A Family Man (2016) Script

I am a headhunter and I am the purest form of salesman alive.

I sell the American dream.

I make money out of thin air, smoke, whole cloth.

I stand on the shoulders of giants, the hardest of hardened salesmen.

Tin men, bible salesmen, slum realtors.

We're a wolf pack of commissioned phone jockeys working

70 hours a week without a net. You hit, you hit big.

You blank, and the repo man's tailgating the minivan at the grocery store.

This job is a desk, a phone, a chair and your ass.

Good morning, Imperial Automotive Manufacturing, Dottie speaking.

I am who I say I am.

Johnny Cobra calling, Dot.

Need the name of your Plant Manager, please.

I'm sorry, but it's against company policy to give out names of employees. Nature of your business, sir?

The nature of my business, Dottie, is that I'm down here at the Nissan plant with a shut-down line costing me ninety grand a minute because your Quality Department thinks they can run a freightliner full of injection molded crap down my goddamn throat!

The person that you need to speak to is Mr. Rayburn, I'll… First name, first name, first name.

Thomas is his first name.

Dottie. What?

Relax. Take a deep breath. Pat yourself on the back, you're doing one helluva job. Well, thank you, uh, Mr… did you say "Cobra"?

Call me Johnny.

Dot, tell me, what's the story on Tom? Big guy, small guy, young, old, play sports, college boy, what am I dealing with?

I know Tommy does play golf a lot.

He's been working here a couple three years, probably… Oh, chitchat's over, Dot. Boss is on my ass.

Go on patch me through.

Rayburn. Tom.

Dane Jensen, Blackridge Recruiting. Thanks for taking my call.

Yeah, hold up, hold up, bud. Lemme save us both some time.

I'm not lookin' to make a move right just yet.

Rough as things are out there, I'm just happy to have the job I got. Now I'm up to my ass in alligators so if you'll excuse me… Sweet. Baby. Jesus.

I cannot believe my guy was wrong about you.

Scuse me? Your guy? What guy? This isn't a random call, Tom.

I was told by a confidential source that even if your golf game was more screwed up than a soup sandwich, you're one of the premier Plant Managers in the South.

He also told me even though you've only been at Imperial for three years, that you were bright enough to at least listen to what I was recruiting for before making up your mind.

So. You're a headhunter, huh?

I am a headhunter. And a headhunter cometh.

What's the deal with this gut, son?

You need to get some exercise, buddy, you're starting to look like the kind of kid Willy Wonka'd kick out of the chocolate factory.

Hands up.

I dunno, we could play a little football when you get home tonight. If it's still light out and I don't have any calls to make, we'll see.

Good morning. Hey, hon.

Ryan eat breakfast?

If you can call it that. He likes cereal and it's easy.

Of course he does, Elise, what kid doesn't like colored marshmallows swimming in whole milk?

It's a Momma.

I like your hair, Lauren, looks good on you.

The point is, he's a mess. Shh! Be quiet, he'll hear you!

Anyway, I made an appointment for him to see the doctor.

What the hell for, his weight?

No! I told you a week ago, he's tired all the time and those bruises… Bruises? Mom, can I have chocolate milk?

Sure you can, baby. Yeah, just a sec.

Who's calling you so early? Just some candidate.

Pushing sixty and wonders why he can't find a job.

Because of his age? That's awful.

Okay.

Gotta go.

I was thinking maybe I could drive into the city, we could get lunch.

First of the month, hon, swamped. Call me! Oh.

I'm done talking about it! Either manage Bob to get a deal or make the son of a bitch quit so I don't have to pay unemployment on his lazy ass.

Ed, how do you propose I force the man to quit?

For Christ sake, Wilson, have a little fun for a change.

You know what I love about this place?

I'm on pins and needles.

Ed only cares about making money.

Man, woman, black, white, old or young, doesn't matter as long as you're a producer.

Bob, were you not here this past Saturday or Sunday?

No, I don't think anyone was here.

You blanked for three months. I got two kids, my wife had divorced me, I started coming in on the weekends.

Ah, wife and two kids, I see. You're gonna score in October?

I'm sure gonna try my best.

Try? Your attitude is to try? Bob… You know what I hate about this place?

Nope.

Ed only cares about making money.

That's why he tolerates you and your mouthbreathers.

My mouthbreathers make more placements and out-produce those Ivy Leaguers you coddle every month.

What about an attitude that says "I'll do whatever it takes, "I'll work whatever hours necessary, in order to justify your financial commitment to me, Ed"?

Oh… Bob… Are you going to get a deal?!

Yes! Yes, sir.

Attaboy, Bob. Now get the fuck back on the phone.

Bet the place is full this weekend.

But… if and when Bob leaves, then keep your ears open.

If he breaches his non-compete and calls just one of our clients, I will sue him so deep and hard, that he, his wide-assed Junior League wife, and their two brats will be sleeping in a cardboard box under the overpass on Whacker.

There's always someone that thinks they can hang up their own shingle, and skip on down to the home office in their skivvies and make phone calls while the rug rats frolic at their feet. It makes me want to puke blood.

In 35 years, I have never let anyone slide on their non-compete.

I leave for Prague in two days.

Prague?

You want her to tell you where it is?

I know where Prague is. Overseas.

I want to spend more time away from the place, travel, indulge my inner Kerouac.

Time to finalize that succession plan that we dance around and never do anything about.

I won't give up control immediately, but one of you will get the job.

Whoever takes this last quarter can move into the empty office next to this one. You'll get off a desk and you'll receive overrides from every recruiter at Blackridge.

I'll announce the new General Manager the first of the year. Understood?

One hundred percent, Ed. Understood.

Wilson, beat it.

The hell is that? Cobra wine.

Spotted it in a small village in Vietnam last month, thought of you.

You're supposed to drink it? Don't be such an American.

Of course you drink it.

But I'm determined to save it for a special occasion.

Maybe the next time I do something truly remarkable.

Such as?

I haven't settled on that as yet.

How about a record-breaking October?

What makes a person remarkable is the life they live, not the money they make.

Spoken like a man with a lot of money.

I may never uncork that wine.

Ryan… Ryan, wake up, pal.

What time is it? 6:30. Come on.

Let's get some roadwork in before school.

Roadwork?

Dad! I need to rest.

