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#212 : L' Ange

Titre VO : Zion

Le père de Bruce, le pasteur David Lewis, meurt. Johnny se rend à l'enterrement et a d'étranges visions. On découvre un monde parallère dans lequel Bruce ne serait pas parti de chez lui et n'aurait donc pas connu Johnny. Dans ce monde, Johnny est seul, désespéré et prêt à tout pour tuer Stillson.

Cet épisode est une adaptation fidèle du roman de Stephen King, The DeadZone.

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[INT. ZION CHURCH - CLOSE UP - A ROW OF LARGE, FANCY LADIES' HATS]

(Seen from behind as we pan across, then move to reveal the faces of the ladies themselves: African-American, middle-aged, formidable, fanning themselves with handheld fans, staring forward with anticipation. Sunday- Best clothing, 1981. A low podium, fronted by a seated row of six African American men in their twenties, in period suits and shades. Wearing a dazzling white suit steps up to the pulpit, almost casually. He exchanges a glance with his father -- a large, imposing African-American pastor sitting next to pulpit. The older man nods his permission to begin. The boy turns to his audience, voice clear and calm.

 

BOY BRUCE: Our subject today… the End of the World.

 

(He takes a deep breath -- not that he needs to, this is part of the style and the rhythm of the sermon.)

 

BOY BRUCE: I beheld an Angel…

 

(Immediately, scattered voices respond "Amen" "Uh-huh" "Praise the Lord" "Hallelujah" "Glory" "That's right" "Preach it" -- and will continue to do so for the rest of the sermon as the Spirit moves them.)

 

BOY BRUCE: I said I beheld an Angel…

 

(The responses get more energetic.)

 

BOY BRUCE: And he broke the seal…

 

(He steps aside from the pulpit so he can be fully seen.)

 

BOY BRUCE: I beheld an Angel and he broke the seal…

 

(He puts his hand on his hip.)

 

BOY BRUCE: Come and see…

 

(A breath. Reveal Johnny Smith sitting in a pew. The only White face in the entire church. This is a Dead Zone vision we are watching. Johnny glances over at a woman (Clara Johnson) in a big church hat fanning herself next to him.)

 

BOY BRUCE: I beheld an Angel and he broke the seal… said…

 

(Including his father…)

 

BOY BRUCE & PASTOR: (in unison) Come and see…

 

(Breath.)

 

BOY BRUCE: He said Come and see…

 

(Breath.)

 

BOY BRUCE & PASTOR: Come and see…

 

(The people in front of him are on their feet, the crowd is shouting louder now. Johnny watches the boy preacher, whose voice is steadily building, carrying the worshipers up with him.)

 

BOY BRUCE: I beheld the sun, black as sackcloth…

 

(Voices joining…)

 

BOY BRUCE & PASTOR: Come and see…

 

(His voice goes louder, more rapid, keeping out in front.)

 

BOY BRUCE: And the moon became as blood…

 

(The words pour out in a rush.)

 

BOY BRUCE: I beheld the sun, black as sackcloth… And the moon became as blood… And in Heaven there was Silence.

 

(End vision…)

 

 

[INT. ZION CHURCH - DAY - ON JOHNNY]

(Sitting in the same pew as above. Silent. Johnny glances up… Standing at the front of the church, at the pulpit, by an open casket. Completing some comments.)

 

BRUCE: I wish I could find the words. After so much time.

 

(The Pastor from the vision is lying in state -- twenty-five years older, but still imposing, still recognizable as the same man.)

 

BRUCE: My father would want me to give a sermon. As he taught me. But it doesn't really go with the haircut, Daddy.

 

(It's an odd time for a joke, not entirely inappropriate, but it does reveal a trace of guilt and separation. There are no laughs. And Bruce really feels out of place and uncomfortable and decides to wrap this up.)

 

BRUCE: I… thank you all for coming.

 

(He steps away and the guests are disappointed but forgiving in this circumstance. Bruce moves beside his sixty year old mother Mrs. Lewis, comforting her as people move forward and line up to pay their respects… As Johnny stands and moves to get in line.)

 

 

[MOMENTS LATER - ON BRUCE]

(As Johnny moves to him in line…)

 

BRUCE: Thanks for coming back with me, John.

 

JOHNNY: (nods with sympathy) I found out more about you in the last two hours than you've told me in the last two years.

 

BRUCE: (acknowledges) Lot of ghosts here. Starting with me.

 

(They embrace as good friends would in this situation.)

 

 

[VISION - SERIES OF EXTREME CLOSE UPS, SLOW-MOTION, VERTIGINOUS:]

(A hand gun firing up (toward a catwalk)…)

 

 

[ECU]

(A bloody hand ripping a red, white and blue bunting draped across the front of the catwalk… as someone falls…)

 

 

[ECU]

(The floor below… as feet scatter to reveal Johnny lying face up… chest and neck wounded and bleeding… crazed eyes in shock, glazing over, dying… and if that isn't strange enough… Suddenly, Bruce's father leans into frame next to Johnny, crouching down, taking Johnny's hand, praying over him. Johnny turns to the Pastor and their eyes connect (and this transcends the moment as though Johnny in the vision has an awareness of the unusual presence of the pastor). The vision ends.)

 

 

[INT. ZION CHURCH - DAY – RESUME]

(Johnny lets go. They both look dazed.)

 

BRUCE: Man, the Zone must be in overdrive today.

 

(Johnny just looks at him, what's he mean? Bruce raises a hand up to his temple.)

 

BRUCE: I could feel you having a vision. That never happened before.

 

MRS. LEWIS: (murmurs) Let's keep moving please.

 

(As Johnny starts to move away…)

 

BRUCE: (sotto) Tell me you saw us on a plane going home tomorrow.

 

JOHNNY: Not exactly.

 

(Johnny glances down at the man in the coffin -- the same man he just saw praying over his dying body. Off the mystery of the situation.)

 

 

END OF TEASER

 

 

ACT ONE

 

 

[EXT. ZION CHURCH – DAY]

(Establish a modest place of worship in a residential/urban neighborhood, with a large sign over the front door: "Church of the Voice of Zion." A small house for the Pastor is attached directly to the side of the church, allowing passage between.)

 

 

[INT. PASTOR'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM – DAY]

(The reception after the funeral service... casual food and drinks on a buffet table… finding Bruce with a community doctor… we'll call him McCants… (his wife is also in the room, chatting with someone near-by)…)

 

DR. MCCANTS: It's what he would have wanted.

 

BRUCE: Doctor McCants, my father and I… we… (Never saw eye to eye on this subject)

 

DR. MCCANTS: (overlapping) He told it to your mother on his deathbed, Bruce. I was there.

 

BRUCE: (quiet, uncomfortable) I'm no preacher…

 

DR. MCCANTS: I brought you into this world with my two hands. And I swear to God I think you came out of your mama's womb a preacher - natural born. I've never seen anyone who had the gift like you had as a boy. It's a sin to waste it. It's what your father would say.

 

BRUCE: (mostly to himself) Yup. He would all right.

 

DR. MCCANTS: Your mother tells me you've lived in a dozen different cities since you left… somewhere in Maine, right now, isn't it…

 

BRUCE: (trying to change the subject) I like being mobile… it's the great thing about being a physical therapist…

 

DR. MCCANTS: Could you be any farther from home? Did you stop running away from Indiana when you reached the Atlantic ocean?

