Dismissed (2017) Movie Script

[grave music playing]
[clock chiming]
[Mr. Butler] "Will you, I pray,
demand that demi-devil. Why he hath
thus ensnared my soul and body?"
To which, Iago responds,
"Demand me nothing.
What you know, you know.
From this time forth I
will never speak a word."
Now, Iago may be keeping his
trap shut at the end of the play.
But do we, as the audience,
know what his motive is?
Why did Iago ruin Othello?
Think back to the beginning of the play.
A certain character named "Cassio."
A certain position.
[Becca] Mr. Butler?
Yes, Becca.
Does Othello really
think Iago is the devil?
Well, that's a good question.
Can anyone from Mr. Coleman's Latin class
tell us what demi means?
[man] You have that pawn. You're gonna
expose your queen and choose rook.
Good timing. But, uh, start developing
those pieces from the back, okay?
[Mr. Sheldon] And something strikes
me about the way it's written.
[chemistry teacher] So, what I did
was I took a couple of those sentences
and I plugged them into Google.
She took them from a Wikipedia
page on chemical reactions.
She plagiarized the whole
thing like, word for word,
just copy-paste.
I mean, it makes you wonder
like, "What's the point?"
Hey, these kids don't even want
teachers when they have Google.
Yeah. Uh, come on, though.
I mean, sure, yeah, they can get
all the facts from the Internet
but Google can't teach a lesson.
Not the important ones.
- [baby crying]
- Oh, baby.
- Hey, Papa's home.
- Uh-oh.
- Papa's home.
- [baby cries louder]
Papa, he's so sad you're home,
- but I'm so happy.
- Hey. [laughs]
- Hi, how are you? Good.
- Hey, how are you? Good.
- Can I get you some food?
- Oh, yeah.
Let me take over. Hi.
Hi, buddy. It's okay.
Oh, my God. He's... he's bigger.
- [Rachel chuckles]
- I swear, since this morning.
He's grown an inch.
He's gonna be in your class soon.
- Here.
- Oh, thanks.
- I started without you, I'm sorry.
- Oh, that's okay.
- [Rachel] Oh, hi.
- [Mr. Butler] Hey, buddy.
I'm gonna eat dinner.
So, we got the bill today for the hospital.
Oh, for his bronchitis?
- Yeah.
- How much?
Too much.
- [Rachel whispers] What is this?
- [Rachel squeezes soft toy]
Um, Mom said she'll pay for it.
Nope. No, we're not taking any
more money from your parents.
And I was thinking,
maybe this would be a good
time for me to go back to work.
you don't have to do
that because it turns out,
Jane Fremont knows somebody at Demme U.
She's gonna put in a good word for me,
so, I got a real shot at
getting this professorship.
- Really?
- Yeah.
I'm gonna start working on
this application tonight.
I'm gonna get this.
It's tenure track, right?
Daddy's gonna be a professor.
[Rachel] Right?
[Mr. Butler] That's
where the big bucks are.
[somber music playing]
- [man] Morning, Mr. Butler.
- Oh.
[Mr. Butler] Oh.
Oh, I apologize for startling you.
My name is Lucas Ward.
I'm a new transfer student.
Oh, yeah, sure, uh...
Principal Fremont mentioned
something about that.
Uh, welcome to the class.
Thank you, sir. I'm excited to be here.
Quite the, uh, early bird, are you, Lucas?
Well, only one way to
catch the worm, right, sir?
You can call me, uh, Mr. Butler.
I'm no drill sergeant.
Of course, Mr. Butler.
What is this?
It's every assignment I've
missed so far, this semester.
Please let me know if anything's missing,
but I believe it should
all be accounted for.
I tracked down a fellow
student to get the syllabus.
This is, uh...
You really didn't have to do this, though.
Oh, I don't like to fall behind.
Plus it was my pleasure, really.
I found you essay prompts
to be utterly stirring.
You... you did?
Like the doubloon in Moby Dick.
I never knew that it
could have so many meanings
until you encouraged me to
dig deeper into the subtext.
Yeah, well, uh, Melville
loved his metaphors.
Speaking of metaphors...
I read that the origin of the apple
as a gift for teachers dates back
to the Agricultural Revolution.
A fresh apple represents the
hope for a fruitful new year.
thank you, Lucas. This is really nice.
I'm not gonna test the
freshness of this one, though.
[chuckles] Oh.
[school bell rings]
[Mr. Butler] I'd like
everyone's attention, please.
We have a new student joining us.
Uh, Lucas, you wanna tell us
a little bit about yourself?
Thanks, Mr. Butler.
Hi, class.
Uh, my name is Lucas Ward.