Why don't I just carry you?

I'm walking. You're jogging.

Morning, ladies!

Alright.

Let's just walk.

Why don't we go to Catholic school?

We're lapsed Catholics.

The good Lord wants us to spend Sunday mornings at Cracker Barrel.

I'm with the Lord.

How come Lauren doesn't have to jog?

'Cause Lauren doesn't have to lose weight.

First step in solving a problem is recognizing it, buddy.

Did you and Grandpa go jogging when you were a kid in St. Louis? No, not hardly.

He went to work when it was dark, came home when it was dark.

Wasn't much fun, was he?

Eh, he did the job.

"Kinfe," "Sizhong," "Deepak", don't get me going on the red dots.

Here's an invoice begging to be sent.

"Ping." Interview a Chinese engineer yet?

Treat yourself. It's like having a conversation in the dark with Astro from the Jetsons.

Look, Sumner, I should have spent more time with you, okay.

My fault. Let's start over.

We are the "Dixie Mafia." Okay, Dixie.

The South. You know, state's rights, NASCAR, closeted atheists, poor spellers.

I'm not an idiot, Mr. Jensen.

Okay. Role-play with me, alright.

I'm a client from Hattiesburg, Mississippi and I'm looking for a process engineer.

So go on, pitch me one of your PhD's.

Ahem! Ring! Ring!

Darrel Waltrip here! Uh, yes, Mr. Waltrip?

Darrel, son. What can I do you for?

Well, Darrel, I'm calling about your… Who the hell is this?

Sumner, Sumner Firestone from Blackridge Recruiting.

Spit it out, I'm a busy man!

Uh… well, I've got a guy, he's uh, for your open engineering position I mean, he's got two degrees in Mechanical Engineering, experience reducing waste in the plants.

Sounds stronger than puppy's breath.

Now, when can he get down here?

Well, he can be there Friday? You asking me or telling me?

I'm telling you. He'll be there Friday.

Friday it is! By the by, he wouldn't happen to have one of those PhD's, would he?

As a matter of fact, he does.

Perfect! Better'n a new set of snow tires!

Now, what's his name?

Mohammed Al Far… Your sleeper-cell starter kits are unemployable south of the grit-line!

Alright. Cowboy up, sunshine.

Use this guy. Lou Wheeler.

Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering, Six Sigma experience, and an age-vague voice.

"Age-vague"? Yeah. He's 59, sounds like he's 39, and refuses to change the dates on his resume, and is unemployable.

Why unemployable?

He's 59 and refuses to lie about it. God, you and my wife.

Okay… so why do I want him?

Because we will take 15 years off Lou's resume.

Right, but once he goes in for the interview, they'll just see how old he is, I mean, what's the point?

We don't send him on an interview.

Lou's what you call a Tracer Bullet.

A tracer bullet, you know?

A round that lights up so you know where to fire the rest of the real bullets.

I know what a tracer bullet is, I just don't understand…

..."Relatively Young Lou" is a sure-fire bet for a phone interview, okay?

But once he's off the line with a paying customer, you bleed "Actually Old Lou" for information.

Like, "What projects are they working on?"

"What specifically did they ask you?"

And you give that information to your placeable candidates to prepare them.

I don't know… We're headhunters, Sumner.

In an economic shit storm.

Now I can teach you how to count cards, but I can't make you do it.

So you either reach deep inside and find that small dark part of yourself that's predatory… Or there's the door.

Alright.

Try giving yourself a desk name, something tough, visual.

Watch Wall Street, Godfathers 1 and 2, not 3.

Go on, get your phone, listen in.

Bernadine?

Hey, it's Dane.

How are you, dear? Is Lou around?

Lou!

Honey, Dane is on the phone!

Hi, Dane!

So, you hear anything from Superior?

Are we gonna get that face-to-face?

Uh, I'm afraid not, Lou.

They tell me they went with the other guy.

Now I told them they were making a big mistake, but… I'm sorry, Lou, I didn't get it done.

Don't blame yourself, we'll get 'em next time.

Lou, I'm bringing in another person to help.

His name's Sumner Firestone, he's a great guy.

Recruiting savant.

We have any other prospects on the horizon that look good?

No, not at the moment, Lou.

But we are all over this.

You call me when you hear something, okay?

Will do.

So, how did it go? Oh, they uh, they decided to go with the other candidate, no big deal.

Thank heavens! What?

I'm sorry, sweetie, I know you were interested in doing this job, but… I was praying that we wouldn't have to go to Mobile.

I have no desire to see a hurricane up close.

Besides, after 29 years, I kinda like having you home with me.

Bea, it's been nearly a year.

And?

Are you complaining?

Three layoffs in eight months. Your plant is dying.

I can hear the death rattle from here. And when it does, the only steady job you're gonna find within a hundred miles of Elkhart won't require an engineering degree, but a little blue vest and the phrase "Hi, welcome to Walmart."

What am I missing?

Time kills all deals, Eric.

You're either on that plane Friday morning or reading about their new hire not named Eric on Monday.

When I told him about your opportunity, he nearly crawled through the phone.

His wife's already looking at homes and schools in Raleigh.

Now is Friday morning better for you or afternoon?

He's an excellent surgeon.

He's an excellent plastic surgeon.

The grim reaper is coming through the cornfield and he's half Mexican, half Chinese and he doesn't take prisoners.

That hole in his resume is because he's been, he's been off the grid, he's been, you know, working with Doctors Without Borders, he's in the Sudan sowing up cleft palates.

This is one of the best offers I've seen before or since a recession and it ends when I hang up this phone. Now when can you start?

One week or two?

For Christ sakes, Elise!

It's not battery acid! Where the hell did you get that idea from anyway? You try it!

Believe me, I would if I could.

Well, maybe if I hadn't already been down there for forty minutes already.

Well, maybe if you did it more often, I wouldn't drag it out so long.

Maybe if you didn't drag it out so long, I'd do it more often!

You know, most women appreciate a man who's not a premature ejaculator.

Sweetheart, when it comes to blowjobs, every woman appreciates a man who's a premature ejaculator.

Right. I'm sorry.

I said I'm sorry. Look, I was fine with it until the end.

I just wasn't expecting you to ask me to do… that.

I don't know, I just wanted to try something a little different, that's all.