 

(Bruce looks around for an escape to this conversation…)

 

BRUCE: Have you tried the chicken? Mrs. Krasner brought it…

 

(McCants holds Bruce's arm as he tries to move away…)

 

DR. MCCANTS: What are you searching for, Bruce? And couldn't you find it here… with your mother… carrying on your father's fine work… cause she's going to lose it if you don't… she will lose the church and the house…

 

BRUCE: (dry) Thank you for making sure I understood that…

 

(A man (Alvin) and his attractive wife (Norma), both about Bruce's age… move to him as he moves away from McCants…)

 

ALVIN: Long time, bro.

 

BRUCE: Alvin, too long.

 

(They hug as old friends…)

 

ALVIN: I'm so sorry it has to be for this. Hey, I want you to meet my wife, Norma.

 

BRUCE: I didn't even know you were married.

 

(Shakes her hand.)

 

NORMA: I'm sorry for your loss.

 

(There's nothing unique about this meeting, strictly perfunctory, funeral talk. Johnny is standing with Bruce's mother at the gathering.)

 

MRS. LEWIS: Is there a special lady in his life?

 

JOHNNY: They're all special…

 

(Johnny catches himself. He doesn't want to give the wrong impression, even if it's the right impression.)

 

JOHNNY: …I mean…

 

(But Mrs. Lewis has just stopped a Young Woman serving appetizers from a tray.)

 

MRS. LEWIS: Go back and forth like a typewriter you'll cover the room much faster than if you just drift.

 

(Mrs. Lewis makes the movement with her finger in the air.)

 

MRS. LEWIS: Back and forth and back and forth.

 

(The Young Woman acknowledges and moves quickly away. Mrs. Lewis turns again to Johnny.)

 

MRS. LEWIS: Does he talk about us?

 

JOHNNY: All the time.

 

MRS. LEWIS: (even) It takes more time to lie than to tell the truth, Mister Smith.

 

(She doesn't hesitate to ask provocative questions…)

 

MRS. LEWIS (CONT'D): Are there any other black people there? In Maine?

 

JOHNNY: Not a lot.

 

(She thinks about that…)

 

MRS. LEWIS: Is he happy?

 

(Johnny studies this formidable woman.)

 

JOHNNY: Miz Lewis, he's been a great friend. But he's not a man to show his feelings, at least not to me.

 

MRS. LEWIS: Covers them with a joke, I'll bet.

 

JOHNNY: (nods) To be honest, after today, I realize I don't know him nearly as well as I thought. I want to change that.

 

MRS. LEWIS: Now, that's an honest answer.

 

(She looks across the room at Bruce who looks uncomfortable dealing with all the hugs that people want to give him…)

 

MRS. LEWIS: (beat, thoughtful) I don't think he knows himself any better than you know him, Mr. Smith.

 

(Then she smiles gently.)

 

MRS. LEWIS: Thank you for being his friend.

 

(As she's about to move away, she puts an intimate hand on his forearm in a gesture of appreciation…)

 

 

[VISION - MATCH CUT - JOHNNY'S FACE AS WE SAW IT BEFORE IN THE VISION - ON THE FLOOR… DYING…]

(As before, he turns and makes eye contact with Bruce's father who prays over him… this time at normal speed, we can hear chaos in the walla off camera… there seems to be a big crowd… people running, maybe someone at a loudspeaker telling everyone to be calm and exit in an orderly fashion… but this is a two shot between Johnny and Pastor Lewis…)

 

PASTOR: Deliver him from his sins and let him partake of Thy redemption.

 

(The vision ends…)

 

 

[RESUME JOHNNY]

(As Mrs. Lewis moves away… off his curious reaction…)

 

 

[INT. CHURCH – DAY]

(To find Johnny alone… staring at the corpse of Bruce's father… wondering what his vision meant… he slowly reaches out… to touch the body… both afraid and curious… His hand touches the chest… and it ignites a vision…)

 

PASTOR (O.S.): (mid-conversation) In time, you'll find your way…

 

(Johnny turns into a… Bruce has a duffel, short hair, and is now wearing casual clothes circa 1992. He's leaving home. His father stands in his way.)

 

PASTOR (CONT'D): If you put your faith in God…

 

YOUNGER BRUCE: I lost my faith in God a long time ago.

 

(The Pastor slaps Bruce hard across the face. The duffel falls to the ground.)

 

PASTOR: Not in this house. You will not speak like that. Not in this house.

 

(They stare at each other.)

 

YOUNGER BRUCE: You used me to fill this house. You used me to fill your collection plate every week.

 

PASTOR: (refusing to even consider the charge) Doing God's work. You were doing God's…

 

YOUNGER BRUCE: Oh so it was God who took my childhood away? Wouldn't let me play ball? Go to the movies? Be alone with a girl. I'm the only black man in West Indianapolis who can't dance, Daddy.

 

(A beat. He walks past Johnny toward the pulpit…)

 

YOUNGER BRUCE (CONT'D): (as though preaching) "And I heard an angel saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth…"

 

(It echoes in the hall…)

 

YOUNGER BRUCE: I've never heard the angel, Daddy.

 

PASTOR: You will.

 

YOUNGER BRUCE: Armageddon? The end is near? Please. How can you possibly believe anything we preach every Sunday.

 

PASTOR: (simple, honest) I read the morning paper. And I have faith in the teachings…

 

YOUNGER BRUCE: I don't.

 

(Younger Bruce picks up the duffel in defiance… opens the door… he stares at his father a long beat, weighing his choices.)

 

PASTOR: Deny your destiny, you deny God Himself. And me.

 

(Young Bruce finally decides…)

 

YOUNGER BRUCE: Nobody has a destiny. We're all just stumbling around in the dark.

 

(And exits. We stay a beat on the pastor who is controlled but devastated… and although it must be a coincidence, he seems to look over in Johnny's direction… not eye contact per se… but almost an awareness…)

 

BRUCE: (entering from the party) There you are.

 

(And unlike most visions… this one lingers as the scene in real time continues… the Pastor never disappears… he sits in a pew and looks sadly straight ahead, perhaps praying to himself; he doesn't pay attention to Johnny and Bruce and how could he - he's in the past… a vision, nothing more…)

 

BRUCE: You told my mom there are no black people in Maine and now she's worried about me.

 

JOHNNY: I think she's worried about you for a lot of reasons.

 

(Bruce doesn't want to confront his feelings about all this… he puts some distance between him and Johnny… walks over and looks at the cross…)

 

BRUCE: Why is everyone worried about me; I got a job, an apartment, a lot of good white friends… (beat) They want me to come home… save the church… like I owe it to him… maybe I do…

 

(His father doesn't look at him; he doesn't see his father. The pastor just looks ahead sadly, continuing a silent prayer.)

 

BRUCE: It feels like he's in the room with us. I think I must be into my own Dead Zone today.

 

(Sighs uncomfortable, stands again…)

 

BRUCE (CONT'D): Cause I feel him… trying to pull me back…

 

(He moves to the casket… looks at the quiet figure of his father…)

 

BRUCE (CONT'D): Reaching out from that casket.

 

(He reaches out and touches his father's cheek…)

 

BRUCE: I could never touch him like this when he was alive… it was too personal, you know? It was too…

 

(The pastor stands, mind working. A tear rolls down his cheek. Bruce studies the body. And a parallel tear runs down his cheek…)

 

BRUCE: I'm sorry I let you down, Daddy.

 

(And Johnny moves to comfort his friend, puts a hand on his shoulder… while Bruce still is touching his father's cheek… (note: it is important that we emphasize this is a three-way connection - not just between Johnny and Bruce but between Bruce and the body of his father as well) and on Johnny's touch… Ramp to Johnny's hand… Then ramp to the pastor and Bruce’s hand… Close on Bruce's face… His head feels like it's splitting open… he grabs his head… groans… And we turn 180 degrees as Bruce's eyes connect with Johnny's eyes… Suddenly Johnny's head snaps back as a vision hits him… A clear connection between Bruce and Johnny is thus established…)

 

BRUCE: John… John…?

