Rutherford Falls (2021) s01e04 Episode Script

Terry Thomas

Hi, I'm Terry Thomas,
and I'm selling old-fashioned lemonade.
Enjoy your lemonade. God bless America.
Hey, Terry.
You might be doing better
business than my bakery.
I always toss my day-old brownies,
but what if you sold them instead?
I could give you 20% of the profits,
could be a win-win.
Wow, Terry, you were right.
White people love lemonade.
It's been a good week.
Let's treat ourselves
to real Lucky Charms.
Ooh, and real milk,
not the powdered kind.
Proud of you, Terry.
You want some cereal?
No, thanks. I'm good.
Don't forget Jimmy's
lacrosse game today.
Jimmy, get your ass out of bed.
Maya, I'm telling you,
you could get
real money for that beadwork.
I just do this to relax
and spend time with Grandma.
Relax? You're 12.
No 12-year-olds have stress.
Well, Malala,
and Greta what's-her-name,
but that's it.
It's nice that Grandma's
teaching you this,
but there's a saying:
teach a man to bead,
you feed him for a day,
but teach a man the fundamentals
of supply-side economics--
Dad, this is just for a friend.
Can you not be weird
and just be cool for once?
Bet you could get 350 for that.
- 400 from a white person.
- Dad!
You are the worst.
Good morning to you, too, Reagan.
Ha ha ha.
You're suing Nathan
after you told me you wanted
to get on his good side?
Wait, are you using me to get to him?
Of course not.
I wanted you on my team,
and had you joined,
you'd have known
about this lawsuit sooner.
Okay, don't act like
you're not doing
the things that you're doing.
Sorry. Sorry I'm late.
I'm not used to walking
from employee parking.
Ooh, that's a hoof.
Jess, what are you doing here?
Wait, is Auntie Vonny okay?
Oh, yeah, my mom's fine.
Although she'd be doing a lot better
if the Bruins were winning.
Okay, what's happening?
My assistant Geraldine met
someone on
and wants to see where it goes.
I've hired Jess
to fill in when she's away.
- Oh.
- Which is great
'cause I have a garage
full of leggings I can't move,
and no one's buying
my raffle tickets on Instagram.
See, Reagan?
There's a benefit to casinos.
They provide good jobs
to people in our community.
Okay, yeah. I see what you're doing,
and I don't like it,
but my cousin really needs a job,
and I can't buy any more
leggings, so thank you,
but also I am onto you,
and you're not gonna
get away with this.
Okay, sounds good.
I know it's your first day,
but there's a lot going on,
and you'll have to play catch-up.
That reporter Josh Carter
has been waiting in the lobby.
He's cute.
I heard that Reagan
snagged out with him.
- Ha!
- Really?
Interesting intel.
Keep him on ice for ten minutes,
and don't offer him anything
to eat or drink.
- That feels real mean.
- It's tactical.
We need to control this narrative
before someone else does
and paints us as the villains.
So after you bring Josh in,
set a call with the lawyers.
I need to see if we're any
closer to tying Rutherford Inc.
to the lawsuit.
- Mm, smart.
Good idea.
Should I be writing this down?
- Just go.
- Okay.
Josh, please, have a seat.
I've read some of your articles.
You're very good.
I particularly like the series
on fake service animals.
Thank you.
That one was kind of personal.
I was attacked
by an "emotional support" lemur
on an Amtrak train.
Well, it was evenhanded.
You were very fair to that lemur.
What, uh, drew you to journalism?
The money.
Yeah, it's sad
people know that's funny,
but seriously, not everyone
gets to tell their story.
Journalism gives a voice
to the voiceless.
I appreciate your giving me
a voice here.
The story
behind the lawsuit is simple--
Actually, I'd love to get
some background first.
Maybe just tell me about you?
Like how I got involved
with the lawsuit?
No, no.
Uh, I mean,
how did you get into this line of work?
To be honest,
I wasn't planning any of this.
I wanted to be a musician.
I was actually in a band.
- Right, Rage Fuel.
- You heard of us?
Well, it came up in my research.
I couldn't quite tell
how popular you were.
Uh, well, have you
heard of Soundgarden?
Did you tour with them?
No, but we sounded just like them.
Everybody said it.
We were pretty cool,
but that's in the past.
Now I'm a family man. Wife, two kids.
Everything I do is for them
and their future.
Are they your motivation
for pursuing the lawsuit?
Josh, the tribe is a sovereign nation
with its own government headed
by a separate chairperson.
I've been asked to be
the face of the lawsuit
because, spoiler alert,
I'm a bit of a talker,
but this isn't Terry Thomas's plan.
