Ned Rifle (2014) Movie Script

Defend me, O God, thy humble
servant in all assaults
of the enemy, that I, surely
trusting in thy defense,
may not fear the power
of the adversary,
that the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be always acceptable
in thy sight.
O Lord, my strength
and my redeemer.
Hi, Clair.
Excuse me, Reverend.
The news is on.
- Good morning.
- Morning.
Well, the big news of
the hour is, once again,
you guessed it, Fay Grim.
Look, Ned.
It's the lady terrorist,
Fay Grim.
Gotta make it look like you did
some work around here today, Derek.
The suburban single mom
from Woodside, Queens, convicted
of treason and sentenced to
a lifetime in prison without
hope of parole is finally
being transferred
from a secret U.S.
military detention center
and placed in a federal
penitentiary in upstate New York.
Should've killed that
slut when they found her.
Save the taxpayers
a whole lot of money.
So, Lisa, what's the
feeling there on the ground?
Well, Bob, there's a sizable
crowd of protesters out by
the road chanting for Fay's
execution, but by and large,
the community here
is simply curious.
I say being in prison
her whole life long...
best thing that ever
happened to that girl.
She goes out on the streets,
somebody's bound to hit her
in the head with a baseball
bat or something.
Chet, can you see what
the problem is
with the girl's lavatory?
Right away, Reverend.
Right away. Just on my way.
You ladies have a nice day now.
The poor woman.
Mary, pull yourself together.
She's a traitor to the nation,
an international terrorist.
She's Ned's mother!
Yes, well, of course this
wouldn't be the first time
that a perfectly decent,
God-fearing, sober-minded
person like Ned has risen up and
escaped from such moral ruin.
I think she's innocent.
She's been convicted, Mary.
Mistakes have been made before.
Anyway, Ned's been
traumatized by all this.
It's a miracle he's as
well-adjusted as he is.
- Has he decided yet?
- I believe so.
He's 18 today.
He's free to leave witness
protection if he chooses.
What do you suppose
he's thinking about?
- Me.
- Keep dreaming, Clair.
He smiled and said hello.
You're the minister's
daughter for crying out loud.
He lives in your house.
I bet he's had sex
and everything.
No, he's chaste, I'm certain.
Do you really think he'll
leave, now that he's 18?
I hope not.
But, Mama, why is Ned in
witness protection anyway?
Clair, you know we can't
discuss those things.
This plate is chipped.
See if there's another one.
Not even now, now when
he's about to leave?
Oh, really?
Is he leaving?
That's what everybody says.
What everybody says, I see.
Well, why don't you
ask him yourself?
Here he comes now.
That was great, Mrs.
Gardner. Thank you.
There's more.
No, thanks.
I'm stuffed.
Derek, what did I tell you?
No mobile devices at the table.
They let that lady
terrorist go today.
You mean Fay Grim.
They didn't let her go.
They just moved her.
Derek, help your sister bring
out the coffee and dessert.
I'm sorry.
At least I know
where she is now.
So you've decided?
Are you sure you want
to return to that...
well, that life?
She's my mother.
Happy Birthday!
Wow! Thank you.
Clair made it.
Thank you, Clair.
I don't know if
it'll be any good or anything.
- I'm sure it is.
- It's chocolate.
What should I wish for?
No, it's gotta be a secret.
Does it?
No. Clair, that's
just superstitious.
Alice, what do you say?
"The secret things belong
unto the Lord our God."
No. "Judges."
Sit down. Go ahead, Ned.
Wish away.
I wish...
I wish this family
the peace, the happiness,
and the security it has
provided me these past 4 years
forever and ever.
Oh, yes, Ned, this is just
a little something from
all of us.
Don't open it now.
Happy Birthday.
Thank you, all.
It's a Bible.
"Our thoughts go with you
and our hopes also."
Wow! Clair!
I wish you wouldn't leave.
I know that.
You're an important and loved
member of this community.
Besides, there is work here
for you if you want it,
a career, maybe
even the ministry.
I believe you have
a true calling.
I've prayed on it, Reverend.
I'm not sure it's for me.
I know, as you do, that I've
made mistakes, indiscretions.
That young lady from
Florida, in particular.
We're all human, sir.
Temptation exists.
Yes, but I owe you my life for
your help in covering up that
disgraceful and tragic episode.
Make your peace
with God, Reverend.
You're too good a man to
be brought low by a mistake
of that kind.
In any event, your
secret is safe with me.
Don't spend it all
in one place.
Thank you, Reverend.
I'll pay this back in time.
No rush.
You'll retain your new
identity, your new name?
What are your intentions?
I'm going to find my father.
I see. Of course.
And what then?
What will you do when
you find your father?
I'm going to kill him.
I'm going to kill him for
destroying my mom's life,
for leading her astray,
away from the light,
and the power, and
the glory that is God.
I learned it here, sir,
and I thank you
for the knowledge.
I was going to say
"Go in peace."
I'm sorry, Reverend,
but that's not likely.
Hold it, son.
No sudden movement.
physical contact only.
You're so tall, and
you've got color.
Your hair is darker.
Do you have a girlfriend?
I don't know.
Ha! Playing the field, good,
be careful though, O.K.?
I'm chaste, Mom.
You're what?
I'm a virgin.
It's what God wants.
We should remain
chaste until marriage.
Mom, it's O.K.
You're religious?
There's a better way to live.
Yeah, well, tell me about it.
But how are you?
Oh, well, this place is a barrel
of laughs compared to where I was.
At least you're allowed to
see people, talk to people.
