To Kill a Stepfather (2023) Movie Script

I will kill you.
Calm down.
Don't you dare tell me to calm down.
How long did you have to drink today?
Don't you do that.
I hope you will have what I want.
I am not having this conversation right now.
You dare walk away from me Matthew.
I'll do as I damn well please.
This is my house
I'll kill you.
911 what's your emergency?
Ok, We'll send someone over immediately.
I'm sorry.
This is Nicole?
How are you?
A plea deal?
You must be joking.
Involuntary. Time served.
Send the paperwork
over to my office...
...and we'll have it wrapped up
by the end of the day.
I'm getting another call.
I gotta run.
Just send them over.
This is Nicole
- Nicki?
Mathew's dead.
Wait? What? When?
- Last night.
My god, Riley.
They're saying...
They're saying that he was murdered.
Matthew? Murdered?
The cops have been here all morning.
I know how you feel about coming home.
If you knew, you wouldn't ask.
I need you, Nicki.
I feel so alone.
Look, even if I wanted to come back,
I can't. I just finished up a big case.
My desk is covered with five months backlog.
Who else am I suppose to call?
What about Mom?
How is she doing with all this?
She's the one that they arrested.
The Beverly Hills resident was charged with
murder, after the vehicle she had
been driving struck and killed USC
student John Clayton last year
Defense attorney Nicole Ray held
a press conference following
yesterday's verdict of not guilty.
What happened to John was an
unfortunate and horrible accident.
But I stand here today heartened by the
fact that the jury decided not to compound
that tragedy by depriving the community
of both a wife and mother.
Not to mention a philanthropist who has
done so much for the city of Beverly Hills.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
We'd like to welcome you on board flight...
Excuse me.
Are you that lawyer from TV?
Yes, actually I am.
I think it's horrible what you did.
That woman should have gone
to prison for killing that nice young man.
It was lovely to meet you.
- Hi.
God. I know it wasn't easy
for you to come here.
You have no idea.
But thank you.
So what are we looking at exactly?
Well it all started when the neighbors
called 911 to say they overheard
Mom and Matthew arguing.
Please don't tell me
she's drinking again.
Damn it mom.
The cops said they found her standing over
his body at the bottom of the stairs.
Let me guess she doesn't remember.
Look I know she can be a handful but...
You don't think that she could have
actually killed him do you?
Has she talked to anyone yet?
Yeah she's been in there with
Charlene all morning.
Charlene McManus?
Deputy Charlene McManus.
I told you she really needs your help.
And if I asked you for one good reason why
I should risk my reputation on that woman.
Because you're not doing it for her.
You're doing it for me.
Better get in there before she
buries herself any deeper.
My name is Nicole Ray.
I'm here on behalf of Catherine Rafferty.
And you are?
Her lawyer.
The lawyer's here to talk to her.
Your lawyer's here.
I didn't order a lawyer.
If you don't mind I need a few moments
to confer with my client.
That won't be necessary.
And if you would a copy of her file.
I'm confused.
Are you her attorney or not?
She is not.
She's all yours.
What happened Mom?
I can't help you if you don't tell
me what's going on.
I didn't ask for your help.
They're going to charge you with murder.
You could be looking life with no parole
and that's assuming the DA doesn't
seek the death penalty.
Are you even listening to me?
What do you want me to say?
That I'm so blessed the famous
Nicole Ray took time out of her busy schedule
to come down here and help dig one of the
little people out of trouble.
Why are you here?
I promised Riley.
Your sister.
Silly Me.
Here I thought I was the one in trouble.
Did you kill him?
You did not just ask me that.
It's a yes or no question mom.
I'm aware of how you feel about me.
I'll be first
But to accuse me of something like that.
Yes or no?
Go to hell.
I don't need this,
Makes two of us.
Nice to see you too.
Nicky. No I can't force someone to hire me.
You know she's stubborn.
I'm sorry it was
a mistake to get your hopes up.
Can you try again?
You do know the definition of insanity right?
- Yes.
For what it's worth I'm sorry it
didn't work out.
Okay well do you have to leave right away?
- Why?
Can you at least wait
until after Matthew's wake?
It's gonna be small,
just a few people at the house.
Miss Ray?
- Yes.
The deputy asked me to give you this.
The paperwork you requested?
Great. Thanks.
- Fine.
But just until
after the wake then I'm gone.
How about I give you a lift
back to Mom's house?
I rented a car.
Besides I am not staying at that house.
She's not even gonna be home.
I'll give you a call as soon as I
get settled okay? Promise.
It is good to see you again.
Damn it Mom.
You're crying out loud.
Hey some of us are trying to think in here.
Go to hell lady.
You to.
Hey. Hi it's Nicole. Yeah.
Listen could you do me a favor?
Could you tell me what the temperature
was in Eastboro night before last?
About 1030?
No, I don't miss the humidity at all.
Thank you. You too. Bye.
Thank you.
- Sure.
Nicky? What's wrong?
I've been going over the police reports.
- And?
I don't think they were alone.
What do you mean?
The night Matthew died. I think there
was someone else in the house.
How do you know that?
The windows in the photo. Look.
They're closed.
But mom never closed the windows in
the living room because the house...
Doesn't have central air, exactly.
So why would they close the night
Matthew died?
Someone else did it.
