American Auto (2021) s01e05 Episode Script

Millbank, IA

1 Oh, what'd you bring? Little baggies of snacks, mini hand sanitizer.
- Is this a travel pillow? - Yeah, I've never flown private before.
I didn't know what to expect.
Dude, if you think the jet's nice, we gotta take my yacht out.
Catch a tailwind down the coast.
Modelos, limón, a warm body at every port.
You would crush.
And I'm there too on the boat.
I see everything.
Maybe we should wait quietly until takeoff and save these conversations until the engine noise can drown them out.
So touchdown in Iowa and then we tour the warehouse they're converting into the Pika factory.
Then we freshen up at the hotel before a picnic luncheon.
Oh, great, a picnic.
Love when my food gets to sweat in the sun for a few hours.
Mm, and then there's the, uh, official ribbon cutting ceremony at the end of the day.
God, these townies really love a chance to celebrate, don't they? Well, this is the first factory to open there since the recession.
It's a lot of new jobs.
They they want to express their gratitude.
Ah, it's nice.
The public never really liked me when I was CEO of a drug company.
I don't know why.
- Probably the opioid crisis.
- Maybe.
Or the price gouging on prescription drugs.
You know what? I was a "girlboss.
" That's very tough for some people.
Jack, it's a private plane.
You don't need to buckle up.
Aren't private planes usually the ones that crash? Well, yeah, statistically.
Little liquid courage? Take the edge off? - Oh, no thanks.
I am good.
- Your call.
Hey, Captain Stevens, want a little eye opener? - I already got it - You know what? I'll take it.
Hey, uh, Jack, take it easy over there.
It's a business trip, not a booze cruise.
Someone got in trouble.
Bom bom bom-bom-bom-bom-bom Buh buh bom-bom-bom buh bom-bom-bom-bom And who do we have here? Sharon has been working nights at the gas station ever since the plant closed 13 years ago.
Barely saw my kids, but had to keep 'em fed.
I am so happy to get you back on a regular schedule.
We'll have a night shift too.
Or the night shift.
It could to go either way.
It might be great to have your days free.
- And this is Gary.
- Hi there, Gary! Hey.
You know, this is huge for me.
I'm gonna get Paramount Plus and Peacock.
Wow, kind of a different perspective than the whole starving family thing over here.
It's kind of cool, huh? Getting to give all these people jobs.
Are you on Tinder? Dude, I'm the namesake of the company whose factory is gonna save this town.
It's like being a god.
How do I not let some of the local ladies express their gratitude? And you don't think that's just a little bit sleazy? Jack, you have to start taking advantage of the perks of this job.
You see Ted over there? He's just the head of manufacturing.
That guy gets so much P.
He's literally drowning in P.
You want in? No, I think I'll just continue with the work day as planned.
- More P for me.
- Thank you.
My daughter's finally going to get braces.
You know, they get a bad rap, but I really didn't mind having braces.
Leg braces? Uh-huh.
Yeah, mm-hmm.
And, hey, you look at me now.
What is this Polio-ville? Mm-hmm.
I have been hearing such great things from Ted for weeks.
With your help, the Payne Pika will be the most affordable car on the market.
A car for the people by the people.
What's the alternative to that? A car by animals for animals? Oh, you've all been so kind.
You know, Millbank is surrounded by cornfields, but I'm the one feeling buttered up.
[all laugh.]
See, that has the cadence of a joke, but is that logically sound? You don't butter up a cornfield.
God, it's nice to feel that love.
Feels so good to do good for this town.
Oh, yeah, these are salt of the earth people.
- Yeah.
- Simple folk.
And not not like in-bred simple.
Simple as in their internet is slow and they don't care about fiction books, you know? I'm just realizing how little face time we've had, Ted.
It's great to come to a town and revitalize it, hmm? First the factory, then other businesses will follow.
Hip restaurants, you know? - Bars.
- Mm-hmm.
Good news for any mysterious pass-through corporations that have picked up plots of land here.
