Prodigy (2017) Script

Do you always play alone?

Challenging yourself can teach you quite a bit about who you are.

Plus, I always win.

Or lose.

A matter of perspective.

Olivia.

Lovely to see you.

And you, Jimmy.

Hmm.

No one's called me Jimmy in years.

Well, that's too bad. It suits you.

Not so sure about that these days.

Well, you'll always be Jimmy to me.

Do you have time to grab a cup of coffee?

Catch up a little?

I'm afraid we're on a tight schedule.

No time for chit-chat.

All right, just give me a moment.

How you feeling about all this?

Well, this process is a little different.

But you think you're ready?

Well, I do think I'm ready for anything at this point.

I hope so.

Wait. Pocket.

Again.

Arms up.

Yeah, I'll be getting that back, yes?

You are not to touch the subject.

Do not leave anything near the subject's hands.

If the subject makes a request, you are to seek my permission before granting the subject anything.

I, uh, I mean no offense, but, uh, is all this entirely necessary?

If you have a problem following these rules, then I suggest that you conduct your evaluation from inside the control room per my original recommendation.

No, that won't be required.

Do not, for any reason, release the subject from the restraints.

In the event the subject escapes the restraints, drop to the floor and cover your head.

Do not attempt to leave the room.

Do not attempt to re-restrain the subject.

Understood? Yeah.

Understood? Yes, understood.

Dr. Fonda.

I see you've met colonel birch.

The military is assisting in this case.

I hardly think "assisting" is a sufficient term.

Thank you for that clarification, colonel.

All right, so show me what we've got here.

This is Dr. Keaton, our director of psychiatry.

Yeah, nice to meet you, Dr. Keaton.

Always a pleasure to meet a fellow shrink.

Well, I hate to disappoint, but, uh, technically I'm a psychologist.

Oh. Oh, well, we can't all be perfect, eh?

When the light is green, you are go to zap that little fucker.

And this charming young man is Ryan mccrosky, our chief technician. Ryan, this is Dr. Fonda.

Hey.

Dr. Warner is our resident biochemistry expert.

Ah, nice to meet you, Dr. Warner.

Likewise.

It's time.

If you don't mind, colonel, I'd like to walk Dr. Fonda over myself.

Be my guest.

You'll have to excuse them.

It's my fault they've had to spend so much time in that little room.

Well, you're the boss.

All clear, agent price.

Thank you, gentlemen.

I know this all seems a bit strange, but...

Please try to go in there with an open mind.

Well, if I couldn't do that, I wouldn't be here.

Thank you, Jimmy.


Hello, Eleanor. My name is James Fonda.

I am here to... I love the sweater vest.

Well, thank you. I'm not all...

You have it all.

Worn loafers, second hand slacks, tattered briefcase.

I'm not quite sure I follow.

But the truth is in the details.

The lines on your face.

Your posture.

Distinct lack of concern with your hairstyle.

Did miss Olivia send a bargain bin find in with me?

How quaint.

You're a very observant young lady.

I assume you have experience with troubled youth.

Most likely from bad neighborhoods.

What makes you say that?

That must be challenging work.

I imagine the return rate isn't particularly high in those situations.

It must wear on you, not being able to save them.

It does, but it also makes each success that much more satisfying.

And that's so conducive to a satisfying home life, I feel, is it?

It is hard for me to imagine your loving wife allowing you out of the house in your...

Current state.

My wife?

It is, unless she isn't around anymore.

You shut her out, didn't you?

To look at you, I'd say you shut most everyone out.

Is it easier to keep them away than to risk getting hurt again?

That was quite an evaluation, Eleanor.

Don't call me Eleanor.

What should I call you?

Ellie is better.

All right.

Ellie does suit you.

Spare me your pandering.

I'm well beyond your usual trust-building exercises.

I agree, again.

Then let's skip the formalities and get straight into it, shall we?

Into what?

You are an analyst, are you not?

I am.

And you have my file?

I do.

