01x06 - The Light on the Hill

Episode transcripts for the TV miniseries "Secret City". Aired: June 2016 to present.
"Secret City" revolves around senior political journalist Harriet Dunkley, who uncovers a secret city of interlocked conspiracies, putting innocent lives in danger including her own, beneath the placid facade of Canberra.
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01x06 - The Light on the Hill

Post by bunniefuu »

An ASD Agent, Kim Gordon, was k*lled investigating a m*rder anti-China activist, who called himself Max Dalgety.

Dalgety knew something. Kim was k*lled for the same thing.

And I wanna know what it was.

It's Sandy Dalgety.

That photo you showed on the telly, we know know that is.

This is their son.

The real Max.

And that's Dan White, in the left.

Why would he use Max's name?

Dalgety was shut down.

Why was it shut down, Thomas?

I... I don't know anything!

Someone k*lled her. She was your friend!

I didn't mean to get her in trouble.

Who did you tell?


I told Vaughn.

It did make sense that Kim wasn't k*lled at Mount Pleasant.

This could be the place where she died.

We had him, Dancer. We had Zheng.

I'll let you get some sleep.

I don't wanna sleep.



I know the cyber att*ck wasn't China, but I need to convince the PM that it was orchestrated by Catriona Bailey.

Did I miss the apology or was that it?

I need to prove this conspiracy to Toohey or I can't shut down Safer Australia.

We're talking about the biggest pro-US, anti-China politician in the country.

She's about to set up her own spy agency.

I'm asking you as a personal favour, Weng.

[Journalists asking questions at the same time]

Senator Bailey, does this new legislation make you the most powerful person in the country?

[Laughs] The Prime Minister might have something to say about that.

I have a request...

Can you keep an eye on Paxton?

He could be a problem.

The Safer Australia Agency...

Gan bei.

Gan bei.

[Indistinct chatter]

What's she doing here?

Special privileges. Mother's request.

She thinks Diane Dunkley's dissident story got Sabine back.

And did it?

[Plane door opens]

[Journalists asking questions at the same time]

Come on, Mom is here.

It's okay, baby, I'm here.

It's alright, sweetheart, I'm here. Come with me.

[Journalists chatter]

Alright, Sabine. I'm Martin Toohey.

Well, it's good to have you back.

[Journalists chatter]

What's it like to be back on Australian soil?

There's more people this time.

[Journalists chatter]

It's time to go, sweet. I'll call you.

[Journalists chatter]

Did she just say there's more people here, this time?

[Car engine starts]

Humm. I was wondering when you would come back.

I need to take a shower.

Yeah, I've got an early start too.

We could save on water.

[Laughs] Sounds environmentally friendly.

I'll be there in a second.

[Water running]

Have I ruined your marriage?

No, the marriage is great.

When there's a continent between us.

[Sending text/Receiving it]

[Incoming text]

[Metallic sound]

Did Sabine give you an exclusive?

Yeah. I'm seeing her this afternoon at Maconochie Correctional.

I've been the senior on this story for months.

So why you and not me?

Moral compass?



It's from Mrs. Dalgety.

[Opening package]

[Presses Play]

Hey, Mr. and Mrs. D., it's Dan. Coming to you from Virginia, in the good old U.S. of A. It's different here compared to Georgetown. But the people are friendly and the computers are fast. Yeah, Max would have really liked it. Anyway, I hope you're both well.

[Car door opens]

I promise to come visit when I come back home. Whenever that is.

[Presses Stop]

[Car door closes]

Don't do that to me!

[Laughs] Some cutting edge technology there, I see.

Dan White.

Aka Max Dalgety.

He used to send cassette tapes to Max's parents.

From Langley, Virginia.

As in, CIA...

The CIA target and recruit hackers all the time.

Young prodigies.

What if Dan White wasn't a dissident?

What if he was working off the books for one of ours?

He could have been with one of the Listeners.



Everything points to ASD.

Maybe it's got nothing to do with Zheng.