And, English happens to
be my favorite subject.
Um, I look forward to
getting to know all of you
through some engaging literary discussion.
I just recently moved
here from San Francisco.
- And I'm rather...
- [coughs] Loser.
[Mr. Butler] Hey, Chris.
I guess that's my cue.
[Mr. Butler] All right,
well, thank you, Lucas.
Don't worry about Chris.
I'm Becca, by the way.
- We talked on the phone.
- That's right.
Thank... thank you again for the syllabus.
Yep. Sure thing.
Let's get into it. What can we tell, uh,
about Raskolnikov from
these first few pages?
What are we... what are we, uh...
Anyone? Yeah, uh, Lucas.
in the introduction to the third edition,
we learn that Dostoyevsky was
inspired by the true account
of Pierre Francois Lacenaire,
a French poet turned murderer.
As such, Raskolnikov, much like Lacenaire,
feels himself above his fellow men
and above the law in his brilliance,
ultimately testing those boundaries
through criminal violence.
Wow! [chuckles]
Very good, Lucas. Yeah, see?
That's ex... very good, Lucas.
Yes. Okay, this is fun, right? All right.
- [Mr. Butler] Everybody hear that?
- Hey.
Wanna have lunch with me?
Yeah. I'd like that very much.
[Mr. Butler] Raskolnikov
considers himself above the law...
[Lucas] Are we permitted to be up here?
[Becca] I just can't stand the cafeteria.
All the little cliques.
Bet you had a lot of friends
at your old school though, huh?
[clicks tongue]
I find that my time is better
investing in one true friendship
that a hundred vapid ones.
[Becca] Smart move packing your own.
Where'd you find food
like that in Morristown?
I prepared it myself.
You're kinda weird, huh?
Oh, no. I mean that as a compliment.
Weird is good.
Everyone in this town is so small-minded,
it's nice to have someone...
[Lucas] Right.
Thank you, Becca.
[Mr. Butler] Okay, so
we'll start with the pawns.
Pawns can only go forward
and only one space at a time.
Unless they're in this first
position, then they can go two.
Uh, and then, the only other move they
can do is if there is a piece here,
you can capture it and go diagonal. Right?
- Now, you got your rooks...
- Mr. Butler.
Oh, Lucas.
Um, hey, Chester, could you take over?
I didn't know you ran the chess club.
Uh, guilty. Do you play?
[Mr. Butler] So tell me a
little bit about yourself, Lucas.
What do your parents do?
My father is a criminal defense attorney
and a very diligent worker.
We recently moved here
for his job opportunity.
And my mother,
she passed away a long time ago.
Oh, geez.
I'm sorry.
Uh, that must've been
hard on you and your dad.
[Lucas] We manage all right.
Oh, that's a good move.
So was it your dad who taught
you how to play chess then?
Father doesn't have much time off of work,
I taught myself.
Well, I hear you're quite
the scholar in every subject.
Have you given any thought to
which one to focus on at college?
Well, I know I wanna go to Harvard.
I figure I can decide what I
wanna study while I'm there,
because they have the
very best of everything.
And there's no use in doing anything
unless you can be the very best at it.
How did...
Welcome to the team, Lucas. [chuckles]
Like he's this really bright kid, you know?
And he, like,
says English is his favorite subject.
He carries a, uh, like a brief case...
like a satchel.
- Wow.
- Yeah.
I just don't know how much attention
he's getting from home, you know?
I think... I think he could use a mentor.
It's nice to see you
so excited about school.
- Yeah, right?
- Yeah.
I know. It feels great.
How about you? How was your day?
I microwaved the same
cup of coffee three times.
Still managed to drink it cold.
But I didn't get any
poop on me today, so...
I guess it's a win.
Yeah, it's a win. That's great.
How's uh, how's your application coming?
It's good.
Um, yeah.
It's a lot to fill out,
I know. I was gonna work
on it tonight actually.
- Oh, that's great.
- Yeah.
That's a really good idea.
- Really?
- Mm-hmm.
Touch base with you.
- I love you.
- I love you, too.
All right.
Can you turn off the light, babe?
[somber music playing]
[typewriter keypad clacking]
[typewriter dings]
[Mr. Butler] And what
do we make of Semyon?
The man Raskolnikov meets in the bar.
He's very pitiful.
Uh, he's got some, uh...
[clears throat] He's
got some family problems.
And, uh, what happens to Raskolnikov?
He goes home after the bar,
right? And he gets a letter.
Let's pick the next big
thing that happened...
- [Paige chuckling]
- [indistinct whispering]
The Chicago Bulls. Michael Jordan.
[whispering continues]
[speaking indistinctly]
Chris. May I have a word?
