Accidental Texan (2023) Movie Script

[cinematic orchestral
music playing]
[classical music playing]
["Gloria In Excelsis Deo"
[car whooshes]
[notification whistles]
[notification whistles]
[notification whistles]
[cow mooing in distance]
[notification whistles]
[car whooshes]
["Gloria In Excelsis Deo"
continues playing]
[music ends]
[engine stops]
- [bell rings]
- [indistinct chatter]
[blowing raspberries]
[indistinct chatter]
- [camera shutter clicks]
- [man 1] Yeah, Simon wants
the helicopters
- ready by call time.
- [man 2] Copy that. Whoa.
My bad, man. My fault.
[indistinct radio chatter]
- [clears throat]
- [indistinct radio chatter]
[man] Listen, I don't care
if that truck is stuck
in a cow pasture.
We need it here
right now. Got it?
Good. [continues indistinctly]
[indistinct chatter]
[soft music playing]
- [Vera] So can you believe it?
- I know.
- Huh? [laughs]
- No, I know.
- I can't believe I'm here.
- So cool, right?
- Seriously.
- Arms up, arms up.
No, 30 days.
Thirty days of good work,
well-rehearsed work,
and that sweet, sweet per diem.
- That's the big leagues
for you.
- No, you have no idea
how much I needed this, Vera.
Erwin, you know what?
You earned this, okay?
Oh, no, we earned this,
after five dang years
of trusting each other,
we both earned this.
- Well, persistence
and talent payoff, huh?
- [chuckles]
Yeah. Ah, dang, dude.
- Sorry.
- You alright?
Yeah, no, I'm fine, I'm fine.
We're just rigging up
for the big death scene
at the end.
That's what
we're starting with.
Ah, starting with a bang, huh?
- [Vera laughs]
- Vera, I do wanna say
one thing, though.
You are the best agent
in the whole world.
- Hey, it's what I do.
- We good?
Yeah, he's ready to blow.
Copy that. Let's go.
[Erwin] Yeah, I mean,
first day nerves a little bit.
Oh, yeah, let's definitely
send him something.
Hey, man,
turn that thing off.
Because we know how much
they push for us.
Listen, son, you gotta
turn that thing off
- before we go hot.
- I will, I promise, alright?
- Hey, Vera, so we're
headed to set, right.
- [Simon] Erwin!
- Oh, hey! Simon.
- Hey! Simon. Simon.
Oh, so brilliant to have you
on board, mate.
- Truly, truly.
- Ah, it's a pleasure.
- Listen, we...
- [clears throat]
- [blows raspberry]
- We're gonna have some fun.
Are you ready? We're gonna
make some magic.
Yeah? Let's do it.
Did you find the hotel alright?
- [Erwin] Um, actually,
I just got straight here.
- Did you?
- Mm-hmm.
- Good boy. Well,
if you need a bigger room,
I want to respect
your process.
And if your process
is a bigger hotel room,
- we can do that.
- I'm sure it's fine.
Thanks though.
Erwin, my boy,
this is your canvas.
[magical music plays]
This is your space,
- your playground.
- [Erwin exhales]
You will paint the walls
with the effervescence...
- [deep exhale]
- ...of your vulnerability.
Do that thing you do.
I want you here at the bar.
[Erwin] Right.
[Simon] And our lovely Tara Lane
will be right here by your side.
I love your work
and it's a pleasure
to be working with you.
I just had to say it. [laughs]
- You're welcome.
- Thank you. Thank you.
- Okay, so, Erwin.
- Yes.
- On action.
- Mm-hmm. Yeah.
- You will lean in close...
- Mm-hmm.
...and you two
are deeply in love.
- Right.
- And then Surly Bob
kicks in the door,
lights the place up.
Ga-ga-ga-ga-ga! Ga-ga!
You, kid, fall here.
Tara rushes to you
just as you die.
Right, right here
in the general vicinity?
Generally, yeah.
Figure it out, but, yes.
Yeah, okay, alright.
Yeah, no, I got it.
- Yeah. Love it.
- Cool?
- Yeah, sounds good, chief.
- Lovely.
Dude, you ain't
gonna have to act
'cause, uh, that's gonna
hurt like hell. [laughs]
- Fire in the hole!
- Funny guy.
It is gonna hurt like hell.
Okay, people,
we've got one take of this,
so, uh, let's not mess it up.
- Wait, no rehearsal?
- No.
- Okay, alright. [groans] Yeah.
- You good?
Brrrr! Yeah, I'm fine, just...
[clears throat] Alright.
Red leather, yellow leather,
red leather, yellow leather,
- red leather, yellow leather.
[inhales deeply]
- Relax.
Yeah, you're gonna do great.
[exhales] Thank you,
I needed that.
Dreams really do come true.
- [phone rings]
- [explosion booms]
- [screams, groans]
- [breathes heavily]
- [phone rings]
- Oh, shit!
[airsoft gunfire]
[phone rings]
- [glass shattering]
- [airsoft gunfire]
[dramatic music plays]
Oh, my God.
[phone rings]
- [gunshot]
- [shatters]
[cars whoosh]
[somber music playing]
[phone vibrates]
[Vera] Erwin,
where the hell are you?
I have been calling you
for eight hours.
I mean, I'm sure
that Simon already
made this painfully clear,
but I just heard
from the producers
and you're fired.
Do you have any idea
how this is going
to make me look?
What the--
[somber music playing]
[phone vibrates]
[tires screech]
[breathing heavily]
[breathing heavily]
[screams] God!
[breathing heavily]
[engine starts]
[engine sputters]
Not right now, come on.
Come on, you piece of shit.
Come on, come on!
[horn honks]
- Come on, come on!
- [engine sputters]
Yeah? Really?
Right now, huh?
What am I doing wrong?
Just tell me that!
Ah. [pants]
[grunts] Okay.
Ugh! [pants]
[zips zipper]
[peaceful music playing]
[train whistling]
[bell clanging]
[train whistling]
[train whooshing]
[bell clanging]
[peaceful music playing]
- [bell clangs]
- Oh, sorry, sir.
Oh, that wind.
Come on in.
- How are you?
- I'm alright.
Good, have a seat.
Make yourself at home.
- I'll get right to you.
- Okay.
How about you two?
[people speaking indistinctly]
[Faye] Here you go.
[coffee sloshing]
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
I'll be right with you.
[bell clangs]
- Hey, you boys.
- Morning.
- Cecil. Thomas.
- [Cecil] Merle.
- [woman] Hi.
- [Faye] Hey, Merle.
[Merle] Look at that
pretty thing.
How are you?
Oh, things could be
a little better.
Well, who knows?
Maybe your luck's
about to change.
- Oh, yeah?
- Mm.
[Merle] You heard something?
You alright?
I'm fine. Um, actually,
could I get the Wi-Fi
though, 'cause...
Uh, no, we don't have that here.
Oh, uh, I could...
A phone number then?
- Well...
- Um...
- Oh, sweet.
- Old school.
- Thank you.
- Sure.
I haven't seen
one of these in a--
Wait, ma'am, this is from 2015.
Well, things don't change
too much around here.
- Right. [chuckles]
- [phonebook thuds]
[line rings]
- Moose's Auto.
- Hi there, sir.
Uh, good morning.
Uh, this is Moose?
Uh, yes, sir, you're gonna
have to speak up.
I'm having a lot of trouble
hearing you.
Um, yeah. [clears throat]
Uh, uh...
My car broke down
right outside of, uh...
- Buffalo Gap.
- Buffalo... Buffalo Gap, sir.
Mm-hmm. Well, uh, we're--
we're closed for church.
Uh, we can take care
of it Monday.
We're kind of busy, but, uh,
yeah, we can take care of it.
See if we can work you in.
Where'd you say
your car was sitting?
Uh, car's, uh...
Uh, it's just
right out of town.
Wait, uh, Moose?
Uh, excuse me,
I'm-I'm on the phone.
Yeah, sir, that's...
What I mean is, that's me.
Oh! [laughs]
How about that?
- Yeah.
- So you the fellow
that needs a tow?
Yes, please, sir.
It's like right outside of town
about a couple miles.
- And I think
it's the carburetor.
- Mm-hmm.
Oh, we can take care of that.
- Thank you.
- Tomorrow.
Tomorrow? Uh,
I was hoping actually
if potentially, you know,
I could get back
on the road today.
You mean after hours?
[Erwin] Yes, sir, after hours.
You kill somebody?
"Kill somebody"? What?
- Mm.
- You mean...
Oh, no, no, no, no, no!
This is fake blood.