And you've got nothing for me?

No diagnosis?

Well, perhaps I'm not as perceptive as you.

But, uh, to be honest, I haven't even read this.

Is that right?

Relax. He's bluffing.

He wouldn't go in there blind.

It ls.

Is this common practice for you?

Arriving woefully unprepared?

If I had read this, it would have colored my perception of you before we met.

Now personally, I prefer to hear from the individual in question rather than focusing on a particular problem they have or mistake they made.

Even if said individual is a maladjusted prepubescent?

All the more so with children, as they aren't usually given enough credit when it comes to expressing their own anxieties.

I was right about you.

You were right about a lot of things.

I have worked with children.

Often from rough neighborhoods, and I'm not particularly concerned with my hairstyle.

I don't believe, however, that qualifies me as a, uh, bargain bin find.

The other shrinks they brought me wore designer suits and fancy watches.

A watch is a, uh, funny device these days.

I have a friend who is obsessed with fancy watches.

Eventually, after years of hard work, he rewarded himself with one.

And it was beautiful.

But the problem was after about a week, it was nearly two minutes slow.

He wound it, set it.

Another week went by, same problem.

He was always losing time.

Yeah, my father gave me this watch a long time ago.

It's not flashy by any means.

But I'll tell you what, it's never lost a minute.

Yeah, a time piece may have aesthetic value.

At its core, though, it is a single function device.

Shiny or dull, all that matters is how well it tells the time.

And you can tell the time?

Never lost a minute.

You stand to lose more than time in here.

Well, I'm willing to take that chance if you are.

Perhaps.

But certainly not on an empty stomach.

You hungry?

Peanut butter and banana on whole wheat with chips or celery.

So specific.

I take it with apple juice.

I'll see what I can drum up.

And Jimmy?

No crust.


I assume you have the means to prepare Ellie's lunch.

Mccrosky. What the hell?

What do you think?

She's an extraordinary child.

Well, perhaps this is old hat for all of you, but you can't deny how remarkable her intellect is.

Her intellect is not what concerns me, doctor.

What does concern you?

I'm more concerned with the patient's personality disorders.

Disorders?

I think we can both agree that she suffers from a severe superiority complex.

Well, given her advanced intelligence, one might excuse some feelings of superiority.

Oh, not when it escalates to...

You really didn't read the file.

No. Like I, uh, told Ellie, I like to hear the individual's version of things first.

Professional irresponsibility aside, I think you owe it to yourself to understand the violence this patient is capable of.

Well, I trust it'll become clear in talking with Eleanor.

We would prefer that it didn't.

Man slave reporting for duty.

You told me you were ready.

And you told me you needed someone with an open mind.

Dr. Fonda, I have a lot riding on this, and I don't like the feeling that you're not taking it seriously.

Everyone has a process, Olivia.

Mine can rub people the wrong way, but it is effective.

I need you to trust me on that.

Hey, doc, celery's not gonna chop itself.

So, uh, how long do you think this is gonna take?

'Cause, uh, I got a hot date tonight, and I am, like, 85% sure that this girl is a freak, you know what I'm saying?

I'm... I'm sorry. I'm not sure I follow.

Uh, let's just say I plan on dipping into the sauce, you know?

I think what he's trying to ask is how long you think your evaluation will last.

Uh, hard to say. Ellie knows why I'm here, which, uh, complicates my approach.

How long does progress in a case like this usually take?

The walls are built high. They may prove difficult to pull down.

Well, a meal fit for a Princess.

Or a spoiled little psycho.


That looks like orange juice.

You don't like orange juice?

I said apple.

I thought we might try something different today.

Juice is juice, I suppose.

Excellent. Let me get you started here.

The situation would be much improved for everyone if I can use my hands.

I've been emphatically warned against that.

Open up now.

I suppose you are more comfortable with this?

Servant of the peasants that you are?

You seem quite fixated on socioeconomic status.

I have had enough exposure to you working-class folks to know what you are.

