Woman with the Red Lipstick (2024) Movie Script

(distant giggling)
(foreboding music)
(birds chirping)
(ominous music)
(music turns sinister)
(woman gasping)
(gasping continues)
- Help!
(gentle jazzy music)
(Roy): So, he said that booking
out the entire event room
was too much,
but it is the oldest social club
in Chicago.
Could be one of our
biggest clients.
- That's great.
- Luce? Are you listening, Luce?
(Lucy): Yeah.
Hey, are you still planning
on meeting me
at the office tonight?
- Uh, yeah,
reservation's at 7,
so I'll meet you there
around 6, 6:30?
- Oh, reservation? What's wrong
with our usual place?
- Well, I think getting
your first cover story
deserves a little better
than loaded French fries
at the All-Nighter.
And oh, you might wanna take
a change of clothes.
- Really? Like, do I have to?
- Yeah, well, you said
you wanna be taken
seriously as a journalist.
- Well, yeah I know but--
(phone pings)
Yep, that's Odette
telling me how late I am. Okay.
I will see you tonight, okay?
- Okay, oh...
See you later, Luce!
- I almost forgot.
- Okay, go see Odette.
- All right.
- Thank you. Thank you.
- Okay. Bye.
(intriguing music)
(Odette): Lucy, it's 7:00.
Get outta my bullpen.
- Odette, I mean,
it's technically
the publisher's bullpen.
- Well, technically
I'm still your boss,
so I can say and do
whatever I want. Like this.
(slurps coffee)
- Uh, that's from this morning.
(spits coffee)
- Oh. What are you still
doing here? Go home!
- Roy is supposed to be
taking me out to dinner.
- Ah.
- Uh, what ah?
No, ah. It's a nice thing.
- Yes, very nice.
Definitely nice.
You try calling him?
- Yeah, he probably uh,
forgot to turn his phone
back on after the gym.
He does it all the time.
- Look, if he doesn't
show in ten,
why don't we go get
a slice of pizza? On me!
- Luce? Oh, good,
you're still here.
(Lucy): Hey, I thought
you said--
- I know, I'm sorry,
it's just, I got held up
getting these.
- They're beautiful.
Raincheck on pizza?
- Mm, mm-hmm.
(train whirring)
(gentle classical music plays)
- I guess you were right
about dressing up.
- Oh, hey, you look great.
- So, how was...
- I--
- Oh, sorry, go ahead.
- Oh, no, I was just gonna say,
what are you thinking
about ordering?
- Oh, yeah.
Uh, I don't know,
I guess anything
but the deep dish, right?
- Do they have pizza here?
- No, because of my article,
the restaurant owners
were smuggling
the cocaine in the...
- Oh, the pizza crust, right.
Yeah, that was a crazy twist.
(Roy's phone pings)
So, did your mom
read the article?
- Uh, no, I...
- No.
- I wouldn't expect her to...
Oh, great, wine.
- Thank you.
To the smartest woman I know.
And my heart aches
to whoever thinks
they can shake you off
the next story you sniff out.
(glasses clink)
- Cheers to that.
- Cheers.
- Thank you again.
- Oh, thank you for coming.
That was very lovely.
- That was great. Hmm.
I was happy you did.
- Are you gonna come
back to my place?
- I gotta get back to work,
so good night, you.
- Um, listen,
is everything okay?
- Uh, yeah, it's just a lot
of late nights
with this new account.
That's it.
- I meant, is everything
okay with us?
- Of course! Yeah.
(stammers, sighs)
- Roy...
I can tell when you're lying.
Just tell me, what's up?
- It's not a big deal.
It's just now that I've been
thinking about it,
things have gotten
a little routine
and, and maybe we could do
something to spice it up.
- Oh, yeah! Yeah, I get that.
Maybe, maybe I can finally come
on one of your camping trips.
- Well, actually,
I was thinking something
a little spicier than camping.
- Okay, what did you
have in mind?
- You could be sitting at a bar
and then looking all gorgeous.
I could come up to you and say,
"Oh, hey, stranger,
what's your name?"
- Okay, so like, role-playing.
Yeah, yeah, that's...
that's definitely spicy.
- You think you can handle it?
- Don't insult me.
- I gotta get back to work.
- Seriously?
- 'K, I will make it
up to you. Promise.
- 'K.
- Good night.
- Good night.
(crickets chirping)
- What am I having to drink?
Well, I'll have whatever
you're having, stranger.
I'll have vodka with...
just vodka.
Oh, my God.
(footsteps thudding quickly)
(Lucy muttering)
(phone rings)
Oh yes, yes, I know,
I'm late. Okay. Um...
Yes, I'm sorry, I'm on my way.
I just had a little bit
of a late start this morning.
Yeah, I've got all that stuff,
I'm bringing it in.
Right, yeah, that sounds good.
(paper crinkles)
Uh, yeah, yeah. I-I will um,
I'll be there soon.
(Roy): By day,
you're a well-behaved socialite,
but by night,
you're a very bad, bad girl.
You show up at the Lakeview Bar
at 8 p.m. on Friday
to drink alone.
And the name you answer to
for this evening is Maggie.
(vehicles honking)
(indistinct chatter)
(breathes deeply)
- Oh!
- Heads up. Little birdy told me
the boss is gonna ask
for your next story pitch
at the Monday review meeting,
- Wait, aren't you the boss?
- Exactly. You're welcome for
the inside scoop, by the way.
- Thanks.
- You okay?
- Yeah.
- You seem weird.
- No, I'm just...
I mean...
Would it be a little
bit inappropriate
if I asked you for some um,
personal advice?
- Oh, my God! Yes.
It's getting so boring in here.
Follow me.
So, what's the story?
- So, you know how Roy
took me out to dinner
last night?
- Uh-huh. Yeah, of course.
- Don't do that.
- What?
- That thing you do
whenever I talk about Roy
and your answers get all like...
like, clipped.
Yeah, uh-huh, sure.
- Point taken.
- Long story short,
Roy wants to role-play.
And at first I thought
he meant like, a sexy librarian
kinda thing.
But then, this morning,
I get this package
with a note that says,
"Show up at this bar,
wear this wig...
And call yourself Maggie."
- Well, well, well.
Looks like Mr. Ironed Shirts
isn't so tucked in after all.
Good for him.
