On the island of St. Dorca, George Stannard runs along a deserted stretch of beach. Two fishermen follow, trying to snag Stannard with the hooks on their fishing lines. Stannard comes to a hill overlooking a monastery and runs toward it, seeking sanctuary. Meanwhile, Father Trasker is telling the brothers that they are a day away from the most auspicious day on their calendar, April 20. Stannard staggers in and collapses, exhausted. He asks for sanctuary, and the fishermen come in behind him. One of them, Main, and sinks his hook into Stannard's neck. Main asks Trasker for his forgiveness and tells him to go about his business. The two fishermen leave and brothers turn to Trasker, who watches without saying anything.
The fishermen take Stannard to a cell and Karl questions him. He has Stannard's ID and asks Stannard who sent him there. Stannard claims that he's a fisherman who headed for the nearest land when he saw a storm brewing. When Karl says that it was lucky for them, not him, Stannard knocks them aside, runs out, bolts the door behind him, and gets outside. A brother frees Karl and the pursuers, and the fishermen go after Stannard.
Stannard runs to the edge of the cliff and finds one of the fishermen waiting for him. Others come up behind Stannard, and he leaps off the cliff to the rocky beach below. Injured, Stannard limps to his boat, starts the motor, and leaves. As he goes out past a dock, Main steps onto the dock and casts, cutting Stannard on the cheek with the hook on the end of his line. Stannard dies and the boat continues on its way.
Later, Steed goes to Stannard's apartment and talks to a neighbor who asks if he's seen her missing dog. Inside the apartment, a man named Ralph is changing into Stannard's clothing. Steed rings the bell and Ralph quickly grabs a bag with his things. Outside, Ralph hears the floorboard creek and discovers that the door is unlocked. He goes in and Ralph kicks the door at Steed, knocking him back. He runs past Steed, and Steed goes after him but trips on the dog's leash and falls. Ralph makes good his escape while the woman comes out and thanks Steed for finding her dog. Steed goes into Ralph's flat and sees Ralph in the parking lot driving away.
Steed calls Gambit and says that he tried to call Purdey but she's not answering her phone. Gambit goes to Purdey's flat and finds her in bed. He tips the mattress over, dumping her on the floor, and says that duty calls. Purdey rolls over and pretends to go back to sleep, and Gambit tells her that it's about Ralph.
Ralph goes to a meeting hall posing as Stannard and the host introduces Dr. Maybach Von Claus. Von Claus demonstrates his process to freeze and revive a frog. A van pulls up outside and Ralph sees it.
When Purdey and Gambit arrive at Ralph's flat, Steed says that it was a standard briefing. He sent for Purdey because she dated Ralph, and she insists that they just went to dinner. Steel explains that Ralph was to brief him on the Von Claus lecture, and Gambit heads there. Purdey looks in the closet and discovers that it's empty, and that there were deep-sea lines and waders there. She figures that Ralph went fishing and Steed realizes that she knows where.
Von Claus revives the frog successfully, and Ralph sees Gambit pull up. Meanwhile, Von Claus talks about how his process can be used to revive people being put in suspended hibernation because of illness. Meanwhile, Gambit sees Ralph's car and recognizes it from Steed's description, and goes inside. He joins the reception after the lecture and approaches a man, Brown-Fitch, and says that he's with Steed. Brown-Fitch has no idea who Ralph's card belongs to, and Gambit tells him to find out.
Ralph opens the window latch and then goes over to Von Claus and leads the doctor over to the window to discuss his lecture privately. The van drives up to beneath the window. Meanwhile, Brown-Fitch tells Gambit that the car belongs to Stannard and he's there with Von Claus. Ralph grabs Von Claus and jumps out the window, and they fall through the rigged roof of the van onto a mattress below. Brown-Fitch points out where Ralph was, and Gambit realizes that he's gone. He jumps out the second-story window and discovers that his parked car is blocked in, and "borrows" another car to go after the van.
Gambit drives out the gate past the guard and pursues the van. Ralph sees him, and Gambit is cut off by a car emerging onto the road. He circles around and continues the pursuit, and the driver gives Ralph a gun and tells him to jump out at the next bend and die for Ava if he has to die. Once he jumps out, Ralph steps onto the road and shoots at Gambit. He shatters the windshield and hits a tire, and Gambit goes off the road. When Ralph moves in, he discovers that Gambit is no longer inside. Gambit kicks the gun out of Ralph's hand and takes him down with a few swift blows. When Gambit demands answers, Ralph takes a poison pill and dies. The agent checks the corpse and discovers that he's wearing a toupee to conceal a tonsure.
