out a guest for tonight's show, then snappishly orders them to drive over to the beach apartment where Novack is stashed and give him an escort to the TV station. He offers to pay them $1,500 for the errand, provides the address, and barks at them to get on it right now.
When the Riptide trio arrives at the beach apartment, they're puzzled by the sound of a man singing Hickory Dickory Dock. They quickly learn that the singing is coming from Karl Novack's apartment, so they let themselves inside and are startled to see him standing in the middle of the living room looking sweaty and demented. When he notices Cody, Nick, and Murray staring at him in bewilderment, he runs across the room, dives off the balcony, and falls to his death fifteen floors below.
Lieutenant Quinlan arrives on the scene and grumbles at the Riptide trio about how dead people always seem to pop up around them. When a tearful Jessie bursts into the apartment, Lieutenant Quinlan snaps, "Who's the broad?", so Nick explains that she knew the deceased. Jessie asks what in blazes happened, so Lieutenant Quinlan holds up a hypodermic needle and snarkishly informs her that it looks like Novack shot himself up with dope before taking a swan dive off the balcony. He then orders the trio to start answering questions or he'll throw them in jail, and Cody says they're going to need to check in with their client to get the OK before they can spill the beans on whatever intel they have...and Lieutenant Quinlan's all 'grumble grumble...fuck everyone...fuck everything...I desperately need anger management training'.
Jessie is walking to the parking lot with Nick, Cody, and Murray when she suddenly spots one of the bad guys from the airport. She stupidly points at him and yells, "Hey! There's that bad guy from the airport!" - LOL - and the bad guy's all, "Ack!" and jumps into his car and squeals off. Nick somehow manages to leap atop the hood of the moving car and hangs on for dear life as the car weaves through traffic...but eventually he's thrown off of it and lands in the passenger seat of another person's car.
Les Carter is guzzling water from the water cooler in his office, and consuming the water appears to make him act extremely weird. His director taps on his window and asks him to please come out so they can discuss tonight's show, but Les tells him to get lost - just as Jessie and the Riptide trio arrive. Les bursts out of his office to rant and rave nonsensically, and a puzzled Jessie is all, "What the hell's wrong with you? You're acting like an idiot" - LOL - to which Les responds by screeching, "No one talks to me like that! You're fired!" He then points at a bespectacled dork who's delivering the mail and appoints him as the show's new producer. After guzzling more water, he asks who the hell Nick, Cody, and Murray are, so Jessie reminds him that they're the detectives he hired to pick up Karl Novack. Cody and Nick are like, "Uh, speaking of Karl Novack.." and inform Les that he died after leaping out of the apartment window, and that one of the guys who had tried to kill him earlier was spotted hanging around the beach apartment parking lot. Nick adds another useful tidbit: while he was hanging onto the roof of the bad guy's car, he noticed a parking tag for Cullen-Davis, the company that Karl Novack used to work for. Les starts laughing manically and screeches, "General Do-Right strikes again!" then bellows, "This is my exclusive! My scoop!" and forbids Nick and Cody from going to the cops. Nick and Cody tell him that, yep, they're definitely reporting all of this to the police, then fire him as their client before stalking out of the office. Les reacts to the firing by grabbing darts and throwing them at a dart board while maniacally singing Mary Had a Little Lamb.
Cody spots Jessie staring despondently into space, and the trio heads over to comfort her. Murray suggests that her firing is actually a blessing, given what a douchetard Les must be to work for - but Jessie says that Les doesn't actually have the authority to fire her, and that she intends to stay on at the station 'cause she really does love her job. She insists that Les isn't normally this weird and is worried that he could be in real danger...then reveals that he and Novack had a secret meeting a few weeks ago, and that ever since that day, he's been on cloud nine about scoring the interview. Nick says that the CEO of Cullen-Davis is a war hero named General Thomas Walker, and wonders aloud why Les called him General Do-Right and implied that he may have had something to do with Novack's bizarre suicide. Jessie says she's aware that Novack was recently fired from Cullen-Davis and thinks this could be an important piece of the puzzle, then urges the trio to dig around a little before reporting any of this to Lieutenant Quinlan.
As the trio and Jessie arrive at the Riptide, they hear Beat the Box continually buzzing...and we see that Dooley is trying to impress a young woman named Gia by pathologically lying to her about how rich and awesome he is. When she asks him why the weird box thing keeps buzzing, Nick comes right out and tells her that it makes that noise whenever someone tells a lie. Gia glares at Dooley, declares them through, and huffily storms out, while a miffed Dooley glares at Nick and says, "I will deal with you later" ... but then (mercifully) doesn't make a reappearance during the rest of the episode. Murray heads downstairs to log onto his computer to see if he can dig up any intel on Karl Novack, but doesn't have any luck...then decides to expand the search by looking up Cullen-Davis. When he finds a list of subsidiary companies owned by Cullen-Davis, he notices that the list includes Dyna-Game, a company he once sold a game to and is still haggling with to get his royalty checks. Murray tries to hack into the company's records, but soon realizes he's going to need to use one of Dyna-Game's on-site computers to access any personnel info on Novack. Cody suggests they go over there under the guise of wanting to sell Beat the Box...and Murray doesn't like the idea of even pretending to sell his beloved new prototype to a shitty outfit like Dyna-Game, but then allows himself to be persuaded when Nick and Cody assure him that no actual deal will be signed.
The trio heads over to Dyna-Game headquarters to meet with a developer named Mattie to fake negotiate a deal for Beat the Box. Nick and Cody, who are pretending to be Murray's representatives, suggest they go into the hallway to discuss a possible deal [so that Murray can stay behind and use the computer to access the company's internal files], and Mattie detects no red flags with that and is all 'sure, why the hell not?'
Murray taps away on Mattie's computer and quickly finds Karl Novack's personnel file. He calls up Roboz, who answers the phone and places the receiver on the desk so that Murray can transmit the document via the phone line and send it as a print job to the dot matrix printer located aboard the Riptide. Fancy!
General Thomas Walker, aka the CEO of Cullen-Davis, is promptly informed that someone at Dyna-Game has just accessed Karl Novack's personnel file. Walker's all, "Ack!" and hastily summons a small team of thugs to address the matter.
Nick and Cody leave Mattie with the strong impression that they've made a deal to allow Dyna-Game to develop Beat the Box. The trio climbs into their truck and heads off...but a few seconds later, a helicopter hovers over them as the pilot instructs them to pull over. When they comply, two men leap off of the helicopter and, at gunpoint, order the three to get into the helicopter for the short ride over to Cullen-Davis headquarters for an impromptu debriefing.
General Thomas Walker explains to Nick, Cody, and Murray the fateful mission he carried out with Karl Novack that resulted in the tragic death of thirty American soldiers. He says he got shot in the leg during the firefight, and that Karl held him in his arms in a mud hole for six hours before finally managing to carry him to safety. Nick asks him why he fired Karl if they're such good friends, so he says that Karl began to unravel and act really strangely, then theorizes that the deaths of the thirty men must have finally made him lose his mind. For the sake of his business, he had no choice but to let Karl go. The Riptide guys thank him for the explanation, and he's like, "No problem" and offers to give them a lift to their truck.
When the trio is dropped off at the side of the road where they left the truck, Cody surreptitiously turns on Beat the Box - just as General Walker fibs about having nothing at all to do with Karl Novack's death. When Beat the Box glows orange and buzzes, Cody breezily says it probably has a defective wire inside of it...and an unsuspecting Walker's like, "OK, whatever" and departs with this thugs. Nick gets a faraway look in his eyes and wonders aloud what really happened to those thirty soldiers on that day in Vietnam.
The Riptide trio heads back to KCED, where Jessie is waiting to hear what they uncovered. They run into the show's director, who grimly reports that Les has reached crazy nutty levels and is decked out in a glittery tuxedo for the taping, despite this being a serious interview show and not an Elton John performance.
When the show's taping gets underway, a crazed Les starts singing a demented sounding rendition of Three Blind Mice. Jessie urges the director to put the show in standby mode...and an enraged Les flails about while security guards subdue him. Murray notices that the bad guy who had refilled the water cooler jug earlier is now lurking around the studio, so he alerts Nick and Cody, and the three race over to their truck to chase the bad guy and his friend in their fake water delivery truck. After spilling bottled water all over the streets, the truck eventually crashes into another vehicle, and Nick grabs the two men and informs them that he's making a citizen's arrest. They smugly retort that it's irrelevant 'cause they work for the East German consulate and have diplomatic immunity.
After being questioned by Lieutenant Quinlan, the two East Germans are promptly released in accordance with international law. Lieutenant Quinlan grumbles says that the two obvious criminals are going to walk, and that it'll take days to figure out what kind of drug they put in Karl Novack's water. Murray says that clearly it's a chemical that attacks the part of the brain where childhood memories of nursery rhymes are stored. Lieutenant Quinlan orders the trio to tell him who his client is, so they reveal it's Les Carter, and that they strongly suspect General Thomas Walker of being directly involved with whatever nefariousness the East German assassins are up to.
The trio meets up with Jessie at the Riptide, and she tells them she's very sad about Les being poisoned...and that when she visited him in the hospital, he was still ranting and raving far more than the usual amount he rants and raves. Cody wonders aloud why the East Germans would want to drug Les, then suggests that perhaps they wanted to discredit his interview with Karl Novack. Jessie suddenly perks up and says she now recalls that Les had bragged about having the interview "in the can" and shortly afterwards ordered her to pick up a package at a video place and deliver it to his out-of-town residence, where she witnessed him put the package into his safe.
General Thomas Walker calls up the East Germans and orders them to head over to Les Carter's out-of-town residence and bring him the safe that's in the basement.
The Riptide trio (plus Jessie) pile aboard Mimi and fly over to Les's place. They quickly locate the safe in the basement, and Nick immediately gets to work blow-torching it open. The East Germans, meanwhile, arrive at the house a few minutes later and enter the basement with their guns drawn. Nick responds by tossing them the white-hot part of the safe opening he just blow-torched and yells, "Catch!" and the East Germans are all, "Owwwww! Heiss!" and flee the house. Nick and Cody chase after them, while Murray finds two videocassettes labelled Interview in the safe and looks solemnly at Jessie.
Nick and Cody climb onto Mimi to pursue the East Germans by air. When they catch up to the vehicle and hover over it, Cody eggs Nick on to slam into the car with the helicopter's wheel...and Nick's like 'sounds like a good idea to me' and wheel-butts it from behind. The action causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle, speed off a cliff, and perish with his comrade in a fiery crash. Yeesh.
That evening, the Riptide trio (plus Jessie) are watching the airing of Les's interview with Karl Novack. He confesses that he and General Thomas Walker were on a reconnaissance mission during the Vietnam war when they opened fire on their own men for some bizarre, unexplained reason - other than, "We couldn't turn back unless there were no survivors." A somber Nick wonders how General Thomas Walker is reacting to the devastating interview being aired...and the camera pans over to the general's office at Cullen-Davis, where it looks like he's just blown his brains out.
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Recap: Murray is shaving in the Riptide bathroom, making a giant mess with the mountain of shaving cream he's generously lathered across his face while mouthing along to a love song playing on the radio. Without wiping the excess shaving cream off of his face (?), he douses himself with half a bottle of aftershave, then heads up to the living room.
Murray tells Nick and Cody he's especially nervous today 'cause it's exam day for the university class he's been lecturing and he still doesn't have an opening line for Stephanie Davidson, the student he's hopelessly smitten with. He stares dreamily into space and says he gets the strong feeling she likes him a lot, and hopes that one day he'll be able to come up with a suitable response to her good mornings. Nick stares at him perplexedly and asks why he doesn't just say good morning in return, and Murray perks up at that brilliant suggestion and jots it down in case he forgets.
As Murray delivers the final lecture to his class, he sneaks flirty gazes at Stephanie while nattering about how "getting to know special people" could lead to "exciting collaborations", which...subtle, Murray. He then tells everyone it's test time and that they have precisely sixty minutes to finish the exam.
During the exam, Murray fiddles with his retractable ruler - a not-so-subtle metaphor for his extreme horniness - while staring longingly at Stephanie, a blonde woman who's far too attractive to be flirting with Murray without some kind of ulterior motive. At the back of the lecture hall are two thugs who look like they're serving as Stephanie's bodyguards, and they watch intently as she pulls out a piece of paper, writes a note on it, then hastily folds it and puts it away.
When the sixty minutes are up, Murray asks everyone to submit their exams. Stephanie hands Murray her exam booklet and tells him how much she's enjoyed his lectures, and the impatient thugs tell her it's time to go. One of them tries to grab her exam booklet, while the other gets grab handsy with her...and Murray snaps at them to get lost and is backed up by a beefy football player, who forces the thugs to stand down. As Stephanie exits the lecture hall, she snappishly tells them, "Don't you ever do that to me again!" and storms out. Thug #1 laments that he wasn't able to intercept the letter she wrote and slipped to Murray, so Thug #2 suggests they go to the admin office, find out where Murray lives, and get the note that way.
Aboard the Riptide, Murray is grading the exams while Nick and Cody are engrossed in a baseball game on TV. The two thugs, meanwhile, sneak onto the boat's deck and peer through the window - just as Murray finds the love note in Stephanie's exam booklet and announces that he's retreating to his room to read the letter in private. A few seconds later, the thugs burst into the living room with their guns drawn. Nick and Cody put their arms up and warn them that a silent alarm just got tripped to alert the police to a break-in - but the thugs don't buy that fib and start sifting through the pile of exams in search of Stephanie's love letter. Murray peers out from his bedroom, sees what's happening, and flies up the stairs with his gun drawn yelling, "Move and you're kibble!" ...and the thugs respond by opening fire on him - LOL - then grabbing the entire pile of exams before fleeing the boat. Murray's all, "Ack! They stole all the exams!" and orders Nick and Cody to pursue the thieves and retrieve the exams...which they attempt to do, but then trip over the overturned fish cart that the thugs managed to shove in their direction.
Later, Murray is released from the hospital wearing a neck brace 'cause I guess he wrenched his neck while he was being shot at. He finally mentions that he knows exactly who the exam thieves are - Stephanie's thug bodyguards who sat in the back of the lecture hall during every class - then pulls out Stephanie's love note. He reads aloud a few choice phrases - I feel your eyes upon me and No one has ever affected me like this before - and Nick grabs it, looks it over, and dismissively calls it "a grease job" to entice Murray to give her a good grade. Murray rejects that notion, and the three agree to head over to Stephanie's house to see about getting the exams back from her bodyguard thugs. When they arrive at the gated estate, Nick tells Cody and Murray to go inside while he covers them from outside the property and warns that if they're not out in ten minutes, he's calling the police.