- So, I should just do it,
This isn't, this isn't weird?
- Is his mom's name Maggie?
- No.
- Sister?
- He doesn't have a sister.
- Grandma?
- There are no family members,
there's no exes,
or coworkers that I know of.
I think it's a random name.
- I say it's fine.
- Thank you.
I guess I just needed
to hear that
from someone who...
signs my paychecks, apparently.
(crickets chirping)
(Lucy exhales heavily)
I'm good to go.
(easy jazz music)
(indistinct chatter)
- Sorry to interrupt,
I saw you from across the bar
and I thought to myself,
this is a woman with taste.
- So, you thought you'd throw me
into the back of your
hot-rod convertible and we'd
speed off into the night?
- Hmm, maybe after a drink.
- I'm Maggie.
- Call me Jimmy.
- Uh, vodka.
- Uh, the lady will have
an old-fashioned
and I will have a dry martini,
top shelf, with a twist, please.
- Do you always make a woman's
decisions for her, Jimmy?
- Only when I know
what's best.
- You're staring at me.
- I am.
- Do I remind you of someone?
- Uh, the...
wipe your mouth, Luce.
- What?
- The lipstick, it's off.
It just isn't right, Luce.
- Oh.
- Here.
There, much better.
How is it?
- I've had better.
- Well, I promise you,
if you give me another chance,
it will be the best
you've ever had.
- Okay.
- Good.
(Lucy giggles)
(sultry music)
(both breathing heavily)
(Lucy exhales)
- So, do I take the wig off?
- No, leave it on.
- All right everyone,
weekly review meeting
in the conference room in five.
Have your pitches ready.
(newscast theme music)
(news anchor): For those of you
just turning in,
Magnolia was last seen
leaving a fundraising gala
for the Lyric Opera
on Saturday night.
Her mother, prominent political
campaign manager, Zelda Maines,
reported her missing
late Sunday
and has not responded
to requests for comment.
- Hey, does that woman
look familiar to you?
- Not really.
(reporter): Can you comment
on Magnolia Maines'
- Look, Maggie's more than
just the daughter
of my father's campaign manager.
She's a friend.
My sincerest hope
is that she gets home
safe and sound. Thank you.
- Ready to hit
the conference room?
- Yeah, I'll-I'll
be there in a sec.
(phone keys clicking)
(phone buzzes)
- Oh hey, what's up?
I was just about to uh--
- Hey, uh, super quick,
have you ever heard of a woman
named Magnolia Maines?
- Uh, no. Why?
- Uh, it's nothing really,
it's just she's on the news,
she's gone missing,
and she's got the hair
and someone they just
interviewed called her Maggie.
- Okay, what exactly are you
asking me here, Luce?
- Well, apparently
she's this big, fancy socialite,
so I guess I thought,
I don't know,
maybe you'd met her
at the firm or something?
- You're a crime reporter, hon.
You're seeing scandal
but everything is all right.
There's lots of people
in this world named Maggie.
- Uh, true, but I guess
I'm just wondering--
- Uh, I'm just getting
another call,
but I'll see you at your place
for dinner tonight,
all right?
- Yeah.
- Okay. 'K, love you, hon.
- Great. Have it in by Friday.
Lucy, you with us?
- For my next story,
I would like to do a deep dive
into the disappearance
of Magnolia Maines.
- The socialite?
The one who just went missing
last night?
Is there really a story there?
- Well, everyone loves
a pretty girl in distress story,
and her mother hasn't spoken
with the press yet.
I bet I could get her
on the record.
- Look, no offense to this
young woman's loved ones,
but why should the rest of us
care about this story?
What's your angle, Lucy?
- I will find it.
I know that it's in there.
- Okay, well,
we're gonna have to move on.
If I can't even tell
why you're interested--
- Odette, when you broke
the city council scandal in '95,
you dove in on a hunch,
didn't you?
You trusted your gut.
That's what you've taught
all of us to do, isn't it?
- I hate when you use
my own brilliance against me.
Fine, run with it,
but I'll be keeping tabs.
Okay, Ben, hit me.
(Odette): About your story...
- Yes. Thank you so much
for the green light. I'm gonna
go get started on it right now.
- I noticed in the news someone
called the missing girl Maggie.
- Uh yeah, short for Magnolia.
- It's also the name Roy wanted.
- Oh yeah, right.
I'm sure it's just
a coincidence.
- So, it's not the reason
you're chasing this story then.
Right? Because looking
for murder and mayhem
in your relationships,
that's a slippery slope.
- I'm just doing my job.
(distant sirens wailing)
- You better not be here to ask
me about one of the nasty cases
'cause I am thoroughly
enjoying my lunch.
- Magnolia Maines,
whatever you have.
- The Maines case?
- Mm-hmm.
- Will be closed
by the end of the week.
- Is that on the record?
- Well, that's just
common sense.
When you've got a third
generation rich lady,
history of depression, spends
most of her time partying.
Big shot mom rings
the alarm bell
and the department
comes running.
If it were anyone else,
we'd be telling them
to sit tight and wait
for her to crawl back home
once her credit cards max out.
- So, you don't
suspect foul play?
- Well, crime scene techs
are processing the apartment now
but I was in there
this morning, I gotta tell ya,
there's nothing in that place
that was screaming tragedy.
At least not to me.
- Okay, but have
you considered--
- Lucy, Lucy,
you really helped out
my youngest
with that career day project.
I mean, now all she talks about
is becoming some kind
of foreign correspondent.
- Yeah, I'm sorry about that.
- So, trust me,
I'm not shaking you off a story.
I'm telling you
there is no story here. Got it?
- Got it. Thank you, Detective.
- Yeah, you bet.
- 'Til next time.
Enjoy that sandwich.
- Hey, and you're not gonna
go trying to make it a story
either, right?
(door clunks shut)
(pots clanging)
- Hello?
(clattering continues)
Whoever you are...
just leave through
the back door
and I, I won't call 911.
(Lucy gasps)
- Whoa. Oh, baby,
I'm sorry, I didn't
hear you come in.
I'm listening to my
mindfulness app.
- Oh, my God, you scared me.
I thought someone had broken in.
- No, I just used the code
on the front door. Is that mace?
- Yeah, I keep it
in all my purses.
- Oh.
- What's for dinner?
- I'm making salad and pasta.