I do yoga.
I'm starting a book club.
Oh, and a big publishing company
paid me a million dollars
for my autobiography--
you know, suburban-single-
mom-terrorist sort of thing.
They're sure it'll be
a best-seller.
Are they allowed to do that?
Well, no. I'm not allowed
to earn money myself,
but they've set up
an account for you.
Simon has all the details.
So you're writing the
story of your life?
Not me exactly. No.
They send this graduate
student chick over once a week
who's supposed to be
a genius or something.
She asks me questions
and records it all.
She does all the work.
Mom, forgive me, but...
you're not a terrorist, right?
How can you ask me that?
You're just, like, totally
falsely accused, correct?
Yeah, well, of course.
I did some stupid things.
I was confused.
I lied about--about...
Well, you see, Ned, there
was, you know, a bomb.
Mom, it's O.K.
I believe you.
God, I'm such an idiot.
No, you're not.
Oh, what my life might've been
if I'd never met your father.
I know.
I mean, apart from having you.
Where is he now?
- Henry?
- Yes.
Russia, I guess.
Odessa, I think.
After that, who knows?
Who cares?
Forget about him, Ned.
He deserves to die for the
trouble he's caused you.
Oh, don't talk like that.
Who deserves to die?
There's a woman here--
Florence. She shot and killed
her husband and
two little girls.
Most days, she wants to die,
but more and more, she's just
this kind, little woman
who's happy to work all day
in the laundry.
What gets into people?
The devil, probably.
Fay, time's up.
Go see your Uncle Simon.
He's got the information about
the publisher and the money.
You'll come back soon, right?
As soon as I can.
I have to take care
of something first.
Don't forget me in here.
I may have to be
away for a while.
O.K. Call me.
- I'm sorry, young man. Time's up.
- O.K.
Between 7:00 and 9:00
on Wednesday.
I'm always here.
Hi. I'm here to see a friend
of mine. Mr. Simon Grim?
Is he expecting you?
I believe so.
Yes, sir, someone's
here. A Mister...
Edward Rifle.
Mr. Rifle.
Of course.
It's the elevator to the
4th floor, room 423.
It's the street side.
Ned, nice to see you.
Thanks for visiting.
I'm just revising
my new material.
A new poem?
No, I'm through with all that.
Working on
my stand-up routine.
You want to be a comedian?
Yeah, why not?
Am I not funny?
Well, it's been a while,
Uncle Simon.
That's right.
It's been a while, and real-life
experience has taught me much,
that perhaps I'd overlooked
as a poet laureate
and cultural touchstone.
People want a good laugh
now and then, Ned, trust me.
Good old-fashioned slapstick
humor, naughty innuendo,
a few well-placed fart jokes.
Enough with the earnest reflection,
the tragic
but unifying elusiveness
of the human spirit in
modern times and so on.
I'm through with it.
Only now, after all this
heartbreak and controversy,
only now, am I able to
confront my inner clown.
Look, Uncle Simon, my mom said
you had some money for me.
Oh, yeah, here it is.
That's the bank card.
The pin number's on
the Post-It note.
So where exactly
do you do this?
Do what?
Your stand-up comedy
Right here in front
of the computer.
I have a weekly video blog.
I'm about to post a new one,
but I can't seem to
get this joke right.
Ah! That's Zach,
my comedy coach.
Think funny.
Hi, Zach.
Come on in.
Zach this is my nephew, Ned.
Ned, Zach.
Think funny.
Hey, you know,
you guys have work to do,
and I have to go get a room.
I'll leave you to it for now.
Talk to you later, Simon.
See you later, kid.
Have you got a room free?
How many nights?
2, 3, maybe.
Yeah, I can do that.
A single, right?
Right. Can I leave
my suitcase here?
Wow, that's a lot of money.
Are you staying at the hotel?
Oh, I just sort of
hang around there.
Oh, well, I'm sorry but...
I'm not interested.
In what?
In whatever it is
you're selling.
Do you think I'm a prostitute?
What do you want?
To meet Simon Grim.
Oh, that's why you
hang around the hotel?
He never leaves the building.
I've been here for weeks.
I did my graduate
thesis on his poetry.
He claims he's over poetry
now and wants to do
stand-up comedy.
Of course. All the poets
are doing that now.
It's the new thing.
Have you seen his blog?
Not yet.
It's bad, huh?
It's perfectly harmless,
mind-numbingly attuned to
the lowest common denominator
of consumer entertainment.
What do you want to talk
to him about then?
Are you familiar with his work?
- Grim's?
- Yes.
A little.
I sometimes work for
his comedy coach, Zach.
He's a jerk.
I asked him to introduce me
to Grim, and he insisted
on sexual favors.
And afterwards, he still
refused to introduce me.
You're not well.
I got caught in
the rain yesterday.
Where do you stay?
Oh, around.
Do you have a room
for my friend here?
She's your friend?
Yes, I'm paying.
He thinks I'm
a prostitute, too.
No, you're the poet
laureate stalker.
Ex-poet laureate.
She wrote a book about him.
I have no singles left.
This place doesn't
seem so busy.
Still, no singles.
You got the last one.
I do have a double, though.
Does that mean two beds?
Two single beds.
That O.K. with you?
Where's that comedy
coach of yours?
I fired him.
I don't think Zach knows the
first thing about being funny.
And you do?
You appear to doubt
my comic chops.
Simon, what are you doing?
I want to be popular and
liked, like everybody else.
But you're not popular, and it
takes most people a while to
get to know you before they like
you, and once they like you,
they tend to love you.
