Bad Influence (2022) Movie Script

Can't believe it,
I don't get here enough
and now it's raining.
Uh, we don't get out anywhere.
With our schedules, how can we?
Ooh, it's a long way down.
It is.
So, how long are we supposed
to stand here in the rain.
Until a feeling of
calm washes over us.
Girls! Come one, I want
you to see this view.
Don't look so happy.
Tell me, what do I
have to be happy about?
Ugh, come on Lily, it's
high school, not death row.
It might as well be.
Listen to me.
You are the strongest person
that I know, and I mean it.
After everything you've
been through, new school,
it's gonna be a piece
of cake, I promise.
I just...
I don't understand who
transfers to a new school
in the middle of senior year.
Someone whose mom was lucky
enough to get a job offer.
Professorships are hard
to come by these days.
Okay, you ready?
We don't want to be
late for our first day.
- I love her.
- Yeah.
- Knock, knock.
- Diane!
I heard you were already
here and, well, here you are!
Here I am.
Squirreled away
in your office.
Yes, well, I just
have so much work to do.
I wanna hit the ground running.
- Well, this is for you.
- Thank you.
It is. Take a breather.
I just wanna talk
to you a minute.
Look, I know you're
excited, and you should be,
but I just wanna manage
your expectations.
What do you mean?
Well, when I first started,
I thought that I'd be
sitting around the quad
discussing Kierkegaard
with ambitious students.
The truth is that
half of these students
don't even wanna be here.
Either they have a job
that requires a degree or
they screwed around so
badly in high school
that they couldn't get into
a four-year university.
Okay, you're right,
this is discouraging.
But the other half...
The other half might not have
the money for a university
or they may work a full-time
job and need the flexibility.
Or, believe it or not, they may
even have a love of literature.
It's this group that
you need to reach.
I understand.
Honestly, Diane, I am just
grateful for the opportunity.
Well, we're lucky to have you.
I'm excited to
start teaching again.
And Lily? How's
she holding up?
She's good. Uh, I mean,
no teen is really excited
about being uprooted
in the middle of their
senior year, but...
- She at Chestnut Falls High?
- Mm-hmm.
My daughter, Katie, graduated
from there four years ago.
- Oh, I didn't know that.
- Yeah. Great school.
Don't worry about Lily. She'll
have no problem fitting in.
I hope you're right. I
mean, she's shy, by nature.
Since Robert died, she's been
more introverted than ever.
I just hope she makes an effort.
I know she wants
to have friends.
She'll be fine. But if
she struggles, you tell me.
I might know some people
who have kids that go there.
Thank you, Diane,
for everything.
What are old friends for?
Let me know if you
need anything, okay?
- You like?
- Mm.
It's not Forni's.
Nothing's Forni's.
But Diane said this was
the best around, so.
It's not terrible.
I'm sorry, I wanted to
make you a nice dinner
to celebrate your
first day of school,
but I'm already so
swamped at work.
Plus, I can't find
the silverware.
Mom, it's okay. I know.
- So, tell me.
- About?
- Everything. How was it?
- Well, uh,
it was only the first day.
So, I just spent most of it
just trying to get my bearings
and figure out the best
way to get to class.
How are the teachers?
They were all pretty
nice. And understanding.
But they had that
look in their eyes.
What look?
- How are the kids?
- Kind of just a combination
of scowls and stares.
- Lily...
- What?
Do you think that people come up
to the new girl on the first day
and say, "Hey,
let's be besties!"
No, that is not what I
think, but, I'm just saying,
you have to put yourself
out there, you know?
And they will
reciprocate. I promise.
- Nothing.
- No, I saw that, what?
- Well, there was this one guy.
- Oh.
- Did you talk to him?
- I smiled.
Well, that's a start.
Is he cute?
Mom. Puppies are cute.
Okay, sorry, was he,
"Devastatingly handsome."
Your dad would
be so proud of you.
Of the both of us.
- Ugh.
- Oh, hey, hey, hey.
I think you dropped this.
Oh, thanks.
Um, I'm, it's just
for English class.
I'm heading there now.
Yeah, I know.
You do?
Yeah. I was in Mr. Brooks'
class. I saw you.
I wanted to say something
but, you just seemed like
you had your hands full.
You have no idea.
- I'm Derek.
- I'm Lily. Lily Miller.
Yeah, I actually got that too
when Mr. Brooks introduced you
in front of the entire class.
That was so embarrassing.
Me having to explain
my favourite novel.
Yeah, look, between you and
me, Brooks is a complete tool.
But, uh, anything
by John Irving,
you can't really go wrong.
I was pretty impressed.
But... if you're
looking for something
a little different and maybe
a little bit more wild,
may I suggest.
Zenith? I've
never heard of it.
Yeah. I'm not surprised.
Not many people
have but, trust me,
that'll change your life.
It did mine.
Come on. We don't want to
miss Mr. Brooks' class.
Throughout the
novel, Edna Pontellier
makes numerous choices that
represent her awakening.
And while all of them
reflect the freedom
that she so desperately seeks,
the irony is that it's this
very quest for liberation
that is responsible
for her death.
- Excuse me?
- I said that's bullshit.
Well, Miss Lawrence.
Since you've commented so
eloquently on the material,
maybe you'd like to come up
here and teach this class.
Actually, I'd like
you to teach this class.
But maybe give us something
remotely insightful
instead of vapid analysis
that would embarrass
a middle school student.
Ooh, okay.
- Vapid?