"Janus LLC", its namesake, the two-faced Roman god, always hiding itself in the shadows.
You're saying you bought land in Millbank.
- One might say that, yes.
- Hmm.
And the rest is you just, like, playing out some kingpin real estate fantasy? I'm having fun.
It's okay to have fun at work, Sadie.
What do you guys think? Swipe right? Mmm, jeesh, she looks a little old.
She's a party girl.
I'd party too if I lived through prohibition.
I'm doing it.
"No match.
" - Huh.
- [chuckles.]
Phone must be bricked or something.
So how long you been driving for? - About 17 years.
- Nice.
- Nice, nice.
You like it? - No.
How is this their hospitality suite? The upholstery is weirdly crunchy.
That was the couch? I thought you had Skittles in your pocket or something.
Oh, this is all gonna change.
Pretty soon developers are gonna come in, put up luxury hotels.
And you know who profits? Why, the local landowners.
You wanna hear something funny? The government of Bolvaria just submitted their bid for the factory.
This factory.
The one we're opening here? A bit late to the party, Bolvaria.
Ugh, that's all of Eastern Europe.
I heard they're just discovering Kate & Allie over there.
Where is Bolvaria, anyway? Between Albania and North Macedonia.
Zoom out a little bit for me.
- Next to Montenegro.
- Oh, right.
And then in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bosnia, we bombed them in the '90s.
Kicked the [bleep.]
out of them, or saved them.
We definitely helped some of them.
In Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany.
Oh, yeah, Germany.
I love Germany.
Oh, I mean, obviously now.
Not you know.
I mean, kind of have to say that nowadays, though.
These numbers are extremely competitive.
Oh, really? Huh.
That's, um how is that possible? Toyota just pulled out of the facility.
They're trying to fill it ASAP.
Well, I mean, I wish that they could have made this offer a few months ago.
Little late now.
- Right? - Uh, to move locations for the factory that's already staffed where we're cutting the ribbon in roughly six hours? Yeah, it is.
It's a little on the late side.
Yeah, this country doesn't sound that great anyway.
"Semi-autocratic, impoverished, and riddled with human rights abuses.
" But just to put it out there, we'd save tens, hundreds of millions of dollars - over the production run.
- Wow.
I like how they make the workers stand in formation, blank faces.
It's a clean look.
See if they're around a teleconference.
I'm just gonna, you know, thank them and let them know that it's, you know, not gonna work out.
I think an email rejection is fine.
Well, let's keep it professional, you know.
I just wanna preserve company relations with Slovanmiria, uh, Europe.
I have to say you have put together quite the presentations, Gene.
Unfortunately, we have already gone down the road here in America.
I wish we could have come to the table earlier.
But we'd be willing to reimburse you 100% of what you have spent there plus what it would cost to move.
Wow, that's the most percents possible.
Hey, the Bolivarian National Zoo is advertised as "full service.
" What is that? What do you think that means? Listen, you've got a compelling pitch.
- I respect that.
- Ask about human rights.
And ask if the zoo has any rules.
But Gene, I have heard some rumors about some troubling things.
Jailing reporters, overzealous police forces, real red flags, and I'm not afraid to hold your feet to the fire here.
Are there any human rights abuses that I need to know about? No.
Well, that's a relief.
All right, well, thank you for your time.
Anything else on our end, guys? - What is a full service zoo? - Wesley wants to know if he can [bleep.]
the elephants at the zoo.
No? Great.
Okay, good.
All right, well, thank you so much.
Talk soon.
Interesting, huh? - Lot of money.
- Yeah, I thought so too.
I mean, we we are like minded there.
Yeah, I mean, obviously, we can't do it.
But whoo! Gosh, that is interesting.
Have we signed anything here? - - We can't really be considering this.
We're just talking theoretically.
I mean, this is a theoretical conversation.
Whoa, why'd you lock the door? I thought we might want some privacy.
We're just having a conversation.
Anyone can participate.
Anyone can listen.
Maybe keep it locked, though.
That's I'll say it.
We have to move the factory.
