Little Joe (2019) Movie Script

- Karl: Please, come forward.
- Buyer: Thank you.
- These are our special breeds.
- Buyer: Mm-hmm.
Karl: Uh, please.
- Man: Oh, how exciting.
- Karl: You, uh...
You will like this.
Alice: The breeding program
you see here,
it's finally been successful,
despite the extremely complex
genetic engineering involved.
The aim has been
to create a plant
with a scent
that makes its owner happy.
Buyer: Oh, really?
Alice: Yes, that's right.
In recent years, plant breeding
has increasingly focused
on making plants
more resilient and more durable,
thus more energy efficient.
So, finally, the owner
can go away on holiday for weeks
and the flowers still survive.
However, as a rule,
this kind of engineering
involves a loss of scent;
the flowers don't smell of much.
In our case, we have attempted
to create the opposite.
Um, our aim
was to create a plant
that has to be watered
protected from cold and heat,
that wants to be touched
and talked to.
Sounds like hard work.
Alice: Precisely. And in return,
the plant emits a scent,
which promotes happiness
as a reward for all that effort.
Chris: Moreover, the scent
contains a precursor
for the human hormone oxytocin.
Your body uses this molecule
to produce oxytocin
when the scent is inhaled.
Buyer 2: Oxytocin?
It's sometimes called
the "mother-hormone",
it's supposed to initiate
the bond between a mother
and her newborn.
You'll love this plant
like your own child.
Karl: We are entering
a new era here.
The first, mood-lifting,
anti-depressant, happy plant,
that's fit for market.
I mean you can imagine
the benefit for humanity
- implicated in this innovation.
- Mm-hmm.
Yes, but will the plants be
fully grown for the flower fair?
There's not much time left.
As a side- effect
to the breeding program,
the plants produce an excess
of the growth hormone Cytokinin.
So, yes, they will be ready
on time for the fair.
What this plant really needs...
- is love.
Chris: Hey, Joe.
- Everything okay?
- Joe: Yeah.
I'm sure your mum
will be finished soon.
Joe: Yeah.
Chris: Hey, cool trainers!
Joe: We were in Geography
and she opened her bag, and...
...and she says that she found
a little dead rat in there.
- Alice: What?
- Joe: Yeah,
and what she says...
She says that she doesn't know
who put it in.
I think he likes you.
- Alice: Who?
- Chris.
Alice: What?
What makes you think that?
I can see it.
Well, I can't.
Well, that's because
all you can see
are your flowers.
He's smart.
He helps you with your work.
You have the same interests.
He suits you.
- Much more than Dad anyway.
Dad would really like you
to spend next weekend with him.
I told him I'd ask you.
Do I have to?
He really wants to see
more of you.
He's so...
From who?
From you!
- And me!
- So, you'll get to know
something different.
Believe me, Joe,
it will do you good to spend
more time with your father.
So, you'd have more time
for your work?
Alice: What?
- No. Oh, shit.
Oh, no!
Stop laughing at me, Joe.
I guess there's nothing
to worry about.
Psychotherapist: Good.
Yeah, the new breeding program
could be a real success.
Anyway, I wouldn't
want to jinx it.
But it does look very promising.
We'll see.
Alice: I mean, you never know
what can happen.
Does that bother you?
Alice: No, that's my job.
Handling the unpredictable.
It's what I'm pretty good at,
Of course, there's always a
way for a mistake to sneak in
that even I can't predict.
I can't control everything,
can I?
After all, I have Joe
to take care of and...
Of course.
That must be quite a burden.
No, well,
I wouldn't call it a burden!
I love my son and I enjoy
spending time with him.
Psychotherapist: Naturally.
But sometimes, I simply
can't be there for him.
Which does worry me.
What worries you?
Sometimes I'm overcome
by the fear
that something
could happened to Joe.
And I wouldn't be there for him.
My beautiful darling.
Hmm, my Bello.
- Hiya.
- Morning.
Bella: They're doing fine.
These Flash2 are far stronger
than the Flash1 ever were.
Better give them quite a boost.
I don't want to loss these, too.
You'll see.
They will be viable this time.
We all know how hard it is
to succeed with a new strain.
Bella: And the blue
is just perfect.
Chris: If these plants prove
to be capable of survival,
we could enter
the production phase
sooner than we thought.
Chris: Alice,
do you have a minute?
I just wanted to say
that I feel really... proud
and excited
to be working with you.
Well, um...
Don't expect too much.
No, I'm...
convinced that this plant
is gonna be a huge success.
