Rutherford Falls (2021) s01e01 Episode Script


Oh my
What the hell?
I'm not from around here.
I was just driving, looking for an ATM.
I looked at my radio for two seconds.
Yeah, it's happened before.
Why is there a freaking statue
in the middle of the street?
It's just always been there.
Well, it's dumb.
400 years ago,
brave settlers landed in a new world.
They cleared dense forests,
survived unforgiving winters,
and befriended their Native
American counterparts,
all in the service of
founding the very town
in which you're standing right now.
I'm Nathan Rutherford,
and it is my distinct honor
to introduce you to some
of those men and women.
But before I do that,
does anyone have to go potty?
All right.
I'm gonna hold you to that.
Come on.
Now, our journey begins with this man.
Lawrence Rutherford,
founder of this town and
my patriarchal ancestor.
Fun fact, I'm actually the
last Rutherford to live here
in Rutherford Falls.
- Anyone see the resemblance?
- I definitely see it.
It's in the jaw.
And the shoulders, and the chest,
and probably some other places.
Okay. Thank you.
In 1932,
then-Governor of New York State,
Franklin D. Roosevelt,
visited Rutherford Falls,
and he enjoyed a hot slice
of Lucy Rutherford's rhubarb pie
right here in this chair.
I still get chills thinking about it.
And then, he cried,
"I banish you all to hell, opossums!"
And thus ended
the Opossum Infestation of 1747.
And Lawrence Rutherford gazed
upon the majestic valley,
and thus declared,
"This is where we belong."
And so, in 1638,
he brokered a uniquely
fair and honest deal
with our neighbors, the Minishonka,
thus establishing our town.
Now, the terms of the deal were laid out
in this document.
One of those terms was
to honor the exact
location the deal was made,
which is why a century later,
both parties came together
and erected a statue of old Lawrence,
affectionately known today as Big Larry.
Did they make a statue
of any Minishonka?
Great question. And
bronze was very expensive at the time,
so they really only had
a budget for the one.
but if you're interested
in Minishonka history,
then I strongly encourage you
to visit their cultural center,
which is run by my good
friend, Reagan Wells
Hey, put that back, please.
Thank you. Okay.
No, no, no, no. See, these exhibits,
they all need to remain
historically accurate.
- It's very precise.
- What?
It's funny. They're kissing!
In what world is vandalism funny?
No, it's it's fine.
Why don't we visit
Avery P. Rutherford's frame room?
He believed that the
frame, not the painting,
deserved center stage. Come on.
The history of indigenous people is
the greatest story never told,
so I'm honored to serve as director
of the Minishonka Cultural Center,
a place where our people
won't be overlooked
But there's more to be done,
which is why we should go all-in
on a major museum expansion.
If we double down,
we'll be saying "Winner, winner,
cultural center "
Jesus. God, you sound ridiculous.
- Okay
- I just won 800 bucks
on the Judge Judy slot machine.
Oh, that's great. Congrats.
- How much?
- No!
I wanna buy something for my Rita.
She'll fill this with seashells.
- We go for a lot of walks.
- No, no, no!
Ooh, I am so glad you have
an active hobby at your age,
but this is a work of
art, and it's not for sale.
- How much is this one?
- Do y'all sell shot glasses?
Shot glasses, yes, they do
sell them at the gift shop.
This is the cultural
center. Totally different.
And actually, we're closing early,
so I'm just gonna have
you both come with me.
Thank you so much for stopping by.
Go ahead and go gamble away your 401ks.
And so, the birth of Rutherford Falls
signifies the dawning of a new era
of peace and prosperity
that continues to this day.
The future of Rutherford Falls
is glorious.
Okay, everyone.
That concludes our tour,
and now, our museum associate
director/intern, Bobbie Yang,
will hand out some complementary
astronaut ice cream.
Whoa! One at a time.
I know we're the same
size, but I am your elder.
Oh, okay.
Bravo, Nathan. You've
made history come alive.
And you awaken things in me.
And the students. Different awakenings.
That's super kind of you to say.
I hope you enjoy your
astronaut ice cream.
I intend to enjoy every bite.
- Oh, is
- It's dehydrated.
Is it? Are you sure?
- It's chalky.
- I'm getting it back.
I'm getting it back.
Do you like Italian?
Man, you've really
got to ask Ms. Fish out
before she dies trying to drop a hint.
What? Not gonna happen.
I mean, she's nice, but
she doesn't get it.
