Jim drives to a closed building to pick up his briefing. He's informed that James Reed is a system analyst with the Baltimore Corporation. He is arriving at the weapons test center in 48 hours to conduct a survey of the facility. James is a foreign agent with a mission to obtain the electronic guidance system of the new American missiles. His contact is Doris Gordon, a civilian secretary. Jim's team is to let James steal a bogus guidance system in place of the real one, short-stopping the enemy's weapon development.
Later at the test center, Jim arrives and goes to Doris' desk outside of Bob Willard's office. They exchange code phrases and Doris says that she has Willard under the thumb and won't give them any trouble. Dana, Paris, and Barney come in with Commander Bill Wardman and Wardman places Doris under arrest for espionage. Willard comes out and Wardman talks to him privately. Jim and Barney go with them, and Jim says that they know Willard has been involved with Doris. Doris has been setting him for a blackmail attempt, and Willard has been reassigned.
Jim and Wardman go to the lab and Wardman explains that he and Willard are the only ones who can get in. He'll adjust the palm print scanner for Jim's print that afternoon. The scientists remove the guidance system, and Jim, replaces the key element with the fake that they're replacing it with. He gives Wardman schematics to replace the ones in Wardman's file, and figures that someone is helping James but they don't know who. Jim will substitute himself for Willard because James hasn't seen Willard or Doris. Once they have the guidance system, they'll kill Jim to keep him silent... if they can.
Dana takes Doris' place and that night, she closes up the office. As she drives to Doris' apartment, her car's engines backfires and she's forced to pull over. Dana pulls up to Duke's Garage and Duke takes a look at it. He tells her that a condenser has gone out and he'll give her a temporary replacement until he can get the right part. A worker, John Hecker, sees Dana and mutters the name "Marlene." Duke makes the replacement and Dana drives off. John tells Duke that he's going to town and drives after her.
John follows Dana to Doris' home and gets her name from her car papers and then drives off. Inside, Dana finds James waiting for her. He gives her the same code phrase that Jim gave Doris earlier, and Dana responds appropriately. Dana tells him that Willard won't be a problem and his kids are the only thing that are keeping him from divorcing his wife. She assures James that she won't hold him up and gives him letters that Willard sent to Doris. James worries that Willard won't worry about losing his wife, and Dana assures James that Willard will protect his children before inviting James to have dinner.
The next morning, Wardman and Jim talk with Willard's son Bobby, who is glad to help. Dana brings James in and Wardman quickly excuses himself. Bobby plays along with Jim, pretending to be the boy's father. Bobby goes to his baseball game and Jim talks about Bobby and his sister and how important they are to him. Dana and James leave, and James is convinced that Jim is concerned for his children. However, he wants pictures rather than letters, and tells Dana that they're neighbors. Dana is to get Jim to her apartment that evening and James will take the pictures.
Jim calls Paris and tells him to have Barney and Willy cover Doris' apartment and try to spot James' accomplice. Meanwhile, Paris is to cover James.
Dana drives back to the garage to get the replacement condenser. John is working and comes over to tell her that he's glad she came back. He says that he'll see her and goes to help a customer, and Dana drives off.
James and his assistant Farrell set up a two-way mirror between his apartment and Doris'. Dana returns "home" and nods to the mirror. Jim arrives, supposedly in response to Dana's note requesting his presence, and they kiss while James gets it on film. Dana tells him that DC may transfer Jim, and he assures her that it won't be a problem. Jim leaves and James has Farrell make a set of prints and a copy of the audio tape. Dana comes over and James assures her that it looked fine. She warns that Jim might talk afterward, and James assures her that he'll have a fatal accident.
Farrell drives to a closed photo shop lab to make the prints, and Barney and Willy follow him. The man opens a steel door to reveal a darkroom and goes to work.
John climbs up the fire escape of Doris' apartment and watches through the window as Dana makes dinner. Paris arrives and Dana gets him some coffee.
Farrell tests an electric eye beam that closes the steel door and locks it, and takes out a small incendiary charge.
Later, James shows Jim the photos and demands that Jim give him access to the lab for 15 minutes.
Farrell plants the incendiary charge beneath some rags and old papers, and wires it to the door. He then pours flammable developer fluid around the room and leaves, satisfied that the trap will kill Jim when he comes to get the negatives. Barney and Willy watch Farrell leave and enter the shop.