What are we?

A lost cause.

I don't believe you're qualified to condemn and entire class of people.

The number of dumpy towns we pass through might surprise you.

We?

My mother and I.

I see.

And your father?

No one told you?

Colonel birch is my father.

That, uh, certainly complicates things.

The good colonel wasn't around much, you see?

Sounds rough.

And you and your mother couldn't settle into any of these dumpy towns?

In spite of her deficiencies, she knew that if people understood what I was capable of, I would end up in a place like this.

She didn't want that for you.

Where is she now?

She's dead.

Oh.

I'm sorry.

Why?

Because it sounds like she loved you a lot.

I don't like that term.

"Love." it's vague, overused.

How so?

Love is the guise under which selfishness operates.

Parents only love their children so long as they maintain control over them.

And the other side of that, as a child, did you, uh, love your mother?

At one point, I was convinced the affinity I felt for her was love.

However, now I realize the Harmony our lives shared was closer to what one might share with a common house pet...

A realization that didn't make it easier when the time came to put her down.

Put her down?

That's right. You should have read your file, Jimmy.

So, you, um...

She had become more a hindrance than the catalyst at that point.

She was holding you back.

That's right.

I'm not sure I follow you.

That doesn't surprise me.

Were you ever in a place like this with her around?

I was under the impression ink blots were out of favor in your community.

A lot of people have given up on them.

Not you.

Well, you find they still hold value in certain situations.

Let's try a few.

I assumed you were beyond such rudimentary techniques.

Afraid you might not like what I see?

All right.

I'm going to hold up a card. I don't want you to think too...

I know how it works.

Right.

Looks like a dog I found on a street once.

It had been run over, its blood running into the gutter.

World war ll gas chamber, naked emaciated bodies piled high.

Ugh. What the...?

Oh, shit.

Gotta take this.

Hey, anybody else notice that sudden rise in temperature?

They're removing blackened gloves.

But it's messy. Blood everywhere.

The girl is clearly toying with him.

Yeah, what is this guy? An amateur?

Well, she wouldn't have brought him in a this point if she didn't have a good reason.

She's grasping at straws.

That one looks just like colonel birch's swollen eye.

Shit.

Oh, relax, colonel.

Just a couple of more hours and we're free.

At the rate he's moving, we're going to be here all night.

All night? Well, pull him out of there. We don't have time for this.

A pack of chimpanzees tearing the flesh off their young and eating it.

Ryan has a point, colonel.

We're moving in circles with all this.

This is agent price's little experiment, not mine.

Yeah? Well then, why doesn't she just adopt the little antichrist and let us off the hook? Give it a rest, mccrosky.

Judas hanging himself. If I miss this date, I am going to be very unpleasant to work with.

He has been disemboweled.

His intestines dangle with him.

What do you think... about all this? Car accident.

The driver has gone through the windshield.

His heart is pumping blood onto the hood.

We won't learn anything significant about the patient this way.

That one looks like a battered woman.

Actually it resembles miss Olivia.

Oh, here we go. She is bruised and scarred on her face.

She is moving forward, but I see blood running down her legs from under her skirt.

What did I miss?

It is you, Jimmy.

You are sinking into a bog of some kind.

I'm not sure you are going to make it out.

Last one? Mm-hmm.

My mother's head split down the middle.

Blood trickling down over her face.

How did I do?

There was a distinct trend in your answers.

You don't say?

It's one of the reasons I still like this test.

Even if the subject is being purposely disingenuous, patterns still arise within their responses, which shed light on certain aspects of the psyche.

This should be interesting.

The dark shapelessness of the blot often leads people to their own fears.

I see.

You, uh, specifically used the term "blood" four times in ten cards.

It was five times, actually.

Does blood frighten you?

No. What do you fear?

Only what I don't understand.

So you understand blood?

Certainly. Do you have experience with it?

A little. Human blood?

Enough to know it doesn't make me squeamish.

What about your mother's blood?