If you say so.
Would you...
How about, um,
a drink after work?
Oh, um...
Uh, no.
I have to run.
Could you finish the logbook?
And double-check the timing
of the grow lamps.
That would be so nice of you.
Chris: Sure.
Aye, aye, sir.
Look, what I have for you!
Is that allowed?
I mean...
Alice: No one has to know.
Do you like it?
- It's really hot in here.
- Yes.
It needs to be warm.
This is a very special breed.
You have to take
good care of it.
Keep it warm.
Talk to it.
- Really?
- Yeah, it's a living being.
It needs attention
and affection.
What's so special about it?
It makes you happy.
What do you say we call him
Little Joe?
Hi, Little Joe.
Hi, Little Joe.
Ric: Uh- oh.
Doesn't look good.
Oh, damn. Look at that.
Bella: They won't make it.
We designed Little Joe
to be sterile.
So, the pollen
isn't able to produce seeds.
If the pollen falls
on female stigma, it dies
without creating
any sustainable offspring.
We engineered it
so the plants can maximize
production of scent.
Karl: Why did it emit pollen
in such quantities?
As if they had a will
of their own.
Perhaps, it's a reaction of the
male plant to its infertility.
Oh. Perhaps, perhaps.
Perhaps you made a mistake
and things got out of control.
And now several
of my Flash2's have died.
Alice: I hardly think
that has got anything to do
with Little Joe's pollen.
I mean, Flash1
didn't last long either.
Jasper: What I'd like to know
is how you did it?
None of us have ever succeeded
in manipulating a plant
to such an extent.
Or perhaps you took
a rather relaxed approach
to the regulations.
Well, there's been
more than enough discussion
about deploying
certain new methods.
And no doubt,
they're extremely efficient.
But as I'm sure you know,
their use has not yet
been approved.
I am well aware
of the controversy
over the new virus vectors.
If that is what
you're hinting at.
Yeah. And naturally,
I used the usual vectors.
Bella: But why is it sterile?
Why did you design the plant
to be infertile?
It's not natural.
The ability to reproduce
is what gives
every living being meaning.
Well if you're questioning that,
you're in the wrong profession.
As if it were possible
to prevent a plant
from reproducing itself
and thus ensuring
its own survival.
And this plant
will follow its purpose, too.
What is really important here,
is the possible allergens
in this pollen.
I mean that would be
an absolute gift
to the Greenpeacers.
A genetically engineered plant
spreading unknown allergens.
We all wear face masks
until further notice.
Do you want this?
Do you want this?
Come on, Bello!
Come on!
Come on, come on, come on,
come on, come on, come on.
Bella: It must be their pollen.
Karl: Fuck.
So have a lovely weekend.
And say hi to Joe from me.
Joe isn't home;
he's with his father.
- Oh.
- So...
So, how about a drink tonight?
Oh, I don't know.
You've been working so hard.
We both have.
We could do with a change
of scenery, don't you think?
All right.
Bello has vanished.
I can't find him anywhere.
He's never left me before.
Alice: I'm sure he'll turn up.
What if someone's locked him
in the greenhouse?
I'll go and have a look.
- You stay here.
- Janitor: Night.
- Chris: Night.
Chris: Bello!
Here boy!
- Oh!
Oh. Fuck!
Oh, he lives in this house
in the middle of nowhere.
He's a real lone wolf.
And you know what?
Ivan is hyper-allergic
to all sorts of pollen.
Doesn't sound like
your perfect match.
You know,
you really need someone
who's gonna understand
and respect your talent.
If you say so.
But who'll stand up to you,
if necessary!
I think that Joe likes you.
He has this idea that you and I
would be the perfect match.
Yeah, I like Joe too.
I'll get the drinks.
Bello. There you are.
Bella: Bello, Bello.
Darling, what's the matter?
- Bello.
Oh, come to Mummy.
- What's wrong?
Bella: Bello.
Bella: Bello.
Oh, my darling.
- My darling.
- Bello bit Bella.
I just wanted to stroke him
That dog isn't my Bello.
That can't be. Bello would never
do something like this.
Maybe the dog's sick.
You don't understand.
That is not my dog.
What's the matter with Bella?
She's so...
Maybe I should explain
that Bella...
How should I put it?
She's had psychological issues.
What do you mean?
- She tried to kill herself.
- Oh.
She was on sick leave
for almost a year.
A so-called "burn-out".
And she only returned,
just before you started here.
And Karl took her on
as his assistant,
but it wasn't so easy for her.