I just couldn't help but notice that
you were speaking a lot during class
and I have to say,
it was disrupting a learning environment.
[clicks tongue]
Are you telling me to shut up?
Oh, I would never use such crude verbiage.
But I would ask that
you refrain from speaking
while class is in session
as a common courtesy
- to your lecturer...
- [scoffs]
- and to your fellow classmates.
- Look.
Lucas, I talk when I wanna talk.
And if you got a problem with that,
- then maybe I should...
- Maybe I should jab my pen
through your windpipe, and staple
your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
Hey, is everything okay, fellas?
Everything's great, Mr. Butler.
Just wishing Chris good
luck on the game tonight.
[Mr. Butler] Oh, yeah.
Hey, good luck, Chris.
[Mr. Butler] As we go in to the weekend...
- [Paige speaking indistinctly]
- Paige, not now.
[Mr. Butler] I want you to keep in mind
what we talked about earlier, right?
But in the very next scene,
he's like, giving his money away.
He doesn't even have a lot of money, so...
And I want you to... I want
you to really appreciate
Dostoyevsky's structure 'cause
there's a symmetry to it.
- And, uh...
- [school bell rings]
Thanks. That's it for
today, but it is Friday.
I know you've been, uh, waiting to
handest in thou Othello papers.
Thank you.
Thanks, Paige. All right. Looks good.
All right, thanks, Jessie.
Becca, oh, very nice.
All right, thanks, Malcolm.
Thanks, guys. Thank you very much.
Chris, good job.
What... [chuckles] are you...
This isn't a paper, Lucas.
This is a dissertation.
Oh, my gosh.
I... I can't wait to read it.
Thank you very much, Mr. Butler.
- See you in chess club?
- I'll see you there, buddy.
[intense music playing]
[clock ticking]
Heck of a game, guys.
That was just exceptional
playing. All around.
You know what? It's getting
late. Let's call it a night.
Can you guys put away the pieces,
put the tables back where they go.
Friday, Glendon High.
First seed, Alex. Second seed, Lucas.
- Third seed, Sammy.
- Excuse me, Mr. Butler.
Did you say I was second seed?
I did, buddy.
You're doing great.
You came up really fast.
- I'm proud of you.
- I'm seeded behind Alex,
even though I just defeated him?
W... uh,
Lucas, you're new to the team,
okay? Alex has more seniority.
And second seed's no joke.
Especially against Glendon.
- I won't let you down, Mr. Butler.
- Okay.
Fourth seed, Justin.
Fifth seed, Andrew.
Today we are gonna look at
different alkaline metals
under the microscope and take notes
on the differences in their make up.
Now, remember, alkaline
metals are highly reactive,
so proceed with caution.
So, let's partner up and let's get metal.
All right. Uh, first up is,
uh, sodium, which is basically just salt.
But I wouldn't recommend you
putting this in your cafeteria food
because it will not work. Trust me.
That food is horrible.
[Mr. Sheldon] Next up.
Yes. The stuff Kurt Cobain sang about.
Any Nirvana fans out there?
Well, don't do drugs.
That's all I got to say about that.
[suspenseful music playing]
Moving on to potassium.
Now, this stuff will make
you bananas, literally.
Because bananas are a naturally
high source of potassium.
That's why I said that.
[Alex] Ow!
[alarm ringing]
David, I'm glad I found you.
Jane. What's going on?
Alex Mathews, he's in
your chess club, right?
Yeah. He's my first seed. Wh...
He's fine, but there's been an accident.
He will be out for the
rest of the semester.
Oh, my gosh. Wh... what happened?
We're still trying to figure that out.
But it happened in chemistry.
- Greg's class?
- Mm-hmm.
Something with the slides and an explosion.
[students chattering]
Hey, Lucas.
I heard you were with Alex
when the accident happened.
It was very unpleasant, Mr. Butler.
But sure Alex will bounce back.
You know, Beethoven composed some
of his best work after he went deaf.
How are you doing? You okay?
Well, I'll get over it.
I'm just hoping that I can
lead our team to victory now.
[Rachel] God, that poor kid.
- I know.
- I'm really sorry.
And Greg.
He's like, gone.
Jane fired him.
I mean, to be fair, he deserves it.
I don't know. There's something
weird about the whole thing.
[somber music playing]
[Mr. Butler] All right.
You know the drill.
Unclip and pass 'em back.
I'm very happy with these results.
I think we got improvements
from almost everybody.
Couple of you still can do a little better.
But, uh, overall, great work, you guys.
[school bell rings]
[Mr. Butler] All right, see you tomorrow.
You okay, Lucas?