That's the obvious encounter.

Was your mother afraid of blood?

Not that I'm aware of.

Was she afraid of you?

No.

But she should have been.

She believed the mundanities cf everyday life could apply to me.

Right, wrong, good, evil.

The inventions of an inferior breed of man.

You're above all of that?

My existence is elevated, yes.

How does your, uh, current situation factor into that elevation?

My fate ends here, it always has, no matter what ideas of salvation you or anyone else may have for me.

What is it you need salvation from?

Miss Olivia.

Naughty, naughty.

Let me ask you a question, Jimmy.

What possible reason could they have for strapping a nine-year-old to a chair like this?

What is it people do when they happen upon something different?

Something they can't comprehend?

In there, they can't comprehend me, and it terrifies them.

But what if they were able to get a closer look at me?

Say at my brain chemistry?

They might be able to understand just how different I am.

And how to control me.

That warm blanket of comfort comes at a relatively small cost.

You aren't the first of your kind miss Olivia has sent in here in an ill-fated attempt to justify my existence.

However, I am fairly certain you will be the last.

Is it true?

I thought if you knew, then you...

Is it true?

It's all right, agent price.

Dr. Fonda is a smart man.

I'm sure he can see the logic in our decision.

You were going to cut that girl open?

Yes.

I don't believe it.

The patient's assertions are correct.

This mutation is something the scientific community and the world can't afford to ignore.

The only way to be thorough in such matters...

Is from the inside out.

That is worth her life?

The threat she poses far outweighs any potential benefit.

And all of you condone this?

That's right.

You must understand none of us are keen on euthanizing a minor.

Euthanasia is a method reserved for animals.

Ellie's a child.

No. My grandkids are children.

That thing in there is nothing more than a ticking time bomb.

What is she capable of that warrants this fear?

That's classified information.

Given the circumstances, I believe I have a right to know.

No. No, you don't.

Eleanor can do things...

That we've never seen before.

Things that have proven dangerous.

Dangerous enough to justify murder?

Ask her mother.

It is an extremely unfortunate situation. No one is denying it.

Each of the analysts I brought in came away with the same conclusion.

Which is? Social detachment.

Lack of empathy. Manipulative tendencies.

Girl is a sociopath.

Her intellect only amplifies her already troubling behavioral patterns.

With all that intelligence, you don't find this suspicious that she is telling us exactly what we need to hear to draw that conclusion?

How much time do I have?

The execution is tomorrow.

Jimmy? I need a minute.

Uh, this probably isn't the best time, but, uh, I need to leave in, like, 15 minutes, so...

I realize I should have been upfront with you, but I don't have time for long-winded apologies right now.

You don't have to play the boss with me.

We have been in that room day in and day out for the year trying to figure out what to make of her.

And this is what you settled on?

It's been several months since this...

Autopsy was proposed, and the others' minds are made up.

But the decision has to be unanimous.

Ellie's given me no reason for my continues support.

I can't hold them off any more.

I agreed to change my vote if they gave me one last chance to get through to her.

Me.

They don't see her for what she is anymore.

And if we don't make them see, she dies.

I'm sorry, Jimmy, but you're the best chance I had.

The guards took something from me when I came in.

I need to get it back.

Thought I lost you for a minute.

I'm not so easy to get rid of.

Do you know chess?

Are we resorting to such unorthodox analytical methods already?

Chess is my favorite game.

I thought I might teach you.

I doubt there's much of anything you could teach me.

Then you know how to play.

I found the game quite boring.

Within a week, I set speed records against a master computer.

Oh, there's your problem.

You played against a computer.

A game against a person is much more stimulating.

And I take it your vast psychological prowess gives you an advantage.

There's only one way to find out.

All right, but I'll need my hands.

Calling out the moves is easy enough.

I'll help you with the rank and file, and...

How do you expect your patient to trust you if you won't trust her?

We both know it's against the rules, Ellie.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Oh, boy.

What does he think he is doing?