Yeah, but I can change that.
Have you read my poetry?
Yeah, well, no.
Not really, but I'm
not that into poetry.
But that's just it.
Shouldn't I be doing something
that a hip, young guy like
yourself is interested in?
Am I hip?
Well, I don't know.
Aren't you? You're young.
Simon, if you're all set on
chucking poetry, don't waste
your time trying to be
a stand-up comic.
Set you eyes on the
straight and narrow, and give
yourself to Jesus.
You're not just trying to
be funny now, are you?
No, of course not.
Well, this is new.
You've found God?
Look, I have a friend downstairs
who wants to meet you.
Is this an intervention?
A what?
Am I going to be
baptized or something?
No. She knows all
about your poetry.
She wants to give you a
copy of her dissertation.
It's the least you can do,
I think, really.
O.K., bring her up.
Tomorrow. She's sleeping.
Now, any ideas about where
my father might be?
Hundreds of people follow my
blog, and many of them write
in and post comments.
Henry, who seems to work at,
or used to work at a certain
bookstore in Seattle, writes in
weekly, and assassinates my character
in increasingly elaborate ways.
I think more people follow my
blog to read him than to see
my stand-up routine,
You're not going to try and
save Henry for Jesus, are you?
And what if I am?
O Lord, give unto thy
servant that peace that the
world cannot give, that my
heart may be set to obey
thy commandments,
That through thee I
remain constant of purpose
and fearless of the enemy.
Lighten my darkness, O Lord,
I beseech thee, and by thy
mercy defend me from the
perils and dangers of this
night, for the love of
thy Holy Son, our Savior,
Jesus Christ.
He said 10:00?
Any time after 10:00.
How do I look?
Great. What are you
all dolled-up for?
You're just going to be talking
about poetry and literature.
I don't look like a slut, do I?
- No.
- Really?
Yeah, it's just I don't--
well, I don't know anything
about literature.
That's right, you don't.
See you this afternoon.
Good luck.
She went up to the poet
laureate 10 minutes ago.
We're O.K. with
the room, right?
Two more nights.
O.K., thanks.
Want me to tell her anything?
No. Make sure she
knows the room's hers.
- La Guardia Airport.
- O.K.
I've always read the poems, even,
and especially the later ones,
as an evocation of the joys
and sorrows of influence.
The evolution of one's
own manner of perceiving
and inevitably expressing the
world to one's self and to others,
the sadness of breaking
with the cherished attitudes
inherited from the friendly,
encouraging, but ultimately
limited sources that
must be outgrown.
Please go on.
I recognize that voice--
the tempter, the challenger,
the seducer, the friend.
I use the term "antagonist"
to start with,
but it's more fluid than that.
I could never find the
right word for how he feels
to be with.
It's actually more like
being inspired by the wind,
the rain, a sickness,
some other uncontrollable
You seem to know Henry
better than I do.
It's expressed better in
the body of the text itself,
but that is, I think,
it generally.
It was difficult to get out
from the shadow he cast.
There was always something apt
about his most unreasonable
ranting and raving that
kept me from dismissing his
input entirely--
his own failures, his own
ineptitude, his delusions.
These, I came to see, were
my lens onto the world.
It provided a material out
of which to shape an image
of that world as I endured it.
Endured it?
I merely endured the world until
my friend, Henry, showed me
one could do otherwise.
It was the same with me.
Excuse me?
I mean, of course,
through the reading
of your poetry, how
you rendered him and his
influence upon you.
I'm moved by how intimately
you've engaged in my poetry.
It means the world to me,
and I was so afraid
I might be totally mistaken.
What do you want?
A documentary?
A YouTube feed?
A series of Tweets?
Whatever you want, just ask.
Stop doing your blog.
The stand-up thing
is awful.
Decisive, committed,
admittedly obscure work
indifferent to mainstream
approval and unafraid
of confrontation with moral
and aesthetic absolutes.
This, more than you might
imagine, is what keeps people
from jumping out
windows and under trains.
Adding to mass-cultural
self-congratulation, is, of course,
its own reward--
cheap, immediate,
and disposable, as it is.
So you think it's O.K.
for me to be unpopular?
Oh, I think it's necessary.
You're an unusual person.
I have few friends.
I hope I haven't
hurt your feelings.
No. Thank you.
I hope we can talk again soon,
but I have to ask, are you
religious, as well?
As well?
As Ned, my nephew,
who introduced us.
You mean Edward?
We call him Ned.
Young Mr. Rifle?
That's my mother's maiden name.
He was advised to
remain incognito.
The son of Fay Grim?
And Henry Fool.
You're leaving?
Oh, I just...forgot
I have to do something,
and no, I'm not religious.
Sorry. Thank you so much.
Come back soon.
I will.
Where's my friend
Mr. Rifle?
Your room is paid for
for the next 2 nights.
Where has he gone?
- I saw him hail a cab.
- And?
He might've said something
about La Guardia Airport.
Thank you.
What are you doing here?
My meeting with
Simon Grim was amazing.
Thank you so much
for setting it up.
Sure, sure, but you didn't
have to come all the way out
here to thank me.
I mean, the room's paid up
for a couple of nights.
I know, but I like you.
Oh, man.
- Do you have a girlfriend?
- Stop.
I know I'm a little older than
you, but I'm fun, and I know
a bunch of different languages,
and I don't do drugs, and--
Why Seattle?
I have some business to
do there for Simon Grim.
You don't work
for Zach anymore?
Toothpaste, soap, shampoo.
Look at these towels.
You look fine.