Trying to resume work
while being downgraded.
She used to be one
of the best plant breeders here,
and now...
What with the medication
and so on,
she's just not the same person
that she used to be.
Of course,
one shouldn't be prejudiced.
And I would be the last person
to judge her.
Is that why she has
restricted access?
Chris: Could I please have
the curry and the rice?
Hi, Little Joe.
I'm sorry darling.
Man on TV: Wow.
I can't wait for tonight.
Great to see you too, pal.
Woman on TV: My work colleagues,
everywhere, yes.
Man on TV: How would you
put a smile on my face?
Man: I can see what you
mean already about...
Is this true, that you write
to Hollywood greats?
Woman: Yeah! I do.
I used to, yeah.
Man: And did you get
any response?
Woman: Yes, I wrote
to Bob Hope...
...I got an autograph from him.
I wrote to James Stewart...
Let's order some takeaway,
Joe: I've already eaten.
Woman on TV:
You wouldn't believe that
from my own experience.
Man on TV: Well, don't write
to me!
Man: Good luck tonight.
Woman: Thank you
very much, Steven.
Steven: I hope you win
a lot of money.
Woman: I hope so too.
Alice: Where's Bello?
That wasn't my dog anymore.
What did you...
Bella: I had him put down.
That dog was not my dog.
What do you mean?
You'll see.
Bella: Alice.
We need to talk.
Please. It's important.
Bello was like a child to me.
I'm sure you can understand
what that feels like.
To lose a child.
What are you talking about?
Can you imagine that?
Somebody you love.
Joe for example.
One day, Joe isn't Joe anymore.
He looks the same, he even acts
like the same old Joe but...
he isn't Joe.
- Something's changed him.
- Like what?
Little Joe.
At first, I thought
it might've been allergens
in Little Joe's pollen
that triggered a reaction
in Bello.
The vet did blood tests
before he put Bello down.
No antibodies, no histamines.
He couldn't find
anything unusual.
Well, then maybe
there was nothing wrong.
I really don't think that.
After all, we only ever find
what we're looking for.
The vet said he thought Bello
might have senile dementia.
Well, that sounds
quite reasonable.
I think it's Little Joe's pollen
that's triggered something.
Not an allergy perhaps.
- But something else.
- Alice: Like what?
Bella: Look here.
The pollen
comes through the nose
onto the olfactory receptors.
And then the olfactory
information goes straight
into the limbic system.
The very part of the brain
where it influences
our feelings,
our behavior, our personalities.
And where that oxytocin of yours
triggers its effect.
Whatever it is that is in that
pollen that changed Bello,
that is where it happened.
Will you please stop blaming
Little Joe
for whatever was wrong
with Bello?
Blame Little Joe?
We're talking about a plant,
aren't we?
If anyone is to blame, it's you.
Haven't you notice
how Chris has changed?
Bella: I have the feeling
he's infected too.
Bella: From Little Joe's pollen.
Chris will defend Little Joe
at any price.
And why shouldn't he?
I will defend Little Joe as well
because I am responsible
for him.
So, you are a good mother.
But which of your children
will you choose?
And could she be right?
Alice: Of course not. I did
the genetic engineering myself
and I know what I'm doing.
Fine. Then there's nothing
to worry about.
Your colleague is just imagining
Little Joe changed her dog.
Alice: Yeah.
I think she's a little...
Possibly, your colleague
is projecting
some inner conflicts
onto the outside world,
and, consequently, elements
of her environment strike her
as changed.
Yeah. That must be it.
Chris isn't infected either.
Psychotherapist: Is that
what your colleague said?
Yes. But he's only trying
to protect the plant.
It's very important to him.
So, he's an ally...
It's just...
I'm not sure if he cares more
for the plant
than he cares for me.
And what about you?
You care for him?
Me? No.
I mean, after all, I have Joe.
What do you think
you're playing at?
I really don't know what...
How could you set out
more of those plants
before the allergy tests
have been evaluated?
I didn't know.
Karl: My dear colleague,
perhaps you haven't yet grasped
how we do things here.
But for us,
safety is more important
than success.
I'm certain that
Little Joe's pollen is harmless.
Oh. What makes you so certain?
Alice: My son
has a Little Joe at home,
and neither he nor I have shown
any allergic reactions at all.
Karl: That's...
Against the rules.
I'm strongly tempted to halt
any further planting
of Little Joe immediately.
But we need to be ready
for the flower fair.
If we miss it this year,
another lab might come up
with a similar idea.
I've already heard rumors.
I really don't think
we can risk any delay.
