Riptide - Season 1, Episode 11
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.
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1/2/2021 09:32:14 pm
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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