B plus?
Yeah. It's good work.
And yet,
don't see any suggestions
about how I could have
made the essay stronger.
Well, it was well written.
You sure know your SAT words.
your thesis that Iago
was a heroic character,
- it's just a little...
- I feel that
I adequately supported my
argument with textual evidence.
[exhales] Okay.
Here, let me show you.
Please, enlighten me.
All right.
Like this quote from
the end of the first act.
"Hell and night must bring this
monstrous birth to the world's light."
Now you say this is about Iago
exposing Othello as a monster.
That's right.
No, it's not right.
The monster's birth he's talking
about is his own evil plan.
See, he knows he's doing
bad. He just doesn't care.
Othello was a charlatan.
Iago is the only honest character
throughout the entirety of the play.
Actually, "honest Iago"
is used as dramatic irony
because we know that he lies.
Not to himself. Never to
himself. He... he knows who he is.
It's everyone around him who
doubts and questions themselves.
They're weak.
Iago is the only strong
character who is true to himself.
What is more heroic than that?
I... [sighs]
Look, Lucas, I appreciate
your passion about this,
- I just...
- Mr. Butler,
Where did you get your degree?
- I'm sorry?
- Your degree.
Your degree. Where did you go to college?
I went to Iowa State.
[Lucas scoffs]
I don't think that has
anything to do with...
Perhaps my interpretation of the
text befits an Ivy League mindset.
And that's why we're having
this pesky medication.
Perhaps a B plus is the
highest grade I can give you.
And it's very close to an A.
A B plus is a 3.3.
An A is a 4.0.
So, no, Mr. Butler. They're
not very close at all.
But if you think that 0.7 is
not that big of a difference,
then just give me the A.
I'm sorry, Lucas. All grades are final.
But I'm sure you'll do
better on the next one.
[tense music playing]
[engine stops]
[Mr. Butler] Hey!
[speaking indistinctly]
Hey, you forgot y...
Flat tire.
What'd you hit?
I didn't hit anything.
It was fine last night.
I don't... [sighs]
[sighs wearily]
It was fine when I got home.
Babe, well... I think that
there's a thing in the...
car to...
Oh, really? I don't know
that that's any safer, babe.
I had a change of tire.
I... I didn't know.
Okay. [chuckles]
- Okay, sorry. I'm sorry.
- Now, don't make fun of me.
- I love you. Have a good day at work.
- Okay. I love you. Thanks.
Be safe.
I'll call AAA.
Hey, sorry. Sorry, everyone.
Sorry. Having a bit of a rough morning.
Is everything all right, Mr.
Butler? We were starting to worry.
[unzips bag]
Yeah. Everything's fine. Uh...
I was actually up all night
finishing an application
to be a college professor.
Sending it off today. So...
wish me luck.
Does that mean you won't be here next year?
Anyways, let's not waste
any more class time.
Let's get back to Crime
and Punishment.
All right. You all
should've read chapter seven.
So, ooh, sorry...
about that. I think we got a bad one.
Chapter seven.
Not one but two... ugh.
[students giggling]
Really? Okay, well, you
know what? Let's just, uh...
let's have a reading day. All right?
Just take out your books and, uh,
[exhales] and let's... let's all read.
[tense music playing]
Anybody seen my lunch?
Brown bag. Says "Mr. Butler" on it.
[Becca] Yeah, I know it'd
suck if Mr. Butler left.
He seemed way out of it today, didn't he?
I hope he's okay.
[Lucas] You know,
David and I have become pretty
close through chess club, and...
from what he's told me,
I gather that things
aren't so great at home.
You mean like, with Mrs. Butler?
Smart man like him needs a woman
who'll understand and support him.
I can see why you like him so much.
Like him?
I don't like him.
I mean, not like that.
Oh, Becca, please.
Don't be bashful.
I'm your friend. You can
tell me things like this.
it's obviously not a one-way street.
You're saying Mr. Butler...
likes me?
Are you kidding?
The way he looks at you,
talks to you.
The tension is palpable.
You know,
if you really want to get his attention,
I could give you some pointers.
[school bell ringing]
[Mr. Butler] Okay, uh,
uh... thank you, everybody.
Mr. Butler.
I have some questions about Sonia.
Sure. Shoot.
I just think it's so
interesting that she's this
pure and pious young woman. But,
also a prostitute.
Well, keep in mind she's a prostitute
because she has to make
money for her family. So...
- So, circumstances of the times.
- Yeah.
Yeah, but,
don't you also just think that maybe,
she wants to
explore new territory?
feel something different?
Er... [clears throat]
It's, uh...
- I... I don't, I don't...
