At The Joe White Show in the NBC studios, Napoleon and Illya sit in the audience as the announcer says that Joe will be interviewing three guests. Among them is author Jacqueline Midcult, whose novel has created a storm of controversy. Joe comes in with Jaqueline, a school teacher. He says that he wrote a dirty book, and Jacqueline takes offense and calls Joe rude.
Two Thrush agents are searching Jacqueline's hotel room while The Joe White Show plays on the TV. They find nothing and figure that Jacqueline took her notes with her, and know she's going to die in four minutes. There's nothing that they can do to get the pages back except watch on the TV.
On the show, Jacqueline says that her novel, Pieces of Fate, is a spy story about people in distress. Joe says that real secret agents don't get involved in intrigue and sex. A man steps up, takes out a gun, and opens fire. Joe and Jacqueline take cover and the assassin runs up to the stage with Napoleon and Illya in pursuit. He loses them backstage and they check on Joe and an unconscious Jacqueline.
Act I: Those with Bubble Gum Cards And Those Without
Later at U.N.C.L.E. HQ, Waverly, Napoleon, and Illya compare the events in Pieces of Fate with actual Thrush cases. The events are identical, with "Killjoy" substituted for "Thrush." There is an 885 similarity, so they figure that Jacqueline's novel is based on the missing diaries of the late Thrush historian, Charles Coltrane. Somehow Jacqueline found the diaries and Waverly figures that they contain information on future Thrush plans are as well. Illya is unaware that Jacqueline struck her head when she fell and has partial amnesia.
Napoleon goes to Jacqueline's hospital room and explains that when Thrush learned that Coltrane was secretly keeping the diaries, they killed him rather than risk blackmail. They never found the diaries, and Napoleon explains that Jacqueline somehow found them and used them as the background for her novel. She doesn't remember writing her novel, but says that she likes the part how the schoolteacher goes back to her hometown and had several adventures. Jacqueline doesn't remember the name of the real-life town and Napoleon says that they'll talk later.
At Thrush HQ, director in chief Ellipsis Zark meets with the assassin, Spinard. He insists that they want to keep Jacqueline alive because they don't know where the diaries are. Ellipsis isn't impressed and shoots Spinard dead. He then tells his secretary to call critic Jody Moore and tell her that he'll be over shortly.
Jody is writing reviews in her bed when Ellipsis comes in. She assures him that she's critically destroying a poet, and says that her new career with Thrush isn't much different from what she does as a critic. Jody assures Ellipsis that they are equally skilled as assassins, and Ellipsis tells her to arrange a literary party for Jacqueline. He's sure that she won't be able to resist the appeal, even though she's in U.N.C.L.E. custody.
At a safehouse, Napoleon tries to get Jacqueline to remember her hometown or her parents. As she asks when they're going to let her go, Illya arrives with a letter for her. U.N.C.L.E. Intelligence has traced Jacqueline's travels except for a five-month period when she posted the manuscript. One of the clerks thinks that the novel came in with an Ohio postmark. Jacqueline tells them that she's been invited to a literary cocktail party, and Napoleon says that she can't go. Illya talks to Napoleon privately and suggests that if Jacqueline goes then it will trigger her memories. He figures that Thrush will be there, and they can learn where the diaries are from the Thrush agents. Napoleon agrees as long as he and Illya accompany her.
At the party, everyone applauds and Jody thanks Jacqueline for coming early. Napoleon introduces himself as Jacqueline's literary agent and Illya is his associate. Jody reminds Jacqueline that she gave her a rave review, and Illya explains that Jacqueline has temporary amnesia. The trio continues on to the party, and Jody gestures over the Thrush agent from the hotel room. She tells him to get Jacqueline away from the U.N.C.L.E. agents without hurting the novelist. The critic leads Jacqueline away and signals to the Thrush agent, and Napoleon and Illya make their way through the crowd. When they get out into the hallway, the other Thrush agent draws a gun on them and orders the agents out.
In the next room, the Thrush agents load up Jacqueline, and Jody knocks her over the head. Meanwhile, the other agents drag Napoleon and Illya outside, tie them up, and toss them down a coal chute and promise that there will soon be a delivery of ten tons of coal.
Act II: People Keep Tying Me Up
At Thrush HQ, Ellipsis questions Jacqueline and doesn't believe that she has amnesia. Jody assures Ellipsis that Napoleon and Illya are permanently out of the way, and Ellipsis asks for the hypo.
Napoleon manages to get his gag off and then removes Illya's. Illya notes that there is an oil furnace nearby and the place doesn't use coal.
Ellipsis uses truth serum and a hypnowheel to probe Jacqueline's ID. He tells Jacqueline to tell him everything, and she hops into his lap and talks about her childhood. Jacqueline mentions her U.N.C.L.E. Charlie and Aunt Jessica, and the town of Mainsville, Ohio. The manuscript came from Ohio, so they figure that the diaries are there. Meanwhile, Napoleon listens on the bug that they put in Jacqueline's earring. The agents are in a sauna, and soon follow the tracker to Jacqueline's location. A truck leaves and they leap aboard the back and take out the three Thrush agents inside. Illya climbs along the side and tosses a smoke grenade into the cab. He and Napoleon knock out the driver and rider, and take out the bag containing Jacqueline. She's still regressed to the age of a 7-year-old and cries for her mother.
