A Christmas Mystery (2022) Movie Script

[woman] Let me tell you
the tale of Jimmy Stubbins
and the golden jingle bells.
It all began 100 years ago
when the small town of
Pleasant Bay
fell on hard times.
A drought caused
the local river to run dry,
which shut down
the lumber mill,
putting most of the townsfolk
out of work.
Spirits were down
that Christmas Eve.
Kids like Jimmy Stubbins
went to sleep
with little hope
of getting any presents.
[thuds, bells chiming]
[footsteps continue]
Through his sleepy eyes,
he saw something
that had dropped from the sky.
[soft instrumental
music playing]
Golden jingle bells
from Santa's sleigh.
As Jimmy took the bells
in his hands
and felt their magic,
he wished with all his heart
for the mill to reopen
so the town could get back
on its feet.
When he awoke
on Christmas morning,
there he saw
a present under the tree.
[bells chiming]
And, to his delight,
the strip of jingle bells
still lay by his bedside.
Mom, Dad, come quick.
[woman] It wasn't a dream.
Look. Merry Christmas.
[knock on door]
[man] Shane, Judy.
Are you awake?
[woman] A neighbor
appeared at their door...
Have you heard?
[woman] The river was flowing,
and the mill was reopening.
The townsfolk were
all getting their jobs back.
Jimmy knew his wish
had been granted.
[Jimmy] My wish came true.
These bells must be magical!
Wh... what are these bells?
I was sleeping,
and then I heard Santa
on the roof,
and then his sleigh was flying
away, and then his reindeer...
[woman] The story of
the golden jingle bells
spread quickly.
The bells were put on display
at the lumber mill
and became the town's
good luck charm.
People started coming
to Pleasant Bay
from miles around
to see the bells and deliver
their own Christmas wishes.
The bells became
a symbol of hope
for all who came to see them.
They were soon given a home
in the town's museum,
and every year
on Christmas Eve,
the town held a
Ringing of the Bells ceremony.
[Santa] Ho, ho, ho!
Merry Christmas!
[woman] As more and more people
came to see the bells
and make their wishes...
Pleasant Bay and its people
began to flourish.
And since that Christmas,
Pleasant Bay has had 100 years
of prosperity and peace.
Some people say
it's just coincidence,
but true believers know
it's all because
of the golden jingle bells.
[man] Fiona!
There's customers waiting
for you at the gift shop.
I'm sorry, Mr. Martin. I...
I just love telling the story
of the bells.
I can take it from here.
[exhales softly]
This year marks
the 100th anniversary
of Jimmy Stubbins
finding the bells.
So, this should be the biggest
Ringing of the Bells ever!
That's why people
come to our town,
to see the bells
and to make
their Christmas wish.
Okay, are there any questions?
Yes, Violet,
what's your question?
How can Santa's sleigh
still fly when
he's missing the bells?
[chuckles] I'm sure Santa
has plenty of other bells.
Does he know
these bells are here?
Yes, he does.
And he's very happy about it.
These bells have brought
so much good fortune
to Pleasant Bay.
How can those be Santa's bells
when there's no such thing
as Santa?
Reggie, of course
there's really a Santa.
Right, Mr. Martin?
Absolutely, young lady.
-Naughty list.
There will always be
But don't let them rob you
of your Christmas spirit.
Christmas is a time of goodwill
towards all men,
and women, people, in general.
Good tidings to all the people.
All right, kids,
feel free to look around
the rest of the museum.
-[girl] Let's go look
at the old fire truck.
-Let's go over there.
What do you think that was for?
Probably for reaching
into your butt.
[Glenn] Where did I...
Are you okay, Mr. Martin?
Uh... Yeah, uh, just seem to
have misplaced my glasses.
You put 'em in your coat pocket
when you were yelling at Fiona.
[scoffs] You mean,
passion, maybe, but not... No.
I never put my gla... Oh...
Hey now. [chuckles]
Thank you, Violet.
[George] Hey, what are
you kids doing?
-[chuckles] Hey, buddy.
-Hi, Mr. Bottoms.
-Hey, Violet. How are ya?
You guys enjoying your visit?
Listen, I was thinkin'
since you don't have
school tomorrow,
why don't we make it
a boys' night tonight?
Oh! Can we make popcorn
and watch The Batman?
Uh, I was thinking of something
a little more Christmassy.
Uh... how about Elf?
I love it when he eats
his spaghetti with syrup.
-It's so gross!
-That is so funny. [laughs]
Hey, I was looking at that.
[boy] Reggie, give it back.
Come on.
[Reggie] You want it?
Come, get it.
-Hey, be... be careful.
-[boy] Quit being a jerk.
-[Glenn] Boys, stop that.
-[suspenseful music playing]
-[dramatic music playing]
-[Reggie] Whoa...
[dramatic music intensifies]
[George grunts]
[lilting music playing]
[exhales heavily]
[Violet whispering] Oh, my God,
did you see that?
It almost fell on his head.
[panting] You all right?
Everything's fine.
No one's hurt. Right?
Yes. Thank you.
Did, uh... did that happen
because I didn't
believe in Santa?
Lucky for you, I do.
[clicks tongue]
Okay, 20 more minutes, kids,
then the bus will be taking you
back to school.
Thank God.
-[bell ringing]
-[upbeat song playing]
Pumpkin pie's for Thanksgiving.
Pecan pie is for Christmas.
Pumpkin pie is for both.
It doesn't make any sense.
The same pie shouldn't
get two holidays.
Oh, wanna go sledding
over break?
Do you even have to ask?
My dad said that
there's snow up
on Table Mountain.
Maybe he could take us one day.
[Harrison] Kenny!
Come on. Mom said
I have to walk you home today.
[Kenny] I can walk with Violet.
No, sorry.
I'm going to the station.
Hey, Harrison.
Uh, any plans for the break?
Not really.
Yeah, me neither.
Um, I'll probably just
be hanging out at home.
Okay, um, good...
good talk.