- Yeah, it means something
that's not important...
I know what it means, Violet.
But I certainly don't
appreciate the disruption
or the inconsiderate
way in which you've...
Do your job.
- Excuse me?
- I said, then do your job.
An idiot can see that Kate
Chopin isn't defending
the society she
herself grew up in...
- That will do, Violet!
- She's shining a light on
hypocrisy that kept women
and especially women
- like herself resign...
- Enough!
- Go to the office.
- Gladly.
Where was I?
Excuse me. Uh, did
you get in trouble?
Detention. One hour
after school for a week.
It's worth it.
That was awesome.
Um, I just, I had
to tell you that.
It wasn't anything.
It needed to be said.
I'm just,
I've never heard someone
talk to a teacher like that.
Oh, I'm Lily, Lily Miller.
I know. I saw you
talking to Derek.
Relax, you have nothing to
worry about. Nobody owns Derek.
I, I uh,
I just love The Awakening.
My mom introduced it to me.
She is a professor of
English literature.
So, hearing Mr. Brooks miss
the whole point of the novel...
I know, right?
I'm just glad that you set him
straight and I didn't have to.
"The smallest
abdication of truth
is death by a thousand cuts."
- Who said that?
- It's from Zenith.
Oh. Derek gave me his copy.
He said that I'd like it.
I'm sure you will.
If you're the kind of
person I think you are.
Hey. What are you
doing after school?
Wanna hang out with us
once my jail time's over?
- Really?
- Why not?
- I mean, I don't know, 'cause...
- Come on!
People like us...
we need to stick together.
Mm. Mm. Mm.
Come over tonight?
- I don't know.
- What's the matter?
Nothing, I'm just,
I'm not in the mood.
- Suit yourself.
- Hey, hey!
This is what this whole
thing is about, right?
Free will. No guilt. No regret.
Yes. But turn me down again,
and I may have to find someone
who's a little freer
with their will.
It's like we were on
the same wavelength.
We talked about the same stuff
that you and I talk about.
- Hm.
- You don't seem that impressed.
No, I am, with her analysis,
but I don't really like the
way she talked to her teachers.
Sounds kind of disrespectful.
So, you should only stand by your
conviction when it's convenient?
Mm, no, that's
not what I said.
I just feel like there's
a way to get what you want
without talking to your
teachers disrespectfully.
Wow! Are you sure that you're
the same woman that read me
The Awakening before
bed every night?
Alright, why don't you
invite her over for dinner?
- I don't know.
- What do you mean?
If she's as great as you say
she is, I'm sure I'll love her.
Besides, you always
introduce me to your friends.
Um, I was meaning
to ask you...
Have you heard about this?
Zenith? Can't say that I have.
Are you assigned
this for school?
No, no, um, a
friend gave it to me.
He said that I'd like it.
- He?
- Mom, stop.
Is this the same friend that
you told me about yesterday?
Well, you know what I always
say, there are no bad books.
Just those who have yet
to find their readers.
Well, it should be an easy read.
I'll let you know what I think.
No, no, no, I loved it.
I told you, I was up all
night, it's just, um,
you said to be honest,
and there are a few parts
that made me feel a
little... uncomfortable.
Good literature should make
you a little uncomfortable.
Yeah but, what parts, Lily?
Oh, um...
Where the enlightened ones hold
all of the city's knowledge
and distribute it to
the different clans.
It just kind of sounds
a little bit prejudiced.
First time I read it I
thought the same thing.
Honestly, I did. But
then I read it again
and I opened my mind up to
what was really being said.
And I understood that it was
the exact opposite of that.
- Racism, sexism.
- Mm-hmm.
Any ism, really.
They're ideas advanced by
the weak, the inferior...
the fearful.
I assure you, Lily, do you
think I would ever belong
to a group that
viewed me as inferior?
Uh, wait, oh, what
do you mean belong?
Uh, Zenith, it's
not just a book.
It's how we choose
to live our lives.
Well, okay, it's how we try
to live our lives at least.
Oh, so kind of like, a Bible.
- Yeah.
- Sort of.
Spot on.
Sure. Zenith
isn't a collection
of fairy tales, of mystic
fables. It's a blueprint.
A blueprint?
For higher awareness,
enlightenment... for excellence.
Doesn't that seem like
a little, "Self-helpy"?
- Ooh.
- Give it a try.
It'll grow on you. I promise.
For Zenith?
It's... it's beautiful..
Thank you. Hasn't
let me down yet.
Oh, hey, hey, hey!
Um, I meant to ask you,
um, I was wondering if maybe
you wanted to come over
to my house one night
for dinner? With my mom.
It's totally cool if
you don't want to,
you're probably super busy...
What night?
Oh. I don't know,
whatever works for you.
How about tonight?
Don't you have to ask
your mom or anything?
That's what I'm
talking about, Lily.
One of the main lessons of
Zenith, I do what I want.
So, if it's cool with
you, tonight it is.
Mm. Mm. This is really
delicious Mrs. Miller.
I'm glad you like it, Violet.
But please, call me Joan.
You guys are practically adults.
It's just such a change
from what I'm used to.
- Your mother doesn't cook?
- I wouldn't know.
She's practically
always at the office.
Well, don't be
too hard on her.
Being a single mom isn't easy.
Come on, Mom.
No. It's okay.
I know it's hard. I wouldn't
complain about her hours
if, say, she were a
professor like you,
or something else meaningful.
- What does she do?
- She's a lawyer.