Later at U.N.C.L.E. HQ, Napoleon convinces Jacqueline to take the antidote. There are tickets for Ohio, and Illya tells Jacqueline that she'll see her aunt and U.N.C.L.E. in Mainsville. They get her on a train and Jacqueline reverts to normal. She remembers writing the novel in Mainsville but doesn't remember where the diaries are. The train pulls into Mainsville and they ask the stationmaster about Charlie and Jessie. There's no Midcult listed in the phonebook, but Jacqueline remembers the bookstore, Buck's. Once they leave, Jody comes out of the station where she's heard everything. She calls her people and tells them the agents are heading for Buck's.
Act III: A Bug in The Attic
As they go to the bookstore, Jacqueline says that she can't remember everything. Illya goes to divert some of Thrush's attention, and Napoleon and Jacqueline enter Buck's. The owner, Oedipus Buck, welcomes Jacqueline immediately and says that they've sold 16 copies of her novel. He goes to get tea, and Jacqueline remembers writing some of the novel there. She's sure that they can trust Oedipus. When Oedipus comes back, he assures them that they can trust him. Napoleon asks him about the diaries and claims that they need them for a plagiarism suit. Jacqueline says that she misplaced them, and Oedipus suggests that they ask Charlie and Jessie. He's glad to give them the address, as an elderly Thrush agent watches through a window.
Illya spots the Thrush agent in the alley next to the bookstore. Jody is there with a gun, and Illya leaps her. The elderly agent says that it's better if they keep Illya alive as a hostage, and explains that he just arrived in town as a reserve agent. Jody agrees to his plan and the agent drags Illya away.
Napoleon and Jacqueline drive to the Midcult house, and Jacqueline remembers writing her novel there. She explains that she came back to Mainsville to take stock after all of her submissions were rejected. She found the diaries in a trunk that Charlie bought at an auction of unclaimed luggage. Charlie calls to Jacqueline, and she runs to greet her U.N.C.L.E.. He's glad to fix up a room for her, and explains that Jessie went to a funeral in Akron. Jacqueline introduces Napoleon as a friend accompanying her on her promotional tour. Meanwhile, Ellipsis watches them from the attic window.
Act IV: The Last Chapter
In the guest room, Napoleon calls Wanda at U.N.C.L.E. HQ. She hasn't heard from Illya, and reports that Waverly has been on special assignment for the last two days. Charlie calls Napoleon down to the kitchen for soup, and Jacqueline assures him that they're not romantically involved. Meanwhile, Ellipsis listens from the attic.
Napoleon comes down and assures Charlie that Jacqueline's novel is popular, and the sequel will be even better. Jacqueline asks about the diaries, but Napoleon tells her to relax for now.
The elderly agent checks on Illya in a barn, sets a candle next to him, and walks out. Once he's gone, Illya uses the candle to burn through his ropes and wonders why it's so easy.
After supper, Jacqueline takes Napoleon to the study but doesn't remember where she put the diaries. Illya calls Napoleon and explains that an old man overpowered him. Napoleon gives his partner the address and signs off, and Wanda calls to say that they ran a make on U.N.C.L.E. Charlie like Napoleon. Napoleon points out that he didn't ask for a make, but Wanda says that someone did. Charlie is Charlie Coltrane, worked for Thrush for 28 years, and supposedly died three years ago. Napoleon tells Jacqueline that Charlie is with Thrush and the diaries were his.
Illya enters the house through the cellar.
Napoleon approaches Charlie in the garage and asks him about Thrush. When Charlie denies it, Napoleon says that he knows all about it and asks for the details. Charlie explains that he returned to Mainsville after he escaped from Thrush. They found Charlie two days ago but spared him so that Jacqueline wouldn't notice anything wrong. Charlie warns that the house is bugged and they'll kill Jacqueline if he does anything wrong.
Illya finds Jessie tied up in the basement. She says that she's bene tied up there for days, and Ellipsis and Jody put her there. A Thrush agent comes down and Illya attacks him while Jessie runs for the stairs.
As Napoleon hears the commotion, Jacqueline runs in and says that she remembers that the diaries are in the attic. They go up the stairs and Ellipsis is waiting for them with a gun. Napoleon kicks the gun out of his hand, but Oedipus is there with a gun and orders Napoleon to surrender. Illya arrives and orders Oedipus to drop his gun, while Jessie goes to Jacqueline. Jody arrives and orders them to surrender, but the elderly Thrush agent relives her of her gun, removes his mask, and reveals that he's Waverly. He explains that he assigned himself to the affair rather than lose Jacqueline again. Jessie says that she burned the diaries, and Napoleon confirms that there's nothing but ash in the stove.
Later at U.N.C.L.E. HQ, Jacqueline receives a letter from Jessie in her and Charlie's new home in Florida. Jessie has forgiven Charlie for everything. Illya is reading Pieces of Fate, and complains that Waverly hit him with a cane. Waverly points out that he had to make it look convincing. With their new atomic adhesion technique, they can restore the diaries. Thrush has canceled all operations mentioned in the book now that word has gotten out. Jacqueline boasts that she's working on a new book about a schoolteacher that gets mixed up with two secret agents after she gets amnesia.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 16, 2015