The Guardian (2001) s03e13 Episode Script

Amends

- Come on! - I'm coming! [Man] Don't worry.
I'll get it.
- Nick.
- Morning, Alvin.
You know where I live? Yeah.
Um, yeah.
I haven't seen you around for awhile.
Well, you know, Lulu she doesn't really want me around the clinic.
You catch the bus? Three days a week.
Gotta cut down on those fossil fuels.
Good for you.
Yeah.
I've been looking at those, uh, hybrid cars.
Maybe when the lease runs.
Well, here's my bus.
- Hey, Alvin, do you have a minute to talk? - I'm gonna be late, Nick.
Well, I'm working on my amends for the you know, the program.
You coming, Alvin? Not today, Cliff.
Hi, Norah.
Hi.
Thanks.
Thanks.
Thank you.
The ninth step already, huh? L I'm working on it.
That's fast.
I wrote some things down, and, uh It's pretty cold out here, Nick.
I'll give you a ride to work, and we can do it in the car.
Sure.
[Bell dings] Look, I appreciate everything you've been saying, Nick, and, of course, I'm happy to let bygones be bygones, but Well, I'm three weeks in.
It's only a 30-day program.
Well, you see, in my situation, I wasn't ready to make my amends for almost a year.
Well, Alvin - Okay, then.
- Right.
Right.
[Lulu] Come in.
- Nick.
- Hey.
How have you been? Okay.
How are you doing? Okay.
Did you get my messages? Yeah.
Yeah, I still think that you should continue with your outpatient therapy before you take cases.
- I wasn't calling about that.
- Because, I think, until I know that you're not drinking or doing drugs, it would be highly irresponsible for me to let you practice law here.
I wasn't calling about the clinic.
Oh.
I was calling because, uh, I wanted to talk to you about what I've done.
About the fact that I'm pregnant with our child, and you're having sex with another woman? Maybe this isn't the best time.
Maybe not.
Maybe, uh, another time.
Nick, it crashed.
- What? - The bus.
It crashed.
- What bus? - My bus the 38B.
Went over a guardrail on Route 51.
The news is saying that a lot of people are dead.
I was just about to get on it.
I was supposed to be on that bus.
~ Well, there is trouble ~ ~ In my mind ~ ~ There is dark ~ ~ There is dark and there is light ~ ~ There is no order ~ ~ There is chaos ~ ~ And there is crime ~ ~ There is no one ~ ~ Home tonight ~ ~ In the empire of my mind ~ ~ There is trouble in my mind ~ - [phone ringing] - [People chattering] - We'll stay ahead of this, uh, Pat.
- Good.
Jake is already coordinating with the your PR We're setting up a grief counseling plan today.
Good.
- Now, there will be civil suits filed.
- [chatter on TV] Our answer, of course, will be a blanket denial of all claims and liability.
[Burton] The driver's given blood and urine samples to the police, and he's down at the county hospital right now with his daughter, but, uh, he has agreed to speak with us later today.
I'll interview the driver.
No.
Jake's taking care of that.
I can do it.
[Woman on TV] Be advised.
It won't be a No.
Jake's on that.
But we do need, uh, maintenance records on the bus, and, uh, the regulation manual for your drivers.
tragic Allegheny County Transit bus crash on Route 51 has reached 15.
The death toll has climbed Well, let's get to work.
I'll talk to you later, okay? I can talk to the driver.
I thought maybe you could, uh, drop over to the Transit Authority and check on that accident reconstruction work.
Well, I could do that on the way to the driver's house.
Nicholas, this case could cost Allegheny Transit tens of millions of dollars.
What they need from us is continuity and consistency.
You're saying I can't work on it? Well, come on in here a minute.
Nicholas, you've got a lot of important stuff going on right now for yourself I gotta work.
Right.
- Dad, I can handle working.
- All right.
I will stop by the Transit Authority on the way to the driver's house.
Are you sure? [Door closes] - [Knocks] - Come in.
What is it? I got a new client.
He's 13, and his father died today in that bus accident.
Uh-huh.
His name is Connor Adams.
He was on the bus, too.
Was he hurt? His wrist.
He's got some stitches, but otherwise Well, what can I do for you? Connor and his father lived alone.
The mother died a few years ago.
The only relatives in the area are a cousin and an uncle.
I did a little background check, and it turns out that Uh, could you just tell me, Suzanne? Right.
Okay.
Um, Connor's Uncle Phil spent seven years in a state prison for aggravated assault and rape.
He's still drinking heavily, and his apartment Well, what about the cousin? Connor's with him now.