Well, now I understand
why she's rarely home.
Standing up for the
little guy is not easy.
Oh. My mother is a
corporate attorney.
All her clients are
Fortune 500 companies.
She's hardly ever standing
up for the little guys.
Crushing them under the heel
of her stiletto is more likely.
Well, she's giving
you a better life,
that's what's important.
I look forward to
meeting her, though,
I'm sure we have more in
common than you think.
Well, like I said,
she's hardly ever home.
Um, I don't understand.
Dante Leclerc never
wrote another book?
He never wrote anything else.
He killed himself shortly
after Zenith was released.
Killed himself,
what a load of crap.
What do you mean?
I mean, they offed him.
Leclerc would have
never killed himself,
it goes against
everything he believes in.
But like, who would
want him dead and why?
A lot of people think he
was becoming too powerful.
Powerful how?
Zenith made a splash
when it first came out.
Especially in some circles.
Colleges, underground book
clubs, places like that.
For a lot of readers, Leclerc
was a breath of fresh air.
Most books that are
promoted by the mainstream
love the victim narrative.
A protagonist is always
at the mercy of others,
whether it's the government,
religion, the rich.
Leclerc didn't believe this.
He believed that we all hold
the power to change the world.
For good or for
evil, as Zeni shows.
Still, people do
lots of crazy things,
some even dangerous and
they don't get killed.
: Yeah.
- Really Violet.
Oh, shoot.
I'm just telling
you what I heard.
- Oh my God I'm so sorry!
- What the hell!
I totally didn't
see you there.
Wait, let me just...
What are you,
delusional, oh my God.
Don't touch me, skank.
Hey, hey! Hey!
- Are you okay?
- Yeah, oh yeah, I'm fine.
I just, um...
Someone needs to put
that bitch in her place.
Are you okay?
It's okay.
- Hey. Slow down.
- Are you on your period?
I just honestly can't stop
thinking about that bitch
throwing yoghurt on me.
Cognac. Took it from my dad.
Hm. How classy.
What was that?
I don't know, Amanda.
Maybe it was a racoon.
A possum. But if you don't
want to, just say so.
I heard something,
Jack, I'm telling you.
Let's just go to the practice
field behind the high school.
At least we'll be
back in civilization.
Whatever you say.
Hey, what's going on?
Everybody looks like zombies.
- You didn't hear?
- Hear what?
Amanda Williams and
her boyfriend, Jack...
- Dude.
- Wait. What?
They were driving home,
probably from making
out on the bluffs.
And then his truck went...
Went off the road.
So... they're both dead?
No. Jack died on impact
but Amanda is in a coma.
Is she gonna be okay?
We can hope, right? That's
all we can do, is hope.
None of us wanted
Amanda or Jack to die.
You know that, right?
But the world is
a far better place
without either of them in it.
That's the truth.
And as Zenith says,
"Truth is sacred.
Above all else."
- Okay, okay, not bad, but that's...
- No, stop.
Lily! Hi!
Lily, I didn't know
you had friends over.
Oh, um, we're just
hanging out, Mom.
Hi Mrs. Mi...
uh, I mean, Joan.
Hi Violet. Nice to see you.
Uh, Mom, this is Derek.
- Hi. Nice to meet you.
- Hi.
Okay, we'll, I'll just be
here if you guys need anything.
- Um.
- Ahem.
So, what does your mom do?
She's a professor at Eastern
Hemlock Community College.
- Mm. - Mm-hmm.
Yeah, no, she
seems super cool.
- Mm.
- Yeah, she is.
Sometimes, I guess.
Yeah, I mean, you don't
want her too cool, right?
Do you remember Becca's mom?
Ugh. Yeah.
Who's that?
A girl we used
to hang out with.
Used to. Yeah, her mom
had like no boundaries.
She thought she
was, "Our friend."
It was totally pathetic.
Yeah, it was like she was trying
to relive her youth or something,
I don't know, it made
me super uncomfortable.
I'm super happy, I'm just
happy Becca's graduated,
that's all I'm gonna say.
: See you guys
- They both leave?
- Yep.
- They seem nice.
- Uh-huh.
Although I couldn't help
but overhear you kids...
Overhear what?
Overhear what you
guy were talking about.
- You were eavesdropping?
- Well, I wouldn't call it that.
You can't just listen to
my private conversations.
Private conversations?
Lily, I was in the kitchen
making you something to eat,
I couldn't help but hear.
But that's not the issue.
I heard Violet call
somebody pathetic
Oh, yeah,
it was just someone's mom who
they used to hang out with.
I hope it wasn't your mom.
You think that we
were talking about you?
God, Mom. Get over yourself.
Get over myself? Whoa.
Uh, I don't know who
you think you are,
maybe that's how Violet
talks to her mom,
but that is not how we talk
to each other in this house.
That was fun, the other
night at your house.
- Yeah, until my Mom showed up.
- Why? She seems harmless.
Well, I found out that she was
eavesdropping on our conversation.
You serious? That's not right.
Privacy is one of the
unalienable rights
according to Zenith.
Well, I don't know
what I could do about it.
I know what we
could do about it.
We can hang out at my place.
- Really?
- Sure.
Like I said, my
mom's never home.
Okay. This is your house?
It's... it's enormous.
All that means is in
the middle of the night
it takes longer to pee.
Ew, what?!
Trust me, it's just a
normal house, like any other.
Come on.
This isn't just a house.
- You want the tour?
- Yes!
- Come on. Voila.
