Unconformity (2022) Movie Script

(saw whirring)
(music continues)
(saw whirring)
( music continues)
(light music)
- Hey.
- What's up?
Look at this.
What's it from?
These are Harland's notes from his trip to Svalbard in 1949.
He describes undifferentiated Proterozoic rocks
beneath Paleozoic sediments.
No one's looked at these rocks in 70 years.
They could tell us age constraints on
Snowball Earth. How many glaciations.
Holy crap.
(gentle music)
What are you gonna do with this?
I'm gonna go to Svalbard.
- How?
- The Zedwitz Fellowship.
The Zedwitz Fellowship?
There's a boat company that can take me to the northern island.
I'll have to take a gun safety training
because of the polar bears (giggling).
Are you gonna drill for paleomag?
Uh, I don't think so. Rocks are too cooked there.
[Gary] When's the application due?
Three weeks, but they accept them on a rolling basis.
(light music)
[Gary] I don't think it should be the last chapter of your dissertation.
[Alex] Why not?
[Gary] They announce the fellowship
recipients and their research, right?
Yeah, so?
Then you can't just get started.
You don't wanna let everyone know about this
until you've done the work and published.
You could get scooped.
You really think I should hold off?
You only get an opportunity like this
once in your life if you're lucky.
You know what? I'll be proud of you
even if you blow it on a summer research project.
Just take a couple of days, think it over.
Okay, I will.
You wanna come up?
I do, but I've got a ton of work.
Next time.
(students talking over each other)
Okay, guys, as you know,
deadlines for the fellowship applications are coming up.
So, I wanna take a moment to commend one of you about this.
Last week, I received a really impressive application
for the Zedwitz Fellowship.
It seems like while the rest of you were
twiddling your thumbs, Gary dug into
the Royal Society's archives and found some
exciting old geologic descriptions of Svalbard.
I was so impressed by his proposal that I forwarded it
to the Fellowship Committee and I heard back this morning.
Gary, you've received preliminary approval to go to Norway.
(all applauding)
(ominous music)
Make sure you take that gun safety
training course for the polar bears.
(saw whirring)
[Alex Voiceover]
No one's looked at these rocks in 70 years.
[Gary Voiceover]
Do it as a postdoc and get it right.
[Alex Voiceover]
It could be career-making.
[Alex Voiceover] I'd probably be able to publish
some high profile papers before I get on the job market
[Gary Voiceover] You don't want to let anyone know about this
until you've done the work and published.
[Gary Voiceover] You could get scooped.
(door latch clicking)
[Petro] Hey, guys, sorry I'm late.
Please start.
[Professor] Thank you, Petro.
We've carefully reviewed all the materials and testimony,
and we find no evidence of academic dishonesty.
Gary's fellowship stands.
(Gary chuckling)
He stole my idea.
How is that not dishonesty?
[Petro] The only evidence is hearsay.
Yeah, he heard my idea, then he said it to you.
It was my proposal.
A browser history is not a proposal.
You know what you did. You stole my idea.
You didn't tell me anything. Stop smearing my name.
- You're a fucking liar--
- [Petro] Alex!
(water bottle clanging)
(machine pounding)
(sifter shaking)
(pestle scraping)
(machines rattling)
[Man] You wanna make sure you keep your hips close to the wall.
Be here, you feel that?
[Woman] You're a really good teacher.
[Man] Yeah, she flashed it, but it's a soft twelve.
(light music)
I'm gonna study the Shuram carbon isotope
excursion in the Mojave.
It will be the last chapter of my dissertation.
You should focus on writing up the detrital zircon results.
You don't have time to start a new project.
I'm gonna look at the facies
and the sedimentology of the carbonates.
It makes perfect sense for understanding the carbon isotope
data I've been generating from the samples Molly gave me.
Stick with the plan.
Defend your thesis, get on the job market.
This aligns with my work.
I can't let you do this.
- Petro--
- I'm just doing what's best for you, even if you can't see it.
I should be in Norway right now, that would be what's best for me.
I'm not litigating this again.
He stole my proposal!
