Nero Wolfe (2001)

Season 2 Episode 12

Help Wanted, Male

Aired Unknown Jun 30, 2002 on A&E

Episode Recap

WW II is still going strong and a man, Ben Jensen, has come to Wolf for protection after his life was threatened. Wolf, naturally, refuses to take a job as pedestrian as body guarding, and does not think the matter was particularly dangerous in any event. Archie at least does give him some names of people who would do body guarding. Archie, now a Major in CIC and seconded to Wolf, wants to go to Europe and fight, but Wolf will not consent, so he intends to go to Washington and make his case directly to the General in charge of counter intelligence.

Before he can leave, however, Ben Jensen is murdered and Cramer wants to know why Wolf refused to take the case. Wolf wants to finish his breakfast. His attitude dose change a bit when the morning post brings Wolf an identical threat to the one the late Ben Jensen had received. He plays it down, but he is clearly rattled, so much so that he wants Archie to delay his trip to D.C., and actually begins investigating the case, beginning with the Peter Root case, the only case in which he and Jensen were both involved in. The first suspect to be questioned is the ex-girlfriend of Peter Root, but when Archie brings her in along with the conveniently present Maj. Jensen, son of Ben Jensen, Wolf refuses to see anyone at all.

Since Wolf is being difficult, Archie heads off to Washington. The meeting with General Carpenter was not successful. Not only did Archie not manage a transfer, but his staff could not even work out any questions for Archie about Wolf's open cases. After two days of this, Archie simply left without telling anyone, figuring that no one would notice.

Meanwhile, Wolf has actually done some investigating and after a fruitless interview of the convicted spy Peter Root, he decided to hire a body double and decoy. Wolf's plan is that someone will take a shot at the double and he would then be able to work out who was trying to kill him. In the hopes of provoking such a action, he has Archie take the decoy around, and then finally brings in the ex-girlfriend and Maj. Jensen. That seemed to do the trick, as someone in the house takes a shot at the body double.

Cramer is now even more convinced that Wolf knows something. Wolf does (now) but refuses to tell him anything until Cramer tears up the search warrant he has brought along with him. Cramer agrees, and then spends an hour or so searching the house until Wolf sees that there is a cushion missing from a nearby couch. When the cushion is found with a hole in it, Wolf realizes what has happened: the Fake Wolf has used the cushion to muffle the shot that went into the wall behind Wolf's desk, and then used one of Archie's guns to make the noise of shooting after planting his own gun in the front room. As Wolf explains this, Sgt. Stebbins recognizes the Fake Wolf as having been present at the murder of Ben Jensen. Wolf explains that the Fake Wolf is Thomas Root, the convicted spy's father there to take his revenge on everyone involved in the case. Cramer, having his revenge for Wolf not helping him sooner, prevents Wolf from collecting a fee and storms out.