- Whoa!
Does anybody even eat in here?
But sometimes an
espresso is brewed
I wanna show you my room.
I'm so excited to see your room.
You should be.
- What?
- My room.
This is your room?
- Wow. Oh my.
- Right?
I love it.
I hoped you'd say that.
Think of this as your room too,
whenever things at
home get too tough...
Whenever you need to get away.
Party time!
Trust me.
You're gonna want this.
How is it?
- Oh, so gross.
- Gross?
- Yes!
- I like it.
I wonder who that could be?
No, no, no. You stay
here. I'll be right back.
So bad.
- Hi.
- Hey.
Um, where's Violet?
Oh, she's... she went
to get some glasses.
- Oh.
- Can I come in?
Yeah, sure.
- So, you've seen the place.
- Mm-hmm.
- Mm, can I have some?
- Yes, of course.
No, I don't really like it.
Okay, well, I
have a little trick
that can make it
taste a little better.
You trust me?
How was that?
I dug this out
of my mom's closet.
Wow. You look so sexy.
Do you like it?
Hi, this is Lily,
you know what to do,
or better yet, text me.
Hi, it's your mom, again.
I have texted you,
multiple times.
I'm slowly going from annoyed
to worried, so, call me back.
Unless you want me to
contact the police.
- Hi.
- Hey.
Have you ever done
anything like that before?
I, uh... no.
And how are you
feeling about it?
I'm, I'm not sure.
It's common to feel guilty.
Even a little ashamed.
- Yeah. You really shouldn't.
- Right, you shouldn't.
I'm beginning to
like this philosophy.
Takes a special kind of
person to realize that.
I wanna show you something.
- No, Violet, it's way too soon.
- I don't think so.
What is it?
It's the Z, for Zenith.
We all have one,
on our left hip.
It's branded into our skin
to show our loyalty to the book
and to each other. We just
have to make sure to place them
somewhere our parents
can't see them.
I want one.
No, Lily, you don't have
to say that just because...
No. I want one. I'm positive.
I know how close you
are to your mother, Lily.
But you can never
mention this to her.
That would be bad...
for all of us.
Of course not.
And after it's done...
You get to wear this.
Just like yours.
Yeah. The guys wear a ring,
the girls wear a necklace.
That's right. Although
I can't seem to find mine,
I don't know what the
hell happened to it.
After this, everything changes.
This is gonna hurt.
You're okay. That's it.
Ugh, you're alive.
Of course I'm alive.
Do you have any
idea how late it is?
- I, it's just late.
- Yeah, late.
I called and texted
like a million times,
- you didn't get them?
- No, I...
I just wasn't checking my phone.
Okay. Where were you?
I was, um,
I was at Violet's
just hanging out.
Look, I want you to stay out
late if you want to have fun,
it's your senior year. I get it.
But I just need to
know where you are
and that you're okay.
- Okay.
- Okay.
- Are you okay?
- Yeah, yeah. I'm just, um,
I'm just a little sore.
You guys, you weren't
drinking or anything, right?
God, Mom, no. I wasn't
drinking, I wasn't doing drugs.
I was just... I was just hanging
out with my friends, okay?
So, maybe you could give me
a little friggin' privacy.
I'm not just your boss,
Joan, I'm also your friend.
Come on, you can
tell me, what is it?
It's nothing. It's nothing.
- The students?
- No. Actually,
they've been much more
receptive than I anticipated.
Then what? Have the
other professors been rude?
No, no, everybody here
has been incredibly kind.
Don't treat me like a fool,
Joan. I know something's wrong.
- It's Lily.
- Lily?
I thought you said
she was doing great.
You said she already made
friends and everything.
Yeah. It's the friends.
One friend in particular.
She is unlike any friend
Lily has ever had.
I swear, she has changed her.
Changed her how?
It's hard to pinpoint, but...
she's just different.
Take it from
someone who knows.
It's probably just a
case of senior-it is.
Girls her age, when they
get college in their sights,
ooh, they tend to go a little...
Yeah. Maybe that's it.
Look, Joan, don't
worry at all about Lily.
She has a good head on
her shoulders. You'll see.
She'll be fine.
- Hi, Violet, how are you?
- Hi, Joan.
Um, we're gonna go
to Violet's house.
I'm gonna sleep
over there tonight,
I'm just gonna pick
up some clothes.
Yeah, okay, will
your mother be home?
That's so embarrassing.
What... I just wanna talk to
your mom, make sure it's okay.
It's fine, Joan. I'll
give you her number.
Okay, but I could
use some new clothes.
Nah, there's plenty I
could do with this stuff.
All we need is a pair
of scissors and bleach.
- Huh! This is cool.
- Mm-hmm.
- May I?
- Mm-hmm.
Oh, I saw that the other
day when we were changing.
- Oh. Yeah, ancient history.
- What happened?
Um, supposedly, I
rolled onto one of those
electric bottle warmers.
My mother left it on by mistake
when she was changing me.
That's what she told me, anyway.
Hm. Okay. What do you think?
I think that it looks better
on you than it does on me.
Well, when we get
back to my place,
you can raid my closet, okay?
- Okay.
- Okay. Let's go.
- You talk to her?
- Yes.
- So, everything cool?
- Everything is cool.
Okay. I don't know when I'll
be home, but I'll text you.
- Bye, Joan.
- Bye-bye.
- Have fun, girls.
- Ha, ha.
I mean, back in like the
7th grade we were friends,
but, ever since high school
I haven't said a word to her.