Son of a bitch.

Boom goes the dynamite.

That's it. I'm shutting him down.

No, you're not.

He's gonna get himself killed.

Dr. Fonda knows what he's doing.

Actually, he doesn't. Ryan, ready the pulse.

Colonel, you don't have the authority...

If this situation becomes hostile, I do have the authority to override your command.

Ryan, the pulse. Now.

Shit just got real.


Are you waiting for something?

Oh, no. Sorry.

Here, let me move the board so we ca...

Your move.

Yes, it would appear so.

I've always found the early moves to be the most important, and they shape the face of the game.

If you say so.

You know, the computer moved instantly.

And? And I was led to believe this would be a more stimulating experience.

Uh, stimulations lies in the analysis.

Chess is not a game of speed.

Not for some, clearly.

So why you? Now? After all the stiffs?

Is this a reevaluation?

Perhaps I've, uh, graduated from the, um, bargain bin to the sales rack.

You're right.

I shouldn't risk slowing you down.

No, I think I can multitask.

You know, agent price and I were schoolmates at university. That's where...

You were schoolmates, huh?

Mm-hmm.

And that's why she was keeping such close tabs on you?

What is it you're implying?

Simply put, miss Olivia is a reasonably attractive woman for her age.

I'm sure that at university, she was quite a dish.

I can only imagine the canoodling that took place.

Eyes forward, gentlemen.

Sorry to, uh, disappoint, Eleanor, but I don't canoodle and tell.

And what would your wife think of this liaison with an old flame?

I don't think my wife would think anything of it any more.

You don't realistically expect her to return, do you?

No. That, um, that part of my life is over.

Really?

King without his queen.

Check.

Perhaps you can answer me this.

Why is it always trinkets when someone wants to hold on to the past?

My mother, she used to wear this little trinket.

What was it?

It was this inane fox pendant I made when I was very young.

And, uh, that bothered you?

It was crude. Rudimentary.

In spite of my obvious talents, it was that she insisted on displaying to the world.

Do you know why she wore it?

She told me I was very proud of the piece.

It was the only reminder I was ever just a child.

Physical manifestation of my being in a lesser from.

I doubt there was so much analysis involved.

All this ring does for me is remind me of the joy I experienced with my family.

I think she wore it to remind herself how much she loved you.

You should worry less about love and more about the hole you are in.

I don't see what hole you mean.

You must be blind. I have complete control of the board.

Just by nature's defensive game, to protect what is important, we build walls.

But I can understand how and why my opponent builds their walls up.

It gives me an advantage when I want to break them down.

At that point, what matters isn't the quantity of pieces you take, but the quality of those you do.

Check... mate.


No!

Hit the pulse, Ryan.

Wait. If that wasn't hostile, I don't know...

Look.

Another game.

No.

Afraid you might not be so lucky this time?

I'm not afraid to lose.

But if I did, I certainly hope I would do it with a bit more grace.

What the hell do you think this is? Birch!

Do you think this is a game or are you too stupid to know what's good for you, huh?

Colonel, this is unacceptable.

This son of a bitch put every single person in this compound in danger.

You call that acceptable?

This situation called for extreme action.

Disobeying a direct order is inexcusable.

Spare me your orders! No, no, no, no.

The colonel is... is right.

The rules are in place for a reason, and I violated them.

For that, I apologize.

We, uh, do, however, need drastic results, and I'm not going to get them with a set of ink blots.

I hope it was worth it.

Do you, um, have access to Ellie's mother's effects?

Yeah.

I'll need to see them.

You know, doctor, we all have to thank you.

That little stunt you pulled in there proved how volatile the patient is.

I didn't see it that way.

There's no denying the threatening nature of that outburst.

I'm sure we've all seen a child throw a temper tantrum before.

Not one that ripped a steel table clean off its bolts, no.

You only saw her reaction.

You didn't see how she played the game.

Oh, this should be good.

Please, enlighten us on what we missed.

It's small moves that determine the outcome in chess.