Steed goes to the docks and confirms that Stannard rented a boat and stayed out all night. The owner Barker says that he told Stannard to stay out all night, and recognizes Steed as a veteran angler. Purdey comes in and Barker says that Stannard knows his way home. The boat pulls up and when Barker pulls it, they find Stannard's corpse. The only mark they find on him is the scratch on his cheek. Steed uses Purdey's lipstick to sketch on a window and determine where the boat must have come from. Barker identifies that it's St. Dorca, and since the war the Brothers of St. Dorca run the place. He points out several monks loading boxes onto their boat, and explains that they sell fish oil they make themselves as a preservative. The agents are unaware that there's a corpse in one of the boxes.
Back at Steed's flat, Steed gets the report that Stannard died of fish poisoning. Gambit arrives and says that German Intelligence learned that Ralph's gun was issued to a soldier named Gerner in 1942. Gerner is missing, presumed dead, and was on one of the last flights that left Germany in '45 just before the Russians arrived. The autopsy discovered that Ralph was killed with fish extract, and they figure that the monks were responsible. Gambit shows them Ralph's toupee.
Von Claus is taken to Trasker, who says that the young men that kidnapped Von Claus meant well. He says that they have no telephone link to the mainland but he's arranged for a boat so Von Claus can return. While they wait, Trasker says that weeks ago one of their most revered brother fell into a coma and they've been unable to find a doctor who can help him. He says that the comatose brother is regarded by some as a saint, and Von Claus admits that he wouldn't have come if they had merely asked. Von Claus agrees to look at the patient while he waits for the boat.
As Trasker takes Von Claus out, Karl rings a bell from the docks, signifying that someone has arrived. It's Steed, who is coming in the front while Purdey scuba dives covertly via the beach.
Trasker takes Von Claus to a chamber fitted with modern medical equipment and introduces him to Karl, saying that he's the head of their medical team. Von Claus convinces Karl on the freezing technique, and Karl shows him the patient's medical file. Karl assures Von Claus that all of the necessary thawing equipment is on its way.
Steed docks his boat and unloads several suitcases. He goes to the tavern where Main and the owner, Jud, have watched him. Steed says that he's staying for a few days and Jud takes him to the bar for a drink while Main takes Steed's luggage to his room.
One of the patrolling fishermen finds Purdey's scuba gear, hidden in the rocks.
Purdey goes to the monastery.
Main and his cohort search Steed's luggage but find nothing. Jud brings in the scuba gear the fisherman found. Main goes to take a look and Jud goes with him, and they wonder if it has something to do with Stannard. Purdey is hiding and hears them mention an old fool named Hara. Main figures that Hara would have forgotten if he had seen anything.
Von Claus prepares the patient for a direct injection into his heart.
Main is checking the rocks where the scuba gear was hidden. Steed is out walking, tips his hat to Main, and walks on.
The patient's heart starts.
Purdey finds Hara chopping wood and greets him. She addresses him as "mister" and Hara appreciates the gesture. Hara says that there are some things that "they" would like him to forget, and talks about a "big bird" bathed in fire that arrived on the island... in 1945. "They" buried it and offers to take Purdey there... if he can remember where it is.
Karl calls Trasker in, and Trasker congratulates Von Claus and insists that he rest before taking the boat to the mainland. Once Trasker leads Von Claus away, Karl casually turns off the heart monitor.
Hara takes Purdey to where the plane was buried and says that "they" said that it was filled with the greatest treasure in the world.
Gambit talks to a woman, Gerda, about flight records in '45. Gerda recites the file from memory, saying that it's famous, and tells him that it was heading to South America while flirting with Gambit. It was the last recorded flight before the Nazi surrender, and it was rumored to hold the greatest treasure of Germany. It was last heard of over an empty section of the mid Atlantic, and was presumably shot down. Gambit takes a raincheck with Gerda for dinner and says that there is one thing at the coordinates: the island of St. Dorca.
Purdey spots Main on the docks practicing his casting, shattering bottles. When she tries to slip by him, she kicks a rock and Main hears her but apparently dismisses it as nothing. Purdey goes to Steed's room, where he's receiving a transmission from Gambit about the plane crashing on St. Dorca. Gambit figures that the locals killed any survivors and took the treasure, and figures that Stannard stumbled across the operation. Purdey comes up to the second-story window and says that she found the airplane and knows about "Germany's greatest treasure". Steed tells her to find Von Claus and closes the window on her.