You always say that,
but what do you mean?
- Like, what is there to get?
- It.
Like everything that
matters in the world.
Everything that's important.
I just find people either
get it, or they don't.
Okay so, in your mind, who gets it?
- You, obviously.
- Thank you.
Tom Petty, Missy Elliott,
Nelson Mandela, Cheech
Marin, the Dalais.
Parton and
- Lama.
- Oh.
Taika Waititi, your Uncle Ernie.
There's just a whole bunch of people.
I'm in pretty good company.
You are because you get it.
I mean, Taika
These are so nice.
Thank you so much for
making them for me.
Proper signage is the sharpest arrow
in one's quiver. Let me finish this one,
and then we'll do another run-through.
Sure you have time?
You said that prepping
for Founder's Day is
making your hair fall out.
Well, it always grows
back, and this is important.
If this goes well, you
could have a real museum.
Mm-hmm. Totes.
I'm gonna barf. I'm feeling very barfy.
I should cancel. Just let me cancel.
We can go to lunch. You
can eat all my fries.
- Reagan Blanchard Wells!
- Nathan Collins Rutherford.
You're ready, okay?
You've been planning this for months.
No. You know what?
You've been planning this
since the fourth grade.
And that's why I'm freaking out.
If Terry says no, then I'm
really stuck at this job.
Like forever.
Look, I get it. You're scared.
But sometimes you just have
to plant your feet and say,
"This is what I want,
but also, it's the best
idea, and you know it."
- And that works for you?
- Yeah, try it.
Come on. Okay, run-through right now.
Here we go. "I'm Terry Thomas.
"I run the casino.
I'm scary and loom large in your life."
- Okay, Nathan.
- "You've had stress dreams
"about me in which
we're at Chuck E. Cheese
"and you haven't won any tickets."
Uh, that was told you
in confidence, man.
I know, and it's like my favorite story.
- Oh, my God.
- Come on.
Okay, just focus.
- You've got this.
- Okay.
The history of indigenous people
is the greatest story never told
Oh, that's good.
Which is why I am honored to be
Aw, sorry.
- Oh, my God.
- Sorry, sorry, sorry.
- Hello?
- Nathan!
Corbin Hayes. "Daily Star."
Hey, Purple Hayes.
- What's happening?
- You know,
ramping up Founder's Day coverage.
But, actually, I'm
calling to request a quote
in response to Mayor
Chisenhall's decision
to move Big Larry.
I'm sorry, whose decision to move what?
You can't move Big Larry!
Hi, Nathan. Come on in.
The town charter is very clear.
You have to commemorate the exact spot
where the town was founded.
That's history, Deirdre.
You can't change history.
Unless you got a time machine.
And you don't, because if you did,
you'd go back in time and tell yourself
- not to buy that blazer.
- Yeah!
Whoa, whoa! Bobbie.
Coming in a little hot there.
- That was a sick burn, though.
- Thank you.
This is the fifth time someone's crashed
into that statue since I've been mayor.
Fifth! It's a public safety issue.
But it is also an historical
preservation issue, so
Nathan, in case you haven't noticed,
this isn't a great time
for people who love statues.
Whoa. Okay, no.
Big Larry's not one of those statues.
Lawrence Rutherford was a hero.
He brought people together.
- He's a uniter.
- Uniter.
The Minishonka helped build the statue.
It's as much their history as ours.
Okay, switching gears.
Your family's been in this
town almost as long as mine.
I respect your position as a Chisenhall.
- And as the mayor.
- Yes, that.
Yeah, for sure.
All I'm saying is I
think there's a solution
that makes my Grandpa Lawrence
and your Grandpa Wright
hello, sir proud.
Nathan, what are you talking about?
What are you ever talking about?
I'm saying we crack
open a bottle of scotch,
sit by a roaring fire,
and we don't leave until
we get this hashed out.
I can accept that your
being this town's mascot
How dare you!
Means you get to be a
complete pain in my ass.
But you have no real power here.
Now, you are welcome to plead your case
at the town council
meeting in three months.
Oh, am I welcome to do that? Am I?
Good. 'Cause guess what?
Gonna do that.
I'm sorry, did you want this closed?
- Please.
- You got it.
Ooh, did you finish
your science project?
She's showing Terry
her latest invention,
a state-of-the-art
ass-kissing machine.
Thanks, guys.
Feels great to have the
support of my community.
