Episode Summary

The search for a water-powered car fuels the Gunmen to encounter missile silos, cows and unhelpful government clerks.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Jimmy: [narration] Heroes. Once in a great while they come along when we need them most. Like President Churchill, who won World War II. And Ghandi, peaceful leader of the Indians — or, as we know them, Native Americans. The thing about heroes is, you can just never tell where the next crop is going to come from. And you don't always recognise them at first sight.

[Byers class are explaining what they want to be when they grow up. The general consensus is; rich and famous. Then it's the turn of John Fitzgerald Byers: Idealist]

Young Byers: When I grow up, I want to be a career bureaucrat with the Federal Government. I want to help as many people as I can. And work as hard to spread democracy throughout the world.

[Richard Ringo Langly: Computer God, is shirking is farming chores]

Mr Langly: Ringo. You were supposed to be milking. I told you; typing is for secretaries. That damn fool toy is going on the junk pile.

Young Langly: Let me tell you something about this damn fool toy, Dad. This damn fool toy is going to change everything. From the way people do business, to the way we communicate. This damn fool toy is the future. And you know what else, by the year 2000, when I've made millions of dollars off this damn fool toy, we'll all eat food pills, like on Star Trek. And we won't need cows any more.

[Melvin Frohike: Man Of Action, tackles the captain of the football team]

Young Frohike: Say it. Say it.

Football Player: The Cutlass 442 is faster than the Belvedere GTX. All right?

Young Frohike: Damn straight. Some captain of the football team you are.

Football Player: You're a shrimp. You'll always be a shrimp. Shrimp. What do you have to say about that?

Young Frohike: I think big. See? Bigger than you. I'm going to do big things and then I'm going to write about them. People will hang on my every word. Yeah. I'll be a crusading publisher and make the world a better place. Like... like... Hugh Heffner. Yeah.

Jimmy: [narration] Three heroes. Three separate paths leading to one shared destiny — to change the world, to make history — today's the day it happens.

Jimmy: [narration] You got to figure, people never see history coming, it kind of just sneaks up on them. Like when the Chinese bombed Pearl Harbour. You're living your life, then boom, you're swept up in it.

FIO Clerk: You again. Look you can save yourself the trip down here. The answer's always going to be no.

Byers: But you don't even know the question.

FIO Clerk: Let me guess; Can I have the CIA files on Oswald? Can I have the FBI files on Martin Luther King? Can I have the missing 18 minutes of the Nixon tapes?

Byers: It's called the Freedom of Information Office, so why isn't the information free?

FIO Clerk: Mr Byers, as you can see, I'm a very busy man.

Byers: Well, I won't take up any more of your time. Just give me this and I'll be on my way.

FIO Clerk: Unbelievable. One of your FIO requests actually went through.

Byers: I got the email this morning.

FIO Clerk: Looks like you hit the jackpot. [The box of information is heavy]

Byers: That's mine?

Frohike: So, we're clear on this now, huh? One more time. Our new shredder policy, let's hear it.

Jimmy: Paper, sí; coffee filters, no.

Frohike: I'm watching you. [to Langly] Thanks for the help, Baron.

Langly: Prince. I made Crown Prince six hours ago. I'm almost King.

Jimmy: Can you make those little guys shoot at each other?

Langly: That's not the point, Jimmy. This game isn't about violence, it's about Empire building. I spent two solid weeks creating this medieval civilisation from the ground up.

Frohike: And yet you're still a 32 year old virgin. The irony.

[Jimmy opens the door, Byers drops the box, Jimmy picks it up]

Jimmy: Whoa. You got to lift it with your legs. What's in the box?

Byers: Vindication.

Frohike: It's from that pinhead clerk down at the Freedom of Information Office.

Langly: That guy actually coughed up the goods?

Byers: This must be every file I've ever requested from government. Maybe the system does work. [The box contains a cinderblock]

Frohike: Oh yeah. You got to love that civil servant sense of humour.

Langly: I keep telling you, Byers, the FIO is a complete waste of time. You've got to spy, use subterfuge. Like the Bishop of Orange is trying right now. Busted, you Byzantine hack.

Jimmy: There's something else in here.

Frohike: Yeah, it's junk. Would you clean this up and don't try to put the cinderblock through the shredder. [to Byers] Hey, cheer up, buddy.

Jimmy: You know, guys, not every line of this is crossed off. I see some numbers, a name.

Frohike: It's junk, shred it.