My fault. Should've pre-coached you on it.

Well, I'm not one of your candidates.

I'm just worried about Ryan.

He's not himself. Come on.

There's nothing wrong with that kid that a little bit of sunshine and sweat won't cure.

I hope so.

Isn't this nice?

It's hardly ever just the two of us, no kids, somebody wanting something.

What would be nice is if I could cum.

Dane Jensen.

Last of the romantics.

Don't you ever get tired of the same old thing?

No. No, I don't think the same thing is old at all.

I guess you do, though.

What, are you kidding? It's always the same thing.

Please, not the sex talk. Yeah. We have sex once a week, except during your period, and a negotiated blowjob at the beginning of the month. We're in a rut, Lise.

I'm just not as sexual as you are.

Doesn't mean I don't love you.

What a relief, that helps a lot.

What do you want, Dane?

Obviously I'm not giving you what you want.

I don't know, just… more.

More? More what?

Don't you ever just stop and think, "Is this it? Is this all there is?"

I don't just mean sex.

I mean everything.

A bigger house, a bigger job, a bigger… life.

Maybe… Maybe if we spent more time together out of the bedroom, we'd spend more time together in it?

You can't just ignore me and then expect to have sex. Foreplay doesn't begin in the bedroom. Dr. Oz is an idiot.

Dane, we never talk anymore.

You come home, you're on your cell or you're sending e-mails.

It's the same thing every weekend, no wonder every day seems the same.

It's my job, it's what I do.

I remember the first time I got up the nerve to tell you I loved you.

Do you remember what you said?

"What's not to love?"

My God, you made me laugh! I'd never met anyone so confident, so infuriating… so full of energy and life! How do you remember that?

How do you not?

The kids will want to go as soon as you get home.

Elise, I'll never get home unless I get back on the phone.

Do those look like Witch Fingers?

Yeah! Yummy!

Mom! Trick or treaters! Tell them to come back after it's dark!

Elise? There's big kids at the door.

What, like teenagers? Costumes?

No.

Oh God, I hate that. Elise, I'm hanging up.

Ryan said he wants to walk part of the way with his friends.

Tell them no bones on the lawn. Elise?

But he wants to start with you so he doesn't hurt your feelings.

Elise, this is a client calling in, I gotta take it. I'll see you in a bit, okay?

Last day of the month, sunshine. Whaddaya got?

An offer. Who and how much?

Fee's 20,000. It's T.G. Duke out of Raleigh, they make… Ball joints for the Koreans.

Yeah. My guy's Brian Curtis, he's been downsized, lives in Jasper, Alabama.

The offer is for eighty grand.

Give it to me.

He got another offer on his own. Hayes Manufacturing in… Jasper, Alabama. Christ, why didn't you get him in there?

I'm sorry! He saw an ad in the paper.

As in "newspaper"? You found the one guy in Alabama that reads a newspaper?

Christ, Sumner, you'd fuck up a ham sandwich.

He said that his wife wouldn't have to quit her job if he stayed local. And?

And he's probably gonna take Hayes.

Probably?

He's taking Hayes.

This'll be your first deal, won't it?

It would have.

Look, Dane, I'm try… doing my best.

You think up a desk name yet?

Race Bannon.

Send Brian an e-mail, congratulating him on the job at Hayes.

Encourage him to get in touch immediately if his situation should unexpectedly change.

Then call the client. Tell them that Brian is excited, grateful, and accepts the position.

Now, get me the name and home phone number of the Plant Manager at Hayes.

What are you going… But before you do… Hang it. What?

You heard me.

Put your deal on the board and ring… the fucking… bell.

Based on what? What are you gonna do?

This deal guarantees that we win the month. I want that production on today.

Mr. Blackridge will fire me!

I can't roll the dice on twenty grand!

Race Bannon would.

Ring it like you own it, Race.


Richard Mercer?

Same Richard Mercer runs Hayes Manufacturing?

Mr. Mercer, this is Special Agent In Charge Paulson with the FBI.

Yes, sir, that FBI.

This call is in regards to a Mr. Brian Curtis.

Mr. Mercer, in accordance with section 25-B of the Patriot Act we now notify employers of their responsibilities and potential liabilities when convicted sex offenders change jobs.

Yes, sir, a pedophile.

Well, ignorance of the law doesn't relieve you of your legal obligations, sir, such as posting a sexual predator notice with his photo in a high traffic area, say a cafeteria or lobby.

Well, could you maybe build him a little Quonset hut or Morton shed, let him use that as an off… The cost of shed construction was not part of the course work at Quantico.

Well, that's your call, Mr. Mercer. However… I should advise you of the slight risk of a lawsuit if Mr. Curtis believes you've discriminated against him. I'm no lawyer, sir, but I am the father of two little boys.

Yes, sir, they were boys.

A baker's dozen.

Well, if you feel that strongly, my suggestion is that you notify him that the position has been filled internally and forget I called.

Well, you're welcome.

Happy Halloween to you also, sir.

God bless you too.


Hey, buddy. Hey, Dad.

In bed a little early, aren't you?

Mom said she was tired.

She seem tired? Not at all.

Scoot over.

Another building, huh?

Yeah. It's what I wanna do when I'm big.

Draw skyscrapers and stuff.

Right, right, you wanna be an architect, huh?

Build buildings? That's decent money.

Yeah, I just wanna draw them. I don't even care how they're built.

That's my boy. That's even better money.

I'd like to go to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Oh yeah? Where'd you hear about that?

My art teacher, Miss Jean, she, um, she went there.

She liked it a lot.

And she's teaching fifth-grade art, huh?

And first, too.

Helluva testimonial for the brochure.

She gave me a list of her five favorite buildings in Chicago.

Hey, where'd you get that bruise, sport?

Where?

There. Hm. I don't know.

"The Rookery, Tribune Tower, The Pritzker Pavilion, Wrigley Building, and Thomas Gale House."

Thomas Gale? Hey!

Lauren! Stay out of my room! Get out of my bed!

Lauren, you're knocking all my stuff.

Dad, tell her to get out!

Let's not wake your mother up, please.

You missed trick or treating, Daddy.

I know, I'm sorry, sweetie.

I was a kitty cat. I see that.

Look at you. What were you tonight?

I was a headhunter. Ooh! Awesome.