You have no clothes but
what you're wearing?
No, but I can get
these laundered here.
Is that O.K.?
Go buy yourself some things.
I have to go meet someone.
Tomorrow, you can take
me to the bookstore.
How long will you be?
Hard to tell.
Don't wait up.
So, listen, wiseguy, like I
was saying last week--
Fay, hold on.
What? Did Ned come
to see you yet?
Yeah, he did.
Hasn't he gotten tall?
He's, like, you know,
a man and everything.
And he's Christian.
Yeah, right?
Where does he get
that from, I wonder?
Apparently, he's lived with a
devout family these past 4 years.
You see, Simon,
that's what I mean.
He's so damn
impressionable, that kid.
But anyway, I think it's
you he gets that from.
Me? I haven't been inside a
church since you married Henry.
Yeah, well, it's how,
like, people discuss you
and everything.
You're this weird kind of
moral compass in a society
half convinced of its
own worthlessness.
You don't sound like yourself.
Who have you been talking to?
Oh, this graduate student the publisher
hired to write my autobiography
was here the other week.
She's got a truckload of ways
to say how you've influenced
the zeitgeist and
everything, Simon.
Really, I was impressed,
but then I told her how I
always had to get you out
of fights in high school.
Fay, listen, I need to talk to
you about something important.
Oh, and, like, my autobiography
is not important?
No, of course it is, but, Fay,
did Henry ever tell you
about the girl he went to prison
for having sexual relations with?
You mean, the 13-year-old
girl he sexually molested?
Well, O.K., yes.
Her name was Susan.
Do I really have to hear this?
Yes, because I believe I met
this girl, Susan, yesterday.
I mean, she's a woman,
now, of course.
She's written this remarkable
study of my work, or at least,
that aspect of my work which
she feels, and I must admit,
she's onto something here,
that aspect of my poetry that
centers on my
friendship with Henry.
- That's odd.
- Not really.
Unusual, yes, but an original and
provocative reading of these poems and--
No, I mean, this graduate student
who's writing a story of my life.
Her name is Susan, too.
What does she look like?
Early 30s, skinny,
addicted to lipstick.
And the lipstick is not on,
you know, correctly.
She's kind of helpless.
Where did you meet her?
Well, that's the thing.
She was introduced
to me by Ned.
- Uh-oh.
- My feelings exactly.
Are you sure it's her?
Fay, she sat here and talked
about my poems in a way that
only a person could if
they knew Henry intimately.
You said she was with Ned?
He introduced her to me.
And, were they, like, together?
I think so.
You know he's chaste, right?
Yeah, it means,
you know, that, like--
I know what chaste means, Fay.
Well, what do you
think she's up to?
It's hard to say.
I hope she's not a
psycho killer or anything.
I was really enjoying
our time together.
I'll talk to your publisher
and see what I can find out.
I'll be over in Erotica
if you need me.
Looking for a friend of mine
who I think used to work here.
An older guy named Henry.
- Henry?
- Loudmouth.
- Troublemaker?
- Drunkard.
- Thief.
- Egomaniac.
- Sex fiend?
- That's him.
We fired him.
He's not allowed in
the store anymore.
But he's around?
As far as I know, he's always
at the topless bar down
the block with his pal, Bud, who's
also not allowed in here anymore.
You gonna buy that?
This is it, I guess.
Wait here.
There's no way
you're 21, buddy.
Oh, wait, I just need to go
in and find somebody.
No matter, man.
I can't let you in.
I'll go.
What's his name?
But she can go in?
Dude, it's a
gentleman's club, O.K.?
Smokin' babes are
always welcome.
I used to dance here.
No, when?
You were just a child.
Talk dirty to me.
What's his name?
You're looking for Bud?
Right at the bar.
I can't. Not now.
I'm working.
Dude, it's nothing personal.
It's just the law.
There's a law
higher than the law.
Do you think I'd ever want
to go into a place like this
if I didn't have to?
I see. I was mistaken.
Sorry, man.
Ned, this is Bud.
Bud, this is Ned.
You wanna talk to me?
About what?
Buy me lunch.
No problem.
And, like, I'm gonna
need some booze.
I send him his reading
material, books I steal from
the library over here.
Where? Where do you send
the reading material?
He took this job as a, I don't know,
test case for some drug company
or something down
outside of Portland, Oregon.
Do you have the address,
the name of the place?
Ashbrook Pharmaceuticals.
Hey, you ain't, like--he don't
owe you money or nothing, right?
He didn't impregnate
your sister or nothing?
I'm a friend.
'Cause he's my
teacher and shit.
I gotta watch his back.
What did he teach you?
He taught me to write.
- Poetry, I guess.
- Damn straight.
I was just a garbage man
before Henry came to town.
Listen, thanks
for talking to me.
I have to go.
What about my booze?
My friend will be here
with it any minute now.
She your girl?
Because I think
she sorta digs me.
Yeah, I think so, too.
So, just wait here. Listen, don't
tell her what we talked about O.K.?
Or where I'm headed.
Double done.
Mr. Grim.
Yes, hello. Simon.
Such an unexpected
pleasure, really.
Thank you for seeing me
on such short notice.
Not at all, please, come on in.
Simon Grim.
I thought he was dead.
I know.
Wow, you're a sight
for sore eyes.
Where's Ned?
Ned? Ned who?
Who's Ned?
Come on, Bud.
We're friends, right?
Oh, yes.
I've been writing a
poem about you even.
So you have to tell
me where Ned's gone.
But this poem, you see, requires
a certain creatural detail.
The currency of lived
experience, so to speak.