Langly: Here we go, the coronation of King Langly. Two full weeks of alliance building and back stabbing, and now finally, I get to reap the benefits.

Jimmy: Huh, funny name — Stan Mizer. [He drops the paper in the shredder]

Frohike: No. [He leaps to pull the shredder's power cable, but gets the computer instead. Langly has a hissy fit]

Jimmy: So this guy Mizer.

[Frohike holds up a finger. He finishes scanning document shreds into an reconstruction program]

Jimmy: Can I talk now? This guy Mizer, who was he?

Byers: Stan Mizer, he was an inventor.

Langly: Or nut. Depends on who you ask.

Byers: Legend has it, he perfected a car that ran on water.

Frohike: Legend nothing, he did it. I saw it, I rode in it.

Byers: No one knows what happened to the car. It disappeared and Mizer refused to talk about it. He died in, what, the mid 70s.

Frohike: Mmm. I know somebody threatened him. Big oil, most likely. They'd do anything to protect their interests.

Jimmy: So, what did the car look like?

Frohike: A 1950 Studebaker Lark.

Jimmy: Tail fins?

Frohike: No tail fins. Why?

Jimmy: I don't know. What colour was it?

Frohike: Sea-foam green. What the hell does it matter what colour it was? Do you understand what we're talking about here? A car that ran on water — not gasoline. Same horsepower, but zero pollution. An endless supply of energy. Can't you see how that would have changed the world?

Jimmy: I definitely see how it would suck if we all had to drive green Studebaker Larks.

Byers: Frohike. [He stops Frohike lunging at Jimmy]

Frohike: We just had proof that the government kept a file on Stan Mizer and maybe a clue as to what happened to the car. And this idiot shredded it.

Byers: You wouldn't even have known about it if it hadn't been for Jimmy. [The reconstruction program is complete] They censored nearly everything.

Frohike: Look at this... pallet 62/67221. What do you think?

Langly: Looks like some sort of shipping number. Guess I could check it out.

Byers: You also have what seems to be someone's initials: JT.

Jimmy: So how do you think that wound up in here anyway?

Byers: A fluke, I assume. It stuck to the bottom of the cinderblock.

Frohike: No. No fluke. Fate. That car is still out there somewhere, I know it. And we're going to find it, no matter how hard they try to stop us.

Yves: This is a bit dramatic. Couldn't we have simply spoken over the phone?

Henry Farst: Actually, I find that face to face yields better results. I want to know what you have for me.

Yves: Nothing yet. Soon hopefully. Well, so much for face to face.

Henry Farst: Do you ever think about dinosaurs?

Yves: No. Can't say that I do.

Henry Farst: It's amazing, to think that our entire world economy is based on them. You know?

Yves: As in, over the last hundred million years they're remains have been geologically transformed into crude oil? I suppose that's true.

Henry Farst: Actually, when I say dinosaurs, I'm referring to the oil companies. As in, though huge and lumbering, we have sharp teeth.

Yves: As I said, I have nothing yet. When I do, you'll be the first to hear.

Frohike: Well the last name's still up. Stan's daughter, Shelley, lives here now. Hopefully, she won't remember me.

Byers: What do you mean?

Frohike: I came here in the mid 80s. She wouldn't let me look at her old man's files. I maybe got a little bit carried away when the cops came — started yelling Attica. She probably won't remember.

Frohike: Would you just look at this? It's a government document that mentions your father.

Shelley Mizer: [on phone] I'd like to report a breaking and entering. Yeah, I'll hold.

Frohike: Your father was a great man. To me, he was Prometheus trying to bring fire to the mortals. And I'm going to ensure that his work sees the light of day, no matter what. Now are you going to help me?

Langly: That's it, man. I left it all in the field. There's no record of this pallet 62/67221 anywhere. I cracked into every data cache I can think of. DoD, Department of Energy, oil and car companies, government warehouses, that number just isn't out there.

Jimmy: Did you try the internet?

Langly: Yes. I even tried the internet.

Jimmy: Here's what I don't get; Frohike's really, really into this car and then this thing shows up about the car. And it seems pretty lucky.

Langly: Yeah. It's lucky. [He grabs the paper] There's no FIO stamp on this thing. every last damn scrap of paper in that office gets a stamp. Jimmy, it's a plant.

Shelley Mizer: Personally, I think you're as nuts as he was. But, have at it.

Frohike: These are your father's files?

Shelley Mizer: His files, his grocery receipts, his giant ball of tin foil. Knock yourselves out.