(TV audience cheering)
(Roy laughs)
Look at the actor.
Uh, Lucy, are even watching?
Did you see that?
- Hmm? Yeah.
- Okay, what are you working on?
- It's a news story. It's um...
Magnolia Maines.
(TV clicks off)
No, no, no, I was watching it.
- I told you, I have no idea
who Magnolia Maines is.
- I know. It's not about that.
- Okay, then what's it about?
- Well, there's something
else here.
See, look at all
of these pictures.
Magnolia is beautiful,
and fabulous, and sophisticated.
But she's never happy.
And now, look at this one,
this is supposed to be
the happiest day
in a parent's life,
and Magnolia's mom
looks like she'd rather be
anywhere else.
It's killing Magnolia.
I can just see it on her face.
- I'm not really
seeing it, Lucy.
- Well, I see it.
Maybe they got in a fight,
or her mom cut her off.
- What?
- Does that look like
the library tower
at Duran University to you?
- It's hard to tell.
- Well, you were just there
for your reunion.
What do you think?
- I guess so, yeah.
- Graduation was 2010 so,
she would've been there
at the same time as you.
- Yeah, but a lot of people
around here
went to Duran University
in 2010.
(keys clacking)
Okay, I'm gonna
get back to work.
- What, you're going
back to the office?
- Yep.
Uh, the new clients?
Remember, I told you.
Gotta be there.
- Yeah right, I remember.
- Good night, Lucy.
- Good night.
(crickets chirping)
(Lucy exhales)
(breathes deeply)
(Lucy spits)
(Lucy gasps)
(eerie music)
(lid pops off)
- Help me, Lucy!
(crickets chirping)
(eerie music)
(dark music)
(Lucy exhales)
(sentimental music)
(music turns ominous)
- It's me.
Listen, I'm sorry things
got so weird last night.
I think I'm overidentifying
with this Magnolia stuff.
And uh, you're right,
I need to do a better job
of separating my work
from my life,
so as soon as Odette gets
in this morning,
I'm telling her I'm just
gonna drop the story.
(Odette): So, what's up?
- It's uh, about
the Magnolia story.
- Oh, great call on that one.
- Sorry?
- You didn't hear
about the case development?
- What happened?
- Crime scene techs came back
with trace blood evidence
and other signs of a struggle.
Looks like they're treating
the investigation
as a probable abduction now.
- Oh, wow.
- So, if you want to publish
your piece on the blog,
you can probably break the lede
before the nightly news.
- I should probably
check with my contacts
at the local precinct first.
- Oh, good call. We don't want
law enforcement blaming us
for leaking anything privileged.
If you didn't know
about the case development,
what did you come
in here to tell me?
- Just that the background
research is going really great.
So, yeah.
- Terrible liar.
(distant sirens wailing)
(phone rings)
- Webb, Homicide.
- Detective, it's Lucy Carver.
- Lucy, I was gonna call you.
- You're thinking abduction?
- That would be a best
case scenario, yeah.
- So murder's on the table, too?
- Look, I've already said more
than I should,
so you just sit tight
and I'll let you know
the minute I have anything
I can share, okay?
- Okay. Detective,
what are the odds that she's...
you know, still alive?
- It's hard to say.
The blood at the scene
wasn't a lethal amount,
but there's no sign the abductor
took life-giving items.
- Sorry, sorry,
life-giving items?
- Yeah, sometimes
when an abductor
plans to keep their vic alive,
they'll let them take
certain items from the scene,
you know, medicine,
wedding bands, but Magnolia
doesn't have anything like that,
as far as we know, so...
- What about lipstick?
Uh, Magnolia always wears
the same shade.
It would definitely be
in her apartment somewhere.
- Well, I'm not sure
the lipstick qualifies
as life-giving, but hold on.
(tense music)
No, there's, there's no mention
of lipstick at the scene,
but that doesn't mean that...
- You know what, Detective?
Thank you.
Uh, this is, this is all I need
for now. I'll be in touch.
- Okay, wait, Lucy, look, now
that this is an abduction case,
the stakes are...
Just be careful. You know?
- I always am.
(intriguing music)
(keys clacking)
(mouse clicking)
(birds chirping)
(phone keys clacking)
Hi, your business
overlooks the river, right?
Yeah, and have you ever had
a mural painted on the back
of your building by any chance?
'K, thanks.
(curious music)
(mouse clicking)
(inhales and exhales deeply)
(birds chirping)
(ominous swell)
(footsteps thud away quickly)
(tense music builds)
(tense music)
Oh, oh my good--
I'm sorry about that.
- It's all right, Miss. No harm.
Um, are you a guest
of a resident here, ma'am?
- Uh, no, I'm not.
Um, but I-I am just
gonna go inside.
- Due to recent events, ma'am,
building management
is only allowing the residents
and pre-approved guests
to enter the premises.
- Oh, well, um, actually,
I'm a little bit worried
that I'm being followed,
so I just need some place safe
to duck into.
- I'm sorry, miss,
no exceptions.
- Seriously?
- Jen!
Hey, I'm sorry I'm late.
Gary, this is my old friend,
She's gonna join me
upstairs for a few drinks.
- Mr. Brooksbank--
- I know. I know,
I didn't put her on the list,
But she'll be up and down
in a flash, okay?
Sorry about that.
I uh, heard you talking about
being followed and uh, well,
Gary takes his job
very seriously,
so I thought you could
use some help.
- Thank you, I...
I appreciate it.
That was some quick thinking.
- Anyway, you can hang out here
as long as you'd like.
The front desk
can call you a cab
if that's a safer way
to get home. Good luck.
- Hey, um,
did you know her,
the girl that went missing?
- Why?
- My name is Lucy Carver.
I'm a journalist with
The Chronicle.
- So, you're a reporter.
You weren't really
being followed, you just...
You know what? What don't you
mind your own business?
- Wait. You're right,
you are right.
I absolutely should be
minding my own business.
But everyone, the news,
the cops, my editor,
is saying that Magnolia
is this vapid party girl,
and I know that
that can't be true. I know it.
Could you help me
set the record straight?
- Maggie's mom has been
my dad's campaign manager
since his first
city council run.
At fundraisers, it was always
the two of us sneaking off
with some bottle of champagne
that we didn't even know
how to open
and stirring up trouble.
Same prep schools, same college.
