Modern Prodigal (2019) Script

(phone ringing)

(ominous music)

(gun firing)

(slow paced music)


Hey Jonathon!


Yeah, I saw that.

I don't know.

You promised me the front page!

Things change.

I've been working on that story for a month!

Is my story even in here?

Local, you're the lead.

People in the city who haven't had running water for weeks and you buried it!

So when the daughter of a high powered attorney accuses someone of bribery and possible rape, it runs!

They're not local!

They're in Charlotte!

People don't have time to follow you down these rabbit holes anymore!

This is a dying trade.

Look out there in the bullpen Brian.

When's the last time you saw it fully staffed?

See, we're all struggling here, you just have to accept that there's a new sheriff in town.

I'm just trying to keep everyone working.

New owners.

Oh, okay.

So you're okay with this?

Actually, no I'm not.

I read the article, I thought it was very well written.

But what do you want me to do about it?

I have to make a phone call.


Hi this is Brian Sanderson, I'm calling to refill a prescription.

It's for pain medication.

Hi, Brian Sanderson.

No, my birthday's September 13th.

Yeah, but the problem is I spilled half of them on the street earlier this week and I don't have any left.

Okay, is there anything that you can do?

No, no, I can.

No, thank you.

I'll call Dr. Reynolds and have him write another one.


No, thank you.


Sanderson, Phillips, my office.

Do you know what this is?


It's Fentanyl.

Up to 100 times more potent than morphine.

And they all died from this drug?


Here's the clincher, they were all marked as Oxy.

So we're talking all accidental O.D.'s then, right?


If we can make the connection between this and what's been going on at the Chaffin Center, your story might be a national headline.

And Brian, I want you running support on this one.

Look into see what's happening once the drug hits the streets.


I'll get my guy at the Department of Health a call.

Maybe he can shed some light.


I need it by the end of the week.

Your story runs on Sunday.

All right, got it.

We'll get to work.


(somber music)


How ya doing man?

Hey, how ya doing?

Thanks for meeting me here.

Want something to drink?

No, no, no.

I gotta get back to work after this.

So, what's up?

How Can the Department of Health help you today?


There's an influx of it hitting the streets from some place.

A couple of kids have died from it already, and my editor wants me to check into it.


Yeah I've heard of it.

The deaths or the drug?


It's a synthetic opioid.

It can be used to nullify pain before a procedure.

Thank you.

Thing of it is, these are being marked as Oxycodone.

Oh now that I did not now.

There was a run up in Charlotte a few months ago that was mislabeled, but they destroyed all those at the factory.

Are you sure about that?

The run that was mislabeled was only about a thousand.

So with any luck, we'll burn through those pretty quickly and by a pretty small population.

It would be a really bad situation if we had an influx of Fentanyl addicts running around the streets.

Can I quote you on that?

As long as you make me sound good, sure.

Yeah, from what I'm hearing, that one of these pills can kill you, are we about to have a thousand dead kids on the streets?

An Oxy addict will go through about

120 milligrams a day.

That's three to four tablets per hit so that cuts the number of 1,000 down to 500 to start with.

And then you figure in, oh, the number of pills left over after the O.D. and the average buy is three or four days.

So I'd say you're looking at a minimum of 100 deaths.

It's still something.

There is one more thing.

[Walter] What's that?

I heard a rumor today about Elizabeth Chaffin's Treatment facility.

Oh now that's a good place.

They do a lot of good, and for free I might add.

Have you ever met her?

No, just at public functions.

The mayor has given her a few awards for civil service.

I'm hearing that the drugs she takes in at the door are being resold on the streets to fund her work.

I hope not.

Brian, if that place closes down, we're gonna have a real problem on our hands.

Well, thanks for coming here, Walt.

I appreciate you meeting me.

[Walter] Anytime.

And one of these days Suzy and I are going to have you over for dinner.

It's been too long.

Let's do that.

Thank you.

[Walter] Thank you.

[Brian] Okay look, just help me out here okay.

Tell me what you saw.

Well I was working there for three years, you know?

And I always wondered where the money came from, but I never asked any questions.

I didn't want to lose my job, you know?

Lucia, Lucia, Just tell me what happened.

[Lucia] Okay.

There was a man there.

Okay, do you know who he was?

[Lucia] No.

Did anybody else see him that can corroborate what you're saying?

I don't know.

He was standing over in the corner of the room.

But I just heard part of the conversation, you know?

And I saw her hand over the pills.

He just put them in his backpack and left.

[Brian] And where were you during all of this?

Standing in the doorway?

[Lucia] No, I mop the floors you know.

Let's say I take you at your word and I call my friend down at the precinct and I have him come by the center, is he gonna be able to find any evidence of this?


He gave her money and he walked out with the pills.

She says she destroys them but I don't think so.

And you're telling me this happened over a year ago?

[Lucia] Last July.

So what took you so long to say anything?

She scares me.

I saw him again a few days ago and I ask her who that man was.

I shouldn't have said nothing, kept my mouth shut.

What changed?

Why are you talking to me now?

She fired me.

And I got a son.


All right look, I'll make a few phone calls, I'll see if anybody will talk to me.

But right now I don't print anything.

You’ll keep my name out of it right?

I mean, you wouldn't--

Listen, if you're afraid there's gonna be retaliation, you need to talk to the police.

But no, I won't mention your name to anybody.

So what happens now?

[Brian] I’ve got your number.

(door banging)


I'm very sorry to disturb you at this hour, but are you Brian Sanderson?


Sir, my name is Detective Luis Vegara, it's very important that I speak to you.

I regret to inform you that your son was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound earlier tonight.


[Luis] I believe it was your son, Michael.

I understand how difficult this can be Mr. Sanderson.