Exactly. And whoever it is, is setting
Mom up for murder.
This is a little problematic right here.
- Excuse me.
- You're fired.
Who do you think you are?
Her attorney.
I'd just ignore her Chuck.
She's with me.
Don't worry. I'm sure there's plenty of
ambulances for you to chase down in county.
Excuse me?
She's already been set up for murder.
She doesn't need to be sent up the river too.
Had enough of these dead end cases anyway.
Enjoy the loss.
Made the headlines.
There goes your impartial due.
Why are you still here?
Riley said you were leaving.
Because as much as it pains me to admit it,
you need me.
I needed you ten years ago.
Funny. I could say the same thing about you.
You are just like your father.
He never knew when to quit either.
But he did know not to close the windows.
- What? - In the summer.
We always left the windows open.
Of course.
That house doesn't have air conditioning.
Exactly. So why were they closed
the night Matthew died?
And since Matthew was lying at
the bottom of the stairs at the time,
I'm guessing he didn't close them either.
Are you saying it wasn't just a fall?
I'm saying what if the police are right?
What if someone did push him
down those stairs?
It just wasn't you.
Who was it then?
The same person who closed those windows.
Probably when they used them to leave.
Which would explain why the doors
had remained locked on the inside.
Wait, how did they know who used my door?
Fortunately for you,
one of the few things Matthew did
to update the house was
installing smart locks.
Which means they know anytime someone came
in, and if anyone went out.
Matthew did that for Riley.
She kept forgetting her keys.
Thought it was stupid myself.
Yeah, well it doesn't help your case until
you consider the window.
I don't remember there being
anyone else in the house.
Your blood alcohol content was 0.23, so
I doubt you would have remembered your name.
I had one bad night. One.
Be honest, you've had a lot of bad
nights over the years.
Over the years, yes, but I had changed.
Maybe if you had stayed in touch,
you would have known that.
So what am I supposed to do?
Hire me.
No, I can sign a petition to see what
fingerprints they pulled off the windowsill.
That'll at least find the last person who
touched it.
Can't the public defender
get that information?
Who, Chuck? It's too much work.
No. He'll just make a plea deal and
move on to the next charity case who needs
a lawyer to do the bare minimum.
Well, if it's as bad as you say, maybe
I should make a deal. Sure.
If you feel like you've thrown
your life away enough already.
Well, what would I be looking at?
Life in prison. - As opposed to?
And as tempting as that sounds,
I owe Riley her mother back.
Her mother.
Admit it. You need me, Mom.
I'd ask you where it's going,
but I know you two all too well.
Look, I don't know how,
but I'm going to scare up another
suspect from Matthew's murder.
I like your mother, Nikki. I really do. But
between the argument, the threat of violence,
and her claim not to remember.
Lucky for her, unwinnable cases
happen to be my specialty.
You should know officially the
chief wants to close the case.
And unofficially?
I'll look into it if you do.
I appreciate that.
Now, if you'll excuse me,
I have a wake to attend.
I was starting to worry
you weren't going to make it.
How's Mom?
As warm and welcoming as ever, I have
no idea how you ever lived with her.
She changed.
Matthew was a good influence.
No one's that much of a miracle worker.
Maybe if you visited or I don't know,
called every once in a while,
you would be able to see that.
It's easy for you to say. She didn't stumble
in drunk to your high school graduation.
You didn't almost miss your college interview
because she was out busy getting a DUI.
OK. Fair enough.
Let's just focus on Matthew.
In the afternoon?
- Yeah.
I'll be honest, I barely knew him.
Well, let's change that.
- OK.
I'll introduce you. Come on.
Sadie. This is Sadie. Sadie. Nikki.
The other stepdaughter.
Sadie works at the tavern.
I'm sorry for your loss.
He was a very kind man and spoke
so highly of you.
Big time lawyer from the big city.
Every time news of one of your
cases hit the Internet,
he must have shared it
with the whole town.
That's sweet.
So good to finally meet you.
It's nice to have a face with the name.
I don't know any of these people.
OK. Pastor Atkins, he preaches at the
church that Matthew took Mom to.
Mom went to the church?
Sing in the choir. They both do. Well, did.
You remember the neighbors from the street?
That's Frank. Frank and Matthew used to play
pickleball together every Saturday morning.
- Yeah.
Matthew was actually really good.
He has a trophy upstairs.
Wyatt, Matthew's brother.
Wyatt. Hi, I'm Nicole.
The golden stepdaughter.
Yet here you are defending his killer.
We'll just have to see what the jury says.
I'll have to wait. I know
she's better off where she is.
Excuse me. I'm going to go get a drink.
You must be Nicole.
I am.
Kirk Holloway. I was dad's...
Your stepdad's business partner.
Matthew said you're quite the lawyer, even
if your choice of clients is questionable.
Frankly, Mr. Holloway,
my choice of clients is my business.
I respect that.
Not a fan of your own whiskey?
Never actually had a taste for it myself.
I was just looking for an
excuse to get a minute to myself.
I know a feeling.
It's a bit awkward, huh?
Being here in this house again after,
you know,
For your mother to do something like that.
She hasn't been convicted
of anything.
Are they looking at other suspects?
Why? You got someone else in mind?
You know, Matthew used to tell me about
the fights that he and Kate were having.