(Alex scoffs)
- I'm going.
- Who's gonna pay for this?
I will use my stipend.
If you go into the desert and you don't finish
your dissertation this year, I'm not gonna keep funding you.
That's not fair. You know I have student loans.
(light music)
Get an undergrad to write up your detrital zircon data.
I'm going to Nevada.
(light music)
Professor Beatty?
You're Petro's student?
Yeah, and I wanted to say I really admire--
And you want my equipment.
And your truck.
Petro said you'd lend it to me.
Classic Petro.
Thinks everyone's born to help him.
Come with me.
I need it back by the 27th.
Of course.
I need to be clear, okay?
Petro has a reputation
and I don't know what he's teaching you guys.
You'll be back in a month?
In four weeks.
With my jeep and equipment.
I promise.
(keys jingling)
(storage unit door creaking)
(soft music)
(trunk slamming)
Here we come
Knocking at your door
Pamphlets in our hand
Come with us, we promise
you the promised land
Here we come
Knocking at your door
May we come inside
Don't you wanna meet
us on the other side
(jeep door slamming)
(wind whistling)
(gravel crunching)
(table clanking)
(pan sizzling)
(water splashing)
(jeep engine rumbling)
(gravel crunching)
(birds squawking)
(camera clicking)
(hammer clinking)
(hammer clinking)
(hammer clinking with echo)
(Alex blowing)
(rocks thudding)
(pencil writing)
(bugs chirping)
(pencil writing)
(pencil writing)
(pencil writing)
(pen writing)
(bag rustling)
(gravel crunching)
(cooler lid thudding)
(refrigerated goods rustling)
(pan sizzling)
(toothbrush brushing)
(jeep engine rumbling)
(jeep door slamming)
(birds chirping)
(pan sizzling)
(pan sizzling stops)
(lighter clicking)
(lighter thudding)
(Alex sighs)
(bugs chirping)
(coyote howling)
(tent zipper buzzing)
(Alex retching)
(Alex coughing)
(light music)
(stomach growling)
(gravel crunching)
Don't look at me!
(cows mooing)
(motor rumbling)
You guys thirsty?
(gravel crunching)
(gate rattling)
(Nick sighs)
(gravel crunching)
(cows mooing)
(somber music)
(Alex sighs)
(Alex panting)
Hey, here.
You all right?
Yeah, I'm fine.
(Alex sighs)
I'm right over that ridge.
You all right?
Yeah, I'm okay.
Are you with the BLM?
No, I'm a geologist.
Well, you need anything?
I'm fine, thanks.
Feel better.
(bugs chirping)
You give thought to finishing up at school
now that things have settled down?
Yeah, maybe.
They make these mining jobs look good,
but they sure aren't stable.
That's why we're gonna build up the ranch.
Fair enough.
(somber music)
(Alex scoffs)
(truck engine rumbling)
(gravel crunching)
Found one of these lying around.
Thank you.
It's soup, it's good.
So, you looking for gold?
- From Vegas?
- Boston.
You brought all this stuff with you from Boston?
There's a storage unit in Vegas.
Park 2,000 by the airport. Why?
Just wondering.
Well, I'm sure you got a lot to do today, so I'll let you get to it.
I'm glad you're doing better.
Hey, what do I do with the bowl?
Turnoff for the ranch is about four miles down Pikes Road.
You can come and bring it back when you're done.
(soft music)
(Alex blowing)
(rock thudding)
(soft music continues)
(bowl clinking)
[Jason Lowrie] I know there's a drought,
but your cattle were on federal land they can't be on anymore.
I didn't know about it.
That's the second trespass this quarter,
fifth since the last time we talked.
We've got a submersible down. We're in something deep.
Then let's fix that well. Trespass again, and the reg says--
Don't tell me about the regs.
We've been on this land
since before the federal government was out here.
Listen, I became a Range Con
because I'm a friend of the rancher community.
My family's been at it as long as yours.
I know what it's like to have a well down.
I think maybe you forgot.
(Jason sighs)
You fellas need water,
you talk to the bank about a new pump or a solar.
