Home Before Dark (2020) s02e03 Episode Script

Fighting His Ghost

Corruption at the state fair?
It's supposed to be a puff piece.
Yeah, look,
I know it's not what you sent me to do,
but, you know,
I found something more, so I chased it.
Isn't that what you pay me to do?
A journalist doing his job.
- All due respect
- Dad.
but isn't that what got you in trouble
in New York?
can't I just take another crack at him?
Who are you talking to?
- I know you wanna be writing
- It's my editor.
more serious pieces,
but you're just seeing
what you wanna see on this one.
- I'm sorry. We can't run it.
- All right. Fine. Thanks.
Okay. So, Dad, when we went to the pond
to see if the birds had been there,
it was full of dead fish.
- And you'll never guess what else.
- What?
Remember when I said, like,
I felt like someone was watching me?
Well, there was this guy at the pond
Wait, what guy?
What are you talking about?
Dad, I think it was him.
I think it was Richie.
No. No, no.
This feels like a reach, Scout.
Walk me through your evidence, all right?
Not what you're feeling,
not what you think, but the facts.
Okay. He was about the right age.
Okay, so, blond hair? Blue eyes?
I didn't get a good look at his face.
Because he had a beard.
Right. It's okay.
I do the same thing. All the time.
Your spidey senses go off,
and you can't let it go.
You know, this fixation, right?
This thing that you have with Richie?
That's called a bias.
And it's clouding your work.
No, it's not.
No, it's okay. It's okay.
We all have a bias, you know?
We just gotta check it as we go.
That's why it's so important
you gotta stick to the evidence.
'Cause that's what's gonna lead you
to the truth.
- Okay?
- Okay.
Let's go back to the start, all right?
- And go with what we know.
- Okay.
What were you doing at the pond?
- Well, remember the dead birds?
- Yeah?
Well, I talked to Birdman,
and he brought us there,
and when we got there,
the pond was full of dead fish.
Okay. So connection?
The water.
Birdman said the birds
might have drank out of the pond.
So whatever killed the fish,
oxygen depletion, invasive species
Might have killed the birds.
And maybe that's why Walter is sick too.
That's your story.
- Poisoned pond.
- A poisoned pond, yes.
You follow the facts.
Yeah, follow the facts.
It's clear that something
is changing in Erie Harbor.
God, what time is it?
This past year has been
the hottest and wettest on record.
Storms have been getting worse
and more frequent.
Just this past week,
a whole flock of birds
mysteriously fell from the sky.
And birds aren't
the only animals suffering.
Yesterday, dozens of fish were found dead
in the pond at Pinewood Park.
Many local birds use this pond
as their water source,
which means it could be responsible
for all the recent animal deaths
and possibly more to come.
So why is The Magic Hour Chronicle
the only paper reporting on this?
And why aren't our town leaders
doing anything about it?
If we keep ignoring
what the environment is trying to tell us,
the next species impacted could be us.
If the adults around here
won't do anything about it, then I will.
Oh, my God, Hilde. Shut up.
This little girl
ain't afraid of anyone, is she?
What did Hilde do now?
She's taken the locals to task
for neglecting their environment.
You know, you might want to
take a page out of her book,
throw your weight around a little.
- You could do some real good in this town.
- You know I want to.
But I gotta be careful.
These guys, Daddy,
they are set in their ways.
But I'll bring 'em around.
It just takes a little time.
You wanna believe
the world is getting better.
- But lately
- Hey.
Now, that's still our name on that door.
Don't go giving up on the world just yet.
All right.
I love you.
Love you.
Come on, baby.
You gotta eat so you can grow.
Is he getting worse?
Well, hopefully, he didn't go anywhere
near that pond I've been looking into.
- He'll be okay.
- Can I help?
Sure. See this dropper?
We gotta talk to Izzy.
Yeah, we can't put it off any longer.
I know.
Look, I'm just proud of her
that she didn't drive drunk.
- Yeah, 'cause she can't drive.
- No, you know what I mean.
I'm proud of her that
she didn't get in a car with someone else.
Well, she needs to know that
this is kind of a big deal, right?
Okay, maybe that'll just make it worse.
Maybe we should
just try and make it normal.