I'm just the guy who happens
to be here right now.
Sorry, help me with this,
because this article
in Indian Gaming Quarterly
says exactly the opposite.
Quote, "There's stagnation
in the tribe's desire
"to use the courts,
"but I am determined
to move us forward."
So which is it?
Hey, sorry to bug,
but Reagan and Nathan are here.
- Reagan Wells?
- Mm-hmm.
What did you want me to do with them?
One moment.
Nathan, I'm a little busy right now.
Trust me, I would have loved
to have settled this sooner
had I known.
Okay, once again,
Terry didn't tell me
he was gonna mess with you.
I'm not messing with anyone.
None of this is personal.
It feels a little personal,
since you're suing my person.
I think it's best if we let
our lawyers untangle
the language in the founders' document
before we speak on this.
I know every word of that document.
It's sitting in my museum.
I teach about it.
I even wrote a rap about it.
Before Hamilton.
Then perhaps you remember a clause
where your family promised
to provide goods of appreciation
from the date of the town's
founding in perpetuity.
Oh, you mean this part?
In exchange for land ♪
We promised corn and pelts of fur ♪
'Twas a fair and honest deal,
my good sir ♪
Yeah, you should see it in costume.
Terry, that part
of the contract was ceremonial.
I recall a certain Founders Day speech
in which you shouted to the whole town
that the document was legally binding.
Oh, shit.
First of all, I wasn't shouting.
I was overcoming
some challenging acoustics.
Second of all,
the document is legally binding
when it comes to land settlement.
The rest is, like, jimble-jumble.
Then let the lawyers sort out
the jimble from the jumble.
Now if you don't mind, I'm in
the middle of an NPR interview.
Oh, with Josh Carter
with the beautiful face
and the shoulders?
Get it, cuz.
Terry, there's gotta be
a way we can find some time
to just hash this out.
- Do you play golf?
- No, I do not.
Perfect, neither do I.
We can take lessons together.
Nathan, I'm not going to budge.
Fine. Message received.
Come on, Reagan.
I'm also storming out,
but I will peel off
at the Cultural Center.
No more interruptions.
This Josh is way more of a reporter
than I anticipated.
I don't want him to see Nathan
make a scene.
On second thought,
if Nathan returns, let him right in.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Were you still talking to me?
[tense music]
I'm sorry, but that is
a really beautiful necklace.
Uh, my daughter, Maya, made it.
It's raised beadwork.
She's participating
in a cultural revitalization program.
We're very proud
that the casino's revenue
helps fund programs like this.
Yes, I'm sure the casino does
a lot of good work.
Let me ask you, ballpark,
how much would you pay for this?
Oh, I'm not--
I don't feel comfortable with, um--
Think about it.
You're walking in Carroll Gardens,
probably just had some ramen
and a can of natural wine,
and you walk by a store
with this in the window.
How much are you shelling out?
Okay, very specific.
Disconcertingly accurate.
Uh, I don't want to offend.
I'm guessing maybe 500 bucks?
500. Wow.
So being business-driven
is obviously beneficial
to running a casino,
but is it complicated culturally?
How do you mean?
Well, just that casinos have been
so divisive amongst Native people.
It seems like
unfettered capitalism would be
at odds with a lot
of your cultural beliefs.
Well, Josh,
it's a challenging situation,
but compromises have to be made.
I drive a car, I have a microwave,
and I'm somehow able
to live with myself
and my cultural beliefs.
I'm sorry. Oh.
My son has a lacrosse game,
and I should be there.
So I'll have to wrap this up early.
- I can wait.
- Really?
Yeah, I've got nothing but time,
and it's not like you're trying
to avoid my questions.
You just have a lacrosse game, right?
Come on, defense. Yes!
Good defense!
Go, go, go. Nice pass.
You're late.
I had a minor work issue.
Come on.
Hey, sweetie,
a guy at work said
he'd pay $500 for this.
Babe, if you keep pushing her,
she's just gonna dig in harder.
You gotta have a light touch.
Christ, Wade!
My grandmother could see
that was a failure to advance,
and she has botched LASIK surgery!
Rhonda, I beg you
for your own good,
do not shush this woman.
Oh, she should shush herself.
That blouse is louder
than I could ever be,
but seriously, hon,
don't sweat this Maya stuff.
Look at Jimmy.
Good grades, champion powwow
dancer, lacrosse king.
He's like Captain Minishonka
out there.
Meanwhile, Maya gives away
her beadwork for free.
She's my daughter, and I would
take a bullet for her,
but honestly, babe,
I think she may be a dud.
She had the nerve to call me weird.
I'm the least weird dad.
