Reminiscence (2021) Movie Script

[man] The past can haunt a man.
That's what they say.
And the past is just a series
of moments.
Each one... perfect.
A bead on the necklace of time.
[upbeat music playing]
The past doesn't haunt us.
Wouldn't even recognize us.
If there are ghosts
to be found...
it's us who haunt the past.
You lost your queen.
Care to find her again?
- Maybe another time.
- [man chuckles]
You're late.
"Late" is a construct
of linear time.
We don't deal in that.
And yet, we charge by the hour.
Your first appointment's
already in.
Who is it?
Your old pal from the forces.
The one who never pays.
Hey, Bannister.
How you been?
Got turfed out of the place
I was crashin' at.
Land baron?
You know it.
They stealin' all the drylands.
I've been missin' my old place.
I'd like to see Angie again.
[Nick] It used to be
you couldn't go back again.
But time is no longer
a one-way stream.
Memory is the boat
that sails against its current.
And I'm the oarsman.
When the waters rose
and war broke out...
there wasn't a lot to look
forward to...
so people began looking back.
The tank started
as an interrogation tool...
and since then...
nostalgia's become
a way of life.
But for Watts and me,
it's a living.
Synaptic map complete.
Ready for the lull.
You're going on a journey.
A journey through memory.
Your destination?
A place and time
you've been before.
To reach it...
all you have to do
is follow my voice.
It's summer. 13 years ago.
You're in the fields
behind your father's house.
You pick up the ball.
[Hank] Ah!
[Angie barking]
Come on, Angie. Drop it.
Come on, drop it, Angie.
Come on.
Yeah, you're a good girl.
Okay. You ready? You ready?
Go get it.
Come here, baby. Come here.
Come here, drop it.
Aww! That's a good girl. Yeah.
You're such a good girl.
Come on, you ready?
- [Angie barks]
- You wanna go again?
- [low bark]
- Go get it.
Go get the ball, Angie.
I love that damn dog.
[Hank] I'm cash-strapped,
but I got these.
You know what baca will do
if you don't get off it, right?
Well, nothin' worse than
what the world's already done.
You know how it was.
You two served.
I heard you were
a damn good shot.
Mm. Only after
a couple of drinks.
And if I aimed
one man to the right.
[both laugh]
It's not quite enough, but...
- I can get you back next time.
- No, it's on the house.
Thank you.
You keep putting shit
on the house
for your war buddies...
the roof's liable to cave in.
We'll be fine, Watts.
Nostalgia never
goes out of style.
Truth is, nothing is more
addictive than the past.
Who wouldn't want to be
reunited with a loved one?
Or relive the most meaningful
moments of their life?
- [baby cooing]
- Look at those toes.
Can Mommy kiss the toesies?
Mommy's special girl.
[Nick] But memories,
even good ones,
have a voracious appetite.
If you're not careful,
they consume you.
[man] Don't worry, my flower.
I love you.
I'll always take care of you.
Hey, Elsa.
Here. Take it home.
You always revisit
the same memory.
This way, you can
watch it anytime...
instead of wasting your money
on the tank every week.
But it's not the same.
In the reminiscence,
I can feel his arms around me.
Nothing compares.
Thought you were worried
about the roof caving in.
I'm tired of staring
at his pasty ass.
She needs to quit
being sentimental
and move the hell on.
[door buzzes and unlocks]
I'm headin' home.
Here. Have some.
It'll help with the pain.
You think I can't tell
when you're hurting?
Well, I have the leg.
What's your excuse?
I work for you.
[door opens]
- We have another appointment?
- [door closes]
[Watts] We're closed.
I'm sorry. I know it's late.
I lost my keys on the way home
from work.
I've looked for hours,
but I can't find them anywhere.
Call a locksmith.
It's bad for business,
but it's true.
There are certain moments
that never leave you.
Like the moment I first saw her.
We can give her a quick nudge.
Thank you.
[Mae] What is that for?
Protects everyone.
Ensures that we don't
have you remember anything
you don't want us to know.
Do you think you can
find my keys?
[Nick] That depends.
Are they lost or forgotten?
Forgotten things can always be
fished up and dusted off.
But the lost, those things
people never really
took much notice of...
till they were gone.
They're defined
by their absence.
You can't remember something
that never made an impression.
Let's say the keys
are misplaced.
It's your money.
Just take a seat.
Thiopental. Relaxes the neural
pathways for the prompts.
It won't hurt.
Just a little pinch.
Sedative will kick in soon.
If you'd liked
to get undressed,
we provide modesty suits...
so I can slip out while you...
You're gonna see it all anyway,
aren't you?
[clears throat]
You'll have to lose those.
So, we never go over 30 volts.
You don't need much to unlock
a flood of memories.
Trick is finding the right one.
Relax. It always
works out fine.
Don't say "always."
"Always" makes promises
it can't keep.
I'm Mae, by the way.
Let's get this over with,
shall we?
You're going on a journey.
A journey through memory.
Your destination?
A place and time
you've been before.
To reach it, all you have to do
is follow my voice.
It's last night.
The sun is setting.
You're beginning your day.
- [Mae moans]
- [alarm blaring]
- [turns off alarm]
- Oh.
Sunken Coast?
She decent?
Like she'd care.
There. She put the keys
in her bag.
When did you next
take your keys
out of your purse?
[Watts] She's still got 'em.
Here you go. Bye.
[Mae clears throat]
Have you seen my earrings?
- Which ones?
- My lucky ones. The jade?
We got 'em.
[Watts] Why bother?
She left the keys in
the dressing room.
Nick, come on,
let's pull her out of the tank.
In a sec.
[breath trembling]
[Watts] What the hell's
wrong with her?
[audience applauding]
It seems we stood
And talked
Like this before
We looked at each other
In the same way then
But I can't remember where
or when
Some things that happened
For the first time
Seem to be happening again
And so it seems
That we've met before
And laughed before
And loved before
But who knows where or
[audience applauding]
Miss Fancy left something.
[clicks tongue]
[Nick] When the sun rises...
Miami turns into a ghost town.
To escape the heat of day,
the city's become nocturnal.
But sleep doesn't come easy.
We're all haunted by something.
[electrical buzzing]
Years ago, the battles
at the border ended...
but the battles at home
had just begun.
