Manhattan Night (2016) Script

I sell mayhem, scandal, murder, and doom.

Oh, Jesus, I do.

I sell the newborn and the dead.

I sell the wretched, magnificent city of New York back to its people.

I sell newspapers.

Thanks for your time. Yeah?

Porter. I got a shooting, plus a fire.

Mm. Any bodies? At least two, Projects on Avenue D.

Paul said something about a kid.

I'm on it. I'm on it. Thanks.

I'm always running to the place where the bad thing just happened, arriving just after the danger has passed, watching from a safe distance, searching for an angle, that little wrinkle, the kick to the heart that makes you want to put down the dollar and pick up the paper.

With three deadlines a week, I'm always looking for a good story.

I seen the smoke, and I'm looking up there.

And that's when Demetrius, he come jumping through that window.

And he on fire, burning like all over.

And he holding Vernon here.

And Demetrius, he fall, fall, and fall.

I can see he gonna land on top of the baby.

And then just before Demetrius land, he do this little kind of flip.

And he landed on his back.

And he holding the baby up, like...

And I can see that he do that on purpose.

What did you do?

I run over and I pick up Vernon here.

And I see Demetrius.

He just not gonna make it, because he landed on his back like that.

Hey, little man.

I'm sorry that happened to you and your daddy. You okay?

No, no, no, he don't talk yet.

Fall, fall, fall.

Thanks for your time.

Hey, you're the one that helped them find that little girl?

I write a column for a daily newspaper.

In other words, I'm an endangered species.

I used to think my stories could make a difference.

Now I just hope they are enough to feed my family.

These days, eight million kids have iPhones and post their videos on YouTube like they're actually reporting and commenting on something.

My wife says I sound old.

I'm heading into a long one, so you'll probably get home before me.

Josephine needs to get paid.

And please remember to scrub the pots and pans.

You keep leaving them for me.

Yeah, well, they have to soak overnight.

Oh, yeah?

Yeah. Really?

Is that what your mother told you?

Well, look, I got to go, baby.

Wait, Porter. What?

Did you remember your tuxedo?

Yeah, but I don't want to go.

Everyone's going to be sucking up to Hobbs...

You know, if they're really thinking about cutting your column, you better go.


I know you are a watcher, Mr. Wren, but it is rude to stare.

I'm sorry. I was just trying to figure out where I knew you from.

I see you recognize me, though.

From your cheesy picture.

The one that goes with my column.

Your smug expression is annoying.

It was taken last year, in the waning moments of my youth.

Right before they retired the film camera?

Wow. Sorry.

Does anyone actually read the newspaper anymore?

Well, I have a few fans of the print edition.

I'm told they Twitter at me.

I think they Twitter about how awesome it is, the feel of the paper, the smell of the ink.

Hashtag-well-written-column.

Well... I do like the feel of the paper.

And your column, Mr. Wren, is always very well written, in an old-time, classic kind of way.

Well... I do wonder, though.

It must be depressing for you to be in all those places right after a terrible thing has happened.

You must have seen so many awful things.

I've seen a few things.

People seem to open up to you.

You must have a skill for asking the right questions.

Usually people want to tell somebody, and I'm just there at the right time.

Come on. You're being modest.

What brings you to the party?

My boyfriend, Charlie's bank, does some kind of business with the company that I guess just bought your paper.

You all work for Hobbs now, I guess.

"All" meaning mankind? Yes.

You grateful you landed a job that pays you to stare at people?

Look...

I deal with bullshitters all day.

But I'm on my own time here, so, if this is all going somewhere, get to it already.

Well, it's complicated. It takes some time to explain.

Oh.

Could we leave right now and go back to my apartment?

It's only 15 blocks from here.

Charlie wouldn't be coming.

Is this about your husband's death?

Porter Wren, is it?

Yes.

You must come and have a word with Mr. Hobbs.

He's quite eager to meet you.

Excuse me.

This is Porter Wren, the investigative reporter who found the girl.

Excuse me, Mr. Hobbs?

Mr. Porter Wren, sir, famed investigative reporter who now writes the column.

Really?

Yeah?

I really think this could happen.

I think it's very prudent.

Every single...

Wonderful.

The invitation still stands?

Yes.


Come in.

I want to show you this.

Okay, this is what we're talking about.

This is where we start.

This is where we start? Yes.

Another drink? Why not?


To help you through the gates of hell.

This is a police report.

It's a bit stingy with the tonic and ice.

Well, I want you drunk, so I can tell whether you are a lout or not.

You know you can get in a lot of trouble for having these files?

Detectives don't even let other cops see these things.

I know that.

Okay. So, Simon Crowley was found in the rubble of a demolished building.

Surrounding the body were small pieces of jade.

Police have no idea how he got in there, given the high fence with wire, nor can they determine the cause of death because of the...

The bulldozers and the rats. You can say it.

I've read the report 17 times.

I'm sorry.

"The world-famous filmmaker appears incapable of smiling."

Clearly. "Several hours into the interview...

I came to realize that Simon Crowley..."

Thank you.

"...is not a nice person, particularly, and he doesn't care if you know it.

In his pursuit of great movies, woman upon woman, and cigarettes, in that order, niceness is irrelevant."

Mixed review.

Is that Best Director? Best Original Screenplay.