The problem with Cousin Dell is that, uh, he already has a severe history of neglect with his own kids.
Okay.
So we're gonna have to go in and take Connor out of his custody today.
And I thought of you, because, well, he just needs someone really good to represent him, if you don't mind working with me.
Well, let's not make this about us, Suzanne.
I'm taking the entire staff out to lunch on me.
- You guys want to come? - Oh, no, thank you, Alvin.
Suzanne? Oh, nice, but no, thank you.
Okay.
So, I'll just go ahead and set up that meeting.
Yeah.
[Jake] So, Connor, I know this is a very hard time for you, and I really appreciate you coming and talking today.
How much do we get? Uh, uh, excuse me? How much do we get? - Yeah, Mr.
Adams, uh - Dell.
Dell.
Dell, we're not here to discuss money.
We're here to discuss what happened on the bus.
- You represent the bus company? - Right.
Connor said the driver crashed the bus on purpose.
So, how much do we get? Mr.
Adams? Nick Fallin.
Nice to meet you.
Connor, right? Connor, you said the bus driver crashed the bus on purpose? Yeah.
- Did you tell that to the police? - No.
Connor, if they're not paying, you're not talking.
- [Knocking] - [Door opens] Mr.
Jenkins, I'm sorry to disturb you.
- You work for ACT? - That's right.
I need to speak with you about this accident today.
[Man on TV] Now, I know you all remember that day.
Norah, would you go into the other room with your grandma, please? come down Mount Sinai [TV continues] Already told the police everything.
- Right.
- Even pissed in a cup, gave blood, blew into a breathalyzer.
All came back fine, they said.
I have to record this, if it's okay.
- [Beeps] - Thank you.
Uh, please state your name and where you work.
Cliff Jenkins.
I'm a bus driver for the city lines.
Mr.
Jenkins, you were driving the 38B bus that was involved in the accident today? Yes.
I interviewed someone else that was actually on that bus a boy that was sitting up at the front.
Okay.
He blames you for the accident.
He said that you crashed the bus intentionally.
I would never crash the bus intentionally.
Of course not.
I'm sorry.
Mr.
Jenkins, can you can you tell me what you remember of the crash? You were driving on Route 51.
How fast were you going? Um, 35, maybe 40.
Then what happened? I saw the next stop up ahead.
The next thing I know, the the bus was skidding.
I must've driven over a patch of ice.
You don't want to hit the brakes because, you know, you lose control, so, l I just tried to, uh, uh, steer through it.
I saw, uh, the guardrail coming up, and, uh, that's when I slammed on the brakes, but, uh it just kept going.
[Buzzer buzzes] [Door buzzing] [Door closes] Hey, Suzanne.
What are you doing here? It's a 30-day program, and it has 12 steps, and one of the steps is to, uh, make a list of people that you may have either hurt or or mistreated and then make amends.
Okay.
You're You're on my list.
Why? Uh, when l when I had the problem drinking, l I slept with you.
I enjoyed sleeping with you, Nick.
I guess what I mean is it was just sex to me.
Are you apologizing for having sex? - Didn't you enjoy having sex with me? - No.
Yeah, l I did.
I just I'm I'm I'm apologizing for not taking it more seriously.
Oh.
Oh, um, I liked you.
I know.
That's That's why I'm apologizing.
I don't understand what you're apologizing for.
I told you.
You told me that you didn't take me seriously that you kind of treated me like a whore, but you didn't tell me why.
[Scoffs] I'm sorry, but I don't accept that apology.
[Door slams] Oh, hey.
Uh, Pat Hagerty and the guys from ACT are gonna be here at 10:00.
- Right.
- And you, uh, spoke to the driver.
- Right.
- How'd it go? His account seemed straight forward.
Well, I mean, there's black ice on the road, and that kid's story hasn't been corroborated by any of the other witnesses? - Right.
- Right.
Oh.
[Clears throat] What's this? As you know, I'm in a 30-day program.
- Right.
- I'm working on making my amends with people I may have hurt advertently or inadvertently.
Right.
Uh, should I read it now? Or later.
Right.
So, l I reviewed Cliff's work records, and there's no prior accidents.
I mean, not a single complaint against him in over ten years of service.
Yeah, I didn't write in the letter that I took Sklar Chemical from you.
I overheard you talking about how they were in play, and I set up a meeting and I didn't invite you.
Oh.
Did the NTSB contact you about their investigation? Because they can be a real pain in the ass.
Wait.
You went behind my back to Sklar Chemical? Yeah.
Have you done this other times as well? Hey.
Well, that black ice situation's gonna save ACT's ass.
- Yeah.
