Strange Angel (2018) s01e05 Episode Script

Dance of the Earth

1 It's not gonna work.
You're joking.
JACK: I wish I was.
- Something's off.
- What? No idea, I'd need to dismantle it.
Disman Jack, we just finished building it.
JACK: We didn't build it at all.
That's the problem.
We all signed off on the plans, even Mesulam.
I'm not talking about the plans, I'm talking about this.
The actual motor.
We have all worked very hard to get to this prototype, which may very well be the last chance we have to validate our work.
With all that's at stake, maybe you're Maybe I'm what? Buckling, a little.
How many years have we known each other? - Fifteen.
- And in all those years, When have you ever seen me "buckle"? I've never seen you show caution, which is itself cause for concern.
Not for the rocket motor, but for you.
[SCOFFS] Maybe the pressure is getting to you.
Hey, Jack, where are you going? That's not a rocket, it's a bomb.
If you don't want to listen to me, fine.
But I'm not gonna be around when it goes off.
Everything okay? Dinner's almost ready, if you want to get cleaned up.
I thought the prototype was finished.
I thought so, too.
Is Richard second-guessing something? No.
This time, I'm the one who's second-guessing.
I just can't kick this feeling that the whole damn thing is gonna blow apart.
And guess who they'll scapegoat if it does? Let me see.
Do we blame the math, which all checks out? Or do we blame the highly combustible fuel? - That doesn't seem fair.
- Well, they're a part of the club.
And I'm not.
[WATER BOILING] It can't be easy, always having to prove that you belong.
But don't let Richard or any of them shake your faith.
Why don't you take a break? Sometimes when you stop looking so hard, that's when you find it.
[HORN HONKING] ERNEST: Parsons, come out here.
[JAZZY MUSIC PLAYING OVER RADIO] MAGGIE: Oh, good.
Glad we caught you.
I hope we're not interrupting anything, but we wanted to ask you something.
Well, Ernest is taking me camping this weekend, out in Joshua Tree.
We were wondering if you would maybe join us? ERNEST: Figured Maggie's new to the neighborhood, thought it'd be nice for her to make some new friends.
MAGGIE: Yes, and as far as I'm concerned, you're the only ones worth knowing.
[CHUCKLES] That's very kind of you, uh, but we don't have the right clothing, or equipment.
MAGGIE: Oh, we have extras of everything.
I mean, Ernest practically grew up in the woods.
Well, she left out the best part.
We're off to find one of the world's - natural wonders.
- Mm.
ERNEST: A moonflower called the queen of the night.
Blooms for one night only, every three years.
Wilts as soon as the sun comes up.
I've never heard of something like that.
Oh, you'd have to see it to believe it.
SUSAN: It sounds lovely, really, uh Unfortunately, Jack has to work.
Weren't you just saying I could use a break? MAGGIE: So it's settled, then.
You'll come? Wake up and live, don't mind the rainy patter And you will find it's mind over matter Dark clouds will break up Don't worry, I won't let the coyotes get you.
[HOWLS] His bark is worse than his bite.
I promised our life would never be boring.
Why don't you wake up and live? [MUSIC VOLUME INCREASES] Find your place in the sun ERNEST: Off we go! SUSAN: Reminds me of our first time.
[MUSIC FADES] [BIRD SQUAWKING] Are we all sleeping in that? Yep, packing in there like a can of sardines.
[CHUCKLES] I'm just teasing.
We brought a spare one for the two of you.
Thanks.
You ever used one of these? Yeah.
Course.
Grab the bullets and the beer.
MAGGIE: Ah.
Boys will be boys.
Now do you see why I'm so glad you came? You ever peel a potato with a jackknife? There's a first time for everything.
So you use your thumb as a stopper, and peel away from yourself so you don't get hurt.
Be careful! We really gonna spend all night looking for a flower? Why? You have something else in mind? [GUN CLICKS] Let's see what you got.
Your daddy didn't teach you shooting, huh? He didn't teach you camping, either.
He didn't do a lot of things.
Well, if you can fire a rocket, this'll be a cinch.
Just fix your feet first.
Let's get that back there.
[GRUNTING]: Now.