Or let that riparian area get back to PFC,
and maybe your wells won't have such trouble.
And let half the herd choke in the meantime?
I'm here trying to help you keep range I know your cattle need.
That's my job.
But if you keep running your cows on public land
they shouldn't be on, you'll get a trespass notice,
and your grazing permit could be at risk.
You guys have a nice day.
(Everett sighs)
(door creaking)
(air hissing)
(electricity zapping)
(compressor motor clicking)
You been having trouble with the compressor?
Been working for me.
(compressor motor clicking)
(compressor rattling)
Hey, hey!
[Everett] You gotta learn to pick your fights.
Nothing works around here!
I'm not talking about the compressor.
You think you're gonna go up against
the Bureau of Land Management and win?
We can trespass our herd and sneak by?
That dog don't hunt.
It's bullshit.
That's neither here nor there.
If we lose the allotment,
them cows'll choke or we'll sell.
So no more trespassin'.
Now, let's figure out
what's wrong with the compressor.
Come on.
(somber music)
(gravel crunching)
[Nick] Looks like you're feeling better.
(Alex gasps)
(body thudding)
Man, are you okay?
Oh, God, what the hell?
You can't just sneak up on people like that.
I'm sorry.
(Alex groans)
I'm sorry.
(Alex sighs)
Hey, I didn't mean to...
(truck engine rumbling)
(Alex sighs)
(somber music)
(wind whistling)
(car engine rumbling)
(papers rustling)
(birds squawking)
(brakes squeaking)
[Alex] Hi.
You doing all right today?
Just going to the gas station to fill up on water.
Well, I'm Jason Lowrie.
I'm a Bureau of Land Management Rangeland Specialist.
Nice to meet you, Alex.
So, what brings you out to the valley?
I'm a geology student doing research on the rocks in this range.
Oh, wow.
Is it all right if I go?
I've got a lot to do today. I just wasted an hour.
Yeah, yeah, of course.
Just wanted to make sure you were okay.
You seemed lost and the desert's big, that's all.
It is.
Have a nice day.
You too.
(jeep engine rumbling)
(water flowing)
(phone ringing)
Hey, Petro.
[Petro] Oh, I'm surprised you picked up.
I'm near town.
I don't always have service in the field.
[Petro] Well, it seems like you've been ignoring me.
Is that what you called about?
No, it's not. I got your initial report and maps.
Listen, I told you
this wasn't gonna add anything to your dissertation--
- [Alex] Petro.
- And so you're not doing anything productive out there.
I'm gonna need your help writing up this detrital zircon paper.
Why are you doing this?
I am emailing you the data now.
My work is going well.
I can't spend my time out here writing your papers.
Nuh, it's our papers.
And, uh, either you start working on them too,
or I'm gonna find someone else who will,
and then it's gonna be their name on it and not yours.
Fine, send 'em.
[Petro] Thank you.
(Alex scoffs)
I'm sorry I got mad at you the other day.
And I never really thanked you for the soup.
[Alex] I appreciate it.
No problem.
I'm Alex, by the way.
Nick Devale.
It's nice to meet you.
So, I guess I'll see you out there then.
(truck engine rumbling)
(soft music)
(Alex sighing)
(gravel crunching)
[Nick] Hey.
You wanna try?
Okay, so I know it seems like you wanna think about your hands,
but actually try to think about where you're gonna put your feet first.
Yeah, good.
Make sure that you don't scrunch up your arms too much
or your forearms are gonna tire out really quick.
Okay, so there's actually a really good hold on your right.
(Nick groans)
Ah, it's harder than it looks.
[Nick] You're gonna climb to the top?
[Nick] Without a rope?
What'd we learn about talking to people who are climbing?
You talked to me when I was climbing.
I was giving advice.
(light music)
Hey, there are a couple of bolts up here.
We're gonna get you to climb up here too.
Nope, no way. Not for me.
[Alex] It'll be with a rope!
(gravel crunching)
(rock clinking)
(Alex blowing)
(light playful music)
Can you see me?
[Petro] Yes, but not very clearly. It's super pixelated.
What's this about?