Murray rails at the owner of the house, Ahmed Kemal, for sending his armed thugs to steal his exams...and Ahmed largely ignores him and directs his attention Cody as he describes how they deal with adulterers in his country: administer justice, then swiftly carry out the execution. Cody asks him why he's telling him this when Murray's the one who's his wife's university lecturer, and Ahmed's all, "Wha-a-a? How can this be possible?" Cody quickly assures him that there's nothing going on between Murray and his wife, and Ahmed's like, "Well duh. Any fool could see that that man couldn't steal anyone's wife" - LOL - just as Stephanie rushes into the room to see whassup. Cody tells her that her bodyguard thugs stole a stack of exams from their boat in search of the note she wrote to Murray, and she looks faux confused and says, "I don't know anything about a note." Murray has the good sense to play along and confirms that, nope, he didn't receive a note, and Stephanie admonishes her husband for being so suspicious and that any notion of her having the hots for Murray could only be a crazy misunderstanding.
Back at the Riptide, Murray moans to Nick that he can't belieeeeeeve he fell for a married woman, and Nick tells him not to beat himself up about it and points out that Stephanie is clearly a tease who led him on. Cody arrives with a package that just arrived for Murray, and inside is an audio tape from Stephanie telling Murray she's glad he came to her house and that she'd looooove to see him alone...but that they have to be really careful 'cause Ahmed will kill them both if he catches them.
Murray tells Nick and Cody he wants to officially hire the agency to help him help Stephanie with her marital conundrum. Nick points out that whatever unholy thing is going on between Stephanie and Ahmed is probably none of their business, but Murray says he can't not help Stephanie, who has described her home life as being a prison. Cody tells Murray they have to consider the kind of man Ahmed is - rich, jealous, and possessive - and that if they do anything to run afoul of him, they could all end up dead. Murray says he's willing to risk the danger if it means being there for Stephanie, a woman who's been opening her heart to him.
Stephanie and her thug bodyguards arrive downtown for a shopping excursion and enter a high end furniture & design store run by Stephanie's friend, Pierre. Nick and Cody bribe a bunch of neighborhood kids to spray paint the thugs' fancy car...then sneak Murray, who's "incognito" with slicked back hair and a glued-on moustache, into the back of the store.
When the bodyguard thugs get distracted by the spray painting of their car, Murray rushes over to Stephanie to offer his help. She tells him he's her only hope, and that she really really wants to run off with him 'cause of how rapidly her shitty marriage is deteriorating. She says that divorce isn't allowed in the Kemal family, and that Ahmed would much rather see her dead before ever agreeing to a divorce. She dramatically moans about how she's too much trouble for everyone, then pulls out a gun - and Murray's all, "Ack! Don't kill yourself!" He grabs the gun to stop her from pretend shooting herself and promises to do whatever he can to help her out, and she responds by giving him a grateful hug and a peck on the cheek.
Pierre tells Murray he knows all about Stephanie's marital issues and wants to do whatever he can to help her - just as they spot Ahmed arrive and confer with the thug bodyguards. Murray says they need to get Stephanie out of here pronto, but the two soon find themselves surrounded by Ahmed, the thugs, and a bunch of sinister looking extras. Ahmed grabs Stephanie and once again natters about how they deal with adulterers in his country - even though this is more of a cuckolding situation than an act of adultery on Murray's part. Murray shouts back, "We have ways of dealing with wife beaters in this country, buster!" just as the police arrive. Ahmed glares at Murray and tells him he'll pay for his immorality and deceit, then exits the store with Stephanie and his entourage.
Aboard the Riptide later, Cody warns Murray that the case is getting increasingly dangerous - but Murray's like, "Whatever" as he types in Ahmed Kemal as a search term on his computer and comes across an article written by famous gossip columnist Wendy Wise. In it she writes about how surprised everyone was by the engagement of industrialist Turk Ahmed Kamel to a twice married American woman...and Murray immediately deflates at the thought of Stephanie hooking up with at least three different men, but then concedes it's a no-brainer that a hottie such as herself would have plenty of suitors. A few seconds later, a tearful (but unharmed) Stephanie calls from a pay phone to fake whimper to Murray that her husband just beat her up, and could he please pick her up by the side of a road. He's like, "Of course!" so she gives him the address, and he races over to the Jimmy and squeals off. Cody, meanwhile, suggests to Nick that they dig into Stephanie's past by having a chat with Wendy Wise...and in the next scene the gossip columnist happily gives them the low-down on Stephanie's wealthy late husbands:
Nick looks alarmed by the unlikely coincidence of a beautiful young woman being widowed twice in such a short period of time, thanks Wendy for the intel, and rushes off with Cody to warn Murray.
Murray races over to the address Stephanie gave him, but when he arrives he finds her car with a dead Ahmed laying across the front seat with a gun strategically placed nearby. In the next scene, Lieutenant Quinlan is arresting Murray for the murder of Ahmed Kemal, citing for Nick and Cody the treasure trove of evidence against the geek: love letters and audio tapes from Stephanie, and - most importantly- the murder weapon with Murray's fingerprints all over it. He adds that Stephanie's version of events supports the evidence...even while Murray insists that he's been duped. Nick tells Lieutenant Quinlan they'll prove that Murray is being framed for murder before the end credits roll, but Quinlan says he's convinced he has the right man, and hauls Murray off to the police station.
Cody and Nick bail Murray out of jail and discuss the next step in proving he was framed. They decide to work over Pierre, who gave the impression that he's overly involved in Stephanie's life, to see if he reveals anything useful.
Inside Pierre's shop, Nick breaks one priceless vase after another while Pierre begs him to stop. Nick then grabs him by the collar, snarks that their friend has been wrongfully accused of murder, and promises he'll get off lightly if he helps them nail Stephanie. Pierre relents and tells them that her first husband really did have a heart attack...but when she inherited his fortune, she got the idea to keep marrying rich men and reaping the financial rewards of their demises. He sheepishly admits that he's pretty entranced by Stephanie 'cause she has a way of rendering him helpless. The three head over to Casa Kemal - just as Murray gets abducted by Ahmed's revenge-seeking brothers, who shove him into a limo. He happens to spot Nick, Cody, and Pierre as they arrive at the estate and pokes his head out the window long enough to shriek, "Help me!"
Inside the limo, Stephanie tells her brothers-in-law that Murray "had ideas" about the two of them, and fibs that Murray urged her to leave Ahmed and run away with him. Murray denies the lies and says he only ever tried to help her, then implores the men to believe that he wasn't the one who killed their brother.
While in pursuit of the limo, Nick orders Pierre to tell him everything he knows about Ahmed, and threatens to throw him out of the moving car unless he spills the beans. A freaked out Pierre easily cracks and tells them that Ahmed's brother likes to land his private plane in the desert 'cause he prefers to avoid going through the regular customs & immigration process, and Nick perks up at that tidbit and says he recalls seeing a remote airport in the desert while on some of his Mimi flights. Cody floors it...but a few seconds later the car they're driving runs out of gas. He and Nick spot an empty city bus parked nearby and decide to steal it while the unsuspecting bus driver is sitting across the street, enjoying a coffee break.
The Kemal clan drags Murray aboard the waiting aircraft when Nick, Cody, and Pierre squeal over by bus. The thugs open fire on them, which they respond to by returning fire...and during all this, Murray is somehow able to open the cabin door and climb off the plane and onto the bus. As the plane begins to taxi, Nick steers the bus onto the runway and successfully prevents the pilot from taking off.
After much of the dust of this case gets settled off camera, Murray is relaxing aboard the Riptide while a shirtless Nick (yum!) and open-shirted Cody saunter over. Nick turns the radio on, and by scripted coincidence they happen to catch a news brief delivered by Wendy Wise regarding Stephanie Davidson's sudden change of fortune. She recaps how the police arrested Stephanie and Pierre after finally looking into the deaths of her second and third husband, and ensured that they were swiftly brought to justice. After that, Wendy Wise waxes on about the two handsome PIs who recently paid her a visit to discuss the case, 'causing the trio to chuckle heartily.
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Recap: Ted and Carla Dollinger are sailing aboard their lovely boat, The Morning Rose, when another boat comes motoring towards them. An armed man hops aboard The Morning Rose and promptly shoots the couple...and a few seconds after that, a young blonde woman emerges from the ocean, sees the carnage that's just occurred, and loudly shrieks in horror before disappearing underwater. The shooter aims his gun in her direction and opens fire, and looks satisfied when the water quickly turns red.
Arnie, who is playing the role of the Riptide trio's newest sidekick this episode, is peacefully fishing aboard his little motorboat when the young blonde woman, who's now injured and bloody, pops up from the ocean and clutches the side of his boat. She stammers, "Trouble...the Morning Rose...east of Neptune's Trident.." before disappearing. Arnie's all, "Wha-a-a-a?" and becomes very freaked out about having squandered the opportunity to pull the woman aboard and get her some much needed medical treatment.
Aboard the Riptide, Murray is railing at Nick and Cody about how angry he is for letting himself get talked into being interviewed by Tawny Clark of Spotlight magazine, and complains that she made him look like a loser when she [aptly] titled her article 'It's Geek to Me'. Heh. Nick and Cody explain that they invited her over to interview them for a feature in Spotlight 'cause of how desperately their feeble detective agency could use the publicity...and a few seconds later they hear her arrive and head up to the deck.
In the next scene, Tawny Clark is holding up her tape recorder while accusing Nick and Cody of "sucking air as private detectives" prior to recruiting Murray to the agency, but then goes on to say that they still pretty much suck air - as evidenced by their total lack of ambition in bidding for lucrative jobs, such as security contracts for large companies. Nick explains that their agency focuses more on solving personal problems, and Tawny rolls her eyes and asks if by personal problems does he mean The Case of the Missing Shih Tzu that they recently cracked for an elderly woman. Murray's like, "Well d'yuh" - just as a flustered Arnie arrives at the pier in his fishing boat and informs the Riptide trio he just encountered an injured woman in the ocean who needed help, but that she disappeared under the water and never reemerged.
The Maritime patrolman, Lieutenant Wilcher, wryly informs Nick and Cody that Arnie identified the injured blonde woman he saw in the ocean as a mermaid, derisively says that this "case" isn't worth a minute more of his time, and that he's considering charging the dimwit with filing a false report. Nick urges him to not do that and explains that Arnie has a learning disability, makes his living doing odd jobs, and really doesn't need to be in trouble with the law. After they leave Wilcher's office, Cody asks Arnie why in blazes he didn't mention the part about the woman being a mermaid, so Arnie says he was so anxious about the encounter when he returned to the pier that it completely slipped his mind. Nick points out that mermaids are fictional, but Arnie insists, "I saw what I saw", then laments that he let down whoever might have needed help on The Morning Rose. Tawny, who's been following the trio around through all this, privately admonishes Nick for allowing Arnie to be made a fool of, and Nick snaps back that the last thing they'd ever intentionally do is make their slow-witted friend look foolish.
In the next scene, Murray has cobbled together a makeshift lie detector test by placing electrodes on Arnie's head, which are connected by wire to the Roboz, along with a record player that's programmed to start playing if the answers Arnie gives are deemed truthful. Sounds like a contraption that's just crazy enough to work! Murray begins the truth-seeking session by asking Arnie if a woman in the ocean told him that The Morning Rose was in trouble, and he says yes, resulting in the record playing kicking in. When Murray asks him if the woman was a mermaid, he says yes to that too, and once again the record player deems his answer truthful. Tawny rolls her eyes, calls this exercise a farce and, that she's not buying any of it.
Murray announces that he looked into The Morning Rose and discovered that it's a boat owned by Ted and Carla Dollinger and has occupied a slip at the Freeport Marina for the last ten months. The trio (+ Arnie) decides that's where they're off to now, and Tawny insists on tagging along 'cause she's kinda interested in what the search will turn up. As they pile into Tawny's ginormous station wagon and drive off, an ominous looking blue car follows them.
The Riptide trio et. al. learn that the Dollingers went out for a sail earlier this morning, and that it's unclear how long they intended to stay out at sea: a day? a week? Nick tells Arnie they all believe he thinks he saw a mermaid, then points out that there's actually no such thing. Cody suggests that they split up and question the locals about Ted and Carla...and after a few minutes of that, two beefy guys pop up out of nowhere and confront Nick about all the door-to-door questioning. Nick puts his hand in his pocket and tells them he has a gun, then lunges at one of them - just as Cody rushes over to help out with the asskicking. After subduing both of the men, Nick grabs one and dunks his head underwater for a few seconds and demands to know what he knows about Ted Dollinger, so the guy recalls that Ted mentioned that someone might come looking for him for something drug-related. Nick looks satisfied with the response, then needlessly pushes the man off the pier and into the water.
As soon as they hit the road, the ominous looking blue car that was following them collides with them and forces them off the road, causing them to fly off a short cliff and into a body of water. The same gunman who killed the Dollingers nods approvingly at the sight of the overturned car and assumes the occupants are drowning, but decides to shoot at it for good measure, which results in an implausibly massive explosion. The camera then pans over to the Riptide trio et. al., who are huddled together against the concrete wall of the underbelly of a nearby overpass.
Tawny informs her publisher that the company car got blown up after a bad guy machine-gunned it to death, and that she'd like to stick around to see this case through. Arnie tells Nick, Cody, and Murray that, after his monthly expenses, he has a spare $222 he'd like to offer for their detective services, and Murray graciously accepts the money and assures him they'll do their best to get to the bottom of the mermaid sighting/Dollingers' fate. Tawny tears up and tells Nick she doesn't know what to say, then explains she's so choked up 'cause of how shocked and sickened she is about what they're doing to poor and defenceless Arnie in taking his money. Nick explains that Arnie is a person with a life, job, and friends...and that they accepted his money the way they would with any other client. He points out that if they had refused to accept his cash, he'd know it's 'cause he's special...and that that would hurt his feelings soooooo much more. As he storms off in disgust, Tawny blinks back tears and looks suitably chastened.
The five board the Riptide and motor over to the location on the ocean where Arnie encountered the mermaid. They happen to spot a tourist, glass-bottom boat floating nearby, which they quickly motor over to and board. When they see a blonde mermaid frolicking beneath the glass bottom part of the boat to amuse and delight the tourists, Arnie goes, "See? I was right!" and the Riptide trio grins smugly at Tawny.
