The Changeling (2023) s01e04 Episode Script

The Wise Ones

[VICTOR LAVALLE] The water renews
but does not shed its layers. No.
It drags buried memories to the present.
Once, below these waters,
giant predators swam. Mythical.
Those predators grew
legs and made it to land.
If they could do that, would
it be so surprising if once,
upon one of these times,
witches had been here too?
Each tale told upon this
water informs the next story
and the next.
Don't know why I had to come out here.
[GROANS] Man agrees to
pay you $70,000 for a book,
you best believe you deliver
that shit to him personally.
You know what we look like? Two
drug dealers out to make a sale.
- [LAUGHS] Drug dealers don't gift wrap.
[PASSERBY] Yeah. I think we
should make that [INDISTINCT]
- [SERVER] Here you go.
- [PATRICE] Thanks.
[SERVER] Yeah. No problem.
Here you go. [SIGHS]
- Hey. [GROANS]
- Hey.
You got another meeting tonight?
The Survivors Club at the Chinese
Community Center in Flushing.
You been stalking me?
It popped up on the, uh, tribute
page when you checked in online.
The tribute what? What
are you talking about?
Tribute page.
For Brian.
"Tribute to Brian."
I'm a fan.
Not a Not a fan, but
[STAMMERS] you know what I mean.
[PERSON 1] May angels watch
over that poor child
[PERSON 2] Rest in piss.
[PERSON 3] Two working
parents cannot raise a child.
- [PERSON 4] Genetically unfit.
- [PERSON 5] Postpartem.
[PERSON 6] Apollo killed them both
[PERSON 7] Dinner plans tonight.
A meal inspired by baby Brian.
Boiled vegetables.
"Boiled vegetables." Who the
hell are these people, man?
Like, what
W-Why would this guy make this?
I thought you knew.
- My man, I never I never w
When I went there, I
saw that you checked in
with The Survivors. I
figured that meant you knew.
No. I checked in [STAMMERS]
so if my parole officer logged on,
that I'd be able to cover my ass,
but I didn't know it
was gonna end up on this.
Wow. Here I am tripping on witches,
meanwhile social media's
conjuring up something way worse.
What you say?
Nothing, man. I'm not talking to you.
Is that our guy?
[PATRICE] Wow. Beige on beige.
Tan man. Very fashionable.
Who the fuck still drinks Tab?
Okay, this is a man who has not been
with a woman in a very long time.
[STAMMERS] In years. Decades.
One of these incel fat fucks
always posting heinous shit online
about how no one
appreciates how special he is
- and how women only want jerks.
- All right, all right. Calm down.
This is the guy that's gonna give
us a five-figure check, all right?
But keep it up.
I was wrong. This guy's
never been with a woman.
[SMACKS LIPS] You wanna know what
else he's probably never done?
He's probably never joined
a Baby Brian fan page.
- Hey.
- [WILLIAM] Apollo.
Hey, William.
[PATRICE] Don't trip. He seems safe.
Hey. Good to see you.
Lemme take you to my office.
- [GRUNTS] Sorry. It's a bit of a mess.
It's all right.
- Here. Let me
Oh, that's cute.
Oh, yeah. Those are from my daughters.
Aw, see, he's got daughters.
[SCOFFS] And one wife.
[SIGHS] I used to call
them my little strawberries.
When they'd get mad, their
faces would get so red.
Got that from me. [CHUCKLES]
Nobody said anything about boats.
"Have you ever been in
a cockpit before, Joey?"
[CHUCKLES] Yeah, I'm old. [LAUGHS]
Come on. Ah, just ignore me.
Here she is.
Guys, come on.
You know, I can't swim.
- Guys, come down.
- I'll just grab here. Okay.
I got beer.
I'm gonna die. Yep.
It's a nice boat.
Okay, guys. I'm no good at secrets.
- [SMACKS LIPS] You stole the boat?
I didn't steal it, but it's not mine.
I built this app myself.
It's called Rock-A-Bye.
- It's like Airbnb, but for boats.
We got this thing for two whole hours.
Okay. I But I need to be in
Flushing by five, so I think
We're not going anywhere. I
don't know how to drive a boat.
- You're a coder?
- Yeah.
And I built my older
daughter's first laptop.
- Put a Core i5 processor in her.
- That's pretty impressive.