We're trying to make a $10,000 car.
If we relocate, we could put the money we save on labor into things like, I don't know, brakes that work and engines that don't explode.
- And would not that be nice? - Right, for sure.
But Millbank is good too.
Lots of opportunities here.
At worst, I'm on the fence, at worst.
But think about the optics if we pull out.
Ah! "Pull out!" Come on, she it's a layup.
The headline will read, "Payne abandons desperate American town.
" I mean, but what is America really when you think about it? You know, is it a place? Is it is it confined - by by borders? - Hell yeah, USA! Okay, hold on, hold on.
I was wait for me to get where I was going with - I lost it.
- This is the kind of thing that hurts your image.
And morally, what about the human rights abuses? Do we really wanna support that kind of government? Yes, okay, but if the government even is doing anything bad And Gene was very strong in convincing that they weren't.
That part is out of our control.
So the citizens over there can either be oppressed or be oppressed with jobs that pay well, by Bolvarian standards.
I mean, that is kind of hard to argue with.
It really does make sense.
So you're okay just screwing over all these families? I'm I'm sorry, and maybe I'm out of line, but you wanted me to be the voice of the workers.
So that's exactly what I'm being.
I know firsthand how important these jobs are to these families.
- They're depending on us.
- Very well said, Jack.
Plus, we should keep in mind the ripple effect that this would have on people who have invested in the local economy.
Yeah, everyone's keeping that in mind.
- Cool.
- I get that this is personal for you.
But tell me, is an American's life worth more than a foreigner's life to you? - No, that's - That's a tough look, man.
No matter what we do, certain people will benefit and certain people will get hurt.
I'd say it's zero sum except for one option benefits the company which if you think about it, it's kind of the point of our jobs.
Big change of plans for Millbank and its community leaders and business owners.
So we do have to put out a statement at some point.
Do we just say it was a financial decision? Ugh, isn't there a better way to frame it? I mean, we're just gonna sound like some heartless corporation that only cares about the bottom line.
Now why would they think that? Sorry.
I'm not happy about it either.
I mean, I was just getting used to being the hero.
Now, everybody here is gonna hate my guts.
Everyone loves you, ma'am.
Oh, thank you so much, sir! We are having a private meeting back here though, so Shouldn't a business van come - with some sort of divider wall? - Yeah.
You know what? Get that idea down, Cyrus.
That's good.
You want me to write down "wall?" - "Divider wall.
" - Got it.
I'm just not sure how else to frame it.
I mean, now that everyone's jobs are going away, they'll have more time for hobbies? It'll be better for the environment.
If you saw all the hoops we had to jump through to open the factory in the first place.
Groundwater surveys, carbon capture certs.
It's a miracle they haven't backed out already.
Wait, what do you mean by backed out? They can ask us to leave? Yeah, I mean, yeah, if they wanted.
We had to persuade them we'd be "good environmental partners.
" Oh, well, let's un-persuade them.
Let it get out that we might not be as eco-friendly as we said, you know.
I mean, that way we're not leaving them, they're leaving us.
So basically, you want us to be the girl who's so chicken [bleep.]
breaking up with her boyfriend that would just rather act toxic and make him dump us? Exactly, that is a great way of putting it.
Thank you so much, Sadie.
All right, people, let's get toxic! Oh, yeah, that's a little on the nose, Wesley, - but great idea.
- What? I didn't get any of that.
I'm listening to Maron.
He's in one of his moods.
Katherine Hastings, Tom Harper.
Welcome to the great state of Iowa.
Governor Harper, what a pleasure.
It is a beautiful state.
Well, you know, there's an old legend that the word Iowa comes from the Native word for "beautiful.
" Well, that is apt.
That is very, very apt because it is a beautiful, pristine piece of land.
I mean, you should see some of the areas around our other factories.
Oh, yowsa.
Unload it all.
Get whatever you can get.
If we take a loss, then it's your commission.
Actually, hold on.
Anyone here have an interest in buying a strip mall? Forget it.
Yep, dump it all.