How come you're telling me?

How come you're not telling his mother?

We've tried, but we've been unable to locate her.

(somber music)

(phones ringing)

Tough night last night?

It looks like Elizabeth Chaffin's been making some moves.

She hired two attorneys last night and put out a press release that talks about all the good work that she's been doing.

You okay Brian?

I already talked to that lady yesterday about that Chaffin thing.

I don't believe her.

What did she say?

Were you able to check any of it out?

Why don't you do your own damn homework Jonathon.

Hey man, hey.

Are you okay?

Look, just get off me all right?

Just keep your hands off me.

Sanderson, with me now!

Button it up buddy.

(door slams)

Are you drunk?

[Brian] Yeah.

You're fired.


It's time for you to leave.


My son died last night.

(somber music)

I'm, I'm sorry.

I don't want this job anyway.

Do you understand that?

I don't want it!

Okay Brian, you don't mean that.

Yes I do!

It's time for you to leave.


I'm leaving.

I am going.

I am gone.

(walls banging)

(ominous music)


If you need something, you go see that boy over there.

Marcus, we need to talk.

[Marcus] Drive.

[Woman] Where?

Away from here.

I don't talk where I conduct my business.

We may have a problem.

Somebody's been snooping around the center.

I can deal with the po-po's.

It's not the police, it's a reporter.

Listen, my name needs to stay clear no matter what.

Pull over.

Let's get something straight, you give me the pills, I sell the pills.

So what is the problem?

The problem is they aren't what you think they are.

I know exactly what it was.

Don't ever catch yourself thinkin', I don't know why you're here for this.

What do you mean?

[Choo Choo] Sarah.

How is my sister?

[Choo Choo] Coked out, but she's still alive.

(somber music)

We may have another problem.

Somebody saw you at the center.

I don't need my name in the papers.

It won't be.

If she doesn't say anything.



Lucia Andrade.

See what we can do.

Help her keep our little secret.

You got anymore of those Oxy treats for me?

No more Oxy.

I told you that was a one-time deal.

If I would have known what they were, I never would've given them to you.

Why are you doing this?

Because if I keep my doors open a little longer, I help more people.

Maybe one day Sarah will--

No, no, no, no, no, no.

You can't put this back in the bag, once it's out in the streets, it's out there baby.

You see, you're changing the face of this city.

You will get your patients.

More than you ever thought.

[Woman] Marcus, would you tell her something for me?

I ain't your secretary.

(door knocking)


It's the only personal thing you had left on your desk.

Thought you might want it back.

How do you know where I live?

Isn't it our job to find out the things that other people wanna keep a secret?

[Brian] Hand me that bottle would ya?


What are you doing here?

I heard what you said to Regina.

Is it true?


[Jonathon] Do you want to talk about it?

No, I don't wanna talk about it.

I need another drink.

Brian, you know that's a good idea.

Well you're not my sponsor anymore!


So, what do you do now?

(solemn music)

I don't know Jonathon.

I haven't seen my kid in three years.

It was Michael.

Talk to Marie or David about it?

No, he called me last night.



Eight, four, two, nine, one.

[Jonathon] You need to talk to Marie.

[Brian] Well Marie made it very clear to me that I am no longer welcomed in her life.

[Jonathon] Do you have her number?

Yeah I have a number.

I don't know if it works.

[Jonathon] Why don't you give it a try?

You know, somebody killed my son,

and I have no idea of what kind of man he'd become.

If you want, I'll do some digging around.

See if I can find anything out.

Have you heard anything?


In the meantime, do you have somebody that can perform the service?

[Brian] Like a priest?

[Jonathon] Yeah.

No, Marie wouldn't go for anything like that.

Me, I haven't set foot in a church since the day I was married.

If you're hungry, there's some pizza in that fridge.


I think I'll stay a while.

[Reporter] Across town, a body was discovered.

Reporter Lisa Spar is on scene to give you more information about that.

Authorities have attributed a number of local deaths to this dangerous new drug.

You know anything about that?

Yeah, some.

[Lisa] Her name has not been released, but police believe the murder to be linked to the increasing drug trade.

Remember, you can always report suspicious activity.

A story you're working on?

No I'm not working on that.

Listen, I can't remember the last time I came in here for conversation.

You wonder why I drink at home?

It's because I don't really like to be bothered.

Then why come here at all?

'Cause sometimes the walls won't shut the hell up either.

(ominous music)

People, don't ignore God's voice!

He has plans for you!

Plans to do you good!

Are you listening to hear if God is calling you tonight?

Look at the way the world is!

Listen to His word!

He loves you people!

God's plans wait on no man.

He has called you to take that first step.

What'ya gonna do?

You sir, tonight you have been called.

What's your answer?

God only wants to love you.

He doesn't wanna do any harm to you.

(door knocking)

[Jonathon] Brian?

What the?

Come here.

Come on, come on, come on.

Over here, over here.

Come on.

What, what is going on?

Michael was gone for three years and I never got to know him.

[Jonathon] Brian, you can't blame yourself for that.

What if I can do one last thing for him?

What if I can find out what kind of man he was?

Brian, look, he was on the street for three years.

Three years.

What, do you think you're gonna go out and retrace every step he made Jonathon, what don't In the last three years? You Understand?

[Brian] I let him down as a father!

I didn't do my job!

Look, look, listen, listen.

If I can do this one last thing, I can reclaim my son.

Is everything okay?

Yeah, everything's fine.

I'll take care of this.

What's going on?

I'll be right back to bed.

Go back to bed buddy.

Daddy will be back inside in just a minute okay.

You are Batman!

That's okay.

Look, we'll sit down in the morning, we'll figure out a plan, okay.