Now we live
in the same building.
Our whole lives, we've been
two sides of the same coin.
- And you've always
just been friends?
- Friends and occasionally more.
- Full benefits package?
- Something like that.
But I actually
cooled that part of
the relationship off last year.
- How come?
- I thought she was getting
too invested.
But one minute
you're telling the woman
things you've never
told anybody before,
and then the next,
you're running for the hills
saying that she's too emotional.
I hate to be a clich, but...
- Is there anything
that you want people to know
about Magnolia, or Maggie,
that the news isn't saying?
- That she's kind.
She's a loyal friend.
And that she calls her mother
every Sunday night,
no matter what she's doing.
That's how we knew something
was really wrong,
when she didn't have that call.
Kind of ironic, actually.
- What do you mean by that?
- Well, a few years ago,
Maggie's mom would've been
the last person to know
whether she went missing or not.
They had a falling out
when Maggie didn't wanna go
into politics after college.
Can you imagine how rough
that was for Maggie,
to strike out on her own,
try to create a life
for herself,
and then,
to lose the one person
who's supposed to stand by her,
no matter what?
- I guess they
patched things up?
- Yeah.
They were working it out.
Zelda was actually the one
that insisted Maggie
move into a doorman building,
when she was getting nervous
about the anonymous messages
she was getting online.
Actually, that was getting
a lot worse
right before she disappeared.
- Can you say anything
more about that?
- Yeah, she said she was being
followed, in-in real life.
Someone was ducking
around corners
and hiding behind trees.
She could never catch
a good glimpse of them.
But she said she could feel it.
- Did she call the police?
- I don't know.
When she told me,
we had just broken up.
I thought she was just
looking for attention.
She's my best friend.
I can't believe I didn't...
- Do you have any pictures
of Magnolia
that I could use
in my article?
Maybe one where she's happy?
I can't find anything
like that online.
- Yeah, she's...
she's always doing that
Mona Lisa thing
in front of the cameras.
Um, I think I should
have something.
- Where was this taken?
- The Rose Bar downtown.
- Weird question,
do you know where
she got this scarf?
I've just seen it
in a couple of photos.
- Uh, yeah, I think
it was a gift from college,
maybe an ex-boyfriend.
Lucy, you okay?
- Detective, I'm saying
Magnolia had a stalker,
and I-I have a theory
of who it could be.
Look, I think I should come
down to the station.
(soft eerie music)
Actually, Detective...
I think you should come to me.
(Detective): You said the door
was locked when you got home?
- Yes. And I checked
the back door, the windows,
they're all locked,
just like I left them.
- You feeling okay?
Maybe you should sit down.
- Yeah, no, no, yes. I'm fine.
- All right.
- God, he's getting bolder.
- You said you had a theory
about who it might be.
- Yeah. Um...
Yeah, I mean, obviously,
it's just an idea but...
his name is Roy Kirkpatrick.
- And who is this guy?
- He's my boyfriend.
- Uh, why don't you, uh,
go sweep the rooms upstairs,
all right?
Let's talk.
(Lucy sighs heavily)
- I sound crazy. I sound like...
like I'm losing it.
- No one is going there,
but we need proof.
Can you think of anything,
anything at all that connects
Roy to Magnolia?
Or to this break-in?
Tube of lipstick?
- This is the lipstick I wore
the night Roy had me dress up.
And he made me take it off
halfway through the date
because he said it didn't
feel right.
That lipstick lives
in a pile of pens and bobby pins
upstairs in my bedroom.
So, if you're breaking
into my house
and you're looking around
for something to write me
a threatening message with,
why would you go looking
for that lipstick unless
it's part of the message?
- Okay. Uh...
I hear you but I just--
- And I know, I know,
I know it's not enough,
and I understand
that I-I sound paranoid.
I mean, maybe I am paranoid.
- Okay, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Hold on. Hold on now.
Look, you and I, we've worked
together quite a bit, right?
Now, I've always known you
to have a good gut,
and what's more, I've always
known you to trust that gut.
- It's just, what if I'm wrong?
This case is just...
this isn't...
it's not like other cases.
- But if this case
were following me home,
if you were one of my daughters,
I would run this lead down
to be safe.
- Yeah.
(inhales and exhales deeply)
Let's run it down.
- Yeah?
- Let's run it.
- Okay, good.
Now look, you are smart,
you are way smarter
than whoever's doing this,
so what did they miss?
I mean what... what mistake
did this guy make?
- The code.
- What code?
- Well, whoever broke
into my house
had to have the code
to my front door,
and the only other person
who has it is Roy.
- Well, it looks like
we've got a suspect to vet.
- Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait,
Detective, just...
While you're looking into it,
can you just try
and be discreet?
You know, just in case?
- You got it.
(exhales deeply)
(birds chirping)
(car horn honking)
(door opens)
- Roy, what are you doing?
- Did you sic the police on me?
- They said they
would be discreet.
- They came to my office, Luce.
- Oh.
- Yeah.
Do you seriously think that
I kidnapped Magnolia Maines?
Honestly, tell me the truth,
because I would
really like to know.
- Well, Roy, frankly,
it's a lot of coincidences.
The name, the wig, the scarf.
- I was at work
the night Magnolia disappeared.
Something my coworkers
had to confirm with the police
multiple times,
so it is not possible
that I abducted her, okay?
- Okay. You never told me that.
- I didn't think I had to.
- Well, I mean, this is good,
obviously I didn't
want you to--
- Yeah, okay, 'k, 'k, 'k.
No. This is over.
- What?
- This is happening.
- No, Roy, I'm sorry.
This case has gotten
so out of hand.
- It's not just the case.
You live inside your work
and you don't care
about anything else.
- That's not true.
- Look at yourself.
You-you, like,
how are you supposed to care
about a relationship, like...
- Roy. Roy, no.
- Luce, no.
- I'm not gonna let you...
I'm not gonna let you leave!
This is not how you
end a relationship!
- You can't threaten me
just because you don't
want me to leave.
- I'm not threatening you,
I am trying to have
a conversation with you.
- You can't have a conversation
when you're blowing up.
- I'm not blowing up!
- Just stop, Luce, okay? Stop.
Are you gonna let me leave?
(engine starts)
- Yeah, Zelda Maines, please.
Oh, really?
She just stepped out... again?