What's it about, this poem?
Your thigh.
Which one?
Wow, now there's an idea.
Bud, concentrate.
This one.
- You want to touch it?
- I have to.
How long?
60 seconds is the structural
prerequisite of my poetic expression.
A formalist.
Interesting, but
where has Ned gone?
Ashbrook Pharmaceuticals,
Portland, Oregon.
O.K., let's do it.
I'm interested in the young
woman you've hired to
ghost-write my sister's
It's come to my attention she's
written a quite thorough
analysis of my own work.
Ah, yes.
Well, so you know
about this then?
I was impressed.
Really, you've read it?
Yes, I'd like to
know more about her.
She'd been writing movie
reviews for a small, city-wide
entertainment guide.
She developed quite a
following because, well,
because no matter what she
was reviewing, it always came
around to a discussion
of your poetry.
I see.
It's quite hilariously
But well-written?
One couldn't fault the
grammar, but the irony was
a bit too intense for me.
Nevertheless, she became
popularly associated
with you and Fay,
the infamous Grims.
So when I had this idea
for the Fay autobiography,
I thought, of course.
Get this well-read, fringe
iconoclast to ghost it.
That turned out to be more
difficult than I anticipated.
Because she was, as
I should've expected,
in a mental hospital.
Olive, tell Simon
here about Susan.
She presented her dissertation
at Columbia University and--
Go ahead.
Well, Mr. Grim, it was, of course,
a dissertation on your poetry.
I understand.
They refused outright to grant
her diploma, and apparently,
she had a nervous
breakdown and stabbed her
academic advisor.
So, she's violent.
Turns out, she's been in and
out of psychiatric care
since she was 13.
The charges were
eventually dropped.
She's a loaded pistol,
Simon, and I like that.
Comes across in her prose.
Biting, precise, and,
well, yes, obsessive.
When will you see her next?
Us? Oh, we never see her.
She transcribes her interviews
with Fay each week, reworks
them into chapters,
and emails them to me.
We're about a third of the
way through the book.
It's incendiary.
It'll be huge.
We're negotiating with
the penitentiary to get
a photo shoot done with Fay.
Esquire's on board,
maybe GQ, Vanity Fair.
And the controversy is more
than likely to generate
a renewed interest in
even your work, Mr. Grim.
Good thinking, Olive.
Simon, who are you with
these days? Anyone?
Fay, you have a visitor.
Please have a seat.
My name is Daniel.
Reverend Gardner.
Ned may have
mentioned me to you.
If I may say so, Fay,
Ned is like a son to me.
Me too.
Fay, I believe Ned intends
to do something terrible.
Oh, man.
He loves you very much.
Of course he does.
What do you mean by that?
It means he'll kill the man
he thinks is responsible
for your incarceration.
With an "e"?
Could be.
The man you describe is here.
Can I see him?
You say he's your father.
He's been here for a
little over a year.
He replied to an ad we
placed asking for volunteers
on the testing of certain
drugs we were developing.
However, we were advised to
cease experimenting with these
particular medications, but by
then, unfortunately, Henry had
begun to exhibit side effects.
Like what?
Well, there are certain
physio-optical manifestations.
He sees things?
Yes, which, of course, is not
entirely unusual under
the circumstances of the
experiment, but anyway, he has
no legal right to compensation
in that regard.
However, there is the issue
of his delusions, typically
a symptom of mental disorder,
which, honestly, we should've
done due diligence in
detecting before we agreed to
have him participate.
This, you see, could
expose the laboratory to
legal action.
And what's his delusion?
He believes, apparently with
perfect sincerity, that he is,
well, the devil.
- Are you O.K.?
- It's all right.
Yes, sir.
Have you seen that young woman
around, the young lady who
hangs out down here?
That would be your
stalker, Mr. Grim.
Well, yeah, I guess so.
She left yesterday,
following the young man.
Young man?
Mr. Rifle.
To the airport.
In fact, Mr. Grim, you
have another visitor.
As delusions go,
it's a remarkable narrative.
To be perfectly accurate,
he claims he's the devil's
number-one assistant, or was.
He was born into the human realm
in 1591 to run riot during the--
Can you throw him out?
No, our lawyers have indicated,
that would cast a bad
light on our situation.
Let me talk to him.
I'll convince him to leave,
on his own.
You don't look so
good all of a sudden.
Oh, man.
Is this a problem?
I'll be with you in a minute.
What are you doing here?
I'm supposed to help you.
I didn't ask you to.
I'm sorry.
You don't look good.
What's wrong?
I was up all night driving.
I haven't slept.
What happened to your hand?
Look, my father's
a patient in here.
I haven't seen him since
I was a little kid.
O.K., I'll stay here.
Do what you have to do.
I'm O.K., right here.
Mr. Rifle, they're
ready for us.
Don't be taken in.
He's a great tragic actor.
The drama never stops.
Just wait here.
Auf Wiedersehen, mademoiselles.
Dr. Ford, is it
Thursday already?
Henry, who were those women?
Local pilgrims seeking wisdom.
Whoa, hold on.
You dismantled the alarm
on the fire door again.
Look, I have to
smoke someplace.
I know where you live, asshole.
Who's the winsome tart with the
humorless youth over there?
Henry, please.
Doctor, I can't work
under these conditions.
My point exactly, why do you
insist on remaining here?
Thank you for this
information, Reverend.
Of course.
Hopefully, we can reach
him before he does
anything irreparable.
It's him.
You sure?
And you'll talk to him?
I'll come back tomorrow.