Karl wakes up the sleeping Von Claus and says that the patient had a relapse. They go to the room and Von Claus sees a ring on the patient's head. The patient's face is shrouded, but Von Claus realizes that it isn't the same man. He removes the cloth on the patient's face and stares in shock, and Trasker comes in says that the patient is his god, and takes out a gun.
Purdey breaks into the monastery and Main secretly follows her.
Trasker pistol-whips Von Claus and tells him to do what they say. He insists that it's the future, and Von Claus says that it's the past and they should let the patient die. When Von Claus says that they'll have to kill him because he won't help, Trasker admits that Von Claus is indispensable to them but they'll kill his wife and daughters. Purdey watches from the shadows as Von Claus gives in and Trasker says that they've moved the patient to private quarters and Von Claus will examine him there.
Main casts his line, ripping off the sleeve of Purdey's blouse. He nicks the back of her hand with the hook and after a moment, she collapses.
Steed hears the sounds of footsteps on the street and sees a group of brothers march by. He goes down to the bar and tells Jud that he's taking a stroll outside. Jud advises against it, warning that it's a chill night. When Steed ignores him, Jud goes for a club and Steed knocks him out with his weighted bowler. He then puts on Jud's habit hidden behind the bar.
Purdey wakes up and finds Main staring at her. He says that he baited his hook to stun her because he fancies her. Main shows her the scuba gear and asks why she's there, and Purdey claims that she can't remember.
The disguised Steed goes to the chapel with the other monks, and Trasker tells them that tomorrow is April 20: the birthday of Adolph Hitler. He says that Hitler will be restored to them on the anniversary of the day of his birth. Trasker calls on the monks to throw away their habits and reveals their true nature to the world. He removes his own habit, revealing the SS uniform beneath. The other "monks" do likewise, leaving Steed in his habit. Trasker eventually reveals that Steed is the only one still cloaked, and everyone turns to stare at Steed. He says "Rule Britannia".
The soldiers throw Steed in a cell and leave him there, and Steed hears someone tapping on the door to the cell next door. It's Purdey, and she explains that she's locked up at well.
Trasker goes to where Von Claus is working and explains that there were 42 of them on the plane when it crashed there. The young men on the island were away fighting the war, so the Nazis took out the women, children, and old men, killing those who wouldn't join them. Trasker insists that it's the first bastion of the new Nazism, and warns that Karl will be watching Von Claus' every move to make sure that he doesn't try anything.
Gambit swims to the island goes to Steed's room, and finds his bowler on the bar.
A corporal comes to take Steed away for execution. Steed gives him a Nazi salute and when the corporal instinctively responds, Steed knocks him out. He frees Purdey and finds the door leading to the room where Hitler is being kept. Main and three soldiers are there, all in Nazi uniforms. Steed discovers that his gun is unloaded, and Main pulls the gun out of Steed's hand with his fishing rod. Purdey attacks them, relying on her ballet training. When Main snags the side of her clothing with his hook, she spins into it and kicks him, then disposes of the other three soldiers. When Main tries to cast again, Steed grabs the rod and slams Main into a pillar, knocking him out.
Steed and Purdey go into the chamber as Von Claus prepares to inject his serum directly into Hitler's heart. Armed with one of the soldiers' guns, Steed tells them all to freeze. Karl says that a man will die, and Von Claus explains that the patient has been in coma since 1945 due to a plane crash. Steed tells the doctor to continue, and they go over and see Hitler's face. Trasker tells Von Claus to continue, and says that ammunition is a precious commodity so the guns are seldom loaded. He takes a loaded gun mounted on the wall and tells Von Claus to continue with the procedure.
Gambit arrives and trains his gun on Trasker, and Trasker makes Karl promise to continue without him. Steed throws his unloaded gun at Trasker, distracting him so that Gambit can shoot him dead. Dying, Trasker pulls the trigger and riddles Hitler's box with bullets. Karl stares at the dead patient in shock and shakes his head at Trasker, and Trasker collapses dead.
The next day, Steed escorts the Nazi soldiers onto the boat. Purdey begins whistling a marching song, and Steed and Gambit join in and march the Nazis to the boat.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 11, 2019