Apparently it's what they give you when they want to give you Best Director but they can't.

VANTAGES FILMMAKER CROWLEY FOUND DEAD They still can't figure out how he got in there.

The place was all locked up and he didn't have a key on him.

What's the story with the pieces of jade?

No idea.


Could I have my coat, please?

I hope you don't feel like I've wasted your time.

Here's my number.


When the gate shuts, my work and the city remain on the other side of the wall that surrounds our hidden home.

Lisa and I fell in love with this house when we were first married.

There's something about it surviving hundreds of years, like a secret.

It kept me honest.

Anywhere else, this house should be mundane.

But in Manhattan, it was a miracle.

My family slept inside, safe from the dangers of these dark streets, secluded too from the world of Caroline Crowley and her famous dead husband, who could not enter this sacred place, unless, of course, I brought them home with me.

Did you redo it yesterday?

It happened too late. Daddy-bird!

Saved the wedding dress part just for you.

All right. I'm on it.

I'm on it. Thanks.

Classy quote from the gymnastics coach.

You see what they put for the headline?

The Pulitzer is waiting. I liked it.

You okay?

Yeah, I'll be all right in a few hours.

You didn't drive home last night, did you?

No. I left the car in the lot.

Oh. Excuse me.

Sally, come. We need to get dressed. Oh, no, but I...

Tommy, let's go. Never!

Morning, Josephine. Tommy?

I don't wanna come. Tommy.

Tommy. Don't you kick me.

Yes. I got him. Pick him up.

There you go.

You better come on with me.

Get your tush under control. Come on here.

Josephine, if you could pick up the house a bit today, it'd be great.

Like, maybe you could do, like, the dishes, or maybe do the pots in the sink?

You know, she ignores me all the time.

Oh, listen. I have an important surgery that I have to do tomorrow night, so I won't be able to go to that dinner with Lorca and Cabot.

Well, I'm not going without you.

We've rescheduled that, like, four times.

I'm sorry. It's a visiting Iranian ambassador with an emergency.

Let's just stop pretending it's effective to have a sex life.

What?

To schedule a night out, yeah?

Do you need a ride somewhere this morning, Mr. Grumpy Pants?

Yes. Where are you going?

Upper West Side.

Get dressed.

Morning.

I like the girl with the mob, but I need some quotes about Iris.

I'm going to reach out to her mother. I'm going to try to track her down.

All right. Thanks, Bobby. Later.

Yeah.


Oh, God.


Hello?

Hey, it's Porter Wren.

Well, hello, Porter Wren.

How are you feeling?

Did you roofie me last night?

No, I didn't.

Why are you calling me?

"Opportunity only knocks once"?

Hey.

I just rode up the elevator with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Oh, yeah. He's got a friend upstairs.

So, tell me how you met Simon.

I was living a sort of tired, pretty girl, New York life, you know? I had no money.

I had given up on L.A. after a year, and moved here.

I was apartment-sitting for rich people, with no steady income or place to live.

And I had just been fired for refusing to date my asshole lawyer boss whose firm I was answering phones for.

Did you have a laundry line hanging in the backyard when you were growing up?

Excuse me?

You know, with jeans and t-shirts and underwear hanging in the backyard?

A laundry line.

Yeah, actually, I did.

Me, too. I didn't like my underwear hanging out there for the other kids to see, but I did enjoy my one friend's mom's brassiere...

Right. ...hanging on their laundry line.

He bought me a couple more drinks, and we had an amazing conversation about our childhoods and parents.

I knew who he was. I recognized him right away.

He was very smart. Caroline.

I'm going to ask you one, crazy question, but it's serious, not a joke.

Okay.

I want to marry you.

Now, I know it sounds completely crazy, but I had just been sitting there thinking how I was probably going to have to leave New York, and in walks this enigmatic, weird, brilliant human being.

Yes. Jesus. God.

So, you met him in a bar.

Jesus. He proposed. You said yes.

All within the span of less than an hour?

Well, a few hours, but, yeah.

Okay.

I got a package from him the next day containing a flash drive and an engagement ring.

You want to see the video?

Sure.

Hey, Caroline.

Hey.

I've been thinking about you since I left you earlier today.

I was thinking about our, uh, wedding vows and everything, and about how the regular vows are, "I do," and how that won't do, actually.

So, I decided I want to make my vows to you here, right now, this, this minute, exactly.

And I have no idea what I'm going to say.

But once it's done, it'll be my vows to you, okay?

So, after I said goodbye to you, I had dinner with, uh, Jessica Chastain.

She wants to be in my next movie, Strange Day.

And she looks good.

There was nothing wrong with the conversation.

She was very smart and funny, and whatever, but she wasn't you, Caroline.

I didn't get that "click" from her.

I got the click from you.

I got the click.

When I was in high school, I got a job as a busboy at this place in the Village, Dante's Café. But that was, uh, that was a big, big thing for me.

I made some money and I got my first camera, and I could watch all the people.

There was this very beautiful model who started coming in, her name was Ashley Montgomery.

I would save her used cigarettes with that perfect lipstick smudge, faintest trace of her perfume on them, and, when I got home, I would lie naked in my bed and I would lay the cigarette butts all over my body, even under my tongue, and even in my ass, once, while I jerked off.