- Back at my place, I got me a
Oh, wow. You guys wrapped
it too? That's really nice.
It was always meant to be a gift anyway.
You know, I guess I hoped
to see it before I bought it.
- Oh, you wanna
- That's okay.
You know, I trust you guys.
Here. Um, give it to me. Here.
It's, uh I'll do it for you.
It's a gift?
Yeah, for my wife.
Uh, we're estranged.
She moved back with her
parents in Bay Shore.
I've been on my own 11 whole months now.
[GASPS] Oh, wow.
It's beautiful.
It's got the Yeah.
[WILLIAM] " Daddy of our dreams."
First edition.
It's perfect.
You know, Gretta's dad used to read
this to her when she was little.
- Hmm.
- Gretta Strickland. That's my wife.
From Alabama [CHUCKLES]
just like in this.
[CLICKS TONGUE] It's just a
story about a good father, right?
I think her dad used to read this to her
to show her a model of that, you know?
[CHUCKLES] Then she
married me. [CHUCKLES]
I wasn't Atticus Finch.
Yeah, well [CLICKS
TONGUE] neither was he.
'Cause of the other book.
I was that man that thought
you just worked and worked,
provided, and that made you a great dad.
But you know what
happens when you do that?
You look up after 25 years,
your wife and your kids,
they don't know you.
All those new dads.
Those guys at the park with
their kids, 6:00 in the morning
[CHUCKLES] Oh. That's the good stuff.
And I know what matters now.
I know I could do
better if she came back.
And I love my daughters so much
and I never said it.
No, I never said it.
And people need to hear the
words, you know? [BREATHES SHAKILY]
And now it's costing
me everything I saved
just to try and win her back with this.
I mean, what's your
feeling, guys? Could it work?
- I
- Yeah, tell her whatever you told us, man.
- I'm gonna wrap it back up for you.
- Tell her that. Okay?
There you go.
I sent the funds electronically.
Yes. Yeah, that'll work.
That's it, then.
You know, if this doesn't get
Gretta back, I'm all tapped out.
And this paper, it
really is a nice touch.
It's all right.
Thanks for, um, coming to meet me here.
place has good memories.
And Emma, she was addicted
to those dumplings
- her whole pregnancy.
I wanna thank you too for, um
[CLICKS TONGUE] Helping my mom
with the funeral arrangements.
Brian was my nephew.
Have they been putting fresh
flowers on his grave every week?
We paid extra for that. [CHUCKLES]
I haven't been going. So
- [SIGHS] Oh, but you have to
- Um, I wanted to, uh
pay you back for what you've done.
Um, what's it? About
$10,000 for a birth?
What are you
You didn't even need me.
Emma did it herself.
You did it together.
Yeah, well, you trained us.
I never even got to hear her, um
TONGUE] third wish.
It could've been anything,
you know? She could've
[CRIES] She could've just told
I think you should know
it wasn't supposed to
be like this. [SNIFFLES]
This is what it is.
Goodbye, Valentines.
[APOLLO] Thank you.
What the fuck? What?
- Fuck you!
[APOLLO] What?
Where the fuck are
Hey! William!
- William! Where the fuck are you? Hey!
- Hey. Hey, Mr. Kagwa
- You little fucking shit!
- Apollo!
Sorry to see you again like this No.
- Hey! Oh, come on man.
- The fuck do you think this is?
- This a fucking sick joke to you? Huh?
- No. No, no, no.
[PANTS] I didn't mean to get all
cloak and dagger about it. Come on.
What the fuck are you talking
about? Do you know Emma's alive?
- Yes, I do. I swear Look
- What? How?
- I only just found out.
- What the fuck do you mean?
The NYPD and the fucking
Feds couldn't find her,
and you mean to tell me you did?
Is that what you're telling me?
Look, there was a time when
government agencies like that
were the only resource
a person had, Apollo.
- Shut the fuck up with that shit!
- That's not true anymore.
You know, a hundred people with a
hundred computers across the country,
they can cover as much ground as them.
They can cover more.
And if those people really
care, they'll work day and night.
They won't quit.
And that's just what they did when
I told them I wanted to help you.
Okay, okay. So-So where is she?
If what you say is true,
where is Emma Valentine?
She's on an island in the East River.
- [LAUGHS] This fucking guy.
- I'm serious. I swear it.
- I'm serious.
The Wise Ones, Apollo. I found 'em.