Uh, hello, what is that?
[Alex] You can't tell?
[Alex] It's an Ediacaran fossil.
[Alex] Are you there?
Is this a joke?
Can you see it now?
Whoa, is it really?
It's a Spriggina.
[Petro] What unit was it in?
[Alex] The Upper Johnnie, but it was in float.
[Petro] You need to find the bed that it came from.
[Alex] I know, Petro.
[Petro] What facies is it?
[Alex] Looks peritidal.
There are interference ripples and mud cracks.
[Petro] Send me photographs.
[Alex] I will.
[Petro] You should come back soon.
We should talk about where you can publish.
[Alex] Let's see if I can find a few more first.
[Petro] Yes, okay, fine.
[Alex] Seems like my trip out
here was worth it after all.
[Petro] You know what?
[Petro] Yes, it was. I can admit when I'm wrong.
(light music)
(bugs chirping)
(camera clicking)
[Alex] I think these should fit. Found 'em in the storage unit.
Okay, so for today,
you're gonna wanna keep your weight directly over your legs.
Especially now that you have shoes.
So, shoulders off the wall.
Don't lean into the wall at all.
Right on top of your feet and that's gonna help you stick.
Good, yeah, bring-- right foot up.
Yep, and then make sure
you really give that left foot some momentum to get up.
So, the right foothold's a little high,
so make sure you really jump off that left one.
Good, nice.
Yep, you got plenty on your right.
Awesome, yeah!
(Nick sighs)
Was that good?
Yeah, we're gonna have to get you on something harder now.
How do those shoes feel?
[Nick] Ouch.
Well, they say pain and
the rodeo go hand-in-hand.
(Alex chuckling)
I wanna try it again.
[Alex] Good.
So, what's this?
Ediacaran biota.
It's a fossil.
[Nick] Ah.
Here, look at this.
Large life forms appeared 580 million years ago.
40 million years after that modern animal forms radiated.
These creatures lived in shallow ocean waters.
[Alex] It's weird, right?
[Nick] Yeah.
Before these guys there was no large life, except this.
Ediacaran fauna.
They're unexplained, probably wiped out by some extinction.
Somehow they managed to be preserved in the fossil record,
but it's a complete mystery.
The first large organisms on Earth just disappeared.
So, what are you trying to...
What are you trying to figure out?
What matters most is understanding what changed on Earth
that allowed them to evolve, and... and what killed them.
We wanna understand what they were and how they lived.
[Nick] Wow.
(light eerie music)
(bar patrons talking over each other)
Saw your truck outside. Glad I caught you.
What news do you have for me?
Good news actually.
I spoke to Steve Smith about your situation,
and I think he might be able to help you guys out.
[Everett] Steve Smith?
[Jason] Yeah.
I could introduce you if you want.
Need his number?
No, I got it somewhere.
We were on the same crew many years ago.
[Jason] Ah, well, great.
Thanks for the tip.
[Jason] You bet.
Hey, you want a beer?
Nah, I gotta go.
Call me if you need anything.
Good morning.
(Nick sighs)
So, when's the meeting with the guy at the bank?
They didn't accept our loan application.
I have a meeting with Steve Smith Friday.
The guy from the ads?
[Everett] That's the one.
What, he makes loans?
I don't think so, but he may be able to help us with a pump.
Seems interested in supporting an operation like ours.
(wind whistling)
(truck engine rumbling)
[Jason] Afternoon.
[Alex] Hi.
How's the research going?
Oh, it's going well. How are you?
Good, good, thanks for asking.
I just thought you know, this is the range I cover,
so I wanted to check-in, make sure you're doin' okay.
It's not easy being out here alone.
I actually do a fair amount of research out in the field.
Get used to looking after myself.
Right, yeah, of course.
Well, here's my card just in case you need it.
Thanks for checking in.
(Jason chuckling)
All right, I'll be seeing you then.
Hey, you know, there's um,
there's this spot down 57 toward Red Canyon.
Good food, good people.
If you ever wanna join us, you'd be more than welcome.
I actually like to stay in camp when I'm in the field.
