Black Bird (2022) s01e05 Episode Script

The Place

When I was six, my grandmother died.
My father drove us to his hometown
of Wiggins, South Carolina
for her funeral.
I had never met her,
so her death didn't mean much to me…
though it made my father very sad.
I was afraid of her in that coffin.
She was part of something
that, even at six, I wondered about.
The place after this one.
I worried she was looking down
and didn't like us
because we were young.
Where's Dr. Zicherman?
Excuse me.
Where's Dr. Zicherman?
He's on vacation.
He didn't tell you?
That seems so unlike him.
Do you see him every Tuesday?
No, just
Just, you know.
No, I don't know.
Just if I need to.
Well, that's an uncommon arrangement.
How'd you know I'd be here?
Routine schedule is foundational
in the doctor-patient relationship.
But how did you know I'd be here?
I don't understand the question.
But Dr. Zicherman and I
don't have a routine.
How did you know
I had an appointment today?
We have a daily schedule.
Your name was on it.
Why are you here?
Because I had an appointment.
Why are you here?
The charges involved
selling unregistered weapons
and crossing state lines to do so.
Why are you here?
I just told you.
Why are you?
To treat mental illness.
Came to the right place.
I'm not in law enforcement.
I'm not a judge.
I don't concern myself
with the crimes of the men I treat.
My sole concern is
protecting their mental health.
Sounds like you found
your purpose in life.
Do you prefer James or Jimmy?
Some people's psyches are
so much more fragile
than most people
you've probably encountered
in your life.
Or your own, for example.
How do you know anything
about my psyche?
I don't know much.
But I suspect
you're of fairly sound mind.
Good to know.
But some of my patients are not.
They're one wrong thought,
one termite of an unhealthy idea
from losing their minds.
If they break,
sometimes the person they were
never comes back from the break.
They become ghosts in their own bodies.
Why are you telling me this?
I'm asking you for compassion
when you deal with
some of the men in here.
Some of the men?
- I'm asking
- Asking what?
Are you a threat to the mental health
of any of my patients?
Which patients?
I'm giving you
an opportunity for candor here.
I urge you to take it seriously.
Which… patients?
After they buried my grandmother,
my father drove us to the ocean.
It was the only time
I would ever see the ocean.
When they were looking
for Tricia Reitler,
Larry drove Marion PD
up and down these roads
over and over and over again.
"I think I buried her here.
No, it was here.
Maybe it was there.
No, I think I buried her under a tree."
That night before I take him back
to Illinois, they go back out there.
Same area, same result.
I think she's there. Somewhere.
That's why he dragged them back out
a second time.
Son of a bitch couldn't
get enough of it.
Let me see
if I can get my hands on these reports.
All right.
They took a left up
here before the lake.
There's nothing but fields out here.
That's a nice gas station
for the middle of nowhere.
All right, there should be a haul road
right up here. Take a right there.
- Well, good morning, James.
- Morning, Larry.
I didn't see you yesterday.
Nothing happened
that didn't happen the day before.
And the day before that, right?
How was your day?
It was good. Thanks for asking.
Gary visited.
- That's cool.
- It was.
Always nice to see family.
Is he into cars too?
A little. Well, not like me.
But the Civil War stuff?
He didn't stick with it.
That's a shame.
He married a stinky bitch.
She thinks it's "playing dress-up."
She said that?
Oh, yeah.
So I said to her I said,
"You would be a grandmother
in Civil War times. An old hag."
Nobody would fight for her.
Brides were young.
People married younger then.
Much younger. Yeah.
My great-grandmother
had my grandmother when she was just 14.
That was perfectly normal back then.
Until the government saw
a way to make money.
By raising the age of consent?
Nobody attended
a high school back then.
There was no such thing.
But, once the government saw
that there was money to be made
in high schools,
well, then greed trumps all.
It's not about education.
- No?
- No, it's about
It's about forcing kids
to delay growing up.
So that their parents can spend
every extra dime on tuition,
and everyone makes money.
And that's what's going to
bankrupt the country someday.
You know,
I never thought about it that way,
but damn.
You could be onto something.
You think?
You got a fresh perspective.
You must have heard that before.
Thank you.
So these brides were how young?
Twelve, 13 for sure.
Old enough to pee,
old enough for me. Right?
That's funny.
So what's the
What's the youngest you ever had?
The youngest you ever had.
You first.
Why? I asked first.
You first.
Did she fight back?
No. You had some fighters?
How old were you?
With the 14-year-old?
She was a freshman.