We'll figure this out.

[Brian] Okay, all right, I'll see you tomorrow.

Look, look, I’m gonna get my keys and I'm gonna take you...

No, no, I'm okay.

Look, go back--


Listen, go, go be with your family.

I'm fine.

I'll see you tomorrow.

(slow paced music)

Mr. Sanderson, I'm Clarice.

If you please follow me, the rest of the family is waiting in the parlor.

Allow me to express our deepest sympathies.

If there's anything you need, please, just let me know.

No, I think we're fine.

Thank you.

If you could just let us know when the service begins.

Of course ma'am.

Oh and one more thing, if you could just find my husband and send him in please.

You brought a flask of whiskey to bury your son?

I don't want to hear it Marie, really, you know I don't.

And by the way, there's plenty that I could say about your behavior, but shall we just keep it civil until our son is buried?

Do not make this day about you.

Put that damn flask away!

Well, no one knew if you were gonna make it today, Brian.

Well, I'm sure Michael would appreciate it now that you're here.

Was I not expected here today, Victor?

No, not like that.

We just hadn't heard from you is all.

And Jules here, raised the question.

We just didn't know.

How's the law practice Victor?


Real good!

A lot of money in public defense.

You know, Jules here?

This is the first time you two have met.

We were all wondering if today would be the day.

He called me, the night he died.

What'd he say?

I missed the call.

I was wondering if any of you had any contact with him lately.

Knew where he was, what he was doing.

He was your son.

I hadn't seen him in a year.

He wanted me to bail him out of jail and I decided not--

We, we decided.

We decided not to.

That was the last time I had any contact with him.

There's nothing more recent?

Nothing that can lead me to him?

He is right through that door, Brian.

I'm sorry, but it's time we begin the services.

If you'll please just follow me.

This way.

I don't know Brian.

He just left one day.

I don't know where he went, I never did.

You know that.

He even did that when you were still around.


Marie, I wanna know why my son is dead.

He was living with you, so excuse me if I expect that my wife--

Your ex-wife Brian!

It has been six years!

When are you going to accept that!

And he lived with you.

So forgive me if I expected his mother to do the most responsible thing and keep our children alive.

Instead, I've got somebody coming to my house in the middle of the night telling me my son is dead.


We did the very best we could with him.

Look, I wanna know who my son was and I wanna know why he died.

I can't answer that.

I can't answer that anymore than you can!

You of all people know how difficult he could be sometimes.

Don't put this on me.

Don't you make this my fault!

All I want is answers, Marie.

That's what you don't seem to understand!

Sometimes there are no answers!

There isn't some cosmic force guiding our world?

God, Brian!

I thought you had finally gotten past all that.

You know, it never failed to impress me how you could wriggle that into almost any conversation we were having.

Come on honey, let's go.

Brian, if you are really serious about finding out who Michael was, why don't you start with our other son.

Michael stayed with him a couple of times.

(somber music)

Hey, how ya holding up?

What are you doing here?

Brian, you're my friend, of course I'm gonna be here.

Everyone at the office sends their regards too.

Yeah, you see any of them here?

Must not be too broken up about it.

Listen, I did some checking on what we were talking about last night and it turns out we got a tip on Michael's murder.

Yeah, I got Regina to sign off on making it a story.

I wanna come with you.

Yeah, I thought you might.

Well what do you know?

Not much.

Turns out the guy who found the body, he's in a halfway house over off of 32nd.

(door knocking)

What are you doing here?

Well you are my son.

I just wanted to check up on you.

Your mom said he used to stay here sometimes when he left home.

He did.

So that's it?

A simple he did?

I think I deserve a little more respect than that.

You deserve?

I've heard all the stories, about how little brother was always your favorite.

The chosen one.

Do you know he barely even mentions you, and when he does it's about how you'd go out of your way for him!

The drug addict!

And yet, even still, he's the only thing that you're worried about.

I'm sorry, who is she?

And why is she talking to me like that?

She's right Brian.

You were always more concerned with him.

It's like, as soon as he was born you forgot I was even around.

And I did everything you asked!

I stayed in school, I got a good job, I helped out around the house!

And none of that mattered to you!

He hurt mom, he stole money from you, and you'd always let him back knowing he'd do the same thing all over again!

[Brain] David, he was my son!

What am I supposed to do?

Let him die out there in the streets?

Yeah, good job stopping that one.

You know I did everything I could to keep this family together.

If that meant putting a little extra effort into your brother, then that's what I did!

He tore this family apart!

It was his actions he was making!

You could have saved this family from years of hurt!

And for what?

He ended up in the same place anyway!

How could you say that?

That's your brother!

Because it's true!

He drove a wedge between you and Mom.

He's the reason you drank yourself to sleep every night!

Look, you shouldn't say that.

I love both of you equally.


All I ever got was the scraps.

You know, I never left you alone.

I was always there for you!

I'll bet he's the reason you're here right now, isn't he?

Isn't he?


Get out!

Get out!

Please, I have to know what happened that night.

Save your crusade for someone else.

I don't know where he went, or what he did.

I have nothing here for you.

Now I've asked you to leave!


That good huh?

So, how'd it go?

Not well.

[Jonathon] Were you able to learn anything?


Hey, pull over up here would ya?

I need a drink.

[Jonathon] You know I can't do that, right?

So you can have water.

He was 15 years old.

Marie had been seeing Victor for the past year.

I thought we'd been doing so well.

I thought we'd finally moved past all that bull that we'd been through.

She told me after the kids went to bed.

She said that the two of them had been together for a year, and that he'd asked her to marry him.

And she'd said "Yes."

My wife tells me she's engaged to another man.

And she had the documents from her attorney.

All my demons laid bare.