Like, these things happen,
you just have to be careful.
Then she's gonna think we're saying
it's okay for her to do it.
No, we need to make sure she comes
straight home from school every day.
No more sleepovers.
Okay, maybe
Curfew. Strict curfew every weekend.
- Matt
- Yeah, she's 14, come on.
But we both did things like this
when we were her age.
We did, so
Look, I'm not condoning it in any way,
but I just think Izzy is lonely.
She's desperate to connect.
Maybe that's what we should be focused on.
Yeah, you know what?
Breaking rules? Right? Defying authority?
That is the kind of behavior
that gets you fired.
Wait, what?
You think we would still be here
in Erie Harbor right now,
making our daughter miserable,
if I had just learned
to quit making waves and do my damn job?
Matt, what are you talking about?
I don't know.
- I don't know.
- Honey.
Daddy, are you okay?
- Yeah. I'm great, honey.
- Don't worry. He's fine.
I'm great.
Look. Whatever this is,
it feels kind of unrelated.
You know?
So maybe we should just
start with some more structure
and boundaries for her.
- Okay, all right.
- Yeah.
- Okay, she needs a little more
- Maybe.
- little more connection.
- Yeah.
Yeah, okay, so maybe
she should spend some more time with us.
- Yeah, a little one-on-one time.
- Yeah.
What are you thinking?
What? I'm gonna be your glorified intern?
Well, I can think of way worse punishments
than helping your mom out at work,
believe me.
- Okay, great, then give me those.
- Wow. Okay.
Okay, look
I know I did something wrong,
and I'm sorry.
But can you at least, like,
ground me for three weeks?
That would be so much easier.
We're not trying
to make this easier for you.
We are trying to help you learn
to make smart choices.
Yeah, and getting drunk,
and then lying about it?
Not a smart choice.
I know.
Look, there's a million reasons
why someone your age shouldn't drink.
You know, it makes you do dumb stuff.
Look, I said I'm sorry,
and I know it was dumb.
Trust me.
Look, sweetie, we
we're just worried about you.
We're worried that these older kids
are influencing you more than you realize.
- It could've gone so badly for you.
- Right.
- You know, and we're excited, right?
- Yes.
We're excited that you got new friends.
That's great.
We just don't want you
getting in over your head.
- Okay?
- Yeah.
When do I start?
- Lieutenant Miller?
- Out sick.
Again? Well, where's Sanderson?
Frank, I got a weird question.
Oh, boy.
- What's your dad up to these days?
- My dad? I don't know.
What? It's not like we were best friends.
It's just, I tried to call him
a couple times, but he doesn't answer,
and I can't bring myself
to leave a message.
I feel like I'm fighting his ghost
in here every day.
I mean, he's not here,
but it's like the man never left.
Do you know, it's still,
"Briggs says this,"
and "Briggs wants that."
Is there any way you could set up
a meeting with him so I can tell him off?
Look, I am all for that,
but I haven't spoken to him in months.
And I don't plan on starting.
Frank, not after everything?
He's still your father.
What you gonna do? Avoid the man forever?
In a town this small?
I'm gonna try.
All right.
Mom, Principal Collins is here to see you.
Yeah, I can see that.
Come on in.
Sorry about that.
The new girl's a bit of a mess.
Have a seat.
So, I've been meaning to
bring this to you.
- What?
- Got you a present.
It's nothing big.
I mean, you can see that.
Just a little something to say thank you.
It's a hair dryer? Or
No, it's a bullhorn.
You know, for everything you did
to get the PTA off my back.
Did it work?
Have they stopped bothering you?
For now. Yeah.
A few dirty looks in the parking lot,
but nothing I can't handle.
I think you officially shut them down.
Thank you.
I love it.
Look, since I'm here
I'm gonna need you and Matt
to come by after school tomorrow
for a meeting with Jessica's parents.
It's my understanding
that the girls were drinking
at Jessica Fife's house the other night,
and I just want to bring you both in
to discuss the events
that took place afterwards.
Yeah. Yeah, of course.
Of course we'll be there.
Not so easy, is it? Being the boss.
It'd be easy if my deputies stopped
taking their orders from you.
Nah, I don't recall coming
around the department lately.
