9

In The Fast & The Furious (2001), undercover officer Brian O'Connor worked at Harry's Auto Parts as a front to get inside the world of street racing. In the opening sequence, Brian has an argument with Dominic Toretto, which leads Dom to put pressure on Harry to fire Brian.

Is it ever explained in the movie why Harry is forced to keep Brian in his shop after that? Was Harry in trouble with the law and forced to be the front for Brian? Under normal conditions, I would think if the biggest source of your income wanted an employee of yours fired, you'd fire them. Unless there were extenuating circumstances.

4

When Brian is "arrested" and taken back to the posh house that is being used by the FBI (Agent Bilkins) and Police (Sgt Tanner amoung others) to stage their operation, Harry comes up in conversation...

Bilkins: You want time, buy the magazine. We don't have time. Just get me something I can use.

Tanner: Is Harry cooperating?

Brian: Like a guy that'll do time for receiving stolen property if he doesn't.

Tanner: What kind of vibe is he getting from Toretto?

Brian: He's scared of him, but he doesn't think he's jacking trucks.

So its clear that Harry has made a deal with the police

  • OK, this is what I was looking for. I'm just going to double-check that part of the movie and pay closer attention to the dialogue. If it checks out, I'll accept it. – Johnny Bones Jan 10 at 13:37
  • I find your lack of faith disturbing... but that's fair, it just before they have the "he's too controlled for that" conversation where they explain to Brian about Dom hitting a guy with a wrench – Blade Wraith Jan 10 at 14:33
  • I remember the scene; they pick him up, bring him to Eddie Fisher's old house with the bridge in the front yard, and have a conversation with him. Out of the nth times I've seen the movie, I always miss most of that conversation. :o) – Johnny Bones Jan 10 at 14:51
  • OK. Just watched it. The line is, "Like a guy who's gonna do 3 - 5 for receiving stolen property". So, Harry is being forced to be the front for Brian, or he goes to jail. Perfect. Thanks! – Johnny Bones Jan 10 at 14:59
10

To the best of my knowledge, it's never stated outright that Harry is in some sort of trouble although it is strongly hinted at with the following dialogue:

Harry: Brian, you're messing with my business. When Dominic drives, he's golden. Kids pour in. They want everything he has. Every performance part. They pay cash!

Brian: What did Dominic say?

Harry: You don't want to know.

Brian: What did Dominic say?

Harry: He wants you out of here.

Brian: He wants me out of here?

Harry: Yes.

Brian: And what did you say to Dom?

Harry: What do you think I said? I told him, "Good help is hard to find." Relax.

Brian: I need NOS.

Harry: No.

Brian: My car topped out at 140 miles per hour this morning.

Harry: Amateurs don't use nitrous oxide. I've seen how you drive. You've a heavy foot. You'll blow yourself to pieces.

Brian: I need one of these. One of the big ones. Actually, let's make it two. And, Harry, I need it by tonight.

Brian clearly has a hold over Harry - the inference I took from this was that Harry got caught out doing something a bit illegal and has offered to assist the police in trying to nail Dom. This isn't the relationship of an employee (Brian) and a store owner (Harry) as it's clear Harry has no power at all.

  • I upvoted, but this really just reinforces my question. It may turn out to be the answer, but I wasn't sure if it was ever referenced, either later in the movie or in one of the sequels, which is why I also tagged the whole franchise. I'll have to see if anyone knows more before I accept it. – Johnny Bones Jan 9 at 15:01
  • @JohnnyBones Harry only exists in the first movie and is never (to my recollection) mentioned again. – Dave Jan 9 at 15:02
  • 1
    Just my thought about it, since Harry gets his business from Dom, and Dom has a hold on Harry, that's the connection right there. The FBI knows this and has leveraged Harry to either help or be an accomplice. Harry doesn't want to go to prison so he helps, reluctantly. From the conversation, it would seem that Harry knows Brian isn't just a regular Joe off the street working a job trying to be a street racer. – SiXandSeven8ths Jan 9 at 15:08

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