We had a terrible fight that night.

I don't think I slept for the next two days.

Anyway, after it as all over, she asked me to leave the house.

As I'm walking through the door into the garage,

I see Michael.

Sitting there, on the other side of the wall just on the other side of the kitchen.

He looked terrified.

We didn't say anything to each other.

I'm not even sure that his mom knows he was there that night.

Listening, to everything.

So I drove back by the house the next day to try to talk to him,

but there was another car in the driveway.

I drove past the house every day for a week, and every day, that same car sitting there in the driveway as if there was nothing in the world wrong with that.

Why are you telling me this?

'Cause that's the day I lost him.

I think if I had just stopped and just said something to him,

maybe all this could have been avoided.

Look, I know a guy, he attends services with me, I'm sure I could get him to talk to you.

One of your men of God?

Your friends don't want me or my problems.

I think you'd be surprised at how much you have in common with them.

Come on, it's getting late.

Let's get out of here.

It's everything I have on the investigation so far.

That's Wade Mullins, crack addict.

He's the one that found Michael's body.

But I now also got the blood results for Michael.

They're in that folder too.

He tested positive for cocaine and several other opiates in his blood stream.

Official cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds.

What are the police saying?

"Drug addict got shot."

Their only real interest is the Fentanyl found on him.

There's a Detective Vegara who's heading that part up.

But his only real concern is finding the dealer.

Vegara's the one that told me about Michael's death.

(door knocking)

What do you want?

Wade Mullins?

Who's asking?

I'm Jonathon Phillips.

We spoke on the phone earlier.

Yeah, yeah!

Is there, I don't know, maybe some place we could talk?

It's gotta be close.

That's what I get for finding that boy out there.

Come on in.

Did you know him?

What's this man?

I thought you's doing the interview?

You know, getting my name in the papers and everything.

I'm just along for the ride.

If it happens, it'll happen.

But he's the one that's conducting the interview.

All right.

All right, I see that.

Now, you ask me that question again.

Did you know him?

No, I just seen him layin' there right?

And I went over to make sure everything was okay, right?

Just being a good Samaritan.

Well what time was this?

I dunno, after 12.

I had been down at that diner, right.

And it was after I left there that I saw him layin' there in the street.

Listen man, that kid was dead when I got there.

I didn't have anything to do with that.

We know.

Did you find anything on him?


You mean, like, did I search him?

Yeah, I got his wallet over there.

Listen, it was like that when I found it.

[Brian] Do the police know you have this?

Don't ask, don't tell, right?

[Brian] Do you mind if I keep this?

Like hell man?

Hey, he's the kids father.

I'm just gonna keep the card, all right?

No man, keep it.

[Jonathon] Did you find anything else on him?

Yeah, but, you can't have any of that man, you know.

What was it?


Some of it, yeah.

Word of advice Wade, stay away from it.

It's not what you think it is.

[Brian] It's all we need from you right now Wade.

Thank you.

All right.

Hey, when am I gonna see this in the papers?

My mama always wanted to see my picture in there, you know, for a somethin' good I done.

Yeah, I'll let you know.


(phone ringing)


Hello, Mr. Sanderson?

Yeah, who's this?

[Luis] Detective Luis Vegara.

I trust you remember me.

Is this about my son?

Actually, no.

I'm calling in reference to a number of prescriptions that have been filled in your name.


A local pharmacy reported it as suspicious.

This type of thing usually turns out to be nothing, but all the same it would be good if you came in and we could get a statement from you.

I'm afraid now is not a really good time for me.

That's fine, but the sooner we can put this behind us the better.

Would sometime later this week be possible?

Yeah, yeah, I think I could do that.


Like I said, usually nothing to worry about, just have to follow through with these things, you know?

Yeah I understand.

I'll see you by the end of the week then.



Who was that?

It's nothing, let's go.

Tony Wilson Construction.

(phone beeping)

(phone ringing)

No answer?


[Jonathon] Couldn't leave a message?

I never do.

Let me see that.

I know where this is.

It's a new subdivision going up in the Fourth Ward.

They filed a complaint yesterday about the water situation.

It's a quarter to five now.

Even if they are working late we won't make it by the time they pack up and leave.

Maybe we'll catch someone tomorrow.

Yeah, first thing in the morning.

[Jonathon] All right.

(door knocking)

Hey, this is a surprise.

Come on in.

Yeah, it kind of is for me too.

Do you want something to drink?


I'm fine.

So, what brings you here?

I'm here to talk about Michael.

[Brian] What about him?

Listen, I know why you're doing all this.

And believe me, it's cool.

It's just hard.

David, what is it?

What are you trying to tell me?

Did you know he was trying to turn his life around?

Trying to straighten things up?

No, no.

(slow paced music)

Julie found this this morning.

It's his writing.

[Brian] Chris?


He had this notebook he would write in and it had like some sketches on it and stuff.

Did he ever mention this guy?

Yeah, once.

A few months back.

Do you know where I can find him?

No idea.

He was supposed to meet up with him that day.

(phone ringing)

[Jonathon voice message] Hey, Brian.

I won't be able to go out with you today.

This Chaffin situation just blew up.

She may be indicted by the end of the day.

They made the connection last night between her and the facility in Charlotte.

But listen, I want to get a hold of that Lucia woman that you interviewed.

Seems she's dropped off the face of the earth.

All right, okay, I'm pulling into city hall now, talk to you later.

(ominous music)

Wait here.

I'm looking for Tony Wilson.

He's right there.

Excuse me, I was wondering if you could tell me anything about Michael Sanderson?

Never talk about employees past or present with the cops.

Well I'm not the cops.

Then I don't have to talk to you do I?

[Brian] He's my son.