He's kidding you, stupid, he's always a headhunter.

It's his job.

I'm not stupid! You're stupid! Hey!

Hey, hey, stop fighting, you two. Come on… What do you do when you're at where you work at?

He helps other dads get jobs so they can take care of their families.

Something like that.

Well, that's what Mom said you do.

Mommy's mad at you.


That's it?

You just go to sleep? Guess not.

You missed Halloween, Dane! I know, Elise, I'm sorry, I couldn't help it. I had to make a call.

You should have seen the look on the kid's faces.

Guilt doesn't work on me, Elise. I had to make a call.

A call. A call! You always have to make a stinking call.

If I was an O.B. would I have to listen to "a baby, a baby, you always have to deliver a stinking baby"? It's what I do.

You think I wanted to miss tonight?

That I like making those calls?

I know you like making those calls!

Sometimes I feel like you don't really live here, you just sleep here.

Like a favorite song… It's sad.

It's just Halloween, Elise.

How sad can a bunch of dressed-up kids with a bellyful of candy actually be?

Sad for you, Dane. You're missing it.

Even when you're here you're not really here.

You're always thinking about some deal you've got going, or some candidate you're scamming.

One day, you're gonna wish you had this time back.

I love you and it makes me sad. For you.

I'm tired, Elise.

What do you say we list my flaws in the morning?

You know, I work damn hard for this family.

I bust my ass seventy hours a week in that boiler room to make enough money so that you can stay at home.

And I appreciate… You think it's easy working commission sales?

Cold calling? Starting with a blank slate the first of every month? Waking up at 2 AM with a knot in my gut hoping to God I can close a deal?

And all so my family can have a nice life.

And if that means missing a fringe holiday and being the bad guy, then that's a sacrifice I'm happy to make! Dane… Dane… I'm a goddamned American hero.

You did not just call yourself an American hero.

I oversold it, didn't I?

I can't even stay mad at you!

You're such an asshole sometimes!

Ow! Sometimes? Whoa!

Get over here, American hero!

Mrs. Jensen, your pediatrician was correct to act so expeditiously.

Ryan's blood tests show a platelet level alarmingly low.

We need to conduct blood tests to determine… Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute… Don't you think we might just be jumping the gun a bit? My wife brings him in because he's probably got some bug that he picked up from any one of a hundred kids and we go straight from that… To this?

Let's just step back a second, alright?

I wish I had the luxury of time to step back, to be giving you the warm and furries. I don't.

And, more importantly, I suspect your son doesn't.

He's probably just… He's getting fat because he sits on his ass playing Assassin's Creed all day.

He's not fat, Mr. Jensen.

His spleen is swollen.

What?

My initial examination of Ryan revealed petechiae and purpura, which you thought were bruises.

He complains of chronic fatigue and… You did not notice those signs? "Signs"?

Of what…?

I believe your son has A.L.L.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

"Believe?" As in "guessing?"

As in "I don't really know what he's got?"

"Believe" as in "based on 233 children I've treated with A.L.L."

You see, the good news is that it's the most common form of childhood cancer and we have a great deal of experience treating it.

The realistic news is that it gets worse very quickly if left untreated.

You… believe it's this A.L.L. but you're not sure, how could you be?

Right? He could be fine?

Whatever his condition, Mrs. Jensen, he is not fine.

Alright, Ryan.

You can hop out now, buddy. Sorry, hospital policy.

Sure somebody's not using this room?

Oh, my bad. Those are Billy's, he's not with us anymore.

He went home Monday! He got better in no time, just like you will, right?

Hey! Look, Rhino, you got your own TV.

Better than being at home, huh? Yeah, his own TV, private bathroom, and oh!

If you push this, you not only get to control the TV, but you get your very own room-service button too, huh. What?

I think I'm gonna have to catch a little leukemia myself.

Well, I don't know about that, Dad, but I'm an aide, so a nurse will be here any sec. You guys need anything, you just holler at me.

My name's Antoine.

Okay. Alright?

See you later, bud. Thanks.

Hey, Dad? Yeah?

When's Mom coming back?

She'll be back as soon as she finishes the insurance paperwork downstairs.


With the insurance that we have now, the cost of my medication alone, is as much as a car payment. Your dad, he's… He's trying so hard, but… I'm very worried.

Thank you, sweetheart, and thank Greg for me, and please make sure you let him know it's just a loan.

Okay, kiss the grandkids for me.

Daddy? Yeah?

When will Mommy and Ryan be home?

Oh… Mommy and Ryan are staying at the hospital, but they'll be home soon when Ryan feels better.

Hm?

Grandma Inez is gonna come stay with us, though.

You and Nathan will like that, won't you? Okay.

Alright.

Goodnight, sweetie.

Daddy? Yeah?

I forgot to brush my teeth.

Let me see 'em.

They're baby teeth. They're all gonna fall out anyway.

Go to sleep, pumpkin.


Dane Jensen. Sorry I'm calling so late.

Hey, Lou.

It's just that I haven't heard from you or this Firestone fella in a while. You know how it is.

Wife's gettin' tired of me hangin' around the house all the time.

What can I do for you, Lou? Well, if you come across any entry level engineer openings, I'd like to hear about it.

You know, maybe we can both make some money.

Companies don't pay us to recruit for entry level engineers.

I'm sorry, man. I've been having some personal problems.

What do you say we pick this up in the morning?

Everything alright?

Yeah, yeah… family issues. I'll figure it out.

Wanna talk about it? Do I want to talk about it?

Dane, I've got three kids, two daughters and a son.

They're all grown-up now, but they were a handful.

Two grandkids. I've been married

29 years, and it hasn't always been a walk in the park.

Maybe I can help. Ah, it's okay, Lou.

I'm handling it. I'll corral Sumner, and he'll be back in the hunt first thing in the AM, okay?

You take your time, do what you gotta do.

Don't worry about me. It's all good here. But, Dane?

Yeah? Remember something… Every family has its issues. But you only have one family.

Like it, Lou. Like it.

Take care.

You too.

Ryan, look who's here! Hey, Dad.

Rhino, how you doing, buddy?

Fine.

He's almost asleep. This is when you show up?

Dr. Singh was in earlier. And?

And I need you here to help ask the questions I don't always know which questions to ask him. Alright, alright, calm down.