I'm an actor
and I'm just trying to get back.
Well, long story, but...
An actor, huh?
You heading back to Hollywood?
Yeah, that's why
I'm on a short schedule.
- Kind of gotta get back.
- Well, I tell you what,
we've got our VIP special.
We can get you off that road
and into the shop tonight.
Thank you so much.
For $600.
$600, seriously?
Yes, sir, we gotta get you
back to the big time.
Sir, all I have is $40.
Son, is that your,
uh, foreign car
sitting out a little ways
outta town,
got the Harvard sticker
in the window?
Yeah, yeah.
The Prius, that's me.
Yeah, that's a nice car.
Now you'd think
Old Moose would know
somebody with that
educational pedigree
is not gonna fall
for his brand of horseshit.
I got him covered for $40.
Not your $600.
Fred, come on.
Let's get. [grunts]
[Erwin] Hold on. Um...
Sir, wait, uh,
so should I just--
Excuse me, Moose, should I
just meet you at the car?
- [door closes]
- Have a seat over here.
Get him one of these on me.
Oh, appreciate that, sir.
You're welcome. Merle Luskey.
Erwin. Pleased to meet you, sir.
- Pleased to meet you back.
- Uh, so, $40.
- Is that what--
- No, no, don't you worry
about that.
Where were you headed?
Um, I'm headed back to LA.
Ooh, old fancy tinkle town.
Yeah. Old Tinkle town for sure.
Boy, what I wouldn't give
to be a Harvard-educated
young son of a gun like you.
You must be sharper
than a snake's ass.
Honestly, no.
Uh, my dad,
uh, he's a teacher
at Harvard.
What's he teach?
He teaches calculus.
He must be a smart
son of a bitch.
Yeah, no. He's definitely
a son of a bitch.
Yeah. So, uh,
where were you coming from?
Uh, we were shooting
in New Orleans and then--
- Faye! Harvard is starring
in a movie.
- What?
- No--
- You're kidding me!
Are you a movie star?
- Oh, my God.
- A movie star.
- Absolutely not.
- I thought he looked familiar.
No. I'm definitely
not a star in any sense.
I actually blew that
just recently.
Blew it?
Means I got fired.
Oh, bless your heart.
- Yeah.
- Yeah, that's tough.
Happens to the best
of us, really.
Yeah. You're young,
you'll bounce back.
Eh, I'm not quite sure
about that actually,
'cause, uh...
I don't know,
it's just... [chuckles]
It sucks when you love
doing something so much
and you're not sure
if it loves you back, you know?
Yeah, I know what you mean.
Tell you what, we'll get you
back on the road soon enough.
But I got a proposal for you.
- [utensil clinks]
- Okay.
There's a catch.
Now while you're waiting
for Old Moose to get off his ass
and actually fix your car,
maybe you could help me out
with a little bit
of rat killing.
Rat killing, what is that?
Just running some errands,
tying up loose ends.
Just here around town.
He's a good man.
Like... Okay.
Good! Cecil,
what are you getting
for those yard birds out there?
[Cecil] Oh, hell,
just put a 50 in the truck.
Ah. Come on.
- Let's go.
- [Erwin] Wait, right now?
- Yep.
- [dish clatters]
- Thank you.
- [thuds]
[chickens clucking]
Saddle up.
Come on. Get this day
headed in the right direction.
So, wait. Are we gonna go
grab my car right now?
No, no, no, we'll
take care of that later.
Probably gonna have to spend
the night in Buffalo Gap.
But, uh, we'll get you
on the road
as quick as we can tomorrow.
Help me with these
chicken crates.
Watch out for that guy.
His name's Chirpy.
He's got 17 kills in Mexico.
For real? Like,
is that a joke or...?
Yeah, that's good.
- [truck door slams]
- Move that clucking ass.
[upbeat country music playing]
There you go, look.
- Hm?
- Lookee, lookee.
- Hm?
- Get you some of that.
- No.
- Yep.
- No, I'm good.
- Oh, come on, don't be a baby.
- It's a little early.
- Don't be a baby.
No, you know what?
That's actually
not appropriate hygiene.
Where in the hell
are my manners?
What was I thinking?
- Just not right now. Jesus.
- That's more your speed
right there.
- That's a virgin bottle.
- Yeah.
Isn't it a bit early to be,
you know, pulling right now?
Are you kidding me?
Somewhere, somehow,
it's whiskey:30.
Let's go, come on.
Get some hair on your monkey.
We got a toast
for West Texas Baptism.
You ready?
[bottles clink]
Barefoot in the corny,
girls get horny.
- [laughs]
- Uh...
- Come on now, hit it.
- I'm hitting it.
- I'm hitting it.
- Pull that son of a bitch.
- I'm hitting it.
- Get on it.
- Yeah?
- Ah, okay.
- Yeah, I'm good,
I'm good, I'm good.
- Good, good, good, good.
Where are you even
going anyways?
Oh, what you might call
a "come to Jesus" meeting.
A "come to Jesus" meeting, huh?
Another expression is "taking
somebody to the woodshed."
- Dunno what that means.
- Taking 'em out
in the middle of the river
for a pants down spanking.
That makes me uncomfortable.
[choir singing]
[Merle] Now, we're looking
for a vehicle
driven by a dickhead.
And I believe...
this is it.
See if that driver's door's
[car door slams]
Is what we're doing legal?
- [chickens cluck]
- Right.
- Shit, yeah, it's open.
- Okay.
- Ah.
- [chickens cluck]
Yup, here ya are.
What? Wait, what are we doing?
- I just...
- Wait, Merle.
No, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
- Just stick him in there.
- Oh, my God.
- Alright, give him a squeeze.
- A squeeze?
- [chicken clucks loudly]
- Ah!
That didn't do anything,
it just made him mad.
Alright, lemme show you.
Here, you just give a--
Give him a little squeeze
like that.
- [chicken clucking]
- And like that.
You give him another squeeze.
And just turn him loose.
- That how you do it.
- Oh, my God, you just...
[chuckles] Technically,
you just milked the chicken.
Hey, you can milk anything
with a beak.
Oh, lovely Mrs. Turner.
Mr. Turner, farm fresh eggs?
One more chicken.
Alright. Grab that letter
for me, would you?
There you go, chicken shit.
- [chickens cluck]
- [car door slams]
- Let's go.
- Right now?
[church bell tolling]
Merle, they're coming.
Come-- They're coming.
[both grunt]
Alright. He's begging them
for money right now.
[truck revs]
[chickens clucking]
Whoo! Okay.
[grunts, blows raspberry]
That was amazing.
Wait, what? Why do I feel
so good right now?
You got some nuts on you,
I'll give you that.
Cookin' steaks tonight.
That's definitely
not what I thought
I was gonna do today.
- Is that what you meant
by errands?
- Yeah.
[Erwin chuckles] Whoo-hoo!
You got some boots
in that bag of yours?
Definitely not, why?
Well, I'm taking you
someplace special.
You know what? Heck, yeah.
Gimme the tour.
[country music playing]
[Erwin] Luskey Drilling? Wait,
I thought you were a farmer.
[Merle] No, I'm a roughneck.
Yeah, I mean, I kind of got
the redneck vibe, but--
Not a redneck, a roughneck.
I punch holes in the earth
for oil like a badass.
[car door slams]
[Merle] What do you think?
This is yours?
Well, it is today.
Hey, uh, Virgil, if you want
those chicken pens
in the back of the truck,
- uh, you're welcome to them.
- I'll take 'em.
- Hey, uh, Harvard?
- Yeah.
This is Virgil Badgett.
- We're not exactly sure
what he does around here...
- Howdy. we call him Dr. Useless.
Come on up here
and meet the crew.
Whoa, whoa, whoa,
whoa, whoa.
- Always wear a hard hat, man.
- Right.
There's a million ways
to get hurt on an oil rig,
- starting with those shoes.
- [chuckles]
You gotta wear
steel-toed boots, dude.
Get your toes
chopped right off.
- Eh.
- Fall down,
knock your teeth out.
Get blown up, electrocuted.
Death can come from anywhere
at any time.
Welcome aboard.
- [Merle] Come on, buddy.
- "Welcome aboard"?
Hey, here's
my new partner, Harvard.
Y'all, uh, introduce
yourselves properly.
I'm gonna take a phone call.
- Okay.
- You the new guy?
No, I sure hope not.
No, I'm just Erwin.
- Huh?
- Er... Erwin.
- Sherwin?
- What's your name?
- Sherwin.
- N-never mind.
- Hi there.
- Shay Tatum.
- Shay.
- You ever roughneck before?
