"The Cleaner" The Eleventh Hour (TV Episode 2008) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • After a botched intervention on real estate agent Kate Gibbons addiction counselor Keith Bowen questions William's methods. Meanwhile, William and Ben sit down and re-negotiate their relationship. Elsewhere, Akani is certain that Swinton is doing drugs again and assigns herself as his bodyguard and Jeannie breaks up with Darnell because of his job.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • We open inside an idyllic suburban home. A worried mother sits with relatives, friends and Keith, an interventionist. "I know this is uncomfortable," Keith tells mom. "But we'll make her feel safe."

    Sarah, a young blonde, walks in the front door, hugs her mother and then wonders aloud what all these people are doing in the living room ... and why they look so solemn. She begins screaming and crying. Keith calls for "calm."

    Meanwhile, a very different type of intervention is going down across town. William and Darnell bust in on a Hollywood actor. Darnell, it turns out, is posing as a cop. William tells the cocky thespian that he is going to jail for possession. "Tough guy like you should be fine in county." Finally, the junkie relents. "Whatever you say," he cries.

    Sarah, in the meantime, is NOT remaining calm. "This is bull****!" she screams before running from the house. Hmm. Is it time to bring in The Cleaner?

    Indeed it is. But first, a visit to the Banks' homestead. William and Ben are negotiating a "peace treaty". "Just like in business," William explains. "Or like countries at war?" Ben asks. Touche, little man. And wouldn't you know it? William gets a call.

    Minutes later, William is sitting in the same idyllic living room we visited earlier. Sarah's mom and sister Kate argue over how to best handle the formerly "good girl." And what pushed the poor girl to drugs? Mom and sister suddenly clam up. Uh oh.

    Nevertheless, William returns to garage and fills the team in on their new case. He also tells them that Keith is already involved. Darnell wonders: Who is this Keith? Well, Keith is the "second fastest gun in the West," Arnie explains. In other words, the man is William's rival. Who knew that interventionists had rivals? Live and learn, I guess.

    Sarah pulls up to her friendly neighborhood drug house and heads inside. A few lines of junk later, she passes out in the corner. Keith or William, someone better get to this girl fast.

    Back at the garage, William gets a visit from Keith. "Let me be clear: If you take my client against her will, I will have you arrested for kidnapping," Keith explains. "Do yourself a favor Banks. Leave this to the professionals."

    Darnell gets a call from his girl, who is feeling ignored. "My boss has me on three different jobs," he says. "Please understand." But his girl isn't listening. "I think you need to some soul searching, D.," she says.

    Sometime later, Sarah wakes up naked in a strange bed. How long has she been there? Even she doesn't know. Sarah rushes outside to find that her car has been broken into. Meanwhile, Sarah's boss has left a message on her cell phone: She is fired.

    William breaks into Sarah's apartment and begins searching the place. He finds drugs ... and a picture of Sarah and a young man. On the way out, William runs into Keith.

    "Call the cops," Keith tells the landlord.

    William shrugs him off and visits Kate at work. Who is the young man in the photo? "They were engaged," Kate explains. "George gave her a choice: drugs or marriage. She said one thing and did another. He left."

    A split screen montage shows William giving Kate advice while Keith advising mom. Their instructions are eerily similar. Two sides of the same coin, it would seem.

    Back at the garage, a cop enters. Keith, it would seem, has followed through on his threat and pressed charges. William is up on B&E charges. William protests, explaining that Keith has it out for him.

    "We shared a job awhile back, things got a little weird and he thinks I made him look bad," William tells the cop. The cop warms William that he can't play "fast and loose." The Cleaner apologizes and then produces the drugs he found at Sarah's apartment.

    "Blue Death," the cop says. "You smoke the **** in this bag and your lungs bleed."

    Back at the garage, Akani confronts Arnie about "using" in order to protect his cover. He admits to doing so, but insists it was just that once. Uh huh. "Just think of me as your bodyguard," Akani says.

    Sarah, in the meantime, could use a bodyguard of her own. She enters a pawn shop and tries to sell her $15,000 Vera Wang wedding dress. The man behind the counter offers her $50. She takes it. Ouch.

    William returns home and begins negotiating with Ben. The youngster wants to quit football ... and he has a notebook full of reasons. "You told me to bring my A-game," Ben says. William agrees, but only if Ben promises to find another extra curricular activity ... and never run away from home again. "Deal," the boy says.

    Kate returns home to find Sarah rifling through her jewelry case. The two get into a fight. Kate, fearing for her life, locks herself in a bedroom. Sarah gathers up the jewelry and leaves.

    We leave one fight to join another. That's right: William vs. Keith. "You're not an interventionist," Keith says. "You're some kind of street thug." William argues that Keith's academic "reputation" is more important to him than his clients. Keith bristles. "If God is on your side, why is your success rate no better than mine?" he asks. "It's not a calling, William. It's a job. A job that requires professionals."

    Not surprisingly, Sarah has wasted little time in trading her sister's jewelry for drugs. Moreover, she is about to trade snorting for shooting.

    William, apparently undeterred by Keith's put downs, has returned to suburbia, where mom and Kate argue over spilling a certain family secret. Finally, Kate breaks down and admits the truth: She had an affair with Sarah's former fiancé.

    "Yes, I slept with him," Kate cries. "Do you want to tell me that I'm responsible for my sister becoming a junkie?!"

    Back at the garage, William gets a call from an informant ("divine intervention," she says): Sarah has been spotted hooking. Minutes later, William, posing as a John, picks her up. Minutes after that, Sarah is locked in a recovery room, going through withdrawal.

    Keith arrives outside and receives a sarcastic welcome from Arnie. The professional interventionist tells Arnie to "cut the crap." "I warned him," Keith says. "It's kidnapping and the police are on their way."

    But wait! William and Sarah aren't at the recovery house! They're at the home of the rock n' roll junkie. It's the ol' switcheroo.

    Back at the clinic, Keith rails about William ... and Mom snaps. "If Sarah isn't your main interest, then you don't belong here!" she says. Chastened, Keith excuses himself.

    Arnie hands mom a cell phone. "There are no promises," William tells the woman. "We'll detox her and get her to a place where she can hopefully make better choices."

    Somewhere across town, Darnell is having lunch with his sweetie. He tells her everything. He confesses to being an interventionist and that the job does not allow him to be a "nine-to-five guy." His girlfriend seems to accept his confession ... and then breaks the bad news.

    "The life you have right now? Honestly, I'm not sure there's room in it for me," she says. "I need that nine-to-five guy."

    She kisses the big man and then walks away. Darnell is left clutching an unopened ring box. Oh, Cleaner! How many personal lives will you sacrifice for your calling?

    William and Keith meet for a final time. Looks as if the Cleaner has brought his rival in to help.

    "Being decent this one time, doing the right thing, it doesn't change my opinion of you," Keith says.

    And yet, somehow we know that it already has. The two have seemed to reach some kind of truce.

    Negotiation ended.

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