NOS4A2 (2019) s01e01 Episode Script

The Shorter Way

1 - [ "Carol of the Bells" playing softly.]
- [Music fades.]
[Bedsprings creaking, man and woman moaning.]
[Door creaks.]
[Moaning continues.]
- Mom? - Ohh! [Exhales sharply.]
- What is it, Danny? - Can I sleep with you? - I could go.
- No, no, no.
He's too old for this.
Let's not play this game tonight, Daniel.
Please? I feel lonesome.
Like I'm the only person in the whole world.
Go back to bed, honey.
[Creaking, moaning resume.]
[Laughter on television.]
[Crunching, spoon clinking.]
[Static continues.]
RADIO: O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree You stand in verdant beauty O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree You stand in verdant beauty Your boughs are green in summer's glow And do not fade in winter's snow O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree You stand in verdant beauty [Dog barking in distance.]
[Door creaks.]
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree How faithful are thy branches O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree How faithful are thy branches In summer greenly dost thou grow And green amidst the [Door creaks.]
[Keys clatter.]
O Christmas treeeeeeee O Christmas treeeeeeee You're up past your bedtime, Daniel Moore.
[Door slams.]
[Faint groaning.]
Daniel? [Handle jiggling.]
[Breathing heavily.]
[Door slams.]
[Engine starts.]
My name is Charlie Manx.
And I understand what it is to feel lonesome.
To feel like you're the only person in the whole world.
[Whimpering, jiggling handle.]
No, no.
Don't fret, my boy.
Those presents will return to you just as soon as we arrive at Christmasland.
Oh, it's a very special place where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law.
Would you like to go there? [Breathing heavily.]
I want my mom.
- [Glass shatters.]
- [Groans.]
Daniel! Mom! Mom! - Mom! - [Pounding.]
Your mother wasn't interested in your games, Daniel Moore, and she isn't interested in you.
You just wait till we get to Christmasland.
Everybody loves games there.
No, baby! Run! [Sobbing.]
[Bones crack.]
O Christmas tree You stand in verdant beauty O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree You stand in verdant beauty [ "Carol of the Bells" playing eerily.]
You're so average, but there's more than meets the eye Caught between two different parts You don't know how good you are It's not very clear, it's just not, but oh why - Hey! - On the journey, where's the start? You don't have to look too far You don't have to, oh You're a superstar, you're a superstar You're a superstar, you're a You're a superstar, you're a superstar You're a superstar, you're a You're a superstar, you're a superstar You're a superstar, you're a - Vic? Oh, my God! - Hi! - Hi.
- Hi.
- I saw your mother, but I didn't realize - Yeah, no, I know.
I'm just helping her out for the summer.
I could never work with my mother.
- I think I'd kill her.
- [Chuckles.]
Oh, speaking of my mother Where are you applying? Oh, you know.
All over.
You probably get early admissions, you smart bitch.
How, um How's Exeter? Ah, a shitshow.
All AP classes, plus sports and the internship.
My mother will kill herself if I don't get into an Ivy.
Yeah, well, you're real smart, so you will.
Man! Vic McQueen.
Last time I saw you, your dad took me for a ride on his Harley.
Eighth grade graduation.
You screamed all the way down the block.
He drove like a psycho.
Probably, yeah.
Are you guys going to Winnipesaukee for Labor Day? Yeah.
My parents are throwing a party at the lake house.
You should come! It'll be like old times.
- Come.
- [Singsong.]
I don't hear vacuuming! Oh! Willa! Sorry, Mrs.
Let me get out of your hair.
You should come.
- Okay.
- Bye.
- Bye.
- Bye.
[Vacuum whirs.]
LINDA: You have been such a big help this summer.
Maybe we could keep it up after you graduate? I know cleaning toilets isn't glamorous, but it's steady work.
I make my own hours.
And the money's pretty good, don't you think? We could go into business together.
It'd be fun.
You got one year of high school left.
You got to do something when it's over.
Well, Willa's going to college.
Willa's parents have money.
Yeah, I know.
Those college kids can't get work these days.