I'm gonna go get something to eat.

You'll be here a while?

Yeah. Where else would I be, Elise?

I'll be right back, baby.

Okay, Mom.

She gone?

Yeah. Yeah, she's gone.

She stares at me all day.

Like one of those vultures on Animal Planet.

She's scared.

Yes, sweetie, well, I'm doing the best that I can, okay?

Then tell him, just tell him I'm gonna be there for lunch.

Yes, Lise, I'm leaving now.

Okay, I'll see you then. Bye.

Yup. Mr. Jensen?

I have Mr. Blackridge for you.

Put him through.

Hey! How's Prague?

Give me the number, fucknuts. Just north of one-fifty.

Halfway through the month? Christ, Jensen.

Is Wilson at her desk or is she moving her shit into my office?

Kafka was right. Prague just won't seem to let me go.

Tell me about Ryan. He's much improved.

Should I be worried? No. No, he's… Put Wilson on. I want to make sure she mailed Bob a copy of his non-compete.

Hey. I got Ed for you.

I checked on your Dr. Singh.

He's a heavy hitter, one of the best.

Thanks, Lynn.

I got you an early Christmas present.

In your "throw-down" drawer.

I'm about to shove November straight up your ass.

Wish I'd done that.

Which one of you meat-eaters is getting an interview today!? Come on!

Mr. Jensen.

What's up, doc?

I've heard that before.

You're here late.

I spoke with your wife earlier.

Your son's initial response to chemo is less than encouraging.

Meaning what?

We should discuss options still available to us… Still available? "Still"?

Gene therapy. Using viruses to alter Ryan's T cells and attack the cancer.

I've had excellent success in a handful of cases using measles, the common cold… You want to treat Ryan's cancer with, what… measles?

HIV. An engineered form.

We're not in some third world country, no offense.

This is Chicago. We're in a state-of-the-art hospital!

What do we need to do to in the realm of non-bat shit treatments-to turn this around?

Cancer is not a negotiation, Mr. Jensen.

Goodnight.


So, focus on his multiplication tables.

Try and make a game out of it. Okay.

Ryan knows what to do with these worksheets.

Shh, shh, shh! Quiet study.

Here we go.

When you… If you need more, I can always send them home with Lauren.

This is from all of us.

Thank you. Okay.

Okay, sweetheart.

Okay. Let's talk about the Continental Congress.

Who can tell me what that is? Excuse me.

Whose paper towels are those?

They belong to the class… Could we maybe put them someplace else?

Mrs. Jensen, they're just… I know that the kids need Kleenex, I just don't think they need to be on Ryan's desk.

Mrs. Jensen, no one's using the desk.

Uh, sweetie, do you have room in your own desk for these?

Hey, give me that. Uh… Take it easy, lady! Geez!

Keep your shit off my kid's desk!

Okay.


Good to go, little man.

What's going on? Where's he going?

209, South LaSalle.

Come on, let's get you inside.

"Completed in 1888, "the Rookery was designed by architects Burnham and Root.

It's the oldest high-rise still standing in Chicago."

Dane Jensen. Wyatt!

Talk to me, babe.

Sure they've got problems at the plant, is there a manufacturing company in America that doesn't?

Dad?

Wyatt? Yeah, hold on a sec.

Thanks. What's up, buddy? Daniel Burnham?

One of the guys who designed this place? He said this, "Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men's blood."

Cool.

Stir men's blood!

Wyatt? Yeah, listen… Yeah, I was having lunch one day in Talladega with Richard Petty when… yeah, that Richard Petty. Anyway, King Richard says to me…

"Make no little plans, Dane, for they have no magic to stir the blood."

Well, I'll tell you what it means.

It means if you want to continue to work a safe comfortable job, then by all means stay at Rycon.

But if you want a challenging position, one that will not only define your career, but define you as a leader of men, then this… This… is your chance!

Well, of course if the money's right.

Forget who you're talking to?

Wyatt?

I'll call you back.


Mmm! Mom, I think our boy's doing 100% better today.

Some days are good, some days are bad, but today… Is a good day.

That's right. So, did they bring your lunch up for you yet?

Uh, no. My dad's coming.

Okay.

I asked him if we could go somewhere.

Nice. Did you want to come, Mom?

No. No, Nathan needs to see his mother.

Besides, it's you and your dad's thing.

Are you gonna be okay if I get going?

Your dad will be here any minute.

Sure.

Do you know how much I love you?

My first baby.

You made me a mother.

You taught me how to be a mom to Lauren and Nate. I'll be okay, Mom.

What?

Of course you will!

Silly.

Have fun.


You closing a deal without me?

Huh? Michigan Avenue ain't coming to us.

"The Tribune Tower, "designed in 1922 by Howells and Hood."

Huh. Listen, Rhino, "More than 100 rock fragments from famous sites around the world are embedded into the walls of the Tower."

Look! The Alamo.

Look, Edinburgh castle… Taj Mahal… Great Wall of China? Are you kidding me?

Is that one from that building in New York?

Sure enough.

Where were we when that happened?

We?

You weren't even born yet.

Someone heard a plane hit the Trade Center.

We thought it was an accident.

Until the second one.

We all stood and watched on a TV in the conference room as the towers fell.

Were you sad?

For the people in the buildings, yeah.

For little boys like you… who wouldn't see their moms and dads again.


Do you have to go back to work now?

Yeah… I do.

Okay, last but not least.

So nice. Oh, wait, wait. Hold on.

I thought it would be nice if we went around the table and everyone could say something that they're thankful for.

Oh, that's a great idea. You know, it's Dane's house.

Why don't you go first? Yeah.

Well, I'm, uh, thankful for…

Excuse me.

What a cornholing. Wow, is she reaming your ass.

How much more you gonna put on for the month?

I've probably got another fifteen.

You don't want the job? That it?

Yes, yes, I want the job, Ed.

You like working a desk then. No, I don't.

You've got roughly four weeks. Fond of you or not, I'm voting with my wallet, we clear?

Yeah.

How's our boy? He's good.

Thanksgiving? Uneventful.

Why didn't you ever marry, Ed?

Have kids, do the whole family thing?

I know me. I know I'm the most interesting person you've ever met.

And the most selfish. I only want what I want.