Violet, come on, let's go.
-See you later, skater.
-Catch you soon, baboon.
You wanna hear
about our science project?
We're gonna get up
early tomorrow
and walk all over town
and look for leaves.
[upbeat song continues]
Why am I going
to the station today,
and what are you doing
that's so important?
It's none of your business.
[upbeat music playing
on car stereo]
You're going to Patty's house
to work on the Student Council
Santagram fundraiser.
You have art supplies
sticking out
of your backpack,
and you put on lip gloss
in case Patty's brother
is there.
Why can't you just act like
a normal 11-year-old?
[Violet chuckling]
Have fun at Patty's!
Hi, Sam.
Hey, Violet.
Hey, Deputy Terry.
Deputy Violet in da house.
-Ooh! Can I have one of these?
Uh-uh! Not before dinner.
[Terry] Oh, bummer.
[Sam] Pleasant Bay
Sheriff's office.
How can I help you?
[mouthing] Thank you.
[exhales sharply]
Hey, you.
Hi, Dad.
Oh, what you got there?
Science project
for winter break.
We're learning all about
the flora in Pleasant Bay.
We gotta find as many leaves
as possible.
Well, that sounds intriguing.
Oh, hey. Guess what?
We had a 10-90 today.
A 10-90?
-A bank alarm?
Someone robbed a bank
in Pleasant Bay?
No, no, no.
It's just a wiring glitch.
False alarm.
Oh, man. Nothing exciting
ever happens around here.
Hey, that's exactly
the way we like it.
Isn't that right, Terry?
That's right, Sheriff.
[soft instrumental
music playing]
[Margaret] Okay, coming at ya
fresh out the oven.
[Kenny] Ooh! Smells good, Mom.
Go ahead and dig in.
I have to get to work.
Not at the table.
Aren't we waiting for Dad?
I'm starving.
Can we just start?
We can do both.
You should have seen Dad
at the museum today.
He was all, like, flying ninja.
He saved a boy's life today.
Even though it was Reggie,
who is kind of a jerk.
Oh, wow,
I would like to see that.
All in a day's work.
[Margaret chuckles]
The car took three tries
to start last night.
[sighs] Okay.
I'm picking up
some extra shifts
at the school over break
so I can use that money
to pay for the car.
I gotta get going.
[clears throat]
Well, we are set
because we are having...
[in sing-song voice]
...boys night.
You wanna watch Elf
with us tonight, Harrison?
I'm going to Doug's
after dinner.
He's too cool for us.
Hey, did you know
they are doing some
basketball tournaments
at the school over break?
We should check out
a game, huh?
We should?
You know, I was
a basketball coach here
before I moved to Portland
and met your mom,
and fell madly in love.
Yeah, we know.
We do?
State champs one year
or something.
Well, regional champs,
but still...
it was a big deal back then.
That's cool.
Well, don't keep this one up
too late... [kisses]
-I won't. [chuckles]
-...Regional champ.
-Love you.
-Love you, Mom.
-[George] Salad?
Someone's an angry elf.
[George] You are.
[Kenny laughs]
[Christmas song playing]
I'd like
Just one-fashioned Christmas
[whistling tune]
Just like my daddy
Treasured so
[continues whistling]
A tree with
Old-fashioned trimmings...
[ominous music playing]
[Maddie] Dad?
Where's Dad?
He got a call. He had to go in.
I made you some extra eggs,
if you want some.
[sighs sharply] I really
need to teach you
how to make coffee.
You should always
start your day
with a healthy breakfast.
And you should always start
your day leaving me alone.
[doorbell rings]
That's Kenny.
We have
a science project to do.
On the first day of break?
Hey, you want some eggs?
Do we have this one yet?
That's an Acer macrophyllum.
-A what?
-A Bigleaf Maple.
Good find.
You're a great partner.
We should ride our bikes
to Rec Park.
They planted Pacific Dogwoods
back in 19...
Why is my dad at the museum?
[suspenseful music playing]
[police radio chatter]
[camera shutter clicking]
No sign of forced entry?
[Terry] Nothing.
They must've had a key.
What about the alarm system
and the cameras?
It's all wired
to the main circuit.
Somebody cut the power.
They must have known
where the circuit breaker was.
And where is that?
It's outside, in the back,
by the meter.
They would have to have a key
for that, too.
Hey, Sam,
check the circuit breaker.
See if it was forced open,
and dust for prints.
Roger that.
This way.
Sorry, kids,
we're closed today.
Hey, you two
shouldn't be in here.
[door creaks]
Dad, what's going on?
Somebody stole the bells.
[sighs wearily]
I thought you secured the door.
-Sorry, boss.
-Yeah, put some tape outside.
We don't need anybody else
wandering in here.
On it.
[Pierce sighs]
Dad, stop.
What in the world happened here
last night?
[Pierce] No, Mayor Donovan,
you can't walk around in here.
This is an active crime scene.
So it's true,
the bells are gone.
Uh, yeah. It would seem so.
The Ringing of the Bells
is in three days.
You can't have
a Ringing of the Bells
with no bells.
It's right in the name.
We're gonna do everything
we can to find the bells
as quickly as possible.
Yeah, and just before
the election. Great.
My last accomplishment
in the office will be losing
the town's pride and joy.
No one's gonna blame you, Dad.
How could you let this happen?
we really need to get back
to work. So, Deputy Terry,
could you please help
the Mayor delicately
out of our crime scene?
Yeah. Come on, Dad.
Yeah, maybe my last
accomplishment in office
should be appointing
a new sheriff.
Three days before Christmas.
I can't believe it.
[Terry] Don't worry, Dad.
The sheriff,
he's got it handled.
You two need to go.
-But, Dad...
-I can't give you guys
special treatment.
Not with the Mayor
breathing down my neck.
[Sam] The circuit breaker
wasn't forced open.
They must have had
a key to that, too.
Who has a key besides you?
Just one other person.
Your next-door neighbor.
Hey, George.
Hey, Grant.