Hey, listen, I know
that she's there, okay?
So, why don't you just
hand her the phone
for 30 seconds and then you can
go back to doing whatever
it is that you do. I don't...
Hello? Hello?
- Something interesting
going on over here?
- Yeah, Zelda Maines' office
is just giving me
the runaround again.
Uh, but it-it's okay,
I've got some family members
I can contact, so all good.
- Tell me what's going on
with you, or you're fired.
- That's illegal.
- I don't care.
So, he actually said the words,
"This is happening"?
- It's kinda hard to forget.
- That's... I mean,
Lucy, that's...
- Odette, I know
what you're gonna say.
I did exactly what you told me
not to do.
I went looking for a story
in my own life,
and in the process, I torpedoed
the only real relationship
I've ever had. You know what?
I'm just gonna call him.
I think I just--
- No, no, no. Lucy Carver,
do not.
Oh, my God.
Roy sucks.
I'm sorry, but it's true.
Forget Magnolia,
forget this job.
You did what you needed to do
to keep yourself safe, right?
And he couldn't
understand that?
Honestly. And after all
the times he cancelled plans,
made you feel like your time
wasn't as important as his,
that your passions
weren't good enough?
And now this?
Why on earth would
you ever want him back?
- Guess I did kind of always
feel like he never
really got me.
- Yes, yes, exactly.
- I always assumed that was
because I'm not cool enough.
- Oh, ridiculous.
- Or sexy enough or--
- Absurd!
- And then,
there's all
of the Magnolia stuff.
- Oh, so that's actually
another thing.
You're off the Magnolia story.
- What? Why?
- You've got enough
on your plate
with this whole Roy mess,
and don't think I didn't notice
the part of the story
where you're being targeted
by Magnolia's stalker?
- Yes!
Because he's afraid
that I'm getting close.
- It's too dangerous.
- No!
If her stalker is following me
and I can flush him out,
then that could be
our only chance
to find Magnolia alive!
- Lucy, this isn't you.
This isn't smart.
You've generated a lot
of interest in this case.
Why do you need to put your life
on the line for it, too?
What's going on here? Really.
(sentimental music plays)
- Couple weeks ago,
I sent my article to my mom
and I never heard back from her.
And I know that she
is still angry with me
because I left her
for a career
after she gave up
everything for me.
- And you think you can
get her attention
by finding a missing girl?
- No.
I may never speak
with my mom again.
But Magnolia and her mother,
they had just started
to patch things up
with each other
when she disappeared.
And... I can't let
their story end like that.
I just can't!
I have to find her
and I think
I'm the only one that can.
- So, how exactly
would you plan
on flushing out this stalker?
- I'm glad you asked.
(crickets chirping)
(sighs heavily)
(curious music)
(upbeat jazz music plays)
(distant sirens wailing)
(indistinct chatter)
- Hey.
- I uh, I forgot my membership
card at home.
Could you...
- Don't sweat it.
I'll take care of you.
But that's what most people
don't understand
about cryptocurrency, you have
to bet big if you wanna win big.
- And you've been a member here
for how long again?
- Pfft, pretty much
my whole life.
I mean, the old man sorta
keeps the place running,
you know what I mean?
That's uh, actually how I know
all the best dark corners.
- You probably know
all the best gossip, too.
- Oh, yeah. Half the posers
in this place are secretly like,
ten seconds from bankruptcy.
- Right.
Wasn't that girl
who went missing
a member here? Margaret or--
- Oh, Maggie?
Man, she knows how to party.
Or she knew.
We used to date, you know?
- Really?
- Well, she wanted to date.
I had to let her down easy.
I just don't go for those
party girl types, you know?
I like my women
to have a bit of a brain.
- Good for you.
So, tell me more
about your relationship
with Maggie.
- Lucy...
- Roy.
(man): Hey, we're having
a conversation.
What the hell?
- What're you doin' here?
- It's none of your business
what I'm doing here.
- Are you following me?
- What? No, of course not.
- Why do you look like this?
- Like what?
- Are you so obsessed
with Magnolia Maines now
that you're dressing like her?
- What? I'm...
I'm not dressed like her.
- Okay then, what is this?
- Don't... don't touch me!
- Okay.
- And you gave me this scarf,
Roy, so unless it has
something to do with Magnolia
that I just don't know about...
- Please, listen to yourself.
- And what are you doing here?
How do I know that you're not
following me?
- Uh, the Rose Bar
is the big client
that my firm's been
pitching to, remember?
- Oh, right.
- Yeah, and those guys
are in charge of all
the club's legal financing.
And if you paid attention
to anyone other than yourself,
maybe you'd remember that
that's what I was working
like crazy on
for the last few weeks.
- Okay, Roy,
I'm-I'm sorry. I forgot. I...
- You know what? Whatever.
Now, I'm not gonna blow
this meeting standing here
arguing with you.
And don't forget
to send my stuff.
She's having a hard
time moving on.
(Dan): Maggie? Maggie!
- Get back!
- Hey!
- Dan!
- What are you...
Why do you...
Your scarf. I-I thought...
- You thought that I was her.
Oh, Dan, I am so sorry. I di...
I wasn't trying
to confuse anybody, I just...
You know what? Can you please
just forget I was here?
I'm-I'm leaving anyway.
I'm-I'm really, really sorry.
- No, it's okay.
Look, ever since
Maggie disappeared,
I can't explain half
the things I've been doing
to keep my head above water.
Whatever you're doing here,
I'm sure it's for good reasons.
- I can't give up on her.
- I know the feeling.
So, get any good leads tonight?
- This was technically
my last lead
and it was a bit of a bust.
- Have you been able to talk
to Maggie's mom yet?
- Zelda?
She won't even return my calls.
- Okay. Well, look,
I-I would never go against
the wishes
of the great Zelda Maines,
but let's just say,
if I happen to accidentally
put your name
on my building's guest list
for tomorrow at around 2 p.m.,
I wouldn't be able to control
who you might bump into
in the lobby,
if they're there to, say,
visit their daughter's
- I mean, if you were
to accidentally do that,
I would be very grateful.
- Hmm.
- You know, you don't have
to keep helping me like this.
- I need to know what happened.
I don't know, maybe there's
just something about you
I find... trustworthy.
Look, can I give you a lift?