Nick, Cody, and Murray find themselves in the dressing room of the blonde mermaid, a busty gal named Kelly who's skimpily dressed in panties and a boob baring crop top. She tells the trio that her co-worker and fellow mermaid Debbie didn't show up for work today, chides Murray for touching her fins without permission, then gives Nick a flirty once over and tells him she sings at a club called the Sand Crab. Mmm hmm...can't fault a gal for having good taste. The trio decides that the next step in unraveling this oceanic mystery will be to ask the glass-bottom boat owner for Debbie's home address and keep their fingers crossed that something useful comes of that.
Arnie tells Tawny he knows that people look down on him for his slow-wittedness - except for the Riptide guys, who pretend as if they have no idea he's different and treat him like a regular person. Nick, Cody, and Murray emerge from Glass-bottom Boat headquarters and inform Arnie that the mermaid he saw in the ocean is a different person than the woman they just talked to. They announce their plans to head over to Debbie's place, and Tawny offers to catch a cab with Arnie and return to Pier 56.
Nick and Cody notice that the front door of Debbie's house has been forced open and pretend to leave. They quickly sneak around the back of the house and peer through the windows and see that two gunmen are inside the house, aka the same gunmen who exploded Tawny's ginormous station wagon. Cody catapults himself through the living room picture window (!) and tackles one of the men, while Nick bursts through the front door and tries to subdue the other. The gunman that Cody tackled fires off his gun and accidentally shoots his partner in crime, then runs out of the house and escapes via the ominous looking blue car.
Back aboard the Riptide, Arnie talks about how Debbie had babbled something like 'trouble east of Neptune's Trident', and then the trio recalls that the glass-bottom boat tour offers sightings of cute underwater treasures for tourists to marvel at.
The next morning, Nick flies Mimi over the place where they encountered the glass-bottom boat, and Cody dives into the ocean to look around. He finds the underwater statue known as Neptune's Trident and then quickly locates the sunken Morning Rose and places a tracking device on it. He extracts a bullet from the boat's exterior before encountering the icky sight of Ted Dollinger's lifeless drowned body.
Later, the Riptide trio (+ Arnie and Tawny) wonder what Ted might have done to bring on his killing. Cody says it's almost as if Ted knew the person who was boarding his boat and didn't think he needed his gun to protect him, then thinks that the best course of action at this point is to hand over the case to Maritime Patrol, along with the location of the sunken Morning Rose.
Lieutenant Wilcher tells his boss, Captain Chuck Reavis, that the people who were peddling the mermaid story earlier are back...and when the captain turns around we see that it's - ack! - the head gunman who escaped Debbie's house three scenes ago! Chuck tells Wilcher they're going to have to head out to the wreckage site with the mermaid story peddlers and "put the mermaid story to rest for good".
Murray learns from Lieutenant Quinlan (who mercifully does not make an on camera appearance in this episode) that the bad guy who was shot at Debbie's house was an employee at Maritime Patrol. Murray mulls that over and comes to the obvious conclusion that that there must be a connection between Maritime Patrol and the killing of the Dollingers.
Cody, Nick, and Tawny are sitting aboard Chuck's patrol boat with their hands tied behind their backs. Nick and Cody ask Chuck to confirm their suspicion that anyone who wants to run drugs through his territory has to pay him off, and he's like, "Yep" and adds that contraband of any kind is A-OK with him. He reveals that Ted Dollinger had gotten behind on his payments and therefore had to be snuffed out...and that he'd planned every detail of the killings, but didn't account for a mermaid popping out of the ocean and witnessing the murders. Cody points out that people are going to notice that they've suddenly disappeared after filing various reports with Maritime Patrol, and Chuck chortles and motions at Lieutenant Wilcher, who's driving the boat and grins back at Chuck while mockingly retorting, "What reports?"
At Maritime Patrol, the desk officer tells Murray and Arnie that no reports about a mermaid sighting were ever filed, then tells them that Lieutenant Wilcher is currently out on patrol with Captain Chuck Reavis. Murray's all, "Ack!" and hustles Arnie out of the building.
Lieutenant Wilcher straps on a wetsuit and dives into the ocean to plant a bomb on the sunken Morning Rose in order to destroy all evidence of the Dollinger murders. He also finds the tracking device Cody had placed on the sunken boat and quickly removes it.
Murray and Arnie take the Riptide out to sea, and a few seconds later, Murray realizes that the tracking device Cody placed on The Morning Rose is no longer giving off a signal.
Lieutenant Wilcher brings the tracking device aboard the patrol boat, and Captain Reavis destroys it just as they notice the Riptide advancing on them. An armed Murray orders Arnie to ram into the patrol boat, then tries to leap aboard it, but misses the mark and ends up plunging into the ocean. LOL. Nick and Cody use the chaos to attack the bad guys - but Captain Reavis recovers his gun and yells at everyone to freeze. A few seconds later, the underwater bomb planted on The Morning Rose goes off, and Cody leaps atop Captain Reavis and snatches away his gun.
At an outdoor restaurant, Murray reads Tawny's latest Spotlight article and dismayingly says she made them all look like morons. Cody just kind of shrugs and says she's just a bitter journalist, and that positive stories don't make compelling headlines. Arnie, meanwhile, is reading the letter that Tawny sent along with the magazine, in which she explains that her first draft was a puff piece about the awesomeness of the Riptide Detective Agency - but her publisher hated it and ordered her to pepper it with trashtalk. Her first draft includes the dickish way people laughed at Arnie for claiming he saw a mermaid - except for the saintly Riptide trio. They all agree that that's one heckuva complimentary article and raise their glasses in a toast.
It remains unclear if there's even a half-hearted effort underway to locate poor Debbie, who's likely dead somewhere in the ocean.
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Recap: Dooley is on his way to the beach to go surfing when he's accosted by two men wearing business suits. They shove a large package at him, order him to plant it aboard the Riptide, and threaten him with a beating if he fails to do their bidding. A few seconds later, they squeal off, running over his surfboard with their car in the process.
Dooley dutifully presents the package to the Riptide trio and explains what just happened. Murray says that if the package contains a bomb, he's fairly confident he can diffuse it...and when Dooley hears the word bomb, he quickly backs away and is all, "It was nice knowing you guys, but..." LOL. Cody gives him the keys to a vacant boat next door and tells him he can hide out there with a walkie-talkie so they can keep in touch, then sternly emphasizes that he is not to touch anything. After that, Murray urges Cody and Nick to leave the boat so that the three of them don't all blow up if the package does, in fact, contain a bomb...then sweats buckets as he begins to carefully cut open the box.
Above deck, Nick tells Cody that this whole package thing "doesn't feel right", and so the two head back inside to hover over Murray's shoulder so they can get a first hand look at the package's contents. Murray pulls out a black bag, inside which is a giant bagful of white powder. Cody assumes it's a whole lot of cocaine and suggests they quickly swap it out for powdered sugar. He then orders Murray to set up a video camera inside the Riptide so they can document the conversation with whoever's about to come knockin'.
That evening, two men who identify themselves as FBI agents show up at the Riptide and inform Nick and Cody that they have a record of them serving in Vietnam with General Douglas "Pittbull" Johnson...and Murray interjects to inform the men that he too served in the same unit - but in an information technology type capacity. The FBI guys are like, "Er, OK..?" and tell Nick and Cody that they need to "borrow" them for a special assignment concerning national intelligence, as in right now...so the four head out. Cody suddenly pretends to be chilled and says he's going back inside to fetch their jackets...and in the process slips the giant bag of cocaine into Nick's jacket pocket. He also gets a tracking device from Murray and tells him to track wherever they're about to go.
Cody surreptitiously puts the tracking device on the underside of the Corvette, while Nick ambles over to the FBI car to tell the agents they'll be in the fancy red car...while covertly the bag of cocaine into the back seat. In the next scene, the four arrive at what appears to be a bustling FBI field office, and Nick and Cody are ushered into a private meeting room with Agent Mike Sharp. He briefly goes over each of their military credentials, tells them they're about to undergo a top secret briefing, and shares that the FBI suspects General Douglas Johnson of using military aircraft to smuggle cocaine across the U.S./Mexican border. Their mission is to get in touch with Johnson, pretend that they're a couple of strung out veterans having trouble adjusting to civilian life, and see if he puts them into his drug smuggling pipeline. Nick and Cody tell him they don't believe their old boss would ever be involved in anything illegal, but ultimately agree to what Mike promises will be a financially profitable undercover gig.
Back at the Riptide, Nick and Cody leave a message for General Johnson that they plan on dropping by the base with their dorky friend Murray. Nick and Cody agree that they both hate feeling like they're selling out their old friend, then suspect the FBI of planting cocaine on their boat in "a classic spook manoeuvre".
The Riptide trio heads over to the base to meet with General Johnson, and he greets Nick and Cody by single-handedly knocking them to the ground in what looks like a painful yet playful wrestling match. They spend several minutes reminiscing about their tour in Vietnam, blah blah...and then General Johnson suggests they go out for something to eat.
As one of the FBI guy sits in a corner of the restaurant and covertly takes photos, Nick and Cody lament to General Johnson about how horribly their lives have sucked since being discharged from the military, and that they both became hopeless drug addicts and are barely able to eke out a living "flying stuff" across the southern border via Nick's decrepit Mimi chopper. General Johnson assumes that by stuff he means narcotics, and rails about how much worse they are than "the guys from the Orange Grove", who apparently like to take the easy way out. He shoots them both a look of disgust before storming out of the restaurant...and Nick and Cody grin happily at each other and take this as proof that their dear friend couldn't possibly be part of a drug smuggling ring. They exit the restaurant a few seconds later and witness General Johnson being attacked on the street, then shoved into a car. The three rush over to their truck to begin a heart-stopping car chase sequence, but it soon becomes obvious that the bad guys messed with the truck's engine to preemptively knock out any pursuit.
Nick, Cody, and Murray return to Pier 56 and notice that Dooley has not only ignored Cody's 'don't touch anything on the boat you're hiding out on' edict, but has brazenly thrown a dance party to which he's invited a gaggle of bikini clad women. A few seconds later, Lieutenant Quinlan shows up with a search warrant and storms aboard the Riptide. As Nick and Cody exchange knowing glances, Quinlan quickly finds the package that Dooley had given them, opens it, and pulls out the large bag of white powder. He cackles about how screwed they all are for being in possession of so much coke - until Nick smugly informs him that the white stuff is actually their stash of powdered sugar, which Cody laughingly says they can use to sweeten the coffee he just brewed. Quinlan does a quick taste test and grimaces at the fool he's just been made of, and accuses them of calling in the anonymous tip just to make him look like the horse's ass he is. Cody points out how nonsensical that theory is and urges him to listen to their side of the story for a damn change, and asks Murray to fire up the footage of their recent interaction with the two FBI guys.
Quinlan admits that the anonymous tip he received included a stack of photographs of the Riptide trio eating at the restaurant with General Johnson, and Nick says there's no way any reasonable person wouldn't conclude that this whole thing is an obvious setup. Quinlan mulls that over and asks them why the FBI would want to hang a drug charge on two bozo detectives, and they concede that that's a pretty damn good question and quickly head over to the FBI field office, which is now completely vacant. The trio correctly assumes that the men who had approached them about the secret mission weren't really FBI agents, and that they likely just abducted General Johnson with the intention of killing him.
Nick, Cody, and Murray don their army uniforms and drive over to the Fort Sumpter military base. They tell the officer at the entry gate that they're here regarding General Johnson, and are promptly directed to the office of his aide, Colonel Davidson. When they enter Davidson's lodgings, they're dismayed to find that it's been ransacked...and when they search the bathroom, they find the body of Davidson (aka Mike Sharp), who looks like he was recently drowned in the bathtub.
As the three sift through Davidson's files, they come across a device that detects radiation and somehow intuit that it's an integral clue in solving The Mystery of General Johnson's Whereabouts. Murray swiftly MacGyvers a makeshift computer by hooking up his keyboard with the phone, then linking it to the TV so it can function as a monitor. He easily hacks into the base operations network, then enters the serial number of the radiation detector, which the makeshift computer tells him is part of Operation Orange Grove. They quickly recall that General Johnson had sourly referenced Orange Grove when they were at the restaurant, so Murray queries 'what is Operation Orange Grove?', and is informed that it's a storage area for Agent Orange. He then queries 'where is it?', and a helpful map promptly appears on the screen, indicating exactly where Operation Orange Grove can be located. Nick asks Murray to use his old army login to book a military helicopter for four hours of flight time so they can speed over to the Orange Grove, and Murray taps away at his keyboard and books the aircraft.
Murray gushes about all the state-of-the-art gadgetry that's installed inside the military helicopter, and proudly tells Nick and Cody that he helped design the system. As Nick flies them towards the Orange Grove, Murray checks his car tracking receiver and informs them that the car the fake FBI agents were driving the other night (which he placed a tracker on) is in the vicinity. He correctly guesses that the car is parked at Operation Coke Smuggling Headquarters, where Johnson is mostly likely being held. The bad guys who are based in the nearby restricted zone are informed that an unauthorized helicopter is headed in the direction of their drug den, and in response they scramble their fleet of helicopters.
Nick lowers the chopper close enough to the ground so that Cody and his assault rifle can leap off and perform a ground rescue of General Johnson. He enters a warehouse, finds the General tied up and blindfolded, and manages to free him while simultaneously firing on a large crew of bad guys and avoiding getting himself shot. General Johnson tells him that the bad guys tried to force him to sign a suicide confession - but that he refused, which is probably the only reason he's still alive. The two then flee the warehouse without getting struck by the gunfire coming at them from all directions and climb aboard the helicopter being piloted by Nick, who then does some slick manoeuvring inside a canyon so he ends up hovering over one of the bad guys' helicopter. General Johnson warns them via loudspeaker to land their chopper, otherwise they'll be shot at...and when the bad guys meekly surrender, General Johnson cackles, "Damn that's fun, ain't it boys?"
Early the next morning, Lieutenant Quinlan bursts aboard the Riptide to yell at the trio for not giving him any credit for the massive cocaine bust they're being lauded as heroes for...or filling him in on why Colonel Davidson turned up dead. Murray explains that Davidson was killed by the other bad guys after he started to have second thoughts about Operation Orange Grove...and a cranky General Johnson admonishes Quinlan for so loudly interrupting them so early in the morning. Quinlan dismissively tells him to go pee up a rope, then is all, "Ack!" when Cody informs him that their houseguest is the Brigadier General Douglas Johnson of the U.S. Army. Quinlan stares open-mouthed at the high ranking General, then salutes him before rushing off, red-faced...leaving General Johnson to chortle about what a jackass he is. The men then notice that Dooley is somehow still partying with the bikini clad women next door, and General Johnson perks up at the prospect of getting in on that action and hurriedly pulls his clothes on before heading next door to do some man-on-ladies mingling. Nick, Cody, and Murray mull over the idea of joining in the fun, decide 'sure, why the hell not?', and merrily follow the General.