Ever regret it? You mean like when it's Thanksgiving and I'm here at the office… talking with fucknuts… instead of being surrounded by people who give a shit?

Yeah, maybe… But then again, you're not flying to Manhattan with a $5,000-a-night Brazilian who's gonna turn your suite at the Carlyle into a sexual Slip 'n Slide.

See ya on Monday, kid.

I had to take it… Ed.

No, you didn't. It's Thanksgiving.

To Ed it's Thursday.

To you it's Thursday!

We're your family, Dane! Those people in that room! Not Ed!

This is my chance to get off a desk, Elise.

This is the job… I am so sick of your "this is the job" excuse!

Well, fine! You don't want me to work so much? Great!

After dinner, we'll put your resume together… and you go get a job!

Hmm? "Elise Katherine Jensen!

"Ten years' experience as a stay-at-home mom!

Skilled in potty training, play dates, and Pinterest!"

Oh yeah, the job market's just gonna snap you up!

Hey, maybe you can go down to St. Cecilia's, see if they'll buy that "Doctor Mom" bullshit… and put you on the payroll.

Then you can spring for the cranberry sauce, or the white quartz you just had to have, or the clothes you wear, or, or the ten grand "loan" we gave your brother two years ago… that he seems to have forgotten about.

Hell, Elise, look how lucky we are, we don't ever have to tell the kids there's no Santa… because as long as I can magically continue to pull the mortgage out of my ass, I'm Santa fucking Claus 365 days a year!

I lost the month, Elise.

I took October, lost November.

Driving around Chicago, touring buildings instead of closing deals.

Now I've got December to get Ed's job, and Christmas to New Year's is a deal-killing nightmare.

I'm sorry that you think I've taken you for granted.

I know you work hard for us.

And you're probably right, Dane, the job that I could find is not what you or Ed would consider worthwhile.

My skills are not what anyone would consider "marketable."

But I know how to prioritize.


You okay over there?

No.


Holy crap. Words right outta my mouth.


What do we know? The designer is Frank Gehry.

The guy also did a museum in Spain, and he probably did some other stuff too… But I do remember a quote of his.

"When everybody else is ready for the ending, I'm just ready to begin."

I like Frank.

Me too, buddy.

Hey, Dad?

Yeah?

Do you believe in God?

Depends on the month I'm having.

Me too.

Did you have a girlfriend when you were as old as me?

Why do you ask?

Cause there's this girl in my class. Her name is Shawna.

I think she likes me.

Shawna, huh?

Sounds exotic.

He'll get worse before he gets better… Worse?! How can he… Ryan's cancer is unusually aggressive.

Virus! HIV.

He's telling us our boy's going to die.

Don't you get it? Jesus, Dane, what are we going to do?

Cancer is not a negotiation, Mr. Jensen.

No, twenty people lose their job, it's a layoff.

Just you, it's a termination.

I told you that before the interview.

The top end is 70.

Forty years old, a wife and three kids… how do you not pass a drug test?

When I started recruiting on this, you told me there were five must-haves for this job.

Your guy has one. Maybe. I can't justify the fee.

It's about three now, so I expect he'll be back from his meeting… I don't know, maybe five? Would you ask Lou to call me when he's… Uh, what kind of meeting is it?

He got a call from another head… from another recruiter.

It was just last night. Bernadine?

Hello?

Bernadine, hey. Dane.

Bernadine? Hello? Sumner tells me Lou has an interview? That's wonderful!

You're not upset?

Upset? I'll be the first one to congratulate him, no matter how he finds a job.

You're joking, right? Listen up, monkeys, I need fresh meat to peddle, stat! Process Engineer.

Oh, he is very excited, Dane.

It's an Engineering Manager spot.

That's fantastic! Scratch that! Engineering Manager!

The drive's a little long, but doable.

Gimme a drive-in, 423 area code!

But Dane, it means we wouldn't have to sell.

I mean, we're just… we're just hoping.

So am I. You're both in my family's prayers.

Bernadine… What company is he interviewing with?

Now, I'm not a pushy man by nature, Paul, ordinarily I don't get this excited about a candidate. But when I told my guy that I was going to call you, he went… pardon my vulgarity… Ape shit. I don't know.

Degreed engineer, really mature for such a young man… no wife, no kids, easy relo.

But the best thing is, he knows exactly what you guys are trying to do over there… and he wants to be a part of it.

Now what time tomorrow morning do you want him to be there?

I think we might have found the seasoning… we've been looking for.

Seasoning's good.

But some clichés are clichés for a reason. Particularly the one about old dogs, new tricks.

Eight AM sharp, Mr. Cobra.

Dr. Singh?

How are you, my friend? Tired.

The T cells we treated are fighting the cancer in you.

Dr. Singh? Your hat… Why do you wear it?

I am a Sikh.

My turban represents my constant devotion to my religion.

What do Sikhs believe?

It's my experience that all religions are some version of your, uh, 'what goes around comes around.'

We believe in the dignity of everyone regardless of race, age, man, woman.

A devout Sikh would protect with his own life the poor and the weak.

Ryan… If I could take your sickness on myself and away from you, I would.

Hey, buddy.

Hey, Dad.

Are you missing your party?

Hey, honey, how you feeling?

I'd like to go somewhere.

There you go, Rhino, the Wrigley Building.

Man, that's a lotta Juicy Fruit.

What do we know, Dad?

Let's see what we got.

It was modeled after the Seville Cathedral's… Giralda Tower in Spain.

Built in 1921.

It has 250,000 terracotta tiles on it… that's why it's so white.

That and the 116,000-watt bulbs pointing at it.

That clock? The hour hand is just over six feet long, the minute hand nine feet.

How do you know all that?

There's a bank on the fourth floor.

I was a teller there for a little over a year… when I was seventeen.

You worked in there? Mm-hmm.

Awesome.

Did I know that?

It was like going to work in a castle.

Only seventeen.

And in such a hurry to be older.

Get on with my life.

I'm glad we came.

I can see your eyes Underneath these bright city lights Everything's all right for a change… Last call at the bar, ladies and gentlemen. Last call.

You clean up good. It's the dress.

Oh yeah, I see it now. Asshole.

How's Ryan?

How long did Ed last? About an hour.

Stretched it out, did he?

You did an amazing job. Situation reversed, sick child, I don't know… Doing an amazing job.