- [cell phone vibrating]
Uh, you know what, I gotta take this.
Uh, sorry.
Can we talk about this tomorrow in class?
- Sure thing, Mr. Butler.
- Okay, great. Thank you.
Uh, speaking. Who's this?
[footsteps approaching]
- David.
- Miss Lohman.
Wow. I really appreciate you taking the
time to consider my application so fast.
Well, Jane gave you a solid recommendation
and the position is ready to be filled.
That's great.
I'm sure we can work
something out with her,
if it's urgent that I
need to start right away.
That won't be necessary.
Your application has been rejected.
Uh, uh... what?
And you may feel that I have wasted
your time by calling you down here,
but frankly, I feel
that you have wasted mine
with this personal essay of yours.
I am so sorry. I wrote
it in a bit of a blur.
- I hope I didn't...
- No.
"What makes me a good teacher
is my utter superiority to
students and colleagues alike.
I find that being the absolute best
- at what I do..."
- I'm sorry. Is this a joke?
[scoffs] Oh. Oh, here's my
favorite if you wanna laugh.
"As an added bonus,
hiring a prodigious talent such as myself
would bring some much needed prestige
to your second
- rate university."
- No, no, no, no, no.
That's not mine.
- Oh.
- I...
There's been some sort of mistake. I...
I don't...
This... I didn't write this.
Oh, so you did not mail
in this application?
Doesn't look familiar?
Well... I mean, no. Yes,
I mailed that in but someone
must have done something to...
Who would do something to... uh...
mailman with a grudge?
[tense music playing]
May I have a word?
I'm gonna ask you a question, I
want you to answer me honestly, okay?
Of course.
Have you been messing with me?
Messing with you?
Did you alter my application?
I leave my laptop in
here during free periods
with the doors open.
Well, um,
it sounds like anyone could have gotten in.
You should really be more careful.
Yeah. But here's the thing.
You want an A.
That's what all this is about, a grade.
[clicks tongue]
I don't know what all this
is that you're referring to,
but I assure you,
so long as I maintain a perfect
academic record on my college transcript,
moving forward, I believe
everyone will be jubilant.
What if I don't give you an A?
You know my biggest criticism
of Crime and Punishment?
The stakes are too low.
Raskolnikov, he's a loner.
He's got nothing to lose.
But I always find a book
that much more compelling
when the character
stands to lose everything.
[knock at door]
- David.
- Hey.
I just... I wanted to talk
to you about Lucas Ward.
What about him?
any other teachers have
any issues or complaints?
If kidding your pants off
counts as a complaint, then yes.
What about his previous school?
Anything strange on his record?
Hmm, well, he got nothing
but A's from Milton High,
president of the chess club and ten others.
Well, okay, this is gonna sound nuts.
I have reason to believe he's not
the good kid he pretends to be.
Pretends to be? I'm not following you.
He's extorting me
for a grade.
I'm sure
the kid's more confident that most,
and maybe that's a little
threatening to a guy like you.
Jane, I'm not threatened by him.
I... I mean,
He is. He's threatening me, literally.
- That's the problem.
- David.
Are you doing all right?
You've been kinda off, lately.
Yeah, I'm fine. I...
Maybe I can go speak to his dad.
I guess that would be okay.
Just be careful.
[breathing heavily]
You don't wanna go accusing our
students of anything you can't prove,
or the PTA will have a field day.
Understood. Thanks, Jane.
[somber music playing]
Hold on a sec. Hold on a sec.
Can I help you?
Yeah, Mr. Ward, my name is David
Butler. I'm Lucas' English teacher.
Just sit tight, sit tight. Keep
your mouth shut, I'll call you back.
Come on.
Safe to assume you're not
drinking during your free period.
Uh, water's fine, thanks.
Are you still settling in?
Been too busy to unpack.
Oh, uh, Lucas mentioned you
moved here for a job opportunity.
But you work from home?
Like I said, I've got a call. So...
Is he up for another award or something?
[softly stuttering]
Has Lucas ever been in trouble before?
[snorts] Trouble.
Have you met Lucas?
Yeah, I have.
And, uh, I'm sorry to tell you this, but,
your son threatened me.
What did he say, exactly?
[clears throat] Well, he, uh...
okay, well, he was using
a book, uh, as a metaphor.
So you came here to tell me that my son,
what, assaulted you with a poem?
I actually also suspect
that he intentionally
injured another student.
[sighs] Do you have any actual proof
that my son has done anything wrong?
Well, no. But...
Because Lucas is a good kid.
And I'm not overly fond of loose
accusations bordering on slander.
So I think it's time for
you to go, Mr. Garrett.
Uh, Butler.
