Inside No. 9 (2014) s06e05 Episode Script

How Do You Plead?

This programme contains strong language BELL DINGS I'm in the lift, Curt.
Calm down.
I can't hear you.
Is that him shouting in the background? I'll be one minute.
Tell him I'll be one minute.
- Going up.
Can't keep away, Mr Bedford? - I've been summoned by his nibs.
- You're a better man than me.
- God! Thank God! Where have you been? - It's my night off, Curt.
It's none of your business.
What's going on? Where are all the guests? - He told them to go.
- Oh, no.
Was he polite about it? FROM OTHER ROOM: - Two-faced bunch of pricks, the lot of you! - I've had enough of it, Urban.
- He's not well.
- Oh, you don't say.
Look at my heart rate.
I've been beeping like a reversing lorry all afternoon.
My doctor told me to avoid stressful situations.
- Where's the locum? - Gone.
- Already? That was quick.
- I know.
He couldn't get out fast enough.
- Well, how long did he stick it? - He only came at four, and he was gone before Pointless started.
- DISTANTLY: - Standing about pretending you all give a fuck! I don't even know who half of you are! I didn't invite you! - Did you give him anything to calm him down? - Do you mean him, or the locum? - Him, in there! - No.
He was asking for his opioids, but I said he'd have to wait for you.
- Good.
He's been in a foul mood all afternoon.
- At one point, he said he wanted to see a priest.
- What? - Said he needed to confess something.
- Oh, for goodness' sake, why? It's his birthday, he's not being hanged.
- Huh! That'd be one way to shut him up.
He's been babbling about his old cases.
Names I didn't know.
He said I had to light a candle for him.
- Did he mean on his cake? - I've no idea.
But he was desperate for you to be here.
said you were the only one who could help him.
I thought, "Ooh, no offence taken!" - He is just attention-seeking.
- Janine's made hunter chicken.
I wanted to be home by half eight.
- All right, Curt, you go.
You'll be fine if you make all your connections.
- His birthday cake's in the kitchen, if you want any.
I hope he chokes on it.
- Curt, go.
Love to Janine.
- Thank you, Urban.
Thank God for you.
- LIFT DOOR CLOSES - Bedford, where the fuck are you?! What do you think you're doing, just pissing off whenever it suits you? - Nice to see you too, Mr Webster.
- What do I even pay you for? - Oh, beats me.
Force of habit by now, I expect.
- Leaving me here to be looked after by the man in the fucking moon.
- Well, who's that, then? - Oh, that useless blob Curt drafted in.
Had a head like a fucking globe.
- Mm.
So, how many's that you've got through now? This needs changing.
- Oh, God knows.
Eh, you were around the 30-mark, I think.
Yeah, you're the best of a bad bunch.
- Oh, high praise! No, it's fine, really.
I'd much rather be back here than at my friend's concert.
I've been dying to see you since, er, ooh, when was it? Lunchtime today.
- Well, I AM dying, so - It's your birthday! What're you so upset about? Is it because of last year, when I took you to that antique auction, and three people bid on you? - Urban, please, may I have 50 milligrams of fentanyl? - No, you may not, Mr Webster.
- You're a bastard! - Not for another three hours.
And don't think you can get round me by using my first name.
- Curt tells me you're always calling him by his first name.
- It won't work with me.
- Oh, that's not what I'm calling him.
- Rude.
- This is supposed to be palliative care, not some kind of prolonged torture.
- Well, someone should've read the small print, then.
I don't think you can have one without the other.
You've got your patch on, that's supposed to tide you over.
- It's not touching the fucking sides any more.
I'm burning alive here.
You're meant to provide me with - Open.
- You're a bully.
- Shush.
I like taking your temperature.
- Mm? - Stops you talking for a minute.
- Oh! - I'm sorry about your pills.
If I give you any more right now, you'd overdose and die.
How about I bring you a nice piece of birthday cake? I'll blow your candles out for you.
We can pretend you did it.
- I haven't got time for this! - Oh, really? What else are you up to? You off rock climbing? Got some scuba diving booked I don't know about? - You shouldn't make jokes at my expense.
I have some very powerful friends.