Then tell him he's fired.

I got a business to run.

Enough's enough.

He's done around here.

My son's dead.

Johnny, can you give us a minute?

Repeat that?

Michael's dead.

Hey man, I'm sorry.

What happened?

Look, I'm looking for a guy, Christopher something.

My son was spending time with him.

Never heard of him.

How long was Michael working for you?

Off and on for about three months.

He just showed up one day, said he was looking for work.

Said he'd just gotten out of that Chaffin program.

He was looking pretty rough though.

So I told him I'd give him a days pay for a days work and every day he showed up after that.

He was doing pretty good, so after about a week I hired him on officially.

You said off and on.

Yeah, he just started missing days.

I never could reach him either.

First it was just a day here and a day there, but soon he'd be gone for days on end.

I guess the last time he was here was about a week and a half ago.

Did he have any friends here?

Do you know where he was staying?

No, he was pretty much of a loner.

I mean he'd talked to you if you went up and asked him a question, but never much.

I don't think he was staying anywhere in particular.

I think he was kind of bouncing around.

Well thank you.

Hey, listen, I wish I could be of more help, but he kind of stayed to himself like I said.

I wish I could tell you more.

Well thank you.

Thank you for helping my son.

I appreciate it.

Hey, I'd do it again tomorrow if another kid showed up like that.

A little Christian charity never hurt no one did it?

[Brian] No.

No I guess it didn't.

I'm sorry about Michael, good luck.

Jonathon, he was at the Chaffin center.

Cool, I'll see you in five.

How may I help you, sir?

Hi, my name is Brian Sanderson.

I believe my son was in here for treatment about, well within the last six months.

His mother and I been looking for him--

I'm sorry sir, but we keep our patients information strictly confidential here.

I can however--

Did I mention to you that he was a minor?

What did you say his name was?

[Brian] Michael Sanderson.

Hi, yes.

I have a gentleman here claiming to be Michael Sanderson's father.

He says that he's looking for his son.

Yes, that's what I told him.

He says that he's a minor.

Yes of course.

His name is Michael Sanderson.

Okay, thank you.

Someone will be with you in a moment sir.

Good day Mr. Phillips.

We'll speak again soon Dr. Chaffin.

Mr. Sanderson, I'm Elizabeth Chaffin, the director here.

How may I help you?

Mrs. Chaffin.


Dr. Chaffin, I was hoping that you could help me find my son.

Why don't we talk in my office.

If you'll follow me.

So when was the last time that you saw him?

Three years ago.

And no word since then?

We had no idea where he was until today.

Mr. Sanderson, according to our records, Michael's 23-years-old.

Obviously he had the identification to prove that.

Now you threatened my receptionist and you lied.

So why don't you tell me exactly why you're really here.

I'm trying to find out about my son.

Well, he's no longer a minor.

There's nothing I can tell you.

Can I see the file of when he left, where he might have gone?

No, I'm sorry.

I cannot share that with you.

Did he leave anything behind?

If he did, we'll hold it for him until he returns.

He's dead.

He died last week, in a drug deal that went bad.

I'm trying to find out who my son was.

What kind of a man he'd become.

Will you help me?

I'm sorry, without a court order, my hands are tied.

Is there anybody else that I could talk to maybe?

I just to find out what his interests were?

What kind of music he listened to?

Yes, it's Dr. Chaffin.

I have Michael Sanderson's father here, would you please ask Melissa Thomas to meet him down in the East Hall?

Thank you.

Thank you.

[Melissa] Mr. Sanderson?

[Brian] Yes.

I was your son's nurse while he was here.

How may I help you today?

I just wanted more information on my son.

I wanna know who he was.


Michael was actually one of the good ones.

Right up until the day he left.

He was always polite, always kind.

Withdrawal can be a hell of a thing, and your son handled it about as well as could be expected.

Better than some actually, especially for a first timer.

But what it comes down to, Mr. Sanderson, is that your son wasn’t broken enough when he walked through our doors.

He could see the cliff, but he hadn't fallen over yet.

He just, hadn't hit rock bottom.

Why are you telling me all of this when Dr. Chaffin wouldn't?

You're his father, correct?

[Brian] Yes.

Then wouldn't you agree you have a right to know?

[Brian] Absolutely.

Listen, this place is going down.

The things the you hear happened here, they did.

That stuff is just gonna wind up in an evidence locker anyway so I thought it best that you have it.

Thank you.


Is there anybody that works here by the name of Christopher?

That name doesn't ring a bell.

I'm sorry.

[Brian] Thank you.

Hi, I sent your car home.


[Jonathon] How'd it go?

I got his phone.

All right, that's a start.

Who was the last person he called?


But he keeps calling somebody named Priest.

[Jonathon] Priest?

Who the hell is Priest?

No answer?

No, not even a name on the message.


That woman you interviewed, Lucia, turns out she wasn't lying.

Unfortunately, she's been found murdered.

Stabbed to death in a crack house across town.

There's other sources.


Oh, and also, it turns out Chaffin, they're not destroying the drugs after the addicts arrive either.

And where it goes, I don't know.

If I had to guess, I'd say some dealer somewhere.

Any leads?


I mean this thing stretches out like a spider web across the entire city.

We're talking current patients, past patients, even one that now works in Charlotte.

But as far as who set up the original deal, or how it ever got started, man I just don't know.

Has Chaffin admitted to anything?

Nah, not yet.

She has quit giving interviews.

And her P.R. firm, they won't respond to any questions.

She's ducking and hiding, hoping you'll move on.

Looking that way.

Where to next?

The diner across the street from where Michael's body was found.

I'm gonna talk to the manager, find out if he saw anything.

Maybe by some miracle he's got some security cameras.

