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#109 : Le Choix

Titre VO : Siege

Conrad Hurley, un électricien qui vient de se faire renvoyer, prend en otage la banque. Johnny qui est à l’extérieur, alors que Sarah fait partie des otages, a une vision de massacre. Il décide d’entrer dans la banque pour éviter le pire. Guidé par ses visions, il tente de changer le futur mais chaque fois qu’il le change, il a de nouvelles visions dans lesquelles il voit Sarah mourir, ou bien lui-même, ou bien les otages. Finalement, Johnny arrive à gagner la confiance de Conrad ; il réussit à faire libérer les otages, puis Conrad décide de se rendre.


5 - 1 vote

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Ecrit par titite




(It's a fine day, and people are out doing their business, among them Johnny, Sarah and little Johnny, who's running ahead as they walk along the sidewalk. They find him waiting for them in front of the general store, next door

to the bank, where there's a coin-operated race car ride.)


LITTLE JOHNNY: (re: the ride) Mom, can I?


SARAH: Not now, honey. I have to stop in the bank…


LITTLE JOHNNY: Puhleeeeze…


JOHNNY: (pulling out a quarter) Here. It's on me.


(He smiles, holds out a quarter, but little Johnny's still awkward around big Johnny and hesitates, looking at his mother. And it's a passing moment but an important one as Sarah wants so much for these two to bond and it isn't coming easily.)


SARAH: It's okay.


(The boy takes the quarter.)


SARAH: Say, "Thanks."


LITTLE JOHNNY: (mumbles) Thanks.


(Johnny helps him climb in the race car and starts it up to tinny music and loud engine noises.)


JOHNNY: (ironic) He's really starting to warm up to me.


SARAH: He will. (dry) If you have enough quarters.


(She smiles encouragingly.)


SARAH: Think you can handle a few minutes alone with him? I've got to run to the bank.


JOHNNY: I can always turn to my hand animals if things start to get rough.


(He makes a dog shadow with his hand…)


SARAH: (to her son) I'll be right back, Johnny.


(Little Johnny is not pleased to see her go but he's on his ride. A beat after she leaves, the ride rocks him as he stares uncomfortably at the man his mother always hangs around with. Johnny grins but feels just as uncomfortable.)




(Two tellers, Karen Hayes and Tom Kelly, are each with customers… There's a ding from the door as Sarah enters O.C.)


KAREN: (counting out money) Ten, twenty, thirty, forty…


(As Tom finishes the transaction with his customer…)


TOM: Thank you. Next in line please.


(The next customer, Melanie Romano, approaches Tom's window filling out a deposit slip… the camera wanders across the bank finding the guard (Rudy young), sitting easily by the door… then to Vice-President and General Manager Henry Spahn in the waiting area greeting an elderly couple Mr. Stratton and Mrs. Stratton (late 70's+).)


SPAHN: Mr. and Mrs. Stratton. Come have a seat in my office.


(As they move to his office -- that's seen better days pulling into the parking lot, going too fast over the speed bumps, Hurley Electrical contracting painted on its doors. The truck parks in the furthest space at the back of the lot. The driver, Conrad Hurley, gets out. He's wearing clean work clothes and carrying a big, long, heavy tool box. He has the weary, self-pitying eyes, in a William Macy kind of way, of a man who has endured more than his share of bad luck and bad breaks. He drinks but he's not drunk this morning. As Karen's customer finishes and moves away…)


KAREN: Next please.


(Sarah smiles and walks to the counter. The original two customers exit. A moment later, Conrad comes in.)





(Ding from the door. Security guard Rudy Young looks up as Conrad enters.)


GUARD: Morning, Conrad.


(Conrad pauses and looks over for an extra beat as though his life is flashing before his eyes and then just says with a certain resignation :)


CONRAD: Hey Rudy.


(Moving by Sarah to catch just a snatch of conversation at the teller's booth with Karen Hayes…)


KAREN: …to raise funds for the library…


SARAH: Maybe we could do a silent auction…


SPAHN: (to the Strattons) …I've reviewed your Ira and Annuity accounts and you have nothing to worry about.


(Conrad marches up to him.)


CONRAD: Henry…


(Spahn isn't happy to see Conrad but he remains professionally cordial.)


SPAHN: I'm busy right now, Conrad.


CONRAD: I really need to talk to you, Henry. (to the Strattons) Morning, Mrs. Stratton, Mr. Stratton.




MR. STRATTON: Heard from Arleta, Conrad?


(It's the kind of blunt curiosity that only old people get away with. Mrs. Stratton gives her husband an embarrassed elbow to the side. Mr. Stratton looks at her…)




CONRAD: No, no, I haven't heard from her, Mr. Stratton. Henry, if I could…


(Spahn grits his teeth…)


SPAHN: (to the couple) I'll only be a second.


(He moves away from them…)


SPAHN: If this is about the contract, there's nothing to talk about.


CONRAD: Seventeen years I've worked in this township, Henry; I… I'd say I've done a pretty fair job on all your electrical work,

haven't I…? Henry? Don't I deserve at least the chance to…


SPAHN: The Council voted and that's it. I'm sorry.


(Spahn walks away from him back to the Strattons. Conrad lets out a deep breath…)


CONRAD: (a sad smile) Yeah. Me too.


(He clangs his toolbox down on Spahn's desk. Spahn and the Strattons jump and everyone else looks over. Conrad opens the toolbox and takes out a short-barrel 12-gauge pump action shotgun. The Strattons' eyes go wide as Conrad brandishes the gun… and although he is a man who knows guns, he is no expert at bank robbery and he's scared to death…)


CONRAD: Okay. Okay. All of you -- put your hands on your heads and stand real still.


(Finding Sarah among the others… a long beat as they stare at the man with the gun… some like Sarah put their hands on their heads right away… others like Spahn who know Conrad hesitate thinking at first this isn't serious…)


CONRAD (CONT'D): Rudy, come on over here with the others. And I'll need your gun. Don't try to be a hero, okay?


