Everyday, young girls are bought and sold.
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A teenage girl is roughly herded through a non-descript apartment by a man named Andrei (Mark Antony Krupa). He knocks on an apartment door; an obese man answers and pays Andrei, who says he has one hour with the girl.The obese man forces the terrified girl to her knees and starts to undress. As he drops his pants, the girl becomes nauseous and scrambles toward the window on all fours. Before the man can stop her, she jumps through the window to her death.Investigating at the scene of the girl's death is Russian-American police officer Kate Morozov (Mira Sorvino). They estimate the victim's age at 14 or 15, and note no defensive wounds on her body to indicate she was pushed out of the windows from the overlooking building. Kate pushes aside the girl's hair to reveal a name tattooed on her neck in Russian. She translates the name and notes it must have been someone the girl loved back home. She disagrees with her partner's estimate of the girl being a local who fell in at a young age. The victim is the third eastern European girl found dead in a month, no ID, nobody knowing her. Kate is certain the girl is a human trafficking victim and decides to call it into Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.Prague, Czech Republic: Single mother Helena (Isabelle Blais) is at home, doing figuring with her computer and adding machine. Her young daughter, Ivanka (Alice Morel-Michaud) sits nearby. Helena steps outside her house where her aunt (Dawn Ford) arrives to take care of Ivanka while Helena goes to work serving drinks at a pub. A handsome young man, Frederick (David Boutin, uncredited), asks if he might see her later, and she gives him an indifferent look, but smiles over her shoulder as she continues on her rounds.Frederick is walking Helena to the bus stop after her shift ends, telling her that like her, he's good with numbers, having gotten a business degree in Vienna and he comes to Prague on business once a week. He compliments her fluency in English and she explains that was going to be a tour guide, until she became pregnant, and the father skipped town. As Helena's bus arrives, he asks to take her on a proper date.Kiev, Ukraine: two adolescent girls, Nadia Taganova (Laurence Leboeuf) and her best friend, Tanya (Pascale Bélanger, uncredited), are coming out of school just as it's finished for the year. Nadia is holding a brochure for a model scouting agency that is passing through Kiev. The two girls are enthusiastically excited as they rush out of school to where the scouting agency is holding auditions.In a rest room, they change out of their school uniforms into street clothes, register for the audition and take their seats among a number of hopefuls. The founder of the agency is introduced as Mr. Sergei Karpovich (Robert Carlyle), who tells the hopefuls that his scouting agency represents over 200 models, many of whom are famous and earning a lot of money.The auditions are run smoothly and professionally, girls taking turns posing and smiling for several photographs. One photograph of each girl, including pertinent data on them, are posted on a board. Nadia is chosen for recruiting. The chosen girls remain in the studio and are briefed on the next steps by Titania (Bjanka Murgel, uncredited), one of the people running the agency for Karpovich.Nadia changes back into her school uniform before returning home where her father, Viktor (Rémy Girard) is preparing dinner. Just as she steps through the door, Nadia realizes she's still wearing the lipstick she put on for the modeling audition and wipes it off with a napkin, but Viktor sees her reflection in a foyer mirror. The two quickly fall to arguing over what has been sore spots between them for some time: Nadia wants to work, possibly outside of Ukraine, to help both herself and her father, despite her young age of sixteen. Viktor is overprotective and insists on her finishing schooling, even though he is very hard pressed to pay for it. Nadia finally lashes out at her father regarding the death of Viktor's wife and Nadia's mother, who encouraged Nadia to try and live her dreams as soon as possible. But Nadia quickly realizes she's gone too far and stands embarrassed and remorseful for several seconds before Viktor quietly tells her to sit and eat.Manila, the Phillipines: The Gray family from America is on vacation: Samantha (Emma Campbell), her husband and their twelve-year-old daughter, Annie (Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse). As Annie calls her grandmother to wish her happy birthday, a young boy on a bicycle stops across a nearby street and smiles at her in a friendly manner. Annie smiles back and waves at the boy, prompting her parents to look over their shoulders at him.Department of Homeland Security, New York City: Kate is visiting a supervisor in ICE, agent Bill Meehan (Donald Sutherland), telling her about the latest European girl to die in America with no known family or next of kin, nobody to claim the body. Agent Meehan, however, has identified the girl through fingerprints as Lena Sanova (Catherine Bérubé, uncredited), a 14-year-old from an orphanage in Russia. Her fingerprints were on a tourist visa eight months ago.Kate reveals another reason she's here: she wants to work for Meehan as an ICE agent. She hands him a dossier of her own credentials and work history in law enforcement, and her fluency in Russian, as she was born and raised there. Meehan is tough to impress, but Kate says she's been focused on these three teenage European girls more than any other case she's worked on for six years. She's infuriated at the people responsible for Lena's death and wants to nail them. Meehan smiles at her moxie and agrees to her undergoing ICE training. Kate promises he won't regret hiring her.Prague, Czech Republic: Helena arrives at a riverside restaurant for a dinner date with Frederick, who has been treating her like a princess. He's grown very fond of her in their time together. As he pours champagne, Helena shows him that she's gotten a passport, that will allow her to travel with Frederick for a weekend vacation together in Vienna. Later that evening, Helena arrives home, and looks in on Ivanka. Helena says aloud that she thinks Frederick really likes her.Kiev, Ukraine: Late evening. Nadia packs a traveling bag and looks fondly at a photo of herself and her late mother (the photo shows Nadia looking enough like herself in the present to suggest that her mother's passing is relatively recent). She puts the photo in her traveling bag and carefully tiptoes to the living room where her father sleeps on a sofabed. She puts a note written in Russian on a table, smiling at Viktor briefly before quietly stepping out of the house.Vienna, Austria: Helena steps off a train and meets Frederick inside the station. She kisses him hello and he tells her how glad he is that she's here. Helena looks pleasantly surprised at the stately manor he drives her up to; a much nicer looking place than her apartment in Prague. The manor looks curiously unfurnished as Frederick brings her into the foyer. But Helena is still thrilled at what she sees; not noticing that Frederick's face now shows a set, purposeful expression.They pass a man near the upstairs landing, leaning against a door as he talks on a phone. Helena gives him a simple hello in passing but doesn't take his presence seriously. But as Frederick leads her into what looks like a spartanly furnished