Room 104 (2017) s02e02 Episode Script

Mr. Mulvahill

[MUSIC PLAYING.]
[BIRDS CHIRPING.]
[PLAYING "ODE TO JOY" FROM BEETHOVEN'S 9TH ON TRUMPET.]
[CONTINUES PLAYING.]
[STOPS PLAYING.]
[EXHALES.]
MAN: Dear Mr.
Mulvahill, I sincerely hope that this letter finds you spiritually, mentally, and physically well.
You likely won't remember me, so please allow me to reintroduce myself.
My name is Jim Herbers.
I attended Franklin Elementary from 1974 through 1979, where you coached baseball and taught music to kindergarten through 3rd grade.
I was an ordinary child who, from an early age, had ordinary aspirations to lead an ordinary life.
But all that changed when I was in 3rd grade when I met you.
I am hoping that you will be kind enough to meet with me.
I have longed for many years to meet face-to-face, and have only recently gathered the courage to ask.
You will receive a second letter from me this afternoon outlining the specific time and place at which I would like to meet tomorrow.
And while I realize this may seem an odd and presumptuous request, I remind you that as a former teacher your primary role in life was to profoundly impact the lives of your students.
I can assure you that no one was more profoundly impacted by the short time we spent together than me.
Sincerely, Jim Herbers.
[KNOCKING ON DOOR.]
[KNOCKING ON DOOR.]
Jim? Mr.
Mulvahill? [CHUCKLING.]
Yes.
That's me.
I-I'm sorry, I just it's been so long.
[STAMMERS.]
It's really you? Well, I hope I'm him.
I'm wearing his underwear.
[CHUCKLES.]
[LAUGHS.]
Please come in.
I'm sorry, I just No, no, it's it's quite all right.
Well, I I guess you've grown a few inches since we last saw each other.
You remember me? [AWKWARD LAUGH.]
I carry all my students with me.
How? I'm sorry.
How? Yes, how? It's just a figure of speech.
I I You're all a part of my life.
I understand.
So, I was pleased to get your letter.
I have to confess that I do have an appointment this afternoon, but I'm eager to hear whatever it is you wanted to discuss with me.
Mr.
Mulvahill, I I can't thank you enough for coming today.
You have no idea how much this means to me.
It's no trouble at all.
Really.
Please.
Have a seat.
- Oh.
Thank you.
- OK.
[PLAYING "ODE TO JOY" WITH MANY WRONG NOTES.]
[FINISHES TUNE.]
[PANTING.]
You remember? Do you mean the piece of music? It's the 4th movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony.
- "The Ode to Joy.
" - His final symphony.
That's correct.
[CHUCKLING.]
The year was 1978, I was in the 3rd grade, you were teaching us all music.
And we were trying to decide what to play for the spring concert.
And all the kids wanted to play the overture to Star Wars.
The movie had just been released, and made quite an impression on all of us.
I was behind that idea a hundred percent.
Do you remember? No? Well, you were having none of it, Mr.
Mulvahill, let me tell you.
[LAUGHING.]
You said, while the music might be exciting to us, it was highly derivative and wasn't worth our attention.
Ha! Then you told us about Ludwig van Beethoven.
His dark and fiery compositions made him a star, and yet, his personal life was filled with pain and deeply troubled.
Which got even worse as he lost his hearing.
Can you imagine the ultimate tragedy? A composer losing their hearing.
And that for the final movement of his final symphony, in a stroke of irony, he composed an ode - to joy.
- To joy.
He even brought in a chorus to sing along with the music.
Yes, yes.
Well, needless to say, the children of the class did not approve of your choice, Mr.
Mulvahill.
[LAUGHS.]
But I just wanted to thank you for playing "Ode to Joy" for me that day.
For teaching me that even though a man may live a deeply troubled life and come up against unbelievable obstacles over which he has no control, to which he might be an innocent victim, even if he's drowning in darkness and fear and despair and isolation that every person has the opportunity to end their life with an ode to joy.
I desperately want to believe that.
And, ironically enough, it's you I have to thank for this narrow strand of hope upon which I now stand.
Do you remember now? I I do.
Uh I I do remember it, Jim.
And, uh, I'm so glad that that it stayed with you.
Well, I I should probably Do you also remember what happened after all the other kids left? Uh, I'm sorry? Well, you remembered the first portion of the day, I'm assuming you remember the portion that followed after.
Hmm? [MIRTHLESS CHUCKLE.]
I'm not sure, uh, really.
But that's the most seminal part of it for me.
That's the part that affected me the most, you and me alone together in the classroom.
That's what made me the man I am today.
Do you remember? Let me refresh your memory.
So, the kids voted for Star Wars.
You were disappointed, but you handled it well.
And then the bell rang, and all of the other children left.
And I came up to you and I said that I really loved "Ode to Joy" and I wanted to vote for it, but I was afraid the other kids would make fun of me.
So I copped out and I voted for Star Wars, too.
And you were very sweet about it, and you forgave me for voting for Star Wars and not for Beethoven.
Then I turned to go, and then you stopped me and said could I stay for a few minutes.
Do you remember that? I I'm sorry, Jim, I - I should be going.
- Just one one minute.
Please.
So you asked me to take out my trumpet that trumpet and you handed me the sheet music for "Ode to Joy" and asked me to play along with you.
I was thrilled.
I never got this kind of attention at home.
[LAUGHS.]
You asked me to close the door, and I did, and then we started to play, me on the trumpet, you on the piano.
I played terribly, of course, and you played brilliantly.
And the whole time you smiled at me and nodded in encouragement.
