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Burden of Proof Recap

In a Central American republic, Colonel Felipe Garcia of internal security goes to the airport with his bodyguard Getulio and Captain Roman Guzman.

Aboard a plane preparing for departure, the British minister of public works, Henry Faversham, is seated with his native wife Carla. She wonders why he's in such a history and Henry claims that they're taking a plane because he wanted to pretend to be a high-powered administrator for once. Garcia and Getulio come aboard and the colonel sits down opposite them. He asks why Henry is leaving the republic, but Henry dodges the question. The co-pilot comes in with a message for Garcia, who then informs Henry that he's under arrest for embezzling half a million pesos from the treasury. Much to Carla's surprise, her husband doesn't deny it. He admits that he thought he should have a suitable pension and assures Carla that Garcia has the evidence substantiating his claim.

Garcia orders Henry to give him the form transferring the money to a bank in Switzerland, and Henry reaches for his briefcase... and then takes out a hand grenade. He figures that Garcia will have him executed after a token trial, and orders Garcia to have the pilot divert to Barada. Garcia wonders if he's bluffing, but Henry points out that he fooled him into thinking he was an honest man. The colonel gives in and tells the pilot to divert, and Henry tells Carla that he has a private plane waiting for him. Shocked, Carla says that she can't go with him and Henry admits that he wasn't expecting her to.

Sometime later in London, Henry meets with Sir Charles Grainer, a British foreign minister. Grainger tells Henry that McGill is his best bet and wonders why his friend doesn't involve the British government. Henry says that he doesn't want anyone to learn the details, but admits that he did embezzle the money. Henry then calls McGill to the flat he's renting and explains that he wants the ex-agent to do a job for him. McGill knows the details from Grainer and doesn't believe that Henry is guilty, but Henry assures him that he is. However, there's nothing that Garcia can do to him because England has no extradition treaty with the republic. Garcia can only arrest him if Henry goes to the republic embassy. Henry then gets down to business and tells McGill that he will pay him to record any conversations that take place in his study and film anything that happens there. However, on no account is McGill to interfere despite anything he hears.

Garcia and Carla fly to England and the colonel wonders why she's there. Carla says that the President asked her to come, and that she wants to make sure her husband is brought to trial in the republic. She wonders why Henry embezzled the money, and Garcia points out that it was a spur-of-the-moment rush job. Carla points out that doesn't explain why he did it, and that she would have given Henry any funds that he needed. Garcia reminds her that she needs to get Henry to the republic embassy, but Carla insists that she's only going to point her husband out and then it's Garcia's job to get Henry there.

McGill brings the equipment into the study, and Henry warns him that experts will be searching the plane. The ex-agent explains that he'll plant two of everything, one easily discoverable and one not. Henry calls the airport and confirms that Garcia will arrive in two hours. He tells McGill that Garcia is the republic's chief of security and leaves him to his work.

Garcia, Carla, Guzman, and Getulio arrive at the embassy. The embassy chauffeur, an Englishman, calls Getulio an Indio and orders him to take the bags. Garcia nods in agreement and goes in. The ambassador, a friend of Carla's, greets her and leads her into his office. After Getulio brings in the bags, he grabs the chauffeur and slams him on the reception desk. Garcia tells the chauffeur to never use the term Indio again as both he and the mute Getulio find it insulting. Getulio starts beating the man as the ambassador comes back out and orders him to stop, insisting that they're no longer beating prisoners.

Garcia goes into the office with Carla and tells the ambassador he will close the embassy for the next three days and send the staff home. He presents the President's orders to that effect and refuses to explain why he needs an empty embassy. The ambassador considers refusing but Carla appeals to him as a friend and he reluctantly agrees. Once Garcia leaves, the ambassador asks Carla why she's working with Garcia. She says that she has no choice and he reluctantly gives in despite his misgivings.

In the embassy lobby, Guzman informs Garcia that their contacts have confirmed that Henry is living in his old flat. Garcia dismisses him as an amateur and tells Guzman and Getulio to keep an eye on the flat... and keep Carla out of the way.

McGill finishes his work and shows Henry, who is dressing for dinner. Henry asks him to meet him at his favorite casino at midnight, and McGill warns him to be careful. After Henry leaves, someone tries the door and McGill yanks it open. It's Guzman, who hastily says that he's a new resident and mistook the number. He goes outside and McGill watches from the window as Getulio gestures after Henry's car.

At the casino, Garcia comes in and finds Henry gambling. Henry vouches for him and Garcia sits down with him. He gambles but clearly doesn't enjoy it, and warns Henry not to play games with him. Henry points out that the republic can't extradite him and that if they threaten him with exposure then they would destroy the President's prestige. Garcia loses and warns Henry that he wants him and the money, but suggests that they can forgive him what was apparently an impulse crime. Henry turns down the offers and suggests that they wager on whether he'll return, but Garcia refuses and Henry leaves.

