Season 4 Episode 3

The 15 Minutes Job

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Jul 10, 2011 on TNT

Episode Recap

At his crisis center company, Reed Rockwell asks his henchman, Mr. Kreese, if he had any trouble planting evidence. Kreese says that he planted the evidence on the state attorney, Ed Kelley, but he may be too clean for the plan to work. Rockwell insists that it will work and that the public will turn against its heroes readily enough. Nate meets with a childhood friend, Ed, and invites Sophie along. As they reminisce over old times, Ed says that he put the drugs behind him. Now Rockwell sent photos of Ed with a woman, and the next day he found Vicodin hidden in his office. Once someone files a case, the photos and the drugs will come out in discovery. As Nate gets another drink, Ed admits that he wonders who has done more for the people, him or Nate. He asks Nate for his help and his friend promises to get his team together and help him. Hardison, Parker, and Eliot meet and Hardison admits that the person who did the work is an expert. They call Nate and warns that Rockwell appears clean and there's nothing they can find against him. Rockwell has covered his background and all Hardison has been able to do is locate his office. Sophie points out that Rockwell has no reputation because he operates in the shadows. When Eliot wonders how they can destroy Rockwell, Nate says they have to go after him the same way they would go after Nate himself. He suggests that they make Rockwell famous and Sophie agrees. The others worry that they could get attention as well, but Nate says that they'll turn him into a hero and find out his secrets, and then they'll discredit him. As Nate and Sophie leave the restaurant, Nate insists that he can resist the spotlight but Sophie isn't convinced. Later, Rockwell walks down the street and Parker and Eliot stage a purse snatching. Rockwell ignores them and a woman beats on Eliot. Next, Sophie shoves a baby carriage past Rockwell but he ignores it. Hardison chokes on a hot dog but Rockwell ignores him as well. Nate realizes that it'll be harder than they thought. Next, Eliot and Sophie go into a coffee shop while Hardison lurks outside. When Rockwell comes in, a masked Hardison enters posing as a robber. A disgusted Rockwell tries to leave and Hardison takes his coffee and keeps him prisoner while Eliot moves into position. Rockwell tries to convince Hardison that he should take Sophie as a female hostage to get better media attention. Eliot sneaks behind Rockwell and shoves him into Hardison. Hardison runs off and goes to scrub the footage, but Rockwell runs to his car and drives off. Nate figures that they can run with that by turning Rockwell into a mystery hero. Hardison soon has the incident up on the web and the hits come in with a little help from a worm that sends the video to 11 million people. Sophie makes sure that she's interviewed on the news. When Rockwell arrives at his office, he tells his people that it's mistake and to ignore the report. When Rockwell goes back to the coffee shop, people recognize him and he gets a free drink on the house. Eliot and Hardison pose as construction workers and praise Rockwell as a hero, giving him a round of applaud. Parker approaches him in a bar and Rockwell takes credit for what he's done. She invites him to a party and flirts with him, and then has him dial her phone so she has his number. Hardison clones Rockwell's phone and admits that Parker managed to pull off the job without stabbing anyone. When Rockwell arrives at his office, Nate is there as a media consultant offering to build him up. Rockwell isn't impressed until he tries to go outside and discovers that the press has gathered outside. Nate suggest that Rockwell give them something before they make something up, and figures that Rockwell wants the spotlight because he's better than the people he takes down. Hardison and Sophie listen in and wonder if Nate can avoid stepping out into the spotlight as well. Rockwell considers Nate's offer to get him on a political talk show. Nate offers him an auditorium and an audience to make a motivational speech on ordinary heroism. Rockwell has his people do a check on Nate before agreeing. Hardison fakes the background check while Sophie wonders how close Nate is pushing it to the edge. Back at headquarters Nate goes to work with Hardison, while Sophie reminds him that he's getting too close to Rockwell because he thinks of himself the same way. Nate ignores her and checks in with Eliot and Parker, who are trying to find a motivational speaker who they can steal an auditorium from. Sophie then goes to the auditorium and kicks out the scheduled speaker, Mr. Jamison, an 80-year-old fireman. Once she gets him out of the way, Nate brings in Rockwell. Meanwhile, Sophie gets Jamison into an empty auditorium and shines lights in his face so he can't tell that it's empty. Thanks to the fake applause, Jamison is convinced. Rockwell goes over his speech and complains that it's garbage. Nate explains that everyone wants a piece of Rockwell because the good life is at his fingertips, and the "garbage" is how he can get it. Speaking from personal experience, Nate