I'm Mr. Butler. You just
called me Mr. Garrett.
Whatever your name is. Get
the hell out of my house.
[suspenseful music playing]
Yeah, hi. Uh, Milton High
School in San Francisco?
Hi. Is there a Mr. Garrett there?
[telephone ringing]
[Lucas] Hi, is this Mrs. Butler?
Hi, this is Sam. I'm one
of Mr. Butler's students.
I just wanted to say that
I hope he's feeling better.
Sorry, "He's feeling better"?
Yeah. He's not in school today.
He told us he was sick.
Oh, uh, right. Well, um,
thanks for calling, Sam.
I'll let him know.
Okay. Thank you. Goodbye.
How was school today?
It was good.
[cell phone vibrating]
Can you not take that at the table, please?
[baby starts to cry]
[sighs] Oh, crap. I'll get it.
Paul, yes, thanks for calling me back.
I know this is gonna
sound strange but I was...
Yeah. He is.
What are you doing?
Oh, I gotta go out for a few hours.
What? Are you kidding? Where are you going?
Uh, it's complicated, babe.
If I told you, you wouldn't
even believe me. Nobody does.
Okay, who are you talking to
right now? You're talking to me.
Can you please just
tell me what's going on?
Yeah. Oh, my God. I'm sorry. You're right.
I have a student who's
trying to ruin me.
And I'm like, hanging on by a thread.
Okay. Okay.
If you're... if you're having difficulty
- with the stu...
- No. I'm not having
difficulty with the student,
okay? I can handle that.
This is different.
Well, I'm trying to understand
what the hell's happening.
Why is a high school
student trying to ruin you?
Okay, I promise you, it'll make sense.
I just have to get proof, right,
and that's why I have to go.
Okay, let's just sit down
- and talk to...
- No, I can't.
Okay? I'm sorry. I'll
be back as soon as I can.
[suspenseful music playing]
[clears throat] How was your day?
Did I wake you, Father?
No, no. I was, uh, just resting my eyes.
I'm waiting to, uh, hear back
from some potential new clients.
Was somebody here earlier?
[man] You like teaching, David?
I love teaching.
Yeah, me too, me too.
I was kind of a screwed up kid.
You know, I experimented
with drugs in high school.
I could've used a good teacher.
I could've used a mentor.
Kind of like me. I mean,
I rea... I... I really cared
about those kids.
I had Lucas in, uh, History class.
Advanced European.
He writes this paper on Nazi Germany.
About how perfection is an admirable goal.
It's just that Adolf's
methods were a little wrong.
Like really twisted stuff, you know.
Thank you.
So I gave him a B.
I don't think anything of it.
A little while later, this
old high school buddy calls me.
He needs a place to stay.
So I'm thinking, "Sure I can
give him a hand," you know.
Maybe I'll even help him get sober.
Later that week after class,
Lucas brings me that video tape.
- Video tape?
- Yeah.
Shot through the window of my house,
of me and my high school buddy.
You know, old habits.
He says maybe I ought
to reconsider his grade,
or he can just show that
to the administration.
What did you do?
What do you think I did?
I gave him the A.
[sighs] Oh.
Did he stop?
Yeah. By then he stopped.
Guess he's honest that way, right?
But I couldn't stop.
I started missing class, I
mean, I was falling apart.
I had to resign.
And it wasn't until a little
while after that that I found out.
He hunted down my friend, all right?
He paid him to call me.
Paid him to come to my house,
to knock me off the wagon.
I was eight years sober
when I met Lucas Ward.
Lucas is a kid.
I don't understand how I'm
getting bullied by a kid.
No, no. Bullies,
they hurt people to
make themselves feel big.
Lucas hurts people to get what he wants.
Lucas is not a bully.
Lucas is a psychopath.
[Mr. Butler whispers]
Hey, buddy. How you doing?
[tense music playing]
Hey, Lucas.
Report card day already?
[breathes heavily]
[school bell rings]
Okay. Uh, let's get started.
[grave music playing]
[door opens]
Mr. Butler.
- [door closes]
- Becca.
Here, let me help you.
Oh, no, I got it.
Are you doing okay,
Mr. Butler?
You seem really stressed, lately.
No, it's...
nothing, I got, uh...
huh, I got a lot up on my plate.
- [Mr. Butler] That's all.
- 'Cause that can be hard...
- Okay.
- ...when there's no one there to really listen.
You know,
you can talk to me.
Oh, yeah.
Yeah, I appreciate that.
I really do, but, I'm, er...
It's all good.
Is your mom coming to pick you up? Or...
[Becca] What's this one?
Uh, okay. Very funny.
Seriously, can I
- call your...