The only time she's
acknowledged me is to
tell me to get out of the way
or to mock me about something.
Still, don't you feel like,
at least... a little bad?
I mean, she's in a coma.
Amanda was brain-dead
a long time ago.
I guess.
Lily... Lily.
You're gonna need to
learn that giving energy,
no matter how little,
to someone who doesn't
care about you,
is that much more energy that
you could be using on yourself.
Or on people you do care
about and who care about you.
I know, it's just...
it's hard to think
like that, you know?
I'm... I'm so sorry.
Not terrible,
but the next time you girls
raid my liquor cabinet,
try the 12-year single malt.
- Mom, this Lily.
- I gathered.
It's nice to meet
you, miss Lawrence.
Oh, please. I would make the joke
about Mrs. Lawrence being my mother
if she deserved to be
called that. But I'm Harper.
Always Harper.
- You going out?
- I have a work thing.
Shouldn't be home too
late, unless I am,
in which case, I will
see you tomorrow.
You really are very
beautiful, Lily.
- Thanks.
- Isn't she?
Be safe, girls.
Oh, my God. That's your mom?
She doesn't look
much older than you.
Oh, she knows it, believe me.
Oh my God, she's so cool!
She's nothing like my mom.
Then you need to do
something about that.
What do you mean?
Lily, come on.
Remember Zenith?
You can't wait for
people to change.
It'll never happen.
It's human nature.
You need to make them change.
It may not be easy,
but it is necessary.
So, in this and other
ways, it becomes apparent
that jealousy is the overriding force
behind many of the character's actions.
The fact that Casaubon puts
such a stipulation in his will
shows how unbearable
he finds the thought
of Dorothea with another man.
Typical chauvinistic view.
I'm sorry, miss Miller?
I just said that that's a
typical chauvinistic view,
which isn't surprising.
- Oh no?
- No.
I mean, it's pretty obvious when
you assign the same vapid authors.
You mean this vapid
woman author, Lily?
Because if you had been
listening to anything I've said
you'd know that George Eliot is
the pen name for Mary Anne Evans.
So before you try to get
some attention for yourself,
you might want to make sure
that your argument is solid.
So stupid!
I made a fool out of myself.
No, you didn't.
Brooks is the fool, Lily.
I just...
I wanted to be like you.
You are like me.
Just... like me.
Remember the brand.
Don't worry about Brooks,
I'll take care of it.
I promise.
We'll talk about this
in class tomorrow. Okay?
- Thanks for the ride.
- Yeah.
Lily, I need to talk
to you about Violet.
I've never seen
her like this before.
Like what?
So... vindictive.
Is this going further
than we wanted to?
She's the one who opened
my eyes to everything.
To our teachers, to how my
mom's been controlling me...
See that? That's
what I'm talking about.
Your mom, she
seemed pretty chill.
Look, I appreciate
your concern Derek,
but she's my mom, so I'll
decide how to handle her.
- Hey!
- What are you doing?
I was just putting
away some laundry.
Why are you bringing
them back down?
I heard the door, so I don't
know, I just forgot to leave it.
What are you even doing home?
Well, classes were out
at noon, so I decided
it would be a good time to get
some chores done around here.
How was your day?
Why, did you hear something?
Actually, I did get an interesting
call from your vice-principal,
Mr. Hillstrom.
What did he say?
You don't know?
It wasn't a big deal!
Would you consider
suspension a big deal?
- What?
- That's what he said is gonna happen
if you talk to your
teacher again like that.
Okay, yeah, whatever.
No! Not whatever!
Lily, I need you to promise me
that's not gonna happen again.
God! Mom, can you
just give me some space?
Is that too much to ask?
Space is all I've been giving
you since we moved here,
I think maybe space
is the problem.
No, I think that
you're the problem.
I don't even
recognize you anymore.
Well, maybe if you
didn't take me for granted,
I'm the same person
that I've always been,
it's just you're too...
You're too
self-centred to notice.
I'm gonna go upstairs
and do my homework,
I hope that that's acceptable.
Now, when Fitzgerald said there
are no second acts to American lives,
to what was he referring?
Come on, somebody.
Miss Lawrence, you must have
something to contribute?
Mr. Brooks,
a moment please?
Uh, class, just bear with
me, please, I won't be long.
Hey! What do you
think that was about.
I don't think we'll be
seeing Mr. Brooks anytime soon.
How do you know?
I made a promise to you, Lily.
After what Brooks did to you...
You mean that you're
responsible for...
Students, please read
quietly for the rest of class.
Thank you.
This is what they've
become obsessed with,
she and her friends.
- What is it?
- Zenith.
You've never heard of it?
- No, had you?
- Mm-mmm, no.
The book nor the author.
And there isn't much about
either of them online.
- Did you actually read it?
- I did.
I mean... it isn't
particularly special.
The story is not much.
Something for him to hang
his beliefs on, really.
Sort of a mash up of
Nietzsche, Ayn Rand,
a little bit or Orwell,
maybe some of...
nihilism thrown in.
Hmm, so is Nietzsche if
you take his ideas seriously.
But I do understand how it
could be appealing to teenagers.
I mean, smart teens.
Ones that are bored with
Jane Austen and Dickens.
But you don't
think it's dangerous?
No, but then again,
nobody thought Catcher in the
Rye was particularly persuasive
until they found it on Chapman.
True. So the problem
is her friends.
- Friend. Violet.
- Not Violet Lawrence?