No, man, no,
I can't say I have.
- No, I haven't had the honor.
- His name is Sherwin.
- [laughs]
- Erwin.
Merle, I thought you were
gonna find me some hands.
I'm working on that right now.
I'm on with the Equal
Opportunity Commission.
- Nice to meet you.
- You met Big Gus?
- Yeah, Gus.
- Up there's Carl.
- We just call him Mule.
- Nice to meet you too, yeah.
Hey, you'll meet
the rest of the guys.
This is Shay.
She's my right arm,
my right leg,
she's my driller.
She's the boss lady.
I don't know, show him
around a little bit.
I gotta take another phone call.
- Okay.
- Come on.
Put these on.
[metal clanging]
Kelly down!
[machinery whirring]
I almost shit my pants,
what was that?
We gotta make a pipe connection.
Is that what Kelly down means?
- Yeah.
- Cool.
- [metal clanging]
- If a pipe falls down,
it'll kill you.
Okay! Everything kills you.
I'm gonna step back, alright?
You guys got it though. Yeah.
- [whirring]
- I'll be right here.
[notification whistles]
Hey, y'all, we got company.
Shay, let's slow it down.
Yes, sir, slowing down.
Merle! I'm pressing
charges on your ass!
Felony destruction of property
to start with.
I didn't know you went
into chicken farming.
Don, I already told you,
this is not a felony offense.
- Alright, calm down.
- Yeah, well I'm not
going over there
until you have him subdued
and handcuffed.
- He's crazier
than a shithouse mouse.
- [laughs]
- Erwin.
- [woman] What?
- It's Erwin for Vera.
- Who?
It's Erwin Vanderveer for Vera.
Sorry, did--
did you say Sherwin?
Oh, my...
Erwin Vanderveer for Vera!
Ah, you know, I don't
wanna be a part of this.
Well, listen, I'm not gonna
tell you your business here,
but that's the son of a bitch
that ought to be in jail.
He's trying to swindle me
and he's trying to swindle
a bunch of others like me.
- Now, Jack, I appreciate you...
- [camera clicking]
Hey! You wanna
back off from that?
That's Luskey
Drilling equipment.
Okay. In 30 days,
it'll be up for auction, so...
Thirty seconds, you're gonna
have a boot up your ass.
[Don] Hey, throttle back, Merle.
That's my new energy
loan officer.
You know he's right.
Ain't no way you can pay back
your loan in 30 days.
You know what, Don?
I remember a time
when you couldn't scrape
a penny out of a mason jar.
Much less call yourself
a banker.
Now you teamed up with me
when I was running more crews
in this basin than anybody.
You got fat as a cat,
didn't you?
I choose not to live
in the past, old buddy.
You can shove
the old buddy stuff
up your ass.
- Alright, come on, come on now.
- [Merle] I'm not dying.
I'm expanding.
I got me a new landman.
Landman, huh?
Can't imagine what rock
you found him under.
[Merle laughs] Harvard?
Vera, I know!
No, I know, I know! Okay.
And I'm not yelling!
Oh. [laughs] You're dropping me?
You're dropping me, huh?
No, no, no, no,
you're not dropping me!
Guess what, that's fine.
That's fine if you drop me
because I quit!
Hey, Merle's hollering for you!
- I'll be right there.
- Merle really needs you.
Okay, alright,
I'll be there in a second.
- Oh, shit. Don't have to be
so rude about it.
- Sorry!
You heard of Harvard?
Chad went to Taylor County
Community College.
- Harvard, get over here.
- [breathes deeply]
- Listen.
- What?
- I need you to act right now.
- What?
I'm in a real pickle here.
- Don't even know
what that means.
- And I need you to act.
Act? No, absolutely not.
Not right now.
- Listen to me.
I need you to act.
- What? No.
Like you are
my Harvard-educated landman.
Merle, no,
I'm not gonna do it.
- I need you to be the landman.
- Merle, I don't know
what a landman is.
A landman
is an expert specialist
at getting oil leases.
I don't even know
how to change the oil
to my car.
Well, that's fine.
So, listen, all you gotta do
is act like you know
all the old ranching families
in this part of Texas.
I know you can do it.
Merle, I'm sorry. I'm just
not the man for the job.
Erwin, they're gonna take
everything I have
and they're gonna ruin me.
I need your help.
You gotta act like a landman.
You can do it.
Yeah, wait till you sons
of bitches meet him.
He's Harvard-educated
in, uh, geology.
- [exciting music playing]
- [exhales]
[clears throat]
- Gentlemen.
- [Merle] This is the Sheriff
of Taylor County,
he's a good friend
of mine, Jack.
- Pleasure to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.
Mind if I bum a pinch, actually?
Here you go.
- Now...
- Appreciate it.
This ill-fitting
toupee over here
is the chief asshole
at Abilene National,
Don Brock.
This shit-heel
with the clip-on tie,
that's his kiss-ass
loan officer,
Chad La Douche.
- Alright.
- It's a real tie.
- Real tie.
- Yeah.
- Good to know.
- Harvard?
We go by nicknames on the rig.
Yeah, well, I just...
You don't look too familiar.
Funny. I could say
the same about yourself.
Yeah, well, you know,
it's kind of hard
to be a landman
around these parts
if you don't know
the land or the people.
So I'd be real interested
in whose land
you're leasing around here.
The, uh, O'Douls.
They've been a real challenge
for us lately.
Have you had any luck?
'Cause they're
a tough nut to crack.
- Uh, O'Douls, huh?
- Yep.
Listen up, Super Cuts.
The only O'Douls
around these parts
is nonalcoholic beers,
I bet you fancy.
- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.
I don't drink that crap.
You know what I drink?
- White Claws.
- No, whiskey.
I'm glad we established that.
Well, gentlemen, I have
to get back to working
for Mr. Luskey here.
Alright, hey!
Let's crank it up.
Come on now!
Okay, you know what?
This is horseshit, Don.
Look, look, look, look.
Check out--
Check out his shoes.
What? Merle's just trying
to pull another fast one on you.
That's all this is.
I know all the landmen
around here.
I've never seen
that jackalope
in my life.
Yo, is that connection made, yo?
Alright, we're made up.
Let's start drilling.
This earth ain't gonna
drill herself, right?
- What?
- [Erwin] We made up yet?
Yeah, yeah.
Y'all heard Harvard,
let's go, boys!
- That's what I'm talking about.
- Let's, uh,
turn it to the right!
I don't know what the hell's
going on here,
but if you don't pay off
your note in 30 days,
I'm ripping everything
out from under you.
I'm gonna tell you something.
I'm gonna be dancing a jig
on your desk in 30 days.
We'll see about that.
Bon voyage, La Douche.
- Alright, alright, come on.
- [Don] Let's go!
- Thanks a lot, Merle,
we'll see you.
- Asshole.
- [laughs]
- [car engine starts]
- Whoo!
- [coughs]
You did it,
you convinced him.
- How was it?
- Oh, my God, it was beautiful!
- Beautiful performance.
- You believed it?
You believed it?
- Absolutely.
- Okay, thank God.
- Like the accent?
- Accent was straight
outta Big Spring, Texas.
That's what I'm talkin' about.
Ugh, that stuff is nasty.
- You alright?
- No, I'm fine, thank you.
Well, so what were they
talking about?
What happens in 30 days?
I'm not worried
about that right now.
But you know what?
I know there's a reason
you showed up when you did.
Okay? I got
a proposition for you.
We'll talk about that
later, alright?
- Alright.
- Start that next connection.
That's good shit!
Shay, let's turn to the right.
[Shay] Yes, boss.
Let's turn to the right, boys.
Make the next connection.
[machinery rumbling]
[soft music playing]
What do you think?
Yeah, it looks cozy.
- No, no, no, trees.
- Oh.
Those are native pecans,
son. Texas.
My own granddad planted these
when I was a little kid.
I plan on sitting out under 'em
when I'm an old, old man.
Scratching my ass
and watching squirrels.
That's the life.
I'll show you the house.
[door creaks, closes]
Home, sweat home.
Been here long?
Yeah, off and on my whole life.
- Mm.
- My great-granddad
built this house in 1903.
1903, huh? Damn.
Not much furniture for 1903.
Yeah. Yeah, that's
a product of divorce.
- Oh.
- Now, listen,
I can run you over to a flea bag
over there in Winters,
or you can stay here with me.
Uh, you sure?
Like, I-I definitely
don't wanna be
an imposition or anything.
No imposition, it's just me.
Take your gear upstairs,
second room on the right.
- Thank you, by the way.
- You're welcome.