GUARD: You're calling the shots, Conrad.


(He follows the orders and crosses to Conrad with his hands raised but his eyes are alert and ready for an opportunity. There is none. Conrad takes the .38 revolver out of Rudy's holster.)


CONRAD: My name is Conrad Hurley. Some of you know me. I don't want to hurt anyone, okay?


SPAHN: (staring at Conrad in amazement) Conrad, what are you doing?


CONRAD: What's it look like I'm doing, Henry? I'm robbing your bank.


MRS. STRATTON: (to Mr. Stratton, blaming him) You had to bring up the wife.


CONRAD: Mrs. Stratton, I'm sorry but I need you to put your hands on your head. If you'll all just cooperate, this will be over before…


SPAHN: This has gone far enough, Conrad. I'm going to go get the Sheriff if you don't put that gun down. Spahn starts to walk toward the door. Conrad picks up the gun he took from Rudy and fires it, barely missing Spahn, who stops in his tracks and turns white…


CONRAD: (determined and scared) Henry… I was raised to never point a weapon at anything I wasn't gonna shoot… I missed with the first shot… I won't miss with the next one…


(Spahn sees those weary, dangerous eyes and knows Conrad is very serious. He puts his hands on his head. Off Sarah's reaction…)




(Panning to find it's Dana's  we've been seeing. She parks and gets out.)




(She is approaching the general store and sees Johnny with little Johnny, who's still driving his car. She comes up, smiling.)


DANA: Babysitting today?


JOHNNY: Sarah just went to the bank.


(Dana is just beginning to feel a rivalry with Sarah over Johnny…)


DANA: It's great how the two of you have been able to keep up your friendship… under such difficult circumstances…


(The quarter runs out.)


JOHNNY: Whup, last quarter. Where is she anyway? (Hand shadow time) Look, Johnny, a chicken…


(Dana offers a quarter…)


DANA: My treat… getting two Johnnies for the price of one.


JOHNNY: (finally, a smile) Thanks.


(She holds out the coin, their hands touch… and ramp to Johnny as he starts visibly, his eyes widen and we're in…




(…outside the bank in the future… ambulance, fire trucks, patrol cars, paramedics… broken windows and smoke bombs still dissipating… body bags are being carried out of the bank… Dana is with other reporters as they cover the story… TV cameras rolling… still photographers shooting… one TV newsman sticks a microphone in Johnny's face…)


TV NEWSMAN: They say you can see the future -- how could you not see this coming when it was fifty feet away from you!?


(And the vision ends as we…)




(Dana sees Johnny's stricken expression…)


DANA: Are you all right?


JOHNNY: (sotto) Call Walt. Get him over here. Something terrible is going to happen. Soon. (Bends down to little Johnny) I'm going to go find your mother.


LITTLE JOHNNY: I want to come…


JOHNNY: No. It's okay. You hang here with Dana, okay?


(Dana's about to protest, but stops at what she sees in Johnny's eyes.)


JOHNNY: Call. Now.


(He turns and walks toward the bank. Dana grabs her cell phone and calls as we…










(Karen and Tom are emptying the contents of the teller drawers into ordinary banker's boxes. Sarah, Melanie and the Stratton’s huddle in the back. Sarah comforts Mrs. Stratton…)


SARAH: It'll be okay, Mrs. Stratton. You heard him - he doesn't want to hurt anybody.


MRS. STRATTON: (nods bravely, whispers) His wife left him, you know. He drinks a little.


(Conrad crosses to the vault with the shotgun, watching Spahn open cabinets, one after another, each with its own key.)


CONRAD: Tom, I know what you're thinking… but don't forget I know where the panic buttons are… I installed 'em… (Calls toward vault) Let's go, Henry. I'm running behind schedule now.


(Ding from -- The front door as Johnny enters. Conrad reacts, chastises himself for forgetting…)


CONRAD: (murmuring to himself) The door, Conrad. Step number three. Lock the door.


(Johnny's eyes narrow as Conrad brandishes the gun at him…)


CONRAD: Uh hi, we're in the middle of something right now. I hope you're not in any hurry.


JOHNNY: (measuring the situation) Take your time.


CONRAD: (can't quite place the face) Do I know you?


JOHNNY: Can't say we've met.


(But Conrad has seen that face somewhere.)


CONRAD: Just sit over there with the others. Rudy, go lock the door.


(As Johnny sits by Sarah, Rudy rises and moves toward the door to lock it…)


JOHNNY: You okay?


SARAH: (nods, whispers) Where's…?


JOHNNY: (before she can finish) Outside, with Dana Bright. He's fine.


(She reaches for his hand. As their fingers intertwine, Johnny's hit with…)




(Rudy has made a move for the gun and they're struggling for it… it discharges… swish panning to Sarah who, still holding hands with Johnny on the floor, has caught the full force of the bullet in her chest and has fallen backwards…)




(As Johnny sees the guard is moving back from the door… eyes already glancing toward Conrad whose attention is diverted by the activity in the vault. The guard is about to make his move when…)




(Conrad turns and sees Rudy coming back and that's the end of that idea. The guard frowns as Conrad looks to Johnny…)


JOHNNY (CONT'D): …uh, actually I do have a meter running outside… exactly how long do you think we'll be…


CONRAD: Be quiet.


JOHNNY: Yes sir.


(Conrad exchanges a suspicious glance with the guard who goes to sit and almost seems to guess what almost happened but moves back to business.)


TOM: You want travellers checks, Conrad?


CONRAD: Travellers checks, cashiers checks… the whole shebang. And if you're thinking about tracing the numbers when I cash them, Tom, I'll save you the trouble… I'm going to Jamaica…


KAREN: What are you gonna do in Jamaica, Conrad?


CONRAD: What do you think I'm gonna do. I'm gonna sit in the sand and drink co-co-no-nos.


MELANIE: It's… It’s beautiful this time of year; my husband and I went on our honeymoon…


(Just talking makes her lose control… she begins to shake and cry… Conrad sighs…)


CONRAD: Miss, miss, really, this, this would be easier all around if…


JOHNNY: She's scared. Why don't you just let her go?