I was a senior, so I was 17.
- What?
- Seventeen.
Is it still dripping?
Drip's turned into leaks.
He had 'em drive
up and down 400 East several times.
440 South is mentioned four times.
So is 250 East and 375 South.
This is pointless.
He took 'em up and down
550 East the most.
Six times the first time.
Five times the second.
Okay. 550 intersects with 400
at that gas station.
Maybe they stopped
for sodas and bathroom breaks.
I doubt that gas station was there.
That looked pretty new.
So, what was there?
Here it is.
Construction at 550-400 intersection.
Hey, there a manager around?
Dale only comes
in a couple times a week.
The rest of the time?
It's just me and Keith.
He works the 3:00 to 11:00.
How long you been here?
Since 6:00.
No, not today.
How long have you worked here?
Six months.
Would you know
how long this place has been open?
A few years, I think.
Dale and Keith know exactly?
Dale's been here since the beginning.
Got his number?
Thank you.
You work on cars here?
No, sir.
Know anybody who does?
Not local, no.
Where's the nearest auto parts dealer
around here?
I don't know. Not into cars.
John Dickey though…
"John Dickey though," what?
He's like a Mr. Fixit.
People bring him stuff
to fix sometimes,
but it ain't, like, official.
Uh-huh. John Dickey?
John Dickey Hansen.
He runs a bait shop up the road.
Okay, thanks.
The manager said the station opened
in the spring of '94.
He says he believes they broke ground
around midsummer of '93.
Fucking Larry Hall.
I heard you tried to get
some product in here.
Don't do that.
A shrug is a nonanswer,
and a nonanswer is disrespectful.
I thought about it,
but it turned out
I couldn't get it in here.
But let's say you had.
And you used it
to dig someone out of some trouble
they're having on the outside.
Now, that would help them.
Maybe it'd help you.
But I don't see how it would help me.
I'm not sure I understand.
A man who can't get help anywhere else
eventually comes to me.
And then he's in my debt.
My apologies. Sincerely.
I fucked up. I had no idea.
All right.
I asked around about you. In Milwaukee.
You checked out. Flying colors.
Everyone knew someone who knew someone
who knew you and spoke highly of you.
That's nice.
But no one could remember
laying eyes on you directly.
Everyone knew someone
who said they had,
but no one had
actually done it themselves.
What do you make of that?
They need to get out more.
Is that what they need to do?
Do you have kids?
How was your week, Larry?
I'm just asking.
Would you describe it as productive?
I'm just asking!
And you have asked before.
Several times over the years.
And what has been my response?
I'm just curious.
What has been my response?
You don't discuss your personal life.
That's all that I discuss.
Because you are the patient,
and I am the doctor.
Can't we try, like, role reversal?
Isn't that therapeutic?
And what would you say to me
if you were my doctor?
Bitch, tell me your dreams!
I bet they smell good.
Your children.
What's troubling you?
You often use provocation
to mask vulnerability.
I'm not vulnerable. You're vulnerable.
You seem agitated.
I'm perfectly fucking fine.
It's the best mood
I've been in for years,
and you don't like it.
Why wouldn't I like it?
Because if I got better
and I told people how,
and then those people got better…
you'd have no job.
Then I'd retire.
You Then you'd retire.
And have tea with your daughters.
Watch them bend over
to do their gardening.
What's making you feel so good?
My appeal.
You have fresh news about it?
Let's just say
that there are positive signs
if you know how to read them.
That would explain your affect.
What's my affect?
Almost cocky.
Sometimes a man has
every reason to feel that way.
Well, I've seen you confident before.
When you talk about Civil War history
and engines and old car parts.
I've just never seen you cocky.
That seems more like your friend.
What friend?
You mean James.
You know who I mean, Larry.
He's very charismatic.
You've met him?
Our paths crossed.
I see what you respond to in him.
He gives off the aura
of someone who's never known regret.
He decides something, he does it.
He never looks back.
You'd think that, but…
Well, but he has known regret.
He does regret things.
He has known pain.
But he doesn't,
you know, let it warp him.
Is that how you see yourself?
Warped by pain?
Not lately.
Because of James.
I'm not alone anymore.
When I was in seventh grade,
Cooper Ross told me, "You're so nice,"
and then he turned red
and couldn't look me in the eyes
for a few minutes.
Help you?
Are you John Dickey Hansen?
Well, you can call me JD, if you like.
You sell auto parts here?
Well, if I happen
across something that's
worth putting an ad
in the Auto Trader,
I might do so.