Yes. You know her?
No, but her sister, she
was in my daughter's class.
Always in trouble. If not with
the school, then with the cops.
Cops? Seriously?
Yeah, but I don't think
it was anything terrible.
Vandalism, underage
drinking, drugs.
She was smart though.
Extremely bright.
That much I do remember.
It's always the smart ones you
need to watch out for, right?
Are you sure Diane?
Violet never mentioned
anything about a sister.
I actually thought the girls
moved away after the accident.
But they must've moved back.
What accident?
- You don't know?
- No.
The girls' parents.
They were killed in
an accident years ago.
Hiking, I think.
It was terrible.
I... Diane, no,
I spoke to the mom.
I don't know what to tell you,
but if we're talking
about the same family,
then you must've
spoken to a ghost.
I saw the cops take him away.
- For real?
- I swear to God.
- Was he cuffed?
- No, he wasn't cuffed.
But they definitely put him
in the back of the squad car,
it's not like they just said, "Hey,
meet us at the station" or something.
Oh, my gosh.
Did Mr. Brooks have a
reputation for things like this?
I mean, he always
creeped me out.
I heard it was a freshman,
that's who he was caught with.
Nuh-uh, he wasn't
caught with her,
I heard there were
pictures. Dirty pictures.
- Oh, my God.
- The truth is, none of us
really know what happened.
It's all just rumours.
Well, something
happened, we know that.
They don't just grab a teacher
and haul him out in cuffs.
- I said he wasn't cuffed.
- Just an expression, Peter.
- I can't wait for the email.
- Email?
Yeah. Whenever something
like this happens,
something embarrassing
for the school,
the super intendant and principal
always send out an email
to the students and parents.
They try to like get
ahead of the story,
you know, spin it a little.
Unfortunately for them, they
won't be able to spin this one.
Okay, I thought you said you
didn't know what happened?
Just an educated guess. Ava?
- Yeah?
- Let's go!
Of course.
Hold on.
Do you see what I'm
taking about now?
Mr. Brooks
humiliated me, Derek.
- You saw it.
- Okay.
Is that reason to
get him arrested?
I don't know, but I do
know that it's really nice
having someone look out for me.
I thought that you were that person,
but I guess that I was wrong.
Oh my God.
Oh, um, I just...
I'm just coming by
to pick up something.
- More clothes?
- Uh no, my copy of Zenith.
- I have it.
- You have it?
- Why do you have it?
- I took it.
You had no right.
Violet, I'd like to
talk to my daughter alone.
If you don't mind.
No, anything that
you want to say to me
you can say in front of her.
No, I can't.
It's alright, Lily. Take
all the time you need.
I'll be outside waiting
whenever you're ready.
If you need me, just call.
Are you actively
trying to ruin my life?
It looks like you're doing a
pretty good job at that on your own.
Oh, so that's why you
wanted to talk to me alone,
so you could insult me?
I'm sorry.
I just... I wanna
show you what I found.
Okay, if you could
just please sit down?
Just for a minute.
What is it?
Lily, Harper is
not Violet's mother.
I think she's her sister.
Her parents were killed in a
suspicious camping accident.
Violet was questioned
but the police could never
explain what really happened.
- Why are you doing this?
- What?
- Why are you doing this to me?
- What...
Because it's the truth!
No, that's the most ridiculous
thing I've ever heard!
I've met Violet's mom!
No, Lily, you met her sister.
Just look at this.
Lily, please, listen to me.
No, you listen to me.
I finally have a friend,
I have a best friend.
I finally fit in, and you're
trying to take that away from me.
How dare you?!
- No, I'm not trying to take anything away from you,
I love you! I'm
worried about you.
No, you're worried about you.
What are you saying?
You're worried that now that
I have people who care about me,
and believe in me, that
you're gonna lose me.
No! That couldn't be
further from the truth.
Oh yeah?
Because ever since dad died,
it's just been you and me.
And we've always had each other.
And now that I'm not
around as much anymore,
it scares you, so you have
to make up lies to hurt me.
Lies? Lily,
listen to yourself.
I am listening.
See, but I'm done
listening to you. Okay?
Can you just...
Just leave me alone!
- Do you like it?
- Yeah!
It's our secret
little hide-out.
I love it!
I can't believe I
finally told her off!
You'd be so proud of me! Here.
Man, you cannot believe the
crap that she was saying.
Like what?
I don't know.
Hm, she was saying that like...
Harper is not your
mother, she's your sister,
and that you guys tried
to kill your parents.
Like, crazy stuff! She was putting
papers in my face and everything.
I'm good.
Trust me, one more at least.
I need to tell you
something, Lily.
- There you go.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
- I really appreciate
you meeting with me so soon.
Well, that's the thing
about Chestnut Falls,
we're plenty busy, but
when someone comes in
and says they have
information about a murder,
we listen.
I think it's a murder,
I can't be certain.
Why don't you tell
me what you know,
and we'll figure out
what the truth is.
Okay. Um, do you remember
a case from a few years ago,
the Lawrence family? The parents
died in a camping accident.
Yeah, of course,
it was big news.
- Did you investigate it?
- No, state police did.
And Department of
Parks too I believe,
after all, it happened
in a State park.
But the family was from
here, Chestnut Falls.
- Mm-hmm.
- In all articles I read,
it refers to the death
as, "A tragic accident."
That's right.
I don't think it was an
accident, Sergeant Carter,
I don't think it was
an accident at all.
I think they were murdered.
