I Know This Much Is True (2020) s01e02 Episode Script


Can you take care
of your brother, huh?
From the day you were born,
you were my strength.
I love your brother so much.
I don't know why that
you would do that right now.
I need you to stand up
for me for once.
Promise me, Dom.
Are you the social worker?
I'll take care of him, Ma.
I'll take care of him.
Thomas and I have
been to three different states
Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
and New Hampshire.
Four, counting Connecticut.
In less than half an hour, we'll
be in a new state, New York.
Because we're on
the third grade field trip
to the Statue of Liberty.
Ma told us when we
ride on the ferry,
we'll see the exact same view
our grandfather saw
when he first came
to this country in 1913.
Oh, you don't have one?
Can I have one of those?
Ma was always
talkin' about her father.
She says he was a great man,
but I never knew him.
He died before we were born.
We're about halfway there
when my brother gets up
to use the bathroom.
He's probably gonna stink up
the whole bus
and make everyone gag.
Don't get anything on ya!
My brother ruins everything.
Five minutes go by
and he's still in there.
It's stuck!
I heard him
flush a long time ago.
Dominick, help, help!
He's probably poopin' all over.
I feel bad for him.
And mad. And humiliated.
Kids are looking at me,
too, not just Thomas.
"The Birdsey brothers,
identical twin retards."
It smells like a pile
of shit in there.
- What's going on?
- It came through the door.
What's going on?
All right, you guys, you guys.
Come on, sit down.
What's going on here?
Thomas is
locked in the bathroom.
Thomas. Hey, hey, hey, hey.
Calm down, listen to me.
Push the lock,
grab the lock,
and flick it to the left.
- Click it to the left.
- It's not working!
What a weirdo!
- Bus driver!
- He's pulling his pud in there!
Can you pull over?
You just gotta move
the bolt and the handle together.
All right,
everybody settle down.
- Could you just stop that?
- Diarrhea'd on me.
- What's his name?
- Thomas.
- Thomas? Thomas.
- Can you please sit down?
Try to move the the bolt and
the handle together to the left.
- Please! Please!
- It's stuck.
Can you just pull it open?
No. It opens from the inside.
Can you just use
No, I understand that.
- I understand that.
- That weirdo!
My 2-year-old brother
could open the door.
I think it's stuck.
I have a bus full of kids.
We need to get on the ferry
by 10:45 or we're gonna miss
I will I will call
the bus company.
They'll have to come down here
with the tools and fix it.
It may take two hours.
It may take three hours.
Get him out!
Calm him down.
Everybody, sit down.
Bus moves. Please sit down.
- Bus moves.
- Okay.
Come on.
We're gonna miss the ferry.
Everyone's disappointed.
We're gonna
stop at the side of the road
The day is ruined.
We're heading to a gas
station to call for help
Sit down, please.
When this know-it-all,
Eugene Savitsky,
walks to the back of the bus
with an idea.
Eugene, you've gotta sit down.
- Eugene, sit down.
- Have him push it to the right.
Yeah, but the lock
is to the left.
Yeah, but maybe he doesn't
know the difference
between the right and the left.
The right and the left.
Okay, all right.
Hey, Thomas, let's try
something different, okay?
Try pushing it to the right,
the lock.
To the right.
The other way that you were.
Come on, let's go out.
Eugene, can you switch seats
with Dominick, please?
Thank you. Dominick, come on.
Let's go sit by your brother.
You okay?
Thomas, you okay?
All right.
We're almost there, guys.
For the rest
of that whole long day,
Thomas acts really out of it.
- Just sit down, please.
- We're gonna miss the ferry!
No, we're
not gonna miss the ferry.
We are not missing the ferry.
We're fine.
Please, sit down.
Please, sit down.
Nobody uses the bathroom
At the harbor,
Thomas tells Miss Hanker
he feels too nervous to get
on the ferry to the statue.
So she makes me stay behind
with him and the bus driver.
That night,
I dream I'm trapped
in a small, dark cave
in a woods I don't recognize.
It's pitch dark.
I bang and cry for help
and when, at last,
I discover a way out, I realize
I've not been trapped
in a cave at all
but inside
the Statue of Liberty.
Wake up, sleepyhead.
You'll never guess
who called yesterday.
Who called?
Connie Chung.
She wants to interview Thomas.
Jesus Christ.
What? It's a pretty cool thing.
They're doing this special
on people's reaction
to Operation Desert Shield.
He definitely had a reaction.
I was really excited
to tell you.
Come here, look at this.
- What?
- Look at that.
Oh, my God.
Oh, my God, what is that?
Fucking guard kneed me
in the testicles.
Hatch Forensic Hospital.
I can't believe how big
they got. Fuckin' killing me.
- So what do you think?
- What?
- What do you think?
- About what?
About my balls?
No, about Connie Chung.
- What about her?