Frohike: And you're sure you don't recognise the initials JT? [Shelley Mizer leaves them to it]

Byers: Good grief.

Frohike: Hey, man, to me this is Valhalla, this is a journey into the brain of a genius.

Byers: [answering mobile phone] Byers. Who got murdered?

Langly: The clerk at the FIO, and I think I know who did it.

Byers: Who?

Langly: Well, three guesses. She wears Ferrari red lipstick and she uses an anagram to sign her name.

Byers: Yves? You're saying Yves murdered the FIO clerk?

Langly: The last name in the log book is Leroy W DeShevala, rearrange the letters and it spells —

Byers: — Lee Harvey Oswald. Or Yves Adele Harlow.

Langly: Yeah. I think she's after what we're after. Only she's one step ahead of us. Got to go. [He hangs up]

Frohike: Hey, Yves' as devious as they come, but I don't buy her as a killer.

Byers: Neither do I. None the less, she was there and someone murdered that man.

Frohike: I wasn't overreacting, we are onto something big. We've got to watch our butts. Help me out of here. [Frohike has fallen into one of the many boxes in the basement, Byers is helping him out when Shelley Mizer returns]

Shelley Mizer: Hey, what are you doing?

Frohike: Hey, hold on a sec.

Shelley Mizer: Are you having fun?

Frohike: Shelley, what's that? [He spots a framed child's painting under a table]

Shelley Mizer: It's Dad's water-powered car. The day I painted this was probably the last time I saw it.

Frohike: You see that watermark. This is the back of a sheet of photo paper.

Shelley Mizer: I guess. I used to paint on anything I could find. [Frohike removes the painting from its frame]

Frohike: That's your dad. Who's that man?

Shelley Mizer: Mr Guthrie. That was Dad's best friend. I used to play with his son about a million years ago.

Frohike: Byers, I think we just found JT.

Shelley Mizer: So how do you know my Dad. You said he gave you a ride.

Frohike: Yeah. It was 1962. I was a kid. I loved cars. Drew pictures of them, dreamed about them. My pop and I were at this diner outside of Pontiac and I noticed your dad. He takes his water glass, opens up the hood of his car and pours the water right into his carburettor. It was the damnedest thing. He took my pop and me for a ride — and that engine purred. Smooth as silk. That afternoon was magical. [There is a loud bang] Holy crap, someone's shooting at us.


[They pull up on the verge of the road]

Shelley Mizer: God.

Frohike: Shelley, don't go out there.

Shelley Mizer: You guys want to see where your gunshot came from. [The van has a flat tyre] So, get a jack. Let';s go.

Langly: We left our jack at home... to make room for the night vision goggles.

Jimmy: Okay, here's what we're going to do. Byers, see that piece of log over there? Grab that. Simple physics, guys. Passenger side is higher. So the centre of gravity has shifted to the driver's side. It won't be that hard for me to lift the passenger side just enough so Byers can slide the log under the axle — instant jack.

[Jimmy lifts the van — too far. It tips over on its side and falls down into a water-filled ditch]

Byers: Langly, stay here with Jimmy and keep a lookout.

Langly: What? Why do I got to baby-sit Gigantor?

Frohike: And try to keep him from knocking the Earth out of its orbit. [Byers, Frohike and Shelley Mizer leave]

Langly: Damn.

Jimmy: It's just a cow.

Langly: It's not just a cow, it's a nightmare I thought I'd escaped. [Jason Guthrie walks towards them] Okay, whatever it takes, we've got to get these people on our side. Do not say anything stupid.

Jason Guthrie: Howdy. It's good to see you.

Langly: Yes, Sir. Good to see you too.

Jason Guthrie: So, is there anything I should tell you boys? Anything you need to know about JT?

Langly: Absolutely. Anything you could tell us would be much appreciated.

Jason Guthrie: Well —

Jimmy: Hold up. Something's screwy. How did you know we were coming?

Jason Guthrie: What, you're not the boys that are here for JT?

Langly: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, we're the boys.

Jimmy: No, no, wait. Now I'm confused.

Jason Guthrie: Look, are you or are you not here for JT? Because I don't take too kindly to trespassers.

Langly: Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're here for JT.

Jason Guthrie: You are. You're the experts from the State Extension Office?

Langly: Yeah, that's me.

Jason Guthrie: Well, good then. Could we please get on with this rectal pulpation?

Jason Guthrie: JT. Those are my dad's initials.

Jimmy: You call your bull Dad?