CONRAD: (sharp) Since when did you become my partner? (beat) Henry, can we finish this up, please… you got an hysterical customer here…


(There are four banker's boxes filled with negotiable and currency, and with the lids on you'd think they held nothing but records. Now Spahn stacks them onto a small dolly and secures them with a bungee cord as Conrad slings the shotgun and takes the .38 from a shoulder holster under his jacket.)


CONRAD: You people are going to stay in here and count to a thousand. Slowly. Don't do anything stupid. It's not your money, understand? (Then) Someone's coming with me…


(He scans their faces - just the eye contact with Melanie makes her whimper louder… he finally comes to Sarah…)




(He motions for her to come forward but Johnny steps in front of her.)


JOHNNY: She's got a son. Take me instead.


(He stands… Conrad studies him. Unlike the others, Johnny doesn't seem scared -- he's not acting right.)


CONRAD: You just don't quit, do you? Who are you - I've seen you somewhere…


JOHNNY: My name is Smith. John Smith.


(Conrad looks at him, something doesn't feel right about him, shakes his head, decides not to take him along…)


CONRAD: No, no, you're staying here.


(He pokes Johnny back with the barrel of the shotgun and as he does…)




(Conrad's shotgun blasts outside (O.S.) as a hail of bullets answers… windows break… glass flies everywhere… Spahn is mortally wounded…)




(As Johnny reacts…)


SPAHN: I'll go with you, Conrad.


(Conrad ignores this and continues to stare at Johnny.)


CONRAD: All right, Henry. Let's go. (to the others; pointing the revolver at Spahn) I'm just taking him so nobody does a dumb thing like setting off the alarm… as soon as I'm in the truck, Henry goes free, understand?


JOHNNY: I have to tell you something first…


CONRAD: What is it with you?


JOHNNY: The Sheriff's outside.


(Conrad's whole face darkens. Johnny is really unnerving him. He shoves the gun hard into Spahn, propelling him forward toward the front door…)


SARAH: (whisper) Johnny, what do you think you're doing…?


JOHNNY: (beat, grim) Trying to change the future.





(seeing squad cars and officers through the window… Walt is outside one of the cars, talking to Dana… little Johnny is led away by a female officer…)




(Conrad reacts. Now Walt and Roscoe are heading for the bank.)


CONRAD: (to Spahn) Close the blinds, all of 'em. Rudy, kill the lights!




(As, walking, they see Spahn through the windows, lowering the blinds, with Conrad looking over his shoulder. Walt frowns. He knows both these men and this sure doesn't look right.)




(Conrad steps away from Spahn and goes to the door, letting Walt see the gun in his hand.)




(Walt and Roscoe stop walking. Walt puts one hand on his weapon in its holster and the other on his radio. With all the rest of the blinds drawn, Conrad turns the open sign on the door to closed and lowers the last shade. Walt keys on the radio.)


WALT: (radio) Base, we have a bank robbery in progress, Cleaves Mills Savings and Loan. I need backup, now -- looks like he's taken hostages.


RADIO VOICE: Ten-four, Walt.


ROSCOE: Sarah's in there?


WALT: (grimly acknowledges) Call the State and get a Tactical Team over here.




(The lights are now off. Conrad is clearly spooked. He holsters the .38, unslings the shotgun and marches to confront Johnny.)


CONRAD: How'd you know the Sheriff was out there? Are you a cop?


(He points the weapon and expects an answer.)




CONRAD: Then how.


JOHNNY: I called them.




JOHNNY: Before I came in the bank.


CONRAD: How could you call them before you…?


(And then it all comes together in his mind.)


CONRAD: You're that guy. The, the, the one who… sees things. (Johnny silently acknowledges) …And you're screwing up my bank robbery.


JOHNNY: I'm trying to stop you from making the biggest mistake of your life.


(Conrad shakes his head - can't believe this is happening to him…)


CONRAD: I don't believe in any of that garbage. You just stay clear of me, Mister. Just stay clear of me.


(He walks two steps away as though to put an end to this bizarre chapter and then steps right back…)


CONRAD (CONT'D): I suppose you've seen me getting killed today or something.


(Johnny just looks evenly at him.)


CONRAD: You think that scares me? It doesn't. When I got up this morning, I decided that this was the day I was going to Jamaica or the day I was going to hell.


(Outside, a siren approaches. Conrad's mind's racing. He goes to the window.)


CONRAD (CONT'D): Believe me. I'm fine with either.


(On reactions…)










(More official vehicles are arriving… the crime scene is growing…)




(All the hostages seated together on the floor. Conrad is scrambling up on a desk and, using the butt of the shotgun like a club, he knocks one of the surveillance cameras off its pedestal. It smashes to the floor. Sarah comforts Melanie as she shivers and whimpers with each smash.)


TOM: What's the point of that? Everybody knows who you are, Conrad…


CONRAD: I don't want anybody watching what I do…


(He jumps up on another desk.)


MRS. STRATTON: I remember you, Johnny…


JOHNNY: Yes, ma'am, Mrs. Stratton. I was in your fifth grade class.


MRS. STRATTON: We're going to be all right, aren't we? This will all turn out all right…


JOHNNY: (lying, but smiling) Yes, ma'am.


(Moving to…)


KAREN: Conrad, I need to go to the bathroom.


(The phone rings. Conrad feels himself being pulled in all directions.)


CONRAD: Karen, this really isn't a good time, okay?


KAREN: Good or not. It's time.


(The phone continues to ring… Conrad brushes his hair back with his hand uncertainly…)


CONRAD: Okay. Okay. Everybody who needs a bathroom break go with Karen. But, but leave the door open.


MRS. STRATTON: I'm not leaving the door open, Conrad.


(She struggles to get to her feet and as Johnny and Sarah assist her… Johnny reacts to…)




(Johnny has a flash of Mr. Stratton, on his knees beside a supine and motionless Mrs. Stratton, shaking her desperately.)