Rick Leclaire,
he roller skates to work.
I just think if we give her
enough space--
that's raking!
So help me, Wade, I am in heels,
but I will run across
this field and choke you!
Yeah, I'm just happy the kids have time
for their culture and the community.
Isn't that the whole goal?
Yeah, but how's she gonna
make her way in the world?
You know, when I was Maya's age,
my folks always told me,
"You'll never be Buffy Sainte-Marie,"
and I wasn't,
but I was Miss Indian World.
- How does that relate?
- It doesn't.
I just wanted to remind you
you married up.
- I'm cool, right?
- Cooler than Billy Jack.
Jimmy, yes! Yes, son!
- That's how you do it.
- Whoo!
We're headed to the grocery.
Get some of that
fancy bologna you like.
It's mortadella, and thank you.
And your friend Benny's
lacrosse stick's looking ragged.
Buy a new one,
but tell him it's an extra
you had from home.
Thanks, Dad.
I can keep the change, though, right?
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, no.
And Maya, you come with me.
I have a proposition.
I pay you to make
20 pieces of beadwork.
Five are yours
to do with what you will.
I would give them away.
And the rest I sell for you,
unless you want to learn
from your old man,
maybe start a company together?
I have some logo ideas.
Okay. I sell them.
2/3 of the profits
go to your college fund,
and the rest is yours to spend.
How about I have no interest
in starting a business.
I make 20 pieces, and I keep 20 pieces.
- Fine, then no more allowance.
- Fine.
And no more going to the Elder's Lodge
to bead with grandma.
- Are you serious?
- No, of course not.
That would be mean.
She's a very old woman.
Why are you so obsessed with money?
Is everything, like, a deal to you?
Oh, good, the truck started
because I put gas in it,
which costs money
because literally everything
costs money.
Then why am I even in school?
I should just quit
and get a job at a sweatshop.
Maya, please,
you could never keep
up with those kids.
- You're still here.
- Yeah.
So back to the lawsuit
What exactly is
the tribe's game plan here?
Well, Josh, I don't think
it would be wise
to just give you all the details,
but I can tell you I'm optimistic.
Well, what are you
optimistic about when--
Hey, Terry.
- Hello, again.
- Nathan's here.
Nathan, I'm occupied here,
but I think you know Josh.
Yes, of course. Great shoulders.
I didn't realize you were
still in your interview.
I came to make things right.
Oh, well, that sounds promising.
I think we both agree
that the founders' document
stipulates the Rutherfords shall pay
the Minishonka three bags of corn
and a fur pelt every year, correct?
- I'll give you that.
- Bobbie!
I present to you full remuneration.
Hundreds of bags of corn here,
couple of pallets
at your loading dock,
and Bobbie will be getting
even more furs
from my aunt later this afternoon.
I think it's pretty clear
the Rutherfords
and the Minishonka are square.
Mission accomplished.
I appreciate the effort,
but no, mission not accomplished.
Corn and fur had significant value
at the time the agreement was made.
Are you trying to tell me
this is not a fair trade?
Some of this popcorn is flavored,
and these fur coats are to die for.
Since the agreement was made,
the value of those goods
with interest compounded
over hundreds of years
amounts to roughly $350 million,
and we intend to be repaid every penny.
- Now, if you don't mind--
- That's insane.
You're making a huge mistake, buddy.
- How is that?
- Well, you're forcing my hand.
I'm gonna have to pull out the big guns.
- Oprah.
- No, not Oprah.
I don't know her.
You're not just messing with me
or even the whole Rutherford family.
You're messing with
the whole Rutherford concept.
Okay, think of me as a little bear cub.
Behind the tree is a mama bear.
Don't poke that bear.
Do you catch my drift?
I'm talking about
Rutherford Inc., Terry.
Who has two thumbs and a seat
on the corporate board?
This guy. I make one phone call,
a team of corporate lawyers
comes up here
and squashes you like a bug.
Thank you for the warning.
I will prepare accordingly.
Prepare for the fight of your life.
Come on, Bobbie.
Wonky wheel. I'll be back for it later.
Popcorn. Can you believe it?
I mean, don't get me wrong,
it's a great low-calorie snack,
but it's bordering on offensive
in this case.
Terry, you're a smart person.
You have to know this isn't gonna work.
Nathan may be in over his head,
but I could cite at least 15 cases
where tribes sued
for their treaties to be upheld
and lost.
I mean, what makes you think
you can win
when things are
so stacked against the tribe?
Well, I actually want to go back
to what you asked me earlier
about capitalism.
Your implication that being Indigenous
and growing a profitable
economy are mutually exclusive.
