Synopsis for
"The Philanthropist" San Diego (2009)

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Teddy (James Purefoy) talks about his fondness for Dostoevsky's novella The Double: A Petersburg Poem which deals a man confronting his doppelganger. It is revealed that a young man has been running around San Diego claiming to be Teddy and using his credit card for extravagant clothes, cars--and charity. An angry man, Walter (Mark Pellegrino), takes umbrage with the fake Teddy's actions, and the real Teddy explains the story from the back of a van in which he has been kidnapped.

Several days previously, Teddy is relaxing in Malibu when Gerard calls and tells him that an expensive painting that he purchased has arrived. He also mentions that there have been recent large charges on his credit card in San Diego, and Teddy realizes that someone else is using it. He becomes intrigued when he hears that the thief is doing good deeds with the money, and immediately jets off to San Diego to find him. He goes to a nightclub and learns that the fake Teddy recently bought drinks for everyone, which the real Teddy then proceeds to do as well, to everyone's delight. When he leaves, however, he finds that his rental car has been vandalized. Later, he tracks the credit cards actions to a fancy hotel and bursts into the room with Dax (Michael Kenneth Williams) to find a terrified young couple. The man (Jake McLaughlin), a Marine, explains that the fake Teddy offered to put him and his wife up in a hotel after learning that their house burned down. Teddy is startled by the thief's generosity and pays for the couple's rent on a new home.

Elsewhere, Olivia (Neve Campbell) and Philip (Jesse L. Martin) dine with their associate Kenneth Adams and his wife, Renee (Kari Matchett). Kenneth is suddenly arrested by the FBI, and Olivia learns that he is accused of fraud, and is in fact guilty. To her horror, she then discovers that Adams was running a Ponzi scheme, meaning that the foundation is essentially broke and that their charitable donations must immediately cease for the time being. She is forced to rescind on several recent contributions, and eventually confronts Adams angrily.

Back in San Diego, Teddy continues tracking his "double" and finds out about more altruisms he has committed, including building a ramp for a man in a wheelchair. He offers to continue making the man's home more accessible for him, and when the man thanks him, Teddy admits it takes no real sacrifice on his part to do such things. He eventually tracks the fake Teddy to a strip club and gets into a physical altercation with the man, who then escapes. Dax, a former Corps member himself, observes that the man has Marine training, judging from his fighting skills, and he makes a phone call and acquires a meeting with a colonel at Camp Pendleton. The man promises to look through his records to find the fake Teddy, and when Teddy and Dax leave, they find that their rental car has again been trashed.

They soon find out that the thief is Private Dean Fitzsimmons (Jesse Lee Soffer), and Teddy and Dax go to his home, where they find a recording of Dean addressing his parents, explaining that he is about to ship out and should view the tape upon his death. It deeply affects Teddy, who realizes that Dean was spending the money and doing good deeds in preparation for his death overseas. He and Dax go to Dean's parents' house, where they learn that he comes from a long line of Marines, including a brother who died. Deans mother calls her son and Teddy speaks to him, and they agree to meet on a beach that night. Teddy goes there with Dax and wonders if he can get Dean out of his service and prevent him from going to Afghanistan to spare his parents the trauma of losing another son, but Dax reacts angrily, saying that Teddy cannot deny him the honor of serving his country. They soon realize that Dean is not going to show up. When Teddy arrives back at his hotel room, he is grabbed by Walter's men, and Walter says that Teddy took advantage of his girlfriend and caused trouble in his club, not believing Teddy's claims that it was someone else pretending to be him. Just as Walter begins to vent his feelings on Teddy with a baseball bat, his girlfriend arrives and states that it is not the same man. Teddy takes the bat from an embarrassed Walter and smashes up the mans club in retaliation for his injuries and for the rental cars.

He then learns that Dean has been arrested, and he goes to the jail to visit him. Dean explains that he saw Teddy at a nightclub in New York several weeks previously and ended up taking his credit card, and that it felt good to emulate Teddy and do charitable deeds. Teddy agrees to drop the charges, but then tells him that he has had him transferred to a security department of the Corps and that he will not be going to Afghanistan. When Dean protests that he wants to stay with his squad, Teddy tells him that it is his punishment, and that getting to live is far better than going to prison. Returning to New York, Teddy sells his expensive painting and uses the money to donate vans to the veterans' center in San Diego, putting the contribution in the name of Dean's deceased brother.
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