- Um, no, no, I parked
just a couple blocks away,
but thanks anyway.
- Yeah.
- Thank you for everything.
(crickets chirping)
(distant dog barking)
(suspenseful music building)
(owl hooting)
- Oh my!
(Lucy grunts)
Get off! Stop!
(scratchy voice): Back off!
(Lucy screams)
(attacker groans)
- So, it wasn't
someone you know?
- I don't know.
(distant sirens wailing)
I mean, if he was afraid
that I might recognize him,
he could have been trying
to disguise his voice.
- You sure you don't
wanna go to the hospital?
We can give you a ride.
- No. No, no, I'm okay.
- Maybe someone nearby
saw something.
Lucy, what...
- Detective, I know
what you're gonna say.
- What possessed you to chase
after a violent stalker?
- What was I supposed to do?
He was on me. I wasn't just
gonna let him get away. Ugh.
I don't know.
I've been feeling...
differently lately.
- Different how?
- I'm angry.
This guy invaded
Magnolia's life
and all anyone cares about
is whether she was pretty enough
to, to be a tragedy
or messy enough
to have had it coming.
And now he thinks he can
do the same thing to me!
Like, just because I've got
no one else fighting for me,
I'm gonna...
well, lie down and take it.
Well, I'm not!
I'll fight for myself!
And I will fight
for Magnolia too,
even if I'm the only
one doing it.
- You know you're not
the only one fighting for you.
And just having the moral
high ground
doesn't keep you safe,
so stop being stupid,
or the next time,
you'll end up with more
than a few scrapes and bruises.
(Detective sighs)
(crickets chirping)
(tense music)
(birds chirping)
(phone rings)
- This is Lucy Carver.
- That's how you answer
the phone? So impersonal.
- That's how I answer my phone
when I don't recognize
the caller,
Mr. Brooksbank.
How did you get this number?
- Oh, you know,
connections, strings.
Anyway, I just wanted to call
to see if you were okay.
They're saying someone
got attacked near the club
just after I saw you.
- Yeah. Uh, yeah, I'm okay.
I mean, my ultramarathon
career is over
but that's just
a silver lining.
- So, it was you. What happened?
- It's a long story,
and uh, I'm actually kinda busy
at the moment.
I'm just chasing
down this lead
that you definitely
don't know anything about
and didn't assist with
in any way.
- Okay. Well, then,
that means we have
to go for coffee sometime
and you can fill me in
on all the sordid details.
- Sounds good. I'll call you.
(door clicks open)
(soft music)
- Ms. Maines? Ms. Maines,
I'm sorry to bother you.
My name is Lucy Carver.
I'm a journalist
with The Chronicle.
- No comment.
- Your daughter's stalker
attacked me last night.
- How do you know about that?
- Maybe we should talk upstairs.
(elevator dings)
- Don't touch anything inside.
- Is it still
an active crime scene?
- No.
But I wouldn't want you
making a mess for Magnolia
to come home to
once she returns.
(ominous music)
Those crime scene analysts
really did a number
on this place.
The mattress and the couch
had to be replaced completely.
- Why?
- They test for fluids.
I hope you don't need me
to spell out the details
of a sexually
motivated abduction
more clearly than that.
- No, that's... that's fine,
I understand.
Did they find anything?
- No.
You can tell me how you know
about my family's private
affairs now.
- Uh, right. Well...
I have been investigating
your daughter's disappearance
ever since the news broke,
although I don't know
if investigating
is quite the right word.
Frankly, Zelda, or ma'am,
I haven't been able to think
about anything else.
I believe that her stalker
is afraid that I'm getting close
to cracking the case.
Tried to attack me last night.
And I sort of chased him,
or I... I tried to.
- Good for you.
(Lucy chuckles lightly)
Magnolia would have done
the same thing.
She wouldn't have
injured herself, though.
She's a wonderful athlete.
- Can you tell me more
about your daughter?
What was she like growing up?
- I'm not speaking
on the record.
- Okay, but this--
- Do you have any idea
how much my daughter suffered
before her abduction, Lucy?
Her privacy was invaded.
Her peace of mind shattered.
And then, her home,
where she should feel safe.
- It's terrifying.
To be violated like that...
is terrifying.
I know.
- Then you should understand
why I have no desire
in helping turning her nightmare
into a media circus.
- Well, what if I don't
quote you in the article?
You know what?
My editor's going to kill me
for saying this,
but let's just...
We'll-we'll forget about
the story, all right?
I want to find Magnolia.
I need your help to do it.
- What do you need to know?
- I'm just gonna take
some notes.
Was the last few months
the first time
one of Magnolia's admirers
took things too far?
- No.
There was a boy in college
that had to be removed
from her dorm and her classes.
I don't think things escalated
past that, though.
- And do you remember
anything else about that?
Did Magnolia make
an official report, maybe?
Anything that I could look up?
- I don't.
Honestly, I suspected
she wasn't giving me
all the details at the time.
We weren't close back then.
(sighs heavily)
Those years we lost.
If I could do it over,
I would. I...
I would behave differently.
- You should tell her that.
When she's back home.
- You know,
Magnolia used to keep
her diaries under her bed.
All of them, back to when
she was a child.
She might have written
about the trouble
with the boy in college,
if it mattered at the time.
- Thank you.
(page rustles)
(tense music building)
(tense music)
- Have you found what
you're looking for yet?
I have meetings.
- Yeah. I-I mean, um...
I'm not sure.
In this diary
from Magnolia's sophomore year,
she mentions someone named JD.
Does that sound familiar?
- Right. Yes.
That's the boy
she had problems with.
I remember now.
- Uh, and do you think
JD is a-a nickname?
- It was so long ago. I...
I think the D stood for
Dave or Dean or...
It's no use trying to remember
now, really. I need to--
- Right, yeah, it's no problem.
I'll take this with me.
Or, or I will take some pictures
of some of the pages.
- I'll be waiting
for you outside.
- Zelda?
Thank you for speaking
with me today.
You won't regret it.
- I certainly hope not.
- I'm gonna give you my card,
just in case you remember
something or if you wanna talk.
- I won't. But it's always
important to leave your card.
That's just good politics.
Nice font.
You know the way out.
(phone pings)
- That better be the sweet sound
of a source
blowing up your phone.
- Kind of a source.
Kind of also a date, maybe.