I disposed of Dan White's body at the request of ASD.

You tell me this now?

Well, now it's significant.

I thought it was a clean-up but I didn't realize it was a cover-up.

If Dan White is an operative, that means that he had to have been vetted by ASIO.

Which means, there's a file.

And even if I got it, you couldn't publish it.

Oh, this is so far beyond publishing.

This is about Kim.

I need to see that file.

[Car door opens/closes]

It's all set to record.

Thanks so much. Perfect.

Thanks for seeing me.

Shall we just start?

[Presses Record]

My mom says she trusts you.

She thinks that my article about the illegal abduction of dissidents helped to... force Beijing into a prisoner deal.

Sabine, at the Airbase you said, "There are more people here, this time."

Are you saying yesterday wasn't your first real homecoming?

I think I've been home for weeks.

It doesn't make any sense.

After the trial, they sedated me for a 2-hour flight.

Told me it was transfer from Chin-Chang to Harben.

But, I think it was to Australia.


The man on the plane, escorting me, spoke Mandarin, but his accent was wrong.

It doesn't really prove anything.

I know.

But then I heard a magpie.

They don't have magpies in Zhejiang Provence.

[Prison door opens]

[Prison door closes]

If China handed you over a month ago, why wouldn't the Government announce it?

And what was the bargain?

We know what was in there for Toohey.

So what was in there for China?

I don't know.


I'm sorry, I'm not feeling very well. Where is that media officer?

The dissidents?

We give MSS free rein to act with impunity on Australian soil to disappear anti-China dissidents, while we close our eyes to it?

I'm sorry...

Sabine, did you know?

Chloe, are you still there?

Sabine! Sabine, did they make you name names?

Sabine. Kevin Dang...

That's enough now.

Qui Kwan Sing... Sabine?

That's enough.

I'll send you the audio file.

I just wanted to talk to my mom.

Just this way.

To Cerberus!


I thought this was supposed to be a celebration.

Now that the shackles are off Sabine Hobbs, we need Toohey puts a knall in favour of the military buildup.

Well, the President is eager to get you guys off the sidelines and into the game.

We need full inter-operability: land, sea and air.

With key personnel in the chain of command.

And our new Defense Chief working hand in glove with your General.

Until then, Brent, rest assured, I'll be your point person.

Good. And what about your Defense Minister?

I'll handle him.


Not for me, thanks, George.

I have somewhere I have to be.

My grandson is in town.

I didn't even know you had children, Catriona.

Me neither...



Ollie, why don't you go and feed the ducks, hum?

[Metal sound]

Grandma, there are no ducks...

Hum, persevere, Ollie...

Don't let disappointments stop you from trying.

[Water splashing]

There you go...

Grandma has got to work, now.



We've been f*ck.




I put Price up to speed.

Now, this claim by the Hobbs girl...


On whose authority was she secretly detained in Australia?

Ah, if not Government, than Agency.

They're supposed to be the same thing. Has there been a coup nobody told me about?

Price has run it by the lawyers.


Well, any publishing of this claim comes directly under Section 35-P of the ASIO act.

And any breach of the ASIO act constitutes an offense with a presumption against bail and, under the special *** of Safer Australia, charge of treason.


I'm writing an article, not k*lling the Sovereign.

Well, the legislation is, if nothing else, Kafkaesque...

This is a newspaper with a proud history of reporting without fear or favour.

Any conspiracy of maleficence, official or otherwise.

It will be seen as an att*ck on National Security, Gus.

By exposing an abusing executive power?

You'll have to ask Catriona Bailey for comment.


If we do that, she gets an injunction.

Kills the story.

God, if you publish, they will charge you.

With a freshly minted law, like Safer Australia, believe me, the Government will be keen to prosecute.

So let them!

My ex has been m*rder.

I've been sh*t at, my apartment has been ransacked.

Getting them into Court may be our only hope of getting to the truth.

And exactly how many crippling legal bulls do you think this paper is going to pay for you, Harriet?


