VOTE | 32 fans

#204 : Le Sauveur

Titre VO : Outsider

Johnny a une vision, celle d'une crème anti-rides qui va bientôt être mise en vente dans les supermarchés et dont le principe actif sera responsable de malformations congénitales. C'est avec l'aide de Dana qu'il va tenter de faire éclater l'affaire.

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5 - 1 vote

Vidéos

Scène Johnny/Dana

Scène Johnny/Dana

  

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...

[EXT. SMITH HOUSE – NIGHT]

(Lights are on, it almost looks inviting. From inside we hear the canned laughter of a laugh track…)

 

 

[INT. SMITH HOUSE - LIVING ROOM – NIGHT]

(Johnny is on his couch, watching TV, and doing something we rarely see him do - he's laughing. He lowers the volume on his TV as he reaches for the phone. He looks pleased. Piled up on the couch on the cushion next to Johnny are videotapes. Find one labeled "Seinfeld - Season 8, do not tape over!")

 

 

[INT. BRUCE'S PAD - CLOSE ON BRUCE – CONTINUOUS]

(Bruce is perched on the edge of his couch, intense concentration on his face, an X-Box controller in his hand. His eye twitches as the phone rings. He pauses his game and picks it up, knows who it is.)

 

BRUCE: I'm saving the universe, what is it?

 

 

[INTERCUT PHONE CONVERSATION - BRUCE AND JOHNNY]

 

JOHNNY: I just watched a great one.

 

(Bruce sighs to himself, cradles the phone under his neck and unpauses his game, playing as he listens.)

 

BRUCE: Bizarro Jerry?

 

JOHNNY: No, this is one where George's girlfriend says "yada yada" all the time and he thinks she's hiding something…

 

BRUCE: Yeah. Yep.

 

(Johnny nods, realizes Bruce isn't really listening.)

 

JOHNNY: You sure you don't want to come over and watch these?

 

BRUCE! My tapes, John. I've seen 'em all. Maybe when you catch up on the X-Files…

 

JOHNNY: This is all ancient history to you, isn't it? 1996, 1997…

 

BRUCE: Not ancient. It's just… cooler for you than it is for me.

 

JOHNNY: I guess.

 

BRUCE: Look at it this way. For me, it's nostalgia. For you, it's like time travel. (yelling at game) No!

 

JOHNNY: Okay, I can tell you're doing something important.

 

BRUCE: Hey, if you need to talk…

 

JOHNNY: No, that's cool, it's late, I'm gonna pass out in a second…

 

BRUCE: Alright, man. Take it easy.

 

(Bruce hangs up, resumes his game. Then hesitates, wondering if he rushed Johnny off the phone. Johnny sits back, the wind taken out of his sails, maybe thinking about some of the other things he missed while in a coma. Things he can't reclaim so easily. Commercials are on, Johnny turns off the TV. Or at least he tries. The remote doesn't respond. He tries again. No dice. Johnny sighs the "low battery" sigh. He drops the remote and grabs his cane, gets up, crosses to TV. Commercial has switched to a pretty young woman against a black background. She speaks frankly, her naturalistic delivery is supposed to convince us she's not an actor. She's cute, so Johnny pauses before turning off the TV, much like you'd wait for the last few bars of a song to play before turning off your car.)

 

YOUNG WOMAN (TV): It's not that I don't like the way I look… it's that I do like the way I look. (Endearing chuckle) And I'd like to keep it that way. That's why Revivatin is for me.

 

(Cut to a slo-mo shot of Young Woman and her mother in a kitchen, cooking a giant holiday meal side by side and laughing over some shared memories as they look up into the camera. Mom's face is attractive, but lined and wrinkled. Daughter's is smooth, glowing.)

 

ANNOUNCER (V.O.): No one can turn back the clock, but we've just figured out how to slow it down. Ask your Doctor if Revivatin is right for you.

 

(Johnny turns off the TV. As his finger depresses the power button we swing 180 degrees around him to look over his shoulder at the TV as – a vision hits the TV image shifts, becomes blurred, then sharpens again and goes in and out as it crackles and fuzzes, like it is picking up a faraway signal… The image cuts to a young mother who is being interviewed on a news segment. This woman is clearly not an actress. Her pain is real, so is her anger.)

 

YOUNG MOTHER (TV): I started using Revivatin about… April, 2005… and used it pretty steadily, for the last four years, ''til I found out I was pregnant…

 

(The Young Mother bites her lip. She controls an inhale and wipes the perfect skin around her eyes… The shot cuts to a baby in an incubator. The baby is horribly wrinkled from head to toe, and is crying.)

 

REPORTER#1 (V.O.): Her daughter born six weeks ago is hanging on but her future, like the future of thousands of other Revivatin babies, is uncertain. Early reports indicate that eighty percent of infants born with the Revivatin birth defect will die within two to three months of birth.

 

(During the above, we widen to include the whole room, filled with at least twenty incubators, each one containing a horrifically desiccated "Revivatin Baby." Their cries fill the room… Johnny snaps out of his vision, shaken. He steps back and looks at his TV. It stares back at him silently, power off, screen black. Johnny closes his eyes, hit hard by what he's seen…)

 

 

END OF TEASER

 

 

ACT ONE

 

 

[EXT. FAITH HERITAGE ALLIANCE - DAY – ESTABLISHING]

[INT. PURDY'S OFFICE – DAY]

(A cross between Grand-Dad's study and an ergonomic executive suite. We're starting close on a website on Purdy's computer that Johnny has just called up… We see the logo of corporate giant Culp & Belling. Big ad for Revivatin.)

 

JOHNNY: (mile-a-minute) Revivatin is a Culp & Belling product. They tell you on their website that it's FDA approved, but get this: It only got Class B approval, which means "in the absence of human studies, animal studies showed no risk." It also says "the chance of harm to a human baby is remote," but it is a possibility. A possibility! They didn't do tests on pregnant women, so they just slap a warning label on the side. But obviously that's not gonna do the trick. This thing is a mass-murderer and it ships nation-wide in nine days. (Beat) Gene. Are you following me?

 

(Gene Purdy is reeling, looking at the Culp & Belling website.)

 

PURDY: This is… I just need a moment… to process this.

 

JOHNNY: What don't you understand?

 

PURDY: It's not that I don't understand, it's that… your visions up till now have taken you into individual lives, or in rare instances, an event that affects maybe a hundred lives. Like the steakhouse fire. But this… now, you're telling me you've had a vision about thousands…

 

JOHNNY: (re: his Armageddon vision) A hundred. A thousand… one day it might be the whole planet…

 

(Johnny's tone makes Purdy glance up at him.)

 

PURDY: What do you mean?

 

JOHNNY: I mean I have to stop this drug from coming out.

 

PURDY: You're not going public with this…

 

JOHNNY: I don't want to go public. If you can just help me contact someone at a high level at Culp & Belling…

 

(Purdy sighs, he was afraid of that.)

 

PURDY: Johnny. You're talking about major dollar decisions that affect everything from shipping to advertising costs to corporate image. Major dollar decisions.

 

JOHNNY: It's gonna cost them a lot more for the class action lawsuit six years down the line. I'm doing them a big favor here.

 

(Purdy shakes his head at Johnny's naïveté.)

 

PURDY: Somehow, I don't think they're going to see it that way.

 

JOHNNY: I need you to make some calls. Pull some strings. Get me a meeting. Their headquarters are in New Hampshire, near Concord.

 

(Purdy looks at Johnny.)

