Episode Summary

All hell breaks loose on the set of a kid's television show when Langly's childhood hero is accused of being an international spy.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Langly: [narration] I think that everybody has one single best memory of childhood, one perfect image that sums up everything that's wonderful about being a kid. I know I do. Mine dates back to probably when I was around ten years old. And it sure as hell has nothing to do with growing up on a farm. No, my best memory is of my family old Zenith. Every afternoon, after school and chores, and more chores, I'd watch TV — all three channels of it — and I'd escape. There was Bozo the Clown and Captain Kangaroo, he was cool, there was Sherry Lewis and Lamb Chop, and they were like good friends who were always looking out for me, good friends who'd help me grow up strong and true, and who would never make fun of my hair. These old shows were comforting, they made me feel good about the world I was growing up in. And none made me feel better than Cap'n Toby. For my money he was the best. Cap'n Toby and his first mate, Clarence the Crab. Maybe it's because I grew up in landlocked Nebraska that I dug his show so much. Or maybe it's just that he was so decent, so true blue, that I'd give anything to ship off with him. He made me childhood bearable. He was someone I could trust growing up, someone I could count on. Growing up... man, it's a bitch.

Jimmy: Pancakes are getting cold. Man, every morning. I'm glad I'm not married to you three.

Byers: I'm sorry if you feel neglected, Jimmy. But it's part of the job.

Jimmy: Part of the job? What, reading a bunch of papers?

Frohike: Reading between the lines. Picking up on the stories the so-called legitimate press let slip through the cracks.

Langly: Shaking out the pizza coupons and then panning for a little nugget of truth amongst the dross. It's a metaphor.

Jimmy: Yeah, got you, pizza coupons.

Frohike: These guys have to report the stories they've been handed. Plus they all work for the man, so they're coverage only goes so deep.

Byers: Sometimes the truth lies beneath. That's why we try and read between the lines.

Jimmy: Count me in. So, what do we do? Look for, like, clues and hidden meanings and whatnot?

Byers: Not quite, that's not really what we meant.

Langly: Sure it is. Here, check out the comics. And pipe down all ready.

Jimmy: Guys, The Wizard of Id. In the first box, the king has three jewels in his crown; in the next box, four. Huh, what's up with that?

Frohike: Oh baby. This is what I was talking about. In yesterday's Glen Burnie Suburbanite, the obituary section; Adam Vaughan, age 35 of Glen Burnie, succumbed to a heart attack. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Stage Technicians Local 614. Now in yesterday's Suburna Park Monitor; Eric Rice, age 33, dead of a heart attack. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Stage Technicians Local 614.

Byers: You're thinking murder?

Frohike: Uh huh.

Jimmy: I don't get it. I mean, yeah, I get that they're both pretty young for heart attacks, but what does that have to do with them being in a union together?

Byers: Organised crime, possibly.

Langly: Well, it gets better. I've got a list of 911 calls from the Glen Burnie Fire Department. Those two union guys, Vaughan and Rice, both their heart attacks the same day at the same mall. Now there's reading between the lines.

Mr E Meats Mascot: So I go aways, I come down here to have a smoke, right. As soon as I got off the elevator, I see this dude who bumped into me, right. He's lying right over there — dead. And the other one was over there. [He bumps into and overhead pipe and stumbles]

Frohike: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Easy.

Mr E Meats Mascot: Stupid shoes. Anyway, the other dude was right there.

Frohike: And nobody else was around?

Mr E Meats Mascot: Nobody. So I figured old Rosie must have just missed it.

Jimmy: Who's Rosie?

Mr E Meats Mascot: I call her that. It's this chick I see in the mall every so often. She wears these funky rose coloured sunglasses. She was on the elevator that me and the dude were trying to catch.

Jimmy: What's her real name?

Mr E Meats Mascot: I don't know. But she did say hi to me one time. What can I say, I catch the ladies checking me out, you know.

Frohike: Oh yeah.

Mr E Meats Mascot: Hey, the suit speaks for itself, boys.

Jimmy: Frohike, you got something? [Frohike shows Jimmy a small dart he found]

Mr E Meats Mascot: What did you find?

Frohike: Nothing.

Mr E Meats Mascot: Fine. Anyway, guys, I've got to hit it. All right?

Jimmy: Right on. Thanks.

Mr E Meats Mascot: Hey, keep on trucking, huh? [He trips over]

Jimmy: Dude, are you all right?

Langly: What the hell is this?

Byers: A children's program, I assume. At any rate, it's where our two deceased stage hands worked.

Langly: Looks like a bad theme restaurant.