Wouldn't want Rutherford
to get his panties in a twist.
Yeah, but you're still in touch
with all of my deputies,
having your little usual meetings
down at the dry dock.
I am trying to clean up your mess
and make this department work
for the town.
And you're still in my way.
I'm not your problem, Trip.
The Liskos are.
You really gonna sit here and blame
a ten-year-old girl for all your problems?
You gonna sit here and blame
a unemployed old man for yours?
It's not the Liskos exactly,
but they're a perfect example.
You can't let those kids
treat the department
like their own personal fun house.
It kills morale,
and it makes you look soft.
This town, there's the way things are done
and everything else.
It's just gonna piss people off.
There are all sorts of rules
you gotta play by.
And one of those rules is
you're always on the side of the town.
I am.
When you let Hilde Lisko
and her gang of whatever they are
walk all over people,
you think it looks that way?
It looks like you care more about
some hell-raising family from Brooklyn
than you do your own deputies.
I'm trying to listen to everyone.
People deserve that, even little kids.
Now, if that makes me soft
then, okay. I guess I'm soft.
For what it's worth, Trip
I'm not standing in your way.
I know how hard the job is.
Yeah, I should get going.
Are you gonna tell Frank we talked?
I don't think it'd matter much to him.
if you do,
maybe you could put in a good word.
I know you think
the Liskos are the problem,
but sometimes I've found,
in their own backwards way
they're usually a part of the solution.
Hey, Spoon. What's with the coat?
I get it. You gotta wear it in
before you commence the restyle.
So, what's the plan?
How you gonna give it that Spoon sparkle?
Zippers where the pockets should be?
Pockets where the zippers should be?
Guys, Walter wasn't eating much
this morning.
But I followed
all of Birdman's instructions.
I'm worried about him.
Well, if Walter drank from the same pond
as the other birds did, then
I've seen this movie before.
Walter's patient zero,
and we're all gonna die.
- What?
- If we can find out
exactly what's in that water,
then maybe we can get Walter
the right medicine to cure him.
Whatever's in that water has killed
everything it's come in contact with.
And that's why we're testing it.
With the kit you got
at the hardware store?
We need to be careful.
If the water's killing animals,
there's a good chance
that it's dangerous for humans.
I think you need to calm down.
I don't feel so good.
But we're not even there yet.
It might be airborne.
We won't know until it's too late.
Come on, guys.
We have to get outta here.
I don't understand. My numbers are great.
They're up from last month.
I don't need your numbers to be up.
We're under investigation right now
for closing 35 cases
we never should have closed.
- Okay, ma'am. I'll close fewer cases.
- No comment.
I'm not here for you, Bob.
Do you know who put up the fence
at Pinewood Park?
The department's official stance when
dealing with members of the press is
We're not here as reporters.
We're here as private citizens.
Okay, I don't know about a fence, guys.
Can you find out?
Hilde, this is a sheriff station.
It's not your little clubhouse.
- I know.
- Okay, well,
we can't drop everything to go look
into a mysterious fence for you.
But don't you care
that all the town's animals are dying?
If you have a concern
we should be aware of,
you can fill out this form,
like everyone else.
Take care of this, would you?
Hey, Bob. I got this.
Sorry, things are a little tense
around here
with Rutherford and everything.
But I'm here.
And I got plenty of time.
So, what's on your mind?
Well, they put a fence
around the pond at Pinewood Park.
We need to test the water
to find out what's killing the fish,
but now we can't get to it.
Well, it's a public park,
so the town probably put up the fence.
Maybe they read your article
from this morning.
Let me make some calls.
If it was the town,
then there would be hearings
and meetings
and environmental impact studies.
That's a lot of red tape.
That'll give us time to test the water.
Thanks, Frank.
- Thank you.
- Anytime. Hey, Woodward.
Keep your head up.
- You.
- Me what?
You could be my new source.
They are teenagers.
They're gonna break the rules
now and again.
But power came back on
just in time to capture this.
- Is that Jessica?
- And Izzy.
They must have snuck out
during the sleepover.
They were egging the school.
There was no real damage,
and it was just a prank,
but it's clear from the video
that they were drunk.
Do you think they know about the eggs?