- Well, I need to let her know
one way or the other,
and I had to give her
my work number in case
she couldn't get a hold of you.
- You gave her your work number?
- Yeah.
Tell her no. No.
- Seriously?
- Seriously.
Okay, I mean
it's your decision.
I just think
- You just what?
- I, I just
I just think that
you should talk to her
because she was really nice
and I think you should just
talk to her on the phone before
you make your decision.
And Thad thought so, too.
Thad? What does he
have to do with this?
He had nothing to do with it.
He was just here when she called
and he answered the phone
and then when I got off
we were both just like,
"Oh, my God, we were just
talking to Connie Chung from TV."
Whoa, big fat fuckin' whoop.
Connie Chung from TV. Oh!
I don't want that fuck
I don't want that asshole
picking up our phone, all right?
I have business on that line.
I don't want his voice
representing my business.
Well, just talk
to her, Dominick.
She's, she's really nice.
Yeah, I'm sure
she's really, really nice
because she really,
really wants something from you.
Listen, Joy, Connie Chung
is not gonna be
your new best friend, all right?
I know she's not
my new best friend.
I don't want it here.
I'm dealing with a few
fuckin' things here,
as you can see.
I don't want the fuckin'
media circus
circling our house.
All right,
she's manipulating you.
I'm not, I'm not stupid.
Whether you think I am or not.
Oh, give me a fuckin' break.
Do you know what I really,
really wish?
I wish, I wish that you
could just take care of me
the way that you
take care of him.
Oh, Jesus Christ.
That would be
a really nice surprise
to be taken care of
by my own boyfriend.
That's not gonna happen, is it?
Because I'm not crazy.
Well, that's debatable.
- Fuck you.
- Come on.
Don't, don't, just don't
do this, all right?
Not now.
Stop yourself, all right?
Put the brakes on yourself.
So I don't
I'm sorry, all right?
I, I didn't, I don't
think you're stupid.
And I don't think you're crazy.
I this, this is hard for me.
It's hard for you.
It's hard for all of us.
But I have to take care
of my brother.
That's non-negotiable,
all right?
It's just something
that I have to do.
I have to do it.
You, you do it.
Just go for it, Dominick.
Joy, I am not
being unreasonable.
This is Henry
Rood, 67 Gillette Street.
This is my fourth call
- Shit.
- I n three days.
I'd like to know
when in the hell
you're gonna get
back to work over here.
If at all possible,
I would like to be able
to look out my office window
by the time the snow flies
and not see your scaffolding.
Hello, this is
the Three Rivers Examiner
calling to request an
interview with Thomas Birdsey
at his earliest convenience.
Please call 292-1314.
Get to the back of
the fuckin' line, asshole.
Behind Connie Chung.
Hey, this is Lisa Sheffer
calling for Dominick Birdsey.
I'm a social worker at
the Hatch Forensic Institute.
I'm calling about
your brother, Thomas.
I know that there was
a bit of a commotion
when you guys checked in,
but I wanted to let
you know I saw him
and he's doing really well.
Under the circumstances
he's doing fine.
I'll be here tonight
till about 11:00 o'clock
and I'll be here
at 8:00 in the morning.
Um, give me a call back.
if you have any questions
or you wanna know
how your brother's doing
at any time.
He's actually very well
tonight. I saw him just now.
And they've got him on one-to-one
observation, which is good.
- You must be his brother.
- Yeah, I'm Dominick Birdsey.
Hey, Lisa Sheffer.
Left a message on your machine.
Thanks for gettin' here
so quickly.
Have a seat.
Yeah, so I didn't get your
message till this morning,
um, but there's obviously been
some kind of misunderstanding
- with my brother.
- Excuse me.
Hello, Sheffer.
Yeah, uh, honey, how are you?
No, honey, I have somebody
in the office with me now.
Mommy's working. Yeah.
Thank you. I love you, goodbye.
Sorry about that.
My daughter's quite a handful.
Yeah, so, your real name's
Domenico, huh?
Yeah, how do you know that?
It was in your brother's
records here.
Um, what is it, a family name?
I was named
after my grandfather.
My grandfather's name
is Domenico as well.
Isn't that funny?
Yeah, Domenico Parlapiano.
How's that for a mouthful?
Just trying to get your
brother's file transferred here
but you know what I'm doing,
I keep hitting the shift key.
Can, can we just talk
about my brother?
How am I gettin' him outta here?
Okay, we can.
Your brother, Thomas,
was placed here
on a 15-day paper.
That means he'll be here
for 15 days under observation.
When the observation
is complete,
his case will go before probate,
and then most likely
to the PSRB.
- Okay, listen, I look.
- Yeah.
I don't, I don't wanna
be rude, all right?
'Cause you're the first human
being I've run into in this place.
But first of all, don't, don't
sit here talking initials at me.
And number two, uh, uh, don't
tell me about any 15-day paper,
because I'm gettin' him
out of here today.