So what story can we publish?


"Deeply traumatized Australian girl, with third-degree burns, thought she had a magpie in a Chinese prison."

We're done.

[Closes door]

Where did you find that?

I was packing her stuff. It was in one of the boxes.

Well, it's supposed to be private.


And so is this.

You only brought this because you know that they're not gonna let me print this story.

Brought all that to help find out who k*lled Kim.

And will this help?

It proves that Dan White was ASD.

Working for Vaughn.

And, ultimately, Paxton.

So, if Kim was k*lled as part of Dan White's cover-up, that's more than likely one of ours than it is one of China's.

You look like you're in love.

'Till death do us part?

There's just gotta be some way for me to get this story out, Dancer.

Just rattle the cage.

Yeah, you do that and they'll put you in one.

Kim risked everything for it.

I need a drink. Do you?


[Door closing]

I've got Dan White, aka Max Dalgety's file.

He was undercover. On the payroll.


I'm late. If I don't catch the last flight out, Wendy will k*ll me.

We can't let this people silence us, Gus. We have to get them in front of a judge.

I live in the real world, Harry.

Where the editor-in-chief makes his calling and he dies a little inside, but he lives to fight another day.

Your approved article has been uploaded online.

End of story.



Yeah, but I accidentally sent the wrong version and it's riddled with errors.

So, hum... We need to get the correct one uploaded, as soon as possible, before the tabloids get a hold and have a field day with us.

Yeah, you can try and get in touch with Reardon, but he is on a plane at the moment, by the time he lands, it's gonna be a circus!

You're a life saver! Thank you so much. You should have it there now.

[Hangs up]
[Engine starts]

Turn this off, Howie. I have to go back inside.

[Music on earphones]

Hi, Thomas.

So, you've seen it.

Do you know what you've done?

Yeah. I've published my last article.

The paper will cut me loose, *** certainly gets into prison.

But until then, in the last hours of freedom I've got left, I am gonna find out who k*lled Kim and why.

I can't help you.

But I know you're gonna run to Vaugh, after this, because you've done it before.

There's blood on your hands, Thomas.

That's why you can't sleep at night.

That's why you can't look me in the eye right now.


Okay, look, all I know is that she traced the second Dalgety SIM after Vaughn shut it down and then she used my computer to steal "Vinegar Hill" off the ASD system.

Ok. "Vinegar Hill", what is that?

It's a classified decryption program.

And Vaughn knew about this?


He wasn't happy. Mind you, Vaughn is never happy, but this took him to another level.

And this was the day that Kim died?

No, it was the day before.

There's a 24-hour period that is unaccounted for?

I figured she ran off-site where she couldn't be seen.

You know, even with "Vinegar Hill", a file like that, it could take hours, even days, sometimes.

Okay, Thomas, I need you to access the ASD vehicle logs.

Okay... What am I looking for?

I want you to see if there was any Agency vehicles checked out by Vaugh, on the day that Kim was k*lled.

But... No! I could lose my job!

Not if you're as good as Kim said you are.


Hey, Dancer it's me. I think I know who we're looking for.

How the f*ck does an employee of ASD end up gutted on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin and I find out about it from Harriet Dunkley?

It's one thing to lie to the press or the public, but to lie to me?!

Dan White was a covert operation undisclosed at Ministerial level.

You're not gonna tell me you didn't know either?

We're looking into it, Sir.

You do that.

Meanwhile, the Federal Police has issued a warrant for Harriet Dunkley's arrest.

The woman is unstable.

And friendless.

She isn't entirely friendless, though. Is she, Catriona?

You've been backgrounding it for months.

On nothing of consequence, Martin.

So... you're happy to throw her under the bus, than?

Keep this under the radar, Vaughn.

I'll take care of it, Sir.


Sabine Hobbs.

The story is a bid out, Martin.

Conspiracy theory twaddle.

We're talking about a traumatized girl, who's been through an ordeal and who, let's face it: was, obviously, barking mad to set herself alight in the first place.