upstairs office, Andrei is seen at a desk. He asks Frederick for Helena's passport. Helena starts to become aware that there are other men in the office, not looking overly friendly. As one of them comes up directly behind her, Helena looks to her right and sees a number of young women, some still teenagers, sitting on mattresses and looking frightened and unhappy.Andrei hands Frederick a generous bundle of cash. The other men in the office are now blocking Helena from backtracking through the doorway. Helena finally realizes to her shock and horror that Frederick has sold her to these men to be their captive and slave. Frederick quickly leaves the manor, not looking or saying a word to Helena as she is roughly seized by her new captors. Andrei bashes Helena across her jaw, knocking her down onto one of the mattresses. Straddling her back and ripping off her panties, he warns her that he and his network now know where she lives and will harm, even kill, her daughter if she tries to run or disobey them. Helena screams in despair as Andrei begins to rape her. One of the captives, a young woman named Ludmilla (Sarah Allen), forces herself to look away; her face streaked with tears and etched in terror.Manila, the Philippines: Annie and her mother are shopping in a street fair. Samantha turns away to try on a few dresses at a clothing stall, and just as her back is turned from Annie, the girl looks back into the crowded street and sees the same young boy on the bicycle, shaking a home-made charm bracelet invitingly. Annie walks over to the boy, taking a closer look at the bracelet, which he lets her hold in her hands. The hum of a a small Daihatsu motor van comes up the street as Annie examines the bracelet and her mother is still looking at the dresses. The van pauses just long enough for two men inside to seize Annie from behind and haul her into the vehicle. In the bustle of the street fair, Annie's frightened cries of protest are lost and nobody seems to notice as the Daihatsu drives off with her. By the time her mother happens to hear Annie's cries, the Daihatsu has disappeared into Manila's crowded streets.Samantha and her husband are at the Manila police station where the chief inspector, Roy Filipo (Edouardo Castillon), tries to assure them that they're doing everything they can, although it's difficult to track the Daihatsu without knowing its license plate number, which is probably a fake, anyway. Arriving just then to assist the Grays is Tom Halloran (Terry Haig) from the Department of Homeland Security. They are grateful and hopeful at his arrival, feeling lost in Manila and believing that Annie was the victim of a random terrorist attack. But Halloran is sure that Annie was targeted by sex traffickers. Annie's disappearance fits the pattern, and in a poverty-wracked country like the Philippines, there are plenty of people ready to exploit such a lucrative market.New York City: Kate is at home with her brother, Mischa (Michael Sorvino), who she's putting up while he attends Columbia University. As she's helping him get settled in, they start to watch a news broadcast covering the ICE investigation into Annie Gray's disappearance. Bill Meehan delivers an impassioned address to a full news crew about the incomparable difference in profit between selling drugs and selling people.Manila, the Philippines: Annie is being held in a trafficking 'safe house.' The terrified child cries as the local ringleader, Tommy (Vlasta Vrana), pulls roughly at her clothing and manhandles her body underneath.JFK Airport, Queens, NYC: Nadia the the other girls selected by the model scouting agency are arriving with their staff escorts to go through customs. Nadia's passport and visa are examined and pertinent data on her appears briefly on a monitor. She places her finger on a fingerprint reader and a facial photograoh of her is taken. As the girls head out of the terminal, Titania is seen meeting up with Andrei.The girls all pile into a minivan. Helena already sits in the van, and Nadia takes a seat next to her. Excited at being in the united states, Nadia tries to strike up some small talk with the Czech woman, noting her glum expression. But Helena knows something that Nadia doesn't... yet.As the minivan begins its drive out of the airport and passports are collected by the 'modeling agency staff,' Helena leans over to Nadia and whispers in her ear. Nadia stares at Helena, calls her crazy and turns away to look out the window. The van pulls up to an alley in Newark, New Jersey. Helena takes an increasingly nervous Nadia by the hand as the girls all enter the alley and go into a non-descript building by a back entrance. What the young women are really here for, starts to become clear to them as they are ushered through back hallways, down a stairway and into a cluttered room with bunk beds and dressing tables, and their 'escorts' start to handle them and speak to them much more roughly and harshly. Nadia is now crying fearfully as she begins understanding the terrible fate awaiting her; the slavers lining the girls up in front of the bunks and ripping off their tops to expose their bras and cleavage.The newly conscripted sex slaves' 'home' is shown to be in a sleazy strip bar called Kimmy's. Sergei Karpovich steps out of a chauffered limo and walks into the strip club. Karpovich, by now, is seen to be the kingpin of a very extensive and world-wide sex trafficking ring; Andrei, who handled both Lena and Helena, one of his lieutenants who travels around the world overseeing conscripting hubs. Inspecting his new 'merchandise,' Karpovich gives the girls the run down. They all wanted to come to America, and he got them there, but it all cost a lot of money: between passports, visas, plane tickets, all of which he paid for, each girl now is in debt to him for over 10,000 American dollars. Karpovich's speech is expertly worded, suggesting to the girls that they will eventually work off their debt to him in a few years, and that he and they are 'all in this together.' But he also warns them in no uncertain terms that each girl, until she works off her individual debt, is now owned by him, and if any of them runs away, someone will pay the price... he knows where they all lived, and the names of all their family members, as well as how to reach them, and if necessary, harm them severely. He tells Andrei and Titania that he wants Nadia and Helena taken to Washington D.C.The scene briefly switches to young Ivanka at home in Prague with her great-aunt. Both are now deeply worried and frightened about where Helena has disappeared to.Karpovich, in the bar room of the strip club, is watching a news program that says that contrary to popular belief, the disappearance of Annie Gray is not the work of Anti-American radicals, but sex traffickers. Quickly he calls Tommy to warn him about this, and demanding he make sure there is no heat on him over Annie's disappearance. At that moment, Nadia is brought upstairs in a skimpy, revealing outfit and made to stand at a dancing pole. Karpovich orders her to strip naked, and with one look at her body, knows that she's a virgin, meaning the first time she's sold, it can be at a significantly higher price.Karpovich is not the only one with Nadia on his mind at the moment; back in her apartment in Kiev, Viktor looks grimly at the note, paces around the apartment, and remembers his arguments with Nadia over letting her do some traveling away from home. He knows that something bad has happened.Nadia and Helena have been moved to