Karl: Very well.
But I assure you,
I will not let those plants
out to public until the tests
have been fully evaluated.
Alice: Why didn't you tell me
that you were putting
in new plants?
I don't need this right now.
Karl is already against me.
Chris: Just trust me for once.
I know what I'm doing.
Ella: Oh yes,
this scent is lovely.
Could get addicted.
Ric: Any specific reaction?
Ella: All fine.
Ric: No itchy nose,
skin rashes, runny eyes,
of the mucous membranes?
Ella: Nothing.
Ric: Very well then...
Woman: If I could just
say something.
Ric: Yeah, of course.
Woman: Well, recently, she's been... moody I suppose.
Yeah. When I'm talking to her,
she's thinking about something
completely different.
Tell him what
you told me, Ella.
It's like I was a person
in a play or a film.
- Ric: What person?
- I don't know.
Me, of course.
I'm playing myself.
That's the strange feeling.
Ric: Okay. And how long
did that feeling last?
I don't know...
- for ages.
- No, not really darling.
The scent was fantastic.
It made me feel sort of,
uh, happy.
Everything okay
with the interviews?
Woman: I walked with my head
in the clouds...
Yes. Fine.
The reactions
seem pretty average.
Are you looking for anything
in particular?
No. I just wanted to be sure,
what with Karl being after me.
Hmm. I get it.
Ric, is this all the material?
I mean, are these
the full interviews?
No. Of course not.
They just babbled on and on
so I had to edit.
Alice: I see.
Ivan: Yeah. Well done.
So, how are things at school?
Joe: Yeah. Fine.
What about the other kids?
I mean, are they cool?
- Yeah.
- Good.
That's very good.
And girls? Anyone special?
we hardly ever see each other.
So, come on. Hmm?
Is there a girl?
No. Not really.
Sort of.
Thanks. Want to come in?
- Ivan: No.
- Okay.
Alice: Hey.
- Look.
- Please.
- I caught it myself.
I can cook it in the oven.
Dad taught me how.
Sure. Yeah, let's do that.
Cook something in the oven
for once. Great.
So, how was the weekend?
Joe is...
He's changing.
I don't know how to put it.
He's not the boy
he used to be anymore.
- What do you mean?
- You haven't noticed anything?
You know that your dad wants
you to go and live with him.
Joe: So?
Well, so...
is that what you want?
What about you?
Alice: Me?
Of course I want you
to stay here with me.
Really good, Joe.
So, are you still up for a movie
this weekend?
Oh. I'm sorry. I have to work.
After the fair?
I promise.
Come on.
Selma: Cool.
Selma: Whoa.
It's really hot in here.
Joe: The Little Joes need it.
They're very sensitive.
Smells sexy.
You have to talk to them.
Did you know that?
And do they talk back?
Joe: Watch out.
That tickles.
I hope I don't get hay fever.
You won't.
There. See that?
Rewind it, will you?
I didn't notice
it at first, either.
Sorry, I really don't know
what you're talking about.
The plants, of course.
When the camera comes back,
one of them has gone.
Oh, there.
Someone clearly knew his way
around the surveillance system.
But what would be the point
of stealing a plant?
The cameras are only there
to monitor growth.
Industrial espionage, maybe.
Let's not get carried away.
I mean, those plants
aren't that special after all.
You're starting to notice
too, aren't you?
Please don't.
I'm not like you.
Oh, no?
Then why are you standing here
talking to me?
We don't have much time.
I think I understand now
what's going on.
Little Joe is infecting people
in order to reproduce.
He's trying to survive.
It's his response
to being sterile.
Isn't that incredible?
It's complete nonsense.
Little Joe changes
the people he infects,
so they will protect
and propagate him.
They care for Little Joe
more than they care
for anyone else.
They will force us
to inhale the pollen.
Our only chance might be
if we pretend.
- Pretend what?
- That nothing is happening.
But nothing is happening.
I know you didn't want this.
But it is really happening.
If I could just say something.
Ric: Yes, of course.
Well, recently
she's been... moody...
Ric: Okay. And how long
did that feeling last?
I don't know.
- For ages.
- No, not really, darling.
It started exactly on the day
she did the pollen test,
for you.
- I don't know why we did it. - For the money.
We said that
she could buy a bike.
It's not really as though we can afford to buy a bicycle.
- We thought it was harmless.
-Ric: And it is, okay?
- So please don't worry.
- Don't worry?