- Oh, yes.
Tell me absolutely everything.
I love a good rebound.
- Oh, he's not a rebound.
He's Brooksbank.
But that's not even
the biggest news of the day.
Guess who tracked down
Zelda Maines?
- Wait, wait, wait,
Brooksbank like the Midwest
political dynasty Brooksbanks?
The ones who employ
Magnolia's mother?
- Yes. But don't worry,
I'm not gonna go out with him
until I'm done my story.
And even then, I don't know,
I... I don't know.
I haven't decided yet.
- Oh, you will go out with him.
Is it the senator himself
or good old junior?
- No, nobody calls him that.
- When I started on
the city hall beat,
he was just a teen getting
busted with fireworks
on the campaign trail.
We all called him that.
Easier to tell him apart
from the elder
Joshua Brooksbank.
But I guess since he grew up,
he started going
by his middle name.
- Daniel.
- Yeah, that's it.
Hey, are you okay over there?
- Dan's full name
is Joshua Daniel Brooksbank.
Oh, how did I not realize that?
- It's not a big deal.
You would've caught it
in fact checking.
- No, you don't understand.
Listen to this.
"JD came by my room again today
while I was in class.
This time he let himself in.
I wouldn't have even known
if I hadn't noticed
my underwear drawer was open."
(Odette): Yikes! What is that?
- This is Magnolia's diary
from college, the year
that she had to have a boy
removed from her dorms
and classes for harassment.
And there's more, there's more.
Um, "I've tried being polite
and I think that's only
making it worse.
But how will JD respond
if I tell him
just how gross I find him?"
- And you think the JD
she's referring to is...
(phone pings)
- Oh, my God!
- Okay, okay, my office, now!
- Oh, my God!
This is why he wants
to go out with me.
Dan is Magnolia's stalker.
The only reason he wants
to see me is to finish me off.
- Let's not panic. I've been
reading your story notes
and you said Dan and Magnolia
had a relationship.
Why would she date someone
who stalked her in college?
- They only had a relationship,
according to him.
No one else
has corroborated that.
I mean, I just assumed
that it was private,
but clearly, it was a lie
to throw me off track.
"I don't mean to be a clich,
but one minute I'm into her,
and the next minute,
I'm running for the hills."
Like, what man talks like that?
- There could still be
another explanation.
- I bet he moved into that
building to be closer to her.
And she's been
afraid of him for years,
but she was too terrified
to come forward
with his identity
because it might jeopardize
her mother's career!
Why did I fall for him? I...
- Lucy, hold on.
You need to call the police.
- Yes. But first, I'm gonna--
- No, no!
The time for Nancy Drew
shenanigans is over.
If what you're saying
is true,
then this man is not only
a stalker
and a possible murderer,
he's also a charming sociopath
with money and political clout,
and he knows
you're a threat to him.
So, what you're gonna do
is you're gonna
call your police contact,
you're gonna tell them
everything you know, and then,
you're gonna go lock yourself
in at home until
we know you're safe.
Ah! If you don't
wanna be alone,
you can come stay with me.
But those are your
only two options.
- You're right.
Yeah, okay.
(crickets chirping)
(door creaks open)
And you're sure this okay?
Okay, thanks.
Hey, listen,
I know what I said, but...
I really don't wanna be alone.
All right, I'm leaving now,
so I'll see you soon.
(voicemail): You've reached
Lucy Carver's voicemail.
Please leave a message.
(Detective): Lucy,
it's Detective Webb.
Good news.
We arrested Dan Brooksbank
an hour ago.
My guys found a diamond earring
belonging to Magnolia
in Dan's apartment.
He says it must have been there
since they've dated,
but we've got him
in interrogation now so,
the real story
should come out soon.
Anyway, it's not over yet,
but I just wanted to let
you know.
You're safe now, Lucy.
- Hey.
- Hey.
Thank you for agreeing
to see me.
I know our last conversation
wasn't... um...
Anyway, I brought
some of your stuff.
- Come on in.
- You shouldn't be alone until
that psychopath's behind bars.
- Yeah.
- Mm-hmm.
- I just hope he admits
to what he did to Magnolia.
You know, even if she is...
I just hope we get some answers.
- Yeah, it would be nice
to get some closure.
(tense music)
- So, now that the case
is wrapping up,
I figured that we should talk.
- Uh, Lucy, just to be clear,
I care about you,
but I don't think
we should get back together.
- Good, me neither.
You were right when you said
that I'm too involved
with my work
and I can't take care of you.
But the thing is,
you don't need me
to take care of you, do you?
- Yeah, no, I guess not.
- But Magnolia, she needed me.
And if I hadn't kept going
with the case
after you told me to drop it,
then who knows,
Dan would still be out there
sipping drinks at the Rose Bar
and doing God knows what
to women in the future.
I'm sorry that things ended
the way they did between us,
but... I have to thank you.
You helped me set
my priorities straight.
- Good. Um, well,
our teas are getting cold,
so I'll go boil some more.
- Okay.
- Hey, I am surprised
that Dan had the brains
to pull that whole thing off,
(ominous music)
- What do you mean surprised?
Do you know Dan?
- Uh yeah, we took some
pre-law classes together,
but he was never like,
the top of the class,
if you know what I mean.
It's a classic case of nepotism.
- Okay, but Dan would have been
running around a lot
with Magnolia back then.
Are you sure that you never
crossed paths with her?
(water rushing)
- I-I can't hear you.
- Well, I was just, or--
(phone ringing)
This is Lucy Carver.
(Zelda): I assume
you've already heard
they've arrested Dan Brooksbank.
- Yeah, Zelda, hi.
Yes, I've heard.
- Oh, Zelda. Is that
Magnolia's mother?
- Yeah. Zelda, uh, one second,
I'm just gonna go
some place quieter.
- Um, Luce, wait!
- Go ahead, Zelda.
Has Dan confessed?
(Zelda): Not yet.
I can't believe I didn't
suspect him sooner.
I've known him almost
his entire life.
- No one could tell.
That's what made him
so dangerous.
- Luce, that room actually
has really bad reception,
you should come back over here.
- No, no, it seems fine.
(Zelda): I suppose
it doesn't matter now,
but I did manage
to remember
what JD stood for
in Magnolia's diaries.
- Yeah, Joshua Daniel.