a house in Washington, D.C. which appears to be a very ordinary looking suburban private residence only a block away from a children's playground. During a quiet period, the two are allowed to play cards to pass time and talk to each other about themselves, both of them desperately needing a friend.Helena is summoned upstairs to Karpovich's office. Having learned of Helena's aptitude for bookkeeping and number-crunching, he's put her to work handling some of his financial records. Because she's older than the other girls enslaved there, she's also become like a den mother to them, a relationship that Karpovich and his lieutenants exploit to keep them in line. Karpovich decides to entrust Helena with a delicate task doing bookkeeping on some of his more private financial records recording profits from the sex trafficking ring. Trusting her with this means reinforcing her fear of him, and he taps some keys on his computer to show her photographs that he's had taken of her aunt walking Ivanka through the streets of Prague. Karpovich also offers Helena a sizable bribe if she does this bookkeeping job well... the privelege of visiting her daughter soon.Meehan goes to see Kate at her office. He's put her in charge of an investigation into a nearby beauty parlor that is believed to be a front for prostitution. A number of the women there appear to be Russian, meaning Kate's fluency in the language will be invaluable.Kate begins staking out the beauty parlor with other agents, looking over photographs. Among the men being photographed going into and out of the beauty parlor are Andrei and Karpovich himself. Kate and her team have one lead: a store owner near the beauty parlor is upset and angry because their business is thriving much better than his own, and he blames the parlor for that. Kate goes to speak with the store owner, who suspects something funny about the beauty parlor because a great many patrons of the establishment are men. He also gives Kate a lead: two Russian women from the beauty parlor had come into his shop a few times and took a liking to the gummy bears he sells. Kate knows that gummy bears are available for purchase in Russia, and that's probably why the women bought them: they reminded them of home.
But what the shopkeeper finds more disturbing is that the women rarely had enough money to pay for the gummy bears: he treated them to a bag a few times as a gesture of kindness.Northern Luzon, the Philippines: Farmers are tending to a rice paddy. A farmer named Manong is struggling to make ends meet and keep his family fed. A young Filipino man, Rico (Von Flores), who the whole family apparently knows, arrives in a pickup truck. Manong speaks to him and is unsure about a deal they've made. Rico gives Manong some money and reassures him. Manong's whole family knows about this deal as can be seen by the looks on their faces and their behavior. Manong lets Rico take his youngest daughter away. Rico brings the girl to a poolhouse that doubles as a child brothel owned and run by Tommy. As Tommy and Rico herd the frightened girl and a young Filipino boy through the brothel, Tommy takes a phone call and tells Rico that a ship will be ready to transport all the children they're holding. Rico brings the girl to a cellar in the poolhouse which doubles as a makeshift cell, where a large number of young children are being kept. One of them is Annie Gray, who immediately tries to comfort the new conscript.Annie's mother, Samantha, is becoming unglued at the seams at Annie not having been found yet. As difficult as finding trafficked child victims is, Samantha only sees the lack of new developments as insufficient action on behalf of the Filipino police. But Inspector Roy has brought in someone who he believes can help: a woman named Ellen Baker (Lynne Adams), who operates a group devoted to stopping human trafficking. Roy has been able to make many arrests through Ellen's organization. Frustrated as she is, Samantha sees she has little choice but to work with Ellen in the hopes of getting Annie back.And time may be running out for young Annie, as Tommy is seeing to the building of a large cargo crate. The crate needs to be able to hold all the children so a ship can bring them to the Middle East quietly, inconspicuously, but also get them there alive and healthy.Kiev, Ukraine: Viktor pleads with Tanya to tell him anything she knows about Nadia's disappearance. Tanya says she doesn't know anything until Viktor frets, more to himself than to Tanya, on how Nadia could have gotten out of Ukraine. Tanya then remembers the model scout agency where she and Nadia went to audition.At that moment, Titania is arriving at an expensive mansion with several young women, including Nadia and Helena. Inside the mansion is a party being thrown by a number of wealthy men, who pay Titania generously for the services of the young women.The party has been going on for several hours, many of the wealthy men are drunk or high on drugs. Helena stares vacantly into space as one man lays on top of her and takes her. Slipping out of her shoes, Nadia sneaks to a window and tries to run away. Titania notices and runs after her. Nadia is almost at the gate, screaming wildly for help, when Titania catches up and shoves her to the ground, bruising Nadia's cheek. Titania lashes out angrily at her underlings for the close call, and looks around with extreme worry as Nadia is dragged back to the limo.Back at the house where they are kept, Nadia still hopes to escape and turns to Helena as the only friend she can trust for help. But Helena sharply reminds Nadia that she has a very young daughter who is being watched closely by Karpovich's men to ensure Helena's continued obedience. Helena is summoned upstairs, presumably to be seen by Karpovich. Fearing that Helena might be punished for Nadia's attempted escape, Nadia wants to go with Helena, but Helena tells her that she must stay.The white-haired slaver who failed to catch Nadia is trying to explain to Karpovich that he fell asleep in the limo. Karpovich picks up a ballpoint pen, opening a ledger as if to write in it, when suddenly he jams the point of the pen into the burly man's jugular vein just as Helena enters the room. The burly slaver collapses, bleeding to death. Against Helena's orders, Nadia has followed upstairs and sees the burly man killed. She freezes in stark terror until Helena notices her and desperately waves her away. Nadia turns and goes back downstairs without being seen by Karpovich.Karpovich tells Helena that she's being sent to another location that same night. Grabbing the Czech woman by the chin, he sternly warns her, under pain of Ivanka's life, not to breathe a word of the underling's death to any of the other girls.Nadia cries miserably as Helena packs her meager belongings. She understands that part of the reason for Helena being moved is to take away the comforting den mother presence that gave Nadia and the other girls solace, so they will all be too frightened to breathe without Karpovich's direct permission. She desperately clings to Helena's arm, not wanting to let go even though she knows that she won't be the only one in very serious trouble if she tried to stop Helena from leaving.Back in the Philippines, Ellen has brought Samantha Gray to her organization's Manila branch office. She shows her a video of herself confronting an American-looking man with a young Filipino girl, who Ellen suspected of being a trafficked child slave that the man has bought the services of. She explains