says that Rockwell can fill the hole inside himself and get what he wants. Rockwell stumbles out and gives a speech saying that anyone can be a hero. As the audience applauds, Rockwell starts to buy into the whole thing. The Internet goes crazy over Rockwell and Nate tells him to start working on his memoirs. That night, Nate comes to see Rockwell and tell him that Newsweek wants to do a story. Rockwell hesitates briefly, but then basks in the news coverage and thanks Nate. The next morning, Hardison tells Nate that Rockwell withdrew $25,000 in small bills. They figure that it's not a good development, and Nate tells him to follow the money. Eliot and Sophie trail Kreese as he drives to a small town and visits Emma, a woman in a trailer. She tells him to leave and refuses to leave Rockwell in. When Kreese becomes violent, Eliot attacks him. Kreese finally drives away and Nate tells Eliot to let the man go. Sophie and Eliot talk to Emma, who explains that Rockwell was dating her friend Missy. Emma was dating P.J. Tiernan and they all drove to the prom They were drinking and went off the road, and Missy was killed when the car crashed. Nate figures that Rockwell was driving the car and tried to cover himself. Emma had a photo proving that Rockwell was the driver. However, when she took it to the police, the photo was secretly altered and showed her friend P.J. in the driver's seat. P.J. has been in prison ever since for vehicular manslaughter. Nate and Hardison go over the photo and Hardison admits that Rockwell could have altered it. Emma refused to take the $25,000 and asks if they know Rockwell, and Eliot says they plan to make sure that everyone knows him. Hardison and Parker go to the police archive room to find the original negatives. He talks to the clerk and claims to be a writer for the Police Gazette. While he distracts her while Parker sneaks in and looks for the negatives. With some prodding, Hardison finds out where the negatives are and Parker recovers them. Back at headquarters, Eliot warns that they're getting in over their heads. Nate suggests that he take the rest of the job off and Eliot and Parker both storm off. Sophie tries to warn Nate that he sees things in Rockwell that he hates about himself, but Nate ignores her. Hardison confirms that Rockwell took new shots of every picture on the roll and there's no way they can nail him for the car accident. Kreese reports back to his boss and explains that someone beat him up. Emma calls Rockwell and threatens to send him to jail for 14 years. She says that she found a picture that Rockwell didn't get to and demands $250,000. Sophie and the others coach Emma to threaten to go to the news unless he meets her personally beneath a bridge and pays her off. Nate then goes to see Rockwell, who is furious and drinking heavily. The media consultant explains what happened and insists that he wasn't driving. Nate tells him that Emma must want a one-shot payment and disappear, and that Rockwell will make back the $250,000 in one week of book signings. However, once Nate leaves, Rockwell tells his man to dispose of Emma once he pays her off. That night, Rockwell waits until Emma pulls up. He gets in the back seat of her car, hands over the money, and demands the photo. Instead, Parker is in the driver's seat and speeds off. Rockwell realizes she's the woman from the bar. Before he can get an explanation, a SUV slams into the car. When Rockwell recovers consciousness, he finds Parker seemingly dead in the front seat. He staggers off with the money and goes back to his office. When Rockwell arrives, he finds the police waiting for him. He's arrested and interrogated, and Rockwell insists that he's innocent. However, the police have footage showing him leaving the crash site. As it turns out, Eliot knocked out Kreese and took his keys, and then rammed Kreese's SUV into the car. Once Rockwell left the scene, Hardison altered the footage to make it appear that Rockwell rammed Parker's car with his own SUV. Hardison has also set it up so that it appears that he called Parker repeatedly, using the cell phone from earlier. When Rockwell tries to explain that Emma was blackmailing him, they don't believe him. He tells them to check the briefcase to prove that Emma was extorting him. However, the only thing inside are photos of the car accident form 14 years ago, showing that he was the driver. Rockwell insists that the photos were digitally altered, but Ed comes in and arrests him. Later, the team meets at the bar and watch as P.J. is released from prison. The team has left P.J. and Emma the $25,000. Nate admits that he was reckless, but the team says that it was worth it... this time. As the others leave, Sophie points out that Nate's been an honest man and a thief, but he can't be both. She kisses him on the check and admits she's not sure which one she wants to win. Once everyone else has left, a man calls Nate and congratulates him on his work. Nate realizes that it's the man who has bugged his headquarters. The man offers Nate the chance to take on some of Rockwell's contracts for him. When Nate refuses, the man sarcastically points out that Nate has made the world a better place and hangs up.