"The Cleaner" Trick Candles (TV Episode 2009) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • As William tries to finalize a bid on a new house, he is forced to babysit Henry, a relapsing client, until he can get him into rehab the next morning. But when Henry learns his wife plans to divorce him, he drags William on a manic chase across L.A. to find the one thing that will win his wife back: her diamond ring, sold to pay for drugs. William loses the house, but realizes it's a second chance with Melissa.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Welcome to the season finale of 'The Cleaner.' We open with a man named Henry getting ready to shoot up. "We'll find him, Stacy," William says in a voice over. Cut to the Cleaner laying asleep in bed when Akani and Arnie come rushing in with a cupcake. "Happy birthday!" they yell. It's not William's real b-day, but it is his sober-day anniversary. And there's something else, too. "Don't tell me you forgot," Arnie says. "The charity bike-a-thon?!" But William has no time for pedaling. He need to find this Henry, who we see getting hiiiiiiiiiigh.

    Later, PK comes rushing into the garage. "I came to get some bikes," she says. PK then invites William, who turns his old sponsor down. Cut to Davis, who we met in an earlier episode. Turns out the dude is STILL drinking. PK, Akani and Arnie urge the man to celebrate William's "sober day." "You know, he did try and help you," Arnie said. PK, who is Davis' sponsor, feel terrible while watching the man chug booze. She couldn't help him either.

    Stacy, meanwhile, meets with William. "What set him off?" the Cleaner asks. Turns out that the not-so-happy couple was discussing divorce. Or, rather, Henry's wife was insisting on it. "Tell him that he needs to find a new place to live," Stacy says. A few hours later, William, Akani and Arnie have located Henry. They rent the hotel room down the hall from the unsuspecting client. Suddenly, drug dealer Leo shows up. "What you got?!" the Cleaner demands. "I hate to see you get locked up." William then pays off the man, who leaves happily.

    Arnie knocks on Henry's door, pretending to be a drug mule. The addict opens the door -- and the Cleaner BURSTS inside the room! Henry throws a water jug at the William, who deftly dodges. "How long you been using!?" William demands. Three days, Henry answers. Arnie and Akani then announce that they have to leave for the charity bike thingy (which we're beginning to suspect is actually William's big sober-day party).

    One commercial break later, William drives Henry to the garage. "This is your fifth relapse in three years," the Cleaner says. "It's time to get honest." Indeed. William then explains that he is 10 years sober TODAY. "We're going to be spending the day together," the Cleaner explains. "You better follow my lead." Just then, Henry sees the divorce papers that Stacy gave William -- and begins freaking out! "I have to go home!" Henry whines. "Take me home, William! Please! Please!" So the Cleaner takes Henry home -- and Stacy promptly gives the addict his packed bags. "I've been holding on for a real long time," she says. "And I have to let go." Love might not be the strongest glue, after all -- and doesn't William, who is going through his own divorce, know it. It's like the Cleaner is looking in a mirror! Henry then starts mumbling about getting a ring back from the dealer he traded it to for drugs. Akani and Arnie, meanwhile, head to the home of Harrison, who we also recognize from a season-two episode. "William will be happy to see you at his birthday party," Arnie says.

    Cut to William rushing into a bank, where Melissa waits. He is trying to get a loan for a new home and needs his wife to sign because they still share a bank account. Melissa asks if he really wants to go through with buying a new home. He does. Just then, a commotion outside! Henry has escaped! William rushes out into the street, but the addict has procured a cab and made a clean getaway. The Cleaner curses. Foiled again!

    Naturally, William heads directly to Leo, who explains that Henry came by looking for his ring. The Cleaner pays the little scumbag for information. Turns out Leo's ex wife has the jewelry in question. Leo hands over an address (after his palms are appropriately greased). Akani and Arnie, in the meantime, continue to round up various guest stars from the past 12 weeks. It's like the whole band is getting back together! But while his associates are getting reacquainted with the recent past, William has found Henry. The man, of course, is hiiiiiiigh as a kite in outer space. Just then, Leo's ex wife pulls up -- wearing Henry's bling-tastic former ring, of course. "Who the hell are you!?" she demands in a voice that could shatter glass. Henry pleads for the ring. His excitement becomes so great that he collapses on the lawn. Leo's ex wife beings shrieking and yelling in the most annoying manner possible. "I can't do this anymore, man!" she screeches. With the Cleaner's help, Henry swims back into consciousness. "I gotta get that ring," he whispers. "It's the only thing that holds my family together."

    William rushes back to the bank, but it's closed. "I just lost the one house in the greater Los Angeles area that I could afford!" William screams. Says Henry: "You didn't want that house." So true. It's like the Cleaner is talking to himself! "The last thing you want to do is put that final nail in the coffin of your marriage," Henry says. Akani and Arnie, meanwhile, try to round up former drunk bum Sunshine but find that she is dead. Akani weeps. "She OD'ed! our sexy assistant cleaner says. "She could have reached out!" Alas, you wiin some and lose others. That's the way of things in the Cleanerverse. Back to plot A, Henry pleads with William to head back to his house. The addict gets down on his knees and holds out the ring to Stacy (he apparently acquired it for a price). She is defiant -- at first. Then she begins crying. "I'm so sorry, baby!" Henry sobs. "I'll do anything!" Says Stacy: "Stay clean." The deal is that Henry can stay ONE night, say goodbye to the kids, and then go straight to rehab. William doesn't like the plan. Henry shouldn't be out of rehab at the moment -- not even for one single night.

    The Cleaner returns to the garage in a huff and is surprised by all his former clients. "You didn't think it was a bike-a-thon, did you?" Arnie asks. William turns away in an even bigger huff before being stopped by PK (what a party pooper). "You did this for all these people," she says. "Who's taking care of you?" The impassioned speech convinces the Cleaner to return to the party. "Happy birthday," says a familiar voice. Melissa emerges from the shadows. She smiles at her soon-to-be ex (or maybe not?). Then the testimonials begin. Each former addict updates his or her story -- and thanks William for a job well done. The Cleaner practically blushes.

    Later that night, William returns to his old home, where Melissa, Ben and Lulu still sleep. "I know how hard it has been to be married to someone like me," the Cleaner tells his wife. "I think I was afraid to see myself the way you saw me." Melissa says that no one loves him more than her, but he "couldn't sit still." Asks the Cleaner: "What do you want?" She says she only wants him to close up the house at night, check on the kids and be a normal hubby and dad. "That's the only thing I ever wanted," Melissa claims. Whispers William: "I can do that."

    Henry, in the meantime, returns home under Arnie's supervision. We cut back and forth between Henry's house and the Cleaner's abode -- further reinforcing the notion that the 10-year sober vet and the raw addict are two sides of the same coin. Just as the Cleaner is crawling into bed with his wife, Arnie calls. Turns out Henry has asked for William's immediate assistance. "Go," Melissa says. The more things change, the more they stay the same, it seems. So the Cleaner arrives at Henry's house. He holds the man ... while his wife sleeps alone.

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