I'll only tell him to
expect a visitor.
I'll leave the rest to you.
Come on.
They gave me the name of
a motel down the road.
I'm sorry, we actually only
have one single room available.
O.K., a double is O.K.
Yeah, we don't have
any doubles either.
In fact, we just have
the one room, a single.
Go on, get some sleep.
No, I have to--
I have to go.
You have to go pray?
You'll have to tell
me about that one day.
What's to tell?
How it feels to have
someone listening.
Defend me, O God, thy
humble servant in all assaults
of the enemy, that I, surely
trusting in thy defense,
may not fear the power
of the adversary,
that the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be always acceptable
in thy sight.
O Lord, my strength
and my redeemer.
You want to come in and take a
shower and brush your teeth?
What? Yeah. Sure.
You should've slept with me.
I wouldn't have done
anything scandalous.
Got the key?
I've got your purse.
"How, may I ask, have
I offended thee?"
Why ask me that?
It's just something
written here.
A lovely phrase, I think.
It speaks to me.
Where's the young lady?
What is all this?
History, European mostly,
Renaissance and some
remarkably incriminating
correspondence between
the Vatican and the Spanish king
from the early 16th century.
No one's ever thought to
put it all in order.
Some local antiquarian died,
and his moronic heirs donated
it to this place.
You don't recognize me?
No. Should I?
I'm your son.
Listen, kid, I have
lots of offspring.
They're, you know, legion.
You gotta do better than that.
I'm Ned.
Fay's kid.
I suppose you've
come to kill me.
I hear she's got
a life sentence.
No parole, all that.
Why did she come
looking for me?
She thought your life was in
danger, people were trying
to kill you.
You should've talked
her out of it.
She thought she was
doing it for my sake.
For your sake?
Yeah, like, I needed a
father figure or something.
I'm a wanted criminal,
a known felon, a murderer.
I mean, I'm not apologizing,
but really, I know why.
I mean, really, why.
I hope I don't offend you, son,
but your mother has very
complicated, perverse, and
deeply repressed sexual needs
which, I, in my generosity, was
able to intuit and satisfy.
She's never gotten over it.
Sue me.
You gonna drink that?
You, as it turns out, are the
fruit of that liberation.
A son of the devil.
You've been talking
with Dr. Ford.
Listen, Ned--can
I call you Ned?
I've got these mercenary
quacks by the cojones like
nobody's business.
I mean, really, these guys are
stinking of sin. You?
I am, in fact,
suffering certain,
definite side effects from
this amalgamation of chemicals
they were feeding me,
the constituent elements
of which are not even--
Did you see that?
The point is, this is
not really a bad place.
What with the library here,
and the park and the regular
meals, all I've got to do is
pretend I'm insane once or
twice a week and tell them
this cock-and-bull story
about being the
devil or whatever.
This cache of Renaissance
lit has provided me
with a treasure trove of
dates and places and names.
These assholes are terrified.
Look, mom wants me to get
you out of here
and bring you home.
How can we have a home when she's
in prison the rest of her life?
She wants me, you, and Uncle
Simon to live nearby and go
visit her all the time.
I'm sorry, I'll do
anything for Fay,
but I can't live with Simon.
That man is a disgrace.
A publisher has paid her
to write her autobiography.
She wants your help.
Yeah, she said so herself that
Simon couldn't have written
a thing if not for you.
Well, that's right.
Exactly, that ungrateful
climber, and now with this
blog and the sketch comedy,
where will it end?
It hurts to witness this.
Who does he think he is?
Jerry Lewis?
I've got--wait a minute.
Hold on.
I've got a passage in here
somewhere about, you know,
about Simon's passive-
aggressive will to power,
and here it is.
No, well, it's not about
Simon, but it pertains.
Anyway, I need someone to
help me get all this in order.
Can you type?
No. So are you coming?
How will we get there?
I am, as it were, a wanted man.
We'll drive.
Will the young lady be coming?
Is she your girlfriend?
We're just friends.
I'm warning you, kid,
exteriors notwithstanding,
girls just sorta
can't resist me.
That must be a major hassle.
I just don't want any unnecessary
resentment, if you know what I mean.
This all you got?
I'll need my own room.
Fine. Come on.
Wait up.
I gotta get dressed.
Where are we?
I thought you said the motel
was just down the road?
It's not far.
To be fair, Simon's third and
fourth books were pretty good,
and I hadn't seen him in years.
I read them in translation,
of course, being
in exile and everything.
It's clear he allowed
himself to be influenced by
the dynamics of his own
notoriety, so to speak.
Can you hold that farther away?
Don't you agree?
About what?
Simon's third and fourth books.
- I don't read poetry.
- What do you read?
I read what really matters.
Oh, you mean like
The New York Times?
No, shit, you're
a God-fearing man?
You got a problem with that?
Find someplace to pull over.
Gotta pee.
"Coffee product."
It's free.
The donuts were
fresh this morning.
Oh, this is quaint
in a desperate sort of way.
Ah, we meet finally.
That's a fetching ensemble.
- There's free coffee product.
- Is there?
- And semi-fresh donuts.
- Excellent.
Ned, are you going to
introduce us, or did your
mother teach you
no manners at all?
- This is Susan.
- Fascinating.
Come on. We're leaving.
Soldier of God or not,
that kid's got a hair
across his ass.
Yes, he's very devout.
Maybe we should get some donuts
for the road, huh?
Can I hold that for you?
Guard it with your life,
young lady.
Is this the confessions?
I see my reputation
has preceded me.
I did my graduate dissertation
on the work of Simon Grim.