Terry, Sam.
What's going on?
Look, you mind if we ask you
a few questions?
Yeah. Yeah, sure. No problem.
Come on in.
Hey, uh... do me a favor.
Check my security camera
footage from last night.
Might have caught something.
[Maddie] What is going on?
I think Mr. Bottoms
is in trouble.
So, what time did you leave
the museum?
Glenn and I both left
about 6:45 or so.
And where'd you go?
Here. Home.
Harrison and Kenny
and I had dinner. Boys night.
Oh. Not Margaret?
No. She had picked up
a swing shift at the diner.
She didn't get back
till after 2:00.
And did you stay here all night
after that?
Yeah, I did.
You have your museum keys
on you?
Yeah. Right there
on the counter.
What about the high school?
You still picking up
custodial shifts there?
-Yeah. Mostly on the weekends.
-[Terry] Sheriff.
I have something
you need to see.
This is the video feed
from your site security camera
last night.
1:12 a.m.
You mind if the deputies
look around a little bit?
Um, no.
Is your garage locked?
Side door's open.
What are you looking for,
The bells, George.
Somebody stole 'em last night.
And you think they're here?
[Terry] I'll check this side.
[Violet] What's going on?
I think they're in the garage.
Why are they in the garage?
There's nothing in there.
It's just my grandma's
old stuff.
[Sam] Terry, over here.
[soft suspenseful music plays]
This is 'cause of
my previous arrest, isn't it?
Well, it was for theft,
wasn't it?
I got in with the wrong people.
I made a mistake. Okay?
What's going on?
Nothin', Harrison.
Just go back to your room.
Dad, what did you do?
I didn't...
I didn't do anything. Okay?
Just, please go back
to your room.
[Terry] Sheriff?
Found this tucked between
a few boxes in the garage.
What... How did...
I don't know how that got here.
You gotta believe me,
I have no idea
how that got in my garage.
Where are the bells, George?
I don't know! I told you.
Grant, come on, listen to me.
Why would I steal the bells?
You know me.
George Bottoms...
-Wait a minute. Guys...
-...you're under arrest.
I swear.
Hey, it's okay, buddy.
It's just a misunderstanding,
is all.
It's gonna be fine.
-Kenny, no.
-Let go of me!
Kenny, wait! No.
[Kenny] Why are they
taking Dad away?
Because he hasn't changed.
Let me know
if you find anything.
You got it.
We can't go in the house
while they search it.
I called Mom at the diner.
She's gonna come get us
to go to the station.
Why don't you just have her
meet you there?
I can drive you guys.
Okay. Thank you.
Yeah. Let me get my keys.
[Harrison] Let's go.
[keyboard clacking]
[Sam] Yeah, that's...
pretty hard evidence.
-[footsteps approaching]
-[Kenny] Dad.
Hey. Hey, buddy.
[groans softly]
Dad, no. Not Mr. Bottoms.
What are you guys doing here?
We gave Harrison and Kenny
a ride.
Your father didn't do this.
How do you know that?
I did not take those bells.
Someone sure is trying
to make it look like I did.
you gotta trust me.
Yeah, right.
Let him go.
I know this is hard on him.
This is hard on all of us.
I believe you, Dad.
[sighs in relief]
What's that?
It's not good for Mr. Bottoms.
Sorry, Kenny.
Come on.
Listen to me.
It's gonna be okay.
I'm gonna figure out
a way outta this.
-I love you, Dad.
-I love you too, kiddo.
[Pierce] Come on, George.
It's time.
Look, I'm sorry, George.
I have to follow the evidence.
Another Christmas
without my dad.
I know what it's like to have
Christmas without one of
your parents. It sucks.
My dad didn't do this, Violet.
You are the smartest person
I know.
You have to help us.
-'Night, guys.
-All right, good night.
There we go. [sighs sharply]
I have a Christmas wish.
Oh, yeah? What is it?
I want Mr. Bottoms
to be home with Kenny
for Christmas morning.
Oh, Violet...
I don't think Santa
can help with this.
If the bells
are really magical,
then it'll happen.
You know,
I wish it were that simple.
Sheriff Pierce signing off.
Deputy Violet signing off.
I love you.
Love you, too.
Did you find the bells
at the Bottoms house?
No. No, we searched everywhere
they weren't there.
Doesn't it seem weird
that the case would be
at the Bottoms house,
but not the bells?
Yeah, but maybe he already
did something with them.
Then why would
he keep evidence that would
make him look guilty?
[sighs] I don't know.
I want to help.
With what? Mr. Bottoms' case?
I can do something.
I don't want to just sit around
and wait for someone
to solve the problem.
Well, that someone would be me
because that is my job.
You think it was Mr. Bottoms,
but I don't believe
that he would do this.
I know that he's Kenny's dad,
but sometimes money makes
good people do bad things.
Those bells are valuable.
Just get some rest, okay?
[mysterious music playing]
[doorbell dings]
Got any eggs?
Get in here.
[Violet] Means. Motive.
And what is that?
This is what my dad
does at work.
He makes a board for a case
and then puts pictures on it
and things.
It's how he decides
on possible suspects.
So, for your dad...
Means. He had keys.
The bells are worth money.
His only alibi is that
he was home
sleeping last night.
He could have
snuck out of the house
while you guys were asleep.
How do you know
how to do all this?
I've learned a lot
sitting at the police station
doing my homework.
What can we do?
We have to find another person
who has all three
of these things.
Then we'll have
another suspect.
Well, who else
could be a suspect?
I have one idea.
Are we gonna need
detective stuff?
[upbeat music playing]
I think it's closed.
Mr. Martin's car is here.
[door creaking]
[suspenseful music playing]
Sure is quiet in here.
Let's check it out.
[whispers] Wait for me.
He's probably in his office.
Wait here. I'll be right back.
[suspenseful music playing]
Mr. Martin?
I'm sorry.
We were closed today.
I just wanted to ask you
a couple of questions.
[exhales sharply]
I only have a moment.