to Samantha that these patrons can be any person's neighbor or best friend or even a family member, and they pay lots of money that keeps the trafficking business going. Ellen's investigation resulted in the girl and several other children being freed, and a number of traffickers and patrons sent to jail. Although she tries to listen, Samantha's nerves are badly shot and she's had to move to a cheaper hotel in order to be able to stay in the Philippines. Ellen invites Samantha to stay with her at the organization headquarters. It would provide a stable comfort base for Samantha as well as keeping her very close to any and all updates on the search for Annie.Another child is thrown into the makeshift cell at the child brothel and Annie sits up, pulling at her hair in anger and fear. Not only for herself, but for all the other children.Carlina's beauty parlor is raided by an ICE team led by Kate. They rescue a number of trafficked women; including Helena. As Kate announces they are being brought to a place of safety for protective custody, Helena runs up to her and begs to speak to her on an urgent matter, although she backs off and shakes her head no when Kate asks if Helena wants to talk right away.Karpovich hears of the raid and is furiously angry. Helena's rescue has the potential to bring the hot water backlash directly to him personally. He orders Andrei to call operatives in Prague immediately; they need to seize Ivanka to ensure Helena's silence.Kate has Helena put in her vehicle. As it rides to a place of safety, Helena tells Kate her story, how her daughter is now in danger. She knows that Karpovich can have men in Prague hurrying to her home within an hour's time. Kate gives Helena her phone. Helena calls her aunt and warns her of the danger. As they are on the phone, two of Karpovich's men are seen getting out of a car in front of the building.Helena's aunt hurries out the front door when she hears the heavy footsteps of Karpovich's men. She runs in the other direction, carrying Ivanka to the bottom of the stairway to the next-highest floor, desperately trying to comfort and quiet the nervous child. As the men walk through Helena's apartment, they see the bright headlights from below and hear the screeching of tires. As they look through the window, Helena's aunt slips past them, carrying Ivanka out of the building into the waiting police vehicle.Kate arrives at the ICE safe room to bring Helena the good news. Ludmilla, who was also rescued from the beauty parlor, tries to warn Helena that her own loved ones, and the loved ones of all the other rescued girls, may face harm. Despite Helena's overwhelming relief to hear that Ivanka is safe, she tells Kate that she's too frightened of Karpovich to testify against him. She's seen firsthand just how large and widespread his organization runs, and fears that he is powerful enough as to be above the law. The most Kate can get from Helena is an agreement to testify once Ivanka is with her.Of course, this doesn't sit too well with Meehan, who cautions Kate that all they have right now is a group of smuggled prostitutes. If Kate can't get something more out of either Helena or any of the other women, there is no way to positively link them to a human trafficking ring. Although he can tell that Kate is reticent, he tells her that she has to tell Helena whatever Kate thinks it is that Helena wants to hear, even if it's untrue.Just then, Meehan gets a phone call. Taking it, he tells Kate that she has a visitor.A slick, weaselly attorney, Richard Sapperstein (Joe Cobden) is pressing for Helena's immediate release. He has her passport to positively verify her identity, and insists that unless Helena was caught in the act of pleasuring a client, they cannot hold her as a suspected prostitute. He shoots down Kate's argument that Helena is part of a federal investigation by asking who is being investigated and what legal grounds can be provided, in writing, to justify protective custody. But Kate finds the proper riposte, asking Sapperstein who hired him to demand Helena's release; she knows Helena didn't do it. Sapperstein tries to argue that he's known around town for taking pro bono cases. But as he reaches for his briefcase, Kate snatches Helena's passport off the table and promises to return it to her, and then promises Sapperstein that she'll discuss Helena's release soon as he provides her written documentation of who hired him to even know that Helena was being held in protective custody, much less petition for her release. Sapperstein furiously grabs up his briefcase and leaves.Kate tails Sapperstein through the streets of New York and sees him being admitted to a cordoned off area where Karpovich's legitimate model agency is giving a presentation. Karpovich is furious at Sapperstein's failure, warning the attorney that he has until tomorrow to see Helena out of protective custody. Helena has seen too much of the inside of Karpovich's organization to be left as a loose end. As Sapperstein leaves, Andrei reports more bad news to Karpovich: police in Prague have Ivanka and Helena's aunt.Kate shows photographs of Karpovich to Helena. ICE has seen his face and knows he's involved, but they don't have his name yet. She promises that arrangements are being made to bring Ivanka safely to Helena's side. When Helena still won't talk, Kate finally loses patience and tries playing hardball. She takes Helena by the arm and escorts her out of the building, telling her that she's free to go. She hands Helena back her passport, saying her boss got it for her and they have no more legal basis to hold her. Helena becomes desperate, and Kate sees she's simply unable to believe any promises as to Ivanka's safety, even if she wanted to.Meanwhile, back in Kiev, Viktor has learned the name Sergei Karpovich as the head of the model scout agency that Nadia and Tanya had auditioned at. Putting this together with Nadia's disappearance, he suspects Karpovich as being responsible. He goes to a pub to visit an old acquaintance, and asks if he might be able to get Viktor a job working for Karpovich. Viktor hopes to infiltrate the organization and rescue Nadia himself.As Nadia lays in a bed, holding the photo of her and her mother, Viktor has made it to the mansion in Vienna run by Andrei. He manages to pass scrutiny and bond with Andrei through their both having fought in the war in Chechnya after the crumble of the Soviet Union. Andrei tells Viktor that if he hires him, he'd need to be available to leave for Mexico city immediately. Viktor says it's not a problem.Kate and Helena are talking on a rooftop, and Helena manages to let go of a lot of her pain and anguish. She blames herself for falling for Frederick's charm. She also talks about the bond she formed with Nadia, and almost forgetting all the horrors Karpovich put her through when he used sweet talking and smooth promises as part of the leverage to get her to work on his financial records. Kate finally breaks through and touches Helena's heart by relating a story from her past that even Mischa doesn't know about: While growing up in Russia, during a family gathering when she was twelve, Kate's favorite uncle, Sasha, raped and sodomized her, admitting he wanted to hurt her... and when Kate told her father the next day, he didn't believe her and called her a dirty little girl. The next year at the next gathering, Sasha molested Kate again.Having gotten Karpovich's name, Kate and her team are researching his background. Karpovich has a master's degree in