Hurry up, we're grilling beers
and cracking steaks.
Five minutes.
- [doorknob turns]
- [door squeaks]
[floor creaking]
- [sighs]
- [floor creaks]
[soft music playing]
[door squeaks]
[soft music playing]
- Harvard!
- Yeah! Yeah, yeah. Coming!
Sirloins on the grill.
- May I?
- Oh, yeah.
Grab me one of those.
- [can pops]
- Tell me about Harvard.
- Harvard?
- [can pops]
Yeah, got into Harvard.
Studied business,
that was Dad's orders.
And, um, didn't do
so very well,
uh, 'cause I didn't like it.
And, uh,
the only thing I did like
was my drama classes.
Tsk. That's about it.
End of story.
- That's the end of the story?
- Mm-hmm.
Hell, son, you know
how much education I got?
Eighth grade.
Day I dropped out,
my old dad threw me up on a rig.
[lid thuds]
I was a roughneck.
That's all I ever did.
It's all I know.
- Hmm.
- But this acting...
- Mm-hmm.
- This was always your dream?
Well, was.
Maybe it's time for me
to wake up. [sighs]
That's always
what my dad said.
It's always been a conversation
that pulls us apart.
[sighs] What we should be doing
versus what we want to be doing.
I'm familiar with that.
Dads and sons get pulled apart.
There's gotta be more
to that story though.
Oh, yeah. [chuckles]
Okay. Uh, yeah,
there is, but...
Okay, uh, quit Harvard
fall of my junior year.
And, um, that was after
when a Hollywood agent
saw me in a play.
Promised me the world, you know?
He was like,
"You're one in a million, man.
Just come out to LA and try."
That's all it took
for me to leave Harvard.
You can imagine how happy
that made my Dad.
It was actually going
pretty well recently.
I had my first big gig.
But, um, yeah,
I told you how that went.
You'll do better next time.
You're not getting it, man.
There's not gonna be
a next time.
This is exactly what my Dad
has always told me.
It's what he expected.
- [can thuds]
- [ice water splashes]
[sighs deeply]
I guess the only thing
that I'm actually good at...
- is failing.
- [can pops]
- [barbecue sizzles]
- [lid thuds]
You ever watch wrestling?
[exhales] Like WWE?
No, no.
Mexican Lucha Libre.
I'm afraid not, no.
There's a guy that wrestled
in that league,
went by the name of Gringo Mojo.
Never heard of him.
Got the shit kicked out of him
every night.
Everybody booed him.
Grandmas and little kids.
Hell, I bet he lost
hundreds of times.
Must have been
more than 20 years.
Twenty years and he never won?
Journalists asked him one time,
they said, "Hey, Gringo,
what does it feel like
to lose all those times?"
And he looked that guy
in the eye and he said,
"Only time I ever felt
like I lost
was the day I quit getting
in that ring."
Life is a no-holds-barred
death match, Erwin.
You gotta fight like a goddamn
Mexican bull every day.
'Cause the day you stop
throwing punches,
that's the day you lose.
I reckon there's a reason
you showed up in town
when you did.
I was just hoping,
maybe you could hang around
a little bit longer.
You and me could help
each other out.
Help you?
The bank is gonna shoot
my ass off
in about 30 days.
But I think
with your Harvard smarts
and my horse sense,
we can kick the shit outta Don
and that little bastard, Chad.
No, okay. Merle,
I don't know. I...
This is not where I belong.
Look, I got damned good people.
They're the best roughnecks
in the country,
but they don't have
your book smarts.
You can help me solve this.
What do ya say?
[soft music playing]
And my car?
Get it on the road
just as soon as we can.
- What else am I gonna do?
- What the hell else
are you gonna do?
- Dammit.
- Drink?
A bottle of mescal
sitting right there.
Knock yourself out.
That's exactly
what I plan on doing.
[rooster crowing]
[radio rings]
[metal clanging]
[Merle] Break for Harvard,
break for Harvard.
Harvard, come on!
- [radio static]
- Get your ears on!
Yeah, uh, 10-4. Okay, Erwin out.
Attaboy. Now get yourself
cleaned up.
I'll be by to pick you up
in a few minutes.
- Merle out.
- [radio static]
[Faye] Here you go.
You okay?
You don't look so good.
- No, I'm fine, just...
- [laughs]
- Oh, bottle bit him
a little bit deep last night.
- Hmm.
Get some of the pigs
and chickens in you.
- That'll make you feel better.
- No, I'm fine, thank you.
Don't let this old coot
be a bad influence on you.
It's a little late for that.
Did you see that?
- Yeah.
- She likes to spank.
- Yeah.
- Alright, now,
you and I gotta go
hunt down an elephant.
- A what?
- That means
that we gotta find a lease
and we gotta drill it.
And we gotta make a strike
that's gonna pump out
about a million barrels.
Right, that sounds easy.
No, it is not.
And we got 25 days to do it.
Twenty-five days.
- Why so long?
- Okay, Ivy League,
give you a little lesson
in geology here. Okay?
These flapjacks,
they represent the basin.
You've got your soil,
rock, sand, and shale.
Now we take all that
Luskey Drilling equipment
and we gotta drill
right through that basin.
Now the earth don't want
holes punched in her,
so she's gonna put up a fight.
That's why it takes 25 days.
Right, okay, 25.
[inhales deeply]
What if we miss?
We can't afford to miss.
We gotta pick the right spot.
We don't have any time
for second chances.
Then, boom, that's a strike.
And there's nothing
sweeter-tasting in the world.
Then, we get fat pockets,
and Old Don,
he and Chad
end up living together.
- That's your plan.
- That's my plan.
Right, okay, uh,
so how do we get this lease?
That's where you come in.
Oh, boy.
- [Roxie giggling]
- How can I say no
to those big brown doe eyes?
Oh, you are so sweet.
And here we are.
All along here,
we've got the plats
and then we have
the water rights.
- Over here are the county
mineral rights.
- Mm-hmm.
Then we have the records
for the 20th century.
And then over here
we have the records
for the 19th century.
But, you will need gloves
to review those, of course.
- Of course. I mean,
it's a no-brainer, duh.
- [sighs]
- Uh...
- That's the lay of the land.
Um, I would love to sit
and chat, Roxie
but I actually have to, um...
- I'm on a tight schedule.
- Oh.
I was hoping
that you could just,
you know,
show me exactly
where that plat map
might be for my client.
And I will just
get outta your hair.
That would be
greatly appreciated.
And I would definitely owe you.
Yeah, plats here.
Tobin's over there.
You gonna be needing copies?
Uh, no, I'll be fine, you know,
I'll just poke around,
I'll find it.
[chuckles] I'll let you poke
around wherever you like.
Oh, boy. Alright.
You're so funny, uh...
Um, no, I'll be fine.
Thank you, Roxie,
you've been a huge help.
Not a bother. I'll be
right around this corner
if you need me.
- Sounds great.
- [chuckles]
- Alright.
- Bye.
[door creaks, closes]
- [line rings]
- [Merle] How's it going?
Yeah, Merle,
get your ass in here
'cause I have no idea
what I'm looking for.
I told you I cannot be
snooping around in there
or they'll think
I'm up to something.
Now, you're the landman, okay?
- This part's on you.
- I'm not a landman, okay?
I'm from Boston.
Now can you please
just come in here
and tell me which filing cabinet
I need to look into.
We need Tobin maps and plats
for Taylor County.
I know, okay, but where's that?
Yeah, ask Roxie
to help you and hurry.
- Don't hang up.
- Merle out.
Just... [exhales]
I gonna kill him.
[objects clattering]
- Of course.
- [Roxie] Hey, darling,
you alright in there?
Doin' fine in here, Roxie.
Thank you so much. [grunts]
[soft music playing]
Thank you, Chad.
Thank you very much.
So, quick question.
How do you know which properties
are worth looking at?
Well, Chad undoubtedly
wanted copies
made of lease index cards.
- Looks like you stole
the originals.
- Wait, what?
Locate these leases
on the map.
I'll be right back.
- I just committed a crime.
- Yep.
Now I'm doing all the work.
Um, yeah,
this is every street ever made.
[soft music playing]
I see what you did there,
Chad. Mm-hmm.
Check. Alright.
South. Hillard's.
Yeah. Merle, I got it.
I found four properties,
but it's kind of hard to read
'cause it's on the smudged part
on the separate map.
Put these on.
Can't have you runnin' around
being a landman
wearing disco clothes.
Well, well, well.
Chad and Don don't have
the nut sack between them
to go looking for oil leases.
They could have somebody
with deep pockets backing them.