Well, my daughter doesn't
respond to her own name,
doesn't recognize me when
I collect her
- from her flute lesson
- Mummy, I told you,
I wasn't wearing my glasses.
Woman: Be quiet.
Well, I really don't know
what my husband
is trying to say.
I'm absolutely fine.
That's exactly the problem.
She used to complain about me all the time.
Nothing was ever good for her.
But I knew she loved me.
Now, she couldn't be
nicer to me, but...
Because you deserve it, Harry.
I don't know
this woman anymore.
This isn't my wife.
My God! Please, don't take
my husband seriously.
Ric: If we just could get back
to the allergic reactions?
- Selma: Parents.
- Joe: But when do they finish?
Selma: Um, midnight,
but I have to sleep by 11:00.
- Joe: That sucks.
- Selma: Yep.
Joe: Yeah, at least
you got to go.
Selma: Yeah, I guess.
- You missed it.
- What?
Selma: Ah, it was sick.
Like, oh, my God,
it was actually really good.
Who's there? Um...
Joe: Mum?
Oh, I didn't know...
Good evening, Mrs. Woodard.
Mum, this is Selma.
We're doing a project together.
Alice: Lovely.
Hello, Selma.
So, you're classmates?
That's right.
Would you like to stay
for dinner?
Oh, yes, please.
Alice: Well, then I...
Shouldn't you tell
your parents?
Hi, Dad.
Joe's mum wants me to tell you
I'm staying here for dinner.
This is delicious,
Mrs. Woodard.
Please call me Alice.
It's just the takeaway.
I'm not much of a cook.
But thanks anyway.
I'm glad that you invited
somebody over.
I hardly know any
of Joe's friends.
Oh, I am sorry.
Well, of course,
a boy doesn't have to discuss
everything with his mum.
I suppose Joe spends more time
with his father?
No, he's mostly here with me.
Joe's father
lives out in the wilds.
I know, I've been there.
Yes, Selma came with me once.
Yes, it was really wonderful.
I love the countryside.
That's unusual for a teenager.
Joe, there's something
that I wanted
to discuss with you.
- My plant house keycard?
- That's funny.
I also wanted to discuss
something with you too.
Alice: Yes?
Well, see...
you're always so busy
with work
and I guess it must be
really tiring for you
taking care of me as well.
What? Who says so?
Joe: No.
You don't notice,
but usually I'm here
all by myself,
and recently I've been getting
on really well with Dad.
Just been thinking.
I do want to live with him,
after all.
That's out of the question!
I simply won't allow it.
I knew you'd say that.
This is how you will
get rid of me.
It's your own fault.
Come on, we're going.
Alice: Wait, please.
- Please!
- Joe: Let go!
You're hurting me.
I'll get a plaster.
Can I help you, Mrs. Woodard?
Alice: No, it's all right.
I think it does talk back.
Joe: I told you.
It's a very special plant.
What happened to your ants?
I can't take care
of everything around here.
Ric: Fuck.
Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.
If you didn't know
how to handle the thermostat,
- you just had to ask.
- Oh, come on.
I've been a plant breeder here
for 20 years.
Of course, you have.
Just next time I'll be
better off doing it
all by myself, I think.
- I think she did it on purpose.
- All right.
Bella, I'm sorry.
Ric doesn't mean it like that.
I mean, you're one
of our best breeders.
Oh, please save your breath.
I know
what you think of me.
I can see through you.
I know what's going on here.
Bella's theories
are completely crazy.
Not that I'm prejudiced.
- I'd be...
- The last person
to have such a prejudice.
Right, stop looking at me
as if I were a zombie.
I've had enough!
I'm... I'm sorry.
Of course you're right.
The whole thing is ridiculous.
Chris: I just don't understand
why you're worried.
I mean, it worked well.
Perhaps it worked too well.
Perhaps the plant isn't only
making people happy
but it's actually infecting
people's brains.
What if we made a mistake?
and then something went wrong
with the R-virus
during gene transfer?
Like what?
What if the virus mutated
and it became pathogenic?
I mean, are you serious?
Cytokinin could have caused
a mutation.
Hang on, let me
get this straight.
You're suggesting
that this harmless
little R-virus vector
has mutated into a human
pathogenic virus
that infects people's brains?
What in the world could cause
that to happen?
Little Joe.
I mean, what if Bella's right
and this is how the plant
is trying to overcome
its sterility?
By infecting people's brains?
By using the R-virus to do it.
We never should've made
Little Joe sterile,
- It is unnatural, after all.
- No, it's vital!
That's what makes genetic
engineering safe.
That we don't let our plants
into nature uncontrolled.