Good luck.

Regina's asked me to turn in any story I have on your son by tomorrow.

Right now, there really isn't one.

I've gotta go full-time on Chaffin.

I just, I don't know that I'm gonna be able to help you out much more on this.

It's okay.

All right.

Who knows, maybe I'll actually find what I'm looking for.

I hope you do.

When you get to the bottom of this, write about it.

Somebody out there needs it.

(solemn music)

[Marie] Sometimes, there are no answers!

You of all people know how difficult he could be sometimes!

[Melissa] Michael was actually one of the good ones.

He was always polite, always kind.

[David] He was trying to turn his life around.

Trying to straighten up.

(door banging)


The pad, Brian.

Give it to me now.

I don't know what you're talking about.

If you don't give it to me now, I'll tear this place apart until I find it.

Give it to me now!

Look, really man, I don't know what you're talking about.

Detective Vegara phoned me to follow up on your prescription of Vicodin.

A prescription I haven't written for you in three years.

I checked.

I could lose my license over this Brian.

I'm out of options.

The police know what's been going on and I'm not gonna lie to them!

Walt, I didn't know what else to do.

You have put my livelihood and the welfare of my family in danger.

And that is not something that I take lightly.

Now you give me the script pad right now, and I will walk away.

But you and I are done.

I don't want to see you again after tonight.

Walt look, I'm sorry.

Oh that's no excuse.

Brian, has anybody else used this?


Are you telling me the truth?

Yeah, now--

Have you forged my signature on anything else?


[Walter] How many times did you use this?

I don't know.

If you were in trouble, you could’a come to me.

Now you just better pray that Vergara comes up with some other answers on his own because I'm done with you.

I don't want to hear from you again.

(door slamming)

[Brian] Hey David.

How long have you been following me?

Since you left your office building.

Look, I was hoping that I could talk to you again.

About me or about my brother?

David look, you've gotta understand that--

Understand what?

That even when he's dead he's still the more important one?

I'm trying to piece together what happened.

For all of us.

Because we deserve to know.

Did you think maybe some of us don't wanna know?

Son, look, you've gotta help me.

He was with him that night, Christopher.

They ate at a diner on 9th.

Do you know anybody that could lead me to this guy?


Sorry, I gave you everything I had.



You know what,

Julie was right.

You never cared about me.

And I'm under no obligation to care about you.

♪ There are angels ♪

♪ Watching over me tonight ♪

♪ And these angels ♪

♪ Keep me safe by my side ♪

♪ And the enemy ♪ Hey, what can I get for ya today sir?

I was wondering if you had any security cameras.

Excuse me?

[Brian] Security cameras, do you have any?


Hey Mick!

Mick, I think you ought to talk to this guy.

What's the problem?

No problem.

I just wanted to know if you have any security cameras on the premises.

Security cameras?

Why you askin' about cameras?

Because I'm doing a story about the kid that was murdered across the street.

Did you see anybody with him that night?

Some guy that comes in here with the addicts I think.

Okay, are there any cameras?

Can I see the tapes to see who he was with?

No, no cameras.

Why are you here?

I'm a newspaper reporter.

I'm doing a story on the victim.

Police got a report, don't they?

I'm looking for more than that.

I'm trying to find out who he was.

The guys name is Chris.

Tries to help out, get him a meal, get him a job.

They were in here a few times.

Do you know where I can find him?

Haven't seen him since that night.

Where did they sit?

That booth right there.

Always the same one.

I think the kid liked to look out the windows.

That night, I locked up behind them.

They was the last one's out.

How did he look to you that night?

The kid?

He looked pretty bad off.

All right, thank you for the information.

[Mick] No problem.

[Reporter] Over 1,000 residents are currently without water.

You know much about the Bible?

Hopefully enough to get me in.

2nd Corinthians 4:16.

"Do not lose heart.

"Though the outer self is wasting away, "the inner self is being renewed day by day."

You know that by heart?

Yeah, it goes on to talk about the transient nature of our bodies and the internal nature of our souls.

[Reporter on TV]- Was made earlier today as Dr. Elizabeth Chaffin was taken out of her facility by the Atlanta PD.

Chaffin has been accused.

When you grow up in a family full of preachers, sometimes a little bit of it rubs off every now and then.

When asked about the allegations, the mayor said he hoped they would prove untrue.

We're here at the Chaffin Treatment Center where earlier today Elizabeth Chaffin was arrested and taking to the Marrin County Courthouse.

She was then booked on charges of felony drugs possession, as well as possession with intent to sell.

This is what Dr. Chaffin had to say.

[Elizabeth] Chaffin Treatment Center is the last lifeline these people have!

I've got work to do here!

[Reporter] Today's arrest is the culmination of an investigation that began when allegations of Dr. Chaffin's ties to a known drug dealer became public.

How did I miss this?

Can I help you?

Yeah, I'm looking for Christopher Beckman.

You found him.

What can I do for you?

[Brian] I've been looking for you a long time, Father.

I'm a not Catholic, but you can just call me Christopher.

You were with my son the night he died.

(somber music)

Please, sit down.

Yes, yes I was with him that night, and for several other nights before that.

Your son was a good kid.

He was really starting to turn his life around.

What were you doing with him that night?

He came by, he asked for my help.

Didn't help much, did it?

[Christopher] I did the best I could.

I need to know who my son was.

Was it enough to know that your son loved you?

He was trying every way he knew to come back home to you.

There were some ugly times, tough times.

It all came to a head the night that he died.

But I thought you said he was doing better?

[Christopher] He was.

[Brian] Then why couldn't you have stopped it?

We all have to make our own decisions.

Michael needed to find his own way back.

I managed to get a hold of this.