Jason Guthrie: I call my bull JT in honour of my dad. We bought him the same week that Dad passed away. That was two months back.

Shelley Mizer: I'm sorry.

Byers: Mr Guthrie, anything you can tell us about your father and his friend, Mr Mizer, or this document — anything at all.

Jason Guthrie: Well, if Dad initialled it and it's got a pallet number, then I assume it's some sort of Air Force material invoice. You said 1962?

Frohike: Yeah, that's when I figure it was.

Jason Guthrie: Yeah, well Dad was already stationed at Biznot in 1962. Biznot Airforce Base, just down the road here. It's mostly shut down now, but Dad was quartermaster for the Space Wing.

Frohike: Missile command?

Jason Guthrie: Yeah.

Frohike: ICBMs.

Langly: A lot of Cold War paperwork didn't made it onto the computers. Explains why I couldn't track down the pallet number.

Byers: We need to pay a covert visit to that air base. Take a look at their files.

Langly: Yeah, except that none of us exactly looks like GI Joe.

Byers: I wouldn't say, none of us do. [He looks at Jimmy]

Frohike: It is an Air Force Material Invoice, dated April 4th 1962. Pallet weighed 2,981 lbs.

Byers: Sounds like the weight of a 1959 Studebaker Lark.

Frohike: But it doesn't say where it wound up. Guess that's on the other half.

Langly: Well, I vote we call the cops on her.

Yves: For doing what exactly?

Langly: Murder. What do you think? That dead Freedom of Information clerk that Jimmy and I found. The one that you paid a little visit to.

Yves: What are you saying? He's dead?

Jimmy: You didn't know?

Yves: Must have been the guy who hired me to find the car.

Frohike: Who is this guy you're working for? What's his story?

Yves: His name is Henry Farst, he's with the petroleum industry. Apparently he wants the car badly enough to kill for it. And I'm not working for him, I only took his money. But I guess he knows that now.

Byers: The murdered clerk, he gave me this censored version of the invoice. He gave you one too?

Yves: He was a wonderful source of information.

Byers: You had him give me this. In a box with a cinderblock, why?

Frohike: She knew about my interest in the car. She gave us her lead to see where we'd run with it. So that we'd do all the work and she'd take all the profit.

Langly: As usual. Except not this time.

Yves: Oh no. You forget, I already know where the car is. I don't mind sharing, there's enough billions to go around on this one, as well as danger.

Jason Guthrie: A regular meeting in here.

Frohike: This is it. Storage Room 4, Silo C.

Jimmy: Silo? It wound up on a farm?

Jason Guthrie: It could be an ICBM silo, Biznot Air Base.

Frohike: As quartermaster, your father shipped the greatest invention of our lifetime to the most secure place on Earth.

Byers: The bottom of nuclear missile silo.

Henry Farst: I was starting to think you weren't coming.

Jason Guthrie: I figured it was smarter to wait 'til everyone was asleep.

Henry Farst: You don't look very happy. But you should know that you are doing the right thing. [He hands over a cheque] That'll save the old homestead.

Frohike: Come on. Come on. We got to go, we've got to get to the silo.

Langly: Why? What's the hurry?

Frohike: This. [Front page of the Minot Progress Gazette: End of and Era... Silos to be demolished today]

Byers: They're being blown up? Today? As in, today?

Frohike: Today, as in, get in the damn van.

[Frohike, Langly and Byers are abseilling down into a missile silo, while above ground a celebration is going on in anticipation of the destruction]

Byers: Storage rooms are on the lower level.

Frohike: Easy, boys, these walls are wired to blow.

Langly: How low can you go?

Byers: [on radio] How are we doing for time?

Yves: [on radio] Not good. Hurry it up.

Langly: This place is like a maze.

Byers: So pick your poison.

Frohike: This way. Hey, you guys. This is it.

Yves: [on radio] Gentlemen, get out of there. Do you hear me? Get... [She spotted Henry Farst driving away in a truck with a Studebaker Lark on the back]

Byers: [on radio] Yves. Yves, you're breaking up.

Yves: [on radio] There's nothing down there. Farst has the car...

Frohike: This has got to be it.

Crowd: Ten... nine... eight... seven...

[Frohike, Langly and Byers open the storage crate. It is empty, apart from a cinderblock]

Yves: [on radio] Byers? Frohike?

Crowd: Three...

Jimmy: [on Yves' radio] Run for it!

[There is a series of explosions as the silos are blown]

[Jimmy is digging through the rubble that used to be the silo entrances]

Yves: That concrete you're trying to dig through is nine feet thick.