You sound like
a promotional clip.
You believe that?
Well, of course, there are
other benefits, such as
the commercial use
of the plant.
- Alice: See?
- But that's okay.
Well, maybe Little Joe
doesn't think it's okay.
Little Joe doesn't think
at all.
Listen, if you go around
telling people
that we may have some sort of
human pathogenic virus
in our plant,
our careers are over!
So, you do think
that it could happen?
- No, I don't.
- Perhaps that's exactly
what happened.
So, now, we're dealing
with a super virus
that infects people
so that all they care about
is the reproduction
of Little Joe.
But at the same time
you don't notice
because the infected people act
exactly as they did before.
And they're deceptively good
at it.
Sounds very plausible.
Alice, don't you think
that these "changes"
that Little Joe is supposed
to cause
could be happening for
completely different reasons?
I'm just so worried about Joe.
I just don't know him anymore.
We were so close
and now he's...
Well, Joe is growing up.
It's completely normal
for him to change.
He wants to move in with Ivan.
What would I do without him?
Well, I could talk to him,
if you like.
Joe: I have to go.
Boy: All right. Cool.
- See you later.
- See you later.
All right.
Hi, mum.
I didn't see you.
So I decided to take
the weekend off.
We can go to an exhibition
or a movie?
Joe: I'm already
doing something.
It's like I barely know
you anymore.
You never tell me
what you're up to.
I don't have to discuss
everything with you.
Mum, please,
this is normal at my age.
Ric: Bella.
I have a huge favor
to ask you.
I need to leave early today.
My girlfriend
has had an accident.
She is in hospital right now.
- and...
- What do you want?
Could you do
the nutrient feed for me?
Thank you.
The access code is "fromage".
F- R- O- M- A- G- E.
Thanks, Bella.
- Bella: Hello?
Alice: Bella?
How are you?
Bella: Why?
Alice: Well, you seemed,
how should I say,
- quite concerned lately.
- Bella: Oh, that?
That's all over, I'm fine.
I'm sorry I frightened you.
I realize now that it was
all in my mind.
I'm not sure if you know
but I used to be ill.
Mentally ill.
my illness comes back
and I'm not myself anymore.
Anyway, if I take my medication,
everything's fine.
That's how it is.
Alice: But, Bello...
Really. You don't have to worry.
Little Joe
is completely harmless.
I inhaled some
of the pollen myself.
and I'm just fine.
Little Joe
couldn't harm anybody.
How can you be sure?
It's just a plant
trying to survive.
Sorry, I don't see
an appointment for you today.
Alice: I know.
But it's important.
This is most irregular.
Well, I'm no biologist.
What can I say?
What would the consequences be?
We don't know.
We really don't know
what a virus like that could do.
Well, neither do I.
So, your colleague, Bella?
Might be right after all?
No. She's changed her mind
but I think that's because
she's been infected too.
Just like Joe.
Alice: It sounds so crazy.
But it's as if...
Joe weren't Joe anymore.
He frightens me.
Let's remember Bella's dog.
In our last session,
you spoke about how Bella
stopped loving her dog
because she thought
it had changed.
She had it put down, right?
Is it possible,
Bella prompted
certain fears in you?
Fears connected
with the loss of your son.
Fear can distort
our perception of reality
until we actually see
what we are afraid of...
or what we secretly
wish for.
Wish for?
What wish would that be?
Patient Woodard, Alice:
feelings of guilt
centered on perceived
neglect of pubescent son, Joe.
Possibly patient is suppressing
her subconscious wish
to free herself from the bond
with her child.
Joe: I don't even see
what the problem should be.
Chris: Try to make her feel
more needed.
- That's just how mothers are.
- Yeah.
Yeah, I also think that...
Oh, Alice, there you are.
We were just wondering
what happened to you.
What are you doing here?
We're just having a chat.
Me and Joe
and his girlfriend Selma.
Is it all right if Chris stays
for dinner?
Alice: No!
What's going on here?
Chris: Nothing.
Didn't you want me
to speak to Joe?
Alice, how can you possibly
misunderstand everything?
Alice: Chris, please,
you should leave now.
I don't think you know
how much...
I think I love you.
You know what?
There's nothing wrong with Joe.
You just have to let him go.
Alice: It's really none
of your business, Joe is my boy.
Well, I'm just trying to help.
If there's anyone that's changed
around here, it's you.
That's not true.
Joe, please,
I have to talk to you.
Several things
have happened recently
that have disturbed me
quite a lot.