computer science from a Russian university, and he runs a fully legitimate modeling agency and internet dating service that make him a lot of money, although Kate is sure they don't earn him half as much as his trafficking operation does. Helena, while keeping Sergei's records, saw that the brothel house in Washington brought in a quarter of a million each month. Kate knows he operates such brothels all over America and all over the world. Such a huge, elaborate, cleverly organized operation can't be without some weak point, one that Kate is now desperate to find.Having put together this much intel on Karpovich, Kate quietly begs Meehan for the plane tickets to bring Helena's aunt and daughter to New York, and now Meehan unhesitatingly says that she has them.Helena quickly becomes more talkative once she hears this. There's one more person on her mind now that she hopes Kate can help with: Nadia. Unfortunately, Helena doesn't know the address of the house in Washington where she and Nadia were held together. She only knows that the house was on a pretty quiet street, but she remembers seeing a yellow bus ride by one day: Kate smiles, knowing it's a school bus, meaning a school and probably a children's park are nearby. Helena also remembers the sound of a train every thirty to forty minutes.Kate tells Helena that she's going to be moved to a safe house, and Helena is overcome with delight on being shown the written confirmation that her aunt and Ivanka are on a plane to the United States as they speak, and will live with her at the safe house.But perhaps the house is not so safe after all: Sapperstein is seen on the phone with Karpovich, telling him that Helena is being moved to a safe house at 1 pm, although he doesn't know where.An unmarked black minivan transports Helena and Kate to the safe house. Helena is delighted at how it's been prepared, how it's stocked with some Czech delicacies to feel more a home, and the room that Ivanka will sleep in looks ready for a young princess; even including a child's princess costume.Kate's cell phone rings. The call is unclear, and Kate has to step outside Ivanka's room in order for the reception to become clear. Helena continues looking around the bedroom. She glances outside a window and spots a billboard for Destination Airlines. The name rings a bell with her, and she remembers seeing such a billboard before. Seeing Kate occupied with her phone call, Helena opens the door leading from Ivanka's room out onto the terrace-- something she'd been warned she must never do without ICE assistance. Kate happens to look over her shoulder and calls for Helena to come back into the house quickly.A flat, firecracker-like noise rings out, and Helena's body snaps flush against the outer terrace wall. Kate reaches her to see a single, precision sniper's bullet wound in Helena's temple, that has killed her instantaneously. Part one of the miniseries closes with Kate weeping in grief over Helena's body.Part Two begins in the lavish New York City townhouse apartment of Sergei Karpovich. He's having the apartment swept for bugs. Titania enters and Karpovich puts a finger to his lips to quiet her. Karpovich is told that the apartment is clean, and he scolds Titania in the belief she didn't see federal agents outside his apartment, staking it out. He's changing his way of conducting business, telling Titania he can't afford to be seen together with her and Andrei any further. They need to continue operations as normal without coming to his apartment. Karpovich is sure that the feds are going to try and slip a mole into his organization to get close to him, as he allowed Helena to do. Grabbing Titania's arm, he warns her ominously that anyone who becomes a liability in his eyes will not be retained.Kate is seen at the airport. She has the sad task of meeting Ivanka and Viktoria and telling them that Helena is gone. Back at ICE headquarters, Meehan is trying to snap Kate out of her funk. Helena's murder was something that would have happened sooner or later, he tries to tell her. Hoping to shift the odds back in their favor, Meehan decides to play a new card. Going back on orders he'd previously given to Kate, he now wants her to talk to the other girls in protective custody. Hopefully one or more of them will be angered enough at Helena's death open up a little more and start to trust Kate. He warns her, however, not to let any of the other women see her personal feelings of guilt, because it would undermine the new work they're trying to do.Unfortunately, Kate runs into a brick wall with Ludmilla. Her fear of Karpovich's reach and influence is so great by now that she takes every word out of Kate's mouth with contempt, including when Kate tells all the women that at some point, ICE will be unable to hold them much longer and will begin deportation procedures. If any of them want to go back home, she tells them, she respects that decision, but warns them that Karpovich's men will likely be waiting.Viktor has gotten into Karpovich's organization. He's arriving at Mexico City helping to escort a group of trafficked young women. Although he's loathe to treat them roughly, he also knows he can't afford to be too gentle with them, either, and discreetly helps push them forward from time to time. The girls are loaded into two trucks which drive off through the Mexican mesas. The trucks stop at a police checkpoint, and the officers there are seen to be crooked, taking 'bribes' in the form of sex with girls of their choosing. Viktor has to force himself to keep a straight face as one of the officers climbs into the truck and begins roughly feeling up the young women's bodies.In the Philippines, Annie is helping the young Filipino girl feed a couple of birds on the other side of an air vent in their prison. The child looks and acts unwell. Concerned, Annie feels the girl's forehead and notes that she has a bad fever.Ellen arrives back at her organization headquarters to find Samantha anxiously packing her belongings. The long, slow process of trying to find Annie is taking a toll on her marriage and the family's savings. She needs to return home to try and save her marriage, knowing that Annie would be heartbroken if she was rescued only to find her parents splitting up. Ellen tries to counsel Samantha as best she can. Samantha finally breaks down and cries in Ellen's arms.Kate, Meehan and Tom Halloran are meeting with a presidential Undersecretary. Halloran must announce that the trail is growing cold on Annie Gray, despite the White House being flooded with calls. The Manila police chief is short on staff, and as Halloran notes, many of them are probably on the take. The lead Secretary is having a meeting with the president in a week and they need to come up with somethiing for him to say. The Undersecretary asks about the investigation into Helena's death, which Meehan says is all speculation at this point, with nothing concrete, unless Kate can make a convincing argument.Kate shows the Undersecretary photos of Karpovich and Helena, saying she believes it can be assumed that Karpovich orchestrated Helena's murder. It's a very large risk for someone as careful as Karpovich, and this corroborates Helena's earlier claim that Karpovich has a lot at stake. When questioned on whether Helena might have told lies in order to cut a deal, Kate reminds the Undersecretary that Helena had too much to lose, as shown by the degree of desperation she exhibited to ensure Ivanka's safety before she said a word to Kate. Kate also knows