 

PURDY: I think you're overestimating our connections to the corporate sector…

 

JOHNNY: One thing I've learned about you, Gene. If you don't know the people… then you know the people who know the people.

 

(Purdy meets Johnny's intense look. Beat.)

 

 

[EXT. CULP & BELLING OFFICE PARK – DAY]

(Johnny arrives in his Jeep, stops by the standard post 9/11 security checkpoint at the entrance to the lovely manicured grounds of the sprawling office park. Two suits are leaving as Johnny is arriving…)

 

JOHNNY: Hi, my name's John Smith, I have an appointment with Wendell Hahn.

 

VETERAN GUARD: Identification, sir?

 

(Johnny hands the veteran guard his driver's license and as they touch… we hear the sound of a vision starting and when Johnny looks up… Split reality vision: The plaza is now lined on either side with angry protesters waving picket signs. The two suits in present time continue to walk and talk like nothing's wrong. The Protesters wave signs condemning the "Baby Killers." Some signs have quotes from the Bible about paying the price for vanity. Other Protesters hold up enlarged photos of babies with the Revivatin birth defect. They are shouting over each other, raging…)

 

VETERAN GUARD: (oblivious to the vision) Thank-you, Mr. Smith.

 

(The vision ends as Johnny drives through the gate and into the parking garage.)

 

 

[INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY]

(Close on Wendell Hahn staring at Johnny, who sits in the guest chair opposite his desk. A beat passes. Hahn is poker-faced. Another beat. Johnny waits. The tension in the room is thick. Johnny has just said everything he's come here to say, and we are watching Wendell Hahn's reaction. Milk the moment. And here it comes… a sly smile.)

 

WENDELL HAHN: Garret Carter.

 

JOHNNY: Come again?

 

WENDELL HAHN: Garret Carter set this up. Didn't he. This is payback for Vegas. C'mon, you can tell me.

 

JOHNNY: Mr. Hahn, this isn't a joke.

 

(Hahn's knowing smile becomes confused. Johnny shakes his head. Wendell shifts in his seat, becoming uncomfortable.)

 

WENDELL HAHN: And you really… (About to say "believe") You're a psychic.

 

JOHNNY: I know, it's hard to swallow, but I have a number of references…

 

(Johnny opens his briefcase, and Wendell tenses up. Johnny notices, carefully takes out a resume-like document.)

 

JOHNNY (CONT'D): …Including the Sheriff of Penobscot County, Arthur Markoff CEO of Arthur Markoff Industries, Roger Chatsworth…

 

WENDELL HAHN: (perusing document) Uh huh. Uh huh. And what exactly do you want, Mr. Smith?

 

(Johnny is caught off-guard by that.)

 

JOHNNY: Mr. Hahn, I just want to stop this company from making a terrible mistake…

 

WENDELL HAHN: Because you had a 'premonition'.

 

JOHNNY: At least, have your scientists reexamine their research…

 

WENDELL HAHN: They do that every day, Mr. Smith, without being prompted to by a psychic.

 

(Hahn stands, signaling the meeting is over…)

 

WENDELL HAHN (CONT'D): But thank you for bringing this to our attention, I will get right on this.

 

(Hahn picks up his desk phone.)

 

WENDELL HAHN (CONT'D): In the meantime, you understand that the claims you've made… if made outside this office would be considered slander…

 

(Johnny leans forward and grabs Hahn's wrist as he's punching numbers into the phone.)

 

JOHNNY: This company has a responsibility…

 

(But as he grabs the wrist, suddenly…)

 

 

[A VISION]

(Wendell Hahn ages six years in a vision-morph, his hairline receding and mid-section increasing. Overlapping from the next (vision) scene…)

 

SENATOR JOSEK (O.S.): …And as Senator Collick expressed in yesterday's session, the aim of this subcommittee is not to determine if mistakes, judgment errors, or oversights were made…

 

(Reveal we are now in…)

 

 

[INT. HEARING CHAMBERS - DAY – 2009]

(Johnny stands behind Wendell Hahn, who sits in a row with six other Culp & Belling lawyers, all scribbling notes. In front of them sit men in more expensive suits - probably members of Culp & Belling's board. Johnny looks around to see a raised table, behind which sit three senators, two men and a woman. The whole set-up is reminiscent of the Senate hearings on the tobacco industry. A gaggle of press hounds hover in the back of the chambers, snapping pictures with tiny digital cameras that have become the pro-standard in 2009. There is a single table facing the Senator bench, where a lone man sits, Dr. Thomas Berke. His profile is all we can see from Johnny's perspective. The female Senator is already droning when we arrive…)

 

SENATOR JOSEK (CONT'D): …but when they were made, why they were made, and by whom. This same sentiment was communicated to me this very morning by Vice President Stillson, as well as Surgeon General Rayher…

 

(Johnny reacts to Stillson's name and future title…)

 

SENATOR JOSEK: Doctor Berke, as the leading genetic authority on the Revivatin crisis, can you shed any light on these questions?

 

THOMAS: Thank you, Senator Josek, members of the Committee. I can give you names of the various groups involved, I can give you dates of clinical trials and FDA approvals… but in the end I can only tell you that, at the time Revivatin was developed, the technology to identify the mutating agent was not available.

 

(Johnny begins to walk over to Berke so he can get a better look at him.)

 

THOMAS: I completed the development of the Anza program in April 2008, a year after the initial birth defects began to appear from then unknown causes.

 

(Johnny stands directly in front of Berke, who talks through him to the Senators. Johnny looks at his "paper nameplate," studies his face: handsome, solemn features.)

 

THOMAS (CONT'D): Anza is a computer model that allows for virtual invitro testing, which was considered a revolutionary process at the time. It certainly wasn't available to researchers in 2003, otherwise Revivatin would never have been released…

 

 

[INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - BACK TO SCENE]

(Johnny blinks, still holding Hahn's wrist.)

 

JOHNNY: Thomas Berke. We have to find Dr. Thomas Berke.

 

WENDELL HAHN: Let go of me!

 

(Hahn pulls his wrist free, his phone drops.)

 

JOHNNY: He's the one who'll prove that Revivatin causes birth defects… but it will take five years!

 

(Two security guards arrive at the door. Hahn must've called them we he punched those keys on his phone.)

 

WENDELL HAHN: And you have five seconds to back out of this office.

 

(Johnny glares at Hahn as the Guards approach him.)

 

 

[EXT. BANGOR, MAINE – ESTABLISHING]

[INT. BANGOR DAILY NEWS NEWSROOM – DAY]

(Establishing with a front page staff BANGOR DAILY NEWS that we're back in Maine… finding Johnny entering… he moves through the bullpen, ignoring several reporters, colleagues of Dana Bright, who notice him and exchange glances with each other. He crosses toward Dana who is talking to her editor, Sam Baker (50s) in his office which has a glass wall… when she sees Johnny she comes out to meet him halfway… on the move to her desk…)

 

JOHNNY: Did you find him?

 

DANA: Hi, Dana. What's going on? It's good to see you.

 

(Johnny realizes his rudeness, feels guilty.)

 

JOHNNY: Hi. I'm sorry… you're right. This is important…

 

(Dana takes a long look at Johnny, picking up on how tightly wound he is.)

 

DANA: Okay, you have to level with me. What's going on.

 

JOHNNY: I already told you, I can't.

 

(Dana smiles and folds her arms.)

 

DANA: Give and take is the foundation of any working relationship. Is she talking reporter and source, or something else?

 

JOHNNY: I'll be honest. There is a story.

 

DANA: No, really?