- You used to have! You told 'em all to go forth and multiply, didn't ya? You're feverish.
I'm not happy.
- What time is it, in real life? - Time you stopped babbling and calmed yourself down.
I'll get you a flannel.
- What was this concert you missed? - Oh, it doesn't matter, it's done now.
- Oh, just tell me! Why do you have to make everything so fucking exhausting? - My friend Dolly plays clarinet with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
She had a solo tonight at the Royal Albert Hall.
I had tickets booked, that's all.
- Well, how much was the ticket? I'll reimburse you.
- It was a comp.
That's not the point, is it? It was Dolly's big night.
She'd have appreciated my support.
Lift up.
- WellI appreciate your support.
- Yeah, I know you do.
But I get to see you every day, don't I? She might never get to do that again.
But I'd put money on me getting a few more goes at wiping your bum.
- Oh, Godit's so humiliating to me to hear that.
You shame me.
- I'm only joking.
I've never bet on anything in me life.
- Oh, that doesn't surprise me.
You don't fucking swear either, do you? - I have been known to blurt out "fiddlesticks" in moments of crisis.
- Remarkable.
You are such a kind soul.
- I'm not really.
It's just a front.
I just do nice things to balance it out.
Now, why did you get me back here tonight? - Well, you've only ever known the ill version of me, but I was very successful at a very early age.
When I was young and well, God, I .
I lived my life with such vigour.
- I know.
I've read the articles.
A winning streak that lasted over 45 years.
It's unheard of.
You were fearless.
The Lion of the Bailey, they called you.
- I can't remember how I did it.
And, then, as you get older, this fucking timidity creeps in.
You get cowed by youth, overwhelmed by the self-confidence of others.
- I bet it's just like riding a bike.
You just need warming up again.
Show me how you used to do it.
- Oh, don't be ridiculous.
- No, come on, it'll be fun.
And I'll get to see the Lion in action.
- Lion? Dead cat, more like.
- I'll pick a crime, and then, you try and get me off.
So to speak.
- I am not in the mood.
- I'll give you half a fentanyl.
- Very well.
So, Mr Bedford, what exactly are they accusing you of? - Ah, yes.
Now, it's a rather delicate matter.
- Go on.
- Well, it's to do with an incident that happened last month with my ex-wife.
- Wife?! This story is already stretching credulity.
- Just go along with it.
So, I turned up at her house, where she was hosting a birthday party for our precious daughter Xylophone and, in a room full of 25 witnesses, I pulled out a shotgun, I tied her up, and I drove her to my isolated cottage, where I held her captive until she agreed to give me custody.
- Of your precious daughter, Xylophone? - Correct.
- And did she? - No.
So I shot her in the face.
Go on, then.
How would you plead that? - Well, lawful excuse.
My client was cleaning his licensed hunting rifle in readiness for a grouse shoot when he genuinely mistook what turned out to be the bursting of a children's party balloon for live fire.
Fearing for his wife's wellbeing, he immediately drove her to a safe house in the country, using a length of rope to prevent her from injuring herself on the journey.
- Wow! - Furthermore, it is my intention to file a product liability claim for substandard party balloons with reference to British Standard 3303, part one.
- How much for the claim? - I think we'd be happy to settle for five million, plus costs.
- Oh-ho-ho, get in! The Lion roars again! THEY LAUGH You've still got it, Mr Webster! HE CHOKES Oh! HE COUGHS HE GASPS BREATHES DEEPLY - Well, thank you, Bedford, for this short diversion.
But I need you to help me with something tonight.
- Not another sudoku.
- No, come on, I'm serious.
- And so am I.
That's why I'm here with you, and not listening to my friend, Dolly, playing Mr Mozart.
- It's this birthday, this Oh, the It's such a weight.
I have to remember! - If it's your age, it'll say on your cake.
Shall I go and fetch it? Two plates, pot of tea? - No, bring me my Filofax.
- Why? Are we taking it on Antiques Road show? - Please! It's it's in the cabinet, on the .
in the top drawer.
- Locked.
I don't suppose you can recall where the key is.
- What do you think? You'll have to smash it open.
- I'm not doing that! I'm a trained nurse, I'm not a labourer.