Why do you think Mr. Bottoms
would have stolen the bells?
Oh, I'm still hoping
it wasn't him.
He has been
a wonderful addition
to the staff this year.
But it would probably be
for the money, right?
It usually is. Yes.
What is the museum's
donation money used for?
Just, general upkeep
of the museum, mostly.
Old buildings like these,
they're full of surprises.
If Mr. Bottoms was stealing
the bells for money,
why wouldn't he take
the donation money, too?
[suspenseful music playing]
[cell phone ringing]
[clears throat]
Ah. I really have to take this,
and then I have to lock up.
So, bye, Violet. Sorry.
Hold on just a...
Thank you for your time,
Mr. Martin.
Bye, bye now.
[Mr. Martin clears throat]
I handled the shoplifting call
at the M and M market.
Where's Sam?
Oh, she's out looking into
who vandalized Carl's garage.
What do you think's going on,
I've never seen
so much crime here before.
I know the town needs
its Christmas spirit back.
We need to find these bells.
What's the latest
on the pawn shops
and the jewelry stores?
No hits yet.
All right, well, stay on it.
Go into overtime
if you have to.
Sam as well.
Uh, my Dad...
Uh, Mayor Donovan wants to hold
a press conference today.
About the bells. At noon.
I can run point
for the department.
No, no, I have to be there.
This is too important
for your dad and the town.
Yes, sir. I understand.
Why don't you come, too?
[sighs wearily]
[Violet] Means.
Who else has a key
to the museum?
Mr. Martin, obviously.
And he was acting
kind of funny.
What's the second "M" again?
Motive. Most likely money.
Sometimes money makes
good people do bad things.
Why does he need money?
That's what we need
to find out.
[cell phone rings]
I counted the money.
It's a good haul.
Oh, you don't need
to do that.
I can meet you somewhere
about halfway.
How about the pier?
I'm on my way, okay?
He's going to the pier.
We gotta beat him there.
How are we gonna do that?
He's got a dozen stoplights
to get through.
If we take the footbridge,
we can get there first.
[Kenny groans]
-[Violet] Come on, Kenny!
[tense music playing]
[Kenny] Whoa!
Slow down!
This way, Kenny.
[Kenny] Look both ways!
Not the stairs.
[Violet] You got this!
[tense music continues]
[Kenny grunting]
[tires screech]
There's his car.
[tense music continues]
[Violet] We're almost there.
Pedestrians ahead!
Hey! Watch out!
Merry Christmas!
[Mr. Martin] Barbara.
How are you?
That's not Mrs. Martin.
-Well, guess what?
We did really well this year.
Yeah, the donations
were through the roof.
[speaking imperceptibly]
[Kenny] What's that?
[Violet] It's the museum's
donation money.
Well, now
we're never gonna know
where the money's gone.
We can use the police computers
to look up her license plate.
That doesn't sound legal.
That's why we're not
going to tell anybody.
[crowd clamoring]
[man] Mayor.
Where is the bell?
-Guys, guys, guys, please.
Please, I...
-[woman] Mayor!
There's never been
this many reporters before.
-Hold on a second, please.
I can't hear
the lady's question.
Yes, ma'am?
Are you going to cancel
the Ringing of the Bells
Absolutely not!
The great town of Pleasant Bay
represents the joy and spirit
of Christmas.
Not without the bells.
[all] Yeah!
That's the whole reason
everyone comes.
-Yes, I...
-If no one's here
on Christmas Eve,
my bakery's out a lot of money.
Yes, I understand.
I've had 15 cancellations
at my hotel
in the last 24 hours, Mayor.
The bells are
the key to everything.
Yes, yes.
Friends, friends.
Keep that Pleasant Bay
spirit up.
Stay hopeful,
because in this town
we believe in Christmas spirit,
don't we?
-[scattered cheering]
-And we believe... Yes!
And we believe in the bells.
This is great publicity
for the mayor.
This is horrible publicity
for the mayor.
But not if the bells are found
before Christmas Eve.
Then he would be a hero,
and get a lot of attention.
And with the election
coming up...
that's motive.
And we believe
that our fine police force
will find our bells
before Christmas Eve.
Wait, but what about
Mr. Martin?
We can't just focus
on one suspect, Kenny.
That's the mistake my dad
is making with your dad.
But what if you don't find
the bells before Christmas?
-[others] Yeah!
-Or ever?
We have Sheriff Pierce
on the case.
He has promised me
that he will return the bells
to their rightful place.
Am I right, Sheriff?
[Violet] Right now...
these are our suspects.
[Maddie] Suspects?
you don't seriously think
you can solve this case,
do you?
Why not?
I mean, for starters,
you still sleep
with a stuffed animal.
I already have
two new suspects.
She's trying to get my dad home
before Christmas.
And that's in two days, Maddie.
Kenny, I'm...
I'm really sorry
about your dad.
I hope it's all just
a misunderstanding.
Can you drive me and Kenny
to the police station?
I just got home.
Kenny's mom is there
visiting his dad.
Kenny wants to go, too.
Uh, yeah.
Could you, please?
I'll take you.
You don't... um...
you don't think your brother
would want to go, do you?
Um, I don't think so.
He's kinda mad
about all of this.
He's been moping around
the house all day.
Of course. Um...
Okay, grab your stuff.
All right, here you go.
[Violet] Thank you, Maddie.
[Maddie] You're welcome.
If you're going to check in
on Harrison, your lip gloss
is in the glove box.
All the business owners
are calling my office
worried no one will come
to the celebration
if the bells aren't found
before Christmas Eve.
I know, Dad.
I'm sorry about that.
They'll be found.
Now, how can you be
so sure about that, Violet?
The bells mean everything
to Pleasant Bay.
No one is going to rest
until the bells are back
where they belong.
[chuckles] Maybe I should make
this girl the new sheriff.
She's the only one
with any determination
around here.
We're doing the best we can.
Yeah, well, if your best
doesn't include
finding the bells,
it's not enough.