Jim finally gives in and asks for the pictures and the negatives. James tells him that he can have them after he gets into the lab, at 4 that afternoon after Jim gets him into the lab at 3.
Barney goes into the vault. He sets off the eyebeam, and the door closes and the room bursts into flame. Using all of his strength, Willy manages break the locking bolt and get Barney out just in time.
James points out that Jim can blow the whistle on him if he doesn't hand over the negatives. Barney calls and explains about the fire trap, and figures James will come up with a reason to send Jim there. Willy has gone to get Barney's equipment, and Barney will set up an escape through the rear wall. Jim fakes a conversation with Wardman to fool James, and James tells him that it will be over at 4 pm. Once he leaves, Jim asks Barney if there's any sign of anything else because he figures James would have a better accident waiting. Barney hasn't seen anything.
Jim calls Dana and tells her to find out what James intends to do. James tells her that everything goes well, and explains about the fire trap. Dana points out that it could raise questions, and James admits that the fire trap is a backup. He explains that there's a hairpin turn on the road from the base, and shows Dana a remote control. The first one will destroy the brakes on Jim's car, and the other will jam the steerage linkage. James leaves and Dana calls Jim... and John uses ether to render her unconscious before she can tell Jim James' real plan.
Paris comes in a few minutes later and discovers that Dana is gone. He sees signs of a struggle, and answers the phone when Jim calls. Paris tells him that Dana is gone, and figures that it was someone else because James and Farrell were in their car when Dana called. He finds a piece of cloth with "Duke's Garage" on it that Dana tore off of John's uniform in the struggle, and tells Jim that he has a lead. Jim says that he has to play it out with James.
Barney and Willy rig the rear escape in the photo lab. Paris calls Barney and tells him what happened, and has Barney meet him at Duke's Garage.
Dana wakes up in John's apartment and finds John watching her. He calls her Marlene and says that it's good to have her back. There is a poster of the real Marlene, and newspaper clippings of her killer... John.
Duke tells Paris and Barney that John has been working for him for a couple of weeks, and lives somewhere in town. He doesn't have the address, but lets them look at John's personal things. They check the belongings for fingerprints.
Dana spots the phone, and John suggests that they go back to the way things were before. He insists that he didn't mean to hurt her, and Dana plays along. She says that she had a date with her girlfriend and needs to call and cancel it, but John refuses. John asks if Dana is cheating on him with Paris, and remembers buying her an engagement ring. Dana offers to cook him a meal, and John reveals that he has what she needs in the refrigerator so he doesn't have to go out.
James and Farrell drive to the test center and James goes inside while Farrell rigs Jim's car. James gets Jim, who takes him to the lab and lets him in. they remove the fake guidance system and James takes photos of it, and sends Jim to get the schematics.
Paris finds ether in John's toolbox, and it has the address of the pharmacy where he got it. He goes to the pharmacy and Barney sends the fingerprints to the local police and says that he'll meet Paris.
John tells Dana how pretty she is.
Paris talks to the pharmacist, Dailey, and Barney comes in to tell him that they've identified the fingerprints as belonging to John. John escaped from the state mental hospital, and uses ether.
Jim and James put the guidance system back in the missile, and James tells Jim where he can get the negatives. They go out to their cars and drive separately, Jim following behind the two men.
John approaches Dana with the rag of ether, and says that she shouldn't have called the last time.
Jim calls Willy on the radio, and tells him to stay at the photo lab and report anything that happens. Meanwhile, James, has Farrell speed up as they approach the curve.
Dailey finds the receipt with John's home address. Paris and Barney run there.
Dana calls John over for a taste, and then pours water on the oil. The smoke blinds John, and Dana runs out. He goes after her and she reaches the front door of the apartment just as Paris and Barney arrive. Barney knocks John out, and Dana goes back to John's apartment and calls Jim to warn him. The call goes through just as James blows the brake line, and Dana tells Jim what's happening. James locks the steerage, and Jim jumps clear as the car crashes.
James and Farrell watch the burning car, and Jim watches them. They're satisfied that Jim is dead and leaves. The others turn John over to the police, and pick up Jim at the test center.
Written by Gadfly on Jul 13, 2017