I did not consider this strange.

I'm sorry, is this still his marriage proposal?

Yeah. I was certain that I would never... be loved, never.

I swore that, if I ever had the chance for somebody I loved, I would take it right away. And when I saw you today, I saw a woman who could take it, who could take me, who could fucking kick it back at me, if she had to.

This is my excitement...

and my terror.

My heart thrills to your heart, Caroline.

My dark heart to your dark heart.

That is my vow, Caroline, my vow to you.

This is a song that makes me think of you.

We were secretly married in New York three days later.

Showed a real affection for me.

In the first six months, we were surprisingly happy together.

And this one night, when... when Simon didn't come home, I got worried.

But I didn't call the police because I knew Simon would be pissed if I did.

Three days went by, and it was pretty clear then that something was wrong.

Look, Caroline... if the police can't figure out how or why Simon died, I honestly don't think I can.

But you found that little girl.

Don't people tell you all kinds of things?

Honestly?

I found that little girl by mistake.

It was random luck.

I didn't deserve any credit for that.

Mostly, people tell me stories.

I never press them.

They just tell me 'cause they want to be known.

You seem to be searching for something else.

You had to know that by coming here today, I was going to ask for your help.

Unless, of course, there was another reason why you came by.

I should go.

Can I have my coat, please?


Come on.

Oh, shit.

Caroline?


Hello?

It's just me.

I forgot my phone.


Oh, my God. I'm sorry! I'm sorry.

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Oh, my God.

What are you doing here?

I'm really sorry. I forgot my phone.

I'm... You scared the shit out of me.

How'd you get in here?

I saw... I saw the code.

I'm sorry.

You were watching me just now?

I'm really sorry. I...

You liked watching me, didn't you?

I couldn't help it. I'm sorry.

I was thinking of you.

I got to go. I...

Okay. Goodbye, watcher.

Glad you got a good view.

You know, you were right.

Opportunity really only does knock once.


Hey. I'm watching you, Caroline.

I see everything.


No, Tommy. Tommy, I need the washcloth.

I need your face.

I need your face. Just real quick.

Real quick. Daddy-bird!

Hello. Okay. Give me the washcloth.

How's my family, huh? Tommy, I need the washcloth.

Hey, you. Hi. Hi, sweetheart.

Hello to you.

I think Tommy peed in the tub again.

Oh, Thomas.

Honey, can you take care of it? Thank you.

Sure. That's my cue, after urination in the tub?

Yeah, that's your cue.

How was your day?

Busy. Yours?

Swell.

I had awoke with the odd desire to visit the site of the demolished building where Simon's body had been found. Excuse me?

537 East 111th Street was now just a vacant lot.

And it held no answers to the questions that were troubling me.

Did Simon die in the rubble or was he in the building before it was demolished?

And if he was in the building, why?

And how did he get in there, if he didn't have the key?

In the building next door, the super, Luis, didn't have anything to add since the investigation 17 months ago.

Any reason you can think of why the victim might have a key?

Sure. Lots of reasons. It's a big city.

Thank you for your time.

With my nagging guilt growing, I needed some time to think this whole thing over.

I told myself I'd never see Caroline again.

And yet, when she called, I told her I'd meet her for lunch.

Well, I don't feel guilty.

You know, Porter, I'm actually kind of alone.

I have Charlie, but I can't talk to him about everything.

Simon is very much a taboo subject.

Charlie's already started looking at houses in New Jersey.

White picket fence, garden in the back.

Two-point-five kids?

You're the only one that I can talk to about any of this.

And there's something that I would like to show you, today, now, if you still have the time for me.


You keep money in this bank?

No. I keep Simon here.

This, as much as anything, was who Simon was.

I'm going to need you to understand this.

Simon was very unhappy all of his life.

He was always... "searching for the truth".

On each of these video cards is some truth that he was proud to have captured.

And if he wasn't happy with it, he would throw it out.

He used to treat these like original film in a camera.

He would never reuse or copy them.

He likes them being completely individual, as a single source of the truth.

Okay. So, which do we watch first?

I'm not staying. I'm sorry.

I've seen them all so many times, it's exhausting.

I'll let them know up front that you'll be here a while.

Okay.

Thank you, Porter.

It's one of the weirder moments in my life.

Call me when you're done.

Okay.


Stop. Really?

There's one. Pull over. Pull over.

All right, pull over, Max. Over.

Hey, hey. What's happening tonight?

I'm cold and lonely out here.

We're lonely in here, too. Round the world is 200.

She for you, Billy?

Too ugly for me. Can't spend that much.

She's not ugly. She's, she's, she's plain, perhaps.

She's nondescript, generic.

Billy, it sounds like you're interested.

I could be interested. I could be very interested.

What's your names? What's your names?

Billy. Simon. Oh, yeah.

Come on, Billy, Simon. I like her.

Get in here.

I don't know why I like her, but I like her. Get in.

She says something.

She's in it. She says something.

Yeah. Hello.

Simon?

Hey.

Can you let me in?

I changed the lock.

Okay, fine. Open the door.

First you must answer me three questions.

Jesus, come on, Simon, let me in. I really have to pee.

Three honest answers is all I require.

Question one: When I'm in L.A., how often do you masturbate?

Come on. Fuck you. Open the door.