Yep. Alright.
We have to find
these people...
- Okay.
- ...on these cards.
- Mm. You want me to take--
- Take that.
- Alright.
- Meet me out in the truck.
[country music plays]
[Erwin] Wait.
Shouldn't we call ahead?
[Merle] No, that's
for Mary Kay representatives.
Just saunter in,
see how it all shakes out.
[Erwin] "Saunter"? I'm afraid
they didn't teach sauntering
at Harvard Business School.
- [sparking]
- [Erwin clears throat]
Uh, hey, there, sir.
Uh, I'd love to speak to you
for a second,
just about your land.
Just for, perhaps,
if you just gimme a second.
Okay, thank you
for the second. Mmm.
[upbeat country music playing]
- [engine stops]
- [truck door opens, closes]
- Hey, Merle.
- Barry, how are you?
Alright, thank you. See,
I heard through the grapevine
that you was, uh,
trying to get you own lease.
Well, I was hoping to.
Well, sorry, Merle,
but there's a young man
named Chad
come out here yesterday
and he made me an offer
I couldn't refuse.
Chad! Chad is not even
a real oil man, Barry.
- Yeah, let's go.
- He works for that bank
in Abilene. Dammit!
- Thank you, sir.
- Thanks, Barry.
- Y'all be careful.
- [Merle] You too.
- Say hi to the missus.
- [truck door slams]
If shit goes wrong
with, uh, Chad,
just gimme a call.
[Barry] I'll call you, clear.
[upbeat country music playing]
[car revs]
I hate Chad.
[Erwin] Ah, so this is it.
This is the last one
on the list.
Well, there's
no more cattle here
since Frank passed.
The boys moved to Houston.
They didn't think much
of being ranchers.
- Mmm.
- Well, we're sorry
to hear that, ma'am.
My father gave us this land
as a wedding gift.
Been here ever since.
[Merle] It's a beautiful piece
of property, Miss Hillard.
How many barrels
do you think are under us?
Well, okay, so my family
has been drilling oil wells
in this country
about as long as y'all
have been running cattle.
And I can say
with a fair degree of certainty,
you're sitting on top
of a significant formation.
[breathes deeply]
Okay, I'll sign.
- Oh, uh, yes, ma'am, alright.
- Oh, Miss...
- [chuckles]
- Thank you so much,
Miss Hillard.
- Oh, thank you.
- [Merle laughs] Oh, yeah.
Uh, how soon do you think
you can start?
Well, once we get the lease
filed in the courthouse,
we can start surveying tomorrow.
'Cause I have one week.
Yeah, uh...
You see, I-I had, uh,
I had trouble making the loan
and, uh, after the funeral,
I just couldn't keep up
with the payments.
And they're gonna foreclose
next week.
Yeah, one-one week
is-is not really enough time
- to do anything, Miss Hillard.
- Merle...
By God, if I could do anything,
I would do it. But it's...
If you start tomorrow,
you could work through
the night maybe, all week long.
Yeah, Merle, what if
I handled the paperwork
and I went to the bank?
- You got the rig here...
- Erwin.
Miss Hillard,
this is the reality
of the situation.
We have to survey your property
to determine exactly
where to drill.
Then we have to bring in
the rig, our tanks,
the rest of the equipment.
We have to prep the well site.
And then it'll take
three to four weeks
just to drill down
to the pay zone.
I'm sorry, there's just
not enough time.
I understand.
[somber music playing]
Merle, Merle.
Get in the truck.
We're just not gonna try?
Merle, she said
she would sign, okay?
- Why don't we try?
- Do you know
what you did in there?
You gave that woman false hope.
And that is not what I do.
That's not what
Merle Luskey does.
I tell people the truth.
I understand, but guess what?
We haven't gone to the bank yet.
Maybe we could buy
some more time.
We just have to ask them.
Erwin, you have no idea
what you're talking about.
You're in way over your head.
I drill oil wells.
I don't perform miracles.
Merle, she needs
our help, okay?
You think I don't
wanna help her?
Now get in the truck.
This is our last chance, Merle.
It's over, David!
It's over!
[truck door opens, closes]
[engine starts, rumbles]
[somber music playing]
[insects trilling]
[soft music playing]
[Erwin sighs]
[breathes deeply]
[gentle music playing]
Merle, Merle!
Hey, can I ask you a question?
Why would Don and Chad
only look in this area?
Well, if it was me...
[slams table]
It'd be because there was
a pinnacle reef there.
A what?
Pinnacle reef,
top of the formation.
The center of the pancake.
And they can't find it,
Merle, right?
And I'm trying to read
what's in the middle of this,
but it's all smudged out.
I can't read it.
They're going
after the elephant
and they can't find it.
Well, the only way
they're gonna find it
is if they look at a seismic.
And what's that?
Seismology map, shows you
all the underground formations.
Oil and gas
deep below the surface.
How do we get our hands
on one of those?
Like who would have one?
You gotta be a big outfit.
An outfit like
an oil company, okay, uh...
SPNA. Is that an oil company?
Sun Pride North America,
that's Max Dugan's outfit.
- You know him?
- He's a good man.
Drilled a bunch
of wells for him.
He's not gonna be in business
with chickenshits
like Don and Chad.
Okay, but we need to get
to a seismic map
before Don and Chad do.
How do we get into Sun Pride?
I know how to do it.
[register dings]
Sign that.
- What the hell is this?
- $500 football.
Uh, $500, you just bought it
from a general store.
It's gonna be worth $500
when you put an autograph on it.
Why would anybody want
a signed autograph
football from me?
Not you, Roy Aikman.
Wait, who's Roy Aikman?
[Merle] Good God in heaven,
who is Roy Aikman?
Roy Aikman is perhaps
the greatest football player
ever known in the history
of civilization.
- That's my bad.
- All the way back
to Roman Times.
I deserve this, okay.
Max Dugan is his biggest fan.
That's all I needed to know.
Alright, is there anything else
you wanted to say?
Uh, well, the obvious,
"To Max Dugan."
- Right
- Uh, "From..."
Seasons greetings.
"Seasons greetings"?
It's the most joyous time
of the year.
[engine starts]
[Erwin] Okay, here's the plan.
I'm interested in oil.
I studied at Harvard Business
and we're going in
to sweet-talk Max Dugan
into showing us the 3D maps
with a signed football
by Roy Aikman.
[Merle] Yes, Eager Beaver,
sounds like you.
[Erwin] Yeah,
what could go wrong?
- [woman] Good morning,
- Good morning.
- May I help you?
- Yes, Merle Luskey
of Luskey Drilling Company,
here to see Max Dugan.
- [woman] Mm-hmm.
- [line rings]
Yes, I have Mr. Merle Luskey
to see Mr. Dugan.
- Yes, ma'am.
- [receiver thuds]
- Elevator's just...
- I'm sorry,
Mr. Dugan is all tied up
this morning.
Jesus, I know how big
a fan Max Dugan is
of the Dallas Cowboys.
And I happen to have
this football
signed by Hall of Fame
Roy Aikman.
I guess we'll just...
- Wha-- Oh.
- ...mosey on out.
- Can you validate our parking?
- Roy,
you mean Troy Aikman?
- Troy Aikman, yes.
- [Erwin clears throat]
You know him by his stage name,
but his Christian name
when he was born was Roy.
- Wait, you know--
you know Troy Aikman?
- Yeah.
- Uh, yeah.
- Mm-hmm.
- Yes, I do.
- Hard to believe.
His old daddy and I
used to pull water wells
up there in Henryetta, Oklahoma
when old Troy
was running around
shooting bulls in the balls
- with a BB-gun.
- [chuckles]
He's a prankster.
Uh... [sighs] Candace, uh,
Mr. Luskey has a football
by Troy Aikman for Mr...
Right, I know, okay.
[receiver thuds]
Mr. Dugan will see you,
second floor.
His personal assistant
will greet you
as you step off the elevator.
- Thank you, Officer Basa.
- [chuckles]
Say, could you give me
one of those?
Oh, absolutely.
I could probably get you one
signed by the whole team.
[both laugh]
[huffs air]
Thought it was a sin
not to know
your quarterback's name.
- [elevator dings]
- Just put a T on it, okay?
You know, sometimes
maybe Troy is pronounced
with a silent T, huh?
Sure thing. You sure
it was the Dallas Cowboys?
[mimics Erwin]
Hello and welcome to Sun Pride.
Mr. Dugan is still in a meeting,
so please have a seat
and he'll be with you shortly.
- Thank you, ma'am.
- Quick question, ma'am. Um...
- Where's the restroom?