They were happening more frequently,
getting more volatile.
He was becoming concerned.
About my mother?
About all of it. Her temper, her drinking.
I can't stop thinking.
Maybe if I'd said something sooner.
I'm going to say hi to some people.
Sorry for your loss.
I see you met Kirk.
I'm Duck.
Seems pretty convinced Mom's guilty.
Yeah, well, she wasn't
really fond of him, either.
Everybody knew that
the distillery was Matthew's baby.
So what does that make Kirk?
An overpaid math nerd.
Anyways, any time the distillery actually
showed a profit, the expenses had
a convenient way of suddenly growing.
And you think the overpaid
math nerd is the culprit?
I mean, hell, if it was up to him,
they would have cashed out years ago.
Now one of us should make a
speech before it gets too late.
I told you, I barely knew him.
Okay, well, only one of us
is a professional shyster, so...
I'm assuming that's supposed
to be a compliment?
My sister and I would like to you
thank you all for being with us here today.
When your father dies of cancer
while you're young,
it's easy to assume that no one
can ever follow in his footsteps.
And then Mom met Matthew.
Kind, supportive, funny.
A kind of positive influence that could
make a real difference.
And he was more than just Mom's
new husband, he was
an important part of the community.
An entrepreneur.
Part of the church choir.
And as I hear it, he had quite
the backhand at pickleball.
More importantly, however,
he was a father figure.
And I'm sure if he could
see us now, he'd be smiling.
Feeling all the love and
appreciation in the room.
And... I know my mother wishes she could
be here to thank you all in person, too.
Anyone who knows this family
knows that my mother...
...and I have had
a challenging relationship.
So, despite whatever issues
the two of us might have,
as both her daughter and attorney,
I'd like us all to remember that
she's still a grieving widow,
mourning the loss of her husband.
And so, on behalf of the entire family,
I'd like us all to raise a glass of
Matthew's very own Rafferty Rye...
to his memory.
We love you, and we miss you.
May you rest in peace.
Seriously? What do they think?
I'm gonna make a run for it?
I wouldn't recommend it.
Makes them feel powerful.
She's just doing her job.
What she should be doing is looking
for who really killed my husband.
This is just a preliminary hearing
No one's on trial yet.
Hopefully it won't even get that far.
Knowing these small towns,
my guess we'll get a prosecutor
used to chasing tigers and shoplifters.
Is that?
Bobby, you didn't tell
me he still lived here.
You never asked.
So, district attorney.
Yeah, what can I say?
Some of us opted for the small pond,
which is why I'm surprised you
actually took your Mom's case.
Everyone's entitled to a decent defense.
That they are. And from what I hear,
you charge quite a pretty penny for it, too.
Well, if you're interested, I can always
put in a good word for you at the bar.
Well, unfortunately, I like to see criminals
pay for their crimes and not their attorneys.
And I prefer to see justice
reserved for the guilty, the innocent.
Same old Nicky.
Guess some things never change.
All rise.
Good morning.
- Good morning, your honor.
- Good morning, your honor.
No, stand up.
We have gathered here for the
arraignment of Katherine Rafferty.
Ms. Rafferty, in pursuit of Penal Code 19.01,
you've been charged with a Class A felony.
Murder in the first degree in
the death of Matthew Rafferty.
Counselor, has your client
read the criminal complaint?
They have, your honor.
And are they aware of the mandatory sentencing
requirements should they be found guilty?
Which is no less than life in prison
without the possibility of parole.
They are.
Very well.
Ms. Rafferty, in the charge of first
degree murder, how do you plead?
Not guilty.
A little louder, if you please.
Not guilty.
Very well.
The trial is set for 9 A.M. Monday the 25th.
Three weeks from today.
Your honor, the defense moves to request
bail for the defendant until the trial.
The people object, your honor.
Your motion is denied, Ms. Ray.
Then the defense moves
to request that the defendant
be placed under house
arrest until the trial.
Also denied, Ms. Ray.
Now, if there are no further
matters to be discussed,
this hearing is hereby adjourned.
All rise.
It's good to see you again, Nicki.
Looks like you'll be seeing even
more of me now.
So now what happens?
- Now?
We get started on your defense.
So, I see your taste can find dining
hasn't' changed.
When in Rome.
So, what are we drinking?
Club soda.
Actually, I'll take a beer.
You got it.
As much as I'd love to sit and
reminisce, I have a trial to prepare for.
What are you really doing here, Nick?
She's my mother.
So, in other words, you think
this little altruistic exercise in
futility will somehow make up for
years of hatred and resentment?
And she's innocent.
We both know that's not true.
You know what your problem is?
I only have one?
- Self-confidence.
- Funny.
I was gonna say the same thing about you.
Marital spat, heat of the moment.
I could see involuntary manslaughter.
Even second degree.
But murder in the first?
She threatened to kill him.
She was drunk.
Doesn't mean she didn't mean it.
I think I know my own mother.
Did she tell you anything
useful about that night?
You know me better than
to ask something like that.
I just wondered if she
happened to mention the distillery.
Matthew's distillery.
Her distillery.
I haven't reached that
part of your discovery yet.
Well, thank you.
Lucky for you, I'm in a sharing mood.
I'm all ears.
Six weeks ago, Matthew Rafferty amended
his will, cutting his partner out completely.
