Chris Gilheany waits in his car and listens to a meditation recording. He gets a message on his app that a passenger is waiting for him, and waits until the woman arrives. As Chris drives her away, he talks to her about her business. She says that she was visiting at the company Chris was parked outside, Smithereen, and she tells him that she was just visiting.
Later, Chris goes into a café and glances around at the customers checking their phones. He finally gets up and leaves.
In group therapy, Chris listens to a woman, Hayley Blackwood, talking about her daughter killing herself while she was at college. The woman is angry that her daughter Kristin didn't give any clue as to why she did it, but there are no answers. After the session, Hayley talks to Chris about how nerve-wracking it was to talk about her feelings Chris says that he hasn't found the right moment to speak yet, and Hayley invites him out for a drink. They end up having sex, and afterward Hayley says that she needed it. She realizes that Chris didn't come, and he says that he needs a breather. She shows Chris a photo of Kristin and then gets a signal on her laptop. Hayley explains that she's been trying to get into Kristin's Persona account and tries three passwords a day since that's all the system allows. She works through a list of passwords but fails to get in. Hayley comes back to bed and dozes off, and Chris quietly leaves.
Chris continues waiting outside of Smithereen and gets a signal for another pickup. The man, Jaden Tommins, comes out of Smithereen and Chris helps Jaden get in. As they drive off, Chris asks if Jaden works at Smithereen and Jaden says that he does. He drives Jaden to the airport as he requested, and asks if he can take an alternate route since there's an accident up ahead. Distracted by his phone, Jaden agrees and Chris takes a side road off of the highway. When Jaden finally looks up, he realizes that they're in an underpass beneath the highway. Chris draws a gun on him and tells him to put to flex cuffs. Once Jaden does so, Chris tells him to stay in the car and gets out.
As Chris goes over to another car that he has waiting, Jaden yells that he doesn't have money and is just an intern. He explains that he was going to the airport to get outfits for a Smithereen executive, Vanessa Lampton. Exasperated, Chris swears and complains that everyone at companies is too young. He rants about people on phones and no one looks up, and points out that Jaden didn't look up. Chris complains that Jaden didn't dress like an intern.
Jaden jumps out and tries to run, and Chris easily catches him and tells him to stop or he'll shoot. Once Jaden surrenders, Chris puts a bag on his head gets him into the trunk of his other car. Chris screams about his claustrophobia, and Chris gets him out and tells him he can sit in the backseat as long as he keeps the bag on. Once they get in, Chris drives off.
As Chris drives pass a gas station, PC Najma Haque sees Jaden in the back with the bag on. She tells her partner, Damien Bullen, and she drives after Chris' car to check it out.
Jaden throws up inside the bag, and police car moves closer. Chris spots them and takes a side road, and the PCs follow him. The PCs flash their lights and Chris pulls over. The PCs pull up behind him and get out, and Chris immediately speeds away. The officers give pursuit, and Chris swerves into a field to avoid two bicyclists. When his car grinds to a halt, Chris gets out and tells the PCs that he has a gun and threatens to shoot Jaden. The PCs move back and call the incident in, and Chris gets back in the car and tries to think.
The PCs pull their car back, and Najma tells the bicyclists to home. She watches Chris through binoculars, but he just sits in his car.
Chris finally yanks the bag off of Jaden's head and says that he wants to talk to Billy Bauer, the head of Smithereen. Jaden says that he doesn't know him, but Chris figures that he knows someone at Smithereen that will know Billy. He knows Hannah Kent, the head of HR, but his phone is in the other car. Chris honks the horn in frustration and then asks Jaden to remember her numbered. He doesn't know it, and Chris tells him to call the receptionist and offers his own phone. More police cars pull up on the road and the marksmen get their rifles.
