604 Where Credit’s Due

The body today, the murder, it was copied exactly from this movie …

Summary: A series of murders appear to be copy-cat crimes from a film yet to be released.

Original air date: October 16, 2009 (US)

Written by: Andrew Dettman

Directed by: Dennis Smith

Opening numbers:

610: Movies annually
40,000: Theater screens
28 Billion: Box office revenue
127: Pages

Family Concepts: (character development)

  • Larry buys plane tickets for five destinations: Greenland, Australia, Greece, Alaska and Italy.  All of the flights leave from Las Vegas (he later finds a property for sale on the road to Las Vegas and may not use any of the tickets)
  • Colby uses Netflix
  • Liz might have a hamster
  • Charlie and Amita’s wedding is a year away
  • Amita’s grandparents lived with her parents and an uncle stayed with the family after she was born.
  • Don and Robin are still together
  • Alan has a new job as a technical consultant for a software firm to help make their CAD software more user friendly.

Episode Quotes:

  • Alan: I hope you find what you’re looking for.
    Larry: I wish you the same, sir.
    Alan: in the mean time, checkmate.
  • Colby: Is there anyone who isn’t writing a script in this town?
  • David: Fortunately, you shoot like you write.

Episode Synopsis:

Two young people out geo-caching find a large crate instead of the small container they were expecting.  They break open the crate to discover a mummified body.  Colby is at the scene with the coroner’s office as the body is discovered on federal land.  Meanwhile, Liz has asked for Charlie’s help tracking down who illegally uploaded a soon to be released movie, Bixel Street, on the internet.  Charlie and Amita think they can help and take a copy of the film home to watch it.  Colby comes to the house asking for Don’s input regarding the body found earlier in the day only to discover it’s a copycat of the film Charlie and Amita are watching.

Realizing there’s no way anyone who downloaded the movie would be able to pull off such a crime so quickly, David and Colby talk to Carolyn White who works for the studio producing Bixel Street, she introduces them to Chris McNall the writer of the film.  McNall isn’t particularly shocked over the case, and tells David and Colby they probably won’t solve it as he did his research into impossible crimes.  White is more willing to help and offers to have a crew list sent to the FBI offices.

The coroner’s office is able to make an identification of the body, Brent Fuller a movie producer.  Checking the crew names for Bixel Street against Fuller’s credits, Colby finds a Victor Stokes, prop master for Bixel Street, worked on several of Fuller’s films as well.  Colby, David and Liz go to talk to Stokes who says he hasn’t seen Fuller in about a year, ever since he went to Malaysia for a film. Stokes also says Fuller had planned to produce Bixel Street when he got back to the States.

David and Liz ask McNall if he’s ever heard of Brent Fuller, McNall says he’s never heard him. Colby and David also talk to Fuller’s assistant Tyson who has been house-sitting Fuller’s residence for the past ten months.  He’s is surprised to find out Fuller is dead, but does have a receipt from a lunch several months ago where Fuller and Chris McNall had lunch with someone else with the initials DW.  When asked about the lunch, McNall states the FBI really doesn’t have any sort of proof he ever met Fuller.

Don allows a check of McNall’s finances and discovers a $120,000 cash withdrawn as well as several checks written to a Deborah Westbourne.  David think $60,000 was given to Fuller as Tyson found the money at the house and has been paying himself from it.  Deborah could be the DW McNall had lunch with several months ago, she might have the other half.  David and Liz go to talk to her, only to find her hanging in her office, another copycat death from Bixel Street. The FBI team figures out McNall went to Fuller and Westbourne first to produce Bixel Street, however when a mainstream studio also showed an interest, McNall paid off the pair to go away.  Colby and David start a surveillance of McNall.

Charlie has also been looking into McNall and buys a copy of a software program called Cine-Pal, a program to help with script writing. Bixel Street would be McNall’s twelfth film to be produced and the previous eleven all fit the writing structure of the Cine-Pal program. Bixel Street, however does not fit the pattern and Charlie concludes, McNall didn’t write it.  David and Colby arrest McNall after McNall shoots at them.  Don tells him the FBI can prove he didn’t write Bixel Street and to tell him the real writer’s name.  McNall eventually tells Don the actual writer is Tyson, Fuller’s assistant.  Fuller and Westbourne needed someone other than Tyson as the writer in order to get the film produced by a bigger studio.  When he is arrested, Tyson admits to the murders, states he will now be a commodity in Hollywood and hopes to write several films a year from prison.