Fred Tobalowski: Oh, pardon me. [He bumped into Langly and continues on his way]

Langly: Oh my god! Cap'n Toby! That was Cap'n Toby! This is the Cap'n Toby Show, I can't believe it. Why don't I don't even recognise it? What the hell did they do to it? What? [A sign rolls down] The New Cap'n Toby Show? What does that mean?

Byers: I don't know, Langly. But can we stick to the task at hand? Excuse me — [He grabs a the passing Wayne]

Langly: Oh man, Clarence the Crab!

Byers: Uh right. Sir, could you point us to someone in charge?

Clarence the Crab: El ducha's right over there.

Wayne: Sorry, John Gillnitz, he's the writer producer.

[Langly and Byers walk over to John Gillnitz]

Byers: Mr Gillnitz, I'm John Byers, this is my associate Richard Langly —

John Gillnitz: Hold on one second, guys. [They start taping a promo]

John Gillnitz: What can I do for you guys?

Byers: We're print journalists, we have a few questions for you.

John Gillnitz: Journalists! You plan to write about our little show? Excellent. Well, it's a genuine success story. Sort of a zero to hero, little engine that could kind of thing.

Langly: What happened to the tugboat? Cap'n Toby lives on a tugboat.

John Gillnitz: Not any more. Now he's the captain of a nuclear powered submarine. It's a great set, huh? It's one of the changes I made when I came aboard.

Langly: He lives on a tugboat.

Byers: Mr Gillnitz, you had two stage hands who worked for you, Adam Vaughan and Eric Rice.

John Gillnitz: Oh, yeah, god, terrible. Although they didn't pass away here, I've got to stress. Your story doesn't focus on them, does it? They only worked here for a couple of weeks.

Byers: Our story is about your show. Your... it's triumphs, it's tragedies. Anything you can tell us may be useful. Maybe we could see their personnel files.

Frohike: Blood. We're talking definite murder weapon. That's got to be some heavy duty poison. Get away from me. I mean it.

Jimmy: What? I'm just looking.

Frohike: This is deadly, deadly poison. I don't want you sneezing, or having a spasm, or something. No sudden moves. God only knows what could happen.

Jimmy: I'm not moving, I'm standing still.

Frohike: Just back off two big steps. You're making me nervous.

Jimmy: Gee, you're making me nervous.

Frohike: Stay there. I'm just going to have a look at this under higher magnification. [The dart pops out of the microscope and sticks into Frohike's chest]

Jimmy: Frohike?

Frohike: Jimmy, you've got to suck out the poison.

Jimmy: What? Can't you reach?

Frohike: Do it. Now.

[Jimmy reluctantly complies as Yves walks through the door]

Yves: What in the hell are you doing?

Jimmy: Yves, Frohike's been poisoned. We've got to get him to a hospital.

Frohike: I'm about to keel over.

Yves: No you're not. I am, but you're not. Where's that dart you called me about?

Jimmy: I don't understand. It's deadly poison.

Yves: It was deadly poison. This particular formulation has a potency of about two hours, after which, it degrades into little more than salt water. It makes it appear the victim died of a heart attack. I've only heard about this, I've never actually seen it. It's rumoured to be red Chinese.

Frohike: Why was some high tech Chinese poison used to kill two local stage hands?

Fred Tobalowski: [on television] Ahoy, mateys. Cap'n Toby here. [Langly turns the program off]

Langly: They've destroyed my childhood.

Frohike: Hello.

Jimmy: Hi.

Frohike: Not you. Hello, as in check this out. Guess who just happened to be working for the Justice department. Dead stage hand number one, dead stage hand number two.

Langly: Both of them moonlighted as the Feds? Or the other way around.

Byers: Find something?

Frohike: Big time. We ran facial recognition off the photos we snagged from their personnel files. Turns out Vaughan and Rice were a couple of FBI agents named Jaycox and LaBeck.

Byers: FBI?

Langly: Intelligence division, Chinese analytical unit.

Jimmy: Chinese. Just like the poison in the dart.

Langly: Now what in the hell are the FBI doing working uncover at the Cap'n Toby Show?

Byers: Counter-espionage agents killed by what Yves' described as a professional.

Frohike: A spy? A spy ring? A Chinese spy ring operating out of a kids TV show? It doesn't make any sense. What are they going to report on, the superiority of American hand puppets?

Byers: Every spy has a cover, the more mundane, the better, I suppose.

Jimmy: So, who on that show's the spy?

Langly: Cap'n Toby, is that what you're suggesting? You're nuts.

Frohike: A fish stinks from the head.