What eggs?
Look, Izzy is a good kid,
but this really isn't normal for her.
Listen, when I was a kid,
I did something just like this.
And the threat of being punished,
it made me sick for a week.
It's actually why
I probably never did it again.
Now, I want Jessica and Izzy
to have that chance.
So I am only giving them detention,
but if I see them in here again,
there will be more serious consequences.
Did you tell them it was me that did it?
Is that why you haven't been
answering my texts?
Iz, my mom took my phone away.
Okay, let's go.
Look, I really am sorry.
- Come on. We got work to do.
- Yeah, let's go.
You'll never guess who my new source
Hey, Hilde.
It's been a long time.
What are you doing here?
Hey, you know what, Hilde,
we're just talking right now.
Okay, Scout?
I can deal with people ignoring me
and shutting me out, but
not my own son.
Yeah, well, I'm not sure
how I can help you with that.
Look, like I said, Frank won't talk to me.
And I just need him to hear me out.
So, I
Well, I wrote something.
I thought I might send it to him
instead of keep trying
to talk face-to-face.
You know him well,
and you're a words person.
Do you think I should change anything?
Well, I think this is between the adults.
I'm a words person.
Hey, you know what, that's true.
She is a words person.
All right.
I guess I never did get very far
treating you like a kid.
"I'm sorry
if my actions hurt your feelings."
That's your apology?
I mean, Dad, if I said anything like that,
you'd say it wasn't enough. You'd say,
"Show me with your actions."
- Right.
- Look, Frank can be stubborn,
and it's hard for him to see
a different point of view sometimes.
Right. Yeah, Frank can be stubborn.
Yeah, well, believe it or not,
he's different now.
Frank defends the little guy
and makes sure they get a chance.
He sticks up for people
when they don't have anyone else.
Yeah, despite everything,
he's been a good friend to this family.
Even when
didn't exactly make it easy for him.
I didn't know all that.
Frank deserves more than this.
He deserves action.
Well, what do you suggest I do?
Maybe buy some billboards?
'Cause if I start that,
there's a lot of people
I'm gonna have to say I'm sorry to.
So it's a lot of billboards.
Don't tell him you've changed.
Show him.
These are all from Wott.
Three more letters just this week.
They're threatening legal action if
I don't respond to their offer by Monday.
Matt was able to hunt down an address
for their headquarters,
but when we went there,
it was just a front.
Wait, so Wott doesn't exist?
- Then who have I been dealing with?
- I don't know yet.
- Cowards.
- I know.
At least look a man in the eye
when you try to take what's his.
I'm willing to go to court,
but I wanna know
what I'm really up against.
Okay, until then,
I'm requesting injunctive relief for you.
We're not just gonna roll over.
We'll get a restraining order
against Wott.
No, wait.
You sign that,
it's like the first phase of a lawsuit.
I just wanna make sure
this is what you really want.
That offer, it's still a lot of money,
and this could blow it all to pieces.
I don't care about the money.
They can take my last damn penny.
I'm tired of getting kicked around.
I want these companies to know
that there's consequences.
I think that's really brave.
Look out!
What the
Hi, you've reached the Liskos.
Leave a message.
Hilde, it's Donny.
My dad says you can do homework
at my house tonight
so we can do that science experiment
we talked about.
So just hurry up and get here.
Is everyone okay?
Yeah, we're fine, considering
I don't care about the window.
I'm just glad everyone's okay.
We'll file the injunction straightaway.
- Thank you.
- Come on, honey. Let's go.
- Okay, my girls. See you.
- See you later.
- Okay.
- Okay.
- See you, Iz.
- Bye.
All right, what do we think?
We think this is Wott Management again?
Did you even get a look at the guy?
No, they drove away too quick
for me to see.
I'm gonna add this to my daily patrols,
give your dad some extra protection.
I appreciate you wanting to help,
but right now
this is still a standard vandalism case.
I'm sure Rutherford would love to report
that I'm diverting extensive
police resources as a favor for my dad.
I mean, she's right.
And the fact is this may not be Wott.
It's been a while, but it's not the first
time I've had a brick through my window.
Could've been some racist punks.
That car you heard driving away
must've come from somewhere.