Jesus Christ.

Every day, at least once.

Question two: Have you ever fantasized about being with Billy?

Yes.

Third question, please.

Question three: When you finally tracked down your biological father, what was the last sentence he said to you?

Fuck you. I am not playing this game anymore.

Really? That's your choice.

Come on. You already know the answer to that question, you sick fuck. Open the door.

I win.

Oh, my God.

He said, "You ain't my daughter.

Now get the fuck out of my sight. And when I..."

The last thing he said.

The last thing he said was, "Unless you want to give me a blowjob."

You want to order some food?

The fuck is wrong with you?

Yeah? Mr. Wren?

This is Waldon Campbell from Mr. Hobbs' office.

He'd like to meet with you immediately.

Himself?


Excuse me.

Hey.


Fuck.

Nice view.

Mr. Porter Wren!

Chronicler of people's woes.

Good afternoon, sir. Good of you to come.

Oh, do, please, sit down, since I'd like to discuss a certain matter.

Do sit down.

You, sir, are having an affair with Miss Caroline Crowley.

That's of no...

Please, please, please. I ask you not to interrupt.

Now, Miss Crowley has been sending me a video on a digital card from a camera.

It's the same one each time.

What's on it?

Something... very compromising.

She's asking for money in return?

No, no, no requests.

Oh, she's bloody fucking psychologically clever, you know.

Are you certain she's the one sending them?

She is the only one who would logically be in possession of it.

Okay. So, I ask her about it.

And she tells me she's not sending it.

And I look through her stuff, and I don't find it.

Then what?

Then, you keep going, sir.

You make do.

Look, this is crazy.

You are my employee.

And I can have you fired and replaced in the time it takes me to tie my shoelaces.

I'm quite familiar with your financials, sir.

Your salary just about covers your mortgage, and your wife provides all the rest.

The firing would come with embezzlement charges and a long, protracted lawsuit, which would oblige the bank to foreclose on that charming house of yours.

I can sell the house, Mr. Hobbs.

You may have to, when your wife, distressed with news of your affair, operates on someone with less than her usual skill.

Malpractice suits are the ruin of many good doctors.

Yes, yes.

That's what you'll find motivating.

You're famous for your investigative skills.

You found the little girl in the woods when the best detectives failed.

Too much limelight causes you to retreat to the comfort of a column.

You're now a hack in need of a challenge.

Oh, you were good once.

And now you're going to have to be good again, sir, for me.

I had a funny patient come visit me today.

Oh, yeah?

She complained of basic rheumatoid arthritis.

Well, but you're a surgeon.

I know, but she insisted she stop in to be seen.

I was surprised, because she was only 28, and she was very beautiful.

Might I add, she could have been a model.

But anyway, so, I check her hands, and she doesn't have arthritis.

What does she have?

Nothing.

Her hands are perfectly healthy.

But she was in pain? So she claims, but I watched her fiddle with her purse in the waiting room when I went out to get her, and she wouldn't have been able to do that with what she was describing.

Plus, when people are really in pain, they beg me for something stronger than what they can buy over the counter.

And she didn't even ask me for anything.

So, you think she was making it up?

I know she was.

Sounds like a nut.

She wasn't.

Well, I can't talk about hands anymore.

I need some other parts.


Who the hell is that?

It's no one.


Dad. Hey, Dad. Is that an old box you're repairing?

No, you know, it's, it's a different kind. One of these brand new ones.

Dad, how long you been in the elevator repair union?

Yeah. When you left South Dakota to track down...


Simon?

Jesus, fuck, Simon.

Simon, wake up.

Shit. Fuck, Simon.

Oh, my God.

Oh, fuck.

9-1-1. What's your emergency?

Yeah, I need an ambulance.

My husband has overdosed on some sleeping pills.

Yeah, that's 411 East Third Street, Apartment 12.

Please hurry. No.

No, I can't tell if he's breathing or not.

Fuck. Just send an ambulance.

Jesus, Simon.

Fuck. Wake up.

Simon?

Simon? Come on.

Got you! Oh! Fuck!

I can't believe you came! The fuck is wrong with you?

Holy shit.

You were amazing. That is not funny.

What are you doing?! This guy's fucked up.

What are you fucking doing? That was incredible.

I actually called the fucking ambulance.

Asshole. Baby? That was...

I'm making you a little drink.

Easy on the roofies.

You supposedly working on your column right now?

Column's done. Is it noteworthy?

Only for the fact that it might be my most rushed one yet.

Cop shot at home with his own gun, by his 12-year-old daughter.

Accident, of course.

They deserve better than the time I gave them.

Look, I better tell you I have an agenda here.

I have an agenda, too.

Maybe we can save 'em both for later.

God, I'm so going to hell.


Tell me why you have sex with me.

No.

Tell me how it's different than with your wife.

No.

Your wife is attractive, right?

I bet you know the answer to that.

I bet I do.

Did you go? Yes.

To her office? Yes.

Why?

I was curious.

She knew you were lying.

Yeah, I guess. It's not funny.

That was an incredibly fucked-up thing to do.

I'm sorry.

I didn't mean it like that. Well...

She's smart, Caroline.

She's very, very smart.

Smarter than me?

Yes.

How do you know?

Because nobody's is smarter than my wife.