[Sam] Sheriff's department.
He's out right now.
I can take a message.
Your dad's out on a call,
I just came with Kenny.
He wants to see his dad.
Is that okay?
Oh, yeah. Yeah, of course.
Come on, Kenny.
Your mom's already back there.
I'm just gonna wait
in my dad's office.
[suspenseful music playing]
Business is down at the diner
since those bells were stolen.
People's moods are, too.
[sighs] Well...
gotta keep up hope.
How are you holding up, son?
I'm okay, Dad.
Um, Violet's helping, too.
She's really smart.
[chuckles softly]
Well, thank you, Kenny.
And you make sure
you tell Violet
I really appreciate it.
And, uh...
tell Harrison
I really miss him.
Password. Mom's birthday.
[stealthy instrumental
music playing]
[Sam] Sheriff's department.
Okay, tell me what happened.
Yes, as soon as he gets back.
I'll let the sheriff know.
[tense music playing]
[Violet] Come on. Come on.
Hey, what you doing?
I was just looking up something
for my project.
-On the police database?
I just had an idea
who might have stolen
the bells.
We're pretty sure we know
who stole the bells.
I just want to look up
a license plate number.
Does your dad know
you're doing this?
I don't like the idea of you
keeping secrets from your dad.
I just don't want to worry him.
Well, little kids
aren't allowed
on the police database.
But police officers are.
Are you a police officer?
No, but you are.
All right. You're gonna
have to tell me a lot more
if you want my help.
Fine. I'll tell you everything.
But you have to promise
you'll help me.
Do you maybe
wanna talk about anything?
You don't have to be
nice to me, you know.
I'm not just being nice.
I thought you might
need a friend.
[slow instrumental
music playing]
I guess that doesn't
sound so bad.
Do you really think that
your dad could have done this?
He's stolen before.
That's why he was in jail.
What did he steal?
Well, nothing, really.
He stole nothing
and went to jail?
He worked in a huge warehouse,
and someone recruited him
to make a delivery
for a few extra bucks.
The truck was
full of stolen goods.
Oh, no.
Yeah. He swears
he knew nothing about it.
You don't believe that?
All I know is, we spent
eight months without him
while he was in jail,
and everyone at school
looked at me like
I was the son of a criminal.
-I'm sorry.
-[softly] Yeah.
My dad grew up here,
so we moved here from Portland
when he got out, you know?
Start fresh.
My grandma had left us
this place.
Yeah, I remember her.
I'm really sorry
about her passing,
but I'm also really glad
that you got a chance
to have a fresh start.
Now I'm the son
of a criminal again.
I just can't get away from it.
Is that why you're not
on social media?
You tried to look me up?
[clicks tongue]
Can you at least
tell me her name?
No, Violet. I already looked up
the license plate number
like you asked.
Now you have to do
the rest of this
on my terms.
Are these cupcakes?
They were cupcakes.
Sorry. Meant to throw
that away.
It's not usually
such a mess in here.
Is that a London plane leaf?
Can I have this?
The leaf?
Yeah. It's for
a science project.
Sure. You can have the leaf.
I don't currently
have any plans for it.
[Maddie] My gosh.
What, the tins?
Yeah, um, my mom,
she used to collect
this kind of stuff.
This one is
in pretty good condition.
What happened to your mom?
Most people get
kind of uncomfortable
talking about my mom.
I'd like to hear about her.
Well, um...
she was an amazing person.
She was so funny. [chuckles]
she would do
these little voices
when she would tell us
bedtime stories.
And she actually made Violet
pee her pants one time.
Poor Violet.
Yeah, no, it wasn't Violet.
-She made me pee my pants
one time.
[Maddie] Um...
The, um...
The cancer...
[melancholy music playing]
...came on...
pretty quick.
And then one day...
she was just gone.
[breath trembling]
How did Violet take it?
She was so little.
I have no idea
how she processed it.
How did you process it?
[sobbing] Maybe
I haven't yet, either.
[sniffing] I... I still wake up
and I walk into her kitchen
hoping she'll be there, so...
My dad chose
not to be in our kitchen.
I really wish
you didn't think like that.
How can you have
a relationship with him if you
spend every day blaming him?
Take it from me.
One day, it'll be too late.
The Ashton Home?
That's what came up
when I searched
the license plate.
Mr. Martin is stealing money
for a children's home?
Stealing? Uh...
Um, our newest deputy here
saw you giving some money
to a woman
from the Ashton Home.
Yes, I did.
See? I told you. He lied to me.
That was our
Christmas donation.
For presents,
for the children at the home.
Presents for children?
Not much of a crime.
But he...
You told me the donation money
was for museum upkeep.
It is.
Then why were you giving it
to the Ashton Home?
Oh. Those were
our December donations.
Everything from
the first three weeks
in December
goes to the children's home.
But he said...
What about the bells?
-The bells?
-You have a key to the museum.
You could have taken the bells
that night as easily
as Mr. Bottoms.
I was at
the Spirit River Casino
all night...
Did anyone see you there?
A lot of people
saw him there, Violet.
Cameras, too.
We already checked his alibi
for that time.
[Pierce] Yeah.
I did that.
This is why 11-year-olds
shouldn't be running
police investigations.
You called my dad?
It's for your own good, Violet.
You shouldn't be interfering
with this, Violet.
-Dad, I...
-You're just a kid.
I can still help.
But you're not helping.
You're taking me away
from the actual investigation.
Mom would have thought
I could help.
She wouldn't just see me
as some dumb kid.
We've had a rough day.
[knock on door]
You okay?
I'm fine.
I just wish I could have got
Mr. Bottoms home for Christmas.
Is this about something else?
[breath trembling]
I wish Mom was here.
She is.
She's in you.
She's in me.
She's part of everything
that we do.
Why didn't anyone save her?
Mom didn't die because
we didn't do enough.
Everyone did everything
that they could.
I wish I could have saved her.
Oh, Vi.
You couldn't have.