- Down the hall
and to the right.
Perfect, alright,
I'll catch you there.
What's going on?
Just gotta get
into character, okay?
Okay, good luck.
Gonna need it.
[Don] I promise we'll get this
back on track, Max.
You have my word.
When have I let you down?
[Max] Chad,
get your ass back in here!
[Chad] Alright, alright,
I'm coming.
[Don] Look, I know Chad's
been a little bit of a problem
but I can-- I can handle it,
we'll get it done.
I don't want
any more excuses, Chad.
Yes, sir, yeah,
consider it done.
[Max] Well, I considered it
done a month ago.
- [door creaks, closes]
- Best pay zone in that area
is under that old codger's ass.
Now I need you to get
that lease for me
or I'll find somebody who will.
Do I make myself clear?
[Chad] Crystal, sir.
[Max] Don, where do we stand
with getting Luskey's equipment?
Has he been foreclosed on yet?
[Don] In progress, Max.
Merle. [clears throat]
We need to talk.
We got a problem.
Big problem, actually.
They're here. Don, Chad,
and your good friend Mr. Dugan,
are all out to get you.
How'd you know it was Max Dugan?
White, slick-backed hair,
thick mustache.
Colonel Sanders looking guy.
Shit, that's Max.
He's the one behind this, okay?
They're all in there
like a bunch of fat cats
scheming to get you.
- Son of a bitch.
- Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,
wait, not right now.
We can't just go in there
guns-a-blazing, alright?
So the 3D seismic is in there.
I did see that.
- Son of a bitch!
- No, no, no, no!
Listen to me, alright?
What we do need
is a distraction.
I just need to get
a photo of it.
- Distraction.
- Yeah.
You mean like
pull a fire alarm?
Nah, that's too big
'cause then
the fire department
will show up and be like,
"Who did it?"
- Cherry-bombing the shitter?
- Are you serious?
- Got one in the truck.
- How is that smaller?
Yeah, you're right,
that is bigger.
Just need, like, to get them out
just for a minute.
That's all we need.
I think I got it.
[mysterious music plays]
- [beeps]
- [Merle] Hey, y'all,
it's Mr. Dugan's
80th birthday today.
So everybody come down
to the break room
for cake and donuts, wee-haw.
Holy shiitake mushrooms!
That was some good cake.
Oh, my gosh!
Go ahead and get your fill,
it's in the break room.
I didn't know
it was your birthday.
- It's not my freaking birthday.
- Come on.
And I'm damn sure
not 80 years old.
I hope they have sprinkles.
Happy birthday, Max.
[Max] Don, shut up.
[suspenseful music playing]
Hey. Come on.
[camera clicking]
What the hell
are you doing in here?
What the hell
are you doing in here?
I'm just joking, Mr. Dugan!
It's such a pleasure
to meet you, sir.
Uh, I'm your
three o'clock today.
Roger Thornhill, uh,
at your service, sir,
I'm a freelance reporter
for Oil Man Monthly.
And I'm here to talk to you
about that cover story
we're doing on you next month.
Candace said,
"No, yeah, go ahead
and check it out up there."
No, no, no. I-I have a friend
over at Oil Man Monthly
and he didn't say anything
about a story.
- He didn't, huh?
- No.
Ah, you know,
now that I'm--
It's coming back to me now.
I was supposed to keep that part
a secret for your birthday, sir.
And it ain't
my freaking birthday.
Ha ha! Ah, Candace
obviously misinformed me.
She also sent me up
a little prematurely.
So what I'm gonna do
is I'm gonna wait in that lobby.
Something's not adding up.
Why would Troy
write "Fuck you"
on this football?
Those are angry U's.
It just doesn't make any sense.
- [Max] What's this?
- [Don] Look at that.
Who brought me this?
Mr. Merle Luskey.
[Merle and Erwin] Whoo!
[Erwin] Oh, my gosh,
that was amazing.
[Merle] John Wayne
couldn't have pulled off
a better performance
than old Harvard here.
Those Hollywood assholes
don't know what they're missing.
Well, you two boys look like
you're up to no good.
No, we're just stickin' it
to the man.
Really? Well, be careful.
Or the man might stick you
both in jail.
You know, Robin Hood needs
his Marion next to him,
being chased by the law.
You two keep scheming
and I'll start collecting tips
in case I have to bail you
outta jail.
Robin Hood? Look at you
with literary flirtation.
- I liked the cartoon.
- Yeah?
- Still do.
- Look, I wanna show you this.
It's not the best news though.
This smudged part
is what was on that map
that we couldn't see.
"Scheermeyer will not lease,"
right there.
Gosh, almighty.
Boy, that is just
sitting out there
waiting for some jack-leg
like me to come along...
- I know.
- ...make a deal
and drill a strike.
It's not that simple though,
because this Scheermeyer guy,
for some reason,
is not playing Chad's game.
You know anything about him?
Met him, he's German.
- Something like that.
- Loves sauerkraut.
You two rascals need anything?
- I'm fine.
- Scheermeyer?
What do you need with Alton?
You know that crusty old goat
that lives out there alone?
He is such a character.
He comes here twice a year
with his prized bull, Eddy.
He stops here on his way
to that big cattle show
in Fort Worth.
- [Merle] Mm-hmm.
- He stops for breakfast
on his way,
dinner on his way back.
He says that Eddy
is just a superstar.
He never wins.
He says he has
too much personality.
That's-- that's him
actually right there.
Very sweet bull.
That's it, that's it.
Holy crap,
how did I forget that?
Okay, Harvard Business,
"Features tell, benefits sell."
So what we have to do
is figure out
what this Scheermeyer's
emotional need is,
which I think is Eddy.
Potentially, maybe we could
make a sale somehow.
That's a bunch of horseshit.
Men out in West Texas
don't have emotional needs.
Oh, please, of course you do.
What are you selling?
She doesn't know?
[clears throat] Well,
it's, uh, it's complicated.
It's involving
being up shit's creek
without an inner tube.
A few financial problems
here and there.
Okay, the bank is fixing
to foreclose on Merle.
So we have, what?
Twenty-eight days
to land a lease
on Scheermeyer's land.
Then we start drilling,
hit an elephant,
and then, you know,
we can make it rich
and he can pay off the bank.
Well, that's what's going on.
That is a real doozy.
The only way we can save Merle,
really, is to get Scheermeyer
to sign this lease.
But clearly he doesn't seem
too open to that.
Well, he's never--
never talked to me about it.
I can introduce you
and then the two of you
can do the rest.
You would do that?
- Of course.
- Oh, Faye.
- You'd have my heart.
- Mm, well, I would
just hate to lose
my best customer, that's all.
Is that me?
- [can thuds]
- Maybe Scheermeyer.
[gentle music playing]
Don, we got a problem.
- [knock on door]
- [Faye] Alton, hello?
Ah, shit.
He's not there.
Well, we don't have time
for this.
- I know. [sighs]
- [yodeling in distance]
[Merle] Is that yodeling?
Does he sing?
When I'm calling you
Yeah, you don't like it
if it gets too hot or too hard,
I understand that.
You belong to me.
And I belong to you
You're being a good boy today.
Ah, why is that?
You don't have to look at me
out the corner of your eye.
Um, hi... hi there.
- What?
- It's Faye from the cafe
down in Buffalo Gap.
- How are you?
- [Alton] You're lost?
- Oh, no, no.
- I pay my tabs, ma'am, don't I?
Uh, of course you did.
Uh, um, I was wondering,
if we could bend
your ear for a bit.
What do you mean "we"?
The hose is popped out.
Sorry, I'll turn it off
for a minute.
Um, I wanted to introduce you
to some just wonderful people.
Um, this is Merle Luskey.
Luskey, your Dalton's kid?
He was my granddad,
my dad was Davis.
Yeah, I knew him.
[Faye] And this is
Erwin Vanderveer.
Howdy, sir.
How many syllables
is that, three?
Uh, something like that.
I know it's--
Come on, you had math in school.
Uh, Van-de...
Uh, four, I think.
- How about too many?
- Yeah.
Where are you out of son?
Uh, east, sir, just, uh,
north, just north of here.
There's a lot of north of here
and none of it's worth
a shit seeing.
Yeah, no, I know, but--
So, like, this right here
is the famous Eddy, huh?
Yeah, all 2,000 pounds of him.
- [whistles]
- [Merle] He's a stout one.
I still have that photo of him
up in the cafe.
People ask me about him
all the time.
You're kidding.
Oh, that's great, they should.
Uh, I'm-- I'm sure
you're wondering why
we popped in on you and Eddy.