 

(But instead of ramping into Johnny… Ramp to Bruce's face…)

 

 

[A FLASH - A LONG RAMP THROUGH THE PARISHIONERS TO BOY BRUCE]

 

BOY BRUCE: Come and see!

 

 

[CUTTING TO ADULT BRUCE (WITH DREADLOCKS) AMONG THE PARISHIONERS]

(Shocked, lost, confused, looking at himself as a child…)

 

BRUCE: John? What's happening, John?

 

 

[RESUME RAMP TO BOY BRUCE]

(Father moves to his side, concerned… we ramp right into the boy's eyes… As though he's having a vision of…)

 

 

[FLASH - SLO MO AS SEEN EARLIER]

(- A bloody hand ripping a red, white and blue bunting draped across the front of the catwalk… as someone falls…)

 

 

[FLASH -- SLO MO AS SEEN EARLIER]

(- the floor below… as feet scatter to reveal Johnny lying face up… chest and neck wounded and bleeding…)

 

PASTOR (O.S.): (overlapping) Deny your destiny, you deny God Himself. And me.

 

 

[RAMPING OUT OF YOUNGER'S BRUCE'S EYES]

(As he stands at the door about to leave home… he drops his duffel and grabs his head in pain as though he's just had the same vision…)

 

 

[FLASH - JOHNNY'S FACE AS WE SAW IT BEFORE IN THE VISION - ON THE FLOOR… DYING…]

(As before, he turns and makes eye contact with Bruce's father (present day) who prays over him…)

 

PASTOR: Deliver him from his sins and let him partake of Thy redemption.

 

 

[RESUME YOUNGER BRUCE AND PASTOR FIFTEEN YEARS AGO]

 

YOUNGER BRUCE: (in pain) Something's wrong. Something's wrong.

 

PASTOR: Headache again?

 

(Younger Bruce nods silently, almost incapacitated with the pain. His father moves to him and closes the door… Bruce never gets to leave this time… the father puts his arm around the son and they exit toward the corridor behind the pulpit.)

 

PASTOR: It will pass. As all things do. God will show us the way. Everything will be all right now.

 

(They walk by Bruce in the present… and our angle gives an extreme closeup of Bruce…)

 

BRUCE: But this isn't how it happened… John, this isn't…

 

(But as he turns, there is no Johnny - and in fact, the moment Younger Bruce did not leave, Johnny was gone… and more has changed as well… Bruce's hair is shorter, more conservative but he still has a beard (to help distinguish him from the younger Bruce we just saw and establish this as a present day alternate reality - in other words, he doesn't look that much different here.)

 

BRUCE: John? Johnny?!

 

(And the casket is gone too. And he's wearing a preacher's suit. And bells are peeling.)

 

 

[EXT. CHURCH OF ZION - DAY - ALT. REALITY]

(Bruce rushes out -- He looks wildly around for Johnny -- but instead, his eyes find a pasteboard sign that reads: Church of the Voice of Zion Pastor David Lewis Elder Bruce Lewis Sunday Sermon March 30, 2003 "The Misunderstandings That Divide Us" Parishioners are beginning to arrive…)

 

PARISHIONER#1: Morning, Elder.

 

PARISHIONER#2: Bless you, Elder.

 

(Bruce reacts, stunned. He might as well have landed in Oz.)

 

 

END OF ACT ONE

 

 

ACT TWO

 

 

[EXT. CHURCH - AS BEFORE – DAY]

(Bruce is not feeling at all well… (it could be a lingering headache from the vision or as we will find out, it could also be the effects of a hangover); he puts some distance between himself and the people…)

 

BRUCE: (muttering under his breath) Okay, John. I'm hoping somehow you can hear me… because I may be caught in one of your visions here… like our Zones have fused together or something… but it's a very strange vision… cause I've seen things that never happened, John… I never went out the door, never left home… and, and I think you may be in trouble, John, cause I saw someone shoot you… talk to me, John, I need you…

 

DR. MCCANTS: Morning, Elder.

 

(Bruce looks over to see Dr. McCants… looks at him, still confused…)

 

DR. MCCANTS (CONT'D): Rehearsing your sermon?

 

BRUCE: My sermon?

 

(Noting Bruce's jumpy disposition…)

 

DR. MCCANTS: Is everything all right?

 

BRUCE: Got a little headache is all.

 

DR. MCCANTS: (knowingly) Uh huh.

 

BRUCE: (still in a daze) Haven't been quite right since the funeral…

 

DR. MCCANTS: Funeral, what funeral?

 

PASTOR: Bruce, your momma's looking for you…

 

(Moving to reveal his father, in his sixties, current day, at the door to the church…)

 

BRUCE: Daddy?

 

PASTOR: You know she doesn't like to send you out for the service without giving you the once over.

 

BRUCE: It's… it's good to see you, Daddy.

 

PASTOR: What are you all tongue-tied about this morning?

 

BRUCE: We haven't talked for awhile is all.

 

(The pastor looks curiously at Bruce… McCants gives the father a look… the boy is acting strangely…)

 

DR. MCCANTS: I think the elder might do well in moderating his Saturday nights before his Sunday mornings.

 

PASTOR: Go sit down and mind your business, Doctor.

 

(McCants takes an affront, humphs, and goes inside… A moment alone, the Pastor gives his son a sharply critical look…)

 

PASTOR: (sotto) You don't think people notice?

 

BRUCE: Notice?

 

PASTOR: You just pull it together before the service. And use eye drops before you go see your mother.

 

(Other parishioners including Alvin and Norma are arriving now, effectively ending the communication…)

 

ALVIN: Morning, Pastor…

 

NORMA: Elder.

 

BRUCE: Morning.

 

(Nothing at all abnormal about the greeting and yet the Pastor looks at Norma with an extra half beat; we barely notice - she either doesn't notice or ignores it and moves inside. Bruce has so many things he wants to say to his father…)

 

BRUCE: Daddy, I…

 

PASTOR: (impatient with him) Your mother's waiting for you.

 

(Bruce studies the face of the man… he almost reaches out and touches him… but can't… and moves inside…)

 

 

[INT. CHURCH OFFICE - DAY - ALT REALITY]

(Bruce's mother is helping him on with his robe in preparation for Sunday Service. He is objecting even as he gets ready to go through with it.)

 

BRUCE: I can't do this.

 

MRS. LEWIS: You know your father doesn't preach anymore.

 

BRUCE: It's been ten years!

 

MRS. LEWIS: What are you talking about?

 

(She adjusts his tie, considering his face.)

 

MRS. LEWIS: You have got to get a haircut.

 

BRUCE: Momma if you only knew.

 

(His mind races toward the sermon he has no clue about how to deliver.)

 

BRUCE: "The Misunderstandings that Divide Us."

 

MRS. LEWIS: Indeed they do.

 

BRUCE: What am I supposed to say up there?

 

MRS. LEWIS: Do what you always do, Baby Boy. Just help the folks get happy.

 

(Off the panic in Bruce's eyes.)

 

 

[INT. CHURCH OF ZION - DAY - ALT. REALITY]

(Bruce is moving toward the front of the Church, barely able to look at the packed house. His father is seated among the other men flanking the pulpit. Bruce reaches it, then turns toward his father, who nods. Bruce faces the throng.)

 

BRUCE: How y'all doin today?

 

(Silence.)

 

BRUCE: I'm feeling kind of strange myself.

 

(From the crowd: "Amen.")

 

BRUCE: No, I mean, I'm really feeling kind of strange.