That leaves everything to your
mother, including the distillery.
So, she gets a new business
and he files for unemployment.
It's a small-town craft distillery.
By the time you deduct expenses, Kurt's
unemployment check is probably worth more.
You're right.
The distillery was losing money.
But the land that the
distillery was sitting on?
That's a different story.
The rumor is, Matthew was in the process
of selling it to a developer when he passed.
And how much would a
property like that go for?
One point five?
That's a hell of a ballpark.
That's a hell of a motive.
Your turn to share.
You ever regret what happened between us?
A relationship?
We occupied two different worlds.
Always did.
I just took my leaving to realize it.
Well, like you said, you have a trial
to prepare for, so I'll leave you to it.
It's nice seeing you.
Tell your mama I said hi.
It's Nicole. I was just
wondering, have you got
any results back on the
fingerprints on the window?
Anyone other than my mother?
Not in the system.
And what about the autopsy?
Is it possible that those injuries
could have been caused by a...
I don't know, maybe he fell?
Damn it.
No, this is absolutely not
good news for my case.
Thanks anyway.
When were you gonna
tell me about the distillery?
The distiller... what?
My husband had just died.
I didn't think that was important.
Do you expect a jury to believe that?
It's the truth.
It's a motive!
You honestly think I would kill my
husband for a tiny craft distillery?
No, but you might for 1.5 million dollars.
Matthew handles all of that stuff.
Besides, it was Riley's
idea to change the will.
She never trusted Kirk.
Okay. Look, if this is
gonna work, you and me,
we're gonna have to do a
better job communicating.
Well, I was all set to go
with the public defender.
Are you really so proud that you can't
even recognize when you need help?
Or is it you're so proud you
think everyone needs you?
Well, I guess the apple didn't fall
too far from the tree then, did it?
Yeah, you're right.
But seriously, Mom, you can't
hold anything back, no matter
how insignificant, how
inconsequential you think it is.
I need it all.
Good. Because this will pours gasoline
all over our dumpster fire of a case.
What about those fingerprints?
They weren't a match for
anyone in the system.
The autopsy showed that
the fall was not accidental.
Mom, I have to ask...
Did you push Matthew down those stairs?
Of course not!
Did you do anything that might have
inadvertently caused him to fall down stairs?
Would you even remember it if you had?
You think I've forgotten what it was like?
When you start drinking at lunch,
you forget to pick me up from school?
When you'd be out all
night long and then you'd
come home and forget
how you even got there?
Because I sure as hell have not!
So do you actually think I'm capable of
something like that? You're my daughter!
No, I am your lawyer!
If you don't believe me,
maybe the court will.
What are you talking about?
When I take the stand, I
will just tell them I passed out
on the couch. I don't know
what happened to your stepfather.
You don't seriously think
I'm going to let you testify?
I have every right to clear my name.
You get up on that stand, it's like
handing Bobby O'Donnell a loaded gun.
I've got nothing to hide.
They will find something, and
when they do, they will crucify you!
How do you know?
Because that's what I would do.
If it was up to him, they would
have cashed out yours again.
No, but you might for 1.5 million dollars!
What about those fingerprints?
They weren't a match for
anyone in the system.
Could you push Matthew down those stairs?
Of course not!
Did you do anything that might have
inadvertently caused him to fall downstairs?
Could you tell Bobby
Nicole Ray is here to see him?
Sure. Have a seat.
You just couldn't stay away, could you?
Maybe I was just curious
to see what Eastboro's
District Attorney's
Office actually looked like.
Cushy. Although the view is probably
not as nice as the one from your high rise.
Who said my office was on a high rise?
It's not?
No, it is. I was just curious.
Well, you really want to be impressed?
Come on back. I'll give you the tour.
This is where the magic happens.
So why are you really here?
You're not even going to
offer me a cup of Sanka first?
Let me guess. You asked
her about the inheritance.
And now you realize
you took on a losing case.
I asked about the inheritance.
And now I'm about to poke some
serious holes in your case.
Good luck with that.
I need the witness statements.
The reports were in the discovery.
I want the actual transcripts.
Why? You already know
they're harmful to your case.
That's not up to you to decide, is it?
Didn't your mother
ever tell you not to ask
questions you don't want
to hear the answers to?
Must have slipped her mind.
Helen and Harold Mullins.
There. That wasn't so hard, was it?
You should know that I've secured convictions
on less than the piece of paper in your hand.
Then I'm sure you won't mind if I reach
out and verify the information in here.
Wait, did you just accuse me
of doctoring their testimony?
Please. Don't be so sanctimonious.
You wouldn't be the first district
attorney to bend the rules to win a case.
And you wouldn't be the
first defense attorney to
shield their client with a
smokescreen of red tape.
I guess I'll just have to find out, won't I?
Fine. You want to talk to him? Be my guest.
Although, I should warn you. Helen wasn't
necessarily the biggest fan of your mother.
Sounds an awful lot like bias to me.
You don't need me to remind you
how difficult your mother was to love.
No. That's right. I don't.
Did I strike a nerve?
Thanks for the file.
Any time.
Did you forget something?
Isn't this the moment when you wish me luck
and tell me how much I'm going to need it?
Would it change your mind?
Not an inch.
Then I won't waste my breath.
Who is it? Helen Mullins.