We try to go on like
nothing's changed...
but underneath,
the city simmers with unrest...
which means the DA's office
is never short of work.
[Walter sneezes and coughs]
Walter Sylvan is gravely ill.
Walter Sylvan is the most
notorious land baron in Miami.
He wanted to buy
the land cheap,
so he burned it to the ground.
Sorry I'm late.
[man] It's all right.
The DA won't be needing your
services after all.
Isn't that right, Avery?
I'll contest this
at a higher court.
I'm sure they'll agree
my client's in no shape
to get in the tank.
If you wanna depose him,
you'll have to do it
the old-fashioned way.
You can't convict me
for being a good businessman,
No, but I could convict you
for murder.
There were families in that
building, Mr. Sylvan.
Not all of them made it
out on time.
[Walter] I never burned
any buildings.
No, of course not.
Your lackeys did it for you.
I suppose you
and your associate will have
to put me in the tank...
to prove that little theory.
But it appears that
won't be happening.
[clears throat]
[Walter coughs]
Case is going well, then.
Nothing we can do.
The law doesn't apply to men
like Sylvan.
Come on, Dad. Let me take you
home to your medicine.
I have to get my affairs
in order.
Have you found her yet?
No, Dad. Not yet.
[Nick] Avery's right.
Arson, bribery, murder.
The whole city is rotten
with corruption.
[man] Both united, one voice!
Down with the Sylvans!
[Nick] During the war,
barons like Walter Sylvan
bought up all the drylands...
for pennies on the dollar.
They profited off the desperate
and left them to live
at the mercy of the tides.
The displaced carry on
the best they can.
One day, the ocean
will reclaim all of this.
Until then...
the Sunken Coast is
where they call home.
[Mae] I set my chin
A little higher
I hope a little longer
Build a little stronger
Castle in the air
And thinking
You'll be there
I walk a little faster
Thank you.
You have a great voice.
Four years I've worked here.
And you're the first man
to notice my voice.
Will you tell me something
I've been wondering about?
Before you
performed last night,
you were crying.
That was my memory.
Shouldn't you have just seen
the things I was looking at?
Close your eyes.
It's a little demonstration
to answer your question.
So, you have a boyfriend
- or someone
you're involved with?
- Oh.
- [chuckling] What does that...
- Answer the question.
Eyes closed.
No, I'm not involved right now.
Then for the purposes
of this experiment, we'll use
something more elemental.
Your first kiss.
Picture that moment.
Charlie Mulvaney.
Okay. The way
young Charlie approached.
And the kiss itself.
Not just the beginning...
the whole kiss.
Until the moment you break away.
And by the end,
you saw yourself
as well as him, didn't you?
Happens with everyone.
Your turn to answer my question.
Why were you crying?
Happens before every gig.
I step onto that stage...
and they don't wanna
see a woman
in a thrift store dress...
wondering how she's gonna
make rent.
They want something perfect.
They want to be lied to.
You don't seem
like you're lying.
Well, I guess it's working.
Would you escort me home?
All right.
Don't bother. Bulb's out.
Would you like some water?
- Sure.
- Okay.
That machine of yours...
How close can you get
before the illusion's broken?
Can you get this close?
This close?
How about...
this close?
Aren't you tired of watching
from the shadows?
[objects clattering]
[both breathing heavily]
You're up early.
I like it this time of day.
Before the sun sets
and the city wakes up.
I can't find my mug.
It's under your sink,
next to a lipstick,
a stocking...
your neck massager.
You were snooping.
I saw it in your reminiscence.
How come I don't remember
the mug?
People tend to notice
the same things they were
focused on in the moment.
I mean, it's possible,
if you revisit
the same memory enough
to notice new things, but...
if you're not careful,
you can get burned.
Have that moment seared
in an endless loop
in your mind.
That's why you
never go in the tank?
Memories are like perfume.
Better in small doses.
Maybe you haven't made
the right memories.
[Watts] Jesus Christ.
You're in here again?
No, no, no! Put me back!
Put me back!
For months now,
you've been hitting this tank,
reliving every damn memory
you had with her.
You have to get your head
out of the past
and into the here and now.
God damn it!
[panting] Oh, shit.
It's been months, Nick.
I can't keep turning
a blind eye to this.
I'm the boss, not you.
And I've turned a blind eye
to plenty.
Well, the difference is
I know what I'm gonna find
at the bottom of a bottle.
And it's not answers.
We were happy.
We were planning
for the future.
She wouldn't just disappear,
not without a word.
She settled up
with her landlord.
She emptied her apartment.
She would have told me.
Why didn't she tell me?
All I know is, wherever she is,
she has moved on.
And you should, too.
People don't just vanish.
Okay? She must be
in some kind of trouble.
We're the ones in trouble, Nick.
Pods poaching our business,
regulars jumping ship.
Even Elsa hasn't popped by
for her usual in months.
I never thought I'd miss
the sight of that old man's
pasty ass, but here we are.
Every business
has its ups and downs.
No, no, no. This is different.
We've gotten by
in the Spill-Zone for years.
But pretty soon that dam
is gonna break,
and we'll be underwater
with no funds
to fish ourselves out.
So, what do you
expect me to do, hmm?
Avery called. She's got
a day job for us.
So, go home and get some sleep.
'Cause you look like shit.
[Nick] I try to forget.
But even without the tank,
she haunts me.
[Mae] That book.
I see you reading it sometimes
when you can't sleep.
What are those?
Are those memories?
They aren't mine.
They belong to the people
I interrogated.
- During the war?
- [sighs]
You can't find one memory
without moving through others.
I couldn't just see the things
I was asked to find.
I saw why they ran
in the first place.
When the waves came for them...
they had no walls
to hide behind.
And the people,
what happened to them?
The world moved on.
Trying to pretend like
none of this happened.
[deep sigh]
But there are some things
we should never forget.
And some things we can't forget
even if we want to.
[Nick] Where did she go?
Why did she leave?
People don't just disappear.
All right.
Look, man. I'll tell you
the same thing
I tell you every time.
Mae isn't here.
If there's something you know,
please, anything.
I'm not sure Mae was the person
you thought she was.
[door buzzes and unlocks]
[Nick on tape]
You're going on a journey.