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Recap: Season 2 kicks off with some (not unexpected) gratuitous footage of bikini clad women and buff surfers - before the camera finally pans over to the roadside where the Riptide trio has been delayed while making an airport run 'cause of a flat tire. Nick changes the tire and grumblingly tells Cody they're now twenty minutes late picking up Marion, aka the daughter of Cody's rich friend (along with her two gal pals). As soon as he's finished changing the tire, the three hurriedly pile into the truck and speed to the airport.
A private plane lands at the local airport, and three well-heeled, high maintenance looking young women disembark and gush about the warm California weather and how it's sooooo much warmer than Minnesota in November. The quietest of the girls, Heather, says she needs to use the restroom and scuttles off in the direction of the terminal...and Marion wryly remarks to Portland that she's probably off to call her shady boyfriend, Tony. A few minutes later, a stretch limousine pulls up, and a beefy looking guy (whose name we eventually learn is Matt) pops out of the back seat and tells Marion that he's a member of the Sigma Chi pledge class and was instructed to pick up her and her friends and transport them to their hotel. The girls are all, "Kewl!" and rush towards the limo - just as the Riptide trio arrives. Cody sees Marion about to enter the limo and calls out to her...and when she scrunches her face confusedly and goes, "Cody..?", Matt roughly shoves her and her friends into the limo, then climbs in and orders the driver to hit the gas. Nick and Cody take off after them, unintentionally ditching a discombobulated Murray behind while they embark on a lengthy car chase sequence. The limo driver eventually terminates the chase at a construction site, where he and Matt abandon the limo and run off. Cody opens the back door and asks the girls if they're OK, and they emerge from the back seat looking unfazed about the car chase 'cause they still believe that the two men were a couple of Sigma Chi pledges who were egged on to fake kidnap them. Cody says he's pretty sure that the situation is a lot more serious than that, reminds Marion he promised her parents he'd look out for her during her stay in California, and orders the girls to crash aboard the Riptide until he can ensure their safety. Portland looks aghast at being confined aboard a boat and threatens to "gross out" if Cody's safety measures interfere with her Thanksgiving vacation...and Nick and Cody are all, "Er, OK..?" then head towards the truck.
In the next scene, Portland complains about being "crammed in a tuna boat in the middle of a harbor", but Cody insists that they stay aboard the Riptide until he, Nick, and Murray can get to the bottom of the botched kidnapping attempt. He adds that he checked with all the local fraternities and found that none of them knew anything about a pledge to fake kidnap a group of girls. Portland dismisses Cody's concern as paranoia, and Marion concurs and says they have no intention of missing out on this afternoon's yacht party. Cody mulls that over and says he'll allow them to attend - but only if they're willing to take him, Nick, and Murray as their dates. The girls are all, "Ew! Gross! You guys are, like, ancient!", but eventually agree to be escorted to the party by the thirtysomethings.
The yacht club party is underway with young, preppy looking people dorkily dancing to '80s music. Cody radios Dooley, the valet for the event and Riptide's temporary new sidekick, to ask if he's noticed anyone suspicious. Dooley, who doesn't seem remotely dependable enough for a detective agency to be relying on to maintain any kind of alert presence, ogles a leggy blonde crossing the street and mumbles, "Nope. Nothing suspicious here."
Matt arrives at the party and quietly skulks around - but is quickly noticed by Nick and Cody, who charge after him in a less-than-subtle fashion. A pursuit ensues through the kitchen, where the three make a giant mess bumping into as many employees and food plates as possible...and eventually Matt locks himself inside the bathroom and climbs out the window. Nick and Cody race outside to the parking lot, where Dooley is clutching his head after being knocked to the ground by a fleeing Matt. A few seconds later, a panicked Murray runs out of the club and informs them that Heather is missing.
After the commercial break, Heather is quickly located in the ladies room, where she's touching up her makeup. Cody tells the girls that since their attempted kidnapper followed them to the yacht party, they're going to have to remain under their protection aboard the Riptide until further notice. The girls bitch and moan about Cody's edict...and continue bitching and moaning while en route back to the harbor - until Cody finally snaps at them to shut the hell up.
Matt's evil cohort - who's (squeal!!) played by a young George Clooney - has been tailing/spying on the girls and informs Matt that they're currently aboard a boat called the Riptide. Matt says he's pretty sure they'll be able to pull off the kidnapping despite the bodyguards, then cackles about how the nefarious deed is going to earn them a cool million.
Nick and Cody inform Murray that the limo that was used in the failed kidnapping attempt was rented out to George Clooney, who has a criminal record in Minnesota...and Murray digests that tidbit before showing them the tiny tracking devices he attached to each of the girls' sunglasses so they'll be able to keep tabs on their whereabouts.
The girls freak out when the menfolk enter the main living area of the Riptide - and Portland is so horrified at being seen by males when she has only one eye made up that she races to the bathroom to hide herself. Murray gives the girls back their sunglasses and urges them to wear them all the time 'cause he applied retina protector across the lenses that'll protect their eyes from the sun. Cody breaks it to them that they're going to have to spend the better part of their Thanksgiving vacation aboard the Riptide - but that they can still have fun doing stuff like suntanning or waterskiing. Heather whines that that doesn't work for her 'cause she wants to go shopping, and Nick's like, "Can do" and offers to personally escort her to the mall. When the girls simultaneously voice their dissatisfaction at being so closely monitored, Cody snaps at them to shut up, that they're doing things his way, and that they're going to damn well enjoy themselves.
Nick chases after Heather as she irritably flounces off the boat...and eventually gets her to agree to take a drive with him in his vintage red Corvette. While on the road, she whines about her oppressive parents, which Nick correctly translates to mean that they rightly disapprove of whatever dumb schlub she's currently dating. She grins and tells him about her boyfriend Tony, and that he doesn't "fit the mold" for her parents 'cause he's a blue collar guy from the wrong side of the tracks. Nick asks her if she's dating him 'cause she loves him, or is trying to make a statement to her disapproving parents...then reveals that he was once the blue collar guy in a relationship with a rich girl, who ended up dumping him 'cause he couldn't afford to buy her a ginormous diamond ring. Ouch. Heather mulls that over before asking Nick if they can make a pitstop at a nearby gas station so she can pretend to use the can.
Cody takes the Riptide out to sea so he can take Marion waterskiing on the Ebb Tide while Murray keeps Portland company as she suns herself on the Riptide's deck. Marion has such a good time aboard the Ebb Tide that she convinces Portland to join her at the wheel of the speedboat while Cody takes his turn waterskiing.
Nick is waiting at the gas station for Heather to emerge from the restroom, and eventually he grows impatient and honks his horn to get her to hurry the hell up.
Matt and George Clooney spy on Cody with binoculars as he waterskis behind the boat that's being manned by Marion and Portland. A few seconds later, the two speed over via their motorboat and smash into Cody before advancing on the Ebb Tide to force Portland and Marion into their boat before racing off.
Later, aboard the docked Riptide, Cody presses an ice pack atop his head and assures a shaken Murray that he's fine. Nick suddenly bursts in and announces that Heather's missing, and can only assume that the bad guys somehow sneaked into the ladies room at the gas station and abducted her through the window. When he adds that, unlike Marion and Portland, she's at least wearing her sunglasses, Murray perks up and immediately gets to work pinpointing her location.
Heather, meanwhile, finishes up a clandestine appointment with a gynaecologist, then makes a beeline over to the nearest pay phone to call Tony.
Murray is able to track Heather to the local airport...and he, Nick, and Cody sit in the waiting room, watching in irked dismay as she greets Tony after his plane lands. Heather is startled by the sight of the Riptide trio, then introduces them to her boyfriend...and they grimly inform her that Portland and Marion have been kidnapped.
Matt is yanking Portland's hair as he demands that she give up her parents' phone number - but she screeches that that her parents are currently visiting her grandmother in Boston and that she has no idea what her phone number is. George Clooney menacingly yells, "Liar!" and around waves a knife in front of Marion's face and snarlingly says that for her sake he hopes she knows her father's phone number. Marion looks unimpressed at being threatened by the sweet-faced pretty boy that is young George Clooney, who someone in the casting department somehow thought would be convincing in the role of a sinister kidnapper.
Outside the building of the local telephone company, Murray sets up his portable computer atop the hood of the truck and explains to Nick and Cody that he's going to link up to the phone company's network so he can forward every call that gets placed to Marion's parent's house to the nearby pay phone. When Nick and Cody ask him how he plans to hack into the telephone company's network, Murray assures them that his inherent dorkiness will be all the camouflage he needs to fit right in. He then enters the building, slips inside the computer room amid the other IT dorks, and quickly gets to work on one of the computer terminals. As luck would have it, George Clooney dials Marion's parents' house...and unbeknownst to him, the call is intercepted and forwarded to the pay phone that's answered by Nick. As that's going on, Murray is able to pinpoint the address of the originating call - just as the IT supervisor finally twigs onto the fact that Murray is not a phone company employee. He pulls the plug on the computer terminal and asks him who the hell he is and what he's doing here, and Murray proudly introduces himself as the Murray Bozinsky - but doesn't have ID on him to offer proof. When the supervisor barks at someone to call security, Murray activates some kind of alarm and swiftly makes a break for it. He races outside, tells Nick and Cody he knows exactly where to find Marion and Portland, and the three squeal off in the truck to launch Operation Rescue Two Kidnapped Women.
Portland and Marion are whining to their captors about needing sunburn cream and something to nosh on when Nick and Cody suddenly burst into the room so forcefully that they somehow break the door clean off its hinges. LOL. As they point their guns at Matt and George Clooney, Marion and Portland decide it's the perfect time to leap into their arms to express their enormous relief at being rescued, which results in George Clooney escaping the room, and Matt attacking Cody. Nick chases after George Clooney, then steps aside as two stunt doubles tumble down the stairwell. At the foot of the stairs, Nick punches George Clooney into submission, while Cody subdues Matt...and Portland reacts to all the violence around her by examining her sunburned skin and wondering aloud if she'll peel.
Tony becomes enraged when Heather tells him she's pregnant, and accuses her of pulling "a fast one" on him. Heather insists that she didn't plan to get knocked up and isn't trying to trap him - just as Cody calls the Riptide to inform her that her friends have been rescued. When she hangs up and tells Tony the good news, he pulls out a gun and grumbles about his idiot cohorts screwing the pooch on their million dollar scheme by letting Portland and Marion be rescued.
Over at police headquarters, a less-hostile-than-in-Season-1 Lieutenant Quinlan tells Portland, Marion, and the Riptide trio that George Clooney and Matt confessed that Tony was the mastermind of the kidnapping, and that they had planned to flee to Mexico after collecting the ransom. Marion says she's not at all surprised, given that she's always had Tony pegged as a gold digging thug and believed he was only with Heather for her money. As the five start to head out, Nick and Cody notice a bruised Dooley in the next room, giving the police a statement. When they asks whassup with him being here, he explains that he was in the process of saving a girl who was being dragged aboard the Ebb Tide when her abductor knocked him out with a face punch. Nick guesses that Tony's probably on his way to Mexico and decides it's time to crank up the decrepit Mimi for a dramatic chopper-on-boat rescue.
Aboard the Ebb Tide, Heather pleads with Tony to turn back and tearfully cries, "I love you!" and he snarls back that he's void of all feelings for her and was only ever interested in looting her family's wealth. When Mimi makes a sudden appearance above them, Heather grabs a waterski and whacks Tony with it...and when he turns around and wrestles with her, she loses her balance and falls overboard. From Mimi, Cody tosses her a life preserver before leaping aboard the Ebb Tide, punching Tony, and easily taking control of his boat. Hurray!
After the dust settles, Heather sadly assures Nick and Cody that she'll be A-OK, despite having her scoundrel of an ex-boyfriend's bun in her oven. Nick and Cody advise her to tell her parents about her delicate condition and then focus her energy on rebounding from this traumatic experience. Murray enters the room and tells Nick and Cody that there's been a sudden change of plans...and Portland and Marion bound in and gleefully inform everyone that Minnesota is snowed in, which means they have to stay put in California for the next two days. Nick and Cody, who were just about to light cigars in celebration of ridding themselves of the brats, exchange wary glances and quietly put out their cigars. Womp womp!
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Recap: Two bad guys have kidnapped an out-of-it looking guy named Roy, who's clad in a wet suit. They're holding him hostage inside the back of a moving van and are demanding info about "the stash" ... and Roy easily cracks under pressure and reveals that the stash can be found at Pacific Ocean Park. When the bad guys mull over whether or not they find that claim believable, Roy manages to unlatch the van's back door - then tumbles onto the street, where he's promptly killed by an oncoming car. RIP, Roy.
Nick and Cody are on a double date, riding bumper cars with two lovelies, when Murray interrupts to gabble excitedly about all the studying he's been doing on ultrasonic dolphin waves. He then gushes about Jody Kremer, the smart, beautiful dolphin trainer at Pacific Ocean Park he's become hopelessly smitten with, and adds that her colleague was recently killed in a fatal hit and run accident.
Over at Pacific Ocean Park, Jody - who, no surprise, is a stunning brunette - is putting on a public show with her dolphin performers, Buffy and Cupcake...and we get lots of fun, superfluous footage of her riding the dolphins like water skis and getting them to perform cute ball tricks. In the bleachers, a giddy Murray tells Nick and Cody he's sooooo excited for them to meet his future girlfriend...and a few seconds later, the camera pans to the right and we see that the two bad guys from the van are also seated in the bleachers, staring ominously at Jody and her dolphins.
After the show, Murray hugs Jody hello, then rushes off to say hey to Buffy and Cupcake. Jody gives Nick an appreciative once over ['cause well duh, she's a hot-blooded American woman] and takes him up on his suggestion of getting some lunch so they can get to know each other. Nick picks up on the non-subtle flirty vibe, and when Jody scampers to her office to change out of her wet suit, he and shoots Cody a grim sideways glance and groans about the unavoidable rift this is about to put between him and Murray.