- I have to read through my old cases.
Something's troubling me.
- Wait a minute.
Before we go all World's Strongest Man .
do you remember where you keep your old barista uniform? - Barrister! And it's not a uniform.
- Where is it? Cos I don't believe for a minute you've given it to Dogs Trust.
- My robes and my wigs are in the back of that wardrobe.
- Ah! Oh, there you are, you see.
No problem remembering where your frocks are.
You've got your priorities right.
- What? - What made you want to be a barrister in the first place? Was it this costume? Be honest.
- I don't know! Why does anyone do anything? Why did you end up doing this? - I've never liked filing cabinets.
Which is funny, cos you'd put them in the same camp as stationery, and I love stationery.
- What are you talking about? - I think they remind me of school.
Carl Jackson choking on a tangerine before home economics.
I'll never forget how quickly he went blue.
Carl was the school bully .
so nobody wanted to help him.
Everyone just stood about, eating crisps.
I tried smacking him on the back, sticking my fingers down his throat - which I cringe at now, cos that's really not protocol, but .
I was 13.
I didn't know what to do.
And I can still smell that orange.
He died on the floor in front of me.
They never even sent us home.
We just made an apple crumble with Miss Phillipson like nothing had happened.
So, in answer to your question, I think that's why I've ended up doing what I'm doing.
Spent my life trying to save Carl Jackson.
Ah! There we are.
I knew I'd find one.
Just like in the films.
Ta-da! How about that, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates?! - Wait! Don't open it.
- What? Why not? - I don't want you to.
I've changed my mind.
- Oh, you're joking.
- There's something terrible in there.
One of my old cases, something I did.
A weight.
- Well, we can't leave it at that, can we? I'm opening it.
OPENS DRAWER HE GASPS - What is it? - Oh, my God.
Human head! Oh, Mr Webster, who is this? What did you do? - Stop it! What is in there? - Nothing.
Just files, letters, diaries.
Nothing too scary, by the look of it.
HE GROANS All right, Mr Webster.
That is enough excitement for one day.
- You have to help me.
- I will help you, but you need to rest.
- No, I don't want to sleep.
You don't understand.
What? What have you? - WEAK GROANS MUSIC PLAYING CLOCK TICKING THUD CHOKING CHOKING CONTINUES CHOKING AND STRUGGLING No! Don't, no! Don't! No! Don't! HE SCREAMS HE GASPS - I thought it was me that needed sleep.
- Sorry.
Bad dream.
- Well, you found it.
After all this time.
- The Crown versus Andrew Waite.
- A rather ferrety-looking man, accused of strangling his mistress with a belt.
Everyone knew he was guilty.
And it looked like another defeat in my dead-end career.
- But you got him off.
- Mm.
I came across a piece of evidence - a photograph of Mr Waite attending a party 80 miles away.
It was a cast-iron alibi and I played it for all it was worth.
I dazzled that jury.
There were fireworks.
Mr Waite was released that very day.
- But you said he was guilty.
- The photograph was a fake.
I obtained it by immoral means.
I let a guilty man walk free.
It's haunted me ever since.
- You've probably never seen Frozen, Mr Webster, but .
you've got to make like Elsa and let it go.
If you've done something unforgiveable .
you just have to forgive yourself.
- Do you forgive me, Urban? - Course I do.
- Oh, what have I done to deserve you? Is it nearly midnight? - Five to.
Why? - He'll be here soon.
- Who? - Threescore years ago, I signed this contract.
But, tonight, my time is up.
- What are you talking about? I'll get you a fentanyl.
- How do you think I became so successfulovernight? How did I come into possession of that impossible piece of evidence? - LOUD THUD - It was Oh, no.
- It's all right, Mr Webster, it's only a power cut.
Your machines have their own generator.
You'll be fine.
- God forgive me! - Look, I just need to go and flick the circuits, but I've got to go to the other room.
- Don't leave me! Please! - I'll be right back.
Fuck! - Bedford! What's going on? What's that noise? - It's all right, Mr Webster.
Stay where you are.
It's dark.
I don't want you to fall.