But thanks though. I, um, I appreciate you coming by.
Sure, okay. Have a good evening.
(light music)
(birds chirping)
(jeep engine rumbling)
You wanna climb?
I gotta get this.
What's that?
Some old rip crapped in the drinker.
I gotta clean it out.
(shovel clanking)
Can we go into town instead?
I kinda wanna show you something.
(truck engine rumbling)
[Nick] I grew up here.
[Alex] I thought you grew up on the ranch?
We spent time out there, but we lived here.
Why'd you leave?
When mom died and we couldn't afford the rent.
I'm sorry, I didn't know.
It's okay, you didn't know.
How long has it been?
Two years.
What about your folks?
What about them?
Well, do they worry with you coming out here all by yourself?
They don't even know that I'm here.
We don't talk about my work.
The church they go to doesn't believe in what I study.
Age of the Earth, global warming.
I tried to change their minds when I got into geology in college,
but everybody just ended up getting mad.
So, now we agree not to talk about some things.
I'm sorry it's like that.
Yeah, it's too bad.
Do you think it's worth it?
Going all in on a ranch in the goddamn desert?
Is it what you wanna do?
It is!
But dad says
there's no future for ranching out here, just a past.
He says, maybe I should go back to school. I dunno.
Well, if you know deep down
that it's what you really wanna do, then you can make it happen.
I know that I wanna be a geology professor.
So, I play the game at school,
I keep my advisor just happy enough.
I work hard, I keep my head down, fight
through all the bullshit, and I know it'll all work out.
I know all about bullshit.
(light music)
(Alex laughing)
(truck doors slamming)
[Everett] Think our
cattle can drink bad water?
[Nick] No, sir.
Then what the hell you doing leaving shit in the drinker?
You want this ranch to work, we can't make mistakes.
- Now, get on home.
- Yes, sir.
[Everett] Ma'am.
(door slamming)
(Everett sighs)
(clock ticking)
(bugs chirping)
(light dramatic music)
(hummed lullaby)
(alarm blaring)
(truck engine rumbling)
(horn honking)
(low voices off screen)
You too. Thank you now.
(car door slamming)
So, what did he say?
He's gonna send some guys.
They got spare parts.
No charge.
(horn honking)
(both chuckling)
Told you we'd figure this out.
(truck engine rumbling)
(somber music)
(shovels thudding)
We're close.
Should go visit.
(gravel crunching)
(somber music)
(truck engine rumbling)
- [Everett] Can I help you?
- Hi, uh, is Nick around?
Nico's out on the range fixing a well.
What can I do for ya?
I just wanted him to have these.
What are those?
Climbing shoes, for rock climbing.
I'm not sure I understand this rock climbing.
Yeah, I can get those to him.
Out with the old, in with the new.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
You doing okay out there in the desert?
Yeah, it's going well.
You just ask us if you need anything.
Thanks, I will.
Hey, Petro, how's it going?
[Petro] It's good, what's up?
I am gonna need to stay out here another week.
[Alex] There are definitely more fossils in that unit.
Well, then tell me where they are,
and we'll send a team out in the fall.
I'll . . . show you when I'm back.
I just want one more week searching on my own.
Alex, I let you go into the desert on the condition--
You threatened to pull my funding.
[Petro] On the condition
that you keep me well informed of your work.
You had no interest in my work until I found the Ediacaran fossils.
[Petro] You need to come back as planned.
I already changed my flight to next Monday.
(filing cabinet slamming)
Alex, you are on thin ice.
I want you, the fossils,
and a report that includes lat longs in my office on Monday.
You need to get this published. Is that understood?
Yes, understood.
Thank you.
(Alex sighs)
(birds chirping)
Alex stopped by, gave me your shoes.
You wanna visit with her, fine,
so long as you meet your responsibilities.
Yes, sir.
It'll have to stop when calving season starts.
She'll be gone by then.
So, uh . . .
I started spending time with Cindy Gardener.
From up near Alamo?
Yes, she's a . . .
She's a good woman.
(somber music)
(truck engine rumbling)
(Alex chuckling)
[Alex] So, the traverse goes to the left,
trends up a bit and then back down.
