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No Friend of Mine Recap

A man cuts through the fence of the Cameron Mining Corporation in Kalunga, Africa. McGill, dressed in the uniform of the company police, is on patrol and hears the intruder’s footsteps. Meanwhile, McGill checks his watch and then goes to the fence and finds the hole. Unsurprised, he looks through the fence to the barrels in a nearby fuel dump. Inside, the intruder is planting an explosive. He hears McGill moving outside and freezes momentarily.

The intruder opens up a can of oil and plants the explosive next to it, and then moves off and lights a fuse. As he runs out, the oil barrels blow up and the man crawls out through the fence hole... and McGill helps him. They run to a waiting jeep and the intruder, Harry Bates, says that it’s a nice neat job as they drive off.

The next morning, the superintendent, Thomas Halliday, finds evidence of the explosives. He reports to the owner, James Baldwin, that up until now, the sabotage hasn’t amounted to much. The head of plant security, Turner, complains that Gombi Masuto is responsible but Halliday points out that they have no evidence to support that. James warns that he’ll shut down the operation to prevent further destruction, and Halliday insists that it isn’t Masuto’s style. When James says that his people will handle the investigation, Halliday takes offense and walks out.

Halliday drives to the James home and James’s wife Patricia greets him. The superintendent says that he wants a word with her father, Garfield Cameron, and Patricia tells him that he moved to the west wing. Halliday goes there and tells Garfield that Thomas is talking about a shutdown. He warns that there’s no proof that Masuto is involved, and Garfield admits that he knows the man. Garfield agrees with Halliday that Masuto wouldn’t endanger his standing now that Whitehall plans to turn the country over to him. He points out that he is semi-retired and can’t influence the board, and Halliday suggests that he retire as well. The superintendent doesn’t see why he should care if Garfield doesn’t, and tells the older man that he has work to do.

At a local bar, Harry and McGill are drinking at the bar with the other security men. Harry suggests that they meet later that night between 8 and 9 and McGill agrees before leaving.

That night, Garfield opens his patio door and waits. McGill comes as they agreed and readily admits that he blew up the fuel dump. He reminds Garfield that the man hired him to investigate brutality among the men, and tells him that his superior officer Harry paid him a little extra money to help him blow up the fuel dump. Garfield doesn’t figure Harry as the ringleader, and agrees to pay McGill to play along and find out who is pulling Harry’s strings.

McGill drives to his company home and grabs a beer. He opens the window and turns away, and a local with a gun peers in momentarily. Turner arrives and accuses him of dynamiting company property. McGill calmly denies it and Turner passes it off as a test. He gives McGill an envelope filled with cash, and says that Harry may have some more jobs for him. As he goes, Turner says that in a few minutes something interesting will happen outside. After Turner leaves, McGill hides the money in his freezer and looks outside... and a fuel dump blows up. The local with the gun and his henchman come up behind McGill and drive him away.

Halliday returns to the James manor and tells Patricia and Garfield about the explosion. James pulls up and Patricia goes to greet him, and Garfield tells Halliday that it’s time for him and James to work together. The company owner comes in and says that his people have no leads, and blames it on the inefficiency of Halliday’s people. He says that he’s putting a resolution to the company board the next day to close three sites. They’ll lay off the 1100 men, and Halliday warns that if that happens they’ll have a full-scale riot. James agrees and tells him to stop Masuto so they can return to work. Halliday leaves and Patricia says that she sees her husband’s point and Halliday’s as well. Garfield says that he doesn’t trust Masuto, but Turner’s men blew up the fuel dump. He explains that he hired someone to investigate the sabotage, and he plans to chair the board meeting the next day. James reluctantly agrees and asks for the infiltrator’s name, and Garfield identifies McGill.

The locals take McGill to Masuto’s office. Masuto greets him and apologizes for the rough invitation. He gets McGill a drink and explains that he wants freedom. He figures that the Baldwins and Camerons have dug in, no matter Whitehall wants. Masuto says that he knows the truth about the sabotage, but no one would believe it coming from him. He knows that McGill is working for Garfield and says that Turner is following James’s orders. James wants to delay independence by discrediting Masuto. Masuto wants McGill to tell Garfield the truth about his son-in-law, but McGill warns that Garfield will never believe it. The leader warns that there are factions pushing him to move faster and more violently, and he can’t be seen with Garfield for fear that they’ll accuse him of selling out. He warns that if the shutdown goes off as planned, he can’t control the riots that will result and the country will plunge into chaos. Masuto gives McGill his gun back, and the ex-agent pockets it.

