In Geneva, Switzerland, a minister reviews his schedule with his aide. As the minister walks in and the reporters question him, the aide hears the musical alarm on his watch go off. He puts the watch to his ear and listens, and then draws a gun and shoots the minister dead. He freezes in place and then aims at the gendarmes, and they shoot him dead in self-defense. Beneath the aide's ear, a chip under his skin burns out.
Jim goes to a carnival and picks up his briefing at a shooting gallery. He's informed that over the last year, there have been several high-level assassins around the world. Each assassin was someone close to the victim and none has been captured alive. The IMF believes that one sinister force is behind them all and can bypass any security protecting head of states. The team is to find and put an end to the operation.
In Boston, the team meets at a ship at a maritime museum. closed to the public. Grant has learned that each of the assassins was a patient at a private stress clinic. He's analyzed all of the tapes and spotted the same man present at each shooting: Dr. Philip Westerly, owner and operator of the Westerly Stress Clinic. Jim warns that they have to act fast before another killing take place.
Later, Grant poses as a sewer worker and enters the tunnels beneath the clinic, and then goes to the fuse box.
In his office, Westerly calls six men and welcomes them to his auction. The highest bidder wins his services, and Westerly says that it's their last opportunity for several months.
Grant taps into the phone lines.
The bidding reaches $1 million.
At the ship, Jim and Nicholas listen as the number 1 bidder wins at $1.5 million. Jim says that they have to get into the clinic to find the assassin and the killer. Westerly bets on horse races, and Max and Shannon are at the race track. Nicholas forges credentials as a reporter, and Grant confirms that the utility tunnel connects to the clinic.
At the race track, Jim spots Westerly heading toward Shannon. He meets with Sheik Abdul Faroud, who sold him a horse. Once Faroud leaves, Shannon introduces herself to Westerly and says that Max is her husband. He's yelling at "his" horse to move faster. When it loses, he complains to Shannon and Westerly that the race was fixed. He gets more money from Shannon's purse and goes to place a bet, and Shannon suggests that sometimes she thinks that she should get rid of him.
Nicholas arrives at the clinic, drinking, and yells to see a doctor. When a male nurse tries to stop him, Nicholas demands to see Westerly and the nurses restrain him. They call Westerly, who tells Shannon that he has business to attend to and makes a lunch date for later that week.
Later at the clinic, Nicholas tells Westerly that he's an international reporter who has been sidelined to Boston. He begs Westerly to get him back to the international division, and Westerly says that he'll leave the clinic a new man. Westerly then gives Nicholas an injection, claiming that they're vitamins. Nicholas passes out and Westerly calls to confirm Nicholas' cover. Grant intercepts the call and tells #1 that he has the perfect client and the "lion will roar" the next day. The team realize that Westerly has chosen his assassin.
Westerly then calls Nicholas' magazine. Grant intercepts it and has Jim pose as Nicholas' editor. Jim confirms that Nicholas works for him but he's three days overdue for his deadline. Once he hangs up, Jim tells Shannon and Max to check into the clinic so they can contact Nicholas from within.
The doctor implants a chip into a small incision in the unconscious Nicholas' neck. Max and Shannon arrive and Westerly goes to meet them. Shannon says that she came early because she's desperate, and says that Max lost several thousand. Max tips the male nurse and asks where the nearest bar is. Westerly takes the money and gives it back to Max, and then says that he has a personal session with a reporter and he'll meet with Shannon and Max later.
Westerly goes back to his office, wakes up Nicholas, and subjects him to a hypnotic screen display.
Max and Shannon sneak up to Westerly's office and listen at the door as Westerly plays videos of a tiger hunting a gazelle. Shannon hears someone coming and warns Max, and they leave before the male nurse, Ronald, can arrive.
Westerly pauses the tape and says that the master's word is absolute. He closes the monitor doors and gives Nicholas a watch with the musical alarm as music plays in the background. Westerly tells Nicholas to guard it with his life and brings him out of his hypnotic spell. Nicholas says he feels wonderfully relaxed and Westerly lets him out.
The next morning, Max is swimming in the pool and Shannon radios Jim and says that Westerly kept Nicholas isolated. He's having another private session that day. Nicholas walks by the pool and introduces himself to Shannon using his cover identity. When Shannon asks what's going on, Nicholas says that he doesn't remember anything. Max says that there were animal noises, and notices Nicholas' new watch. Westerly watches from his office as Nicholas insists that he's had the watch for a long time. He refuses to let Max look at it and walks off. When Max says that they're getting Nicholas out, Nicholas hears the animal sounds and grabs Max. They fall into the pool, struggling, and Nicholas passes out. Max gets him to the side of the pool and Nicholas yells at them to leave him alone. The male nurses arrive and help Nicholas away.