My name is Nicole Ray.
I'm representing... Hi.
I know who you are.
Hon, who is it?
Kate's daughter.
You can call me Nicole.
Want to come in? I just made some coffee.
I only need a moment of your time.
We've already told everything
we know to the police.
Yes. I've read the transcripts
of your conversation.
Then why are you here?
Have you... seen this man?
You two happen to be
the only witnesses we have.
Unfortunately, we're not too keen on
sticking our noses where they don't belong.
Is that why you called
the police the other night?
Because you didn't want to stick
your nose where it doesn't belong?
I called the police because I
was concerned for Matthew.
Not that he did much good.
They were fighting.
They were always fighting.
Can you just take another look? Please.
Have you seen him around the house?
Kirk? Sure. He and Matthew worked together.
What about the night he died?
No. It was just Matthew and your mother.
You mean it was just the two
of them that you could hear?
Thank you for your time.
You know, now that you
mention it, there is one
thing I do remember
hearing her shout that night.
And what was that?
She said, "I'm going to kill you.".
Miss Ray? Harold.
Please, forgive my wife. She means well.
Sometimes she can be stubborn as an ox.
I know the type.
Now you didn't hear this from me.
A couple months back,
I was more in the lying.
Your mother was at work.
Let's just say that Matthew was not alone.
Another woman?
Was Matthew having an affair?
I didn't ask.
You're the first and only
person that I mention this to.
I don't suppose you have a name?
Could you at least tell
me what she looked like?
A little younger than your mom.
Blonde hair.
If my mother had found out,
that certainly would have given them
something to fight about.
Yes, it would. Yes, it would.
Are you crazy? You threatened to kill him?
I was angry. I didn't mean it.
You didn't mean it when you
said it or when you actually did it?
I don't even remember saying it.
Unfortunately for you, your neighbor does.
And I'm sure she'll be more
than happy to share it with the jury.
Yeah, that sounds like Helen.
Along with Matthew's affair.
They know about that?
So you did know?
You seriously didn't think I would find out?
I'm sorry. I just didn't see the
point in ruining his reputation.
The prosecution will.
Okay, fine, fine.
Matthew had been cheating on me
for months, okay? Are you happy?
A while back I happened to
find some emails on his computer.
He'd been spending a lot
of late nights at work and
texting on his phone all
the time. I was suspicious.
Go on.
The letters were romantic.
I confronted him about it.
He swore he'd stop.
But he didn't, did he?
The night Matthew... I had found
more letters on the computer.
That's when you two were fighting.
But that time he did end it.
I watched him.
He sent the texts right in front of me.
He said she didn't take it well.
Do you know who it was?
No. Frankly, I didn't want to know.
I just wanted it to be over, end of story.
Why is it that every time
I pursue a lead to clear
your name, all I do is
uncover another motive?
And when did you start drinking again?
My husband of fifteen years was having an
affair on me. Excuse me if I wanted a drink.
A drink?
A few.
I lost count.
Let's just go back to that night.
You confronted him about the affair.
Yeah. We were arguing.
It would seem like hours.
And then I sat on the couch.
No, I laid on the couch.
I don't remember what happened after that.
Please try.
My head was spinning.
I think he said he was
going upstairs to go to bed.
And this whole time you two were alone.
You think so?
Think. At any point, was
there anyone else in the house?
I don't know. Like who?
Kirk, maybe?
Losing half the profits
from that real estate sale
would be enough to make
anyone jealous, don't you think?
Tell you what. You think about it.
Where are you going?
I'm going to go back to the house
to see if the police missed anything.
Nicole, on a scale from one to
ten, how screwed do you think I am?
You here?
I'd be glad just to be sad thinking of you.
How much have you had to drink?
Here we go again. The same thing.
I don't want to do this right now.
I never want to do this.
That's how you got in.
Ryan, is that you?
Hey, Nicki. It's me.
Riley. Yeah, I'm over at the house.
Where are you?
I'm getting ready to head to work.
What time are you leaving?
Shouldn't be too much longer.
What the hell?
Nicki? Nicki? What happened?
Can I call you back later?
Okay, bye.
I'm glad I caught you.
Do you got a sec?
Is it about Mom's case?
Did you know Matthew was having an affair?
Wait. What?
Apparently it had been happening for a while.
You really didn't know?
No. Absolutely not.
Did Mom know?
Another motive.
Apparently they grow on trees around here.
What happened? Did he tell her?
She found some emails on his computer.
I was just over at her house.
I found one of them myself.
Do I even want to know what it said?
The usual thinking of you. Stuff like that.
You think she did it?
I was thinking Kirk, but now, who knows?
Look, I know she's not
the best person, but...
I truly don't think that she's
capable of doing such a thing.
You mean you don't think she'd be capable
of doing such a thing when she's sober?
In either state, Nikki.
Twelve hours ago, I would have
agreed with you. Now, who knows?
I guess I was just hoping that
maybe you had heard something,
or maybe you knew who the woman was.
I'm sorry.
Look, my shift is about to start. Can you
talk about this more tomorrow morning?
Burning the midnight oil, huh?
Welcome to the glamorous world of medicine.
I'll be at the motel, if
you think of anything.
Sounds good.
We spoke to the manager. Said the housekeeper
reported her key stolen a couple days ago.