MR. STRATTON IN THE VISION: Wake up! Edna -- please -- wake up!




(With dread in his eyes, Johnny watches Mr. Stratton move with his wife toward the bathroom… then finds Sarah looking at him intently.)


SARAH: (low) You saw something, didn't you?


(He looks to Sarah, acknowledging silently… as, warily, he approaches Conrad… who is trying to ignore the ringing phone…)


JOHNNY: I have to talk to you.


(Conrad can't believe it: here's Johnny, breaking his balls again.)


JOHNNY: (keeping his voice low) Mrs. Stratton is about to have either a heart attack or a stroke. She's going to have to go to a hospital.


CONRAD: I do not want to hear your crap! Do you understand me?!


(He finally answers the phone that has been ringing off the hook…)


CONRAD: (to phone) What?




(Walt's standing by his car, talking on the car phone… Dana's near-by. A crowd is beginning to form outside the police perimeter.)


WALT: This is Walt Bannerman, County Sheriff.


CONRAD: How ya doin', Sheriff?


WALT: Not so good. How about you?


CONRAD: Never been better.


WALT: This your truck out here?


CONRAD: What truck is that…


WALT: Hurley Electrical. Someone saw you pull in the lot this morning… You Conrad Hurley Junior?


CONRAD: I haven't been a 'junior' since my daddy died when I was seven.


WALT: Why don't you let those people out and you and me can talk this through, Conrad. No harm, no foul.


CONRAD: Can't do that, Sheriff.


WALT: I just don't want you to do anything crazy, you know? There's a way out of this, Conrad.


CONRAD: As long as it's the way to Jamaica, I'll take it.


WALT: Okay, let's talk about Jamaica.


CONRAD: Don't insult my intelligence, Sheriff. All you gonna do is make me madder than I already am.


(He slams the phone down.)


MR. STRATTON: Help, somebody help me!


(And Conrad reacts, now what? Johnny and Conrad move over to find Mrs. Stratton has collapsed just as Johnny had seen in his flash… Mr. Stratton is on his knees beside a supine and motionless Mrs. Stratton, shaking her desperately.)




(Conrad can't believe what he's seeing. Is this a trick, something Johnny cooked up with Mrs. Stratton? Johnny throws a searing look at Conrad.)


JOHNNY: She's not breathing…


SARAH: I know CPR.


(Sarah starts to work on Mrs. Stratton…)


MR. STRATTON: Wake up! Edna… please… wake up!


(Johnny gets to his feet and advances on Conrad.)


JOHNNY: You've got to let her out.


(The phone starts ringing again. Conrad shakes his head like he could make this all go away and we think, maybe, he's starting to lose it. Slowly push in on Conrad as he tries to get his mind around what's going on. Mrs. Stratton's not responding to the CPR. Conrad sees accusatory eyes, some angry, some frightened, all staring at him. Tom and Mr. Stratton are bent over Mrs. Stratton, their efforts growing more frantic. Mr. Stratton looks up at Conrad.)


MR. STRATTON: Damn you, Conrad, she's dying!


(Conrad's lips are moving, like he's talking to himself. He scans the faces, all looking at him, and finds no comfort in any of them… except Johnny's. At least, in his, there's something like compassion.)


JOHNNY: Let me tell them we need an ambulance.


(Conrad just stares at him.)


JOHNNY: (not ungentle) If she dies in here, this won't just be armed robbery and kidnapping -- it'll be murder.


(Finally, Conrad nods assent, knowing he's losing control and unable to figure out how to stop it. Johnny answers the ringing phone.)




(With Walt…)


JOHNNY'S VOICE (PHONE): Sheriff, this is Johnny Smith.


WALT: Johnny -- is Sarah okay?


(Johnny keeps it impersonal for Conrad's benefit :)


JOHNNY; (completely neutral) Yes. This is an emergency -- we need an ambulance here immediately -- a woman in her seventies is suffering from a heart attack or stroke.


WALT: (to Roscoe) Ambulance. Code three.


(In the bank, Conrad starts to feel like he's getting his wits about him.)


CONRAD: Tell 'em she goes out, they don't come in.


JOHNNY: (phone) Have the paramedics wait at the door. We'll bring Mrs. Stratton out.


WALT: (phone) All right. Can you talk at all? How many robbers are there? How many hostages?


JOHNNY: One, and nine.


WALT: What kind of weapons? Explosives?


(Johnny notices Conrad, staring at him suspiciously.)


JOHNNY: I'm not in a position to answer that question.


WALT: Let me talk to Conrad.


JOHNNY: (holds the phone out to Conrad) The Sheriff wants to talk to you.


CONRAD: No. Hang up.


(So Johnny breaks the connection. Walt shakes his head.)


WALT: Lost him. We've got a woman down in there with a heart attack. I need that ambulance!


(There's background movement and urgency with all that follows here : Harlan Casey (mid-30's), leader of the Tactical Team, is looking at plans of the bank building, then at the building and the relative isolation of the lot.)


WALT: (to Casey) See any problems?


CASEY: Negative. Simple building. New.


(He nods approvingly.)


WALT: Let's put two of your men in the basement… (Points to the building plans) If we need them, they can go up through the ventilation system…


CASEY: You got it, Sheriff.


(He moves away. Dana follows him. We can hear the distant siren of an ambulance moving this way in the background…)


WALT: I want you back with the other reporters.


DANA: Can I offer a suggestion?


WALT: No. Get out of here.


DANA: (doesn't move) Conrad Hurley's wife left him three weeks ago.


WALT: I'm way ahead of you. We're tracking her down.


DANA: Have you checked her aunt's home in Dixmont? (Walt's look says he didn't know about the aunt) Then I guess you're not so far ahead of me.


WALT: How'd you know she had an aunt in Dixmont?


DANA: I'm a reporter. One that doesn't like to be back with the others.


WALT: (to Roscoe) The Mrs. has an aunt in Dixmont. Let's get somebody moving in that direction.


(Roscoe acknowledges, moves off.)