Who are you?
- Apollo, I'm your friend.
- Don't! You're not my fucking friend.
Stop saying that. Stop touching me.
How do I get to her?
[STAMMERS] You're gonna need a boat.
Oh. Oh. A fucking boat. Well,
great, I don't have a fucking boat.
Come on, man, relax. [CHUCKLES]
There's an app for that.
Oh, fuck.
- You know this crazy.
- Fuck.
You know what the Library
of Alexandria was in Egypt?
Yeah, I know it. I know
it. My wife was a librarian.
It held the world's knowledge.
"The place of the cure of the soul."
That's what the Internet is, my man.
[INHALES SHARPLY] Hey, did boat
guy give you any actual evidence
- that Emma was still alive?
- Uh, yeah.
He sent me some kind of file or
something, but I can't open it.
It's probably in Flash, I
bet. Yeah, forward it to me.
- Good news is I did my due diligence
- on Wheeler before you got here.
- And?
William Webster Wheeler.
Gotta love alliteration.
Born in Levittown.
Owns a house in Forest
Hills, on 86th street.
Served in the Air Force as a
programming specialist in the early '80s.
After that, uh, worked for the
Medical University of South Carolina.
Started making his way back northeast.
Been working as an app developer.
- Uh, this guy is who he says he is.
- Yeah.
- That means something these days.
- Yeah, he's gonna get a, um,
boat tomorrow night, um
Yeah, so why is this guy helping you?
- I mean, what's what's in it for him?
- I don't know.
Maybe he's fucking crazy.
Maybe he wants to throw me off
the boat. I really don't care.
this looks like CCTV camera footage.
This guy's friends did
some serious digging.
[LAVALLE] What is a ghost?
The spirit of a dead person,
or a vision seen askew?
Three months since he'd
last seen her alive,
and now here she was.
South Street Seaport.
Thought you didn't know
how to drive a boat.
I can't tell a lie.
Welcome to the wonderful
world of boating.
I'm gonna show you
how to cast off a dock.
But before I do, be sure
to like and subscribe.
You can learn anything from the
Internet. I'm teaching myself.
Thank you.
Hey, you know, we can go
back whenever you want.
Say the word.
Let me ask you something.
Did you tell anybody
else we were doing this?
[CLICKS TONGUE] I told Patrice. [SIGHS]
[STAMMERS] There's something
you need to see then.
- Oh, no. No, not you too.
- Look. Right there.
"Green Hair Harry".
There's your Patrice.
- Patrice?
- Yeah. And there's this.
[APOLLO] Oh, my God.
Look, I'm sure he meant
to show us support,
but I'm actually out here with you.
Look, we need to be careful.
Vampires can't come into your house
unless you invite them, Apollo.
Posting online is like leaving
your front door wide open
and telling any creature of the
night they can just come right in.
- [WILLIAM] Wow. Rikers.
Lights out.
[APOLLO] How would you do it?
Jump off George Washington Bridge.
Shit. [GROANS]
[LAVALLE] Would you even know
if you crossed into a fairy tale?
Slipped between the pages of a book?
There are portals in this world
that we may never know
we've trespassed through.
There. Look, right there. There it is.
[WILLIAM] Oh, my gosh. You found it.
Yeah, I'm gonna beach us.
Okay. Okay. Okay.
Oh! It's freezing.
- William.
Why are you here?
Gretta said no.
She wasn't even mean about it, you know?
She just said to leave the
book for the girls in my will.
If I wasn't out here with you,
I'd just be at home in
my basement, going nuts.
I know this is insane.
At least I'm not alone.
Can I come with you?
- Let's roll.
Let's roll.
- Look.
- [APOLLO] What?
[APOLLO] Hospital beds.
[WILLIAM] I know where we are.
This must be North Brother
Island. I read about this today.
Yeah, it was a hospital
for the infectious.
Phone died.
Come on, William.
Hey, you know who Mary Mallon was?
Typhoid Mary.
Bingo. Oh, you're smart.
The original super-spreader.
You know they quarantined her
here for a third of her life?
Now it's a nesting colony for
the black-crowned night heron.
[APOLLO] William!
[GRUNTS] Hey! Look! Look at that light.
- What is that?
- Holy cannoli. The Wise Ones.
We gotta find out if these women
have weapons and destroy them.
Sabotage their boats. We could
easily take these witches out.