Shannon and Max call Jim and says that Nicholas is acting like he's been brainwashed. Jim figures that Nicholas is the chosen assassin, and Grant figures that it's more than hypnosis. Westerly and his men come over and Westerly says that his treatment isn't suitable for Max. The agents walk off, feigning anger, and Westerly tells the male nurses to make sure that the couple leave.
In his office, Westerly tells Nicholas not to let anyone stand in his way. The doctor runs another hypnosis session.
Shannon and Max drive away, and Shannon tells Jim what happened. He tells them to watch the clinic and follow Nicholas if they leave, while he and Grant head there.
Westerly tells Nicholas that it's time for him to complete his destiny.
As they leave, Jim suggests that Westerly has a backup assassin. The only way they can find the target is to track Nicholas.
Westerly escorts Nicholas to a car and drives off with him. Shannon and Max follow, and Jim and Grant spot the car. Westerly spots Jim's car and drives to the race track. He tells Nicholas that he's been granted the only interview with Farouk before he flies home, and Nicholas walks over to Farouk with Westerly following.
The team enters the stands and they split up to search for Nicholas. Jim and Shannon spot Faroud, who is an OPEC leader involved in MIdeastern peace talks and is nicknamed "The Lion of the Desert". Nicholas approaches Farouk and shoves his way through the crowd. Max tranqs him, and Max and Grant lead Nicholas away claiming that he passed out from alcohol. Westerly is watching and smiles.
Max and Grant take Nicholas to the car and confirm that he isn't carrying a weapon. Jim and Shannon join them, and Jim figures that it was a diversion. He tells Max to watch Westerly and he'll watch Farouk, while Grant and Shannon take Nicholas back to the ship. Max finds Westerly and Jim radios Grant to tell him it's a good time to get into Westerly's treatment room.
Grant enters the clinic grounds through the utility tunnel and poses as a lawn maintenance man. He gets to Westerly's office and enters through the window.
Westerly slips away and Max loses him in the crowd. He calls Grant and warns that the doctor might be heading Grant's way. Grant breaks into Westerly's treatment room and finds the video controls. There's a switch opening a door to a secret room, and Grant finds the chips that Westerly uses on his "patients" and takes them with him.
Westerly returns to his call and hits a remote switch. On the ship, Nicholas' watch activates. Shannon comes over and Nicholas wakes up and walks out. When Shannon tries to stop him, Nicholas shoves her over a desk and leaves. When Shannon goes after him, he grabs her by the throat. They fight and Nicholas chokes her. She yells at him to stop, and after a minute, Nicholas walks out. When Shannon goes after him, he knocks her unconscious. He goes back and gets an antique pistol, picks up a mask-making unit, and leaves.
When Jim and the others return to the ship, they wake up Shannon and she explains what happened.
Grant plays the lion-hunting video, and Jim calls to tell him what happens. Jim says that Farouk is safely on the plane but figures that there's more involved than just a tape. He tells Grant to get back there.
Nicholas goes to a zoo and hears the animal noises.
Grant shows the others Westerly's chip, which is made of living tissue and fueled by the subject's own adrenalin. When the job is done, the chip melts into the victim's system. Grant analyzes the tape and starts filtering it for hidden messages.
Nicholas approaches a lion attendant, takes a photo of him, and then follows him.
Grant finds a subliminal image of the real target: Chief Leopold Kombutu, the President of West Africa. Kombutu is the chairman of the Commission Against Apartheid and is on the hit list of the South African Secret Police. He's in Boston and visiting the Boston Zoo for a public ceremony in a half hour.
Nicholas enters a storage area and hooks up the camera to the mask-making unit. He then makes a mask of the attendant.
The team arrive at the zoo, and Kombutu arrives a short time later. The mayor greets him and they go inside. Westerly is watching from the side as the mayor leads Kombutu through the zoo to the stage near the lion cage.
Once Nicholas has the mask, he goes to the ceremony area, spots Shannon, and loads the gun. He avoids his teammates searching for him and knocks out the attendant. As Kombutu begins his speech, Max dons the attendant mask.
Grant finds the unit and warns the others that Nicholas could look like anyone. Max finds the tied-up attendant.
Nicholas ascends a rise overlooking the stage, and draws his gun. Max arrives and spots Nicholas drawing the gun, and yells a warning to Jim. Jim steps in front of the gun and tries to get through to Nicholas. Nicholas freezes and Max tackles him, yanking off the mask. Westerly sees them struggling and Jim yells to Grant to grab the doctor. Westerly runs off, drawing a gun, and gets to the top of the lion pen. He trips and falls into the lion pit, and the lions kill him. Nicholas sees him die, breaking the hypnosis, and the chip dissolves into his system. The others arrive and Nicholas wonders if he's missed something, and Jim welcomes him home.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 6, 2018