They got to move back in with their parents.
Your father and I, we can't support forever, Vicki.
- We can't afford to.
- Yes, I know, Ma.
[Engine starts.]
- Got it running? - [Scoffs.]
You know what they say about Harleys, Brat.
They Harley ever run.
How's the cleaning biz? Keep an eye on your mom? I don't understand why people can't clean their own houses.
I mean, Mrs.
Brewster doesn't have a job.
Her kids are in school.
Like, what does she even do all day? I don't know, but it's good she does, or we'd be out on the street.
I paid the mortgage, Linda.
Great! What about the power, the car insurance, the credit card? Yeah, where is the credit card? My credit card? Our credit card.
What time'd you get in? - Oh, come on.
You just got here.
- What? - You really want to start that? - What? It's a simple question.
I'm not a child, Linda.
[Indistinct talking.]
Let me talk to her.
- What's going on? - Maggie.
You can't be here right now, okay? We're We've had a break-in.
In Here, Iowa? [Scoffs.]
Yeah, okay.
Is someone gunning for Karen's Hummel collection? Oh, my God.
I can't let you back there.
- Joe, where's Danny? - He's missing.
He was supposed to come to the library for literacy today.
I w-was gonna walk him.
Maggie, let us handle it.
We don't know what we're dealing with, and I don't want you involved in anything dangerous, okay? Just go to work.
We'll find him.
[Police radio chatter.]
Well, I been thinkin' about you, thinkin' about you LINDA: [Muffled.]
I was grocery shopping for this house.
For our house, Chris.
CHRIS: [Muffled.]
You lost the credit card.
- You lost it, okay? - No, I gave it back to you after we got back from Market Basket last week.
- No, you didn't.
That's bullshit! - You lost it at the bar, - buying rounds for God knows who.
- I told you, I was not at the bar! - Bullshit, Chris! - Why'd you marry me? You clearly think I'm a friggin' moron.
No, Chris, I think you're a friggin' drunk.
You lost the credit card, you lunatic.
Not me.
You lost it, just the way you lose everything.
You wonder why I can't stand being in this house, why I can't stand being under this roof with you? This is why, Linda all this.
God damn you, Chris! [Engine revs.]
No, you lost it at the bar, just, like, - buying rounds for God knows who.
- Oh, my God.
Why'd you even marry me if you think I'm such a friggin' moron? Ah, I don't think you're a friggin' moron.
I think you're a friggin' drunk.
You lost the credit card, you lunatic.
Not me.
You lost it, just the way you lose everything! [Fence clatters.]
[Engine shuts off.]
[Wood creaking.]
[High-pitched ringing.]
[ "The 12 Days of Christmas" playing through static.]
Who do we have here? [Static intensifies.]
[Wood creaking.]
[Birds chirping.]
[Engine starts.]
[ "The 12 Days of Christmas" resumes playing normally.]
[Engine revving.]
- Hey, maggot.
- Hey, weasel.
Take me for a ride? Not without a helmet.
Let's see what you got.
Hey, Mittens.
Looking good.
He shit under the bed, so Mom threw him out, and he took off.
Steve said he's gonna die out here.
Well, you tell Steve every cat dies.
Not every cat lives.
When's our next movie night? - [Static flares.]
- Next time you need a babysitter.
- You okay? - Hm? You look weird.
It's a headache.
It's for you.
Feel better.
Thanks, kiddo.
- Haley, come on in! - Ma! I'm starved! [Chuckles.]
[Engine starts.]
[Engine shuts off.]
- CHRIS: Hey, Brat.
- VIC: Hey.
- You want a tonic? - No thanks.
Mom! Mom? Hey, Dad, is Mom lying down? She's supposed to take me to art class.
Yeah, I don't know what she's doing.
Well Uh, you know what, Vic? Um, your mom and I, um You know, your mom I don't want to clean houses with her after I graduate.
I mean, there's nothing wrong with cleaning houses.
I just [Scoffs.]
She thinks it's all I can do.
That's not true.
I want to go to college.
You should.
You're smart.
For art.