 

("Preach it!" "Uh huh!" The shouts encourage him, seem to loosen him up. Bruce looks down and sees Clara the hat lady with a monster hat on... laughs…)

 

BRUCE: Mz. Johnson, it's good to see some things never change. Folks behind you ought to be given 'obstructed view' tickets.

 

(Laughs from the parishioners. Bruce finds himself relaxing into it.)

 

BRUCE: I'm going to just go with this if you don't mind. Try to get into the zen of the moment. (Off confused faces) Well, maybe we'll hold off on the zen for now.

 

(Takes a deep breath and looks over at his father who looks at him curiously... this is not the usual sermon…)

 

BRUCE: Our subject today… the Misunderstandings That Divide Us… and it's a subject I know a lot about… a lot about…

 

("Praise God", "Hallelujah"… The connection continues between father and son… and we should cut away to see mom too as she watches this unfold…)

 

BRUCE: Because misunderstandings can drive families apart… far apart… until it's too late to do anything about them…

 

("Amen!")

 

BRUCE: So, in a way, I'm glad to have the chance… to be standing here today… with my family again… so I can tell something to my father…

 

BRUCE (CONT'D): and to the entire congregation… in a way I've never been able to tell it before…

 

("Tell it"… ad libs…)

 

BRUCE: I have seen the angel.

 

("Praise God"… and the father isn't sure yet… is this just another performance or is he really saying something to me?)

 

BRUCE: I have. I really have.

 

("Hallelujah!" With more confidence and the old skill…)

 

BRUCE: I have seen the angel.

 

(And the men in front stand, whooping, ready to rock… And the room starts moving to the rhythms of the gospel being preached… responses get more energetic…)

 

PASTOR: (with a hesitation) Come and see.

 

BRUCE: And he has told me of the fire that will rain down on mankind…

 

("I have seen the angel!", "Amen", "Hallelujah"… The crowd is shouting louder now.)

 

BRUCE: I have seen the angel who would save us!

 

(Clara Johnson in a big hat is fanning herself…)

 

BRUCE: And his name is John!

 

("John!" "Praise God." The hall echoes with "John", "John", "John"…)

 

BRUCE: And he has visions. I think he's in a vision right now. And we're all in it, every one of us.

 

PASTOR: Come and see.

 

(Someone in the crowd starts singing a gospel song in low a cappella counterpoint to the sermon.)

 

BRUCE: Raise your voices so John can hear us…

 

("Hear us, John"… More voices, scattered, join in the rising song.)

 

BRUCE: Are you working on this, John? "Work it, John", "Praise the Lord"

 

BRUCE: Give me a sign! Any time you're ready, John.

 

("We want a sign, John"… "Glory"… the singing ratchets up to match his growing intensity, his voice escalates to pull them further. A woman suddenly stands and screams ecstatically, almost painfully, overcome with emotion, stomping her feet and jabbing her arms into the air with her screams. A woman in a nurse's uniform rushes in to attend to her… grabbing her, fanning her… (And this sort of display is not unexpected, it's encouraged)… It's a bedlam of charismatic energy. But Bruce is worried and confused and looks up as though to heaven or up from his own darkness…)

 

BRUCE: (quietly) Where are you, John?

 

(His father studies him curiously as the room around him is about to explode…)

 

 

 

[CLOSE ON - A DINING ROOM TABLE - INT. LEWIS HOUSE - DAY - ALT REALITY]

(Now covered with an array of foods that Bruce's mother has cooked… Mrs. Lewis carries out a platter of babyback ribs… which join the bowls of collard greens and rice and pinto beans and grits…)

 

DR. MCCANTS: Rose, you've outdone yourself…

 

(Moving back to reveal a post-service Sunday ritual at the Lewis household… family and friends sitting together at the table… Dr. McCants and his wife are there, as are Alvin and Norma… the Pastor has the head of the table, Mrs. Lewis at the other… Norma sits between Bruce and Alvin… Bruce is on her left…)

 

MRS. LEWIS: Don't be silly… it's just Sunday supper as usual…

 

BRUCE: (wistful) Just Sunday supper.

 

(Bruce watches with very mixed feelings on his face. Part of him loves being here at this family tradition he abandoned a decade ago, part of him is overwhelmed by the weirdness of it all and the mystery of why it is happening.)

 

MRS. LEWIS: Bless the table fore it gets cold, Bruce.

 

(It takes Bruce a beat but then he clicks into one…)

 

BRUCE: O Merciful God who provides food for the body and soul, you have kindly granted what is spread before us. We thank you. Bless the loving hands that prepared this meal and us who are to enjoy it, please.

 

(They dig in…)

 

MRS. MCCANTS: Don't believe I've ever heard that blessing.

 

BRUCE: It's Tamil.

 

ALVIN: Tamil?

 

BRUCE: A social entity on the island of Sri Lanka…

 

MRS. LEWIS: I've read about Sri Lanka… it used to be called Ceylon…

 

BRUCE: Right, Ma, and the Tamil nation is on the northeast corner with their own history, culture and language… interesting people… proud of their traditions…

 

PASTOR: You're just full of surprises today, "Elder".

 

MRS. LEWIS: Well if no one else is going to say it, I will - I thought it was one of the best sermons I ever heard…

 

DR. MCCANTS: Natural born. I always said.

 

BRUCE: I'm a little out of practice. I mean, I didn't get much time to practice it this week.

 

MRS. LEWIS: Well, it was heartfelt.

 

PASTOR: (curious) Indeed. I never knew you had such an interest in John the Baptist.

 

ALVIN: Or the Tamil civilization.

 

NORMA: Did you believe that thing on Clara Johnson's head?

 

(We move down on Norma to find her knee under the table… it moves over and rubs against Bruce's knee…)

 

DR. MCCANTS (O.S.): I think she feeds that hat.

 

(Bruce reacts, almost chokes…)

 

MRS. LEWIS (O.S.): I didn't even notice.

 

(She tries not to laugh. She doesn't like to think of herself as gossiping. Bruce's knee moves away from Norma's… Norma's knee pursues…)

 

ALVIN (O.S.): Notice? I couldn't tear my eyes away.

 

NORMA: Nobody could.

 

(Norma's left hand…)

 

DR. MCCANTS (O.S.): That hat had its own gravitational field.

 

(…snakes into Bruce's lap… The others laugh… and then react as Bruce stands abruptly…)

 

BRUCE: Whoa!

 

(They all look at him…)

 

BRUCE: Is it warm in here or is it just me?

 

ALVIN: The door's open…

 

BRUCE: Well, it must be letting all the hot air in.

 

PASTOR: It's March.

 

BRUCE: Right.

 

(Bruce doesn't know quite what to do - his father ends it with…)

 

PASTOR: Sit down, Bruce.

 

MRS. LEWIS: Have some iced Tea.

 

(Bruce sits, reluctantly… and we can only guess what's going on under the table… Norma's left hand is still under there… as she demurely eats her supper…)

 

DR. MCCANTS: The boy may be coming down with something.

 

MRS. LEWIS: Everybody's got something… and they all bring it to church with them.

 

(But Bruce glances over and sees his father studying him and Norma… his father knows something is going on under the table… Bruce abruptly gets up again…)

 

BRUCE: You know, I just remembered… I have to make a phone call.

 

(And moves out of the room. Everyone is perplexed.)

 

DR. MCCANTS: I'll check him over later.

 

 

[INT. CHURCH OFFICE - DAY - ALT. REALITY]

(Bruce is in the small office linking the house to the church. He's pacing, agitated, holding the phone in hand as it rings a number he has just dialed.)