Madam, you don't have
to hire a plumber
to smell shit or see it,
you know?
I know y'all didn't come
down here to talk about Eddy
or to gawk at him.
- Well, uh...
- I don't hear good,
so blow it out.
Well, uh, Mr. Scheermeyer,
uh, I think we have
an opportunity
to scratch each other's backs.
You're gonna scratch my back?
Yes, sir. I mean, if you're
willing to scratch mine.
Very doubtful, but go on.
Well, just hear me out then.
I would love to share with you
some helpful information
that we believe will help you,
but more importantly,
help your Eddy here or Edward,
get that blue ribbon
on that wall.
[water sprinkling]
You know how many lease lizards
there are around here
trying to sell
the same snake oil?
You know how many good people
there are here,
getting screwed every day
by people with pitches?
- Sixty-five hundred feet.
- Excuse me?
Sixty-five hundred feet down,
underneath your property,
I can hit a pay zone.
I'm a driller, Mr. Scheermeyer,
just like my father
and my grandfather.
And I'm just gonna get screwed
in the back end, right?
We'll do all the paperwork
in a little tiny print
I can't even read.
But at the end, all of 'em
get screwed, correct?
We've never done anybody wrong
and taken anybody down
a crooked deal.
Those bastards up in Abilene,
they're trying to tear down
my legacy
and they're the same people
that have paid you
a visit recently.
[Merle] I can make you
a fair deal
and we'll go in it
equal partners.
Would you make that deal?
If it was just for me? Maybe.
But if it was to help
a sweetheart like Eddy,
I absolutely would.
What do you think, Eddy,
you buy this shit?
Give me at least
a nod or a wink.
You think we can trust him?
[Eddy grunts]
[soft music playing]
- [horn honking in distance]
- What the hell?
- You all sent for other people?
- We-we didn't bring them.
Alright, Mr. Scheermeyer,
now hold on. These two--
I thought I told you two guys
to stay away from here.
You see what this is?
- Okay, alright.
Okay, go, go, go, go, go.
- Oh, shit!
This will blow
your goddamn head off.
Now, get outta here.
Get off my property, all of you!
Yeah, you three too!
Partners, my ass.
Every goddamned one of you
get out of my barn now!
There's no oil here.
[somber music playing]
[car door slams]
[Erwin] I know
I haven't known him
as long as you have,
but I know
he appreciates you trying.
[Faye] I just hate that I got
everyone's hopes up,
that's all.
[Erwin] No, I'm glad you did.
And today, you opened the door.
[Faye] Yeah, well, the door
just shut in a good man's face.
Yeah. [exhales deeply]
So what are you gonna do...
[sighs] that
you're not a real oil man?
[Erwin] No idea.
Is that wrong?
You're asking me that question?
- Yeah.
- Okay, look at where I live.
My house is on wheels.
I am the queen of starting over.
You know when you've been
to the barn
as many times as I have been,
you just take it
one whack at a time.
He loves you.
You know that, right?
Yeah, I know.
I might love him too.
[smacks lips] But, uh,
when I get too close,
he always ends up drifting away.
It wasn't always like this?
Yeah, it all started
when he, um...
He lost his son
in a car crash.
- David?
- Mm-hmm.
Yeah, okay.
You're a good...
a good soul, you know that?
Yeah, you got a good heart.
Thank you, Faye.
Thank you.
- Have a good night.
- Bye.
[gentle music playing]
[sighs, sniffles]
[breathes deeply]
Watch those fingers, Mule.
- All eight of them?
- [laughs]
Morning, boss man.
Want a pair of work gloves?
[somber music playing]
No leases.
Well, I guess you should know.
Crew woke up
with these on our door.
That's an offer letter,
drill for another outfit.
[clears throat]
Twice the money.
Four thousand signing bonus.
[sniffs] Sun Pride.
- [paper crumples]
- Of course.
How many's left?
All of them.
Shit, Merle,
you gave me the reins
when no one else would.
That's the day I knew
I'd throw letters like this
down the deepest hole
I could drill.
[sighs] Yeah.
I just can't keep my feet moving
in this fight anymore, Shay.
Thrown my last punch.
You better get 'em all together.
I gotta give 'em the bad news.
Yes, sir.
I wouldn't throw
that letter away.
[sharp exhale]
I'll get 'em together.
Hey, y'all, listen up!
Family meeting
down here, everyone!
You know, back in the '40s,
my old granddad drilled a well
about three miles from here.
Yeah, they were drilling up
a storm one day
and damn traveling block fell,
kicked off a spark,
the whole thing went up
like a matchstick.
Burned for two, three days.
My granddad told
a reporter later,
he said, "It's only
when you watch it all burn,
that's when you realize
what really matters."
He didn't give a damn
about the derrick.
He didn't give a damn
about the oil.
Just the folks
that worked for him.
You're all damn good hands.
You're all gonna get hired
real quick.
But this is gonna be
the last well
that we can drill together.
I'll pay you out
what you're owed,
pay you up today.
But, Merle, uh,
w-what about you?
What happens to you?
That's a good question, Carl.
Just have to see
what the wind blows in.
It's damn hard to say goodbye.
Alright, you heard him.
Let's rig out, guys,
back to work.
[somber music playing]
- [Faye] Everything okay?
- Yes, thank you.
[man 1] See, a lot
of these property owners
think they own
the mineral rights
to the properties.
- But that's not something
that necessarily passes down...
- More coffee?
...from generation
to generation.
They don't know that.
This is a big one.
Sun Pride's gonna get
this son of a bitch's oil
whether he signs a lease
with us or not.
[man 2] Whose property's
the big hickey on?
- [woman] Oh, yeah.
- [man 1] His name
is Scheermeyer.
- [man 2] Scheermeyer.
- [man 1] Yeah,
never gonna know what hit him.
[man 2] Well,
I got 11 rigs on order.
[man 1] I think
we need one more.
I think 12 is the magic number.
- Oh, yeah? Holy--
- Oh, my goodness.
I am so sorry!
- Goddammit!
- I cannot believe I did that!
- [utensils clanks]
- Forgive me.
Uh, breakfast is on me,
I'm sorry.
- Yeah, you're damn right it is.
- I'm so sorry.
- Let's get outta here.
- [man 2 groans]
Ah. Clumsy me.
[bell clangs]
[sighs heavily]
Someone's coming.
- [gentle music playing]
- [tires rumbling]
[car door closes]
Mr. Scheermeyer.
You know something?
People like you and me,
we don't really need
anything more
than what we earn ourselves.
But there comes a time when, uh,
we could sure use a little help.
You got it?
- Thank you.
- [Alton] You're welcome, buddy.
How in the hell
did you pull this off?
Oh, this wasn't me.
[gentle music playing]
My saving angel.
Now go kick that banker's ass.
- Hang on to that.
- Yes, sir.
- Shay!
- Yes, boss?
Let's get this rig on the road.
We're back in business.
- [Erwin] Give me the helmet.
Oh, heck, yeah!
- [cheering]
This is it.
- You feel it?
- [chuckles]
You better smell that oil, son.
I think I do.
- [thuds]
- So this is where your...
your data says
to punch the hole.
Yeah, I mean, I got knots
in my stomach right now
because it's definitely
a calculated guess.
Every well
is a calculated guess.
You just gotta stand by it.
Now, listen,
I wouldn't be here
if it weren't
for the two of you.
So from here on out,
we're all equal partners.
We gotta strike
the first blow, partner.
[breathes deeply]
[exciting music playing]
[Shay] Alright, welcome
to the new drilling site, boys!
She's named Faye #1.
Shay, gather everybody around.
Yes, boss. Hey, everybody,
eyes down here.
Okay, Harvard's
our new crew member.
- Whoo!
- Sherwin.
Sherwin reporting for duty!
- [Mule] Sherwin in red.
- [laughter]
- That's what
I'm talking about, man.
- You like paperwork?
Now listen up.
This next well is our well,
and I own the lease.
But all of you
have stuck with me
through some pretty salty times,
I'm gonna take care of you
once we make a strike.
Now, look, the pinnacle reef
is either down there
or it's not.
By the grace of God,
we're gonna find it.
And with the bank
staring down my ass,
we're gonna drill this thing
wide open
and we got 21 days to do it.
How deep we drilling, boss?
Uh, so...
we're looking
at about 6,500 feet.
Boss, there ain't no way
we can go 6,500 in three weeks.
- It'll take a good four.
- [Merle] Bullshit, Virgil,
'cause we're bullheadin'
wide open
all the way to the basement.
You got it?
- [Erwin] Got it.