You know that I, uh I wanted to be a composer when I was your age? I knew you had that band.
Those jerks drank more than they played, but Yeah, but you guys got to go different places, travel.
Yeah, a couple Boston, New York.
But I, um I thought that I was gonna do to, like, a real music school when I got out of the service.
And it was too expensive? Your mom got pregnant, and I had to get a job.
You know.
Couldn't do it.
But you you're young, and you're brilliant, and you're unencumbered.
You know, you'll make it work.
Mom says I'm not even Mom is just scared, Brat.
You know? She's lived in Haverhill since the day she was born.
There's a whole world out there.
You let fear dictate your life, you'll miss it.
I just got one piece of advice.
VIC: Yeah? [Engine starts.]
Never get married.
And never, ever - Ever.
- have any kids.
- Hey, Dad.
- Yeah? You should play more.
Hop on.
You good? Matty, how's your father doing? - He'll be out in a few days.
- Good.
That's real good.
What's up, Molly May? - Hi, Chris.
- Craigster! - Yeah? - See you on the job tomorrow.
- You got it.
- All right, good man.
Brat, love you like a big dog.
Love you.
What are you, adopted? I think maybe Linda got fresh with the mailman.
Nine months later, straightedge here was born.
Ah, well, at least I wasn't scraped out of a stale crack pipe like you two winners.
I hate this town.
- Ooh! - What? Bing Partridge, you're about to lose your friggin' mind.
- Oh, is it "Doctor Incubus"? - The very next installment.
- Aw! - [Laughs.]
Geez, I haven't even returned "Doctor Boomerang" yet.
Guess that makes it "Doctor Stick.
" That's a lot of doctors.
We got to get to class.
So, can't be late.
Let me know what you think, huh? I think you trading books with this old fool makes you the nicest girl in school.
- [Bang.]
- Oh! - Geez.
- [Chuckles.]
Well, it's a pretty low bar at William White, Bing, but thanks.
All right, we can't be late, so let's go.
All right.
Bye, Bing.
Where is Daniel? [Clattering.]
MARY: Mm-hmm.
That's a good start.
That's good progress.
The model doesn't inspire you? I'm sorry.
Beautiful line quality and interesting composition, as usual.
Simonson, do you think I could, um, you know, get into art school? Work up a portfolio, and I think you have a shot at RISD.
RISD's expensive.
Vic, apply for financial aid.
Plenty of kids do it.
That reminds me of the old Shorter Way Bridge off of Pittman Street.
I had my first kiss there.
I was devastated when they tore it down.
The covered bridge off Pittman? They tore it down? About 15 years ago.
Are you sure? People thought it was a public hazard.
I guess it probably was.
CHARLIE MANX: You left a real mess back there, Mr.
A real mess.
Dead bodies.
One of your infernal syringes.
And worst of all, the boy heard his mother scream.
Terrible trauma for a boy of that age.
I didn't think that the mother would have a man over in the middle of the night.
Oh, you know exactly the sort of parents we're dealing with.
The sort of women.
You're right.
I should've anticipated.
Your lack of foresight will be a boon for the local police.
- I'm sorry, Mr.
- It would be easier to accept your apology if it were the first time.
But it's becoming a pattern.
Now, Mr.
Ives, you will not be going with us to Christmasland.
But this kid is the tenth If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times.
There's a nice list and a naughty list Please, Mr.
It won't happen again.
I promise.
and you've gotten yourself on my naughty list.
- Aah! - [Bones crack.]
You killed him.
He was a very bad man.
Bad people ought to be punished.
He hurt my mother, didn't he? Under no circumstances could we take him with us to Christmasland.
Not one in a million is allowed in.
Only those who truly deserve it.
Like me.
Like you.
CHRIS: Oh, my God.
- VIC: Dad, eat some stuff.
- It's freaky.
Oh, you just keep getting better and better.
Oh, well, I practice a lot because I have no friends.
- Stop it.
- No, it's true.
Since Willa left for Exeter and Craig started getting high all the time and skipping school.
And nobody else likes me at William White because, you know, I I read.
- Well.
- Well.