Doing.

You're solid, Wilson.

You don't cut corners, you do it the right way.

Wow.

You know, for all your macho BS, you're the first person there every morning and the last one to go home.

You're on the phone from the minute you get in, to the minute you leave.

You're the biggest producer at the company because you're the hardest worker, not 'cause any of that Dixie Mafia nonsense.

We're not that different, you and I.

You're so full of shit. We're very different.

We're totally different. Yeah.

Anyway, the month's not over. I may have a few tricks left.

No. You don't.

You're down $20,000 with ten live interviews on the board.

Five are wet because your people are scared of you.

They're phantoms. I checked.

That leaves five remaining shots. Of those, one pays a fee that would blow me out of the water but it's a first interview for a VP level position, which means it's rolling into next year. Four shots left.

Of those, three are interviewing for the same job.

Triple coverage, place one, that's 15,000.

Which leaves you with one live interview, which, by the way, looks great.

But the offer is contingent upon a drug test.

A drug test he can't pass. How do I know?

I heard him tell your guy about his coke habit when I tapped into the call.

You did what?

You thought I was going to rely on the honor system with a man who named himself after a venomous snake and keeps a drawer full of burner phones?

Merry Christmas, Wilson.

Go fuck yourself.

Oh, Ryan, Daddy's here.

Hey, Rhino.

Hey… You're gonna be all right.

I promise you.

You hear me?

I… I got the Frank Lloyd Wright books.

And we're gonna go and see the Thomas Gale House, you and me.

Hi.


Ryan Jensen's room number, please.

Are you family, sir?

Absolutely.

The ventilator will breathe for Ryan until such time as you decide to stop it.

Or until he breathes for himself, right?

Until such time as he breathes for himself?

We need to discuss your wishes when Ryan codes again.

When his heart stops. Correct.

What's to discuss? It stops, you start it.

Ryan is in a coma. He's tired.

Okay, we got it, thanks.

Mr. and Mrs. Jensen. Few things are as comforting for a child as the sound of a mother and father's voice. Perhaps… Perhaps you can give Ryan the chance to heal, let the treatment fight the leukemia… Please.

Are you kidding me? "Sound of a voice"?

Stop it. Surrounded by millions of dollars' worth of technology and he says

"sound of a voice"! I said, stop it!

He's right.

Kids need their parents, Dane.

Not just when they're sick.

Oh, I love Ryan every bit as much as you do, Elise.

I know you do.

I just wish it didn't take him dying in order to get your attention.

That's not fair.

No, it's not fair.

But my little boy is dying, so I'm not terribly concerned about what's fair.

I love you, Dane, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna let you keep him hooked up to some machine in order to make up for lost time.


I'm sorry about Ryan.

I was with him when he got his lumbar puncture.

You know, his spinal tap?

Anyway, I'm studying for my RN, so I try to expose myself to as many procedures as I can.

Plus, it helps the kids, right? When they see a familiar face.

I keep their mind off the needle with questions… What's Dad do at work, what grade they're in, sport they like to play, favorite food, just, you know… Stuff.

I'm gonna ask you another question, Ryan.

What's your favorite place in the world, buddy?

Hmm? Come on, you're doing fine, Ryan.

What's your favorite place?

My house. Your house?

There's a place on our step which lets me know when Dad's coming up.

He's the only one big enough to make the noise.

He works late a lot.

But if I leave my light on, he'll always come in.

I tell him it's because I like to draw, but I really just want to see him.

When he leaves, I can still smell his cologne for a while.

It smells like Dad.

It makes me feel… Safe.

Anyway, I just thought you'd want to hear it.

I think I would if my kid someday thinks I'm a good dad.

Like yours must.

Antoine.

My kid ever say what I did?

For a living?

Help other dads get jobs so they can take care of their families.


The Thomas Gale House is important, not only because it showcases the earlier work of Frank Lloyd Wright, but it also hints at his architectural potential.

Now, Wright designed the home just before he left the firm Adler and Sullivan.

He didn't leave.

Sullivan fired him.

Because of this house.

Excuse me, sir, can I help you?

It's a "bootleg."

Frank designed it off the books for the Gale Family.

See, before, Frank was all Prairie Style hard lines and cold concrete.

He designed spaces that let the light in.

Rooms that opened up, then wrapped around you.

Made a family feel protected, safe.

Like you belonged here and only here. Home.

But Frank was also a gambler, a risk taker, and he knew that if he designed this off the books for the Gale family, his boss might find out.

Yeah, he knew what goes around comes around.

But he also knew that he could create something that would live forever.

Something magical.

The magic that stirs men's blood.

Wheeler residence. Lou, Dane.

About time you got off your ass and went back to work, isn't it?

Christmas is over, buddy.

We got a week to get you a job this year. Chop, chop.

Think of him as a forty-year-old, Jimmy, we'll throw in the other nineteen years free of charge!

Hold that thought, Jimmy.

Dane Jensen. Hey, Toni, thanks for calling back, appreciate it. Yes, Lou Wheeler.

No, no, no! Don't you get it? Every other company in the South is thinking first of the year! You see him now, you take him off the market before they get a crack at him!

Now, what time Wednesday works best for you?

Morning or afternoon?

Lou? Lou, calm down.

Tell me, what are you saying when they ask you, "Tell me a little bit about yourself?"

No, Lou.

Lou, no, Lou, Lou, stop!

Christ, brother, this isn't the biography channel.

Even I wouldn't hire you.

Alright.

Okay. Say this.

Miss Smith… Toni?

You know, I've been working a long time, you can see that.

And all those years, I've seen a lot of people come and go.

I've seen people chasing what they think will make them happy, money, titles, whatever.

But it seems to me, if a man, or a woman, can be paid an honest wage for an honest job, and if you can look back at what you've done and feel proud, well then, you're happy.

I know I'm running the risk of sounding a little old fashioned, or naive even, but… I don't think you can ever be too qualified to be happy. Do you?

No, Lou, I don't.

So. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Dane Jensen. Dane, Toni. You know, I've never seen a tighter race between two candidates.

We'd like to make an offer.

He'll take it.

Whoa, pardner… Shouldn't I tell you what it is first?

Yeah, all right.

Okay, what, what, what are you thinking?

Well, we're kicking up the pay grade.