WALT: Thanks for your help.


DANA: You're welcome. We both have people we care about inside that bank, Sheriff.


(As Walt's eyes narrow at that revelation… the siren winds down as it approaches…)




(Conrad has Spahn look out the blinds…)


SPAHN: The ambulance is here.


SARAH: Let Mr. Stratton go with her.


CONRAD: No, I'm not letting any others go.


SARAH: (firm) They've been married fifty years. He needs to be with her.


(And Conrad looks at the Stratton and perhaps he's thinking of his own wife as he sighs and says…)


CONRAD: Fine, he can go. (Turns to Johnny) You help him take her out. But I want you back, and when you come bring a TV.


(Johnny acknowledges and then as an afterthought, Conrad grabs him firmly by the arm…)




(Filled with smoke… broken apart… wounded and dead hostages… Conrad sprawled dead on the floor… police and paramedics moving inside…)




(Conrad still holding his arm…)


CONRAD: I'm trusting you to come back because I figure you might know what happens to these people if you don't… partner.


(On Johnny's somber nod…)




(The ambulance is on the street. Paramedics are waiting at the door with a stretcher and gurney as Johnny and Mr. Stratton carry Mrs. Stratton out. Conrad locks the door behind them. Mrs. Stratton and Mr. Stratton get hustled into the ambulance and Walt pulls Johnny over to the command post. By the command post where Dana smiles at him, happy he's safe…)


JOHNNY: He wants a TV set.


WALT: Roscoe -- get us a TV!


ROSCOE: Where am I supposed to find a TV?


WALT: (reacts) Go into somebody's apartment over there, I don't care…


ROSCOE: What if they're watching it?


(Walt glares at Roscoe.)


ROSCOE: (nods) Okay, okay.


(He hustles off. Johnny sees the question in Walt's eyes.)


JOHNNY: Sarah's fine.


WALT: Does he realize who she is?




DANA: Who else is in there, Johnny?


JOHNNY: Henry Spahn, two tellers, Tom and Karen, the security guard, his name's Rudy, a woman customer, not sure of her name…


WALT: What kind of weapons?


JOHNNY: He's got a sawed-off shotgun and a revolver -- that's all I've seen. He's got some beef with the Town Council…


DANA: He lost a bid on a three hundred fifty thousand dollar contract to rewire the courthouse.


WALT: And lost a wife over his boozing. Has he been drinking today?


JOHNNY: I don't think so. But he's real jumpy.


WALT: Don't tell him yet but we're trying to get the wife over here to talk him out.


(Casey comes over… listening to his radio.)


CASEY: My men are going in now.


WALT: (off Johnny's reaction to the news, answering the unsaid question) Into the basement. In case we can't talk him out.




(Two men with slung rifles, ropes and other equipment, covertly slip down the entryway to the basement.)




(As Roscoe returns with a small portable TV…)


ROSCOE: (to Walt) This may cost you a vote in next election.


JOHNNY: I'll take it in.




(And that was kind of quick on her part…)


WALT: We don't send hostages back in once they're out. I can deliver it to him.


JOHNNY: That was the deal, to get Mrs. Stratton out.


(Walt shakes his head, takes his arm to hold him back… and suddenly…)





(As Johnny shudders, chilled to the bone… Dana notices…)


DANA: What'd you see?


JOHNNY: An undesirable outcome.


WALT: (getting a little angry with him) What do you think you're doing here? Playing with Fate or something?


JOHNNY: (a grim responsibility) It's a jig-saw puzzle, Walt. A moving, shifting jig-saw puzzle of the future and I'm right in the middle of it.


JOHNNY (CONT'D): Each time, I move a piece, the picture changes - it's like a… a ricochet effect… I've never been in anything like this before. I only know I've got to keep fitting the right pieces together until I like the picture that's coming out. Right now, I don't like it. You wouldn't either.


WALT: I'm not going to let Sarah die…


JOHNNY: Then I've got to go back in.


WALT: (beat) At least let me wire you.


JOHNNY: No, let's play it straight. I think he's beginning to trust me.


(Walt and Johnny hold a look. Reluctantly, Walt stands back and lets Johnny carry the TV back into the bank. Off Dana, watching him disappear through the door…)










(He is reporting live from the scene… We can hear the drone of a helicopter overhead. More people have come to see the events in person. This is becoming a real community event.)


NEWSMAN: …a single armed man holding seven hostages inside the building identified as Conrad Hurley, a disgruntled electrical worker…




(The TV's been set up and everyone's watching live coverage of the scene from outside. We see aerial images of the siege on the screen.)


NEWSMAN (CONT'D): (on the TV) …Channel Four News has learned that one of the hostages inside the bank is Sarah Bannerman, wife of Sheriff Walt Bannerman, who happens to be in charge of the situation here in Cleaves Mills this morning…


(Favoring Sarah as Conrad reacts to this news. He steps in front of the TV and turns the sound off.)


CONRAD: (an angry beat) Sheriff's wife, huh? And nobody told me…


(He looks at Johnny accusingly… then to the women…)


CONRAD: It's gotta be one of you two. Lemme see ID's.


SARAH: That's not necessary. I'm Sarah Bannerman. Here's my driver's license.


(She hands it to him. Conrad looks at it for a long time.)


CONRAD: (to Sarah) You just got to be my ticket out of here…


(Off her reaction…)




(Walt answers his cell phone.)


WALT: (phone) Yeah. (Beat) Sarah? Honey… you okay?




(Conrad listening to the receiver…)


SARAH: I'm fine. How's Little Johnny?


WALT: He's fine. He doesn't know what's going on. He's with Mrs. Tuttleman.


SARAH: I don't have much time. I'm calling to tell you Mr. Hurley's demands.


WALT: He knows who you are?


SARAH: It was on TV.


WALT: Dammit. What does he want?


SARAH: A helicopter. Then a jet plane with enough fuel to fly to Jamaica. And he wants to take a hostage with him. Me.