At home, Patricia wakes up and discovers that James isn’t in the bed. In the study, James meets with Turner and asks about McGill. Turner confirms that McGill is a good man and helped Harry blow up the fuel dump. He’s satisfied because Harry trusts him, but James tells him that McGill is working for Garfield. Patricia comes down and hears Turner and James arguing, James tells Turner to keep McGill quiet, and Turner agrees to make it look like the locals are responsible. Once Turner leaves, James finds his wife outside in the hall. He explains that Turner is dealing with the staff problems and they go up to bed. Patricia says that she’s worried that Turner is playing up the trouble with the Africans, and asks about McGill. James merely says that the sooner McGill is out of Kalunga, the better.

McGill returns to his home and two men attack him with machetes. McGill fights back but Harry clubs him from behind. McGill draws his gun and fires a warning shot, and the three men run off. Concussed, McGill drives to the Baldwin manor and shoves his way in past the servant. James, Garfield, and Patricia come down, and McGill demands to talk to the men. After James sends Patricia back to bed, McGill says that he has a message from Masuto and one from him.

As the sun rises, McGill finishes telling Garfield what Masuto said. Garfield doesn’t believe that James is leading the sabotage campaign against the company, but James points out that it’s his word against Masuto’s. McGill points out that Masuto wants him alive and wouldn’t have attacked him. Garfield admits that he told James that McGill was an undercover operative, and James points out that McGill helped blow up the fuel dump. He suggests that Masuto paid McGill to sell out, and tells Garfield that McGill is a traitor. McGill punches him, and James says that he’s not going to hand him over to the police because it will make the whites look bad. Garfield says that he’ll mail McGill a check, and James advises him to get out of Kalunga while he can. As he goes, McGill promises that if anyone touches him then he’ll come back for James.

Once they’re alone, Garfield says that he won’t be at the board meeting. After McGill’s apparent betrayal, Garfield is glad to let James take whatever steps he considers necessary. Garfield admits that he’s too old to try and control things and walks out. In his room, Garfield gets a call from Halliday. Halliday says that they’ve found Harry dead and asks him to tell Harry. Before he hangs up, Garfield warns Halliday that the mining company is closing down.

In the local village, the unemployed workers sit around with nothing to do. One of them finally provokes the others into rioting.

Patricia visits Garfield and worries that James is expecting trouble after the closure notices. Garfield admits that he had doubts about the shutdown, and Halliday shares his doubts. Patricia supports Halliday over Turner, and tells her father about Turner’s argument with James about McGill and Harry. She wonders why McGill came after them, and Garfield says that McGill accused Harry of trying to kill him. Patricia realizes that Garfield is accusing James of engineering the attack, and admits that her husband is ambitious and ruthless. She realizes what she overheard and tells Garfield that James said McGill and Harry both had to go, and Turner agreed.

Garfield goes to tell McGill what he’s learned, as McGill packs to leave. The older man wants McGill to tell Masuto that he’ll make things right in a few days. In return he wants Masuto to stop the riots. Garfield and Patricia hold a majority of the shares, and he’s going to take over again. McGill warns that the whole thing is going to blow up and it’s none of his business, and Garfield points out that he’s the one man who can stop the bloodshed.

The ringleader provokes the workers into rioting and they throw stones at the watching policemen.

Halliday meets with James and Turner, and James says that the board approved the shutdown. James wants permission to use the government weapons, and Halliday reminds him that the workers don’t have guns. He tells James to negotiate with the workers, but James says that he’ll get permission from the governor. They go to see the man, and the governor agrees with Halliday. He refuses to call a state of emergency for fear of Whitehall’s scrutiny, but James insists that if they don’t control the mob then there will be nothing to hand over.

McGill goes to Masuto and passes on Garfield’s message. The leader warns that his people want blood before freedom. An aide comes in and informs Masuto that the governor has declared a state of emergency. James has guns, and the two men realize that James will use them.

The rioters march on the company and start blowing up buildings. At the company security office, James calls Turner and tells him that they have permission to use the guns. Turner unlocks the guns and hands them out to his men.

McGill and Masuto drive to the company.

Halliday goes to the manor and tells Garfield that he’s the only one who can save the situation. They drive to the company.

The workers enter the company grounds and find Turner and his armed men waiting for them. The rioters stop at a fence and start yelling, and Turner orders his men forward to beat them back. The workers drive them back with rocks and tear down the fence. Turner has his men fire into the air, and Garfield and Halliday arrive in time to hear the shots.

The rioters throw more rocks, and Halliday and Garfield shove through them. One soldier goes down and Turner orders his men to fire. Several workers go down, including the ringleader... and Garfield. McGill and Masuto arrive, and McGill confirms that Garfield is dead. He yanks the megaphone out of Turner’s hands and throws it away.

At the governor’s office, the governor warns James that they’re not the policy makers. James insists that Turner will handle things, just as a call comes in. It’s for James, and he’s told that Garfield is dead. He drives to the company where Patricia is looking at her dead father. She accuses James of murder, and he backs away, shocked, before driving away.

Written by Gadfly on Jan 3, 2016

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