Byers: Langly, we have to consider the possibility.

Langly: There is no possibility. He's as true blue as apple pie. What about that creep producer, Gillnitz? The one who made him live in a submarine, huh. What is that about?

Frohike: Buddy, we are sitting on one humongous story. So, you better know, whoever's the bad guy on that nuclear U-boat — even if it is the Captain — we are going to torpedo he right out of the water.

John Gillnitz: Ah, welcome back. Perfect timing.

Byers: We brought our photographer, if that's all right.

John Gillnitz: Absolutely. We can all do this in my office, it's sort of the nerve centre.

Langly: We were hoping he could wander around, get a couple of candid shots.

Frohike: You know, cast and crew.

Byers: While we talked.

John Gillnitz: Oh yeah, sure. Save some film for me. Kidding.

Frohike: Oh.

Mary: Hi.

Frohike: What are you doing in here?

Mary: I want to see Captain Toby.

Frohike: Oh. Okay. Well, his show's about to start. You would want to miss that, would you? [He takes hold of Mary's hand and she screams] Easy, easy. All right. Okay, okay. All right.

Yves: [on radio] There are dumb plans and then there are dumb plans and then there's this. I can't believe you talked me into coming here.

Jimmy: [on radio] What? This woman with the rose coloured glasses may have been involved in these murders. Obviously it is important that we find her or the guys wouldn't have sent me.

Yves: [on radio] Jimmy, when I say dumb, I'm referring to the fact that you're dressed as a frankfurter.

Jimmy: [on radio] I'm undercover. Hey, the wiener man sees this lady all the time from this vantage point and he's out with a broken arm. It's not a dumb plan, it's a great plan. [to passerby] Pig in a Blanket? It's pigalicious. No. All right then.

Yves: [on radio] Furthermore, if this women actually did have something to do with the two murders, she's be foolish to return to the crime scene.

Jimmy: [on radio] Hello.

Yves: [on radio] Hello?

Jimmy: [on radio] No, hello as in...

Yves: [on radio] Hello as in what?

[Mary is still screaming]

Frohike: Ow. Look. Hey, how about some money? Hey, you know, you want some money? Money's good, look, have some money. [Frohike is offering Mary money, Fred Tobalowski enters his dressing room and Mary stops screaming] Captain. You've got a little fan here.

Fred Tobalowski: Uh huh, uh huh. Want a fine voice you have. Tell me, what's your name?

Mary: Mary.

Fred Tobalowski: Mary. Well, that's a lovely name. Tell Cap'n Toby why you were screaming, Mary.

Mary: He was creepy.

Fred Tobalowski: Uh huh.

Mary: I wanted to see you.

Fred Tobalowski: Oh. I'll tell you what, let's go find your mommy. I understand she's looking for you. Then we're going to put you in a seat right down front where you can see the whole show and not miss a thing. How's that sound? [Mary nods enthusiastically]

Frohike: Captain, I'm a photographer, by the way. We're doing a story on the show.

Fred Tobalowski: Uh huh. [He leads Mary out] Come on, Mary, let's find your mom.

[Frohike rummages about the dressing room, eventually finding a letter written in Chinese in a coat pocket]

Frohike: Ancient Chinese secret, huh.

Jimmy: [on radio] Yves. Red tinted glasses, just like the guy said.

Yves: [on radio] Where?

Jimmy: [on radio] Koko's Copy Centre. She's standing in line.

Yves: [on radio] I'm on my way.

Jimmy: [on radio] She's coming out of the copy centre. She's heading to the east end of the mall. It's possible she spotted me.

Yves: [on radio] No. How?

Jimmy: Uh uh, lady, you don't lose me that easy. [He's in hot pursuit, hiding behind plants, when he trips over his feet and falls over the railing onto a doughnut stand]

Yves: Are you all right, Jimmy?

Jimmy: Uh uh, lady, you don't lose me that easy. [He's in hot pursuit, hiding behind plants, when he trips over his feet and falls over the railing onto a doughnut display]

Yves: Are you all right, Jimmy?

Jimmy: Yeah. [The table collapses] Oh god. I'm bleeding.

Yves: It's raspberry filling.

Jimmy: Did she get away?

Yves: Apparently not. [The woman is heading towards them]

Agent Blythe: [to guard] I'm a federal agent. I want these two detained.

First EMT: Keep this on until you see a doctor. And see one, 'cause I'm pretty sure you cracked a rib. [She finishes strapping Jimmy's ribs] It's better if we take him with us.

Agent Blythe: Bye. [They paramedics leave] So, Mr Weiner, who are you and why are you following me?