- What about that driver? You think he's being truthful? Yes, I do.
Good.
Dad, I, uh I want to give Jake my source credit for Sklar Chemical.
Wh What do you mean? Uh, and also MacKenzie Shipping and Johnson Technology.
Are you okay, son? Yeah.
There's some things that that I've done that, uh, I'm sorry for.
I've lied to you, and I've been unreliable and and I've blamed you for some things that that you probably didn't do.
[Mutters] What the hell, son? Oh, just read it, please.
It's an apology.
As long as we're apologizing, l I'd like to say I'm sorry.
What for? Whatever the hell I've done.
Oh.
Well, Pat Hagerty's here.
We better give him a briefing.
Connor? Hi, I'm Louisa Archer.
I'll be your lawyer.
You want to come with me? How's the shelter? It sucks.
I don't understand why I couldn't just stay with Dell.
In here.
Well, your, uh your social worker, Suzanne she she, um she found a a a nice foster family for you that's in your neighborhood so you can stay in your school.
And, uh, they actually have another foster child.
His name's Jeremy.
He's about your age.
So? So, we're gonna go to court now, and we're gonna make the placement official.
Come on.
We're gonna be late.
Hey, wait for me.
[Buzzer buzzes] - See you later.
- Bye, Cam.
Hey, uh, my name is Nick.
I know who you are.
You're Suzanne's son, right? Yeah.
Cam.
Right.
Um, do you know if your mom's home? Uh, she left for work early today.
Okay.
No school today? Snow day.
I'll tell her you stopped by.
All right.
Uh, Cam, um, last night, when I was talking to your mom, uh You hurt my mom's feelings pretty bad.
She cried for, like, an hour.
Right.
Well, if last night, l I did anything that upset you, I just want you to know that, you know, if there's anything that I can do, uh Or just know I'm sorry.
Okay, man.
[People chattering] You know, just because you're going to live with the Heatons doesn't mean that we still won't help you.
We're gonna come visit you once a month, and if there are things that you need, we'll help you get them, okay? Oh, here she is.
Hi.
Connor, this is Mr.
And Mrs.
Heaton.
This is Connor.
[Judge] Miss Pell.
The Heatons have been foster parents for over five years.
They've done a remarkably good job with their three other children.
[Judge] Okay.
Miss Archer? I think it's a terrific placement.
Connor, how do you feel about this? I ain't living with a nigger.
- His father just died.
- I know that.
He He's just having a really hard time, and he wants to be with his family.
Right.
Well, obviously we cannot place Connor with the Heatons.
[Lulu] Right.
But, also, Judge Damsen, I mean, given his, uh His what, Miss Archer? His mood.
Uh, keeping him in a group shelter with, uh With black kids? It might not work out so well.
[Sighs] He'll remain at the Allegheny Boys Home.
I will order counseling and therapy.
Thank you, ladies.
Okay, well, I won't be able to find a group home for Connor without minority kids.
Well, I'm sure you'll do your best.
Hey.
Hey.
I've apologized to you, Lulu.
Right? I would like for this to stop.
What? He never told me that you were pregnant.
- You knew I was living with him.
- I did.
So did he.
Well, I just would never do something like that.
I'm not like that.
Lulu, l I'm a mom.
If I'd known that you were pregnant You know, I don't understand you.
You knew that we were living together.
The fact that I'm pregnant why does that make a difference? It does.
I mean, l I thought he liked me.
I thought I had a chance.
[Knocking] Hey, man.
She's still not here.
Okay.
- I'll tell her you're looking for her.
- All right.
Oh.
Hey.
I was thinking about what you said earlier.
Right.
About if there was anything you could do for me.
Yeah? It had a pearl in it.
So? My dad gave it to her, and Valentine's Day is coming up, and I wanted to give it to my mom, but I don't have the money to fix it or buy a new pearl.
You know? Yeah.
So, you said if there was anything you could do [sighs] [Knocking] - Hey.
- You alone? - I was.
- Pizza's probably cold.
I'll put it in the oven.
I have not slept for two days.
Can't sleep.
Cannot sleep.
- You may have saved my life.
- [Timer beeping] The more I think about it, you were, like I don't know an angel.
Hey, Alvin, please, just You want some coffee? Sure.
You know, I think Lulu may need some help, uh, understanding your particularities.
For instance, her father.
I saw that guy, right? Had alcoholic written all over him.
Clearly she grew up watching somebody enable an addict.
- Know what I mean? - No.
[Chuckles] So, this kid whose dad died in the crash, in court today, in front of Judge Damsen Suzanne and Lulu bring in this foster family.
Dad's white, mom's black.