- David.
Can we be honest with each other?
- Becca.
- The tension...
If I have done anything or said anything...
You don't have to say a word, David.
- [Mr. Butler] Uh, What are you doing?
- David,
- I know.
- You know what?
[Becca] Shh.
[speaking indistinctly]
I want you to open me like a book.
Becca. Becca! You have to go.
- Come on, David.
- "Mr. Butler."
Okay? I'm your teacher.
You're a child.
I'm... go!
Becca, get out of here.
[cell phone ringing]
[Becca] Are you sure Mr.
Butler is getting a divorce?
Yes, I told you. I overheard
him speaking with his wife
in chess club the other day.
He said he was in love with someone else.
Did you wear the perfume I gave you?
Yes. I've done everything
you told me to do, Lucas.
So why did he just reject me? Why?
Oh, Becca.
Where are you right now?
I'm at school.
And I'm going home. This is
the worst night of my life.
No, no, no. Stay there.
We'll meet at our special spot, okay?
[Becca] I just...
really thought he felt the same way.
I'm certain he does.
I'm just a dumb little girl to him.
[sighs] Don't say that.
You have so many mature
feelings and emotions.
You just have to show him.
Better yet,
put it
in a letter.
All the great romances of
literature start in a letter.
- Lucas, it's over.
- No.
It's not over.
You can't give up, Becca.
Yeah, and never give up on love.
what am I supposed to say?
Well, the goal is to get him to reply.
Open up a dialog.
Keep it short and sweet.
"Dear Mr. Butler,
our clandestine love
burns me.
I'm tired
of spinning
in this game of lies."
It's beautiful.
"Please forgive me for what I've done."
What I've done?
Well, you scared him because
you came on too strong tonight.
So if you apologize for your advances,
then he'll be more
comfortable moving forward.
"Yours truly,
Okay, so,
put this in his mailbox.
I promise, he'll reply to you.
[sighs in relief] Thanks, Lucas.
You're such a good friend.
[man] Lucas' parents, together, okay?
- [Jane] And she was a good kid.
- [man] And she's got good grades.
Hey, Jane, you wanted to see me?
David. Yes, come in, have... have a seat.
This is Detective Speck.
So what's going on? Classes canceled?
Mr. Butler, do you know a student
by the name of Rebecca Vaughn?
Yes, of course, she's in my English class.
Would you classify your
relationship with her as a close one?
Not any closer to her... than... no.
Rebecca jumped to her death
from the school roof last night.
Oh, my God.
They found this note on her person
when they discovered her this morning.
So you wanna tell me again,
just how close you two weren't?
this doesn't make...
That son of a bitch.
- Lucas, Jane.
- What? Excuse me?
He set this up.
He did this. He must have killed her.
Could someone wanna fill me in here?
Lucas Ward.
He's a new student.
A very good student.
- But David seems to think otherwise.
- No. I know otherwise.
You contact Paul Garrett in Fresno.
Lucas did the same thing to him.
Did the same what?
He's trying to frame me.
He's trying to frame me for a grade.
For a damn grade.
This kid. He's not right in the head.
Jane, I tried to tell you.
He's a fucking psychopath.
David, please.
I never touched her.
I wanna believe you, David.
I...I do.
But what was her sweater
doing in your classroom?
Oh, my... [sighs]
Becca had
a small crush on me.
She came to my classroom last
night and I told her to go away.
[Jane] I'm sorry, uh... [sighs]
David, um, till... but
until this thing clears up,
we... we have to... I have to let you go.
[detective] We'll be in touch.
[tense music playing]
[speaking indistinctly]
I'll stay with you. You need to go, David.
[detective] Lucas, did she ever
talk to you about Mr. Butler?
[breathing heavily]
[Jane] Lucas.
It's important that you're
honest with us right now.
[exhales] She...
She talked about him constantly.
She said they were in love. So...
Lucas, uh, Mr. Butler
seems to think that you have it out for him
in some way.
Do you have any idea
why he would think that?
I'm trying to figure that out myself.
Ever since he gave me an F
on my mid-term report card...
- An F?
- Yeah.
Even though all my assignments were A's.
I was so close to Becca.
Maybe he wanted her all to himself.
I don't want you to worry
about your grade, okay?
I will personally see to it that
you get the A that you deserve. Okay?
[breathing shakily]
Thank you, Principal Fremont.
I just...
I wish I could've done...
There's nothing anybody
could have done for her, kid.
I think that you need to just go
home and get some rest, all right?
[grave music playing]
[Mr. Butler] You told
them you didn't know me?
[Paul] Hey, man, I warned you.
And you repay me by dragging
me back into this mess?