It's Michael's journal.

I gave this to him.

He talks about God in there.

Well, I'm not surprised.

I mean we do talk about God from time to time around here.

No, no, I need to know what happened.

Well I met Michael several months ago in the park.

He was begging.

Asked for money.

Said he needed to get home.

I wouldn't give him any cash, but I did offer to buy him a train ticket.

On the one condition that I could go with him, just to make sure he got home alright.

He agreed.

So we hopped on a train and went uptown.

To my building?


Michael got all the way up to the front door before he stopped.

Said he couldn't face you.

Not that way.

He asked me to take him to his brother's apartment, so I did.

I gave him card, told him to get in touch with me if he needed anything.

He called about three weeks later after that first meeting.

He said he wanted money, but he wouldn't tell me why.

He was in pretty rough shape.

It was late.

There's an all night diner three or four blocks down the road, so I took him there--

I know it.

I bought him some food and we talked.

We talked about him, we talked about me, we talked a lot about you.

Well you didn't get him any help?

You didn't tell him about all this?

You know, mostly I just listened.

It's a process.

It always is.

But he did let me pray for him.

Now that's a huge first step.

Michael wanted to get clean.

He knew he had a road ahead of him, but he was smart.

You could show that kid something once, and he got it.

Just like that.

I found out that he was interested in carpentry, so I opened up the wood shop to him and he would spent hours in there just working on the smallest details.

Stuff that people would never see.

I'd ask him, "Michael, who's gonna know?"

He'd look at me with those big eyes and he'd say, "I'm gonna know."

That's the kind of man that your son was becoming.

You think my son is in heaven?

I don't know.

Yeah, I thought you guys were supposed to have all the answers.

I wish.

I might have one answer for you.

The name of Michael's dealer, Marcus Johnson.

Goes by the name of Choo Choo.

Choo Choo, why do I know that name?

They picked him up earlier today.

He's probably still in holding at the station.

Thank you.

[Officer] Come on man, somebody wanna see you.

(handcuffs clanking)

So what do ya want with me man?

Did I win a contest?

Marcus, my name's--

Choo Choo.

Choo Choo.

I'm Brian Sanderson.


My son Michael was--



(Choo Choo laughing)


Too small of a world.

Yeah, you know that boy's dead right?

Little boy been off that stuff for way too long!

Gave me a fat bill for what Choo Choo had to offer.

I had me a real fine dinner that night--

He was with you that night?

Yes he was.

He was with me.

That night--

How did he end up with you?

Economics, man.


I had somethin' and he needed it.


All right, look, help me out here.

Do you know anybody else that he was buying from?

I could help you out, but then you gotta help me out.

Gotta make a deal with Choo Choo.

I don't know Choo Choo, what do you want?

Come here.

Come here, just a little bit closer.

There we go, come on.

Listen, I got some twisted white bread public defender who says I gotta get some other twisted white bread fella to get on the stand and say "Choo Choo's been a good boy."

You get me?

Yeah, you want me to lie for you.

I don't even know you.

Don't play games with me, old man.

I got secrets that you want.

Look, did Michael go any place or see anybody after that deal?

That boy didn’t go anywhere after that deal.

Ya' know what I'm saying?

How'd you find me man?

Was it the preacher man, or was it the brother?

Marcus, what did you mean when you said he didn't go anywhere after the deal?

I bet it was the preacher, man.

That man is The Man, okay.

But you can't hang out with him for too long.

That dude will get in your mind and make you start thinkin' things that you never wanted up there.

Just tell me about my son!

That boy got what he deserved.

But right now that ain't got nothin' to do between me and you.

You want somethin', I need somethin'.

Brian, decisions got consequences.

And right now you have a decision to make.

Marcus, tell me what happened to my son.

You wanna know the truth?

He wants to know the truth.

He wants to know the truth.

You can't handle the truth old man!

(Marcus laughing)

Wait, wait, wait, wait.

Where you going?

We're just getting started.

I'm done talking Marcus.

Well, you comin' back right?

Because Brian, I got more stories about your son.

Yeah, I don't want to hear anymore of your stories.

Okay, then I'll leave you with this.

Actions got consequences.

You better remember that as you walk outta here today.

Choo Choo.

Choo Choo.

The cover sheet?

Yeah, if you can take care of the supplemental, it'd be great.

[Luis] Brian Sanderson.

You missed our appointment.

There isn't something you're trying to hide from me, is there?

I know who killed my son.

Marcus Johnson?

We know.

Just can't prove it yet, but we will.

Well you know?

Why aren't you out there building a case--

A lot of cases like yours come across my desk.

I'm in here now to talk to someone else about another case.

I gotta go.

Piece of advice, Brian.

Stick around town.

Wouldn't want to have to come lookin' for you.

Marie, I didn't know you still had a key.

We never knew if we were gonna have to get back in here and clean the place up.

[Brian] Well, what can I do for you, Marie?

I heard what you are doing and I just wanted to tell you that I think it's a good thing.

[Brian] Thanks Marie.

See you're still drinking 'Old Masterson'.

[Brian] Is that what you came here about?


Look, David stopped by today.

He said that you had been following him.

I wouldn't call it following.

Well David and Julie got engaged last night.

And she doesn't want you at the wedding.

But I'm not comfortable with that, so I made him promise that they would talk about it again before they make a final decision.

And I just, I thought you should know.

It was Michael's.

They gave it to me at the Chaffin Treatment Center.

You should read it.

Seems he was on his way to finding God.

(Marie scoffs)

Is that really such a bad thing, Marie?

I'm sure it makes you very proud.

I know who killed Michael.

What do you mean?

[Brian] It's a drug dealer named Choo Choo.

Why are you telling me this?