After calling Smithereen, Jade asks the receptionist to put him through to Hannah. Chris has him say that he's going to shoot Jaden unless he speaks to Billy. The call goes to Hannah's voice mail, and Chris calls her backup cell phone. Jaden tells her what happened, and Chris interjects that he'll shoot Jaden unless she gets Billy on the phone. Hannah confirms via Facetime that Jaden is a prisoner and Chris says that as long as he talks to Billy then no one will get hurt. She tells Chris that she doesn't know how to reach Billy and asks him to stay on the line. Hannah puts Chris on hold and tells her boss Maryam what's going on. Maryam calls her boss, Penelope Wu, in California and explains what's going on.
As Chris nervously waits, Jaden eyes him and then glances back to see more police cars pulling up. CS Linda Grace comes over with hostage negotiator David Gilkes, and tells the two marksmen not to shoot unless absolutely necessary. Damien reports that the car is registered to Eleanor Gilheany, a 74-year-old woman who lives a couple of miles from there. Davis sends Najma and Damien to check on her.
Penelope meets with two of her people, Don and Shonelle. Shonelle accesses Chris' account and Penelope tells her to pull up whatever she can on him.
Jaden tells Chris that Billy won't pay a ransom for him, but Chris doesn't respond.
The two teenager bicyclists take video of the scene. The police identify Jaden and are in contact with Smithereen, and Linda has them run the call data. WPC Roach tells Linda that Chris demanded to speak to Billy,
Penelope finally takes Chris' call and says that they're trying to reach Billy. She asks to speak to Jaden to make sure that he's fine, and Chris has Jaden say that he's all right. Penelope asks what it's about, but Chris refuses to talk to anyone but Billy. She puts him on hold and Chris tells her not to be long. Shonelle taps into Chris' phone so that they can hear what he's saying at his end. Chris mutters something under his breath that they can't make out.
Najma and Damien go to Eleanor's house, and break in when they get no answer. They find overdue bills and articles on Billy, but no sign of Eleanor. They find a photo of Chris and recognize him. They talk to a neighbor, Joe, who tells them that Eleanor died months ago.
News vans pull up to the standoff and the marksmen set up around Chris' car.
Joe says that Eleanor's son Chris moved in when she died and he keeps to himself, Najma calls Linda and tells her about Chris, and says that he was a former tech teacher with no record. Agent Ernesto Cruz with the FBI calls and says that he's liaising with Smithereen and they're also on the call. Penelope enters the call and introduces herself, and says that Chris has a Smithereen personality. She tells Linda that she'll share live feed with them, and asks Linda for her perception of what Chris is doing. Penelope explains that nothing is showing up on Chris' social profile and his accounts have been dormant for some time. The cab car is registered to Omar Masimbalu, and it doesn't match with Chris. Chris got ahold of Omar's account through the dark web, which means that Chris has been covering his tracks. For weeks he's only been accepting jobs outside of Smithereen and waited for someone inside of the building to hire him. Penelope says that Chris lost his fiancée in a car crash caused by a drunken driver, in 2015. That's when Chris disengaged from his friends.
David figures that Chris believes that it's about status because he's similar to Billy but has nothing while Billy has everything. He figures that Chris will listen to him and goes to the edge of the field with a bullhorn. David introduces himself and figures that Chris won't hurt anyone but the police aren't so sure. He calls Chris on his phone, and when Chris answers David says that he's a negotiator. Chris figures that David will convince him that he's his friend, and if he can't persuade him to surrender then he'll keep him distracted long enough for a marksman to get a clear shot at him. He tells David to get off the line so he can talk to Billy, and gives David to the count of 50 to get in his car or he'll kill Jaden. The marksmen don't have a clear shot, and David figures that Chris is bluffing. Linda orders him to drive off, and David finally does so. She gets on the phone and tells Chris that David is gone, and Chris tells her to stay off the line.
Cruz tells Penelope and her people that David failed. Penelope says that Billy is six days into a ten-day silent retreat, and she's reluctant to interrupt him. She knows where Billy is: in Furnace Valley, Utah. She sends a woman, Tipi, to get Billy at the isolated home on the edge of the valley. Tipi finds Billy meditating an d apologizes for interrupting him, but says that they have a situation. She explains what's going on, and Billy curses.