Trust me. Believe me.

Never make contact with her again.

Ever. You understand?

Yes. I understand.

Okay.

I'm going to ask you a question now.

All right.

Is she good in bed?

Absolutely.

She loves you, and you love her?

Yes, very much. Yes.

Then how is it different?

Unless you have children, it's hard to understand, I think.

Try me.

After you have children, death kinda gets into it.

You know?

Somehow you become aware you're going to die.

I didn't get that before I had kids.

What happens if one of my kids dies?

Anyway, it all sort of gets into the sex.

It's complicated.

Have you been with her since our last time?

Yes, last night.

Did you think of me when you were with her?

Yes.

I mean think of me not just 'cause you felt guilty.

Yeah. I mean, you were fucking her, but actually thinking about fucking me.

Yes.

Do you look down at your wife when you're fucking her and think, "I'm going to be with you until I die"?

Yes.

How do you feel about that?

It's both comforting and terrifying at the same time.

Do you love me?

Ever since the first moment I saw you.

What are you thinking about?

Trying to decide if it's better to snoop around your apartment while you're not here... or ask you point-blank where it is.

Where what is?

Hobbs expects me to deliver a video he believes you're sending him.

Oh, fuck.

What? Oh, God, I don't fucking believe this.

Jesus Christ. What?

I wanted you to find that video for me.

What?

They've been through my whole apartment, my computer.

They watch me everywhere.

They've been threatening me with all kinds of things.

I don't have much time and I wanted you to help me find that video.

Wait, you know what's on that video?

I've never watched it, but I was there for the taping, yes.

All right, come on, don't bullshit me.

If you're not the one sending that video to Hobbs, then who is, hmm?

I don't know. I was hoping you could find that out, too.

Okay. Well, maybe you want to share with me what the fuck is going on.

It's not good. Okay, you have to understand that Simon was always testing me. I became like a science experiment for him.

I'm willing to do anything you ask, as long as it doesn't involve hurting someone, if you are willing to do anything I ask.

Fuck you, Si. I can keep up with you.

You can?

So you accept the challenge?

Yeah.

So what do you want me to do?

I want you to be holding the hand of someone just as they die.

Challenge accepted.

I want you to have sex...

with someone most unexpected.

Challenge accepted.

I'm gonna need proof.

If you're really going to play this kind of game, it gets really... interesting. It gets... gets exciting, sort of.

I don't know. Maybe I'm not explaining it.

What?

So, he set off with his camera to be with somebody when they died in the hospital or something, and then I set off with mine to have sex with someone

"most unexpected." Meaning?

Meaning like a cab driver or a woman wouldn't do, because that's too predictable for Simon.

You know, I always had to push back.

Simon had a way of making me want to show him everything, just to... just to see if it was enough.

I sat down in the lobby to think.

I could go to the Mayor's place, Gracie Mansion.

I thought of trying to get to one of the Yankees.

And then in walked Hobbs.

I thought I recognized him from the CNN report of his last mega-buyout, merger, whatever, but I wasn't sure.

The bellhop confirmed he was the billionaire media mogul Hobbs, and, 1,000 bucks later, he gave me his room number.

And you taped the whole thing.

Yeah, it was easy. I just had my camera peeking out from the purse that I left on the table.

The next morning, Simon tears into my purse, and he took the flash drive, and he never let me see it.

And he never kept his end of the bargain up, either.

And I fucking hated him for that. I took a shower for, like, three hours and I promised myself I would never care what Simon thought about me ever again.

And then he saw the video and he freaked out, and we had a big fight.

And after he died, I thought that the... that the video would be in his collection, and it wasn't.

Look... why me?

Come on.

You know you're perfect for this.

So, all this, between us?

This is all for me to help you get back some video file?

Just tell me.

Yes.

Do you forgive me? No. Or me.

You have to understand that initially I asked you for help, and then I got to know you and I really liked you.

Porter, you've got to believe me.

Hobbs is serious about getting this video.

He's going to take everything away from me.

You know, you're saying a lot of things, but you're not telling me what I need to know.

I've told you everything. No.

There is a reason why Hobbs is so adamant about getting this flashcard back, because a guy his age would be proud to have proof of fucking a woman as young and beautiful as you without paying for it.

And if Simon told you to go have sex with somebody, there's a reason why he got so upset when he saw the footage.

So tell me the truth... now.

Or I'm leaving.

I've told you everything. I promise you.

I promise.

Please help me.

Porter, please help.

Porter, please.

Wren? Okay, okay, okay.

What can I do for your fellows on this lovely evening, huh?

Give us the file.

I don't have it yet. Are you sure about that?

You just came from her apartment. Hey. What the fuck?

How come you're not answering your phone?

Do you want to sell to somebody else?

I don't know.

You think you can fuck with Hobbs?


Don't let us come back here tomorrow and find it in your house, asshole.

Please. Please.


Jesus.

Oh, I'm fine.

What the hell happened? I'm fine. I got jumped.

It was only a matter of time.

It was stupid.

I didn't put my wallet away while I was in the cab.

I got mugged.

I'm sorry.

It was only a matter of time.

You scare me when you say that.

I'm sorry.

Good morning.

You have a furious wife, you have blood in your piss, and you still have a column due.