My Director General, Paul Wheeler, has reassured me, personally.

He flew to China to collect Sabine.


But then, how is it that this...

*** Hercules manifest says that that plane took off from Fairbairn, carrying the same number of passengers that it landed with, after circling the Eastern seaboard for eleven hours.


Vice-Admiral Hartzig falsified that document, in return for your guaranteeing her Chief of Defense.

I haven't signed off on anyone for Chief of Defense, let alone Hartzig.

It goes to Cabinet next week.

My office, now!

[Door opens]


Hartzig got a hold of the manifest.

So, we pin it on McAuliffe.

They can't k*ll McAuliffe twice.

You co-signed the order, Paul. I can't protect you.


You're going to have to fall on your sword.

Paxton's drawn blood, Toohey needs a body and it has to be you.


[Door unlocks]



Turning yourself in?

The warrant is out already?

Yeah. Come in.


Yeah, I know what this is about.

You do?

You're looking at 5 to 10 inside, and you couldn't face it without knowing, once and for all, what it would be like to sleep with me.

What is that?

I just came back from the sh**ting range.

And some likes to pin them up on his wall.

[Incoming text]

Good news?

One used an ASD fleet vehicle.

A black SUV, the day that Kim was k*lled.

The next morning, it was booked in for a cleaning in detail.

I've just sent you the rego.

So that you can check it against the CCTV footage, en route to Mount Ainslie.

What's going on, Dunkley?

The 24 hours before Kim's body was found are unaccounted for.

She wasn't at ASD.

She stole that decryption software, so that she could crack a file, on the SIM, to find out what Max Dalgety was cut open for.

And she went off-site. Somewhere that... that they couldn't find her.

Any ideas? You knew her best.

Not sure that I did.

Gareth Robbie might have.

Well, I've got the credit card details from his dodgy motels where he and Kim met.

Is this legit or did you doctor it?

Told you I'm good.

Well, it's really good to know that if we're ever confronted by a paper man, with a target on his chest, you have us covered!

[Unlocks door]



[Tries to break in]


Dancer, someone is trying to k*ll me.

[Indistict whispered conversation]

Please, can you help?

Hang on, I'm coming now!

Just stay on the phone. Stay with me.



Charles, it's ***




[Out of breath] Okay.


It's okay.

You're gonna be okay.

[Heavy breathing]

You need to disappear.

Harriet, get on a plane.

You're not safe here.

Where would I go?


Morocco, Costa Rica?

As in, no extradition treaty.

You think the Federal Police would just let me skip the country?

I can arrange a passport for you.

Beijing has summoned me back.

I know you've been running Bailey.

I don't know what you're talking about.

Don't lie to me!

This one is a burner.

I used it to send a fake text to my phone, from Hartzig.

In less than 24 hours, the same false information came from Catriona Bailey's mouth.

You'll return to Beijing a failure.

And we all know how tolerant Beijing is of failures.

I fly out tonight.

I just wanted to say goodbye.

You could defect to the U.S.

They would set you up in the Chinese Studies Program at Harvard.

A quiet life of Academia in exchange for MSS state secrets.

I'd be sh*t before I reached Embassy gates.

Let me make a few calls.

Here, if you need me.

I'm gonna go sort out your passport. You wait here.

Thank you.

Me llamo Harriet.

Come se llama... Ahhh.

[Phone vibrating]

Sasha Rose.

It's Harriet.

Whatever you do, don't come in.

They're going through your stuff.

That's why I need you to do something for me.

I need you to log on to the server.

In the reference library, there's a file of the speech given in Mandarin, by ASD Director, Vaughn, at the International Terrorism Conference, last month?

When you've got it, can you e-mail it to me?

Cara from Media Liaison, at Maconochie Prison?


Thank you.

So, thank you. You've taught me a lot.

Aw, thanks, Sasha.

Mostly, what not to do. But, still.



Anna Duncan...

Your new passport.

Now let's get you a plane ticket.

