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For Art's Sake Recap

Daniel Travers breaks into the exhibition hall of the New York Manhattan Museum of Art, sliding down through a skylight. He steals a painting of Saint Marcos by Montoya, on loan from the Republic of San Marcos, and uses his sword cane to cut the painting loose from its frame, bypassing the laser grid. As Travers starts to slide the painting out, a guard comes by and Travers kills him with his cane. Once he has the painting, Travers removes his stealth suit, revealing a tuxedo beneath. He then joins the party in the main hall of the museum and tells San Marcos' Minister of Public Affairs, Raphael Ocha, that he has the painting.

Jim picks up his briefing from a ballet school piano and is informed that Travers, an art thief and hotelier, stole the painting, national treasure of San Marcos. Ocha hired Travers to commit the theft so that San Marcos could discredit the U.S. The IMF must find the stolen painting and recover it along with all of the other paintings that Travers has stolen and bring the thief to justice.

The team meets in New York at a penthouse apartment and review their information. Travers is on the museum board and arranged the exhibition after a trip to San Marcos. They have the plans to Travers' penthouse apartment in his New York hotel and they plan to start their search there for the stolen paintings. Grant has created a new high-tech device, a painting assimilator, and just needs to know which artist Travers prefers. Shannon's job will be to find out who it is and has already gotten an invitation to the Danmeer Auction House where Travers buys many of his paintings. Shannon is posing as a consultant for Nicholas, a business investor, and they plan to convince Travers that Shannon is a fence.

While Shannon and Nicholas go to the auction house, Max and Grant break into Travers' penthouse. They check in with Jim, who warns them that Travers will head back as soon as he's won the painting. Meanwhile, Shannon drives the bidding up on the painting that Travers wants. He wins after spending an additional $700,000 and asks the auctioneer, Brian Danmeer, if Shannon is working for him. Brian confirms Shannon's credentials, explaining that she works for businessmen obtaining rare art to use as investments. Travers, clearly attracted to Shannon, watches her leave the room.

Grant checks Travers' safe and confirms that the paintings aren't there, while Max taps the hotelier's phone. They download the fax machine's memory and report to Jim that they haven't found anything.

Shannon intercepts Travers as he leaves the auction house and suggests that they work together. She hints that she procures stolen paintings and says that she has a Montoya Travers isn't interested even after Shannon hints that it was the one Travers stole, and she tells him that they'll meet again. Shannon returns to the apartment and meets the rest of the team. Grant has printed out the fax machine memory and confirmed that Ocha is returning to New York for a meeting with Travers. They figure that Travers is asking for more money to hand over the painting and plan to go to the press conference concerning the theft.

The next day at the conference, Travers makes a brief statement and then haves Ocha step up. The hotelier sees Shannon entering the museum and follows her, while Max follows Travers. Travers chats with Shannon and expresses his admiration for a Degas painting, and Shannon immediately offers him a missing Degas. She assures him that even though there are no known Degas paintings at large, she knows the location of an unknown one. Ocha arrives and Travers goes with him, and Shannon secretly follows them. Travers wants five miles of San Marcos coastal land and tax-free exclusive hotel rights there, and threatens to return the Montoya if he doesn't get it. As he haggles with Ocha, he sees Shannon's reflection in a sculpture.

Once Ocha leaves to check with his superiors, Travers grabs Shannon and threatens her with his sword cane. Max warns Jim, who tells him to hold his position and maintain Shannon's cover. Meanwhile, Shannon tell Travers that she's a fence, and he demands that she prove it by bringing him the missing Degas. He leaves with Shannon for his penthouse while Grant takes photos of the Degas on display and sends it to Grant.

When they get to the penthouse, Travers has Shannon call Jim to bring the Degas. Jim agrees to meet with her at central Park at 5 that afternoon and Travers offers Shannon a drink once she hang sup. Meanwhile, Grant feeds the photos of the Degas into his computer and has it generate a "new" Degas painting. Jim then takes it to Central Park and shows it to Travers, and demands $18 million for it. Travers is satisfied but wants his evaluator to confirm its authenticity. They take it to Brian at the auction house and he signs off on the painting as well. However, Jim refuses to negotiate and Travers refuses to pay the $18 million, so Jim leaves with the painting.