But instead of doing your job, you dig around and you find that Simon Crowley's father, Frank, lives in a nursing home in Queens.

Mr. Crowley?

I'm a friend of Caroline's.

I was hoping you could help me.

Did Simon leave with you a video camera, a memory card?

You know, a memory card?


Mr. Crowley?

Is he okay, though?

Okay. I'm on my way.

I'm on my way.

Paging Dr. Bender.

How serious is it?

I examined the wound myself.

The bullet pathway in the muscle will leave scar tissue, but not going through the entire depth.

What does that mean?

It means that he will never have the absolute contraction in that muscle that he should have.

Josephine? It hit the left patella.

She'll need surgery and rehab. It'll take at least a year.

What the fuck happened?

What happened?

She rode with the kids in the ambulance.

But the cop who was trying to get the story said that she was pretty incoherent, just that a man forced his way into the house with a gun and was searching for something.

You know who the man was?

I have a good idea.

I will not let my children be a part of this, Porter.

No. Daddy?

Sally-bird. Don't cry, sweetheart.

Come here. Oh, Sally-bird.

Everything's going to be all right.

How did I get here? No, sweetheart, you're okay.

I'll tell you later.

I'm taking the kids to my mother's.

Sit up, baby.

What about his arm?

They need this room. He's free to go.

He can travel. I'll take good care of him.

Here, you be careful with this thing, okay?

Daddy, are you coming to Grandma's?

Such a good boy.

Not on this trip, sweetie.

Why?

Come on, baby. Let me walk you to the street.

I would rather you didn't.

I don't know if I'll be able to contain my rage that long.

Come on, sweetheart.

When your little boy has been even grazed by a bullet, all bets are off.

I needed to get to Hobbs. And I knew that the only way was through his gatekeeper, Campbell.

I was now past being afraid of what my desperation could do.

Open the other door.

Take my wallet! Shut up. Get inside.

Get inside.

Oh, God! Move!

Don't kill me, please.

Do you know who I am?

No. I'm Wren.

Porter Wren.

Your goons shot my little boy this afternoon, did you know that?

Yeah.

Which drawer has the sharpest knives?

Oh, God, no, please.

Which drawer?

Now, call Hobbs.

I can't. He's in London.

No...

No, we're going to tell him to call off his goons.

He's unavailable. I swear.

Start thinking, Campbell.

My son is three years old.

He is a perfect angel. He's innocent.

All right! Wait, wait, wait, wait.

0-11-44-955-646-7287.

Hobbs?

Campbell? So sorry to wake you.

Hobbs, this is Porter Wren.

One of your goons broke into my house today and shot my three-year-old son and his babysitter.

You listen to me, you motherfucker.

If you do not call off your goons, I will make 1,000 copies of that video and I will send one to every newspaper, every television station in the world.

I will be a fucking wild man.

I don't care. I don't give a shit.

I will go down in a glorious ball of fire, and I will take you with me, you fat fuck.

Now you call off your goons right now.

You have a 24-hour grace period, Mr. Wren. How about that?

Fail to hand me the master video when I'm back in New York tomorrow evening, and your troubles today will be longed for fondly compared to the realm you will find yourself in.


I don't know how he got up there, but he did.

You're funny. Okay, Daddy? Dad?

Daddy? Tell me again how to make the elevator run from the remote.

Out of the key paid in the back of the panel.

Some dessert, Frank?

I know, the quick patch or the boot patch, or...?

Boot patch. You need a boot patch to complete the circuit.

The camera annoys me.

What? What's the matter?

Frank doesn't like the camera.

I know. Well, I got... I'm going to go away tonight for a little while, Dad, and I want you on the camera, okay?

Okay, I'm going to go. I have to go.

I have to pick up some medicines for Irv.

Mrs. Segal, I need to get a key made.

Can I get a ride with you to the hardware store?

Well, of course you can. Thank you.

Dad? Dad. I'm going to say goodbye now, okay?

Okay.

Me, too. Bye.

Okay. Mrs. Segal?

Would you mind if... we had, you know, a minute?

Father/son moment?

Thank you.

Say goodbye. Say goodbye. Yeah, I... I said.

Okay.

Daddy?

Here's what I want you to know. I want you to know that I never blamed you for what happened... for what happened to Mom, okay?

And no matter what happens now, or tonight, I don't want you to blame yourself.

Okay?

And you watch this as many times as you need... until you accept that that's the truth, okay?

I love you, Daddy.

All right. Okay.

Mrs. Segal in the video had to be Norma Segal, a name I had noticed in the nursing home guest book.

She visited Frank Crowley twice every week.

I tracked her down to an address in Queens.

And, like Frank Crowley, I was running out of time.

And she was all I had.


Hello?

Hello?


Oh, my God, get out!

Get out. Get out. I'm calling the police.

Please don't. No. I'm calling the police.

No, please. No, don't touch it. No!

Get out! Get out! Here.

Please don't hurt me. Just please go.

Mrs. Segal, I'm desperate.

Please, I'm sorry I entered your house without permission, but... I know it's wrong.

I need your help, Mrs. Segal. Please.

You know me? How do you know me?

Do I know you? I'm Porter Wren.

I'm a...

I write a column in the paper.

I'm risking my whole career, telling you who I am.

And please, trust me.

I read you all the time.