Your mother's not wrong.
Harper is my sister.
When our parents died,
she became my legal guardian.
She was an adult, it made sense.
It was easier, less complicated
to let people think
she was my mother.
And I didn't want anyone's
pity. You know how it is.
But that's not what
you want to know.
What you wanna know
is if I killed my parents.
I killed them.
My parents were very abusive,
both mentally and physically.
The... scar on your
side, that wasn't from...
A bottle warmer?
I'm so sorry, Violet.
But then, Harper
gave me this book.
It was exactly what
she needed at the time.
Every night, Harper would
read to me from Zenith.
It was our Bible.
And slowly, it became
obvious what we needed to do.
So... she did it.
She murdered them?
Murder them?
We just wanted
the abuse to stop.
To live without
pain. Without fear.
Okay, why didn't you just
go tell somebody, like...
the police? A
guidance counsellor?
Are you serious, Lily? Come
on! You've seen my house.
Do you think anyone would've really
believed their spoiled little daughter?
Why are you
telling this to me?
Why now?
Because I trust you, Lily.
And you trust Zenith.
But never mention
this to anyone.
- Are you threatening me?
- Threatening you?
Of course not,
you're one of us now!
I'm just explaining.
And what I'm explaining
is that if I hear you betray me,
the things I'll do to you
will make the pain from
that brand of yours
feel like a little tickle.
Violet, I'm...
I don't know what to
think. I'm just...
I'm just confused. Okay?
I never killed anyone
I didn't have to.
It was either them or me.
And they were killing me
slowly, if not physically,
then both mentally
and emotionally.
Just like your mother
is doing to you.
Oh, you know it's true, Lily.
The question is what are
you gonna do about it?
You can't be
suggesting that I...
Violet, I love my mother.
Yes, obviously,
sometimes we fight.
I would never hurt her.
I just want... I just
want a little space.
I just want a little freedom.
Only you know
how you feel, Lily.
But I know once I did
what I needed to do,
I finally felt free.
And that...
that is the greatest feeling
in the world.
Okay, okay, I hear you,
Mrs. Miller, I do. But...
for me to look into this,
let alone reopen the case,
I would need some new evidence.
Okay, like what?
Something tangible.
Something that would prove that
the Lawrences didn't just slip
off an unstable rockfall.
Okay, what about proof that
the woman that's pretending
to be Violet Lawrence's
mother is really her sister?
I have articles that prove that.
I'm not even sure
that's a crime.
- Excuse me?
- It's bizarre, I'll give you that,
but I wouldn't even know
what to charge her with.
Especially if there's no
evidence of neglect or abuse.
What about
brainwashing my daughter?
Brainwashing, you mean
by giving her that book?
Mrs. Miller, I don't want
to insult your intelligence,
but you'd be laughed out
of court with that one.
I doubt a judge would
even hear the case.
Lily is a different person since she
started hanging out with this girl.
Completely different person.
She doesn't even
listen to me anymore.
I get it, I have kids too.
What can I do? How can I
keep her away from this Violet?
Can I get a restraining order?
How old is Lily?
18. She just turned
18 a few months ago.
Then you can't.
I can't what?
Can't get her to do what you
want, she's legally an adult.
Then what do I
do, Sergeant Carter,
what do you suggest I do?
How do I help my daughter?
Look, you said you had a good
relationship with her before, right?
We were very close, yes.
Then talk to her.
Convince her to listen to you.
It's the most reasonable
thing you could do.
Frankly, Mrs. Miller,
it's the only thing you can do.
- Did I wake you?
- Are you okay?
Can we please
talk? I'm so sorry!
- Yes. Come here.
- I'm so sorry!
Shh, hey, hey, hey, hey, shh.
It's okay, it's okay.
Shh, look at me.
Everything is gonna
be okay, I promise.
- Were you with Violet?
- No.
I was just out, trying
to clear my head.
She had me so messed up.
Her and her stupid book.
Do you want to talk about it?
Not really, not right now.
- Is that okay?
- Yeah, of course.
How could I ever
make it up to you?
Don't worry about
me, I'm a mom,
it comes with the
territory. It's okay.
Maybe the two of us could hang
out this weekend, together?
I'd like that.
There's this really nice
hiking trail up by the mountains.
All the kids go there at
nighttime to hang out,
but in the day, apparently,
it's really beautiful.
It overlooks the whole valley.
Sounds perfect.
We should get some sleep.
I think that I might just
stay here and text my friends.
Then I'll go to sleep
afterwards, is that okay?
Yeah, of course.
- I love you.
- I love you too.
I'm glad you're back.
So am I.
Lily, let's go!
Okay, okay, I'm coming.
You want something to eat?
Uh, no, that's okay, I
don't really have an appetite.
- Are you sure?
- Mm-hmm. I'll be fine.
Okay. That's for you.
Woo! How are you doing?
Tired, but the
good kind of tired.
Mm, well, do you wanna stop?
Before my middle-aged
mom, are you kidding?
Hey! Don't call
me middle-aged!
Okay, maybe we just
take one little break.
What? We're almost there!
I know but... just
a little thirsty.
Whoa, look at these clouds.
The weather changes
on a dime up here.
- Just in case.
- Okay.
- You ready?
- Yeah.
Oh, be careful! Ooh!
Man, I kind of expected today
to be a little bit more sunny.
I mean, it's okay, but my boots
are gonna be really dirty.
Oh, wow.
Look at this branch.
Ooh. Nice.