This just proves that someone
is trying to stop my investigation.
Anyone giving you any trouble lately?
Matthew's brother isn't exactly a fan.
I'll tell you what, I'll give him a
call and find out where he was tonight.
And maybe Kirk Hollowayne.
For your mother's sake, I hope you're as good
at being a lawyer as you are making enemies.
I don't suppose this place
has a security camera?
You know, I'd feel better
if you weren't alone.
Is there anyone you
can call? Maybe Riley?
No, she's still at work.
But I'll be fine. Really.
In the meantime, I'm going to run
prints on this. Maybe we'll get lucky.
Can you compare them to this?
Do I even want to know
where you got this from?
You said you'd take a look, if I do.
Do you ever rest?
I will.
When my mother gets out of jail.
If I ever get in trouble,
I know who I'm going to call.
Thank you, Charlene.
This is Nicole.
It's Charlene.
Got some news?
Actually, I do. We looked into Wyatt.
Thought it might interest you
to hear that...
...Mr. Rafferty was a
no-show for work last night.
What about the prints from the bottle?
No match. Not the photo or the
window at your mother's house.
Damn it.
Hey, you want some unsolicited advice?
This is my favorite kind.
In my experience,
I've learned that these things...
...usually come down to
one of two things.
Passion or money.
John Merting?
You don't know me, but my name is Nicole.
I'm Nicole Ray.
Sorry about your stepfather.
If you have a moment, I would just love
to ask you a few questions about his will.
Actually, I'm running
late for a client meeting.
Besides, it's a little soon
to probate, don't you think?
No, no, no.
I'm not interested in contesting it.
I'm representing my
mother in the murder trial.
That's out of my area of expertise.
Well, I was just wondering,
if something were to
happen to my mother,
what happens to the will?
Let me guess.
You went to one of those
big fancy law schools, huh?
And did they teach you about
attorney-client privilege there?
They did. As a legal matter, yes.
But as a family member inquiring
about family business,
I believe it falls under the
category of nosy stepdaughter.
I suppose it wouldn't hurt
if I'm a few minutes late.
Nosy stepdaughter?
A very particular filing system.
So, Rafferty?
Matthew Rafferty.
Six weeks ago,
Matthew redrafted his will,
naming your mother
as his primary beneficiary.
Because he didn't trust his partner.
Now, let's say my mother gets
convicted for Matthew's murder.
It's the Slayer statute.
That would prevent her from inheriting
one penny of Matthew's estate.
In which case?
Goes to the next beneficiary.
So, theoretically, someone could
have killed Matthew and framed
my mother so that they could
collect the inheritance instead.
That's some four-dimensional
chess right there.
Guess I'm looking for Ace
Burroughs very on Bobby Fisher.
I don't suppose this
next beneficiary would
happen to be Matthew's
brother Wyatt, would it?
Let me see.
Actually, no.
It's your sister.
I'll catch up with you.
Sorry I haven't called you
back. I've just been slammed
with patients all day.
But, um, is something wrong?
I'm gonna ask you a question,
and I need the truth.
Okay, well now you're scaring me.
Where were you the night Matthew died?
- Excuse me?
- I think you heard me.
I don't understand, though.
Please, just answer the question.
I was home.
Can anyone verify that?
Me not unless you want to subpoena
my smart TV's browsing history.
Did you go over to mom's house that night?
Hold on, you think I have
something to do with what happened?
You're the one who insisted
Matthew change the will.
Well, yes, but to benefit our mother...
Unless she gets convicted
of Matthew's murder.
In that case, what do you know?
It all goes to you. 1.5 million dollars.
You're serious?
Money like that would go a long way in
clearing up those debts, don't you think?
Okay, first of all, that's insane.
Secondly, why on earth
would I insist that you,
who works at one of the most
well-known firms in the country,
come out here and represent
mom if I really wanted her to lose?
Because you didn't think I'd actually come.
And you have to admit, as far
as alibis go, it isn't a bad one.
After all, calling a lawyer from "one of
the most well-known firms in the country"
would go a long way in making it appear you
weren't secretly trying to throw the case.
Screw you.
Is that a denial?
That's a get the hell out of my face.
Riley. Riley?
It's Riley. Leave a message.
Hey, it's me. Look, I'm so sorry
I accused you like that. It's just...
It's my job to ask the
hard questions, you know?
That... I guess
I'm just exhausted.
Please call me.
First the hotel room, now
this, it can't be random.
Did you get a look at the driver?
It happened too fast.
License plate?
No. I don't know what you want me to do.
Put out an APB on a black SUV?
We've known each other for a long time.
And believe me when
I tell you that Matthew
Rafferty was loved by a
lot of people in this town.
Any of whom would love to
see your mother punished.
Look, just hang in there, okay?
The sooner the trial's over,
the sooner things will calm down.
Once she gets convicted, you mean?
You said it, not me.
Fish and chips?
Long day?
Long week.
Anything new with the case?
Unfortunately, no.
Well, for what it's worth, I miss
both your Mom and Matthew.
And if you ever want a
friendly face to talk to.
I appreciate that.
- Thanks.
Well, Charlene told me what happened.
She sounded worried about you.
She's just eager to get the case wrapped up.
We all are.
You're not the one with
a mother sitting in jail.
Who went until a few days ago
you hadn't spoken to in years.