So they think I'm weird, which I probably am, to be frank.
Well, it beats the hell out of being normal.
Drawing's just something I can do by myself and You know, when I'm really into it, when I'm on, you know, like a roll, I, um Well, it's like being on a bike.
My teacher says that, uh Here.
Um nope.
that one reminds her of the Shorter Way Bridge.
Oh, my God, yeah! Wow.
We used to get into, uh, a lot of trouble on that bridge.
[Both laugh.]
You know, I helped demo that bridge when you were a kid.
Felt like I was blowing up my youth.
Are there any other ones like it out in the woods? CHRIS: No, not like that.
No, they don't make 'em like that anymore.
All right.
Burger, burger.
Frappe, frappe, frappe.
- Hi.
There you are.
- Thank you.
Who's ready for fireworks, huh? Vicki? I'm ready.
- Lin.
- Mm? Look at this.
Oh, a bridge! Very nice, honey.
I'd hate to meet a bear on that bridge.
You know, her teacher thinks that she can get into art school.
Oh, I'm sure she could.
Is her teacher gonna pay for it? Hm.
[Flies buzzing.]
- I could get financial aid.
- Oh, that means loans.
A pile of debt before you're 20 years old? No.
Vicki's too smart for that.
Eat up! Let's get to the lake.
Willa invited me to her lake house.
- Can you look after that? - You got it.
Vicki! The fireworks! I'll watch them over there.
I thought we were gonna - watch them togeth - Linda.
She's 18.
All right? Let her be with her friend.
- Vic.
- What?! You know how to get back to the motel? I could walk there blindfolded, Dad.
I'll see you tonight.
[Up-tempo music playing, indistinct conversations.]
- ANGELA: Vic McQueen! - VIC: Oh! - As I live and breathe! Ohh! - How are you, Mrs.
Brewster? [Laughs.]
- Uh, Willa invited me.
- And I was so glad she did.
Oh, you're a good egg, Vic.
- [Laughs.]
- Welcome.
Thank you.
A lemonade.
Thank you.
Oh, oh! Before I forget Mm.
CHRIS: You lost the credit card, you lunatic.
Not me.
You lost it, just the way you lose everything.
Uh, did Willa find this? Your mother must have dropped it this morning.
I meant to give it to her when she was over, but we were rushing around trying to get up here.
You all right? Yeah, sorry.
Um, my parents were looking for this.
Willa's over there with the rest of her friends.
- Thank you.
- Have a good time.
Oh, my God! Vic! Hey! Ah, you came! - Hi.
- Hey! Come here, come here, come here.
You guys, this is Vic.
- Everybody this is Vic.
- Hi.
We grew up together.
She's my best friend.
Vodka? Oh, no, thank you.
Thought all Haverhill townies were hopeless alcoholics.
Guess I was wrong.
Well, I thought all Exeter kids were spoiled douche bags - with their heads up their ass.
- [Laughter.]
Guess the jury's still out.
- Ooh.
- Your shirt is that an Andy Bryant? Yeah.
It's awesome.
Good morning, Joe.
- Hey.
- Shouldn't you be at work? The state of Iowa observes Labor Day weekend.
Great country.
Hey, Frank.
Yes, thank you, organized labor.
[Clears throat.]
Do you know, um, if anybody in town drives an old R-Rolls-Royce Wraith? - [Sighs.]
- Anybody? Mm, Maggie, we found a body last night.
Um, out in Plymouth Plymouth County.
Uh, Peter Ives, a nurse practitioner down in Florida.
Wanted for disappearances all over the country.
We think he killed Karen and her boyfriend.
W-What about Danny? I hate to say this, kid, but in these kinds of cases, it's probably not good.
Well, did Peter Ives own a Rolls-Royce Wraith? Okay, what's with the Wraith? I think you find a Wraith, you'll find Danny.
Because my Scrabble tiles told me about it.
Oh, your tiles.
And they have been right before.
- [Sighs.]
- Mrs.
Richardson in the quarry Okay, y-you get a gold star for Mrs.
But we solved this case the old-fashioned way.
Sorry about Danny.