You know that
getting Mr. Bottoms home
for Christmas...
it won't bring Mom home
for Christmas.
I had to at least try.
But you can't go around
accusing other people, Vi.
Not without real proof.
[Maddie sniffles]
You know,
the best thing about you,
it isn't your big brain...
it's your big, giant heart.
I love you, Maddie.
I love you, too.
[whimsical music playing]
A little late, Terry.
I didn't get home
till after midnight last night.
Well, it's not
letting up out there.
There is a list on your desk.
All right.
We're shorthanded right now.
We'll get somebody on it.
Deputy Violet.
In the house.
Hi, Terry.
Maddie was busy this morning.
She should be here any minute
to get me, though.
Always happy to have you here.
You still mad at me?
I get why you called my dad.
It's fine. I'm done
investigating anyways.
Don't worry.
We're gonna solve this case.
I just wanna say bye
to Mr. Bottoms.
No problem.
Hey, Mr. Bottoms.
How are you doing?
Hey, Violet.
I'm okay.
All things considered.
Maggie brought me
a change of clothes,
which was nice.
I hear you're on the case.
I was, but Deputy Terry
ratted me out.
[sighs] Oh, Terry.
How long have you known him?
I knew him from back
in my basketball coaching days.
His dad asked me
to make him an assistant coach.
Instill some discipline.
How'd that go?
Not good.
I had to fire him.
He wasn't too happy about that.
Neither was his dad.
You know, the mayor
is pretty hard on him.
But look at him now.
I guess it worked out.
Look at him now?
The mayor asked my dad
to give him this job, too.
-That's the reason
he works here.
I guess it's all about
who you know, isn't it?
I guess.
Bye, Mr. Bottoms.
Bye, Violet.
[suspenseful music playing]
[music increases in tempo]
Mr. Bottoms,
do you own any white sneakers?
White sneakers? No.
Pretty much,
these are my work boots.
It's all I ever wear. Why?
I think I might have to reopen
your case.
[tense music playing]
Maddie, I think
I found some proof.
Violet Pierce, I thought
you were done with this.
I was wrong about Glenn Martin,
but this is the real thing.
If there's anything we can do
to help Mr. Bottoms,
shouldn't we at least try?
Buckle your seat belt.
Do you think Harrison
would be willing
to look at this?
What are we looking at?
This is our home security
footage my dad had
on his computer.
It sees over the fence,
into your yard.
They think that's your dad
going into the garage.
That's why they searched there.
It could be.
[Violet] But look.
You can't actually see him
go in or out of the house,
from this angle.
[Harrison] Yeah,
but look at this.
What is that?
That looks like it could be
the logo from the museum.
It's on all of our dad's
work shirts and jackets.
But how many does he have?
I don't know. A couple.
He does keep one at work.
What about this?
Whoever took the bells
also took a jacket
from the museum
so they would look
like your dad.
Then he could have put it
right back when he was done.
That's a stretch.
Violet, we can barely see
anything in this video.
It's too grainy and dark.
[Violet] But we can see this.
Look at his shoes.
White sneakers
with two stripes.
[Maddie] Violet,
a lot of people
own white sneakers.
Yeah, but my dad doesn't.
He hates how white shoes
get dirty so fast.
But do you know
who does own white sneakers
with two stripes,
just like those?
Deputy Terry.
You think Deputy Terry
stole the bells?
[dramatic music plays]
[Violet] I think
he has an old grudge
with Mr. Bottoms.
I had to fire him.
He wasn't too happy about that.
He went out of his way
to stop me from looking
into other suspects.
Terry knows
all the details of the case
and everyone involved.
He's been to my house,
he knows about
the security cameras.
He could have been messing
with Dad's investigation
this whole time.
But why would Terry
steal the bells? For money?
For attention.
If Deputy Terry finds the bells
right before Christmas Eve,
he's going to be the town hero.
That's his motive.
She's good.
So do we tell your dad?
After what happened with
Mr. Martin at the museum,
we need actual proof.
Terry's sneakers
isn't enough evidence.
Although a really
weird coincidence.
Where can we get more evidence?
We have to find the bells.
That's the real proof.
What do you wanna do?
Break into Terry's house?
See if the bells are there?
No, we can't do that.
But he does leave
a lot of stuff in his car.
Hey, you're back.
Hi, Deputy Terry.
You forget something?
Uh, I was just wondering
if I could see my dad again.
Oh, yeah. Yeah, of course.
Come on, follow me.
[cell phone ringing]
Hey, I'm pretty busy, Dad. No.
[suspenseful music playing]
She did it.
Let's go.
Oh, come on.
[suspenseful music continues]
[Terry] Well, you should have
a little bit more faith in me.
I don't know.
Have you tried unplugging it
and restarting it?
[tense music continues]
Hey, Dad, I...
I'm pretty busy right now.
I gotta go.
Come on, let's go.
You caught me.
Just take one. Okay?
No, I'm not having
trouble with Violet, Dad.
Everything's fine.
Hey, Violet, um, we need to go.
[Violet] We just got here.
I know. I'm sorry,
that's my fault.
Um, can you grab Kenny?
Sisters. Am I right?
Oh, there you are. [chuckles]
Let's go.
There were no bells
in Terry's car.
Mostly just regular cop stuff.
Oh, man.
But I did find something
that was a little weird. A map.
"Department of Public Works?"
Hey, that's...
that's where Terry worked
before he started
at the sheriff's office.
Man, Terry's had a lot of jobs.
Is this a tunnel map?
[Harrison] There's something
similar in Portland.
They're called
the Shanghai tunnels.
They connect Downtown Portland
to the Willamette River.
They run all over the city.
All under the city.
All under the city, yeah.
But there's access points
all across town,
and just like these tunnels
right here in Pleasant Bay.
And, look.
There happens to be one right
under the Pleasant Bay museum.
That's means.
You don't need a key to
the front door if you're coming
through a tunnel.
We have motive and means now.
This is getting good.