- Hm. Yeah.
- Okay?
How about you change that tone?
Okay, just take a deep breath
and calm down.
I'll calm down when this
whole runaround is over.
What you need to do
is get a hold of his doctor,
Dr. Willis Ehlers.
He'll tell you, he doesn't
This is somebody's mistake.
He doesn't belong here
and he should be over at Settle.
Well, um, Dr. Ehlers is no
longer your brother's doctor.
- He has been reassigned.
- Reassigned by who?
The state commissioner's office
in Hartford.
It's not all bad news though.
Dr. Patel is
his new psychologist,
who is absolutely fantastic.
All right, no, Dr. Ehlers
is my brother's doctor.
He has been my
brother's doctor for the
Treating him
for the last four years.
Successfully, for the most part.
Your brother cut off his hand.
I every single time
he's ever had an episode,
he ends up at Settle.
So why would he end up here,
all right?
He's practically a fixture
down there,
and if you made one phone call,
if you took the time to listen
to what I'm saying to you,
- and you made a phone call.
- You know what?
- I don't like your tone.
- Heh. Sorry!
I really don't, no.
You can leave if you want to.
I'm an advocate. I'm here
for you and for your brother.
- So knock it off.
- Listen to me.
My brother doesn't belong here.
He's got no defenses.
I understand.
He's probably freaking
out right about now.
It's like putting a bunny rabbit
into a pack of wolves.
He's not gonna survive here.
And it's gonna be on you.
Well, it's not gonna be on
me, but thanks for saying that.
Who's it gonna be on?
I'm gonna give it to you
straight, Dominick, okay?
Your brother was placed
in a forensic hospital
because he's seriously
mentally ill
and he committed
a serious crime.
What, what crime?
- You know what he did.
- What did he do?
You know what he did.
Oh, so he interrupted
some old lady's
afternoon reading, and he gets
a little blood on
the library carpet?
A little?
I mean, what he did
is totally bizarre, yes.
I'm not, I'm not refuting
any of that.
But what serious crime
did he commit?
He was brandishing
a dangerous weapon.
Yeah, he wasn't
He did it to himself.
Yes, but you know what?
He counts.
He used it on himself
and he counts, Dominick.
Listen, I know him
better than anybody
and I'm probably
more dangerous than he is.
This guy is harmless.
You know what I think
your problem is?
If you could calm down
for a minute,
I'll just explain something
to you, okay?
You're assuming that this is
the worst place in the world
for your brother to be,
and that may not be the case.
And besides, Dominick, there
is nothing you can do about it.
Nothing. It's out of your hands.
Thomas is going to be here for
15 court-ordered days, minimum.
Okay, so what, what about
What happens after that?
What happens after the 15 days?
Unit Two's evaluation
team will make a recommendation
to the probate judge
that he either is discharged,
transferred to another facility,
or stays here
under the jurisdiction
of the review board.
What does the review board do?
They commit him.
- For how long?
- For a year.
A year?!
I know. Okay,
okay, with the violence
and the yelling.
You could maybe calm down
just a little.
I know it's
I know it's upsetting.
A year? How am I
supposed to look at him
when, when I see him today
and look him in the eyes
and I tell him, "Hey, Thomas,
here's how it is, okay?"
- Yeah.
- "You got 15 days here
and possibly 365 days
after that."
How am I supposed
to say that to him?
You're not gonna get
to see him today.
Oh, you're a fuckin' picnic.
Oh, now, Dominick, really.
- Really.
- Why am I not gonna get
- to see him today?
- Because this is protocol.
He's here under maximum
security status.
Thomas and I will have to
come up with a visitor list
- up to five people.
- How long is that gonna take?
It usually takes about
two weeks for clearance.
Two weeks. He's gonna
be outta here in two weeks.
That is not necessarily
the case.
I'm sorry, but you can call
me whenever you need.
Day or night.
I'm gonna put you in touch
with Dr. Patel.
In fact, you know what?
Let me call her now
and see if she can see you.
I'm sure she'll be helpful
at answering questions.
But I'm gonna tell you,
don't scream in her office.
She won't take it.
Yeah, hi, it's Lisa Sheffer.
I'm well, thank you.
How are you?
Do you think you have
any time today
to see Thomas Birdsey's brother,
He's very eager to see you.
- How's 5:00 p.m.?
- Fine.
5:00 p.m. is fine.
All right, thanks very much.
There you go.
You know, she's very busy,
so that's great we got in today.
Now, listen, I'm gonna see
your brother today.
I'm gonna tell him that you
were here trying to see him.
Is there anything else you
want me to tell him for you?
- That's fine.
- Nothing you want me to tell him?
No, I guess that's it.
How about that you love him?
He knows it.
Yeah, well, everybody
likes to hear it.
Okay, fine. Tell him I love him.
Okay, I will.
