At Serendip, Graham McKinley is chasing after Austin telling him that the Mape project needs Austin to sanction $10 million. He refuses, and Mickey points out that the idea of an intelligent ape is intriguing. Austin dismisses it as a freak show, and Mickey admits that she's become emotionally attached to the subject, "Josephine", after the head researcher Dr. Deanna Hardwick sent her photos. Graham catches up to them as they go.
Outside, Louise Ellen Boken is waiting with her co-worker, Eric. Austin, Mickey, and Graham come out and Louise quickly runs over as Graham explains that Josephine is a Mape: a Metaphoric Anthropoidic Prototype. Louise runs over and says that Austin's theory about velocities spiral galaxies is all wrong. Austin is intrigued by the challenge and tells Louise to follow him back to his workshop so he can check her calculations. Ignoring Graham, Austin drives back to his warehouse.
At the warehouse, Austin finds Deanna waiting outside in her trailer. He realizes that Mickey invited Deanna there, and she says that now Josephine is there they might as well meet her. Josephine's keeper Decker brings Josephine over and she kisses Austin's leg and hugs his legs. When Mickey introduces herself, Josephine defensively grabs Austin tighter. Austin figures that Deanna conditioned Josephine, and Deanna signs Josephine to tell them what she likes most about Austin. Josephine signs and Deanna explains that Josephine created her own sign language and taught it to her.
Louise and Eric arrive and Louise knows all about Deanna's work. When Louise bends over to greet Josephine, Josephine knocks off her glasses and Decker explains that the reflection disturbs the mape. He says that Louise looks prettier without, and Deanna says that Josephine is overwhelmed y all the people. Austin sympathizes, drawing a brief smiles from him, but then agrees to inspect Josephine alone based on Mickey's persuasion. However, he insists to inspect her without keepers or trainers present. Deanna immediately agrees, and Austin says that he'll need 48 hours. Ashe goes into the warehouse, someone watches from across the street as Austin enters the security number on the keypad and takes Louise inside with him to see her calculations.
When Deanna gives Mickey a notebook with Josephine's sign language, Austin memorizes it in a few second. Mickey wonders where Louise is, unaware that she's looking through Austin's experiments.
Later, Josephine and Austin watch TV because it relaxes Josephine. When Mickey and Louise walk up, Josephine slams the door of the cage in their face. Austin has Josephine go to work on her computer, and she types the first two lines of A Tale of Two Cities. Austin dismisses it as memorization, and Josephine types out if Austin wants to dance with her. Austin waltzes with Josephine to "The Blue Danube".
Later, Austin looks at Louise's calculations. He admits that he can't disprove her calculations but her test base is too small. When Louise suggests that Austin should have a scientist as an assistant, he insists that Mickey is irreplaceable. Louise tries to convince him that she could do so much more for him, just as Josephine comes over and tries to get Austin's attention. Mickey explains that Josephine wants to show Austin the writing that she's done on the computer, and Austin takes a look at it. Much of it is gibberish, but it does seem to have a coherent verb structure. Josephine plucks Austin's mike off of his lapel and he takes it back and goes into her cage with her to turn on the TV. Josephine finally lets go of his hand and Austin tells her that he and Mickey are going to dinner and Josephine will have to entertain herself. The mape sits back to watch a Western.
Louise supposedly calls Eric, but holds down the receiver as she dials. She then claims that Eric will be there in 20 minutes and they should go on ahead while she waits. Austin has her wait in Deanna's trailer, and Louise goes back to pick up the glasses that she "accidentally" left behind. As she goes, Louise secretly inserts a matchbook in the lock to jam it open. In the trailer, Decker sits with Louise while Austin and Mickey drive off. After he offers her a bourbon, Louise nervously goes outside.
Louise goes back into the warehouse, unaware that the observer is already inside. Josephine sees Louise and starts grunting at her.
In the trailer, Decker hears something break in the warehouse and goes to investigate.
Louise goes through Austin's files and takes notes about a piece of paper.
As they drive to dinner, Austin receives an alert of an attempted break-in at the warehouse. He has Mickey drive back. When they go in, they find a revolver inside of Josephine's cell. The mape refuses to say where it came from. Mickey finds Louise's corpse nearby on the floor.
As Sgt. Greenwald and his men secure the crime scene, Decker tells Austin that he heard a sound, went to look outside, didn't see anything, and went back into the trailer. Greenwald finds an empty liquor bottle nearby and notes that Decker's gun is the murder weapon. Decker suggests that Josephine took the gun because she's always taking things Austin tells Greenwald that Louise was in the warehouse before she was shot, and shows him the matchbook that he found. He identifies the intruder as a man, providing physical specifications based on the video from the roof where the intruder broke in before he sprayed over the camera. Austin insists that per the systems, the intruder never got in. Deanna is with Josephine, and tries to get the mape to tell her what happened. Josephine refuses to answer, and Deanna says that the mape is traumatized by what happened.
Eric arrives and blames Austin for what happened. The scientist says that he was at the motel and he never talked to Louise. When Eric figures that Josephine shot Louise, Austin points out the that the bullet trajectory indicates that Louise was shot from outside the cage. Greenwald tells them to tell Josephine not to leave town.