 

JOHNNY: A big story. But it's a better story if I find this Dr. Berke because he can prove what I've seen. Right now, it's just my word against theirs.

 

DANA: 'Theirs'?

 

JOHNNY: (beat) The second I can tell you, I will. Did you find him or…

 

(Before he even finishes, she's handing him a bio she printed off the internet… (but she holds back a second and third sheet)…)

 

DANA: Dr. Thomas Berke. Cardiovascular surgeon. Lives in New York. Celebrated his sixty-fifth birthday last week.

 

JOHNNY: No. That can't be right. The doctor I'm looking for is young, early thirties… does this guy have a son?

 

DANA: Daughter and her name isn't Thomas. He's the only Thomas Berke registered with the A-M-A. But…

 

(Dana nods, smiling, waiting for Johnny to think.)

 

JOHNNY: My guy's not a Doctor yet…?

 

DANA: Or maybe he's not a Medical Doctor. (Off Johnny's look, hands him the second file) The answer is both. Guy named Thomas Berke graduated from M-I-T in 1992 with a Bachelors in Computer Science… went straight into the grad program to pursue a doctorate degree.

 

JOHNNY: So he's in Boston…

 

DANA: Vancouver. Quit M-I-T in '98. Never completed his degree. Believe me, Johnny, this guy was harder to track down than you are nowadays. He doesn't even have an unlisted phone number.

 

JOHNNY: But you found him in Vancouver.

 

DANA: Used every trick I got, and some I made up. I think I have to go a Celtics game with an assistant professor… here's the address…

 

(She hands the last sheet to him…)

 

JOHNNY: (genuinely impressed) How do you do that?

 

DANA: It's what I do. How do you do that Dead Zone thing? (Off his grin) You owe me one. Again.

 

JOHNNY: (with an intimacy) I owe you a lot more than one.

 

(And he's out. Dana watches him go…)

 

 

[EXT. HIGHWAY – DAY]

(Purdy's Limo soars along the freeway.)

 

 

[INT. PURDY'S LIMO - DAY – TRAVELING]

(Purdy adjusts some papers on his lap. Johnny sits facing him, staring out the window. Purdy watches him.)

 

PURDY: What are you thinking about?

 

JOHNNY: A storm's coming.

 

(Purdy looks out the window.)

 

PURDY: Weather reports didn't say anything.

 

(Johnny gives him a look, "trust me." Purdy nods.)

 

JOHNNY: I really appreciate this, Gene. You really came through.

 

PURDY: You're welcome. (Beat) And now I'm hoping you'll do me a small favor.

 

(Purdy, slightly chagrined, hands the documents in his hands to a curious Johnny.)

 

JOHNNY: What's this?

 

PURDY: It's a statement, which I'm hoping you'll sign, that defines your relationship to Faith Heritage Alliance. Basically delineates you as a separate entity, something you've actually been asking for. To make clear…

 

JOHNNY: (dry) …The views and opinions expressed by Johnny Smith do not necessarily reflect those of Faith Heritage, so please don't sue us. Right?

 

PURDY: In legalese… something like that.

 

JOHNNY: If Thomas Berke can give us the evidence we need to prove this…

 

PURDY: And if he can't, what then? You'll back off? I know you better than that.

 

PURDY (CONT'D): (a beat) I admire you more than you can imagine and I'll never, ever stand in your way. But like you, I feel a responsibility to more than myself. I, too, feel a storm is coming. And I must protect my house.

 

(Now it's Purdy who wields a demanding tone. Johnny signs the documents.)

 

 

[EXT. TARMAC – CONTINUOUS]

(Reveal the limo is crossing the field and approaching the Faith Heritage private jet. The engines are warming up. Carry over sound of engine noise…)

 

 

[EXT. VANCOUVER - DAY – ESTABLISHING]

[EXT. GAS LAMP DISTRICT – DAY]

(A taxi with signage that establishes we're in Vancouver pulls to the curb on a run-down sidestreet… Two young junkies watch as Johnny steps out, regarding a slip of paper in his hand. Johnny surveys the bleak terrain… can this possibly be the right address? As the driver pulls away… Johnny walks in the street-level entrance of a three story walk-up.)

 

 

[INT. SEEDY HALLWAY – DAY]

(Each step Johnny takes down the hall fills him with doubt; this doesn't look or feel like the right place for the man he saw in his vision. As he walks, he hears: A baby cries in one apartment. A man and woman scream at each other in Chinese in another. Johnny finds the apartment listed on his paper. Rock music from inside. Johnny, hesitant, knocks on the door. No one answers for a beat, and Johnny is almost relieved. Then, the door opens, revealing a 30 year old man in a grubby "Dr. Who" T-Shirt, clutching a forty of Boons. Johnny, and we, are surprised to recognize him as Thomas Berke, however unshaven and long of hair. At first glance, he appears to be Charles Manson.)

 

JOHNNY: Thomas Berke??

 

THOMAS: (mimicking) Jehovah's Witness??

 

JOHNNY: Uh, no…

 

THOMAS: Darn.

 

(And with that Thomas closes the door in Johnny's face. Off Johnny, standing in the hall, alone, and staggered.)

 

 

END OF ACT ONE

 

 

ACT TWO

 

 

[INT. HALLWAY]

(Johnny knocks again… no answer… knocks again…)

 

THOMAS (O.S.): Go away!

 

JOHNNY: (yelling through the door) If I could just have a word with you…

 

(A Chinese man sticks his head out the door… it's the same man who was yelling at his wife… and now he's yelling at Johnny…)

 

CHINESE MAN: (in Chinese) You’re making a racket out here. People live here, you know?

 

JOHNNY: (to the door) It's about Anza.

 

(The door opens.)

 

THOMAS: Excuse me?

 

JOHNNY: I'm sorry, I meant to say your biotech software that's supposed to model complex chemical reactions. And maybe do some gene-mapping on the side.

 

CHINESE MAN: (in Chinese) Don’t do your business in the hallway!

 

THOMAS: (in Chinese) Go inside, old man.

 

(The old Chinese man grunts and glares and goes inside… Thomas pulls Johnny into his apartment.)

 

 

[INT. THOMAS' APARTMENT – CONTINUOUS]

(A one room flat that is in fact been transformed into something otherworldly… from one end to the other, there is a homebuilt supercomputer… multiple, open pieces of panels and exposed microchips and wiring throughout the room, multiple screens all of which display virtual Bonsai trees… (Note: it's worth taking a look at the film "Pi" to see the walk-in homebuilt supercomputer)… Johnny is awed. It's clear this is a man with an obsession… and he's a man with cats, three Siamese cats check out Johnny as he enters…)

 

THOMAS: So you've found me. I don't know how, but you've found me. (Off Johnny's confusion) You're from M-I-T. Who sent you, McLusker? What, was the flight too much for him? I know the fat bastard hates to fly…

 

JOHNNY: You've got the wrong idea.

 

THOMAS: Yeah, I know! Everyone knows that. If I had the right idea, you guys wouldn't have pulled my grant out from under me and stabbed me in the back! But it's my wrong idea. Not theirs. And if they think they can just fly someone up here to buy my data… then they're wrong. Wrong.

 

(One of the cats looks up to him with concern at his raised voice… meows… he picks up the cat… strokes it in his arms…)

 

THOMAS: Tell them I'm not doing Anza any more. (Re: the virtual bonsai) Virtual bonsai gardening. Much more rewarding.

 

JOHNNY: I'm not from M-I-T. I'm not buying or selling anything. My name is Johnny Smith. I'm from a small town in Maine. Cleaves Mills.

 

(Thomas looks at Johnny with curiosity.)