Get it up high so you can see down the sights.
Come down on it.
Now clear your mind, and I want you to picture something you want to obliterate.
Caltech, or that tight-ass Richard.
All of the above.
That a boy.
Now, focus all your frustration on that bottle, and when you're ready, squeeze the trigger.
There you go, you're a natural.
[LAUGHS SOFTLY] JACK: So what exactly are we looking for? ERNEST: Anything that looks like a cactus that has something sticking out of it.
- Oh - Whoa.
- [CHUCKLES] - You okay? Are those the best shoes you have? Says you, city boy, in your vest and trousers.
SUSAN: Yeah, it was either these or Mary Janes.
Here.
Till you get your sea legs.
Oh, thanks.
He can be charming when he wants to be.
Come on, hurry up.
Before it gets dark.
MAGGIE: Where are you, you night-blooming bastard? JACK: Show yourself! SUSAN: I'm sorry, but the queen is gonna have to come to us.
My feet are through.
ERNEST: Who needs flowers when you have grapes? Oh, no, we're giving up already? Ernest and I might have to keep looking.
ERNEST: Eh, what's the rush? We have all night.
Here you go, Jack.
Don't go conking out on me.
I could never pull off that shade.
Are you kidding? With those lips? Come closer.
Uh, I'm okay.
Who do you got to be embarrassed in front of? It's just us out here.
Bum a smoke, Jack? Yeah, sure.
Voilà.
See? Ernest calls it "bull's-eye red.
" You and he seem so well-suited.
We have our moments.
Say, how did you meet that handsome husband of yours? SUSAN: It all happened at a little ERNEST: Little something to make the evening more interesting.
I knew it.
"Moonflower.
" I didn't take you for a botanist.
All right, genius, keep your voice down.
Take three sips exactly.
What the hell is that? Medicine.
It'll cure what ails you.
Go on, take two more.
You don't want me to beat you to the punch, do you? Oh, shit.
ERNEST: Here we go.
Jack, honey, what was the name of that song? You know, the first one we ever danced to? [CHUCKLES] You checking to see if I still remember? My Lord.
[CHUCKLES] Well [CLEARS THROAT] Let me set the scene a little.
Spring dance.
Pine Brook Lodge.
A girl not much more than 20.
A boy with stars in his eyes.
[GIGGLES] Well, you still haven't told us the name of the song.
[CLEARS THROAT] Lovers depend on moonlight For a love affair On it.
[STRUMS UKULELE] [PLAYS "IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOU" BY FRANK SINATRA] [JACK AND SUSAN LAUGH] I can be happy, I can be sad I can be good, or I can be bad It all Depends On you I can be lonely Out in the crowd I can be humble Or I can be proud It all Depends On you - Where'd you learn how to do that? - Vaudeville circuit.
[IMITATING W.
C.
FIELDS]: She was a song n' dance girl, see, the finest one I ever saw.
And he was the sexiest stagehand there was.
Followed us all the way West.
Well, it was her I followed.
Do you know this next part? - Uh - JACK: She's just shy.
She has a beautiful voice.
[HUMMING] or spend it Go right on living or end it You're to blame, baby For all I do.
You should hear her at the church.
She's the angel of the choir.
May I have this dance? MAGGIE: I can save money Or spend it Go right on living Or end it, you're to blame, baby For what I do I can be a beggar I can be king I can be almost any old thing It all depends on you It all depends On you.
[BOTH LAUGH] Shh.
[WHISPERING VOICES] [OVERLAPPING VOICES] [OVERLAPPING VOICES CONTINUE] [HEART BEATING] [HEARTBEAT GROWS LOUDER] [HOWLING NEARBY] I'll protect you.
[HOWLING CONTINUES] What was in that flask? Do you speak Nahuatl? I don't think so.
[DISTORTED]: The Nahuatl word for "divine messenger" is peyote.
Tonight, we strip ourselves of all that we are not, so we may see what we are: water, earth, air, fire.
What everything in the universe is made of.
I thought everything was made of atoms.
Forget everything you know.
There are four elements, each opposite balances the other.
Air erodes earth.
Earth contains air.
Water quenches fire.