I need to see Sabine Hobbs.

[Engine starts]

[Incoming text]

This is crazy.

I mean, everyone is trying to lock you up in here and... here you are, walking in by choice.

Yeah. Will you promise you'll come visit me?

What? Here or Costa Rica?

Well, Costa Rica, preferably.

Go, go.

I'll get the ticket and I'll meet you back here and we'll go straight to the airport.



Sabine, I wanna play this for you and I want you to tell me if this is the voice you recognize.


[Presses Play]

[Vaughn speaking in Mandarin]

No, that's not him.

He had a really specific accent.

Are you sure?

Can you just keep listening, please?

[Vaughn speaking in Mandarin]


[Another man speaks in Mandarin]

That's him.

That's the voice.

The voice from the plane from Beijing?

That's him.

[Man keeps speaking in Mandarin]


Do you know who he is?


Harriet? Harriet? Tell me!

Guard? Guard?

Guard, can you let me out, please?


[Car door opens]

She doesn't pose a thr*at.

She has been sacked and discredited.

She will be out of the country by the end of the day.

That won't shut her up.

She will write a blog or...

... something.

And she will be just one more hysterical conspiracy theorist, saying the sky is falling.

We don't want another body, Paul.

Make sure you don't f*ck this one up.

[Closes glove compartment]

Brimmer. Brimmer, forget Vaughn. It's not Vaughn.

I know, Harry. I found her laptop.

You're gonna want to see what's on it.

The Dalgety SIM?

Yeah. Media file.

A Chinese secretly filmed Sabine Hobbs' handover.

Yeah, for insurance, in case we *** on the deal.

That or blackmail. Listen...

You're never gonna believe who they handed her over to.

No, I know, I know.

[Indistinct conversation]

Come on, you don't wanna miss your flight.

Thank you. Here you go.

Where is your g*n?

I left it in the car to save time.

I'll drive. I know a shortcut.

[Door opens]

Baudelaire was right.

"The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist."

But I know, Catriona.

And I know you've never read Baudelaire.

The genius of you...

Is that you've been spying for China, for years, from inside the pocket of the Americans.

But it's over.

They are gonna know who the real Catriona Bailey is.

Are they now?

Obviously, you haven't heard the news.

Car accident on the way to the airport.

The Ambassador's wife was k*lled.

Tomorrow morning, you'll be resigning your Ministry.

Citing family reasons.

I've got you down for a rotting corpse on the backbench.

Who is gonna believe the most pro-U.S., anti-China Minister in the Government is a spy?

Not when there are...

MSS surveillance photos of every rendez-vous you and Weng ever had.

There's a difference between truth and plausibility, Mal.

You can keep those.

I've got copies.

This isn't the way to the airport.

Well, I can't go without saying goodbye.

Kim and I used to always meet up at the Lookout before we went hiking.

This was our shortcut.

Did she ever tell you about it?


[Car door closes]

[Locks car remotely]


If you miss the flight, Vaugh will...

Just here.

Just where the path narrows just between the pines. I...

I figure this... was the place.


She saw the footage of you at the Sabine Hobbs handover.

She refused to give you the SIM.

You k*lled her here.


Get on that plane.

You sh*t at me. On the lake.

You sent one of your men to leave me to bleed out in the bath.

But now you're gonna k*ll me too, right?



Stop it! Stop it!

Stop it! Stop it!

[sh*t fired]

[Heavy breathing]

Freedom is not a crown worn lightly.

It weighs heavy with responsibility, for those of us who are fortunate enough to wear it.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

And the Safer Australia Agency is about enshrining that vigilance, to protect all Australians from the dangerous few.

To ensure that, at least on my watch, no matter how dark the darkest night, the light on the hill will never go out.

[Prison door opens/closes]

[Prison door opens]

You come to gloat?


I'd like to pay your legal defense costs.


With misappropriated Union Funds?



What's the age-old proverb?

The enemy of my enemy... is my friend.

Are they treating you alright?

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