 

JOHNNY: About seven years ago, I was involved in a near-fatal car accident. The trauma altered my brain chemistry. Now, when I touch someone, or something, I can see into the future, or the past. (Beat) Like clairvoyance.

 

(Thomas cracks a smile that says, "okay, this guy is clearly a fruitcake… but harmless.")

 

THOMAS: Well. Why didn't you say so? That's much more interesting.

 

JOHNNY: I've seen the future and Anza is going to work.

 

THOMAS: Do you like Chamomile tea?

 

(He moves to a hot plate. Johnny sighs with frustration, pursues Thomas…)

 

JOHNNY: I don't know how, or when, or what inspires your breakthrough, but it will come. Unfortunately, it'll be too late to prevent a side effect in a drug called Revivatin. I'm here because I think I can help you do it sooner.

 

THOMAS: Let me get this straight: you're gonna poke your head into the future, kind of bypass the ninety nine percent perspiration, find that one percent inspiration, and just warp back here and give me the answer.

 

JOHNNY: You don't believe a word I'm saying.

 

(Returning with the tea…)

 

THOMAS: It doesn't matter what I believe. It's just doesn't happen that way.

 

(He hands Johnny the tea and as he does…)

 

 

[INT. HOSPITAL DELIVERY ROOM - DAY (VISION)]

(And we track 360 degrees around Thomas, wiping out the street and turning it into a delivery room where Thomas now holds the hand of Claire, raven hair and green eyes, as she strains to give birth… Johnny stands behind Thomas, who is significantly cleaned up, closer to how he looked in the Senate hearing.)

 

THOMAS: Come on, Claire, come on baby, that's it. Push…

 

(And we hear a cry. Claire gasps, taking in air. So does Thomas. The obstetrician takes the baby, and, as the nurse wraps her in a blanket, a look passes between Doctor and Nurse, concerned eyes above surgical masks.)

 

THOMAS: What? What's wrong?

 

(The Obstetrician takes the baby from the Nurse.)

 

OBSTETRICIAN: Get Dr. Murkav.

 

(The Nurse heads out of the room. Thomas' eyes follow her, anxious, then are brought back to his baby when she cries out again.)

 

OBSTETRICIAN: I'm sorry…

 

(The Doctor steps forward, and Thomas sees into the blanket.)

 

THOMAS: Dear God.

 

(Thomas slowly reaches out, almost involuntarily, to touch his newborn. A tiny, withered hand reaches out of the blanket, into the sharp light of the room.)

 

OBSTETRICIAN (O.S.): We've been getting reports of this syndrome from other hospitals. Right now we're not sure of the cause…

 

(As Thomas' fingers touch his daughter's…)

 

 

[BACK TO SCENE]

(Johnny comes out of the vision, disturbed. Thomas notices…)

 

THOMAS: Hey, are you okay…? What just happened…?

 

JOHNNY: The drug I was telling you about, Revivatin… is going to cause severe birth defects in a few years. (More to himself, thoughts spinning) And you're going to have a child who's suffers this defect.

 

(Thomas studies this strange guy and this is just getting too weird now…)

 

THOMAS: I don't know what your deal is… but that's really not funny…

 

JOHNNY: (insisting) In about five or 6 years. It must be what motivates you to find the cause… Your wife has black hair, and green eyes…

 

THOMAS: Hey, I can't get a girl to look at me much less procreate…

 

JOHNNY: …You called her Claire.

 

THOMAS: Claire?

 

(Thomas looks flustered for a moment.)

 

THOMAS: I don't know anyone named Claire… (Beat) Look, I think you better leave… I have a lot of gardening to do…

 

JOHNNY: We can't wait five years to find the proof. This drug is coming out next week.

 

THOMAS: This isn't something you solve in a week! I've worked on this for five years with no results. It's called failure.

 

(He moves to a Bonsai and begins to prune it electronically.)

 

THOMAS: (still flustered from "Claire") I can't. I can't help you. I'm truly sorry. Good-bye. Don't let the cats out.

 

(A beat. This is clearly a lost soul whose thoughts have moved inward into the black hole of his failure… Johnny has no alternative but to exit…)

 

 

[EXT. BUILDING – DAY]

(As Johnny comes out. His mind works. He can't waste any more time. He dials his cell phone.)

 

JOHNNY: Dana, it's Johnny.

 

 

[INT. NEWSROOM - DAY - THE EDITOR'S OFFICE]

(Sam is reading Dana's copy… he looks up with alarm…)

 

SAM: You expect me to print this?

 

DANA: Thousands of babies. How can we not print it, Max?

 

SAM: Just because this Smith guy says something is going to happen doesn't mean…

 

DANA: Cathy's Steakhouse, the Dodd killings…

 

SAM: When the lawyers see this…

 

DANA: I ran it by the lawyers…

 

SAM: And they don't think we'll be sued?

 

DANA: They think we're crazy. The question is whether you and me and the lawyers will be able to live with ourselves when those birth defects start showing up and we didn't warn anyone. And guess who starts to sue us then?

 

SAM: (scowls) Page four.

 

DANA: Page four… but this… (Is a big story)

 

SAM: Page four.

 

(Off her look…)

 

 

[INT. NEWSPAPER PRINTER - DAY – STOCK]

(As it spits out newspapers… one of which…)

 

 

[A NEWSPAPER - INT. CULP & BELLING – DAY]

(Is in the hands of Wendell Hahn in his office… he reacts as he reads, stands and exits in a hurry…)

 

 

[CLOSE-UP IN A NEWSROOM SOMEWHERE - TBD WIRE SERVICE TICKER - PRINTING: "LOCAL PSYCHIC TAKES ON PHARMACEUTICAL GIANT OVER REVIVATIN, REUTERS, CLEAVES MILLS, MAINE…"]

(The story is spreading…)

 

 

[INT. PURDY'S LIMO]

(As Purdy reacts to newsradio…)

 

RADIO NEWS VOICE: Most modern prophets like to make predictions about the end of the world, but here's one who just wants to warn you about a very dangerous wrinkle cream…

 

 

[A LARGE STANDUP DISPLAY AD OF REVIVATIN]

(In a conference room… executives seated around the long table… including Wendell Hahn who is seated by an intimidating CEO at the head of the table… an attractive P-R woman, Kim Sandelman, is making a report to the group… assistants are handing out documents to each exec around the table… and during her speech we push to one…)

 

KIM SANDELMAN: …of course, something this bizarre is going to get coverage but is anyone going to take him seriously? In my opinion, no.

 

(…completing our push to one of the documents to see the subject heading, "John Smith"… a picture of Johnny is stapled to the corner…)

 

 

[INT. NASDAQ STOCK EXCHANGE (STOCK FOOTAGE)]

(Some traders look up at the… The ticker which reports Culp & Belling at 49.)

 

HUGH SPENCER (V.O.): You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension of sight, sound, and unexplained phenomena. I am, of course, talking about the NASDAQ…

 

 

[INT. SET OF "MARKET REPORT" SHOW]

(The financial news anchors Hugh Spencer and Cynthia Sereda…)

 

HUGH SPENCER (CONT'D): After a month long upward trend, Culp & Belling stock has dropped almost two percent this morning… this following yesterday's curious report out of Cleaves Mills, Maine, where self-proclaimed psychic "John Smith" predicted their new wonder drug, Revivatin, will cause birth defects. Nervous investors apparently being affected by The Smith Factor, Cynthia…

 

CYNTHIA SEREDA: Where was this fellow during Enron?