And fire boils water.
Are you hot? Focus, Jack.
- I can't breathe.
- Focus, damn it.
You're not anyone's property.
Nobody's husband.
Not an employee.
Not Jack Parsons.
Not a scientist, not even a man.
You are a beast.
And a beast knows no bounds.
Good.
You're purging.
[GROANS] [DISTORTED]: It's me, Jack.
Don't come any closer.
Jack No.
No.
Stay away! Jack.
Jack! YOUNG JACK: How many miles to Babylon? Three score and ten.
Can I get there by candlelight? Yes, and back again.
[GROANS] This is the great horror, loneliness.
It is like the scorpion striking itself.
Have you seen my elemental? Thanks, friend.
MAN: You made it.
[BARKING] Who are you? [LAUGHING]: I'll give you a hint.
I know who you are.
You're Jack M.
Parsons.
The M stands for Marvel.
How'd you know that? Because it's my name, too.
Dad? Fetch, boy! [BARKING] Where have you been? Up here, waiting.
For what? For you.
Are you saying you've spent the last 20 years waiting for me on the Moon? Well, not the entire time.
Did some soldiering for a while.
Spent years chasing Pancho Villa back to Mexico.
Then I made my way up here.
Took a while, as you can imagine.
I knew you must have been doing incredible things.
[CHUCKLES] Like father like son.
But how'd you get up here? [WHISPERING]: That's the best part.
Come on, I'll show you.
ERNEST: 90.
91, 92 93 You.
Ha! You call yourself the Grand Magus? If you're so fucking grand, put your hands down, fight like a man.
Down, I said! You're no mage! You're a rat-faced liar! Me and Maggie was working things out and you had to go and put those fucking ideas in my head! Huh? Ow! Shit! Ow! Goddamn it! [PANTING] Yeah? You mean it? Well, I'm sorry, too.
I'm really glad I ran into you.
There's something I've been wanting to ask.
You got a light, son? Yeah.
[CHUCKLES] I'd wondered where that got to.
Glad to know it's been in good hands all these years.
There's no oxygen up here to feed the flame.
[LAUGHS] Now, what were you saying? Ah.
You wanted to ask me something.
Spit it out.
I've been having this dream.
Mm-hmm? Now I'm starting to think maybe it wasn't a dream at all.
I was about six.
And you and me stayed up, playing a game.
"How many miles to Babylon," remember? No.
I was trying to summon the Devil.
Well, is that so? Did you? You really don't remember? I don't.
I'm sorry.
You must.
I was on the floor, and you came into the room wearing a devil's mask.
You scared me half to death.
[CHUCKLES] I don't think so.
It had to have been you.
Jack, I may be a son of a bitch, but I'll be damned if I was ever the Devil.
Don't you see? It was you.
You're a Marvel, just like me.
And you could summon the Devil sure as you could conquer the Moon.
Now come on, we're almost there.
Dad? Dad? Dad! Hello? [EXHALES] Dad? Dad? MARVEL: Jack! You did this.
You.
[CAR APPROACHING] Get out! I've been looking all over for you.
You've been looking for me? I broke through, Ernest.
Just like you said: no bounds.
I saw it all, everything.
I drew it, so I wouldn't forget.
Look.
- Who's that? - That's not important.
This is what's important.
This is the future.
The future that I'm gonna build.
You were right.
Strip away all that we aren't, and we see what we are.
I'd begun to lose sight.
Thank you, it's the best gift anyone's ever given me.
Where's Jack and Ernest? Probably out looking for that damn moonflower.
Why didn't they wake us? You said your feet were hurting.
You could've gone.
I think that was the point.
They didn't want either one of us to come.
Why? You're really not worried? Ernest has always been like this.
Restless, and Capricious? Well, yes.
When he sets his sights on something, he goes after it and doesn't give up until he gets it.
And when that thing is you, it makes you feel like the most important person on Earth.
I know what you mean.
I guess that's why you're okay with all the other stuff, too.
What other stuff? You know.
His group.
You know about that? He took us.
[LAUGHS SOFTLY] I assumed he would've told you.
Needless to say, it wasn't for us.