A journey through memory.
Your destination?
A place and time
you've been before.
[Mae] Are you awake?
[Nick] No.
Then I must be dreaming, too.
This bruise, what happened?
Oh, occupational hazard.
You try waiting tables
in 6-inch heels.
How did you smuggle us
into baron country anyway?
Called in a favor
from an old client.
You do this to impress
all the girls?
Only the one I'm in love with.
You don't love me. We've only
known each other a few months.
You know how many sunsets
I saw in the trenches?
I counted them, every minute.
Sunset was the last few minutes
before the fighting
began again.
I used to wonder how I could
spend those moments better.
Now I know.
Come with me.
There's somewhere
I wanna take you.
[Mae] Tell me a story.
[Nick] A story?
What kind of story?
One with a happy ending.
No such thing as a happy ending.
All endings are sad.
Especially if the story
was happy.
Then tell me a happy story,
but end it in the middle.
Ever hear of Orpheus
and Eurydice?
[alarm blaring]
- [sighs]
- [knocking on door]
- [knocking continues]
- We're closed!
She came back for me.
I know she did.
She could've lost that earring
months ago.
All kinds of shit
gets swept up in the gutter.
- You're late, Bannister.
- You're not gonna
take me in again!
- Relax.
- Not again!
Ah, shit. Shit.
Shit, shit, shit.
Saw a lot of runners
at the border.
There are more elegant ways
of stopping a man
than a bullet.
I heard your partner didn't
share the same philosophy.
Only philosophy I had
was "don't die."
And I went through plenty
of bullets trying
to keep it that way.
- Oh, they're here.
- Okay, good.
It's about time.
I haven't seen a rig like this
since the war.
Government cutbacks.
2D's all they spring
for now for offsites.
Meet Mr. Falks.
Drug dealer, recently OD'd
on his own supply.
Rumor is, he was working
for a baca kingpin out of
New Orleans named Saint Joe.
Joe is the one we're after.
Could be the only thing
left in there
is jambalaya, but...
if you do find anything,
the warrant gives us
a window of 10 years.
At least it saves us
on thiopental.
[Watts sighs]
It's been 12 goddamn hours.
Still no sign of Joe?
Well, you should have invested
in a better rig.
It's not just that.
His mind's fighting my prompts
because he's dying.
Dying men always want closure.
Some last, happy thought
to cling to before they die.
I need another approach.
Do you enjoy
a good party, Falks?
[machine whirring]
Oh, here we go.
What's up?
Where is this?
[Watts] Looks like New Orleans.
[Avery] That's Lorenzo.
That's Joe's main muscle.
Lorenzo, what's happenin'?
[Nick] All right.
Is that anyone?
Keep 'em coming.
Did you see any other
old friends?
Holy shit, that's him.
We got him. That's Saint Joe.
[Falks] 'Sup, Joe?
I got a big shipment
comin' in soon.
Gonna need your friends
on the force to look
the other way.
That could be arranged.
[Avery] He's making
some kind of deal.
[Nick] Who's that
Joe's talking to?
[Avery] Some lowlife.
Who cares?
[woman] Whispered something
In your ear
She's new.
- It was a perverted thing
to say
- Oh, shit.
But I said it anyway
When? When was this?
Over five years ago.
Made you smile
And look away
Nothing's gonna
Hurt you, baby
As long as you're with me,
You'll be just fine
Nothing's gonna
Hurt you, baby
Get me an introduction.
[Avery] Warrant doesn't cover
Joe's booty calls. We need
to move on from this.
The girl, when did you
next see her?
Hey, Joe. This is Mae.
[Mae] It's a pleasure
to meet you.
The pleasure, shi wo de.
No, no, no,
not that pastel shit. Hmm.
Ever tried baca?
[speaks Mandarin]
They're a little strong
for my taste.
[Falks] Listen, you're gonna
sing at his club,
party in his pad...
but you're too good
for his baca?
[Joe] Easy, Falks.
A girl like you needs
to be put in her place.
Let go! No, no. No!
[screams and groans]
[Falks] What the hell, Joe?
[Joe] Apologize to the lady.
[Falks] Apologize to her?
You misapprehend your place
in the world, Falks.
See, a niu like that
is one of a kind.
Whereas men like you
are replaceable.
[Falks] Wait, wait.
Hold on, hold on.
I recommend doing it outside.
Easier to hose down
the brain matter.
[Falks] No. Please.
Please! You can't do this.
Sure, I can. Probably get
a medal for it.
[Falks] Stop, stop, stop!
Don't shoot.
See how simple it would be?
[Avery] All NOLA cops
are dirty. Focus on Joe.
- Just wait.
- [Falks] I'm sorry.
[Falks breathing heavily]
You all right?
You look shaken.
- It's okay?
- [Mae] Yeah.
You sure you don't want one?
It's good for the nerves.
Jesus, don't.
What are you doing, Mae?
Who gives a shit
about this girl?
- Get back to the
collusion case, Nick.
- Hang on.
- Tell us about Saint Joe.
- Hey. Hey.
- Look, he sent you here...
- Don't do that.
Because he's expanding
his baca business
into Miami, isn't he?
[machine blaring]
-Whoa, whoa, whoa...
What the hell is that?
-He's blanking.
You really should let the
professionals do the prompting.
- I just asked a question.
- A leading question.
You presupposed Joe
sent Falks here to help
with a Miami expansion.
You were wrong.
There's no memory to access,
you hit static.
He blanks for more
than a couple of minutes
and he'll get brain damage.
Bannister. God damn it,
just do it.
All right.
Come here, quick.
It's all right, Falks.
You took a misstep.
You just traveled
down the wrong path.
But now you're back...
back to somewhere you've been,
with someone you know.
The girl you sent to Joe,
when was the last time
you saw her?
[Falks] Hey.
Sorry to bother you.
I'm just here to pick up
the weekly drop.
[Joe sighs, speaks Mandarin]
[in English] Had to go anyway,
baby. Be good, huh?
Joe's leaving. Move on, Nick.
[Mae] Have a seat, Falks.
[Falks] I really shouldn't.
[Mae] Joe won't mind.
Do you remember
the first time we met?
I was broke. Alone.