We have to find
-that tunnel entrance
under the museum.
-[Harrison] Yeah.
-What are you guys doin'?
We were, uh...
we were just leaving.
[engine starts]
[tense music playing]
It's definitely closed today.
Now what?
Well, that's why we stopped
at our house.
To grab my dad's
backup set of keys.
That's why they think
he did it, right?
His keys.
Don't you also think he did it?
No. Not anymore.
And I wanna find out who did.
Wait! The alarm!
I know how
we can deactivate it.
As long as
one of those keys also opens
the circuit breaker box.
[suspenseful music playing]
If there's an access tunnel
in this building...
it's probably down there.
You should go and check.
We're all going down together.
[suspenseful music continues]
-[Harrison] Got it?
-[Maddie] Yeah.
[sighs in relief]
[Violet] I guess we're looking
for a door or something.
Okay. Violet and I
will take this side.
[Harrison] Come on, Braveheart.
[Kenny] Who's Braveheart?
[Harrison] Come on.
Nothing on our side either.
Maybe there's another basement.
We have to check
under these boxes.
Okay, but how could someone
get out through the ground
and then also use the boxes
to cover the opening?
Deputy Terry was down here
the next morning
while they were investigating.
He could have put boxes
over the opening
to cover his tracks.
[Harrison] All right.
[Kenny] Remember,
lift with your legs.
[Harrison] I got it, Kenny.
[suspenseful music playing]
That sure looks like something.
[Kenny] Yeah, uh, no.
[Violet] This has to be it.
Now what?
We have to find out
where it goes.
[Kenny] Um, I don't think
that's such a great idea.
Man up, Kenny.
That's sexist.
Give me a hand.
[Harrison] Looks like
power conduits.
Gas lines, water pipes maybe.
What's that?
Looks like
an emergency power shutoff.
That's how Terry
could have deactivated
the security system.
He could have done it
from down here.
[loud clanking]
[Kenny] What was that?
It's fine. It's just the pipes.
I got this. Stay behind me.
That's also sexist.
But I'm also gonna stay
behind you.
[suspenseful music continues]
[Maddie] Where are we going?
[Harrison] Let's just see
where it goes.
Maybe we'll find clues
along the way.
[Kenny] Did anyone
bring snacks?
-[Kenny gasps]
Pipes, Kenny.
[music continues]
[Maddie] What now?
This does not feel safe.
So, should we split up?
Let me see the map.
What are you looking for?
I'm not sure yet.
Where would Deputy Terry
come into these tunnels?
That's it.
The school? Why there?
It's surrounded
by London plane trees.
-I found a London plane tree
leaf in Deputy Terry's car.
He's been there recently.
The school was closed that day
for winter break.
But then how would Deputy Terry
get into the school that night?
They have a lock box
for police to use
in case of emergencies.
The school it is.
[suspenseful music playing]
[Kenny] What's this?
Looks like
some kind of storage.
That should be the school.
[Harrison] Yup.
There's a hatch.
Now we tell your dad?
No, not yet.
I'll go up first.
Breaking into school.
Never thought
I'd be doing this.
Come on.
So, this is our school?
Yeah, we're in the boiler room.
Our dad works here
on the weekends
to make extra cash.
He also used to coach
basketball here, too.
That's right.
A long time ago, with Terry.
Deputy Terry?
Is that just
a coincidence or...
Terry plans to find
the bells here.
If Terry finds the bells here,
that's another thing connected
to your dad.
It'll make him look
even more guilty.
So, the bells
could actually be here
right now?
No, but our dad already
searched the school,
and he said
the bells weren't here.
Maybe they were just focused
on places related to
Mr. Bottoms' work as a janitor.
Your dad used to coach here.
Terry could have planted
the bells somewhere
related to that.
You're right.
Come on, let's check it out.
[Kenny groans]
This is so weird.
Okay, there's the gym,
there's the locker room,
there's Coach's office.
There's so many hiding spots.
The bells could be anywhere.
[Harrison] Well,
let's start looking.
Maddie and I will start
with the locker rooms.
-Okay, I'll start
with the bins.
-I'll check the lockers.
I have an idea.
Great. What?
Do that thing where you think
about something for a moment
and then you have
a brilliant idea.
Kenny, be serious.
The Ringing of the Bells
is tomorrow.
Come on, I'll help you.
[clears throat]
The bells.
The bells. The bells.
Kenny, stop. We have to
just look everywhere.
Kenny, don't move.
-Let me see under your foot.
That's from the bell's
display case at the museum.
How do you know?
I found a piece just like it
when we were there.
It had a purple tint
just like it.
Yeah. Good one, Kenny.
If this is where Terry
took the bells out of a pocket
or a bag,
some glass
could have fallen out.
That means he was about
to hide them somewhere close.
But where?
You heard that, too, right?
[mysterious music playing]
The trophy case.
Of course. Guys, come here!
My dad's trophy.
Um... his keys.
One of them
should open the trophy case.
[keys jangling]
Got it!
Oh, my gosh!
The bells! We did it!
You did it, Violet!
You found the bells!
-Violet, you did it!
-Great job, Violet.
Now do we call Dad?
Now we call Dad.
-But don't mention me
using his computer.
Or searching Terry's car.
-[Maddie] Okay.
-Or breaking into the museum.
This is going to be
a very short story.
-[bells tinkling]
Someone's here.
[suspenseful music playing]
Maybe it was just the wind.
[Terry] That's right.
I found the bells
at the high school.
It's Deputy Terry.
He's here to grab the bells.
Let's get outta here.
No. Let's punch this guy
in the face. He framed our dad.
No. This is our chance
to get more proof.
[Terry] I'm giving you guys
the exclusive on this.
You're gonna wanna
get a news crew over here
right away.
I have an idea.
[Terry] Sam.
[Sam on radio] Yeah, go ahead.
I found them.
I found the bells.
You remember how George
used to be a coach
at the high school?
They're right here
in the trophy case.
We gotta get
a forensic kit over here
right away.