Hey, shut up. [STAMMERS]
You are a middle-aged IT guy,
and I'm a depressed bookseller.
But I'm the god Apollo.
I am the god Apollo!
[GRUNTS] Emma! [GRUNTS] Bitch,
where are you? Where are you?
Where are you? Emma! [GRUNTS]
Emma! I am the god Apollo!
I am the god Apollo!
I am the god Apollo!
I come for my revenge!
Emma, where are you? Where
are you? Where are you?
[APOLLO GROANS] Let me go. Let me go.
[APOLLO] No, no. Let me go. [SHOUTS]
[GROANS] I'm here for my wife!
[EMMA] When it falls off my wrist,
those three wishes will come true.
[APOLLO] I am the god Apollo.
Não corta. Do not cut it.
It's not a baby.
Hey. No matter what happens,
you're coming with me.
- Coming with me. Coming with me.
[APOLLO] Stop! Stop!
Get off me!
Why do you protect Emma? Why do
you protect her? She killed my baby!
She killed my baby! [GRUNTS]
[GUARD 1] You're Emma's?
[LAUGHS] Of course he is.
Emma was a pain in the ass.
Why wouldn't the husband be too?
- [GUARD 2] Cal will wanna see you.
- [GUARD 2] Come on.
- Cal?
Cal told me how to get my daughter back.
Cal told me what to do. I
just don't know if I can do it.
[APOLLO] Get off of me!
Get [GRUNTS] Get
[GRUNTS] Let me go!
Let me go!
It's not a baby.
Hey, hey, wait!
[GRUNTS] I know her.
It fell in the courtyard.
One of the children found
it and brought it to me.
[SIGHS] I thought I trained
you to be more careful.
I'm sorry.
Which is more frightening?
[LAUGHS] Hello?
Oh, they didn't cut out
your tongue, did they?
You're Cal.
Yeah, it's short for
Calisto. Come closer.
They're They're protective of me.
You're not gonna do
anything dumb, are you?
[CHUCKLES] I'm putting on a
show tomorrow for the kids.
Come, help me make a frightening puppet.
Hey, hey! Where is my wife?
Once upon a time, an old man and a
woman had long wished for a child.
[GASPS] And once pregnant,
the wife gazed longingly at a
field of rapunzel greens next door.
So her husband decided
to steal some for her.
But a terrifying enchantress
appeared and said,
"How dare you, you
thief! I will curse you."
But she agreed that
she would spare his life
if they gave her their baby.
Enough. Stop.
Listen, I need to know where my wife is.
Hey, where is my wife?
I need to find her, all right?
Your whatever tried to kill me.
You know, years ago, a husband found us.
He brought with him two
guns and, oh, a ton of rage.
I made the mistake of
trying to talk to him.
But he killed, uh, three
women and seven children.
That's when we left the
world and we came here.
And we armed ourselves
as best as we could.
And when men show up, we're
just a little more, uh
[CLICKS TONGUE] proactive.
many men did you kill?
[LAUGHS] Ugh, who knows?
We're like the police.
We don't keep track of those numbers.
[SIGHS] So, how do we
protect our children?
That's what Rapunzel is all about.
That's the question that it's asking.
Well, clearly, I'm the
wrong person to ask.
You know, the-the husband, he
protects himself over the baby.
The baby gets snatched.
And then the enchantress,
I mean, she won't let that
kid go anywhere in the world.
She's like a-a helicopter parent.
And still, that prince, he
manages to find a way inside.
I mean, no matter what we
do, the world finds a way in.
So, how do we protect our children?
That's a question that has been
asked for hundreds of years,
ever since fairy tales were
first told around an evening fire.
The new fears are the old fears,
and the old fears are ancient.
But when it's our turn to
face them, they are made new.
The children will talk to this
puppet as if it were as real as me.
It's an old kind of magic.
The Scottish called it "glamour."
It's an illusion where something
pretends to be something
other than it is.
A monster looks to
be a beautiful maiden,
and a ruined castle
appears as a golden palace.
Do you understand
what I'm talking about?
It's not a baby.
[CHUCKLES] That's a smart boy.
[SOBS] But, uh But
if it's, um, an illusion,
that means there's
someone that created it.
- [WILLIAM] Hello! Are you in there?
- Shit.
You didn't come alone!
[APOLLO] Hey, easy.
What was he doing when you found him?