Jody unwittingly walks in on the two bad guys ransacking her office, I'll assume in search of Roy's stash. When Jody demands to know what in blazes is going on, one of them grabs her, which causes her to screech for help...which, in turn, prompts Nick and Cody to race over to see whassup. They spend a few seconds wrestling with the bad guys, one of whom needlessly shoves Murray into the dolphin tank - and the fighting comes to an abrupt end when one of the bad guys fires his gun in the air so that he and his cohort can race off. An ashen-faced Jody bursts out of her office and presses herself against Nick for comfort [who could blame the girl?], and everyone stares bewilderedly into space as the screen fades out for a commercial break.
Jody informs the Riptide trio that the bad guys stole Roy's dolphin diary, which contained detailed reports on the dolphins' training progress. Nick wonders aloud why two guys who are so clearly up to no good would want to steal a dolphin diary, and Jody shrugs and says that Roy was very proprietary about his research and often used a cryptic shorthand to jot down his notes. Nick suggests they head over to the police station to see about getting her some police protection, then dissolves into uncontrollable giggles with Cody over the visual of a wet suit clad Roy stumbling on the street before getting mowed down by a car. An irked looking Jody somehow refrains from pointing out that it's probably in poor taste to be laughing about a guy who got fatally hit by a car, even if he happened to be out of context in his wet suit at the time.
In the next scene, Lieutenant Quinlan is laughing heartily at Roy's demise, then tells Nick and Cody that Roy had an arrest record for using/dealing drugs. When Nick inquires about getting Jody some police protection from the bad guys who just ransacked her office, Quinlan lets out a derisive snort and says there's no chance in hell he's even going to entertain the notion of acting like a law enforcement professional and take the armed robbery of Jody's office seriously, despite the suspicious death of her colleague. When he says he highly doubts "there's anything to this", Nick points out that Roy's body had burn marks everywhere, indicating that he may have been tortured before his death. Quinlan says that since the man was wearing a wet suit when the car hit him, he can only assume the dude was a kinky, rubber clad freak who clearly "had it coming" ... instead of a dolphin trainer who ran afoul of some bad guys and likely didn't have a chance to change out of his wet suit before being abducted. Quinlan then snarls at the Riptide trio to get lost so he can get back to not-policing King Harbor.
Nick and Cody return to the water park to tell Jody that since the police in this hamlet are next to useless, they're going to have to put their heads together and theorize about what the bad guys might have been looking for. Jody says she'd be happy to reveal everything she knows about Roy over dinner...and by over dinner, she means a one-on-one, romantic night out with Nick. After Cody wisely saunters off, Nick makes it clear to Jody that he has no intention of taking out Murray's girl...and Jody chuckles and says if she were Murray's girl, she wouldn't be coming on to him like gangbusters. Nick's like, "Ahhh.." and explains that Murray has deluded himself into thinking the two of them are a lot more than just friends, then scrunches his face disapprovingly and says he hopes she hasn't done anything to lead him on and give him that impression. Jody assures him she's never so much as flirted with the geek, and that she shouldn't be penalized just 'cause he came to the wrong conclusion about their friendship. She then tells Nick if he wants to learn everything she knows about Roy, he's going to have to meet her for dinner tonight. She gives him a time and place and rushes off, leaving Nick staring worriedly into space.
Cody urges Nick to accept Jody's dinner date, mostly 'cause he's worried that the bad guys will target her if she's left without protection. Nick says he's reluctant to go on anything resembling a date with a woman Murray is smitten with, refuses to sneak around behind his back, and is planning to come clean about it right now. As the two board the Riptide, they find Murray walking around with a dazed expression as he reports that Jody just called him to cancel their dinner plans for tonight...and that he's really really upset about it 'cause he thought he had been playing it sooooo cool when he asked her out. He idly wonders if there could be another guy in the picture, then sadly says he had the whole night planned: he was going to dress up in his best suit, borrow Nick's Corvette, and wine and dine the future mother of his children. As Nick stares sheepishly into space, Murray shrugs sadly and says he'll just stay in tonight and mopishly reread his ultrasonic dolphin wave notes.
Over dinner, Jody tells Nick everything she observed about Roy and his training methods, then says she noticed he taught Buffy some odd tricks she never performed in her shows, e.g. retrieving pieces of coral from the bottom of the tank. She then changes the subject to Nick's irresistible mmm hmm hotness and asks him why he agreed to go out with her if he's still so conflicted about Murray's crush on her. Nick says he's only here 'cause he feels a responsibility to keep her safe from the bad guys...and that he's going to resist any kind of mutual flirtation, 'cause the way he sees it: Murray thinking she's his girl is the same as if she were actually his girl. Jody's eyes sparkle with admiration as she calls him "quite a guy" and agrees to call it a night. As the two exit the restaurant, the bad guys suddenly descend upon them, knocking Nick down and dragging Jody over their van. Nick's all, "Nooooo!!" and leaps into his Corvette to pursue the van - but has to give up the chase when one of the bad guys smashes his windshield with an oxygen tank he just happened to be driving around with.
Nick races to the Riptide to alert Cody and Murray that Jody has just been abducted by the bad guys. An alarmed Murray says they should head over to her apartment pronto to see if the bad guys left behind any clues...and before Cody can blurt out that Nick and Jody were out on a date this evening, Nick sheepishly admits that he and Jody were out to dinner at the time of her abduction. Murray lets that betrayal sink in as he lowers himself into a chair and stares despondently into space. Nick assures him it's not what he's thinking - but Murray snidely says that what he's thinking is that Nick stole his girlfriend after listening to him natter on and on earlier about how desperately he wanted to go out to dinner with her. Cody interjects Murray's heartbreak meltdown to suggest running the serial number on the oxygen tank the bad guys hurled through Nick's windshield to see if that can move this storyline forward, and Murray agrees to do it despite how callously Nick has just wrenched his now broken heart from his chest. LOL.
Murray taps the serial number of the oxygen tank into his computer and tells Cody (not Nick) that it belongs to a scuba shop, then reads aloud the shop's name and address.
The next morning, the Riptide trio heads over to the scuba shop wearing fake badges so they can pretend to be employees of the non-existent Scuba Safety Commission. The clerk at the store, a buxom woman wearing a crop top and short shorts, says she's never heard of their bogus commission, but is taking seriously their nonsense about how all oxygen tanks with a particular serial number are faulty and should be taken out of circulation asap. She says she's just a lowly employee, and that they should probably get in touch with her bosses - bad guys Dennis and Alejandro - and jots down their home address.
The trio races over to the bad guys' house, and Nick and Cody tiptoe towards it with their guns drawn. A thug working for a drug kingpin named Villanova grabs an unsuspecting Murray, who's waiting by the car, and orders Nick and Cody to drop their weapons...then says they have only once chance to locate Dennis and Alejandro. Nick and Cody scrunch their faces in puzzlement and are all, "Wha-a-a-a?"
The thug shoves the Riptide trio onto a couch so that Villanova can loom over them and demand they reveal where his missing dope is. When Nick and Cody are like, "Dunno", Villanova says he heard from Dennis and Alejandro that two [attractive, muscular] beach bums were giving them some trouble...and Murray gets offended that he was clearly not included in the beach bum category and starts prattling about how insulting it is to always be typecast as a dork 'cause of how unspeakably dorky he is. As Villanova and his thug stare at him in bafflement, he changes the subject to Jody and commiserates to them about how Nick got so jealous of his new love that he decided to be a real dick and steal her away. Nick rolls his eyes and explains that Jody was the one who came onto him...and when Murray looks startled and is all, "Wuh? Really?", Nick says he only went to dinner with her so he could extract whatever intel she had on Roy. Cody, meanwhile, devises a plan to escape their current peril and tells Villanova he has an idea about how he might be able to get his missing dope back.
Dennis and Alejandro have brought Jody back to Pacific Ocean Park so she can test her theory about Roy having trained Buffy to make his drug runs underwater.
Villanova, his thug, and the Riptide trio arrive at Pacific Ocean Park and find Jody and Dennis and Alejandro on the deck of the dolphin tank. Cody tells Jody they're here to pick up the missing dope from Buffy's drug run and winks at her as if to say 'just follow my lead', and Jody gives him a covert nod - just as Buffy resurfaces with - wouldn't you know it - a bag of dope dangling from her snout. Villanova is thrilled by the recovery of his missing cocaine, but makes it clear how annoyed he is by the screwup and reminds Dennis and Alejandro that he doesn't give second chances. He orders his thug to get rid of them, along with everyone else present...and Jody gives Buffy a signal, which she responds to by leaping into the air and bellflopping into the water. The splashing causes enough of a distraction for Cody and Nick to overpower and disarm Dennis, Alejandro, and the thug - but Villanova is able to slip away and escape the park aboard a conveniently placed dinghy.
Jody releases Buffy into the ocean so she can pursue Villanova and take the lead in his capture. She races towards the dinghy with lightning speed, then butts her snout against the side of the dinghy, causing it to capsize. As Villanova falls into the water and loudly acknowledges being foiled by the crafty mammal, Nick, Cody, and Jody are watching from the pier, joyously laughing and cheering Buffy on. Hurray!
Jody walks along with beach with Murray, giving him the foreordained 'I'm just not that into you' talk. She tells him she too has been on the receiving end of a disinterested crush - and that he should take heart in what a special friend he has in Nick. With that said, she gives Murray a chaste cheek kiss and saunters off, leaving him to dejectedly amble over to where Nick and Cody are loitering. Nick tells him there will be no need for awkward apologies in this season finale, and a relieved looking Murray gets a sudden burst of gaiety and suggests they "hit the street and find some broads".
And that's a superfluously misogynistic wrap for Season 1!
Recap: A goon named Ted Cardwell makes a photocopy of The WWII West Coast Connection, a research article written by Melba Bozinsky. In the next scene, he hands it over to his goon friend: John McMasters, aka an associate editor of a historical rag. John looks impressed by the article and says that this Melba Bozinsky has thorough intel they've never seen or heard of...and guesses she got help from her good friend, an Austrian historian named Heinrich Von Schlauser who has a seemingly endless of supply of first hand info about WWII. John tells Ted that if he were to publish the article, everyone and their dog would descend on the Pacific Ocean to search for the cache of lost gold...therefore, his plan is to hang onto Melba's article for as long as possible, then return it to her with a letter of regret that cites 'a lack of evidence' as the reason for declining publication. The two cackle with delight at their nefarious scheme to use Melba's research to unearth the gold treasure for themselves.
Aboard the Riptide, the trio is playing Scrabble and lamenting about how bored and broke they are during a current dry spell of zero clients and/or helicopter tours. When they hear someone step onto the boat, they head up to the deck and find a woman wearing funeral attire. She tells them she's in a lot of trouble, then natters about a hired assassin on a train before handing Cody a small falcon statue she wants delivered. When he opens it, a fake snake pops out...and both the woman and Murray dissolve into a fit of giggles. Murray applauds her "great entrance", and the woman - played by Geena Davis! - strips off her veil hat, wig, and shapeless black dress to reveal a smokin' bod. As Nick and Cody openly ogle her, Murray introduces his sister as Dr. Melba Bozinsky, a PhD Harvard graduate. Melba gives Nick and Cody an appreciative once over and declares them hunks, then shakes Nick's hand, which she zaps with a joy buzzer. As Murray ushers her below to get something to eat, Cody tells Nick he's shocked that a dork like Murray could have such a hot sister...and the two agree that to avoid any "stickiness" (pun??), they're going to have to treat her like she's their sister.
Melba tells the trio that her article, The WWII West Coast Connection, was rejected for a lack of evidence, which she thinks is total B.S...and while she's telling them this, she's playing footsies under the table with Cody while winking at him coquettishly. She summarizes the general thesis of her article: during the 1940s, gold bullion was being smuggled out of the U.S. by foreign agents in order to finance Hitler's war effort. Through her extensive research, she learned that a submarine filled with gold left the U.S. coast - but never made it to its destination: the Channel Islands. She pauses playing footsies with Cody to give Nick a sensual head and neck massage (!) and says she's determined to find the lost submarine. Murray's all, "This is sooooo boss!" and also perfect timing for them to get involved in this "case" on account of they have nothing better to do lately except play Scrabble. Melba says that before they do anything, she's going to need to get in touch with her good friend and WWII expert, Heinrich Von Schlauser.
Over at Heinrich's place, Melba tells her old Austrian friend she's pretty sure that a boatload of gold bullion is at the bottom of the ocean somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. He mumbles about how tough it is to find stuff in the ocean, so Murray says they're more than welcome to use his sonar equipment in order to pinpoint an exact location. Heinrich says he's skeptical of "zis pipe dream", but agrees to help in the recovery effort however he can.
After using Mimi to drop sonar buoys in the ocean, they take the Riptide out to sea to closely monitor the sonar readings. As Murray taps in the coordinates on his computer, they're startled to hear a loud pop above deck and soon realize that a helicopter is hovering over them as someone shoots at them with a machine gun. Nick grabs his gun and suggests they flee aboard the Ebb Tide (which seems far less safe than taking cover inside the Riptide, but OK) ... and as they motor across the open water [and somehow avoid getting hit by the constant spray of bullets], Nick returns fire on the helicopter and pierces the fuel tank, forcing the bad guys to retreat whence they came.
Back in King Harbor, Nick and Cody patch up all the bullet holes while Murray says he'll work on finding out who was piloting the attack helicopter. Melba gazes at Nick and Cody with a dreamy look of admiration and tells them how terrific they are to be such good friends to her dorky brother. She says that, unlike the friends he usually hangs with, they're handsome and virile...then gives them both a long smooch before going below to join Murray on the computer. Cody and Nick stare at each other in shocked wonderment at that PDA weirdness, then get into a scrap about the "special vibes" each of them believes Melba is sending specifically to him. As they argue about that, Melba makes a sudden announcement about a new location for where the sunken sub likely ended up.
As the trio + Melba and Heinrich heads out to sea again, Murray taps away at his computer and quickly learns that the helicopter that attacked them was rented out to a man named John McMasters. Melba suddenly squeals excitedly when she sees something interesting appear on the sonar monitor and says she'd like to dive down right now to see if it's the lost sub - but the trio warns her that it's too late in the day and therefore much too dangerous to go diving in the dark. She mulls that over and agrees, then suggests they return to King Harbor and put on their dancing shoes for a fun night of boogying!
Ted tells John that now that Melba and Heinrich are involved in the search for the lost sub, he wants to kill them and anyone else who might know about the gold - but John suggests it'd be easier to let Melba live long enough to find the gold, steal it from her, and then kill her and everyone around her. He recalls that the name of the boat they shot at is the Riptide, and that they should creep onto it while no one's there and see whassup aboard the floating detective agency.