- Can I keep this? - Knock yourself out.
It'll be all over the news tomorrow anyway.
Wait, wait.
I heard a kid got stabbed at William White - Oh.
- the last week of school.
- Yeah, Joey Ricci.
- What? - Oh, my God.
- Oh, he was fine.
He was fine.
I showed Joey Ricci my underwear when I was four and he was five, and his mom called me a slut.
- [Laughter.]
- GIRL: Oh, my God.
You are a slut.
- [Laughs.]
- You know what? I am kind of a slut, Vic.
- Really? - Yeah.
All Exeter girls are.
It's on our college apps.
DREW: So, where are you going to college? RISD.
Ah, wish I could go to art school.
- So go.
- The doctors Butler wouldn't like it.
His parents are doctors.
And they have all the money, so - What do your parents do? - Uh, my mother cleans houses, and my father's in demolition.
- Oh.
- Uh [Laughter.]
No, I'm I'm sorry.
It's just, uh you're obviously smart.
Well, we just figured your parents were smart, too.
Her parents are smart.
I've known them for forever.
Her mom cleans my house.
I need a glass of water.
[Water lapping gently.]
Such a boring question, "what do your parents do?" Yeah, like you could do better.
Uh, I absolutely could.
What are you afraid of? [Scoffs.]
Well, okay.
I am afraid that my father's gonna leave and I'll have to live alone with my mother.
I'm afraid I'll get stuck in Haverhill my whole life.
But most of all, I'm afraid I'm going crazy, because the other day I saw a huge-ass bridge in the middle of the woods that was apparently demolished years ago.
Sure it was the same bridge? There's a second oldas-hell covered bridge in the woods by my house? Maybe it's a ghost.
Maybe you're crazy.
Maybe you're a time traveler.
[Indistinct conversations, music in distance.]
So, is this your idea of fun? Slumming with the Haverhill townie? - What? No, I - I need a glass of water.
- Vic.
- Hi.
- You enjoying the party? - Yes, thank you.
The fireworks are gonna be beautiful.
- Yeah.
- Mm.
How's your mother? 'Cause, you know, I tried to talk to her this morning when she was at the house, but she was all business.
That's Linda.
You know I donate to a women's shelter in town.
It's an excellent organization.
Very clean.
If your mother ever feels like she's not safe, if ever you're not safe My mother and I are both safe.
Thank you.
[Fireworks exploding.]
[Indistinct shouts, talking.]
[Crickets chirping.]
[Fire crackling.]
See, I like this.
Yeah - Turn around - Brat! Come here! There's my girl.
Come here, come here.
Mmm-mwah! - Mom.
- What? - I have something for you.
- Ohh! Um, Mrs.
Brewster had it.
You must've dropped it while you were cleaning.
How 'bout that? You see the fireworks? - Yeah.
- Yeah? Weren't they something? - Mm-hmm.
- Hey, Brat! You know this one.
[Guitar playing.]
- Move.
- Tiffany.
- CHRIS: Here comes the sun - Whoo, whoo! VIC AND CHRIS: Here comes the sun, and I say It's all right Little darlin' It's been a long, cold, lonely winter Little darlin' It feels like years since it's been here CHRIS: Here comes the sun Here comes the sun, and I say It's all right Mm.
Here comes the sun Here comes the sun, and I say It's all right CHRIS: [Muffled.]
The watch is old.
LINDA: [Muffled.]
I said, "Did you check the nightstand?" - You said we had everything.
- I wanted to leave it here.
You insisted that I take it.
- I shouldn't have to insist.
- Now you're pulling your usual shit - and making it my fault.
- If you cared about it, if you cared about me, I wouldn't have to ask.
- So what? It's a broken watch! - If they don't have it at check-in, - one of the maids took it.
- Okay, then so it's the maid's fault, or it's my fault? - I just want to be clear here.
- You saw those maids.
You saw them.
- Oh, you're a friggin' maid! - That is different, and you know it.
- Oh, yeah? How? How is it different? - They're illegal, Chris! They come in here, work for peanuts, and then they steal to supplement their income.