[HORN HONKING] ERNEST: Took all night, but we finally found one.
It was beautiful before dawn.
I wish you'd been there.
I think that's everything.
Should be.
You okay? Never been better.
Until we meet again, tree! Feels wrong doing this without Jack here.
Jack said he didn't want to be here.
- I know.
- MESULAM: Gentlemen.
It seems your prototype has sparked much interest on campus.
[LAUGHS] Richard.
Are we waiting for your illustrious colleague? Um not exactly.
TILLMAN: Well, stop keeping us in suspense, Mr.
Onsted.
The Department of War has graciously sent General Braxton back to campus to see how our research groups are advancing.
Professor Tillman's propeller group was quite impressive.
Excited to see what you boys are up to.
Gentlemen, let's move back, please.
Good afternoon.
This is a very unexpected, but very welcome, surprise.
And opportunity.
We're very excited and very honored to share with you the first test firing of our newly built rocket motor, the GALCIT 1.
We hope Sorry, we-we know that this prototype will show that rocketry deserves recognition and support as a legitimate science.
Thank you.
General, if you would.
[AIR HISSING] On your signal.
Go ahead.
No.
Wait.
He did call it a bomb before he left.
Richard.
No, you're right.
Math checks out.
It's not a bomb.
Proceed.
[TICKING] [LAUGHS] [APPLAUSE] We weren't wrong.
Sometimes crazy is just crazy.
You want to try for the full minute? MAN [ON RADIO]: Germany and Italy still have the Pact of Steel, initially drafted as an alliance between Japan, Italy and Germany [RADIO TURNS OFF] Good time, huh? What's wrong? You upset 'cause we were out all night? Thought we agreed we wouldn't act this way anymore.
- Act what way? - [SIGHS] Needy.
No, you're absolutely right.
We agreed there would be no limitations, as long as you told me the truth.
What did I lie about exactly? This trip was never about making new friends or spending time with me.
It was all part of some goddamn recruitment.
Susan told me you had taken them.
Guess you've given up on her, but him [SCOFFS] he still has some promise.
Congratulations.
You'll be moving up to the next degree in no time.
This is why.
If I told you the truth, you wouldn't have gone.
Did you even want me there? Of course.
Oh Because if I didn't go, then Susan wouldn't have gone.
And then she wouldn't have let him.
It's not that at all.
I wanted you there, too.
I wanted all of it.
Of course you did because you never want to have to choose.
You said, when you came back here, you were gonna try and accept it.
I do accept it, Ernest, but when you tell me we're going camping with the neighbors, I want to believe we're just going camping.
[SIGHS] You've already scared away most of our old friends, do we have to scare away the new ones, too? Why do you think a man like Jack wants to be friends with a man like me? Thelema's the only thing I have to offer.
Is that what you really think? I think you came back here hoping to bring me to my senses.
[SOFTLY]: No.
I told you I'm okay with it.
I don't believe you.
What do I have to do to prove it? Excuse me.
Take a bow.
You were right.
I kept trying to call you, all weekend, but it's as if you had vanished from the face of the earth.
I did, as a matter of fact.
I went camping.
Well done.
You got as far away as you could.
What was the glitch? That's it? What's it? You're not gonna let me have it? Call me an imbecile for doing a test fire when you explicitly told me not to? No.
So what made it blow? Hubris.
And things were going so well at first, I decided to try for the full minute.
We got to 46 seconds, and then everything went up in smoke.
The engine, our credibility, our future.
This missed Tillman by an inch.
Pity it missed.
How did you know, Jack? What did you see that we didn't? I didn't see it, I felt it.
There was something none of us had thought of.
Something no one's ever thought of.
Because the problem didn't exist until now.
But the good news is, if I was right about that, then I'm also right about something else.
We're gonna change the world, Rich.
We just have 51 more prototypes to go.
- How do you know? - I just do.
Maybe you'll take my word for it this time.
Jack, you don't get it.
This was our chance to get funding, real funding, and I blew it.
We'll build another motor.
We'll run another test - Where? - What do you mean where? We've been kicked off campus.
You're right, world is changing.
I doubt that we'll have anything to do with it.
This way.
[SNAPS FINGERS]