- Good morning, Mrs. Rood.
- Oh.
- Morning.
- Good morning.
Hey, uh, can I speak
with your husband?
Uh, he's been leaving me
quite a few messages.
No, I can't disturb him.
He's writing.
Or passed out
in an alcoholic stupor.
Okay, well, you know,
can you apologize to him for me?
Uh, for the delay?
I mean, obviously,
the rain, it can't be helped.
- No.
- And I've been, I've been
personally dealing with a few
Yes, so we read.
Circumstances that
are beyond my control.
How is he, your brother?
Yeah, he's all right.
He's better.
But listen, uh,
depending on the weather,
I should be done with this job
in six weeks tops.
This front is gonna pass
in the next 24 hours
and then I'll be going
full-steam ahead.
So he doesn't have to keep
callin' me, all right?
All right, that's fine.
Really, it's fine.
All right.
So what's he writing
up there, anyway?
The great American novel?
Oh, it's, it's non-fiction.
It's some sort of exposé.
I don't know.
An exposé? Who's he
exposing? House painters?
All right, so I'll try
and stop by tomorrow.
Oh, do that, yes.
By the time I'm finished here,
you and your husband
are gonna be sick of seein' me.
You think so, really?
I don't think so.
Thank you, Mrs. Rood.
Home sweet home.
The only one left at the house
that my grandfather
had built for his family
was Ray Birdsey.
A WASP from Youngstown, Ohio.
No Tempesta blood in residence.
No Italian blood, even.
Being back at
68 Hollyhock Avenue
always made me
feel pissed and small.
Ten years old again
and powerless.
Growing up, I had wished
my stepfather dead so often.
It was practically a hobby.
I had killed him over
and over in my mind.
Driven him off cliffs,
electrocuted him in the bathtub.
Shot him dead
in hunting accidents.
The summer my grandfather died
was the same summer.
Ma was pregnant
with Thomas and me.
Pregnant by a guy whose name
I was probably
never going to know.
Had he known about us?
Why had she kept him from us?
Was the truth really that bad?
I'm so sorry it didn't work out.
Okay, now. Take care, Jeanette.
You liar.
What happened?
No sale.
I take one day off to go into
the city and what does she do?
Changes her mind, goes and
buys a Ford Taurus across town.
So they're only givin' him
five visitors.
You gotta get through
a security clearance,
then you gotta go get frisked,
and then you get to go through
a metal detector.
What they did to you
is not frisking, man.
That's like
police brutality.
- Have you taken pictures of that?
- No.
You gotta get pictures
taken, man, before it heals.
You need to document that shit.
You need to go to a doctor today
and get pictures taken,
like, real pictures.
Tasteful pictures of your balls.
So you have
documentary evidence.
You can use it to cut a deal
with these bastards, man.
You show them the pictures
and you say,
"I'll see you
in court unless"
"Unless what?"
"Unless you transfer
my brother back to Settle."
- That's not a bad idea.
- Right?
And then when you get him out,
you turn around and you sue
their ass off anyway.
You would do
that, wouldn't you, man?
- In a heartbeat.
- You're so
In a heartbeat, man.
That's a real opportunity.
I'm telling you,
I would take that in, oh
I would love that money.
That's easy money.
- Your phone.
- This, this is the hard money.
- Your phone's ringing.
- That is easy money.
- All right, get the phone.
- I hear the phone.
Constantine Motors, it's Leo.
Did you blow the sale?
Um, no, sir, she, uh,
she had a change of heart, so
What happened?
Uh, she went with the Ford
Taurus over at Three Rivers.
What? She was hot
for that car when she left!
I think she just changed
her mind at the last minute.
Um, so
What happened?
I took a day off
for an audition,
- and so, um, she thought
- You what?
You've gotta get your
priorities straight.
You took a day off,
and you blew the sale.
It wasn't a commercial.
It was a feature film this time.
- So what?
- Uh, it was a horror movie.
To be the lead detective.
Uh, there's some Christian
teenagers that are being
Whatever Murdered.
Hang up.
Don't just hang up.
- He hung up.
- He hung up.
I gotta go.
- A horror, a horror film?
- Why do I have to go back there?
Why doesn't he just
come out here?
He doesn't want to see me.
Give me a break, you were
always the favorite son-in-law.
That's bullshit.
- He hates me.
- Stay here.
Where am I going?
Howdy, Gene.
Hey, wake up, man.
Wake up.
- What time is it?
- It is 2:15.
In the p.m., in case
you were wondering.
Man, you really look like
dogshit, dude.
- Thanks, man.
- Are you getting any sleep at all?
You look like one of those, uh
what's that dog with,
like, the droopy face?
- And like the fucked-up teeth.
- A basset hound.
A basset hound.
That's what you look like.
- Fuck off.
- I'm just telling you, man.
'Cause no one else
is gonna tell you.
You got a lot
of rust on that thing.