Murray shows Nick and Cody photos of himself and Melba as children...and everyone gushes over their adorableness. Heinrich declines an evening out and says he's going home to rest...and Melba throws a fake rubber snake at Nick and then giggles devilishly, which freaks him and Cody out and makes them seriously rethink her appeal. As they glare in Melba's direction, she happily announces that she's ready to go out to dinner and get started on that boogying.
At Straightaways, Melba is coaxing Nick to boogie more enthusiastically than the awkward looking side shuffle he's currently doing. From the table, Murray remarks to a sour looking Cody how cute Melba and Nick look together and that it'd be great to have Nick as a brother-in-law. Max ambles over and informs Cody and Murray that she just saw someone skulking aboard the Riptide, and they're all, "Wuh?" and race off to find out who the intruder is.
Ted and John are poking around the Riptide when they see the trio + Melba coming and abscond on a speedboat. The group rushes aboard to see if anything is missing, and Melba finds what looks suspiciously like a bomb. Nick and Cody assume she's playing another of her infantile pranks on them, so Nick takes the bomb and half-heartedly throws it overboard...where it explodes a few seconds later. Oops.
Lieutenant Quinlan grumps over to the Riptide and rails at Nick for "throwing a bomb in the water for jollies" and accuses him of doing it for the pure joy of scaring the bejeezus out of everyone in the harbor. Melba stares at the buffoon in complete incredulity and tells Murray he's "hysterical" ... and Quinlan glares at her and asks Murray who "this bimbo" is. As Melba giggles and calls him "too cute", Murray haughtily informs Quinlan that this bimbo is Dr. Melba Bozinsky, then implores him to consider functioning like a cop and maybe look into who planted the bomb on their boat - the likeliest suspect being John McMasters, the guy who opened fire on them from his rented helicopter. Quinlan rolls his eyes and asks what they did to make the man shoot at them (!) and Murray clams up and says he's not at liberty to say. Quinlan - who, by this point, should probably give up the charade of policing altogether - says he really couldn't give a rat's ass that some crazed gunman (and alleged bomb maker) is out there trying to kill Melba and/or the Riptide trio and announces that he's going home and back to bed. Once he's out of hearing range, Cody suggests they do their own investigating into the historical magazine that Melba submitted her article to...so Murray punches something into his computer and discovers that John McMasters is the associate editor of the historical rag. From this, he and Cody quickly deduce that McMasters probably wants to loot the gold bullion from the sunken WWII submarine - and Melba shrieks at the collective genius of the Riptide Detective Agency for figuring out a motive she should have twigged onto when a gun toter on a helicopter appeared at the exact location she outlined in her article was the site of a sunken treasure. She rewards Cody with a long, hard smooch.
As Operation Provide a Decoy To Fool the Bad Guys gets into motion, Nick lands Mimi on a nearby remote island and waits for word from Cody.
Ted and John are flying around on their rented chopper, once again scanning the ocean for the Riptide. Cody is aboard the Ebb Tide by himself, floating around the previous sunken treasure site, 'cause apparently the plan is for Nick to blast over on Mimi to launch a chopper-on-chopper attack on the bad guys and put them out of commission for good. Sounds just crazy enough to work.
Murray tells Heinrich and Melba he's pretty sure he now has the correct coordinates for the lost sub, and Melba excitedly puts her wetsuit on so she can leap into the ocean and start searching through the wreckage.
When the bad guys' helicopter appears on the horizon, Cody radios Nick, who assures him that he and Mimi will be there, pronto. When he finally gets the decrepit old bird airborne, he flies over to Cody's location, opens fire on the bad guys' helicopter and punctures their fuel line. The bad guys are all, "Ack!" and are forced to make an emergency landing on the nearby remote island.
Nick and Cody land on the island and subdue the bad guys at gunpoint. Ted begs to allow them to work something out...but when they're accused of planting a bomb aboard the Riptide, Ted and John are all, "Wuh?" and insist they didn't have anything to do with any bomb, and that they can't begin to guess who else would want them all dead since they haven't told another soul about the sunken treasure. Nick and Cody decide they're convinced of Ted's/John's innocence about the bomb and mull over the possibility that Heinrich Von Schlauser is the bomb planter.
Melba is easily able to locate the sunken submarine...and we get a lot of superfluous underwater footage of the vessel's decomposing interior. Melba finds a large safe where the gold was likely stashed, then signals to Murray and Heinrich that they can begin reeling it in. When the safe is safely aboard the Riptide, Heinrich pulls a gun on Melba and Murray and says, "I vas hoping it vouldn't come to zis."
Nick and Cody scramble to get decrepit Mimi into the air to race over to the Riptide in the nick of time. They try radioing Murray, but get no reply.
Heinrich ties up Melba and Murray, back-to-back with cartoonishly thick rope, and explains to Melba that her landmark discovery of the WWII submarine has made "certain conclusions necessary". He says that while he's extremely fond of her, the only thing that's ever meant anything to him was the "glorious Third Reich and Mein Führer". Melba and Murray are all, "Seriously, dude? The war's been over for decades" - but Heinrich says that, as incomprehensible as it may sound in 1984, duty calls. And by duty, he means he's going to destroy the safe, the boat, them on the boat - and only then will the war finally be over for him. He caps off his nonsensical blather with a Heil Hitler! Nazi salute, then places a bomb atop the safe, nods a curt goodbye to Melba, and hops aboard a dinghy to flee the impending explosion.
When Murray hears Nick and Cody attempting to call them on the radio, he turns on Roboz with a voice command and instructs the orange bot to pick up the radio receiver so he can loudly inform Nick and Cody that they're tied up and about to be blown to smithereens. With only seconds to go before the bomb is set to detonate, Mimi arrives at the Riptide's location, and Cody leaps aboard, throws the bomb as far away as he can, and watches it explode in the ocean. Phew!
Nick, meanwhile, chases Heinrich down with Mimi and bellows on his speaker system, "It's over!"
Melba wraps up the episode by informing the Riptide trio that no gold was found inside the safe, just some boring paperwork revealing details about the impending Normandy invasion. Melba solemnly points out that since the Germans never received this intel, the outcome of WWII was forever changed. Nick mulls over this fictional retelling of the war, then pretends to drop the historical papers from the safe overboard...and when Melba dives into the water to retrieve them, he's all, "Haha...you fell for my lame prank", and everyone chuckles at the well deserved payback.
Recap: A hooker who's decked out in animal print and leather skimpwear is hovering over her naked john, telling him she's going to slow things down 'cause she has a special surprise for him. She orders him to close his eyes, then quietly walks over to the patio door to let in two thugs, one of whom fatally shoots the naked man.
The gunman shows his boss, Mr. Burtane (it's Andy Sipowicz from NYPD Blue!) the note that the hooker left with him before absconding to an unknown destination:
Dear Mr. Burtane,
Pay me $200,000 or I go to the cops.
Mr. Burtane snarks at the gunman for so stupidly letting Marcy just walk away after giving him the note. The gunman concurs that, yep, it's definitely a problem, and promises to track her down asap.
Aboard the Riptide, Murray tells Nick and Cody to dress up for their evening out, 'cause he's treating them to dinner/a surprise.
In the next scene, we see that the surprise is a Cupid Connection dinner, which a giggling Murray describes as "a supermarket of single ladies interested in meeting men". Nick and Cody groan at the prospect of spending the evening being picked over by a group of disconsolate women...and when Murray giggles joyously after a couple of ladies walk by and brazenly check them out, a visibly irked Nick advises him to suppress his innate geekiness and try to act more aloof.
A downbeat looking woman asks Nick if he would possibly consider dancing with her...and when he grimaces and goes, "Yeah, I guess so", she's like, "Really?!!" and quickly ushers him over to the dance floor, where she launches into a tirade about how little trust she has in men. A fuzzy haired brunette named Sheila Hayward hones in on Cody as he accidentally spills punch all over his suit...and after the two chuckle at his clumsiness, they stare hungrily at each other. When they hit the dance floor, she explains that the only reason she's here is 'cause her aunt bought her a ticket to the Cupid Connection dinner and forced her to go in the hope that she'll find herself a nice mate.
Later, the two sit at a table and enjoy some get-to-know-each-other chitchat. When he tells her he's a PI, she looks troubled and says she had a fight with her sister a month ago, has no idea how to reach her, and gets the strong sense she's in grave danger.
The following day, Nick is suntanning in all of his bare-chested glory - yum! - while snarking at Cody for offering Sheila the resources of the Riptide Detective Agency pro bono in order to locate her missing sister. He reminds Cody that they agreed on no more freebies for pretty women 'cause it always gets them into trouble, but Cody breezily argues that this is merely a small favor for his newest squeeze.
After suntanning, Cody tells Nick and Murray that Sheila told him Marcy's landlord refuses to respond to any calls about his missing tenant, then says he has a hare-brained scheme in mind to extract intel.
The Riptide trio heads over to Marcy's decrepit apartment complex, pretending to be a TV production team. Cody - who, for some reason, has decked himself out like a cheap street pimp - tells the landlord (Barney) that he's a producer who's very interested in leasing parts of the apartment complex to film a new TV show. He hands Barney his faux business card and says he'd be willing to pay around $1,000/day, and Barney looks intrigued by the prospect of earning such easy money. Cody wanders over to Marcy's apartment and says he'd really like to start filming in this particular unit, and Barney says the tenant hasn't been there in weeks, but that it's OK with him if he wants to go inside and check things out. The trio enters the stank apartment, notices that there's a lot of weird, S&M type stuff laying around, and spots Marcy's day planner. Murray leafs through it and quickly learns that Marcy was employed at The Leather Castle, and sees that she has helpfully documented the appointment times for her various johns. When Cody spots a cigarette still burning in an ashtray sitting on the windowsill, he's like, "Egads! Someone's been here!" - just as Burtane's two thugs emerge from out of nowhere, swing a few punches, and flee out the window. Nick and Cody leap through the window after them and pursue the two by car...but the chase ends when a slow moving truck suddenly pulls out in front of them and blocks the intersection.
Barney's wife, who was instantly suspicious of the faux TV production team, has called the police. Murray is promptly arrested...as are Nick and Cody when they return to the apartment complex to collect Murray.
As the Riptide trio sits in a holding cell at the police department, Murray waxes on about how utterly fascinating he finds this case, and needlessly recaps what has happened thus far in the episode. Nick rolls his eyes and says it's pretty obvious that Marcy is a hooker who specializes in S&M, but Cody says he's reserving judgement and calls it "an unproven theory".
Marcy calls Mr. Burtane to once again demand that he give her 200K. He assures her he has the cash, and agrees to meet her this afternoon at a nearby pier.
Lieutenant Quinlan cackles gleefully at the sight of the Riptide trio sitting in the holding cell, and mocks them by referring to them as The B Team...and cackles harder as he informs him that no one is coming to bail them out. Cody tells him they're working on a very important case, and that their client will be arriving any minute to spring them. Quinlan says that's unlikely 'cause they're being held for trespassing, burglary, and breaking and entering. Even though they didn't actually 'break and enter' considering that Barney freely gave them access to the apartment.
Sheila arrives and gets the charges dropped against the trio after explaining to police that her name is on the apartment lease, and that she has no problem with them entering her apartment. After exiting the police station, she offers to take them out for dinner to make it up to them, then rubs up against Cody and gives him a giant smooch. After she ambles to her car, the trio is confronted by Burtane's thugs, who dismissively call them "low life PIs" and warn them to stop nosing around Marcy's apartment.
Murray uses his portable computer to look up the deets on The Leather Castle, and sees that it's a fancy S&M whorehouse owned by Earl Burtane. He then logs into the King Harbor County Hall of Records [that was somehow completely digitized in 1984] and quickly learns that Mr. Burtane has a criminal record.
Nick and Cody "disguise" themselves as gas company employees, then enter the grounds of The Leather Castle, which looks to be really derivative of Hugh Hefner's Playboy estate. As they ogle the scantily clad women roaming around, Nick nods appreciatively and remarks on how much he'd enjoy being a member of this raunchy sex club. They run into a bikini clad woman, introduce themselves as gas company employees, tell her that someone named Marcy Hayward reported a gas leak, and ask her if she knows where Marcy is. Bikini girl, who looks completely unconcerned about a possible gas leak in her midst, says she hasn't seen Marcy for several days and suggests they inquire with her boss, Earl Burtane. After she sashays off to her impatient john, who can be heard calling out to her from whatever headboard he's chained up to, Nick and Cody notice Burtane and his two thugs climb into a car after loudly announcing that they're off to abduct Marcy. LOL. Nick and Cody rush back to their car to follow them, and this time they're able to keep up with the bad guys.
Mr. Burtane and his thugs arrive at the pier, find Marcy, and promptly surround her. Burtane orders Marcy to come with him - but she refuses and makes a run for it. The thugs fire their guns, which naturally freaks out the innocent bystanders...and as Nick and Cody draw their weapons and exchange fire (!) with Burtane and his thugs, Marcy races past them, avoids all the flying bullets, and manages to escape.
[Note: somehow no passersby were accidentally shot during the filming of this scene.]
In the aftermath of the botched abduction, Burtane admonishes his thugs for not being able to shake Nick and Cody...and/or for not realizing that they were being tailed in the first place. He orders them to kill the two cheeky PIs, then track down Marcy's sister and see if she knows anything about her whereabouts.
Later, Murray tells Nick he dug up everything he could find on Marcy Hayward...and Nick looks over the intel, furrows his brows, and murmurs, "How do you tell a woman her sister is a slutty hooker?" Cody and Sheila, meanwhile, are lip-locked on the Riptide. She tells him that locating Marcy is the most important thing to her, and he's like, "Oh...really?" and swiftly changes the subject. Smooth, Cody.
During dinner at Straightaways, Nick tells Murray he's bummed that Cody is so enamored of Sheila and worries that he'll get hurt. Murray looks intrigued by this admission and urges him to spill his guts further, so Nick says he has a weird feeling about Sheila and can't help but wonder how on earth she could have a sister like Marcy.
After searching King Harbor for Nick and Cody, Burtane's thugs manage to locate their car, which is parked near the marina.
During a cozy dinner-for-two aboard the Riptide, Sheila remarks to Cody that he seems very quiet tonight and asks if his quietness is somehow related to Marcy. He nods and tells her she's OK, but that it looks like she's gotten herself mixed up with something criminal. He tells her that earlier today he and Nick saw Marcy almost get grabbed by Burtane and his thugs, and Sheila gets angry at him for waiting until now to drop that bomb. When she demands that he share everything he knows, he reluctantly adds that it looks as though Marcy may be involved with a raunchy S&M prostitution ring.