Ellie was in control and had the opportunity to finish me, but it meant sacrificing her queen.

She didn't make the move. She chose to protect her queen.

Okay. So the kid sucks at chess?

I believe that Ellie subconsciously linked her queen, that trinket, to the memory of her mother.

Wow. What a joke.

We don't have to stand here and listen to this bullshit. Can we call this?

It was an elementary move.

One that someone with Ellie's intellectual prowess wouldn't pass up.

Could be a mistake.

Even geniuses make mistakes.

It wasn't a mistake.

The child made several counterintuitive moves, each of which protected her queen.

Not that it validates the girl's reaction, but Dr. Fonda's proposed attachment to the piece is, well, not entirely without merit.

Thank you, doctor.

Fine, the kid loves queens. Take her to a drag show.

I have to agree. That proves nothing.

Dr. Keaton, what is the one thing a sociopath lacks?

Uh, empathy.

Attachments.

Uh-huh.

I gleaned much more from the way Ellie played the game then the way she responded to losing it.

And we're all thrilled for you, doctor.

We're talking about a threat to national security.

The girl's reaction is in line with all previous data.

That's what I'm talking about. Let's get the hell out of here.

I need more time.

We're all in agreement. Your time is up.

Hold on.

I think it's worth giving Dr. Fonda another chance.

What? You got to be kidding me.

I don't know if it will make a difference, but he has progressed much further than the others.

By risking the security of this entire compound.

I will not stand idly by and allow that to happen again.

That is not your call, colonel.

Oh, you don't think so?

I'd say that last outburst was contentious enough.

And how contentious is the situation now?

If you're gonna play that card, you better be damn sure you're able to justify it.

Let's not forget that that is a killer in there.

I'm starting to think that this may have to end in blood for you to acknowledge her as such.

Olivia, she's lost.

And she's angry.

But she is in there.

Give me time. I'll find her.

Feeling better?

We made quite a mess, didn't we?

A bit off the top, but no harm done.

Can't say the same for your file.

You know, you could be a big help if you wanted.

That might constitute a threat.

I'm beginning to understand why your wife left you.

You don't say?

Your persistence, it's intolerable.

Late nights in the slums instead of dinner at home.

That's the kind of thing that poisons a marriage.

I'm afraid we don't have time to discuss...

Correction.

You don't have time.

Must we play this game?

Children like games.

If you don't want to play, the door is right there.

I know where it is.

Hold on.

Do you see that?

It looks different from before.

It looks like your wife, yes?

She's at home, tucked into bed.

With a new man.

If you turn it this way, it's a bit more abstract.

It's your ideals, the same persistence that tore you two apart.


Work wasn't the reason my wife left.

Tell me more.

We lost a child.

Our daughter.

Several years ago.

And, uh, my wife didn't cope well with her death.

Eventually, she left.

Now we are getting somewhere.

Tell me what happened.

She was playing in the yard and was hit by a car.

Oof, damn.

Was it quick?

No. She was very strong.

And you were there, by her side?

Every day.

But you couldn't save her.

No.

And that was when you started working with children.

More so, yes.

And consequently, why you are here now.

I am here to help you, Ellie.

It isn't really about me, though.

It's about the return rate.

You think that if you can save enough of us, lt'll wash away your own pain.

It's pathetic.

Inn:

Doubt there's anything more painful than losing someone we love.

I remember combing through the events of that day a hundred times trying to make sense of it.

I was so overwhelmed by the feeling that her death was my fault.

Rightly so. She was yours to protect.

Yeah, I believed that for a long time.

It was easier for me to punish myself than to accept that I was somehow powerless.

Running from that truth...

Is what makes us believe these things.

Things that... lead us down a destructive path.

Takes a...

A different kind of courage to stop running.

To face that truth.

The pain may never go away completely.

But if you let go of the guilt, it does get better.

Did the colonel ever tell you how he got that nasty scar?

I'm not interested in...