What about the police?

The police know.

They have him in lock-up.

Is that why he's in jail?

[Brian] No.

For killing my son?

No, that's not why he's there.

He's there for murdering some other woman and assorted drug charges.

Look, but I have a bit of a problem.

I may need Victor's advice.



Because I'm gonna need legal council for falsifying prescriptions.

It never ends with you.

(phone beeping)

[Brian] Hi, it's Brian.

Do you think I could meet you tonight?

(slow paced music)

What is this place?

[Christopher] Its the co-op.

It's a warm place to sleep, counselors who will listen, job training for those who want it.

Why are you showing me this?

You wanted to know about your son.

Well, this is where he spent his last few weeks.

Ya know, I really thought he was gonna make it.

Maybe even come back here and be a mentor to some of these folks.

He had friends here Brian.

People who were in the same place he was.

Come on, I wanna show you something.

Now this?

This was going to be his masterpiece.

I sat right here that afternoon, talking to him.

There was something in his voice.

You could hear it.

He was gonna use.

I knew it.

He smiled at me.

He knew that I knew.

I tried to get him to stay.

Tried to keep him working on the table, but he said no, he need to get some air.

He needed to take a walk, clear his head.

And then he left.

(somber music)

I don't know why he got shot,

but if you wanna know about your son it's all right there in that table.

An unfinished life.

I came here tonight because I don't know where else to go.

I need somebody who can help me.

I'll do whatever I can.

What my son said in his journal about your faith.

I wanna know about that.

He said something about a change.

I need to know what he knew.

(door knocking)

Hey Jonathon, come on in.

(slow perky music)

So this it?

You didn't wanna wait until the trial was over?

Not a chance.

This is my son's story, not Marcus Johnson's.

I can understand that.

Give some nice closure to your readers huh?

So, I hear you have a new job?

Yeah, that Chaffin thing did a lot to to restore what we do around there.

Regina bumped me up to city desk.

We even hired a few new kids to work.

That's fantastic!

I guess the news business is booming!

Yeah, it is.

Hey, I wanna thank you for passing this on for me.

Oh sure.

Mind if I read it first?


Oh, by the way,

I get this off on Friday.

[Jonathon] All right.

Yup, one year.

I wanna thank you and Walt for being such good friends and walking me through this.

Eh, we were just there for your support.

See you Sunday?

You will see me Sunday.

All right.

Take care.

♪ What in the world ♪

♪ Has come over me ♪

[Regina] You're fired.

♪ Been running in circles ♪

[David] Get out!

♪ Finally I'm free ♪

[Walter] I don't wanna hear from you again.

♪ Over and over ♪

[Marie] It never ends with you.

♪ Forever and ever ♪

[Woman Preacher] Tonight, you have been called.

What's your answer. ♪ Here with me ♪

♪ Try to remember ♪

♪ You had no direction ♪ Brian Gardner Sanderson, I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

♪ Slipped to the bottom ♪ (water splashing)

[Choo Choo] If you can’t handle the truth! (echoing)

♪ The son of your father ♪

♪ Searching the whole land ♪

♪ Your selfish behavior ♪

♪ Will you be here in the morning ♪

♪ Oh I'm asking you Lord ♪

♪ Cause you had no direction ♪

♪ And you squandered it all ♪

♪ You slipped to the bottom ♪

♪ Not worthy to be called ♪

♪ Yeah you had no direction ♪

♪ You were running in the night ♪

♪ You slipped to the bottom ♪

♪ When you thought it was right ♪

♪ Now it's over ♪

♪ It's over ♪

♪ It's over ♪

♪ It's all over now ♪

♪ Now it's over ♪

♪ It's all over ♪

♪ Hmm It's over ♪

♪ It's all over now ♪

(upbeat music)

♪ I've walked a long way ♪

♪ Down the wrong road ♪

♪ Too many heartaches ♪

♪ And too many tears ♪

♪ It's been a long day ♪

♪ Down on the wrong road ♪

♪ I'm getting so weary ♪

♪ From bearing the load ♪

♪ Can't remember the day ♪

♪ I made that first wrong turn ♪

♪ Now there've been so many ♪

♪ Seems that I don't learn ♪

♪ I've walked a long way ♪

♪ Down the wrong road ♪

♪ So many heartaches ♪

♪ And too many tears ♪

♪ It's been a long day ♪

♪ Down on the wrong road ♪

♪ I'm getting so weary ♪

♪ From bearing the load ♪

♪ And every step I take ♪

♪ Is taking me one step further from you ♪

♪ I've only followed myself ♪

♪ Always seemed like the thing to do ♪

♪ I've walked a long way ♪

♪ Down the wrong road ♪

♪ Too many heartaches ♪

♪ And too many tears ♪

♪ It's been a long day ♪

♪ Down on the wrong road ♪

♪ I'm getting so weary ♪

♪ From bearing this load ♪

♪ Now am I too far gone ♪

♪ This isn't where I should be ♪

♪ Thank God for Christ ♪

♪ He came to save the long lost people like me ♪

♪ Now it's a long way ♪

♪ But down the right road ♪

♪ You're healing my heartaches ♪

♪ You're healing my tears ♪

♪ You're showing me the way ♪

♪ Down this narrow road ♪

♪ And every step that I take ♪

♪ Brings me one step closer to You ♪

♪ Now it's a long way ♪

♪ But down the right road ♪

♪ You're healing my heartaches ♪

♪ You're healing my tears ♪

♪ You're showing me the way ♪

♪ Down this narrow road ♪

♪ And every step that I take ♪

♪ Brings me one step closer to You ♪

♪ And every step that I take ♪

♪ Brings me one step closer to You ♪

♪ One step closer to You ♪