I thought I had nothing
left to lose.
But I was wrong. I still had...
a shred of innocence,
a glimmer of hope.
And then I...
I tried baca. And it took
everything away.
The innocence, the hope.
But also the fear, the hurt...
the guilt.
I became invincible...
because nothing mattered.
Nothing but these
little pearls. [laughs]
[Falks] I should go.
Joe's expecting his baca drop.
What the hell?
You stealing from Joe?
Because I have nothing
left to lose. [grunts]
Get your head in the game, Nick.
You're growing gills
in the tank for that junkie?
She's not a junkie. She's not.
Oh, shit. You didn't even know.
-She never touched baca.
Ever. Right?
-God damn it.
You knew and you never said?
Wasn't my place.
Baca is a drug that
you don't kick. Ever.
She'll keep going back to it
and to whoever
she gets it from.
Then I know where to find her.
[indistinct announcement
over PA]
[Nick] Who was she?
Who was she when not with me?
Was she the woman I knew?
Or that stranger I saw?
Was she running from the past...
or racing back towards it?
To find where she'd gone,
I had to know where she'd been.
I had to look back...
to New Orleans.
The hell do you want?
I'm looking for Saint Joe.
Lorenzo referred me.
Friend of Lorenzo's.
He said he's a friend
of Lorenzo's.
Friends with Lorenzo, eh?
You got guanxi with me, pal?
Business transaction.
I'd rather discuss it
in private.
Vet, huh?
You folks even starch
your sentences.
What brand of henchman were you?
I was in the navy. Then I was
drafted for border patrol.
Drafted. Huh.
I know how that goes.
Government forced your hand.
Forced mine, too,
only God-fearing citizens
like me weren't drafted
for border patrol.
We were rounded up
and put in little camps.
You were interned.
Right here in Louisiana.
9th Ward.
Were you there
when the levees broke?
How do you think
I got this name?
Sure as hell ain't
my sense of piety.
"Jiu" means "ninth."
"Saint" 'cause they figure
my ass walks on water.
But that's all blood
under the bridge now, pengyou.
And this is business, right?
Right. I need vermillion baca,
10 pallets.
Bulk, eh?
You got balls. Bocce-sized.
Fine. Let's discuss payment.
Alas, payment is not
the wenti holding up
this transaction, pengyou.
It's trust.
[speaks Mandarin]
For instance,
your pal Lorenzo's
been dead for years.
Work-related injury.
Which means you're not
who you say you are. Are you?
People say it's peaceful
to drown...
but that's gou pi.
I learned that in the camps
when your kind left us to die
after the levees burst.
Here, I'll show you.
[muffled grunt]
Now, gao su wo,
why are you really here?
I'm looking for a woman.
Some niu ran out on you?
I guess your balls
ain't so bocce-sized after all.
She stole your baca.
Goes by the name Mae.
You've seen
my favorite chanteuse.
So, you come to my jia
thinking she boomeranged back?
Sorry, pengyou.
I haven't seen Mae
since she skipped out
years ago.
Don't feel bad. She fooled me
just like she fooled you.
Hey, I know exactly
what she took from me.
Drugs, money, time.
But what did she take from you?
Hmm? [laughs]
Oh, poor guisunzi.
You've been had,
and you don't even know why.
Hey, hey, hey.
Don't worry, pengyou.
- The pain will be over soon.
- [breathing heavily]
But not too soon.
[door opens]
[all screaming]
Let go and I'll
shoot you myself.
My tank.
[Watts] Shit, I'm out.
[man yells]
- [gunshot]
- [breathing heavily]
Good thinking,
shooting the tank.
I was aiming for Joe.
I've seen this kind
of hit before.
Your lungs will fill
with blood. You'll suffocate
before you bleed out.
I wouldn't wish it
on my worst enemy.
Don't let me die...
like they did in the camps.
We'll part as friends, then.
Why do you put yourself
through this, Nick?
[Nick] Mae.
What was she hiding?
You still have me in there?
Locked away with all those
other memories?
You and your lost keys.
Ever think the best thing
would be to destroy them?
Why would I do that?
Maybe memory fades for a reason.
If we just dwelled
on the bad things in the past,
we'd never get over them.
And if we just dwelled
on the good...
we might never match it again.
There aren't any memories
you wanna hold on to?
- I guess there's one.
- Hmm?
When London sank,
I fled to New Orleans.
But New Orleans had a lot of...
bad associations.
So, I got a one-way ticket
out of there to here.
When I arrived in Miami,
I had no plan whatsoever.
I had no savings,
I had no place to stay.
So, I found a dinghy in a canal
and crawled in it for a nap.
And while I was sleeping,
some asshole cuts me loose.
I drifted south
past the Keys and would have
drifted forever...
if I hadn't found Frances.
[Mae] At first, I thought
it was a mirage.
She was smoking a cigarette
on the stoop
of a white clapboard house...
in the middle of the waves.
It was like something
out of a dream.
And she took me in
and got me on my feet again.
So, when I'm feeling scared
or lost...
then that is what I think about.
I think of a song.
- My grandfather used to hum it.
- Oh.
After he died, didn't hear
that song for a long time.
And then I heard it again.
You sang it so sweetly,
it was like I'd never...
never truly heard it before.
[Mae humming]
You are smiling
You were smiling then
Can't remember where
Or when
What are you even
looking for in there?
What she took from me.
She was a grifter, playing me,
looking for something.
No offense, Nick,
but what would
she want to take from you?
The only thing of value I have
doesn't belong to me.
Right. Some bullshit memories.
You're reaching.
Come on, think. You were here
with her the last time
she was here.
Of course I was.
Were you with her
the whole time?
[door opens]
Oh. Nick's not around
for another hour.
No, I brought these for him,
but this is for you.
I was hoping
we could talk a bit.
You don't like me, do you?
Nick's good at seeing people
in the tank.
My eyes are clearer out here.
You're hiding something.
I'm an addict.
I was.
In New Orleans,
I got hooked on baca.
And you haven't told Nick.
He wouldn't judge you.
He wouldn't look at me
the same way, either.
Why are you telling me?
Because you will judge me.
But it won't change
the way you see me.
I'm not one to judge.
You know how I got my name?
"Watts"? Figured it was
from the...