Jeannette Watts from "The Gazette?" - Yes.
- Sadie Ryan from Payne.
- We spoke on the phone.
- Oh, yes, hi.
- Nice to meet you in person.
- Yeah.
Doing a big pie exposé, huh? Oh, Millbank's a small town.
This could be a six-part series.
Well, I have something that I think you might be interested in.
This is on deep background, but there's a rumor that our water contaminant numbers might be a bit fudged.
- No.
- Mm-hmm.
No one can know that I am the one that told you that.
Got it.
Well, don't worry I won't say anything.
Thank you.
You mean you won't write that I was the source.
I won't write anything at all.
My lips are sealed.
Are you Wesley Payne? The one and only.
I just wanna say we're all so grateful that you're coming here.
It has been a rough few years and it means everything.
Look, you are pretty, but just gonna be honest, I'm not a huge fan of freckles.
So I'm gonna do a lap and see what other talent's out there, but maybe I'll circle back around.
- Cool? - O okay.
It's not a no just you're on the waitlist, young lady.
Not too young.
Not Hey.
Hey, Jack.
You having a good time? Uh, not really.
I just keep feeling like some type of evil overlord or something who doesn't care about the commoners.
I'm thinking about buying a castle.
Bolvarian real estate prices are gonna surge when we announce this move.
So if you're interested, get in now.
Yeah, I don't think I'm a castle type of a guy.
Jack, every Black man is a castle type of guy.
Maybe one for your mom? So listen, anything you need at any time, just call, okay? - All right.
- Help cleaning up red tape, dealing with regulators, whatever you need.
I appreciate that.
Because as you know, there were quite a few concerns with the environmental impact of our factory.
Yeah, well, that's the "green beans" for ya.
You know, I'm telling you, they would trade 8,000 well-paying jobs if it disturbs the beauty sleep of, you know, some subspecies of snail.
Although, some of their concerns are totally crazy, the smog and with the chemicals we use in our paint, there have been cancer clusters.
Hey, hey.
No, no, I didn't hear that.
No, no, see, I don't know what I don't know.
Yeah, but I'm just telling you.
Nothing! Nothing.
You're you're not telling me anything.
Because see, we're just we're friends and we're chatting about the weather, right? Yes.
It is it's beautiful weather.
Although it won't be for long.
You know with the carbon dioxide She'll be coming around the mountain when she comes BOTH: She'll be coming around the mountain when she comes Sorry, just to be clear, you can report that story just don't say that it came from me.
Oh, that's okay.
I wouldn't want you to get in trouble if it got out.
- You seem nice.
- Mm-hmm.
But what I'm telling you could be huge, like Watergate huge.
I know.
Thank you for trusting me.
My lips are sealed.
- No, no.
- Oh, my God.
This is supposed to be a blind bake.
Susan's name is on the tin.
And based on an old legend, the word Iowa comes from the Native word for "beautiful.
" And I cannot think of anything more beautiful than 8,000 new jobs! Any luck? Let's just say the local press isn't exactly Woodward and Bernstein.
I told a few families that the runoff from the factory could lead to smaller penis sizes for newborns.
They didn't care.
What is wrong with this town? Environment's been politicized, you know.
This is something only coastal elites care about now.
"Liberal cucks," you know? Or maybe they're just desperate.
Hey, when you've been out of work for a year, hole in the ozone does not seem that important.
Whatever happened to that hole? We just stopped talking about it.
You know, it's true.
We might as well be threatening to take away their "New Yorker" subscriptions.
I mean, we need to focus on what these people care about.
It's not their kids' penises, I'll tell you that.
- Yo.
- [gasps.]
It's cool, it's me.
So no guarantees, but I did a loop and I think it's looking good for you.
What's looking good? [chuckles.]
"What's looking good?" I like it.
I like that.
You're trouble.
You know, if you wore a wide brimmed hat, it might help with the freckles.
I don't know, see a derm.
- Excuse me.
Pardon me.
- Katherine Hastings! [cheers and applause.]