Is that so?
Yes, and because
of that, I guess,
I was hired to ghost-write
your wife's autobiography.
Oh, you're practically family.
That's not sugar.
That's Sweet'N Low.
The sugar's right there.
Well, that's good.
Fay can't spell
to save her life.
Do you type?
Very well, and I'm
a great copy editor.
I can use some help with this.
I'd love to.
I mean, if that's O.K.
Good, it needs some--
Oh, did you see that?
You remind me of someone.
O.K., O.K.!
He hates me, of course.
So embarrassingly oedipal.
Come on.
So, it's like this.
In the infinite amplitude of
his love, God wants to create
the largest number of best
elements that can exist
together in one cosmos.
O.K., that's a spin on Leibniz,
but the important part is next.
Do I write that?
No, hold on.
In an instantaneous
calculation made in eternity,
God computes the best
possible world and creates it.
O.K., fine.
This decision, as
it were, by God,
is uncontingent and eternal,
rather than temporally or
ontologically sequential.
- Mmm...
- What?
Do you think that's
the right word?
No, ontologically.
What do you suggest?
It's just that the nature of
being is already the subject
of the passage itself.
I think you should move on
from the idea of temporality
to something more
materially concrete.
Spatiality, right. Or--
We'll stop here for the night.
Anyway, the point, Susan,
it is impossible for every
perfect good to be compatible
with every other perfect good.
The holiness of the mountain
needs to be contrasted
with the profanity of the
used condom on the sidewalk
so to speak.
Good image, should
I write that?
The good of free will must
entail real choices for sin.
Something like that.
We'll continue tomorrow.
We need three
single rooms please.
Uh-oh, I'm afraid we only
have one single
and a suite available.
A suite?
Two rooms, a full kitchen,
and a jacuzzi.
A class establishment,
I once participated in the
most fantastic group sex
in a hot tub outside in the
mountains while it was snowing.
Where was that?
Doesn't matter.
How about you?
He'll have the suite.
We'll take the single.
I'll be in the bar.
You're flirting with my father.
Am I?
He's fun.
Are you kidding me?
He appreciates my ideas.
I like the way he thinks.
He's a degenerate.
Give him three minutes alone,
and he'd rape you.
I don't think you know
what you're talking about.
Yeah, well, maybe you're
right, seeing as I don't know
what you're
capable of yourself.
What's that supposed to mean?
Give me the bullet.
What bullet?
That's all the cash I have.
Take it. Get lost.
You're not traveling with us.
Is there a church around here?
Lots. Catholic, Methodist, Baptist,
Seventh Day Adventist, a mosque.
It doesn't matter.
Catholic's right
across the parking lot.
I was wondering how long you'd
be able to stand that guy.
Get dressed, you have
to get out of here.
What are you talking about?
The young, Christian
gentleman's paying for it all.
There's a jacuzzi upstairs.
The young Christian gentleman
has every intention
of killing you.
Here's his gun.
This is the bullet.
I didn't think he
had it in him.
He does.
I've heard him say his prayers.
God's on his side, I suppose.
And so, you mean to say,
Fay doesn't
need my help with her memoir?
Is that what he told you?
That's low.
You got any money?
Yeah, I stole his bank card.
He's got his pin code
written on a Post-It note
and everything.
Very generous of him.
I know, right?
You'd think a religion would
help teach people how
the ungodly operate.
Let me get dressed.
Take all the good stuff
from the mini bar.
What have I done?
I might've killed a man
but for this woman.
Have you sent her?
Placed her in my path
to keep me from sin?
I'll set everything right.
I'll make amends.
Jesus, I don't want
to kill anyone.
He's loaded, but we can
only withdraw $400 a day.
I really can't believe that sanctimonious
little church mouse is my son.
Forget about it.
Where are we going anyway?
I mean, New York, right?
All points on the globe are
equally dismal for me, Susan.
Unwanted, unappreciated,
despised even by my own son.
We can make it in maybe
3 or 4 days, depending
on when Ned unplugs
our credit line.
I called ahead and reserved
a motel room just this side
of Spokane.
Do they have a restaurant,
you think?
No, but the rooms
have kitchens.
Simon, I almost did a
real bad thing.
Your mother thought you might.
Mom? How?
She received a visit from
the Reverend Gardner.
Oh, man.
Have you found Henry?
Is he with you now?
No, I lost him.
He disappeared again.
He ran off with some woman
I was traveling with.
Ned, how much do you know
about your dad's early years?
More than I want to.
Well, he spent some
time in prison.
Right, that much I got.
Do you know why he
was in prison?
Mom said he hadn't paid
his taxes or something.
No, Henry was in jail for
7 years because he was
caught in flagrante delicto
with, as he once told me
in confidence, an ugly and
mean-spirited 13-year-old girl
named Susan.
You think this is that Susan?
I'm certain of it.
I've read her dissertation.
It's a long, wild,
passionate encomium to Henry.
A what?
And she's ghost-writing
your mom's autobiography.
No way! That's her?
She's obsessed with Henry.
Oh, damn it.
Then let them be.
They're both nuts anyway.
He's an idiot.
She's a floozie.
They both read too much.
They're made for each other.
I'm coming home.
But she might do him harm.
You think?
She's been in and out of
psychiatric hospitals her
whole life, and she stabbed
a man in college when they
refused to let her graduate.
What was your impression?
She's armed.
Is she?
Ned, you've got to find them.
I know.
Susan's brilliant, and she's a
good person, but she's totally
fucked up.
I know.
