Episode 1: "Satyricon"
Credits :: Screen Captures :: Video Clips

In the pilot episode, Cody is approached by a friend, Paul, whose daughter Stacy has been victimized. She is a tennis star and the episode opens with an unknown assailant shooting her with red paint in order to scare her. We later find out this is not the first nor the most frightening of the things that has happened to her.

We first see Cody observing a tryst between the wife of a plastic surgeon and an unidentified man. He's taking photos and recording the "love grunts" for his client, the plastic surgeon. He expresses discomfort with the task, but he needs the money. He gets spotted and has to hustle away, but he's got his shots.

We are then introduced to Gina, Cody's secretary and an aspiring actress. Cody returns to the office and complains to her about having to do such distasteful stakeouts. He tells her he needs a partner who has a "flair for sleaze" so that he doesn't have to deal with it. She tells him about her latest part as "Kidnap Victim #7" in a martial arts film, which he in turn scoffs at. However, they're both in the same boat; neither one can pick and choose the cases/roles they take due to hard financial times.

This explains why he takes the next case, which he hates. Bobby, a bail bondsman, wants Cody to help him find a gangster, Luther, who's jumped bail. He suggests using Luther's friend who's currently in jail for grand theft auto. Cody is reluctant, but he'll do it for $10,000. At this point Cody also gets the call from Paul about his daughter.

But first, Cody needs to pick up Luther's friend. His name is Ziggy Duane, and this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship! Right now, though, it's all business. Cody convinces Ziggy to help him find Luther for his own good. He bails him out and takes him with him to see Paul. We discover Paul and Cody used to work together - Paul as a chauffeur to the stars, Cody as part of the security. Cody didn't take crap back then either though - when his boss acted like a jerk, Cody shoved his face into a bowl of beef stroganoff! No doubt this aided him in deciding to choose another line of work.

Paul and his wife Janice explain the situation to Cody - Janice very reluctantly. They are being blackmailed for a million dollars; if they don't pay up, then Stacy will be killed. But that's not all. A few weeks earlier, while the parents were out of town, Stacy was drugged and taken to a seedy hotel. She couldn't remember what had happened, but a few days later the parents began receiving explicit photos of Stacy. Just in case the death threat isn't good enough, the blackmailer has tossed in the threat to send the photos to a newspaper if the million is not paid.

He and Ziggy then go to visit the plastic surgeon, who asks Cody to find the identity of the man with whom his wife is having the affair. Reluctantly, Cody once again agrees. He and Ziggy head out to the car. Suddenly, a squat dark-haired guy in a bus driver uniform shoots at them from just a few feet away! They duck behind the car, then Cody shoots at the assailant and chases him... until he sees that Ziggy's taken the opportunity to run away himself. Cody makes a shortcut and tackles Ziggy to the ground. So much for that! A police detective named Frank shows up. He and Cody apparently have a bit of an adversarial relationship and a history, but underneath it there is a grudging respect (at this point, very far underneath).

Finally, Cody and Ziggy make it back to Cody's place. Ziggy doesn't seem too impressed and Cody calls it "only temporary," but hey, the place has valet parking and a butler service, how bad can it be? He handcuffs Ziggy to a pipe next to a window, resulting in an awkward moment when a butler shows up the next morning after Ziggy has made himself comfortable by changing into his underwear. Cody provides him with some "spy clothes" so that he can look as snappy as Cody does - and Cody DOES know how to dress. Apparently a large majority of his income goes into purchasing stylish suits.

They go to visit Stacy on the set of a commercial for a tennis product. She's rather frazzled. Cody asks her about what happened the night she wound up in the hotel. She says she can't remember much - her parents had left her alone as they went on one of many "reconciliation trips" in an attempt to save their crumbling marriage. She ate dinner, got drowsy, then woke up in the motel. Crying, she complains of the stress and wishes she could be just a normal girl. On the way out, they meet Gina - she's just been sexually harassed by a male star. Cody finds him and throws him through a window.

They go to Ziggy's neighborhood and get dissed by dudes on the street as they drive by in their fancy suits and convertible. Cody handcuffs Ziggy to himself so he "doesn't get lost." They meet up with some tough guys who are threatening until suddenly they take off. Ziggy's thinking they're scared of him until he and Cody realize the problem is the huge bus bearing down on them from behind. It's the same guy as before - the bus driver. They manage to dive out of the way just in time. They go home after that, deciding to try the 'hood later.

They go back to the office and Ziggy finds the photos of the plastic surgeon's wife, which he proceeds to drool over and make suggestive comments about. Of course, she shows up just as he does so. She's pretty disgusted! She wants Cody to stop following her. Cody tells her he'll leave her alone if she just gives him the name of her lover, but she refuses and storms off.

Next stop: Paul's again. Cody handcuffs Ziggy to the car door, then questions Stacy's "slavedriver" of a coach. Cody tries to find out if he needs money, but finds out some info on the family instead. Turns out Janice used to be a tennis pro but gave it up for Stacy. At any rate, the coach shrugs off Cody as "barking up the wrong tree."

Once again handcuffed to each other, Cody and Ziggy return to the 'hood to talk to Luther's blind aunt. She tells Cody that Luther is trying to get the rival gangs to form a truce. Cody is skeptical, but the aunt believes in miracles and in Luther. Therefore, she won't give him up.

That evening, it's time to photograph the tryst again, much to Ziggy's excitement! But just as Cody's about to take the photo, the bus driver busts in with his shotgun. He's her lover! He's not much to look at, but has a "beautiful heart" according to the lady. That isn't getting in the way of him wanting to kill Cody, though. Ziggy convinces the bus driver to let him go and runs out of the room. The bus driver cocks the gun, but Ziggy comes back and knocks him out. Cody is rescued, and warm and fuzzy feelings between the two continue to grow.

Back at the office, Gina discovers that Stacy's parents stayed in separate rooms when they went out on their "reconciliation" trip. Cody goes to visit Janice a little later. When she tells him there's been another call and the blackmailer wants the money the next night, he asks her about her marital troubles. She admits that their marriage is just a facade, but they're pretending for Stacy's sake - she comes first.

The next day, Cody decides to try a new approach to finding out who kidnapped Stacy - questioning the desk clerk at the seedy motel to see who brought her in. When the clerk is resistant, Cody throws him against a TV and threatens him physically. After Ziggy makes up a few horror stories to make the clerk think Cody is some violent madman when he doesn't get his way, the clerk gets scared enough to talk.

It was Janice. With divorce imminent and no money to call her own - it's all in Stacy's name - she wanted the million to live on once the divorce is final (apparently she doesn't expect too much by way of alimony). When Stacy cries that she would have just given the money to her mother, Janice sniffs that Stacy just doesn't understand that she wanted money that was her own. (After all, Janice has her pride... better to "earn" your money by making your daughter think she's been sexually molested than stoop to begging! There's nothing worse than a freeloader!) The photos turn out to be digitally manipulated. That wasn't even Stacy in the naked photos - just her face on somebody else's body (thank goodness - her mom taking naked photos of her would have been even ickier).

When Ziggy and Cody return to Cody's place, they find Luther and his posse waiting for them. Luther has come to turn himself in and keep Ziggy out of jail. Once Cody hears that Luther is serious about the truce, he lets him go.

At the close of the show, Cody offers Ziggy a job as his "sleazebag" partner who takes care of the matrimonials. Ziggy is quite eager to take him up on it - he considers it an opportunity to take photos of naked women! And we know that Ziggy is much more than a sleazebag to Cody when he admits he almost trusts him. With the establishment of this partnership, the pilot ends.

 

Solo Filmography :: South of Sunset