 

 

[EXT. CULP & BELLING HEADQUARTERS – DAY]

(Head and shoulders shot of Kim Sandelman as she talks to reporters.)

 

KIM SANDELMAN: Absolutely not. Revivatin was subjected to rigorous clinical trials and was given full approval by the FDA. I plan on using it myself.

 

REPORTER (O.S.): Do you have any direct comment on Johnny Smith?

 

KIM SANDELMAN: We feel Mr. Smith does not warrant comment or consideration. We are, however, taking appropriate action…

 

 

[INT. FAITH HERITAGE ALLIANCE - PURDY'S OFFICE – DAY]

(Purdy's hand slams down a packet of legal papers onto his desk. He looks at Johnny, sitting in the guest chair. We've never seen Purdy this angry… actually, we've never seen him angry before, period.)

 

PURDY: Libel. Defamation. Slander. Industrial Espionage.

 

JOHNNY: That's about half of what they're suing me for.

 

PURDY: Forgive me, but you are not an institution whose purpose is to set a moral example.

 

JOHNNY: I thought we made that clear in those papers I signed.

 

PURDY: Those papers are damage control. They cannot erase what's already been said.

 

JOHNNY: I did what I had to do.

 

PURDY: You certainly did. But to what end? You disrupted the present, but have you changed the future? Have you changed anything?

 

(Off Johnny, without an answer…)

 

 

[INT. DRUG STORE – NIGHT]

(Johnny walks in with Bruce, makes a beeline for the pharmacy counter, which is closed, gate down. Johnny puts both of his hands on the counter.)

 

 

[A VISION - LOCK-OFF TIME LAPSE EFFECT]

(As the gate flies up and sunlight pours in the windows. Johnny stands still as various woman (and some men) flit up to the counter and back in a buzzing blur, like bees to honey…)

 

 

[RESUME]

(Johnny lifts his hands off the counter, they immediately turn into fists. Bruce notices.)

 

 

[EXT. DRUG STORE – NIGHT]

(As they come out…)

 

BRUCE: C'mon, let's try another one. Shaw's on Main has a pharmacy…

 

(Johnny shakes his head, speaks softly.)

 

JOHNNY: I've made it worse.

 

BRUCE: You can't tell that from two pharmacies!

 

JOHNNY: I just helped spread the word about Revivatin…

 

(As they move toward Bruce's car… As freeze-frame photos are taken of Johnny… snap, snap… by an looming unseen presence…)

 

 

END OF ACT TWO

 

 

ACT THREE

 

 

[OMITTED]

[INT. NEWSPAPER OFFICE – DAY]

(Dana moves into Sam's office…)

 

DANA: You needed to see me, Sam?

 

SAM: Close the door.

 

(Always ominous words from a boss. He looks at her.)

 

SAM: Are you sleeping with him?

 

DANA: I beg your pardon?

 

SAM: Are you sleeping with Johnny Smith…

 

DANA: Since when is it any business of yours who I…

 

SAM: Since Culp & Belling made it the publisher's business and the publisher made it my business…

 

DANA: (smiles, incredulously) Those sons of bitches…

 

SAM: You're writing stories about him… and sleeping with him at the same time. You don't find that a conflict of interest?

 

DANA: No. When I slept with you to get this job, that was a conflict of interest.

 

SAM: (defensive, knows he was wrong) I slept with you after I hired you - there's a big difference. (beat, with regret) You're on suspension.

 

DANA: What?!

 

SAM: Trust me, it could have been worse. They say you're using the paper to promote his abilities. They also say he showed up last week at Culp & Belling threatening to release the story to you if he wasn't hired as a consultant.

 

DANA: That's crap.

 

SAM: Tell your friend Culp & Belling will do everything they can to discredit this story. They'll dig up every secret on this guy they can find…

 

(Dana's mind works during the above… Realizing Johnny is vulnerable in other private relationships as well… like Sarah's… She rushes out…)

 

 

[OMITTED]

[INT. FOYER - MINUTES LATER]

(As Johnny opens the door to see Dana…)

 

DANA: I've been suspended.

 

JOHNNY: What?

 

(She moves quickly by him… he turns and follows…)

 

DANA: Culp & Belling dug up the fact that you and I were doing the nasty. They're calling our relationship a conflict of interest…

 

JOHNNY: Dana, I'm sorry.

 

DANA: (ironically) …as though we even have a relationship. The question now is do they know about you and Sarah…

 

JOHNNY: What about me and… (Sarah)

 

DANA: …Please… (Don’t pretend with me)

 

JOHNNY: …Sarah and I…

 

DANA: Johnny, I know. I don't have to be a reporter. Just a woman. I see it in your faces every time you're within fifty feet of one another. (Off his look) I'm here to warn you that you're vulnerable… and so is she… if you use a credit card at some secret hideaway, they will know…

 

JOHNNY: It's not like that. Really.

 

DANA: Okay, I warned you.

 

(Johnny seems dazed… as she takes a good look at him…)

 

DANA: Jesus, have you been eating?

 

JOHNNY: I don't know.

 

(She takes his hand and moves him toward the kitchen…)

 

DANA: Come on, let me make you a sandwich… that'll be our new relationship, I come over and feed you…

 

(The phone rings. Johnny answers the phone. Then sits up straighter, looking confused. He picks it up.)

 

JOHNNY: Berke?

 

THOMAS (PHONE): You really believe in this stuff, don't you?

 

JOHNNY: Where are you?

 

 

[EXT. DOWNTOWN CLEAVES MILLS – DAY]

(At a pay phone…)

 

THOMAS: Downtown Cleaves Mills.

 

 

[OMITTED]

[INT. SMITH HOUSE - LIVING ROOM – LATER]

(Introductions have already been made. Dana listens as both men eat sandwiches…)

 

THOMAS: After you left I started thinking… and then, after I saw the story about you on TV, I started working. Back to the drawing board, trying to crack the algorithm.

 

JOHNNY: And?

 

(Thomas shakes his head. Nothing.)

 

DANA: There's three days left before Revivatin hits the shelves.

 

THOMAS: There's something else, about what you said… about my future. You said there was a girl named Claire, I said I didn't know anybody by that name…

 

JOHNNY: Right…

 

THOMAS: I did know a girl at M-I-t named Claire. Claire Eisenhaus. She had jet black hair, and bright green eyes. We actually coauthored a thesis together…

 

JOHNNY: What?!

 

THOMAS: And I sort of had a crush on her…

 

(He runs a nervous hand through his hair and laughs.)

 

JOHNNY: (to Dana) He told me didn't know anybody named Claire.

 

DANA: I heard.

 

THOMAS: (to Dana) We haven't spoken in three years! She wasn't even into me, and he's telling me we're gonna get married? It's not in the realm of possibility! (Beat) Right?

 

(A plan begins to form in Johnny's head…)

 

JOHNNY: Where is she now?

 

THOMAS: Well, that's the thing… see, when I called M-I-T and found out where she was working… I knew I had to come…

 

(Off Johnny's puzzled expression…)

 

 

[EXT. CULP & BELLING BUILDING - DAY – ESTABLISHING]

[INT. LAB – DAY]

(Part lab, part office. With a picture of Einstein sticking his tongue out on the wall. This is a small, private work area for one, maybe two people at a time. Claire Eisenhaus, the same woman from Johnny's earlier vision, is wearing a white labcoat (still worn when working with hazardous chemicals). A senior chemist is working in the background. Her gloved hands drop a test tube into a centrifuge as the phone rings… she pauses in her experiment to hit the speaker phone, continues working…)

 

CLAIRE: Eisenhaus.

