Britt's friends throw a surprise birthday party for Britt at his penthouse. Britt arrives and they turn on the lights and yell "Happy Birthday!" Casey tells Britt that his friend Dale Hyde is the one who set up the part. Dale gives him a gun from all of them, and Britt turns and sees Eddie Rech. His friend says that it's time for Britt and Rech to forgive and forget. Dale gives Rech a favor and tells him to go over and shake hands. Britt refuses to shake hands with him and turns away. When Rech comes over to protest, Britt turns and the gun goes off in his hand, killing Rech.
The police soon secure the crime scene and Scanlon advises Britt to get a lawyer. Britt insists that he didn't kill Rech, but Scanlon points out that there are witnesses who will testify that Britt shot Rech. The publisher also had motive, since he fired Rech when he caught him sabotaging his circulation deliveries. Britt insists that he didn't fire the gun, and Scanlon advises him against that line of defense. When Britt prepares to go out as Hornet, Scanlon warns that he can't give him any special privileges. The DA calls for an officer, and Britt punches him, jams a screwdriver into a wall outlet to short out the electricity, and escapes via the secret elevator.
Kato drives Britt off and Britt figures that the gun is rigged. It's at the police station as evidence, and he goes into the station as Hornet. Hornet and Kato knock out the officers, make it look like they're there to break out a prisoner, and go into the cell area. Kato knocks out the guard while Hornet goes through the evidence locker and finds the gun. The magazine is gone, and the two heroes fight their way out.
At the Sentinel, Casey confronts Dale about the story he's authorizing as temporary publisher. It condemns Britt as a killer and escapee, and Dale insists that they have to present the facts as they happened. He points out that Britt gave him a second chance, but Casey figures that he hates Britt because Dale's paper couldn't compete with the Sentinel. Dale insists that he would print any mitigating evidence but there isn't any, and suggests that Casey's feelings are affecting her judgment. He agrees to try and tone it down.
Hornet tells Kato that the mechanism worked on the gun but it felt lighter. The clip wasn't listed on the evidence ticket, and they figure Dale is the prime suspect because he gave Britt the gun and took it away after the shooting.
Dale is dictating a story in Britt's office when Britt comes in. He asks where the gun came from, and Dale says that he bought it at a sporting goods store for Britt's gun collection. Dale admits that someone could have tampered with it between when it was bought and before it was delivered. He dismisses Britt's concerns, but Britt says that the gun felt heavier when he held it at the party. Dale says that he'll investigate with the paper's resources, and Britt should turn himself in. Britt refuses and asks Dale to check and see if the clip was picked up with the gun. Dale agrees, and Britt tells him to meet him at a commercial cleaning plant in two hours. Once Britt leaves, Dale anonymously calls the police and tells them where they can find Britt, and that Britt is armed and dangerous.
Scanlon calls in Lieutenant Tony and tells him not to shoot Britt. Tony insists that they need to check it out, and Britt is dangerous because he killed a man. Scanlon objects, but Tony says that they can't take the chance. He insists that they'll get Britt one way or another and leaves.
Black Beauty arrives at the plant and Kato warns Britt that he's walking into a trap. Britt figures that he won't be any worst off, and at least they'll know that Dale is the man. Tony and his men pull up and see Britt going in. They order him to surrender, but Britt runs in as they shoot at him. Inside, Britt climbs up to a catwalk as Tony and the others follow. He slides down the ropes, knocks out an officer, and calls Kato in. Kato pulls up in Black Beauty, Britt gets in, and they drive off. Now that they know Dale is the real killer, Britt figures that someone saw him dispose of it and they drive to Casey's apartment.
Once they pick up Casey, Britt has Casey recall what happened at the party. She remembers that the present Dale gave Rech was a transistor radio. Dale took the gun, knelt by Rech, and then turned his back. He gave the gun to Scanlon, and Casey saw Dale put something into the flowers on the bar.
The trio drives to the penthouse and check the flowers. The clip is inside and there's electronic equipment inside of it. Britt says that he needs to prove one more thing and then he'll get Dale to confess.
The next day, Britt turns himself in and calls in Scanlon, Dale, Mike, and Casey. He takes out the rigged magazine clip and puts it in the gun, and has Dale stand where Rech stood. Britt props the gun on the table between two books, and then has Dale hold the transistor radio from Rech's personal effects. Dale refuses to walk toward Britt, and Britt says that Dale knew that if he got any closer then the gun would go off. He demonstrates by approaching the gun. It fires but Britt says that it was loaded with blanks. Dale draws a gun and says that he's taking Casey with him as a hostage. Britt jumps Dale and disarms him,.
Afterward, the group discusses how Dale planned to take over the Sentinel any way that he could. Britt agrees that he would have put the story on page 1 like Dale intended, but he would have presented the facts without bias. He tells Mike to write the story on Dale,
Written by Gadfly on Aug 27, 2017