- It stood for James Dean,
which was a nickname,
of course. I seem to remember
that the young man in question
was always wearing
some gaudy red jacket,
just like the actor did
in that film,
I don't remember which one.
Anyway, I suppose
I had trouble remembering
because Magnolia referred
to him by a different name
when we talked. I--
- Zelda, what was his name?
- Jimmy.
(ominous music)
Are you well?
(threatening music)
- Everything okay?
- Yeah. Yeah, everything's okay.
Um, I'm just not feeling
very well.
So, I-I think
I'm gonna go home.
- You're not leaving because of
Zelda said, are you?
- No. No, she just wanted
to chat.
You know Zelda.
- Do I?
(intense music)
- If you had just
dropped the whole case,
like I told you!
(mace hisses)
Dammit this stuff
really hurts.
- Yeah, it's supposed to,
Just tell me everything!
- Or what, you're gonna kill me
with that stupid pepper-spray?
(foot thuds, Roy groans)
- Just tell me
what you did to her!
- Fine, I met Maggie in college.
- Okay. Go, talk!
- Oh! We were perfect
for each other.
We both hated all those rich,
entitled trust fund babies.
- What?
Magnolia was a trust fund baby!
- She wasn't like that! Okay?!
You should have seen how hard
she worked every day of her life
to put a smile on her face
and all on her mom's face,
and every day!
And nobody saw it but me.
- Okay, so-so what did you?
You asked her out?
And she,
and she turned you down?
- She didn't know
what she wanted.
What don't you get?!
- So you stalked her, Roy?
What, you couldn't just
let it go?
Why didn't you just let it go?
- No, I tried to get over her
and it didn't work, so I...
Then I saw her at the reunion
and it was all...
- The college reunion.
She was there. She was there!
And that's where she saw you,
wasn't it?
- I saw her and she looked
right through me
like I was nothing,
and everything that we had
was nothing!
And I tried to get it
out of my system.
I even pitched that stupid,
little role-play game with you
and maybe it would've worked,
if you hadn't worn
that lipstick!
- Oh, my God!
Get over the lipstick, Roy!
- It was your fault!
When you weren't enough,
I went for what I deserved.
(Lucy gasping)
What me and Maggie deserved.
So I made a plan.
It was easy to sneak
in and out of the office
on all those late nights,
and no one would think
that a man in his $3,000 suit...
- I can't--
- ...would ever crawl down
the fire escape.
- I can't breathe, Roy!
- I don't care!
(Lucy panting)
- I was in and out
of her apartment
and back at the office before
everyone knew that I was gone.
And it was brilliant
and it would've worked
if it hadn't been for you!
- Did you kill her?
(whispers): That's between
Maggie and me.
(Roy groans)
- Magnolia!!
(Roy groans)
She's here!
(feet thudding quickly)
Magnolia? Oh, my God!
Oh, my God. Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
Okay, okay, hold on, hold on.
Okay. Are you okay?
- Yeah, I'm okay.
I'm okay, please help me.
- Okay, okay.
- He... he came to my house.
(Lucy): Shh, just be careful.
- Maggie, Maggie, I can explain.
This woman means
nothing to me.
- Roy! Roy!
- Hey, hey, hey,
calm down. Your lipstick.
(Magnolia groans)
Don't, don't, don't.
(Lucy): Are you kidding me
right now?
- Please hurry, he's crazy.
- Shh! Shh! Shh...
- Roy, Roy.
- You will not ruin this for me!
Not when she's so close
to loving me!
- I am not!
- Roy, just get off her!
- Get!
(Magnolia groans)
Stop fighting your restraints.
Your skin is so delicate.
Stop, stop.
- Stop! You are so pathetic.
- Shut up.
- What makes you think
that a woman like
Magnolia Maines
would ever love you?
- Shut up.
- Oh, my God,
you are nothing, Roy!
- Shut up!
- You're the nothing here.
- Okay, okay.
(Roy grunts)
Oh, my God. Oh, my God.
(Lucy panting)
- I loved you.
- Yeah? So what?
Come on.
- Okay.
(Roy groans)
(women panting)
(Roy): Get back here!
(women scream)
(Lucy): Go, Magnolia!
(foot thuds)
(women panting)
(soft music)
(birds chirping)
(gurney rattles in distance)
- EMTs are sending
a second ambulance
to take you both
to the hospital.
Should be here in a few.
How are you holding up?
- I'm... I'm okay, yeah.
- All right, well,
I'm just gonna...
finish up around here.
I'll be back.
- Yeah, Detective,
I know that
I should've called you.
- We would've never found her
without you.
Good job.
(police radio chatter)
- Hey.
- Hey.
Can I ask you something?
- Yeah.
Yeah, of course, anything.
- Who are you?
- Yeah. Right.
Um... my name is Lucy,
and I'm a journalist.
I've been writing a story
about your disappearance,
or investigating.
- Yeah, I guess
I'm a good story.
- You're a great story.
- Um...
Who noticed
that I was gone?
- Your mom.
Sunday night, you missed a call.
- Sunday night, that fast?
He said no one
was looking for me.
- He lied.
People were looking for you.
People who love you.
They never lost hope.
They're the reason
that I found you here, okay?
- I guess you're gonna wanna
interview me now, right?
- Why don't you just
think about it. But...
(footsteps clunk, approaching)
- I'll see her right now
unless you want a lawsuit.
- Mom?
- Oh!
(distant sirens wailing)
- The ambulance is ready for ya.
- Okay.
- You got anyone meeting
you at the hospital?
- Uh no. But that's okay.
I'm... I'm fine on my own.
(sirens wailing)
(phone keys clicking)
Hi, Mom.
Uh... it's me.
Call me.
- Well... you look terrible.
- What are you doing?
- Detective Webb called.
He thought someone
should be here to keep you
out of trouble while they finish
clearing everything up.
Oh Lucy, I'm so glad
you're okay.
- Me too.
Thank you.
- Come on, I owe you
a slice of pizza.
- I think I'm supposed
to go to the hospital.
- They don't deliver
to hospital rooms?
We'll see about that. Let's go.
(Magnolia): Lucy! Lucy, wait!
This is my phone number.
It's so we can do the interview.
It's my way of saying thank you.
- Sounds good.
(indistinct radio chatter)
- You ready?
- Yeah, let's go.
(soft music)