He was on the shore,
waving his phone light
over his head, side to side.
It was dead. The phone was dead.
Why the fuck haven't you
destroyed this thing yet?
I thought you'd like to
see what he has on it.
Oh, my God. This is Gretta's husband.
Yeah, we should call her. She'll
wanna be here when we kill him.
Gretta? Oh, please, I'd love to see her.
[CAL] That's not gonna happen.
Shit. Okay, okay,
And you, you better
decide if you're ready
to eat a large slice of humble pie.
Wait, wait. I-I don't know what's
[APOLLO] Fuck.
Well, at least I got my glasses back.
[APOLLO] How How
are you not dead, man?
You haven't told me everything.
Well, obviously.
They fucking tried to kill
me, man. They tried to kill me.
Yeah. Yeah, and I'm sorry about that.
But if I'm honest, I didn't
think we'd make it this far.
You know, I've been
up and down this river
for months and couldn't find the place.
You went and spotted it
on your first try. Lucky.
Wait, wait, wait. If you've been
up and down looking for this place,
you didn't learn how
to drive a boat today.
[CHUCKLES] Well, my family's Norwegian.
Heck, I've been on
boats since I was a baby.
Sailing's just kind of in our blood.
Why would you keep that from me, man?
Doesn't make any sense.
What the fuck is going on, man?
Who are you?
Okay. Okay. I have a confession to make.
who you were before we met.
- What?
- Yeah.
Yeah, I read about your wife
giving birth on the A train.
[CHUCKLES] I just knew.
Just knew what?
That we were gonna be friends.
Oh, my God. This motherfucker is crazy.
[CHUCKLING] This motherfucker is crazy.
Batshit fucking crazy, aren't you?
No, I just loved the story about how
Brian came into the world so much.
You know how you hear
about someone on the news,
so you look them up on the Internet
to see what their life is like now?
Well, I just wanted to see the baby.
And I wanted to find a happy ending
where there was none in my own home.
Let me ask you something. Are you happy?
Are you happy with my
fucking happy ending?
You know, I found you through
all your social media accounts.
Early mornings in the park.
All those pictures you posted.
You were so happy. And I thought
to myself, "I love this guy.
You know, he really gets it.
He's doing it exactly the
way I should have done it."
Gretta ran off with my daughter
and destroyed my family, but you
[CHUCKLES] You were a
beacon of what it could be.
Daughter? [STAMMERS]
You have two daughters.
No, I had two.
And then Gretta listened to Cal,
just like Emma did, and she [SOBBING]
I called in the cavalry.
What is that? What is
that, man, the police?
[SNIFFS] Look, Emma is alive, maybe.
The women on this island
aren't gonna help you find her.
But I can help you.
If you help me.
No, no, no. No. Why the
fuck would I do that?
After all we've just been through,
man, why the fuck would I do that?
Just help me get Gretta and Grace back.
Well, you heard Cal.
They're gonna bring her here.
Help me and I can help you.
Well, you've learned
how resourceful I am.
I don't know what the fuck
I've learned about you.
I don't even know who you are
or what the fuck is going on.
I don't know I don't
know anything, man.
I don't know what the fuck this is.
Please, just talk to Gretta before
they do whatever they're gonna do.
William, I don't know
if you've noticed this,
but I'm in a fucking cage too
with your fucking weird ass!
Well, Cal said she'd
kill me and she will,
but she offered you a
chance to eat your pie.
You know, if you could
just talk to Gretta,
explain to her. I understand
it's not her fault.
You know, we both lost
our minds after Agnes died.
[BREATHES HEAVILY] That was our baby.
You know, I haven't said
her name out loud in a year.
My sweet girl.
Tell her I know it wasn't her fault.
Tell her I wanna beg for her forgiveness
and offer her mine if she wants it.
- Shut the fuck up. All right.
- I want her and Grace to come home.
All right, all right.
I want what's left of my
family to be whole again.
- I'm just asking you to tell her that.
- All right. Shut up, man.
What makes you think I'm
gonna see Gretta before you do?
Just eat the fucking pie, man!
Just get to my wife.
You're the only chance I have left.
I don't wanna die here without trying.
What if I say no?
If I say, "Fuck you. Fuck all of this"?
Then what?
You don't get it. [CHUCKLING]
Apollo, if you don't help me,
everyone on this island is going to die.
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