Oh, gosh, you know, it's funny, Millbank is surrounded by cornfields, but I'm the one feeling buttered up.
Are you enjoying that? The situation will not be helped by me not eating corn.
This factory will bring jobs [cheers and applause.]
But something else too, change.
We all love change, right? Boba shops and cannabis dispensaries and ethnic small plate restaurants.
"Tapas," we call 'em.
- [cheers and applause.]
- Tapas! [cheers and applause.]
Plus, new new types of people, of all races and faiths.
Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims.
There could be a mosque on every street corner right here in Millbank.
[cheers and applause.]
What is this? Berkeley? A well-paying job can get you real progressive real fast.
And yes, of course there will be homeless people, and with them, methadone clinics and needle exchanges and pop-up abortion sites.
But I say if you don't want that in your backyard, you don't want Payne in your front yard.
[cheers and applause.]
And also Antifa.
When I think of all the inspectors I bribed over the years to look the other way about something, none of it mattered.
They wouldn't have kicked us out no matter what.
It was just a waste of money.
Honestly, it's gross.
Where's their xenophobia? Their fear of anything different? All they care about is their jobs.
They're hypocrites.
If you think about it, being a hypocrite is the worst thing you can be.
You have to think about it hard though.
It's definitely not intuitive.
How are we gonna handle the ribbon cutting? We should just skip it and go home.
Wait, so we're gonna ghost the entire town? Yeah, I mean, we could spit in their food and they wouldn't care.
I mean, we need to cut and run.
Sir, could you take us to the airfield, please? Sure thing.
Are you saying you're not gonna make cars here? I'm sorry, but could you not eavesdrop? It's not entirely your fault.
There's no divider wall here, but take some personal responsibility.
Can't believe we had to leave early.
- I'm so on with this cute chick.
- Oh, yeah? Yeah.
I mean, there was definitely a freckle issue, but with some heavy foundation, it would have been fine.
You know, I was drowning in P.
- Really? - Yeah.
Hey, you okay? Just sucks, you know? All their jobs are going away and we're sitting here on a private jet having cocktails.
Yeah, I know.
I grew up in a town like this and my dad just went from one factory job to the next.
Oh, did you think you're the only one without a trust fund? This is the job.
Like, it's private jets and hard decisions.
You just gotta suck it up and deal with the guilt in your own time.
You can do that? Uh, 9:00 till 6:00, I am a robot.
After 6:00, I am dangerously unstable.
A depressing shell of a human.
Hey, guys, can someone put on the news? Yeah.
These shocking images from the small European nation of Bolvaria, where a coup in progress has already been called "A Thousand Bloody Nights.
" Well, that's not great for us.
Captain Stevens, turn the plane around, please.
You can meet up with that girl.
Ah, better not.
I'm actually pretty numb down there, so it takes me forever to do it.
Jack, you must be happy, right? Staying in Millbank.
You got a win.
Yeah, I guess all's well that ends well.
Oh, look, they're executing their country's intelligentsia in the streets.
Oh, there's Gene.
There are too many people to thank for making today possible.
You know, it's funny, Millbank is surrounded by cornfields, but I'm the one feeling buttered up.
Mm, tough crowd.
Yep, I think our van driver might've leaked that we almost abandoned the town.
Just sell the castle! Get whatever you can get for it.
What do you mean it's been "nationalized?" Is there any truth to the rumors that you were in talks with Bolvaria and had planned to pull out of Millbank? [laughs.]
"Pull out?" Come on.
I can't be the only one hearing this stuff.
Uh, no, I don't know where those rumors came from.
And obviously our hearts go out to the good people of Bolvaria.
The insurgents or the dictatorship? Uh, the the good people, you know, on both sides.
I mean, you know, we just hope that they find common ground once the butchering is completed the alleged butchering on, you know, both sides of - I think let's get to the - Yeah.
Yah! - [imitates gun cocking.]
- Do that now.
Great, here we go.
Whoo! - Thank you.
- You're welcome, Millbank.
[munching noises.]
- Don't do that anymore.
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