 

THOMAS (PHONE): Hello, Claire?

 

CLAIRE: Yes…?

 

THOMAS (PHONE): Thomas Berke.

 

CLAIRE: Thomas?!

 

(She stops working, takes off a glove and picks up the phone.)

 

CLAIRE: Where are you?

 

THOMAS (PHONE): Oh, all over the place nowadays. But right now, I'm near you. I mean, in your vicinity, and I figured I'd call you up, long time no see…

 

CLAIRE: Long time. You dropped off the face of the Earth.

 

THOMAS (PHONE): Did I? I guess I did. I've actually been doing some work, uh, with the government, so…

 

 

[INT. SMITH HOUSE – CONTINUOUS]

(Johnny and Dana huddling around Thomas. Dana confused about the government line. Johnny whispers.)

 

JOHNNY: Lunch. Lunch.

 

THOMAS: Anyway, I know it's late notice, short notice. No notice…

 

THOMAS (CONT'D): (Johnny gives "hurry it up" signal) But I was wondering if you had lunch plans.

 

(He signals for a pen to write with - Dana hands him one… he scribbles down an address…)

 

THOMAS: Meet you there at one. Can't wait to catch up. Bye.

 

(Thomas hangs up.)

 

THOMAS: "Can't wait to catch up." I can't do this.

 

JOHNNY: You can do this.

 

THOMAS: Yeah, but what if she doesn't like me?

 

JOHNNY: Thomas, she's gonna have your baby. Just be yourself, you'll do fine.

 

DANA: Guys, pep talk in the car, we gotta go if we wanna make it. (Looking at Thomas) Johnny, do you have hair clippers?

 

JOHNNY: Yeah, upstairs.

 

THOMAS: Why?

 

DANA: We gotta lose the ponytail, hon.

 

(Thomas looks at Johnny for support. He shrugs.)

 

JOHNNY: The future depends on it.

 

 

[INT. RESTAURANT – DAY]

(Thomas waits inside by the Maitre'D's podium, fidgeting. His hair is now shorn short, and he's wearing Johnny's shirt. We see Claire approach from the sidewalk, waving as she opens the door. Both exclaim their "Hey's" and Thomas extends his hand to shake. She moves for the hug.)

 

 

[AT THE BAR - DANA AND JOHNNY]

(The bar is in an anteroom to the dining area. Dana and Johnny sit with their backs to that room, but they can watch Thomas and Claire through the mirror behind the bar. Right now, they can see the reunion embrace.)

 

JOHNNY: Here we go.

 

(In the reflection, Thomas and Claire are led to their table.)

 

DANA: Hard to believe the guy's future wife works for the company that you're trying to stop. It's too much of a coincidence.

 

JOHNNY: If you take anything that's inevitable and move it back a couple of years, it becomes a coincidence. The stars just haven't aligned yet.

 

DANA: And you're gonna line 'em up?

 

JOHNNY: He's a scientist, she's a scientist, he's always had a crush on her, they get together in three years and I bet it's both of them who figure this out. I just need to speed up that timeline.

 

DANA: Like by Sunday?

 

JOHNNY: You got a better idea?

 

 

[AT THE LUNCH TABLE - CLAIRE AND THOMAS]

(Claire and Thomas are mid-laugh. Claire is energetic, genuinely happy to see him. Thomas is a bag of nerves, and is trying his best to disguise it.)

 

CLAIRE: Last thing I heard, you up and left McLusker's group, a few months short of getting your doctorate.

 

(Thomas smiles a certain smile. It spreads to Claire.)

 

THOMAS: McLusker.

 

CLAIRE: McLusker.

 

(They share a laugh. Thomas eases up.)

 

THOMAS: Well, you know how I feel about Doctors. I figured if I ever became one I'd never forgive myself.

 

(Another mutual laugh. Then, Thomas lies through his teeth.)

 

THOMAS: What happened is, an opportunity came along and I had to take it.

 

CLAIRE: This would be the government thing.

 

THOMAS: Right. Right.

 

CLAIRE: Can you tell me about it?

 

THOMAS: Uh, no, not really…

 

CLAIRE: Well, whatever it is, it looks like it agrees with you… I mean, you used to be unraveling at the seams… and now…

 

THOMAS: You look exactly the same, Claire…

 

(She smiles… he smiles… and this is really going well…)

 

 

[WITH JOHNNY AND DANA IN THE BAR]

(Straining to follow the action…)

 

JOHNNY: He's getting up… something's wrong…

 

(Suddenly Thomas enters furtively…)

 

THOMAS: Touch this.

 

(He's holding a glass of water in his hands…)

 

DANA: What are you doing?

 

THOMAS: It's her water glass. I told her it had a crack in it and I'd replace it. Touch it and tell me what she's thinking.

 

JOHNNY: Thomas, get back there.

 

THOMAS: Come on, I have to know.

 

(Johnny picks up the glass, closes his eyes. Opens them.)

 

JOHNNY: She's into you, man. Just take it easy, be yourself, you'll be fine.

 

(Thomas nods, trying to psyche himself up. He takes the glass and heads back. Dana looks at Johnny.)

 

DANA: You really see anything?

 

JOHNNY: Kid who washes the glasses is gay.

 

(Dana nods.)

 

 

[BACK TO TABLE - CLAIRE AND THOMAS]

(Thomas sets down her glass as he sits (same glass).)

 

THOMAS: You're safe now.

 

CLAIRE: What'd that guy at the bar want?

 

THOMAS: What guy?

 

CLAIRE: I saw you in the mirror, you stopped to talk to them.

 

(Thomas looks at the wall-length mirror behind him, which reflects the dining area and the bar room beyond. Shit.)

 

THOMAS: Oh, that guy. He was asking for directions to the interstate. So, Claire. Let's talk about you. Seen you guys in the news lately.

 

CLAIRE: Isn't that crazy? Some nutjob comes out of the woodwork and makes these crazy accusations and the press actually reports it…

 

THOMAS: Have you guys looked into his claims? On your end?

 

CLAIRE: We went through regular clinical testing for a year and a half. FDA approved us without batting an eye. Tell you the truth, I'm thinking of using the stuff myself.

 

THOMAS: Don't.

 

(He's so abrupt and emphatic that a couple diners at the adjacent table notice. Claire is slightly thrown.)

 

THOMAS: I mean, there's no need. You're beautiful…

 

(Thomas cuts himself off. Claire reddens. The lunch just got officially awkward. She tries to steer back.)

 

CLAIRE: Thanks, but… thirty's right around the corner, and I've got a couple of lines already starting to make their attack.

 

CLAIRE (CONT'D): I don't know if I'm ready to wave good-bye to my twenties just yet.

 

THOMAS: What about your future? Children… aren't you worried at all about potential birth defects?

 

CLAIRE: Can we talk about something else?

 

THOMAS: What? Yes, I'm sorry.

 

CLAIRE: Okay.

 

THOMAS: I just… I don't want you to do anything you're going to regret. In the future.

 

CLAIRE: Thomas, where is this coming from?

 

(Claire's eyes widen as something hits her. She looks past Thomas to the wall-length mirror, at the reflection of the bar in the background. She turns around in her chair and looks directly at the bar… at the couple sitting there… at their reflection in the bar mirror. At Johnny Smith.)

 

CLAIRE: Oh my God. That's the guy. The psychic guy… (Turns to Thomas) And you were talking to him.

 

(Thomas looks guilty all over.)

 

CLAIRE: What's going on? Why is he here? Do you know him?

 

THOMAS: Let me explain…

 

CLAIRE: Explain what? What is this?