She's still entitled to a defense.
Look, I just don't want to
see anything happen to you.
This is going to take a lot more than some
amateur intimidation to stop me from digging.
Well, just be careful where you dig.
Towns like this have a lot of landmines.
Do you always look out for
your opposing counsel like this?
What can I say?
I must be getting sentimental in my old age.
But if you do plan on presenting another
theory for Matthew's murder, I'd do it soon.
Because if this does go to trial,
you and I both know this does not
end well for your mother.
Now you want to save my mother?
Well, truthfully, I'm more
interested in saving your reputation.
Aren't you the hero?
Voluntary manslaughter. 15 years.
A plea deal?
All drawn up and ready to go.
All you have to do is get
your mother to sign it.
15 years?
That'll make her, what, 75?
Well, at least she'll have a
few years to spend with
her future grandkids
instead of sitting behind bars.
Involuntary manslaughter.
Five years.
Nick, this is a textbook
case of crime of passion.
And you're assuming that
the killer isn't still out there?
I can't serve justice on a hunch.
But what they did to my hotel room.
The hotel the cops get called to
at least two to three times a week.
This town is full of people who
just want to see your old woman pay.
You mean they want to see my old woman hung?
And that's your jury pool.
15 years.
Seriously consider it if I were you.
Well, well, well.
Nicole Ray.
How about a whiskey, sweetheart?
I think you've had enough.
Why don't you just back up, buddy?
No one here wants any trouble.
No trouble?
Just want a few words
with our lawyer friend of yours.
Okay. Well, I said back up.
Whatever you say.
Your mother deserves the chair
for what she did to my brother.
I'm thinking maybe I'll just hurt
someone important to her instead.
Hey, hey, hey, hey, that's enough!
That's enough!
How about a ride down
to the station to cool off?
Everybody okay?
- Bobby?
- Never better.
Wyatt's fingerprints were
a match for the photo.
Plus, guess what kind of car he drives?
Black SUV.
So he's the one who's
been trying to intimidate me?
I guess he took his grief too far, but don't
worry, he's not gonna be bothering you again.
We've got plenty of charges to
keep him busy here for a while.
What about the fingerprints from the house?
None of the prints that we collected the
night of Matthew's murder matched his.
So it wasn't Kirk or Wyatt?
I'm just glad no one got seriously hurt.
Me too.
Fifteen years.
Voluntary manslaughter.
If I plead guilty.
That's usually how plea deals work.
But I could go to trial and get nothing.
Or you could get thirty.
But you're a good lawyer.
That doesn't matter if I can't
fight the facts right in front of us.
You want facts? How about the fact
that my husband's killer is still out there?
You mean the killer we're
not getting any closer to finding.
At least with this deal
you'll get a few decent years.
A few decent years?
Is that the best Nicole Ray can do?
I didn't get liquored up
and fight with my husband.
I didn't tell the cops I can't
remember what happened.
I'm not the beneficiary
of a million dollar will.
And I sure as hell didn't
come back here to this
crappy small town after
all these years just to lose.
And do you have any idea what's
been happening to me out there?
Ever since I got here,
I have been harassed.
My hotel room has been broken into.
Matthew's brother tried to run me off the
road and now my own sister is mad at me.
If it's so bad why are you doing this?
Because I thought
maybe for once there was
something I could do to
actually make you happy.
Or something you could do so
you feel better about yourself.
You needed me.
No, you want me to need
you there's a difference.
As I recall I was all set to go with Chuck.
It was your idea to take this case over.
And now that it's not going
the way you want you're
just ready to cash in
your chips and go home.
Well, no.
I'm gonna fight.
And if you're not gonna fight
with me, if you're not going
to be in my corner, then I'm
gonna find someone who will.
You're saying I should just quit.
No, I'm saying you're fired.
You're serious.
We're through here.
Alright then, let's go.
Go on, I'll catch up.
Nicole, what a surprise.
Got a sec?
Of course. Come on in.
No, no, no, I'm not staying.
I just wanted to come by and say goodbye.
I presented the deal to my client,
advised her to take it, and she fired me.
Your mother fired you?
She'd rather take her chance in court.
Without you?
She doesn't feel I'm, quote, "in her corner."
So she's gonna go with a public defender?
Yeah, maybe Chuck can do a better job.
Chuck hasn't seen the inside
of a courtroom in over a year.
It's just like riding a bicycle.
It is nothing like riding a bicycle.
What do you want me to say?
Yes, she's being stubborn.
But I can't just wave a magic lawyer
wand and change the woman's mind.
You have to. You can't just give up.
Give up?
You act like you're the only
lawyer that's had a stubborn client.
You don't know my mother like I do.
But I do know this case, Nikki.
You've seen the evidence.
You've read the witness statements.
She doesn't need Chuck. She needs a miracle.
She needs you.
So now you care about my mother?
Actually, I don't.
I think she's a murderer and frankly
deserves to rot in prison for what she did.
Then why aren't you celebrating?
Because I care about you, Nikki.
And the old Nikki, the Nikki
that I went to school with,
would have never walked
away from a challenge. Ever.
Well, the old Nikki didn't have a
murderer for a mother. Allegedly.
Well, there is one thing
I'm disappointed about.
You're disappointed?
I won't be able to go
up against you in court.