I think that we're
coming close to...
- Wow.
- Look at the ravine.
It's really something,
isn't it, mom?
Game over, Violet, game over!
I don't know what the
hell you're talking about!
I come up here and meet
you like you asked,
- and I get jumped?
- Mom!
You better have a good
explanation for this!
I'm sorry, Violet, but it's
not gonna work this time.
Please! Please!
You're all crazy!
Listen, you can deny that
you killed your parents,
you can even say that maybe
Mr. Brooks is inappropriate,
but there's one thing
that you can't explain.
My necklace! Where
did you find it?
I didn't. Amanda
Williams had it.
She asked for me at
the hospital, so I went.
She was hazy, but that was
something she still remembered,
is that before the accident,
she found it beside
Jack's truck.
- That's not proof of anything.
- Tell that to the police.
- I thought you were special!
- I am special!
I'm just not better
than everybody else!
And neither are you!
We did it.
You're okay?
Come on.
Uncuff me right now!
I'm going to sue you!
It's okay.
I'm going to sue all of you!
Get me out of here! Lily!
I love you, Lily!
I got the whole
thing on my phone.
I'll email it to you.
- Good.
- And if that doesn't work,
there are three witnesses that
saw what she attempted to do.
I'll need you to come
down to the station
and make a formal
statement about everything.
- Both of you.
- Yeah.
Well, maybe it can
wait 'til tomorrow.
Right now, I think you
two need to get some rest.
I need to talk to your
mother for a few minutes.
It's okay, I'll
be right there.
I'll walk you to your car.
Okay, is this the part
where you read me riot act
for endangering the kids?
You could've called me.
Because you were
so helpful last time.
This is different.
You would've had your daughter
to corroborate things.
Hmm, yes, then you would've had
two crazy ladies instead of one.
Look, I'm not blaming
you, Sergeant,
but we both know Lily's testimony
wouldn't prove anything.
It was still risky.
Yes, it was risky,
but if Violet killed
multiple people,
like I am certain she did,
then it would've been
riskier not to do anything.
I mean, eventually, she
would've come after Lily and me.
She couldn't afford not to.
So what happens now?
Well, it's up to the DA.
Violet will be charged.
And they'll have to decide if
she's competent to stand trial.
I don't know if
she can stand trial,
but I do know Violet Lawrence
is certainly out of her mind.
What do you think
school will be like?
I don't know.
We'll have to wait and see.
What do you think Ava
and Peter are gonna think?
Look, they bought into it.
Just like I did,
just like you did.
But in the end, they're
not killers, right?
They're followers.
I just...
I can't believe that that
book inspired us to do
- so many crazy things.
- Yeah.
They didn't seem crazy.
I guess so.
Do you have the necklace?
That reminds me.
Never again.
Look at the two of you.
- Hello.
- Hi, sir.
Will you two relax?
You look like you're
guilty of something.
I guess it's just being
in a police station.
Yeah, well, unless you
go into law enforcement,
you probably won't spend
too much time in one.
But with that stunt that
the two of you pulled...
maybe you were made
for investigative work.
Oh, before I forget again.
Thank you.
With everything we
already have on her...
we probably don't need
this, but it's good to have.
Of course.
I told your mother I would
need to interview her as well.
I half expected
her to be with you.
Oh, um... I could give her
a call, she could come down.
- Please.
- Yeah.
Okay, excuse me,
it's my daughter.
-Hi, mom.
- Hi, where are you?
- We're with Sergeant Carter.
Oh, that's so funny, I'm here
with Sergeant Anderson now.
She came by to
take my statement.
She says that she's talking to Sergeant
Anderson at her house right now.
- Sergeant Anderson?
- Yeah, that's what she said.
We don't have a Sergeant
Anderson on the force.
Mrs. Miller, this
is Sergeant Carter.
Please listen to
me very carefully.
That woman is not
a police officer.
She's very dangerous.
Don't do anything sudden.
And get out of your house.
Get out as fast as you can.
She just wanted
to check up on me.
Well, that's good.
Shall we continue?
Yeah. Uh, I don't
remember where we were.
You were explaining
the toxic influence
the suspect had
on your daughter.
Oh, right.
Easier than blaming
the parents, I suppose.
- Excuse me?
- Well, all I'm saying is...
you and your daughter
just moved here,
Lily has only known the
suspect a few weeks,
you've been her mother,
what, over 18 years?
Seems kind of silly
to blame someone else
for Lily's shortcomings.
But what do I know?
I'm a good mother.
Of course, Mrs. Miller, I
didn't mean to imply otherwise.
I'm just gonna go
get a glass of water.
I think we should
stay right here.
Please, please don't hurt me.
Lily needs me.
Needs you?
No, no, I don't think so.
I think Lily was doing
just fine by herself.
In fact, when she was over,
she was talking quite a bit
about how she didn't need you.
No, that's not true.
Of course, it's
true, and you know it.
Please, Lily's the only thing
that means anything to me.
Now, now that I believe.
But you see, Mrs. Miller,
that Violet was the one thing
that meant something to me
and you and your
little bitch daughter,
you took her away
from me, and now...
Now, you're gonna pay.
Stop! Mrs. Miller.
It's over!
It's over, I love you.
I love you too.
And always remember,
nobody should be able
to keep you here.
Who are they?!
Who are they to say that
something's wrong with you?!
They're the ones that
should be in here.
Who don't want you to be free.
But you have the
power to change that.
You have Zenith.
And Zenith will set you free.