American Gothic (1995) s01e20 Episode Script

Ring of Fire

I know I swore I wouldn't leave here until I got the answers.
I'm sorry.
I don't have the strength.
Trust your instincts.
What? Dig deeper.
Dig deeper.
Don't let me stay in this limbo, please.
You all right? What? You all right? I think so.
I'm just tired.
I wasn't sure if I was disturbing you.
Disturbing, not disturbing, it wouldn't make a difference.
You have been at it, honey.
No one could say you haven't.
Yeah, well, there are too many dead ends.
This is a town that covers its tracks, all right.
Do you know what I'm after, Mrs.
Gardner? Well, let's see if I do.
"Sheriff Buck accused of brutality.
" "New evidence of police corruption.
" "Buck denies charges.
" Yes, I think I see a thread.
That was cut in 1976.
When your papa's paper was running, he was always gunning for Lucas Buck.
Well, he didn't get him either.
But that was a real paper the Guardian.
Not like the news-less Guardian of today full of advertisements and sports and You know where all the bodies are hidden here in Trinity.
Don't you? Yes.
But with all due respect to your parents' memory, Gail you're not gonna find them in old newspaper clippings court documents official records and facts.
They'll only take you so far.
Then where do I go from here? Well, honey the secret history of the South is hidden in blood.
You find what you were looking for? Don't! Don't what? Don't hurt you? Why shouldn't I? You just broke into my house.
You killed my parents.
And you thought you'd find a smoking gun? You didn't give me enough of a chance.
What kind of journalism school did you go to, anyway? Like I'd keep it in an unlocked desk.
I'm going to get you, Lucas.
Unless you kill me.
You've been in Trinity long enough by now to know what you really want, Miss Emory.
And obviously you know who to come to, to get it.
I want the truth.
Then ask me.
Ask me for it and I'll tell you anything you want to know.
All you gotta do is say please.
How'd you like to take a run with me to Charleston? What for? What do you mean, what for? For adventure, for wind blowing through your hair.
Oh, robbing banks and sleeping in other people's barns and living off of wild berries and junk food, that kind of stuff? Yeah.
Life on the open road.
Too bad I got school tomorrow.
We have schools in Charleston.
You know, we've got Fort Sumter birthplace of the Civil War.
We've got a professional baseball team, the River Dogs.
How come I never heard of them? Well, they're only a single A.
What's the matter, Cuz? You know why I came here, don't you? Yeah.
To look after me.
And you done a real good job at it too, Gail.
I got no complaints.
So if you've gotta get on back to Charleston No! No? Caleb that's just a part of it.
You know, I'm real happy that everything is working out here with you and Miss Holt.
But I came back here to find out To find out answers to some questions about Who killed your parents in the fire? You think Sheriff Buck did it? Yes, I do.
He's capable of it, that's a fact.
How do you know that? Caleb? My sister told me.
She's gone away, too, now.
Ben, it's Gail Emory.
I need to speak with Lucas Buck.
Lucas, you win.
I'm asking.
I'm asking you.
Yeah, I'll meet you.
In a public place.
Must be my backdoor man.
Hello, Selena.
Hello, Ben.
How nice of you to visit.
Uh, Selena Sheriff Buck just asked me to drop by and inform you that he won't Won't what? He won't be able to join you for dinner tonight.
I didn't know the phones were out.
They're not.
He just wanted me to give you the message person to person, so to speak.
So he sent you.
That's right.
Well, then let me give you a message for him person to person.
You tell him that.
Thanks, Ben.
Lucas Buck, please.
Evening, Miss Emory.
Sit down.
Eat something.
You'll feel better.
I didn't come here to eat.
Of course you did.
Well, isn't this the tender moment? Didn't you get my message? Loud and clear, Sheriff.
He's got strange taste, doesn't he? Miss Emory? Don't pay any attention to her.
She's just in love.
Anyway, go ahead.
Ask me your questions.
Anything you want.
When did you discover the bodies? Your parents? Around 10:30 that night.
For a long time we didn't know if there was anybody else still in that building.
Were you alone when you made the discovery? Yeah.
It was dangerous in there.
The floor joists were burned, ceiling was about to come down That's too bad.
Would have covered your handiwork forever if my parents' bodies had been buried in the rubble.
Will you trust me? Why should I? How about you and I stop playing games? You said you wanted the truth.
Well I'll give it to you.
So give.
I don't actually give.
I deal.
Are you ready to make a deal? And then what? You own my soul? I don't want your soul.
I decide what I give and when.
Then I'll take that as a yes.
Give me your hand.
Close your eyes.
Try to be still.