For instance,
what you and Selma
were doing in the growing hall.
What are you talking about?
I've no idea what you mean.
Don't bother lying.
- Joe, I know you were in there.
- You followed us!
that's really...
- How could you do that?
- No! What...
Why do you think...
of course not.
We wanted to give Ivan a plant,
for his birthday.
He's allergic.
Joe: I know.
We wanted him to inhale
the pollen, too.
So, he'd become like us.
It's true.
Selma and I have been infected
by Little Joe's pollen.
Joe: Yes.
It's funny, but...
ever since,
I've felt quite happy.
All of us who have inhaled
the pollen,
we belong together now.
And we'll do anything
to help Little Joe.
That's our job, isn't it?
Of course,
it's a pity you feel bad now,
that's just because
you're not one of us.
Selma: Not yet.
Joe: That's right.
If you inhale the pollen too,
you'll understand.
It doesn't hurt.
You'll hardly notice
the difference.
No one does. Not even us.
We pretend to be the same
as before and it works.
It's a kind of reflex.
And it makes you feel happy.
Which is what you wanted,
Joe, that's impossible.
That's not what I wanted.
But look, Alice...
Can I call you Alice?
Selma: There's nothing for you
to be afraid of.
Now, you think something
will be missing,
but, like I said,
you won't notice.
It's like being dead.
You don't notice you're dead,
do you?
Good comparison.
It was a joke.
Joe: Come on, Mum,
you don't really believe
that nonsense, do you?
It's me, Joe.
Your Joe.
I'm... I'm fine really!
And so is Selma.
Right, Selma?
what gave you that idea?
Chris told us a bit
about your problems...
with Little Joe.
Seriously, Mum.
I suppose I have changed a bit
but it's nothing against you.
It has nothing to do with you.
I guess I'm growing up
and I simply want to spend
a bit more time with my father.
Can you please accept that?
Oh, Joe.
I will always love you.
Alice: Karl, I have to confess
that I lied to you all.
I'm terribly sorry.
I didn't use the usual vectors
but one of the new
virus vectors. It was, um...
precisely the ones
that we're not allowed.
That's how
we were able to modify
Little Joe's scent so well.
I see.
that is, of course,
a very serious offense.
If you want my opinion,
sooner or later,
we are all going to be using
those new viruses anyway.
They are pretty efficient,
aren't they?
Well, yes.
But I have reason to believe
that the ones that we've used...
- Which one was it?
- It's the R-virus.
I have reason to believe
that it has mutated
and it now has a pathogenic
effect on the human brain.
Has this ever happened before?
Not that we know of.
- Well...
- Alice: That doesn't mean
that it didn't happen.
Maybe just no one dared
to think of it.
What exactly are the symptoms?
Well, it's not like
they become zombies.
I believe that
those who are infected,
they change in a nearly
imperceptible way.
They actually feel happy,
but it cannot be compared
to the sort of happiness
that we wanted to create.
The consequences
that we are facing here,
they could be disastrous.
Could they?
wouldn't it be terrible if...
people lost
their genuine feelings
and only pretended
to be the same as before,
but they weren't,
because actually
they had stopped caring
about anybody else
but the plant?
As long as they're happy.
- I was joking.
- We can't take any risks here.
We must have the whole
genome sequenced.
Karl: Very well then.
Alice: I'll get everything ready
and we can send a sample
to Genex later today.
Bella: My Bello was
the only living being
I ever really loved.
I didn't inhale the pollen.
I just pretended.
Like I always just pretended.
Bello was the only one
I could be myself with.
And now he's gone.
You're all gone.
You just don't know it.
You're no longer
your real selves.
I'm afraid I'm still
pretty much myself.
- What about you?
- Yeah, I am, too.
Come and sit down.
Chris: What's the matter
with you, Bella?
Nothing's the matter.
Nothing at all.
- Alice: Please, sit down.
- I don't want to sit down.
Just leave me alone.
Oh, my God...
Karl: Nice and easy now, Bella.
Where's your medication?
- Go and see a doctor.
- I don't need a doctor.
Let go.
No, we'll deal with this.
Ric: Sorry.
I'm just...
- Bella: Don't come any closer.
- Chris: Please.
- Bella: Stay where you are.
- Chris: Bella.
- What have you done?
- Nothing.
We were trying to stop her.
It's not what you think.
What can I say is that
I'm absolutely shaken.
Bella was--
is my closest colleague.
Her dedication and empathy...
absolutely invaluable
to the work we do here.