Oh, I--
I just meant that based on my research,
the tenants of capitalism
don't exactly jive
with the traditional
Minishonkan way of life.
America only champions
one form for capitalism,
major corporations,
which I should point out
pay no taxes while we do.
They keep all the money
for those at the top.
Tribal capitalism
distributes revenue,
in this case casino revenue,
to everyone in the tribe.
Sure, but isn't that
what all capitalists say?
That them making money
benefits the masses?
Yes, but in our case, it's true.
Long ago, when our men
would go out on a hunt,
the deer they'd bring back was divided
equally amongst the tribe.
Elders, women, and children first
so that everyone would survive.
We still get our share of the deer,
but this time, it's a check.
But this isn't a deer, Terry.
This is a huge
multimillion-dollar corporation.
Don't you feel like
by chasing the almighty dollar,
you're selling out your culture?
Your brownies sold out.
Great job. See you tomorrow.
Mr. Tomlinson, I think
you made a mistake.
You gave me $2. It should be $6.
Yeah, sure, but I have rent,
insurance, ingredients.
You don't have any overhead.
In fact, I let you run
your business on my property.
Some could say, hmm, you owe me.
Okay, well, I'll take five.
That's not how this works.
I tell you what's fair,
and this is fair.
But hey, don't take it personally.
Everything's a business.
What I'm about to say is
completely off the record,
but I want you to hear it.
For someone who claims to give
a voice to the voiceless,
you have a real problem listening,
and while I appreciate
you seem to have read
the entire Wikipedia entry
for our tribe, you will never grasp
a traditional Minishonka way of life
because you come from a society
that values the self over the whole.
Doesn't matter how you dress it up.
That's why you're choosing to focus
on some purity test
instead of what we're trying
to actually achieve here.
Have you ever heard
of the seven generations?
I have an article about it somewhere.
It's a practice to ensure
that the Earth and our language
and our people will not only exist
but thrive seven generations from now,
that the decisions we make
today will have an impact
long after we're gone.
Everything I do
and every move I make
is to ensure the success of my nation.
Growing up, I didn't get to learn
a lot of my traditional ways,
but I did get to learn
the great American pastime,
which is power.
Power, Josh, is a zero-sum game.
If you have more of it, I have less,
and then you can treat me
however you want.
If we want to ensure this tribe
has a successful life,
one that can maintain our traditions,
art, and culture,
well, that takes power,
and unfortunately,
power comes from money.
The casino is a means to an end.
It's the industry of this time.
400 years ago, it was fur trading,
50 years ago it was manufacturing,
and long after I'm dead,
there will be Minishonka
figuring out how to master
the next endeavor.
Because that's what we do, Josh,
those of us who fight this battle.
We do whatever we have to.
I've had to learn to play this game
through bare-knuckle necessity,
and while it might not make
for a feel-good story,
I won't rest until my nation gets
every single thing
that was taken from them.
Josh, it's been
so wonderful talking to you.
Would it be possible to get
a copy of this for my files?
Please, reach out if you have
any follow-up questions.
Jess has a number of publicity shots.
I'm partial to the one
of me and Michelle Obama.
It's late.
Thank you very much for coming.
I got
a pretty exciting delivery
from Nathan Rutherford today.
Do you mean the popcorn?
I've been trying to find a way
to legally tie Rutherford Inc.
to our lawsuit.
Earlier today, Nathan gave us a gift.
I'm talking about
Rutherford Inc., Terry.
Who has two thumbs and a seat
on the corporate board?
This guy. I make one phone call,
a team of corporate lawyers
comes up here
and squashes you like a bug.
Now that we've found a way
to connect them,
we can go after the real money.
With your permission,
I'd like to add Rutherford Inc.
to the lawsuit.
I'll keep you updated as we proceed.
[excited chatter]
Terrance, this is beautiful.
Maya made it.
Someone so young doing
something this intricate?
You're raising her right.
- Take care.
- Thank you. I'll see you.
How's Craig?
Still working on that boat.
By the time he's done,
the oceans will be empty.
No offense, Terry, but I
wouldn't take you for a beader.
They're a gift for Maya.
Well, we have some beautiful
charlotte cuts
coming in next week,
size 15 like she's using.
I'll let her know.
[scanner beeping]
I used to love that album.
You guys were great.
You want to buy it?
I've got everything I need.
I've given everything I need ♪
I'd give you everything I own ♪
I'd give in if it could ♪
At least be ours alone ♪
I've given everything I could ♪
To blow it to hell and gone ♪
Burrow down in ♪
And blow up the outside ♪
And blow up the outside ♪
Blow up the outside world ♪
Blow up the outside ♪
Blow up the outside ♪
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