I can't.
Let it go.
Let it go.
Let it go.
No! I'm sorry.
I can't do this.
I know I swore I'd find out what happened.
How you died.
But if that means trusting Lucas Buck opening myself to him I don't have the strength.
Avenge us! Find our murderer! You're using him as some sort of a psychic tour guide? I know what I'm doing.
Which is what, exactly? I have to know.
Spanish mystics were right, you know.
Oh, yeah? About what? About all this inner journey stuff.
They said those who seek the truth run the risk of being consumed by heavenly fire.
I don't think we're talking about heaven here.
No, we're not.
You ready, Miss Emory? You be careful.
I can't believe it's still here twenty years later.
Just like in my vision.
We're a little over-eager, aren't we? I know what I'm looking for.
You may know what you're looking for, but you never know what you're gonna find.
I have a pretty good idea.
I just want you to consider all the possibilities.
Ain't that what a good reporter's supposed to do? You don't want to rush in there with your mind already made up, do you? You're afraid I'll learn the truth about my parents and how you killed them.
The truth? What's that? Are you truly the person that you pretend to be? The upstanding reporter? Champion of the innocent? Or are you just some voyeur who comes through the back door and likes to stick their nose in other people's dirty drawers? The point being, no one's exactly what they appear to be.
Not you, not me not even your beloved parents, may they rest in peace.
Get out of my way.
After you.
I can't believe it.
It even smells like Fourth of July.
A summer place can have a powerful hold on you.
There's a music box.
Been 20 years.
Yeah, well, everything else is still the same.
My God.
It's a hospital file.
I know what's in there.
You stay away from me.
It's about the beating, ain't it? "Massive contusions to her thighs and back.
" You son of a bitch! She was only doing her job.
She was just a reporter! Stay with me, stay with me! We just started.
You gotta trust me on this one.
So how was your drive? You take a little spin down by the shore? As a matter of fact, yes.
I can see it perfectly.
You pull into the deserted parking lot of a public beach pull right up to the pylons so you're staring out at the water a few gulls come by to beg for food.
Stop it.
There's an empty lifeguard tower and it's warm in the car, in the sun.
He takes your hand, he turns to you and he says: "Darling, I killed your folks.
I'm sorry about that.
"Now how about a little kiss?" Stop it! I'm an idiot.
I'm sorry.
What can I do? Get me my mother's medical records.
I thought you'd already seen the death certificate? I did.
I think the answer's in her life, not her death.
Okay, all right.
I'll see what I can dig up.
Congratulations, Mrs.
The result is positive.
Are you sure? Are you sure it's positive? Positively positive.
You're going to have a baby.
Won't that be a nice surprise for Peter? Oh, yes.
A tremendous surprise.
I found your mother's medical records but can I ask you something? This relates to the fire? I mean how certain are you about digging into all this? I don't know what it relates to.
I don't even know what's in there.
What about my mother? I won't lie to you.
It's not pleasant.
Christine Emory was admitted on Valentine's Day, 1976 as well as on four other occasions.
All her injuries are consistent with a pattern of domestic violence.
I could spell it out, but it's not pretty.
That's it? That's it? Everything that's in there? What do you mean? It's not enough? No, I mean, what else? What else is in there? It's not going to help you.
It's nothing you need to know.
It's my family.
For better or worse, it's my family.
Your mother appears to have been pregnant when she died.
I'm sorry, Gail.
It says here that civet cat season is 12 hours long.
That's right.
What the hell is a civet cat? They kill them for the perfume.
Who does? Whoever comes in and applies for a license.
Not one single civet cat hunter has ever asked me for a license.
I believe they're extinct, that's why.
Then do I need to keep the forms? Miss Emory? Are you all right? Ben, would you excuse us for a moment? Sure, Lucas.
I'll just go out for some cider or something.
Anybody want anything? Gail? All right.
I'll have an ├ęclair.
Have a seat.
You're making me nervous.
I just want to know who set the fire.
It was arson, and I want to know who did it.
That's all.
You got the "what" and the "when.
" All you need is the "who.
" That's it? That's it.
Not quite.
You're skipping the "why.
" Unless you don't wanna know.
Of course I do.
You sure? Maybe you'd like to control the outcome of your quest? Play God? Rewrite history? Everybody would, given the chance.
Then I'd have my parents back.
But they're not the parents you thought, are they? You know what I think, Gail? I think you like your visions.
I think you like to watch.
My old address.
The past isn't dead.
Hell, it's not even the past.
Gage, wait.
I forgot to pay you.
Mother! Gail? I'm right here.