You ever meet this guy?
That's Larry.
So, you know him well?
No, miss.
He's just memorable.
Those mutton chops, whatnot.
Help me out with "whatnot."
He's as creepy as all fuck, you know?
Excuse me.
No, speak freely.
Well, I sold him a pair
of slotted brake rotors
for a '79 Dodge B200
back about, I don't know, '92, '93.
Seemed a harmless squirt of a fella.
Had that look of somebody
who'd never been hugged.
Not even as a baby.
You know,
I guess I was too kind to him,
'cause he started coming back
even when he didn't need a part.
Started just hanging around,
talking up the young girls.
Anything ever happen?
What do you mean, like bad? No.
We run him off after a while.
Every now and then
I wonder what ever became of him.
Since you're coming around
asking about him, figure it ain't good.
Why'd you run him off?
He made too many of the girls
Including my own.
She was a teenager then,
but Larry took a shine to her.
Sure didn't sit right with me.
Is Audrey around?
She's in town running some errands.
Should be back soon.
You mind if we wait around?
Not in the least.
When I was 12,
my sister and I got new sneakers.
And almost immediately,
we stepped in cow pies,
even though our parents told us
to stay clear of that field.
Took hours for those shoes to dry.
I don't remember
anything we talked about.
Just that we were happy.
Be a good boy.
You listen to your mother.
I don't wanna hear this…
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Hang up the fucking phone!
This phone?
Be my guest.
…please enter your account number.
Can't have that on the yard.
Yes, sir. I understand
what you're saying,
but I'm telling you
there must be a mistake
because I paid that credit card myself
just last week.
You're telling me that my son
can't make or receive calls?
Is that what you're telling me?
Okay, sir, please.
How about if I give you the credit card
right here, right now, over the phone.
Would you be able to connect me then?
Okay. All right. Thank you.
I appreciate you trying to help.
Bitch. Motherfucker.
Jim, I should come with you.
No, hon. I'll be fine.
I just need to clear my head.
Okay. Well, don't get
yourself worked up.
I'm taking a drive to relax,
not to get worked up.
All right.
Can you pick us up some Kahlúa
on your way back?
Yeah, imagine that.
What's that?
Last place I saw Larry.
How long you been working on those?
Couple of weeks.
What do you do with them?
I send them home.
Donny said that you
almost got into a fight today.
At the phones?
Yeah, some con wanted the phone.
There's some mess-up with my account.
I can't make calls out.
But you funded the account?
Maybe you made an enemy.
Of who?
Someone who works here.
Have you had any disagreements
with anyone lately?
I had some minor words
with a guard yesterday.
Can't remember the guy's name,
but he was just busting my balls.
About what?
It's not nothing.
James, come on. It's me.
It was about you, Larry.
Why would some guard talk about me?
He said…
He said you're a kid-diddler.
And a kid-killer.
I don't mean to laugh, I just
A kid-diddler?
I've never raped
anyone in my life, James.
So, what did you do?
I had sex with them.
And they weren't children, James.
Not until recently.
I mean, not back in the 1800s.
James, how many women have you fucked?
- Since high school? I mean…
- No, not high school.
I mean how many women have
You know, over the high school ages,
have you fucked?
- Eighty.
- What?
- Eighty?
- I guess.
I mean, there's probably
one or two I'm forgetting about,
but I'm not totally sure the figure.
That's not funny, James. Is it 80?
How did you manage to How
- Do you have like a line you use?
- No.
I just I mean, I talk to 'em.
And they talk to me,
and eventually, our clothes come off.
- But how?
- I just told you.
No you didn't.
I don't follow, Larry. I'm sorry.
No woman will ever just "talk to me."
But younger girls will.
She was nice at first.
Who's that?
- Who was nice, Larry?
- Jessica Roach.
Her bike had a flat,
she was driving up this gravel road.
Even though she had a mountain bike
You know, rocks and gravel
mix in with each other
and rocks can be sharp, so…
Girls think they're so smart,
but there she was with a flat.
You fix it?
- Oh, no. I just offered her a ride.
- Right.
They make it sound like I jump
on these girls, James, and attack them.
That's not reflective of the truth.
She liked talking to me. She did.
I had my bike that day,
and I opened up the doors to the van
and I showed her, and…
I told her how much I like cycling,
and we talked about that.
Sounds like you had no trouble
talking to her, Larry.
Yeah, she was nice, like I said.
Until she wasn't.
She turned on you, huh?
Like a rabid squirrel, just
You remember why?