And it made me feel so good about myself.
Then we finished, and I put away the trumpet, and you looked me, you smiled then you put your hand on my knee.
Can you remember what you said? I I, uh, I don't.
I This one is important.
This is the most important.
Can you remember what happened next? I'm gonna need you to remember.
I'm gonna need you to try harder.
OK? No, I I I'm gonna need you to work harder.
Because what happened over the next four minutes entirely changed the course of my life.
So the least you can do is try and remember.
Or admit Please.
Tell me what you remember about what happened next.
I'm sorry.
I simply don't remember.
[EXHALES.]
OK.
I'm disappointed, but what can you do? I mean you can't remember what you can't remember.
Thank you so much for coming.
And I sincerely hope I haven't made you late for your next appointment.
Well, nice to see you, Jim, and I hope everything - Mr.
Mulvahill! - Yes? JIM [ECHOING.]
: If you scream, I'll have to put a gag in your mouth.
You won't like that.
Plus, I rented all the nearby rooms, so there's no one to help you.
But I'm confident that we can resolve this if we just cooperate together.
OK? I'm sorry I had to hit you like that, but, as you'll soon realize, I needed to have you immobilized for about ten minutes while we work through this.
Now, I'm pretty sure you knew what happened on that day and are lying to me right now.
But there is the possibility that you have forgotten or, even more likely, that what was so seminal for me was merely commonplace for you.
So, where were we? Ah, yes.
Sitting down, your hand on my knee, the door was closed.
You remember what you said to me? You said, "Jim I believe that anything is possible in this world.
" I remember basking in the warm glow of your smile, and for a moment I believed that maybe I could have a beautiful life, maybe I could be a composer one day, like Beethoven.
And then just like that [SNAPS FINGERS.]
you took it away.
You erased it.
And do you know why? You teleported.
From right over here, to right over there.
Thirty feet.
From the piano to behind the desk.
Whoosh! Just like that.
And I I was shocked.
I I couldn't believe it.
So I quickly asked you about it, and, even more strangely, you denied it.
And I wanted to find the truth.
So I asked you again.
You denied it again.
Back and forth we went for four minutes this conversation went on.
Well, finally, I I started doubting myself.
Do you know what that's like? When part of you deeply believes that something is true, and another part of you doubts yourself to your very core? Until you start to doubt any experience you might have.
Oh it's it's dark.
It's a lot darker than the life of Ludwig van Beethoven, I'll tell ya that.
Makes it impossible to get close to anyone.
Because you know something they can't, and even if you do get close enough to confess it to someone, like, say, your college girlfriend, oh it doesn't go very well.
So then you keep it a secret.
But that creates a wall between you and other people.
You talk to therapists, to psychiatrists, to hypnotists, and no one believes you, and even the medication stops working the way it should, which makes you doubt yourself even more.
So what do you do? You work a menial job, and you just get by.
Until, finally you come to the terrifying conclusion that even though it makes no earthly sense that Mr.
Mulvahill, the baseball coach and music teacher, harbors the powers of teleportation, you know what you saw! And you believe it no matter what anyone else says.
Now, I know what you're thinking.
Why wait 40 years to confront you about it? Well, that's a very good question.
Believe me, I have been thinking about this every day, multiple times a day, for the past 40 years.
Who and what you might be, and why you did what you did to me.
Now, ultimately, I decided that I can live without knowing why.
But mm-mm.
What I can't stand is the .
001 percent chance that it didn't happen.
What if I'm crazy? What if I blinked or had a blackout, and there was no teleportation whatsoever? That's when I knew I needed to confront you, I needed to speak to you, try and get the truth.
And, well, we went through that, and it worked out just as I thought: fruitless.
So then I thought, well, why not capture him and threaten his life until he tells me the truth? Well, look, you and I both know that if my life were threatened unless I admitted to something ridiculous, like, say, I don't know, I had 39 testicles, I would do it.
Of course.
I would lie.
Wouldn't you? Of course you would.
And that's why I've never confronted you before.
I could never figure out a strategy to come up with the truth.
Then, one day, when I was eating Corn Pops and listening to This American Life, it hit me like a bolt of lightning.
Ha ha! Of course! If I tell him that he's only got 60 seconds before I put this baseball bat through his skull, well, that should give him enough time, right? If he can teleport, he will.
Because if not he's dead.
[CLEARS THROAT.]
- Fifty seconds.
- Please wait.
Please! Please D-Don't do this.
I'll do anything you want.
We're past that, Mr.
Mulvahill.
Look into your heart.
You know this is not the right thing to do.
But I need to do it.
But you know you have doubts.
Just the tiniest of doubts.
But what you are claiming is impossible.
Man cannot teleport himself! Religion is impossible, but man believes it But I know you are a man of reason! Ah, you don't really know me.
- Thirty seconds.
- [HYPERVENTILATING.]
In 30 seconds you'll commit murder.
I don't believe that's true.
But you're not sure.
And if you're not sure, - then - I need to find out! If your life is dark now, there'll be no hope for you after you've killed an innocent man.
I don't believe you're innocent! But you'll never know! Because I'll be dead! Please don't do this.
Don't do this to me! - To yourself! - Ten seconds.
Oh, dear God, help me! - Please! Please help me! - Help! No one can hear you.
- Six seconds.
- Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God, please! No, no! No! - Three - Oh, God! No, no! - two - No! [NO AUDIO.]
[WHOOSHING.]
JIM: Oh! [PANTING.]
["ODE TO JOY" PLAYING.]
[LAUGHING.]
["ODE TO JOY" CONTINUES PLAYING.]