The Horror of Dolores Roach (2023) s01e02 Episode Script

This Building's Gonna Be the Death of Me

Days, I've been down
here in this basement,
like hibernating.
'Cause the world out there's not safe.
That's where my life got fucked apart.
Of course, I didn't know it yet,
but in less than a week,
this basement's gonna be
the most dangerous place
in Washington Heights.
- Luis?
- Hey-hey-hey, it's alive.
Water's out again.
- Again?
- Seriously?
Yes. Yes, again.
- Yeah?
- Gideon Pearlman, Luis Batista.
I know my rights, you piece of shit.
It was illegal when you fucked
with my garbage collection,
and it's illegal when
you fuck with my water.
You want to come see me?
You come see me right here,
mano a mano, all right?
- Because this shit is unacceptable!
- Hey, your days
are numbered, buddy. You got
Damn, Luis, how much
money do you owe this guy?
Yeah, he was just
making a point, you know?
We're squatting here.
Don't worry about money.
I called someone I want you to meet.
She might have a job for you.
- There she is.
- Hello, gorgeous.
Joy. You got to meet Dolores.
Okay, but first I have
an empanada emergency.
I need a guava and
cheese for my blood sugar.
You want to try one of my persimmon
and gouda empanadas instead? It's new.
Oh, I'm a creature of habit.
Oh, you sure?
It's goo-da. Gouda.
This guy kills me.
Oh, Dolores,
I've heard so much about you.
Joy has owned the
laundromat down the block
- for, um, how many years?
- Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
- Nine years at this location.
- Oh, yeah? Nine? Wow.
And my half sister, at Uptown Lucky Nail
on Broadway, she's been there 14 years.
Lucky Nails? Is that like a salon?
Yes, we're both business
owners, completely self-made.
- What kind of salon?
- Oh, you know,
nails, facials, waxing, massages,
- that kind of thing.
- Does she need extra hands?
Like, literally, extra hands? I
Joy, she is the best
masseuse that I ever
I couldn't even turn my
head before she got here.
- Oh, really?
- You know how much tension I got in my neck?
I should introduce you to Bridget.
- I'd love that.
- She's a total bitch,
but you could learn a
lot. It's not her fault.
I got all the love
growing up, obviously.
I would love that. Thank you so much.
When-when can we do that?
No time like the present.
Yeah, today. Right now. No, right now.
- Ahora mismo. Let's go.
- No Like this?
I don't know, I don't know.
No, look at the way I look,
man. I look crazy right now.
- Go have fun, enjoy yourself
- Wait, wait, wait, hold on.
- Don't push me, man.
- Come on.
Hold on. Let me, um, let me just get
- Okay. All right. Yeah.
- Just do us a favor, okay?
Don't mention your whole,
you know, history to Bridget.
She's got a real stick up her ass.
Like "two bowel movements
a month" kind of uptight.
Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
No, that's good, that's good.
- Okay.
- Whew.
We pay our masseuses 12 an hour.
- Shut up, Joy.
- No, you don't.
Go back to your laundry
joint and wash dirty socks.
You pay your masseuses 15 an hour.
How many years experience you got?
Fine, 14 an hour.
You bring your own table.
We're above board here.
No peek-a-boos or hand jobs, got me?
What in God's name is a peek-a-boo?
I know you.
Well, welcome back.
Marcie Lugo. You don't remember me?
That's all right, you
were hot shit around here.
I was more like a
a nobody. Back then.
Oh, well, good to see you again, Marcie.
Must've been bad in prison, huh?
Fucking cunt.
I mean, who goes away for, like,
15 years for possession?
Possession with intent
and assaulting a cop.
Well, welcome back.
And good luck.
What? She's great. You said so.
I said she was good.
Oh, you were moaning like a cat in heat,
and that hasn't happened
in your entire miserable,
sexless existence.
Listen, ma'am, I will wash
your floors until they shine.
I will do whatever it is that you need.
I just want an opportunity
Sorry, we're not hiring today.
Fuck you, Bridget.
- No, fuck you, Joy.
- I cannot fucking believe that
What? You bring a person
like that into my
- What do you mean?!
- I don't want some
What was I even fucking thinking?
No decent salon's gonna hire me.
Only things on my résumé
are three semesters of college
and a month working the Froyo
machine at Tasti D in '97.
This bitch.
- Let's walk.
- Yeah.
Cunt face.
I got to apologize.
I got a lot of friends who served time.