This kid, in front of the court, says the N word.
Refuses to go with the foster family.
His whole family's, like, these white supremacists.
Sad story about the dad dying, but, uh, man.
I knew the father, too, from the bus.
Never saw the kid, but, uh, the dad used to call that, uh, driver names all the time, under his breath.
The driver, Cliff good man just used to stare straight ahead and drive that bus.
[Knocking] - Hey.
- Hi.
- Is your daddy here? - No.
Just Grandma.
All right.
It's It's Norah, right? I'm Nick.
L I came around yesterday.
[TV chatter] [Door closes] I heard that there, uh, might've been someone on the bus that wasn't very nice.
Yeah.
I was wondering if you remember if your dad was having a a bad time with anyone.
Maybe not yesterday, maybe maybe maybe another day? This man, some days, would say things to Daddy.
What kind of things? Call him bad names.
Okay.
Daddy always told me not to listen.
He said that kind of stuff shouldn't be listened to.
Oh, that's right.
Your daddy's right.
This man that was mean to your daddy, was was he on the bus when it crashed? Okay.
Thanks, Norah.
His son called me a nigger.
When did he do that? Before we crashed.
Daddy turned around.
He was really mad.
He turned around and yelled at the kid and his dad, and that's when it happened.
- [Bell dings] - [Lulu] So, I think that's everything.
I'll talk to you about it later.
Okay.
Bye, sweetie.
Oh.
What happened? Connor's not exactly getting along with the other kids.
Come on.
Okay, have a seat, Connor.
You want to tell me what's going on? [Sighs] You want to tell me what happened? Connor? You know, I know this must be an extremely difficult time for you My dad's funeral is on Friday.
They got me sharing a room with a bunch of coons.
Connor.
All right.
You know, I know that you must have loved your dad a lot - Don't talk about my father.
- No, I just mean Don't talk about him.
If you keep believing the things that your father believed and you keep acting the way that you act, you're gonna lose everything.
You will lose every opportunity that comes your way.
No one will want you, Connor.
I'm sorry.
Nobody will.
Understand you stopped by the house last night.
Understand you spoke to Norah.
What she told you was true.
It's true.
I wasn't looking.
Um, sit down.
Hi.
Uh, Cliff, uh, you said the other day that, uh, if you'd hit the brakes when you were going over the ice that you still would have lost control of the bus.
Right.
You said that you weren't exceeding the speed limit.
Right.
And you weren't driving recklessly.
Right.
Would you have done anything differently? I looked away from the road.
I turned to the man, and I yelled at him.
Cliff, if if you blame yourself for this accident, the bus company will distance itself from you.
There may be criminal charges filed for negligent homicide.
You understand what that means? I mean, this could have been an accident.
It doesn't have to be your fault.
Let's say I say things different.
What does that mean for Norah? I say I didn't look away.
She has to say the same thing, right? Right? This guy, a few months ago, gets on the bus, and he don't have the fare.
I tell him he gotta pay to ride.
He tells me to give him a break because I seen him before.
I tell him I can't do that.
So he calls me he calls me a nigger, and he gets off the bus.
The next morning, he gets on, and he sits down right behind me, and he starts with the names, and he keeps it up all the way from Carnegie into the city.
And I just listen to him.
Try to imagine that he's not there.
Just do my job.
Day it happened snowstorm.
All the schools were closed.
I had my daughter, Norah, riding with me on account of that.
This man gets on the bus with his boy.
They sit down close to me.
I hear him whispering.
He started saying things to me in front of his boy, in front of my daughter.
I look at my daughter.
She's staring at the floor.
I try to think whether to stop the bus or not.
L I think no.
So, we drive over the hill, right? And that's when I hear it his boy calling my baby a nigger.
Calling my baby that word.
I turned to that man and his child and I tell him what I tell him, and the next thing I know, the bus The next thing I know You see, I turned away from my job.
I turned away.
[Sighs] - Well, this is a problem.
- Right.
You should suspend him immediately.
Make that public.
It's just a start to distancing yourself from him in the press.
Okay.
Agree to cooperate fully with the D.
A.
's office in case they decide to press charges.
Right.
Now, this is gonna come back at us for sure.
- [Sighs] - [Footsteps approaching] [Knocks] So, found a family that will consider taking Connor.
I told them about his mood, as you said, and, um, they seem to be up to the task.
Okay.
So I'm scheduling a meeting for tomorrow morning.
Thought you might want to be there.
Okay.
Uh, Alvin, do you have a second? Uh, Co-Dependents Anonymous? Right.
Right.
And Al-Anon.
One of them might be right for you.