that Karpovich has no connections to the Russian mafia. His style of operation is different, avoiding hiding, displaying a squeaky-clean public face, trying to demonstrate that he's smarter than the ICE.Kate asks the Undersecretary for clearance to bring Karpovich in for questioning. She wants to try and shake him up, make him sweat a little, believing that, upon feeling he's been challenged, Karpovich will want to fight back as a sign of being untouchable. This, Kate hopes, will eventually lead to a mistake on Karpovich's part which they can exploit. Meehan also says that Karpovich must have an extremely large supply of cash from all his prostitution houses, and it must lead somewhere, give them a trail to follow. If the Undersecretary approves Kate's request, she and Meehan can put together a detailed report for the lead secretary to give to the president. The Undersecretary considers this and tells them to handle it themselves.At the prostitution house in Washington, DC, Andrei and Titania are showing the girls there a newspaper article about Helena's death, using it as a warning to reinforce their fear of Karpovich and further cow them into submission and silence, lest they suffer the same fate. Nadia, still kept at the house, cries freely as she looks at the photo of Helena's face. A client arrives at the house, having purchased time with one of the women. He chooses Nadia and takes her upstairs. Nadia begs for a moment to use the restroom. Once inside, she starts to fall apart. She spots a carrying case under the sink and fumbles through its contents, swallowing a large number of different pills. As the man is taking her, the pills start to take effect, forcing her to rush madly back downstairs to throw up.Kate is walking into a medical office at ICE headquarters. Ludmilla has tested as HIV positive. Ludmilla knows that in her homeland, this is as good as a death sentence due to inferior medical care. Kate says this is more reason why she needs to stay in America, which of course, means Ludmilla needs to play ball with the ICE. Ludmilla is disgusted at the realization, thinking Kate is using it as leverage to get her to cut a deal. As the med tech starts to draw blood, Ludmilla suddenly shoves her aside, grabs the needle and then grabs Kate by the throat, brandishing the needle in front of her face, lashing out at Kate as self-righteous. Kate disarms Ludmilla but then quickly backs off, raising a hand to stop the med tech from moving. Making one last attempt to appease the raging Ludmilla, Kate tells her that she's going to stop Karpovich, with or without Ludmilla's help.Back at her home, Kate has come up with an idea. She asks Mischa to help procure a Russian email address for her. She wants to market herself as a mail order bride in the hopes that it will allow her to slip into Karpovich's operation as an abducted sex slave. Mischa knows that Kate is turning to him for help because her ICE team, and Meehan, would never let her go forward with such a bold plan.At the poolhouse/child brothel in the Philippines, Tommy is making a phone call to check on the cargo crate being built to transport child sex slaves overseas. He argues with his contact, who is telling him of complications in getting it built to proper size. As Tommy argues with the contact, Annie sits in the room, dizzily drawing a sketch on paper, as a half-full glass of milk and an open bottle of pills sits on the table in front of her.Tommy carelessly throws down the phone on the bed and leaves the room. He goes out on the pool deck to deal with a client who wants an older woman, feeling that the children are too young for his tastes. Annie glances out after Tommy, grabs up Tommy's phone and places a call to her mother's cell phone.Ellen is driving Samantha to the airport when Annie's call comes through. Samantha is delirious with excitement to hear Annie's voice. Ellen hits the brakes and pulls over to the side of the road, trying to guide Samantha into asking Annie questions that might lead to her whereabouts. Unfortunately, Annie is only half in control of herself due to the pills she'd been forced to take, and she only knows she's somewhere in Manila. Glancing over her shoulder, Annie sees that Tommy is finishing up appeasing the client and is returning to the room, and she stuffs the phone under the blanket so hastily that she forgets to close it back up.Tommy puts a hand on Annie's shoulder, asking in a lecherous tone for her to show him what she's been drawing. Samantha overhears because the phone call is still connected. The lewd tone of Tommy's voice pushes Samantha over the edge, and she pours out all her bottled-up rage, screaming viciously into her phone at Tommy that she's going to kill him. Tommy hears Samantha's wild shrieks and finds the phone under the blanket, clicking it off abruptly. Only now, Samantha realizes the horrible mistake she's made, revealing to Annie's captor that Annie had sneaked in the phone call while his back was turned, and now he was going to punish Annie severely for this. Tommy grabs Annie and roughly shoves her down onto the bed, while Ellen tries to comfort a sobbing Samantha, telling her that now they know for certain that Annie is alive. Later that evening, back the organizational headquarters, however, Samantha is still beside herself, terrified of what Tommy might do or might have already done to Annie for calling them. Ellen desperately tries to assure Samantha that Tommy most likely didn't kill Annie.Mischa is helping Kate register for Karpovich's internet dating site, 'Catch my Love.' She has her age put down as 21, believing she won't be desired if she's too old. She and Mischa decide to list her profession as a kindergarten teacher and that she's into gymnastics, believing this will give the impression that she has a slim, attractive body.Sapperstein is sitting inside Karpovich's limo as Karpovich enters and the driver takes them to the ICE office to be questioned. As she and Meehan await Karpovich's arrival, Kate says she thinks Meehan should do the interview, which surprises Meehan since bringing Karpovich in, in the first place, was Kate's idea. Needing to hide from Meehan that she can't let Karpovich see her face because it would nip her little secret undercover operation in the bud, Kate butters Meehan up by suggesting that Karpovich is too macho to take kindly to being questioned by a woman, and also she knows Meehan is the heavy hitter in the department, and she'd like to watch him at work. Meehan sees through Kate's story enough to know that she's hiding something from him, but he can't put his finger on what.Karpovich denies ever having seen Helena when shown a photo of her before she was killed. He admits having been at the brothel/beauty parlor where she was taken into custody, but says he went there as a john seeking pleasure, and the last time he was there must have been before she started working there, as he'd never seen her before. Taking a good, hard look at Sapperstein, Meehan slyly drops the revelation that Sapperstein, aside from being Karpovich's representative attorney for the interview, was also the same attorney petitioning for Helena to be released from protective ICE custody. A careful back and forth game of cat and mouse ensues between Meehan and Sapperstein; Meehan saying that he's looked Sapperstein up in the bar registry and found that immigration cases aren't his specialty, and Sapperstein counters by saying he is qualified enough as a general attorney to handle any case he chooses, but