Yves: Who says he was following you? Who am I talking to, anyway. Why do I have to answer your questions? Am I under arrest?

Agent Blythe: I'm Agent Blythe of the CIA. And I'm not talking to you, I am talking to Mr Weiner.

Jimmy: I'm an investigative journalist. Investigating two murders here. And I have a source that places you at the scene.

Agent Blythe: Weiner number one, I assume. What do you know about the two dead men?

Jimmy: They were FBI agents.

Agent Blythe: Officially. But was that where their loyalties lay?

Yves: You're telling us they were double agents?

Agent Blythe: I'm certainly not telling you anything. This is a sensitive matter concerning national security. I am illustrating to you, how little you really know about the situation at hand. And I'm warning you that you are interfering with the combined efforts of the CIA and FBI. Now, I need to know everything you know and I need to know who else knows it. I wouldn't stonewall here, Miss Harlow, it's not healthy for your privacy. Yeah, I know who you are. Show me how badly you want to keep it a secret.

Jimmy: Leave her alone. I'll tell you what you want to know.

[Byers and Langly are in John Gillnitz' office watching the taping of the show]

John Gillnitz: I ask you, does it make any sense whatsoever to see livestock out the porthole of a nuclear submarine? There's no talking to him sometimes. And up comes the music.

Langly: What is that? [An appalling hip hop closing theme]

John Gillnitz: A little extra insurance against channel changing. Not to toot my own horn, but in the three years I've been here, our ratings average has grown from a .8 to a 1.1. Plus we've sold into foreign syndication last year. It's exciting to think we've got all these new little eyes on us all over Europe and China.

Byers: China?

John Gillnitz: Can you believe it? They'll love that hip hop. Let me tell you, it travels.

Langly: China, is that your idea?

John Gillnitz: Yeah. Not to toot my own horn. [Frohike turns up]

Frohike: Guys, could I talk to you for a sec?

John Gillnitz: I've got some time now if you wanted to snap some photos.

Frohike: Oh yeah. I was thinking we'd wait 'til magic hour, sunset on the roof, a thing of beauty.

[They leave John Gillnitz in his office]

Langly: I say we've got our man.

Byers: The big question was why someone spying for China would operate out of a children's TV show. But what if that show was being broadcast in China?

Frohike: It's a conduit, for information. Whatever secrets are being passed could be broadcast through the show itself encrypted into music or the video signal.

Langly: Exactly. There's a million ways to hide it. And it's low profile, a kids show would go right under the radar.

Byers: It's like Jimmy looked for hidden messages inside The Wizard of ID, only this time it's real.

Langly: Man, I knew it was Gillnitz.

Frohike: Well, except it isn't.

Langly: What the hell are you talking about?

Frohike: I found this in Cap'n Toby's coat. Now I don't know what it says, but it sure as hell isn't Yiddish. Sorry, Langly, but I think your Captain's sailing for the other side.

Langly: No. No way. I don't believe it. Look at him, there's no way he could sell out America.

[The FBI and Agent Blythe turn up]

Lead Agent: FBI. We've got a warrant to search the premises.

[Agent Blythe returns after a very quick search of Fred Tobalowski's dressing room with microfilm in hand]

[The Lone Gunmen are watching the report of Fred Tobalowski's arrest, it is titled; Tyke-Show Traitor]

Announcer: [on television] Shocking news out of Maryland today, as children's television host, Cap'n Toby, Fred Tobalowski, was arrested on federal charges of espionage. The FBI alleges that Tobalowski, working with unidentified co-conspirators, used his television show to pass US counter-intelligence secrets to the government of China. No motive has been suggested for his alleged actions, although it is known that Tobalowski's wife of 18 years is a naturalised Chinese immigrant. Calls to the couple suburban Baltimore home have gone unanswered. And now for further news let's go to field reporter, Lauren — [Langly switches the television off]

Langly: I stuck it to my own childhood hero. I helped lead the Feds right to him. I'm like... the worse kind of rat. I don't believe it. Two dead FBI agents, there's no way he could have had a hand in that.

Frohike: Well, either way, the mainstream media kicked our butts on this one.

Byers: They definitely beat us to the story, that's for certain.

Yves: They beat you to a story, but perhaps not the whole story.

Byers: What do you have, Yves?

Yves: This document Frohike found, the translation isn't complete yet, but it's clearly not counter-intellegence secrets.

Jimmy: Well, what is it then?

Yves: My best guess, a recipe for pot stickers. With quite too much ginger for my taste.

Jimmy: The guy's wife was Chinese, right? It could be hers. I mean, his wife being Chinese doesn't make either of them bad guys.