One hundred grand base salary, full relo, no sign-on bonus. Insurance to start first day of employment.

Now, it is New Year's Eve and I plan to start drinking early.

My math says your fee's 25,000.

I need that expense on this year's budget, so what do you say we wrap this up right now. Is he in or out?

On behalf of Mr. Wheeler, I accept.

Mr. Wheeler? No, no, Dane, look, we all loved Lou, but he came in second.

I'm talking about your other guy.

Other guy? What other guy?

Ping. As in pong. You know, the engineer with the doctorate.

Ping?

Ten minutes after I schedule Lou for an interview, we get this resume from your colleague at Blackridge.

You don't forget a name like "Race Bannon".

Just, uh… Hang on one sec, Toni.

Bannon?

What?

It doesn't really matter to me which candidate you hire.

Good 'cause we're hiring Ping.

Bannon's my guy, so his deal's my deal.

I win either way.

I win.

What else you got for Lou?

Position wise? Nothing.

Plain Jane Engineer, entry level, temp to hire, anything?

No, no, and no.

Look, email me an invoice, Dane, I gotta run. Happy New Year!

Wait, who was the better candidate?

What?

Who was the best candidate?

Are you recording this?

Okay. Fact is, Lou's the better candidate.

Now, I can't ask him his age, but come on… How many years does he have before he calls it a day?

He's just… He's not a good investment. Between realtor fees, closing costs, storage, relo's gonna run us $40,000, temporary living another ten, and then there's your fee?

Hire Lou, and he's on the house.

I didn't hear you right. Say that again?

You heard right.

Hire Bannon's guy you pay 25 grand. Hire Lou? No charge.

What?

Why in the world would you wanna give away 25,000.

Because he's a good man.

He has experience no degree can match.

He's made all the mistakes a guy half his age hasn't made yet, but will, and he's learned from them all.

Because he won't lie or pretend to be something he's not.

Because everything I need, I already have.

And because the price is right, Toni.

It's a one-time offer, expires in ten seconds.

In or out?

Who was that?

Lou, what's wrong?

What would you think about seeing the grandkids?

I thought we were gonna wait until money wasn't so tight.

I don't mean visiting them, I mean seeing them.

Every day, if you want to.

That was Miss Smith from LOK.

They're based out in Gainesville.

That's about, what? Half an hour away from the kids?

I'm their new Engineering Manager.

Gosh!

Louis William Wheeler, I am so proud of you. Oh gosh, honey.

Come on now, come on… We both knew it was only a matter of time.

Well, I have so much packing to do, and a realtor and… Can I call the kids and tell them?

Yeah! I'm gonna take a shower. Okay.


Well, Rhino… We did it.

I don't know what I thought.

Maybe if I did a good thing, something totally out of character, that it would make a difference.

And it did, I guess, to a man I've never seen.

Probably never talk to again.

But I did something today that you'd be proud of.

I mean, I think you'd be proud of me.

Just like I'm proud of you.

Something I should have told you every day… I'm proud of my little man.

And if you're tired of fighting, and… and you need to rest, well, then I understand.

I'll even keep Lauren out of your room.

Me and your mom… we'll be okay… We'll be okay.

Hey, hon.

How's he doing?

The same.

You need to get some rest.

Let me sit with him for a while.

My mom's got the kids. Go home, take a nap.

Maybe a shower?

Please?

I can't.

I don't wanna be gone if he… Dane, if he codes, and only if he codes, I'll call you.

I'm not gonna let him go without you.


Dane?

I love you.

What's not to love?


You're fired.

What?

You can't just fire me.

My place. I'll fire anybody I want.

No, I don't mean… I don't mean you "can't," Ed, I mean… Pack up your shit and beat it.

Fired? Why?

Because I gave away one guy? Ed, I've billed out millions… Wilson won. She doesn't need you second-guessing her.

And besides, you're not the same guy anymore.

I… I am the same guy, Ed… No, you are not!

I don't want to hear it anymore.

Over. Done. Get out.


You know, I used to say a relationship with you was based only on the ability to make you money.

It just sounded tough.

I never really believed it.

Shut the door, please.


No, no, no, no, no, no…


Oh, honey!

Dad?

Rhi… Rhino!

How you doing? Fine.

Hey. It's gonna be okay.

It's gonna be okay.

Come here.

How's he doing?

His counts are still coming up.

He's good.

Uh, a messenger brought this to the house. From Blackridge.

Here's the thing, Elise.

I didn't take today, or yesterday, or the week off.

I lost my job.

Ed fired me.

Oh.

Thank God!


What is this?

Son of a bitch.


Daddy! Jesus, Lauren…!

Watcha doin'?

I'm working. What does it look like I'm doing?

Doesn't look like you're doing anything.

I'm making it look easy.

What? Can we sit in your spinny?

No, you can't sit in my spinny chair.

Please?

Okay, come on.

Getting in? I'm too old for that.

Come on!

Okay! Scooch over! Alright, here we go!

No!

Kids, come on, leave your dad alone.

You gotta get on the bus in half an hour.

Come on. Lauren, that hair… Do you want the door open or shut?

Will someone wipe me when I'm done?

Shut.


Jensen Group Recruiting, Dane Jensen.

It's about time you got off your ass… and went back to work, isn't it?

Lou, how you doin'?!

Oh man, I'm busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest… and I'm loving it!

And how about you? Can't be easy starting over again.

Oh, I'm… I'm pretty busy.

Could you be busier? Come again?

Now that I've got my feet on the ground… I've got the go-ahead to hire some new engineers.

Engineers?

Plural?

Yeah, we're gonna need two at least to start, maybe three.

We're flexible on salary.

And I wouldn't want to talk to anybody but you, Dane.

And I never will.

I appreciate that, Lou. I do.

And I'm thinking of one name, three words, Mohammed Al Farooq.

Oh, boy. Hey, Lou… You mind if I call you back in about an hour?

I've got a daily meeting I can't miss.

Walnuts?

Oz says they're his food of choice.

If you're ever stranded on a deserted island… walnuts.

Guess he didn't plan on being stranded with you.

You save the receipt for this?

I think it's here somewhere, why?

Alright, yeah.

Tax write-off… business lunch.

Dane Jensen… husband, father, last of the romantics.

Resynced by orhank