Chris sees the news vans set up and logs on to his Smithereen account to check the posts of bystanders on the scene. Shonelle tracks his activity and reports it to Penelope, Chris asks Jaden how old he is and if he has a partner. Jaden says that he's 22 and doesn't have a partner at the moment, and Chris remembers his fiancée. He breaks into tears and Jaden suggests that he surrender. Chris tell him that he can't do that and it's his last day.
Billy tells Penelope by phone that he wants to talk to Chris. Penelope advises against it, and Ernesto warns him that Chris may execute Jaden as soon as he has Billy on the line. Billy has a feeling that Chris won't, and tells Penelope that maybe that they should trust feelings on the situation.
Jaden says that his mother will be worried about him, and Chris says that she has nothing to worry about and the gun isn't real. Roach hears him and tells Linda, and Penelope and the others hear Chris say it as well. Linda tells Cruz that she'll deal with it.
Chris tells Jaden that if they get out of the car then the marksmen will open fire on them and could hit either of them.
Penelope patches Billy through. The two teenagers, Dibbs and Cosmo, hear the news as well over the nearby police radios. Jaden glances out the back and sees Linda and her men moving in behind a police car. Chris sees them as well and finds Cosmo's Twitter on the Internet saying that Chris' gun is a fake. He opens the window and says that the gun is real. Linda tells him that it has to stop, and Chris says that it will stop when he talks to Billy. He fires a shot into the air and ducks down, and the marksmen report that they've lost their chance at a clear shot. Chris then tells the police that if Billy doesn't call him in five minutes, he'll kill Jaden. Once he hangs up, Chris tells Jaden that he lied about the gun and apologizes.
Billy says that he has to talk to Chris. When Ernesto objects, Billy tells Penelope to cut him off. Shonelle does so and Penelope refuses to give Billy Chris' number. He look up Chris' account via his own laptop and calls him, invoking "god mode. Billy introduces himself to Chris and asks what he wants. He suggests that Chris let Jaden go, but Chris figures that Billy will hang up once Jaden is free. Chris demands that Billy listen to him, and Billy assures him that it's just the two of them.
Chris says that he used to use Smithereen all the time and so did his fiancée Tamsin. He was driving home with her and he looked away from the road for a moment to take a notification about a dog photo. The drunk driver hit their car, and Tamsin died two months later. Chris was at her bedside an d felt like he killed her.
Billy says that he understands but Chris doesn't believe him and tells him to just listen. Meanwhile, Penelope texts Billy and says that she's put together a Psych Team to come up with some strategies for him to talk to Chris. Billy admits that he doesn't know what Chris wants him to say, Chris tells him that he designed his product to be addictive and congratulates him on his ":success". Billy admits that he didn't intend for Smithereen to end up that way, and he's quitting Smithereen because he's just a front-man. Chris doesn't want to hear it and tells Billy that he just wanted someone to listen. He assures Billy that he's going to let Jaden go and was always going to, and now he's going to kill himself. Billy tells him he doesn't want to waste his life, but Chris figures that it is wasted.
The CEO asks Chris to let him do something for him, and Chris has Billy call the owner of Persona and give Hayley her daughter's password. Soon Hayley gets a call giving her the information.
Chris tells Jaden that he's letting him go, and apologizes for putting him through everything. Jaden offers to tell the police everything, but Chris tells him that he needs to be alone to kill himself and he doesn't want to be there anymore. The intern grabs him and tries to wrestle the gun away, Markswoman Jones reports that she has a clear shot and Linda authorizes her to fire.
Hayley looks at a photo of herself and Kristin and realizes the password is the numbers of their boat. She enters the password.
Jones takes the shot and misses, and Linda authorizes a second shot.
Hayley hesitates to hit the Enter key and then hits it.
Jones takes the second shot.
Word goes out of the incident via social media. Some people notice, most people don't.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 15, 2019