All that we both know I would have won.
Yeah. Possibly.
You always did enjoy a good fight.
Well, hey, if you ever feel like
relocating out west,
my offer still stands.
I appreciate that.
Of course. That's
assuming that your legal
skills are better than
your bar fighting skills.
Hey, if Charlene hadn't interrupted
us, I would have had them.
Well, my...
I better get back to the hotel.
I need to pack.
Before they charge me another day.
See you around, counselor.
See you around.
Did you ever think about why
things never worked out between us?
Probably because I
always enjoyed a good fight.
Good luck.
Come in.
So it's true. You're leaving?
She fired me.
Look, Ry, about yesterday I...
What's this?
The footage from my doorbell camera.
So that you can see that
my car was parked in front
of my house all night
long and that I never left.
Look, I'm sorry, okay?
I just...
I ran out of places
to look and I got desperate.
Actually, I think it was a
pretty smart theory. So...
I mean, too bad I didn't think
of it sooner, so... Too bad.
So what happens now?
She's someone else's problem.
You mean the public defender?
Maybe he'll be able to
convince her to sign the deal.
Do you think she did it?
I don't know.
Maybe no one did it.
Maybe there never was
another person in the first place.
Maybe the autopsy was
wrong and Matthew just fell.
I wish I could change
your mind about leaving.
You could always come to California.
Free rent.
What, and give up my cushy position
sponge bathing patients at Eastboro General?
I'm sure there are plenty of
patients just sponge bathed in LA.
If things go the way
that I think that they will,
Mom's gonna need all the
support she can get. So... Yeah.
Don't be a stranger.
I won't.
I've got a six o'clock out, so tell Jerry
I'll be back at the farm in the morning.
Yeah, I'm headed to the airport now.
You really want to know?
Put it this way, I've got
enough material to keep
my therapist busy for
the next year and a half.
Okay. Talk to you tomorrow. Bye.
Video doorbell.
The Mrs. wouldn't
be happy about me talking
to you again. Lucky
for you, she's at bingo.
Good. Because I need a favor.
Well, what do you know?
Harold, you're a lifesaver.
Why? I cracked this case?
It had to be you.
I wouldn't even be fine, just
to be sound, thinking of you.
You know what, Harold?
I think you actually did.
Hey, I'm at my mother's house.
Would you mind stopping by?
Come on in.
I was surprised to hear from you.
I had friends with my mom and Matthew,
and I needed that friendly face.
I have just the thing.
Took it from work.
Don't tell anyone.
My lips are sealed. I'll get some glasses.
I can't find my mom's bottle opener.
Don't worry. I brought one.
What happened with you and your mom, anyway?
I thought things were better between you two.
I tried to get her to take a deal.
I guess that means she didn't want it.
Well, it's complicated.
So, you still don't have any other suspects?
Like I said, it's complicated.
Care to do the honors?
It's your house.
Well, technically it's my mother's house.
What should we drink to?
Something uplifting for once.
Anyone special in your life?
Actually, I just went through a breakup.
Was it bad?
Well, let's just say it was complicated.
To complicated relationships.
You looking for this?
It had to be you.
Was that like your special song or something?
I don't know what you're talking about.
The locket?
The messages he wrote to you
quoting the lyrics from the song?
And then the neighbor's description,
a little younger than your mom.
Blonde hair.
He saw us?
It took me a while to connect the dots.
How long were you two sleeping together?
Couple of months, give or take.
Matthew had been coming
in and out of a tavern.
A lot.
Started innocent.
He'd flirt a little.
I'd flirt a little back.
Smile led to it.
Touch on the shoulder.
Led to an invitation.
You get the idea.
You wanted to find the killer.
And you did.
Come on, Nicole.
I don't want to hurt you.
I swear.
Of course.
I didn't want to hurt Matthew either.
But he left me no choice.
Drop your weapon!
I said drop the weapon!
I got your text.
Are you okay?
Where is she?
With Charlene.
We've got your phone, Sadie.
We knew all about your
relationship with Matthew Rafferty.
How he finally ended things after
his wife found the latest messages.
And judging from your text that you sent,
I'm guessing that didn't make you
too pleased with either one of them.
You already confessed
to Nicole Ray an hour ago.
Might as well come clean for the record now.
At first I was just going to talk.
Smooth things over.
And then after seeing them together,
seeing the way she treated him,
and that he chooses her over me,
yes, I was angry.
And yes, I killed him.
He deserved it.
Thank you for never doubting me.
Even when I was doubting you.
I'm just doing my job.
You are being my daughter.
Now, there are going to be
some changes around here.
Charlene is getting me
into a treatment program.
And I'm even going to pick
up some shifts at the old diner.
Now, I'm fully aware that
this is going to be a journey.
But I will get there.
I promise.
One step at a time.
I owe it to the both of you.
And to Matthew.
You don't have to do it alone, Mom.
You'll always have us.
Does that mean that you're going
to be sticking around for a little while?
Well, the firm's waited this long.
I don't see why they can't
wait a few more days.
In the meantime, I was hoping
that I could stay at the house.
Yes, of course.
You are always welcome.
Good. Because I plan on
stopping by a lot more often.
Or you could move back permanently.
Open up a little firm in town.
Like Mom says, one step at a time.
Now, how about a lift home?