 

(Several other diners are now looking over at them.)

 

CLAIRE: I… I have to go.

 

THOMAS: No, don't…

 

CLAIRE: I don't know what's going on, but I can't be here…

 

(She gets up and heads for the door.)

 

THOMAS: Wait!

 

(Johnny and Dana turn around at the bar.)

 

 

[EXT. RESTAURANT - CONTINUOUS - DAY - SURVEILLANCE POV]

(Snap shots freeze framing the action every second or so. We are watching from across the street as Claire exits the restaurant, upset, and gets into her car parked nearby. Thomas exits the restaurant behind her, distressed, calling for her to wait. Claire quickly drives off. Johnny and Dana exit the restaurant a beat later.)

 

 

[BACK TO SCENE]

(Johnny walks up to Thomas, who watches Claire's car go.)

 

JOHNNY: What happened?

 

THOMAS: See for yourself.

 

(Thomas grabs Johnny's arm. We ramp around them and settle again, but we don't see what Johnny saw.)

 

THOMAS: We don't get together, anymore, do we?

 

(Johnny doesn't answer)

 

DANA: (sotto) I'll get the car.

 

(She moves away…)

 

THOMAS: I knew it. I knew this wouldn't work.

 

JOHNNY: There's still time…

 

THOMAS: Oh, you know all about that, don't you? You're the man who can change time. Lemme ask you something, you ever consider that time would get along just fine without you?

 

(Off Johnny's look…)

 

THOMAS: Without her help, I may not ever solve the algorithm. And how many more babies' lives will that cost, you think, John? How much worse did we make the future today?

 

(Dana pulls the car over and he gets in, slams the door… Johnny just stands there as we pull back slowly…)

 

 

END OF ACT THREE

 

 

ACT FOUR

 

 

[INT. OPEN MARKET – NIGHT]

(Moving with Johnny as he moves toward a sitting area at the center of the busy market… Sarah is waiting for him… standing alone, looking uncomfortable…)

 

 

[INT. SECURITY VAN - NIGHT - A DIFFERENT ANGLE OF SARAH]

(On a black and white monitor… video recorders running… all sorts of high tech surveillance gear… and we might recall The Conversation in this sequence. A male technician works the equipment (TECH)…)

 

VOICE ON SPEAKER: Subject approaching from the north…

 

SECOND VOICE ON SPEAKER: I've got him.

 

(Finding Johnny on a micro camera shot on another monitor… the Sarah monitor and the Johnny monitor co-existing side by side…)

 

 

[RESUME JOHNNY]

(As he approaches Sarah… glances around, concerned about surveillance… Sarah looks worried…)

 

SARAH: Hi…

 

JOHNNY: I just got your message. I've been out of town… what’s wrong?

 

 

[INT. SURVEILLANCE VAN]

(Audio futzes, drop outs…)

 

SARAH: Someone's asking questions, Johnny… about us…

 

TECHNICIAN: Getting audio drop out from one…

 

VOICE ON SPEAKER: I'll cross to get closer…

 

JOHNNY: Walk with me…

 

SARAH: They've talked to half the mothers on Johnny's soccer team… one of them finally called and told me…

 

TECHNICIAN: Number two… can you switch off?

 

SECOND VOICE ON SPEAKER: I'm on it.

 

SARAH: I can't believe…

 

(She can't bring herself to say it…)

 

JOHNNY: What…

 

SARAH: That Walt would hire a private detective to…

 

JOHNNY: Why would Walt hire a private detective… it's not Walt… it's… it's this drug company… Culp & Belling…

 

(She reacts, about to speak, but he holds up her hands to wait… as he looks around at the people in his vicinity… his eyes move past… Johnny’s POV – A woman with a shopping bag window shopping… A black kid in his late teens with earphones on… A granny resting on a chair… A girl in her late teens on rollerblades circling around… All perfectly normal at a market... except they all seem

suspicious…)

 

 

[INT. SURVEILLANCE VAN]

(On Johnny on a monitor…)

 

TECHNICIAN: Think he's made you number one… time to go…

 

(And that's a mistake because as we…)

 

 

[RESUME JOHNNY]

(The granny stands to leave… and the movement catches Johnny's eye…)

 

JOHNNY: Excuse me…

 

(He grabs her arm gently…)

 

 

[INT. SURVEILLANCE VAN – NIGHT]

(Just minutes later… as the door bursts open and Johnny explodes in, scaring the hell out of the technician… Sarah is out back looking in…)

 

TECHNICIAN: Dude, you don't want to be in here… anything you do will only make it worse…

 

(And Johnny probably would have been happy to issue a stern warning but then something catches his eye on a table and it's a series of – Surveillance photos of little Johnny coming out of school… and… Johnny snaps… he grabs the first thing he sees… a monitor and throws it to the floor… and another… and now… he's turning over equipment... and it's sparking and flashing and smoking…)

 

TECHNICIAN: Man… you don't… look, okay, got the message… just do me a favor, leave the console alone, it's mine, I built it…

 

(Johnny smashes the console… stares with loathing at the technician.)

 

TECHNICIAN: (afraid for his personal safety) Hey, what can I tell you, man. It's just a job, you know?

 

JOHNNY: Have a nice day.

 

(And exits.)

 

 

[INT. SMITH HOUSE – NIGHT]

(Thomas has a spread sheet of equations running across the living room… and it's clear he's getting nowhere… he's reaching into the refrigerator for a leftover half of a Dana sandwich when the phone rings…)

 

JOHNNY'S VOICE: (answering machine) No one's home, please leave a message.

 

CLAIRE (PHONE): Mr. Smith? My name is Claire Eisenhaus. (Thomas stops dead in his tracks) I work for Culp & Belling, I think you know who I am. I need to talk to you…

 

(Thomas picks up the phone.)

 

THOMAS: Claire? It's Thomas.

 

 

[INT. LAB - NIGHT (INTERCUT AS NEEDED)]

(Claire, on the phone, hesitates.)

 

CLAIRE: I'm in trouble, Thomas. They saw me at the restaurant…

 

THOMAS: Who saw you?

 

CLAIRE: The company. They suspect an insider has been working with Johnny Smith. I am now "under investigation."

 

THOMAS: This is all my fault. I told Smith about you.

 

CLAIRE: Why?

 

THOMAS: He found me in Vancouver, and he said... he said a lot of things…

 

CLAIRE: Vancouver?

 

THOMAS: That's where I live. In a four hundred square foot apartment in the one bad part of the city. I don't work for the government, I don't work for anyone right now. (With pain, no humor) I was working at Starbucks a couple of months ago…

 

(Thomas' voice trails off as it becomes shaky.)

 

THOMAS: And, what else? I've been in love with you since school.

 

CLAIRE: What?

 

THOMAS: I told Johnny it was a crush, but that's a lie… that's taking love for granted and I don't want to take you for granted. But I guess I screwed that up, too. Like always.

 

(Claire has forgotten about her troubles for a moment, genuinely concerned and bewildered by Thomas' revelations.)

 

CLAIRE: Thomas… what happened? You're one of the most brilliant people I've ever met…

 

(And now Thomas is almost overcome.)

 

THOMAS: I got some problems… I'm sorry you had to see it. I'm sorry I made them yours.

 

CLAIRE: What did this psychic guy do to you?

 

THOMAS: He didn't. He was just trying to do the right thing. He really believes Revivatin is unsafe. And he says that Anza will prove it…

 

CLAIRE: And you believe him.

 

THOMAS: I just didn't want to take any chances. Not with you. (Beat) Not with us.

