Riptide - Season 1, Episode 4
Recap: At a company called the Betatech Corporation, the Chief Executive Analyst (whose nameplate reads Natalie Kramer) has just wrapped up a night of working late. She packs up her things, shuts off the lights, and heads down to the parking garage, where a young blonde man aims a rifle at her and opens fire. A few seconds before that happens, Natalie happens to drop her car keys and bends down to pick them up - and narrowly misses getting her head blown off. She opens the car door wide enough to reach the car horn, which promptly alerts the security guard. She tells him she was just shot at, so he runs off in search of the gunman, but doesn't have any luck finding him.
Murray is gabbling to Nick and Cody about the party he's planning to host aboard the Riptide for a brainy group he belongs to that regularly convenes and calls itself The High Q Club. Nick looks less than thrilled by the idea of having to socialize with overly smart people and says he'd much prefer to spend the evening at Straightaways - but Murray implores him to hang around and circulate.
Natalie, who's also a High Q member, is clutching her invitation to Murray's party as she ambles over to the Riptide, where the party is already in full swing...with Roboz zooming around serving hors d'oeuvres, and geeks exchanging geek jokes and busting a gut over the cryptic punchlines. Natalie gives Murray a hello hug before the two go up to the deck...and Nick remarks to Cody that the woman who just hugged Murray looks familiar. He then says he's getting sick of all the math jokes he can't understand and wants to get some air.
Natalie tells Murray about the brazen attempt on her life and that the police are doing fuck-all about it, so he tells her that since he and his boat-mates have started a fledgling PI business, they could probably sort out the whole mess for her. When Nick and Cody amble over to get introduced, Nick finally remembers where he knows Natalie from and is all, "Hey, remember me? We were in the same geometry class in high school!" Natalie shoots him the stink-eye and reminds him she wore braces, was nicknamed Flatty Natty, and that she's still holding a grudge against him - all these years later! - for cheating off her geometry test. Nick does his best to look contrite while Murray tells Nick and Cody about the attempt on Natalie's life and that she's willing to hire their PI services to look into why someone is trying to kill her.
Over drinks at Straightaways, Natalie tells the Riptide trio there's only one person she could think of who might possibly want to shoot her: Danny Sanders, aka a co-member of the Betatech Brain Trust. She then tells them that a different member of the Brain Trust, David Powell, was recently killed in a car accident...then wonders aloud if it's possible that Danny is in the midst of a deranged plot to off the entire Brain Trust so he doesn't have to share in the glory of whatever they've been brainstorming over. Sounds like an implausible stretch, but OK. Natalie then calls it a night 'cause she has to prepare for an early morning meeting, shoots Nick another hostile stink-eye, and heads toward the dock. A few seconds later, a brown car comes out of nowhere and aims itself straight at Natalie, and she's forced to leap into the water to avoid being roadkill. Cody hears her screams and jumps into the water after her...and once he has her safely in his grip, he declares that she's going to have to stay aboard the Riptide until they can figure out who in blazes is trying so desperately to kill her.
The next morning, Murray is tapping away at his computer for intel, and tells an intrigued looking Natalie that so far he's learned that David Powell was killed in a car accident...and that he finds this death fishy 'cause David was an experienced race car driver. He's then somehow able to dig up a psychological assessment that was recently done on Danny Sanders and learns that he was recently diagnosed with a sociopathic personality. Natalie looks impressed by Murray's high level computing abilities and says she hopes that Nick and Cody aren't just riding on the coattails of his brilliance...and a few seconds later, Nick and Cody lumber in like dumb oafs, clutching a box of donuts. Natalie shoots them a WTF? glare and accuses them of letting Murray do all the work, so Nick explains that they generally let Murray do all the preliminary computer type research before the script inevitably calls for the two of them to interject themselves into silly action/fight sequences. Natalie derisively tells Nick he's just as much of a mooch now as he was in high school...and after she bitchily storms out of the room, Nick stares after her in puzzlement and tells Cody and Murray he's mystified by her bad attitude towards him -'cause back in high school, he was pretty much the only guy who'd talk to her.
Nick, Cody, Murray, and Natalie climb into Cody's old milk truck of a wagon (?) and drive around looking for the brown car that nearly killed Natalie. Remarkably, they find it parked in Danny Sanders' driveway...and when they climb out of the wagon to investigate, the blonde shooter from the parking garage scene appears in a window of the house and opens fire on them. Cody races towards the house, bursts in, but is karate chopped by the blonde guy, who looks like he's a Martial Arts expert. He then leaps into his brown car and squeals off, while Natalie picks up a piece of paper that he accidentally dropped and stares confusedly at the cryptic diagram etched on it. Nick grimly informs everyone that Danny Sanders was just shot dead inside his house, so the four of them pile into the milk truck wagon and attempt to pursue the brown car...but are forced to give up the chase when the clunker's engine conks out.
The four head over to the King Harbor Police Department, where Quinlan is grumbling to someone over the phone about what a pain-in-the-fuckin'-ass it is for him and his cop team to have to handle security for an upcoming parade. He slams the phone down, then turns his attention to Natalie and the Riptide trio. He cackles at the theory that someone is trying to kill all the members of a Betatech Brain Trust (even though two-thirds of the Trust is, uh, dead), so Nick points out that the blonde guy who was seen in Danny Sanders' house around the time he was shot is the same guy who's tried to kill Natalie on two occasions. Quinlan stares at him in dickwadded incredulity and snarks, "Am I supposed to drop all my other cases for this?!", and Nick refrains from retorting that since there's obviously a deranged killer on the loose in the community, he may want to consider functioning like a halfway normal police lieutenant and assign the case to a detective. Murray, meanwhile, is tapping away on the fancy new computer the police department just got to see if it can provide any helpful intel...and Quinlan storms over, unplugs it, and growls at Murray to get lost. The cop assigned to administrative duty for the day is all, "Ack!" and tells Quinlan he just finished entering a shit ton of info for the duty roster on the computer, and that unplugging it likely deleted all that work. Quinlan stares back at him sheepishly for a few seconds, then barks at him to shut up and just reenter the data.