There's no shame in it.
It's always hard finding a new gig
when you've been out
of the game for so long.
So, if you are looking for a job,
I got a couple of openings.
And, again, I'm really
sorry about what happened
Did you do that shit
on purpose back there
so you could offer me
half of what she did?
No, I pay twice as much.
And I need a new salesman. Saleswoman.
What you selling?
Cannabis only. None of that hard shit.
I got a strong business selling
dime bags to the local kids,
but I could use a chick
to help me with the new
white moms around here.
They buy it for sleep.
I even print, like, cute logo stickers
to help me stay competitive.
Check it.
A decade and a half of my life gone
while you were branding yourself.
Whole different world from when I first
took over Dominic's business.
You know where he's at?
Dominic? Nah, nobody does.
Feds probably got him.
Jesus. Really?
Everybody had a theory at first.
He's in fucking D.R.,
he got collared in Miami,
he's selling goddamn Avon.
Yeah, I mean, I heard that shit, too,
but you know anybody
who knows where to find him?
Man, fuck that guy.
It's time to get yours.
Nah, man, I'm good.
I'm not doing that shit anymore,
but thank you for the offer.
I know your boy Luis
doesn't like to buy from me anymore.
But when you change your mind,
I'll still be here.
Is that gonna be my only option?
Right back to selling weed?
Welcome to Empanada Loca.
We got a special going
on, three for fi
Yeah, hello. Hi. Me again.
It's no shade, but you look like shit.
Oh, really?
Well, um,
I have no money, no job prospects,
and a bed that your boss's dad died in,
so I'm pretty sure I know
I look like shit, thank you
- very much.
- Okay. Sorry.
Look, I think I'm probably not
going anywhere for a minute,
so you and me might as well
pretend to like each other.
I don't not like you.
You remind me of my mom.
Fuck. What? Oh, my God.
That's how old I got in there.
No, she just did, like,
five bids and she's
always had a rough
time with coming back,
but she figured it out.
Where's she at now?
- Not the point.
- She's back inside, isn't she?
No, that kind of thinking is
negative and it's not gonna help you.
But I am.
You need to figure out what you want,
write that shit down
and make a fucking plan.
And work on it every single day.
Where'd you hear that
shit from Oprah?
You know what you need?
A vision board.
A what? Uh, no, I don't
want I-I need a job.
It's called manifestation, girl.
Watch the shop, I'll be right back.
Hudson is where I did
my three semesters.
It's giving fully formed.
All right, all right.
Mine's just a collage
of acceptable baby daddies.
You got big dreams.
Whoa, what's this?
Aren't you on the clock?
- D's vision board.
- A vision board.
All right, long as it's for Dolores.
That's her giving massages
to pay for her college
degree in marine biology
and buying a home in Hackensack.
- Hoboken.
- Same thing.
Hey, how'd it go with Joy's sister?
Oh, forget about it.
She found out I was in
prison, so, you know.
Back to square one.
Yo, Nellie, you got
an extra piece of gum?
You're gonna do it here, D.
What if somebody sees that?
- Duh. That's the point. Business 101.
- Yeah, but
- I don't even have a license.
- No, ain't nobody give a shit about no license.
You in New York, mami.
All they care about is that
you're 20 bucks cheaper
than Bridget's place.
Oh, I got to take this.
- Uh, Nellie, I got you for the rest of the day, right?
- Mm-hmm.
Uh, knock-knock?
Hello? Uh, hi?
- Hi.
- Hi. Hi.
Hey, yeah, Nellie said it
was $20 for a half hour?
You the-the one that just
moved into the third floor?
- Yeah, Caleb.
- Yeah, yeah, Nellie told me about you. Yeah.
- Yeah, Caleb Sweetzer.
- Caleb S I'm sorry, what?
S-W double-E T-Z-E-R. Sweetzer.
Caleb Sweetzer. Hi, nice to meet you.
Dolores Roach. R-O-A-C-H.
It used to be Rocha,
but my dad changed it
to caucasianize himself, you know.
- Poor schmuck.
- Oh.
Yeah, well, that totally
resonates with me.
Uh, yeah. Okay, so
Why don't you f-follow me?
- Is that just
- Yes, yes, come on.
- In there? Okay.
- Right in here. Uh-huh, yeah.
All right.
Have a seat.
Just on the bed?
Yeah, because, uh, you know what?
My, um, the table's in the shop,
so I'm just using the
bed just for today.