[Sam on radio]
That's great, Terry.
Sheriff Pierce isn't too far.
I'll radio for him
to head your way.
Copy that.
No, no. No, no, no.
Something wrong?
What are you doin' here?
I was just looking
for the bells.
What are you doing here?
Same thing.
I remembered that George, he...
he used to be a coach here.
He fired you, didn't he?
Yeah. It was a long time ago.
He didn't respect my opinions.
it wasn't a good fit.
That must have been really
disappointing for your dad.
Losing a job like that.
Well, he's gonna see
how capable I am...
when I'm the one
who finds the bells.
Right. You'll be the hero
when you find them.
Your dad's finally
going to be proud of you.
He might even make you
the new sheriff.
Just doing my job.
Is it your job
to frame an innocent man?
George Bottoms isn't innocent.
He's an ex-con.
People don't change, Violet.
Once a criminal,
always a criminal.
That's a funny thing
for a criminal to say.
I'm just investigating.
And your investigation somehow
took you to the exact hiding
spot the bells were in?
You were so sure,
you even told Deputy Sam
you already had them.
No, no, I didn't...
I... I told her that I thought
I was about to find them.
That's not what I heard.
Should I replay the video
I have of you going straight
to the hiding spot?
They're right here
in the trophy case.
We gotta get a forensic kit
over here right away.
Let me have the phone, Violet.
I really shouldn't.
I think this video,
the tunnel map in your car,
and the two-striped sneakers
on the security camera footage
are going to be all the proof
my dad needs to put you in jail
instead of Mr. Bottoms.
[ominous music playing]
Give me the phone.
That's enough.
[Violet] Whoops!
[sighs wearily]
Don't worry.
I caught it.
[sighs wearily]
You're making a big mistake.
You're not acting like I am.
The phone.
I don't have it.
I'm done playing games
with you guys.
[Harrison] Looking for this?
[dramatic music playing]
[Terry] Harrison, stop!
[chuckles] Looks like
you dropped something.
-[Harrison] Kenny, now!
-[Kenny] Got it!
Let me out!
We heard Sheriff Pierce
is on his way.
We can let you out then.
I'm just gonna
destroy this phone.
-And the video that's on it.
-Go ahead.
We already have
the video of you going straight
to the bells' hiding spot
on the phone my brother has.
Hey! Let me out!
[curious instrumental
music playing]
[reporter 1] Does this
have anything to do
with the missing jingle bells?
[reporter 2] Deputy Donovan...
-Come on, guys, back off.
--Deputy, do you have
anything to say?
I'll have a statement
for you tomorrow.
[reporter 2] ...George Bottoms?
[reporter 1] Okay.
I thought I told you
to stand down.
I know, Dad, but he was messing
with your investigation,
and he was your deputy.
How could you have known?
I couldn't let him do that.
I'm not sure
how you guys did this.
I'm not sure you want to know.
I had a lot of help.
I stepped on the glass.
Is that right?
I broke into the museum.
I was the getaway driver.
Everyone pitched in, Dad.
I'd better take those.
And we will talk about this
when we get home.
you guys did good.
[Fiona] Let me tell you
the tale of Violet Pierce
and the golden jingle bells.
The magic of the bells
went beyond just a wish
that year.
[Pierce sighs]
I'm sorry you had to
go through this, George.
It's okay, Grant.
-You're just doing your job.
[Fiona] They gave a chance
at reconciliation.
[George grunts]
[Harrison] I'm sorry
I didn't believe you.
It's okay.
I love you, son.
I love you too, Dad.
Come on. Come here. Come here.
[George sobs]
[Fiona] They offered
an important wake up call.
You, um...
you did all of this
because George Bottoms
fired you 18 years ago?
I wanted to do something...
something big.
-Something... something...
-Something big?
Something to make you
finally notice me.
I'm sorry, Dad.
No, no. I'm sorry, son,
if I made you feel you needed
to do something like this.
I just want you
to be proud of me.
Oh, son.
You're gonna get
through this, okay?
I'm here with you.
[Fiona] They allowed a chance
to move through
a difficult memory.
Oh, boy.
Look at you.
It's one of Maddie's
old dresses.
Hmm. Well, that is...
that is lovely on you.
Maddie said
I remind her of Mom.
Oh, yeah. Wow.
You sure do.
Uh, you are, um...
You are funny,
and you are kind, and so smart.
-[chuckles] Yeah?
You know who else
you remind me of?
You won't let anyone tell you
what to do or how to behave,
or when to take "no"
for an answer.
You got a little bit
of both of us...
and it's perfect.
I love you, honey.
I love you too, Dad.
[sighs softly]
[Harrison] Hey, Maddie.
-[Fiona] Even planting seeds...
...of love for new
relationships to blossom.
Thank you for everything.
Me? [chuckles]
I mean, you're the one
who found the tunnel map.
You gave me
a reason to believe.
This is for you.
To say thanks.
-For me?
I mean, you don't have to
put coffee in it
if you don't want, but...
[Fiona] Young or old,
believer or not,
no matter
who you were that year,
you were forever changed
by the magic of Santa's
golden jingle bells.
Just in case.
[Fiona] And the town
of Pleasant Bay
still celebrates the Ringing
of the Bells ceremony
every year on Christmas Eve.
Fiona! It's time.
I just love telling the story
of the bells.
[chuckles] I gotta go.
Welcome, everyone,
to the 100th anniversary
of the Ringing of the Bells!
[crowd clapping, cheering]
Tonight, the honors go
to a young lady
without whom,
ladies and gentlemen,
frankly, we would not be here.
Violet Pierce.
[crowd clapping, cheering]
And now...
The Ringing of the Bells!
[crowd clapping, cheering]
You made this happen.
[bells jingling]
Deputy Violet...
do your duty.
With honor, Sheriff Pierce.
[George] Attagirl, Violet!
[boy] Yo, get ready.
-Merry Christmas, everyone!
-[bells chiming]
[crowd clapping, cheering]