During the war...
after my stint on the front,
I worked in munitions.
Soldering lithium batteries
into drones. It was a shit job.
But I needed money
for me and my daughter.
You have a child?
She's grown now.
We're not in touch.
I'm not exactly
the maternal type.
I tried for a while.
Even gave up drinking.
The problem with going dry
is the mind is clear.
But the hands... [scoffs]
they shake.
All it took was one wrong spark.
Lit up that whole place
like Independence Day.
Afterward, my daughter
went north...
- to stay with some relations...
- Sorry.
And I went back to the bottle.
Only thing stopped me
drowning in it was Nick.
That's why you stayed
all these years.
That, and he doesn't
pay me enough
to drink myself to death.
Men are strange, aren't they?
They don't see
what's right in front of them.
There's nothing to see.
We both know that's not true.
Excuse me for a sec.
It's okay.
I was gonna go anyway.
[Watts gasps]
Whatever you saw in there...
please don't
jump to conclusions, Nick.
What am I supposed to think?
I mean,
this whole time, you've been
keeping this from me?
It's complicated.
I didn't wanna ruin things
between us.
You were supposed to
watch over this place.
Instead, you got drunk,
you let her walk
into the vault.
- What are you talking about?
- Look.
No, no, it's impossible.
Even with the keys...
she wouldn't have known
the code to the vault.
- Even I don't know
the code to the vault.
- It's not a code...
it's a tune.
She studied me for months.
She must have figured it out.
[Nick and Mae hum]
[clicks on]
Everything in my batch is here.
Wait a minute, look.
Look at this.
Cameron, Campbell,
Caplan, Cummings.
- What is it?
- There's no Carine.
Elsa Carine's files.
They're all gone.
What would Mae want
with Elsa? She barely
had enough to pay us.
[dramatic music playing]
To the floating market
at the park.
Sir, I'm looking for this woman.
- Sir, have you
seen this woman? Elsa?
- No.
- Sir, have you seen
this woman?
- No.
Hey, uh, I'm looking
for Elsa Carine, I think
she works here.
Just wanna have a word.
Yeah. Talk to that rat
over there.
Thank you. Hey.
Hey, hey!
[indistinct yelling]
[dramatic music playing]
[Nick] Just wanna talk to you.
[music stops]
Just wanna talk.
- Hey!
- I've got papers, pig!
Hey, I'm not a cop, okay?
I'm a friend of Elsa's
and I want to help.
I think she's in trouble.
How the hell are you supposed
to help her now?
She's dead.
[ominous music playing]
What happened?
Told the cops.
But they don't care
what happens to people like us.
What did you see?
Elsa was packing up
for the day...
when some guy decides to get
in her face.
All I know is
Elsa didn't stand a chance.
He killed her.
I haven't seen Freddie since.
Elsa's kid?
[Nick] Elsa had a child.
Did the man hurt Freddie, too?
He left that to his girlfriend.
Some redheaded bitch.
She grabbed him.
Wouldn't let him go
no matter how much he screamed.
[Nick] Who was she?
Who was she when not with me?
A liar.
An addict.
A killer.
I had to find her.
But it turns out,
she was already looking for me.
[faint whistling]
[Nick] Mae?
[Nick grunting]
Forget about Mae.
She's moved on.
And I suggest you do the same.
It's me.
Loverboy won't be
bothering us no more.
- Again.
- No.
You wanna get burned?
Have this beatdown
in your brain forever?
- You're gonna have
to let this go.
- No.
He must have left
some clue of who he is.
I just need to remember.
- Nick!
- What are you doing?
I am saving your junkie ass.
I was hoping you'd drop this,
but I can't let you
burn yourself.
I found something
in your peripheral vision.
Anything about this face
strike you as familiar?
- He's the dirty cop
who worked for Saint Joe.
- Yeah.
Let's go see what we can
find out from Avery.
[crowd clamoring]
[man] Break up the barons!
[woman] Murderers!
[Watts] Town's ready to riot.
What happened?
Man, you're in the tank so much,
you don't even know?
The land baron, Walter Sylvan...
the guy you were
supposed to depose,
he died a couple of days ago.
These folks were hoping
the courts would
bust his monopoly.
But his widow and son
will inherit everything.
It's late.
Someone might see us.
Come on, Mom.
You're just confused.
Do they think this is a mistake?
Old fling of yours, Nick?
Yeah, we met a long time ago,
back when I first opened shop.
She came to me for a session.
[Nick] Seeing Tamara
stirred a memory.
A clue that had been
in my mind all along.
I thought I told you
not to get back in the tank.
Well, Mae stole
all of Elsa's files,
but there was another copy.
What did you find?
Well, I talked to Avery.
She's still
pretty pissed about you
blowing her deposition.
But she did give me some intel.
His name is Cyrus Boothe.
Cyrus Boothe.
He used to work for Saint Joe,
but they had a falling out.
So, he moved to Miami.
And until recently,
he's been working for...
- Walter Sylvan.
- Yeah.
See, look at this. Listen.
[man] Don't worry, my flower.
I love you.
I'll always take care of you.
I mean, that voice
always bothered me.
I just couldn't put my finger
on it.
And then I remembered
where I'd heard it.
Tamara Sylvan's reminiscence.
Walter's widow.
It was years ago.
I never forgot that voice.
- Did anyone see you?
- No.
[Tamara] Thank God.
Everyone's mad enough
as it is.
They think this is a mistake.
Don't worry, my flower.
I love you.
I'll always take care of you.
They say you can't tell yet,
but I know it's a boy.
Are you happy?
Tell me you're happy.
- I'm so happy I could dance.
- [chuckles]
[Tamara] There's no music.
[Walter] Remember the song
that was playing
the first night we met?
On the count of three,
I want you to imagine it.
Can you hear it?
I hear it, Walter.
Elsa's lover
was Walter Sylvan...
[Tamara] I hear it.
And they had a son.
And Walter wanted him dead.
He knew he was dying.
He sent Boothe to tie up
the loose ends with Mae.
We can't prove it.
Not with this.
The only files on Elsa
are in your memory.
That's hearsay.
Avery can't use it, but I can.
If I find Boothe, I'll find Mae.
Nick, wait.