But, you know, it's surprisingly firm,
and the sheets are clean.
What the hell. Sure.
Also, if you would like
to undress to the level of your comfort.
- Oh, yes.
- No, but you don't have to, okay?
'Cause it's not like
it's not like a requirement.
Uh, well, you're gonna
need my back, right?
Right, exactly. Yes.
You're also gonna knead my back, too.
You get it? Lol.
- Oh, God.
- Wha Is someone else here?
No, no, no, no. Nobody's here.
I just, uh
It's just, uh
old New York pipes, right?
Okay, yeah.
So, um Okay, that's good.
I'm just gonna
All righty.
Okay. You got any allergies?
Uh, just penicillin.
Okay, well, that's not in this.
Is that okay?
Uh, yeah, yeah. It's okay.
It's just so nice to be touched.
The guys on the apps in this
part of town are so sketch.
I mean, how are you supposed
to have safe bondage play
with a guy you already
know is gonna rob you?
I should have run the second
that the landlord offered
me two free months' rent.
He was pretty desperate to get me into
this godforsaken place.
Feel free to put me out of my misery.
- Hmm?
- Just shh, relax.
Okay, and this is for you.
Wow. Oh, no, this is more than I charge.
Yeah, it's a tip.
Take it, silly. See you around.
I never felt prouder
of a penny I earned in
my whole goddamn life.
And then that whole week
Caleb Sweetzer says you're amazing.
people actually start coming down.
Folks are talking me up
and I even got, like, a dozen people
who call themselves clients.
It's like that
manifestation shit is real.
And I keep trying to give Luis cash
to get the landlord
to stop harassing us,
but he won't take it.
So I'm keeping it ready for
when the shit hits the fan,
which I know it will any day now.
But for a brief, shining moment,
I'm starting to feel pretty optimistic.
No, I feel fucking triumphant.
It's like a little spa in here.
I know, right?
I can't believe your grandma just had
all this stuff lying around.
The woman sees a deal on QVC,
and she buys that shit in every size,
shape and color. She do too much.
Damn, she must have
money to spend, then.
No, she just keeps opening
new cards from Russell Simmons
and some woman named Suze Orman.
Anyways, I can't make her stop
'cause shopping's all that
brings her joy anymore.
Oh, I don't want to take
stuff from your grandma
- that makes her happy.
- No,
it's the buying that makes her happy.
She won't even know any
of this shit's missing.
Thank you, Nellie. Thank you.
Can I pay you back? Like,
with a little massage?
On this death bed?
Nah, bitch, you tried it.
- Uh, I'm really good.
- You know what happens
when somebody's kidneys
shut down, right?
I kept telling Luis to
get his dad adult diapers,
but what do I know?
I've only been taking care
of my grandma since I'm 12.
Damn, he left that part out.
You've got all these
people coming down here now.
You need to be legit.
Make a fucking plan and
work on it every single day.
- Isn't that what I'm doing?
- No.
You need a real massage table.
Uh, oh Those are,
like, expensive, girl.
Well, you got to spend
coin to make coin.
Invest in yourself.
Oh, thank you.
You need some help getting that inside?
Oh, my God, thank you so much.
I'm Dolores, by the way.
- Jeremiah.
- It's good to know you.
You, too.
Got sheets.
You all right, Jeremiah?
I just haven't been down
here since Ariel passed.
- Mr. Batista.
- Oh.
- You knew Luis' dad?
- Yeah.
You, um
You deliver the exact same supplies
to the exact same
location for a few decades,
you live a lot of life with a person.
Let me help you with that.
Oh, God.
- Ta-da. Oh, there you go.
- Oh, look at that.
Let's tighten these up. Let's, um,
let's put it this way in the room.
- Like this?
- Yeah, like this.
All right.
- Oh, my God.
- Bam!
Oh, it's so nice.
She's beautiful,
and all paid for with these magic hands.
Oh, um
Thank you so much.
Oh, no, no, no, no, no.
- Oh, come on, please.
- No, keep it. I
got a feeling that you gonna
be needing it sometime soon.
What do you mean?
Before he died, Ariel
He asked me to keep an eye on his son.
The son who's in his 30s?
Yeah, the son who spends all his time
trying to make empanadas
that taste like sashimi,
as opposed to realizing that this place
is devolving into
I make the same delivery every day.
And more and more of that food
is in the dumpster every night.
Can't go on much longer.
Wait, hold-hold on, Jeremiah.