- It's what they do.
- Do you hear yourself? [Normally.]
It's true! They steal work from me! [Normally.]
What an ugly friggin' person you are! I can't believe I married you! Yeah, well, I can't believe I had a kid with you, you drunk, selfish bastard! [Door bangs.]
Vicki, your father [Sighs.]
He lost his watch.
[Door slams.]
[Engine revs.]
You insisted that I take it.
If you cared about me, I wouldn't have to ask.
It's a broken watch! What an ugly friggin' person you are! - I cannot believe that I married you! - I can't believe I had a kid with you, you drunk, selfish bastard! [Static.]
[High-pitched ringing.]
[Indistinct conversations.]
[Flies buzzing.]
PETE: There you are.
I was wondering if you guys'd come back.
You know, for the watch.
[Breathing heavily.]
[High-pitched ringing.]
Oh, thank you.
That's my father's.
Do you want something to drink? You don't look so good.
Just had a lot of sun.
- Tonic? Frappe? - [Flies buzzing.]
Thank you.
Do you see that? Yeah.
It's real, right? As a friggin' heart attack.
[Engine revs.]
[Engine revs.]
[Engine revving.]
[Motorbike thuds.]
[Helmet thuds.]
Vic? [Normally.]
Vic? Need to lie down.
[Breathing heavily.]
I don't feel good.
Your bedtime came long ago and went away with a yawn.
Something's happening to me.
Yes, something fun.
It's happening to me, too, as we dream of Christmasland together in this very special car.
How old are you? Well, I'll give you a hint.
I'm as old as my nose and even older than my teeth.
[Clicks teeth.]
You look younger than before.
Don't trouble yourself with thoughts of that, Daniel Moore.
Go back to sleep.
We'll continue our journey in the morning.
Mm mm.
[Exhales deeply.]
- [Screams.]
- Relax.
Brat, it's Dad.
It's Dad.
- Oh.
- Okay? [Groggily.]
I dreamt there was a man.
He was He was really scary.
You got a fever.
You fainted out by the woods.
We're lucky Haley was there.
You hit Mom.
Too much to drink.
[Clears throat.]
And I promise you it'll never happen again.
You promised not to drink any more vodka.
Yeah, I'm sorry.
[Inhales deeply.]
Oh, I found your watch.
[Clears throat.]
Yeah? [Chuckles.]
Where was it? At Aunt Carrie's.
The bridge took me there.
Oh, you're sick as a bird here.
- [Groans.]
- Come on.
Dad Listen, your father's a knucklehead.
And your mom is a friggin' lunatic.
But you can be anything that you want to be in this world.
Don't let anybody stop you or try to tell you different, all right? Not Mom, not anybody.
- Okay? - Okay.
All right.
Just don't get married.
Don't have any kids.
[Laughs weakly.]
I love you, Brat.
I love you, too.
How can I find the Wraith? [Electricity crackles.]
Mom? Your father left.
Where did he go? I don't know where.
I don't know why.
He just left.
I've tried so hard to keep him.
I did my best to keep liquor out of the house.
I I can't compete with the bar.
And I can't be 24 anymore.
That's how old the last one was.
Don't say that.
I don't know who this one is or why she's so - Stop.
He'd never.
- It's the truth, honey! If Dad's leaving, I'm going with him.
No, he doesn't want you with him.
We discussed it, Vic.
He didn't leave me.
He left us both.
You're wrong.
[Door slams.]
[Engine revs.]
[Engine shuts off.]
[Crickets chirping.]
[Up-tempo music playing in distance.]
[Indistinct conversation.]
[Wind howling gently.]
[Wiper blades squeaking.]
It's snowing.
It's always snowing on the St.
Nick Parkway.
Are we almost at Christmasland? Our very next stop.
I'll drop you off there with the other children before I head out on my errands.
- I hate errands.
- [Scoffs.]
You'll have none whatsoever in Christmasland.
Only rides and games and fun.
Have you ever played Scissors for the Drifter? - No.
- The children will teach you.
And I'll see you again when I return from a faraway place called Haverhill, Massachusetts.