I'm not here for the paper.

I promise I won't, I won't write about this.

I'm...

I'm trying to help Caroline.

Now if you could just answer a few questions for me, I'd be incredibly grateful. Okay?

Okay. Now, Simon was a family friend?

Yes. Simon was best friends with our Michael growing up, when they were little. Oh, yeah?

They remained friends?

Michael drowned when he was eight.

Simon still came over every day after school, because Frank was working and Simon's mother had passed away already.

He became like a replacement son for us, you could say.

Now, you were visiting Frank Crowley, Simon's dad, and billing the estate, right?

Yes. Simon had his firm send us $2,000 a month, once he started making money, because he wanted to take care of us.

I was very uncomfortable with it.

I thought, I thought we should earn the money.

So, I was visiting Frank twice a week at the home.

Frank and I've become close over the years.

So, I started billing the firm for those visits by sending invoices on Irv's legal stationery.

Would you... Would you like to sit, and... and go downstairs?

Sure.

Sorry. That was very scary.

I'm really sorry. Yeah.

Now, what about those other $5,000 payments?

Oh, that was something different.

Simon said he had a job for me, for which he would pay $5,000.

He told me to bill the firm, to send something to a third party.

He said to write the invoice on legal letterhead like I had before.

Was it a camera memory card?

Yes, it was a video camera card.

He gave me this whole box of little plastic things.

I don't know what was on it. I didn't look at it.

Simon told me, if we needed cash, follow the same instructions, mail one of them, and bill the firm. It was remarkable.

Remarkable.

Mrs. Segal, I need that box of copies.

Oh, no, no. Simon made me promise not to give it to anyone.

No, no, you keep billing the firm.

You just... You can't send them anymore.

Really?

Because I'm down to my last one, and I was wondering how to make more.

I need that video card.

Such a small, little thing.

I have no idea what could be on it.

I'm much heavier than I should be.

And I'm quite incapable of normal sexual function.

Can't have sex?

There are other things in life.

There's something that you're not telling me.

Well... Well, don't be embarrassed.

You can tell me anything, and I can take whatever it is and keep it locked up.

Well...

Well, it happened a very... a very long time ago.

Too long to keep inside of yourself?

It was summer, before my final year at university, and I decided to work on a freighter.

I was the son of one of the richest men in Australia.

I took the job just to spite my old man.

Anyway, we had a week's shore leave in Marseilles.

Something tells me there's a woman involved in this story.

As beautiful as you are.

She was the most expensive prostitute in Marseilles, and I... I did something stupendously stupid.

And what is that?

Well, I fell in love with her.

And I gave her my last franc just to be able to look into her eyes for a few minutes longer.

It broke me up to say goodbye.

I kissed her, told her I loved her, and flew down those dark streets to the port.

Suddenly, some of the regular Marseille sailors caught up with me and beat me up, pretty badly.

One of them stuck me with a knife, in the groin, at least... at least a dozen times.

And they... and they left me for dead.

Oh, my God.

Well, my manhood was severely wounded.

I... in fact...

In fact...

I was butchered.

Well, I went to the best doctors in the world, but some things...

Well, some things, you can't fix.

And I was 20-years-old.

May I see?

Good God, it's far too embarrassing.

Please.

Show me.

Show me.


You're not repulsed by me?

No.

I think you're sweet.

I'd like to tell you a story now that I've never told anyone before.

It's about when I was a little girl and I really wanted a horse.

And every day, I would ask my stepfather for this horse.

I used to beg him, so much...

Good God.

That's terrible.

I want... I want to do something...

for you.

I'd like... so very much... to kiss you... in... a special place.

Am I...

Am I allowed... to do that?

I don't mind if you say no.

You're allowed.

You sure?

Yes.


Oh, my God.


Mr. Wren.

Can we behave like gentlemen this time?

I'm much heavier than I should be.

And I'm quite incapable of normal sex...

Oh, I'd like to ask you three questions.

Shoot.

Was Miss Crowley sending these video cards?

No. Then who was?

An innocent woman, taking orders from Simon Crowley.

Did she watch the contents?

No. Did you?

That's four questions.

Please indulge me.

And I'll, I'll share something with you.

Yes, I watched the video.

Aren't I a lovely sight?

I've been holding onto this for a long time.

And in the spirit of "all's well that ends well,"

I'd like to... to give it to you.

We did gain access to Ms. Crowley's apartment, and I am sure she suspects something.

She does. We were looking for the video.

And we looked at all her keys, and we identified every one, except that one.

I could've left it there, walked away, tried to put my life back together.

But there were still too many questions about Simon's death.

And the truth is this key could unlock the secrets of Caroline.

She was a mystery I could not walk away from.


Can I help you?

Hey. It's Porter.

Back in the day, I used to deliver coal to both buildings, through this basement.

The one next door that they demolished was identical to my building.

You see, both buildings are exactly the same.

Does the demolition crew inspect the elevator before they send it to the basement?

The one next door was already in the basement, didn't need to be dropped.

And the cops who investigated Crowley's death, they couldn't search the elevator, could they?

Because it was under 20 feet of rubble.

What would they be looking for?

It's just an elevator.


Yo! Throw the rope!


What? Feel that?


Why have you been buying milk lately?

They're going to demolish this tomorrow morning.