Langly: No, but the microfilm they found in his dressing room does.

Frohike: I've been thinking about that. I searched that dressing room before the Feds got there and I never found it. I mean, it's possible I missed it, but...

Jimmy: It's possible... that that lady CIA agent planted it. Which means that she's the traitor and she'd do anything to hide it.

Frohike: We have to prove it, but how?

Byers: By answering the question no one else has managed to answer. How exactly were secrets passed through the show?

John Gillnitz: I guess it makes sense. Children's TV doesn't pay worth a damn, that's for sure. And that wife of his, I'm telling you now, I never trusted her.

Wayne: They're my friends. I'm not saying anything about either of them until I know the facts.

John Gillnitz: You never say anything anyway. You're like the Calvin Coolidge of second bananas.

Clarence the Crab: Bite me, you hack.

John Gillnitz: Okay, you know what, take your muppet and get out of here. I just wish I knew how he did it.

John Gillnitz: Right here. This is it. So, you understand my conundrum. I write every word of his shows, I oversee the costumes, the set deck, everything. And so I'm wondering, how is it that secret information, in some form or other, could be communicated through my show. This is the answer. [The magic porthole] This is the only thing on this show that I have nothing to do with. Toby comes up with it every week, not me.

Agent Blythe: Smart

John Gillnitz: Come here, take a look at it. You have to get real close to see what I'm talking about. [He has his face pressed against the porthole] You have to sort of, like this. [Agent Blythe shoots him with a dart]

Frohike: Where's John Gillnitz?

Langly: He probably jumped ship or, in this case, submarine.

Byers: And not be here for the highest rated episode of the Cap'n Toby Show ever?

Frohike: I'm going to nose around. [He leaves with Byers and Langly wanders closer to the stage]

Yves: When you saw Agent Blythe at the mall, where was she? [She notices a recent Koko's invoice in the bin]

Jimmy: A copy shop, Koko's.

Yves: What was she doing?

Jimmy: I don't know. She was standing in line and then she saw me and she left.

Koko's Clerk: Ma'am.

Yves: Hi.

Koko's Clerk: Hi.

Yves: You should have an order for the Cap'n Toby Show.

Koko's Clerk: Got it right here.

Yves: Put it on our account.

Koko's Clerk: All right.

Yves: Thanks. [She takes the package over to a desk]

Jimmy: It's for Cap'n Toby's magic porthole.

Yves: It's the artwork for it. They print one for every show apparently.

Jimmy: And do you think this is the reason Agent Blythe was here? Why?

Agent Blythe: Try these. [She passes her rose coloured sunglasses between Yves and Jimmy. The glasses reveal a Chinese message over the artwork]

Yves: You came here to clean up the evidence.

Agent Blythe: Come quietly.

Frohike: There's something up in the rafters. I can't quite make it out, but it's hanging from this rope. Help me out. You got it?

Byers: Yeah.

[They struggle to release the rope, eventually freeing it to allow the weight of John Gillnitz' body to drop behind the unrealising Cap'n toby on stage]

Yves: Two FBI agents were on to you. Your joint CIA-FBI investigation was about to discover that you were the spy.

Jimmy: So you framed Cap'n Toby. Which was easy, 'cause his wife is Chinese. Why? Why'd you do it?

Agent Blythe: Stop there.

Yves: I doubt it was ideology, I'd say she did it for the money.

Agent Blythe: And I'd say it's a bad day for snotty British know-it-alls. [She fires a dart at Yves, but Jimmy jumps in front and tumbles over a rail]

Yves: Jimmy! [Agent Blythe can't reload fast enough and ends up fighting Yves] Kapow, Bitch. [She knocks Agent Blythe out and runs to Jimmy] Jimmy! Jimmy! [The dart got caught in the strapping around his ribs]

Jimmy: You're going to suck out the poison?

Yves: i think Frohike owes you one.

[The Lone Gunman headline: Double Agent Captured, Cap'n Toby vindicated]

Langly: [narration] So, like I said, everybody has one single best memory of childhood. That one perfect image that sums up everything wonderful about being a kid. And it's nice to think that mine might be the same as somebody else's somewhere. Somebody years younger even, representing a whole new generation. I mean, who knows, it's possible. Even with the competition nowadays, 500 channels of booty shaking MTV. 'Cause even in this bold new century, kids need a good friend who's always looking out for them. Someone who'll help them grow up strong and true, and who will never make fun of their hair.

Fred Tobalowski: I'm sorry, young lady, I forgot your name.

Langly: [narration] That last one's important.