In all the time
that you knew Mae, how much
did you really know her?
How much did you
really love her?
- Why the hell do you care?
- Because I know
how blind you can be.
You're hurt because
you thought you were in love.
But it wasn't real.
She was an idea
wrapped in a tight dress.
An absence you wanted to pour
all your broken pieces into.
You think I'm chasing
an absence? Well, at least
I'm chasing something.
I'm not just running away
all the time.
What's that supposed to mean?
You ran away
from your own daughter.
You can be
a real son of a bitch,
you know that?
But it's true, isn't it?
Everything you cared about,
your ex, your kid,
your job...
you left.
I never left you.
Well, maybe you should have.
'Cause I'm no better
than the bottle for you.
I'm just another place to hide.
You'd be better off
working a pod.
- You don't mean that.
- I do.
- No.
- Watts.
What you have with me
isn't a life.
It's barely a living.
Maybe it's best if you moved on.
You're firing me?
I'll call one of the pods
on your behalf.
I'll set you up with a good gig.
Screw you and your charity.
This isn't about me.
This is about you
and your goddamn obsession.
She is responsible
for the murder
of an innocent woman
and the kidnapping
of a little boy.
And she used my files to do it.
Then go to the police.
We both know the police
don't care about
cases like this.
I'm asking you.
I am begging you.
Don't go down this path.
Stay here in this life.
Stay here with me.
I'm sorry, Watts.
I have to do this.
You made your choice.
I just hope to hell
that you survive it.
'Cause I won't be around
to save your ass the next time.
[gun barrel clicks open]
[dramatic music playing]
[barrel clicks shut]
[announcer] For your safety,
please stand behind
the yellow line.
[music increases in tempo]
[Nick] The Sylvans,
like all other barons,
live in the drylands.
They build dams
to insulate themselves...
pushing the waves
into the surrounding areas.
The barons stay afloat
by drowning everyone else.
They say the only ones
to survive the Titanic were
the rich and the rats.
The barons are both.
I'd like a word with
Ms. Sylvan regarding the...
I know exactly
what it's regarding.
And you're an hour late.
Little tall, aren't you?
[footsteps receding]
[melancholy music playing]
Try to stick to the script,
and fix the tie.
[enchanting instrumental
music playing]
[clock ticking]
Did anyone see you?
Oh, thank God.
Everyone's mad enough as it is.
They think this is a mistake.
[Nick] Most burners
are torn apart
by the worlds they straddle...
the real one around them
and the one
playing in their mind.
Only the rich mold the world
to meet their delusions.
Do you remember me?
We met once.
I'm Nick Bannister.
Walter, please.
They say you can't tell yet...
but I know it's a boy.
Your boy's grown now.
We need to talk
about Cyrus Boothe.
Boothe works security
for you, right?
Where is he? Tell me.
I hear it, Walter.
I hear it.
All right, I'm done playing.
Your husband is dead.
Come here.
Walter and I are expecting
our baby any day now.
When are we?
It's been years, Tamara.
When did I change?
You ever hear of a girl
named Elsa Carine?
She and Walter
were having an affair.
One of many flowers.
Only this one was different.
She had a child.
Walter never liked sharing.
That's why he told Boothe.
Told him what?
To kill them. Both of them.
You heard him say that?
He's not the man
I thought he'd be.
When you're young,
you think the future
will be one thing.
You see it play out
like a string of dominoes.
You have no idea...
the things that are lined up.
was he working with anyone?
There was a woman.
Some whore from New Orleans.
Where are they now?
Tamara, where are
Boothe and Mae?
Where do you think?
With all the other trash
you can't throw away.
You're the man
from the deposition.
I just have
a couple of questions.
He's harassing my mother!
I'm not. I'm not harassing her.
- It's all right. Hey.
- Come on.
I know you.
You're the man who remembers
everyone else's memories.
What do you want us
to do with him, ma'am?
Exactly what Walter
would have done with him.
[dramatic music playing]
- Let's go.
- Wait, wait!
[Tamara] You're so happy.
[Tamara] You're so happy...
[Nick grunts]
Sorry, buddy.
I'll make it fast.
You served?
Two tours on the Gulf.
Three tours. Western line.
Next time, I won't miss.
[sprinkler swiveling]
[upbeat instrumental
rock music playing]
I wanna buy your boat.
[Nick] I didn't get much
from the Sylvan widow,
but it was enough.
There's only one place
where the trash piles up...
alongside all the city's
lost souls.
The old recycling plants.
To find Boothe and Mae,
I had to go to Hell itself.
[indistinct chattering]
[footsteps receding]
[eerie music playing]
[Cyrus] Say it.
Say "People like us
don't fall in love.
We plummet."
Then touch me here.
Don't move.
Hello, Mae.
Get out of here.
[gun cocks]
Tenacious fella, ain't you?
Tell me where I can find her.
I bet you thought
that was fate, huh?
- What?
- Some kind of sign...
that she should sing that song
from when you was a kid.
But nothing's an accident
with Mae.
Everything's researched...
meticulously calculated.
You can hate her for it.
But who are you to judge?
Mae and me,
we're from a different world.
The one that sank.
When the waves came,
they washed away our lies.
Revealed what this world
has always been.
A wilderness with one rule.
Survive or die.
A place like that
is beyond good and evil.
Only sin left is self-deception.
Telling yourself
that you're better
than everyone else.
That you deserve
to be standing...
while everyone else sinks.
I've never labored
under that delusion.
Always seen myself...
exactly for what I am.
And I see you, too.
Where is she?
You think
you're some avenging hero.
Where is she?
You're just an empty man
looking for a woman to blame.
Come on, shoot me.
You won't get what's in my head.
You'll never get to Mae.
[eerie music playing]
[gun clatters]
[both grunting]
[glass shattering]
[music increases in tempo]
[Nick grunts]
[breathing heavily]
[dramatic music playing]
[both grunting]
[both yelling]
[eerie music playing]
[both grunting]
[water gurgling]
[softly] Shit.
[muffled grunt]
[muffled grunting]
[Mae] Tell me a story.
[enchanting instrumental
music playing]
[Nick] A story?
What kind of story?
[Mae] One with a happy ending.
No such thing as a happy ending.
All endings are sad.
