|“||Yes, Parker, I'd tell you if I murdered the mark.||”|
From TNT: When a mark is killed suddenly in the middle of a sting, the team must scramble to complete the con and find the killer… before Nate goes down for murder.
An unnamed attorney is suing Morris Beck on behalf of a group of victims, following the collapse of three buildings his company built. Beck is responsible for her dismissal from a major Boston law firm (McGann, McCoy & Baker), and has the money to keep the suit from reaching a resolution. The attorney needs the plans for the buildings within one week, or the suit will be dismissed, and asks the team to recover them.
Morris Beck of Beckworx Construction. Beck's company is responsible for shoddy construction leading to three building collapses in ten years. Beck designs the buildings himself and supervises construction, but has never been held accountable for his sub-standard methods. He maintains a collection of blueprints which would prove his culpability in the building collapses and his responsibility for the injuries and deaths that resulted.
Beck owns a home on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. He throws an annual gala that includes a competition, with a guest list consisting largely of his competitors. The upcoming party is a murder mystery night, at which guests must dress as fictional detectives.
It was a dark and stormy night... Not exactly what the team is counting on as Nate and Sophie meet with an attorney who is suing Morris Beck, the owner of a construction company using every means available to keep his case from coming to a decision. Fired from her law firm, she needs the team's help to find the blue prints to that will prove he is responsible for the collapse of three buildings, along with the injuries and deaths that accompanied them.
The con starts out simple enough: Nate and Sophie, as Dexter Gordon and Yma Sumac, meet with Beck on the pretext of reviewing plans for a new building in the middle east. With a few keystrokes, Sophie sends Hardison a skeleton key that will allow him access to Beck's computer records, and the blueprints. Instead, Hardison receives file numbers and GPS coordinates that indicate the plans are kept in a vault at his home, located off the coast of Massachusetts.
The team discover the way into his house is an upcoming murder mystery party he is holding the next night. Each of Beck's guests must attend as a famous literary detective: Ellery Queen (Nate), Irene Adler (Sophie), Charlie Siringo (Eliot), Nancy Drew (Parker) and a Hardy Boy (Hardison). Also attending the party are Beck's disgruntled partner Thomas Case (Inspector Bucket), his unappreciated assistant Porter (Mannix), an angry union boss, and Beck's spoiled daughter, along with many of his competitors, none of whom had any love lost for Beck.
The party begins with a drunken Beck greeting, and taunting, his guests. The mansion was modeled to look like a typical murder scene scenario, complete with lightning flashes and blackouts. Hardison and Parker sneak into the restricted floors to look for the blueprints while Eliot tries to secure an escape route. Nate keeps an eye on Beck, who stood on the second floor balcony giving his announcement that the game will begin. During one of the blackouts, however, Beck is suddenly killed for real and found dead on the first floor. Unfortunately, Nate is suspected of the murder. Trying to buy time, Sophie plays along and and convinces the rest of the party that this IS the murder mystery game while Nate and Eliot transfer Beck's corpse to his office.
According to Eliot, Beck was killed before the fall, and that his neck was broken while still on the second floor judging from the corpse. He tells Nate that he'd better figure out who did it before the night ends, or it will be serious trouble.
- The episode title is adapted from an alternate title of Agatha Christie's 1939 mystery novel, And Then There Were None, in which guests at a house party on a remote island off the English coast die one-by-one in the manner of the verses of the children's nursery rhyme "Ten Little Indians".
- Nate's costume reproduces the costume Tim Hutton's father, Jim, wore in the 1975-6 NBC television series Ellery Queen. Unappreciated for its nostalgic style at the time, only 23 episodes of the series were made. Tim would later follow in his father's footsteps, starring in the period detective series Nero Wolfe, which ran for two seasons on A&E.
- Yma Sumac, Sophie's cover identity, is the name of a Peruvian singer popular in the 1950's. Nate's identity, Dexter Gordon, was a popular and innovative jazz saxophonist whose career spanned over fifty years.
- Sophie's character, Irene Adler, features in the Sherlock Holmes short story "A Scandal in Bohemia."
- Eliot's Charlie Siringo was a real-life detective. Born in Texas, he was a Pinkerton agent who in his time worked with Wyatt Earp, pursued Butch Cassidy, and chased cattle rustlers in New Mexico, before becoming a detective novelist. He died in California in 1928.
- Parker and Hardison portray fictional teenaged detectives Nancy Drew and one of the Hardy Boys, mainstays of adolescent detective fiction from the 1920's to 1960's and beyond.
- At the opening of Act Two the band is heard playing music suggesting "Harlem Nocturne", made famous as the theme music for the 1984 series Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, starring Stacy Keach.
- Other detectives appearing in the episode included television's Mannix (CBS, 1967-75), Magnum P.I. (CBS, 1980-88), Starsky & Hutch (ABC, 1975-79), and Miami Vice's Crockett and Tubbs (NBC, 1984-90), along with fiction's Dick Tracy, Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Bucket (from Dickens' Bleak House) and Hercule Poirot. Film detectives range from the Keystone Cops to Inspector Jacques Clouseau (The Pink Panther).
- The episode also includes a variety of traditional mystery plot devices, including the stormy night, a black-out during which the victim is murdered, a canny police detective, figures silhouetted against a lighted window and a collection of characters who have little reason to like one another, much less the victim.
- Careful examination of the episode when Hardison first looks up the island shows him searching for "Misery Island." Misery Island is a real island off the coast of Salem, Mass, but is currently a protected reservation.
- Beck's ill-used assistant complains about the time it took him to plant clues, such as the wrench in the library. This was a reference to the much-loved mystery game, Clue, where players must identify the murderer, the murder weapon and the location (Miss Scarlett, with a wrench, in the library.)
- (Parker) "This place reminds me of my first grab. Some old lady's house in the Philippines. It was like a palace. She had all these shoes." This is a reference to the Philippine's Malacañang Palace and former First Lady Imelda Marcos who was known for her famous collection of shoes.
- The law firm who used to employ the attorney suing Beck (McGann, McCoy, & Baker) are named after three actors who played the Doctor in Doctor Who (Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy & Tom/Colin Baker).