It's kind of offensive.
Well, I didn't mean to offend you.
- No, it implies that I'm the one who has - Fifty percent.
What? You are 50 percent of any relationship.
[Scoffs] Well, okay.
Thank you, Alvin, very much.
Just think about it.
Thank you.
Thanks a lot.
[Buzzer buzzes] Hey.
I'm sorry for starting something that I didn't intend to finish.
I withheld certain information from you.
If I'd asked you about Lulu, would you have told me the truth? I don't think so.
Well, maybe that's what you're sorry for.
Maybe.
Maybe.
[Chuckles] Did you get it? I forgive you, man.
Thank you for your time.
It's not my fault.
If they don't like me, it's not my fault.
[People chattering] Connor, you're gonna have to go with Mr.
Johnson now.
[Sighs] Well, I guess they weren't up to the task, huh? The foster couple? [Chuckles] That's an understatement.
How many times did he use the word "darkie" in that interview? I counted six.
And the other words? I mean, it was amazing.
It was almost [scoffs] I don't know.
I don't know what that was like.
Yeah.
Maybe there's a family out there for him once he gets counseling and therapy.
He won't change.
No.
Things probably aren't going to go so well for him.
[Scoffs] That's an understatement.
Uh, I didn't know that you had a son.
Yeah.
His name's Cam.
Cam.
How old is he? He's ten.
I didn't know that.
You should meet him sometime.
- If I gotta go to jail - Cliff, you're not gonna go to jail.
I don't know who's gonna look after my daughter and my mother.
What you need to do is get yourself a lawyer as soon as you can.
- If you can't afford one - Right.
I'll get one of those public defender men.
Well, only if criminal charges are filed.
But right now you need to find a lawyer that'll represent you civilly.
Give that number a call.
Ask for Louisa Archer.
- She'll help get you started.
- [Grandma coughing] Probably don't stand much of a chance with a free lawyer against guys like you.
Daddy? Not now, sweetheart.
There's something with Grandma.
I think she needs you.
Mmm, okay.
[Coughing continues] Cliff, good luck.
Thanks.
Son, I'm having a hard time with my breathing.
[Knocking] - Hi.
- Hi.
It's freezing out here.
Oh.
[Clears throat] What's that? Just open it.
What is it? It's a certificate from the program.
- A certificate? - Yeah.
I graduated.
Oh, I see.
It's been 30 days.
Right.
Well, congratulations on completing your program.
Thank you.
You know, Lulu, I was wondering about us.
- What about us? - If we could try to just - Try? - Right.
Try.
No.
Lulu No.
Just try.
- Because you have a certificate? - Well, not just that.
- That's just a piece of paper, Nick.
- Right.
And it's only been 30 days.
[Knocking] [Wind howling] Whew.
That wind is really something.
You have your certificate.
Uh, yeah.
Yeah.
Congratulations.
Mind if I sit? Thirty days.
That's progress.
- Progress.
- [Chuckles] It's amazing what you did finishing all those steps in so short a time.
You know, Alvin, to be honest with you Nick, I've been through this before.
And this this acceleration thing Yeah? Is crap.
- Crap.
- Crap.
Because you just You have to surrender to the problem, Nick.
- At least admit you have one.
- [Mutters] - Alvin, you know what? - Yeah? I didn't I didn't save your life.
- Okay.
- So So you can stop coming around here.
[Sighing] I've recovered before, Nick.
- That's all I'm saying.
- Yeah.
It's something you do for the rest of your life.
It's not something you can speed up, unless you want the rest of your life to, uh I don't know go faster or just go away.
[Wind howling] [Engine starts] Hey.
You ready? Uh, after the funeral, the woman from the shelter here is gonna take you to your cousin's for the reception, okay? How you doing? I don't like it here.
I know.
I'm sorry, Connor.
I just want to go home.
I just want my dad.
Come on.
[Lulu] Come in.
I'm sorry.
Um, am I interrupting something? Nope.
I was just leaving.
I'll talk to you later.
You called this morning? Yeah.
Have a seat.
I think it's okay for you to start taking cases again.
Good.
Right.
So, uh, there's a man.
His name is Alfred Kingston.
Um, he was wrongfully convicted of rape, and he served ten years of a hundred-year sentence before the DNA test cleared him of the charges.
Okay.
He wants custody of his son, but the problem is the wife.
She's kind of moved on, and Alfred's just wondering how he's gonna get his kid back.
Okay.
Got it.
Thank you.
He's waiting for you outside.
Mr.
Kingston? Nick Fallin.
- I understand you were exonerated.
- Yeah.
Come with me.