Birch really is the epitome of what I despise in people.

So set in his antiquated ways.

He can't see he's spent his entire life marching to the beat of someone else's drum.

Sticks and stones, colonel.

When I first arrived, he was determined to be the one to access the potential locked within me.

After dozens of unsuccessful probes, his frustration ballooned.

One day, he unbound me.

Pulled out a pen just like this one.

He told me he wasn't afraid.

That he didn't believe I had any control over my power.

You don't have to do this, Ellie.

I wonder...

If he is afraid now.

Ellie?

Can you hear me?

Olivia, what's happening?

That's enough.

That was unnecessary.

It was a warning. The patient knows the rules.

Ellie, can I help you?

No, you can't. None of you can.

You pushed them, Ellie.

Now you're on their side?

Here, let... let's... Get off me!

Let me at Lea... I said get off!

That's it! 50%.


Holy shit.

I see you, colonel.

75%, mccrosky.

I don't wonder anymore.

I know you are afraid.

Give her everything. No. It'll kill her.

What is it you think she plans to do to us?

Crank it, Ryan. Don't.

Agent price is no longer in command.

Now!


You okay?

I'll live.

What happened?

She's been prepped and is awaiting transport.

Transport? Where?

But she's still here now.

Fonda-.

If I could just get a few more minutes...

I'm afraid I'm no longer the authority here.

There must be some way we can, uh, appeal to your superiors.

I have poured almost all of my professional credibility into that room.

I got to take the little I have left to walk away.

The facade was crumbling.

Doesn't matter. Not after that.

Everyone in the control room must have seen it.

If... if we were... Jimmy.

It's over.

Her mother's effects.

I'm sorry I got you caught up in all this.

I heard about your daughter.

Yeah. That was a very dark time for me.

Yet, um, every year since, I've become more convinced that it's those moments that define us.

That our struggles are...

Simply questions life asks.

At the end, all that matters is how we answer.

You're just the way I remember you.

You aren't so different yourself.

You were the boss then, too.

Why was it you, um, thought to call me?

I knew you had been working with kids ever since...

What happened.

Anyway, when all this came up, I, um...

Inn:

You found yourself in a position to help a little girl.

Yeah.

Anyway, I've spent the last year of my life throwing away everything I've worked for for nothing.

I don't know. I couldn't, um...

I couldn't just... Stand by and, um...

Let that girl die.

Maybe you won't have to.

Would you look who is up and about.

What the hell does he think he's doing?

He needs another chance.

Another chance? What's going on here?

Colonel was clear. He said nobody goes in, nobody goes out.

And where is birch now?

Now those were strict orders.

Yeah, I don't know about you, but I can't get fired again.

Fired? We're talking treason.

I'll take full responsibility. Tell him I forced you.

Do you really think he's gonna buy that?

Agent price?

I know this is hard.

Maybe we need to accept that colonel birch is doing the right thing.

We all witnessed how violently Ellie responded.

To provocation.

Does that make her any less dangerous?

I saw something before that response.

A crack in the persona Ellie has spent so much time building.

And I know both of you saw it, too.

We are sending that girl to die.

If there's even the slightest chance that she can be saved, I think it's a chance worth taking.

I just... I'm not sure we can.

Thank you.

Well, missed my date anyway.

I hope you're right about this.

Me, too.

The hour is lit, doctor.

This won't change anything.

It is worth trying.

And if you succeed, what then?

Ellie gets a chance at life.

What kind of life?

Life in a cage?

Never knowing any existence beyond isolation?

Given what humanity stands to gain, the solution is mutually beneficial.

I don't see it that way.

That's unfortunate.

I'm afraid the colonel does.

It's about time.

Eleanor.

Ever the idealist, aren't we?

I see now why miss Olivia was so keen to acquire your services, besides her obvious desire to rekindle an old flame, that is.

We don't have much time, Ellie.

Looks to me like you're already out of time.

I need you to tell me what happened to your mother.

Read the file, James. It's all there.