 

(And that touches her… and begins to take this out of the scientific realm… and makes it personal… suddenly something inside her is scared about Revivatin too… she makes a decision.)

 

CLAIRE: Maybe we should run the research through Anza... compare virtual models.

 

THOMAS: There is no Anza. There never was.

 

CLAIRE: No, you just gave up too early. It was bad timing, Thomas.

 

THOMAS: Tell me about it.

 

CLAIRE: Listen to me. If you invent the car before you discover gasoline, you're not going anywhere. Your grant was pulled three years before the Human Gene Map was made available to researchers. (Beat) Maybe you shouldn't have dropped off the face of Earth when you did.

 

THOMAS: Are you saying the software failed because it didn't have the right data to analyze?

 

CLAIRE: Why do you think McLusker's been trying to re-create your project? You have the technology.

 

THOMAS: (realizing) And you have the data.

 

CLAIRE: (turning on her laptop) I've got the chocolate, you've got the peanut butter. Do you have a car?

 

THOMAS: Uh… no?

 

 

[EXT. SMITH HOUSE - DRIVEWAY - LATER THAT NIGHT]

(Johnny's Jeep pulls into the drive. He abruptly taps on the brakes. Parked in the middle of his driveway is Claire Eisenhaus' CAR. Same one that split from the restaurant.)

 

 

[INT. SMITH HOUSE – NIGHT]

(Johnny follows the sound of talking voices… down the stairs to his Armageddon center! He's kind of freaked out about that…)

 

 

[INT. JOHNNY'S WORK ROOM – DOWNSTAIRS]

(He enters to see Thomas and Claire sitting at Johnny's computer, files and papers strewn all over… Johnny's board is covered with his tarp. Claire's laptop is hooked in. They both look up. On the computer a program is running that mere mortals such as we cannot begin to fathom… this is Anza… (downloaded from Thomas' home computer)…)

 

THOMAS: Hey.

 

CLAIRE: Hey.

 

JOHNNY: (cautious) Hi.

 

THOMAS: (focusing on entering data) You need more memory on this computer.

 

CLAIRE: Sorry we made a mess.

 

THOMAS: But Claire figured it out.

 

CLAIRE: Actually, Thomas figured it out.

 

THOMAS: You generated the thesis.

 

CLAIRE: You were the impetus.

 

JOHNNY: Noted. Please continue.

 

(Thomas and Claire look at each other, Claire puts her palms down on the files.)

 

CLAIRE: Revivatin was run through extensive tests on humans, and found to be safe. But of course, Culp & Belling didn't test on pregnant women. That would be unethical.

 

JOHNNY: But they did run tests on pregnant animals.

 

CLAIRE: Rats and rabbits. And their offspring were normal. Which is why they earned Class B approval, where the chance of fetal harm is remote. The labelling in the Revivatin package also says "animal studies are not always predictive of human response."

 

(Calling it up on the computer model…)

 

THOMAS: According to Anza, in this specific case, humans are not like animals. We plugged the human gene map into Anza and created an interaction model with the Revivatin data…

 

(Johnny takes a seat with them, tries to see what he's talking about on the computer… it's beyond him…)

 

THOMAS: There, right there… after the fertilized egg first starts dividing into multiple cells.

 

CLAIRE: The embryo is susceptible to mutation early on… before a woman even knows she's pregnant.

 

(Johnny reacts. The doorbell rings…)

 

[INT. UPSTAIRS - MOMENTS LATER – NIGHT]

(Moving to answer the door. Thomas and Claire following him…)

 

JOHNNY: Proof. Will Anza be considered proof?

 

CLAIRE: The FDA doesn't need a full answer if you can give them a big enough question mark.

 

THOMAS: And this is a huge question mark.

 

(Johnny opens the door to reveal Walt…)

 

JOHNNY: Hey Walt.

 

WALT: What the hell you doing busting up a security van…

 

JOHNNY: Walt, it's a long story and I don't have time right now…

 

WALT: You're gonna have to make time. I got to take you downtown… they've filed a criminal complaint… (To the others) Excuse us…

 

THOMAS: Johnny, should we call your friend, Dana and get her to stop the presses…

 

(Johnny thinks about it as Walt leads him away…)

 

JOHNNY: No.

 

THOMAS AND CLAIRE: No?

 

JOHNNY: No. (To Claire) We call your friends, and give them the chance to decide. Because these are major dollar decisions.

 

(Off Thomas and Claire…)

 

 

[BEGIN SEQUENCE - CHAIN REACTION]

(A) Culp & Belling warehouse - The semi-trucks rolling out.)

(B) Smith house - Claire on the phone, Thomas watching as she passionately talks while faxing something.)

(C) Culp & Belling labs - The senior chemist, seen earlier, receiving the fax as he talks to Claire.)

(D) Three semi-trucks in a caravan on the freeway.)

(E) Conference room - The CEO, Wendell Hahn and Kim Sandelman in front of a speaker phone. The CEO is shouting.)

(F) LABS - Reveal the senior chemist with another lab-tech, shouting back into the phone.)

(G) The CEO hangs up, thinking.)

(H) Culp & Belling warehouse - The warehouse foreman is handed the floor phone. Truck docks are empty behind him.)

(I) Int. Semi-truck - A Truck Driver, getting a call on his CB.)

(J) That same triple caravan of signaling, then exiting, the freeway…)

 

 

[INT. PARKING GARAGE - LOWER LEVELS]

(Wendell Hahn's expensive shoes make echoing footfalls as he walks past cement pillars. Waiting for him behind one of them is a man in a black pea coat, holding a cane.)

 

WENDELL HAHN: Thank you for agreeing to meet here, and under such short notice. (Johnny doesn't reply) They sent me to talk to you because… we've already met…

 

(Wendell clearly hates that he's been assigned this task. He launches into boilerplate.)

 

WENDELL HAHN: Culp & Belling is willing to cease all legal action against you, and the Faith Heritage Alliance provided that you keep quiet about this development, and allow us to control the manner in which the recall is presented to the public. If you continue to speak out on this matter, we will refute whatever claims you may make, even if they're deemed to be in good faith. And we will continue to sue you. Is that understood?

 

(Johnny nods. Wendell stands for a bit, then walks.)

 

JOHNNY: Wendell. (He turns) You're welcome.

 

(Wendell regrets stopping. He tucks tail and moves off. As we push in on Johnny, vindicated…)

 

CYNTHIA SEREDA (V.O.): 'A Culp & Belling spokeswoman denied the delay was related to the recent predictions by an alleged psychic that the skin crème might cause birth defects…

 

 

[INT. SET OF "MARKET REPORT" SHOW]

(Hugh Spencer and Cynthia Sereda (different clothes)…)

 

CYNTHIA SEREDA: 'In fact, the spokeswoman said, Culp & Belling found an opportunity during recent tests to improve the product and reduce its cost of production. No new date for the release will be announced.'

 

HUGH SPENCER: Culp & Belling shares are down over seven points this morning.

 

CYNTHIA SEREDA: I had an aunt who was psychic… never gave me one stock tip.

 

HUGH SPENCER: That's it for us… stay tuned for Mandy Nelstrom and Dean Caruthers… they'll have a complete wrap-up of the market day and provide insight into future trends…

 

(During the above, we…)

 

 

END ACT FOUR

 

 

THE END

Kikavu ?

Au total, 20 membres ont visionné cet épisode ! Ci-dessous les derniers à l'avoir vu...

jujume80 
22.01.2018 vers 15h

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14.11.2016 vers 11h

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