In Paris, General Dupuis breaks into a laboratory. When he's unable to bypass the security alarm, he breaks the door's window and lets himself in. An alarm goes off and the guards outside run in. Meanwhile, the thief opens a refrigerated vault and takes a bacteria sample. He goes to a car where Catherine Balzac is waiting. She confirms that it's the bacteria that she wanted and puts it in a refrigerated container. When Dupuis asks if she's going to stop blackmailing him now that she has what she wants, she shoots him dead and drives off.
Jim picks up his briefing from a dolphin trainer and is informed that Dupuis was shot after breaking into after delivering a stolen bacteria sample to Catherine. Catherine traffic in black market intelligence, and scientists developed a bacteria code-named Xerces that causes accelerated aging in humans. Dupuis stole the Xerces bacteria, and now Catherine is offering it for sale as a weapon. If it's stored in unsafe conditions then it could cause a disaster within 72 hours.
In Paris, the team gathers at a condemned theatre and Shannon and Grant record her voice for a subliminal track on a doctored recording. Jim explains that Shannon will be performing at the Red Hand Club. Catherine owns it and they figure she's hidden the bacteria at the club. She's going to do business with Professor Franz Lotte. Catherine has pre-sold the bacteria to terrorists, who are sending Lotte in to test the bacteria. No one has seen Lotte, so Nicholas will take his place. In the videos, Catherine is always wearing earrings. Jim says that they'll use them to make Catherine lead them to the bacteria, and gives a duplicate earring to Shannon.
That night at the club, Max goes inside where Shannon is performing to the pre-recorded song. Catherine and her manager Laroux are watching, and everyone in the club is fascinated with Shannon. Laroux and Catherine notice Max and Laroux comes over to check him out. Max says that he's not a member and that his American father Colonel Milton is a member and told him to come by. Seemingly satisfied, Laroux goes back to Catherine and tells her who Max claims. Catherine notes that Milton's son is 15 years old, and Laroux goes back over and tells Max that they have to discuss his membership. He flashes a gun in his belt, and Max goes with him as Shannon notices them go.
The next morning, Catherine continues questioning Max in her office and demands to know who he is. Laroux beats him when he doesn't talk, and Max finally says that he'll say who he walks for. He jumps Laroux and runs out, and Catherine tells her waiting men to follow Max. He leaves on a motorcycle, driving down alleys and up stairs, and pulls up to where Jim is waiting by the Seine. Max dives into the water and Catherine's men shoot at him. They see Jim and figure that he's with Jim, and capture him. In the river, there's no sign of Max.
Downriver, Max swims to where Shannon is waiting for him. She tells Grant that everything is according to schedule and Jim has been captured. Lotte arrives, and Grant and Nicholas posing as ambulance drivers knock him unconscious and take him away.
At Catherine's office, Catherine checks Jim's papers and discovers that he's a scientist. She figures that Jim sent Max in, and Jim says that he paid Max to find Xerxes and steal it back. Jim explains that he created Xerxes and he's acting without U.S. government support. He shows her faked photos of aged locals and claims that the bacteria seal was damaged during the theft. Jim warns that a change in temperature could release the bacteria, and claims that Dupuis' widow said that her husband spent a lot of time at the club. Catherine says that Jim's theories are just that and dangerous if said in public. At the theatre, the others listen in and Nicholas prepares a Lotte disguise for himself. Meanwhile, Jim pulls up his sleeve and reveals that his skin is aged due to exposure to the bacteria. Catherine dismisses him and Jim says that she knows where he's staying and can reach him as necessary. Once he leaves, Laroux confirms that the lab is fully operational and she says that they'll see what Lotte says.
Grant tells Max that the real Lotte will be unconscious for 36 hours. He then tells Nicholas to be careful with the bacteria, and gives him a storage device and a polymer that simulates aging on the human skin once it dries. Nicholas goes to the club and Laroux takes him to a lab in the club's basement. Catherine is waiting and she briefly tests his background. She then reveals the adjoining isolation lab with a projecting microscope. Catherine says that it's merely a sample and the rest is in her safekeeping until she gets $20 million from the terrorists. When he says that he has to test all of it, Catherine tells him that she won't hand over the rest until she gets the money. When she asks who created the bacteria, Nicholas confirms Jim's story. Once Catherine and Laroux leave, Nicholas calls the others and says that the rest of the bacteria is hidden. Grant warns that within 24 hours, Europe could be hit with the worst plague since the Middle Ages.
