The Reality TV Guru

Paul Bishop, The Interrogator

Yup, that guy Paul Bishop up there is someone who you don’t want to spend too much time with. He’s got a 1-0 record going into this week’s case, having successfully cracked one of last week’s weak-willed thieves. Just one look at him and you know he doesn’t like to lose. Ever. His sidekick, Mary Hanlon Stone, isn’t just a pretty face either, as her apparent charms have another side to them. You are warned.

And so are Jimmy and Zuly Pumariega as they decide to try their luck at stashing a $100,000 haul for keeps. They’re one big happy family in Miami, but they’re having some financial difficulties. Zuly says “we’ll get through it”. Out to keep them from picking up a bit of pocket cash are Detectives Joe Schillaci and Al Vila. These are two street-savvy cops who’ve probably seen just about everything in the book — and not in the book. Al Vila, though, seems to have a knack for always hitting the left side of a portrait during target shooting, so if it comes to hot armed pursuit, he might actually miss. Oh, wait. There’s no shooting on this show except for the cameras. The Miami cops, of course, could use some cash of their own, considering what their pay scale probably is.

The briefcase gets handed over to the Pumariega couple and they’re instructed to hit the button to start. They get the usual Mission Impossible recording instructing them what to do. Like last week, the briefcase recording device does not self-destruct in 10 seconds in a puff of smoke. This couple is smart. They’re already running even as the message is playing, not wasting a single second of their allotted hour to stash the cash. By the time the recording says, “the time starts now” and the clock is set to 60:00:00, they’ve already covered at least 100 yards on foot on the way to their appointed black SUV.

Zuly is clearly the one running the show here. She’s going “Go, go, go!” as she explains the plan while Jimmy gets the SUV in gear and on the road. He’s is so nervous, he’s weaving around the traffic and wiping his brow. Zuly calls up her daughter, Bridgette, to tell her that they’re coming to a guy’s house to “drop something off”. While they wait at the light, Bridgette calls mom back and says the guy she talked to has an “extra set of keys in the BBQ if you need it”. She also instructs her daughter not to reveal anything to anyone who calls her. “That’s it, no other information.”

With 48:25 remaining, they hoof it from the car and rush into a residence with an unlocked front gate. They go in the back yard and find the extra spare set of keys in the BBQ. Quickly, they enter unseen into the house with nobody home and quickly hide the briefcase in the kitchen on what appears to be on top of a cupboard (the edit here is cut, so we really don’t see the hiding location). Without any witnesses in sight, they then run back to the SUV and make a dash for it on the roads, hitting the highway, across a bridge, into a convenience store and into a residential area. They’re a long way from the hiding place by the time they stop.

Jimmy’s feeling pretty emotional after all of this rushing around, knowing what’s at stake. Zuly comforts him by caressing his face and giving him a kiss. She’s the one saying, hey, let’s hold it together. *Kiss, kiss, kiss* again. What a sweetheart and tough cookie this lady is. Then they stop. As he gets out, he sees a bad omen, feathers under the car. It’s bad Voodoo karma, although he doesn’t believe in it. The two Miami cops then show up and take them in, complete with fingerprinting and mug shots. The jail cells don’t look too pleasant, but not quite as dungeon-like as the ones in SanFran last week.

Then the two cop teams, the weekly interrogation detectives and the two local Miami field cops, meet up. The cops check out the route, the limited phone calls, and the convenience store receipt. The cops drive the whole route and night is already falling. Almost seven hours are already gone from the cop’s 48-hour clock.

Now it’s interrogation time. We’re told of what the technique is. “Start slow and then you build”, says Paul Bishop. Mary adds, “If you lose control of the interrogation, from Day One, you’ll never get it back, you’ll never get the truth.” We start with Paul and Zuly. When it comes to questions like “did you stop?”, she lies to him. She has no intention of telling him the truth — and she’s smiling, even laughing about it! Paul knows he’s being fibbed, but when and about what she did so may itself provide a clue.