WALT: No way I'm letting him…


(Conrad takes the phone from Sarah…)


CONRAD: Anything happens to me, it happens to her first. Understand, Sheriff? I hate to see another man lose his wife for no good reason.


(He hangs up…)




(Walt tries to control his personal despair, turns his options in his mind… he has his own jig-saw puzzle to put together here… he looks at Casey…)


CASEY: My men are ready. Call him on the private line that rings at the safety deposit desk. Hurley picks it up. We have a clear shot at him. Boom. It's over.


WALT: (considers) No. Not yet.


CASEY: (dubious) Sheriff, under the circumstances, maybe you should let someone else take charge…


(Walt gives him a hard look.)




(Catching Conrad in mid-rant to a very scared Sarah…)


CONRAD: If something happens, it's his fault, not mine. Not mine. Stop staring at me. Go sit down.


(Sarah's pretty shaken up at this point… she sits beside Johnny on the floor… a tear rolls down her cheek… Johnny searches for the words to comfort her…)


JOHNNY: Walt's gonna do the right thing.


SARAH: What if there isn't a 'right thing'. What then?


JOHNNY: There's got to be. We just… we just have to find it… together.


SARAH: Have you seen a way out of this?


JOHNNY: It's a moment to moment proposition.


SARAH: Just like the rest of life.


(A beat as she considers him... and this is said with as much love as we've ever heard from Sarah…)


SARAH: I'm glad you're here.


(And as soon as she says it, she knows how ridiculous it sounds…)


SARAH: I don't mean I'm glad you're here here. I mean, I… (She begins to giggle quietly) What a stupid thing to say at a time like this…


JOHNNY: (grins easily) I can't think of any place I'd rather be…


(Conrad glares over… and that ends their incongruous smiles. Sarah takes a long breath…)


SARAH: It changes things. Something like this. Forces you to ask yourself what you really want.


JOHNNY: You have everything you really want, Sarah.




(He studies her. A beat.)


SARAH: Right now, I just want you to put your arm around me.


(He does… and on his touch… the skin on Sarah's face peels away and the flesh disintegrates leaving nothing but a skull which pops into dust… and as the vision ends… Johnny has his arm around her… but there are no smiles now… The phone rings… Conrad moves to answer it…)


CONRAD: I don't hear any choppers landing outside, Sheriff.


ARLETA'S VOICE: Conrad, is that you?


CONRAD: Arleta?




(Arleta Hurley, a worn-out woman in her forties, is talking on Walt's car phone…)


ARLETA: What are you doing, Conrad?


CONRAD: Arleta, you been watching TV?


ARLETA: I don't like TV, you know that.


CONRAD: I been on it this morning.


ARLETA: Can we talk, Conrad?


CONRAD: We are talking.


ARLETA: Just you and me. Without the TV.


CONRAD: I can't come out right now. You could come in.


ARLETA: The police won't let me.


CONRAD: They afraid I might hurt you or something?


ARLETA: I guess.


CONRAD: Hell, Arleta, I wouldn't hurt you, you know that. I love you.


ARLETA: Conrad, you've got to come out now.


CONRAD: If I come out now, nothing changes. I'm just a loser again.


ARLETA: No, you're not, Conrad.


CONRAD: That's what you said.


ARLETA: I was mad.


CONRAD: You're not mad any more?


ARLETA: No. Just scared.


CONRAD: I just wanted to do something to prove that I'm…


ARLETA: You've done that, Conrad. Now come out.


CONRAD: Say, Arleta, you ever been to Jamaica? Lady here went on her honeymoon there. Says it's beautiful this time of year.


ARLETA: Dammit, Conrad, you're such a fool…


(A long beat as Conrad looks at the phone… softly…)


CONRAD: Yeah. Like I said. Nothing's changed. Thanks for coming by, Arleta.


(He gently hangs up the phone…)


ARLETA: Conrad… Conrad…? (To Walt) He hung up.


(Walt frowns, looks to Casey… nods, it’s time for Plan B.




(Team Leader who hears orders in his earphone… signals his partner with a flashlight to move into position…)




(As a morose Conrad sits…)


CONRAD: That was my wife, Arleta.


(He sees a shot of Arleta on the muted television…)


CONRAD: That's her. (Beat) You know why she left me? She said I was boring.


(A beat as the sad irony sinks in.)


CONRAD: Turn up the sound, partner.


(Johnny stands, goes to the TV… as he turns the sound button…)




(A hand held shot moving from the outside into inside of the bank shows the aftermath of an assault…)


NEWSMAN'S VOICE: -- sent a team in through the ventilation system and something went just terribly, terribly wrong. We're waiting for confirmation on the bodies now…


(And the vision ends…)




(The same newsman is more calmly narrating the real pictures…)


NEWSMAN'S VOICE: … estranged wife of the armed robber, her efforts apparently futile. Our coverage of "Siege at Cleaves Mills" continues after these messages.


(Conrad mutes the sound. Johnny is aghast. Sarah's staring at him as he moves back to her. Like a sleepwalker trying to awaken from a nightmare…)


SARAH: (whisper) What…?


JOHNNY: (low) They're gonna try something… and it's not gonna work.


SARAH: What are you going to do?


(And as we push into Johnny's face as he tries to figure that out…)


SARAH: (whisper) Johnny, if you warn him, somebody could get hurt…


JOHNNY: I know. But if I don't warn him…


(He sighs and off this quandary…)










(Dark but for flashlights of the tactical duo, wearing earphones to receive orders, moving into position for a strike…)




(As the tactical team raises a steel plate in the floor a crack… they have a clear view of the phone at the safety deposit desk… they lower the plate and wait for orders…)





WALT: (to Roscoe) Make the call.




(The phone is ringing on the safety deposit desk… racking focus to find Conrad looking across the room at the phone… then finding Johnny looking at Conrad looking at the phone… trying to decide what to do.)





(Push in as he waits for Conrad to answer…)




(Push in as he tries to decides whether to answer… Finally, just to shut it up… he starts to move to it… Johnny takes the plunge…)


JOHNNY: Don't.