All right, good, you have plenty to hold onto on your left.
Yeah, that's it.
(Nick groaning)
(phone ringing)
Are you okay for a second?
- Yeah.
- Are you sure?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Um, shit, it's my advisor.
I gotta take this. You wanna hop down?
[Petro] Alex, I have good news.
Yeah, what's going on?
I told Yani and Carl about the new Ediacaran fossils,
and they spoke to the editor at "Nature."
And it sounds like there's a good chance
we can get the paper published in the September issue.
That, that's amazing.
Um, what do I need to do?
I've setup a meeting with them to get into the details,
but I'm just gonna need you
to come into the lab when you land on Monday night. Okay?
Yeah, of course. Thank you.
You are welcome. I will see you soon.
Monday night.
(light music)
[Nick] All good?
I think I might get published in a really good journal.
Wow, congrats.
Hey, let's head into town tonight.
I mean, tomorrow's my last day, I just got this news.
I can get some real food.
Come on, it's on me.
Just give me two minutes.
(fence posts clanking)
I need you to check the west range fencing.
Ah, can I do it tomorrow?
Now I'm doing the south fencing. It won't take long the both of us.
But Dad, I was gonna go to town with Alex.
You can go after you check the fence.
Hey, you wanna go for a ride?
(ATV engine rumbling)
[Nick] It shouldn't take more than a half an hour.
[Alex] I don't mind. It's beautiful.
[Nick] Wanna see how fast we can go?
[Alex] No! No, this is fast enough.
I gotta get this.
(ATV engine rumbling)
[Nick] So, who's gonna write the article about you?
[Alex] No, I'm going to write an article
that will hopefully get published, about the fossils I found.
[Nick] Oh, cool.
[Nick] Just a couple more miles now.
[Alex] Okay.
(soft music)
(Nick sighs)
Sorry, I gotta get this.
(toolbox clanking)
What are you doing?
It's good, let's go.
It'll be fine until tomorrow.
Come on, let's go.
(country music playing)
[Alex] Why is this here?
There was a nuclear test site just east of town.
A lotta people from around here used to work there.
- Damn.
- Yeah.
I'm gonna go to the bathroom.
Nothing keeping me down, no
I see the future spreading out
Hey, I thought you didn't
like to eat in town while you're out in the field.
Oh, you got me.
How you been?
They're rocks to me.
(Alex chuckling)
So, so what's the end game there?
Ah, you know, get published.
Try to find a faculty position somewhere decent.
And what does decent mean?
A school with a good geology department, resources.
- Right, makes sense.
- Mm hm.
Somewhere up here or you got somewhere?
I mean, it's difficult, but I'm working through it.
[Jason] Oh, I'm sure you'll be just fine.
We'll see.
[Nick] What's going on?
Hey there, buckaroo. They let you off the range?
Oh, you were sitting there.
Oh, well, sit, man. Sit, sit, I was just saying hello.
[Jason] I didn't know you two knew each other.
Oh, yeah, we're just grabbing a bite.
Celebrating my last couple days here.
Oh, when are you heading out?
Day after tomorrow.
Ah, well, I'm glad you
at least got a date in before you left.
It's not a date.
Aw, it's okay if it is.
I was actually gunning for one myself,
but you beat me to it.
You know, it's a real shame you went and got a town job,
learned how to run your mouth.
All right, I think I'm just gonna grab the check.
Yeah, I believe I learned
how to run my mouth in high school,
in history class.
You know what, I shouldn't have come.
- Nick.
- Give up that easy, cowboy?
- [Nick] I'll be seeing you.
- Nick, it's not a big deal.
- (Alex scoffs)
- No, it's all right.
(truck door slamming)
(truck engine rumbling)
What was that about history class?
His mom was the teacher.
You know what?
Screw him with all that town job bullshit.
He grew up in town too.
At least he did till his mom got hooked on painkillers.
Is that how she died?
Then she moved on to harder stuff.
But it still doesn't give him
the right to talk shit about me.
My family still runs cattle just like his.