I barely escaped that monster.
Look, I... I'm sorry,
David. I really am.
And you can try to fight him.
But if... if he's got video
evidence like he had with me,
- then you're just...
- He can't have video evidence.
I didn't do anything.
You lost me. What are you saying?
Wait, wait, wait.
I didn't do anything.
[tense music playing]
[car alarm beeps]
[doorbell rings]
[knock at door]
[knocking continues]
- Mist... Mister, uh...
- Uh, Butler.
Is it hard to keep track of all
the teachers your son's blackmailed?
Hey, you can't go up there!
Call the police.
He's always fascinated with cameras.
Since he was a kid, he'd record himself.
Trying on different emotions like,
practicing being human.
[audio device playing]
Mr. Butler, okay? I'm your teacher.
The girl...
on that video.
She the one who died?
I think you know she didn't just die.
And you did nothing to stop him.
Even though you know exactly what he is.
I know.
But he's my son.
[Lucas speaking in French]
Adieu, Rebecca. Adieu.
Tres bon, Lucas. Tres bon.
[lady on intercom] Lucas Ward, please
report to the principal's office.
Lucas Ward,
please report to the
principal's office.
Hi, Lucas.
Lucas, come in.
Have a seat.
Do you wanna tell me
why you were filming this
little encounter, Lucas?
I suspected
that something was amiss.
So a thought behoove me.
That behoove me to...
It would behoove you to get a lawyer, kid.
I'm reopening Rebecca Vaughn's case
and I'm investigating everything
that actually happened that night.
In the mean time,
Mr. Butler has filed a
restraining order against you.
You come withing 50
feet of him, or his home,
and you'll find yourself
behind bars. Understand?
What about my classes?
H...how... how am I
expected to attend my classes
if I can't even go near Mr. Butler?
you're expelled. Go home.
[Jane] Lucas?
[detective] I think you should go home.
And don't leave town.
[tense music playing]
[Mr. Butler] Lucas.
Look, the whole restraining order thing,
it's not true.
It's not?
Because if you ever come
near me or my family again,
I will fucking kill you.
[young Lucas on video] Fear.
[pills rattling]
[door opening]
[Mr. Ward] I can't do it anymore.
I won't do it anymore.
It's over.
Is there anything you want me
to tell your mother for you?
That was always the hardest one for you.
[Mr. Butler] I will never
shut you out again. I promise.
This... all could have been avoided
if I was just sharing it with you.
I'm sorry I didn't believe you.
I was acting crazy.
You were acting a little bit crazy.
Right? So...
that's on me.
Can we, um,
maybe get in some mama and papa time, too?
Oh, heck, yeah.
Can I take a quick shower?
- Yeah.
- Oh, really?
- Just go.
- That bad? Okay.
- [baby crying]
- And he's woken up.
- Right. Okay.
- I'll get him back down.
- Okay, you go.
- Yeah.
Hi, you little cockblocker.
[somber music playing]
[whoops] I hear it.
Yeah. I hear your bottle.
Okay. Okay.
Okay, you stay there
with your monkey. Yeah.
You stay there with your monkey.
All right, baby. Just give Mama a second.
Just wanna make sure
it's hot enough for you.
And then we're done.
[sinister music playing]
Hang on.
It's warm for you.
You're gonna like it.
Hi, Mrs. Butler.
We spoke on the phone the other day.
You're one of David's students.
Everybody's talking
about what happened and...
I just wanted to make
sure that he was okay.
Thank you for stopping by.
What a perfect
family you have.
Did you get him down?
[intense music playing]
[baby crying]
[baby continues crying]
[Mr. Butler] Lucas!
And Iago says,
"What's he then that says
I should play the villain?"
Mr. Butler, please.
It's Joey's first day
and you're already late.
I will... I will stab him.
Sit down.
Right there.
Stop interrupting me.
Lucas, I swear to God. If you hurt him,
- if you touch him...
- [chuckles]
Shut up!
So, class,
why do we think that Lucas took
Mr. Butler's family from him?
It's an easy one.
Well, oh...
- well, it's an incentive.
- I didn't give you an A.
I didn't give you an A.
Mr. Butler
didn't give Lucas
the grade
that he so rightly deserved.
So, now, Mr. Butler,
deserves to lose...
[muffled grunts]
[detective] David!
Let him go.
[baby crying]
Let him go.
[sirens approaching]
- [Lucas coughs]
- Don't do anything stupid.
Come here.
Lucas, give me your hands.
Come here. Come on, get out of here.
Come here.
Come here, baby. Come here.
Come on.
All right. [breathing heavily]
[somber music playing]
[ending theme music playing]