The cops are checking out the shoes. Smart of them, although unlike last week (when the cops seemed to have ignored the shoes), they won’t get any clues as the couple stayed on the pavement and sidewalks. Now Mary is quizzing Jimmy. “If you know the answer, there’s no need to ask me”, he retorts to one of her questions. It’s a bit of a cat and mouse Q & A session. She asks when they stopped at the store, did they still have the briefcase, he answers, “Possibly.” She insists that it’s either “Yes or No.” and he says (lying) “Yes.” Did Mary detect the lie, as there is hard information here if she did (the actual truth being the opposite of what was said)? Oops, the interrogators bought the joint story and they’re looking way up on 119th street, far past the stash drop-off point. So far, so good for the thieves, although their current accommodations and slop aren’t quite up to Hilton standards.

While Paul interrogates the seated Jimmy with an intimidating stance over him, the two Miami cops hit the road. Jimmy is making all kinds of funny faces as he answers Paul’s questions. The Q & A moves quickly back and forth in an attempt to trip Jimmy up, but Jimmy holds up. Meanwhile, the Miami cops stop by the gas station and don’t get any info. They look in the local area, talking with some of the local residents and earning the ire of some backyard dogs barking loudly at them. Nothing doing there.

We switch back to Mary and Zuly. Zuly is being pretty defiant with Mary and Mary admits that it’s going to be difficult to get any more out of her. On the streets, the cops are wandering around on foot, already looking for places along the highway where the couple might have tossed the briefcase. These two cops have no clue where to go or where to look. The Miami cops aren’t happy with the progress of the interrogations, saying they know the couple is going to lie and it’s the two detectives job to find the truth. Well… it’s already obvious the Miami cops won’t find it on their own. They’re not thinking and don’t have a plan.

It comes down to whether any tidbits of information come out of Jimmy or Zuly, which is becoming increasingly unlikely. Two more rounds of interrogations are fruitless. Mary and Paul figure out that they’d better get some leads from the calls, while the Miami cops are wandering out on foot in the middle of nowhere. The Miami cops finally call up Zuly’s daughter Bridgette and initially she gives them the “Yeah, she asked me how the kids were doing and making sure I was holding down the fort, and I said ‘Yeah, it’s been good.'” The cops keeps talking with her, and the daughter (not following instructions!) continues to answer questions, saying that Jimmy would be the one of the two to hide $100,000 and they learn that Zuly doesn’t like the beach because of the kids. Now the Miami cops realize they’ve been sent on a wild goose chase.

Now only 17:26 remains for the cops and they’re really no closer to finding the briefcase with the cash than they were before. Paul brings in a steak meal to try to soften Jimmy up by sharing it with him. Jimmy accepts but no doubt he sees behind the reward ruse. Now Paul starts getting pointed with his questions, almost intense, then Jimmy suddenly shouts, “You’re a good guy!”, almost making Paul jump up, “I like you”. Paul jokes, “You spoiled my dinner”. “Sorry about that”, grins Jimmy.

Meanwhile the Miami cops are going around futilely asking folks if anyone’s seen Jimmy and Zuly and looking around where the briefcase may have been hidden. They’re a long way away from the hiding place, so it’s all for naught. It’s now already the second morning and the detectives tell the Miami cops that it’s time to go out and “beat the bushes”, literally.

The interrogators join up and try to crack Jimmy and Zuly. Jimmy is still doing the joke routine, so the interrogators switch to Zuly. They question her while holding her to sense her pulse’s blood pressure as they ask whether they hid the briefcase outside or inside a home. The interrogators still think there’s something up about the 119th Street area, so they send the Miami cops to that area. Paul also tells the cops that the couple don’t know the person they may have hidden the money with.

Whoah, we see the cops at Alton Road, exactly where the couple was. But the cops still have no clue where the case is and time is up. One asks, “Where do you think it is?” Response: “I have no idea.” The couple is told they won and they rejoice! And hug, and cry, and kiss… yeah, you have to like these two.

For the final scene, we go to the hiding place and the cops, much to their chagrin, realize they were never even close. Not even.

Next week: Two gals. Not a lot of clues to work with. Obstinate interrogation subjects. And a hundred grand just waiting.

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