 

BRUCE: Okay, John… maybe it's like that… that time you saw the mall was going to explode and it did that, that DZ overload? Come on… come on… answer the phone, I got to talk to you, man… I gotta know where you are...

 

PHONE MESSAGE: The number you are calling has been disconnected or is no longer in service.

 

(He clicks off, shakes his head.)

 

BRUCE: Keep telling myself it's a vision and it's going to end. Click my heels three times and say 'There's no place like home' and it'll all be over. This cannot be real. Things like this do not happen. (Beat) Cell phone. Try the cell phone.

 

(As he starts to dial…)

 

 

[EXT. MAINE STREET - A CROWD - ON A SIDEWALK - CHEERING - DAY - ALT REALITY]

(On the street, ten or so motorcycles are riding by in an ad hoc parade… the riders are neat, each wearing white shirts and clean bluejeans… but the cycles have been customized beyond recognition… Hear a cell phone beneath the din… moving through the millworkers and college crowd, all of them wearing Stillson buttons, many waving signs… to find Johnny Smith but not the Johnny Smith we know and love… this is the Johnny Smith from the novel, the movie… this is an assassin… he looks for all the world like Arthur Bremer stalking George Wallace… neat, a little too neat, a little desperation in his eyes… not cheering while all the others cheer around him… "Go-get-'em, Greg"… people are looking at him because of the phone ringing which makes him nervous… the phone finally stops ringing… and he smiles uncomfortably at someone who is staring at him… A big bass drum and here's the (small) Trimbull High School Marching Band… Greg Stillson darting along with the band, slapping the tuba player on the back with glee… And to paraphrase Mr. King: "The crowd is screaming his name, chanting it: Greg… Greg… Greg… "The young guy who had billeted his family next to Johnny is holding his son up over his head so the kid can see. A young man with a large, puckered burn scar on one side of his face is waving a sign that says: "live free or die, here's Greg in yer eye!" An achingly beautiful girl of maybe eighteen is waving a chunk of watermelon and pink juice is running down her arm. It is mass confusion. Excitement is humming through the crowd like a series of high voltage electrical cables." Greg rushes over, remarkably close to Johnny - not recognizing him (never having seen him before). A fat woman grabs him around the neck and kisses him… Stillson laughs…)

 

STILLSON: You bet I'll remember you, hon.

 

(Sonny Elliman is directing the motorcycle riders to keep people at bay… pulling the fat woman away… Johnny gets a glimpse of Sarah in the Stillson entourage… and then suddenly his cell phone rings again… the sound brings Sarah's attention to him… and she sees who it is of course… and immediately turns away… genuinely distressed any time she sees him. The crowd lurches and suddenly Johnny finds himself face to face with Stillson who smiles at him…)

 

STILLSON: Hey, man, hope you're gonna support us.

 

(And shakes his hand and ramp to Johnny’s face…)

 

 

[THE FULL ARMAGEDDON VISION]

[RESUME]

(And after the vision's done… the two men stare into each other's eyes… and there is terror in Stillson's… he pulls his hand out of Johnny's and moves quickly away… as we stay a long beat on Johnny, the cell phone begins to ring again… Johnny ignores it… as we…)

 

 

END OF ACT TWO

 

 

ACT THREE

 

 

[INT. CHURCH OFFICE – DAY]

(Close on the phone in Bruce's hands…)

 

JOHNNY'S RECORDED MESSAGE: You've reached the cell phone of John Smith. Leave a message at the beep.

 

BRUCE: Dammit, John, answer the phone.

 

(He slams the phone down, turns and sees his father standing at the door.)

 

PASTOR: Not the angel I hope. I think their numbers are unlisted.

 

(The Pastor comes in and sits down.)

 

PASTOR: Can we talk? You said before, we haven't talked for awhile. And that's true. I miss it.

 

BRUCE: Me too, Daddy.

 

PASTOR: I've been waiting for you to come to me.

 

BRUCE: I know. And of course, I've been waiting for you to come to me. (Beat, realizing) Maybe that's why we're doing this.

 

PASTOR: Doing what?

 

BRUCE: (impossible to explain) Talking like this.

 

PASTOR: You're talking in circles.

 

(The Pastor studies him with concern… this is not the son he knows… this son is acting strangely…)

 

PASTOR: Something isn't right with you today… I can't put my finger on it… (Beat) …Were you actually standing in front of the congregation asking me to believe you've been, what, 'born again'?

 

(A beat.)

 

BRUCE: That's closer to the truth than either of us could possibly believe.

 

PASTOR: Excuse me if I find it hard to accept a day after Officer Lorber brings you home at three a.m. covered in your own vomit. And then sitting at your mama's supper table today watching you and Alvin's missus pretending nothing's going on which I know it is. And she isn't the first lonely wife in this parish you've fooled with.

 

(Bruce reacts, tries to absorb all this. He stands, shakes his head, thinking: could this be me?)

 

BRUCE: (mostly to himself) Next week's sermon will be about "the road not taken."

 

PASTOR: The road…?

 

(Bruce studies his father with a heavy heart… unable to explain but needing to reach out to his father in a way he never could in his real life…)

 

BRUCE: I am different today. In more ways than I can explain. (Beat) You have no idea how hard… (Beat, quieter) You have no idea how hard I've tried… all my life… to find the answers… that I could never find here…

 

BRUCE (CONT'D): (beat, realizing this himself as he looks into his father's eyes) …As though the search for meaning itself would somehow bring me closer to you. (A very long beat) I… see myself through your eyes, Daddy. I want you to be proud of me. No matter what else happens, I'm glad I had the chance to tell you.

 

(It is an extraordinary thing for a son to tell his father… and completely out of character for the Bruce he's known… the Pastor studies him as puzzled as can be.)

 

 

[INT. FOYER - NIGHT - ALT REALITY]

(Bruce moves quietly down the stairs, a duffel bag slung over his shoulder, a man ready to go somewhere… as he moves to leave, he pauses as he sees some photos of himself and the family on the wall… studying a picture of the Pastor and Baby Bruce for a moment. Then he looks back up the stairs, says a silent good-bye and moves out of view.)

 

 

[EXT. INTERSTATE - BUS DRIVING - STOCK - A TRANSITION TO:]

[EXT. CLEAVES MILLS, MAINE - STOCK - ESTABLISHING – DAWN]

(A shot with a bus arriving? Wishful thinking…)

 

 

[EXT. SMITH HOUSE - DAY - ALT. REALITY]

(We don't see the house yet. A cab pulls to the curb… Bruce looks out the window… reacts…)

 

BRUCE: Wait here.

 

(Moving with Bruce as he walks us into our view of the house -- past the "Keep Off Property" sign in the yard, a look of concern on his face. He takes in the front of the house -- the windows covered with boards and the heavyduty Realtor's lockbox on the front door.)

 

BRUCE: (to himself) Johnny. What's happened? Where are you?

 

 

[INT. FAITH HERITAGE AUDITORIUM - DAY - ALT. REALITY]

(Reverend Gene Purdy is moving with Bruce through the interior… where red, white and blue banners are being set up along with Stillson signs and paraphernalia. Around them, Faith Heritage students work to set up the chairs and check the podium sound system in preparation for the opening session.)

 

PURDY: Sorry for the turmoil but we're preparing for a rally - there's a wild Congressional election in Maine this year... we have old Harrison Fisher shaking in his boots over our boy Greg Stillson...

 

BRUCE: I've heard of him.

 

PURDY: All the way in Indianapolis? That's very encouraging.

 

(Purdy stops an Assistant going by…)

 

PURDY: Our balloons haven't arrived; find out where our balloons are. The Assistant nods and moves off.