CLOCK CHIMES CLOCK CHIMES CLOCK TOLLS THE HOUR FINAL TOLL ECHOES CLICK LIFT STOPS Hello? ATTENDANT: - How are you doing, Mr Bedford? Everything all right in there? - Ah! Thank goodness, yes.
I was just about to call you.
What's happened? - Power's out right across town.
How's Mr Webster? Is he OK? - He's good.
We, er, had a bit of a rough night.
A trip down memory lane.
He got a bitoveremotional.
- Special occasions can do that to people, I suppose.
- They can.
So, how are you? Busy night, I expect.
- I can't be everywhere at once, but I try.
No rest for the wicked.
- Do you think everything'll go back to normal soon? - I'm not sure.
We may be in the dark .
a little while longer yet.
- Right.
My eyes are starting to adjust.
- Mine, too.
- Oh, dear.
It is you, isn't it? Mr Mistoffelees.
Ohsorry, no, that's Cats.
What do you want? - He's had his life.
I've come for what I'm owed.
Webster! - Oh, God.
- I'm afraid not.
It's good to see you again.
It's been a long time.
- Please! I'd like to renegotiate my contract.
I'm not ready to go.
- Well, no-one ever is, but, erm .
a deal's a deal.
- Can I say something in his defence? - Proceed.
- I'm his nurse.
I've looked after him for five years.
I've seen him deal with all this sickness, all this pain.
- I know! It's been splendid.
And I've had a ringside seat.
- He's led a good life.
- He has.
He helped free into the world so many destructive people.
- I don't think he's such a bad man.
A bit grouchy sometimes.
- That's very forgiving of you.
- I try to be a decent person.
- There's no accounting for taste.
- I don't suppose there's anything I could say that would get him off the hook? - There's no need to plea bargain on my account, Bedford.
I was one of the country's best criminal defence lawyers for 50 years, remember.
- I'm just trying to help you.
- And you have.
For the past five years, you've been an angel on Earth.
A beacon of light.
Just think .
his kind soul would burn far more brightly than mine.
- What are you suggesting? - In civil law, there is a thing called substitution.
It is the putting of one person in the place of another so that he may, in default of ability in the former, have the benefit of a devise .
or legacy.
- In other words, I take him instead.
- Mr Webster! What are you doing? - I let you discover my secret, and you still forgave me - just as I hoped.
- Let me see.
- What if I want to object, Your Honour? - Objection is for American courts.
Here, I would just remind my learned friend not to lead the witness.
- I'm really not that good a person.
- In comparison to me, you are a saint.
- And that is what makes it so delicious.
- I never even got you a birthday present.
- I forgive you.
- Congratulations, Mr Webster, you've got yourself a stay of execution.
His contract is now your legacy.
You have the pen still? - Oh, yes.
- All done.
- What? - Yes, and the agreed addendum? No more pain? - Yes, yes.
Your recovery will be remarkable.
- Ah.
- As you know, Bedford, illness - proper illness, the dying kind - never occurs to the young.
Doesn't exist, even.
But my older clients all know pain.
They all specify health in the end years.
After all, that's all you've really got, isn't it? - What a relief! I feel better already.
Goodbye, Urban, and thank you for everything.
I hope you get to see the rest of your concert.
I'm told the Devil has the best tunes.
- HE CHUCKLES - Shall we? - Oh! No, this isn't fair.
Mr Webster! You're making a mistake! - Told you earlier.
You're a better man than me.
- I'm .
really not.
- Oh, I see.
- Whawhawhat's happening? - A late development.
Something I missed - from Bedford's schooldays.
- To be fair, you did say you couldn't be everywhere at once.
- That's true.
- What is it? - Carl Jackson wasn't the school bully.
I was.
I stuffed a tangerine down his throat .
because he answered me back one day.
I killed him for fun.
Still have nightmares about it.
I've tried to atone for it since, but .
I'm no angel.
- Butwh-what about my new contract? - Null and void, I'm afraid.
Taking Bedford has lost all its currency.
- Oh, no, no, no, no, please, please! Let's just talk about this.
Surely we can come to some arrangement.
- Goodbye, Mr Webster.
I'll be seeing you.
- Oh, you most certainly will.
Going down.
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