The point is, the cultural
center should be a real museum.
Right now, most people only
come in to charge their phones,
but a major budget increase
could have a huge impact.
I get very sweaty when I'm confident.
What I'm saying is,
what is the purpose
of all of this profit
if we're not investing
it back into the tribe?
We put 4 million towards
language preservation,
early childhood education,
and the women's shelter.
Are you suggesting we cut
those budgets for your project?
No wow.
That's very cool that we do that.
I had no no, absolutely not.
What's all this gonna cost?
Uh, high figure? 650,000.
But if we cut corners
I'm sorry. I've never cut corners.
It's just too much money.
And, for that reason, I'm out.
Is that Shark Tank?
- But I do love your signage.
- Yeah, thank you.
You seem smart. I'm
guessing lots of college.
Not Ivy League,
but so close, it drives you crazy.
- Northwestern.
- See, that's great
because I'm on the precipice
of a very exciting venture.
- Is there more?
- This is all I can share.
Oh, okay.
But Running Lightning is
my boldest initiative yet,
and I'd like you to be part of it.
Oh, well, I'm flattered,
but, you know, the
cultural center is my focus,
so and also, sometimes in life,
you just gotta say
when would I start?
When the stars align.
When Grandmother Blue
Corn sings in that old way.
Okay, Terry, I'm not a white tourist,
so talking like that doesn't work on me.
Roughly three to five years.
Duz, hey, it's your brother.
I'm in a knife fight with a Chisenhall,
- and I need some backup.
- Hey, man.
You sound pretty high-tone. What's up?
- Go to your pantry.
- What?
There's a crack in the
molding behind the spice rack.
Push on it.
There's a secret compartment back there.
What are you talking about, man?
Oh. Jesus Christ!
- Dad, cursing.
- I'm sorry!
I hid documents all over your house.
They're in locations
on a need-to-know basis.
Listen, if you're gonna pull
some National Treasure shit
in my kitchen, I need to know.
- Dad!
- I'm sorry.
You know what, though? It's
also rude to eavesdrop.
Nathan, what is all this stuff?
It's just a bunch of
stuff Mom left behind.
There's family paperwork,
medical records,
but there should be a red folder
with notarized documents,
and I think there's something in there
that might actually
help me stop Deirdre.
Duz, she's out for blood.
She's trying to poison the
town by moving Big Larry.
Oh, there was another car
accident, wasn't there?
I don't think that's relevant.
Nathan, listen to me, man.
Staying in that town has
given you tunnel vision.
I think you need to put
your energy somewhere else.
Duz, you get what I'm
trying to do here, right?
Of course I do, Nathan. Of course.
I mean, all I'm saying is,
our family history's,
like, 400 years old.
You know, maybe just leave
those stones unturned.
Okay, you are my elder.
You have carried the
name of Lawrence Sr.
down 12 generations.
You are very fair and wise.
Tell me what to do, and I will do it.
I think you should let
them move the statue.
I cannot do that.
The whole reason that
Deirdre even ran for mayor
was to erase the Rutherford
name from this town's identity.
It's like all these
people in charge are trying
to kill your dreams with
their language programs
- and their women's shelters.
- Exactly!
Didn't totally follow.
Those sound super important.
- They are.
- But agreed.
- Deirdre is a dream killer.
- Yeah.
Oh, and let's not forget.
Terry did not say no outright,
so your dreams not totally dead.
- Yeah.
- They are in, like, a coma.
Somehow, that's sadder.
There's a lot of brain activity, though.
It's hopeful. It just
- He's gonna come around.
- Yeah.
Because what you're
proposing is so cool!
I agree.
It's not just cool. It's,
like it's meaningful!
- Thank you!
- You're welcome!
God damn it.
And how do people not realize
that my family is meaningful?
You know?
Rutherfords were
entrepreneurs, congresspeople.
There is a huge corporation
in midtown Manhattan
that we started, like,
300 years ago, you know?
I'm the one connecting all those dots.
I'm the one telling the whole story.
I am the steward of my family's legacy
that will resonate throughout history.
- Mm-hmm.
- That's not nothing, jerks.
It's not nothing.
- And they are jerks.
- Mm-hmm.
Today is making me realize
how many people out
there just don't get it.
You know what? Hey, there is nothing
you've ever put your mind to
that you haven't accomplished.
When we were kids, we used
to dream of starting a museum,
and by the time I had gotten
two master's and come home,
you had a museum.