- Yeah, don't worry about it.
- I'm just saying.
I could get you
in a nice Isuzu truck.
Find another victim.
- I'm serious, man.
- No.
I can get you a good deal.
The last time you
gave me a deal,
the fuckin' transmission
fell out of it.
Oh, that's not
how I remember it.
- Listen.
- I'm not in the mood, man.
I'm feelin' like shit.
How many people did you say
your brother gets on that list?
All right, well, tell him
he can put me on it.
I mean, if he wants.
Yeah, I'd be happy
to go down there and just
make sure he's hangin' in there.
I mean, me and him go back
a few years too, right?
Yeah, I'll mention it to him,
All right, brother.
- Dominick?
- Mm-hmm.
Hey, man, I'm Dale.
I'm gonna take a few photos
of you, if that's all right.
This is the, uh,
testicular contusion, correct?
- Yeah, man.
- Okay.
Can you sit up for me?
I'm just gonna take
a few photos of your injury.
- Um, I need to see the injury.
- Ah, shit. Right.
All right,
good morning, sunshine.
There we go.
Two, three.
Cops did this to you?
Yeah, man. A prison guard.
Fuckin' cops, am I right?
Uh, it's smart to do
what you're doin', man.
I'm serious, I got hit
by the cops once, man.
I should have done somethin'.
Coming back from
an Aerosmith concert.
You know Aerosmith? They're
the fuckin' best band in the world.
My brother and I
were high as hell.
Cops pull us over, they
tell us to step out of the car.
My brother tells 'em
to walk this way.
They beat the shit out of us.
I mean, the shit out of us, man.
If I had any proof,
I would be a richer man.
You know, I wish
I had your brains, man
What time is it?
Babe, seize the day.
Okay, I gotta
- Just
- I'll get the baby.
Right, bring her in here.
- No.
- Something's wrong.
- No.
- I don't know what to do!
No, no, Dominick. Why is
No, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no! Is she breathing?
On the worst anniversaries,
Angela's birthday,
or her death day.
I still see Dessa doubled over
and wailing as the ambulance
pulled out of our driveway.
And then there was my brother.
And they knew that I would
sometimes stay there,
and that's how Angela
was murdered.
I still clench
when I remember Thomas
telling people that there
was a strong possibility.
Angela's death had been
arranged by his enemies
as a warning to him.
- The FBI, the CIA Dominick.
- Hey, hey, knock it off.
They were after
me and I'm sorry
Knock it off.
It has nothing to do with you.
It was Pablo Escobar
Come on, come on, come on!
- I swear to God!
- Come on, man!
It has nothing to do with you!
It has nothing to do with you!
All right, it's my daughter!
I forget
whether it was the Ayatollah
or the Colombian drug cartels
who were pursuing
Thomas that month.
But I could have bashed
his fuckin' head into the wall
when I heard him say that,
making our daughter's death
about him.
What the hell's the matter
with you?
For a month more,
Dessa was a zombie
and I was management central.
The one who dealt with
the coroner and the cops.
And all those casseroles
people kept bringing to the door.
The covered dish brigade.
A week or so later,
I threw everything out,
washed everyone's dishes,
and went driving around town
returning them.
This will pass. It'll pass.
Dessa's father assured me
that we two kids
would get over our loss.
These things happen.
He assured me as
soon as we had another baby.
You can't be moping around.
We should start
as soon as possible.
You have to embrace life.
A lot of people did that.
Prescribed pregnancy
as the answer to our grief.
Everything's gonna be all right.
assumed the feel and sound
and smell of her was disposable.
- Replaceable.
- I'm gonna go for a walk.
As if all Dessa and I had to do
was erase over our daughter
like videotape.
Sadie, come on, come.
You wanna come?
No, I'm good.
All right, come on. Let's go.
We held on
for a little over a year.
Dessa and me.
We never really fought.
Fighting took too much energy.
After a while,
she started going to these.
SIDS parent support group
meetings down in New Haven,
pressuring me to go too.
His name was Kyle.
I went twice,
then I couldn't go back.
I just couldn't do it.
Because that group
pissed me off,
if you want to know the truth.
All those touchy-feely types
connecting with their sorrow,
wallowing in it.
The dead babies club.
The weekly pity party.
Dominick, I need
you to open up to me.
I can't do this by myself.
What good is it gonna do?
We'll talk and we'll cry
and we'll talk some more.
She'll still be dead.
Life didn't have to make sense.
That was the big joke, get it?
You could have a brother
that stuck metal clips in his hair
to deflect enemy signals
from Cuba.
A biological father who,
in 33 years,
had never shown his face,
and a baby dead in her bassinet.
And none of it meant
a fucking thing.
Dessa saw
ahead of time the wallop.
Angela's birthday
was going to pack
and started
planning accordingly.
She wanted both of us
to go on a trip
to Greece and Sicily.