Especially if the story
was happy.
Then tell me a happy story...
but end it in the middle.
[dramatic music playing]
[eerie music playing]
People love their secrets.
They think secrets are
the one thing they can take
with them when they go...
but not you, Boothe.
You don't get to
keep your secrets or hers.
You think you want answers...
but you don't.
You're blind with rage.
And there's safety in that.
Your ignorance protects you.
'Cause when you finally see
Mae for who she really is...
the truth...
ain't gonna set you free.
It's gonna damn you.
Like me.
You're going on a journey.
Your destination?
A place and time
you've been before.
You were sent to Miami
to find Mae.
Show me when you found her.
[lighter clicks]
[dog barks distantly]
Stay away, asshole.
Is that any way
to treat an old pal?
I don't know you, "pal."
But I know you.
You're Saint Joe's old niu.
Don't know who that is.
Joe's still
got a hard-on for you.
Especially when you took off
with all of his baca.
You're the dirty cop
he used to run with.
He sent you to bring me back?
He did.
But I'm an independent
contractor now.
Those scars a courtesy of Joe?
Guess I'm not the only one
who stole from him, then.
I'm gonna look like the goddamn
Mona Lisa compared to
what he's gonna do with you...
if I hand you over.
-Baca's gone.
I sold it a long time ago.
-I'm not here for that.
I got a new proposition.
Unless you want Joe
paying you a visit...
I suggest you cooperate.
What do you want me to do?
I want you...
to do what you do best...
to this guy.
It was all a setup.
Tell me about your friend
from the war again.
What do you want to know?
Hank? Oh, shit.
[Mae] Anything that
comes to mind, really.
Kind of women he likes,
kind of music he listens to...
There's this song
he used to whistle
in the trenches.
[whistles song tune]
[Mae] And so it seems...
[Nick] She planned everything.
...that we've met...
The song.
[Nick] The earring.
Oh, my God,
even the lost keys
were a setup.
Do it again!
You drop the keys!
You're gonna do it again.
This whole time,
I was nothing
but a mark.
It has been three months.
These things take time, okay?
His partner's got the key.
I can't figure out
his combination.
- Liar! You're stalling!
- [squeals]
Ugh! [slams hand]
Don't tell me this gimp
screwed a conscience into you?
I'm touched.
But remember,
in this line of work,
a conscience
will get you killed.
[Nick] This bruise,
what happened?
I want those files.
Show me.
[Mae] Here they are.
The guy she's with,
he's that baron, isn't he?
What are you gonna do with them?
I'm gonna destroy them.
And all other proof
of their little tryst.
What other proof?
No one ever told you
about the birds
and the bees, Mae?
The rich, they really
don't like it when
a bastard branch
sprouts off of their
precious family tree.
The boy, what happened to him?
Hello, Elsa.
Oh! Sorry,
do I know you?
We have mutual friends.
How's Freddie?
Is he here today?
Uh... what... what
do you want with Freddie?
Oh, hey.
Hey, Freddie.
Can, can you tell me
what this is about?
You screwed the wrong guy.
- [gasps]
- [grunts]
No. No.
He loved me.
Said he'd take care of me.
Oh, yeah.
- He's gonna take care
of both of you.
- [groans]
I did you first.
Be grateful for that.
Hey, Freddie.
Can you help me, please?
- Mommy?
- Come on.
- Stop! Freddie, don't!
- Don't be afraid.
- Come here, kid. Come on.
- No, don't!
- No, I want my mommy!
- Don't! No!
[Cyrus] The hell are you doing?
What I should have
from the start.
- [groans]
- Go! Go ahead!
Go to the boat!
Get in!
- [groaning]
- Go, go, go!
[both grunting]
- Mommy!
- Get down!
- It's okay, it's okay.
- Mommy...
[engine revs]
She saved him.
She got away from you,
you son of a bitch.
It's all right.
It's all right.
You took a misstep.
I led you down
a path never taken.
Let's try again.
Oh, my God,
you did see Mae again,
didn't you?
[knocks on door]
Oh, my God.
We're closed!
I figured you'd come back.
What was the plan, huh?
Run away together?
Play mom and dad
to the little boy?
Guess I'm gonna have to take
both of you out now.
- No, no, no! Wait, wait, wait.
- Let's get lover boy out here.
Nick doesn't know anything.
Take me. I'll come with you
and I'll tell you everything
you need to know.
Please, just don't hurt him.
Get in the car.
The earring.
You wanted me to find it.
I love you.
She came back.
Because of me.
What the hell did you do to her?
Let's not make this
more difficult than
it has to be, huh?
- No more. No.
- Undiluted baca.
Now, tell me, where is the boy?
Soon, the baca is gonna kick in
and bring back
the Mae I used to know.
And when it does...
there's nothing
you'll hold back.
Nothing you won't do.
No one you won't betray.
Not the kid...
- not your boyfriend.
- Oh, God.
You'll tell me
everything you know.
Now, tell me where the kid is.
[faintly] You already know.
You know.
I told you once,
don't you remember?
At first, I thought
it was a mirage
floating in the waves.
White clapboard house.
It saved me once.
And maybe, maybe
it can save Freddie, too.
What are you talkin' about?
I'm sorry I didn't
tell you earlier.
But you're here now, aren't you?
We have this one last chance.
Yes, Mae, I'm here.
I'm right here.
There are so many things
I wanted to tell you.
But I was scared.
You looked at me in a way
no one's ever looked at me.
I wanted to be
that person you saw.
It's so stupid of me to think
falling in love could save me.
People like us
don't fall in love.
We, we plummet to places...
deep and dark.
But love?
Love is the thing we climb to.
Rung after rung,
we, we pull ourselves
out of ourselves...
reaching for something greater.
If we could just hold on.
I wish I could've
held on longer.
Stay. Stay.
I love you...
Who the hell
do you think
you're talking to?
- The man who's
gonna kill you!
- [grunts]
[Cyrus groaning]
There's only one way out.
Mae, don't.
No, no, no.
Wait, no.
- No, no, no.
- Where do you think
you're going?
- Mae!
- [coughs]
No, no, Mae.
Mae, Mae, Mae, no, no...
I can't let him find Freddie.
Stay. Don't...
I'm sorry.
No, no...