Murray reveals that while he was tapping away on the police computer, he learned that the brown car that's being driven around by the blonde guy was rented to someone named Patrick Bennett. Natalie says she recognizes the name and thinks it's someone who works at Betatech, so the four fly over to the Betatech building in Nick's pink Mimi chopper...instead of just driving the few blocks like a normal group of people might.
The four (plus Roboz!) land on the roof of the Betatech Corporation...and once they're inside the building, Murray heads straight to the nearest computer to look up background info on Patrick Bennett while Nick accompanies Natalie to her office. When she continues to haughtily ignore him, he calls her out on her rudeness...so she snarks back that he's an asshole mooch who uses people. She then puts her sad face on and explains why she's been acting so hostile: she used to crush on him in high school (understandably), and was heartbroken when he started dating Angela Crawford (that impertinent bitch). She self-piteously says she should have known that a popular jock could never be interested in her, and Nick stares at her sheepishly and says he had no idea at the time that she felt this way...then tells her the reason that none of the boys in high school pursued her was 'cause she was always so serious. And not very hot. He points out that since that awkward time she's become hugely successful, and jokes that the high school it girls are probably working as supermarket cashiers now. He then lets her in on a naughty 'kiss and tell' secret: Angela Crawford only looked voluptuous during her teenage years 'cause she stuffed her bra. Natalie chuckles and gazes lovingly at Nick, who takes off her glasses and performs an act of long overdue charity by planting a smooch on her lips. Squeal! A few seconds later, they hear Cody yell, "Come quick! We found the guy!"
Murray and Cody are peering through a telescope, watching Patrick Bennett pack up his stuff in a hotel room across the street. Natalie takes a look and says she once saw this man gawking at her through his telescope, presumably while she was gawking at him through her telescope...and then the four (plus Roboz!) rush out of the building and cross the street to the hotel.
Nick races up the stairwell and comes face to face with Patrick, and Patrick flattens him with a series of expert karate chop moves and then proceeds towards the exit. Cody comes running, helps Nick to his feet, and then the two run after Patrick. Outside the hotel, they find Murray flattened on the sidewalk, and he mournfully tells them that Patrick karate chopped him to the ground and abducted Natalie.
The local parade, which is featuring a bloated looking politician named Senator Billings, is about to get underway. Quinlan is on site at the event managing the security detail and looking his usual pissed off self.
Murray logs onto his '80s laptop to get the skinny on Patrick Bennett and quickly learns it's one of the many aliases that this assassin uses. He then uploads the diagram on the piece of paper that Patrick had accidentally dropped earlier to see if the operating system can make heads or tails of it - and Nick muses that it looks like part of a map, and that the angle drawn on the diagram appears to represent the perfect position from which to shoot someone...like during a parade that's scheduled to begin any minute, for example.
Patrick has dragged Natalie to the Brain Trust Room inside the Betatech building, and is positioning his rifle so that it's aimed at the street below. Natalie manages to discreetly tap out a real time help me! message on her computer - but gets interrupted when Patrick sees what she's doing. He drags her away from her desk and looms over her menacingly as he threatens to kill her when all this is over.
Nick spots Natalie's partial message appear on Murray's laptop - BRAINTR - and the three correctly assume that Patrick is holding her captive inside the Brain Trust Room at the Betatech Corporation.
Senator Billings and his wife climb into a convertible and prepare to roll along with the various floats through the parade.
As Patrick aims his rifle, Nick and Cody scramble to get Mimi over to the parade location asap.
Patrick patiently waits for Senator Billings to get into the crosshairs of his rifle while Natalie stares over at him in horror.
Mimi suddenly makes her appearance atop the parade, and the propeller wind causes all the papers inside the Brain Trust Room to scatter about. Nick gets on his PA system and informs the parade crowd that there's an assassin inside the Betatech building, and that he has a hostage. Quinlan bellows, "Stop the parade!" and orders one of his flunkies to check out the potential hostage situation inside the Betatech building. He then suggests to Senator Billings that he get himself inside a non-convertible vehicle, pronto.
Patrick drags Natalie down to the lobby, where Nick and Cody pounce on him, then work together to fight off his expert karate chop moves. A few seconds later, two police officers storm the building and easily subdue Patrick.
The Riptide trio, plus Natalie, amble around the pier and sum up how impressed they are with how everything in this nonsensical episode turned out. Natalie applauds Nick and Cody for their superior analytical skills and wanks them by suggesting that they're probably smart enough to join The High Q Club. When they arrive at an outdoor patio restaurant, Nick says he still doesn't get one of the math jokes he heard at the party - 'what do you call something that's 1.57 and also a dessert?' - and when he delivers the punchline - 'A piece of pie' - the bikini clad waitress goes, "Good one!" and laughs hysterically as Nick stares back at her in blank bemusement.
As everyone chortles at Nick's expense, it remains unclear why Patrick thought it was necessary to murder three members of a Brain Trust team...'cause it kinda seems like the motive was purely to gain temporary access to their office space so he could assassinate Senator Billings during a parade. Things might have been far less bloody if he had just sought out a different vantage point.
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1/2/2021 09:29:05 pm
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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