I want to hear it from you.

Too bad. I'm far too consumed with my own execution.

That's a shame.

I'm gonna be in big trouble for breaking in here.

So leave.

No, I'll just, uh, wait.

You know, maybe birch will let me accompany you.

You know he won't.

What ls it you want to know?

Just what happened.

I killed her...

In cold blood.

That doesn't seem logical.

She was the person who cared for you most.

There's your problem.

Your perspective is clouded by the cumbersome weight of emotion, without which, my logic is perfectly sound.

What the hell is going on here?

Colonel, it was my call.

I will personally see to it that you burn for this.

That's fine. This isn't about me or you.

I need three men and a ram now.

Colonel, please just let him have a chance... - Enough! Sit down.

What do you mean? Or what?

Or you will have a much less comfortable seat for the remainder of this demonstration.

I don't think I can get into your head if I wanted to.

Maybe you think you can change things around.

Until you get the results you seek.

This is over. Ryan, hit her with a pulse.

No. That is just not true.

Excuse me?

It's still charging from the power overload.

How long?

Uh, three minutes. - You still have yet to tell me what you do think.

I think you're lying, Ellie.

To me, to everyone else.

To yourself.

Is that your diagnosis?

That I'm a liar?

No. I think you're lying because you feel guilty.

I think you loved your mother very much.

Back to love again, are we?

It must be easy to hide behind an intellect so powerful.

I'm not hiding.

How did it happen?

I told you.

Was it an accident?

Like with me earlier?

No. I murdered her.

I meant to do it, and I'd do it again.

All so you would end up here?

Correct.

So you killed her in insure your own death.

My actions simply expedited the inevitable.

Then why not take care of it yourself?

Deny them the pleasure of cutting you open.

You'd prefer I had?

No, but it would have made more sense given your, uh, self-destructive agenda.

You must have known this process would involve a great deal of deliberation.

There was no rush.

So you were resolved to suffer through the psychological scrutiny.

I wasn't going to deny myself a last vestige of fun.

Maybe you thought one of these experts could help you.

I assure you that thought never crossed my mind.

Were you afraid?

Of what?

Behind all your understanding, is there no fear of your own mortality?

I'm not afraid to die.

I believe you.

I think you're afraid to live with yourself...

After what happened.

I'm not afraid of anything.

One minute.

Colonel?

When it's hot, you fire up. - You can't afford to keep doing this, Ellie.

Neither of us have the time.

Finally. Something we can agree on.

Time's up.

You have everyone fooled, Ellie.

But when I lock at you, I still see a scared little girl.

Then you are blind.

This numbness, this anxiousness to hurt yourself, all feelings we experience in times of trauma.

Like losing someone you love.

I've heard enough about love.

You have given in.

You let guilt turn your wonderful gifts against you.

I said enough.

Do you miss her?

You still wake up in the night, don't you?

Shut up. Do you call out to her?

Shut up! - You're still expecting she'll come and hold you.

Shut up!

Do it.

What are you waiting for?

I... can't.

It's her.

What if you can't tell the time?

After all, what if my disdain for humanity's inferior existence was becoming too much for me...

And my self-destruction was an act of mercy?

What if your provocation backfires and convinces me to turn on both sides?

To become the monster they would so like me to be?

You decide what you become.

Where did you get that?


Clear! Move in!

It was my fault.

I didn't mean it.

I know.

I know. It was an accident.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.


It's all right, Ellie.

Everything is gonna be all right.


Check.

I only have so much time away from the facility.

I'd prefer to make the most of it.

Chess is not a game of speed.

So I've heard.

Perhaps you could benefit from a little practice in your free time.

Free time?

Dr. Werner isn't working you too hard, I hope.

He's having trouble keeping up.

How's agent price?

Pardon?

I haven't seen her around.

I thought maybe you had.

She's, um, she's fine.

I'll give her your regards.

Careful, doctor, you're slipping.

I'm not so sure about that.

Check.