No. No!
No, no, no!
[sobbing continues]
Mae was wrong,
I'm not gonna kill you.
'Cause dying is easy.
A few moments of suffering
and then nothing.
You deserve more than nothing.
You deserve to remember.
We're going on a journey.
A journey down a path
you tried to forget
but never could.
A journey to your worst fear,
your worst pain.
How did you get
your scars, Boothe?
They call 'em rats of the sky.
They're just doves...
with dark wings.
They are as they're made to be.
I told Joe
we couldn't trust you.
- Ah!
- You been skimmin'
off his sales.
Of course I did.
This whole town is bent.
Be crooked not to.
Feel that fire?
Burning like it did that night.
- [muffled screaming]
- But this night
will never end.
This night will be with you
for the rest of your life!
This is where your journey ends!
[machine beeping]
[muffled screaming]
They say you can't tell yet...
but I know it's a boy.
Don't bother calling security,
all right? We need to talk.
For a long time, you've known
about your father's affair,
haven't you?
Must've been quite a shock
to learn that he'd fathered
another child.
I don't know
what you're talking about.
Sure you do.
He was in love with Elsa.
[Walter] Don't worry, my flower.
[Nick] And vowed to protect her
and her son.
[Walter] I'll always
take care of you.
He was looking for them.
He wanted to make things right
with them before he died.
- Have you found her yet?
- No, Dad.
Didn't wanna split
your fortune, did you?
So, you hired Boothe
to kill them
so you could keep
the money to yourself.
Your own mother
tried to tell me.
Walter never liked sharing.
She just confused
you and your father.
It's easy to see how.
Mother gets confused.
Not about this.
Boothe proved it
with a phone call.
It's me.
I thought he was conspiring
with a woman I knew.
But I was wrong.
And he couldn't have been
calling your father.
Your father was already dead.
And the dead
don't take phone calls.
But you do.
[cell phone vibrating]
Should've tossed your phone.
Name your price.
I'll have as much as you need
once the estate clears.
I doubt that.
Your half-brother Freddie,
though, he'll, he'll be
quite comfortable.
- Freddie, he...
- Alive, yeah.
Police picked him up
early this morning.
Visited a white clapboard house
off the coast of the Keys
where they found him...
safe and sound.
Won't be long before the cops
piece together what happened.
They'll be here for you soon.
Go ahead. Do it.
[gun cocks]
[breath trembling]
I won't let them take me.
Between memory and oblivion...
I know which torture I'd choose.
But you've never done
your own dirty work.
I doubt you have it
in you to start now.
On the count of three,
imagine it.
One, two...
[Sebastian sobbing]
I hear it, Walter.
I hear it.
[Watts] Don't worry.
Your father is in great hands.
The tank will keep his body
sustained for years.
- Yeah?
- Thank you.
- I'll give you guys
a few minutes.
- Thank you.
If you're thinking
about checking in,
trust me, you cannot afford it.
I burned someone on purpose.
Such a kidder.
Joking about something
like that.
Everyone knows
that would get you
more time than murder.
- It's not a joke.
- Okay.
You got a death wish?
The DA will pluck that
little confession right out
of my head with the tank.
- I want them to.
- What?
- What are these?
- Reminiscences.
They belong to Elsa Carine
and Cyrus Boothe,
the man who killed Elsa...
and Mae.
Mae is dead?
I'm sorry.
Take these. I need you
to get them to Avery.
She'll depose me.
She'll ask about you.
I'm counting on it.
Sorry, Watts.
I'd ask someone else,
but, turns out,
you're my only friend.
I wish I'd fired you
a long time ago.
Gee, thanks.
I see clearer now all
the things that I missed.
Your best moments
aren't behind you, Emily.
They're waiting
for your arrival.
Your daughter...
go find her.
There's still time.
You're acting like
I won't see you again.
You'll see me.
I'll see you.
You've always been there for me.
I don't expect that will change.
But first, you're gonna
have to hear my confession.
It started, as you know...
with a set of lost keys.
Only, they were
never really lost
in the first place...
not even misplaced.
It started as a con...
but by the end,
it was something real.
The city reacted swiftly
to word of Sylvan's crimes.
Their rage against the barons
had been pent up too long.
No walls could contain it.
A trickle became a flood.
Maybe this time
it would wash the world clean.
Either way...
I won't know.
For my role
in exposing
the Sylvan conspiracy...
Avery cut me a deal.
I didn't get to walk...
but I got what I wanted.
You're going on a journey.
A journey through memory.
Your destination?
A place and time
you've been before.
To reach it...
all you have to do
is follow my voice.
The past can haunt a man.
That's what they say.
That the past is just
a series of moments.
Each one perfect.
A bead on the necklace of time.
[door opens and closes]
[Watts] We're closed.
I'm sorry.
I know it's late.
I lost my keys
on the way home
from work.
[Nick] The past
doesn't haunt us.
Wouldn't even recognize us.
It seems we stood
And talked
[Nick] If there are ghosts
to be found...
it's us who haunt the past.
We haunt it...
so we can look again.
See the people we miss...
and the things
we missed about them.
I see you fully now.
Your darkness and your light.
like the city at dusk
when it's most beautiful.
Tell me a story.
A story? What kind of story?
One with a happy ending.
No such thing as a happy ending.
All endings are sad.
Especially if the story
was happy.
Then tell me a happy story,
but end it in the middle.
- Grandma?
- Mm?
You miss him...
don't you?
Missing people
is a part of this world.
Without that sadness...
you can't taste the sweet.
A long time ago,
we both chose our endings.
He turned back...
and I looked ahead.
I like to think that we both
chose right for ourselves.
[Nick] As I held her in my arms,
I thought of a story.
It's a tragedy...
but only if you stop at the end.
Ever hear of Orpheus
and Eurydice?
They were a couple very in love.
Until one day Eurydice died.
That's a horrible story.
I'm not in the middle yet.
Orpheus descended to Hell...
begged the Devil
to release her, until...
finally, the Devil agreed...
with one condition.
He couldn't look back
until they had escaped.
And what happened?
Orpheus took her by the hand...
and led her back to life.
And they lived
happily ever after?
What other ending
could there be?
["Save My Love" playing]
[instrumental music playing]