So, all our thoughts
are with our dear colleague
who is, at this moment,
fighting for her life.
And as soon as we know more,
we'll post that information
on the internal newsletter.
But now, in spite
of today's tragic events,
we must carry on.
The fair is approaching.
So... congratulations
Team Woodard and Ric.
You have done
fantastic work.
The test results confirm
that Little Joe doesn't trigger
any serious allergies
or other adverse reactions.
So, consequently,
face masks need longer be worn,
with immediate effect.
We will be ready
for the flower fair.
There'll always be somebody
with minor allergic reactions.
I'm so sorry, Alice.
Little Joe is harmless.
Now I take full responsibility
for the failure of my Flash 2s.
So I'll just have to do better
next time.
Yeah? Concerning the sample
you prepared...
We won't need it. I mean...
Neither of us wants Genex
finding out
about your somewhat
unorthodox approach.
Now that we're so close
to presenting
our Little Joes to the public,
we don't want to spoil it,
do we?
But the risk of infection...
Karl: Please, don't be offended,
but your theory lacks
any sort of evidence.
There are simply no symptoms.
And who can prove
the genuineness of feelings?
Moreover, who cares?
Karl: I fear Bella's ideas
have infected your mind,
rather than any virus.
It seems that this has all been
a bit much for you.
If there's anything I can do?
No, I'm... I should be fine.
Chris: Still here so late?
Alice: Just checking
the thermostat.
- Chris: Well?
- Alice: Well what?
Is the temperature all right?
Alice: Yeah, everything's fine.
It's just I thought
that you might
do something rash.
What makes you think that?
You have been getting
a bit carried away recently.
A bit chilly in here, isn't it?
Alice: Um...
you don't really want this.
Please, just trust me for once.
I'll convince Karl
to authorize the sequencing.
We are a team after all.
How could you?
Your own children!
Alice: I know.
But I can't take the risk.
If I made a mistake,
then it's my fault.
No, it's not.
I am a part of this as well.
Alice: Chris,
I am the one who did...
Oh, me, me, me!
This isn't all about you.
- Give me the...
- Alice: No!
Give me the key!
Karl: Uh, I have some news
that I wouldn't want to keep
from you.
Little Joe has been nominated
for the European Herb
& Health Award.
Um, as you know already,
we've received orders from...
the National School Board
and NHS providers.
So, soon Little Joe
will be improving well-being
in classrooms
and hospital wards nationwide.
Plus, with this nomination,
we will receive orders
from all over the world.
- Even the EU.
Little Joe is our finest work
by far.
It was a good decision
to bring you in after all.
Alice: Oh...
You've turned out
to be one of our top breeders.
So... congratulations
to you both.
Little Joe will make the world
a little happier.
Man: To us.
To team Woodard.
- Chris: To you.
- To Little Joe.
- Man: Little Joe.
- Man: Little Joe.
Chris: Alice...
again, about what happened,
I'm so sorry.
I was so angry
because you always...
and you never really...
Maybe it's too late now
and I've screwed everything up,
but I do want you to know
how much I respect you.
Please forgive me.
It looks as though it was me
who screwed everything up.
We are a team after all.
Joe: Mm.
That makes a change.
I'm glad to see
I can still surprise you.
Joe, I've been thinking,
if you still want to move in
with your father,
I would understand.
Maybe I was just too worried.
You know me,
always fearing the worst.
Yeah, true.
And I suppose it's high time
I learn to manage without you.
Oh, gosh,
what did you put in here?
- It's so heavy.
- Just rocks.
Take good care of yourself.
You're doing the right thing,
believe me.
You're a good mother,
but an even better
If you say so.
Anyway, I have to go now.
I have work to do.
For a minute there,
I really believed that my plant
would change people.
How absurd to think that a plant
would change the love
- between a mother and a child.
- Right.
And what made you change
your mind?
Oh, there was no proof,
no virus could be found.
I see.
And can you be sure?
Alice: Yes.
We finally had
the sequencing done.
And it's all fine.
And do you have any idea
why you believed it
in the first place?
I guess I felt guilty
about spending more time
with Little Joe
than with Joe.
But what can I do,
I love my work too.
And a boy needs his father.
And you know what, maybe
I did actually wish for it,
Psychotherapist: That Joe
would move in with his father?
To have a bit more time
for myself
and my work.
And there's really no need
to blame yourself for that.
It would be a mistake
to deny who you really are.
Is it the one
that makes you happy?
Hmm, lovely.
They like being talked to.
Good night, Little Joe.
Little Joe:
Good night, Mum.
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