During the course of his research, Murray quickly learns that Sheila hasn't told Cody everything about herself, e.g. she has a criminal record. They return to the Riptide, where they spot Sheila standing on the deck staring up at the sky, then go below where Nick breaks it to Cody that they managed to dig up some stuff about Sheila he should know 'bout...and by stuff, he means that she was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Cody's all, "Wha-a-a?!" and refuses to believe it, then chides them for digging up dirt on an innocent woman. Murray solemnly says there's more, then tells him that when he hacked into some bank records, he learned that Marcy closed her bank account the very same day that Sheila made a big deposit into hers. Nick tells Cody he's letting his judgement be affected by how desperately he wants to bone Sheila, and Cody accuses him of being jealous that Sheila fell in love with him without even giving him (Nick) a second glance. Nick sternly replies, "I thought we were better friends than that", and Cody snaps, "So did I." Sheila, who has been eavesdropping on the conversation from the deck, enters the room and explains that Marcy voluntarily gave her her money for safekeeping, and that the deadly weapon arrest occurred after Marcy lied to the police about being attacked by her. She tearfully asks Cody to take her home now, and the two beat a hasty retreat.
Burtane's thugs, who have been staking out the Riptide, watch Cody and Sheila leave and recognize Sheila as Marcy's sister. They follow the two in their car...and after a few minutes on the road, Cody notices that they're being tailed. The thugs smash into their car and run them off the highway, then pull Sheila out of the ensuing wreckage. They tell her they're looking for her sister, and she insists she has no idea where she is. One of the thugs checks Cody's pulse and declares him a goner, and a devastated Sheila screams, "Noooooo!!"
Nick tells Murray he blames himself for the car accident...and Murray nods absently as he scans the hospital's records on his computer. He's startled when he discovers that both Sheila and Marcy were admitted to the hospital on the exact same day and time, which somehow seems impossible...unless..
The nurse gives Nick permission to briefly visit Cody, who's all bandaged up and is in serious condition. Murray, meanwhile, hangs out with the nurse and helps her out with the video game she happens to be playing while on the job, and blushingly explains that he's an expert 'cause he's the person who designed it.
Cody regains consciousness when he senses Nick hovering over him, and weakly tells him that the thugs ran him off the road and abducted Sheila. Nick apologizes for upsetting him earlier and points out that it's not true that women are always attracted to him [though, let's be real, it's likely almost always], and insists that all he wants for him is happiness. Cody clutches his hand in response, then admits that the romance between himself and Sheila was probably moving way too fast. Duh - ya think?
Over at The Leather Castle, Burtane tells Sheila that Cody is dead, and that his thugs are out looking for Murray and Nick so they can off them too. He then orders a flunky to lock Sheila in Marcy's room and hopes something useful comes from that.
Murray bursts into Cody's room to share a startling finding: Sheila doesn't have a sister, but rather a split personality. He explains that he confirmed this from the hospital's records, and learned that Sheila has been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder...and that Marcy is "her dark side". Cody looks wigged out, while Nick mulls over the shocking revelation and points out that sooner or later, Burtane is going to realize he actually has Marcy [if, up until now, he's been too clueless to recognize her as one of the regular hookers in his creepy S&M stable]. Nick promises Cody he'll do his best to not let anything happen to Sheila/Marcy, and then he and Murray rush off.
Sheila looks over "Marcy's" wigs and S&M gear before slipping into a skimpy get-up. She then fake cries for help...and when one of Burtane's armed thugs enters her room to investigate, she knocks him out from behind and grabs his gun.
Burtane and his entourage enter the estate's bar/dining room...and a few seconds after that, Marcy struts in.
Nick and Murray arrive at the entrance of The Leather Castle, and Nick tells Murray he'll find a secret way in, and orders him to wait by the security gate for the cops.
Nick sets off the sprinkler system in the bar/dining room, which foils Marcy's plans to shoot Burtane. After some gunfire is exchanged and Marcy suffers a non-fatal gunshot wound, Nick kneels beside her, removes her wig, and assures her she'll be OK...then gives her the good news about Cody surviving the car accident.
On the hospital grounds, Cody limps to where Sheila is sitting, seats himself next to her, and tells her she looks great. Sheila tells him she was bewildered to learn that she has nine personalities (not sure if that's in addition to her "dark side" Marcy personality, which she was aware of), and Cody says he's keeping his fingers crossed for her full recovery. She tells him that the Sheila he got to know this episode may not exist anymore and that she now has to figure out who she really is, and Cody shrugs and says that since he's not terribly picky about the women he hooks up with, he'll probably like whatever personality she eventually morphs into. She thanks him for everything he's done for her this episode, and the two share a final canoodle.
Recap: Two American gun smugglers are on a remote runway in Cambodia, loading up a plane with gun filled crates. A few minutes later, the pilot (Stu Pittman) takes off...and after he reaches a safe cruising altitude, he points his handgun at the other guy (Marty Valentine) and tells him he's outlived his usefulness in this illegal gun running scheme. Stu puts the plane on automatic pilot [I'll assume], so the two can wrestle around in the storage area of the plane. Eventually, Stu gets a clear shot at Marty and fatally shoots him, then tosses his body into the ocean below.
Over at Pier 56, Murray and Nick are doing their yearly scrubbing of the Riptide's exterior when Cody returns from an errand, clutching a newspaper. He informs Nick that Mean Mick Matthews, a scary mental case they helped get locked up after he burned down a colonel's garage, is being released from prison today...and assumes that his first order of business will be to exact revenge on the two of them. Nick's all, "Ack!" and suggests they take the Riptide out to sea and go deep sea fishing until further notice...and when a dismayed looking Murray asks if they're seriously going to hide from this felon like a coupla neutered fraidy cats, they're like, "Uh, yes..?"
Stu, meanwhile, lands his plane in Point Mugu, CA and tells his cohort on the ground he got rid of Marty...despite the stupidity of doing such a thing considering that Marty's father is Sam Valentine, a local mob boss. A few seconds later, two of Sam's thugs arrive at the hangar to pick up Marty, and Stu just shrugs and tells them that Marty got drunk last night and failed to show up at the airstrip. The thugs tell him this is definitely a problem, and that they'll be back in touch after Sam instructs them how much torture they should subject him to in exchange for answers. Once they're out of earshot, an oddly unconcerned Stu tells his cohort he doesn't think that offing Marty is that big of a deal, 'cause surely Sam Valentine must know what a complete moron his son was. As the cohort begins unloading the gun filled crates from the plane, he notices that one of the crates contains fresh food scraps and clothing. He picks up a red t-shirt and tells Stu it looks like he had a stowaway...and when he examines the crate more closely, he sees that the stowaway stupidly left behind a business card for The Riptide Detective Agency.
Murray is dismayed that Nick and Cody are fleeing the harbor 'cause of their fear of Mean Mick, but Nick insists that it'd be tantamount to suicide to sit around and wait for Mick to attack. Murray's like, "Whatever" and heads out...then sees something that appears to trouble him. He calls out to Nick and Cody and says, "I think we have some company" ... and since the two assume they're being visited upon by Mean Mick, they each grab a handgun and leap onto the deck shrieking, "OK, Mick. We're ready for you!" They're stunned when "Mick" turns out to be two Cambodian children. The boy, Chin Lee, grins at Nick and chirps, "Hello, Nicholas-san!", aka the man who signs his letters to them Long Distance Daddy, then points at his sister and introduces her as Mai. Nick's face breaks into a huge smile as he warmly greets the two, and explains to Cody and Murray that Chin and Mai are his Cambodian sponsor children he's never so much as made a passing reference to. Like ever. As Cody stares confusedly into space at the implausible notion of his [smokin' hot, but let's face it: vacuous, brain-wise] partner shelling out money for anything resembling a charitable cause, Nick asks the kids how they got here. Chin vaguely says they traveled by way of aeroplane, then explains that the purpose of their trip is to get Mai the heart valve operation she so desperately needs, 'cause the Cambodian orphanage they live in can't offer that level of health care. Nick scrunches his face in puzzlement and asks who's paying for the surgery, and if he's even found a doctor to perform it...but Chin just shrugs and says he figured that he (Nick) would be more than happy to sort all that out for them. Nick's like, "Seriously? I couldn't afford to get myself a heart operation" and Chin's all, "Wha-a-a-a?" and gets visibly upset. [By reason of sanity, I'm going to avoid belaboring the hammy way Chin continually talks about himself in the third person and, in his quest to get Mai the surgery she needs, is obnoxiously obsessed with how much everything's worth: "Tell Chin how many American dollars this boat costs" or "Chin want to know how many American dollars he can get by selling this computer", fuckin' etc.]
Max wanders over and asks the Riptide trio if they just got a babysitting gig, then chuckles heartily when she learns that Chin and Mai are Nick's sponsor children and cheekily asks, "Is that like a love child?" Bwahaha! She tells them some guy just stopped in at Straightaways to pass along to them a film canister that needs to be delivered via helicopter to Catalina Island...and said he wants it there, pronto, and is willing to pay $1,000. Murray likes the sound of making such easy money and suggests 'why not also endanger two children by taking them along for a ride aboard the decrepit Screaming Mimi?'
As everyone piles aboard the derelict pink chopper, which Nick stubbornly refuses to get serviced, Chin and Mai look alarmed as the engine coughs, sputters, and excretes black smoke before the propellers finally kick in.
As Mimi flies over the ocean en route to Catalina Island, a black chopper appears from out of nowhere and speeds after them ominously. The pilot, Stu, tells his cohort that the bomb should go off in thirty minutes - eeeek! - and Nick gets suspicious and tells Cody to open the film canister to see what's inside. Cody discovers an explosive with a timer attached and promptly flings it out of the chopper and watches it explode in the water below - just as Stu's cohort opens fire on Mimi. Cody grabs his rifle and returns fire...and Stu quickly gives up on the attack and returns his bullet riddled chopper to Point Mugu.
Nick and Cody summon Max to the Riptide to ask her to give a description of the man who dropped off the film canister. She says he was tall, thin, and had dark curly hair (in other words, not Mean Mick) ... and Murray punches this info into his computer and generates a rendering of the culprit's face. Nick suggests they show it to the valet at Straightaways to see if he can help ID the guy.
The valet confirms that the rendering looks like the guy who parked there earlier to deliver his film canister, then hands the trio a garbage can and leaves it to them to fish out the relevant receipt that has the license plate number written on it. The Riptide trio then rushes back to the boat, where Murray punches in the license plate number and quickly learns that the man's name is Stu Pittman. He jots down his contact address so that Nick and Cody can follow up on this lead...then is challenged to a game of jacks (cash upfront!) by Chin.
Nick and Cody drive over to the Point Mugu hangar and see the black chopper riddled with bullet holes. They covertly break inside the cockpit and find a Russian assault rifle, which Nick says looks brand new...then wonders aloud if they've unwittingly stumbled upon a gun smuggling operation. They jog over to the nearest building and peek inside the window, and see that Stu is being restrained by thugs while Sam Valentine interrogates him about Marty's whereabouts. Stu repeats his lie about Marty not showing up at the airstrip, and Sam snarks that he's a liar and that he's been in touch with witnesses who were on the ground in Cambodia and who confirmed that Marty boarded the plane. Before Sam can greenlight his thugs to unleash unspeakable acts of torture on Stu, Nick and Cody kick their way inside and yell, "Freeze!" - LOL - and Sam's men pull out their guns and start firing indiscriminately. Amid the chaos, Stu manages to escape to a nearby car and race towards his chopper, while Nick and Cody's stunt doubles leap into Nick's Corvette and chase after him...but in vain, 'cause Stu is somehow able to dive into the cockpit and get the chopper off the ground within seconds.
Nick and Cody return to the building to search the office for any clues that could help move this idiotic plot forward. Cody finds a red t-shirt that looks like something Nick owns...and Nick stares at it confusedly and says he mailed it to Chin months ago. He suggests they head back to the Riptide and ask Chin how in blazes his t-shirt got into the bad guys' possession.
Sam Valentine quickly learns that the red Corvette which pursued Stu belongs to a Nick Ryder...and Sam assumes that Nick must have been involved with his son's disappearance. He tells his flunky he's well aware of what a dumbfuck Marty was - but still wants to find out what happened to him and is determined to interrogate "this Nick".
Back on the Riptide, jacks has graduated to poker - and in order to stay in the game, Murray has bet all of his computer equipment and lost it to Chin. Nick and Cody are all, "The fuck?" ... and after a quick examination of the cards, Nick notices they're marked. When he calls out Chin on his brazen cheating, the lad hangs his head shamefully and says, "Chin do anything to pay for operation." As the Riptide trio stares sadly at the chastened orphans, Sam Valentine and his thugs announce their arrival at Pier 56 by firing their guns in the air for no intelligent reason, then storm aboard the Riptide. When Sam demands to know where his son is, Nick and Cody stare back at him blankly and tell him they have no idea...and while that's happening, a giant man dressed in monk's robes - Mean Mick Matthews! - leaps aboard, grabs Sam and his goons, and tosses them overboard. When there's no explanation of Mick's unexpected change of heart in not wanting to do harm to Nick and Cody (e.g. also throwing them overboard), the Riptide trio + Chin and Mai leap onto the Ebb Tide and flee to safety.
The five escape to a tiny deserted island, where a visibly irked Nick asks Chin to give him an honest explanation about how he and Mai got to the U.S. His pissed off tone prompts Mai to tear up, so Nick dials his anger back and gently assures the mute moppet that everything's fine...then turns his attention back to Chin and orders him to do some 'splaining. Chin confesses to sneaking aboard the Americans' plane and hiding himself and Mai amid the gun filled crates...and says he was afraid to say anything 'bout that 'cause he knows they entered the U.S. illegally. He says he witnessed Stu shoot Marty Valentine and throw his body off the plane, then snappishly asks Nick if he's seriously going to stay mad at two hapless, third world orphans. As Nick looks shame-faced, Murray suggests they track down the smuggled guns...and Mai perks up at that and squeaks out the word hangar. Chin translates this to mean that Stu and his cohort had unloaded the gun filled crates in Port Mugu, and that he overheard them saying they were going to make a big exchange today. Nick and Cody decide it's the perfect opportunity to lure Sam Valentine to the hangar and gather all the bad guys in one place...and Murray excitedly says he could lead in the cavalry, meaning Lieutenant Quinlan and a small team of his police officers. When Nick and Cody ask how on earth he thinks he can pull that off, Murray cockily says he's just going to lay out all the facts for Quinlan...and that he'll have the bitchy dickwad eating out of his hand in no time.