Come on. It's just like we'd do
for any other case of vandalism.
I'll check the perimeter.
Thanks, Frank.
Hey, Frank. I'll come with you.
Hey, it'll be okay.
You gonna run a story
about what happened out here?
I had no idea
they'd received threats before.
Well, I'd love to.
Just not sure my editor would be receptive
to that right now.
Look, you know your dad came to see me?
- And Hilde.
- What'd he want?
I know you're not
speaking to him right now.
But, you know,
I think he wanted to apologize.
Yeah, fix things between you two.
Yeah, well,
there's a first time for everything.
You know, it's not my business,
but the thought of any
of my kids not speaking to me
Well, maybe the way to stop things,
you know,
break the cycle of this damn town
is to show him some forgiveness.
Maybe he is trying this time.
I'll believe it when I see it.
Hey, that look familiar?
So the guy was probably
casing Junior's joint,
wanted to send a message and found
the first thing that could do some damage.
Yeah, these people are bad news.
I'll go brief Trip.
In through here.
I thought you said it would be easier
to sneak in at night.
Well, I thought it was gonna be.
What are they doing?
I've never seen so many trucks
in one place.
What was that?
Oh, no.
Get down.
Come on, guys. Now's our chance.
- Go, go, go.
- Come on. Let's go.
Hilde, come on. Come on.
Hey. Hey, what's going on?
You okay?
Hey, what is it? What's wrong?
You were right. It's not Richie.
What? Let me see.
It doesn't look anything like him.
I feel so stupid.
Hey, no. Come on. Come on.
Don't say that.
Don't say that.
I just really thought it was him.
Yeah, I know you did.
You were right.
I let my bias affect the story.
I'm such a bad reporter.
No. No, no, no. You are not.
You are not, okay? You are absolutely not.
You know, if anything, this was my fault.
You know, I'm the one who's supposed
to be teaching you this job.
Now instead, I'm just giving you
all of my bad habits.
Come on.
Hey. Hey, look at me.
You know, I wanted to believe it too.
You know,
that Richie was gonna come back.
I wanted to believe it so bad.
But you know
you're never gonna find the truth
if you're only looking
for what you wanna see.
So remember that.
Come on.
So, I don't have a story then.
No, that's not true.
It's not. That is not true.
You know, sometimes a story
is exactly what it looks like.
Even if it is boring.
But that's the job.
It's hard being a reporter.
But if it were easy,
everyone would want to do it, right?
Now I just have to figure out
what they were doing at Pinewood Pond.
I love that pond.
Used to fish there all the time.
What if Pop-Pop got sick
the same way Walter did?
From fishing at the pond.
I was just following the facts.
All right, well, he does have
a doctor's appointment next week.
You wanna come with?
You got a minute?
So they got you on the same beat, huh?
You know, retirement doesn't suit me.
Bored out of my damn mind.
But I did try that home beer brewing kit
that you and your sister bought me,
what, eight years ago.
Tastes like vinegar.
Should come by and try it sometime.
Look, Frankie. I
I've tried to reach out to you before,
but I just
I never knew what to say.
But I owe you an apology.
I failed you
as your boss and as your father.
And I'm sorry.
I appreciate that.
I'm sure you had a lot
of impossible decisions to make,
and you were just
doing your best.
You know, I used to always tell myself
that's what made me good at my job,
is that I could make the hard choices.
I thought I was doing
what was best for you,
for everybody around here.
But I was just scared to be wrong,
scared of facing all the pain
that I might have caused.
You were wrong, Dad.
There are still a lot of people hurting
because of you.
I know.
I know.
And I wanna try to make things right.
If that's really true
then the one you should be talking to
is Sam.
That's what I thought.
Hey, I got your text.
Glad your mom gave you your phone back.
Are you okay?
My parents are pulling me out of school.
Yeah, they're sending me
to boarding school.
God, what, because you,
like, egged a couple windows?
No, it's not because I did it.
It's 'cause I don't remember doing it.
And that's why I didn't say anything
at the principal's office
when you mentioned the eggs.
'Cause I didn't know
what you were talking about.
Wait. Wait, what?
I blacked out.
And I've been in trouble
for drinking before.
My mom is really serious about it
'cause of my granddad.