(Conrad stops. The phone keeps ringing.)


JOHNNY: Don't pick it up. It's a trick. They've got men under the floor.


(Conrad scans the floor and his eyes fix on the steel plate - a clear line to the phone. The phone keeps ringing. Conrad stares at Johnny.)


CONRAD: Sure wish I knew which side you were on…


JOHNNY: Ours. All of ours.


(Conrad studies him…)





(Team is waiting for Conrad to answer the phone…)


CONRAD (O.S.): Hello?




(As it flies open, and the men rise only to see Conrad holding Sarah as a shield… aiming his weapon at them…)


CONRAD: Something you wanted, fellas?


(He glances at Rudy and Tom who push the copying machine over the steel plate… the tactical team is forced to retreat.)





(He releases Sarah, looks at Johnny.)


CONRAD: Looks like you were right. I owe you one, partner.


(And lowers the gun.)




(At the command table, Casey gets the report on his radio, looks to Walt, shakes his head.)


CASEY: (to radio) Roger that.


(The tension's starting to take its toll on him -- his face is drawn, his features sharply etched with worry.)


CASEY: (incredulous, to Walt) Hurley was expecting them.


(Walt reacts. A beat as he thinks.)


WALT: Pull'em out. Set me up sharpshooters there -- (points to adjacent buildings) -- and there.


(Roscoe moves off to follow those orders…)


CASEY: I don't get it. How could he be standing there, waiting for them? There's no way he could've known.


(Walt just looks at Dana; they both know there is. He puts his hands on the table and his shoulders sag a little. Then he straightens up.)


WALT: Unless he had the help of a psychic.




(Conrad checks the ammo in the revolver. He seems to be preparing for the assault he knows must come soon now. Then Walt's voice comes over a bullhorn outside :)


WALT'S VOICE: (loudspeaker) Conrad, this is Walt Bannerman. There won't be any more attempts to get into the bank. You've got my word on it. We're bringing in a van that will take you to a chopper in a vacant field about a hundred yards down the road…


(Conrad looks over at Johnny.)


CONRAD: He telling the truth?


(A long beat between the two men.)


JOHNNY: You sure you want to know?


(Conrad isn't, but he nods anyway.)


JOHNNY: I'm not your fortune teller. You want a partner? I'll work with you… but there's a condition. Fair trades. Let someone go.


CONRAD: 'A hostage for your thoughts'.


JOHNNY: (acknowledges) I've got my expenses.


(Hurley thinks about that for a long moment.)


CONRAD: Which one? (Points to Sarah) Not her.


(Melanie still whimpers. Letting her out suddenly seems like a good idea. Conrad nods.)


CONRAD: Hell, I'm tired of her crying anyway…




(Melanie coming out… officers move to take her out of the line of fire…)





CONRAD: Your turn.


JOHNNY: Take a bullet out of your gun and give it to me.


(Conrad looks dubious, then opens the cylinder of the .38 and takes out a bullet, replacing it with another from his pocket. He tosses the bullet, underhand, across the room to Johnny. He is moving with the bullet tumbling into Johnny's hand as the camera continues on and ramps to his face…)




(Conrad has everyone left in the bank clumped around him going from the door of the bank to a waiting van. Conrad has one hand on Sarah, a gun at her back. A sharpshooter on the roof doesn't need an order here, he fires -- and Conrad goes down but…)




(Conrad's watching Johnny closely. He comes out of it and slips the bullet into his pocket.)




JOHNNY: Still another undesirable outcome.


CONRAD: What do we do about it?


JOHNNY: What do you do about it, Conrad? (Beat) Every choice you make has a consequence in the future. One wrong choice and you lose. We all do. I'm just trying to help you figure out the right choices here.


CONRAD: What choices do I have left?


(Johnny motions to the hostages…)


CONRAD: I got nothing if I let them go.


JOHNNY: You've got nothing if you keep them.


CONRAD: How do I know you're not bluffing?


JOHNNY: You don't. But I'm not. If you keep the hostages, you're going to die, Conrad.


CONRAD: That's not the worst thing that could happen.


JOHNNY: Not the best thing either. (beat) You won't be the only one who dies, Conrad. I know you didn't come here today to hurt anybody.


CONRAD: That's God's honest truth.


(Johnny picks up on 'God' and takes a calculated risk with this argument…)


JOHNNY: I can't speak to what you'll find when you cross on to the other side. But you sure you want the burden of somebody else's death on your hands when you get there? And that seems to weigh on Conrad.


CONRAD: You a religious man, John?


JOHNNY: I am today.


CONRAD: I used to be.


(Conrad studies him… then…)


CONRAD: Karen, Henry, Tom, Rudy… you're leaving…


JOHNNY: …Not good enough…


CONRAD: (overlapping) The Sheriff's wife stays. You're not getting her out unless I go with her. And as for you, it goes without saying -- whatever happens to me, happens to you. Johnny frowns, frustrated. But he backs off for the moment. At the door…


SPAHN: (trying to reach out somehow) Conrad…


CONRAD: It wasn't your fault, Henry. I know I've slipped a little lately. This was supposed to turn all that around.


SPAHN: Good luck, Conrad.


(Spahn looks to Johnny and nods… as they exit.)




(We see them collected and hustled away.)




(Conrad takes a bullet out of the .38 and, this time, leaves the revolver on the desk, the cylinder open -- Conrad holds the bullet from the .38 in his open palm.)


CONRAD: Where do we stand, partner…


(He throws the bullet to Johnny. He lets it drop to the floor.)


JOHNNY: Sarah goes first.


CONRAD: (aims the shotgun) Pick up the bullet.


JOHNNY: You can't threaten me. You know perfectly well, you shoot me -- or her -- you might as well shoot yourself. (A glance outside) Or they will…


CONRAD: (long beat) I let her go, I lose my protection.


JOHNNY: You've got me.


CONRAD: And you won't let me get killed.


JOHNNY: All I can give you is a chance, Conrad. Whether you take it or not is up to you.