Over at police headquarters, Quinlan snarks at Murray to get lost and says he doesn't believe a word he's saying about any Cambodian gun smuggling ring...then laughs heartily [and understandably] when Murray tells him the part about Nick being a sponsor father to two Cambodian orphans. As Quinlan continues to mock and guffaw, Murray implores him to gather a squad of armed men so he can lead in the cavalry and help facilitate their biggest gun bust of the year. Quinlan snidely says he's not going to be leading anything, and a frustrated Murray responds by punching him in the face and then running out of the precinct. He hops into Nick's Corvette, with Roboz seated in the passenger seat interestingly, and squeals off while Quinlan races out after him and orders his officers to help him chase the dork down.
Nick and Cody hide behind a stack of crates as they watch Stu and his cohort load up the black chopper with the smuggled guns...and when there's no sign of Murray/the cavalry, Nick and Cody decide they can't wait any longer to take action. They run over to the black chopper and open fire, then quickly wrestle Stu and his cohort to the ground. A few seconds later, Sam Valentine's chopper appears overhead...and Cody opens fire on that and forces Sam's pilot to land - just as Murray, Quinlan, and several police officers arrive on the scene. As Sam exits the chopper with his arms up in surrender, Quinlan bellows, "Busted!" ... then glares over at Murray and tells him how shocked he is that he was telling the truth, and Murray looks insulted and informs him that geeks are almost always truth tellers.
Mai is in a wheelchair, post heart valve operation, waiting in the airport with Chin to catch a flight back to Cambodia. Nick applauds Chin for his heroic actions in getting Mai to the U.S. and convincing an unnamed charity to pay for the operation - but Chin just stares despondently into space and says he's sad to leave his American friends. Nick half-heartedly says they're welcome to visit any time - just as a pretty flight attendant ambles over to inform them that the flight is ready to board. After a round of good-byes, Chin wheels his sister toward the gate...then turns back to look at Nick one more time and races into his arms for a final, barf-inducing hug.
Recap: A rock band named Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), whose music seems highly derivative of the Beach Boys, is performing in a recording studio when their manager, a rude douchewad named Dell Turner, interrupts to snappishly tell them that their performing sucks and to take it from the top. A record company president, Alan Singer, drops by the studio for a one-on-one with Dell...and the two end up in an argument, after which Dell storms out and loudly declares that he has no intention of signing PCH with Alan's "chicken sandwich" label. One of the band members, Chip, races out of the building after Dell and asks him whassup with him walking out on Alan, and Dell snarks that he's sick of Alan's abuse...and if the rest of the band doesn't like it, they can find someone else to manage them. He climbs into his car and asks Chip if he's coming along or not, and Chip makes the fateful decision to jump into the passenger seat. Dell puts a PCH cassette into the tape player so the two can bop to their music during the drive...but a few minutes later, Dell realizes his brakes aren't working and crashes into a guardrail. Both men get thrown from the car...and while Dell looks relatively unharmed, Chip's lifeless body is laying face-down next to the crashed car. RIP Chip.
Two earnest looking dorks - Candy Lane and Gerald Smith - arrive at the Riptide Detective Agency carrying a large bouquet of flowers and a stack of get well letters. They tell Murray they're here on "a very grave matter", then explain that they're the executives of the PCH Fan Club and want to deliver these flowers and letters to Dell Turner...if only they had any idea where he was being hospitalized. There's been nothing revealed about his current whereabouts in the press, and the record company is being dickishly uncooperative, so they've decided they have no choice but to hire PIs to deliver the stuff...and also take a photo so they have hard proof that the delivery was made. Murray decides 'yep, this is definitely a case worth taking' not least 'cause the Riptide trio isn't in any position to be picky about whatever work happens to come their way...and he readily agrees to accept the job at the reduced rate of $200/day.
Nick is annoyed at Murray for putting them in "the flower delivery business", and at a reduced rate no less. As Cody grumbles about what a boooooring case this is going to be, Murray hits the ground running by punching Dell Turner into his computer. He quickly learns that Dell is in Room 309 at the Steinholtz Hospital, 'cause yeah...in 1984, hospital employees were diligently entering this type of information on computers so it could be accessed over the Internet in real time.
The Riptide trio is dismayed to learn that the Steinholtz Hospital has a scary amount of security. While parked across the street, they spot a pretty blonde nurse (Elizabeth Parker) making her way towards the security booth...so they quickly open up a briefcase filled with quasi disguises. Nick selects a blue bandana, Cody puts on a thick pair of bifocals and stuffs his breast pocket with pens so his aura screams nerd, while Murray decides he needs nothing to further emphasize his nerdy aura and chooses to adopt a 'come as I am' persona. The three rush over to Elizabeth...and Cody introduces himself as Wendell Wicks, while Murray calls himself Darly Smith and introduces Nick as Billy Buckwheat. Nick's like, "Billy Buckwheat..?", then decides it'd be extra realistic for a bandana clad man whose last name is Buckwheat to lapse into dumb sounding Valley boy lingo. They tell Elizabeth they're in charge of the PCH Fan Club and offer her a small payment to deliver a bouquet of flowers and a stack of get well letters to Dell Turner's hospital room...and then take a photo for proof she actually delivered the stuff. Elizabeth perks up and says she had no idea that Dell Turner was being treated at this hospital, then says she'll happily do the favor for free. They're like, "Great!", load her down with the flowers, letters, and camera, and tell her they'll wait for her here.
Elizabeth tiptoes into Room 309 and is putting the fan club loot on the night stand when a semi-conscious Dell starts mumbling, "They're trying to kill me.." She's all, "Wuh? Who's trying to kill you?" and hovers over him to attempt to hear his reply - just as a mean looking nurse bursts in and demands to know what she's doing here. Elizabeth relays what she thought she just heard Dell mumble, and the mean nurse snaps, "He's delirious!" and adds that he's scheduled for brain surgery in the morning. She grabs Elizabeth by the arm, but Elizabeth is able to break free and flee the room. The mean nurse promptly calls Dr. Baronson to report that Dell Turner may have talked to nurse Elizabeth Baker, and Dr. Baronson says he'll take care of this unexpected [but yet totally preventable] security breach.
As Elizabeth rushes toward the outdoor security booth, the guard receives a phone call, instructing him to detain her. He dutifully says, "I'm on it!" and grabs her - just as the Riptide trio races over in their vehicle, wrestles Elizabeth away from him, and squeals off. After a car chase involving two Hospital Security vehicles, a bewildered Elizabeth asks what's in blazes is going on, and they're like, "Uh...we have absolutely no idea."
Alan Singer demands to know how Elizabeth Baker was able to get into Dell Turner's hospital room so easily, and Dr. Baronson's like, "Dunno" and says he's pretty pissed off about it too...even though he's the one in charge of the hospital part of this criminal operation. Alan orders him to take care of Dell asap, and Dr. Baronson's like, "Can do" and says he's planning to perform Dell's life-ending brain surgery first thing in the morning.
Aboard the Riptide, Cody apologizes to Elizabeth for getting her tangled up in their mess, and that they had no idea delivering flowers to an injured rock star could become dangerous. Elizabeth's like, "Don't worry about it!" and says that something is clearly amiss at the hospital...but that she's not at all sorry this happened 'cause of how happy she is to have met them. Cody flirtily replies, "Me too" and promises to get her out of trouble asap, then waxes on for several minutes about how much he looooves being a PI and living life on his terms. Elizabeth looks intrigued by his self-absorbed nattering, and the two press up against each other and start smooching.
Murray has enlisted Roboz to start comparing the voice patterns from PCH's music on their older albums with that of the post-Chip memorial album. After that, he hacks into the hospital's records while Elizabeth informs them that there's a rumor about a team of researchers who have had their medical licenses revoked and are performing unauthorized genetic experiments on the second floor. Yeech. When Murray is able to access Dell Turner's medical chart on his computer, Elizabeth studies it and notes with alarm that there's no CAT scan on record, and says it's highly unusual for anyone getting a brain operation to not have a CAT scan. Murray says that, according to Dell's chart, the operation is scheduled for 6am (two hours from now), which means they're going to need to break into the hospital and save him from certain death by posing as garbage men making a 6am pickup. Yep, sounds like a plan that's just crazy enough to work.
Murray, who seems overly excited about driving a garbage truck for the impending rescue, is sitting behind the wheel, while Cody and Elizabeth are snuggled together in the passenger seat. When they arrive at Steinholtz Hospital, the truck gets waved past the security booth...and Nick and Cody leap out and dash inside the hospital, run up to the second floor operating room, and hold the surgical staff at gunpoint while they snatch Dell Turner from atop the operating table. Nick straps Dell onto his back (LOL) and manages to flee the building with Cody close behind. They leap into the dumped garbage part of the truck (yuck), seconds before Murray hits the gas and crashes through the security gate.
Nick and Cody call in a doctor friend to look over "their cousin" Dell, and he gives Dell a clean bill of health and says it's puzzling that he was about to have a brain operation when there's absolutely nothing wrong with him. After he leaves, Murray remarks on how grateful Dell is likely to be to them for saving his life, and Nick says he's mostly hoping for a cash reward. A few seconds later, a scowling Dell enters the room and snarkishly asks whose "chicken sandwich" shirt he's wearing, and why he was brought aboard this floating turd of a boat. [Incidentally, I wonder if Dell's repeated use of the phrase "chicken sandwich" is the writers' way of coming as close to saying "chicken shit" as was possible on an '80s network TV show.] A crestfallen Nick says that the t-shirt they so graciously lent him is one of his favorites, and Cody wryly says they're aboard the boat he spent his life savings purchasing - as Elizabeth watches this from across the room and shakes her head in dismay at Dell's rudeness. Dell rolls his eyes and is all, "Whatever" and asks them if they could please supply him with some grass and other illegal mood enhancements...and when Cody piously tells him they don't do that stuff, Dell gets on the phone with one of his flunkies and barks an order to score some weed and cocaine. He pauses to ask what the address of this godforsaken boat slip is, and Nick offers up the address of local police headquarters, much to the amusement of Cody and Murray. Haha! After that, Dell studies the memorial album for PCH that Alan Singer's record company must have released five minutes after Chip's death, then remarks that he has absolutely no memory of whatever horrendous things might have been done to him at Steinholtz Hospital.
Nick, Cody, and Murray go up to the deck to theorize that whoever tampered with the brakes of the Dell's car is most likely a part of the plot to finish him off on the operating table. They decide they have no choice but to report all this to Lieutenant Quinlan.
Dell calls Alan and smugly says, "Nice try, but I slipped the punch", and tells Alan he owes him for Chip's murder and his attempted murder...and by owes, he wants 100% of the sales of the memorial album, and wants it in writing asap.
Outside police headquarters, the Riptide trio draws straws to see who will have to go inside and deal with Lieutenant Quinlan...and Cody draws the short straw.
Dell meets up with Alan and a female notary in Ocean Park. Alan hands Dell a pen and invites him to sign the contract that entitles him to 100% of memorial album sales, then makes it a point to urge him to keep the pen. Dell ignores that red flag and unsuspectingly puts the pen in his shirt pocket...and a few seconds after he drives off, Alan hits the blow up button on a remote detonation device. Dell's car promptly explodes, killing him instantly.
While Cody is telling Quinlan that he knows the whereabouts of Dell Turner, a cop rushes into the room to report to Quinlan that Dell Turner and his car were just blown to smithereens near Ocean Park. Cody pales and mutters, "Oh shit.." as Quinlan glares at him and orders the cop to hold him for complicity in the murder of Dell - with, naturally, zero proof or evidence. Cody says he was joking just now about knowing the whereabouts of Dell, and that if he's detained at headquarters without cause, he's going to hire a shark of a lawyer and sue the fuck out of this police department. Quinlan rails to no one in particular about having to put up with the three Riptide stooges, then reluctantly tells the cop to release Cody back into society.
Cody rushes back to the parking lot to inform Nick and Murray that Dell just got blown up. Nick breathes a sigh of relief (LOL) and says they can finally drop this pesky case - but Murray argues that he's not ready to do that 'cause there's something very fishy about the memorial album Alan Singer's record company released so quickly after Chip's death.
Back aboard the Riptide, Murray uses Roboz to analyze the voice pattern differences between PCH's old albums and the memorial album and determines that neither Chip's nor Dell's voice is on the memorial album. He asks Roboz to compare the memorial album's voices with that of each band member, and Roboz quickly deduces that the singer on the memorial album is the band's third backup singer: Pete Frank, aka Hot Dog Pete.
Nick and Cody reprise their PCH Fan Club identities from earlier in the episode and pay Alan Singer a visit. They tell him that Hot Dog Pete called them to confess some wrongdoing related to the memorial album, and Alan says they really shouldn't rely on anything Pete tells them, given his drug abuse problems. He then urges them to quit fan clubbing and get a real life - but Cody solemnly retorts, "It'll never be over as long as their music remains." Alan's like, "That's nice. Off you two go now" ... and once they're out of earshot, he summons his flunky Bob and informs him that Hot Dog Pete has been blabbing to a couple of fan club nerds about his singing role on the memorial album. Bob shrugs and says they were going to kill him anyway, and Alan nods approvingly while muttering, "The hot dog's about to be roasted."
Alan and Bob arrive at Dell's memorial ceremony in the park, and Bob rushes off to locate Pete. The Riptide trio arrives a few seconds later, and Nick and Cody grab their guns and race into the park. Bob easily finds Pete in the crowd and tells him that Alan wants to talk to him, then lifts his jacket to show him he's armed. When Pete refuses to leave and tells Bob he knows that Alan killed Dell, Bob pulls out his gun and fires into the air. He then drags Pete over to Alan's car, forces him inside, and squeals off...and seconds later, Nick and Cody rush back to their vehicle and squeal off after them. A shootout breaks out in mid-chase, which causes Alan to lose control of the car and crash. Nick and Cody swiftly rescue Pete, then smugly tell Alan and Bob they're in a whole lot of trouble. Along with the evil Dr. Baronson, no doubt.
The Riptide trio + Elizabeth celebrate the resolution of this case with dinner at Straightaways. Max saunters over and hands them a bill, then says she'll give them a break on the amount they owe if they'd be willing to deal with a drunken Lieutenant Quinlan, whose drink was spiked by the bartender (for no explained reason). Sounds like the bartender should be forced to clean up his own mess. Nick and Cody head over to Quinlan's table, where he's drunkenly railing about how some joker delivered three ounces of cocaine to police headquarters, which somehow exploded and got everyone inside the precinct high. The higher ups suspended him for three days without pay (not sure why they figured this was his fault), and in mid-babble, he passes out and hits the floor.