harassment suits are his specialty, and he can file one against the ICE if they try to detain Karpovich wrongly without a solid case to press against him.Meehan quietly and slowly tells the two that Helena has told him everything he needs to know. He smiles in anticipation as Karpovich, over Sapperstein's protests, insists he will address Meehan himself. The two lock eyes like alpha bighorn sheep about to butt heads, neither backing down from the other. Karpovich challenges Meehan to arrest him if he's sure Karpovich murdered Helena. Meehan gives a soft chuckle and tells Karpovich that he's on their radar and it's only a matter of time. But he knows as well as Karpovich does, he has nothing solid to pin on him, meaning the whole interview, in Karpovich's opinion, is a waste of time. He curtly tells Sapperstein that they're leaving. Although safely on the transparent side of a two-way mirror, Kate can almost feel Karpovich's eyes squarely upon her as he looks into the reflective side and straightens his tie.Later that evening, Kate is in her cubicle at the ICE building, checking for responses to her profile on the dating site. She has three responses, one of which catches her attention. Printing up the page which includes a photograph of the man who is responding, named Jeff Templeton, she compares it to photos taken outside Carlina's beauty parlor/brothel and knows that one of Karpovich's spotters has bitten at her bait.An ICE computer technician runs Jeff Templeton's profile and quickly determines it's a stolen identity. All the other photos Kate asked the technician to run (as a cover for what she's really doing) come back legitimate.Down in Mexico, the truck is stopping a few miles south of the US border. The trafficked girls are warned that they will be led on foot, marching by night and sleeping by day. Any of them who tries to run, or who doesn't have enough stamina to keep up with the hard march, will be killed. Viktor and Walter (Richard Zeman, uncredited), an overseer in Karpovich's organization, march the young women through the mesa and through the border fence, where they're met by two SUV's, which transport them to a gas station/rest stop. There. Walter tells Viktor that he's leaving the escort convoy to take care of business in Boston. Viktor remains with the girls who are transported in another SUV to the brothel in Washington DC.Nadia is told to pack up; she's leaving with Andrei tonight, while a number of newly abducted young women are being brought into the brothel. Nadia sits glumly on a bench near the front door as the girls are marched past her. She does not notice Viktor entering behind them. Andrei pays Viktor well for his work and says he's taking another girl to another location. Viktor looks over his shoulder, finally locking eyes with Nadia. As Nadia stares in amazement and shock, Viktor makes a sudden plea to Andrei, offering to transport Nadia in Andrei's place. But Andrei points out that Karpovich himself doesn't know Viktor yet, and therefore wouldn't trust him with such a task. Viktor can do nothing as Andrei carts Nadia off to the waiting car. Nadia continues to stare at her father in stunned, tearful silence, but knows to keep quiet.Andrei herds Nadia into a studio where she is to be hardcore-raped and roughhoused by two big men in leather harnesses in front of a camera for a hardcore-porn video. Andrei tells the two men not to hold back; all they do to Nadia for the video shoot must be real in order to look real.A team of ICE agents is researching all of Karpovich's legitimate financial transactions. The news they have for Kate isn't good. One trail led to a dead end, cash payments made every month. Karpovich's operations are proving to be handled with fearsome intelligence and craftiness.Kate is handed a folder; as she looks it over, she sees a photo taken of Helena just after her murder, as she lay dead on the safe house terrace. Remembering Helena's last words before she was killed, about a plane, Kate goes back to the crime scene. Standing on the terrace, she looks out all around at the view, hoping to spot and recognize whatever attracted Helena's attention enough for her to make the fateful decision to step outside. She sees the billboard for Destination Airlines and immediately calls their offices on her cell phone, asking about their flights to New York and Washington.Driving through heavy rains down the streets of Washington, Kate locates the brothel where Helena had been kept; positively identifying it through its proximity to another Destination Airlines billboard, a children's playground, and the train Helena mentioned hearing. She sees a man take a young woman outside toward a car. Suddenly the woman rushes over to Kate's vehicle, slapping her hands frantically on the window, tearfully begging for help. The man grabs her and hands Kate a deadly glance, and Kate promptly averts her eyes, driving away, trying to act frightened of him.Kate calls Meehan, who lambastes her on driving out alone for unauthorized surveillance. But his anger is quickly curbed when Kate tells him she's positive beyond a doubt that she's located the brothel where Helena had been kept. She asks that the house be raided ASAP because Nadia might still be there, and from what Helena told Kate about Nadia, Kate feels she might be a potential witness toward Helena's murder. Meehan says he'll contact the Washington branch office for her to coordinate with, but warns her against any further heroics.In Manila, Annie is drawing sketches on the wall of the cellar with a piece of chalk. She sketches her parents and her house. As she draws, she talks to the young Filipino girl. Annie asks if the girl would like her to draw her mother in turn. The Filipino girl, who by now is showing clear signs of being very ill, raises a shaky finger. Thinking she is pointing toward Annie's ring, Annie gladly trades it for the girl's bracelet as a sign of "best friends forever."Tommy and Rico come into the makeshift cell and check on the Filipino girl. Annie tells them she's sure the child has the flu. Rico examines the child and determines that it's much worse than influenza; the girl is afflicted with bacterial meningitis, which is often fatal, and contagious; meaning it can spread to all the other children being kept, and kill them all. Annie begs the two men to take the girl to a hospital. Tommy appears to relent, and Rico carries the girl out of the cell. But when Annie climbs up to peer out of the air vent, she sees Tommy kill the child. Annie cries in fear and horror as she looks on.The camera shifts to the office of a physician in New York City, Dr. Smith (Larry Day. He is on the phone with his wife, and the camera pans in to show a photo of him with his wife and their two young adolescent daughters. Dr. Smith tells his wife that he loves her before ending the call. But as soon as he's off the phone, Dr. Smith taps a few keys on his computer to bring up a website dedicated to hardcore child pornography. Dr. Smith stares at the screen with a leering look before his secretary pages him to tell him of his next appointment.That next appointment is Karpovich. The consultation seems routine enough, but when making the next follow-up, Dr. Smith casually mentions he's going to be out of town in two weeks, for a vacation with some old school buddies in the Philippines. He casually asks Karpovich if he's ever been there, and Karpovich says he has. Theconversation starts to turn much darker as Dr. Smith asks Karpovich if he knows where one