Wanted us to use
the life insurance money
we'd gotten to take that trip.
I could've gotten the
time off from work, I guess.
But I said no.
Told her I thought
it was sick taking a trip
financed with death money.
But the unspoken truth,
the thing I couldn't say,
is that I was afraid.
Afraid to confine myself
in a ship's cabin with her.
On a ship, you couldn't
grab the keys and drive off.
On a ship, we could
make another baby.
We made love maybe a dozen times
in the year after
the baby's death.
Always with a diaphragm in,
and each time,
I pulled out early anyway.
The thought of that trip
scared the crap out of me.
"Go without me,"
I encouraged her.
And so she called my bluff
and went.
I had my own plans,
my own mission
for my own recovery.
Dominick Birdsey?
Oh, sorry.
- Hey.
- So sorry I startled you.
You were sleeping, weren't you?
- Uh, who are you?
- I'm Dr. Patel.
Oh, I'm sorry. No, no, I'm just
I'm sorry, I was vegging out.
Why don't you
come on up, Mr. Vegetable?
All right.
- Oh!
- Excuse me.
Come on! Let's go!
Take a seat, please.
I was going to put on
a pot of tea
before we started.
Would you like to join me?
Yeah, sure.
Are you getting enough sleep,
Mr. Birdsey?
Uh, it's just been a long day.
Well, I can offer
you chamomile
You can understand.
- Peppermint, and wildberry spice.
- Mmm?
- Whatever.
- Ah, whatever.
The favorite word of
ambivalent American men.
It's passive-aggressive,
don't you think?
I'll have the spice, thanks.
So what's going on
with my brother?
Have you seen him?
Yeah, just today, actually.
- There there was an incident.
- An incident.
Your brother seems to have
a preoccupation
with the surveillance cameras.
And this afternoon, at lunch,
he began shouting
and throwing food at the camera
on the wall in the dining room.
And then, when an aide
attempted to contain him,
the table overturned.
Thomas turned the table?
And from what I understand,
several of the other
patients' meals
landed on the floor
and something
of a melee followed.
But the guards were called
and the situation
was quickly
brought under control,
but your brother
had to be restrained.
Are you kidding?
Is he, is he still like that?
No, no, he was
back in his room by 4:00.
I didn't tell you this
to alarm you.
It's not abnormal for patients
with paranoia
to act out occasionally.
I'm telling you this
because you had mentioned
to Lisa Sheffer that you
wanted to be kept informed.
- How is he now?
- He's withdrawn, sullen.
I spoke to his psychiatrist,
Dr. Chase,
and, well, he's considering
as one of his options
to increase your brother's
dosage of Haldol.
Jesus Christ, here we go. You
know, you take off the restraints
and then you throw him in a
straitjacket of his medication.
The last time his doctors upped
his medication after an episode,
it was literally like someone
had plugged him into
a frickin' light socket.
He was walking around like
a fuckin' piece of bacon.
Well, Mr. Birdsey, you know,
neuroleptic medications
are very effective in lessening
delusions and hallucinations
but unfortunately,
they also enhance
the negative symptoms.
I know, I know all about it.
I know all about the Prolixin
and the Stelazine,
and all that other stuff,
all right?
You don't
You can't have a brother
who's been in and out of
the state hospital for 20 years
and not know all of
their chemical voodoo.
He hates the Haldol.
It makes him feel like shit.
And I don't give you guys
permission to turn him
into a zombie
just because he freaked out
and he turned over a table
just because it happens to be,
um, convenient for the staff,
all right?
It's unacceptable to me.
And it's unacceptable
to me, too, Mr. Birdsey.
Please give me credit
for some professional ethics.
I'm an advocate for your
brother. I'm I'm not an enemy.
I'm not a mad scientist.
I spoke to Dr. Chase, and I
told him that in my opinion,
increasing your brother's dosage
of Haldol was probably ill-advised
and most certainly premature.
And I would be more than happy
to relay your concerns
- to the doctor as well.
- Which would count for what?
One of the divine
gods of psychiatry doing what?
Just listening politely
and then going forward
and doing whatever the hell
they wanted to anyway?
I mean, come on.
I've been here.
You're very
tired, aren't you, Mr. Birdsey?
Yeah, I am.
I am.
It's been a long 40 years, lady.
Would you like to have
some tea now?
Your brother tells
me that you're an avid reader.
That your house
is filled with books.
You know, he was
very animated when
he was telling me
about you, you know?
He seems very proud
of your mind.
Hm, right.
You think otherwise?
I think that, uh, Thomas
can't focus on much of
anything or anyone but Thomas.
And because of his disease,
he's unable to, um,
think about anybody but himself.
Was he like that
even as a child?
He worried more.
About what?
About, about people.
About me.
I mean, he was a bigger
worrywart than she was.
- And who was that?
- My mother.