You're gonna get yours too.
You just gotta keep working at it.
You got to let the
universe know what you want,
and that's when you get
it. That's how it works.
That's how it works
for everyone for sure.
- Mm-hmm.
- All right, focus.
What are you gonna do?
Well, I'll tell you what I'm gonna do.
I'm gonna get this town on my side.
I'm gonna fight for my family's legacy.
- Yes!
- What are you gonna do?
I'm gonna wait three to five years
for Terry to launch a project
that he didn't totally specify.
Okay, playing the long
game. That's smart.
In the meantime, can you
help me with my thing?
Moving Big Larry will change this town.
Change is bad. Why?
Because it makes things different.
Your Grandpa Jack likes
to sit on his front porch.
What if I just walked
over, picked him up,
and put him down somewhere else?
Yes! Thank you, Margie.
That statute symbolizes
centuries of freedom
between our two sovereign nations.
We can never give that up.
Deirdre Chisenhall
refuses to lead, okay?
There is a movement afoot.
Perps, blow the roof off of this thing.
All right.
"The statue issue cuts to the
heart of our deepest freedoms."
Yes, yes. Liberties, liberties.
- Really, at the Veterans Hall?
- Mm-hmm.
But the thing is, with
these military guys,
is you better be on time,
or else they're like
Hey, Nathan, right on!
Let's take our country back!
- Heck yeah, Debbie!
- What?
Take it back from who?
- Oh, what's this?
- Okay.
Oh, man, I know Terry ain't trying
to give you money for
some bougie little museum.
No, this is for Nathan.
Nathan Rutherford really needs help
keeping what he's got?
We help each other, okay?
He made those signs for my presentation.
That dude's got your head messed up.
Like you two got the same problems?
Right, like Iron Man
and Captain America,
both fighting on the same team.
Psshh. You ain't Iron Man.
Nah, you're more like Hawkeye.
The lame one with no powers
who gets his ass kicked.
I'm not Hawkeye, all right?
I'm the one guy with
the fire circles, so
Look, starting a museum is really hard,
and whatever you think of
him, Nathan is helping me.
Okay, Hawkeye. Have fun
getting your ass beat
while Captain America over
there takes all the glory.
Hey, we need to talk.
Okay, well, sometimes in life,
we're strong enough to
withstand a big wave.
But in holding firm,
we're unable to move with the tide,
which is essentially swimming,
and who doesn't love to swim?
Oh, my great aunt, Ida.
Terrified of the water.
When she was a kid,
she fell off a riverboat
and got caught in that big, red paddle.
I think you should move the statue.
You're not kidding. Reags?
Thought you got what we're doing here.
I-I do! I did.
But Nathan, you're stirring
up all kinds of weird shit.
I mean, Debbie's on
your side. Psycho Debbie.
Well, psycho's a strong word.
She thinks Bill Gates is a
lizard wearing a human suit.
She's a wackadoo, yes,
but, on this issue, she's on my side.
And I'm just trying
to build a coalition.
I will do whatever it takes
to preserve our history.
But that's the thing. It's your history.
And look around, bud.
There's still hundreds of
objects honoring your family.
I mean, your history is fine.
All I'm saying is, that
statue is core to who I am,
and if it can just be picked
up and tossed around willy-nilly
with no regard for its
historical specificity,
then literally who am I?
Okay, what you're
describing is my entire life.
It's literally something I
have to deal with every day.
- Well, that sounds horrible.
- It is.
So I get what you're going
through, but I'm asking you,
please, just move Big Larry.
This is what I want,
but it's also the best
idea, and you know it.
Hey, those are my words,
but you said 'em better than me.
That was awesome.
Thanks. Felt good.
- How would this even work?
- Okay.
We move Big Larry to your museum
and we honor the original spot
by placing a flat brass medallion
in the road where Big Larry once stood.
Then, you open a new exhibit,
and it's all about your
decision to move Big Larry
and everything you went through.
You could even make a video,
and it's about how you did
this noble gesture for our town.
You could finally play yourself!
We'll film it at dawn
as the sun is cresting
over Big Larry like a halo.
And his spirit will emerge.
And he'll reach out to Nathan,
and he'll shake his hand, and he'll say,
"Thank you, son, for
your big sacrifice."
"And thank you for all
that you have accomplished,
"which is, by comparison, way
more than I ever accomplished."
- Well, we can play with it.
- Of course.
Yeah, no, no. We'll work it out.