- Alright, let's get to work.
[Shay] You heard him, boys,
let's get to work, assholes!
- Erwin. Gloves.
- Yeah. Right.
- Hard hat. Yes, sir.
- Safety first. Yeah.
Alright, you got everything?
Can I get like a wet wipe
or something?
- No.
- Okay.
- Call if you need me.
- Yeah.
Alright, Faye 1. Let's go.
- [machinery rumbling]
- [exciting music playing]
We got a show!
[exciting music playing]
Let's go, let's go.
We'll sleep when
that hole's through! Let's go!
[Erwin] What's the depth, Shay?
Looking at 1258, Harvard.
Roger that.
We're fixin' to make a well,
you idiots!
[exciting music
continues playing]
- [Shay] Okay?
- No, we're good.
[taps machinery]
Let's go, let's go.
[Shay] Kelly down!
Shay, any update?
[Shay] Pipe's going down.
The oil ain't coming up.
[calm music playing]
[machinery rumbles, stops]
We ought to do a quick
rig service. Chow time!
- [Erwin] No pickles, right?
- [Faye] Ah...
- Ah, you did it again.
- You know what, you gotta
pick your pickles out.
- Sorry, sorry.
- Oh, good deal.
- Yeah. For you.
- Thank you.
How long is it gonna take
to finish the service?
About five more minutes,
we'll be up and running.
- Mmm.
- Although with Mule,
it might be seven.
- [Faye] Yummy.
- Alright, takeaway. Thank you.
Hey, Virgil. You hear that?
[metal rumbling in distance]
- Hmm.
- Yeah.
What is that?
[metal rumbling in distance]
Shit, that's close.
Hey, what are they doing?
- Shit, it's open!
- Faye, go, go, go! [grunts]
- [gunfire]
- Take cover.
[Shay] What the hell
are they shooting at?
They're shooting
at the rig. Get down!
Virgil, what's going on?
I don't know!
They knock out that engine,
we're done for!
Merle, where are you going?
What are you doing?
- Hey!
- Get down!
Merle! Get down!
Sons of bitches!
[grunts, groans]
Merle! You are crazy!
- Wait--
- [groans]
Faye, wait, don't! Faye!
[shooter] Shit!
Get us out of here!
[Merle grunting, groaning]
- [panting]
- [Erwin] Merle! Merle!
Wait a minute.
- [Merle] Let me go peacefully.
- That's not blood.
- What?
- It's whiskey.
- Oh!
- Oh, my God.
You lucky son of a bitch.
Anybody but Virgil,
the last person to see.
- Oh, my God.
- He's alright.
Oh, my God, it's your flask.
- Uh, flask?
- Your flask saved your life.
- So much was in there.
- Oh, my God.
- I think you're alright.
- Oh, my God.
- Oh, Jesus.
- Oh, my God.
Okay, is everybody alright?
- Yes, sir.
- Keepsake.
[breathes deeply]
Let's get back to work.
- Oh, Merle.
- What?
Yeah, you heard him,
check the rig.
- You're joking, right?
- [groans] Huh? Let's go, Shay.
- You're not serious.
Get back to work?
- Yeah.
Your entire crew
just gets shot at
and you say get back to work?
Are you crazy? No.
What we should be doing is,
I just got that entire thing
on video.
We should be going to the police
and finding out who did that.
- That's all we should be
doing right now, Merle!
- I got a well to finish.
Those sons of bitches
are right there
trying to take it
all away from me.
- Merle, I almost just died!
- Get your ass back to work
or you're fired!
- Everybody, let's go.
- "Fired"?
- [Shay] You heard him.
Let's go, boys, move out.
- He's the boss, Erwin.
- Let's go, Shay.
- Check that engine
real good, Mule.
- Alright, let's roll.
- Fire it up.
[Shay] Yes, boss.
Give me the all clear.
- All clear.
- [engine rumbling]
[soft music playing]
[Merle] One more day,
I think we're gonna get there.
You really are willing to risk
everything, aren't you?
Yes, I am.
Did that ever come
between you and David?
Yeah, there was a lot
that came between...
David and I.
Yeah, Faye told me
what happened to him.
It's just...
It's an odd thing about life.
You think you're gonna
have someone
as long as you live
and then one day
they're just gone.
No goodbye.
We get so busy
trying to get ahead,
take care of everybody.
Sometimes you just end up
pushing people away.
I think your father means well.
He just tries too hard.
I just feel like...
I've never been given
the opportunity
to make him proud.
Tell him that.
It may surprise you how...
how much he can actually hear.
[sniffles, grunts]
Give him a call though,
when we're bust.
I think you both deserve it,
another chance.
Well, Mr. Scheermeyer,
it's the last day
and still nothing.
We still have
until five o'clock,
but then the bank's
gonna shut us down.
Yes, sir.
[machinery rumbling]
Hey, Virgil,
what's happening now?
Until the drilling
breaks from a rate
of six minutes a foot
to 15 seconds a foot,
you got nothing.
But, if she breaks,
it'll be like drilling
a damn snowbank.
Merle, what she at?
6,526. Where's that reef?
Supposed to be at 6,500!
[machinery rumbling]
Kelly down!
- [Erwin] Kelly down?
- We gotta add another piece!
Kelly down.
[tense music playing]
- [radio beeps]
- Hey, Merle,
bank's here
to shut you down, buddy.
- Time!
- 4:46.
You're 14 minutes too early.
Let's go.
They're not shutting down.
Let's go, Jack.
Let's go, Max is coming.
- [radio beep]
- I can't hear you, Donnie.
Let's go, Jack.
Why did I bring you out here?
[tense music playing]
[Shay] Mmm... whoa!
Connection made, let's go!
Let's go, run her wide open.
[Shay] Yes, boss, wide open.
Alright, I'm gonna go
deal with Max.
Time to collect, boys.
Alright, let's go, Jack.
Hey, you know it's not time yet.
Shut up, Jack.
Get your ass up there.
Come on, Jack, let's go.
Time to go. Shut 'em down.
[suspenseful music playing]
We're getting gas cut by.
Keep circulating.
- I got it, boss.
- Virgil, let's go check
those cuttings.
Good odor.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
Damn good odor.
Their time's up, Jack.
Time to shut 'em down.
Time to shut 'em down.
Hey, Merle!
- What is that?
- You hear that?
- Yeah.
- Don. Don.
[cows mooing]
- Shit.
- Oh, no, no!
Open the door, Jack!
- [laughs]
- Open the door, Jack!
- [laughs]
- Jack! Open the door!
Open the door, Jack!
Open-- [screams]
Open the door!
- I hate you, Jack, I hate you!
- [Jack laughing]
Get Don on the phone now!
Don! Shut Luskey down!
I'll make it happen. Chad!
- Get your ass up here.
- Alright.
It's time for you
to earn your money!
Will you do something?
Just do your job!
Break, you son of a bitch!
[gentle music playing]
Oh, no.
Oh, no.
- [rattling]
- [rumbling]
[machinery rattling, rumbling]
Merle. That flow rate
is spiking awfully fast!
Stay in there!
- Ha! What?
- Yeah.
- [rumbling]
- Virgil?
Whoo! Holy cow!
[Merle] Alright. Now, the horn!
She's ready to blow!
Alright, Shay. Let's go!
Merle! Merle!
[rattling, rumbling]
[liquid rushing]
[gentle music playing]
[cheering, whooping]
Good job.
Let's get outta here.
- [car drives away in distance]
- [squeaks]
[gentle music playing]
- [utensils clink]
- [Erwin sighs]
[Erwin chuckles]
I'm gonna miss this place.
I would too.
Think I'm finally gonna buy it.
Despite our best efforts,
I think you're gonna be alright.
Oh, Faye.
Oh, I'm gonna miss you.
I'm gonna miss you too.
[inhales, kisses]
Mmm. Okay.
Come on outside,
I got something to show you.
[bell clangs]
[engine rumbling]
- No way.
- Recognize that?
Merle, what the--
She's not a piece
of shit anymore!
Look at this thing!
Yeah, we can't have
no oil tycoon
going back to California
in a piece of shit.
- Are those new rims?
- [car door opens]
It's a bit early
for a Christmas present.
Why don't you go on
and open it?
- [soft music playing]
- [paper rustling]
Genuine chocolate lizards.
You're an oil man now.
Just like my David.
[gentle music playing]
Can't thank you enough, Merle.
You better get outta here.
[car door closes]
[line rings]
Hey, Dad, it's Erwin.
[upbeat country music playing]
["Funny Feeling"
by Graham Wilkinson playing]
[song fades]