She used to call him
the bunny rabbit
and me the spider monkey.
Hey, what difference
does it make, anyway?
I mean, all this history stuff,
it's-it's-it's irrelevant.
I mean, this is the same stuff
they were doing 20 years ago
when this whole thing, when this
when this nightmare first started.
All right, it's genetic. It's got
nothing to do with his upbringing.
There's no use delving into
the secrets of the past.
You know, let's just
Let's focus on the present.
Let's, let's get him
the proper medications
so that he can
control his behavior
and let's try to teach the guy
some self-management.
Are you uncomfortable
about remembering the past?
Am I? No, I'm not uncomfortable.
Why, why, hey, listen.
Why do you insist on
turning this around on me?
Well, because you're his twin,
aren't you?
You're his mirror image,
so to speak.
His, his healthy self.
In scientific terms, well,
you're the equivalent
of a control group.
All right, all right.
The part of himself that is free
from the burden of his disease.
In a sense,
as his identical twin,
well, you are he and he is you.
More than most siblings
- you are each other.
- I, I, I don't know.
I want to play you
a recording of my session
with your brother from today
after the incident.
I was very pleased
with our progress and I
I thought it might be helpful
to hear your reactions.
Is that fair? I mean, in terms
of patient confidentiality?
Hmm! There you go again,
Mr. Birdsey.
Worrying about
my ethical intent.
with Thomas Birdsey, 2:30 p.m.
Sixteen, October, 1990.
Mr. Birdsey, are you aware
this is being taped?
I'm aware. I'm aware of plenty.
And I have your permission
to replay the tape
to the people we talked about.
Your brother, Miss Sheffer,
Dr. Chase.
No, not Dr. Chase,
I changed my mind about him.
- Why is that?
- 'Cause it's too risky.
How-how do I know he's not
working for the Iraqis?
In my line of work, you can't
afford to take chances.
Your line of work, Mr. Birdsey?
What line of work is that?
No comment.
I'm just trying
to understand, Mr. Birdsey.
Do you mean your coffee and
newspaper business
or something else?
Curiosity killed
the cat, didn't it?
Mr. Birdsey, I'm
wondering if I may call you Thomas.
- No, you may not.
- Why is that?
I am Simon Peter.
Simon Peter the apostle?
Bingo, Miss Gandhi.
Why do you
refer to me as Miss Gandhi?
'Cause you
dress the part, Suzie Q.
Suzie Q. Why am I Suzie Q?
How should I
know why you're Suzie Q?
I-I don't know
if this means anything,
but that's what my stepfather
used to call my mother,
Suzie Q, and he sounds
just like him there.
Suzie Q was
your mother's nickname.
Was her name Susan?
No, Concettina or Connie.
But that's what my stepfather
used to call her when
When he was mad at her,
when he ridiculed her.
That's what he called her.
I know very little
about your family.
Tell me about them.
Your mother
is deceased, correct?
And you have a stepfather?
And a brother?
A twin brother. We're identical.
He likes to read.
Oh, you should see his house.
It's filled with books.
He's very, very intelligent.
And what about you, Mr. Birdsey.
I was called.
I was chosen by God.
And they almost immediately,
they started,
they started pursuing me.
But my brother,
he was a good teacher.
Students liked him
and respected his brain.
But he quit.
I don't know.
Something happened.
I don't want to talk about it.
What does
he do for a living now?
He paints houses.
I tell him, watch out for the
radioactive paint, Dominick.
He doesn't listen to me.
You hear that, Dominick?
In his own way, Thomas is still
worrying about your safety.
I see my brother
trying to get it off his fingers.
My stepfather has it, too.
But he doesn't come
to see me anymore
so I don't, I don't have
to worry about him.
Can you tell me about him?
My stepfather,
he beat he used to beat us.
- He hit you.
- When we were kids, yeah.
Frequently or infrequently?
- Frequently.
- Infrequently.
He used to take
his belt off and hit me with it.
- Where?
- My-my arms.
My behind.
One time, he, he hit me
across the face with his belt,
- and its buckle chipped my tooth.
- Stop the tape.
Stop. Right there, that's bullshit.
'Cause that, that didn't happen.
He, he, he chipped that tooth
in a sledding accident.
We were over at Cow Barn Hill,
we were going down the hill,
he flipped over and he hit
his mouth on a metal runner.
- Do you want me to stop?
- No, keep going.
No, no. He never
hit Dominick the way he hit me.
- No?
- No.
He always picked on Thomas Dirt.
Thomas Dirt?
Why do you refer to yourself
in that manner, please?
Is that right, Dominick?
- What?
- Were you usually spared?
Yeah, sometimes I was, yeah.
Because I didn't
push Ray's buttons
the way this kid did, all right?
I mean, I, I was smart enough
to know to shut up,
to play defense, he didn't.
Just play the tape. Come on.
- DR.