We could probably say the same
thing about your dad, but I
suspect you don't want
to hear that right now.
You're right, Uncle Simon.
I don't want to hear that right now.
Listen, I'll call you tomorrow.
Stateside Mutual Customer
Service, how can I help you?
Yeah, my bank card
has been stolen.
Would you like me
to cancel the card?
Yes, and wait--
Excuse me?
Will you be able to tell me
where the card was last used?
Of course, the exact
time and location.
O.K., don't cancel
the card just yet.
Really? Are you sure?
I'll call back in a few hours.
A lot of damage can occur
in a few hours, sir.
I know.
We should get some booze.
Can you get me
some rum, please?
There's a liquor store
across the parking lot.
Rum, huh?
And whatever you're drinking.
I'll get something to cook.
What do you smoke?
Fairport Lights are O.K.
An embarrassment of riches!
We'll need a knife.
All set?
Anything else?
Ice cubes.
I'll get napkins.
Oh, and lemonade.
Rum, lemonade,
and Fairport Lights.
These were your
preferred poisons at 13.
Why didn't you
come back for me?
I waited.
They put me in jail
for 7 years.
But I was 20 by the
time you got out.
I wasn't allowed into the
state of Ohio without written
permission from some office of
the governor, and only then if
I could prove I had
gainful employment.
Look, Susan, I paid dearly for
our little afternoon of bliss.
I really did think my parents
were away for the weekend.
I had no idea they
would come back.
Aw, Susan.
Susan, what my life might've
been if I'd never met you.
I'm sorry.
Please don't apologize.
What's done is done and
I shouldn't have done it.
I wanted you to.
You were 13. You didn't
know what you wanted.
I did. I did know
what I wanted.
Susan, it's like I've
been trying to get at.
There is sin in this world.
I haven't worked it out
perfectly yet, but if there is
such a thing as sin,
it comes down to this.
Taking advantage of innocence.
I was not innocent.
How dare you say that.
You were the only one I wanted.
Yes, the only one stupid
enough to succumb to the
advances of an overweight and
perspiring adolescent
with bad teeth.
What happened?
I grew up.
Well, you've got a nice ass.
I had braces until I was 26.
You could use a
few pounds, though.
I was anorexic for a while.
I'm O.K. now, but it wasn't
so bad, because I was
in a hospital anyways.
What kind of hospital?
The kind for crazy people.
- Oh, no.
- No, it wasn't like that.
They thought I was crazy because
I was in love with you.
Well, they were right.
I was the janitor at
your junior high school.
You turned me on
to Lautramont.
Did I?
And Verlaine, Rimbaud.
All the French symbolists.
Of course, I outgrew them,
but they were formative.
Yeah, well, but still,
there are limits.
I mean, there are laws even.
Hi. It's me again--
Edward Rifle.
Oh, yes, Mr. Rifle.
The card was used near
Spokane 45 minutes ago
at a supermarket on Route 47.
That was the best
day of my life.
It was astonishing.
I mean, at least,
until your father
was standing there and
the police arrived.
I remember every moment of it.
I put myself to sleep at night
for years replaying it again,
and again.
Every touch.
Each thrust.
The taste of your dirty
fingers in my mouth.
How I clutched the
bedspread and drooled.
And now we can be together,
you and me finally, without
any interference.
Is that what you want?
More than anything
in the world.
I'm not an easy man
to live with, Susan.
I'll just follow you,
yours whenever you want me.
You're incorrigible.
Thank you.
You people are disgusting!
Why, a man your age ought
to know better than to--
Come on! Come on!
It's not our business.
And so you stabbed the guy?
All semester long he's
encouraging me to revise
and to annotate and insisting
we meet after class to discuss
and, well, of course, fuck,
and then he totally goes along
with the other department
heads and dismisses
the dissertation as not
worthy of consideration.
What's this for?
The tomatoes.
- You still hungry?
- Not really.
Give me your glass.
These self-satisfied pundits
who, themselves received
master's degrees for writing
college papers on post-Marxist
third generation feminist
apocrypha or whatever,
now have these high-paid
tenured positions lock-step
with college policy, pushing
only commercially sustainable
mass-cultural phenomena,
proudly detailing the most
profitably, impermanent
trends as critically relevant
societal indicators for the
next really cool Facebook ad,
et cetera.
I mean, am I repeating myself?
God, I love it when you get all
fired up and indignant like this.
Fuck me.
Hello, ladies.
Welcome to the first meeting
of the Penitentiary Book Club.
Since we're all going to be
here for, well, like, the rest
of our lives, I figured we
should start out with some
really big books like these.
"Don Quixote" by
Cervantes, 941 pages.
"War and Peace," Tolstoy,
1,443 pages.
"Les Misrables"--
They made a musical out of
this one--by Victor Hugo,
1,232 pages.
Older man, young woman.
Yeah, high heels, that's right.
Dad's home!
Good morning.
You ought to be
ashamed of yourself.
Are you,
by any chance, headed toward
the city of Spokane?
Well, yeah, sort of.
I'd appreciate a lift,
if you'd be so kind.
Absolutely not!
Amelia, please.
Just drop me anywhere along
the road in that direction.
Look, young man, we don't
want any trouble around here.
I'm just looking
for my friends.
I can't do this to her again.
I'll get off here.
There's nothing here for miles.
Yeah, but I gotta take a shit.
Dear God almighty.
The filth that comes
out of his mouth.
Let him go. Let
him go! Let him go.
I don't want to
cause any trouble.
I'm just going to wait here
in the car till my
friends wake up.
Save her.
No, please.