That night, Travers breaks into the apartment to steal the painting. He finds Shannon in the bath and stabs her with his sword cane, then leaves out the front door. Shannon emerges from the tub, having worn an armored blanket beneath the water, and Max and Grant follow Travers using a bug that they planted on the painting's frame. Nicholas is in the hotel lobby and watches as Travers takes the elevator down instead of up. The three agents go to the parking garage and spot Travers entering a door to the lower levels. Once he's out of sight, he goes through a hidden panel and is gone by the time the agents catch up. Grant's tracker can no longer pick up the signal from the frame. Meanwhile, Travers enters an underground apartment and art gallery and places his new Degas with the other paintings in his collection.

Since they can't find Travers' cache of paintings, Jim comes up with a new plan. Max takes photos of Ocha entering the San Marcos consulate and transmit them to Nicholas, who makes a mask of the man. The team then listens in on the tap on Travers' phone as Ocha calls the hotelier and says that they agree to his terms. However, Travers refuses to turn over the Montoya without everything in writing.

Jim and Max visit Ocha posing as a police captain and Interpol agent, respectively, and tell the minister that they've recovered the Montoya from Yakuza black marketeers. Ocha is surprised to learn that it's being returned to the museum. Once they leave, Ocha calls Travers and demands to know what he's up to. Travers insists he still has the painting but Ocha refuses to hand over the land rights without confirmation. As he leaves for the hotel to meet with Travers, the IMF intercepts him outside. Grant is posing as a hot dog vendor and Shannon trips Ocha while walking her poodles. Ocha falls behind the cart and Nicholas, wearing an Ocha mask and suit, emerges from the cart and darts Ocha unconscious and takes his place before the minister's chauffeur realizes anything is amiss. While Nicholas leaves in the consulate limo, Grant and Shannon dump the unconscious Ocha into the hot dog cart.

When Nicholas gets to the hotel, Travers takes him into the sub-basement and Nicholas photographs everything on a hidden camera. Travers explains that he built his hotel on the site of an old bank and secretly had the bank vault converted into his personal gallery. They go to the painting, sealed in a high-security vault, and Travers warns Nicholas that it's rigged to explode. Once Nicholas is convinced that Travers has the real Montoya, the hotelier demands the legal documents for its return.

Back at the apartment, the team reviews Nicholas' photos and Nicholas points out that there's no sprinkler system because the gallery isn't hooked up to the building's system. Jim figures that's their route of attack and has Grant make duplicates of the other paintings in Travers' private collection. Grant warns that they won't stand up to a close examination but Jim assures him that they won't have to. They then go to work setting up the real Ocha.

That night, Grant and Maxwell break into Travers' secret gallery. Grant sets up miniature hologram projectors while Max takes the stolen paintings and replaces them with the fakes. Meanwhile, Nicholas impersonates Ocha's voice and calls Travers to agree to his terms. While Shannon monitors the tapped phone, Jim and Nicholas put Ocha in a fake police car and wake him up. They tell him that he was in an accident and was knocked out, and Ocha demands that they take him to Travers' hotel.

Grant sets up gas jets on the floorboards beneath the now-fake paintings and rigs the frame of the fake Degas. While Max and Grant hide behind the entrance door, Ocha arrives at the penthouse and demands to see the Montoya. Travers has no idea what he's talking about. Meanwhile, Shannon listens in on the tap and signals Jim, who has Grant set off the fire detectors. The alarms go off while Max ignites the gas jets. Travis and Ocha run to the gallery and are shocked to see the paintings in flames. Ocha grabs the Degas and threatens to destroy it unless Travers gives him the Montoya.

The hotelier has no choice but to open the vault and hand over the Montoya. Since destroying it will suit his plans, Ocha unwittingly throws it into the hologrammatic flames. As Ocha turns to leave, Travers impales him with his sword cane. Max shuts off the gas jets and the team enters the gallery. Travers stares at Shannon in shock and Grant ignites the rig on the fake Degas, igniting it. As the hotelier screams in anguish, calling them barbarians, Jim picks up the discarded Montoya and Grant shuts down the projectors. As Travers stares around at the unscathed gallery, the team leaves with the painting.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 3, 2018

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