 

PURDY: Now,then, what would a man of God want with Johnny Smith?

 

BRUCE: (casually) I have an interest in psychic phenomena.

 

PURDY: Elder Lewis, there are psychics and there are psychotics.

 

PURDY (CONT'D): I fear poor Mister Smith has more in common with the latter than the former.

 

(Purdy can't keep the anger out of his voice.)

 

PURDY: The man had the audacity to sue me over his mother's estate… In a coma for six years… not a day went by that I didn't pray for his recovery. (Beat) I washed my hands of him a year ago. I have no idea where you might find him… nor do I recommend you try.

 

 

[INT. LEWIS HOME – DAY]

(The Pastor is on the phone… his wife is waiting for news, worried.)

 

PASTOR: Yes, thank you. Thank you very much. (Hangs up) Mark deCastrique down at the bus station says he bought a ticket to Maine. Bangor, Maine.

 

MRS. LEWIS: What's in Maine?

 

PASTOR: God only knows.

 

MRS. LEWIS: And why wouldn't he tell us where he was going...

 

(The Pastor shakes his head, doesn't know.)

 

MRS. LEWIS (CONT'D): Was he having the headaches again?

 

PASTOR: …Rose, something's terribly wrong. I don't know what it is but I can feel it in my bones.

 

(He makes a decision… moves toward the bedroom…)

 

MRS. LEWIS: Where are you going?

 

PASTOR: I'm buying a plane ticket. Going to Maine.

 

MRS. LEWIS: How will you find him?

 

PASTOR: I'll find him.

 

 

[INT. STILLSON CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS – DAY]

(Lots of activity… phones ringing… earmarks of a successful campaign… finding Bruce with Sarah…)

 

SARAH: You have to understand - I don't see much of Johnny any more… it became almost impossible…

 

BRUCE: Impossible?

 

SARAH: I really don't like to talk about this.

 

BRUCE: Mrs. Bannerman, it's terribly important that I find… (Him)

 

SARAH: (overlapping) It's Bracknell. I went back to my maiden name after the divorce.

 

BRUCE: Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't…

 

SARAH: (explaining) Johnny became…

 

SARAH (CONT'D): well, he just wasn't right after the coma… he never fully recovered, you know, it's not his fault…

 

(And this is still very painful for her… sadness mixed with anger about what she's been through…)

 

BRUCE: (disturbed) Yeah, well, I'm sure he didn't have the right therapeutic people working with him…

 

SARAH: God knows, I tried… but he was irrational… my ex-husband even arrested him once for stalking my son… The stress of it all - it finally broke my marriage apart…

 

(Arriving…)

 

STILLSON: Sarah, have you seen the reports from the pollsters? (Smiling at Bruce, holding out his hand) Hello. Greg Stillson. Hope you'll be with us on election day.

 

SARAH: Mr. Lewis is a preacher from Indiana.

 

STILLSON: That's okay. I'll be running on election day in Indiana… just give me a few years.

 

(She gives him the reports he asked for.)

 

STILLSON (CONT'D): What can we do for you, preacher?

 

SARAH: He's looking for Johnny Smith.

 

STILLSON: (reacts) Your psychic 'friend'.

 

STILLSON (CONT'D): The one from the parade yesterday…

 

(She acknowledges, troubled.)

 

STILLSON: (joking) Coming to get your fortune told?

 

BRUCE: Something like that.

 

STILLSON: Got a thousand bucks? That's what he charges. The man gives me the willies.

 

(He twirls a finger at his head to indicate Johnny is crazy.)

 

STILLSON: (moving away, smiling) Good luck. See you in Indiana in a few years.

 

(Sarah's fingering through a rolodex… pulls out a card with Johnny Smith's name and address…)

 

SARAH: This is the last address of his I have. You can keep that. I don't need it any more.

 

(As Bruce reacts…)

 

 

[EXT. SMALL HOUSE - CLEAVES MILLS - DAY - ALT. REALITY]

(Bruce stands at the door of a modest, slightly run-down house, knocking loudly on the door.)

 

BRUCE: John! Open the door!

 

(He puts his ear to the door -- nothing. He looks around, tries the doorknob -- it's locked. Thinks for a moment.)

 

 

[INT. SMALL HOUSE - CLEAVES MILLS - DAY - ALT. REALITY]

(The window breaks from the outside, and Bruce crawls through, pushing past the heavy plastic blackout sheet that covers the window. All the windows are so covered, leaving the apartment disturbingly dark, even in mid-day. A computer screen adds some light to the room. Bruce is amazed at what he finds -- the place is like Johnny's "threat board" basement times ten. And we do an extended montage as Bruce examines Stillson pics and articles are pinned and taped and strewn about on all available surfaces. If the basement indicated a potential stalker mentality, this looks to be many degrees darker. Among the pictures: photos of famous assassinations... some with progressive time lapse shots: Dealy plaza… arrows superimposed on where the shots were and may have been fired from... George Wallace ambushed by Arthur Bremer… Martin Luther King's death scene… Huey Long's photo… John Hinkley and Ronald Reagan… Oswald in his death growl as he's shot by Jack Ruby… very disturbing images… and notebooks… one is opened to a page and a line is written with a triple circle around it as though to keep it in: "If you could jump into a time machine and go back to 1932, would you kill Hitler?" But there's more -- as he moves into the bedroom, he finds a shell casing on a desk… from some kind of rifle… and as he opens a closet… he finds guns… a whole mess of guns… and ammunition… Bruce's face is filled with horror…)

 

JOHNNY (O.S.): What are you doing here?

 

(Bruce turns to see our alternate Johnny staring at him, deceptively calm and controlled…)

 

JOHNNY (CONT'D): Who are you?

 

BRUCE: John, oh man, am I glad I found you. I've been looking everywhere…

 

JOHNNY: Do I know you?

 

BRUCE: Yes. Only you don't remember. I remember. I don't know why I remember but I do. My name is Bruce Lewis. Does that sound at all familiar to you? It doesn't.

 

JOHNNY: Bannerman sent you, didn't he?

 

BRUCE: No, John. I…

 

JOHNNY: I don't know what he told you. But I have a permit for every gun. I have the legal right… the second amendment to the Constitution…

 

BRUCE: I'm not a cop. John, please. Something has gone terribly wrong. A Dead Zone implosion. I… we… are either trapped in one of your visions or something a lot worse… I'm your best friend… think, John… try to remember…

 

JOHNNY: I've never seen you before.

 

BRUCE: Look, just, just touch me… and maybe you'll see… you'll see what I'm talking about… maybe it'll even break the spell…

 

(Johnny just stares at him evenly… Bruce takes the bull by the horns and moves to him… grabs his arm… we hear a DZ sound effect…)

 

BRUCE: Well?

 

JOHNNY: 'Come and see. I have seen the angel.' You're a preacher.

 

BRUCE: I'm not a preacher. I'm a physical therapist. I was your physical therapist before everything changed. This isn't you. Everything in this room… it isn't you, John… it's the you that would have been if I hadn't been there…

 

(As he says the above, he makes a point of moving around picking up paraphernalia, ammunition…)

 

JOHNNY: I think you'd better leave.

 

BRUCE: Yeah! That's my whole point. I think we both should leave.

 

(But as he's moved around, his eye has been caught… By the computer screen, displaying the Faith Heritage website announcing the evening rally for Greg Stillson. He sees a blueprint of the Faith Heritage Auditorium on the desk next to the screen. He suddenly realizes what's about to happen.)

 

BRUCE: (putting it together) The rally. At Faith Heritage this afternoon. Stillson.