Why are you asking?
Shit, Larry,
I thought we were just talking.
Is that what we're doing?
That's what I'm doing.
She got into my van just fine.
She looked at my bike
and my cleaning supplies.
She asked if I live locally,
and why I had such big burnsides.
She called them sideburns.
I told her about reenactments,
and she asked really good questions,
you know?
She was so curious and so smart.
And so I kissed her.
And that's when she turned mean.
Just awful, slapping me and hitting me.
And I just had to rag her
with the starter fluid.
I had to.
So we drove for a little while.
I was trying to find, like,
a nice, quiet, little place.
And I did,
even though I didn't know where I was
or where we were going,
but I found one.
Then what happened?
I Well, I, you know.
I went into
the back of the van with her,
and I ragged her
a few more times.
She kept waking up?
She scratched me.
So hard. It was deep.
And when I cleaned out the flesh
from under her nails later on,
there was a lot of me under there.
A lot of me.
You have sex with her?
I knew you were gonna ask that.
No It's weird.
I don't totally remember.
It was like I blacked out,
but then it was like I was in a dream
where I see myself
beating on her and ragging her,
beating on her and ragging her.
And then I woke up,
and her clothes were off,
and my clothes were off.
So, I…
I think we had sex together.
Sure sounds like it, buddy.
Well, then she started to cry.
Sometimes they do that.
They thought they wanted it,
but they changed their mind
after the fact.
Well, no,
she was crying for her mother.
She was, huh?
"I want my mommy.
Just take me to my mommy."
I did not like that.
It made me mad. It ruined everything.
So, I took her out of the van,
and I walked her
pretty far back into the field.
And I found this tree,
and I had made this…
Tool, I guess, that I had made
by putting two leather belts together.
And I had this stick
Well, I told her to sit down
with her back against the tree.
I didn't want to see
her face, you know?
So yeah, so then I quickly whipped
the two belts around her neck,
and I squeezed and put the stick in.
I just started twisting it,
like one of those…
What do you call it…
- Tourniquet?
- Tourniquet, exactly.
I just kept twisting
until she stopped making…
You know.
Well, it sounds like
you did what you had to do.
Never said anything totally gross,
just off.
Always off.
He'd be like,
"You have really pretty ankles."
Or, said to me once,
"Your earlobes are very ripe."
That was Larry making small talk.
Other times, he'd just sit at one of
the picnic benches and just stare.
And, if it got to you
like sometimes it did,
you'd be like, "Larry, what's up?"
And he'd be all, "Did you know
that most cleaners contain lye?"
And then he'd want you to go to his van
and look at the list of ingredients.
- Did you ever go?
- Fuck no.
You know anyone who did?
Not around here, no.
We were all creeped out by him.
Then, when he started to give me stuff…
He gave you stuff?
A pair of earrings once.
A locket.
Pair of used ballet flats.
Were they your size?
Yep. Made it worse.
No chance you kept any of this stuff?
We have a lost and found sale
at the end of every season.
There is one thing
that I didn't throw away.
Last time we ever saw him,
he gave me that.
I never rode it, not once.
Every time I look at it,
it makes me wanna take a shower.
My mother said I was never any trouble
except when I fixated
on something I wanted,
like a dog on a pork chop.
So that's what she'd call it.
My pork chop.
When I was six,
my pork chop was a goldfish.
When I was nine,
it was a pack of butterfly hair clips.
But my biggest pork chop,
the one I obsessed over
and had to wait
until my 13th birthday for,
and still work off
five months' allowance to get,
was a mountain bike.
I did the math.
I lived over 5,000 days.
Over 135,000 hours.
All that time was mine.
You can die, but you can't un-live.
I lived.
And here.
It was great.
It's not enough.
That's bullshit.
Heard of chain of evidence?
We have a witness
who swears Hall gave it to her.
Where's the serial number of the bike?
Someone burned it off with acid.
There's no way to conclusively prove
that this is Jessica Roach's,
unless matching fingerprints
of both Hall and Roach are found on it.
And after four years,
I'm fairly confident it won't be.
We have witnesses who place
Larry Hall in the area…
I'm not trying a new case here.
Where he claimed
to have buried Reitler…
I'm defending against a second appeal.
And where he gave someone
Jessica Roach's bike.
It's not enough.
Not even close.
But you did great work here.
You did. This is top-fucking-notch.
Hey, look at me.
You did. But it's not enough.
What would be enough?
I don't know.
But this ain't it.
James, you up?
Well, good night.
Sleep well.
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