Because technically he passed away
'cause his liver wouldn't work anymore,
Are you okay?
They warned me
about doing something like this.
I just never thought
they were serious, you know?
Maybe this could be good for me.
You know?
Yeah, I know you can do it.
I wish we were like this sooner.
God, why were you so mean to me before?
I don't know. High school, I guess?
You were just now becoming
my only friend here too.
God, what am I supposed to do now?
Oh, come on.
If I were you, I would've fully ran away,
like, ages ago.
You're too cool
for a place like Erie Harbor, Iz.
And I mean that.
I'm really gonna miss you.
I'm gonna miss you too.
Goodbyes are gross.
I thought you said
you were gonna stay out of my way.
I did. And I will.
But last night
I ran into some of the deputies.
Wow, another meeting at the dry dock?
They were getting drunk and bragging
about sending a message
with a brick.
I thought that was Wott Management
trying to intimidate my dad.
To you.
those guys might be loyal to me
but I'm not loyal to them
and their cowardly behavior.
These are their names.
Take 'em down
Well, there haven't been
any major setbacks,
but no improvements either.
Right. All right, well, he has been having
some moments of lucidity lately.
Look, I know we've done all of the tests,
but is there any chance
he may have been exposed
to something, anything in his environment?
Maybe while he was fishing?
Well, Alzheimer's is
an incredibly difficult diagnosis.
But what if you're wrong?
Wrong about what?
What if he's sick with something else?
Something treatable.
His cognitive decline
is consistent with Alzheimer's.
But what if that's not the whole story?
If I could figure out
what's in the water that made him sick,
would you be able to make him feel better?
Well, I can't say for sure.
There's a lot of factors.
But there's hope.
We can always try.
Thank you.
- I'll go get Pop-Pop.
- Okay.
Well, hello, you.
- Come here.
- Are we ready?
Should I have said no?
Honestly, I don't think she would have
believed you even if you had.
This is nice.
- You wanna dance?
- Yeah.
- Hey.
- Very good.
- One more.
- Hey, careful, guys. Careful.
- Hey, Hilde.
- Yeah?
I just got a text from Frank.
It's for you.
- Sorry, Dad. Gotta go.
- Wait, what?
"Meet me at the place
you were asking about"?
What does that even mean?
Hey, Hilde!
What's going on?
It gives us great pride
to show you our plans
for Erie Harbor's newest community garden.
Unfortunately, the pond here was overrun
with an invasive strain
of toxic blue-green algae.
So it was toxic algae.
But thanks to the rapid response
of our corporate sponsor,
we got it all cleaned up as quickly
and safely as possible. Yes.
They didn't just clean the pond.
- They made it disappear.
- It's like it was never even there.
We'll never be able to test the water now.
Because of
The Magic Hour Chronicle's reporting,
our team caught the algae bloom early,
before it could spread
and harm any more animals.
All of this beauty will soon be here
because of you.
Hey, you.
Hey, what happened?
It's gone.
What's gone?
The town got rid of the pond.
They said it was toxic algae,
so they made it into a garden.
That's great, right?
That's great.
Now you got an end to your story.
No. You don't understand.
Now I'll never be able
to find out what's wrong with Pop-Pop.
Look, Hilde.
Pop-Pop's been sick
for a really long time.
You know, algae doesn't even cause
the kind of symptoms that he has.
I know I need to be careful
about seeing what I wanna see,
but what if it wasn't just algae?
What if there was something else
in the pond that made him sick,
and that's why they covered it up?
Well, you said it was algae.
- No, they did.
- Who's they?
I don't know. The town.
But why didn't they hold any hearings
or do any of that normal stuff?
Why did they just make it disappear?
You know what,
it feels like you're reaching again.
There has to be something out there
that can make him feel better.
Yeah, there is.
There is. It's you, silly.
- You're like a magic potion to Pop-Pop.
- No. No.
- Yeah, he's crazy about you.
- No, Dad. Dad, no.
Don't do that to me. You know I hate it.
All right, listen, look,
even if we did find out that Pop-Pop
was exposed to something in the water
you know, we can't change
or reverse what happened to him.
You know, it doesn't work like that.
I don't care.
I have to try.
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