Well, can we make it quick?

It's creepy in here.


All right?

Yeah. You know, I'm going to wait downstairs.

This is too weird. Here.

Caroline? Come talk to me.

Why is this elevator not working? I want to go downstairs.

Hey, come. Come talk to me. I'm your husband.

Come talk to us.

Why do you have my horse?

It's an item of marital interest, wouldn't you say?

This old treasure is about 1,000 years old.

Your phone's not gonna work, baby. I took out the SIM card at home and put it under your pillow.

It's made of jade, from the Zhang Dynasty.

And it's worth about $1.8 million, I found out.

So, obviously, Mr. Hobbs appreciates you.

He appreciated you with his tongue, we know that.

He appreciates your little horse story that you told him, to give you a gift like this.

Made you feel like you have a real daddy?

Made you feel safe, Car?

Tell me the story.

I'm not telling you the story.

It's locked. We're leaving.

No, we're here. All the doors are locked, babe.

Fuck.

We are not leaving until you tell me the story, exactly the way you told it to him.

Okay.

Well... I guess we'll stay the night.

Seriously. I am prepared to wait all night.

I have my milk.

And if you have not told me the story by the morning, we can be demolished along with this building, and our bodies can be crushed by the rubble, and we'll be compressed into dust.

I'm never telling you that fucking story, okay?

Ever.

Jesus, what the fuck are you doing?

Well, I'm breaking the expensive horse.

This key will bring the elevator back.

So...

Give me the key. Give me the story.

No. Just give me the key, Simon.

Actually, that's, um, that's our postal box key.

This key is the one that unlocks the padlock around your ankle.

How about that story now?

I fucking hate you. I fucking love you.

The more you resist, the harder it's going to be.

So, tell me the story.

No?

No?

Okay, 'cause of that, I'm going to have to drink my milk here.

I've been practicing drinking milk.

It'll help me swallow keys.

Son of a bitch.

Don't swallow the key.

Please don't. Please. Please stop.

So now you control your fate.

Tell me the story, so I won't send the elevator down, because, if I send it down to the basement, there's no way for it to be down there and you to still be here.

I'm not telling you the story. Just stop this, please.

Last chance. I'll start it for you.

When I was a little girl...

Please don't. I really wanted a horse.

Just tell the story and I won't push this button, okay?

I don't want to tell the story.

No. Stop.

Shit, Simon, fuck.

Is your pathetic story really worth this?

No. No, please, stop. Stop the elevator.

Tell me the fucking story!

Why aren't you trying to stop this thing?

Okay. When I was a little girl, I really wanted a horse.

Okay. I begged my stepdad for one every day.

Fucking stop. Too late. Bye-bye. Bye-bye.

Hi. Okay.

So, I rigged it to stop.

I thought for sure you would tell me sooner.

Anyway, so, yes. "My stepdad, every day, I asked him," and?

Jesus.

Oh, God.


Simon?

Please...


Hello.

Please tell me that you found the Hobbs tape and that you returned it. I did.

What? You did, really?

Where was it? I'm sorry. I can't talk now.

Well, can we have breakfast?

I'd like that.

Hi. Hi.

Have you been rolling around in the mud?

It's a long story.

Well, I like long stories.

Before you tell me everything, there is something that I would like to show you.

Congratulations.

Thank you.

I've got some things to show you, too.

It's beautiful.

What is it?

Don't lie to me now, Caroline.

Simon threw it and broke it.

Yes.

You used the padlock from your ankle to lock the basement door so no one would find the body.

Porter...

Did you know...

it was all on camera?

Every second.

Moment by moment.

This is a copy for you.

The original is somewhere you will never find.

If you ever contact my wife in any way...

I see.

Keep me in check.

Will you tell it to me?

The horse story?

When I was nine, I really wanted a horse.

And my stepfather, Ron, was not into giving me one.

And my mother was so powerless in the relationship that she didn't even bother to argue for me.

As my birthday got closer, I used to beg and beg for that horse.

And every time I begged, Ron would slap me across the face.

It would only make me beg more the next day.

One night he came into my room and he said, if I could keep his visit a secret... and if he could do whatever he wanted, then he would buy me a horse for my birthday.

And this went on for about a week.

And when my birthday rolled around, there was no horse.

So, that night, when he came into my room, I told him that I was going to go tell my mother what he had been doing to me.

And he promised me that he'd kept his end of the deal...

and that there would be a horse waiting for me the next day.


Happy birthday, Caroline. Here's your horse.


Why did you look in the elevator?

I think you wanted me to, Caroline.

Goodbye, Caroline.

Well, don't just go.

Say something to me.

Be well.

As well as you can be.

The ugliness of who I've been and who I am now is strongest when I get to see my wife and children.

I never told Lisa the truth, choosing instead to let her imagine the worst of me.

I think she decided that whatever was in me now was dark and ugly and better left where it was, as long as it was not near her or the kids.

What was I doing here?

Maybe because it made me feel safer to know Caroline was far away from me, as if I alone were not responsible for the wreckage to my marriage.

Maybe to see her in a new life would bring me some kind of closure.

Maybe I'm just feeling stupidly sentimental, like the asshole that I am.

As the old reporter told me on my first day, "It's all one story, kid.

It's all one big story."