 

(He stares at the ammunition in his hand… losing sight of Johnny for several seconds as he does… suddenly, Johnny brings a massive flashlight hard across the side of Bruce's head. He’s staring at him, inches away, eyes wild. A beat, as consciousness collapses into a single point of light, which finally disappears into blackness.)

 

 

END OF ACT THREE

 

 

ACT FOUR

 

 

[INT. FAITH HERITAGE AUDITORIUM - ESTABLISHING – DAY]

(Red white and blue bunting hung… crowds moving inside… loudspeakers inside playing lively political music…)

 

 

[INT. AUDITORIUM - BACKSTAGE – DAY]

(A worried Pastor Lewis has just introduced himself to a very busy but patient Gene Purdy…)

 

PASTOR: The cab driver at the bus station told me he brought him here…

 

PURDY: (acknowledges) Your son was here… early this morning, Pastor Lewis. On a dubious mission. (Off the Pastor's concerned look) He was looking for a man I've had some unfortunate dealings with named John Smith.

 

PASTOR: (recalling the sermon and phone call) 'John'? Did you say, 'John'?

 

PURDY: Local man who claims to have psychic powers. Your son said he had an interest in the subject.

 

PASTOR: Psychic powers.

 

(And he's obviously shaken… Purdy notices… pauses to offer some compassion…)

 

PURDY: This… obviously is a surprise to you.

 

PASTOR: Reverend Purdy, I've prayed to God asking for guidance today. But I don't understand what is happening.

 

PASTOR (CONT'D): There is something terribly wrong and I can't explain it.

 

 

[BY THE LADDER TO THE CATWALK]

(A fresh faced young female Faith Heritage volunteer… a student in her late teens… is carrying leaflets, rushing to get somewhere, when she sees a man… it's Johnny… he's carrying a case… she looks at him curiously…)

 

VOLUNTEER: Can I help you?

 

(He looks over to her…)

 

JOHNNY: Electrical. Got a call from Reverend Purdy's office… someone named Kennedy…

 

VOLUNTEER: Mike Kennedy, yes…

 

JOHNNY: Some kind of problem with the lighting grid…? Maybe you know exactly what it's doing…

 

(Looking up at the lights… she follows his gaze… she has no time for this…)

 

VOLUNTEER: Oh. No. But go ahead, check it out…

 

(And she rushes away… Johnny glances around…)

 

 

[INT. JOHNNY'S HOUSE - DAY – BRUCE]

(Is regaining consciousness… holding his head… trying to gather his wits… his eyes focus back on the computer screen, still showing the Faith Heritage website…)

 

BRUCE: Oh God... no…

 

(Off Stillson's picture on the computer…)

 

 

[OMITTED]

[INT. AUDITORIUM - GREG STILLSON]

(Greg Stillson has arrived in the hall… making a grand entrance… huge swell of cheering… band playing… Some of the motorcycle guys are around him… Sonny Elliman glances around… Like the President entering the chamber for the State of the Union… smiling, shaking hands, pointing to someone he knows… The crowd loves him… We tilt up past Stillson… to the catwalk…)

 

 

[INT. UP ON THE CATWALK - CLOSE ON: JOHNNY SMITH'S HANDS]

(Assembling a rifle.)

 

 

[OMITTED]

[ANGLE ON THE FLOOR - AS THE PASTOR COMES OUT FROM BEHIND STAGE]

(The crowd is still going wild… the band is playing… balloons and sparkling confetti is falling from the ceiling… In the midst of all this visual texture, confetti, balloons falling… we're intercutting action… so it's not just a flat shot here… a flat shot there… it's almost surreal… a nightmare… The Pastor reacts as he sees…)

 

 

[LONG SHOT - HIS POV – BRUCE]

(entering, moving quickly among the crowd… looking in this fog of excitement for Johnny… he pauses to say something we can't hear to a Security Guard who looks concerned… talks into a walkie-talkie…)

 

 

[THE PASTOR]

(Way on the other side of the auditorium - through the confetti… moves through the confetti toward him… it isn't easy with the crowds of people between them…)

 

 

[INT. CATWALK – JOHNNY]

(Lying flat on his back on a bare floor, staring straight up into camera. He holds the rifle horizontally across his chest. From this overhead angle, body and rifle form the unmistakable shape of the crucifix. The sound of a microphone coming to life.)

 

 

[THE STAGE]

(Stillson climbs the stairs, still waving to the crowd, and they roar as though his rise to the stage is an accomplishment of sorts… Purdy has moved on stage to greet Stillson… they shake hands, wave… Purdy moves to the podium…)

 

PURDY: God bless you. God bless you all for coming. And God bless Greg Stillson!

 

(More cheers… more music… more chaos… Finding Bruce… Security people talking on headphones…)

 

 

[JOHNNY]

(Moves to his knees and lifts his rifle… Thuds as it sockets home next to the shoulder joint, chambering a round, the cheers of the audience covering the metallic kerchang of the rifle.)

 

 

[STILLSON]

(Arms raised in victory… as Purdy smiles and whispers something to Sarah…)

 

STILLSON: God bless you too! Back at you!

 

(Yaay!, goes the crowd… Elliman gets a call on his earphone… his eyes show concern… look out to the crowd… scans the auditorium…)

 

 

[THE PASTOR]

(Struggles to get through the crowd…)

 

 

[BRUCE]

(Finally focuses on the darkness of the catwalk… sees the ladder… bounds toward it… And we move into slow motion as…)

 

 

[JOHNNY]

(Flicks off the safety, aims…)

 

 

[STILLSON - IN THE CROSSHAIRS]

(Waiting for the applause to subside. He smiles with great warmth and sincerity.)

 

 

[JOHNNY'S FINGER]

(Pulls the trigger… the rifle fires…)

 

 

[THE STAGE]

(And once again to paraphrase Mr. King: "The slug takes away nearly one quarter of the podium, peeling it back to the bare, bright wood. Splinters fly. "Across the way, men in topcoats are reaching inside their jackets and Sonny Elliman, his green eyes blazing, is hollering: Down! Greg, get DOWN! "Stillson stares up to the [catwalk] and his eyes lock with Johnny's in a perfect sort of understanding… the crowd has started to move, panicky as cattle. They all drive into the center aisle. People who had been standing at the rear escape easily but then a bottleneck of cursing, screaming men and women form at the doors…" Finding the Pastor caught in all this.)

 

 

[JOHNNY]

(He pumps another cartridge into the chamber… and is about to shoot when… Coming up the stairs, yelling 'No', at Johnny… but is forced to take cover as… Continuing Mr. King's description: "…suddenly part of the [catwalk] railing splinters up in front of Johnny's eyes. Something screams by his ear a second later. A window across the way dissolves in a tinkling rain of glass. "All three of them [motorcycle guys] across the way are holding handguns, their field of fire to the gallery crystal clear… "He raises the rifle to shoot again but a pistol-slug grooves Johnny's neck… two more bullets strike him then, one high in the chest, the second into the left side of his mid-section, spinning him around into the railing…")

 

 

[ECU]

(-- a bloody hand ripping a red, white and blue bunting draped across the front of the catwalk… as he falls…)

 

 

[ECU]

(-- the floor below… as feet scatter to reveal Johnny lying face up… chest and neck wounded and bleeding… crazed eyes in shock, glazing over, dying… As he hits the ground, we resume normal speed…)

 

 

[ANGLE - THE PASTOR]

(Who is only a few feet away from where Johnny fell… looks up shocked and confused at Bruce who is looking down from the catwalk… their eyes connect as Bruce starts to run back downstairs…)

 

 

[MOVING WITH STILLSON]

(Arm around Sarah who is crying, terribly upset… reporters following him… has recovered his composure and is spinning the assassination attempt for the benefit of several reporters.