I mean, is-is there anything I can do?
Just keep your eyes open.
I'm not saying there's
something wrong with the kid,
but I'm not saying there ain't.
I don't know if I understand what
- You are in my place of business.
- I will call the cops so fast,
- you'll wish it was the health department.
- Okay? I'm just here
- trying to life my life, dude.
- This is my place of business.
I'm just trying to live my life, man.
I have the right to
enter my own property.
And I got rights, too.
And I got proof, bro.
I got proof of you harassing me.
Harassing? I just spent
two hours on a train
to come out here and
talk to you mano a mano,
like you asked, all right?
That's not harassment,
that's making an effort.
Now put the knife down, for God's sake.
Okay, I will oblige.
It is down. Fuckin' need
it anyway, all right?
Let me be clear with
you. You have two options:
either you commit to the buyout
- or you make some sort of minimum payment
- You may do
on your back rent by the
end of business Friday,
or I'll serve you eviction
papers Monday morning.
- Eviction papers, wow!
- It's been three months of this shit.
- I'm done with it.
- Well, you know what?
- I'm not done with it, bro. Fuck you, okay?
- Oh
- Fuck you right in your ass.
- Fuck me?
- You're harassing me.
- You haven't paid a cent.
- Right in the fuckin' ass.
- And you've been nothing
but hostile and threatening
since the day I came out
here to introduce myself.
And you're on drugs and now, I guess,
- you got a hooker working here. Is that you?
- No. No, no. Hey
- I'm sorry, a sex worker? A sex worker.
- No, no, I'm sorry, excuse me.
- I'm I'm a masseuse, sir.
- This woman right here is the best goddamn masseuse
- in the tristate area.
- Stop, let me talk to him.
- It's all right.
- I don't care what you do with your body, sweetheart,
but you're running an illegal business
out of an illegally-occupied unit.
- She not going nowhere, either, bro.
- No, no, no, no.
- Here he comes to save the day.
- It's okay, I got it, I got it.
Cálmate, I got it, I got it, bro.
You know what, she is my
fucking family, all right?
Okay? And my family has
been in this very spot
- for over 35 years.
- Oh, really?
And you know what,
for 35 years, this area
has been nothing but cheap
and dangerous and dirty.
My predecessor may
have liked it that way,
but I have a mandate
to bring in some people
with a higher standard of living.
- Oh, wow!
- I have a responsibility to those people.
Who are those people, the
white people? The gringos?
You know what? This has nothing
whatsoever to do with race.
- Do you hear yourself?
- Why don't you school me, then?
- School me, Mr. Rainbow Coalition. Go ahead.
- I will, I will.
- Go ahead, school me, bro.
- All right.
Yesterday, I rented to a Black couple,
and I got to be honest
- little racist.
- Wow!
- You, you don't think minorities can pay their rent.
- This fucking guy.
That makes you racist, too.
Do you even hear yourself, huh?
I do. I'll see you in court.
Make sure you get good
and doped up, amigo.
wait, wait, wait, wait,
wait, wait, wait, wait.
No, no. My turn. My turn.
I-I have cash.
- You have that much cash?
- Yes, I got I got paid in cash.
Well, yeah, of course you
do. Okay, fine. Where is it?
Let me go downstairs,
let me get it for you.
- I'll go.
- No, no, you don't have to come with me.
I'm not gonna count money out
in the open in this neighborhood.
No, no. Come on. Yeah. Stay here,
watch the shop. It's
all good. Uh, I don't
I'm sorry, what's your name?
I don't even know your name.
- Pearlman.
- Yeah, Mr.-Mr. Pearlman, come on, let's
let's go downstairs. Come on.
You know, we're just gonna, like,
wipe our slate clean, all right?
Tabula rasa.
- Ow!
- Oh, God!
- Ow! Ow.
- Are you okay?
- God!
- Oh
I guess we should really get
those old stairs looked at, huh?
This building's gonna
be the death of me.
Here we go.
Right in here, Mr. Pearlman.
- Huh.
- Oh.
you really do massage people.
That's a nice purple.
Thank you. Brand-new.
Just arrived today. Here you go.
I'm gonna need you to count that out.
All right, yeah, sure.
You know, I've never
really gotten a massage.
Not a real one. I mean,
I, you know, I used to
My ex-wife used to try,
but, you know, just not
not like a real one. Not
like a professional, like
I-I don't want to call
you a professional,
'cause you're running
an illegal business.
