At the office, E.L. is inspecting some stolen watches a friend, Racetrack Richard Rollin, has brought in for him. While Racetrack talks about a crooked horse betting scheme he was involved in, E.L. picks the wristwatch he wants and bargains him down. While Racetrack wraps it and gives him a phony sales slip, E.L. nervously checks the time and looks out the window. Once Racetrack leaves, E.L. puts up a sign and tapes helium balloons to the floor. When Lionel returns from his karate class, he discovers that E.L. has thrown him a one-man birthday surprise party. E.L. gives him the wristwatch as a present. Lionel thinks that it's hot, but E.L. convinces him otherwise with the fake sales slip.
The celebration is interrupted when E.L.'s new parole officer, Jonathan Dalem, calls to tell him he's late for his parole meeting. He notes that E.L. has apparently never been there, and tells E.L. that Larry Craig has been transferred. Dalem warns that he goes by the book and tells E.L. to be there in ten minutes. E.L. grabs Lionel's car keys and runs off, and Lionel leaps in. As they drive across the street, a panicked E.L. explains about Dalem and barely avoids numerous accidents. He gets lost and admits that he's only been to the parole office once, a year ago. With time running out, Lionel has E.L. calm down and identify a nearby building. Lionel takes the wheel and gets them there, and E.L. arrives six minutes late.
The secretary, Bernice, greets him and thanks him for all the presents he's sent to the staff. She pages Dalem, who tells her he's already called the police. E.L. convinces her to fake a time call and then goes in. When Dalem doesn't believe him, E.L. calls Bernice, who fakes the time. Dalem reviews Larry's list of parolees, which he calls "Loose Larry's List of Losers," and E.L. tries to convince him he works with a boys club and a church choir. The officer isn't impressed and tells E.L. he's going to recommend that E.L. go back to prison at the parole board, and tells E.L. to be there or else.
As they leave, E.L. tries to convince Dalem that he's a nice guy, and suggests they go to dinner. Dalem refuses, and E.L. spots an approaching blue Chevy. He gets Dalem out of the way as the driver tries to run them over, and Lionel goes in pursuit. He loses the guy and knocks over a patrolman's motorcycle, and the officer arrests him.
Dalem tells E.L. that saving him doesn't mean anything, and tells E.L. to be at the meeting on time.
E.L. bails Lionel out and they go back to the office. However, the police looked at the wristwatch's sales slip and discovered it's a forgery, and the wristwatch was part of a $100,000 robbery. Lionel will be arraigned for buying stolen property. E.L. says he'll take the rap, but Lionel warns that he'll go back to prison for parole violation. He figures they can investigate and learn who tried to kill Dalem. Lionel figures it was one of the parolees on Larry's list, and E.L. figures it might work.
The partners take Bernice out for drinks, and the secretary is duly impressed with their lives as detectives. Lionel asks her to let them look at Larry's list. When she's reluctant, Lionel explains that one of the ex-cons may be trying to kill Dalem. A distracted E.L. hasn't been paying attention, and admits to Bernice that he hates prison. She agrees to help for all the presents he's got for the parole staff. She's goes back to the office and smuggles the list out, and meets with the partners downstairs. Thrilled, she admits she wouldn't mind working with them as a secretary, and E.L. offers to get her a gift.
The partners go after the first person on the list, Mason Eddie. As they drive, Lionel admits that he knew the watch was hot, but he accepted it so he wouldn't hurt E.L.'s feelings. He figures it's his fault and he'll take the heat since it's his first time. E.L. is touched. They arrive at Eddie's house and spot the blue Chevy parked outside. As they approach, they notice the door is open. Going inside, they find a corpse. The police pull up outside and E.L. has Lionel cover the body with the drapes. E.L. then pretends to be an old woman and tells them he called, and they got the wrong address. Once they leave, the partners try to slip away, but the officers spot them and pursue. E.L. has Lionel drive to a nearby hospital, and then has Lionel pretend to have a heart attack. He pretends to him as a paramedic and they take refuge in an ER room. E.L. then wheels Lionel out, disguised as a corpse, and they escape in an ambulance.
Once they park, Lionel is depressed that things are going badly on his birthday, while E.L. wants to escape to the Bahamas. Lionel would rather figure out why Eddie is dead. E.L. agrees to check the rest of the people on Larry's list, but if nothing turns up, they'll leave town. Lionel agrees.
E.L. and Lionel go to see Bernice and ask what the other parolees on the list were being investigated for. Eddie was an explosives expert and wheelman. Mark Grimes was a bank robbery planner, and Harry Monroe was a safecracker. The partners figure that the three ex-cons were planning a heist, Dalem found out about it, and they tried to kill him. However, Lionel doesn't know why they would have killed Eddie. Bernice agrees to loan them her car and is eager to help, and again offers to work for them. Lionel is interested in having her, and E.L. quickly pulls him away.
E.L. and Lionel stake out one of the ex-cons' house and see him drive away. They follow him to a warehouse and E.L. slips inside, but two men in an armored car capture him. They direct him to the back of the truck and order him in. Dalem is there, wearing a security guard's uniform. They drive away and Lionel follows them. The other ex-cons are there, and suggest they can use E.L. E.L. tries to talk his way out but Dalem says that he'll be working with them. Mason went nuts and tried to kill Dalem, and Dalem killed him. They plan to take the city payroll, and then Dalem will go to the Bahamas to evade extradition. When E.L. tries to back out, Dalem threatens to kill him if he doesn't cooperate and E.L. has no choice.
The armored car pulls up at the Hall of Justice and E.L. goes in with the others through a closed entrance near the rear. The guard refuses to let Lionel in so he circles around to the front and tries to report a robbery, but nobody believes him. Meanwhile, the robbers go upstairs and take the money. They come back down on the elevator and Lionel sees them go. He circles back around and leaps onto the armored car as it pulls away. E.L. spots him while the others gloat over the loot. E.L. then kicks the door open, Lionel jumps in, and the partners subdue the crooks. Lionel figures that they're out of trouble
Later, Bernice and E.L. throw Lionel a birthday party at the office and she asks if the secretarial job is still open. She gives him a present and notes that she's bought a trenchcoat just in case she gets the job. Lionel admits that it's an owner-operated business, and being a private detective isn't that glorious. He doesn't have much luck. Lionel opens his present and discovers that it's a wristwatch. She admits that she got it from Racetrack, who sells them down at the parole office. Bernice admits that she's never had such a good time in her life, and asks Lionel to put it on. He gives in, while E.L. takes a call Jack Spardlyn, his new tough parole officer. He gives E.L. ten minutes to get to his office, and they're off...
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