McGill arrives at the casino just as Henry leaves and joins him in his chauffeured car. As Garcia follows them in a taxi, Henry refuses to take McGill's suggestion to stay at a hotel. He repeats his orders for McGill to merely watch and record but not to interfere. As they arrive at the flat, Henry tells McGill to go to his club and pick up a package from the porter, which will explain the rest of his assignment.

Once McGill leaves in the limo, Henry goes inside and finds Guzman and Carla waiting for him. Guzman is armed, and has found the bugs that McGill deliberately left exposed. Henry denies putting them there and tells Carla that she shouldn't be there. She wants an answer to why he did it, and Henry ducks her question. Carla insists that he could have had anything he wanted from her for the asking, but Henry tells her to go home. Garcia and Getulio come in and send Carla away.

McGill arrives at Henry's club.

Garcia orders Henry to sign a transfer form giving him the money from Henry's Swiss bank account. Henry says that he will only do it during his trial and points out that the money is going to Garcia, not the President. He tells Garcia to steal his own money and the colonel reminds him that he isn't educated enough to do so. Henry still refuses to sign the money over to anyone but the President, and Garcia finally admits that he plans to use the money to finance a coup against the foreign-educated President.

The porter finally gives McGill the package.

Garcia says that the people love him, not their foreign-educated President or Englishmen like Henry. He assures Henry that he will regretfully kill him despite their friendship, and ignores Henry's request to do it himself. Instead he nods to Getulio and goes into the next room, admiring Henry's silver hairbrush.

McGill discovers that the package contains letters addresses to him and Carla, a dictation tape, and Henry's last will and testament.

Getulio strangles Henry to the point of death and then releases him. Garcia comes in and assures Henry that they can do so again and again and eventually he will give in, but has Getulio take Henry to the car so they can finish their work at the embassy.

McGill arrives at the flat a few minutes later and plays back the tape. On it Henry says that he and the President arranged for him to take the money, in the hopes that they would flush out Garcia as a traitor. He asks McGill to deliver the tape and the recordings to Carla so that she can give them to the President, and assures the ex-agent that his payment is available at a bank.

Garcia and his men take Henry into the embassy.

McGill confirms that he recorded Garcia's confession to Henry, just as Carla comes in with a gun. He realizes that she's Henry's wife and explains that Henry hired him. McGill plays the first part of Garcia's confession to get her attention and tells her to sit down to listen to the rest.

At the embassy, Garcia tells Henry that the President is using them both and they owe him nothing. Henry still refuses to sign, insisting that it's a matter of honor.

After she hears the recording, Carla admits that she couldn't leave Henry no matter what he did. She tells McGill about the embassy closure and he figures that Garcia took Henry there. Carla wants to go to the police, but McGill warns her that Garcia has diplomatic immunity in the republic embassy. He tells Carla to stay put and he'll rescue her husband his way. However, once he leaves, Carla calls the police anyway.

Henry refuses to sign and in the morning, Garcia worries that Carla may not have returned to the republic as ordered. Getting an idea, he tells Henry that if he doesn't sign then he can simply kill him and force Carla to sign over the money that she will inherit.

McGill hires two workmen, Lou and Charlie, and has them park their van outside the embassy. Once they're clear what to do, he goes to the embassy. Guzman answers the door and McGill demands to see Henry. The captain refuses and McGill shoves past him. After a brief fight with Getulio, Garcia knocks McGill unconscious.

At Scotland Yard, Carla tries to convince DI Hedley to rescue her husband. He tries to contact Grainger but discovers that he won't be back in London for another hour. Carla doesn't have her passport and Hedley isn't convinced that she is who she says. An officer finally brings in a newspaper clipping confirming that Carla and Henry are married, and Hedley takes her to the embassy.

After McGill wakes up, he still demands to see Henry. He warns the colonel that he has evidence that he's planning a coup, and Garcia suggests that both McGill and Henry will end up dead of "heart attacks."

Hedley arrives at the embassy and rings at the door. Garcia comes out and Carla confronts him, demanding to see her husband and McGill. The colonel suggests that she a doctor and assures Hedley that neither man is in the embassy. When he goes inside, Hedley warns Carla that he needs solid evidence to enter the authority, and he'll need to get it from Grainger.

Inside, Garcia tells Guzman to eliminate both of their prisoners. McGill tells the colonel to look outside at the van and then signals to the two men. They remove the tarp from the loudspeakers on the top and broadcast Garcia's taped confession. Hedley, hearing it, orders his men to move in. Meanwhile, McGill tells Garcia that the British police may not be able to arrest him, but the recording will be admissible evidence in Garcia's native land. He repeats his demand to see Henry and Garcia finally shows him Henry in the next room, slumped over in a chair. As McGill goes in, Garcia takes Guzman's gun.

Hedley and Carla wait at the embassy door for reinforcements.

McGill comes out of the room and tells Garcia that Henry is dead. The colonel asks what he wants in return for the recording, and aims the gun. Hedley and his men pound at the door, and Garcia finally hands the gun over to McGill when he realizes that he's trapped. McGill walks outside and stops Carla as she tries to go to her husband. Sobbing, she realizes what has happened to her husband and McGill gently leads her away.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 25, 2015

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