can have 'a good time' in the Philippines, and Karpovich says that in that country, there are such places pretty much everywhere. But he can tell that Dr. Smith is looking for a place 'somewhere less crowded' and slips him the phone number for Tommy's child brothel.The Washington DC brothel is raided by Kate and an ICE team. Viktor narrowly escapes through a window and races for the train. Kate spots him and pursues. Although she lands hard from a jump from the second-floor terrace and sprains her ankle and knee, Kate still manages to catch up to Viktor on the train platform and points her gun at him point blank. Viktor, desperate, takes a chance in explaining that he's the father of one of the trafficked girls and has infiltrated the organization in an attempt to rescue her. When Kate hears Viktor say Nadia's name, she finds she believes his story and lowers her gun. Viktor nods gratefully to Kate as the train pulls into the station and he hurries to board it.Karpovich is furious when he hears about the raid. The raid on Carlina's in Queens, where Helena was rescued, and now the ICE raid narrowly missing rescuing Nadia, shows a deliberate pattern to Karpovich. He's sure there's a mole in his organization, although Andrei insists that all the men under his command are clean. Andrei wonders if it's time to finally close up shop on the trafficking business, but Karpovich says that's what Andrei himself might do, but in fact Karpovich is going to do the opposite: expand. He'll open two new establishments for each one that the police and ICE shut down.Alone in the studio, Nadia sits naked near the bed upon which she'd been gang-banged. Her face is bruised and cut. Aching for some measure of solace, she sings a song to herself that her mother had sang to her when she was a child.Samantha is joining Ellen in her crusade, confronting American-looking men walking the streets of Manila with Filipino children. Samantha is also showing posters of Annie in the hopes that someone might say they'd seen her.Samantha calls a brief stop to pick up some bottled water for the two of them. Ellen happens to turn around and sees another American man step onto the street with a teenage Filipino boy, and she quickly starts her camera again to film another confrontation. As it happens, they're right in front of Tommy's child brothel, and Tommy quickly rushes out to take up the confrontation himself. He punches Ellen out and stomps heavily on her camcorder to destroy it. Returning from the small supermarket with the bottles of water, Samantha sees Ellen sprawled in the street, her cheek badly lacerated from the fall she took when Tommy hit her.Back at her headquarters, Ellen manages to repair the camcorder enough to replay the recordings. When the film plays back Tommy rushing out at her, Samantha recognizes the voice of the man she'd heard on the phone making leering come-on remarks to Annie.Tom Halloran is being driven through the streets of Manila toward the police office in a squad car. He hears from Manila's police chief, Roy Filipo, that Ellen has identified one of the men involved in Annie Gray's kidnapping; a man with an Aussie accent. He says he'll have a make run on it. Halloran doesn't notice the squad car driver glancing at him through the rear-view mirror.The driver is on the take; a mole working for Tommy. When Tommy has been identified as owner of a strip club and a poolhouse, the driver calls him to warn him that a search warrant has been issued and a raid is forthcoming. The cop doesn't know when.Tommy wastes no time. He and his underlings rush to gather all the children being kept in the cellar and start herding them out. As he warns a female overseer about what's happening, Dr. Smith is seen climbing out of the pool with a young boy, laughing happily.The Manila police raid storms in through the strip club, as Tommy and Rico herd the children through the back hallways toward an underground garage. Annie, sensing that possible rescue might be near, tries to run toward the commotion, but Rico's pull on her arm is too firm, and Annie is too scared to try and scream over the pulsingly loud music of the strip club out front. The children are herded into an SUV and Tommy drives off with them, escaping the raid with all of the children. Halloran corners Dr. Smith with the young boy whose time he'd rented, menacingly warning him what happens to white tourists who land in Manila jails.Tommy and his men have made it to a shipping port where the crate has been finished to transport the children to Saudi Arabia. He gives each child an injected sedative so they will be able to sleep until the crate has been placed on the ship and the ship is on its way. Annie struggles with Tommy and Rico, her bracelet (from the young Filipino girl) falling to the ground. But Rico notices the dropped bracelet and pockets it. As they walk away, Tommy tells Rico that the ship will arrive in the morning, and they need to be at the docks very early.At the culmination of the raid, Halloran and Roy have found the cellar where the trafficked children were kept. Halloran sees the chalk drawings Annie made, and tells Roy to have Samantha brought over immediately.Kate, back at home, is checking another email from 'Jeff.' She notes that Jeff seems to like her, but hasn't yet asked her if she'd like to come over to see him. Mischa suggests she take initiative and 'pop the question' herself. Leaning over toward the monitor, Mischa enlarges the photo of Jeff and believes that he looks like their uncle Sasha. Kate's deeply emotional outburst at the suggestion shows how heavily invested she is, in stopping the trafficking operation, although Mischa, who doesn't know what Sasha did to Kate, doesn't make the connection.As Kate turns back to her computer, starting to type a response to 'Jeff's' email, she hears footsteps and thinks that Mischa forgot something on his way to the store. But in fact it is Meehan coming in to her apartment. He takes a look at Kate's sprained ankle, wincing at the large, black-and-blue spot there. But Meehan is here because he knows Kate better than she thinks he does. He saw right through Kate's report on the Washington DC brothel raid. He knows that even if Kate broke both her legs in the fall from the brothel's second-floor terrace, she'd have run on her hands to catch Viktor. Meehan knows she let him go instead of simply failing to catch him and make the arrest. Kate finally tells Meehan that he had told her to trust her instincts, and she believed Viktor's story that the traffickers had his daughter. Accepting Kate's explanation, Meehan prepares to leave, when Kate's instincts spur her to tell Meehan the whole truth, including about her plan to infiltrate Karpovich's organization as a trafficked mail order bride. She shows him her profile on Karpovich's internet dating site and the email she's received from 'Jeff.'Samantha Gray cries as she looks at the chalk drawings Annie made of her and her husband, and their house under a warm sun. Back upstairs, the hostess of the pool house is being interrogated. Tom Halloran also is conducting an interrogation, of Dr. Smith. He vows to plaster a mug shot of Smith all over American TV news for his wife and children to see. He demands to know how Smith found the brothel. Terrified of what the future holds for him, Dr. Smith says he got the number from a patient of his. Halloran peers close into his eyes and asks, "Who's the patient?"
Score: 76 %
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at 30.9.2022 23:45