- Mr. Birdsey,
why do you think your stepfather
was more harsh with you
than he was with your brother?
I don't think why. I know why.
Because he was jealous of me.
What made him jealous?
Because he realized
that God has special plans for me.
He used to open up
my closet and urinate.
Urinate all over my clothes.
My shoes, too.
He was always doing that.
Pissing in my shoes.
Why do you think
he urinated on your clothes?
That, that was nothing.
That was the least of it.
He did worse things?
Much worse.
What did he do that was worse?
He would rape my
mother and make us watch.
- And he would, he would
- Come on.
He would tie me up
and stick things up my rear.
What kind of things?
If Ray knew he was
saying this stuff, man, Jesus.
Sharp things.
Pencils and screwdrivers.
You know, one time he took
the handle of a carving knife.
Oh, I can't, I can't.
Just stop it, stop it.
Right inside
What your brother said has upset
you very much, hasn't it?
What, no. Hell no, doc.
Why would that upset me?
My mother got raped
and we sat around and watched.
My stepfather used to stick
screwdrivers up his ass.
I mean, come on, that's easy.
That's, that was
That's awesome to listen to.
Jesus Christ, I thought you were
making progress with him. Fuck!
Tell me what you're feeling
right now, Dominick.
What the fuck does it matter
what I'm feeling?
I'm not the one who's having
this sick, perverted
You seem very
angry, Dominick. Tell me why.
You wanna know why I'm angry?
I'll tell you why I'm angry.
I'm supposed to be down
on Gillette Street right now
finishing a painting job
that I was supposed to finish
three fucking weeks ago,
and here I am
in a fuckin' mini mall,
listening to my brother
talk about shit
that never, ever happened.
Okay, yeah, it got bad
in our house.
Ray had a temper
like he was fucking on fire.
But he never raped him
with a screwdriver.
Dominick, please keep
your voice down.
- Why don't you sit down?
- I don't wanna sit down.
Take a few deep breaths.
You wanna know, do you
wanna know what it's like for me?
Do you?
It's like
it's like my brother
has been an anchor
around my entire life.
Even before he got sick.
Even before he goes and
lops his frickin' hand off.
An anchor pulling me down.
You know what I get?
I get just enough rope
to break the surface.
To breathe.
I used to think one day,
that I'd actually
get away from him, you know?
That I'd cut the cord.
But here I am, I'm 40 years old,
and I am still down
at the fuckin' nuthouse
running interference,
and I get it now.
I really do. I get it, man.
I really fucking get it.
- What do you get, Dominick?
- That I will
that that he is my curse.
I'm just.
I'm I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
I don't know what to do.
Your reactions, Dominick,
they've, uh
they've been
very illuminating to me.
But I think we should
discontinue the practice
of having you listen to
your brother's taped sessions.
You're the one
who said it would help.
Well, perhaps it was a bad idea.
It can help, but, uh
one brother's treatment shouldn't
put another brother at risk.
I learned something today.
I learned that there are two
young men lost in the woods.
Not one, two.
And I may never be able
to find one of those young men.
He's been gone so long,
the odds, I'm afraid,
may be against me, but
as for the other,
I may have better luck.
The other young man
may be calling me.
- Uh-oh.
- Oh, shit.
- Guess who's home!
- Hello, Dominick.
You want to come in
here and have a pumpkin
Come have a sucker.
Oh, no, better than a sucker.
I have toasted pumpkin seeds.
- You want some pumpkin seeds?
- Nope.
I don't want any
pumpkin seeds.
Try them!
Dominick, we
toasted pumpkin seeds.
Dominick, come and have
What'd he say?
Thad Is he always this angry?
I know that you have
a lot on your mind right now,
but that gives you
absolutely no excuse
to be that rude to my friend.
This is my house too,
and if I want to come home
after work and I wanna relax,
and I wanna have Thad over,
that's my business.
Don't shut the door on me!
Don't shut the door on me.
You just steal the light,
don't you?
You come in and you shit
over everything.
Listen, I've had a long day,
and when I come home,
I wanna have something to eat.
Something real.
Not frickin'
roasted pumpkin seeds.
And then I want to lay down
in my bed,
because I need some sleep.
Is that asking too much?
- Yeah, yeah!
- Is it?
'Cause you never think about
what I need, do you?
- Oh, fuckin' Jesus Christ.
- Not once!
Why don't you get your little
boyfriend or girlfriend
or whatever the fuck he is
outta here.
Oh, fuck you!
Thad, come on, let's go.
Fuck you!
You gotta be calm,
cool and collected
inside the hearing.
We're gonna write a script.
What do I say?
Start with your feelings
about your brother.
Why would
I type your paper for you?
Because of my hands.
How you know him to be.
I'm gonna get you out of here.
Write what's in your heart.
The last thing I wanted
was for us
to get into a fight tonight.
Write it down.
- I'm Dessa.
- Dominick.
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