Gail? How'd you get so dirty, honey? I suppose your mommy was too busy inside to keep an eye on you, huh? She was too busy inside.
I'm not dirty.
Of course you're not, darling.
I'm not.
You're looking fine.
Want a drag off of Daddy's cigarette? You know, sometimes it takes a little something to remind you not to play in the dirt.
No! No! Hey.
You okay? I went to my old house and I saw my dad.
What do you mean? You saw your parents? I was standing on the front lawn and my dad walked by me with a cigarette as plain as you are here.
Have you had lunch? I picked up some food.
Let's go back to my office and have a little picnic.
You can't even imagine what my childhood was like before my parents died.
I mean, it was perfect.
My father used to take me to the paper on Saturdays and after hours, they would all trade stories.
I mean, I was the only little girl that was ever allowed in the newsroom.
Sit down.
He was kind.
He was loving, he was wise.
It was unconditional love.
It was real love, I know it.
I believe you.
And then I drove up to my house.
Our house was always so full of happiness piano music and love.
And then I saw my father.
I mean, I really saw him.
It wasn't a dream.
I wasn't sleeping.
And then he walked toward me and he told me that I was a dirty girl.
He told me that I was dirty and he held his cigarette out and he held my arm.
He held my arm down.
How could he? My God, how could he? I was only a child.
I was a child! Oh, what a bastard! What a stupid, stupid bastard! Surprise, surprise.
You've discovered Sheriff Buck's true nature.
I wasn't talking about him.
Even if you weren't, can I give you some free advice? Selena, I think you should come back later.
I've seen you cruising around in the Buckmobile, honey and truly I don't mind.
There's just a part of me that likes to tell the little lambs before the slaughter.
Well, thanks for the warning.
Hey, are you okay to drive? You should get some rest.
I'll get some rest.
I'll see you later.
You going somewhere, Miss Emory? Where I'm going is none of your business.
That so? What is it with you? Why should you care whether I stay or I go? Is it that you want me? Or do you want to just see me suffer? A little of both, I suspect.
It's kind of the way you feel about me.
You want to hurt me a little bit but sometimes you might just stay awake at night thinking about what it might be like I don't think any such thing.
Don't flatter yourself.
I'm leaving, and I think you should do the same thing I don't think you can leave.
Watch me.
What about the almighty pursuit of the truth? You kind of chucked that awful fast.
I don't think I want any more truths.
Even when you're this close? I'm through.
Through? Let me get this straight.
You accuse me of crimes most foul sullying my fine reputation and then you demand that I show you the truth.
Well, I obliged, didn't I? And now when you find out it ain't exactly a pretty piece of shoe fly pie you don't want to hear about it.
You want out.
You can drive this fine car of yours to Charleston and beyond but there ain't no running from the truth, Miss Emory.
No, ma'am.
Then what do I do? Face it.
Where are you off to in such a hurry? The column is finished.
I promised Gail I'd watch the fireworks with her.
Sneaking out without saying anything? We've said plenty already.
I know where you're going.
Get out of my way.
I think after this one night, you'll have to miss your quickie.
Here's your favorite song, darling.
Hey, Caleb.
What? Just hey.
Nice tune you're whistling.
Where did you learn it? My daddy used to whistle it around the house.
Beautiful Dreamer, I think.
My mama used to whistle around the house, too.
It's just an old tune.
No, wait.
Caleb, I keep having this dream about a little boy in a fire and I hear that song in my dream.
So what? So, I'm trying to put together my past.
It's important.
Yeah, you and your dead family.
What? Nothing.
I just thought I was in your family, too.
This can't continue, because I love you too much.
We'll never be able to begin our new life together till Peter is out of the way.
Darling, fires happen all the time on the Fourth of July.
Roman candles, pinwheels, sparklers, they'll be going off all over.
Make sure you leave the building by 8:00.
Once he's alone, I'll take care of the rest.
We'll be together soon, you, me, and the baby.
Love forever, Gage.
Gage Temple.
Don't do this.
She's still In there.
Mother! What's going on? Mother! What's wrong with this door? Help! Somebody help! Open the door! Help! Help! Mother! Mother! Mother! Help me! So, now you know.
I'm so sorry.
Why? Now I'm free.
You're free.
But we never got to be together.
And I would have been a wonderful sister.
But you already are.
But you already are.
Don't go.
Is that you? You knew I was coming.
I'm not ready.
Then I'll wait.
Are you satisfied with my end of it? Yes.
You didn't do it.
I'm sorry that I suspected you.
Don't be.
You had the right idea.
Just the wrong motive and the wrong man.
Gage did it out of jealousy.
Love set that building on fire.