(Conrad doesn't move, just stares at him.)


JOHNNY: Let her out.


(It takes him a long time, but finally, he nods. Sarah embraces Johnny, all but overcome with feeling for him. As she does…)






JOHNNY: Tell Walt…


SARAH: What?


JOHNNY: I'm counting on him to take good care of you and Johnny.


SARAH: I'll see you soon. Don't do anything foolish.


JOHNNY: That's me. Johnny 'don't-do anything-foolish' Smith.


(She's out.)




(Walt rushes to put his arm around her and lead her back to the command post, where Casey and Dana are.)


CASEY: He's lost his shield. We can take him now, Sheriff.


SARAH: You can't do that, not with Johnny still in there.


CASEY: With all due respect, Mrs. Bannerman, this Smith fellow almost got my men killed. I'm not sure whose side he's on at this point.


(She looks at him incredibly.)


SARAH: (to Walt) Who is this stupid son-of-a-bitch?


CASEY: (reacts) Ma'am?


WALT: (dry) Honey, this is Harlan Casey, leader of the state's Tactical Team.


SARAH: Your team was about to get us all killed. Johnny told me.


CASEY: Sure, like this guy can really see into the future.


(He laughs and looks over at Walt and Dana for affirmation, he gets none…)


WALT: (beat) We'll give Johnny a little more time in there with him.




(Johnny's leg is starting to ache. He eases himself into a chair and tries to get comfortable. Conrad holds the shotgun between them…)


CONRAD: That courthouse job. It would've saved my business. Maybe Arleta would come back to me. (Trails off) Aw, hell. What difference does it make now?


JOHNNY: Not much.


CONRAD: Coulda, woulda, shoulda. I never got any breaks, anyway. Why should I get any now?


JOHNNY: I think you got a break.




JOHNNY: Having Sarah in here this morning. If she hadn't been here, you wouldn't be alive.


(Johnny's words chill Conrad to the bone.)


CONRAD: Tell me about her.




CONRAD: The Sheriff's wife.


JOHNNY: Sarah's an old friend.


(Conrad studies him… smiles, shakes his head…)


CONRAD: John, the invisible guy with the toolbox who fixes the electrical outlets gets to see and hear a whole lot that most people never even begin to notice… you know what I mean?


(Johnny smiles.)


JOHNNY: We had a thing once.


CONRAD: You lost her. To the Sheriff.


JOHNNY: You could say that.


CONRAD: Women.


(An odd bonding moment… Conrad starts putting money back in the banker's boxes, then picks up the notepad with the numbers on it and folds back the top sheet of paper…)


CONRAD: She still has feelings for you.


JOHNNY: What makes you say that?


CONRAD: (looks at him, dry) What kind of psychic are you? It just fills the room, partner.


(A long beat. As they look at each other. Finally, Johnny shrugs.)


JOHNNY: It's too late for that now.


CONRAD: Good for you. Move on with your life. (He laughs) Listen to me. I'm one to give advice.


(He picks up the shotgun. He works the action to eject all five shells from it, then puts it down.)


CONRAD: I'm not gonna make it to Jamaica, am I?


(And he drops the bullets into Johnny's hands. Johnny's face goes blank for a moment. This time, we don't see Johnny's vision (and for all we know, there may not even be a vision this time; he may be simply talking Conrad down)…)


JOHNNY: (sadly) Not that far.


CONRAD: I guess I never was.


JOHNNY: It's a good thing too.




JOHNNY: Jamaica has an extradition treaty with the U.S.


CONRAD: It does? Isn't that where that Wall Street thief hid out in plain site for years?


JOHNNY: Believe that was Costa Rica.


CONRAD: Costa Rica. Right. Costa Rica.


JOHNNY: And even then he had to pay a fortune to the local authorities to leave him alone.


CONRAD: I don't know anything about Costa Rica.


JOHNNY: I hear it's nice.


CONRAD: But I'm not going.


CONRAD (CONT'D): (Johnny shakes his head) Where then? (Dreading the answer) Prison?


(Johnny nods.)


CONRAD: Am I gonna be okay with it…?


JOHNNY: Yeah, Conrad, you're gonna be okay with it.


CONRAD: (hopeful) Hey, John. Let's say I am okay with it. A model prisoner. And I get out in a few years, you know? And I walk out the front gate, is there someone waiting to take me home?


(Johnny looks at a bullet in his hand and then to Conrad a long beat…)




CONRAD: Is it Arleta?


JOHNNY: (beat) No.


CONRAD: You coulda lied at least.


JOHNNY: What kind of partner would I be?


CONRAD: Who's there waiting for me, then?


JOHNNY: Me, Conrad.


(Conrad smiles.)




(The door opens. Conrad is the first one out, hands on his head. Deputies move to handcuff and arrest him as Johnny emerges, looking weary. Crisis over, people start to come through the police line and into the parking lot, Dana moves toward Johnny but by the time she reaches him, other reporters are with her…)


DANA: Johnny…


JOHNNY: No questions right now, Dana, okay? Maybe later.


(He's treating her just like any other reporter and it stings… she watches as he moves to Walt and Sarah… the Sheriff has his arm around his wife…)


WALT: That jig-saw puzzle finally came together. Could have been a lot different today. Nice work. (Adding as an afterthought) The state boys do have a few bones to pick with you…


JOHNNY: I had no choice, Walt…


WALT: It all turned out.


SARAH: Johnny needs a ride home. He came with me.


WALT: No problem. (And he does this deliberately because he wants to be alone with his wife right now) Roscoe, drive Mr. Smith home.


(Johnny and Sarah exchange a last glance…)


SARAH: I'll call you later.


(Johnny nods, starts to move toward Roscoe…)


WALT: Hey, John.


(Johnny turns, pauses…)


WALT: (re: Sarah) Thanks for bringing her back to us.


(Johnny acknowledges and walks off alone toward Roscoe's car and as we pull back, we see Dana also alone, watching him… and the busy activity of the post siege begins to fill the screen as we…)







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