The next morning, Mickey returns to the warehouse and finds Josephine out of her cage. Josephine goes into her cage and closes the door, and Austin says that he was sure Josephine was locked up when he went to sleep. He unlocks the cage and asks Josephine how she got out. Josephine says that Mickey is lying, but Austin doesn't believe her and tells the mape to show her. The mape takes out Austin's wallet from under the mattress and uses a credit card to unlock the cage. Austin points out that now they can't rule out Josephine as a suspect since she may have been out of the cage at the time of the shooting.
Josephine refuses to say if she was out of the cage when Louise was shot, and Austin and Mickey agree not to tell anyone Josephine was out of the cage. Austin figures that the intruder may have seen someone else with Louise. He analyzes the video and picks up an image of a net, and figures that the intruder was after Josephine. Mickey suggests that FAN--Free Animals Now-- may have tried to break in. They're a militant animal-rights group and have tried everything short of murder to free Josephine from Deanna.
Austin and Mickey go to see Walt, the president of FAN. When Walt objects, Austin says that he fits the physical type of the intruder and points out that his cabinets are spray-painted with the same latex that the intruder used on the camera. Walt insists that Deanna is abusing animals, but claims to know nothing about Louise's murder. He says that he never got into the building and didn't see anyone else enter.
As they drive away, Mickey wonders if it's right to experiment on helpless animals. Austin insists that Josephine is well-cared-for and suggests that if they boost orangutans intelligence then they can fight back against predation. They arrive at the warehouse and find animal control workers there. Greenwald is there and tells Austin that the lab shows that the dominant fingerprints on the gun are Josephine's. The mape's hairs were found on Louise's body. Deanna says that Josephine knows who the killer is and she just needs a little more time, but Greenwald tells her that she can visit Josephine at the animal shelter. Austin lets them in and they take Josephine away.
Later, Greenwald calls and tells Mickey that Judge Parker has ruled that Josephine is to be killed by lethal injection that afternoon at 5. Austin figures that he's missing something, and Mickey insists that Josephine was framed. When Mickey says that Josephine should be free rather than working at a word processor, Austin looks at Josephine's writing. Mickey points out that a portion of it was typed after the murder, and Austin starts looking through the pages.
Austin and Mickey take the computer to the animal shelter and Mickey says that it'd be better if Austin talked to Josephine alone. He has Josephine type out words and works out how to translate Josephine's written language. Josephine types out what happened up to the point where Louise was shot, and Austin types out his question in Josephine's language. The mape claims that a man hurt Louise and took her wristwatch, and Austin notices surgical scars on Josephine's head.
Later at the trailer, Austin confronts Deanna and demands to know what she did to Josephine. She says that she enlarged the mape's cranium and added several layers of neurons, and Austin demands to see the documentation. Deanna admits that she destroyed it the previous night to prevent people from discovering how smart Josephine really was. Austin figures that she was concerned about herself Mickey searches the place and finds a hidden wristwatch. They show it to Eric, who confirms that it's Louise's. Decker says that that he doesn't know how it got there and if he had taken it, he would have gotten rid of it. Greenwald has his men take Decker to the station, but admits that Josephine's testimony won't stand up in court. He tells Austin that if he wants a stay of execution for Josephine, he'll need to talk to Parker... who is home sick.
Austin and Mickey go to Parker's home and try to persuade the judge that Josephine's rights were broken. They ask for a hearing and Parker reluctantly orders a stay of execution. As he calls the animal shelter, Walt and his men chloroform the worker unconscious and break Josephine out. Josephine slips out of the cage, locks them in, and runs.
The police are soon called to the building where Josephine has fled, and Greenwald orders Josephine to come out. Austin arrives and goes in with Greenwald and his men. Josephine climbs out the back and steals a police car. As the men give chase, Josephine crashes the car and runs off. Austin checks the car and finds Josephine's writings, and then calls Mickey and tells her to deactivate the door until he gets there. As Mickey does so, Josephine punches in the code. Meanwhile, Austin tells Mickey that Josephine knows the code from when she saw him punch it in. He explains that he translated Josephine's writings: she's making a television show out of everything that happened. Since they kill people on TV, Josephine thinks that it's an acceptable way of dealing with problems. Louise invaded Josephine's territory and threatened Josephine's relationship with Austin, so the mape killed her. Josephine framed Decker and has been going in and out of the warehouse at will.
Josephine cuts the power, shutting off the mic connection Mickey has with Austin. The mape then approaches Mickey, circling around her. The orangutan jumps at her and Mickey hides in the shadows. Josephine continues stalking her and Mickey climbs up to the catwalk and then climbs down. The mape finds a flashlight and shines it on Mickey, then corners and chokes her. Austin drives through the door and turns on the power, and tells Josephine to let Mickey go. When she doesn't, he turns on "The Blue Danube" and invites Josephine to dance. The mape lets go of Mickey and dances with him. Austin dances into the cage, sets Josephine down, and locks the door.
Later, Austin and Mickey contemplate what happens. Austin figures that they won't destroy Josephine now that she's a valuable experiment. Mickey asks him why Josephine made herself guilty at first, and he explains that because on the TV shows that she watched, the first accused is never the murder and always goes free at the end.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 3, 2017