You know I'm the best, right?
They don't call me Magic
Hands for no reason.
Oh. I don't doubt it.
All right.
541 for now, Mr. Pearlman.
What what's the point of this?
Well, like a down payment.
I mean, what's the rent
supposed to be now, anyway?
It's eight upstairs and three down here.
- Okay, so 1,100, I gave you
- No, thousand.
Thousand, sweetheart.
- 11,000?
- That's right.
A month? For this this place?
I mean,
we used to pay 650 for a two-bedroom
- around the corner.
- When was that, 20 years ago?
It was around 20 years ago.
Okay, so I miscalculated
the inflation, all right?
But I know we can work this out.
So why don't we just
call this a stay of
execution? How about that?
- Right, Mr. Pearlman? Please, Mr. Pearlman.
- All right.
All right.
This buys you a week.
All right? Just 'cause I have
a soft spot for people like you.
- Thank you.
- But after that,
- I'm not gonna be so kind.
- I understand. I get it.
- And I'll tell, uh,
- Thank you. I appreciate that.
- Cheech up there
- Sorry about that.
- that I'll, uh, be back in a week with the contractor.
- Okay.
There's no way I can find
that kind of money in a week.
If I had any other options
- Thank you. No, wow.
- Oh, ah, hey, don't embarrass yourself.
It's just that your
shoulder's like a rock.
Well, yeah, I'm going
to the gym a little bit.
- My ex-wife's gone
- No, no, it's not, it's not muscle, it's tension.
- Ow! Ow.
- Do you mind?
- You have, like, a really big knot
- Okay, ow.
- right there. You feel that?
- Yeah, yeah. Ay.
Yeah, yes. I-I've been
feeling it for weeks.
I can't really turn my neck around.
Okay, you know what?
Why don't you lie down?
I-I'm telling you, it would be an honor
to have you as my first
on my brand-new table.
- What, you're gonna give me a massage?
- Listen, if I had bread,
I'd break it with you, but what I do
is a whole lot more nourishing.
I'm serious. I promise you.
I promise you.
- Yeah?
- Yeah, okay.
Okay, uh, so
why don't you undress to
the level of your comfort,
and I'm gonna get some
things started for us.
- What is that, incense?
- No, no, it's a candle.
- It just smells like coconut.
- Oh. Okay.
All right.
All right.
All set.
You're gonna have to turn around
so that I can get your back.
- My back?
- Yeah, that's where the knot is.
You-you can't turn your neck. It's a
Oh. Yeah, all right.
Motherfucker thinks he's
here to get a hand job.
Okay. Okay.
Just so you're a
little more comfortable,
I'm gonna take these off.
Okay, Mr. Pearlman.
You know Hey, you know what?
Before-before we do anything, can I
I want you to know I
have nothing against you
or your husband personally.
I mean, my grandparents were immigrants.
I'm a working-class
guy, my whole family.
All right? I'm not some sort of
rich real estate monster. I'm
not a-a slumlord, you know?
- Okay.
- I don't know,
what I resent about this
whole social justice business
is they ignore a critical
fact about human nature,
like the physiological need to win.
It's not it's not
it's not racism.
All right? It's not classism,
it's not, uh, you know, capitalism.
It's-it's it's really
just it's just Darwinism.
And if you want to survive,
you got to pay your rent
like civilized adults.
It's not my fault you
can't figure it out.
You don't have to ex
explain yourself to me, Mr. Pearlman.
I feel bad, I do.
I mean, it's just
just a burden of-of
my line of work, you know?
But you're a smart girl. I mean,
you know, you're not too old.
All your Everything seems to
still be where it's supposed to be.
I mean
You'll land on your feet.
So, when am I gonna see
what these magic hands
can really do here, huh?
I mean, I don't want
to have to take back
that week I was so kind to give you.
You wouldn't even have time
to pack before you have to
go back to wherever
the hell you came from.
In a week, this motherfucker's
gonna come right back
here and I'm gonna have
nowhere left to go.
But here he is,
literally in my hands,
talking about not enough space,
Darwin and shit.
Like it's a dare.
What a fuckin' fool.
Got to break the C2
or the C1 to kill somebody.
That's what Tabitha taught me.
'Cause if you're gonna be alone
with half-naked motherfuckers,
you got to know how to protect yourself.
The C2 or the C1.
I could do it if I had to.
Okay, you're being a fucking
tease. I don't have all
What was that?
No turning back from that.
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