- That was like a first blurt.
- Yeah, it was good.
- I gotta work on it.
- It's powerful.
Yeah, I'll make it a little bit less
- For sure.
- On the nose, or whatever.
For sure, yeah.
And cue music.
And cue Nathan.
Happy Founder's Day, Rutherford Falls.
You know, our fair town wasn't
always going to be called
Rutherford Falls.
That's right, old Lawrence
changed his mind six times.
At one point, he was
dead set on naming it
after his brother, Horace.
When you say that out loud,
it sounds like Whoresville.
Needless to say, they moved
on from that one pretty quick.
I guess what I'm trying to say is,
changing one's mind is
distinctly Rutherfordian.
And that's why I've changed my mind,
and I've come to the conclusion
that it's the right thing
to do to move Big Larry.
No, yeah, no, it's okay.
Don't freak out. Don't freak out.
No, it's actually kind of exciting
because the new location is pretty cool.
Good for you, Nathan.
Can we focus on the problems
that are actually important?
Well, Big Larry's important.
More important than the opioid crisis?
Apples and oranges, Carla.
We should refurbish him.
He looks old and sad.
Okay, folks, this is not a Q&A.
All right, buddy. Let's wrap it up.
I support refurbishing, not resculpting.
Screw that. We should get a new statue.
That thing's like a billion years old.
What about, like, Jenna Marbles?
Or my dog?
She's got like 2,000
followers on Instagram.
People, the moving of
Big Larry is on the table,
not replacing him. Are you kidding me?
He's the heart and soul of this town.
- I have something to say.
- Oh, no, Bonnie, not
In 1951, a woman named
Juanita Cordova
- Not now, Bonnie.
- Went into labor
on her way to Albany.
We've had this argument, Bonnie.
She couldn't wait and
gave birth to a daughter
in Rutherford Falls.
That little girl would
become TV superstar,
Lynda Carter.
Wonder Woman was born in our town!
Okay, yes.
A woman named Lynda Carter
was born in our town.
There is absolutely no evidence
that it was the Lynda Carter
who went on to TV stardom.
We are not building a statue
of Wonder Woman in our town.
Deirdre, back me up.
I respect the voices of my constituents.
Let's chase this momentum.
In 100 years, who's gonna
care about Big Larry?
I don't care about him right now.
Is that right? Okay.
- That statue sucks!
- Okay, yeah.
Shut up. Shut your stupid pie holes!
Just yeah, 'cause you don't get it.
You're not getting it, okay?
A bunch of years ago, Lawrence
Rutherford wrote and signed
a legally-binding agreement
with the Minishonka.
That's why this town exists.
That's why all of you exist.
Lawrence Rutherford is our forefather.
He's our Adam and Eve,
our Tigris and Euphrates.
And that statue, which
sits on my family's land,
commemorates all that he gave us.
And if you don't get that,
well, you're just an ungrateful boob.
Yeah, and you know what?
I'm changing my mind again.
Big Larry's gonna
stay right where he is.
Nope, not gonna budge. Not
only that, but I'm gonna
double down on my efforts
to make sure each and
every one of you understands
exactly how important he is
and why it's so
important that he's there.
And if you disagree,
you can burn in hell.
Yeah, just burn right up.
You better go get your boy.
Bud, let's you don't want more
Okay, no, but I'm not
done telling these people
why they're wrong and stupid.
All right. Okay.
But you're gonna hear more about this.
Call an emergency board meeting.
I feel like if you read a
transcript of what I said,
a lot of it was pretty solid.
Yeah, definitely.
- This is gonna blow over.
- Yeah.
Oh, shit.
Hey. You should see this.
And that statue, which
sits on my family's land
- Oh, shit.
- Commemorates all that
he gave us!
Oh, shit.
Hey, Josh. You ready to go?
Yeah, almost done. Hey.
You ever hear of a place
called Rutherford Falls?
1,000 years ago, this land was
a metropolis of longhouses.
Indigenous people had complete autonomy
along the eastern seaboard.
All of this was ours.
I know you all know this,
but have you taken a moment recently
to really think about
what that would feel like?
Because now, many of
us live in a country
and a state and a town
named after three different
old, dead white people.
Today, Nathan Rutherford
really stepped in it.
And while I feel bad for the guy,
it's opened a door
of opportunity for us,
and we must walk through it.
The time is now.
Today, we launch
Operation Running Lightning.
Oh, sh
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