Jimmy: It doesn't matter.

Yves: It's reinforced with hardened steel, it's design the withstand a nuclear blast.

Jimmy: Doesn't matter. You pound anything long enough, it'll give.

Yves: Jimmy, stop. It's pointless.

Jimmy: Love those guys.

[Across the field, through the mist, three figures emerge]

Yves: Jimmy! Jimmy!

Jimmy: Oh, man. [He embraces them all]

Langly: All right, already.

Frohike: Don't make me sorry I lived.

Jimmy: How'd you get out?

Byers: We crawled through a ventilation shaft, it surfaced about half a mile that way.

Langly: Underneath a porta-john.

Jimmy: Guys, this is wonderful.

Frohike: Yeah? Whoop-de-doo. We didn't get the car. Where did your oil company creep take it, anyway?

Yves: You think if I knew that I'd be standing here?

Frohike: Yeah, but what I want to know is, how did he find out where it was?

Jason Guthrie: I took it [the cheque] to the bank this morning to deposit. But I grabbed it right back out of the teller's hand. Couldn't help thinking I was doing something terrible. Anyone should get this, it's you, Shelley. It's for your dad's invention. I'm just sorry it's not more.

Shelley Mizer: You three almost got yourselves killed today. I had no idea you'd go so far for this.

Frohike: I'd do it again in a minute.

Shelley Mizer: Then I guess I have a confession to make, before you go and do something even stupider. My father's car is here.

Byers: Here, where?

Langly: Here, here?

Shelley Mizer: I looked around this morning and found it out here.

Frohike: Well, this is it. I remember this attachment on the carburettor, this extra hose.

Byers: What is it doing out here?

Jason Guthrie: I thought it was junk. It's been sitting here for 20-30 years. I wanted to have it hauled away, but Dad wouldn't let anyone touch it.

Jimmy: Ah, wait. If this is the real water-powered car, then what did the oil company guy drive off with?

Yves: A decoy, apparently. Your father put a decoy in the silo.

Shelley Mizer: Your dad made a vow to my dad... to hide this car and never tell anyone find it.

Frohike: This is it. It's wonderful.

Shelley Mizer: And now we have to destroy it.

Frohike: What the hell are you talking about?

Shelley Mizer: It's what my father really wanted. He just couldn't bring himself do it. He knew the world shouldn't have this.

Langly: Why not?

Byers: Why shouldn't there be a cheap, pollution-free alternative to gasoline?

Yves: Think what it would do for the global economy.

Shelley Mizer: Send it through the roof.

Byers: Precisely.

Shelley Mizer: Lead to a huge development boom throughout the world.

Frohike: Damn straight.

Shelley Mizer: It would mean more people driving cars, more people building more places to go in those cars. More people, more consumption, more trees cut down, more roads laid in. And what do you pave roads with, by the way? Oil. The same oil you use to lubricate a water-powered car. The same oil that goes into all the plastics that make the tail lights, the bumpers, the tyres... and just about everything else on the planet these days. And we'd have 400 million cars on the road instead of 200 million. Doesn't sound like Utopia to me.

Byers: I think you're overstating it.

Shelley Mizer: It wouldn't happen overnight, but it would happen. And my father couldn't bear to be responsible for that.

Henry Farst: You're forgetting something. We're running out of oil. This invention is what's going to keep us from going back to horse drawn carriages.

Frohike: You don't want to destroy the car?

Henry Farst: Absolutely not. I want to give it to the world... and make billions off of it. Unfortunately there are a lot of witnesses. [he pulls a gun]

Yves: That's your plan? You actually believe you are going to shoot every last one of us?

Henry Farst: Well, for what it's worth, you're the only one I'm going to enjoy.

[Jimmy makes a leap and gives JT a good, hard yank. JT kicks Henry Farst through the barn wall]

Jimmy: [narration] So, that's how history was made. Not the kind of history you read in books, or Peter Graves tells you on TV, I'm talking history no one even knows about. Except it happened. It changed the world... by not changing the world — if you follow me. And sometimes, maybe not changing the world is a good thing. And what about that water-powered car? Obviously you don't have one in your driveway, so you know it didn't wind up in Detroit. But it didn't get destroyed either. It's still out there... waiting for a day when smart people of integrity get together and figure out a way to use it for the benefit of all mankind. Kind of like the atom bomb. It's because three heroes knew when not to act. But for one shining moment, one brief afternoon, it was magical.