Grant talks Nicholas through acquiring the sample. Nicholas places the team's container in the isolation room and uses the mechanical arm to put the sample into it. When Nicholas hears someone outside, he loses control of the arm and it cracks the glass. Grant tells him that he has 15 seconds to complete the transfer before the bacteria becomes virulent, and Nicholas puts the sample dish into the container just in time. Jim says that it's time to get Catherine to tell them where the rest of the bacteria is, and Shannon says that the fake earring is ready.
Grant sends the painting to the club and then calls Catherine. Meanwhile, Shannon tries to switch the earrings but Laroux notices and asks what she's doing. Meanwhile, Grant tells Catherine to examine the painting under a blue light. Shannon claims that she was just admiring the earrings and walks away. Under the blue light, a set of satellite plans worth millions are visible. Shannon is outside and listens in, and then hides when Laroux comes out. Once he goes upstairs, Shannon enters the lab. Meanwhile, Laroux discovers that Shannon is gone and goes back downstairs to check.
Catherine is taking a shower and Shannon signals the team. She hides in a closet as Catherine's phone rings,. Catherine gets out of the shower and answers it. It's Grant, who tells her that she should meet him alone at a park and he'll have the rest of the plans. Meanwhile, Shannon switches the fake earrings for the real ones and hides in the shower as Catherine comes back and dries her hair.
At the theatre, Grant explains that he'll transmit subliminal messages through the earrings. It will cause anxiety and then disrupt her balance.: symptoms of Xerxes infection.
Catherine leaves for the park while Shannon starts singing. She meets Grant, who says that they have more secrets to offer. They want Xerxes in return, and Catherine figures that he's an American agent. Grant says that Jim is the one man who has survived exposure to Xerxes because he knows how to reorder the cell component. He tells Catherine that everyone at the laboratory the night of the theft is at risk, including Catherine. Catherine says that she's never felt better, and Grant tells her that if she needs Jim's help then he'll be hard to find. He explains that Jim is in custody and if Catherine has been infected, they'll have to deal with them.
In the lab, Nicholas places the polymer into a tank of decontamination water and then pours more water into a beaker. Outside, Max uses a grappling line to get to a nearby roof.
Catherine and Laroux return to Catherine's office, and Jim calls asking her for help. He says that he's escaped the Americans and they have the club under surveillance. Catherine checks the exterior with her security cameras and spots Max on the nearby roof. She asks Jim what the symptoms are, and he describes the symptoms that the earrings cause. Catherine abruptly hangs up, and Laroux demands to know what the symptoms are. She says that there's nothing to be alarmed about, and Jim signals Catherine. She uses her sound board to send the subliminals to Catherine, who feels anxiety and dizziness.
In the lab, Nicholas shows Catherine the beaker and claims that it's the bacteria in solution. He claims that it's safe, and then "accidentally" spills it on all three of them. They use the decontamination water to wash it off, but Nicholas says that they're all going to die.
Max joins Jim and Grant outside. Jim checks a transmitter pencil, dishevels his clothing, and goes into the club. Catherine receives word that he's arrived, and she and Laroux notice that their skin is "aging". The guards bring Jim in, and he confirms that Catherine and Laroux are infected. He says that there's no time and equipment, and Shannon listening in triggers the earrings again. Catherine tells Jim that they have the equipment and takes him to the lab. They introduce Jim to Nicholas, and they both agree that there's no time. Shannon dims the lights and Jim pretends that nothing is happening. He says that in the final stage of the infection the vision becomes erratic. Nicholas runs out and Laroux draws his gun and orders Jim to stay.
Jim agrees to help as long as they tell him where the rest of Xerxes is so he can destroy it. Shannon continues triggering Catherine's symptoms, and she hastily agrees. Laroux tells Jim to fix them first but Jim refuses, and a panicky Catherine tells her that it's hidden in her office. Nicholas joins Shannon and they go there and get the refrigerated bacteria.
Jim makes up a fake antidote and warns that there's only enough for one. Catherine grabs it and Laroux struggles for it. He sets off a fire, and as he grabs Catherine's wrist he realizes that the aging is fake. Jim and Catherine look at each other for a moment, but there's nothing Jim can do for them. He walks out and activates the fire alarm, joins the rest of the team outside, and they drive away.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 28, 2018