(somber music)
(birds chirping)
(cows mooing)
Okay, thank you.
How the hell did two of our steers get out onto 57?
The west range fencing was good yesterday, right?
I fixed two posts that got knocked down, otherwise all good.
We'll see what the BLM says.
(door closing)
(plate clanking)
(truck engine rumbling)
(somber music)
(ATV engine rumbling)
(wind whistling)
(wire rattling)
(fist knocking)
(fence post clanking)
They're gonna issue a trespass notice.
- Is everything okay?
- Why are you here?
What's wrong?
Steers got out through the fence we didn't fix right.
- Did you get them back?
- You don't understand.
They trespassed. We might lose the ranch
because you had me go to that stupid diner.
What are you talking about?
And now you're best friends with Lowrie.
I don't even know Lowrie.
It would've been better if you never came out here.
(light dramatic music)
(jeep engine rumbling)
(dramatic music continues)
(bugs chirping)
You shouldn't a' yelled at her.
The trespass was her fault.
She doesn't know a goddamn thing
about what it takes to run cattle out here.
It's on us.
You and me.
There's no one else to blame.
Yeah, well it doesn't really matter anymore does it?
- You need to talk to her.
- Dad.
The BLM doesn't revoke permits for involuntary trespass.
You let them cows out on purpose?
Not this time.
They gonna believe us it was a mistake?
What if we got a geologist from Boston to back us up?
(door creaking)
(car horns honking)
(birds chirping)
(clock ticking)
(traffic humming)
(jeep engine rumbling)
Hello, is anyone there?
What are you doing here?
They're gonna revoke our grazing permits
even though the trespass was unintentional.
I suppose that's my fault.
It's not your fault.
I'm sorry I got mad at you.
You're forgiven.
Is anyone there?
BLM's not gonna believe us.
We need you to come back and talk to them.
Tell them it was unintentional.
I've gotta get to the airport.
The ranch is my life.
Please can you come back?
I've got an important
meeting to get back to tonight.
It affects my career.
I can't stay.
But we need your help.
You said, stick with it. That it could work out.
Well, maybe sometimes it doesn't.
(somber music)
Good luck with your career.
If I get to the airport by 7:00, I can catch the last flight out.
(light dramatic music)
(truck door slamming)
(brakes squeaking)
[Nick] Hey, what are you doing on our property?
Nick, wait. Let me talk to him.
I'm here to talk with your dad.
You can't take away our permit. The trespass was unintentional.
Nick, we're just issuing a trespass-
It's true, ask her!
We fixed the fence together. It must've fallen down.
Look, I'm sorry.
The decision for this
notice was made above me. I'm sorry.
You'll be responsible we lose the ranch.
Lose the ranch?
You're not gonna lose the ranch.
You're getting fined, Nick.
And the truth is you're
grazing your cattle on federal land at one tenth the market rate.
So, stop pretending the
government's this boogeyman out to get you,
because we haven't revoked
grazing permits in this state since before you were born.
All we're trying to do
is to get this ranch to stop abusing public land.
That's all!
(door slamming)
What are you two doing?
You coming here to cause trouble, Lowrie?
You know we've got protocol.
We won't be needing that anymore.
It's a process.
This is gonna be a small fee. Stop trespassing and it all goes away.
I'm done . . . fighting the drought
and the goddamn regs.
I sold the cattle.
(somber music)
And the ranch.
But you said we'd build it up.
Sorry, Nico.
But this is our home.
Steve's taking the cattle up to Elko,
and he gave me a job in one of his warehouses in Vegas.
Deal's done.
You had me go get her
so you could sell the ranch without me here?
I needed time to think.
(Nick sighing)
Nick, wait.
I'm sorry this happened.
What can I do to help?
You could stay.
- What?
- You could stay here.
You've got research, there's colleges.
You could work out here.
I can't.
I've got my dissertation,
I've got classes to teach, this discovery.
I'm supposed to be at a meeting
with my advisors right now.
(Alex sighs)
It'll be okay.
(gravel crunching)
(phone ringing)
[Petro] Alex, I missed your calls. Where are you?