 

STILLSON: We can only thank God nobody else was hurt. A madman's bullet will not scare us off our mission in this campaign. It will only make us stronger. Excuse us…

 

(A photographer takes a photograph with Stillson and Sarah… and we might guess he's going to come out of this as a hero…)

 

 

[OMITTED]

[THE PASTOR KNEELS BESIDE JOHNNY]

(Johnny turns to the Pastor and their eyes connect… praying for Johnny…)

 

PASTOR: Deliver him from his sins and let him partake of Thy redemption.

 

(Bruce arrives and pushes his way beside Johnny, during the prayer… Johnny reaches out and grabs the Pastor's hand… and somehow Bruce knows what he has to do - he puts his hand on theirs - the three-way connection again - and looks at his father…)

 

 

[A FLASH - THE PASTOR AND BOY BRUCE IN THE PAST (AS IN SCENE 1)]

 

BOY BRUCE & PASTOR: Come and see!

 

PASTOR (O.S.): (overlapping) Deny your destiny…

 

 

[THE PASTOR STANDS WITH YOUNGER BRUCE]

(Eleven years in the past at the door about to leave home…)

 

PASTOR: …you deny God Himself. And me.

 

YOUNGER BRUCE: Nobody has a destiny. We're all just stumbling around in the dark.

 

(And exits. On The Pastor's reaction…)

 

 

[INT. ZION CHURCH - THE FUNERAL – FROZEN]

(Finding the Pastor moving down the aisle… eyes narrow… confused… People are frozen in the line… Johnny is with adult Bruce, having just embraced Johnny which was the first time we saw the alt reality vision… the Pastor looks at himself in the casket…)

 

PASTOR: What… dear Lord… what is… (Going on?)

 

(He looks at his frozen son… reaches out and touches the dreadlocks…)

 

BRUCE (O.S.): They're called dreadlocks.

 

(The pastor turns to see the alternate Bruce - Elder Bruce - walking through the frozen guests toward him... he is aware now that he is beyond life, that he is experiencing a miracle of some sort... and that plays as subtext as their conversation continues…)

 

PASTOR: You don't think I know what dreadlocks are?

 

(Bruce smiles…)

 

PASTOR: I've just never seen them on my son.

 

BRUCE: I know.

 

PASTOR: (studying the frozen Bruce) I don't like them.

 

BRUCE: I knew you wouldn't.

 

(As the Pastor turns back to the body in the casket, it slowly begins to make sense to him… and this is an important line because as he explains it to himself, he is helping us understand what has happened)

 

PASTOR: As a man dies, he dreams of what might have been. (Beat, realizing) My last thoughts on this earth were of the day you left…

 

BRUCE: Yeah, it's been on my mind too… (Re: Johnny) That's what he must have tapped into…

 

PASTOR: (looking at Johnny) Is he really an angel?

 

BRUCE: I don't know. Maybe. This is his vision we're in.

 

PASTOR: Are you sure…?

 

BRUCE: I'm standing at my father's funeral talking to him in an alternate reality. I'm not sure of anything.

 

PASTOR: Would it surprise you to know that I talked to my father at his funeral? It's not so unusual. People do it all the time.

 

BRUCE: What happened today, to us… it was unusual.

 

(The Pastor considers, acknowledging…)

 

PASTOR: It was a blessing… (Looking to Johnny) …angel or not.

 

(The Pastor has realized at this moment that his journey… and all the things he's experienced in the vision of an alternate life… have been an opportunity - to 'deliver him from his sins and let him partake of Thy redemption.') And he softly prays over his own body… asking God for forgiveness.)

 

PASTOR: Deliver him from his sins and let him partake of Thy redemption.

 

(After a quiet beat, he turns to his son and studies him…)

 

PASTOR: You were wrong about one thing - we're not all just stumbling around in the dark. You found your destiny… (Re: Johnny) …at his side. Protecting him.

 

BRUCE: If I don't come back, she'll lose the church, the house.

 

PASTOR: (laughs) Before everyone decides what's best for Rose Lewis, they better talk to her.

 

(Bruce doesn't understand.)

 

PASTOR: She's been after me to retire for years. Got a nest egg, wants to see God's earth before she dies. Guess she'll see it without me…

 

(They look at each other a long beat…)

 

BRUCE: I don't know how to say good-bye.

 

(The Pastor smiles, feeling ready to go now…)

 

PASTOR: Sure you do.

 

(Bruce moves close to his father and hugs him in a bear hug… and as Bruce lets himself get lost in the arms of his father… The whole show-long vision ends the way it began…)

 

 

[INT. ZION CHURCH - DAY - BACK TO REALITY RAMPING FROM BRUCE'S HAND ON HIS FATHER'S CHEEK... TO JOHNNY'S HAND ON BRUCE'S SHOULDER... CLOSE ON BRUCE - MOVING TO JOHNNY]

(As they return to reality… their connection broken… and only a microsecond has passed.)

 

JOHNNY: Hey, you all right?

 

BRUCE: You didn't see any of that?

 

JOHNNY; Any of what?

 

BRUCE: Because it had to be a vision. Didn't it?

 

JOHNNY: You had a vision?

 

BRUCE: Something. When you touched me. As I was touching him… somehow the three of us…

 

JOHNNY: I didn't see a thing. But I have been having strange flashes all day - that didn't make any sense - of being shot… your father praying over me…

 

(Bruce studies him… tries to make sense of it… looks to his father…)

 

BRUCE: John, there's a dead zone in all of our brains, right? We just don't know how to use it. But there are times we get awful close… times like this. I told you I felt like I was into my dead zone today after the funeral. Your abilities - maybe they acted like a lightning rod when you touched me, I'm not sure. But I know how you feel now, John. I know the power of the visions. (Beat, as looks at his father, feeling very close to him) My dad and I, we got a chance to spend some quality time together… well, it wasn't so quality for you.

 

BRUCE (CONT'D): But we… we had a chance to work some things through… you know?

 

(Johnny looks at him, sees how centered and calm Bruce is… he reaches up to give his shoulder a comforting squeeze…)

 

BRUCE: Don't you touch me.

 

(It plays funny but Johnny reacts, pulls back.)

 

BRUCE: I like it here. And you need me here.

 

(Johnny doesn't understand exactly what that means but smiles curiously.)

 

JOHNNY: You won't get an argument from me.

 

(He leaves Bruce alone with his father… as Bruce looks to his dad…)

 

 

[INT. BATHROOM MIRROR – DAY]

(Bruce studies himself in the mirror… his hand raises a pair of scissors… and as he begins to snip off his dreadlocks…)

 

 

[EXT. THE CHURCH NEIGHBORHOOD – DAY]

(Johnny is throwing his overnight bag into the trunk of his rental car when he looks up and reacts as he sees Bruce approaching, carrying his bag, clean shaven (should match the last shot of him cutting his hair) and dreadlocks gone. Bruce feels Johnny's stare as he throws his bag in the trunk.)

 

BRUCE: (re: the look) What?

 

JOHNNY: Nothing.

 

(He slams the trunk, can't help hanging on to the curious look. Moving to the doors.)

 

BRUCE: (answering the unspoken question) Spring is coming. It's already starting to get warmer. My ears need air.

 

JOHNNY: Well, they've got plenty now. You did that yourself, did you?

 

BRUCE: Why, what's wrong with it?

 

JOHNNY: It's just that left ear seems a little higher than the right. They're in the car…

 

BRUCE: Let's go home, John. You and me -- we have work to do. [or] You and me -- we have a world to save. Come and see.

 

(Bruce and Johnny ride into the sunset and we…)

 

 

END OF 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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