"Smoking Gun"
Original airdate: Week of September 27, 1999
by Michelle Erica Green

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

"Smoking Gun" Plot Summary:

Chicago, 1930: Al Capone shoots a man with a diamond-studded 45-caliber Colt, then works with a corrupt cop to frame a guy named Murray for the murder.

Trinity College, today: Nigel reads a history book while Sydney laughs that he needs to start living in the present and get a date. The pair are approached by a man who tells Nigel how attractive he is, then turns to Sydney. He's the grandson of the man framed for murder by Capone. He wants her to find the murder weapon to prove his grandfather's innocence.

The weapon is believed to be stashed in the Hotel Roxbury in Chicago, where Capone supposedly had a bunker. Unfortunately, the building is scheduled for demolition in the very near future. Nostalgic visitors have booked most of the rooms, so Sydney registers herself and Nigel as a married couple, much to his embarrassment. Things just get worse when she asks him to unzip her dress and he realizes they're going to have to share the double bed.

Sydney's got other things on her mind. The hotel built a new pool five years after it opened, and now the pool is closed. Why does the historic hand-crank plate in the elevator still indicate a pool level? While Nigel meets and flirts with a pretty history teacher in the lobby, Sydney smashes the protective plastic, forces the elevator down to the basement level, and breaks into the site of the former pool. A machine gun booby trap starts shooting at her, and bootleg gin pours out of old bottles.

Upstairs, Nigel has walked into a booby trap of his own. He tries to explain that he's there alone, except for his wife Sydney who's really not his wife, but they just said that so they could sleep together, but they're not sleeping together...

Syndey finds hand grenades and secret entrances, but decides to get Nigel. Crawling out a sewer, she enters the hotel lobby in filthy clothes and walks in on her partner while he's taking a shower.

After their meeting with Murray's granson, Sydney and Nigel are followed, leading to a chase through the hotel and a fight outside an elevator which impresses Nigel's new friend Laurie. Sydney refuses to allow him to become distracted, however, and takes him to the basement. This leads Nigel to comment, "My god! No wonder they closed the pool." Behind a hollow panel, they find a secret meeting room. It's Al Capone's bunker! Nigel gets excited by the historic machine guns hidden in the weapons locker, but Sydney's more interested in photos of Capone sitting with the corrupt police chief from the earlier era.

A broken glass outside troubles the team, but it turns out to be Laurie, who got curious about Nigel and Sydney's work after the fistfight by the elevator. Sydney tells the other woman about her early life following her civil engineer father around the world, which bored her until a history teacher made it come alive for her. The two women bond and discover Al Capone's bed. "His money, his power..." Laurie says romantically. "...his syphilis," Sydney concludes. Behind the bed is a secret panel containing his safe, to which Laurie and Sydney find the key hidden under a drawer. Inside they discover bonds, jewelry and the murder weapon. The trio are stopped and arrested by dirty security who take the loot. Then, they barricade the three in the bunker, spraying in nerve gas for good measure. Chances are that with the hotel being demolished their bodies will never be found.

Though Laurie and Nigel find the idea of being trapped forever to be rather romantic, Sydney rightly concludes that Capone was too smart to allow himself to be painted into a corner. She finds a secret exit triggered by pulling a frayed book off the little-used bookcase. The trio moves through the hidden passage and crawls out through the sewer, where Sydney sends Laurie to call the police. Next, Sydney goes after the retired police chief pictured with Capone in one of the photos in the bunker. He can testify to the fact that Murray was framed. The chief has been alerted to their maneuverings, however, and plans to frame Sydney and Nigel for the murder of his own henchman. Fortunately, the kidnapped Laurie grabs the old gun while Sydney jumps the chief and the good guys win the struggle.

At checkout, as Sydney explains that she and her "husband" had a lovely time, Nigel smooches with Laurie and Sydney gets a warm farewell from Murray's grandson. The receptionist stares.


Now that there are two episodes, can I admit to really liking this show? Sure, it's goofy and some of the filming is downright cheesy - not to mention some of the jokes. But the leads have terrific chemistry. They seem very at ease with these characters and scenarios. So much so that after two weeks in a row of Tia Carrere stripping down to her bra and panties, the act seems normal and not just a gratuitous ploy to make sure young men tune in time and again. Her character is bright, witty, at ease with her sexuality despite her moments of despair about making relationships work. Plus, she kicks butt. In fact, she kicks butt while allied with the clever new girlfriend of her handsome partner, who's smart and sweet and knows when to get out of the way. Girls, please tune out Captain Janeway and Barbie of Borg and come over here.

OK, seriously? The plot is as goofy as they come. Al Capone's secret bunker under a hotel (that doesn't really exist in Chicago) has never been discovered, despite the fact that one only needs to make a couple of simple adjustments to the elevator to see what's down there? Indiana Jones-style booby traps inside an abandoned pool/booze warehouse/hideout, all in pristine shape despite a little dust, accessible through the city sewers? Let's not even get started on the corrupt cops that Sydney can single-handedly outwit and out-fight, nor Chicago having turned into Toronto. This is fun. Sydney walking in on Nigel in the shower and rationalizing that communal bathing is celebrated in some cultures is hysterical. To heck with realism!

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