I missed my flight.
I'm sorry.
I mean, I'm sitting here
with Yani and Carl right now.
Are you getting in later tonight?
I need a few extra days out here.
- Alex.
- I have to.
You have enough material.
Get back here so we can work on a manuscript.
I'm not staying to find more fossils.
I need to help a friend.
I'll be back in a couple of days.
No, we need to have a serious talk
about your place in this program.
What do you mean?
I can't justify funding you given your erratic behavior.
I can't lose my funding, you know that.
Well, you should have thought about that
before shirking your responsibilities again.
I just need a few more days.
The deadline for the September issue is Friday.
So, let's submit for October then.
- We can't wait.
- Why?
Because if we get the paper in by Friday
and it gets provisionally accepted,
I can include it in my tenure package
I'm submitting next month.
So, you need this paper?
You'll be an author on it too.
Are you taking first author on this?
I'm your PI.
I found the fossils, not you.
With my money!
Look, you're about to get kicked out
of this program because of your behavior.
It's my work!
You didn't even want me
to come out here in the first place!
Come back tomorrow, we'll get this published,
you'll be co-author, okay?
Once I have tenure,
I'll put in a great letter of recommendation for you.
When you're on the job market, I'll make some calls.
I will give you your tenure track position.
But right now, you will come back so we can get to work on this,
or I will pull your funding.
Okay, Petro.
You don't have to pull my funding.
Thank you.
Because I'm not coming back.
Not tomorrow, not ever.
- I'm leaving your program.
- You can't do that.
Yeah, I can.
I'll start over if I have to.
With these new fossils, someone will let me into their lab.
Uh, listen, Alex, we can uh--
- Goodbye, Petro.
- Alex, I, let's talk--
(Alex gasps)
(birds chirping)
(Alex sighing)
(somber music)
(gravel crunching)
Your dad said you'd be here.
Told me Steve's letting you keep this plot of land.
You know, in geology we have this term called an unconformity.
It means that there's some gap in the geologic record,
some major event that changed Earth.
But even if we don't understand exactly what happened,
somehow life adapts.
It goes on.
I don't need a pep talk.
The pep talk is for me, not you.
I quit my program in Boston.
I think I'm gonna stay out here for a while.
- Really?
- Yeah.
(gentle music)
(bluegrass music)
Twilight on a paper town
The moon is hanging low
Broken silence
When you hear that whistle blow
Red light in the sky tonight leads me on a bed
I need the rest
But this day's gone to my head
And the leaves turn to brown
Where the river took us down
Just look around at this paper town
Yeah, I grew up in a paper town
Where everybody knows not to play with fire
Or the whole thing's gonna blow
But the silence in the living room
The darkness in the halls
Makes me wonder who's been living here at all
And the leaves turn to brown
With the rain coming down
It's gonna drown my paper town
(birds chirping)
Good luck.
Good luck yourself.
(truck door slamming)
(light music)
Hey, you think Steve would rent me
one of his condos around here?
I reckon he'd give you a fair price.
Sure you wanna stay here?
The street's loud, you got ignorant cowboy neighbors.
Pain and the rodeo go hand-in-hand.
The hell you hear that?
Just something I picked up along the way.
Well, look at you.
She's all hat and no cattle.
I guess we'll find out.
(light music)
Mountain lion mama go and touch my heart
Mountain lion mama and sound the alarm
Let it ring across the canyon
Eyes bright and true
How I never knew
Mountain mama, show me home
And I never before cared there are troubles everywhere
I'm a fool to run
And I've seen east and west of town
But now I know my way around
I'm a fool if I don't run
(light twangy music)
Needle loving baby, why'd you take it so far
Don't you know your story won't be told in scars
By then your bones will be blooming
Eyes dark and cold
How we'll never know
Mountain mama show me home
And I never before cared there are troubles everywhere
I'm a fool to run
And I've seen east and west of town
But now I know my way around
I'm a fool if I don't run
And I never before cared there are troubles everywhere
I'm a fool to run
And I've seen east and west of town
But now I know my way around
I'm a fool if I don't run